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Detroit students leave the city for suburban schools that aren’t much better

Detroit students who leave the city to get an education end up enrolled at schools with slightly higher test scores. But that may not be enough of an advantage given some other negative factors associated with that move. Researchers at Wayne State University who have been studying student mobility in Detroit say the suburban schools for which students leave are more likely to have higher discipline rates, more new teachers and higher teacher turnover. Those other factors “may counteract the benefits of going to a school with slightly better test scores,” said Sarah Winchell Lenhoff, an assistant professor of education at Wayne State. Lenhoff, along with Associate Professor Ben Pogodzinski, recently released two reports on student mobility. One was based on research on students who leave the city, while the other was based on research on movement in the city. The two studied student data from the 2010-11 school year through the 2017-18 school year. The research raised concerns about the 26,000 children who commute to schools outside Detroit and the many more who move within the city during and between school years. That frequent movement, one report noted, “has created an unstable learning environment for thousands of Detroit resident students, exacerbating many of the challenges faced by students and schools in the city.”
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Michigan sees spike in children poisoned by marijuana edibles

More children are getting their hands on marijuana edibles in Michigan -- and for toddlers, the effects can be life-threatening. Reports of intoxication in pediatric patients from marijuana edibles to the Michigan Poison Center spiked in 2018, said Dr. Cynthia Aaron, medical director for the center at Wayne State University. That's the year that Michigan saw its first retail sales of medical marijuana products -- and that voters agreed to legalize recreational marijuana. Though commercial sales of adult-use marijuana have yet to launch in Michigan, more and more children are coming into contact with THC-infused products like gummies, cookies and chocolate bars. There were six cases of children who ate a marijuana edible in 2017 -- and 46 cases in 2018, according to data from the Michigan Poison Center. So far this year, 59 children exposed to marijuana edibles have been reported to the center. The reports typically concern two groups: young, toddler-age children and adolescents, Aaron said. The major concern is toddler-age children, Aaron said. "They go unresponsive; many don't breathe," Aaron said. "They're not interacting; they're sleepy… some kids may complain of being dizzy; stumbling around." Though no deaths have been reported from children ingesting marijuana edibles, Aaron said the concerns are serious: some children have spent 24 hours on a breathing machine as a result of exposure. Marijuana edibles are an issue particularly because of the way they are dosed: the package might tell you a dose for an adult is one section of a chocolate bar; or two gummy bears; or half of a cookie. Young children don't see it that way, Aaron said. Aaron said adults should treat marijuana products like any other medication. "This like any other medication in the house -- it really needs to be locked up," Aaron said. "People don't realize how potent they (edibles) are and they don't understand that it's not like smoking or vaping. You don't get your buzz immediately -- it's delayed," Aaron said. "It's a dysphoric trip."

GM workers head to picket lines to press demands

General Motors Co.’s factory workers took to the picket lines Monday, hoisting signs reading “UAW on Strike” and blocking traffic into plants, in an effort to secure better pay, more job security and other benefits ahead of an expected U.S. car market slowdown. The United Auto Workers union over the weekend called on nearly 46,000 full-time factory workers at GM to walk off the job starting early Monday morning, after negotiations for a new four-year labor agreement hit a standstill. The nationwide walkout is the UAW’s first in 12 years and involves more than 30 factories across 10 states. It is also one of the largest private-sector work stoppage in decades, coming at a time when unions more broadly have pulled back on striking companies. Work-stoppages involving more than 1,000 employees are down, falling from more than 200 a year in the early 1980s to fewer than 20 annually in recent years. “The strike really has lost its utility as a viable weapon in the private sector,” said Marick Masters, a professor of business at Wayne State University. “You very rarely see an employer willing to buckle.” At the same time, he said both sides have an incentive to reach a deal quickly. “The company knows it’s going to have losses, and workers know they’re going to miss a paycheck,”  Masters said.
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E-scooters are fast, unregulated and all over Detroit. What could go wrong?

In a rapidly changing Detroit, the scooters have become something else: a symbol of tension about whether the city belongs to newcomers or longtime residents. In a city with chronic problems, the service that appeals mainly to young professionals was rolled out so quickly and with virtually no regulations that a City Council analyst last year wrote that Detroit was “inundated.” The results have often been confusion, annoyance, anger and broken bones as scooter users have shown up by the dozen at Detroit emergency rooms. Rayman Mohamed, a Wayne State University professor of urban studies and planning, said the absence of accepted rules about scooters fuel tensions. “At least there are rules of the road that cars generally follow,” said Mohamed, who occasionally uses a scooter himself.  “And, for the most part, both pedestrians and drivers have a common understanding what those rules are. “I think with scooters we haven’t had time to come to a common understanding about those rules. Instead, the rules are ambiguous and that leaves lots of room for animosity between pedestrians and scooter users.”
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Is there such a thing as ‘friend-zone’?

The issue of the “friend-zone” – and the reasons that men and women view it differently – helps us to understand the ways that people judge sexual interest and the things that lead us to strike up friendships in the first place. Trying to make a move on a friend is a balance of risk and reward, and men, more often than women, are attracted to opposite-sex friends, even when both people define the relationship as platonic. Men overestimated how attractive they were to the women, and the women underestimated how attracted the men were to them. People who rate themselves as highly attractive are also more likely to overperceive other's sexual interest in them. “Once we expect something we tend to see it,” says Antonia Abbey, from Wayne State University, a social psychologist who studies relationships. “If you think someone is sexually attracted to you, you watch for it more. Like when a person leans forward or laughs, or whatever – they view [that] as a sexual sign. They might not notice that when they leaned in the other person backed off.” Researchers like Abbey study the exchanges between people initiating romantic interest – called dating “scripts”. These scripts can reveal the sequence of events that lead to successful or unsuccessful pursuits of romance – and it turns out we often have pre-defined roles. “Context really matters in interactions like this,” says Abbey. “Men might be looking for signs of attraction more than women because traditional gender roles suggest men take the initiative. It sounds old fashioned in 2019, but there have been quite a few qualitative studies that ask about dates and people tend to still have a lot of those traditional themes around who asks whom out, who pays and things like that. Women hold back and men feel the burden to take the lead.”
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Blind Wayne State student shares inspiring secret to success, gets tattoo to celebrate passing organic chemistry

Any college-level chemistry class can seem difficult. One Wayne State University student, who happens to be blind, took organic chemistry for two semesters. Nicole Kada was born blind but she sees the world in a very inspiring way. “You could be blind and say that you can’t do anything because you can’t see, therefore you just can’t but that’s just making excuses,” she said. The 23-year-old is studying to become a dietitian and one of the courses she must pass is organic chemistry. “Organic chemistry is all drawing structures and molecules, it’s basically an art class, times ten,” Kada said. But if you can’t see or draw, how do you approach this class? She uses special paper and a Braille computer that helps her identify different shapes. “Plastic paper that you put on a drawing board and you write with this pen and it raises it up in Braille so I can feel the molecules,” Kada said. The student says she had to study much harder than other students to understand what was being taught in two semesters. She met with a tutor every day for hours and it paid off. She got two A's for the year. “Most proudest moments and happiest too,” Kada said. To celebrate, she got a tattoo of a molecule to be a permanent reminder of perseverance. “When my kids tell me they can’t do something, I’m going to show them my tattoo and tell them yes you can because I can do it and I can’t see.” Kada will be graduating next year but she hopes her story will inspire others. “As soon as you remove limitations, then you can accomplish anything,” she said.
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Texas hospital tries to stop birds living in nearby trees, accidentally creates haven for North America's most venomous caterpillar

Texas hospital's attempts to deter birds have accidentally created a haven for North American's most venomous caterpillar species, whose painful sting has been compared to breaking a bone. Nets were put up on the oak trees that line the sidewalks of Texas Medical Center in Houston to stop birds like grackles and pigeons—which can carry diseases and create a mess—from gathering. But by putting the birds off from landing on the trees, the institution created a new problem. With no birds to eat them, the population of bugs commonly known as "asps" exploded. After studying the area for three years, researchers found the caterpillars were 7,300 percent more abundant on netted trees compared to those without protection. Also known as Megalopyge opercularis or puss moth caterpillars, the insects are the most poisonous caterpillars in North America. The creatures are covered in spines linked to a sac filled with poison. If someone brushes against an asp, the protrusions break off and stick into the skin, releasing venom. After around five minutes, the victim will experience an intense throbbing pain, which then spreads. Stings can be accompanied by headaches, vomiting and nausea, as well as stomach pains. Glen Hood, who led the study at Rice University and is a research assistant professor of biological sciences at Wayne State University, said in a statement: "There are a lot of people that congregate in the green spaces of TMC [Texas Medical Center]. It becomes this scenario of what's worse—bird guano or venomous asps—and is there a happy medium?" Hood commented: "It's highly suggestive that when you don't take into account the natural interactions taking place within a community or ecosystem, even in an urban setting, it can cause unforeseen consequences."
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Center for Latino/a & Latin American Studies’ 48th Anniversary Awards Dinner

Professor Jorge Chinea, Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies director at wayne state university joined “Spotlight on the News” host Chuck Stokes to talk about the center’s 48th Anniversary Awards Dinner scheduled on Friday Sept. 13 at the El Kiosko Banquet Hall in Detroit. “Every year we try to hold an event to raise funds for the center, so we try to coincide it with the beginning of the Hispanic Heritage Month,” Chinea said. “We also try to recognize the great work that is being done by members of the community.”
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How flying in a fighter jet affected my mind and body

Arash Javanbakht, director of the Stress, Trauma and Anxiety Research Clinic at Wayne State University, wrote a piece about his perspective, as a psychiatrist, on the mental and physical aspects of flying a fighter jet. “The experience was condensed and fast, affecting so many sensory modalities, and its processing took some time: Part of me was in denial for a couple days, and I repeatedly found myself in awe, telling myself excitedly: Dude, I flew a fighter jet! Overall, it took a couple days for my mind and body to come back to normal; it was a once in life experience, and it was amazing,” Javanbakht wrote.
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Vaping shops will lose in Michigan's e-cigarette ban, but is public health worth it?

Dr. Daniel Ouellette, a pulmonologist and senior staff physician at Henry Ford Hospital, applauded the e-cigarette ban. "I think that this is a step forward, and I’m really happy to see that my home state is at the forefront of taking this initiative," said Ouellette, who also is an associate professor at Wayne State University's School of Medicine. "For me, as a lung specialist, I think that the only good thing in your lungs is air." Ouellette said the dangers of vaping still aren't fully known. "We know with cigarettes it can take 15- 20 years or more after having started smoking to have an increased risk of cancer," he said. "If we would extrapolate that same kind of data, it’s going to be a couple of decades before we know this for sure about e-cigarettes. "What we do know is that there are some potential carcinogens in the vapor products. We do know that at least potentially there's a risk. Who would want to be 20 years down the road from now and be faced with an epidemic of lung cancer because we didn't act to control and study e-cigarettes?" But he said it's clear that e-cigarettes are highly addictive — and that's especially true for young people whose brains are more susceptible to addiction — and the contents of the e-cigarette cartridges may contain chemicals that are harmful when heated. "One tank or canister of solution for an e-cigarette contains as much nicotine as a pack of cigarettes," Ouellette said. "So people who use these e-cigarettes are going to get addicted to nicotine. That, by itself, is an adverse consequence. Not only will they be addicted to e-cigarettes but also potentially to other tobacco products. "In addition, these e-cigarettes contain propellants, liquids ... in which the nicotine is dissolved. ... There's also the ability to put in other things," such as flavors, cannabinoid (CBD) products and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive component of marijuana. "So there are a great variety of dangers that can be posed by the use of these e-cigarettes," he said. 
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Vaping may be bad for teens. But will Michigan’s ban hurt smokers trying to quit?

Banning flavoring in e-cigarettes and similar devices might move the products further away from Michigan teens, but some worry that an all-out ban also strips cigarette smokers of a powerful tool to help them quit. Smoldering for years now, the health debate ignited Wednesday when, in a surprise move, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer proposed banning flavoring in e-cigarettes and other vaping devices in the state. Still, others worry about adult smokers trying to quit cigarettes by turning to vaping, which early research suggests is not as dangerous as combustible tobacco. At Wayne State University’s School of Medicine, clinicians are helping smokers shake the tobacco habit through the use of incentives — gift cards, for example, sometimes alongside tobacco cessation products, like the nicotine patch. David Ledgerwood, a clinical psychologist and director of Wayne State’s Nicotine and Tobacco Research Division, said vaping products can indeed be used to help smokers cut down or quit cigarettes. But Ledgerwood also noted that adolescents and teens are easily moved by marketing gimmicks and flavored products. “There’s a lot of stuff going on there around the development of the adolescent brain. Their role at that age is to break away from their parents, and that’s why you get this rebellious stage,” Ledgerwood said. “This is where they’re going to try out new things and make decisions about where their lives are going to head, and they can make some really smart decisions and really risky decisions,” he said.
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New podcast from Wayne State features stories of Iraqi students studying in Detroit

Twenty one Iraqi college students came to Wayne State for three weeks over the summer to learn about American culture and democracy. They were here as part of the Iraq Young Leaders Exchange Program, an opportunity sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and funded by the U.S. Department of State. While in Detroit, the students worked on leadership and communication skills. As part of the curriculum they put together a podcast. Colleen Ezzeddine is the communication faculty member who worked with the students on the storytelling project. “The podcast will give you an insight into Iraq’s young leaders of today and what’s on their minds,” says Ezzeddine. Each episode features one of the students telling a personal story from their life. Ezzeddine says the topics touch on death, medical challenges, what to do after high school and more. “The students mentioned that they wanted Americans to know that, on one hand they’re just like anybody else. And on the other hand they’re people that have gotten the short-end of the stick in certain situations but that they’re very dedicated, as one of them put it, to ‘make Iraq great again.’”
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Report: Detroit students leave the city for schools that aren’t much better

Detroit students who leave the city to get an education end up enrolled at schools with slightly higher test scores. But that may not be enough of an advantage given some other negative factors associated with that move. Researchers at Wayne State University who have been studying student mobility in Detroit say the suburban schools the students leave for are more likely to have higher discipline rates, more new teachers, and higher teacher turnover. Those other factors “may counteract the benefits of going to a school with slightly better test scores,” said Sarah Winchell Lenhoff, an assistant professor of education at Wayne State. Lenhoff, along with Associate Professor Ben Pogodzinski, recently released two reports on student mobility. One was based on research on students who leave the city, while the other was based on research on movement in the city. The two studied student data from the 2010-11 school year through the 2017-18 school year. The research raised concerns about the 26,000 children who commute to  schools outside Detroit and the many more who move within the city during and between school years. That frequent movement, one report noted, “has created an unstable learning environment for thousands of Detroit resident students, exacerbating many of the challenges faced by students and schools in the city.” Lenhoff’s and Pogodzinski’s research is part of a project funded by the Wayne State University College of Education and the Skillman Foundation.

Wayne State U licenses out therapeutic for PTSD and other CNS disorders

Clinical stage biopharmaceutical company Tonix Pharmaceuticals Holding Corp. has entered into an exclusive license agreement with Wayne State University (WSU) to commercialize a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other central nervous system (CNS) disorders. Developed by WSU professor Aloke Dutta, the licensed technology is a triple reuptake inhibitor (TRI) known as TNX-1600. It simultaneously inhibits the reuptake of three neurotransmitters — serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine — that play a key role in many CNS processes. The technology received funding from a National Institutes of Health grant. “We have developed an innovative triple reuptake inhibitor … based on a unique pyran molecular scaffold to address the current therapeutic needs for PTSD and other neurological disorders,” says Dutta. “Based on our preliminary data, we expect a pharmacological synergy from their potent modulatory effect on the level of monoamine neurotransmitters in the brain, which should facilitate effective treatment of these disorders.”
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Why Michiganians march on Labor Day

For more than a century, whether in peacetime or war and regardless of the weather, the labor movement in Michigan has traded in its working boots for walking shoes and taken to the streets for Labor Day. Detroit's parade, in past years, has stepped off from Belle Isle and later from Grand Circus Park. More recently it has started at Michigan Avenue and headed east from Corktown to downtown. Detroit's first Labor Day celebration took place on Aug. 16, 1884, and attracted a crowd of 50,000 people to Recreation Park, according to the Walter P. Reuther Library at Wayne State University. That was a decade before Labor Day became an official national holiday, observed on the first Monday in September. Over those years the celebration would turn into a march rather than just a rally. "In its early years, the parade was used to voice the concerns of a fledgling labor movement and to celebrate the progress made by organized labor," according to a Reuther Library report on Labor Day in Detroit. Kristen Chinery, a reference archivist at the Reuther library, said "parades were very popular" then and to celebrate Labor Day that way was a "natural choice."
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Wayne State’s DetroitEd411 service gives instant access to higher education resources

Got a question about post-secondary education that you need answered right away? With Wayne State University’s newest information service, DetroitEd411, you can access information and resources about vocational training, financial aid, GED opportunities, child care and the like via Facebook Messenger. A collaboration between Wayne State and the Detroit Regional Chamber, DetroitEd411 is meant to support adult learners and promote college attainment and career readiness in Detroit. Search for the service on Messenger and be introduced to Spirit, an innovative blend of artificial intelligence and supervised machine learning, ready to answer all your questions, day or night. “One of the best things about using this adaptive technology is that we’re able to meet people wherever they are and answer questions in real time, without judgment,” says Dawn Medley, Wayne State’s vice president of enrollment management. “The amount of information Spirit is able to provide is limitless, and the database of answers and resources will only continue to grow, adapt and expand as more people take advantage of DetroitEd411.”
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High school sports participation drops for the first time in 30 years

High school sports participation dropped for the first time in three decades in 2018, according to data from the National Federation of High School State Associations released Tuesday. Nearly 8 million students took part in interscholastic sports in 2018, but that number is down more than 43,000 students from the year before. Some of that is natural, said Scott Tainsky, who studies sports economics at Wayne State University. If you think about that decline in football participation as 1 percent a year, that’s nothing to fret over. The United States has five major participatory and spectator sports (football, basketball, baseball, soccer and hockey). They all jockey not only for eyeballs on TV screens, but also for youth players. Football had a great run of growth in the 2000s, and now the numbers — both in participation and in professional viewership — are inching back down. High school football is still in fine shape. It is by far the most popular high school sport: 400,000 more boys participate in football than the next most popular sport, outdoor track and field. But the same issues you’ve heard before about football, injury concerns and cost, are driving more high school athletes away from the sport. “Those aren’t things that are likely to be resolved overnight, but they’re also not things that would cause some precipitous drop going forward,” Tainsky said. In other words, something else significant is going to have to come along to really dent football’s place as the king of high school athletics. Otherwise, Tainsky said, these participation numbers should level out over time.
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Wayne State football team powered by former local stars

The Wayne State University football team aims to bounce back from a 2-9 season in 2018, and will look to some former area stars to do it. The following players from the Hometown Life coverage area are on the 2019 roster. James Hill is the most important player on the list this fall for the Warriors. He is the team’s starting running back and rushed for 831 yards and 10 touchdowns last season. He also caught 17 passes for 172 yards, making him the team’s second-leading receiver. Marcus Bailey is expected to be more involved in the offense this year, after catching two passes last season. Jacob Mass played in all 11 games and recorded nine tackles and one tackle for loss. Assistant running backs coach Dylan Dunn is also a Livonia native and played football at Livonia Stevenson, where he graduated in 2012. Wayne State opens the season at home on Thursday, Sept. 5, against No. 10 Slippery Rock.
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Uber and Lyft take a lot more from drivers than they say

In July, an Uber driver picked up a fare in a trendy neighborhood of a major U.S. metropolitan area. It was rush hour and surge pricing was in effect due to increased demand, meaning that Dave would be paid almost twice the regular fare. Even though the trip was only five miles, it lasted for more than half an hour because his passengers scheduled a stop at Taco Bell for dinner. Dave knew sitting at the restaurant waiting for his fares would cost him money; he was earning only 21 cents a minute when the meter was running, compared to 60 cents per mile. With surge pricing in effect, it would be far more lucrative to keep moving and picking up new fares than sitting in a parking lot. But Dave had no real choice but to wait. The passenger had requested the stop through the app, so refusing to make it would have been contentious both with the customer and with Uber. There’s widespread belief among drivers that the Uber algorithm punishes drivers for cancelling trips. Ultimately, the rider paid $65 for the half-hour trip. But Dave made only $15. Uber kept the rest, more than 75 percent of the fare, more than triple the average so-called “take-rate” it claims in financial reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission. This, according to Wayne State University law professor Sanjuka Paul, who has written extensively on the ride-hailing industry, is a new wrinkle in the independent contractor debate, because it doesn’t align with the arguments the companies make that they merely facilitate interactions between two independent actors in a market. “The economic reality is they, Uber and Lyft, are collecting the fare from the consumer and then making a capital firm decision which, in this case, doesn’t sound like a very bad decision— actually making quite a sensible decision,” she said. “But it shows that they are a firm that is charging consumers and then making decisions with that money, including how to pay a labor force.”