Tag Archives: Harvard

Studies: Chronic Sleep Deprivation Causes Toxic Changes In Gut Health, Increased Early Mortality

From Harvard Medical School (June 4, 2020):

“We took an unbiased approach and searched throughout the body for indicators of damage from sleep deprivation. We were surprised to find it was the gut that plays a key role in causing death,” said senior study author Dragana Rogulja, assistant professor of neurobiology in the Blavatnik Institute at HMS.

Harvard Medical SchoolThe first signs of insufficient sleep are universally familiar. There’s tiredness and fatigue, difficulty concentrating, perhaps irritability or even tired giggles. Far fewer people have experienced the effects of prolonged sleep deprivation, including disorientation, paranoia, and hallucinations.

Total, prolonged sleep deprivation, however, can be fatal. While it has been reported in humans only anecdotally, a widely cited study in rats conducted by Chicago-based researchers in 1989 showed that a total lack of sleep inevitably leads to death. Yet, despite decades of study, a central question has remained unsolved: Why do animals die when they don’t sleep?

Now, Harvard Medical School (HMS) neuroscientists have identified an unexpected, causal link between sleep deprivation and premature death.

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Business: “Understanding The Economic Impact Of Covid-19” (Harvard)

 

Predicting the path ahead has become nearly impossible, but we can speculate about the size and scale of the economic shock. Economic contagion is now spreading as fast as Covid-19 itself. Social distancing, intended to physically disrupt the spread, has severed the flow of goods and people, stalled economies, and is in the process of delivering a global recession.

Predicting the path ahead has become nearly impossible, as multiple dimensions of the crisis are unprecedented and unknowable. Pressing questions include the path of the shock and recovery, whether economies will be able to return to their pre-shock output levels and growth rates, and whether there will be any structural legacy from the coronavirus crisis.

This Explainer explores several scenarios to model the size and scale of the economic shock and the path ahead.

Based on the HBR article by Philipp Carlsson-Szlezak, Martin Reeves and Paul Swartz

Elderly & Coronavirus: Nursing Homes Increase Guest Symptom, Travel And Exposure Reviews

From a Harvard Gazette online article (March 10, 2020):

Harvard Gazette Elderly Coronavirus Risk Article March 10 2020There’s a symptom review, there’s a travel review, and there’s an exposure review. And if the answer to any of those questions is yes, then you’re asked to not come in. And so far people have been compliant and have left. So that is a good thing.

If you have a cough and a fever, if you’ve got respiratory symptoms and you’re short of breath, if you’ve traveled to a place of concern or if you may have been exposed to someone who did — especially if you’re symptomatic — then I would definitely ask, “Do I really need to visit my grandma today? Can I wait and can I Skype her? Can I do FaceTime?”

I know that’s hard for some of our older adults who aren’t technologically savvy, but maybe now is the time to get them hooked up. It really would be heartbreaking if, in wanting to do something positive for someone’s emotional or mental health, you ended up infecting them.

Harvard-affiliated Hebrew SeniorLife offers a continuum of care for 3,000 elderly people daily, with a range of services including residential assisted living, short-term rehabilitation, outpatient services, and long-term care for those with chronic illness. In a Q&A interview aimed at understanding the challenges involved, Harvard Medical School Assistant Professor Helen Chen, Hebrew SeniorLife’s chief medical officer, discussed steps the facility has taken to combat the virus and the outlook going forward.

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Medicine Lectures: 2019 Nobel Laureates Sir Peter Ratcliffe And Professor William Kaelin (Oxford)

Sir Peter and Prof. Kaelin were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine last year by the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet, in recognition of their discoveries of how cells sense and adapt to oxygen availability, an essential adaptive process central to many significant diseases. The professors respectively work for the University of Oxford and Harvard University, and shared the Nobel Prize with Prof. Gregg Semenza, a fellow researcher.

Nutrition Infographic: Harvard Unveils A “Healthy Eating Plate” As Guide For Balanced Meals

Harvard Healthy Eating Plate Infographic February 2020

 

Aim for color and variety, and remember that potatoes don’t count as vegetables on the Healthy Eating Plate because of their negative impact on blood sugar.

Whole and intact grains—whole wheat, barley, wheat berries, quinoaoatsbrown rice, and foods made with them, such as whole wheat pasta—have a milder effect on blood sugar and insulin than white bread, white rice, and other refined grains.

Fish, poultry, beans, and nuts are all healthy, versatile protein sources—they can be mixed into salads, and pair well with vegetables on a plate. Limit red meat, and avoid processed meats such as bacon and sausage.

Choose healthy vegetable oils like olive, canola, soy, corn, sunflower, peanut, and others, and avoid partially hydrogenated oils, which contain unhealthy trans fats. Remember that low-fat does not mean “healthy.”

Skip sugary drinks, limit milk and dairy products to one to two servings per day, and limit juice to a small glass per day.

The red figure running across the Healthy Eating Plate’s placemat is a reminder that staying active is also important in weight control.

The main message of the Healthy Eating Plate is to focus on diet quality.

  • The type of carbohydrate in the diet is more important than the amount of carbohydrate in the diet, because some sources of carbohydrate—like vegetables (other than potatoes), fruits, whole grains, and beans—are healthier than others.
  • The Healthy Eating Plate also advises consumers to avoid sugary beverages, a major source of calories—usually with little nutritional value—in the American diet.
  • The Healthy Eating Plate encourages consumers to use healthy oils, and it does not set a maximum on the percentage of calories people should get each day from healthy sources of fat. In this way, the Healthy Eating Plate recommends the opposite of the low-fat message promoted for decades by the USDA.

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Top Exhibitions: “Painting Edo: Japanese Art from the Feinberg Collection”

Painting Edo Illustrated Overview HarvardPainting Edo — the largest exhibition ever presented at the Harvard Art Museums — offers a window onto the supremely rich visual culture of Japan’s early modern era. Selected from the unparalleled collection of Robert S. and Betsy G. Feinberg, the more than 120 works in the exhibition connect visitors with a seminal moment in the history of Japan, as the country settled into an era of peace under the warrior government of the shoguns and opened its doors to greater engagement with the outside world. The dizzying array of artistic lineages and studios active during the Edo period (1615–1868) fueled an immense expansion of Japanese pictorial culture that reverberated not only at home, but subsequently in the history of painting in the West.

By the early 18th century, the new shogunal capital of Edo (present-day Tokyo) was the largest city in the world. After centuries of conflict and unrest, the growing stability and affluence of the period encouraged an efflorescence in the arts. Artists creatively juxtaposed past and present, eternal and contingent, elegant and vulgar in a wide range of formats and styles, from brilliant polychrome compositions to monochromatic inkwork. Painting Edo explores how the period, and the city, articulated itself by showcasing paintings in all the major formats—including hanging scrolls, folding screens, sliding doors, fan paintings, and woodblock-printed books—from virtually every stylistic lineage of the era, to tell a comprehensive story of Edo painting on its own terms.

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Video Interviews: Author Joseph S. Nye, Jr. On His Book “Do Morals Matter?”

As one of the leading figures in the field of international relations, Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus, has had a major influence on the way that policymakers think American foreign policy.

In his new book, “Do Morals Matter: Presidents and Foreign Policy from FDR to Trump,” Professor Nye explores the question of how heavily moral questions weigh on the decisions of U.S. presidents since the end of World War II. On this episode of Behind The Book, produced by Library and Knowledge Services at Harvard Kennedy School, we take a look at Professor Nye’s new book and how he assesses the legacy of past presidents based on the morality of their foreign policy.

“Do Morals Matter: Presidents and Foreign Policy from FDR to Trump” is published by Oxford University Press.

Joseph S. Nye Jr., is the University Distinguished Service Professor, Emeritus and former Dean of the Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He has served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, Chair of the National Intelligence Council, and Deputy Under Secretary of State for Security Assistance, Science and Technology.

His most recent books include The Power to Lead; The Future of Power; Presidential Leadership and the Creation of the American Era; and Is the American Century Over. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the British Academy, and the American Academy of Diplomacy.

In a recent survey of international relations scholars, he was ranked as the most influential scholar on American foreign policy, and in 2011, Foreign Policy named him one of the top 100 Global Thinkers.