Monthly Archives: January 2016

CRISPR Annotated Bibliography

  1. Doudna, Jennifer. “We Can Now Edit Our DNA. But Let’s Do It Wisely.” TED. TED Conferences, Sept. 2015. Web. 26 Jan. 2016.

Jennifer Doudna, the co-inventor of the new gene editing technology, CRISPR-Cas9, explains how it works and its potential uses. The breakthrough for this new technology came from the study of bacteria. The CRISPR technology uses a protein called Cas9. A guide RNA (synthetically made) that matches the sequence of the DNA in question, at a specific location, attaches to the Cas9 protein to form a complex. Once this complex finds matching DNA sequences, it attaches at that site, and the Cas9 makes a precise cut, removing that DNA strand. After a break, the cell can repair the site by integrating a new piece of DNA. This is why the CRISPR technology is so important for genome engineering- it allows us to insert new DNA into an organism at a specific location.

  1. Pennisi, E. “The CRISPR Craze.” Science 341.6148 (2013): 833-36. Web. 25 Jan. 2016. 

Many new gene editing tools have been developed but CRISPR is the most efficient and easy to use. Previous methods couldn’t control where a gene was cut or where new genes were added. CRISPR, however, through the use of Cas9 and the synthetically made guide RNAs (combination of tracrRNA and spacer RNA), is able to cut a genome in an exact location. The CRISPR technique has been used on mice embryos to produce new mice models. The CRISPR method has also been used on crops to disable genes and recently has been used to target genes related to human diseases.  The CRISPR method, however, is not perfect. According to some tests, there is a possibility the guide RNA can target DNA that differs from the intended DNA by up to five bases (A, T, G, C). In some cases, the guide RNA targets the wrong DNA, potentially causing unnecessary breaks.

  1. Caplan, A. L., B. Parent, M. Shen, and C. Plunkett. “No Time to Waste–the Ethical Challenges Created by CRISPR.” EMBO Reports 16.11 (2015): 1421-426. Web.

There are many ethical concerns with the CRISPR technology. One concern is the ability to edit human embryos. Many people argue this is unsafe and crosses ethical lines. The next big concern is related to GMOs. Organisms have been genetically modified for years, yet many people still have major concerns. With CRISPR technology, it will be much easier and cheaper to produce these potentially unsafe genetically modified organisms. Because the process is so simple, in the wrong hands, ­­CRISPR could also be used to create harmful viruses and bioweapons.

  1. Bassett, Andrew R., and Ji-Long Liu. “CRISPR/Cas9 and Genome Editing in Drosophila.” Journal of Genetics and Genomics1 (2013): 7-19. ScienceDirect. 18 Dec. 2013. Web. 28 Jan. 2016. 

This article first introduces previous gene editing methods such as zinc fingers and explains the problems associated with those methods. It then goes on to describe how the CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat) system has been used in Drosophila (flies) and the varying outcomes (links to studies are also included). Many tests have been done on flies using a multitude of techniques (inserting plasmids, inserting mRNA, etc). They all showed positive changes in the Drosophila DNA because of the CRISPR method. These studies are important for expanding the CRISPR technology. The article also discusses limitations to the CRISPR system such as the sgRNA (simple guide RNA) cleaving efficiency, where the complex isn’t able to cut the DNA. This could occur because of the structure of the Cas9/RNA complex or the chromatin structure. Any disfiguration in these structures could decrease the complex’s performance.

  1. “New Studies Advance Understanding of CRISPR Gene Editing.” HHMI News. Howard Hughes Medical Institute, 1 Dec. 2015. Web. 28 Jan. 2016. 

This article goes into more detail about how the CRISPR technology works and discusses Cas9’s ability to attach to its true target. It is quite common for Cas9 to attach to the wrong site, but very uncommon for cleaving to occur. Scientists performed a study to determine how Cas9 avoids cleaving at incorrect sites (the complex quickly moves on when the RNA and DNA aren’t an exact match, not leaving enough time for a cut) and how it can quickly find its true target in a sea of DNA. Another study of Cas9 shows it surprisingly persisting in heterochromatin regions. In clustered DNA, the protein is slowed but still persists.

Telomeres: Aging and Cancer- Annotated Bibliography

“Are Telomeres the Key to Aging and Cancer?” Genetic Science Learning Center.  University of Utah Health Sciences. Web.

Published by the Department of Health Sciences at the University of Utah, this article is primarily about the notion of telomeres, which are ultimately repeated sequences of DNA on the end of chromosomes. Telomeres exist to provide the chromosomes with protection, much like the plastic tips on the ends of shoelaces provide protection to the laces. Every time a cell undergoes division, telomeres get shorter. When a telomere gets too short, the cell can no longer divide, which results in cell death. Because of this, telomere shortening is associated with the process of aging, cancer, and death. This article essentially explains how telomere shortening is related to aging and cancer, and then proceeds to give scientific studies on how the length of one’s telomeres can affect one’s lifespan and susceptibility to illnesses like cancer.


Fernandez, Elizabeth. “Diet, Meditation, Exercise Can Improve Key Element of

Immune Cell Aging, UCSF Scientists Report.” Lifestyle Changes May Lengthen

Telomeres, a Measure of Cell Aging. University of California San Francisco,

  1. Web.

This article, published by scientists at University of California at San Francisco and supported by the National Institute of Health and National Cancer Institute, describes a small scientific study that reveals that changes in one’s lifestyle—such as a healthy diet, stress reduction, and frequent exercise—can lengthen one’s telomeres, a huge finding. Longer telomeres are associated with less diseases and a larger lifespan. The fact that one can alter his or her telomere length by some degree illustrates that one’s genetic material is not necessarily his or her fate. These scientists hope that their study inspires larger studies that encompass more people and more factors to confirm the finding that an increase in telomere length can indeed increase the human population’s lifespan—a concept that can be a breakthrough in the medical world.


“Scientists Begin to Unravel the Mysteries of Aging.” Today’s Science. Infobase

Learning, Mar. 1998. Web.

This article, published by Today’s Science, provides information on the job of the enzyme telomerase, which is a protein that counteracts the telomere shortening that occurs with every cell division by consistently adding more DNA sequences to the telomeres. This enzyme is only found in reproductive, fetal, and cancer cells, but not in somatic cells, which are also known as body cells. In body cells, the gene for this enzyme is completely turned off and nonfunctioning. Scientists are proposing that if they can find a way to turn on the gene in these somatic cells, perhaps these cells can divide indefinitely. This would ultimately postpone the process of aging for humans. Scientists are also looking at how telomerase can be utilized to rejuvenate cells that are deteriorating, as well as to improve cancer treatments.




Shay, Jerry, and Woodring E. Wright. “Roles of Telomeres and Telomerase in

Cancer.” Journal List. US National Library of Medicine, 2011. Web.


Published through Seminars Cancer Biology, this scientific article provides more detail on how cancer is related to the repeated DNA sequences at the end of chromosomes called telomeres. In cancer cells, telomerase activity is almost always present, allowing these cells to divide incessantly, and ultimately permitting the tumor to become larger and larger. These seemingly immortal cancer cells are the reason why scientists are looking into the enzyme, telomerase, for not only cancer diagnosis, but also for cancer treatment. Currently, it is widely accepted that the process of aging serves to prevent malignancies like cancer. With the complex knowledge of telomeres and telomerase, scientists today are attempting to unearth an effective way to both treat and possibly cure cancer, as well prolong aging—a challenging task.

Annotated Bibliography (CSE format)

Flood K, Malone FD, Elsevier. 2011. Prevention of preterm birth Seminars in Fetal and Neonatal Medicine [Internet]. Seminars in Fetal and Neonatal Medicine [Internet] Volume 17:59–61. Available from:

Dr. Karen Flood and Dr. Fergal D Malone are both very accomplished physicians and specialists in the field of obstetrics and gynecology.  Malone is an associate professor on this subject at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons and Flood is currently the head doctor for the early pregnancy service and recurrent pregnancy loss clinic.

In their journal article, Flood and Malone provide a detailed summary and analysis of preterm birth (PTB) prevention.  Flood and Malone launch into a brief overview of primary prevention which includes the many lifestyle habits that increase a patient’s risk of PTB, however, the main focus of this article is methods of secondary prevention.  Secondary prevention (cervical cerclage, progesterone injections, antibiotics and anti-inflammatory administration, and omega-3 intake) is aimed at preventing recurrent PTBs in women who have already experienced one, as previous PTBs increase the risk of future PTBs.  The article analyzes each method, providing a historical background and the potential for research and improvement for each.

Flood and Malone have provided a useful resource for my research of the prevention of PTB in high risk patients, as this is the article’s main focus.  The scope of the article is also refreshingly broad, ranging from cervical cerclage (stitching the cervix closed) that was first developed in the 1950s, to the administration of antibiotics that still requires more research.  In this way, the article provides a sound, holistic analysis of these methods, enabling my research to display both a historical depth as well as the potential for innovation in the area.


The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (2013). 17P Plus Cerclage Decreases Preterm Labor Risk. Retrieved from

Published by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), this article reports recent findings presented at the ACOG’s Annual Clinical Meeting of 2013 that prove the effectiveness of coupling cervical cerclage (stitching the cervix closed) with injections of 17P (a progesterone-based hormone) in preventing PTB.  It was Dr. Temming’s research that produced these positive results and the article discusses how her results were different than those of other studies, probably due to the fact that a majority of her participants were at a higher risk of PTB.

This article highlights the need for physicians and researchers to “think outside the box” and try combinations of methods.  While my research is mainly focused on relaying information about PTB prevention to those at high risk, a secondary goal is to emphasize the importance of versatile thinking in the medical field and demonstrate to my audience that although medical breakthroughs are much like puzzles; we probably already have the pieces, but we need to research to figure out how they fit together.  The fact that Dr. Temming’s research shows that such a method is most effective in high risk patients makes this article specific to my area of research as well.


TIME Magazine. (2011). Prolonging Pregnancy: New Drug Helps Prevent Premature Birth. Retrieved from

Bonnie Rochman is a freelance journalist who specializes in writing about pregnancy, fertility and parenting.  She frequently writes articles for TIME magazine.

Rochman’s article in TIME was written in response to the FDA approval of Makena, another name for 17P (a progesterone-based hormone) that helps prevent PTB.  To usher in the good news, Rochman uses the story of a mother who is at high risk of PTB after her first child was born prematurely.  However, as a result of 17P injections, her next two children are born at 39 weeks (PTB is before 37 weeks).  The article briefly discusses the biological implications of progesterone injections, revealing that progesterone is responsible for the strengthening of fetal membranes.  However, this also leads to restrictions in who qualifies for this treatment, because, as Rochman points out, women who have multiples (e.g. twins), or do not have issues with their fetal membranes breaking too soon, are not eligible for the treatment.  Rochman’s article is hopeful about this new treatment, but overtly states that new methods are still needed and that the issue of PTBs is nowhere near solved (only 2% of PTBs are estimated to be prevented by 17P).

This article is essential to my research, as it details the method of 17P administration and its effects in high risk pregnancies.  This article in combination with the article 17P Plus Cerclage Decreases Preterm Labor Risk better equips my research to reflect the evolution of medicine in this area.  Rochman’s hopeful anecdote/case study is also a useful framework for conveying the message of my research.


Stewart DR. 2011. Method of preventing premature delivery United States Patent Application Publication [Internet]. United States Patent Application Publication [Internet] 17:1–7, 12. Available from:

Dennis R Stewart is an inventor researching the use of synthetic hormones in PTB prevention.

In the background section of his paper, Stewart outlines the leading causes of PTB, such as previous PTBs, preterm labor or miscarriages, a multiple pregnancy (e.g. twins) and being younger than 18 or older than 35 years of age.  He also details the various disabilities and complications that are either fatal to the premature infant, or leave them seriously disabled as a result of PTBs (e.g. mental retardation, cerebral palsy).  In an attempt to patent the use of a protein-based hormone known as relaxin, Stewart explains how relaxin strengthens the cervix, and how a woman with a strong cervix will not be able to give birth, despite any uterine contractions she may be experiencing.  Stewart also presents his surprising finding that such a hormone can prevent PTBs in humans, while inducing birth in animals.  After giving a background and explanation of PTB and relaxin, Stewart outlines his experimental procedure and presents his results, which appear positive.

This paper is an excellent resource for my research, but only in its capacity to explain the various causes and consequences of PTB, thus providing my readers with a background knowledge of the topic.  The actual results of the experiment with relaxin have been disputed by other sources.  The author, Stewart, is also the inventor of the synthetic relaxin drug, and such bias does not permit this paper to be a credible source as far as relaxin administration is concerned.


Bain E, Heatley E, Crowther CA, Hsu K, Wiley. 2013. Relaxin for preventing preterm birth (Review) The Cochrane Collaboration [Internet]. The Cochrane Collaboration [Internet]:1–12. Available from:

This review is one of many produced by the Cochrane Library for the sole purpose of providing the public with an informed view of the various medical methods of treatment available, as well as their effectiveness.  The Cochrane Library’s reviews are internationally acclaimed as far as evidence-based health care is concerned.

This review provides a brief overview of the history of relaxin research and the many conflicting conclusions researchers have come to over the years.  Some research seems to show that relaxin helps to prevent PTB, while other research refutes this claim.  This paper seeks to holistically analyze the cumulative results of past research by evaluating it for bias.  The methods used for each experimental trial are detailed, and the conclusion reached by the reviewers is that the majority of the trials contained instances of severe bias.  The review contends that currently, there is not enough experimental evidence to either for or against the use of relaxin in the prevention of PTB.

Such a critical paper broadens the scope of my research, allowing me to conclude that Stewart’s patent application, Method of preventing premature delivery, is not entirely credible in its assessment of the effects of relaxin for PTB prevention.  I can thus give my readership a snapshot of the medical history of PTB prevention in its ups and downs.

3D Printing Annotated Bib

Annotated Bibliography

Kurup, Harikrishnan, Bennett P. Samuel, and Joseph Vettukatil. “Hybrid 3D printing: a game changer in personalized cardiac medicine? Taylor Francis Online, 14 Oct. 2015. Web. 25 Jan. 2016.

3D printing is shown to be beneficial in many areas. This article focuses on heart disease and discuss how 3D printing could increase the procedural efficiency and patient safety in the congenital heart disease aspect. Accurate printed heart models have been able to be printed thanks to hybrid 3D printing, which is very beneficial to cardiologists. With this new technology, some cardiologists are even looking into printing 3D replicas for heart transplantations in the near future.

Murgia, Madhumita. “Toddler Gets World First Kidney Transplant Using 3D Printing.” The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group, 26 Jan. 2016. Web. 28 Jan. 2016.

Lucy suffered from heart failure when she was only four months old, which starved her kidneys. They only way she would be able to live was a kidney transplant, which her father offered one of his kidneys for. The doctors at Great Ormond Street in Ireland used 3D printing to make detailed and accurate models for both the father kidney and Lucy’s stomach. Such a complicated and life threatening procedure could easily kill Lucy, but operating using the 3D models proved successful and helped save Lucy’s life. In 2014, a man had a 3D pelvis implanted because he lost half of his to cancer.

Ross, Joseph S., and Mark H. Michalski. “The shape of things to come: 3D printing in Medicine”. The Journal of the American Medical Association, 03 Dec. 2014. Web. 25 Jan. 2016.

Broad overview of 3D printing, which is a technique where objects are built from digital data. 3D printing has already been used for transplants in the dental field for over ten years. 3D printing has been used by many head and neck surgeons as a way to prepare for complex surgeries. This helps surgeons to be able to reduce operating room time as well as improving surgical results. 3D printing can also be tailored to individual patient’s anatomy. 3D printing organs are used to test drugs and their toxicity on human tissues.

Scott, Clare. “3D Bioprinting Solutions Succeeds in Performing the First 3D Printed Thyroid Transplant.” 3DPrintcom. 3DR Holdings, 04 Nov. 2015. Web. 28 Jan. 2016.

In March of 2015, Russian 3D printing company, 3D bioprinting solutions, reported having printed a working thyroid gland for a mouse. And in November of 2015, the same company reported successfully transplanting working thyroid glands into live mice. A benefit of 3D printed organs is that it is a much lower chance of the body rejecting the organ because it is the organism’s cells being printed. This is a big accomplishment because traditional thyroid transplants normally aren’t performed because of all of the possible complications.

“SmarTech Markets Publishing; SmarTech Announces the Availability of Three New Reports on 3D Printing in Medicine.” ProQuest, 06 Sept. 2015. Web. 23 Jan. 2016.

3D printing used in implants, prosthetics, and medical modeling. 3D applications in medicine now includes the knee, shoulder, spine, and other cases where traditional treatment would not work. There have been printed orthotic devices to help with fracture healing, posture correction, vision correction, and healing aids. They are also used for practice to improve patient outcomes and anatomic modeling to expand the ability for professionals to treat difficult cases and increase the efficiency of many common procedures.



Medical Marijuana Annotated Bibliography

Fife, T. D., H. Moawad, C. Moschonas, K. Shepard, and N. Hammond. “Clinical Perspectives on Medical Marijuana (cannabis) for Neurologic Disorders.” Neurology: Clinical Practice 5.4 (2015): 344-51. Web.

The majority of this article speaks to the lack of controlled studies and inability to effectively measure patient responses to medicinal marijuana, which makes it hard to become legal in most states and to be covered by insurance. Because of the restrictions on the legality of marijuana in most states, controlled studies and ability to show benefits in different neurologic disorders can’t happen. So a cycle occurs with neither side able to move forward. The plant itself is also discussed and how the cannabinoids (and cannabis) affect different receptors in the CNS, which is where relief from pain in different disorders comes from. This article also has a list of states in which medical marijuana is legal versus where recreational marijuana is legal. This shows just how few places medical marijuana is legal.


Lotan, Itay, Therese A. Treves, Yaniv Roditi, and Ruth Djaldetti. “Cannabis (Medical Marijuana) Treatment for Motor and Non–Motor Symptoms of Parkinson Disease.” Clinical Neuropharmacology 37.2 (2014): 41-44. Web.

This article discusses a specific case study in which 22 patients with Parkinson’s disease were monitored with different rating scales on both motor and non-motor symptoms after smoking cannabis over a 2 month period. The article concludes saying that significant improvement in areas such as tremors, rigidity, pain tolerance, and quality of sleep. However, because of the placebo effect and patient rating (bias), the potential for this study not being reliable arises. However, in the discussion of this experiment/case study, documented benefits of cannabis for other diseases such as AIDS or those receiving chemotherapy are mentioned so some truth comes back into the reliability of this study on Cannabis treatment of Parkinson Disease.


Maule, W. J. “Medical Uses of Marijuana (Cannabis Sativa): Fact Or Fallacy?” British journal of biomedical science 72.2 (2015): 85-91. ProQuest. Web. 28 Jan. 2016.

This article discusses more in depth about what exactly medical marijuana does and how it is used as a medication for nausea and delayed vomiting and spasms and pain relief. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the main component of marijuana that causes the high people feel and what gives the relief of pain. This article also discusses side effects of long-term marijuana use and how short-term use can be useful. Some statistics about marijuana use worldwide are named, and examples of case studies done to prove the usefulness of medical marijuana are mentioned (especially in using placebos to compare the effect on pain relief).


Pierre, Joseph M., M.D. “Psychosis Associated with Medical Marijuana: Risk Vs. Benefits of Medicinal Cannabis use.” The American Journal of Psychiatry 167.5 (2010): 598-9. ProQuest. Web. 24 Jan. 2016.

This article is in fact a letter to the editor discussing the risk of medicinal marijuana by showcasing a specific case of “Mr. Z”. This man presented with many symptoms and heightened problems from being a war veteran. He prescribed himself with medicinal marijuana to supposedly alleviate pain, but the present conditions led to heightened psychosis that went from PTSD to hearing voices and being paranoid. The use of cannabis to treat his symptoms only made his stress and potential for psychosis heighten and a dependency of sorts to happen with regards to cannabis. So this article shows a negative to the potential use of medical marijuana.


Zeese, Kevin B. “History of Medical Marijuana Policy in US.” International Journal of Drug Policy 10.4 (1999): 319-28. Web.

This article discusses the history of medical marijuana as it is related to laws. The largest reason that medical marijuana is not more widely spread is because of legislation or lack thereof of making it legal. Most of the article discusses how marijuana went from a Schedule I drug to becoming legalized medically in many states across the United States. States across the US are mentioned with specific studies done in order to prove the effectiveness of medical marijuana, and the public desire for medical marijuana grew as publicity on this relatively new topic grew. This article, however very factual, shows some bias coming through in that the author clearly believes that medical marijuana should be legal. Zeese, in fact, was a part of the litigation for medical marijuana.

Fluoride annotated bibliography

Dhar, Vineet, and Maheep Bhatnagar. “Physiology and Toxicity of Fluoride.” Indian Journal of Dental Research 20.3 (2009): 350-5. ProQuest. Web. 25 Jan. 2016.

  • This scholarly journal from the Indian Journal of Dental health delineates to various aspects of the element fluorine and how it exists in relation with the environment and its direct effect on the human population. The article opens with a brief discussion on the nature of the fluoride compounds and their various states in nature. Such is followed by a transition to a specific case for the availability of fluoride, India. Variation in fluoride levels are compared as well as the measures taken to ensure that the proper intake is met for a healthy populous. The article continues to outline the various positive and ill effects that fluoride has on humans of varying age demographics; for the ill effects, the article proposes various diagnoses and treatments for dental and skeletal fluorosis. The topic of genetic mutations due to excess fluoride exposure is briefly discussed.

Gutierrez-Salinas, Jose, et al. “Exposure to Sodium Fluoride Produces Signs of Apoptosis in Rat Leukocytes.” International Journal of Molecular Sciences 11.9 (2010): 3610-22. ProQuest. Web. 25 Jan. 2016.

  • This is a research study on the effects of excess fluoride on the liver of rats and the genetic structure in liver cells. It was found that high doses of sodium fluoride (NaF) caused an overall decrease in the rats’ body weights and increase in liver weights. The findings asserted that because the liver is most subject to toxic substances due to its detoxification role as an organ, it most heavily manifests the effects of fluoride excess. The liver was found to be swollen and ultimately possessed a scrambled cellular structure. It was also found that fluoride ions alter the gene expression of certain liver cells in charge of killing bacteria and cell homeostasis. Fluoride ions, in conclusion, encourage apoptosis of the liver cells, alluding to a similar reaction in human cells.

Schultz, Dodi. “Flouride: Cavity-Fighter on Tap.” FDA consumer 01 1992: 34. ProQuest. Web. 25 Jan. 2016 .

  • The article from FDA Consumer employs reference to the historical success of fluoridation as a means of curbing dental carries. It further continues by explaining how fluoride helps protect teeth through molecular interactions. The article then shifts to discuss the ill effects of fluoride excess on teeth and addresses arguments against fluoridation by a case study with rats in which the research mislead the public by suggestion of a weak (in fact nonexistent) link between fluoride and cancer in rats. The article concludes with a guide and tips informing the reader on the situations in which fluoride supplements should be administered and how certain sources of fluoride in water and other common various sources compare.





Lo Giudice, John-Paul. “The Water Fluoridation Debate.” Journal of the Australian – Traditional Medicine Society 20.4 (2014): 274-7. ProQuest. Web. 28 Jan. 2016.

  • This article addresses the various arguments of the debate over the fluoridation of water. The article employs an Australian perspective to the debate. The opening of the analysis compares the cost effectiveness of fluoridating the water to the healthcare costs as a result of dental caries (cavities). The statistic presents the efficacy ratio to be 7:1. The article transitions to various extreme counter arguments and discredits them by alluding to a lack of research in support of and mounted evidence to the contrary of these claims. The article then addresses more valid concerns in the debate against fluoride, finally concluding on a note of indecision, emphasizing the complexity of the issue.


Kurian, Maria, and R. V. Geetha. “Effect of Herbal and Fluoride Toothpaste on Streptococcus Mutans – A Comparative Study.” Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research 7.10 (2015): 864-5. ProQuest. Web. 28 Jan. 2016.

This is a research study comparing the efficacy of fluoride toothpaste versus herbal toothpaste against Streptococcus Mutans, a common bacteria that causes dental caries (cavities). The study was conducted by observing the inhibitory effect of each toothpaste as applied over a set surface area. It was found that the fluoride toothpaste was more effective at preventing the spread of the bacterial population. The study gives proof for an added benefit of fluoride as an antibacterial agent when administered appropriately.

Annotated Bibliography: Veganism and Malnutrition

Colev, M., Engel, H., Mayers, M., Markowitz, M., & Cahill, L. (2004). Vegan diet and vitamin A deficiency.Clinical Pediatrics, 43(1), 107-9.

This article focuses on the effect of vegan diets on children, and how certain nutrients may be insufficient in their diets. It incorporates the importance of the parents’ role, and how they are the main figures in the children’s lives, which further means they are the main influence in their diets. Furthermore this article highlights the importance of education of parents regarding restrictive diets, and how they can reach healthy eating habit goals without breaking their beliefs. If they are not following the recommended diet guidelines, then they are at risk of running health risks such as not getting the essential amount of nutrients.Izmirli, Serdar, and Clive J.C. Phillips. “The Relationship between Student Consumption of Animal Products and Attitudes to Animals in Europe and Asia.” British Food Journal 113.3 (2011): 436-50. Emerald Insight. Web.


Izmirli, Serdar, and Clive J.C. Phillips. “The Relationship between Student Consumption of Animal Products and Attitudes to Animals in Europe and Asia.” British Food Journal 113.3 (2011): 436-50. Emerald Insight. Web.

The article highlights the relationship between the attitudes of young adults and consumption of animals. This study was completed throughout countries of Europe and Asia, and inquired the reasons behind the decision of becoming vegan or vegetarian. Two prominent reasons were the support of animal rights and the concern of personal health. It should be noted that there was a distinction between reasons of vegetarians and vegans, and that vegans were more towards concern of animal rights. This article exhibits the reasoning behind the decision of becoming vegan.


Messina, V, Mangels, AR. Considerations in Planning Vegan Diets Children. Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 2001;101(6):661–669.

This article highlights the case of a young boy who was diagnosed with Keratomalacia, a rare disease that is associated with bizarre diets, along with other factors. Other than gaining information about the disease, the study also underlines the importance of parents being educated in nutrition, and how restrictive diets require extra attention to fulfill essential nutrients. This case study, although rare, demonstrates a potential consequence of not providing a nutritious diet for their children.


Radnitz, Cynthia, Bonnie Beezhold, and Julie DiMatteo. “Investigation of Lifestyle Choices of Individuals following a Vegan Diet for Health and Ethical Reasons.” Appetite 90 (2015): 31-36. Science Direct. Web.

The study looked into the health of vegans, particularly how much of a nutritional value their diet had. First, researchers inquired about the reason for their diet. The researchers further investigated their diets, and calculated the nutritional value, whether the reason was of ethical or health concerns. It was hypothesized that individuals who leaned towards making healthy choices were typically those with higher nutrition in their diets. However individuals whose purpose was related to ethical concerns reported a longer time being on their diets and as well as taking a higher level of nutrient supplements. Individuals who were concerned about health simply reported eating more fruit and less sweets.


Waldmann, A., Koschizke, J. W., Leitzmann, C., & Hahn, A. (2003). Dietary intakes and lifestyle factors of a vegan population in germany: Results from the german vegan study.European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 57(8), 947-55.

This article focused on a study conducted in Germany that examined adults with vegan diets, regarding their nutrient levels. Although there were lower BMIs as well as higher energy intakes, there were some nutrients that were under the recommended level. Participants of a subgroup who consumed a small number of animal products were able to gain these nutrients at an appropriate level. Furthermore, vegan diets require additional supplements to fulfill the favorable vitamin and mineral intakes.

Vibroacoustic Sound Therapy

Brewer, Jane F. “Hearing Sounds.” Complementary Therapies in Nursing and Midwifery 4.1 (1998): 7-12. Science Direct. 2016 Elsevier B.V., 1 June 2006. Web. 25 Jan. 2016.

Musical vibrations can synchronize physical responses and emotions between people, resolving social conflicts. Thus, the article explores how such physical and emotional change can be used in medical therapy. Several case studies are presented demonstrating the effects of sound waves – calmness, focus/alertness, relaxation – on students and patients. The human body is an energetic entity consisting of cells that vibrate at 8 cycles per second, in congruence with the earth. Music, audible or inaudible, can produce frequencies that align with the body’s core vibrations and create harmony and peace within. Music therapy specifically aims at reducing pain and anxiety, helping patients reach another state of consciousness by altering their perception of time and connecting both brain hemispheres. At higher frequencies, sound waves are translated into colors that, in turn, cause different emotions, aligning the senses. Nonetheless, every individual is different and must find a frequency that aligns with their body’s own tune and produces a matching color and emotion.


Mitragotri, Samir. “Healing Sound: The Use of Ultrasound in Drug Delivery and Other Therapeutic Applications.” Nature Reviews. Drug Discovery 4.3 (2005): 255-60. Nature. 2016 Macmillan Publishers Limited, 1 Mar. 2005. Web. 25 Jan. 2016.

The article discusses modern, therapeutic uses of clinical ultrasound. Ultrasound is able to target specific muscles and cells and relax tissues with heat-inducing sound waves. Such a process is also outlined to explain deep biological and chemical effects. Using different frequencies, medical ultrasound is combined with drugs in order to penetrate the permeability of the skin barrier and allow easy drug intake and diffusion. In addition, ultrasound facilitates healing in tissues, specifically bones, as a result of induced protein synthesis. Overall, ultrasound is now used in a variety of instances but needs to be further studied due to its diverse and unknown effects.


“Discovery of Ancient “Super-Acoustics” may have Modern Therapeutic Value.” PR Newswire. 9 Jul 2014. ProQuest. Web. 25 Jan. 2016

In Malta’s underground Hal Saflieni Hypogeum, scientists have discovered that the use of vibrations to stimulate human brain activity has long been used, dating as far as 3600-2400 BC. Once a temple for the dead, the Hypogeum also served as an acoustic chamber where the presence of double resonance frequencies led to hallucinations and deep meditation. The temple’s architecture portrays the knowledge of the ancient people since its use of concave walls, niches, and cuts greatly resembles modern designs structured to control sound waves.


Roelants, Machteld, Christophe Delecluse, and Sabine M. Verschueren. “Whole-Body-Vibration Training Increases Knee-Extension Strength and Speed of Movement in Older Women.” Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 52.6 (2004): 901-08. Web. 27 Jan. 2016.

Research was conducted to examine the long term effects of whole body vibration (WBV) on muscle strength in older women. After twelve weeks, women who had experienced WBV training improved significantly in isometric and dynamic strength, speed of movement in knee extension, and counter movement jump performance. Although the study continued for twenty-four weeks, the most significant improvements were most prevalent after twelve weeks of training. Standing on a platform, women would receive vibrations and frequencies that stimulated reflexive muscle contractions similar to those during physical activity. In the end, the research discusses the idea that unloaded (immobile) WBV training may serve as a safer therapy than resistance training for the elderly.


Ellis, Phil. “Improving Quality of Life and Well-Being for Children and the Elderly through Vibroacoustic Sound Therapy.” Lecture Notes in Computer Science Computers Helping People with Special Needs3118 (2004): 416-22. Web. 27 Jan. 2016.

In 1992, a research project sought to use Vibroacoustic Sound Therapy (VAST) to help handicapped children better control their motor movements and express themselves with the surrounding world. Several musical technologies were used for different physiological purposes, focusing on the use of sounds and vibrations to elicit communication, self-awareness, and self-control. One case study follows a young boy, M, who experienced many cognitive and physical disabilities but became happier and more relaxed with five years of VAST. Once having uncontrollable spasms and lacking response to external stimuli, M began to smile, have smoother muscle movements, focus, and communicate with his surroundings.


Annotated Bibliography

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Annotated Bibliography:

Annamalai, H., Keener, V., Widlansky, M. J., & Hafner, J. (2015, December). ScholarSpace at University of Hawaii at Manoa: El Niño Strengthens In The Pacific : Preparing For The Impacts Of Drought. Retrieved January 28, 2016, from

This article uses evidence from past El Niño’s to identify upcoming affects on Pacific Island nations. It identifies consequences of both the wet and dry periods caused by El Niño weather patterns with an emphasis on tying together environmental and sociopolitical impacts. The El Niño’s effects on issues such as food and freshwater supply, storm damage, and human health are outlined in detail. Finally, the article describes methods of minimizing the weather’s impact on human wellbeing.


Lipin, M. (2016). Global Warming, El Nino Combine To Fuel Extreme World Weather. Lanham: Federal Information & News Dispatch, Inc. Retrieved from

In his article, author Micheal Lipin explains how the combination of global warming and the El Nino effect cause extreme weather conditions in various parts of the world. Lipin states that due to the rising temperatures of the atmosphere, evaporation have increased, therefore generating more energy to power severe storms. Additionally, wildlife particularly the Arctic polar bears have taken a toll because of the decrease in habitat space caused by the effects of global warming and El Nino.


Mcphaden, M. J. (2015). Playing Hide And Seek With El Niño. Nature Climate Change Nature Climate Change, 5(9), 791-795. Retrieved January 28, 2016.

This commentary provides details into predicting the formation of El Niño events. The article primarily focuses on describing the natural occurrences that result in the formation of El Niño events, along with identifying early signs that could lead to its prediction. It uses science-based logic to identify the direct impact of warming waters on global and regional rainfall. It also describes the El Niño’s impact on winds. Finally, it emphasizes shortcomings in the ability of scientists to accurately predict when these weather occurrences will take place, especially provided that it failed to take place in 2014, when conditions were more optimal for El Niño formation than in early 2015.


Moon, I., Kim, S., & Wang, C. (2015). El Niño And Intense Tropical Cyclones. Nature, 526(7575). Retrieved from

This is an article consisting of two studies – the first of which is a response to another study by Jin et al, and the second is a response by Moon to his first study. The two studies debate the aspect of El Niño caused ocean heat contents and their ability to influence Pacific cyclone intensity. They have both identified a clear causation of El Niño’s intensifying cyclones, but they debate and edit the physical mechanisms by which they do so.


NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center; NASA Studying 2015 El Nino Event As Never Before. (2015). Defense & Aerospace Week, 404. Retrieved from

This article outlines the broad, far-reaching impacts of the El Nino effect, a warm current that causes the weather patterns around the world to shift. It begins with a focus on NASA’s ability to better study the effects of El Niño, and then continues to discuss some of those effects. The author explains how the fires in Indonesia are connected to water current. It shows how the Earth as a whole is a system and there are many factors involved. The article also describes how the El Nino will affect the ground level ozone layer, which has an immense immediate impact on human health.

Why is U.S. healthcare so expensive as compared to Europe?-Keenan Cromshaw

Keenan Cromshaw

Why is U.S. healthcare so expensive as compared to Europe?

  1. “ObamaCare Insurance Premiums.” Obamacare Facts. Web. 25 Jan. 2016. <>.

In this article about Obama Care, we see that AVERAGE healthcare premiums across the U.S. are rising steadily since the year Obama Care has been passed. We see that lower income families and small businesses may see a decrease in premium costs, but higher income families and businesses have a large increase in healthcare costs. Average premiums also vary greatly from state to state.

2.  “Economic Costs.” Obesity Prevention Source. 2012. Web. 25 Jan. 2016. <>.

This article explains that obesity costs in the U.S. as a percentage of healthcare spending are higher than every other developed nation, which amounts to over $190B (2005 data) per year in healthcare costs. This is a primary cause in the higher cost of healthcare due to diseases related to obesity, such as diabetes, cancer, and hypertension. For example, people who suffer from these diseases must receive certain expensive treatments and medications to reduce their specific condition, such as insulin pumps for diabetics.

3. The Global Obesity Picture » The Downey Obesity Report.” The Downey Obesity Report RSS. Web. 25 Jan. 2016. Published June 24th, 2012. Morgan Downey. <>.

This article presents data that shows the U.S. has a higher obesity rate than any other developed nation, supporting the claim that obesity rates are extremely high in the U.S. as compared to Europe and thus raise healthcare costs.

4. “Diabetes Prevalence – Country Rankings.” Diabetes Prevalence – Country Rankings. N.p., 2010. Web. 27 Jan. 2016.

This information sheet shows the prevalence of diabetes among every nation in the world. The data indicates that the U.S. has a significantly higher rate of diabetes than any other European nation, driving up medical costs due to costs associated with diabetes, such as doctor appointments, insulin pumps, etc. This trend in diabetes is likely due to the high rate of obesity in the U.S.

5. Tursman, Judy Packer. “The Defensive Medicine Balancing Act.” Medical Economics. 09 Jan. 2015. Web. 25 Jan. 2016.

This article explains that “defensive medicine” in the U.S. may cost anywhere between $54 and $650 billion. This is mainly caused by an increased number of unnecessary tests and procedures motivated by a variety of factors. Some of the main factors for this increase in defensive medicine are the increased amount of doctors who fear malpractice lawsuits, the sheer uncertainty of a condition, and the lack of patient-physician communication.

6. Herrick, Devon M. “Unnecessary Regulations That Increase Prescription Drug Costs.” Unnecessary Regulations That Increase Prescription Drug Costs. N.p., 07 Mar. 2013. Web. 25 Jan. 2016.

This article explains that increased government regulation has decreased competition and consumers’ buying power, raising costs of pharmaceuticals dramatically through a variety of methods. Though the government has good intentions, many of its policies have decreased the competition between companies and thus has raised the cost of pharmaceuticals.

7. “U.S. Pharmaceutical Industry – Statista Dossier | Statista.” Statista. July 2015. Web. 27 Jan. 2016. <>. link to the PDF of graphs are found in the website (linked by the url)

In this data sheet by Statista, we see multiple graphs of statistics about the pharmaceutical industry in the U.S. and in the rest of the world. The data shows that the U.S. owns approximately 40% of the pharmaceutical market value, sells almost twice as much pharmaceuticals ($365 billion) as all of Europe COMBINED (216 billion), and spends approximately $67 billion (about %17.9 of total pharmaceutical revenue) annually in pharmaceutical research alone. The U.S pharmaceutical market also contributes the most to pharmaceutical market growth (40%), showing that the U.S. has more robust research, development, and opportunity for pharmaceutical companies. Furthermore, the top 20 most used drugs in the U.S. are owned primarily by brand name pharmaceutical companies, which typically have much higher prescription drug costs for the same drug. Lastly, the U.S. pharmaceutical industry has a very large number of cancer related medicines (which are typically more expensive) in development, which would drive up costs.Based on population data (approximately 323 million people), the U.S. spends $1130/person in pharmaceutical costs, while Europeans spend $290/capita.

8. “Analyzing Brand-name and Generic Drug Costs in the U.S. and Eight Other Countries – Knowledge@Wharton.” KnowledgeWharton Analyzing Brandname and Generic Drug Costs in the US and Eight Other Countries Comments. 19 Nov. 2003. Web. 28 Jan. 2016. <>.

This study explains discrepancies in average costs of U.S. generic prescription drugs vs. average costs of generic European prescription drugs. The study shows that U.S. generic drug prices are MUCH lower than brand name prescription drug prices and that the U.S. prescribes a higher percentage of these drugs than other European nations. Furthermore, generic drug prices are even lower than European nations’ prices. The cost of high prescription costs in the U.S. can partially be attributed to the fact that the majority of the most popular drugs in the U.S. are sold by brand name pharmaceutical companies and not generic drug companies.

9. Squires, David A. “Explaining High Health Care Spending in the United States: An International Comparison of Supply, Utilization, Prices, and Quality.” Explaining High Health Care Spending in the United States: An International Comparison of Supply, Utilization, Prices, and Quality (2012): n. pag. May 2012. Web. 27 Jan. 2016.

This article explains that higher costs in medical care can partially be attributed to a higher number of advanced medical diagnostic technologies (MRIs, CT scanners, PET scanners, and mammograms) per capita than any other European nation and also a greater UTILIZATION of these technologies in the U.S. than any other European nation. The U.S. does have better cancer survival rates (due to higher cancer treatment costs) but overall life expectancy is lower than many of these European nations.

10. Lafortune, Gaetan, Gaelle Balestat, and Anne Durande. “Comparing Activities and Performance of the Hospital Sector in Europe: How Many Surgical Procedures Performed as Inpatient and Day Cases?” Comparing Activities and Performance of the Hospital Sector in Europe: How Many Surgical Procedures Performed as Inpatient and Day Cases? (n.d.): 18. Dec. 2012. Web. 28 Jan. 2016.

This factsheet shows data about certain surgeries performed in many European nations. The factsheet also verifies and helps to adjust for discrepancies in the way surgeries are measured. Compared to U.S. statistics, the average number surgery procedures per 100,000 people is much higher, thus driving up costs.

11. “Inpatient Surgery.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2010. Web. 28 Jan. 2016. <>.

This CDC factsheet shows that Americans, on average, have more surgical procedures done per capita than European nations especially for spinal fusion and knee replacement. This drives up healthcare costs significantly.