WIUM Tristates Public Radio

technology

Sci-fi writers have long warned about the dangers of modifying organisms. They come in forms ranging from accidentally creating a plague of killer locusts (1957) to recreating dinosaurs with added frog genes (2015).

Now, with researchers looking to even more advanced gene-editing technology to protect crops, they’ll have to think about how to present that tech to a long-skeptical public. 

Illinois lawmakers are moving forward with a measure that aims to keep your digital devices from secretely recording you without consent. The bill is called the KIDS Act, which stands for Keeping Internet Devices Safe.

A Silicon Valley startup is pitting itself against major seed companies, alleging that those companies are price gouging in the Heartland. Farmers Business Network’s stated motive is to help farmers by crunching numbers and providing transparency, but it is positioning itself to become a player in the seed business, too.

Fact or Fiction?

Mar 13, 2019

This is a Commentary.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are not necessarily those of Western Illinois University or Tri States Public Radio.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity…”

Charles Dickens began the novel A Tale of Two Cities with these words in 1859. They could easily apply to social media today.

The U.S. trade war with China, now approaching a year, is often framed as hurting manufacturing and agriculture the most. But that’s mainly collateral damage in an international struggle over power and technology that has its roots in the Cold War, when China was still considered a largely undeveloped country.

In a lab at George Washington University, painted lady butterflies flutter in mesh houses. This is where assistant professor Arnault Martin and his research group use the new gene-editing technique CRISPR to unlock secrets about the colors and spots on the butterflies’ wings.

CRISPR has allowed them to isolate a precise gene that controls wing appearance, and they can shut it off at will.

Access to high-speed internet stops about seven miles east of both Nippersink School District 2 and Richmond-Burton Community High School District 157, according to Tom Lind. He’s the superintendent of both districts, located near the border of Wisconsin —  about 70 miles northwest of Chicago.

Technology changing access and outcomes in abortion debate

After 13 years of work, a consortium of 200 scientists from 20 countries has released the first complete genome sequence for wheat. The discovery sets the stage for advances in a staple crop at a time when rising temperatures are beginning to threaten global production.

Monmouth College

Monmouth College will offer STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) programs in Data Science, Engineering, and Neuroscience beginning in fall 2019. The college called the new programs part of a "major academic innovation" that responds to demand.

Science Communication

Feb 21, 2018

As a PhD student at WIU studying environmental science I realize there are many skills required for one to become a successful scientist.  Graduate student and post doc training often requires the ability to learn and master extremely difficult protocols and techniques. This training tends to produce individuals who are highly specialized and extremely competent but often lack the time to communicate with the general public.

Kristofor Husted / Harvest Public Media

Schools in rural districts often don't have the budget or the teachers to offer students all of the courses they would like to take. One rural district in a Missouri county decided to offer credit for online classes in an effort to give its students the educational opportunities it can't otherwise afford.

Luke Runyon / KUNC and Harvest Public Media

Brandon Biesemeier climbs up a small ladder into a John Deere sprayer, takes a seat in the enclosed cab, closes the door, and blocks out most of the machine's loud engine hum. It is a familiar perch to the fourth-generation farmer on Colorado’s eastern plains.

Freshman Congressman Darin LaHood (R-IL) said he will support Donald Trump if the businessman/TV celebrity ends up as the Republican presidential nominee.  LaHood made his comments during an interview with Tri States Public Radio that also touched on a number of other topics, including Amtrak funding.

Broadcasting students at Western Illinois University are required to buy a Mac for writing and editing stories.  That got Shop Talk panelist Rich Egger wondering whether students might soon be required to own a smartphone, and if smartphones might be the wave of the future for professionals.

Rich Egger

As you might guess, it costs money to upgrade technology on a college campus.

Corn Huskers Still Pick by Hand

Oct 7, 2014
Abby Wendle

Dick Humes squinted and sweat as he moved down a row of corn. He sliced through the husk with a metal hook in his right hand, snapped the ear from its stalk with his left, and threw it over his shoulder into a wagon rolling alongside him.

Emily Boyer / TSPR

Advancements in technology have given us flat-screen televisions, smartphones and e-readers. Brick-and-mortar libraries are doing their best to keep up with the digital world. Western Illinois University's Marilyn Shelley has had a front-row seat to the evolution.

The Shift to Technology in the Classroom

May 18, 2014

Schools are changing from the days when teachers stood at the front of the classroom writing lessons on the blackboard.

Warren County's Website Redesign

Apr 21, 2014
Emily Boyer

Warren County Clerk Tina Conard said the goal is to make important materials and information easily accessible.

Chromebooks for All Galesburg Students

Apr 16, 2014
google.co.in

Galesburg School District #205 board members voted unanimously to begin a One-to-One computer program this fall so all District #205 students will get free Chromebooks of their own at the beginning of next year.

ProjectManhattan / Wikimedia Commons

Microsoft has stopped supporting Windows XP. The operating system still works, but as of today it is no longer protected by anti-virus software or security updates.

Police start enforcing texting while driving ban

Mar 10, 2014
texasdrivesafe.org / Tri States Public Radio

In Illinois, it's illegal to talk on the phone while driving unless you're using bluetooth or another hands free device. You're never allowed to text while driving, yet some people can't seem to put down their phones.

The Fort Madison School District is moving ahead with a plan to get new technology in the hands of its students.

State Farm Funds New Computer Lab for WIU

Mar 6, 2014
Emily Boyer / TSPR

Western Illinois University’s College of Business and Technology received a $50,000 grant from State Farm Insurance Thursday to build a new high-tech computer laboratory.