From the “gee, no kidding?” files…

Poverty and poor health are intertwined, experts say

So, yeah, the headline is a no-brainer, but the article is worth reading and makes many good points–and notes that fewer and fewer of us can say that “poverty doesn’t affect us”:

An analysis of poverty rates and health published in the September issue of The American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that people living in extreme poverty tend to have more chronic illnesses, more frequent and severe disease complications and make greater demands on the health care system.

“When we talk about poverty, there is the tendency to feel it affects a small percentage of the population and the rest of us are doing better,” said Steven Woolf, a professor at Virginia Commonwealth University and author of the study. But in this situation, he said, “we’re all doing a little bit worse.”

(More below…)
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Cervical cancer, vaccines, and jackalopes

Yesterday’s New York Times had an excellent story on the discovery of the human papilloma virus as the cause of cervical cancer, and ultimately, the development of a vaccine against it. It’s also a good lesson in how, while solid evidence triumphs over anecdotes, even folk stories can be useful in ultimately pointing to a cause if they’re rigorously investigated.

If you’re curious about what all this has to do with the messed-up looking rabbit in the picture, click on through…
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Wells’ Politically Incorrect Guide on Lysenkoism–chapter review up at PT

Mark Perakh reviews yet another chapter of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design. In this particular chapter, Wells argues that “Lysenkoism is now rearing its ugly head in the US, as Darwinists use their government positions to destroy the careers of their critics.” Obviously, Perakh disagrees, and shows how Wells has again distorted quotes and history. Check it out here.

Ohio is not Kansas

As has been mentioned elsewhere on ScienceBlogs, Ohio creationst Deborah Owens Fink is facing a challenge for her seat on Ohio’s school board this coming November 7th. Fink has been one of those who, when I’ve contacted the Board members to urge them to support good science, I’ve not even bothered with–it’s a waste of keystrokes. Ed has the lowdown on the situation, and the Columbus Dispatch has more:

This year, pro-evolution members prevailed in efforts to strip a provision from highschool science standards that they said promoted the teaching of intelligent design.

“They got what they wanted,” Fink said. “I don’t understand why they are even engaged on the topic. Ohio isn’t Kansas.”

Why yes. How dare they stay engaged in the topic? Could it be, perhaps, to keep Ohio from becoming Kansas?
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The gulf coast–one year after Katrina

Tomorrow marks the first anniversary of the landfall of Hurricane Katrina. coturnix and others are collecting strories from around the blogosphere on the aftermath in New Orleans and elsewhere; the cleanup effort (still ongoing, barely begun in some areas); rebuilding (likewise; lagging far behind where even many pessimists thought it would be by this time); and moving back into the area (not an option for many). The area, it seems, will never be the same.

I’ve discussed problems with disaster preparedness previously on this blog; therefore, I won’t use this as another soapbox to discuss just how unprepared we are for even small disasters, much less something of this magnitude. Instead, I want to highlight something that has received somewhat less attention in the past year: what’s become of medicine and health care in New Orleans post-Katrina.
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