Posts tagged with "education"

remote learning illustration by Kaelen Felix

Remote Learning Tips for Parents

While remote learning can negatively impact motivation, engagement, and curiosity, there are ways to help stressed out students.

Emily Greene suggests 5 things that parents can proactively do at home to help their kids better manage the challenges of the disruption to schooling, and for some, the partial return to in-person learning.

As she writes in her book, “School, Disrupted”, parents can help to uplift and inspire their kids by trying these things, which in turn will also help teachers!

1) Make sure your child has free time/down time every day. This is necessary to activate an important brain network called the Default Mode Network (DMN). Scientists know that the DMN is intricately tied to curiosity, creativity, and imagination which can help boost engagement and motivation in these challenging times.

2) Curate their curiosity. Asking questions stimulates curiosity, which is directly tied to engagement and joy in learning.  Parents can help jostle our children out of the “circle the correct choice” mindset and make way for open-ended questions that are vital to learning. As parents, we can be too quick to provide advice, opinions, and answers. To foster curiosity, try to hold back, ask questions, and listen. In an article for the Harvard Educational Review, Susan Engel of Williams College argues for the promotion of curiosity in schools, calling for a “shift in the way we see the traditional role of a teacher from one who answers questions to one who elicits them.”  Let this be your guiding principle–eliciting questions will uncover a treasure trove of curiosity.

3) Encourage kids to get hands-on. Ask them what they want to create, make, or build. Doing activities that are off the computer and are hands-on engage them in learning in new ways. Other ways to get hands-on are to go outside. Or, take a virtual field trip!

4) As parents, we can also help teachers come up with ideas to integrate more fun and engagement into Zoom-based lessons. Teachers have a tough job right now trying to engage both in-person and remote learners. Sharing Zoom Boosters, (found in Emily’s book) shows that you care and are engaged in being part of the solution.

5) Encourage your child to get creative with their assignments–for example, by self-advocating for choice in projects. If the teacher plans to give a multiple-choice unit test, urge your child to ask if they can make a poster, a brochure, or a podcast covering the subject matter instead. If they are uninspired by the list of writing prompts for a class paper, encourage them to ask the teacher about selecting a personalized prompt that they are more excited to write about. When they are given an assignment, encourage them to ask the teacher, “Can I make a short film for my final? Can I write a short story? Can I put on a play? Can I build a contraption that would demonstrate this principle of physics?” The worst that can happen is the teacher says no—but more often than not, teachers appreciate the initiative because they know it shows a passion for learning during a very tough time due to the pandemic.

Emily Greene (www.emilygreene.com) is author of School, Disrupted: Rediscovering the Joy of Learning in a Pandemic-Stricken World in which she shares her experience educating her children inside and outside of traditional schools. She developed the Kiddovate program, working with hundreds of teachers and students. She also is cofounder of VIVA Creative, where she and her team create live and digital experiences. When the pandemic shut down the event industry, Greene co-led VIVA in rethinking how to bring people together in a global pandemic. In 2020, she received an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® award recognizing innovation during adversity.

Sports by Allison Christensen for 360 Magazine

Super Bowl STEM Activities

With millions of families tuning into Super Bowl LV to see if Tom Brady will win another championship, there is also a great opportunity to introduce some fun activities that will keep kids learning and active.

Youth sports and learning experts at Skyhawks Sports Academy and STEM Sports® recommend two fun activities to get children learning and active for Super Bowl weekend. The activities are easy to learn and use objects found in most households. Bonus–there may or may not be a STEM education hidden in these activities, so it is a win-win.

  • Farthest Football Throw: We all know a key skill for a quarterback is to throw the football accurately and for distance, but even the pros fall short or overthrow the ball. So, grab a football and measuring tape and start a fun competition to see which family member can throw the ball the farthest. Have each person try it 3 times and record the results. This activity will also teach your children math skills as they calculate the distance between the farthest and the shortest throws.
  • Glove Grip Test: Notice how many football players wear gloves during the game? It’s not because they’re cold, it’s because the gloves give them a better grip while catching and passing the ball. To test it out, gather different types of gloves you may find around the house – sports gloves, boxing gloves, leather gloves, mittens, dish cleaning gloves, or even disposable gloves. Try passing the football and catching it from different distances and with different gloves to notice the difference in grip and accuracy when throwing and catching.

With football being such a popular sport, these easy and fun activities provide the perfect opportunity to introduce kids to science and math concepts, as well as get them away from their screens and moving around. Consider spending a commercial break doing one of these activities, or pivoting to any of these activities if things aren’t going well for your team.

For children interested in taking STEM learning to the next level, Skyhawks and STEM Sports® offer in-person and virtual programs using sports as the real-life application to teach science, technology, engineering, and math skills. Skyhawks also offers Flag Football camps for children between the ages of 5 and 12 and in a variety of formats in communities across the country. Current program offerings continue to follow proven COVID-19 protocols per state and local guidelines. Winter programming is currently underway, and more information, schedules, and registration are available on the Skyhawks’ website.

About Skyhawks Sports Academy

Skyhawks Sports Academy is a youth sports camp organization based in Spokane, Washington. Skyhawks was founded in Spokane in 1979 as a soccer program for children to learn sports in a fun, safe and non-competitive environment. Skyhawks currently offers programs in more than 11 different sports including Soccer, Basketball, Flag Football, Baseball, Multi-Sport, Tennis, Mini-Hawk, Lacrosse, Golf, Volleyball, Cheerleading, and Track & Field for children ages 4-14 across North America. The format of our programs includes traditional weeklong summer day camps, year-round after-school programs, sports leagues, and clinics. For more information, visit their website.

About STEM Sports®

STEM Sports® provides turnkey K-8 supplemental curricula that use various sports as the real-life application to teach science, technology, engineering, and math skills in classrooms, after-school programs, and camps. Our double-play combination of physical activity and cognitive thinking provides a comprehensive, inquiry-based educational experience and a solution for crucial STEM literacy for students. As a result, students develop critical thinking, collaboration, creative problem-solving, and leadership skills that can be applied throughout their education and future careers.

Aligned with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), Common Core State Standards (CCSS), and National Standards for K-12 Physical Education, our curricula will cultivate and promote participants’ STEM engagement and retention. STEM Sports® provides all of the necessary and relevant sports equipment along with the entire list of supplies called for in the teacher/administer manual and all of the items have a long-lasting shelf life. Learn more on their website.

Elmo illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

SKOOG x SESAME WORKSHOP – A NEW WAY TO PLAY

SKOOG Inc., a media tech company with a mission to enrich children’s lives through creative and immersive play, today announced a global partnership with Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street, introducing a new interactive platform that merges tactile technology with an ever-expanding content library featuring Sesame Street characters. The platform combines multi-sensory play with fun, interactive content and meaningful learning experiences.

Originally focused on helping children with disabilities express their creativity through music, the team at SKOOG created a suite of unique hands-on technology devices that children of all abilities can enjoy. SKOOG’s patented platform includes a parent-controlled app with unique cube-like hardware that lets kids play and create without relying solely on a smartphone screen.

Sesame Street is SKOOG’s first children’s brand collaboration; the new platform will combine SKOOG technology with Sesame Workshop’s early childhood expertise and educational content to create a new hands-on – and screen-independent – way to play. By pressing soft, squeezable, interchangeable RFID buttons on their SKOOG Cube, little ones will be able to enjoy interactive songs, games, and stories featuring the voices of beloved Sesame Street characters.

“Children’s interactive play has never been as important as it is right now. In today’s complex digital world, we set out on a mission to help motivate and inspire children, leading the shift from passive consumption to active engagement—while enabling children of all abilities to play, engage, and consume safe and smart content independently,” said Gregg Stein, SKOOG Inc., CEO.

“As huge Sesame Street fans, we’re thrilled to be collaborating with Sesame Workshop, a community of creators, educators, and unforgettable characters built on diversity, equity, and inclusion,” continued Stein. “Together, we have created a best-in-class physical and digital creative sandbox that will empower millions of children to experience the joy of infinitely expandable personal play patterns, enabled by stories and audio books, branching adventures, games, musical instruments, songs and so much more.”

“Playful learning is at the heart of everything we do at Sesame Workshop, so we’re thrilled to work with SKOOG, Inc. to bring this enriching new play experience to life,” said Scott Chambers, Sesame Workshop’s Senior Vice President & General Manager, North America Media & Licensing. “We hope that our unique combination of SKOOG technology and Sesame Workshop’s powerful content will inspire kids and families to get creative together – with a little help from the Sesame Street Muppets!”

Skoog is launching at CES Digital 2021. Be the first to learn more by signing up at: https://skoog.media/

About Skoog, Inc.

A multi-award winner and sold at Apple stores worldwide, SKOOG is on a mission to enrich children’s lives through creative and immersive play. SKOOG Inc.’s  technology has developed from education and disability-led innovations to technology that helps motivate and inspire children, leading the shift from passive consumption to active engagement while enabling children of all abilities to actively play, engage, consume safe and smart content independently. Inclusive and accessible, learn more athttps://skoog.media/

About Sesame Workshop

Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, the pioneering television show that has been reaching and teaching children since 1969. Today, Sesame Workshop is an innovative force for change, with a mission to help kids everywhere grow smarter, stronger, and kinder. We’re present in more than 150 countries, serving vulnerable children through a wide range of media, formal education, and philanthropically-funded social impact programs, each grounded in rigorous research and tailored to the needs and cultures of the communities we serve. For more information, please visit www.sesameworkshop.org

SKOOG CES 2021 Photo
SKOOG CES 2021 Photo
SKOOG CES 2021 Photo

Nadya Ortiz Parallels that of ‘Queen’s Gambit’ Character

She grew up in an economically depressed area, became a teenage chess star, and traveled the world as an international chess woman grandmaster.

Now she is a senior software engineer at Apple.

This isn’t the story of the fictional character Beth Harmon from “The Queen’s Gambit,” but rather of Nadya Ortiz, who received a master’s degree in computer science from Purdue University in 2014.

And although Ortiz’s story doesn’t have the pathos of Beth Harmon’s, it is every bit as inspiring. Her story, she says herself, is one of persistence.

As another chess grandmaster once said, no one ever won the game by resigning.

Streaming on Netflix, “The Queen’s Gambit” became the surprise global cultural television touchstone of 2020. The story of an orphaned girl who rises to become a world chess champion seems like an unlikely premise for what is at its core a sports movie. The program was the No.1 show in 63 countries, and in the top 10 in 29 more within a month after its October release.

In some ways, the story of Ortiz parallels that of fictional Beth Harmon. Both came from less-than-privileged backgrounds, Harmon in rural Kentucky and Ortiz in Colombia. Both endured discrimination by being women in a male-dominated sport. Both became national champions and went on to become professional chess players traveling through Europe at a young age. There was one minor difference: Ortiz says her tournament attire would not have been considered high fashion.

“In terms of the clothing, that’s more fictional. As you can imagine, chess players are more on the nerd side,” she says with a laugh.

Ortiz is a fan of the program because it triggered worldwide interest in the game. She also appreciates the care the filmmakers took to faithfully reproduce the action on the boards.

“As a chess player I was amazed at how the chess positions were so accurate. I would pause the show and look at the player’s move and ask, ‘Is this correct?’ As a professional chess player, I was really amazed to see such brilliant positions. You know [former world champion] Garry Kasparov was a consultant, and the chess moves were real. I liked that.”

Ortiz learned the game from her chess-enthusiast father, she says, when she was 6 or 7 years old. She grew up in the city of Ibagué, in the center of the country in the Colombian Andes, an economically depressed region where the average annual income is less than $5,000 U.S. per year.

“Like in many other poor areas of the world, sports is one of the few economic opportunities, so my parents encouraged me to see chess more as a sport, an opportunity,” Ortiz says. “And when I was a teenager, I wanted to just play chess, and that meant I needed to be out of Colombia. And you can imagine the tension that caused with my parents.

“But even though I grew up with all of these economic and social challenges, my parents had given me core values. And they supported me.”

By age 14, she had become the national champion of Colombia. At 16, she won the Central American Championship in Barbados. Soon, while still a teenager, she was a professional chess player, playing on an international stage. Eventually she competed in more than 30 countries, becoming an international woman grandmaster at the 2010 World Chess Olympiad in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia.

“I played tournament after tournament. I was in heaven,” she says. “After four years I didn’t have the world title. But I was like, that’s it. I tried.”

Her life took a turn when at age 20 she received a surprise offer from Juliet Garcia, the president of the University of Texas at Brownsville (now the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley). The university sits at the southernmost tip of Texas, in an area with one of the highest poverty rates in the United States. Garcia wanted to form a university chess team, in part as a means to help the children of the area become more engaged with their education, and she wanted a woman on the team. Garcia offered Ortiz a chess scholarship, but something was blocking her next move.

“It was a dream,” she says. “I wanted to study. I wanted to play chess. But I didn’t speak English.”

She asked if she could delay her start at the university by six months, and she spent the time learning the language.

“I passed the English admission exams, but when I arrived, I could barely understand the instructors in my classes. But I love math, and so for the first two years I mainly took math classes and continued to learn English. Then, I began studying computer science. It’s about reasoning and implementing, and in that way, it is like a kind of game.”

She graduated summa cum laude but was concerned that she would not be able to get the job she dreamed of with just an undergraduate degree from a small, largely unknown college. Her chess coach at the time was an international grandmaster, and he mentioned that he had met people around the world who were Purdue graduates and that the university seemed to have many international students. Ortiz applied and received a scholarship to work on a master’s degree in computer science.

At Purdue, she quickly began to fear that she was in over her head; her classes were more rigorous and competitive than her undergraduate classes. After her first exams, she began to panic and thought she might lose her scholarship.

She was able to recover, thanks to the encouragement of her advisor at Purdue, Jan Vitak, who now is a professor of computer sciences at Northeastern University, whom she calls “my angel.”

“I went to his office, and I told him, ‘Professor, I study Monday to Monday without a break. I’m afraid I’m going to lose this scholarship.’ He told me, ‘Look, we believe in you. That’s why we gave you this scholarship. If you keep working, your knowledge will accumulate and you will catch up and be fine.’

“I learned you can be in an amazing program and super smart, but you still need that humanity, and I found that at Purdue.”

After Purdue, Ortiz next move was to head to Apple Inc., where she now works in machine learning and data science.

She makes sure to mention the advice and support she received from her parents, her coaches and her professors. She now passes on her life lessons in part through a program in her hometown where she sponsors an instructor to teach chess in two schools.

“It’s small, but the goal is to expand and promote chess in the schools,” she says. “Not as a sport or competitive chess, but using chess as an educational tool, especially in low-income areas. I really hope the current spike of interest in chess will help to promote the game and support chess in schools around the world.”

When asked what advice she might have for young people who consider her a role model, she refers to the lessons she learned as a competitive chess player.

“Persistence, perseverance and hard work,” she says.  “These have been major qualities I have cultivated throughout the course of my life, and try to do so every day. Having persistence to accomplish the goals, persevering when the situation is not ideal and working hard regardless of the situation have helped me to keep fighting for my dreams.”

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a top public research institution developing practical solutions to today’s toughest challenges. Ranked the No. 5 Most Innovative University in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, Purdue delivers world-changing research and out-of-this-world discovery. Committed to hands-on and online, real-world learning, Purdue offers a transformative education to all. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels, enabling more students than ever to graduate debt-free. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap at https://purdue.edu/.

Purdue Startup Fund Helps Move Technologies Across the World

A new funding option is helping provide support for Purdue-affiliated startups looking to gain traction and improve the world through innovative technologies.

The Purdue Startup Fund was started in 2020 by Purdue Ventures, an arm of the Purdue Foundry. The Foundry is an entrepreneurship and commercialization hub whose professionals help Purdue innovators create and grow startups.

“This fund is a partnership between the Purdue Research Foundation and Purdue University to maximize the university’s commitment to serving others through the commercialization of innovations,” said Wade Lange, vice president and chief entrepreneurial officer of the Purdue Research Foundation. “This is another crucial source of early-stage capital for our startups.”

The Purdue Startup Fund is designed to provide support for startups across all industries. Four startups have been selected so far for funding:

  • Umoja Biopharma – a startup focused on drugs using a patient’s own immune cells to kill cancerous cells.
  • Novosteo – a company that is developing an injectable drug to accelerate bone fracture repair.
  • ClearBlade – an industry-leading Edge Computing software company.
  • GoGig Jobs – an anonymous professional networking platform.

“These startups were selected based on their potential to make an impact on the world

through their technologies,” said John Hanak, managing director of Purdue Ventures.

The Purdue Startup Fund was created to provide support for early-stage companies with direct ties to Purdue intellectual property, alumni or other university connections. Like the Foundry Investment Fund, the Purdue Startup Fund is a sidecar funding that requires the existence of a significant institutional investment in a startup against which it can match a percentage.

“PRF has a mission to support Purdue and take the research, technologies and other work done here to the world,” said Riley Gibb, director of business development for Purdue Ventures. “The Purdue Startup Fund is another strategic way for us to make that happen. Capital can be a scarce resource for startups, so we wanted to offer another option.”

Startups interested in learning more can contact Gibb directly at rtgibb@prf.org.

Purdue Ventures directs three other funds: Ag-Celerator, Elevate Purdue Foundry Fund, Foundry Investment Fund, along with the Purdue Angel Network.

About Purdue Foundry

The Purdue Foundry is an entrepreneurship and commercialization hub whose professionals help Purdue innovators create and grow startups. The Purdue Foundry is housed in the Convergence Center for Innovation and Collaboration in Discovery Park District, adjacent to the Purdue campus. The Purdue Foundry has been involved with creating more than 300 companies. The Purdue Foundry is managed by the Purdue Research Foundation, which received the 2019 Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities Award for Place from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. In 2020, IPWatchdog Institute ranked Purdue third nationally in startup creation. For more information about involvement and investment opportunities in startups based on a Purdue innovation, contact the Purdue Foundry at foundry@prf.org.

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a top public research institution developing practical solutions to today’s toughest challenges. Ranked the No. 5 Most Innovative University in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, Purdue delivers world-changing research and out-of-this-world discovery. Committed to hands-on and online, real-world learning, Purdue offers a transformative education to all. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels, enabling more students than ever to graduate debt-free. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap at purdue.edu.

Thunderbird School of Global Management Celebrates Grads with Robots & Holograms 

Delivering an innovative and inclusive experience fit for this historic year, Thunderbird safely recognized the academic accomplishments of its class of 2020 in a technology-enhanced graduation celebration today to close an unprecedented fall semester.

The online event took place within an immersive virtual reality rendering of Thunderbird’s new global headquarters, opening August 2021. The ceremony was held in a digital version of the global forum, which will be a centerpiece of the state-of-the-art facility. The commencement speaker appeared as a holographic projection within the virtual building, which mirrors the real headquarters under construction now. Outstanding graduates also had a special aerial delivery of their award certificates, courtesy of the Dean’s drone.

“The Coronavirus Pandemic has accelerated the adoption of transformative new technologies like the ones we’re pioneering at Thunderbird that help us stay healthy while connecting us so we can still learn and celebrate together,” said Director General and Dean, Dr. Sanjeev Khagram.

“In keeping with our commitment to impactful and inclusive innovation when others retreat, we’re harnessing these powerful tools not only to adapt to the challenging circumstances of this historic health crisis, but also to be a vanguard in business, leadership, and management education for the Fourth Industrial Revolution going forward. As the most global and digital leadership, management and business academy in the world, we’re proud to celebrate our 2020 graduates and their families in a way that transcends limitations and highlights the future-ready skills and experience they gained at Thunderbird. Next, we look forward to welcoming our fall 2021 class to the most cutting-edge educational facility anywhere,” Khagram said.

About Thunderbird School of Global Management

Thunderbird School of Global Management is a unit of the Arizona State University Enterprise. For 75 years, Thunderbird has been the vanguard of global management and leadership education, creating inclusive and sustainable prosperity worldwide by educating future-ready global leaders capable of tackling the world’s greatest challenges. Thunderbird’s Master of Global Management was ranked #1 in the world for 2019 by the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education. ASU is ranked No. 1 “Most Innovative School” in the nation by U.S. News & World Report for six years in succession.

About ASU

Arizona State University has developed a new model for the American Research University, creating an institution that is committed to access, excellence, and, impact. ASU measures itself by those it includes, not by those it excludes. As the prototype for a New American University, ASU pursues research that contributes to the public good, and ASU assumes major responsibility for the economic, social, and cultural vitality of the communities that surround it.

Students from Ghanaian Orphanage Offered Experience of a Lifetime

Two evenings a week, ten high school students in the West African nation of Ghana travel by taxi from the orphanage where they live to historic Cape Coast Castle, once a fort used to hold slaves before they were loaded onto ships bound for the Americas. The students file into a conference room in what is now a government building, fire up laptops and connect to a research lab half a world away. They eagerly listen as instructors in California explain how to pluck out the brains of fruit flies to extract and analyze their genetic material.

The eight-week Neurobiology course is offered remotely by Boz Life Science Research and Teaching Institute as part of UC San Diego Extension’s Futures program. UC San Diego Extension created the Futures program to allow high school students in the San Diego region to master high-demand career skills in life sciences, computer programming and business management. However, as the coronavirus pandemic forced the classes to move online, the change raised obstacles but also created opportunities.

“We were thinking about how being virtual allows us to access different groups of kids,” said Liisa Bozinovic, who co-founded the Boz Institute with her husband, Goran. She serves on the board of Learn Grow Lead, a nonprofit group that supports the orphanage in Cape Coast, and it occurred to her that students there could take part in an online Futures class.

“I didn’t even think it could be possible for us to be learning through the internet,” 10th-grader Michael Cobbinah said in a Zoom call from Cape Coast, Ghana. “It astonishes me. I am finding it very fun and interesting.”

Twelfth-grader Ebenezer Cann believes the class will help him on the path to a medical career. He is fascinated by what he is learning, “especially about the flies that we dissect. I really like the part about how we can use their DNA to study the diseases that affect human beings.”

For Stephen Dankwah, Director of Learn Grow Lead’s Ghanaian operations, the Futures class is only a beginning. “We want to go further with this program,” he said. “If we can get a science lab built here in Cape Coast, it will be the greatest thing ever to happen to us. We could even extend it so that our children will have the opportunity to see the University of California through an exchange program. That has been our dream.”

ABOUT LEARN GROW LEAD

Learn Grow Lead’s mission is to make a difference in the world. This non-profit works tirelessly to educate and empower Ghana’s children and help them build a better future. Learn Grow Lead is also driven to empower the local community to raise their own money and become less dependent on US donors, that project is The Helpers Farm. Since 2003 their board has impacted thousands of lives by educating children, starting the sustainable farm, and building an orphanage. Learn more about the work they do at  https://learngrowlead.org.

Kaelen Felix Illustrates a COVID-19 Article for 360 MAGAZINE

Antidepressant x COVID-19

Based on a trial from the University of Virginia School of Medicine, the antidepressant fluvoxamine appears to prevent COVID-19 infections from worsening, even keeping patients out of the hospital.

The clinical trial was conducted by the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Fluvoxamine was compared with a placebo in 152 adult patients who were infected with the coronavirus.

80 participants received the fluvoxamine, and not one of the 80 became seriously ill after 15 days. Six patients receiving the placebo became seriously ill with four being hospitalized for between four and 21 days. One of the four in the hospital was on a ventilator for 10 days.

Though the sample size was relatively small, the data is believed to be statistically significant. The plan is to launch a larger trial in coming weeks.

Eric J. Lenze, MD, of the Washington University School of Medicine, said patients who took fluvoxamine did not require hospitalization because of issues in lung function.

“Most investigational treatments for COVID-19 have been aimed at the very sickest patients, but it’s also important to find therapies that prevent patients from getting sick enough to require supplemental oxygen or to have to go to the hospital,” Lenze said. “Our study suggests fluvoxamine may help fill that niche.”

UVA’s Alban Gaultier, PhD, and former graduate student Dorian A. Rosen, PhD, found in 2019 that fluvoxamine may stop sepsis, a deadly inflammation causing the immune system to spiral out of control. The findings of Gaultier and Rosen inspired the tests at the Washington University School of Medicine.

Gaultier and Rosen determined that fluvoxamine reduces the production of cytokines, which have been linked to deadly cytokine storms, which are thought to occur in severe cases of COVID-19

“Because elevated cytokines levels have been associated with COVID-19 severity, testing fluvoxamine in a clinical trial made a lot of sense to us,” said Gaultier. “We are still unclear about the mode of action of fluvoxamine against SARS-CoV-2, but research is under way to find the answer.”

Washington University’s Angela M. Reiersen, MD, said the drug works by interacting with the sigma-1 receptor to reduce the production of inflammatory molecules.

“Past research has demonstrated that fluvoxamine can reduce inflammation in animal models of sepsis, and it may be doing something similar in our patients,” Reiersen said.

The limitations of the research were emphasized. The small sample size was noted along with the fact that 20% of participants stopped answering surveys during the trial. Though the researchers could rule out hospital visits for those who stopped answering, they did believe it possible that the participants sought treatment elsewhere.

Because of the limitations, the findings should be considered encouraging and worthy of further research rather than iron clad truth.

Gaultier said, “If a larger clinical trial (phase III) confirms the results, fluvoxamine would be a perfect treatment for COVID patients newly diagnosed. Fluvoxamine is not an experimental drug, it is cheap and safe and could be available as a first line of defense to unburden the hospitals that are overwhelmed by the COVID health crisis.”

For more medical research news from UVA, you can click right here.

Rita Azar illustrates relationship article for 360 MAGAZINE

Important Tips When Vacationing with Your Special Someone

Traveling is an enjoyable activity, most especially if you are with the one you love. Sunrises and sunsets become more beautiful, the food seemingly tastes better, and any cultural barriers become more of an experience to laugh at than an irritant.

So, all your custom research papers are written, vacation is about to start, your clothes are ready and tickets are waiting for you to take them and go. But if you are together and unprepared, things might not go the way you planned. Here are some things to consider when vacationing with your special someone.

#1 Agree upon what you’d like to do together

A common source of conflict when vacationing together is that one person is dictating the terms. He or she says what tourist sites they will visit, where they will eat, what souvenirs to buy, and even what time of the day they will do all these things. While the other partner may give in at first, it eventually becomes a pain.

Instead, the couple should discuss what they’d like to do together before going on the trip, including possible dos and don’ts. While spontaneity can be fun and romantic, if your partner is really against doing something (swimming with the sharks, jumping out of a plane, or eating scorpions), then there should be no reason to force them.

#2 Be patient when difficulties crop up

When traveling, difficulties of some sort usually crop up, such as misplacing your tickets, leaving the cellphone charger at the hotel, or forgetting to pick something up on your supply run at the local store. It is important to stay patient. Snapping at each other over such minor inconveniences will ruin the mood for your trip.

This patience is also necessary when dealing with the locals. Cultural and language differences may cause you to become impatient. But dealing rudely with them may get you into further trouble, or it may even irritate your partner who just wants to have a good time.

#3 Give each other space

Even in your locale, it is important to give one another space. 

This is also true when visiting a new place. If the place is safe, it is good to allow one another to explore the area alone for a time. If not that safe, then give one another time to lounge alone, read a magazine, or even watch a favorite show. You will find that after some alone time, you and your partner will be ready to enjoy things together again.

#4 Enjoy your time together

A vacation together is supposed to strengthen your bond as a couple. So ensure that you are both having fun. That’s why it is inadvisable to bring work with you as much as possible.  

If you notice that one of you is not enjoying the trip, find ways to make it more fun. Think of what you can both do to bring more life to your trip. It could be visiting something not on your itinerary, having a coffee at a local café, or just watching the sunset together.

Summary

It’s a blessing to have the chance to travel together. Take advantage of such time, and make it enjoyable by considering the tips above.

Bisexual adults less likely to enjoy health benefits of education

Education has long been linked to health — the more schooling people have, the healthier they are likely to be. But a new study from Rice University sociologists found that the health benefits of a good education are less evident among well-educated bisexual adults.

“Education and health: The joint role of gender and sexual identity” examines health among straight, bisexual, gay and lesbian adults with various educational backgrounds. Authors Zhe Zhang, a postdoctoral research fellow at Rice, Bridget Gorman, a professor of sociology at Rice, and Alexa Solazzo, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Harvard University T.H. Chan School of Public Health, were particularly interested in bisexual adults, since they may experience distinctive health vulnerabilities.

The researchers found that while having at least a bachelor’s degree was linked to better health among bisexual adults, they received less benefit than heterosexual and gay or lesbian adults with similar education. This effect was especially true for bisexual women.

“The health benefits of education are well established — so much so that anything we do to promote and improve public education should really be viewed as health policy,” Gorman said. “It’s that impactful on health and well-being. That our analysis showed less health benefit associated with education among bisexual adults compared to heterosexual, gay and lesbian adults is concerning.”

While the researchers could not pinpoint the exact cause, they theorized the problem might be social stigma and additional anxiety among women due to gender discrimination, Zhang said.

“Discrimination of any kind can take a heavy toll on health,” Zhang said. “While we cannot say with certainty that is what is happening in this study, it’s a very real possibility.”

The authors based their study on data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, which included a sample of more than 1.2 million adults living in 44 U.S. states and territories from 2011-2017. They hope the study will raise awareness of the issue and help health professionals provide better care.

The research was partially supported by a grant from the National Cancer Institute. The article is available online at https://bit.ly/3iJdNY0 and it will be published in the December 2020 edition of the journal SSM-Population Health.

This news release can be found online at news.rice.edu.

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