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Turning to Big, Big Data to See What Ails the World

Image from IHME website Like many fields, public health is in the midst of a data revolution: randomized control trials, pay-for-performance and value calculations, all based on data, are changing our ideas about what works and how to finance it. The impact of these new methods to gather and evaluate data pales, however, next to the Global Burden of Disease Report, an attempt to understand what sickens us and kills…

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New research reveals infectious disease model for homicide

New research in Chicago finds that homicide victims are concentrated among a tiny network. Tracing that network might lead to public health measures to protect would-be victims. STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: Visit any city and people are going to tell you that some parts of town are at higher risk for crime. That’s a bad neighborhood, they might say; there’s more gun violence there, more assaults, more homicides. And if you…

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New study profiles the biomedical consortia landscape

Of the 369 consortia that we researched, the majority were focused on creating resources that advance research for a specific medical condition, and most research being performed by AD, diabetes, and cancer consortia was focused on biomarker development. This goal is aligned with current trends in the pharmaceutical industry, which is focused increasingly on molecularly targeted therapies. However, balancing proprietary strategy with risk reduction and shared expertise becomes a challenge…

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To Fight Pandemics, Reward Research

THAT frightening word “pandemic” is back in the news. A strain of avian influenza has infected people in China, with a death toll of more than 25 as of late last week. The outbreak raises renewed questions about how to prepare for possible risks, should the strain become more easily communicable or should other deadly variations arise. Our current health care policies are not optimal for dealing with pandemics. The…

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