IU in the News

A daily digest of media coverage about Indiana University

July 30, 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.

IU Making Headlines

Inside Indiana Business

IU uncovers best sickle cell treatment for sub-Saharan Africa

The vast majority of children with sickle cell disease live in sub-Saharan Africa and, if untreated, many will die from complications before the age of five. Despite the heavy burden, children in the region don't have access to the best treatment, which is standard in the U.S. But an Indiana University School of Medicine (IUSM) researcher is helping lead the charge to change that. Buoyed by recent publication in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, the study he co-led is paving the way for the best treatment to be delivered in a region where it's needed most. A drug called hydroxyurea is the standard treatment for sickle cell disease in the U.S. and Europe, but children in sub-Saharan Africa didn't have access to it until many years after other regions. IUSM led a study a few years ago that proved hydroxyurea is safe and effective for children in sub-Saharan Africa; IU researchers say, previously, there was some concern that the drug's side effects may have more consequences in the region. Despite this important progress, these children still lacked the best treatment.

The Times of Northwest Indiana

IUN's Summer Bridge program builds connections for start of college career

In a summer where Hoosier high school students have not sat in a classroom since mid-March, Indiana University Northwest is expanding its Summer Bridge Program. IUN is adding a second week to its annual program that seeks to bring campus introductions and college readiness skills to incoming freshman and transfer students. The free program, open to students of all majors, places students in an interest-based cohort to connect them with professors in relevant disciplines and give students a taste for various IUN academic programs. Summer Bridge also seeks to build college readiness skills through integrated quantitative, verbal, public speaking and critical thinking activities, said Kris Huysken, an associate professor of geosciences. "Summer bridge is really described just like is says, as a bridge, as a pathway, from high school to college," Huysken said. "The goal really is for students to develop connections to one another, to faculty, to mentors and to the campus."

IU Voices in the News


How small tech company got $10.2 million contract to build COVID-19 database

This month, the Trump administration announced that a small private company, TeleTracking Technologies, would begin collecting vital stats about the coronavirus, like the number of cases and hospitalizations. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the CDC, had been responsible for tracking such things for years, so this move was controversial. ... Those COVID numbers we all see on TV or hear about online or on the radio come from numbers collected by the CDC, among others - or at least they did. Hospitals were only given days to start sending them to TeleTracking, a Pittsburgh company that officials at the Department of Health and Human Services said would streamline data gathering and help the White House Coronavirus Task Force allocate PPE and therapeutics. But experts like Indiana University epidemiologist Brian Dixon were irked on the timing of the decision. BRIAN DIXON: Well, it's weird in the sense that we're in the middle of a pandemic and we're switching information systems. I mean, probably the worst time ever to switch an information system is when you're busy trying to do contact tracing and monitor the situation and do response.

The Conversation

Enslaved people's health ignored from beginning, laying groundwork for today's health disparities

Written by Eric Kyere, assistant professor of social work, IUPUI. Some critics of Black Lives Matter say the movement itself is racist. Their frequent counterargument: All lives matter. Lost in that view, however, is a historical perspective. Look back to the late 18th century, to the very beginnings of the U.S., and you will see Black lives in this country did not seem to matter at all. Foremost among the unrelenting cruelties heaped upon enslaved people was the lack of health care for them. ... As a professor of social work, I study ways to stop racism, promote social justice, and help the Black community empower itself. A relationship exists between the health of enslaved Blacks and the making of America.

The Conversation

Energy is a basic need, and many Americans are struggling to afford it in the COVID-19 recession

Written by Sanya Carley and David Konisky, professors of public and environmental affairs, Indiana University. Several months into the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, lower-income families are struggling to pay their energy bills. That's a big concern during extreme events like summer heat waves, which can be deadly -- especially for elderly people, young children, people of color and the poor. We ran a nationally representative survey in May 2020 of U.S. low-income households to measure energy insecurity. We found that 13% of respondents had been unable to pay an energy bill during the prior month, 9% had received an electricity utility shutoff notice and 4% had had their electric utility service disconnected. ... As scholars who study energy policy, the environment and energy justice, we believe energy assistance should be a central part of ongoing state and federal relief efforts.

IEEE Spectrum

Twitter bots are spreading massive amounts of COVID-19 misinformation

While social media platforms have promised to detect and label posts that contain misleading information related to COVID-19, they haven't stopped the surge. But who is responsible for all those misleading posts? To help answer the question, researchers at Indiana University's Observatory on Social Media used a tool of their own creation called BotometerLite that detects bots on Twitter. They first compiled a list of what they call "low-credibility domains" that have been spreading misinformation about COVID-19, then used their tool to determine how many bots were sharing links to this misinformation. ... We talked with Kai-Cheng Yang, a PhD student who worked on this research, about the bot-detection game. ... IEEE Spectrum: How much of the overall misinformation is being spread by bots? Kai-Cheng Yang: For the links to the low-credibility domains, we find about 20 to 30 percent are shared by bots. The rest are likely shared by humans. ... We see some of the bots sharing the links directly and other bots are retweeting tweets containing those links, so they're trying to interact with each other.

Lakeshore Public Radio

AUDIO: New Indiana University Northwest chancellor on 'Regionally Speaking'

Indiana University Northwest's new Chancellor comes from the East Coast but says he's excited to now be a part of the Region. Ken Iwama was on "Regionally Speaking" on Thursday to talk about his new job, his first impressions of northwest Indiana when he came in for his on-campus interview and his leadership goals for I.U. Northwest, especially during the pandemic.


AUDIO: Bring It On: America in color

Hosts Roberta Radovich and Cornelius Wright spend the hour with Charlie Nelms, Vice President Emeritus of Indiana University, and George Middleton, founder of The Black Institute and member of the Indianapolis Black Chamber of Commerce. The hour is divided into two halves. First, the hosts and guests examine the State of Race Relations in the United States in light of recent events, especially after the murder of George Floyd on Memorial Day 2020. In the second half of the hour, they ask the question, "Can you be American and a Person of Color too?"


AUDIO: Bring It On: Federal officers on U.S. city streets

Today on a special segment of Bring It On! hosts Clarence Boone and William Hosea welcome special guests Major General Craig Q. Timberlake (USMC, Retired) and Joseph Hoffman, Harry Pratter Professor of Law at the Maurer School of Law at Indiana University Bloomington, to discuss primarily the unprecedented use of federal force taken by Donald Trump in recent weeks in Portland, OR and other cities.

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