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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