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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


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