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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