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  • University of Illinois graduate student Marc Cook, left, kinesiology and community health professor Jeffrey Woods and their colleagues found that voluntary exercise on an exercise wheel reduced colitis symptoms and pro-inflammatory gene expression in a mouse model of colitis. Forced (moderate) running on a treadmill had the opposite effect.

    Team explores the effects of exercise on ulcerative colitis

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - A new study indicates that aerobic exercise can lessen - or worsen - the symptoms of inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis, depending on the circumstances under which the exercise is undertaken.

  • Social work professor Venera Bekteshi has found that a bout with cancer can be the catalyst for growth and healing in mother-daughter relationships.

    Cancer and treatment side effect: Stronger mother-daughter ties

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - A bout with cancer can be the catalyst for growth and healing in mother-daughter relationships, suggests a new study by a University of Illinois social work professor.

  • University of Illinois chemistry professor Paul Hergenrother, left, and veterinary clinical medicine professor Tim Fan led a study of an anti-cancer compound in pet dogs that is now headed for human clinical trials.

    Cancer drug tested in pet dogs is now bound for human trials

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Thanks to a new $2 million investment, a drug that spurs cancer cells to self-destruct while sparing healthy cells is on the road to human clinical trials. The compound, known as PAC-1, has so far proven safe and has promising anti-cancer effects in cell culture, in mouse models of cancer and in pet dogs with spontaneously occurring lymphomas and osteosarcomas.

  • Fred Kummerow, a professor of comparative biosciences at the University of Illinois, describes his work, which contradicts commonly held notions about the role of dietary cholesterol.

    Scientist, 98, challenges orthodoxy on causes of heart disease

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Twenty years ago, at the age of 78, Fred A. Kummerow retired from the University of Illinois. That didn't mean his research days were behind him, however. Now in a wheelchair most of the time, Kummerow still maintains a laboratory on campus where he and his colleagues chip away at the basic assumptions that guide most research into the causes of heart disease. (Watch a video about his life and work.)

  • A recent study conducted by Illinois kinesiology and community health professor Ruopeng An shows that although the increase in obesity prevalence among adults may be slowing, it continues to increase, especially in those with high body mass index measures.

    New evidence shows increase in obesity may be slowing, but not by much

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - In his 2014 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama referred to an August 2013 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study that showed a decline in the obesity rate among low-income preschool children, saying, "Michelle's Let's Move! partnership with schools, businesses and local leaders has helped bring down childhood obesity rates for the first time in 30 years, and that's an achievement that will improve lives and reduce health care costs for decades to come."

  • Older adults' beliefs about what causes their high blood pressure may vary according to where they live and other demographic variables, a new study finds. Elise A.G. Duwe, an M.D./Ph.D. candidate in the Medical Scholars Program, led the study. Daniel G. Morrow, a faculty member in the College of Education and the Beckman Institute, was a co-author.

    Study looks at what older people think causes hypertension

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Older adults with hypertension may have dramatically different perceptions about the cause of their condition depending upon where they live, their ethnicity and other demographic characteristics, suggests new research that involved older adults in Arizona and Illinois.

  • Fred Kummerow, a professor of comparative biosciences at the University of Illinois, reports that LDL cholesterol results from a simple dietary deficiency.

    'Bad cholesterol' indicates an amino acid deficiency, researcher says

    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.

  • University of Illinois neuroscience professor Aron Barbey led a study that found a gene variant associated with improved recovery from traumatic brain injury.

    One gene influences recovery from traumatic brain injury

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Researchers report that one tiny variation in the sequence of a gene may cause some people to be more impaired by traumatic brain injury (TBI) than others with comparable wounds.

  • L. Brian Stauffer Many of the behavioral and cognitive characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorders can be identified when children are as young as age 2, suggests a new study by alumna Laurie M. Jeans, right, and Rosa Milagros Santos Gilbertz, a faculty member in the College of Education.

    Autism signs can be identified earlier than formerly thought, study suggests

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Many characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorders can be identified by the age of 2 and are predictive of which children will be diagnosed with these disorders when they're older, a new study suggests.

  • Thin, soft stick-on patches that stretch and move with the skin incorporate commercial, off-the-shelf chip-based electronics for sophisticated wireless health monitoring. The new device was developed by John A. Rogers of Illinois and Yonggang Huang of Northwestern University.

    Off the shelf, on the skin: Stick-on electronic patches for health monitoring

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Wearing a fitness tracker on your wrist or clipped to your belt is so 2013. Engineers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Northwestern University have demonstrated thin, soft stick-on patches that stretch and move with the skin and incorporate commercial, off-the-shelf chip-based electronics for sophisticated wireless health monitoring.

  • Professor Sheldon H. Jacobson led a study that found that the pediatric vaccine market is affected by a physician's perceptions of cost, more than actual cost.

    Study recalculates cost of combination vaccines

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - One of the most popular vaccine brands for children may not be the most cost-effective choice. And doctors may be overlooking some cost factors when choosing vaccines, driving the market toward what is actually a more expensive option, according to a new study by University of Illinois researchers.

  • Professor Bruce Schatz and colleagues developed a smartphone app, GaitTrack, which monitors chronic heart and lung patients by analyzing the way they walk.

    GaitTrack app makes cellphone a medical monitor for heart and lung patients

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - By simply carrying around their cellphones, patients who suffer from chronic disease could soon have an accurate health monitor that warns their doctors when their symptoms worsen.

  • Bruce M. Chassy

    Labeling genetically engineered food

    A Minute With™... Bruce M. Chassy, a professor emeritus of food science and human nutrition

  • Craig Gundersen

    Solving food insecurity problems among older Americans

    A Minute With™... Craig Gundersen, the University of Illinois Soybean Industry Endowed Professor of Agricultural Strategy

  • Topography of a red blood cell as measured by the SLIM optical technique. Though the cell keeps its shape as it ages, the membrane becomes less flexible.

    Banked blood grows stiffer with age, study finds

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - It may look like fresh blood and flow like fresh blood, but the longer blood is stored, the less it can carry oxygen into the tiny microcapillaries of the body, says a new study from University of Illinois researchers.

  • SOCIAL STUDIES: New research by Nicole Llewellyn and Karen Rudolph suggests that children's gender, social orientation and sensitivity to social rewards and punishments may determine their responses to peer victimization. Llewellyn is a doctoral candidate and Rudolph is a faculty member, both in the department of psychology.

    Gender, social orientation affect children's reactions to bullying

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - A new study of nearly 600 third-graders may explain why some children who experience peer victimization develop problems with depression or aggression while other children who also get bullied have healthy emotional and social adjustment.

  • From left, postdoctoral research associate Henna Muzaffar, Extension specialist Jane Scherer and professor Karen Chapman-Novakofski  compared the efficacy of interactive and passive online media at helping teens with diabetes lead healthier lives.

    Health lessons provided by interactive media easier for youth to swallow

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Lecturing teens to eat their vegetables and get more exercise may not motivate them to adopt healthier habits, as many parents know. But will members of the "Facebook generation" learn to eat their broccoli and take more walks if the messages come from electronic games and peers in videos instead?

  • Viewing 3-D videos of tree-lined residential streets significantly aids in people's recovery from stressful events, according to research by lecturer Bin Jiang (right) and professor William C. Sullivan, both in the department of landscape architecture. (Not pictured) Linda Larsen, an instructor of English, and landscape architecture graduate student Dongying Li were co-authors on a paper about the study.

    Watching 3-D videos of trees helps people recover from stress, researchers say

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Writers, outdoor enthusiasts and leaf-peeping tourists have known for centuries that nature has restorative powers that reduce feelings of stress and promote a sense of tranquility.

  • University of Illinois kinesiology and community health professor Ruopeng An and his colleagues found that a majority of U.S. adults fail to meet recommended intakes of 10 key nutrients, with disabled adults faring worst.

    Study: Many in U.S. have poor nutrition, with the disabled doing worst

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - A new study finds that most U.S. adults fail to meet recommended daily levels of 10 key nutrients, and those with disabilities have even worse nutrition than average.

  • Social support may be critical to some women's weight-loss and maintenance efforts, according to a new study by (from left) graduate researcher Catherine J. Metzgar and professor Sharon M. Nickols-Richardson, both in the department of food science and human nutrition.

    Social support critical to women's weight-loss efforts, study finds

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Being accountable to another person and receiving social support may be vital in motivating some women to lose weight and keep it off, a new study says.

  • A new study by Karen Rudolph indicates that boys and girls who mature early are at higher risk of several adverse outcomes, including depression. Rudolph is a professor of psychology at Illinois.

    Teens who mature early at greater risk of depression, study says

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Youth who enter puberty ahead of their peers are at heightened risk of depression, although the disease develops differently in girls than in boys, a new study suggests.

  • Women with symptoms of serious mental illness are 40 percent less likely to receive routine cancer screenings, according to new research by Xiaoling Xiang, a doctoral candidate in social work.

    Women with serious mental illness less likely to receive cancer screenings

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Women with symptoms of serious mental illness are significantly less likely to receive three routine cancer screenings - Pap tests, mammograms and clinical breast exams - than women in the general population, despite being at elevated risk for medical comorbidities and early death, a new study indicates.

  • Illinois professor Kyekyoon "Kevin" Kim, graduate student Elizabeth Joachim and research scientist Hyungsoo Choi developed tiny gelatin nanoparticles that can carry medication to the brain, which could lead to longer treatment windows for stroke patients.

    Getting into your head: Gelatin nanoparticles could deliver drugs to the brain

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Stroke victims could have more time to seek treatment that could reduce harmful effects on the brain, thanks to tiny blobs of gelatin that could deliver the medication to the brain noninvasively.

  • Obesity and smoking add significantly to Americans' health care costs, researchers found, and the overall trend is upward.

    Smokers, the obese, have markedly higher health care costs than peers

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - A new study finds that smokers and the obese ring up substantially higher annual health care costs than their nonsmoking, non-obese peers. The added costs are highest among women, non-Hispanic whites and older adults, the study reports.

  • $2 million Mellon grant to fund three new humanities research groups

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities has been awarded a $2,050,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to create research groups in three emerging areas in the humanities.

  • How big data and engineering will change global health care

    We are right now in the early stages of a revolutionary shift from a medical education and delivery model still rooted in the 19th century to one that will fully integrate the rapid advances of technology with human health improvement.

  • University of Illinois chemistry professor Paul Hergenrother, left, and veterinary clinical medicine professor Timothy Fan tested an anti-cancer compound in pet dogs that will be used in human clinical trials.

    Cancer drug first tested in pet dogs begins human trials

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - A new drug that prompts cancer cells to self-destruct while sparing healthy cells is now entering phase I clinical trials in humans. The drug, called PAC-1, first showed promise in the treatment of pet dogs with spontaneously occurring cancers, and is still in clinical trials in dogs with osteosarcoma.

  • Breast tissue is computationally stained using data from infrared imaging without actually staining the tissue, enabling multiple stains on the same sample. From left, the image shows a Hematoxylin and Eosin stain (pink-blue), molecular staining for epithelial cells (brown color) and Masson's trichrome(blue, red at right).

    New technique paints tissue samples with light

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - One infrared scan can give pathologists a window into the structures and molecules inside tissues and cells, enabling fast and broad diagnostic assessments, thanks to an imaging technique developed by University of Illinois researchers and clinical partners.

  • In a study of mice, comparative biosciences professor Jodi Flaws and her colleagues linked BPA exposure during pregnancy to reproductive problems in the next three generations.

    BPA exposure in pregnant mice affects fertility in three generations

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - When scientists exposed pregnant mice to levels of bisphenol A equivalent to those considered safe in humans, three generations of female mouse offspring experienced significant reproductive problems, including declines in fertility, sexual maturity and pregnancy success, the scientists report in the journal Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology.

  • New research by doctoral candidate Yunxian (Fureya) Liu and nutrition professor William Helferich suggests that soy's breast cancer preventive properties may stem from eating soy-based whole foods across the lifespan.

    Gene mapping reveals soy's dynamic, differing roles in breast cancer

    Scientists have mapped the human genes triggered by the phytonutrients in soy, revealing the complex role the legume plays in both preventing and advancing breast cancer.

  • Advances in cognitive neuroscience should inform the treatment of traumatic brain injuries, says University of Illinois neuroscience professor Aron Barbey.

    Report: Brain-injured patients need therapies based on cognitive neuroscience

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Patients with traumatic brain injuries are not benefiting from recent advances in cognitive neuroscience research – and they should be, scientists report in a special issue of Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences.

  • Health issues in Africa to be focus of conference

    Infectious disease expert Mosoka P. Fallah, one of five “Ebola fighters” honored as a  Person of the Year by Time in 2014, will be among the speakers at an upcoming symposium at the University of Illinois. “Health in Africa and the Post-2015 Millennium Development Agenda,” May 20-22, will explore the health threats and opportunities facing sub-Saharan Africa.

  • Illinois chemists developed a method to make tiny silicone microspheres using misting technology found in household humidifiers. The spheres could have applications in targeted medicine and imaging.

    Tiny silicone spheres come out of the mist

    Technology in common household humidifiers could enable the next wave of high-tech medical imaging and targeted medicine, thanks to a new method for making tiny silicone microspheres developed by chemists at the University of Illinois.

  • Pakpoom Buabthong, a senior in physics, displays the Deployer cellphone app, which enables users to access and share animated educational videos created by Scientific Animations without Borders. Pictured with Buabthong are SAWBO co-founders Julia Bello-Bravo and Barry Pittendrigh.

    New mobile app expands the outreach of SAWBO videos

    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.

  • M.D./Ph.D. student Marta Zamroziewicz, left, Carle Hospital-Beckman Institute postdoctoral fellow Rachael Rubin and their colleagues looked at the role of nutrition in brain function in elderly adults who were at risk of developing late-onset Alzheimers disease.

    Omega-3 fatty acids enhance cognitive flexibility in at-risk older adults

    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.

  • llinois chemistry professor Martin Burke led a research team that found derivatives of a widely used but highly toxic antifungal drug. The new compounds are less toxic yet evade resistance.

    New anti-microbial compounds evade resistance with less toxicity

    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.

  • Pictured, from left: Professor Huimin Zhao, professor Charles Schroeder, graduate students Luke Cuculis and Zhanar Abil.

    Genome-editing proteins seek and find with a slide and a hop

    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.

  • Fred Kummerow

    100-year-old trans fat pioneer celebrates news of an FDA ban

    A Minute With™... Fred Kummerow, trans fat expert

  • Websites geared toward older adults are providing this population with new opportunities to discuss and explore its sexuality, according to a netnography co-written by Liza Berdychevsky, a professor of recreation, sport and tourism.

    Many older adults going online to discuss, learn about sex

    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.

  • University of Illinois veterinary clinical medicine professor Timothy Fan, pictured here with his dog, Ember, describes the advantages of testing potential cancer therapies on pet dogs with spontaneously occurring cancers.

    Drug trials in pet dogs with cancer may speed advances in human oncology

    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.

  • University of Illinois postdoctoral researcher Prabuddha Mukherjee, left, bioengineering professors Rohit Bhargava and Dipanjan Pan, and postdoctoral researcher Santosh Misra report the development of a new class of carbon nanoparticles for biomedical use.

    Biomedical breakthrough: Carbon nanoparticles you can make at home

    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.

  • Dr. Stephen Boppart led a team that developed a new medical imaging device that can see individual cells in the back of the eye to better diagnose and track disease. From left: postdoctoral researcher Yuan-Zhi Liu, graduate student Fredrick A. South, and professor Stephen Boppart.

    New technology looks into the eye and brings cells into focus

    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.

  • University of Illinois kinesiology and community health professor Ruopeng An used U.S. national data to determine the nutritional effects of eating meals outside the home.

    Study: Restaurant meals can be as bad for your waistline as fast food is

    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.

  • Researchers, from left, Ephantus Muturi, Allison Gardner and Brian Allan found that different types of leaf litter in water had different effects on the abundance of Culex pipiens mosquitoes, which can carry West Nile virus.

    What's in your landscape? Plants can alter West Nile virus risk

    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.

  • Photo of University of Illinois alumnus Daniel J. Laxman found that fathers who read to their children with autism also boosted the mental health of the children's mothers. Co-authors on the study were special education professor Rosa Milagros Santos Gilbertz of Illinois, W. Justin Dyer of Brigham Young University, and Laurie M. Jeans of St. Ambrose University.

    Dads' parenting of children with autism improves moms' mental health

    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.

  • Mowing dry detention basins makes mosquito problems worse, team finds

    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.

  • Pleasure travel: Womens motives for taking sexual risks during leisure travel and the characteristics of tourist environments that promote sexual experimentation are explored in a new study co-authored by Liza Berdychevsky, a professor of recreation, sport and tourism.

    Women's sexual risk-taking in tourism focus of new study

    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.

  • Parents level of health literacy determines the weight-control strategies they would choose for their children, according to a new study led by Janet Liechty, a professor of social work and of medicine. Dr. Salma M. A. Musaad, a visiting research biostatistician in human and community development, and social work doctoral student Jaclyn A. Saltzman were co-authors.

    Parents' health literacy affects child weight-loss tactics, study finds

    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.

  • University of Illinois graduate student Zachary Horne, left, psychology professor John Hummel and their colleagues developed an intervention that moderated anti-vaccination views.

    Simple intervention can moderate anti-vaccination beliefs, study finds

    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.

  • Postdoctoral researcher Laura Chaddock-Heyman, U. of I. kinesiology and community health professor Charles Hillman and their colleagues found that higher-fit kids had thinner gray matter and better mathematics achievement than their lower-fit peers.

    Study links cardiorespiratory fitness, thinner gray matter and better math skills in kids

    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.