Cause, scope determined for deadly winter debris flow in Uttarakhand, India

The Uttarakhand region of India experienced a humanitarian tragedy on Feb. 7, 2021, when a wall of debris and water barreled down the Ronti Gad, Rishiganga and Dhauliganga river valleys. This debris flow destroyed two hydropower facilities and left more than 200 people dead or missing. A self-organized coalition of 53 scientists, including researchers from the University of Washington, came together in the days following the disaster to investigate the cause, scope and impacts.

MAPPING COVID RISK IN URBAN AREAS: A WAY TO KEEP THE ECONOMY OPEN

As COVID-19 vaccines slowly roll out across the world, government officials in densely populated countries must still manage vulnerable communities at highest risk of an outbreak. In a new study published in the journal Risk Analysis, researchers in India propose a COVID Risk Assessment and Mapping (CRAM) framework that results in a zoned map that officials can use to place more targeted restrictions on high-risk communities. Successfully used by officials in Jaipur at the peak of the pandemic last spring, their framework could help other vulnerable countries avoid a shutdown of their regional economies.

Nuclear War Could Trigger Big El Niño and Decrease Seafood

A nuclear war could trigger an unprecedented El Niño-like warming episode in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, slashing algal populations by 40 percent and likely lowering the fish catch, according to a Rutgers-led study. The research, published in the journal Communications Earth & Environment, shows that turning to the oceans for food if land-based farming fails after a nuclear war is unlikely to be a successful strategy – at least in the equatorial Pacific.

Marine Fisheries Will Not Offset Farm Losses after Nuclear War

After a nuclear war, wild-catch marine fisheries will not offset the loss of food grown on land, especially if widespread overfishing continues, according to a Rutgers co-authored study. But effective pre-war fisheries management would greatly boost the oceans’ potential contribution of protein and nutrients during a global food emergency, according to the study in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study for the first time explored the effects of nuclear war on wild-catch marine fisheries.

Most Nations Failing to Protect Nature in COVID-19 Pandemic Recovery Plans

The COVID-19 pandemic provides an opportunity to reset the global economy and reverse decades of ecosystem and species losses, but most countries are failing to invest in nature-related economic reforms or investments, according to a Rutgers-led paper.

Affirmative Action Incentivizes High Schoolers to Perform Better, New Research Shows

Affirmative action is a contentious issue across the globe, hotly debated in countries such as India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Nigeria and Brazil, as well as in the United States. While the direct effects of affirmative action on college admissions are well known, new evidence from India shows that affirmative action has indirect benefits on the behavior of underrepresented high school students, who tend to stay in school longer when they know higher education is within reach.

Research News Tip Sheet: Story Ideas from Johns Hopkins Medicine

Within a month following a heart attack, people are at increased risk for a second one. As a result, physicians treat these patients with medications to rapidly reduce cardiovascular risk factors for another event. Although statins are designed to reduce the risk from one underlying problem, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol, they often aren’t able drop it to recommended levels within 30 days. Now, testing a next-generation cholesterol-lowering drug known as a PCSK9 inhibitor, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers showed they could lower blood cholesterol to safer levels faster when it is added to traditional therapies.

Geoengineering’s Benefits Limited for Apple Crops in India

Geoengineering – spraying sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere to combat global warming – would only temporarily and partially benefit apple production in northern India, according to a Rutgers co-authored study. But abruptly ending geoengineering might lead to total crop failure faster than if geoengineering were not done, according to the study – believed to be the first of its kind – in the journal Climatic Change.

Can community-based interventions help to close the epilepsy treatment gap?

More than 50 million people have epilepsy; about 80% live in lower- or middle-income countries, where diagnosis and treatment can be difficult or impossible. The percentage of people with epilepsy that is not receiving treatment is known as the treatment gap; in some countries, this gap exceeds 90%.

Rutgers Expert Can Discuss Ethnic or Exotic Crops in N.J., Mid-Atlantic

New Brunswick, N.J. (June 9, 2020) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick ethnic crop research specialist Albert Ayeni is available for interviews on growing non-native crops in New Jersey and the mid-Atlantic, including exotic peppers, okra, roselle (sorrel), tropical spinach (amaranths) and…

Reducing the risk to children’s health in flood-prone areas of India

Monsoon rainfall has become more unpredictable in India. Floods and droughts have become more common and pose multiple risks to human health and wellbeing, with children under five being particularly vulnerable. New research finds that more assistance needs to be provided to communities in flood-prone areas to protect children under five from undernutrition.

Global Cooling After Nuclear War Would Harm Ocean Life

A nuclear war that cooled Earth could worsen the impact of ocean acidification on corals, clams, oysters and other marine life with shells or skeletons, according to the first study of its kind.

New Heart Attack Registry to Provide Unprecedented Insight into STEMI Occurrence, Treatment in North India

A new study published in Clinical Cardiology introduces the North Indian (NORIN) ST‐Segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) Registry and provides preliminary data collected since its start in January of this year. The prospective cohort study’s first author, Sameer Arora, MD, UNC School of Medicine cardiology fellow and preventive medicine resident

Prolonged unrest likely to spring from India’s decision to revoke Kashmir’s special status

Kashmir has been a region disputed by India and Pakistan for over 70 years; India administers bout two-thirds of the state and Pakistan much of the remainder (with a small portion occupied by China). On Aug. 5, the Indian government…

American Physiological Society (APS)

Common Clinical Estimates of Kidney Function May Not Accurately Assess Indian Patients

Pilot study finds that considering body composition rather than weight could improve patient management Charlottesville, Va. (June 25, 2019)—A common metric for monitoring kidney health may not accurately represent the kidney function of Indian patients. However, tweaks to an older…