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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


U. of I. postdoctoral researcher Katarzyna Glowacka, left, crop sciences professor Erik Sacks, visiting scholar Shailendra Sharma and their colleagues found that chill-tolerant sugarcane hybrids, called miscanes, also photosynthesize at lower temperatures.

Chill-tolerant hybrid sugarcane also grows at lower temperatures

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:July 28, 2015

U.S. farmers have long hoped to extend sugarcane’s growing range northward from the Gulf coast, substantially increasing the land available for sugar and biofuels. Several hybrid canes developed in the 1980s have proved hardy in cooler climes, surviving overwinter as far north as Booneville, Arkansas. But until now, no one had tested whether these “miscanes,” as they are called, actually photosynthesize, and thus continue to grow, when the thermometer dips.

Published Date: July 28, 2015


Mowing wetland plants can increase populations of mosquitoes that carry the West Nile virus, researchers report.

Mowing dry detention basins makes mosquito problems worse, team finds

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:July 22, 2015

A study of the West Nile virus risk associated with “dry” water-detention basins in Central Illinois took an unexpected turn when land managers started mowing the basins. The mowing of wetland plants in basins that failed to drain properly led to a boom in populations of Culex pipiens mosquitoes, which can carry and transmit the deadly virus, researchers report.

Published Date: July 22, 2015


Graduate student Daniel Raudabaugh, left, and mycologist Andrew Miller, of the Illinois Natural History Survey, found a naturally produced compound that inhibits the fungus that causes white-nose syndrome in bats.

Yeast byproduct inhibits white-nose syndrome fungus in lab experiments

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:July 21, 2015

A microbe found in caves produces a compound that inhibits Pseudogymnoascus destructans, the fungus that causes white-nose syndrome in bats, researchers report in the journal Mycopathologia. The finding could lead to treatments that kill the fungus while minimizing disruption to cave ecosystems, the researchers say.

Published Date: July 21, 2015


University of Illinois psychology professor Brent Roberts and postdoctoral researcher Rodica Damian conducted the largest study yet of birth order and personality. They found no meaningful relationship between birth order and personality or IQ.

Massive study: Birth order has no meaningful effect on personality or IQ

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:July 16, 2015

University of Illinois psychology professor Brent Roberts and postdoctoral researcher Rodica Damian conducted the largest study yet of birth order and personality. They found no meaningful relationship between birth order and personality or IQ.

Published Date: July 16, 2015


Doctoral student Shelbie Sutherland and psychology professor Andrei Cimpian found that young children learn broad facts about the world so readily that they dont remember learning the information and have the illusion that they already knew it.

Study: Learning categorical information gives children a feeling of déjà vu

Author: Allison Vance, Campus Communications

Published Date:July 8, 2015

During development, children must learn both broad facts about the world (that dogs have four legs, for example) and information that is more specific (that the family dog is scared of snow). While research in developmental psychology suggests that young children should have an easier time learning specific, concrete facts, a new study reveals that they learn general facts so effortlessly that they often can’t tell that they learned anything new at all.

Published Date: July 8, 2015


University of Illinois kinesiology and community health professor Ruopeng An used U.S. national data to determine the nutritional effects of eating meals outside the home.

Study: Restaurant meals can be as bad for your waistline as fast food is

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:July 1, 2015

When Americans go out to eat, either at a fast-food outlet or a full-service restaurant, they consume, on average, about 200 more calories a day than when they stay home for meals, a new study reports. They also take in more fat, saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium than those who prepare and eat their meals at home.

Published Date: July 1, 2015


Researchers, from left, Ephantus Muturi, Allison Gardner and Brian Allan found that different types of leaf litter in water had different effects on the abundance of Culex pipiens mosquitoes, which can carry West Nile virus.

What's in your landscape? Plants can alter West Nile virus risk

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:July 1, 2015

A new study looks at how leaf litter in water influences the abundance of Culex pipiens mosquitoes, which can transmit West Nile virus to humans, domestic animals, birds and other wildlife.

Published Date: July 1, 2015


University of Illinois postdoctoral researcher Prabuddha Mukherjee, left, bioengineering professors Rohit Bhargava and Dipanjan Pan, and postdoctoral researcher Santosh Misra report the development of a new class of carbon nanoparticles for biomedical use.

Biomedical breakthrough: Carbon nanoparticles you can make at home

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:June 18, 2015

Researchers have found an easy way to produce carbon nanoparticles that are small enough to evade the body’s immune system, reflect light in the near-infrared range for easy detection, and carry payloads of pharmaceutical drugs to targeted tissues.

Published Date: June 18, 2015


The fungus Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola can infect, and kill, multiple species of snakes.

Snake fungal disease parallels white-nose syndrome in bats

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:June 18, 2015

A deadly fungal infection afflicting snakes is eerily similar to the fungus that causes white-nose syndrome in bats, researchers report.

Published Date: June 18, 2015


University of Illinois veterinary clinical medicine professor Timothy Fan, pictured here with his dog, Ember, describes the advantages of testing potential cancer therapies on pet dogs with spontaneously occurring cancers.

Drug trials in pet dogs with cancer may speed advances in human oncology

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:June 16, 2015

Pet dogs may be humans’ best friends in a new arena of life: cancer treatment, said University of Illinois veterinary clinical medicine professor Timothy Fan. Physiological similarities between dogs and humans, and conserved genetics between some dog and human cancers, can allow pet dogs to serve as useful models for studying new cancer drugs, he said.

Published Date: June 16, 2015


Scientists discovered that gut microbes, gene expression and enzyme activity all differ between rotation-resistant rootworms and their rotation-susceptible counterparts.

Study: Crop-rotation resistant rootworms have a lot going on in their guts

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:June 9, 2015

After decades of effort, scientists are finally figuring out how insects develop resistance to environmentally friendly farming practices – such as crop rotation – that are designed to kill them. The researchers say their insights will help develop more sustainable agricultural practices.

Published Date: June 9, 2015


Illinois chemistry professor Martin Burke led a research team that found derivatives of a widely used but highly toxic antifungal drug. The new compounds are less toxic yet evade resistance.

New anti-microbial compounds evade resistance with less toxicity

Author: Liz Ahlberg, Physical Sciences Editor

Published Date:June 1, 2015

New compounds that specifically attack fungal infections without attacking human cells could transform treatment for such infections and point the way to targeted medicines that evade antibiotic resistance.

Published Date: June 1, 2015


Pictured, from left: Professor Huimin Zhao, professor Charles Schroeder, graduate students Luke Cuculis and Zhanar Abil.

Genome-editing proteins seek and find with a slide and a hop

Author: Liz Ahlberg, Physical Sciences Editor

Published Date:June 1, 2015

Searching a whole genome for one particular sequence is like trying to fish a specific piece from the box of a billion-piece puzzle. Using advanced imaging techniques, University of Illinois researchers have observed how one set of genome-editing proteins finds its specific targets, which could help them design better gene therapies to treat disease.

Published Date: June 1, 2015


Bottlenose dolphins found on Gulf of Mexico beaches after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill had severe lung and adrenal gland abnormalities consistent with petroleum product exposure, researchers report.

Researchers link dolphin deaths to Deepwater Horizon oil spill

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:May 20, 2015

Dolphins found stranded on Gulf of Mexico beaches following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill were much more likely to have severe lung and adrenal gland damage “consistent with petroleum product exposure” than dolphins stranded elsewhere and prior to the spill, researchers report. One in five dolphins from the spill zone also had primary bacterial pneumonia.

Published Date: May 20, 2015


M.D./Ph.D. student Marta Zamroziewicz, left, Carle Hospital-Beckman Institute postdoctoral fellow Rachael Rubin and their colleagues looked at the role of nutrition in brain function in elderly adults who were at risk of developing late-onset Alzheimers disease.

Omega-3 fatty acids enhance cognitive flexibility in at-risk older adults

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:May 19, 2015

A study of older adults at risk of late-onset Alzheimer’s disease found that those who consumed more omega-3 fatty acids did better than their peers on tests of cognitive flexibility – the ability to efficiently switch between tasks – and had a bigger anterior cingulate cortex, a brain region known to contribute to cognitive flexibility.

Published Date: May 19, 2015


Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology faculty members Saurabh Sinha, a professor of computer science, left; and Gene Robinson, a professor of entomology and IGB director; and an international consortium of 52 scientists used comparative genomics to discover that the evolution of bee society is associated with increases in the complexity of gene regulation.

Study: Gene regulation underlies the evolution of social complexity in bees

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:May 14, 2015

A new study offers insights into the genetic changes that accompany social complexity in bees, including honey bees. Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology faculty members Saurabh Sinha, a professor of computer science; Gene Robinson, a professor of entomology and IGB director; and an international consortium of 52 scientists used comparative genomics to discover that the evolution of bee society is associated with increases in the complexity of gene regulation.

Published Date: May 14, 2015


The trap-jaw can increase its survival by jumping with its spring-loaded jaws.

Trap-jaw ants jump with their jaws to escape the antlion's den

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:May 13, 2015

Some species of trap-jaw ants use their spring-loaded mandibles to hurl themselves out of harm’s way when an ant-trapping predator stalks, researchers report in the journal PLOS ONE. This dramatic maneuver doubles the ants’ survival when other escape methods fail, the researchers found.

Published Date: May 13, 2015


Research geneticist Ram Singh crossed soybean with a related wild, perennial plant from Australia, introducing new genetic diversity to the soybean plant.

Plant breeder boosts soybean diversity, develops rust-resistant plant

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:May 12, 2015

It took decades of painstaking work, but research geneticist Ram Singh managed to cross a popular soybean variety (“Dwight” Glycine max) with a related wild perennial plant that grows like a weed in Australia, producing the first fertile soybean plants that are resistant to soybean rust, soybean cyst nematode and other pathogens of soy.

Published Date: May 12, 2015


Research geneticist Ram Singh crossed soybean with a related wild, perennial plant from Australia, introducing new genetic diversity to the soybean plant.

Plant breeder boosts soybean diversity, develops soybean rust-resistant plant

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:May 12, 2015

It took decades of painstaking work, but research geneticist Ram Singh managed to cross a popular soybean variety (“Dwight” Glycine max) with a related wild perennial plant that grows like a weed in Australia, producing the first fertile soybean plants that are resistant to soybean rust, soybean cyst nematode and other pathogens of soy.

Published Date: May 12, 2015


Health issues in Africa to be focus of conference

Author: Sharita Forrest, Education and Social Work Editor

Published Date:May 4, 2015

Infectious disease expert Mosoka P. Fallah, one of five “Ebola fighters” honored as a Person of the Year by Time in 2014, will be among the speakers at an upcoming symposium at the University of Illinois.

Published Date: May 4, 2015


Report: Brain-injured patients need therapies based on cognitive neuroscience

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:April 29, 2015

Patients with traumatic brain injuries are not benefiting from recent advances in cognitive neuroscience research – and they should be, scientists report in a special issue of Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences.

Published Date: April 29, 2015


Teens are less likely to take risks and also find responsible behavior more rewarding when their mother is present, researchers found.

Study: This is your teen's brain behind the wheel

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:April 22, 2015

A new study of teenagers and their moms reveals how adolescent brains negotiate risk – and the factors that modulate their risk-taking behind the wheel.

Published Date: April 22, 2015


In studies of mice, comparative biosciences professor Jodi Flaws and her colleagues linked phthalate exposure during pregnancy to reproductive problems in parent and offspring, and to degradation of the function and structure of the ovaries.

The phthalate DEHP undermines female fertility in mice

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:April 16, 2015

Two studies in mice add to the evidence that the phthalate DEHP, a plasticizing agent used in auto upholstery, baby toys, building materials and many other consumer products, can undermine female reproductive health, in part by disrupting the growth and function of the ovaries.

Published Date: April 16, 2015


BPA exposure during pregnancy was associated with reproductive problems in the next three generations of mice, researchers report.

BPA exposure in pregnant mice affects fertility in three generations

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:April 15, 2015

When scientists exposed pregnant mice to levels of bisphenol A equivalent to those considered safe in humans, three generations of female mouse offspring experienced significant reproductive problems, including declines in fertility, sexual maturity and pregnancy success, the scientists report in the journal Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology.

Published Date: April 15, 2015


A brain structure called the amygdala responds more to opposite-sex faces in children ages 4-7 and increases again in puberty, but prepubescent children respond no differently to same-sex and opposite-sex faces, researchers report.

Study: Amygdala encodes 'cooties' and 'crushes' in the developing brain

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:April 9, 2015

Scientists have found a signal in the brain that reflects young children’s aversion to members of the opposite sex (the “cooties” effect) and also their growing interest in opposite-sex peers as they enter puberty. These two responses to members of the opposite sex are encoded in the amygdala, the researchers report.

Published Date: April 9, 2015


Researchers found an ancient human skull, left, with modern characteristics, and a human jaw, right, with modern and archaic traits, in the same cave in northern Laos. Both artifacts date to 46,000 to 63,000 years ago.

Two ancient human fossils from Laos reveal early human diversity

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:April 8, 2015

An ancient human skull and a jawbone found a few meters apart in a cave in northern Laos add to the evidence that early modern humans were physically quite diverse, researchers report in PLOS ONE.

Published Date: April 8, 2015


Researchers have developed a new drug that kills estrogen receptor-positive cancers in mice. The team, from left, includes M.D./Ph.D students Neal Andruska, Lily Mahapatra and Mathew Cherian; graduate student Xiaobin Zheng; food science and human nutrition professor William Helferich; research scientist Chengjian Mao; and biochemistry professor David Shapiro

New drug stalls estrogen receptor-positive cancer cells and shrinks tumors

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:March 30, 2015

An experimental drug rapidly shrinks most tumors in a mouse model of human breast cancer, researchers report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. When mice were treated with the experimental drug, BHPI, “the tumors immediately stopped growing and began shrinking rapidly,” said University of Illinois biochemistry professor and senior author David Shapiro. “In just 10 days, 48 out of the 52 tumors stopped growing, and most shrank 30 to 50 percent.”

Published Date: March 30, 2015


Plant biology professor Stephen Long and colleagues report on advances and challenges in improving plant photosynthesis.

Report: Photosynthesis hack needed to feed the world by 2050

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:March 26, 2015

Using high-performance computing and genetic engineering to boost the photosynthetic efficiency of plants offers the best hope of increasing crop yields enough to feed a planet expected to have 9.5 billion people on it by 2050, researchers report in the journal Cell.

Published Date: March 26, 2015


Plant biology professor Ray Ming and his colleagues discovered that papaya cultivation 4,000 years ago likely led to the evolution of hermaphrodite plants, which are favored by growers today.

Cultivated papaya owes a lot to the ancient Maya, research suggests

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:March 17, 2015

A genetic study of papaya sex chromosomes reveals that the hermaphrodite version of the plant, which is of most use to growers, arose as a result of human selection, most likely by the ancient Maya some 4,000 years ago.

Published Date: March 17, 2015


Animated videos teach survival gardening. From left: Carl Burkybile, agricultural director of Healing Hands International, worked with entomology professor Barry Pittendrigh, animator Benjamin Blalock, Center for African Studies assistant director Julia Bello-Bravo and animator Anna Perez Sabater to develop the videos, which HHI distributes around the world.

Survival gardening education goes global via cellphones

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:March 16, 2015

Subsistence farmers in Africa, the Americas and the Caribbean are learning how to construct raised planting beds and install drip irrigation systems to boost their agricultural productivity, conserve water and perhaps even halt the rapid advance of desertification in some drought-prone regions.

Published Date: March 16, 2015


Microbiology professor Steven Blanke is now a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology.

Two Illinois professors elected to American Academy of Microbiology

Author: Austin Keating, News Bureau intern

Published Date:March 12, 2015

Two University of Illinois professors have been elected fellows of the American Academy of Microbiology. Steven Blanke and Bryan White are among the 79 microbiologists chosen by their peers for this honor.

Published Date: March 12, 2015


University of Illinois animal biology professor Rebecca Fuller and her colleagues found that killifish females that learn to avoid mating with other species also discriminate among members of their own species.

Female fish that avoid mating with related species also shun some of their own

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:March 5, 2015

A new study offers insight into a process that could lead one species to diverge into two, researchers report in The American Naturalist.

Published Date: March 5, 2015


A new anti-cancer compound, PAC-1, spurs cell death in cancer cells while sparing healthy cells.

Cancer drug first tested in pet dogs begins human trials

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:February 26, 2015

A new drug that prompts cancer cells to self-destruct while sparing healthy cells is now entering phase I clinical trials in humans. The drug, called PAC-1, first showed promise in the treatment of pet dogs with spontaneously occurring cancers, and is still in clinical trials in dogs with osteosarcoma.

Published Date: February 26, 2015


Soil microbes known as rhizobia supply much-needed nitrogen to legumes such as clover (Trifolium species). In return, legumes shelter the rhizobia in nodules on their roots and provide them with carbon.

Long-term nitrogen fertilizer use disrupts plant-microbe mutualisms

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:February 23, 2015

When exposed to nitrogen fertilizer over a period of years, nitrogen-fixing bacteria called rhizobia evolve to become less beneficial to legumes – the plants they normally serve, researchers report in a new study.

Published Date: February 23, 2015


Working with international collaborators, Scientific Animations Without Borders created an Ebola prevention video that is now being distributed in Sierra Leone.Pictured,clockwise, from back left: Enrique Rebolledo, the program coordinator for the Sierra Leone/YMCA Partnership; U. of I. entomology professor Barry Pittendrigh; U. of I. YMCA communications director Megan Flowers; SAWBO staffer Anna Prez Sabater; and Julia Bello-Bravo, the assistant director of the Center for African Studies.

Animated videos bring Ebola education to West Africa

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:February 19, 2015

A group of international collaborators has found a way to deliver Ebola prevention information to people in every part of Sierra Leone - safely, and at negligible cost. The team is rolling out animated videos narrated in local languages that can be viewed on cell phones, tablets, computers and other digital devices.

Published Date: February 19, 2015


Soil was loaded onto Spanish galleons traveling from Acapulco, Mexico, to Manila, Philippines, in the 16th century. The soil, needed for ballast on empty vessels, likely also included tropical fire ants, researchers report. | Graphic credit Julie McMahon

Discovery: Tropical fire ants traveled the world on 16th century ships

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:February 18, 2015

Thanks to a bit of genetic sleuthing, researchers now know the invasion history of the tropical fire ant (Solenopsis geminata), the first ant species known to travel the globe by sea.

Published Date: February 18, 2015


The Institute for Genomic Biology at Illinois will now bear the name of microbiology professor Carl R. Woese, who discovered a new domain of life. Woese died in 2012.

Institute for Genomic Biology renamed for professor Carl R. Woese

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:February 17, 2015

The University of Illinois’ Institute for Genomic Biology has been renamed in honor of a microbiology professor who changed the course of science with his discovery of a third major branch of the tree of life. That professor, Carl R. Woese, died in late 2012.

Published Date: February 17, 2015


University of Illinois postdoctoral researcher Adrian Smith, right, and entomology professor Andrew Suarez found that ants are highly attuned to the chemical context of the hive.

Friend, foe or queen? Study highlights the complexities of ant perception

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:February 2, 2015

Researchers report that trap-jaw ants recognize the unique odor of a fertile queen only if the queen also shares the workers’ own chemical cologne – a distinctive blend of dozens of smelly, waxy compounds that coat the ants’ bodies from head to tarsus. The discovery offers new insights into how social animals evolved and communicate with others in their group, the researchers say.

Published Date: February 2, 2015


University of Illinois graduate student Adam Ahlers, left, veterinary clinical medicine professor Mark Mitchell and their colleagues found toxoplasmosis in wild minks and muskrats in central Illinois.

In Illinois, muskrats and minks harbor toxoplasmosis, a cat disease

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:January 28, 2015

A new study of muskrats and minks in central Illinois indicates that toxoplasmosis, a disease spread by cats, is moving rapidly through the landscape and contaminating local waterways.

Published Date: January 28, 2015


An interdisciplinary research team developed a new approach to treating endometriosis. The team includes, clockwise, from back left: molecular and integrative physiology professor Milan Bagchi, chemistry professor John Katzenellenbogen, visiting research scientist Ping Gong, molecular and integrative physiology professor Benita Katzenellenbogen, postdoctoral fellow Yiru Chen, research scientist Yuechao Zhao, and comparative biosciences professor CheMyong Ko.

New drug compounds show promise against endometriosis

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:January 21, 2015

Two new drug compounds – one of which has already proven useful in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis – appear to be effective in treating endometriosis, a disorder that, like MS, is driven by estrogen and inflammation, scientists report in Science Translational Medicine.

Published Date: January 21, 2015


Psychology professor Andrei Cimpian and his colleagues found that the expectation that one must be brilliant to succeed in certain academic fields was associated with the underrepresentation of women in those fields.

Study supports new explanation of gender gaps in academia

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:January 15, 2015

It isn’t that women don’t want to work long hours or can’t compete in highly selective fields, and it isn’t that they are less analytical than men, researchers report in a study of gender gaps in academia. It appears instead that women are underrepresented in academic fields whose practitioners put a lot of emphasis on the importance of being brilliant – a quality many people assume women lack.

Published Date: January 15, 2015


A new study analyzed DNA from ancient dog remains from more than a dozen sites in North and South America.

Study of ancient dogs in the Americas yields insights into human, dog migration

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:January 7, 2015

A new study suggests that dogs may have first successfully migrated to the Americas only about 10,000 years ago, thousands of years after the first human migrants crossed a land bridge from Siberia to North America.

Published Date: January 7, 2015


Obesity and smoking add significantly to Americans' health care costs, researchers found, and the overall trend is upward.

Smokers, the obese, have markedly higher health care costs than peers

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:January 6, 2015

A new study finds that smokers and the obese ring up substantially higher annual health care costs than their nonsmoking, non-obese peers. The added costs are highest among women, non-Hispanic whites and older adults, the study reports.

Published Date: January 6, 2015


Researchers have worked out the evolutionary relationships of dozens of bird species. The findings add to the evidence that some traits  such as vocal learning or foot-propelled underwater diving  evolved independently among different groups of birds.

Birds find their place in the avian tree of life

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:December 11, 2014

An international effort involving more than 100 researchers, nine supercomputers and about 400 years of CPU time has yielded the most reliable avian tree of life yet produced, researchers report in the journal Science. The tree reflects the evolutionary relationships of 48 species of birds.

Published Date: December 11, 2014


From left, bioengineering professor Jian Ma, cell and developmental biology professor Lisa Stubbs, entomology professor and Institute for Genomic Biology director Gene Robinson, animal biology professor Alison Bell and their colleagues found that distantly related organisms share key genetic mechanisms that help them respond to threats.

Study: Different species share a 'genetic toolkit' for behavioral traits

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:December 1, 2014

The house mouse, stickleback fish and honey bee appear to have little in common, but at the genetic level these creatures respond in strikingly similar ways to danger, researchers report. When any of these animals confronts an intruder, the researchers found, many of the same genes and brain gene networks gear up or down in response.

Published Date: December 1, 2014


Illinois researchers developed a platform to grow and study neuron cells using tiny rolled microtubes. Pictured, left to right: Olivia Cangellaris, Paul Froeter, professor Xiuling Li, Wen Huang and professor Martha Gillette.

Microtubes create cozy space for neurons to grow, and grow fast

Author: Liz Ahlberg, Physical Sciences Editor

Published Date:November 11, 2014

Tiny, thin microtubes could provide a scaffold for neuron cultures to grow so that researchers can study neural networks, their growth and repair, yielding insights into treatment for degenerative neurological conditions or restoring nerve connections after injury.

Published Date: November 11, 2014


Animal biology professor Ken Paige (left) and postdoctoral fellow Daniel Scholes found that a plants ability to duplicate its genome within individual cells influences its ability to regenerate.

Some plants regenerate by duplicating their DNA

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:November 11, 2014

When munched by grazing animals (or mauled by scientists in the lab), some herbaceous plants overcompensate – producing more plant matter and becoming more fertile than they otherwise would. Scientists say they now know how these plants accomplish this feat of regeneration.

Published Date: November 11, 2014


From left, University of Illinois graduate research assistant Manuel A. Ortega, chemistry professor Wilfred van der Donk, graduate student Yue Hao, biochemistry professor Satish Nair, and postdoctoral researcher Mark Walker solved a decades-old mystery into how a broad class of natural antibiotics are made.

Team discovers how microbes build a powerful antibiotic

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:October 27, 2014

Researchers report in the journal Nature that they have made a breakthrough in understanding how a powerful antibiotic agent is made in nature. Their discovery solves a decades-old mystery, and opens up new avenues of research into thousands of similar molecules, many of which are likely to be medically useful.

Published Date: October 27, 2014


University of Illinois kinesiology and community health professor Ruopeng An and his colleagues found that a majority of U.S. adults fail to meet recommended intakes of 10 key nutrients, with disabled adults faring worst.

Study: Many in U.S. have poor nutrition, with the disabled doing worst

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:October 23, 2014

A new study finds that most U.S. adults fail to meet recommended daily levels of 10 key nutrients, and those with disabilities have even worse nutrition than average.

Published Date: October 23, 2014


After experiencing power outages during a 2007 ice storm in Springfield, Missouri, Dickerson Park Zoo officials improved their backup power and heating systems to keep animals  like Henry, pictured here -- safe and warm.

Flu at the zoo and other disasters: Experts help animal exhibitors prepare for the worst

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:October 23, 2014

When bad weather strikes or illness invades, zoos and aquariums are among the most vulnerable facilities affected, said University of Illinois veterinarian Yvette Johnson-Walker, a clinical epidemiologist who contributes to emergency response training efforts at animal exhibitor institutions.

Published Date: October 23, 2014


The pigment melanin contributes to the black edges (b) on the anal fin that are a sign of dominance, while pterins account for the red and yellow colors (a) on the anal fin, and signal health. Carotenoids on the caudal fin (c) indicate that the fish is eating well. Brighter, more-intense colors are associated with better mating success.

Male bluefin killifish signal different things with different fins

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:October 20, 2014

They help fish swim, but fins also advertise a fish’s social standing and health. In a new study, researchers report that for the male bluefin killifish (Lucania goodei), each colorful fin presents its own messages to other fish.

Published Date: October 20, 2014


Beckman Institute director Arthur Kramer and his colleagues found that drivers have fewer collisions when speaking on a cell phone to a remote partner who can see the road ahead than when speaking on a cell phone to someone who has no awareness of conditions inside or outside the car.

Study: Talking while driving safest with someone who can see what you see

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:October 8, 2014

A new study offers fresh insights into how talking on a cell phone or to a passenger while driving affects one’s performance behind the wheel. The study used a driving simulator and videophone to assess how a driver’s conversation partner influences safety on the road.

Published Date: October 8, 2014


University of Illinois entomologist May Berenbaum is the recipient of the National Medal of Science, the nation's highest honor for achievement and leadership in advancing the fields of science and technology.

Entomology professor May Berenbaum awarded National Medal of Science

Author: Phil Ciciora, News Editor

Published Date:October 3, 2014

University of Illinois entomologist May Berenbaum is the recipient of the National Medal of Science, the nation's highest honor for achievement and leadership in advancing the fields of science and technology.

Published Date: October 3, 2014


Big-headed ants get their name from the soldier ants, left, which are larger than other workers and have disproportionately sized heads. The ants pictured here are from Australia.

Study: Big-headed ants grow bigger when faced with fierce competitors

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:October 2, 2014

The big-headed ant (Pheidole megacephala) is considered one of the world’s worst invasive ant species. As the name implies, its colonies include soldier ants with disproportionately large heads. Their giant, muscle-bound noggins power their biting parts, the mandibles, which they use to attack other ants and cut up prey. In a new study, researchers report that big-headed ant colonies produce larger soldiers when they encounter other ants that know how to fight back.

Published Date: October 2, 2014


University of Illinois animal biology professor Alison Bell and doctoral student Laura Stein study how stickleback fish dads influence the behavior of their young.

Stickleback fish dads influence offspring behavior and gene expression

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:September 30, 2014

Researchers report that some stickleback fish fathers can have long-term effects on the behavior of their offspring: The most attentive fish dads cause their offspring to behave in a way that makes them less susceptible to predators. These behavioral changes are accompanied by changes in gene expression, the researchers report.

Published Date: September 30, 2014


After-school exercise program enhances cognition in 7-, 8- and 9-year-olds

After-school exercise program enhances cognition in 7-, 8- and 9-year-olds

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:September 29, 2014

Kinesiology and community health professor Charles Hillman and his colleagues found that children who engaged in an after-school physical activity program performed better on several measures of cognitive function at the end of the intervention.

Published Date: September 29, 2014


Biochemistry professor David Shapiro (center), M.D.-Ph.D student Neal Andruska (left), graduate student Xiaobin Zheng and their colleagues discovered a new mechanism by which estrogen contributes to the pathology of breast cancer.

Scientists discover a new role for estrogen in the pathology of breast cancer

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:September 29, 2014

Biochemistry professor David Shapiro, M.D.-Ph.D student Neal Andruska, graduate student Xiaobin Zheng and their colleagues discovered a new mechanism by which estrogen contributes to the pathology of breast cancer.

Published Date: September 29, 2014


University of Illinois microbiology professor Isaac Cann and his colleagues found bacterial enzymes in the human gut that can rival those of the cow rumen in their ability to break down the plant fiber hemicellulose for biofuels production.

Search for better biofuels microbes leads to the human gut

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:September 23, 2014

Scientists have scoured cow rumens and termite guts for microbes that can efficiently break down plant cell walls for the production of next-generation biofuels, but some of the best microbial candidates actually may reside in the human lower intestine, researchers report.

Published Date: September 23, 2014


University of Illinois animal biology professor Chi-Hing (Christina) Cheng and her colleagues discovered that the proteins that bind to ice crystals inside the bodies of Antarctic fishes to keep the fishes from freezing also prevent the ice from melting at higher temperatures.

Study: Antifreeze proteins in Antarctic fishes prevent freezing...and melting

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:September 22, 2014

Antarctic fishes that manufacture their own “antifreeze” proteins to survive in the icy Southern Ocean also suffer an unfortunate side effect, researchers report: The protein-bound ice crystals that accumulate inside their bodies resist melting even when temperatures warm.

Published Date: September 22, 2014


University of Illinois Beckman Institute postdoctoral researcher Agnieszka Burzynska and her colleagues found that physical activity and sedentary behavior are each associated with specific differences in brain white matter integrity.

Study links physical activity in older adults to brain white-matter integrity

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:September 17, 2014

Like everything else in the body, the white-matter fibers that allow communication between brain regions also decline with age. In a new study, researchers found a strong association between the structural integrity of these white-matter tracts and an older person’s level of daily activity – not just the degree to which he or she engaged in moderate or vigorous exercise, but also whether the person was sedentary the rest of the time.

Published Date: September 17, 2014


Topography of a red blood cell as measured by the SLIM optical technique. Though the cell keeps its shape as it ages, the membrane becomes less flexible.

Banked blood grows stiffer with age, study finds

Author: Liz Ahlberg, Physical Sciences Editor

Published Date:September 5, 2014

It may look like fresh blood and flow like fresh blood, but the longer blood is stored, the less it can carry oxygen into the tiny microcapillaries of the body, says a new study from University of Illinois researchers.

Published Date: September 5, 2014


Andrew Greenlee, a professor of urban and regional planning, is co-leading a project that re-examines how communities near polluted waterways cope with environmental disruptions.

Study focuses on communities near polluted waterways

Author: Dusty Rhodes

Published Date:September 2, 2014

There’s no such thing as a good place to have a natural disaster, nor has there ever been an appropriate site to release toxic pollutants. But scientists have long recognized that some areas can handle such catastrophes better than others. As early as the 1970s, they used socioeconomic data from the U.S. Census to develop a tool called the Social Vulnerability Index, known as SoVI, to gauge the likely resilience of different communities.

Published Date: September 2, 2014


University of Illinois plant biology professor Evan DeLucia and his colleagues found that land plants have the capacity to produce much more biomass than previously estimated.

Study: Earth can sustain more terrestrial plant growth than previously thought

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:August 26, 2014

A new analysis suggests the planet can produce much more land-plant biomass – the total material in leaves, stems, roots, fruits, grains and other terrestrial plant parts – than previously thought.

Published Date: August 26, 2014


Professor Paul Braun and graduate student Chunjie Zhang developed a continuous glucose-monitoring system that changes color when glucose levels rise.

A glucose meter of a different color provides continuous monitoring

Author: Liz Ahlberg, Physical Sciences Editor

Published Date:August 25, 2014

University of Illinois engineers are bringing a touch of color to glucose monitoring. The researchers developed a new continuous glucose monitoring material that changes color as glucose levels fluctuate, and the wavelength shift is so precise that doctors and patients may be able to use it for automatic insulin dosing - something not possible using current point measurements like test strips.

Published Date: August 25, 2014


Kinesiology and community health professor Charles Hillman (right), postdoctoral researcher Laura Chaddock-Heyman and their colleagues found that physically fit children had more compact white-matter tracts in the brain than children who were less fit.

Physically fit kids have beefier brain white matter than their less-fit peers

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:August 19, 2014

A new study of 9- and 10-year-olds finds that those who are more aerobically fit have more fibrous and compact white-matter tracts in the brain than their peers who are less fit. “White matter” describes the bundles of axons that carry nerve signals from one brain region to another. More compact white matter is associated with faster and more efficient nerve activity.

Published Date: August 19, 2014


Researchers found that eight weeks of hatha yoga classes can improve older adults' cognitive skills.

Study suggests hatha yoga boosts brain function in older adults

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:August 18, 2014

Practicing hatha yoga three times a week for eight weeks improved sedentary older adults’ performance on cognitive tasks that are relevant to everyday life, researchers report.

Published Date: August 18, 2014


http://news.illinois.edu/news/14/0813nanopores_NarayanaAluru.html

New material could enhance fast and accurate DNA sequencing

Author: Liz Ahlberg, Physical Sciences Editor

Published Date:August 13, 2014

Illinois researchers found that the material molybdenum disulfide could be the most efficient yet found for DNA sequencing, making personalized medicine more accessible.

Published Date: August 13, 2014


Professor Ning Wang led a team that found that tumor-repopulating cancer cells can go dormant in stiffer tissues but wake up and multiply when placed in a softer environment.

Cell mechanics may hold key to how cancer spreads and recurs

Author: Liz Ahlberg, Physical Sciences Editor

Published Date:August 6, 2014

Cancer cells that break away from tumors to go looking for a new home may prefer to settle into a soft bed, according to new findings from researchers at the University of Illinois.

Published Date: August 6, 2014


Institute for Genomic Biology director Gene Robinson and his colleagues found that changes in brain metabolism influence insect aggression.

Researchers boost insect aggression by altering brain metabolism

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:August 5, 2014

Scientists report they can crank up insect aggression simply by interfering with a basic metabolic pathway in the insect brain. Their study, of fruit flies and honey bees, shows a direct, causal link between brain metabolism (how the brain generates the energy it needs to function) and aggression.

Published Date: August 5, 2014


Illinois Natural History Survey paleontologist Sam Heads, left, and laboratory technician Jared Thomas are screening 160 pounds of amber collected in the Dominican Republic in the late 1950s.

Decades-old amber collection offers new views of an ancient world

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:July 30, 2014

Scientists are searching through a massive collection of 20-million-year-old amber found in the Dominican Republic more than 50 years ago, and the effort is yielding fresh insights into ancient tropical insects and the world they inhabited.

Published Date: July 30, 2014


University of Illinois neuroscience professor Aron Barbey and his colleagues found that brain regions that contribute to social problem solving also play a role in general intelligence.

Team studies the social origins of intelligence in the brain

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:July 29, 2014

By studying the injuries and aptitudes of Vietnam War veterans who suffered penetrating head wounds during the war, scientists are tackling -- and beginning to answer -- longstanding questions about how the brain works.

Published Date: July 29, 2014


University of Illinois Institute for Genomic Biology director Gene Robinson, left, and citizen scientist Paul Tenczar put RFID tags on honey bees to track the activity of individual bees in the hive.

Radio frequency ID tags on honey bees reveal hive dynamics

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:July 22, 2014

Scientists attached radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags to hundreds of individual honey bees and tracked them for several weeks. The effort yielded two discoveries: Some foraging bees are much busier than others; and if those busy bees disappear, others will take their place.

Published Date: July 22, 2014


University of Illinois kinesiology and community health professor Marni Boppart studies the mechanisms that enable muscles to recover and grow stronger after exercise.

Stem cells aid muscle repair and strengthening after resistance exercise

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:July 21, 2014

A new study in mice reveals that mesenchymal (mezz-EN-chem-uhl) stem cells (MSCs) help rejuvenate skeletal muscle after resistance exercise.

Published Date: July 21, 2014


Gene activity changes in response to dietary changes in foraging honey bees, researchers found.

Scientists track gene activity when honey bees do and don't eat honey

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:July 17, 2014

Many beekeepers feed their honey bees sucrose or high-fructose corn syrup when times are lean inside the hive. This practice has come under scrutiny, however, in response to colony collapse disorder, the massive -- and as yet not fully explained -- annual die-off of honey bees in the U.S. and Europe. Some suspect that inadequate nutrition plays a role in honey bee declines.

Published Date: July 17, 2014


University of Illinois anthropology professor Kathryn Clancy led a new study of sexual harassment and assault of men and women working on scientific field studies.

Sexual harassment and assault are common on scientific field studies, survey indicates

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:July 16, 2014

A survey of 142 men and 516 women with experience in field studies in anthropology, archaeology, geology and other scientific disciplines reveals that many of them – particularly the younger ones – suffered or witnessed sexual harassment or sexual assault while at work in the field.

Published Date: July 16, 2014


Researchers develop new tools to detect and monitor tuberculosis in Asian elephants.

Team studies immune response of Asian elephants infected with a human disease

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:July 16, 2014

Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the organism that causes tuberculosis in humans, also afflicts Asian (and occasionally other) elephants. Diagnosing and treating elephants with TB is a challenge, however, as little is known about how their immune systems respond to the infection. A new study begins to address this knowledge gap, and offers new tools for detecting and monitoring TB in captive elephants.

Published Date: July 16, 2014


An emerging fungal disease threatens the last eastern massasauga rattlesnake population in Illinois.

Scientists gear up to fight deadly snake fungal disease

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:July 15, 2014

Researchers have developed a faster and more accurate way to test for infection with Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola, a fungus that is killing snakes in the Midwest and eastern United States. The test also allows scientists to monitor the progression of the infection in living snakes.

Published Date: July 15, 2014


Tiny walking bio-bots are powered by muscle cells and controlled by an electric field.

Muscle-powered bio-bots walk on command

Author: Liz Ahlberg, Physical Sciences Editor

Published Date:June 30, 2014

A new generation of miniature biological robots is flexing its muscle. Engineers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign demonstrated a class of walking “bio-bots” powered by muscle cells and controlled with electrical pulses, giving researchers unprecedented command over their function.

Published Date: June 30, 2014


University of Illinois speech and hearing science professor Fatima Husain and her colleagues found that tinnitus, a condition in which a person hears a ringing sound despite the lack of an actual sound, is associated with emotional processing in a different part of the brain than in those without the condition.

People with tinnitus process emotions differently from their peers, researchers report

Author: Chelsey B. Coombs, News Bureau Intern

Published Date:June 25, 2014

Patients with persistent ringing in the ears – a condition known as tinnitus – process emotions differently in the brain from those with normal hearing, researchers report in the journal Brain Research.

Published Date: June 25, 2014


Palmer amaranth grows very fast, germinates throughout the season, produces lots of seeds, can tolerate heat extremes and is very adaptable, researchers report.

Palmer amaranth threatens Midwest farm economy, researchers report

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:June 3, 2014

An invasive weed that has put some southern cotton farmers out of business is now finding its way across the Midwest – and many corn and soybean growers don’t yet appreciate the threat, University of Illinois researchers report.

Published Date: June 3, 2014


University of Illinois kinesiology and community health professor Charles Hillman, right, and graduate student Mark Scudder looked at electrical activity in the brain to help explain why fitness is associated with better language skills in children.

Brain signals link physical fitness to better language skills in children

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:June 3, 2014

University of Illinois kinesiology and community health professor Charles Hillman, right, and graduate student Mark Scudder looked at electrical activity in the brain to help explain why fitness is associated with better language skills in children.

Published Date: June 3, 2014


Professor Ning Wang led a team that found the precise combination of mechanical forces, chemistry and timing to help stem cells differentiate into three germ layers, the first step toward developing specialized tissues and organs.

Stem cells take initial step toward development in the lab

Author: Liz Ahlberg, Physical Sciences Editor

Published Date:May 30, 2014

The gap between stem cell research and regenerative medicine just became a lot narrower, thanks to a new technique that coaxes stem cells, with potential to become any tissue type, to take the first step to specialization. It is the first time this critical step has been demonstrated in a laboratory.

Published Date: May 30, 2014


While disparities between groups are troubling, obesity is going up at a similar rate in all groups, researchers report.

Intuitions about the causes of rising obesity are often wrong, researchers report

Author: Chelsey B. Coombs, Life Sciences Intern

Published Date:May 22, 2014

While disparities between groups are troubling, obesity is going up at a similar rate in all groups, researchers report.

Published Date: May 22, 2014


Jim Monti, a postdoctoral research associate in the lab of Illinois psychology professor Neal Cohen, developed a cognitive task that helps differentiate older adults with very early Alzheimers disease from those experiencing normal aging.

Cognitive test can differentiate between Alzheimer's and normal aging

Author: Chelsey B. Coombs, Life Sciences Intern

Published Date:May 20, 2014

Jim Monti, a postdoctoral research associate in the lab of Illinois psychology professor Neal Cohen, developed a cognitive task that helps differentiate older adults with very early Alzheimer’s disease from those experiencing normal aging.

Published Date: May 20, 2014


Teff, a nutritious grain, is a staple in Ethiopia. Its seeds are tiny  so small that some say its name was derived from the Amharic word for lost. Now, thanks to a creative educational initiative based at the University of Illinois, much less of the precious teff will be lost in Ethiopia.

Education by animation: Videos reaching tens of thousands of Ethiopian farmers

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:May 19, 2014

Teff, a nutritious grain, is a staple in Ethiopia. Its seeds are tiny – so small that some say its name was derived from the Amharic word for “lost.” Now, thanks to a creative educational initiative based at the University of Illinois, much less of the precious teff will be lost in Ethiopia.

Published Date: May 19, 2014


Genetic evidence in the new study supports the hypothesis that the first people in the Americas all came from northeast Asia by crossing a land bridge known as Beringia. When sea levels rose after the last ice age the land bridge disappeared.

Study helps resolve speculation about first peoples in Americas

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:May 15, 2014

A new study could help resolve a longstanding debate about the origins of the first people to inhabit the Americas, researchers report in the journal Science. The study relies on genetic information extracted from the tooth of an adolescent girl who fell into a sinkhole in the Yucatan 12,000 to 13,000 years ago.

Published Date: May 15, 2014


Plant biology professor Andrew Leakey and colleagues report that levels of zinc, iron and protein drop in some key crop plants when grown at elevated CO2 levels.

As CO2 levels rise, some crop nutrients will fall

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:May 7, 2014

Researchers have some bad news for future farmers and eaters: As carbon dioxide levels rise this century, some grains and legumes will become significantly less nutritious than they are today.

Published Date: May 7, 2014


Professor Bruce Schatz and colleagues developed a smartphone app, GaitTrack, which monitors chronic heart and lung patients by analyzing the way they walk.

GaitTrack app makes cellphone a medical monitor for heart and lung patients

Author: Liz Ahlberg, Physical Sciences Editor

Published Date:May 6, 2014

By simply carrying around their cellphones, patients who suffer from chronic disease could soon have an accurate health monitor that warns their doctors when their symptoms worsen.

Published Date: May 6, 2014


Among the athletes lacing up their sneakers for the 5k run at the Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon on Friday (April 25) will be a special group of SISTERS.

Nutrition, exercise program puts students on the path to good health

Author: Sharita Forrest, News Editor

Published Date:April 24, 2014

Among the athletes lacing up their sneakers for the 5k run at the Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon on Friday (April 25) will be a special group of SISTERS.

Published Date: April 24, 2014


University of Illinois psychology professor Eva Telzer and her colleagues found that adolescents who get pleasure from pro-social activities are less likely to become depressed.

Altruistic adolescents less likely to become depressed, study suggests

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:April 24, 2014

It is better to give than to receive – at least if you’re an adolescent and you enjoy giving, a new study suggests.

Published Date: April 24, 2014


University of Illinois chemists developed analogs of a new tuberculosis drug that could treat many other diseases and defy resistance. From left, research scientist Lici A. Schurig-Briccio, undergraduate Shannon Bogue, graduate student Xinxin Feng, research scientist Kai Li and chemistry professor Eric Oldfield.

Multitarget TB drug could treat other diseases, evade resistance

Author: Liz Ahlberg, Physical Sciences Editor

Published Date:April 17, 2014

A drug under clinical trials to treat tuberculosis could be the basis for a class of broad-spectrum drugs that act against various bacteria, fungal infections and parasites, yet evade resistance, according to a study by University of Illinois chemists and collaborators.

Published Date: April 17, 2014


Professor Sheldon H. Jacobson led a study that found that the pediatric vaccine market is affected by a physicians perceptions of cost, more than actual cost.

Study recalculates cost of combination vaccines

Author: Liz Ahlberg, Physical Sciences Editor

Published Date:April 17, 2014

One of the most popular vaccine brands for children may not be the most cost-effective choice. And doctors may be overlooking some cost factors when choosing vaccines, driving the market toward what is actually a more expensive option, according to a new study by University of Illinois researchers.

Published Date: April 17, 2014


A new collaboration solved a decades-old medical mystery involving an antifungal agent. Pictured, from left: graduate student Grant Hisao; chemistry professor Martin Burke; graduate students Alex Cioffi, Katrina Diaz, Marcus Tuttle and Mary Clay; chemistry professor Chad Rienstra; and graduate students Brice Uno, Tom Anderson and Matt Endo.

Potent, puzzling and (now less) toxic: Team discovers how antifungal drug works

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:April 15, 2014

Scientists have solved a decades-old medical mystery – and in the process have found a potentially less toxic way to fight invasive fungal infections, which kill about 1.5 million people a year. The researchers say they now understand the mechanism of action of amphotericin, an antifungal drug that has been in use for more than 50 years – even though it is nearly as toxic to human cells as it is to the microbes it attacks.

Published Date: April 15, 2014


Regular exposure to artificial ultraviolet B light for two weeks doubled rabbits serum vitamin D levels, the researchers found.

Rabbits kept indoors could be vitamin D deficient

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:April 9, 2014

Rabbits that remain indoors may suffer from a lack of vitamin D, researchers report in a new study. In rabbits kept as pets or used in laboratory studies, the deficiency could lead to dental problems, undermine their cardiovascular health, weaken their immune systems and skew scientific findings.

Published Date: April 9, 2014


A new course co-developed by plant science professor Katy Heath teaches graduate students skills such as communicating about their research with nonscientists and developing educational outreach programs. Part of the Amplify the Signal course: graduate students, from left, front row, Cassandra Wesseln, Jennifer Han and Miranda Haus; back row, Rhiannon Peery, Christina Silliman and Heath.

Aspiring scientists learning to translate research into language public understands

Author: Sharita Forrest, News Editor

Published Date:April 3, 2014

Communicating the relevance of one’s scientific research to general audiences and developing educational outreach programs are critical to the career success of college professors and researchers, but graduate curricula often fail to help students cultivate these essential skills.

Published Date: April 3, 2014


Professors Praveen Kumar, right, and Stephen Long developed a computer modeling system to help plant scientists breed soybean crops that produce more and use less water.

Scientists say new computer model amounts to a lot more than a hill of beans

Author: Liz Ahlberg, Physical Sciences Editor

Published Date:April 3, 2014

Crops that produce more while using less water seem like a dream for a world with a burgeoning population and already strained food and water resources. This dream is coming closer to reality for University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign researchers who have developed a new computer model that can help plant scientists breed better soybean crops.

Published Date: April 3, 2014


Illinois Natural History Survey insect behaviorist Joseph Spencer, left, former crop sciences professor Manfredo Seufferheld, entomology professor Barry Pittendrigh and their colleagues found that different Western corn rootworm populations respond differently to RNAi technology.

Success of new bug-fighting approach may vary from field to field

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:March 10, 2014

A new technique to fight crop insect pests may affect different insect populations differently, researchers report. They analyzed RNA interference (RNAi), a method that uses genetic material to “silence” specific genes – in this case genes known to give insect pests an advantage. The researchers found that western corn rootworm beetles that are already resistant to crop rotation are in some cases also less vulnerable to RNAi.

Published Date: March 10, 2014


Infant mortality rates for black women are unlikely to decline sharply enough to achieve the federal governments targeted rate in 2020, according to a new study by alumnus Shondra Loggins, right, and Flavia Cristina Drumond Andrade, a professor of kinesiology and community health.

Most U.S. infant death rates not likely to fall enough to meet goal

Author: Sharita Forrest, Education Editor

Published Date:March 6, 2014

The infant mortality rate set forth as a national goal in the federal government’s Healthy People 2020 initiative is likely to be attained by only one demographic group – highly educated white mothers, the authors of a new study say.

Published Date: March 6, 2014


Stephen Long, a professor of crop sciences and of plant biology, with his colleague, postdoctoral researcher Justin McGrath (below), used a computer model of photosynthesis to find ways to boost crop yields.

Team models photosynthesis and finds room for improvement

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:March 3, 2014

Teaching crop plants to concentrate carbon dioxide in their leaves could increase photosynthetic efficiency by 60 percent and yields by as much as 40 percent, researchers report in a new study.

Published Date: March 3, 2014


University of Illinois neuroscience professor Aron Barbey led a study that found a gene variant associated with improved recovery from traumatic brain injury.

One gene influences recovery from traumatic brain injury

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:February 26, 2014

Researchers report that one tiny variation in the sequence of a gene may cause some people to be more impaired by traumatic brain injury (TBI) than others with comparable wounds.

Published Date: February 26, 2014


Fred Kummerow, a professor of comparative biosciences at the University of Illinois, reports that LDL cholesterol results from a simple dietary deficiency.

'Bad cholesterol' indicates an amino acid deficiency, researcher says

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:February 25, 2014

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the “bad cholesterol” that doctors consider a sign of potential heart disease, is merely a marker of a diet lacking all of the essential amino acids, says University of Illinois comparative biosciences professor Fred Kummerow, 99, a longtime opponent of the medical establishment’s war on cholesterol.

Published Date: February 25, 2014


Low doses of the soy isoflavone genistein change estrogen-responsive breast tumor cells to a more aggressive, less treatable form of cancer, suggests new research by Juan Andrade, right, and William Helferich, both professors in the department of food science and human nutrition.

Soy supplements with isoflavones 'reprogram' breast cancer cells

Author: Sharita Forrest, News Editor

Published Date:February 24, 2014

Women with estrogen-responsive breast cancer who consume soy protein supplements containing isoflavones to alleviate the side effects of menopause may be accelerating progression of their cancer, changing it from a treatable subtype to a more aggressive, less treatable form of the disease, new research suggests.

Published Date: February 24, 2014


Team converts sugarcane to a cold-tolerant, oil-producing crop

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:February 24, 2014

A multi-institutional team reports that it can increase sugarcane’s geographic range, boost its photosynthetic rate by 30 percent and turn it into an oil-producing crop for biodiesel production.

Published Date: February 24, 2014


Used plastic shopping bags can be converted into petroleum products that serve a multitude of purposes.

Plastic shopping bags make a fine diesel fuel, researchers report

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:February 12, 2014

Plastic shopping bags, an abundant source of litter on land and at sea, can be converted into diesel, natural gas and other useful petroleum products, researchers report.

Published Date: February 12, 2014


University of Illinois chemistry professor Zaida Luthey-Schulten and physics professor Taekjip Ha led a study of how the ribosome assembles itself.

Advanced techniques yield new insights into ribosome self-assembly

Published Date:February 12, 2014

Ribosomes, the cellular machines that build proteins, are themselves made up of dozens of proteins and a few looping strands of RNA. A new study, reported in the journal Nature, offers new clues about how the ribosome, the master assembler of proteins, also assembles itself.

Published Date: February 12, 2014


A recent study conducted by Illinois kinesiology and community health professor Ruopeng An shows that although the increase in obesity prevalence among adults may be slowing, it continues to increase, especially in those with high body mass index measures.

New evidence shows increase in obesity may be slowing, but not by much

Author: Chelsey Coombs

Published Date:February 5, 2014

In his 2014 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama referred to an August 2013 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study that showed a decline in the obesity rate among low-income pre-school children, saying, “Michelle’s Let’s Move! partnership with schools, businesses and local leaders has helped bring down childhood obesity rates for the first time in 30 years, and that's an achievement that will improve lives and reduce health care costs for decades to come.”

Published Date: February 5, 2014


Entomologist Gene E. Robinson, the director of the Institute for Genomic Biology, will deliver the 23rd Center for Advanced Study Annual Lecture on Feb. 19.

Renowned scientist Gene E. Robinson to deliver CAS lecture

Author: Dusty Rhodes, Arts and Humanities Editor

Published Date:January 31, 2014

Gene E. Robinson, the Swanlund Chair of entomology and the director of the Institute for Genomic Biology at the University of Illinois, has been selected to deliver the Center for Advanced Study’s 23rd Annual Lecture, continuing the center’s tradition of showcasing the university’s most distinguished scholars. Robinson’s lecture, which begins at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 19 at Spurlock Museum on campus, is free and open to the public.

Published Date: January 31, 2014


Getting children to think intuitively about numbers  by asking them to approximate or compare two sets of objects without counting  boosts their ability to do arithmetic, researchers report.

Intuitive number games boost children's math performance

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:January 29, 2014

A quick glance at two, unequal groups of paper clips leads most people to immediately intuit which group has more. In a new study, researchers report that practicing this kind of simple, instinctive numerical exercise can improve children’s ability to solve math problems.

Published Date: January 29, 2014


A new 3-D imaging technique for live cells uses a conventional microscope to capture image slices throughout the depth of the cell, then computationally renders them into one three-dimensional image. The technique uses no dyes or chemicals, allowing researchers to observe cells in their natural state.

3-D imaging provides window into living cells, no dye required

Author: Liz Ahlberg, Physical Sciences Editor

Published Date:January 21, 2014

Living cells are ready for their close-ups, thanks to a new imaging technique that needs no dyes or other chemicals, yet renders high-resolution, three-dimensional, quantitative imagery of cells and their internal structures – all with conventional microscopes and white light.

Published Date: January 21, 2014


Illinois professor of psychology Emily Grijalva and her research team analyzed past research studies on narcissism and its relationship to leadership to find that the most effective leaders have moderate levels of narcissism.

Narcissism – to a point – can make a more effective leader, researchers find

Author: Chelsey Coombs

Published Date:January 15, 2014

Although Narcissus himself might not have been able to step away from his reflection in the mirror to get to the office, when it comes to leadership, a moderate amount of narcissism can go a long way.

Published Date: January 15, 2014


University of Illinois entomology professor Barry Pittendrigh and his colleagues analyzed the factors that make human body lice susceptible to bacterial infections, which they can pass to their hosts.

One species, two outcomes: Team seeks source of body louse pathology

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:January 10, 2014

A new study seeks to determine how one parasitic species can give rise to two drastically different outcomes in its host: The human body louse (Pediculus humanus) can transmit dangerous bacterial infections to humans, while the human head louse (also Pediculus humanus) does not.

Published Date: January 10, 2014


William T. Greenough, a professor emeritus of psychology, was a pioneer in studies of brain plasticity and development.

William T. Greenough, an early explorer of brain plasticity, dies at 69

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:January 8, 2014

William T. Greenough, a professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Illinois and a pioneer in studies of brain plasticity and development, died Dec. 18 in Seattle, of complications associated with Lewy Body Dementia. As a researcher at Illinois, Greenough explored the neural basis of learning and memory and the effects of aging, exercise, injury and environmental enrichment on the brain.

Published Date: January 8, 2014


A new study led by Kevin Johnson of the Illinois Natural History Survey (seated, at left), with, left to right, entomology professor Barry Pittendrigh, animal biology professor Ken Paige and postdoctoral researcher Julie Allen, indicates lice are evolving faster than their human and chimpanzee hosts.

Of lice and men (and chimps): Study tracks pace of molecular evolution

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:January 8, 2014

A new study compares the relative rate of molecular evolution between humans and chimps with that of their lice. The researchers wanted to know whether evolution marches on at a steady pace in all creatures or if subtle changes in genes – substitutions of individual letters of the genetic code – occur more rapidly in some groups than in others.

Published Date: January 8, 2014


Study leader Bruce Fouke conducts research on microbes in extreme environments. His work in Yellowstone offers a basis for interpreting new research on subterranean microbes.

Oil- and metal-munching microbes dominate deep sandstone formations

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:December 18, 2013

Halomonas are a hardy breed of bacteria. They can withstand heat, high salinity, low oxygen, utter darkness and pressures that would kill most other organisms. These traits enable these microbes to eke out a living in deep sandstone formations that also happen to be useful for hydrocarbon extraction and carbon sequestration, researchers report in a new study.

Published Date: December 18, 2013


Although it lived roughly 65 million years before the earliest known occurrence of figs, the fossil wasps ovipositor closely resembles those of todays fig wasps.

Ancient 'fig wasp' lived tens of millions of years before figs

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:December 5, 2013

A 115-million-year-old fossilized wasp from northeast Brazil presents a baffling puzzle to researchers. The wasp’s ovipositor, the organ through which it lays its eggs, looks a lot like those of present-day wasps that lay their eggs in figs. The problem, researchers say, is that figs arose about 65 million years after this wasp was alive.

Published Date: December 5, 2013


Researchers grew Miscanthus x giganteus (the taller grass) and switchgrass in side-by-side field trials in seven locations in Illinois.

The first decade: Team reports on U.S. trials of bioenergy grasses

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:December 4, 2013

The first long-term U.S. field trials of Miscanthus x giganteus, a towering perennial grass used in bioenergy production, reveal that its exceptional yields, though reduced somewhat after five years of growth, are still more than twice those of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), another perennial grass used as a bioenergy feedstock. Miscanthus grown in Illinois also outperforms even the high yields found in earlier studies of the crop in Europe, the researchers found.

Published Date: December 4, 2013


Postdoctoral researcher Mahmoud Moradi, left, and biochemistry professor Emad Tajkhorshid discovered how a transporter protein changes its shape to shuttle other molecules across the cell membrane.

Difficult dance steps: Team learns how membrane transporter moves

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:December 2, 2013

Researchers have tried for decades to understand the undulations and gyrations that allow transport proteins to shuttle molecules from one side of a cell membrane to the other. Now scientists report that they have found a way to penetrate the mystery. They have worked out every step in the molecular dance that enables one such transporter to do its job.

Published Date: December 2, 2013


rofessor and interim head of pathobiology Mark Kuhlenschmidt is part of a team that will develop a new system to study a parasite, Cryptosporidium, which causes a diarrheal disease in humans.

Illinois receives Grand Challenges Explorations grants

Author: Chelsey Coombs

Published Date:November 20, 2013

The University of Illinois is a Grand Challenges Explorations winner, an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Daniel L. Rock, a professor of pathobiology, and Mark S. Kuhlenschmidt, a professor and the interim head of pathobiology, will pursue innovative global health and development research projects.

Published Date: November 20, 2013


Anthropology professor Ripan Malhi works with Native Americans to collect and analyze their DNA and that of their ancestors.

Ancient, modern DNA tell story of first humans in the Americas

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:November 18, 2013

University of Illinois anthropology professor Ripan Malhi looks to DNA to tell the story of how ancient humans first came to the Americas and what happened to them once they were here.

Published Date: November 18, 2013


Climate change topic of annual Charles David Keeling lecture at U. of I.

Author: Earn Saenmuk

Published Date:October 30, 2013

Edward Maibach, a professor at George Mason University, will give a lecture in a series that honors Charles David Keeling, an analytical chemist at the University of Illinois and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

Published Date: October 30, 2013


Researchers found that the fungus that causes white-nose syndrome in bats can survive under a variety of conditions and can live and grow on most carbon and nitrogen sources in caves.

Fungus that causes white-nose syndrome in bats proves hardy survivor

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:October 24, 2013

After taking an in-depth look at the basic biology of a fungus that is decimating bat colonies as it spreads across the U.S., researchers report that they can find little that might stop the organism from spreading further and persisting indefinitely in bat caves.

Published Date: October 24, 2013


Researchers Lei Zhang, left, and Xinying Wang, center, with Junhua Jiang, a senior research engineer at the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, are developing high-performance supercapacitors using wood biochar.

Team uses forest waste to develop cheaper, greener supercapacitors

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:October 23, 2013

Researchers report that wood-biochar supercapacitors can produce as much power as today’s activated-carbon supercapacitors at a fraction of the cost – and with environmentally friendly byproducts.

Published Date: October 23, 2013


A new study found that the targeted culling of deer prevents the rampant spread of chronic wasting disease to healthy deer.

Targeted culling of deer controls disease with little effect on hunting

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:October 21, 2013

Chronic wasting disease, the deer-equivalent of mad cow disease, has crept across the U.S. landscape from west to east. It appeared first in captive mule deer in Colorado in the late 1960s. By 1981, it had escaped to the wild. It reached the Midwest by 2002. Little is known about its potential to infect humans.

Published Date: October 21, 2013


A new study found that river otters in Illinois are being exposed to dieldrin, DDE (a byproduct of DDT), PCBs and other chemicals banned decades ago.

Illinois river otters still exposed to chemicals banned decades ago

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:October 15, 2013

Researchers report that river otters in Central Illinois are being exposed to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and pesticides that were banned in the U.S. in the 1970s and ’80s.

Published Date: October 15, 2013


University of Illinois food science and human nutrition professor Yong-Su Jin, left rear, and, clockwise, graduate student Joshua Quarterman, EBI Fellow Soo Rin Kim and postdoctoral researcher Na Wei engineered yeast to consume acetic acid and xylose simultaneously, improving ethanol yield from lignocellulosic sources (plant stems and other structural parts).

Team uses a cellulosic biofuels byproduct to increase ethanol yield

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:October 8, 2013

Scientists report in Nature Communications that they have engineered yeast to consume acetic acid, a previously unwanted byproduct of the process of converting plant leaves, stems and other tissues into biofuels. The innovation increases ethanol yield from lignocellulosic sources by about 10 percent.

Published Date: October 8, 2013


A team of researchers at the University of Illinois used scanning electron microscopy to produce detailed images of whole pollen grains like that of the Poa australis species shown here, left. A computer program then used the high-resolution grain surface patterns, right, to classify and identify the species of grass pollen.

Numerical method trumps descriptive approach to classifying pollen grains

Author: Chelsey Coombs

Published Date:October 7, 2013

Researchers have developed a new quantitative – rather than qualitative – method of identifying pollen grains that is certainly nothing to sneeze at.

Published Date: October 7, 2013


University of Illinois chemistry professor M. Christina White and graduate student Paul Gormisky developed a new catalyst that will help streamline the drug-discovery process.

New small-molecule catalyst does the work of many enzymes

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:October 3, 2013

Researchers report that they have created a man-made catalyst that is an “enzyme mimic.” Unlike most enzymes, which act on a single target, the new catalyst can alter the chemical profiles of numerous types of small molecules. The catalyst – and others like it – will greatly speed the process of drug discovery, the researchers say.

Published Date: October 3, 2013


Chemistry professor Jonathan Sweedler, left, microbiology professor John Cronan, biochemistry professor John Gerlt and their colleagues developed a streamlined approach to discovering enzyme function.

It takes a(n academic) village to determine an enzyme's function

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:September 23, 2013

Scientists have sequenced the genomes of nearly 6,900 organisms, but they know the functions of only about half of the protein-coding genes thus far discovered. Now a multidisciplinary effort involving 15 scientists from three institutions has begun chipping away at this mystery – in a big way. Their work to identify the function of one bacterial protein and the biochemical pathway in which it operates will also help identify the functions of hundreds of other proteins.

Published Date: September 23, 2013


Susan A. Martinis was one of six Urbana professors named University Scholars for their excellence in teaching, scholarship and service.

Urbana campus faculty members named University Scholars

Author: Jeff Unger

Published Date:September 10, 2013

Six Urbana campus faculty members have been named University Scholars. The program recognizes excellence in teaching, scholarship and service. The faculty members will be honored at a campus reception Tuesday (Sept. 10) from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at the Levis Faculty Center, 919 W. Illinois St., Urbana.

Published Date: September 10, 2013


A team of biologists, headed by Jeremy Tiemann of the Illinois Natural History Survey, transported two endangered freshwater mussel species, the northern riffleshell (Epioblasma rangiana) and clubshell (Pleurobema clava, pictured), from Pennsylvania to Illinois.

Researchers move endangered mussels to save them

Author: Chelsey Coombs

Published Date:September 10, 2013

Researchers have transported two endangered freshwater mussel species from Pennsylvania to Illinois in an attempt to re-establish their populations in the western part of the Ohio River Basin.

Published Date: September 10, 2013


Mark Band, the director of functional genomics at the University of Illinois Biotechnology Center, and his colleagues study the blind mole-rats extraordinary cancer-resistance.

Blind mole-rats are resistant to chemically induced cancers

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:September 3, 2013

Like naked mole-rats (Heterocephalus gaber), blind mole-rats (of the genus Spalax) live underground in low-oxygen environments, are long-lived and resistant to cancer. A new study demonstrates just how cancer-resistant Spalax are, and suggests that the adaptations that help these rodents survive in low-oxygen environments also play a role in their longevity and cancer resistance.

Published Date: September 3, 2013


Crop sciences and Institute for Genomic Biology professor Gustavo Caetano-Anolls, graduate student Derek Caetano-Anolls and senior bioinformatician Minglei Wang report that the emergence of the genetic code corresponds to the advent of protein flexibility.

Study offers insight into the origin of the genetic code, team reports

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:August 26, 2013

Crop sciences and Institute for Genomic Biology professor Gustavo Caetano-Anollés, graduate student Derek Caetano-Anollés and senior bioinformatician Minglei Wang report that the emergence of the genetic code corresponds to the advent of protein flexibility.

Published Date: August 26, 2013


Breastfeeding may protect against persistent stuttering

Breastfeeding may protect against persistent stuttering

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:August 5, 2013

U. of I. speech and hearing science professor emerita Nicoline Ambrose and her colleague found that infants who were breastfed in infancy were more likely to recover from stuttering than those who weren't.

Published Date: August 5, 2013


Peter D. Constable, the head of the department of veterinary clinical sciences at Purdue University, will return to the U. of I. as the dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine, pending approval by the U. of I. Board of Trustees.

Peter D. Constable to be next dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine

Published Date:August 2, 2013

Peter D. Constable, a Purdue University professor of veterinary clinical sciences and the head of that department, will become the dean of the U. of I. College of Veterinary Medicine in January 2014, pending approval of the U. of I. Board of Trustees.

Published Date: August 2, 2013


Gene Robinson, the Swanlund Chair of entomology and neuroscience and the director of the Institute for Genomic Biology at the University of Illinois, is the recipient of the Animal Behavior Societys 2013 Distinguished Animal Behaviorist award.

Gene Robinson receives Animal Behavior Society award

Published Date:August 2, 2013

Gene Robinson, the Swanlund Chair of entomology and neuroscience and the director of the Institute for Genomic Biology at the University of Illinois, is the recipient of the Animal Behavior Society's 2013 Distinguished Animal Behaviorist award.

Published Date: August 2, 2013


Fred Kummerow, a professor of comparative biosciences at the University of Illinois, describes his work, which contradicts commonly held notions about the role of dietary cholesterol.

Scientist, 98, challenges orthodoxy on causes of heart disease

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:July 31, 2013

Twenty years ago, at the age of 78, Fred A. Kummerow retired from the University of Illinois. That didn't mean his research days were behind him, however. Now in a wheelchair most of the time, Kummerow still maintains a laboratory on campus where he and his colleagues chip away at the basic assumptions that guide most research into the causes of heart disease. (Watch a video about his life and work.)

Published Date: July 31, 2013


Researchers Tatiana Garcia, a graduate student, and civil and environmental engineering professor Marcelo Garcia developed a model that predicts how Asian carp eggs will disperse after spawning that will help resource managers develop strategies for preventing spread of the invasive species to the Great Lakes.

Model developed to track eggs of Asian carp, an invasive species

Author: Liz Ahlberg, Physical Sciences Editor

Published Date:July 29, 2013

Asian carp are knocking on the door of the Great Lakes, but managers now can better pinpoint strategies to control their rapidly increasing population, according to a new model for tracking carp eggs developed by researchers at the University of Illinois and the United States Geological Survey.

Published Date: July 29, 2013


A topical general anesthetic for amphibians developed by veterinary researchers at Illinois could be a low-cost, easy-to-administer tool for scientists conducting research in the field. Cane toads were used in the study.

Newly developed anesthetic for amphibians could aid field researchers

Author: Sharita Forrest, News Editor

Published Date:July 23, 2013

Veterinary researchers at the University of Illinois have developed a general anesthetic for amphibians that is administered through their skin. The anesthetic jelly could be a low-cost, easy-to-administer form of anesthesia for veterinary work conducted in the field.

Published Date: July 23, 2013


U. of I. chemical and biomolecular engineering professor Brendan Harley, right, and postdoctoral researcher Sara Pedron found a way to adjust the malignancy of brain cancer cells in a newly developed polymer gel that mimics conditions in the brain.

Researchers develop new approach for studying deadly brain cancer

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:July 23, 2013

Human glioblastoma multiforme, one of the most common, aggressive and deadly forms of brain cancer, is notoriously difficult to study. Scientists have traditionally studied cancer cells in petri dishes, which have none of the properties of the brain tissues in which these cancers grow, or in expensive animal models.

Published Date: July 23, 2013


The magenta-flowered fireweed, which springs up after a burn, dominates a landscape once covered in black spruce in Alaskas Yukon Flats.

Most flammable boreal forests in North America become more so

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:July 22, 2013

A 2,000-square-kilometer zone in the Yukon Flats of interior Alaska -- one of the most flammable high-latitude regions of the world, according to scientists -- has seen a dramatic increase in both the frequency and severity of fires in recent decades. Wildfire activity in this area is higher than at any other time in the past 10,000 years, the researchers report.

Published Date: July 22, 2013


University of Illinois chemistry professor Paul Hergenrother, left, and veterinary clinical medicine professor Tim Fan led a study of an anti-cancer compound in pet dogs that is now headed for human clinical trials.

Cancer drug tested in pet dogs is now bound for human trials

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:July 16, 2013

Thanks to a new $2 million investment, a drug that spurs cancer cells to self-destruct while sparing healthy cells is on the road to human clinical trials. The compound, known as PAC-1, has so far proven safe and has promising anti-cancer effects in cell culture, in mouse models of cancer and in pet dogs with spontaneously occurring lymphomas and osteosarcomas.

Published Date: July 16, 2013


Placebo effect largely ignored in psychological intervention studies

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:July 9, 2013

Many brain-training companies tout the scientific backing of their products -- the laboratory studies that reveal how their programs improve your brainpower. But according to a new report, most intervention studies like these have a critical flaw: They do not adequately account for the placebo effect.

Published Date: July 9, 2013


Members of the Metlakatla community are collaborating with scientists in ongoing genetic studies of Native peoples in British Columbia. (Those pictured asked that their names be withheld.)

Study of mitochondrial DNA ties ancient remains to living descendants

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:July 3, 2013

Researchers report that they have found a direct genetic link between the remains of Native Americans who lived thousands of years ago and their living descendants. The team used mitochondrial DNA, which children inherit only from their mothers, to track three maternal lineages from ancient times to the present.

Published Date: July 3, 2013


University of Illinois graduate student Marc Cook, left, kinesiology and community health professor Jeffrey Woods and their colleagues found that voluntary exercise on an exercise wheel reduced colitis symptoms and  pro-inflammatory gene expression in a mouse model of colitis. Forced (moderate) running on a treadmill had the opposite effect.

Team explores the effects of exercise on ulcerative colitis

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:July 2, 2013

A new study indicates that aerobic exercise can lessen – or worsen – the symptoms of inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis, depending on the circumstances under which the exercise is undertaken.

Published Date: July 2, 2013


Study: Christians tweet more happily, less analytically than atheists

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:June 26, 2013

A computer analysis of nearly 2 million text messages (tweets) on the online social network Twitter found that Christians use more positive words, fewer negative words and engage in less analytical thinking than atheists. Christians also were more likely than atheists to tweet about their social relationships, the researchers found.

Published Date: June 26, 2013


Populations of microbes in the guts of rotation-resistant and nonresistant Western corn rootworms differ, giving the rotation-resistant rootworms an advantage in soybean fields.

Rotation-resistant rootworms owe their success to gut microbes

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:June 24, 2013

Researchers say they now know what allows some Western corn rootworms to survive crop rotation, a farming practice that once effectively managed the rootworm pests. The answer to the decades-long mystery of rotation-resistant rootworms lies -- in large part -- in the rootworm gut, the team reports.

Published Date: June 24, 2013


A new study by University of Illinois speech and hearing sciences professor Aaron Johnson and colleagues at the University of Wisconsin shows that the vocal training of older rats reduces some of the voice problems related to their aging. The researchers hope that in the future, this animal model will lead to voice therapy for aging humans to help improve their quality of life.

'Singing' rats show hope for older humans with age-related voice problems

Author: Chelsey Coombs

Published Date:June 24, 2013

A new study shows that the vocal training of older rats reduces some of the voice problems related to their aging, such as the loss of vocal intensity that accompanies changes in the muscles of the larynx. This is an animal model of a vocal pathology that many humans face as they age. The researchers hope that in the future, voice therapy in aging humans will help improve their quality of life.

Published Date: June 24, 2013


University of Illinois molecular and integrative physiology professor Rhanor Gillette and his team found that the predatory sea slug, Pleurobranchaea californica exhibits a learned avoidance behavior when confronted with another type of sea slug, Flabellina iodinea.

By trying it all, predatory sea slug learns what not to eat

Author: Chelsey Coombs

Published Date:June 6, 2013

Researchers have found that a type of predatory sea slug that usually isnt picky when it comes to what it eats has more complex cognitive abilities than previously thought, allowing it to learn the warning cues of dangerous prey and thereby avoid them in the future.

Published Date: June 6, 2013


University of Illinois graduate student Neha Gothe and her colleagues found that 20 minutes of yoga significantly improved participants reaction time and accuracy in tests of cognitive function. Gothe is now a professor of kinesiology at Wayne State University in Detroit.

A 20-minute bout of yoga stimulates brain function immediately after

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:June 5, 2013

Researchers report that a single, 20-minute session of Hatha yoga significantly improved participants speed and accuracy on tests of working memory and inhibitory control, two measures of brain function associated with the ability to maintain focus and take in, retain and use new information. Participants performed significantly better immediately after the yoga practice than after moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise for the same amount of time.

Published Date: June 5, 2013


U. of I. graduate student wins $10,000 grant to conduct tinnitus research

Published Date:May 29, 2013

Jake Carpenter-Thompson, of Lake City, Mich., an M.D./Ph.D. student in neuroscience at the University of Illinois, is one of two graduate students nationwide awarded a research grant from the American Tinnitus Association.

Published Date: May 29, 2013


A regulatory gene that aids learning and the detection of novelty in vertebrates increases in activity in the honey bee brain whenever it explores an unfamiliar environment.

Team finds gene that helps honey bees find flowers (and get back home)

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:May 29, 2013

Honey bees dont start out knowing how to find flowers or even how to get around outside the hive. Before they can forage, they must learn how to navigate a changing landscape and orient themselves in relation to the sun.

Published Date: May 29, 2013


Physics professor Klaus Schulten, postdoctoral researcher Juan Perilla and their colleagues used experimental data and computer simulations to determine the chemical structure of the HIV capsid.

Wit, grit and a supercomputer yield chemical structure of HIV capsid

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:May 29, 2013

Physics professor Klaus Schulten, postdoctoral researcher Juan Perilla and their colleagues used experimental data and computer simulations to determine the chemical structure of the HIV capsid.

Published Date: May 29, 2013


University of Illinois medical biochemistry professor Lin-Feng Chen, postdoctoral researcher Xuewei Wu, biochemistry professor Satish Nair, postdoctoral researcher Zhenhua Zou and their colleagues discovered a mechanism by which the inflammatory protein NF-kappa B is activated and contributes to some cancers.

Team finds mechanism linking key inflammatory marker to cancer

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:May 20, 2013

University of Illinois medical biochemistry professor Lin-Feng Chen, postdoctoral researcher Xuewei Wu, biochemistry professor Satish Nair, postdoctoral researcher Zhenhua Zou and their colleagues discovered a mechanism by which the inflammatory protein NF-kappa B is activated and contributes to some cancers.

Published Date: May 20, 2013


Illinois anthropology professor Kathryn Clancy and her research team at the Laboratory for Evolutionary Endocrinology showed that a woman's reproductive function may be tied to her immune system's status.

Women's reproductive ability may be related to immune system status

Author: Chelsey B. Coombs, News Bureau Intern

Published Date:May 17, 2013

Illinois anthropology professor Kathryn Clancy and her research team at the Laboratory for Evolutionary Endocrinology showed that a woman's reproductive function may be tied to her immune system's status.

Published Date: May 17, 2013


Researchers report that those who plan ahead and consider how to respond positively to challenging problems tend to suffer less from anxiety than those who ignore, hide or repress their feelings.

To suppress or to explore? Emotional strategy may influence anxiety

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:May 13, 2013

When trouble approaches, what do you do? Run for the hills? Hide? Pretend it isnt there? Or do you focus on the promise of rain in those looming dark clouds? New research suggests that the way you regulate your emotions, in bad times and in good, can influence whether or how much you suffer from anxiety.

Published Date: May 13, 2013


University of Illinois plant biology professor Ray Ming, left, graduate student Robert VanBuren and their colleagues sequenced the sacred lotus genome.

Sacred lotus genome sequence enlightens scientists

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:May 10, 2013

The sacred lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) is a symbol of spiritual purity and longevity. Its seeds can survive up to 1,300 years, its petals and leaves repel grime and water, and its flowers generate heat to attract pollinators.

Published Date: May 10, 2013


A new study led by Illinois professor of entomology May Berenbaum shows that some components of the nectar and pollen grains bees collect to manufacture food increase expression of detoxification genes that help keep honey bees healthy.

Substances in honey increase detoxification gene expression, team finds

Author: Chelsey Coombs

Published Date:May 1, 2013

Research in the wake of Colony Collapse Disorder, a mysterious malady afflicting (primarily commercial) honey bees, suggests that pests, pathogens and pesticides all play a role. New research indicates that the honey bee diet influences the bees ability to withstand at least some of these assaults. Some components of the nectar and pollen grains bees collect to manufacture food to support the hive increase the expression of detoxification genes that help keep honey bees healthy.

Published Date: May 1, 2013


Illinois animal sciences professor Sandra Rodriguez-Zas, left, and graduate student Kristin Delfino identified biomarkers that are used to determine ovarian cancer survival and recurrence and showed how the interactions between these biomarkers affect these outcomes.

Team finds markers related to ovarian cancer survival and recurrence

Author: Chelsey Coombs

Published Date:April 29, 2013

Researchers at the University of Illinois have identified biomarkers that can be used to determine ovarian cancer survival and recurrence, and have shown how these biomarkers interact with each other to affect these outcomes.

Published Date: April 29, 2013


Atmospheric sciences professor Atul Jain led a group that studied the global effects of nitrogen on carbon dioxide emissions from land use change, such as deforestation to expand cropland.

Nitrogen has key role in estimating CO2 emissions from land use change

Author: Liz Ahlberg, Physical Sciences Editor

Published Date:April 19, 2013

A new global-scale modeling study that takes into account nitrogen a key nutrient for plants estimates that carbon emissions from human activities on land were 40 percent higher in the 1990s than in studies that did not account for nitrogen.

Published Date: April 19, 2013


view image University of Illinois anthropology professor Kathryn Clancy is one of four researchers to report on the psychological, physical and sexual abuse of students during field studies at remote sites in the field of biological anthropology. The team presents its findings at the 2013 meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropology.

Team reports on abuse of students doing anthropological fieldwork

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:April 15, 2013

College athletes are not the only ones who sometimes suffer at the hands of higher ups. A new report brings to light a more hidden and pernicious problem the psychological, physical and sexual abuse of students in the field of biological anthropology working in field studies far from home.

Published Date: April 15, 2013


Illinois professor of animal and nutritional sciences Kelly Swanson, left, and his research team, including Maria de Godoy, recently published a study that shows how molecular biology technologies are making the mechanisms underlying the pet obesity epidemic more easily understood.

Molecular techniques are man's new best friend in pet obesity research

Author: Chelsey Coombs

Published Date:April 9, 2013

According to the World Health Organization, more than two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. And its not just humans who are packing on the pounds. Our furry companions are plagued by an obesity epidemic of their own. More than 50 percent of the dogs and cats in the United States are overweight or obese.

Published Date: April 9, 2013


Courtney Flint, a professor of natural resources and environmental sciences, contributed an essay in the new book co-edited by William Stewart, a professor of sport, recreation and tourism, that explores the emotional and spiritual attachments that exist between people and physical places, which are transforming conservation practices.

Peoples' relationships with places focus of new book

Author: Sharita Forrest, News Editor

Published Date:April 8, 2013

The strong emotional and spiritual attachments that exist between people and physical spaces are transforming conservation practices, a trend explored in a new book, Place-Based Conservation: Perspectives From the Social Sciences, published by Springer.

Published Date: April 8, 2013


Beckman Institute director Arthur Kramer and his colleagues discovered that elite athletes tend to be faster than their nonathletic peers at a variety of cognitive tasks that are important in sport and in daily life.

Elite athletes also excel at some cognitive tasks

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:March 18, 2013

New research suggests that elite athletes Olympic medalists in volleyball, for example perform better than the rest of us in yet another way. These athletes excel not only in their sport of choice but also in how fast their brains take in and respond to new information cognitive abilities that are important on and off the court.

Published Date: March 18, 2013


Kinesiology and community health professor Edward McAuley led a new study testing the efficacy of a home-based DVD exercise program for people 65 and older.

Older adults benefit from home-based DVD exercise program

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:March 11, 2013

Fitness DVDs are a multimillion-dollar business, and those targeting adults over the age of 55 are a major part of the market. With names like Boomers on the Move, Stronger Seniors and Ageless Yoga, the programs promise much, but few have ever been rigorously tested.

Published Date: March 11, 2013


John Marlin, a research affiliate with the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center and Illinois Natural History Survey, displays one of Charles Robertsons original accession books in which he recorded data about the more than 25,000 insects he collected in Carlinville, Ill.

Illinois town provides a historical foundation for today's bee research

Author: Chelsey Coombs

Published Date:March 1, 2013

A study published in the journal Science reveals a decline in bee species since the late 1800s in West Central Illinois. The study could not have been conducted without the work of a 19th-century naturalist, says a co-author of the new research.

Published Date: March 1, 2013


Ed Diener, the Joseph R. Smiley Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of Illinois, is a 2013 recipient of the William James Lifetime Achievement Award for basic research, presented by the Association for Psychological Science.

Psychology professor Ed Diener receives lifetime achievement award

Author: Madeline Ley

Published Date:February 27, 2013

Ed Diener, the Joseph R. Smiley Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of Illinois, is a 2013 recipient of the William James Lifetime Achievement Award for basic research, presented by the Association for Psychological Science. The William James Lifetime Achievement Award honors APS members for their lifetime of significant intellectual contributions to the basic science of psychology.

Published Date: February 27, 2013


Fred Kummerow, a 98-year-old emeritus professor of comparative biosciences at the University of Illinois, explains the primary causes of heart disease. His research contradicts commonly held notions about the role of dietary cholesterol.

Lipid researcher, 98, reports on the causes of heart disease

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:February 27, 2013

A 98-year-old researcher argues that, contrary to decades of clinical assumptions and advice to patients, dietary cholesterol is good for your heart unless that cholesterol is unnaturally oxidized (by frying foods in reused oil, eating lots of polyunsaturated fats, or smoking).

Published Date: February 27, 2013


A better mousetrap The VetMouseTrap, a restraint device developed by veterinary radiologist Robert K. OBrien, is enabling clinicians to conduct CT scans on patients that couldnt be scanned previously, leading to faster diagnosis and treatment of life-threatening conditions.

'Mouse trap' allows vets to make faster diagnoses, without anesthesia

Author: Sharita Forrest, News Editor

Published Date:February 27, 2013

Advancements in the use of computed tomography (also known as CT) imaging by researchers at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital are enabling them to diagnose life-threatening conditions in dogs and cats faster, dramatically affecting the course, outcomes and costs of treatment.

Published Date: February 27, 2013


The researchers discovered that Schistosoma mansoni harbors a population of non-sexual stem cells (yellow dots dispersed throughout the organism) that replenish its tissues and contribute to its ability to live in its host for decades.

Study reveals stem cells in a human parasite

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:February 25, 2013

From the point of view of its ultimate (human) host, the parasitic flatworm Schistosoma mansoni has a gruesome way of life. It hatches in feces-tainted water, grows into a larva in the body of a snail and then burrows through human skin to take up residence in the veins. Once there, it grows into an adult, mates and, if its female, starts laying eggs. It can remain in the body for decades.

Published Date: February 25, 2013


A new cast of six-legged villains and two-legged heroes star in this years Insect Fear Film Festival, which is devoted to the work of 'X-Files' creator Chris Carter, a special guest of the festival. Carter's first feature film, 'Fight the Future,' will be shown.

'X-Files' creator Chris Carter to attend 30th annual Insect Fear Film Festival

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:February 19, 2013

Infectious honey bees and cockroaches out to take down humans will be the cinematic scare fare at this years Insect Fear Film Festival, an event organizers are calling The InsX-Files: The Truth (About Insects) Is Out There.

Published Date: February 19, 2013


University of Illinois psychology professor Justin Rhodes and his colleagues found evidence contradicting a popular hypothesis suggesting male spatial superiority is a result of natural selection.

Males' superior spatial ability likely is not an evolutionary adaptation

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:February 19, 2013

University of Illinois psychology professor Justin Rhodes and his colleagues found evidence contradicting a popular hypothesis suggesting male spatial superiority is a result of natural selection.

Published Date: February 19, 2013


The overregulation of genetically modified crops is a response not to scientific evidence, but to a global campaign that disseminates misinformation and fear about these food sources, said food scientist Bruce Chassy at the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting.

Food science expert: Genetically modified crops are overregulated

Author: Chelsey Coombs

Published Date:February 18, 2013

It has been almost 20 years since the first genetically modified foods showed up in produce aisles throughout the United States and the rest of the world, but controversy continues to surround the products and their regulation.

Published Date: February 18, 2013


University of Illinois psychology professor and Beckman Institute director Art Kramer presented a talk about how physical activity boosts cognition and brain health at the 2013 AAAS meeting.

The research is in: Physical activity enhances cognition

Author: Chelsey Coombs

Published Date:February 18, 2013

Exercise doesnt only strengthen your heart and muscles it also beefs up your brain. Dozens of studies now show that aerobic exercise can increase the size of critical brain structures and improve cognition in children and older adults.

Published Date: February 18, 2013


Rural sewage treatment lagoons remove most, but not all, of the pharmaceutical and personal care product and hormone contaminants from wastewater, suggests a new study lead by Wei Zheng, a professor of natural resources and environmental sciences and a senior research scientist at the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center.

Sewage lagoons remove most - but not all - pharmaceuticals

Author: Chelsey Coombs

Published Date:February 14, 2013

2012 marked the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, which established regulations for the discharge of pollutants to waterways and supported the building of sewage treatment plants. Despite these advances, sewage remains a major source of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) and naturally occurring hormones found in the environment.

Published Date: February 14, 2013


The Wildlife Medical Clinic has created a classroom-focused website to educate students from kindergarten through high school about wildlife, natural resources and conservation efforts by engaging the students with hands-on Internet-based lessons.

New website educates about wildlife, conservation, natural resources

Author: Madeline Ley

Published Date:February 4, 2013

The Web has become a little more wild with the introduction of a website that explores human interactions with the natural world. The Wildlife Medical Clinic at the University of Illinois recently created a classroom-focused website called Wildlife Encounters to educate students of all ages about the world around them.

Published Date: February 4, 2013


University of Illinois neuroscience professor Aron Barbey led a study that mapped the brain regions associated with emotional intelligence.

Researchers map emotional intelligence in the brain

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:January 22, 2013

A new study of 152 Vietnam veterans with combat-related brain injuries offers the first detailed map of the brain regions that contribute to emotional intelligence the ability to process emotional information and navigate the social world.

Published Date: January 22, 2013


One enzyme shapes the components of a bacterial protein into rings with right-handed (D) and left-handed (L) stereochemistries.

Study: Odd biochemistry yields lethal bacterial protein

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:January 22, 2013

While working out the structure of a cell-killing protein produced by some strains of the bacterium Enterococcus faecalis, researchers stumbled on a bit of unusual biochemistry. They found that a single enzyme helps form distinctly different, three-dimensional ring structures in the protein, one of which had never been observed before.

Published Date: January 22, 2013


University of Illinois comparative biosciences professor Suzanne Berry-Miller, veterinary clinical medicine professor Robert OBrien and their colleagues developed a method that enhanced cardiac function in a mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Stem-cell approach shows promise for Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Author: Chelsey Coombs

Published Date:January 14, 2013

Researchers have shown that transplanting stem cells derived from normal mouse blood vessels into the hearts of mice that model the pathology associated with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) prevents the decrease in heart function associated with DMD.

Published Date: January 14, 2013


University of Illinois chemistry professor Eric Oldfield, center, graduate student Wei Zhu, left, research scientist Yonghui Zhang and their colleagues at UC San Diego discovered a compound that cured drug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection in mice.

New compound overcomes drug-resistant Staph infection in mice

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:January 7, 2013

Researchers have discovered a new compound that restores the health of mice infected with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), an otherwise dangerous bacterial infection. The new compound targets an enzyme not found in human cells but which is essential to bacterial survival.

Published Date: January 7, 2013


University of Illinois professor Carl R. Woese discovered a new domain of life.

Carl R. Woese, who discovered a new domain of life, dies at 84

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:December 31, 2012

University of Illinois microbiology and Institute for Genomic Biology professor Carl R. Woese, who adopted a molecular approach to classifying organisms and upended taxonomy with the discovery of a third domain of life, died Sunday (Dec. 30) at his home in Urbana, Ill. He was 84.

Published Date: December 31, 2012


University of Illinois graduate student Marc Cook and his colleagues found that young African-American men experienced more cardiovascular benefits from weight training than Caucasian men of the same age.

Strength training improves vascular function in young black men

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:December 21, 2012

Six weeks of weight training can significantly improve blood markers of cardiovascular health in young African-American men, researchers report in the Journal of Human Hypertension.

Published Date: December 21, 2012


A new study by University of Illinois psychology professor Brent Roberts, left, and postdoctoral researcher Patrick Hill suggests that personality and social well-being influence each other as one progresses through adulthood.

Study links personality changes to changes in social well-being

Author: Chelsey Coombs

Published Date:December 18, 2012

Researchers report that changes in social well-being are closely tied to ones personality, with positive changes in one corresponding to similar changes in the other. Their study reveals potential new mechanisms that can help individuals thrive as they age.

Published Date: December 18, 2012


The Hopewell people used distinctive stone pipes, often with effigies on them, like this owl pipe found in an early village excavation in Illinois.

Study of pipestone artifacts overturns a century-old assumption

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:December 18, 2012

IIn a new study, the first to actually test pipestone from quarries across the upper Midwest, researchers conclude that those who buried ceremonial pipes in a famous mound site in southeastern Ohio got the stone and perhaps even the finished, carved pipes from Illinois.

Published Date: December 18, 2012


University of Illinois physics professor Taekjip Ha and his colleagues discovered how a DNA-repair protein matches up a broken DNA strand with an intact region of double-stranded DNA.

Team solves mystery associated with DNA repair

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:December 13, 2012

Every time a human or bacterial cell divides it first must copy its DNA. Specialized proteins unzip the intertwined DNA strands while others follow and build new strands, using the originals as templates. Whenever these proteins encounter a break and there are many they stop and retreat, allowing a new cast of molecular players to enter the scene.

Published Date: December 13, 2012


University of Illinois entomology professor Barry Pittendrigh (back right) and his colleagues create animated educational videos as part of the Scientific Animations Without Borders project. Pictured: back row left: entomology research scientist Weilin Sun; front row from left: SAWBO co-founder Julia Bello-Bravo, who also is assistant director of the Illinois Strategic International Partnership; graduate students Julia Steele and Alice Vossbrinck; and research specialist Susan Balfe.

Agricultural, health education goes global via cellphone animations

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:December 10, 2012

Agricultural researchers and health educators are using cellphone technology to help those in the developing world address some of the most challenging issues they face. The initiative, Scientific Animations Without Borders (SAWBO), delivers educational materials in the form of narrated, animated videos to a global audience.

Published Date: December 10, 2012


Stephen Sligar, a professor of biochemistry, is one of five new Swanlund Chairs named at Illinois.

Five named to Swanlund Chairs, campus's premier endowed recognition

Author: Jeff Unger

Published Date:December 4, 2012

Five professors at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have been named Swanlund Chairs, the highest endowed titles on the Urbana campus.

Published Date: December 4, 2012


Lisa Lucero, a professor of anthropology, is one of six Illinois professors named AAAS fellows.

Six professors at Illinois named 2012 AAAS fellows

Author: Chelsey Coombs

Published Date:November 29, 2012

Six faculty members at the University of Illinois have been named 2012 fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science: animal biology professor Chi-Hing Christina Cheng, electrical and computer engineering professor Kent Choquette, psychology professor Neal Cohen, chemistry professor So Hirata, anthropology professor Lisa Lucero and physics professor Philip Phillips.

Published Date: November 29, 2012


Researchers from the University of Illinois  professor Sua Myong, left, and graduate student Helen Hwang  determined the action of proteins that regulate the caps on the ends of DNA strands, creating an assay that could be used to screen anti-cancer drugs.

Proteins that work at the end of DNA could provide cancer insight

Author: Liz Ahlberg, Physical Sciences Editor

Published Date:November 29, 2012

New insights into a protein complex that regulates the very tips of chromosomes could improve methods of screening anti-cancer drugs.

Published Date: November 29, 2012


Antkey's distinctive photographs make it easy to identify an ants most obvious features, like the mandibles of this Monomorium desctructor.

Name that ant! New online tool helps identify alien ant invaders

Author: Chelsey Coombs

Published Date:November 27, 2012

Researchers have created an interactive website, called Antkey, which includes more than 1,150 images and 70 video clips to help users determine an ants identity from more than 100 invasive and commonly introduced global species.

Published Date: November 27, 2012


Study tracks brain gene response to territorial aggression

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:November 15, 2012

With a mate and a nest to protect, the male threespined stickleback is a fierce fish, chasing and biting other males until they go away. Now researchers are mapping the genetic underpinnings of the sticklebacks aggressive behavior.

Published Date: November 15, 2012


A new analysis of pigs, left, and their ancestor-like cousins, the wild boars, reveals much about their evolutionary history, sensory perceptions and similarity to humans.

Pig genome offers insights into the feistiest of farm animals

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:November 14, 2012

The pig and its cousin the wild boar have much in common with humans. They are world travelers. Theyre adaptable, invasive and often damage their own habitat. They are easy to seduce (with food) and susceptible to domestication, but when conditions allow, they revert to a feral lifestyle.

Published Date: November 14, 2012


Public symposium to coincide with Catalogue of Life global team meeting

Author: Mare Payne

Published Date:November 2, 2012

Throughout the scientific literature our collective knowledge, from where an organism lives, to what it eats, to its physical characteristics, is linked to scientific names, such as Homo sapiens, the name for humans.

Published Date: November 2, 2012


A new study found that a simple intervention could moderate otherwise polarized political attitudes, such as those toward a proposed Islamic community center and mosque near the World Trade Center site in New York City.

Abstract thinking can make you more politically moderate

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:November 2, 2012

Partisans beware! Some of your most cherished political attitudes may be malleable! Researchers report that simply answering three why questions on an innocuous topic leads people to be more moderate in their views on an otherwise polarizing political issue.

Published Date: November 2, 2012


University of Illinois psychology professor Jesse Preston, right, and graduate student Ivan Hernandez found that people were less biased after reading political materials or criminal evidence in a hard-to-read font.

Difficult-to-read font reduces political polarity, study finds

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:November 2, 2012

Liberals and conservatives who are polarized on certain politically charged subjects become more moderate when reading political arguments in a difficult-to-read font, researchers report in a new study. Likewise, people with induced bias for or against a defendant in a mock trial are less likely to act on that bias if they have to struggle to read the evidence against him.

Published Date: November 2, 2012


University of Illinois psychology professor Alejandro Lleras and postdoctoral researcher Simona Buetti found that having a sense of control over events can, in the right circumstances, reduce the distorting influence of positive and negative emotions on cognition.

A sense of control eliminates emotional distortions of time

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:October 24, 2012

Researchers say they have found a way to lessen emotion-driven time distortions. Having a sense of control over events reduces the influence of emotions on time perception, the researchers report. This is true even for highly reactive emotional individuals and even if ones sense of control is an illusion.

Published Date: October 24, 2012


Rock, paper or scissors? Learning while playing a strategic game against others involves a different pattern of brain activity than learning from the consequences of ones own actions, researchers found.

Brain waves reveal video game aptitude

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:October 24, 2012

Scientists report that they can predict who will improve most on an unfamiliar video game by looking at their brain waves.

Published Date: October 24, 2012


Researchers report they have found a way to disrupt the spread of antibiotic-resistance genes among S. pneumoniae bacteria, which can contribute to pneumonia, meningitis and other dangerous ailments.

Scientists target bacterial sharing of antibiotic resistance genes

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:October 24, 2012

The bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae which can cause pneumonia, meningitis, bacteremia and sepsis likes to share its antibiotic-defeating weaponry with its neighbors. Individual cells can pass resistance genes to one another through a process called horizontal gene transfer, or by transformation, the uptake of DNA from the environment.

Published Date: October 24, 2012


University of Illinois molecular and integrative physiology professor Jongsook Kim Kemper and her colleagues were able to reverse some of the metabolic problems associated with obesity in mice.

In obesity, a micro-RNA causes metabolic problems

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:September 20, 2012

Scientists have identified a key molecular player in a chain of events in the body that can lead to fatty liver disease, Type II diabetes and other metabolic abnormalities associated with obesity. By blocking this molecule, the researchers were able to reverse some of the pathology it caused in obese mice.

Published Date: September 20, 2012


The stunning fall color of yesteryear at the Beckman Institute may not return this year after the summer drought.

Summer drought may dull fall color

Author: Madeline Ley, News Bureau intern

Published Date:September 14, 2012

The stunning fall color of yesteryear at the Beckman Institute may not return this year after the summer drought.

Published Date: September 14, 2012


A new study of giant viruses supports the idea that viruses are ancient living organisms and not inanimate molecular remnants run amok, as some scientists have argued, said University of Illinois crop sciences and Institute for Genomic Biology professor Gustavo Caetano-Anolls, who led the analysis.

Study of giant viruses shakes up tree of life

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:September 13, 2012

A new study of giant viruses supports the idea that viruses are ancient living organisms and not inanimate molecular remnants run amok, as some scientists have argued, said University of Illinois crop sciences and Institute for Genomic Biology professor Gustavo Caetano-Anolls, who led the analysis.

Published Date: September 13, 2012


Researchers report that myxoma  a pox virus that afflicts rabbits but not humans, dogs or any other vertebrates so far studied  infects several different types of canine cancer cells in cell culture while sparing healthy cells. The study adds to the evidence that viruses or modified viruses will emerge as relatively benign cancer treatments to complement or replace standard cancer therapies.

Scientists aim to put a pox on dog cancer

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:September 7, 2012

Researchers report that myxoma a pox virus that afflicts rabbits but not humans, dogs or any other vertebrates so far studied infects several different types of canine cancer cells in cell culture while sparing healthy cells. The study adds to the evidence that viruses or modified viruses will emerge as relatively benign cancer treatments to complement or replace standard cancer therapies.

Published Date: September 7, 2012


Cell and developmental biology professor Martha Gillette and her colleagues at Illinois discovered that metabolism influences time-keeping in the brain.

Study: Metabolism in the brain fluctuates with circadian rhythm

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:August 28, 2012

The rhythm of life is driven by the cycles of day and night, and most organisms carry in their cells a common, (roughly) 24-hour beat. In animals, this rhythm emerges from a tiny brain structure called the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) in the hypothalamus. Take it out of the brain and keep it alive in a lab dish and this brain clock will keep on ticking, ramping up or gearing down production of certain proteins at specific times of the day, day after day. A new study reveals that the brain clock itself is driven, in part, by metabolism, the production and flow of chemical energy in cells.

Published Date: August 28, 2012


The researchers found skull fragments that date to 63,000 years ago.

Lao skull earliest example of modern human fossil in Southeast Asia

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:August 20, 2012

An ancient skull recovered from a cave in the Annamite Mountains in northern Laos is the oldest modern human fossil found in Southeast Asia, researchers report. The discovery pushes back the clock on modern human migration through the region by as much as 20,000 years and indicates that ancient wanderers out of Africa left the coast and inhabited diverse habitats much earlier than previously appreciated.

Published Date: August 20, 2012


The pre-Columbian settlement at Cahokia was the largest city in North America north of Mexico, with as many as 50,000 people living there at its peak.

Researchers find evidence of ritual use of 'black drink' at Cahokia

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:August 6, 2012

People living 700 to 900 years ago in Cahokia, a massive settlement near the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers, ritually used a caffeinated brew made from the leaves of a holly tree that grew hundreds of miles away, researchers report.

Published Date: August 6, 2012


Researchers analyzed the sex chromosomes of papaya, which can produce male, female and/or hermaphrodite flowers.

Researchers peek at the early evolution of sex chromosomes

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:August 6, 2012

Two new studies offer insight into sex chromosome evolution by focusing on papaya, a multimillion dollar crop plant with a sexual problem (as far as growers are concerned) and a complicated past. The findings are described in two papers in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Published Date: August 6, 2012


A new study led by Patrick Hill, a postdoctoral research associate in psychology, suggests that feeling invulnerable to depression, low self esteem and other issues safeguards young peoples emotional health during the turbulent years of adolescence and perhaps into adulthood.

Young people's feeling of invulnerability has drawbacks - and benefits

Author: Sharita Forrest, News Editor

Published Date:August 6, 2012

A sense of invulnerability isnt a hallmark of youth as many adults may believe nor is it necessarily detrimental, a new study suggests. However, feeling immune to the problems and threats that affect others can be a blessing or a curse, depending on whether people believe theyre exempt from psychological risks or physical harm.

Published Date: August 6, 2012


The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster is a useful model organism for studying the whole-body effects of methamphetamine exposure.

Fruit flies on methamphetamine die largely as a result of anorexia

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:August 1, 2012

A new study finds that, like humans, fruit flies exposed to methamphetamine drastically reduce their food intake and increase their physical activity. The study, which tracked metabolic and behavioral changes in fruit flies on meth, indicates that starvation is a primary driver of methamphetamine-related death in the insects.

Published Date: August 1, 2012


University of Illinois psychology professor and Beckman Institute affiliate Janice Juraska, left, and doctoral student Nioka Chisholm found that long-term exposure to estrogen and a synthetic progesterone increased synapse number in the prefrontal cortex of aged rats.

Long-term hormone treatment increases synapses in rat prefrontal cortex

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:July 9, 2012

A new study of aged female rats found that long-term treatment with estrogen and a synthetic progesterone known as MPA increased levels of a protein marker of synapses in the prefrontal cortex, a brain region known to suffer significant losses in aging.

Published Date: July 9, 2012


University of Illinois pathobiology professor Marilyn OHara Ruiz, right, and graduate student Allison Gardner identified the physical factors associated with increased numbers of disease-carrying mosquito larvae in Chicago catch basins.

Heat, rainfall affect pathogenic mosquito abundance in catch basins

Author: Mackenzie Dankle

Published Date:July 5, 2012

Rainfall and temperature affect the abundance of two mosquito species linked to West Nile Virus in storm catch basins in suburban Chicago, two University of Illinois researchers report.

Published Date: July 5, 2012


A childs temperament, sex and the type of bullying they experience all influence whether the child subsequently becomes depressed or more aggressive after being victimized, indicates a study by graduate student Niwako Sugimura, left, and psychology professor Karen D. Rudolph.

Anti-bullying efforts should be tailored to victims' needs, study shows

Author: Sharita Forrest, News Editor

Published Date:July 2, 2012

Girls with poor self-control become as physically aggressive as the average boy when theyre bullied, suggests a new study by psychologists at the University of Illinois.

Published Date: July 2, 2012


A new study by David Strauser, a faculty member in community health, sheds light on why adult survivors of childhood cancer often have trouble keeping employment, particularly if they were diagnosed during a critical developmental period between the ages of 6-12.

Cancer in childhood can have negative impact on career readiness

Author: Sharita Forrest, News Editor

Published Date:July 2, 2012

Young adult survivors of childhood cancer often have problems maintaining jobs and relationships, researchers have found. A new study of childhood brain tumor survivors by disability researcher David Strauser, a professor of community health at the University of Illinois, suggests that a battle with cancer during a critical developmental period in middle childhood may negatively affect career readiness and achievement as an adult by compromising childrens development of an effective work personality.

Published Date: July 2, 2012


Animal biology professor Alison Bell received the Young Investigator Award from the Animal Behavior Society for 'remarkable research contributions  and the early training of young scholars' in her laboratory.

Alison Bell receives Animal Behavior Society Young Investigator Award

Author: Mackenzie Dankle

Published Date:June 18, 2012

Alison Bell, a University of Illinois animal biology professor, is a recipient of the 2012 Young Investigator Award from the Animal Behavior Society. The society recognized Bell for her remarkable research contributions to the field of animal behavior and the early training of young scholars in her laboratory.

Published Date: June 18, 2012


Illinois Sustainable Technology Center senior research scientist Wei Zheng and his colleagues found that estrogenic compounds in dairy waste biodegrade very slowly in the absence of oxygen.

Team determines how estrogens persist in dairy farm wastewater

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:June 5, 2012

Wastewater from large dairy farms contains significant concentrations of estrogenic hormones that can persist for months or even years, researchers report in a new study. In the absence of oxygen, the estrogens rapidly convert from one form to another; this stalls their biodegradation and complicates efforts to detect them, the researchers found.

Published Date: June 5, 2012


University of Illinois emeritus professor of biochemistry Robert Switzers new memoir traces the 75-year history of his familys dairy farm in northwestern Illinois.

Memoir tracks the life, decline and death of an Illinois family farm

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:May 30, 2012

There is no sentimentality in Robert Switzers modestly titled new book, A Family Farm: Life on an Illinois Dairy Farm. Switzer, an emeritus professor of biochemistry at the University of Illinois, begins with a quote (from Victor Davis Hansons own book on farming) that the American yeoman farmer is doomed, and describes the internal and external forces that led to the decline and demise of his familys farm in northwest Illinois.

Published Date: May 30, 2012


University of Illinois crop sciences professor and Energy Biosciences Institute program leader Stephen Moose and his colleagues mapped the Miscanthus sinensis genome, a first step towards a full genome sequence.

Maps of miscanthus genome offer insight into grass evolution

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:May 15, 2012

Miscanthus grasses are used in gardens, burned for heat and energy, and converted into liquid fuels. They also belong to a prominent grass family that includes corn, sorghum and sugarcane. Two new, independently produced chromosome maps of Miscanthus sinensis (an ornamental that likely is a parent of Miscanthus giganteus, a biofuels crop) are a first step toward sequencing the M. sinensis genome. The studies reveal how a new plant species with distinctive traits can arise as a result of chromosome duplications and fusions.

Published Date: May 15, 2012


University of Illinois engineers developed a method to computationally correct aberrations in three-dimensional tissue microscopy. From left, postdoctoral researcher Steven Adie, professor P. Scott Carney, graduate students Adeel Ahmad and Benedikt Graf, and professor Stephen Boppart.

Computing the best high-resolution 3-D tissue images

Author: Liz Ahlberg, Physical Sciences Editor

Published Date:April 23, 2012

Real-time, 3-D microscopic tissue imaging could be a revolution for medical fields such as cancer diagnosis, minimally invasive surgery and ophthalmology. University of Illinois researchers have developed a technique to computationally correct for aberrations in optical tomography, bringing the future of medical imaging into focus.

Published Date: April 23, 2012


A new study indicates that exposure to broad generalizations about the likely success of a social group  boys or girls, for example  undermines both boys and girls performance on a challenging task.

Even positive stereotypes can hinder performance, researchers report

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:April 23, 2012

Does hearing that you are a member of an elite group of chess players, say, or scholars enhance your performance on tasks related to your alleged area of expertise? Not necessarily, say researchers who tested how sweeping pronouncements about the skills or likely success of social groups can influence childrens performance.

Published Date: April 23, 2012


Illinois researchers  from left, Jong-Shi Pang, Yun Ba and Yanfeng Ouyang  developed models for optimizing and evaluating the biofuel feedstock supply chain, addressing layers of competition not only between the biofuel market and the food market, but also among individual farmers.

Study: Optimizing biofuel supply chain is a competitive game

Author: Liz Ahlberg, Physical Sciences Editor

Published Date:April 18, 2012

According to new models created by University of Illinois researchers, most studies of the" food versus fuel" debate so far have overlooked a key factor: selfish and possibly competing interests of the biofuel industry and individual farmers, who independently seek the most profit from their crops.

Published Date: April 18, 2012


Edward Diener, the Joseph R. Smiley Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Illinois and a senior scientist for the Gallup Organization, was one of two University of Illinois professors named to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences this year.

Two U. of I. faculty members elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Author: Liz Ahlberg, Physical Sciences Editor

Published Date:April 17, 2012

University of Illinois professors Edward Diener and Jennifer A. Lewis are among 220 new members named to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Published Date: April 17, 2012


Professor Huimin Zhao, whose research explores biosynthetic tools for drug and energy development, was awarded a 2012 Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship.

Illinois engineering professor awarded Guggenheim Fellowship

Author: Liz Ahlberg, Physical Sciences Editor

Published Date:April 12, 2012

University of Illinois professor Huimin Zhao has received a 2012 Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship.

Published Date: April 12, 2012


University of Illinois neuroscience professor Aron Barbey led a study that mapped the brain regions essential to intelligence and to executive function (the ability to plan, organize and regulate behavior).

Researchers use brain injury data to map intelligence in the brain

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:April 10, 2012

Scientists report that they have mapped the physical architecture of intelligence in the brain. Theirs is one of the largest and most comprehensive analyses so far of the brain structures vital to general intelligence and to specific aspects of intellectual functioning, such as verbal comprehension and working memory.

Published Date: April 10, 2012


University of Illinois researchers Sanda, right, and Florin Dolcos studied how personality, gender, and emotion-regulation strategies appear to influence the recall of emotional personal memories.

Personality, habits of thought and gender influence how we remember

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:April 10, 2012

A new study reveals that what we do with our emotional memories and how they affect us has a lot to do with our gender, personality and the methods we use (often without awareness) to regulate our feelings.

Published Date: April 10, 2012


Brain Awareness Day to showcase neuroscience, work of U. of I. scientists

Author: Sharita Forrest, News Editor

Published Date:April 9, 2012

Budding scientists will be able to get a taste and feel for neuroscience when researchers at the University of Illinois host their annual Brain Awareness Day on Saturday (April 14) at the Orpheum Childrens Science Museum in Champaign.

Published Date: April 9, 2012


The head louse, left, and body louse, right, differ in habits, habitat and in their ability to transmit disease, but a new genetic analysis indicates they are likely the same species.

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

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date: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.

Published Date: April 9, 2012


U. of I. psychology professor receives APA distinguished scientist award

Author: Diana Yates

Published Date:April 2, 2012

Ed Diener, the Joseph R. Smiley Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of Illinois, is a 2012 recipient of the American Psychological Associations Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award. The award recognizes distinguished theoretical or empirical contributions to basic research in psychology. The award is typically given to three scientists each year.

Published Date: April 2, 2012


Study suggests motivation to be active may lead to impulsive behavior

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:March 14, 2012

Those motivated to actively change bad habits may be setting themselves up for failure, a new study suggests.

Published Date: March 14, 2012


When women stop breastfeeding linked to child care options, study shows

Author: Sharita Forrest, News Editor

Published Date:March 13, 2012

Mothers participating in the Special Supplemental Nutrition program for Women, Infants and Children, known as WIC, are more likely to discontinue breastfeeding their infants before 6 months of age than non-WIC mothers, especially if they rely upon relatives to provide child care, according to a new study by Juhee Kim, a professor of kinesiology and community health at the University of Illinois.

Published Date: March 13, 2012


Breastfed babies less likely to be picky eaters as toddlers

Author: Sharita Forrest, News Editor

Published Date:March 8, 2012

Babies who are breastfed exclusively for their first six months of life may be less likely to become picky eaters as preschoolers, according to a recent study of 129 mothers and their children.

Published Date: March 8, 2012


Insects have personalities too, research on honey bees indicates

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:March 8, 2012

A new study in Science suggests that thrill-seeking is not limited to humans and other vertebrates. Some honey bees, too, are more likely than others to seek adventure.

Published Date: March 8, 2012


Science museum event launches neuroscience education program

Author: Sharita Forrest, Education Editor

Published Date:March 7, 2012

Brainiacs of all ages are invited to explore the mysteries of the brain and nervous system March 11 during an afternoon of games and activities at the Orpheum Childrens Science Museum in Champaign. The event, F.I.N.D. Orphy, will kick off a new science education outreach program jointly sponsored by the Orpheum and the University of Illinois that highlights the research of the universitys neuroscientists.

Published Date: March 7, 2012


Team aims to make sugarcane, sorghum into oil-producing crops

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:March 1, 2012

With the support of a $3.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, researchers will take the first steps toward engineering two new oil-rich crops.

Published Date: March 1, 2012


Researcher tracks agricultural overuse of bug-killing technology

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:February 29, 2012

High corn prices are leading many growers to plant corn every year and to overuse pesticides and other bug-killing technology to maximize yields, researchers report in a new study.

Published Date: February 29, 2012


Modified bone drug kills malaria parasite in mice

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:February 27, 2012

A chemically altered osteoporosis drug may be useful in fighting malaria, researchers report in a new study. Unlike similar compounds tested against many other parasitic protozoa, the drug readily crosses into the red blood cells of malaria-infected mice and kills the malaria parasite. The drug works at very low concentrations with no observed toxicity to the mouse.

Published Date: February 27, 2012


Rare fungus kills endangered rattlesnakes in southern Illinois

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:February 21, 2012

A small population of rattlesnakes that already is in decline in southern Illinois faces a new and unexpected threat in the form of a fungus rarely seen in the wild, researchers report.

Published Date: February 21, 2012


Bloodthirsty ants swarm Insect Fear Film Festival

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:February 15, 2012

Ants exposed to Iraqi plutonium turn a Los Angeles skyscraper into a nightmarish death trap, and diamond miners confront a bloodthirsty ant swarm in the Namib Desert in this years Insect Fear Film Festival at the University of Illinois Foellinger Auditorium on Feb. 25 (Saturday).

Published Date: February 15, 2012


It's not solitaire: Brain activity differs when one plays against others

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:February 6, 2012

Researchers have found a way to study how our brains assess the behavior and likely future actions of others during competitive social interactions. Their study, described in a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is the first to use a computational approach to tease out differing patterns of brain activity during these interactions, the researchers report.

Published Date: February 6, 2012


Exercise triggers stem cells in muscle

Author: Liz Ahlberg, Physical Sciences Editor

Published Date:February 6, 2012

University of Illinois researchers determined that an adult stem cell present in muscle is responsive to exercise, a discovery that may provide a link between exercise and muscle health. The findings could lead to new therapeutic techniques using these cells to rehabilitate injured muscle and prevent or restore muscle loss with age.

Published Date: February 6, 2012


Attack or retreat? Circuit links hunger and pursuit in sea slug brain

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:January 25, 2012

If you were a blind, cannibalistic sea slug, living among others just like you, nearly every encounter with another creature would require a simple cost/benefit calculation: Should I eat that, do nothing or flee?

Published Date: January 25, 2012


Patterns of antibiotic-resistant bacteria seen in Galapagos reptiles

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:January 23, 2012

Land and marine iguanas and giant tortoises living close to human settlements or tourist sites in the Galapagos Islands were more likely to harbor antibiotic-resistant bacteria than those living in more remote or protected sites on the islands, researchers report in a new study.

Published Date: January 23, 2012


Enhancing cognition in older adults also changes personality

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:January 18, 2012

A program designed to boost cognition in older adults also increased their openness to new experiences, researchers report, demonstrating for the first time that a non-drug intervention in older adults can change a personality trait once thought to be fixed throughout the lifespan.

Published Date: January 18, 2012


From field to biorefinery: Computer model optimizes biofuel operations

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:January 17, 2012

Research into biofuel crops such as switchgrass and Miscanthus has focused mainly on how to grow these crops and convert them into fuels. But many steps lead from the farm to the biorefinery, and each could help or hinder the growth of this new industry. A new computer model developed at the University of Illinois can simplify this transition, researchers say.

Published Date: January 17, 2012


Researchers identify molecular 'culprit' in rise of planetary oxygen

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:January 10, 2012

A turning point in the history of life occurred 2 billion to 3 billion years ago with the unprecedented appearance and dramatic rise of molecular oxygen. Now researchers report they have identified an enzyme that was the first or among the first to generate molecular oxygen on Earth.

Published Date: January 10, 2012


Antimicrobials, perfumes, drugs pose challenges for sewage treatment

Author: Dusty Rhodes, News Editor

Published Date:December 19, 2011

In his first book, University of Illinois professor Daniel Schneider tackles a topic not generally discussed at cocktail parties. Schneiders Hybrid Nature: Sewage Treatment and the Contradictions of the Industrial Ecosystem was published last month by the MIT Press.

Published Date: December 19, 2011


Let's do the twist: Spiral proteins are efficient gene delivery agents

Author: Liz Ahlberg, Physical Sciences Editor

Published Date:December 15, 2011

Clinical gene therapy may be one step closer, thanks to a new twist on an old class of molecules.

Published Date: December 15, 2011


Team designs a bandage that spurs, guides blood vessel growth

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:December 15, 2011

Researchers have developed a bandage that stimulates and directs blood vessel growth on the surface of a wound. The bandage, called a microvascular stamp, contains living cells that deliver growth factors to damaged tissues in a defined pattern. After a week, the pattern of the stamp is written in blood vessels, the researchers report.

Published Date: December 15, 2011


First Professional Science Master's graduates are finding jobs

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:December 12, 2011

The 3-year-old Illinois Professional Science Masters program got its start during a recession, but most of its 2010 graduates are already pursuing careers in the fields they chose. It took most a few months to find work, although some and at least two of the 2011 graduating class were offered jobs while still in school.

Published Date: December 12, 2011


Eight Illinois faculty members elected fellows of AAAS

Author: Liz Ahlberg, Physical Sciences Editor

Published Date:December 6, 2011

Eight University of Illinois faculty members have been elected fellows in the American Association for the Advancement of Science: Fouad Abd-El-Khalick, Rashid Bashir, Debasish Dutta, K. Jimmy Hsia, Keith W. Kelley, Wilfred van der Donk, M. Christina White and James Whitfield.

Published Date: December 6, 2011


Insects offer clues to climate variability 10,000 years ago

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:November 14, 2011

An analysis of the remains of ancient midges tiny non-biting insects closely related to mosquitoes opens a new window on the past with a detailed view of the surprising regional variability that accompanied climate warming during the early Holocene epoch, 10,000 to 5,500 years ago.

Published Date: November 14, 2011


Hospital tests reveal the secrets of an Egyptian mummy

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:November 2, 2011

An ancient Egyptian mummy has had quite an afterlife, traveling more than 6,000 miles, spending six decades in private hands, and finally, in 1989, finding a home at the World Heritage Museum (now the Spurlock Museum) at the University of Illinois. The mummys travels did not end there, however. It has made two trips to a local hospital once in 1990 and again this year for some not-so-routine medical exams.

Published Date: November 2, 2011


Team discovers how a cancer-causing bacterium spurs cell death

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:November 1, 2011

Researchers report they have figured out how the cancer-causing bacterium Helicobacter pylori attacks a cells energy infrastructure, sparking a series of events in the cell that ultimately lead it to self-destruct.

Published Date: November 1, 2011


Experts reveal new images, analyses of Spurlock Museum mummy

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:October 18, 2011

The Return of the Mummy: New Imaging Results on the Spurlock Museums Egyptian Mummy will be the most thorough public presentation yet of the many types of evidence collected in 1990 and again in 2011. The symposium will begin at 4 p.m. in the Knight Auditorium of the museum at 600 S. Gregory St., Urbana.

Published Date: October 18, 2011


Packaging expert sees a social revolution in the evolving barcode

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:October 13, 2011

What if you could trace the history of everything you buy back to its origins? Using your smart phone camera, you could learn what factory made the ingredients in your heart medication, what country grew the corn in your breakfast cereal, or even how to recycle the phone. You could follow the whole life cycle of a product and everyone who handled it along the way to ensure that the medicine youre taking isnt counterfeit and the food youre eating is safe.

Published Date: October 13, 2011


Last Universal Common Ancestor had a complex cellular structure

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:October 5, 2011

Scientists call it LUCA, the Last Universal Common Ancestor, but they dont know much about this great-grandparent of all living things. Many believe LUCA was little more than a crude assemblage of molecular parts, a chemical soup out of which evolution gradually constructed more complex forms. Some scientists still debate whether it was even a cell.

Published Date: October 5, 2011


Study of bees links gene regulatory networks in the brain to behavior

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:September 26, 2011

A new study reveals that distinct networks of genes in the honey bee brain contribute to specific behaviors, such as foraging or aggression, researchers report.

Published Date: September 26, 2011


Illinois professor to receive NIH Director's New Innovator Award

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:September 20, 2011

Chemistry professor Douglas Mitchell is a recipient of the 2011 NIH Directors New Innovator Award.

Published Date: September 20, 2011


For kids with ADHD, regular green time is linked to milder symptoms

Author: Diana Yates

Published Date:September 15, 2011

A study of more than 400 children diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder has found a link between the childrens routine play settings and the severity of their symptoms, researchers report. Those who regularly play in outdoor settings with lots of green (grass and trees, for example) have milder ADHD symptoms than those who play indoors or in built outdoor environments, the researchers found. The association holds even when the researchers controlled for income and other variables.

Published Date: September 15, 2011


Study of childhood bullying shifts focus to victims

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:August 30, 2011

Many wonder why bullies bully, but a new study looks at the other side of the equation: How do children respond to bullying and why? The answer, researchers say, may lead to more effective interventions to reduce the negative consequences and perhaps even the frequency of bullying.

Published Date: August 30, 2011


New sensors streamline detection of estrogenic compounds

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:August 25, 2011

Researchers have engineered new sensors that fluoresce in the presence of compounds that interact with estrogen receptors in human cells. The sensors detect natural or human-made substances that alter estrogenic signaling in the body.

Published Date: August 25, 2011


Want to keep your exercise resolutions? New research offers pointers

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:August 16, 2011

Sticking with an exercise routine means being able to overcome the obstacles that invariably arise. A key to success is having the confidence that you can do it, researchers report. A new study explores how some cognitive strategies and abilities influence this situation-specific self-confidence, a quality the researchers call self-efficacy.

Published Date: August 16, 2011


Narcissism may benefit the young, researchers report

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:August 10, 2011

We all know one, or think we do: the person whose self-regard seems out of proportion to his or her actual merits. Popular culture labels these folks narcissists, almost always a derogatory term. But a new study suggests that some forms of narcissism are at least in the short term beneficial, helping children navigate the difficult transition to adulthood.

Published Date: August 10, 2011


Four Illinois professors elected American Chemical Society fellows

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:August 8, 2011

Four University of Illinois chemistry professors are among 213 distinguished scientists elected fellows of the American Chemical Society this year. Thom Dunning, Catherine Murphy, Ralph Nuzzo and Jonathan Sweedler have demonstrated outstanding accomplishments in chemistry and made important contributions to ACS, the society wrote in its announcement about the new fellows.

Published Date: August 8, 2011


National survey reveals widespread mistaken beliefs about memory

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:August 3, 2011

A new survey reveals that many people in the U.S. in some cases a substantial majority think that memory is more powerful, objective and reliable than it actually is. Their ideas are at odds with decades of scientific research.

Published Date: August 3, 2011


Firefighting stiffens arteries, impairs heart function

Author: Sharita Forrest, News Editor

Published Date:August 3, 2011

Firefighting causes stiff arteries and cardiac fatigue, conditions also found in weightlifters and endurance athletes, according to two recent studies by researchers at the Illinois Fire Service Institute, located at the University of Illinois.

Published Date: August 3, 2011


Researchers map minority microbes in the colon

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:August 2, 2011

They make up less than one-hundredth of 1 percent of the microbes that live in the colon, but the bacteria and archaea that sop up hydrogen in the gut are fundamental to colon health. In a new study, researchers take a first up close look at these hydrogenotrophic microbes, mapping where they live and how abundant they are in different parts of the lower intestine.

Published Date: August 2, 2011


Some plants duplicate their DNA to overcome adversity

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:August 1, 2011

Whatever does not kill a plant may actually make it stronger. After being partially eaten by grazing animals, for example, some plants grow bigger and faster and reproduce more successfully than they otherwise would. In a new study, researchers report that one secret to these plants post-traumatic triumph lies in their ability to duplicate their chromosomes again and again without undergoing cell division.

Published Date: August 1, 2011


Team shows how the honey bee tolerates some synthetic pesticides

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:July 20, 2011

A new study reveals how enzymes in the honey bee gut detoxify pesticides commonly used to kill mites in the honey bee hive. This is the first study to tease out the precise molecular mechanisms that allow a pollinating insect to tolerate exposure to these potentially deadly compounds.

Published Date: July 20, 2011


Switch from corn to grass would raise ethanol output, cut emissions

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:July 12, 2011

Growing perennial grasses on the least productive farmland now used for corn ethanol production in the U.S. would result in higher overall corn yields, more ethanol output per acre and better groundwater quality, researchers report in a new study. The switch would also slash emissions of two potent greenhouse gases: carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide.

Published Date: July 12, 2011


Rare 'corpse flower' about to bloom at U. of I. greenhouse

Author: Sharita Forrest, News Editor

Published Date:July 7, 2011

A rare tropical plant indigenous to the rainforests of Sumatra, Indonesia, is about to blossom in Central Illinois. An exotic titan arum, also called the corpse flower (Bunga Bankai) for the rotting-meat odor that the plant emits, is displaying characteristic signs that it is about to bloom, according to Debbie Black, the manager of the Plant Biology greenhouse on the University of Illinois campus where the plant was grown.

Published Date: July 7, 2011


Three U. of I. scientists join Scientific American's blog network

Author: Dusty Rhodes, Arts and Humanities Editor

Published Date:July 5, 2011

When Scientific American unveils its new blog network Tuesday (July 5), the roster of hand-picked science communicators will include three University of Illinois bloggers. The university is one of the few institutions represented by multiple bloggers on the blogroll of the 165-year-old publication, the oldest popular science magazine in the world.

Published Date: July 5, 2011


MicroRNAs in the songbird brain respond to new songs

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:June 30, 2011

Whenever it hears an unfamiliar song from a male of the same species, the zebra finch stops chirping, hopping and grooming. It listens attentively for minutes at a time, occasionally cocking its head but otherwise immobile. Once it becomes familiar with the song, it goes back to its busy routine.

Published Date: June 30, 2011


Researchers look for ingredients of happiness around the world

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:June 29, 2011

In 1943, American psychologist Abraham Maslow proposed that all humans seek to fulfill a hierarchy of needs, which he represented with a pyramid. The pyramids base, which he believed must come first, signified basic needs (for food, sleep and sex, for example). Safety and security came next, in Maslows view, then love and belonging, then esteem and, finally, at the pyramids peak, a quality he called self-actualization. Maslow wrote that people who have these needs fulfilled should be happier than those who dont.

Published Date: June 29, 2011


Team identifies new breast cancer tumor suppressor and how it works

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:June 27, 2011

Researchers have identified a protein long known to regulate gene expression as a potent suppressor of breast cancer growth. Their study, in the journal Oncogene, is the first to demonstrate how this protein, known as Runx3, accomplishes this feat.

Published Date: June 27, 2011


Lyme disease tick adapts to life on the (fragmented) prairie

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:June 21, 2011

A new study offers a detailed look at the status of Lyme disease in Central Illinois and suggests that deer ticks and the Lyme disease bacteria they host are more adaptable to new habitats than previously appreciated.

Published Date: June 21, 2011


New curation tool a boon for genetic biologists

Author: Liz Ahlberg, Physical Sciences Editor

Published Date:June 21, 2011

With the BeeSpace Navigator, University of Illinois researchers have created both a curation tool for genetic biologists and a new approach to searching for information.

Published Date: June 21, 2011


Study suggests police officer wrongfully convicted for missing the 'obvious'

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:June 9, 2011

In a new study, University of Illinois researcher Daniel Simons tested the claims of a Boston police officer who said he ran past a brutal police beating without seeing it.

Published Date: June 9, 2011


Small change makes a big difference for ion channels

Author: Liz Ahlberg, Physical Sciences Editor

Published Date:June 1, 2011

Using a high-resolution single-molecule study technique, University of Illinois researchers have seen the very subtle differences between two branches of an important family of neurotransmitter-gated ion channels.

Published Date: June 1, 2011


Team solves molecular mystery linked to blood clotting

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:May 31, 2011

An interdisciplinary collaboration at the University of Illinois has led to a breakthrough in understanding blood clotting.

Published Date: May 31, 2011


Researchers track the secret lives of feral and free-roaming house cats

Author: Diana Yates

Published Date:May 26, 2011

Researchers (and some cat-owners) wanted to know: What do feral and free-roaming house cats do when theyre out of sight? A two-year study offers a first look at the daily lives of these feline paupers and princes, whose territories overlap on the urban, suburban, rural and agricultural edges of many towns.

Published Date: May 26, 2011


Cats pass disease to wildlife, even in remote areas

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:May 12, 2011

Researchers tracking the spread of Toxoplasma gondii a parasite that reproduces only in cats but sickens and kills many other animals have found infected wildlife throughout a 1,500-acre (600-hectare) natural area in central Illinois.

Published Date: May 12, 2011


U.S., Chinese children differ in commitment to parents over time

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:May 11, 2011

According to a new study, American, but not Chinese, childrens sense of responsibility to their parents tends to decline in the seventh and eighth grades, a trend that coincides with declines in their academic performance.

Published Date: May 11, 2011


Row crops, field tiles causing water quality problems

Author: Sharita Forrest, News Editor

Published Date:April 28, 2011

In addition to causing widespread flooding, the rains drenching the Midwest this spring may exacerbate another environmental problem phosphorus and nitrate pollution in the water supply that is causing a growing hypoxic zone in the Gulf of Mexico, presenting a danger to marine life and wildlife habitats, according to recent studies by a team of scientists from the University of Illinois and Cornell University.

Published Date: April 28, 2011


Two Illinois professors elected to American Academy of Microbiology

Author: Liz Ahlberg, Physical Sciences Editor

Published Date:April 21, 2011

Two University of Illinois professors have been elected fellows of the American Academy of Microbiology. James Slauch and Wilfred van der Donk are among the 78 microbiologists chosen by their peers for significant contributions to their field.

Published Date: April 21, 2011


Two words, in differing order, can increase or decrease cooperation

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:April 21, 2011

Researchers report that study subjects sometimes read meaning into the words nice and act, in ways that can influence the subjects willingness to cooperate with others on simple tasks.

Published Date: April 21, 2011


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

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:April 20, 2011

A new study in fruit flies offers a broad view of the potent and sometimes devastating molecular events that occur throughout the body as a result of methamphetamine exposure.

Published Date: April 20, 2011


Researchers get a first look at the mechanics of membrane proteins

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:April 18, 2011

In two new studies, researchers provide the first detailed view of the elaborate chemical and mechanical interactions that allow the ribosome the cells protein-building machinery to insert a growing protein into the cellular membrane.

Published Date: April 18, 2011


Genetic study offers insight into the social life of bees

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:April 11, 2011

Most people have trouble telling them apart, but bumble bees, honey bees, stingless bees and solitary bees have home lives that are as different from one another as a monarchs palace is from a hippy commune or a hermits cabin in the woods. A new study of these bees offers a first look at the genetic underpinnings of their differences in lifestyle.

Published Date: April 11, 2011


Treating newborn horses: A unique form of pediatrics

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:April 6, 2011

Like any other newborn, the neonatal horse can be a challenging patient. Its immune system is still under construction, its blood chemistry can vary wildly, and like most infants it wants to stay close to mom.

Published Date: April 6, 2011


Did dinosaurs have lice? Researchers say it's possible

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:April 5, 2011

A new study louses up a popular theory of animal evolution and opens up the possibility that dinosaurs were early perhaps even the first animal hosts of lice.

Published Date: April 5, 2011


Researchers make the leap to whole-cell simulations

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:March 30, 2011

Researchers have built a computer model of the crowded interior of a bacterial cell that in a test of its response to sugar in its environment accurately simulates the behavior of living cells.

Published Date: March 30, 2011


Entomology professor May Berenbaum to receive 2011 Tyler Prize

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:March 22, 2011

University of Illinois entomology professor and department head May Berenbaum will receive the 2011 Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, an international award that recognizes those individuals who have contributed in an outstanding manner to scientific knowledge and public leadership to preserve and enhance the environment of the world.

Published Date: March 22, 2011


Study: Multi-tasking on the street not a good idea for older people

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:March 16, 2011

Older adults may put themselves at risk by talking on cell phones while crossing the street, researchers report in a new study. The researchers found that adults aged 59 to 81 took significantly longer than college students to cross a simulated street while talking on a mobile phone, and their heightened cautiousness in initiating crossing did nothing to improve their safety.

Published Date: March 16, 2011


Old-growth tree stumps tell the story of fire in the upper Midwest

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:March 14, 2011

Researchers have constructed a 226-year history of fire in southern Illinois by looking at the fire scars in tree stumps. Their study, the most in-depth fire history reported for the upper Midwest, reveals that changes in the frequency of fires dating back to the time of early European settlement permanently altered the ecology of the region.

Published Date: March 14, 2011


Study: Happiness improves health and lengthens life

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:March 1, 2011

A review of more than 160 studies of human and animal subjects has found clear and compelling evidence that all else being equal happy people tend to live longer and experience better health than their unhappy peers.

Published Date: March 1, 2011


Team delivers development aid via cell phone animations

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:February 28, 2011

A team of extension educators and faculty at the University of Illinois produce animated sustainable development educational videos that people around the world can watch at home, over and over again, on their cell phones.

Published Date: February 28, 2011


U. of I. workshop aims to introduce genomics to Native American students

Author: Sharita Forrest, News Editor

Published Date:February 21, 2011

The Summer Internship for Native Americans in Genomics, July 10-16, will introduce 20 Native American students to the theoretical and practical concepts and the methods of genomics and bioinformatics. Participants will receive hands-on training using state-of-the-art laboratory equipment and analytical programs at the Institute for Genomic Biology on the U. of I.s Urbana campus.

Published Date: February 21, 2011


Illinois professor awarded 2011 Wolf Prize in Agriculture

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:February 15, 2011

University of Illinois animal sciences professor Harris Lewin is a recipient of the 2011 Wolf Prize in Agriculture. He shares the prize with James R. Cook, of Washington State University.

Published Date: February 15, 2011


Brief diversions vastly improve focus, researchers find

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:February 8, 2011

A new study in the journal Cognition overturns a decades-old theory about the nature of attention and demonstrates that even brief diversions from a task can dramatically improve ones ability to focus on that task for prolonged periods.

Published Date: February 8, 2011


Anthropologist: 'Body Worlds' visitors confront bodies but not death

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:February 7, 2011

In two new works, anthropologist Jane Desmond tackles a perplexing question relating to the enormously successful Body Worlds exhibits: How does society tolerate and even celebrate the public display of human corpses?

Published Date: February 7, 2011


Rare insect fossil reveals 100 million years of evolutionary stasis

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:February 3, 2011

Researchers have discovered the 100 million-year-old ancestor of a group of large, carnivorous, cricket-like insects that still live today in southern Asia, northern Indochina and Africa.

Published Date: February 3, 2011


Team looks to the cow rumen for better biofuels enzymes

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:January 27, 2011

Researchers report that they have found dozens of previously unknown microbial enzymes in the cow rumen that contribute to the breakdown of switchgrass, a renewable biofuel energy source.

Published Date: January 27, 2011


Biologists discover giant crayfish species right under their noses

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:January 19, 2011

Two aquatic biologists have proven that you dont have to travel to exotic locales to search for unusual new species. They discovered a distinctive species of crayfish in Tennessee and Alabama that is at least twice the size of its competitors. Its closest genetic relative, once thought to be the only species in its genus and discovered in 1884 about 130 miles away in Kentucky, can grow almost as big as a lobster.

Published Date: January 19, 2011


Researchers can predict your video game aptitude by imaging your brain

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:January 14, 2011

Researchers report that they can predict with unprecedented accuracy how well you will do on a complex task such as a strategic video game simply by analyzing activity in a specific region of your brain. The findings, published in the online journal PLoS ONE, offer detailed insights into the brain structures that facilitate learning, and may lead to the development of training strategies tailored to individual strengths and weaknesses.

Published Date: January 14, 2011


Researchers show how one gene becomes two (with different functions)

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:January 12, 2011

Researchers report that they are the first to show in molecular detail how one gene evolved two competing functions that eventually split up via gene duplication to pursue their separate destinies.

Published Date: January 12, 2011


Large-scale study reveals major decline in bumble bees in the U.S.

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:January 3, 2011

The first in-depth national study of wild bees in the U.S. has uncovered major losses in the relative abundance of several bumble bee species and declines in their geographic range since record-keeping began in the late 1800s.

Published Date: January 3, 2011


Team overcomes major obstacle to cellulosic biofuel production

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:January 3, 2011

Researchers have engineered a new strain of yeast that can simultaneously convert the two primary sugars in plant biomass to ethanol. The new yeast overcomes the most daunting inefficiencies associated with current biofuel production methods.

Published Date: January 3, 2011


Two books explore the history and delights of honey, bees and beehives

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:December 10, 2010

Honey is fascinating; everything about it its chemistry, its history, its unbelievable activity. Its just an amazing substance, said University of Illinois entomology professor and department head May Berenbaum, the editor of a new cookbook, Honey, Im Homemade: Sweet Treats From the Beehive Across the Centuries and Around the World.

Published Date: December 10, 2010


Symposium marks milestones in honey bee management, research

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:December 10, 2010

A symposium at the Entomology Society of America meeting in San Diego on Sunday (Dec. 12) commemorates honey bee-related achievements and challenges.

Published Date: December 10, 2010


Study reveals how taking an active role in learning enhances memory

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:December 6, 2010

Good news for control freaks! New research confirms that having some authority over how one takes in new information significantly enhances ones ability to remember it. The study, in the journal Nature Neuroscience, also offers a first look at the network of brain structures that contribute to this phenomenon.

Published Date: December 6, 2010


Biologist illuminates unique world of cave creatures

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:December 1, 2010

They are dark, sometimes forbidding landscapes molded by volcanic eruptions or subterranean streams, but caves are also home to a host of creatures strangely adapted to the underworld.

Published Date: December 1, 2010


As arctic temperatures rise, tundra fires increase

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:November 17, 2010

A new analysis of sediment cores from the Anaktuvuk River Fire revealed that it was the most destructive tundra fire at that site for at least 5,000 years.

Published Date: November 17, 2010


Study rewrites the evolutionary history of C4 grasses

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:November 16, 2010

A study led by University of Illinois plant biology professor Feng Sheng Hu, with graduate student Michael Urban, has pushed back the origin of C4 plants by millions of years.

Published Date: November 16, 2010


At great expense, railroad bypassed first black-founded town in the U.S.

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:November 1, 2010

Ignoring topography, efficiency, expense and even their own surveyors recommendations, regional railroad officials in the mid-19th century diverted a new rail line around New Philadelphia, Ill., the first town in the United States planned, platted and legally registered by an African American, a University of Illinois researcher reports. The bypass pushed what would have been a fairly straight, even run of railroad tracks from Griggsville, Ill. to Hannibal, Mo., in a wide, hilly arc around New Philadelphia.

Published Date: November 1, 2010


Grasses have potential as alternate ethanol crop,Illinois study finds

Author: Liz Ahlberg, Physical Sciences Editor

Published Date:November 1, 2010

Money may not grow on trees, but energy could grow in grass. Researchers at the University of Illinois have completed the first extensive geographic yield and economic analysis of potential bioenergy grass crops in the Midwestern United States.

Published Date: November 1, 2010


Center to study effects of plastics chemicals on children's health

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:October 21, 2010

A new research center based at the University of Illinois will investigate whether regular exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates chemicals widely used in plastics and other consumer products can alter infant and adolescent development, cognition or behavior.

Published Date: October 21, 2010


Researchers analyze student grief online after campus shootings

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:October 20, 2010

Doctoral student Amanda Vicary and psychology professor R. Chris Fraley are the first to study psychological responses and grieving behaviors online after a campus shooting.

Published Date: October 20, 2010


Compound in celery, peppers reduces age-related memory deficits

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:October 13, 2010

A diet rich in the plant compound luteolin reduces age-related inflammation in the brain and related memory deficits by directly inhibiting the release of inflammatory molecules in the brain, researchers report.

Published Date: October 13, 2010


Study of planarian hormones may aid in understanding parasites

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:October 12, 2010

A study of peptide hormones in the brain of a seemingly primitive flatworm reveals the surprising complexity of its nervous system and opens up a new approach for combating a major parasitic disease, researchers report.

Published Date: October 12, 2010


Long-extinct passenger pigeon finds a place in the family tree

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:October 6, 2010

With bits of DNA extracted from century-old museum specimens, researchers have found a place for the extinct passenger pigeon in the family tree of pigeons and doves, identifying for the first time this unique birds closest living avian relatives.

Published Date: October 6, 2010


Cancer-associated long non-coding RNA regulates pre-mRNA splicing

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:September 23, 2010

Researchers report this month that MALAT1, a long non-coding RNA that is implicated in certain cancers, regulates pre-mRNA splicing a critical step in the earliest stage of protein production. Their study appears in the journal Molecular Cell.

Published Date: September 23, 2010


Children's brain development is linked to physical fitness

Author: Diana Yates

Published Date:September 15, 2010

Researchers have found an association between physical fitness and the brain in 9- and 10-year-old children: Those who are more fit tend to have a bigger hippocampus and perform better on a test of memory than their less-fit peers.

Published Date: September 15, 2010


Team to study health effects of botanical estrogens

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:September 7, 2010

An ongoing research initiative into the health effects of botanical estrogens will get an $8 million boost from the National Institutes of Health. The Botanical Research Center, based at the University of Illinois, will draw on the expertise of a multidisciplinary team of researchers to address the many unknowns associated with use of botanical estrogens.

Published Date: September 7, 2010


New lymphoma treatment shows promise in dogs

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:September 7, 2010

Researchers have identified a new target for the treatment of lymphoma and are testing a potential new drug in pet dogs afflicted with the disease. At low doses, the compound, called S-PAC-1, arrested the growth of tumors in three of six dogs tested and induced partial remission in a fourth.

Published Date: September 7, 2010


Robert J. Hauser to become dean of the College of ACES

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:September 1, 2010

Robert J. Hauser, who has been serving as the interim dean of the College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois since August 2009, will become dean of the college, pending approval by the U. of I. Board of Trustees at its Sept. 23 meeting in Urbana. Hauser's appointment is effective Sept. 27.

Published Date: September 1, 2010


Attention, couch potatoes! Walking boosts brain connectivity, function

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:August 26, 2010

A group of professional couch potatoes, as one researcher described them, has proven that even moderate exercise in this case walking at ones own pace for 40 minutes three times a week can enhance the connectivity of important brain circuits, combat declines in brain function associated with aging and increase performance on cognitive tasks.

Published Date: August 26, 2010


Brain gene expression changes when honey bees go the distance

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:August 18, 2010

Tricking honey bees into thinking they have traveled long distance to find food alters gene expression in their brains, researchers report this month. Their study, in the journal Genes, Brain and Behavior, is the first to identify distance-responsive genes.

Published Date: August 18, 2010


Economic status, genetics together influence psychopathic traits

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:August 5, 2010

Researchers studying the genetic roots of antisocial behavior report that children with one variant of a serotonin transporter gene are more likely to exhibit psychopathic traits if they also grow up poor.

Published Date: August 5, 2010


Cancer-causing bacterium targets tumor-suppressor protein

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:August 2, 2010

Researchers have discovered a mechanism by which Helicobacter pylori, the only known cancer-causing bacterium, disables a tumor suppressor protein in host cells.

Published Date: August 2, 2010


Extreme archaeology: Divers plumb the mysteries of sacred Maya pools

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:July 21, 2010

Steering clear of crocodiles and navigating around massive submerged trees, a team of divers began mapping some of the 25 freshwater pools of Cara Blanca, Belize, which were important to the ancient Maya. In three weeks this May, the divers found fossilized animal remains, bits of pottery and in the largest pool explored an enormous underwater cave.

Published Date: July 21, 2010


Expecting the unexpected does not improve one's chances of seeing it

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:July 12, 2010

A new study finds that those who know that an unexpected event is likely to occur are no better at noticing other unexpected events and may be even worse than those who arent expecting the unexpected.

Published Date: July 12, 2010


Hunger atlas takes a new look at an old problem

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:July 6, 2010

World hunger is often seen as the result of overpopulation, bad geography or natural or human-made disasters. But a new book, The Atlas of World Hunger, reveals that the contours and causes of hunger are more complex and in some ways more easily addressed than those old assumptions suggest.

Published Date: July 6, 2010


Histone H1 regulates gene activity throughout the cell cycle

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:July 1, 2010

A protein that helps pack DNA into the cell nucleus has an important role in regulating gene activity, scientists report. The researchers found that the protein, histone H1, also takes part in the formation of ribosomes, the cellular workbenches on which all proteins are made.

Published Date: July 1, 2010


Can money buy happiness? Gallup poll asks, and the world answers

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:July 1, 2010

A worldwide survey of more than 136,000 people in 132 countries included questions about happiness and income, and the results reveal that while life satisfaction usually rises with income, positive feelings dont necessarily follow, researchers report.

Published Date: July 1, 2010


University of Illinois and Mayo Clinic create research alliance

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:June 22, 2010

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Mayo Clinic are forming a strategic alliance designed to promote a broad spectrum of collaborative research, the development of new technologies and clinical tools, and the design and implementation of novel education programs. Officials from the university and the clinic recently signed an agreement establishing the formal relationship.

Published Date: June 22, 2010


Of lice and man: Researchers sequence human body louse genome

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date: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.

Published Date: June 21, 2010


Researchers calculate the greenhouse gas value of ecosystems

Author: Diana Yates

Published Date:May 26, 2010

Researchers at the University of Illinois have developed a new, more accurate method of calculating the change in greenhouse gas emissions that results from changes in land use. The new approach, described in the journal Global Change Biology, takes into account many factors not included in previous methods, the researchers report.

Published Date: May 26, 2010


Researchers awarded $33.9 million grant to study enzyme functions

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:May 20, 2010

A team of researchers led by University of Illinois biochemistry professor John A. Gerlt has received a five-year, $33.9 million grant from the National Institutes of General Medical Sciences to study the functions of unknown enzymes.

Published Date: May 20, 2010


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

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date: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.

Published Date: May 19, 2010


New book: Everyday intuitions are often wrong

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:May 18, 2010

Are you a good judge of character? Are you observant? Perceptive? Knowledgeable? Do you have an excellent memory? Are you an accomplished multi-tasker? According to a new book, in these and other skills youre almost certainly not as good as you think you are.

Published Date: May 18, 2010


William Metcalf elected to American Academy of Microbiology

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:May 11, 2010

University of Illinois professor William Metcalf has been elected to Fellowship in the American Academy of Microbiology, a distinction awarded to microbiologists who have made original contributions to their field, the American Society for Microbiology announced this month.

Published Date: May 11, 2010


Paper wasps and honey bees share a genetic toolkit

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:April 27, 2010

They are both nest-building social insects, but paper wasps and honey bees organize their colonies in very different ways. In a new study, researchers report that despite their differences, these insects rely on the same network of genes to guide their social behavior.

Published Date: April 27, 2010


Team finds promising new drug target for Alzheimer's disease

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:April 20, 2010

Researchers at the University of Illinois have identified a potential drug target for the treatment of Alzheimers disease: a receptor that is embedded in the membrane of neurons and other cells.

Published Date: April 20, 2010


Classic Maya history is embedded in commoners' homes

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:April 14, 2010

They were illiterate farmers, builders and servants, but Maya commoners found a way to record their own history by burying it within their homes. A new study of the objects embedded in the floors of homes occupied more than 1,000 years ago in central Belize begins to decode their story.

Published Date: April 14, 2010


Depressed? Fearful? It might help to worry, too

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:April 1, 2010

A new study of brain activity in depressed and anxious people indicates that some of the ill effects of depression are modified for better or for worse by anxiety.

Published Date: April 1, 2010


Songbird genome sings of the communicating brain

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:March 31, 2010

The Australian zebra finch, Taeniopygia guttata, weighs less than half an ounce, mates for life and, unlike most vocalizing animals, learns its songs from its elders. A new analysis of its genome, the first of a songbird, is providing tantalizing clues to the mechanisms and evolution of vocal communication.v

Published Date: March 31, 2010


Biotech pioneer to discuss turning innovations into businesses

Author: Jan Dennis, Business & Law Editor

Published Date:March 9, 2010

The founder of a global company that helps turn breakthrough ideas in biotechnology into moneymaking businesses will speak this week at the University of Illinois.

Published Date: March 9, 2010


Tree-dwelling mammals climb to the heights of longevity

Author: Liz Ahlberg, Physical Sciences Editor

Published Date:February 24, 2010

The squirrels littering your lawn with acorns as they bound overhead will live to plague your yard longer than the ones that aerate it with their burrows, according to a University of Illinois study.

Published Date: February 24, 2010


Deluge of scientific data needs to be curated for long-term use

Author: Phil Ciciora, News Editor

Published Date:February 24, 2010

With the world awash in information, curating all the scientifically relevant bits and bytes is an important task, especially given digital datas increasing importance as the raw materials for new scientific discoveries, an expert in information science at the University of Illinois says.

Published Date: February 24, 2010


Berenbaum to be honored for efforts in public understanding of science

Author: Anna Herkamp, News Editor

Published Date:February 17, 2010

University of Illinois entomologist May R. Berenbaum is the 2009 recipient of the Public Understanding of Science and Technology Award from the American Association of the Advancement of Science.

Published Date: February 17, 2010


Team develops new weapon to fight disease-causing bacteria

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:February 15, 2010

Researchers report that they have discovered and now know how to exploit an unusual chemical reaction mechanism that allows malaria parasites and many disease-causing bacteria to survive. The research team, from the University of Illinois, also has developed the first potent inhibitor of this chemical reaction.

Published Date: February 15, 2010


Women, more than men, choose true crime over other violent nonfiction

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:February 15, 2010

When it comes to violent nonfiction, men are from Mars, the planet of war, but women are from Earth, the planet of serial killings and random murders.

Published Date: February 15, 2010


Prehistoric 'insects' star in this year's Insect Fear Film Festival

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:February 8, 2010

After millions of years encased in the rock of a volcano outside Mexico City, the giant scorpions are riled and ready to rumble when they finally emerge. So too are the vicious, multi-legged marine monsters, called trilobites, which assault the crew of an Antarctic research station after they are freed from the ice. These are the rampaging stars of this years Insect Fear Film Festival.

Published Date: February 8, 2010


Driven to distraction: New study shows driving hinders talking

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:January 22, 2010

It is well known that having a conversation (for example on a cell phone) impairs ones driving. A new study indicates the reverse is also true: Driving reduces ones ability to comprehend and use language.

Published Date: January 22, 2010


Video gamers: Size of brain structures predicts success

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:January 20, 2010

Researchers can predict your performance on a video game simply by measuring the volume of specific structures in your brain, a multi-institutional team reports this week.

Published Date: January 20, 2010


Those less motivated to achieve will excel on tasks seen as fun

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:January 19, 2010

Those who value excellence and hard work generally do better than others on specific tasks when they are reminded of those values. But when a task is presented as fun, researchers report, the same individuals often will do worse than those who say they are less motivated to achieve.

Published Date: January 19, 2010


Team links stomach-cancer bug and cancer-promoting factor

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:January 6, 2010

Researchers report that Helicobacter pylori, the only bacterium known to survive in the harsh environment of the human stomach, directly activates an enzyme in host cells that has been associated with several types of cancer, including gastric cancer.

Published Date: January 6, 2010


Miscanthus, a biofuels crop, can host western corn rootworm

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:January 5, 2010

The western corn rootworm beetle, a pest that feasts on corn roots and corn silk and costs growers more than $1 billion annually in the U.S., also can survive on the perennial grass Miscanthus x giganteus, a potential biofuels crop that would likely be grown alongside corn, researchers report.

Published Date: January 5, 2010


Mastery of physical goals lessens disease-related depression

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:December 15, 2009

Physical activity is known to reduce depression and fatigue in people struggling with chronic illness. A new study indicates that this effect may stem from an individuals sense of mastery over or belief in his or her ability to achieve certain physical goals.

Published Date: December 15, 2009


Human and chimp brain differences tied to transcription factors

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:December 7, 2009

Humans share at least 97 percent of their genes with chimpanzees, but, as a new study of transcription factors makes clear, what you have in your genome may be less important than how you use it.

Published Date: December 7, 2009


Symposium marks century of discovery for U. of I. entomology department

Author: Diana Yates

Published Date:December 3, 2009

The University of Illinois department of entomology celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2009 and will mark this milestone with a symposium Dec. 11 two days before the annual meeting of the Entomological Society of America in Indianapolis.

Published Date: December 3, 2009


Computational microscope peers into the working ribosome

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:November 23, 2009

Two new studies reveal in unprecedented detail how the ribosome interacts with other molecules to assemble new proteins and guide them toward their destination in biological cells. The studies used molecular dynamics flexible fitting (MDFF) to examine the interaction of the ribosome with two prominent molecular partners.

Published Date: November 23, 2009


Supervolcano eruption in Sumatra deforested India 73,000 years ago

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:November 23, 2009

A new study provides incontrovertible evidence that the volcanic super-eruption of Toba on the island of Sumatra about 73,000 years ago deforested much of central India, some 3,000 miles from the epicenter, researchers report.

Published Date: November 23, 2009


Walking while talking on the cell phone can be hazardous

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:November 16, 2009

Two new studies of pedestrian safety found that using a cell phone while hoofing it can endanger ones health. And older pedestrians talking on cell phones are particularly impaired in crossing a busy (simulated) street, the researchers found.

Published Date: November 16, 2009


First draft of the pig: Researchers sequence swine genome

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:November 2, 2009

A global collaborative has produced a first draft of the genome of a domesticated pig, an achievement that will lead to insights in agriculture, medicine, conservation and evolution.

Published Date: November 2, 2009


Researchers to perform sex change operation on papaya

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:November 2, 2009

The complicated sex life of the papaya is about to get even more interesting, thanks to a $3.1 million grant from the National Science Foundation.

Published Date: November 2, 2009


Amphetamine use in adolescence may impair adult working memory

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:October 21, 2009

Rats exposed to high doses of amphetamines at an age that corresponds to the later years of human adolescence display significant memory deficits as adults long after the exposure ends, researchers report.

Published Date: October 21, 2009


University of Illinois physics professor Taekjip Ha and his colleagues found that the SSB protein travels along single-stranded DNA, regulating other proteins needed for DNA repair, replication and recombination.

Single-stranded DNA-binding protein proven dynamic, critical to DNA repair

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:October 21, 2009

Researchers report that a single-stranded DNA-binding protein (SSB), once thought to be a static player among the many molecules that interact with DNA, actually moves back and forth along single-stranded DNA, gradually allowing other proteins to repair, recombine or replicate the strands.

Published Date: October 21, 2009


Early hominid first walked on two legs in the woods

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:October 8, 2009

Among the many surprises associated with the discovery of the oldest known, nearly complete skeleton of a hominid is the finding that this species took its first steps toward bipedalism not on the open, grassy savanna, as generations of scientists going back to Charles Darwin hypothesized, but in a wooded landscape.

Published Date: October 8, 2009


Team finds a better way to watch bacteria swim

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:October 5, 2009

Researchers have developed a new method for studying bacterial swimming, one that allows them to trap Escherichia coli bacteria and modify the microbes environment without hindering the way they move.

Published Date: October 5, 2009


Book explores cat and dog evolution, behavior and training

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:September 24, 2009

In Canine and Feline Behavior and Training: A Complete Guide to Understanding Our Two Best Friends, author Linda P. Case explains the divergent evolutionary paths of dogs and cats as well as the forces that shape their behavior.

Published Date: September 24, 2009


Researchers to explore sacred Maya pools of Belize

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:September 9, 2009

A team of expert divers, a geochemist and an archaeologist will be the first to explore the sacred pools of the southern Maya lowlands in rural Belize. The expedition, made possible with a grant from the National Geographic Society and led by a University of Illinois archaeologist, will investigate the cultural significance and environmental history and condition of three of the 23 pools of Cara Blanca, in central Belize.

Published Date: September 9, 2009


Team designs molecule to fight muscle degeneration disease

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:September 8, 2009

Researchers at the University of Illinois have designed a small molecule that blocks an aberrant pathway associated with myotonic dystrophy type 1, the most common form of muscular dystrophy.

Published Date: September 8, 2009


Nonagenarian researcher petitions FDA to ban trans fats

Published Date:September 3, 2009

Fred Kummerow, a 94-year-old University of Illinois veterinary biosciences professor emeritus who still conducts research on the health effects of trans fats in the diet, filed a petition with the FDA last month to ban trans fats.

Published Date: September 3, 2009


Over time, an invasive plant loses its toxic edge

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:September 1, 2009

Like most invasive plants introduced to the U.S. from Europe and other places, garlic mustard first found it easy to dominate the natives. A new study at the University of Illinois indicates that eventually, however, its primary weapon a fungus-killing toxin injected into the soil becomes less potent.

Published Date: September 1, 2009


Shrinking Bylot Island glaciers tell story of climate change

Published Date:August 31, 2009

Geologist William Shilts spent nearly two decades studying glaciers on Bylot Island, an uninhabited island not far from Thule, Greenland. His and his colleagues' work, along with photos from 1948 to the present chronicle the decline of the glaciers on Bylot and nearby Baffin Island.

Published Date: August 31, 2009


Genomic study yields plausible cause of colony collapse disorder

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:August 24, 2009

Researchers at the University of Illinois report this week that they have found a surprising but reliable marker of colony collapse disorder, a baffling malady that in 2007-2008 killed off more than a third of commercial honey bees in the U.S.

Published Date: August 24, 2009


Some aspects of birding not always environmentally friendly, professor says

Author: Melissa Mitchell

Published Date:August 18, 2009

A University of Illinois professor, who also watches and studies bird-watchers, suggests that the popular pastime known as competitive birding that is, participation in various types of activities based around the goal of identifying and/or listing the greatest number of avian species may not be as eco-friendly as it purports to be.

Published Date: August 18, 2009


Honey-bee aggression study suggests nurture alters nature

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:August 17, 2009

A new study of honey bees lends support to the idea that nurture (an organism's environment) may ultimately influence nature (its genetic inheritance).

Published Date: August 17, 2009


New cancer drug delivery system is effective and reversible

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:August 6, 2009

Cancer drugs must be effective. But they must also target cancer cells and not healthy cells. And - ideally- they'll come with an easy antidote. University of Illinois researchers report that they have developed a cancer drug delivery system that achieves all of the above.

Published Date: August 6, 2009


Male germ cells can be directly converted into other cell types

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:July 28, 2009

University of Illinois veterinary biosciences professor Paul Cooke co-led the research that may prove to be an effective alternative to the medical use of embryonic stem cells.

Published Date: July 28, 2009


Uterine cells produce their own estrogen during pregnancy

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:July 20, 2009

Doctoral student Amrita Das along with veterinary biosciences professor Indrani Bagchi and molecular and integrative physiology professor Milan Bagchi, discovered that uterine cells synthesize estrogen during pregnancy.

Published Date: July 20, 2009


Tension in axons is essential for synaptic signaling

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:July 20, 2009

Every time a neuron sends a signal – to move a muscle or form a memory, for example – tiny membrane-bound compartments, called vesicles, dump neurotransmitters into the synapse between the cells. Researchers report that this process, which is fundamental to the workings of the nervous system, relies on a simple mechanical reality: Tension in the axon of the presynaptic neuron is required.

Published Date: July 20, 2009


Plastic chemical undermines adult reproductive cells

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:July 8, 2009

Bisphenol A, a chemical widely used in plastics and known to cause reproductive problems in the offspring of pregnant mice exposed to it, also has been found to retard the growth of follicles of adult mice and hinder their production of steroid hormones, researchers report.

Published Date: July 8, 2009


Those unsure of own ideas more resistant to views of others

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:July 1, 2009

University of Illinois psychology professor Dolores Albarracin and her colleagues found that people who are unsure of their own beliefs are less likely to entertain opposing views.

Published Date: July 1, 2009


Researchers see evidence of memory in the songbird brain

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:June 26, 2009

Cell and developmental biology professor David Clayton and his colleagues saw an unusual pattern of gene activity in the brains of zebra finches after the birds heard an unfamiliar song.

Published Date: June 26, 2009


Toxic molecule may help birds see north and south

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:June 22, 2009

Researchers at the University of Illinois report that a toxic molecule known to damage cells and cause disease may also play a pivotal role in bird migration. The molecule, superoxide, is proposed as a key player in the mysterious process that allows birds to “see” Earth’s magnetic field.

Published Date: June 22, 2009


Climate change already is having an impact in the Midwest

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:June 16, 2009

Extreme weather, drought, heavy rainfall and increasing temperatures are a fact of life in many parts of the U.S. as a result of human-induced climate change, researchers report today in a new assessment. These and other changes will continue and likely increase in intensity into the future, the scientists found.

Published Date: June 16, 2009


Trans fat hinders multiple steps in blood flow regulation pathways

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:June 16, 2009

Researchers found that partially hydrogenated vegetable oils in processed foods contain trans fatty acids that interfere with multiple enzymes in the regulation of blood flow.

Published Date: June 16, 2009


Researchers describe 'implausible' chemistry that produces herbicidal compound

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:June 10, 2009

A soil microbe that uses chemical warfare to fight off competitors employs an unusual chemical pathway in the manufacture of its arsenal, University of Illinois researchers report, making use of an enzyme that can do what no other enzyme is known to do: break a non-activated carbon-carbon bond in a single step.

Published Date: June 10, 2009


Midge keeps invasive mosquito in check, aiding native mosquitoes

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:June 4, 2009

Researchers found that the larvae of a tiny fly can influence the fate of a native and an invasive mosquito, with implications for human health.

Published Date: June 4, 2009


Scholar unconvinced new lie-detection methods better than old ones

Author: Melissa Mitchell, News Editor

Published Date:June 1, 2009

When a crime has been committed, the usual modus operandi for police detectives and their fictional counterparts has been to dust the scene for fingerprints. And once they have a suspect in custody, out comes the polygraph, or lie detector.

Published Date: June 1, 2009


Geographic isolation drives the evolution of a hot springs microbe

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:May 27, 2009

In a new study, researchers report that populations of Sulfolobus islandicus, a microbe that can live in boiling acid, are more diverse than previously thought, and that their diversity is driven largely by geographic isolation.

Published Date: May 27, 2009


Body movements can influence problem solving, researchers report

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:May 12, 2009

Swinging their arms helped participants in a new study solve a problem whose solution involved swinging strings, researchers report, demonstrating that the brain can use bodily cues to help understand and solve complex problems.

Published Date: May 12, 2009


For your health, pick a mate who is conscientious and, perhaps, also neurotic

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:April 28, 2009

Conscientiousness is a good thing in a mate, researchers report, not just because it’s easier to live with someone who washes the dishes without being asked, but also because having a conscientious partner may actually be good for one’s health.

Published Date: April 28, 2009


New study overturns orthodoxy on how macrophages kill bacteria

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:April 27, 2009

For decades, microbiologists assumed that macrophages, immune cells that can engulf and poison bacteria and other pathogens, killed microbes by damaging their DNA. A new study from the University of Illinois disproves that.

Published Date: April 27, 2009


Chromosome breakpoints contribute to genetic variation

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:April 23, 2009

A new study reveals that – contrary to decades of evolutionary thought – chromosome regions that are prone to breakage when new species are formed are a rich source of genetic variation.

Published Date: April 23, 2009


What makes a cow a cow? Genome sequence sheds light on ruminant evolution

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:April 23, 2009

Researchers report today in the journal Science that they have sequenced the bovine genome, for the first time revealing the genetic features that distinguish cattle from humans and other mammals.

Published Date: April 23, 2009


Team identifies a molecular switch linking infectious disease and depression

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:March 31, 2009

Researchers at the University of Illinois report that IDO, an enzyme found throughout the body and long suspected of playing a role in depression, is in fact essential to the onset of depressive symptoms sparked by chronic inflammation.

Published Date: March 31, 2009


Physical activity may strengthen children's ability to pay attention

Author: Melissa Mitchell, News Editor

Published Date:March 31, 2009

Researchers have found that physical activity may increase students’ cognitive control – or ability to pay attention – and also result in better performance on academic achievement tests.

Published Date: March 31, 2009


A little java makes it easier to jive, researcher says

Author: Melissa Mitchell, News Editor

Published Date:March 30, 2009

A former competitive cyclist who is now a professor of kinesiology and community health has found that caffeine reduces pain during exercise

Published Date: March 30, 2009


Researchers take first look at the genetic dynamics of inbreeding depression

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:March 12, 2009

Declines in reproductive success due to inbreeding are probably due to a few key genes that influence other genes, said Illinois animal biology professor and department head Ken Paige, who led the study.

Published Date: March 12, 2009


Researchers discover a new pathway that regulates inflammation

Author: Kaushik Ragunathan, News Bureau Intern

Published Date:March 11, 2009

Researchers at the University of Illinois have identified a novel pathway that controls the activity of a key protein involved in inflammation. Their findings could have important implications for the treatment of diseases or conditions linked to chronic inflammation.

Published Date: March 11, 2009


Study of protein structures reveals key events in evolutionary history

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:March 10, 2009

A new study of proteins, the molecular machines that drive all life, also sheds light on the history of living organisms, revealing that after eons of gradual evolution, proteins suddenly experienced a “big bang” of innovation.

Published Date: March 10, 2009


Older air traffic controllers perform as well as young on job-related tasks

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:March 9, 2009

In a study that challenges the mandatory retirement of air traffic controllers at the age of 56 in the U.S., researchers have found that air traffic controllers up to age 64 perform as well as their young colleagues on complex, job-related tasks.

Published Date: March 9, 2009


Health campaigns that promote exercise may cause people to eat more

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:February 27, 2009

Psychology professor Dolores Albarracn led a study that found that posters promoting exercise may spur people to eat more.

Published Date: February 27, 2009


Physical fitness improves spatial memory, increases size of brain structure

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:February 25, 2009

When it comes to the hippocampus, a brain structure vital to certain types of memory, size matters. Numerous studies have shown that bigger is usually better. Now researchers have found that elderly adults who are more physically fit tend to have bigger hippocampi and better spatial memory than those who are less fit.

Published Date: February 25, 2009


Concussions linked to suppressed brain functioning years later

Author: Melissa Mitchell, News Editor

Published Date:February 23, 2009

Word is spreading, on the sidelines, in the locker rooms, and in the media, that an athlete whose bell has been rung – that is, suffered a concussion – may have experienced an injury that could take a more serious toll later in life. Results of a new study by researchers in the department of kinesiology and community health at the University of Illinois support that speculation.

Published Date: February 23, 2009


Team learns how cellular protein detects viruses, sparks immune response

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:February 19, 2009

A study led by researchers at the University of Illinois reveals how a cellular protein recognizes an invading virus and alerts the body to the infection. The research led by Illinois physics professor and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator Taekjip Ha, settles a debate over how the protein is able to distinguish between viral RNA and self (or cellular) RNA.

Published Date: February 19, 2009


The science suggests access to nature is essential to human health

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:February 13, 2009

Numerous recent studies indicate that nature is essential to the physical, psychological and social well-being of the human animal, according to an Illinois researcher who has conducted such research.

Published Date: February 13, 2009


Research on viral origins suggests new definition of virus may be needed

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:February 12, 2009

The strange interaction of a parasitic wasp, the caterpillar in which it lays its eggs and a virus that helps it overcome the caterpillar’s immune defenses has some scientists rethinking the definition of a virus.

Published Date: February 12, 2009


Honey bees on cocaine dance more, a finding that sheds light on bee language

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:December 23, 2008

In a study that challenges current ideas about the insect brain, researchers have found that honey bees on cocaine tend to exaggerate

Published Date: December 23, 2008


God or science? A belief in one weakens positive feelings for the other

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:December 15, 2008

A person’s unconscious attitudes toward science and God may be fundamentally opposed, researchers report, depending on how religion and science are used to answer “ultimate” questions such as how the universe began or the origin of life.

Published Date: December 15, 2008


Strategic video game improves critical cognitive skills in older adults

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:December 11, 2008

A desire to rule the world may be a good thing if you’re over 60 and worried about losing your mental faculties. A new study found that adults in their 60s and 70s can improve a number of cognitive functions by playing a strategic video game that rewards nation-building and territorial expansion.

Published Date: December 11, 2008


Illinois researchers help Hollywood get the science right

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:November 17, 2008

Two University of Illinois researchers are among a national group of scientists selected to help leaders in the entertainment industry improve the accuracy of the scientific content of their productions.

Published Date: November 17, 2008


Female embryonic sexual development driven by universal factor

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:November 13, 2008

A gene essential to the growth and development of most organ systems in the body also is vital to female – but not male – embryonic sexual development, scientists report this month.

Published Date: November 13, 2008


Illinois institute named 'Deal of Distinction' by tech-transfer group

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:November 10, 2008

The landmark $500 million biofuels research partnership that created the Energy Biosciences Institute has been named a “Deal of Distinction” by the Licensing Executives Society, an organization of U.S. and Canadian technology transfer professionals.

Published Date: November 10, 2008


Social interactions can alter gene expression in the brain, and vice versa

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:November 6, 2008

Our DNA determines a lot about who we are and how we play with others, but recent studies of social animals (birds and bees, among others) show that the interaction between genes and behavior is more of a two-way street than most of us realize.

Published Date: November 6, 2008


Genes hold secret to survival of Antarctic 'antifreeze fish'

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:October 16, 2008

A genetic study of a fish that lives in the icy waters off Antarctica sheds light on the adaptations that enable it to survive in one of the harshest environments on the planet.

Published Date: October 16, 2008


New book explores the science of happiness

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:September 30, 2008

A new book on happiness might surprise some of those hoping to find more of it. “Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth” affirms that lasting happiness is attainable and desirable, but it also dispels some common myths about what makes people happy and whether the pursuit of happiness can go too far.

Published Date: September 30, 2008


NSF funds new 'Center for the Physics of Living Cells' at Illinois

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:September 23, 2008

The National Science Foundation announced this month that it is funding a new Physics Frontiers Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The Center for the Physics of Living Cells is one of nine Physics Frontiers Centers in the U.S., and the second to explore the physics of biological systems.

Published Date: September 23, 2008


Diversity among parasitic wasps is even greater than suspected

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:August 29, 2008

A tiny wasp that lays its eggs under the skin of unwitting caterpillars belongs to one of the most diverse groups of insects on Earth. Now researchers report that its diversity is even higher than previously thought

Published Date: August 29, 2008


Molecular sleuths track evolution through the ribosome

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:August 19, 2008

A new study of the ribosome, the cell’s protein-building machinery, sheds light on the oldest branches of the evolutionary tree of life and suggests that differences in ribosomal structure among the three main branches of that tree are “molecular fossils” of the early evolution of protein synthesis.

Published Date: August 19, 2008


Genes and nutrition influence caste in unusual species of harvester ant

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:August 18, 2008

Researchers trying to determine whether nature or nurture determines an ant’s status in the colony have found a surprising answer. Both.

Published Date: August 18, 2008


Study reveals surprising details of the evolution of protein translation

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:August 12, 2008

A new study of transfer RNA, a molecule that delivers amino acids to the protein-building machinery of the cell, challenges long-held ideas about the evolutionary history of protein synthesis.

Published Date: August 12, 2008


Ultrasonic frogs can tune their ears to different frequencies

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:July 21, 2008

Researchers have discovered that a frog that lives near noisy springs in central China can tune its ears to different sound frequencies, much like the tuner on a radio can shift from one frequency to another. It is the only known example of an animal that can actively select what frequencies it hears, the researchers say.

Published Date: July 21, 2008


Y chromosome study sheds light on Athapaskan migration to southwest U.S.

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:July 15, 2008

A large-scale genetic study of native North Americans offers new insights into the migration of a small group of Athapaskan natives from their subarctic home in northwest North America to the southwestern United States. The migration, which left no known archaeological trace, is believed to have occurred about 500 years ago.

Published Date: July 15, 2008


Birds migrate together at night in dispersed flocks, new study indicates

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:July 7, 2008

A new analysis indicates that birds don’t fly alone when migrating at night. Some birds, at least, keep together on their migratory journeys, flying in tandem even when they are 200 meters or more apart.

Published Date: July 7, 2008


Researchers are first to simulate the binding of molecules to a protein

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:June 30, 2008

You may not know what it is, but you burn more than your body weight of it every day. Adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a tiny molecule that packs a powerful punch, is the primary energy source for most of your cellular functions. Now researchers at the University of Illinois have identified a key step in the cellular recycling of ATP that allows your body to produce enough of it to survive.

Published Date: June 30, 2008


Team discovers new inhibitors of estrogen-dependent breast cancer cells

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:June 16, 2008

esearchers have discovered a new family of agents that inhibit the growth of estrogen-dependent breast cancer cells. The finding, described today at a meeting of the Endocrine Society, has opened an avenue of research into new drugs to combat estrogen-dependent breast cancers.

Published Date: June 16, 2008


Team finds key mechanism of DDT resistance in malarial mosquitoes

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:June 16, 2008

University of Illinois researchers have identified a key detoxifying protein in Anopheles mosquitoes that metabolizes DDT, a synthetic insecticide used since World War II to control the mosquitoes that spread malaria.

Published Date: June 16, 2008


Researchers observe spontaneous 'ratcheting' of single ribosome molecules

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:June 5, 2008

Researchers report this week that they are the first to observe the dynamic, ratchet-like movements of single ribosomal molecules in the act of building proteins from genetic blueprints.

Published Date: June 5, 2008


Novel toxin receptor discovered for ulcer-causing stomach pathogen

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:May 23, 2008

Helicobacter pylori is one tough bug. It can survive in the human stomach, a zone with a pH somewhere between that of lemon juice and battery acid. Now researchers have discovered how an H. pylori toxin gets into cells, a feat that helps the bacterium live in one of the most inhospitable environments in the body.

Published Date: May 23, 2008


Plant flavonoid found to reduce inflammatory response in the brain

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:May 20, 2008

Researchers at the University of Illinois report this week that a plant compound found in abundance in celery and green peppers can disrupt a key component of the inflammatory response in the brain. The findings have implications for research on aging and diseases such as Alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis.

Published Date: May 20, 2008


Research shines spotlight on a key player in the dance of chromosomes

Author: Kaushik Ragunathan, News Bureau intern

Published Date:May 13, 2008

Cell division is essential to life, but the mechanism by which emerging daughter cells organize and divvy up their genetic endowments is little understood. In a new study, researchers at the University of Illinois and Columbia University report on how a key motor protein orchestrates chromosome movements at a critical stage of cell division.

Published Date: May 13, 2008


Female concave-eared frogs draw mates with ultrasonic calls

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:May 12, 2008

Most female frogs don’t call; most lack or have only rudimentary vocal cords. A typical female selects a mate from a chorus of males and then – silently – signals her beau. But the female concave-eared torrent frog, Odorrana tormota, has a more direct method of declaring her interest: She emits a high-pitched chirp that to the human ear sounds like that of a bird. This is one of several unusual frog-related findings reported this week in the journal Nature.

Published Date: May 12, 2008


Justice in the brain: equity and efficiency are encoded differently

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:May 8, 2008

Which is better, giving more food to a few hungry people or letting some food go to waste so that everyone gets a share? A study appearing this week in Science finds that most people choose the latter, and that the brain responds in unique ways to inefficiency and inequity.

Published Date: May 8, 2008


First draft of transgenic papaya genome yields many fruits

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:April 23, 2008

A broad collaboration of research institutions in the U.S. and China has produced a first draft of the papaya genome. This draft, which spells out more than 90 percent of the plant’s gene coding sequence, sheds new light on the evolution of flowering plants. And because it involves a genetically modified plant, the newly sequenced papaya genome offers the most detailed picture yet of the genetic changes that make the plant resistant to the papaya ringspot virus.

Published Date: April 23, 2008


Ugandan monkeys harbor evidence of infection with unknown poxvirus

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:April 22, 2008

Researchers report this month that red colobus monkeys in a park in western Uganda have been exposed to an unknown orthopoxvirus, a pathogen related to the viruses that cause smallpox, monkeypox and cowpox. Most of the monkeys screened harbor antibodies to a virus that is similar – but not identical – to known orthopoxviruses.

Published Date: April 22, 2008


New technique yields more detailed picture of chromatin structure

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:April 16, 2008

University of Illinois researchers have developed a technique for imaging cells under an electron microscope that yields a sharper image of the structure of chromatin, the tightly wound bundle of genetic material and proteins that makes up the chromosomes.

Published Date: April 16, 2008


Researchers 'see' structure of open nicotinic acetylcholine ion channels

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:April 7, 2008

The neurotransmitter acetylcholine is an essential chemical communicator, carrying impulses from neurons to skeletal muscle cells and many parts of the nervous system. Now researchers at the University of Illinois have painstakingly mapped the interior of a key component of the relay system that allows acetylcholine to get its message across. Their findings, which appear in the current issue of Nature Structure & Molecular Biology, reveal how the muscle nicotinic acetylcholine receptor responds to a burst of acetylcholine on the surface of a cell.

Published Date: April 7, 2008


Ant invaders eat the natives, then move down the food chain

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:December 18, 2007

The Argentine ant, Linepithema humile, is one of the most successful invasive species in the world, having colonized parts of five continents in addition to its native range in South America. A new study sheds light on the secrets of its success.

Published Date: December 18, 2007


Researchers build new model of bio-exploration in central Asia

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:December 11, 2007

Two land-grant universities have developed a new approach to global bio-exploration, one that returns most of the fruits of discovery to the countries that provide the raw materials on which the research depends. The Global Institute for Bio-Exploration, a joint initiative of the University of Illinois and Rutgers University, has become a model of sustainable, non-exploitive research in the developing world.

Published Date: December 11, 2007


Small RNA plays parallel roles in bacterial metabolism

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:November 29, 2007

They are often overlooked, and were once thought to be too small to contribute much to major cellular processes, but in recent years the study of small ribonucleic acids (sRNA) has gained momentum. Now a team from the University of Illinois has identified the unique metabolic activities of one of these bit players, a 200-nucleotide-long RNA molecule in bacteria called SgrS.

Published Date: November 29, 2007


Odd protein interaction guides development of olfactory system

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:October 29, 2007

Scientists have discovered a strange mechanism for the development of the fruit fly antennal lobe, an intricate structure that converts the chaotic stew of odors in the environment into discrete signals in the brain.

Published Date: October 29, 2007


Researchers posit new ideas about human migration from Asia to Americas

Author: Andrea Lynn, Humanities Editor

Published Date:October 25, 2007

Questions about human migration from Asia to the Americas have perplexed anthropologists for decades, but as scenarios about the peopling of the New World come and go, the big questions have remained. Do the ancestors of Native Americans derive from only a small number of "founders" who trekked to the Americas via the Bering land bridge? How did their migration to the New World proceed? What, if anything, did the climate have to do with their migration? And what took them so long?

Published Date: October 25, 2007


Symposium marks 30th anniversary of discovery of third domain of life

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:October 16, 2007

Thirty years ago this month, researchers at the University of Illinois published a discovery that challenged basic assumptions about the broadest classifications of life. Their discovery - which was based on an analysis of ribosomal RNA, an ancient molecule essential to the replication of all cells - opened up a new field of study, and established a first draft of the evolutionary "tree of life."

Published Date: October 16, 2007


Wanted: Citizen scientists to help track wild bees in Illinois

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:October 2, 2007

Honey bee colonies are in decline in many states, but little is known about their wild cousins, the bumble bees, or, for that matter, honey bees living on their own in the wild without beekeepers. A new initiative from the University of Illinois seeks to build a better record of honey bee and bumble bee abundance and distribution in Illinois by recruiting citizen scientists to report on wild bees seen anywhere in the state.

Published Date: October 2, 2007


Census of protein architectures offers new view of history of life

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:October 1, 2007

The present can tell you a lot about the past, but you need to know where to look. A new study appearing this month in Genome Research reveals that protein architectures- the three-dimensional structures of specific regions within proteins- provide an extraordinary window on the history of life.

Published Date: October 1, 2007


Wasp genetics study suggests altruism evolved from maternal behavior

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:September 27, 2007

Researchers at the University of Illinois have used an innovative approach to reveal the molecular basis of altruistic behavior in wasps. The research team focused on the expression of behavior-related genes in Polistes metricus paper wasps, a species for which little genetic data was available when the study was begun. Their findings appear today online in Science Express.

Published Date: September 27, 2007


Cystic fibrosis patients may breathe easier, thanks to bioengineered antimicrobials

Author: James E. Kloeppel, Physical Sciences Editor

Published Date:September 24, 2007

By better understanding how antimicrobials bind and thereby get inactivated in the mucus of air passages, researchers at the University of Illinois may have found a way to help cystic fibrosis patients fight off deadly infections.

Published Date: September 24, 2007


Scientists decipher mechanism behind antimicrobial 'hole punchers'

Author: James E. Kloeppel, Physical Sciences Editor

Published Date:September 20, 2007

In the battle against bacteria, researchers have scored a direct hit. They have made a discovery that could shorten the road to new and more potent antibiotics.

Published Date: September 20, 2007


How drones find queens: Odorant receptor for queen pheromone identified

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:August 30, 2007

The mating ritual of the honey bee is a mysterious affair, occurring at dizzying heights in zones identifiable only to a queen and the horde of drones that court her. Now a research team led by the University of Illinois has identified an odorant receptor that allows male drones to find a queen in flight. The receptor, on the male antennae, can detect an available queen up to 60 meters away.

Published Date: August 30, 2007


Microfluidic chambers advance the science of growing neurons

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:August 30, 2007

Researchers at the University of Illinois have developed a method for culturing mammalian neurons in chambers not much larger than the neurons themselves. The new approach extends the lifespan of the neurons at very low densities, an essential step toward developing a method for studying the growth and behavior of individual brain cells.

Published Date: August 30, 2007


Hepatitis C helicase unwinds DNA in a spring-loaded, 3-step process

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:July 26, 2007

The process by which genes are duplicated is mysterious and complex, involving a cast of characters with diverse talents and the ability to play well with others in extremely close quarters. A key player on this stage is an enzyme called a helicase. Its job is to unwind the tightly coiled chain of nucleic acids- the DNA or RNA molecule that spells out the organism's genetic code- so that another enzyme, a polymerase, can faithfully copy each nucleotide in the code.

Published Date: July 26, 2007


Engineered protein effective against Staphylococcus aureus toxin

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:May 21, 2007

A research team led by the University of Illinois has developed a treatment for exposure to enterotoxin B, a noxious substance produced by the Staphylococcus aureus bacterium. The team engineered a protein, which was successfully tested in rabbits, that could one day be used to treat humans exposed to the enterotoxin.

Published Date: May 21, 2007


Study of protein folds offers insight into metabolic evolution

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:May 17, 2007

Researchers at the University of Illinois have constructed the first global family tree of metabolic protein architecture. Their approach offers a new window on the evolutionary history of metabolism.

Published Date: May 17, 2007


Researchers at Illinois explore queen bee longevity

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:May 8, 2007

The queen honey bee is genetically identical to the workers in her hive, but she lives 10 times longer and - unlike her sterile sisters - remains reproductively viable throughout life. A study from the University of Illinois sheds new light on the molecular mechanisms that account for this divergence. The study appears in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Published Date: May 8, 2007


New technique will produce a better chromosome map

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:May 7, 2007

Researchers at the University of Illinois have developed a simple and economical technique for imaging and mapping fruit fly chromosomes. This new approach will enable them to construct the first accurate map of the chromosomes and tease out the secrets hidden in their stripes.

Published Date: May 7, 2007


Research group gets $7 million to pursue new antibiotic agents

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:April 24, 2007

The National Institutes of Health has awarded $7 million to a team of researchers from the University of Illinois and the University of Wisconsin to discover, engineer and produce a promising- yet little explored- class of antibiotic agents.

Published Date: April 24, 2007


Study of planarians offers insight into germ cell development

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:April 23, 2007

The planarian is not as well known as other, more widely used subjects of scientific study - model creatures such as the fruit fly, nematode or mouse. But University of Illinois cell and developmental biology professor Phillip Newmark thinks it should be. As it turns out, the tiny, seemingly cross-eyed flatworm is an ideal subject for the study of germ cells, precursors of eggs and sperm in all sexually reproducing species.

Published Date: April 23, 2007


'The Core' to be featured at first Earth Fear Film Festival

Author: Crystal Ligon, News Bureau

Published Date:April 5, 2007

Inspired by the success of the 24-year-old Insect Fear Film Festival at the University of Illinois, the U. of I. Geology Club and the department of geology are sponsoring an Earth Fear Film Festival on April 13 (Friday).

Published Date: April 5, 2007


New study rewrites evolutionary history of vespid wasps

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:March 1, 2007

Scientists at the University of Illinois have conducted a genetic analysis of vespid wasps that revises the vespid family tree and challenges long-held views about how the wasps' social behaviors evolved. In the study, published in the Feb. 21 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers found genetic evidence that eusociality (the reproductive specialization seen in some insects and other animals) evolved independently in two groups of vespid wasps.

Published Date: March 1, 2007


Mothra of all heroes stars in Japanese-themed Insect Fear Film Festival

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:February 6, 2007

The Japanese have a unique relationship with bugs. Many keep crickets or rhinoceros beetles as pets. Stir-fried or marinated silkworm pupae, wasp larvae and rice hoppers are popular treats in some regions, and there are firefly festivals throughout the country every summer.

Published Date: February 6, 2007


Novel computed imaging technique uses blurry images to enhance view

Author: James E. Kloeppel, Physical Sciences Editor

Published Date:January 22, 2007

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed a novel computational image-forming technique for optical microscopy that can produce crisp, three-dimensional images from blurry, out-of-focus data.

Published Date: January 22, 2007


Soil nutrients shape tropical forests, large-scale study indicates

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:January 11, 2007

Tropical forests are among the most diverse plant communities on earth, and scientists have labored for decades to identify the ecological and evolutionary processes that created and maintain them. A key question is whether all tree species are equivalent in their use of resources- water, light and nutrients- or whether each species has its own niche.

Published Date: January 11, 2007


Researchers discover new species of fish in Antarctic

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:December 19, 2006

What's 34 centimeters (13.39 inches) long, likes the cold and has an interorbital pit with two openings? The answer is Cryothenia amphitreta, a newly discovered Antarctic fish discovered by a member of a research team from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Published Date: December 19, 2006


Honey bee chemoreceptors found for smell and taste

Author: James E. Kloeppel, Physical Sciences Editor

Published Date:October 25, 2006

Honey bees have a much better sense of smell than fruit flies or mosquitoes, but a much worse sense of taste, according to researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Published Date: October 25, 2006


Scientists identify 36 genes, 100 neuropeptides in honey bee brains

Author: James E. Kloeppel, Physical Sciences Editor

Published Date:October 25, 2006

From humans to honey bees, neuropeptides control brain activity and, hence, our behaviors. Understanding the roles these peptides play in the life of a honey bee will assist researchers in understanding the roles they play in their human counterparts.

Published Date: October 25, 2006


Secrets revealed in sequencing of honey bee genome

Author: James E. Kloeppel, Physical Sciences Editor

Published Date:October 25, 2006

What do fruit flies, mosquitoes, silk moths and honey bees have in common? First, they are all insects. Second, they have all had their genomes sequenced, a feat that will make it much easier to discern both similarities and differences.

Published Date: October 25, 2006


Out of Africa: Scientists uncover history of honey bee

Author: James E. Kloeppel, Physical Sciences Editor

Published Date:October 25, 2006

"Every honey bee alive today had a common ancestor in Africa" is one conclusion drawn by a team of scientists that probed the origin of the species and the movements of introduced populations, including African "killer" bees in the New World.

Published Date: October 25, 2006


Honey bee genome holds clues to social behavior

Author: James E. Kloeppel, Physical Sciences Editor

Published Date:October 23, 2006

By studying the humble honey bee, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have come a step closer to understanding the molecular basis of social behavior in humans.

Published Date: October 23, 2006


Protein that kills cells also important for memory

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:October 20, 2006

A protein known primarily for its role in killing cells also plays a part in memory formation, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign report. Their work exploring how zebra finches learn songs could have implications for treatment of neurodegenerative conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

Published Date: October 20, 2006


Rapid-fire jaws propel ants to safety

Author: James E. Kloeppel, Physical Sciences Editor

Published Date:August 21, 2006

Move aside, mantis shrimp; trap-jaw ants now hold the world record for fastest moving body parts.

Published Date: August 21, 2006


Scientists identify gene involved in stem cell self-renewal in planarians

Author: James E. Kloeppel, Physical Sciences Editor

Published Date:August 7, 2006

No matter how you slice it, the freshwater planarian possesses an amazing ability to regenerate lost body parts. Chop one into pieces, and each piece can grow into a complete planarian. The flatworm relies upon a population of stem cells to accomplish this remarkable feat; recent work sheds light on how planarians maintain these stem cells throughout their lives.

Published Date: August 7, 2006


Lake shape a major factor in outbreaks of epidemics among plankton

Author: James E. Kloeppel, Physical Sciences Editor

Published Date:August 7, 2006

The shape of a lake's basin - in reverse of what researchers had theorized - has a prominent role, along with predation and weather patterns, in epidemics affecting water fleas grazing on lakes in Michigan, researchers say.

Published Date: August 7, 2006


Trees appear to respond slower to climate change than previously thought

Author: James E. Kloeppel, Physical Sciences Editor

Published Date:August 1, 2006

Genetic analysis of living spruce trees provides strong evidence for the presence of a tree refuge in Alaska during the height of the last glacial period (17,000 to 25,000 years ago), and suggests that trees cannot migrate in response to climate change as quickly as some scientists thought.

Published Date: August 1, 2006


Researchers discover which organs in Antarctic fish produce antifreeze

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:June 21, 2006

Thirty-five years ago Arthur DeVries of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign first documented antifreeze glycoproteins (AFGPs) in Antarctic notothenioid fishes. This month three colleagues report they've solved the ensuing, long-running mystery of where these AFGPs, which allow the fish to survive in icy waters, are produced.

Published Date: June 21, 2006


Colorful, rare-patterned male guppies have survival advantage in the wild

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:May 31, 2006

Any owner of a freshwater aquarium likely has had guppies (Poecilia reticulata), those small brightly colored fish with a propensity for breeding. Now guppy populations manipulated in natural habitats in Trinidad have taught researchers an evolutionary lesson on the survival of a rare genetic trait.

Published Date: May 31, 2006


Rare Chinese frogs communicate by means of ultrasonic sound

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:March 15, 2006

First came word that a rare frog (Amolops tormotus) in China sings like a bird, then that the species produces very high-pitched ultrasonic sounds. Now scientists say that these concave-eared torrent frogs also hear and respond to the sounds.

Published Date: March 15, 2006


Thin skin, slow-growing gills protect larval stage of Antarctic fish

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:February 13, 2006

Very thin but hardy, unblemished skin and slow developing gills appear to be keys to survival for newly hatched Antarctic notothenioids, a group of fish whose adults thrive in icy waters because of antifreeze proteins (AFPs) in their blood.

Published Date: February 13, 2006


Mantids - the good, the bad and the just plain wrong - on view at film fest

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:February 2, 2006

Kung Fu martial artists of the two-legged variety are coming to the 23rd annual Insect Fear Film Festival on Feb. 18, riding the coattails of this year's highlighted insect and kicking off - so to speak - an evening devoted to "Mantis Movies."

Published Date: February 2, 2006


Absence of critical protein linked to infertility

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:January 17, 2006

The absence of a key protein may lead to infertility.

Published Date: January 17, 2006


Protein finding could lead to treatment for inflammatory diseases

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:January 11, 2006

A protein that undesirably shields a skin poxvirus from the immune system may become the key ingredient in a new topical treatment for inflammatory diseases, say medical researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Published Date: January 11, 2006


Membrane research opens window to benefits for plants, humans

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:December 21, 2005

A wilting, water-starved houseplant and flood-covered crops have something in common. That knowledge, gleaned from spinach and researchers on two continents, potentially could open the gate to advances in both plant and human health.

Published Date: December 21, 2005


New technique helps researchers determine amino-acid charge

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:December 16, 2005

Measurements of the ion-current through the open state of a membrane-protein's ion channel have allowed scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to obtain a detailed picture of the effect of the protein microenvironment on the affinity of ionizable amino-acid residues for protons.

Published Date: December 16, 2005


Flatworm genes may provide insights into human diseases, researchers say

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:December 13, 2005

Could vital information about many human diseases be deciphered from genes inside freshwater flatworms?

Published Date: December 13, 2005


Give a visiting ant a nice place to stay and it might stick around

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:November 15, 2005

Many insects enter the United States accidentally, as hitchhikers on various plants imported in commerce, but how many really stay?

Published Date: November 15, 2005


U. of I. researchers to play key roles in study of how life emerged on earth

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:September 28, 2005

Three scientists from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have leading roles in a multi-institution quest funded by the National Science Foundation to determine how life emerged on Earth.

Published Date: September 28, 2005


Researchers zero in on estrogen's role in breast-cancer cell growth

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:September 8, 2005

Why do estrogen dependent breast-cancer cells grow and spread rapidly? Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign say it may be because estrogen virtually eliminates levels of a vitally important regulatory protein.

Published Date: September 8, 2005


When cave crickets go out for dinner, they really go, researchers say

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:September 7, 2005

Cave crickets travel farther from their homes to forage - by about double - than their previously reported range, researchers have discovered. In Texas, that means protective buffer areas around caves may need to be extended to protect endangered invertebrate species that live inside and depend on the crickets.

Published Date: September 7, 2005


Comparative chromosome study finds breakage trends, cancer ties

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:July 21, 2005

Breakages in chromosomes in mammalian evolution have occurred at preferred rather than random sites as long thought, and many of the sites are involved in human cancers, an international team of 25 scientists has discovered.

Published Date: July 21, 2005


Scientists issue warning about dangers beetle poses to Illinios ash trees

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:April 29, 2005

Campers across Illinois are being asked to be firewood wary. There could be an unwanted pest hidden inside that could be devastating to the state's 118 million ash trees if it emerges later this summer from unburned wood.

Published Date: April 29, 2005


Carver Trust grant to advance molecular studies at Illinois

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:March 9, 2005

Rapidly advancing tools let researchers amass oceans of biological data - so much so that fishing out the meaning is as daunting as climbing a mountain without gear. A new $3.15 million, three-year grant from the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust, however, will make the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign a national leader in its capability to analyze molecular information about cells, officials say.

Published Date: March 9, 2005


Bugs, even the 'bad' ones, can be educationally beneficial, new book says

Author: Molly McElroy, News Bureau

Published Date:March 1, 2005

We have much to learn from bad bugs, according to Gilbert Waldbauer, whose book "Insights From Insects: What Bad Bugs Can Teach Us" was published today (Prometheus Books).

Published Date: March 1, 2005


Research focusing on why estrogenic hormones produce differing results

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:February 11, 2005

New research is shedding light on why estrogenic hormones produce unintended results in women, giving hope to the idea that new drugs might reach their targets and work more effectively. Ultimately it could mean that postmenopausal women would know that hormone-replacement therapy would have only its intended result.

Published Date: February 11, 2005


Women's health, tissue regeneration to be focus of joint U. of I.-Carle program

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor and Gretchen Robbins, Public Relations Director, Carle Foundation Hospital

Published Date:February 4, 2005

Women's health and human-tissue regeneration are the focus of an agreement announced today between the Institute for Genomic Biology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana.

Published Date: February 4, 2005


Researchers to discuss potential of swine as models for human disease

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:January 18, 2005

Biomedical scientists from around the world will discuss the potential of swine as models for understanding and treating a variety of human diseases when they gather for the Swine in Biomedical Research Conference on Jan. 27-29 at the Fairmont Hotel, 200 N. Columbus Road, in Chicago.

Published Date: January 18, 2005


Enzyme activation appears key in helping internal clock tell night from day

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:August 18, 2004

Feel like time is repeating itself and won't move on? It could be your internal clock is backpedaling because your PKG-II is out of whack.

Published Date: August 18, 2004