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Social Sciences

A professor not afraid to cross academic boundaries

Illinois professor Ruby Mendenhall is focused on issues of poverty, inequality and violence, but crosses many academic boundaries in search of answers.

Study shows diminished but ‘robust’ link between union decline, rise of inequality

A new study shows a diminished but “robust” link between the decline of unions and the rise in wage inequality.

What should we make of the ‘68 Chicago Democratic Convention now?

A U. of I. political historian looks back 50 years at the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago.

Study: Student loans hamper wealth accumulation among black, Hispanic adults

Black and Hispanic adults who graduate college with student loan debt have significantly lower net worth at age 30 than students who don't borrow to pay for college, according to a new study led by University of Illinois scholar Min Zhan.

In rats, perinatal exposure to phthalates impairs brain structure and function

Male and female rats exposed in the womb and during lactation to plasticizing chemicals known as phthalates had significantly fewer neurons and synapses than those that were not exposed, researchers report in a new study. The phthalate-exposed rats had reductions in the size of their medial prefrontal cortex, a brain region that regulates behavior, and showed deficits in cognitive flexibility.  

First dogs in the Americas arrived from Siberia, disappeared after European contact

A study reported in the journal Science offers an enhanced view of the origins and ultimate fate of the first dogs in the Americas. The dogs were not domesticated North American wolves, as some have speculated, but likely followed their human counterparts over a land bridge that once connected North Asia and the Americas, the study found.

What now with gerrymandering? Are algorithms part of the answer?

The Supreme Court “punted” this week on the issue of partisan gerrymandering, but left the door open to future action. An Illinois professor hopes her research can be part of the solution.

Do summer jobs provide lifelong benefits for teens?

University of Illinois Extension educator Kathy Sweedler, whose focus area is consumer economics, spoke recently with News Bureau education editor Sharita Forrest about what teens can gain from summer jobs.

Study: Two ancient populations that diverged in the Americas later ‘reconverged’

A new genetic study of ancient individuals in the Americas and their contemporary descendants finds that two populations that diverged from one another 18,000 to 15,000 years ago remained apart for millennia before mixing again. This historic “reconvergence” occurred before or during their expansion to the southern continent.

Workshop on perinatal depression planned for June 1-2

Women in the Champaign-Urbana area who experience perinatal depression and their health care providers will meet with an international group of experts June 1-2 in Champaign for a workshop about new methods of detecting and treating the mood disorder.

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