A soybean protein blocks LDL cholesterol production, reducing risks of metabolic diseases Jan 23, 2023 8:00 am30392 views Soybean varieties with greater proportions of the protein B-conglycinin reduce plasma cholesterol levels and promote liver homeostasis, showing potential for preventing fatty liver disease and atherosclerosis, according to research by food scientists at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Genetic study shakes up the elephant family tree Jun 6, 2017 3:00 am21307 views New research reveals that a species of giant elephant that lived 1.5 million to 100,000 years ago – ranging across Eurasia before it went extinct – is more closely related to today’s African forest elephant than the forest elephant is to its nearest living relative, the African savanna elephant. Counties with more trees and shrubs spend less on Medicare, study finds Apr 1, 2019 8:00 am16098 views A new study finds that Medicare costs tend to be lower in counties with more forests and shrublands than in counties dominated by other types of land cover. The relationship persists even when accounting for economic, geographic or other factors that might independently influence health care costs, researchers report. Six Illinois scientists rank among world's most influential Nov 16, 2021 7:45 am15818 views Six faculty members at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign have been named to the 2021 Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researchers list. U of I to lead two of seven new national artificial intelligence institutes Aug 26, 2020 8:00 am9300 views The National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture are announcing an investment of more than $140 million to establish seven artificial intelligence institutes in the U.S. Two of the seven will be led by teams at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. The USDA-NIFA will fund the AI Institute for Future Agricultural Resilience, Management and Sustainability at the U. of I. Illinois computer science professor Vikram Adve will lead the AIFARMS Institute. The NSF will fund the AI Institute for Molecular Discovery, Synthetic Strategy and Manufacturing, also known as the Molecule Maker Lab Institute. Huimin Zhao, a U. of I. professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and of chemistry, will lead this institute. Many Midwestern retailers sell mislabeled invasive vines Jan 8, 2018 9:00 am8991 views Gardeners hoping to celebrate the beauty of American bittersweet – a native vine that produces orange berries in the fall and is used for wreaths – may be unwittingly buying an invasive bittersweet instead. That’s because many Midwestern retailers are selling oriental bittersweet with labels misidentifying it as the native plant, researchers report. These sales are occurring in stores and online. Seven Illinois researchers rank among the world’s most influential Dec 21, 2015 9:15 am8558 views Seven University of Illinois researchers have been named to the Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researchers list for 2015. The list includes “some of the world’s most influential scientific minds,” according to a statement from Thomson Reuters. Pollinator habitat program spreads bad seeds with the good Dec 7, 2016 8:30 am8353 views Weed scientists in at least two Midwestern states have been reporting for years that a conservation program meant to provide habitat for pollinating insects is sowing bad seeds – including seeds of the potentially devastating agricultural weed Palmer amaranth – along with the good. Now, researchers at the University of Illinois have traced the weed seeds to at least one source: pollinator habitat seed sold by a company in the Midwest. Supersweet Sweet Corn: 50 Years in the Making Aug 7, 2003 9:00 am8298 views Fifty years ago, sweet corn wasn't all that sweet and had a short shelf-life, which made it difficult for grocery stores to stock it. As a result of the persistence of some UI corn researchers, today's sweet corn not only lives up to its name in taste, it maintains its high quality for more than a week, long enough to get it into stores and onto dinner tables. Jerald "Snook" Pataky, UI plant pathologist in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, has researched the history of UI’s contribution to the existence of today's supersweet corn and will be one of the featured speakers at Agronomy Day on Aug. 21. s What is driving the high suicide rate among farmers? Dec 12, 2022 8:00 am7619 views Mental health outreach programs for farmers also need to provide services for their teens, who have similar rates of anxiety and depression, said agricultural and biological engineering professor Josie Rudolphi. North American checklist identifies the fungus among us Nov 28, 2018 8:15 am7483 views Some fungi are smelly and coated in mucus. Others have gills that glow in the dark. Some are delicious; others, poisonous. Some spur euphoria when ingested. Some produce antibiotics. All of these fungi - and hundreds of thousands, if not millions, more - occur in North America. Of those that are known to science, 44,488 appear in a new checklist of North American fungi, published this month in the journal Mycologia. Nine Illinois scientists rank among world's most influential Nov 15, 2022 8:00 am7304 views Nine U. of I. researchers have been named to the 2022 Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researchers list. The list recognizes research scientists and social scientists who have demonstrated exceptional influence – reflected through their publication of multiple papers frequently cited by their peers during the last decade. This year’s list includes 6,938 individuals from around the world whose papers rank in the top 1% by citations for field and year in the Web of Science. Eight Illinois researchers rank among world’s most influential Nov 18, 2016 9:15 am6838 views Eight University of Illinois researchers have been named to the Thomson Reuters / Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researchers list for 2016. The list identifies scientists “whose research has had significant global impact within their respective fields of study." Scientists tweak photosynthesis to boost crop yield Nov 17, 2016 1:00 pm6555 views Researchers report that they can increase plant productivity by boosting levels of three proteins involved in photosynthesis. This confirms a hypothesis some in the scientific community once doubted was possible. Cahokia's rise parallels onset of corn agriculture May 14, 2020 8:15 am6430 views Corn cultivation spread from Mesoamerica to what is now the American Southwest by about 4000 B.C., but how and when the crop made it to other parts of North America is still a subject of debate. In a new study, scientists report that corn was not grown in the ancient metropolis of Cahokia until sometime between A.D. 900 and 1000, a relatively late date that corresponds to the start of the city’s rapid expansion. Corn better used as food than biofuel, study finds Jun 20, 2017 9:00 am6372 views Corn is grown not only for food, it is also an important renewable energy source. Renewable biofuels can come with hidden economic and environmental issues, and the question of whether corn is better utilized as food or as a biofuel has persisted since ethanol came into use. For the first time, researchers at the University of Illinois have quantified and compared these issues in terms of economics of the entire production system to determine if the benefits of biofuel corn outweigh the costs. Report: Milkweed losses may not fully explain monarch butterfly declines Mar 13, 2017 4:15 pm6256 views Monarch butterfly declines cannot be attributed merely to declines in milkweed abundance, researchers report. Genomic study reveals evolutionary secrets of banyan tree Oct 8, 2020 9:15 am5993 views The banyan fig tree Ficus microcarpa is famous for its aerial roots, which sprout from branches and eventually reach the soil. The tree also has a unique relationship with a wasp that has coevolved with it and is the only insect that can pollinate it. In a new study, researchers identify regions in the banyan fig’s genome that promote the development of its unusual aerial roots and enhance its ability to signal its wasp pollinator. Chill-tolerant hybrid sugarcane also grows at lower temperatures, team finds Jul 28, 2015 8:00 am5903 views U.S. farmers have long hoped to extend sugarcane’s growing range northward from the Gulf coast, substantially increasing the land available for sugar and biofuels. Several hybrid canes developed in the 1980s have proved hardy in cooler climes, surviving overwinter as far north as Booneville, Arkansas. But until now, no one had tested whether these “miscanes,” as they are called, actually photosynthesize, and thus continue to grow, when the thermometer dips. Pineapple genome offers insight into photosynthesis in drought-tolerant plants Nov 2, 2015 10:00 am5274 views By sequencing its genome, scientists are homing in on the genes and genetic pathways that allow the juicy pineapple plant to thrive in water-limited environments. The new findings, reported in the journal Nature Genetics, also open a new window on the complicated evolutionary history of grasses like sorghum and rice, which share a distant ancestor with pineapple. Agricultural fungicide attracts honey bees, study finds Jan 8, 2018 9:30 am4941 views When given the choice, honey bee foragers prefer to collect sugar syrup laced with the fungicide chlorothalonil over sugar syrup alone, researchers report in the journal Scientific Reports. Ag robot speeds data collection, analyses of crops as they grow Mar 12, 2018 8:45 am4823 views A new lightweight, low-cost agricultural robot, developed by a team of scientists at the University of Illinois, could transform data collection and field scouting for agronomists, seed companies and farmers. Fast-growing kudzu making inroads in Illinois, authorities warn Oct 20, 2005 9:00 am4455 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - To all Illinois residents: Be on the lookout for kudzu. This high-climbing, fast-growing weed, which is illegal to buy, grow and plant in Illinois, smothers existing vegetation and has been spotted in more than 30 Illinois counties. Genomic study explores evolution of gentle ‘killer bees’ in Puerto Rico Nov 16, 2017 9:30 am4037 views A genomic study of Puerto Rico’s Africanized honey bees – which are more docile than other so-called “killer bees” – reveals that they retain most of the genetic traits of their African honey bee ancestors, but that a few regions of their DNA have become more like those of European honey bees. According to the researchers, these changes likely contributed to the bees’ rapid evolution toward gentleness in Puerto Rico, a change that occurred within 30 years. Not just CO2: Rising temperatures also alter photosynthesis in a changing climate Mar 16, 2021 8:00 am4027 views A new review explores how increasing temperatures influence plant growth and viability despite the higher concentrations of atmospheric CO2. Scientists: Expanding Brazilian sugarcane could dent global CO2 emissions Oct 23, 2017 9:45 am3863 views Vastly expanding sugarcane production in Brazil for conversion to ethanol could reduce current global carbon dioxide emissions by as much as 5.6 percent, researchers report in the journal Nature Climate Change. Virus-infected honey bees more likely to gain entrance to healthy hives Apr 27, 2020 2:00 pm3582 views Honey bees that guard hive entrances are twice as likely to allow in trespassers from other hives if the intruders are infected with the Israeli acute paralysis virus, a deadly pathogen of bees, researchers report. Their new study, reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, strongly suggests that IAPV infection alters honey bees’ behavior and physiology in ways that boost the virus’s ability to spread, the researchers say. Some plants grow bigger – and meaner – when clipped, study finds Oct 11, 2017 8:30 am3544 views Some plants behave like the mythical monster Hydra: Cut off their heads and they grow back, bigger and better than before. A new study finds that these “overcompensators,” as they are called, also augment their defensive chemistry – think plant venom – when they are clipped. Three Illinois scientists rank among world's most influential Nov 18, 2020 8:45 am3367 views Three faculty members at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have been named to the 2020 Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researchers list. The list recognizes leading researchers in the sciences and social sciences from around the world. It is based on an analysis of journal article publication and citation data, an objective measure of a researcher’s influence, from 2009-2019. The highly cited Illinois researchers this year are: materials science and engineering professor Axel Hoffmann, crop sciences and plant biology professor Stephen Long, and plant biology professor Donald Ort. Bollero named College of ACES dean Apr 6, 2023 4:00 pm3355 views Germán Bollero will be the next dean of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, pending approval by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees. Bollero has served as the interim dean of ACES since September 2021. Team converts wet biological waste to diesel-compatible fuel Dec 4, 2018 8:45 am3242 views In a step toward producing renewable engine fuels that are compatible with existing diesel fuel infrastructure, researchers report they can convert wet biowaste, such as swine manure and food scraps, into a fuel that can be blended with diesel and that shares diesel’s combustion efficiency and emissions profile. They report their findings in the journal Nature Sustainability. Hand-picked specialty crops ‘ripe’ for precision agriculture techniques Mar 2, 2017 9:15 am3092 views Using precision agriculture, researchers at the University of Illinois have developed an algorithm to help producers of hand-picked crops such as strawberries determine the optimal time to transport their highly perishable crop from the field to cold storage. Study: Phenols in purple corn fight diabetes, obesity, inflammation in mouse cells Apr 15, 2019 9:45 am2899 views Scientists at the University of Illinois developed new hybrids of purple corn with differing combinations of phytochemicals that may fight obesity, inflammation and diabetes, a new study in mice indicates -- and give the food industry sources of natural colorants. Kidwell named College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences dean Jul 15, 2016 9:15 am2809 views Currently the executive associate dean of the College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences at Washington State University, Kimberlee Kidwell will be the new U. of I. dean of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences effective Nov. 1, pending approval by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees. She also will hold the inaugural Robert A. Easter Chair. Study suggests commercial bumble bee industry amplified a fungal pathogen of bees Apr 4, 2016 2:00 pm2760 views Scientists hoping to explain widespread declines in wild bumble bee populations have conducted the first long-term genetic study of Nosema bombi, a key fungal pathogen of honey bees and bumble bees. Their study found that Nosema infections in large-scale commercial bumble bee pollination operations coincided with infections and declines in wild bumble bees. Human waste an asset to economy, environment, study finds Jul 8, 2019 8:00 am2731 views Human waste might be an unpleasant public health burden, but scientists at the University of Illinois see sanitation as a valuable facet of global ecosystems and an overlooked source of nutrients, organic material and water. Human activity on rivers outpaces, compounds effects of climate change Jun 19, 2020 10:00 am2666 views The livelihoods of millions of people living along the world’s biggest river systems are under threat by a range of stressors caused by the daily economic, societal and political activity of humans – in addition to the long-term effects of climate change, researchers report. New algorithm fuses quality and quantity in satellite imagery Jun 4, 2018 8:30 am2658 views Using a new algorithm, University of Illinois researchers may have found the solution to an age-old dilemma plaguing satellite imagery – whether to sacrifice high spatial resolution in the interest of generating images more frequently, or vice versa. The team’s new tool eliminates this trade-off by fusing high-resolution and high-frequency satellite data into one integrated product, and can generate 30-meter daily continuous images going back to the year 2000. Climate adaptation increases vulnerability of cocoa farmers, study shows Jan 13, 2022 1:00 pm2592 views Sean Kennedy, a professor of urban and regional planning, found that strategies to keep cocoa farmers in place transferred climate-related risks from chocolate manufacturers to the farmers. E-Learning can have positive effect on classroom learning, scholar says Nov 26, 2008 9:00 am2583 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Traditional classroom teaching in higher education could learn a thing or two from online teaching, otherwise known as e-learning, according to a University of Illinois professor who studies computer-mediated communication, information exchange and the Internet. U. of I. alumna Temple Grandin elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences Apr 21, 2016 9:30 am2534 views Temple Grandin, a University of Illinois alumna and a professor of animal sciences at Colorado State University, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Purple martin migration behavior perplexes researchers Sep 30, 2019 8:00 am2531 views Purple martins will soon migrate south for their usual wintertime retreat, but this time the birds will be wearing what look like little backpacks, as scientists plan to track their roosting sites along the way. The researchers recently discovered that purple martins are roosting in small forest patches as they migrate from North America to Brazil, an unexpected behavior. The scientists published their findings in the Journal of Field Ornithology. Study: Future drought will offset benefits of higher CO2 on soybean yields Sep 5, 2016 10:00 am2518 views An eight-year study of soybeans grown outdoors in a carbon dioxide-rich atmosphere like that expected by 2050 has yielded a new and worrisome finding: Higher atmospheric CO2 concentrations will boost plant growth under ideal growing conditions, but drought – expected to worsen as the climate warms and rainfall patterns change – will outweigh those benefits and cause yield losses much sooner than anticipated. Study rewrites early history of corn in corn country Feb 14, 2017 8:15 am2495 views A new study contradicts decades of thought, research and teaching on the history of corn cultivation in the American Bottom, a floodplain of the Mississippi River in Illinois. The study refutes the notion that Indian corn, or maize, was cultivated in this region hundreds of years before its widespread adoption at about 1000 A.D. How do we solve the problem of agricultural nutrient runoff? Mar 10, 2022 8:00 am2489 views Agricultural runoff from Midwestern farms is a major contributor to a vast “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico. Nitrogen, phosphorous and other farm nutrients drain into the Mississippi River, which empties into the Gulf, spurring algae to overpopulate and suffocating other aquatic life. Illinois is a main culprit in this ongoing environmental blight. News Bureau life sciences editor Diana Yates spoke with U. of I. natural resources and environmental sciences researcher Lowell Gentry about possible solutions. Bill & Melinda Gates Agricultural Innovations extends RIPE funding with $34M grant Dec 13, 2022 8:30 am2478 views Bill & Melinda Gates Agricultural Innovations has awarded a grant of $34 million to the Realizing Increased Photosynthetic Efficiency project, an international research effort led by scientists at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. In its 10-year history, RIPE has demonstrated large increases in crop productivity in replicated field trials on the university farm. Excessive rainfall as damaging to corn yield as extreme heat, drought Apr 30, 2019 8:15 am2359 views Recent flooding in the Midwest has brought attention to the complex agricultural problems associated with too much rain. Data from the past three decades suggest that excessive rainfall can affect crop yield as much as excessive heat and drought. In a new study, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Illinois linked crop insurance, climate, soil and corn yield data from 1981 through 2016. Illinois sportfish recovery a result of 1972 Clean Water Act, scientists report Oct 18, 2017 9:45 am2359 views Populations of largemouth bass, bluegill, catfish and other sportfish are at the highest levels recorded in more than a century in the Illinois River, according to a new report. Their dramatic recovery, from populations close to zero near Chicago throughout much of the 20th century, began just after implementation of the Clean Water Act, the researchers say. Honey bee researcher Gene Robinson elected to National Academy of Medicine Oct 15, 2018 8:15 am2314 views Entomology professor Gene Robinson, an international leader in honey bee research, has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine “for pioneering contributions to understanding the roles of genes in social behavior.” Robinson directs the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Study finds parallels between unresponsive honey bees, autism in humans Jul 31, 2017 2:00 pm2312 views Honey bees that consistently fail to respond to obvious social cues share something fundamental with autistic humans, researchers report in a new study. Genes most closely associated with autism spectrum disorders in humans are regulated differently in unresponsive honey bees than in their more responsive nest mates, the study found.