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Michigan COVID-19 labs are again seeing delays as more people are tested

Michigan isn't unique in experiencing delays in test results, it’s happening around the country as more people seek tests and as cases (and to a lesser extent, deaths)again grow. On Tuesday, Thomas Frieden, former chief of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, criticized delays in COVID-19 test results. He also cited an analysis by the New York-based nonprofit that he leads, Resolve to Save Lives, that found not a single state tracks test turnaround times. It doesn’t matter how many thousands of tests are conducted each day in a given state. If labs can’t turn test results within a day or two, so that those who test positive can be isolated and others warned, “we really have done very little good,” Frieden told the Washington Post. On Wednesday, Wayne State University announced that it would test students moving onto campus this fall. The test is a point-in-time snapshot of an infection, Laurie Clabo, dean of its nursing school, acknowledged. But it also provides another layer of protection at the outset of the school year. “We wouldn’t move someone into a shared space if they’re COVID-positive,” she said. 

Men with high testosterone are more generous, study finds

Generosity is the quality and virtue of being kind and thankful. There are only a few people who rightly follow the steps of generosity and do not try to act avariciously. Therefore, a team of researchers from Shenzhen University, have been working out to find out the hormones that could trigger generosity in some men while the reason why other remains cold-hearted. Researchers, led by Yin Wu in the experiment, were able to identify testosterone as a possible hormone in men, which makes them appear more generous when watched by others. Shenzhen University, Wayne State University, and Peking University collaborated to reach the conclusion.
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Wayne State University announces mixed online/in-person plan for fall classes

The last of the state’s big public universities announced what the school year will look like for students Wednesday. Wayne State University revealed a mixed plan with about half of all classes taking place online, but some students will be returning to campus. The letter went out to students to inform them about the plan for classes to start back up come the beginning of the new school year.  With fall right around the corner, more schools are starting to work back towards some sense of normalcy. The latest institution being Wayne State University. Many students said they’re happy to resume their educational practices, but can’t help but wonder about the potential risks that may come along with higher learning in an era of uncertainty.
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Coronavirus catcalling is real. Mask or no mask, harassment is all about power

“Hey honey.” “Hey baby.” “Hey, where ya going?” Those are just a few of the things Cat Bowen, a 37-year-old writer living in South Brooklyn, has heard while walking past the corner near her home. Like many New Yorkers, she has been sheltering in place for over four months, sequestered inside with her husband, two kids, two cats and a dog. When she does leave the safety of her home, she practices social distancing and wears a mask. But covering half of her face to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 has not shielded Bowen from street harassment. “Street harassment, like all forms of sexual and gender violence, are fundamentally about power and reinforcing inequality,” Dr. Jennifer M. Gómez, a trauma psychologist and assistant professor in psychology at Wayne State University, said. “Sexualizing a woman or girl in public through street harassment reduces her to an object for others' consumption. Meaning, she is stripped of her full humanity and instead reduced to simply a physical or sexual thing whose purpose is men's pleasure.”
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Wayne State announces mixed plan for fall return of classes

Wayne State University announced Wednesday that classes for fall will look very different amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In a letter emailed to students, WSU President M. Roy Wilson detailed the plans saying 20 percent of courses will take place traditionally on campus and about 46 percent will be remote or online. About 2 percent will be a hybrid combination of online and in-person. As many as 32 percent of classes may be individually arranged. Wilson said the university is preparing to adjust if necessary. Campus housing has remained open during the pandemic and will be open for the fall semester. "Campus life and learning will look different than they did in February, and we have new guidelines and procedures in place … to accommodate physical distancing and prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus," said Wilson. "Although things have changed, we remain firmly committed to our academic mission." Wilson said he will hold a town hall meeting 3 to 4 p.m. Thursday where students may pose questions and comments to the restart committee and him. He also highlighted that the WSU Board of Governors approved a 0% tuition increase "to allow our students to focus on their studies without added financial stress." "The university will also continue to develop new and innovative ways to make an education affordable for everyone," Wilson said.
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Study explains why fetuses and newborns are mostly spared by COVID-19

Why are newborns born to mothers with COVID-19 rarely infected? Researchers at the Wayne State University School of Medicine and the Perinatology Research Branch of National Institute of Child Health and Human Development/National Institutes of Health in Detroit have found that placental cells minimally express the instructions, or mRNA, to generate the cell entry receptor and protease required by the virus that causes COVID-19 to invade human cells. The pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 has infected more than 10 million people worldwide, including pregnant women, yet to date there is no consistent evidence that pregnant mothers pass the virus to their newborns. “The findings of this study help to understand why mother-to-fetus transmission is so rare (less than 2% of cases),” said Roberto Romero, M.D., D.Med.Sci, chief of the PRB. “The most likely explanation is that the cellular instructions for the production of the main receptor for SARS-CoV-2 are not expressed in the human placenta. In contrast, the receptors for other viruses known to cause fetal infection such as Zika and cytomegalovirus were found in placental cells.” Roger Pique-Regi, Ph.D., assistant professor of the WSU Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics, and of Obstetrics and Gynecology, first author of the study, explained that the single-cell genomics technology the researchers employed allows them to study the transcriptome of individual cells isolated in tiny oil droplets using microfluidics.  
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Opinion: Don’t let other health care issues slide during pandemic

Dr. Mark Schweitzer, dean of the School of Medicine and vice president of health affairs at Wayne State University, co-wrote an op-ed about the need to address personal health issues that may have been neglected during the pandemic. “As we’ve watched our state battle to reduce the toll of COVID-19 on Michigan residents, we’ve understood — and supported — the sense of caution that has kept people home rather than visiting their doctors or going to the hospital if they think they need medical help. But as health care specialists trained as medical doctors, we also know the risks of getting medical attention too late. Strokes, heart attacks, diabetes and cancer don’t take a break just because we’re in the middle of a pandemic. The danger of hospitals being overwhelmed by the need to treat COVID-19 patients required us to limit access this spring so patients could receive the treatment they needed and caregivers could get the personal protection equipment critical to protecting their health. But the situation today is much different. The doctors affiliated with our three universities that make up Michigan’s University Research Corridor — Michigan State University, the University of Michigan and Wayne State University — along with our clinics and Michigan Medicine, UM’s medical center, are taking the steps to help their patients through telemedicine, where appropriate.”
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Until teachers feel safe, widespread in-person K-12 schooling may prove impossible in US

Michael Addonizio, professor of educational leadership and policy studies, wrote an article for The Conversation about the challenges of reopening in-person K-12 schooling in the U.S. “Safely resuming in-person instruction at U.S. public schools is important for the academic, physical, emotional and social well-being of children and their families. It’s also a key factor for the nation’s economic recovery. But in mid-July, despite considerable pressure from the Trump administration, many school systems around the nation had announced that they didn’t yet believe that anything close to resembling a traditional schedule would be feasible before the 2020-21 school year starts. Many school districts, including those in Los Angeles, San Diego and Houston, three of the nation’s largest, were planning to be fully online.”
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Wayne State University to announce plans for fall semester amid pandemic

Wayne State University is set to announce Wednesday exact plans for the fall semester. The university is one of the last such schools to announce return plans amid the coronavirus pandemic. “I said from the very beginning that we weren’t going to make any definitive decisions until as late as possible, based on the science and based on the public health at the time,” said President M. Roy Wilson. We do know a couple of the university’s plans already. For one, masks will be nonnegotiable. “That’s going to be mandatory for us,” said Wilson. “If you’re in a closed environment, in any of our buildings, you’re going to have to a wear a mask, period.” Here’s what else we know: There will be in-person, online and remote classes. Students will have to take a mandatory campus health and safety online course. There will be daily screenings and barcodes giving access to campus. Students living on campus will receive a COVID-19 test. The full plan will be sent via email to students and community members.
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Model D, 7/14 Amid calls to defund police, Detroit leaders weigh in on solutions and alternatives

For the Wayne State University Police Department, which report more incidents off-campus than on-campus, everyone must be on board with safety changes in the department, says Police Chief Anthony Holt. The university reported in May that the department was establishing a headquarters for a national de-escalation training center. According to the university, a nonprofit corporation status was filed with the state of Michigan. The training, Holt says, involves understanding someone’s mental health and deciding how to address that person. De-escalation, Holt says, is useful when conducting a traffic stop. While the person is not comfortable with a police officer stopping them, and may express their discomfort, Holt says one of the best practices is for the officer to calmly explain the stop. Holt says the plan for the center has been in motion for the last few years. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic, the department halted face-to-face training. Holt says a few of the officers began training shortly before Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s shelter-in-place order. Virtual training began the week of June 20 with plans of face-to-face training by the end of 2020. Holt says de-escalation training is not a “one size fits all” tactic, as each person police come in contact with is different. But the goal of the training center, he says, is to further prepare officers on how to handle situations individually without immediate excessive use of force. In wake of recent police-involved incidents, Holt says the department receives numerous calls from residents explaining police encounters as far as 10 years ago. Holt doesn’t dismiss the complaints, and instead says he uses those complaints to remind officers how to handle future calls in the city. “I think you have to understand why people are protesting,” he says. “They want change. They want to be part of the change. So when you say you have to show [change], thus is the perfect example when to show it.”
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Marvin Gaye's 'What's Going On' is still relevant and revealing, 50 years later

Fifty years ago this summer, vibrating with agitation and energy, Marvin Gaye headed down the wood steps into a Detroit  studio and made his anthem for the ages. “What’s Going On,” a poignant musical masterpiece crafted in a season of unease, persists as a timely backdrop to another heated summer, half a century later, when the world feels upside down. Racial tensions, police controversy, environmental anxieties, a globe on edge — they were the topics on the front burner when Gaye rebooted his musical career and took control of his creative vision inside Motown. “What’s Going On” was richly Detroit. Gaye had been “all over the city, soaking up Detroit’s vibes and moods as he was recording,” wrote the Freep’s Bob Talbert, who was tight with Gaye at the time. With its seasoned jazz and big-band players, Motown’s ace Funk Brothers and the DSO, the track was a collective hometown feat. “People always talk about various influences out of Detroit. This really was a hometown effort that went worldwide. It captured that community sensibility and coming-together during a challenging time,” said Chris Collins, a music professor and director of jazz studies at Wayne State University. “The production — the openness of the music involved — was a pretty spectacular example of what can come out of that.” Collins said his 22-year-old son is enamored with the song and album. “It's in his musical life as a young person,” said Collins, also director of the Detroit Jazz Festival. “I think that speaks to the power and sincerity of that recording. It spans generation and communities.” At Wayne State, ethnomusicologist Josh Duchan’s course on 20th century popular music zeroes in on “The Message,” the pioneering 1982 rap hit by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. “A song like that — which is much more explicit in its lyrics — is kind of the extension of what Marvin Gaye and ‘What’s Going On’ did years earlier,” he said. “It’s looking around at the world and saying: These are not the conditions we all hoped for.” 
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Wayne State University responds to new ICE policy

Wayne State University is responding to new guidelines put in place by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for international students. The new policy, according to the university, would "impose restrictions that put undue burdens on students and institutions as we continue to deal with uncertainties caused by the pandemic." This would require international students to be enrolled in at least one in-person class (which can be a hybrid) to maintain their visa status during the fall semester. The decision was made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. WSU has about 1,500 international students. "We have joined higher education institutions and associations from across the country who are calling for changes to these unfair and impractical policies and are mobilizing to advocate on behalf of our international students," associate vice president of educational outreach and international programs Ahmad M. Ezzeddine,  said in a press release. "As these efforts continue, we are also reviewing the specifics of these guidelines to identify areas that will require changes in our fall plans to ensure compliance with the new rules. The planned hybrid model (a combination of on-campus and remote/online classes) we were already considering for the fall term should provide some flexibility in that regard."
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Michigan universities trying to prevent deportation of international students

Wayne State University and Oakland University will join the likes of Harvard, MIT and the University of Michigan in a fight to keep international students from being deported. The White House said if colleges don’t reopen, international students will have to finish their studies online from their home countries. The universities are now creating in-person courses to keep talent in the U.S. Rather than letting their international students be deported if schools go to a 100 percent online learning model -- they are figuring out how to make courses with the minimum bar of accommodation to keep those students’ visas safe.
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Supreme Court upholds American Indian treaty promises, orders Oklahoma to follow federal law

Kirsten Carlson, associate professor of law and adjunct associate professor of political science, wrote an article for The Conversation about the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling ordering Oklahoma to follow federal law regarding promises made to American Indian nations. “To most Americans, it may seem obvious that a government should live up to its word. But the United States has regularly reneged on the promises that it made to American Indian nations in the nearly 400 treaties that it negotiated with them between 1778 and 1871. Many people feared that the Supreme Court would turn a blind eye to another treaty breach in this case, McGirt v. Oklahoma. Beyond Oklahoma, the decision’s effects will vary by tribe and state. States from Florida to Michigan have sought to curtail tribal sovereignty, and this decision clearly affirmed tribal sovereignty and treaty rights. It also emphasized the limited powers that states have over American Indian tribes under the U.S. Constitution. States may now think twice before ignoring treaty promises or challenging tribal jurisdiction. They may decide it’s better to negotiate than to fight in court.”
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How talking about the coronavirus as an enemy combatant can backfire

Tabitha Moses, MD/PhD candidate at Wayne State University, wrote a Conversation piece about the growing trend of using military metaphors in references to the coronavirus. “Sometimes war involves battling other countries; other times, it’s the metaphorical kind, like our current “war” against the coronavirus. We see this war reflected in the language that gets used by politicians, policymakers, journalists and healthcare workers. As the “invisible enemy” rolled in, entire economies halted as populations “sheltered in place.” We were told to “hunker down” for the long battle ahead and to “support our troops,” the health care workers, fighting on the “front lines.” These military-inspired metaphors serve a purpose. Unlike the dense linguistic landscape of science and medicine, their messages are clear: Danger. Buckle Down. Cooperate. In fact, studies have shown that sometimes military metaphors can help unite people against a common enemy. They can convey a sense of urgency so that people drop what they’re doing and start paying attention. However, as someone who has studied the way language influences behavior, I know that this kind of rhetoric can have long-term effects that are less positive, particularly within health and medicine. In fact, research has shown that these metaphors can cause people to make decisions that go against sound medical advice.”
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Wayne Law students awarded prestigious 2020 workers’ right fellowship at UAW

Two Wayne State University Law School students were awarded prestigious 2020 Peggy Browning Summer Fellowships. Rising third-year students Michele Lucas-Narcisse and Samantha Perry are both fellows at United Auto Workers International Union Legal Department in Detroit. They were awarded the fellowships for their commitment to workers’ rights through their previous educational, work, volunteer and personal experiences.
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Wayne State doubles graduation rate, but more work to be done

Wayne State University’s six-year graduation rate just a few years ago was 26%. The six-year rate is the value to focus on as it is the common metric used throughout higher education. After the implementation of intentional programming, six-year graduation numbers have since doubled to just over 50%, a vast improvement but with work still need to be done on the comparatively low four-year graduation rates. Wayne State University President M. Roy Wilson says the school set a goal of achieving a 50% graduation rate by 2021, something Wayne State is on track to achieve by the end of summer. Wilson says Wayne State enacted a number of programs, including expanding advising capabilities, to address the low graduation rates. “I think that the only way to improve numbers like this is everybody gets involved,” says Wilson.   
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WSU Press hires new director

Stephanie Williams will take the helm of Wayne State University Press in early August, according to a university news release Tuesday. Williams comes from Ohio University Press, where she served most recently as director since June 2019. She replaces Kathryn Wildfong, who returned from retirement to take up the interim director post after Tara Reeser stepped down. “I am delighted that Stephanie will be joining the University Press as our new director," WSU spokesman Michael Wright said in a written statement. "Her leadership will make a difference for the Press, the university, and the community. I also wish to thank Kathryn Wildfong for stepping in as interim director while we conducted a new search. She did a great job getting the team refocused and re-energized, and we all wish her well on her second try at retirement.” 
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Addressing the toxicity of cancer treatment costs

Lauren Hamel, Ph.D., assistant professor and member of the Population Studies and Disparities Research Program at Karmanos Cancer Institute and the Wayne State University School of Medicine, was awarded a Research Scholar Grant by the American Cancer Society. She will use the grant to test the effectiveness of a patient-focused intervention to improve patient-provider treatment cost discussions and other patient outcomes related to the financial consequences of cancer treatment. Hamel and her team responded to the growing problem of financial toxicity, or the severe material and psychological burden of the cost of cancer treatment. Financial toxicity affects an estimated 30% to 50% of patients with cancer, especially patients who are racial/ethnic minorities, have lower incomes or are under 65. However, well-timed and effective patient-oncologist treatment cost discussions could help.