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  • Why you should factor driving into your weight loss plan

    A Minute With...™ Sheldon Jacobson, expert on data science

  • Old drugs, new tricks: Medications approved for other uses also have antibiotic action

    A number of drugs already approved to treat parasitic infections, cancers, infertility and other conditions also show promise as antibiotic agents against staph and tuberculosis infections, according to a new study by University of Illinois chemists and collaborators.

  • Program that helps children cope after disasters could benefit refugees, at-risk youth

    A social and emotional skills intervention developed to help children recover from the trauma of natural disasters is being pilot-tested with at-risk youth living in poverty in the U.S. and could be adapted to help young refugees heal their psychological wounds.

  • Study: Childhood concussions impair brain function

    A new study finds that pre-adolescent children who have sustained sports-related concussions have impaired brain function two years following injury.

  • Study: Emotion processing in the brain changes with tinnitus severity

    A new study reveals that people with tinnitus who are less bothered by their symptoms use different brain regions when processing emotional information.

  • Portable device can quickly determine the extent of an eye injury

    An engineer and an ophthalmologist are working together to develop a portable sensor that can quickly and inexpensively determine whether an eye injury is mild or severe. The device, called OcuCheck, works by measuring levels of vitamin C in the fluids that coat or leak from the eye. The sensor could speed efforts to determine the extent of eye injuries at accident sites, in rural areas lacking ophthalmology specialists or on the battlefield, the researchers said.

  • Distracted dining? Steer clear of it!

    A new University of Illinois study reveals that distracted dining may be as dangerous to your health as distracted driving is to your safety on the highway.

  • Nondrug interventions improve quality of life for Chinese cancer patients

    A meta-analysis of dozens of studies of traditional Chinese medicine and other nonpharmacological interventions meant to improve patients’ quality of life affirms that these approaches, on the whole, help alleviate depression, fatigue, pain, anxiety, insomnia and gastrointestinal problems in Chinese cancer patients.

  • Tim Nugent a pioneer in changing life for people with disabilities

    Tim Nugent, who died Wednesday at the age of 92 in Urbana, Illinois, was a visionary who changed the world for people with disabilities. Starting with a small program at the University of Illinois a few years after World War II – but for years with little support, and often outright opposition – Nugent sought to change both the opportunities for people with disabilities and public attitudes about them.

  • Drugs with multiple targets show promise against myotonic dystrophy type 1

    Efforts to treat myotonic dystrophy type 1, the most common form of muscular dystrophy, are in their infancy. In a new study, researchers report they have added new capabilities to an experimental drug agent that previously defeated only one of DM1’s many modes of action. Their retooled compounds interrupt the disease’s pathology in three ways.

  • 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.

  • Study: Strength of brain connectivity varies with fitness level in older adults

    A new study shows that age-related differences in brain health – specifically the strength of connections between different regions of the brain – vary with fitness level in older adults.

  • People with MS may be more physically fit than tests indicate, study finds

    Conventional methods of assessing cardiorespiratory fitness and muscular strength among people with multiple sclerosis may underestimate participants’ capabilities, prompting clinicians to prescribe exercise therapies that are less effective than they could be, according to new research by scientists at the University of Illinois.

  • 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.

  • Grant funds computer simulation to train social work students, clinicians

    A federal grant of more than $919,000 from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration will fund one new course at the University of Illinois and support training for clinicians at area agencies in conducting early interventions with people who abuse substances.

  • Health care, research failing to adapt to US’ growing multiracial population

    University of Illinois social work professor Karen Tabb Dina found that multiracial youth who switch racial identities over time report being healthier as young adults than their minority peers who maintain consistent racial identities.

  • Rebates a cost-effective way to boost healthy eating among low-income people, study finds

    University of Illinois kinesiology and community health professor Ruopeng An evaluates the cost effectiveness and health impact of the USDA's Healthy Incentives rebate program for SNAP recipients. An, who recommends expanding it nationwide to SNAP recipients, finds that it is likely to nudge people to purchase/consume more fruits and vegetables.

  • Committee to identify, recruit founding dean for Carle Illinois College of Medicine

    A search committee established to find the Carle Illinois College of Medicine’s inaugural dean will begin its work this month with the goal of naming the dean by spring 2016

  • Why food insecurity still hasn't decreased in the U.S.

    A Minute With...™ U. of I. agricultural economist Craig Gundersen

  • Feeling anxious? Check your orbitofrontal cortex and cultivate your optimism, study suggests

    A new study links anxiety, a brain structure called the orbitofrontal cortex, and optimism, finding that healthy adults who have larger OFCs tend to be more optimistic and less anxious.

  • 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.

  • Surgical probe seeks out where cancer ends and healthy tissue begins

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – A new surgical tool that uses light to make sure surgeons removing cancerous tumors “got it all” was found to correlate well with traditional pathologists’ diagnoses in a clinical study, showing that the tool could soon enable reliable, real-time guidance for surgeons.

  • Diet beverage drinkers compensate by eating unhealthy food, study finds

    Study finds that people who drink diet beverages may compensate by eating additional food that is higher in fat, cholesterol and sodium.

  • Genome mining effort discovers 19 new natural products in four years

    It took a small group of researchers only four years – a blink of an eye in pharmaceutical terms – to scour a collection of 10,000 bacterial strains and isolate the genes responsible for making 19 unique, previously unknown phosphonate natural products, researchers report. Each of these products is a potential new drug. One of them has already been identified as an antibiotic.

  • 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.

  • Study links physical activity to greater mental flexibility in older adults

    One day soon, doctors may be able to determine how physically active you are simply by imaging your brain. Studies have shown that physically fit people tend to have larger brain volumes and more intact white matter than their less-fit peers. Now a new study reveals that older adults who regularly engage in moderate to vigorous physical activity have more variable brain activity at rest than those who don’t. This variability is associated with better cognitive performance, the researchers say.

  • The nonagenarian athlete: Researchers study Olga Kotelko's brain

    In the summer of 2012, Olga Kotelko, a 93-year-old Canadian track-and-field athlete with more than 30 world records in her age group, visited the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois and submitted to an in-depth analysis of her brain.

  • Study links cardiorespiratory fitness, thinner gray matter and better math skills in kids

    A new study reveals that 9- and 10-year-old children who are aerobically fit tend to have significantly thinner gray matter than their “lower-fit” peers. Thinning of the outermost layer of brain cells in the cerebrum is associated with better mathematics performance, researchers report in the journal PLOS ONE.

  • Simple intervention can moderate anti-vaccination beliefs, study finds

    It might not be possible to convince someone who believes that vaccines cause autism that they don’t. Telling skeptics that their belief is not scientifically supported often backfires and strengthens, rather than weakens, their anti-vaccine views. But researchers say they have found a way to overcome some of the most entrenched anti-vaccine attitudes: Remind the skeptics – with words and images – why vaccines exist.

  • 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.

  • Women's sexual risk-taking in tourism focus of new study

    Relaxing beach vacations are perfect for sexual experimentation with a steady partner, while group tours and sightseeing trips are the ultimate contexts for casual sex with acquaintances or strangers, women said in a new survey.

  • 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.

  • Dads' parenting of children with autism improves moms' mental health

    Fathers who read to their infants with autism and take active roles in caregiving activities not only promote healthy development in their children, they boost moms’ mental health too, new research suggests.

  • What's in your landscape? Plants can alter West Nile virus risk

    A new study looks at how leaf litter in water influences the abundance of Culex pipiens mosquitoes, which can transmit West Nile virus to humans, domestic animals, birds and other wildlife.

  • Study: Restaurant meals can be as bad for your waistline as fast food is

    When Americans go out to eat, either at a fast-food outlet or a full-service restaurant, they consume, on average, about 200 more calories a day than when they stay home for meals, a new study reports. They also take in more fat, saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium than those who prepare and eat their meals at home.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Drug trials in pet dogs with cancer may speed advances in human oncology

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Pet dogs may be humans’ best friends in a new arena of life: cancer treatment, said University of Illinois veterinary clinical medicine professor Timothy Fan. Physiological similarities between dogs and humans, and conserved genetics between some dog and human cancers, can allow pet dogs to serve as useful models for studying new cancer drugs, he said.

  • 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.

  • 100-year-old trans fat pioneer celebrates news of an FDA ban

    A Minute With™... Fred Kummerow, trans fat expert

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Report: Brain-injured patients need therapies based on cognitive neuroscience

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Patients with traumatic brain injuries are not benefiting from recent advances in cognitive neuroscience research – and they should be, scientists report in a special issue of Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.