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Chemistry professor Jeffrey Moore, graduate student Joshua Grolman and materials science and engineering professor Kristopher Kilian led a research team to create a new synthetic tissue environment for more realistic cell biology research.

New synthetic tumor environments make cancer research more realistic

Author: Liz Ahlberg, Physical Sciences Editor

Published Date:August 27, 2015

Tumors are notoriously difficult to study in their natural habitat – body tissues – but a new synthetic tissue environment may give cancer researchers the next-best look at tumor growth and behavior.

Published Date: August 27, 2015


Research reveals a new signal of brain health in older adults who regularly engage in moderate to vigorous physical activity.

Study links physical activity to greater mental flexibility in older adults

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:August 24, 2015

One day soon, doctors may be able to determine how physically active you are simply by imaging your brain. Studies have shown that physically fit people tend to have larger brain volumes and more intact white matter than their less-fit peers. Now a new study reveals that older adults who regularly engage in moderate to vigorous physical activity have more variable brain activity at rest than those who don’t. This variability is associated with better cognitive performance, the researchers say.

Published Date: August 24, 2015


University of Illinois Beckman Institute postdoctoral researcher Agnieszka Burzynska and her colleagues analyzed the brain and cognition of Olga Kotelko, a 93-year-old track-and-field athlete. Burzynska is now a professor at Colorado State University.

The nonagenarian athlete: Researchers study Olga Kotelko's brain

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:August 17, 2015

In the summer of 2012, Olga Kotelko, a 93-year-old Canadian track-and-field athlete with more than 30 world records in her age group, visited the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois and submitted to an in-depth analysis of her brain.

Published Date: August 17, 2015


Postdoctoral researcher Laura Chaddock-Heyman, U. of I. kinesiology and community health professor Charles Hillman and their colleagues found that higher-fit kids had thinner gray matter and better mathematics achievement than their lower-fit peers.

Study links fitness, thinner gray matter and better math skills in kids

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:August 12, 2015

A new study reveals that 9- and 10-year-old children who are aerobically fit tend to have significantly thinner gray matter than their “lower-fit” peers. Thinning of the outermost layer of brain cells in the cerebrum is associated with better mathematics performance, researchers report in the journal PLOS ONE.

Published Date: August 12, 2015


University of Illinois graduate student Zachary Horne, left, psychology professor John Hummel and their colleagues developed an intervention that moderated anti-vaccination views.

Simple intervention can moderate anti-vaccination beliefs, study finds

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:August 3, 2015

It might not be possible to convince someone who believes that vaccines cause autism that they don’t. Telling skeptics that their belief is not scientifically supported often backfires and strengthens, rather than weakens, their anti-vaccine views. But researchers say they have found a way to overcome some of the most entrenched anti-vaccine attitudes: Remind the skeptics – with words and images – why vaccines exist.

Published Date: August 3, 2015