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  • An artist’s impression of an accretion disk rotating around an unseen supermassive black hole.

    Black hole size revealed by its eating pattern

    The feeding patterns of black holes offer insight into their size, researchers report. A new study revealed that the flickering in the brightness observed in actively feeding supermassive black holes is related to their mass.

  • Photo of Yilan Xu, a professor of agricultural and consumer economics at Illinois

    Study: Domestic control of COVID-19 takes priority over international travel bans

    A new paper co-written by University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign economist Yilan Xu says taming domestic transmission of COVID-19 ought to be prioritized over international travel bans.

  • Photo of researchers standing in a laboratory with equipment and supplements used in the study on the bench in front of them.

    Study identifies molecule that stimulates muscle-building

    In a randomized control study of 10 healthy young men, researchers compared how consuming the single amino acid leucine or its two-molecule equivalent, dileucine, influenced muscle-building and breakdown. They found that dileucine boosts the metabolic processes that drive muscle growth 42% more than free leucine does.

  • Photo of researchers.

    Study offers insight into underlying causes of seizure disorder in babies

    Researchers report that infantile spasms, a rare but serious seizure disorder in babies, appear to be the result of a molecular pathway gone awry. In their study of a mouse model of the disorder, the researchers discovered that genetic mutations associated with the disease impair a pathway that is involved in building new synapses in the hippocampus, a brain region essential to learning and memory.

  • Mikihiro Sato, professor of recreation, sport and tourism

    What impact do the Olympics and mass-sporting events have on public health?

    Attending high-profile and mass-participation sporting events may increase individuals’ physical activity levels and enhance their emotional well-being, according to Mikihiro Sato, a professor of recreation, sport and tourism.

  • Screenshot from a video of a black-crested titmouse stealing fur from a sleeping fox, from the YouTube channel Texas Backyard Wildlife.

    Paper: Some birds steal hair from living mammals

    A new paper in the journal Ecology documents an unusual behavior among titmice, chickadees and tits: A bird will land on an unsuspecting mammal and, cautiously and stealthily, pluck out some of its hair.

  • Photo of Jacob S. Sherkow, a professor of law at Illinois who studies the ethical and policy implications of advanced biotechnologies

    Should the government implement a vaccine passport system?

    Vaccine passports strike the right balance between letting life go on for the vaccinated while still being realistic about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, said Jacob S. Sherkow, a professor of law at Illinois and bioethics expert.

  • Photo of three researchers standing on campus.

    Study tests microplasma against middle-ear infections

    In a new study, researchers explore the use of microplasma – a highly focused stream of chemically excited ions and molecules – as a noninvasive method for attacking the bacterial biofilms that resist antibiotic treatment in the middle ear.

  • Photo of graduate student Madison Sewell and school-university research coordinator Raya Hegeman-Davis

    Report: Many Illinois students not receiving critical computer science education

    Many K-12 students in Illinois are not receiving the computing education needed to succeed in the workforce they'll enter after high school graduation, according to a new report by U. of I. scholar Raya Hegeman-Davis.

  • Molecular model of ErSO, an anticancer compound

    New approach eradicates breast cancer in mice

    A new approach to treating breast cancer kills 95-100% of cancer cells in mouse models of human estrogen-receptor-positive breast cancers and their metastases in bone, brain, liver and lungs. The newly developed drug, called ErSO, quickly shrinks even large tumors to undetectable levels.

  • Photo of Benjamin Holden, a University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign journalism professor and media law scholar who studies free speech issues.

    What are the implications of the recent Supreme Court public school speech case?

    The Supreme Court affirmed that while public schools have an extra duty to protect unpopular opinions and minority speech rights, school officials still have the power to discipline students for bad behavior, says a University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign media law scholar who studies free speech issues.

  • Portrait of the researcher.

    How can the world prevent emerging infectious diseases, protect food security?

    According to a new report co-written by Illinois Natural History Survey postdoctoral researcher Valeria Trivellone, climate change, poverty, urbanization, land-use change and the exploitation of wildlife all contribute to the emergence of new infectious diseases, which, in turn, threaten global food security. Trivellone spoke with News Bureau life sciences editor Diana Yates about how global authorities can tackle these intertwined challenges.

  • Sheldon Jacobson and Janet Jokela stand outdoors.

    2020 deadlier than previous five years, even with COVID-19 numbers removed, study finds

    An upswing in death rates from non-COVID-19 causes in 2020 hit hard for men ages 15-64, according to a new study by computer science professor Sheldon H. Jacobson and internal medicine professor Janet Jokela.

  • Photo of researchers Yun Liu and Jeffrey Moore

    Chemical reactions break free from energy barriers using flyby trajectories

    A new study shows that it is possible to use mechanical force to deliberately alter chemical reactions and increase chemical selectivity – a grand challenge of the field.  

  • Photo of Unnati Narang, a professor of business administration at the Gies College of Business.

    Study: Idea sharing increases online learner engagement

    Online learning engagement can be increased by nearly one-third by simply prompting students to share course ideas instead of personal details.

  • Photo illustration of Dr. Nikki Usher and her new book.

    New book contends that local newspapers bear brunt of news media's increasing elitism

    A new book by University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign journalism professor Nikki Usher examines the market failure of local newspapers in the context of larger U.S. problems such as rising social inequality, geographic polarization and political discord. In “News for the Rich, White, and Blue: How Place and Power Distort American Journalism,” Usher posits that newspapers are becoming more focused on serving wealthy, white and politically liberal news consumers.

  • A SHIELD worker explains the protocol for a COVID-19 saliva test at the University of Illinois.

    University of Illinois receives APLU award for COVID-19 testing program

    The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign has received the inaugural Research Response to Community Crisis Award from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities for its COVID-19 testing program.

  • Photo of sociology professor Kevin Leicht

    Where have all the entry-level professional jobs gone?

    Various economic and political forces are reducing job opportunities for new professionals and discouraging some entering these fields or staying in the U.S. after they earn their degrees, says sociology professor Kevin Leicht.

  • Title image for "Museum of Us"

    Illinois artist's virtual 'Museum of Us' lets everyone tell their stories

    Art education professor Jorge Lucero created a virtual “Museum of Us” in which participants created a cabinet of curiosities by displaying objects that are important to them.

  • An Illinois student provides a saliva sample for a COVID-19 test.

    Frequent COVID-19 testing key to efficient, early detection, study finds

    The chance of detecting the virus that causes COVID-19 increases with more frequent testing, no matter the type of test, a new study found. Both polymerase chain reaction and antigen tests, paired with rapid results reporting, can achieve 98% sensitivity if deployed at least every three days.

  • Portrait of Dr. Sam Sander

    How do July 4 celebrations affect wildlife?

    Celebrating the nation’s Independence Day with fireworks is an enduring tradition, but fireworks can be a source of distress and danger to wildlife. Dr. Sam Sander, a clinical professor of zoo and wildlife medicine at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, spoke with News Bureau life sciences editor Diana Yates about how fireworks affect wildlife and the environment, and how to minimize the risks.

  • Barbara Fiese and Kelly Freeman Bost sitting at a table in the Family Resiliency Center on the U. of I. campus.

    Consistent bedtime routines in infancy improve children's sleep habits through age 2

    Consistent bedtime routines and activities such as reading books beginning when infants are 3 months old promote better sleep habits through age 2, according to a study by researchers at the Family Resiliency Center.

  • Illustration of a carbon reduction reaction at the surface of a silver nanoparticle in the presence of visible light.

    Light-harvesting nanoparticle catalysts show promise in quest for renewable carbon-based fuels

    Researchers demonstrated that small amounts of useful molecules such as hydrocarbons form when CO2 and water react in the presence of light and a silver nanoparticle catalyst, possibly paving the way for industrial-scale production of renewable carbon-based fuels. 

  • Professor Yi Lu

    DNAzymes could outperform protein enzymes for genetic engineering

    Move over, gene-editing proteins – there’s a smaller, cheaper, more specific genetic engineering tool on the block: DNAzymes – small DNA molecules that can function like protein enzymes.

    Researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign have developed a technique that, for the first time, allows DNAzymes to target and cut double-stranded DNA, overcoming a significant limitation of the technology.

  • Food science professor M. Yanina Pepino sitting in the kitchen of her home

    Cancer survivors' tongues less sensitive to tastes than those of healthy peers

    Head and neck cancer survivors' tongues are less sensitive to bitter, salty and sweet tastes, and this taste dysfunction lasts for years, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign scientists found in a new study.

  • Photo of Robert Bruno, a professor of labor and employment relations at the Urbana campus of the University of Illinois and the director of the Labor Education Program in Chicago.

    Are generous unemployment benefits to blame for worker shortages?

    As the COVID-19 pandemic recedes and employers look to restart businesses at full capacity, workers have leverage that they’re using to temporarily stay out of the labor market in certain industries, says U. of I. labor expert Robert Bruno.

  • Photo of a young woman inside an MRI suite wearing an imaging cap with many sensors attached.

    Combining three techniques boosts brain-imaging precision

    Researchers have developed a method to combine three brain-imaging techniques to more precisely capture the timing and location of brain responses to a stimulus.

  • Gloved hands hold an Indiana bat.

    In pursuit of Indiana bats

    An hour before the sun goes down, my colleagues and I arrive at our site: a human-made pond in the middle of the forest. The high-pitched croaking of Cope's gray treefrogs greets us as we get out of our truck. Surrounded by trees and full of salamanders, these ponds are an essential water resource for our forest-dependent bats. We do a brief survey of the site, then set up our mist nets around the pond’s perimeter. We’re hoping to catch our target species – the Indiana bat, Myotis sodalis.

  • Photo of Richard L. Kaplan, an internationally recognized expert on U.S. tax policy and the Guy Raymond Jones Chair in Law at Illinois.

    Are the ultrawealthy breaking the law in avoiding taxes?

    An annual wealth tax could curb tax avoidance among the ultrawealthy, a University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign tax policy expert says.

  • Headshot of Eunice Santos

    Model helps predict, analyze decision-making on adopting Type 2 diabetes medical guidelines

    A new computational framework incorporates social interactions to analyze how best to communicate about new medical guidelines to encourage their adoption.

  • Photo of Lauren R. Aronson, an associate clinical professor of law and the director of the Immigration Law Clinic at the U. of I. College of Law.

    Are we experiencing another unaccompanied child 'crisis' at the southern US border?

    There’s no easy solution to the problem of unaccompanied migrant children at the southern U.S. border, a U. of I. expert says.

  • Portrait of researcher.

    Cholesterol metabolite induces production of cancer-promoting vesicles

    Scientists report that a byproduct of cholesterol metabolism causes some cells to send out cancer-promoting signals to other cells. These signals are packaged in membrane-bound compartments called extracellular vesicles.

  • Bioengineering professor Jennifer Amos displays the children's book "Jenny Saves a Convertible," published through a project with Illinois Engineering Ambassadors.

    Children's book by U of I students teaches third graders about automotive engineering

    A new book written and illustrated by two recent alumnae of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign introduces third graders to the nuts and bolts of automotive mechanics and engineering.

  • Professor Ruby Mendenhall

    Why do we need a health care equity law?

    The Illinois Health Care and Human Services Reform Act has potential to address root causes of health disparities and foster health equity through provisions such as implicit bias training and community health workers, says Illinois professor Ruby Mendenhall.

     

  • Researchers stand in a natural area with prairie plants in the background.

    Beneficial arthropods find winter sanctuary in uncultivated field edges, study finds

    Many species of ground-dwelling beetles, ladybugs, hoverflies, damsel bugs, spiders and parasitic wasps kill and eat pest species that routinely plague farmers, including aphids and corn rootworm larvae and adults. But the beneficial arthropods that live in or near cropped lands also are susceptible to insecticides and other farming practices that erase biodiversity on the landscape.

    A new study reveals that beneficial arthropods are nearly twice as abundant and diverse in uncultivated field edges in the spring as they are in areas that are cropped – if those field edges are rich in an array of flowers and other broad-leaved plants and not just mowed grass.

  • Portrait of journalism professor Brant Houston.

    What does the Chicago Tribune sale mean for the future of newsrooms?

    As more newspapers are purchased by “vulture” hedge funds – highlighted by the recent acquisition of Tribune Publishing Co. by Alden Global Capital LLC  – University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign journalism professor Brant Houston touts nonprofit news organizations as a viable alternative to traditional newspaper business models.

  • Headshot of T.F. Tierney

    Illinois architecture professor awarded Graham Foundation grant

    Architecture professor emerita T.F. Tierney will examine the role that federal lending practices played in maintaining racially segregated suburbs.

  • Two Brood X adults of the genus Magicicada rest on a fern leaf.

    Taking a cicada road trip

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – A tough semester and an even tougher year have just ended. I need a break. I’m fully vaccinated and want to escape the yearlong lockdown. And I’m an entomologist. What do I do?

    I grab my best friend, also an entomologist, and we hit the road, of course. This is the year of my people’s “Woodstock.”

     

  • A microscope image of brilliantly colored crystals in a kidney stone.

    Geology helps map kidney stone formation from tiny to troublesome

    Advanced microscope technology and cutting-edge geological science are giving new perspectives to an old medical mystery: How do kidney stones form, why are some people more susceptible to them and can they be prevented?

  • Educational psychology professor Jennifer Cromley and graduate student Andrea Kunze standing outdoors

    Study examines how pandemic-related changes affect college students’ motivation

    Some at-risk college students' motivation increased while living at home and learning remotely during the pandemic, despite concerns many would be negatively affected, researchers at the U. of I. found in a new study.

  • Soybean field and sunshine

    Study: Fluorescent light clarifies relationship between heat stress and crop yield

    Scientists report that it is possible to detect and predict heat damage in crops by measuring the fluorescent light signature of plant leaves experiencing heat stress. If collected via satellite, this fluorescent signal could support widespread monitoring of growth and crop yield under the heat stress of climate change, the researchers say.

  • Portrait of researches in laboratory.

    Solid-state batteries line up for better performance

    Solid-state batteries pack a lot of energy into a small space, but their electrodes are not good at keeping in touch with their electrolytes. Liquid electrolytes reach every nook and cranny of an electrode to spark energy, but liquids take up space without storing energy and fail over time. Researchers are now putting solid electrolytes in touch with electrodes made of strategically arranged materials – at the atomic level – and the results are helping drive better solid-state battery technologies.

  • Headshot of Rachel S. Harris

    Why has violence erupted now between Israelis and Palestinians?

    A leadership vacuum and political maneuvering by both Israel and the Palestinians are fueling the violence between the two, said Rachel S. Harris, a professor in the Program in World and Comparative Literature and in The Program in Jewish Culture and Society.

  • University of Illinois Distinguished Fellow in psychology Benjamin X. White

    Nudges for default decisions influenced by time constraints, study says

    The default option is an easy way to “nudge” people toward a decision, but new research co-written by University of Illinois Distinguished Fellow in psychology Benjamin X. White finds that time constraints can play an important role in influencing decisions.

  • A gloved researcher holds an Eastern red bat, Lasiurus borealis.

    Catching bats for conservation

    The sun just dipped below the horizon and the warm early spring air mixes with the stone-chilled currents flowing out of the mine entrances. The nets are all hung and now we are just waiting for the bats to show up. This is my first mist-netting trip, but I have been warned this will not be a typical experience.

  • Photo of research team standing together outside in front of a brick wall and building.

    Portable, affordable, accurate, fast: Team invents new COVID-19 test

    A new coronavirus test can get accurate results from a saliva sample in less than 30 minutes, researchers report in the journal Nature Communications. Many of the components of the hand-held device used in this technology can be 3D-printed, and the test can detect as little as one viral particle per 1-microliter drop of fluid.

  • Photo of Alison Dickson, a senior instructor in the School of Labor and Employment Relations at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

    Paper: Sharp decline in women's labor force participation in Illinois due to COVID-19

    The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated an existing child care crisis that disproportionately impacted and continues to affect working women, says Alison Dickson, a senior instructor in the School of Labor and Employment Relations at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

  • Photo of the research team

    Youths with diverse gender identities bullied up to three times more often than peers, study finds

    Transgender youths are victimized as much as three times more often than students who identify as male or female, according to a study led by University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign social work professor Rachel Garthe.

  • Headshot of Merle Bowen

    Illinois scholar's book describes Black struggle for land rights, reparations in Brazil

    African American studies professor Merle Bowen argues that rural Black residents in Brazil deserve land reparations for the ongoing appropriation of their land by the Brazilian government and private interests.

  • Portrait of three, smiling researchers standing outside with a white-flowering tree, bushes and a brick wall in the background.

    Intoxication brings strangers physically closer, study finds

    In a study with pandemic-related implications, researchers report that strangers who consume alcohol together may keep their distance initially – but draw physically closer as they become intoxicated. No previous studies have tested the effects of alcohol consumption on social distance, the researchers say. They report the new findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.