Campus briefs

Photo of Mika LaVaque-Manty (left) speaking to attendees at a tour of Kraus Auditorium
LSA celebrated the naming of the Biological Sciences Building’s new Kraus Auditorium on Oct. 27. The auditorium is named for former LSA dean Edward Kraus. Besides a formal naming ceremony, visitors had the opportunity to tour the new facility. In this photo, Mika LaVaque-Manty (left), director of the LSA Honors Program, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, and associate professor of political science, of philosophy and in the Honors Program, speaks to attendees about the room’s features. (Photo by Scott C. Soderberg, Michigan Photography)

U-M expands security operations with weapons detection system

The University of Michigan is implementing a new walk-through weapons detection system at Michigan Stadium, expanding its extensive security operations. The new system became operational with the Nov. 4 football game against Purdue University. “Increasingly, our fans and our university community embrace safety as a top priority,” said Eddie Washington, executive director of the Division of Public Safety and Security. “The system and our work to more broadly leverage it on campus builds on our commitment to ongoing security enhancements to prevent harm and ensure the well-being of students, faculty, staff, patients, and guests.” DPSS manages the weapons detection system. A rehearsal was conducted in targeted areas during the September and October games at Michigan Stadium. In the future, it also will be in use at Crisler Center, Yost Ice Arena and other identified locations as deemed appropriate.

Majority of Flint residents support reparations for Black Americans

More than half of Flint residents favor reparations for Black Americans, although levels of support vary depending on whether the proposal refers to reparations as a broad concept or specific reparative policies like cash payments or financial support for housing and education. A new report from U-M’s Center for Racial Justice summarizes Flint residents’ attitudes about reparations, based on a representative survey conducted by the Michigan Metro Area Communities Study. The survey shows 53% of Flint residents support the idea of governments making amends to Black Americans, while 22% neither support nor oppose it, 22% oppose it, and 3% don’t know or didn’t answer the survey question. However, a larger share of Flint residents (71%) support at least one of the specific reparative policies targeted toward individuals. Read more about the report.

Researchers construct nanoparticle quasicrystal with DNA

Nanoengineers have created a quasicrystal — a scientifically intriguing and technologically promising material structure — from nanoparticles using DNA, the molecule that encodes life. The team, led by researchers at Northwestern University, U-M and the Center for Cooperative Research in Biomaterials in San Sebastian, Spain, reports the results in Nature Materials. Unlike ordinary crystals, which are defined by a repeating structure, the patterns in quasicrystals don’t repeat. Quasicrystals built from atoms can have exceptional properties — for example, absorbing heat and light differently, exhibiting unusual electronic properties such as conducting electricity without resistance, or their surfaces are very hard or very slippery. Engineers studying nanoscale assembly often view nanoparticles as a kind of “designer atom,” which provides a new level of control over synthetic materials. Read more about this research.

New COVID-19 vaccine a good value for U.S., U-M team finds

With updated vaccines against the SARS-CoV2 virus that causes COVID-19 now available nationwide, a new analysis suggests that America could save money by ensuring that as many older adults as possible get it. As for adults younger than 65, the analysis suggests investing in vaccination against COVID-19 will be worth the money spent by insurers and government health care programs, because of prevented hospitalizations, critical illness, long COVID and deaths. That’s especially true for people in their 50s and early 60s. A team from U-M prepared the preliminary economic analysis for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and presented it at a recent meeting of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Read more about the analysis.

Compiled by James Iseler, The University Record


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