News Bureau

Research News Campus News About

blog navigation

News Bureau - Research

 

  • Madhu Khanna

    What are the implications for agriculture under a proposed climate bill?

    A Minute With™... agricultural economist Madhu Khanna

  • Research grant will help assessment of prairie seed banks

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The Illinois Natural History Survey has received a grant from the Conservation 2000 Program to assess seed banks at the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie in Will County.

  • Goal of project is development of petroleum-free fuel

    Developing a petroleum-free fuel from corn byproducts is one of the goals of a newly funded research project at the UI. Eight research laboratories will pool their expertise, attacking the problems from different directions in order to work to improve the efficiency of bioconversion of plant fibers into fuels and other value-added products.

  • Efficient fertilizer use could benefit river without hurting crop yields

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. A computational study on nitrogen inputs to the Mississippi River Basin from the 1950s to the 1990s suggests that better use of the fertilizer such as not over-applying it could substantially reduce the amount of nitrates flowing down river without compromising crop yields.

  • Grocery stores find security in locally produced beef

    Knowing where, how and by whom your steak dinner was raised recently has become a more pressing question for Americans. Several independent grocery stores in Chicago have found a locally produced beef marketed under the label Illinois Crown Beef that they say they can sell to their customers with confidence because they know where it came from. 

  • Researchers study role of natural organic matter in environment

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The decomposition of plant, animal and microbial material in soil and water produces a variety of complex organic molecules, collectively called natural organic matter. These compounds play many important roles in the environment.

  • Watching, planning key to avoiding soybean rust in Illinois

    A Minute With™... Suzanne Bissonnette, an Integrated Pest Management Extension Educator

  • Darrel Good

    Will 2011 be the year of the global food crisis?

    A Minute With™... Darrel Good, a professor of agricultural and consumer economics 

  • Arsenic removal from drinking water is focus of new projects

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - More stringent federal standards for acceptable levels of arsenic in public drinking water go into effect next year, a prospect that has resulted in four new research projects on arsenic.

  • Will produce prices rise following Florida freeze, Chilean earthquake?

    A Minute With™... crop sciences professor John Masiunas

  • Foodborne pathogens difficult to remove from produce

    Will you ever feel comfortable eating fresh spinach again? All raw agricultural products carry a minimal risk of contamination, said a UI scientist whose research focuses on keeping foodborne pathogens, including the strain of E. coli found recently on spinach, out of the food supply.

  • USDA awards $5.5 million to tackle childhood hunger

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded $5.5 million to fund research that will help alleviate childhood hunger in the United States. Craig Gundersen, a UI professor of nutritional sciences in the department of agricultural and consumer economics, and James Ziliak, of the University of Kentucky Center for Poverty Research, will coordinate a research program on childhood hunger.

  • Kathleen Graber, a finalist for the 2010 National Book Award, began writing poetry after taking a group of high school students on a field trip.

    Carr visiting author series to showcase two acclaimed poets

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Kathleen Graber - a former high school English teacher who was inspired to write poetry after taking students on a field trip - will read from her critically acclaimed collections at 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 13 (Wednesday) at the Illini Union Bookstore.

  • Environmental effects of biofuels crops must be weighed, researchers say

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Biofuels advocates should not ignore the potential ecological side effects of crops being developed to produce such fuels, a researcher at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign says in an article being published today in Science.

  • Information on three new agricultural pests enhances web tool for farmers

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Three more pests - fruit tree leafroller, lilac borer and western bean cutworm - have been added this spring to the Illinois State Water Survey's Water and Atmospheric Resources Monitoring program, a Web-based tool that provides helpful information for the state's farmers.

  • With many Americans now spending most of their adult lives owing debts to financial institutions, the need for a consumer financial agency free of "regulatory capture" is now more acute than ever, according to Robert M. Lawless, a University of Illinois expert in consumer credit.

    Expert: Keep consumer protection agency free of 'regulatory capture'

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - With many Americans now spending most of their adult lives owing debts to financial institutions, the need for a consumer financial agency free of "regulatory capture" is now more acute than ever, according to a University of Illinois expert in consumer credit.

  • Anti-cancer compound found to block late-stage breast-cancer cell growth

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - A well known anti-cancer agent in certain vegetables has just had its reputation enhanced. The compound, in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables, has been found to be effective in disrupting late stages of cell growth in breast cancer.

  • Robin Orr

    Does the recent peanut scare indicate a need for stricter guidelines?

    A Minute With™... Robin Orr, the director of programming for the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program

  • Gallery offers first comprehensive U.S. look at Japanese architect's work

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The first comprehensive U.S. exhibition of the work of Japanese architect Kengo Kuma will be exhibited Oct. 10 through Nov. 15 at I space, the Chicago gallery of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

  • Joseph Spencer, an insect behaviorist at the Illinois Natural History Survey, and his colleague found that the western corn rootworm will lay its eggs on Miscanthus and that the rootworm larvae can survive on Miscanthus rhizomes.

    Miscanthus, a biofuels crop, can host western corn rootworm

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The western corn rootworm beetle, a pest that feasts on corn roots and corn silk and costs growers more than $1 billion annually in the U.S., also can survive on the perennial grass Miscanthus x giganteus, a potential biofuels crop that would likely be grown alongside corn, researchers report.

  • Unique weather a factor in record 2004 Midwest crop yields

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - If farmers talk big about 2004 crops as they get ready to head out into the fields this spring, let them talk. Believe them. Last year's crop season saw record yields in every major crop amid the closest-to-perfect weather conditions of the last century, scientists say.

  • In a new study, University of Illinois law professor Jay P. Kesan, right, and Timothy A. Slating, a regulatory associate with the University of Illinois Energy Biosciences Institute, argue that regulatory innovations are needed to keep pace with technological innovations in the biofuels industry.

    Study: Regulatory hurdles hinder biofuels market

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Regulatory hurdles abound for the successful commercialization of emerging liquid biofuels, which hold the promise of enhancing U.S. energy security, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and serving as a driver for rural economic development, according to new research at the University of Illinois.

  • Drought, crop insurance, and farm profitability

    A Minute With™... Gary D. Schnitkey, an agricultural economist

  • Nutritious frozen foods can play role in weight-loss programs

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Size matters when it comes to meal portions in weight-loss diets, according to researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. And consuming convenient, nutritious frozen dinners may be a way to control portion size.

  • Physically active individuals have an increased sense of accomplishment, or situation-specific self-confidence, which in turn results in reduced depression and reduced fatigue, said Edward McAuley, a professor of kinesiology and community health at Illinois and lead author on the study.

    Mastery of physical goals lessens disease-related depression and fatigue

    CHAMPAIGN, lll. - Physical activity is known to reduce depression and fatigue in people struggling with chronic illness. A new study indicates that this effect may stem from an individual's sense of mastery over - or belief in his or her ability to achieve - certain physical goals.

  • Madhu Khanna is a professor of agricultural and consumer economics at Illinois.

    As more corn is used for ethanol, how will we make up for lost food production?

    A Minute With™... Madhu Khanna, a professor of agricultural and consumer economics

  • How will widespread flooding of farmland affect commodity prices?

    A Minute With™... agricultural economist Gary D. Schnitkey

  • Professor Tandy Warnow developed a new statistical method that sorts genetic data to construct better species trees detailing genetic lineage.

    New method helps map species' genetic heritage

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Where did the songbird get its song? What branch of the bird family tree is closer to the flamingo - the heron or the sparrow?

  • Food-crop yields in future greenhouse-gas conditions lower than expected

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Open-air field trials involving five major food crops grown under carbon-dioxide levels projected for the future are harvesting dramatically less bounty than those raised in earlier greenhouse and other enclosed test conditions - and scientists warn that global food supplies could be at risk without changes in production strategies.

  • Elizabeth Lowe, the director of the U. of I.'s Center for Translation Studies, says the program will offer a new master's program for translators and interpreters.

    New master's program at Illinois will train translators and interpreters

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The demand for translators and interpreters is projected to increase by at least 20 percent by the year 2020, and a new program at the University of Illinois will offer a master's degree to equip graduates to fill those jobs. Elizabeth Lowe, the director of the U. of I.'s Center for Translation Studies, says the program offers both on-campus and online options, and is accepting applications now for courses that will begin in the fall.

  • University of Illinois plant biology and Energy Biosciences Institute professor Evan DeLucia, EBI feedstock analyst Sarah Davis and their colleagues found that replacing the least productive corn acres with miscanthus would boost both corn and biofuel production.

    Switch from corn to grass would raise ethanol output, cut emissions

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Growing perennial grasses on the least productive farmland now used for corn ethanol production in the U.S. would result in higher overall corn yields, more ethanol output per acre and better groundwater quality, researchers report in a new study. The switch would also slash emissions of two potent greenhouse gases: carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide.

  • Urban and regional planning professor Arnab Chakraborty, left, and graduate students Robert Boyer, center, and Dustin Allred collaborated on a study of foreclosures from 2005 through 2008.

    Zoning restrictions also a key factor in foreclosure crisis, scholar says

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The causes of the foreclosure crisis seem obvious: Buyers purchased homes they couldn't afford, lured in part by lenders pushing subprime mortgages. Real estate values escalated, and when the bubble burst, buyers were left owing more than their homes were worth.

  • ADM funds new postharvest institute

    Archer Daniels Midland Co. announced a $10 million grant to establish the ADM Institute for the Prevention of Postharvest Loss at the UI. The global institute will work with farmers in the developing world to help preserve millions of metric tons of grains and oilseeds lost each year to pests, disease, mishandling and other factors.

  • Bt corn variety study shows no adverse effect on black swallowtail caterpillars

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- A Bt corn variety grown widely in East Central Illinois in 1999 had no adverse effect on black swallowtail caterpillars that thrive in weeds alongside cornfields, according to both field and laboratory studies at the University of Illinois.

  • What the media call 'pink slime' is not new or dangerous

    A Minute With™... Anna Dilger, a professor of animal sciences

  • Mike Hutjens

    Why does the FDA want to test milk for more drugs?

     

    A Minute With™...

  • Illinois professor of animal and nutritional sciences Kelly Swanson, left, and his research team, including Maria de Godoy, recently published a study that shows how molecular biology technologies are making the mechanisms underlying the pet obesity epidemic more easily understood.

    Molecular techniques are man's new best friend in pet obesity research

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - According to the World Health Organization, more than two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. And it's not just humans who are packing on the pounds. Our furry companions are plagued by an obesity epidemic of their own. More than 50 percent of the dogs and cats in the United States are overweight or obese.

  • These Bt corn plants in LaSalle County, Illinois, have fallen over (lodged) as a result of rootworm damage. Like other Bt plants that are becoming susceptible to rootworm damage in Iowa, these corn plants contain the Cry3Bb1 Bt protein in a field planted year after year in corn expressing the same Bt protein.

    Researcher tracks agricultural overuse of bug-killing technology

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - High corn prices are leading many growers to plant corn every year and to overuse pesticides and other bug-killing technology to maximize yields, researchers report. In many instances, pesticides are applied without scouting fields to see if they are needed, violating a bedrock principle of integrated pest management. The result is a biological diversity desert in many corn and soybean fields in the agricultural Midwest, and signs that the surviving insects are becoming resistant to several key bug-fighting tools now available to farmers.

  • Craig Gundersen

    Links between hunger and health lead to recommendation that doctors screen patients for food insecurity

    Almost 50 million people in the United States are food insecure – that is, they lack access to adequate food because of limited money or other resources. University of Illinois economist Craig Gundersen and University of Kentucky’s James P. Ziliak examined recent research on food insecurity and its association with poor health, and offer suggestions including that doctors screen for hunger.

  • 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.  

  • Sheldon H. Jacobson, right, a professor of computer science at Illinois, says legislation banning cell phone use while driving has more of an impact in densely populated urban areas that have a higher number of licensed drivers. Matthew J. Robbins, left, was one of two students who conducted the study with Jacobson.

    Study: Cell-phone bans while driving have more impact in dense, urban areas

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - A new study analyzing the impact of hand-held cell phone legislation on driving safety concludes that usage-ban laws had more of an impact in densely populated urban areas with a higher number of licensed drivers than in rural areas where there are fewer licensed drivers, according to a University of Illinois researcher.

  • Chickens may help aid in early detection of ovarian cancer

    Understanding and treatment of human ovarian cancer, known as the silent killer, may be a step closer thanks to some chickens at the UI. Ovarian cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths in women and unlike other cancers, its rate of mortality has not been reduced.

  • 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.

  • Tami Bond, a professor of civil and environmental engineering, has received a 2014 MacArthur fellowship, commonly called a "genius grant."

    Illinois engineer wins MacArthur fellowship

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Tami Bond, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has been awarded a 2014 MacArthur Fellowship, commonly known as a "genius grant," from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

  • University of Illinois eco-physiologist Manfredo Seufferheld and his colleagues found substantial differences in gene expression between rotation-resistant rootworms and those that are susceptible to crop rotation.

    Study: Crop rotation-resistant rootworms have a lot going on in their guts

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — After decades of effort, scientists are finally figuring out how insects develop resistance to environmentally friendly farming practices – such as crop rotation – that are designed to kill them. The researchers say their insights will help develop more sustainable agricultural practices.

  • Craig Gundersen

    Solving food insecurity problems among older Americans

    A Minute With™... Craig Gundersen, the University of Illinois Soybean Industry Endowed Professor of Agricultural Strategy

  • Groundwater from three main aquifers in the United States contributes to food shipped across the country and around the globe, says a new study from civil and environmental engineers at Illinois and Lehigh University.

    Study: Groundwater from aquifers important factor in food security

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Thirsty cities, fields and livestock drink deeply from aquifers, natural sources of groundwater. But a study of three of the most-tapped aquifers in the United States shows that overdrawing from these resources could lead to difficult choices affecting not only domestic food security but also international markets.

  • Pest patrol Kelly Estes, state survey coordinator at the Illinois Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey, and Michael Gray, a professor of crop sciences, are urging Illinois farmers to be especially vigilant about scouting their fields for brown marmorated stink bugs.

    Stink bugs a threat to farmers, smelly guests for homeowners

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The brown marmorated stink bug - scientific name Halyomorpha halys - has been found in four Illinois counties and could be a major threat to fruit, vegetable and agronomic crops if it proliferates.

  • Master Naturalists, from left, John Marlin, Thom Uebele and Jana Uebele stand in the Florida Orchard Prairie, one of the demonstration gardens on campus that Marlin coordinates and maintains. An entomologist, Marlin is a research affiliate with the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center. Thom Uebele is a research programmer with the School of Life Sciences, and his wife, Jana, is an artist.

    Master Naturalists needed to preserve Illinois' environment

    Adults who have a passion for the outdoors – and are interested in sharing that with others – are needed statewide as volunteers in the University of Illinois Extension Master Naturalist program.

  • 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.