View Full Version : NOVA adds science to “After Newtown” reporting

Colorado Media Newsroom
February 20th, 2013, 08:45 AM
From The Denver Post:

http://blogs.denverpost.com/ostrow/files/2013/02/MultiBrain-270x151.jpg (http://blogs.denverpost.com/ostrow/?attachment_id=12958)WGBH NOVA
CAT Scan and MRI Images in color

PBS doesn’t have an instant response team to report breaking news. Instead, series like “Frontline,” “NOVA,” “Washington Week with Gwen Ifill” and “NewsHour” take the long view, offering different levels of understanding. The week-long initiative on gun violence, “After Newtown,” (http://blogs.denverpost.com/ostrow/2013/02/15/pbs-week-long-focus-on-gun-violence-begins-in-co/12908/) continues with a report Wednesday, at 8 p.m. on RMPBS, unlike any you’ve seen.
NOVA’s “Mind of a Rampage Killer” opens with TV news clips, in which broadcasters ask the obvious question, “Why?” in the aftermath of horrific rampages. Then the report hands off to neuroscience. There’s no simple answer, but CAT scans and MRIs reveal some patterns–faulty wiring in the brain. Perhaps caused by certain genes. And inevitably affected by environment. (Hint: baby rats licked often by their moms in the first week of life grow up to be calmer. Different genes fire to reduce stress hormones in the babies that got lots of attention.) The idea is, nurture can trump nature.
The teenage brain, which is undergoing rapid changes, is studied closely. And depressed, suicidal brains show up completely differently. The report loops back from Newtown, Aurora and Columbine to the earliest rampage killing many of us recall, the 1966 killing spree by a former Marine at the University of Texas. The best recommendation: early mental health intervention.

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