Eve Abrams

The YMCA of Greater New Orleans is taking steps to reduce the burden of diabetes by offering a Diabetes Prevention Program, so that people at risk of developing type 2 diabetes don’t.

When you think YMCA, what comes to mind?

Volleyball, helping kids, swimming, gymnastics, the gym, the song.

UNMEER / Flickr

This week, the Food and Drug Administration gave its stamp of approval to a new rapid test to detect the Ebola virus. The test is based on technology originally discovered at Tulane University.

The MRI machine in Dr. Owen Carmichael's lab blares as it scans a subject's brain.  Carmichael, Director of Biomedical Imaging at Pennington Research Center, studies those scans trying to understand how the brain ages.

Carmichael explains that "what you'll see on the MRI scan is the amount of brain tissue.  And all of that brain tissue is part of that electrical circuitry that makes it possible for you to think."  As we age, our brains tend to shrink.  And as that tissue goes away, the harder it becomes to think.

He describes the young brain as a grape that's just been pulled from the vine, while "the elderly brain looks more like a raisin, in that it's deflated and smaller in size.  And the person with Alzheimer's, that 'looking like a grape' goes even further, it's extremely shriveled up."

dullhunk / Flickr

A new triple degree program launches in the fall at LSU, for students who want to fast-track undergraduate education, medical school and PhD study. 

LSU is partnering with the Health Sciences Center in New Orleans to launch the program. It’s called “Fast Path” because students would receive three degrees  - a bachelor of science, an MD, and a PhD — in one-to-three years less than the traditional path.

A federal appeals court in New Orleans heard arguments on Wednesday about the constitutionality of a Texas abortion law.

The arguments were before a three-judge panel of the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals, concerning Texas House Bill 2 — a broad package of abortion legislation passed in Texas in 2013. The new rules require abortion clinics to meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal in New Orleans is hearing two Texas cases that are drawing local and national attention. One later Wednesday involves restrictions on abortion clinics, and another set for a hearing Friday involving same-sex marriage.

To keep a better eye on head injuries in the past, the LSU football team has had concussion detectors installed in players’ helmets. This season, LSU became the first team in the NCAA to try high-tech mouth guards to measure hits.

Poppy Tooker

Evan McCommon has been converting his family's timber ranch into a biodiverse farm. The changes have been slow, but his resolve steady as the 1,100 acres change from a dense forest to an open savannah. 

Xavier University has received a $19.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.

The money is from an NIH initiative called Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity.

It will be used to expand biomedical programs at the historically black university.

Xavier says the award is part of a $240 million NIH investment involving more than 10 institutions. It’s aimed at developing new approaches to engage student researchers, including those from underrepresented backgrounds.

Eve Abrams

Playworks helps create playgrounds where everyone plays, belongs, and contributes to the game. Coaches encourage kids to bring out the best in themselves and each other, and kids learn the value of fair play, compassion, and respect. They also learn to become leaders.

Recess has been disappearing in schools.