Friday, September 2, 2011

Friday Roundup

1. Grand Rapids Public Schools and Grand Rapids Community College have teamed up to offer an option for high school drop-outs to earn their diploma and college credit. The program will begin in the fall and include up to 148 students. To be eligible, students must be between the ages of 16-19, have enough high school credits to be considered sophomores and have reading ability at the 8th grade level.

2. The New York Times ran an article about a new law in New Jersey regarding bullying that takes effect on September 1st. The Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights is considered the toughest anti-bullying legistlation in the nation, requiring that all public schools adopt comprehensive antibullying policies, increase staff training and follow deadlines for reporting episodes.

1. Michigan State University has developed a low-cost, solar powered device that can perform genetic analysis on microRNAs, which could make it possible to screen for cancer markers in rural areas where there is no easy access to a pathology department. Called the Gene-Z, the device operates with an iPod Touch or Android-based tablet and could possibly be used to test for markers to diagnose and monitor treatments of infectious diseases in the future.

2. The Journal Sentinel in Wisconsin ran an article on one pregnant woman's trouble in seeking dental care in Milwaukee County with Medicaid coverage. The paper surveyed 55 dental clinics listed in the city that accepted the plan and found only 8 that took new adult patients. Low dentist participation rates in Wisconsin's BadgerCare Plus plan severely affects patient access to dental care, as the plan's reimbursement rate is 40% of bill - the 5th lowest in the country.

1. A paper recently published in the Annals of Epidemiology found that white Anglo diabetics had twice the risk of dying than non-diabetics, while Mexican-Americans had three times the risk. Those that lived in Mexico City were four times more likely to die from the disease.

2. The Brookings Institute produced a report that looked at the growth of the minority population within the United States. The report found that Hispanics were 20% of the population of large metropolitan areas, an increase from 15% in 2000. African-Americans made up 14% of the population of large cities in 2010, the rate unchanged from the year 2000. Asians made up 6%.

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