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Treating worms, teaching screenwriting

To prove we're not [always] Franklin College centric, here is some other cool news from around UGA:

Treating animals for worms can be good, but also help spread infectious disease:

Parasitic worms, which infect millions of people and animals around the world, have been shown to influence how the immune system responds to diseases like HIV and tuberculosis. In a new study of African buffalo, University of Georgia ecologist Vanessa Ezenwa found that de-worming drastically improved an animal's chances of surviving bovine tuberculosis—but with the consequence of increasing the spread of tuberculosis in the population.

The findings, published in Science on Jan. 9, have implications for human health.

"If you think about humans in this context, this is what we'd like to do—to figure out how to help people who get infected by something to live longer and be less sick," Ezenwa said. "But here we found that doing exactly that can have unanticipated consequences."

And the Grady College will begin offering an MFA in screenwriting:

The University of Georgia will become the first major research institution to offer a low-residency Master of Fine Arts degree in Narrative Media Writing. Featuring concentrations in narrative nonfiction and screenwriting, the five-semester program is geared toward experienced writers who are interested in taking their careers to the next level.

Leading the program are award-winning author and journalist Valerie Boyd and award-winning producer Nate Kohn, both faculty members of UGA's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.


Top-notch authors, screenwriters, literary agents and other industry professionals will work one-on-one with students to develop and hone essential career skills.

"Networking is so crucial in this business," said Kohn, screenwriting director. "To have this MFA program open the door to active, working professionals who are in the thick of all the monumental changes that are taking place within the industry today-it's of tremendous value."

Hmmm. I have questions - and I'm sure Kohn and Boyd have answers. A writing program about networking, or a networking program about writing, will no doubt be in the thick of all the monumental changes taking place within the industry today - and how. But all the same, we're glad to support this kind of programmatic ambition from the J-School. 

As for Ezenwa's findings - wow. Great work - actually tremendously ambitious experimentation - that could really begin to shed more light on some long-standing treatment regimens, for humans as well as animals. No wonder it is published in Science.

Happy Friday.


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