Issue 35: Chinese Vaccine Scandal, Postpartum Depression in Men, New Ebola Virus Discovered

Chinese Vaccine Scandal
Image from South China Morning Post

Reports this past week indicate that potentially hundreds of thousands of Chinese children have been injected with faulty vaccines. While childhood vaccination remains a hotly debated topic here in the U.S., China enforces a national mandatory vaccine program. Chinese drug company Changchun Changsheng is now under investigation after selling 250,000 doses of the vaccine for diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus, which reportedly violated production standards. This is not the first scandal to shake the Chinese pharmaceutical industry, as millions of compromised vaccines were reportedly administered just two years ago. The scandal only adds to many parents’ mistrust of their government and healthcare system, which does not allow the use of imported vaccines, but has also apparently not done enough to clean up the Chinese drug industry.

Postpartum Depression in Men
Man in the fetal position 

Did you know men PMS too? Okay, that's perhaps not evidence based but postpartum depression is a thing apparently. A new study revealed that new fathers may be as likely as new mothers when it comes to battling depression after his wife gives birth. Okay, so 4.4% went through something like this, versus 5% for women, as published in JAMA Pediatrics (meaning take their studies as the bible). Depression kills people and men's lives matter too. About 25% of women experience depression sometime during pregnancy. And these are just people who were screened for depression. Men presumably admit that they cry less often than women, so who knows how many men out there actually suffer depression. Take these numbers and make sure you don't judge anyone by their  gender roles. Depressed parents can affect the babies, too. Help a brother out. 

New Ebola Virus Discovered 

We got bad news and no it's not another lil pump album dropping... the government of Sierra Leone announced last week that scientists had discovered a new Ebola virus. This sixth strain of Ebola is tentatively being called the Bombali virus and has been found in 2 different bat species. Scientists are still studying the virus to see if it can infect humans (hopefully they don't get infected in the process). 

DNA Testing Goes Viral:
dank meme

Recently there was an article in the Atlantic about how a woman took a DNA test from AncestryDNA only to find out that her dad wasn't actually her biological dad. In other words her moms had gotten knocked up by some random dude. After finding out about her parents from the DNA test she created a FB group for others who were going through a similar thing. More than 1000 people have joined the FB group. Consumer genetic testing has straight up exploded in the last few years thanks to companies like 23andMe and AncestryDNA. The number of people who ordered these home kits doubled to 12 million in 2017 from the year prior. As genetic tests get cheaper and more people try them, services are sprouting up to help people find their biological parents. Highly recommend the article. It's 🔥🔥🔥

Tap Water is Legit
bottled water on deck

We've got allll sorts of water to choose from these days! There’s the standard picks of Poland Spring or Aquafina, while others might go for fancier brands like BLK water (which you just *know* is fancy because it's an abbreviation of a word as short as black). And if they’re not drinking water bottles, then people often use expensive filters to try making their tap water cleaner. But despite all the dislike and paranoia surrounding tap water, many scientists have recently agreed that most tap water in the US is perfectly safe to drink and is just as good as those luxury brands of bottled water. In fact, over purifying water can actually weaken the gut’s immune defenses. And despite the hype surrounding it, alkaline water results in low body weight and cardiac problems in baby rats. So as disheartening as it may be for those who’ve religiously been drinking their Smartwater, it seems that the lowly tap water is just as good!

Mount Sinai Gets Hyped about Blockchain
Blockchain is hella hyped, but the technology is still so new that most major academic hospitals have no idea how it works or how it can be used. Mount Sinai in NYC is investigating how to apply blockchain to healthcare problems by creating the first centre for biomedical blockchain research. Who knows maybe Mount Sinai is just jumping on the buzz word express orrrr they wanna make $$$. Blockchain in healthcare is expected to be worth $180 million in 2018 and $5.6 billion by 2025. That's 30x growth in 7 years.

Healthcare Bigwigs go to Google

What do the President/CEO of Cleveland Clinic, the former FDA commissioner, and the National Institute of Mental Health director all have in common? They quit their jobs to work at Google. As StatNews reports Google is trying to become a big player in the slow AF healthcare industry. Last month Google announced that they would commit half a billion dollars to their life sciences subsidiary Calico. In addition to spending $$$, they are all snatching up healthcare talent with tons of industry connections.

New VA Chief announced
Robert Wilkie is yet another name that came up for the secretary of Veterans Affairs position. You probably don't remember Shulkin or Lackson, but we got somebody to fill their shoes. With an overwhelmingly bipartisan effort (86-9), Robert Wilkie was nominated as the new chief. As the former assistant secretary of defense for George W. Bush, he will hopefully make peace and equalize the force in the VA universe which is going through a F5 shitstorm with their IT makeover.