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  • Agricultural and biological engineering professor Girish Chowdhary is leading a team that includes crop scientists, computer scientists and engineers in developing TerraSentia, a crop phenotyping robot.

    Ag robot speeds data collection, analyses of crops as they grow

    A new lightweight, low-cost agricultural robot, developed by a team of scientists at the University of Illinois, could transform data collection and field scouting for agronomists, seed companies and farmers.

     

  • Book celebrates planning, building of University of Illinois campus

    A new book, “An Illini Place – Building the University of Illinois Campus,” covers the history of the planning and building of the University of Illinois campus and why the campus looks the way it does.

  • Leyi Wang, a virologist and professor of Veterinary Medicine.

    What is the coronavirus spreading across the globe?

    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.

  • Chill-tolerant hybrid sugarcane also grows at lower temperatures, team finds

    U.S. farmers have long hoped to extend sugarcane’s growing range northward from the Gulf coast, substantially increasing the land available for sugar and biofuels. Several hybrid canes developed in the 1980s have proved hardy in cooler climes, surviving overwinter as far north as Booneville, Arkansas. But until now, no one had tested whether these “miscanes,” as they are called, actually photosynthesize, and thus continue to grow, when the thermometer dips.

  • New studies link specific nutrients to the structure and function of brain regions that are particularly sensitive to aging and neurodegenerative disease.

    Studies link healthy brain aging to omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the blood

    Two new studies link patterns of polyunsaturated fatty acids in the blood to the integrity of brain structures and cognitive abilities that are known to decline early in aging.

  • Two Illinois professors are recipients of Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowships this year: from left, physics professor Barry Bradlyn and electrical and computer engineering professor Zhizhen Zhao.

    Two Illinois professors named Sloan Research Fellows

    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. 

  • Curriculum and instruction professor Emma Mercier shows one of the 55-inch tabletop screens that she is using in her research developing the Food for Thought app, which educates young people about the carbon footprint associated with the foods they eat.

    Computer app whets children’s appetites for eco-friendly meals

    A new educational software application under development at the University of Illinois is introducing middle school students to the topic of climate change and showing them how their dietary choices affect the planet.

  • U. of I. psychology professor Nicole Allen is a co-author on a new analysis of sexual assault victimization and mental health outcomes.

    Increased risk of suicide, mental health conditions linked to sexual assault victimization

    An analysis of nearly 200 independent studies involving more than 230,000 adult participants finds that having been sexually assaulted is associated with significantly increased risk of anxiety, depression, suicidality, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, obsessive-compulsive disorder and bipolar disorder.

  • Professor Leslie Reagan

    What does a 1960s epidemic tell us about Zika?

    With its easy-to-miss symptoms and link to birth defects, the Zika virus is very similar to German measles (rubella), according to history professor Leslie Reagan

  • Lutein may play a protective role against age-related cognitive decline, suggests a study by University of Illinois kinesiology and community health professor Naiman Khan and postdoctoral researcher Anne Walk.

    Lutein may counter cognitive aging, study finds

    Spinach and kale are favorites of those looking to stay physically fit, but they also could keep consumers cognitively fit, according to a new study from University of Illinois researchers.

  • In a review of dozens of human and animal studies, Illinois professor emeritus of psychology Ed Diener, who is also a senior scientist for the Gallup Organization, found that "the overwhelming majority of studies support the conclusion that happiness is associated with health and longevity."

    Study: Happiness improves health and lengthens life

    CHAMPAIGN, lll. - A review of more than 160 studies of human and animal subjects has found "clear and compelling evidence" that - all else being equal - happy people tend to live longer and experience better health than their unhappy peers.

  • University of Illinois psychology professor Brent Roberts and postdoctoral researcher Rodica Damian conducted the largest study yet of birth order and personality. They found no meaningful relationship between birth order and personality or IQ.

    Massive study: Birth order has no meaningful effect on personality or IQ

    For those who believe that birth order influences traits like personality and intelligence, a study of 377,000 high school students offers some good news: Yes, the study found, firstborns do have higher IQs and consistently different personality traits than those born later in the family chronology. However, researchers say, the differences between firstborns and “laterborns” are so small that they have no practical relevance to people’s lives.

  • From left, geology graduate students Jiashun Hu and Quan Zhou and professor Lijun Liu challenge traditional theories about western U.S. volcanism with new evidence from supercomputer modeling.

    Heat from below Pacific Ocean fuels Yellowstone, study finds

    Recent stories in the national media are magnifying fears of a catastrophic eruption of the Yellowstone volcanic area, but scientists remain uncertain about the likelihood of such an event. To better understand the region’s subsurface geology, University of Illinois geologists have rewound and played back a portion of its geologic history, finding that Yellowstone volcanism is more far more complex and dynamic than previously thought. 

  • Political science professor Nicholas Grossman’s new book looks at the state of drone technology and how it’s changing the nature of warfare and terrorism.

    How are drones changing warfare, threatening security?

    A U. of I. professor discusses drones and the implications of their use in terrorism and warfare.

  • Basar named College of Engineering interim dean

    Tamer Basar has been named the interim dean of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's College of Engineering effective Jan. 16, subject to approval of the University of Illinois Board of Trustees.

  • Byungsoo Kim, left, and professor Hyunjoon Kong stand outdoors, socially distanced.

    Octopus-inspired sucker transfers thin, delicate tissue grafts and biosensors

    Thin tissue grafts and flexible electronics have a host of applications for wound healing, regenerative medicine and biosensing. A new device inspired by an octopus’s sucker rapidly transfers delicate tissue or electronic sheets to the patient, overcoming a key barrier to clinical application, report researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and collaborators.

  • Chemistry professor Prashant Jain, left, and postdoctoral researcher Sungju Yu have developed an artificial photosynthesis process that converts excess CO2 into valuable fuels, bringing green technology one step closer to large-scale solar energy storage.

    Artificial photosynthesis transforms carbon dioxide into liquefiable fuels

    Chemists at the University of Illinois have successfully produced fuels using water, carbon dioxide and visible light through artificial photosynthesis. By converting carbon dioxide into more complex molecules like propane, green energy technology is now one step closer to using excess CO2 to store solar energy – in the form of chemical bonds – for use when the sun is not shining and in times of peak demand.

  • Photo of special education professor Meghan Burke, her son Rogan and Lily Ho, a senior in computer science

    New website rates local restaurants on accessibility for people with disabilities

    Access Urbana-Champaign, a new website created by a University of Illinois professor of special education and her students, rates local restaurants on their accessibility to people with disabilities.

  • Materials science and engineering professor Christopher Evans, right, and graduate student Brian Jing have developed a solid battery electrolyte that is both self-healing and recyclable.

    New polymer material may help batteries become self-healing, recyclable

    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.

  • Woodland sunflower and purple joe-pye weed grow under mature bur oak trees.

    Decadeslong effort revives ancient oak woodland

    Vestal Grove in the Somme Prairie Grove forest preserve in Cook County, Illinois, looks nothing like the scrubby, buckthorn-choked tangle that confronted restoration ecologists 37 years ago. Thanks to the efforts of a dedicated team that focused on rooting up invasive plants and periodically burning, seeding native plants and culling deer, the forest again resembles its ancient self, researchers report in the journal PLOS ONE.

  • Electrical and computer engineering professor Brian Cunningham co-led a multi-institutional team to demonstrate an inexpensive and rapid smartphone-based pathogen testing device designed to ease pressure on testing laboratories during pandemics such as COVID-19.

    Inexpensive, portable detector identifies pathogens in minutes

    Most viral test kits rely on labor- and time-intensive laboratory preparation and analysis techniques; for example, tests for the novel coronavirus can take days to detect the virus from nasal swabs. Now, researchers have demonstrated an inexpensive yet sensitive smartphone-based testing device for viral and bacterial pathogens that takes about 30 minutes to complete. The roughly $50 smartphone accessory could reduce the pressure on testing laboratories during a pandemic such as COVID-19.

  • University of Illinois professor Christopher Brooke.

    What are the novel coronavirus health risks?

    The novel coronavirus that first broke out in Wuhan, China in late 2019 has now spread to 111 countries. As the first case of possible community spread has been reported in the United States, a professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign discusses how the virus spreads and what makes it a public health concern.

  • U. of I. psychology professor Justin Rhodes and his colleagues discovered that the male-to-female sex change in anemonefish occurs first in the brain.

    For anemonefish, male-to-female sex change happens first in the brain

    The anemonefish is a gender-bending marvel. It starts out as a male, but can switch to female when circumstances allow – for example, when the only female present dies or disappears. In a new study, researchers found that the male-to-female sex-change occurs first in the fish’s brain and only later involves the gonads – sometimes after a delay of months or years.

  • University of Illinois kinesiology and community health professor Ruopeng An found that diet beverage drinkers compensate by eating a greater percentage of unhealthy foods that are high in fats, cholesterol and calories.

    Diet beverage drinkers compensate by eating unhealthy food, study finds

    Study finds that people who drink diet beverages may compensate by eating additional food that is higher in fat, cholesterol and sodium.

  • Professor of food science and human nutrition M. Yanina Pepino standing in her laboratory

    Loss of senses of smell, taste could identify COVID-19 carriers

    M. Yanina Pepino of the U. of I. is on a global team of experts investigating the abrupt loss of the senses of smell and taste with COVID-19 infection.

     

     

  • John Murphy

    JFK's inaugural speech still stirring, memorable at 50

    A Minute With™... John Murphy, a professor of communication

  • People who are the most optimistic tend to sleep better and longer, suggests a new study led by University of Illinois social work professor Rosalba Hernandez.

    Optimistic people sleep better, longer, study finds

    People who are the most optimistic tend to be better sleepers, University of Illinois social work professor Rosalba Hernandez found in a new study of 3,500 young and middle-aged adults.

  • A team of researchers developed a new broad-spectrum antibiotic that kills bacteria by punching holes in their membranes. Front row, from left: materials science and engineering professor Jianjun and postdoctoral researcher Yan Bao. Back row, from left: postdoctoral researcher Menghau Xiong, graduate students Ziyuan Song and Rachael Mansbach, materials science and engineering professor Andrew Ferguson, and biochemistry professor Lin-Feng Cheng.

    Bacterial hole puncher could be new broad-spectrum antibiotic

    Bacteria have many methods of adapting to resist antibiotics, but a new class of spiral polypeptides developed at the University of Illinois targets one thing no bacterium can live without: an outer membrane.

  • Plant biology professor emeritus Govindjee, who has made key contributions to the scientific understanding of photosynthesis, is also an archivist and historian of photosynthesis research.

    Govindjee's photosynthesis museum

    I am in Govindjee’s office suite and I don’t know where to look. Govindjee, a professor emeritus of plant biology who goes by the one name only, is a collector. There are layers of history here: artifacts and papers, books and photographs. There also are homemade scientific instruments that look like plumbing elbows, tiny satellites or props from vintage sci-fi movies.

  • University of Illinois psychology professor Brent Roberts and his colleagues found that, above and beyond other factors known to influence life success, responsible behavior and interest in high school correspond to economic and career success 50 years later.

    Study links responsible behavior in high school to life success 50 years later

    A new study links doing one’s homework, being interested and behaving responsibly in high school to better academic and career success as many as 50 years later. This effect, reported in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, holds true even after accounting for parental income, IQ and other factors known to influence achievement, researchers report.

  • Andrew Miller and his colleagues created the first comprehensive checklist of North American fungi.

    North American checklist identifies the fungus among us

    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.

  • A single circuit board, foreground, that when joined with others forms the experimental array of the quadrupole topological insulator.

    Researchers demonstrate existence of new form of electronic matter

    Researchers have produced a “human scale” demonstration of a new phase of matter called quadrupole topological insulators that was recently predicted using theoretical physics. These are the first experimental findings to validate this theory.

  • Scientists test nanoparticle drug delivery in dogs with osteosarcoma

    At the University of Illinois, an engineer teamed up with a veterinarian to test a bone cancer drug delivery system in animals bigger than the standard animal model, the mouse. They chose dogs – mammals closer in size and biology to humans – with naturally occurring bone cancers, which also are a lot like human bone tumors.

  • Human trials of cancer drug PAC-1 continue with new investment

    Clinical trials of the anti-cancer agent PAC-1 are continuing to expand, thanks to a $7 million angel investment from an anonymous contributor who originally invested $4 million to help get the compound this far in the drug-approval pipeline.

  • Photo of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign law professor Robert M. Lawless, a leading consumer credit and bankruptcy expert.

    What effect will COVID-19 have on consumer bankruptcies?

    Most households struggle financially for two to five years before filing for bankruptcy, making a pandemic-related surge in consumer bankruptcy filings unlikely, said University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign law professor Robert M. Lawless, a leading consumer credit and bankruptcy expert.

  • Inspired by the eye of the morpho butterfly, a new camera that can see both visible and infrared light could help surgeons more easily identify cancerous tissue.

    New camera gives surgeons a butterfly’s-eye view of cancer

    Cancer lurking in tissue could be more easily found when looking through a butterfly’s eye.

  • Researchers have found a way to penetrate the cell wall of gram-negative bacteria, overcoming a major barrier to the development of new broad-spectrum antibiotics.

    Antibiotic breakthrough: Team discovers how to overcome gram-negative bacterial defenses

    Scientists report that they now know how to build a molecular Trojan horse that can penetrate gram-negative bacteria, solving a problem that for decades has stalled the development of effective new antibiotics against these increasingly drug-resistant microbes. The findings appear in the journal Nature.

  • Implementing "surge pricing" during rush hour or taxing the number of miles a vehicle traveled might be better than raising the gas tax, says a policy brief co-written by U. of I. economists Don Fullerton and Julian Reif. Illinois graduate student Kaveh Nafari also contributed to the study.

    Economists: Pros, cons to raising the gas tax in Illinois

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - After the precipitous drop in crude oil prices over the past nine months, some policymakers in Illinois have advocated raising the state's excise tax on gasoline, which has remained unchanged at 19 cents per gallon since 1990.

  • Illinois researchers developed a tissue-imaging microscope that can image living tissue in real time and molecular detail, allowing them to monitor tumors and their environments as cancer progresses.

    New tissue-imaging technology could enable real-time diagnostics, map cancer progression

    A new microscope system can image living tissue in real time and in molecular detail, without any chemicals or dyes, report researchers at the University of Illinois.

  • The compounds in frying oils that are repeatedly reheated to high temperatures may trigger cell proliferation and metastases in breast tumors, scientists in food science and human nutrition at the University of Illinois found in a new study of mice. The researchers, from left, food chemistry professor Nicki J. Engeseth, food science professor William G. Helferich and graduate student Ashley Oyirifi.

    Study in mice examines impact of reused cooking oil on breast cancer progression

    University of Illinois researchers found in a new study of mice that consuming the chemical compounds found in thermally abused cooking oil may trigger changes that promote the progression of late-stage breast cancer.

  • A new study adds to the evidence that dogs were domesticated before first migrating to the Americas.

    First dogs in the Americas arrived from Siberia, disappeared after European contact

    A study reported in the journal Science offers an enhanced view of the origins and ultimate fate of the first dogs in the Americas. The dogs were not domesticated North American wolves, as some have speculated, but likely followed their human counterparts over a land bridge that once connected North Asia and the Americas, the study found.

  • Tim Nugent was a pioneer for disability rights and accessiblity, founding a first-of-its-kind program at the University of Illinois, leading research efforts, and advocating for changes that would have influence well beyond the campus.

    Tim Nugent a pioneer in changing life for people with disabilities

    Tim Nugent, who died Wednesday at the age of 92 in Urbana, Illinois, was a visionary who changed the world for people with disabilities. Starting with a small program at the University of Illinois a few years after World War II – but for years with little support, and often outright opposition – Nugent sought to change both the opportunities for people with disabilities and public attitudes about them.

  • A Marching Illini piccolo player performs while wearing an orange and blue mask with a slit for the mouthpiece of her piccolo.

    Marching Illini director provides guidance on band safety protocols

    Marching Illini director Barry Houser helped develop public health guidelines for music classes and designed a face covering that can be used while playing any wind instrument.

  • Photo of professor Chris Roegge

    The edTPA assessment and licensing of student teachers

    A Minute With...™ Illinois Professor Chris Roegge, executive director of the Council on Teacher Education

     

  • Graphic of online master’s degree in strategic brand communication, a unique joint program between the College of Business and College of Media at the University of Illinois

    New online master’s degree in strategic brand communication to prepare future brand leaders

    The online master’s degree in strategic brand communication, a unique joint program between the College of Business and College of Media, aims to prepare the strategic leaders of tomorrow in an ever-changing global digital-media environment.

  • Skills gap for U.S. manufacturing workers mostly a myth, paper says

    Despite the outcry from employers over the dearth of job-ready workers, three-quarters of U.S. manufacturing plants show no sign of hiring difficulties for job vacancies, says new research from Andrew Weaver, a professor of labor and employment relations at Illinois.

  • Image of professor Mattias Polborn

    Why not have one national primary election for presidential nominees?

    A Minute With...™ Mattias Polborn, professor of economics and political science

  • The first class of students at the Carle Illinois College of Medicine in 2018 joined Dr. King Li, front center, the dean of Carle Illinois.

    Carle Illinois College of Medicine granted provisional accreditation

    The Carle Illinois College of Medicine, a partnership between the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and Carle Health, has been granted provisional accreditation by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education.  Provisional accreditation affirms that a medical school meets nationally accepted standards of educational quality and can move forward with plans to build a sustainable medical education program.

  • Illinois professor Ashlynn Stillwell found that, in the Chicago area, it would be more efficient to use reclaimed water instead of river water to cool thermoelectric power plants.

    Reclaimed water could help power plants run more efficiently, study finds

    The water going down the drain could help keep the lights on, according to a new study showing that reclaimed water – municipal wastewater that has been treated or cleaned – could be more efficient for cooling power plants than water taken from the local environment.

  • Professor Kevin Leicht

    What does the tax reform bill mean for the middle class?

    The current tax bill fits with a 30-year trend that doesn’t favor income from work, says sociologist Kevin Leicht