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“Collectively, atmospheric brown clouds have given rise to major areas of concern, some of the most critical being the observed decrease in the Indian summer monsoon rainfall, the north-south shift in eastern China rainfall patterns, and the accelerated retreat of the HKHT (Hindu Kush-Himalayan-Tibetan) glaciers and decrease in snow packs. All these have led to negative effects on water resources and crop yields in Asia.”

Gregory Carmichael, professor of chemical and biochemical engineering in the UI College of Engineering. Carmichael says significant growth in Asian air pollution are causing a great concern for air quality and climate, and that containment of the problem will demand increased research and better computer models of black carbon and other aerosol pollutants. (Science Codex, Feb. 19)


“It’s interesting to me that you can go to a state like Minnesota right next door, and you’ll see significantly more people out biking and hiking and just walking. You’ll see better food choices at restaurants. I think that’s partially about a sort of progressive outlook at the state level that I haven’t seen here in Iowa.”

Kathleen Janz, professor of health and human physiology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, professor of epidemiology in the College of Public Health, and associate director of the University of Iowa Prevention Center for Rural Health. Minnesota went beyond awareness campaigns—the state passed legislation in 2008 called the Statewide Health Improvement Program, which funds efforts to make neighborhoods more amenable to walking, exercising, and engaging in other activities that research has shown help people lead healthy lives. (Iowa City Press Citizen, Feb. 18)


“It’s a medium-sized effect—but since we’re talking about the brain, medium is good.”

Michelle Voss, assistant professor of psychology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Voss is referring to research that shows that regular exercise—resistance training or aerobic—helps ward off a host of cognitive impairments and enhances brainpower all life long. (Los Angeles Times, Feb. 13)


“Unfortunately, lots of people have more than one chronic illness. When you look across the spectrum, a lot of the conditions that people have may be less preventable but may be more intervenable.”

Robert Wallace, professor of epidemiology in the College of Public Health and director of the University of Iowa Center on Aging. Wallace says public health initiatives have had some success preventing disease, but such programs also should help people with chronic disease avoid developing concurrent conditions or worsening their conditions. (American Medical News, Feb. 13)


“Fluoride has been scrutinized intensely. The EPA continues to look at it, the NIH, researchers, policy makers… But for the individual who is arguing against it, we can never reach the burden of proof that they put out there.”

Stephen Levy, professor of preventive and community dentistry in the College of Dentistry. Levy has been heading one of the nation’s longest running studies on the public health effects of fluoride; he concludes that fluoride is still a benefit to society, although its impact is waning. (The Atlantic, Feb. 9)