blog posts Water disinfection byproduct disrupts reproductive hormones, damages pituitary in female mice Nov 24, 2021 8:00 am361 views A byproduct formed during water disinfection disrupts hormones in the brain that regulate the female reproductive cycle in mice and also damages cells in the pituitary gland, a new study from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign researchers found. The new study’s findings of the chemical’s effects on reproductive regulation in the brain complement previous work that found that it also disrupts function in and causes damage to ovary cells, indicating the chemical could impact the entire reproductive system. The researchers hope that the continued study of these effects can help establish a safe level of exposure to guide future regulations. PFAS exposure, high-fat diet drive prostate cells’ metabolism into pro-cancer state Nov 11, 2021 10:00 am966 views Consuming a high-fat diet along with exposure to PFAS changes benign and malignant prostate cells, promoting rapid tumor growth, scientists at the University of Illinois found in mouse study. Scientists discover how antibiotics penetrate Gram-negative bacterial cell walls Nov 8, 2021 8:00 am1193 views Scientists have labored for decades to find antibiotics that work against Gram-negative bacteria, which cause some of the deadliest infections in hospital settings and are most likely to be resistant to treatment with existing antibiotics. In a study reported in the journal Chemical Science, researchers developed a new method to determine how antibiotics with specific chemical properties thread their way through tiny pores in the otherwise impenetrable cell envelopes of Gram-negative bacteria. Do kids need a COVID-19 vaccine? Nov 4, 2021 9:00 am756 views The availability of a COVID-19 vaccine for school-aged children offers protection for children as well as eases challenges faced by their families and their schools, says Rebecca Lee Smith, an epidemiologist at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. New molecule targets, images and treats lung cancer tumors in mice Oct 25, 2021 10:00 am937 views Lung cancer can be elusive to spot and difficult to treat, but University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign researchers have developed a finely tuned molecular agent that can precisely target lung and other cancer cells for imaging and treatment. Patients view perinatal depression screenings as ineffective, study finds Oct 13, 2021 9:00 am834 views A standardized protocol and patient-centered approach are needed to improve perinatal depression screenings so patients feel the screenings are useful and effective, a new study found. Wu earns NIH Director's New Innovator Award Oct 5, 2021 9:45 am3572 views 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. DNA sensor quickly determines whether viruses are infectious Sep 22, 2021 1:00 pm2404 views A new sensor can detect not only whether a virus is present, but whether it’s infectious – an important distinction for containing viral spread. Researchers demonstrated the sensor, which integrates specially designed DNA fragments and nanopore sensing, with two key viruses that cause infections worldwide: the human adenovirus and the virus that causes COVID-19. Antibodies from original strain COVID-19 infection don't bind to variants, study finds Sep 17, 2021 8:30 am3729 views People infected with the original strain of the virus that causes COVID-19 early in the pandemic produced a consistent antibody response, making two main groups of antibodies to bind to the spike protein on the virus’s outer surface. However, those antibodies don’t bind well to newer variants, a new study from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign found. Avocados change belly fat distribution in women, controlled study finds Sep 3, 2021 9:00 am37837 views An avocado a day could help redistribute belly fat in women toward a healthier profile, according to a new study from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and collaborators. One hundred and five adults with overweight and obesity participated in a randomized controlled trial that provided one meal a day for 12 weeks. Women who consumed avocado as part of their daily meal had a reduction in deeper visceral abdominal fat. Can people take a livestock drug to treat a deadly virus? Sep 2, 2021 10:00 am6629 views Taking large or multiple doses of the anti-parasitic drug ivermectin can cause a toxic overdose, and humans should not take forms intended for animal use, says Illinois veterinary medicine expert Dr. Jim Lowe. Latinos' beliefs about social status may affect their cardiovascular health, study finds Aug 19, 2021 8:45 am551 views Subjective perceptions of their social status may have stronger effects on the cardiovascular health of Hispanics and Latinos in the U.S. than objective markers such as income, according to a new study led by Lissette Piedra. Light can trigger key signaling pathway for embryonic development, cancer Aug 17, 2021 12:45 pm3774 views 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. Study: Domestic control of COVID-19 takes priority over international travel bans Aug 11, 2021 8:00 am791 views A new paper co-written by University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign economist Yilan Xu says taming domestic transmission of COVID-19 ought to be prioritized over international travel bans. Study identifies molecule that stimulates muscle-building Aug 9, 2021 8:00 am2767 views In a randomized control study of 10 healthy young men, researchers compared how consuming the single amino acid leucine or its two-molecule equivalent, dileucine, influenced muscle-building and breakdown. They found that dileucine boosts the metabolic processes that drive muscle growth 42% more than free leucine does. Study offers insight into underlying causes of seizure disorder in babies Aug 3, 2021 7:00 am721 views Researchers report that infantile spasms, a rare but serious seizure disorder in babies, appear to be the result of a molecular pathway gone awry. In their study of a mouse model of the disorder, the researchers discovered that genetic mutations associated with the disease impair a pathway that is involved in building new synapses in the hippocampus, a brain region essential to learning and memory. What impact do the Olympics and mass-sporting events have on public health? Aug 2, 2021 8:15 am1295 views 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. Study tests microplasma against middle-ear infections Jul 29, 2021 8:00 am445 views In a new study, researchers explore the use of microplasma – a highly focused stream of chemically excited ions and molecules – as a noninvasive method for attacking the bacterial biofilms that resist antibiotic treatment in the middle ear. New approach eradicates breast cancer in mice Jul 21, 2021 1:00 pm20645 views A new approach to treating breast cancer kills 95-100% of cancer cells in mouse models of human estrogen-receptor-positive breast cancers and their metastases in bone, brain, liver and lungs. The newly developed drug, called ErSO, quickly shrinks even large tumors to undetectable levels. 2020 deadlier than previous five years, even with COVID-19 numbers removed, study finds Jul 19, 2021 1:30 pm1833 views An upswing in death rates from non-COVID-19 causes in 2020 hit hard for men ages 15-64, according to a new study by computer science professor Sheldon H. Jacobson and internal medicine professor Janet Jokela. University of Illinois receives APLU award for COVID-19 testing program Jul 1, 2021 2:00 pm2353 views The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign has received the inaugural Research Response to Community Crisis Award from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities for its COVID-19 testing program. Frequent COVID-19 testing key to efficient, early detection, study finds Jun 30, 2021 8:30 am1495 views The chance of detecting the virus that causes COVID-19 increases with more frequent testing, no matter the type of test, a new study found. Both polymerase chain reaction and antigen tests, paired with rapid results reporting, can achieve 98% sensitivity if deployed at least every three days. Consistent bedtime routines in infancy improve children's sleep habits through age 2 Jun 29, 2021 1:45 pm528 views Consistent bedtime routines and activities such as reading books beginning when infants are 3 months old promote better sleep habits through age 2, according to a study by researchers at the Family Resiliency Center. DNAzymes could outperform protein enzymes for genetic engineering Jun 24, 2021 8:15 am1265 views Move over, gene-editing proteins – there’s a smaller, cheaper, more specific genetic engineering tool on the block: DNAzymes – small DNA molecules that can function like protein enzymes. Researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign have developed a technique that, for the first time, allows DNAzymes to target and cut double-stranded DNA, overcoming a significant limitation of the technology. Cancer survivors' tongues less sensitive to tastes than those of healthy peers Jun 23, 2021 9:15 am845 views Head and neck cancer survivors' tongues are less sensitive to bitter, salty and sweet tastes, and this taste dysfunction lasts for years, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign scientists found in a new study. Combining three techniques boosts brain-imaging precision Jun 23, 2021 7:00 am893 views Researchers have developed a method to combine three brain-imaging techniques to more precisely capture the timing and location of brain responses to a stimulus. Model helps predict, analyze decision-making on adopting Type 2 diabetes medical guidelines Jun 14, 2021 8:45 am910 views A new computational framework incorporates social interactions to analyze how best to communicate about new medical guidelines to encourage their adoption. Cholesterol metabolite induces production of cancer-promoting vesicles Jun 9, 2021 8:00 am707 views Scientists report that a byproduct of cholesterol metabolism causes some cells to send out cancer-promoting signals to other cells. These signals are packaged in membrane-bound compartments called extracellular vesicles. Why do we need a health care equity law? Jun 3, 2021 8:30 am755 views The Illinois Health Care and Human Services Reform Act has potential to address root causes of health disparities and foster health equity through provisions such as implicit bias training and community health workers, says Illinois professor Ruby Mendenhall. Geology helps map kidney stone formation from tiny to troublesome May 25, 2021 1:00 pm1579 views Advanced microscope technology and cutting-edge geological science are giving new perspectives to an old medical mystery: How do kidney stones form, why are some people more susceptible to them and can they be prevented? Portable, affordable, accurate, fast: Team invents new COVID-19 test May 18, 2021 4:00 am1954 views A new coronavirus test can get accurate results from a saliva sample in less than 30 minutes, researchers report in the journal Nature Communications. Many of the components of the hand-held device used in this technology can be 3D-printed, and the test can detect as little as one viral particle per 1-microliter drop of fluid. Intoxication brings strangers physically closer, study finds May 10, 2021 2:00 pm899 views In a study with pandemic-related implications, researchers report that strangers who consume alcohol together may keep their distance initially – but draw physically closer as they become intoxicated. No previous studies have tested the effects of alcohol consumption on social distance, the researchers say. They report the new findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Mantis shrimp-inspired camera provides second opinion during cancer surgery May 5, 2021 1:00 pm1639 views Some of the world’s greatest innovations, such as Leonardo da Vinci’s flying machine, owe their strength and elegance to natural design. Researchers from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign have returned their gaze to the natural world to develop a camera inspired by the mantis shrimp that can visualize cancer cells during surgery. Team builds better tool for assessing infant brain health Apr 29, 2021 12:00 am678 views Researchers have created a new, open-access tool that allows doctors and scientists to evaluate infant brain health by assessing the concentration of various chemical markers, called metabolites, in the brain. The tool compiled data from 140 infants to determine normal ranges for these metabolites. Study finds green spaces linked to lower racial disparity in COVID-19 infection rates Apr 28, 2021 10:15 am1079 views A new study is the first to examine the relationship between the supply of green spaces and reduced racial disparity in infectious disease rates. Geographies of death: Study maps COVID-19 health disparities in Greater Santiago Apr 27, 2021 9:00 am398 views People up to age 40 living in economically depressed municipalities in the Greater Santiago, Chile, metropolitan area were three times more likely to die as a result of the infection than their counterparts in wealthier areas, researchers report in the journal Science. COVID-19 mobility restrictions effective for short duration, study finds Apr 22, 2021 12:00 pm672 views Attempts at restricting people’s mobility to control the spread of COVID-19 may be effective only for a short period, researchers said. A new study examines people’s mobility for seven months during the pandemic in the United States using publicly available, anonymized mobile phone data. K-12 Shield Playbook offers guidance for reopening schools amid ongoing pandemic Apr 14, 2021 2:15 pm1049 views A new resource is available to help guide teachers and school administrators as they reopen schools amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, assembled by researchers and experts at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. The K-12 Shield Playbook is based on the SHIELD Illinois program used to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic at the university. Young adults may provide care for older relatives much more frequently than thought Apr 12, 2021 9:30 am698 views Young adults and teens may provide care for adult relatives much more often than previously thought, according to a new study, though they worry about detriments to educational or career goals and would like more training and support. Study links prenatal phthalate exposure to altered information processing in infants Apr 6, 2021 7:30 am18980 views Researchers have found evidence linking pregnant women’s exposure to phthalates to altered cognitive outcomes in their infants. Machine learning helps spot gait problems in individuals with multiple sclerosis Mar 26, 2021 11:00 am2321 views Monitoring the progression of multiple sclerosis-related gait issues can be challenging in adults over 50 years old, requiring a clinician to differentiate between problems related to MS and other age-related issues. To address this problem, researchers are integrating gait data and machine learning to advance the tools used to monitor and predict disease progression. More protein doesn't mean more strength in resistance-trained middle-aged adults Mar 25, 2021 7:30 am3182 views 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. How does COVID-19 affect the heart? Mar 23, 2021 8:30 am1311 views While many think of COVID-19 as primarily a respiratory disease, its effects on the heart contribute to nearly 40% of deaths – and can strike even healthy children and athletes, says Mariam Bonyadi Camacho, a student in the medical scholars program at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Camacho co-wrote a recent report on the coronavirus’ cardiac effects, both short- and long-term. She discussed the risks to heart health and possible treatments in an interview. Vaccine study now open for student enrollment Mar 22, 2021 11:15 am3242 views 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. Electronic health record system increases clinicians' cognitive workload, study finds Mar 22, 2021 10:15 am4869 views 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. Microscope that detects individual viruses could power rapid diagnostics Mar 19, 2021 11:30 am1283 views A fast, low-cost technique to see and count viruses or proteins from a sample in real time, without any chemicals or dyes, could underpin a new class of devices for rapid diagnostics and viral load monitoring, including HIV and the virus that causes COVID-19. 'Hunker down' stress genes boosted in women who live in violent neighborhoods Mar 11, 2021 9:00 am1120 views The chronic stress of living in neighborhoods with high rates of violence and poverty alters gene activity in immune cells, according to a new study of low-income single Black mothers on the South Side of Chicago. The changes in stress-related gene expression reflect the body’s “hunker down” response to long-term threat. This has implications for health outcomes in communities of color and other marginalized populations, said researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and collaborators. Study compares discrimination claims of younger and older Americans with cancer Mar 10, 2021 8:00 am541 views Researchers assessed the employment discrimination claims made by younger and older American adults with cancer and found substantial differences in the nature – and outcomes – of their claims. Division of labor within regenerating liver maintains metabolism, mouse study finds Mar 1, 2021 2:00 pm663 views The liver has a rare superpower among body organs – the ability to regenerate, even if 70% of its mass is removed. It also keeps up its metabolic and toxin-removing work during the process of regeneration, thanks to a subset of cells that expand their workload while the rest focus on multiplication, a new study in mice found. Virtual reality program lessens physical side effects of hemodialysis Feb 24, 2021 12:00 pm989 views A virtual reality program on mindfulness/meditation helped hemodialysis patients alleviate the physical side effects and tedium of their treatments in a new research project led by social work professor Rosalba Hernandez.