- U-M Creates Six New Stem Cell Lines
(Detroit News, June 15, 2012)
Scientists at U-M have created six new embryonic stem cell lines—including two that are believed to be the first in the world to carry the genetic mutation for hemophilia B, a bleeding disorder, and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a heart condition. The six lines have been added to the National Institutes of Health’s registry, so they are available for federally funded research by scientists to study the origin of the diseases and potential interventions.
- The Most Important Part of the Health Care Ruling You Haven’t Heard About
(The Atlantic, June 28, 2012)
Although it has largely been treated as a footnote in coverage of the Supreme Court’s health care ruling, the Justices’ decision to strike down part of Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion might itself be a turning point in constitutional law—one that could put significant new limits on federal power. Hear what University of Michigan law professor Samuel Bagenstos has to say.
- Discovery May Help Tell Universe’s Secrets
(Wall Street Journal, July 4, 2012)
After a half-century search, scientists have pinned down a Higgs-like particle, closing in on an explanation for why all objects exist. Going back to Galileo and Kepler, “a 400-year-old quest to describe the world that we can see has now been completed,” says Gordon Kane, professor of physics at U-M. “It completes the standard model.” A decade ago, Kane wagered $100 that the Higgs boson would be found and cosmologist Stephen Hawking bet that it wouldn’t. “I assume he’s a gentleman and a scholar and will now pay up,” Kane says.
- Head Injuries and the Everyday Athlete
(The New York Times, July 11, 2012)
Premature brain aging is a potential consequence of past concussions that bears watching, says Steven P. Broglio, a professor of kinesiology with the Michigan Neurosport Program at U-M. In his work, he’s seen lingering if slight declines in college students’ abilities to concentrate and attend to information, as well as in their balance and bodily control several years after a concussion, changes that somewhat mimic those in the bodies and brains of elderly people.
- Normal as Folk
(The New York Times, June 21, 2012)
Professor David Halperin shares his views in an op-ed celebrating gay pride: “Gay men in particular, who used to frighten the horses with flamboyant displays of sexual outlawry, gender treason, and fabulousness, have supposedly dropped their insignia of tribal belonging and joined the mainstream. Gay men, it seems, have become indistinguishable from normal folk. Now, that’s progress for you!”
- Most Americans Earn More than Parents, but Only a Third Rise in Income Class
(Washington Post, July 9, 2012)
A new study shows an overwhelming majority of Americans still make more money than their parents, but upward mobility is elusive for many, particularly for African Americans and those without a college degree. Researchers parsed data from about 2,200 families participating in U-M’s Panel Study of Income Dynamics, which has tracked the family income and wealth accumulated by a group of parents and their children from 1968 to 2009.
- Dead Zone Pollutant Grows Despite Decades of Work
(Times Picayune, July 9, 2012)
Washing off farms and yards, nitrate is largely responsible for the Gulf of Mexico’s infamous “dead zone.” Nitrate and other nutrients from the vast Mississippi River basin funnel into the gulf, sucking oxygen out of the water and killing almost everything in their path. The pollution is one of America’s most widespread, costly, and challenging environmental problems, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. But after three decades of extensive efforts to clean it up, nitrate along the rivers is getting worse. “Whatever conservation practices have been put in place are not enough,” says Don Scavia, U-M professor of environmental sustainability.
- Dogs May Protect Kids from Infection
(UPI.com, June 21, 2012)
Mice that were fed house dust from homes that had dogs were protected against respiratory syncytial, an infection common in infants, U.S. researchers say. Tine Demoor, a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Nick Lukacs at the U-M Health System, performed the mouse experiments and measured airway symptomology associated with RSV infection. The findings build on earlier research that found having pets, dogs in particular, was associated with protection against childhood asthma development.