blog postsHealthLife SciencesStudy: Brain metabolism predicts fluid intelligence in young adultsMar 22, 2016 12:30 pm165 views A healthy brain is critical to a person's cognitive abilities, but measuring brain health can be a complicated endeavor. A new study reports that healthy brain metabolism corresponds with fluid intelligence – a measure of one's ability to solve unusual or complex problems – in young adults.HealthLife SciencesDrinking more water associated with numerous dietary benefits, study findsFeb 29, 2016 2:15 pm5263 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.HealthLife SciencesSocial SciencesGraphic images may not scare smokers off cigarettes, says studyFeb 22, 2016 10:00 am842 views Images of disease and suffering should move smokers to kick the habit – at least, that’s the thinking behind graphic warning labels used on cigarette packages in much of the world, and maybe someday in the U.S. According to a University of Illinois study, however, those graphic images may not be effective with many people who perceive them as a threat to their freedom, choice or autonomy.EducationBusinessHealthSocial SciencesBeyond the big ads: teaching kids ad literacy and nutrition in grade school classroomsFeb 4, 2016 1:45 pm1201 views The Super Bowl will feature car ads, beer ads, food ads – but probably none for carrots. Most food ads, game time or anytime, are pitching less-healthy fare. Kids are often the target. Do they understand what an ad is? Who made it and why? Advertising professor Michelle Nelson worked with an Illinois school district to develop an advertising literacy curriculum that also promotes healthy eating. HealthEngineeringLife SciencesPhysical SciencesTiny electronic implants monitor brain injury, then melt awayJan 18, 2016 10:00 am5479 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.AgricultureHealthConsumer perception of organic foods affected by food type and where they’re soldJan 14, 2016 9:00 am757 views The organic food industry has grown from fresh produce and grains to snack foods and condiments – from farmers markets to supercenters. Has this new variety in organic products, and the availability of them, affected consumers’ perceptions?Expert ViewpointsHealthPhysical SciencesWhy you should factor driving into your weight loss planJan 8, 2016 10:00 am1037 views A Minute With...™ Sheldon Jacobson, expert on data scienceHealthLife SciencesOld drugs, new tricks: Medications approved for other uses also have antibiotic actionDec 22, 2015 9:15 am1489 views A number of drugs already approved to treat parasitic infections, cancers, infertility and other conditions also show promise as antibiotic agents against staph and tuberculosis infections, according to a new study by University of Illinois chemists and collaborators.HealthSocial SciencesProgram that helps children cope after disasters could benefit refugees, at-risk youthDec 21, 2015 9:00 am406 views A social and emotional skills intervention developed to help children recover from the trauma of natural disasters is being pilot-tested with at-risk youth living in poverty in the U.S. and could be adapted to help young refugees heal their psychological wounds.HealthLife SciencesStudy: Childhood concussions impair brain functionDec 18, 2015 9:30 am1661 views A new study finds that pre-adolescent children who have sustained sports-related concussions have impaired brain function two years following injury.HealthLife SciencesStudy: Emotion processing in the brain changes with tinnitus severityDec 14, 2015 9:30 am2313 views A new study reveals that people with tinnitus who are less bothered by their symptoms use different brain regions when processing emotional information.HealthEngineeringLife SciencesPhysical SciencesPortable device can quickly determine the extent of an eye injuryDec 8, 2015 8:45 am2007 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.HealthDistracted dining? Steer clear of it!Dec 3, 2015 9:00 am1362 views A new University of Illinois study reveals that distracted dining may be as dangerous to your health as distracted driving is to your safety on the highway.HealthLife SciencesNondrug interventions improve quality of life for Chinese cancer patientsNov 17, 2015 10:00 am980 views A meta-analysis of dozens of studies of traditional Chinese medicine and other nonpharmacological interventions meant to improve patients’ quality of life affirms that these approaches, on the whole, help alleviate depression, fatigue, pain, anxiety, insomnia and gastrointestinal problems in Chinese cancer patients.EducationCampusHealthTim Nugent a pioneer in changing life for people with disabilitiesNov 12, 2015 1:15 pm2207 views Tim Nugent, who died Wednesday at the age of 92 in Urbana, Illinois, was a visionary who changed the world for people with disabilities. Starting with a small program at the University of Illinois a few years after World War II – but for years with little support, and often outright opposition – Nugent sought to change both the opportunities for people with disabilities and public attitudes about them.HealthLife SciencesDrugs with multiple targets show promise against myotonic dystrophy type 1Nov 9, 2015 11:15 am1089 views Efforts to treat myotonic dystrophy type 1, the most common form of muscular dystrophy, are in their infancy. In a new study, researchers report they have added new capabilities to an experimental drug agent that previously defeated only one of DM1’s many modes of action. Their retooled compounds interrupt the disease’s pathology in three ways.AgricultureHealthLinks between hunger and health lead to recommendation that doctors screen patients for food insecurityNov 5, 2015 2:00 pm117 views Almost 50 million people in the United States are food insecure – that is, they lack access to adequate food because of limited money or other resources. University of Illinois economist Craig Gundersen and University of Kentucky’s James P. Ziliak examined recent research on food insecurity and its association with poor health, and offer suggestions including that doctors screen for hunger.Social SciencesHealthLife SciencesStudy: Strength of brain connectivity varies with fitness level in older adultsNov 5, 2015 9:45 am1089 views A new study shows that age-related differences in brain health – specifically the strength of connections between different regions of the brain – vary with fitness level in older adults.HealthLife SciencesPeople with MS may be more physically fit than tests indicate, study findsOct 29, 2015 9:15 am952 views Conventional methods of assessing cardiorespiratory fitness and muscular strength among people with multiple sclerosis may underestimate participants’ capabilities, prompting clinicians to prescribe exercise therapies that are less effective than they could be, according to new research by scientists at the University of Illinois.Physical SciencesEngineeringHealthLife SciencesBacterial hole puncher could be new broad-spectrum antibioticOct 27, 2015 11:00 am2395 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.HealthSocial SciencesGrant funds computer simulation to train social work students, cliniciansOct 27, 2015 10:30 am433 views A federal grant of more than $919,000 from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration will fund one new course at the University of Illinois and support training for clinicians at area agencies in conducting early interventions with people who abuse substances.HealthLife SciencesSocial SciencesHealth care, research failing to adapt to US’ growing multiracial populationOct 12, 2015 10:00 am992 views University of Illinois social work professor Karen Tabb Dina found that multiracial youth who switch racial identities over time report being healthier as young adults than their minority peers who maintain consistent racial identities.HealthLife SciencesRebates a cost-effective way to boost healthy eating among low-income people, study findsOct 6, 2015 10:00 am766 views University of Illinois kinesiology and community health professor Ruopeng An evaluates the cost effectiveness and health impact of the USDA's Healthy Incentives rebate program for SNAP recipients. An, who recommends expanding it nationwide to SNAP recipients, finds that it is likely to nudge people to purchase/consume more fruits and vegetables.CampusEngineeringHealthCommittee to identify, recruit founding dean for Carle Illinois College of MedicineSep 30, 2015 10:00 am2687 views A search committee established to find the Carle Illinois College of Medicine’s inaugural dean will begin its work this month with the goal of naming the dean by spring 2016Expert ViewpointsBusinessHealthWhy food insecurity still hasn't decreased in the U.S.Sep 24, 2015 8:45 am425 views A Minute With...™ U. of I. agricultural economist Craig GundersenSocial SciencesHealthLife SciencesFeeling anxious? Check your orbitofrontal cortex and cultivate your optimism, study suggestsSep 22, 2015 10:00 am2341 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.HealthLife SciencesMaternal protein deficiency during pregnancy ‘memorized’ by fetal muscle cellsSep 18, 2015 8:45 am1728 views A new study has uncovered the genetic processes that link insufficient protein consumption during pregnancy with the development of muscle problems in mothers and their male offspring.HealthEngineeringLife SciencesPhysical SciencesSurgical probe seeks out where cancer ends and healthy tissue beginsSep 15, 2015 12:00 pm3035 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.HealthDiet beverage drinkers compensate by eating unhealthy food, study findsSep 11, 2015 12:00 am3564 views Study finds that people who drink diet beverages may compensate by eating additional food that is higher in fat, cholesterol and sodium.HealthLife SciencesGenome mining effort discovers 19 new natural products in four yearsSep 8, 2015 9:30 am2248 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.Physical SciencesEngineeringHealthLife SciencesNew synthetic tumor environments make cancer research more realisticAug 27, 2015 1:00 pm861 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Tumors are notoriously difficult to study in their natural habitat – body tissues – but a new synthetic tissue environment may give cancer researchers the next-best look at tumor growth and behavior.HealthLife SciencesStudy links physical activity to greater mental flexibility in older adultsAug 24, 2015 8:00 am391 views One day soon, doctors may be able to determine how physically active you are simply by imaging your brain. Studies have shown that physically fit people tend to have larger brain volumes and more intact white matter than their less-fit peers. Now a new study reveals that older adults who regularly engage in moderate to vigorous physical activity have more variable brain activity at rest than those who don’t. This variability is associated with better cognitive performance, the researchers say.HealthLife SciencesThe nonagenarian athlete: Researchers study Olga Kotelko's brainAug 17, 2015 9:00 am399 views In the summer of 2012, Olga Kotelko, a 93-year-old Canadian track-and-field athlete with more than 30 world records in her age group, visited the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois and submitted to an in-depth analysis of her brain.HealthLife SciencesStudy links cardiorespiratory fitness, thinner gray matter and better math skills in kidsAug 12, 2015 10:45 am458 views A new study reveals that 9- and 10-year-old children who are aerobically fit tend to have significantly thinner gray matter than their “lower-fit” peers. Thinning of the outermost layer of brain cells in the cerebrum is associated with better mathematics performance, researchers report in the journal PLOS ONE.HealthLife SciencesSimple intervention can moderate anti-vaccination beliefs, study findsAug 3, 2015 9:30 am271 views It might not be possible to convince someone who believes that vaccines cause autism that they don’t. Telling skeptics that their belief is not scientifically supported often backfires and strengthens, rather than weakens, their anti-vaccine views. But researchers say they have found a way to overcome some of the most entrenched anti-vaccine attitudes: Remind the skeptics – with words and images – why vaccines exist.HealthSocial SciencesParents' health literacy affects child weight-loss tactics, study findsJul 28, 2015 11:30 am56 views Parents who have low health literacy are less likely to choose government-recommended weight-loss strategies, such as increasing physical activity or serving more fruits and vegetables, to help their children control their weight than parents who are better able to understand basic health-related information, a new study suggests.HealthSocial SciencesWomen's sexual risk-taking in tourism focus of new studyJul 22, 2015 2:00 pm236 views Relaxing beach vacations are perfect for sexual experimentation with a steady partner, while group tours and sightseeing trips are the ultimate contexts for casual sex with acquaintances or strangers, women said in a new survey.HealthLife SciencesMowing dry detention basins makes mosquito problems worse, team findsJul 22, 2015 8:00 am235 views A study of the West Nile virus risk associated with “dry” water-detention basins in central Illinois took an unexpected turn when land managers started mowing the basins. The mowing of wetland plants in basins that failed to drain properly led to a boom in populations of Culex pipiens mosquitoes, which can carry and transmit the deadly virus, researchers report.HealthEducationSocial SciencesDads' parenting of children with autism improves moms' mental healthJul 14, 2015 11:30 am159 views Fathers who read to their infants with autism and take active roles in caregiving activities not only promote healthy development in their children, they boost moms’ mental health too, new research suggests.Life SciencesEngineeringHealthWhat's in your landscape? Plants can alter West Nile virus riskJul 1, 2015 10:45 am355 views A new study looks at how leaf litter in water influences the abundance of Culex pipiens mosquitoes, which can transmit West Nile virus to humans, domestic animals, birds and other wildlife.HealthLife SciencesStudy: Restaurant meals can be as bad for your waistline as fast food isJul 1, 2015 9:00 am635 views When Americans go out to eat, either at a fast-food outlet or a full-service restaurant, they consume, on average, about 200 more calories a day than when they stay home for meals, a new study reports. They also take in more fat, saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium than those who prepare and eat their meals at home.HealthEngineeringLife SciencesPhysical SciencesNew technology looks into the eye and brings cells into focusJun 22, 2015 11:00 am271 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Eye doctors soon could use computing power to help them see individual cells in the back of a patient’s eye, thanks to imaging technology developed by engineers at the University of Illinois. Such detailed pictures of the cells, blood vessels and nerves at the back of the eye could enable earlier diagnosis and better treatment for degenerative eye and neurological diseases.HealthEngineeringLife SciencesPhysical SciencesBiomedical breakthrough: Carbon nanoparticles you can make at homeJun 18, 2015 4:15 pm586 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Researchers have found an easy way to produce carbon nanoparticles that are small enough to evade the body’s immune system, reflect light in the near-infrared range for easy detection, and carry payloads of pharmaceutical drugs to targeted tissues.Veterinary MedicineHealthLife SciencesDrug trials in pet dogs with cancer may speed advances in human oncologyJun 16, 2015 2:00 pm586 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — 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.HealthSocial SciencesMany older adults going online to discuss, learn about sexJun 10, 2015 10:00 am340 views Forget those ageist stereotypes that senior citizens have little interest in sex and are befuddled by technology. Many older adults are going online to dish about the joys of sex and swap advice about keeping their mojos working well into their twilight years, a new study found.Expert ViewpointsHealthLife Sciences100-year-old trans fat pioneer celebrates news of an FDA banJun 4, 2015 1:00 pm2182 views A Minute With™... Fred Kummerow, trans fat expertPhysical SciencesEngineeringHealthLife SciencesGenome-editing proteins seek and find with a slide and a hopJun 1, 2015 2:00 pm165 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — 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.HealthLife SciencesPhysical SciencesNew anti-microbial compounds evade resistance with less toxicityJun 1, 2015 1:00 pm57 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — 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.HealthLife SciencesOmega-3 fatty acids enhance cognitive flexibility in at-risk older adultsMay 19, 2015 1:00 pm206 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — 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.EducationHealthNew mobile app expands the outreach of SAWBO videosMay 15, 2015 12:30 pm13 views Whether the need is to educate people in West Africa about preventing Ebola or to train farmers in Latin America on preventing postharvest loss, Scientific Animations without Borders has an app – and an animated video – for that.