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  • An artist's rendering of viruses passing through a nanopore sensor

    DNA sensor quickly determines whether viruses are infectious

    A new sensor can detect not only whether a virus is present, but whether it’s infectious – an important distinction for containing viral spread. Researchers demonstrated the sensor, which integrates specially designed DNA fragments and nanopore sensing, with two key viruses that cause infections worldwide: the human adenovirus and the virus that causes COVID-19.  

  • Siebel Center for Design exterior photo

    Siebel Center for Design is open for exploration

    Siebel Center for Design on the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus opened for business in early August. The multidisciplinary hub of student-focused design thinking and learning was established by a $25 million lead gift from the Thomas and Stacey Siebel Foundation.

  • Center for Advanced Study initiative looks at 'infodemic,' how to combat misinformation

    The CAS initiative will bring together experts to discuss misinformation, disinformation, “fake news” and conspiracy theories.

  • Poster for the new documentary “Cold War: Illinois Stories.”

    New BTN documentary 'Cold War: Illinois Stories' premieres Sept. 29

    A new 30-minute-long documentary tells four separate stories of individuals or programs at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign that were either affected by harsh Cold War politics and their destructive aftermath or, in one segment, shed light on a government film studio dedicated to Cold War propaganda. “Cold War: Illinois Stories” premieres Sept. 29 at 7 a.m. CDT on the Big Ten Network.

  • Photo of cinema and media studies professor Jay Rosenstein

    What has been the impact of the Washington Football Team's name change?

    The changes in the past year in the use of Native American imagery in sports and elsewhere have been unprecedented, said Jay Rosenstein, a Center for Advanced Study professor of media and cinema studies.

  • A portrait of Illinois researchers involved in the study

    Tiny porous crystals change the shape of water to speed up chemical reactions

    Chemical engineers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign now understand how water molecules assemble and change shape in some settings, revealing a new strategy to speed up chemical reactions critical to industry and environmental sustainability. The new approach is poised to play a role in helping chemical manufacturers move away from harmful solvent catalysts in favor of water.

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

    Are President Biden's vaccine mandates lawful?

    The expansive new set of vaccination requirements issued by the Biden administration affecting the federal workforce will likely be upheld by the courts, but the mandate emanating from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is on shakier legal ground, says Michael LeRoy, an expert in labor law and labor relations at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

  • Timothy Tana dn Nicholas Wu stand in a laboratory.

    Antibodies from original strain COVID-19 infection don't bind to variants, study finds

    People infected with the original strain of the virus that causes COVID-19 early in the pandemic produced a consistent antibody response, making two main groups of antibodies to bind to the spike protein on the virus’s outer surface. However, those antibodies don’t bind well to newer variants, a new study from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign found.

  • A portrait of Illinois researchers involved in the study.

    Ultrathin self-healing polymers create new, sustainable water-resistant coatings

    Researchers have found a way to make ultrathin surface coatings robust enough to survive scratches and dings. The new material, developed by merging thin-film and self-healing technologies, has an almost endless list of potential applications, including self-cleaning, anti-icing, anti-fogging, anti-bacterial, anti-fouling and enhanced heat exchange coatings, researchers said.  

  • Photo of education professor Jon Hale

    New book examines race's impact in school choice movement

    A new book by education professor Jon Hale examines the complex history of the school choice movement in the U.S., which was overshadowed by racism and resistance to desegregation.

  • Photo of Tim Dean in a Krannert Art Museum gallery with Hal Fischer's photographic series "18th near Castro St. x 24" on the wall behind Dean.

    Krannert Art Museum hosts retrospective of photographer Hal Fischer

    “Hal Fischer Photographs: Seriality, Sexuality, Semiotics” features his well-known photographic series focused on gay life in 1970s San Francisco, as well as his early work as an Illinois student.

  • Photo of Yihao Liu, a professor of labor and employment relations and of psychology at Illinois.

    Paper: Perception of COVID-19 vulnerability hurts job prospects

    Job seekers’ perceived risk of contracting and falling seriously ill from COVID-19 may take a significant mental health toll and ultimately affect their ability to secure employment, says new research co-written by Yihao Liu, a professor of labor and employment relations and of psychology at Illinois.

  • Photo of Gloria Allen standing in a full-length fur coat on a snowy street.

    CAS, McKinley Foundation hosting art exhibit, presentation about transgender older adults

    “To Survive on This Shore: Photographs and Interviews with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Older Adults” documents the life stories of transgender older adults through photographs and interviews.

  • A portrait of the Illinois researchers who contributed to the study.

    Study provides basis to evaluate food subsectors' emissions of three greenhouse gases

    A new, location-specific agricultural greenhouse gas emission study is the first to account for net carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide emissions from all subsectors related to food production and consumption. The work, led by University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign atmospheric sciences professor Atul Jain, could help identify the primary plant- and animal-based food sectors contributing to three major greenhouse gas emissions and allow policymakers to take action to reduce emissions from the top-emitting food commodities at different locations across the globe.

  • Photo of Stephen Moose

    Is the future of agriculture digital?

    With colleagues at several institutions, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign crop sciences professor Stephen Moose will lead the development of a National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center for Research on Programmable Plant Systems. With $25 million in newly announced funding, the center will create an Internet of Living Things to learn the intimate biological language of plants and their associated organisms. Moose spoke with News Bureau life sciences editor Diana Yates about this new initiative.

  • Students gathered near Foellinger Auditorium in July.

    Class of 2025 sets enrollment records

    The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign freshman enrollment of 8,303 for the 2021-22 academic year is a record. The new class brings total student enrollment to 56,299, the largest in university history.

  • Photo of Rochelle Sennet in a pink evening dress leaning over the keyboard of a Yamaha grand piano.

    New recording pairs music of Bach with works by Black composers

    Pianist Rochelle Sennet said she wants her “Bach to Black” project to show that classical music is for everyone, regardless of race or cultural background.

  • Photo of the researcher.

    New tool maps future climate costs for airlines, passengers

    Researchers built a mathematical model to calculate how much it will cost airlines to cope with rising temperatures in a changing climate.

  • Avocados change belly fat distribution in women, controlled study finds

    An avocado a day could help redistribute belly fat in women toward a healthier profile, according to a new study from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and collaborators. One hundred and five adults with overweight and obesity participated in a randomized controlled trial that provided one meal a day for 12 weeks. Women who consumed avocado as part of their daily meal had a reduction in deeper visceral abdominal fat.

  • A portrait of Dr. Jim Lowe

    Can people take a livestock drug to treat a deadly virus?

    Taking large or multiple doses of the anti-parasitic drug ivermectin can cause a toxic overdose, and humans should not take forms intended for animal use, says Illinois veterinary medicine expert Dr. Jim Lowe.

  • A large land snail with eyestalks and a slimy foot

    Unified theory explains how materials transform from solids to liquids

    Years of meticulous experimentation have paid off for researchers aiming to unify the physics that defines materials that transition from solids to liquids. The researchers said a new theoretical model could help develop new synthetic materials and inform and predict civil engineering and environmental challenges such as mudslides, dam breaks and avalanches.

  • Three men stand in the woods near a depressed track and a fallen tree.

    Exploring the remnants of an ancient forest

    At first glance, Trelease Woods looks like any other central Illinois woodland. There’s a well-worn track inside its fenced eastern edge, and the forest floor is littered with twigs and branches. But as I walk along the path with my companions, I notice that some of the trees are bigger than any I’ve seen in this area.

  • Photo of lead researcher, Xiao Su, in his laboratory.

    Less salt, more protein: Researchers address dairy processing's environmental, sustainability issues

    Researchers say the high salt content of whey – the watery part of milk left behind after cheesemaking – helps make it one of the most polluting byproducts in the food processing industry. In a new study, chemists demonstrate the first electrochemical redox desalination process used in the food industry, removing and recycling up to 99% of excess salt from whey while simultaneously refining more than 98% of whey’s valuable protein content.

  • Image of the abstract painting "Bel Canto" by Louise Fishman

    Krannert Art Museum retrospective of Louise Fishman's drawings an unexpected memorial

    “A Question of Emphasis: Louise Fishman Drawing” is the first retrospective of Fishman’s works on paper, and features many works of art that have never been shown.

  • Photo of Jacob S. Sherkow, a professor of law at Illinois who studies the ethical and policy implications of advanced biotechnologies

    Paper: Use patent law to curb unethical human-genome editing

    Patent law could create an “ethical thicket” that discourages access to the medically and ethically dubious practice of heritable human-genome editing, said Jacob S. Sherkow, a professor of law at Illinois and bioethics expert.

  • Photo of Brian Gaines, a professor of political science at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and a senior scholar at the U. of I. System’s Institute of Government and Public Affairs.

    Is the new Illinois state legislative district map fair?

    The state legislative district map that was signed into law earlier this summer by Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker was based on population estimates rather than official U.S. Census data, rendering it vulnerable to legal challenges, said University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign political science professor Brian Gaines.

  • The 22nd annual “Ebertfest” has been rescheduled for April 20-23 at the Virginia Theatre in downtown Champaign.

    Ebertfest rescheduled due to COVID-19 concerns

    Roger Ebert’s Film Festival, also known as “Ebertfest,” has been rescheduled to April out of concern for a spike in COVID-19 variants in the state. The Virginia Theatre in Champaign will automatically transfer all pass and seat reservations for the event to the new dates, and refunds are available to those who cannot attend the rescheduled event. 

  • Craig Stockman, a food service sanitation laborer in University Housing, is among 16 civil service staff employees recognized for exceptional performance with the Chancellor’s Distinguished Staff Award.

    Chancellor's Distinguished Staff Award honorees named for 2021, 2020

    Sixteen civil service employees – eight this year and eight in 2020 – at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign were recognized for exceptional performance with the Chancellor’s Distinguished Staff Award.

  • AJ Ghent onstage, singing and playing guitar.

    ELLNORA guitar festival marks Krannert Center's return to in-person performances

    ELLNORA: The Guitar Festival will feature influential guitarists playing a wide range of musical styles. The festival will take place on a smaller scale than in past years.

  • Two researchers in a stand of sorghum.

    New imaging, machine-learning methods speed effort to reduce crops' need for water

    Scientists have developed and deployed a series of new imaging and machine-learning tools to discover attributes that contribute to water-use efficiency in crop plants during photosynthesis and to reveal the genetic basis of variation in those traits.

  • Image of Mark Zuckerberg from the video supercut "DEFICIT OF LESS" by Ben Grosser

    Illinois artist Ben Grosser's solo show imagines 'Software for Less'

    An exhibition of work by Ben Grosser, a University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign professor of new media, considers what software might look like if its underlying philosophy was not the creation of more, but less.

  • Photo of Eunmi Mun, a professor of labor and employment relations at Illinois.

    Merit-based employment practices contribute to gender pay gap, study says

    Meritocratic employment practices such as performance bonuses often fail to reduce gender-based pay inequality and may actually exacerbate it by allowing the status quo to remain intact at firms, says new research co-written by Eunmi Mun, a professor of labor and employment relations at Illinois.

  • Vector ecologist Holly Tuten stands under a tree and buttons up her white coveralls.

    Hunting a creature that hunts me

    It’s a sweltering summer afternoon. I’m pushing aside tree limbs and crunching leaves to get back to the trap that I baited two hours ago with dry ice to attract ticks. When I get closer, I can see a gossamer mist hovering over a bright white cloth in the dark underbrush. Dry ice “sublimates” in the open air, going from a solid to a gaseous state. It gives off a vapor of carbon dioxide gas that’s denser than the air, mimicking the breath of a tick host resting on the ground.

  • Silhouette of farm silos at sunset

    Nutrient-rich human waste poised to sustain agriculture, improve economies

    The future connection between human waste, sanitation technology and sustainable agriculture is becoming more evident. According to research directed by University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign civil and environmental engineering professor Jeremy Guest, countries could be moving closer to using human waste as fertilizer, closing the loop to more circular, sustainable economies.

  • Social work professor Lissette Piedra

    Latinos' beliefs about social status may affect their cardiovascular health, study finds

    Subjective perceptions of their social status may have stronger effects on the cardiovascular health of Hispanics and Latinos in the U.S. than objective markers such as income, according to a new study led by Lissette Piedra.

  • Headshot of Roderick Wilson

    Illinois history professor examines Japan's relationships with its rivers

    History professor Roderick Wilson looks at how the interactions between rivers, society and government helped shape Japan’s modern transformation.

  • Directors Azazel Jacobs (pictured) and Ramin Bahrani will appear at Ebertfest’s screening of their recent critically acclaimed movies “French Exit” and “The White Tiger.” Director Bobby Farrelly also will appear with the cult comedy “There’s Something About Mary.”

    Ebertfest announces first films and guests, COVID-19 protocols

    The 22nd Annual Roger Ebert’s Film Festival, co-founded and hosted by Chaz Ebert and also known as “Ebertfest,” announced some of its films and guests for the 2021 event and shared updated COVID-19 safety protocols for the festival.   

  • Panel from graphic novel showing well-dressed Black residents on a busy city street.

    Graphic novel illustrated by Illinois art professor portrays thriving Black community before, after Tulsa massacre

    Artist Stacey Robinson illustrated the graphic novel to portray the prosperity of the Black community.

  • An artist's rendering of Wnt proteins in a cell membrane

    Light can trigger key signaling pathway for embryonic development, cancer

    Blue light is illuminating new understanding of a key signaling pathway in embryo development, tissue maintenance and cancer genesis.

    Illinois researchers developed a method that makes membrane-bound receptors reactive to light, triggering the Wnt pathway.

  • Photo of professor Yong-Su Jin standing with his arms folded

    Team develops bioprocess for converting plant materials into valuable chemicals

    A team of scientists at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign developed a bioprocess using engineered yeast that completely and efficiently converted plant matter consisting of acetate and xylose into high-value chemicals.

  • Photo of University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign political science professor Nicholas Grossman

    What's next for Afghanistan?

    As the military withdraws from Afghanistan nearly two decades after 9/11, the U.S. public should carefully consider the costs and benefits of the effort, said University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign political scientist and international relations expert Nicholas Grossman.

  • A side view of the iconic Alma Mater statue sporting graduation garb.

    Spring semester graduates, Dean's List and Bronze Tablet honorees named

    The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign announces graduates, Dean’s List and Bronze Tablet honorees for the 2021 spring semester. 

  • An artist’s impression of an accretion disk rotating around an unseen supermassive black hole.

    Black hole size revealed by its eating pattern

    The feeding patterns of black holes offer insight into their size, researchers report. A new study revealed that the flickering in the brightness observed in actively feeding supermassive black holes is related to their mass.

  • Photo of Yilan Xu, a professor of agricultural and consumer economics at Illinois

    Study: Domestic control of COVID-19 takes priority over international travel bans

    A new paper co-written by University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign economist Yilan Xu says taming domestic transmission of COVID-19 ought to be prioritized over international travel bans.

  • Photo of researchers standing in a laboratory with equipment and supplements used in the study on the bench in front of them.

    Study identifies molecule that stimulates muscle-building

    In a randomized control study of 10 healthy young men, researchers compared how consuming the single amino acid leucine or its two-molecule equivalent, dileucine, influenced muscle-building and breakdown. They found that dileucine boosts the metabolic processes that drive muscle growth 42% more than free leucine does.

  • Photo of researchers.

    Study offers insight into underlying causes of seizure disorder in babies

    Researchers report that infantile spasms, a rare but serious seizure disorder in babies, appear to be the result of a molecular pathway gone awry. In their study of a mouse model of the disorder, the researchers discovered that genetic mutations associated with the disease impair a pathway that is involved in building new synapses in the hippocampus, a brain region essential to learning and memory.

  • 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.

  • Screenshot from a video of a black-crested titmouse stealing fur from a sleeping fox, from the YouTube channel Texas Backyard Wildlife.

    Paper: Some birds steal hair from living mammals

    A new paper in the journal Ecology documents an unusual behavior among titmice, chickadees and tits: A bird will land on an unsuspecting mammal and, cautiously and stealthily, pluck out some of its hair.

  • Photo of Jacob S. Sherkow, a professor of law at Illinois who studies the ethical and policy implications of advanced biotechnologies

    Should the government implement a vaccine passport system?

    Vaccine passports strike the right balance between letting life go on for the vaccinated while still being realistic about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, said Jacob S. Sherkow, a professor of law at Illinois and bioethics expert.

  • Photo of three researchers standing on campus.

    Study tests microplasma against middle-ear infections

    In a new study, researchers explore the use of microplasma – a highly focused stream of chemically excited ions and molecules – as a noninvasive method for attacking the bacterial biofilms that resist antibiotic treatment in the middle ear.