blog postsWhat is the coronavirus spreading across the globe?Jan 23, 2020 10:30 am2311 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.New compounds block master regulator of cancer growth, metastasisJan 7, 2020 8:00 am4219 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.For CRISPR, tweaking DNA fragments before inserting yields highest efficiency rates yetDec 23, 2019 10:00 am2077 views University of Illinois researchers achieved the highest reported rates of inserting genes into human cells with the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing system, a necessary step for harnessing CRISPR for clinical gene-therapy applications. By chemically tweaking the ends of the DNA to be inserted, the new technique is up to five times more efficient than current approaches. The researchers saw improvements at various genetic locations tested in a human kidney cell line, even seeing 65% insertion at one site where the previous high had been 15%.Caffeine may offset some health risks of diets high in fat, sugarDec 19, 2019 1:00 pm5216 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.Single-molecule detection of cancer markers brings liquid biopsy closer to clinicDec 18, 2019 11:00 am1031 views A fast, inexpensive yet sensitive technique to detect cancer markers is bringing researchers closer to a “liquid biopsy” – a test using a small sample of blood or serum to detect cancer, rather than the invasive tissue sampling routinely used for diagnosis. Researchers at the University of Illinois developed a method to capture and count cancer-associated microRNAs, or tiny bits of messenger molecules that are exuded from cells and can be detected in blood or serum, with single-molecule resolution.Nanopores can identify the amino acids in proteins, the first step to sequencingDec 17, 2019 10:00 am1224 views A new study demonstrates that nanopores can be used to identify all 20 amino acids in proteins, a major step toward protein sequencing.Study: Healthy diet may avert nutritional problems in head, neck cancer patientsDec 16, 2019 9:45 am1757 views Head and neck cancer patients who eat a healthy diet prior to treatment may be less likely to have nutrition impact symptoms up to a year after diagnosis, according to a recent study led by U. of I. researchers.Experts review evidence yoga is good for the brainDec 12, 2019 9:00 am5373 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.Structurally designed 'DNA star' creates ultrasensitive test for dengue virusNov 26, 2019 10:30 am653 views By folding snippets of DNA into the shape of a five-pointed star, researchers have created a trap that captures dengue virus as it floats in the bloodstream.Research explores impact of racial discrimination on dating websites for gay, bisexual menNov 14, 2019 12:00 pm867 views University of Illinois social work professor Ryan Wade is the co-creator of a new scale that enables researchers to assess the impact of racialized sexual discrimination on gay and bisexual men of color.Drinking more water improves multitasking ability in children, study findsOct 28, 2019 9:30 am1779 views Drinking water not only keeps children hydrated, but also increases their ability to multitask, suggests a new study by researchers at the University of Illinois and their collaborators.Could cannabis be a pain relief alternative to opioids?Oct 25, 2019 1:15 pm989 views The Opioid Alternative Pilot Project offers medical cannabis as a pain-relief option for those looking to avoid or reduce opioid use, said Julie Bobitt, the director of the Interdisciplinary Health Sciences program at Illinois.Potato as effective as carbohydrate gels for boosting athletic performance, study findsOct 18, 2019 11:45 am11763 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.Tiny thermometer measures how mitochondria heat up the cell by unleashing proton energyAug 29, 2019 12:45 pm1747 views Armed with a tiny new thermometer probe that can quickly measure temperature inside of a cell, University of Illinois researchers have illuminated a mysterious aspect of metabolism: heat generation.Dog down: Effort helps emergency medical staff treat law enforcement K-9sAug 19, 2019 9:00 am1272 views Recognizing a gap in care for law enforcement K-9s injured on the job, a team of veterinarians, emergency medical services experts and canine handlers has developed protocols for emergency medical service personnel who may be called upon to help treat and transport the injured dogs.Optimistic people sleep better, longer, study findsAug 7, 2019 9:00 am3708 views 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.Perinatal depression screenings may not detect women having suicidal thoughts, study findsJul 16, 2019 9:30 am521 views Perinatal depression screenings may overlook a significant proportion of women who are having suicidal thoughts, according to a new study led by University of Illinois social work professor Karen M. Tabb.How might 'Medicare for All' reshape health care in the U.S.?Jul 2, 2019 8:45 am746 views University of Illinois professor emeritus of community health Thomas W. O’Rourke, an expert on health policy analysis, the possible impact of establishing a single-payer health care system in the U.S.Study: Phenols in cocoa bean shells may reverse obesity-related problems in mouse cellsJun 20, 2019 2:15 pm1848 views A new study by researchers at the University of Illinois suggests that the phenolic compounds in cocoa bean shells reverse the chronic inflammation and insulin resistance associated with obesity in mouse cells.Study: Irritable bowel syndrome may be underdiagnosed in athletesJun 13, 2019 11:45 am783 views Gastrointestinal problems are common among endurance athletes, and many of them may be struggling with undiagnosed irritable bowel syndrome, a new study by University of Illinois food scientists suggests.Mechanics, chemistry and biomedical research join forces for noninvasive tissue therapyMay 6, 2019 2:00 pm1650 views A fortuitous conversation between two University of Illinois scientists has opened a new line of communication between biomedical researchers and the tissues they study. The new findings, reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, show that high-intensity focused ultrasound waves can penetrate biological tissue to activate molecules able to perform specific tasks.Researchers find protein that suppresses muscle repair in miceMay 6, 2019 12:15 pm705 views Researchers report that a protein known to be important to protein synthesis also influences muscle regeneration and regrowth in an unexpected manner. The discovery, reported in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, could one day lead to new methods for treating disorders that result in muscle weakness and loss of muscle mass, the researchers said.Study: Mindfulness may help decrease stress in caregivers of veteransApr 29, 2019 12:30 pm447 views Mindfulness therapy may be an effective way of mitigating the stress experienced by spouses and other informal caregivers for military veterans, a new study by researchers at the University of Illinois suggests.Injections, exercise promote muscle regrowth after atrophy in mice, study findsApr 25, 2019 1:00 pm631 views By injecting cells that support blood vessel growth into muscles depleted by inactivity, researchers say they are able to help restore muscle mass lost as a result of immobility.Study: Drugs reprogram genes in breast tumors to prevent endocrine resistanceApr 22, 2019 11:00 am912 views Treating breast tumors with two cancer drugs simultaneously may prevent endocrine resistance by attacking the disease along separate gene pathways, University of Illinois scientists found in a new study.Low-calorie sweetener derived from lactose gets manufacturing boost from yeastApr 15, 2019 11:15 am1284 views The quest to satisfy the sweet tooth without adding to the waistline has a new weapon in its arsenal: a strain of yeast that can metabolize lactose, the sugar in dairy products, into tagatose, a natural sweetener with less than half the calories of table sugar.Events focus on perinatal mental, physical healthMar 21, 2019 10:45 am729 views An expo, national symposium and film screening are planned in Champaign to heighten awareness of women’s mental and physical health during and after pregnancy. The IDEA Women's Health Coalition is planning the events.Study: Free fatty acids appear to rewire cells to promote obesity-related breast cancerMar 13, 2019 2:15 pm1594 views Scientists at the University of Illinois have found that free fatty acids in the blood appear to boost proliferation and growth of breast cancer cells - potentially explaining obese women's higher risk of breast cancer after menopause.Potential new cystic fibrosis treatment uses 'molecular prosthetic' for missing lung proteinMar 13, 2019 1:00 pm6614 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.Mutations in noncoding genes could play big role in regulating cancer, study findsMar 12, 2019 11:00 am1272 views RNA transcribed from genes that seem not to code for anything may play an important role in regulating cancer, a new study suggests. A number of these noncoding RNA fragments lie next to known cancer genes, the study found. Understanding how they interact with those cancer genes could open new avenues to understanding cancer’s behavior and treating it.Study: Impact of food waste campaigns muted, but point toward right directionMar 8, 2019 8:45 am961 views Food waste campaigns are a low-cost way to curb waste at all-you-can-eat dining establishments, but they may need to be combined with other environmental changes to make a difference, says new research co-written by Brenna Ellison, a professor of agricultural and consumer economics at Illinois.Pediatric onset multiple sclerosis study examines baffling, often-overlooked diseaseMar 7, 2019 11:45 am320 views A study co-written by Theodore P. Cross, a senior research specialist in social work at the University of Illinois, examines the impact on families' coping when a child is diagnosed with pediatric onset multiple sclerosis.Illinois holds first Health Make-a-Thon competitionFeb 19, 2019 12:30 pm632 views Champaign County residents are welcome to submit entries to the first Illinois Health Make-a-Thon competition. The 10 top ideas for improving human health will receive up to $10,000 each in Health Maker Lab resources to create a real prototype of their idea.Phthalates may impair fertility in female miceFeb 7, 2019 12:00 pm815 views A phthalate found in many plastic and personal care products may decrease fertility in female mice, researchers at the University of Illinois found in a new study.Feeling groovy: Neurons integrate better with muscle grown on grooved platformsJan 22, 2019 9:00 am2525 views Growing muscle tissue on grooved platforms helps neurons more effectively integrate with the muscle, a requirement for engineering muscle in the lab that responds and functions like muscle in the body, University of Illinois researchers found in a new study.Cilia beat to an unexpected rhythm in male reproductive tract, study in mice revealsJan 14, 2019 2:00 pm1413 views Waves of undulating cilia drive several processes essential to life. They clear debris and mucus from the respiratory tract, move spinal fluid through the brain and transport embryos from the ovaries to the uterus for implantation. According to a new study in mice, however, cilia perform somewhat differently in the male reproductive tract.Environmental greenness may not improve student test scores, study findsJan 4, 2019 8:30 am1368 views Researchers at the University of Illinois and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service suggest in a new study that environmental greenness may not be associated with higher test scores in schoolchildren after all.Unmuting large silent genes lets bacteria produce new molecules, potential drug candidatesDec 31, 2018 10:00 am1218 views By enticing away the repressors dampening unexpressed, silent genes in Streptomyces bacteria, researchers at the University of Illinois have unlocked several large gene clusters for new natural products, according to a study published in the journal Nature Chemical Biology.New drug seeks receptors in sarcoma cells, attacks tumors in animal trialsDec 13, 2018 9:30 am1833 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.E-cigarette use rising dramatically among Illinois teens, survey findsNov 8, 2018 8:00 am1239 views The use of electronic cigarettes has increased by 65 percent among sophomores and by 45 percent among seniors in Illinois high schools over the past two years, according to this year's Illinois Youth Survey.Study: At-risk mothers receive less support, information on breastfeedingNov 5, 2018 12:30 pm833 views Single mothers, those with less education and mothers enrolled in the WIC Program may receive less information and support with breastfeeding, University of Illinois researchers found in a new study.100 years after influenza pandemic, why should I get a flu shot?Oct 31, 2018 10:45 am1520 views Influenza has no cure, but vaccines and anti-viral treatments could help thwart another deadly outbreak, says microbiology professor Christopher Brooke.Four factors influence social media reach of public health tweets, study saysOct 30, 2018 8:30 am710 views Four factors account for public health messages accruing retweets on Twitter, says research co-written by U. of. I. social psychology expert Dolores Albarracin and a team of U. of I. graduate students.Effects of epilepsy on neural activity in mice fluctuate with reproductive cycle, study findsOct 12, 2018 10:00 am1194 views Mice with epilepsy have altered patterns of neuron activity in the portion of the brain that controls the reproductive endocrine system, University of Illinois researchers report in a new study. Furthermore, the differences in neuron activity in female mice fluctuate across the reproductive cycle, the team found.Study: Online positive psychology exercises improve quality of life in hemodialysis patientsOct 9, 2018 1:00 pm798 views Kidney dialysis patients who engage in technology-based positive psychology exercises during their treatments may significantly improve their depressive symptoms and quality of life, a new study found.Study: Damaged liver cells undergo reprogramming to regenerateSep 26, 2018 8:15 am1150 views In Greek mythology, Zeus punishes the trickster Prometheus by chaining him to a rock and sending an eagle to eat a portion of his liver every day, in perpetuity. It was the right organ to target – the liver has the ability to regenerate itself, though not overnight nor for eternity. New research conducted by biochemists at the University of Illinois has determined how damaged liver cells repair and restore themselves through a signal to return to an early stage of postnatal organ development.Study: Kidney stones have distinct geological historiesSep 13, 2018 4:00 am2580 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.Discovery: Mechanical properties of viral DNA determine the course of infectionSep 4, 2018 8:00 am2586 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.Color-changing sensor detects signs of eye damage in tearsAug 31, 2018 8:00 am2296 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. A professor not afraid to cross academic boundariesAug 23, 2018 11:30 am865 views Illinois professor Ruby Mendenhall is focused on issues of poverty, inequality and violence, but crosses many academic boundaries in search of answers.