UTA In The News — Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Wednesday, Jul 29, 2020

Genome Center to study COVID-19

At UT Arlington’s North Texas Genome Center, Florence Haseltine will be able to study why COVID-19 affects men and women differently, The Dallas Morning News reported. When Haseltine first came to UT Arlington, she planned to study why certain diseases affect men and women differently, and why, in some cases, one sex might suffer from more severe symptoms.

Paper says COVID-19 existed in bats several years

Close relatives of COVID-19 likely circulated in bats for decades before the pandemic-responsible virus made the jump into humans last year, according to a study released Tuesday, The Dallas Morning News, Phys.org and many other media outlets reported. The paper, co-authored by Todd Castoe, a University of Texas at Arlington researcher and associate professor of biology, and published in the journal Nature Microbiology, also found no evidence that the virus was either manufactured in or accidentally released from a lab in Wuhan, China, as some have speculated.

Campus re-openings could bring challenges

College means closeness for students on campus, however clear the social-distancing guidelines may be, an opinion piece in The Chronicle of Higher Education said. The article notes that current approaches to testing returning students vary widely. UT Arlington, for example, is offering testing for symptomatic students on campus only. Given the 13-% Covid-19 positivity rate in Texas, administrators there should consider testing students prior to the start of school so that infected students can quarantine at home before arriving on campus. UT Arlington, like some other colleges, posts its confirmed Covid-19 cases online, something that can help establish trust and transparency to help reassure an anxious community.

Nanotechnology used to detect blood protein anemia

George Alexandrakis, a UT Arlington bioengineering researcher, will use nanotechnology to detect defective iron-carrying proteins in a patient’s blood, which could help explain why these patients have anemia, Indian Technology News reported.

Tree preservation explored

More than 25 years after Arlington adopted its first ordinance to preserve trees, City Council members and environmental advocates are leading an effort to update the ordinance in the face of rapid residential and commercial development to protect the Cross Timbers ecoregion, which spans from Kansas to Texas, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. David Hopman, an associate professor of landscape architecture at UT Arlington, gave a presentation to the council about the region in January. “There is no other city in the Metroplex that is mostly Cross Timbers like Arlington is. Arlington has the potential to have a unique character if we will take it seriously and really work to protect it.”

Energy market demand studied

Shouyi Wang, UT Arlington associate professor of industrial engineering, is using a three-year, $466,068 grant from the National Science Foundation to determine how to meet the demands of an extremely dynamic and uncertain energy market, Energy Central reported. Electrical engineering Professor Wei-Jen Lee and industrial engineering Professors Victoria Chen and Jay Rosenberger are co-principal investigators on the project.

IMLS mentions UTA Libraries project

The Institute of Museum and Library Services UpNext blog mentioned a 2018 UT Arlington Libraries project about Texas Disability History in a listing of featured events during this month’s 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.