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Snake fungal disease parallels white-nose syndrome in bats

A deadly fungal infection afflicting snakes is eerily similar to the fungus that causes white-nose syndrome in bats, researchers report.

Biomedical breakthrough: Carbon nanoparticles you can make at home

Researchers have found an easy way to produce carbon nanoparticles that are small enough to evade the body’s immune system, reflect light in the near-infrared range for easy detection, and carry payloads of pharmaceutical drugs to targeted tissues.

Drug trials in pet dogs with cancer help dogs and humans

Pet dogs may be humans’ best friends in a new arena of life: cancer treatment, said University of Illinois veterinary clinical medicine professor Timothy Fan. Physiological similarities between dogs and humans, and conserved genetics between some dog and human cancers, can allow pet dogs to serve as useful models for studying new cancer drugs, he said.

New anti-microbial compounds evade resistance with less toxicity

New compounds that specifically attack fungal infections without attacking human cells could transform treatment for such infections and point the way to targeted medicines that evade antibiotic resistance.

Genome-editing proteins seek and find with a slide and a hop

Searching a whole genome for one particular sequence is like trying to fish a specific piece from the box of a billion-piece puzzle. Using advanced imaging techniques, University of Illinois researchers have observed how one set of genome-editing proteins finds its specific targets, which could help them design better gene therapies to treat disease.

Mission possible: This device will self-destruct when heated

University of Illinois researchers have developed heat-triggered self-destructing electronic devices, a step toward greatly reducing electronic waste and boosting sustainability in device manufacturing. They also developed a radio-controlled trigger that could remotely activate self-destruction on demand.

Omega-3 fatty acids enhance cognitive flexibility in at-risk older adults

A study of older adults at risk of late-onset Alzheimer’s disease found that those who consumed more omega-3 fatty acids did better than their peers on tests of cognitive flexibility – the ability to efficiently switch between tasks – and had a bigger anterior cingulate cortex, a brain region known to contribute to cognitive flexibility.

Gene regulation underlies the evolution of social complexity in bees

A new study offers insights into the genetic changes that accompany social complexity in bees, including honey bees. Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology faculty members Saurabh Sinha, a professor of computer science; Gene Robinson, a professor of entomology and IGB director; and an international consortium of 52 scientists used comparative genomics to discover that the evolution of bee society is associated with increases in the complexity of gene regulation.

Plant breeder boosts soybean diversity, develops rust-resistant plant

It took decades of painstaking work, but research geneticist Ram Singh managed to cross a popular soybean variety (“Dwight” Glycine max) with a related wild perennial plant that grows like a weed in Australia, producing the first fertile soybean plants that are resistant to soybean rust, soybean cyst nematode and other pathogens of soy.

Tiny silicone spheres come out of the mist

Technology in common household humidifiers could enable the next wave of high-tech medical imaging and targeted medicine, thanks to a new method for making tiny silicone microspheres developed by chemists at the University of Illinois.