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  • Artists rendering of cornaviruses. A virus in the foreground is wrapped in a DNA net that is giving off a glowing signal.

    DNA nets capture COVID-19 virus in low-cost rapid-testing platform

    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.

  • Photo of a collage of family photographs

    Art about Black experiences headlines faculty exhibition at Krannert Art Museum

    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.

  • Nancy Latham standing outdoors in front of a small tree wearing a jacket and scarf

    What's behind the teacher shortage in US schools?

    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.

  • Photo of four actors on stage in front of music stands, three men and one woman. The two on the ends seated and the two in the middle standing.There are two video boards with abstract images behind them.

    New playwright residency program allows theatre students to work on new plays

    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.

  • 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.

    Paper: Job-quality indicator points to mixed bag for Illinois workers

    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.

  • Researchers seated at table with instrument used to perform their new metal fatigue testing methodoloy

    Deformation fingerprints will help researchers identify, design better metallic materials

    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.

    Nick Holonyak Jr., pioneer of LED lighting, dies

    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. 

  • Photo of a circle arms of different people extended with their hands in the middle.

    Krannert Center performance combines art, science to examine what makes us human

    “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.

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

    What were the underlying issues of the railroad labor dispute?

    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.

  • Photo of YoungAh Park

    What explains 'quiet quitting' in the workplace?

    “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.

  • Photo of a least bittern in a marsh.

    Study tracks waterbird use of Chicago-area wetlands

    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.

  • Nicholas Antonson prepares a nest box to accommodate a prothonotary warbler nest.

    Cowbird chicks do best with two warbler nest mates – not four, not zero, study finds

    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. 

  • Christopher Brooke wearing a green shirt.

    Who should get an omicron COVID-19 booster?

    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.

  • Aerial photo facing east – all the white smudges are ancestral Maya mounds.

    Exploring an ancestral Maya neighborhood

    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.

  • Photo of Gies College of Business professors David Molitor, left, and Nolan Miller.

    Paper: Older workers seeking federal disability benefits during recessions are healthier

    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.

  • Eleftheria Kontou

    Can we evacuate from hurricanes in electric vehicles?

    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.

  • Photo of 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.

    How will the Inflation Reduction Act affect US environmental policy?

    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.

  • Group photo of several people standing outside a brick building with columns in the background.

    Illinois language justice collective helping to preserve Indigenous Mayan languages

    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.

  • Photo of educational psychology professor and co-authors predoctoral candidate B. Andi Lee and doctoral intern Nimot Ogunfemi

    Paper: Train future psychologists to dismantle racism, injustice in society

    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.

  • Photo of 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.

    Will pre-pandemic office life ever make a comeback?

    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.

  • Photo of sociology professor Tim Liao

    Study: Slogans protesting federal COVID-19 vaccine mandate displayed three themes

    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.

  • The team searches atop a bluff not far from the Rio Grande.

    Searching the Texas brushland for a rare, temperamental plant

    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.

  • Image of a 17th-century engraving showing two soldiers on a horse waving flags, another man on a giant insect in the foreground, and ships and cannons in the background.

    Krannert Art Museum exhibition depicts Dutch prints as the original social media

    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.

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

    Paper: Valuable antibody patents vulnerable to overly broad doctrinal shift in patent law

    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.

  • Photo of professor Joelle Soulard

    Study: Holocaust Museum motivates visitors to create social change

    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. 

  • Eric R. Larson and Sally McConkey

    How do we measure community disaster resilience?

    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.

  • Photos of numerous primate species whose territories overlap with Indigenous peoples' lands around the world.

    Study links protecting Indigenous peoples' lands to greater nonhuman primate biodiversity

    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.

  • Headshot of Melissa Ocepek

    Study looks at food-buying behavior during different stages of the COVID-19 pandemic

    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.

  • U. of I. researchers Marcelo Garcia, left, Mayandi Sivaguru, seated, and Bruce Fouke.

    Layered limestone deposits give unique insight to Roman aqueducts

    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.

  • Photo of University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign political science professor Nicholas Grossman, the author of “Drones and Terrorism: Asymmetric Warfare and the Threat to Global Security” and specializes in international relations.

    What's the future of drones in counterterrorism operations and the Ukraine war?

    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.”

  • Graduate student Binxin Fu, left, and civil and environmental engineering professor Rosa Espinosa-Marzal

    Nanoscale observations simplify how scientists describe earthquake movement

    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.

  • Portrait of Kai Zhang

    Light-activated technique helps bring cell powerhouses back into balance

    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.

  • photo of five leafhopper species

    Study tracks plant pathogens in leafhoppers from natural areas

    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.

  • Photo of graduate student Christian Maino Vieytes

    Healthy diet after head, neck cancer diagnosis may boost survival

    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.

  • Photo of professor Allen Barton

    Study links insulin resistance, advanced cell aging with childhood poverty

    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.

  • Photo of band members in dark suits holding their instruments, with some instruments floating in the air.

    Krannert Center for the Performing Arts announces 2022-23 artists

    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.

  • Photo of Mound 14 surrounded by water

    North 'plaza' in Cahokia was likely inundated year-round, study finds

    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.

  • Photo of the researcher.

    In survey, COVID-19 vaccine recipients report changes in menstrual bleeding

    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.

  • Photo of Mani Nakamura and his co-authors professor emeritus John Erdman, alumna Catherine Applegate and graduate student Mindy Lee

    Study: Individualized eating program helps dieters lose weight, keep it off

    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.

  • Photo of Robert Brunner, the associate dean for innovation and chief disruption officer at the Gies College of Business at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where he helped spearhead efforts to create iBlock, the first blockchain created by a business school.

    What’s the potential of blockchain technology?

    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.

  • Photo of Samantha Iwinski and Kelly Bost

    Poor diet, household chaos may impair young children’s cognitive skills

    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.

  • Photo of professor Tara Powell and graduate student Jenna Muller

    Study examines pandemic’s impact on volunteer health care workers

    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.

  • Image of the book cover for "Justice at Work: The Rise of Economic and Racial Justice Coalitions in Cities.”

    Book examines role of racial justice work in progressive policy changes

    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.”

  • Photo of Chrystalla Mouza

    Mouza named College of Education dean

    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.

  • Photo of Robert Brunner, the associate dean for innovation and chief disruption officer at the Gies College of Business at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where he helped spearhead efforts to create iBlock, the first blockchain created by a business school.

    What explains the cryptocurrency crash?

    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.

  • Photo of the researcher.

    Study explores unusual interaction between viruses, live vaccines

    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.

  • A computer rendering of an atomic-level model of viral spike proteins

    COVID-19 virus spike protein flexibility improved by human cell's own modifications

    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.

  • Photo of elephant shrew

    Study explores coevolution of mammals and their lice

    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.

  • Young whip-poor-will on the ground blends in with the leaf litter

    Waiting for the sun to set to find a rare bird

    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.

  • Photo of the researcher

    Will renaming carp help control them?

    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.