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Life Sciences

Mechanics, chemistry and biomedical research join forces for noninvasive tissue therapy

A fortuitous conversation between two University of Illinois scientists has opened a new line of communication between biomedical researchers and the tissues they study. The new findings, reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, show that high-intensity focused ultrasound waves can penetrate biological tissue to activate molecules able to perform specific tasks.

Researchers find protein that suppresses muscle repair in mice

Researchers report that a protein known to be important to protein synthesis also influences muscle regeneration and regrowth in an unexpected manner. The discovery, reported in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, could one day lead to new methods for treating disorders that result in muscle weakness and loss of muscle mass, the researchers said.

Long elected to National Academy of Sciences

Stephen P. Long, a professor of crop sciences and plant biology at the University of Illinois, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, one of the highest professional honors a scientist can receive.

Study: Mindfulness may help decrease stress in caregivers of veterans

Mindfulness therapy may be an effective way of mitigating the stress experienced by spouses and other informal caregivers for military veterans, a new study by researchers at the University of Illinois suggests.

Injections, exercise promote muscle regrowth after atrophy in mice, study finds

By injecting cells that support blood vessel growth into muscles depleted by inactivity, researchers say they are able to help restore muscle mass lost as a result of immobility.

How does sexual harassment affect young women in physics?

In a study reported in the journal Physical Review Physics Education Research, nearly 75% of 471 undergraduate women in physics who responded to a survey offered during a professional conference reported having experienced at least one type of sexual harassment – mostly gender harassment – in their field. U. of I. anthropology professor Kathryn Clancy, a co-author of the report, talked to News Bureau life sciences editor Diana Yates about the study, which also examined the respondents’ feelings of belonging and legitimacy as scientists and scholars.

Illinois chancellor and chemist elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Chancellor Robert J. Jones and chemistry professor Catherine J. Murphy have been elected as members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Team measures puncture performance of viper fangs

A team that studies how biological structures such as cactus spines and mantis shrimp appendages puncture living tissue has turned its attention to viper fangs. Specifically, the scientists wanted to know, what physical characteristics contribute to fangs’ sharpness and ability to puncture?

Smart antioxidant-containing polymer responds to body chemistry, environment

Oxidants found within living organisms are byproducts of metabolism and are essential to wound-healing and immunity. However, when their concentrations become too high, inflammation and tissue damage can occur. University of Illinois engineers have developed and tested a new drug-delivery system that senses high oxidant levels and responds by administering just the right amount of antioxidant to restore this delicate balance.

Low-calorie sweetener derived from lactose gets manufacturing boost from yeast

The quest to satisfy the sweet tooth without adding to the waistline has a new weapon in its arsenal: a strain of yeast that can metabolize lactose, the sugar in dairy products, into tagatose, a natural sweetener with less than half the calories of table sugar.

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