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logo Science Newsletter Logo
January 25 , 2009
Muskingum University Home

In this issue:

  • PreHealth Prescription Rating and Experience Program (PPREP)
  • Research Field Station Internship

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From Live Science....

From mildly eccentric to downright wacky, these 10 hyper-intelligent characters didn't just march to a different beat, they each played their own tune altogether, all while changing how we look at the world.

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PreHealth Prescription Rating and Experience Program (PPREP) Sponsored by

Internships and Scholarships available

Would you like to gain hands-on patient experience and participate in a large-scale study of prescription, over-the-counter, and alternative medications? Here's a chance to add an impressive credential to your graduate or medical school application and resume.  You could also win a $1,000 cash scholarship. is accepting 2-4 students from each university into its PPREP internship program. Interns administer surveys to medication users, keep a blog on their chosen condition of focus, gain marketing skills and experience, and submit a written report on their findings. Upon successful completion of their 4-month internship, participants will receive a Certificate of Completion from and a recommendation from the Medical Advisory Board upon request. The best interns will have their biographies and research featured on the RateADrug website (, and the top intern will receive a $1,000 cash tuition scholarship. is not affiliated with the FDA or any pharmaceutical companies. Unlike most other health-related websites, it does not accept advertising from drug companies. aims to create the world's largest user-generated database of side effects and benefits of prescription and non-prescription medications through 5-minute user surveys and reviews collected on its website.

Wall Street Journal recently cited in the article 'Living With A Lifesaving Drug's Side Effects" as an online resource for patients, saying "Web sites including WebMD and RateADrug encourage patients to post their own user reviews of medication side effects." ( wrote an article about, saying, "How do you know what [your] side effects might be? Sure, your doctor will probably explain them and you can read the label, but what do real users have to say? Will it make you see blue, cause indigestion, or simply zonk you out and make you think you’ve been fishing all day? That’s where RateADrug comes in." (

Sara Estrin, PPREP Co-founder and pre-med graduate from the University of Iowa explains, "Most medications are approved after relatively short clinical trials. The full range of benefits and negative side effects are usually not discovered until months and even years after their release, when feedback from large numbers of patients spurs new research.

"Studies have shown bias in clinical trials in favor of the sponsors of the research—the pharmaceutical companies. Recently, research conducted at UCSF's Health Policy Studies showed negative results of clinical trials, even when found, were often under-reported or not reported at all.

"RateADrug's surveys are designed to uncover a drug's hidden benefits and side effects. We believe our research will significantly reduce the time between a drug's release and the discovery of its full effects," Sara says. "Interns in the PPREP program can make a real difference by contributing to this unbiased study. This will be a worthwhile endeavor for any student interested in pursuing a career in medicine."

To be eligible for acceptance into the program, you must be enrolled in a pre- health program at an accredited university.  Participants are selected based on the quality of their application and degree of motivation.

You can learn more and apply at

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Research Field Station Internship

RESEARCH FIELD STATION INTERNS: A temporary, full-time position. Pay: $8.25/hour, college credit as approved by applicant’s institution and advisor. On-site housing available on a first-come basis at a cost of $50 per week. Dates: 12 Weeks; Mid/late May through early August; 40 hour work week Monday through Friday, usually 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.    

Location: McHenry County Conservation District, Glacial Park, Ringwood, Illinois.

Qual: Applicants should have approximately 2 years of course work in ecology, biology, geography, natural resource management, earth sciences or a related conservation field; willingness to acquire Illinois herbicide operator’s license; possess a current, valid driver’s license.  Internship involves outdoor work in all weather conditions as well as indoor work, involving both light and heavy lifting (30-40 lbs).  Frequent amount of time spent walking and moderate time spent sitting and standing.  Requires a sighted individual (vision corrected to 20/20) to conduct restoration work and surveys, and with normal hearing (corrected to within a normal audible range) for interacting with employees and public.  Possible work hazards include herbicides/pesticides operation, use of power equipment (i.e. chainsaws), and contact with nature (i.e. bees, insects/spiders, poison ivy, etc.).   International interns accepted through Council Exchanges only. 

Duties: Primary duties emphasize field implementation of restoration work in the Midwest, including but not limited to brush removal and herbiciding; exotic weed control; seed collection, processing and planting; wildlife management; and wetland and stream restoration; collection and analysis of biological data, soil/ecosystem surveys, preparation of educational exhibits, acting as a docent for exhibit visitors, and intern-selected independent studies. Intern will gain an understanding of how and why ecological restoration is practiced in the Midwest. Weekly educational presentations and bi-weekly field trips will allow intern to understand the history of Midwestern landscapes and the challenges facing land managers today.  Furthermore, interns will have the opportunity to learn about the operations of other MCCD departments, such as Planning & Development, Natural Resource Management, Police, Wildlife Resources, Communications and/or Land & Facilities.

Appl: Send cover letter and resume of relevant training and experience, dates of availability, and (unofficial) transcript to:

Contact: McHenry County Conservation District, NRM – Research Field Station, Attn:  Internships, 6512 Harts Road, Ringwood, IL  60072. Ph: 815-678-7644, Fax: 815-678-7695, Email: 

Filing Date: Open.

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