“Why Doesn’t She Just Leave?” Barriers to Getting Out of Abusive Relationships

Domestic violence is a fact of life in the U.S. for approximately 35% of women and 28% of men. When we learn someone is in an abusive relationship, the first question many people ask is “Well, why doesn’t she just leave?” However, getting out of the situation is not as easy as people like to think. Continue reading

Are Bisphenol A (BPA) Plastic Products Safe?

Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical used to make plastics. It is frequently used in sports equipment, water bottles, medical devices, as a coating or lining in food and beverage cans, and in credit card receipts. It leaches out of plastic into liquids and foods, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found measurable amounts of BPA in the bodies of 93% of the U.S. population studied. While early concerns about BPA’s health effects were based primarily on animal studies and research on cells, there is increasing evidence from studies in humans that BPA can cause serious harm, such as increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and sexual dysfunction. Continue reading

Social Networking Sites: Benefits, Problems, and “Facebook Depression”

For better or worse, social networking is an almost unavoidable part of everyday life. The number of people joining social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google Plus is growing exponentially, especially among youth. Due to the prevalence of social media usage among youths, many parents wonder if it is having beneficial or negative effects on their children. Like many things in life, the answer is not so clear-cut: it’s yes and no. Facebook both promotes mental well-being and undermines it. Continue reading

The Failed Promise of Gene Based Tests for Diagnosing and Treating Cancer

When the Human Genome Project released its first “draft” in 2000, many scientists believed it would revolutionize medical research. President Bill Clinton claimed that genetic diagnosis (the ability to tell who has a disease after looking at the genes) would “revolutionize the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of most, if not all, human diseases.”Although the ability to map the human genome has great promise, a decade later it still hasn’t yielded good methods for diagnosing cancer. Even more disappointing: recent scandals and severe product flaws have cast doubt on gene-based research as a whole Continue reading