blog postsTheory: Flexibility is at the heart of human intelligenceNov 20, 2017 8:30 am1820 views Centuries of study have yielded many theories about how the brain gives rise to human intelligence. A new theory makes the case that the brain’s dynamic properties – how it is wired but also how that wiring shifts in response to changing intellectual demands – are the best predictors of intelligence in the human brain.Carefully crafted light pulses control neuron activityNov 17, 2017 9:45 am560 views Specially tailored, ultrafast pulses of light can trigger neurons to fire and could one day help patients with light-sensitive circadian or mood problems, according to a new study in mice at the University of Illinois.Shape-shifting agent targets harmful bacteria in the stomachNov 13, 2017 2:00 pm755 views A new shape-shifting polymer can target and kill Helicobacter pylori bacteria in the stomach without killing helpful bacteria in the gut.U. of I. program to help provide mental health services to high-need areas in IllinoisNov 9, 2017 3:15 pm509 views A newly funded U. of I. initiative is expanding the number of behavioral health providers available to care for residents in medically underserved and rural communities.Study: Serving water with school lunches could prevent child, adult obesityNov 7, 2017 8:00 am1992 views Encouraging children to drink water with their school lunches could prevent more than half a million cases of child obesity and overweight -- and trim the medical and societal costs by more than $13 billion, a new study suggests.Stem cells from muscle could address diabetes-related circulation problemsNov 6, 2017 10:45 am1314 views Stem cells taken from muscle tissue could promote better blood flow in patients with diabetes who develop peripheral artery disease, a painful complication that can require surgery or lead to amputation.Stemlike cells at tumor perimeter promote new blood vessels to feed tumor growthOct 25, 2017 1:00 pm609 views Stemlike cells at the edge of melanoma tumors secrete factors to promote blood-vessel growth, allowing the cancer to grow and spread.U. of I. nutrition scientist Sharon Donovan elected to National Academy of MedicineOct 16, 2017 9:00 am725 views Sharon M. Donovan, a professor of nutrition and the Melissa M. Noel Endowed Chair in Nutrition and Health at the University of Illinois, was elected today (Oct. 16) to the National Academy of Medicine.Carle Illinois College of Medicine receives preliminary accreditationOct 16, 2017 12:00 am3811 views The Carle Illinois College of Medicine, the first engineering-based medical school, has received preliminary acreditation from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education and is recruiting students for its first class. Cholesterol byproduct hijacks immune cells, lets breast cancer spreadOct 12, 2017 9:30 am859 views A cholesterol byproduct facilitates breast cancer’s spread by hijacking immune cells, a new University of Illinois study found.Study: Biomarkers as predictive of sepsis as lengthy patient monitoringSep 7, 2017 8:15 am2272 views One measurement of key biomarkers in blood that characterize sepsis can give physicians as much information as hours of monitoring symptoms, a new study found.Nutrition has benefits for brain network organization, new research findsSep 7, 2017 8:00 am3928 views A new study found that monounsaturated fatty acids are linked to general intelligence and the organization of the brain’s attention network.Study examines dietary fats’ impact on healthy, obese adultsAug 30, 2017 9:30 am1022 views Metabolically healthy obese adults consuming a diet high in unsaturated fat and low in saturated fat may be able to decrease their total cholesterol by 10 points, a new University of Illinois study suggests.Ringing in ears keeps brain more at attention, less at rest, study findsAug 24, 2017 11:15 am4575 views Tinnitus, a chronic ringing or buzzing in the ears, has eluded medical treatment and scientific understanding. A new study by University of Illinois researchers found that chronic tinnitus is associated with changes in certain networks in the brain, and furthermore, those changes cause the brain to stay more at attention and less at rest.Paper: Clinical signs best predictors of mortality in critically ill calvesAug 18, 2017 9:45 am957 views Clinical signs may be better predictors of mortality in neonatal calves with diarrhea than blood pH levels and other laboratory findings, suggests a new study co-written by University of Illinois researcher Peter D. Constable.Slowing dangerous bacteria may be more effective than killing them, researchers reportAug 17, 2017 9:45 am1101 views A new study suggests it may be possible to slow dangerous infections by manipulating the messages microbes send to one another, allowing the body to defeat an infection without causing the bacteria to develop resistance to the treatment.Increased risk of suicide, mental health conditions linked to sexual assault victimizationAug 8, 2017 4:00 pm785 views An analysis of nearly 200 independent studies involving more than 230,000 adult participants finds that having been sexually assaulted is associated with significantly increased risk of anxiety, depression, suicidality, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, obsessive-compulsive disorder and bipolar disorder.Media portrayals of pregnant women, new moms unrealistic, study saysAug 7, 2017 1:30 pm543 views Media portrayals of pregnant and postpartum women tend to be unrealistic, and their focus on women's bodies may may be detrimental to women and their infants, suggests a new study by University of Illinois scholar Toni Liechty.Cognitive cross-training enhances learning, study findsJul 25, 2017 9:00 am1040 views Just as athletes cross-train to improve physical skills, those wanting to enhance cognitive skills can benefit from multiple ways of exercising the brain, according to a comprehensive new study from University of Illinois researchers.Physical activity could combat fatigue, cognitive decline in cancer survivorsJul 25, 2017 8:00 am887 views A new study indicates that cancer patients and survivors have a ready weapon against fatigue and “chemo brain”: a brisk walk.Lutein may counter cognitive aging, study findsJul 24, 2017 12:45 pm3460 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.Massive simulation shows HIV capsid interacting with its environmentJul 19, 2017 8:30 am2517 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.Study: Omega-3 fatty acids fight inflammation via cannabinoidsJul 18, 2017 10:00 am3131 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. Quick test finds signs of sepsis in a single drop of bloodJul 3, 2017 7:30 am4518 views A new portable device can quickly find markers of deadly, unpredictable sepsis infection from a single drop of blood.Paper: New mothers abused by partners at greater risk of suicidal thoughtsJun 30, 2017 9:15 am371 views New mothers who are in abusive relationships are three times more likely to have suicidal thoughts, a new study suggests. Conducted with women in Brazil, the study is among a growing body of research to establish a link between suicidality and intimate partner violence among postpartum women in low- or middle-income countries.Study identifies key player in heart enlargementJun 27, 2017 10:15 am1174 views The heart is a dynamic muscle that grows and shrinks in response to stressors such as exercise and disease. The secret to its malleability lies in individual cells, which get bigger or smaller depending on the heart’s needs. A new study of mouse hearts reveals a previously unknown mechanism by which heart cells control their size by ramping up or stopping the production of a key factor called PABPC1. The findings, reported in the journal eLife, could assist in the development of therapeutics that promote healthy heart growth and prevent disease.Studies link nutrient, academic achievement in pre-adolescent childrenJun 20, 2017 9:00 am2193 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.Herbs, spices on vegetables may increase their appeal to men, young adultsJun 2, 2017 9:30 am486 views Adults who don’t routinely eat vegetables for lunch -- especially men and younger adults -- may be more likely to consume them if the vegetables are seasoned, University of Illinois researchers found in a new study of more than 530 adults.Fred A. Kummerow, successful crusader against trans fats, dies at 102Jun 1, 2017 2:45 pm1331 views Fred A. Kummerow, a pioneer in the study of dietary contributors to heart disease who led a decades-long crusade to remove trans fats from the food supply, died Wednesday, May 31, at his home in Urbana, Illinois. He was 102.Chemical array draws out malignant cells to guide individualized cancer treatmentMay 26, 2017 11:00 am813 views Melanoma is a particularly difficult cancer to treat once it has metastasized, spreading throughout the body. University of Illinois researchers are using chemistry to find the deadly, elusive malignant cells within a melanoma tumor that hold the potential to spread.Sensors detect disease markers in breathMay 18, 2017 11:45 am1899 views A small, thin square of an organic plastic that can detect disease markers in breath or toxins in a building’s air could soon be the basis of portable, disposable sensor devices. By riddling the thin plastic films with pores, University of Illinois researchers made the devices sensitive enough to detect at levels that are far too low to smell, yet are important to human health.Studies link healthy brain aging to omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the bloodMay 18, 2017 8:30 am2447 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.Study: Higher mass transit use associated with lower obesity ratesMay 16, 2017 10:30 am2841 views Healthy mass transit systems could contribute to healthier communities, according to a new study by University of Illinois researchers that determined higher mass transit use was correlated with lower obesity rates in counties across the United States.‘Molecular prosthetics’ can replace missing proteins to treat diseaseMay 11, 2017 1:00 pm1634 views Researchers have demonstrated that a small molecule can transport iron in human cells and live animals when proteins that normally do the same job are missing, a condition that often causes severe anemia in patients. Such “molecular prosthetics” might treat a host of incurable diseases caused by protein deficiencies, such as anemias, cystic fibrosis or certain types of heart disease.Antibiotic breakthrough: Team discovers how to overcome gram-negative bacterial defensesMay 10, 2017 12:00 pm2580 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.Carle Illinois College of Medicine announces inaugural facultyMay 3, 2017 9:15 am5130 views The Carle Illinois College of Medicine has announced nearly 100 inaugural faculty members.Study offers new insight into powerful inflammatory regulatorMay 1, 2017 2:00 pm416 views A new study in mice reveals how a protein called Brd4 boosts the inflammatory response – for better and for worse, depending on the ailment. The study is the first to show that this protein, while problematic in some circumstances, also can protect the body from infection.Brain tissue structure could explain link between fitness and memoryApr 28, 2017 9:15 am1684 views Studies have suggested a link between fitness and memory, but researchers have struggled to find the mechanism that links them. A new study by University of Illinois researchers found that the key may lie in the microstructure of the hippocampus, a region in the middle of the brain involved in memory processes.Paper: Nutrition label readers favor food quality over quantityApr 18, 2017 8:45 am1287 views Although nutrition-label users eat roughly the same amount of food as less-discerning diners, the two groups diverge when it comes to the quality of the food they eat, says a new paper co-written by Brenna Ellison, a professor of agriculture and consumer economics at Illinois and an expert in consumer food preferences and behaviors.Science at Illinois feeds the world, furthers health, protects the planetApr 17, 2017 8:30 am1172 views Illinois scientists are helping power plants run more efficiently, designing better, longer-lasting batteries, finding new ways to target cancerous tumors, and developing robots that can aid in construction, in agricultural fields and even inside the human body.Study links brain structure, anxiety and negative bias in healthy adultsApr 13, 2017 10:30 am1361 views Healthy college students who have a relatively small inferior frontal cortex – a brain region behind the temples that helps regulate thoughts and emotions – are more likely than others to suffer from anxiety, a new study finds. They also tend to view neutral or even positive events in a negative light, researchers report.Nanopores could map small changes in DNA that signal big shifts in cancerApr 12, 2017 10:00 am1131 views Detecting cancer early, just as changes are beginning in DNA, could enhance diagnosis and treatment as well as further our understanding of the disease. A new study by University of Illinois researchers describes a method to detect, count and map tiny additions to DNA called methylations, which can be a warning sign of cancer, with unprecedented resolution.Study of sleep apps finds room for improvementApr 12, 2017 8:30 am1018 views An analysis of 35 popular phone-based sleep apps finds that while most help users set sleep-related goals and track and manage their sleep, few make use of other methods known to help the chronically sleep-deprived.CRISPR mines bacterial genome for hidden pharmaceutical treasureApr 10, 2017 10:00 am1171 views In the fight against disease, many weapons in the medicinal arsenal have been plundered from bacteria themselves. Using CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technology, researchers have now uncovered even more potential treasure hidden in silent genes.Tailored sexual health messages urgently needed for young female tourists, expert saysMar 21, 2017 8:45 am1351 views With both tourism and casual “hookup” sex on the rise among college-age adults, there’s an urgent need for sexual health campaigns aimed at young female tourists who are sexual risk-takers, University of Illinois scholar Liza Berdychevsky suggests.Study links sulfide-producing bacteria and colon cancer in African-AmericansMar 15, 2017 9:15 am709 views A new study reveals that African-Americans have measurable differences in the number and type of bacteria that live in the colon – and those differences are related to their higher-than-average colon cancer risk.Study: Changing the environment within bone marrow alters blood cell developmentFeb 22, 2017 7:30 am849 views Researchers at the University of Illinois report they can alter blood cell development through the use of biomaterials designed to mimic characteristics of the bone marrow.Tumor-targeting system uses cancer’s own mechanisms to betray its locationFeb 14, 2017 9:00 am3064 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.Cultural, linguistic gaps may deter Latinos from joining health programsFeb 6, 2017 12:30 pm643 views The success of community health interventions targeting Latinos could be hindered by linguistic and cultural gaps unless researchers recognize the diversity that exists among Latino populations and work closely with community members to adapt programming accordingly, a new study led by University of Illinois researchers suggests.Study tallies extra calories Americans consume in their coffee, teaJan 30, 2017 9:15 am2961 views A new analysis reveals just how much Americans are adding to their caloric intake by spicing up or sweetening their coffee or tea.