research | KUNC


Owning a handgun significantly increases one’s risk of suicide, according to a study published Thursday that tracked new gun owners in California for more than a decade.

Mental health experts and researchers have long known that gun ownership suggests an increased risk of suicide, but the study published in the New England Journal of Medicine adds a new level of detail.

More groups of people in the U.S. are at risk for gun suicide, according to new research from Columbia University Medical Center. These include people with lower incomes, those living with disabilities, and people who are socially isolated.

Public Domain

During the COVID-19 pandemic, masks are having a bit of a moment. They’ve gone from functional to fashionable to controversial, all in the span of about two months. But it’s not the first time fashion has been tied to an epidemic.

A recent study shows that humans have been living in a specific temperature "niche" for at least 6,000 years, but climate change could force billions of people to live in areas outside of the niche by 2070. That could be intolerably hot, even lethal, for many of them.  

Noxious gas, rolling giant eyeballs, being trapped in a perpetually falling elevator. The pandemic is sparking a world-wide increase in vivid dreams. And people are sharing them on websites like I Dream of COVID and across social media.

Rigorous Research On Gun Policies Still In Short Supply

Apr 22, 2020

In the “Science Of Gun Policy,” a new analysis of research by the RAND Corporation on 18 types of gun laws, the non-partisan think tank found that evidence of these laws’ effects remains limited, leaving the public with a shortage of information on gun policies.

The report’s authors called for more research funding, concluding that “rigorous research” examining the effects of many state gun policies is “virtually nonexistent.”

Jackie Hai / KUNC

During this unprecedented time, finding coping mechanisms for anxiety, stress and isolation will be critical. You can go for a run, write in a journal — or enjoy some good-natured humor.

That last one can be tough in the midst of a global pandemic, but critical, said Peter McGraw, director of the University of Colorado Boulder's Humor Research Lab, or HuRL.

Laboratories across the world are gearing up to develop vaccines that can stop the spread of the deadly coronavirus. They've got the funding; they've got the talent. But they don't have the mice.

In order to test and ensure that vaccines are safe and effective, researchers typically conduct experiments on animals, usually mice. Though some labs are experimenting with ferrets and monkeys for this virus, mice are cheap and plentiful.

Scientists have found a clue to how autism spectrum disorder disrupts the brain's information highways.

The problem involves cells that help keep the traffic of signals moving smoothly through brain circuits, a team reported Monday in the journal Nature Neuroscience.

The team found that in both mouse and human brains affected by autism, there's an abnormality in cells that produce a substance called myelin.

Mix gelatin, sand and cyanobacteria and what do you get? A solid building material with a low carbon footprint.