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Courts have avoided refereeing between Congress and the president, but Trump may force them to wade in

Kirsten Carlson, associate professor of law and adjunct associate professor of political science, wrote an article for The Conversation about President Trump’s refusal to hand over records to Congress and allow executive branch employees to provide information and testimony to Congress during the impeachment battle. Carlson calls these actions “the strongest test yet of legal principles that over the past 200 years have not yet been fully defined by U.S. courts.”

The hydration rule that's worked for 400 million years

Despite popular belief, there's no widely agreed upon benchmark for daily water consumption. That "drink eight 8-ounce glasses a day" thing likely derives from a 1945 recommendation by the U.S. Food and Nutrition Board. The recommendation stated people should ingest 1 milliliter of water for every calorie they consume. The recommendation was apparently not based on any known research, and the sentence immediately following it, which was that "most of this quantity is contained in prepared foods," was soon forgotten. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration began using 2,000 calories a day as an "average" reference point, which translates to 2,000 milliliters of water a day (or about 67 fluid ounces) per the 1945 recommendation. "The origins of that weren't based on any specific series (of studies) or one specific scientific study," says Tamara Hew-Butler, associate professor of Exercise and Sports Science at Wayne State University whose expertise is in exercise-associated hyponatremia. "And that number actually included other beverages, not just water, and it also included the moisture content in food. But from those origins, it caught on." Hew-Butler refers to our level of thirst as a natural "app" hooked up to our brain designed to protect us from drinking too much or too little water. "Everyone's looking for a perfect guideline that works for every individual in every situation. But thirst is governed in your brain. And it's not just the amount of water that's important to your body—your body doesn't really care about the absolute amount of water. The body cares about the balance between the water and sodium," Hew-Butler says. "There are osmoreceptors in our brain that actually, in realtime, every second, sample the combination between water and salt going through the circulation of our brain. So if the water content goes down and it increases the concentration of sodium, then that triggers thirst, so you can actually replace the water back to the amount that you need."
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Chamber Honors Wayne State University President M. Roy Wilson with “Excellence In Education Leadership Award”

The Detroit Regional Chamber founded the “Excellence in Education Leadership Award” to recognize educators who demonstrate outstanding public service and leadership on behalf of the region. The award was inspired by the legacy of the outgoing University of Michigan-Dearborn Chancellor, Daniel Little, who was the first recipient in 2018. This year, the Chamber’s Greg Handel, vice president of Education and Talent Initiatives will award Wayne State University President M. Roy Wilson as the second inaugural recipient of the Excellence in Education Leadership Award. Wilson has demonstrated exceptional commitment to better serving his students – Detroit’s future talent base – and fulfilling the important role his institution has in catalyzing regional economic development. Under his leadership, Wayne State has garnered national attention for their new approaches that has lifted the university up as one of the most innovative universities in the country.
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Is winter miserable for wildlife?

Bridget B. Baker, clinical veterinarian and deputy director of the Warrior Aquatic, Translational, and Environmental Research (WATER) Lab at Wayne State, wrote a piece earlier this year for The Conversation regarding how wildlife adapt to winter weather. Wildlife can succumb to frostbite and hypothermia, just like people and pets. In the northern United States, the unfurred tails of opossums are a common casualty of cold exposure. Every so often an unusual cold snap in Florida results in iguanas falling from trees and manatees dying from cold stress. Avoiding the cold is important for preserving life or limb (or, in the opossum’s case, tail) and the opportunity to reproduce. These biological imperatives mean that wildlife must be able to feel cold, in order to try to avoid the damaging effects of its extremes. Animal species have their own equivalent to what human beings experience as that unpleasant biting mixed with pins-and-needles sensation that urges us to warm up soon or suffer the consequences.
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It’s go big or go home in the International Year of the Periodic Table

Volunteers at Wayne State University had been braving the elements for hours on an October morning. The wind chapped cheeks and numbed fingers as volunteers wrangled giant blue tarps with the names, symbols, and atomic numbers of chemical elements painted on them. When gusts kicked up, the workers would joke that they were building the world’s largest kite. They were actually attempting to build the world’s largest periodic table. And they had competition. Four days earlier, on the opposite side of Michigan, at Grand Valley State University, another group of crafty science enthusiasts had assembled what it believed was the world’s largest periodic table. Michigan became the proud birthplace of two gigantic periodic tables within a week. The timing wasn’t an accident, either. It was National Chemistry Week during the International Year of the Periodic Table. Although the groups hatched their schemes independently of each other, they shared the same drive to do something huge to get lots of people—and not just chemists—talking about chemistry and the iconic table. By the end of the day, drones and news helicopters had circled the periodic table at Wayne State, which covered an area larger than three American football fields. CBS News shared a photo of the table on Twitter with its 7 million followers, as did ABC’s World News Tonight with its 1.4 million followers.
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Larry Inman trial to test limits of campaign cash solicitations

Michigan state Rep. Larry Inman is set to stand trial this week on federal corruption charges for doing what many incumbent lawmakers do: asking a special-interest group to donate for re-election. But federal prosecutors contend the Traverse City-area Republican broke the law with his June 2018 solicitations to union officials by offering to sell his vote on a controversial measure to oppose the state’s prevailing wage repeal law for construction workers. For jurors in the Grand Rapids trial on bribery and extortion charges, the case could come down to a question that’s become familiar in politics: Was there a quid pro quo? “That’s always the key in any bribery case,” said Peter Henning, a professor at Wayne State University Law School and a former federal prosecutor. Prosecutors don’t need to prove Inman followed through on his proposed scheme, only that he attempted to orchestrate one, Henning told Bridge Magazine. Inman ultimately voted for the prevailing wage initiative, bucking opponents from whom he had sought contributions. He later returned an earlier check from the carpenter’s union he had not cashed. “Saying ‘you’ve got to come up with more money’ is sending a message that you better pay up. So that can be enough for an attempted Hobbs Act violation,” Henning said. Inman has maintained his innocence and vowed to fight the charges, but he risks a longer sentence by refusing to consider a plea deal, said Henning. Inman has already likely missed the opportunity for a generous offer, Henning said.
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Sharp decline seen in kids choking to death on household objects

Efforts to reduce choking deaths among young children seem to have paid off: A new report finds the number of kids dying from choking on household objects has plummeted 75 percent since 1968. Regulations, more education about choking hazards and guidelines from organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics have likely all played a role in the downward trend, said study author Dr. John Cramer. Cramer said that regulations may have played the most significant role in reducing child deaths from choking on small objects. "Some of the regulations from the last 50 years have forced people to do the right thing. When you buy toys or cribs now, products are designed so that they can't be choked on. If you're a parent and you go buy a crib, you don't have to think about buying a crib with small parts; it's already regulated," Cramer said. He's an assistant professor of otolaryngology -- head and neck surgery at Wayne State University. One example cited by the study authors is a 1979 law regarding products designed for young children. Products made for young children can no longer contain parts small enough to fit into a test cylinder that is approximately the size of the airway of a child younger than 3. Children under 3 are most at risk from choking, and they've also had the most significant drops in choking death rates over time, the study authors noted. "Choking hazard warnings for toys used in children under age 3 have probably had the biggest benefit over time. This is a developmental stage where kids are oral and exploratory, often putting things in their mouths," Cramer said.
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'Unlikely' documentary, about obstacles to completing college, gets free Detroit screening

Starting college doesn't always lead to a degree. An estimated 40 percent of students who started at a four-year university in 2011 didn't graduate in six years, according to federal statistics. The documentary "Unlikely" shows the obstacles students face that can lead to dropping out of college — often leaving people with debilitating debt but without a degree that can lead to higher earning potential and economic mobility. The film follows five students who manage school, jobs to pay for school, parenting, family tragedies and enormous debt on their mission to earn a degree — ultimately showing that dropping out doesn't have to spell the end of one's chances of pursuing higher education. The film's Detroit premiere takes place at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 11 at Cinema Detroit. The free screening is presented by the Kresge Education Program at the Kresge Foundation, WDET and Freep Film Festival. After the film, Director Jaye Fenderson will be part of a discussion that will also feature Dawn Medley, associate vice president for enrollment management at Wayne State University, and Johnathan Williams, a graduate of Wayne State University's Warrior Way Back Program. Stephen Henderson, host of WDET's "Detroit Today," will moderate the conversation. 
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This emergency manager says better management wasn’t enough

Emergency managers appointed to heal the Detroit district’s finances did little more than apply Band-Aids to a major wound, according to a recent report. Robert Bobb, one of those emergency managers, says Band-Aids were all he had. Like others appointed to run Detroit Public Schools amid a financial crisis, Bobb took out loans to cover the district’s short-term costs, an approach that led to ballooning debt and interest payments. “We couldn’t make payroll. The district could not even pay its utility bills,” he recalled. “Either we close the doors, or we go to short-term borrowing that will have a negative impact in the long term.” The report, which was commissioned by the school board, found “startling mismanagement” by the state officials who largely ran the district between 1999 and 2015. “The whole idea of emergency management is that the school district’s problems are due to poor management and the failure or local democratic governance,” said Mike Addonizio, a professor of education at Wayne State University. “By 2016 it became apparent to policymakers in Lansing that there was no way to manage DPS out of its budget deficit.” Addonizio agrees that a major cash infusion was the only way to solve the problem. He believes it didn’t come sooner because of a political consensus in the Republican-controlled statehouse that the structural issues would be solved by school choice measures. “They were convinced that more choice could resolve problems of educational deficiencies and management problems. I guess maybe they thought that failing schools would close and that children would then enroll in schools that were succeeding. But when students leave schools and districts, the schools don’t close. The children remaining in the district just suffer.”
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Michigan lawmaker kept rare cancer private while running for office

Andrea Schroeder's voice wavers ever so slightly. Somehow, she remains calm, considering the news she'd just gotten. The mother of three was in the midst of an aggressive political campaign for a hotly contested seat for state representative in the 43rd District, an area of Oakland County that includes her hometown of Independence Township. As she drove home from her hairdresser's in Birmingham on the afternoon of Aug. 16, 2018, she got dreadful news. "I have cancer," she said in a voice recording, almost like an audio diary, made just 20 minutes after her doctor called to tell her the results of a test done earlier that week. "I have a very rare form of stomach cancer, and it's gonna kill me." Since symptoms of stomach cancer often do not appear until the disease is advanced, only about 1 in 5 stomach cancers in the United States is found at an early stage, before it has spread to other areas of the body, according to the American Cancer Society. Her prospects were grim. Few people survive stomach cancer because it's rarely caught before it's in its most advanced, and less-treatable stages. The five-year survival rate is 31%, according to the American Cancer Society. "In the United States, there isn't a general screening protocol for it," said Dr. Philip A. Philip, who leads gastrointestinal and neuroendocrine oncology at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute. "The majority of the patients we diagnose in this country really do not fulfill the criteria for being very early. And for that reason, the outcome of the disease, is, in general less than what we see, for example, in a country that has screening and early diagnosis." Dr. Steve Kim, chief of surgical oncology at Karmanos and associate professor of the Wayne State University School of Medicine, performed successful surgery on Schroeder removing her entire stomach and attaching her esophagus directly to her small intestine. "The long and the short of it is, it works just like normal," Schroeder said. "I can eat anything, drink whatever I want. I try to be careful about sugars. Really high sugar-content things are hard to digest.
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Report: Detroit faces the most challenges to keeping kids in school

How bad is Detroit’s student chronic absenteeism problem? Wayne State University researchers have identified eight conditions — such as poverty, unemployment, and even cold temperatures — that are strongly correlated to chronic absence, and the city leads all other large metropolitan areas in having the worst outcomes for almost all of those conditions. The findings come with a key takeaway the researchers hope will prompt action: Schools alone can’t solve the problem of getting students to school every day, said Sarah Winchell Lenhoff, an assistant professor in the college of education at Wayne State University. And, the findings come during a critical time as the Detroit school district invests heavily in a number of efforts designed to get students in school. Citywide, across district and charter schools, about half of the students are chronically absent — meaning they’re missing 18 or more days during the school year. Lenhoff said what’s needed is a more coordinated effort that brings together policymakers, school district officials, charter school officials, community organizations, and community members. Without it, the work being done by schools is “unlikely to make the huge difference we need to make,” Lenhoff said.
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Wayne Law holds rank as Best Value Law School

For the sixth consecutive year, Wayne State University Law School has been recognized as a Best Value Law School by The National Jurist and its sister publication, preLaw magazine. Of the 58 law schools on the list for 2019, Wayne Law was the only Michigan law school included. The ranking is designed to recognize the law schools where graduates have excellent chances of passing the bar and getting a legal job without taking on a ton of debt, according to the publication. Criteria for selection includes ultimate bar pass rating and two-year pass rate, employment rate, tuition, cost of living and average student debt accumulation. preLaw magazine also recognized Wayne Law among the top law schools in the category of Business Law.
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Researchers discover natural toxin fatal to invasive mussels

Researchers at Wayne State University believe they may have found a way to stop invasive species of mussels from spreading throughout the Great Lakes by using algae. The find, a toxin released by dying algae called Microcystin LR, which when placed in direct contact with juvenile mussels can be fatal. Algal blooms which commonly flourish in the Great Lakes every summer are filled with toxins. Microcystin LR is the most common and also the most toxic, however some researchers don’t believe the application is practical. Scientists remain optimistic over the find as the invaders had been largely left unchecked since their introduction to the Great Lakes through ballast water in the 1980’s.
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Liberation therapy: What we know about the controversial MS treatment 10 years later

The theory of chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency, or CCSVI, was developed by Italian vascular surgeon Paolo Zamboni, who suggested that MS patients have abnormal veins that fail to properly drain blood from the brain and spinal cord. Opening those vessels, he reasoned, could restore blood flow and relieve symptoms -- a procedure widely known as "liberation therapy." The theory became one of the most bitterly contested in recent medical history, embraced by desperate patients and scorned by doctors. Yet every year on the anniversary of the program, MS patients write emails to say the experimental therapy changed their lives for the better. Mark Haacke, a scientist from Wayne State University who studies better ways to see inside the brain, helped found the Institute for Neurovascular Diseases (ISNVD) the year after Zamboni’s work first went public. Haacke, too remains undeterred by the firestorm over the theory. As imperfect as it may have been initially, he says, it opened the door to expanding the learning and understanding of the brain’s venous system. "The more data I see here ... the more I know he's right. There is some form of chronic hypertension (linked to certain brain diseases) ... but we don't know where it comes from," said Haacke. The physicist and his team have developed some increasingly detailed and striking images showing blood flow in and blood flow out and hopes to use the new way of visualizing blood flow to learn more about what’s going on upstream in the brain. The question really is "if there are flow obstructions, where are they taking place?"
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FCA and UAW negotiators must be transparent in light of GM lawsuit

The General Motors lawsuit accusing Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and its predecessor entities of corrupting labor negotiations as far back as 2009 is a bombshell, but several labor experts say its impact on current bargaining between the UAW and FCA could be limited. That's not to say the allegations in the 95-page complaint filed Wednesday in federal court, naming FCA, Alphons Iacobelli, its onetime lead labor negotiator and a convicted felon, among others, won't make the task of ratification harder. But it's not clear the issues raised, many already suggested by the ongoing federal corruption probe, will be a deciding factor. Marick Masters, a business professor at Wayne State University, said that if nothing else, the lawsuit puts an even bigger spotlight on negotiations. "I think they have to be extraordinarily careful that what they're doing is being watched microscopically by many parties," he said. "I think they will be extremely careful to avoid the appearance of any background deal (and be) as transparent as possible." Any impact on talks or how workers view a deal is not fully clear, but  deviation from the pattern could generate skepticism. The pattern deal, which includes gains for temporary and in-progression workers, would be costly for FCA because of its heavier reliance on them. "If the agreement between Chrysler and the UAW were to deviate in any way (from the pattern at GM and Ford) to the disadvantage of workers, people would say, 'We told you so, you'd better look in to this,'" Masters said.
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Michigan task force on jails floats initial ideas for policy reform

A statewide task force charged with identifying ways to reduce Michigan’s jail population and expand alternatives to incarceration began to publicly shape its initial policy proposals on Tuesday. Ideas floated during a meeting in Lansing included reducing some low-level misdemeanor offenses to civil infractions, and ending the practice of suspending a person's driver's license unless the suspension is related to unsafe driving. The group includes prosecutors, law enforcement, attorneys, legislators, formerly incarcerated people and advocates. Discussions have been guided by research presented by the Pew Charitable Trusts, as well as testimony from residents across the state. Advocates laid out ways to better support victims, including the relatives of murder victims. Those families are "often left out and left in the cold" to navigate the court system when victim advocates become overloaded with cases, said Sheryl Kubiak, dean of social work at Wayne State University, who sits on the task force. 
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After losing her dad to pancreatic cancer, Alicia Smith raises awareness through a survivor's story

November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, and Thursday, Nov. 21, is World Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Day. This disease is the third leading cause of cancer-related death in America – more than breast cancer. Dr. Asfar Azmi, assistant professor of oncology at Wayne State University School of Medicine, has been working on the front lines of finding new treatments. “We have a drug that can lock the good proteins at the right place. And when we see that locking, these are tumor suppressors. They can prevent a tumor from growing, and we see the pancreatic cancer cells die,” said Azmi. They are also researching how to catch pancreatic cancer sooner. “If we are able to bring a new biomarker – what we call – which can detect this disease early, that would change the game,” Azmi explained. The work is encouraging, but Dr. Philip Philip -- a gastrointestinal oncologist at Karmanos and professor of hematology-oncology at Wayne State University, says the research is lagging behind that being done into other major cancers. “[Pancreatic cancer] is difficult to fight for a number of reasons. One of them is because we often get the patients diagnosed at a late stage in their disease -- late as in it’s gone beyond the pancreas and spread to other parts of the body,” explained Philip. He says you need to know the signs and symptoms. “Patients often times ignore these symptoms thinking that it could be for ‘something I ate’ or ‘something I’m doing’… and they ignore those symptoms for a long time,” Philip explained.  “The key message here is that if you have symptoms that are persistent for a few days/weeks, you have to see your doctor,” said Philip.
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Impeachment: Two quotes that defined the first day of public hearings

Kirsten Carlson, Wayne State University associate professor of law and adjunct associate professor of political science, and Chris Edelson, assistant professor of government, American University School of Public Affairs, wrote an article on the impeachment proceedings. Wednesday was the first day of public hearings in the House impeachment inquiry. Two career diplomats – William B. Taylor Jr., acting ambassador to Ukraine, and George Kent, deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs – gave testimony to the House Intelligence Committee. Two scholars listened, and each picked one quote to analyze. “What we will witness today is a televised theatrical performance staged by the Democrats”. - Rep. Devin Nunes, Republican of California. “In this highly partisan era, Rep. Nunes’ words come as no surprise,” Carlson wrote. “Nunes was attempting to discredit the impeachment inquiry as a partisan attack on President Donald Trump. But his emphasis on partisanship obscures a vital function of Congress in protecting the public and preserving democratic government: oversight. Oversight is part of the U.S. Constitution’s carefully orchestrated balance of power among the three branches of government. The Constitution authorizes, if not obligates, Congress to exercise oversight over the executive branch.”
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Wednesday's state college basketball: Wayne State's Carrie Lohr notches 300th collegiate win

Senior Sadia Johnson scored 19 points, including 6-for-6 from the free-throw line, as Wayne State beat Central State, 78-70, to give coach Carrie Lohr her 300th collegiate victory. Lohr previously coached at St. Clair County Community College. Sophomore Sam Cherney (North Farmington) recorded her first career double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Sophomore Grace George had 16 points. Wayne State (2-1) shot 51 percent from the floor, to 38 percent for Central State (1-2). Wayne State visits Findlay on Tuesday.