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Biologists shed light on how microbes evolve, affect hosts

[ ] The era of COVID-19 and the need to constantly wash one's hands and sanitize things have brought microbes to new levels of scrutiny, particularly for their impact on an individual…

Acid-tolerant yeast model helps guide industrial organic acid production

[ ] Microbes and other microscopic organisms could serve as sustainable “factories” to create many types of industrial materials because they naturally convert nutrients such as…

Lassogen raises $4.5M in seed round to develop novel therapeutics

[ ] Although small molecule drugs and antibodies continue to be the standard for cancer treatment, a new class of therapeutics — lasso peptides — may prove effective, especially for…

30 years of experiments simulate future crop climate response

[ ] Five years ago, the United Nations committed to achieving the Sustainable Development Goal of Zero Hunger by 2030. Since then, however, world hunger has continued to rise. Nearly…

Nelson awarded $4.5M to study prevention, treatment of breast cancer

[ ] Professor of Molecular and Integrative Physiology Erik Nelson (ACPP) has won a $4.5M Era of Hope Scholar Award from the United States Department of Defense (DoD) Breast Cancer…

Illinois study tracks evolution of SARS-CoV-2 virus mutations

[ ] Since COVID-19 began its menacing march across Wuhan, China, in December 2019, and then across the world, the SARS-CoV-2 virus has taken a “whatever works” strategy to ensure its…

Congress must clarify limits of gene-editing technologies

[ ] Genome editing of human embryos represents one of the most contentious potential scientific applications today. But what if geneticists could sidestep the controversy by editing…

Octopus-inspired sucker transfers thin, delicate tissue grafts, biosensors

[ ] Thin tissue grafts and flexible electronics have a host of applications for wound healing, regenerative medicine and biosensing. A new device inspired by an octopus’s sucker…

Study on how bacteria obtain essential nutrients in soil, during infection

[ ] Much like humans eat food in order to obtain essential nutrients, bacteria acquire nutrients by importing them. An essential nutrient for life is zinc, which cannot be…

CRISPR-induced immune diversification in host-virus populations

[ ] Just like humans, microbes have equipped themselves with tools to recognize and defend themselves against viral invaders. In a continual evolutionary battle between virus and host…

Exercise and nutrition regimen benefits physical, cognitive health

[ ] Researchers studied the effects of a 12-week exercise regimen on 148 active-duty Air Force airmen, half of whom also received a twice-daily nutrient beverage that included protein…

Genomic study reveals evolutionary secrets of banyan tree

[ ] The banyan fig tree Ficus microcarpa is famous for its aerial roots, which sprout from branches and eventually reach the soil. The tree also has a unique relationship with a wasp…

Cancer compound leads to major licensing deal

[ ] Researchers affiliated with the Cancer Center at Illinois and the IGB discovered a novel small molecule compound that is now the subject of a new global licensing agreement…

Gene expression altered by direction of forces acting on cell

[ ] Tissues and cells in the human body are subjected to a constant push and pull – strained by other cells, blood pressure and fluid flow, to name a few. The type and direction of…

Do-it-yourself COVID-19 vaccines fraught with public health problems

[ ] Well-intentioned “citizen scientists” developing homemade COVID-19 vaccines may believe they’re inoculating themselves against the ongoing pandemic, but the practice of self-…

Most homemade masks doing a great job, study finds

[ ] Studies indicate that homemade masks help combat the spread of viruses like COVID-19 when combined with frequent hand-washing and physical distancing. Many of these studies focus…

Novel phage alters transcriptome of a common human gut microbe

[ ] The human gut is home to a dense and diverse microbial community that represents a vital component of human health, development, and disease states. Within those communities,…

Cholesterol metabolite causes immune system to attack T cells, not breast cancer

[ ] In breast cancer tumors, a molecule produced when the body breaks down cholesterol hijacks the myeloid immune cells that normally arm T cells to fight cancer, a new study in mice…

ARPA-E awards $4.5M to develop commercial carbon credit tools

[ ] The University of Illinois has been awarded $4.5 million from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) through its “Systems for Monitoring…

Cell-autonomous immunity shaped human evolution

[ ] Every human cell harbors its own defenses against microbial invaders, relying on strategies that date back to some of the earliest events in the history of life, researchers…