blog postsExperts review evidence yoga is good for the brainDec 12, 2019 9:00 am924 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 am590 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 pm801 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 am1650 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 pm909 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 am11523 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 pm1694 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 am1249 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 am3638 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 am513 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 am713 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 pm1800 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 am759 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 pm1629 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 pm692 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 pm434 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 pm619 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 am905 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 am1265 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 am723 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 pm1585 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 pm6587 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 am1256 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 am945 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 am314 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 pm623 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 pm810 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 am2514 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 pm1404 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 am1361 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 am1204 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 am1826 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 am1234 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 pm832 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 am1513 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 am707 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 am1182 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 pm795 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 am1146 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 am2534 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 am2580 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 am2285 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 am861 views Illinois professor Ruby Mendenhall is focused on issues of poverty, inequality and violence, but crosses many academic boundaries in search of answers.New CRISPR technique skips over portions of genes that can cause diseaseAug 16, 2018 11:30 am5279 views In a new study in cells, University of Illinois researchers have adapted CRISPR gene-editing technology to cause the cell’s internal machinery to skip over a small portion of a gene when transcribing it into a template for protein building. This gives researchers a way not only to eliminate a mutated gene sequence, but to influence how the gene is expressed and regulated. Such targeted editing could one day be useful for treating genetic diseases caused by mutations in the genome, such as Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy, Huntington’s disease or some cancers.Nowhere to hide: Molecular probe illuminates elusive cancer stem cells in live miceAug 1, 2018 9:00 am1627 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.Study explores risk factors linked to chikungunya and dengue outbreaksJul 24, 2018 8:15 am935 views In one of the largest studies of its kind, researchers analyzed chikungunya and dengue outbreak data from 76 countries over a period of 50 years, focusing on regions across the Indian Ocean that are hard hit by these and other mosquito-borne infectious diseases.In rats, perinatal exposure to phthalates impairs brain structure and functionJul 18, 2018 1:00 pm1008 views Male and female rats exposed in the womb and during lactation to plasticizing chemicals known as phthalates had significantly fewer neurons and synapses than those that were not exposed, researchers report in a new study. The phthalate-exposed rats had reductions in the size of their medial prefrontal cortex, a brain region that regulates behavior, and showed deficits in cognitive flexibility. Products of omega-3 fatty acid metabolism may have anticancer effects, study showsJul 12, 2018 9:30 am3013 views A class of molecules formed when the body metabolizes omega-3 fatty acids could inhibit cancer’s growth and spread, University of Illinois researchers report in a new study in mice.Should we worry about ticks this summer?Jun 27, 2018 9:30 am1757 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.DNA enzyme shuffles cell membranes a thousand times faster than its natural counterpartJun 21, 2018 4:00 am1953 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.