This month, NYU biologists found that New York City ATMs are covered in microbes from human skin, along with traces of chicken, mollusks, and fish, and that cellular cannibalism could be more widespread than once thought.
Scientists from the Music and Audio Research Lab installed 100 sensors around campus to record street sounds for a large-scale project to mitigate urban noise pollution. Nursing researchers identified predictors of depression among women with diabetes and found that black gay men had higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol than their white counterparts. Psychologists surveyed 12,240 15-year-olds and found that those living in counties with high levels of income inequality were more likely to report volunteering often and to indicate they thought it was important to help others in their communities.
In education, researchers found that teachers are influenced by racial and immigrant stereotypes in their communications with parents, and that charter schools enroll a larger share of girls—about 1.9 percent more—than do traditional public schools. Silver School researchers found that 15- to 24-year-olds enrolled in Planned Parenthood's chat- and text-based digital sex ed program were more likely to use effective birth control than those who simply looked at the website or received no intervention at all.
Environmental studies researchers working in Bangladesh concluded that smartphones were the key to collecting self-reported data about weather, school attendance, illness, and other aspects of daily life in rural areas.
Student researchers teamed up with the Manhattan district attorney in a hackathon to fight human trafficking, helped NASA build a virtual 3-D reconstruction of the Martian surface, and created To Be With Hamlet, the first live performance of theater in social virtual reality.
A graduate student in Gallatin concluded that scientific cooperation between the U.S. and the Soviet Union on environmental concerns helped end the Cold War.