‘Science Times’ synthesis

Independence Day is just around the corner, but before you fire up that grill, be sure to check out the latest installment of our ‘Science Times’ synthesis! From the inspirational story of one doctor’s struggle with mental illness, to increasing evidence of a drug company’s deception, this week’s buffet of sizzling stories is sure to satisfy.

Week of June 17

Heart trouble early and often in HIV patients: According to a new study of HIV-positive patients, individuals living with HIV, even those whose disease is well managed by drugs, have more heart attacks and have them earlier in life.

Expert on mental illness reveals her own fight: This moving profile of Marsha M. Linehan, PhD, chronicles her personal struggle with mental illness, and how that struggle both informed and motivated her in her work with patients suffering from borderline personality disorder.

Oregon study shows benefits, and price, for newly insured: In 2008, the state of Oregon opened its Medicaid rolls to a randomly selected group of working-age adults living in poverty. Since that time, the Oregon Health Study has followed both uninsured and newly insured residents, to see how health insurance (or lack thereof) has affected their health and quality of life.

Week of June 24

Falling in love may take a lifetime of research: This charming piece details the complex and rewarding relationships field biologists sometimes develop with their research subjects.

In documents on pain drug, signs of doubt and deception:
A long-running securities fraud case against Pfizer has led to the
recent release of documents suggesting that officials made a strategic
decision during the early trial of popular pain medication Celebrex to
be less than forthcoming about the drug’s safety.

Cells most vulnerable to HPV are identified: Researchers have discovered that cervical cancers are linked to a small population of distinct cells in a particular region of the cervix, known as the ectoendocervical squamocolumnar (SC) junction. According to the senior author, Christopher P. Crum, MD, this discovery “could be used to more clearly define which precancers need to be treated versus those that need to be followed, so you don’t go doing surgery on women who have innocuous infections.”