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The GW Hatchet

AN INDEPENDENT STUDENT NEWSPAPER SERVING THE GW COMMUNITY SINCE 1904

The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Irene Ly: This week’s best and worst

Irene Ly, a junior majoring in psychology, is The Hatchet’s contributing opinions editor.

In case you missed it, here’s the best and worst news from around campus and the District this week.

Thumbs up:

University researchers now have the money to help the almost 23 million people suffering from heart failure worldwide.

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute at the National Institutes of Health have granted $1.6 million to University researchers for heart failure research, according to a release. The grant will fund a four-year project that will study ways to increase parasympathetic activity in the heart.

Parasympathetic activity occurs in the heart during relaxing activities like reading, according to David Mendelowitz, the vice chair of the pharmacology and physiology department. Such activity protects the heart and may be able to aid the body during heart failure.

Researchers from the School of Medicine and Health Sciences and the School of Engineering and Applied Science will work together on the project.

Currently, there are very few treatments that can effectively increase parasympathetic activity to the heart, but GW now has a chance to make medical history.

GW is known for attracting politically-minded students to its international affairs, political science and journalism programs, but has struggled more in appealing to budding doctors and engineers. With potentially game-changing research being done right on our campus, the University now has one more cool thing to boast about on tours and pamphlets to prospective STEM majors.

Thumbs down:

Still think the water in school water fountains is gross? Turns out it may not be very safe, either, if you’re in D.C.

Recently, D.C. tested public schools’ water for lead, and more than 60 schools were found to have high levels of the chemical element, according to the Washington City Paper. The samples were taken from various water sources, including fountains and classroom sinks.

There are 113 public schools in the District, meaning over half of the public school system’s water sources are at or above the federal action level, which is the point at which officials must take steps to deal with the lead.

In April, District officials admitted that water sources had to be turned off at three schools after tests showed high levels of lead.

Exposure to lead can result in health problems, like stomach distress and brain damage, and it is particularly harmful for young children’s growing brains. Excessive exposure can cause young children to develop behavior and learning problems, which we definitely do not want for the next generation. After all, children are our future.

In response to the test results, a filter has been installed at every water source in the 64 affected schools, according to documents by the Department of General Services. DGS is currently in the process of installing filters on drinking water sources at all D.C. schools. Hopefully, unsafe water will soon be one less thing for the District’s children and parents to worry about.

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