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  • Researchers 'see' structure of open nicotinic acetylcholine ion channels

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The neurotransmitter acetylcholine is an essential chemical communicator, carrying impulses from neurons to skeletal muscle cells and many parts of the nervous system. Now researchers at the University of Illinois have painstakingly mapped the interior of a key component of the relay system that allows acetylcholine to get its message across. Their findings, which appear in the current issue of Nature Structure & Molecular Biology, reveal how the muscle nicotinic acetylcholine receptor responds to a burst of acetylcholine on the surface of a cell.

  • Alejandro Lleras receives National Science Foundation CAREER Award

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Alejandro Lleras, a professor of psychology at the University of Illinois and an affiliate of the Beckman Institute, is a recipient of an Early Faculty CAREER award from the National Science Foundation. The $400,000 award will be distributed over five years, beginning in 2008.

  • Mechanoluminescence event yields novel emissions, reactions

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Researchers at the University of Illinois report that a new study of mechanoluminescence revealed extensive atomic and molecular spectral emission not previously seen in a mechanoluminescence event. The findings, which appear online this month in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, also include the first report of gas phase chemical reactions resulting from a mechanoluminescence event.

  • As the feds restart the FutureGen project in central Illinois, how do we know 'carbon sequestration' really works?

    A Minute With™... geology professor William Shilts

  • Researchers use new approach to predict protein function

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - In a paper published online this month in the journal Nature Chemical Biology, researchers report that they have developed a way to determine the function of some of the hundreds of thousands of proteins for which amino acid sequence data are available, but whose structure and function remain unknown.

  • UI scientist develops enzyme inhibitor that may slow cancer

    UI scientist Tim Garrow, in collaboration with Jiri Jiracek of the Czech Academy of Sciences, has applied for a provisional patent on a class of chemicals that has future therapeutic uses in medicine, specifically cancer treatment.

  • Newly developed anesthetic for amphibians could aid field researchers

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Veterinary researchers at the University of Illinois have developed a general anesthetic for amphibians that is administered through their skin. The anesthetic jelly could be a low-cost, easy-to-administer form of anesthesia for veterinary work conducted in the field.

  • New protein synthesis not essential to memory formation

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - New research from the University of Illinois challenges the premise that the brain must build new proteins in response to an experience for that experience to be recorded in long-term memory.

  • Researchers produce most detailed map of cattle genome

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- The most detailed map ever produced of cattle genes and the first comparison map of cattle and human genomes show that many genes, and even whole chromosomes, are configured in the same way in the two species, scientists report.

  • Information system to help scientists analyze mechanisms of social behavior

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - With a $5 million, five-year grant from the National Science Foundation, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will create BeeSpace, a system to help scientists analyze all sources of information relevant to the mechanisms of social behavior.

  • Research advances understanding of how hydrogen fuel is made

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Oxygen may be necessary for life, but it sure gets in the way of making hydrogen fuel cheaply and abundantly from a family of enzymes present in many microorganisms. Blocking oxygen's path to an enzyme's production machinery could lead to a renewable energy source that would generate only water as its waste product.

  • Web page provides pet owners with information on dog flu

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine has established a Web page with information about canine influenza, which has spread to pet dogs in 10 states after first being diagnosed in January 2004 at a Florida greyhound track. No cases have been reported in Illinois.

  • U. of I. entomology department swarms to 'Bee Movie'

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - What do entomologists do on autumn weekends? This Sunday the University of Illinois department of entomology is going to see an animated insect film: "Bee Movie," starring Jerry Seinfeld and Renée Zellweger.

  • Illinois scientists' discovery helps explain protein-synthesis machinery in cells

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- University of Illinois biologists have discovered that a protein that lives in the cytoplasmic world between a mammalian cell's membrane and nucleus undergoes a "nuclear experience" that is necessary for regulating cell growth and division.

  • Keck Foundation to fund interdisciplinary research in brain disease, damage

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - A pioneering interdisciplinary research initiative that will combine neuroscience, chemistry and materials science in an effort to find new treatments for brain diseases and damage is being launched at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a $1.2 million grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation.

  • Fitness counteracts cognitive decline from hormone-replacement therapy

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Women pondering hormone-replacement therapy also should consider regular exercise. A new study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign suggests that being physically fit offsets cognitive declines attributed to long-term therapy.

  • Women's health, tissue regeneration to be focus of joint U. of I.-Carle program

    Champaign and Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana.

  • Toxin combination common in fish appears capable of impairing motor skills

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Pups of female rats exposed to a combination of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and methylmercury (MeHg) slip and fall more often trying to maneuver on a rotating rod than do pups from non-exposed moms, scientists say.

  • Soy supplements with isoflavones 'reprogram' breast cancer cells

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Women with estrogen-responsive breast cancer who consume soy protein supplements containing isoflavones to alleviate the side effects of menopause may be accelerating progression of their cancer, changing it from a treatable subtype to a more aggressive, less treatable form of the disease, new research suggests.

  • 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.

  • Gene that plays key role in replicating viruses also halts inflammation

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign studying vaccinia virus, a close relative of smallpox, have determined that a gene necessary for virus replication also has a key role in turning off inflammation, a crucial anti-viral immune response of host cells.

  • Study finds school environment can moderate student aggression

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The culture of a school can dampen - or exacerbate - the violent or disruptive tendencies of aggressive young teens, new research indicates. A large-scale study from the University of Illinois found that while personal traits and peer interactions have the most direct effect on the aggressive behavior of middle school students, the school environment also influences student aggression.

  • A shortage of livestock veterinarians and its potential effect on human health

     A Minute With™... John A. Herrmann, a professor of veterinary clinical medicine

  • Sloan Foundation funds online continuing education program for veterinarians

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. A $100,000 grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation has paved the way for the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine to develop a comprehensive online continuing education program for veterinarians.

  • Hepatitis C helicase unwinds DNA in a spring-loaded, 3-step process

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The process by which genes are duplicated is mysterious and complex, involving a cast of characters with diverse talents and the ability to play well with others in extremely close quarters. A key player on this stage is an enzyme called a helicase. Its job is to unwind the tightly coiled chain of nucleic acids - the DNA or RNA molecule that spells out the organism's genetic code - so that another enzyme, a polymerase, can faithfully copy each nucleotide in the code.

  • Easter named acting dean of ACES

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. Robert A. Easter was named today to be acting dean of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois. He will become interim dean, pending approval of the Board of Trustees at its meeting Sept. 13 in Chicago.

  • Enzyme activation appears key in helping internal clock tell night from day

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Feel like time is repeating itself and won't move on? It could be your internal clock is backpedaling because your PKG-II is out of whack.

  • U. of I. researchers to play key roles in study of how life emerged on earth

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Three scientists from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have leading roles in a multi-institution quest funded by the National Science Foundation to determine how life emerged on Earth.

  • Five at U. of I. named Fellows of American Association for Advancement of Science

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Five faculty members of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have been awarded the distinction of AAAS Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science: C.K. (Tina) Gunsalus, Paul B. Kelter, Harris A. Lewin, Benjamin W. Wah and John H. Weaver.

  • Lawrence Schook named to animal research institute

    CHAMPAIGN, lll. - University of Illinois Vice President for Research Lawrence Schook has been named a council member of the National Research Council's Institute for Laboratory Animal Research (ILAR), which evaluates the use of animals in research and seeks to identify viable alternatives to the use of animals in non-agricultural research.

  • Holiday magic show reveals the science behind the 'magic' of chemistry

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - A clear liquid is added to another clear liquid and the mixture turns pink. A glass rod touches a cotton ball and the cotton ball "disappears" in a burst of flame.

  • U. of I. a recipient of grant funds to upgrade rural health network

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The University of Illinois is one of 12 institutions in Illinois to receive funding from the Federal Communications Commission Rural Health Care Pilot Program, an initiative to improve health-related communications infrastructure nationwide. The university will share in the $21 million grant to the state of Illinois. The money will be used to enhance the state's cyber-infrastructure, improving the communications capabilities of health providers all over the state.

  • Estrogen interferes with immune surveillance in breast cancer

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Estrogen is known to enhance the growth and migration of breast cancer cells. Now researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have found that estrogen also can shield breast cancer cells from immune cells.

  • Molecular level discovery could play role in development of new antibiotics

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Chemists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have uncovered the molecular activity of an enzyme responsible for naturally turning a small protein into a potent antibiotic known as a lantibiotic.

  • Community Medical School to offer four lectures for the layperson

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Area residents can enhance their knowledge of medicine and science by attending the Community Medical School, a new program of the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Urbana-Champaign.

  • Creation of antibiotic in test tube holds promise for better antibiotics

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Scientists have made nisin, a natural antibiotic used for more than 40 years to preserve food, in a test tube using nature's toolbox. They also identified the structure of the enzyme that makes nisin and gives it its unique biological power.

  • Report: Photosynthesis hack needed to feed the world by 2050

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Using high-performance computing and genetic engineering to boost the photosynthetic efficiency of plants offers the best hope of increasing crop yields enough to feed a planet expected to have 9.5 billion people on it by 2050, researchers report in the journal Cell.

  • Monkey-dung study offers clues about land-use, wildlife ecology

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Fecal matter of red colobus monkeys collected in western Uganda has yielded a wealth of knowledge about human land-use change and wildlife health and conservation. The main lesson, researchers say, is that the intensity of tree removal translates directly to parasite populations and the risk of infection of their hosts.

  • Two words, in differing order, can increase or decrease cooperation

    CHAMPAIGN, lll. - Researchers report that study subjects sometimes read meaning into the words "nice" and "act," in ways that can influence the subjects' willingness to cooperate with others on simple tasks.

  • Study of planarians offers insight into germ cell development

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The planarian is not as well known as other, more widely used subjects of scientific study - model creatures such as the fruit fly, nematode or mouse. But University of Illinois cell and developmental biology professor Phillip Newmark thinks it should be. As it turns out, the tiny, seemingly cross-eyed flatworm is an ideal subject for the study of germ cells, precursors of eggs and sperm in all sexually reproducing species.

  • Psychology professor elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Renée Baillargeon, the University of Illinois Alumni Distinguished Professor of Psychology, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the academy announced today. She and the other 226 newly elected fellows will be honored at the annual Induction Ceremony on Oct. 6 at academy headquarters in Cambridge, Mass.

  • Researchers see evidence of memory in the songbird brain

    CHAMPAIGN, lll. - When a zebra finch hears a new song from a member of its own species, the experience changes gene expression in its brain in unexpected ways, researchers report. The sequential switching on and off of thousands of genes after a bird hears a new tune offers a new picture of memory in the songbird brain.

  • Isolated soy protein shown to benefit type 2 diabetics, study indicates

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Isolated soy protein added to the diets of 14 men, all military veterans under treatment for advanced stages of type 2 diabetes, significantly lowered unwanted proteins in their urine and slightly raised desired HDL cholesterol levels in their blood, researchers say.

  • Molecular sleuths track evolution through the ribosome

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - A new study of the ribosome, the cell's protein-building machinery, sheds light on the oldest branches of the evolutionary tree of life and suggests that differences in ribosomal structure among the three main branches of that tree are "molecular fossils" of the early evolution of protein synthesis.

  • Illinois biologist among 57 Presidential Early Career Award winners

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Carla E. Cáceres, a professor of animal biology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is among 57 young researchers named today as recipients of the 2003 Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the government on young professionals at the outset of their independent research careers.

  • Wildlife Society honors author of 'Waterfowl of Illinois: Status and Management'

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Stephen P. Havera, director of the Forbes Biological Station of the Illinois Natural History Survey, was honored Sept. 13 by the Wildlife Society as the recipient of its 2000 Wildlife Publications Award for his comprehensive book on Illinois waterfowl.

  • Molecular research suggests shift needed in how drugs are created

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The first close-up look at a pro-inflammatory signaling molecule involved in immune response in mammals suggests that researchers "should rethink what they are doing" in creating drugs based on a fruit-fly model, scientists say.

  • Participants needed for course on balancing work, life

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Work and home: Two worlds that most parents juggle daily. How to balance the two so the pressure of one doesn't overwhelm the other is the focus of a five-part program under development by University of Illinois Extension.

  • Illinois institute named 'Deal of Distinction' by tech-transfer group

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The landmark $500 million biofuels research partnership that created the Energy Biosciences Institute has been named a "Deal of Distinction" by the Licensing Executives Society, an organization of U.S. and Canadian technology transfer professionals.

  • 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.