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MacArthur Genius Grants: 24 get $500,000

A papermaker, an investigative reporter and a health services innovator are among 2009 recipients of MacArthur Foundation genius grants, which give $500,000, "no strings attached," over the next five years to help foster creativity and potential to make important contributions.

The U.S. Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights and Constitution received new paper encasements in 2002 with the help of papermaker Timothy Barrett, founding director of the University of Iowa Center for the Book.

The investigative reporting of Jerry Mitchell of the Jackson, Miss., Clarion-Ledger has reopened unprosecuted murders from the civil rights era. Mitchell's reporting around the 1963 assassination of NAACP leader Medgar Evers laid the groundwork for a new trial and subsequent life prison sentence for Byron de la Beckwith, who was tried twice for the crime in 1964 but not convicted.

Rebecca Onie began her health services endeavor as a college sophomore. Her Boston-based Project HEALTH helps low-income patients overcome socio-economic barriers to health care such as child care, transportation and education. The students work at health clinics across the country to set new protocols for addressing patients' resource needs.

Other recipients of the MacArthur Fellowships:

-- Lynsey Addario, photojournalist

-- Maneesh Agrawala, computer vision technologist

-- Mark Bradford, mixed-media artist

-- Edwidge Danticat, novelist

-- Rackstraw Downes, painter

-- Esther Duflo, economist

-- Deborah Eisenberg, short-story writer

-- Lin He, molecular biologist

-- Peter Huybers, climate scientist

-- James Longley, filmmaker

-- L. Mahadevan, applied mathematician

-- Heather McHugh, poet

-- Richard Prum, ornithologist

-- John A. Rogers, applied physicist

-- Elyn Saks, mental health lawyer

-- Jill Seaman, infectious-disease physician

-- Beth Shapiro, evolutionary biologist

-- Daniel Sigman, biogeochemist

-- Mary Tinetti, geriatric physician

-- Camille Utterback, digital artist

-- Theodore Zoli, bridge engineer

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