blog posts Seven Illinois researchers rank among the world’s most influential Dec 21, 2015 9:15 am8526 views Seven University of Illinois researchers have been named to the Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researchers list for 2015. The list includes “some of the world’s most influential scientific minds,” according to a statement from Thomson Reuters. Scientists tweak photosynthesis to boost crop yield Nov 17, 2016 1:00 pm5628 views Researchers report that they can increase plant productivity by boosting levels of three proteins involved in photosynthesis. This confirms a hypothesis some in the scientific community once doubted was possible. Scientists seeking rare river crayfish aren't just kicking rocks Feb 27, 2018 8:30 am983 views As far as anyone can tell, the cold-water crayfish Faxonius eupunctus makes its home in a 30-mile stretch of the Eleven Point River and nowhere else in the world. According to a new study, the animal is most abundant in the middle part its range, a rocky expanse in southern Missouri – with up to 35,000 cubic feet of chilly Ozark river water flowing by each second. Scientists: Expanding Brazilian sugarcane could dent global CO2 emissions Oct 23, 2017 9:45 am3333 views Vastly expanding sugarcane production in Brazil for conversion to ethanol could reduce current global carbon dioxide emissions by as much as 5.6 percent, researchers report in the journal Nature Climate Change. Science at Illinois feeds the world, furthers health, protects the planet Apr 17, 2017 8:30 am1357 views Illinois scientists are helping power plants run more efficiently, designing better, longer-lasting batteries, finding new ways to target cancerous tumors, and developing robots that can aid in construction, in agricultural fields and even inside the human body. Scholars: Estimates of food insecurity among college students problematic Apr 24, 2019 1:00 pm1302 views A good estimate of how many college students struggle with food insecurity is a difficult number to pin down, says new research from a team of University of Illinois experts who study food choice issues. Salmon baby food? Babies need omega-3s and a taste for fish Sep 2, 2010 9:00 am201 views A UI food science professor has two important reasons for including seafood in a young child's diet, reasons that have motivated her work in helping to develop a tasty, nutritious salmon baby food for toddlers. Research grant will help assessment of prairie seed banks Jan 23, 2007 9:00 am16 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The Illinois Natural History Survey has received a grant from the Conservation 2000 Program to assess seed banks at the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie in Will County. Researcher tracks agricultural overuse of bug-killing technology Feb 29, 2012 9:00 am175 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - High corn prices are leading many growers to plant corn every year and to overuse pesticides and other bug-killing technology to maximize yields, researchers report. In many instances, pesticides are applied without scouting fields to see if they are needed, violating a bedrock principle of integrated pest management. The result is a biological diversity desert in many corn and soybean fields in the agricultural Midwest, and signs that the surviving insects are becoming resistant to several key bug-fighting tools now available to farmers. Researchers study role of natural organic matter in environment Dec 11, 2006 9:00 am23 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The decomposition of plant, animal and microbial material in soil and water produces a variety of complex organic molecules, collectively called natural organic matter. These compounds play many important roles in the environment. Report outlines growing climate change-related threats to Great Lakes region Mar 22, 2019 10:15 am2244 views A team of Midwestern climate scientists has released a new report with grim predictions about the impact of climate change on the Great Lakes region. The report foresees a growing trend of wetter winters and springs, with increases in heavy rain events leading to flooding, particularly in urban areas with hard surfaces that cannot absorb the excess water. Rural areas will likely see more erosion, and unpredictable cycles of heat and rainfall could undermine agriculture. Report: Milkweed losses may not fully explain monarch butterfly declines Mar 13, 2017 4:15 pm5119 views Monarch butterfly declines cannot be attributed merely to declines in milkweed abundance, researchers report. Purple martin migration behavior perplexes researchers Sep 30, 2019 8:00 am2351 views Purple martins will soon migrate south for their usual wintertime retreat, but this time the birds will be wearing what look like little backpacks, as scientists plan to track their roosting sites along the way. The researchers recently discovered that purple martins are roosting in small forest patches as they migrate from North America to Brazil, an unexpected behavior. The scientists published their findings in the Journal of Field Ornithology. Pollinator habitat program spreads bad seeds with the good Dec 7, 2016 8:30 am8272 views Weed scientists in at least two Midwestern states have been reporting for years that a conservation program meant to provide habitat for pollinating insects is sowing bad seeds – including seeds of the potentially devastating agricultural weed Palmer amaranth – along with the good. Now, researchers at the University of Illinois have traced the weed seeds to at least one source: pollinator habitat seed sold by a company in the Midwest. Plant breeder boosts soybean diversity, develops soybean rust-resistant plant May 12, 2015 2:30 pm633 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — It took decades of painstaking work, but research geneticist Ram Singh managed to cross a popular soybean variety (“Dwight” Glycine max) with a related wild perennial plant that grows like a weed in Australia, producing the first fertile soybean plants that are resistant to soybean rust, soybean cyst nematode and other pathogens of soy. Pineapple genome offers insight into photosynthesis in drought-tolerant plants Nov 2, 2015 10:00 am3832 views By sequencing its genome, scientists are homing in on the genes and genetic pathways that allow the juicy pineapple plant to thrive in water-limited environments. The new findings, reported in the journal Nature Genetics, also open a new window on the complicated evolutionary history of grasses like sorghum and rice, which share a distant ancestor with pineapple. Paper: Nutrition label readers favor food quality over quantity Apr 18, 2017 8:45 am1447 views Although nutrition-label users eat roughly the same amount of food as less-discerning diners, the two groups diverge when it comes to the quality of the food they eat, says a new paper co-written by Brenna Ellison, a professor of agriculture and consumer economics at Illinois and an expert in consumer food preferences and behaviors. Paper: Disposal of wastewater from hydraulic fracturing poses dangers to drivers Mar 2, 2020 8:30 am1049 views A new paper co-written by Yilan Xu, a professor of agricultural and consumer economics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, shows that the growing traffic burden in shale energy boomtowns resulted in a surge of road fatalities and severe accidents. Nutritious frozen foods can play role in weight-loss programs Jun 8, 2005 9:00 am69 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Size matters when it comes to meal portions in weight-loss diets, according to researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. And consuming convenient, nutritious frozen dinners may be a way to control portion size. Nutrient-rich human waste poised to sustain agriculture, improve economies Aug 19, 2021 12:00 pm981 views The future connection between human waste, sanitation technology and sustainable agriculture is becoming more evident. According to research directed by University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign civil and environmental engineering professor Jeremy Guest, countries could be moving closer to using human waste as fertilizer, closing the loop to more circular, sustainable economies. Not just CO2: Rising temperatures also alter photosynthesis in a changing climate Mar 16, 2021 8:00 am2526 views A new review explores how increasing temperatures influence plant growth and viability despite the higher concentrations of atmospheric CO2. North American checklist identifies the fungus among us Nov 28, 2018 8:15 am4893 views Some fungi are smelly and coated in mucus. Others have gills that glow in the dark. Some are delicious; others, poisonous. Some spur euphoria when ingested. Some produce antibiotics. All of these fungi - and hundreds of thousands, if not millions, more - occur in North America. Of those that are known to science, 44,488 appear in a new checklist of North American fungi, published this month in the journal Mycologia. New technique can track drug and gene delivery to cells May 21, 2018 8:00 am1290 views University of Illinois researchers say they now know how to track and map drug and gene delivery vehicles to evaluate which are most effective at infiltrating cells and getting to their targets, insight that could guide development of new pharmaceutical agents. The researchers described their tracking system and their findings on the most effective delivery vehicles in the journal Nature Communications. New mutations for herbicide resistance rarer than expected, study finds May 28, 2019 10:00 am905 views New evidence suggests that the mutation rate in amaranth – a group that includes several agricultural weeds – is quite low and that low-level exposure to herbicides contributes little, if anything, to the onset of herbicide-resistant mutations in this group. New method helps map species' genetic heritage Dec 11, 2014 9:00 am111 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Where did the songbird get its song? What branch of the bird family tree is closer to the flamingo - the heron or the sparrow? New master's program at Illinois will train translators and interpreters Apr 29, 2013 9:00 am135 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The demand for translators and interpreters is projected to increase by at least 20 percent by the year 2020, and a new program at the University of Illinois will offer a master's degree to equip graduates to fill those jobs. Elizabeth Lowe, the director of the U. of I.'s Center for Translation Studies, says the program offers both on-campus and online options, and is accepting applications now for courses that will begin in the fall. New imaging, machine-learning methods speed effort to reduce crops' need for water Aug 24, 2021 8:00 am1207 views Scientists have developed and deployed a series of new imaging and machine-learning tools to discover attributes that contribute to water-use efficiency in crop plants during photosynthesis and to reveal the genetic basis of variation in those traits. New algorithm fuses quality and quantity in satellite imagery Jun 4, 2018 8:30 am2537 views Using a new algorithm, University of Illinois researchers may have found the solution to an age-old dilemma plaguing satellite imagery – whether to sacrifice high spatial resolution in the interest of generating images more frequently, or vice versa. The team’s new tool eliminates this trade-off by fusing high-resolution and high-frequency satellite data into one integrated product, and can generate 30-meter daily continuous images going back to the year 2000. Neuroimaging reveals lasting brain deficits in iron-deficient piglets Feb 20, 2018 4:30 pm890 views Iron deficiency in the first four weeks of a piglet’s life – equivalent to roughly four months in a human infant – impairs the development of key brain structures, scientists report. The abnormalities remain even after weeks of iron supplementation begun later in life, the researchers found. Molecular techniques are man's new best friend in pet obesity research Apr 9, 2013 9:00 am165 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - According to the World Health Organization, more than two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. And it's not just humans who are packing on the pounds. Our furry companions are plagued by an obesity epidemic of their own. More than 50 percent of the dogs and cats in the United States are overweight or obese. Miscanthus, a biofuels crop, can host western corn rootworm Jan 5, 2010 9:00 am51 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The western corn rootworm beetle, a pest that feasts on corn roots and corn silk and costs growers more than $1 billion annually in the U.S., also can survive on the perennial grass Miscanthus x giganteus, a potential biofuels crop that would likely be grown alongside corn, researchers report. Measure of age in soil nitrogen could help precision agriculture Jul 25, 2016 8:00 am1813 views University of Illinois engineers developed a model to calculate the age of nitrogen in corn and soybean fields, which could lead to improved fertilizer application techniques to promote crop growth while reducing leaching. Mastery of physical goals lessens disease-related depression and fatigue Dec 15, 2009 9:00 am70 views CHAMPAIGN, lll. - Physical activity is known to reduce depression and fatigue in people struggling with chronic illness. A new study indicates that this effect may stem from an individual's sense of mastery over - or belief in his or her ability to achieve - certain physical goals. Master Naturalists needed to preserve Illinois' environment Aug 11, 2015 1:00 pm484 views Adults who have a passion for the outdoors – and are interested in sharing that with others – are needed statewide as volunteers in the University of Illinois Extension Master Naturalist program. Many Midwestern retailers sell mislabeled invasive vines Jan 8, 2018 9:00 am6584 views Gardeners hoping to celebrate the beauty of American bittersweet – a native vine that produces orange berries in the fall and is used for wreaths – may be unwittingly buying an invasive bittersweet instead. That’s because many Midwestern retailers are selling oriental bittersweet with labels misidentifying it as the native plant, researchers report. These sales are occurring in stores and online. Low-calorie sweetener derived from lactose gets manufacturing boost from yeast Apr 15, 2019 11:15 am1457 views The quest to satisfy the sweet tooth without adding to the waistline has a new weapon in its arsenal: a strain of yeast that can metabolize lactose, the sugar in dairy products, into tagatose, a natural sweetener with less than half the calories of table sugar. Long elected to National Academy of Sciences May 1, 2019 8:00 am1105 views Stephen P. Long, a professor of crop sciences and plant biology at the University of Illinois, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, one of the highest professional honors a scientist can receive. Livestock donation programs reduce poverty, improve food security and nutrition Oct 11, 2016 9:00 am1149 views Research from U. of I. agricultural economists Peter Goldsmith and Alex Winter-Nelson found that the direct donation of livestock to impoverished communities in rural Africa had numerous positive effects ranging from a reduction in poverty to an increase in gender empowerment. Links between hunger and health lead to recommendation that doctors screen patients for food insecurity Nov 5, 2015 2:00 pm268 views Almost 50 million people in the United States are food insecure – that is, they lack access to adequate food because of limited money or other resources. University of Illinois economist Craig Gundersen and University of Kentucky’s James P. Ziliak examined recent research on food insecurity and its association with poor health, and offer suggestions including that doctors screen for hunger. Less salt, more protein: Researchers address dairy processing's environmental, sustainability issues Sep 1, 2021 12:00 pm1144 views Researchers say the high salt content of whey – the watery part of milk left behind after cheesemaking – helps make it one of the most polluting byproducts in the food processing industry. In a new study, chemists demonstrate the first electrochemical redox desalination process used in the food industry, removing and recycling up to 99% of excess salt from whey while simultaneously refining more than 98% of whey’s valuable protein content. Labeling genetically engineered food May 28, 2014 9:00 am434 views A Minute With™... Bruce M. Chassy, a professor emeritus of food science and human nutrition Kidwell named College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences dean Jul 15, 2016 9:15 am2792 views Currently the executive associate dean of the College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences at Washington State University, Kimberlee Kidwell will be the new U. of I. dean of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences effective Nov. 1, pending approval by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees. She also will hold the inaugural Robert A. Easter Chair. Is the future of agriculture digital? Sep 10, 2021 8:00 am932 views 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. Is our flood insurance model broken? Sep 8, 2017 8:30 am1021 views Craig Lemoine, the director of the Financial Planning Program at the College of ACES, discusses the flood insurance market in light of Hurricane Harvey losses. Information on three new agricultural pests enhances web tool for farmers Apr 12, 2005 9:00 am44 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Three more pests - fruit tree leafroller, lilac borer and western bean cutworm - have been added this spring to the Illinois State Water Survey's Water and Atmospheric Resources Monitoring program, a Web-based tool that provides helpful information for the state's farmers. Illinois sportfish recovery a result of 1972 Clean Water Act, scientists report Oct 18, 2017 9:45 am2252 views Populations of largemouth bass, bluegill, catfish and other sportfish are at the highest levels recorded in more than a century in the Illinois River, according to a new report. Their dramatic recovery, from populations close to zero near Chicago throughout much of the 20th century, began just after implementation of the Clean Water Act, the researchers say. Illinois growers are running out of options in fight against waterhemp Sep 14, 2016 8:00 am1112 views Resistance to multiple herbicides is the new norm for populations of waterhemp, a common agricultural weed. With their herbicide options dwindling and nothing new on the horizon, Illinois growers must be strategic in how they manage waterhemp-infested fields, says a University of Illinois expert on crop weed management. Illinois engineer wins MacArthur fellowship Sep 17, 2014 9:00 am398 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Tami Bond, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has been awarded a 2014 MacArthur Fellowship, commonly known as a "genius grant," from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Hybrid grass may prove to be valuable fuel source Sep 27, 2005 9:00 am633 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Giant Miscanthus (Miscanthus x giganteus), a hybrid grass that can grow 13 feet high, may be a valuable renewable fuel source for the future, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign say. Human waste an asset to economy, environment, study finds Jul 8, 2019 8:00 am2640 views Human waste might be an unpleasant public health burden, but scientists at the University of Illinois see sanitation as a valuable facet of global ecosystems and an overlooked source of nutrients, organic material and water.