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News Bureau - Illinois in the News

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  • Abortion history

    WHYY-FM (Philadelphia, Jan. 21) – Before the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade 45 years ago, abortion was illegal in most of the United States, including in Illinois. In 1965, a group of women began an underground network in Chicago called “Jane,” which counseled and helped women who wanted to have abortions. “It was very clandestine and secretive,” according to Leslie J. Reagan, a professor of history at Illinois and the author of “When Abortion Was a Crime.”

  • Advertising

    Study Finds (Los Angeles, Jan. 13) – U. of I. researchers sought to find out how people feel about online behavioral advertising, the mechanism behind those pesky images that match up with our online searches and travels. “The perception of risk is much stronger than the perception of benefit,” says Chang-Dae Ham, a professor of advertising at Illinois. “That drives (users) to perceive more privacy concern, and finally to avoid the advertising.”

  • Higher education funding

    WTAX-FM (Springfield, Ill., Jan. 15) – When it’s budget-making time in Illinois, where are colleges and universities going to be? University of Illinois System President Tim Killeen finds himself having to be a partner with the governor at a time during which the state did not fund higher education. “We’re all about the public good that flows out of a world-class higher education,” Killeen says.

  • History

    OZY (Mountain View, Calif., Jan. 12) – European fascination with Timbuktu goes back to 1375, says Mauro Nobili, a professor of history at Illinois and an expert on the precolonial and early colonial history of the sub-Saharan city. “It was then that ‘Tenbuch’ was featured on a very popular map from the Majorcan Cartographical School,” Nobili says.

  • Crop sciences

    Mother Jones (San Francisco, Jan. 9) – After complaints last year about drift from the weed-killer dicamba damaging adjacent crops, Monsanto, along with other companies, is selling a new, supposedly low-volatility dicamba formulation. It insists that any off-target damage is due to user error. But several independent weed scientists have disputed Monsanto’s assessment, arguing that volatility is a major driver of the problem. Aaron Hager, a professor of crop sciences at Illinois, says the damage was “too uniform to be explained by anything else” in at least half the affected acres he observed in his state in 2017. 

  • Police shootings

    WBEZ-FM (Chicago, Jan. 8) – Experts say police should be trained to take into account someone’s mental status when applying force, if possible. By doing so, officers can potentially step back and realize they don’t necessarily need to use force, according to Michael Schlosser, the director of the Police Training Institute at Illinois.

  • Bridging Computational Crop Models

    Feedstuffs (Bloomington, Minn., Jan. 4) – Illinois researchers are attempting to bridge two types of computational crop models to become more reliable predictors of crop production in the U.S. Corn Belt. “One class of crop models is agronomy based, and the other is embedded in climate models or Earth system models. They are developed for different purposes and applied at different scales,” says Kaiyu Guan, an environmental scientist at Illinois and the principal investigator of the research.

  • Land donations

    Bloomberg (Jan. 3) – As it looks for ways to make the most of its agricultural expertise, the U. of I. is encouraging farmers to donate their land to the university. 

  • Nutrition

    The New York Times (Jan. 1) – New research suggests that fiber doesn’t directly deliver its benefits to our bodies; the fiber we eat feeds billions of bacteria in our guts. Hannah D. Holscher, a nutrition scientist at Illinois who was not involved in the new studies, says that the results on mice need to be put to the test in humans. But it’s much harder to run such studies on people.

  • Weed science

    Successfully Farming (Des Moines, Iowa, Dec. 19) – Volatility results when a herbicide like dicambra converts to a gas. When this happens, the herbicide in a gaseous form can leave the application site on a farmer's field and damage plants in neighboring fields. Even with the new formulations released by Monsanto, BASF and DuPont marketed as low in volatility, the potential for volatility still exists, says Aaron Hager, a weed specialist at Illinois.