Mosquito Repellant Ban Continues in Miami Schools, Despite Spread of Zika: At a School Board meeting in Miami on Wednesday, officials decided they would uphold the already-existing ban on bringing mosquito repellent to school in an effort to protect students who are allergic. The board is encouraging parents and students to use an “aggressive application” of the spray before coming to school. School officials will also will be “relaxing their uniform policies” to allow students to wear pants and long-sleeved shirts, “even if they do not match the school uniform colors.” Pregnant employees at the schools are encouraged to contact the district and Florida Department of Health for more information about preventative measures. (Miami Herald)
Federal Government Ends its Restrictions on Growing Marijuana for Medical Research: The US Drug Enforcement Administration announced Thursday it would start allowing researchers to produce marijuana for medical research purposes in places other than their University of Mississippi facility. The “monopoly” on marijuana production had been a “decades-old” policy. Drug officials hope that by changing their restrictions, researchers will have more access to the drug as a tool to develop treatments for certain ailments and illnesses. (Los Angeles Times)
Scientists Ask Presidential Candidates to Debate on Science Issues Exclusively: For the third consecutive presidential election, a group of non-partisan organizations, made up of scientists and engineers from across the country, is asking the presidential candidates to hold a debate based exclusively on science issues. Topics in the debate would include climate change, mental health, space exploration, and vaccinations. Understanding that their request may not be granted — as it was not in 2008 or 2012 — the group members have put together a list of 20 questions and are asking for responses from the candidates in writing. (The Washington Post)
National Study Finds That “Sexual-Minority” Teens are More Likely to Face Violence: In the first national study about the health risks of sexual-minority teens, researchers have found that teens in the LGBTQ community are more likely to face “depression, bullying and many types of violence than their straight peers.” According to the survey, about 8 percent of the high school population identifies as gay, lesbian, or bisexual, amounting to about 1.3 million students. Of those students, at least a third had been bullied on school property, and more than 40 percent reported they “had seriously considered suicide.” (The New York Times)
Hospitals Are Denying Patients Organ Transplants Out of Fear of Raising Poor Surgical Outcome Numbers: A study released in the spring, co-authored by a surgeon at UMass Memorial Medical Center, found that thousands of patients in hospitals across the country are being denied “less-than-perfect” organs if the surgery may not have a positive outcome. Why? Poor surgical outcomes could mean a federal crackdown, STAT reports, and hospitals are afraid of the consequences. As a result, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are giving hospitals more opportunities for surgery performance to not directly affect their national ratings. But many doctors still believe the fear of failing is causing “the erosion of one of transplantation’s fundamental principles: the sicker you are, the higher you move up the waiting list for donated organs.” (STAT)
Felicia Gans is an editorial intern at MedTech Boston. She will be a senior this fall at Boston University, where she is studying journalism, political science, and computer science. When she's not working, Felicia loves drinking coffee, jamming out to Broadway music, and reading the news.
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