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  • 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.

  • Susan Schantz (right), a professor of comparative biosciences at Illinois and an environmental toxicologist, will direct the new, NIH-funded Children's Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research Center at Illinois. Comparative biosciences professor Jodi Flaws, a reproductive toxicologist, will act as associate director of the new center, which will investigate whether common plastics chemicals alter child development, cognition or behavior.

    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.

  • Illinois veterinarian and pathobiology professor Amy MacNeill and her colleagues discovered that an altered myxoma virus infects and kills dog cancer cells but not healthy cells in cell culture.

    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.

  • 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.

  • UI scientist does nutritional detective work in Botswana

    Many Americans have a soft spot for Botswana. Some developed that fondness for the African country while reading the best-selling “The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency” series. But few have had a chance to do any sleuthing of their own there.

  • Taiji master Yang Yang, an adjunct professor of kinesiology at the University of Illinois, is featured in a new, permanent exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.

    U. of I. professors featured in exhibit about body-mind-spirit connection

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Taiji master Yang Yang, an adjunct professor of kinesiology at the University of Illinois, is featured in a new, permanent exhibit that opened Oct. 8 at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.

  • Jung Min Park, left, and Joe Ryan, both professors of social work, followed 5,978 children in foster care in Illinois for several years to determine whether these children's placement and permanency outcomes were affected by their histories of intensive mental health treatment.

    Study looks at how mental health care affects outcomes for foster children

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Of the approximately half-million children and adolescents in foster care in the U.S., experts estimate that 42 to 60 percent of them have emotional and behavioral problems. Despite the prevalence of mental health problems among foster children, little is known about how pre-existing mental health conditions affect their outcomes in foster care.

  • University of Illinois psychology professor and Beckman Institute affiliate Janice Juraska, left, and doctoral student Nioka Chisholm found that long-term exposure to estrogen and a synthetic progesterone increased synapse numbers in the prefrontal cortex of aged rats.

    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.

  • Craig Gundersen

    The upside of school lunch programs

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

  • 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.

  • UI study shows how to lose weight without losing bone

    A higher-protein diet that emphasizes lean meats and low-fat dairy foods as sources of protein and calcium can mean weight loss without bone loss - and the evidence is in bone scans taken throughout a new UI study.

  • Arts program provides services, guidance to HIV/AIDS patients

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - As an art educator and researcher, Julia Kellman has long been aware - from her academic's box-seat vantage point - that art can impact people's lives in profound ways. But for the past four years, she's witnessed the phenomenal power of art-making from the perspective of a director who is on stage, engaging in an ongoing, intimate dialogue with the actors.

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

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

  • Wildlife veterinarian Mark A. Mitchell reports on how our instinctive fear of snakes and other reptiles leads to neglect and mismanagement.

    Despite a recent salmonella outbreak, can pet turtles be made safe?

    A Minute With™... wildlife veterinarian Mark A. Mitchell

  • University of Illinois professor Ning Wang and colleagues in China use soft gels to culture the elusive cells that spread cancer from the primary tumor to other places in the body.

    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.

  • Jianjun Cheng, professor of materials science and engineering, left; Rong Tong, graduate student, center, and Yi Lu, professor of chemistry, were on a team that developed a reversible method for delivering cancer drugs to tumor cells.

    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.

  • 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.

  • University of Illinois engineers developed a method to computationally correct aberrations in three-dimensional tissue microscopy. From left, postdoctoral researcher Steven Adie, professor P. Scott Carney, graduate students Adeel Ahmad and Benedikt Graf, and professor Stephen Boppart.

    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.

  • Vitamin E shows possible promise in easing chronic inflammation

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - With up to half of a person's body mass consisting of skeletal muscle, chronic inflammation of those muscles - which include those found in the limbs - can result in significant physical impairment.

  • 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.

  • The health care industry needs to think carefully about the types of pictures used to illustrate patient education websites, since older adults' comprehension can be negatively impacted by irrelevant material, suggests a new study co-written by Daniel Morrow, a faculty member in the College of Education and in the Beckman Institute.

    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.

  • Research reinforces findings that Chinese exercises benefit older adults

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - New work by researchers at the University of Illinois lends strength to previous research documenting the health benefits of Qigong and Taiji among older adults who practice these ancient Chinese martial-arts forms.

  • 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."

  • 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.

  • Researchers report they have found a way to disrupt the spread of antibiotic-resistance genes among S. pneumoniae bacteria, which can contribute to pneumonia, meningitis and other dangerous ailments.

    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.

  • University of Illinois entomology professor Barry Pittendrigh (back right) and his colleagues create animated educational videos as part of the Scientific Animations Without Borders project. Pictured: back row left: entomology research scientist Weilin Sun; front row from left: SAWBO co-founder Julia Bello-Bravo, who also is assistant director of Illinois Strategic International Partnerships; graduate students Laura Steele and Alice Vossbrinck; and research specialist Susan Balfe.

    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.

  • $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.

  • Microbiology professor Steven Blanke (center), graduate student Prashant Jain (left) and postdoctoral researcher Tamilselvam Batcha found that a factor produced by the bacterium H. pylori directly activates an enzyme in host cells that has been associated with several types of cancer, including gastric cancer.

    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.

  • Chickens may help aid in early detection of ovarian cancer

    Understanding and treatment of human ovarian cancer, known as the silent killer, may be a step closer thanks to some chickens at the UI. Ovarian cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths in women and unlike other cancers, its rate of mortality has not been reduced.

  • New research reveals factors that helped some commit to a yearlong exercise program.

    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."

  • 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.

  • University of Illinois psychology professor Joshua Gulley and his colleagues found that amphetamine use in adolescence can lead to long-term impairments in memory.

    Amphetamine use in adolescence may impair adult working memory

    CHAMPAIGN, lll. - Rats exposed to high doses of amphetamines at an age that corresponds to the later years of human adolescence display significant memory deficits as adults - long after the exposure ends, researchers report.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 comparative biosciences professor Suzanne Berry-Miller, veterinary clinical medicine professor Robert O'Brien and their colleagues developed a method that enhanced cardiac function in a mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

    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.

  • 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.

  • University of Illinois pathobiology professor Marilyn O'Hara Ruiz, right, and graduate student Allison Gardner identified the physical factors associated with increased numbers of disease-carrying mosquito larvae in Chicago catch basins.

    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.

  • 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.

  • A new study by David Strauser, a faculty member in community health, sheds light on why adult survivors of childhood cancer often have trouble keeping employment, particularly if they were diagnosed during a critical developmental period between the ages of 6-12.

    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.

  • 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.

  • Three hours of fighting a fire stiffens arteries and impairs cardiac function in firefighters, according to a new study by Bo Fernhall, right, a professor in the department of kinesiology and community health in the College of Applied Health Sciences, and Gavin Horn, director of research at the Illinois Fire Service Institute.

    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.

  • Parks and recreation play key role in promoting healthy living, study finds

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - A new study co-written by a University of Illinois professor has confirmed what parks and recreation professionals have long suspected: Nationwide, their agencies are serving as effective partners with community health-care providers in promoting healthy, active lifestyles among residents.

  • University of Illinois graduate student Marc Cook and his colleagues found that young African-American men experienced more cardiovascular benefits from weight training than Caucasian men of the same age.

    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.

  • Barbara H. Fiese, a professor of human development and family studies, says family meal can be one of the most powerful times for promoting health.

    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.

  • The dietary supplement genistein can undermine breast cancer treatment

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Women taking aromatase inhibitors to treat breast cancer or prevent its recurrence should think twice before also taking a soy-based dietary supplement, researchers report.

  • 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.

  • University of Illinois microbiologist Brenda Wilson discusses the rise in MRSA infections.

    Protect yourself against staph infections

    A Minute With™... microbiologist Brenda Wilson