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  • How mothers respond to baby’s distress matters

    A mother’s attentiveness to her baby’s distress, especially in the first year, is more important to his secure attachment than positive feedback when he’s happy and content, concludes a UI study published in the June issue of the Journal of Family Psychology.

  • 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.

  • If President Obama's health-care reform plan is flawed, what's the fix?

    A Minute With™... Tom O'Rourke, a professor emeritus of community health

  • 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.

  • Increased risk of suicide, mental health conditions linked to sexual assault victimization

    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.

  • Induced abortion doesn't increase risk of developing cancer, study shows

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - A new study that tracked the health of thousands of female textile workers in China indicates that women who have had an abortion do not have an increased risk of developing cancer.

  • In rats, perinatal exposure to phthalates impairs brain structure and function

    Male and female rats exposed in the womb and during lactation to plasticizing chemicals known as phthalates had significantly fewer neurons and synapses than those that were not exposed, researchers report in a new study. The phthalate-exposed rats had reductions in the size of their medial prefrontal cortex, a brain region that regulates behavior, and showed deficits in cognitive flexibility.  

  • Is the Governor's 'Illinois Covered' proposal universal health insurance?

    A Minute With™... Robert F. Rich, the director of the Institute of Government and Public Affairs

  • KFC removes trans fats – will other fast food chains follow?

    A Minute With™... Manabu "Mani" Nakamura, a professor of biochemical and molecular nutrition

  • Labeling genetically engineered food

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Lessons in nature boost classroom engagement afterward, researchers report

    Third-graders who spend a class session in a natural outdoor setting are more engaged and less distracted in their regular classroom afterward than when they remain indoors, scientists found in a new study.

  • Licorice compound interferes with sex hormones in mouse ovary, study finds

    A study of mouse reproductive tissues finds that exposure to isoliquiritigenin, a compound found in licorice, disrupts steroid sex hormone production in the ovary, researchers report.

  • 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.

  • 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).

  • 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. 

  • Long-term estrogen therapy changes microbial activity in the gut, study finds

    Long-term therapy with estrogen and bazedoxifene changes the microbial composition and activity in the gut, affecting how estrogen is metabolized, University of Illinois researchers found in a new mouse study.

  • 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.

  • Lutein may counter cognitive aging, study finds

    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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Massive simulation shows HIV capsid interacting with its environment

    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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Media portrayals of pregnant women, new moms unrealistic, study says

    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.

  • Mix of taiji, cognitive therapy and support groups benefits those with dementia

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Those diagnosed with early stage dementia can slow their physical, mental and psychological decline by taking part in therapeutic programs that combine counseling, support groups, Taiji and qigong, researchers report. Some of the benefits of this approach are comparable to those achieved with anti-dementia medications.

  • 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.

  • Molecular beacon signals low oxygen with ultrasound

    Researchers have developed a way to find hypoxia, or low oxygen in tissue, noninvasively in real time with light and ultrasound.

  • ‘Molecular prosthetics’ can replace missing proteins to treat disease

    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.

  • Molecular technique shows promise in destroying drug resistance in bacteria

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - A new approach to outwit resistance to antibiotics has been discovered by a team of researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Nanopores could map small changes in DNA that signal big shifts in cancer

    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.

  • Neuroimaging reveals lasting brain deficits in iron-deficient piglets

    Iron deficiency in the first four weeks of a piglet’s life – equivalent to roughly four months in a human infant – impairs the development of key brain structures, scientists report. The abnormalities remain even after weeks of iron supplementation begun later in life, the researchers found.

  • Neutral HIV presentations more likely to be considered inviting, study finds

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - A recent study by University of Illinois professor of psychology Dolores Albarracín and her colleagues at the University of Florida and the Alachua County Health Department in Florida found a method to increase enrollment among high-risk individuals in HIV prevention programs.

  • 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.

  • New camera gives surgeons a butterfly’s-eye view of cancer

    Cancer lurking in tissue could be more easily found when looking through a butterfly’s eye.

  • New cancer drug delivery system is effective and reversible

    CHAMPAIGN, lll. - For cancer drug developers, finding an agent that kills tumor cells is only part of the equation. The drug must also spare healthy cells. And - ideally - its effects will be reversible, to cut short any potentially dangerous side effects.

  • 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.

  • New contrast agents may be on horizon for better medical imaging

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Research by scientists based at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign may lead to the development of a new breed of "multimodal" contrast agents that could work within a host of medical imaging platforms - from ultrasound and computed tomography (CT) to magnetic resonance imaging and molecular imaging.

  • New CRISPR technique skips over portions of genes that can cause disease

    In a new study in cells, University of Illinois researchers have adapted CRISPR gene-editing technology to cause the cell’s internal machinery to skip over a small portion of a gene when transcribing it into a template for protein building. This gives researchers a way not only to eliminate a mutated gene sequence, but to influence how the gene is expressed and regulated.

    Such targeted editing could one day be useful for treating genetic diseases caused by mutations in the genome, such as Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy, Huntington’s disease or some cancers.

  • 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."

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • New technique can track drug and gene delivery to cells

    University of Illinois researchers say they now know how to track and map drug and gene delivery vehicles to evaluate which are most effective at infiltrating cells and getting to their targets, insight that could guide development of new pharmaceutical agents. The researchers described their tracking system and their findings on the most effective delivery vehicles in the journal Nature Communications. 

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • New tissue-imaging technology could enable real-time diagnostics, map cancer progression

    A new microscope system can image living tissue in real time and in molecular detail, without any chemicals or dyes, report researchers at the University of Illinois.

  • 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.