IU in the News

A daily digest of media coverage about Indiana University

March 25, 2020
IU in the News is a daily review of the important news stories relating to Indiana University. It is not intended to be an all-inclusive gathering of news, and no editorial revisions are made to the content, which is presented as it was initially published or broadcast.

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Indiana Public Media

IU president announces plans for employees as classes move online

Indiana University will continue to pay employees even if their jobs cannot be completed remotely, according to a Monday afternoon announcement from IU President Michael McRobbie. The university is not closing campuses and will still be open to employees whose duties are essential services. Otherwise, faculty and staff are instructed to work remotely if possible. Employees will not have to use vacation, paid-time-off or sick leave for COVID-19 related issues. 

Related stories: The Bloomington Herald-Times

IU Voices in the News

The Atlantic

Don't halt social distancing. Instead, do it right.

Written by Aaron E. Carroll, professor of pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine, and Ashish Jha, professor of Global Health at Harvard University. We are engaged in an effort of social distancing -- physically separating ourselves from one another. This is hard, and nearly everyone wants to know when we can stop. Beyond being personally painful, these actions take a massive economic toll: millions of lost jobs, billions if not trillions of dollars of wealth wiped away. It is tempting, at this point, to say that the cure is worse than the disease. It isn't. While the cure has large side effects, the disease is worse. The real problem is that we're taking our medicine haphazardly -- and as a result, experiencing all of the side effects and few of the benefits. That needs to change.

Related stories: MSNBC


There is no quick and easy way to boost your immune system

To put it a little more bluntly, "No, it's not possible" to rapidly boost your immune system, Mark H. Kaplan, Ph.D., chair of the department of microbiology and immunology at the Indiana University School of Medicine, tells SELF. "That's the short answer." ... the idea that we would want to supercharge our immune response doesn't make sense given that overactive immune responses can cause excessive amounts of inflammation that make people feel terribly ill, Kaplan points out. So, "What you really want is a competent immune response," Kaplan says. OK, so semantics aside, is there anything that's proven to make your immune system more competent? Better at its job? The truth is there is a serious lack of data behind most things you see being touted as immune boosters. "A lot of these ads for supplements and superchargers and quick fixes ... these things have never been tested in clinical trials," Kaplan says.


Squids' gene-editing superpowers may unlock human cures

One animal species -- a squid used as bait by fishermen, and as food by bigger sea creatures -- has already figured out how to edit its genetic code in a way that may help scientists working on gene editing-based drugs and treatments. Scientists at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, and their colleagues reported on Monday in the journal Nucleic Acids Research that longfin inshore squid (Doryteuthis pealeii) are the first known animals that can edit messenger RNA outside the cell nucleus. ... "It's an exciting paper," says Heather Hundley, associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Indiana University, who was not involved in this study. "Most of what we know of editing is occurring in the nucleus of the cell, which is fine for normal processes. But in thinking about personalized medicine and therapeutics, in order to change patients' mutations, we will have to do it in the cytoplasm."

The Indianapolis Star

Coronavirus in Indiana: What will happen if schools are closed longer than May 1?

Daniel Hickey, professor at the School of Education at Indiana University, (said) he's concerned about students who are in classes that are prerequisites to their future classes such as Algebra I before Algebra II. If those students are doing eLearning, Hickey said it's critical that teachers find a way to make sure that students don't just skip lessons or Google answers. Otherwise, "come fall, we'll start face-to-face classes, and you'll get blank stares," he said.

The Bloomington Herald-Times

How to talk to kids about COVID-19

Whether it's COVID-19 or another complicated subject, Beth Trammell has the same advice for talking with children. "I typically always start with helping parents realize their own emotional response is important," she said. Trammell is an associate professor of psychology at Indiana University East in Richmond. She said children can tell when someone's body language doesn't match what they're saying. That's why she recommends staying calm, doing some research and recognizing what a specific child needs to know when discussing something that can be stressful or frightening. COVID-19, and the measures being taken to limit its spread, can be stressful even for adults. But knowledge can be calming. "Prepare by learning," Trammell said.


How to disinfect food and your kitchen for coronavirus

According to chemist William F. Carroll Jr. of Indiana University, "Cleaning removes dirt and the organisms that cling to dirt." Clean all commonly used surfaces: your kitchen counter, a table if you have an eat-in-kitchen, refrigerator door handles, cutting boards, stove knobs and cabinet doors. Make a checklist of places to clean and keep it handy -- on a refrigerator door with a magnet, for instance. Simple soap and water will do. To clean your sponge at the end of the day, Carroll says to simply put it in the dishwasher with your dishes. The next step is to disinfect. Carroll is a "big bleach guy, on surfaces that can tolerate bleach. Just be sure the room has adequate ventilation."

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