Tag: blood

Sending Blood Via Drone: What Could Go Wrong?

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Photo by Keith Weller, via Johns Hopkins Medicine
Photo by Keith Weller, via Johns Hopkins Medicine

Johns Hopkins scientists recently conducted an unusual experiment: They took a bunch of blood, attached it to a drone, and sent it flying.

This Week in Research: Diet Advice and Blood Money

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doctor-trust

A previous Johns Hopkins study showed that doctors are less likely to bond with overweight patients; now new research from Hopkins shows that patients can be just as prejudiced against their doctors.

This Week in Research: Amish Romance Novels and Stale Blood

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They’re not bodice rippers, they’re bonnet rippers, according to Valerie Weaver-Zercher, whose new book on Amish romance novels was just published by Johns Hopkins press. And while I can’t recall having seen them for sale at the Amish Market up on York Road (maybe I was too intent on the pretzels?), they’re big business:  the top three Amish-fiction authors have sold more than 24 million books combined. But the unexpected twist, according to Weaver-Zercher (who is a Mennonite), is that these books aren’t written by Amish authors, but by evangelicals imagining themselves into the minds of the Amish.

This Week in Research: How Much is Your Blood Worth to You?

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Tis the season for giving… blood? U.S. hospitals struggle to maintain blood supplies, but there’s one simple way to increase donations from the public, according to a study co-authored by Johns Hopkins business professor Mario Macis.

Why is a business professor studying blood supply? Mostly because it turns out to be a clear case of supply and demand.  Advertising a $5 gift card reward for donors increased the likelihood of giving by 26 percent; a $10 gift card doubled that, and a $15 gift card caused a rise of 72 percent.  (These were all donors who had donated before.)

“Because of the big gap between supply and demand, as an economist I wanted to know whether economic incentives could be introduced into this market that would stimulate people to donate blood,” Macis said. “We learned that this was indeed the case.”

But getting rewards for donating blood (or other body parts) is considered questionable by some.  Getting cash for blood, organs, or body parts is illegal.  But as of December 1, bone marrow donors are allowed to receive compensation — whereas before, such arrangements could’ve gotten you five years in prison.

Macis also found that surprise rewards seemed to backfire.  When donors who didn’t know about the gift card program were given one after they gave blood, their rate of subsequent donations actually went down — perhaps because “these donors might have seen the unexpected gifts as an affront to their intrinsic motivation to commit a social-minded act.”

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