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  • Young woman sits on a fallen tree in the woods.

    Pondering a university's ecological impact

    Earth Day has one science writer pondering how much research conducted at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign has direct ecological implications.

  • Sociology professor Ilana Redstone with her arms folded, leaning against a wall outdoors

    How are social media changing higher education?

    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.

  • 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.

    Expert: Public school speech case is potential watershed moment for cyberbullying

    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.

  • Female student in classroom with face covering taking notes.

    K-12 Shield Playbook offers guidance for reopening schools amid ongoing pandemic

    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.

  • Portrait of professor Gary Parker at the Sangamon River in Mahomet, Illinois.

    Channel migration plays leading role in river network evolution, study finds

    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.

  • Headshots of Retika Adhikari Desai, Juliet Larkin-Gilmore and Bobby Smith II

    Three Illinois researchers receive ACLS Fellowships

    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.

  • University of Illinois sociology head and professor Tim Liao

    Social comparisons with similar people determine income's effect on happiness

    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.

  • Mina Raj smiles at the camera, wearing a tan blazer over a blue top.

    Young adults may provide care for older relatives much more frequently than thought

    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. 

  • Headshot of Kevin Mumford

    Illinois history professor awarded Guggenheim Fellowship

    History professor Kevin Mumford has been awarded a 2021 Guggenheim Fellowship. Mumford studies race, politics and sexuality in America.

  • Portrait of the researchers outside. Daniel Clark is holding a nest and egg.

    Team cracks eggs for science

    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.

  • Photo of an infant in the IKIDS program seated on her mother’s lap. The infant has a sticker on her forehead that allows an eye-tracking instrument to orient to her eyes.

    Study links prenatal phthalate exposure to altered information processing in infants

    Researchers have found evidence linking pregnant women’s exposure to phthalates to altered cognitive outcomes in their infants.

  • Portrait of postdoctoral researcher Pengcheng Sun

    New 3D microbatteries stand up to industry standard thin-film counterparts

    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.

  • An artist’s conception shows the brilliant light of two quasars residing in the cores of galaxies in the chaotic process of merging. The gravitational tug-of-war between the two galaxies stretches them, forming long tidal tails and igniting a firestorm of star birth.

    Hubble Space Telescope spots double quasars in merging galaxies

    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.

  • Image of Jupiter String Quartet performing on stage with their bows in the air.

    Illinois composer's new work, performed by the Jupiter String Quartet, depicts pandemic experience

    Illinois music professor Stephen Andrew Taylor writes music that represents scientific data, including some of the coronavirus proteins.

  • Photo of sea lions gathered on the breeding beaches of one of the Channel Islands

    Connecting a virus to cancer – in sea lions

    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.

  • Communication professor JungHwan Yang standing in front of marble columns with his arms folded across his chest.

    Partisan media sites may not sway opinions, but erode trust in mainstream press

    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.

  • Book cover for "What Though the Field Be Lost"

    Illinois poet's new work uses Gettysburg battlefield to reflect on race, national identity

    English professor Christopher Kempf examines how history gets remembered and reproduced through art.

  • 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.

    Study: Rapid bulk-testing for COVID-19 key to reopening universities

    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.

  • Group portrait of researchers Manuel Hernandez, Rachneet Kaur and Richard Sowers.

    Machine learning helps spot gait problems in individuals with multiple sclerosis

    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.

  • Group photo of Beckman Institute director Jeffrey Moore, left, postdoctoral researcher Hai Qian and materials science and engineering head Nancy Sottos

    Fast-acting, color-changing molecular probe senses when a material is about to fail

    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.

  • Information sciences professor J. Stephen Downie, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts associate director for marketing Maureen Reagan and information sciences professor Michael Twidale.

    Illinois researchers to digitally preserve history of live musical performances, including Krannert Center events

    The digital scholarship project involving University of Illinois and U.K. researchers will work with materials from Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.

  • A new report from labor and employment relations professors Richard A. Benton, right, 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.

    Women, minority representation on Illinois corporate boards lags, study says

    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.

  • Photo of researchers standing in an exercise laboratory.

    More protein doesn't mean more strength in resistance-trained middle-aged adults

    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.

  • Mariam Bonyadi Camacho stands with arms crossed.

    How does COVID-19 affect the heart?

    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.

     

  • A student wearing a mask gives a thumbs-up signal as a nurse applies a bandage to his arm.

    Vaccine study now open for student enrollment

    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.

  • Photos of Dan Morrow, a professor of educational psychology at the University of Illinois, and Karen Dunn Lopez, the director of the Center for Nursing Classification and Clinical Effectiveness at the University of Iowa

    Electronic health record system increases clinicians' cognitive workload, study finds

    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.

  • Image of book cover for “Tree of Pearls: The Extraordinary Architectural Patronage of the 13th-Century Egyptian Slave-Queen Shajar al-Durr,” showing a closup of mosaic tile.

    Biography of Egyptian queen shows her influence on Cairo's architecture

    Book uses female sultan’s story to examine the cultural history of medieval-era Cairo and the influence of women in the Islamic world.

  • 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.

    New book studies intersection of psychology, environmental law

    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.

  • Professor Brian Cunningham

    Microscope that detects individual viruses could power rapid diagnostics

    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.

  • Headshots of Gabriel Solis and Glen Worthey

    Illinois researchers awarded grants through new NEH-UK joint digital scholarship program

    The projects aim to advance digital scholarship and find new ways of sharing culture.

  • Camera-trap closeup of a puma walking through a dark forest.

    Study: Black bears are eating pumas' lunch

    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.

  • Photo of three researchers standing in a field of sorghum.

    Not just CO2: Rising temperatures also alter photosynthesis in a changing climate

    A new review explores how increasing temperatures influence plant growth and viability despite the higher concentrations of atmospheric CO2.

  • A group photo of Illinois researchers, standing outdoors and socially distanced.

    'Hunker down' stress genes boosted in women who live in violent neighborhoods

    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.

  • New research co-written by University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign experts Tatyana Deryugina and Benjamin M. Marx finds that charitable giving in the aftermath of catastrophic tornadoes doesn’t necessarily crowd out donations to other altruistic causes.

    Paper: Personal charitable donation budgets flexible in aftermath of deadly storms

    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.

  • Portrait of David Strauser

    Study compares discrimination claims of younger and older Americans with cancer

    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.

  • U. of I. graduate student Nathan Tanner standing outdoors next to a building's windows on the university campus

    'Whiteness' undermines efforts to address systemic racism in public education

    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.

  • Portrait of doctoral student Yifan Hu.

    Veterans see positive changes in emotional resilience after intervention

    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.

  • A portrait of University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign researchers Martin Gruebele, right, and graduate student Huy Nguyen.

    Cheap, nontoxic carbon nanodots poised to be quantum dots of the future

    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.

  • Headshot of Sophia Byrd

    Illinois music student part of Grammy-nominated ensemble

    Sophia Byrd, a University of Illinois senior studying lyric theatre, performed in the oratorio “Place,” nominated for two Grammy Awards.

  • Graduate student and lead author Kyle Bennett standing outdoors with social work professor and lead app developer Douglas C. Smith

    Mobile app helps young adults talk with friends about risky drug, alcohol use

    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.

  • Headshot of Christopher Freeburg

    Author looks at portrayals of slavery beyond questions of freedom

    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.

  • Professor Auinash Kalsotra stands wearing a suit.

    Division of labor within regenerating liver maintains metabolism, mouse study finds

    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.

  • Photo of Michael LeRoy, an expert in labor law and labor relations at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

    Do labor laws need to be modernized with rise of gig economy?

    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.

  • Dried ground with mudcracks and grass growing around edges.

    Short-term climate modeling forecasts drought for Southeast US

    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 artists

    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.

  • Professor Rosalba Hernandez assists visual media designer Drew Fast in using a virtual reality headset as part of their research into using the technology to help kidney dialysis patients ameliorate the physical effects and tedium of their dialysis treatments.

    Virtual reality program lessens physical side effects of hemodialysis

    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.

  • Craig Koslofsky is an Illinois history professor. His new book, co-written with Roberto Zaugg, translates the journal of a barber-surgeon in the Atlantic slave trade.

    Rediscovered journal brings unique perspective on Atlantic slave trade

    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.

  • The first class of students at the Carle Illinois College of Medicine in 2018 joined Dr. King Li, front center, the dean of Carle Illinois.

    Carle Illinois College of Medicine granted provisional accreditation

    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.

  • Image of Insect Fear Film Festival poster with a flea riding a penny-farthing.

    Online edition of Insect Fear Film Festival to feature pandemic vectors: fleas

    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.

  • The researchers stand indoors in a brick atrium.

    Study: Preschoolers with higher cardiorespiratory fitness do better on cognitive tests

    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.