Opioid epidemic, suicide rates related, WVU expert says

Steadily rising suicide rates are related to the country’s opioid epidemic, a West Virginia University epidemiologist says. According to Dr. Ian Rockett, WVU’s newest study reveals that drug suicides are a significant public health issue.

WVU volcanologist can offer insights on volcanic eruptions in Hawai’i

New cracks and lava leaks on Hawai’i near two established volcano vents pose significant hazards for the area’s residents, and not only from the currents of lava flow creeping toward the Pacific Ocean. According to Graham Andrews, West Virginia University volcanologist, large earthquakes and repeated small, explosions at the volcanos, plus toxic gases and vapors released from the lava and where the it enters the ocean are likely to make breathing difficult, a combination that is making life on Hawai’i perilous.

Excitement over royal wedding is normal (even if you’re not invited)

A lot of people are excited to see Prince Harry and Meghan Markle get married, even though they’ve never met these people. Some people might think that parasocial attachments to celebrities and royalty is bizarre, but research suggests it’s actually quite normal and can even be healthy. Human beings are social beings, and we are hardwired to feel connected with other people, even if those people don’t even know us.

SCOTUS decision effectively opens path for legalized sports betting throughout US

On May 14, 2018, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was unconstitutional. PASPA regulated betting on professional and amateur sports since 1992, and effectively outlawed betting on sports everywhere in the United States except in the State of Nevada.

WVU expert: Ryan’s decision to retire is calculated

Paul Ryan’s decision to retire is likely rooted in fears that he could lose his seat in the upcoming election, that the GOP could lose the majority—or both, according to one West Virginia University expert. American politics expert Jason MacDonald says Ryan is calculating the number of House Republican retirements and weighing his own political future

WVU expert: Zuckerberg testimony is ‘turning point’ for data privacy discussion

While West Virginia University social media expert Elizabeth Cohen says dramatic changes may not occur in Facebook’s business model—or even in people’s online behaviors—she says Mark Zuckerberg’s congressional testimony is a societal turning point for data privacy discussions. Further, she says, it’s time to classify social media companies like Facebook so the need for regulatory rules—if any—can be determined.

Experts say impact of MLK Jr.’s legacy evident 50 years after assassination

The Civil Rights movement led by Martin Luther King, Jr. is now being carried forward by a new generation. Marjorie Fuller, director of the Center for Black Culture and Research at West Virginia University, and Meshea Poore, vice president of WVU’s Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, believe that as the nation marks the 50th anniversary of King’s assassination, his work is more relevant now than ever.