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IU Anthropologists Will Try Raising Funds Online For Research Project

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Four anthropology students from Indiana University are taking their funding request to the public. Crowd-funding websites like Kickstarter are becoming more and more popular as a way to fund all kinds of projects, big and small.

This group, studying in the lab of evolutionary anthropologist Michael Muehlenbein hopes to continue their study of how tourists and primates interact in South Africa by using these types of funds.

“The whole idea of ecotourism is that you take only photos and leave only footprints. But the reality is that unregulated ecotourism can have a variety of potential costs. One of those costs being the welfare of endangered species that we’re interested in going to visit,” Muehlenbein says.

Diseases transmitted from humans to primates can be disastrous to wild primate populations. Primates can transmit diseases like malaria right back to humans. The goal for these researchers is to study what people know about primate and human diseases and their attitudes towards them. These and other factors can influence disease transmission.

“Humans are attracted to monkeys and apes, they’re cute, they’re fuzzy and they act like us. Non-human primates share a lot of diseases with humans and we know there are a lot of instances of disease transmission from them to humans, HIV being a good example. So, I wanted to wrap my brain around the decisions tourists make that might influence the transmission of diseases like that,” Muehlenbein says.

The students helping Muehlenbein in his research hope to reach out to the community by involving them in the funding and researching process. They plan on using Microryza, a website dedicated to helping smaller science projects reach their funding goals.

Muehlenbein thinks that becoming involved in this kind of research project could mean so much to the science community.

“I think a lot of younger people are not as involved in science as they should be. In general, I think the public loves celebrities, but I think they should love scientists just as much. As a donor, they have an investment more than just money because we have multiple incentives. We want to involve them every step of the way, telling them why we’re doing this, from the inception of the project to the very end,” Muehlenbein says.

The goal is to raise $7,500  to pay for plane tickets and the research would  take about three weeks.

 

By Casey Kuhn

Daily Local News – August 22, 2013

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On August 20th an engineer for Monroe County called out the builders of the new Interstate 69 for using faulty strategies to prevent erosion; The Monroe County Public Library is advising patrons on how best to save money on parking now that most spots near the Library are metered; The ACLU has filed a class-action suit against the City of Indianapolis on behalf of four Marion county residents who were ticketed for panhandling; The United States and South Africa, two nations on opposite sides of the world, had much in common in the 1950s; With summer coming to an end it’s time to clean up Lake Monroe. The folks at Hoosier National Forest are offering an afternoon on the lake and an evening cookout for volunteers who want to help pick up shoreline debris left by this summer’s visitors to the lake.

FEATURE
ACLU takes on SEA371
Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky filed a lawsuit in federal court this morning challenging Indiana’s newest law regulating abortion clinics. Senate Enrolled Act 371, passed earlier this year, calls for facilities that prescribe and dispense abortion-inducing medications to have many of the same emergency and urgent care resources as hospitals. The bill affects only one facility in the state, Planned Parenthood’s Lafayette clinic, which has been in operation for 40 years, providing a variety of health care services for women. The portion of the bill covering non-surgical abortions goes into effect on January first. Betty Cockrum, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, says the expense of retrofitting the facility to comply with the law would be prohibitive. The law also specifies numerous “informed consent” statements clinic workers must make to women seeking the abortion pill. The women must also be shown sonogram images of the fetus in their wombs and must be advised the availability of adoption alternatives in the state. Correspondent Michael Glab spoke with Cockrum this afternoon in a WFHB Feature Exclusive.

VOICES IN THE STREET
Our weekly public opinion feature Voices in the Street hits the streets to ask what YOU think about local events and issues.

CREDITS
Today’s headlines were written by Mike Glab and Lauren Glapa
Along with Joe Crawford for CATSweek, in partnership with Community Access Television Services
Voices in the Street was produced by Kelly Wherley
Our engineer is Sarah Hettrick
Executive Producer is Alycin Bektesh

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