Yeah science, bitch!

Even though it’s March, the “new year, new us” mindset is alive and well. We’re bringing back an element of our past with the revival of BunsenBwog—a brief review of some of the science-related findings and contributions done by members of our campus community. We enlisted the assistance of Bunsen Burner Belle Briana Bursten to enlighten us with her scientific wisdom. 

Everyone knows that a cellphone is the number one item in a millennial’s starter pack, so we think it’s pretty smart that Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health and College of Physicians and Surgeons decided to capitalize on the usage of this technological necessity for health purposes. Earlier this year, kids were sent text messages reminding them to get their second flu vaccination. The results? Text messages both increased the receipt of the vaccination and also brought children to receive their vaccinations sooner.

A new magnetic technology developed by doctors at Columbia known as MAGEC (MAGnetic Expansion Control) is now being used to treat early-onset Scoliosis in children. While growing rods are effective in correcting the curvature of the spine for children with Scoliosis, the child is also subjected to multiple surgeries throughout their youth in order to adjust the size of the rod. However, the MAGEC permits surgeons to lengthen the rods with a handheld external magnet, thus avoiding surgery and additional costs for parents.

According to a CUMC study, children and adolescents with autism have an excessive amount of synapses in the brain. This excess affects cognitive development, particularly during the “pruning process.” Knowledge of this neurological finding can perhaps lead to a cure, as there are drugs available that may work to restore synaptic pruning.

Outbreaks of Kawasaki disease in Japan, a rare childhood condition that causes inflammation of the blood vessels that later leads to heart disease, may be traced to wind currents coming from northeast China. A study by Mailman School of Public Health reveals that instances of the disease peaked when winds that originated from a region with “vast cereal croplands” swept over specific locations.

Missin Walter White via Shutterstock