Researchers have long known that losing weight and maintaining the capacity to exercise tend to get harder beginning between ages 30 and 40—the start of midlife. Scientists have developed new therapies for obesity, including fat-fighting pills. However, many therapies have failed because of a lack of understanding of the biological changes that cause middle-aged people to gain weight, particularly around the abdomen.
In a lab at the National Cancer Institute, a 3-D printer about the size of a coffee maker sits atop a table, periodically whirring away as its heated nozzle extrudes plastic in precise patterns. This printer is brewing up tools for health physicists to improve their estimates of radiation dose for epidemiological studies.
Surgeon. Writer. Public-health researcher and one of the most prolific commentators on the state of medicine and health care. Atul Gawande has definite ideas on how a more systematized health-care system will go a long way toward eliminating medical errors and improving patient care. He visited NIH recently for a conversation with NIH Director Francis Collins about “Systems Science and Innovation in Health-Care Delivery.”
NIH Alum Bryon Adinoff talked recently with The NIH Catalyst about his work with understanding and treating addiction, how the field of psychiatry has evolved since he was in medical school, the opioid epidemic, and more.
Scientists usually do experiments in controlled environments, with unlimited access to electricity, air, and gravity. Then there are other scientists who do research in extreme conditions where everything is compact, suspended, and unknown. Kate Rubins, a molecular biologist turned NASA astronaut, knows how to work in controlled as well as extreme environments—from the remote regions of central Africa to the even more remote regions of outer space. On April 25, 2017, she visited NIH to talk about her experiences aboard the International Space Station.
How NIH and NASA Have Partnered in Biomedical Research
BY EMILY PETRUS, NINDS
Will humans one day travel to Mars or other planets? How will we get there, bring our supplies, and make life sustainable? And how will long-duration space flight and life on distant planets affect us physiologically and psychologically? Luckily, NASA and NIH are working jointly, through a memorandum of understanding (MOU), to use the unique environment of the International Space Station (ISS) to answer these questions as well as questions about human health in general.
Cracking the Brain’s Memory Codes; Real-Time Imaging in Mice a Promising Influenza Study Tool; Study Finds Tens of Millions of Americans Drink Alcohol in Dangerously High Amounts; Repurposing Experimental Cancer Therapy to Treat Muscular Dystrophy; Mitochondrial “Circuit Breaker” May Protect Heart from Damage; An Antidepressant May Enhance Drug Delivery to Brain; and more.
Knowing How and Where to Look for Training Opportunities
BY CRAIG MYRUM, NIA
While most fellows continue to cultivate their depth and breadth of knowledge in their area of expertise, some are so intensively focused on their research that adequate time is not given to strategically planning for life beyond the lab. Regardless of your post-fellowship plans, more time is usually warranted on addressing additional skills that are required for the next step in your career.
Francis Collins to stay on as NIH Director; Discovery Channel program on Clinical Center to air in August (film crew pictured); Congressional staffers visited NIH; new illustrated history of the National Library of Medicine.
Medical-Imaging Device Developed by NICHD Researchers Awarded U.S. Patent
BY LINDA HUYNH, NICHD
A calibration device for medical imaging developed by researchers at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development received U.S. Patent approval in March. The device, a diffusion MRI phantom, calibrates MRI scanners that perform diffusion MRI methods, such as diffusion tensor imaging, or DTI. Reliable calibration standards help ensure the quality and accuracy of these images, which can help diagnose stroke, brain disease, and cancer.
The silver Mexican Medallion Libertad coin pictured here symbolizes an agreement between the Mexico National Council on Science and Technology and the United States National Institutes of Health. The coin is one of many in a collection at the Office of NIH History.
NIH celebrated the National Week of Making, held June 16-22, in recognition of the innovation, ingenuity, and creativity of “makers”—the diverse community of independent designers and inventors who use a variety of technologies to make their own unique products.
Lectures, seminars, festivals, and other events. Pictured: Katherine Janeway (Harvard) who will present “Bringing Genomics to the Pediatric Oncology Clinic: Diagnosis, Treatment Selection, and Rational Clinical Trial Design” at the Trent Lecture on Wednesday, September 6.