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  • Portrait of astronomy professor Leslie Looney

    A large asteroid will pass by Earth this week – should we worry?

    Recent weeks have witnessed a series of medium-to-large-sized asteroids cross paths with Earth’s orbit. The largest of the pack – asteroid 2004 UE – is on track to make its closest approach to the planet Nov. 13. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign astronomy professor and chair Leslie Looney spoke with News Bureau physical sciences editor Lois Yoksoulian about what researchers refer to as near Earth objects and how much of a threat they are to the planet.

  • Headshot of Emily Knox

    Why is a past attempt to ban 'Beloved' from a high school curriculum a political issue now?

    Emily Knox, a professor in the School of Information Sciences and the author of “Book Banning in 21st-Century America,” said societal issues, such as changing racial demographics and disagreements over how to teach the history of race, prompt challenges to certain kinds of books.

  • Portrait of researcher Atul Jain.

    Are global CO2 emissions rebounding to pre-COVID-19 levels?

    The Global Carbon Project recently published its 2021 Global Carbon Budget report, providing data on atmospheric carbon concentrations, emissions and trends. University of Illinois Urban-Champaign atmospheric sciences professor Atul Jain was part of an international team of scientists that contributed data to the report. Jain discussed the carbon budget and this year’s findings with News Bureau physical sciences editor Lois Yoksoulian.

  • Photo of research team.

    Scientists discover how antibiotics penetrate Gram-negative bacterial cell walls

    Scientists have labored for decades to find antibiotics that work against Gram-negative bacteria, which cause some of the deadliest infections in hospital settings and are most likely to be resistant to treatment with existing antibiotics. In a study reported in the journal Chemical Science, researchers developed a new method to determine how antibiotics with specific chemical properties thread their way through tiny pores in the otherwise impenetrable cell envelopes of Gram-negative bacteria.

  • Image of actor Haven Crawley onstage, wrapped in a blanket with green and blue windows in the background.

    Theatre department production of 'Origin Story' looks at millennials' post-college life

    “Origin Story” was written by Illinois theatre alumnus Nathan Alan Davis. The theatre department’s production will be the Midwest premiere of the play.

  • Rebecca Lee Smith stands outdoors.

    Do kids need a COVID-19 vaccine?

    The availability of a COVID-19 vaccine for school-aged children offers protection for children as well as eases challenges faced by their families and their schools, says Rebecca Lee Smith, an epidemiologist at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

  • Social work professor Doug Smith standing in front of the School of Social Work building in Urbana.

    Task force calls for changes in juvenile detention policies for children ages 10-12

    A report based on data from the Juvenile Monitoring Information System at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign sparked changes in one juvenile detention center's practices.

  • Photo of Thomas J. Rudolph, the Lincoln Distinguished Professorial Scholar of Political Science at Illinois.

    Paper: 'Affective polarization' increasingly leaks into social situations

    A new paper co-written by a University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign expert in political psychology shows political polarization has increasingly seeped into nonpolitical social situations.

  • Gilman Scholars badge graphic

    Illinois a 20-year top producer of Gilman Scholars

    The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is among the top producers of a scholarship program that enables students to study or intern abroad, providing them with skills critical to U.S. national security and economic prosperity. The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs this week recognized Illinois for the 242 students who have received awards from the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program over the past 20 years.

  • Image showing the book cover of "The Gilded Edge" and a black-and-white headshot of Catherine Prendergast.

    Story of tragic love triangle illustrates women's struggles at end of the Gilded Age

    Catherine Prendergast included the challenges she faced in researching the lives of the women involved in a tragic love triangle at the turn of the 20th century, when the historical record of the time was dominated by men.

  • Professor Jefferson Chan stands on the left, graduate student Melissa Lucero stands on the right.

    New molecule targets, images and treats lung cancer tumors in mice

    Lung cancer can be elusive to spot and difficult to treat, but University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign researchers have developed a finely tuned molecular agent that can precisely target lung and other cancer cells for imaging and treatment.

  • Photo of Aron Barbey.

    Scientists look beyond the individual brain to study the collective mind

    In a new paper, scientists suggest that efforts to understand human cognition should expand beyond the study of individual brains. They call on neuroscientists to incorporate evidence from social science disciplines to better understand how people think.

  • Full-length image of Cynthia Oliver in a long, colorful dress, holding out one side of her skirt.

    Dance professor Cynthia Oliver receives Doris Duke Artist Award

    The $275,000 award invests in the creative potential of exemplary artists.

  • Image of three dancers on stage in white tops and flowing red skirts.

    Studiodance showcases dance students' work

    The performance at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts will feature six dances and a short dance film.

  • Photo of a prairie fire with yellow grass in the foreground.

    Study reconstructs 232-year history of prairie fire in Midwestern US

    Researchers combed through thousands of historical documents for first-person accounts of fires occurring between 1673 and 1905 in the Midwestern tallgrass prairie. Their study is the first systematic analysis of the timing, causes and consequences of prairie fires in this part of the world.

  • Photo of by University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign experts Yijue Liang, left, and YoungAh Park.

    Co-worker interventions can moderate customer sexual harassment in service industry

    Service-industry workers can be shielded from customer sexual harassment via bystander interventions from their fellow employees, says new research co-written by a team of University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign experts who study occupational stress and employee well-being.

  • Photo of Christopher Robert Jones and Liza Sylvestre sitting on a bench in an art gallery.

    'Crip*' exhibition at Krannert Art Museum centers experiences with disability, access

    The exhibition features the work of artists with disabilities or non-normative identities. It is part of a collaborative project “Cripping the Arts” that includes increasing accessibility in art institutions.

  • Dr. Leyi Wang in his lab, wearing his white veterinarian's coat.

    Which animals can catch the coronavirus?

    Dr. Leyi Wang and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory have played a key role in diagnosing coronavirus infection in animal species in zoos across the country. This is important work for understanding the virus’s spread and its broad host range, Wang says.

  • Photo of Karen M. Tabb's research team

    Patients view perinatal depression screenings as ineffective, study finds

    A standardized protocol and patient-centered approach are needed to improve perinatal depression screenings so patients feel the screenings are useful and effective, a new study found.

  • Headshot of Sara L. Schwebel

    Center for Children's Books examines Newbery Medal's history, legacy

    A book of scholarly essays and a symposium consider what Newbery books reveal about attitudes toward children’s literature.

  • Researchers stand in a stream They are holding onto a large seine.

    Team discovers invasive-native crayfish hybrids in Missouri

    In a study of crayfish in the Current River in southeastern Missouri, researchers discovered – almost by chance – that the virile crayfish, Faxonius virilis, was interbreeding with a native crayfish, potentially altering the native’s genetics, life history and ecology. Reported in the journal Aquatic Invasions, the study highlights the difficulty of detecting some of the consequences of biological invasions, the researchers say.

  • A theatre professor and a student actor perform on stage with a table with a box and typewriter between them.

    Illinois theatre season reimagines the American story

    The theatre department will feature a diverse group of playwrights in its 2021-22 season.

  • Shelby Lawson stands in a grassy area with binoculars around her neck.

    Staging a threatening encounter at a blackbird nest

    It’s early morning, about 6 a.m. A light fog has settled over the marsh. I park my car, step out and double-check my backpack for all the necessary equipment before heading out. After a short walk on a narrow paved path, I veer into the unmarked marsh. I’m here to study how red-winged blackbirds respond to the vocalizations that signal nearby nest parasites called brown-headed cowbirds.

  • Communication professor Emily Van Duyn

    New book explores political secrecy among ordinary Americans in today's divisive culture

    U. of I. professsor of communication Emily Van Duyn examines political secrecy among ordinary Americans in the new book “Democracy Lives in Darkness: How and Why People Keep Their Politics a Secret."

  • Two distinct types of help-seeking at work have differing interpersonal costs and benefits for employee competency measures, says new research co-written by Yihao Liu, right, a professor of labor and employment relations and of psychology at Illinois, and graduate student Fan Xuan Chen.

    Paper: 'Autonomous help-seeking' on the job pays dividends for workers

    Different types of help-seeking at work have disparate interpersonal costs and benefits for competency measures on the job, says new research co-written by a team of University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign experts.

  • Nicholas Wu stands with arms crossed.

    Wu earns NIH Director's New Innovator Award

    Biochemistry professor Nicholas Wu has received a 2021 NIH Director’s New Innovator Award. His project aims to understand how antibodies interact with their targets.

  • Mary and Lou Henson

    Mary Henson named Homecoming Parade grand marshal

    Mary Henson, the wife of the legendary Fighting Illini basketball coach and ambassador Lou Henson, will serve as grand marshal of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign 2021 Homecoming Parade. The parade will take place Saturday, Oct. 9, at 11 a.m.

  • Portrait of the researchers that participated in the study

    New analytical technique helps researchers spot subtle differences in subcellular chemistry

    Researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign can now rapidly isolate and chemically characterize individual organelles within cells. The new technique tests the limits of analytical chemistry and rapidly reveals the chemical composition of organelles that control biological growth, development and disease. 

  • Siebel Center for Design exterior photo

    Media advisory: Siebel Center for Design grand opening Oct. 8

    The grand opening of the Siebel Center for Design on the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus will take place Oct. 8 with a formal dedication at 1 p.m., followed by an open house. Attendees will include Thomas Siebel, Chancellor Robert Jones and System President Tim Killeen.

  • The head of a common cuckoo.

    Birds' eye size offers clues to coevolutionary arms race between brood parasites, hosts

    Eye size likely plays a role in the contest between avian brood parasites – birds that lay their eggs in the nests of other species – and their hosts, who sometimes detect the foreign eggs and eject or abandon them, scientists report.

  • Photo of sociology professor Kevin Leicht

    Media advisory: Kevin Leicht to testify before congressional subcommittee about disinformation

    Sociology professor Kevin Leicht to testify before congressional subcommittee about the effects of social media disinformation in fomenting distrust of scientists, particularly in regard to COVID-19 vaccines. 

  • An artist's rendering of viruses passing through a nanopore sensor

    DNA sensor quickly determines whether viruses are infectious

    A new sensor can detect not only whether a virus is present, but whether it’s infectious – an important distinction for containing viral spread. Researchers demonstrated the sensor, which integrates specially designed DNA fragments and nanopore sensing, with two key viruses that cause infections worldwide: the human adenovirus and the virus that causes COVID-19.  

  • Siebel Center for Design exterior photo

    Siebel Center for Design is open for exploration

    Siebel Center for Design on the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus opened for business in early August. The multidisciplinary hub of student-focused design thinking and learning was established by a $25 million lead gift from the Thomas and Stacey Siebel Foundation.

  • Center for Advanced Study initiative looks at 'infodemic,' how to combat misinformation

    The CAS initiative will bring together experts to discuss misinformation, disinformation, “fake news” and conspiracy theories.

  • Poster for the new documentary “Cold War: Illinois Stories.”

    New BTN documentary 'Cold War: Illinois Stories' premieres Sept. 29

    A new 30-minute-long documentary tells four separate stories of individuals or programs at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign that were either affected by harsh Cold War politics and their destructive aftermath or, in one segment, shed light on a government film studio dedicated to Cold War propaganda. “Cold War: Illinois Stories” premieres Sept. 29 at 7 a.m. CDT on the Big Ten Network.

  • Photo of cinema and media studies professor Jay Rosenstein

    What has been the impact of the Washington Football Team's name change?

    The changes in the past year in the use of Native American imagery in sports and elsewhere have been unprecedented, said Jay Rosenstein, a Center for Advanced Study professor of media and cinema studies.

  • A portrait of Illinois researchers involved in the study

    Tiny porous crystals change the shape of water to speed up chemical reactions

    Chemical engineers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign now understand how water molecules assemble and change shape in some settings, revealing a new strategy to speed up chemical reactions critical to industry and environmental sustainability. The new approach is poised to play a role in helping chemical manufacturers move away from harmful solvent catalysts in favor of water.

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

    Are President Biden's vaccine mandates lawful?

    The expansive new set of vaccination requirements issued by the Biden administration affecting the federal workforce will likely be upheld by the courts, but the mandate emanating from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is on shakier legal ground, says Michael LeRoy, an expert in labor law and labor relations at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

  • Timothy Tana dn Nicholas Wu stand in a laboratory.

    Antibodies from original strain COVID-19 infection don't bind to variants, study finds

    People infected with the original strain of the virus that causes COVID-19 early in the pandemic produced a consistent antibody response, making two main groups of antibodies to bind to the spike protein on the virus’s outer surface. However, those antibodies don’t bind well to newer variants, a new study from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign found.

  • Photo of education professor Jon Hale

    New book examines race's impact in school choice movement

    A new book by education professor Jon Hale examines the complex history of the school choice movement in the U.S., which was overshadowed by racism and resistance to desegregation.

  • Photo of Tim Dean in a Krannert Art Museum gallery with Hal Fischer's photographic series "18th near Castro St. x 24" on the wall behind Dean.

    Krannert Art Museum hosts retrospective of photographer Hal Fischer

    “Hal Fischer Photographs: Seriality, Sexuality, Semiotics” features his well-known photographic series focused on gay life in 1970s San Francisco, as well as his early work as an Illinois student.

  • Photo of Yihao Liu, a professor of labor and employment relations and of psychology at Illinois.

    Paper: Perception of COVID-19 vulnerability hurts job prospects

    Job seekers’ perceived risk of contracting and falling seriously ill from COVID-19 may take a significant mental health toll and ultimately affect their ability to secure employment, says new research co-written by Yihao Liu, a professor of labor and employment relations and of psychology at Illinois.

  • Photo of Gloria Allen standing in a full-length fur coat on a snowy street.

    CAS, McKinley Foundation hosting art exhibit, presentation about transgender older adults

    “To Survive on This Shore: Photographs and Interviews with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Older Adults” documents the life stories of transgender older adults through photographs and interviews.

  • A portrait of the Illinois researchers who contributed to the study.

    Study provides basis to evaluate food subsectors' emissions of three greenhouse gases

    A new, location-specific agricultural greenhouse gas emission study is the first to account for net carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide emissions from all subsectors related to food production and consumption. The work, led by University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign atmospheric sciences professor Atul Jain, could help identify the primary plant- and animal-based food sectors contributing to three major greenhouse gas emissions and allow policymakers to take action to reduce emissions from the top-emitting food commodities at different locations across the globe.

  • Photo of Stephen Moose

    Is the future of agriculture digital?

    With colleagues at several institutions, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign crop sciences professor Stephen Moose will lead the development of a National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center for Research on Programmable Plant Systems. With $25 million in newly announced funding, the center will create an Internet of Living Things to learn the intimate biological language of plants and their associated organisms. Moose spoke with News Bureau life sciences editor Diana Yates about this new initiative.

  • Students gathered near Foellinger Auditorium in July.

    Class of 2025 sets enrollment records

    The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign freshman enrollment of 8,303 for the 2021-22 academic year is a record. The new class brings total student enrollment to 56,299, the largest in university history.

  • Photo of Rochelle Sennet in a pink evening dress leaning over the keyboard of a Yamaha grand piano.

    New recording pairs music of Bach with works by Black composers

    Pianist Rochelle Sennet said she wants her “Bach to Black” project to show that classical music is for everyone, regardless of race or cultural background.

  • Photo of the researcher.

    New tool maps future climate costs for airlines, passengers

    Researchers built a mathematical model to calculate how much it will cost airlines to cope with rising temperatures in a changing climate.

  • Avocados change belly fat distribution in women, controlled study finds

    An avocado a day could help redistribute belly fat in women toward a healthier profile, according to a new study from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and collaborators. One hundred and five adults with overweight and obesity participated in a randomized controlled trial that provided one meal a day for 12 weeks. Women who consumed avocado as part of their daily meal had a reduction in deeper visceral abdominal fat.

  • A portrait of Dr. Jim Lowe

    Can people take a livestock drug to treat a deadly virus?

    Taking large or multiple doses of the anti-parasitic drug ivermectin can cause a toxic overdose, and humans should not take forms intended for animal use, says Illinois veterinary medicine expert Dr. Jim Lowe.