Socioeconomic Determinants of Oral Health

Since posting my initial research plan in the spring, further reading has convinced me to slightly adjust my topic. While I was originally set out to uncover the reasons why some people feel uncomfortable at the dentist, I stumbled upon a much larger and perhaps more obvious problem: it’s not that most individuals don’t want to go to the dentist, it’s that many of them cannot go to the dentist. According to a recent study of the National Health Interview Survey, the main cause for adults to avoid the dentist is cost: over 40% of the surveyed population could not afford treatment or had no insurance, whereas only 10% of adults cited fear as the reason they had no recent dental visit. Certain populations within the United States are facing a serious disparity in accessibility to quality oral healthcare; many individuals either lack dental insurance and cannot afford it or don’t have access to a health center offering affordable services.

[Read more…]

Update 1: How the popular music during WWII reflected the political climate in the US

After finishing the first part of my research, I am posting my first update on the information I have found for my investigation into how political climate affects music. As I discussed in my first post, I am specifically investigating the political influence on popular music in America during WWII in contrast to the Vietnam War. In this post, I will be discussing my research on the historical background and music of WWII.

[Read more…]

Universal Influenza Vaccine: Update 1

Over the past week and a half, I have been researching basic facts about the influenza virus and the burden of influenza on the U.S. healthcare system, with an emphasis on the 2017-2018 influenza season. I have also begun to delve into the structure of the influenza virus, though this has been more challenging than I initially expected. Originally, I had ambitiously planned to extensively cover the detailed structure of the most prevalent influenza virus subtypes and lineages circulating in the United States human population (namely, the A(H3N2) and A(H1N1) influenza A subtypes and the B/Yamagata and B/Victoria influenza B lineages) before launching into my comparison of the various efforts to create a universal flu vaccine. However, I did not anticipate how complicated this structural information truly is and how large the gap is between my current comprehension level and the comprehension level necessary to understand the many scientific articles written about this subject. As a result, my research has been progressing much more slowly than I had hoped. Nevertheless, I am persevering through all of the highly technical language and working my way slowly but surely through the literature. Hopefully, I will be able to get into researching attempts to create a universal flu vaccine and begin my analysis of these efforts in the coming days. As I research, I have been creating a detailed outline of my paper so that once I have finished the research portion of my project, it should be fairly easy (fingers crossed!) to turn my outline into a cohesive, essay format.

[Read more…]

Russian-American Relations in the Media Update 1

At this point in my project I have completed the majority of my research analyzing to what extent the perceptions Russians and Americans have of each other has been influenced by the media. My research consists mostly of articles that analyze both Russian and American newspapers, movies, and television. Furthermore, my research is most concentrated in the time periods during and after the Cold War as they have been and continue to be the most tumultuous times in the countries’ histories.

[Read more…]