Culture

America rules the world in biomedical research because it is not reliant on taxpayer funding. Despite claims that basic science is only done at universities, the private sector in the US goes out of its way to avoid government involvement of its pure research. In Europe, the research system is heavily weighted toward taxpayer-financing and biomedical research does well compared to the relatively small funds available - but to do better would require a more American approach.

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Pediatricians in Appalachia are less likely than doctors in other areas to encourage parents to have their children receive the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, according to a new study.

The results are alarming because HPV infection is the most important risk factor for cervical cancer – and studies show that Appalachian women are more likely to get cervical cancer and to die from it than women living elsewhere.

Ancient kings certainly did not feel this way, but a new study suggests when you start a new job, your boss may be more likely to trust you than you are to trust him or her and the reason has to with the role that social status plays in relationships.

In three separate experiments, researchers found that high-status people tended to trust people more in initial encounters than did people with lower status. One experiment showed why: high-status people rated others as more benevolent, which led them to trust more.

Does the criminal justice system favor rehabilitating the bad guys instead of stopping crime or punishing it?

A new study into victim's satisfaction with the criminal justice system has found many victims feel their involvement in the justice system adds to their feelings of loss and trauma.

WASHINGTON, DC, September 22, 2011 — The drinking habits of a romantic partner's friends are more likely to impact an adolescent's future drinking than are the behaviors of an adolescent's own friends or significant other, according to a new study in the October issue of the American Sociological Review.

Discussing and documenting patients' preferences for care at the end of life does not cause them any harm, contrary to recent claims. A new study published today in the Journal of Hospital Medicine found that patients who talk with their physicians about end-of-life care and have an advance directive in their medical record have similar survival rates as patients who do not have these discussions and documents.

San Diego, CA, September 28, 2011 – If future physicians are to best serve the changing health needs of patients and their communities, medical education must put greater emphasis on public health and prevention, experts say in a supplement to October's American Journal of Preventive Medicine (AJPM).

Generosity is typically regarded as a virtue. But among leaders, it can be seen as a sign of weakness, according to a new study. The research finds that generosity — in the sense of contributing to the public good — influences a person's status on two critical dimensions: prestige and dominance.

The researchers define dominance as an imposed "alpha status," whereas prestige is freely-conferred admiration from others. Al Capone, for example, can be viewed as a high-dominance individual, whereas Mother Theresa exudes high prestige.

There is a great deal of interest in the unequal health care caused by postcode lotteries because the area you live in can impact the treatment you receive for cancer treatment, surgery or GP care. Research published in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Public Health shows that there are also geographic differences in the implementation of public health programs.

New online research led by the University of Leicester reveals that over 200,000 people living in Britain may have fallen victim to online romance scams – far more than had been previously estimated. The study is believed to be the first formal academic analysis to measure the scale of this growing problem.

Sir Iain Chalmers, coordinator of The James Lind Initiative, will use his plenary lecture at the European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology meeting to highlight the need for the research community to be more effective in serving the information needs of patients and professionals. He will state there are currently large inefficiencies in the way health research is carried out, with the result that the needs of consumers of research results - patients and clinicians - are not being met effectively.

An updated study published in this week's PLoS Medicine gives some new information on the cardiovascular risks of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and suggests that among these commonly used drugs, naproxen and low dose ibuprofen are least likely to increase cardiovascular risk whereas diclofenac, even in doses available without prescription, elevates risk.

In this week's PLoS Medicine, Igor Rudan of the University of Edinburgh, UK and colleagues report the results of their consensus building exercise that identified health research priorities to help reduce global child mortality from pneumonia. In a process co-ordinated by the WHO, the authors applied the Child Health and Nutrition Research Initiative methodology for setting priorities in health research investments. The research priorities identified were dominated by health systems and policy research topics, such as studying barriers to health care seeking and access.

A review of previous studies suggests that even though atypical antipsychotic medications are commonly used for off-label conditions such as behavioral symptoms of dementia, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder, these medications are effective for only a few off-label conditions, and that the benefits and harms of these medications for these uses vary, according to an article in the September 28 issue of JAMA.

An analysis of Medicare data indicates that older patients who had a stent placed in the carotid artery (a major artery of the neck and head) by a physician operator who performed less than six of the procedures a year, or if the procedure was conducted early in the operator's career, had an increased risk of death 30 days after the stent placement, according to a study in the September 28 issue of JAMA.