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Reopening Concerns

Many universities and colleges around the US plan to open in some form in a few weeks, but Science writes that many faculty members are concerned about the risks such plans pose as coronavirus cases are on the rise in many parts of the country.

It notes that many universities are requiring employees to come to campus. For instance, it adds that Georgia Tech's re-opening guidelines say that "[e]mployees who care for or live with [high-risk] individuals … should plan to return to campus as scheduled."

As Science reports, employees at Georgia Tech and other universities have pushed back against reopening plans they say put their health at risk. Earlier this month, Tech faculty members sent a letter to the Georgia Board of Regents, as Georgia Public Broadcasting reported at the time. In it, faculty members express their dismay that reopening plans have been drawn up with little input from them and call for "decisions to be made in accordance with scientific evidence that prioritize the health and safety of the Georgia Tech community."

As part of their reopening plans, universities are commonly requiring masks, social distancing, and fewer students living in dorms, and others are mandating COVID-19 tests, Science adds, noting that faculty still question the details of the plans.

The Scan

Wolf Howl Responses Offer Look at Vocal Behavior-Related Selection in Dogs

In dozens of domestic dogs listening to wolf vocalizations, researchers in Communication Biology see responses varying with age, sex, reproductive status, and a breed's evolutionary distance from wolves.

Facial Imaging-Based Genetic Diagnoses Appears to Get Boost With Three-Dimensional Approach

With data for more than 1,900 individuals affected by a range of genetic conditions, researchers compared facial phenotype-based diagnoses informed by 2D or 3D images in the European Journal of Human Genetics.

Survey Suggests Multigene Cancer Panel VUS Reporting May Vary Across Genetic Counselors

Investigators surveyed dozens of genetic counselors working in clinical or laboratory settings, uncovering attitudes around VUS reporting after multigene cancer panel testing in the Journal of Genetic Counseling.

Study Points to Tuberculosis Protection by Gaucher Disease Mutation

A mutation linked to Gaucher disease in the Ashkenazi Jewish population appears to boost Mycobacterium tuberculosis resistance in a zebrafish model of the lysosomal storage condition, a new PNAS study finds.