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Bright Ideas

Training Program Assesses Returning Soldiers’ Mental Health Needs

Mar. 22, 2012—With the official end of the U.S. war in Iraq and the return home of thousands of service members, Vanderbilt researchers are working with the Department of Defense to ensure mental health concerns associated with deployments are not overlooked. Faculty and staff of Vanderbilt School of Medicine are conducting workshops for military health care providers—funded...

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Study Confirms Safety of Vaccines

Mar. 22, 2012—A report released by the Institute of Medicine last September confirms the safety of eight vaccines studied by a committee of experts convened in 2009 to review epidemiological, clinical and biological evidence regarding adverse health events. The committee—chaired by Vanderbilt’s Dr. Ellen Wright Clayton, the Craig–Weaver Chair in Pediatrics, professor of law, and director of...

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Pocketbook Politics and Short Memories

Mar. 22, 2012—One factor will go a long way toward determining whether President Obama—or any incumbent president—is re-elected, claims a Vanderbilt political scientist. Here it is: If the real disposable incomes of voters are growing—even modestly—in the six months before Election Day, Obama is likely to win. If they aren’t, he is likely to lose. So says...

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High-Stakes Risk Assessment Saves Lives and Money

Mar. 8, 2012—When you take a plane trip, drive across a bridge, or ride the commuter train to work, you trust that those structures and systems are safe. Likewise, pilots flying combat missions depend on their planes, and astronauts hurtling into space depend on the rockets propelling them. Sankaran Mahadevan, the John R. Murray Sr. Chair in...

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Results Instead of Revenge

Mar. 8, 2012—The struggle against juvenile crime may come down to one simple question: Do we want revenge, or do we want results? If we want results, says Christopher Slobogin, the Milton Underwood Professor of Law at Vanderbilt, we should reform the system dramatically to stress community-based treatment over incarceration. “The bottom line is, the research shows...

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Bacterial Hitchhikers: Who’s Really in the Driver’s Seat?

Sep. 2, 2011—Like all species of animals and plants, we humans are unwitting hosts to our own set of bacterial travelers. We carry thousands of different species of microbes, which scientists refer to as “the human microbiome.” In fact, only one among every 10 cells in our bodies is human while the other nine are bacterial. Known...

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Vanderbilt Partners with Chinese Government to Reduce HIV

Sep. 2, 2011—Vanderbilt researchers are partnering with the Chinese government and a large volunteer organization to test combination methods for reducing the spread of HIV—the AIDS virus—among gay men in China. Thirty years into the global HIV pandemic, it is apparent that no single strategy will stop the spread of the virus. However, a growing number of...

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What Fourth-Down Decisions Reveal About Deadlines and Risk

Sep. 2, 2011—Try asking any Monday morning quarterback about blown fourth-down play calls in the NFL and you are guaranteed passionate opinions. In most fourth-down plays, an NFL team will punt or try for a field goal. But occasionally, teams decide to do something that is viewed as risky: attempt a fourth-down conversion or “go for it.”...

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The Buzz on Brood XIX

Sep. 2, 2011—And on the subject of bugs—Nashville’s largest brood of cicadas emerged in May and hung around for five or six weeks, blanketing the campus like thousands of tiny helicopters. Besides their practice of appearing on 13- to 17-year cycles, cicadas are best known for the buzzing and clicking sounds they make, which can be amplified...

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New Insect Repellent Thousands of Times Stronger Than DEET

Sep. 2, 2011—Imagine an insect repellent that not only is thousands of times more effective than DEET—the active ingredient in most commercial mosquito repellents—but also works against all types of insects, including flies, moths and ants. That possibility has been created by the discovery of a new class of insect repellent made in the laboratory of Vanderbilt...

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Kids Who Feel Neglected by Dad Are More Likely to Bully

Apr. 15, 2011—Do your children think you work too much and don’t spend enough time with them? If so, their perception could lead to bullying behavior, according to research by sociologist Andre Christie-Mizell. “Our behavior is driven by our perception of our world, so if children feel they are not getting enough time and attention from parents,...

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Birth Light Cycle Dramatically Affects Biological Clocks

Apr. 15, 2011—The season in which babies are born can have a dramatic and persistent effect on how their biological clocks function. That is the conclusion of a study offering the first evidence for seasonal imprinting of biological clocks in mammals. The research was conducted by Professor of Biological Sciences Douglas McMahon, graduate student Chris Ciarleglio, PhD’09,...

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