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E-cigarette use rising dramatically among Illinois teens, survey finds

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 breastfeeding

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?

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 says

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 finds

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 patients

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 regenerate

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 histories

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 infection

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 tears

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. 

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