Dr. Keen's Blog

8 ways your science skills can sell

pubished on Global Health Now 9/17 &18 8 Ways Your Science Skills Can Sell Sep 16, 2015 12:07:00 PM EDT By Judy Keen A science education provides rigorous training, helping students master many complex cutting-edge technologies and techniques. Students also gain a deep appreciation for details and accepting open critiques about their work. And yet, when students and postdocs finally leave the lab and attempt to enter any career other... Read More

How bacteria in your colon can influence your immune system

Companion papers were published in Science magazine this week that show the bacteria in the gut can influence the development of allergic responses. These papers are fascinating. Done in germ-free mice, these studies show that the microbiota that reside in your colon can influence the type of immune cells (specifically increasing the T regulatory cells and decreasing T helper 17 cells) that also live in that area. So, why does... Read More

Teenage/young adult smoking, vaping, hookahs, and marijuana

A few interesting pieces about tobacco and marijuana use have been in the news lately. The first looks at the status of tobacco smoking and the increase in vaping and hookah use in the US. What does this mean for public health? See Kerry Bloger’s piece at the aaaspolicyfellowships.org/sci-fly. The second, by Benjamin Kesling, in the Wall Street Journal discusses the increase in marijuana use by college kids and the... Read More

Improving access to scientific studies

Image available from wiley-asia blog. https://www.flickr.com/photos/wiley-asia-blog/14056966772/ People want to hear about or have access to the latest scientific research for a variety of reasons. It is interesting. It can improve lives and lifestyles. It can help patients or families decide the best option to take when they or their loved one gets sick. So, how can we improve access to scientific studies? I have always worked for organizations that had... Read More

Science authorship: is increasing numbers of authors making it meaningless?

Big science means many authors on paper, but are adding so many authors on a paper diluting the contribution of those who did the work? Does it make authorship meaningless? I am a big proponent of including those who have done the work onto the author line. I have even been on papers with more than 25 authors. At the very least, everyone should be treated fairly and authorship needs... Read More

Can 3D printing change the way drugs are made?

This week the FDA approved the first drug to be printed with a 3D printer. The drug, Spritam, is an epilepsy drug that is created by printing layers of powder. This printing technique is thought to improve how quickly the drug dissolves when ingested. It provides an alternative to the large, hard to swallow pills that are currently manufactured. While the drug will not be available to patients until 2016,... Read More

Being human and the ethics of animal research

What does it mean to be human? How does new animal research make us reevaluate our definitions? Dorothy Yuan talks about this in a new post – #SciFly

Just like to say I’m sorry, if that is ok?

There have been several good articles lately about words or phrases women use that should be removed from their everyday vocabulary. First was the article by Ellen Petry Leanse,“Google and Apple alum says using this one word can damage your credibility” published on LinkedIn. This is an interesting article about how the use (or overuse) of the word “just” reduces the credibility of women. We ‘just’ want to say, or... Read More

One (potential) way to reduce obesity as we age

An new study was published recently in Nature Communications that looks at the connection between (or correlation of) low dose, early-life antibiotic exposure and obesity later in life. This work was done in mice, however it seems that exposure to two different types of antibiotics can change the bacteria (microbiotics) found in the gut. Click here for commentary. For several years, scientist have been looking at the connection between the... Read More

Scientific data reproducibility – Bad data leads to false hopes and delays finding cures

So much has and should be said about the reproducibility – or lack thereof – of scientific data. Fundamentally, the inability to reproduce published data means – at best – that time and money are wasted. At worst, it leads to years of pointless investigation, a huge amount of money lost, diminished respect in science, delays in new treatments or cures, and increased skepticism about biomedical research. Patients and their... Read More

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