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  • Study finds brain markers of numeric, verbal and spatial reasoning abilities

    A new study begins to clarify how brain structure and chemistry give rise to specific aspects of what researchers call “fluid intelligence,” the ability to adapt to new situations and to solve problems one has never encountered before.

  • When veterinarians become crime scene investigators

    A Minute With...™ veterinary diagnostic laboratory professor Adam Stern

  • Current diversity pattern of North American mammals a ‘recent’ trend, study finds

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — It’s called the latitudinal diversity gradient, a phenomenon seen today in most plant and animal species around the world: Biodiversity decreases from the equator to higher latitudes. A new study of fossils representing 63 million of the past 65 million years reveals that – for North American mammals, at least – the modern LDG is the exception rather than the rule.


  • Human trials of cancer drug PAC-1 continue with new investment

    Clinical trials of the anti-cancer agent PAC-1 are continuing to expand, thanks to a $7 million angel investment from an anonymous contributor who originally invested $4 million to help get the compound this far in the drug-approval pipeline.

  • Why America's aging population needs to think about preventing falls

    A Minute With...™ Jacob Sosnoff, professor of kinesiology and community health

  • Study links parental depression to brain changes and risk-taking in adolescents

    A new study concludes that parental depression contributes to greater brain activity in areas linked to risk taking in adolescent children, likely leading to more risk-taking and rule-breaking behaviors. While previous research has found associations between clinically depressed parents and their teenagers’ risk taking, the new study is the first to find corresponding changes in the adolescents’ brains.

  • Six Illinois professors named Guggenheim Fellows

    Six professors at the University of Illinois have been named 2016 Guggenheim Fellows, bringing to 13 the number of U. of I. faculty members who have been honored with the fellowship over the last three years. This year’s fellows are Dennis Baron, Karin A. Dahmen, Craig Koslofsky, Mei-Po Kwan, Ralph W. Mathisen and Rebecca Stumpf.

  • Faith-based health promotion program successful with older Latinas, study finds

    A culturally sensitive lifestyle intervention showed promise at motivating Latinas living in the U.S. to eat better and exercise more by connecting healthy-living behaviors with the lives of saints and prominent religious figures, a new study by University of Illinois kinesiology and community health professor Andiara Schwingel indicates.

  • Shape of tumor may affect whether cells can metastasize

    Only a few cells in a cancerous tumor are able to break away and spread to other parts of the body, but the curve along the edge of the tumor may play a large role in activating these tumor-seeding cells, according to a new University of Illinois study.

  • Researcher studies how animals puncture things

    If shooting arrows from a crossbow into cubes of ballistics gelatin doesn’t sound like biological science to you, you’ve got a lot to learn from University of Illinois animal biology professor Philip Anderson, who did just that to answer a fundamental question about how animals use their fangs, claws and tentacles to puncture other animals.

  • U. of I. alumna Temple Grandin elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

    Temple Grandin, a University of Illinois alumna and a professor of animal sciences at Colorado State University, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

  • Vocal signals reveal intent to dominate or submit, study finds

    You may not win friends, but a new study finds that you can influence people simply by lowering the pitch of your voice in the first moments of a conversation.

  • Study links fetal and newborn dolphin deaths to Deepwater Horizon oil spill

    Scientists have finalized a five-year study of newborn and fetal dolphins found stranded on beaches in the northern Gulf of Mexico between 2010 and 2013. Their study, reported in the journal Diseases of Aquatic Organisms, identified substantial differences between fetal and newborn dolphins found stranded inside and outside the areas affected by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

  • Study suggests commercial bumble bee industry amplified a fungal pathogen of bees

    Scientists hoping to explain widespread declines in wild bumble bee populations have conducted the first long-term genetic study of Nosema bombi, a key fungal pathogen of honey bees and bumble bees. Their study found that Nosema infections in large-scale commercial bumble bee pollination operations coincided with infections and declines in wild bumble bees.

  • Rat study reveals long-term effects of adolescent amphetamine abuse on the brain

    A study of rats given regular, high doses of amphetamine finds that those exposed to the drug at an age corresponding to human adolescence experience long-term changes in brain function that persist into adulthood.

  • Parents’ binge eating, restrictive feeding practices may be reactions to children’s emotions

    A new study of more than 440 parents and their preschoolers offers insight into why some parents who binge eat also may try to restrict their children’s food intake, placing their children at higher risk for unhealthy eating habits and weight problems.

  • Structure of protein that forms fibrils in Parkinson's patients could lead to new diagnostic and treatment options

    Chemists have identified the complex chemical structure of the protein that stacks together to form fibrils in the brains of Parkinson’s disease patients. Armed with this knowledge, researchers can identify specific targets for diagnosis and treatment.

  • Treating withdrawal symptoms could help cannabis users quit, study finds

    Heavy users of cannabis who experience withdrawal symptoms such as nervousness and cravings when they quit are likely to use again sooner than their peers, a new study finds.

  • Study: Brain metabolism predicts fluid intelligence in young adults

    A healthy brain is critical to a person's cognitive abilities, but measuring brain health can be a complicated endeavor. A new study reports that healthy brain metabolism corresponds with fluid intelligence – a measure of one's ability to solve unusual or complex problems – in young adults.

  • DNA molecules directly interact with each other based on sequence, study finds

    Proteins play a large role in DNA regulation, but a new study finds that DNA molecules directly interact with one another in a way that’s dependent on the sequence of the DNA and epigenetic factors. This could have implications for how DNA is organized in the cell and even how genes are regulated in different cell types, the researchers say.

  • Illinois scientists dig deeper to build a better permafrost model

    Scientists report they have found a way to improve predictions of permafrost area and stability in the northern high latitudes. Their improved model finds that the rate of permafrost decline in recent decades is slower than previously thought.

  • Light illuminates the way for bio-bots

    A new class of miniature biological robots, or bio-bots, has seen the light – and is following where the light shines.

  • Study offers clearest picture yet of how HIV defeats a cellular defender

    A new study offers the first atomic-scale view of an interaction between the HIV capsid - the protein coat that shepherds HIV into the nucleus of human cells - and a host protein known as cyclophilin A. This interaction is key to HIV infection, researchers say.

  • 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.

  • Study links mobile device addiction to depression and anxiety

    Is cellphone use detrimental to mental health? A new study from the University of Illinois finds that high engagement with mobile technology is linked to anxiety and depression in college-age students.

  • Drinking more water associated with numerous dietary benefits, study finds

    In a new study of more than 18,300 U.S. adults, U. of I. researcher Ruopeng An found the majority of people who increased their consumption of plain water reduced their total daily calorie intake as well as their consumption of saturated fat, sugar, sodium and cholesterol.

  • Study: Researchers identify how mental abilities are shaped by individual differences in the brain

    Everyone has a different mixture of personality traits: some are outgoing, some are tough and some are anxious. A new study suggests that brains also have different traits that affect both anatomical and cognitive factors, such as intelligence and memory.

  • Five Illinois faculty members named Sloan Research Fellows

    Five University of Illinois faculty members received the 2016 Sloan Research Fellowship from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

  • Fungi are at the root of tropical forest diversity – or lack thereof, study finds

    The types of beneficial fungi that associate with tree roots can alter the fate of a patch of tropical forest, boosting plant diversity or, conversely, giving one tree species a distinct advantage over many others, researchers report. 

  • Insects explode onscreen at this year’s Insect Fear Film Festival – and in real life

    Insects that explode or start fires are a great plot device in a horror film, but they also have (almost) real-life counterparts. "Exploding Arthropods” is the theme for the 2016 Insect Fear Film Festival on Feb. 27 at the University of Illinois.

  • Graphic images may not scare smokers off cigarettes, says study

    Images of disease and suffering should move smokers to kick the habit – at least, that’s the thinking behind graphic warning labels used on cigarette packages in much of the world, and maybe someday in the U.S. According to a University of Illinois study, however, those graphic images may not be effective with many people who perceive them as a threat to their freedom, choice or autonomy.

  • Forget butterflies and bees, box like an ant: Study measures speed of trap-jaw ant boxing

    Boxer Muhammad Ali famously declared his intent to “float like a butterfly and sting like a bee,” but perhaps boxers should look to another type of insect for inspiration: the trap-jaw ant.

  • Study: Head shape and genetics augment understanding of rattlesnake species

    Using head shape and genetic analyses, new research challenges the formerly designated subspecies within the western rattlesnake species. These findings have important implications for ecological conservation efforts across the United States and could provide the basis for new species designations.

  • Nurturing a market for waste CO2

    A Minute With...™ Kevin O'Brien, director of the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center

  • Tiny electronic implants monitor brain injury, then melt away

    A new class of small, thin electronic sensors can monitor temperature and pressure within the skull – crucial health parameters after a brain injury or surgery – then melt away when they are no longer needed, eliminating the need for additional surgery to remove the monitors and reducing the risk of infection and hemorrhage.

  • Study: Second-generation biofuels can reduce emissions

    Second-generation biofuel crops like the perennial grasses Miscanthus and switchgrass can efficiently meet emission reduction goals without significantly displacing cropland used for food production, according to a new study. Researchers from the University of Illinois and collaborators published their findings in the inaugural edition of the journal Nature Energy. The researchers call it the most comprehensive study on the subject to date.

  • 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.

  • Seven Illinois researchers rank among the world’s most influential

    Seven University of Illinois researchers have been named to the Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researchers list for 2015. The list includes “some of the world’s most influential scientific minds,” according to a statement from Thomson Reuters.

  • 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.

  • Researchers resolve structure of a key component of bacterial decision-making

    For bacteria that swim, determining whether to stay the course or head in a new direction is vital to survival. A new study offers atomic-level details of the molecular machinery that allows swimming bacteria to sense their environment and change direction when needed

  • 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.

  • Leatherback sea turtles choose nest sites carefully, study finds

    The enormous, solitary leatherback sea turtle spends most of its long life at sea. After hatching and dispersing across the world’s oceans, only the female leatherbacks return to their natal beaches to lay clutches of eggs in the sand. A new study offers fresh insights into their nesting choices and will help efforts to prevent the extinction of this globally endangered giant of the sea, researchers said.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • New life for EBICS project will create bio-machines to improve health

    By studying the behavior of living cells and combining them with synthetic tissue, researchers are creating “biological machines” to deliver drugs more effectively, function as internal diagnostic tools or serve as contaminant sensors in the field.

  • 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.

  • Study: Ground-level ozone reduces maize and soybean yields

    Despite government regulations, ground-level ozone – an odorless gas that forms as polluting nitrogen oxides drift in sunlight across the countryside – continues to threaten crop quality and yield. In a new study, researchers quantify this loss from historical yield data for the first time. They show that over the last 30 years, ozone emissions have reduced soybean and corn yields by 5 percent and 10 percent, respectively.

  • Juvenile cowbirds sneak out at night, study finds

    A new study explores how a young cowbird, left as an egg in the nest of a different species, grows up to know it’s a cowbird and not a warbler, thrush or sparrow.

  • Pineapple genome offers insight into photosynthesis in drought-tolerant plants

    By sequencing its genome, scientists are homing in on the genes and genetic pathways that allow the juicy pineapple plant to thrive in water-limited environments. The new findings, reported in the journal Nature Genetics, also open a new window on the complicated evolutionary history of grasses like sorghum and rice, which share a distant ancestor with pineapple.