By Alan G. Kraut, Executive Director of the Association for Psychological Science
In the minds of many people, there is a separation between biomedical research and behavioral research. But that separation is artificial. Behavior is at the core of many health problems. Six out of 10 of the leading causes of premature death, including heart disease, diabetes, and stroke, are linked in part to genetic influences but also to controllable behaviors like physical inactivity, poor diet and smoking.
Our 25,000 members are scientists and educators at the nation’s universities and colleges, conducting federally funded basic and applied, theoretical, and clinical research. They look at such things as the connections between emotion, stress, and biology and the impact of stress on health; they look at ways to manage debilitating chronic conditions such as diabetes and arthritis as well as depression and other mental disorders; they look at how genes and the environment influence behavioral traits such as aggression and anxiety; and they address the behavioral aspects of smoking and drug and alcohol abuse.
Just as there exists a layered understanding, from basic to applied, of how molecules affect brain cancer, there is a similar spectrum for behavioral research. Continue reading →
Coulter. Medical diagnostics.
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Coulter is one-half of Beckman Coulter, a Research!America member and a company that boasts nearly $6 billion in market capitalization. And that half of a multi-billion-dollar, multinational company began with research on paint for the U.S. Navy.
Such unlikely beginnings are the reason that Wallace Coulter has been named the first recipient of the Golden Goose Award for 2013. More winners will be named during the coming months.
The press release announcing the award explains Coulter’s research: In his time away from working for various electronics companies in the 1940s, Coulter built a lab in his garage and earned a grant from the Office of Naval Research. His task was to standardize the solid particles in the paint the Navy was using on its warships; but to do that, he first had to identify the reasons for inconsistencies among the paints.
He developed a device that would help him count the number of particles in a given volume of paint. Comparing different colors and batches would help him understand how to standardize. Continue reading →