All articles posted in Health

Comfort dogs bring healing in times of tragedy

Twelve golden retrievers recently arrived in Orlando to bring com­fort to the sur­vivors and those grieving after the mass shooting at the gay night­club Pulse. Here, Northeastern’s Lisa Feldman Bar­rett, who spe­cial­izes in the psy­chology of emo­tion, explains how dogs help bring our ner­vous sys­tems back into bal­ance and, at least tem­porarily, make us feel safe.

3Qs: Is soda losing its fizz?

Philadel­phia recently became the first major U.S. city to pass a soft drink tax, and a new report from Bev­erage Mar­keting Corp. found that bot­tled water will soon sur­pass soda as the nation’s most pop­ular bev­erage. Here, Janice Maras, research man­ager in the Depart­ment of Health Sci­ences, who spe­cial­izes in dietary data analysis, explains how a soda tax might affect dietary habits and what kind of long-​​term impact the declining pop­u­larity of soft drinks will have on the nation’s obe­sity epidemic.

Hackathon to help nurses drive innovation in healthcare

As the startup cul­ture in health­care con­tinues to grow, North­eastern School of Nursing Dean Nancy Han­rahan sees an oppor­tu­nity for nurses to play a key role in devel­oping inno­v­a­tive solu­tions to improve patients’ health­care expe­ri­ences. North­eastern is hosting a three-​​day summit and hackathon starting today geared toward empow­ering nurses to drive that innovation.

Researchers reveal the hidden environmental and public health impacts of the US healthcare sector

Over the past 10 years, the U.S. health­care sector’s green­house gas emis­sions grew by more than 30 per­cent, accounting for 9.8 per­cent of the national total in 2013. “If the U.S. health­care sector were itself a country, it would rank 13th in the world for green­house gas emis­sions, ahead of the entire U.K.,” states a new paper coau­thored by North­eastern researcher Matthew Eckelman.

How serious is the threat posed by new ‘superbug’?

Reports of the arrival in the U.S. of a new superbug that is resis­tant to an antibi­otic of last resort have set off alarm bells among public health offi­cials. Last year, a team led by North­eastern pro­fessor Kim Lewis dis­cov­ered teixobactin, an antibi­otic that elim­i­nates bac­teria without encoun­tering any detectable resis­tance. We asked him to explain the new superbug, how wor­ried we should be, and how it might be stopped.

Take 5: The science of doping in sports

Reports of doping by Russia’s Olympic ath­letes con­tinue to grab head­lines. Just yes­terday, offi­cials con­firmed that 14 of the country’s ath­letes from the 2008 Games had been impli­cated by the I.O.C. in a re-​​testing of sam­ples. But doping in sports is not new. As early as the 8th cen­tury B.C., Greek ath­letes found ways to boost testos­terone to enhance per­for­mance, says Northeastern’s Rui Li, an expert on exer­cise phys­i­ology. Here, she talks about the sci­ence of doping and pos­sible mea­sures to stop it.

Take 5: The future of healthcare

There isn’t one kind of cor­po­ra­tion that is respon­sible for why health­care is so expen­sive,” Ellen Zane, the CEO emer­itus of Tufts Med­ical Center, said at the latest install­ment of the Women who Empower Speaker Series. “You have to under­stand that it’s a con­flu­ence of many moving parts, so there’s not going to be one silver bullet that fixes it.”

Meet the graduates: Julie Hugunin

A biology major in Northeastern’s Honors Pro­gram and a 2016 Pres­i­den­tial Global Fellow, Julie Hugunin plans to pursue an MD/​PhD pro­gram to com­bine her clin­ical and research inter­ests, informed by a holistic approach. “North­eastern is about putting your­self out there and being fear­less,” she says.

Meet the graduates: Nicole Torchia

This fall, Torchia will enter Yale’s physi­cian assis­tant grad­uate pro­gram. She credits Northeastern’s expe­ri­en­tial learning oppor­tu­ni­ties with preparing her for the program’s rig­orous cur­riculum and with giving her a dis­tinct advan­tage. “I will be entering my pro­gram as one of the youngest, if not the youngest, stu­dent because my co-​​ops have given me more than enough (clin­ical) hours and expe­ri­ence without needing to take a gap year.”

Meet the graduates: Colin Bernardo

Colin Bernardo is a human­i­tarian to the core. He com­pleted his bachelor’s in reha­bil­i­ta­tive sci­ence with honors and is now entering the clin­ical com­po­nent of Northeastern’s Doctor of Phys­ical Therapy pro­gram. His stellar aca­d­emic record, how­ever, marks just the begin­ning of a uni­ver­sity career driven by the desire to help others.