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  • Graduate student and lead author Kyle Bennett standing outdoors with social work professor and lead app developer Douglas C. Smith

    Mobile app helps young adults talk with friends about risky drug, alcohol use

    A smartphone app called Harbor, created by researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, teaches young adults how to talk to a peer if they are concerned about that other person’s drinking or drug use.

  • Headshot of Christopher Freeburg

    Author looks at portrayals of slavery beyond questions of freedom

    Scholars should look at the complexity of slaves’ relationships and the meaning they created through artistic expression, rather than just their acts of political resistance.

  • Professor Auinash Kalsotra stands wearing a suit.

    Division of labor within regenerating liver maintains metabolism, mouse study finds

    The liver has a rare superpower among body organs – the ability to regenerate, even if 70% of its mass is removed. It also keeps up its metabolic and toxin-removing work during the process of regeneration, thanks to a subset of cells that expand their workload while the rest focus on multiplication, a new study in mice found.

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

    Do labor laws need to be modernized with rise of gig economy?

    The Protecting the Right to Organize Act would be the most significant revision of U.S. labor law since 1947, says Michael LeRoy, an expert in labor law at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

  • Dried ground with mudcracks and grass growing around edges.

    Short-term climate modeling forecasts drought for Southeast US

    Many climate models focus on scenarios decades into the future, making their outcomes seem unreliable and problematic for decision-making in the immediate future. In a proactive move, researchers are using short-term forecasts to stress the urgency of drought risk in the United States and inform policymakers’ actions now.

  • Krannert Art Museum acquisitions showcase Native American artists

    Krannert Art Museum has acquired work by celebrated Native American artists – a painter, a glass artist and Pueblo potters – that will help present the history of contemporary Native American art.

  • Professor Rosalba Hernandez assists visual media designer Drew Fast in using a virtual reality headset as part of their research into using the technology to help kidney dialysis patients ameliorate the physical effects and tedium of their dialysis treatments.

    Virtual reality program lessens physical side effects of hemodialysis

    A virtual reality program on mindfulness/meditation helped hemodialysis patients alleviate the physical side effects and tedium of their treatments in a new research project led by social work professor Rosalba Hernandez.

  • Craig Koslofsky is an Illinois history professor. His new book, co-written with Roberto Zaugg, translates the journal of a barber-surgeon in the Atlantic slave trade.

    Rediscovered journal brings unique perspective on Atlantic slave trade

    The trade that brought enslaved Africans to the New World was not just a story of slave ship captains and their human cargo. Many others were part of the machinery, among them a young German barber-surgeon who kept a journal. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign history professor Craig Koslofsky and co-author Roberto Zaugg of the University of Zurich translated his account and put it in context.

  • 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.

  • Image of Insect Fear Film Festival poster with a flea riding a penny-farthing.

    Online edition of Insect Fear Film Festival to feature pandemic vectors: fleas

    The Insect Fear Film Festival Featuring Fleas will look at the insects as entertainment in the form of flea circuses, as pests and as vectors of disease.

  • The researchers stand indoors in a brick atrium.

    Study: Preschoolers with higher cardiorespiratory fitness do better on cognitive tests

    Researchers report that 4-6-year-old children who walk further than their peers during a timed test – a method used to estimate cardiorespiratory health – also do better on cognitive tests and other measures of brain function. Published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine, the study suggests that the link between cardiorespiratory fitness and cognitive health is evident even earlier in life than previously appreciated.

  • Photo of U. of I. labor professor Andrew Weaver

    Paper: STEM skills gap modest among IT help desk workers

    The incidence of prolonged hiring difficulties for workers with science and technology backgrounds is consistent with persistent hiring frictions and not a “skills gap” in the labor market for information technology help desk workers, one of the largest computer occupations in the U.S., says new research by U. of I. labor professor Andrew Weaver.

  • Xiaohui Zhang, left, Andrew Smith, Kelly Swanson, Erik Nelson, Mark Anastasio and Junlong Geng are part of a team working to clarify the relationship between obesity and inflammation while on the hunt for obesity-fighting drug therapies.

    3D microscopy clarifies understanding of body's immune response to obesity

    Researchers who focus on fat know that some adipose tissue is more prone to inflammation-related comorbidities than others, but the reasons why are not well understood. Thanks to a new analytical technique, scientists are getting a clearer view of the microenvironments found within adipose tissue associated with obesity. This advance may illuminate why some adipose tissues are more prone to inflammation – leading to diseases like type 2 diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disorders – and help direct future drug therapies to treat obesity.

  • Portrait of Dominika Pindus

    Study links prolonged sedentary time to distractibility in adults with obesity or overweight

    Scientists used accelerometers to track daily activity levels for a week in 89 adults with obesity or overweight and, in a series of tests, measured their ability to multitask and maintain their attention despite distractions. The study revealed that individuals who spent more sedentary time in bouts lasting 20 minutes or more were less able to overcome distractions.

  • Beckman Institute researcher Joey Ramp poses with her dog, Sampson.

    Are science laboratories truly inclusive if not accessible to service-dog handlers?

    According to a new commentary in Disability and Health Journal, people with disabilities who rely on service dogs often are prohibited from bringing their working dogs into teaching and research laboratories. This one barrier can stop them from pursuing careers in science, says Joey Ramp, a researcher in the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology and lead author of the commentary. Ramp spoke about the issue with News Bureau life sciences editor Diana Yates.

  • Photo of Lauren R. Aronson, an associate clinical professor of law and the director of the Immigration Law Clinic at the U. of I. College of Law.

    Can Biden pass comprehensive immigration reform?

    One of the Biden administration’s first acts was to send Congress the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021, a long-promised immigration reform bill. But any legislative action on comprehensive immigration reform will face significant headwinds in the Senate, says Lauren R. Aronson, an associate clinical professor of law and the director of the Immigration Law Clinic at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign College of Law.

  • Two women who participated in the program stand in the clinic that hosted the program.

    Patient education program with mental health component reduces cardiovascular disease risks

    Participants in a health education program that included both mental and physical health information significantly reduced their risk factors for cardiovascular disease and maintained most of those improvements six months later.

  • Headshot of Richard Tempest

    How will imprisonment of Russian dissident Alexsei Navalny affect opposition to Putin?

    Aleksei Navalny likely will be able to maintain his public profile from prison, but his agenda needs to include economic issues to mobilize mass public support, said Illinois professor of Slavic languages and literatures Richard Tempest.

  • Portrait of Aditi Das standing outdoors.

    Lipid epoxides target pain, inflammatory pathways in neurons

    A process known as epoxidation converts two naturally occurring lipids into potent agents that target multiple cannabinoid receptors in neurons, interrupting pathways that promote pain and inflammation, researchers report in a new study. The findings open a new avenue of research in the effort to find alternatives to potentially addictive opioid pain killers.

  • The new book "Photographic Presidents" charts the evolution of photography through its interactions with U.S. presidents. University of Illinois professor Cara Finnegan is the author.

    New history of photography focuses on presidents

    From the advent of photography to the age of social media, U.S. presidents have been among the most common subjects for the camera. So what better way to tell a story of the medium’s evolution than through those historical figures. Cara Finnegan, a University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign communication professor, does just that in “Photographic Presidents: Making History from Daguerreotype to Digital,” publishing this spring.

  • Headshot of Elizabeth Hoiem

    Children's literature scholar examines how 'production stories' minimized slave labor

    Information sciences professor Elizabeth Hoiem created a digital resource to evaluate 19th-century children’s stories that taught about how commodities such as sugar were made.

  • Illinois researchers are part of multi-institutional team that found that solvents spontaneously react with metal nanoparticles to form reactive complexes that can improve catalyst performance and simultaneously reduce the environmental impact of chemical manufacturing.

    Mysterious organic scum boosts chemical reaction efficiency, may reduce chemical waste

    Chemical manufacturers frequently use toxic solvents such as alcohols and benzene to make products like pharmaceuticals and plastics. Researchers are examining a previously overlooked and misunderstood phenomenon in the chemical reactions used to make these products. This discovery brings a new fundamental understanding of catalytic chemistry and a steppingstone to practical applications that could someday make chemical manufacturing less wasteful and more environmentally sound.

  • Ngumbi speaks at a podium with an image of a flowering plant projected behind her.

    Ngumbi receives AAAS award for public engagement with science

    University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign entomology professor Esther Ngumbi is the 2021 recipient of the Mani L. Bhaumik Award for Public Engagement with Science, an annual award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science presented to scientists and engineers in recognition of their contributions to public engagement with science.

  • Headshot of Angel Garcia with a brick wall background

    What does poet's Super Bowl performance mean for poetry?

    Amanda Gorman’s performance at the Super Bowl will give poetry an enormous audience – one that is “unfathomable” for most poets, said poet and Illinois English professor Ángel García.

  • Dance professor Cynthia Oliver holding out the skirt of her colorful, full-length dress.

    Illinois dance professor awarded United States Artists Fellowship

    Dance professor Cynthia Oliver has been selected as a 2021 United States Artists Fellow.

  • Nick Holonyak Jr. smiles at a reception for the 2015 Draper Prize.

    Nick Holonyak Jr., pioneer of LED lighting, awarded Queen Elizabeth Prize

    Nick Holonyak Jr., a renowned innovator of illumination, has been awarded the 2021 Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering “for the creation and development of LED lighting, which forms the basis of all solid-state lighting technology.” 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.

  • Black and white drawing of a British soldier stamping on scorpions that are half insect and half Afghan tribal soldiers.

    From A to Z: New volume examines animals' role in the British Empire, racial politics

    “Animalia: An Anti-Imperial Bestiary for Our Times,” co-edited by Illinois history professor Antoinette Burton, examines the roles that animals played in the British Empire – both in advancing and in disrupting British imperial power.

  • Yee Ming Khaw stands on the left, Makoto Inoue stands on the right.

    Childhood trauma could affect development, treatment of multiple sclerosis, mouse study finds

    Childhood trauma could affect the trajectory of multiple sclerosis development and response to treatment in adulthood, a new study in mice found.

    Mice that had experienced stress when young were more likely to develop the autoimmune disorder and less likely to respond to a common treatment, researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign found. However, treatment that activated an immune-cell receptor mitigated the effects of childhood stress in the mice.

  • Portrait of Jon Hale dressed in a suit and tie

    How might Freedom Schools promote educational equity in Illinois?

    Educational history professor Jon Hale discusses how Freedom Schools promote civil rights and educational equity and the implications for Illinois in funding these schools as part of the state's education reform initiative.

  • Portrait of Junghwan Kim outside a university building.

    Culture shapes willingness to share personal data to reduce COVID-19 spread

    Culture, civic-mindedness and privacy concerns influence how willing people are to share personal location information to help stem the transmission of COVID-19 in their communities, a new study finds. Such sharing includes giving public health authorities access to their geographic information via data gathered from phone calls, mobile apps, credit card purchases, wristband trackers or other technologies.

  • "Group" photo outside the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology on the U. of I. campus.

    Genome-editing tool TALEN outperforms CRISPR-Cas9 in tightly packed DNA

    Researchers used single-molecule imaging to compare the genome-editing tools CRISPR-Cas9 and TALEN. Their experiments revealed that TALEN is up to five times more efficient than CRISPR-Cas9 in parts of the genome, called heterochromatin, that are densely packed. Fragile X syndrome, sickle cell anemia, beta-thalassemia and other diseases are the result of genetic defects in the heterochromatin.

  • Photo of Bita Fayaz Farkhad, an economist and a postdoctoral researcher in psychology at Illinois.

    Medicaid expansion helps uncover undiagnosed HIV infections

    The Medicaid expansion facilitated by the Affordable Care Act led to a 13.9% increase in the identification of undiagnosed HIV infections, says research co-written by a team of University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign experts who study health care and public policy.

  • Professor M. Yanina Pepino seated in her home holding a cup of coffee. A bookcase with books is behind her.

    Online smell, taste challenge offered as early detection tool for COVID-19

    The smell and taste challenge, developed by the Global Consortium for Chemosensory Research, is a web-based tool people can use to easily monitor changes in these senses using their favorite morning beverage.

  • Sociology professor Tim Liao led a recently published study that examined the association between inequality and COVID-19 cases and deaths in U.S. counties.

    COVID-19 cases, deaths in U.S. increase with higher income inequality

    U.S. counties with higher income inequality faced higher rates of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the earlier months of the pandemic, according to a new study led by University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign sociology professor Tim Liao. Counties with higher proportions of Black or Hispanic residents also had higher rates, the study found, reinforcing earlier research showing the disparate effects of the virus on those communities.

  • Photo of Bita Fayaz Farkhad, an economist and a postdoctoral researcher in psychology at Illinois.

    Study: Negative mental health effects of pandemic lockdowns spike, then fade

    Social distancing policies correlated with immediate increases in interest in information about “isolation” and “worry” – but those effects tapered off two to four weeks after their respective peaks, says new research co-written by Dolores Albarracín, a professor of psychology and of business administration at Illinois, and Bita Fayaz Farkhad, an economist and a postdoctoral researcher in psychology at Illinois.

  • Professor Isaac Cann.

    Gut bacteria help digest dietary fiber, release important antioxidant

    Dietary fiber found in grains is a large component of many diets, but little is understood about how we digest the fiber, as humans lack enzymes to break down the complex molecules. Some species of gut bacteria break down the fiber in such a way that it not only becomes digestible, but releases ferulic acid, an important antioxidant with multiple health benefits, according to a new study led by researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

  • Photos of both halves of the fossil, showing the assassin bug's banded legs and abdomen, and with a view of the genital capsule called the pygophore, which is shaped like a tiny almond with some hard structures inside.

    50 million-year-old fossil assassin bug has unusually well-preserved genitalia

    The fossilized insect is tiny and its genital capsule, called a pygophore, is roughly the length of a grain of rice. It is remarkable, scientists say, because the bug’s physical characteristics – from the bold banding pattern on its legs to the internal features of its genitalia – are clearly visible and well-preserved. Recovered from the Green River Formation in present-day Colorado, the fossil represents a new genus and species of predatory insects known as assassin bugs.

  • Illinois researchers Aimy Wissa, Marianne Alleyne and Ophelia Bolmin studied the motion of a click beetle’s jump and present the first analytical framework to uncover the physics behind ultrafast motion by small animals.

    Latch, load and release: Elastic motion makes click beetles click, study finds

    Click beetles can propel themselves more than 20 body lengths into the air, and they do so without using their legs. While the jump’s motion has been studied in depth, the physical mechanisms that enable the beetles’ signature clicking maneuver have not. A new study examines the forces behind this super-fast energy release and provides guidelines for studying extreme motion, energy storage and energy release in other small animals like trap-jaw ants and mantis shrimps.

  • Photo of Alison Dickson, a senior instructor in the School of Labor and Employment Relations at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

    Paper: Underemployment pervasive for part-time workers in Illinois

    As many as 61% of hourly workers in Illinois are underemployed, underscoring the need for the state to adopt a fair-workweek law, says Alison Dickson, a senior instructor in the School of Labor and Employment Relations at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

  • A carpenter bee on the Illinois campus last summer.

    Pollinators not getting the 'buzz' they need in news coverage

    A dramatic decline in bees and other pollinating insects presents a threat to the global food supply, yet it’s getting little attention in mainstream news, says a new University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign study. The research is based on a search of millions of news items in the university’s Global News Index, a unique database that draws from thousands of global news sources and decades of their publications.

  • Portrait of researchers standing outside a campus building.

    New process more efficiently recycles excess CO2 into fuel, study finds

    For years, researchers have worked to repurpose excess atmospheric carbon dioxide into new chemicals, fuels and other products traditionally made from hydrocarbons harvested from fossil fuels. The recent push to mitigate the climactic effects of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has chemists on their toes to find the most efficient means possible. A new study introduces an electrochemical reaction, enhanced by polymers, to improve CO2-to-ethylene conversion efficiency over previous attempts.  

  • Psychology professors Sanda Dolcos, left, and Florin Dolcos stand in an empty seating area in the Beckman Institute.

    Study: Religion, psychology share methods for reducing distress

    Religious people facing life crises rely on emotion-regulation strategies that psychologists also use, a new study finds. They look for positive ways of thinking about hardship, a practice known to psychologists as “cognitive reappraisal.” They also tend to have confidence in their ability to cope with difficulty, a trait called “coping self-efficacy.” Both have been shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.

  • Photo of Hayden Noel, a clinical associate professor of business administration at the Gies College of Business at Illinois.

    Paper: Emotionally appealing ads may not always help consumer memory

    Emotional appeals in advertisements may not always help improve consumers’ immediate recall of a product, says a new paper co-written by Hayden Noel, a clinical associate professor of business administration at the Gies College of Business at Illinois.

  • U. of I. social work professor Kevin Tan standing outside the Mahomet-Seymour School District building with director of instruction Nicole Rummel and superintendent Lindsey Hall, both of Mahomet-Seymour school district.

    Projects explore role of social-emotional learning in healing racial wounds

    U. of I. scholars are coordinating online parenting seminars and activities for students and staff members at two Illinois school systems that will explore the role of social and emotional learning in healing racial wounds. 

  • Headshot of Jodi Schneider

    Retracted scientific paper persists in new citations, study finds

    Information sciences professor Jodi Schneider is leading an effort to prevent the spread of retracted research.

  • Gustavo Caetano-Anollés

    What happens when the coronavirus mutates?

    New mutations to the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 are emerging, including a more-infectious variant first found in the United Kingdom, even as vaccines containing bits of viral genetic material are beginning distribution. In an interview, crop sciences professor Gustavo Caetano-Anollés discusses viral mutation and what it could mean for vaccinations.

  • A new climate model that makes projections specific to urban areas predicts that by the end of this century, average warming across global cities will increase by 1.9 degrees Celsius to 4.4 C, depending on the rate of emissions.

    New data-driven global climate model provides projections for urban environments

    Cities only occupy about 3% of the Earth’s total land surface, but they bear the burden of the human-perceived effects of global climate change, researchers said. Global climate models are set up for big-picture analysis, leaving urban areas poorly represented. In a new study, researchers take a closer look at how climate change affects cities by using data-driven statistical models combined with traditional process-driven physical climate models.

  • Masks are an important tool for fighting COVID-19 but wearing one can make it difficult for others to hear us speak. Using a unique laboratory setup, Illinois researcher Ryan Corey tested how different types of masks affect the acoustics of speech.

    Disposable surgical masks best for being heard clearly when speaking, study finds

    Researcher Ryan Corey recently heard from a friend who teaches at a school where some of the students have hearing loss. The friend wanted to know if he had any ideas to help her communicate with these students while wearing a mask to slow the spread of COVID-19. Corey, who also has hearing loss, did not know what to tell her. So, he headed to the Illinois Augmented Listening Laboratory to look for solutions.

  • Professor Erik Procko stands with arms crossed.

    What is the new variant of coronavirus in the UK?

    New mutations to the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 are emerging, including one in the United Kingdom with higher infection rates that has sparked new travel bans. Erik Procko, a professor of biochemistry at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, has been studying mutations in the spike protein, the part of the virus that binds to human cells. In an interview, Procko discussed the new variation and whether mutations to the spike protein could create resistance to vaccines or other treatments.

  • Portrait of researcher standing in the woods with his arms crossed.

    Model predicts where ticks, Lyme disease will appear next in Midwest states

    By drawing from decades of studies, scientists created a timeline marking the arrival of black-legged ticks, also known as deer ticks, in hundreds of counties across 10 Midwestern states. They used these data – along with an analysis of county-level landscape features associated with the spread of ticks – to build a model that can predict where ticks are likely to appear in future years.