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Latest University of Illinois Stories

2012-04-12 13:19:04

A new study from the University of Illinois concludes that learning-by-doing, stimulated by increased ethanol production, played an important role in inducing technological progress in the corn ethanol industry. It also suggests that biofuel policies, which induced ethanol production beyond the free-market level, served to increase the competitiveness of the industry over time. The study, co-written by Madhu Khanna, a professor of agricultural and consumer economics at Illinois, and...

2012-03-19 19:23:27

Food-borne diseases might soon have another warrior to contend with, thanks to a new molecule discovered by chemists at the University of Illinois. The new antibiotic, an analog of the widely used food preservative nisin, also has potential to be a boon to the dairy industry as a treatment for bovine mastitis. The antibiotic nisin occurs naturally in milk, a product of bacteria resident in the cow's udder. It helps keep milk from spoiling and kills a broad spectrum of bacteria that cause...

2012-03-14 21:19:17

Those motivated to actively change bad habits may be setting themselves up for failure, a new study suggests. The study, described in an article in the journal Motivation and Emotion, found that people primed with words suggesting action were more likely than others to make impulsive decisions that undermined their long-term goals. In contrast, those primed to “rest,” to “stop” or to be inactive found it easier to avoid impulsive decisions. “Popular views...

Bees Seek Adventure, Studies Show
2012-03-11 05:38:49

Humans aren´t the only species on Planet Earth to seek thrills and adventure. A new study posted in the journal Science explains that honey bees are just as likely as human beings to seek an adrenaline high. Molecular pathways in the brain that are often associated with thrill-seeking were found in honey bees as well. Often thought to be diligent in roles given to them by the hive, this new study shows that honey bees may have wants and desires other than serving the queen of the...

Rare Fungus Kills Endangered Rattlesnakes In Southern Illinois
2012-02-22 04:22:09

A small population of rattlesnakes that already is in decline in southern Illinois faces a new and unexpected threat in the form of a fungus rarely seen in the wild, researchers report. The eastern massasauga rattlesnake (Sistrurus catenatus catenatus), a candidate for protection under the federal Endangered Species Act, suffers from habitat loss and environmental stresses wherever it is found, said University of Illinois comparative biosciences visiting instructor and wildlife...

2012-02-21 10:56:49

Geologists are hoping to learn a great deal about geologic carbon sequestration from injecting 1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide into sandstone 7,000 feet beneath Decatur, Ill. And they're hoping the public learns a lot from the endeavor, too. The Illinois Basin — Decatur Project (IBDP) began its injection, the first million-ton demonstration from an industrial source in the U.S., in November 2011. Over the next three years, the Midwest Geological Sequestration Consortium, led...

Tiny Grasshopper-like Insect Found Roaming Around In Belize
2012-02-16 08:27:52

Entomologists from the University of Illinois have discovered a new species of grasshopper-like insect in the tropical rainforests of Belize, apparently the first of its family to be found, naming it in commemoration of an ancient Mayan people who once lived in the region. The tiny hopper, Ripipteryx mopana, was discovered in the Toledo District in Belize. It was named after a tribe of Mayans known as the Mopan people. R. mopana measures less than 0.2 inches (5mm) long and is the...

2012-02-06 22:20:04

Researchers have found a way to study how our brains assess the behavior — and likely future actions — of others during competitive social interactions. Their study, described in a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is the first to use a computational approach to tease out differing patterns of brain activity during these interactions, the researchers report. “When players compete against each other in a game, they try to make a mental model of...

2012-01-18 15:06:34

A program designed to boost cognition in older adults also increased their openness to new experiences, researchers report, demonstrating for the first time that a non-drug intervention in older adults can change a personality trait once thought to be fixed throughout the lifespan. Personality psychologists describe openness as one of five major personality traits. Studies suggest that the other four traits (agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism and extraversion) operate...


Word of the Day
Cthulhu
  • A gigantic fictional humanoid alien god being described with a head resembling an octopus and dragon wings and claws, around whom an insane cult developed.
  • Pertaining to the mythos of Cthulhu and additional otherworldly beings created by H. P. Lovecraft or inspired by his writings and imitators.
This word was invented in 1926 by H.P. Lovecraft for his short story, 'The Call of Cthulhu.' 'Cthulhu' may be based on the word 'chthonic,' which in Greek mythology refers to the underworld.
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