blog postsMaking a homemade COVID mask? Study explains best fabric choicesMay 1, 2020 9:45 am34514 views Health authorities believe COVID-19 spreads by the transmission of respiratory droplets, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends homemade cloth face coverings for use in public spaces. Starting today, Illinois joins many other states in requiring people to wear masks while out. However, initial uncertainty regarding the masks’ effectiveness in reducing exhaled droplets leaves some people unsure or skeptical of their usefulness during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Mechanical science and engineering professor Taher Saif spoke with News Bureau physical sciences editor Lois Yoksoulian about a study that he and his graduate students, Onur Aydin and Bashar Emon, performed on the effectiveness of common household fabrics for use in homemade masks.Could Legionnaires' bacteria lurk in idled buildings?Apr 29, 2020 2:00 pm1112 views Many businesses are closed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, and some building managers have shut off water and air conditioning to conserve resources. Unfortunately, warmth and lack of clean water flow can contribute to the growth of potentially dangerous microbes, including the bacteria that contribute to Legionnaires’ disease. Illinois Sustainable Technology Center chemist and industrial water treatment specialist Jeremy Overmann spoke with News Bureau life sciences editor Diana Yates about the problem and potential solutions.What effect will COVID-19 have on consumer bankruptcies?Apr 29, 2020 8:15 am3679 views Most households struggle financially for two to five years before filing for bankruptcy, making a pandemic-related surge in consumer bankruptcy filings unlikely, said University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign law professor Robert M. Lawless, a leading consumer credit and bankruptcy expert.Illinois computer scientist, physicist elected to American Academy of Arts and SciencesApr 27, 2020 9:00 am1409 views University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign computer science professor Sarita V. Adve and physics professor Philip W. Phillips have been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the oldest honor societies in the nation.Are bats to blame for the coronavirus crisis?Apr 24, 2020 8:15 am2922 views Horseshoe bats in China are a natural wildlife reservoir of SARS-like coronaviruses. Some health experts think wildlife markets – specifically in Wuhan, China – led to the spillover of the new coronavirus into human populations. Though not confirmed, the hypothesis has given bats around the world a bad rap, and public fears of exposure to bats are on the rise. Illinois Natural History Survey wildlife biologist Tara Hohoff, the project coordinator of the Illinois Bat Conservation Program, spoke to News Bureau life sciences editor Diana Yates about bat biology and conservation, and the flying mammals’ role in human health.What's new with the plague? More than you might thinkApr 23, 2020 10:00 am2033 views Pandemics of the past are getting new attention, among them the plague of the 14th century. Known as the Black Death, it was medieval, European, bubonic and spread by rats – at least that’s what most of us think. Much of that needs adjustment, however, in large part due to discoveries of the past decade, says Carol Symes, a professor of medieval history at Illinois.What drives us to blame the marginalized for epidemics?Apr 16, 2020 9:15 am2124 views There’s a long history of scapegoating marginalized people in epidemics, and of seeing difference in the way those of different races respond to disease, says Rana Hogarth, a U. of I. professor who studies the history of both medicine and race, and the connections between.How can researchers predict social behavior during pandemics to enhance public health policies?Apr 14, 2020 8:45 am780 views Eunice E. Santos, the dean of the School of Information Sciences, studies how computational models can help explain social behaviors and the factors that influence decision-making during pandemics.Two Illinois professors named Guggenheim FellowsApr 10, 2020 10:45 am2944 views Illinois professors Janice N. Harrington, English, and David Sepkoski, history, received 2020 Guggenheim Foundation Fellowships.What messages best influence public health behavior?Apr 8, 2020 7:45 am607 views Dolores Albarracín, a professor of psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has spent much of her career studying how people respond to public health messages asking them to change their behavior. She speaks about the special challenges of the present moment.How should we talk about our relative risk for COVID-19?Apr 7, 2020 9:30 am1267 views A key message coming through about COVID-19 is that older folks face much greater danger, but what does that suggest to the young? Cabral Bigman, a communication professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, talks about the challenge of “social comparison frames” in an epidemic.How to foster children’s learning while sheltering at homeApr 6, 2020 8:30 am1864 views Parents sheltering at home with their kids sometimes struggle to foster their children’s continued engagement with learning. Eva Pomerantz, a professor of psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, studies the factors that promote children’s motivation and achievement at school. She spoke to News Bureau life sciences editor Diana Yates about her research on the topic and her own efforts to keep her children academically engaged while at home.Is it safe to fly during the coronavirus pandemic?Apr 1, 2020 8:00 am17275 views Sheldon H. Jacobson discusses the risks of air travel during the pandemic and what preventive measures airports and passengers can take.Can relationships flourish through tech alone?Mar 31, 2020 8:45 am567 views Technology can be our friend in sustaining relationships now lacking in face time due to COVID-19, but it depends on how we use it, says John Caughlin, a communication professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.What challenges are professors and college students facing with the migration of classes online?Mar 26, 2020 8:00 am2612 views School of Information Sciences instructor Melissa Wong offers suggestions for how professors and college students can adapt to online learning.What protections do no-show workers have during a pandemic?Mar 26, 2020 6:45 am6769 views The U.S. government can take measures to ensure that essential workers such as health care workers report to their jobs, but forced labor isn’t allowed under the Constitution, says U. of I. labor expert Michael LeRoy.Could the social distancing of COVID-19 revolutionize online learning and higher education?Mar 25, 2020 9:00 am2773 views Professors Mary Kalantzis and Bill Cope, who teach only online courses and develop learning technologies, discuss the potential impact of social distancing on postsecondary distance learning.How can parents help children cope with COVID-19 disruptions?Mar 23, 2020 2:30 pm1233 views Professor of human development and family studies Kelly Tu discusses ways parents can help children cope with the changes and uncertainty brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.2020 Roger Ebert’s Film Festival canceledMar 12, 2020 5:00 pm1581 views This year’s Roger Ebert’s Film Festival, or “Ebertfest,” has been canceled due to concerns related to the coronavirus.What do Russians hope to gain from U.S. elections interference?Mar 12, 2020 10:15 am5721 views Russia is trying to sow disruption and division around the U.S. presidential election in order to promote its own geopolitical interests.Is the US ready for the 2020 census? And what's at stake for Illinois?Mar 10, 2020 10:15 am915 views A demographer who’s followed the 2020 census praises outreach and education efforts, but also raises concerns about budget delays and testing – and notes that though the count in Illinois can be challenging, it needs to be accurate to avoid losing “a lot of green” in the form of federal dollars.Does lack of paid sick time make US susceptible to global health crisis?Mar 9, 2020 8:30 am1355 views Lack of paid sick time makes the U.S. acutely susceptible to a global health crises like COVID-19, and is part of the larger problem of tying health care to employment, says U. of I. labor expert Robert Bruno.Illinois architecture professor named AIA FellowMar 5, 2020 2:45 pm702 views Illinois architecture professor Randy Deutsch has been elevated to the American Institute of Architects’ College of Fellows.Ebert Film Fest will get creepy with 'Hereditary' and HitchcockMar 5, 2020 12:00 pm1057 views Horror will get its due at this year’s Ebert Film Fest with “Hereditary” now in the lineup, which one critic described as “creepy beyond belief.” The 2018 film will be one of at least two from the horror genre at “Ebertfest,” with an Alfred Hitchcock classic due to be announced later along with the rest of the schedule.Alumnus Jack Welch, former General Electric CEO and chairman, dies at 84Mar 2, 2020 1:45 pm2955 views John Francis “Jack” Welch Jr., 84, the former CEO and chairman of General Electric Co., has died. He was a chemical engineer who earned a Ph.D. in 1960 in chemical engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.Why does the census matter? What are the challenges this time?Mar 2, 2020 10:00 am605 views The 2020 census kicks into high gear this month with information arriving in millions of mailboxes. A professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign who also chairs a U.S. Census Bureau advisory committee explains why the census matters and describes challenges in making it work.What are the novel coronavirus health risks?Feb 28, 2020 9:45 am4067 views The novel coronavirus that first broke out in Wuhan, China in late 2019 has now spread to 111 countries. As the first case of possible community spread has been reported in the United States, a professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign discusses how the virus spreads and what makes it a public health concern.U of I among top producers of Fulbright awardsFeb 20, 2020 8:00 am3850 views For the ninth time in the past 10 years, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is among the top producers of Fulbright U.S. Student Awards. Thirteen students from the Urbana campus received Fulbright awards for the 2019-20 academic year.Ebert Film Fest to feature remastered 'Cotton Club,' Farrelly brothers comedyFeb 19, 2020 1:00 pm903 views A remastered “Cotton Club,” directed by Francis Ford Coppola, and the comedy “There’s Something About Mary” will be featured as part of this year’s Roger Ebertfest’s Film Festival, or “Ebertfest.”Two Illinois professors named Sloan Research FellowsFeb 12, 2020 9:00 am4308 views Two University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign scientists are among 126 recipients of the 2020 Sloan Research Fellowships from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. This honor is one of the most competitive and prestigious awards available to early career researchers. Sottos elected to National Academy of EngineeringFeb 7, 2020 1:00 pm2721 views Nancy Sottos, an engineering professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering. She is one of 87 new members and 18 international members announced by the Academy on Feb. 6.German diplomat recently posted in Ukraine to give EU Day keynote addressFeb 5, 2020 9:30 am617 views A German diplomat based in Chicago but recently posted in the conflict zone of eastern Ukraine will speak on “The New Cold War: Liberal Democracy vs. Authoritarianism” as part of the annual European Union Day on Feb. 21 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.Are there alternatives to declining, disappearing newspapers?Jan 30, 2020 2:00 pm1531 views As many newspapers decline and disappear – highlighted by two Chicago Tribune reporters recently sounding the alarm about a perceived threat to the Trib – a journalism professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign touts the growth and viability of nonprofits and other alternatives.Media advisory: Coronavirus forum on campus Tuesday to discuss local responseJan 27, 2020 2:15 pm3207 views A panel of local health officials will discuss the coordinated local response to the global coronavirus concern at a 9 a.m. forum Tuesday, Jan. 28, at the Fire Service Institute, 11 Gerty Drive, Champaign. Experts will be available onsite for media interviews.Targeted ads are coming to mainstream media. Should we care?Jan 27, 2020 10:30 am1385 views Targeted advertising is coming to mainstream media, says an Illinois professor of digital media, bringing concerns about equality, division and “total surveillance.”What is the coronavirus spreading across the globe?Jan 23, 2020 10:30 am4393 views The first case of a novel strain of coronavirus has been confirmed in the United States. Virologist Leyi Wang, a professor of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois, discussed the outbreak of the new strain with News Bureau biomedical sciences editor Liz Ahlberg Touchstone.Would modifying payment of the earned income tax credit help struggling families?Jan 23, 2020 9:30 am267 views Receiving the earned income tax credit in installments rather than a lump sum benefitted more than 500 families living in Chicago public housing, U. of I. researcher Karen Kramer's team found in a new study.Illinois music professor awarded NEH FellowshipJan 15, 2020 12:30 pm1199 views Music professor Christina Bashford was awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for a project examining violin culture in Britain.The US used a drone to kill an Iranian general. What might be the consequences?Jan 9, 2020 8:45 am1589 views An expert on the growing role of drones in warfare and terrorism discusses the implications of the recent killing of Iranian general Qassim Suleimani in a Q&A.What do we really know about poverty?Dec 16, 2019 9:45 am944 views The holidays are a time we focus on those in need and heap scorn on the Scrooges and Mr. Potters who don’t. But how well do we understand poverty, in either the U.S. or globally? Illinois sociologist Brian Dill addresses some misconceptions.What’s in the global carbon budget?Dec 9, 2019 1:45 pm645 views The Global Carbon Project recently released its 2019 annual report, giving decision-makers access to data on atmospheric carbon concentrations, emissions and trends. Illinois atmospheric scientist Atul Jain is among the many scientists worldwide who contributed data to the report. News Bureau physical sciences editor Lois Yoksoulian spoke with Jain about this year’s findings.US politics aside, what's the bigger picture in Ukraine?Dec 4, 2019 11:45 am392 views There’s more happening in Ukraine than just U.S. politics. A U. of I. professor talks about how the country is dealing with a long-term war and its consequences.Eight Illinois faculty members elected AAAS FellowsNov 26, 2019 10:00 am4517 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Eight professors at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have been elected 2019 Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.Eight Illinois researchers rank among world’s most influentialNov 22, 2019 9:00 am12402 views Eight faculty members at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have been named to the 2019 Highly Cited Researchers list, a global listing of scientists who produced the past decade’s most influential papers.Will anything ever change for the Kurds?Nov 7, 2019 12:00 pm1312 views A U. of I. specialist on Middle Eastern politics explains why Kurds often feel they have “no friends but the mountains,” why they’re a political threat to Turkey’s president and motivations for the recent Turkish attack on the Kurds in Syria.U. of I. accessibility pioneer entering U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Hall of FameOct 31, 2019 11:45 am2497 views Tim Nugent, the visionary first director of a ground-breaking University of Illinois program for students with disabilities, is being inducted posthumously into the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Hall of Fame.Will hiding 'like' counts and other numbers improve social media?Oct 31, 2019 8:00 am1306 views Social media companies are experimenting with hiding metrics on their platforms – something University of Illinois art professor Ben Grosser has been exploring since 2012 with his Demetricator projects.Could cannabis be a pain relief alternative to opioids?Oct 25, 2019 1:15 pm1199 views The Opioid Alternative Pilot Project offers medical cannabis as a pain-relief option for those looking to avoid or reduce opioid use, said Julie Bobitt, the director of the Interdisciplinary Health Sciences program at Illinois.Passes for 22nd 'Ebertfest' on sale Nov. 1Oct 22, 2019 9:15 am589 views Passes for the 22nd annual Roger Ebert’s Film Festival, or “Ebertfest,” go on sale Nov. 1.Impeachment is underway: So who makes the rules?Oct 17, 2019 9:30 am855 views An impeachment investigation may be based in charges of wrongdoing, but it’s still a political process, says Illinois political science professor Gisela Sin. Even the design of rules and procedures is done strategically and with an eye on the outcome.