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Studies link nutrient, academic achievement in pre-adolescent children

Researchers can look into your eyes to determine whether you’re getting your lutein, a pigment found in green leafy vegetables that is known to accumulate in the brain. Two new studies find that children with higher lutein levels in the eye tend to do better than others on tests of cognition and academic achievement, even after accounting for other factors known to influence academic performance such as IQ, gender, body composition and physical fitness.

Herbs, spices on vegetables may increase their appeal to men, young adults

Adults who don’t routinely eat vegetables for lunch—especially men and younger adults—may be more likely to consume them if the vegetables are seasoned, University of Illinois researchers found in a new study of more than 530 adults.

Fred A. Kummerow, successful crusader against trans fats, dies at 102

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.

Chemical array draws out malignant cells to guide individualized cancer treatment

Melanoma is a particularly difficult cancer to treat once it has metastasized, spreading throughout the body. University of Illinois researchers are using chemistry to find the deadly, elusive malignant cells within a melanoma tumor that hold the potential to spread.

Sensors detect disease markers in breath

A small, thin square of an organic plastic that can detect disease markers in breath or toxins in a building’s air could soon be the basis of portable, disposable sensor devices. By riddling the thin plastic films with pores, University of Illinois researchers made the devices sensitive enough to detect at levels that are far too low to smell, yet are important to human health.

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

Two new studies link patterns of polyunsaturated fatty acids in the blood to the integrity of brain structures and cognitive abilities that are known to decline early in aging.

Study: Higher mass transit use associated with lower obesity rates

Healthy mass transit systems could contribute to healthier communities, according to a new study by University of Illinois researchers that determined higher mass transit use was correlated with lower obesity rates in counties across the United States.

‘Molecular prosthetics’ can replace missing proteins to treat disease

Researchers have demonstrated that a small molecule can transport iron in human cells and live animals when proteins that normally do the same job are missing, a condition that often causes severe anemia in patients. Such “molecular prosthetics” might treat a host of incurable diseases caused by protein deficiencies, such as anemias, cystic fibrosis or certain types of heart disease.

Antibiotic breakthrough: Team discovers how to overcome gram-negative bacterial defenses

Scientists report that they now know how to build a molecular Trojan horse that can penetrate gram-negative bacteria, solving a problem that for decades has stalled the development of effective new antibiotics against these increasingly drug-resistant microbes. The findings appear in the journal Nature.

Computer-generated doctor explains test results to patients

A computer-generated physician, now under development at the University of Illinois' Beckman Institute, explains diabetes and cholesterol test results to would-be patients in videos designed for viewing on electronic medical record portals.