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Latino Michiganders: Key findings from U-M Poverty Solutions


Detroit City Police Department car parked on the city street in downtown Detroit Michigan. Image credit: iStock As National Hispanic Heritage Month, which celebrates the culture and contributions of Latinos in the U.S., comes to a close, Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan highlights key data from its research that relates to Latinos living in Michigan. 33% The percentage of Latinos in Detroit who would feel more safe with an increased police presence in their neighborhood, according to a recent report by the Detroit Metro Area Communities Study on…

Mammals on the menu: Snake dietary diversity exploded after mass extinction 66 million years ago


A sampling of snake diversity. Clockwise from upper left: rainbow boa (Epicrates cenchria), image credit Pascal Title, U-M Museum of Zoology; Amazon basin tree snake (Imantodes lentiferus), image credit Pascal Title, U-M Museum of Zoology; western worm snake (Carphophis vermis), image credit Alison Rabosky, U-M Museum of Zoology; two-striped forest pitviper (Bothrops bilineatus), image credit Dan Rabosky, U-M Museum of Zoology; parrot snake (Leptophis ahaetulla), image credit Ivan Prates, U-M Museum of Zoology; and green anaconda (Eunectes murinus), image credit Dan Rabosky, U-M Museum of Zoology. These species show considerable…

African Americans bear the brunt of negative health outcomes of menthol cigarettes, U-M study shows


African Americans represent 12% of the U.S. population, but carried 41% of all menthol-smoking-related premature deaths in the United States between 1980 and 2018, according to a new study researchers believe is the first to quantify the impact menthol cigarettes have had in Black communities across the country. David Mendez “It is well known that tobacco companies, in the 1960s and ’70s, targeted menthol cigarettes to African American communities, and menthol cigarettes became ubiquitous in those communities,” said David Mendez, lead author of the study and an associate professor in…

Child Tax Credit providing critical help, but not reaching more than 1 in 10 eligible families


While most eligible families received the first two monthly Child Tax Credit payments and used the money to cover the costs of essential household expenses, a new survey indicates that more than 1 in 10 CTC-eligible families have not received the credit and were either uncertain about how to claim it or did not know why they did not receive it. In March, Congress expanded the Child Tax Credit to provide low- and middle-income families with monthly payments of $300 per child under 6 and $250 per child ages 6-17….

Mindful breathing for pain control: Like yin and yang


It’s long been known that meditative mindful breathing helps with various health conditions, including pain. To that end, researchers at the University of Michigan compared two types of meditative breathing–traditional mindful breathing and virtual reality, 3D-guided mindful breathing–to reduce pain. They found that each lessened pain by modulating the somatosensory cortex, a region of the brain responsible for processing pain, but each used different mechanisms, said Alexandre DaSilva, associate professor at the School of Dentistry. With the traditional breathing group, the functional connection with the brain’s frontal regions increased, because…

At the halfway place: The University of Michigan Biological Station leads international recognition effort as UNESCO biosphere region


“Obtawaing” is the Anishinaabemowin word for “at the halfway place.” It was the name for the center of the Odawa village that used to stretch 16 miles along northern Lake Michigan, near the town of Harbor Springs and the hamlets Good Hart and Cross Village, says Frank Ettawageshik, currently the executive director of the United Tribes of Michigan and formerly the tribal chairman of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians in Harbor Springs. Now, the word has been adapted to describe the Obtawaing Biosphere Region, a newly awarded…

Federal funding extends Great Lakes climate adaptation research and engagement at U-M, MSU


Researchers at the University of Michigan and Michigan State University have been awarded $5.4 million from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to continue their study of climate change and variability risks in the larger Great Lakes region for the next five years. Funding for the Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and Assessments, known as GLISA, will be granted through the federal agency’s Climate Program Office. GLISA researchers will continue their physical and social science programs to explore action-driven foundational research focusing on new and emerging issues in the region to…

Self-compassion helps leaders—and their workers, according to U-M management expert


When leaders actively practice compassion toward themselves, it benefits both them and their employees. That doubly rewarding finding comes in a new study co-authored by Sue Ashford, a professor of management and organizations at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. “We tend to think of leadership as a universally good thing, so we don’t fully account for the hardships of leadership—we don’t think of self-compassion as something that’s particularly needed or important,” Ashford said. “But without self-compassion, the hardships can lead you to think, ‘If I’m having such…

Wayne County recovery expected to be strong but uneven, according to U-M economic study


Wayne County Building. Image credit: Austin Thomason, Michigan Photography Michigan’s most populous county has recovered most of its employment losses from the start of the pandemic, though the economic comeback varies widely among the kinds of jobs and between some of its more affluent suburbs and the city of Detroit, according to a University of Michigan study. Wayne County is expected to nearly recover its pre-pandemic payroll jobs count by the end of 2023, somewhat stronger than Michigan as a whole, say economists with U-M’s Research Seminar in Quantitative Economics….

Study suggests ground-dwelling mammals survived mass extinction 66 million years ago


A short-beaked echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus), Budderoo National Park, New South Wales, Australia. Echidnas are monotremes, one of the three main groups of mammals along with placentals and marsupials. The group also includes the platypus. Scientists believe monotremes were ground-dwelling creatures before the K-Pg asteroid impact and remained so afterward. Image credit: Daniel J. Field The miles-wide asteroid that struck Earth 66 million years ago wiped out nearly all the dinosaurs and roughly three-quarters of the planet’s plant and animal species. But some creatures survived, including certain rat-sized mammals that would…

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