Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tainted Chinese infant formula has sickened thousands of babies and is blamed for four deaths in China. Could it happen here? My article in the LA Times says 'no, but...' Baby formula has been deemed safe, but FDA investigators are scouring the shelves of Asian food markets for illegal imports. New concerns are cropping up about other foods that may contain powdered milk products, such as coffee creamers, baking mixes, and frozen desserts.

The University at Albany has a new slogan and with it a new push to accentuate those areas in which it excels. I wrote a couple articles in the fall issue of the alumni magazine about two of these areas: Modern Vision and Life-Enhancing Research. I profiled the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering and some of the research being done in the new Life Sciences Building.

Monday, September 15, 2008

I've got an article in today's LA Times about a Supreme Court case that has the potential to radically change the way drug liability is handled in the US. Now, an individual who has been harmed by taking a pharmaceutical product can sue the company who made the product for damages. If the Supreme Court rules that drug makers' liability ends when a drug (and its label) is approved by the Food and Drug Administration, consumers will have no such legal recourse.

I also wrote about mental health research and practice at Binghamton University (not online). The practice side told of a new psychiatric nurse practitioner program at the school to address the rising need for mental health care in today's society. In addition, the State of New York hopes that nurses trained in the rural Southern Tier of the state -- where the need is particularly acute-- will set up practice in the region.

Monday, September 1, 2008

I wrote about medical marijuana for the LA Times last month. I started with those effects that have been touted as good (anti-pain, anti-nausea, muscle relaxant, appetite stimulant) and those that are deemed bad (addiction, risks to mental health, lung damage) and dug up the best scientific studies on each. The advocates are in there as well, with valid points to make on a topic that's been debated for decades. A new delivery system uses a vaporizer rather than smoking joints.

I also wrote an essay for the Washington Post about my experience in adult gymnastics class -- and the memories it inspired of my teenage years as a competitive gymnast.