Can Gold Be Used For Cancer Treatment?

Scientist at Edinburgh University have discovered new properties of gold and have found ways to use nano fragments of gold in cancer treatment. The team’s research suggest the metal could be used to safely release cancer drugs inside tumors. The researchers are hoping that one day their discovery will allow for the development of implants that would that would allow this and reduce the damaging effects to healthy organs. Interested, read more here.

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By Julia Watson

Percent of Severe Housing Problems By County (2008 to 2012)

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Today’s map of the day shows the percent of severe housing problems by county for years 2008 to 2012. Severe housing problems was defined as households with at least 1 of 4 housing problems including: overcrowding, high housing cost, or lack of kitchen or plumbing facilities. From the map we can see a large portion of counties within Alaska and some western states, such as California, Arizona, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington have a higher percentage of severe housing problems indicated by the dark shaded counties compared to counties within other regions, such as the Midwest.

By Julia Watson

Percent Alcohol-impaired Driving Dealths By County ( 2010 to 2014)

Check out this map that shows the percent alcohol-impaired driving deaths by county for years 2010 to 2014. From the map we can see the driving deaths with alcohol universally affects all states. We can see some Midwestern and Northwestern states have a large portion of counties with a higher percent of driving deaths with alcohol impairment with ranging between 45 – 100%  indicated by the darker shaded counties.

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By Julia Watson

Preventable Hospital Stay Rate By County 2013

Ambulatory-care sensitive conditions (ACSCs) are conditions where effective community care and management can help prevent the need for hospital admission. The map below shows the rate of hospital stays for ACSCs per 1,000 Medicare enrollees. From the map we can see a large portion of counties within western states had a lower ACSCs rate indicated by the yellow/light orange shading compared to counties within various southern states who had higher rates, indicated by the darker shaded counties. Map like this allow health providers to then look deeper into why these rates vary. For instance, since ACSC’s are medical problems that are potentially preventable, such as hypertension, health care providers might hypothesize counties with higher rates are lacking health care providers.

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By Julia Watson

 

Opioid Prescribing Various Among US Counties

 

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Check out this map from the CDC which shows which counties in 2015 had high opioid prescribing.  The CDC found similar characteristics amongst these counties such as having a higher percent of white residents, more dentists and primary care providers, more people who were uninsured or unemployed.

By Julia Watson

The Transformation From Skin Cells to Brain Cells

In the US approximately 5.1 million people have Alzheimer’s disease [1] and usually research involving the disease is done on animals. However, researchers from the University of California, Irvine (UCI) have developed a new technique allowing them to transform human skin cells into stem cells and programing them into microglial cells. This new technique will allow researchers to use human cells instead of animal cells. Microglial cells play an important role in Alzheimer’s disease so this new method will allow researchers to have a better understand of the biology behind the disease.

Check out the article here.
By Julia Watson

Average Daily PM 2.5 By County in 2011

MOTD7_19_17_AvgPM252011Particulate Matter (PM) are small particles that contain microscopic solids and liquid droplets that are suspended in the air which can be inhaled and cause health effects. PM range in size, but particles less than 10 mm present the greatest threat. Some particles are emitted directly from a source such as, smokestacks, fires, construction sites, etc. and others are a result of complex atmospheric reactions [1].

Check out this map that shows the average daily PM 2.5 by county in 2011. From the graph we see a three distinct darkly shaded clusters indicating a high amount of daily exposure. The first cluster includes counties in Nevada and Utah. The second cluster includes counties within Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas and Nebraska. The third and most prominent includes counties within various southern states such as, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and North and South Carolina. In contrast, we can see states such as Oregon, Texas, California and Arizona are shaded yellow indicating a lower daily average.

By Julia Watson