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Chipmunks descended from ancestors that survived last ice age, scientists say

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:July 12, 2004

Well, nuts.

Published Date: July 12, 2004


Genomic Biology Institute's first grant to focus on soybeans and climate change

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:May 24, 2004

One of the five newly named research themes of the Institute for Genomic Biology under construction at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has landed the institute's first major federal grant.

Published Date: May 24, 2004


Institute for Genomic Biology announces five themes for research

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:April 21, 2004

Although the doors of the Institute for Genomic Biology won't open for two years, 31 faculty and 35 affiliates from 25 campus units have been chosen to be in five newly named research themes in the state-of-the-art facility under construction at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Published Date: April 21, 2004


Gene that plays key role in replicating viruses also halts inflammation

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:April 6, 2004

Scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign studying vaccinia virus, a close relative of smallpox, have determined that a gene necessary for virus replication also has a key role in turning off inflammation, a crucial anti-viral immune response of host cells.

Published Date: April 6, 2004


Insights gained from molecular modeling may lead to better insecticides

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:February 24, 2004

One of the most damaging crop pests, the corn earworm, may be outwitting efforts to control it by making structural changes in a single metabolic protein, but new insights uncovered by molecular modeling could pave the way for more efficient insecticides, say researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Published Date: February 24, 2004


Center will explore how genes regulate cellular metabolism

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:October 29, 2003

Two schools of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will soon begin to explore how genes regulate cellular metabolism, eventually leading to ways to enhance overall human health, thanks to a $1.1 million grant from the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust.

Published Date: October 29, 2003


'Timeless' gene found to play key role as timekeeper in mammals

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:October 16, 2003

In 1998, scientists found the mammalian version of a gene, known as timeless, which in flies is crucial for the biological clock. However, all but one of the research groups involved determined that timeless did not have such a role in mammals. Now that research group says timeless is indeed a key timekeeper in mammals.

Published Date: October 16, 2003


Gene expression tied to social behavior in honey bees

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:October 9, 2003

Genes and behavior go together in honey bees so strongly that an individual bee's occupation can be predicted by knowing a profile of its gene expression in the brain, say researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Published Date: October 9, 2003


Northern climate, ecosystems driven by cycles of changing sunlight

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:September 25, 2003

Emerging geochemical and biological evidence from Alaskan lake sediment suggests that slight variations in the sun's intensity have affected sub-polar climate and ecosystems in a predictable fashion during the last 12,000 years.

Published Date: September 25, 2003


Researchers join federal center to study infectious disease

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:September 5, 2003

Nine scientists of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are part of a newly created, federally funded Midwestern Regional Center of Excellence to be based at the University of Chicago.

Published Date: September 5, 2003


Findings in frog oocytes may help study of chromosome physiology

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:August 14, 2003

Researchers studying the nuclei of frog oocytes in early stages of meiosis - the cell division that gives rise to germ cells - have found that two key proteins remain apart at a crucial time before condensation occurs. One of the proteins, they say, may be important in the early organization of chromosomes and later may recruit the other.

Published Date: August 14, 2003


Emerald ash borer poses threat to trees in Illinois

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:August 8, 2003

A half-inch-long beetle known as the emerald ash borer, which is devastating ash trees in Michigan, poses a serious threat to Illinois, says an entomologist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Officials fear that beetle-infested firewood could be accidentally transported into the state.

Published Date: August 8, 2003


Isolation of ferret protein promising for cancer, reproductive studies

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:June 24, 2003

Biologists studying early pregnancy in ferrets have isolated a protein vital to embryonic implantation. The discovery at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign eventually could enhance assisted-reproductive efforts in many threatened species.

Published Date: June 24, 2003


Researchers discover birds protect trees in neotropics by eating insects

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:June 23, 2003

High in the canopy of a Neotropical Panamanian forest, researchers have discovered that birds, especially native ones during the rainy season, protect trees by reducing the numbers of leaf-eating insects.

Published Date: June 23, 2003


Ground broken for Post Genomic Institute

Author: Sharita Forrest, News Bureau

Published Date:June 6, 2003

The Post Genomic Institute, a cutting-edge facility expected to lead the nation in biological research, was launched June 5 with a groundbreaking ceremony on the Urbana campus.

Published Date: June 6, 2003


New book entertainingly tells 'What Good Are Bugs'

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:April 2, 2003

Insects are vital to every ecosystem and essential to our existence, Gilbert Waldbauer says, answering a common question posed by the title of his new book, "What Good Are Bugs?"

Published Date: April 2, 2003


Abnormalities of brain's molding show in Fragile X, schizophrenia

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:February 17, 2003

Fragile X syndrome and schizophrenia represent vastly different abnormalities of the brain, but they provide functionally similar examples of what happens when wiring processes go awry, neuroscientist William T. Greenough said Saturday at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Published Date: February 17, 2003


DNA folding, protein activities much more complex than expected

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:February 17, 2003

New molecular technologies, some driven by the work of a researcher at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, are exposing unexpectedly high levels of DNA folding and complex protein-rich assemblages within the nucleus of cells that he says "seriously challenge the textbook models."

Published Date: February 17, 2003


Quality controls needed before microbial evidence goes to court

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:February 17, 2003

On the popular television shows involving crime-scene-investigation units in Las Vegas and Miami, small traces of just about anything have been found and used to reel in criminal confessions. Note, however, viewers don't see the cases in court.

Published Date: February 17, 2003


Newly developed tool aids study of Fragile X syndrome

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:February 6, 2003

A newly developed tool that allows researchers to study strands of messenger RNA that bind to a specific protein has lifted a layer of mystery involving a common symptom of Fragile X syndrome, report scientists from four institutions, including the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Published Date: February 6, 2003


Film fest fetes director big on bugs ????????? the bigger the better

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:February 1, 2003

In celebration of its 20th bug-infested anniversary, the Insect Fear Film Festival at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is bringing in Mr. BIG - movie director Bert I. Gordon - to help honor the 50-year-old genre of low-budget films featuring large killer insects. The festival will feature three of Gordon's big bug films - "Beginning of the End" (1957), "Earth vs. the Spider" (1958) and "Empire of the Ants" (1977).

Published Date: February 1, 2003


Scientists find insects can alter plant chemistry to help them find mates

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:November 18, 2002

Each spring, amid the decaying rubble of dead prairie plants, emerging male gall wasps find mates by calling upon the chemistry prowess of their predecessors, entomologists scouring Central Illinois have discovered.

Published Date: November 18, 2002


Code-breaking insects steal plants' defensive signals

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:October 16, 2002

Herbivorous insects that dine on crops use a form of molecular code-breaking to ready their defenses against a chemically protective shield employed by their dinner, say scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Published Date: October 16, 2002


Study backs theory that mutations of 'quiet' genes foster aging

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:October 15, 2002

A theory that suggests the aging process might be safely slowed by targeting genes that are quiet early but threaten damage later in life has gotten a boost from new findings from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Published Date: October 15, 2002


Key sensory proteins unveiled in mosquito genome

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:October 2, 2002

While studying tiny pieces of a genomic DNA sequence from the African malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae on Christmas Eve 1999, entomologist Hugh Robertson of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign found several possible olfactory receptors similar to those others had found in Drosophila fruit flies.

Published Date: October 2, 2002


UI lab confirms first cases of West Nile in canines, squirrels

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:September 17, 2002

The nation's first documented cases of domestic canine and squirrel deaths attributed to the West Nile virus have been confirmed at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Officials stress, however, that people have a low risk of contracting the infection from affected animals.

Published Date: September 17, 2002


Three researchers to take part in mapping the honeybee genome

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:June 18, 2002

A buzz being heard around the entomology department these days is a genomic celebration. Three departmental researchers will have key roles in a recently announced federal project to map the some 15,000 genes of a honeybee (Apis mellifera).

Published Date: June 18, 2002


New cellular evolution theory rejects single cell beginning

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:June 17, 2002

Life did not begin with one primordial cell. Instead, there were initially at least three simple types of loosely constructed cellular organizations. They swam in a pool of genes, evolving in a communal way that aided one another in bootstrapping into the three distinct types of cells by sharing their evolutionary inventions.

Published Date: June 17, 2002


DNA testing identifies suspect bacteria in coral reef disease

Author: Jim Kloeppel, Physical Sciences Editor

Published Date:May 21, 2002

Using molecular microbiology techniques, scientists are a significant step closer to understanding and identifying the deadly microbes responsible for the mysterious black band disease that is destroying the world's coral reef ecosystems.

Published Date: May 21, 2002


Mechanics of bacterium's toxin being unraveled

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:May 21, 2002

Researchers are unraveling the mystery of what happens when a bacterium's toxin hits its cellular target. In an age of growing antibiotic resistance and a threat of bioterrorism, such knowledge may help to open new lines of treatment, says a microbiologist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Published Date: May 21, 2002


Gene plays key evolutionary role in food-gathering behaviors

Author: James Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:April 25, 2002

A new discovery in the brain of honeybees has researchers at three institutions suggesting that the gene they studied has played a key evolutionary role in the changes of food-gathering behaviors in many creatures.

Published Date: April 25, 2002


Scientists document water molecule movement across cell walls

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:April 18, 2002

Scientists have documented a ballet in which dancers cross the stage in a billionth of a second. The stage is a class of proteins found in all living things; the dancers are water molecules. The performance, captured by supercomputer simulation, casts new insight for biomedical researchers on the controlled movement of water through cell walls.

Published Date: April 18, 2002


International consortium to create sequence-ready map of the cattle genome

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:March 12, 2002

An international consortium of U.S., Canadian and French scientists has begun work on a new resource that will enable the rapid and efficient sequencing of the entire cattle genome.

Published Date: March 12, 2002


International consortium to create sequence-ready map of the cattle genome

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:March 12, 2002

An international consortium of U.S., Canadian and French scientists has begun work on a new resource that will enable the rapid and efficient sequencing of the entire cattle genome.

Published Date: March 12, 2002


The new biology of rocks: Are there medical implications of geomicrobiology?

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:February 15, 2002

If microbial life is found on Mars, will it be native to the planet or something carried there from Earth? Either way, will it be safe to return samples of such organisms to Earth? Astrobiology, the search for life elsewhere, says a University of Illinois microbiologist, is making us look a lot closer at microbial life on Earth - how it adapts and its relationship to emerging infectious diseases.

Published Date: February 15, 2002


Growth hormone may boost production of disease-fighting cells in elderly

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:February 6, 2002

Growth-hormone therapy in elderly patients increases lean body mass and reduces body fat, helping them maintain fitness. Now, scientists say, the therapy also may dramatically boost the production of cells vital to fighting disease.

Published Date: February 6, 2002


Chemical pollution and human sewage could be killing corals

Author: James E. Kloeppel, Physical Sciences Editor

Published Date:December 1, 2001

You can forget global warming as the sole culprit. A combination of human sewage and shipyard discharge may be responsible for the development and spread of deadly black band disease in corals, researchers at the University of Illinois say.

Published Date: December 1, 2001


UI researchers to take part in research on gene function in mustard plant

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:October 10, 2001

University of Illinois researchers have major roles in a newly announced $43.8 million National Science Foundation-funded initiative to define the function of the genes in a plant considered a model for understanding all plants. Eventually, their findings could have dramatic implications for all agricultural crops.

Published Date: October 10, 2001


Caterpillars make noise to fend off intruders, researchers discover

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:October 1, 2001

Caterpillars defend their homes by drumming up vibrations with their mandibles to drive intruders away, scientists say. At times, the nest-owner and intruder engage in duels that create a symphony of drum-like sounds.

Published Date: October 1, 2001


Protein tied to Alzheimer's also plays key role in honeybees

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:October 1, 2001

A protein targeted by drug treatments in some patients with Alzheimer's disease also appears to play an important role in honeybees (Apis melifera), researchers say.

Published Date: October 1, 2001


Pollen from one Bt corn variety reduced growth rates among black swallowtail caterpillars

Author: Jim Barlow , Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:September 10, 2001

Pollen from a Bt corn variety carrying a now-phased-out genetically inserted pesticide known as event 176 dramatically reduced growth rates among black swallowtail caterpillars in University of Illinois field tests, researchers report.

Published Date: September 10, 2001


Mechanism believed found that regulates movement within cells

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:September 1, 2001

The movement of pigment along roadway-like tracks in skin cells dictates the changing colors of frogs, fish and many other animals. To biologists looking beyond the color-shifting process, however, a more fundamental mechanism involved in cell division has come into view.

Published Date: September 1, 2001


Optical techniques studies brain activity without surgery on skull

Author: James E. Kloeppel, Physical Sciences Editor

Published Date:August 1, 2001

A non-invasive diagnostic tool that can study changes occurring at the surface of the brain because of brain activity has been developed by scientists at the University of Illinois. The technique is based upon near-infrared spectroscopy and is simpler to use and less expensive than other methods such as functional magnetic resonance imaging and positron emission tomography.

Published Date: August 1, 2001


Biological clock gene in bees found to have another function

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:July 1, 2001

A gene associated with the biological clock in many organisms has revealed yet another function. In honeybees, which live in a world with a distinct division of labor, the gene is more active in the brains of older bees, especially foragers whose jobs are outside the hive.

Published Date: July 1, 2001


Genetically modified corn not a threat to swallowtail butterfly larvae

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:July 1, 2001

A Bt corn variety grown widely in East Central Illinois in 1999 had no adverse effect on black swallowtail caterpillars that thrive in weeds alongside cornfields, according to both field and laboratory studies at the University of Illinois.

Published Date: July 1, 2001


Joint research project to improve butterfly identification system

Author: Andrea Lynn, Humanities Editor

Published Date:June 1, 2001

That environmental scientists are working to find better ways to identify butterfly species in the wild is perfectly reasonable. That library scientists are collaborating in such natural-world endeavors seems highly unlikely. However, one such collaborative project is well under way at the University of Illinois.

Published Date: June 1, 2001


New treatment promising in mice with most common form of illness

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:April 1, 2001

Mice carrying the same gene deficiencies as humans with Duchenne muscular dystrophy experienced dramatic improvements in both their physical condition and life span following an experimental treatment by researchers at the University of Illinois.

Published Date: April 1, 2001


License agreement signed to commercialize intelligent hearing aid

Author: James E. Kloeppel, Physical Sciences Editor

Published Date:April 1, 2001

For someone with partial hearing loss, picking out a voice in a crowded social gathering can be hard, even with the help of a hearing aid. That's about to change in a revolutionary way.

Published Date: April 1, 2001


Female hormone found to play key role in male birds' ability to sing

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:March 1, 2001

Why do male but not female zebra finches sing?

Published Date: March 1, 2001


Osteoporosis drugs found to combat malaria, other diseases

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:March 1, 2001

A series of bisphosphonate drugs already approved to treat osteoporosis and other bone disorders in humans carry potent anti-parasitic activity, offering a new approach to the treatment of malaria, sleeping sickness and AIDS-related infections such as toxoplasmosis.

Published Date: March 1, 2001


Professor's 'insect fear film fest' to focus on beetles, real and imagined

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:February 1, 2001

Around the world, beetles are eaten as food, fashioned into jewelry, widely collected and culturally honored. On film, they are evil flesh-eating tormentors and human enemies.

Published Date: February 1, 2001


Protein found to play key role as regulator of cell growth and division

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:February 1, 2001

A protein located in the cytoplasm between a mammalian cell membrane and nucleus is more important than previously believed. It shuttles in and out of the nucleus as part of a "nuclear experience" that helps regulate cell growth and division, University of Illinois scientists say.

Published Date: February 1, 2001


Illinois scientists' discovery helps explain protein-synthesis machinery in cells

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:December 18, 2000

University of Illinois biologists have discovered that a protein that lives in the cytoplasmic world between a mammalian cell's membrane and nucleus undergoes a "nuclear experience" that is necessary for regulating cell growth and division.

Published Date: December 18, 2000


Microbial transport at Yellowstone: by land, sea or air?

Author: James E. Kloeppel, Physical Sciences Editor

Published Date:November 1, 2000

Humans have a penchant for travel - driving, sailing and flying over the planet in search of new places to live. So do microbes, say researchers at the University of Illinois who have been studying microbial transport at Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park.

Published Date: November 1, 2000


Studies may shed light onlink between lack of neurons and SIDS

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:November 1, 2000

Studies at the University of Illinois have identified a specific brain pathway in which neurons activate in times of low oxygen (hypoxia) and trigger increased breathing.

Published Date: November 1, 2000


Unified theory relates microbial metabolism to lab and field

Author: James E. Kloeppel, Physical Sciences Editor

Published Date:November 1, 2000

The ability to describe the rates at which microbial populations metabolize in the natural environment has been limited by the lack of a general theory of microbial kinetics. Now, researchers at the University of Illinois have found an approach that holds significant promise for extending the results of laboratory experiments to better understand microbial metabolism in nature.

Published Date: November 1, 2000


Target cells found to play active role in synapse formation

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:November 1, 2000

When axons connect with target cells, synapses form - a pivotal brain development stage that allows for such things as muscle coordination, learning and memory. The outward reaching fingers of axons, called filopodia, have been thought to be the driving force for these connections. However, a new view is emerging at the University of Illinois.

Published Date: November 1, 2000


Human, cattle genome map shows many genes configured similarly

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:October 1, 2000

Animal scientists studying the genes of cattle say their first-ever comparative map of cattle and human genomes show that many genes -- even whole chromosomes -- are configured in the same way in the two species.

Published Date: October 1, 2000


Sea slug's shopping habits dictated by hunger, scientists report

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:April 1, 2000

Conventional wisdom says that if you shop for groceries on an empty stomach you'll spend more than necessary because of impulse buying fed by hunger pangs, while a full stomach makes you a pickier shopper. You're in good company: Sea slugs shop the same way.

Published Date: April 1, 2000


Study of rats' brains indicates brain continues to grow after puberty

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:April 1, 2000

A simple study of rat brains has added more substance to the idea that the adult brain is still a work in progress, even well after puberty, say University of Illinois researchers. While overall size may not change, the composition of nerve fibers in a key area does.

Published Date: April 1, 2000


Bees wearing reflectors help scientists track insects' training flights

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:February 1, 2000

Like aviators in training, honey bees preparing to forage learn their skills in a series of pre-flights to learn the landscape before undertaking new missions, scientists say.

Published Date: February 1, 2000


Iguanas shrink to survive on less food resulting from weather change

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:February 1, 2000

Measurements showing vertebrate animals getting smaller during the course of a study normally are dismissed as measurement error or not possible. Eighteen years of data from the Galapagos Islands, however, indicate such shrinkage is both occurring and reversible.

Published Date: February 1, 2000


Rate of sound impulses markedly affects ability to perceive volume

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:February 1, 2000

Measuring hearing ability may not be as clear cut and predictable as specialists have long thought. University of Illinois researchers are beating a new drum, saying that responses of brain cells to single isolated tones don't predict how sounds in the real world are processed.

Published Date: February 1, 2000


Simulations reveal morphological transition in simple foams

Author: James E. Kloeppel, Physical Sciences Editor

Published Date:February 1, 2000

Measuring hearing ability may not be as clear cut and predictable as specialists have long thought. University of Illinois researchers are beating a new drum, saying that responses of brain cells to single isolated tones don't predict how sounds in the real world are processed.

Published Date: February 1, 2000


The buzz at this year's film fest will be coming from the stars

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:February 1, 2000

"Bee" movie lovers will have a honey of a time Saturday, Feb. 26, at the 17th annual Insect Fear Film Festival at the University of Illinois.

Published Date: February 1, 2000


The buzz at this year's film fest will be coming from the stars

Author: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:February 1, 2000

"Bee" movie lovers will have a honey of a time Saturday, Feb. 26, at the 17th annual Insect Fear Film Festival at the University of Illinois.

Published Date: February 1, 2000


New model revises estimates of terrestrial carbon dioxide uptake

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:December 10, 0078

Researchers at the University of Illinois have developed a new model of global carbon and nitrogen cycling that will fundamentally transform the understanding of how plants and soils interact with a changing atmosphere and climate.

Published Date: December 10, 0078