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  • 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.

  • Cancer drug first tested in pet dogs begins human trials

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - A new drug that prompts cancer cells to self-destruct while sparing healthy cells is now entering phase I clinical trials in humans. The drug, called PAC-1, first showed promise in the treatment of pet dogs with spontaneously occurring cancers, and is still in clinical trials in dogs with osteosarcoma.

  • How big data and engineering will change global health care

    We are right now in the early stages of a revolutionary shift from a medical education and delivery model still rooted in the 19th century to one that will fully integrate the rapid advances of technology with human health improvement.

  • $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.

  • Smokers, the obese, have markedly higher health care costs than peers

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - A new study finds that smokers and the obese ring up substantially higher annual health care costs than their nonsmoking, non-obese peers. The added costs are highest among women, non-Hispanic whites and older adults, the study reports.

  • Getting into your head: Gelatin nanoparticles could deliver drugs to the brain

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Stroke victims could have more time to seek treatment that could reduce harmful effects on the brain, thanks to tiny blobs of gelatin that could deliver the medication to the brain noninvasively.

  • Women with serious mental illness less likely to receive cancer screenings

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Women with symptoms of serious mental illness are significantly less likely to receive three routine cancer screenings - Pap tests, mammograms and clinical breast exams - than women in the general population, despite being at elevated risk for medical comorbidities and early death, a new study indicates.

  • Teens who mature early at greater risk of depression, study says

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Youth who enter puberty ahead of their peers are at heightened risk of depression, although the disease develops differently in girls than in boys, a new study suggests.

  • Social support critical to women's weight-loss efforts, study finds

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Being accountable to another person and receiving social support may be vital in motivating some women to lose weight and keep it off, a new study says.

  • Study: Many in U.S. have poor nutrition, with the disabled doing worst

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - A new study finds that most U.S. adults fail to meet recommended daily levels of 10 key nutrients, and those with disabilities have even worse nutrition than average.

  • Watching 3-D videos of trees helps people recover from stress, researchers say

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Writers, outdoor enthusiasts and leaf-peeping tourists have known for centuries that nature has restorative powers that reduce feelings of stress and promote a sense of tranquility.

  • Health lessons provided by interactive media easier for youth to swallow

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Lecturing teens to eat their vegetables and get more exercise may not motivate them to adopt healthier habits, as many parents know. But will members of the "Facebook generation" learn to eat their broccoli and take more walks if the messages come from electronic games and peers in videos instead?

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Solving food insecurity problems among older Americans

    A Minute With™... Craig Gundersen, the University of Illinois Soybean Industry Endowed Professor of Agricultural Strategy

  • Labeling genetically engineered food

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

  • GaitTrack app makes cellphone a medical monitor for heart and lung patients

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - By simply carrying around their cellphones, patients who suffer from chronic disease could soon have an accurate health monitor that warns their doctors when their symptoms worsen.

  • 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.

  • Off the shelf, on the skin: Stick-on electronic patches for health monitoring

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Wearing a fitness tracker on your wrist or clipped to your belt is so 2013. Engineers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Northwestern University have demonstrated thin, soft stick-on patches that stretch and move with the skin and incorporate commercial, off-the-shelf chip-based electronics for sophisticated wireless health monitoring.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • '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.

  • Study looks at what older people think causes hypertension

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Older adults with hypertension may have dramatically different perceptions about the cause of their condition depending upon where they live, their ethnicity and other demographic characteristics, suggests new research that involved older adults in Arizona and Illinois.