blog postsBehind the ScenesSearching for an ancient Maya pilgrimage path: The elusive poolsJul 26, 2017 8:30 am0 views CARA BLANCA, Belize — Armed with a compass, a map, a GPS device and a drone, we begin our exploratory trek through the jungle. The thick vegetation is no match for our team of eight, six of whom are quick with a machete. Four hours after circumventing towering hardwoods and hacking our way through spidery vines, massive palm fronds and dense fern bushes, we stand at the edge of Pool 21, less than a kilometer from the road.AnnouncementsEducationCulture’s influence on testing, evaluation to be focus of conferenceJul 25, 2017 2:30 pm61 views Culture’s pivotal role in effective educational and social assessments – and how related research findings can spark social change – will be the focus of an international conference in Chicago this fall.HumanitiesUniversity of Illinois alumna to head Rare Book and Manuscript LibraryJul 25, 2017 11:45 am1818 views Lynne M. Thomas, who earned her master’s degree in library and information sciences at the University of Illinois, has been selected as the new head of the U. of I. Rare Book and Manuscript Library.Life SciencesHealthCognitive cross-training enhances learning, study findsJul 25, 2017 9:00 am193 views Just as athletes cross-train to improve physical skills, those wanting to enhance cognitive skills can benefit from multiple ways of exercising the brain, according to a comprehensive new study from University of Illinois researchers.HealthLife SciencesPhysical activity could combat fatigue, cognitive decline in cancer survivorsJul 25, 2017 8:00 am212 views A new study indicates that cancer patients and survivors have a ready weapon against fatigue and “chemo brain”: a brisk walk.HealthLife SciencesLutein may counter cognitive aging, study findsJul 24, 2017 12:45 pm319 views Spinach and kale are favorites of those looking to stay physically fit, but they also could keep consumers cognitively fit, according to a new study from University of Illinois researchers.AgricultureTwo undergrads improve plant carbon-cycle modelsJul 24, 2017 10:00 am243 views In the summer of 2012, two undergraduate students tackled a problem that plant ecology experts had overlooked for 30 years. The students demonstrated that different plant species vary in how they take in carbon dioxide and emit water through stomata, the pores in their leaves. The data boosted the accuracy of mathematical models of carbon and water fluxes through plant leaves by 30 to 60 percent.Physical SciencesStrength of tectonic plates may explain shape of Tibetan Plateau, study findsJul 24, 2017 9:00 am149 views Geoscientists have long puzzled over the mechanism that created the Tibetan Plateau, but a new study finds that the landform’s history may be controlled primarily by the strength of the tectonic plates whose collision prompted its uplift. Given that the region is one of the most seismically active areas in the world, understanding the plateau’s geologic history could give scientists insight to modern day earthquake activity. AnnouncementsWarm soils across Illinois in JulyJul 21, 2017 1:30 pm117 views Soil temperatures are above normal in mid-July, according to Jennie Atkins, the Water and Atmospheric Resources Monitoring program manager at the Illinois State Water Survey, part of the Prairie Research Institute at Illinois. DeathsDeathsJul 21, 2017 12:15 pm215 views Bill D. LazzellHumanitiesEducationIllinois information sciences professor edits book about trigger warningsJul 21, 2017 8:00 am340 views Emily Knox, a professor in the University of Illinois School of Information Sciences, is the editor of a book that looks at the controversial topic of the use of trigger warnings in the classroom. BusinessPolitical ideology and social norms can play a role in donation decisions, study saysJul 20, 2017 9:15 am221 views New research from U. of I. business professor and branding expert Carlos J. Torelli provides a more nuanced understanding of the role of political ideology and social norms on donation decisions.Social SciencesStudy: Supreme Court decision complicates prosecuting child abusersJul 19, 2017 11:15 am271 views A Supreme Court decision that limits the types of statements that can be admitted as evidence unless the victim testifies in court discourages prosecutors from trying some child maltreatment cases, according to a recent national survey of more than 200 prosecutors.Life SciencesHealthMassive simulation shows HIV capsid interacting with its environmentJul 19, 2017 8:30 am1279 views It took two years on a supercomputer to simulate 1.2 microseconds in the life of the HIV capsid, a protein cage that shuttles the HIV virus to the nucleus of a human cell. The 64-million-atom simulation offers new insights into how the virus senses its environment and completes its infective cycle.HonorsLecturer’s ‘Kindred’ adaptation selected as top pick by ICA ReadsJul 18, 2017 2:45 pm401 views The Institute of Contemporary Art’s “artful book club,” ICA Reads, has selected “Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation” as its 2017 pick for a book of critical and societal importance. A reinterpretation of Octavia E. Butler’s science-fiction masterpiece “Kindred,” the book was adapted by School of Information Sciences at Illinois alumnus and adjunct lecturer Damian Duffy and illustrated by John Jennings. A New York Times bestseller, the novel tells the story of a young black woman’s time-travel between her home in 1970s California and a plantation in the antebellum South.HealthLife SciencesVeterinary MedicineStudy: Omega-3 fatty acids fight inflammation via cannabinoidsJul 18, 2017 10:00 am2020 views Chemical compounds called cannabinoids are found in marijuana and also are produced naturally in the body from omega-3 fatty acids. A well-known cannabinoid in marijuana, THC, is responsible for some of its euphoric effects, but it also has anti-inflammatory benefits. A new study in animal tissue reveals the cascade of chemical reactions that convert omega-3 fatty acids into cannabinoids that have anti-inflammatory benefits – but without the psychotropic high. Life SciencesBrief interactions spur lasting waves of gene activity in the brainJul 17, 2017 9:00 am113 views A five-minute encounter with an outsider spurs a cascade of changes in gene activity in the brain that can last for hours, researchers report in a study of stickleback fish.DeathsDeathsJul 14, 2017 11:45 am217 views Walter H. Franke Jr.HonorsKuklinski honored with career achievement awardJul 14, 2017 10:15 am50 views James H. Kuklinski, a professor emeritus of political science at Illinois, has been honored with the 2017 Hazel Gaudet Erskine Political Psychology Career Achievement Award, given by the American Political Science Association’s Political Psychology Section.Expert ViewpointsLawAfter two fiscal years without a budget, what’s next for the state of Illinois?Jul 14, 2017 8:45 am450 views "...fixing the major problems that Illinois has – both in policy and in finances – is going to require the governor to work in cooperation with rather than in opposition to the majorities in the General Assembly, and vice versa"AnnouncementsMedia advisory: Crime Stoppers raises missing scholar award amount to $50,000Jul 13, 2017 5:00 pm216 views The reward for information about missing scholar Yingying Zhang’s whereabouts will be raised to $50,000. The increase, requested by Zhang's family, will be announced at a news conference Friday morning.CampusCenter for Advanced Study appoints seven new faculty membersJul 13, 2017 3:00 pm285 views The Center for Advanced Study has appointed seven new members to its permanent faculty – one of the highest forms of academic recognition the University of Illinois campus makes for outstanding scholarship.Physical SciencesEngineeringResearchers develop dynamic templates critical to printable electronics technologyJul 13, 2017 4:00 am1225 views When it comes to efficiency, sometimes it helps to look to Mother Nature for advice – even in technology as advanced as printable, flexible electronics. Researchers at the University of Illinois have developed bio-inspired dynamic templates used to manufacture organic semiconductor materials that produce printable electronics. It uses a process similar to biomineralization – the way that bones and teeth form. This technique is also eco-friendly compared with how conventional electronics are made, which gives the researchers the chance to return the favor to nature. AnnouncementsIllinois Fire Service Institute research director to testify in CongressJul 10, 2017 3:30 pm140 views Gavin Horn, the University of Illinois Fire Service Institute’s director of research, will testify before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology, Subcommittee on Research and Technology. The hearing, scheduled for July 12, is titled “U.S. Fire Administration and Fire Grant Programs Reauthorization: Examining Effectiveness and Priorities.” The hearing will review the effectiveness and priorities of the United States Fire Administration and the Assistance to Firefighters and Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Firefighters grant programs.Social SciencesLife SciencesPhysical SciencesSurvey reveals widespread bias in astronomy and planetary scienceJul 10, 2017 10:00 am719 views In an online survey about their workplace experiences, 88 percent of academics, students, postdoctoral researchers and administrators in astronomy and planetary science reported hearing, experiencing or witnessing negative language or harassment relating to race, gender or other physical characteristics at work within the last five years. Of the 423 respondents, 39 percent reported having been verbally harassed and 9 percent said they had suffered physical harassment at work.DeathsDeathsJul 6, 2017 1:00 pm239 views Charles Bellatti ... Richard Marks Joy ... Sandra Lee "Sandy" RobertsAnnouncementsJune was warm with extreme rainfall variations across IllinoisJul 5, 2017 3:00 pm58 views The average temperature for June in Illinois was 72.8 degrees, 0.9 degrees above normal, according to Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel with the Illinois State Water Survey, part of the Prairie Research Institute at Illinois.Life SciencesSocial SciencesStudy: Handshaking viewed more positively by Westerners than by East AsiansJul 5, 2017 10:15 am683 views Westerners view handshaking more positively than do East Asians, researchers report in a new study. Western men also rate handshakes initiated by men and women differently, the study found. EngineeringPhysical SciencesEngineers find way to evaluate green roofsJul 5, 2017 9:45 am1963 views Green infrastructure is an attractive concept, but there is concern surrounding its effectiveness. Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are using a mathematical technique traditionally used in earthquake engineering to determine how well green infrastructure works and to communicate with urban planners, policymakers and developers.CampusHumanitiesLife SciencesUniversity of Illinois hosting inaugural human-animal studies instituteJul 5, 2017 9:30 am376 views The University of Illinois is hosting a Human-Animal Studies Summer Institute -- the first of its kind in the emerging interdisciplinary field.HealthEngineeringLife SciencesQuick test finds signs of sepsis in a single drop of bloodJul 3, 2017 7:30 am3376 views A new portable device can quickly find markers of deadly, unpredictable sepsis infection from a single drop of blood.HealthSocial SciencesPaper: New mothers abused by partners at greater risk of suicidal thoughtsJun 30, 2017 9:15 am346 views New mothers who are in abusive relationships are three times more likely to have suicidal thoughts, a new study suggests. Conducted with women in Brazil, the study is among a growing body of research to establish a link between suicidality and intimate partner violence among postpartum women in low- or middle-income countries.DeathsDeathsJun 29, 2017 11:30 am292 views Marion Carter ... Franz KamberEducationAnnual Beginning Teacher Conference to be July 17-18Jun 28, 2017 11:15 am269 views Teachers who have just completed their first year in the classroom are invited to attend the annual Beginning Teacher Conference on July 17-18 at the University of Illinois.HealthLife SciencesStudy identifies key player in heart enlargementJun 27, 2017 10:15 am1066 views The heart is a dynamic muscle that grows and shrinks in response to stressors such as exercise and disease. The secret to its malleability lies in individual cells, which get bigger or smaller depending on the heart’s needs. A new study of mouse hearts reveals a previously unknown mechanism by which heart cells control their size by ramping up or stopping the production of a key factor called PABPC1. The findings, reported in the journal eLife, could assist in the development of therapeutics that promote healthy heart growth and prevent disease.AnnouncementsMedia advisory: Campus walk, concert Thursday night for missing scholarJun 27, 2017 8:15 am524 views A public event in support of missing scholar Yingying Zhang will take place Thursday evening at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. The event is organized by the Chinese Students and Scholars Association.CampusHumanitiesChancellor’s Medallion awarded to three who have preserved University of Illinois historyJun 23, 2017 9:15 am1061 views The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will award the Chancellor’s Medallion -- the highest campus honor -- to three men who have dedicated their professional lives to preserving the history of the university.DeathsDeathsJun 22, 2017 3:30 pm308 views Jerry Boardingham ... William H. Erwin ... Stanley Friedman ... Cynthia A. JamesExpert ViewpointsSocial SciencesWhen will the Venezuela crisis end?Jun 22, 2017 10:45 am753 views Political science professor Damarys Canache discusses the plight of Venezuela, where nearly three months of protests have resulted in more than 70 deathsCampusArtsBook celebrates planning, building of University of Illinois campusJun 22, 2017 10:45 am3305 views A new book, “An Illini Place – Building the University of Illinois Campus,” covers the history of the planning and building of the University of Illinois campus and why the campus looks the way it does.Social SciencesBusinessResearch suggests sexual appeals in ads don’t sell brands, productsJun 22, 2017 10:30 am30380 views Sexy ads stick in the memory more but don’t sell the brand or product, according to research that analyzed nearly 80 advertising studies published over three decades.ArtsCampusSummer Band Twilight Concerts a 107-year tradition at IllinoisJun 22, 2017 10:15 am429 views For more than 100 years, the University of Illinois Summer Band has performed free Twilight Concerts on the Main Quad.AnnouncementsWarmer, drier soils in IllinoisJun 21, 2017 1:00 pm86 views Soil temperatures have been rising throughout the first half of June, according to Jennie Atkins, Water and Atmospheric Resources Monitoring program manager at the Illinois State Water Survey, part of the Prairie Research Institute at Illinois. AnnouncementsMedia advisory: Campus meeting Thursday night for missing scholar supportJun 21, 2017 12:15 pm426 views Members of the news media are invited to attend a community meeting Thursday, June 22, to discuss campus support for the search for Yingying Zhang, a 26-year-old visiting scholar from China who has been missing since June 9. HonorsIllinois Fire Service Institute’s Brauer to receive awardJun 20, 2017 3:15 pm130 views Brian Brauer, the associate director for the Illinois Fire Service Institute, will receive the 2017 Outstanding Dissertation Award on June 21 at Auburn University. Brauer’s doctoral dissertation presented a case study of an Illinois fire department that underwent organizational culture change following a firefighter’s line-of-duty death. HonorsFourteen U. of I. students and recent alumni offered Fulbright grantsJun 20, 2017 2:00 pm2206 views Fourteen University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign students and young alumni will pursue international educational, research and teaching experiences this coming year via student Fulbright grants. Applications are open for Fulbright grants for the 2018-19 academic year.HealthLife SciencesStudies link nutrient, academic achievement in pre-adolescent childrenJun 20, 2017 9:00 am1590 views Researchers can look into your eyes to determine whether you’re getting your lutein, a pigment found in green leafy vegetables that is known to accumulate in the brain. Two new studies find that children with higher lutein levels in the eye tend to do better than others on tests of cognition and academic achievement, even after accounting for other factors known to influence academic performance such as IQ, gender, body composition and physical fitness.Physical SciencesAgricultureEngineeringLife SciencesCorn better used as food than biofuel, study findsJun 20, 2017 9:00 am3035 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.AnnouncementsMedia advisory: News conference to announce $40K reward for arrest in missing scholar investigationJun 19, 2017 5:45 pm1076 views A $40,000 reward was raised by the community to generate information leading to the arrest of those involved in the apparent kidnapping of Yingying Zhang, a 26-year-old visiting scholar who has been missing since June 9. The reward will be discussed at a 7 p.m. news conference tonight on campus.Life SciencesResearchers sample a DC swamp to study a spineless creatureJun 19, 2017 9:30 am864 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Its name is Stygobromus hayi, the Hay’s Spring amphipod. It is spineless. It lacks vision. It is an opportunistic feeder, consuming whatever resources are available – perhaps including the remains of its own kind. Now researchers report on a way to survey this aquatic, subterranean creature without threatening its existence, as other studies had done.