In the news

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Become a blood donor during National Blood Donor Month

January is National Blood Donor Month: a time to raise awareness on the importance of donating blood. According to Dr. Martin Bluth, professor of pathology with Wayne State University, blood is used every two seconds in the U.S., which is why there's a constant need. "The different kinds of products that are required for blood utilization -- whether it's red cells, or plasma, or platelets -- are in constant demand simply because there's a shelf life to them." he told WWJ's Deanna Lites.
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It's time to name a building or park after trailblazing Detroiter Maryann Mahaffey

It is time to recognize former Detroit City Council President Maryann Mahaffey for her 50-plus years of service to the city. As daughter, former students and mentees of Maryann, we are calling on the City of Detroit and Wayne State University to memorialize her through the naming of building, park and/or memorial garden. Maryann served 12 years as a city council president and 32 years as a member. She was also an author, educator, civil rights activist, volunteer and political leader at local, state, national and international levels for nearly 60 years, putting into action her deep commitment to solving critical social issues. Before her tenure on Detroit City Council, she served as program director of Brightmoor Community Center where she organized the first welfare rights group in Michigan. At city council, her lengthy list of accomplishments on behalf of people most in need includes developing the first Rape Crisis Center within the Detroit Police Department, chairing the Detroit City Council Housing Task Force and enacting legislation to ensure safety for homeless families and protect renters, passing laws establishing child care facilities in neighborhoods, prioritizing residents and neighborhoods over corporate interests, and establishing the first ever city-level task force led by residents with disabilities.
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Port Huron grad Burrell to be enshrined in Wayne State Hall of Fame

Troy Burrell will likely go down as one of the best athletes to ever come out of the Blue Water Area. The former Big Reds wide receiver had plenty of success after graduating from the school in 2007. He went on to star at Wayne State University, where he will be enshrined in the school's Athletic Hall of Fame at a ceremony on Feb. 16. After going undrafted by NFL teams, Burrell refused to quit and caught on with the Detroit Lions as a free agent. He caught their attention during a local combine and was soon after signed to the practice squad, where he played two seasons with the likes of Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson. 
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Michigan feeling the pinch of federal shutdown

Wayne State University has begun offering financial assistance to students who have been impacted by the partial government shutdown. "It's going to be determined on a case by case basis, depending on the situation," Matt Lockwood, director of communications for Wayne State, told The News. "It could look like waiving a late fee, emergency loans or setting up student on a payment plan to allow them to continue on with their classes and not interrupt their studies." Lockwood said this is the first time Wayne State has made such an offer to his knowledge.  "This has drug on. It's coming up on three weeks, fairly long," he said ."We were doing so many other things to ensure our students education is not interrupted. One of faculty members actually bought this up that so many of our students work and also rely on parents that any portion of their financial income stream being interrupted would impact their ability to stay in school. We've already received some information from students that have been interested in finding out if they qualify.” 
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Mysterious tale of man accused of spying in Russia

Paul Whelan, an executive with the auto parts manufacturer BorgWarner in Auburn Hills, was picked up by Russian authorities on Dec. 28 on suspicion of spying. “Russia has arrested some people for coming in on a wrong visa or not registering. But this, the Russian media reports, was a spy sting," he said. "So something must have happened. Who knows? They’ve done this a couple of times with some U.S. diplomats and some British diplomats, but they were all eventually deported and not arrested.”
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Detroit University Seeks to Revive Neglected, Worthy Words

Just days removed from the release of Lake Superior State University's annual banished words list, Wayne State University has released its top 10 words it wants to see brought back into circulation. Break out the thesaurus and practice reading those syllables, because some of these might be a challenge. "The beginning of the year is a time for resolutions. Some may vow to stop being such a slugabed and finally wake up early, heading to the gym to stop being so fubsy. Others may commit to get outside and enjoy some salubrious activities that cut through the anhedonia," Wayne State University writes in a post. "The Wayne State Word Warriors' resolution is to curb logorrhea by reintroducing wonderful words to the world's vocabulary."
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To feel happier, we have to resolve to the life we evolved to live

As a psychiatrist specialized in anxiety and trauma, I often tell my patients and students that to understand how fear works in us, we have to see it in the context where it evolved. Ten thousand years ago, if another human frowned at us, chances were high one of us would be dead in a couple minutes. In the tribal life of our ancestors, if other tribe members did not like you, you would be dead, or exiled and dead.
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Have you experienced 'highway hypnosis?'

Randall Commissaris, associate professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, talked about highway hypnosis. The phenomenon involves drivers who are aware and paying attention while operating their vehicle, yet, they don’t remember doing it. They’re in a routine while driving and not looking for exits – similar to operating on auto-pilot. Commissaris says one of the biggest potential risks is the challenge of dealing with a surprise situation. Commissaris uses a driving simulator and willing volunteers to study driving at Wayne State University.
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Wayne State releases list of words to 'use more in conversations'

The Wayne State University Word Warriors have put out their list of words that they say deserve to be used in the everyday language more often. As part of its initiative to draw attention to some of the English language's most expressive — yet regrettably neglected — words, the Word Warriors have applied their trenchant insight and released their annual list of the year's top 10 words that deserve to be used more often in conversation and prose.
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David vs. Goliath: What a tiny electron can tell us about the structure of the universe

Alexey Petrov, professor of physics at Wayne State University, wrote a piece for The Conversation about how the electron is commonly known as one of the main components of atoms making up the world around us. It is the electrons surrounding the nucleus of every atom that determine how chemical reactions proceed. Their uses in industry are abundant: from electronics and welding to imaging and advanced particle accelerators. Petrov wrote: “As far as physicists currently know, electrons have no internal structure – and thus no shape in the classical meaning of this word. In the modern language of particle physics, which tackles the behavior of objects smaller than an atomic nucleus, the fundamental blocks of matter are continuous fluid-like substances known as “quantum fields” that permeate the whole space around us. In this language, an electron is perceived as a quantum, or a particle, of the “electron field.”
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Your deeply held beliefs may just be wrong – 5 essential reads

The Conversation editors looked back at the stories that - for them - exemplified 2018. Among the five selected articles was Wayne State University senior lecturer Sylvia Taschka’s March 12th piece titled "Trump-Hitler comparisons too easy and ignore the murderous history." Taschka acknowledges that some historians have made legitimate comparisons of the “few striking similarities between the rise of fascism in Germany then and the current political climate in the United States.” But, such comparisons are false equivalencies that “not only risk trivializing Hitler and the horrors he unleashed,” she writes, but “also prevent people from engaging with the actual issues at hand.”
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How to handle the return of a long-lost family member during the holidays

Humans are social animals who crave connection with others. It’s a drive that seems hard-wired into our systems so that when we experience rejection or estrangement from others, the experience can feel much like physical pain.The desire to avoid these painful feelings may be why many people go out of their way to reconnect with wayward family members during the holidays, even if this reconnection risks discomfort, hurt feelings or disappointment. This does not mean that we should avoid welcoming home family members but suggests it does mean that a dose of realistic expectations, with some proven techniques, can make for more peaceful holiday visits with estranged family members.
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Health grant aims to benefit older minorities in Michigan

Three Michigan universities are using a $3.5 million federal grant renewal for efforts to improve the health of older blacks and other minorities. The National Institutes of Health grant allows the Michigan Center for Urban African American Aging Research (MCUAAAR) to expand its work through 2023. The center's research and education is led by faculty and staff from Wayne State University, the University of Michigan and Michigan State University. Black residents have higher rates of diabetes, stroke and other diseases than their white counterparts, officials said. Researchers seek to prevent health disparities. The center has focused on Detroit since its 1997 launch, but the latest grant brings aboard Michigan State and expands work into Flint. Goals include establishing a Healthier Black Elders Center in Flint, based on the one in Detroit. According to Peter Lichtenberg, director of the Institute of Gerontology at Wayne State, MCUAAAR is a catalyst for widespread change. “It has two major aims,” he said. “Increase the number of diverse junior faculty working in aging and health research, and partner with older African Americans in meaningful ways to improve health and well-being.”
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NIH report scrutinizes role of China in theft of U.S. scientific research

Institutions across the U.S. may have fallen victim to a tiny fraction of foreign researchers who worked to feed American intellectual property to their home countries, an advisory committee to the National Institutes of Health found in a report issued Thursday. The report zeroed in on China’s “Talents Recruitment Program,” which the Pentagon has previously identified as an effort “to facilitate the legal and illicit transfer of U.S. technology, intellectual property and know-how” to China. A key qualification for becoming part of the Chinese program, also known as “Thousand Talents,” is access to intellectual property, said M. Roy Wilson, the co-chair of the advisory committee to the NIH director and the president of Wayne State University. While only a small fraction of foreign researchers in the U.S. are part of the Chinese program, many of the recruits have received U.S. federal funding from institutions including the NIH, the report said. The report represents NIH’s most concrete public action to date to combat the threat of American research being transported overseas to countries attempting to compete with the U.S. scientifically. While the report focused on China, it stressed that NIH has encountered similar problems with a small number of researchers from other countries as well.
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State struggles to connect kids aging out of foster care with educational, vocational opportunities

A recent national report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation found that Michigan is behind the rest of the country in helping young people move out of the foster care system and onto a successful adult life. In West Virginia, 70 percent of youth transitioning out of foster care got education financial assistance. The national average was 23 percent. Here in Michigan? It was just one percent. Matt Gillard, president and CEO of the advocacy group Michigan Children, said there are initiatives helping young people aging out of foster care in Michigan, but they don’t have the funding they need. He pointed to university-led supports for kids who have been in the foster care system, as well as state efforts like the Michigan Youth Opportunities Initiative (MYOI). Arielle Duncan is an 18 year old freshman at Wayne State University who has been helped by the MYOI. Her story is an example of what can happen when the guidance and resources are there to support foster kids aging out of the system. Her time in MYOI helped teach Duncan the skills she’d need as an adult, like balancing a checkbook and doing her laundry. And it helped connect her with educational assistance programs and scholarships specifically targeted toward youth who have spent time in foster care. After graduating high school, Duncan was accepted to Wayne State University through a bridge program. That meant she was able to raise her GPA and receive a scholarship to pay for a semester of housing. "There are scholarships and there is money to be given to these kids that age out, but I think the biggest thing is they need that help. They need that person behind them guiding them, kind of giving them a little bit of help in the beginning to kind of push them and say, 'hey you can do this, you can accomplish this,'" said Duncan.

Your smartphone apps are tracking your every move

Research and investigative reporting continue to reveal the degree to which your smartphone is aware of what you’re up to and where you are – and how much of that information is shared with companies that want to track your every move, hoping to better target you with advertising. Several scholars at U.S. universities have written for The Conversation about how these technologies work, and the privacy problems they raise. All of this information on who you are, where you are and what you’re doing gets assembled into enormously detailed digital profiles, which get turned into money. Wayne State University law professor Jonathan Weinberg explains
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Wayne State recognizes two former county stars in football

The Wayne State University football team held its 2018 banquet on Sunday afternoon at The Dearborn Inn. Head coach Paul Winters concluded his 15th season by announcing several individual team honors. Graduate student Shane Hynes was selected as WSU's Special Teams Most Valuable Player for the season. He was named to the Honorable Mention All-GLIAC Team after playing in all 11 contests despite joining the squad just a few days prior to the start of the season. Hynes equaled the second-best mark in program history with an 82-yard punt against Northwood and concluded the campaign with a 40.6 yards per punt average with four inside the 20. He gained two first downs on fake punts, totaling 41 yards against Ferris State and Grand Valley State. During the season, he had 13 kickoffs go for touchbacks. Hynes also served as the holder for PATs and field goals during the final five games. The Defensive Rookie of the Year award recipient was true freshman safety Tieler Houston. He played in all 11 games, starting the last nine contests, and was named to the Honorable Mention All-GLIAC Team. Houston tied-for-sixth in the GLIAC with two interceptions, and was eighth with 50 interception return yards. He tallied a game-high and a season-best 11 tackles (8-3) against Northern Michigan, including one for loss along with his second career interception to earn WSU's Defensive Player of the Week award. He is the second consecutive member of the secondary to earn Defensive Rookie of the Year recognition since Jamiil Williams in 2012 (Myron Riley in 2017).