blog posts Study: Pro-worker ideas in political platforms resonate with voters Feb 28, 2022 8:00 am256 views Voters reward political parties that espouse pro-worker ideas with more votes in elections, says a new paper co-written by J. Ryan Lamare, a professor of labor and employment relations at Illinois. Can pet dogs be infected with coronavirus? Feb 25, 2022 11:00 am1577 views Researchers at the U. of I. diagnosed a pet dog in Chicago with infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 in humans. This is the first dog in Illinois to test positive for the coronavirus. A team led by pathobiology professor Ying Fang made the diagnosis. She talks about the findings and future research in pets. Studies examine effects of California's push for computer science education Feb 24, 2022 8:15 am1675 views Despite California’s push for computer science education, race and gender disparities persist among the high schools offering these courses, the students enrolled in them and the teachers. Water filtration membranes morph like cells Feb 23, 2022 1:00 pm1027 views Morphogenesis is nature’s way of building diverse structures and functions out of a fixed set of components. While nature is rich with examples of morphogenesis – cell differentiation, embryonic development and cytoskeleton formation, for example – research into the phenomenon in synthetic materials is scant. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign researchers are taking a step forward using electron tomography, fluid dynamics theories and machine learning to watch soft polymers as the polymers learn from nature. Study identifies key regulator of cell differentiation Feb 21, 2022 2:00 pm929 views Scientists have identified a molecule that regulates the fate of cells, switching off their ability to differentiate into distinct cell types. Paper: Regional public universities make local economies more resilient Feb 21, 2022 8:00 am485 views The local economies of regional public universities tend to be more resilient to economic shocks, says new research co-written by a team of University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign economists. Study examines accuracy of arrest data in FBI's NIBRS crime database Feb 18, 2022 1:15 pm582 views A study of one state's arrest data in the FBI's NIBRS database found that while the majority of the cases were correct, the timings of arrests and other factors may lead to inaccuracies. Stinging insects and their venom are focus of Insect Fear Film Festival Feb 18, 2022 8:30 am480 views The short films and film clips will feature humorous and horrific depictions of stinging insects and their effects. Illinois musicians, chemists use sound to better understand science Feb 17, 2022 9:30 am1991 views The use of sonification to understand the physical mechanisms of protein folding led to a new discovery about the ways a protein can fold. Computer science professor named 2022 Sloan Research Fellow Feb 15, 2022 9:30 am1514 views Computer science professor Bo Li is among 118 recipients of the 2022 Sloan Research Fellowships from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. According to the foundation, the awards “honor extraordinary U.S. and Canadian researchers whose creativity, innovation and research accomplishments make them stand out as the next generation of leaders.” Awardees receive a two-year $75,000 fellowship to further their research. Exhibition of art by the formerly incarcerated emphasizes shared humanity, art's power to connect Feb 11, 2022 11:00 am942 views “Reckless Law, Shameless Order: An Intimate Experience of Incarceration” explores shared experiences of detention. What explains the continuing appeal of Super Bowl advertisements? Feb 11, 2022 10:00 am1073 views The Super Bowl remains one of the few programs where people aren’t skipping the ads, says a University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign business professor and consumer marketing expert. Oncology dietitians rarely ask cancer patients about food insecurity, study finds Feb 11, 2022 8:15 am738 views While many cancer survivors experience food insecurity, few oncology registered dietitians interviewed by U. of I. researchers indicated that they routinely screen their patients for it. Three Illinois faculty members elected to National Academy of Engineering Feb 10, 2022 3:30 pm1538 views Three University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign faculty members have been elected to the National Academy of Engineering. They are William Hammack, the William H. and Janet G. Lycan Professor in chemical and biomolecular engineering; Youssef Hashash, the William J. and Elaine F. Hall Endowed Professor and John Burkitt Webb Endowed Faculty Scholar in civil and environmental engineering; and Klara Nahrstedt, the Grainger Distinguished Chair of Engineering in computer science and the director of the Coordinated Science Laboratory at the U. of I. Adaptation of classic play examines issues of politics, greed, public trust Feb 10, 2022 3:00 pm615 views Illinois theatre students’ adaptation of “An Enemy of the People” considers how the truth gets told (or not told) during a public health crisis. How can Illinois address the problem of PFAS pollution? Feb 10, 2022 8:00 am558 views The state of Illinois is investigating the occurrence of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in community water supplies across the state, with an eye toward developing policies to reduce their use. Exposure to PFAS has been linked to increased risk of certain cancers and potential developmental problems in children. News Bureau life sciences editor Diana Yates spoke about the issue with John Scott, a senior chemist with the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center. 'Molecular Velcro' enables tissues to sense, react to mechanical force Feb 9, 2022 1:45 pm758 views The Velcro-like cellular proteins that hold cells and tissues together also perform critical functions when they experience increased tension. A new University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign study observed that when tugged upon in a controlled manner, these proteins – called cadherins – communicate with growth factors to influence in vitro tumor growth in human carcinoma cells. Study: High COVID-19 rates in older Latinos linked with economics, outside help Feb 9, 2022 8:15 am460 views Financial hardship and outside help were significantly associated with COVID-19 diagnoses among older Latinos, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign social work professor Lissette Piedra and her team found. Study: Lower acculturation linked with poorer cognitive function in older Hispanics Feb 9, 2022 8:00 am869 views A new study on culture and cognition found that long-term Hispanic immigrants who were less acculturated to the U.S. performed significantly worse on cognitive function tests than their highly acculturated peers. New set of chemical building blocks makes complex 3D molecules in a snap Feb 8, 2022 10:00 am915 views A new set of molecular building blocks aims to make complex chemistry as simple and accessible as a toy construction kit. Researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign developed a new class of chemical building blocks that simply snap together to form 3D molecules with complex twists and turns, and an automated machine to assemble the blocks like a 3D printer for molecules. This automation could allow chemists and nonchemists alike to develop new pharmaceuticals, materials, diagnostic probes, catalysts, perfumes, sweeteners and more. February Dance features choreography by four Illinois faculty members Feb 3, 2022 3:30 pm640 views The dance concert will be performed Feb. 3-5 at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. What are the consequences for US interests in Russia-Ukraine conflict? Feb 1, 2022 8:00 am1425 views The brewing Russia-Ukraine conflict will have significant consequences for U.S. interests in Eastern Europe, said University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign political scientist and international relations expert Nicholas Grossman. How vulnerable to inflation are the finances of older adults? Jan 31, 2022 8:00 am791 views Social Security’s annual cost-of-living adjustment takes some of the sting out of inflation, a University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign tax policy expert says. Krannert Art Museum exhibition of Pueblo pots shows connections to ancestral land, community Jan 28, 2022 9:15 am553 views The exhibition features work from family pottery lineages and shows how women were inspired by previous generations of artists while developing their own interpretations of the designs. Rural air pollution may be as hazardous as urban, study finds Jan 26, 2022 2:00 pm2693 views New research shows that chemical reactivity, seasonality and distribution of airborne particulate matter are critical metrics when considering air pollution’s impact on human health. Current environmental regulations focus on the mass of pollutant particles, and researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign are pushing to refocus regulatory efforts on more regional and health-relevant factors. 14 Illinois faculty members elected AAAS Fellows Jan 25, 2022 5:45 pm2832 views Fourteen University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign faculty members have been elected 2021 fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Illinois artist's portrait of student advocate Albert Lee will be formally dedicated Feb. 1 Jan 25, 2022 9:15 am733 views Lee’s portrait is installed near a display of the history of housing on the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus. Study: Telehealth services for the elderly should include caregivers Jan 24, 2022 4:30 pm573 views Family caregivers are often involved in the day-to-day activities of their older relatives, such as communicating with doctors, helping them navigate the health care system and making decisions that affect their care. When the pandemic hit, forcing health care systems to switch to telehealth visits, many of the caregivers who would have been involved in in-person care were left out of the process, according to a new observational study published in the Annals of Family Medicine. Krannert Art Museum exhibition of sacred, supernatural prints celebrates printmakers' technical skills Jan 24, 2022 2:45 pm637 views The works include Christian imagery, as well as devils, demons and monsters. Overweight dogs respond well to high-protein, high-fiber diet Jan 24, 2022 9:00 am1289 views A study of overweight dogs fed a reduced calorie, high-protein, high-fiber diet for 24 weeks found that the dogs’ body composition and inflammatory markers changed over time in ways that parallel the positive changes seen in humans on similar diets. The dogs achieved a healthier weight without losing too much muscle mass, and their serum triglycerides, insulin and inflammatory markers all decreased with weight loss. Researchers simulate behavior of living 'minimal cell' in three dimensions Jan 20, 2022 10:00 am2915 views Scientists report that they have built a living “minimal cell” with a genome stripped down to its barest essentials – and a computer model of the cell that mirrors its behavior. By refining and testing their model, the scientists say they are developing a system that can predict how changes to the genomes, living conditions or physical characteristics of live cells will alter how they function. Analysis of bankruptcy data reveals patterns that underscore broader social, economic trends Jan 20, 2022 8:00 am962 views A new paper co-written by University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign law professor Robert M. Lawless, a leading consumer credit and bankruptcy expert, provides the first comprehensive overview of bankruptcy filers in more than 30 years, shining a spotlight on the economic stressors faced by U.S. debtors. CRISPR-Cas13 targets proteins causing ALS, Huntington's disease in the mouse nervous system Jan 19, 2022 1:15 pm2896 views A new study by University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign researchers used a targeted CRISPR technique in the central nervous systems of mice to turn off production of mutant proteins that can cause ALS and Huntington’s disease. Rather than the popular DNA-editing CRISPR-Cas9 technique, the new approach uses CRISPR-Cas13, which can target mRNA – the messenger molecule that carries protein blueprints transcribed from DNA. The Illinois team developed Cas13 systems that could target and cut RNAs that code for the proteins that trigger ALS and Huntington’s disease, effectively silencing the genes without disturbing the cell’s DNA. Climate adaptation increases vulnerability of cocoa farmers, study shows Jan 13, 2022 1:00 pm1109 views Sean Kennedy, a professor of urban and regional planning, found that strategies to keep cocoa farmers in place transferred climate-related risks from chocolate manufacturers to the farmers. Illinois urban planning professor awarded NEA research grant Jan 12, 2022 1:45 pm1006 views Jennifer Novak-Leonard will use the NEA grant to examine the experiences of artists and arts alumni regarding racial inclusion in higher education and the impacts of the pandemic. Paper: Women bear 'status-leveling burden' in male-dominated occupations Jan 12, 2022 8:00 am1281 views New research co-written by labor professor M. Teresa Cardador examines the “status-leveling burden” women in male-dominated occupations face in cross-occupational collaboration with other women. How do we define what happened on Jan. 6, 2021? Jan 5, 2022 8:00 am1254 views The Cline Center for Advanced Social Research’s categorization of the events of Jan. 6, 2021, as an “attempted dissident coup” could evolve if ongoing investigations reveal additional credible evidence that other types of actors were involved, said Scott Althaus, the center’s director and a professor of both political science and communication at Illinois. Does our place in society influence how we respond to COVID-19 protocol? Dec 23, 2021 11:15 am1440 views University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign electrical and computer engineering professor Lav Varshney is a co-author of a new study that explores how social capital influences choices regarding COVID-19 mitigation compliance. Illinois News Bureau physical sciences editor Lois Yoksoulian spoke with Varshney about the lessons learned from this study and how they may help in other public health crises. How can we identify, respond to pandemic-triggered mental health crises? Dec 23, 2021 7:30 am1122 views Social work professor Tara Powell discusses the U.S. surgeon general's recent advisory about a looming mental health crisis among the country's youths in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Models predict optimal airplane seating for reduced viral transmission Dec 21, 2021 9:45 am8499 views As airline ticket sales have soared during the holiday season and the omicron variant causes surges of COVID-19 cases, a new University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign study may help passengers and airlines reduce risk of COVID-19 transmission by optimally seating passengers to minimize potential virus spread. Researchers used the most current data on aerosol spread on airplanes to calculate optimal seating assignments for common Boeing aircraft at different capacities. Study: Brain mechanisms involved in learning also drive social conformity Dec 21, 2021 8:00 am3156 views Some of the same brain systems known to play a role in learning from trial and error also are engaged when people conform to social norms, scientists report in a new study. The findings are important, the researchers said, because changing one’s behavior to align with one’s peers can contribute to community-building or – depending on the goals and values of the group – societal breakdown. Artist's solo show emphasizes Black resilience through historic vigilantism Dec 20, 2021 11:30 am432 views Patrick Earl Hammie’s show combines celebratory drawings from “Soul Train” with painted images of lynch mobs. Gene mutation leads to epileptic encephalopathy symptoms, neuron death in mice Dec 17, 2021 9:00 am966 views Mice with a genetic mutation seen in patients with epileptic encephalopathy, a severe form of congenital epilepsy, exhibit not only the seizure, developmental and behavioral symptoms of the disorder, but also neural degeneration and inflammation in the brain, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign researchers found in a new study. The findings highlight the mutation as an important part of the disease’s pathology and a potential target for treatment. Study combines climatic, tectonic models to explain Andean conundrum Dec 14, 2021 10:45 am496 views The Andes Mountains are much taller than plate tectonic theories predict they should be, a fact that has puzzled geologists for decades. Mountain-building models tend to focus on the deep-seated compressional forces that occur when tectonic plates collide and send rocks skyward. A new study demonstrates how modern top-down models that account for climate-related factors combined with traditional bottom-up tectonic models can help uncover the perplexing history of the Andes Mountains. How common are December tornadoes in the US and why are they so dangerous? Dec 14, 2021 8:00 am3835 views The Dec. 10 tornado outbreak that devastated parts of the mid-Mississippi Valley has left many wondering if winter tornadoes are a new weather threat to consider in the United States. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign atmospheric sciences professor and department head (Robert) Jeff Trapp spoke with Illinois News Bureau physical sciences editor Lois Yoksoulian about this and other details about the timing and geography of tornadoes that we might expect in the future. Will unionization push among retail workers continue in 2022? Dec 10, 2021 2:00 pm721 views The unionization of a Starbucks store is a potential watershed moment for organized labor and reflects changes to the underlying conditions impacting the balance of power between capital and labor, says U. of I. labor expert Robert Bruno. Creating an escape room experience Dec 10, 2021 8:30 am2046 views Students in Fine and Applied Arts and informatics learned how to create an immersive environment and to build puzzles to challenge the players and reinforce the story. Atomic structure of antifungal drug confirms unusual mechanism, opens door to less-toxic derivatives Dec 9, 2021 10:15 am867 views Advanced molecular imaging technology has now mapped the structure of a drug widely used to treat fungal infections but whose workings have mystified researchers and physicians for nearly 70 years. In a new study, researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, the University of Wisconsin, Madison and the National Institutes of Health described in atomistic detail the structure of the drug amphotericin B, a powerful but toxic antifungal agent. Seeing the structure provides illumination in the researchers’ quest to formulate less-toxic AmB derivatives. Study: Fire hastens permafrost collapse in Arctic Alaska Dec 9, 2021 10:00 am885 views While climate change is the primary driver of permafrost degradation in Arctic Alaska, a new analysis of 70 years of data reveals that tundra fires are accelerating that decline, contributing disproportionately to a phenomenon known as “thermokarst,” the abrupt collapse of ice-rich permafrost as a result of thawing. How does society impact the benefits and challenges of technology? Dec 8, 2021 11:15 am2275 views Technology is a big part of life. In India, for example, street vendors and rickshawallahs use cellphones, the internet and Aadhar cards – 12-digit identification numbers given to every citizen of India based on their biometric and demographic data. However, charismatic gurus and superstition still thrive in India. In the new book "Reluctant Technophiles: India’s Complicated Relationship with Technology,” University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign electrical and computer engineering professor Rakesh Kumar provides an account of India’s often contradictory relationship with technology. News Bureau physical sciences editor Lois Yoksoulian spoke with Kumar about these contradictions, and how India’s situation is both unique and universal.