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Re-Opening Discussions

As many universities consider re-opening their campuses for the fall semester, Inside Higher Ed writes that many faculty members want to be included in discussions so that their COVID-19 concerns are addressed.

As IHE notes, Purdue University President Mitch Daniels has been advocating for a return to campus, even as surveys of faculty, staff, and graduate students there reveal that more than half feel it is unsafe to return to campus and that more than 90 percent say they are not confident students will follow social distancing protocols outside the classroom. Meanwhile, it says that at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill — a state where COVID-19 cases are on the upswing — hundreds of faculty members have signed onto a petition asking the administration for assurances that no faculty member will be required to teach in person.

If campuses do re-open, Pennsylvania State University's Michael Bérubé wonders about how a socially distant class can even be taught, IHE adds. "This issue is picking up momentum nationwide as people realize a) how bad the pandemic is going to be in the fall and b) how awful the in-class experience is going to be for a lot of students," he tells it, adding that the "broader problem is that faculty didn't have a chance to raise questions about the actual logistics of in-person instruction in the first place."

The Scan

Genetic Tests Lead to Potential Prognostic Variants in Dutch Children With Dilated Cardiomyopathy

Researchers in Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine found that the presence of pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants was linked to increased risk of death and poorer outcomes in children with pediatric dilated cardiomyopathy.

Fragile X Syndrome Mutations Found With Comprehensive Testing Method

Researchers in Clinical Chemistry found fragile X syndrome expansions and other FMR1 mutations with ties to the intellectual disability condition using a long-range PCR and long-read sequencing approach.

Team Presents Strategy for Speedy Species Detection in Metagenomic Sequence Data

A computational approach presented in PLOS Computational Biology produced fewer false-positive species identifications in simulated and authentic metagenomic sequences.

Genetic Risk Factors for Hypertension Can Help Identify Those at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Genetically predicted high blood pressure risk is also associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, a new JAMA Cardiology study says.