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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