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  • Mastery of physical goals lessens disease-related depression and fatigue

    CHAMPAIGN, lll. - Physical activity is known to reduce depression and fatigue in people struggling with chronic illness. A new study indicates that this effect may stem from an individual's sense of mastery over - or belief in his or her ability to achieve - certain physical goals.

  • Team finds link between stomach-cancer bug and cancer-promoting factor

    CHAMPAIGN, lll. - Researchers report that Helicobacter pylori, the only bacterium known to survive in the harsh environment of the human stomach, directly activates an enzyme in host cells that has been associated with several types of cancer, including gastric cancer.

  • Expert says state policies can have an impact on public health

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - In a new study, Tom O'Rourke, a professor emeritus of community health at the University of Illinois, examined 25 variables in four categories to see how state policies might affect residents' health.

  • Flexible electronics could help put off-beat hearts back on rhythm

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Arrhythmic hearts soon may beat in time again, with minimal surgical invasion, thanks to flexible electronics technology developed by a team of University of Illinois researchers, in collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Northwestern University. These biocompatible silicon devices could mark the beginning of a new wave of surgical electronics.

  • Attention, couch potatoes! Walking boosts brain connectivity, function

    CHAMPAIGN, lll. - A group of "professional couch potatoes," as one researcher described them, has proven that even moderate exercise - in this case walking at one's own pace for 40 minutes three times a week - can enhance the connectivity of important brain circuits, combat declines in brain function associated with aging and increase performance on cognitive tasks.

  • Salmon baby food? Babies need omega-3s and a taste for fish

    A UI food science professor has two important reasons for including seafood in a young child's diet, reasons that have motivated her work in helping to develop a tasty, nutritious salmon baby food for toddlers.

  • Center to study effects of plastics chemicals on children's health

    CHAMPAIGN, lll. - A new research center based at the University of Illinois will investigate whether regular exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates - chemicals widely used in plastics and other consumer products - can alter infant and adolescent development, cognition or behavior.

  • USDA awards $5.5 million to tackle childhood hunger

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded $5.5 million to fund research that will help alleviate childhood hunger in the United States. Craig Gundersen, a UI professor of nutritional sciences in the department of agricultural and consumer economics, and James Ziliak, of the University of Kentucky Center for Poverty Research, will coordinate a research program on childhood hunger.

  • Stretchable balloon electronics get to the heart of cardiac medicine

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Cardiologists may soon be able to place sensitive electronics inside their patients' hearts with minimal invasiveness, enabling more sophisticated and efficient diagnosis and treatment of arrhythmias.

  • Latinos' beliefs about masculinity discourage prostate cancer screenings

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - One of the tests used in diagnosing prostate cancer is so stigmatized within Latino culture that men may be risking their lives to avoid it, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Illinois. Complex cultural and gender beliefs about manliness and sexuality that discourage Latino men from seeking health care - and stigmatize the digital rectal exam as emasculating - could explain why some men don't seek care until the cancer has progressed, diminishing their chances for recovery.

  • Wellness Center: 'Hoofing it' gets a following

    Bob Douglas resembles neither Lewis nor Clark, but he's a trailblazer nonetheless.

  • Child abuse risk tied to type, degree of disability, study finds

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Researchers have long known that children with disabilities are at increased risk of being abused by their caregivers. But a groundbreaking new study by Jesse Helton, a faculty member in the Children and Family Research Center in the School of Social Work at the University of Illinois, indicates that the risk and degree of physical abuse varies according to the child's type and level of disability - and those at greatest risk of maltreatment may be those with average functioning or only mild impairments.

  • Yoga helps breast cancer survivors conquer emotional, physical pain

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - After breast cancer surgery, increased self-consciousness and perceptions of disfigurement prompt some women to shy away from involvement in group fitness and recreational activities during a time when they might benefit the most physically and emotionally.

  • Family meals promote healthier weights, eating behaviors in children

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Eating meals with family may be the best recipe for promoting healthy eating behaviors and body weights in children and adolescents, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Illinois.

  • Lyme disease tick adapts to life on the (fragmented) prairie

    CHAMPAIGN, lll. - A new study offers a detailed look at the status of Lyme disease in Central Illinois and suggests that deer ticks and the Lyme disease bacteria they host are more adaptable to new habitats than previously appreciated.

  • Researchers say reality shows distort realities of addictions, treatment

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Reality television series such as "Intervention" that claim to provide unflinching portraits of addiction and treatment don't accurately depict either one, and, at worst, the shows' focus on the most extreme cases may deter some viewers from seeking help, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Illinois.

  • Firefighting stiffens arteries, impairs heart function

    CHAMPAIGN, lll. - Firefighting causes stiff arteries and "cardiac fatigue," conditions also found in weightlifters and endurance athletes, according to two recent studies by researchers at the Illinois Fire Service Institute, located at the University of Illinois.

  • Want to keep your exercise resolutions? New research offers pointers

    CHAMPAIGN, lll. - Sticking with an exercise routine means being able to overcome the obstacles that invariably arise. A key to success is having the confidence that you can do it, researchers report. A new study explores how some cognitive strategies and abilities influence this "situation-specific self-confidence," a quality the researchers call "self-efficacy."

  • Firefighting stiffens arteries, impairs heart function

    CHAMPAIGN, lll. - Firefighting causes stiff arteries and "cardiac fatigue," conditions also found in weightlifters and endurance athletes, according to two recent studies by researchers at the Illinois Fire Service Institute, located at the University of Illinois.

  • Workshops teach caregivers, those with chronic disease to 'Live Well'

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Living with a chronic disease, or being a caretaker for a loved one in failing health, can be frustrating as well as emotionally and physically draining.

  • The upside of school lunch programs

    A Minute With™... Craig Gundersen, a U. of I. professor of agricultural and consumer economics

  • Exercise triggers stem cells in muscle

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - University of Illinois researchers determined that an adult stem cell present in muscle is responsive to exercise, a discovery that may provide a link between exercise and muscle health. The findings could lead to new therapeutic techniques using these cells to rehabilitate injured muscle and prevent or restore muscle loss with age.

  • U. of I. program targets growing obesity rate among Midwest Hispanics

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Hispanics living in the Midwest have the highest obesity rates among Latinos in the U.S., and in Illinois, the percentage of obese Latino children 6-11 years of age has doubled since 2001, standing now at 24 percent.

  • Modified bone drug kills malaria parasite in mice

    CHAMPAIGN, lll. - A chemically altered osteoporosis drug may be useful in fighting malaria, researchers report in a new study. Unlike similar compounds tested against many other parasitic protozoa, the drug readily crosses into the red blood cells of malaria-infected mice and kills the malaria parasite. The drug works at very low concentrations with no observed toxicity to the mouse.

  • Breastfed babies less likely to be picky eaters as toddlers

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Babies who are breastfed exclusively for their first six months of life may be less likely to become picky eaters as preschoolers, according to a recent study of 129 mothers and their children.

  • When women stop breastfeeding linked to child care options, study shows

    CHAMPAIGN, lll. - Mothers participating in the Special Supplemental Nutrition program for Women, Infants and Children, known as WIC, are more likely to discontinue breastfeeding their infants before 6 months of age than non-WIC mothers, especially if they rely upon relatives to provide child care, according to a new study by Juhee Kim, a professor of kinesiology and community health at the University of Illinois.

  • Breastfed babies less likely to be picky eaters as toddlers

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Babies who are breastfed exclusively for their first six months of life may be less likely to become picky eaters as preschoolers, according to a recent study of 129 mothers and their children.

  • What the media call 'pink slime' is not new or dangerous

    A Minute With™... Anna Dilger, a professor of animal sciences

  • Computing the best high-resolution 3-D tissue images

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Real-time, 3-D microscopic tissue imaging could be a revolution for medical fields such as cancer diagnosis, minimally invasive surgery and ophthalmology. University of Illinois researchers have developed a technique to computationally correct for aberrations in optical tomography, bringing the future of medical imaging into focus.

  • Nowhere to hide: New device sees bacteria behind the eardrum

    CHAMPAIGN, lll. - Doctors can now get a peek behind the eardrum to better diagnose and treat chronic ear infections, thanks to a new medical imaging device invented by University of Illinois researchers. The device could usher in a new suite of non-invasive, 3-D diagnostic imaging tools for primary-care physicians.

  • New way to grow, isolate cancer cells may add weapon against disease

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The news a cancer patient most fears is that the disease has spread and become much more difficult to treat. A new method to isolate and grow the most dangerous cancer cells could enable new research into how cancer spreads and, ultimately, how to fight it.

  • Cancer in childhood can have negative impact on career readiness

    CHAMPAIGN, lll. - Young adult survivors of childhood cancer often have problems maintaining jobs and relationships, researchers have found. A new study of childhood brain tumor survivors by disability researcher David Strauser, a professor of community health at the University of Illinois, suggests that a battle with cancer during a critical developmental period in middle childhood may negatively affect career readiness and achievement as an adult by compromising children's development of an effective work personality.

  • Heat, rainfall affect pathogenic mosquito abundance in catch basins

    CHAMPAIGN, lll. - Rainfall and temperature affect the abundance of two mosquito species linked to West Nile Virus in storm catch basins in suburban Chicago, two University of Illinois researchers report.

  • Long-term hormone treatment increases synapses in rat prefrontal cortex

    CHAMPAIGN, lll. - A new study of aged female rats found that long-term treatment with estrogen and a synthetic progesterone known as MPA increased levels of a protein marker of synapses in the prefrontal cortex, a brain region known to suffer significant losses in aging.

  • Images on health websites can lessen comprehension, study finds

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Photos of happy, smiling faces on patient education websites may engage readers, but they also may have a negative impact on older adults' comprehension of vital health information, especially those elderly patients who are the least knowledgeable about their medical condition to begin with, suggests a new study.

  • Scientists aim to put a pox on dog cancer

    CHAMPAIGN, lll. - Researchers report that myxoma - a pox virus that afflicts rabbits but not humans, dogs or any other vertebrates so far studied - infects several different types of canine cancer cells in cell culture while sparing healthy cells. The study adds to the evidence that viruses or modified viruses will emerge as relatively benign cancer treatments to complement or replace standard cancer therapies.

  • Why New York City's ban on super-size sodas makes sense

    A Minute With™... Dr. Margarita Teran-Garcia, a pediatrician and a professor of food science and human nutrition

  • Lax child care regulations affecting children's health, study suggests

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Child care center regulations in most states don't uphold the health standards set by the nation's leading pediatricians' group, missing opportunities to prevent tooth decay and obesity among millions of the nation's young children, suggests a recent study.

  • Scientists target bacterial sharing of antibiotic-resistance genes

    CHAMPAIGN, lll. - The bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae - which can cause pneumonia, meningitis, bacteremia and sepsis - likes to share its antibiotic-defeating weaponry with its neighbors. Individual cells can pass resistance genes to one another through a process called horizontal gene transfer, or by "transformation," the uptake of DNA from the environment.

  • Agricultural, health education goes global via cellphone animations

    CHAMPAIGN, lll. - They're watching them in Benin, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, India and Niger. They're learning how to stop the spread of dengue, malaria, tuberculosis, cholera and food-related illness. They're learning how to protect their crops from insect damage or post-harvest losses. And they're coming up with new ideas for similar lessons to share with their neighbors or others around the world.

  • Study: Curbing car travel could be as effective as cutting calories

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Those considering how to maintain a healthy weight during holiday festivities, or looking ahead to New Year's resolutions, may want to think twice before reaching for traditional staples like cookies or candy - or the car keys.

  • Strength training improves vascular function in young black men

    CHAMPAIGN, lll. - Six weeks of weight training can significantly improve blood markers of cardiovascular health in young African-American men, researchers report in the Journal of Human Hypertension.

  • New compound overcomes drug-resistant Staph infection in mice

    CHAMPAIGN, lll. - Researchers have discovered a new compound that restores the health of mice infected with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), an otherwise dangerous bacterial infection. The new compound targets an enzyme not found in human cells but which is essential to bacterial survival.

  • Family thought to play part in reducing stress for young Mexicans, study shows

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Family members may play a unique and influential role in buffering Mexican youth against the negative effects of stress as they transition into adulthood, suggests a new study by an interdisciplinary group of researchers at universities in Mexico and the U.S.

  • Stem-cell approach shows promise for Duchenne muscular dystrophy

    CHAMPAIGN, lll. - Researchers have shown that transplanting stem cells derived from normal mouse blood vessels into the hearts of mice that model the pathology associated with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) prevents the decrease in heart function associated with DMD.

  • The research is in: Physical activity enhances cognition

    CHAMPAIGN, lll. - Exercise doesn't only strengthen your heart and muscles - it also beefs up your brain. Dozens of studies now show that aerobic exercise can increase the size of critical brain structures and improve cognition in children and older adults.

  • Lipid researcher, 98, reports on the causes of heart disease

    CHAMPAIGN, lll. - A 98-year-old researcher argues that, contrary to decades of clinical assumptions and advice to patients, dietary cholesterol is good for your heart - unless that cholesterol is unnaturally oxidized (by frying foods in reused oil, eating lots of polyunsaturated fats or smoking).

  • Most U.S. infant death rates not likely to fall enough to meet goal

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The infant mortality rate set forth as a national goal in the federal government's Healthy People 2020 initiative is likely to be attained by only one demographic group - highly educated white mothers, the authors of a new study say.

  • Older adults benefit from home-based DVD exercise program

    CHAMPAIGN, lll. — Fitness DVDs are a multimillion-dollar business, and those targeting adults over the age of 55 are a major part of the market. With names like “Boomers on the Move,” “Stronger Seniors” and “Ageless Yoga,” the programs promise much, but few have ever been rigorously tested.

  • A 20-minute bout of yoga stimulates brain function immediately after

    CHAMPAIGN, lll. - Researchers report that a single, 20-minute session of Hatha yoga significantly improved participants' speed and accuracy on tests of working memory and inhibitory control, two measures of brain function associated with the ability to maintain focus and take in, retain and use new information. Participants performed significantly better immediately after the yoga practice than after moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise for the same amount of time.