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Another pandemic challenge solved

Knowing that the fall semester at University of Wisconsin, Madison would be unpredictable and unusual as the institution continued to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, comparative anatomy professor Scott Hartman made sure he was prepared for any teaching scenario by creating video lessons for his students, the university announced this month. Comparative Anatomy of the Vertebrates, the class that Hartman taught this past semester, relies on hands-on learning, with students handling the skeletons of cats and foxes, exploring the muscles of pigeons and dissecting the brains of sharks to learn about anatomy. “Anatomy is not a subject that is fully conveyed by static 2D images,” Hartman said in the press release. “We needed to make sure the students had as many avenues to see the real thing as we possibly could.” Betsy Foresman got the details.

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Alabama State to disinfect stadiums with drones

As part of its efforts to prevent attendees of sporting events from contracting COVID-19, Alabama State University claimed this month it will become the first university to use drones to disinfect its stadiums and arenas. The drones, made by Draganfly, will spray down seats and other surfaces in ASU’s football stadium with a non-toxic, organic sanitizer from Varigard. According to Varigard, its formula lasts for more than two hours and can “trap and kill” pathogens, including coronaviruses. The university demonstrated the technology at its stadium following a news conference on Dec. 16, where ASU President Quinton Ross, Jr. said drones are an important part of the university’s strategy to limit the virus’ spread. Betsy has the story.

Four holiday celebrations — online

Zoom isn’t only for classes this holiday season. Many seasonal events were canceled when social distancing requirements made them untenable this year, but many others have been shifted online as organizers showcased their creativity and commitment to celebrating life and gathering with others in a year that has often forced people apart. From Christmas concerts to virtual Santa visits, universities are making due during the health crisis. Watch the celebrations.

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