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Ajai Raj

Science Journalist, Copywriter, and Editor

Plano, TX

Ajai Raj

Ajai Raj is an experienced journalist specializing in health and science reporting, with a knack for making complex concepts simple to understand. He is also a skilled editor and copyeditor, with extensive proofreading and fact-checking experience. Ajai is available for writing and editing work of all kinds. He is a graduate of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism in New York and the University of Texas at Austin. Ajai is writing this bio in the third person, because that's what one does.

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A MAP for Crohn’s Disease: Old Theory Gains Momentum

The MAP theory centers on a bacterium called MAP, short for Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis. MAP causes a Crohn’s-like disease called Johne’s (pronounced “YO-nes”) disease in cattle—and, proponents of the theory believe, is responsible for Crohn’s in at least a subset of patients. The theory is not new. In fact, it’s older than the name “Crohn’s disease” itself, having first been proposed in 1913 by Dr. Thomas Dalziel of Glasgow, Scotland, almost two decades before Dr. Burrill Crohn would unwillingly have his name given to the disease. But it is far from mainstream. As a result, few gastroenterologists offer treatment based on the MAP infection paradigm of Crohn’s disease, known as atypical mycobacterial antibiotic therapy (AMAT).
Gastroenterology & Endoscopy News Link to Story
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Trials and Error: Notable Cases of Misconduct in Oncology

The current state of clinical oncology gives many experts cause for optimism. Recent developments, including personalized medications and immunotherapy, show promise as the next generation of treatment. Before these new therapies can be given to patients, however, they must run the gauntlet of multiple clinical trials to verify their efficacy and safety. And, just as treatments are increasing in complexity, experts say the way trials are conducted must also adapt to meet the challenges of testing these approaches effectively.
Clinical Oncology News Link to Story
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PI3K Inhibitors Provoke Cancer Counterattacks

Drugs that target the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway, which is active in virtually every cancer, provoke tumors to adapt and become more aggressive, according to an international team of investigators.
Clinical Oncology News Link to Story
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Research Biopsies Pose Barrier to Lung Trial Enrollment

Requiring participants in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) clinical trials to provide tumor tissue samples is “a significant barrier” to enrollment, according to a team of investigators in Canada.
Clinical Oncology News Link to Story
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Try Using This Logic on Your Climate-Denying Relatives

If you can’t stand the heat, you probably believe that climate change is a real thing. That’s the conclusion of a study recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences examining the connection between extremes of local weather and peoples’ belief — or non-belief — in global warming.
Defiant Link to Story
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NHIA Predicts Victory For Home Infusion Pay

After years of frustration with a Medicare reimbursement scheme that fails to cover their costs, leaders in the field of home infusion are optimistic that they are on the cusp of a major victory. Congress appears poised to pass the Medicare Home Infusion Site of Care Act of 2015 (S. 275/H.R. 605), a bipartisan piece of legislation that, if signed into law, would correct a number of long-standing errors in the way home infusion services are reimbursed. In so doing, S. 275/H.R. 605 would give millions of Medicare beneficiaries access to home care, along with all of the clinical, financial and psychosocial benefits that such care provides, advocates noted.
Specialty Pharmacy Continuum Link to Story
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CDC Draft Opioid Guidelines Ignite Controversy

New draft guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) aimed at reducing opioid abuse and addiction have triggered a backlash from pain management experts, many of whom see the guidelines as being nothing short of misguided. In their attempt to mitigate the real risks and dangers of addiction, critics allege that the new guidelines will cause real harm to a significant subset of chronic pain patients for whom opioids do not pose a threat, and who often do not have any other options to treat their pain.
Pain Medicine News Link to Story
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Soon, It Will Cost Less To Sequence A Genome Than To Flush A Toilet — And That Will Change Medicine Forever

We don't traditionally think of flushing the toilet as an action that costs money. But actually the cost of a flush comes in at about 1 cent. Imagine if sequencing a genome was that easy and cheap? Soon, that could be a reality, according to a leading genome researcher. He predicts we will be sequencing genomes for pennies as soon as 2020.
Business Insider Link to Story
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Review: Auditory Hallucinations, Composed

A pair of one-act chamber operas takes the audience inside the world of imagined sound. Toward the end of her life, Jonathan Berger’s mother suffered from dementia. In the throes of musical and auditory hallucinations, she repeatedly hummed a song that Berger, a composer and music professor at Stanford University, did not recognize.
The Scientist Link to Story
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Anesthesia and the Real-Time Mind

Fallopius of Padua, the 16th-century anatomist and physician, famously complained, “When soporifics are weak, they are useless, and when strong, they kill.”
Anesthesiology News Link to Story
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Soccer Players Show Signs of Brain Damage

Football has become notorious for the degeneration it causes in players' brains. Now a preliminary study of soccer players has found that frequently hitting the ball with the head may adversely affect brain structure and cognition. The study imaged the brains of 37 amateur soccer players, 21 to 44 years old, and found that players who reported “heading the ball” more frequently had microstructural changes in the white matter of their brains similar to those observed in patients with traumatic brain injury.
Scientific American Link to Story
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Navigating nuclear: a visit to ANSTO

Nuclear reactors don’t get a lot of good press. It’s impossible to bring them up without mentioning the Fukushima Daiichi disaster of March 2011 in the same breath. But there’s a world of difference between a nuclear power plant, such as Fukushima Daiichi, and ANSTO’s Open Pool Australian Lightwater (OPAL) nuclear research reactor.
COSMOS Magazine Link to Story

About

Ajai Raj

Welcome to my longer, first-person bio. My name is Ajai Raj, and I've been working as a freelance journalist for a little over five years now, with a particular focus on science, health, and medicine. I enjoy taking complex concepts and making them both simple to understand and entertaining to read.

I graduated from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism in New York City in 2013 with an MA in health and science reporting. During that time I interned at COSMOS, a science magazine in Sydney, Australia, as well as at Popular Science. Subsequent to those internships, I freelanced for both publications, as well as working stints as a fact-checker for Popular Science.

Within the science and medicine realm, my bread and butter has been writing for medical trade journals across a range of medical specialties, including clinical oncology, gastroenterology, pain medicine, and anesthesiology. Recently my beat has expanded to include climate change and other general interest science stories, as well.

I also have a number of gee-whiz science stories under my belt, as well as reviews of art, literature, and performance that engages with science in some way.

I think my portfolio reflects my skill and versatility as a writer. I can write straight news, wry humor, and thoughtful reflection with equal ease, and I welcome any challenge that stretches my voice or expands my knowledge.

In addition to writing, I have experience copyediting, proofreading, and fact-checking, and am happy to offer my services in these areas.

Like any good mercenary, my skills are your assets, for the right price. If you'd like to work together, please get in touch: ajairaj [at] gmail [dot] com.

Good night, and godspeed.

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Skills

  • Querying PubMed and similar
  • Content Management Systems
  • Adobe InDesign
  • Adobe Acrobat Pro
  • MS Office Suite
  • Copywriting
  • Feature Writing
  • Newswriting
  • Technical Writing
  • Research
  • Fact-checking
  • Proofreading
  • Copyediting
  • Editing
  • Interviewing
  • Reporting