World Asthma Day (WAD) takes place each year on the first Tuesday in May. The annual event, organized by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA), raises asthma awareness and care around the world. Continuing last year’s positive theme, the WAD 2012 theme is “You Can Control Your Asthma”. The campaign emphasizes asthma control as described in the latest version of the GINA guideline documents . Asthma control is also the focus of GINA’s Asthma Control Challenge, a five-year campaign to reduce asthma hospitalizations worldwide by fifty percent.
This article was written by Carter Harkins.
Stress is at epidemic levels in our population. The American Psychological Association released its Stress in America 2011 Report earlier this year, and according to the report, 73% of us think our stress levels are the same or higher than they were 5 years ago . Ninety-four percent of us believe that stress can contribute to the development of major illnesses such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, stroke, obesity, diabetes and depression, but only 29% say that they are doing an excellent or good job at managing or reducing stress. Clearly, this is cause for concern.
This week is National Public Health Week (NPHW). The annual observance brings U.S. communities together to recognize the contributions of public health and highlight issues that are important to improving the public’s health. The theme for National Public Health Week (NPHW) 2012 — A Healthier America Begins Today: Join the Movement – addresses the issue of prevention and wellness.
The 2012 County Health Rankings were released this week . Now in their third year, the Rankings are increasingly being used by community leaders to help them identify health challenges, take action and improve the health of their residents.
The Rankings are published on-line every year by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). Using a standard way to measure how healthy people are and how long they live, the Rankings assess the overall health of nearly every county in all 50 states.
From visiting classrooms for Brain Awareness Week, Dr. Janet Dubinsky from the Department of Neuroscience at the University of Minnesota became aware that teachers wanted to learn what neuroscience has uncovered about brain mechanisms of learning and memory. To address this need, the Department of Neuroscience and the Science Museum of Minnesota created BrainU. Her current partner is Dr. Gillian Roerhig from the STEM Education Center.
Launched in 2000, BrainU is a grant-funded professional development program that teaches educators neuroscience principles and effective methodology for teaching neuroscience in the middle to high school classroom. BrainU, the neuroscience teacher institute, provides teachers with up to 160 hours of neuroscience training, materials, and staff support to bring brain science to their students. Participants in these professional workshops receive updates on the latest in neuroscience research — discussion is complemented with hands-on activities and lab work.
The BrainU website provides lesson plans and resources for teachers and some cool stuff, including brain pictures, optical illusions, and movies.
The movie ‘The Synapse’
In the nervous system, the synapse is essential for neuronal function. A synapse is the junction between two nerve cells or neurons, consisting of a minute gap across which impulses pass by diffusion of a neurotransmitter. The movie ‘The Synapse’, used with permission from BrainU, tells an entertaining and informative story of how neurons communicate with each other at synapses, changing information from electrical to chemical and back to electrical signals. Check out their story below (the movie opens in a new window).
Copyright 2000-2012, BrainU, University of Minnesota Department of Neuroscience and Department of Curriculum and Instruction. Supported by a Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) from the National Center For Research Resources and the Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives of the National Institutes of Health, with additional funding from SEDAPA and ARRA. Its content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of NCRR or NIH.