U-M launches Magic Bus real-time bus tracking 

Logistics, Transportation and Parking has launched a new bus information system that lets riders see university bus locations in real-time and predicts precise arrival times for every campus route and stop. Features include the ability to sign up for text service and prediction alerts by route, stop and time of day; a more accurate prediction algorithm that uses both schedule data and historical data; desktop and mobile applications built on the Google Maps platform; and automated stop announcements. The Magic Bus system launched Feb. 3. The old DoubleMap system will remain live until Feb. 29. To use the desktop interactive map to see real-time bus locations and arrival predictions, or to use your mobile device to view Magic Bus real-time information optimized for small screens, go to mbus.ltp.umich.edu. Download the U-M Magic Bus app by searching “U-M Magic Bus” at the Apple Store or Google Play.

UM-Flint announces new esports team

UM-Flint is introducing a new esports team in fall 2020 and has allocated funding for equipment and a space on campus for the team to practice, train and compete. Esports involve organized, multiplayer video game competitions played by teams or individuals. Officials expect significant interest in the first year. “We are always seeking ways in which UM-Flint can be responsive to what prospective students are looking for in a campus,” said Kristi Hottenstein, UM-Flint’s vice chancellor for enrollment management. “The rise of esports in higher education is a hot topic right now, and more and more students are looking at esports as an important criterion for selecting a university — either as an academic discipline or a social pursuit.” UM-Flint joins at least 15 other Michigan-based schools and universities offering esports in some capacity.

Nominations due soon for Harold R. Johnson Diversity Service Award

Regular and instructional faculty on the Ann Arbor campus who go above and beyond their normal duties to contribute to a culturally and ethnically diverse campus community are eligible for the Harold R. Johnson Diversity Service Award. Up to five awards are given out annually, and each comes with a $5,000 stipend. Nominations are due March 23. The award was established in 1996 and is named after Harold R. Johnson, dean emeritus of the School of Social Work.

Michigan Medicine employees can nominate colleagues for prizes

Michigan Medicine employees are invited to nominate Most Valuable Players in their units or departments for the chance to win Michigan Medicine swag and other prizes. Nominees can be an individual who makes an impact both at Michigan Medicine and across the state, such as physician assistant Jill Hasen, who was recently appointed to the Michigan Task Force on Physician Assistants. Or they can be an entire team that has advanced the organization’s mission, such as 7D, which recently earned a 365 Days of Safety Award, or simply a colleague who shows that he or she cares day in and day out. Nominations should be emailed by Feb. 12 to headlines@med.umich.edu. The top submissions will win prizes, and all nominees will be named in a future edition of Michigan Medicine Headlines.

Research findings raise prospects for urine fertilizer

Recycled and aged human urine can be used as a fertilizer with low risks of transferring antibiotic resistant DNA to the environment, according to new research from the University of Michigan. It’s a key finding in efforts to identify more sustainable alternatives to widely used fertilizers that contribute to water pollution. The researchers have shown that the practice of “aging” collected urine in sealed containers over several months effectively deactivates 99 percent of antibiotic resistant genes that were present in bacteria in the urine. “Based on our results, we think that microorganisms in the urine break down the extracellular DNA in the urine very quickly,” said Krista Wigginton, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, and corresponding author of a paper published in Environmental Science and Technology. “That means that if bacteria in the collected urine are resistant to antibiotics and the bacteria die, as they do when they are stored in urine, the released DNA won’t pose a risk of transferring resistance to bacteria in the environment when the fertilizer is applied.” Urine contains nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, key nutrients that plants need to grow. The paper is titled “Fate of Extracellular DNA in the Production of Fertilizers from Source-Separated Urine.” The National Science Foundation funded the research.

Compiled by Ann Zaniewski, The University Record