Longer Looks: The Mystery Of Enterovirus; Mutating Ebola
Each week, KHN's Shefali Luthra finds interesting reads from around the Web.
ProPublica: This Alabama Judge Has Figured Out How To Dismantle Roe v. Wade
In the nine years Parker has now served on the court, he has made the most of his opportunities. Child custody disputes, for instance, have made good occasions to expound on the role of religion in parental rights. ("Because God, not the state, has granted parents the authority and responsibility to govern their children, parents should be able to do so unfettered by state interference," he wrote in one case.) But Parker has been the most creative in his relentless campaign to undermine legal abortion. Again and again, he has taken cases that do not directly concern reproductive rights, or even reproductive issues, and found ways to use them to argue for full legal status for the unborn. Those efforts have made Parker a pivotal figure in the so-called personhood movement, which has its roots in a loophole in Roe v. Wade (Nina Martin, 10/10).
New York Times: To Become A Doctor
Daniel Sanchez, born and raised in Guatemala, is part of a remarkable migration that occurs every July. Hundreds of medical school graduates from across the United States and all over the world start their first-year residencies at New York City hospitals, ranging from community hospitals like Woodhull that serve the poorest New Yorkers, to large, elite institutions like Mount Sinai Beth Israel. The 21 young doctors in Woodhull's three-year program in internal medicine are an unusually diverse bunch. Nine were born in the United States. The rest are originally from Poland, Nepal, Ghana, Venezuela, India, Myanmar and Guatemala. Most were trained abroad; eight graduated from American medical schools. They were chosen from 6,300 applicants (Susan Hartman, 10/9).
The Atlantic: The Summer Cold That Became Something More
A month ago, enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) was a mild concern to parents around the country as kids headed back to school. The virus caused fever, runny nose, sneezing, coughing, and body aches in mild cases, and wheezing and difficulty breathing in severe cases. But the virus seemed to be isolated to the Southeast and parts of the Midwest and unlikely to be fatal. A month later, the landscape seems very different. ... While panicked school boards call emergency meetings and parents try to figure out how to protect their children, the unfortunate truth is that much about EV-D68 remains a mystery. And it's likely to remain that way (Jake Swearingen, 10/10).
Reason: How Cutting-Edge Medicine Might Have Spared Us The Ebola Epidemic
The first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United States died in Texas on Wednesday. Also on Wednesday, a nurse who contracted Ebola from a missionary priest being treated for the disease in Spain became the first known case ever of Ebola transmission outside of the West Africa hot zone. In the meantime, the number of people infected with Ebola in the West Africa outbreak now exceeds 8,000; 3,857 have died of the disease. Computer disease model estimates by Eurosurveillance suggest that the number of people with the illness could grow by an additional 77,181, to 277,124 cases by the end of 2014. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) calculates that if the rate at which infected people are isolated is not substantially increased, the number of cases could swell to somewhere between 555,000 and 1.4 million cases by mid-January. It could have been otherwise (Ronald Bailey, 10/10).
Vox: A Top Scientist Worries That Ebola Has Mutated To Become More Contagious
Peter Jahrling, one of the country's top scientists, has dedicated his life to studying some of the most dangerous viruses on the planet. Twenty-five years ago, he cut his teeth on Lassa hemorrhagic fever, hunting for Ebola's viral cousin in Liberia. In 1989, he helped discover Reston, a new Ebola strain, in his Virginia lab. Jahrling now serves as a chief scientist at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, where he runs the emerging viral pathogens section. He has been watching this Ebola epidemic with a mixture of horror, concern and scientific curiosity. And there's one thing he's found particularly worrisome: the mutations of the virus that are circulating now look to be more contagious than the ones that have turned up in the past (Julia Belluz, 10/13).
The New Yorker: The Empire Of Edge: How A Doctor, A Trader, And The Billionaire Steven A. Cohen Got Entangled In A Vast Financial Scandal
As Dr. Sid Gilman approached the stage, the hotel ballroom quieted with anticipation. It was July 29, 2008, and a thousand people had gathered in Chicago for the International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease. For decades, scientists had tried, and failed, to devise a cure for Alzheimer’s. But in recent years two pharmaceutical companies, Elan and Wyeth, had worked together on an experimental drug called bapineuzumab, which had shown promise in halting the cognitive decay caused by the disease. Tests on mice had proved successful, and in an initial clinical trial a small number of human patients appeared to improve. A second phase of trials, involving two hundred and forty patients, was near completion. Gilman had chaired the safety-monitoring committee for the trials. Now he was going to announce the results of the second phase (Patrick Radden Keefe, 10/13).