SIB News

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.

Publication Date: 12 February 2019


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.

Publication Date: 05 February 2019


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.

Publication Date: 23 January 2019


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

Publication Date: 16 January 2019


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.

Publication Date: 04 January 2019


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.

Publication Date: 12 December 2018


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.

Publication Date: 30 November 2018


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.

Publication Date: 29 November 2018


Scientists study puncture performance of cactus spines

The spines of Cylindropuntia fulgida, also known as jumping cholla, have a reproductive role. They latch on to passersby and carry small chunks of cactus flesh to new locations.

Publication Date: 28 November 2018


Caterpillar, fungus in cahoots to threaten fruit, nut crops

New research reveals that Aspergillus flavus, a fungus that produces carcinogenic aflatoxins that can contaminate seeds and nuts, has a multilegged partner in crime: the navel orangeworm caterpillar, which targets some of the same nut and fruit orchards afflicted by the fungus. Scientists report in the Journal of Chemical Ecology that the two pests work in concert to overcome plant defenses and resist pesticides.

Publication Date: 05 November 2018