blog posts DNA nets capture COVID-19 virus in low-cost rapid-testing platform Sep 23, 2022 11:00 am146 views Tiny nets woven from DNA strands can ensnare the spike protein of the virus that causes COVID-19, lighting up the virus for a fast-yet-sensitive diagnostic test – and also impeding the virus from infecting cells, opening a new possible route to antiviral treatment, according to a new study led by the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Art about Black experiences headlines faculty exhibition at Krannert Art Museum Sep 22, 2022 9:00 am211 views The “Black on Black on Black on Black” exhibition at Krannert Art Museum showcases the work of Black art and design faculty members in a new approach to the annual faculty art event. What's behind the teacher shortage in US schools? Sep 21, 2022 1:00 pm289 views The teacher shortages plaguing primary and secondary schools in the U.S. could be game-changers for people entering the field, according to Nancy Latham, an associate dean in the College of Education. New playwright residency program allows theatre students to work on new plays Sep 21, 2022 12:00 pm130 views Illinois theatre students are presenting the first public readings of a new play during the inaugural workshop performances of the department’s Daniel J. Sullivan Playwright-in-Residence Program. Paper: Job-quality indicator points to mixed bag for Illinois workers Sep 19, 2022 8:00 am345 views A new metric for measuring the quality of jobs in the state of Illinois finds a mix of positive and negative news for Illinois workers, says Robert Bruno, a professor of labor and employment relations at Illinois and a co-author of the research. Deformation fingerprints will help researchers identify, design better metallic materials Sep 19, 2022 8:00 am1179 views Engineers can now capture and predict the strength of metallic materials subjected to cycling loading, or fatigue strength, in a matter of hours – not the months or years it takes using current methods. Nick Holonyak Jr., pioneer of LED lighting, dies Sep 18, 2022 3:00 pm12370 views Nick Holonyak Jr., a renowned innovator of illumination, has died. The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign professor was 93 years old. Holonyak (pronounced huh-LON-yak) is credited with the development of the first practical visible-spectrum LED, now commonly used in light bulbs, device displays and lasers worldwide. Krannert Center performance combines art, science to examine what makes us human Sep 15, 2022 2:30 pm425 views “The Joy of Regathering” combines science, music and movement to explore humanity’s place in the universe in a Sept. 17 performance at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. What were the underlying issues of the railroad labor dispute? Sep 15, 2022 10:30 am453 views A strike by railroad unions would have been bad news for the Biden administration and an already-stressed economy, says Michael LeRoy, an expert in labor law at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. What explains 'quiet quitting' in the workplace? Sep 15, 2022 8:00 am2103 views “Quiet quitting” means forgoing the extra mile at work but is different than work withdrawal or employee disengagement, says University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign labor expert YoungAh Park, who studies work stress and recovery. Study tracks waterbird use of Chicago-area wetlands Sep 14, 2022 8:30 am374 views A three-year study in northeastern Illinois and northwestern Indiana found that – even at small scales – emergent wetlands or ponds support many wetland bird species. The study also found that, at least in the years surveyed, the level of urbanization had little effect on most of the studied species’ use of such sites, provided the right kinds of habitat were available. Cowbird chicks do best with two warbler nest mates – not four, not zero, study finds Sep 13, 2022 6:00 pm407 views Brown-headed cowbirds are generalist brood parasites, laying their eggs in the nests of many other bird species and letting the host parents raise their young. A new study seeks to understand the strategies cowbird chicks use to survive in prothonotary warbler nests when they hatch with different numbers of warbler nestlings. The study reveals that a cowbird chick does better with two than with four or zero warbler nest mates. Who should get an omicron COVID-19 booster? Sep 12, 2022 9:00 am800 views New COVID-19 vaccine boosters that target omicron variants are being distributed. Although the variants seem less deadly, the boosters are needed to keep up with the virus as it evolves, says University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign microbiology professor Christopher Brooke, a virologist and vaccine expert. Exploring an ancestral Maya neighborhood Sep 9, 2022 9:00 am1327 views We stand in the open fields of Spanish Lookout, a modernized Mennonite farming community in Central Belize, looking at what remains of ancestral Maya homes after years of plowing. White mounds, the remnants of these houses, pock the landscape as far as the eye can see, a stark reminder of what existed more than 1,000 years ago. The collapsed buildings look like smudges on an aerial photograph, but as archaeologists, we get to see them up close. With enough excavation and interpretation, we can eventually make sense of how these dwellings functioned in the deep human past. Paper: Older workers seeking federal disability benefits during recessions are healthier Sep 8, 2022 8:00 am443 views Older workers who entered the federal disability program when unemployment was high were in better health than those who entered when unemployment was low, says a new paper co-written by a team of Gies College of Business scholars. Can we evacuate from hurricanes in electric vehicles? Aug 31, 2022 2:00 pm1008 views As emergency coordinators across the U.S. prepare for the upcoming hurricane season, they are busy planning evacuation routes. Currently, these plans don’t anticipate the needs of people driving electric vehicles, which have shorter driving ranges than gas vehicles and require recharging at stations with charging ports. Civil and environmental engineering professor Eleftheria Kontou spoke with News Bureau physical sciences editor Lois Yoksoulian about this issue and her newly published study. How will the Inflation Reduction Act affect US environmental policy? Aug 31, 2022 8:00 am447 views Funds in the Inflation Reduction Act targeted for energy security and climate change reduction will encourage a major transformation in the U.S. renewable energy infrastructure, says Don Fullerton, the Gutgsell Professor of Finance at the Gies College of Business at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and a senior scholar at the Institute of Government and Public Affairs. Illinois language justice collective helping to preserve Indigenous Mayan languages Aug 30, 2022 2:00 pm841 views An Indigenous languages collective at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is helping local Maya learn to read and write Q’anjob’al and working with interpreters for the community. Paper: Train future psychologists to dismantle racism, injustice in society Aug 29, 2022 1:00 pm1001 views A team of psychologists, led by scholars at the U. of I. proposes training future psychologists to dismantle racism and systemic oppression in society -- while addressing their discipline's legacy of racist theories and practices. Will pre-pandemic office life ever make a comeback? Aug 29, 2022 8:00 am821 views As the COVID-19 pandemic wanes and remote work gradually turns into hybrid work, organizations will pay close attention to which workers and occupations function well in a hybrid-work arrangement, said Amit Kramer, a professor of labor and employment relations at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign who studies the relationship between work, family and health. Study: Slogans protesting federal COVID-19 vaccine mandate displayed three themes Aug 26, 2022 9:00 am893 views U. of I. sociology professor Tim Liao's analysis of the protest slogans about the federal COVID-19 vaccine-or-test mandate in November 2021 found three distinct themes. Searching the Texas brushland for a rare, temperamental plant Aug 18, 2022 9:30 am743 views The author and her colleagues search a South Texas scrubland for the federally endangered Zapata bladderpod, Physaria thamnophila. This rare endemic plant, a member of the mustard family, is named for the region and is found in only two counties in the United States. Krannert Art Museum exhibition depicts Dutch prints as the original social media Aug 17, 2022 8:15 am752 views A new exhibition at Krannert Art Museum, “Fake News & Lying Pictures: Political Prints in the Dutch Republic,” examines the visual strategies of Dutch printmakers and the ways they used images to promote political interests. Paper: Valuable antibody patents vulnerable to overly broad doctrinal shift in patent law Aug 17, 2022 8:00 am876 views A new paper co-written by University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign legal scholar Jacob S. Sherkow advocates for a middle ground in patent claims involving antibodies, the backbone of modern bioscience. Study: Holocaust Museum motivates visitors to create social change Aug 15, 2022 9:45 am1439 views New research suggests that exploring one of the darkest chapters in mankind’s history – the Holocaust – may inspire tourists to act on human rights and social change. How do we measure community disaster resilience? Aug 12, 2022 8:00 am521 views In a new study, retired Illinois State Water Survey engineer Sally McConkey and Eric R. Larson, a professor of natural resources and environmental sciences at the U. of I., examined the metrics used at a county scale for national assessments to determine whether communities are prepared to withstand and recover from natural disasters such as floods and fires. McConkey spoke to News Bureau life sciences editor Diana Yates about what they found. Study links protecting Indigenous peoples' lands to greater nonhuman primate biodiversity Aug 10, 2022 1:00 pm1005 views By comparing geographic patterns of nonhuman primate biodiversity and human land-use, researchers discovered that areas managed or controlled by Indigenous peoples tend to have significantly more primate biodiversity than nearby regions. They also found that lorises, tarsiers, monkeys and apes whose territories overlap with Indigenous areas are less likely to be classified as vulnerable, threatened or endangered than those living fully outside Indigenous lands. Study looks at food-buying behavior during different stages of the COVID-19 pandemic Aug 9, 2022 8:15 am1207 views Grocery shopping in person remained extremely common throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, while restaurant dining was more vulnerable to surges in case rates, according to a new study examining how Americans acquired food at various points during the pandemic. Layered limestone deposits give unique insight to Roman aqueducts Aug 8, 2022 12:15 pm2271 views Mineral-rich waters originating from the Apennine Mountains of Italy flowed through ancient Rome’s Anio Novus aqueduct and left behind a detailed rock record of past hydraulic conditions, researchers said. Two studies characterizing layered limestone – called travertine – deposits within the Anio Novus are the first to document the occurrence of anti-gravity growth ripples and establish that these features lend clues to the history of ancient water conveyance and storage systems. What's the future of drones in counterterrorism operations and the Ukraine war? Aug 8, 2022 12:00 pm618 views Counterterrorism operations in Afghanistan and the war in Ukraine underscore the importance of unmanned aircraft to future military capabilities, said University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign political scientist Nicholas Grossman, the author of “Drones and Terrorism: Asymmetric Warfare and the Threat to Global Security.” Nanoscale observations simplify how scientists describe earthquake movement Aug 2, 2022 11:45 am1188 views Using single calcite crystals with varying surface roughness allows engineers to simplify the complex physics that describes fault movement. In a new study from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, researchers show how this simplification may lead to better earthquake prediction. Light-activated technique helps bring cell powerhouses back into balance Aug 2, 2022 11:00 am565 views Light-activated proteins can help normalize dysfunction within cells and could be used as a treatment for diseases such as cancer or mitochondrial diseases, new research suggests. Researchers from the University of Cincinnati, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and the University at Buffalo published the results of their study in the journal Nature Communications. The research centers on the functions of mitochondria, organelles within a cell that act as the cell’s “power plant” and source of energy. Study tracks plant pathogens in leafhoppers from natural areas Aug 2, 2022 8:00 am390 views Phytoplasmas are bacteria that can invade the vascular tissues of plants, causing many different crop diseases. While most studies of phytoplasmas begin by examining plants showing disease symptoms, a new analysis focuses on the tiny insects that carry the infectious bacteria from plant to plant. By extracting and testing DNA from archival leafhopper specimens collected in natural areas, the study identified new phytoplasma strains and found new associations between leafhoppers and phytoplasmas known to harm crop plants. Healthy diet after head, neck cancer diagnosis may boost survival Jul 27, 2022 8:00 am791 views Patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head or neck were 93% less likely to die during the first three years after diagnosis if they ate a healthy diet high in nutrients found to deter chronic disease, U. of I. researchers found in a recent study. Study links insulin resistance, advanced cell aging with childhood poverty Jul 25, 2022 12:15 pm635 views Black adolescents who lived in poverty as children and were pessimistic about their future had accelerated immune cell aging and greater levels of insulin resistance in their mid- to late twenties, according to a study by Allen W. Barton, a professor of human development and family studies. Krannert Center for the Performing Arts announces 2022-23 artists Jul 21, 2022 9:45 am1876 views Krannert Center for the Performing Arts’ upcoming season will include touring artists, rescheduled performances that were canceled due to COVID-19 and work from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign’s dance, music and theatre departments. North 'plaza' in Cahokia was likely inundated year-round, study finds Jul 21, 2022 8:00 am2403 views The ancient North American city of Cahokia had as its focal point a feature now known as Monks Mound, a giant earthwork surrounded on its north, south, east and west by large rectangular open areas. These flat zones, called plazas by archaeologists since the early 1960s, were thought to serve as communal areas that served the many mounds and structures of the city. New paleoenvironmental analyses of the north plaza suggest it was almost always underwater, calling into question earlier interpretations of the north plaza’s role in Cahokian society. The study is reported in the journal World Archaeology. In survey, COVID-19 vaccine recipients report changes in menstrual bleeding Jul 15, 2022 1:00 pm1985 views A new analysis of reports from more than 35,000 people offers the most comprehensive assessment so far of menstrual changes experienced by pre- and post-menopausal individuals in the first two weeks after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Published in the journal Science Advances, the study adds to the evidence that significant numbers of people experience this unexpected side effect. Study: Individualized eating program helps dieters lose weight, keep it off Jul 14, 2022 10:30 am2688 views An individualized diet plan developed by nutritionists at the U. of I. shows promise at helping users lose weight and keep it off. The program uses a visual tool that encourages dieters to select foods high in protein and fiber. What’s the potential of blockchain technology? Jul 13, 2022 8:00 am1221 views Blockchain technology has the potential to transform industries ranging from health care to government, says Robert Brunner, the associate dean for innovation and chief disruption officer at the Gies College of Business at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Poor diet, household chaos may impair young children’s cognitive skills Jul 12, 2022 1:30 pm7686 views Young children’s development of the higher-level cognitive skills called executive function may be adversely affected by household chaos and poor nutrition, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign scholars found. Study examines pandemic’s impact on volunteer health care workers Jul 12, 2022 1:00 pm462 views Having high levels of compassion satisfaction buffered some temporary medical workers at a New York field hospital from stress disorders during the early days of the pandemic, a new study found. Book examines role of racial justice work in progressive policy changes Jul 11, 2022 9:30 am298 views Grassroots organizing efforts strengthen their campaigns for economic policy changes by collaborating with racial justice groups, says urban planning professor Marc Doussard in his new book “Justice at Work: The Rise of Economic and Racial Justice Coalitions in Cities.” Mouza named College of Education dean Jul 7, 2022 1:00 pm2608 views Chrystalla Mouza has been appointed dean of the College of Education at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign effective Aug. 15, pending approval by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees. What explains the cryptocurrency crash? Jul 7, 2022 8:00 am542 views Cryptocurrencies have real-world use cases and will remain a viable investment because of the functionality blockchain technology provides, says Robert Brunner, the chief disruption officer at the Gies College of Business at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Study explores unusual interaction between viruses, live vaccines Jul 6, 2022 8:00 am1690 views A study of a herpes virus that infects chickens offers new insights into potentially problematic interactions between vaccines made from live viruses and the viruses they are meant to thwart. COVID-19 virus spike protein flexibility improved by human cell's own modifications Jul 5, 2022 8:00 am957 views When the coronavirus causing COVID-19 infects human cells, the cell’s protein-processing machinery makes modifications to the spike protein that render it more flexible and mobile, which could increase its ability to infect other cells and to evade antibodies, a new study from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign found. The researchers created an atomic-level computational model of the spike protein and ran multiple simulations to examine the protein’s dynamics and how the cell’s modifications affected those dynamics. This is the first study to present such a detailed picture of the protein that plays a key role in COVID-19 infection and immunity, the researchers said. Study explores coevolution of mammals and their lice Jul 4, 2022 10:00 am644 views According to a new study, the first louse to take up residence on a mammalian host likely started out as a parasite of birds. That host-jumping event tens of millions of years ago began the long association between mammals and lice, setting the stage for their coevolution and offering more opportunities for the lice to spread to other mammals. Waiting for the sun to set to find a rare bird Jun 30, 2022 9:00 am1935 views When most people are just getting home from their workdays, I’m about to start mine. I am a researcher studying the breeding behavior of the Eastern whip-poor-will (Antrostomus vociferus), a cryptic bird that is primarily active after sunset as it forages on the wing for moths. So – for the summer, at least – I also am nocturnal. Will renaming carp help control them? Jun 27, 2022 8:30 am1127 views Illinois officials this month announced that Asian carp would now be called “copi” in an attempt to make the fish more desirable for eating. Joe Parkos, the director of the Illinois Natural History Survey’s Kaskaskia, Ridge Lake and Sam Parr biological stations in Illinois, spoke with News Bureau life sciences editor Diana Yates about scientific initiatives to study and control carp/copi fish populations and the potential for rebranding to aid those efforts.