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  • Eight Illinois researchers rank among world’s most influential

    Eight University of Illinois researchers have been named to the Thomson Reuters / Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researchers list for 2016. The list identifies scientists “whose research has had significant global impact within their respective fields of study."

  • Scientists tweak photosynthesis to boost crop yield

    Researchers report  that they can increase plant productivity by boosting levels of three proteins involved in photosynthesis. This confirms a hypothesis some in the scientific community once doubted was possible.

  • For First Nations peoples, effects of European contact are recorded in the genome

    A study of the genomes of 25 individuals who lived 1,000 to 6,000 years ago on the north coast of present-day British Columbia, and 25 of their descendants who still live in the region today, opens a new window on the catastrophic consequences of European colonization for indigenous peoples in that part of the world.

  • Yoga practice linked to lower stress, better cognitive performance in older adults

    Older adults who practiced hatha yoga for 8 weeks were better able to manage stress and performed better on cognitive tests than peers  in a stretching and weight-training program, researchers report.

  • Licorice compound interferes with sex hormones in mouse ovary, study finds

    A study of mouse reproductive tissues finds that exposure to isoliquiritigenin, a compound found in licorice, disrupts steroid sex hormone production in the ovary, researchers report.

  • Klaus Schulten, pioneer in biophysics and computational biology, has died

    University of Illinois physics professor Klaus Schulten, an innovator in the use of computational methods to study the chemical and biological processes driving living cells, died Monday, Oct. 31, at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana. He was 69.

  • Time-lapse cell imaging reveals dynamic activity

    Living cells are miniature worlds bustling with activity. A new advanced imaging method can track cells over long periods of time using only light – no dye or chemicals required – to reveal dynamics and provide insight into how cells function, develop and interact.

  • Distracted much? New research may help explain why

    A new study offers evidence that one’s motivation is just as important for sustained attention to a task as is the ease with which the task is done.

  • Review finds little evidence that brain-training games yield real-world benefits

    A systematic review of the scientific studies cited by brain-training companies as evidence that their products improve cognition in daily life finds no convincing evidence to support those claims. While people tend to improve on the specific tasks they practice, the researchers report, the conclusion that computerized brain-training programs yield broader cognitive benefits or improve real-world outcomes for their users is premature at best.

  • Study links nutrition to brain health and cognitive aging

    A new study of older adults finds an association between higher blood levels of phosphatidylcholine, a source of the dietary nutrient choline, and the ability to regulate attention to manage competing tasks. The study also identified a brain structure that appears to play a role in this association.

  • Is Academia Waking Up to the Problem of Sexual Harassment?

    U. of I. anthropology professor Kathryn Clancy supports a federal legislative effort that would require universities to report – and federal funding agencies to consider – findings that any university professor engaged in discrimination on the basis of sex. 

  • Illinois growers are running out of options in fight against waterhemp

    Resistance to multiple herbicides is the new norm for populations of waterhemp, a common agricultural weed. With their herbicide options dwindling and nothing new on the horizon, Illinois growers must be strategic in how they manage waterhemp-infested fields, says a University of Illinois expert on crop weed management.

  • ‘Sleeper effect’ accounts for durability of weak messages from credible sources

    The least convincing arguments can reverberate in the public consciousness over time – provided they’re delivered by a credible source, says new research from U. of I. psychology professor Dolores Albarracin.

  • Scientists identify genes that disrupt response to breast cancer treatment

    Scientists at the University of Illinois may have unlocked the genetic code that determines why many patients with estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer fail to respond to the widely used drug tamoxifen.

  • Study: Future drought will offset benefits of higher CO2 on soybean yields

    An eight-year study of soybeans grown outdoors in a carbon dioxide-rich atmosphere like that expected by 2050 has yielded a new and worrisome finding: Higher atmospheric CO2 concentrations will boost plant growth under ideal growing conditions, but drought – expected to worsen as the climate warms and rainfall patterns change – will outweigh those benefits and cause yield losses much sooner than anticipated.

  • Force triggers gene expression by stretching chromatin

    A new study by University of Illinois researchers and collaborators in China has demonstrated that external mechanical force can directly regulate gene expression.

  • Study confirms long-term effects of ‘chemobrain’ in mice

    Women undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer have long complained of lingering cognitive impairments after treatment. These effects are referred to as "chemobrain," a feeling of mental fogginess. A new study from the University of Illinois reports long-lasting cognitive impairments in mice when they are administered a chemotherapy regimen used to treat breast cancer in humans.

  • Genome-editing proteins ride a DNA zip line

    For gene-editing proteins to be useful in clinical applications, they need to be able to find the specific site they’re supposed to edit among billions of DNA sequences. Using advanced imaging techniques, University of Illinois researchers have found that one class of genome-editing proteins rapidly travels along a strand of DNA like a rider on a zip line – a unique behavior among documented DNA-binding proteins.

  • Report: People buy most of their junk food at the supermarket

    An analysis of a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults reveals that access to healthy foods in a supermarket does not hinder Americans’ consumption of empty calories. In fact, the study found, U.S. adults buy the bulk of their sugar-sweetened beverages and nutrient-poor discretionary foods at supermarkets and grocery stores. The findings challenge the "food desert" hypothesis.

  • Ancient bones, teeth, tell story of strife at Cahokia

    Dozens of people buried in mass graves in an ancient mound in Cahokia, a pre-Columbian city in Illinois near present-day St. Louis, likely lived in or near Cahokia most of their lives, researchers report in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 

  • Fresh look at burials, mass graves, tells a new story of Cahokia

    A new study challenges earlier interpretations of an important burial mound at Cahokia, a pre-Columbian city in Illinois near present-day St. Louis. The study reveals that a central feature of the mound, a plot known as the “beaded burial,” is not a monument to male power, as was previously thought, but includes both males and females of high status.

  • Iron catalysts can modify amino acids, peptides to create new drug candidates

    For medicinal chemists, making tweaks to peptide structures is key to developing new drug candidates. Now, researchers have demonstrated that two iron-containing small-molecule catalysts can help turn certain types of amino acids – the building blocks of peptides and proteins – into an array of potential new forms, even when part of a larger peptide, while preserving a crucial aspect of their chemistry: chirality, or “handedness.”

  • Scientists test nanoparticle drug delivery in dogs with osteosarcoma

    At the University of Illinois, an engineer teamed up with a veterinarian to test a bone cancer drug delivery system in animals bigger than the standard animal model, the mouse. They chose dogs – mammals closer in size and biology to humans – with naturally occurring bone cancers, which also are a lot like human bone tumors.

  • Measure of age in soil nitrogen could help precision agriculture

    University of Illinois engineers developed a model to calculate the age of nitrogen in corn and soybean fields, which could lead to improved fertilizer application techniques to promote crop growth while reducing leaching.

  • Scientists watch as water fleas take over new territory

    Look into any nutrient-rich pond almost anywhere in the world and you will find Daphnia pulex, a tiny crustacean (also called a water flea) that is a source of food for fish and fascination for scientists. A new study, reported in the journal Molecular Ecology, offers insights into this creature’s ability to disperse and its remarkable success in the wild.

  • Pap screenings linked to less cervical cancer in elderly women

    A new study from the University of Illinois confirms a link between routine Pap smear screenings and a lower risk of developing cervical cancer in women over age 65. However, most American health guidelines discourage women in that age range from receiving screenings unless they have pre-existing risk factors.

  • Study: How we explain things influences what we think is right

    New research focuses on a fundamental human habit: When trying to explain something (why people give roses for Valentine’s Day, for example), we often focus on the traits of the thing itself (roses are pretty) and not its context (advertisers promote roses). In a new study, researchers found that people who tend to focus on “inherent traits” and ignore context also are more likely to assume that the patterns they see around them are good.

  • Report: A host of common chemicals endanger child brain development

    In a new report, dozens of scientists, health practitioners and children’s health advocates are calling for renewed attention to the growing evidence that many common and widely available chemicals endanger neurodevelopment in fetuses and children of all ages.

  • With online games, high school students learn how to rein in disease outbreaks

    High school students investigate Ebola-like outbreaks and administer vaccines through Outbreak!, a new summer course at Illinois that uses online games to encourage critical thinking about fighting infectious diseases. 

  • 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.