blog postsTeam builds better tool for assessing infant brain healthApr 29, 2021 12:00 am645 views Researchers have created a new, open-access tool that allows doctors and scientists to evaluate infant brain health by assessing the concentration of various chemical markers, called metabolites, in the brain. The tool compiled data from 140 infants to determine normal ranges for these metabolites.People of color hardest hit by air pollution from nearly all sourcesApr 28, 2021 1:00 pm912 views Various studies show that people of color are disproportionately exposed to air pollution in the United States. However, it was unclear whether this unequal exposure is due mainly to a few types of emission sources or whether the causes are more systemic. A new study that models peoples’ exposure to air pollution – resolved by race-ethnicity and income level – shows that exposure disparities among people of color and white people are driven by nearly all, rather than only a few, emission source types.Study finds green spaces linked to lower racial disparity in COVID-19 infection ratesApr 28, 2021 10:15 am954 views A new study is the first to examine the relationship between the supply of green spaces and reduced racial disparity in infectious disease rates.Illinois English professor awarded Carnegie FellowshipApr 28, 2021 9:00 am662 views Gillen D’Arcy Wood, whose work is in environmental humanities, has been awarded a 2021 Carnegie Fellowship.Is it time to get rid of the filibuster in the US Senate?Apr 28, 2021 8:00 am471 views Although it’s been weakened over the years, the mere threat of a legislative filibuster in the U.S. Senate still provides swing-vote senators with a number of tactical advantages in the form of leverage, bargaining power and media attention, said U. of I. political science professor Gisela Sin.Spring forest flowers likely a key to bumble bee survival, Illinois study findsApr 28, 2021 8:00 am2865 views Losses of springtime flowers in wooded landscapes likely undermine bumble bee health and survival, researchers report.Three Illinois faculty members elected to National Academy of SciencesApr 27, 2021 9:30 am2457 views Three University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign professors have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, one of the highest professional honors a scientist can receive. Physics professor Nadya Mason and chemistry professors Ralph Nuzzo and Wilfred van der Donk are among 120 newly elected U.S. members – 59 of whom are women, the most elected in a single year – and 30 international members in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.Geographies of death: Study maps COVID-19 health disparities in Greater SantiagoApr 27, 2021 9:00 am380 views People up to age 40 living in economically depressed municipalities in the Greater Santiago, Chile, metropolitan area were three times more likely to die as a result of the infection than their counterparts in wealthier areas, researchers report in the journal Science.Four Illinois faculty members elected to American Academy of Arts and SciencesApr 23, 2021 8:30 am2591 views University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign College of Education Dean James Anderson, physics professor Nadya Mason, chemistry professor Nancy Makri and materials science and engineering professor Kenneth Schweizer have been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the oldest honor societies in the nation.COVID-19 mobility restrictions effective for short duration, study findsApr 22, 2021 12:00 pm651 views Attempts at restricting people’s mobility to control the spread of COVID-19 may be effective only for a short period, researchers said. A new study examines people’s mobility for seven months during the pandemic in the United States using publicly available, anonymized mobile phone data.Pondering a university's ecological impactApr 22, 2021 8:00 am697 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 am828 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 am1284 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 pm1000 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 am665 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 pm1109 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 pm546 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 am659 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 pm613 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 am334 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 am18722 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 am1088 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 am1344 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 am990 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 am443 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 am657 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 am378 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 am1230 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 am2199 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 pm1113 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 am923 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 am815 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 am3104 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 am1185 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 am3145 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 am4767 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 am571 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 am812 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 am1230 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 am946 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 am1551 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 am2425 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 am1073 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 am388 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 am521 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 pm2138 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 pm448 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 pm934 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 am2443 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 pm809 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.