In The News
Echo from Boston bombings: Stay strong, Manchester
CNN -- 05/23/2017
As someone who has not been personally affected by a terrorist attack, I would not presume to give advice to the people of Manchester on this terrible day after. But as a resident of the Boston area — and one among the thousands who rallied to the side of our city in the wake of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings — I have some thoughts about how a community can come together after a tragedy like this, writes Dan Kennedy, associate professor of journalism at Northeastern University.
Trump’s budget makes it official: He’s doing little to nothing about the opioid epidemic
Vox -- 05/23/2017
More broadly, Trump has done nothing to address the structural issues behind drug addiction — the poverty, joblessness, deteriorating communities, and other common contributors to despair that lead to drug addiction. “If you look at overall public health trends, there are a lot of things like alcohol use and suicide that have increased in concert with opioid use,” said Leo Beletsky, a professor of law and health sciences at Northeastern University. “That speaks to underlying, larger problems.”…
Superior Court judge at center of St. Paul’s scandal
Boston Globe -- 05/23/2017
Daniel Medwed, a professor at Northeastern University School of Law, said that Gordon could not be faulted for aiming to protect a client’s reputation, as long as he did not break laws or cross ethical boundaries. But he said the very notion that Gordon worked for the school as an outside counsel erases any possibility that he could have conducted an independent investigation. “You might have some inherent conflict because the person writing the checks, the school, might have a self-interest in the [investigation] coming out in a certain way,” he said. “That means your independence is inherently compromised.”…
Local researchers hope to have Lyme antibodies available by 2020
Fox 25 -- 05/23/2017
This research might be good news for the public, but some Lyme patients have felt let down by the medical community, saying the disease is often misdiagnosed. There is also some frustration that a vaccine has been available for dogs for years. Northeastern University professor Brandon Dionne, who studies the pharmaceutical industry, said a human vaccine was pulled about 15 years ago when some patients experienced bad side effects and demand dried up.
With no successor for the family business, what should retiring baby boomers do?
Inside Sources -- 05/23/2017
“In this latest survey, far more businesses told us that, instead, they’ll be seeking buyers outside the family within the next several years — nearly one-third of respondents, compared with 19 percent two years ago,” the survey found. But Ted Clark, director of Northeastern University’s Center for Family Business, said owners without another generation to pass the company over to is not necessarily a new trend. He said it’s part of the “cycle of family businesses.”…
Deportation crisis creates strains for Boston’s immigration lawyers
WGBH -- 05/22/2017
When President Donald Trump first issued a ban on refugees and travel from seven majority-Muslim countries, immigration attorneys flooded airports across the country looking to volunteer their services to help immigrants mitigate the chaos and confusion. Now, several months and two struck-down travel bans later, the state of chaos has not dissipated for immigration lawyers. This multimedia story was produced as part of WGBH News contributor Dan Kennedy’s class in Digital Storytelling and Social Media at Northeastern University.
How statistics weakened mRNA’s predictive power
The Scientist -- 05/22/2017
Most biologists would likely have nodded at this conclusion and read on, but to bioengineer Nikolai Slavov of Northeastern University in Boston, the paper’s claim represented a statistical “elephant in the room,” he said. “It was clear to me that this was not consistent with their data from the moment I saw it, and that’s why we decided to reanalyze the data.” The problem, Slavov said, was that, in the original study, changes in mRNA and protein levels between different genes, which can vary by 1,000-fold or more, had been grouped together with expression differences for individual genes between tissues, which are “usually within a 10-fold range.” Analyzing the data en masse in this way had created “a classical Simpson’s paradox,” said Slavov—a statistical phenomenon whereby apparent trends in individual sets of data disappear or reverse when the sets are pooled.
Will stepping up drug-dealer arrests help alleviate the opioid crisis?
Crain's New York Business -- 05/22/2017
But Leo Beletsky, associate professor of law and health sciences at Northeastern University School of Law, said little evidence exists to support the idea that arresting drug dealers will lead to fewer overdoses. “Taking someone out of the drug supply chain has not been shown to affect the drug supply,” said Beletsky, who has consulted for the city and is familiar with its opioid initiatives. “It disrupts the supply chain for a few days, if that.” He also said sending police to investigate overdoses “runs at complete cross-purposes to New York’s Good Samaritan Law.” The measure is supposed to protect people who call 911 to report an overdose from getting arrested.
Cubans become the road warriors of D.C. diplomatic corps
Miami Herald -- 05/22/2017
Cuban diplomats have been traveling across the United States so frequently since President Donald Trump took office that the slogan of the Cuban Embassy in Washington could be “See America First.” So far this year, Miguel Fraga, a first secretary at the embassy, has visited Montana, Pennsylvania, and the Boston area, where he gave talks at Boston University, Harvard’s Kennedy School, and Northeastern University. He also paid calls on Cambridge Mayor Denise Simmons and met with Mayor Joe Curtatone of Somerville, Mass.
Amazon and Target’s retail rumble
Boston Magazine -- 05/21/2017
Bruce Clark, a business professor at Northeastern University, has found that Amazon sells twice as much per employee as Target, and three times as much per square foot of space it owns. It’s also better at using data to probe our brains and gauge our preferences, and once we sign on to the $99-a-year Prime membership, it’s devilishly good at getting us hooked on its scary-fast deliveries for life. “Once you have a habit,” Clark says, “you need a reason to break it.”…
Peter Roby to step down as Northeastern AD in 2018
Boston Globe -- 05/19/2017
After more than a decade of service to the university, Northeastern athletic director Peter Roby announced his intention to retire in June 2018. “Being associated with Northeastern University for the past 15 years has been one of the greatest honors of my professional career,” Roby said in a statement.
That tweet you sent could help predict a flu outbreak
NBC News -- 05/19/2017
“This flu is horrendous. Can’t breathe, can’t sleep or eat. Muscles ache, fever 102. Should have gotten the shot. Time for a movie marathon.” That’s a hypothetical example of the kind of tweets Alessandro Vespignani and his colleagues at Northeastern University sift through, searching for signs of the latest outbreaks. His team recently presented a model they say tracks the spread of flu up to six weeks in advance of traditional forecasts in the United States, Italy, and Spain.