blog postsLife SciencesAgriculturePhysical SciencesSeven Illinois researchers rank among the world’s most influentialDec 21, 2015 9:15 am8241 views Seven University of Illinois researchers have been named to the Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researchers list for 2015. The list includes “some of the world’s most influential scientific minds,” according to a statement from Thomson Reuters.AgricultureLife SciencesPollinator habitat program spreads bad seeds with the goodDec 7, 2016 8:30 am7297 views Weed scientists in at least two Midwestern states have been reporting for years that a conservation program meant to provide habitat for pollinating insects is sowing bad seeds – including seeds of the potentially devastating agricultural weed Palmer amaranth – along with the good. Now, researchers at the University of Illinois have traced the weed seeds to at least one source: pollinator habitat seed sold by a company in the Midwest.HonorsAgricultureAnnouncementsEngineeringHealthLife SciencesPhysical SciencesEight Illinois researchers rank among world’s most influentialNov 18, 2016 9:15 am6239 views Eight University of Illinois researchers have been named to the Thomson Reuters / Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researchers list for 2016. The list identifies scientists “whose research has had significant global impact within their respective fields of study."Physical SciencesAgricultureEngineeringLife SciencesCorn better used as food than biofuel, study findsJun 20, 2017 9:00 am2877 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.AnnouncementsAgricultureKidwell named College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences deanJul 15, 2016 9:15 am2575 views Currently the executive associate dean of the College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences at Washington State University, Kimberlee Kidwell will be the new U. of I. dean of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences effective Nov. 1, pending approval by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees. She also will hold the inaugural Robert A. Easter Chair.AgricultureLife SciencesScientists tweak photosynthesis to boost crop yieldNov 17, 2016 1:00 pm2568 views Researchers report that they can increase plant productivity by boosting levels of three proteins involved in photosynthesis. This confirms a hypothesis some in the scientific community once doubted was possible.Life SciencesAgricultureReport: Milkweed losses may not fully explain monarch butterfly declinesMar 13, 2017 4:15 pm2559 views Monarch butterfly declines cannot be attributed merely to declines in milkweed abundance, researchers report.Life SciencesAgricultureGenetic study shakes up the elephant family treeJun 6, 2017 3:00 am2524 views New research reveals that a species of giant elephant that lived 1.5 million to 100,000 years ago – ranging across Eurasia before it went extinct – is more closely related to today’s African forest elephant than the forest elephant is to its nearest living relative, the African savanna elephant.AgricultureEngineeringHand-picked specialty crops ‘ripe’ for precision agriculture techniquesMar 2, 2017 9:15 am2305 views Using precision agriculture, researchers at the University of Illinois have developed an algorithm to help producers of hand-picked crops such as strawberries determine the optimal time to transport their highly perishable crop from the field to cold storage.AgricultureLife SciencesU. of I. alumna Temple Grandin elected to the American Academy of Arts and SciencesApr 21, 2016 9:30 am1910 views Temple Grandin, a University of Illinois alumna and a professor of animal sciences at Colorado State University, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.Life SciencesAgricultureStudy suggests commercial bumble bee industry amplified a fungal pathogen of beesApr 4, 2016 2:00 pm1658 views Scientists hoping to explain widespread declines in wild bumble bee populations have conducted the first long-term genetic study of Nosema bombi, a key fungal pathogen of honey bees and bumble bees. Their study found that Nosema infections in large-scale commercial bumble bee pollination operations coincided with infections and declines in wild bumble bees.AgricultureLife SciencesPineapple genome offers insight into photosynthesis in drought-tolerant plantsNov 2, 2015 10:00 am1655 views By sequencing its genome, scientists are homing in on the genes and genetic pathways that allow the juicy pineapple plant to thrive in water-limited environments. The new findings, reported in the journal Nature Genetics, also open a new window on the complicated evolutionary history of grasses like sorghum and rice, which share a distant ancestor with pineapple.AgricultureEngineeringLife SciencesPhysical SciencesMeasure of age in soil nitrogen could help precision agricultureJul 25, 2016 8:00 am1555 views University of Illinois engineers developed a model to calculate the age of nitrogen in corn and soybean fields, which could lead to improved fertilizer application techniques to promote crop growth while reducing leaching.Life SciencesAgricultureSurvival of many of the world’s nonhuman primates is in doubt, experts reportJan 18, 2017 1:00 pm1424 views A report in the journal Science Advances details the grim realities facing a majority of the nonhuman primates in the world – the apes, monkeys, tarsiers, lemurs and lorises inhabiting ever-shrinking forests across the planet. The review is the most comprehensive conducted so far, the researchers say, and the picture it paints is dire.AgricultureLife SciencesStudy identifies chemical in diet that determines a honey bee’s casteAug 28, 2015 1:00 pm1350 views A closer look at how honey bee colonies determine which larvae will serve as workers and which will become queens reveals that a plant chemical, p-coumaric acid, plays a key role in the bees’ developmental fate.Life SciencesAgricultureHumanitiesStudy rewrites early history of corn in corn countryFeb 14, 2017 8:15 am1337 views A new study contradicts decades of thought, research and teaching on the history of corn cultivation in the American Bottom, a floodplain of the Mississippi River in Illinois. The study refutes the notion that Indian corn, or maize, was cultivated in this region hundreds of years before its widespread adoption at about 1000 A.D.AgricultureLife SciencesStudy: Second-generation biofuels can reduce emissionsJan 11, 2016 10:30 am1331 views Second-generation biofuel crops like the perennial grasses Miscanthus and switchgrass can efficiently meet emission reduction goals without significantly displacing cropland used for food production, according to a new study. Researchers from the University of Illinois and collaborators published their findings in the inaugural edition of the journal Nature Energy. The researchers call it the most comprehensive study on the subject to date.HealthAgricultureBusinessPaper: Nutrition label readers favor food quality over quantityApr 18, 2017 8:45 am1228 views Although nutrition-label users eat roughly the same amount of food as less-discerning diners, the two groups diverge when it comes to the quality of the food they eat, says a new paper co-written by Brenna Ellison, a professor of agriculture and consumer economics at Illinois and an expert in consumer food preferences and behaviors.AgricultureLife SciencesChill-tolerant hybrid sugarcane also grows at lower temperatures, team findsJul 28, 2015 8:00 am1182 views U.S. farmers have long hoped to extend sugarcane’s growing range northward from the Gulf coast, substantially increasing the land available for sugar and biofuels. Several hybrid canes developed in the 1980s have proved hardy in cooler climes, surviving overwinter as far north as Booneville, Arkansas. But until now, no one had tested whether these “miscanes,” as they are called, actually photosynthesize, and thus continue to grow, when the thermometer dips.Life SciencesAgricultureEngineeringHealthPhysical SciencesSocial SciencesScience at Illinois feeds the world, furthers health, protects the planetApr 17, 2017 8:30 am1138 views Illinois scientists are helping power plants run more efficiently, designing better, longer-lasting batteries, finding new ways to target cancerous tumors, and developing robots that can aid in construction, in agricultural fields and even inside the human body.AgricultureExport of wood pellets from US to EU more environmentally friendly than coalNov 20, 2015 9:30 am1129 views A new study co-written by Madhu Khanna, a professor of agricultural and consumer economics at Illinois, found that harvesting wood pellets in the U.S. and exporting them to the EU was more environmentally friendly than burning coal in the EU to generate electricity.AgricultureSupersweet Sweet Corn: 50 Years in the MakingAug 7, 2003 9:00 am1041 views Fifty years ago, sweet corn wasn't all that sweet and had a short shelf-life, which made it difficult for grocery stores to stock it. As a result of the persistence of some UI corn researchers, today's sweet corn not only lives up to its name in taste, it maintains its high quality for more than a week, long enough to get it into stores and onto dinner tables. Jerald "Snook" Pataky, UI plant pathologist in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, has researched the history of UI’s contribution to the existence of today's supersweet corn and will be one of the featured speakers at Agronomy Day on Aug. 21. sAgricultureLife SciencesStudy: Future drought will offset benefits of higher CO2 on soybean yieldsSep 5, 2016 10:00 am936 views An eight-year study of soybeans grown outdoors in a carbon dioxide-rich atmosphere like that expected by 2050 has yielded a new and worrisome finding: Higher atmospheric CO2 concentrations will boost plant growth under ideal growing conditions, but drought – expected to worsen as the climate warms and rainfall patterns change – will outweigh those benefits and cause yield losses much sooner than anticipated.AgricultureGiant reed is a photosynthetic outlier, study findsMar 7, 2016 11:30 am930 views Arundo donax, a giant reed that grows in the Mediterranean climate zones of the world, isn’t like other prolific warm-weather grasses, researchers report. This grass, which can grow annually to 6 meters (nearly 20 feet) in height, uses a type of photosynthesis that is more common to crop plants like soybeans, rice and peanuts.EducationAgricultureE-Learning can have positive effect on classroom learning, scholar saysNov 26, 2008 9:00 am922 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Traditional classroom teaching in higher education could learn a thing or two from online teaching, otherwise known as e-learning, according to a University of Illinois professor who studies computer-mediated communication, information exchange and the Internet.Life SciencesAgricultureTeam nebulizes aphids to knock down gene expressionMar 17, 2017 2:45 pm846 views Researchers are nebulizing soybean aphids with RNA to speed the process of discovering the function of many mystery genes.AgricultureLivestock donation programs reduce poverty, improve food security and nutritionOct 11, 2016 9:00 am844 views Research from U. of I. agricultural economists Peter Goldsmith and Alex Winter-Nelson found that the direct donation of livestock to impoverished communities in rural Africa had numerous positive effects ranging from a reduction in poverty to an increase in gender empowerment.AgricultureLife SciencesIllinois growers are running out of options in fight against waterhempSep 14, 2016 8:00 am840 views Resistance to multiple herbicides is the new norm for populations of waterhemp, a common agricultural weed. With their herbicide options dwindling and nothing new on the horizon, Illinois growers must be strategic in how they manage waterhemp-infested fields, says a University of Illinois expert on crop weed management.AgricultureLife SciencesStudy: Ground-level ozone reduces maize and soybean yieldsNov 5, 2015 9:00 am791 views Despite government regulations, ground-level ozone – an odorless gas that forms as polluting nitrogen oxides drift in sunlight across the countryside – continues to threaten crop quality and yield. In a new study, researchers quantify this loss from historical yield data for the first time. They show that over the last 30 years, ozone emissions have reduced soybean and corn yields by 5 percent and 10 percent, respectively.AgricultureHealthConsumer perception of organic foods affected by food type and where they’re soldJan 14, 2016 9:00 am761 views The organic food industry has grown from fresh produce and grains to snack foods and condiments – from farmers markets to supercenters. Has this new variety in organic products, and the availability of them, affected consumers’ perceptions?AgricultureFast-growing kudzu making inroads in Illinois, authorities warnOct 20, 2005 9:00 am638 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - To all Illinois residents: Be on the lookout for kudzu. This high-climbing, fast-growing weed, which is illegal to buy, grow and plant in Illinois, smothers existing vegetation and has been spotted in more than 30 Illinois counties.AgricultureDrones give farmers eyes in the sky to check on crop progressJun 4, 2014 9:00 am623 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - This growing season, crop researchers at the University of Illinois are experimenting with the use of drones - unmanned aerial vehicles - on the university's South Farms.Physical SciencesAgricultureEngineeringBioenergy crops could store more carbon in soilOct 2, 2014 9:00 am440 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - In addition to providing renewable energy, grass crops like switchgrass and miscanthus could store some of the carbon they pull from the atmosphere in the soil, according to a new study by University of Illinois researchers.AgricultureEducationMaster Naturalists needed to preserve Illinois' environmentAug 11, 2015 1:00 pm416 views Adults who have a passion for the outdoors – and are interested in sharing that with others – are needed statewide as volunteers in the University of Illinois Extension Master Naturalist program.BusinessAgricultureLawApologies may fuel settlement of legal disputes, study saysJun 2, 2010 9:00 am411 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Apologies may be good for more than just the soul, according to research by a University of Illinois professor of law and of psychology.Physical SciencesAgricultureEngineeringStudy: Groundwater from aquifers important factor in food securityJun 29, 2015 2:00 pm319 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Thirsty cities, fields and livestock drink deeply from aquifers, natural sources of groundwater. But a study of three of the most-tapped aquifers in the United States shows that overdrawing from these resources could lead to difficult choices affecting not only domestic food security but also international markets.Life SciencesAgriculturePlant breeder boosts soybean diversity, develops soybean rust-resistant plantMay 12, 2015 2:30 pm302 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — It took decades of painstaking work, but research geneticist Ram Singh managed to cross a popular soybean variety (“Dwight” Glycine max) with a related wild perennial plant that grows like a weed in Australia, producing the first fertile soybean plants that are resistant to soybean rust, soybean cyst nematode and other pathogens of soy.AgricultureGrowing numbers of corn farmers ignoring refuge requirementMay 12, 2011 9:00 am288 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - More than 90 percent of Illinois corn producers polled at the University of Illinois Extension Corn and Soybean Classic meetings indicated that they planned to plant corn that was genetically modified with the insect-killing protein Bacillus thuringiensis this spring.CampusAgricultureEngineeringIllinois engineer wins MacArthur fellowshipSep 17, 2014 9:00 am254 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Tami Bond, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has been awarded a 2014 MacArthur Fellowship, commonly known as a "genius grant," from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.AgricultureStink bugs a threat to farmers, smelly guests for homeownersAug 23, 2011 9:00 am212 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The brown marmorated stink bug - scientific name Halyomorpha halys - has been found in four Illinois counties and could be a major threat to fruit, vegetable and agronomic crops if it proliferates.AgricultureLife SciencesPhysical SciencesStudy: Crop rotation-resistant rootworms have a lot going on in their gutsJun 9, 2015 3:00 pm199 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — After decades of effort, scientists are finally figuring out how insects develop resistance to environmentally friendly farming practices – such as crop rotation – that are designed to kill them. The researchers say their insights will help develop more sustainable agricultural practices.AgricultureHealthLinks between hunger and health lead to recommendation that doctors screen patients for food insecurityNov 5, 2015 2:00 pm117 views Almost 50 million people in the United States are food insecure – that is, they lack access to adequate food because of limited money or other resources. University of Illinois economist Craig Gundersen and University of Kentucky’s James P. Ziliak examined recent research on food insecurity and its association with poor health, and offer suggestions including that doctors screen for hunger.Social SciencesAgricultureEngineeringStudy: Cell-phone bans while driving have more impact in dense, urban areasFeb 8, 2010 9:00 am99 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - A new study analyzing the impact of hand-held cell phone legislation on driving safety concludes that usage-ban laws had more of an impact in densely populated urban areas with a higher number of licensed drivers than in rural areas where there are fewer licensed drivers, according to a University of Illinois researcher.AgricultureLife SciencesSwitch from corn to grass would raise ethanol output, cut emissionsJul 12, 2011 9:00 am87 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Growing perennial grasses on the least productive farmland now used for corn ethanol production in the U.S. would result in higher overall corn yields, more ethanol output per acre and better groundwater quality, researchers report in a new study. The switch would also slash emissions of two potent greenhouse gases: carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide.AgricultureHealthLife SciencesTomato-broccoli together shown to be effective against prostate cancerFeb 1, 2007 9:00 am66 views A new UI study shows that tomatoes and broccoli – two vegetables known for their cancer-fighting qualities – are better at shrinking prostate tumors when both are part of the daily diet than when they’re eaten alone.AgricultureHybrid grass may prove to be valuable fuel sourceSep 27, 2005 9:00 am66 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Giant Miscanthus (Miscanthus x giganteus), a hybrid grass that can grow 13 feet high, may be a valuable renewable fuel source for the future, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign say.Expert ViewpointsAgricultureWhat's the potential impact of herbicide-resistant weeds on agriculture in the U.S.?Apr 18, 2012 9:00 am57 views A Minute With™... Aaron Hager, a faculty member in the department of crop sciencesExpert ViewpointsAgricultureHealthLabeling genetically engineered foodMay 28, 2014 9:00 am53 views A Minute With™... Bruce M. Chassy, a professor emeritus of food science and human nutritionAgricultureLife SciencesResearcher tracks agricultural overuse of bug-killing technologyFeb 29, 2012 9:00 am49 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - High corn prices are leading many growers to plant corn every year and to overuse pesticides and other bug-killing technology to maximize yields, researchers report. In many instances, pesticides are applied without scouting fields to see if they are needed, violating a bedrock principle of integrated pest management. The result is a biological diversity desert in many corn and soybean fields in the agricultural Midwest, and signs that the surviving insects are becoming resistant to several key bug-fighting tools now available to farmers.Physical SciencesAgricultureEngineeringNew method helps map species' genetic heritageDec 11, 2014 9:00 am48 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Where did the songbird get its song? What branch of the bird family tree is closer to the flamingo - the heron or the sparrow?