UCI News

The Washington Post, Feb. 24, 2021
New research shows California coronavirus variant is more transmissible
Most variants of the coronavirus “will be inconsequential, but as we have seen some may enhance the ability of the virus to spread more rapidly, or to change the character of the infection,” Michael J. Buchmeier, a virologist [and professor, school of medicine] at the University of California, Irvine, said in an email. He urged the public to continue to take precautions against the virus, adding, “Testing and sequencing is needed to localize and quarantine any infected individuals to prevent further propagation of the variant virus into the population.” [Subscription required, you can request an electronic copy of the article by sending an email to communications@uci.edu.]

ARTnet, Feb. 24, 2021
‘Approach Every Black Artist as a World-Maker’: Art Historian Bridget R. Cooks on the Need for an Expansive Definition of Blackness
Bridget R. Cooks … is an associate professor of Art History and African American Studies at the University of California, Irvine. Her most recent project, sponsored by a grant from the Ford Foundation, is “The Black Index,” a show and accompanying book spotlighting artworks which “build upon the tradition of Black self-representation as an antidote to colonialist images,” on view online and at UC Irvine’s Contemporary Art Center. In a recent interview, Cooks revealed why thoughtful criticism is required to understand African American art and art history, how advocates in the field opened doors for her early in her own career, and why structural change in museums can bring more equity to the world of African diaspora art and artists.

KPCC, Feb. 24, 2021 (Audio)
After being a source of misinformation spread, one marketing professor says Facebook should step up with targeted and accurate PSAs about the coronavirus vaccine
Misinformation about the coronavirus spread rapidly in the past year on Facebook and other social media platforms. But one marketing expert argues in a Fast Company Op-Ed, “How Facebook can make up for disinformation and help get everyone vaccinated for COVID-19,” that social media platforms should now step up and provide free, targeted ads that spread correct information about the safety of vaccines – and where to get them. Guest: UC Irvine marketing expert Connie Pechmann, [and professor, school of business.] [Starts 32:10]

KCBS Radio, Feb. 24, 2021 (Audio)
How do you decide who gets vaccinated first?
As the vaccine rollout continues, some controversies have arisen over who gets priority access. “These are challenging questions for sure and one way to break down the issues is to ask, ‘what are we primarily trying to achieve with the vaccine?’” said Dr. Aaron Kheriaty, director of medical ethics, [school of medicine], at UC Irvine. … “My own view is that from the beginning we should have said the overarching goal is to save lives and to reduce severe illness. And if you do that, then you prioritize really based on age.”

Verywell Health, Feb. 24, 2021
Does Alcohol Reduce COVID-19 Vaccine Effectiveness?
“Alcohol consumption has increased at home; people are stressed,” Ilhem Messaoudi, PhD, professor of molecular biology and biochemistry and director of the Center for Virus Research at the University of California, Irvine, tells Verywell. … “Having a big amount of alcohol at one time really suppresses the immune system,” Messaoudi says. … “Moderate drinking—one serving of alcohol per day for women and two servings per day for men—can reduce inflammation and enhance the immune response to vaccines.”

Previously “In the News”