Understanding what plagues us

first_imgThe topics waiting to be discussed read like the writing prompts of a dystopian novelist, yet the mood in the packed Knafel Center last week was upbeat.“Contagion: Exploring Modern Epidemics,” the cornerstone of the Radcliffe Institute’s 2017–2018 Science Symposium, featured a diverse group of researchers, journalists, and physicians discussing their work on infectious diseases and virulent social epidemics such as gun violence.The keynote speaker, Laurie Garrett, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who has covered global public health for decades, sketched a history of the major infectious disease outbreaks of the 21st century. In each case, from yellow fever to Zika to HIV, Garrett showed how failures of governance contributed to the severity of the epidemic.Garrett said there is need for improved local and national disease-management entities, but also called for better global organization. She pointed out that the majority of global health infrastructure is dependent on funding from only two sources, the U.S. government and Bill Gates, either of which could choose to withdraw funding, leaving the world vulnerable.“Violence concentrates just like an epidemic within populations,” said Andrew V. Papachristos of Yale University. Kevin Grady/Radcliffe Institute“What we’re trying to deal with is supranational problems: They know no borders,” Garrett said, expressing concern that current trends toward nationalism would harm global health policy. She told the audience to anticipate many deadly epidemics thanks to exacerbating factors such as climate change and antibiotic resistance.Other panelists discussed research advances that could help control epidemics. Kevin M. Esvelt, assistant professor at MIT, talked about his lab’s effort to genetically engineer mice to become immune to Lyme disease and so reduce the number of Lyme-carrying ticks, which transmit the disease from deer or mice to people. Another panel explored uses for big data, such as analyzing rich molecular data to better understand disease or gathering population-level data to track and possibly curtail epidemics.The final panel broadened the scope of what could be thought of as an epidemic. Daphne C. Watkins, assistant professor of social work and psychiatry at University of Michigan, spoke about a “gender epidemic” in which adherence to traditional definitions of manhood is damaging the mental health of young black men.Andrew V. Papachristos, associate professor of sociology at Yale University, examined how gun violence spreads through vulnerable populations — particularly young black men, and especially those with gang affiliations — much like a pathogen.“Violence concentrates just like an epidemic within populations,” Papachristos said. A map of the social network of gun violence victims looks like a map of disease transmission. Those who associate most closely with the affected — or infected — are most at risk of becoming victims next.“Exposure matters,” Papachristos said.Brandeis University’s Andrew Kolodny recommended that the U.S. use outbreak-containment techniques to tackle the opioid crisis, starting by eliminating sources of infection — unnecessary prescriptions. Kevin Grady/Radcliffe InstituteExposure was also an important concept for Andrew Kolodny, co-director of opioid policy research at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University, who described perhaps the largest epidemic facing the U.S. today: opioid addiction.The dominant factor in addiction is repeat exposure, Kolodny said. Though people with opioid addictions may turn to black-market drugs like heroin, Kolodny made a strong case that overprescription of painkillers, not recreational drug use, is the source of exposure driving the U.S.’s skyrocketing rate of overdose mortalities.The social epidemic researchers drew on the lessons of infectious disease as well as the language. Kolodny recommended that the U.S. use outbreak-containment techniques to tackle the opioid crisis, starting by eliminating sources of infection — unnecessary prescriptions.The epidemics covered were diverse and daunting. Still the speakers shared an optimistic philosophy: The better we understand these problems, the closer we come to ending them.last_img read more

Top of golf now belongs to youth

first_img“It’s a profession that not many good players get out of, but there’s always good players getting into it,” Thompson said.Stewart Cink knows what he’s talking about it.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissCink and Tiger Woods arrived on the PGA Tour at roughly the same time and were voted rookie of the year in consecutive seasons (1996 and 1997). Woods got an early start in the fall of 1996 and won two times in eight starts, so that became his rookie season. Cink’s first full season was 1997.“So really, we started playing fulltime the same year,” he said. “For the first three years, he was the only player younger than me. That put me at 23, 24, 25. There was no younger player besides Tiger Woods than me my first three years. Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Now?Spieth didn’t have a card on any tour in 2013 and effectively secured his card in six tournaments. Rahm got it done in three starts after he turned pro in 2016. What was the exception is not the norm, but it’s getting there.Scott Verplank, who won the 1985 Western Open when he was an amateur, watched the NCAA Championship in Stillwater, Oklahoma, last spring and he couldn’t believe what he was seeing. And it wasn’t just his alma mater, Oklahoma State, winning the title. Just about every team that reached the quarterfinals of match play had players who looked like they were ready for the PGA Tour.Charles Howell III also went to Oklahoma State and keeps tabs on college golf, “so I kind of knew what was coming.”“All these guys were hitting the ball over 300 yards and they all putt great,” he said. “You get Justin Thomas come out and win a bunch. Jordan Spieth comes out and wins a bunch. So when they do that, then that’s a veteran’s job gone. That’s another veteran’s job gone. That’s just how it works.”Not entirely.Golf doesn’t have a 53-man or 25-man roster like the NFL or Major League Baseball. And the beauty of golf is that no other sport can be so ageless. Remember, Mickelson won last year when he was 47 at a World Golf Championship.Howell’s point was that it’s getting even more difficult to win as tour cards go to younger and younger players.“When I first started on tour, the best players were the older players,” Howell said.Woods — again, the exception — was No. 1 and on his way to four straight majors in Howell’s first full season in 2001. But the top 10 in the world was filled with players in their 30s — Mickelson and Vijay Singh, Ernie Els and Davis Love III, Colin Montgomerie and Hal Sutton. “Now I’ve gotten older, it’s shifted the other way,” Howell said. “And the best players seem to be the younger players. So you go look now at all the guys that we talk about, that we focus on — Jordan, McIlroy, Justin Thomas, etc. These are all the young guys. And they’re the sport’s best.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Tom Brady most dominant player in AFC championship history Philippine Army to acquire MANPADS, self-propelled howitzers Adrien Broner: I don’t care about Mayweather and Pacquiao View comments More are on the way.Woods went straight from college to the PGA Tour. Playing on sponsor exemptions, he made enough money to secure a full card in just four tournaments, and then he won in Las Vegas in his fifth start as a pro. It took nine years before that happened again. Ryan Moore, the NCAA and U.S. Amateur champion, did it in 12 events in 2005, helped mightily by a runner-up finish in the Canadian Open.Only three other players had done that since 1980, a short list that included Phil Mickelson, who won as an amateur.Now?Spieth didn’t have a card on any tour in 2013 and effectively secured his card in six tournaments. Rahm got it done in three starts after he turned pro in 2016. What was the exception is not the norm, but it’s getting there.Scott Verplank, who won the 1985 Western Open when he was an amateur, watched the NCAA Championship in Stillwater, Oklahoma, last spring and he couldn’t believe what he was seeing. And it wasn’t just his alma mater, Oklahoma State, winning the title. Just about every team that reached the quarterfinals of match play had players who looked like they were ready for the PGA Tour.Charles Howell III also went to Oklahoma State and keeps tabs on college golf, “so I kind of knew what was coming.”“All these guys were hitting the ball over 300 yards and they all putt great,” he said. “You get Justin Thomas come out and win a bunch. Jordan Spieth comes out and wins a bunch. So when they do that, then that’s a veteran’s job gone. That’s another veteran’s job gone. That’s just how it works.”Not entirely.Golf doesn’t have a 53-man or 25-man roster like the NFL or Major League Baseball. And the beauty of golf is that no other sport can be so ageless. Remember, Mickelson won last year when he was 47 at a World Golf Championship. Jordan Spieth hits from the 10th tee during the second round of the Sony Open PGA Tour golf event, Friday, Jan. 11, 2019, at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Matt York)HONOLULU — Leave it to the oldest rookie to best illustrate how the PGA Tour has become such a young man’s game.Chris Thompson tried for 19 years to reach the highest level of golf, and he finally earned a PGA Tour card when he was 42. With every year he spent on mini-tours from Florida to Arizona, he couldn’t help but notice that getting better only meant keeping up.ADVERTISEMENT Cink and Tiger Woods arrived on the PGA Tour at roughly the same time and were voted rookie of the year in consecutive seasons (1996 and 1997). Woods got an early start in the fall of 1996 and won two times in eight starts, so that became his rookie season. Cink’s first full season was 1997.“So really, we started playing fulltime the same year,” he said. “For the first three years, he was the only player younger than me. That put me at 23, 24, 25. There was no younger player besides Tiger Woods than me my first three years.“How many players on the tour now are 25 and under?” Cink asked. “Forty?”He was close. There are 29 players with full status on tour who are 25 or younger. That includes Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas, who already have won majors and reached No. 1 in the world. It includes Jon Rahm and Bryson DeChambeau and Xander Schauffele, all of whom are among the top 10 in the world ranking.“They play a lot more, against better competition when they’re younger now,” Cink said. “And they’re just more seasoned when they come out here. There is no break-in period anymore like there used to be because you don’t need to learn.”When he started two decades ago, Cink said most players — Woods is an exception in almost every way — had to reinvent the wheel and learn to play the style of golf required on the PGA Tour.“Now you just come out here, guns blazing,” he said.More are on the way.Woods went straight from college to the PGA Tour. Playing on sponsor exemptions, he made enough money to secure a full card in just four tournaments, and then he won in Las Vegas in his fifth start as a pro. It took nine years before that happened again. Ryan Moore, the NCAA and U.S. Amateur champion, did it in 12 events in 2005, helped mightily by a runner-up finish in the Canadian Open.Only three other players had done that since 1980, a short list that included Phil Mickelson, who won as an amateur. LATEST STORIES Japeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for Ginebra “How many players on the tour now are 25 and under?” Cink asked. “Forty?”He was close. There are 29 players with full status on tour who are 25 or younger. That includes Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas, who already have won majors and reached No. 1 in the world. It includes Jon Rahm and Bryson DeChambeau and Xander Schauffele, all of whom are among the top 10 in the world ranking.“They play a lot more, against better competition when they’re younger now,” Cink said. “And they’re just more seasoned when they come out here. There is no break-in period anymore like there used to be because you don’t need to learn.”When he started two decades ago, Cink said most players — Woods is an exception in almost every way — had to reinvent the wheel and learn to play the style of golf required on the PGA Tour.“Now you just come out here, guns blazing,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT Howell’s point was that it’s getting even more difficult to win as tour cards go to younger and younger players.“When I first started on tour, the best players were the older players,” Howell said.Woods — again, the exception — was No. 1 and on his way to four straight majors in Howell’s first full season in 2001. But the top 10 in the world was filled with players in their 30s — Mickelson and Vijay Singh, Ernie Els and Davis Love III, Colin Montgomerie and Hal Sutton.“Now I’ve gotten older, it’s shifted the other way,” Howell said. “And the best players seem to be the younger players. So you go look now at all the guys that we talk about, that we focus on — Jordan, McIlroy, Justin Thomas, etc. These are all the young guys. And they’re the sport’s best.”Top of golf now belongs to youthBy DOUG FERGUSON, AP Golf WriterHONOLULU (AP) — Leave it to the oldest rookie to best illustrate how the PGA Tour has become such a young man’s game.Chris Thompson tried for 19 years to reach the highest level of golf, and he finally earned a PGA Tour card when he was 42. With every year he spent on mini-tours from Florida to Arizona, he couldn’t help but notice that getting better only meant keeping up.“It’s a profession that not many good players get out of, but there’s always good players getting into it,” Thompson said.Stewart Cink knows what he’s talking about it. Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? 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