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Tanzania fertilizer use increased after intervention, but changes were not sustained, study shows

Smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa tend to use very small amounts of fertilizer, limiting their crop productivity. A 2016 intervention in Tanzania increased farmers’ fertilizer use and their crop yields.

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Organic farmers’ beliefs about soil microbiome affect their practices, study shows

Organic farming can support soil microorganisms that promote plant defenses and reduce insect pests. But not all organic practices are equally beneficial for soil microbes, and it’s important to understand farmer motivations in order to encourage the adoption of microbiome-supportive efforts.

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ACE professor receives funding to study impacts of wildfire smoke

The Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment has awarded $30,000 in seed funding to Andrew Hultgren, assistant professor in the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, and others for an interdisciplinary proposal examining the economic and human health effects of exposure to wildfire smoke on a broad scale. The project aims to inform policy related to climate change.

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Gut microbes from aged mice induce inflammation in young mice, study finds

When scientists transplanted the gut microbes of aged mice into young “germ-free” mice — raised to have no gut microbes of their own — the recipient mice experienced an increase in inflammation that parallels inflammatory processes associated with aging in humans. Young germ-free mice transplanted with microbes from other young mice had no such increase. 

The findings suggest that changes to the gut microbiome play a role in the systemwide inflammation that often occurs with aging, the researchers said. 

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Conservation project tracks behavior, migration of Chicago's endangered heron

Among the snowbirds returning north for the summer, A24 is special. For one thing, A24 is an actual bird: a Black-crowned night heron, to be exact. And it has just returned to Chicago to join hundreds of its kind nesting near Lake Michigan. But unlike the human snowbirds that share A24’s migratory habits, this bird is helping to inform conservation efforts in the city and far beyond. 

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Study reveals how 'forever chemicals' may impact heart health in older women

New research from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign has linked multiple types of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS, also known as “forever chemicals”) with increased risk of cardiovascular diseases in postmenopausal women.

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When mothers and children talk about problems, environment matters

Talking to their parents about daily stressors can help adolescents deal with their problems. This is particularly important during the transition to middle school, when youth often are faced with new peer and academic challenges. But does it matter where these conversations take place?

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How community stress affects Black Americans’ mental health and wellbeing

Residential segregation is an example of the long history of structural racism in the United States. Black Americans are more likely to live in low-quality neighborhoods, which contributes to disparities in health outcomes.

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Does it matter if your kids listen to you? When adolescents reject mom’s advice, it still helps them cope

Parents are often eager to give their adolescent children advice about school problems, but they may find that youth are less than receptive to their words of wisdom.

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Illinois partnership with the JJK Foundation in St. Clair County set to provide more than $32 million in labor income creation throughout the state by 2026

study conducted by a University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign economist found that the activities of the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation in St. Clair County, Illinois, will provide $32 million in labor income creation, 474 new jobs and $10.7 million in new tax revenue throughout the state of Illinois by 2026.

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