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NewsMaker Interviews

Nanotechnology Research Project Takes the Intel/STS prize
High school student David L.V. Bauer from the Bronx, New York describes his experiences developing a sensor that can rapidly detect a person's exposure to neurotoxins and winning first prize in the prestigious Intel Science Talent Search (STS) along with a $100,000 scholarship. (December 2005)

New Guidelines Target Women and Heart Disease
Lori Mosca MD, MPH, PhD, talks about how and why they were created and what role they might play in improving public health. (March 2004)

So You Wanna Be a Big Doctor?
An interview with Fitzhugh Mullan MD on careers in primary care medicine. (July 2003)

Young scientist's search for a cure wins her first place in the 2003 Intel Science Talent Search
In this interview, Jamie Rubin relates her experience leading up to and winning a competition often referred to as the "junior Nobel Prize," the Intel STS is America's oldest pre-college science competition. (May 2003)

State of the Heart, An interview with AHA President Dr. Rose Marie Robertson
Cardiovascular disease accounts for nearly fifty percent of deaths in both the developed world and in developing countries. Dr. Robertson discusses progress in some areas in the war against heart disease, as well as some of the remaining obstacles. (March 2001)

State of the Art in Artificial Hearts
An interview with cardiac transplant authority Dr. Mehmet Oz, Coulmbia University, NY, NY. Patients with advanced heart failure have few options. They must either receive a new human heart from a brain-dead donor or die. The outlook for these patients is now improving, as temporary implantable pumps called ventricular assist devices keep patients alive for longer periods as they await a heart transplant. Perhaps most promising of all, a new artificial heart is now ready for human trials. (February 2001)

An interview with Exobiology pioneer, Stanley L. Miller, University of California San Diego
Dr. Miller's classic electric discharge experiment carried out in Harold Urey's University of Chicago laboratory in the early 1950's demonstrated that important biomolecules such as amino acids could be synthesized under possible primitive earth conditions. (October 1996)

Dr. F.A. Murphy & Mad Cow Disease, the BSE Epidemic in Great Britain
The announcement by British health authorities that bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), also known as mad cow disease, may have been transmitted to humans has led to a chaotic situation in the UK with ripple effects occurring throughout Europe and the rest of the world. What is BSE and what is its relation to scrapie in sheep and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in humans?

Dr. Dennis Bier & USDA Diet Guidelines
Every five years the USDA releases new dietary guidelines. Every time they do this the guidelines are different from the ones before. This is because a panel of experts from across the country considers thousands of new studies and forms a consensus based on that data. I spoke with one of the panel members, Dennis Bier, M.D. about the new guidelines. Check the resource guide at the end of the interview for more information.

I. Persson Discusses Hormone Replacement and Cancer Risk
Even the most complicated scientific studies depend on the fundamentals of good design and methodology. When the studies are epidemiological in nature, the picture becomes even more complex. Recent epidemiologic studies have produced contrasting results regarding the potential risk of hormone replacement therapy and risk of breast cancer in menopausal women. How does one go about sifting the scientific wheat from the statistical chaff? I asked noted breast cancer researcher and epidemiologist Ingemaar Persson, M.D., of the department of cancer epidemiology, University of Uppsala, Sweden, to clarify some of these issues.

An Interview with Dr. F. A. Murphy, Ebola Virus expert
The book "The Hot Zone" and the film "Outbreak" have seized the public's imagination and brought into focus many issues regarding the very real threats posed by new and emerging diseases. In this interview we talk with Frederick A. Murphy, D.V.M., Ph.D., Dean of School of Veterinary Medicine, UC Davis.
At the time of the 'Reston incident', Dr. Murphy was the director of the National Center for Infectious Diseases at the CDC in Atlanta. Dr. Murphy is considered one of the world authorities on viruses. He was the first one to look at Ebola virus 'face-to-face' in the electron microscope. Dr. Murphy appears in "The Hot Zone" and his now famous photo of the Ebola virus appears in the film "Outbreak".

An Interview With Dr. Bruce Alberts, President of the National Academy of Sciences
The National Academy of Sciences recently released the draft of new guidelines that propose significant changes in science education from kindergarten through high school. The proposed standards represent an unprecedented collaboration of teachers, scientists and education specialists. Why were the standards created? What will science education look like in the future? How can administrative resistance be overcome? What about the growing use of computers and the Internet? I spoke with Dr. Bruce Alberts, President of the National Academy of Sciences recently about these and related issues. (January 1995)

An Interview With DNA Forensics Authority Dr. Bruce Weir
The term DNA fingerprinting was coined by British geneticist Alec Jeffreys only ten years ago. Since that time, DNA forensics has become an important tool in law enforcement. In some cases the DNA tests have helped convict suspects, while in others the tests have exonerated suspects or overturned previous convictions. Recent high profile court cases have put the spotlight on DNA forensics and created the impression that there is a lack of agreement among the experts on the reliability of this evidence. I spoke with Dr. Bruce S. Weir, an expert witness for the prosecution in the OJ Simpson case, about the methods and controversies surrounding DNA evidence. (January 1995)

An Interview with Epidemiologist Dr. Charles Hennekens
An interview with noted epidemiologist Charles Hennekens, M.D., Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, and Chief, Division of Preventive Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA.
We are bombarded with endless, sometimes conflicting, media reports announcing that this food is good for you or that activity is bad for you. Where do these claims originate and how much scientific merit do they have? For example, most of us have heard that low doses of aspirin taken over the long term significantly reduce the risk for heart attack. Dr. Hennekens is the director of the Physicians' Health Study, the large long-term study which demonstrated conclusively that aspirin did reduce the chance of a first heart attack in middle-age men. Another part of that trial is evaluating the potential role for the antioxidant vitamin beta-carotene in protecting against heart disease and cancer, and will be completed next year. I caught up with Dr. Hennekens at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association in Dallas and asked him to elaborate on the science of public health. (November 1994)

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