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Campus honors international achievements

April 5, 2012

The UI will honor alumni, faculty members and students at the annual International Achievement Awards banquet April 12 at the Alice Campbell Alumni Center. The International Achievement Award recipients:

Barry Pittendrigh, the C.W. Kearns, C.L. Metcalf and W.P. Flint Endowed Chair in Insect Toxicology in the department of entomology at Illinois, will receive the Sheth Distinguished Faculty Award for International Achievement. This award is presented to a UI faculty member for exemplary accomplishments in teaching, research and public service in the international arena. Pittendrigh is being honored for his efforts in putting educational solutions into the hands of local farmers in West Africa, in particular cowpea pest control strategies he developed through a USAID-funded project. One program, called Scientific Animations Without Borders, creates content for educating people on topics that can improve the quality of their lives through the use of animations with narrations provided in local languages.

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Head and body lice appear to be the same species, genetic study finds

April 9, 2012

A new study offers compelling genetic evidence that head and body lice are the same species. The finding is of special interest because body lice can transmit deadly bacterial diseases, while head lice do not.

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Fruit flies on meth: Study explores whole-body effects of toxic drug

April 20, 2011

In a study of fruit flies, University of Illinois entomology professor Barry Pittendrigh, postdoctoral researcher Kent Walters, crop sciences professor Manfredo Seufferheld and their colleagues found that meth exposure influenced molecular pathways associated with energy generation, sugar metabolism, sperm cell formation, cell structure, hormones, skeletal muscle and cardiac muscles.

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Team delivers development aid via cell phone animations

February 28, 2011

A farmer in Niger learns how to protect his crops from insects. A resident of Port-au-Prince or a rural Haitian village learns how to avoid exposure to cholera. An entrepreneur in Mali gets step-by-step instructions on extracting the oil from shea seeds to make shea butter she can sell at a local market.

These people are benefiting from a new approach to sustainable development education that reaches a much larger audience than traditional methods – and at a fraction of the cost. The initiative, led by a team of extension educators and faculty at the University of Illinois, produces animated educational videos that people around the world can watch at home, over and over again, on their cell phones.

Of Lice and Man: Researchers Sequence Human Body Louse Genome

June 21, 2010

Like an unwelcome houseguest or itinerant squatter, the human body louse shows up when times are bad and always makes them worse. Now a multi-institutional team reports that it has sequenced the body louse genome, an achievement that will yield new insights into louse – and human – biology and evolution.

From llama herders to chai wallas: New website will engage the world

May 19, 2010

"African cowpea farmers, Indian street vendors, Peruvian llama farmers and many others will benefit from a new interactive, peer-reviewed information-sharing website now under construction at the University of Illinois."

"The Sustainable Development Virtual Knowledge Interface (SusDeViki) will collect, review, organize and distribute educational materials designed to help subsistence farmers and small-scale entrepreneurs learn – and adopt – sustainable practices in different parts of the world. This “distributed knowledge” network is the brainchild of a team of academics and extension educators who are working with aid organizations to develop and share agricultural and economic information with people around the world. ”

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New Faces 2008

Inside Illinois | September 4, 2008

“Bringing Pittendrigh to our campus means that the UI will be home to two key insect genome projects (louse and honey bee genomes),” said May Berenbaum, head of the department of entomology. “As director of the Pediculus humanus (head and body louse) genome project, he has overseen the sequencing and annotation of this genome. As well, he is involved in coordinating the interpretation of microbial genomes associated with lice, including both pathogens and endosymbionts.

“Pittendrigh also is deeply involved in the cutting edge of outreach introducing genomic biology to the general public (including high school students) and complements our department’s ongoing efforts to promote insect appreciation in particular and science appreciation in general to the public at large.”

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