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Gemechu Olana, a professor at Adama Science and Technology University, left, shares SAWBO animations with Ethiopian farmers.

Education by animation: Videos reaching tens of thousands of Ethiopian farmers

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:May 19, 2014

Teff, a nutritious grain, is a staple in Ethiopia. Its seeds are tiny – so small that some say its name was derived from the Amharic word for “lost.” Now, thanks to a creative educational initiative based at the University of Illinois, much less of the precious teff will be lost in Ethiopia.

Published Date: May 19, 2014


Plant biology professor Andrew Leakey and colleagues report that levels of zinc, iron and protein drop in some key crop plants when grown at elevated CO2 levels.

As CO2 levels rise, some crop nutrients will fall

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:May 7, 2014

Researchers have some bad news for future farmers and eaters: As carbon dioxide levels rise this century, some grains and legumes will become significantly less nutritious than they are today.

Published Date: May 7, 2014


Professors Praveen Kumar, right, and Stephen Long developed a computer modeling system to help plant scientists breed soybean crops that produce more and use less water.

Scientists say new computer model amounts to a lot more than a hill of beans

Author: Liz Ahlberg, Physical Sciences Editor

Published Date:April 3, 2014

Crops that produce more while using less water seem like a dream for a world with a burgeoning population and already strained food and water resources. This dream is coming closer to reality for University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign researchers who have developed a new computer model that can help plant scientists breed better soybean crops.

Published Date: April 3, 2014


Illinois Natural History Survey insect behaviorist Joseph Spencer, left, former crop sciences professor Manfredo Seufferheld, entomology professor Barry Pittendrigh and their colleagues found that different Western corn rootworm populations respond differently to RNAi technology.

Success of new bug-fighting approach may vary from field to field

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:March 10, 2014

A new technique to fight crop insect pests may affect different insect populations differently, researchers report. They analyzed RNA interference (RNAi), a method that uses genetic material to “silence” specific genes – in this case genes known to give insect pests an advantage. The researchers found that western corn rootworm beetles that are already resistant to crop rotation are in some cases also less vulnerable to RNAi.

Published Date: March 10, 2014


To keep pace with the ever-increasing demand for renewable energy, forest management policy in the U.S. must evolve to address environmental sustainability issues, says Jody Endres, a professor of bioenergy, environmental and natural resources law at Illinois.

U.S. forest management policy must evolve to meet bioenergy targets

Author: Phil Ciciora, Business & Law Editor

Published Date:June 13, 2013

To keep pace with the ever-increasing demand for renewable energy, forest management policy in the U.S. must evolve to address environmental sustainability issues, says Jody Endres, a professor of bioenergy, environmental and natural resources law at Illinois.

Published Date: June 13, 2013