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  • Researchers including, from left, Valeria Sanabria Guillen, Jung Soon Hoon Kim, Kathy Carlson, John Katzenellenbogen, Yvonne Ziegler, and Benita Katzenellenbogen developed new drug agents to inhibit a pathway that contributes to cancer. The compounds killed cancer cells and reduced the growth of breast cancer tumors in mice.

    New compounds block master regulator of cancer growth, metastasis

    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.

  • Byungsoo Kim, left, and professor Hyunjoon Kong stand outdoors, socially distanced.

    Octopus-inspired sucker transfers thin, delicate tissue grafts and biosensors

    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.

  • Photo of the researcher.

    Study explores unusual interaction between viruses, live vaccines

    A study of a herpes virus that infects chickens offers new insights into potentially problematic interactions between vaccines made from live viruses and the viruses they are meant to thwart.

  • Photos of Dan Morrow, a professor of educational psychology at the University of Illinois, and Karen Dunn Lopez, the director of the Center for Nursing Classification and Clinical Effectiveness at the University of Iowa

    Electronic health record system increases clinicians' cognitive workload, study finds

    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.

  • University of Illinois psychology professor Aron Barbey proposes that the brain’s dynamic properties drive human intelligence.

    Theory: Flexibility is at the heart of human intelligence

    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.

  • Photo of researchers standing in an exercise laboratory.

    More protein doesn't mean more strength in resistance-trained middle-aged adults

    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.

  • Dr. King Li is the dean of the Carle Illinois College of Medicince, which is the world's first engineering-based medical school.

    Carle Illinois College of Medicine receives preliminary accreditation

    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.

     

  • University of Illinois psychology professor Brent Roberts and his colleagues found that, above and beyond other factors known to influence life success, responsible behavior and interest in high school correspond to economic and career success 50 years later.

    Study links responsible behavior in high school to life success 50 years later

    A new study links doing one’s homework, being interested and behaving responsibly in high school to better academic and career success as many as 50 years later. This effect, reported in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, holds true even after accounting for parental income, IQ and other factors known to influence achievement, researchers report.

  • New research led by professor of food science and human nutrition M. Yanina Pepino, left, suggests that just tasting the artificial sweetener sucralose may affect an individual's response on glucose tolerance tests. Graduate student Clara Salame was a co-author of the study.

    Study: Tasting no-calorie sweetener may affect insulin response on glucose tolerance test

    Simply tasting or consuming sucralose may affect blood glucose and insulin levels on glucose tolerance tests, scientists at the University of Illinois found in a new study.

  • Breastfeeding exclusively for the first four to six months of infants' lives and delaying introduction of solid food until that time may help prevent picky eating behaviors and weight problems when children are preschoolers, according to a new study led by Juhee Kim, a professor of kinesiology and community health.

    Breastfed babies less likely to be picky eaters as toddlers

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Babies who are breastfed exclusively for their first six months of life may be less likely to become picky eaters as preschoolers, according to a recent study of 129 mothers and their children.

  • Lutein may play a protective role against age-related cognitive decline, suggests a study by University of Illinois kinesiology and community health professor Naiman Khan and postdoctoral researcher Anne Walk.

    Lutein may counter cognitive aging, study finds

    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.

  • A team of researchers developed a new broad-spectrum antibiotic that kills bacteria by punching holes in their membranes. Front row, from left: materials science and engineering professor Jianjun and postdoctoral researcher Yan Bao. Back row, from left: postdoctoral researcher Menghau Xiong, graduate students Ziyuan Song and Rachael Mansbach, materials science and engineering professor Andrew Ferguson, and biochemistry professor Lin-Feng Cheng.

    Bacterial hole puncher could be new broad-spectrum antibiotic

    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.

  • Professor Leslie Reagan

    What does a 1960s epidemic tell us about Zika?

    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

  • Leyi Wang, a virologist and professor of Veterinary Medicine.

    What is the coronavirus spreading across the globe?

    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.

  • Tim Nugent was a pioneer for disability rights and accessiblity, founding a first-of-its-kind program at the University of Illinois, leading research efforts, and advocating for changes that would have influence well beyond the campus.

    Tim Nugent a pioneer in changing life for people with disabilities

    Tim Nugent, who died Wednesday at the age of 92 in Urbana, Illinois, was a visionary who changed the world for people with disabilities. Starting with a small program at the University of Illinois a few years after World War II – but for years with little support, and often outright opposition – Nugent sought to change both the opportunities for people with disabilities and public attitudes about them.

  • Disease-causing bacteria like Yersinia enterocolitica, pictured, communicate with chemical signals that allow them to respond collectively to environmental changes. Researchers hope to harness these signals to fight bacterial infections.

    Slowing dangerous bacteria may be more effective than killing them, researchers report

    A new study suggests it may be possible to slow dangerous infections by manipulating the messages microbes send to one another, allowing the body to defeat an infection without causing the bacteria to develop resistance to the treatment.

  • Electrical and computer engineering professor Brian Cunningham co-led a multi-institutional team to demonstrate an inexpensive and rapid smartphone-based pathogen testing device designed to ease pressure on testing laboratories during pandemics such as COVID-19.

    Inexpensive, portable detector identifies pathogens in minutes

    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.

  • University of Illinois kinesiology and community health professor Ruopeng An found that diet beverage drinkers compensate by eating a greater percentage of unhealthy foods that are high in fats, cholesterol and calories.

    Diet beverage drinkers compensate by eating unhealthy food, study finds

    Study finds that people who drink diet beverages may compensate by eating additional food that is higher in fat, cholesterol and sodium.

  • Children need to understand the basics of advertising better than they do, says Illinois advertising professor Michelle Nelson. So she led the development of a curriculum and website to teach advertising literacy in school classrooms, incorporating lessons on healthy eating. This example ad developed for the curriculum playfully sells parents on feeding their kids vegetables.

    Beyond the big ads: teaching kids ad literacy and nutrition in grade school classrooms

    The Super Bowl will feature car ads, beer ads, food ads – but probably none for carrots. Most food ads, game time or anytime, are pitching less-healthy fare. Kids are often the target. Do they understand what an ad is? Who made it and why? Advertising professor Michelle Nelson worked with an Illinois school district to develop an advertising literacy curriculum that also promotes healthy eating.

     

  • Professor M. Yanina Pepino seated in her home holding a cup of coffee. A bookcase with books is behind her.

    Online smell, taste challenge offered as early detection tool for COVID-19

    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.

  • People who are the most optimistic tend to sleep better and longer, suggests a new study led by University of Illinois social work professor Rosalba Hernandez.

    Optimistic people sleep better, longer, study finds

    People who are the most optimistic tend to be better sleepers, University of Illinois social work professor Rosalba Hernandez found in a new study of 3,500 young and middle-aged adults.

  • Physically fit children appear to do better in classroom, researchers say

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The health benefits of exercise - across the lifespan - have been well documented. More recently, scientists have begun to demonstrate that exercise also may improve cognitive functioning in older adults.

  • Inspired by the eye of the morpho butterfly, a new camera that can see both visible and infrared light could help surgeons more easily identify cancerous tissue.

    New camera gives surgeons a butterfly’s-eye view of cancer

    Cancer lurking in tissue could be more easily found when looking through a butterfly’s eye.

  • Holly Tuten and graduate student Erica Hernandez stand in a prairie with drag cloths attached to poles over their shoulders. They are smiling and looking at the camera.

    Lone Star ticks in Illinois can carry, transmit Heartland virus

    Researchers have confirmed that Heartland virus, an emerging pathogen with potentially dire consequences for those infected, is present in Lone Star ticks in two Illinois counties hundreds of miles apart. Lone Star ticks were first detected in Illinois in 1999 but had not been found to be infected with Heartland virus in the state.

  • Professor of food science and human nutrition M. Yanina Pepino standing in her laboratory

    Loss of senses of smell, taste could identify COVID-19 carriers

    M. Yanina Pepino of the U. of I. is on a global team of experts investigating the abrupt loss of the senses of smell and taste with COVID-19 infection.

     

     

  • Gustavo Caetano-Anollés

    What happens when the coronavirus mutates?

    New mutations to the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 are emerging, including a more-infectious variant first found in the United Kingdom, even as vaccines containing bits of viral genetic material are beginning distribution. In an interview, crop sciences professor Gustavo Caetano-Anollés discusses viral mutation and what it could mean for vaccinations.

  • University of Illinois professor Christopher Brooke.

    What are the novel coronavirus health risks?

    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.

  • University of Illinois graduate student Marc Cook, left, kinesiology and community health professor Jeffrey Woods and their colleagues found that voluntary exercise on an exercise wheel reduced colitis symptoms and pro-inflammatory gene expression in a mouse model of colitis. Forced (moderate) running on a treadmill had the opposite effect.

    Team explores the effects of exercise on ulcerative colitis

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - A new study indicates that aerobic exercise can lessen - or worsen - the symptoms of inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis, depending on the circumstances under which the exercise is undertaken.

  • The first class of students at the Carle Illinois College of Medicine in 2018 joined Dr. King Li, front center, the dean of Carle Illinois.

    Carle Illinois College of Medicine granted provisional accreditation

    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.

  • 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.

  • Illinois researchers developed a tissue-imaging microscope that can image living tissue in real time and molecular detail, allowing them to monitor tumors and their environments as cancer progresses.

    New tissue-imaging technology could enable real-time diagnostics, map cancer progression

    A new microscope system can image living tissue in real time and in molecular detail, without any chemicals or dyes, report researchers at the University of Illinois.

  • 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.

  • Physics professor Klaus Schulten and postdoctoral researcher Juan R. Perilla conducted a 64-million-atom simulation of the HIV capsid. Schulten died in 2016.

    Massive simulation shows HIV capsid interacting with its environment

    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.

  • Researchers have found a way to penetrate the cell wall of gram-negative bacteria, overcoming a major barrier to the development of new broad-spectrum antibiotics.

    Antibiotic breakthrough: Team discovers how to overcome gram-negative bacterial defenses

    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.

  • A masked student holds a saliva collection test tube

    SHIELD program a model for effective pandemic management, data show

    In the fall of 2020, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign welcomed students back for in-person instruction amid the powerful first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The university successfully maintained operations throughout the semester – with zero COVID-19-related deaths or hospitalizations in the campus community – thanks to its “SHIELD: Target, Test, Tell” program. In a sweeping report, the team behind the campuswide collaboration details the innovations in modeling, saliva testing and results reporting that helped mitigate the spread of the virus, and shares the data collected and lessons learned through the process.

  • An artist's rendering of Wnt proteins in a cell membrane

    Light can trigger key signaling pathway for embryonic development, cancer

    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.

  • Craig Miller stands in the woods facing the camera. He is wearing a red and black plaid shirt and he has his hands in his pockets.

    Does hunting with lead ammunition endanger human, environmental health?

    A recent study from Wesleyan University found that 48% of ground meat samples made from white-tailed deer killed with lead shotgun slugs in Illinois were contaminated with lead, while meat from deer killed by archers contained no lead. Illinois Natural History Survey human dimensions scientist Craig Miller spoke to News Bureau life sciences editor Diana Yates about the risks associated with lead ammunition in hunting.

  • Nicholas Wu stands with arms crossed.

    Wu earns NIH Director's New Innovator Award

    Biochemistry professor Nicholas Wu has received a 2021 NIH Director’s New Innovator Award. His project aims to understand how antibodies interact with their targets.

  • Molecular prosthetics are small molecules that can replace missing proteins to treat diseases. Illinois professor Martin Burke describes one that could treat anemia by replacing an iron transport protein.

    ‘Molecular prosthetics’ can replace missing proteins to treat disease

    Researchers have demonstrated that a small molecule can transport iron in human cells and live animals when proteins that normally do the same job are missing, a condition that often causes severe anemia in patients. Such “molecular prosthetics” might treat a host of incurable diseases caused by protein deficiencies, such as anemias, cystic fibrosis or certain types of heart disease.

  • 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.

  • An artist's rendering of an implant with the smart coating

    Smart surgical implant coatings provide early failure warning while preventing infection

    Newly developed “smart” coatings for surgical orthopedic implants can monitor strain on the devices to provide early warning of implant failures while killing infection-causing bacteria, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign researchers report. The coatings integrate flexible sensors with a nanostructured antibacterial surface inspired by the wings of dragonflies and cicadas.

  • Aadeel Akhtar, an M.D./Ph.D. student at Illinois, developed a control algorithm to give prosthetic arm users reliable sensory feedback.

    Prosthetic arms can provide controlled sensory feedback, study finds

    Losing an arm doesn’t have to mean losing all sense of touch, thanks to prosthetic arms that stimulate nerves with mild electrical feedback. University of Illinois researchers have developed a control algorithm that regulates the current so a prosthetics user feels steady sensation, even when the electrodes begin to peel off or when sweat builds up. 

  • 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.

  • Illinois researchers developed a way to target tumors using sugars that are metabolized by the cancer cell’s own enzymes. From left: postdoctoral researcher Yang Liu, professor Jianjun Cheng, postdoctoral researcher Zhiyu Wang, graduate student Kaimin Cai, research scientist Iwona T. Dobrucka, professor Wawrzyniec Lawrence Dobrucki and graduate student Ruibo Wang (seated).

    Tumor-targeting system uses cancer’s own mechanisms to betray its location

    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.

  • University of Illinois kinesiology and community health professor Ruopeng An’s analysis suggests that nationwide expansion of a program in New York City schools that encouraged children to consume water with their lunches could reduce child and adult obesity rates in the U.S. significantly, saving billons in medical costs and other expenses over children’s lifetimes.

    Study: Serving water with school lunches could prevent child, adult obesity

    Encouraging children to drink water with their school lunches could prevent more than half a million cases of child obesity and overweight -- and trim the medical and societal costs by more than $13 billion, a new study suggests.

  • Using techniques both common and new to geology and biology, researchers make new discoveries about how kidney stones repeatedly grow and dissolve as they form inside the kidney.

    Study: Kidney stones have distinct geological histories

    A geologist, a microscopist and a doctor walk into a lab and, with their colleagues from across the nation, make a discovery that overturns centuries of thought about the nature and composition of kidney stones. The team’s key insight, reported in the journal Scientific Reports, is that kidney stones are built up in calcium-rich layers that resemble other mineralizations in nature, such as those forming coral reefs or arising in hot springs, Roman aqueducts or subsurface oil fields.

  • A student wearing a mask gives a thumbs-up signal as a nurse applies a bandage to his arm.

    Vaccine study now open for student enrollment

    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.

  • Mikihiro Sato, professor of recreation, sport and tourism

    What impact do the Olympics and mass-sporting events have on public health?

    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.

  • Using public health and transportation data, Illinois professor Sheldon H. Jacobson and colleagues found that higher mass transit use is correlated with lower obesity rates.

    Study: Higher mass transit use associated with lower obesity rates

    Healthy mass transit systems could contribute to healthier communities, according to a new study by University of Illinois researchers that determined higher mass transit use was correlated with lower obesity rates in counties across the United States.

  • Postdoctoral researcher Fengjiao Zhang and professor Ying Diao developed devices for sensing disease markers in breath.

    Sensors detect disease markers in breath

    A small, thin square of an organic plastic that can detect disease markers in breath or toxins in a building’s air could soon be the basis of portable, disposable sensor devices. By riddling the thin plastic films with pores, University of Illinois researchers made the devices sensitive enough to detect at levels that are far too low to smell, yet are important to human health.