Marisa Mead

Exercise Can Change Your DNA

March 21, 2012

For my last post (wow, has it really been 10 weeks already?) I’ve decided to plunge into the sciency stuff more than I have in my previous posts. The article I’m reporting on contains very complicated cell/molecular biology material, but I wanted to really challenge myself to help a broad audience of readers understand something […]

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Mood Rings: Using Text Messages to Treat Depression

March 14, 2012

Mood monitoring is an important tool that clinicians use to diagnose and treat depression. Traditional mood monitoring involves the ancient art of pen-and-paper to chart the patient’s mood on a daily basis. This diary method has its flaws, however. Patients suffering from depression often have a lack of motivation to complete tasks, so filling out […]

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A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words—Graphic Images on Cigarette Packaging

March 7, 2012

In case you weren’t aware, smoking kills. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost half a million deaths each year in the U.S., and 5 million worldwide are caused by cigarette smoking. Tobacco use causes a long list of health problems, including cancer, heart disease, and stroke, and is the number […]

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One Flu Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

February 29, 2012

When I moved from California to Ann Arbor last fall to start graduate school I was warned many times of the cold, intense winter ahead. Except that this Michigan winter boasted unusually warm temperatures, making it the 5th warmest winter on record, with little snowfall. I can’t help but smile when I think that I […]

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The Driving Force Behind Chronic Disease

February 22, 2012

Imagine an America without cars. Surely, efficiency of daily life activities for many Americans would go down if cars were forced off the roads. Suburban residents commuting to cities would have trouble getting to work, and daily errands like grocery shopping would be a lot harder without a car for transportation. Our society is dependent […]

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For Whitney and Bobby, Cocaine Cravings Were Triggered Differently

February 15, 2012

The world lost a talented and beloved pop diva when Whitney Houston died last weekend. Houston and ex-husband Bobby Brown were just one of a long list of celebrities (Amy Winehouse, Charlie Sheen, Lindsay Lohan, to name a few) who have struggled with drugs and addiction despite, or possibly because of, their overwhelming success and […]

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A Public Health Dream–Hepatitis B Vaccines For All

February 8, 2012

Public health efforts have led to many victories: eradicating smallpox through vaccination, preventing tooth decay by fluoridating drinking water, and saving lives with car seatbelt laws, among others. Many of the noteworthy public health achievements apply to all members of a community regardless of factors such as income, race, age, or gender. Eradication of hepatitis B, […]

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Mad Cow Disease Just Got Crazier

February 1, 2012

Findings from a recent research study by Vincent Béringue at the French National Institute for Agricultural Research suggest that the infectious agent that causes mad cow disease may be able to silently infect humans. The research, published last week in Science, has implications for a public health epidemic.

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Bioremediation With Fungi May be Key to Cleanup of Lead-Contaminated Soil

January 25, 2012

Lead exposure is a global public health concern with serious negative health effects, especially among children. Last spring in Nigeria, there was an epidemic of lead poisoning in children related to the processing of lead-rich ore for gold extraction. The Blacksmith Institute estimated that 10,000 people in the region were affected. Over 100 children had confirmed lead […]

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The News May Confuse

January 18, 2012

Two-thirds of America’s population is either overweight or obese. Weight loss is guaranteed to be a hot topic in the news (and this blog apparently). Most of the research findings regarding obesity, diabetes, and weight management are disseminated to the public through the news media. Unfortunately, news sources often skip the science in order to […]

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