The House sit-​​in: examining the political and cultural significance

Wednesday morning House Democ­rats, led by U.S. Rep. John Lewis, began a sit-​​in on the House floor demanding votes on gun-​​control leg­is­la­tion. C-​​SPAN picked up the live feeds that mem­bers streamed from their smart­phones after Repub­li­cans shut down the chamber. Here, North­eastern fac­ulty mem­bers shed light on the sig­nif­i­cance of the protest and the role of social media in its impact.

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.

What Brexit could mean for Europe

The United Kingdom will hold a ref­er­endum on Thursday on whether Britain should leave the Euro­pean Union. If there is high voter turnout, “there is no ques­tion that the ‘remain’ side will easily win,” pre­dicts Northeastern’s Mai’a K. Davis Cross, an expert on Euro­pean pol­i­tics. Cross also cau­tions that a vote to leave could also “trigger the breakup of the United Kingdom.”

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.

Northeastern researchers find T-Mobile’s Binge On doesn’t live up to the hype

New research led by David Choffnes shows that what T-​​Mobile promises about free video streaming with Binge On is not what you, or con­tent providers, may actu­ally get. In many cases, sub­scribers were left with lower quality videos and unex­pected charges. More­over, because of flaws in T-Mobile’s system, the researchers found a way to make prac­ti­cally any Internet traffic free to subscribers.

Child’s play: Using virtual reality to advance physical therapy

Boston middle school stu­dents vis­ited campus last week to try out some new vir­tual reality games being designed for phys­ical therapy patients. Their game-​​playing will help researchers refine patient treat­ment and advance inter­dis­ci­pli­nary research.

3Qs: When hate and terror collide

Was the mas­sacre at a gay night­club in Orlando on Sunday morning a hate crime or an act of ter­rorism? Both, according to Gor­dana Rabren­ovic, director of Northeastern’s Brud­nick Center on Vio­lence and Con­flict, who char­ac­ter­ized the attack as a “mass shooting that sin­gled out a par­tic­ular group of people.”

3Qs: What’s the key to keeping the world safe?

I have never been as con­cerned with the world as I am today,” says North­eastern pro­fessor Denise Garcia, who is taking a group of stu­dents to the 11th Inter­na­tional Secu­rity Forum in Geneva this week. Here, she dis­cusses the con­fer­ence, the United States’ stock­pile of nuclear weapons, and the biggest secu­rity threats facing the world today.

World’s wind engineering experts convene at Northeastern

Northeastern’s Luca Caracoglia develops numer­ical method­olo­gies to sim­u­late how tall build­ings will respond to high winds, including hur­ri­canes. Last week he brought his exper­tise to bear as chairman and co-​​host of an inter­na­tional col­lo­quium. More than 200 engi­neering experts from around the world con­vened at North­eastern to dis­cuss how to best ana­lyze and con­struct tall build­ings, bridges, and other non-​​streamlined bodies.

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.

Marine Science Center works to protect oceans’ ‘vital role in sustaining life on Earth’

In honor of World Oceans Day, we spoke with Marine Sci­ence Center director Geoff Trussell about ocean con­ser­va­tion and what the MSC is doing to help pro­tect our marine ecosystem.

Three ways the Northeastern community is addressing ocean plastics pollution

A big emphasis of World Oceans Day this year is bringing aware­ness to the problem of marine plastic pol­lu­tion. Mem­bers of the North­eastern com­mu­nity are already focused on this chal­lenge by building sus­tain­able skate­boards, visu­al­izing ocean plas­tics data, and building sen­sors to iden­tify microplas­tics in the sea.