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China seeing a rise in eating disorders

Los Angeles Times

Changes in what is considered an ideal body type, “some of which are coming from the West, are influencing where China is now,” said Kathleen Pike, executive director of the Global Mental Health Program at Columbia University. “But China has its own set of dynamics occurring that results in increasing risk.”

Many with depression have something else in common

CBS News

Senior study author Dr. Mark Olfson, a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center, told CBS News, “I think there are many reasons people who are depressed don’t receive treatment. Some adults who experience depressive symptoms don’t believe that they are significant and that they don’t need medical attention, or that they can in any way be helped.”

How Poverty Affects the Brain


The scientists behind these brain studies agree their work tends to be oversimplified in mass media articles and even research abstracts. “For example, they imply causality when we really only have correlational evidence at this point,” says Columbia University neuroscientist Kimberly Noble, who led theNature Neuroscience study. “Portraying the findings this way often misrepresents the science. The brain is not destiny. I can’t predict with any accuracy what a particular child’s brain size will be based on their family income.”

Can You Blame Your Birth Control for Your Insomnia?

New York Magazine

Biology rehash: The start of your period is considered day one of your cycle. Another egg will be released about halfway through your cycle, at which point the hormone progesterone spikes up and will stay elevated until a few days before your next period, says Ari Shechter, PhD, assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University Medical Center. This is known as the luteal or premenstrual phase, during which women’s temperatures are about one-half to one degree higher than during the rest of the month, even at night.

Why One Neuroscientist Started Blasting His Core

The Atlantic

Randy Bruno, an  associate professor of neuroscience at Columbia University, further explained that “the way people usually think about the cortex, it’s very hierarchical.” That is, perceptions come in from the world and get sent from one part of the brain to the next, to the next, to the next. They go all the way up the chain of command to the frontal cortex. That sends some signals down to create motor actions.

Why it’s bad to skip prescribed drugs after a heart attack


Still, the findings confirm the importance of sticking with prescribed drug regimens, said Dr. Ian Kronish, a researcher at Columbia University Medical Center in New York who wasn’t involved in the study. “Missing a pill even twice per week is enough to place someone in the non-adherent category associated with increased risk,” Kronish said by email.

No Rise Seen in Hysterectomy Complications After Morcellator Use Declines

Wall Street Journal

The use of power morcellators dramatically declined after federal warnings that the device could spread cancer, but the drop hasn’t caused an uptick in the rate of hysterectomy complications as some critics feared, according to research released Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

A Suicidologist’s New Challenge: The George Washington Bridge

New York Times

Dr. Gould, a professor of epidemiology in Columbia University’s psychiatry department, has a tidy office in Washington Heights that is lined with books, family photos, multicolored Post-it notes and her grandson’s preschool masterpieces. The view is enviable, out across the George Washington Bridge and the shale cliffs on the far side of the Hudson River. But when Dr. Gould looks at the bridge, she sees something deeply troubling.

The Race for a Zika Vaccine

The New Yorker

Siddhartha Mukherjee has published three books, including “The Emperor of All Maladies,” for which he won a Pulitzer Prize, and, most recently, “The Gene: An Intimate History.”

Brainy high school students present research from their summer at MBBI

NY Daily News

City high school students who spent their summers working with the world’s leading neuroscientists at Columbia University’s Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute presented their research findings at a Friday science fair in Washington Heights. The event, held in a Columbia research lab, allowed a dozen teen geniuses to show off and give brainy lectures on their projects in science, technology, engineering, and math — better known as STEM.

Miami Receives First Travel Advisory for Zika Issued in the U.S.

For the first time in history, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised people not to travel to an area within the United States because of the Zika virus. Ian Lipkin, director of the Columbia Mailman School Center for Infection and Immunity, discusses the growing number of Zika virus cases in the Miami neighborhood of Wynwood.

Roy and Diana Vagelos Education Center review – a theatrical medical school

The Guardian

“Traditionally, teaching was you learn anatomy and you learn some of the basics and then you go right into the clinical ward,” says Arnold Advincula, director of the Simulation Center. “It’s the see one, do one, teach one philosophy. Now we’ve progressed to simulate, simulate, simulate, practice, practice, practice and then go execute in the clinical arena.”

Columbia University Roy and Diana Vagelos Education Center

Architect Magazine

New York architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R), working in collaboration with Gensler, changed all that with the new Vagelos Education Center in Washington Heights, at the north end of Columbia’s medical campus. Their strategy was simple: separating out all the public spaces and functions in the program from the truly clinical spaces, and collecting and stacking them into what is effectively a vertical campus, and one with buzz.

Non-celiac ‘wheat sensitivity’ is an immune disorder, too


People with wheat sensitivity have been a very difficult group to identify, because they’re mostly all self-diagnosed, said study author Dr. Peter Green, who directs the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University in New York City. While celiac disease can be confirmed through blood tests and biopsies, the same wasn’t true for wheat sensitivity, Green told Reuters Health. “We had no biomarkers or anything to say they had a disease process going on other than reporting they don’t do well when they eat wheat,” he said.

U.S. mental health institute puts champion of basic science at the helm


Up to now, Joshua Gordon has split his career between working with patients with mental illness and mice designed to mimic that illness. But this fall, the neuroscientist and psychiatrist will take control of the $1.5 billion U.S. National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in Bethesda, Maryland, the agency announced yesterday. Gordon, who treats patients at the New York State Psychiatric Institute in New York City, is best known for developing mouse models that mirror aspects of anxiety and schizophrenia. His lab at Columbia University Medical Center has recreated cognitive deficits seen in schizophrenia by blocking the activity of neurons in mouse brains, for example, and has developed a mouse model of the genetic disorder 22q11.2 deletion syndrome, which predisposes humans to psychosis.

Diller, Scofidio + Renfro Unveils New Columbia University Medical Building

Architectural Digest

If there’s one thing that’s certain about the opportunity to build the crux of Columbia University’s Washington Heights–based medical campus, it’s that it’s a chance to help redefine medical education at the highest level. When it received the commission in 2010, celebrated architecture firm Diller, Scofidio + Renfro, in collaboration with Gensler, set out to do exactly that, using student and faculty behavior to determine the building’s ultimate form. The Roy and Diana Vagelos Education center, which will house medical education programs for the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, is a 14-floor glass tower with sweeping views of the nearby Hudson River. Its glass walls serve as a transparent shell that symbolically connects the center with its surrounding community.

Inside Columbia University’s Cascading New Medical Building

Curbed New York

In just over two weeks Columbia University Medical Center’s new Medical and Graduate Education building, now known as the Roy and Diana Vagelos Education Center will welcome its first batch of students to the uniquely designed space on Haven Avenue in Washington Heights between West 171st and West 172nd Streets. On Wednesday afternoon, Curbed got a sneak peak at the as yet-to-open space as part of a press preview organized by the University.

Why we still don’t know all of the ways you can contract Zika


What about the man who contracted Zika in Utah? It’s possible that Zika can pass through other bodily fluids, though much less frequently. “I would guess the caregiver got infected via virus-containing saliva or urine,” said Vincent Racaniello, a virologist at Columbia University. “We know the virus can be in these fluids and it’s not hard to imagine getting contaminated with them while caring for a sick person.”

Heat Alters New York City Triathlon and Zaps Power for Thousands

Wall Street Journal

There was no shortage of water for participants of the city race, which started on the West Side of Manhattan and included a 1,500-meter swim and a 40-kilometer cycling course. Runners said they were often splashed by spectators holding jugs of water and hoses. “It feels amazing,” said Wolfgang Pernice, 28 years old, a researcher at Columbia University. Mr. Pernice, who has muscular dystrophy and ran the race to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, said he needed to walk at the end of the race as the temperature rose.

Uncle Sam Wants You — Or at Least Your Genetic and Lifestyle Information

New York Times

People can sign up through academic medical centers at Columbia University, Northwestern University in Illinois, the University of Arizona and the University of Pittsburgh, each of which is working with local partners. Columbia, for example, is collaborating with NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, Harlem Hospital and Weill Cornell Medicine.

Documentary: Blind Grandmother Gets Back Sight Stolen By Cataracts


In low- and middle-income countries, millions of people don’t have easy access to the surgery, says Dr. Norman Kleiman, a researcher at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health who studies cataracts. Maybe they live in remote parts where there’s no eye surgeon available – the whole country of Bangladesh has only 500 ophthalmologists for its 160 million-plus citizens, he notes. Or maybe they can’t afford the cost of the procedure.

Vaginal bacteria species can raise HIV infection risk and undermine prevention


Until now, however, no one had clearly linked specific vaginal microbiomes to an increased risk of HIV infection. “Now we have actual data,” says CAPRISA’s director, epidemiologist Salim Abdool Karim. The data come from a massive effort to identify bacterial species on vaginal swabs from the women in the CAPRISA tenofovir gel study. Ian Lipkin’s lab at Columbia University, which specializes in finding rare pathogens, extracted some 25,000 sequences of bacterial ribosomal RNA from each swab and used the genomic data to identify a total of 1368 species.

More evidence poor sleep habits may raise diabetes risk


The results for women contradict results from numerous previous studies, noted Dr. James Gangwisch, a researcher at Columbia University in New York who wasn’t involved in the study. One shortcoming of the study is that it didn’t examine what people ate, Gangwisch said by email. “Getting adequate sleep can help with insulin sensitivity and appetite,” Gangwisch said. “Getting enough sleep can also help provide the energy necessary to exercise regularly.”

‘Ending AIDS’ in New York means finding the most vulnerable

PBS NewsHour

Nearly one in 10 Americans living with HIV live in New York, where an ambitious plan aims to cut new infections and HIV-related deaths. But it has serious challenges, including keeping people on their meds, and stopping the spread among IV drug users. William Brangham reports with support from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting in the third installment of our “The End of AIDS?” series.

Mainlining Vitamins Is Silly and Harmful

The Atlantic

“It’s not a free ride. We see lots of infections, but people have been kept alive for decades that way,” says Dr. David Seres, director of medical nutrition at Columbia University Medical Center’s Institute of Human Nutrition. …“I don’t think there’s a single vitamin that doesn’t have some toxicity associated with too much,” says Seres. “Just because something is a nutrient—a vitamin or an antioxidant—doesn’t mean that more is better.”

Huge study of diabetes risk shows many common genes at play


Critics, including geneticist Dr. David Goldstein at Columbia University, argued that such studies were a waste of resources because they only found common variants that explained just a small fraction of the risk for disease. He said the really important drivers of common diseases such as diabetes and schizophrenia were more likely to be found in extremely rare genes, those occurring in individuals or in families, not those shared by large populations of people.

The Sound of Your Voice May Diagnose Disease


“I don’t think that right now we have the technology to figure out who a person is, just based on their voice alone,” said Cheryl Corcoran, a schizophrenia researcher at Columbia University who has collaborated with IBM Watson. “But that’s technology that may very well exist in the future.”

New study shows chronic fatigue isn’t just in your head.

Washington Post

But ME is finally emerging from the basement. Brand-name institutions and big-time researchers now recognize the huge burden ME places on society: tens of billions in medical expenses, lost productivity and missing tax revenue each year. Columbia University’s Ian Lipkin is searching for infectious triggers, and has reported severe immune problems in patients. Columbia received $150 million in NIH grants in 2015; Lipkin’s operation gets a big chunk of that not for ME/CFS research but for finding viruses such as those that cause SARS and MERS. But when the famous virus hunter applied for a trifling $1 million for ME research, the NIH turned him down, twice. So spurned, Lipkin and colleague Mady Hornig recently resorted to eating habanero peppers to raise money as part of a social media ME Chili Challenge inspired by the hugely successful ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

Harnessing The Gut-Brain Axis


Kallyope was founded by 3 renowned scientists at Columbia University: Charles Zuker, Tom Maniatis, and Richard Axel, who are all very well-known for their work in neuroscience and molecular biology. They had a vision of how one could apply a deep understanding of neuroscience and neural circuits, together with recent advances in technologies, for the study for the study of the gut, our second brain.

US Medical Schools Expand Training to Curb Painkiller Abuse

Associated Press

Dozens of schools, including Brown and Columbia universities, have received federal grants to teach a standard interviewing method that helps screen patients for drug abuse. “Students are expected to be able to identify and address that as well as they would someone’s diabetes or hypertension ,” said Dr. Frances Levin, a professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia’s medical center.

Leaving the Pediatrician? Not at 26

New York Times

“Many pediatricians are uncomfortable with talking about birth control, condom use,” said Dr. Karen Soren, director of adolescent health care at the NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital. “This is part of why adolescent medicine came into being.”

The Zika Olympics

The Atlantic

It’s just a very uncertain situation, and uncertainty is pretty much Zika’s calling card. “Most of what we thought we knew turned out to be mistaken,” says Stephen Morse, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University, referring to Zika’s neurological surprises and the fact that it can be transmitted sexually, neither of which were known before this outbreak. “The great uncertainty that we all feel about this is really underlying a lot of this decision—the arguments about moving or [postponing] the Olympics are largely based on the perception of risk.”

Air pollution tied to high blood pressure risk


“Without a clear mechanism we cannot conclude that pollution ‘causes’ hypertension,” said Dr. Gaetano Santulli of Columbia University Medical Center in New York, who was not part of the new study. “However, we should recall (going back to 1954) that epidemiological evaluations provided strong statistical support in linking cigarette smoking and cancer.”

Coloring Is Basically Like Meditation


“The demand for coloring books is tapping into a desire for people to find simple, inexpensive ways to de-stress and engage in activities that are ‘mindful’ and ‘playful,’” Dr. Jane Bogart, Director of Student Wellness at Columbia University Medical Center, tells Teen Vogue. At Columbia, one of the initiatives she leads includes “Crafternoons” – an opportunity for graduate students and faculty to do art projects, including coloring, as a way to relax from the demands of working in the health sciences.

Scientists still track health fallout of nuclear bombing of Japan

PBS NewsHour

More than 70 years have passed since the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the long-term health effects of nuclear radiation are still not fully known. But American and Japanese scientists have been studying survivors since the end of the war, and are uncovering valuable information about how to fight and prevent the bombs’ atomic consequences. Science correspondent Miles O’Brien reports.

Antidepressants aren’t just for depression anymore, study finds

Los Angeles Times

Columbia University psychiatrist Mark Olfson, one of the authors of that 2011 study, said the new data appear to reflect some progress and is somewhat reassuring. The prescribing decisions reflected in the new study frequently reflected good practices backed up by solid research, he said. As an example, Olfson said, the use of trazedone — an antidepressant that is sedating — is increasingly seen as a safer medication for insomnia than benzodiazepines, which can cause dependency and other unwanted side effects.

Babies Behind Bars: Should Moms Do Time With Their Newborns?

Associated Press

Columbia University researcher Mary Byrne, who spent years studying mothers and children who started life in Bedford Hills, said that the youngsters formed critical attachments to their mothers and that a second study after they were released found they were no different from children raised entirely on the outside. “Many people would assume any exposure to prison would cause problems … they’ll be exposed to violence and horrible people, it will scar them,” she said. “But that’s not what we found.”