Category Archives: Medicine


Using Our Brains

Neurological conditions—which include dementia, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, and traumatic brain injury—affect as many as one billion people globally. Neuroscience has begun to make important breakthroughs, but we still understand less about our brains than about any other part of our bodies.

President Obama’s Brain (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) Initiative will expand our knowledge, which ultimately may enable us to cure ma…


Outbreaks, Ethics, and Economics

Starting today, nearly 6,000 students at Princeton University will be offered a vaccine against bacterial meningitis—one that is not approved for use in the United States. This highly uncommon action comes in response to an outbreak of the rare but extremely serious disease that began last spring on the New Jersey campus.

The vaccine in question, Novartis’s Bexsero, was approved this year by regulators in Europe and Australia. Its use at Princeton has been facilitated by the Food and Drug Admi…


An Adjunct’s Health-Care Education

Recent moves by colleges to cut adjunct hours in advance of the Obamacare employer mandate offer a reminder of why contingent faculty labor is the gift that keeps on giving to the corporate university: Not only do part-time adjuncts receive a fraction of the pay expected by full-timers for the same work; they also do not encumber the institution with health-care costs. A majority of today’s teaching faculty members are thus vulnerable not only to the first round of pink slips mandated by budge…


Preemies Need Protection, but Not the Kind You Think

preemieThe controversy over a recent neonatal clinical trial of oxygen therapy for premature babies offers two starkly different prescriptions for protecting babies from risky treatments in neonatal intensive care units.

One view, advocated by the federal Office for Human Research Protections and the advocacy group Public Citizen, is to warn their parents that participating in important, well-designed clinical trials is risky. Public Citizen even suggests prohibiting such studies altogether. The OHRP v…