School of
Integrative Biology

SIB News

2019 World of Biology Photo Competition

Deadline for submissions: 12:00 noon, Friday, April 5, 2019
Exhibit of Entries: 3‐5 PM, May 2, 2019 during the SIB Award Ceremony at NHB

Termite threats on the big screen at Insect Fear Film Festival

This soldier termite and related species are called nasutes. Their mouthparts are fused to form a projection that squirts defensive chemicals to repel marauders attacking the colony, in contrast to other types of termites that have long, swordlike mandibles. Termites are the theme of the annual Insect Fear Film Festival on Feb. 23.

Study of Arctic fishes reveals the birth of a gene – from ‘junk’

Animal biology professor Christina Cheng and her colleagues determined how the gene for an antifreeze protein in Arctic fish evolved from noncoding DNA.

A new partnership for the bees: Illinois teams with Anheuser-Busch for bee research

There’s plenty of sweet irony in a new partnership between Illinois and St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch, LLC, that will raise money for bee research at the university.

Anheuser-Busch has pledged $5,000 to The Healthy Bee Fund at Illinois. In addition, the company will donate $1 to the fund for every case sold of b, a new alcoholic honey beverage scheduled to go on sale in the Northeast U.S. in March.

Ainsworth to receive 2019 NAS Prize in Food and Agriculture Sciences

Elizabeth Ainsworth, USDA Agricultural Research Service, also an adjunct professor at Illinois and a member of the IGB Genomic Ecology of Global Change research theme, will receive the 2019 NAS Prize in Food and Agriculture Sciences.

Scientists engineer shortcut for photosynthetic glitch, boost crop growth by 40 percent

Scientists Don Ort (left), Paul South (center) and Amanda Cavanagh (right) study how well their plants modified to bypass photorespiration perform beside unmodified plants in real-world conditions. They found that plants engineered with a synthetic shortcut are about 40 percent more productive

Oxford students make their way to Illinois’ research fields

This summer, a new exchange program allowed nine interns from the University of Oxford the opportunity to conduct research alongside highly qualified researchers and experience a different culture at the University of Illinois.

Dracula ants possess fastest known animal appendage: the snap-jaw

The mandibles of the Dracula ant, Mystrium camillae, are the fastest known moving animal appendages, snapping shut at speeds of up to 90 meters per second.

Four Illinois faculty members elected AAAS Fellows

From left, mechanical science and engineering professor Narayana Aluru, computer science professor William Gropp and plant biology professors Andrew Leakey and Ray Ming are among 416 scientists elected AAAS Fellows this year.

North American checklist identifies the fungus among us

Some fungi are smelly and coated in mucus. Others have gills that glow in the dark. Some are delicious; others, poisonous. Some spur euphoria when ingested. Some produce antibiotics. All of these fungi – and hundreds of thousands, if not millions, more – occur in North America. Of those that are known to science, 44,488 appear in a new checklist of North American fungi, published this month in the journal Mycologia.