medical research news

This week’s digest takes a look at hot healthcare jobs for 2016, the Ebola outbreak is not over in West Africa along with stem cell research in Canada


56% Hottest Jobs for 2016 Are in Heath Sciences

2016 is a new year and full of new possibilities. A recent article from Business Insider highlighted a number of health care jobs are the top jobs for the year. See how each of these health care professions is growing, what the demand is and compare salaries.

Register Nurse

Speech and Language Pathologist

Occupational Therapist

Medical and Health Service Manager

Physical Therapist



World Health Organization announced last week that the Ebola outbreak was officially over......or is it?

On Thursday, January 15th, the World Health Organization stated the Ebola outbreak, we’ve heard so much about in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone was officially over. The WHO reported that the process of transmission had ended given there were no new cases in the region within the past 42 days.

The next day, a new death from Ebola was confirmed.

CNN, the BBC along with other news networks were reporting a new case was confirmed, a 22-year-old young woman, who was near the Guinea border was confirmed dead from Ebola. At the time of this post, 27 other individuals are considered exposed and are being monitored by health officials.

How could this be?

In the work of infectious diseases, the data used to calculate exposure rates, deaths, probable infections, possible cases, confirmed cases and the list goes on….are all part of the field work done on the ground, in real time and in some instances in less than ideal circumstances. Field work data is at the mercy of the environment research teams work within, the accuracy of statistical methods, recall of patients and many other variables.

To those of us familiar with the ins-and-outs of epidemiology, the reporting of the end of an outbreak so close to the predicted day of the end of infections followed by the emergence of a new case is not surprising at all. There is a margin of error, confidence intervals and other variables that impact the data used to calculate such items as the end of an infection period.

In West Africa, the issue becomes that individuals, communities and health care providers may let their guard down when health officials make statements that an outbreak is over. It very well may have been, on paper or in statistical models; however, it certainly is not for the people of West Africa.

stem cells

Stem Cell Research in Canada

The benefits of stem cell research have dramatically increased in recent years. Stem cell research just got a huge endorsement from the new Canadian federal government. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced $20 million in funding for a new facility located in Toronto, Ontario Canada.

For those unfamiliar, stem cells are cells that can renew through cell division. The benefits of stem cell research are such that stem cells are unique in that they are like a template for all cells and can become many different types of cells or are known as ‘unspecialized’. This characteristic is why stem cells are so important in research and why the benefits of stem cell research are so popular among scientists at this time.

The anticipated benefits of stem cell research are staggering; however, there is a great deal of controversy from an ethical perspective regarding stem cell research because sources of stem cells are embryonic from aborted fetuses or eggs that are already fertilized. It is possible to obtain stem cells from adult cells, but adult stem cells are not as good for research purposes because adult stem cells are more specialized.

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