blog postsEffects of epilepsy on neural activity in mice fluctuate with reproductive cycle, study findsOct 12, 2018 10:00 am707 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 pm580 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 am895 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 am1560 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 am1768 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 am1869 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 am674 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 am4577 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 am1418 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 am728 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 pm863 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 am2814 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 am1494 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 am1773 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.New tissue-imaging technology could enable real-time diagnostics, map cancer progressionJun 20, 2018 8:00 am3068 views A new microscope system can image living tissue in real time and in molecular detail, without any chemicals or dyes, report researchers at the University of Illinois.Long-term estrogen therapy changes microbial activity in the gut, study findsJun 19, 2018 1:15 pm752 views Long-term therapy with estrogen and bazedoxifene changes the microbial composition and activity in the gut, affecting how estrogen is metabolized, University of Illinois researchers found in a new mouse study.Study links neighborhood factors, breast cancer rates in African-American womenJun 1, 2018 10:15 am1258 views Neighborhood characteristics are associated with late-stage diagnoses and higher mortality rates among urban African-American women, a new study shows.Study: Disease-causing stomach bug attacks energy generation in host cellsMay 30, 2018 11:45 am608 views Researchers report in a new study that the bacterium Helicobacter pylori – a major contributor to gastritis, ulcers and stomach cancer – resists the body’s immune defenses by shutting down energy production within the cells of the stomach lining that serve as a barrier to infection.Workshop on perinatal depression planned for June 1-2May 24, 2018 1:45 pm426 views Women in the Champaign-Urbana area who experience perinatal depression and their health care providers will meet with an international group of experts June 1-2 in Champaign for a workshop about new methods of detecting and treating the mood disorder.3-D printed sugar scaffolds offer sweet solution for tissue engineering, device manufacturingMay 23, 2018 2:00 pm3667 views University of Illinois engineers built a 3-D printer that offers a sweet solution to making detailed structures that commercial 3-D printers can’t: Rather than a layer-upon-layer solid shell, it produces a delicate network of thin ribbons of hardened isomalt, the type of sugar alcohol used to make throat lozenges. The water-soluble, biodegradable glassy sugar structures have multiple applications in biomedical engineering, cancer research and device manufacturing.New technique can track drug and gene delivery to cellsMay 21, 2018 8:00 am1045 views University of Illinois researchers say they now know how to track and map drug and gene delivery vehicles to evaluate which are most effective at infiltrating cells and getting to their targets, insight that could guide development of new pharmaceutical agents. The researchers described their tracking system and their findings on the most effective delivery vehicles in the journal Nature Communications. Brazilians with less education more likely to report being in poor health, study findsMay 16, 2018 8:45 am395 views Brazilians with less education are more likely to self-report as being in poor health, according to a study using data from nationwide surveys distributed every five years from 1998 to 2013. The study also found that general subjective health did not improve over the study period, even though more people gained education throughout the study, indicating that other factors associated with poor education may need to be addressed to improve self-perceptions of health.For nurses in Illinois, expectation of violence ‘a fundamental part of the job,’ study saysMay 7, 2018 9:00 am739 views Workplace violence is an endemic problem for front-line health care workers in Illinois, says new research from U. of I. labor and employment relations professor Emily E. LB. Twarog.Prosthetic arms can provide controlled sensory feedback, study findsApr 26, 2018 2:45 pm2371 views Losing an arm doesn’t have to mean losing all sense of touch, thanks to prosthetic arms that stimulate nerves with mild electrical feedback. University of Illinois researchers have developed a control algorithm that regulates the current so a prosthetics user feels steady sensation, even when the electrodes begin to peel off or when sweat builds up. Study explores carbohydrates’ impact on head, neck cancersApr 12, 2018 9:30 am2357 views Consuming high amounts of carbohydrates and various forms of sugar during the year prior to treatment for head and neck cancer may increase patients’ risks of cancer recurrence and mortality, a new study reports.New camera gives surgeons a butterfly’s-eye view of cancerApr 5, 2018 9:00 am2877 views Cancer lurking in tissue could be more easily found when looking through a butterfly’s eye.Federal officials urged to increase perinatal depression treatment in minority womenMar 30, 2018 10:15 am444 views Federal funding is needed to improve diagnosis and treatment of perinatal depression in Latina and black women, according to University of Illinois kinesiology and community health professor Sandraluz Lara-Cinisomo. Optimistic Latinos have healthier hearts, study findsMar 30, 2018 9:30 am283 views Latinos who are the most optimistic are more likely to have healthy hearts, according to a new study of more than 4,900 Latinos in the U.S. led by University of Illinois social work professor Rosalba Hernandez.Emotional suppression reduces memory of negative eventsMar 13, 2018 8:15 am1608 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.Study yields more than a million new cyclic compounds, some with pharmaceutical potentialMar 12, 2018 8:30 am715 views Researchers say they can now produce a vast library of unique cyclic compounds, some with the capacity to interrupt specific protein-protein interactions that play a role in disease. The new compounds have cyclic structures that give them stability and enhance their ability to bind to their targets. Study links responsible behavior in high school to life success 50 years laterFeb 26, 2018 8:15 am2873 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.Neuroimaging reveals lasting brain deficits in iron-deficient pigletsFeb 20, 2018 4:30 pm696 views Iron deficiency in the first four weeks of a piglet’s life – equivalent to roughly four months in a human infant – impairs the development of key brain structures, scientists report. The abnormalities remain even after weeks of iron supplementation begun later in life, the researchers found.Sleep problems in menopause linked to hot flashes, depression - and may not lastFeb 19, 2018 9:15 am1254 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.Tiny drug-delivering capsules could sustain transplanted insulin-producing cells for diabeticsFeb 12, 2018 9:15 am1273 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.Lessons in nature boost classroom engagement afterward, researchers reportJan 17, 2018 10:30 am1903 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.Preterm babies may suffer setbacks in auditory brain development, speechJan 15, 2018 11:00 am764 views Preterm babies born early in the third trimester of pregnancy are likely to experience delays in the development of the auditory cortex, a brain region essential to hearing and understanding sound, a new study reveals. Such delays are associated with speech and language impairments at age 2, the researchers found.Hormone therapy combination may benefit health without increasing cancer riskDec 21, 2017 11:30 am974 views Treating ovariectomized mice with a combination of conjugated estrogens and the drug bazedoxifene triggers the expression of genes that improve metabolism and prevent weight gain – without stimulating the uterus and increasing risks of reproductive cancer, a new study at the University of Illinois suggests.Whole eggs better for muscle building and repair than egg whites, researchers findDec 20, 2017 8:30 am5194 views People who consume 18 grams of protein from whole eggs or from egg whites after engaging in resistance exercise differ dramatically in how their muscles build protein, a process called protein synthesis, during the post-workout period, researchers report in a new study. Specifically, the post-workout muscle-building response in those eating whole eggs is 40 percent greater than in those consuming an equivalent amount of protein from egg whites, the team found.Molecular beacon signals low oxygen with ultrasoundDec 8, 2017 9:00 am904 views Researchers have developed a way to find hypoxia, or low oxygen in tissue, noninvasively in real time with light and ultrasound.Exercise changes gut microbial composition independent of diet, team reportsDec 4, 2017 11:15 am7995 views Two studies – one in mice and the other in human subjects – offer the first definitive evidence that exercise alone can change the composition of microbes in the gut. The studies were designed to isolate exercise-induced changes from other factors – such as diet or antibiotic use – that might alter the intestinal microbiota.Drug-delivering nanoparticles seek and destroy elusive cancer stem cellsNov 27, 2017 10:15 am2503 views Researchers are sending tiny drug-laden nanoparticles on a mission to seek and destroy cancer stem cells.Cancer drug starts clinical trials in human brain-cancer patientsNov 27, 2017 8:30 am5006 views A drug that spurs cancer cells to self-destruct has been cleared for use in a clinical trial of patients with anaplastic astrocytoma, a rare malignant brain tumor, and glioblastoma multiforme, an aggressive late-stage cancer of the brain. This phase Ib trial will determine if the experimental drug PAC-1 can be used safely in combination with a standard brain-cancer chemotherapy drug, temozolomide.Theory: Flexibility is at the heart of human intelligenceNov 20, 2017 8:30 am4454 views Centuries of study have yielded many theories about how the brain gives rise to human intelligence. A new theory makes the case that the brain’s dynamic properties – how it is wired but also how that wiring shifts in response to changing intellectual demands – are the best predictors of intelligence in the human brain.Carefully crafted light pulses control neuron activityNov 17, 2017 9:45 am1936 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.Shape-shifting agent targets harmful bacteria in the stomachNov 13, 2017 2:00 pm1244 views A new shape-shifting polymer can target and kill Helicobacter pylori bacteria in the stomach without killing helpful bacteria in the gut.U. of I. program to help provide mental health services to high-need areas in IllinoisNov 9, 2017 3:15 pm723 views A newly funded U. of I. initiative is expanding the number of behavioral health providers available to care for residents in medically underserved and rural communities.Study: Serving water with school lunches could prevent child, adult obesityNov 7, 2017 8:00 am2648 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.Stem cells from muscle could address diabetes-related circulation problemsNov 6, 2017 10:45 am1809 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.Stemlike cells at tumor perimeter promote new blood vessels to feed tumor growthOct 25, 2017 1:00 pm696 views Stemlike cells at the edge of melanoma tumors secrete factors to promote blood-vessel growth, allowing the cancer to grow and spread.U. of I. nutrition scientist Sharon Donovan elected to National Academy of MedicineOct 16, 2017 9:00 am911 views Sharon M. Donovan, a professor of nutrition and the Melissa M. Noel Endowed Chair in Nutrition and Health at the University of Illinois, was elected today (Oct. 16) to the National Academy of Medicine.