Computing a Crisis

mosquitosSatellite images from the University of Miami’s Center for Southeastern Tropical Advanced Remote Sensing showed the Deepwater Horizon oil slick roughly tripled in area between May 1 and June 1, when it spanned 9,435 square miles (24,435 square km). But that’s just the tip of the equation. A team of UM researchers led by James Englehardt, a professor in the College of Engineering, has unveiled a computer model to help locate, forecast, and recover sunken oil—that which stays underwater—for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. University of New Hampshire’s Coastal Response Research Center funded the two-year project.

Neurospine Pioneers

A team led by Allan Levi, professor of neurological surgery, clinical researcher at The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, and chief of Jackson Memorial Hospital’s neurospine service, published findings in the journal Neurosurgery supporting the use of mild hypothermia in acute spinal cord injury. An earlier manuscript by Levi and colleagues in the Journal of Neurotrauma addressed techniques and time frames for the procedure. Much of the pre-clinical investigative data, pioneered by Miami Project and Miller School researchers, shows systemic intravascular cooling is safe and can decrease severity of injury. So far UM/Jackson Memorial Medical Center is the world’s only institution conducting regimented hypothermia treatment and follow-up for acute spinal cord injuries.

Advantages of Being Hard-Headed

CloudEasy riders, beware. A first-of-itskind econometric study published by University of Miami and Florida International University researchers in the Journal of Health Economics showed evidence that 489 lives could have been saved during 2005 alone had universal helmet laws (covering all motorcycle riders) been in place in each of the 48 states studied. Professor Michael T. French, director of Health Economic Research Group in the UM Department of Sociology, co-authored the comprehensive study, which investigated data spanning 1990 to 2005.