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Al Jazeera America: Opinion: Oregon massacre coverage stigmatizes mental illness
Citing major news headlines following the mass killing at Umpqua Community College, Mary Turck writes that this coverage gives both the wrong explanation and a too-quick conclusion about the tragedy that contributes to the stigmatization of people with mental illness. Research by Jonathan Metzl, Frederick B. Rentschler II Professor of Sociology and Medicine, Health and Society, and Ken MacLeish, assistant professor of medicine, health and society, is cited.

The Atlantic: When a genetic ID card is the difference between life and death
Conditions called Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) and SJS/TEN are diseases that occur when people take drugs that are meant to improve their health and their bodies revolt in catastrophic fashion, triggered by certain drugs, and only in people with specific genetic variants in a cluster of immunity genes. Over the past decade, scientists have identified many of these ruinous drug-gene combinations. These conditions, which should be almost entirely preventable, show how the promise of genomic medicine, even in simple cases, can be stymied by mundane obstacles. Elizabeth Phillips, John A. Oates Professor of Clinical Research, is quoted.

Washington Monthly: Blog: Tennessee pre-K: A lesson on why the early grades matter too
Research released last week on Tennessee’s Voluntary Prekindergarten Program (TN-VPK) by Mark Lipsey, director of the Peabody Research Institute, and Dale Farran, Antonio M. and Anita S. Gotto Professor of Teaching and Learning, is the subject of this blog by Abbie Lieberman, who says TN-VPK participants might not see the benefits of pre-K attendance in third grade, but there’s a strong chance they will still benefit down the road. The research was also discussed in Politico (subscription required).

NPR: Overtesting of employees can be a side effect of workplace wellness
Across the country, half of large employers offering health benefits have wellness programs that ask workers to submit to medical tests, often dubbed “biometrics,” that can involve a trip to a doctor’s office, lab or workplace health fair. While aimed at uncovering potential health risks early to head off serious and costly problems, will the screening exams actually improve health, or merely add to a culture of overtesting that is helping drive up the cost of health care? Wayne Riley, adjunct professor of health care management, is quoted. A related story ran in VUToday yesterday with the incorrect link: USA Today: Benefits of workplace wellness programs questioned.

Phys.Org: World’s largest atom smashers produce world’s smallest droplets
How small can a droplet shrink and remain a liquid? This existential question has been raised by a series of experiments conducted recently at two of the most powerful particle colliders in the world — the Large Hadron Collider and the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider. The flow characteristic of the droplets made by these particle colliders is a major topic at the international scientific conference, Quark Matter 2015, taking place this week in Kobe, Japan. Julia Velkovska, professor of physics, and post-doctoral fellow Shenguan Tuo are quoted.

Education Week: Blog: Response: ‘It’s time to change the conversation about grit’
“Grit” is an education buzz word at the moment, and this series features many guest contributors commenting on what they think it means. Yesterday’s post features responses from Ebony O. McGee, assistant professor of education, diversity and urban schooling, among others. In addition, there is a link to a 10-minute conversation with McGee and others on Larry Ferlazzo’s BAM! Radio Show.

LiveScience: 10 interesting facts about caffeine
Many of us depend on regular doses of 1,3,7 trimethylxanthine, the chemical name for a bitter white powder known as caffeine, to help wake us up, keep us alert and get us through the daily grind. However it’s brewed, caffeine is a mild stimulant to the central nervous system that has become a regular fixture in everyday life. Peter Martin, professor of psychiatry and pharmacology and director of the Institute for Coffee Studies, is quoted.

Voice of America: Study: Flu shots keep people out of hospital
The top U.S. public health official on Monday called influenza “the largest single risk the world faces.” According to a Centers for Disease Control-sponsored study on flu and pneumonia by researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, of more than 2,000 pneumonia patients who visited U.S. hospitals over three flu seasons, those who received vaccination were 57 percent less likely to be admitted with flu-pneumonia than those patients who were not vaccinated.

The National (United Arab Emirates): Nobel Peace laureate blasts global banking system at Islamic Economy Summit
The Nobel Peace laureate and Vanderbilt alumnus Muhammad Yunus brought a host of criticisms of conventional banking to Dubai this week as he called for a “new financial system” that prioritizes the needs of the world’s poor. He told an audience of Islamic bankers that a global financial system that served the rich “was one reason why the whole planet remains entirely unsustainable.” He addressed the opening session of the Global Islamic Economy Summit in Dubai with a similar message yesterday morning.

The Tennessean: Hundreds of student ‘hackers’ compete at Vanderbilt
College students from across the region spent their weekend at Vanderbilt University trying to create cutting-edge video games, mobile apps and gadgets during a 72-hour marathon competition called VandyHacks that left many of them bleary eyed. Junior Sam Pepose, who created the event, is quoted.

The Tennessean: Bobby Braddock writes about life on Music Row
Bobby Braddock: A Life on Nashville’s Music Row (out Oct. 6, published by Vanderbilt University Press and Country Music Foundation Press) is the songwriter’s second book, and it looks at the world of country music from Braddock’s insightful, self-deprecating and frequently hilarious perspective.

Chattanooga Times Free Press: Number of psychiatrists shrinks despite growing need for services
The number of psychiatrists in Chattanooga and across the U.S. is shrinking, forcing many to cut back on extensive client counseling and rely more and more on drugs, often administered by nonpsychiatrists, experts say. And that is worrying some in the field. Nathaniel Clark, associate professor of clinical psychiatry and medical director at Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital, is quoted.


  • Associated Press: More police refusing to name shooters for fear of copycats
  • New York Times: Opinion: Does pre-K make any difference?
  • Christian Science Monitor: Hillary on SNL: Why do we want our politicians to seem funny? (+video)
  • NPR: What’s luck got to do with health care? A heck of a lot
  • The Conversation: Could Iran continue its nuclear program in Syria?
  • without even asking a judge
  • Washington Post: Touched by addiction, thousands pack the Mall to say enough is enough
  • Brightsurf: Babies with drug withdrawal syndrome more likely to be readmitted
  • The Tennessean: Nashville can’t put down Southern Festival of Books
  • Nashville Scene: Water, water, everywhere: Vandy builds a swimming pool for Metamorphoses production
  • Knoxville News Sentinel: More R&D 100 Awards in the offing for ORNL
  • Knoxville News Sentinel: DIDD provides new training to care for patients

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