Science & Research

Science & Research Roundup: Oct. 16, 2013

By
Science & Research Editor
Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Sudden Cardiac Arrest

The Rhode Island Hospital received a $7.36-million grant from the National Institutes of Health last week to fund research on sudden cardiac arrest, according to an Alpert Medical School press release.

During sudden cardiac arrest the heart ceases to beat, and blood flow to the brain and organs stops. An estimated 300,000 Americans suffer sudden cardiac arrest annually — most dying within minutes, according to the release.

The hospital’s Cardiovascular Research Center, one of the largest programs of its kind, will collaborate with Brown and peer institutions to bring the newly-funded project, “A Multi-Scale Approach to Cardiac Arrythmia: from the Molecule to the Organ,” to fruition.

Researchers will focus on developing methods to measure cardiac arrest risk factors such as genetic and environmental influences. They will also seek to develop potential measures to prevent sudden cardiac arrest, according to the release.

 

Costs of War

The United States’ war in Afghanistan has cost the country $1.6 trillion, according to the Watson Institute’s Costs of War project. With October marking the war’s twelfth year, the project shared its updated estimates of the war’s economic and human costs.

The $1.6 trillion includes wartime spending as well as future estimated costs of veteran health care. The project reported that an additional $3 trillion may accumulate through 2053 as the nation pays interest on the loans it took out to finance the war.

The project also focused on lives lost, estimating that 330,000 people have been killed directly in the wars against Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan since 2001. The wars have collectively displaced 7.4 million people, a cohort equivalent to the combined populations of Oregon and Connecticut, according to the project’s release.

 

Rally for Research

Four Brown-affiliated faculty members and students rallied Congress last month to raise awareness about the need for nationally-funded medical research.

The team’s efforts were part of a larger initiative led by the Association of American Medical Colleges. The coordinated intercollegiate effort to rally Capitol Hill intended to draw attention to medical research as a national funding priority, according to a University press release.

Medical research should be a funding priority for public officials because it benefits “the entirety of America and the world,” Arkady Rasin MD said in the press release, adding that research satiates our “constant need for discovery and advancement.”

The University’s team used examples from its own lab work to personalize the pitch it gave to Rhode Island Congress members. Rasin said in the release that the legislators were generally “very receptive” to the team’s message.

 

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