blog postsWhat happens when the coronavirus mutates?Jan 5, 2021 8:15 am3866 views New mutations to the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 are emerging, including a more-infectious variant first found in the United Kingdom, even as vaccines containing bits of viral genetic material are beginning distribution. In an interview, crop sciences professor Gustavo Caetano-Anollés discusses viral mutation and what it could mean for vaccinations.What is the new variant of coronavirus in the UK?Dec 23, 2020 8:00 am2279 views New mutations to the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 are emerging, including one in the United Kingdom with higher infection rates that has sparked new travel bans. Erik Procko, a professor of biochemistry at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, has been studying mutations in the spike protein, the part of the virus that binds to human cells. In an interview, Procko discussed the new variation and whether mutations to the spike protein could create resistance to vaccines or other treatments.Two Illinois professors awarded NEH FellowshipsDec 17, 2020 3:00 pm2563 views Illinois professors Bobby Smith II and Eduardo Ledesma have been awarded National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowships for 2021.2020 a bad year in many respects, but what about global carbon emissions?Dec 15, 2020 9:45 am934 views The Global Carbon Project recently published the Global Carbon Budget 2020, giving world leaders access to data on atmospheric carbon concentrations, emissions and trends. Illinois atmospheric scientist Atul Jain was part of an international team of scientists that contributed data to the report. Jain talked about the carbon budget and this year’s findings with News Bureau physical sciences editor Lois Yoksoulian.How has COVID-19 affected food insecurity in the US?Dec 14, 2020 8:00 am1187 views The economic devastation wrought by COVID-19 accounts for an almost 43% increase in food insecurity in the U.S., said Craig Gundersen, the ACES Distinguished Professor in the department of agricultural and consumer economics at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.Five Urbana-Champaign faculty members honored as University ScholarsDec 10, 2020 1:15 pm4340 views Five University of Illinois professors at the Urbana-Champaign campus have been named University Scholars in recognition of their excellence in teaching, scholarship and service.Can employers legally require employees to vaccinate against COVID-19?Dec 7, 2020 8:30 am10901 views In most cases, an employer could require an employee to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. While that might seem like a violation of an employee’s personal freedom, “No one has a legally enforceable right to a specific job,” says Michael LeRoy, an expert in labor law and labor relations at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.Six Illinois faculty members elected AAAS FellowsNov 25, 2020 4:30 pm5007 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Six professors at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign have been elected 2020 Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Evolution, ecology and behavior professor Alison Bell; plant biology professor Carl Bernacchi; bioengineering professor Rohit Bhargava; materials science and engineering professor Paul Braun; chemistry professor Prashant Jain; and materials science and engineering professor Nancy Sottos are among the 489 scientists to be awarded the distinction of AAAS Fellow this year.Enrollment open for study comparing COVID-19 testing methodsNov 18, 2020 12:00 pm2031 views Students, faculty members and staff at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign who are asked to quarantine after COVID-19 exposure or a positive test now have the opportunity to participate in a study that will help inform the national effort to manage the pandemic.Three Illinois scientists rank among world's most influentialNov 18, 2020 8:45 am3135 views Three faculty members at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have been named to the 2020 Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researchers list. The list recognizes leading researchers in the sciences and social sciences from around the world. It is based on an analysis of journal article publication and citation data, an objective measure of a researcher’s influence, from 2009-2019. The highly cited Illinois researchers this year are: materials science and engineering professor Axel Hoffmann, crop sciences and plant biology professor Stephen Long, and plant biology professor Donald Ort.Does the US need to pursue transitional justice in the post-Trump era?Nov 18, 2020 8:00 am1110 views To promote accountability in government, President-elect Biden ought to pursue “transitional justice” in the aftermath of the Trump presidency, said Colleen Murphy, the Roger and Stephany Joslin Professor of Law at Illinois and an expert in political reconciliation.Should we rethink assumptions about the 2020 election?Nov 12, 2020 12:15 pm775 views The polls prior to Election Day and other circumstances suggested to many that the presidential results would be different than they were. We may want to question some assumptions about state-level voting predictions and the role of the pandemic, says Scott Althaus, a professor of both political science and communication at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.Does hunting with lead ammunition endanger human, environmental health?Nov 12, 2020 8:45 am1850 views A recent study from Wesleyan University found that 48% of ground meat samples made from white-tailed deer killed with lead shotgun slugs in Illinois were contaminated with lead, while meat from deer killed by archers contained no lead. Illinois Natural History Survey human dimensions scientist Craig Miller spoke to News Bureau life sciences editor Diana Yates about the risks associated with lead ammunition in hunting.New mobile COVID-19 lab prototype completedNov 6, 2020 9:00 am3562 views Researchers have completed a prototype for a mobile laboratory designed to demonstrate a way to rapidly deploy the I-COVID saliva-based test for COVID-19 developed at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The lab, called mobileSHIELD, also could deliver other testing capability during a public health crisis, and it will serve as a rich source of human factors engineering data.Academy executive featured in Ebert Symposium on media representationOct 29, 2020 9:30 am461 views The chief operating officer for the academy that awards the Oscars will be a featured guest for a discussion of inclusion and equity in the media, part of this year’s online Ebert Symposium.Prominent documentary filmmakers featured in Ebert SymposiumOct 14, 2020 9:30 am815 views Three prominent documentary filmmakers who’ve tackled subjects ranging from biography and history to sexual assault and hip-hop will be featured guests for an online Ebert Symposium discussion, “Documentary Film and Social Change,” on Oct. 22. Kirby Dick, Sacha Jenkins and Dawn Porter have had films aired or streamed on CNN, HBO, Netflix, PBS and Showtime, among other venues. Three documentary filmmakers on the Illinois faculty will also be on the panel.Should the Senate conduct Supreme Court hearing amid pandemic, election season?Oct 12, 2020 7:30 am830 views There is no election-year exception to the process the Constitution creates for the nomination of individuals to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, says Jason Mazzone, the Albert E. Jenner Jr. Professor of Law and the director of the Program in Constitutional Theory, History, and Law at the College of Law at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.2020 Ebert Symposium to explore changing times in film, mediaOct 1, 2020 8:45 am572 views Films and the media industry in changing times will be the subject of this year’s online Ebert Symposium, on Oct. 8 and two later dates, with filmmakers, media professionals and academics part of the discussion. Participants will explore the effects of the pandemic, the racial justice movement and other factors on the media industry, documentary filmmaking and media representation.In person or by mail? What to consider in choosing how to voteSep 14, 2020 10:00 am2118 views Voters this fall must determine not only who they’re voting for, but also the safest way to cast a ballot. Brian Gaines, a political science professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, maps out some risks to consider and mistakes to avoid. He also cautions against leaping to conclusions about any alleged irregularities on Election Day.Have we gone too far trashing politics?Sep 8, 2020 10:00 am666 views We’ve gone too far in trashing politics, no matter how much the campaign season may prompt us to do so, says Ned O’Gorman, a communication professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Politics is a good thing, but our views of politics have become “twisted.” His recent book “Politics for Everybody” argues for “authentic politics” that focus on different people getting along and working things out, not winner-take-all.Media alert: News conference to discuss university's plan to correct upward trend of positive COVID-19 casesSep 2, 2020 1:00 pm9506 views The University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign’s new measures for undergraduate students in response to a recent upward trend in positive COVID-19 cases will be discussed at a Zoom news conference at 3:30 p.m. today. What’s different about recent athlete protests?Sep 1, 2020 1:45 pm507 views In the history of protest in sports, the recent strikes by professional athletes in response to the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, are unprecedented, says Adrian Burgos Jr., a professor of history at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign who specializes in the history of sports. The resumption of pro sports during a pandemic has made the players’ platform even more prominent, he says, and some have used it to try to communicate their lived reality beyond their role as athletes.Should government do more for the working poor during pandemic?Aug 26, 2020 8:00 am1263 views Another round of federal stimulus checks and increased unemployment benefits would be “economic stabilizers” for the working poor during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, says U. of I. labor expert Robert Bruno.Will a coronavirus vaccine be a cure-all?Aug 25, 2020 8:15 am2898 views Global health authorities are frantically pursuing a vaccine against the novel coronavirus in the hope that it will allow everyone to get back to a pre-COVID-19 reality ASAP. Thomas O’Rourke, a professor emeritus of community health, says those expectations are probably overblown.Illinois validates saliva-based test for COVID-19Aug 19, 2020 2:30 pm84456 views The University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign is now performing its new rapid, saliva-based COVID-19 test on all students, faculty members and staff.Where does the U.S. withdrawal leave the World Health Organization?Aug 18, 2020 8:00 am1723 views A global response, such as that organized by the World Health Organization, is needed to control the COVID-19 pandemic, says Ian Brooks, a research scientist whose focus is global health informatics.Illinois 'engineer guy' Hammack awarded Hoover MedalAug 13, 2020 8:00 am2000 views Bill Hammack, a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, has been awarded the Hoover Medal.2021 Roger Ebert's Film Festival moved to SeptemberAug 10, 2020 1:45 pm1607 views The 2021 edition of Roger Ebert’s Film Festival, or “Ebertfest,” has been moved to early September due to uncertainties related to COVID-19.Media advisory: COVID-19 Briefing Series to discuss state and campus-level modelingAug 3, 2020 8:00 am1200 views University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign Chancellor Robert Jones will join campus experts to discuss modeling of the COVID-19 pandemic in Illinois – at the state and campus levels – during an event Thursday. Center for Advanced Study appoints seven professors to permanent facultyJul 31, 2020 1:00 pm1192 views Seven University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign faculty members have been named Center for Advanced Study Professors, one of the highest forms of campus recognition.Why is the NFL team in Washington, D.C., changing its name?Jul 21, 2020 9:00 am1583 views The NFL team in the nation’s capital will no longer be the Redskins. It’s the highest-profile retirement of an American Indian name by a sports team in decades, says Jay Rosenstein, an Illinois professor of media and cinema studies. His documentary on the use of American Indian mascots in sports aired in 1997 and he has closely followed the issue since.Can Major League Baseball owners, players avoid another work stoppage?Jul 20, 2020 8:00 am806 views A coronavirus-abbreviated Major League Baseball season will open amid the backdrop of significant labor tension between owners and players, says U. of I. labor historian Daniel A. Gilbert.Awards recognize campus excellence in public engagementJul 10, 2020 1:45 pm2831 views The 2020 Campus Awards for Excellence in Public Engagement recognize outstanding individual and group outreach efforts.Two Illinois communication scholars elected ICA FellowsJul 10, 2020 9:15 am514 views Leanne Knobloch and Angharad Valdivia, both professors at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, have been elected Fellows of the International Communication Association, in recognition of distinguished scholarly contributions to the broad field of communication. Two other Illinois faculty members received the same honor last year.Eight projects awarded funding for AI research to mitigate COVID-19Jun 30, 2020 1:45 pm3204 views Eight University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign projects are among 26 to receive the first C3.ai Digital Transformation Institute awards for artificial intelligence techniques to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic. The institute will provide a total of $5.4 million over the next year to projects that examine the medical, social and economic impacts of the novel coronavirus and inspire researcher collaboration in advanced machine learning and other AI disciplines. Where does the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program stand?Jun 30, 2020 7:45 am703 views Although the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in its favor, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program remains a stopgap measure at best. The permanent fix is a comprehensive immigration bill that looks something like the former DREAM Act, says Lauren R. Aronson, an associate clinical professor of law and the director of the Immigration Law Clinic at the U. of I. College of Law.Why are familiar brands with Black images getting a rethink?Jun 29, 2020 8:00 am2586 views At least one familiar brand is being retired and others are getting a rethink due to their use of Black images. Illinois advertising professor Jason Chambers explains why.Four faculty members honored with Campus Awards for Excellence in Faculty LeadershipJun 19, 2020 10:45 am1313 views Four University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign faculty members were honored by the Office of the Provost with the Campus Awards for Excellence in Faculty Leadership.How will public spaces change as result of the COVID-19 pandemic?Jun 17, 2020 8:45 am2990 views Pandemics have changed our physical spaces throughout history, but changes made as a result of COVID-19 may not be long-lasting, says Illinois architecture professor Benjamin Bross.What can police trainers learn from the current crisis?Jun 17, 2020 8:15 am959 views Police reform is on the national agenda in response to the choking death of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer in late May – and many other such incidents before and since. Police Training Institute director Michael Schlosser weighed in on the current crisis. Based at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the PTI trains dozens of police departments across the state of Illinois. Schlosser spoke with News Bureau life sciences editor Diana Yates. Illinois students awarded Boren ScholarshipsJun 12, 2020 8:00 am1592 views Four students at the University of Illinois were selected to study languages in world regions critical to U.S. interests as recipients of David L. Boren Scholarships.Why the calls for defunding police?Jun 11, 2020 2:00 pm2581 views Calls for defunding or even abolishing the police in the wake of George Floyd’s death may sound radical to many, but the idea is not new, says A. Naomi Paik, a professor of Asian American studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.U of I students, alumni awarded Fulbright grantsJun 8, 2020 7:30 am3589 views Fourteen University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign students and recent alumni were offered Fulbright grants to pursue international education, research and teaching experiences across the globe this coming year.Is it possible to overcome our biases in the face of conflict?Jun 4, 2020 2:30 pm3692 views Our biases, conscious and unconscious, influence how we process news of events like the death of George Floyd at the hands of police, and the media plays an important part in forming and reinforcing those biases, says Travis Dixon, a professor of communication at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.Support community members in need through the Faculty and Staff Emergency FundJun 3, 2020 1:15 pm827 views Since its inception in 1992, the Faculty and Staff Emergency Fund has helped more than 1,000 academic professionals, faculty members and staff.COVID-19 experts available for news media interviewsJun 2, 2020 12:00 pm1238 views Experts from a variety of fields at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are available to the news media to discuss COVID-19-related topics.Will movie theaters survive COVID-19?May 27, 2020 9:30 am1559 views Summer is normally a season for blockbusters, but movie theaters will have special challenges this year, starting with a gamble on a few July releases. Derek Long, a professor of media and cinema studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, looks at the present and future of the business.Faculty members, staff, teaching assistants honored with Campus Awards for Excellence in InstructionMay 19, 2020 11:30 am3866 views Faculty and staff members and graduate teaching assistants this spring were honored with Campus Awards for Excellence in Instruction. The awards recognize excellence in teaching, mentoring and advising.What effect will COVID-19 have on end-of-life and retirement issues?May 14, 2020 8:00 am1010 views The continued spread of COVID-19 ought to prompt adults to start seriously thinking about end-of-life issues such as writing a will, said University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign law professor and elder law expert Richard L. Kaplan.Will live broadcasts of oral arguments be a permanent fixture at the Supreme Court?May 6, 2020 8:00 am455 views The Supreme Court’s livestream of its oral arguments is likely a temporary measure due to COVID-19, said Jason Mazzone, the Albert E. Jenner Jr. Professor of Law and the director of the Program in Constitutional Theory, History, and Law at the College of Law at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.