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  • Smart coatings on orthopedic implants, developed at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, have bacteria-killing nanopillars on one side and strain-mapping flexible electronics on the other. This could help physicians guide patient rehabilitation and repair or replace devices before they fail.  Image by Beckman Imaging Technology Group

    Nature-inspired orthopedic implant coating kills bacteria, monitors strain

    Bio IT World (June 5) – Researchers at Illinois believe they have come up with an attractive approach to the battle against bacteria that can infect orthopedic implants: an integrated strain sensor that provides a 'warning of instrument failure.'

  • Orio Autonomous Tool Carrier for vegetables and industrial crops from the French company Naio Technologies. Photo by Elizabeth Weiss

    Robot farmers? Machines are crawling through America's fields. Some have lasers.

    USA Today (June 4) Robots developed at Illinois can scoot under the canopy of crops to plant cover crop seed before the main crop is harvested. 'This will expand the ability to do cover cropping and take less time.' says professor Shadi Atallah.

  • illustration by Karlotta Freier for the New York Times

    Cycle syncing is trendy. Does it work?

    The New York Times (June 1)  Much of the advice about timing training regimens around menstrual cycles is impractical, given that cycles vary, says Kathryn Clancy, a biological anthropology professor at the U. of I. 

  • Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis talks with reporters May 13, 2023, during a fundraising picnic for U.S. Rep. Randy Feenstra, R-Iowa, in Sioux Center, Iowa. (AP)

    DeSantis: 'There's not been a single book banned in the state of Florida'

    PolitiFact (May 31) 'It is censorship, because it's about control of access to knowledge. The whole point is to make sure that some people do not have unfettered access to that information,' says U of I professor Emily Knox.

  • Sassafras leaves begin to grow. Courtesy of Kellen Calinger-Yoak

    What a 19th-century farmer’s forgotten notes reveal about growing seasons

    Smithsonian Magazine (May 31) Longer growing seasons can be problematic, says Christopher Evans, a U of I forest ecologist. 'The birds don’t have the food sources at the right time, or the pollinators that may pollinate these plants aren’t out yet.'

  • glass of water is drawn from a faucet

    How much can a water filter do?

    The New York Times (May 30)  Public water supplies in the U.S. are generally safe, but 'the number of exceptions may increase with time if we don’t' update the infrastructure, says U of I professor Thanh Nguyen.

  • Five things to know about protein

    Washington Post (May 24) - “Most Americans are eating close to 1.0 to 1.2 grams per kilogram of their body weight” in protein most days, says Nicholas Burd, the director of the Nutrition and Exercise Performance Research Group at Illinois. 

  • Graphic by MOLLY FERGUSON FOR STAT

    Sports medicine is beginning to prioritize gender equality

    STAT News (May 19) 'There’s long been a misconception that (menstrual) cycles don’t matter, and it’s important that we’re starting to understand that they do,' says U. of I. anthropology professor Kathryn Clancy. 

  • banner for the University of Illinois's Center for Quantum Sensing and Quantum Materials, a Department of Energy Frontier Research Center headed by Peter Abbamonte

    'Strange metals' could hold fundamental answers for quantum scientists

    HPC Wire (May 17) 'You’d think, in 2023, we would understand metals,' says U of I professor Peter Abbamonte. 'It’s not like they’re a new phase of material. But we can’t even begin to explain strange metals, and that’s very frustrating to a physicist.'

  • stock image of tractor harvesting corn in light of setting sun. Getty images

    PBS NewsHour live from U of I: 'Tipping Point: Agriculture on the Brink'

    PBS (May 16) – U. of I. professor of crop sciences Andrew Margenot joins a PBS NewsHour panel discussion called 'Tipping Point: Agriculture on the Brink' on Wednesday, May 24.

  • South Suburban College, a public community college in South Holland, Illinois.

    Can local colleges please just work together?

    The Philadelphia Citizen (May 16) Should universities, local colleges cooperate on recruitment and advising? The U of I understood that real stature was achieved by creative, effective service to students - especially first generation students.

  • Patrick Ben III stands outside the Bruce Nesbitt African American Cultural Center at U of I

    The college-going gap between Black and white Americans is getting worse

    When Patrick Ben III finally made it to U of I, the shortcomings of his high school were laid bare. Other students 'were sitting there in class talking about how they’ve already done this stuff, where I’m thinking, all of this is new to me.'

  • Accounting majors in the class of 2023, the first to enter a postpandemic professional world, will find no shortage of demand for their services as the industry grapples with a scarcity of candidates. PHOTO: THOMAS WELLS/THE NORTHEAST MISSISSIPPI DAILY/ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Why grads aren’t hot on accounting careers: Low starting pay, onerous testing

    The Wall Street Journal (May 12) – Michael Donohoe, the head of accounting at Illinois, blames stagnant salaries. 'Over the last eight to 10 years, starting salaries have not kept pace with these really cool emerging fields, like data science.' 

  • stock image of salt on a black background. Andrei Berezovskii / Getty

    MSG is finally getting its revenge. It could be the secret to eating less salt

    The Atlantic (May 11) – MSG may amplify saltiness by increasing salivation, letting sodium molecules wash over the tongue more freely, says Aubrey Dunteman, a graduate student in food scientist at the U. of I.
     

  • Talking robot heads and their 3D-printed components. Image credits: Augmented Listening Laboratory at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

    U of I's talking robot heads like gossip and could help us understand hearing better

    ZME Science (May 10) Researchers at U of I's Augmented Listening Laboratory unveiled a collection of bizarre 3D-printed talking robots, which are used to study how our ears receive sound when multiple conversations happen simultaneously.

  • Tornado passing a farm house. Looking west from Illiopolis exit off I-72. (Source: Skip Talbot/National Weather Service)

    Illinois leads nation in tornadoes this year, nearly twice above state average

    WGN-TV (Chicago, May 8) – A study from Illinois suggests that twisters are most frequent in the state between April and June from 3-7 p.m.
     

  • Shoppers at grocery stores have experienced a steep rise in prices over the past two years. Credit: Deanna Isaacs

    Food, glorious food! Why is it so costly?

    Chicago Reader (May 3) 'There are millions of Americans who are working jobs but not making enough money to afford food,' says U of I professor Jonathan Coppess. 'This raises a huge question about the state of our economy...'

  • Horse races are displayed on screens at Club Hawthorne and PointsBet Sportsbook Thursday, March 3, 2022, in Crestwood. Illinois is permanently eliminating the in-person registration requirement for sports betting on March 5. (John J. Kim / Chicago Tribune)

    Illinois sportsbooks could add in-state college sports betting under proposed bill

    Chicago Tribune (May 2) 'By implementing more broad-based and state collegiate sports gambling, the people who are placed at risk are our student-athletes, our university students, and the integrity of our contests,' says U. of I. A-D Josh Whitman.

  • graphic illustration by J.R. Bee for Education Week

    Parents nervous about math can still help their kids learn it

    Education Week (May 1) U of I researchers asked parents to log their time spent helping with math homework and with low-stakes math-related activities, like measuring ingredients for a recipe or playing a card game that involves addition.

  • Iowa Wesleyan University will close this spring despite a $26 million loan from the Agriculture Department. (The Gazette )

    The government is rescuing rural colleges that would otherwise close

    The Washington Post (April 27) Having a university nearby not only raises household income, U of I research has found; it increases high school graduation rates and boosts employment and other things that contribute to local economies.

  • carbon sequestration graphic from Wikimedia Commons

    Carbon capture tech draws the attention of state lawmakers, environmentalists

    Capitol News Illinois (April 25) The state is planning several carbon sequestration projects. 'We have some of, if not the most favorable geology for this particular activity in the country,' says U of I researcher Sallie Greenberg. 

  • stock image of medical worker in scrubs walking with a farmer in front of a cow pasture. Getty Images

    FarmDocs program gives med students dose of agricultural life

    Jacksonville Journal-Courier (April 23) Rural life is pretty foreign to many Carle Illinois College of Medicine first-year medical students who hail from urban areas. 'They’ve never been on a farm, never seen a farm,' says Professor Don Greeley.

  • Illinois researchers including professor Diwakar Shukla, left, professor Xiao Su, Anaira Román Santiago and Song Yin collaborated on a study that verifies that electrochemistry – rather than filtration and harmful solvents – can remove short-chain PFAS from the environment and municipal water supplies. U of I photo by Fred Zwicky

    PFAS lurking in US water supply as U of Illinois researchers develop filter technology

    WLS-TV (April 20) U of I researchers are designing an electrode that can capture a range of a new breed of 'forever chemicals' called short-chain PFAS. Meanwhile, the EPA is moving to impose new limits on those chemicals in drinking water.

  • smog in downtown Los Angeles. Image from Flickr/Metro Library and Archive

    American Lung Association: A quarter of Americans live with polluted air

    There’s a myth that only poor communities live with disproportionate pollution levels, says Chris Tessum, U of I professor of civil and environmental engineering. Tessum says race really is the determining factor.
     

  • (Washington Post staff illustration; iStock) menstrual pad surrounded by corona virus

    Why reports of period weirdness after covid shots were ignored

    The Washington Post (April 18) U of I anthropology professor Kate Clancy writes about her research into the menstrual side effects of coronavirus vaccines and how early claims of such side effects were ignored and ridiculed. 

  • Artist's impression of a rare double quasar in the early Universe. (NASA, ESA, Joseph Olmsted/STScI)

    U of I astronomers just spotted two supermassive black holes nearing a collision

    It's rare to see an impending supermassive black hole collision. 'We don’t see a lot of double quasars at this early time in the universe. And that’s why this discovery is so exciting,' says grad student Yu-Ching Chen

  • The surprising science of how pregnancy begins

    NPR (April 12) The more scientists learn, the more they realize that the start of pregnancy isn’t a moment but a process that often ends before it really begins. U of I professor David Miller and other experts weigh in on how a pregnancy begins.

  • Chicago mayor-elect Brandon Johnson

    Chicago mayor-elect Brandon Johnson joins picket line at Chicago State University

    Crain’s Chicago Business (April 10) 'It would certainly be consistent with Johnson’s values to be out there, and this is probably a departure from what we’ve seen, quite frankly, from other mayors,' says U of I labor expert Robert Bruno..

  • E+/Getty image of 'paper dolls' with one being cut out of the chain

    No, being bullied or ignored doesn’t make kids stronger

    Education Week (April 7) Teens who haven’t felt accepted by their peers tend to interpret new rejections “in terms of ‘there’s something wrong with me. This has happened before,’” says Karen Rudolph, a U of I professor of psychology.

  • Diagram of ChatRepair conversation flow

    ChatGPT becomes ChatRepair to automate bug fixing for less

    The Register (April 5) – U. of I. researchers have enlisted ChatGPT to repair software bugs without breaking the bank. The title of their recent preprint paper: 'Fixing 162 out of 337 bugs for $0.42 each using ChatGPT.'

  • image of U. S. constitution text for Article 5

    Shifting interpretations of the U.S. Constitution; stalling of the ERA

    WGN-AM (April 2) How much can the Constitution really be amended? Illinois law dean Vikram Amar talks about Article 5 and analyzes our government’s long history of making amendments to the constitution.

  • Grainger College of Engineering Dean Rashid Bashir

    U of I Engineering dean discusses new Chicago-based masters in computer science

    The new computer science program aims to keep the next generation of tech talent in the state. Dean Rashid Bashir says with better access to opportunities, Illinois can compete with other tech hubs for fresh talent that can transform the industry.

  • Pinto Bean the squirrel, in preserved form. Photo credit Joseph Lee Spencer

    The return of Pinto Bean, the piebald squirrel

    WBBM-AM (March 28)  Named Pinto Bean by students, the squirrel was piebald - it had distinctive patches of gray and white fur. The squirrel was stuffed, mounted on a tree branch and is now on display in the Forbes Natural History Building.
     

  • Illinois Governor J. B. Pritzker. Photo by Bloomberg

    State of Illinois' new plan to compete for billions in federal funding

    A new coalition called Innovate Illinois is led by Gov. J.B. Pritzker, UL Solutions CEO Jennifer Scanlon and U. of I. Chancellor Robert Jones, and includes congressional leadership, which is key to winning federal funding.

  • the hands of a Chinese farmer hold harvested perennial rice, 'Yunda 107'. China News Service/China News Service via Getty Images

    Perennial rice: Plant once, harvest again and again

    NPR (March 27) – Illinois crop sciences professor Erik Sacks, who helped develop perennial rice over the last two decades, discusses how perennial grains could bring huge environmental benefits and be a boon for farmers.

  • an Illini second baseman, sporting huge patches of eye black, throws to first in an attempt to turn a double play

    Illini Baseball opens Big Ten play with trip to Nebraska

    The Illinois baseball team returns to action Friday in Lincoln, Neb., where they begin Big Ten play at Haymarket Park. The Illini (10 -7) earned their first home win of the season on Tuesday, defeating Bradley, 6-4, in midweek action.

  • Illinois graduate student Zander Kelley

    Surprise computer science proof by U of I student, colleague stuns mathematicians

    Quanta Magazine (March 21) 'My best idea for how to make progress on this problem [was] to actually improve the tool itself, not to use it in a more clever way,' said U of I grad student Zander Kelley.

  • Illinois Farm Bureau image of 2% milk on a store shelf

    Dairy, meat demand high despite prices

    The Edwardsville Intelligencer (March 20) 'The last half of 2022, dairy consumption only went down about 2%. Some people were surprised it didn’t go down more, as the cost of those products was up about 22%,' says U of I professor and dairy specialist Mike Hutjens.

  • Temple presenting her talk 'Different kinds of minds.'

    How do different thinkers interpret the world?

    U of I alumna Temple Grandin's story changed the way the world understands autism. In this TED talk, she speaks about the many ways people interpret the world, the different kinds of thinkers and how to support them all. 

  • The neuron-based computer. Photo by Andrew Dou, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

    80,000 mouse brain cells used to build a living computer

    New Scientist (March 16) A computer built by U of I researchers uses tens of thousands of living brain cells and can recognize simple patterns of light, electricity. The work could eventually be incorporated into robots that also use living tissues.

  • twilight on a wheat field. Image via Wikimedia Commons

    Asian crops face El Nino threat, deepens food inflation worries

    Reuters (March 15) U.S. wheat production could benefit. 'In the southern Plains – parts of Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas n particular – those areas do tend to do a lot better, when it comes to rainfall, in an El Nino year,” U of I climatologist Trent Ford said.

  • Project Gutenberg logo

    A brief history of Project Gutenberg

    500 years after Gutenberg began using his printing press to publish books for the masses, U of I student Michael S. Hart uploaded the text of the Declaration of Independence to the nascent internet, signaling the beginning of the e-book age.

  • A Silicon Valley Bank customer meets the press March 13, 2023, after exiting the bank’s headquarters in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP)

    Did 'woke' investments cause Silicon Valley Bank's collapse?

    PolitiFact (March 13) U of I business law expert Robert Lawless says 'wokeness' didn’t cause the bank’s collapse. 'It had nothing to do with it. It’s like saying, "Why isn’t ‘blue’ the answer to ‘one plus one’?" It’s Banking 101. That’s what was going on.'

  • stock image of a young man sleeping. Wikimedia Commons

    Best night's sleep balances quantity and quality

    U.S. News & World Report (March 10) 'Results from this study revealed significant associations between optimism and various characteristics of self-reported sleep,” says U of I social work professor Rosalba Hernandez.

  • uncredited graphic depicts laser beams tossing and catching atoms in a baseball-like 'game of catch'

    'Subatomic baseball' could speed up tomorrow’s quantum computers

    Inverse (March 10) 'Arrays of neutral atoms trapped in focused laser beams are one of the leading quantum computing platforms,' U. of I. physicist Brian Leeds DeMarco says. But it's tough to create a defect-free array where no atoms are missing.

  • Small modular nuclear reactors like this design produced by NuScale Power could be the wave of the future, but the technology is still unproven. (uncredited graphic via Illinois Times)

    House bill would lift nuclear power construction moratorium

    Illinois Times (March 9) U of I professor Rizwan Uddin says the current prohibition puts Illinois researchers at a disadvantage since they can’t study new techniques and technologies without traveling to other states.

  • Girl hiding face behind cellphone (Image by Cyn Yoder from Pixabay via Courthouse News)

    With more opportunities than ever, why are teen girls so depressed?

    Courthouse News Service (March 7) U of I's Karen Rudolph says bullying is down overall, but bullying on social media can be worse. 'Social media is 24/7. It was bad before, but you could escape. Now it’s constant and the whole school knows...'

  • Robert Bruno

    'People will like it': 4-day work week paying off for Chicago company

    WBBM-TV (March 6) An overwhelming majority of employers who've tried it prefer the four-day workweek. Why keep five days? 'I think some habit, some history. We’re stuck in this industrial mode,' says U of I labor expert Robert Bruno.

  • Farmer Tim Gottman stands in the distance overlooking a harvested cornfield on his farm in northeast Missouri. The green vegetation in between the old stalks is rye, a cover crop that can help keep the soil healthy. Photo by Jonathan Ahl / St. Louis Public Radio

    Midwest farmers tripled use of cover crops, but it’s still a small fraction of acres

    St. Louis Public Radio (March 6) 'It is certainly not at a level that would be necessary for some of the challenges, like the water quality challenges like soil erosion,' says U of I's Jonathan Coppess. 'It’s going to take a lot more acres to get there.'

  • the Alma Mater statue at sunset

    U of I is getting into the business of angel investing

    Crain’s Chicago Business (Feb. 28) The Urbana campus is launching Illini Angels, a program that will allow U. of I. alums to invest in startups coming out of the university as well as companies started by students after they leave.