blog postsPondering a university's ecological impactApr 22, 2021 8:00 am709 views Earth Day has one science writer pondering how much research conducted at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign has direct ecological implications.How are social media changing higher education?Apr 22, 2021 8:00 am976 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.Expert: Public school speech case is potential watershed moment for cyberbullyingApr 19, 2021 8:00 am1424 views An upcoming U.S. Supreme Court case will be a major test of the First Amendment rights of K-12 public school students as well as the authority of school administrators to discipline students for cyberbullying, according to Benjamin Holden, a University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign journalism professor and media law scholar who studies free speech issues.K-12 Shield Playbook offers guidance for reopening schools amid ongoing pandemicApr 14, 2021 2:15 pm1028 views A new resource is available to help guide teachers and school administrators as they reopen schools amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, assembled by researchers and experts at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. The K-12 Shield Playbook is based on the SHIELD Illinois program used to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic at the university.Channel migration plays leading role in river network evolution, study findsApr 14, 2021 10:00 am677 views Satellite views of Earth’s major river systems reveal their familiar treelike drainage patterns. The pattern – called dendritic – and its prevalence suggests that it may be the optimal state in which rivers exist. Challenged by the knowledge that numerical models of drainage evolution have yet to substantiate this assumption, researchers are now thinking of rivers as existing in a persistent reorganizational state instead of being in a set, stable configuration. Understanding this has implications for land use and infrastructure management decisions.Three Illinois researchers receive ACLS FellowshipsApr 12, 2021 2:45 pm1160 views Bobby Smith II, a professor of African American studies; Retika Adhikari Desai, a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow in Asian American Studies; and Juliet Larkin-Gilmore, a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow in American Indian Studies, are 2021 ACLS Fellows.Social comparisons with similar people determine income's effect on happinessApr 12, 2021 2:15 pm559 views It’s the ability to compare ourselves with people of similar backgrounds who earn more and others who earn less that determines our level of happiness in states that have high wealth inequality, U. of I. sociologist Tim Liao found.Young adults may provide care for older relatives much more frequently than thoughtApr 12, 2021 9:30 am671 views Young adults and teens may provide care for adult relatives much more often than previously thought, according to a new study, though they worry about detriments to educational or career goals and would like more training and support. Illinois history professor awarded Guggenheim FellowshipApr 9, 2021 1:15 pm626 views History professor Kevin Mumford has been awarded a 2021 Guggenheim Fellowship. Mumford studies race, politics and sexuality in America.Team cracks eggs for scienceApr 8, 2021 8:00 am342 views Avian brood parasites lay their eggs in the nests of other bird species, forcing the hosts to do the hard work of raising the unrelated young. A team of scientists wanted to simulate the task of piercing an egg – a tactic that only a minority of host birds use to help grasp and eject the foreign eggs. Published in the Journal of Experimental Biology, the study offers insight into some of the physical challenges the discriminating host birds face.Study links prenatal phthalate exposure to altered information processing in infantsApr 6, 2021 7:30 am18839 views Researchers have found evidence linking pregnant women’s exposure to phthalates to altered cognitive outcomes in their infants.New 3D microbatteries stand up to industry standard thin-film counterpartsApr 5, 2021 8:00 am1152 views The thin-film lithium-ion batteries used in microdevices such as portable and medical electronics may supply a good amount of power relative to their mass, but do not provide enough power for many devices due to their limited size. Researchers have introduced a fabrication process that builds microbatteries with thick, 3D electrodes using lithography and electrodeposition – and seals each unit in a gel electrolyte-filled package. The new prototype shows the highest peak power density of any reported microbatteries, the researchers said.Hubble Space Telescope spots double quasars in merging galaxiesApr 1, 2021 10:00 am1379 views NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope is seeing double, uncovering two very close pairs of quasars that existed 10 billion years ago. The objects are close together because astronomers believe they resided in a pair of merging galaxies.Illinois composer's new work, performed by the Jupiter String Quartet, depicts pandemic experienceApr 1, 2021 9:00 am1009 views Illinois music professor Stephen Andrew Taylor writes music that represents scientific data, including some of the coronavirus proteins.Connecting a virus to cancer – in sea lionsMar 31, 2021 8:00 am456 views I distinctly remember the first day I saw the images proving our hypothesis about the connection between a herpesvirus and urogenital cancer in wild California sea lions. Our research team was the first to use a revolutionary technique to probe preserved cancerous tissue from marine mammals as we looked for signals of specific viral genes. And we found them: Wherever there was tumor, there also was a strong signal of multiple cancer-promoting viral genes, called oncogenes. There were no viral genes in the adjacent cancer-free tissue. This meant that the virus clearly played a role in cancer development and was not merely a bystander in the animals’ reproductive tracts.Partisan media sites may not sway opinions, but erode trust in mainstream pressMar 29, 2021 11:15 am667 views A study of 1,037 internet users during the 2018-19 U.S. midterm election found that partisan media don't change readers’ politics but can undermine their trust in the mainstream press.Illinois poet's new work uses Gettysburg battlefield to reflect on race, national identityMar 29, 2021 9:15 am386 views English professor Christopher Kempf examines how history gets remembered and reproduced through art.Study: Rapid bulk-testing for COVID-19 key to reopening universitiesMar 29, 2021 8:00 am1245 views A new paper co-written by business professors Ujjal Kumar Mukherjee and Sridhar Seshadri shows that rapid bulk-testing for COVID-19 along with other standard mitigation measures such as mask-wearing and social distancing were the keys to successfully reopening college campuses during the pandemic.Machine learning helps spot gait problems in individuals with multiple sclerosisMar 26, 2021 11:00 am2257 views Monitoring the progression of multiple sclerosis-related gait issues can be challenging in adults over 50 years old, requiring a clinician to differentiate between problems related to MS and other age-related issues. To address this problem, researchers are integrating gait data and machine learning to advance the tools used to monitor and predict disease progression.Fast-acting, color-changing molecular probe senses when a material is about to failMar 25, 2021 12:00 pm1131 views Materials that contain special polymer molecules may someday be able to warn us when they are about to fail, researchers said. Engineers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign have improved their previously developed force-sensitive molecules, called mechanophores, to produce reversible, rapid and vibrant color change when a force is applied.Illinois researchers to digitally preserve history of live musical performances, including Krannert Center eventsMar 25, 2021 11:45 am937 views The digital scholarship project involving University of Illinois and U.K. researchers will work with materials from Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.Women, minority representation on Illinois corporate boards lags, study saysMar 25, 2021 8:30 am843 views A new report from labor and employment relations professors Richard A. Benton and Eunmi Mun shows women and nonwhite minorities remain largely underrepresented as corporate board members in the state of Illinois relative to the state’s demographics and their respective industries, but also highlights several promising policies and practices that firms can adopt to help reduce the disparity.More protein doesn't mean more strength in resistance-trained middle-aged adultsMar 25, 2021 7:30 am3132 views A 10-week muscle-building and dietary program involving 50 middle-aged adults found no evidence that eating a high-protein diet increased strength or muscle mass more than consuming a moderate amount of protein while training. The intervention involved a standard strength-training protocol with sessions three times per week. None of the participants had previous weightlifting experience.How does COVID-19 affect the heart?Mar 23, 2021 8:30 am1257 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. Vaccine study now open for student enrollmentMar 22, 2021 11:15 am3206 views Students at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign who have not yet been vaccinated against COVID-19 can enroll in a study to help understand the effectiveness of vaccines in reducing the spread of the coronavirus. Participants will be paid and could receive the vaccine as soon as April 1.Electronic health record system increases clinicians' cognitive workload, study findsMar 22, 2021 10:15 am4816 views Adopting a new electronic health records system doubled the amount of cognitive effort clinicians at two urgent care clinics expended during the first six months after implementation, researchers found in a recent study.Biography of Egyptian queen shows her influence on Cairo's architectureMar 22, 2021 9:30 am600 views Book uses female sultan’s story to examine the cultural history of medieval-era Cairo and the influence of women in the Islamic world.New book studies intersection of psychology, environmental lawMar 22, 2021 8:00 am832 views A new book from a team of University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign legal scholars considers the unlikely intersection of environmental law and psychology. Arden Rowell, right, and Kenworthey Bilz are co-authors of “The Psychology of Environmental Law,” which explores and analyzes the theoretical and practical payoffs of pollution control, ecosystem management, and climate change law and policy when psychological insights are considered.Microscope that detects individual viruses could power rapid diagnosticsMar 19, 2021 11:30 am1259 views A fast, low-cost technique to see and count viruses or proteins from a sample in real time, without any chemicals or dyes, could underpin a new class of devices for rapid diagnostics and viral load monitoring, including HIV and the virus that causes COVID-19.Illinois researchers awarded grants through new NEH-UK joint digital scholarship programMar 19, 2021 9:00 am955 views The projects aim to advance digital scholarship and find new ways of sharing culture.Study: Black bears are eating pumas' lunchMar 19, 2021 8:00 am1679 views A camera-trap study in the Mendocino National Forest in Northern California reveals that black bears are adept at finding and stealing the remains of adult deer killed by pumas. This “kleptoparasitism” by bears, as scientists call it, reduces the calories pumas consume in seasons when the bears are most active. Perhaps in response to this shortage, the pumas hunt more often and eat more small game when the bears are not in hibernation.Not just CO2: Rising temperatures also alter photosynthesis in a changing climateMar 16, 2021 8:00 am2479 views A new review explores how increasing temperatures influence plant growth and viability despite the higher concentrations of atmospheric CO2.'Hunker down' stress genes boosted in women who live in violent neighborhoodsMar 11, 2021 9:00 am1100 views The chronic stress of living in neighborhoods with high rates of violence and poverty alters gene activity in immune cells, according to a new study of low-income single Black mothers on the South Side of Chicago. The changes in stress-related gene expression reflect the body’s “hunker down” response to long-term threat. This has implications for health outcomes in communities of color and other marginalized populations, said researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and collaborators.Paper: Personal charitable donation budgets flexible in aftermath of deadly stormsMar 11, 2021 8:00 am391 views New research co-written by University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign professors Tatyana Deryugina and Benjamin M. Marx finds that people’s “altruism budget” for charitable giving is flexible and can expand.Study compares discrimination claims of younger and older Americans with cancerMar 10, 2021 8:00 am531 views Researchers assessed the employment discrimination claims made by younger and older American adults with cancer and found substantial differences in the nature – and outcomes – of their claims.'Whiteness' undermines efforts to address systemic racism in public educationMar 9, 2021 3:15 pm2206 views Few educational leaders emerge from college and professional development programs fully prepared to address the systemic racism they encounter in public education, according to a study by U. of I. scholar Nathan Tanner.Veterans see positive changes in emotional resilience after interventionMar 8, 2021 11:00 pm458 views A six-week training program designed to strengthen resilience against emotional distress in military veterans was associated with positive changes in brain function and increased confidence in their ability to regulate emotions, researchers report.Cheap, nontoxic carbon nanodots poised to be quantum dots of the futureMar 8, 2021 2:00 pm951 views Tiny fluorescent semiconductor dots, called quantum dots, are useful in a variety of health and electronic technologies but are made of toxic, expensive metals. Nontoxic and economic carbon-based dots are easy to produce, but they emit less light. A new study that uses ultrafast nanometric imaging found good and bad emitters among populations of carbon dots. This observation suggests that by selecting only super-emitters, carbon nanodots can be purified to replace toxic metal quantum dots in many applications, the researchers said.Illinois music student part of Grammy-nominated ensembleMar 5, 2021 8:45 am2452 views Sophia Byrd, a University of Illinois senior studying lyric theatre, performed in the oratorio “Place,” nominated for two Grammy Awards.Mobile app helps young adults talk with friends about risky drug, alcohol useMar 3, 2021 2:00 pm821 views A smartphone app called Harbor, created by researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, teaches young adults how to talk to a peer if they are concerned about that other person’s drinking or drug use.Author looks at portrayals of slavery beyond questions of freedomMar 2, 2021 9:30 am479 views Scholars should look at the complexity of slaves’ relationships and the meaning they created through artistic expression, rather than just their acts of political resistance.Division of labor within regenerating liver maintains metabolism, mouse study findsMar 1, 2021 2:00 pm650 views The liver has a rare superpower among body organs – the ability to regenerate, even if 70% of its mass is removed. It also keeps up its metabolic and toxin-removing work during the process of regeneration, thanks to a subset of cells that expand their workload while the rest focus on multiplication, a new study in mice found.Do labor laws need to be modernized with rise of gig economy?Mar 1, 2021 8:00 am1586 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.Short-term climate modeling forecasts drought for Southeast USFeb 25, 2021 7:45 am1370 views Many climate models focus on scenarios decades into the future, making their outcomes seem unreliable and problematic for decision-making in the immediate future. In a proactive move, researchers are using short-term forecasts to stress the urgency of drought risk in the United States and inform policymakers’ actions now.Krannert Art Museum acquisitions showcase Native American artistsFeb 24, 2021 12:15 pm1184 views Krannert Art Museum has acquired work by celebrated Native American artists – a painter, a glass artist and Pueblo potters – that will help present the history of contemporary Native American art.Virtual reality program lessens physical side effects of hemodialysisFeb 24, 2021 12:00 pm946 views A virtual reality program on mindfulness/meditation helped hemodialysis patients alleviate the physical side effects and tedium of their treatments in a new research project led by social work professor Rosalba Hernandez.Rediscovered journal brings unique perspective on Atlantic slave tradeFeb 24, 2021 11:00 am564 views The trade that brought enslaved Africans to the New World was not just a story of slave ship captains and their human cargo. Many others were part of the machinery, among them a young German barber-surgeon who kept a journal. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign history professor Craig Koslofsky and co-author Roberto Zaugg of the University of Zurich translated his account and put it in context.Carle Illinois College of Medicine granted provisional accreditationFeb 22, 2021 9:00 am3709 views The Carle Illinois College of Medicine, a partnership between the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and Carle Health, has been granted provisional accreditation by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education. Provisional accreditation affirms that a medical school meets nationally accepted standards of educational quality and can move forward with plans to build a sustainable medical education program.Online edition of Insect Fear Film Festival to feature pandemic vectors: fleasFeb 19, 2021 11:45 am796 views The Insect Fear Film Festival Featuring Fleas will look at the insects as entertainment in the form of flea circuses, as pests and as vectors of disease.Study: Preschoolers with higher cardiorespiratory fitness do better on cognitive testsFeb 18, 2021 8:15 am1622 views Researchers report that 4-6-year-old children who walk further than their peers during a timed test – a method used to estimate cardiorespiratory health – also do better on cognitive tests and other measures of brain function. Published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine, the study suggests that the link between cardiorespiratory fitness and cognitive health is evident even earlier in life than previously appreciated.