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Latest University of Illinois Stories

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2010-11-02 08:18:02

Money may not grow on trees, but energy could grow in grass. Researchers at the University of Illinois have completed the first extensive geographic yield and economic analysis of potential bioenergy grass crops in the Midwestern United States. Demand for biofuels is increasing as Americans seek to expand renewable energy sources and mitigate the effects of fluctuating energy prices. Corn ethanol is the main biofuel on the market, but demand for ethanol competes with corn's availability as a...

2010-10-13 14:49:01

A diet rich in the plant compound luteolin reduces age-related inflammation in the brain and related memory deficits by directly inhibiting the release of inflammatory molecules in the brain, researchers report. Luteolin (LOOT-ee-oh-lin) is found in many plants, including carrots, peppers, celery, olive oil, peppermint, rosemary and chamomile. The new study, which examined the effects of dietary luteolin in a mouse model of aging, appears in the Journal of Nutrition. The researchers focused...

2010-10-08 02:17:00

Algorithm that integrates genomic and metabolic data enables cell-scale simulations and ultimately, biological strain design Researchers at the Institute for Genomic Biology at the University of Illinois have developed a way to harness the prodigious quantities of both genomic and metabolic data being generated with high-throughput genomics and other techniques. They have developed an algorithm that automatically integrates both data sets. The model, called probabilistic regulation of...

2010-10-08 02:15:08

Accurate duplication of genetic material and the faithful segregation of chromosomes are critical for cell survival. The initiation of DNA replication is linked both to cell cycle progression and chromatin organization. In plants, animals and other "eukaryotes," the assembly of a multi-protein complex called pre-replicative complex (preRC) is the first step in the initiation of DNA replication. As the name implies, origin recognition complex (ORC) proteins bind to origins of DNA replication....

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2010-09-16 11:53:08

Data from the Multi-angle Imaging Spectroradiometer (MISR) instrument on NASA's Terra spacecraft have been used in a groundbreaking new university study that examines the concentration, distribution and composition of aerosol pollution over the Indian subcontinent. The study documents the region's very high levels of natural and human-produced pollutants, and uncovered surprising seasonal shifts in the source of the pollution. Larry Di Girolamo and postdoctoral scientist Sagnik Dey of the...

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2010-09-10 08:38:59

Practical model could transform vaccine stockpile decisions A creative version of a classic engineering technique may improve decisions about building and using supplies of important pediatric vaccines, potentially leading to lower public health costs and healthier children. The United States maintains a six-month supply of common pediatric vaccines to ensure protection from deadly diseases, such as the flu, polio, and diphtheria, despite interruptions in vaccine production. The stockpiles...

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2010-09-09 13:19:00

Uses more water, leaches less nitrogen In the search for the perfect crop for biofuel production, Miscanthus  has become the darling to many. But in an effort to not be charmed by its enormous potential for biomass production, researchers at the University of Illinois are taking a careful look at the pros and cons of its behavior in the field. A recent study analyzed water quantity and quality in plots of Miscanthus, switchgrass, corn, and soybeans and found that Miscanthus used...

2010-09-09 01:21:43

Armed with a decade's worth of satellite data, University of Illinois atmospheric scientists have documented some surprising trends in aerosol pollution concentration, distribution and composition over the Indian subcontinent. In addition to environmental impact, aerosol pollution, or tiny particles suspended in the air, can be detrimental to human health by causing a range of respiratory problems. Aerosols can come from natural sources, such as dust and pollen carried on the wind, but the...

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2010-09-07 14:22:45

Researchers have identified a new target for the treatment of lymphoma and are testing a potential new drug in pet dogs afflicted with the disease. At low doses, the compound, called S-PAC-1, arrested the growth of tumors in three of six dogs tested and induced partial remission in a fourth. The results of the study, conducted by researchers at the University of Illinois, appear this month in the journal Cancer Research. The new compound targets a cellular enzyme, procaspase-3, that when...

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2010-08-05 08:10:00

Legendary Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi once said, "Winning isn't everything; it's the only thing." For NFL teams, especially small-market franchises seeking to increase their fan base, winning does help, but so does team longevity in the market as well as the number of games played in prime time, according to research by a University of Illinois sports economist. Scott Tainsky, a professor of recreation, sport and tourism at Illinois, says that many of the same factors that...