The recent upsurge in measles cases in Florida and the US in general has doctors and public health officials scratching heads. Apparently, there is a big difference in infection rates when the percentage of children who receive the MMR—Measles, Mumps, Rubella—vaccinations drops from 95 % to 91%; transmission among the unvaccinated spreads more rapidly, and a few—stats say 3 %–of the vaccinated still get a mild case of the disease. That, in my understanding is in a nutshell what is happening in Florida and threatening elsewhere as measles cases in 2024 rise.Read Rich’s Post →

Alvin Josephy and the “new” science on Native American origins

Several friends quickly sent me the NYTimes review of a new book on the old subject of human origins in the Americas. The book is ORIGIN: A Genetic History of the Americas, and the author is Jennifer Raff. According to the reviewer, Raff consulted the sciences of “archaeology, genetics, and linguistics” in her book—which I have not read, but have ordered!Read Rich’s Post →

Nature and Nurture

On Monday night, on NPR’s coronavirus question and answer show, a listener asked whether there might be something in African Americans’ unique vulnerability to sickle cell anemia that related to their high rates of infection—and death—with COVID-19. The medical person answering questions thought it an interesting observation that deserved study—she knew of none. The host then turned the conversation immediately to related environmental issues: jobs, neighborhoods, stress, diabetes, etc.Read Rich’s Post →