blog postsDo-it-yourself COVID-19 vaccines fraught with public health problemsSep 17, 2020 1:00 pm369 views “Citizen scientists” developing homemade COVID-19 vaccines may believe they’re inoculating themselves against the ongoing pandemic, but the practice of self-experimentation with do-it-yourself medical innovations is fraught with legal, ethical and public health issues, says a new paper co-written by University of Illinois law professor Jacob S. Sherkow.Most homemade masks are doing a great job, even when we sneeze, study findsSep 17, 2020 9:30 am1728 views Studies indicate that homemade masks help combat the spread of viruses like COVID-19 when combined with frequent hand-washing and physical distancing. Many of these studies focus on the transfer of tiny aerosol particles; however, researchers say that speaking, coughing and sneezing generates larger droplets that carry virus particles. Because of this, mechanical engineer Taher Saif said the established knowledge may not be enough to determine how the effectiveness of some fabrics used in homemade masks.Campus to host communal crochet coral reef projectSep 16, 2020 11:45 am364 views Community members can help crochet a coral reef, part of a project to bring attention to climate change and demonstrate applied mathematics.Illinois professor's stories address race, complicated family relationshipsSep 15, 2020 8:30 am427 views Illinois English professor David Wright’s short story about a boy confronting his paternity and his future beyond slavery is featured in The New Yorker.In person or by mail? What to consider in choosing how to voteSep 14, 2020 10:00 am711 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.Culturally adapted exercise program helps Hispanic older adults be more activeSep 14, 2020 9:30 am304 views A study of 565 Hispanic older adults found that a culturally adapted exercise program improved physical functioning among a population who believe that being sedentary and in poor health is inevitable in later life.Cholesterol metabolite causes immune system to attack T cells instead of breast cancer, study findsSep 14, 2020 9:00 am630 views In breast cancer tumors, a molecule produced when the body breaks down cholesterol hijacks the myeloid immune cells that normally arm T cells to fight cancer, a new study in mice found. Instead, the hijacked myeloid cells disarm the T cells and even tell them to self-destruct.Illinois enrollment remains above 50,000Sep 9, 2020 10:00 am4236 views Greater demand for online graduate programs pushed the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign’s 2020 enrollment to a record 52,331. In addition to delivering fall semester instruction as a mixture of face-to-face, hybrid and online courses, the university developed unique safety measures including a saliva-based COVID-19 test.Illinois archivist's prize-winning essay reveals Jewish origins of Viennese cuisineSep 9, 2020 8:45 am792 views 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 evolutionSep 9, 2020 8:00 am492 views 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?Sep 8, 2020 10:00 am538 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.Rise in labor earnings inequality during pandemic reversed by stimulus, unemployment checksSep 4, 2020 12:00 pm674 views Job losses during the pandemic were substantially worse for workers in low-paying jobs, leading to a dramatic increase in wage inequality during the early months of the COVID-19 recession, according to new research co-written by University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign labor economist Eliza Forsythe.Illinois professor uses LGBTQ voices in Beirut to understand daily violence, disruptionSep 3, 2020 8:00 am457 views 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.”Media alert: News conference to discuss university's plan to correct upward trend of positive COVID-19 casesSep 2, 2020 1:00 pm8983 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 pm437 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.Study: Portable, point-of-care COVID-19 test could bypass the labAug 31, 2020 2:00 pm5751 views In a new study, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign researchers have demonstrated a prototype of a rapid COVID-19 molecular test and a simple-to-use, portable instrument for reading the results with a smartphone in 30 minutes, which could enable point-of-care diagnosis without needing to send samples to a lab.Serengeti leopard population densities healthy but vary seasonally, study findsAug 31, 2020 8:00 am485 views A study of camera-trap data in the Serengeti finds that leopard population densities vary between wet and dry seasons, likely in response to the availability of prey and the presence of other top predators. Should government do more for the working poor during pandemic?Aug 26, 2020 8:00 am766 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.U of I to lead two of seven new national artificial intelligence institutesAug 26, 2020 8:00 am5916 views The National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture are announcing an investment of more than $140 million to establish seven artificial intelligence institutes in the U.S. Two of the seven will be led by teams at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. The USDA-NIFA will fund the AI Institute for Future Agricultural Resilience, Management and Sustainability at the U. of I. Illinois computer science professor Vikram Adve will lead the AIFARMS Institute. The NSF will fund the AI Institute for Molecular Discovery, Synthetic Strategy and Manufacturing, also known as the Molecule Maker Lab Institute. Huimin Zhao, a U. of I. professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and of chemistry, will lead this institute.Black girls create a space of their own in 'Homemade, With Love' exhibition at KAMAug 25, 2020 11:30 am1200 views A Krannert Art Museum exhibition includes artwork by local middle school girls as well as prominent Black female artists.Will a coronavirus vaccine be a cure-all?Aug 25, 2020 8:15 am686 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 performing arts adapt teaching for fall classesAug 24, 2020 2:45 pm578 views The University of Illinois dance, music and theatre departments have found creative solutions to offer in-person classes in safe ways.New approach to explaining soft material flow may yield way to new materials, disaster predictionAug 24, 2020 2:00 pm760 views How does toothpaste stay in its tube and not ooze out when we remove the cap? What causes seemingly solid ground to suddenly break free into a landslide? Defining exactly how soft materials flow and seize has eluded researchers for years, but a new study explains this complex motion using relatively simple experiments. The ability to define – and eventually predict – soft material flow will benefit people dealing with everything from spreadable cheese to avalanches.Machine learning peeks into nano-aquariumsAug 24, 2020 8:00 am405 views In the nanoworld, tiny particles such as proteins appear to dance as they transform and assemble to perform various tasks while suspended in a liquid. Recently developed methods have made it possible to watch and record these otherwise-elusive tiny motions, and researchers now take a step forward by developing a machine learning workflow to streamline the process. University working to contain predicted increase in on-campus COVID-19 casesAug 21, 2020 10:15 am18224 views The University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign will employ detailed plans to address the expected initial increase in COVID-19 positive cases through the next several weeks. Modified in-person instruction begins Monday. Data models developed by Illinois faculty members forecast that new cases will decline after the first few weeks of the semester and the daily positivity rate will remain low throughout.In times of ecological uncertainty, brood parasites hedge their betsAug 21, 2020 8:15 am727 views Some birds lay their eggs in the nests of other bird species and let the host parents raise their young. A new study finds that in times of environmental flux, these brood parasites “diversify their portfolios,” minimizing the risks of their unorthodox lifestyle by increasing the number and variety of hosts they select as adoptive parents.Quick fixes won’t stop sexual harassment in academia, experts sayAug 19, 2020 3:45 pm705 views 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.Illinois rapid saliva test for COVID-19 now operating under FDA Emergency Use AuthorizationAug 19, 2020 2:30 pm73991 views The University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign is now performing its new rapid, saliva-based COVID-19 test under the umbrella of an approved FDA Emergency Use Authorization.Exploding stars may have caused mass extinction on Earth, study showsAug 18, 2020 12:00 pm4166 views Imagine reading by the light of an exploded star, brighter than a full moon – it might be fun to think about, but this scene is the prelude to a disaster when the radiation devastates life as we know it. Killer cosmic rays from nearby supernovae could be the culprit behind at least one mass extinction event, researchers said, and finding certain radioactive isotopes in Earth’s rock record could confirm this scenario.Where does the U.S. withdrawal leave the World Health Organization?Aug 18, 2020 8:00 am730 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.'Endless Doomscroller' asks what compels us to keep scrolling through bad newsAug 13, 2020 2:30 pm616 views Illinois researcher and artist Ben Grosser’s latest project examines what compels us to keep “doomscrolling,” and who benefits.Students use TikTok to learn about biomechanics during engineering virtual summer campsAug 13, 2020 11:30 am919 views Teens attending the virtual summer camps hosted by the College of Engineering used the video-sharing medium TikTok to learn the principles of biomechanics and the techniques of motion-capture analysis.Safer Illinois app available for faculty members, staff, studentsAug 13, 2020 10:00 am3862 views An app that provides personalized coronavirus information and testing status for University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign faculty members, staff and students who intend to enter university facilities this fall is available for download by iPhone and Android users.Gathering data to save a rare turtleAug 13, 2020 9:00 am901 views We are never more conscious of the summer sun than while struggling to unpack a trap full of turtles, watching with resignation as the wind slowly drags us and our kayak across the marsh. We are in Goose Lake Prairie State Natural Area, about 50 miles southwest of Chicago. We visit these wetlands two weeks per month during the field season, which runs from May to October.Illinois 'engineer guy' Hammack awarded Hoover MedalAug 13, 2020 8:00 am1590 views Bill Hammack, a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, has been awarded the Hoover Medal.Graduates, Dean's List and Bronze Tablet honorees named for spring semesterAug 12, 2020 11:30 am30650 views The University of Illinois announces graduates, Dean’s List and Bronze Tablet honorees for the 2020 spring semester. Paper: Industry concentration contributes to job quality erosion, wage stagnationAug 12, 2020 8:00 am370 views Dominant firms in concentrated industries can play a role in job quality erosion and wage stagnation for U.S. workers, says new research co-written by U. of I. labor and employment relations professor Richard Benton and U. of I. graduate student Ki-Jung Kim.2021 Roger Ebert's Film Festival moved to SeptemberAug 10, 2020 1:45 pm515 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.Electronic components join forces to take up 10 times less space on computer chipsAug 10, 2020 1:45 pm1245 views Electronic filters are part of the inner workings of our phones and other wireless devices. They eliminate or enhance specific input signals to achieve the desired output signals. They are essential, but take up space on the chips that researchers are on a constant quest to make smaller. A new study demonstrates the successful integration of the individual elements that make up electronic filters onto a single component, significantly reducing the amount of space taken up by the device.COVID-19 briefing: Homegrown models inform university's safety measuresAug 7, 2020 1:45 pm1283 views When classes resume Aug. 24, the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign will enlist a program that includes COVID-19 target, test and tell protocols and employs a saliva-based testing method. The program’s design relied heavily on a team of researchers’ predictions of how different variables might help mitigate the spread of the virus. Two of those researchers discussed their work in a recent online briefing.Training neural circuits early in development improves response, study findsAug 6, 2020 1:30 pm1051 views When it comes to training neural circuits for tissue engineering or biomedical applications, a new study suggests a key parameter: Train them young. Electric cooker an easy, efficient way to sanitize N95 masks, study findsAug 6, 2020 9:30 am139261 views Owners of electric multicookers may be able to add another use to its list of functions, a new study suggests: sanitization of N95 respirator masks. The University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign study found that 50 minutes of dry heat in an electric cooker, such as a rice cooker or Instant Pot, decontaminated N95 respirators inside and out while maintaining their filtration and fit. This could enable wearers to safely reuse limited supplies of the respirators, originally intended to be one-time-use items. Building a prairie and watching for beesAug 6, 2020 8:30 am1109 views It’s early evening as I follow the researchers to their work site on the Phillips Tract, just east of Urbana. When we get there, I immediately notice two things: We are standing in a vast grid of prairie plots with neatly mowed paths between them, and there are tents – dozens of dollhouse-sized tents. Two years ago, entomology professor Alexandra Harmon-Threatt built this outdoor laboratory by planting more than 80 prairie species here, most of them flowering plants. Her mission is to attract wild ground-nesting bees. She is here to see which bees are showing up and how they’re doing. But that’s not all she’s after.Illinois researcher's work among the pop-ups that invade your online dayAug 5, 2020 9:45 am548 views University of Illinois researcher and artist Ben Grosser is part of a unique online exhibition that examines artificial intelligence, algorithms, machine learning, big data and interventions in web-based platforms.Teens who crave excitement more likely to smoke, use multiple illicit substancesAug 5, 2020 9:45 am699 views 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 bubblesAug 5, 2020 9:30 am45882 views 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.Decoy receptor neutralizes coronavirus in cell culturesAug 4, 2020 9:00 am24596 views As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, scientists and health care providers are seeking ways to keep the coronavirus from infecting tissues once they’re exposed. A new study suggests luring the virus with a decoy – an engineered, free-floating receptor protein – that binds the virus and blocks infection.CHIME in Illinois puts students to work on COVID-related data science projectsAug 4, 2020 8:45 am688 views An international public health initiative connects students and public health agencies with data-information needs.University outlines fall plans including remote instruction after fall breakAug 3, 2020 9:00 am7302 views As part of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign’s COVID-19 precautions for the fall semester, all faculty members, staff and students who participate in on-campus activities will be required to be tested at on-campus sites twice a week.Media advisory: COVID-19 Briefing Series to discuss state and campus-level modelingAug 3, 2020 8:00 am1137 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.