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Concept: Race


This paper documents a marked increase in the all-cause mortality of middle-aged white non-Hispanic men and women in the United States between 1999 and 2013. This change reversed decades of progress in mortality and was unique to the United States; no other rich country saw a similar turnaround. The midlife mortality reversal was confined to white non-Hispanics; black non-Hispanics and Hispanics at midlife, and those aged 65 and above in every racial and ethnic group, continued to see mortality rates fall. This increase for whites was largely accounted for by increasing death rates from drug and alcohol poisonings, suicide, and chronic liver diseases and cirrhosis. Although all education groups saw increases in mortality from suicide and poisonings, and an overall increase in external cause mortality, those with less education saw the most marked increases. Rising midlife mortality rates of white non-Hispanics were paralleled by increases in midlife morbidity. Self-reported declines in health, mental health, and ability to conduct activities of daily living, and increases in chronic pain and inability to work, as well as clinically measured deteriorations in liver function, all point to growing distress in this population. We comment on potential economic causes and consequences of this deterioration.

Concepts: Death, Mortality rate, United States, United Kingdom, Race, White American, White people, 21st century


This study investigates change over time in the level of hiring discrimination in US labor markets. We perform a meta-analysis of every available field experiment of hiring discrimination against African Americans or Latinos (n = 28). Together, these studies represent 55,842 applications submitted for 26,326 positions. We focus on trends since 1989 (n = 24 studies), when field experiments became more common and improved methodologically. Since 1989, whites receive on average 36% more callbacks than African Americans, and 24% more callbacks than Latinos. We observe no change in the level of hiring discrimination against African Americans over the past 25 years, although we find modest evidence of a decline in discrimination against Latinos. Accounting for applicant education, applicant gender, study method, occupational groups, and local labor market conditions does little to alter this result. Contrary to claims of declining discrimination in American society, our estimates suggest that levels of discrimination remain largely unchanged, at least at the point of hire.

Concepts: Experimental design, Evaluation methods, Experiment, Employment, Race, African American, Racism, Racial segregation


Malignant mesothelioma is a neoplasm associated with occupational and environmental inhalation exposure to asbestos* fibers and other elongate mineral particles (EMPs) (1-3). Patients have a median survival of approximately 1 year from the time of diagnosis (1). The latency period from first causative exposure to malignant mesothelioma development typically ranges from 20 to 40 years but can be as long as 71 years (2,3). Hazardous occupational exposures to asbestos fibers and other EMPs have occurred in a variety of industrial operations, including mining and milling, manufacturing, shipbuilding and repair, and construction (3). Current exposures to commercial asbestos in the United States occur predominantly during maintenance operations and remediation of older buildings containing asbestos (3,4). To update information on malignant mesothelioma mortality (5), CDC analyzed annual multiple cause-of-death records(†) for 1999-2015, the most recent years for which complete data are available. During 1999-2015, a total of 45,221 deaths with malignant mesothelioma mentioned on the death certificate as the underlying or contributing cause of death were reported in the United States, increasing from 2,479 deaths in 1999 to 2,597 in 2015 (in the same time period the age-adjusted death rates(§) decreased from 13.96 per million in 1999 to 10.93 in 2015). Malignant mesothelioma deaths increased for persons aged ≥85 years, both sexes, persons of white, black, and Asian or Pacific Islander race, and all ethnic groups. Despite regulatory actions and the decline in use of asbestos the annual number of malignant mesothelioma deaths remains substantial. The continuing occurrence of malignant mesothelioma deaths underscores the need for maintaining measures to prevent exposure to asbestos fibers and other causative EMPs and for ongoing surveillance to monitor temporal trends.

Concepts: Cancer, Death, Demography, United States, Race, Mesothelioma, Asbestos, Pacific Islander American


 To estimate differences in annual income of physicians in the United States by race and sex adjusted for characteristics of physicians and practices.

Concepts: United States, Poverty in the United States, U.S. state, Race, White American, Household income in the United States, European American, Indigenous peoples of the Americas


Racial disparities in health are well-documented and represent a significant public health concern in the US. Racism-related factors contribute to poorer health and higher mortality rates among Blacks compared to other racial groups. However, methods to measure racism and monitor its associations with health at the population-level have remained elusive. In this study, we investigated the utility of a previously developed Internet search-based proxy of area racism as a predictor of Black mortality rates. Area racism was the proportion of Google searches containing the “N-word” in 196 designated market areas (DMAs). Negative binomial regression models were specified taking into account individual age, sex, year of death, and Census region and adjusted to the 2000 US standard population to examine the association between area racism and Black mortality rates, which were derived from death certificates and mid-year population counts collated by the National Center for Health Statistics (2004-2009). DMAs characterized by a one standard deviation greater level of area racism were associated with an 8.2% increase in the all-cause Black mortality rate, equivalent to over 30,000 deaths annually. The magnitude of this effect was attenuated to 5.7% after adjustment for DMA-level demographic and Black socioeconomic covariates. A model controlling for the White mortality rate was used to further adjust for unmeasured confounders that influence mortality overall in a geographic area, and to examine Black-White disparities in the mortality rate. Area racism remained significantly associated with the all-cause Black mortality rate (mortality rate ratio = 1.036; 95% confidence interval = 1.015, 1.057; p = 0.001). Models further examining cause-specific Black mortality rates revealed significant associations with heart disease, cancer, and stroke. These findings are congruent with studies documenting the deleterious impact of racism on health among Blacks. Our study contributes to evidence that racism shapes patterns in mortality and generates racial disparities in health.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Death, Mortality rate, Demography, United States, Black people, Race, Miscegenation


Microscopic mites of the genus Demodex live within the hair follicles of mammals and are ubiquitous symbionts of humans, but little molecular work has been done to understand their genetic diversity or transmission. Here we sampled mite DNA from 70 human hosts of diverse geographic ancestries and analyzed 241 sequences from the mitochondrial genome of the species Demodex folliculorum. Phylogenetic analyses recovered multiple deep lineages including a globally distributed lineage common among hosts of European ancestry and three lineages that primarily include hosts of Asian, African, and Latin American ancestry. To a great extent, the ancestral geography of hosts predicted the lineages of mites found on them; 27% of the total molecular variance segregated according to the regional ancestries of hosts. We found that D. folliculorum populations are stable on an individual over the course of years and that some Asian and African American hosts maintain specific mite lineages over the course of years or generations outside their geographic region of birth or ancestry. D. folliculorum haplotypes were much more likely to be shared within families and between spouses than between unrelated individuals, indicating that transmission requires close contact. Dating analyses indicated that D. folliculorum origins may predate modern humans. Overall, D. folliculorum evolution reflects ancient human population divergences, is consistent with an out-of-Africa dispersal hypothesis, and presents an excellent model system for further understanding the history of human movement.

Concepts: Human, Mitochondrial DNA, Species, Population, Race, World population, Demodex, Demodex folliculorum


Using footage from body-worn cameras, we analyze the respectfulness of police officer language toward white and black community members during routine traffic stops. We develop computational linguistic methods that extract levels of respect automatically from transcripts, informed by a thin-slicing study of participant ratings of officer utterances. We find that officers speak with consistently less respect toward black versus white community members, even after controlling for the race of the officer, the severity of the infraction, the location of the stop, and the outcome of the stop. Such disparities in common, everyday interactions between police and the communities they serve have important implications for procedural justice and the building of police-community trust.

Concepts: Black people, Sociology, Linguistics, Race, Ethnic group, White people, Black


Humans in all societies form and participate in cooperative alliances. To successfully navigate an alliance-laced world, the human mind needs to detect new coalitions and alliances as they emerge, and predict which of many potential alliance categories are currently organizing an interaction. We propose that evolution has equipped the mind with cognitive machinery that is specialized for performing these functions: an alliance detection system. In this view, racial categories do not exist because skin color is perceptually salient; they are constructed and regulated by the alliance system in environments where race predicts social alliances and divisions. Early tests using adversarial alliances showed that the mind spontaneously detects which individuals are cooperating against a common enemy, implicitly assigning people to rival alliance categories based on patterns of cooperation and competition. But is social antagonism necessary to trigger the categorization of people by alliance-that is, do we cognitively link A and B into an alliance category only because they are jointly in conflict with C and D? We report new studies demonstrating that peaceful cooperation can trigger the detection of new coalitional alliances and make race fade in relevance. Alliances did not need to be marked by team colors or other perceptually salient cues. When race did not predict the ongoing alliance structure, behavioral cues about cooperative activities up-regulated categorization by coalition and down-regulated categorization by race, sometimes eliminating it. Alliance cues that sensitively regulated categorization by coalition and race had no effect on categorization by sex, eliminating many alternative explanations for the results. The results support the hypothesis that categorizing people by their race is a reversible product of a cognitive system specialized for detecting alliance categories and regulating their use. Common enemies are not necessary to erase important social boundaries; peaceful cooperation can have the same effect.

Concepts: Psychology, Cognition, Cognitive science, Philosophy of mind, Mind, Thought, Race, Human skin color


We describe the thirteenth reported case of human infection with Gongylonema spp. in the United States and the first to be confirmed as Gongylonema pulchrum. The parasite described was isolated from the oral cavity of a resident of Williamsburg, Virginia. The identity of the parasite was verified through morphologic and genetic approaches, and provided the first genetic confirmation of a Gongylonema sp. in humans.

Concepts: United States, U.S. state, Race, Latin, Humid subtropical climate, Kentucky, Thomas Jefferson, Gongylonema pulchrum


The increase in adiposity problems among United States adolescents has been accompanied by persistently high prevalence of unhealthy dieting behaviours (UDBs) such as fasting, taking diet pills/powders/liquids, and vomiting/taking laxatives. This study aimed to examine the associations of self-perceptions of weight status, weight change intentions (WCIs) and UDBs with sex, age and race, as well as trends of UDBs in American adolescents across the weight spectrum.

Concepts: Nutrition, Obesity, United States, Poverty in the United States, U.S. state, Weight loss, Race, Dieting