June 10: UF in the News 6/7/21-6/10/21

A pivotal mosquito experiment could not have gone better — The Atlantic, 6/9/21

Public-health professor Adi Utarini of Gadjah Mada University in Indonesia has been loading mosquitoes with a specific bacteria that prevents the bugs from spreading dengue fever. The bacteria then spreads among the mosquitoes in the area and reduces the mosquito-to-mosquito transmission rate, which in turn reduces the mosquito-to-human transmission of dengue.

Natalie Dean, UF biostatistician, is featured in the story explaining the difficulties of treating dengue.


When AI becomes child’s play — MIT Technology Review, 6/9/21

Artificial intelligence algorithms look for patterns and consistency to successfully identify objects, but the notorious inconsistency of how kids behave stumps machines. Lisa Anthony, associate professor of computer science at UF, is featured in this podcast panel exploring how computing and kids mix, or don't.


How wearable AI could help you recover from covid — MIT Technology Review, 6/9/21

At-home COVID-19 recovery kits in an Illinois pilot program gives people a pulse oximeter, a disposable Bluetooth-enabled sensor patch, and a paired smartphone. The software takes data from the wearable patch and uses machine learning to develop a profile of each person’s vital signs. The monitoring system alerts clinicians remotely when a patient’s vitals— such as heart rate—shift away from their usual levels. 

This new method of patient treatment could pave the way for better long-term recovery options, but UF associate professor of health Delores C.S. James said, “There isn’t enough mobile health research being done exclusively with African-Americans. Let us keep in mind the high rate of health disparities and poor health outcomes. We must be included.”


We actually don't know how 'bad' hurricane season could be yet — The Hill, 6/8/21

Chief meteorologist of UF Weather, Jeff Huffman, contributed this opinion column analyzing the upcoming hurricane season. He urges communities to prepare for hurricanes regardless of pre-season predictions because the forecasting tools are still improving and the best indicators of severity are known only in the days leading up to the hurricane.


Google should be treated as utility, Ohio argues in new lawsuit — The Wall Street Journal, 6/8/21

Ohio's attorney general hopes to require Google to provide the same rights for advertisements and product placement for competitors that it provides for its own services. Legal scholars said there is little precedent for the case. “I don’t know how it would be possible to come up with a way of regulating the company while protecting it from competition at the same time,” UF business professor Mark A. Jamison said.

This story was also featured in Fox Business.


Investors fret as Biden takes aim at a 100-year-old tax loophole — The New York Times, 6/8/21

The Biden administration is reconsidering a provision in federal tax code that provides real estate investors a tax deferral on the financial gain of a sale if they roll the proceeds directly into a similar investment property within 180 days. 

From 2010 through 2020, like-kind exchanges accounted for 10 percent to 20 percent of all commercial real estate transactions, according to a study by David C. Ling, a real estate professor at UF, and Milena Petrova, an associate professor of real estate and finance at Syracuse University.


Fact check: Post misleads on effectiveness of J&J COVID-19 vaccine in older adults — USA Today, 6/7/21

Even though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention declared the Johnson & Johnson vaccine safe and effective, doubts about efficacy among older adults still linger on social media. 

UF assistant professor of biostatistics Natalie Dean explained to USA Today that efficacy is a value obtained from randomized clinical trials and represents a best estimate of how well the product being tested (a vaccine in this case) works in an idealized condition.