By: Jennifer Plank
Our weekly linkpost, bringing you interesting and informative links on science policy issues buzzing about the internet.
Crowdsourcing may open up ocean science – Many oceanographers rely on a conductivity, depth, and temperature (CDT) instrument in order to adequately conduct experiments at sea. On average, a CDT device costs thousands of dollars. A team of scientists are trying to develop a project called OpenCDT. This project would provide the blueprints for marine biologists to build their own CDT device for approximately $200. In order to fund the OpenCDT project, the team has turned to the crowdsourcing website, RocketHub, in the hopes of raising $10,000 to test and calibrate their do-it-yourself device. (Daniel Cressey)
A disease without a cure spreads quietly in the west – An insidious airborne fungal disease called Coccidioidomycosis, or Cocci, has been infecting individuals in the southwest. Over 20,000 people in California and Arizona are diagnosed with Cocci annually. Thousands of infected individuals will require surgery to treat the illness and approximately 160 will die. While the news of the disease has been largely non-existent, the so-called “silent-epidemic” received a lot of press when a judge ordered that 2,600 vulnerable patients be transferred out of prisons where they can contract Cocci. (Patricia Leigh Brown)
Is this the end of health insurers? – For years, healthcare practitioners and health insurance companies have been at odds in terms of what procedures should be covered and to what extent. Additionally, employers are having trouble covering the rising health insurance costs for their employees. One large healthcare provider, MedStar Health, chose to kill two birds with one stone- in addition to providing health care for patients, they will also provide insurance assuming that those insured will seek services only at MedStar facilities. Initially, only MedStar employees were covered by the policy, however, now the policies are available to the public. This provides a mechanism for hospitals to provide top care and also provide the insurance services patients require. (Sarah Kliff)
Have an interesting science policy link? Share it in the comments!