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  • At great expense, railroad bypassed first black-founded town in the U.S.

    CHAMPAIGN, lll.- Ignoring topography, efficiency, expense and even their own surveyors' recommendations, regional railroad officials in the mid-19th century diverted a new rail line around New Philadelphia, Ill., "the first town in the United States planned, platted and legally registered by an African American," a University of Illinois researcher reports. The bypass pushed what would have been a fairly straight, even run of railroad tracks from Griggsville, Ill. to Hannibal, Mo., in a wide, hilly arc around New Philadelphia.

  • Attack or retreat? Circuit links hunger and pursuit in sea slug brain

    CHAMPAIGN, lll. - If you were a blind, cannibalistic sea slug, living among others just like you, nearly every encounter with another creature would require a simple cost/benefit calculation: Should I eat that, do nothing or flee?

  • 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.

  • Author David Quammen to speak about his book featuring microbiologist Carl Woese

    Author David Quammen will speak at the University of Illinois about his new book, which features the revolutionary work of microbiologist Carl R. Woese.

  • Avian flu, rabies among topics of infectious disease conference at Illinois

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Asian bird flu and rabies will be among the topics April 21-22 (Thursday-Friday) during the eighth annual Conference on New and Re-Emerging Infectious Diseases hosted by the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine.

  • 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.

  • '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.

  • 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.

  • Beckman researchers study communication part of language

    Researchers can get their inspiration from a mentor, or colleague, or perhaps even a lecture that strikes a chord. Psychology researcher Kara Federmeier got hers from her younger brother when she was still in high school.

  • Beckman researchers to study motorist safety with GM grant

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. The Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is teaming with General Motors Research & Development and Planning of Warren, Mich., to study driver distractions and how well humans interact with in-vehicle technologies.

  • 'Bee Movie' director to host screening at Insect Fear Film Festival

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - It's insect fear from the insect's perspective this year at the Insect Fear Film Festival at the University of Illinois, with a free screening of "Bee Movie," hosted by its director, Simon J. Smith.

  • Berenbaum named PNAS editor-in-chief

    University of Illinois entomology professor and department head May Berenbaum, a member of the National Academy of Sciences and longtime editorial contributor to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and other journals, has been appointed editor-in-chief of PNAS, effective Jan. 1.

  • Berenbaum to be honored for efforts in public understanding of science

    CHAMPAIGN, lll. - University of Illinois entomologist May R. Berenbaum is the 2009 recipient of the Public Understanding of Science and Technology Award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  • Biologist illuminates unique world of cave creatures

    CHAMPAIGN, lll. - They are dark, sometimes forbidding landscapes molded by volcanic eruptions or subterranean streams, but caves are also home to a host of creatures strangely adapted to the underworld.

  • Biologist one of five winners of 2003 Damon Runyon Scholar Award

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Phillip A. Newmark, a researcher in the department of cell and structural biology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is one of five recipients nationwide of a 2003 Damon Runyon Scholar Award.

  • Biologists discover giant crayfish species right under their noses

    CHAMPAIGN, lll. - Two aquatic biologists have proven that you don't have to travel to exotic locales to search for unusual new species. They discovered a distinctive species of crayfish in Tennessee and Alabama that is at least twice the size of its competitors. Its closest genetic relative, once thought to be the only species in its genus and discovered in 1884 about 130 miles away in Kentucky, can grow almost as big as a lobster.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Biotechnology 'investment visionary' to speak at Illinois

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - A longtime leader and promoter of biotechnology will speak about the potential for state and regional development of the industry at 2 p.m. Wednesday (March 17) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

  • Biotech pioneer to discuss turning innovations into businesses

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The founder of a global company that helps turn breakthrough ideas in biotechnology into moneymaking businesses will speak this week at the University of Illinois.

  • Bird flu poses threat to international security, U. of I. scholar says

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - In the past, when government leaders, policymakers and scholars have turned their attention to peace and security issues, the talk invariably has focused on war, arms control or anti-terrorism strategies. But Julian Palmore believes it's time to expand the scope of the conversation.

  • Birds find their place in the avian tree of life

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — An international effort involving more than 100 researchers, nine supercomputers and about 400 years of CPU time has yielded the most reliable avian tree of life yet produced, researchers report in the journal Science. The tree reflects the evolutionary relationships of 48 species of birds.

  • Birds migrate together at night in dispersed flocks, new study indicates

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - A new analysis indicates that birds don't fly alone when migrating at night. Some birds, at least, keep together on their migratory journeys, flying in tandem even when they are 200 meters or more apart.

  • Black and brilliant? A female genius? Not according to RateMyProfessors, study finds

    An analysis of more than 14 million reviews on, where students write anonymous reviews of their professors, found that students most often use the words “brilliant” and “genius” to describe male professors and in academic disciplines in which women and African-Americans are underrepresented.

  • Blind mole-rats are resistant to chemically induced cancers

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Like naked mole-rats (Heterocephalus gaber), blind mole-rats (of the genus Spalax) live underground in low-oxygen environments, are long-lived and resistant to cancer. A new study demonstrates just how cancer-resistant Spalax are, and suggests that the adaptations that help these rodents survive in low-oxygen environments also play a role in their longevity and cancer resistance.

  • Bloodsucking, disease-spreading ticks on screen at 2018 Insect Fear Film Festival

    The 35th Insect Fear Film Festival at the University of Illinois will focus on ticks, which are not insects but arachnids and are important for humans to understand as they are vectors for Lyme disease.

  • Bloodthirsty ants swarm Insect Fear Film Festival

    CHAMPAIGN, lll. - Ants exposed to Iraqi plutonium turn a Los Angeles skyscraper into a nightmarish death trap, and diamond miners confront a bloodthirsty ant swarm in the Namib Desert in this year's Insect Fear Film Festival at the University of Illinois Foellinger Auditorium on Feb. 25 (Saturday).

  • Body movements can influence problem solving, researchers report

    CHAMPAIGN, lll. - Swinging their arms helped participants in a new study solve a problem whose solution involved swinging strings, researchers report, demonstrating that the brain can use bodily cues to help understand and solve complex problems.

  • Book Corner: 100 years of Illinois birds featured

    A new book on birds of Illinois was 100 years in the making.

  • Book Corner: The delights of honey, bees and beehives

    Honey is the original sweetener, manufactured by honey bees long before humans discovered and appropriated it. Early cave paintings depict honey gatherers, as do ancient Egyptian reliefs. From Mesopotamia to the American Midwest, honey has been important to nearly every human culture and cuisine.

  • Book Corner: The wonder and uses of insects explored

    Although some may see insects as a general annoyance, Gilbert Waldbauer wants the world to know they are actually beautiful and intricate, as well as a necessary part of everyday life. From beautiful butterflies to beeswax candles to silk shirts, they or their byproducts are everywhere. Waldbauer, a professor emeritus of entomology and author of the book "Fireflies, Honey, and Silk" (University of California Press) wants readers to know the many ways insects enrich our lives.

  • Book explores cat and dog evolution, behavior and training

    CHAMPAIGN, lll. - What makes a dog bark? What messages are conveyed in its wagging tail? How old should a kitten or puppy be before it is adopted? What does its posture tell us about its mood? How can we improve communication with our companion animals while also stopping them from barking incessantly, clawing the furniture or urinating on the rug?

  • 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.

  • Brain activity reflects differences in types of anxiety

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - All anxiety is not created equal, and a research team at the University of Illinois now has the data to prove it. The team has found the most compelling evidence yet of differing patterns of brain activity associated with each of two types of anxiety: anxious apprehension (verbal rumination, worry) and anxious arousal (intense fear, panic, or both).

  • Brain Awareness Day to showcase neuroscience, work of U. of I. scientists

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Budding scientists will be able to get a taste and feel for neuroscience when researchers at the University of Illinois host their annual Brain Awareness Day on Saturday (April 14) at the Orpheum Children's Science Museum in Champaign.

  • Brain gene expression changes when honey bees go the distance

    CHAMPAIGN, lll. - Tricking honey bees into thinking they have traveled long distance to find food alters gene expression in their brains, researchers report this month. Their study, in the journal Genes, Brain and Behavior, is the first to identify distance-responsive genes.

  • Brain signals link physical fitness to better language skills in children

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Children who are physically fit have faster and more robust neuro-electrical brain responses during reading than their less-fit peers, researchers report.

  • 'Brains in Action' set for May 24 at Children's Museum

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Faculty members and students of the neuroscience program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign want children and their families to join them to learn about "Brains in Action" from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., May 24, at the Orpheum Children's Science Museum, 356 N. Neil St., Champaign.

  • Brain tissue structure could explain link between fitness and memory

    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.

  • Brain waves reveal video game aptitude

    CHAMPAIGN, lll. - Scientists report that they can predict who will improve most on an unfamiliar video game by looking at their brain waves.

  • Brazilians with less education more likely to report being in poor health, study finds

    Brazilians with less education are more likely to self-report as being in poor health, according to a study using data from nationwide surveys distributed every five years from 1998 to 2013. The study also found that general subjective health did not improve over the study period, even though more people gained education throughout the study, indicating that other factors associated with poor education may need to be addressed to improve self-perceptions of health.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Breastfeeding may protect against persistent stuttering

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - A study of 47 children who began stuttering at an early age found that those who were breastfed in infancy were more likely to recover from stuttering and return to fluent speech.

  • Brief diversions vastly improve focus, researchers find

    CHAMPAIGN, lll. - A new study in the journal Cognition overturns a decades-old theory about the nature of attention and demonstrates that even brief diversions from a task can dramatically improve one's ability to focus on that task for prolonged periods.

  • Brief interactions spur lasting waves of gene activity in the brain

    A five-minute encounter with an outsider spurs a cascade of changes in gene activity in the brain that can last for hours, researchers report in a study of stickleback fish.

  • Bugs, even the 'bad' ones, can be educationally beneficial, new book says

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - We have much to learn from bad bugs, according to Gilbert Waldbauer, whose book "Insights From Insects: What Bad Bugs Can Teach Us" was published today (Prometheus Books).

  • Built-in-billboards: Male bluefin killifish signal different things with different fins

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - They help fish swim, but fins also advertise a fish's social standing and health. In a new study, researchers report that for the male bluefin killifish (Lucania goodei), each colorful fin presents its own messages to other fish.

  • By creating molecular 'bridge,' scientists change function of a protein

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - By designing a molecular bridge, scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have forged a successful pathway through a complex ocean of barriers: They've changed the function of a protein using a co-evolution approach.

  • Byproduct of water-disinfection process found to be highly toxic

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - A recently discovered disinfection byproduct (DBP) found in U.S. drinking water treated with chloramines is the most toxic ever found, says a scientist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign who tested samples on mammalian cells.