blog posts Are President Biden's vaccine mandates lawful? Sep 20, 2021 9:00 am9360 views The expansive new set of vaccination requirements issued by the Biden administration affecting the federal workforce will likely be upheld by the courts, but the mandate emanating from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is on shakier legal ground, says Michael LeRoy, an expert in labor law and labor relations at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Can people take a livestock drug to treat a deadly virus? Sep 2, 2021 10:00 am27285 views Taking large or multiple doses of the anti-parasitic drug ivermectin can cause a toxic overdose, and humans should not take forms intended for animal use, says Illinois veterinary medicine expert Dr. Jim Lowe. Is the new Illinois state legislative district map fair? Aug 27, 2021 8:00 am1213 views The state legislative district map that was signed into law earlier this summer by Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker was based on population estimates rather than official U.S. Census data, rendering it vulnerable to legal challenges, said University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign political science professor Brian Gaines. What's next for Afghanistan? Aug 17, 2021 8:00 am778 views As the military withdraws from Afghanistan nearly two decades after 9/11, the U.S. public should carefully consider the costs and benefits of the effort, said University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign political scientist and international relations expert Nicholas Grossman. Should the government implement a vaccine passport system? Jul 29, 2021 8:00 am2158 views Vaccine passports strike the right balance between letting life go on for the vaccinated while still being realistic about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, said Jacob S. Sherkow, a professor of law at Illinois and bioethics expert. What are the implications of the recent Supreme Court public school speech case? Jul 21, 2021 8:00 am1036 views The Supreme Court affirmed that while public schools have an extra duty to protect unpopular opinions and minority speech rights, school officials still have the power to discipline students for bad behavior, says a University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign media law scholar who studies free speech issues. How can the world prevent emerging infectious diseases, protect food security? Jul 20, 2021 8:45 am1331 views According to a new report co-written by Illinois Natural History Survey postdoctoral researcher Valeria Trivellone, climate change, poverty, urbanization, land-use change and the exploitation of wildlife all contribute to the emergence of new infectious diseases, which, in turn, threaten global food security. Trivellone spoke with News Bureau life sciences editor Diana Yates about how global authorities can tackle these intertwined challenges. Where have all the entry-level professional jobs gone? Jul 1, 2021 8:15 am1082 views Various economic and political forces are reducing job opportunities for new professionals and discouraging some entering these fields or staying in the U.S. after they earn their degrees, says sociology professor Kevin Leicht. How do July 4 celebrations affect wildlife? Jun 30, 2021 8:00 am6829 views Celebrating the nation’s Independence Day with fireworks is an enduring tradition, but fireworks can be a source of distress and danger to wildlife. Dr. Sam Sander, a clinical professor of zoo and wildlife medicine at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, spoke with News Bureau life sciences editor Diana Yates about how fireworks affect wildlife and the environment, and how to minimize the risks. Are generous unemployment benefits to blame for worker shortages? Jun 23, 2021 8:00 am1845 views As the COVID-19 pandemic recedes and employers look to restart businesses at full capacity, workers have leverage that they’re using to temporarily stay out of the labor market in certain industries, says U. of I. labor expert Robert Bruno. Are we experiencing another unaccompanied child 'crisis' at the southern US border? Jun 11, 2021 9:00 am534 views There’s no easy solution to the problem of unaccompanied migrant children at the southern U.S. border, a U. of I. expert says. Why do we need a health care equity law? Jun 3, 2021 8:30 am971 views The Illinois Health Care and Human Services Reform Act has potential to address root causes of health disparities and foster health equity through provisions such as implicit bias training and community health workers, says Illinois professor Ruby Mendenhall. What does the Chicago Tribune sale mean for the future of newsrooms? Jun 2, 2021 8:00 am1612 views As more newspapers are purchased by “vulture” hedge funds – highlighted by the recent acquisition of Tribune Publishing Co. by Alden Global Capital LLC – University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign journalism professor Brant Houston touts nonprofit news organizations as a viable alternative to traditional newspaper business models. Why has violence erupted now between Israelis and Palestinians? May 20, 2021 9:15 am1322 views A leadership vacuum and political maneuvering by both Israel and the Palestinians are fueling the violence between the two, said Rachel S. Harris, a professor in the Program in World and Comparative Literature and in The Program in Jewish Culture and Society. How are social media changing higher education? Apr 22, 2021 8:00 am1639 views Fear of reprisals from outraged parties on social media and unspoken rules about acceptable discourse on college campuses constrain what faculty members teach, research and discuss, says sociology professor Ilana Redstone. How does COVID-19 affect the heart? Mar 23, 2021 8:30 am1447 views While many think of COVID-19 as primarily a respiratory disease, its effects on the heart contribute to nearly 40% of deaths – and can strike even healthy children and athletes, says Mariam Bonyadi Camacho, a student in the medical scholars program at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Camacho co-wrote a recent report on the coronavirus’ cardiac effects, both short- and long-term. She discussed the risks to heart health and possible treatments in an interview. Do labor laws need to be modernized with rise of gig economy? Mar 1, 2021 8:00 am1863 views The Protecting the Right to Organize Act would be the most significant revision of U.S. labor law since 1947, says Michael LeRoy, an expert in labor law at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Are science laboratories truly inclusive if not accessible to service-dog handlers? Feb 16, 2021 8:15 am3995 views According to a new commentary in Disability and Health Journal, people with disabilities who rely on service dogs often are prohibited from bringing their working dogs into teaching and research laboratories. This one barrier can stop them from pursuing careers in science, says Joey Ramp, a researcher in the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology and lead author of the commentary. Ramp spoke about the issue with News Bureau life sciences editor Diana Yates. Can Biden pass comprehensive immigration reform? Feb 15, 2021 8:00 am10556 views One of the Biden administration’s first acts was to send Congress the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021, a long-promised immigration reform bill. But any legislative action on comprehensive immigration reform will face significant headwinds in the Senate, says Lauren R. Aronson, an associate clinical professor of law and the director of the Immigration Law Clinic at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign College of Law. How will imprisonment of Russian dissident Alexsei Navalny affect opposition to Putin? Feb 10, 2021 8:45 am506 views Aleksei Navalny likely will be able to maintain his public profile from prison, but his agenda needs to include economic issues to mobilize mass public support, said Illinois professor of Slavic languages and literatures Richard Tempest. What does poet's Super Bowl performance mean for poetry? Feb 3, 2021 10:45 am1251 views Amanda Gorman’s performance at the Super Bowl will give poetry an enormous audience – one that is “unfathomable” for most poets, said poet and Illinois English professor Ángel García. How might Freedom Schools promote educational equity in Illinois? Jan 27, 2021 10:30 am1730 views Educational history professor Jon Hale discusses how Freedom Schools promote civil rights and educational equity and the implications for Illinois in funding these schools as part of the state's education reform initiative. What happens when the coronavirus mutates? Jan 5, 2021 8:15 am4099 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 am2338 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. 2020 a bad year in many respects, but what about global carbon emissions? Dec 15, 2020 9:45 am991 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 am1473 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. Can employers legally require employees to vaccinate against COVID-19? Dec 7, 2020 8:30 am12760 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. Does the US need to pursue transitional justice in the post-Trump era? Nov 18, 2020 8:00 am1150 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 pm864 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 am2839 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. Should the Senate conduct Supreme Court hearing amid pandemic, election season? Oct 12, 2020 7:30 am849 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. In person or by mail? What to consider in choosing how to vote Sep 14, 2020 10:00 am2183 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 am714 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. What’s different about recent athlete protests? Sep 1, 2020 1:45 pm536 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 am1494 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 am3089 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. Where does the U.S. withdrawal leave the World Health Organization? Aug 18, 2020 8:00 am1953 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. Why is the NFL team in Washington, D.C., changing its name? Jul 21, 2020 9:00 am1657 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 am850 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. Where does the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program stand? Jun 30, 2020 7:45 am720 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 am3704 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. How will public spaces change as result of the COVID-19 pandemic? Jun 17, 2020 8:45 am3359 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 am1015 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. Why the calls for defunding police? Jun 11, 2020 2:00 pm2637 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. Is it possible to overcome our biases in the face of conflict? Jun 4, 2020 2:30 pm3912 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. Will movie theaters survive COVID-19? May 27, 2020 9:30 am1608 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. What effect will COVID-19 have on end-of-life and retirement issues? May 14, 2020 8:00 am1034 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 am479 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. Making a homemade COVID mask? Study explains best fabric choices May 1, 2020 9:45 am35971 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 pm1180 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.