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Ancient Volcanoes Once Boosted Ocean Carbon, But Humans Are Now Far Outpacing Them

Ancient Volcanoes Once Boosted Ocean Carbon, But Humans Are Now Far Outpacing Them

, ,A new study of an ancient period that is considered the closest natural analog to the era of modern human carbon emissions has found that massive volcanism sent great waves of carbon into the oceans over thousands of years—but that nature did not come close to matching what humans are doing today. The study estimates that humans are now introducing the element three to eight times faster, or possibly even more. The consequences for life both in the water and on land are potentially catastrophic. The findings appear this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of...

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Kevin Krajick
Sep 14
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Lockdown Led to 70% Drop in NYC COVID Spread, Masks Also Effective | Columbia Public Health

Lockdown Led to 70% Drop in NYC COVID Spread, Masks Also Effective | Columbia Public Health

Visit our for information on the 2020-21 academic year, health advisories, campus services, and more.,Reducing contact rates—mainly via school closures and voluntary or mandated stay-at-home measures—contributed to around a 70 percent reduction in the transmission of COVID-19 in New York City during the spring pandemic wave from March to the June reopening. Widespread use of face coverings contributed an additional 7 percent reduction, and up to 20 percent reduction among those aged 65 and older during the first month face covering was mandated in public places.The study by scientists at...

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Sep 15
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Not Even Wrong

Not Even Wrong

The research that gets done in any field of science is heavily influenced by the priorities set by those who fund the research. For science in the US in general, and the field of theoretical physics in particular, recent years have seen a reordering of priorities that is becoming ever more pronounced. As a prominent example, recently that their graduate student fellowships (a program that funds a large number of graduate students in all areas of science and mathematics) will now be governed by the following language:Although NSF will continue to fund outstanding Graduate Research...

columbia.edu
Aug 29
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Why Do We Need a Climate School?

Why Do We Need a Climate School?

,Photo: Columbia UniversitySeventy years ago, if studying at Columbia, you might have learned about Magna Carta and its importance in shaping the United States of America. You might also have learned about the then-developing field of nuclear fission. Today you might learn about Magna Carta still, possibly with a clearer understanding of its influence, but the field of machine learning would be the exciting new area instead of nuclear fission. Seventy years ago, a new research center established 10 miles north of the George Washington Bridge was developing innovative research on the Earth’s...

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earthinstitute
Jul 13
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Ancient Part of Immune System May Underpin Severe COVID

Ancient Part of Immune System May Underpin Severe COVID

One of the immune system’s oldest branches, called complement, may be influencing the severity of COVID disease, according to a new study from researchers at Columbia University Irving Medical Center.Among other findings linking complement to COVID, the researchers found that people with age-related macular degeneration—a disorder caused by overactive complement—are at greater risk of developing severe complications and dying from COVID.The connection with complement suggests that existing drugs that inhibit the complement system could help treat patients with severe COVID-19.The study was...

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Jul 31
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Far-UVC Light Safely Kills Airborne Coronaviruses

Far-UVC Light Safely Kills Airborne Coronaviruses

More than 99.9% of seasonal coronaviruses present in airborne droplets were killed when exposed to a particular wavelength of ultraviolet light that is safe to use around humans, a at Columbia University Irving Medical Center has found.“Based on our results, continuous airborne disinfection with far-UVC light at the current regulatory limit could greatly reduce the level of airborne virus in indoor environments occupied by people,” says the study’s lead author , Higgins Professor of Radiation Biophysics at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and director of the...

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Jun 24
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Crowded Homes, Poor Neighborhoods Linked to COVID-19

Crowded Homes, Poor Neighborhoods Linked to COVID-19

A study of nearly 400 pregnant women in New York City is among the first to show that lower neighborhood socioeconomic status and greater household crowding increase the risk of becoming infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.“Our study shows that neighborhood socioeconomic status and household crowding are strongly associated with risk of infection. This may explain why Black and Hispanic people living in these neighborhoods are disproportionately at risk for contracting the virus,” says the study’s leader , assistant professor of obstetrics & gynecology at Columbia...

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Jun 17
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New Study Estimates the Odds of Life and Intelligence Emerging Beyond Our Planet | Columbia News

New Study Estimates the Odds of Life and Intelligence Emerging Beyond Our Planet | Columbia News

Humans have been wondering whether we are alone in the universe since antiquity.We know from the geological record that life started relatively quickly, as soon our planet's environment was stable enough to support it. We also know that the first multicellular organism, which evolved to produce today’s technological civilization, took far longer to emerge, approximately 4 billion years.But despite knowing when life first appeared on Earth, scientists still do not understand how life occurred, which has important implications for the likelihood of finding life elsewhere in the universe.In a...

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columbia
Jun 17
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A Double-edged Sword: Scientists Identify Gene That Initially Slows, Then Later Accelerates, Disease Progression of ALS in Mice

A Double-edged Sword: Scientists Identify Gene That Initially Slows, Then Later Accelerates, Disease Progression of ALS in Mice

(240.17kb PDF)Science Communications Manager212-853-0171Columbia scientists have provided new insights into how mutations in a gene called TBK1 cause amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a progressive neurodegenerative disease that robs patients of movement, speech and ultimately, their lives. The researchers found that ALS-associated mutations in TBK1 can have both positive and negative effects on the progression of disease in mice genetically modified to have ALS-like symptoms.These findings, reported today in , provide both genetic and mechanistic insights that could lead to novel...

columbia.edu
Mar 27
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Early Exposure to Cannabis Boosts Young Brains’ Sensitivity to Cocaine, Rodent Study Suggests

Early Exposure to Cannabis Boosts Young Brains’ Sensitivity to Cocaine, Rodent Study Suggests

(250.96kb PDF)Science Communications Manager212-853-0171Cannabis use makes young brains more sensitive to the first exposure to cocaine, according to a new study on rodents led by scientists at Columbia University and the University of Cagliari in Italy. By monitoring the brains of both adolescent and adult rats after giving them synthetic psychoactive cannabinoids followed by cocaine, the research team identified key molecular and epigenetic changes that occurred in the brains of adolescents — but not adults. This discovery reveals a new interplay between the two drugs that had never...

columbia.edu
Apr 20
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How Does the Brain Put Decisions into Context? New Mouse Study Identifies An Unexpected Brain Region at Work

How Does the Brain Put Decisions into Context? New Mouse Study Identifies An Unexpected Brain Region at Work

(240.95kb PDF)Science Communications Manager212-853-0171When crossing the street, which way do you first turn your head to check for oncoming traffic? This decision depends on the context of where you are. A pedestrian in the United States looks to the left for cars, but one in the United Kingdom looks right. A group of scientists at Columbia’s Zuckerman Institute has been studying how animals use context when making decisions. And now, their latest research findings have tied this ability to an unexpected brain region in mice: an area called the anterior lateral motor cortex, or ALM,...

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Feb 26
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How Does the Brain Link Events To Form A Memory? Columbia Study in Mice Reveals Unexpected Mental Processes at Work

How Does the Brain Link Events To Form A Memory? Columbia Study in Mice Reveals Unexpected Mental Processes at Work

(246.34kb PDF)Science Communications Manager212-853-0171A woman walking down the street hears a bang. Several moments later she discovers her boyfriend, who had been walking ahead of her, has been shot. A month later, the woman checks into the emergency room. The noises made by garbage trucks, she says, are causing panic attacks. Her brain had formed a deep, lasting connection between loud sounds and the devastating sight she witnessed.This story, relayed by clinical psychiatrist and co-author of a new study Mohsin Ahmed, MD, PhD, is a powerful example of the brain’s powerful ability to...

columbia.edu
May 8
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Climate-Driven Megadrought Is Emerging in Western U.S., Says Study

Climate-Driven Megadrought Is Emerging in Western U.S., Says Study

, ,With the western United States and northern Mexico suffering an ever-lengthening string of dry years starting in 2000, scientists have been warning for some time that climate change may be pushing the region toward an extreme long-term drought worse than any in recorded history. says the time has arrived: a megadrought as bad or worse than anything even from known prehistory is very likely in progress, and warming climate is playing a key role. The study, based on modern weather observations, 1,200 years of tree-ring data and dozens of climate models, appears this week in the leading...

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Kevin Krajick
Apr 16
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