News Clips for May 13-17, 2021

Tracks show ancient hippos wandered the beaches — yes beaches — of Wyoming

University of Utah geologist Anton Wroblewski, an adjunct associate professor in the Department of Geology and Geophysics, and researchers working in south central Wyoming were as startled as anyone when light from the sun illuminated fossilized tracks from a large hippo-style animal that wandered the Earth 58 millions of years ago when that state included beachfront property.

Utah schools can ditch the masks for the last week of school, Gov. Spencer Cox said

Cox’s order received a harsh critique from Dr. Emily Spivak, an infectious disease physician and an associate professor at the University of Utah’s medical school. “This makes no sense when no child under age 16 will be fully vaccinated and only sends confusing messages,” Spivak wrote in a tweet posted Thursday. “I don’t know of a single public health or medical provider that would support this. Continue to #MaskUpUtah until fully vaccinated.”

Physician to parents: Get your tweens and early teens vaccinated against Covid-19

Dr. Andrew Pavia, chief of pediatric infectious diseases at the University of Utah and director of epidemiology at Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital, says there are a number of reasons to get your tweens and early teens immunized.

What is critical race theory?

“(Critical race theory) asserted as its most basic premise that race and racism have been and still are a defining/determining characteristic of American society,” wrote University of Utah professor Laurence Parker in a 2019 essay. “Race and racism are central constructs that intersect with other dimensions of one’s identity, such as language, generation status, gender, social class, and so forth.”

Could University of Utah's enrollment 'crisis' 75 years ago offer a lesson on population growth today?

This issue isn't unlike a growth issue that emerged at the University of Utah 75 years ago this year. Front-page headlines warned of a growing "crisis" of student enrollment post-World War II. The crisis got so severe the president of the university at the time even admitted they would have to consider moving the school out of where it was founded.

Utah will pioneer a new kind of medical education. Here’s why it matters

Our two organizations, Intermountain Healthcare and University of Utah Health, formed a partnership to shape a new model of care designed specifically to keep people in a state of good health. It will focus on preventing illnesses, rather than just treating people when they become sick.

U of U Wellness Bus is now giving COVID-19 vaccines

The University of Utah (U of U) Health’s Wellness Bus is now supplying COVID-19 vaccines for underserved communities around Salt Lake County in partnership with Community Nursing Services (CNS), a local nursing group.

U of U releases 'Kraken,' changing the face of science

Kraken is a monstrous system, a map if you will, of 300,000 calculated organic compounds that the U of U research group created in partnership with the University of Toronto. "Release the Kraken," said Matthew Sigman, a distinguished professor and the department chair for the U's Department of Chemistry. "It’s so big and unique in the field."

First nuclear detonation created ‘impossible’ quasicrystals

“The dominance of silicon in its structure is quite distinct,” says Valeria Molinero, a theoretical chemist at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. “However, after many quasicrystals have been synthesized in the lab,” she says, “what I find truly intriguing is that they are so scarce in nature.”

What Mike Lee says he would have done differently during the pandemic

Photos and videos of the Republican senator holding a mask in his hand at the event exploded on social media along with sharp criticism of those at the gathering for disregarding COVID-19 safety protocols. "The hug was probably not a wise thing at that moment," Lee acknowledged Thursday during an online forum hosted by the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah.

The new diversity report provides a snapshot of Racial, Ethnic, and Gender disparities in Utah and highlights opportunities for community and state leaders

A new first-of-its-kind data book released by the University of Utah’s Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute provides key insights to help government and community leaders make progress on equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts.

New poll shows majority of Utahns are concerned about housing market

James Wood, the Ivory-Boyer senior fellow at the University of Utah’s Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, says he’s surprised that so many residents are concerned about market trends, considering many are likely already homeowners. “I think it shows that people are concerned about the next generation,” he told the Deseret News. “It really is about the children when you’ve got a number that high.”

What The History Of The Antiquities Act Could Mean For The Future Of Bears Ears

That leaves a lot of room for interpretation, according to John Ruple, a law professor at the University of Utah and a board member of Ewing’s conservation group. “It's the president's discretion of what those objects are and what that scale is,” he said. “And no court has ever disturbed a president's conclusion on those grounds.”

Palestinian natives, supporters in Utah speak out as Middle East conflicts escalate

Noor Saleh helped organize the event, which was promoted by the members of Students for Justice in Palestine at the University of Utah. She said the point of the event was to highlight the crisis back in Palestine that many like her were “tired of seeing.” This week’s events may have brought the issue back to the global forefront, but for Saleh and other organizers, it just adds more to the struggle that’s existed in the Middle East region for many decades.

Meet a Utah mom who had a stroke shortly after her baby was delivered

But one day, Mandi said she just didn't feel right. Luckily her sister, Gina who is a nurse practitioner with University of Utah Helath, was checking in on her and realized she had to get to the hospital quick.

New Training For Indigenous Culture Curriculum

The University of Utah is launching a workshop this summer for teachers to update their curriculum around Indigenous people and culture. The lack of education about Indigenous history begins in elementary school, the program's leaders say, and has significant consequences for native communities today.

A whopping 8 out of 10 Utahns are concerned about the crushing housing market

James Wood, the Ivory-Boyer senior fellow at the University of Utah’s Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, said he was surprised to see such a big number — 80% — of Utahns say they were either very or somewhat concerned about the housing market, considering that many are likely already homeowners locked in a mortgage or have already paid off their home.

Legislators trying to make Utah a 2nd Amendment sanctuary

Experts say even if lawmakers passed such a bill, it would be mostly symbolic because federal law trumps any state provision. “The state has no authority under the constitution to eliminate a provision of federal law,” says University of Utah law professor RoNell Jones. “The Supremacy Clause makes clear that if state law and federal law conflict, federal law prevails.”

Could a $1 million vaccine sweepstakes backfire? Expert calls it a “Hail Mary” to get more vaccines in arms

“When you study barriers to getting the COVID vaccine, financial barriers don’t loom that large for the non vaccinators,” said Jake Jensen, an associate dean and communications professor at University of Utah. “The financial barriers, interestingly enough, were looming larger for the vaccinators. So, for example, some people that vaccinated early said things like, ‘I need to get this because I need to get back to work,'” added Jensen.

'Violence In Gaza And Israel' With Amos Guiora On Thursday's Access Utah

You’ve been hearing about the violence in Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip, and southern Israel. Amos Guiora, a law professor at the University of Utah is at his home just outside Jerusalem. He’ll join us for the next Access Utah to give us a report directly from the area.

Health officials counting on local providers, community groups to reach those hesitant to get the COVID-19 vaccine

Robin Marcus, professor and associate dean for clinical affairs with the University of Utah College of Health, said public health experts don’t know if the recent downturn in demand for the vaccine is because of an accessibility issue or because of vaccine hesitancy. University of Utah Health is working on the accessibility side, Marcus said in a virtual news conference Wednesday, by teaming with Community Nursing Services to send the U.’s Wellness Bus to locations around the Salt Lake Valley this month to stage one-day pop-up clinics in underserved communities.

Quintin Jones is on death row for killing his great-aunt. The victim's sister is pleading for clemency.

"When you look at a case like this one, really the only question is whether people believe that the death penalty is an appropriate kind of punishment for this particular set of facts," said Paul Cassell, a professor at the College of Law at the University of Utah.

How to Cloak an Object to Become Invisible to a Thermal Camera

In a paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, an international group of applied mathematicians and physicists, including Fernando Guevara Vasquez and Trent DeGiovanni from the University of Utah, report a theoretical way of mimicking thermal objects or making objects invisible to thermal measurements. And it doesn’t require a Romulan cloaking device or Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak.

31 Days of CF: CF Has Changed My Life for the Better

Eight years ago, I knew almost nothing about cystic fibrosis. When I joined the CF clinical research team at the University of Utah in July 2013, I had no idea that it would change my life.

How climate change is making allergy season even worse

Researchers recently found that pollen seasons are starting about 20 days earlier than they used to, William Anderegg, assistant professor of ecology at the University of Utah's School of Biological Science, told ABC News.

‘It’s insane. It’s crazy. It’s unprecedented’: Inside Utah’s place in the West’s raging housing market

Net migration accounted for 35% of Utah’s growth, totaling 177,242 people between 2010 and 2020, Mallory Bateman, a senior research analyst and state data center coordinator at the University of Utah’s Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, told the Deseret News in April.

A New Workshop Aims To Help Teachers Educate Students On Tribal Nations And Indigenous People

Even though the U.S. was built on Indigenous land, Cynthia Benally says most Americans know very little about native peoples and their culture today. She’s Diné, or Navajo, and a professor of teacher education at the University of Utah. She said a lot of the misconceptions, misunderstandings and stereotypes people have — everything from tribal nations don’t manage their money well to native communities no longer exist — stem from a lack of education around Indigenous people.

Ranked-choice voting gives voice to diverse electorate

Compared to a regular election, the RCV results were surprising, says Baodong Liu, professor of political science at the University of Utah. “The results, shown in this paper, are just breathtaking,” Liu says. “Anybody who says America is a dump and they don’t pay attention to politics, these results are just completely in total violation of their assumption. Americans are brilliant. They knew how to rank their candidates, and they treated the process very seriously.”

ovel diabetes AI outperforms older algorithms, integrates with commercial EHR

The work was conducted by industry researchers with Hitachi Ltd. in Tokyo and academic colleagues at University of Utah Health in Salt Lake City. It’s described in a study published May 11 in Methods of Information in Medicine.

Filmmaker seeks monuments at Temple Square and This Is the Place honoring early Black Latter-day Saints

“A monument to Black pioneers would be a fantastic addition to Temple Square,” says University of Utah historian W. Paul Reeve, author of “Religion of a Different Color: Race and the Mormon Struggle for Whiteness.” Monuments are “physical reminders of public memory.”

Hyperion Engages Leading Firm to Commence Scoping Study

Hyperion has secured an option for the exclusive license to produce low carbon titanium metal using the breakthrough HAMR technology. HAMR was invented by Dr. Z. Zak Fang and his team at the University of Utah with government funding from ARPA-E.

How the United States Beat the Variants, for Now

Still, Nels Elde, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Utah, said the events of the past four months raised questions about whether it was worth fretting over different variants, rather than focusing on the behaviors that can rein in all of them. “We’re splitting hairs between a handful of mutations here and there, we’ve lost some perspective,” he said. “It’s catnip for a curious mind.”

Lackluster Jobs Report and Government Benefits

There appears to be a disconnect between the latest jobs report and discussion on current government benefits. Over the next two weeks we will be diving into this topic by chatting with two experts with very different perspectives. This week we welcome back Professor Marshall Steinbaum of the University of Utah.

Opinion: Mental health can be a powerful concern in Colorado’s mountains

Dopamine can give a welcome boost to a person coming from sea level for a weeklong ski vacation, but its effects are not the same for those of us who live up here. According to Perry Renshaw, a neuroscientist with the University of Utah, increased dopamine can lead to more intense mood swings in people with mood disorders such as bipolar disorder.

Defrauded students still waiting for Biden to help

"It may reflect that there is an internal process at the Department of Education underway to re-evaluate the agency's position," said Christopher Peterson, a law professor at the University of Utah. "But the department needs to move quickly to solve problems that are facing the public and we're not seeing that yet in a number of critical cases."

Despite push by lawmakers, ‘Second Amendment sanctuary’ won’t be on Utah’s special session agenda

“The state has no authority under the constitution to eliminate a provision of federal law,” says University of Utah law professor RoNell Jones. “The Supremacy Clause makes clear that if state law and federal law conflict, federal law prevails.”

Schools ditch student mask requirements in growing numbers

There’s little U.S. data about the spread of the coronavirus in schools where students didn’t wears masks since most reopened schools required them, said Adam Hersh, a professor of pediatric infectious diseases at the University of Utah. Mask supporters point to worrying examples, including high transmission at a maskless summer camp in Georgia.

Ancient mammals gathered by the ocean

“Trace fossils like footprints record interactions between organisms and their environments, providing information that body fossils alone cannot,” says Anton Wroblewski from the University of Utah, who co-authored the paper published in Scientific Reports.

Welcome to the world of NFT. Here’s how it is turning the world of art and collectibles on its head

Curtis Morley is a veteran entrepreneur and current director of the Kahlert Initiative on Technology, a program at the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business aiming to amp up digital skills for students, regardless of their field of study. “Right now, in my estimation, the NFTs are kind of like the California gold rush,” Morley said. “There’s a lot of FOMO (fear of missing out) going on. Creative endeavors work very well as NFTs because a lot of art, memorabilia and collectibles can live in the digital world ... and I think music is going to be the next big wave.

Warnings from Earth’s ‘Third Pole’ –Climate Change at the Crest of the World

The tallest mountains in the world make for unique challenges in weather forecasting. A team led by Summer Rupper of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City has addressed one of these challenges by developing a model that differentiates between ice and snow that were deposited on the region during the monsoon season and those that came from winter storms, so that scientists can study where and when snow is likely to fall throughout the year.

Republicans' dishonest war against 'critical race theory'

The wording of all these laws is extremely vague, in part because conservatives haven't actually read any of the critical theory books, but mainly because the point is to instill fear in teachers and censor any viewpoints other than their own. "Because it's so ambiguous, I think administrators and instructors will try to be more safe than sorry, steer clear of any of these difficult, controversial topics," University of Utah professor Edmund Fong told ABC4.

New mental health crisis center planned for South Salt Lake

University of Utah Health is officially backing plans for the Huntsman Mental Health Receiving Center to be located near the jail and homeless center in South Salt Lake University officials said the goal is to have the center open for patients by the Fall of 2023, which would give individuals experiencing a mental health crisis an option aside from the emergency room or a jail cell.

Salt Lake City’s minister to the political left retires after fighting many a good fight

Roughly 45% of the Salt Lake City congregants are “ex-Mormons in one way or another,” says Tim Chambless, who teaches political science at the University of Utah and has served on First Unitarian’s board three times.

How the United States beat the coronavirus variants, for now

Still, Nels Elde, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Utah, said the events of the past four months raised questions about whether it was worth fretting over different variants, rather than focusing on the behaviors that can rein in all of them.

Las Vegas nurse’s suicide went beyond COVID-related depression, says daughter who hopes to raise awareness

In a study published in University of Utah Health, researchers estimated that more than 50% of health care workers involved in the COVID-19 response “could be at risk for one or more mental health problems, including acute traumatic stress, depression, anxiety, problematic alcohol use and insomnia,” according to a summary of the report. They said the problems were similar for those who responded to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks or Hurricane Katrina.

Double masking causes no breathing problem, even if you have respiratory issues

Cloth masks, according to Jeremy Biggs, medical director for occupational medicine at the University of Utah Health, should be washed every day, particularly if they’re worn for an extended period of time. You can go several days without washing them if you only wear them for five to ten minutes daily.