Quickies: Health disparities, conflicts of interest at the FDA, and mystery radio signals

  • Genes don’t cause racial-health disparities, society does – “Researchers are looking in the wrong place: White people live longer not because of their DNA but because of inequality.” From Will.
  • Conflicts of interest at the FDA – “A permanent solution is for Congress to enact conflict-of-interest laws forcing employees above a certain grade level at any agency to recuse themselves from official actions that affect a former employer or client, including trade associations and their members.”
  • Former Yale medical professor accused of sexual harassment – “A nephrology professor, Dr. Rex L. Mahnensmith, who worked at the university for over 20 years, has been accused of a pattern of sexual harassment while he was medical director of the New Haven Dialysis Clinic, where university physicians treat their patients.” From Donna.
  • Mysterious radio signals came from microwave oven, not outer space – “For years, astronomers at the Parkes Observatory in Australia have puzzled over these brief but intense bursts, which in some ways appeared to emanate from deep space.”


Amanda is a science grad student in Boston whose favorite pastimes are having friendly debates and running amok.

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