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Latest public health News

BTN LiveBIG: Best of … Nebraska

On the far western edge of Big Ten country, the Great Plains give way to the rolling prairie of the American West. It’s a land that countless pioneers crossed more than a century ago on journeys filled with challenges and opportunities. While you won’t find long lines of covered wagons in Nebraska these days, the pioneers are still around. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is home to a number of brilliant people doing trailblazing work in fields as diverse as e-commerce and lasers. Here’s a look at some of the top LiveBIG stories from the Huskers: The heart of a Husker

BTN LiveBIG: Illini app gives kids something to chew over

The only thing more difficult than getting kids to make healthy dietary choices is holding their attention in a classroom. The new “Food for Thought” app, a project developed at the University of Illinois, might help children do both. Emma Mercier, assistant professor of curriculum and instruction at Illinois, designed “Food for Thought” with a team of researchers. The technology aims to help kids make more environmentally friendly decisions with what they eat, as well as provide a window into how today’s youth analyze data. “Over the course of nine months, we really tried to look at what would be

BTN LiveBIG: Minnesota leads international team to halt global pandemics

When the Ebola virus — which killed or infected nearly 40,000 people in Africa — entered the United States in 2014, a public panic ensued. The collective fear eventually subsided, thanks to medical and public-health officials effectively containing and stopping the virus’ spread through action, education and vigilance. If the Ebola outbreak had a silver lining, it was in how it brought to light the fact that many countries lack the resources needed to respond to a pandemic threat, said Dr. John Deen, a professor at University of Minnesota’s College of Veterinary Medicine. “It wasn’t simply the identification or presence

BTN LiveBIG: Iowa engineers find ingenuity in simplicity

The essence of engineering is problem-solving. And contrary to popular belief, that doesn’t mean finding solutions of intricate mathematical and technological complexity. Often, the best approach is a simple one. Such is the case with chulha ovens, the traditional method of cooking at home in India. There are two major problems with these ovens: They consume large amounts of wood, and they emit a great deal of carbon, causing severe respiratory problems among the people of India. A group of visiting University of Iowa professors and students took it upon themselves to improve this centuries-old cooking technique with a solution

BTN LiveBIG: Nebraska 'steps right up' to meet minority health challenges

For people who don’t live there, “diversity” might not be the first word that comes to mind when you think of Nebraska. But the Cornhusker State’s population is changing so rapidly that its flagship university has started a movement to tackle minority health concerns. University of Nebraska sociology professor Kirk Dombrowski is at the center of that movement. As the head of the school’s Minority Health Disparities Initiative (MHDI), he isn’t afraid to immerse himself in the communities he’s serving — or, on occasion, in a dunk tank. Dombrowski found himself in that unique situation because he was taking part

BTN LiveBIG: Michigan State maps the 'contagion' of gang violence

As headlines in cities across the United States highlight rising death tolls caused by open gang warfare in the streets, pundits, politicians and community leaders have put forward various legal and law enforcement solutions in order to alleviate this growing problem. But what if this issue can’t be resolved by the cops and the courts? A team at Michigan State recently offered a different perspective when it published findings of a study that showed how gang violence spreads in the same fashion as a contagion. “The idea that some types of homicide can be contagious has been around since the