March 8: UF in the News 3/4/21-3/8/21

Spring Break veers toward ‘normal’ in Florida despite coronavirus pandemic — FOX News, 03/05/2021
J. Glenn Morris , director of the Emerging Pathogens Institute at the University of Florida, weighs in on possible COVID-19 spread risks for spring breakers in Florida.

Women used to dominate the beer industry until the witch accusations started pouring in — Yahoo! News, 03/05/2021
UF doctoral student of English Laken Brooks writes about how brewing was considered to be women’s work until a smear campaign accused women brewers of being witches.
 

Experts weigh in on whether it’s safe to travel this summer as bookings surge — ABC News, 03/05/2021
Natalie Dean, a UF biostatistician specializing in infectious diseases, tells ABC News she’s planning to travel with her husband and two young children this year. “These vaccines are highly effective against the disease, particularly severe disease,” said Dean. “And so that really changes the math about what we’re willing to do.” 
 

Why comparing COVID-19 vaccine efficacy numbers can be misleading — VOX, 03/05/2021
UF assistant professor of biostatistics Natalie Dean urges scientists to coordinate on future vaccine tests so that future data can be more accurately compared and combined.
 

SPACS, the investment term you won’t stop hearing about — VOX, 03/04/2021 
In just the first two months of this year, 189 SPACs, or special purpose acquisition companies, were listed on major stock exchanges, according to data from UF professor and IPO expert Jay Ritter. These soon-to-be-public companies are attracting record investments.
 

Can you stop wearing masks after getting the COVID-19 vaccine? Sorry, not just yet, experts say — Chicago Tribune, 03/04/2021
UF assistant professor of biostatistics Natalie Dean says that preliminary data shows the COVID-19 vaccines are effective at reducing transmission of variants, although the exact reduction is not yet known.  
 

Disney World workers get spit on, yelled at, and pushed trying to enforce COVID safety rules — Orlando Sentinel, 03/04/2021

UF Psychology Professor Gregory Webster weighs in on why guests at Disney World as well as other service and retail establishments may be inclined to mistreat employees or flout rules, such as mask wearing and physical distancing.

As also found in multiple publications, including the Chicago Tribune, the Portland Press Herald and Fresno Bee. 

Scientists find blue-green algae chemical with cancer-fighting potential — Smithsonian Magazine, 03/04/2021
Hendrick Luesch, director of the Center for Natural Products, Drug Discovery and Development at UF, discusses the results of his paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences about a deep sea compound with significant anticancer activity. 

A new report reveals the false promises of for-profit colleges — Forbes, 03/08/2021
A report co-authored by Justin Ortagus, UF assistant professor of higher education administration & policy, is referenced in this column about for-profit colleges and student outcomes. Ortagus’ paper, “Paying more for less? A new classification system to prioritize outcomes in higher education” assesses the decade’s enrollment patterns, labor market outcomes, and default rates among college students.