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Volume 3, Issue 1

Published on May 26, 2013

Original Reports

The Cultural Implications of Eating Disorders: A Comparative Study Between Argentina and the United States

As a culture consumed with body image and beauty, Argentina is a mecca for eating disorder patients. In fact, Argentina has a higher incidence of anorexia and bulimia than either the United States or Europe, with one in ten Argentines suffering from the illness. These statistics clash with common conceptions of eating disorders and body dismorphia, as many assume that eating disorders are unique to the United States and Europe. Many studies in recent years have addressed this issue and have investigated eating disorder prevalence in non-Western countries. However, little has been done to assess the direct pathways between culture and eating disorders, and how these pathways influence treatment. This study aims to elucidate the specific effect of culture on eating disorders in Argentina and the United States, and to address how these effects guide treatment. Based on 15 interviews, 12 weeks of observation in Argentina and the United States, and a comprehensive review of current literature, this study is an examination of pathology and treatment of eating disorders in these two countries. The study found that Argentina and the United States are more similar than they are different in regards to the pathway between culture, eating disorder development, and subsequent treatment. - Megan Goldring, Steven Lopez, Ph.D. Published on May 26, 2013.

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Opium: fighting the war on drugs in Afghanistan

In Afghanistan, opium production, addiction, and exportation have become an increasingly large problem. This topic has been reviewed extensively from a religious, social as well as political standpoint. This paper aims to analyze the current situation while considering the economic conditions of the country and the cultural influence on treatment programs. We hope to focus attention on the opium epidemic in Afghanistan as well as the current efforts and lack thereof in the country. As the nation that is responsible for 75% of the world's opium production, the circumstances in Afghanistan leave citizens highly susceptible to addiction and dependency. Therefore, a strategy that combines national and international law strengthening, with alternative crop production, would be most efficient to distribute money effectively. By understanding the beliefs and attitudes about opium addiction in Afghanistan and by assessing the current resources, we propose an efficient and culturally sensitive solution to the problem. - Beina Azadgoli, M.S., Sheila Pakdaman, M.S. Published on May 26, 2013.

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Reading the Fine Print

Streamlining, shortcutting, simplifying. The modern world thrives on efficiency, and the realms of science and medicine are no different. One day, patients will not have to wait for donor matches or organs; 3D bioprinters will be able to rapidly create tissue structures for all those in need. One day, testing experimental drugs on animals will not be necessary; human tissue scaffolds will be printed for the sole purpose of drug and toxicity testing. Invasive surgical procedures will be streamlined, organ transplant lists will be shortcutted, drug testing will be simplified. Recent and revolutionary, this methodology utilizes 3D model drawings as blueprints for tissue structures. Using Bioink, comprised of various cell aggregates, bioprinters are capable of manufacturing a variety of organs and biological machinery by building them up layer by layer. Ultimately, they can print a wide variety of tissues: bone to cartilage, vasculature to kidneys. They can aid in drug testing. They can prevent patient overflow on transplant lists. But most importantly, bioprinters can save lives. - Hannah Friesen. Published on May 26, 2013.

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Progress in Human Immunodeficiency Virus Research

For years, doctors, scientists and researchers have been looking for a cure for the devastating retrovirus Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). While pill cocktails have been found to extend the degradation of the virus into AIDS, a successful cure for the virus itself has not been found. However, one child has recently been cured due to a quick diagnosis and fast, aggressive administration of three antiviral drugs. This child is now only the second person to ever be cured, and represents a whole new possibility for treatment of young HIV sufferers. The first cured patient was an adult male, cured through a blood stem cell transplant from someone with a resistance to the virus. This new case provides hope for a new kind of treatment, specific to infants who are infected by their mothers during childbirth. While this is not the ideal form of treatment the ideal form being treatment of the mother so that the child does not contract HIV at all it is commonly the only option and could save many lives that would otherwise be taken before they had barely begun. - Giulia Lopomo. Published on May 26, 2013.

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Computers and the Human Body

Scientists have made some recent advances in connecting computer technology with the cellular level processes of the human body. Both of these advances use the concept of the transistor to gain human control over cellular level processes. Many processes within the cell use protons, so the development of a transistor that can control the flow of protons, as opposed to the traditional transistor that controls the flow of electrons, is a crucial step in being able to implement human-directed changes in how the human body functions. Furthermore, a group of scientists at Stanford University have even used the idea of the transistor in order to control the expression of certain genes at the DNA level. - Kylie Morgan. Published on May 26, 2013.

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The Physics, Biology, and Psychology behind Music

Swaying back and forth in a sweaty mosh pit, fist pumping in the air to the bass drum, and voices screaming out lyrics; a concert can be a thrilling experience. Seemingly far away from academics, rock stars rule crowds with glittering guitars and windmills. But where does music come from? While music may be enhanced by large crowds of people and cultural trends, in essence, music is explained by scientific phenomena. In fact, art through science happens everyday. As the laws of physics create music, our anatomy and brain function allow us to hear and process the music. The question then becomes how can something as simple as a guitar string conjure up such emotions or make such interesting sounds? - Megan Herring. Published on May 26, 2013.

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Product Stewardship

The United States accumulates more solid waste per person per day than any other nation. Efforts to improve landfills and incinerators have not sufficiently alleviated the nation's unmatched waste production. Concerns over the irreversible exhaustion of natural resources, global warming, and pollution have contributed to environmentalists' shifting strategies for minimizing the impact of widespread producer-consumerism. Design for Environment (DfE), an increasingly utilized concept, encourages the systematic integration of environmental considerations into industrial design and production processes. Despite studies exposing Americans' increased loyalty to companies known for their environmental awareness, 17 states have yet to pass a single law requiring manufacturers to invest in the sustainability and waste management of their products. Distributing the responsibility for a product's impact among manufacturers, retailers, and consumers will lessen reliance on end-of-life processes that contribute to pollution and will minimize resource consumption. - Madeleine Heller. Published on May 26, 2013.

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