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UTA In The News — Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

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Learning from past outbreaks

A new UT Arlington study about the elimination of malaria in the 1930s American South may have significant implications for solving modern day malaria outbreaks in parts of Africa, Central and Latin America, and Asia, according to Infection Control TodayScienceDailyHealth Canal and other websites. Lead author Daniel Sledge, assistant professor of political science, challenged the prevailing argument that movement of Southern tenant farmers away from mosquito breeding grounds was the dominant factor in the decline of malaria in U.S. during the 1930s. Sledge argues that public health efforts had the greatest impact.

Moving innovation forward

The University of Texas at Arlington and TechFW, a Fort Worth-based technology startup initiative, have agreed to a multi-year partnership to commercialize University research and move innovation to the marketplace, according to Yahoo! NewsReutersBloomberg BusinessWeek and the Austin Business Journal. TechFW@UTA will offer training and educational programs to UT Arlington faculty, staff and students. UT Arlington faculty members and research teams will gain access to the North Texas entrepreneurial community through the TechFW network.

Problems with concussion testing

The alternate forms of the ImPACT neurocognitive test aren't necessarily reliable when evaluating whether someone has sustained a concussion, according to a UT Arlington-led study published online earlier this month in the journal The Clinical Neuropsychologist, Education Week’s Schooled in Sports blog reported. Jacob E. Resch, an assistant professor of kinesiology, sought to evaluate the equivalence of alternative forms of the ImPACT test to help explain reported test-retest variability. The results could help doctors make more informed decisions when evaluating a youth athlete for a concussion. 

Bullying paper discussed

Fox News network began a report on bullying by referencing a UT Arlington study by Seokjin Jeong, assistant professor of criminal justice, which found that certain school programs to combat bullying might backfire by teaching students new ways to bully their peers. The Fox report discussed whether efforts to combat school bullying "suppress" conservative students' right to free speech. The website Media Matters criticized the Fox commentators for “grossly mischaracterizing” the UT Arlington study.

MOOCs on the agenda

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation recently gave the University of Texas at Arlington a $97,200 grant to host a conference where educators will discuss the effectiveness of Massive Open Online Courses or MOOCs, according to the websites Education News and eCampusNews. UT Arlington was selected to host MOOCs and Emerging Educational Models: Policy, Practice and Learning on Dec. 5-6 in collaboration with the MOOC Research Initiative because of its strong presence in online learning. KDFW/FOX 4 also mentioned the conference during their Good Day broadcast.

Chemistry questions answered

Daniel Armstrong, UT Arlington professor of chemistry, was quoted in a Chemical & Engineering News story about controversy surrounding the cause of death for "Into the Wild" protagonist Chris McCandless. Last month, the book's author wrote a New Yorker post claiming that new scientific tests proved McCandless died from eating toxic seeds from a wild potato. But, Armstrong and other chemists say the tests detailed in the New Yorker post aren't convincing.