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Cholesterol byproduct hijacks immune cells, lets breast cancer spread

A cholesterol byproduct facilitates breast cancer’s spread by hijacking immune cells, a new University of Illinois study found.

Some plants grow bigger – and meaner – when clipped, study finds

Some plants behave like the mythical monster Hydra: Cut off their heads and they grow back, bigger and better than before. A new study finds that these “overcompensators,” as they are called, also augment their defensive chemistry – think plant venom – when they are clipped.

No ‘narcissism epidemic’ among college students, study finds

Today’s college students are slightly less narcissistic than their counterparts were in the 1990s, researchers report in a new study – not significantly more, as some have proposed. The study, reported in the journal Psychological Science, analyzed data from 1,166 students at the University of California, Berkeley in the 1990s, and from tens of thousands of students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of California, Davis in the 2000s and 2010s.

Antibiotic-resistant infections in pets: What now?

Rates of antibiotic-resistant infections in companion animals are rising at an alarming rate. An Illinois veterinarian discusses what can be done about it.

Large, crystalline lipid scaffolds bring new possibilities to protein, drug research

Proteins and drugs are often attached to lipids to promote crystallization or ensure delivery to targeted tissues within the body, but only the smallest proteins and molecules fit within these fat structures. A new study reveals a lipid structure that can support much larger proteins and molecules than before, potentially increasing the variety of drugs that can be attached to these fat molecules.

Paper: Don’t rely on mixed messages to change health behaviors

Self-improvement messages to lose weight, quit smoking or eat more fruits and vegetables can fall on deaf ears if the intervention message is mixed, says new research from U. of I. psychology professor Dolores Albarracin.

Click beetles inspire design of self-righting robots

Robots perform many tasks that humans can’t or don’t want to perform, getting around on intricately designed wheels and limbs. If they tip over, however, they are rendered almost useless. A team of University of Illinois mechanical engineers and entomologists are looking to click beetles, who can right themselves without the use of their legs, to solve this robotics challenge.

Nutrition has benefits for brain network organization, new research finds

A new study found that monounsaturated fatty acids are linked to general intelligence and the organization of the brain’s attention network.

Study: Biomarkers as predictive of sepsis as lengthy patient monitoring

One measurement of key biomarkers in blood that characterize sepsis can give physicians as much information as hours of monitoring symptoms, a new study found.

Scientists discover spring-loaded mechanism in unusual species of trap-jaw ant

Research reveals how a group of trap-jaw ants can snap their jaws shut at speeds of up to 50 miles per hour – just fast enough to capture their elusive prey.