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  • Zika Virus

    National Geographic (Feb. 5) -- In the 1960s, an outbreak of rubella virus expanded women’s access to abortion in the United States. Could Zika do the same in Latin America? Illinois history professor Leslie J. Reagan, who has written a book about the 1960s rubella virus outbreak, weighs in.

  • Zero Net Growth

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch (from The Associated Press, Nov. 7) -- Illinois is trying to rein in expansion on its campus. The university approved a policy this past summer for “zero net growth” as part of an effort to reduce its carbon footprint. According to the policy, construction or leasing new space won’t be permitted if it increases total square footage the campus owns or uses.

  • Yellowstone

    The Guardian (Jan. 31) -- Many geologists believe Yellowstone National Park sits on top of a “hot spot” – a plume of warm mantle rising up from the edge of the Earth’s core. But new research makes this seem unlikely. Instead, researchers found what appears to be the remnants of an ancient ocean tectonic plate. By modeling the way the mantle might flow around this ancient plate, geology student Tiffany Leonard and geology professor Lijun Liu from Illinois have shown that this sinking slab would block the heat and get in the way of any mantle plume.

  • Workplace wellness programs

    Chicago Tribune (Jan. 26) – Workplace wellness programs have two main goals: improve employees’ health and lower their employers’ health-care costs. They’re not very good at either, according to new research by U. of I. scientists.

  • Work

    Discovery News (Nov. 27) -- Working all the time can make a person worse at work. “Constant work creates cognitive clutter,” says Laura Payne, a professor in the department of recreation, sport and tourism at Illinois. “That clutter stifles the openness that is so vital for problem solving and epiphanies.”

  • Women in Computer Science

    Chicago Inno (Aug. 25) – Computer science classes at Illinois are going to look a little different this fall than they have in the past. Nearly half – 46 percent – of the 190 incoming freshman computer science students in the College of Engineering are women.

  • Wildlife Pathology

    The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, April 12) -- The deaths of stillborn and recently born bottlenose dolphins found stranded on beaches and in coastal waters along the shores of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama during the four years after the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill were likely the result of chronic health problems of their mothers and linked to their exposure to oil from the spill, according to a new Illinois research paper published Tuesday.

  • Whew!

    WLS-7 TV (ABC; Chicago, Sept. 15) -- A quick-thinking cop risked his own life to protect a child in traffic. It happened on the U. of I. campus.

  • Wheelchair athletes

    Chicago Tribune (June 19) – Two wheelchair racers with U. of I. ties are competing for ESPY Awards, to be given out July 10 in Los Angeles by the ESPN sports network. Wheelchair racer Tatyana McFadden, an Illinois alumna, is vying for Best Female Athlete With a Disability. Daniel Romanchuk, a member of the U. of I. Wheelchair Racing Team who won last year’s Chicago Marathon and this year’s Boston Marathon, is competing for Best Male Athlete With a Disability.

  • Weed science

    Ag Professional (Philadelphia, April 9) – With a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U. of I. researchers are investigating genetic control of waterhemp and Palmer amaranth. Since these weeds use sexual reproduction, requiring male and female plants, thinning populations to just males could drastically reduce the weed’s effect on farm fields.

  • Weed Science

    Iowa Farmer Today (Cedar Rapids, Iowa, June 15) – When Patrick Tranel was hired as the first molecular weed scientist at Illinois 20 years ago, he couldn’t have imagined how relevant his work would be to herbicide resistant weeds these days. Tranel focuses on the evolution of weeds – and how to kill them. 

  • Weed Science

    Illinois Farmer Today (Oct. 27) – Farmers struggling with herbicide-resistant weeds may soon be looking at a mechanical option for relief. A machine invented by Australian farmer Ray Harrington is getting a look by scientists in the United States. The Harrington Seed Destructor pulverizes small weed seeds, rendering them unable to germinate. Illinois weed scientist Adam Davis is among a handful of investigators involved in a nationwide study of the machine’s weed-fighting ability.

  • Weed science

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

  • Viral

    Discovery News (Sept. 25) -- Viruses have been difficult to classify, with some scientists arguing that they are just nonliving bits of DNA and RNA, yet new Illinois research not only finds that they are very much alive, but that they also emerged before the first modern cells.

  • Vet Med

    The Pantagraph (from The Associated Press; Bloomington, Ill., Jan. 22) -- A bobcat kitten that was struck by a car will soon head back to Indiana following treatment at Illinois' College of Veterinary Medicine.

  • Vet Med

    The Washington Post (April 25) -- TR, a black bear, and Benny, a bobcat, are among the denizens of Illinois’s Wildlife Prairie Park who received some bad news last year: They were too fat. At a recent weigh-in during exams performed by Illinois veterinary students, they’d all lightened up. TR was the biggest loser, having slimmed down to just 600 pounds.

  • Veterinary Medicine

    The Washington Post (Jan. 4) – Lucky, the two-faced calf, died one week before a potentially lifesaving visit to the College of Veterinary Medicine at Illinois.

  • Veterinary medicine

    U.S. News & World Report (from The Associated Press; March 26) – Police dogs hurt on the job in the Champaign area will soon be able to get an ambulance ride to a hospital along with emergency care on the way there. Arrow Ambulance and Illinois are teaming up to provide the ambulance ride to the Veterinary Teaching Hospital.

  • Veterinary Medicine

    Chicago Tribune (June 2) -- Lake County Forest Preserves biologists recently released 100 hatchling Blanding’s turtles to boost the species’ population. Erin Newman, a veterinarian student at Illinois, also took blood samples of the elder captured turtles in the preserve to see if they have a type of virus.

  • Veterinary clinical medicine

    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Feb. 19) – The opioid epidemic is taking its toll on dogs as well humans. While all overdose deaths of humans are reported to the federal government, there’s no central database of overdoses of working drug-sniffing dogs, though the College of Veterinary Medicine at Illinois is working to create one. “These dogs are incredible, they find our lost kids, they keep us safe, they find narcotics,” says Ashley Mitek, a veterinarian and professor of veterinary clinical medicine at Illinois who is leading the work to create the database.

  • Veterinary clinical medicine

    Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, Ill., June 7) – While the national opioid epidemic claims 115 human lives a day according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there’s growing concern about another group of potential victims – police dogs. Police canines searching for dope or taking part in a drug raid face the risk of accidentally ingesting opioids, with possibly deadly consequences. “A poppy seed size of the powder can kill a dog,” says Maureen McMichael, a professor of veterinary clinical medicine at Illinois.

  • Veterinary cardiology

    Herald and Review (Decatur, Ill., July 22) – When dogs have heart problems, veterinary cardiologists like Dr. Ryan Fries at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital are able to keep things ticking along with a pacemaker.

  • Upcoming European elections

    WBEZ-FM (Chicago, audio, Nov. 23) – Maxime Larive, associate director of the European Union Center at Illinois, is interviewed about the upcoming votes in Austria and Italy and what they could mean for the future of the European Union.

  • University of Illinois Extension

    The Southern Illinoisan (from Illinois Farmer Today; Carbondale, Ill., Nov. 10) – When Teresa Steckler looks at a harvested cornfield, she sees free cattle feed. “You’re missing a golden opportunity if it’s available and you don’t use it,” says the University of Illinois Extension livestock educator.

  • University Archives

    Chicago Sun-Times (Oct. 15) – Several archivists from the U. of I. descended into a basement storage room where the Chicago Sun-Times keeps thousands of film press kits. The Sun-Times, which is moving offices later this year from its home next to the Merchandise Mart to office space in the West Loop, is donating the material to the university.

  • Tuition Freeze

    Chicago Tribune (Jan. 20) -- For the second year in a row, Illinois is poised to freeze tuition for new in-state undergraduates next academic year, a decision aimed at attracting students who have been leaving the state as costs have increased and the state's financial outlook is uncertain.

  • Tuition

    The Pew Charitable Trusts (Philadelphia, June 1) – Sixty percent of public research universities now assess tuition based on students’ year of study, major or both. At Illinois, for instance, undergraduates in the College of Business were charged 42 percent higher in-state tuition – about $5,000 more – last year than undergraduates studying English.

  • Tuition

    Chicago Tribune (Aug. 24) – About 85 percent of the largest U.S. colleges and universities let students pay tuition with a credit card, and 57 percent of card-accepting schools tack on a service fee that averaged 2.62 percent, according to a new survey. Illinois and the University of Illinois at Chicago set a lower rate, 2.4 percent, while DePaul University accepts card payments fee-free, according to the survey. 

  • Trunk Parties

    Chicago Tribune (Aug. 21) – Nana Konadu Owusu, 18, of Matteson, Illinois, speaks about the importance of having a family that supports her as she starts the next chapter in her life by attending Illinois. Her family threw her a trunk party, which consists of elders sharing advice and gift-giving as students head off to college. 

  • Trolls in the classroom

    Inside Higher Ed (Jan. 29) – Faculty leaders at Illinois are weighing a proposal to protect faculty members from students who enroll in their classes to disrupt, or troll, them.

  • Trade wars hurting farmers

    Bloomberg (New York City, May 14) – American farmers, among Donald Trump’s most loyal supporters, face mounting financial pain from the president’s trade war with China and the growing risk that the damage will outlast the conflict. Jonathan Coppess, a professor of agricultural policy at Illinois and former head of the U.S. Farm Service Agency, says that U.S. farmers’ overseas competitors will gain more advantage as the dispute persists.

  • Tim Nugent

    WNPR-FM 88.5 (from NPR; Stamford, Conn., Nov. 12) -- Tim Nugent, known as “the father of accessibility” at Illinois, died Wednesday. Nugent is credited with fighting for people with disability laws and advocating for accessibility laws.

  • Theater

    The Wall Street Journal (Jan. 21) -- The memories of the long-running “Cats” Broadway show will live again. And for some, it’s all too soon. “The question is, how does ‘Cats’ speak to us now, in a way that ‘Hamilton’ or other shows do?” says Jeffrey Eric Jenkins, a professor and head of the department of theatre at Illinois and a former New York theater critic. “It became a rite of passage for people coming to New York,” he says. “I don’t know if it will have that resonance for this generation.”

  • Textbooks

    The Christian Science Monitor (Oct. 14) -- A bill introduced in the Senate last week could soften the blow of college textbook prices. This approach already works, says Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, who sponsored the bill. An open source textbook, created at the U. of I. with federal funds, is currently used by more than 60,000 students from various colleges.

  • Terrorism

    BBC News (Dec. 25) -- Several research groups across the globe are now developing sensors to detect TATP – the explosive used in the Paris attacks – before it can be detonated. "Anyone who could follow a recipe to make a pumpkin pie could follow the recipe to make TATP," says Kenneth Suslick, a professor of chemistry at Illinois.

  • Tech Jobs

    The Seattle Times (Opinion, March 26) -- Illinois communication professor Robert McChesney likened what’s coming in terms of tech advances to “the Cambrian explosion,” a relatively brief evolutionary period during which the ancestors of most modern organisms appeared. “What the human race is about to enter … most jobs are history.”

  • Teaching cursive

    KRIS-TV (Corpus Christi, Texas, April 8) – There is a debate on whether cursive is a valuable enough skill to be required in elementary education. Valerie Hotchkiss, a library director at the U. of I., thinks it is necessary for understanding historical documents. Without knowing cursive, students "will be locked out of doing research with literary papers and archival collections, they will not even be able to read their grandmother’s diary or their parents’ love letters.”

  • Tax law

    Omaha World-Herald (Omaha, Neb., Nov. 11) – Republican lawmakers are pushing to roll back or eliminate the state and local tax deduction that reduces the amount that millions of Americans owe to Uncle Sam every year. Richard Kaplan, a professor of law at Illinois who specializes in tax policy, says eliminating the state and local tax deduction is both part of Republican philosophy – not wanting high-tax locales subsidized – and a way of helping the proposal’s bottom line.

  • Supreme Court justice candidates

    Des Moines Register (Dec. 11) – Conservatives hoping for an intellectual successor to the late Justice Antonin Scalia would find qualities to admire in either of the Iowa judges named as a possible Donald Trump pick for the U.S. Supreme Court, according to experts and colleagues. Judge Steven Colloton is one of the judges. “I think Steve is a careful, judicious person," says Vikram David Amar, one of Colloton’s law school classmates who now serves as dean of Illinois’ College of Law.

  • Supreme Court

    Los Angeles Times (Opinion, Feb. 16) -- Illinois College of Law Dean Vikram Amar co-writes an op-ed on the Supreme Court vacancy left by the late Antonin Scalia. The situation mirrors a similar case 28 years ago.

  • Supreme Court

    The New York Times (Oct. 4) -- The new term’s biggest Supreme Court rulings will land in June, as the 2016 presidential campaign enters its final stretch, and they will help shape the political debate.“Constitutional law and politics are certainly not the same thing, but they are interrelated, never more so than in a presidential election year that will likely determine who gets to appoint the next justice or two or three,” says Vikram D. Amar, dean of Illinois' College of Law.

  • Supercomputing

    HPCwire (San Diego, Feb. 2) – The National Center for Supercomputing Applications’ world-renowned cybersecurity and large-scale data capabilities are being called upon to advance Illinois as the nation’s premier “Smart State.”

  • Supercomputing

    HPCwire (San Diego, March 27) – Gravitational wave astronomy burst onto the scene with the success of the original Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory effort and has since continued with the expanded Advanced LIGO project, which has now identified five binary black hole mergers producing gravitational waves. New deep-learning tools developed at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at Illinois now promise to accelerate aLIGO discovery efforts.

  • Supercomputing (April 26) -- The new IMAX film “A Beautiful Planet” depicts Earth from an astronaut's-eye view, and it also painstakingly recreates the entire Milky Way in a realistic visualization. In a video, Donna Cox, the director of the Advanced Visualization Lab at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at Illinois, describes working with scientists to visualize their data and telescopic images cataloguing the universe. She is joined by the center's visualization designer Robert Patterson.

  • Supercomputing

    HPC Wire (San Diego, June 6) – An international team of researchers, including researchers from the U. of I., has finally solved a long-standing cosmic mystery – and to do it, they needed to produce the most detailed black hole simulation ever created. The team ran the simulation on the Blue Waters supercomputer at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at Illinois.

  • Supercomputing

    Eos (Washington, D.C., July 10) – In a study published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, researchers announced that they finally demonstrated Bardeen-Petterson alignment, in which a spinning black hole causes the inner portion of a tilted accretion disk to align with the black hole’s equatorial plane. To accomplish the most detailed and highest-resolution black hole simulation to date, researchers used the Blue Waters supercomputer at Illinois.

  • Supercomputing

    Space Coast Daily (Melbourne, Fla., Oct. 3) – A new model is bringing scientists a step closer to understanding the kinds of light signals produced when two supermassive black holes, which are millions to billions of times the mass of the sun, spiral toward a collision. For the first time, a new computer simulation that fully incorporates the physical effects of Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity shows that gas in such systems will glow predominantly in ultraviolet and X-ray light. The simulation ran on the National Center for Supercomputing Applications’ Blue Waters supercomputer at Illinois.

  • Suburban Express shuts down

    Chicago Tribune (May 8) – Suburban Express, a bus company in Urbana-Champaign that served U. of I. students, is shutting down. The company was sanctioned recently by the Illinois attorney general for discriminatory and harassing business practices.

  • Student experiences

    Daily Herald (from The Associated Press; Arlington Heights, Ill., April 7) – Two fourth-year students at the U. of I. College of Veterinary Medicine are already getting some hands-on work with vaccinations, testing and other care. They were at the Coles County Animal Shelter on March 14, doing work that not only helps them prepare for their careers, but also provides care for pet owners who might not be able to get it otherwise.

  • Student Experiences (Nov. 17) -- As part of a project called "Jason's List" where he helps grant people's wishes, Illinois student Jason Yue, a senior, decided to make flying a reality for Eric, who he'd been friends with since his freshman year at Presby Hall on campus, where Eric works.