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  • University of Illinois Beckman Institute postdoctoral researcher Agnieszka Burzynska and her colleagues analyzed the brain and cognition of Olga Kotelko, a 93-year-old track-and-field athlete. Burzynska is now a professor at Colorado State University.

    The nonagenarian athlete: Researchers study Olga Kotelko's brain

    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.

  • Study links physical activity to greater mental flexibility in older adults

    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.

  • Chemistry professor Jeffrey Moore, graduate student Joshua Grolman and materials science and engineering professor Kristopher Kilian led a research team to create a new synthetic tissue environment for more realistic cell biology research.

    New synthetic tumor environments make cancer research more realistic

    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.

  • Genome mining effort discovers 19 new natural products in four years

    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.

  • University of Illinois kinesiology and community health professor Ruopeng An found that diet beverage drinkers compensate by eating a greater percentage of unhealthy foods that are high in fats, cholesterol and calories.

    Diet beverage drinkers compensate by eating unhealthy food, study finds

    Study finds that people who drink diet beverages may compensate by eating additional food that is higher in fat, cholesterol and sodium.

  • Stephen Boppart, an Illinois engineering professor and a medical doctor, led a team that developed a tool to help surgeons determine the extent of cancerous tissue to remove.

    Surgical probe seeks out where cancer ends and healthy tissue begins

    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.

  • photo of researchers Stephane Lezmi, Huan Wang and Yuan-Xiang Pan New research by, from left, nutritional sciences professor Stphane Lezmi, doctoral researcher Huan Wang and Yuan-Xiang Pan, a professor of nutritional sciences and of food science, found the long-sought link between maternal protein deficiency during pregnancy and problems such as stunted growth and metabolic diseases in offspring.

    Maternal protein deficiency during pregnancy ‘memorized’ by fetal muscle cells

    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.

  • Feeling anxious? Check your orbitofrontal cortex and cultivate your optimism, study suggests

    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.

  • Craig Gundersen, the Soybean Industry Endowed Professor of Agricultural Strategy at the University of Illinois.

    Why food insecurity still hasn't decreased in the U.S.

    A Minute With...™ U. of I. agricultural economist Craig Gundersen

  • Committee to identify, recruit founding dean for Carle Illinois College of Medicine

    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 2016

  • University of Illinois kinesiology and community health professor Ruopeng An evaluated the cost effectiveness and health benefits of implementing a rebate program for low-income households that receive federal food assistance benefits to promote purchase and consumption of fruits and vegetables.

    Rebates a cost-effective way to boost healthy eating among low-income people, study finds

    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.

  • Health care, research failing to adapt to US’ growing multiracial population

    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.

  • Photo of researchers Douglas C. Smith and Liliane Windsor Douglas C. Smith is the principal investigator for a new grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, which is funding computer-simulated training on substance use intervention for social work students and practitioners. Smith and project co-director Liliane Windsor are professors in the School of Social Work.

    Grant funds computer simulation to train social work students, clinicians

    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.

  • A team of researchers developed a new broad-spectrum antibiotic that kills bacteria by punching holes in their membranes. Front row, from left: materials science and engineering professor Jianjun and postdoctoral researcher Yan Bao. Back row, from left: postdoctoral researcher Menghau Xiong, graduate students Ziyuan Song and Rachael Mansbach, materials science and engineering professor Andrew Ferguson, and biochemistry professor Lin-Feng Cheng.

    Bacterial hole puncher could be new broad-spectrum antibiotic

    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.

  • Photo of researcher Lara Pilutti: Kinesiology and community health professor Lara Pilutti found that conventional methods of testing physical fitness in people with multiple sclerosis may underestimate their cardiorespiratory fitness and muscular strength.

    People with MS may be more physically fit than tests indicate, study finds

    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.

  • Study: Strength of brain connectivity varies with fitness level in older adults

    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.

  • Craig Gundersen

    Links between hunger and health lead to recommendation that doctors screen patients for food insecurity

    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.

  • Drugs with multiple targets show promise against myotonic dystrophy type 1

    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.

  • Tim Nugent was a pioneer for disability rights and accessiblity, founding a first-of-its-kind program at the University of Illinois, leading research efforts, and advocating for changes that would have influence well beyond the campus.

    Tim Nugent a pioneer in changing life for people with disabilities

    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.

  • Nondrug interventions improve quality of life for Chinese cancer patients

    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.

  • Barbara Fiese

    Distracted dining? Steer clear of it!

    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.

  • Portable device can quickly determine the extent of an eye injury

    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.

  • Study: Emotion processing in the brain changes with tinnitus severity

    A new study reveals that people with tinnitus who are less bothered by their symptoms use different brain regions when processing emotional information.

  • Kinesiology and community health professor Charles Hillman and his team investigate the link between childhood concussions and brain function.

    Study: Childhood concussions impair brain function

    A new study finds that pre-adolescent children who have sustained sports-related concussions have impaired brain function two years following injury.

  • Photo of Tara Powell Journey of Hope, a school-based psychosocial intervention co-developed by social work professor Tara Powell to help young victims of Hurricane Katrina, is being adapted to help young Syrian refugees. Powell also recently implemented a pilot study with youths in rural Tennessee who are living in poverty and are at risk of numerous adverse outcomes.

    Program that helps children cope after disasters could benefit refugees, at-risk youth

    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.

  • University of Illinois chemists found that a number of drugs approved to treat various conditions also have antibiotic properties. Pictured, from left: research scientist Lici A. Schurig-Briccio, graduate students Noman Baig and Boo Kyung Kim, professor Robert B. Gennis, postdoctoral researcher Xinxin Feng, professor Eric Oldfield and graduate student Tianhui Zhou.

    Old drugs, new tricks: Medications approved for other uses also have antibiotic action

    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.

  • Photo of Professor Sheldon Jacobson

    Why you should factor driving into your weight loss plan

    A Minute With...™ Sheldon Jacobson, expert on data science

  • Consumer perception of organic foods affected by food type and where they’re sold

    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?

  • The small sensor connects to an embeddable wireless transmitter that lies on top of the skull.

    Tiny electronic implants monitor brain injury, then melt away

    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.

  • Children need to understand the basics of advertising better than they do, says Illinois advertising professor Michelle Nelson. So she led the development of a curriculum and website to teach advertising literacy in school classrooms, incorporating lessons on healthy eating. This example ad developed for the curriculum playfully sells parents on feeding their kids vegetables.

    Beyond the big ads: teaching kids ad literacy and nutrition in grade school classrooms

    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.

     

  • Graphic warning labels on cigarette packages, like these approved for use in the U.S., may not have the desired effect, according to a University of Illinois study.

    Graphic images may not scare smokers off cigarettes, says study

    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.

  • University of Illinois kinesiology and community health professor Ruopeng An found that people who increased their consumption of plain water by 1 percent decreased the number of calories they consumed, as well as the amounts of sugar, sodium, fat and cholesterol they took in daily. The findings were consistent across race/ethnicity, income levels and body weight status, according to the study, published in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics.

    Drinking more water associated with numerous dietary benefits, study finds

    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: Brain metabolism predicts fluid intelligence in young adults

    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.

  • Doctoral candidate Jordan P. Davis, left, and social work professor Douglas C. Smith found that treating withdrawal symptoms could help young adults who use cannabis stay off the drug. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism funded the study, published in the Journal of Drug Issues.

    Treating withdrawal symptoms could help cannabis users quit, study finds

    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.

  • Led by University of Illinois professor Chad Rienstra, chemists have identified the full chemical structure of the protein that forms fibrils in the brains of patients with Parkinsons disease.

    Structure of protein that forms fibrils in Parkinson's patients could lead to new diagnostic and treatment options

    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.

  • Jaclyn A. Saltzman, a doctoral researcher in human development and family studies, found in a new study that parents reactions to their preschoolers negative emotions may explain the association between parental binge eating and restrictive feeding practices. Saltzmans co-authors on the study included U. of I. faculty members Kelly K. Bost, child development; Barbara Fiese, human development and family studies and director of the Family Resiliency Center; and Janet Liechty, social work and medicine.

    Parents’ binge eating, restrictive feeding practices may be reactions to children’s emotions

    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.

  • Photo In a new paper that reviews current research on childhood obesity, University of Illinois scholars, from left, Barbara Fiese and Kelly Bost emphasize the need for greater collaboration with families in developing healthy-living campaigns and community-based programs. Fiese is director of the Family Resiliency Center and a professor of human development and family studies. Bost is a professor of child development.

    Causes of childhood obesity complex, but families, media play key roles

    Children’s genetic risks for obesity may be reduced by interventions that strengthen family communication and help children manage their emotions and feelings of satiety, according to a new review of research on the problem by University of Illinois scholars Barbara H. Fiese and Kelly K. Bost.

  • Illinois researchers found that the shape of a tumor may play a role in how cancer cells become primed to spread. From left: materials science and engineering professor Kristopher Kilian, graduate student Junmin Lee and veterinary medicine professor Timothy Fan.

    Shape of tumor may affect whether cells can metastasize

    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.

  • University of Illinois kinesiology and community health professor Andiara Schwingels studies show that health-promotion programs may be more successful at reaching older Latinas in the U.S. if they incorporate the religious and spiritual values that tend to be important to these women. Shown with Schwingel, center, are her co-authors, left, doctoral student Patricia Glvez and post-doctoral research fellow Emerson Sebastio. Alumna Deborah Linares also was a co-author on the studies.

    Faith-based health promotion program successful with older Latinas, study finds

    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.

  • Human trials of cancer drug PAC-1 continue with new investment

    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 finds brain markers of numeric, verbal and spatial reasoning abilities

    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.

  • Hanley-Maxwell named College of Applied Health Sciences dean

    Cheryl Hanley-Maxwell will join the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as dean of the College of Applied Health Sciences effective Aug. 16, pending approval by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees.

  • Report: A host of common chemicals endanger child brain development

    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.

  • Scientists test nanoparticle drug delivery in dogs with osteosarcoma

    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.

  • Sexual behaviors and attitudes among older adults are explored in a new study co-written by Liza Berdychevsky, a professor of recreation, sport and tourism at the University of Illinois. Galit Nimrod of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel, was Berdychevsky's co-author on the research.

    Regardless of age, health conditions, many seniors not retired from sex

    Despite societal perceptions that older adults’ love lives are ancient history, many seniors are anything but retired from sex, a new study suggests.

  • University of Illinois kinesiology and community health professor Ruopeng An used U.S. national data to determine where American adults buy most of the junk food they consume.

    Report: People buy most of their junk food at the supermarket

    An analysis of a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults reveals that access to healthy foods in a supermarket does not hinder Americans’ consumption of empty calories. In fact, the study found, U.S. adults buy the bulk of their sugar-sweetened beverages and nutrient-poor discretionary foods at supermarkets and grocery stores. The findings challenge the "food desert" hypothesis.

  • Professor Leslie Reagan

    What does a 1960s epidemic tell us about Zika?

    With its easy-to-miss symptoms and link to birth defects, the Zika virus is very similar to German measles (rubella), according to history professor Leslie Reagan

  • Li selected as dean and chief academic officer of Carle Illinois College of Medicine

    Dr. King Li, a renowned researcher, educator, inventor and clinician in molecular imaging and radiology, will become the inaugural dean and chief academic officer of the Carle Illinois College of Medicine effective Oct. 1. 

  • In breakthrough research on breast cancer, a team at the University of Illinois discovered that higher levels of the nuclear transport gene XPO1 indicate when a patient is likely to be resistant to the popular drug tamoxifen. The team, from left, food science and human nutrition professor Zeynep Madak-Erdogan; graduate students Karen Chen, Kinga Wrobel and Eylem Kulkoyluoglu; and epidemiology professor Rebecca Smith.

    Scientists identify genes that disrupt response to breast cancer treatment

    Scientists at the University of Illinois may have unlocked the genetic code that determines why many patients with estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer fail to respond to the widely used drug tamoxifen.

  • Young children develop body image much earlier than parents believe, suggests a new study led by Janet Liechty, a professor of social work and of medicine at the University of Illinois. Co-authors of the paper were Julie P. Birky, a clinical counselor at the Counseling Center, and social work graduate student Samantha Clarke, both of the U. of I.; and University of Michigan communication studies professor Kristen Harrison.

    Preschoolers form body images – but parents are unaware, study says

    Preschoolers may express awareness about body-image issues – but their parents may miss opportunities to promote positive body-image formation in their children because parents believe them to be too young to have these concerns, new research suggests.