The Conversation

Barry Mitnick in a black suit and red tie
For decades, presidents routinely replaced large swaths of the government workforce, often requiring them to pay fees to political parties in exchange for their jobs. Professor Barry Mitnick explains the history of the “spoils” system in The Conversation.
A person in a blue shirt and jeans buckling in a seat belt
For The Conversation, Randy P. Juhl, Pitt Dean Emeritus and Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Pharmacy, wrote about what it takes to change behavior due to health risks—and what it means for the COVID-19 pandemic.
A pile of almonds in the foreground with Brussels sprouts behind them
Counting or comparing calories across dishes and quantities is a lot harder to do than people think, found Peggy Liu, assistant professor of business administration, in a series of studies.
A blood supply system in a liver organoid
The new study, led by pathologist and bioengineer Mo Ebrahimkhani, is a step toward figuring out the genes necessary to produce mature cells needed to construct a functioning liver.
A face displayed with the chromosomes associated with different facial features
A new study revealed that more than 130 regions in human DNA play a role in sculpting facial features. Understanding the link between specific genes and facial features could be useful for treating facial malformations or for orthodontics.
a person holding another person's bandaged hand
The older you get, the more slowly you heal, and there are a number of reasons why. Matthew Steinhauser, associate professor of medicine, explains for The Conversation.
an image of the coronavirus
Virologist Megan Culler Freeman has been curious about reinfections since the pandemic began. For The Conversation, she addressed some questions raised by a man who reportedly was reinfected with SARS-CoV-2.
A variety of fast foods, including hamburgers, pizza, hot dogs and French fries
Craving snacks you haven't eaten since you were a kid? There’s nothing inherently wrong in finding temporary relief from chaos and uncertainty through food, says Pitt's Carli Liguori. But it’s probably best to make sure it stays temporary.
a man in a gray shirt and sweatpants exercises while watching a video on a tablet
Fitbit activity data show a significant drop in physical activity worldwide that corresponds with the onset of the COVID-19 crisis. Pitt's Renee J. Rogers is using her expertise in physical activity promotion to help individuals cope. Join her and Be Fit Pitt for Marathon May—a 26-day challenge that encourages people to think beyond tradition and find their own personal marathon.
Josh Gibson sliding home in a baseball uniform
For The Conversation, Professor Rob Ruck detailed a brief history of the Negro Leagues, the integration of Major League Baseball and how Pittsburgh played an influential role in the new face of the game.