(originally posted 26 Jan 2019)
Good morning all,
I'm passing along here a link to a recent news article about a a new, wearable device for assessing physiological condition. This type of instrument is only made possible through the application of advanced electronics and engineering to health issues, a trend that is only going to increase over time. While these devices are exciting and interesting, remember also that there is risk associated with their use, in the collection/banking of your personal health data, and the need to safeguard one's privacy.
I will occasionally pass along articles of this type during the semester. My purpose in doing so is to help you to become more aware of current physiology and health topics, and also to help you assess how you obtain your science and health news.
Those of us working in science obtain our scientific news, quite often, directly form the original sources: the people conducting the studies and reporting the results. They publish their findings in science journals, or present them at conferences.
Most people do not obtain their news directly, but hear news via secondary sources, such as news releases from scientific organizations, or news stories from the major news outlets. These secondary reports often are then carried by tertiary outlets (smaller/other reporting sources).
Along the way from source to audience, science news is normally distilled (a lot) - much of the detail is excluded or simplified, and the reports often are boiled-down to singular take-home messages, which may (or may not) be good representations of the original work.
When you browse the links that I will forward, or when you access science and health news on your own, I'd encourage you to delve a little bit deeper into them, to read more than just the summaries, and to follow links back to original sources when possible. I'd also encourage you to think a little about the translation of news from source to consumer, and the reputability of the news outlets that you use.
None of these news links that I send you will be represented on our course exams, but I do hope that the material in them makes its way into our physiology conversations. I'm sending this link to both my BIOL 240 lecture and lab sections, so my apologies if you receive this message twice.
This first link is from the New York Times, which provides one of the best (e.g., best funded and most reliable) secondary sources of science and health news. They do limit access to only a handful of free articles each month, so I will use them sparingly.
Have a great weekend -