"The pieces that are somewhere in Michigan right now, they're left over from the formation of planets. They didn't make it into a planet like the Earth, so they can tell you something about the history of what happened before the Earth existed. We can use them to track where the water came from, where the carbon came from, to understand our own origins," said Edwin Bergin, professor and chair of astronomy, commenting on the meteor that flashed across Southeast Michigan this week.
Michael Liemohn, professor of climate and space sciences and engineering, said the Michigan meteor was a "bolide," a meteor that reaches the lower atmosphere: "If it's a bigger rock — say basketball size or bigger — then it can make it to the lower atmosphere and the air is dense enough that it's not just a streak of light across the sky, but a substantial fireball and an eventual explosion as this rock reaches catastrophic failure at some point."
Larry Ruff, professor of earth and environmental sciences, said the Michigan meteor produced a strong and unusual seismic signature, but "was an explosion in the atmosphere, not an earthquake, and it produced a seismogram that is very different from what you get from a small, regional earthquake."
Monroe Evening News
Max Shtein, professor of materials science and engineering, macromolecular science and engineering, and chemical engineering, and colleagues have taken a cue from the electric eel to create a soft, foldable battery that could one day power devices like pacemakers, sensors and prosthetic organs.
"Think autocorrect, or Google-auto-complete, but at 60 mph. If the two systems, human and vehicle, are not on the same wavelength, then there could be severe consequences," said Anuj Pradhan, assistant research scientist at the U-M Transportation Research Institute, commenting on Nissan's "smart" autonomous driving system that can read a driver's mind.
A column by Jennifer Robertson, professor of anthropology and women's studies, history of art, and art and design, explores Japan's "genderless" subculture, in which, for some men, a male body need not conform to a stereotypical manly appearance.
"When it comes to answering emails, politicians aren't less responsive to immigrants than to native-born constituents. What mattered instead was the constituent's race. No matter where they were born, or whether they identified as voters, ethnic minorities received fewer responses than whites," wrote Christopher Fariss, assistant professor of political science, and Charles Crabtree, doctoral student in political science.
The Washington Post
Most people make resolutions in a bubble of self-disgust and over-optimism, says Michelle Segar, director of U-M's Sport, Health, and Activity Research and Policy Center: "Then the bubble bursts within weeks by real life's needs and urgencies."
"It is beyond dispute that the state of parent representation remains in disarray over 35 years after the Supreme Court's decision in Lassiter," wrote Vivek Sankaran, clinical professor of law, referring to a 1981 Supreme Court case that declared a mother did not have a right to an attorney in court proceedings that would determine whether to terminate her legal standing as a parent.
Arline Geronimus, professor of health behavior and health education, was featured in an extensive interview about her research on middle-aged African-American women and the effects of weathering — the accelerated deterioration of the body due to chronic and repeated exposures to stress and the high effort of coping with them.
National Public Radio