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.

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.

Chemical engineering professor moonlights as webcomic artist

In 2008, Lucas Land­herr cre­ated a slice-​​of-​​life web­comic called “Sur­viving the World” as a way to “main­tain his sanity” while he worked toward becoming a pro­fessor. Today, his comic series—as well as his pen­chant for idio­syn­cratic humor—is shaping his pro­fes­sional life in ways that he never could have imagined.

Northeastern researchers find that Amazon might not always be pitching you the best prices

A team led by Northeastern’s Christo Wilson shows that Amazon is much more likely to point buyers to sellers who use an auto­mated prac­tice called algo­rithmic pricing, even though those sellers’ prices may be higher than others’.

PhD student to study water access and control in Uganda through interviews—and equations

Matt Simonson got his under­grad­uate degree in math and inter­na­tional studies, but wasn’t sure they could be used together. That was until he found Northeastern’s first-​​in-​​the-​​nation doc­toral pro­gram in net­work science—and now he’s using math to under­stand human rela­tion­ships and tackle global challenges.

Researchers mine Twitter to reveal Congress’ ideological divide on climate change

Senate Democ­rats are three times more likely to follow science-​​related Twitter accounts than their Repub­lican peers, according to a new study led by Northeastern’s Brian Hel­muth. The research shows the growing divide between par­ties on the issue of cli­mate change, but also pro­vides hope, says Hel­muth, pointing to indi­vid­uals who cross the aisle and bridge the gap.