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  • Projects offer COVID-19 testing, explore virus transmission's social factors

    U. of I. researchers, local clinicians and volunteers are providing pop-up COVID-19 testing clinics in Rantoul, Illinois, to essential workers and other high-risk residents, and are exploring the behavioral factors behind infection clusters.

  • Cocoa flavanols boost brain oxygenation, cognition in healthy adults

    The brains of healthy adults recovered faster from a mild vascular challenge and performed better on complex tests if the participants consumed cocoa flavanols beforehand, researchers report.

  • Today's catastrophic concerns shaped by past interactions between science, culture

    A global pandemic, wildfires and hurricanes have made 2020 a year of catastrophes. David Sepkoski’s new book “Catastrophic Thinking” looks at how current-day concerns about threats to both the planet and the human race came to be. Sepkoski is a history professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, specializing in the history of science.

  • Disaster apps share personal data in violation of their privacy policies

    Information sciences professor Madelyn Sanfilippo examined popular disaster apps and found that many of them provide personal information – including a user’s location – to third parties long after a disaster has passed.

  • Should we rethink assumptions about the 2020 election?

    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.

  • Corporations directing our attention online more than we realize

    We don’t have the control we think we do in browsing the internet. Our notion of empowerment to see and find what we choose is “an illusion,” say the authors of a study – including Illinois media professor Harsh Taneja – that analyzed browsing data on a million people over one month of internet use. Corporations are “nudging” the flow of our online attention more than we realize, and often in ways that are hidden or beyond our control.

  • Distracted learning a big problem, golden opportunity for educators, students

    Experts say media multitasking negatively impacts learning, but many students believe they're immune to these effects because they're good multitaskers, according to a review paper by U. of I. professor Shelly J. Schmidt.

  • Illinois professor part of Latino baseball project and book for Smithsonian

    Baseball is as central to Latino culture as it is to the broader American culture, and Adrian Burgos Jr. helps document that history as a co-author of a book for the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. Burgos is a history professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign who specializes in the history of sports, in particular the role of Latinos and African Americans in baseball.

  • Today's immigration policies rooted in long history, author says

    No matter how one feels about current U.S. immigration policies, they did not come out of the blue but are based in a long history, says A. Naomi Paik, an Asian American studies professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She lays out aspects of that history in a new book.

  • In person or by mail? What to consider in choosing how to vote

    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.

  • Illinois archivist's prize-winning essay reveals Jewish origins of Viennese cuisine

    University of Illinois archivist Susanne Belovari won the 2020 Sophie Coe Prize for her work on the forgotten history of Viennese cuisine.

  • Cell-autonomous immunity shaped human evolution

    Every human cell harbors its own defenses against microbial invaders, relying on strategies that date back to some of the earliest events in the history of life. Understanding this “cell-autonomous immunity” is essential to understanding human evolution and human medicine, researchers report.

  • Have we gone too far trashing politics?

    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.

  • Illinois professor uses LGBTQ voices in Beirut to understand daily violence, disruption

    Ghassan Moussawi, a professor of gender and women’s studies and of sociology, examines the daily survival strategies of Beirut’s LGBTQ residents in his new book “Disruptive Situations: Fractal Orientalism and Queer Strategies in Beirut.”

  • What’s different about recent athlete protests?

    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.

  • Quick fixes won’t stop sexual harassment in academia, experts say

    While many academic institutions are searching for ways to prevent sexual assault and sexual coercion among their faculty members, staff and students, they are failing to address the most common forms of gender-based harassment, say experts who study harassment and discrimination at work and in academic and health care settings. 

    In an opinion published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the experts focus on behaviors that communicate derision, disgust or disrespect for members of one sex or gender group.

  • Where does the U.S. withdrawal leave the World Health Organization?

    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.

  • Teens who crave excitement more likely to smoke, use multiple illicit substances

    A new study of high school seniors in the U.S. suggests that teens who are less satisfied with their lives and seek out risky experiences and exciting, unpredictable friends are more likely to use multiple illicit substances regularly.

  • Journalists’ Twitter use shows them talking within smaller bubbles

    Washington, D.C., journalists are clustering not in one “Beltway bubble” but in a collection of “microbubbles,” based on a recent study of their Twitter postings. It means they “may be even more insular than previously thought,” say Illinois journalism professors Nikki Usher and Yee Man Margaret Ng.

  • CHIME in Illinois puts students to work on COVID-related data science projects

    An international public health initiative connects students and public health agencies with data-information needs.

  • Spirituality, financial security essential to Latinos’ positive aging

    Financial security and spirituality are essential to positive aging in Latino older adults, and programs designed for this population should prioritize these elements, a new study indicates.

  • Two Illinois communication scholars elected ICA Fellows

    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.

  • Why are familiar brands with Black images getting a rethink?

    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?

    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?

    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?

    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.

  • Housing instability undermines public health response to COVID-19 pandemic

    Housing instability threatens to undermine the U.S. public health response to COVID-19, says a new working paper co-written by an interdisciplinary team of researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

  • Opposition to sexual- and gender-minority rights linked to support for Christian dominance

    Many Christian and political conservatives in the U.S. support legislation to deny sexual and gender minorities the rights most Americans enjoy: unfettered access to jobs, housing, services and public facilities; the opportunity to marry as they choose; and the right to adopt a child. A new study published in the American Journal of Community Psychology offers insight into the factors that correlate with support for such laws.

  • Do COVID-19 apps protect your privacy?

    Many mobile apps that track the spread of COVID-19 ask for personal data but don’t indicate the information will be secure.

  • Study examines impact of high school teacher and student views of freshmen's social, emotional needs

    When high school freshmen’s teachers give them lower scores on communication skills, the students receive four times as many disciplinary referrals as some of their peers, a new study found.

  • Is it possible to overcome our biases in the face of conflict?

    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.

  • What have we learned about intimate partner violence?

    Human development and family studies professors Jennifer Hardesty and Brian Ogolsky discuss their recent study on intimate partner violence.

  • Cahokia's rise parallels onset of corn agriculture

    Corn cultivation spread from Mesoamerica to what is now the American Southwest by about 4000 B.C., but how and when the crop made it to other parts of North America is still a subject of debate. In a new study, scientists report that corn was not grown in the ancient metropolis of Cahokia until sometime between A.D. 900 and 1000, a relatively late date that corresponds to the start of the city’s rapid expansion.

  • Study examines India's policies for financial inclusion of the unbanked

    A new analysis examines why India has had limited success at bringing the unbanked into the formal economy despite numerous policy initiatives.

  • What's new with the plague? More than you might think

    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?

    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?

    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.

  • Many responders in emotional distress one year after hurricane in Puerto Rico, study finds

    Responders who assist people after disasters are at increased risk of mental health problems, and interventions are needed to support them, a study found.

  • What messages best influence public health behavior?

    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?

    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 home

    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.

  • Can relationships flourish through tech alone?

    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.

  • How can parents help children cope with COVID-19 disruptions?

    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.

  • Emotions play key role on social media during outbreaks, study suggests

    The role of social media in motivating people to assess their risk and alter their behavior in a disease outbreak is little-understood, but a recently published study of South Koreans during a 2015 MERS outbreak – led by Sang-Hwa Oh at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign – suggests emotions might play a key part.

  • Smoking prevalent among pregnant women enrolled in Illinois WIC program, study finds

    Despite public-awareness campaigns about the potential health risks of smoking while pregnant, more than 15% of low-income women in Illinois may be lighting up anyway, a new study suggests.

  • Is the US ready for the 2020 census? And what's at stake for Illinois?

    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.

  • Author makes case for politics to those who've lost faith

    It may seem incredible in an age of polarized division, but Ned O’Gorman is making a positive case for politics for those who’ve lost faith. The communication professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign argues in “Politics for Everybody” that politics is a necessity, not an option – and we know from everyday experience how to do it better, in ways not fundamentally “us versus them.”

  • Why does the census matter? What are the challenges this time?

    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.

  • German diplomat recently posted in Ukraine to give EU Day keynote address

    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.

  • Focus on context diminishes memory of negative events, researchers report

    In a new study, researchers report they can manipulate how the brain encodes and retains emotional memories. The scientists found that focusing on the neutral details of a disturbing scene can weaken a person’s later memories – and negative impressions – of that scene.