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  • Portrait of Xinzhu Yu holding a model of a brain

    Yu receives NIH Director's New Innovator Award

    Xinzhu Yu, a professor of molecular and integrative physiology at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, is a recipient of the National Institutes of Health Director’s New Innovator Award from the NIH Common Fund’s High-Risk, High-Reward Research program. 

    According to the NIH, the New Innovator Award “supports investigators at each career stage who propose innovative research that, due to their inherent risk, may struggle in the traditional NIH peer-review process despite their transformative potential.” The award provides $2.4 million in funding over the next five years.

  • Young toddlers can tell when others hold false beliefs, study finds

    A new study finds that, under the right conditions, 2 1/2-year-old children can answer questions about people acting on false beliefs, an ability that most researchers believe does not develop until age 4.

  • Mina Raj smiles at the camera, wearing a tan blazer over a blue top.

    Young adults may provide care for older relatives much more frequently than thought

    Young adults and teens may provide care for adult relatives much more often than previously thought, according to a new study, though they worry about detriments to educational or career goals and would like more training and support. 

  • Researchers found that eight weeks of hatha yoga classes moderated stress levels and led to better performance on challenging cognitive tests.

    Yoga practice linked to lower stress, better cognitive performance in older adults

    Older adults who practiced hatha yoga for 8 weeks were better able to manage stress and performed better on cognitive tests than peers  in a stretching and weight-training program, researchers report.

  • Yeast byproduct inhibits white-nose syndrome fungus in lab experiments

    A microbe found in caves produces a compound that inhibitsPseudogymnoascus destructans, the fungus that causes white-nose syndrome in bats, researchers report in the journal Mycopathologia. The finding could lead to treatments that kill the fungus while minimizing disruption to cave ecosystems, the researchers say.

  • Y chromosome study sheds light on Athapaskan migration to southwest U.S.

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - A large-scale genetic study of native North Americans offers new insights into the migration of a small group of Athapaskan natives from their subarctic home in northwest North America to the southwestern United States. The migration, which left no known archaeological trace, is believed to have occurred about 500 years ago.

  • A new cast of six-legged villains and two-legged heroes star in this year's Insect Fear Film Festival, which is devoted to the work of "X-Files" creator Chris Carter, a special guest of the festival. Carter's first feature film, "The X-Files: Fight the Future," will be shown.

    'X-Files' creator Chris Carter to attend 30th annual Insect Fear Film Festival

    CHAMPAIGN, lll. - Infectious honey bees and cockroaches out to take down humans will be the cinematic scare fare at this year's Insect Fear Film Festival, an event organizers are calling "The InsX-Files: The Truth (About Insects) Is Out There."

  • PTI Director Michael Schlosser presents to police recruits at the Police Training Institute.

    Wrongful conviction course now required for all police recruits in Illinois

    Starting in 2023, all police recruits in the state of Illinois must take a Wrongful Conviction Awareness and Avoidance course as part of their training. This course was first developed by University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Police Training Institute director Michael Schlosser with leaders of the Illinois Innocence Project at the University of Illinois Springfield.

    The course impresses upon new recruits the importance of carefully gathering and analyzing evidence in investigations and not jumping to conclusions about potential suspects. It offers real-world examples of the harm that accrues from wrongful convictions, including a presentation from an exoneree.

  • University of Illinois professor emeritus of psychology Ed Diener, who also is a senior scientist for the Gallup Organization, led a study that found that the link between religion and happiness often depends on societal circumstances.

    World survey links religion and happiness - for some

    CHAMPAIGN, lll. - There may be a few atheists in foxholes, but a new study suggests that in societies under stress, those who are religious outnumber - and are happier than - their nonreligious counterparts. Where peace and plenty are the norm, however, religious participation is lower and people are happier whether or not they are religious, the researchers found.

  • Illinois anthropology professor Kathryn Clancy and her research team at the Laboratory for Evolutionary Endocrinology showed that a woman's reproductive function may be tied to her immune system's status.

    Women's reproductive ability may be related to immune system status

    CHAMPAIGN, lll. - New research indicates that women's reproductive function may be tied to their immune status. Previous studies have found this association in human males, but not females.

  • Women's health, tissue regeneration to be focus of joint U. of I.-Carle program

    Champaign and Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana.

  • University of Illinois psychology professor R. Chris Fraley and graduate student Amanda Vicary found that women, but not men, overwhelmingly choose to read true crime stories over true stories of war or gang violence.

    Women, more than men, choose true crime over other violent nonfiction

    CHAMPAIGN, lll. - When it comes to violent nonfiction, men are from Mars, the planet of war, but women are from Earth, the planet of serial killings and random murders.

  • With online games, high school students learn how to rein in disease outbreaks

    High school students investigate Ebola-like outbreaks and administer vaccines through Outbreak!, a new summer course at Illinois that uses online games to encourage critical thinking about fighting infectious diseases. 

  • Physics professor Klaus Schulten, postdoctoral researcher Juan R. Perilla and their colleagues used experimental data and computer simulations to determine the chemical structure of the HIV capsid.

    Wit, grit and a supercomputer yield chemical structure of HIV capsid

    CHAMPAIGN, lll. - Researchers report that they have determined the precise chemical structure of the HIV capsid, a protein shell that protects the virus's genetic material and is a key to its virulence. The capsid has become an attractive target for the development of new antiretroviral drugs.

  • Wimps or warriors? Honey bee larvae absorb the social culture of the hive, study finds

    Even as larvae, honey bees are tuned in to the social culture of the hive, becoming more or less aggressive depending on who raises them, researchers report.

  • 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.


  • William T. Greenough, a professor emeritus of psychology, was a pioneer in studies of brain development, the neural basis of learning and memory, and the effects of aging, exercise, injury and environmental enrichment on the brain.

    William T. Greenough, an early explorer of brain plasticity, dies at 69

    CHAMPAIGN, lll. - William T. Greenough, a professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Illinois and a pioneer in studies of brain plasticity and development, died Dec. 18 in Seattle, of complications associated with Lewy Body Dementia. As a researcher at Illinois, Greenough explored the neural basis of learning and memory and the effects of aging, exercise, injury and environmental enrichment on the brain.

  • William Metcalf elected to American Academy of Microbiology

    CHAMPAIGN,Ill. - University of Illinois professor William Metcalf has been elected to Fellowship in the American Academy of Microbiology, a distinction awarded to microbiologists who have made original contributions to their field, the American Society for Microbiology announced this month.

  • Portrait of Thomas O'Rourke. He is wearing a dark red shirt and smiling.

    Will a coronavirus vaccine be a cure-all?

    Global health authorities are frantically pursuing a vaccine against the novel coronavirus in the hope that it will allow everyone to get back to a pre-COVID-19 reality ASAP. Thomas O’Rourke, a professor emeritus of community health, says those expectations are probably overblown.

  • Wildlife Society honors author of 'Waterfowl of Illinois: Status and Management'

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Stephen P. Havera, director of the Forbes Biological Station of the Illinois Natural History Survey, was honored Sept. 13 by the Wildlife Society as the recipient of its 2000 Wildlife Publications Award for his comprehensive book on Illinois waterfowl.

  • Bruce Chassy

    Why more inspections are not the way to increase food safety

    A Minute With™... Bruce Chassy, a professor of food science and human nutrition 

  • Stephen P. Long

    Why biofuels research is moving beyond 'food vs. fuel'

    A Minute With™... crop sciences professor Stephen Long

  • Why America's aging population needs to think about preventing falls

    A Minute With...™ Jacob Sosnoff, professor of kinesiology and community health

  • Ripan Malhi

    Who was Kennewick Man?

    A Minute With...™ U. of I. anthropology professor Ripan Malhi

  • In a new study, University of Illinois professor of psychology Rene Baillargeon, right, and graduate student Peipei Setoh showed that infants expect objects they identify as animals to have insides.

    Who's got guts? Young infants expect animals to have insides

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - A team of researchers has shown that 8-month-old infants expect objects they identify as animals to have insides. The study appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

  • From left, nutritional sciences graduate student Joseph Beals, kinesiology and community health professor Nicholas Burd, kinesiology graduate student Sarah Skinner and their colleagues found that eating whole eggs after resistance exercise boosted muscle building and repair significantly more than eating egg whites with an equivalent amount of protein.

    Whole eggs better for muscle building and repair than egg whites, researchers find

    People who consume 18 grams of protein from whole eggs or from egg whites after engaging in resistance exercise differ dramatically in how their muscles build protein, a process called protein synthesis, during the post-workout period, researchers report in a new study. Specifically, the post-workout muscle-building response in those eating whole eggs is 40 percent greater than in those consuming an equivalent amount of protein from egg whites, the team found.

  • A new study led by Juhee Kim, a professor of kinesiology and community health, found links between mothers' participation in WIC, use of relatives for child care and shorter breastfeeding duration. Although WIC offers various incentives to mothers to promote breastfeeding, there is also a need for educational programs aimed at relative caregivers, the study indicated.

    When women stop breastfeeding linked to child care options, study shows

    CHAMPAIGN, lll. - Mothers participating in the Special Supplemental Nutrition program for Women, Infants and Children, known as WIC, are more likely to discontinue breastfeeding their infants before 6 months of age than non-WIC mothers, especially if they rely upon relatives to provide child care, according to a new study by Juhee Kim, a professor of kinesiology and community health at the University of Illinois.

  • Illinois graduate student Shelby Lawson studies the interactions of red-winged blackbirds, cowbirds and yellow warblers.

    When warblers warn of cowbirds, blackbirds get the message

    This is the story of three bird species and how they interact. The brown-headed cowbird plays the role of outlaw: It lays its eggs in other birds’ nests and lets them raise its young – often at the expense of the host’s nestlings. To combat this threat, yellow warblers have developed a special “seet” call that means, “Look out! Cowbird!”

    In a new study, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign report that red-winged blackbirds respond to the seet call as if they know what it means.

  • Dr. Adam Stern

    When veterinarians become crime scene investigators

    A Minute With...™ veterinary diagnostic laboratory professor Adam Stern

  • University of Illinois psychology professors Sanda Dolcos, left, and Florin Dolcos found that focusing on the contextual details of a triggered negative memory could help redirect focus to the task at hand.

    When emotional memories intrude, focusing on context could help, study finds

    When negative memories intrude, focusing on the contextual details of the incident rather than the emotional fallout could help minimize cognitive disruption and redirect the brain’s resources to the task at hand, suggests a new study by psychologists at the University of Illinois.

    “Everyone has encountered something distressing either in the recent past or the remote past. These memories can pop into our minds and distract from whatever we are doing,” said study leader Florin Dolcos, a professor of psychology at Illinois. “Instead of suppressing or stifling those emotional memories, we simply shift the focus and bring to life some other aspects of the same memory. That leads to a reduction in how much those memories interfere with whatever we’re doing.”

  • When cave crickets go out for dinner, they really go, researchers say

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Cave crickets travel farther from their homes to forage - by about double - than their previously reported range, researchers have discovered. In Texas, that means protective buffer areas around caves may need to be extended to protect endangered invertebrate species that live inside and depend on the crickets.

  • Photo of Kashif Ahmad standing outside the Carle Illinois College of Medicine

    What tips can help educators convert in-person courses to online instruction?

    Teaching professor and medical education facilitator Dr. Kashif A. Ahmad, who mentors educators in creating quality online courses, discusses his tips for creating engaging online content.

  • Scholars and scientists have made key discoveries in the past decade about the 14th-century plague known as the Black Death, says history professor Carol Symes.

    What's new with the plague? More than you might think

    Pandemics of the past are getting new attention, among them the plague of the 14th century. Known as the Black Death, it was medieval, European, bubonic and spread by rats – at least that’s what most of us think. Much of that needs adjustment, however, in large part due to discoveries of the past decade, says Carol Symes, a professor of medieval history at Illinois.

  • Researchers, from left, Ephantus Muturi, Allison Gardner and Brian Allan found that different types of leaf litter in water had different effects on the abundance of Culex pipiens mosquitoes, which can carry West Nile virus.

    What's in your landscape? Plants can alter West Nile virus risk

    A new study looks at how leaf litter in water influences the abundance of Culex pipiens mosquitoes, which can transmit West Nile virus to humans, domestic animals, birds and other wildlife.

  • Eva Pomerantz

    What parents can do to assure a successful school year

    A Minute With...™ Eva Pomerantz, expert on children's motivation in school

  • U. of I. psychology professor Dolores Albarracín has spent much of her career studying how people respond to public health messages asking them to change their behavior.

    What messages best influence public health behavior?

    Dolores Albarracín, a professor of psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has spent much of her career studying how people respond to public health messages asking them to change their behavior. She speaks about the special challenges of the present moment.

  • The first cow genome to be sequenced was that of a Hereford cow named L1 Dominette, shown here with her calf.

    What makes a cow a cow? Genome sequence sheds light on ruminant evolution

    CHAMPAIGN, lll. - Researchers report today in the journal Science that they have sequenced the bovine genome, for the first time revealing the genetic features that distinguish cattle from humans and other mammals.

  • Brian Miller

    What is the Gulf of Mexico 'Dead Zone' and how can it be reduced?

    A Minute With...™ Brian Miller, director of the Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant

  • Mikihiro Sato, professor of recreation, sport and tourism

    What impact do the Olympics and mass-sporting events have on public health?

    Attending high-profile and mass-participation sporting events may increase individuals’ physical activity levels and enhance their emotional well-being, according to Mikihiro Sato, a professor of recreation, sport and tourism.

  • 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.

  • Jodi Flaws

    What are the health risks of exposure to BPA?

    A Minute With™... comparative biosciences professor Jodi Flaws

  • West Nile virus focus during ornithologists' meeting

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The West Nile virus is the focus of a dozen research papers to be presented Aug. 9 (Saturday) during the 121st Stated Meeting of the American Ornithologists' Union, Aug. 5-9, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

  • Website offers tools for leaving a smaller carbon footprint

    Using energy for transportation, to power appliances and to make interiors comfortable is nearly impossible to avoid. Although there are energy-saving steps that can be taken, leaving a carbon footprint is inevitable. UI students in a carbon registry class created a website with tools that help in understanding what contributes to carbon output and suggest ways to offset the damage.

  • Web page provides pet owners with information on dog flu

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine has established a Web page with information about canine influenza, which has spread to pet dogs in 10 states after first being diagnosed in January 2004 at a Florida greyhound track. No cases have been reported in Illinois.

  • Weather forecasts may be predictors for prevalence of West Nile virus

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Weather forecasts could become barometers for predicting the potential threat of West Nile virus to humans and wildlife, according to scientists at two state agencies based at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

  • Professor Lori Raetzman and student Rachel Gonzalez stand outdoors.

    Water disinfection byproduct disrupts reproductive hormones, damages pituitary in female mice

    A byproduct formed during water disinfection disrupts hormones in the brain that regulate the female reproductive cycle in mice and also damages cells in the pituitary gland, a new study from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign researchers found. The new study’s findings of the chemical’s effects on reproductive regulation in the brain complement previous work that found that it also disrupts function in and causes damage to ovary cells, indicating the chemical could impact the entire reproductive system. The researchers hope that the continued study of these effects can help establish a safe level of exposure to guide future regulations.

  • Wasp genetics study suggests altruism evolved from maternal behavior

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Researchers at the University of Illinois have used an innovative approach to reveal the molecular basis of altruistic behavior in wasps. The research team focused on the expression of behavior-related genes in Polistes metricus paper wasps, a species for which little genetic data was available when the study was begun. Their findings appear today online in Science Express.

  • Photo of a female prothonotary warbler, with her yellow and gray plumage.

    Warmer springs mean more offspring for prothonotary warblers

    Climate change contributes to gradually warming Aprils in southern Illinois, and at least one migratory bird species, the prothonotary warbler, is taking advantage of the heat. A new study analyzing 20 years of data found that the warblers start their egg-laying in southern Illinois significantly earlier in warmer springs. This increases the chances that the birds can raise two broods of offspring during the nesting season, researchers found.

  • New research reveals factors that helped some commit to a yearlong exercise program.

    Want to keep your exercise resolutions? New research offers pointers

    CHAMPAIGN, lll. - Sticking with an exercise routine means being able to overcome the obstacles that invariably arise. A key to success is having the confidence that you can do it, researchers report. A new study explores how some cognitive strategies and abilities influence this "situation-specific self-confidence," a quality the researchers call "self-efficacy."

  • Wanted: Citizen scientists to help track wild bees in Illinois

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Honey bee colonies are in decline in many states, but little is known about their wild cousins, the bumble bees, or, for that matter, honey bees living on their own in the wild without beekeepers. A new initiative from the University of Illinois seeks to build a better record of honey bee and bumble bee abundance and distribution in Illinois by recruiting citizen scientists to report on wild bees seen anywhere in the state.