If you’re lucky enough to live to 80, you’ll take up to a billion breaths…
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Author: Emma Yasinski
I am a freelance science and medical journalist, fascinated by how the scientific process leads to incredible discoveries, but also can lead to publication bias leaning toward positive findings and minimizing negatives. With a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience from Lafayette College and a Master’s in Science and Medical Journalism from Boston University, I’ve written about clinical trial transparency, organ donation, and basic molecular biology for publications like The Scientist, The Atlantic, Undark.org, Kaiser Health News, and more. At MedShadow, I research and write about the sometimes unexpected ways that medicines can affect us, and what we can do if and when it does.
Early in Dee Mangin’s career as a primary-care physician, she noticed that many people, especially older adults, were prescribed large numbers and doses of drugs, which, in some cases, might actually be detracting from their health rather than improving it. Then, she realized that even when polypharmacy (being prescribed five or more medications simultaneously) was recognized as a problem, there wasn’t any systematic way to help patients and healthcare providers assess which medicines might be most effective in a lower dose or discontinued altogether. Mangin is an MBChB (the New Zealand equivalent of an MD) and DPH (doctor of public…
On May 10, 2021 Pfizer announced that its COVID-19 vaccine had been granted emergency-use authorization for kids ages 12 to 15. Since then, lower doses of the shot have been authorized for children aged 6-11. Many children have received the vaccinations, but a large population of children without the shots remains, as officials report a new variant could cause a small, but noticeable new wave of cases soon. With the FDA reviewing data from Moderna’s trials and Pfizer extending its trial to include a third shot in hopes of coaxing a more robust immune response in children 6 months to…
None of the COVID-19 vaccinations guarantee immunocompromised people much protection from the disease, but now the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved an antibody engineered to protect you from getting COVID-19. Only 27% of transplant recipients, for example, who are severely immunocompromised, mounted a sufficient antibody response after two doses of an mRNA vaccine, made by Moderna and Pfizer. The immunocompromised state is due to drugs prescribed to prevent their immune systems from rejecting a new organ. The FDA lists the following conditions as likely to leave you moderately or severely immunocompromised: Active treatment for solid tumor and…
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