blog postsGenome mining effort discovers 19 new natural products in four yearsSep 8, 2015 9:30 am2385 views It took a small group of researchers only four years – a blink of an eye in pharmaceutical terms – to scour a collection of 10,000 bacterial strains and isolate the genes responsible for making 19 unique, previously unknown phosphonate natural products, researchers report. Each of these products is a potential new drug. One of them has already been identified as an antibiotic.Maternal protein deficiency during pregnancy ‘memorized’ by fetal muscle cellsSep 18, 2015 8:45 am2382 views A new study has uncovered the genetic processes that link insufficient protein consumption during pregnancy with the development of muscle problems in mothers and their male offspring.‘Molecular prosthetics’ can replace missing proteins to treat diseaseMay 11, 2017 1:00 pm2380 views 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.Studies link nutrient, academic achievement in pre-adolescent childrenJun 20, 2017 9:00 am2364 views Researchers can look into your eyes to determine whether you’re getting your lutein, a pigment found in green leafy vegetables that is known to accumulate in the brain. Two new studies find that children with higher lutein levels in the eye tend to do better than others on tests of cognition and academic achievement, even after accounting for other factors known to influence academic performance such as IQ, gender, body composition and physical fitness.Discovery: Mechanical properties of viral DNA determine the course of infectionSep 4, 2018 8:00 am2293 views A new study reveals a previously unknown mechanism that governs whether viruses that infect bacteria will quickly kill their hosts or remain latent inside the cell. The discovery, reported in the journal eLife, also may apply to viruses that infect humans and other animals, the researcher said.100-year-old trans fat pioneer celebrates news of an FDA banJun 4, 2015 1:00 pm2268 views A Minute With™... Fred Kummerow, trans fat expertPortable device can quickly determine the extent of an eye injuryDec 8, 2015 8:45 am2186 views An engineer and an ophthalmologist are working together to develop a portable sensor that can quickly and inexpensively determine whether an eye injury is mild or severe. The device, called OcuCheck, works by measuring levels of vitamin C in the fluids that coat or leak from the eye. The sensor could speed efforts to determine the extent of eye injuries at accident sites, in rural areas lacking ophthalmology specialists or on the battlefield, the researchers said.Study: Kidney stones have distinct geological historiesSep 13, 2018 4:00 am2120 views 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.Sensors detect disease markers in breathMay 18, 2017 11:45 am2098 views 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.Increased risk of suicide, mental health conditions linked to sexual assault victimizationAug 8, 2017 4:00 pm2098 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.Color-changing sensor detects signs of eye damage in tearsAug 31, 2018 8:00 am2080 views A new point-of-care rapid-sensing device can detect a key marker of eye injury in minutes – a time frame crucial to treating eye trauma. University of Illinois researchers developed a gel laden with gold nanoparticles that changes color when it reacts with a teardrop containing ascorbic acid, released from a wound to the eye. In a new study published in the journal Biosensors and Bioelectronics, the researchers used the sensor, called OjoGel, to measure ascorbic acid levels in artificial tears and in clinical samples of fluid from patients’ eyes. Watching 3-D videos of trees helps people recover from stress, researchers sayOct 21, 2014 9:00 am2060 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Writers, outdoor enthusiasts and leaf-peeping tourists have known for centuries that nature has restorative powers that reduce feelings of stress and promote a sense of tranquility.Beyond the big ads: teaching kids ad literacy and nutrition in grade school classroomsFeb 4, 2016 1:45 pm2010 views 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. Preschoolers form body images – but parents are unaware, study saysOct 5, 2016 8:45 am1992 views Preschoolers may express awareness about body-image issues – but their parents may miss opportunities to promote positive body-image formation in their children because parents believe them to be too young to have these concerns, new research suggests.Study finds brain markers of numeric, verbal and spatial reasoning abilitiesJun 20, 2016 10:00 am1983 views 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.Lessons in nature boost classroom engagement afterward, researchers reportJan 17, 2018 10:30 am1976 views Third-graders who spend a class session in a natural outdoor setting are more engaged and less distracted in their regular classroom afterward than when they remain indoors, scientists found in a new study.Carefully crafted light pulses control neuron activityNov 17, 2017 9:45 am1969 views Specially tailored, ultrafast pulses of light can trigger neurons to fire and could one day help patients with light-sensitive circadian or mood problems, according to a new study in mice at the University of Illinois.Scientists identify genes that disrupt response to breast cancer treatmentSep 7, 2016 9:45 am1930 views 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.Breastfed babies less likely to be picky eaters as toddlersMar 8, 2012 9:00 am1886 views 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.Brain tissue structure could explain link between fitness and memoryApr 28, 2017 9:15 am1848 views Studies have suggested a link between fitness and memory, but researchers have struggled to find the mechanism that links them. A new study by University of Illinois researchers found that the key may lie in the microstructure of the hippocampus, a region in the middle of the brain involved in memory processes.Stem cells from muscle could address diabetes-related circulation problemsNov 6, 2017 10:45 am1832 views Stem cells taken from muscle tissue could promote better blood flow in patients with diabetes who develop peripheral artery disease, a painful complication that can require surgery or lead to amputation.DNA enzyme shuffles cell membranes a thousand times faster than its natural counterpartJun 21, 2018 4:00 am1825 views A new synthetic enzyme, crafted from DNA rather than protein, flips lipid molecules within the cell membrane, triggering a signal pathway that could be harnessed to induce cell death in cancer cells. It is the first such synthetic enzyme to outperform its natural counterparts.Slowing dangerous bacteria may be more effective than killing them, researchers reportAug 17, 2017 9:45 am1788 views 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.Study: Childhood concussions impair brain functionDec 18, 2015 9:30 am1767 views A new study finds that pre-adolescent children who have sustained sports-related concussions have impaired brain function two years following injury.Emotional suppression reduces memory of negative eventsMar 13, 2018 8:15 am1706 views By peering at the brains of study subjects prompted to suppress negative emotions, scientists have gained new insights into how emotional regulation influences negative feelings and memories. They hope the findings will lead to new methods to combat depression.New drug seeks receptors in sarcoma cells, attacks tumors in animal trialsDec 13, 2018 9:30 am1661 views A new compound that targets a receptor within sarcoma cancer cells shrank tumors and hampered their ability to spread in mice and pigs, a study from researchers at the University of Illinois reports.Old drugs, new tricks: Medications approved for other uses also have antibiotic actionDec 22, 2015 9:15 am1572 views A number of drugs already approved to treat parasitic infections, cancers, infertility and other conditions also show promise as antibiotic agents against staph and tuberculosis infections, according to a new study by University of Illinois chemists and collaborators.Fred A. Kummerow, successful crusader against trans fats, dies at 102Jun 1, 2017 2:45 pm1526 views Fred A. Kummerow, a pioneer in the study of dietary contributors to heart disease who led a decades-long crusade to remove trans fats from the food supply, died Wednesday, May 31, at his home in Urbana, Illinois. He was 102.Should we worry about ticks this summer?Jun 27, 2018 9:30 am1522 views Editor’s note: The number of tick-borne illnesses diagnosed annually in the United States doubled between 2004 and 2016, according to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Summer is prime tick season, and people spending time outdoors should be vigilant, says University of Illinois entomology professor Brian F. Allan. An expert in the spread of insect- and tick-borne diseases, Allan discussed ticks in Illinois, how to prevent bites and when to seek medical attention in an interview with News Bureau biomedical sciences editor Liz Ahlberg Touchstone.Study links brain structure, anxiety and negative bias in healthy adultsApr 13, 2017 10:30 am1518 views Healthy college students who have a relatively small inferior frontal cortex – a brain region behind the temples that helps regulate thoughts and emotions – are more likely than others to suffer from anxiety, a new study finds. They also tend to view neutral or even positive events in a negative light, researchers report.Nowhere to hide: Molecular probe illuminates elusive cancer stem cells in live miceAug 1, 2018 9:00 am1504 views After a primary tumor is treated, cancer stem cells may still lurk in the body, ready to metastasize and cause a recurrence of the cancer in a form that’s more aggressive and resistant to treatment. University of Illinois researchers have developed a molecular probe that seeks out these elusive cells and lights them up so they can be identified, tracked and studied not only in cell cultures, but in their native environment: the body. In a paper published in the journal ACS Central Science, the researchers described the probe’s effectiveness in identifying cancer stem cells in cultures of multiple human cancer cell lines as well as in live mice.Tailored sexual health messages urgently needed for young female tourists, expert saysMar 21, 2017 8:45 am1436 views With both tourism and casual “hookup” sex on the rise among college-age adults, there’s an urgent need for sexual health campaigns aimed at young female tourists who are sexual risk-takers, University of Illinois scholar Liza Berdychevsky suggests.100 years after influenza pandemic, why should I get a flu shot?Oct 31, 2018 10:45 am1423 views Influenza has no cure, but vaccines and anti-viral treatments could help thwart another deadly outbreak, says microbiology professor Christopher Brooke.Paper: Nutrition label readers favor food quality over quantityApr 18, 2017 8:45 am1381 views Although nutrition-label users eat roughly the same amount of food as less-discerning diners, the two groups diverge when it comes to the quality of the food they eat, says a new paper co-written by Brenna Ellison, a professor of agriculture and consumer economics at Illinois and an expert in consumer food preferences and behaviors.Distracted dining? Steer clear of it!Dec 3, 2015 9:00 am1373 views A new University of Illinois study reveals that distracted dining may be as dangerous to your health as distracted driving is to your safety on the highway.CRISPR mines bacterial genome for hidden pharmaceutical treasureApr 10, 2017 10:00 am1349 views In the fight against disease, many weapons in the medicinal arsenal have been plundered from bacteria themselves. Using CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technology, researchers have now uncovered even more potential treasure hidden in silent genes.Tiny drug-delivering capsules could sustain transplanted insulin-producing cells for diabeticsFeb 12, 2018 9:15 am1327 views A drug-carrying microsphere within a cell-bearing microcapsule could be the key to transplanting insulin-secreting pig pancreas cells into human patients whose own cells have been destroyed by type I diabetes.Study links neighborhood factors, breast cancer rates in African-American womenJun 1, 2018 10:15 am1320 views Neighborhood characteristics are associated with late-stage diagnoses and higher mortality rates among urban African-American women, a new study shows.Cognitive cross-training enhances learning, study findsJul 25, 2017 9:00 am1319 views Just as athletes cross-train to improve physical skills, those wanting to enhance cognitive skills can benefit from multiple ways of exercising the brain, according to a comprehensive new study from University of Illinois researchers.Team explores the effects of exercise on ulcerative colitisJul 2, 2013 9:00 am1293 views 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.Shape-shifting agent targets harmful bacteria in the stomachNov 13, 2017 2:00 pm1291 views A new shape-shifting polymer can target and kill Helicobacter pylori bacteria in the stomach without killing helpful bacteria in the gut.Report: People buy most of their junk food at the supermarketAug 9, 2016 9:15 am1286 views 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.Science at Illinois feeds the world, furthers health, protects the planetApr 17, 2017 8:30 am1277 views Illinois scientists are helping power plants run more efficiently, designing better, longer-lasting batteries, finding new ways to target cancerous tumors, and developing robots that can aid in construction, in agricultural fields and even inside the human body.Sleep problems in menopause linked to hot flashes, depression - and may not lastFeb 19, 2018 9:15 am1274 views A new study of middle-aged women found that sleep problems vary across the stages of menopause, yet are consistently correlated with hot flashes and depression.Study examines dietary fats’ impact on healthy, obese adultsAug 30, 2017 9:30 am1267 views Metabolically healthy obese adults consuming a diet high in unsaturated fat and low in saturated fat may be able to decrease their total cholesterol by 10 points, a new University of Illinois study suggests.Nanopores could map small changes in DNA that signal big shifts in cancerApr 12, 2017 10:00 am1266 views Detecting cancer early, just as changes are beginning in DNA, could enhance diagnosis and treatment as well as further our understanding of the disease. A new study by University of Illinois researchers describes a method to detect, count and map tiny additions to DNA called methylations, which can be a warning sign of cancer, with unprecedented resolution.Study identifies key player in heart enlargementJun 27, 2017 10:15 am1255 views The heart is a dynamic muscle that grows and shrinks in response to stressors such as exercise and disease. The secret to its malleability lies in individual cells, which get bigger or smaller depending on the heart’s needs. A new study of mouse hearts reveals a previously unknown mechanism by which heart cells control their size by ramping up or stopping the production of a key factor called PABPC1. The findings, reported in the journal eLife, could assist in the development of therapeutics that promote healthy heart growth and prevent disease.Tiny exports signal big shifts in cancer tissue, researchers findJan 25, 2017 1:30 pm1251 views Microscopic shifts in metabolism and increases in tiny transport vesicles out of tumor cells preface larger changes to the tumor environment and could prepare the way for cancerous cells to spread and metastasize, University of Illinois researchers report.Study of sleep apps finds room for improvementApr 12, 2017 8:30 am1233 views An analysis of 35 popular phone-based sleep apps finds that while most help users set sleep-related goals and track and manage their sleep, few make use of other methods known to help the chronically sleep-deprived.Social support critical to women's weight-loss efforts, study findsNov 5, 2014 9:00 am1208 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Being accountable to another person and receiving social support may be vital in motivating some women to lose weight and keep it off, a new study says.