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.”
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.
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.