Study Hall: Fall 2017

Colleen Deng

For heart patients, aspirin is A-OK

A ten-year study of 2,305 heart-attack survivors shows that taking aspirin in combination with prescription blood thinners does not, as many cardiologists have long feared, pose a health risk. The study was led by Columbia cardiologist Shunichi Homma and biostatistician John L. P. Thompson.


Too hot for takeoff

Global warming is likely to cause major problems at airports in the coming decades. According to a new paper by Columbia climate scientist Radley Horton ’07GSAS and graduate student Ethan Coffel, warmer temperatures make it difficult for planes to take off and land safely because heat reduces air density and therefore the amount of upward pressure, or lift, that builds up beneath an airplane’s wings.


The kids are all right

Columbia Law School researchers have conducted a meta-analysis of seventy-nine studies that look at the psychological effects of being raised by gay or lesbian parents. They found that seventy-five of the studies uncovered no significant disadvantages to growing up in such a family. The other four studies were found to have methodological flaws.


Fevers linked to autism risk

Pregnant women who suffer multiple fevers during their second and third trimesters increase their chances of having an autistic child threefold, according to new research from Mady Hornig of the Mailman School of Public Health. Hornig’s study of more than 95,000 children in Norway provides the most robust evidence yet that maternal infections may disrupt a fetus’s brain development.


Gender bias hobbles startup world

Venture capitalists ask men seeking financing more questions about potential gains, and women more questions about potential losses, according to new research by E. Tory Higgins of Columbia Business School and graduate student Dana Kanze. The researchers, who analyzed hundreds of hours of videotaped interviews conducted at venture-capital competitions, say the bias could help explain the massive gender gap in venture-capital funding in the United States.


A shot of calm

A team of Columbia psychiatrists led by Christine Denny ’12GSAS has found that a shot of the anesthetic ketamine, given one week before a traumatic event, may prevent the subsequent onset of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The findings, based on a study conducted in mice, suggest that ketamine could eventually be used as a buffer against PTSD in soldiers, emergency workers, and others with extremely stressful jobs.