Anna Fiorentino

Anna is a Maine-based storyteller focused on science, outdoors, adventure, and travel. She applies journalistic principals to observe connections between people and places, boil down research, and discover the narrative. Her writing has appeared in the travel and environment sections of National Geographic, AFAR, Outside, BBC, Boston Globe, and other outlets. It's earned her a North American Travel Journalists Association award for her National Geographic story on how oyster farming is helping the planet, and a Solas Award for her Outside feature on a man's quest to save a storm-battered lighthouse. Anna also writes and edits content, articles, and academic reports on rare and infectious diseases, cancer, genetics and genomics, artificial intelligence and machine learning, climate change, global health, and innovation for leading research institutes including Harvard University, the Broad Institute of MIT & Harvard, Partners In Health, Dartmouth College, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Northeastern University.


Filters & Sorting

The US state where you could ski under the eclipse

Sometimes you can't help but feel lucky to be alive. The recent total eclipse was only visible from a handful of ski resorts across the world – all of them in the north-eastern US and Canada – and on 8 April I got a perfectly clear 55F (13C) bluebird ski day on top of a mountain in the US state of Maine. The icing on the cake was a 2ft surprise snowstorm a few days earlier, frosting the mountain in a sparkly white for soft spring turns and reflection under the big sky. I had driven deep into t

A tsunami could wipe this Norwegian town off the map. Why isn’t everyone leaving?

Growing up on his family fjord farm on an unimaginably steep Norwegian mountainside, Magne Åkernes learned to live with risk at every turn—especially around a crack hidden in the rockface. “When I was little, we used to break the peat moss growing over a crack so people and animals wouldn’t fall in,” Åkernes, now 90, tells me through a translator in his living room in Norway. “We took stones and dropped them in to listen for how far they fell.” In 1958 his family was the last to vacate the fam

Your love for fresh oysters can help the planet

We drop anchor and I learn the trick to the perfect shuck—gently work the knife into the back hinge—and slurp the freshest oyster I’ve ever tasted. The mollusk was harvested minutes earlier from the lineup of floating cages beside our boat in this secluded section of Maine’s Casco Bay. “There’s a freshwater spring off Upper Goose Island that drains out right into the farm and cuts the salinity, so our oyster is much more bright and balanced, with a light cucumber finish,” says Cameron Barner, a

How a Massive Debt-for-Nature Deal Will Help Protect the Galápagos

On a July evening in Ecuador’s Galápagos Islands, I wade in the waves with a pink flamingo for as long as I can, watching for hatchlings from sea turtle eggs buried deep in their nests on shore. The national park that makes up 97 percent of this remote Pacific archipelago closes to all human activity at 6 p.m., and my guide, Jhosellyn Aguas, a native of the region who doubles as a park ranger, makes sure we’re out of there on time. I book it back to my Hurtigruten expedition ship, narrowly avoi

Keeping the Lighthouses On

On a windy January afternoon, our boat covers the nine miles from Boston Harbor Shipyard & Marina to its offshore mooring in a swift 35 minutes, plunging five feet down and back up over waves that look like rolling hills in Vermont. We have come to Graves Light Station on a good day. A few years ago, the mooring was ripped out of the ocean floor by a gale, and a breaker dragged Dave Waller’s boat, a U.S. Coast Guard cutter he bought used, into the shoal below the lighthouse. “We cut off the cab

Clearing another hurdle at the Arctic Winter Games

This March, Kyle Ḵaayák'w Worl will resume the push-up position and hop on his fists for an excruciating 60 yards (55m) to beat his personal best and the world record his father held for decades. But, he tells me, credit for the "knuckle hop" goes to his Indigenous ancestors who got on all fours disguised in animal skin to harpoon seals sunbathing on ice floes when the light eventually returned to the Arctic in the spring. "There are only two creatures in the Arctic that walk on two feet and th

Where to Find Yellowstone’s Captivating Wildlife, Indigenous Heritage, and Uncrowded Places

The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem offers plenty to see, including volcanic plateaus, alpine valleys, and mountain ranges—and thanks to the volcanic caldera hidden beneath the ground, geothermal features you won’t see anywhere else on Earth. The 3,472-square-mile park in Northwestern Wyoming (and small sections of Montana and Idaho) is also home to the largest concentration of mammals in the lower 48, including the famous reintroduced wolves. In short, there are many reasons Yellowstone National

How to save a lighthouse? Sleep in one.

At moonrise, Lorraine Coyle likes to climb the five flights of stairs to the gallery deck of the lantern room at Borden Flats Lighthome located 1,500 feet off the coast of Massachusetts. “The flag is flapping in the wind, seagulls fly by at eye level, and there’s nothing like the sound of a foghorn,” says Coyle, a New Yorker and frequent guest at this offshore lighthouse at the mouth of the Taunton River. Built in 1881, Borden Flats once guided steamships into the bustling textile mill port of

Why You Should Visit Grand Teton National Park in the Off-Season

Grand Teton National Park and the surrounding area has become a year-round outdoor haven for all ages. The springtime and fall are especially great times to go: From March through May, visitors can see wildlife transition from winter to spring. Yet the fall shoulder season offers wildlife sightings too and is just as beautiful, with bright yellow aspens, surprise snowstorms for early-bird skiers, and all the biking and hiking you could dream of in one of the country’s youngest mountain ranges.

Retro Charm Lives on at These Independent U.S. Ski Resorts

When it comes to ski resorts, bigger isn’t always better. Case and point: Saddleback Mountain in Maine. These old-school mountains will take you back to the simpler days of skiing. Every year it seems another round of resorts gets gobbled up by the downhill megacorps—the Vails and the Boynes. But instead of following the masses to over-hyped Michelin-starred restaurants, boujee hotels, and onto supercharged lifts at the corporate mountains, why not head to independently owned ski areas with a

Can’t Make It to the Alps? Visit One of America’s European-Inspired Ski Towns

Europe’s eternally charming Alps region, spanning France, Monaco, Switzerland, Italy, Lichtensten, Austria, Germany, and Slovenia, is on many travelers’ wish lists for a reason. (Hello, gorgeous snowy peaks, endless fondue, après cocktails, and hot springs.) If you’re yearning for an alpine experience closer to home, get your fix in several U.S. ski towns with a distinctly European past and aesthetic. How did these Alps-inspired ski hubs come to be? In the 1930s, a small group of Germans and Aus

The Best Mountain Towns in Wyoming to Stay in, Whether You're Visiting Yellowstone or the Tetons

Wyoming is sprawling, with more than 100 mountain ranges—and as it’s the least populous U.S. state, there’s plenty of room to roam. The key is knowing which mountain town to make your home base, be it somewhere in the Tetons or the Bighorns, or perhaps the Washburn Range and the Red Mountains of the world’s first national park, Yellowstone. “Any mountain town worth its salt also has a compelling history with the right mix of drama and charm,” said Ryan Hauck, executive director of Cody Yello

This State Has More Hot Springs Than Towns

Why are there so many thermal wonders in the western United States? Look to the mountains. Of the country’s 1,661 natural hot springs, more than a thousand of them have bubbled up near fault lines out west—many found among Wyoming’s 109 mountain ranges, from the Tetons to the Bighorns, the Snowys to the Sierra Madres. For hundreds of years, the region’s Indigenous tribes, including Cheyenne, Ute, and Arapaho, have soaked in mineral-rich thermal springs for warmth and healing. By the time Wyomin

First Time Getting Ski Boots Fit? Keep These Tips in Mind.

In 2017 I almost gave up skiing. The boots I’d loved for three solid years had failed me almost overnight. I’d hop off the chairlift and five minutes later, my feet would cramp, my toes would go numb, and pain would shoot up my arches. Blues felt like blacks. I was bailing after lunch. Embarrassment aside, the discomfort was excruciating. The longer I skied and the steeper the terrain, the worse it got. So I sought out two of the best ski-boot fitters in New England: Lyndall Heyer and Carol Bea

The 7 Best National Park Trips to Take This Summer

Some of the United States’s 63 national parks certainly shine in the winter—Yellowstone is particularly gorgeous and Bryce Canyon even hosts a three-day winter festival—but in general, summer brings a sense of vibrancy and life unseen during other periods of the year. During a season full of camping and road trips, quite a few parks, both well-loved and lesser-known, stand out across the country. But don’t just take it from one AFAR editor. Here’s a curated list of seven national parks to visit

After Record Snowfall, California's Ski Season Will Extend Into Summer—Is That a Good Thing?

Even a climatologist couldn’t have predicted this year’s record-breaking snowpack. For the western region of the United States, this past winter told a story of extremes—and served as a reminder that global warming isn’t all rising temperatures. This winter, California’s Mammoth Mountain, South Lake Tahoe’s Heavenly and Kirkwood resorts, and, in Utah, hills from Alta and Snowbird to Brighton were slammed with up to over 800 inches of snow, landing them on a growing list of ski resorts breaking

National Parks, Hot Springs, and the Great American Frontier: The Ultimate Wyoming Road Trip

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the first national park in the United States and one of the most famous in the National Park System—Yellowstone. The nearly 3,500-square-mile wilderness is situated mostly in Wyoming with parts of the park extending into Montana and Idaho. It is known for its mountains, meadows, and forest landscapes, its otherworldly natural hot springs, geysers, and lava formations, and its wildlife. But this year has also been a very challenging one for Yellowstone, wh

Norway’s Ambitious Plan to Designate 10 New National Parks

The goal is to protect one-third of the country’s land by 2030 in an effort to combat climate change. Through an oversized window streaked in raindrops, I make out tiny cottages with snowy grass rooftops as a crackly voice announces, “We’re stuck on ice.” It’s late May, practically June, and to the beeping of the tour bus in reverse I imagine what it’s like for nearly half of Norwegians living seasonally off the grid in these modest wooden holiday “hyttes,” tucked perfectly into the alpine moun

The U.S. Ski Resorts for the Best Spring Season Action This Year

Not only will there be great late-season skiing and snowboarding, but these mountains are going all out this spring with music, food, festivals, and competitions. Get out your T-shirts and sunscreen because spring skiing is back. After the 2020 ski season was cut short by the start of the pandemic and 2021 remained muted by health and safety protocols, this ski season can finally close out with all the live music, pond skimming, grilling, and giveaways you can imagine. From the spring equinox (
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Travel Narratives

Copenhagen Now Gives Free Perks to Visitors Who Opt for Eco-Friendly Activities

Denmark, made up almost entirely of islands, is one of the most sustainable and socially responsible countries in the world, recognized for its innovative and progressive approaches to renewable energy and climate change adaptation. It’s home to the cleanest waste-to-energy power plant in the world, CopenHill, which has a ski slope atop the recycled steel, concrete, and aluminum building, and GreenKayak, a nonprofit that rents kayaks for free to those willing to remove trash from the Copenhagen...

This Canyon-Filled Wonderland Is America’s Newest Stargazing Hot Spot

Utah just added another notch in its glorious belt of red desert landscapes, storied rock arches with petroglyphs, and deep-reaching canyons. On top of the state’s Mighty Five national parks—Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, and Zion—there’s another reason to visit Utah: Its dark skies. The city of Moab was deemed an International Dark Sky Community on June 6. That makes 26 certified International Dark Sky Places in Utah―the highest concentration in the world. While urban light

Celebrating Natalie Rines Terry, Sugarloaf’s Most Beloved Instructor

In a ski lodge basement at Sugarloaf Mountain, Maine, the contents of Natalie Rines Terry’s locker sit exactly as they were left last spring after she passed away from natural causes, on April 22, 2020, at 96 years old. There’s a snowflake beanie, a fleece, and a commemorative pin. Not far away, her official gravestone reads “Sugarloafer Since 1951, Lifetime Member of PSIA (Professional Ski Instructors of America).” Beginning in the late 1930s, Rines Terry skied with grit through a time when gi

Portraits on Monhegan

The salt air fills my lungs, awakening memories my mom shared of sailing in a small wooden boat on this same route from Port Clyde with her family as a child. I learned for myself, seven years ago, that it was everything she’d promised. On the coastline ahead, each new view of lobster boats, umbrellas over open-air easels, the jagged cliffs, and wild rambling gardens emerges more beautifully than the last. And again, I grab my bag and walk off the ferry up the dusty path to Monhegan’s Island Inn.

Rebirth of Pineland

Over the past two decades, the Libra Foundation has turned a campus with a notorious past into an agricultural and recreational marvel. Cows were grazing in the fields of Pineland Farms long before its cheeses lined refrigerator shelves in grocery stores across 48 states and its beef filled New England freezers. But for much of the twentieth century, many of the workers on the farm were not there by choice. Built in 1908 as the Maine School for the Feeble-Minded to house people with development

A Wyeth Muse, 30 Years Later

Back on Monhegan for his yearly visit, Orca Bates Melenbacker reflects on becoming one of Jamie Wyeth's favorite subjects. Twelve miles out to sea from either Port Clyde or Boothbay Harbor in the lobster fisher’s paradise and artist colony of Monhegan Island, cast away from almost everything, even the houses have big personalities. They hold stories of generations, some that are still being written. Up a dusty narrow road, a bright blue door pops out from an old white cottage, the only house a

The First Space Hotel Could Open as Soon as 2025

Inside the luxury suite at the Voyager Station, which could follow Pioneer and open as soon as 2027, according to Orbital Assembly. In addition to being afforded some epic views, guests of the modular space station would dine and walk around—thanks to artificial gravity. Of all the sweeping views in all the dream destinations, this one might be the most universally awe inspiring: If all goes as planned, in 2025, space tourists will be gazing out their hotel windows at Earth. “The four-person c

All is not lost at The Lost Kitchen, as chef Erin French adjusts and reinvents, yet again

She tells me everything’s riding on this tiny house and two more tucked a stone’s throw away along a pond in the woods of Maine, since her world-renowned 44-seat restaurant , named one of Time Magazine’s Greatest Places in 2018, hasn’t reopened in COVID. Private cabin dining will start this spring, and eventually transition into overnight glamping, as part of French’s COVID plan to keep business going. Over the past year, outdoor patio lunches and a few dinners, and popular farmer’s and online m

Want to Help Combat Climate Change? Eat More Oysters.

Oysters and their farmers are making a big splash in Maine’s waterways—and it’s all for the good. It’s in the low 40s—freezing for April—and the rain is picking up, but Hillevi Jaegerman doesn’t seem to notice. On a fishing boat in a cove on Yarmouth’s Royal River, Jaegerman is in bright orange cover-alls—no coat—whipping back one of her braids and manually cranking a big slimy cage out of the water. The winch is broken, but the oysters are ready for harvesting. Jaegerman, co-owner and manager

9 Incredible U.S. National Parks for Stargazing

Since the 1970s when astronomers first noticed the negative impact of light pollution, urban light has only gotten worse—in the past decade by 10 percent a year. Everything from the LEDs in lamp posts to neon signs on buildings is interrupting a rhythm of light and dark that is vital to the natural ecosystems of wildlife—to hide from predators or migrate—and even to our own sleep cycle. To dim the man-made night lights, in 1988 astronomer David Crawford and physician Tim Hunter had a bright ide

A First-Timer’s Guide to Cross-Country Skiing

Still wondering if cross-country skiing is hard? Hardly. Here’s your cheat sheet to getting started. Cross-country skiing debuted at the inaugural Olympic Winter Games in 1924, a decade before Alpine skiing, but you don’t have to be a superhero in spandex to go ski touring. That image of a cross-country skier covered in sweat, falling over the finish line, may not have helped the sport’s popularity—but during the pandemic, everything changed. As individuals rediscovered their love for being out

3 Island Experiences That Are Good for You and the Environment

These days, we’re all searching for trips that will have a positive impact on both ourselves and the planet. For the sustainably minded traveler, beaches are some of the best places to get the best of both worlds, especially as the effects of climate change threaten the livelihood of our coastlines. So next time you choose your trip, why not go where you can minimize your impact or even help the planet? Consider partaking in civic science with your feet in the sand and scenic water views.

Backcountry Legends

Seth Wescott glides off the chairlift into whipping winds above the frosted treeline. He releases his boots and slings a snowboard emblazoned with an old-school insignia over his shoulder. You could make out that Winterstick trident from the top of Sugarloaf’s nearby ice-covered tower. Wescott trudges up the Snowfields to the summit and back down over rocks and between tree stumps until he’s standing alone in a quiet playground of natural snow, and his only friend around is the wild and remote side-country terrain of Burnt Mountain and Brackett Basin. He straps back in, and he flies.

Inheriting the Craft

“The most important tool when you’re building boats is your eye. The same goes for writing,” says Temple, who earned an English degree from Bates College in 2002. “In both cases you can really tell whether it feels right.” Why Temple chose the boat building side of the family business is written on a plank nailed onto the barn: “If a man must be obsessed by something, I supposed a boat is as good as anything, perhaps a bit better than most. A small sailing craft is not only beautiful, it is seductive and full of strange promise and the hint of trouble.” The words are borrowed from “The Sea and the Wind That Blows,” an essay by Temple’s great-grandfather and longtime Mainer, the late, great writer E.B. White. Joel White is E.B White’s son, and Martha White is his granddaughter.

Underwater Exposure

There must have been 50 of them, staring straight at us like they expected a treat—their slippery, barrel-shaped bodies beaching on the rocks and playfully bobbing up and down on the choppy saltwater. “You can identify seals by the shape of their heads. The harbor seal’s is smaller and looks more like a dog,” says Brian Skerry. “The grey seal’s looks more like a horse.” He would know. Skerry has spent a good chunk of his adult life on or under the water, photographing aquatic animals. Short of having gills, he belongs in the ocean.

Seed Money

What has the mob in the paddock so docile isn’t entirely clear at first: it could be Eleanor Kinney, or the white bucket she is swinging in front of the flock. The 13 sheep crowd in as Kinney reaches for a handful of oats, a treat on Hart Farm in Bremen. “They are very vocal; they talk to me all the time,” says Kinney, who is flaxen-haired and petite. “Luna is my bottle baby. As a lamb, she wasn’t nursing so I’d come out every night with a headlamp on to feed her, and she’d come running. Lily is the matriarch, and Agora is the friendliest. Winter is the most beautiful.”In a week, Winter’s coat, like the others’, will be shorn and dyed with marigolds and indigo from the yard so Kinney’s daughter, Eloise Kelly, can weave scarves and blankets from the yarn while away at college. Kinney sets down the bucket of feed by the gate, walks toward the barn, and the flock follows. For six years this loyal, collective “carbon neutral lawn mower” has been roaming her 650 acres—the land that’s not conservation forest—overlooking Biscay Pond.

New life for old school buses (and their owners)

I first met the roadies walking back to my old Honda Accord, which at that time last fall was stuffed to the gills with clothes, my bike, and whatever else I’d shoved in for those two-week trips between my Maine crashpad and my Boston apartment, and on assignment in between. It was becoming less clear which was home, and, there in the parking lot of The Rack ski bar passing through Carrabassett Valley, I heard Rackley holler over, “Come say hi!” Making two new friends at that time was like hitti

Camp Has Made All the Difference

They were half-siblings pulled apart as kids and placed in separate households, one winding through a reel of foster parents, the other living with her grandmother. For the most part, they went about their separate lives—until they met at summer camp. Their story isn’t as lighthearted as the one we watched in The Parent Trap, but it ends well. It unfolds at a place where waiting lists don’t apply, and a bigger paycheck won’t get you in.
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Science and Technology

Filters & Sorting

Annual Report | Impact Engines

We are thrilled to invite you to read the inaugural Annual Report of Northeastern University’s new Impact Engines. In their short time, as classes and traditional research carried on, a movement has emerged to accelerate discovery by testing new ideas out in the field first. Read on about how, outside the limitations of traditional funding, Impact Engine collaborations are taking global problem solving to new heights, starting in our communities.

New genetic test for heart attack risk launched for patients at Mass General

The original paper co-authored by Khera and others, published in 2018 in Nature Genetics, showed how polygenic scores can accurately estimate genetic risk for five common diseases and identify high-risk individuals who would otherwise go undetected. The researchers then expanded the concept to obesity in a follow-up paper in Cell in 2019, noting that inborn risk begins to affect health as early as four years of age. In both papers, the researchers showed that an algorithm they developed could es

Researchers eye flashy coats of peacock spiders in pursuit of new solar products

What makes their colors pop — almost glow — is the contrast with the tiny spider’s super-black velvet patches, according to a recent paper in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B by Dakota McCoy, a Ph.D. student in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and a researcher in the lab of George Putnam Professor of Biology David A. Haig. McCoy’s research is the first to suggest that the highly absorbent, anti-reflective black surface is characterized by an array of bumps known as “microlenses,” reminiscent of those found in man-made anti-reflective materials.

Hearing Class | Harvard Medical School

A new study by Harvard Medical School researchers sheds light on the molecular repertoire of neurons responsible for encoding sound in the inner ear, which could inform efforts to develop therapeutic strategies to treat or protect against hearing loss. Reporting in Cell on Aug. 2, a team led by Lisa Goodrich, professor of neurobiology at HMS, shows that the class of neurons responsible for transmitting information from the inner ear to the brain is composed of three molecularly distinct subtype

News | New gene therapy strategy for sickle cell disease shows early promise in humans - Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center

Patient with severe disease is symptom-free after gene therapy knocks down BCL11A, restoring fetal hemoglobin production Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center reports positive results treating sickle cell disease in its first patient, using a novel gene therapy approach that induces production of fetal hemoglobin while silencing production of the abnormal sickle form of adult hemoglobin. The research team, led by David A. Williams, MD, will share findings in the trial’

Sensory Refinement | Harvard Medical School

As a child’s growing brain responds to environmental cues such as light or sound, the connections between neurons are strengthened or weakened. Until now, scientists have been in the dark about the molecular mechanisms involved during this largely uncharted period of brain development. Reporting in a study published online in Neuron, researchers at Harvard Medical School have identified the essential role that a protein called Fn14 plays in strengthening or weakening neural connections in mice

Combination Immunotherapy Holds Promise for Patients with Rare Bladder Cancer | Dana-Farber

A woman recently came to Bradley McGregor, MD, an oncologist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, in severe pain with extreme fatigue. Her squamous cell bladder cancer, a rare type for which traditional treatment is generally less effective, had advanced, and it appeared that she had no other options. But timing is everything. McGregor was conducting a 16-month clinical trial exploring the effectiveness of an immunotherapy combination drug in patients with advanced rare genitourinary cancers. She b

The Space Weathermen

If meteorologists could have predicted the exact path and strength of Hurricane Sandy, more people might have moved their families and possessions to safer ground. Similarly, if scientists like Professors William Lotko and Simon Shepherd could forecast the path of radiation hurled into space by solar storms, operators of satellites, spacecraft, planes, and various other vulnerable technological systems could adapt as needed. EYES ON THE SKY: Professors William Lotko and Simon Shepherd, left

Resurrecting an Alternative Treatment for NER-Deficient Bladder Cancer Patients | Dana-Farber

Discovering new cancer treatment can sometimes be a matter of connecting the dots between new pathways and old drugs. That was the case in a new paper in the TKTK issue of Clinical Cancer Research co-authored by Kent Mouw MD, PhD, co-director of Dana-Farber’s Bladder Cancer Center. Mouw and his team found a promising way to treat a subset of bladder cancers for patients who can’t tolerate the standard of care — cisplatin chemotherapy. His preclinical findings could lead to a new treatment option

GYN Cancer Report

Researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s Susan F. Smith Center for Women's Cancers has grown its basic research, early clinical studies, and combination trials to improve outcomes for all patients with gynecologic cancers. Our investigators are exploring the cutting edge of cancer science, studying how to overcome drug resistance, designing a blood test to detect ovarian cancer at its earliest stages, investigating new ways of attacking disease subtypes through targeted treatments, and more. With Dana-Farber’s unique position as a world leader in both cancer research and clinical care, your support is helping put these important scientific findings into action.

Broad pilots childcare center so Broadies can focus on work

Broad postdoctoral fellow Inbal Benhar had been balancing her work as a neuroimmunology researcher with being a parent of three young children, when COVID-19 cases began rising in Massachusetts. Her Broad lab shut down, along with most labs in the Boston area. The Somerville public school, where her five-year-old daughter attended pre-kindergarten, was also closed, and her twin two-year-old sons were at home with her as well. Suddenly, juggling life became a lot more challenging. Finally, in ea

Early seismic waves hold the clue to the power of the main temblor

Scientists will be able to predict earthquake magnitudes earlier than ever before thanks to new research by Marine Denolle, assistant professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences (EPS). “For large-strike slip earthquakes like those that occur on the San Andreas Fault, which are likely to rupture for about 50 seconds, we would be able to predict the final magnitudes 2 to 5 seconds after getting the first seismic wave,” said Denolle, senior author of the study that appeared recentl

Rapamycin reverses some autism behaviors in mice, if given early

New research on autism has found, in a mouse model, that drug treatment at a young age can reverse social impairments. But the same intervention was not effective at an older age. The study is the first to shed light on the crucial timing of therapy to improve social impairments in a condition associated with autism spectrum disorder. The paper, from Boston Children’s Hospital, the University of Texas, Harvard Medical School and Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children, was published today in Cell
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Global Health

Need To Know: Social Support

Community health worker supervisor Dyson Francis Seven, left, sits with Nelesi Phirimoni, her sister Agness Dyson and Nelesi's son Charles Phirimoni, during a visit to the family's home in Kalimezako Village in Malawi. Nelesi had an extended stay at PIH-supported Neno District Hospital following the birth of her seventh child, and PIH has continued to accompany the family with food and financial support. Partners In Health staff often talk about the five “S’s” essential to quality health care:

Research: Maternal Care Methods Can Save Lives, Reduce Infection Amid Ebola

Lessons from an innovative Ebola screening and isolation unit for pregnant women, created five years ago in West Africa, could inform maternity care and save lives during the current outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a new study shows. A Partners In Health team opened the groundbreaking isolation unit in November 2014 at Princess Christian Maternity Hospital in Freetown, Sierra Leone, in collaboration with the country’s Ministry of Health and Sanitation. The need for the unit

Symposium tackles the effects of genes and environment in childhood

October 29, 2019 – Fine particulate matter in the air. Prescription drugs taken by pregnant women. Radiation from CT scans. From before people are born to the time they reach adulthood, they are exposed to countless environmental factors that can influence their long-term health—and possibly the health of their children. Scientists are just starting to piece together the genetic and biological effects of these exposures across generations. On October 18, dozens of experts gathered in the Snyder

A Life-Changing, Lifesaving Hospital

Christophe Millien has distinct memories of delivering babies from women laboring on the cement floor of a dilapidated hospital in Lascahobas, Haiti. When he began working there as Partners In Health’s (PIH) medical director in 2008, basic necessities like beds, electricity, and running water were in short supply. An ultrasound machine, NICU, or sterile operating theater were nowhere to be found. When a patient required an emergency cesarean section, the OB/GYN had to refer her to another hospital. Millien recalls at least one patient who died of a hemorrhage en route to surgery—all because the hospital simply didn’t have funds to build the space or buy the supplies clinicians needed. Over time, Millien advocated for his patients and saw conditions improve at Lascahobas. PIH collaborated with Haiti’s Ministry of Health to support staff, purchase equipment, improve the building’s crumbling infrastructure, and create a more organized system for providing care. Finally, Millien had an operating room where he could perform lifesaving surgeries. But it wasn’t until 2013 that Millien saw the most transformative change. That’s when PIH opened University Hospital in Mirebalais, a 30-minute ride south from Lascahobas. The 300- bed state-of-the-art teaching hospital now houses six operating theaters, a maternal health clinic, NICU, reference laboratory, and more—all of which patients access for free. Millien transferred to University Hospital in 2013 and assumed his new role as director of obstetrics and gynecology. It was a world away from where he began in Lascahobas. There, he and his colleagues had the stuff, space, and systems they needed a social justice organization working to make health care a human right

Research: Study Validates Use of Depression Screening Tool in Rural Mexico

Widely used screening tools proved highly effective in identifying patients suffering from depression in rural communities in Chiapas, the poorest state in Mexico, according to a study conducted by clinicians and volunteers working with , as Partners In Health is known locally. The 2014 study was the first time such tools, known in the mental health field as the PHQ-2 and the PHQ-9, had been used in a rural, marginalized community in Mexico, and indicates how powerful these brief screening tool

Research: Clinic Visits, Diagnoses Increase When Patients Access Free Care in Malawi

A mother recently carried her feverish 3-year-old boy two hours into Dambe Health Center in the hills of the remote district of Neno in southern Malawi. She left with medication for his new diagnosis, one Malawians hear often: Malaria. They’d caught it early this time. If the boy had been sick several years earlier, before the clinic’s opening, the scenario would have played out much differently. The mother might not have been able to take her son to the doctor in the first place. It would’ve t

Research: Hepatitis C Trial Shows Strong Results in Rwanda

A recently published study showed strong success for treating hepatitis C with new antiviral medicine in Rwanda, potentially creating a model for broader treatment plans across the region. Several of the study’s co-authors are affiliated with Partners In Health, which is locally known as and has worked in Rwanda since 2005. The 2017, PIH-led study tracked 300 patients who had 12 weeks of treatment at Rwanda Military Hospital in the nation’s capital, Kigali, and resulted in successful treatment

Research: Health Systems, Like Patients, Can Suffer From Misdiagnosis

As HIV care advanced following the introduction of antiretrovirals, clinicians observed a curious phenomenon: Some patients’ health unexpectedly got worse, rather than better, shortly after they began treatment. It seemed that HIV treatment awakened patients’ immune systems, allowing them to fight ailments that previously had lain dormant, or unchallenged, because HIV had suppressed their body’s ability to respond. This led some doctors to think patients were getting sicker, when actually, they

No Longer Lost in Translation

None of her fellow students teased Maria Smolina, 13, just because she had to sound out simple test words, or because she confused her pronouns. They didn't think it unusual that she still can't get used to the taste of peanut butter or macaroni and cheese. Inside this classroom at Milford's Stacey Middle School, filled exclusively with "English language learner" students, Smolina was enough at ease to share an essay she wrote about her arrival in the United States two years ago. "My mother wa

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At its best, IoT for healthcare bolsters data integration

Thanks to more smartphone penetration, improved Wi-Fi capabilities, more built-in sensors and an increased number of wireless devices -- including diagnostic instruments -- IoT is growing into a success story in healthcare organizations. IoT for healthcare is already yielding more efficient, often-automatic data collection and documentation, which could be good news for nurses bogged down with electronic paperwork. Nurses may spend 20% of their time on a shift documenting patient care in electr

Future of AI With Bots

The race is on for software vendors to improve user experiences with chatbots -- a new wave of computer programs that conduct conversations through auditory or text methods. Chatbot development is one frontier confronting artificial intelligence in CRM, as is better lead scoring and automated data entry into CRM records from outside sources, such as email and other back-office systems. Vendors are rushing to improve chatbots before customers tire of their still somewhat unreliable self-service

The Power of Small Cures

When a dog named Carmen was diagnosed with an oral melanoma, there was both bad news and good news. The bad news was that the aggressive tumor could kill her within a few months. The good news was that the black Lab could join a clinical trial of magnetic hyperthermia, a new treatment being developed by the Dartmouth Center of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence (DCCNE), a collaborative research initiative involving engineers from Thayer School and clinicians from Geisel School of Medicine and Norris Cotton Cancer Center at Dartmouth.

Colbert Tackles Robotic Dummy

Last month, former Dartmouth football player Elliot Kastner '13 Th'14 mistook an email inviting him and his invention, the “Mobile Virtual Player” (MVP), to The Late Show with Stephen Colbert for spam. He wondered how a germ of an idea by Dartmouth Football Coach Eugene “Buddy” Teevens to eliminate player-on-player contact could manifest into an appearance on the popular CBS TV show—the same week Cate Blanchette, Bill Clinton and Oprah were scheduled. But a few weeks later, there Kastner and Tee

Our Place

Our non-departmental structure and collaborative culture enable faculty to draw on multiple areas of expertise, including entrepreneurship , to address critical human needs. Kelsey Kittelsen ’17 may have been the only girl in her high school class to compete in an egg drop contest, and she’s likely to enter an engineering workforce that skews heavily toward men. But as an undergraduate at Dartmouth, she’s not facing a boys’ club when it comes to engineering. That’s because for the first time i

Device for Climate Change

Early next year, Dartmouth engineering professor Rachel Obbard and her team will become the first to transport sea ice cores from the Arctic to the lab at their original temperature—an important achievement in the effort to better understand climate change. Sea ice, which can be as much as five meters thick, controls the exchange of heat, fluid, gases and chemicals between the ocean and the atmosphere. The loss of thick multiyear sea ice has important implications for the Earth’s climate. “Sea

Mastering Engineering Management

In 1989 Shailesh Chandra Th’91 enrolled as one of four students in Dartmouth’s inaugural Master of Engineering Management (MEM) class with a plan to bring his engineering know-how to a technical management role within a business environment. Did he ever. “The payoff has been very rewarding in the sense that I have undertaken many roles in different organizations that are both within and outside the engineering function,” says Chandra, now senior director of strategy and transformation at Cisco

Fluorescence Guides Tumor Removal

A team from Thayer School of Engineering and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center is among the first to harness fluorescence to prevent tissue damage during brain surgery. Over a decade ago, a group of German doctors discovered that if a patient is given an oral dose of a 5-aminolevulinic acid solution before brain surgery, a chemical reaction will cause certain cells, including cancer cells, to appear fluorescent, allowing them to identify tumors for removal during surgery. But it was Dartmouth

Room to Operate

Imagining what life would be like if medical technologies never advanced is not hard. “We would be dying sooner and of many more diseases if we hadn’t put money and effort into research,” says Keith Paulsen, Thayer’s Robert A. Pritzker Professor of Biomedical Engineering. The value of medical research is why Paulsen and Dr. Sohail Mirza, chair of Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s Department of Orthopaedics, have worked together to create the Center for Surgical Innovation (CSI), the nation’s first surgical

BBQ King DennyMike

When people in the Northeast talk about barbecue, they think of putting a burger on a gas grill long enough for it to look like a hockey puck. And while Yankee pot roast may be a few dashes of cayenne pepper away from traditional smoked barbecue brisket, Mainers aren't about to spend 15 hours in front of a barbecue smoker. "New Englanders are in a hurry and that's why barbecue — I mean real barbecue cooking — never caught on," says Dennis Michael Sherman, owner of DennyMike's, a specialty produ