blog posts Do kids need a COVID-19 vaccine? Nov 4, 2021 9:00 am1143 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. Which animals can catch the coronavirus? Oct 14, 2021 1:15 pm2657 views Dr. Leyi Wang and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory have played a key role in diagnosing coronavirus infection in animal species in zoos across the country. This is important work for understanding the virus’s spread and its broad host range, Wang says. Can people take a livestock drug to treat a deadly virus? Sep 2, 2021 10:00 am14407 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. Frequent COVID-19 testing key to efficient, early detection, study finds Jun 30, 2021 8:30 am1866 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. How do July 4 celebrations affect wildlife? Jun 30, 2021 8:00 am2496 views Celebrating the nation’s Independence Day with fireworks is an enduring tradition, but fireworks can be a source of distress and danger to wildlife. Dr. Sam Sander, a clinical professor of zoo and wildlife medicine at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, spoke with News Bureau life sciences editor Diana Yates about how fireworks affect wildlife and the environment, and how to minimize the risks. Study links prenatal phthalate exposure to altered information processing in infants Apr 6, 2021 7:30 am19032 views Researchers have found evidence linking pregnant women’s exposure to phthalates to altered cognitive outcomes in their infants. Lipid epoxides target pain, inflammatory pathways in neurons Feb 10, 2021 4:00 am1786 views A process known as epoxidation converts two naturally occurring lipids into potent agents that target multiple cannabinoid receptors in neurons, interrupting pathways that promote pain and inflammation, researchers report in a new study. The findings open a new avenue of research in the effort to find alternatives to potentially addictive opioid pain killers. Childhood trauma could affect development, treatment of multiple sclerosis, mouse study finds Jan 29, 2021 8:30 am2980 views Childhood trauma could affect the trajectory of multiple sclerosis development and response to treatment in adulthood, a new study in mice found. Mice that had experienced stress when young were more likely to develop the autoimmune disorder and less likely to respond to a common treatment, researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign found. However, treatment that activated an immune-cell receptor mitigated the effects of childhood stress in the mice. Study finds fungal disease of snakes in 19 states, Puerto Rico Oct 8, 2020 1:00 pm1804 views In a collaborative effort between scientists and personnel on U.S. military bases in 31 states and Puerto Rico, researchers surveyed for an infection caused by an emerging fungal pathogen that afflicts snakes. The effort found infected snakes on military bases in 19 states and Puerto Rico, demonstrating that the fungus is more widely distributed than was previously known. The team reports the findings in the journal PLOS ONE. Repurposed anti-malarial compounds kill diarrheal parasite, study finds Oct 1, 2020 8:45 am1001 views A class of compounds used for malaria treatment also kill the intestinal parasite Cryptosporidium, a leading global cause of diarrheal disease and death in children that has no cure, a multi-institution collaboration of researchers found in a new study. Blood markers predict Humboldt penguin nest type, reproductive success Jun 2, 2020 8:15 am987 views In a new study, researchers looked at metabolic markers in the blood of 30 Humboldt penguins nesting in the Punta San Juan Marine Protected Area in Peru. The scientists discovered metabolic differences between penguins nesting in sheltered burrows and those in more exposed areas. Nesting success is critical to the Humboldt penguins’ long-term survival as a species. Environmental contaminants alter gut microbiome, health May 21, 2020 8:00 am1760 views Scientists review the research linking dozens of environmental chemicals to changes in the gut microbiome and associated health challenges. Veterinary infectious disease expert weighs in on coronavirus threat Mar 9, 2020 8:15 am8921 views Influenza, SARS and COVID-19 are all zoonotic diseases, readily transmitted from animals to humans. The viruses that cause these diseases also share traits that allow them to quickly mutate, infect widely and spread around the world. In a new podcast, a veterinarian and expert in zoonotic diseases offers insights into the special characteristics of the new coronavirus that make it more like influenza and less like SARS or the virus that causes the especially lethal Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome. Veterinarians: Dogs, too, can experience hearing loss Mar 5, 2020 8:15 am2636 views Just like humans, dogs are sometimes born with impaired hearing or experience hearing loss as a result of disease, inflammation, aging or exposure to noise. Dog owners and K-9 handlers ought to keep this in mind when adopting or caring for dogs, and when bringing them into noisy environments, researchers say. What is the coronavirus spreading across the globe? Jan 23, 2020 10:30 am4441 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. Team finds bovine kobuvirus in US Dec 12, 2019 8:00 am1975 views A virus that afflicts cattle that was first discovered in Japan in 2003 has made its way to the U.S., researchers report in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases. New approach uses light to stabilize proteins for study Nov 4, 2019 8:15 am1315 views Researchers have developed a new technique that uses light to control the lifetime of a protein inside the cell. This method will allow scientists to better observe how specific proteins contribute to health, development and disease. Prescribing oral opioids for dogs likely doesn’t help them, veterinary experts say Oct 14, 2019 7:45 am5550 views Sending ailing dogs home with oral opioids may not be an effective way to manage their pain, experts report in a free, online continuing education program recently developed for veterinarians. In light of growing evidence that such drugs don’t work well in dogs – added to the fact that humans sometimes abuse opioids prescribed for pets – the common practice of prescribing oral opioids for dogs in pain should be reexamined, the experts say. Anticipating the need among opioid prescribers for additional training to meet regulatory mandates, these experts created an online continuing education program that addresses the problem. The training includes cautions about unwarranted prescription of oral opioids and advice on effective pain management for veterinary patients. Dog down: Effort helps emergency medical staff treat law enforcement K-9s Aug 19, 2019 9:00 am1373 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. Does more rain mean more risk of mosquito-borne diseases in Illinois? Jun 18, 2019 8:45 am1349 views Experts have ranked May 2019 as one of the wettest Mays on record in central Illinois. Is it possible that the incidence of mosquito-borne illnesses increases with the amount of rainfall? To find out, News Bureau science writer Ananya Sen asked Brian F. Allan, an entomology professor at the University of Illinois. Cilia beat to an unexpected rhythm in male reproductive tract, study in mice reveals Jan 14, 2019 2:00 pm1455 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. Discovery: Mechanical properties of viral DNA determine the course of infection Sep 4, 2018 8:00 am2709 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. Study explores risk factors linked to chikungunya and dengue outbreaks Jul 24, 2018 8:15 am1020 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. Products of omega-3 fatty acid metabolism may have anticancer effects, study shows Jul 12, 2018 9:30 am3124 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. Sleep problems in menopause linked to hot flashes, depression - and may not last Feb 19, 2018 9:15 am1503 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. Cancer drug starts clinical trials in human brain-cancer patients Nov 27, 2017 8:30 am5582 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. Study in mice finds dietary levels of genistein may adversely affect female fertility Nov 14, 2017 8:30 am666 views Exposure to the phytoestrogen genistein prior to conception may adversely affect female fertility and pregnancy outcomes, depending on the dosage and duration of exposure, a new study in mice by scientists at the University of Illinois suggests. Antibiotic-resistant infections in pets: What now? Oct 3, 2017 8:30 am14189 views Rates of antibiotic-resistant infections in companion animals are rising at an alarming rate. An Illinois veterinarian discusses what can be done about it. Paper: Clinical signs best predictors of mortality in critically ill calves Aug 18, 2017 9:45 am1103 views Clinical signs may be better predictors of mortality in neonatal calves with diarrhea than blood pH levels and other laboratory findings, suggests a new study co-written by University of Illinois researcher Peter D. Constable. Study: Omega-3 fatty acids fight inflammation via cannabinoids Jul 18, 2017 10:00 am5308 views Chemical compounds called cannabinoids are found in marijuana and also are produced naturally in the body from omega-3 fatty acids. A well-known cannabinoid in marijuana, THC, is responsible for some of its euphoric effects, but it also has anti-inflammatory benefits. A new study in animal tissue reveals the cascade of chemical reactions that convert omega-3 fatty acids into cannabinoids that have anti-inflammatory benefits – but without the psychotropic high. Fred A. Kummerow, successful crusader against trans fats, dies at 102 Jun 1, 2017 2:45 pm2087 views Fred A. Kummerow, a pioneer in the study of dietary contributors to heart disease who led a decades-long crusade to remove trans fats from the food supply, died Wednesday, May 31, at his home in Urbana, Illinois. He was 102. New MRI opens door to innovative veterinary research and care Feb 2, 2017 9:15 am1425 views Advances in magnetic resonance imaging have transformed medicine over the last several decades. Unfortunately, this technology is rarely available to veterinarians. The University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine is now one of a few veterinary research and clinical care schools in the U.S. with a state-of-the-art 3-Tesla MRI facility. Scientists test nanoparticle drug delivery in dogs with osteosarcoma Jul 25, 2016 2:00 pm3828 views 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. Report: A host of common chemicals endanger child brain development Jul 1, 2016 9:15 am3430 views In a new report, dozens of scientists, health practitioners and children’s health advocates are calling for renewed attention to the growing evidence that many common and widely available chemicals endanger neurodevelopment in fetuses and children of all ages. With online games, high school students learn how to rein in disease outbreaks Jun 27, 2016 11:00 am1601 views High school students investigate Ebola-like outbreaks and administer vaccines through Outbreak!, a new summer course at Illinois that uses online games to encourage critical thinking about fighting infectious diseases. When veterinarians become crime scene investigators Jun 17, 2016 1:45 pm931 views A Minute With...™ veterinary diagnostic laboratory professor Adam Stern Human trials of cancer drug PAC-1 continue with new investment May 24, 2016 1:45 pm3825 views Clinical trials of the anti-cancer agent PAC-1 are continuing to expand, thanks to a $7 million angel investment from an anonymous contributor who originally invested $4 million to help get the compound this far in the drug-approval pipeline. Shape of tumor may affect whether cells can metastasize Apr 27, 2016 10:45 am6385 views 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. Study links fetal and newborn dolphin deaths to Deepwater Horizon oil spill Apr 12, 2016 8:30 am958 views Scientists have finalized a five-year study of newborn and fetal dolphins found stranded on beaches in the northern Gulf of Mexico between 2010 and 2013. Their study, reported in the journal Diseases of Aquatic Organisms, identified substantial differences between fetal and newborn dolphins found stranded inside and outside the areas affected by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Leatherback sea turtles choose nest sites carefully, study finds Nov 24, 2015 8:15 am2479 views The enormous, solitary leatherback sea turtle spends most of its long life at sea. After hatching and dispersing across the world’s oceans, only the female leatherbacks return to their natal beaches to lay clutches of eggs in the sand. A new study offers fresh insights into their nesting choices and will help efforts to prevent the extinction of this globally endangered giant of the sea, researchers said. 3-D cow app will help veterinary students learn anatomy Nov 3, 2015 9:30 am5281 views Point your phone or tablet at the poster with a cow image and a small 3-D cow appears before you – Desktop Bessie, with her skeleton, circulatory, digestive and nervous systems, and various organs visible as you move around her. If you’re a veterinary student, the augmented reality cow is a great way to learn a cow’s anatomy. Snake fungal disease parallels white-nose syndrome in bats Jun 18, 2015 11:00 am1500 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — A deadly fungal infection afflicting snakes is eerily similar to the fungus that causes white-nose syndrome in bats, researchers report. Drug trials in pet dogs with cancer may speed advances in human oncology Jun 16, 2015 2:00 pm754 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Pet dogs may be humans’ best friends in a new arena of life: cancer treatment, said University of Illinois veterinary clinical medicine professor Timothy Fan. Physiological similarities between dogs and humans, and conserved genetics between some dog and human cancers, can allow pet dogs to serve as useful models for studying new cancer drugs, he said. Researchers link dolphin deaths to Deepwater Horizon oil spill May 20, 2015 2:00 pm326 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Dolphins found stranded on Gulf of Mexico beaches following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill were much more likely to have severe lung and adrenal gland damage “consistent with petroleum product exposure” than dolphins stranded elsewhere and prior to the spill, researchers report. One in five dolphins from the spill zone also had primary bacterial pneumonia. BPA exposure in pregnant mice affects fertility in three generations Apr 15, 2015 9:00 am1391 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - When scientists exposed pregnant mice to levels of bisphenol A equivalent to those considered safe in humans, three generations of female mouse offspring experienced significant reproductive problems, including declines in fertility, sexual maturity and pregnancy success, the scientists report in the journal Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology. Cancer drug first tested in pet dogs begins human trials Feb 26, 2015 9:00 am845 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - A new drug that prompts cancer cells to self-destruct while sparing healthy cells is now entering phase I clinical trials in humans. The drug, called PAC-1, first showed promise in the treatment of pet dogs with spontaneously occurring cancers, and is still in clinical trials in dogs with osteosarcoma. In Illinois, muskrats and minks harbor toxoplasmosis, a cat disease Jan 28, 2015 9:00 am272 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - A new study of muskrats and minks in central Illinois indicates that toxoplasmosis, a disease spread by cats, is moving rapidly through the landscape and contaminating local waterways. New drug compounds show promise against endometriosis Jan 21, 2015 9:00 am722 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Two new drug compounds - one of which has already proven useful in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis - appear to be effective in treating endometriosis, a disorder that, like MS, is driven by estrogen and inflammation, scientists report in Science Translational Medicine. Flu at the zoo and other disasters: Experts help animal exhibitors prepare for the worst Oct 23, 2014 9:00 am373 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Here are three disaster scenarios for zoo or aquarium managers: One, a wildfire lunges towards your facility, threatening your staff and hundreds of zoo animals. Two, hurricane floodwaters pour into your basement, where more than 10,000 exotic fish and marine mammals live in giant tanks. Three, local poultry farmers report avian influenza (bird flu) in their chickens, a primary source of protein for your big cats. Scientists gear up to fight deadly snake fungal disease Jul 15, 2014 9:00 am299 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Researchers have developed a faster and more accurate way to test for infection with Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola, a fungus that is killing snakes in the Midwest and eastern United States. The test also allows scientists to monitor the progression of the infection in living snakes.