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BBC News: How religions change their minds
Once upon a time, animal sacrifice was an important part of Hindu life, Catholic priests weren’t celibate, visual depictions of the Prophet Muhammad were part of Islamic art and polygamy was a common practice among Mormons—though these practices have since been sidelined or abandoned. Kathleen Flake, associate professor of American religious history, is quoted.
Associated Press: Making mentally ill defendants ready for trial
In mental hospitals across the country, psychiatrists prepare criminal defendants for trial using innovative therapies, including in at least one case a make-believe hearing where patients and clinicians played the key courtroom roles. Christopher Slobogin, Milton R. Underwood Chair in Law, is quoted.
Yahoo! News: Despite Rubio’s wooing, radio hosts protest immigration reform bill
Conservative radio talk show hosts and tea party leaders have signed a letter opposing the sweeping immigration reform bill in the Senate, bucking tea party favorite Sen. Marco Rubio’s attempts to win their support for the bill, which combines enhanced border security with a legalization program for the nation’s unauthorized immigrants. Carol Swain, professor of political science and law, is among the signers.
Reuters: Does prostate cancer treatment help older, sick men?
Older men with other illnesses may not live long enough to benefit from aggressive prostate cancer treatments, such as prostate removal or radiation, and they’d have to live with their side effects, says a new study by David Penson, Paul V. Hamilton, M.D. and Virginia E. Howd Chair in Urologic Oncology.
Popular Science: FYI: Do parasites get parasites?
Parasites of parasites—sometimes called hyperparasites—seem to be quite common. In fact, parasites of parasites are themselves prone to parasites, leading to what might appear to be an endless progression of interspecies abuse. Seth Bordenstein, assistant professor of biological sciences, studies a five-tiered parasitic system consisting of a bird, a wasp, a blowfly, a bacterium and a virus.
Business Insider: Charitable people may be smarter than the rest of us
Though the research is fairly new, several studies have shown that intelligence and generosity go hand in hand. Research by Bruce Barry and Ray Friedman, both Brownlee O. Currey Professors of Management, into how intelligence affects negotiations is cited as an example.
Futurity: Big data sets create ‘tree of life’ confusion
The genomics revolution has given experts mountains of DNA data to reconstruct the evolution of all living beings, but the vast information has led to contradictory conclusions. Antonis Rokas, associate professor of biological sciences, and graduate student Leonidas Salichos analyzed the reasons for these differences and proposed a suite of novel techniques that can resolve the contradictions and provide greater accuracy in deciphering the deep branches of life’s tree.
Chronicle of Higher Education: Scholars in bondage
Dominatrix, by Danielle Lindeman, postdoctoral researcher in the department of sociology, is included in this roundup of recent scholarship on human sexuality.
Futurity: Tiny droplets ‘flow’ like quark-gluon plasma
Using the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland, Vanderbilt physicists may have created the smallest drops of liquid ever made in the lab—only the size of three to five protons. Julia Velkovska, professor of physics, is quoted.
The Tennessean: Opinion: Stigma of mental illness must be erased
All families—but African American families in particular—need to speak up and end the shame, stigma, secrecy and silence shrouding mental illness, writes Charlotte Pierce-Baker, professor of women’s and gender studies.
The Nashville Examiner: Opinion: The real lesson behind Angelina Jolie’s announcement
When actress Angelina Jolie, wrote about her decision to be tested for a cancer-causing gene and undergo a preventive mastectomy as a result, she educated the public about the benefits of personalized and preventive medicine, writes Lahari Subraveti, a research assistant in allergy, pulmonary and critical care medicine.
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WKRN, Channel 2, interviewed William Schaffner, chair of preventive medicine, about a new study that shows about a quarter of women’s purses carry the E. coli bacteria.
WAAY (Huntsville, Ala.) aired a report about an electrical device that acts as a life vest for cardiac patients. John McPherson, associate professor of medicine, is quoted.
KIMT (Rochester, Minn.) aired a report featuring an interview with Nathalie Maitre, assistant professor of pediatrics, about a new therapy using a pacifier device along with a mother’s voice to help the recovery of premature babies.
WWTV (Traverse City, Mich.) aired a report about a new bladder control device. John Pope, professor of urologic surgery and pediatrics, is quoted.