Publications

2019
Andrea Rivera. 3/3/2019. “A Year After Maria: How the Death Toll Rose from 64 to 4,645.” The Harvard Undergraduate Research Journal .Abstract
About the Research: According to a study published in May 29, 2018, in the New England Journal of Medicine, the mortality rate in Puerto Rico may have risen by 62% and estimated that there were 4,645 deaths in 2017 during the period following Hurricane Maria, as opposed to the government’s official death count of 64 people. This study led by a collaboration between Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the University of Colorado School of Medicine, and Carlos Albizu University in Puerto Rico suggests that Puerto Rico’s official death registry has underestimated this death toll. 

Living in Puerto Rico during Hurricane Maria and its aftermath, I have experienced first-hand what the research describes. When this paper was published, it caused wide-spread controversy among the population of PR, the government, and by researchers around the world. The death toll of Puerto Rico is still a hot topic and highly debated, especially as it's been more than a year from the catastrophe. My goal was to analyze the research and its validity and what this may imply for Puerto Rico and its public health with the start of the new hurricane season.
2018
Andrea Rivera. 2018. “Body-to-Head Transplants: The Future of Medicine or a Modern-day Frankenstein Fantasy?” The Harvard Science Review , 32. Publisher's VersionAbstract
The first human head transplant was already successfully performed on a corpse, a procedure that was carried out by Dr. Sergio Canavero, an Italian neurosurgeon, and his scientific team. The procedure lasted over 18 hours in China and Dr. Canavero has cited “Frankenstein” as his source of inspiration. He went on to express that: ”A full head swap between brain dead organ donors is the next stage.”, hoping to one day achieve formal head transplant for imminent medical conditions. However, his bold claims have raised concerns and skepticism from scientists all around the world who wonder not only if a formal head transplant is a feasible procedure, but also if it is ethical to do so. This research seeks to examine the validity and the ethicality of body-to-head transplants.
hsr_fall2018_finaldraft.pdf