IHSI Blog

blog navigation

All Results

blog posts

  • Study links responsible behavior in high school to life success 50 years later

    University of Illinois psychology professor Brent Roberts and his colleagues found that, above and beyond other factors known to influence life success, responsible behavior and interest in high school correspond to economic and career success 50 years later.

  • Study links nutrition to brain health and cognitive aging

    A new study of older adults finds an association between higher blood levels of phosphatidylcholine, a source of the dietary nutrient choline, and greater cognitive flexibility, the ability to regulate attention to manage competing tasks. The study also identified a brain structure within the prefrontal cortex, a region at the front of the brain, that appears to play a role in this association.

    Phosphatidylcholine (pronunciation) in the blood can originate from the diet, said University of Illinois graduate student Marta Zamroziewicz, who led the study with Aron Barbey, a professor of psychology and an affiliate of the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at Illinois. Egg yolks, red meat and soybeans are rich sources of phosphatidylcholine, which also can be synthesized by the body, she said. Phosphatidylcholine is a key component of cell membranes.

  • Study links neighborhood factors, breast cancer rates in African-American women

    Racial disparities in breast cancer diagnosis and survival rates may have more to do with women’s living environments than their races, suggests a new meta-analysis of recent research on the topic by, from left, graduate student Brandi Patrice Smith and professor Zeynep Madak-Erdogan, both in the department of food science and human nutrition at the University of Illinois.

  • Study links brain structure, anxiety and negative bias in healthy adults

    U. of I. psychology professor Sanda Dolcos and graduate student Yifan Hu found brain differences among healthy college students that are linked to their risk of anxiety and negative bias.

  • Study: Larger sample sizes needed to increase reproducibility in neuroscience studies

    University of Illinois psychology professor Aron Barbey and his colleagues tested the reproducibility of task-based fMRI studies of various sizes.

  • Study in rats finds low blood alcohol levels have no effect on total calories consumed

    The new findings suggest that if alcohol suppresses appetite, it does so only at blood alcohol levels corresponding to heavy intoxication in humans, Liang said.

  • Study in mice finds dietary levels of genistein may adversely affect female fertility

    A new study of mice by scientists at the University of Illinois raises concerns about the potential impact that long-term exposure to genistein prior to conception may have on fertility and pregnancy. The study was conducted by, from left, food science and human nutrition professor William G. Helferich, comparative biosciences professor Jodi A. Flaws and animal sciences research specialist James A. Hartman.

  • Study identifies key player in heart enlargement

    The heart enlarges in response to growing demands from exercise or heart disease. A new study identifies a key molecular player in this process.

  • Study: Higher mass transit use associated with lower obesity rates

    Using public health and transportation data, Illinois professor Sheldon H. Jacobson and colleagues found that higher mass transit use is correlated with lower obesity rates.

  • Study Finds Parallels Between Unresponsive Honey Bees, Autism in Humans

    Socially unresponsive bees share something fundamental with autistic humans, new research from Illinois' Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology finds.  

  • Study finds brain markers of numeric, verbal and spatial reasoning abilities

    A new study begins to clarify how brain structure and chemistry give rise to specific aspects of “fluid intelligence,” the ability to adapt to new situations and solve problems one has never encountered before.

    The study, reported in the journal NeuroImage, links higher concentrations of a marker of energy production in the brain with an improved ability to solve verbal and spatial problems. It also finds an association between brain size and number-related problem-solving.

  • Study explores carbohydrates’ impact on head, neck cancers

    University of Illinois food science and human nutrition professor Anna E. Arthur found in a new study that a carbohydrate-restricted, higher fat diet may reduce cancer recurrence and mortality rates among people with squamous-cell head and neck cancers.

  • Study Examines Dietary Fats’ Impact on Healthy, Obese Adults

    Substituting foods low in saturated fat may not be as beneficial for high cholesterol and weight loss as previously thought, suggests a new study led by graduate research assistant Bridget A. Hannon.

  • Study: Emotion Processing in the Brain Changes with Tinnitus Severity

    Illinois speech and hearing science professor Fatima Husain and her colleagues have found a relationship between tinnitus severity and emotion processing in the brain.

  • Study: Disease-causing stomach bug attacks energy generation in host cells

    Microbiology professor Steven Blanke, graduate student Ik-Jung Kim and their colleagues discovered how a disease-causing bacterium, Helicobacter pylori, undermines the body’s immune defenses.

  • Study confirms long-term effects of ‘chemobrain’ in mice

    Women undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer have long complained of lingering cognitive impairments after treatment. These effects are referred to as "chemobrain," a feeling of mental fogginess. A new study from the University of Illinois reports long-lasting cognitive impairments in mice when they are administered a chemotherapy regimen used to treat breast cancer in humans. The results are published in the journal Behavioural Brain Research.

  • Study: Changing the environment within bone marrow alters blood cell development

    Researchers at the University of Illinois report they can alter blood cell development through the use of biomaterials designed to mimic characteristics of the bone marrow.

  • Study: Brain metabolism predicts fluid intelligence in young adults

    A healthy brain is critical to a person's cognitive abilities, but measuring brain health can be a complicated endeavor. A new study by University of Illinois researchers reports that healthy brain metabolism corresponds with fluid intelligence – a measure of one's ability to solve unusual or complex problems – in young adults.

    The results are reported in the journal Cerebral Cortex.

  • Study: Biomarkers as Predictive of Sepsis as Lengthy Patient Monitoring

    Researchers at the University of Illinois worked with physicians at Carle Foundation Hospital in a new study that found one measurement of biomarkers in the blood can predict a patient’s sepsis status as well as monitoring the patient for hours. 

  • Study: At-risk mothers receive less support, information on breastfeeding

    University of Illinois postdoctoral research associate Carolyn Sutter found in a recent study that women who are at greater risk of breastfeeding cessation also may have less access to resources that could provide helpful information and assistance.

  • Virus graphic

    Study adds to evidence that viruses are alive

    A new analysis supports the hypothesis that viruses are living entities that share a long evolutionary history with cells, researchers report. The study offers the first reliable method for tracing viral evolution back to a time when neither viruses nor cells existed in the forms recognized today, the researchers say. The new findings appear in the journal Science Advances.

  • Studies link nutrient, academic achievement in pre-adolescent children

    n two new studies, University of Illinois kinesiology and community health professor Naiman Khan, postdoctoral researcher Anne Walk and their colleagues found links between levels of lutein in the eye and cognition and academic performance in pre-adolescent children.

  • Studies link healthy brain aging to omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the blood

    New studies from Illinois psychology professor Aron Barbey and colleagues link specific nutrients to the structure and function of brain regions that are particularly sensitive to aging and neurodegenerative disease.

  • Structure of protein that forms fibrils in Parkinson's patients could lead to new diagnostic and treatment options

    Chemists have identified the complex chemical structure of the protein that stacks together to form fibrils in the brains of Parkinson’s disease patients. Armed with this knowledge, researchers can identify specific targets for diagnosis and treatment.

    University of Illinois chemists, collaborating with peers at the University of Pennsylvania, Vanderbilt University and Queen Mary University of London, detailed their mapped structure of the protein in the journal Nature Structural and Molecular Biology.

  • STRONG Kids program receives additional support from the National Dairy Council

    Exploring how multiple factors contribute to the development of childhood obesity, the Family Resiliency Center’s STRONG Kids Program recently received an additional $548,275 of funding from the National Dairy Council (NDC) to extend its current research project, STRONG Kids 2, through 2019.

  • Stemlike Cells at Tumor Perimeter Promote New Blood Vessels to Feed Tumor Growth

    Kristopher Kilian and his research team found stemlike cells at the edge of melanoma tumors secrete factors to promote blood-vessel growth, allowing the cancer to grow and spread.

  • Stem cells from muscle could address diabetes-related circulation problems

    Professors Marni Boppart and Wawrzyniec Lawrence Dobrucki found that stem cells helped alleviate complications from peripheral artery disease in diabetic mice.

  • Stem cell proliferation controlled directly by nervous system

    Somatic stem cells are microscopic workhorses, constantly regenerating cells throughout the body: skin and the lining of the intestine, for example. And to University of Illinois neuroscientists, they represent untapped potential.

  • Social media as good a barometer of public health attitudes as traditional phone polling

    Social media data can be used as an additional source of information to gauge public opinion about health issues alongside traditional data sources like phone-based polling, says new research co-written by U. of I. psychology professor Dolores Albarracin.

  • Smith shines new light on molecular biology with quantum dot breakthrough

    In an article recently published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, Bioengineering Assistant Professor Andrew Smith and his co-authors demonstrate a new process for using quantum dots to literally shed new light on molecular biology.

  • Slowing Dangerous Bacteria May be More Effective Than Killing Them, Researchers Report

    Disease-causing bacteria like Yersinia enterocolitica, pictured, communicate with chemical signals that allow them to respond collectively to environmental changes. Researchers hope to harness these signals to fight bacterial infections.

  • Sleep problems in menopause linked to hot flashes, depression - and may not last

    Illinois professors, from left, Jodi Flaws, Megan Mahoney and Rebecca Smith found that sleep problems in menopause are closely correlated with hot flashes and depression, but that they may not last after menopause.

  • Six Illinois Professors Elected to National Academy of Sciences

    Congratulations to the six Illinois professors who were elected to the National Academy of Sciences! 

  • Shaping the future of healthcare: A celebration of the Mayo Clinic and Illinois Alliance

    A celebration of the Mayo Clinic & Illinois Alliance, hosted by IHSI, was held September 11, 2018. The Alliance has supported more than 50 collaborative research projects, 70 undergraduate student fellows, and 20 graduate interns and fellows.

  • Shape-shifting Agent Targets Harmful Bacteria in the Stomach

    At normal tissue pH, the polymer is not active and does not kill bacteria. But in an acidic environment, it disrupts the H. pylori bacteria’s membranes to kill it.

  • Shape of tumor may affect whether cells can metastasize

    Only a few cells in a cancerous tumor are able to break away and spread to other parts of the body, but the curve along the edge of the tumor may play a large role in activating these tumor-seeding cells, according to a new University of Illinois study.

    Using engineered tissue environments in various shapes and patterns, the study of skin cancer found that the more curved the cell cultures were, the more cancer cells at the edges displayed markers of stem cell characteristics – the key to spreading to other tissues. This has potential for furthering our understanding of cancer as well as developing personalized treatment plans.

    Led by Kristopher Kilian, a professor of materials science and engineering, and Timothy Fan, a professor of veterinary medicine, the researchers published their findings in the journal Nature Materials.  

  • "SfN Night" Foreshadows Success in Chicago

    The Neuroscience Program at Illinois held an event on October 6 for faculty and students attending the annual Society for Neuroscience (SfN) Meeting. The event included a buffet dinner and a "SfN Pre-Poster" session which allowed those presenting at the meeting to show early versions of their posters for practice and feedback.

  • Sensor study launching at Carle gets national attention

    “I was amazed and humbled. It’s incredible that someone of his stature (NIH Director Francis Collins) is tracking and interested in the research,” Carle Illinois College of Medicine's Dr. Charles Davies said of the recognition of publication in a top scientific journal.

  • Sensors detect disease markers in breath

    Illinois postdoctoral researcher Fengjiao Zhang and professor Ying Diao developed devices for sensing disease markers in breath.

  • Seed Funding Blossoms Into NIH R01 Award for Mayo Clinic & Illinois Alliance Collaborators

    Congratulations to Mayo Clinic & Illinois Alliance researchers Professor Brendan Harley (Illinois), Ian Parney (Mayo), Jann Sarkaria (Mayo), and Steven George, a collaborator from Washington University in St. Louis, who have been awarded R01 funding from the National Institutes of Health for their project titled, "Biomimetic hydrogel niches to study the malignant phenotype of glioblastoma multiforme."

  • Scientists test nanoparticle drug delivery in dogs with osteosarcoma

    At the University of Illinois, an engineer teamed up with a veterinarian to test a bone cancer drug delivery system in animals bigger than the standard animal model, the mouse. They chose dogs—mammals closer in size and biology to humans—with naturally occurring bone cancers, which also are a lot like human bone tumors.

  • Scientists identify genes that disrupt response to breast cancer treatment

    Scientists 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. Patients who have higher levels of several nuclear transport genes— particularly the protein XPO1—are more likely to be resistant to tamoxifen, resulting in the development of incurable metastatic cancer, according to a new study led by researcher Zeynep Madak-Erdogan at the University of Illinois.

  • Round Two of the Carle Illinois Collaborative Research Funding Program Announced

    The jointly funded-seed funding program has been developed between Carle and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has just announced a call for proposals for its second round of funding. The program provides a funding infusion to support and encourage new lines of research and collaboration among Carle physicians and Illinois investigators.

  • Robots that can read your mind a breakthrough for manufacturing

    Those who wish others could read their minds will enjoy a breakthrough technology out of the lab of Thenkurussi (Kesh) Kesavadas. The professor of Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering at the University of Illinois and his team have used brain computer interface (BCI) to control a robot (watch demonstration).

  • Robotic hands for all: U. of I.-based startup works to make bionic limbs affordable

    Psyonic, a startup operating out of U of I’s Research Park, is trying to change the future of prosthetics by building a better, more affordable bionic hand that’s guided by machine learning. Bionic limbs can aid greatly in an amputee's daily life, but the most advanced versions often cost anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 or more, according to Psyonic co-founder and CEO Aadeel Akhtar, who is a member of Beckman’s Mechanisms of Cognitive Control Group.

  • Ringing in Ears Keeps Brain More at Attention, Less at Rest, Study Finds

    Neuroscience graduate student Sara Schmidt, left, and speech and hearing science professor Fatima Husain conducted a study that found that tinnitus patients have differences in the region of the brain called the precuneus, which cause the brain to stay more at attention and be less at rest.

  • Researchers using Blue Waters supercomputer make strides in researching treatment for Ebola, other pathogenic diseases

    Who would have thought that a method that enabled the automatic firing of anti-aircraft guns in World War II would be applicable over 70 years later? This time, though, instead of protecting London's citizens from German warplanes, it’s creating antibodies to protect humans from infectious viruses. Even the method of viral infection is similarly violent to warplanes—viruses like Ebola punch a hole in the surface of a cell to inject genetic material. This method, called smart Monte Carlo or biased random walk, can be explained in terms of evolution: Random mutations occur, but there's a bias toward those mutations that improve survival, since the lethal mutations won't get passed on.

    A team of researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Stanford University used this method to predict what antibody would most likely pair best with a protein that coats a virus. Their work focuses on two strains of the Ebola virus, and multiple possible mutants of both strains.

  • Researchers use computation and genomics to battle tooth decay

    An expert in using computational and experimental techniques to combat infectious diseases, Illinois Bioengineering faculty and MMG member Paul Jensen is taking aim at one of the most prevalent chronic diseases in the U.S.—tooth decay. Earlier this year Jensen received $218,000 in funding from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) to apply a data-driven approach to understanding the role that certain bacteria play in cavity formation.

  • Researchers Shed Light on How Influenza Evades Immune Systems

    Mutations allow virus to escape antibodies and regain strength, so Christopher Brooke, a professor of microbiology, sequenced viral RNA to identify mutations that allow influenza to evade immune systems.

  • Researchers explore link between cancer drug and heart attacks

    There are many anti-cancer therapeutics that are effective at killing cancer, but some can have serious side effects, eventually causing heart attacks.