blog posts Avocados change belly fat distribution in women, controlled study finds Sep 3, 2021 9:00 am40979 views An avocado a day could help redistribute belly fat in women toward a healthier profile, according to a new study from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and collaborators. One hundred and five adults with overweight and obesity participated in a randomized controlled trial that provided one meal a day for 12 weeks. Women who consumed avocado as part of their daily meal had a reduction in deeper visceral abdominal fat. Can people take a livestock drug to treat a deadly virus? Sep 2, 2021 10:00 am27136 views Taking large or multiple doses of the anti-parasitic drug ivermectin can cause a toxic overdose, and humans should not take forms intended for animal use, says Illinois veterinary medicine expert Dr. Jim Lowe. Latinos' beliefs about social status may affect their cardiovascular health, study finds Aug 19, 2021 8:45 am700 views Subjective perceptions of their social status may have stronger effects on the cardiovascular health of Hispanics and Latinos in the U.S. than objective markers such as income, according to a new study led by Lissette Piedra. Light can trigger key signaling pathway for embryonic development, cancer Aug 17, 2021 12:45 pm3849 views Blue light is illuminating new understanding of a key signaling pathway in embryo development, tissue maintenance and cancer genesis. Illinois researchers developed a method that makes membrane-bound receptors reactive to light, triggering the Wnt pathway. Study: Domestic control of COVID-19 takes priority over international travel bans Aug 11, 2021 8:00 am859 views A new paper co-written by University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign economist Yilan Xu says taming domestic transmission of COVID-19 ought to be prioritized over international travel bans. Study identifies molecule that stimulates muscle-building Aug 9, 2021 8:00 am3566 views In a randomized control study of 10 healthy young men, researchers compared how consuming the single amino acid leucine or its two-molecule equivalent, dileucine, influenced muscle-building and breakdown. They found that dileucine boosts the metabolic processes that drive muscle growth 42% more than free leucine does. Study offers insight into underlying causes of seizure disorder in babies Aug 3, 2021 7:00 am826 views Researchers report that infantile spasms, a rare but serious seizure disorder in babies, appear to be the result of a molecular pathway gone awry. In their study of a mouse model of the disorder, the researchers discovered that genetic mutations associated with the disease impair a pathway that is involved in building new synapses in the hippocampus, a brain region essential to learning and memory. What impact do the Olympics and mass-sporting events have on public health? Aug 2, 2021 8:15 am2545 views Attending high-profile and mass-participation sporting events may increase individuals’ physical activity levels and enhance their emotional well-being, according to Mikihiro Sato, a professor of recreation, sport and tourism. Study tests microplasma against middle-ear infections Jul 29, 2021 8:00 am527 views In a new study, researchers explore the use of microplasma – a highly focused stream of chemically excited ions and molecules – as a noninvasive method for attacking the bacterial biofilms that resist antibiotic treatment in the middle ear. New approach eradicates breast cancer in mice Jul 21, 2021 1:00 pm25357 views A new approach to treating breast cancer kills 95-100% of cancer cells in mouse models of human estrogen-receptor-positive breast cancers and their metastases in bone, brain, liver and lungs. The newly developed drug, called ErSO, quickly shrinks even large tumors to undetectable levels. 2020 deadlier than previous five years, even with COVID-19 numbers removed, study finds Jul 19, 2021 1:30 pm2012 views An upswing in death rates from non-COVID-19 causes in 2020 hit hard for men ages 15-64, according to a new study by computer science professor Sheldon H. Jacobson and internal medicine professor Janet Jokela. University of Illinois receives APLU award for COVID-19 testing program Jul 1, 2021 2:00 pm2503 views The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign has received the inaugural Research Response to Community Crisis Award from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities for its COVID-19 testing program. Frequent COVID-19 testing key to efficient, early detection, study finds Jun 30, 2021 8:30 am2604 views The chance of detecting the virus that causes COVID-19 increases with more frequent testing, no matter the type of test, a new study found. Both polymerase chain reaction and antigen tests, paired with rapid results reporting, can achieve 98% sensitivity if deployed at least every three days. Consistent bedtime routines in infancy improve children's sleep habits through age 2 Jun 29, 2021 1:45 pm694 views Consistent bedtime routines and activities such as reading books beginning when infants are 3 months old promote better sleep habits through age 2, according to a study by researchers at the Family Resiliency Center. DNAzymes could outperform protein enzymes for genetic engineering Jun 24, 2021 8:15 am1520 views Move over, gene-editing proteins – there’s a smaller, cheaper, more specific genetic engineering tool on the block: DNAzymes – small DNA molecules that can function like protein enzymes. Researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign have developed a technique that, for the first time, allows DNAzymes to target and cut double-stranded DNA, overcoming a significant limitation of the technology. Cancer survivors' tongues less sensitive to tastes than those of healthy peers Jun 23, 2021 9:15 am1725 views Head and neck cancer survivors' tongues are less sensitive to bitter, salty and sweet tastes, and this taste dysfunction lasts for years, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign scientists found in a new study. Combining three techniques boosts brain-imaging precision Jun 23, 2021 7:00 am1123 views Researchers have developed a method to combine three brain-imaging techniques to more precisely capture the timing and location of brain responses to a stimulus. Model helps predict, analyze decision-making on adopting Type 2 diabetes medical guidelines Jun 14, 2021 8:45 am995 views A new computational framework incorporates social interactions to analyze how best to communicate about new medical guidelines to encourage their adoption. Cholesterol metabolite induces production of cancer-promoting vesicles Jun 9, 2021 8:00 am790 views Scientists report that a byproduct of cholesterol metabolism causes some cells to send out cancer-promoting signals to other cells. These signals are packaged in membrane-bound compartments called extracellular vesicles. Why do we need a health care equity law? Jun 3, 2021 8:30 am970 views The Illinois Health Care and Human Services Reform Act has potential to address root causes of health disparities and foster health equity through provisions such as implicit bias training and community health workers, says Illinois professor Ruby Mendenhall. Geology helps map kidney stone formation from tiny to troublesome May 25, 2021 1:00 pm1959 views Advanced microscope technology and cutting-edge geological science are giving new perspectives to an old medical mystery: How do kidney stones form, why are some people more susceptible to them and can they be prevented? Portable, affordable, accurate, fast: Team invents new COVID-19 test May 18, 2021 4:00 am2258 views A new coronavirus test can get accurate results from a saliva sample in less than 30 minutes, researchers report in the journal Nature Communications. Many of the components of the hand-held device used in this technology can be 3D-printed, and the test can detect as little as one viral particle per 1-microliter drop of fluid. Intoxication brings strangers physically closer, study finds May 10, 2021 2:00 pm1016 views In a study with pandemic-related implications, researchers report that strangers who consume alcohol together may keep their distance initially – but draw physically closer as they become intoxicated. No previous studies have tested the effects of alcohol consumption on social distance, the researchers say. They report the new findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Mantis shrimp-inspired camera provides second opinion during cancer surgery May 5, 2021 1:00 pm2092 views Some of the world’s greatest innovations, such as Leonardo da Vinci’s flying machine, owe their strength and elegance to natural design. Researchers from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign have returned their gaze to the natural world to develop a camera inspired by the mantis shrimp that can visualize cancer cells during surgery. Team builds better tool for assessing infant brain health Apr 29, 2021 12:00 am715 views Researchers have created a new, open-access tool that allows doctors and scientists to evaluate infant brain health by assessing the concentration of various chemical markers, called metabolites, in the brain. The tool compiled data from 140 infants to determine normal ranges for these metabolites. Study finds green spaces linked to lower racial disparity in COVID-19 infection rates Apr 28, 2021 10:15 am1166 views A new study is the first to examine the relationship between the supply of green spaces and reduced racial disparity in infectious disease rates. Geographies of death: Study maps COVID-19 health disparities in Greater Santiago Apr 27, 2021 9:00 am436 views People up to age 40 living in economically depressed municipalities in the Greater Santiago, Chile, metropolitan area were three times more likely to die as a result of the infection than their counterparts in wealthier areas, researchers report in the journal Science. COVID-19 mobility restrictions effective for short duration, study finds Apr 22, 2021 12:00 pm711 views Attempts at restricting people’s mobility to control the spread of COVID-19 may be effective only for a short period, researchers said. A new study examines people’s mobility for seven months during the pandemic in the United States using publicly available, anonymized mobile phone data. K-12 Shield Playbook offers guidance for reopening schools amid ongoing pandemic Apr 14, 2021 2:15 pm1110 views A new resource is available to help guide teachers and school administrators as they reopen schools amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, assembled by researchers and experts at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. The K-12 Shield Playbook is based on the SHIELD Illinois program used to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic at the university. Young adults may provide care for older relatives much more frequently than thought Apr 12, 2021 9:30 am753 views Young adults and teens may provide care for adult relatives much more often than previously thought, according to a new study, though they worry about detriments to educational or career goals and would like more training and support. Study links prenatal phthalate exposure to altered information processing in infants Apr 6, 2021 7:30 am19294 views Researchers have found evidence linking pregnant women’s exposure to phthalates to altered cognitive outcomes in their infants. Machine learning helps spot gait problems in individuals with multiple sclerosis Mar 26, 2021 11:00 am2702 views Monitoring the progression of multiple sclerosis-related gait issues can be challenging in adults over 50 years old, requiring a clinician to differentiate between problems related to MS and other age-related issues. To address this problem, researchers are integrating gait data and machine learning to advance the tools used to monitor and predict disease progression. More protein doesn't mean more strength in resistance-trained middle-aged adults Mar 25, 2021 7:30 am3864 views A 10-week muscle-building and dietary program involving 50 middle-aged adults found no evidence that eating a high-protein diet increased strength or muscle mass more than consuming a moderate amount of protein while training. The intervention involved a standard strength-training protocol with sessions three times per week. None of the participants had previous weightlifting experience. How does COVID-19 affect the heart? Mar 23, 2021 8:30 am1447 views While many think of COVID-19 as primarily a respiratory disease, its effects on the heart contribute to nearly 40% of deaths – and can strike even healthy children and athletes, says Mariam Bonyadi Camacho, a student in the medical scholars program at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Camacho co-wrote a recent report on the coronavirus’ cardiac effects, both short- and long-term. She discussed the risks to heart health and possible treatments in an interview. Vaccine study now open for student enrollment Mar 22, 2021 11:15 am3317 views Students at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign who have not yet been vaccinated against COVID-19 can enroll in a study to help understand the effectiveness of vaccines in reducing the spread of the coronavirus. Participants will be paid and could receive the vaccine as soon as April 1. Electronic health record system increases clinicians' cognitive workload, study finds Mar 22, 2021 10:15 am5031 views Adopting a new electronic health records system doubled the amount of cognitive effort clinicians at two urgent care clinics expended during the first six months after implementation, researchers found in a recent study. Microscope that detects individual viruses could power rapid diagnostics Mar 19, 2021 11:30 am1380 views A fast, low-cost technique to see and count viruses or proteins from a sample in real time, without any chemicals or dyes, could underpin a new class of devices for rapid diagnostics and viral load monitoring, including HIV and the virus that causes COVID-19. 'Hunker down' stress genes boosted in women who live in violent neighborhoods Mar 11, 2021 9:00 am1187 views The chronic stress of living in neighborhoods with high rates of violence and poverty alters gene activity in immune cells, according to a new study of low-income single Black mothers on the South Side of Chicago. The changes in stress-related gene expression reflect the body’s “hunker down” response to long-term threat. This has implications for health outcomes in communities of color and other marginalized populations, said researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and collaborators. Study compares discrimination claims of younger and older Americans with cancer Mar 10, 2021 8:00 am598 views Researchers assessed the employment discrimination claims made by younger and older American adults with cancer and found substantial differences in the nature – and outcomes – of their claims. Division of labor within regenerating liver maintains metabolism, mouse study finds Mar 1, 2021 2:00 pm683 views The liver has a rare superpower among body organs – the ability to regenerate, even if 70% of its mass is removed. It also keeps up its metabolic and toxin-removing work during the process of regeneration, thanks to a subset of cells that expand their workload while the rest focus on multiplication, a new study in mice found. Virtual reality program lessens physical side effects of hemodialysis Feb 24, 2021 12:00 pm1152 views A virtual reality program on mindfulness/meditation helped hemodialysis patients alleviate the physical side effects and tedium of their treatments in a new research project led by social work professor Rosalba Hernandez. Carle Illinois College of Medicine granted provisional accreditation Feb 22, 2021 9:00 am3914 views The Carle Illinois College of Medicine, a partnership between the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and Carle Health, has been granted provisional accreditation by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education. Provisional accreditation affirms that a medical school meets nationally accepted standards of educational quality and can move forward with plans to build a sustainable medical education program. Study: Preschoolers with higher cardiorespiratory fitness do better on cognitive tests Feb 18, 2021 8:15 am2046 views Researchers report that 4-6-year-old children who walk further than their peers during a timed test – a method used to estimate cardiorespiratory health – also do better on cognitive tests and other measures of brain function. Published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine, the study suggests that the link between cardiorespiratory fitness and cognitive health is evident even earlier in life than previously appreciated. 3D microscopy clarifies understanding of body's immune response to obesity Feb 17, 2021 1:00 pm1217 views Researchers who focus on fat know that some adipose tissue is more prone to inflammation-related comorbidities than others, but the reasons why are not well understood. Thanks to a new analytical technique, scientists are getting a clearer view of the microenvironments found within adipose tissue associated with obesity. This advance may illuminate why some adipose tissues are more prone to inflammation – leading to diseases like type 2 diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disorders – and help direct future drug therapies to treat obesity. Study links prolonged sedentary time to distractibility in adults with obesity or overweight Feb 17, 2021 8:15 am629 views Scientists used accelerometers to track daily activity levels for a week in 89 adults with obesity or overweight and, in a series of tests, measured their ability to multitask and maintain their attention despite distractions. The study revealed that individuals who spent more sedentary time in bouts lasting 20 minutes or more were less able to overcome distractions. Patient education program with mental health component reduces cardiovascular disease risks Feb 11, 2021 9:45 am561 views Participants in a health education program that included both mental and physical health information significantly reduced their risk factors for cardiovascular disease and maintained most of those improvements six months later. Lipid epoxides target pain, inflammatory pathways in neurons Feb 10, 2021 4:00 am1831 views A process known as epoxidation converts two naturally occurring lipids into potent agents that target multiple cannabinoid receptors in neurons, interrupting pathways that promote pain and inflammation, researchers report in a new study. The findings open a new avenue of research in the effort to find alternatives to potentially addictive opioid pain killers. Childhood trauma could affect development, treatment of multiple sclerosis, mouse study finds Jan 29, 2021 8:30 am3067 views Childhood trauma could affect the trajectory of multiple sclerosis development and response to treatment in adulthood, a new study in mice found. Mice that had experienced stress when young were more likely to develop the autoimmune disorder and less likely to respond to a common treatment, researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign found. However, treatment that activated an immune-cell receptor mitigated the effects of childhood stress in the mice. Medicaid expansion helps uncover undiagnosed HIV infections Jan 26, 2021 8:00 am756 views The Medicaid expansion facilitated by the Affordable Care Act led to a 13.9% increase in the identification of undiagnosed HIV infections, says research co-written by a team of University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign experts who study health care and public policy. Online smell, taste challenge offered as early detection tool for COVID-19 Jan 25, 2021 3:00 pm3762 views The smell and taste challenge, developed by the Global Consortium for Chemosensory Research, is a web-based tool people can use to easily monitor changes in these senses using their favorite morning beverage.