In the Journals

In the Journals… March 2012 round up (1/2)

Spring is only slowly arriving here in our parts of Europe, but it is March nonetheless. This month offered fewer new journal issues than was the case in previous years.

BioSocieties has recently started publishing open access articles. The latest of these is Hannah Landecker’s Food as exposure: Nutritional epigenetics and the new metabolism. In her article, Landecker discusses the transformation of food to environment in the context of nutritional epigenetics: nutrition is said to influence gene expression. Landecker is particularly interested in discovering how food becomes environment in the experimental setting, what she calls “the experimental formalization of food”. She argues that “metabolism [is now] a zone of contestation over who should eat what and where responsibility lies for stewardship of the food environment.”

The March issue of BioSocieties focusses on innovations. More specifically, the current articles fall into two categories: articles on time in innovation and on medical standards in innovation. Michael Morrison fits into the first set with his careful examination of the past and future of regenerative medicine. The author argues that this field of medicine is going through an “ongoing emergence”, going through various stages with an unknown future. Morrison reviewed historiographic and other documents describing the origins and history of regenerative medicine and finds several pasts of this field.  Nora Engel’s qualitative fieldwork on new diagnostics for multi-drug resistant tuberculosis in India discusses innovation in medical practice and control exerted through standardization of testing. In order to not exclude local players from profitting from TB innovations, Engel argues for flexible standardization.

In the March 2012 issue of Health, Richard J. Cooper and colleagues discuss supplementary prescribing by nurses and pharmacists in England as a potential challenge to medical dominance. Yael Kashet examines the websites of Israeli medical institutions on contents of information and integration regarding complimentary and alternative medicine with a specific focus on network gatekeeping theory. How working-age adults deal with a diagnosis of hearing impairment is the subject of study in Anette Lykke Hindhede‘s work.

User perspectives of mental health services are at the center of Geoff Dickens and Marco Picchioni‘s systematic review of the terms used to refer to people who use mental health services in the March issue of the International Journal of Social Psychiatry. Dickens & Picchioni searched databases and English language studies publications to examine the importance of how mental health services users refer to themselves and are being referred to. Igberase et al. write about relatives of patients with schizophrenia in Nigeria. Their study suggests that the financial burden on relatives is larger than social stigma or disruption of family routines. Other articles in the current journal issue are on personality disorders in North India, relationships between cognition and agoraphobia in Hong Kong, depression treatment preferences among Japanese undergraduate students or police involvement in psychiatric assessment in Greece.

In the March issue of the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute Sabina Stan discusses post-socialist informal exchanges in the Romanian healthcare system.

A special focus on military servicemembers’ bodies encompasses three articles in the current Medical Anthropology Quarterly: Sacrificial Limbs of Sovereignty: Disabled Veterans, Masculinity, and Nationalist Politics in Turkey, Labors of Love: The Transformation of Care in the Non-Medical Attendant Program at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Armor and Anesthesia: Exposure, Feeling, and the Soldier’s Body. Also in this issue: results of fieldwork on illegal organ buying and selling in Bangladesh with a focus on the exploitation of the poor,  on family planning decisions among Haitian women living in South Florida in the context of media and public health messages of morality, asthma in Hollywood film and dietary choices in Guatemala.

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