August 12: UF in the News, 8/9/21 - 8/12/21

Biden ramps up pressure on Cuba, abandoning Obama’s approach — The New York Times, 8/9/21

President Biden has taken a hard line on Cuba, including new sanctions against Cuban officials in the past few weeks in response to the arrest of hundreds of protesters who took to the streets across the island in July. 

Lillian Guerra, a historian at the University of Florida who specializes in Cuba, commented on a new period of tension between the U.S. and Cuba.

University of Florida’s aquaculture lab in Ruskin focuses on keeping fish farms successful — Fox 13, 8/10/21

In Hillsborough and Polk counties, there are higher concentrations of fish farms compared to anywhere else in the U.S. UF/IFAS' Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory, has been in Ruskin for about two decades and was built to cater to the ornamental fish production industry in the Sunshine State.

Future Alzheimer's treatments aim to do more than clear plaques from the brain — NPR, 8/10/21

Immune cells, toxic protein tangles and brain waves are among the targets of future Alzheimer's treatments, scientists say.

These approaches are noteworthy because they do not directly attack the sticky amyloid plaques in the brain that are a hallmark of Alzheimer's even though the plaques have been the focus of most Alzheimer's drug development in the past 20 years.

Many researchers believe amyloid drugs alone can't stop Alzheimer's.

"The field has been moving beyond amyloid for many years now," says Malú Gámez Tansey, co-director of the Center for Translational Research in Neurodegenerative Disease at UF.

Bottlenose dolphins use ‘mud rings’ to blindside fish in the Florida Keys— The Miami Herald, 8/11/21

Bottlenose dolphins use a hunting strategy where a single dolphin circles the bottom of the ocean floor and creates ring-shaped plumes of mud. Other dolphins, meanwhile, wait with mouths wide open and lunge out of the water to snatch fleeing fish.

Stefanie Gazda, a UF researcher, was the first to publish a study 16 years ago detailing the impressive hunting strategy in only a few parts of Florida.

Housing authority under federal investigation before top leaders removed— CNN, 8/11/21

After leading administrators in the Southern Nevada Regional Housing Authority were removed, the Las Vegas Review-Journal uncovered a federal investigation around the administrators prior to their removal. Now, employees are concerned about agency transparency and are struggling trusting leadership. 

Government transparency expert and UF professor Frank LoMonte denounced the housing authority’s decision to shroud the reasons behind its leadership shakeup. “It’s a widely recognized best management practice to share the most information you possibly can, and this approach goes against every management lesson in the book,” he said.

COVID and Delta variant death rates—what we know so far — Newsweek, 8/11/21

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) figures suggest that the Delta variant and its subtypes accounted for more than 90 percent of new U.S. COVID cases surveyed in the two weeks to July 31.

Some studies have suggested that the variant is also linked to more severe disease than other variants, said Dr. Stephen Kimmel, Chair of the Department of Epidemiology at UF.

Florida hospital becoming overwhelmed by COVID-19 surge — ABC News, 8/11/21

As the COVID-19 crisis continues to worsen across much of the South, hospital staff in Florida are growing weary and they say their patients are coming in younger and sicker than at any previous time during the pandemic.

"The patients that we are seeing now are actually much younger than what we used to see in the initial [COVID-19] wave in January and February. The patients are much sicker," Dr. Hiren Mehta, a critical care physician at UF Health.

Face it, you’ve become meaner because of the pandemic — Deseret News, 8/12/21

Researchers are learning rudeness can be as contagious as a disease, and it can have disastrous consequences. UF management professor Amir Erez and doctoral student Trevor Foulk conducted research on unkind behavior toward others. They found that those who were exposed to someone who berated and scolded them ended up performing worse at their jobs the rest of the day. 

UF among the many good things to celebrate about Gainesville — The Gainesville Sun, 8/12/21

Eric Godet, the president/CEO of the Greater Gainesville Chamber, extolled the virtues of UF and its many benefits for the Gainesville community. In it, he recognizes education, research and service, tourism, economic development and job creation UF brings to Gainesville.