News Bureau

Research News Campus News About

blog navigation

News Bureau - Research
AgricultureArtsBehind the ScenesBusinessEducationEngineeringHealthHumanitiesLawLife SciencesPhysical SciencesSocial SciencesVeterinary Medicine

 

  • Photo of hands above a piano keyboard with a reflected image of a laptop showing a man seated at a piano.

    Illinois piano professors teach remote lessons using reproducing piano technology

    University of Illinois piano professors and students participated in a remote masterclass with technology that allows the exact performance being played on one piano to be reproduced on a remote piano.

  • Illinois Natural History Survey medical entomologist Jiayue (Gabriel) Yan peers through a viewing port as he works inside a sealed glove box, using tongs to carefully handle Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.

    Starving mosquitoes for science

    On a scorching summer day, I’m at work in the heart of the arthropod containment laboratory of the Medical Entomology Program. I place my hands in the rubber gloves that reach into a sealed workspace called the glove box, swiftly maneuvering to grab fully engorged mosquitoes. These insects have just fed on a blood meal infected with live dengue virus. They are now resting calmly on a chilled Petri dish, thanks to the low temperatures provided by the ice below.

  • Illinois scientists Erik Nelson, Kelly Swanson and Brett Loman

    Mice study suggests metabolic diseases may be driven by gut microbiome, loss of ovarian hormones

    The findings of a study in mice led by scientists at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign may shed light on the reasons why postmenopausal women have higher incidence of metabolic problems, such as obesity, Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

  • Collage image of six posters of air guitarists.

    Illinois theatre production of 'Airness' follows journey of air guitarists

    The University of Illinois theatre department’s production of “Airness” at Fat City Bar and Grill follows several air guitarists on the competition circuit as they try to reach the pinnacle of self-expression – “airness.”

  • Headshot of Richard Tempest

    What does the death of Russian dissident Aleksei Navalny mean for the future of opposition movements in Russia?

    Russian dissident Aleksei Navalny possessed a unique ability to unite activists and set the agenda for the anti-Putin movement. Now that he’s gone, the coalition he built might splinter, says Richard Tempest, a professor of Slavic languages and literatures at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

  • Image of the logo for the 41st Insect Fear Film Festival featuring an ant.

    Insect Fear Film Festival features 'Ant-Men' – movies about humans shrunk to size of ants

    The 2024 Insect Fear Film Festival will feature films in which humans are shrunk to the size of ants and participate in ant societies.

  • Nicholas Grossman

    Where do we stand at the two-year mark of the Russian invasion of Ukraine?

    With the prospects of a more sympathetic U.S. president taking office in 2025, Russian President Vladimir Putin almost certainly won’t seek an off-ramp this year from the war in Ukraine, says University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign political science professor and international relations expert Nicholas Grossman.

  • Communication professor Stewart Coles

    White people more likely to confront authors of racist online posts to set discussion rules

    White internet users surveyed in a recent study co-written by communication professor Stewart Coles said they would be more likely to confront the authors of racist social media posts to reinforce norms for online discussions rather than to attempt to change others’ prejudiced beliefs.

  • Flooded farm field draining into stream

    Study: 'Legacy' phosphorus delays water quality improvements in Gulf of Mexico

    The same phosphorous that fertilizes the thriving agriculture of the Midwest is also responsible for a vast “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico near the Mississippi Delta. Efforts to reduce the amount of phosphorus that enters the Mississippi River system are underway, but research led by the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign suggests that remnants of the contaminant are left behind in riverbeds for years after introduction and pose an overlooked – and lingering – problem.  

  • Photo of Yong-Su Jin in the laboratory

    Microbial division of labor produces higher biofuel yields

    Scientists have found a way to boost ethanol production via yeast fermentation, a standard method for converting plant sugars into biofuels. Their approach, detailed in the journal Nature Communications, relies on careful timing and a tight division of labor among synthetic yeast strains to yield more ethanol per unit of plant sugars than previous approaches have achieved.

  • Maria Kalaitzandonakes, a professor of agricultural and consumer economics at Illinois.

    Paper: Multistate foodborne illness outbreaks impact restaurant stock price, public perception

    Foodborne illness outbreaks spanning multiple states bring swift financial losses, increased media attention and a public-relations hit that makes subsequent smaller outbreaks more financially damaging, says Maria Kalaitzandonakes, a professor of agricultural and consumer economics at Illinois.

  • Photo of a group of dancers moving in a spotlight on a stage, wearing multicolored leotards.

    Illinois student’s ode to house music, street dance to be featured at February Dance concert

    February Dance, presented by the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign dance department, features the work of five choreographers, including Jaymes Crowder-Acres, a senior whose work “Take It to the Cypher” celebrates house music and street dance.

  • Education professor Jennifer L. Nelson

    Whether a racial minority or majority at their school, white teachers struggle with race relations

    White teachers who worked at a school where the faculty was majority Black felt shocked, rejected, uncomfortable and anxious when race-related discussions arose, U. of I. education professor Jennifer L. Nelson found in a study of belongingness in the workplace.

  • Diptych image with headshot of Jen Everett and repeated image of a photograph of her as a child.

    Krannert Art Museum hosts first solo exhibition of artist Jen Everett

    Krannert Art Museum is organizing the first solo exhibition for artist Jen Everett, whose work explores themes of Black life, family, responses to turmoil and Everett’s identity as a queer Black woman.

  • James Dalling in the plant conservatory on the U. of I. campus

    Back from the dead: Tropical tree fern repurposes its dead leaves

    Plant biologists report that a species of tree fern found only in Panama reanimates its own dead leaf fronds, converting them into root structures that feed the mother plant. The fern, Cyathea rojasiana, reconfigures these “zombie leaves,” reversing the flow of water to draw nutrients back into the plant.

  • Diptych image with headshot of Kira Dominguez Hultgren and a weaving titled "Arose."

    Illinois art professor receives United States Artists Fellowship

    Artist, weaver and University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign art professor Kira Dominguez Hultgren has been awarded a 2024 United States Artists Fellowship.

  • University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign political science professor Damarys Canache

    What should US policy be toward Venezuela?

    The Biden administration’s approach to Venezuela has been influenced by the increasing number of Venezuelan migrants coming to the U.S. and the current instability in the Middle East affecting the crude oil market, says University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign political science professor Damarys Canache.

  • Portrait of Catherine Dana in the laboratory. She is standing behind a display of cicada specimens in a specimen drawer. Her colleague, who is closer to the camera, is using a magnifying glass to magnify a few of the cicada specimens in the drawer.

    Will 2024 be the year of the cicada in Illinois?

    According to cicada expert Catherine Dana, 2024 will be an eventful year in Illinois with the emergence of two periodical cicada broods across most parts of the state.

  • Recreation, sport and tourism professor Liza Berdychevsky

    Ageism, mistaken beliefs complicate acceptance of older adults’ sexuality

    Despite their having generally permissive attitudes about sexuality in later life, many young adults also harbor ageist misperceptions and erroneous beliefs, according to a new study led by Liza Berdychevsky at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

  • Portrait of Susan Schantz and Megan Woodbury in the Beckman Institute at the U. of I.

    Higher acetaminophen intake in pregnancy linked to attention deficits in young children

    A new study links increased use of acetaminophen during pregnancy – particularly in the second trimester – to modest but noticeable increases in problems with attention and behavior in 2-, 3- and 4-year-olds. The study adds to a growing body of evidence linking the frequent use of acetaminophen in pregnancy to developmental problems in offspring.

  • Communication professor Emily Van Duyn

    News media trigger conflict for romantic couples with differing political views

    For romantic couples with differing political ideologies, negotiating their consumption of political news can cause significant conflict in their relationship, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign communication professor Emily Van Duyn says in a new study.

  • Diptych image with headshots of Hermann von Hesse and Julie Turnock

    Two Illinois professors awarded NEH Fellowships

    University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign professors Julie Turnock and Hermann von Hesse have been awarded 2023 National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowships.

  • 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.

    New book explores complicated relationship between workers and their work

    A new book by U. of I. labor expert Robert Bruno explores how workers characterize their relationship to their jobs using personal six-word mini-narratives, serving as a broader exploration of how middle-class workers view work in the U.S.

  • Portrait of Susan Schantz

    Study: Acetaminophen use during pregnancy linked to language delays in children

    Acetaminophen is considered the safest over-the-counter pain reliever and fever reducer available during pregnancy and studies have shown that 50%-65% of women in North America and Europe take the analgesic during pregnancy. A new study from researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign explored the relationship between acetaminophen use during pregnancy and language outcomes in early childhood. It found that increasing acetaminophen use was associated with language delays.

  • A NASA image containing visible and infrared data revealing the presence of dissolved organic matter – including potential antibiotic-resistant pathogens – in the waterways along coastal North Carolina after Hurricane Florence.

    Genetic sequencing uncovers unexpected source of pathogens in floodwaters

    Researchers report in the journal Geohealth that local rivers and streams were the source of the Salmonella enterica contamination along coastal North Carolina after Hurricane Florence in 2018 – not the previously suspected high number of pig farms in the region. 

  • Lena Shapiro, a clinical assistant professor of law and the inaugural director of the College of Law’s First Amendment Clinic

    What are the legal, practical bounds of free speech on college campuses?

    One of the problems with “speech codes” on university campuses is their selective enforcement. Consequently, there have been calls for the reform of speech and harassment policies at universities nationwide to balance students’ right to freedom of expression with the right to learn free from discriminatory harassment, says Lena Shapiro, a clinical assistant professor of law and the inaugural director of the College of Law’s First Amendment Clinic.

  • Four-square photo of four students in front of screens showing their graphic design projects that incorporated AI tools.

    Design students’ use of AI in projects teaches career skills

    Graphic design students at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign used AI tools for projects this semester. Their professors said they need to be familiar with the tools that they’ll be using in the workplace after graduation.

  • Diptych image with book cover of "The Czech Manuscripts: Forgery, Translation, and National Myth" and a headshot of David Cooper.

    Book examines role of famous forgeries in Czech cultural revival

    Two manuscripts that played a crucial role in the Czech cultural revival turned out to be forgeries. But their contributions to Czech literature and national culture were real, says Slavic languages and literatures professor David Cooper.  

  • Production analyst and U. of I. student worker Josh Weiner enters information into the SPOTLITE database.

    Database expands to document police uses of lethal force across US

    The Cline Center for Advanced Social Research and an interdisciplinary team of University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign experts have developed a nationwide registry on the use of lethal force by police officers in the U.S., identifying more than 23,000 incidents between 2014-2021.

  • Atul Jain

    Why are global carbon emissions starting to increase again?

    On Dec. 5, the Global Carbon Project published the Global Carbon Budget 2023, giving world leaders access to data on atmospheric carbon concentrations, emissions and trends. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign atmospheric scientist Atul Jain is among the many scientists worldwide who contributed data to the report. Jain talked about the current state of the carbon budget and this year’s findings with News Bureau physical sciences editor Lois Yoksoulian.

  • Fresh produce being sanitized in the device

    Lightning sparks scientists’ design of ultraviolet-C device for food sanitization

    Scientists at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign have developed a self-powered device that uses UV-C light to inactivate bacteria that cause foodborne illnesses. The Tribo-sanitizer could be used in the home, agricultural industries and disaster zones where electricity is limited.

  • Photo of Stephen Long holding a soybean leaf in the sun.

    In TED Talk, Long describes three photosynthetic changes that boost crop yields

    In a newly released TED Talk, Stephen Long, a University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign professor of plant biology and crop sciences, described his and his colleagues’ efforts to boost photosynthesis in crop plants. He described three interventions, each of which increased crop yields by 20% or more.

  • Research led by the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign produced a new temperature dependent 3D-printed polymer composite that can react to its environment.

    Researchers engineer a material that can perform different tasks depending on temperature

    Researchers report that they have developed a new composite material designed to change behaviors depending on temperature in order to perform specific tasks. These materials are poised to be part of the next generation of autonomous robotics that will interact with the environment.

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

    Would court ruling mean college athletes are employees?

    A ruling in favor of college athletes in Johnson v. NCAA could potentially herald the most consequential change in college athletics since the NCAA was formed in 1906, says Michael LeRoy, an expert in labor law at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

  • Graduate student Emma Lundin sitting on a boulder with the forest behind her

    Exploring multispecies relationships by walking 'with' the forest in Sri Lanka

    Emma Lundin, a graduate student in tourism at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, discusses her research in a rainforest in Sri Lanka, exploring how to create sustainable nature-based tourist experiences by walking "with" the forest.

  • Research team portrait.

    Team discovers rules for breaking into Pseudomonas

    Researchers report in the journal Nature that they have found a way to get antibacterial drugs through the nearly impenetrable outer membrane of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a bacterium that – once it infects a person – is notoriously difficult to treat.

  • Microscope image

    Tracking the traffic between our cells

    We adjust a lens, and a bright constellation swirls into view – points of colored light hung against a deep-hued backdrop. They are not stars, but extracellular vesicles: tiny packages of molecular cargo in nanosized lipid carriers, released by all cells in the body. We are launching a new project with the goal of not only visualizing EVs in living tissue, but also tracking their dynamics. We have been named 2023 Allen Distinguished Investigators by the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation for this purpose.

  • Photo of workers on the slop of Altgeld Hall's roof with the bell tower in the background and tiles piled on wooden planks on the roof.

    Renovating historic Altgeld Hall

    The slabs of sandstone that make Altgeld Hall one of the most recognizable buildings on the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus have been covered in scaffolding for months. But the results of the renovation work going on there are apparent, as the dark gray stone is restored to a pinkish hue. The work is part of a multiphase project that includes exterior and interior restoration of the building.

  • Photo of graduate student Amir Maghsoodi

    Cultural capital is key to a sense of belonging for college students of color

    Psychologists at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign explored the factors associated with students' sense of belonging at college and found that of the four factors they identified that contribute to it, cultural capital is a key element for those from marginalized groups.

  • Portrait of Branford Marsalis and the members of his quartet.

    Krannert Center for the Performing Arts opens ticket sales for spring performances

    Krannert Center for the Performing Arts’ spring season will feature many genres of music, dance and theater.

  • 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 impact will the Biden administration’s executive order have on AI development?

    The best way to think of the Biden administration’s wide-ranging executive order on artificial intelligence is as a trial balloon to gauge what works, 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.

  • An optical micrograph showing the chiral liquid crystal phase of a polymer that researchers are exploring to produce highly efficient semiconductor materials.

    Researchers identify unexpected twist while developing new polymer-based semiconductors

    A new study led by chemists at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign brings fresh insight into the development of semiconductor materials that can do things their traditional silicon counterparts cannot – harness the power of chirality, a non-superimposable mirror image.

  • Headshot of David Sepkoski

    What will be the impact of the decision to no longer name birds after people?

    The American Ornithological Society’s decision to rename birds that were named after people will allow us to consider how we remember historical figures and acknowledge the oppression in our nation’s history, says University of Illinois history professor David Sepkoski, who studies how biological and environmental sciences interact with culture.

  • An artists rendering of an amphotericin B sterol sponge

    New antifungal molecule kills fungi without toxicity in human cells, mice

    A new antifungal molecule, devised by tweaking the structure of prominent antifungal drug Amphotericin B, has the potential to harness the drug’s power against fungal infections while doing away with its toxicity, researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and collaborators at the University of Wisconsin-Madison report in the journal Nature.

  • Three engineering students seated around a table work on a team project in the classroom.

    Collaborative learning experiences crucial in preparing engineering students for the workforce

    An innovative pair of faculty members in education and engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign are partnering to provide experiential learning projects that cultivate the collaborative skills engineering students need for educational and career success.

  • Diptych image with headshot of Lisa Mercer and cover image of her book, "Racism Untaught: Revealing and Unlearning Racialized Design."

    Illinois professor’s book uses design research process to examine, reimagine racialized design

    University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign design professor Lisa Mercer has written a book, “Racism Untaught: Revealing and Unlearning Racialized Design,” that examines how racism is perpetuated through design and how to use anti-racist approaches to counter it.

  • Photo of James O'Dwyer

    Single model predicts trends in employment, microbiomes, forests

    Researchers report that a single, simplified model can predict population fluctuations in three unrelated realms: urban employment, human gut microbiomes and tropical forests. The model will help economists, ecologists, public health authorities and others predict and respond to variability in multiple domains, the researchers say. The new findings are detailed in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

  • Thomas Benson stands outside the Beckman Institute on campus.

    Do we need a new approach to prevent bird window strikes?

    In early October, nearly 1,000 birds perished after colliding with the windows of a convention center near Lake Michigan in Chicago, marking the largest mass bird die-off in decades. But bird window-strike fatalities are an ongoing threat. Illinois Natural History Survey wildlife ecologist Thomas J. Benson, an expert in bird population trends in Illinois, spoke to News Bureau life sciences editor Diana Yates about the problem and what new strategies may help.

  • Portrait of Helaine Silverman

    How can Illinois better preserve its cultural identities?

    Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker recently announced new funding to support communities working to preserve and celebrate their unique cultural heritage. The “State Designated Cultural District” initiative will provide $3 million to selected cultural districts to aid such efforts. U. of I. anthropology professor Helaine Silverman, whose work focuses on the ways that nations and communities create and deploy cultural heritage as a means of building identity and attracting tourism, spoke to News Bureau life sciences editor Diana Yates about the new program and its implications for the state.

  • Portrait of Nicolas Martin standing in front of the Morrow Plots cornfield on the U. of I. campus

    Management zone maps of little use to corn growers, study finds

    A multiyear analysis tested whether management zone maps based on soil conditions, topography or other landscape features can reliably predict which parts of a cornfield will respond best to higher rates of seeding or nitrogen application. The study found that – contrary to common assumptions – crop-plot responses to the same inputs vary significantly from year-to-year. The most unpredictable factor – the weather – seemed to have the biggest impact on how the crops responded to these inputs.