Now we know
November 30, 2011 |  by Dale Keiger

…Analysis of 60 years’ worth of data from the Chesapeake Bay indicates that the nation’s largest estuary has become healthier. The study found that annual dead zones—vast areas of water so oxygen starved they cannot support life—have been diminishing since the 1980s due to efforts to reduce the flow of pollutants into the bay. The study appeared in the November issue of Estuaries and Coasts; lead author was Rebecca Murphy, a doctoral candidate in the Whiting School of Engineering.

…Standard surgery for removing a tumor at the base of the skull involves slicing through the face and removing bone, which can cause disfigurement. A new technique developed by Kofi Boahene, an assistant professor in the School of Medicine, exploits a natural opening between jawbone and cheekbone to access tumors from inside the cheek, without need of a facial incision. The operation results in faster recovery, fewer complications, and no scarring. Boahene published details in the October issue of The Laryngoscope.

… A study of a racially integrated low-income neighborhood in Baltimore found that health disparities usually linked to race may be more strongly related to the socioeconomic conditions where people reside. Co-author Darrell Gaskin, associate professor in the Bloomberg School of Public Health, said in a press release, “When whites are exposed to the health risks of an urban environment their health status is compromised similarly to that of blacks, who more commonly live in such communities.” The research was led by Thomas LaVeist, director of the Hopkins Center for Health Disparities Solutions, and appeared in the October issue of Health Affairs.

…The process by which free radicals damage cellular components in the human body is called oxidative stress. Research by School of Nursing assistant professor Sarah Szanton has found that African Americans who report more frequent racial discrimination also have higher levels of oxidative stress. Springer’s International Journal of Behavioral Medicine published the study online in September.