blog postsTwo Illinois professors named Sloan Research FellowsFeb 12, 2020 9:00 am4006 views Two University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign scientists are among 126 recipients of the 2020 Sloan Research Fellowships from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. This honor is one of the most competitive and prestigious awards available to early career researchers. Book examines dangers of reading for young men in late 19th-century FranceFeb 11, 2020 9:00 am763 views Excessive reading by young men was seen as a cause of declining virility and of the perceived national decline in fin-de-siècle France.Sottos elected to National Academy of EngineeringFeb 7, 2020 1:00 pm2579 views Nancy Sottos, an engineering professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering. She is one of 87 new members and 18 international members announced by the Academy on Feb. 6.Paper: Historical roots of birthright citizenship traced to demand for workersFeb 6, 2020 8:30 am648 views Birthright citizenship has served pragmatic economic purposes by giving the U.S. a competitive labor advantage, said Michael LeRoy, a professor of labor and employment relations at Illinois.Immigration justice talk part of CAS Abolition InitiativeFeb 5, 2020 12:00 pm359 views Activist organizers will talk about their work opposing detentions, deportations and criminalization of immigrant communities in a panel discussion. It is part of the Center for Advanced Study’s Abolition Initiative.Hybrid microscope could bring digital biopsy to the clinicFeb 5, 2020 10:30 am1171 views By adding infrared capability to the ubiquitous, standard optical microscope, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign hope to bring cancer diagnosis into the digital era.German diplomat recently posted in Ukraine to give EU Day keynote addressFeb 5, 2020 9:30 am579 views 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 reportFeb 5, 2020 8:45 am695 views 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.Book examines pope’s environmental encyclical, how religion can address climate changeFeb 3, 2020 12:45 pm458 views Robert McKim, a professor emeritus of religion, edited a book of essays examining the issues raised by Pope Francis’ environmental encyclical calling for protection of Earth and its environment.Are there alternatives to declining, disappearing newspapers?Jan 30, 2020 2:00 pm1416 views As many newspapers decline and disappear – highlighted by two Chicago Tribune reporters recently sounding the alarm about a perceived threat to the Trib – a journalism professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign touts the growth and viability of nonprofits and other alternatives.Study: Tasting no-calorie sweetener may affect insulin response on glucose tolerance testJan 29, 2020 11:15 am1823 views Simply tasting or consuming sucralose may affect blood glucose and insulin levels on glucose tolerance tests, scientists at the University of Illinois found in a new study.Team creates game-based virtual archaeology field schoolJan 29, 2020 8:00 am1695 views Before they can get started at their field site – a giant cave studded with stalactites, stalagmites and human artifacts – 15 undergraduate students must figure out how to use their virtual hands and tools. They also must learn to teleport. This is ANTH 399, a course designed to bring the archaeological field school experience to undergraduate students who never leave campus.Reading history in the soilJan 28, 2020 8:30 am497 views “Huh.” Looking down at the material in the glass beaker, I’m perplexed. I’m trying to determine the ratio of silt to clay in my sample and something isn’t right. The sediments in my beaker came from the floor of a religious shrine in Cahokia, an ancient Native American metropolis that grew up in and around present-day St. Louis, 900-1,000 years ago.Targeted ads are coming to mainstream media. Should we care?Jan 27, 2020 10:30 am892 views Targeted advertising is coming to mainstream media, says an Illinois professor of digital media, bringing concerns about equality, division and “total surveillance.”Illinois professor emerita, former professor awarded NEA translation fellowshipsJan 24, 2020 9:00 am439 views Elizabeth Lowe, the founding director of the University of Illinois’ Center for Translation Studies, and Armine Kotin Mortimer, a professor emerita of French literature, will translate works that are not available in English.Researchers expand microchip capability with new 3D inductor technologyJan 23, 2020 12:15 pm1891 views Smaller is better when it comes to microchips, researchers said, and by using 3D components on a standardized 2D microchip manufacturing platform, developers can use up to 100 times less chip space. A team of engineers has boosted the performance of its previously developed 3D inductor technology by adding as much as three orders of magnitudes more induction to meet the performance demands of modern electronic devices.What is the coronavirus spreading across the globe?Jan 23, 2020 10:30 am4228 views The first case of a novel strain of coronavirus has been confirmed in the United States. Virologist Leyi Wang, a professor of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois, discussed the outbreak of the new strain with News Bureau biomedical sciences editor Liz Ahlberg Touchstone.Would modifying payment of the earned income tax credit help struggling families?Jan 23, 2020 9:30 am234 views Receiving the earned income tax credit in installments rather than a lump sum benefitted more than 500 families living in Chicago public housing, U. of I. researcher Karen Kramer's team found in a new study.New understanding of condensation could lead to better power plant condenser, de-icing materialsJan 23, 2020 8:15 am835 views For decades, it’s been understood that water repellency is needed for surfaces to shed condensation buildup – like the droplets of water that form in power plant condensers to reduce pressure. New research shows that the necessity of water repellency is unclear and that the slipperiness between the droplets and solid surface appears to be more critical to the clearing of condensation. This development has implications for the costs associated with power generation and technologies like de-icing surfaces for power lines and aircraft.Book chronicles history of gender-neutral pronouns, from Shakespeare to emailJan 22, 2020 12:00 pm1242 views Dennis Baron (he/him/his), a University of Illinois professor emeritus of English, writes about the history of pronoun use and how we adapt the language to fit our circumstances.Ancient and modern intersect in 'Hive' exhibition at Krannert Art MuseumJan 21, 2020 9:00 am2049 views “Hive” – a combination of 18-foot-tall inflatable sculptures and an immersive sound installation – is on view for the coming year at Krannert Art Musem.New study examines mortality costs of air pollution in USJan 21, 2020 8:30 am919 views Scholars from the Gies College of Business at Illinois – from left, Julian Reif, Tatyana Deryugina, David Molitor and Nolan Miller – studied the effects of acute fine particulate matter exposure on mortality, health care use and medical costs among older Americans through Medicare data and changes in local wind direction.Advanced polymers help streamline water purification, environmental remediationJan 21, 2020 8:00 am1152 views It takes a lot of energy to collect, clean and dispose of contaminated water. Some contaminants, like arsenic, occur in low concentrations, calling for even more energy-intensive selective removal processes.Program for parents aims to help youths with autism successfully transition to adulthoodJan 16, 2020 10:30 am2719 views A 12-week training program will be offered in Naperville, Illinois, for parents of youths and young adults with autism so they can help their children successfully transition to adulthood.Illinois music professor awarded NEH FellowshipJan 15, 2020 12:30 pm1107 views Music professor Christina Bashford was awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for a project examining violin culture in Britain.Researchers gain control over internal structure of self-assembled composite materialsJan 15, 2020 12:00 pm1073 views Composites made from self-assembling inorganic materials are valued for their unique strength and thermal, optical and magnetic properties. However, because self-assembly can be difficult to control, the structures formed can be highly disordered, leading to defects during large-scale production. Researchers at the University of Illinois and the University of Michigan have developed a templating technique that instills greater order and gives rise to new 3D structures in a special class of materials, called eutectics, to form new, high-performance materials.Study: 'Value instantiation' key to luxury brands' embrace of corporate social responsibilityJan 13, 2020 8:30 am361 views Although luxury brands and social responsibility seem fundamentally inconsistent with each other, the two entities can coexist in the mind of the consumer, provided the brand can find someone – typically, a celebrity – who successfully embodies the two conflicting value sets, says new research co-written by Carlos Torelli, a professor of business administration and James F. Towey Faculty Fellow at Illinois.The US used a drone to kill an Iranian general. What might be the consequences?Jan 9, 2020 8:45 am911 views An expert on the growing role of drones in warfare and terrorism discusses the implications of the recent killing of Iranian general Qassim Suleimani in a Q&A.New compounds block master regulator of cancer growth, metastasisJan 7, 2020 8:00 am5039 views Scientists have developed new drug compounds that thwart the pro-cancer activity of FOXM1, a transcription factor that regulates the activity of dozens of genes. The new compounds suppress tumor growth in human cells and in mouse models of several types of human breast cancer.Illinois student's puzzle to appear in The New York TimesJan 2, 2020 1:30 pm5983 views Computer science student Adam Aaronson loves puzzles, and a crossword puzzle he created will be published in The New York Times.For CRISPR, tweaking DNA fragments before inserting yields highest efficiency rates yetDec 23, 2019 10:00 am2190 views University of Illinois researchers achieved the highest reported rates of inserting genes into human cells with the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing system, a necessary step for harnessing CRISPR for clinical gene-therapy applications. By chemically tweaking the ends of the DNA to be inserted, the new technique is up to five times more efficient than current approaches. The researchers saw improvements at various genetic locations tested in a human kidney cell line, even seeing 65% insertion at one site where the previous high had been 15%.Scientists develop gentle, microscopic hands to study tiny, soft materialsDec 23, 2019 9:45 am724 views Handling very soft, delicate items without damaging them is hard enough with human hands, let alone doing it at the microscopic scale with laboratory instruments. Three new studies show how scientists have honed a technique for handling tiny, soft particles using precisely controlled fluid flows that act as gentle microscopic hands. The technique allows researchers to test the physical limits of these soft particles and the things made from them – ranging from biological tissues to fabric softeners.New polymer material may help batteries become self-healing, recyclableDec 23, 2019 8:15 am3781 views Lithium-ion batteries are notorious for developing internal electrical shorts that can ignite a battery’s liquid electrolytes, leading to explosions and fires. Engineers at the University of Illinois have developed a solid polymer-based electrolyte that can self-heal after damage – and the material can also be recycled without the use of harsh chemicals or high temperatures.Book looks at how landscape design helps solve water issuesDec 20, 2019 1:15 pm898 views Landscape design research can help solve environmental problems related to water systems.Classics course uses Greek tragedies to provide war insightsDec 19, 2019 2:15 pm748 views A new course in classics uses Greek tragedies to study issues of war, trauma and displacement.Caffeine may offset some health risks of diets high in fat, sugarDec 19, 2019 1:00 pm5644 views A new study in rats suggests that caffeine may offset some of the negative effects of an obesogenic diet by reducing lipid storage, weight gain and the production of triglycerides.Single-molecule detection of cancer markers brings liquid biopsy closer to clinicDec 18, 2019 11:00 am1120 views A fast, inexpensive yet sensitive technique to detect cancer markers is bringing researchers closer to a “liquid biopsy” – a test using a small sample of blood or serum to detect cancer, rather than the invasive tissue sampling routinely used for diagnosis. Researchers at the University of Illinois developed a method to capture and count cancer-associated microRNAs, or tiny bits of messenger molecules that are exuded from cells and can be detected in blood or serum, with single-molecule resolution.Nanopores can identify the amino acids in proteins, the first step to sequencingDec 17, 2019 10:00 am1283 views A new study demonstrates that nanopores can be used to identify all 20 amino acids in proteins, a major step toward protein sequencing.What do we really know about poverty?Dec 16, 2019 9:45 am815 views The holidays are a time we focus on those in need and heap scorn on the Scrooges and Mr. Potters who don’t. But how well do we understand poverty, in either the U.S. or globally? Illinois sociologist Brian Dill addresses some misconceptions.Study: Healthy diet may avert nutritional problems in head, neck cancer patientsDec 16, 2019 9:45 am1816 views Head and neck cancer patients who eat a healthy diet prior to treatment may be less likely to have nutrition impact symptoms up to a year after diagnosis, according to a recent study led by U. of I. researchers.Paper: Cultural variables influence consumer demand for private-label brandsDec 16, 2019 8:15 am466 views Consumer attitudes toward private-label store brands might be driven more by social variables than price, says new research co-written by Carlos Torelli, a professor of business administration and James F. Towey Faculty Fellow at Illinois.Finding clarity in the fogDec 16, 2019 8:15 am515 views My hypothesis about how to improve wind-turbine efficiency arose unexpectedly one day as I was driving to Chicago to visit my fiancée. For some reason, my GPS chose to take me off the main highway and onto country roads, and I found myself traveling through a wind farm. It was a lucky coincidence: A thick mist lay on the horizon and, thanks to the fog, I could see the turbulence fields each turbine generated in its wake.New heat model may help electronic devices last longerDec 16, 2019 7:00 am572 views A University of Illinois-based team of engineers has found that the model currently used to predict heat loss in a common semiconductor material does not apply in all situations. By testing the thermal properties of gallium nitride semiconductors fabricated using four popular methods, the team discovered that some techniques produce materials that perform better than others. This new understanding can help chip manufacturers find ways to better diffuse the heat that leads to device damage and decreased device lifespans.Experts review evidence yoga is good for the brainDec 12, 2019 9:00 am6479 views Scientists have known for decades that aerobic exercise strengthens the brain and contributes to the growth of new neurons, but few studies have examined how yoga affects the brain. A review of the science finds evidence that yoga enhances many of the same brain structures and functions that benefit from aerobic exercise.Paper: Economy benefits when secretarial jobs require more computer skillsDec 12, 2019 9:00 am356 views New research co-written by U. of I. labor economist Eliza Forsythe finds that the adoption of new technologies in office and administrative support occupations ultimately leads to more job growth in the local economy, but offers mixed benefits for the office support workers themselves.Team finds bovine kobuvirus in USDec 12, 2019 8:00 am1843 views A virus that afflicts cattle that was first discovered in Japan in 2003 has made its way to the U.S., researchers report in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.What’s in the global carbon budget?Dec 9, 2019 1:45 pm584 views The Global Carbon Project recently released its 2019 annual report, giving decision-makers access to data on atmospheric carbon concentrations, emissions and trends. Illinois atmospheric scientist Atul Jain is among the many scientists worldwide who contributed data to the report. News Bureau physical sciences editor Lois Yoksoulian spoke with Jain about this year’s findings.Hittite class offers glimpse of Bronze Age language, technologyDec 9, 2019 9:00 am4940 views Illinois students in a Hittite class learn to write the ancient language in clay using cuneiform symbols.Opera addressing questions of disability, technology being developed with Lyric Theatre's helpDec 6, 2019 11:45 am830 views A new opera exploring questions of disability, technology and communication is being created with the help of the University of Illinois’ Lyric Theatre program.Study: Leaders of nonprofits that use sport to better society often lack business skillsDec 5, 2019 2:15 pm558 views Many nonprofits using sport to create social change may fail because their leaders lack the leadership and business skills critical to the organizations' survival, U. of I. professor Jon Welty Peachey found in a study.