Highlights from findings by NYU researchers over the past month.
This month, NYU Langone researchers explored how manipulating a particular gene—called fkbp5—might one day be used to prevent fearful memories from forming, allowing for treatment of PTSD within just hours of trauma. Meanwhile, a Steinhardt study found that teens with PTSD symptoms are more likely to misidentify sad and angry faces as fearful, where as those with conduct disorder tend to interpret sad faces as angry.
A cancer drug—Abraxane®—designed to prevent cancer cells from multiplying was also found to switch suppressed immune cells back on to attack tumors. Also in medicine, researchers developed a new test that could help better tailor treatment for rheumatoid arthritis and showed that training with transcranial direct current stimulation—low amplitude direct current applied through electrodes placed on the scalp—could improve problem solving ability and response time in people with multiple sclerosis.
NYU Abu Dhabi researchers launched a long-term study of 20,000 UAE nationals between the ages of 18 and 40—the first project of its kind—to understand why the UAE has some of the highest rates of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease in the world. An NYU Furman Center report found that a proposed reform to New York City's 421-a housing development program could cost city taxpayers between $2.6 and $5.7 million per 300-unit building.
In education, Steinhardt researchers found that K-12 students in Ohio's online charter schools were falling behind their peers in both traditional public schools and brick-and-mortar charters. Occupational therapy chair Kristie Patten Koening recast strong interests among people with autism—often perceived as negative—as strengths, finding that these interests reduced anxiety and led to educational and career opportunities.
And NYU Tandon researchers are developing a deep learning system that will allow self-driving cars to navigate, maneuver, and respond to changing road conditions by matching data from onboard to an online repository highly detailed maps that reflect every change in the status of lanes, hazards, obstacles, and speed-limits in real time.