All posts filed under: Science Articles

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The Skinny on Being Healthy in College

By Jesse Hu The latest data on American Obesity rates is in, and it’s downright embarrassing. While certainly not a hard-and-fast rule, Americans are statistically fat and complacent: during the years 2011-2012 34.9% of adult Americans were classified as obese and 17.9% of Americans aged 2-19 were classified as obese. The numbers are appalling, but the study does add the consolation that that no significant increase in obesity rates has occurred from 2003-2004, when an earlier study was conducted, to 2011-2012 (“Healthy habits during college can last for a lifetime,” n.d.). At least we aren’t getting too much worse, because then we’d be on track to looking like people from WALL-E. We’re the butt of fat jokes in the world already, but soon making fun of Americans for being fat will be like making fun of children for crying – you can’t be mean to someone that pathetic. Was that last paragraph hyperbolic? Probably. But these are issues that every college student recognize. Multiple articles have noted that the diet and exercise habits formed in …

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Is Adderall Worth the A?

By Emma Burke   In a perfect world, students would study for tests far in advance and papers would be finalized days before the deadline. However, extracurricular activities tend to lead even the most organized students astray. Many feel pressured by the rigorous academic demands of college and desperately seek a competitive edge against their peers. Studies show that anywhere from 4.1% to 35.5% of college-age students abuse stimulants meant for treating Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Stimulants such as Adderall, Ritalin, Concerta and Vyvanse increase energy, blood pressure, blood sugar, breathing and heart rate while simultaneously opening airways. While this might seem counterproductive in treating a hyperactive patient, these drugs actually calm the brain of those with ADHD. The numerous effects of stimulants make them enticing to college students who are drowning in school work. Of those who reported misuse of drugs like Adderall, 65% said they took them for concentration and 59.8% used them as a study aid. According to one study, 94% of college students who illegally abuse stimulants are Caucasian. There is …

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The Chemistry of Coffee: a Common College Addiction

By Leah Ginn It all starts with a slow rhythmic drip, followed by a noise of bubbling and an emergence of steam. An arousing aroma settles over the room and beckons you to partake in a cup. The first sip is hot and sweet (or bitter, according to preference) to the taste. You soon feel a boost of energy and feel prepared to take on the day. This routine is one that countless students and adults depend on morning after morning, and one that many seem unable to function without; coffee has undoubtedly become a predominant beverage in the lives of young adults and college students in particular. We may know that we seem to function better after having a cup or two, but the chemistry behind coffee and the way its chemicals interact with our minds and bodies is a topic infrequently brewed over (pun intended.)  Becoming informed on the science behind coffee reveals the reasons that so many of us are guiltily addicted to this substance: its active ingredients and how those affect our …

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A History of Colleges’ Campus Care

By Saakya Peechara The beginning of any school year is stressful and brings with it many changes in a student’s life. The beginning of college, however, carries a host of changes that can compound the worries associated with any ordinary new school year. The start of college can mean a sudden increase in freedom, a wealth of classes to delve into and an influx of new friends and experiences. With all these changes, students might be forced to prioritize certain aspects of their lives over others, and their health frequently falls low on the priority list. Staying up late, unhealthy eating habits and copious amounts of stress, among other lifestyle choices of college-aged students, can all contribute to physical and mental health issues.   For example, according to the American Psychological Association, 41.6% of college students present with anxiety, and 73% of students living with a mental health condition experience a mental health crisis on campus.  These statistics underscore the importance of such campus health programs as the Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS) and the University …

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Innovation Gridlock in Healthcare: Big Ideas and Big Data

By: Sona Rao When you think of innovation there are two words to keep in mind: big data. It is a buzz phrase that has sparked countless conversations in technology and has changed the way industries operate and perform. What is big data and why is it so powerful? In an increasingly digital environment, everything you experience is data-driven. Every click of your mouse is tracked by companies and used to improve online services by predicting what consumers want. For example, when online shopping giants like Amazon want to track all the products that every user has clicked on, all of those “clicks” are aggregated into a database and analyzed. That’s a lot of data. This is the essence of big data: huge amounts of information in all shapes and sizes being swallowed by companies at a great speed. And the process of using that data to improve performance and technology is called innovation. What happens when you apply the same concept to patient data? Organizations use digital information of previous and current patients to …

"Ekso Bionics" by Ekso Bionics is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

The Shepherd Center: Atlanta’s Most Valuable Resource

By Emma Burke To the casual passerby, the campus of concrete buildings situated on Peachtree Road appears to be just another metropolitan health care complex. However, the miracles performed every day at this catastrophic-care hospital are unique. Each year the Shepherd Center rehabilitates thousands of patients with traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries. Between inpatient, outpatient and day programs, the staff brings hope for a better life to people suffering from some of the most devastating ailments.

The New Age of Child Obesity

By Amanda Pham Back in the day, when our moms told us to go play outside, they literally meant stop eyeing the TV and go outside, play in the sandbox, swing on the swings or connect with the great outdoors. At dinner, she would always tells us to finish the vegetables on our plate before we could eat dessert or go play in the living room. Nowadays, when mom tells us to go outside, we interpret that as “let me take my phone outside and play on it.” As a result, we end up not getting the physical activity we need. Instead we tend to give most of our attention to our phone screens rather than enjoying our surroundings. For dinner, mom or dad would ask, “Could you bring me that take-out menu?,” foregoing a more traditional and healthy homemade meal. Times have changed, and we’re living in a more advanced world, but also a more unhealthy one.

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Take a Hike: How Hiking Can Boost Your Physique, Mood, and Spirit

By Leah Ginn While on a strenuous hike in southern Kentucky near Cumberland Falls, one of my closest friends once said to me, “I think I believe why nature is so sacred; it is the only part of life that exists just as God intends for it to. It does exactly what it is supposed to do.” I pondered this statement as I continued walking down the forested path, and decided that this was true. I often wondered what drew me to the sport of hiking. I’ve never been the most athletic; exercising was at the bottom of my totem pole of priorities, and I was never the star player on any sports team. I knew that I didn’t enjoy hiking for the exercise it provided or for its athletic factor; however, the high that I felt after completing a tough hike made the difficult climb worth it. The first time I was invited to go hiking, I was highly skeptical of what would happen when my clumsiness met the obstacles in the woods. But after …

Surgery Malpractice - "Pacific Ocean (Aug. 10 2007)" U.S. Navy photo taken by Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Jean A. Wertman under CC BY-SA 3.0

Tortilla Reform of Medical Malpractice

By Jesse Hu Let me pose a hypothetical. Say you’re a mailman. You drive around in your mail buggy, and every day the mail makes it to the right place. One day, a letter slips into the wrong stack, and makes its way to the wrong person. Happens all the time right? No sweat. Well, for the sake of this hypothetical, you’re bathed in sweat, because now you’re fired. Oh, and your profession reputation is dragged through mud in a long, drawn  out lawsuit that costs you something like $50,000 when you’re already saddled with $100,000 worth of debt. Why does a mailman have that much debt? Well, this isn’t a perfect analogy. But, if you read between the lines of an analogy, this is a very true reality that doctors have to face.