Saturday - September 26, 2020
State Tipoffs Involving Massachusetts Newsletter for Sunday July 12, 2020 ( 50 items )  

Amherst College: Statement on ICE Change Impacting International Students
AMHERST, Massachusetts, July 8 -- Amherst College issued the following statement on July 7: Yesterday afternoon, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced changes to the Student and Exchange Visitor Program for non-immigrant students on F-1 and M-1 visas for academic and vocational study. The changes would force international students to leave the country or transfer to an institution offering in-person classes if their colleges and universities are offering classes entirely online dur  more

Assumption College: Prof. Dobski Assesses America's 'National Form' Using Hamilton's Federalist Papers
WORCESTER, Massachusetts, July 7 -- Assumption College issued the following news: In a recent essay published by The Heritage Foundation, Assumption University Associate Professor of Political Science Bernard Dobski, Ph.D., defends the American ideals of liberty and civic republicanism. The essay, "America, the Republican Nation: A Response to Critics of the Nation-State," was written while Prof. Dobski served as a visiting scholar at the Simon Center for American Studies. Prof. Dobski summar  more

Boston University Law School: Supreme Court Affirms the President Can Be Subpoenaed, But Will It Affect the Election?
BOSTON, Massachusetts, July 10 -- Boston University School of Law issued the following news: By Jim Wheaton, Clinical Associate Professor and Director of the Startup Law Clinic In "Federalist No. 69," Alexander Hamilton defended the proposed presidency by advising that unlike a king, the "President of the United States ... would be amenable to personal punishment and disgrace." In two decisions on Thursday, the Supreme Court dashed the monarchical pretensions of the incumbent president and ens  more

Boston University School of Law: Balancing Privacy Rights and Public Health
BOSTON, Massachusetts, July 8 -- Boston University School of Law issued the following news: As government officials and technology companies began to consider how to use smartphone location data to track the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 this spring, BU/MIT Technology Law Clinic Director Andrew Sellars posed a question to the email listserv of the BU Cyber Security, Law, and Society Alliance. "Perhaps unsurprisingly, the idea that consumer location data could be used like this is me  more

Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning & Engagement: The Potential Impact of Youth of Color in Key 2020 Elections
MEDFORD, Massachusetts, July 10 -- Tufts University Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement issued the following research: In several states and districts in our Youth Electoral Significance Index, youth of color could be a decisive electoral force this November. We recently published the 2020 Youth Electoral Significance Index (YESI) (https://circle.tufts.edu/yesi2020), which lists the top 10 House and Senate races, as well as the top 10 states for the Presidentia  more

Clark University: What Science Fiction Can Teach Us About Survival
WORCESTER, Massachusetts, July 11 -- Clark University issued the following news: From Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" to Octavia Butler's "Parable" books, science fiction has long addressed a myriad of societal issues. Throughout the years, these stories of social disruption, restructuring, and transformation have been at the heart of how the genre radically reimagines what ails us. On July 8, Clark University Dean of the Faculty Esther Jones and Dean of the College Betsy Huang held a webinar --  more

Entergy: New Analysis Shows Momentum Building to Decarbonize Power Sector
BOSTON, Massachusetts, July 9 -- Entergy issued the following news release: The U.S. power sector made significant progress in the transition away from coal in 2019, driving substantial reductions in pollution from the power sector, according to a new analysis released. The analysis, Benchmarking Air Emissions of the 100 Largest Electric Power Producers in the United States, examines and compares key air pollutant emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur dioxide (SO2), carbon dioxide (CO2),   more

Harvard Law School: Lessig, Who Argued on Behalf of 'Faithless Electors,' Responds to the Supreme Court's Decision
CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts, July 9 -- Harvard Law School issued the following news: In a unanimous decision on Monday, the Supreme Court ruled that states can require Electoral College voters to back the victor of their state's popular vote. The decision gives states the right to compel so-called "faithless electors" to cast their electoral ballots for the candidate chosen by their state's voters. The decision involved two cases--Chiafalo v. Washington and Colorado Department of State v. Baca--t  more

Harvard School of Public Health: Targeted Taxes and School Lunch Policies Benefit Low-Income Populations
BOSTON, Massachusetts, July 8 -- Harvard University's T.H. Chan School of Public Health issued the following news release: Targeted taxes on sweetened beverages and policies that strengthen nutritional standards for meals and beverages at schools may be effective tools for decreasing the purchase of sweetened drinks and reducing obesity among children living in poverty, according to two studies led by researchers from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The studies were published in the  more

Mass. A.G. Healey Announces Nearly $1.3 Million in Grant Funding for Local Consumer Advocacy Programs
BOSTON, Massachusetts, July 8 -- Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey issued the following news release: Attorney General Maura Healey announced that her office has awarded $1.28 million in grant funding to 18 local consumer advocacy programs across the state. "Local Consumer Programs connect Massachusetts residents with important resources, teach them about their rights, and arm them with the tools they need to make smart decisions as consumers," said AG Healey. "We are thrilled to con  more

Mass. A.G. Healey to EPA: Do Your Job to Control Methane Pollution
BOSTON, Massachusetts, July 7 -- Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey issued the following news release: Attorney General Maura Healey co-led a coalition of states and the City of Chicago in demanding the Trump Administration stop ignoring its legal duty to control emissions of methane - an extremely potent greenhouse gas - from existing sources in the oil and natural gas sector, putting the health and safety of communities and the climate at risk. The motion for summary judgment, co-le  more

Mass. A.G. Healey: Telemarketing Operation Paid $850,000 to Settle Investigation of Misleading Sales Practices Targeting Cities
BOSTON, Massachusetts, July 9 -- Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey issued the following news release: Two New York-based companies and their owners and presidents have paid $850,000 to settle allegations that their high-pressure, misleading telemarketing operation victimized cities and towns across the Commonwealth. Under the legal agreement reached with Attorney General Maura Healey and Inspector General Glenn Cunha, the companies are also banned from doing business in the state for   more

Mass. Gov. Baker-Polito Administration Highlights Eastern Equine Encephalitis Preparedness Measures
PLYMOUTH, Massachusetts, July 8 -- Gov. Charlie Baker, R-Massachusetts, issued the following news release: Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito joined Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides, Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Monica Bharel and local officials to highlight steps the Commonwealth is taking to prepare for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) this year. Preparedness measures include ongoing and increased surveillance testing, an updat  more

Mass. Gov. Baker-Polito Administration Launches Targeted Free COVID-19 Testing Sites
BOSTON, Massachusetts, July 9 -- Gov. Charlie Baker, R-Massachusetts, issued the following news release: The Baker-Polito Administration announced the launch of free COVID-19 testing sites in eight communities from July 10 to August 14 to help stop the spread of COVID-19. This "Stop the Spread" initiative is a data-driven effort to reduce the prevalence of COVID-19 in communities that are above the state average in total cases and positive test rate, and have experienced a decline in testing l  more

Mass. Gov. Baker: Memorandum of Understanding Reached Between MassDOT, Army Corps of Engineers Regarding Bourne, Sagamore Bridges
BOSTON, Massachusetts, July 8 -- Gov. Charlie Baker, R-Massachusetts, issued the following news release: Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack, Commander of the New England District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers William Conde, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, U.S. Senator Edward Markey and U.S. Representative William Keating announced a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been reached between the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, ac  more

Massachusetts General Hospital: Clinicians Find Encouraging Results From Functional MRI in an Unresponsive Patient With COVID-19
BOSTON, Massachusetts, July 7 -- Massachusetts General Hospital issued the following news release: Many patients with severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) remain unresponsive after surviving critical illness. Investigators led by a team at Massachusetts General Hospital now describe a patient with severe COVID-19 who, despite prolonged unresponsiveness and structural brain abnormalities, demonstrated functionally intact brain connections and weeks later he recovered the ability to follow   more

MIT, Harvard File Suit Against New ICE Regulations
CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts, July 9 -- The Massachusetts Institute of Technology issued the following letter by President L. Rafael Reif to the members of the MIT community: On Monday, in a surprising development, a division of Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced that it will not permit international students on F-1 visas to take a full online course load this fall while studying in the United States. As I wrote yesterday, this ruling has potentially serious implications for MIT's intern  more

MIT: Empowering Kids to Address COVID-19 Through Coding
CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts, July 10 -- The Massachusetts Institute of Technology issued the following news: When schools around the world closed their doors due to the coronavirus pandemic, the team behind MIT App Inventor -- a web-based, visual-programming environment that allows children to develop applications for smartphones and tablets -- began thinking about how they could not only help keep children engaged and learning, but also empower them to create new tools to address the pandemic. I  more

MIT: Engineers Design a Reusable, Silicone Rubber Face Mask
CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts, July 10 -- The Massachusetts Institute of Technology issued the following news: Researchers at MIT and Brigham and Women's Hospital have designed a new face mask that they believe could stop viral particles as effectively as N95 masks. Unlike N95 masks, the new masks were designed to be easily sterilized and used many times. As the number of new Covid-19 cases in the United States continues to rise, there is still an urgent need for N95 masks for health care workers a  more

MIT: Helping Drug-Delivering Particles Squeeze Through a Syringe
CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts, July 9 -- The Massachusetts Institute of Technology issued the following news: Microparticles offer a promising way to deliver multiple doses of a drug or vaccine at once, because they can be designed to release their payload at specific intervals. However, the particles, which are about the size of a grain of sand, can be difficult to inject because they can get clogged in a typical syringe. MIT researchers have now developed a computational model that can help them   more

MIT: Our Itch to Share Helps Spread COVID-19 Misinformation
CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts, July 10 -- The Massachusetts Institute of Technology issued the following news: To stay current about the Covid-19 pandemic, people need to process health information when they read the news. Inevitably, that means people will be exposed to health misinformation, too, in the form of false content, often found online, about the illness. Now a study (https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0956797620939054) co-authored by MIT scholars contains bad news and good ne  more

MIT: Portable System Boosts Laser Precision, at Room Temperature
CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts, July 8 -- The Massachusetts Institute of Technology issued the following news: Physicists at MIT have designed a quantum "light squeezer" that reduces quantum noise in an incoming laser beam by 15 percent. It is the first system of its kind to work at room temperature, making it amenable to a compact, portable setup that may be added to high-precision experiments to improve laser measurements where quantum noise is a limiting factor. The heart of the new squeezer is a  more

MIT: Scaling Up the Quantum Chip
CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts, July 9 -- The Massachusetts Institute of Technology issued the following news: MIT researchers have developed a process to manufacture and integrate "artificial atoms," created by atomic-scale defects in microscopically thin slices of diamond, with photonic circuitry, producing the largest quantum chip of its type. The accomplishment "marks a turning point" in the field of scalable quantum processors, says Dirk Englund, an associate professor in MIT's Department of El  more

MIT: Studying the Cultures of Companies
CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts, July 10 -- The Massachusetts Institute of Technology issued the following news: While shadowing human resources employees at a fast-growing technology company, Summer Jackson began to notice a strange pattern. The well-intentioned company was struggling to achieve its diversity goals, but it was reluctant to use recruiting tools that could help. The issue was the way these sites displayed underrepresented candidates in an e-commerce-like interface. "They want you to sh  more

MIT: The Urban Job Escalator Has Stopped Moving
CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts, July 9 -- The Massachusetts Institute of Technology issued the following news: The great U.S. economic boom after World War II was an urban phenomenon. Tens of millions of Americans flocked to cities to work and forge a future in the nation's middle class. And for a few decades, living in the big city paid off. By 1980, four-year college graduates in the most urban quartile of job markets had incomes 40 percent greater, per household, than college graduates in the lea  more

MIT: To Engineers' Surprise, Radiation Can Slow Corrosion of Some Materials
CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts, July 10 -- The Massachusetts Institute of Technology issued the following news: Radiation nearly always degrades the materials exposed to it, hastening their deterioration and requiring replacement of key components in high-radiation environments such as nuclear reactors. But for certain alloys that could be used in fission or fusion reactors, the opposite turns out to be true: Researchers at MIT and in California have now found that instead of hastening the material's  more

Northeastern Supports Harvard, MIT in Suit Over Rules Barring International Students From Online-Only Study in US
BOSTON, Massachusetts, July 9 -- Northeastern University issued the following news: Northeastern is supporting Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Boston Wednesday against recent federal regulations that would bar international students from legally remaining in the United States if they take classes entirely online this fall. The new regulations, announced by the Department of Homeland Security on Tuesday, require internati  more

Northeastern University: As the First Black Selectperson in Stoughton, She Wants to Prioritize Diversity
BOSTON, Massachusetts, July 8 -- Northeastern University issued the following news: Walking alongside a large banner with the words "Stoughton celebrates diversity" emblazoned in bright orange letters, Northeastern graduate Debra Roberts marched toward the center of Stoughton, Massachusetts. She and roughly 50 others were protesting the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and other Black victims of systemic racism. "Black lives matter. If not now, then when," they chanted, as the sounds   more

Northeastern University: Disease Surveillance Leaves Out the Communities That Need It Most
BOSTON, Massachusetts, July 10 -- Northeastern University issued the following news: As the current COVID-19 crisis has made abundantly clear, public health agencies need reliable, up-to-date information to effectively address evolving health problems at local, state, and federal levels. Many agencies in the U.S. are looking to disease surveillance systems that incorporate hospital records and internet-sourced data to predict where and when the worst outbreaks will be. But, according to a rec  more

Northeastern University: Here's Why Guns Increase the Risk of Suicide-Especially in Stressful Times
BOSTON, Massachusetts, July 7 -- Northeastern University issued the following news: People who own a handgun are almost four times more likely to die by suicide than those who don't have guns, according to new research by Matt Miller, a professor of health sciences and epidemiology at Northeastern. The findings, published by Miller's group in The New England Journal of Medicine, come at a time when mental health professionals are bracing for a potential surge in suicides based on social and fi  more

Northeastern University: Latin American Business Leaders See Pain, Promise in Post-Pandemic Economy
BOSTON, Massachusetts, July 9 -- Northeastern University issued the following news: Latin American business executives are used to dealing with the region's political and economic ups and downs, but they never faced anything quite like an international health crisis. The world is undergoing a shift, said Joseph E. Aoun, president of Northeastern, leading off an online discussion on the Latin American economy with regional business leaders organized by Northeastern's Young Global Leaders progra  more

Northeastern University: New Survey Shows 'Systematic Decline' in Domestic Approval for US Leaders
BOSTON, Massachusetts, July 10 -- Northeastern University issued the following news: Public approval of state governors and President Donald Trump over their response to the COVID-19 crisis has dropped over the last couple of months, although Republican governors in Democrat-leaning states have the highest approval, and the vast majority of governors have significantly higher approval ratings than the president, according to a new national survey led by researchers from Northeastern, Harvard, N  more

Northeastern University: We Find Ourselves Asking Scientists to Do More Than Simply Study the Virus
BOSTON, Massachusetts, July 7 -- Northeastern University issued the following news: As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, epidemiological models continue to provide vital information for lawmakers, public health officials, and individuals trying to slow the spread of the virus. This has put the modelers conducting this research in the spotlight. And accurately communicating these data and insights to the public has been a challenge. "We find ourselves asking scientists to do more than simply st  more

Northeastern University: What Would It Mean to 'Defund' the Police-And What Would Come Next?
BOSTON, Massachusetts, July 9 -- Northeastern University issued the following news: The movement to "defund" police departments in the U.S. has been catalyzed by protests over the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and other Black people who have been killed by police. Proponents of defunding want more oversight of police--but they don't necessarily agree on how to achieve that goal, notes Ben Struhl, executive director of the Center on Crime and Community Resilience at Northeastern. So  more

Republican Governors Association: Radical Elizabeth Warren Gives Seal of Approval to Liberal Nicole Galloway
WASHINGTON, July 11 -- The Republican Governors Association issued the following news release: In a move sure to alienate the majority of Missouri voters, Democrat Nicole Galloway just "scored" an endorsement from radical Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. Warren, a failed presidential candidate who has voiced her strong support for the Green New Deal, single-payer Medicare for All, and trillions upon trillions in tax increases, is the latest addition to the cadre of far-left special inte  more

Sheridan College: Rodrigues Rascon Recognized for Efforts to Increase College Access for All
SHERIDAN, Wyoming, July 8 -- Sheridan College issued the following news release: Arleth Rodrigues Rascon, from Gillette, has been selected as the National Council for Community and Education Partnership (NCCEP) GEAR UP Wyoming Student of the Year nominee and received the Prudential Spirit of Community Award in recognition of her work to make college more accessible for all. A dual and concurrent student at Gillette College and 2020 graduate of Campbell County High School, Rodrigues Rascon is t  more

Springfield College Names Katherine Dugan Director of Core Curriculum
SPRINGFIELD, Massachusetts, July 10 -- Springfield College issued the following news: Springfield College Assistant Professor of Religion Katherine Dugan has accepted the position of Director of the Core Curriculum at the College. Dugan will oversee the implementation of the new Core Curriculum at Springfield College starting during the 2020 fall semester. As part of Dugan's responsibilities, she will be responsible for providing clear communication methods with faculty, administrators, and st  more

St. Louis School of Medicine: Experimental Drug Shows Early Promise Against Inherited Form of ALS, Trial Indicates
ST. LOUIS, Missouri, July 9 -- The Washington University St. Louis School of Medicine issued the following news release: An experimental drug for a rare, inherited form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) has shown promise in a phase 1/phase 2 clinical trial conducted at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and other sites around the world and sponsored by the pharmaceutical company Biogen Inc. The trial indicated that the experiment  more

Texas Education Agency Selects Curriculum Associates as an Approved Math Innovation Zones Blended Learning Provider
NORTH BILLERICA, Massachusetts, July 7 -- Curriculum Associates issued the following news release: The Texas Education Agency (TEA) has selected Curriculum Associates' i-Ready(R) as an approved solution for both online curriculum and interim assessments for its Math Innovation Zones (MIZ) blended learning initiative. With the approval, and as the only provider chosen for both curriculum and assessment, Texas districts and charter schools participating in MIZ can use one integrated system to fac  more

The Roux Institute at Northeastern University Adds Sun Life as Its 11th Corporate Partner
BOSTON, Massachusetts, July 9 -- Northeastern University issued the following news: The Roux Institute at Northeastern University is partnering with Sun Life U.S., one of the largest group benefits providers in the country. Sun Life becomes the 11th corporate partner of the institute, which will open in Portland, Maine in September as an innovation hub for research and graduate education in technology and data science. Sun Life, which has a major presence in Southern Maine, sees a partnership   more

Tufts University: Only 57 Percent of Americans Say They Would Get a COVID-19 Vaccine
SOMERVILLE, Massachusetts, July 10 -- Tufts University issued the following news release: Despite widespread agreement among experts that having a prophylactic COVID-19 vaccine will be critical to the nation's ability to safely return to some form of normalcy, only 57% of Americans say they would get a COVID-19 vaccine if it were available, according to a national survey designed and analyzed by Tufts University's Research Group on Equity in Health, Wealth and Civic Engagement. The nationally   more

UH Cancer Center Researcher Receives Funding to Improve Head and Neck Cancer Outcomes
HONOLULU, Hawaii, July 9 -- The University of Hawaii Cancer Center issued the following news: The National Institutes of Health (NIH) awarded a $3.5M grant over a five-year period to a joint effort involving the University of Hawaii Cancer Center, the University of Pittsburgh, Massachusetts General Hospital and Aethlon Medical, Inc., to study new strategies to improve immunotherapy responses in patients affected by Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma (HNSCC). Each year, approximately 250 peo  more

Universities Support MIT and Harvard in Legal Action Against ICE Visa Policy
CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts, July 11 -- The Massachusetts Institute of Technology issued the following news: After MIT and Harvard University led the way on Wednesday, a growing number of colleges and universities around the country have begun or are actively planning to take legal action against a surprise policy issued by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Department of Homeland Security. The new policy would have the effect of banning any foreign student with an F-1 stud  more

University of Hawaii: Head and Neck Cancer Therapy Research Receives $3.5M Grant
HONOLULU, Hawaii, July 10 -- The University of Hawaii issued the following news release: Each year, approximately 250 people are diagnosed with Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma (HNSCC) in Hawaii, with particularly high incidence rates among Whites, Chinese and Native Hawaiians. The University of Hawaii Cancer Center is part of a joint effort with the University of Pittsburgh, Massachusetts General Hospital and Aethlon Medical, Inc., that received a $3.5 million grant over a five-year per  more

Va. Gov. Northam: Virginia Becomes First Southern State to Join Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative
RICHMOND, Virginia, July 9 -- Gov. Ralph S. Northam, R-Virginia, issued the following news release: Governor Ralph Northam announced that the Commonwealth of Virginia has become the newest member of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a market-based collaborative effort among Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states to combat climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector, while driving economic growth. RGGI members include Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, M  more

Vermont Democratic Party: Calls for Mask Mandate Grow Louder as Gov. Scott Thinks Mask Mandates Are 'Controversial' and 'Unnecessary'
MONTPELIER, Vermont, July 9 -- The Vermont Democratic Party issued the following news release on July 8: As COVID-19 cases around the country are on the rise, calls for statewide mask mandates have grown louder, including right here in Vermont. Yet, Vermont's Republican Governor Phil Scott has refused to institute a statewide mask mandate, calling the measure unnecessary and counterproductive. His refusal to do so is an outlier among a bipartisan chorus of governors from Texas to Kentucky, Mas  more

Wake Forest Joins Fight to Combat Federal Restrictions Against International Students
WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina, July 11 -- Wake Forest University issued the following news on July 10: In response to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) guidelines released this week, Wake Forest University has joined an amicus brief, prepared by the Presidents' Alliance on Immigration and Higher Education, backing a lawsuit filed by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology against federal restrictions that threaten the education and wellbeing of internatio  more

Wesley Church Named Dean of the Springfield College School of Social Work and Behavioral Sciences
SPRINGFIELD, Massachusetts, July 8 -- Springfield College issued the following news: Dr. Wesley Church II has been named the Dean of the Springfield College School of Social Work and Behavioral Sciences. Dr. Church's professional background includes more than 20 years of experience in the field of social work, primarily in criminal justice settings. "Springfield College will benefit from the broad experiences and accomplishments that Dr. Church brings to the dean's role," said Springfield Coll  more

Westfield State Appoints Burke as Associate Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving
WESTFIELD, Massachusetts, July 10 -- Westfield State University issued the following news: Westfield State University has appointed Kate Burke as associate director of Alumni Relations and the Annual Fund. In her role, she will be responsible for development, management, and oversight of alumni outreach and engagement initiatives as well as providing leadership to the Alumni Relations team for the management of the Alumni Association and the Lifetime Owls program. In addition, she will provide   more

Yale: Piecing Together the Timeline for an Ancient Shock to the Carbon Cycle
NEW HAVEN, Connecticut, July 7 -- Yale University issued the following news release: The story of life on Earth is a tale of beginnings and endings -- and of the interplay of geochemical forces, plate tectonics, and climate cycles over millions of years. Now, a team of researchers led by Yale and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has sorted out the timing of one part of the story, ruling it out as a cause of a mass extinction of animal species. In a new study in Proceedings of the Nat  more