blog postsStudy links mobile device addiction to depression and anxietyMar 2, 2016 9:30 am37574 views 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.Team finds first wild alligator snapping turtle in Illinois since 1984Nov 13, 2017 8:15 am14040 views Researchers report the first sighting in 30 years of a wild alligator snapping turtle in Illinois. The discovery may be a sign of hope for this state-endangered species, or the animal could be the last of its kind to have survived in Illinois without human intervention, the researchers say.Researchers track the secret lives of feral and free-roaming house catsMay 26, 2011 9:00 am13937 views CHAMPAIGN, lll. - Researchers (and some cat-owners) wanted to know: What do feral and free-roaming house cats do when they're out of sight? A two-year study offers a first look at the daily lives of these feline paupers and princes, whose territories overlap on the urban, suburban, rural and agricultural edges of many towns.Study adds to evidence that viruses are aliveSep 25, 2015 1:00 pm13096 views A new analysis supports the hypothesis that viruses are living entities that share a long evolutionary history with cells, researchers report. The study offers the first reliable method for tracing viral evolution back to a time when neither viruses nor cells existed in the forms recognized today, the researchers say. Seven Illinois researchers rank among the world’s most influentialDec 21, 2015 9:15 am8353 views 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.Three Illinois professors named Sloan Research FellowsFeb 15, 2018 9:00 am7991 views Three Illinois scientists are among 126 recipients of the 2018 Sloan Research Fellowships from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. According to the foundation, the awards “honor early career scholars whose achievements mark them as among the very best scientific minds working today.” Winners receive a two-year $65,000 fellowship to further their research.Pollinator habitat program spreads bad seeds with the goodDec 7, 2016 8:30 am7697 views Weed scientists in at least two Midwestern states have been reporting for years that a conservation program meant to provide habitat for pollinating insects is sowing bad seeds – including seeds of the potentially devastating agricultural weed Palmer amaranth – along with the good. Now, researchers at the University of Illinois have traced the weed seeds to at least one source: pollinator habitat seed sold by a company in the Midwest.Exercise changes gut microbial composition independent of diet, team reportsDec 4, 2017 11:15 am7298 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.Eight Illinois researchers rank among world’s most influentialNov 18, 2016 9:15 am6539 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."Brief diversions vastly improve focus, researchers findFeb 8, 2011 9:00 am6093 views CHAMPAIGN, lll. - A new study in the journal Cognition overturns a decades-old theory about the nature of attention and demonstrates that even brief diversions from a task can dramatically improve one's ability to focus on that task for prolonged periods.Tiny electronic implants monitor brain injury, then melt awayJan 18, 2016 10:00 am5918 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.Drinking more water associated with numerous dietary benefits, study findsFeb 29, 2016 2:15 pm5731 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.Ringing in ears keeps brain more at attention, less at rest, study findsAug 24, 2017 11:15 am5553 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.Study links nutrition to brain health and intelligence in older adultsDec 13, 2016 8:45 am4993 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.Quick test finds signs of sepsis in a single drop of bloodJul 3, 2017 7:30 am4825 views A new portable device can quickly find markers of deadly, unpredictable sepsis infection from a single drop of blood.No ‘narcissism epidemic’ among college students, study findsOct 9, 2017 8:30 am4722 views Today’s college students are slightly less narcissistic than their counterparts were in the 1990s, researchers report in a new study – not significantly more, as some have proposed. The study, reported in the journal Psychological Science, analyzed data from 1,166 students at the University of California, Berkeley in the 1990s, and from tens of thousands of students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of California, Davis in the 2000s and 2010s. All of the students completed the Narcissism Personal Inventory, the oldest and most widely used measure of narcissism.A 20-minute bout of yoga stimulates brain function immediately afterJun 5, 2013 9:00 am4651 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.Scientists find world’s oldest fossil mushroomJun 7, 2017 1:00 pm4637 views Roughly 115 million years ago, when the ancient supercontinent Gondwana was breaking apart, a mushroom fell into a river and began an improbable journey. Its ultimate fate as a mineralized fossil preserved in limestone in northeast Brazil makes it a scientific wonder, scientists report in the journal PLOS ONE.Nutrition has benefits for brain network organization, new research findsSep 7, 2017 8:00 am4591 views A new study found that monounsaturated fatty acids are linked to general intelligence and the organization of the brain’s attention network.Cancer drug starts clinical trials in human brain-cancer patientsNov 27, 2017 8:30 am4373 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.Five Illinois researchers rank among world’s most influentialNov 17, 2017 8:00 am4215 views Five faculty members have been named to the 2017 Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researchers list (previously known as the Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researchers list). The list recognizes “leading researchers in the sciences and social sciences from around the world."Mantis shrimp-inspired camera enables glimpse into hidden worldOct 12, 2017 3:15 pm4092 views By mimicking the eye of the mantis shrimp, Illinois researchers have developed an ultra-sensitive camera capable of sensing both color and polarization. The bioinspired imager can potentially improve early cancer detection and help provide a new understanding of underwater phenomena, the researchers said.Theory: Flexibility is at the heart of human intelligenceNov 20, 2017 8:30 am3858 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.Corn better used as food than biofuel, study findsJun 20, 2017 9:00 am3856 views Corn is grown not only for food, it is also an important renewable energy source. Renewable biofuels can come with hidden economic and environmental issues, and the question of whether corn is better utilized as food or as a biofuel has persisted since ethanol came into use. For the first time, researchers at the University of Illinois have quantified and compared these issues in terms of economics of the entire production system to determine if the benefits of biofuel corn outweigh the costs.Lutein may counter cognitive aging, study findsJul 24, 2017 12:45 pm3671 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.Scientists test nanoparticle drug delivery in dogs with osteosarcomaJul 25, 2016 2:00 pm3648 views 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.Study: Omega-3 fatty acids fight inflammation via cannabinoidsJul 18, 2017 10:00 am3471 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. Genetic study shakes up the elephant family treeJun 6, 2017 3:00 am3431 views New research reveals that a species of giant elephant that lived 1.5 million to 100,000 years ago – ranging across Eurasia before it went extinct – is more closely related to today’s African forest elephant than the forest elephant is to its nearest living relative, the African savanna elephant.Human trials of cancer drug PAC-1 continue with new investmentMay 24, 2016 1:45 pm3370 views 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.Is Academia Waking Up to the Problem of Sexual Harassment?Sep 19, 2016 2:15 pm3369 views 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. 'Bad cholesterol' indicates an amino acid deficiency, researcher saysFeb 25, 2014 9:00 am3360 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.Scientists tweak photosynthesis to boost crop yieldNov 17, 2016 1:00 pm3307 views 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.Some plants grow bigger – and meaner – when clipped, study findsOct 11, 2017 8:30 am3171 views Some plants behave like the mythical monster Hydra: Cut off their heads and they grow back, bigger and better than before. A new study finds that these “overcompensators,” as they are called, also augment their defensive chemistry – think plant venom – when they are clipped.Tumor-targeting system uses cancer’s own mechanisms to betray its locationFeb 14, 2017 9:00 am3149 views By hijacking a cancer cell’s own metabolism, researchers have found a way to tag and target elusive cancers with small-molecule sugars. This opens treatment pathways for cancers that are not responsive to conventional targeted antibodies, such as triple-negative breast cancer.Fresh look at burials, mass graves, tells a new story of CahokiaAug 4, 2016 10:30 am3115 views 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.Agricultural fungicide attracts honey bees, study findsJan 8, 2018 9:30 am3096 views When given the choice, honey bee foragers prefer to collect sugar syrup laced with the fungicide chlorothalonil over sugar syrup alone, researchers report in the journal Scientific Reports.Surgical probe seeks out where cancer ends and healthy tissue beginsSep 15, 2015 12:00 pm3077 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – A new surgical tool that uses light to make sure surgeons removing cancerous tumors “got it all” was found to correlate well with traditional pathologists’ diagnoses in a clinical study, showing that the tool could soon enable reliable, real-time guidance for surgeons.Study tallies extra calories Americans consume in their coffee, teaJan 30, 2017 9:15 am3064 views A new analysis reveals just how much Americans are adding to their caloric intake by spicing up or sweetening their coffee or tea.Whole eggs better for muscle building and repair than egg whites, researchers findDec 20, 2017 8:30 am3058 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.Report: Milkweed losses may not fully explain monarch butterfly declinesMar 13, 2017 4:15 pm3049 views Monarch butterfly declines cannot be attributed merely to declines in milkweed abundance, researchers report.Study offers clearest picture yet of how HIV defeats a cellular defenderMar 4, 2016 8:30 am2938 views 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.Antibiotic breakthrough: Team discovers how to overcome gram-negative bacterial defensesMay 10, 2017 12:00 pm2926 views Scientists report that they now know how to build a molecular Trojan horse that can penetrate gram-negative bacteria, solving a problem that for decades has stalled the development of effective new antibiotics against these increasingly drug-resistant microbes. The findings appear in the journal Nature.Report: A host of common chemicals endanger child brain developmentJul 1, 2016 9:15 am2827 views 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.Shape of tumor may affect whether cells can metastasizeApr 27, 2016 10:45 am2821 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.Studies link healthy brain aging to omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the bloodMay 18, 2017 8:30 am2772 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.Massive simulation shows HIV capsid interacting with its environmentJul 19, 2017 8:30 am2732 views It took two years on a supercomputer to simulate 1.2 microseconds in the life of the HIV capsid, a protein cage that shuttles the HIV virus to the nucleus of a human cell. The 64-million-atom simulation offers new insights into how the virus senses its environment and completes its infective cycle.Counseling, antidepressants change personality (for the better), team reportsJan 6, 2017 10:30 am2731 views A review of 207 studies involving more than 20,000 people found that those who engaged in therapeutic interventions were, on average, significantly less neurotic and a bit more extraverted after the interventions than they were beforehand.Bacterial hole puncher could be new broad-spectrum antibioticOct 27, 2015 11:00 am2694 views Bacteria have many methods of adapting to resist antibiotics, but a new class of spiral polypeptides developed at the University of Illinois targets one thing no bacterium can live without: an outer membrane.Researchers to perform sex change operation on papayaNov 2, 2009 9:00 am2628 views CHAMPAIGN, lll. - The complicated sex life of the papaya is about to get even more interesting, thanks to a $3.1 million grant from the National Science Foundation. The NSF grant will fund basic research on the papaya sex chromosomes and will lead to the development of a papaya that produces only hermaphrodite offspring, an advance that will enhance papaya health while radically cutting papaya growers' production costs and their use of fertilizers and water.Feeling anxious? Check your orbitofrontal cortex and cultivate your optimism, study suggestsSep 22, 2015 10:00 am2580 views A new study links anxiety, a brain structure called the orbitofrontal cortex, and optimism, finding that healthy adults who have larger OFCs tend to be more optimistic and less anxious.