Politics: Brooks & Dionne On Infrastructure Deal, Delta Variant Threat

New York Times columnist David Brooks and E.J. Dionne from The Washington Post join Judy Woodruff to discuss the bipartisan infrastructure deal, new information about the delta variant’s threat, and the Capitol Police testimony during the Jan. 6 hearings.

Views: ‘Bellissimo’ – Italy Magazine Summer 2021

We share more than 100 pages of insider info so you can plan your next visit (or simply indulge in some armchair travel) from sights to see and dishes to try to little-known gems to seek out and discover. 

Learn about the region’s premium epicurean delights, including Parmigiano Reggiano, Prosciutto di Parma, balsamic vinegar, and Lambrusco wine. Explore the top automobile museums marking the birthplaces of iconic brands like Ferrari and Maserati. Head to the hills along hiking trails through the rolling countryside past medieval villages and quiet vineyards. Bask in the resurging art scene in the resort town of Rimini, birthplace of Fellini.

Bellissimo comes out four times a year, so be sure to check out former issues for a deep dive into other captivating regions we’ve explored over time. 

Art: Vasudeo S. Gaitonde’s “Painting 4” – The Abstract Artist ‘Haven From Chaos’

Cara Manes, Associate Curator in the Department of Painting and Sculpture, discovers a haven from the chaos of the everyday amid the “silence” and imperfection of Vasudeo S. Gaitonde’s “Painting, 4.”

Vasudeo S. Gaitonde was regarded as one of India’s foremost abstract painters. He received the Padma Shri Award in 1971.

Medicine: Understanding ‘Long Covid’ Syndrome

Depression: How Ketamine Can Help (Yale Medicine)

Depression is one of the most common and most debilitating mental health disorders, affecting some 17 million adults in the US. It also continues to be a misunderstood, often hard-to-treat illness. Researchers have worked for decades to better understand the neurobiology underpinning depression.

For patients with severe, treatment-resistant depression, spending months or even years searching for good treatments can be totally disabling. The prevailing hypothesis for years was that depression was regulated by the neurotransmitter’s serotonin and norepinephrine.

Eventually, data began to suggest that maybe something much larger and more global was involved in the brain to account for depression, which led researchers to begin working with glutamate and GABA, the most abundant neurotransmitters in the brain. These chemicals are involved in neuroplasticity – the brain’s ability to adapt to change and protect itself against stressful events.

Neuroplasticity is a physical thing, too: it manifests itself “in terms of synapses, how these neurons are actually touching each other and communicating with each other,” explains Gerard Sanacora, PhD, MD, Director of the Yale Depression Research Program. “And we know that in depression, the number and strength of these interconnections decreases,” says Rachel Katz, MD, a professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Yale.

Ketamine – originally developed and still used as an anesthetic – works on those two neurotransmitters and was discovered to have rapid antidepressant effects. Some experience an improvement in symptoms in 24 hours or less. “We think that one of the things that Ketamine does, that helps to explain its antidepressant effects, is help the brain to regrow the synapses, the connections between nerve cells,” says John Krystal, MD, Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at Yale.

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Wilderness: Emerald Lake, Yoho National Park In British Columbia, Canada

Emerald Lake is located in Yoho National Park, British Columbia, Canada. It is the largest of Yoho’s 61 lakes and ponds, as well as one of the park’s premier tourist attractions. Emerald Lake Lodge, a high-end lodge perched on the edge of the lake, provides local accommodation. 

Walking Tours: Pilsen – Czech Republic (4K)

Pilsen is a city in the western Czech Republic. It’s known for the Pilsner Urquell Brewery, specializing in bottom-fermented beer since 1842, with brewing cellars and a bottling plant. Ringed by parks, the old center has the 19th-century Great Synagogue, which also hosts concerts. The Cathedral of St. Bartholomew, completed in the 16th century, has Renaissance paintings and a tall spire with a viewing gallery.