castsbestKids who leave Chicago Hospital have found something even better to have on their casts than their friends’ signatures: Elsa from “Frozen,” Lightning McQueen, dinosaurs, SpongeBob and Patrick, a shark, Captain America’s shield and even more fun animated characters. Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Felicity Fishman at Shriners Children’s Chicago also doubles as an artist. Following their surgeries, children will receive a fun art piece of their choosing.

The process to draw on their cast is the main show — even more time and planning goes into it than the surgery. Before the surgery, the doctor, physician’s assistant and nurses will talk to families about what their child might want so they have something to look forward to instead or being nervous for the procedure. Then the pre-op nurses will prepare marker colors and help plan the outline. Finally, Dr. Fishman brings the art to life.

The simple happiness this process brings to the children and staff has been invaluable. These designs also give the children a sense of choice and bodily autonomy in a scary situation for them before surgery. The simplest tasks can bring about the most joy, and this doctor and her team are doing their part not only to fix physical injuries, but also to bring about joy in their part of Illinois.

james webb space telescopeA Northwestern University professor will soon get a chance to monitor a part of the sky for a project studying ‘adolescent galaxies’ using the James Webb Space Telescope.

Allison Strom, assistant professor of physics and astronomy at Northwestern University, will use the telescope – which originally launched on Dec. 25, 2021 – to harvest data for 40 hours before her team will begin analyzing the results.

They’re using the telescope’s pioneering abilities to study the chemistry of galaxies so distant, they haven’t been explored yet. Strom and her team are hopeful that the data will demystify the process of galaxy formation, especially in the context of the early universe.

While the Northwestern team eagerly awaits use of the Webb, another Illinois astronomer’s project is fully underway. Jacob Bean, professor of astronomy at the University of Chicago, is co-leading a team of more than 100 scientists whose project just finished using the new probe to collect exoplanet data. His team will review the data for information about the composition, temperature and potential habitability of exoplanets, which may provide new insights into solar systems beyond our own.

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Illinois Olympians 2022 Beijing Winter GamesThe Olympics are one of the most viewed international sporting events to date. Throughout its continuance, there has been longstanding Illinoisan representation. Over the years, numerous Illinois athletes have earned the opportunity to compete with equally talented opponents. Illinois produces solid and motivated contenders who make their home state very proud. This year, seven Illinoisans will be competing on Team USA in Beijing for the 2022 Winter Games. They include:

Megan Bozek – A Buffalo Grove native, Bozek has been making remarkable strides in the hockey world. From serving as team caption of her college team, the Minnesota Golden Gophers, and helping them attain D-1 national championship titles to winning four gold medals and two silver medals while competing in the World Championship. As a 2014 Olympic medalist, she returns to the 2022 Beijing Winter Games.

Jason Brown – Raised in Highland Park, Brown has been figure skating since he was three years old. He has participated in the 2014 Sochi Winter Games in which his team received a bronze medal, and he finished in ninth place on the individual level. He is currently set to participate in the figure skating singles event at the 2022 Beijing Winter Games.

Jesse Compher – At only 22 years old, this Northbrook native has been presented with two medals in the World Championship and is now taking part in her first Olympic Games. As an active member of the Colorado Avalanche organization, she continues to train and hone her hockey skills as she prepares for the 2022 Winter Games.

Kendall Coyne-Schofield – From Palos Heights, Coyne-Schofield is a three-time Olympian and two-time Olympic medalist. She is also the recipient of eight consecutive World Championship medals. With her dedication to hockey and good sportsmanship, she earned the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award in 2016 and continues to flourish in the sport she loves at the 2022 Winter Games.

Savannah Harmon – Harmon was born and raised in Downers Grove. As the recipient of a silver medal during the 2021 World Championship, Harmon will be participating in the hockey event at her first Olympic Games this year.

Alexa Knierim – With Addison roots, this figure skater is a two-time Olympic medalist. One of these medals was presented to her team recently during the 2022 Beijing Winter Games. She partakes in the event for figure skating pairs.

Abbey Murphy – Starting her career at six years old with the help of her neighbor, this Evergreen Park local became a three-time member of the U.S. Under-18 Women’s Select Team and skated in three IIHF Under-18 Women’s World Championships in which she won two medals. Shortly after, she joined the U.S. Women’s National Team and was presented with a silver medal as a result of her display of athleticism at the International Ice Hockey Federation Women’s World Championship. At an astonishing age of only 19 years of age, Murphy is making her mark in hockey history by playing in the 2022 Winter Games.

Tune in to the 2022 Beijing Winter Games and root for your fellow Illinoisans.

COVID Sample 1920At the early onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, a team at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign immediately began to work on a solution to keep the campus open while keeping students safe and healthy. Quickly, a simple saliva COVID-19 test was created that is now not only being used by students on campus, but organizations across the state.

With the spread of COVID-19 being primarily by droplets from the nose and mouth, scientists decided analyzing saliva seemed logical. At the time of the initial creation of the saliva test, many other tests weren’t publishing results for days. However, the U of I saliva test shows results in mere hours because, the contents are subjected to a molecular chain reaction test to show the presence of COVID-19.

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windIllinois’s commitment to sustainability has been recognized in the rankings from Site Selection Magazine. This year, the state earned the coveted top spot, ranking first in the list of U.S. states.

Site Selection magazine uses their annual ranking to provide a resource for companies when deciding where to expand their business with a focus on sustainable development. The magazine looks into development of green energy, green-certified buildings, incentives for green development, redevelopment of brownfields (locations where former industries have left toxins or other environmental dangers) and how well the states are meeting their own environmental goals.

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