UMASS AMHERST

In May of 2015, about 5,500 students graduated from UMass Amherst during ceremonies at McGuirk Stadium on campus. This is Elizabeth Thomas of Medfield, Mass.
Don Treeger / The Republican

The new US News & World Report college rankings are out, and it's a mixed bag for Pioneer Valley schools, UMass Amherst dropped a spot in the national university rankings -- from 74 last year to 75. Its ranking has remained relatively steady since a big improvement four years ago.

 

A pregnancy test, faintly positive, which the couple later discovered was expired by six months.
Jason Coleman / Creative Commons

We've all been told that expectant mothers should avoid alcohol and smoking during, and preferably before, pregnancy. Well, what about expectant fathers? 

Scenes from an eclipse-watching party at Smith College.
Karen Brown / NEPR

Parents with the kids, workers on a lunch break, astronomy buffs getting their fix. Across the region on Monday afternoon, people stared at the sky to see a sun partially obscured by the moon.

Late Blight Threatens Mass. Tomato Crops

Aug 9, 2017
Tomato plant infected with late blight.
Carol Lollis / Daily Hampshire Gazette

Farmers in Massachusetts and New Hampshire are preparing for potential crop losses brought on by late blight, a fungus-like disease that quickly rots tomatoes and potatoes.

UMass Amherst epidemiologist Elizabeth Bertone-Johnson.
UMass Website

UMass researchers say consuming more vegetable protein may reduce the risk for early menopause.

Early menopause, which is the loss of reproductive function before the age of 45, is a problem for the growing number of women who have delayed having children. That's according to UMass Amherst epidemiologist Elizabeth Bertone-Johnson.

"There are indications that women with early menopause are at increased risk for premature mortality, cardiovascular disease, cognitive decline and osteoporosis," Bertone-Johnson said.

In this episode, Allyson Morin speaks with NEPR Media Lab and Community Journalism students Kimberly Cruz and Milton Sagardia. Allyson and Milton discuss Milton's fear that budget cuts will end the Gear Up Program while Allyson and Kim explore how language barriers erode the mother-daughter relationship.

Hairy woodpecker
purza7 / Creative Commons

For birds, this time of year, it's all about the music.

But some birds have a different take on song. Rather than singers, they're percussionists.

Every spring, like clockwork, I wake up to an insistent, rhythmic sound. It's a woodpecker tapping a tree with its beak. It sounds to me like a big bird. But every time I gaze up, I can't find it.

Ornithologist Don Kroodsma, a retired UMass biology professor, says it's probably a Downy woodpecker, the smallest around here.  

Jesse Carrillo, left, talks to his lawyer, J.W. Carney Jr. of Boston, after the guilty verdicts were announced on May 30, 2017.
Carol Lollis / Daily Hampshire Gazette

A former UMass graduate student will be sentenced Wednesday in the heroin overdose death of another student.

Jesse Carrillo was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter and distribution after Eric Sinacori died from heroin supplied by Carrillo.

Hannah Tran-Trinh is a 2017 graduate of UMass Amherst.
Joyce Skowyra / NEPR

Commentator Hannah Tran-Trinh graduated last week from UMass Amherst. She says she learned a lot there, but the best lessons were hard-won.

I grew up in Boston. My friends were quite the colorful bunch, but I never thought twice about the fact that we were a diverse group of kids. I just loved feeling comfortable. Being a part of something I felt I belonged to.

But then I showed up in western Mass. and it was the whitest place I'd ever seen.

500 mg calcium supplements, with vitamin D.
RAGESOSS / CREATIVE

A study out of UMass Amherst shows a possible connection between the early onset of menopause and the some common nutrients.

The study looked at more than 116,000 women, who were tracked starting in 1989. It found that those who consumed the most vitamin D and calcium in the foods they ate were at a 17 percent lower risk of early menopause compared to those who ate the least.

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