blog postsStudy links mobile device addiction to depression and anxietyMar 2, 2016 9:30 am21268 views Is cellphone use detrimental to mental health? A new study from the University of Illinois finds that high engagement with mobile technology is linked to anxiety and depression in college-age students.Researchers track the secret lives of feral and free-roaming house catsMay 26, 2011 9:00 am10192 views CHAMPAIGN, lll. - Researchers (and some cat-owners) wanted to know: What do feral and free-roaming house cats do when they're out of sight? A two-year study offers a first look at the daily lives of these feline paupers and princes, whose territories overlap on the urban, suburban, rural and agricultural edges of many towns.Study adds to evidence that viruses are aliveSep 25, 2015 1:00 pm8615 views A new analysis supports the hypothesis that viruses are living entities that share a long evolutionary history with cells, researchers report. The study offers the first reliable method for tracing viral evolution back to a time when neither viruses nor cells existed in the forms recognized today, the researchers say. Seven Illinois researchers rank among the world’s most influentialDec 21, 2015 9:15 am8254 views Seven University of Illinois researchers have been named to the Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researchers list for 2015. The list includes “some of the world’s most influential scientific minds,” according to a statement from Thomson Reuters.Pollinator habitat program spreads bad seeds with the goodDec 7, 2016 8:30 am7410 views Weed scientists in at least two Midwestern states have been reporting for years that a conservation program meant to provide habitat for pollinating insects is sowing bad seeds – including seeds of the potentially devastating agricultural weed Palmer amaranth – along with the good. Now, researchers at the University of Illinois have traced the weed seeds to at least one source: pollinator habitat seed sold by a company in the Midwest.Eight Illinois researchers rank among world’s most influentialNov 18, 2016 9:15 am6290 views Eight University of Illinois researchers have been named to the Thomson Reuters / Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researchers list for 2016. The list identifies scientists “whose research has had significant global impact within their respective fields of study."Tiny electronic implants monitor brain injury, then melt awayJan 18, 2016 10:00 am5564 views A new class of small, thin electronic sensors can monitor temperature and pressure within the skull – crucial health parameters after a brain injury or surgery – then melt away when they are no longer needed, eliminating the need for additional surgery to remove the monitors and reducing the risk of infection and hemorrhage.Drinking more water associated with numerous dietary benefits, study findsFeb 29, 2016 2:15 pm5337 views In a new study of more than 18,300 U.S. adults, U. of I. researcher Ruopeng An found the majority of people who increased their consumption of plain water reduced their total daily calorie intake as well as their consumption of saturated fat, sugar, sodium and cholesterol.Study links nutrition to brain health and intelligence in older adultsDec 13, 2016 8:45 am4474 views A study of older adults offers insight into how a pigment found in leafy greens that tends to accumulate in brain tissue may contribute to the preservation of “crystallized intelligence,” the ability to use the skills and knowledge one has acquired over a lifetime.Brief diversions vastly improve focus, researchers findFeb 8, 2011 9:00 am4387 views CHAMPAIGN, lll. - A new study in the journal Cognition overturns a decades-old theory about the nature of attention and demonstrates that even brief diversions from a task can dramatically improve one's ability to focus on that task for prolonged periods.Quick test finds signs of sepsis in a single drop of bloodJul 3, 2017 7:30 am3988 views A new portable device can quickly find markers of deadly, unpredictable sepsis infection from a single drop of blood.Scientists test nanoparticle drug delivery in dogs with osteosarcomaJul 25, 2016 2:00 pm3555 views At the University of Illinois, an engineer teamed up with a veterinarian to test a bone cancer drug delivery system in animals bigger than the standard animal model, the mouse. They chose dogs – mammals closer in size and biology to humans – with naturally occurring bone cancers, which also are a lot like human bone tumors.A 20-minute bout of yoga stimulates brain function immediately afterJun 5, 2013 9:00 am3299 views CHAMPAIGN, lll. - Researchers report that a single, 20-minute session of Hatha yoga significantly improved participants' speed and accuracy on tests of working memory and inhibitory control, two measures of brain function associated with the ability to maintain focus and take in, retain and use new information. Participants performed significantly better immediately after the yoga practice than after moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise for the same amount of time.Is Academia Waking Up to the Problem of Sexual Harassment?Sep 19, 2016 2:15 pm3267 views U. of I. anthropology professor Kathryn Clancy supports a federal legislative effort that would require universities to report – and federal funding agencies to consider – findings that any university professor engaged in discrimination on the basis of sex. Lutein may counter cognitive aging, study findsJul 24, 2017 12:45 pm3143 views Spinach and kale are favorites of those looking to stay physically fit, but they also could keep consumers cognitively fit, according to a new study from University of Illinois researchers.Corn better used as food than biofuel, study findsJun 20, 2017 9:00 am3127 views Corn is grown not only for food, it is also an important renewable energy source. Renewable biofuels can come with hidden economic and environmental issues, and the question of whether corn is better utilized as food or as a biofuel has persisted since ethanol came into use. For the first time, researchers at the University of Illinois have quantified and compared these issues in terms of economics of the entire production system to determine if the benefits of biofuel corn outweigh the costs.Surgical probe seeks out where cancer ends and healthy tissue beginsSep 15, 2015 12:00 pm3038 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – A new surgical tool that uses light to make sure surgeons removing cancerous tumors “got it all” was found to correlate well with traditional pathologists’ diagnoses in a clinical study, showing that the tool could soon enable reliable, real-time guidance for surgeons.Tumor-targeting system uses cancer’s own mechanisms to betray its locationFeb 14, 2017 9:00 am3015 views By hijacking a cancer cell’s own metabolism, researchers have found a way to tag and target elusive cancers with small-molecule sugars. This opens treatment pathways for cancers that are not responsive to conventional targeted antibodies, such as triple-negative breast cancer.Study offers clearest picture yet of how HIV defeats a cellular defenderMar 4, 2016 8:30 am2885 views A new study offers the first atomic-scale view of an interaction between the HIV capsid - the protein coat that shepherds HIV into the nucleus of human cells - and a host protein known as cyclophilin A. This interaction is key to HIV infection, researchers say.Human trials of cancer drug PAC-1 continue with new investmentMay 24, 2016 1:45 pm2846 views Clinical trials of the anti-cancer agent PAC-1 are continuing to expand, thanks to a $7 million angel investment from an anonymous contributor who originally invested $4 million to help get the compound this far in the drug-approval pipeline.Study tallies extra calories Americans consume in their coffee, teaJan 30, 2017 9:15 am2835 views A new analysis reveals just how much Americans are adding to their caloric intake by spicing up or sweetening their coffee or tea.Report: A host of common chemicals endanger child brain developmentJul 1, 2016 9:15 am2739 views In a new report, dozens of scientists, health practitioners and children’s health advocates are calling for renewed attention to the growing evidence that many common and widely available chemicals endanger neurodevelopment in fetuses and children of all ages.Study: Omega-3 fatty acids fight inflammation via cannabinoidsJul 18, 2017 10:00 am2699 views Chemical compounds called cannabinoids are found in marijuana and also are produced naturally in the body from omega-3 fatty acids. A well-known cannabinoid in marijuana, THC, is responsible for some of its euphoric effects, but it also has anti-inflammatory benefits. A new study in animal tissue reveals the cascade of chemical reactions that convert omega-3 fatty acids into cannabinoids that have anti-inflammatory benefits – but without the psychotropic high. Genetic study shakes up the elephant family treeJun 6, 2017 3:00 am2661 views New research reveals that a species of giant elephant that lived 1.5 million to 100,000 years ago – ranging across Eurasia before it went extinct – is more closely related to today’s African forest elephant than the forest elephant is to its nearest living relative, the African savanna elephant.Scientists tweak photosynthesis to boost crop yieldNov 17, 2016 1:00 pm2638 views Researchers report that they can increase plant productivity by boosting levels of three proteins involved in photosynthesis. This confirms a hypothesis some in the scientific community once doubted was possible.Report: Milkweed losses may not fully explain monarch butterfly declinesMar 13, 2017 4:15 pm2622 views Monarch butterfly declines cannot be attributed merely to declines in milkweed abundance, researchers report.Six Illinois professors named Guggenheim FellowsMay 2, 2016 12:15 pm2518 views Six professors at the University of Illinois have been named 2016 Guggenheim Fellows, bringing to 13 the number of U. of I. faculty members who have been honored with the fellowship over the last three years. This year’s fellows are Dennis Baron, Karin A. Dahmen, Craig Koslofsky, Mei-Po Kwan, Ralph W. Mathisen and Rebecca Stumpf.Scientists find world’s oldest fossil mushroomJun 7, 2017 1:00 pm2458 views Roughly 115 million years ago, when the ancient supercontinent Gondwana was breaking apart, a mushroom fell into a river and began an improbable journey. Its ultimate fate as a mineralized fossil preserved in limestone in northeast Brazil makes it a scientific wonder, scientists report in the journal PLOS ONE.'Bad cholesterol' indicates an amino acid deficiency, researcher saysFeb 25, 2014 9:00 am2454 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the "bad cholesterol" that doctors consider a sign of potential heart disease, is merely a marker of a diet lacking all of the essential amino acids, says University of Illinois comparative biosciences professor Fred Kummerow, 99, a longtime opponent of the medical establishment's war on cholesterol.Bacterial hole puncher could be new broad-spectrum antibioticOct 27, 2015 11:00 am2427 views Bacteria have many methods of adapting to resist antibiotics, but a new class of spiral polypeptides developed at the University of Illinois targets one thing no bacterium can live without: an outer membrane.Counseling, antidepressants change personality (for the better), team reportsJan 6, 2017 10:30 am2413 views A review of 207 studies involving more than 20,000 people found that those who engaged in therapeutic interventions were, on average, significantly less neurotic and a bit more extraverted after the interventions than they were beforehand.Feeling anxious? Check your orbitofrontal cortex and cultivate your optimism, study suggestsSep 22, 2015 10:00 am2388 views A new study links anxiety, a brain structure called the orbitofrontal cortex, and optimism, finding that healthy adults who have larger OFCs tend to be more optimistic and less anxious.Shape of tumor may affect whether cells can metastasizeApr 27, 2016 10:45 am2340 views Only a few cells in a cancerous tumor are able to break away and spread to other parts of the body, but the curve along the edge of the tumor may play a large role in activating these tumor-seeding cells, according to a new University of Illinois study.Study: Emotion processing in the brain changes with tinnitus severityDec 14, 2015 9:30 am2338 views A new study reveals that people with tinnitus who are less bothered by their symptoms use different brain regions when processing emotional information.Light illuminates the way for bio-botsMar 14, 2016 2:00 pm2310 views A new class of miniature biological robots, or bio-bots, has seen the light – and is following where the light shines.Genome mining effort discovers 19 new natural products in four yearsSep 8, 2015 9:30 am2264 views It took a small group of researchers only four years – a blink of an eye in pharmaceutical terms – to scour a collection of 10,000 bacterial strains and isolate the genes responsible for making 19 unique, previously unknown phosphonate natural products, researchers report. Each of these products is a potential new drug. One of them has already been identified as an antibiotic.100-year-old trans fat pioneer celebrates news of an FDA banJun 4, 2015 1:00 pm2196 views A Minute With™... Fred Kummerow, trans fat expertAntibiotic breakthrough: Team discovers how to overcome gram-negative bacterial defensesMay 10, 2017 12:00 pm2193 views Scientists report that they now know how to build a molecular Trojan horse that can penetrate gram-negative bacteria, solving a problem that for decades has stalled the development of effective new antibiotics against these increasingly drug-resistant microbes. The findings appear in the journal Nature.Researchers resolve structure of a key component of bacterial decision-makingDec 8, 2015 9:30 am2191 views For bacteria that swim, determining whether to stay the course or head in a new direction is vital to survival. A new study offers atomic-level details of the molecular machinery that allows swimming bacteria to sense their environment and change direction when neededFresh look at burials, mass graves, tells a new story of CahokiaAug 4, 2016 10:30 am2159 views A new study challenges earlier interpretations of an important burial mound at Cahokia, a pre-Columbian city in Illinois near present-day St. Louis. The study reveals that a central feature of the mound, a plot known as the “beaded burial,” is not a monument to male power, as was previously thought, but includes both males and females of high status.Study: Researchers identify how mental abilities are shaped by individual differences in the brainFeb 25, 2016 9:15 am2091 views Everyone has a different mixture of personality traits: some are outgoing, some are tough and some are anxious. A new study suggests that brains also have different traits that affect both anatomical and cognitive factors, such as intelligence and memory.Studies link healthy brain aging to omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the bloodMay 18, 2017 8:30 am2076 views Two new studies link patterns of polyunsaturated fatty acids in the blood to the integrity of brain structures and cognitive abilities that are known to decline early in aging.Portable device can quickly determine the extent of an eye injuryDec 8, 2015 8:45 am2034 views An engineer and an ophthalmologist are working together to develop a portable sensor that can quickly and inexpensively determine whether an eye injury is mild or severe. The device, called OcuCheck, works by measuring levels of vitamin C in the fluids that coat or leak from the eye. The sensor could speed efforts to determine the extent of eye injuries at accident sites, in rural areas lacking ophthalmology specialists or on the battlefield, the researchers said.Team discovers a new invasive clam in the U.S.May 1, 2017 8:45 am1985 views A new invasive clam has made its official debut in North America.COMPASS method points researchers to protein structuresOct 9, 2015 12:30 pm1948 views Searching for the precise, complexly folded three-dimensional structure of a protein can be like hacking through a jungle without a map: a long, intensive process with uncertain direction. University of Illinois researchers developed a new approach, dubbed COMPASS, that points directly to a protein’s likely structure using a combination of advanced molecular spectroscopy techniques, predictive protein-folding algorithms and image recognition software.Massive simulation shows HIV capsid interacting with its environmentJul 19, 2017 8:30 am1946 views It took two years on a supercomputer to simulate 1.2 microseconds in the life of the HIV capsid, a protein cage that shuttles the HIV virus to the nucleus of a human cell. The 64-million-atom simulation offers new insights into how the virus senses its environment and completes its infective cycle.U. of I. alumna Temple Grandin elected to the American Academy of Arts and SciencesApr 21, 2016 9:30 am1928 views Temple Grandin, a University of Illinois alumna and a professor of animal sciences at Colorado State University, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.Leatherback sea turtles choose nest sites carefully, study findsNov 24, 2015 8:15 am1913 views The enormous, solitary leatherback sea turtle spends most of its long life at sea. After hatching and dispersing across the world’s oceans, only the female leatherbacks return to their natal beaches to lay clutches of eggs in the sand. A new study offers fresh insights into their nesting choices and will help efforts to prevent the extinction of this globally endangered giant of the sea, researchers said.Greater prairie chickens cannot persist in Illinois without help, researchers reportFeb 27, 2017 6:00 am1898 views An iconic bird whose booming mating calls once reverberated across “the Prairie State” can survive in Illinois, but only with the help of periodic human interventions, researchers report.Studies link nutrient, academic achievement in pre-adolescent childrenJun 20, 2017 9:00 am1875 views Researchers can look into your eyes to determine whether you’re getting your lutein, a pigment found in green leafy vegetables that is known to accumulate in the brain. Two new studies find that children with higher lutein levels in the eye tend to do better than others on tests of cognition and academic achievement, even after accounting for other factors known to influence academic performance such as IQ, gender, body composition and physical fitness.