IU in the News

A daily digest of media coverage about Indiana University

December 1, 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.

Big News

Blue-light glasses improve sleep and work productivity, IU research shows

This story has been covered by: Study Finds, Psychology Today, The Telegraph, Forbes, MSN.

IUPUI, Indiana Department of Health release Phase 3 findings from statewide COVID-19 study

This story has been covered by: Indiana Daily Student, South Bend Tribune, The Herald Bulletin, Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly.

IU Making Headlines

WISH-TV

Indianapolis study seeks Latino volunteers for tracking COVID-19 immunity

The IU School of Medicine and Riley Hospital for Children need more Latino volunteers for a study tracking COVID-19 immunity. Minorities are almost five times more likely than their white counterparts to contract the virus. The study calls for volunteers who've actually contracted COVID-19. It's a two-year commitment, but researchers said it's important to get a diverse group of participants to better track if immunity is possible and if so, how it forms. Medical professionals around the world and here in Indiana are working every angle to learn more about COVID-19, including how to stop it and track it. "The two key pieces about immunity that people are studying is one how does your immune system fight off infection if you do get it, and two is there immunity that protects you from future infections," said (IU School of Medicine associate professor) Alka Khaitan. She's one of the doctors working on the study. ... Participants will receive a stipend.

WPTA 21

Indiana University Fort Wayne asks community to help choose mascot

IUFW is now ready to name a mascot that encompasses the school's history and will be a source of identity for students. "As IU Fort Wayne continues to grow and establish ourselves within the Fort Wayne community, we are now looking to identify a mascot that not only provides an identity for our campus staff and students, but also unites us with the Greater Fort Wayne community," said Jake Huffman, Assistant Director of Student Engagement, Success and Retention at IU Fort Wayne.

Related stories: Inside Indiana Business

Inside Indiana Business

Vaccine developer, psychologist analyze COVID-19 vaccination

Indiana has a unique legacy in vaccine development, testing and manufacturing that is giving Hoosier experts a powerful lens to examine the current atmosphere as the first COVID-19 vaccine inches closer to reality with each passing day.  An Indiana University School of Medicine (IUSM) professor was one of the key developers of the HPV vaccine Gardasil. While that's the only vaccine that’s been developed at the university, IUSM has played a critical role in testing vaccines and currently has a clinical trial underway for AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine. ... "Vaccination is the safest and most effective thing that we do as physicians. It's more effective than any surgery or any medical treatments, and it's safer," says IUSM Professor of Microbiology and Immunology Dr. Darron Brown. "The safety testing that goes into vaccines far exceeds the safety testing for any other medical device or medication that you can name." ... IUSM Professor of Pediatrics and Clinical Psychology Dr. Gregory D. Zimet is using his expertise in behavioral and social science to help uncover what factors could lead Americans to accept or refuse COVID-19 vaccines. "One of biggest issues with COVID-19 vaccines is the widespread concern and decreasing confidence in the regulatory mechanisms," says Zimet. "Unfortunately, I think there's been a bit of a breakdown -- a more than usual breakdown -- in public trust in vaccine development."

IU Voices in the News

WISH-TV

Can you say that again? More Hoosiers are unmasking hearing loss amid pandemic

If you have heard yourself saying "excuse me" or asking "can you say that again?" a lot more during the pandemic, you're not alone. Doctors are finding that more people are reporting having trouble hearing people while wearing face coverings. "In my clinic I have seen a 20% increase in the number of patients seeking help for hearing loss," said Dr. Rick Nelson, (an associate professor of otolaryngology in the IU School of Medicine and) an Otolaryngologist at Indiana University Health. Dr. Nelson adds that of those 20% almost all have been diagnosed with hearing loss, which is something that happens over time most often correlated with age. 25% of those 65 and older suffer from hearing loss and that number jumps to 50% for those over 70 years old. Dr. Nelson also says the loss can happen at any age with loud noise being one risk factor. Without the pandemic and having to wear a mask, Dr. Nelson says it's possible some people may have adapted, prolonged testing or may not have even noticed.

Related stories: WIBC

The Indianapolis Star

Indiana has more people per capita hospitalized for coronavirus than any other state but one

Less than two weeks ago, Indiana led 44 other states in hospitalizations, but the number of patients hospitalized for COVID treatment across the state has increased since to 3,401. In the spring the number of people hospitalized never broke 2,000. While new coronavirus cases dipped over the weekend -- perhaps because fewer people got tested during what was for many a four-day holiday -- the number of patients hospitalized for COVID now exceeds any other time in the pandemic. The count dipped slightly Wednesday to Thursday but otherwise has been on the rise for the past 10 days. Indiana does have a higher percentage of residents with obesity and other comorbidities that put them at risk should they fall ill with coronavirus, said Micah Pollak, an associate professor of economics at Indiana University Northwest, who regularly Tweets analyses of the state's coronavirus data. Still, he said, he was taken aback to see Indiana pull so far ahead of other states. "Being second is a little surprising," he said. "If we look at absolute numbers, we have way more hospitalized than South Dakota. In sheer numbers we're doing way worse."

CNBC

Amid coronavirus, donations set to spike on Giving Tuesday

More than half of donors whose giving was influenced by the public health crisis said they want to help groups directly impacted, particularly small, community-based organizations focused on medical supplies or food insecurity over national nonprofits, Fidelity Charitable also found. The donor-advised fund program polled nearly 500 donors in August. It is still unclear how that will impact those larger not-for-profit groups, said Una Osili, associate dean for research and international programs at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. "For some of those charities that aren't directly involved with the pandemic, this has been a really challenging period," she said.

Barron's

Flood of cash into many Covid-19 response funds has dwindled

In the early months of the Covid-19 crisis, funds began to pop up in major cities and small towns across the U.S. aiming to serve individuals, nonprofits, and small businesses directly suffering from the pandemic. As these Covid-19 response funds began forming, first in Seattle as cases there were identified, and then elsewhere, a group at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University (IUPUI) focused on community foundations and United Way, began to track them. The school's researchers have since learned that about 1,120 funds were formed to respond to the Covid-19 crisis specifically by community foundations and United Way chapters, raising US$1.25 billion as of early October. ... While these efforts are impressive and widespread, Laurie Paarlberg, the Charles Stewart Mott Chair on Community Foundations at the Lilly School -- who initiated the research -- notes the pace of contributions into Covid-19 response funds has slowed dramatically since April and May. "Now it's at a trickle," Paarlberg says. "We were tracking it every week in the spring and now we're tracking it monthly."

WIBC

SCOTUS ruling on Trump census order will affect Indiana's federal money

How much federal money Indiana receives depends on how the Supreme Court rules on a case heard Monday. 22 states are challenging President Trump's July order to exclude undocumented immigrants from the census count. That could shift which states get the last three or four seats in the House. While Indiana isn't likely to be affected there, the census also determines all 50 states' shares of federal money for hundreds of programs. A lower court ruled Trump's order directly contradicts federal law, and that it’s "not particularly close or complicated" More complicated is whether there's anything to sue over before that count is delivered. IUPUI McKinney School of Law Professor Gerard Magliocca notes the U.S. solicitor general told the justices he couldn't make even a ballpark guess of how many people might be subtracted from the count under the order. Magliocca says it's possible the number could be too small to make a significant difference in apportionment or funding. It's not clear how the government intends to calculate how many people are in the U.S. illegally, and Magliocca says the issue will be how many of those people were counted by the census. But if the court rules the case isn't ripe yet, and the number ends up large enough to have an impact, Magliocca says the justices will just end up dealing with the issue again later. The transition to President-elect Joe Biden doesn't affect the case, since the law calls for the outgoing president to deliver the census data to Congress in early January.

NPR

Mask mandates work to slow spread of coronavirus, Kansas study finds

Researchers analyzed coronavirus infection rates in Kansas following a statewide mask mandate. They found that counties that chose to enforce the mandate saw their cases decrease. Counties that chose to opt out saw their cases continue to rise. "This adds to the growing body of evidence that says large, widespread masking helps to slow the spread of COVID," says Dr. Aaron Carroll, a professor at Indiana University School of Medicine. Carroll cautions that this was not a randomized, controlled study and there could have been other factors at play (such as more physical distancing in social situations and fewer large gatherings) in the counties that were enforcing masks. Still, as the study notes, the findings were consistent with declines in coronavirus cases observed in 15 states and the District of Columbia where masks were mandated, compared with states that didn't require the face coverings.

WOSU Public Media

AUDIO: Solar farms in Ohio

Solar energy is billed as a green alternative to fossil fuels, yet it's not without consequences, especially for Ohio's expansive farmland. Today on All Sides with Ann Fisher, the pros and cons of solar power and how to make it work and protect the value and the soil for future generations. Guests: Dan Gearino, reporter, InsideClimate News; Brent Sohngen, professor of environmental and resource economics, Ohio State University's Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics; Dale Arnold, director of energy, utility and local government policy, Ohio Farm Bureau; Peter Schubert, director, Richard G. Lugar Center for Renewable Energy at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis; Tenah McMahan, farmer, Mac Acres in Union County.

Ms. Magazine

The Trump administration's further expansion of the global gag rule and its impact on global health

Written by Seema Mohapatra, a tenured faculty member at Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. Although the Trump presidency is in its lame duck stage, the administration is continuing its assault on health care, especially reproductive health care services. In the midst of an uncontrolled pandemic, instead of focusing on policies to prevent death and disease, the Trump administration is pushing forward with its dangerous expansion of the global gag rule (GGR), which is a threat to health in so many countries. The GGR prevents foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from receiving any U.S. government funding, even if they use non-U.S. funding, to provide abortion care or even refer or counsel patients about abortion services. Every Republican administration since 1984 had enacted the global gag rule, also known as the Mexico City Policy, and it has been in effect 19 of the last 34 years. Every Democratic administration has abolished the rule upon taking office, and the Biden administration has indicated it will follow that same pattern. The Trump administration reinstated the GGR immediately upon taking office in January 2017 -- but expanded it more than any other prior administration. And they are continuing to expand the rule even today.

Physics Today

High radiation dose rates may improve cancer therapy

Dose rates hundreds to thousands of times higher than currently used in clinical treatment show promise for killing tumors while largely sparing healthy tissue. The mechanisms underlying the so-called FLASH effect are not understood, but results so far -- in animals and in one human -- have invigorated research into what some radiation oncologists and medical physicists say could revolutionize cancer treatment. ... There are many unanswered questions, notes Peter Maxim, vice chair of the medical physics division at Indiana University School of Medicine. "I am convinced that the FLASH effect is real based on the published preclinical studies," he says. "The million-dollar question is whether the FLASH effect is translatable to human therapy." Untangling the mechanisms of FLASH isn't necessary for its use, he adds, but it would help in designing clinical trials. And, he notes, technological advances would be needed to implement FLASH for cancer treatment.

Harvard Business Review

PODCAST: Anxiety, depression, and working moms in a pandemic

Jessica Calarco, associate professor of sociology at Indiana University, is studying women struggling to balance work and parenting during the Covid-19 pandemic. She explains how societal pressures and our own ideas about motherhood, along with systemic failures, are causing working mothers to suffer greater anxiety and depression than before the pandemic. But she says there are ways workplaces can help.

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