Welcome to Focal Point
Hello, Big Think. Welcome to Focal Point, a blog about politics, ideas, photography, media, feminism, and more. I'm a freelance journalist in Brooklyn, New York. I do both print and photojournalism, hence the name of the blog.
I didn't set out to become a blogger. I started in 2004 while I was applying to PhD programs in philosophy.
When the applications didn't work out, I drifted into pharmaceutical advertising during the Vioxx era. I became deeply disenchanted when I realized that the industry was literally hijacking medical science to sell drugs. They weren't just spinning the results of studies. I saw pharmaceutical companies conceiving, executing, and analyzing research in the service of marketing objectives. I began to worry that evidence-based medicine was being hacked.
Eventually, I quit to blog and report full-time, but the experience left a lasting impression.
One antidote to the corporate corruption of science is education. As a reporter, I write a lot about science, medicine, and the political contexts in which they unfold. When you're battling deadlines, it's easy to miss the big picture. I hope Focal Point will be a place to explore those larger issues. Expect to read about U.S. health care reform and reproductive rights. Along the way, we'll tackle sex, drugs, and the DSM.
I'm very excited to be joining Big Think. Let's reason together.
Both schizophrenics and people with a common personality type share similar brain patterns.
- A new study shows that people with a common personality type share brain activity with patients diagnosed with schizophrenia.
- The study gives insight into how the brain activity associated with mental illnesses relates to brain activity in healthy individuals.
- This finding not only improves our understanding of how the brain works but may one day be applied to treatments.
It's a development that could one day lead to much better treatments for osteoporosis, joint damage, and bone fractures.
- Scientists have isolated skeletal stem cells in adult and fetal bones for the first time.
- These cells could one day help treat damaged bone and cartilage.
- The team was able to grow skeletal stem cells from cells found within liposuctioned fat.
Gut bacteria play an important role in how you feel and think and how well your body fights off disease. New research shows that exercise can give your gut bacteria a boost.
- Two studies from the University of Illinois show that gut bacteria can be changed by exercise alone.
- Our understanding of how gut bacteria impacts our overall health is an emerging field, and this research sheds light on the many different ways exercise affects your body.
- Exercising to improve your gut bacteria will prevent diseases and encourage brain health.
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