blog postsLife SciencesAncient bones, teeth, tell story of strife at CahokiaAug 4, 2016 10:45 am1575 views Dozens of people buried in mass graves in an ancient mound in Cahokia, a pre-Columbian city in Illinois near present-day St. Louis, likely lived in or near Cahokia most of their lives, researchers report in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology. Life SciencesFresh look at burials, mass graves, tells a new story of CahokiaAug 4, 2016 10:30 am1871 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.Life SciencesPhysical SciencesIron catalysts can modify amino acids, peptides to create new drug candidatesAug 1, 2016 9:45 am485 views For medicinal chemists, making tweaks to peptide structures is key to developing new drug candidates. Now, researchers have demonstrated that two iron-containing small-molecule catalysts can help turn certain types of amino acids – the building blocks of peptides and proteins – into an array of potential new forms, even when part of a larger peptide, while preserving a crucial aspect of their chemistry: chirality, or “handedness.”HealthLife SciencesVeterinary MedicineScientists test nanoparticle drug delivery in dogs with osteosarcomaJul 25, 2016 2:00 pm3514 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.AgricultureEngineeringLife SciencesPhysical SciencesMeasure of age in soil nitrogen could help precision agricultureJul 25, 2016 8:00 am1480 views University of Illinois engineers developed a model to calculate the age of nitrogen in corn and soybean fields, which could lead to improved fertilizer application techniques to promote crop growth while reducing leaching.Life SciencesScientists watch as water fleas take over new territoryJul 19, 2016 9:15 am605 views Look into any nutrient-rich pond almost anywhere in the world and you will find Daphnia pulex, a tiny crustacean (also called a water flea) that is a source of food for fish and fascination for scientists. A new study, reported in the journal Molecular Ecology, offers insights into this creature’s ability to disperse and its remarkable success in the wild.Life SciencesPap screenings linked to less cervical cancer in elderly womenJul 7, 2016 7:15 am623 views A new study from the University of Illinois confirms a link between routine Pap smear screenings and a lower risk of developing cervical cancer in women over age 65. However, most American health guidelines discourage women in that age range from receiving screenings unless they have pre-existing risk factors.Life SciencesSocial SciencesStudy: How we explain things influences what we think is rightJul 5, 2016 9:00 am1112 views New research focuses on a fundamental human habit: When trying to explain something (why people give roses for Valentine’s Day, for example), we often focus on the traits of the thing itself (roses are pretty) and not its context (advertisers promote roses). In a new study, researchers found that people who tend to focus on “inherent traits” and ignore context also are more likely to assume that the patterns they see around them are good.HealthLife SciencesVeterinary MedicineReport: A host of common chemicals endanger child brain developmentJul 1, 2016 9:15 am2703 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.EducationLife SciencesVeterinary MedicineWith online games, high school students learn how to rein in disease outbreaksJun 27, 2016 11:00 am703 views High school students investigate Ebola-like outbreaks and administer vaccines through Outbreak!, a new summer course at Illinois that uses online games to encourage critical thinking about fighting infectious diseases. Life SciencesHealthStudy finds brain markers of numeric, verbal and spatial reasoning abilitiesJun 20, 2016 10:00 am1236 views A new study begins to clarify how brain structure and chemistry give rise to specific aspects of what researchers call “fluid intelligence,” the ability to adapt to new situations and to solve problems one has never encountered before.Expert ViewpointsLife SciencesVeterinary MedicineWhen veterinarians become crime scene investigatorsJun 17, 2016 1:45 pm586 views A Minute With...™ veterinary diagnostic laboratory professor Adam SternLife SciencesCurrent diversity pattern of North American mammals a ‘recent’ trend, study findsJun 13, 2016 2:00 pm553 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — It’s called the latitudinal diversity gradient, a phenomenon seen today in most plant and animal species around the world: Biodiversity decreases from the equator to higher latitudes. A new study of fossils representing 63 million of the past 65 million years reveals that – for North American mammals, at least – the modern LDG is the exception rather than the rule. HealthBusinessLife SciencesVeterinary MedicineHuman trials of cancer drug PAC-1 continue with new investmentMay 24, 2016 1:45 pm2655 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.Expert ViewpointsLife SciencesWhy America's aging population needs to think about preventing fallsMay 23, 2016 3:45 pm534 views A Minute With...™ Jacob Sosnoff, professor of kinesiology and community healthLife SciencesStudy links parental depression to brain changes and risk-taking in adolescentsMay 10, 2016 3:15 pm864 views A new study concludes that parental depression contributes to greater brain activity in areas linked to risk taking in adolescent children, likely leading to more risk-taking and rule-breaking behaviors. While previous research has found associations between clinically depressed parents and their teenagers’ risk taking, the new study is the first to find corresponding changes in the adolescents’ brains.CampusHumanitiesLife SciencesPhysical SciencesSocial SciencesSix Illinois professors named Guggenheim FellowsMay 2, 2016 12:15 pm2493 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.HealthLife SciencesFaith-based health promotion program successful with older Latinas, study findsApr 27, 2016 1:15 pm753 views A culturally sensitive lifestyle intervention showed promise at motivating Latinas living in the U.S. to eat better and exercise more by connecting healthy-living behaviors with the lives of saints and prominent religious figures, a new study by University of Illinois kinesiology and community health professor Andiara Schwingel indicates.HealthEngineeringLife SciencesPhysical SciencesVeterinary MedicineShape of tumor may affect whether cells can metastasizeApr 27, 2016 10:45 am2217 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.Life SciencesResearcher studies how animals puncture thingsApr 22, 2016 8:15 am446 views If shooting arrows from a crossbow into cubes of ballistics gelatin doesn’t sound like biological science to you, you’ve got a lot to learn from University of Illinois animal biology professor Philip Anderson, who did just that to answer a fundamental question about how animals use their fangs, claws and tentacles to puncture other animals.AgricultureLife SciencesU. of I. alumna Temple Grandin elected to the American Academy of Arts and SciencesApr 21, 2016 9:30 am1884 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.Life SciencesVocal signals reveal intent to dominate or submit, study findsApr 18, 2016 9:30 am853 views You may not win friends, but a new study finds that you can influence people simply by lowering the pitch of your voice in the first moments of a conversation.Veterinary MedicineLife SciencesStudy links fetal and newborn dolphin deaths to Deepwater Horizon oil spillApr 12, 2016 8:30 am696 views Scientists have finalized a five-year study of newborn and fetal dolphins found stranded on beaches in the northern Gulf of Mexico between 2010 and 2013. Their study, reported in the journal Diseases of Aquatic Organisms, identified substantial differences between fetal and newborn dolphins found stranded inside and outside the areas affected by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.Life SciencesAgricultureStudy suggests commercial bumble bee industry amplified a fungal pathogen of beesApr 4, 2016 2:00 pm1544 views Scientists hoping to explain widespread declines in wild bumble bee populations have conducted the first long-term genetic study of Nosema bombi, a key fungal pathogen of honey bees and bumble bees. Their study found that Nosema infections in large-scale commercial bumble bee pollination operations coincided with infections and declines in wild bumble bees.Life SciencesSocial SciencesRat study reveals long-term effects of adolescent amphetamine abuse on the brainMar 30, 2016 9:15 am855 views A study of rats given regular, high doses of amphetamine finds that those exposed to the drug at an age corresponding to human adolescence experience long-term changes in brain function that persist into adulthood.HealthLife SciencesParents’ binge eating, restrictive feeding practices may be reactions to children’s emotionsMar 30, 2016 9:00 am1048 views A new study of more than 440 parents and their preschoolers offers insight into why some parents who binge eat also may try to restrict their children’s food intake, placing their children at higher risk for unhealthy eating habits and weight problems.HealthLife SciencesPhysical SciencesStructure of protein that forms fibrils in Parkinson's patients could lead to new diagnostic and treatment optionsMar 28, 2016 10:15 am944 views Chemists have identified the complex chemical structure of the protein that stacks together to form fibrils in the brains of Parkinson’s disease patients. Armed with this knowledge, researchers can identify specific targets for diagnosis and treatment.HealthLife SciencesTreating withdrawal symptoms could help cannabis users quit, study findsMar 23, 2016 8:00 am806 views Heavy users of cannabis who experience withdrawal symptoms such as nervousness and cravings when they quit are likely to use again sooner than their peers, a new study finds.HealthLife SciencesStudy: Brain metabolism predicts fluid intelligence in young adultsMar 22, 2016 12:30 pm147 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.Physical SciencesLife SciencesDNA molecules directly interact with each other based on sequence, study findsMar 22, 2016 11:00 am1137 views Proteins play a large role in DNA regulation, but a new study finds that DNA molecules directly interact with one another in a way that’s dependent on the sequence of the DNA and epigenetic factors. This could have implications for how DNA is organized in the cell and even how genes are regulated in different cell types, the researchers say.Physical SciencesLife SciencesIllinois scientists dig deeper to build a better permafrost modelMar 15, 2016 9:30 am396 views Scientists report they have found a way to improve predictions of permafrost area and stability in the northern high latitudes. Their improved model finds that the rate of permafrost decline in recent decades is slower than previously thought.EngineeringLife SciencesPhysical SciencesLight illuminates the way for bio-botsMar 14, 2016 2:00 pm2219 views A new class of miniature biological robots, or bio-bots, has seen the light – and is following where the light shines.Life SciencesPhysical SciencesStudy offers clearest picture yet of how HIV defeats a cellular defenderMar 4, 2016 8:30 am2850 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.Social SciencesLife SciencesBlack and brilliant? A female genius? Not according to RateMyProfessors, study findsMar 3, 2016 1:00 pm519 views An analysis of more than 14 million reviews on RateMyProfessors.com, where students write anonymous reviews of their professors, found that students most often use the words “brilliant” and “genius” to describe male professors and in academic disciplines in which women and African-Americans are underrepresented.Life SciencesStudy links mobile device addiction to depression and anxietyMar 2, 2016 9:30 am15026 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.HealthLife SciencesDrinking more water associated with numerous dietary benefits, study findsFeb 29, 2016 2:15 pm5133 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.Life SciencesStudy: Researchers identify how mental abilities are shaped by individual differences in the brainFeb 25, 2016 9:15 am2071 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.Physical SciencesLife SciencesFive Illinois faculty members named Sloan Research FellowsFeb 23, 2016 9:15 am1789 views Five University of Illinois faculty members received the 2016 Sloan Research Fellowship from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.Life SciencesFungi are at the root of tropical forest diversity – or lack thereof, study findsFeb 22, 2016 12:30 pm882 views The types of beneficial fungi that associate with tree roots can alter the fate of a patch of tropical forest, boosting plant diversity or, conversely, giving one tree species a distinct advantage over many others, researchers report. Life SciencesArtsInsects explode onscreen at this year’s Insect Fear Film Festival – and in real lifeFeb 22, 2016 11:45 am741 views Insects that explode or start fires are a great plot device in a horror film, but they also have (almost) real-life counterparts. "Exploding Arthropods” is the theme for the 2016 Insect Fear Film Festival on Feb. 27 at the University of Illinois.HealthLife SciencesSocial SciencesGraphic images may not scare smokers off cigarettes, says studyFeb 22, 2016 10:00 am827 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.Life SciencesForget butterflies and bees, box like an ant: Study measures speed of trap-jaw ant boxingFeb 10, 2016 11:00 am1467 views Boxer Muhammad Ali famously declared his intent to “float like a butterfly and sting like a bee,” but perhaps boxers should look to another type of insect for inspiration: the trap-jaw ant.Life SciencesStudy: Head shape and genetics augment understanding of rattlesnake speciesJan 27, 2016 1:00 pm519 views Using head shape and genetic analyses, new research challenges the formerly designated subspecies within the western rattlesnake species. These findings have important implications for ecological conservation efforts across the United States and could provide the basis for new species designations.Expert ViewpointsHumanitiesLife SciencesNurturing a market for waste CO2Jan 20, 2016 9:30 am306 views A Minute With...™ Kevin O'Brien, director of the Illinois Sustainable Technology CenterHealthEngineeringLife SciencesPhysical SciencesTiny electronic implants monitor brain injury, then melt awayJan 18, 2016 10:00 am5362 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.AgricultureLife SciencesStudy: Second-generation biofuels can reduce emissionsJan 11, 2016 10:30 am1288 views Second-generation biofuel crops like the perennial grasses Miscanthus and switchgrass can efficiently meet emission reduction goals without significantly displacing cropland used for food production, according to a new study. Researchers from the University of Illinois and collaborators published their findings in the inaugural edition of the journal Nature Energy. The researchers call it the most comprehensive study on the subject to date.HealthLife SciencesOld drugs, new tricks: Medications approved for other uses also have antibiotic actionDec 22, 2015 9:15 am1483 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.Life SciencesAgriculturePhysical SciencesSeven Illinois researchers rank among the world’s most influentialDec 21, 2015 9:15 am8186 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.HealthLife SciencesStudy: Childhood concussions impair brain functionDec 18, 2015 9:30 am1647 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 am2291 views A new study reveals that people with tinnitus who are less bothered by their symptoms use different brain regions when processing emotional information.