WAPT: UMMC Staff Trained to Treat Ebola

JACKSON, Miss. —The University of Mississippi Medical Center is training its staff to treat and avoid catching Ebola.

Doctors and nurses are working to recognize the symptoms of the virus to keep it from spreading further.

“You know, you never want to jinx yourself, but we are about as prepared as we can be,” said Jonathan Wilson, UMMC’s chief administrative officer.

Eighty percent of UMMC’s doctors and nurses are receiving enhanced training on Ebola response. The latest Tuesday was training on hazmat suit use — how to put them on and take them off without risking the spread of the potentially deadly virus.

Since last week, the hospital has received a handful of what it deemed potential Ebola threat cases: Patients with flu-like symptoms who were ruled out after they failed to meet other criteria.

Read more: http://www.wapt.com/health/ummc-staff-trained-to-treat-ebola-patients-should-need-arise/29261286#ixzz3GtgDBXM8

HRC Blog: HRC President Chad Griffin and Dustin Lance Black Travel to Mississippi

On Tuesday October 14, Chad Griffin, HRC’s President and Dustin Lance Black, Academy Award-Winning screenwriter of the groundbreaking 2008 film Milk, are continuing their tour through Project One America States as they participated in a forum at the University of Mississippi about the critical importance of LGBT people and their straight allies sharing their courageous stories and coming out.  On Monday, Griffin and Black were at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway, Arkansas. Both events coincided with the recent celebration of National Coming Out Day (NCOD) on October 11, now in its 26 year.

Through exclusive videos and a week-long blog series leading up to NCOD, HRC has been sharing the diverse experiences of people from all walks of life who’ve come out, and highlighting stories via Facebook, Twitter, and for the first time, Snapchat. HRC also released a compilation video of celebrities and public figures who made the decision to live openly earlier this year, including Former Miss Kentucky Djuan Trent  and actress Ellen Page, who came out at HRC Foundation’s inaugural Time to THRIVE Conference.

When people know someone who is LGBT, they are far more likely to support equality under the law. HRC encourages LGBT people and straight allies to share their stories and has resources available that can be helpful to start those conversations. Learn more about the history of National Coming Out Day as well as helpful coming out guides by visiting HRC’s website.

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Clarion-Ledger: Mississippi Soldier Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

JACKSON, Miss. – When Army Reserve Sgt. Randy Sandifer of Pinola deployed to Iraq as a sophomore at Ole Miss, he didn’t realize he was on a journey that would take him not only overseas, but eventually would tie his name to one of the most prestigious honors in the world.

Sandifer, now 30 and a ballistics expert at the Army Crime Lab in Atlanta, is nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for research he did while stationed at Abu Ghraib prison — research that ultimately would lead to the closure of the controversial facility.

Read the full story here.

NewsMS: Gov. William Winter Documentary to Premier on Mississippi Public Broadcasting

JACKSON, Miss. – Parents were not always able to send their kids to public kindergarten in Mississippi. That all changed after a successful political battle for education reform lead by former Governor William Winter in the 1980s. The story is revisited in the Southern Documentary Project’s film The Toughest Job: William Winter’s Mississippi.

The film premiers Thursday, October 2 at 8pm on Mississippi Public Broadcasting.

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WTVA: Grant Funds Study of Cancer Gene kRAS

OXFORD, Miss. (WTVA) — The University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy will help with a U. S. Department of Defense study of a cancer gene called kRAS.

The school is receiving a grant for $333,878 to study the DNA make up the gene.

Researchers say kRAS is an important gene in the progression of pancreatic, lung and other cancers.

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NEMS Daily Journal: Markley Finds Passion in Higher Education

TUPELO – Derek Markley’s first visit to Tupelo did not come at the most opportune time.

The new executive director of the University of Mississippi’s Tupelo and Booneville campuses had his job interview with the school scheduled for late April. Two days before he arrived, Tupelo was struck by an EF3 tornado that carved a 31-mile path of destruction.

It was the first time the Auburn, Indiana, native had seen any area that had been freshly hit by a twister. It didn’t dissuade him from the job.

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New York Times: Mississippi Death Row Case Faults Bite-Mark Forensics

In one of the country’s first nationally televised criminal trials, of the smirking serial murderer Ted Bundy in Florida in 1979, jurors and viewers alike were transfixed as dental experts showed how Mr. Bundy’s crooked teeth resembled a bite on a 20-year-old victim.

Mr. Bundy was found guilty and the obscure field of “forensic dentistry” won a place in the public imagination.

Since then, expert testimony matching body wounds with the dentition of the accused has played a role in hundreds of murder and rape cases, sometimes helping to put defendants on death row.

But over this same period, mounting evidence has shown that matching body wounds to a suspect’s dentition is prone to bias and unreliable.

A disputed bite-mark identification is at the center of an appeal that was filed Monday with the Mississippi Supreme Court. Eddie Lee Howard Jr., 61, has been on death row for two decades for the murder and rape of an 84-year-old woman, convicted largely because of what many experts call a far-fetched match of his teeth to purported bite wounds, discerned only after the woman’s body had been buried and exhumed.

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Inside Science: Astronauts May Grow Better Salads On Mars Than On The Moon

Any explorers visiting Mars and the moon will have to boldly grow where no man has grown before.

Setting up lunar or Martian colonies will require that explorers raise their own food. New research finds that simulated Martian soil supported plant life better than both simulated moon soil and low-quality soil from Earth. But many problems must be solved before astronauts can pick their first extraterrestrial eggplant. The study appears in the journal PLOS ONE.

“Research like this is needed to fine-tune future plans for growing plants on Mars, which I think is going to be a very useful thing if we want to have colonization or even a shorter-term stay on Mars,” said John Kiss, a plant biologist at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, who did not participate in the research. “It’s hard to carry all the food with you.”

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Mississippi Business Journal: Ole Miss makes ranking of most beautiful campuses in U.S.

OXFORD, Miss. – Best College Reviews, a ranking service for American colleges and universities, has released a list of the 100 most beautiful college campuses in America, and the University of Mississippi made the cut.

The 100 campuses were selected based entirely on aesthetics. The author placed particular emphasis on natural features such as green spaces, bodies of water, and arboretums as well as man made features, primarily notable architecture and look and feel of campuses as a holistic, cohesive whole. Higher education become more competitive every year, which brings higher amounts of stress to college students, and one way of mitigating that stress is attending school in a beautiful setting, whether that means bucolic, relaxing grounds or a vibrant, architecturally interesting campus.

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Mississippi Business Journal: Robert Khayat wins 2014 Mississippi author award

OXFORD, Mississippi — The Mississippi Library Association has announced the winners of the 2014 Mississippi Author Awards. Robert Khayat, author of The Education of a Lifetime (Nautilus), was named Mississippi Author of the Year in the nonfiction category. Previous winners in nonfiction include Eudora Welty, Willie Morris and Margaret Walker. The winner in the fiction category was Michael Farris Smith for his novel Rivers.

Otha Keys, Mississippi Author Awards committee member and a librarian at South Jones High School, said, “This memoir by Robert Khayat is one I could not put down. He is an excellent storyteller and he definitely has had an ‘education of a lifetime.’”

Robert Khayat, who heard about the award at his home in Oxford, said, “My family and I are profoundly grateful to the Mississippi Library Association for the Non-Fiction Award—a complete and pleasant surprise to us.”

“The overarching goal of the book was to move the perception of Ole Miss and Mississippi from 1962 to the present. I felt it was my responsibility to help others understand us . . . and for us to acknowledge our challenges,” Khayat added.

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