blog posts Electric cooker an easy, efficient way to sanitize N95 masks, study finds Aug 6, 2020 9:30 am144516 views Owners of electric multicookers may be able to add another use to its list of functions, a new study suggests: sanitization of N95 respirator masks. The University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign study found that 50 minutes of dry heat in an electric cooker, such as a rice cooker or Instant Pot, decontaminated N95 respirators inside and out while maintaining their filtration and fit. This could enable wearers to safely reuse limited supplies of the respirators, originally intended to be one-time-use items. Illinois validates saliva-based test for COVID-19 Aug 19, 2020 2:30 pm84583 views The University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign is now performing its new rapid, saliva-based COVID-19 test on all students, faculty members and staff. Avocados change belly fat distribution in women, controlled study finds Sep 3, 2021 9:00 am37371 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. Decoy receptor neutralizes coronavirus in cell cultures Aug 4, 2020 9:00 am25255 views As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, scientists and health care providers are seeking ways to keep the coronavirus from infecting tissues once they’re exposed. A new study suggests luring the virus with a decoy – an engineered, free-floating receptor protein – that binds the virus and blocks infection. Bacterial protein fragment kills lung cells in pulmonary fibrosis, study finds Mar 24, 2020 6:00 am23386 views A bacterial protein fragment instigates lung tissue death in pulmonary fibrosis, a mysterious disease affecting millions of people worldwide, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Mie University in Japan. New approach eradicates breast cancer in mice Jul 21, 2021 1:00 pm19465 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. Study links prenatal phthalate exposure to altered information processing in infants Apr 6, 2021 7:30 am18918 views Researchers have found evidence linking pregnant women’s exposure to phthalates to altered cognitive outcomes in their infants. Is it safe to fly during the coronavirus pandemic? Apr 1, 2020 8:00 am17392 views Sheldon H. Jacobson discusses the risks of air travel during the pandemic and what preventive measures airports and passengers can take. Potato as effective as carbohydrate gels for boosting athletic performance, study finds Oct 18, 2019 11:45 am12780 views Consuming potato puree during prolonged exercise works just as well as a commercial carbohydrate gel in sustaining blood glucose levels and boosting performance in trained athletes, scientists report. 'Bad cholesterol' indicates an amino acid deficiency, researcher says Feb 25, 2014 9:00 am10396 views 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. Exercise changes gut microbial composition independent of diet, team reports Dec 4, 2017 11:15 am9150 views Two studies – one in mice and the other in human subjects – offer the first definitive evidence that exercise alone can change the composition of microbes in the gut. The studies were designed to isolate exercise-induced changes from other factors – such as diet or antibiotic use – that might alter the intestinal microbiota. Ringing in ears keeps brain more at attention, less at rest, study finds Aug 24, 2017 11:15 am8951 views Tinnitus, a chronic ringing or buzzing in the ears, has eluded medical treatment and scientific understanding. A new study by University of Illinois researchers found that chronic tinnitus is associated with changes in certain networks in the brain, and furthermore, those changes cause the brain to stay more at attention and less at rest. Veterinary infectious disease expert weighs in on coronavirus threat Mar 9, 2020 8:15 am8907 views Influenza, SARS and COVID-19 are all zoonotic diseases, readily transmitted from animals to humans. The viruses that cause these diseases also share traits that allow them to quickly mutate, infect widely and spread around the world. In a new podcast, a veterinarian and expert in zoonotic diseases offers insights into the special characteristics of the new coronavirus that make it more like influenza and less like SARS or the virus that causes the especially lethal Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome. Li selected as dean and chief academic officer of Carle Illinois College of Medicine Aug 30, 2016 9:00 am8317 views Dr. King Li, a renowned researcher, educator, inventor and clinician in molecular imaging and radiology, will become the inaugural dean and chief academic officer of the Carle Illinois College of Medicine effective Oct. 1. Experts review evidence yoga is good for the brain Dec 12, 2019 9:00 am7494 views Scientists have known for decades that aerobic exercise strengthens the brain and contributes to the growth of new neurons, but few studies have examined how yoga affects the brain. A review of the science finds evidence that yoga enhances many of the same brain structures and functions that benefit from aerobic exercise. A 20-minute bout of yoga stimulates brain function immediately after Jun 5, 2013 9:00 am7489 views CHAMPAIGN, lll. - Researchers report that a single, 20-minute session of Hatha yoga significantly improved participants' speed and accuracy on tests of working memory and inhibitory control, two measures of brain function associated with the ability to maintain focus and take in, retain and use new information. Participants performed significantly better immediately after the yoga practice than after moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise for the same amount of time. Study: Portable, point-of-care COVID-19 test could bypass the lab Aug 31, 2020 2:00 pm7446 views In a new study, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign researchers have demonstrated a prototype of a rapid COVID-19 molecular test and a simple-to-use, portable instrument for reading the results with a smartphone in 30 minutes, which could enable point-of-care diagnosis without needing to send samples to a lab. Whole eggs better for muscle building and repair than egg whites, researchers find Dec 20, 2017 8:30 am7428 views People who consume 18 grams of protein from whole eggs or from egg whites after engaging in resistance exercise differ dramatically in how their muscles build protein, a process called protein synthesis, during the post-workout period, researchers report in a new study. Specifically, the post-workout muscle-building response in those eating whole eggs is 40 percent greater than in those consuming an equivalent amount of protein from egg whites, the team found. Tiny electronic implants monitor brain injury, then melt away Jan 18, 2016 10:00 am6927 views 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. Potential new cystic fibrosis treatment uses 'molecular prosthetic' for missing lung protein Mar 13, 2019 1:00 pm6828 views An approved drug normally used to treat fungal infections could also do the job of a protein channel that is missing or defective in the lungs of people with cystic fibrosis, operating as a prosthesis on the molecular scale, says new research from the University of Illinois and the University of Iowa. Cystic fibrosis is a lifelong disease that makes patients vulnerable to lung infections. There are treatments for some but not all patients, and there is no cure. The drug restored infection-fighting properties in lung tissue donated by human patients as well as in pigs with cystic fibrosis. It has potential to become the first treatment to address all types of cystic fibrosis, regardless of the genetic mutation that causes the protein deficiency. Eight Illinois researchers rank among world’s most influential Nov 18, 2016 9:15 am6811 views 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." Drinking more water associated with numerous dietary benefits, study finds Feb 29, 2016 2:15 pm6528 views 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. Caffeine may offset some health risks of diets high in fat, sugar Dec 19, 2019 1:00 pm6303 views A new study in rats suggests that caffeine may offset some of the negative effects of an obesogenic diet by reducing lipid storage, weight gain and the production of triglycerides. Shape of tumor may affect whether cells can metastasize Apr 27, 2016 10:45 am6137 views 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. Study links nutrition to brain health and intelligence in older adults Dec 13, 2016 8:45 am6007 views A study of older adults offers insight into how a pigment found in leafy greens that tends to accumulate in brain tissue may contribute to the preservation of “crystallized intelligence,” the ability to use the skills and knowledge one has acquired over a lifetime. Most homemade masks are doing a great job, even when we sneeze, study finds Sep 17, 2020 9:30 am5949 views Studies indicate that homemade masks help combat the spread of viruses like COVID-19 when combined with frequent hand-washing and physical distancing. Many of these studies focus on the transfer of tiny aerosol particles; however, researchers say that speaking, coughing and sneezing generates larger droplets that carry virus particles. Because of this, mechanical engineer Taher Saif said the established knowledge may not be enough to determine how the effectiveness of some fabrics used in homemade masks. Off the shelf, on the skin: Stick-on electronic patches for health monitoring Apr 3, 2014 1:00 pm5891 views 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. Physical activity may strengthen children's ability to pay attention Mar 31, 2009 9:00 am5669 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - As school districts across the nation revamped curricula to meet requirements of the federal "No Child Left Behind" Act, opportunities for children to be physically active during the school day diminished significantly. Quick test finds signs of sepsis in a single drop of blood Jul 3, 2017 7:30 am5656 views A new portable device can quickly find markers of deadly, unpredictable sepsis infection from a single drop of blood. Cocoa flavanols boost brain oxygenation, cognition in healthy adults Nov 24, 2020 4:00 am5567 views The brains of healthy adults recovered faster from a mild vascular challenge and performed better on complex tests if the participants consumed cocoa flavanols beforehand, researchers report. Cancer drug starts clinical trials in human brain-cancer patients Nov 27, 2017 8:30 am5554 views A drug that spurs cancer cells to self-destruct has been cleared for use in a clinical trial of patients with anaplastic astrocytoma, a rare malignant brain tumor, and glioblastoma multiforme, an aggressive late-stage cancer of the brain. This phase Ib trial will determine if the experimental drug PAC-1 can be used safely in combination with a standard brain-cancer chemotherapy drug, temozolomide. How does parents' methamphetamine use affect their children? Aug 7, 2006 9:00 am5487 views A Minute With™... Wendy Haight, a professor of social work Carle Illinois College of Medicine announces inaugural faculty May 3, 2017 9:15 am5460 views The Carle Illinois College of Medicine has announced nearly 100 inaugural faculty members. Nutrition has benefits for brain network organization, new research finds Sep 7, 2017 8:00 am5450 views A new study found that monounsaturated fatty acids are linked to general intelligence and the organization of the brain’s attention network. New CRISPR technique skips over portions of genes that can cause disease Aug 16, 2018 11:30 am5428 views In a new study in cells, University of Illinois researchers have adapted CRISPR gene-editing technology to cause the cell’s internal machinery to skip over a small portion of a gene when transcribing it into a template for protein building. This gives researchers a way not only to eliminate a mutated gene sequence, but to influence how the gene is expressed and regulated. Such targeted editing could one day be useful for treating genetic diseases caused by mutations in the genome, such as Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy, Huntington’s disease or some cancers. Study: Omega-3 fatty acids fight inflammation via cannabinoids Jul 18, 2017 10:00 am5220 views Chemical compounds called cannabinoids are found in marijuana and also are produced naturally in the body from omega-3 fatty acids. A well-known cannabinoid in marijuana, THC, is responsible for some of its euphoric effects, but it also has anti-inflammatory benefits. A new study in animal tissue reveals the cascade of chemical reactions that convert omega-3 fatty acids into cannabinoids that have anti-inflammatory benefits – but without the psychotropic high. New compounds block master regulator of cancer growth, metastasis Jan 7, 2020 8:00 am5213 views Scientists have developed new drug compounds that thwart the pro-cancer activity of FOXM1, a transcription factor that regulates the activity of dozens of genes. The new compounds suppress tumor growth in human cells and in mouse models of several types of human breast cancer. Study tallies extra calories Americans consume in their coffee, tea Jan 30, 2017 9:15 am5161 views A new analysis reveals just how much Americans are adding to their caloric intake by spicing up or sweetening their coffee or tea. 3-D printed sugar scaffolds offer sweet solution for tissue engineering, device manufacturing May 23, 2018 2:00 pm5022 views University of Illinois engineers built a 3-D printer that offers a sweet solution to making detailed structures that commercial 3-D printers can’t: Rather than a layer-upon-layer solid shell, it produces a delicate network of thin ribbons of hardened isomalt, the type of sugar alcohol used to make throat lozenges. The water-soluble, biodegradable glassy sugar structures have multiple applications in biomedical engineering, cancer research and device manufacturing. Theory: Flexibility is at the heart of human intelligence Nov 20, 2017 8:30 am4967 views Centuries of study have yielded many theories about how the brain gives rise to human intelligence. A new theory makes the case that the brain’s dynamic properties – how it is wired but also how that wiring shifts in response to changing intellectual demands – are the best predictors of intelligence in the human brain. Carle Illinois College of Medicine receives preliminary accreditation Oct 16, 2017 12:00 am4847 views The Carle Illinois College of Medicine, the first engineering-based medical school, has received preliminary acreditation from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education and is recruiting students for its first class. Electronic health record system increases clinicians' cognitive workload, study finds Mar 22, 2021 10:15 am4838 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. Increased risk of suicide, mental health conditions linked to sexual assault victimization Aug 8, 2017 4:00 pm4510 views An analysis of nearly 200 independent studies involving more than 230,000 adult participants finds that having been sexually assaulted is associated with significantly increased risk of anxiety, depression, suicidality, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, obsessive-compulsive disorder and bipolar disorder. Studies link healthy brain aging to omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the blood May 18, 2017 8:30 am4499 views Two new studies link patterns of polyunsaturated fatty acids in the blood to the integrity of brain structures and cognitive abilities that are known to decline early in aging. What is the coronavirus spreading across the globe? Jan 23, 2020 10:30 am4432 views The first case of a novel strain of coronavirus has been confirmed in the United States. Virologist Leyi Wang, a professor of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois, discussed the outbreak of the new strain with News Bureau biomedical sciences editor Liz Ahlberg Touchstone. Lutein may counter cognitive aging, study finds Jul 24, 2017 12:45 pm4347 views Spinach and kale are favorites of those looking to stay physically fit, but they also could keep consumers cognitively fit, according to a new study from University of Illinois researchers. What does a 1960s epidemic tell us about Zika? Aug 18, 2016 10:30 am4293 views With its easy-to-miss symptoms and link to birth defects, the Zika virus is very similar to German measles (rubella), according to history professor Leslie Reagan Octopus-inspired sucker transfers thin, delicate tissue grafts and biosensors Oct 16, 2020 2:00 pm4247 views Thin tissue grafts and flexible electronics have a host of applications for wound healing, regenerative medicine and biosensing. A new device inspired by an octopus’s sucker rapidly transfers delicate tissue or electronic sheets to the patient, overcoming a key barrier to clinical application, report researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and collaborators. Inexpensive, portable detector identifies pathogens in minutes Apr 23, 2020 12:00 pm4176 views Most viral test kits rely on labor- and time-intensive laboratory preparation and analysis techniques; for example, tests for the novel coronavirus can take days to detect the virus from nasal swabs. Now, researchers have demonstrated an inexpensive yet sensitive smartphone-based testing device for viral and bacterial pathogens that takes about 30 minutes to complete. The roughly $50 smartphone accessory could reduce the pressure on testing laboratories during a pandemic such as COVID-19. What are the novel coronavirus health risks? Feb 28, 2020 9:45 am4082 views The novel coronavirus that first broke out in Wuhan, China in late 2019 has now spread to 111 countries. As the first case of possible community spread has been reported in the United States, a professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign discusses how the virus spreads and what makes it a public health concern.