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Posts Tagged "safety"

Doing Good Science

Safety in academic chemistry labs (with some thoughts on incentives).

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Earlier this month, Chemjobber and I had a conversation that became a podcast. We covered lots of territory, from the Sheri Sangji case, to the different perspectives on lab safety in industry and academia, to broader questions about how to make attention to safety part of the culture of chemistry. Below is a transcript of [...]

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Guest Blog

How Clinical Guidelines Can Fail Both Doctors and Patients

A physician holds a stethoscope.

Any confusion over the recent news of cholesterol guidelines in the U.S. is perfectly understandable. On the one hand, the guidelines suggest that nearly half the population should use statins to stave off heart attacks and strokes. On the other, use of the drugs is not with potential side effects and, to many, will offer [...]

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Guest Blog

Overprescribing the Healthy Elderly: Why Funding Research and Drug Safety Is Paramount

My frail, 92-year-old mother was prescribed 80 mgs of the cholesterol-lowering drug, or statin, simvastatin for years. She fell four times in the last four years of her life: the last fall was the least forgiving. Doctors diagnosed her with rhabdomyolysis, a life-threatening condition, and acute kidney failure; she was dead within 8 weeks. Source: [...]

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Molecules to Medicine

A Glut of Obesity Drugs?

On June 27, the FDA approved the first new weight-loss drug in 13 years, Arena’s lorcaserin (Belviq). The track record for anti-obesity drugs has not been very good—each has been withdrawn from the market, after approval, due to safety concerns. Why was this drug approved? How long will this one last before being yanked for [...]

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Observations

How Pedestrian-Friendly Are We, Really?

In a busy intersection in Manhattan, taxis outnumber cars and pedestrians

Cars don’t kill people. People do. That’s the premise of a New York Times article that was published this week about pedestrian safety in New York City. With thousands of people flocking to New York City’s International Auto Show this week, the time is ripe to ask: Just how far have we come in making [...]

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Observations

Research into Contagious Bird Flu Starts after Moratorium

bird flu pandemic research h5n1

After public outcry against research into avian flu strains that can be transmitted among mammals, 40 of the top scientists working on the influenza strains signed a voluntary moratorium on research last January. The goal of the pause was to properly—and publically—weigh the potential risks and benefits of such investigations. Critics of the research noted [...]

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Observations

Lithium Ion Battery Fires Could Turn Boeing 787 Dreamliner into a Nightmare

dreamliner,boeing,aircraft,battery

Boeing’s Dreamliner has likely become a nightmare for the company, its airline customers and regulators worldwide. An inflight lithium-ion battery fire broke out Wednesday on an All Nippon Airways 787 over Japan, forcing an emergency landing. And another battery fire occurred last week aboard a Japan Airlines 787 at Boston’s Logan International Airport. Both battery [...]

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Observations

Most People Say They Are Safe Drivers, Want New Auto-Assist Tech Anyway

Most people will say they’re good drivers when asked. But that confidence doesn’t keep them from wanting new automobiles loaded with the latest in driver-assist technology for avoiding accidents. Ford Motor Company presented these findings Tuesday at a press conference to talk up the 2013 Fusion mid-size sedan and its abundance of new driver-assist features. [...]

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Observations

Smart Headlights Let Drivers See Through Rain and Snow

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Drive through a pounding thunderstorm or heavy snowfall at night and you’ll notice that your headlights illuminate the maelstrom of raindrops or flakes more than they shed light on the road ahead. This safety hazard can be greatly reduced by anticipating the movement and velocity of the drops or flakes and shining the headlights into [...]

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Observations

Job Killer? Try Bottom Line Booster: Workplace Safety Inspections Save Money, Jobs, Limbs

job safety inspection osha

Costly safety upgrades, nitpicky government inspection and resulting fines are often blamed as being bad for business. But a new study shows that when government job-safety inspectors make a surprise visit, they actually enable companies to save money—and jobs—for years to come. Occupational safety has improved immensely over the decades, but in industries with traditionally [...]

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Observations

Knee Replacements on Shaky Scientific Ground

knee replacements

As the U.S. population ages and continues packing on the pounds, knee replacement surgeries are becoming increasingly common. More than 650,000 total knee replacements were performed in 2008 (according to the latest data available). And as materials and surgical technologies improve, the promise of newer and better implants is making the procedure even more appealing [...]

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Observations

Smoke and Mirrors: Driving While High on Marijuana Doubles One’s Chances of a Serious Car Crash

pot smoking

Booze is behind an estimated 2.1 million car accidents each year in the U.S.—which cause almost 11,000 traffic fatalities annually. But many drug users have claimed that a few puffs of pot before getting behind the wheel are perfectly harmless. A new study, however, shows that drivers who smoke marijuana within a few hours of [...]

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Observations

How Long Could Cruise Ship Crash Victims Survive in Cold Waters?

costa concordia sinking

Rescue efforts were called off earlier today in the aftermath of a Costa Concordia shipwreck on rocks off the coast of Italy three days ago. Six of the cruise liner’s 4,200 passengers and crewmembers have been reported dead, so far, and another 15 or more remain missing. As lifeboats filled up and malfunctioned and rescue [...]

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Observations

Kabul Embassy Was Beefed Up after 1998 Bombings in Kenya and Tanzania

U.S. embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan

The U.S. embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, the headquarters of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Afghanistan, and other buildings in Kabul are under attack today by insurgents with guns and rocket-propelled grenades. No personnel from either the embassy or ISAF have been reported hurt, but four police officers and two civilians were killed in the [...]

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