Life Sciences News | University of Illinois

Life Sciences News

Life Sciences News

  • A new anti-cancer compound, PAC-1, spurs cell death in cancer cells while sparing healthy cells.
    2/26/2015Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor writer Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor by Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor published by Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor
    A new drug that prompts cancer cells to self-destruct while sparing healthy cells is now entering phase I clinical trials in humans. The drug, called PAC-1, first showed promise in the treatment of pet dogs with spontaneously occurring cancers, and is still in clinical trials in dogs with osteosarcoma.
  • Soil microbes known as rhizobia supply much-needed nitrogen to legumes such as clover (Trifolium species). In return, legumes shelter the rhizobia in nodules on their roots and provide them with carbon.
    2/23/2015Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor writer Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor by Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor published by Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor
    When exposed to nitrogen fertilizer over a period of years, nitrogen-fixing bacteria called rhizobia evolve to become less beneficial to legumes – the plants they normally serve, researchers report in a new study.
  • Working with international collaborators, Scientific Animations Without Borders created an Ebola prevention video that is now being distributed in Sierra Leone.Pictured,clockwise, from back left: Enrique Rebolledo, the program coordinator for the Sierra Leone/YMCA Partnership; U. of I. entomology professor Barry Pittendrigh; U. of I. YMCA communications director Megan Flowers; SAWBO staffer Anna Prez Sabater; and Julia Bello-Bravo, the assistant director of the Center for African Studies.
    2/19/2015Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor writer Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor by Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor published by Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor
    A group of international collaborators has found a way to deliver Ebola prevention information to people in every part of Sierra Leone - safely, and at negligible cost. The team is rolling out animated videos narrated in local languages that can be viewed on cell phones, tablets, computers and other digital devices.
  • Soil was loaded onto Spanish galleons traveling from Acapulco, Mexico, to Manila, Philippines, in the 16th century. The soil, needed for ballast on empty vessels, likely also included tropical fire ants, researchers report. | Graphic credit Julie McMahon
    2/18/2015Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor writer Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor by Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor published by Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor
    Thanks to a bit of genetic sleuthing, researchers now know the invasion history of the tropical fire ant (Solenopsis geminata), the first ant species known to travel the globe by sea.
  • The Institute for Genomic Biology at Illinois will now bear the name of microbiology professor Carl R. Woese, who discovered a new domain of life. Woese died in 2012.
    2/17/2015Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor writer Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor by Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor published by Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor
    The University of Illinois’ Institute for Genomic Biology has been renamed in honor of a microbiology professor who changed the course of science with his discovery of a third major branch of the tree of life. That professor, Carl R. Woese, died in late 2012.
  • University of Illinois postdoctoral researcher Adrian Smith, right, and entomology professor Andrew Suarez found that ants are highly attuned to the chemical context of the hive.
    2/2/2015Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor writer Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor by Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor published by Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor
    Researchers report that trap-jaw ants recognize the unique odor of a fertile queen only if the queen also shares the workers’ own chemical cologne – a distinctive blend of dozens of smelly, waxy compounds that coat the ants’ bodies from head to tarsus. The discovery offers new insights into how social animals evolved and communicate with others in their group, the researchers say.

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