Health Highlights – June 6th, 2011

Health Highlights is an occasionally recurring series focused on particularly interesting articles from credible sources of health and medical information that we follow & read. For a complete list of recommeded sources, see our links page.

Health Highlights

Coalition of Biomedical Researchers Backs Obama on Science

In his State of the Union address Tuesday night, President Barack Obama presented the United States with a vision of a better future through investment in education, infrastructure, and research. The president noted that fifty years ago American innovation played a pivotal role in the nation’s history and today holds promise for addressing the many challenges the country faces. “Maintaining our leadership in research and technology is crucial to America’s success,” he said during his State of the Union address, calling for investments in biomedical research, education, information technology and clean energy technology [1].

Health in 200 Countries Over 200 Years in 4 Minutes

Hans Rosling is Professor of International Health at Karolinska Institute, one of Europe’s largest medical universities, and Director of the Gapminder Foundation, a non-profit venture that promotes sustainable global development and achievement of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals by the increased use and understanding of statistics and other information about social, economic and environmental development at local, national and global levels.

Rosling’s lectures combine huge quantities of public data with a sport commentator’s style to reveal the story of the world’s past, present and future development. Here, he tells the story of the world in 200 countries over 200 years using 120,000 numbers — in just four minutes.

Plotting life expectancy against income for every country since 1810, Rosling shows how the world we live in is radically different from the world most of us imagine.


  1. The Joy of Stats. BBC. Accessed 2010 Dec 4.

Make Biomedical Research a Priority When You Vote

As you prepare to head to the polls on Tuesday, November 2, take a moment to look up your local candidates and see where they stand on important issues in health and research.

Research!America provides a voter education initiative Your Candidates — Your Health 2010 to help you better understand your candidates’ position and help you make a more informed decision in the voting booth.

Candidates for Congress who are on the ballot were invited to respond to the Your Candidates — Your Health 2010 questionnaire following the primary in their state or territory.

Each candidate received a letter explaining the initiative and a copy of the questionnaire. They were given the option of responding by fax, mail, e-mail or online at Each candidate’s answers appear as entered. Candidates’ responses are only reviewed for inappropriate content (e.g., profanity). Candidates are contacted and given the opportunity to edit their responses if any content was deemed inappropriate. Responses received from candidates who are no longer running do not appear on the site.

Do you know where your candidates stand on important issues in health and research?

NIDA Director Honored By French Government With Top Science Award for Addiction Research

Dr. Nora D. Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health, has been awarded the International Prize from the French Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm) for her pioneering work in brain imaging and addiction science. Dr. Volkow will receive the award at a Dec. 17 ceremony at the College of France learning center in Paris.