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Life Sciences

Future of US citrus may hinge on consumer acceptance of genetically modified food

A tiny insect, no bigger than the head of a pin, is threatening to topple the multibillion-dollar citrus industry in the U.S.The battle to save it is pitting producers and researchers against a formidable brown bug, the Asian citrus psyllid.

Experts call for national research integrity advisory board

It’s been proposed before, but so far no one has heeded the call for an official advisory board to support ethical behavior in research institutions. Today, leaders in academia with expertise in the professional and ethical conduct of research have formalized a proposal to finally assemble such an advisory board. The proposal appears in the journal Nature.

Study of Arctic fishes reveals the birth of a gene – from ‘junk’

Though separated by a world of ocean, and unrelated to each other, two fish groups – one in the Arctic, the other in the Antarctic – share a surprising survival strategy: They both have evolved the ability to produce the same special brand of antifreeze protein in their tissues. A new study describes in molecular detail how the Arctic fishes built the gene for their antifreeze from tiny fragments of noncoding DNA, regions once considered “junk DNA."

Phthalates may impair fertility in female mice

A phthalate found in many plastic and personal care products may decrease fertility in female mice, researchers at the University of Illinois found in a new study.

Conservation efforts help some rare birds more than others, study finds

Land conservation programs that have converted tens of thousands of acres of agricultural land in Illinois back to a more natural state appear to have helped some rare birds increase their populations to historic levels, a new study finds. Other bird species with wider geographic ranges have not fared as well, however.

Feeling groovy: Neurons integrate better with muscle grown on grooved platforms

Growing muscle tissue on grooved platforms helps neurons more effectively integrate with the muscle, a requirement for engineering muscle in the lab that responds and functions like muscle in the body, University of Illinois researchers found in a new study.

'Revealing Greater Cahokia' details research on ancient North American metropolis

With a population between 10,000 and 30,000 in its heyday (A.D. 1050-1200) and a sprawling assortment of homes, storage buildings, temples, cemeteries, mounds and other monuments in and around what is now St. Louis and East St. Louis, Illinois, the ancient Native American city known as Greater Cahokia was the first experiment in urban living in North America.

Cilia beat to an unexpected rhythm in male reproductive tract, study in mice reveals

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.

Environmental greenness may not improve student test scores, study finds

Researchers at the University of Illinois and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service suggest in a new study that environmental greenness may not be associated with higher test scores in schoolchildren after all.

Unmuting large silent genes lets bacteria produce new molecules, potential drug candidates

By enticing away the repressors dampening unexpressed, silent genes in Streptomyces bacteria, researchers at the University of Illinois have unlocked several large gene clusters for new natural products, according to a study published in the journal Nature Chemical Biology.

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