Covid-19 cases are climbing nationally as the U.S. barrels into its second holiday season during the pandemic, with most families planning this year to gather for Thanksgiving. The daily average of new cases stands below 100,000, and almost 200 million Americans are fully vaccinated. But with millions still unvaccinated and cases rising, experts are urging Americans to exercise caution when gathering with others. The Covid-19 Event Risk Assessment Management Tool — developed by Joshua Weitz, Professor and Tom and Marie Patton Chair in the School of Biological Sciences, Co-Director of the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Quantitative Biosciences, and Blaise Pascal International Chair of Excellence at the Ecole Normale Superieure — shows that for events with 50 people, eight states have counties with an at least 95 percent risk level. (The Covid-19 Event Risk Assessment Management Tool is also mentioned in Fast Company, CBS17 Raleigh, Louisville Courier-Journal, Tri-City Herald, Akron Beacon-Journal, and Des Moines Register.
The Hill, Nov 21, 2021
A team from Georgia Tech won the Human Factors Design Award during NASA's BIG (Breakthrough, Innovative, Game-Changing) Ideas Challenge during a Nov. 18 virtual presentation. Seven teams of students from colleges and universities worked for a year and a half on the problem of how astronaut teams on future Moon missions could deal with the hazards of lunar dust. The team from Washington State University scored highest across evaluation criteria among the seven finalist teams to take the Challenge's top honor, the Artemis Award.
NASA, Nov 19, 2021
As the country’s second COVID-19 Thanksgiving approaches, experts say the landscape of risk has changed. New variants have emerged, and tens of thousands of new infections are still occurring every day in the United States. Vaccines are available for everyone age 5 and older, but only 59 percent of people in the U.S. are currently fully vaccinated, and some populations remain at risk due to underlying conditions or compromised immune systems. Joshua Weitz, Professor and Tom and Marie Patton Chair in the School of Biological Sciences, Co-Director of the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Quantitative Biosciences, and Blaise Pascal International Chair of Excellence at the Ecole Normale Superieure, says last Thanksgiving and Christmas coincided with a Covid-19 wave across the country. Weitz's Covid-19 Event Risk Assessment Planning Tool has added smaller group sizes so people can gauge their chances of being exposed at holiday family gatherings.
National Geographic, Nov 18, 2021
The symptoms and side effects of Covid-19 are scattered across a diagnostic spectrum. Some patients are asymptomatic or experience a mild immune response, while others report significant long-term illnesses, lasting complications, or suffer fatal outcomes. Three researchers from the School of Biological Sciences — Professor, Mary and Maisie Gibson Chair, and GRA Eminent Scholar in Computational Systems Biology Jeffrey Skolnick; Ph.D. student Courtney Astore, and senior research scientist Hongyi Zhou — and one from Emory University are trying to help clinicians sort through these factors and spectrum of patient outcomes by equipping healthcare professionals with a new “decision prioritization tool.” The team’s new artificial intelligence-based tool helps clinicians understand and better predict which adverse effects their Covid-19 patients could experience, based on comorbidities and current side effects — and, in turn, also helps suggest specific Food and Drug Administration-approved (FDA) drugs that could help treat the disease and improve patient health outcomes.
WSB-TV, Nov 18, 2021
With vaccines available and restrictions relaxed, many people are eager to shop for holiday gifts in-person this season. Others are struggling to understand the risks of contracting COVID as the pandemic enters a new phase of uncertainty. Stephen Beckett, research scientist with the School of Biological Sciences, works on Georgia Tech's COVID-19 Event Risk Assessment Planning Tool, which can help shoppers gauge the risk of infections in groups of all sizes. “Actions such as mask wearing, reducing event sizes, or avoiding large events, getting vaccinated, being outdoors rather than indoors, or in areas with high quality air ventilation, can all help mitigate the risk that an individual will become infected and risk spreading COVID-19 in their community," Beckett says.
MSN Health , Nov 16, 2021
As representatives from global superpowers meet in Glasgow for the United Nations’ COP26 summit on how to avert climate catastrophe, concerned citizens all over the world are making changes in their own lives to lessen their impact on the planet. The Washington Post asked four travelers — climate scientists or academics in environmental fields — how they see the world and adjust their activities. Kim Cobb, Georgia Power Chair and ADVANCE Professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, went from 150,000 frequent flyer miles a year to none in 2019, while shifting to alternatives like buses and trains for business and family travel. (This story also ran at SFGate.)
Washington Post , Nov 11, 2021
Bruce Walker, professor in the School of Psychology and the School of Interactive Computing, spoke on a system for wearable audio navigation during his World Usability Day keynote address for Technischen Hochschule Ingolstadt in Germany. The goal for WUD is to discuss products and design of systems that help people stay connected, learn, and grow during transformational times.
German UPA, Nov 11, 2021
"We can all play a role in moving forward." Lewis Wheaton, associate professor in the School of Biological Sciences, considers the field’s immediate actions with regard to Black representation at neuroscience conferences, whether science and academia are "rising to the occasion in an area under our control," and ideas for how scientific conference and symposium organizers — and fellow faculty, graduate students, post-docs, and collaborators — can foster racial equity and inclusion in and beyond science meetings. (This also appeared in Scientific American.)
Nature Neuroscience, Nov 11, 2021
Climate change is a global problem. That's why most of the world's leaders met in Scotland recently at a United Nations Climate Conference known as COP26. It's the conference where many of those same countries committed to the lofty emissions goals in the Paris Climate Agreement. To date, progress toward that goal has been less than stellar. Should we expect anything major to come from COP26? What promises are being made this time around? The panel for this discussion includes Kim Cobb, Georgia Power Chair and ADVANCE Professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, and director of Georgia Tech's Global Change Program.
1A Podcast, National Public Radio , Nov 9, 2021
Six professors in the School of Psychology have received approximately $1 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Education to fund graduate fellowships. The funds for these Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) fellowships were awarded in fall 2021. The recipients of the award are Richard Catrambone and Bruce Walker, professors; Keaton Fletcher and Kimberly French, assistant professors; and Jamie Gorman and Christopher Wiese, associate professors.
Department of Education , Nov 9, 2021