blog postsFeeling anxious? Check your orbitofrontal cortex and cultivate your optimism, study suggestsSep 22, 2015 10:00 am2605 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.Six Illinois professors named Guggenheim FellowsMay 2, 2016 12:15 pm2557 views Six professors at the University of Illinois have been named 2016 Guggenheim Fellows, bringing to 13 the number of U. of I. faculty members who have been honored with the fellowship over the last three years. This year’s fellows are Dennis Baron, Karin A. Dahmen, Craig Koslofsky, Mei-Po Kwan, Ralph W. Mathisen and Rebecca Stumpf.Study: Serving water with school lunches could prevent child, adult obesityNov 7, 2017 8:00 am2546 views 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.Study links responsible behavior in high school to life success 50 years laterFeb 26, 2018 8:15 am2534 views 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.Study: Happiness improves health and lengthens lifeMar 1, 2011 9:00 am2514 views CHAMPAIGN, lll. - A review of more than 160 studies of human and animal subjects has found "clear and compelling evidence" that - all else being equal - happy people tend to live longer and experience better health than their unhappy peers.Light illuminates the way for bio-botsMar 14, 2016 2:00 pm2504 views A new class of miniature biological robots, or bio-bots, has seen the light – and is following where the light shines.Click beetles inspire design of self-righting robotsSep 25, 2017 8:30 am2467 views Robots perform many tasks that humans can’t or don’t want to perform, getting around on intricately designed wheels and limbs. If they tip over, however, they are rendered almost useless. A team of University of Illinois mechanical engineers and entomologists are looking to click beetles, who can right themselves without the use of their legs, to solve this robotics challenge.Study: Biomarkers as predictive of sepsis as lengthy patient monitoringSep 7, 2017 8:15 am2459 views One measurement of key biomarkers in blood that characterize sepsis can give physicians as much information as hours of monitoring symptoms, a new study found.Study: Emotion processing in the brain changes with tinnitus severityDec 14, 2015 9:30 am2399 views A new study reveals that people with tinnitus who are less bothered by their symptoms use different brain regions when processing emotional information.Plastic shopping bags make a fine diesel fuel, researchers reportFeb 12, 2014 9:00 am2371 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Plastic shopping bags, an abundant source of litter on land and at sea, can be converted into diesel, natural gas and other useful petroleum products, researchers report.Drug-delivering nanoparticles seek and destroy elusive cancer stem cellsNov 27, 2017 10:15 am2333 views Researchers are sending tiny drug-laden nanoparticles on a mission to seek and destroy cancer stem cells.Genome mining effort discovers 19 new natural products in four yearsSep 8, 2015 9:30 am2331 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.Study: Talking while driving safest with someone who can see what you seeOct 8, 2014 9:00 am2323 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - A new study offers fresh insights into how talking on a cellphone or to a passenger while driving affects one's performance behind the wheel. The study used a driving simulator and videophone to assess how a driver's conversation partner influences safety on the road.Studies link nutrient, academic achievement in pre-adolescent childrenJun 20, 2017 9:00 am2288 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.Researchers resolve structure of a key component of bacterial decision-makingDec 8, 2015 9:30 am2270 views For bacteria that swim, determining whether to stay the course or head in a new direction is vital to survival. A new study offers atomic-level details of the molecular machinery that allows swimming bacteria to sense their environment and change direction when needed100-year-old trans fat pioneer celebrates news of an FDA banJun 4, 2015 1:00 pm2243 views A Minute With™... Fred Kummerow, trans fat expertStudy: Researchers identify how mental abilities are shaped by individual differences in the brainFeb 25, 2016 9:15 am2228 views Everyone has a different mixture of personality traits: some are outgoing, some are tough and some are anxious. A new study suggests that brains also have different traits that affect both anatomical and cognitive factors, such as intelligence and memory.Virtual predator is self-aware, behaves like living counterpartMar 1, 2018 8:30 am2191 views Scientists report in the journal eNeuro that they’ve built an artificially intelligent ocean predator that behaves a lot like the original flesh-and-blood organism on which it was modeled. The virtual creature, “Cyberslug,” reacts to food and responds to members of its own kind much like the actual animal, the sea slug Pleurobranchaea californica, does.Team discovers a new invasive clam in the U.S.May 1, 2017 8:45 am2184 views A new invasive clam has made its official debut in North America.Portable device can quickly determine the extent of an eye injuryDec 8, 2015 8:45 am2119 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.Chill-tolerant hybrid sugarcane also grows at lower temperatures, team findsJul 28, 2015 8:00 am2081 views U.S. farmers have long hoped to extend sugarcane’s growing range northward from the Gulf coast, substantially increasing the land available for sugar and biofuels. Several hybrid canes developed in the 1980s have proved hardy in cooler climes, surviving overwinter as far north as Booneville, Arkansas. But until now, no one had tested whether these “miscanes,” as they are called, actually photosynthesize, and thus continue to grow, when the thermometer dips.Pineapple genome offers insight into photosynthesis in drought-tolerant plantsNov 2, 2015 10:00 am2044 views By sequencing its genome, scientists are homing in on the genes and genetic pathways that allow the juicy pineapple plant to thrive in water-limited environments. The new findings, reported in the journal Nature Genetics, also open a new window on the complicated evolutionary history of grasses like sorghum and rice, which share a distant ancestor with pineapple.COMPASS method points researchers to protein structuresOct 9, 2015 12:30 pm2037 views Searching for the precise, complexly folded three-dimensional structure of a protein can be like hacking through a jungle without a map: a long, intensive process with uncertain direction. University of Illinois researchers developed a new approach, dubbed COMPASS, that points directly to a protein’s likely structure using a combination of advanced molecular spectroscopy techniques, predictive protein-folding algorithms and image recognition software.Report identifies factors associated with harassment, abuse in academic fieldworkOct 16, 2017 8:30 am2016 views College students considering careers in fields like archaeology or geology that require extensive work at remote field sites might want to find out how potential supervisors and advisers conduct themselves in the field. Do they establish clear ground rules for the behavior of everyone on the team? Are the rules consistently enforced? According to a new report, such factors likely influence whether students will witness or experience harassment while working far from home.Study suggests commercial bumble bee industry amplified a fungal pathogen of beesApr 4, 2016 2:00 pm2009 views Scientists hoping to explain widespread declines in wild bumble bee populations have conducted the first long-term genetic study of Nosema bombi, a key fungal pathogen of honey bees and bumble bees. Their study found that Nosema infections in large-scale commercial bumble bee pollination operations coincided with infections and declines in wild bumble bees.Sensors detect disease markers in breathMay 18, 2017 11:45 am2008 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.U. of I. alumna Temple Grandin elected to the American Academy of Arts and SciencesApr 21, 2016 9:30 am2004 views Temple Grandin, a University of Illinois alumna and a professor of animal sciences at Colorado State University, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.‘Molecular prosthetics’ can replace missing proteins to treat diseaseMay 11, 2017 1:00 pm1989 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.Mantids - the good, the bad and the just plain wrong - on view at film festFeb 2, 2006 9:00 am1968 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Kung Fu martial artists of the two-legged variety are coming to the 23rd annual Insect Fear Film Festival on Feb. 18, riding the coattails of this year's highlighted insect and kicking off - so to speak - an evening devoted to "Mantis Movies."Antibiotic-resistant infections in pets: What now?Oct 3, 2017 8:30 am1965 views Rates of antibiotic-resistant infections in companion animals are rising at an alarming rate. An Illinois veterinarian discusses what can be done about it.Maternal protein deficiency during pregnancy ‘memorized’ by fetal muscle cellsSep 18, 2015 8:45 am1961 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.Leatherback sea turtles choose nest sites carefully, study findsNov 24, 2015 8:15 am1939 views The enormous, solitary leatherback sea turtle spends most of its long life at sea. After hatching and dispersing across the world’s oceans, only the female leatherbacks return to their natal beaches to lay clutches of eggs in the sand. A new study offers fresh insights into their nesting choices and will help efforts to prevent the extinction of this globally endangered giant of the sea, researchers said.Distracted much? New research may help explain whyOct 5, 2016 8:15 am1935 views A new study offers evidence that one’s motivation is just as important for sustained attention to a task as is the ease with which the task is done.Team brings subatomic resolution to computational microscopeMar 26, 2018 10:00 am1914 views Scientists have built a “computational microscope” that can simulate the atomic and subatomic forces that drive molecular interactions. This tool will streamline efforts to understand the chemistry of life, model large molecular systems and develop new pharmaceutical and industrial agents, the researchers say.New camera gives surgeons a butterfly’s-eye view of cancerApr 5, 2018 9:00 am1903 views Cancer lurking in tissue could be more easily found when looking through a butterfly’s eye.Scientists identify genes that disrupt response to breast cancer treatmentSep 7, 2016 9:45 am1894 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.Illinois sportfish recovery a result of 1972 Clean Water Act, scientists reportOct 18, 2017 9:45 am1856 views Populations of largemouth bass, bluegill, catfish and other sportfish are at the highest levels recorded in more than a century in the Illinois River, according to a new report. Their dramatic recovery, from populations close to zero near Chicago throughout much of the 20th century, began just after implementation of the Clean Water Act, the researchers say.Five Illinois faculty members named Sloan Research FellowsFeb 23, 2016 9:15 am1841 views Five University of Illinois faculty members received the 2016 Sloan Research Fellowship from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.Carefully crafted light pulses control neuron activityNov 17, 2017 9:45 am1827 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.New microscope technique reveals internal structure of live embryosAug 8, 2017 7:00 am1823 views University of Illinois researchers have developed a way to produce 3-D images of live embryos in cattle that could help determine embryo viability before in vitro fertilization in humans.Massive study: Birth order has no meaningful effect on personality or IQJul 16, 2015 10:30 am1798 views For those who believe that birth order influences traits like personality and intelligence, a study of 377,000 high school students offers some good news: Yes, the study found, firstborns do have higher IQs and consistently different personality traits than those born later in the family chronology. However, researchers say, the differences between firstborns and “laterborns” are so small that they have no practical relevance to people’s lives.Ancient bones, teeth, tell story of strife at CahokiaAug 4, 2016 10:45 am1797 views Dozens of people buried in mass graves in an ancient mound in Cahokia, a pre-Columbian city in Illinois near present-day St. Louis, likely lived in or near Cahokia most of their lives, researchers report in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology. Study shows new forests cannot take in as much carbon as predictedSep 24, 2015 9:45 am1782 views As carbon emissions continue to rise, scientists project forests will grow faster and larger, due to an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide, which fuels photosynthesis. But a new study by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom finds that these projections are overestimated.Brain tissue structure could explain link between fitness and memoryApr 28, 2017 9:15 am1762 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.Cicada wings may inspire new surface technologiesAug 2, 2017 8:00 am1752 views Researchers are looking to insects – specifically cicadas – for insight into the design of artificial surfaces with de-icing, self-cleaning and anti-fogging abilities. Study: Childhood concussions impair brain functionDec 18, 2015 9:30 am1736 views A new study finds that pre-adolescent children who have sustained sports-related concussions have impaired brain function two years following injury.Genes hold secret to survival of Antarctic 'antifreeze fish'Oct 16, 2008 9:00 am1723 views A genetic study of a fish that lives in the icy waters off Antarctica sheds light on the adaptations that enable it to survive in one of the harshest environments on the planet.Study reveals 10,000 years of genetic continuity in northwest North AmericaApr 4, 2017 1:00 pm1708 views A study of the DNA in ancient skeletal remains adds to the evidence that indigenous groups living today in southern Alaska and the western coast of British Columbia are descendants of the first humans to make their home in northwest North America more than 10,000 years ago.Measure of age in soil nitrogen could help precision agricultureJul 25, 2016 8:00 am1700 views University of Illinois engineers developed a model to calculate the age of nitrogen in corn and soybean fields, which could lead to improved fertilizer application techniques to promote crop growth while reducing leaching.Klaus Schulten, pioneer in biophysics and computational biology, has diedNov 4, 2016 8:30 am1694 views University of Illinois physics professor Klaus Schulten, an innovator in the use of computational methods to study the chemical and biological processes driving living cells, died Monday, Oct. 31, at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana. He was 69.