IU in the News

A daily digest of media coverage about Indiana University

December 18, 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

Can 'the social brain' protect against Alzheimer's? NIH awards IU team $3.5 million to find out

This story has been covered by: Inside Indiana Business.

Brightest-known fluorescent materials have academic, commercial potential

This story has been covered by: Chemistry and Engineering News, Optics, TechQuila, Gizmodo, Laboratory Equipment, Chemical and Engineering News, New Atlas, Vice, Cosmos, Tech Explorist, Science Friday.

IU Making Headlines

Fox 59

How Indiana's universities are planning for vaccinations

Universities throughout the state and country are preparing now for when it is time to vaccinate students for COVID-19. Students and faculty in the medical field are already being vaccinated for the virus in this first phase. "We have about 4,600 faculty and students across all of our health science schools who qualify in that category," said Indiana University President Michael McRobbie. "Many are preparing to be part of the distribution process on campus. About 450 of our medical students are being trained about half of them already have been to administer the vaccine," said President McRobbie.

Inside Science

Flies that feast on dead flesh may help detect chemical weapons

Chemical weapons are banned by international treaty, but they are still occasionally used to kill and seriously injure people around the world. Now, investigators may have found an unlikely ally: insects called blowflies that feed on feces and dead bodies. Where humans may be held back by danger or bureaucratic red tape, blowflies travel easily, collecting samples in their stomachs. "Blowflies are pretty much present in any environment," said Christine Picard, a molecular biologist at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis. "You don't have to send someone in to collect the samples. … You just have to collect the flies." Blowflies might acquire their "samples" either by feeding on the bodies of humans or animals killed by chemical weapons, or by drinking water contaminated with chemical weapons or their byproducts, she said.

The Bloomington Herald-Times

IU emergency meals available again

Carl Ipsen, director of the IU Food Institute, and other officials at Indiana University had hoped it wouldn’t be necessary to offer emergency meals to IU students and staff for a second time this year. But with the growing number of COVID-19 cases and the closure of IU’s campus, staff with IU Dining and others determined it was needed. The first time chefs with IU Dining coordinated with Ipsen and others to provide free meals, it was April and the threat of COVID-19 was new, with many people and agencies ready to help both physically and financially. This time, Ipsen isn’t so certain there will be such an outpouring to help provide for people experiencing food insecurity. "We are in a similar situation," Ipsen said Wednesday, explaining that IU's Bloomington campus is closed and the dining staff who have not been furloughed are available to create nutritious meals, sometimes using food grown at the IU Campus Farm.

Kokomo Tribune

Women's philanthropy circle awards record-breaking funding

Indiana University Kokomo's women's giving circle awarded its largest amount of grant funding in its four-year history, giving more than $33,000 to 12 projects last month. Women of the Well House funding benefited programs to add trees to campus, provide overdose training to future nurses, equip mentors for students, faculty and future teachers, host a podcast festival on women's issues, support women in technology fields, and prepare teachers to use technology, among others. Cathy Clearwaters, director of development, said since its inception in 2017, the circle has given approximately $82,000 to programs benefiting not only IU Kokomo, but the surrounding community, under the leadership of faculty, staff and students.

IU Voices in the News

The Washington Post

For college freshmen, pandemic results in a first-year experience unlike any other

When Emma Dabelko began applying to colleges, a little more than a year ago, she envisioned a freshman year filled with possibility. She would immerse herself in academics, engage with professors, join clubs, make lasting friendships, attend plays and concerts and root for the football team. The pandemic had other plans. Like the vast majority of students who began their first year of college this fall, Dabelko, an international studies major at Indiana University, has seen the coronavirus turn almost every aspect of the freshman experience upside down. ... "There's stress about getting covid or infecting someone in your family. A lot of people are having a hard time mustering up the strength or energy to leave their room." Still, Dabelko is glad for the classes she's taken and friends she has made. Despite the health restrictions and somber circumstances, she thinks she made the right choice to begin school when she did.

The Indianapolis Star

'Maybe next year': What Hoosiers and public health experts say about the holidays

Tom Duszynski, director of epidemiology education at IUPUI, said the advice to Hoosiers about holiday gatherings now is the same as it was on the road to Thanksgiving. Don't do it. "We still have to keep our gatherings really small. By small, I mean within the household itself and not having friends and family over," Duszynski said. "Even if you test negative you still may be harboring disease, and I think that's a challenge that we saw during Thanksgiving. People went out and got tested and assumed that they were negative when in fact they could still be incubating and the test wasn't sensitive enough to detect that."


COVID-19 vaccine side effects: What we know so far

With any vaccination, you can expect a bit of pain during and after the injection, says Dr. Thomas Duszynski, director of epidemiology education at Indiana University. Dr. Duszynski adds that some people may experience chills, fatigue or minor headaches after vaccines. ... During the Pfizer clinical trials, no severe allergic reactions were reported among the 40,000-plus trial volunteers. Although severe allergic reactions are likely to be rare, "It would be important for individuals with known allergies to speak with their health care provider prior to receiving the vaccine," Duszynski says.

Indiana Public Media

A false choice: How the coronavirus married public health and the economy

(Eileen White, a former epidemiologist at the newly formed Fishers Health Department), points to many hospitals across the state and country that are at or near capacity. She insists, "We are not in a better place, and I think we've seen that the choices that were made did not work. We need to switch to a public health first approach," she insists. Micah Pollak, an economist at Indiana University Northwest, agrees. "When you talk about (things) like the stay-at-home order, or shutting down the economy, that's an extreme," he said. "The optimal should be something where we identify the things that are spreading the virus the most, and are also the easiest for us to reduce."


More than 200 Indiana nursing homes signed up for support program during pandemic

Indiana is among the first states to launch a program to assist nursing home facilities in dealing with COVID-19 and its challenges. The Indiana Nursing Home COVID 19 Action Network (NHCAN) Extension of Community Healthcare Outcomes, (ECHO) operates as a 16 week interactive virtual community. Nursing facilities joining the interactive community will work to improve COVID-19 preparedness, safety, and infection control. The IUPUI ECHO Center will also provide rapid response mentorship for any nursing home that experiences a sudden increase in COVID-19. Laura Holtz, a Regenstrief Institute senior research manager and project coordinator for ECHO, said all participants are encouraged to share best practices and learn from their peers. "One of the things that we found with this program is that we are going to provide a forum for nursing homes to be able to share a forum of experiences and also peer to peer learning as they tackle these new challenges," Holtz said.

The Conversation

In Trump election fraud cases, judges upheld rule of law -- but it's not enough to fix US politics

Written by Charles Gardner Geyh, John F. Kimberling Professor of Law, Maurer School of Law, Indiana University. A healthy constitutional culture, in which the people and their leaders respect the authority of their Constitution, requires a baseline of trust in the government -- a baseline that, in the United States, has eroded from 77% in the early 1960s to 17% today. This collapse of public confidence paved the way for a populist form of leadership that redirected public faith away from the institutions of government toward a more autocratic leader -- Donald Trump -- whom voters trusted to consolidate power, neutralize opposition and "drain the swamp" of the experts and bureaucrats he deemed responsible for the government's malaise. ... After losing the 2020 election by a comfortable margin, Trump counted on the populist power he had accumulated to force the hands of Republican officials across the country to invalidate the election, despite no creditable evidence of widespread fraud. The gambit almost worked.

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