UCI News

AP, Feb. 4, 2021
US rushes to catch up in the race to detect mutant viruses
Despite its world-class medical system and its vaunted Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. fell behind in the race to detect dangerous coronavirus mutations. And it’s only now beginning to catch up. … “We have the brains. We have the tools. We have the instruments,” said Ilhem Messaoudi, director of a virus research center at University of California, Irvine. “It’s just a matter of supporting that effort.”

CalMatters, Feb. 5, 2021
In race to vaccinate, could California see another surge?
There simply isn’t enough genomic sequencing yet to stay on top of new variants taking place in the state or the country, said Dr. Michael Buchmeier, UC Irvine professor of medicine and infectious disease expert. California leads the country in sequencing after screening just under 12,000 samples, Newsom said on Wednesday. But ideally, you’d want to be screening at least 10% of cases for a more accurate picture, Buchmeier said. … Yet even the smaller number of new coronavirus strains discovered in the screenings show the urgent need for California to boost its pace of vaccinations, Buchmeier said.

The Street, Feb. 3, 2021
Gamestop Post Mortem. Which Trends Are Here to Stay?
Platforms allow people to congregate and organize. And to express their opinions on a massive scale. … Take Michael Lee (professor in cognitive sciences at UC Irvine) who developed complex probabilistic models for that purpose. They remove judgment and decision making biases e.g. in prediction markets. It’s a type of “noise filter”, if you will, obtaining a clearer information signal from human opinions.

The Atlantic,  Jan. 30, 2021
Why Are There No Biographies of Xi Jinping?
Jeffrey Wasserstrom, UCI Chancellor’s Professor of History writes, “[Chinese President Xi Jinping] clearly is not just like any prior Chinese leader, nor just like anyone now in power elsewhere. Yet in thinking about his similarities with other strongmen and autocrats, I’ve become obsessed lately with one specific way in which he stands apart: the lack of an English-language biography that takes an extended and careful look at his life.”

Marketplace, Feb. 1, 2021 (Audio)
Biden team faces pressure over who leads key banking regulator
The candidates, [for Office of the Comptroller of the Currency] … are two law professors: Mehrsa Baradaran of the University of California, Irvine, an expert on banking and the racial wealth gap, and Michael Barr …. Advocates for both have intensified their efforts to sway the administration’s choice because there’s a lot at stake. … “This is sort of playing out as a sort of microcosm of this broader tension right in the Democratic Party and in the Biden appointments between more progressive candidates and then those who maybe have more of a conventional background, [with] lots of ties to the Obama administration,” said Erin Lockwood, [assistant professor] who teaches political science at UC Irvine. Lockwood said whoever the Biden administration ends up choosing will play a key role in efforts to address economic inequality.

Previously “In The News”