U Among Leaders of New Medical Technology Coalition
A new enterprise has been launched to build on the Minnesota's leadership position in medical technology research and development. The Minnesota Medical Manufacturing Partnership (MMMP) is made up of the University of Minnesota and other nonprofits, economic development agencies and state government organizations. According to Maura Donovan, executive director of the U’s Office of University Economic Development, “this effort is a great example of how Minnesota can identify its key industry sectors and leverage them in creative new ways to spur economic development across the state.”
"Killer Kale" Stories Not Based on Science
Recent media reports about the dangers of eating too much kale have "all the hallmarks of a bogus health scare," according to an article in Vox. The meme began in a magazine profile of a Marin County alternative medicine practitioner who claims that because kale is a "hyper-accumulator" of the naturally-occurring toxic metal thallium, it can cause alarming symptoms ranging from neurological disorders to arrhythmias to digestive troubles. The story was picked up by outlets like Mother Jones, Women's Health and Cosmopolitan despite its questionable scientific basis. To throw cold water on concerns about "killer kale," Vox quotes William Toscano, director of Consortium member the Center for Environment & Health Policy: "Causality would be difficult to show because diseases are complex and probably have multiple causes including genetic and epigenetic involvement."
CTSI Researchers Collaborate with Industry to Develop New Cancer Treatments
Jeffrey Miller, MD, and Dan Kaufman, MD, will be working with Fate Therapeutics to harness the ability of natural killer (NK) cells to detect and destroy malignant cells. Miller and Kaufman are on the faculty of Consortium member the Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), and Miller also serves as deputy director of CTSI and of the Masonic Cancer Center. NK cells show promise in fighting tumors, but so far isolating and generating clinically relevant quantities has been challenging.
APA Complicity in Torture Inconsistent with Medical Ethics, Says Miles
An independent review has found the American Psychological Association (APA) collaborated in secret with the CIA to weaken guidelines for the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay during interrogation. Steven Miles, MD, of Consortium member the Center for Bioethics was widely quoted in the media discussing the report. In an editorial published in the Guardian newspaper, Miles explains how the APA's "silent, shameful complicity with torture" threatens the core values of the medical field. An overview of the debate and Dr. Miles's role in it can be found here.
Decades of Scholarship Bear Fruit in NYC Juvenile Justice Reforms
New York City's Office of Juvenile Justice has announced changes to the way it will handle offenders between the ages of 16 and 25 in the aftermath of public outcry about the scandalous treatment of young inmates at Riker's Island. An article in today's Huffington Post outlines these reforms and cites scholarship by University of Minnesota Law professor Barry Feld, who wrote a groundbreaking article laying out the case for such reforms nearly 20 years ago. Some scholars, including Consortium guest lecturer Laurence Steinberg, believe adolescent brain develop can continue long after the age of legal adulthood, into the mid-20s and beyond. Prof. Steinberg's lecture on the topic can be viewed here.