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Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Latin American History

Reckoning with the addict and the US “War on Drugs”

In 2015, nearly 1.25 million people in the United States were arrested for the simple possession of drugs. Moreover, America’s “War on Drugs” has led to unprecedented violence and instability in Mexico and other drug-producing nations. Yet in spite of billions of dollars spent and thousands of lives lost, drug abuse has not decreased.

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9780190253271

Financing universal healthcare coverage [excerpt]

Across countries with UHC, no two versions are alike in their financing, in what they cover, or in how they are structured. Some countries with UHC rely on a public system of coverage while others mandate insurance coverage, requiring individuals to buy health coverage in a regulated private insurance market or from the government, while still others have a mix of the two approaches.

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9780190651244

Immunology in perspective

Among students of science, in contrast to those who do science, the dominant discussion revolves around the degree to which scientific interpretations are subject to extra-curricular influences, specifically, to what extent are facts independent of the larger political context in which science resides.

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CID

Dr. Chip Schooley on infectious diseases & journal publishing

As infectious diseases around the world continue to evolve, so does the research surrounding the discipline. To find out more about the progress and future challenges in this field, we’ve caught up with Robert T. “Chip” Schooley, Editor-in-Chief of the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases (CID), who began his term in January after serving as an associate editor for the past decade.

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9780198725190

The new rock age

of the extraordinary things about our modern world is just how closely we are brought into contact with rock in everyday life. Now this might seem a little counter-intuitive. As I child, I grew up with cartoons such as The Flintstones and, a little later, sat goggle-eyed through films such as One Million Years BC. There the Stone Age protagonists acted out derring-do amid caves, craggy landscapes and erupting volcanoes.

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CZOOLO Cover

Predation risk and foraging decisions among prey fish

Prey animals must constantly stay alert and rely on publicly available information to avoid being eaten, find suitable foraging and mating opportunities, and to assess local competition for resources. Reliable information allows prey to make behavioural decisions in order to ensure sufficient foraging and mating gains while reducing predation risks. However, complete information is rarely available to prey.

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9780198732709

Flowers and humans – a curious love affair

Humans love flowers! We admire their varied colors and shapes, enjoy the way they smell, and (especially on a day like today) give them to those we love. But why has this affection for flowers evolved in us – given that flowers have certainly not evolved to impress us? In fact, we gain very little benefit (apart from joy) from them. It is true that some flowers are edible, and that flowers may indicate where an edible part of a plant can be found

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9780198790532 (1)

How dangerous is technology?

Technological advances have provided immense improvements in our lives, but often with a hidden cost. Even the historic skills of bronze and iron working were driven by a desire not only for ploughs and tools, but for better weapons of war. This is still the case for much of modern science. Technical knowledge has helped to combat diseases, improve health, provide more food, offer faster travel, or ease hardship, and this is progress.

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9780198714750

The nature of addictive disorders

What are addictive disorders? Are they indeed disorders? The nature of problematic psychoactive substance use continues to be a matter of controversy among the public and politicians; even among health professionals there is little consensus. Some have a view that repeated use of a substance (or gambling or gaming) represents personal choice (a “free-will decision”) even when problems are occurring.

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The impact of cybersecurity on international relations

The hack of the Democratic National Committee by the Russian government and the subsequent publication of confidential emails during the 2016 US presidential election elevated cyber security in the context of international affairs to an unprecedented level in the public’s consciousness, not only in the United States but around the world.

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9780190620295

Deconstructing pseudoscience

Can magicians (illusionists) really levitate themselves and others or bend spoons using only the power of their mind? No. Emphatically no. But they surely make it seem as if they can. Enjoy being fooled? Then you’ll love watching really good magic shows that allow people the opportunity to suspend their disbelief momentarily. But don’t let this suspension become permanent.

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Music Therapy Perspectives

Challenging assumptions about how music helps

When people asked me what I did for a living, some were curious and wanted to know more, while others looked at me as if I were selling snake oil. Nowadays, these conversations are slightly different. Although it is still not always well understood as a profession, more people are familiar with the term “music therapy” and open to the idea that music and other creative mediums may be used to promote health and well-being.

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Communication in Oncology and Palliative Care

Communication in cancer care

Ask anyone about their experience with their own or a loved one’s cancer, and the response will likely include a story or remark about an oncologist, surgeon, nurse, or other health care provider. These are often positive stories: the oncologist who remembered a child’s birthday, the nurse who stayed after his shift to wait with an elderly patient until her daughter arrived to pick her up, or the surgeon who attended a husband’s funeral.

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9780198727491

Understanding AIDS

AIDS is a fast moving epidemic and some of the data and assertions were immediately out of date. For example, the book failed to foresee the massive expansion in treatment. In 2008, there were 28.9 million people living with HIV, and a mere 770 000 were receiving anti-retroviral drugs. By 2015, there were 36.7 million people infected with HIV, but 17 million were on treatment.

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9780199687756

Man’s best friend: the pig

Cute and heartwarming videos of dogs fill the internet. My favourite is the bacon dog tease, but others catch my attention because they reveal extraordinary animal behaviours. For example, there are many of dogs helping other animals, like opening the back door to let in a friend. Dogs are our best animal friends, but there is a new contender. The pig might not be agile enough for Frisbees, or into making ‘guilty faces’, but like dogs, might save your life in the future.

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JNCI

Reconsidering prostate cancer screening

In 2011, the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) issued its controversial draft recommendation against measuring prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in blood to screen for prostate cancer, claiming the test didn’t save lives. USPSTF is an independent panel of national experts convened by Congress to make evidence-based recommendations on preventive care.

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