Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

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Poverty and health in the United States

By Barry S. Levy and Victor W. Sidel
We live in the richest nation on earth. Yet 15% of the US population (about 46 million people) live below the poverty line — about $23,000 for a family of four. Almost 25% of children live in poverty. The number of American households living on $2 or less grew by 130% between 1996 and 2011.

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Health care in need of repair

By Mary A. M. Rogers
Sometimes I think that Click and Clack – you know, the Car Talk™ experts – could give us a lesson on repair. They are pretty good at diagnosis; have plenty of experience in knowing how to test things out; are great listeners to the concerns of people who have a problem; and they really know subtyping – the characteristics specific to certain makes and models of different cars.

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Why read radiology history?

By Arpan K Banerjee
Does history matter? Professional historians will not hesitate to answer in the affirmative for a multitude of reasons. I am sure many professionals in technical and scientific fields, however, may have asked themselves the first question in a reflective moment without necessarily the same positive responses attributed to professional historians.

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To medical residents

By Heidi Moawad
The completion of residency training is a time of key decisions. For residents, the assessment of several strong job options is a long-awaited reward after years of preparation. However, unlike the regimented and scheduled process of residency applications and interviews culminating in match day during the fourth year of medical school, the search for a job or fellowship is self-directed, individualized, and without a set end point or deadline.

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Matching our cognitive brain span to our extended lifespan

By Dr. Sandra B. Chapman
Among adults over 50, “staying mentally sharp” out ranks social security and physical health as the top priority and concern in the United States. Many individuals will live to be 100 or older, requiring their brains to remain at peak performance for another whole lifetime. Unfortunately, science shows cognitive decline begins at age 42.

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The many strengths of battered women

By Sherry Hamby
One woman, to save money to prepare for leaving her abusive husband, sewed $20 bills into the hemlines of old clothes in the back of her closet. Another woman started volunteering at her school so she could keep close watch over her children and earned Volunteer of the Year at her school.

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Metabolomic markers of aging

By Ana M. Valdes
Aging is a complex process of accumulation of molecular, cellular, and organ damage, leading to loss of function and increased vulnerability to disease and death.

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Five reasons to stay sober after October

Macmillan Cancer Support have raised over £1 million with their #gosober for October campaign. But is this a lifestyle that more of us should adopt permanently? Here are five great reasons to stay sober after October.

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Medical research ethics: more than abuse prevention?

By Henry S. Richardson
Scholarly and regulatory attention to the ethics of medical research on human subjects has been one-sidedly focused on the prevention of moral disasters. Scandals such the US Public Health Service (PHS)’s Tuskegee syphilis experiments, which for decades observed the effects of untreated syphilis on the participants, most of whom were poor black sharecroppers, rightly spurred the broad establishment of a regulatory regime that emphasized the importance of preventing such severe harming and exploitation of the human subjects of research.

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What patients really want

By Aidan O’Donnell
Picture this scenario. In a brightly-lit room, young women in spotless white tunics apply high-tech treatments to a group of people lying on beds. At first glance, you might think this is a hospital or clinic, but in fact, it is a beauty salon.

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Cookstoves and health in the developing world

Fires, Fuel, and the Fate of 3 Billion examines the difficult issues at play in the developing world’s use of crude indoor cookstoves for heat and food preparation. The incidence of childhood pneumonia and early mortality in these regions points to the public health threat of these cultural institutions, but as Gautam Yadama and Mark Katzman show, simply replacing the stoves may not be the simple solution that many presume.

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Food fortification

By Mark Lawrence
Food fortification, that is the addition of one or more nutrients to a food whether or not they are normally contained in the food, is receiving much attention as a potential solution for preventing or correcting a demonstrated nutrient deficiency. It is a powerful technology for rapidly increasing the nutrient intake of populations. Political agendas and technological capacities are combining to significantly increase the number of staple foods that are being fortified, the number of added nutrients they contain and their reach.

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Celebrating World Anaesthesia Day

World Anaesthesia Day commemorates the first successful demonstration of ether anaesthesia on 16 October 1846, which took place at the Massachusetts General Hospital, home of the Harvard School of Medicine. This ranks as one of the most significant events in the history of medicine and the discovery made it possible for patients to obtain the benefits of surgical treatment without the pain associated with an operation.

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