Kate Walsh, Massachusetts secretary of health and human services, appointed triple-Jumbo Robert Goldstein (LA’05, M’12, GBS’12) as the state’s commissioner of public health on April 4. Goldstein’s time working with the Sharewood Clinic as an undergraduate and medical student shaped his commitment to helping underserved communities access medical care, he told the Daily a week into his tenure.
Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism raises $5,000 to keep the Somerville Wire running temporarilyBy Peri Barest | February 10
The Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism raised $5,000 in three weeks to keep running the Somerville Wire, Editor Jason Pramas announced in a Feb. 2 editorial. The donations of 40 Somervillians allowed the Wire, an online, independent news service, to avoid a long-term spring hiatus.
The MBTA announced on Aug. 5 that the Green Line Extension Medford branch — which was scheduled to be completed by the end of the summer — will not open until late November. This is the project’s third delay from the planned completion date of December 2021.
National newspaper chain Gannett plans to cease print publication of 19 weekly papers in eastern Massachusetts and merge another nine papers into four, beginning this month. Tufts’ host communities will have their papers — the Medford Transcript and the Somerville Journal — merged into one. The combined paper will still be distributed in print weekly.
University President Anthony Monaco announced in February that Tufts would prohibit direct investments in 120 coal and tar sands companies. In addition, the university committed to investing between $10 to 25 million in positive impact funds, which seek to make a positive environmental impact in addition to generating a return on investment over the next five years. These efforts to advance sustainability come after demands from student groups, faculty and a Responsible Investment Advisory Group (RIAG) to divest from fossil fuels. This semester, the Tufts Investment Office has continued to pursue these goals, publishing a website and dashboard with updates on their progress and explanations of how the endowment functions.
Tufts reported 463 cases of COVID-19 across campuses this semester, or approximately 33 per week, according to Patrick Collins, Tufts executive director of media relations. This represents a 12.6% decrease in the number of cases compared to last spring, when the university reported 530 cases.
This Week in Science: NASA's armageddon mission, boosters for all adults, high-kicking frogs, the best way to hug, COVID-19 originBy Peri Barest, Sophie Wax, Rachel Liu, Ian Lau and Maddie Yost | November 23
NASA plans to launch a spacecraft this week that, in late 2022, will intentionally crash into an asteroid, hopefully changing its trajectory. Planetary defense research has been conducted over the past several years in hopes of preventing foreseeable meteor crashes. Although scientists believe massive meteorites do not pose a significant Armageddon-level threat in the next few centuries, smaller astrological debris can be just as deadly, with the potential to decimate entire cities like Manhattan.
COVID-19 vaccination rates in Tufts University’s surrounding Medford and Somerville communities have plateaued recently, despite remaining high compared to others in the state. As of Nov. 11, 79% of Medford residents have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, compared with 77% as of Oct. 28. In Somerville, 85% of residents have received at least one dose, compared with 82% in October. Only Somerville remains above the state’s single-dose vaccination rate of 83%.
As the delta variant of the COVID-19 virus continues to spread through Tufts University’s campuses in the form of breakthrough infections, the university has clarified its quarantine, isolation and contact-tracing protocols. Notably, close contacts of COVID-19-positive individuals no longer need to quarantine and the university has reduced capacityto house students in isolation.
As smartphones, online shopping and cryptocurrency have become more prevalent in the past 20 years, so too have ultraprocessed foods, which make up the majority of youth diets. The percentage of child and adolescent diets composed of ultraprocessed foods — those made with refined ingredients and additives — hasincreased from 61% to 67% in the past 20 years, according to a recent Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The findings may have implications for combating the development of ultraprocessed food-related disease in adulthood.