Chicago, IL, United States
Chicago, IL, United States

The University of Illinois at Chicago, or UIC, is a state-funded public research university located in Chicago, Illinois, United States. Its campus is in the Near West Side community area, adjacent to the Chicago Loop. The second campus established under the University of Illinois system, UIC is also the largest university in the Chicago area, having approximately 28,000 students enrolled in 15 colleges.UIC operates the largest medical school in the United States, and serves as the principal educator for Illinois’ physicians, dentists, pharmacists, physical therapists, nurses and other healthcare professionals. UIC's medical school has research expenditures exceeding $412 million and consistently ranks in the top 50 U.S. institutions for research expenditures.In the 2015 U.S. News & World Report's ranking of colleges and universities, UIC ranked as the 149th best in the "national universities" category. The 2014 Times Higher Education World University Rankings ranked UIC as the 13th best in the world among universities less than 50 years old.UIC competes in NCAA Division I Horizon League as the UIC Flames in sports. The UIC Pavilion is home to all UIC basketball games. It also serves as a venue for concerts. Wikipedia.


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Patent
Johns Hopkins University and University of Illinois at Chicago | Date: 2015-04-22

The present invention provides novel indoleamide compounds for treating tuberculosis, including drug-resistant M-tuberculosis, compositions comprising the indoleamides and methods of using the indoleamides in conjunction with other biologically active agents for the treatment of tuberculosis in a subject in need thereof.


Pye D.R.,University of Illinois at Chicago | Mankad N.P.,University of Illinois at Chicago
Chemical Science | Year: 2017

Bimetallic catalysis represents an alternative paradigm for coupling chemistry that complements the more traditional single-site catalysis approach. In this perspective, recent advances in bimetallic systems for catalytic C-C and C-X coupling reactions are reviewed. Behavior which complements that of established single-site catalysts is highlighted. Two major reaction classes are covered. First, generation of catalytic amounts of organometallic species of e.g. Cu, Au, or Ni capable of transmetallation to a Pd co-catalyst (or other traditional cross-coupling catalyst) has allowed important new C-C coupling technologies to emerge. Second, catalytic transformations involving binuclear bond-breaking and/or bond-forming steps, in some cases involving metal-metal bonds, represent a frontier area for C-C and C-X coupling processes. © The Royal Society of Chemistry.


Zeidman L.A.,University of Illinois at Chicago
Neurology | Year: 2017

Several neuropathologists conducted brain research on victims of so-called euthanasia programs carried out by the National Socialist (Nazi) regime in Germany from 1940 to 1945. Some published their results in German journals or books during and after the war. One of these neuropathologists was Hans Jacob of Hamburg, a former Nazi party member and the leader of the same laboratory previously run by Alfons Jakob (Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease). Though much has been published on the unethical actions of Jacob's fellow neuropathologist from Berlin, Julius Hallervorden, Jacob's actions were remarkably similar and have not been previously analyzed in the neuroscience literature. Jacob dissected at least 42 patient brains from euthanasia centers near Hamburg, and saved the specimens from at least 17 of them. He published a 1956 book chapter featuring 2 such specimens. Jacob was denazified, had a notable career, and never publicly addressed his actions during the war. His ethical violations may not have been on the same scale as Hallervorden's, but the effect of his work echoes to the modern era. As responsible researchers, we must always be conscious of the provenance of material provided and not succumb to opportunistic temptation despite the ethical consequences. © American Academy of Neurology.


Siemionow M.,University of Illinois at Chicago
British Medical Bulletin | Year: 2016

Introduction: At the 10th year anniversary of the first face transplantation, there are currently 36 patients worldwide, who are the recipients of faces coming from human donors. Areas of agreement: Despite the initial debates and ethical concerns, face transplantation became a clinical reality with satisfactory functional outcomes. Areas of controversy: The areas of controversy still include the impact of lifelong immunosuppression on otherwise healthy patients as well as the selection process of face transplant candidates. Growing points: Other concerns include financial support for this new generation of transplants as well as social reintegration and patients return to work after face transplantation. Areas timely for developing research: Based on over 20 years of research experience in the field of vascularized composite allotransplantation, and clinical experience as a leading surgeon of the US first face transplantation, this review will summarize the well-known facts as well as unexpected outcomes and challenges of face transplantation. © The Author 2016.


Daugirdas J.T.,University of Illinois at Chicago
Seminars in Dialysis | Year: 2017

Hemodialysis treatment time and Kt/V can both be considered to be primary measures of hemodialysis adequacy, because when either goes to zero, mortality is certain in patients without residual kidney function. Treatment time is important, but it needs to be adjusted based on surface-area-normalized Kt/V, residual kidney function, and expected ultrafiltration rate. Rescaling dose of dialysis measured as Kt/V to body surface area prevents ultrashort dialysis in small patients, women, and children with minimal residual kidney function. Most if not all of the observational studies of associations between outcome and dialysis session length are probably confounded by dose targeting bias. Once adequate Kt/V (taking into account body surface area) has been provided, adequate dialysis time probably is most relevant in terms of limiting the need for a high fluid removal rate. The latter may adversely impact survival by causing recurrent ischemia to cardiovascular and other tissues. There is little high-quality evidence at this time to support a minimum 4-hour treatment time for all patients, regardless of body size, solute removal, or residual kidney function. On the other hand, there is little evidence that prolonging weekly treatment time up to 24 hours per week is harmful. The final decision regarding treatment time is best individualized, based on patient acceptability and experience, residual kidney function, body surface-area-normalized Kt/V, and expected ultrafiltration rate. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


PURPOSE:: To evaluate the nature and extent of letter contrast sensitivity (CS) deficits in glaucoma patients using a commercially available computer-based system (M&S Smart System II) and to compare the letter CS measurements to standard clinical measures of visual function. METHODS:: Ninety-four subjects with primary open-angle glaucoma participated. Each subject underwent visual acuity, letter CS, and standard automated perimetry testing (Humphrey SITA 24-2). All subjects had a best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) of 0.3 log MAR (20/40 Snellen equivalent) or better and reliable standard automated perimetry (fixation losses, false positives, and false negatives <33%). CS functions were estimated from the letter CS and BCVA measurements. The area under the CS function (AUCSF), which is a combined index of CS and BCVA, was derived and analyzed. RESULTS:: The mean (± SD) BCVA was 0.08±0.10 log MAR (∼20/25 Snellen equivalent), the mean CS was 1.38±0.17, and the mean Humphrey Visual Field mean deviation (HVF MD) was −7.22±8.10 dB. Letter CS and HVF MD correlated significantly (r=0.51, P<0.001). BCVA correlated significantly with letter CS (r=−0.22, P=0.03), but not with HVF MD (r=−0.12, P=0.26). A subset of the subject sample (∼20%) had moderate to no field loss (≤−6 dB MD) and minimal to no BCVA loss (≤0.3 log MAR), but had poor letter CS. AUCSF was correlated significantly with HVF MD (r=0.46, P<0.001). CONCLUSIONS:: The present study is the first to evaluate letter CS in glaucoma using the digital M&S Smart System II display. Letter CS correlated significantly with standard HVF MD measurements, suggesting that letter CS may provide a useful adjunct test of visual function for glaucoma patients. In addition, the significant correlation between HVF MD and the combined index of CS and BCVA (AUCSF) suggests that this measure may also be useful for quantifying visual dysfunction in glaucoma patients. Copyright © 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.


Ares G.,University of Illinois at Chicago
Current Opinion in Pediatrics | Year: 2017

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Central venous catheters (CVCs) have a prominent role in the diagnostic and therapy of neonates and children. Herein, we describe the multiple indications for CVC use and the different devices available for central venous access. Given the prevalent use of CVCs, healthcare systems are focused on reducing complications from their use, particularly central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs). The most up-to-date information available sheds light on best practices and future areas of investigation. RECENT FINDINGS: Large systematic reviews of randomized trials suggest that ultrasound guidance for placement of CVCs in children is safer than using blind technique, at least for internal jugular vein access. Appropriate catheter tip placement is associated with decreased complications. Furthermore, the prophylactic use of ethanol lock between cycles of parenteral nutrition administration has reduced the rates of CLABSI. A recent randomized trial in pediatric CVCs showed a benefit with antibiotic-coated CVCs. SUMMARY: Based on the available evidence, multiple techniques for CVC placement are still valid, including the landmark technique based on practitioner experience, but ultrasound guidance has been shown to decrease complications from line placement. Adherence to CVC care protocols is essential in reducing infectious complications. Copyright © 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.


Shahid A.,University of Illinois at Chicago
2016 IEEE Power and Energy Society Innovative Smart Grid Technologies Conference, ISGT 2016 | Year: 2016

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the dynamics of a smart grid in a cyber-physical context. Due to highly complex and interactive nature of smart girds, there is a high risk of instabilities and dynamic variations depending on numerous cyber and physical parameters. An integrated algorithm and simulation involving both cyber and physical variables provide the basis to assure superior performance. In this way, the overall complexity of the system is confined to a high-level hybrid model and thus enables a unified control design to simulate not only the electrical behavior but also the physical interactions with the real world. The basic framework is outlined, demonstrating with an example how interactions between different modes take place, the power processing ability and the system transient response. © 2016 IEEE.


Estevez B.,University of Illinois at Chicago | Du X.,University of Illinois at Chicago
Physiology | Year: 2017

Upon blood vessel injury, platelets are exposed to adhesive proteins in the vascular wall and soluble agonists, which initiate platelet activation, leading to formation of hemostatic thrombi. Pathological activation of platelets can induce occlusive thrombosis, resulting in ischemic events such as heart attack and stroke, which are leading causes of death globally. Platelet activation requires intracellular signal transduction initiated by platelet receptors for adhesion proteins and soluble agonists. Whereas many platelet activation signaling pathways have been established for many years, significant recent progress reveals much more complex and sophisticated signaling and amplification networks. With the discovery of new receptor signaling pathways and regulatory networks, some of the long-standing concepts of platelet signaling have been challenged. This review provides an overview of the new developments and concepts in platelet activation signaling. © 2017 Int. Union Physiol. Sci./Am. Physiol. Soc.


Siemionow M.,University of Illinois at Chicago
Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine | Year: 2017

Abstract: At the 10th year anniversary of the first face transplantation, 37 patients worldwide, were the recipients of faces coming from human donors. Five patients died due to complications, noncompliance with immunosuppressive medications and development of cancer. Despite the initial debates and ethical concerns, face transplantation became a clinical reality with satisfactory functional outcomes. The areas of controversy still include the impact of life-long immunosuppression on otherwise healthy patients as well as the selection process of face transplant candidates. Other concerns include financial support for this new generation of transplants as well as social re-integration and patients return to work after face transplantation. Based on over 20 years of research experience in the field of vascularized composite allotransplantation (VCA), and clinical experience as a leading surgeon of the US first face transplantation, this review will summarize the well—known facts as well as unexpected outcomes and challenges of face transplantation. Graphical Abstract: [InlineMediaObject not available: see fulltext.] © 2017, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


Decoteau C.L.,University of Illinois at Chicago
Social Science and Medicine | Year: 2017

There is some statistical evidence indicating that Somali refugees and immigrants have high rates of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Somalis in North America call autism the “Western disease” because there is no word for autism in the Somali language and because many believe it does not exist in Somalia. In Toronto, Somali parents have forged an “epistemic community,” united around a coherent theory of the development of autism, its defining features, and most successful therapies. They work together with researchers to support the theory that gut bacteria is a causal factor for the development of autism. They argue that it is the diet and medical environment in North America (including the use of preservatives, genetically-modified processing, and antibiotics in both health care and food production) that explains the high rates of autism within the Somali diaspora. The paper argues that race and nationality have been underexplored in theories of embodied health movements. I argue that Somali parents' organizing pushes theories of health social movements in new directions, by suggesting that experiences of forced migration and racial exclusion, as well as non-Western cultural ontologies of health, are important for understanding embodied experiences of illness and the forging of “politicized collective illness identities” that challenge mainstream scientific understandings of autism. As such, Somalis' race and nationality play key roles in their pathways to group construction, in their embodied experiences of illness, and in their resources for mobilization. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd


Food and agriculture commodity boards have become important funders of nutrition research. There are benefits and cautions (biases toward health benefits, failure to publish negative results, and aggressive promotion of single studies) for this activity. The California Dried Plum Board, along with other commodity boards, have developed independent Scientific Nutrition Advisory Panels to guide and evaluate the research they fund. In the case of the California Dried Plum Board, this has resulted in research that has distinguished the nature and dose of dried plum and juice to maintain bowel health and opened up a surprising new function for dried plum in the prevention of age-related bone loss.


Abramov R.V.,University of Illinois at Chicago
Journal of Statistical Physics | Year: 2017

The classical fluctuation-dissipation theorem predicts the average response of a dynamical system to an external deterministic perturbation via time-lagged statistical correlation functions of the corresponding unperturbed system. In this work we develop a fluctuation-response theory and test a computational framework for the leading order response of statistical averages of a deterministic or stochastic dynamical system to an external stochastic perturbation. In the case of a stochastic unperturbed dynamical system, we compute the leading order fluctuation-response formulas for two different cases: when the existing stochastic term is perturbed, and when a new, statistically independent, stochastic perturbation is introduced. We numerically investigate the effectiveness of the new response formulas for an appropriately rescaled Lorenz 96 system, in both the deterministic and stochastic unperturbed dynamical regimes. © 2017 Springer Science+Business Media New York


Bromberg K.D.,University of Illinois at Chicago
Nature Chemical Biology | Year: 2017

Protein lysine methyltransferases (PKMTs) regulate diverse physiological processes including transcription and the maintenance of genomic integrity. Genetic studies suggest that the PKMTs SUV420H1 and SUV420H2 facilitate proficient nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ)-directed DNA repair by catalyzing the di- and trimethylation (me2 and me3, respectively) of lysine 20 on histone 4 (H4K20). Here we report the identification of A-196, a potent and selective inhibitor of SUV420H1 and SUV420H2. Biochemical and co-crystallization analyses demonstrate that A-196 is a substrate-competitive inhibitor of both SUV4-20 enzymes. In cells, A-196 induced a global decrease in H4K20me2 and H4K20me3 and a concomitant increase in H4K20me1. A-196 inhibited 53BP1 foci formation upon ionizing radiation and reduced NHEJ-mediated DNA-break repair but did not affect homology-directed repair. These results demonstrate the role of SUV4-20 enzymatic activity in H4K20 methylation and DNA repair. A-196 represents a first-in-class chemical probe of SUV4-20 to investigate the role of histone methyltransferases in genomic integrity. © 2017 Nature Publishing Group, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited. All Rights Reserved.


Lowe K.,University of Illinois at Chicago
Transportation Research Record | Year: 2016

Extensive research documents the unequal distribution of benefits and harms from automobiles and transit, but little transportation research on environmental justice considers differing access to and quality of pedestrian infrastructure by race and income. This study uses an audit of sidewalk continuity adjacent to bus stops in New Orleans, Louisiana, to determine whether sidewalk continuity had a relationship to census tract-level poverty and racial composition. The analysis shows that minority populations and, to some extent, populations living in poverty are significantly associated with worse sidewalk connectivity. Disparities in the quality of pedestrian infrastructure warrant more attention, and future research could examine potential disparities in differing locations, as well as the role of governmental and nongovernmental actors in sidewalk provision. © 2016, National Research Council. All rights reserved.


Plotnick R.E.,University of Illinois at Chicago
Geology | Year: 2017

Understanding the spatial structure of fossil localities is critical for interpreting Earth system processes based on their geographic distribution. Coordinates of marine and terrestrial sites in the conterminous United States for 17 time bins were analyzed using point pattern statistics. Lacunarity analysis shows that the spatial distributions of sites are fractal for almost every studied interval, indicating that clumping of localities occurs at multiple scales. Random hierarchical multiplicative processes provide a theoretical null model for the distribution of collecting sites, consistent with their occurrence being a complex product of numerous biological, geological, and anthropogenic processes acting at many spatial and temporal scales. Mechanistic models for the formation, preservation, and exposure of fossil localities and other geologic entities can be tested using point pattern and related spatial statistics. © 2017 The Authors.


Devroye N.,University of Illinois at Chicago
54th Annual Allerton Conference on Communication, Control, and Computing, Allerton 2016 | Year: 2016

Shannon determined that the zero-error capacity of a point-to-point channel whose channel p(yx) has confusability graph GX|Y is positive if and only if there exist two inputs that are 'non-adjacent', or 'non-confusable'. Equivalently, it is non-zero if and only if the independence number of GX|Y is strictly greater than 1. A multi-letter expression for the zero-error capacity of the channel with confusability graph GX|Y is known, and is given by the normalized limit as the blocklength n → 1 of the maximum independent set of the n-fold strong product of GX|Y. This is not generally computable with known methods. In this paper, we look at the zero-error capacity of four multi-user channels: the relay, the multiple-access (MAC), the broadcast (BC), and the interference (IC) channels. As a first step towards finding a multi-letter expression for the capacity of such channels, we find necessary and sufficient conditions under which the zero-error capacity is strictly positive. © 2016 IEEE.


Smida B.,University of Illinois at Chicago
Eurasip Journal on Wireless Communications and Networking | Year: 2017

In this paper, we propose a simple approach to reduce the sensitivity of OFDM system to the carrier frequency offset (CFO). The main idea is to choose a well-known channel code and to rotate each coordinate by a fixed phase shift such that the maximum inter-carrier interference (ICI) taken over all sub-carriers is minimized. This approach is based on a geometric interpretation of the peak interference to carrier ratio (PICR) of OFDM signals. Simulation results show that a reduction in PICR of 7 dB can be easily achieved. Furthermore, we addressed the fundamental limit of the proposed technique by providing both an exact and an approximate lower bound of PICR of phase-shifted binary codes. The bounds are applied to some codes: non-redundant binary code, BCH codes, and Reed-Muller codes. Simulation results demonstrated that phase-shift designs approach lower bounds and are resilient to CFO change. © 2017, The Author(s).


Uslenghi P.L.E.,University of Illinois at Chicago
IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation | Year: 2017

A metallic cylindrical cavity with planar bases and with side walls consisting of two equal concave parabolic cylinders having the same focal line is considered. The symmetry plane through the focal line and the intersecting lines of the parabolic cylinders divides the resonator into two equal volumes, one filled with double positive material and the other with double negative antiisorefractive metamaterial. The exact electromagnetic field inside the resonator is obtained. © 1963-2012 IEEE.


Ozemek C.,University of Illinois at Chicago
Current Opinion in Cardiology | Year: 2017

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Nonpharmacologic lifestyle modification interventions (LMIs), such as increasing physical activity, dietary modification, weight-loss, reducing alcohol consumption and smoking cessation, are effective strategies to lower resting blood pressures (BPs) in prehypertensive or hypertensive patients. However, the limited time shared between a physician and a patient is not adequate to instill an adoption of LMI. The purpose of this review is to therefore highlight evidence-based BP lowering, LMI strategies that can feasibly be implemented in clinical practices. RECENT FINDINGS: Interventions focusing on modifying physical activity, diet, weight-loss, drinking and smoking habits have established greater efficacy in reducing elevated BP compared with providing guideline recommendations based on national guidelines. Alone greater reductions in BP can be achieved through programmes that provide frequent contact time with exercise, nutrition and/or wellness professionals. Programmes that educate individuals to lead peer support groups can be an efficient method of ensuring compliance to LMI. SUMMARY: Evidence of a multidisciplinary approach to LMI is an effective and attractive model in managing elevated BP. This strategy is an attractive model that provides the necessary patient attention to confer lifestyle maintenance. Copyright © 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.


CONTEXT:: In the United States, racial/ethnic minorities account for disproportionate disease and death from type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and obesity; however, interventions with measured efficacy in comparative effectiveness research are often not adopted or used widely in those communities. OBJECTIVE:: To assess implementation and effects of comparative effectiveness research–proven interventions translated for minority communities. DESIGN:: Mixed-method assessment with pretest–posttest single-group evaluation design. SETTING:: US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Minority Health, research contractor, and advisory board; health centers, including a federally qualified community health center in Chicago, Illinois; and public housing facilities for seniors in Houston, Texas. PARTICIPANTS:: A total of 97 black, Hispanic, and Asian participants with any combination of health care provider–diagnosed type 2 diabetes, hypertension, or obesity. INTERVENTIONS:: Virtual training institutes where intervention staff learned cultural competency methods of adapting effective interventions. Health educators delivered the Health Empowerment Lifestyle Program (HELP) in Chicago; community pharmacists delivered the MyRx Medication Adherence Program in Houston. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:: Participation rates, satisfaction with interventions during January to April 2013, and pre- to postintervention changes in knowledge, diet, and clinical outcomes were analyzed through July 2013. RESULTS:: In Chicago, 38 patients experienced statistically significant reductions in hemoglobin A1c and systolic blood pressure, increased knowledge of hypertension management, and improved dietary behaviors. In Houston, 38 subsidized housing residents had statistically nonsignificant improvements in knowledge of self-management and adherence to medication for diabetes and hypertension but high levels of participation in pharmacist home visits and group education classes. CONCLUSION:: Adaptation, adoption, and implementation of HELP and MyRx demonstrated important postintervention changes among racial/ethnic participants in Chicago and Houston. The communities faced similar implementation challenges across settings, targets of change, and cities. Available resources were insufficient to sustain benefits with measurable impact on racial/ethnic disparities beyond the study period. Results suggest the need for implementation studies of longer duration, greater power, and salience to policies and programs that can sustain longterm interventions on a community-wide scale. Copyright © 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.


James D.,University of Illinois at Chicago
Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities | Year: 2016

Although a large body of research focuses on discrimination as a risk for depression among African-Americans, only a dearth of research focuses on internalized racism (i.e., endorsement of negative stereotypes of one’s racial group) as a risk factor. In addition, no studies have yet to examine mediators and/or moderators of the relationship between internalized racism and depression. To this end, the present study examined the mediating and moderating roles of (a) self-esteem and (b) ethnic identity on the relationship between internalized racism and past-year major depressive disorder (MDD), in a nationally representative sample of African-American adults (N = 3570) from the National Survey of American Life. Results from this study revealed an indirect association between internalized racism and past-year MDD via self-esteem, but no indirect relationship via ethnic identity. Further, results show that both self-esteem and ethnic identity individually moderate the relationship between internalized racism and past-year MDD. Collectively, these findings suggest a need to further investigate mechanisms through which internalized racism impacts mental health and factors that strengthen and/or weaken the association between internalized racism and depression. © 2016 W. Montague Cobb-NMA Health Institute


Camci A.,University of Illinois at Chicago
Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings | Year: 2016

Distractions is a kinetic sculpture that brings together sonification and visualization in a single physical artifact. It utilizes inaudible frequencies to visualize invisible electromagnetic signals, such as those from cellphone, Wi-Fi and radio communications, that surround us in daily life. This way, the piece highlights some of our routine sources of distraction in their raw forms. By picking up the electromagnetic signals in the exhibition space, the sculpture visualizes the signals to and from the mobile devices that are brought into this space by the visitors. The sub frequency vibrations, which oscillate the structure according to the these intentional or unintentional communications, not only represent the distractions the artist faces on a regular basis, but also intercept the dialogue between the audience and the inert steady state of the sculpture. The piece therefore interacts with the audience through the distractions that draw them away from the experience of the artwork. © 2016 Authors.


Hamidovic A.,University of Illinois at Chicago
Molecular Psychiatry | Year: 2017

Many cigarette smokers express a desire to quit smoking, but ~85% of cessation attempts fail. In our attempt to delineate genetic modulators of smoking persistence, we have earlier shown that a locus within an ~250 kb haplotype block spanning the 5' untranslated region region of insulin-degrading enzyme is associated with serum cotinine levels; the study’s measure of smoking quantity. Based on our findings, and coupled with recent preclinical studies showing the importance of multiple neuropeptides in reinstatement of drug use, we formulated intranasal insulin to evaluate its efficacy during acute abstinence from smoking. Our original study was a crossover trial including 19 otherwise healthy smokers who abstained from smoking for 36 h. The morning following their second night of abstinence, in random order, study participants received intranasal insulin (60 IU) or placebo (8.7% sodium chloride). The goal of our second study was to replicate the craving findings from the original trial and expand this research by including additional stress-related measures. Thirty-seven study participants abstained from smoking overnight. The next day, they were administered either intranasal insulin (60 IU) or placebo, following which they participated in the Trier Social Stress Test Task. This was a parallel design study focusing on the standard stress subjective, hormonal and cardiovascular measures. We also evaluated any changes in circulating glucose, insulin and c-peptide (a marker of endogenous insulin). In the original study, intranasal insulin significantly reduced morning nicotine craving (b=3.65, P⩽0.05). Similarly, in the second study, intranasal insulin reduced nicotine cravings over time (b=0.065, P⩽0.05) and the effect lasted through the psychosocial stress period. Intranasal insulin also increased circulating cortisol levels (F=12.78, P⩽0.001). No changes in insulin or c-peptide were detected. A significant treatment × time interaction (P⩽0.05) was detected for glucose, but subjects remained well within the euglycemic range. Previous studies have shown that heightened nicotine cravings and blunted response to stress are independent and significant predictors of relapse to smoking. In our study, intranasal insulin normalized the subjective and hormonal response to stress. As such, intranasal insulin should further be studied in a larger clinical trial of smoking cessation. In support of this, we provide evidence that the treatment is safe and effective and, based on absence of peripheral insulin changes, conclude that the pharmacodynamic effect is centrally driven.Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication, 28 February 2017; doi:10.1038/mp.2016.234. © 2017 Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature.


Sandusky R.J.,University of Illinois at Chicago
Proceedings - 2016 IEEE International Conference on Big Data, Big Data 2016 | Year: 2016

Provenance data is a type of metadata that computer scientists argue can support trustworthy and reliable replication of scientific results. From its origins in scientific workflow systems and database theory, and with concurrent interest from the ecological informatics community, a standard data model (PROV) and extensions for DataONE (ProvONE) have led to initial implementations in several tools commonly used by scientists (R, MATLAB) and in a global federation of scientific data repositories (DataONE). DataONE's support for ingest, storage, indexing and retrieval of provenance data is presented. Implications for libraries are identified. A research agenda for exploring the applicability of the PROV model to cultural heritage institutions -archives and museums -and their digital asset management systems is presented. © 2016 IEEE.


Fry D.E.,University of Illinois at Chicago
Journal of Patient Safety | Year: 2017

OBJECTIVE: The aims of the study were to develop risk-adjusted models and apply them for comparisons of hospital performance to define potentially preventable adverse outcomes (OAs) in Medicare lung resection surgery. METHODS: The Medicare Limited Data Set for 2010–2012 was used to design predictive risk models for the four OAs of inpatient deaths, prolonged length-of-stay outliers, 90-day postdischarge deaths without hospital readmission, and 90-day readmissions after removal of unrelated readmission events. The probability of adverse events for each hospital was used to compute the hospital-specific standard deviation (SD) tailored to patient risk profiles. Observed versus predicted adverse events divided by the hospital-specific SD identified the z score for each hospital. Risk-adjusted OA rates were then computed for comparing hospital performance. RESULTS: A total of 39,405 lung resection patients from 739 hospitals had 768 inpatient deaths (1.9%), 3147 had prolonged LOS (8.0%), 514 had 90-day postdischarge deaths without readmission (1.3 %), and 7701 had one or more 90-day readmissions (19.5%); 10,924 patients (27.7%) had one or more of these OAs. Twenty-six hospitals were two SDs better than predicted and 34 hospitals were two SDs poorer than predicted. When evaluated by deciles of risk-adjusted OAs, the top performing decile of hospitals had rates of 14.3% and the poorest performing decile had OA rates of 41.0%. CONCLUSIONS: The differences in risk-adjusted comparative outcomes between top- and suboptimal-performing hospitals in lung resections define the potential opportunities for care improvement. Identification of risk factors associated with OAs and causes for readmissions provides direction for specific areas of care redesign for improvement. Copyright © 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved


McMahon G.T.,University of Illinois at Chicago
Academic Medicine | Year: 2017

Continuing medical education (CME) has the power and capacity to address many challenges in the health care environment, from clinician well-being to national imperatives for better health, better care, and lower cost. Health care leaders who recognize the strategic value of education and engage their people in education can expect a meaningful return on their investment—not only in terms of the quality and safety of their clinicians’ work but also in the spirit and cohesiveness of the clinicians who work at their institution. To optimize the benefits of education, clinical leaders need to think of accredited CME as the professional development vehicle that can help them drive change and achieve goals, in consort with quality improvement efforts, patient safety projects, and other systems changes. An empowered CME program, with its multiprofessional scope and educational expertise, can contribute to initiatives focused on both clinical and nonclinical areas, such as quality and safety, professionalism, team communication, and process improvements. In this Commentary, the author describes principles and action steps for aligning leadership and educational strategy and urges institutional leaders to embrace the continuing professional development of their human capital as an organizational responsibility and opportunity and to view engagement in education as an investment in people. © 2017 by the Association of American Medical Colleges


Kayupov E.,University of Illinois at Chicago
The Journal of bone and joint surgery. American volume | Year: 2017

BACKGROUND: Tranexamic acid is an antifibrinolytic that has been shown to reduce blood loss and the need for transfusions when administered intravenously in total hip arthroplasty. Oral formulations of the drug are available at a fraction of the cost of the intravenous preparation. The purpose of this randomized controlled trial was to determine if oral and intravenous formulations of tranexamic acid have equivalent blood-sparing properties.METHODS: In this double-blinded trial, 89 patients undergoing primary total hip arthroplasty were randomized to receive 1.95 g of tranexamic acid orally 2 hours preoperatively or a 1-g tranexamic acid intravenous bolus in the operating room prior to incision; 6 patients were eventually excluded for protocol deviations, leaving 83 patients available for study. The primary outcome was the reduction of hemoglobin concentration. Power analysis determined that 28 patients were required in each group with a ±1.0 g/dL hemoglobin equivalence margin between groups with an alpha of 5% and a power of 80%. Equivalence analysis was performed with a two one-sided test (TOST) in which a p value of <0.05 indicated equivalence between treatments.RESULTS: Forty-three patients received intravenous tranexamic acid, and 40 patients received oral tranexamic acid. Patient demographic characteristics were similar between groups, suggesting successful randomization. The mean reduction of hemoglobin was similar between oral and intravenous groups (3.67 g/dL compared with 3.53 g/dL; p = 0.0008, equivalence). Similarly, the mean total blood loss was equivalent between oral and intravenous administration (1,339 mL compared with 1,301 mL; p = 0.034, equivalence). Three patients (7.5%) in the oral group and one patient (2.3%) in the intravenous group were transfused, but the difference was not significant (p = 0.35). None of the patients in either group experienced a thromboembolic event.CONCLUSIONS: Oral tranexamic acid provides equivalent reductions in blood loss in the setting of primary total hip arthroplasty, at a greatly reduced cost, compared with the intravenous formulation.LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Therapeutic Level I. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.


News Article | April 25, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

A new report from social psychologists at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Winnipeg suggests people on both sides of the political aisle are similarly motivated to dismiss monetary enticements in order to distance themselves from hearing or reading opposing ideals and information. The research, published online by the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, details the findings from five studies involving liberals and conservatives who were presented with statements on issues such as same-sex marriage, U.S. and Canada elections, marijuana, climate change, guns and abortion. Approximately two-thirds of respondents declined a chance to win extra money in order to avoid reading statements that didn't support their position, say report co-authors Linda Skitka, UIC professor of psychology, and Matt Motyl, UIC assistant professor of psychology. The UIC researchers and Jeremy A. Frimer, a corresponding author from the University of Winnipeg, indicate the divide goes beyond political topics. Respondents also had a "greater desire to hear from like- versus unlike-minded others on questions such as preferred beverages (Coke vs. Pepsi), seasons (spring vs. autumn), airplane seats (aisle vs. window), and sports leagues (NFL vs. NBA)," they wrote. The aversion to hearing or learning about the views of their ideological opponents is not a product of people already being or feeling knowledgeable, or attributable to election fatigue in the case of political issues, according to the researchers. "Rather, people on both sides indicated that they anticipated that hearing from the other side would induce cognitive dissonance," such that would require effort or cause frustration, and "undermine a sense of shared reality with the person expressing disparate views" that would harm relationships, they reported. The researchers note the drawback of liberals and conservatives retreating to ideological information bubbles. "What could ultimately be a contest of ideas is being replaced by two, non-interacting monopolies," they said. The report was supported by a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.


News Article | May 3, 2017
Site: news.yahoo.com

Fasting diets are trendy these days, but they may be no better for weight loss than traditional diets, according to a new study. Researchers looked at a weight-loss method called "alternate-day fasting," in which people drastically reduce their calorie intake every other day, but eat more than usual on nonfasting days. The researchers randomly assigned 100 obese adults to one of three groups: an alternate-day fasting group, a traditional diet group and a group that did not diet at all. Participants in the alternate-day fasting group consumed just 25 percent of their typical calorie intake — about 500 calories — on fasting days, and 125 percent of their typical intake on nonfasting days. In contrast, those in the traditional diet group consumed 75 percent of their typical calorie intake every day. After six months, the people in both the fasting group and the traditional diet group had lost about 7 percent more of their body weight, on average, compared with the group that did not diet. And after a year, the participants in both diet groups had maintained a weight loss of 5 to 6 percent of their original body weight. There was no significant difference between the group that did the alternate-day fasting and the group that followed the traditional weight-loss method, the researchers said. [Lose Weight Smartly: 7 Little-Known Tricks that Shave Pounds] What's more, 38 percent of the participants in the fasting group dropped out of the study before the one-year mark, in most cases because they were dissatisfied with the diet, compared with 29 percent who dropped out in the traditional diet group. Participants in the fasting group also tended to "cheat" on fasting days by eating more than their diet allowed, and they consumed slightly less than they were allowed on nonfasting days, the researchers noted. "Alternate-day fasting has been promoted as a potentially superior alternative to daily calorie restriction under the assumption that it is easier to restrict calories every other day," the researchers, from the University of Illinois at Chicago, wrote in the May 1 issue of the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. But the new findings show that this is not the case. "These findings suggest that alternate-day fasting may be less sustainable in the long term, compared with daily calorie restriction, for most obese individuals," the researchers said. The study also found no difference in blood pressure, heart rate, triglyceride levels, blood sugar levels or insulin levels, between the two diet groups. Fasting diets such as the "5:2 diet," which involves fasting just two days a week and eating normally on the other five, have risen in popularity in recent years. Some previous research suggested that fasting diets lead to just as much weight loss, and are easier to stick with, than traditional diets. But these studies have tended to be small and short term. The new study is one of the largest and longest-running trials to look at the effects of alternate-day fasting, the researchers said. Still, some obese people may prefer this type of fasting diet over a traditional diet that restricts calories every day, the researchers said. Future studies could examine traits that make alternate-day fasting more tolerable for some people than others — for instance, it may be that some people find it easier than others do to go for long periods without eating, the researchers said. It's also important to note that the study involved obese people who were "metabolically healthy," meaning they did not have any of the typical risk factors for heart disease or diabetes. It's not clear if the findings would be the same in other groups of people, the researchers said.


News Article | April 20, 2017
Site: www.newscientist.com

We already know the naked mole rat is an animal superhero: it is long-lived for an animal of its size, rarely gets cancer and shrugs off some kinds of pain. Now the East African rodent turns out to have a metabolic trick that allows it to survive very low oxygen levels with no apparent ill effects. To investigate how well naked mole rats (Heterocephalus glaber) tolerate low oxygen concentrations, a team of biologists first put them in a chamber with just 5 per cent oxygen, less than a quarter the amount found in air. Such conditions kill mice within 15 minutes (and we wouldn’t survive either). But naked mole rats just carry on as normal. The first test was stopped after 5 hours when nothing happened, says Thomas Park at the University of Illinois at Chicago. “We were blown away.” Next the team put mole rats in pure nitrogen, with no oxygen at all. This kills mice in about a minute. People pass out after a breath or two of pure nitrogen, and would probably die in under 10 minutes. The naked mole rats, however, survived for at least 18 minutes. They stopped breathing after a few minutes, but their hearts kept beating and as soon as they were put back in normal air they revived. “They come back to life without any apparent problems,” says team member Gary Lewin of the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in Berlin, Germany. Diving mammals such as whales can hold their breath for over an hour. But between dives they breathe normal air at the surface and store oxygen in their tissues to help them survive. Naked mole rats, by contrast, live in underground colonies of up to 300 animals where oxygen is likely to always be in short supply. “They live in really challenging conditions,” says Chris Faulkes of Queen Mary, University of London, who studies mole rats, but wasn’t involved in the research. The tunnels that connect colonies to the surface are narrow and can get completely blocked by heavy rain, he says. What’s more, the animals tend to huddle together in nesting chambers. “They like to pile together in a big heap of naked mole rats,” he says. So how do they cope with the resulting lack of oxygen? Partly by minimising their need for it. Naked mole rats burn little energy heating their bodies, instead staying at the same temperature as their burrows – around 30 °C. They also have a low metabolism and go into a sort of suspended animation in zero oxygen. But a clever metabolic trick helps them survive, too. Animal cells get their energy from “burning” the simple sugar glucose. When there is no oxygen, these cells must use far more glucose to get the same amount of energy, and the process produces lactic acid. High lactic acid levels can kill cells, says team member Jane Reznick, also at the Max Delbrück Center, so a feedback system soon kicks in to shut down the process. But if cells use the sugar fructose instead, they can bypass this system and keep producing energy. And that’s exactly what naked mole rats do: they release fructose into their bloodstream when oxygen drops too low, and the sugar is taken up by heart and brain cells to keep critical systems running. “Obviously, the naked mole rats have a secret way to deal with lactate build-up,” says Reznick. In theory, people might be able to use this trick too. Our cells can make the pumps required to take up fructose and the enzymes for using it, but normally have few, if any, of these proteins. Lewin is keen to study freedivers to see if their breath-holding training boosts their cells’ ability to use fructose. Some fish and turtles overwinter for months in ice-covered ponds with low oxygen levels, but the cold helps minimise their need for oxygen. Besides naked mole rats, the epaulette shark is one of the few animals known to survive being deprived of oxygen at normal temperatures.


News Article | April 20, 2017
Site: phys.org

Understanding how the animals do this could lead to treatments for patients suffering crises of oxygen deprivation, as in heart attacks and strokes. "This is just the latest remarkable discovery about the naked mole-rat—a cold-blooded mammal that lives decades longer than other rodents, rarely gets cancer, and doesn't feel many types of pain," says Thomas Park, professor of biological sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago, who led an international team of researchers from UIC, the Max Delbrück Institute in Berlin and the University of Pretoria in South Africa on the study. In humans, laboratory mice, and all other known mammals, when brain cells are starved of oxygen they run out of energy and begin to die. But naked mole-rats have a backup: their brain cells start burning fructose, which produces energy anaerobically through a metabolic pathway that is only used by plants - or so scientists thought. In the new study, the researchers exposed naked mole-rats to low oxygen conditions in the laboratory and found that they released large amounts of fructose into the bloodstream. The fructose, the scientists found, was transported into brain cells by molecular fructose pumps that in all other mammals are found only on cells of the intestine. "The naked mole-rat has simply rearranged some basic building-blocks of metabolism to make it super-tolerant to low oxygen conditions," said Park, who has studied the strange species for 18 years. At oxygen levels low enough to kill a human within minutes, naked mole-rats can survive for at least five hours, Park said. They go into a state of suspended animation, reducing their movement and dramatically slowing their pulse and breathing rate to conserve energy. And they begin using fructose until oxygen is available again. The naked mole-rat is the only known mammal to use suspended animation to survive oxygen deprivation. The scientists also showed that naked mole-rats are protected from another deadly aspect of low oxygen - a buildup of fluid in the lungs called pulmonary edema that afflicts mountain climbers at high altitude. The scientists think that the naked mole-rats' unusual metabolism is an adaptation for living in their oxygen-poor burrows. Unlike other subterranean mammals, naked mole-rats live in hyper-crowded conditions, packed in with hundreds of colony mates. With so many animals living together in unventilated tunnels, oxygen supplies are quickly depleted. More information: "Fructose-driven glycolysis supports anoxia resistance in the naked mole-rat," Science (2017). science.sciencemag.org/cgi/doi/10.1126/science.aab3896


News Article | April 26, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

University of Illinois at Chicago researchers are conducting a study to determine whether binge drinking is related to cardiovascular disease in young adults who are not predisposed to the condition. "Binge drinking or heavy episodic alcohol use is one of the most serious public health problems confronting American colleges," said Mariann Piano, professor and head of biobehavioral science in the College of Nursing. Piano and Shane Phillips, professor and associate head of physical therapy in the College of Applied Health Sciences, serve as co-investigators on a two-year grant funded by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, one of the National Institutes of Health. "More alarming is the pervasiveness and regularity of binge drinking episodes: one in five students report three or more binge drinking episodes in the prior two weeks," she said. One hundred and fifty young adults between the ages of 18 and 30 will be divided equally into three categories: binge drinkers, defined as individuals consuming more than four to five drinks in a two-hour period; moderate alcohol users -- for men, drinking no more than seven drinks in a week and not drinking daily, and for women, drinking no more than four drinks in the same time period; and abstainers, who rarely drink if at all. Participants will be further categorized into the three groups based on their answers to a questionnaire and whether or not they have a blood biomarker called phosphatidylethanol, or PEth, which was previously discovered by Piano and Phillips and is found to be significantly higher in binge drinkers compared to moderate alcohol consumers. Participants will undergo an ultrasound examination, as well as provide tissue samples, so the researchers can accurately evaluate their blood pressure in the aorta. Participants will also perform several exercises to provide Piano and Phillips clues as to how exertion may lead to higher than normal blood pressure. This, Phillips said, could be an early indicator that binge drinkers may be susceptible to cardiovascular disease. The researchers will also measure participants' arterial stiffness and pulse wave velocity -- the rate at which the arterial pulse spreads throughout the circulatory system, a reflection of vascular aging. "If the pulse wave velocity rises, it could be an indicator of an early risk for cardiovascular disease," she said. Young adults today are health conscious about food and exercise, but not about drinking alcohol, Piano said. "There's data to suggest that if you have bad drinking habits, they don't just stop in college," Piano said. "These kids are continuing to binge drink in their mid-20s and they haven't stopped. Binge drinking is the new arteriosclerotic behavior among today's youth." The new $420,000 federal grant to fund the study follows previous studies conducted by Phillips and Piano, where they observed physically active binge drinkers whose blood pressure and cholesterol were normal yet they had changes to their blood vessels and cells within their cardiovascular system. But they didn't know why. The new grant will help answer that question. "We're not against drinking, but it's teaching young people to be healthy consumers of alcohol," Piano said. "We want them to live to be healthy and happy."


News Article | April 21, 2017
Site: www.treehugger.com

In the ever beautifully bizarre world of nature’s strangest mammal, the naked-mole rat can live for nearly 20 minutes without oxygen. Here’s how. Behold the naked mole-rat, one of the world’s best creatures. OK, so maybe the festive teeth and beady eyes and wrinkled hairless skin aren’t exactly cuddly – they’re like the exact opposite of a kitten – but they are exquisitely designed to live in the habitat of their choice, tunnels beneath the hot African desert. And for that, they are the rock stars of the rodent realm. Leading such an extreme subterranean life has bestowed naked mole-rats with some pretty impressive talents. They don’t get tumors, they’re immune to chronic pain and the irritating components of chili peppers. Like social insects, they live in eusocial colonies, some 300-strong and governed by a queen. Oh, and although they are mammals – you know, warm-blooded – they are actually cold-blooded. And now the latest discovery in their magical bag of tricks? They can live without oxygen. Ben Guarino reports in the Washington Post on a new study that revealed not only that the wonder rodents can live completely deprived of oxygen for at least 18 minutes without suffering evident harm, but that they “switch their energy source from glucose – what humans and virtually all other mammals use – to fructose.” Or, the sugar that plants use. Guarino notes that if you take away a mouse's oxygen, it will die in a mere 20 seconds. For us less-oxygen-skilled humans, the Occupational Health & Safety Administration says “oxygen-deficient” air is less than 19.5 percent. From The Post: Humans, unless they go through a careful acclimation process, stop functioning well at around 10 percent. Thrust into a cage with air at 5 percent oxygen, humans would die. When Thomas Park, an expert on naked mole-rats, placed the first animal in a chamber containing only 5 percent oxygen, the mood, he said, was “tense.” The scientists began their stopwatches and waited for the slightest twitch of distress. The animal, though, seemed unaware that three-fourths of the oxygen in its environment had vanished. Fifteen minutes passed. The animal was unperturbed. Minutes bled into hours. The scientists called time after 300 minutes. “They didn’t even go to sleep,” says study co-author Park, a neurobiologist at the University of Illinois at Chicago. At zero percent oxygen, their heart rate dropped from 200 beats per minute to a subtle 50. Once the scientists turned the oxygen back on, the rodents perked right back up. “They were able to survive up to 18 minutes without any apparent neurological damage,” says Jane Reznick, another co-author of the study at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in Berlin. It’s not news that naked mole-rats don’t need a lot of oxygen, especially given that their underground digs, so to speak, aren’t exactly oxygen-rich. Earlier research discovered that their oxygen-moving red blood cells came with an unique efficiency-boosting hemoglobin. What surprised the authors of the new study were the levels of fructose molecules found in the oxygen-deprived rodents. Whereas humans require an oxygen-glucose relationship, the mole-rats, just like plants, turn fructose into fuel without the presence of oxygen as the key metabolic component. What other wonders does the marvel of a mole-rat have in store? “We still don’t know where the fructose comes from,” Reznick says. Guarino muses that maybe the mole-rats have some sort of fructose storage system. “If the rodents' bodies somehow produced fructose, that would be even stranger,” he writes. “But it's hard to rule out oddity when it comes to the mole-rats.”


News Article | April 18, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

A lack of sleep makes everything harder. Focusing, finishing assignments, and coping with everyday stress can become monumental tasks. People with anxiety and depression often have sleep problems. But little has been known about whether or how their poor sleep affects a specific region of the brain known to be involved in regulating negative emotional responses. Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine have found that this area of the brain, the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, may have to work harder to modify negative emotional responses in people with poor sleep who have depression or anxiety. The finding is reported in the journal Depression and Anxiety. The research team, led by Heide Klumpp, assistant professor of psychiatry at UIC, used functional MRI to measure the activity in different regions of the brain as subjects were challenged with an emotion-regulation task. Participants were shown disturbing images of violence -- from war or accidents -- and were asked to simply look at the images and not to try to control their reaction or to "reappraise" what they saw in a more positive light. An example of reappraisal would be to see an image of a woman with a badly bruised face and imagine her as an actress in makeup for a role, rather than as a survivor of violence, Klumpp said. "Reappraisal is something that requires significant mental energy," she said. "In people with depression or anxiety, reappraisal can be even more difficult, because these disorders are characterized by chronic negativity or negative rumination, which makes seeing the good in things difficult." The participants -- 78 patients, 18 to 65 years of age, who had been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, a major depressive disorder, or both -- also completed a questionnaire to assess their sleep over the previous month. A motion-sensing device called an actigraph measured their awake time in bed, or "sleep efficiency," over a six-day period. The questionnaire results indicated that three out of four participants met criteria for significant sleep disturbance, and the actigraph results suggested the majority had insomnia. Participants who reported poorer sleep on the questionnaire were seen to have less brain activity in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex during the reappraisal task, while those with lower sleep efficiency based on the actigraph data had higher activity in the DACC. "Because the questionnaire and actigraph measure different aspects of the sleep experience, it is not surprising that brain activity also differed between these measures," said Klumpp. "The questionnaire asks about sleep over the previous month, and answers can be impacted by current mood. Plus, respondents may not be able to accurately remember how they slept a month ago. The actigraph objectively measures current sleep, so the results from both measurements may not match." "Higher DACC activity in participants with lower levels of sleep efficiency could mean the DACC is working harder to carry out the demanding work of reappraisal," Klumpp said. "Our research indicates sleep might play an important role in the ability to regulate negative emotions in people who suffer from anxiety or depression." Co-authors on the study are Julia Roberts, Mary Kapella, Amy Kennedy, Dr. Anand Kumar and Dr. K. Luan Phan, all of UIC. This research was supported by National Institute of Mental Health grants K23MH093679 and R01MH101497, a Brain & Behavior Research Foundation Award, a UIC Campus Research Board award, and UIC Center for Clinical and Translational Research grant UL1RR029879.


Deprived of oxygen, naked mole-rats can survive by metabolizing fructose just as plants do, researchers report this week in the journal Science. Understanding how the animals do this could lead to treatments for patients suffering crises of oxygen deprivation, as in heart attacks and strokes. "This is just the latest remarkable discovery about the naked mole-rat -- a cold-blooded mammal that lives decades longer than other rodents, rarely gets cancer, and doesn’t feel many types of pain," says Thomas Park, professor of biological sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago, who led an international team of researchers from UIC, the Max Delbrück Institute in Berlin and the University of Pretoria in South Africa on the study. In humans, laboratory mice, and all other known mammals, when brain cells are starved of oxygen they run out of energy and begin to die. But naked mole-rats have a backup: their brain cells start burning fructose, which produces energy anaerobically through a metabolic pathway that is only used by plants – or so scientists thought. In the new study, the researchers exposed naked mole-rats to low oxygen conditions in the laboratory and found that they released large amounts of fructose into the bloodstream. The fructose, the scientists found, was transported into brain cells by molecular fructose pumps that in all other mammals are found only on cells of the intestine. “The naked mole-rat has simply rearranged some basic building-blocks of metabolism to make it super-tolerant to low oxygen conditions,” said Park, who has studied the strange species for 18 years. At oxygen levels low enough to kill a human within minutes, naked mole-rats can survive for at least five hours, Park said. They go into a state of suspended animation, reducing their movement and dramatically slowing their pulse and breathing rate to conserve energy. And they begin using fructose until oxygen is available again. The naked mole-rat is the only known mammal to use suspended animation to survive oxygen deprivation. The scientists also showed that naked mole-rats are protected from another deadly aspect of low oxygen – a buildup of fluid in the lungs called pulmonary edema that afflicts mountain climbers at high altitude. The scientists think that the naked mole-rats’ unusual metabolism is an adaptation for living in their oxygen-poor burrows. Unlike other subterranean mammals, naked mole-rats live in hyper-crowded conditions, packed in with hundreds of colony mates. With so many animals living together in unventilated tunnels, oxygen supplies are quickly depleted.


News Article | April 21, 2017
Site: www.chromatographytechniques.com

Deprived of oxygen, naked mole-rats can survive by metabolizing fructose just as plants do, researchers report this week in the journal Science. Understanding how the animals do this could lead to treatments for patients suffering crises of oxygen deprivation, as in heart attacks and strokes. “This is just the latest remarkable discovery about the naked mole-rat — a cold-blooded mammal that lives decades longer than other rodents, rarely gets cancer, and doesn’t feel many types of pain,” says Thomas Park, professor of biological sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago, who led an international team of researchers from UIC, the Max Delbrück Institute in Berlin and the University of Pretoria in South Africa on the study. In humans, laboratory mice, and all other known mammals, when brain cells are starved of oxygen they run out of energy and begin to die. But naked mole-rats have a backup: their brain cells start burning fructose, which produces energy anaerobically through a metabolic pathway that is only used by plants – or so scientists thought. In the new study, the researchers exposed naked mole-rats to low oxygen conditions in the laboratory and found that they released large amounts of fructose into the bloodstream. The fructose, the scientists found, was transported into brain cells by molecular fructose pumps that in all other mammals are found only on cells of the intestine. “The naked mole-rat has simply rearranged some basic building-blocks of metabolism to make it super-tolerant to low oxygen conditions,” said Park, who has studied the strange species for 18 years. At oxygen levels low enough to kill a human within minutes, naked mole-rats can survive for at least five hours, Park said. They go into a state of suspended animation, reducing their movement and dramatically slowing their pulse and breathing rate to conserve energy. And they begin using fructose until oxygen is available again. The naked mole-rat is the only known mammal to use suspended animation to survive oxygen deprivation. The scientists also showed that naked mole-rats are protected from another deadly aspect of low oxygen – a buildup of fluid in the lungs called pulmonary edema that afflicts mountain climbers at high altitude. The scientists think that the naked mole-rats’ unusual metabolism is an adaptation for living in their oxygen-poor burrows. Unlike other subterranean mammals, naked mole-rats live in hyper-crowded conditions, packed in with hundreds of colony mates. With so many animals living together in unventilated tunnels, oxygen supplies are quickly depleted.


News Article | May 3, 2017
Site: www.nature.com

The anaesthetic ketamine — a hallucinogenic club drug also known as Special K — has tantalized researchers who are seeking new ways to treat depression. The drug can lift a person’s mood in hours, even when depression is severe. But several ‘ketamine-like’ medications have failed to alleviate depression in clinical trials over the past decade. Now, some researchers think they know why. Emerging evidence suggests that scientists have misunderstood how ketamine fights depression. So they might have attempted to mimic the wrong biological mechanism when designing drugs to improve mood while avoiding the disorienting ketamine high. On 20 May, researchers at a meeting of the Society of Biological Psychiatry in San Diego, California, will present results suggesting that some of ketamine’s power comes from its ability to affect brain cells called glia, which support neurons. Their finding adds to recent studies contradicting a long-held idea that the drug works mainly by blocking proteins called NMDA receptors, on the surface of brain cells, which transmit signals between those cells. At the upcoming meeting, a team led by neuroscientist Mark Rasenick of the University of Illinois at Chicago will report on tests of antidepressant drugs in cultured rat glial cells. All of the drugs that the researchers studied caused a cluster of proteins to shift position in the glial cells’ membranes, signalling to the cells to form new connections with their neighbours. But ketamine produced this effect in 15 minutes, as compared to 3 days for conventional antidepressants. Moreover, drugs that block NMDA receptors but are not antidepressants did not show the effect at all. This suggests that ketamine’s ability to bind to NMDA receptors might not be its primary weapon against depression. Rasenick’s team is not the first to suggest a different target for ketamine. A paper published in Nature in May 2016 concluded that one of ketamine’s breakdown products — not the drug itself — probably lifted depression in mice1. And this compound affected cell proteins called AMPA receptors, instead of NMDA receptors. The team behind the study plans to test the breakdown product in clinical trials later this year. But study co-author Carlos Zarate, a psychiatrist at the US National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Maryland, says that it is too early to abandon the NMDA-receptor hypothesis, and more data are needed. Others agree. “We have to be careful not to interpret [the latest] clinical findings as definitively negative,” says Gerard Sanacora, a psychiatrist at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. Rodent studies have shown, for example, that blocking NMDA receptors can have an antidepressant effect2. And there could be more-prosaic explanations for why so many ketamine-like drugs that target NMDA receptors — including candidates from the drug giants Roche, Pfizer and AstraZeneca — have failed in clinical trials. Participants might have received doses that were too small or infrequent to buoy their moods. And in trials with control groups, the placebo effect can make it difficult to determine whether a psychiatric drug is working. Creating an effective substitute for ketamine remains the goal for many researchers. Although a growing number of physicians prescribe ketamine for their patients, the drug must be administered intravenously. It can also produce disorienting ‘out of body’ feelings, and it has the potential for abuse. The companies that are still testing drugs to inhibit NMDA receptors are trying to make sense of the latest findings on ketamine and its would-be imitators. “We do need to tease all this apart,” says David Nicholson, chief research-and-development officer at Allergan in Parsippany, New Jersey. In February, Allergan began treating around 500 people with a molecule called rapastinel, which binds to NMDA receptors and showed promising results in earlier trials. Yet, the most enduring mystery involves ketamine itself, as researchers try to untangle what makes the drug so potent. Alan Schatzberg, a psychiatrist at Stanford University in California suspects that ketamine could act against depression in many ways: jump-starting the process by some as-yet-unknown mechanism, perhaps, and then blocking NMDA receptors to permanently rewire the brain. Schatzberg also points out that ketamine can act similarly to morphine and rapidly bind to opioid receptors in the brain, which could explain why its effects are apparent within hours. And some studies have found that people with depression are more likely to benefit from ketamine if they do experience that out-of-body feeling, suggesting that it might be related to the drug’s main mechanism3. In the meantime, the hunt continues for drugs that can replicate ketamine’s mood-boosting power. That could be difficult, says Steven Levine, a psychiatrist and president of Ketamine Treatment Centers in New York City. “Ketamine is a dirty, dirty drug,” he says. “It goes a lot of places, it does a lot of things.”


News Article | April 21, 2017
Site: www.chromatographytechniques.com

Deprived of oxygen, naked mole-rats can survive by metabolizing fructose just as plants do, researchers report this week in the journal Science. Understanding how the animals do this could lead to treatments for patients suffering crises of oxygen deprivation, as in heart attacks and strokes. “This is just the latest remarkable discovery about the naked mole-rat — a cold-blooded mammal that lives decades longer than other rodents, rarely gets cancer, and doesn’t feel many types of pain,” says Thomas Park, professor of biological sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago, who led an international team of researchers from UIC, the Max Delbrück Institute in Berlin and the University of Pretoria in South Africa on the study. In humans, laboratory mice, and all other known mammals, when brain cells are starved of oxygen they run out of energy and begin to die. But naked mole-rats have a backup: their brain cells start burning fructose, which produces energy anaerobically through a metabolic pathway that is only used by plants – or so scientists thought. In the new study, the researchers exposed naked mole-rats to low oxygen conditions in the laboratory and found that they released large amounts of fructose into the bloodstream. The fructose, the scientists found, was transported into brain cells by molecular fructose pumps that in all other mammals are found only on cells of the intestine. “The naked mole-rat has simply rearranged some basic building-blocks of metabolism to make it super-tolerant to low oxygen conditions,” said Park, who has studied the strange species for 18 years. At oxygen levels low enough to kill a human within minutes, naked mole-rats can survive for at least five hours, Park said. They go into a state of suspended animation, reducing their movement and dramatically slowing their pulse and breathing rate to conserve energy. And they begin using fructose until oxygen is available again. The naked mole-rat is the only known mammal to use suspended animation to survive oxygen deprivation. The scientists also showed that naked mole-rats are protected from another deadly aspect of low oxygen – a buildup of fluid in the lungs called pulmonary edema that afflicts mountain climbers at high altitude. The scientists think that the naked mole-rats’ unusual metabolism is an adaptation for living in their oxygen-poor burrows. Unlike other subterranean mammals, naked mole-rats live in hyper-crowded conditions, packed in with hundreds of colony mates. With so many animals living together in unventilated tunnels, oxygen supplies are quickly depleted.


News Article | April 21, 2017
Site: www.biosciencetechnology.com

Metabolizing fructose to produce energy anaerobically through a specific metabolic pathway is a process that scientists previously thought was only used by plants.  Not so, says new research. Naked mole-rats can survive low-oxygen conditions that in all other mammals would normally result in brain cell death, by making a switch from a glucose-based system that depends on oxygen, to one where their brain cells start burning fructose. “This is just the latest remarkable discovery about the naked mole-rat —a cold-blooded mammal that lives decades longer than other rodents, rarely gets cancer, and doesn’t feel many types of pain,” study leader, Thomas Park, professor of biological sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago, said in a statement. For the study, published this week in Science, naked mole-rats were exposed to low oxygen levels in the lab, and researchers observed that large amounts of fructose was released into the bloodstream. Molecular fructose pumps, which are only found on cells of the intestine in all other mammals, transport the fructose into the naked mole-rats brain cells. Park has studied the interesting creature for 18 years and said: “The naked mole-rat has simply rearranged some basic building-blocks of metabolism to make it super-tolerant to low oxygen conditions.” The animals go into a state of suspended animation and can even live through 18 minutes of total oxygen deprivation.  When they go into the suspended animation state, their breathing slows dramatically, as well as their heart rate, which drops from 200 to about 50 beats per minute.  They are the only mammals known to employ this method for survival of oxygen deprivation. Once oxygen becomes available, they resume normal activity with no signs of lasting damage. Naked mole-rats can survive for at least five hours in low oxygen levels that would kill a human within minutes, Park said. The animal is also able to avoid deadly pulmonary edema, which is a buildup of fluid in the lungs due to lack of oxygen that often affects high altitude mountain climbers. Naked mole-rats live underground in densely populated conditions with hundreds of colony mates. The researchers hypothesize that the naked mole-rat may have developed this survival mechanism as an adaptation to its living situation. Deeper understanding as to how the animals manage this feat could have implications for treating patients experiencing oxygen deprivation such as in heart attacks and strokes.


Deprived of oxygen, naked mole-rats can survive by metabolizing fructose just as plants do, researchers report this week in the journal Science. Understanding how the animals do this could lead to treatments for patients suffering crises of oxygen deprivation, as in heart attacks and strokes. "This is just the latest remarkable discovery about the naked mole-rat -- a cold-blooded mammal that lives decades longer than other rodents, rarely gets cancer, and doesn’t feel many types of pain," says Thomas Park, professor of biological sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago, who led an international team of researchers from UIC, the Max Delbrück Institute in Berlin and the University of Pretoria in South Africa on the study. In humans, laboratory mice, and all other known mammals, when brain cells are starved of oxygen they run out of energy and begin to die. But naked mole-rats have a backup: their brain cells start burning fructose, which produces energy anaerobically through a metabolic pathway that is only used by plants – or so scientists thought. In the new study, the researchers exposed naked mole-rats to low oxygen conditions in the laboratory and found that they released large amounts of fructose into the bloodstream. The fructose, the scientists found, was transported into brain cells by molecular fructose pumps that in all other mammals are found only on cells of the intestine. “The naked mole-rat has simply rearranged some basic building-blocks of metabolism to make it super-tolerant to low oxygen conditions,” said Park, who has studied the strange species for 18 years. At oxygen levels low enough to kill a human within minutes, naked mole-rats can survive for at least five hours, Park said. They go into a state of suspended animation, reducing their movement and dramatically slowing their pulse and breathing rate to conserve energy. And they begin using fructose until oxygen is available again. The naked mole-rat is the only known mammal to use suspended animation to survive oxygen deprivation. The scientists also showed that naked mole-rats are protected from another deadly aspect of low oxygen – a buildup of fluid in the lungs called pulmonary edema that afflicts mountain climbers at high altitude. The scientists think that the naked mole-rats’ unusual metabolism is an adaptation for living in their oxygen-poor burrows. Unlike other subterranean mammals, naked mole-rats live in hyper-crowded conditions, packed in with hundreds of colony mates. With so many animals living together in unventilated tunnels, oxygen supplies are quickly depleted.


News Article | April 20, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Various concerns impacting the Great Lakes region will be the focus when government officials, researchers and community leaders from the U.S. and Canada convene at "Untrouble the Waters," a summit organized by The Freshwater Lab at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The Freshwater Lab, a UIC-based think tank on water issues, will present "Untrouble the Waters," which features a diverse set of speakers, panelists and advocates who represent communities whose health, lives and livelihood are dependent upon the Great Lakes. Panels and working groups will address critical issues impacting the Great Lakes region, such as lead poisoning, oil pipelines, budget cuts, clean water access and environmental protection. In addition to a panel of Great Lakes mayors and leaders, the summit will draw on advocates from across race, class and gender lines. Speakers include Maude Barlow, national chairperson for the Council of Canadians; Denise Abdul-Rahman, environmental climate justice chair for NAACP Indiana; Robert Blanchard, chairman of The Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Tribal Council; Paula Hicks-Hudson, Mayor of Toledo; and advocates from several nonprofit organizations. Day two of the summit will be devoted to working group sessions, which will allow attendees to identify and plan new initiatives that benefit communities and watersheds. Admission is free and open to the public. Advance registration is encouraged. For more information, call (312) 996-6352. The summit is supported by the McDougal Family Foundation, the Mott Foundation and the Alliance for the Great Lakes.


News Article | April 18, 2017
Site: www.scientificamerican.com

Southern California’s beaches are an essential part of the state’s identity. The sandy, blond shorelines are like Hollywood or the towering redwoods—iconic. They are also an important piece of California’s more than $40-billion annual coastal and ocean economy. But scientists have bad news: Without human intervention, many of the region’s beautiful beaches may disappear by 2100 as sea levels rise. If the Golden State wants to save its golden shores, it will have to add sand to them—and lots of it. This troubling conclusion comes from a project to understand how climate change might affect the SoCal coast. Researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago and the U.S. Geological Survey built a forecasting model for the region’s shoreline and published their results in a recent paper in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface. The team examined 500 kilometers of SoCal coast, extending from the Mexican border to Point Conception, just north of Santa Barbara—home to 18 million residents as well as extensive infrastructure. “It’s the most urbanized part of the west coast, so it was an optimal place to assess,” says study co-author Patrick Barnard, a coastal geologist with USGS. The region’s beaches differ significantly, ranging from the wide Baywatch-esque shores in the Los Angeles area to narrow strips of sand in places like Santa Barbara. And they’re backstopped by a wide variety of features—estuaries, cliffs, river mouths, public and private infrastructure and more. Barnard and his team predicted how SoCal’s shores would evolve from 2010 through 2100 by modeling the factors that influence beaches—estimates for sea level rise as well as wave and storm behavior and predicted climate change patterns if the world eventually stabilizes its greenhouse gas emissions by mid-century, then starts reducing them. The researchers chose their range of sea level–rise projections based on what is most likely to happen to the west coast, according to dozens of regional and global studies. They also took 15 years of historic data on how southern California’s beaches had changed and used that information to tune the model for the individual transects of beach, each 100 meters long. “That gave us confidence to project how the beaches will behave in the future,” Barnard explains, because it allowed the model to account for variations in features like sand-grain size and beach slope among the different beaches, along with dynamics such as sediment supply from rivers, dredging and past human additions of sand. The model revealed a dramatic picture: Without drastic intervention a huge portion of the sandy shores will likely vanish soon. “Roughly a third to two thirds of the beaches will effectively disappear by the end of the century,” with 0.93 to 2.0 meters of sea level–rise, Barnard says. Although wave conditions influence beach erosion in the short term, sea level rise becomes the dominant eroding force in the long term. This is a huge problem not only because beaches support shoreline life and attract tourists but also because they protect coastal communities from flooding and storms. “Beaches are the first line of defense because they absorb the energy from storms,” he explains. Climate change is not the only human impact here. If people had not built heavily along the shoreline, the beaches would just naturally migrate inland as the ocean rises. Bernard notes people have put the beaches under serious pressure because “we’re probably not going to let the beach move past a certain point.” In those many cases, he says, “we’ll have to add sand.” California has added sand to its beaches for decades—for instance, about 1.3 million cubic yards of sand is placed every five to seven years at Surfside–Sunset in Orange County. Since 2000 San Diego has twice pumped about 1.5 million to two million cubic yards of sand from offshore onto beaches throughout the county, and it has performed a number of smaller replenishments during that time as well. These “nourishment” projects, as they are called, usually average out to about $8 to $10 per cubic yard of sand, says Lesley Ewing, a senior coastal engineer with the California Coastal Commission. The problem is, Barnard and his team had already assumed that recent rates of sand addition would continue. Far more beyond that amount will be needed to keep SoCal’s beaches from disappearing. The researchers do not know exactly how much sand will be required, but they are working with the commission to determine the amount. “My sense is that it’s an order of magnitude larger—you might need 10 times the amount of sand than what’s been placed before to maintain beaches,” Barnard says. “It’s going to take a much larger effort.” He estimates billions more dollars will be necessary. The state will have to pump the sand from offshore or truck it from inland sources like riverbeds and quarries. Both options are expensive and, ironically, can harm the surrounding ecosystem. Even then some beaches will succumb to sea level rise. “It might not be reasonable to try to keep every beach that exists now, because we don’t have enough sand to do that into perpetuity,” Ewing says. “We’re still going to have some of those nice California beaches but some of the smaller ones will be lost.” According to the study, many popular beaches are at risk in places such as San Diego, Malibu and much of Santa Barbara. Communities may decide to surrender some of their coastline development in favor of saving the beaches and letting them migrate inland. Ewing thinks this type of managed retreat will become more common as people start to understand the onerous cost of relentless nourishment. Either way, Barnard says, “we’re going to have to do massive interventions if we want to maintain the safety and vitality of these coastal communities.”


News Article | April 28, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Is the quality and overall state of social and personality research "rotten to the core," as has been debated by psychologists in recent years? The answer is no, according to University of Illinois at Chicago researchers who conducted two studies to examine how practices have changed, if at all. In one study, the UIC researchers surveyed over 1,100 social and personality psychologists from the three largest professional organizations -- the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, the European Society for Social Psychology, and the Society for Australasian Social Psychologists -- about how the current debate has affected their perceptions of their own research practices and the field's. "Scientists said they are less likely to use questionable research practices, and more likely to use best research practices, following the ongoing discussion of scientific reliability," said Matt Motyl, UIC assistant professor of psychology and lead author of the study. "Upon examining justifications for using questionable research practices, we found they tended to be quite justifiable and reasonable." Journal editors requesting that scientists omit some analyses, or even whole experiments, and researchers remedying statistical problems, such as having too-small sample sizes to yield reliable results, are examples of the proactive field improvements noted in the report. Despite the progress, the report indicates perceptions of the current state of the field are more pessimistic than optimistic. Most respondents think that improvement is needed in replicability, which is the ability to repeat an experiment and find the same result. A second study involved a random selection of 30 percent of all articles published in the four leading journals -- the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, and Psychological Science - in the 2003-2004 and 2013-2014 periods. The UIC investigators manually coded the research practices and important statistics contained in the studies. "Journals did show a bias to publish significant results, but we did not find widespread evidence of researcher misconduct," Motyl said. "While there is always room for improvement, none of the findings suggest science was getting worse over this 10-year period." Overall, the report suggests the field is evolving in a positive direction. "Social and personality science seems to be improving, and we should have increased confidence in findings moving forward," he said. "Although, there is still a long way to go." The researchers advise that more research should be pre-registered; data should be shared more widely; and data analysis should be more transparent. "By increasing transparency, it will be easier to evaluate the truth-value of studies and estimate what findings are real and what findings are more likely to be flukes," Motyl said. "The State of Social and Personality Science: Rotten to the Core, Not so Bad, Getting Better, or Getting Worse?" is published online in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Co-authors are UIC graduate students Alexander Demos, Timothy Carsel, Brittany Hanson, Zachary Melton, Allison Mueller, JP Prims, Jiaqing Sun, Anthony Washburn, Kendal Wong and Caitlyn A. Yantis; and Linda Skitka, UIC professor of psychology.


News Article | May 5, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

LearnHowToBecome.org, a leading resource provider for higher education and career information, has released its list of the Best Colleges in Illinois for 2017. 50 four-year colleges were ranked, with Northwestern University, University of Chicago, Bradley University, Illinois Institute of Technology and Augustana College taking the top five spots on the list. 49 two-year schools were also selected; Carl Sandburg College, Illinois Central College, Richland Community College, Rend Lake College and Lincoln Land Community College were the top five. A complete list of schools is included below. “The schools on our list have shown that they offer outstanding educational programs that set students up for post-college success,” said Wes Ricketts, senior vice president of LearnHowToBecome.org. “Students exploring higher education options in Illinois can also look to these schools to provide top-quality resources that help maximize the overall educational experience.” To be included on the “Best Colleges in Illinois” list, all schools must be not-for-profit and regionally accredited. Each college is also evaluated metrics including annual alumni earnings, the opportunity for employment services and academic counseling, the selection of degree programs offered, financial aid availability and graduation rates. Complete details on each college, their individual scores and the data and methodology used to determine the LearnHowToBecome.org “Best Colleges in Illinois” list, visit: The Best Four-Year Colleges in Illinois for 2017 include: Augustana College Aurora University Benedictine University Blackburn College Bradley University Chicago State University Concordia University-Chicago DePaul University Dominican University Eastern Illinois University Elmhurst College Eureka College Governors State University Greenville College Illinois College Illinois Institute of Technology Illinois State University Illinois Wesleyan University Judson University Knox College Lake Forest College Lewis University Loyola University Chicago MacMurray College McKendree University Millikin University Monmouth College National Louis University North Central College North Park University Northern Illinois University Northwestern University Olivet Nazarene University Principia College Quincy University Rockford University Roosevelt University Rush University Saint Xavier University Southern Illinois University-Carbondale Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville Trinity Christian College Trinity International University-Illinois University of Chicago University of Illinois at Chicago University of Illinois at Springfield University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign University of St Francis Western Illinois University Wheaton College The Best Two-Year Colleges in Illinois for 2017 include: Black Hawk College Carl Sandburg College City Colleges of Chicago - Harry S Truman College City Colleges of Chicago - Malcolm X College City Colleges of Chicago - Wilbur Wright College City Colleges of Chicago-Harold Washington College City Colleges of Chicago-Kennedy-King College City Colleges of Chicago-Olive-Harvey College City Colleges of Chicago-Richard J Daley College College of DuPage College of Lake County Danville Area Community College Elgin Community College Frontier Community College Harper College Heartland Community College Highland Community College Illinois Central College Illinois Valley Community College John A Logan College John Wood Community College Joliet Junior College Kankakee Community College Kaskaskia College Kishwaukee College Lake Land College Lewis and Clark Community College Lincoln Land Community College Lincoln Trail College MacCormac College McHenry County College Moraine Valley Community College Morton College Oakton Community College Olney Central College Parkland College Prairie State College Rend Lake College Richland Community College Rock Valley College Sauk Valley Community College Shawnee Community College South Suburban College Southeastern Illinois College Southwestern Illinois College Spoon River College Triton College Wabash Valley College Waubonsee Community College ### About Us: LearnHowtoBecome.org was founded in 2013 to provide data and expert driven information about employment opportunities and the education needed to land the perfect career. Our materials cover a wide range of professions, industries and degree programs, and are designed for people who want to choose, change or advance their careers. We also provide helpful resources and guides that address social issues, financial aid and other special interest in higher education. Information from LearnHowtoBecome.org has proudly been featured by more than 700 educational institutions.


News Article | May 8, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Nationwide, counties with the poorest quality across five domains - air, water, land, the built environment and sociodemographic - had the highest incidence of cancer, according to a new study published in the journal Cancer. Poor air quality and factors of the built environment -- such as the presence of major highways and the availability of public transit and housing - - were the most strongly associated with high cancer rates, while water quality and land pollution had no measurable effect. The findings may help reduce cancer by driving policy to lower pollution in areas with high cancer rates linked to the environment. Previous research has shown that genetics can be blamed for only about half of all cancers, suggesting that exposure to environmental toxins or socioeconomic factors may also play a role. "Most research has focused on single environmental factors like air pollution or toxins in water," said Jyotsna Jagai, research assistant professor of environmental and occupational health in the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health and lead author of the study. "But these single factors don't paint a comprehensive picture of what a person is exposed to in their environment -- and may not be as helpful in predicting cancer risk, which is impacted by multiple factors including the air you breathe, the water you drink, the neighborhood you live in, and your exposure to myriad toxins, chemicals and pollutants." To investigate the effects of overall environmental quality, the researchers looked at hundreds of variables, including air and water pollution, pesticide and radon levels, neighborhood safety, access to health services and healthy food, presence of heavily-trafficked highways and roads, and sociodemographic factors, such as poverty. Jagai and her colleagues used the U.S. EPA's Environmental Quality Index, a county-level measure incorporating more than 200 of these environmental variables and obtained cancer incidence rates from the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program State Cancer Profiles. Cancer data were available for 85 percent of the 3,142 U.S. counties. The average age-adjusted rate for all types of cancer was 451 cases per 100,000 people. Counties with poor environmental quality had higher incidence of cancer--on average, 39 more cases per 100,000 people--than counties with high environmental quality. Increased rates were seen for both males and females, and prostate and breast cancer demonstrated the strongest association with poor environmental quality. The researchers found that high levels of air pollution, poor quality in the built environment and high levels of sociodemographic risk factors were most strongly associated with increased cancer rates in men and women. The strongest associations were seen in urban areas, especially for the air and built environment domains. Breast and prostate cancer were most strongly associated with poor air quality. "Some of the counties we looked at were very large, with both urban and rural areas in a single county, so to tease apart the interplay between the measures of quality in our five domains and how they impact urban and rural areas," Jagai said, "we will need to look at geographic areas smaller than counties." Co-authors on the study are Lynne Messer of Portland State University; Kristen Rappazzo and Danelle Lobdell of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; and Chris Gray and Shannon Grabich of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education. This research was funded in part by contracts EP09D000003 and EP12D000264 from the EPA Office of Research and Development and by an appointment to the Internship/Research Participation Program Office of Research and Development (National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory) of the EPA, administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education through an interagency agreement between the EPA and the Department of Energy.


News Article | May 5, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

The Chicago law firm of Pluymert, MacDonald, Hargrove & Lee, Ltd. recently welcomed the addition of Joseph Selbka to its roster of attorneys. Mr. Selbka is an experienced litigator who will represent clients of the firm across a range of practice areas within his vast realm of experience, including business and corporate law, education law, residential and commercial real estate, employment law, estate planning and litigation, and construction law. Joseph Selbka graduated cum laude from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1996 and immediately went to work as a special assistant attorney general representing the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) as litigation counsel before entering private practice. During his tenure at IDES, Mr. Selbka defended hundreds of administrative review actions and gained an enormous wealth of experience in administrative and employment law. In 2001, he earned a Master's in Public Administration from the University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs, where he currently serves as an adjunct lecturer teaching a master's level course to public administration graduate students. Mr. Selbka also possesses several years of experience serving as a Hearing Officer for the Illinois State Board of Education as well as the District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent of Education. In his many years of private practice, Mr. Selbka has represented clients before a great many tribunals, including the Illinois Circuit Courts and the Illinois Appellate Court, the Illinois Labor Relations Board, the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board, the Illinois Department of Employment Security, the Illinois Department of Human Rights, the National Labor Relations Board, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. A frequent author and lecturer, Mr. Selbka has made presentations on behalf of the Northwest Suburban Bar Association and Attorneys Title and Guaranty on various estate planning and probate matters, and has lectured on expert testimony in administrative hearings for the Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education. He is the author of Special Education Due Process Litigation, published by the Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education. Mr. Selbka is also active in the legal profession as a member of the Illinois State Bar Association and the Northwest Suburban Bar Association, and serves his community as a member of the Arlington Heights Board of Zoning Appeals. Pluymert, Hargrove, MacDonald & Lee, Ltd. is a Chicago area law firm with offices in Hoffman Estates and Des Plaines which represents individuals, businesses, churches and not-for-profit organizations across a wide variety of legal areas; business corporate, estate planning, employment law, commercial real estate, family law, school and education matters and Probate and Trust Administration. The well-established firm is well-known and respected in the Chicagoland legal community for practicing with exceptional skill, integrity, ethics and professionalism.


News Article | May 1, 2017
Site: news.yahoo.com

Fasting every other day doesn't lead to bigger weight loss than daily calorie-cutting—and is more difficult to maintain, a new study says. This popular alternate-day diet is a type of intermittent fasting, which involves drastically reducing your calorie intake on some days (or during certain hours) and eating whatever you like on others. The theory is that it is easier to focus on eating fewer calories only some of the time, while the eating pattern improves cardiovascular risk factors, such as blood pressure, cholesterol, and insulin levels, more than daily calorie cutting. The new study, from researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago and published today in JAMA Internal Medicine, followed 100 obese people for a year, making it the largest and longest study to examine alternate-day fasting so far. Those who followed this intermittent fasting approach lost the same amount of weight, on average, as those who cut back on calories every day. Both groups dropped about 7 percent of their body weight after six months and regained about 1 percent of their weight during the following six-month weight maintenance phase. “We can say that alternate-day fasting does produce clinically significant weight loss after a year, but it’s not better than a typical calorie-restricted diet,” says Krista A. Varady, Ph.D., associate professor of nutrition at the University of Illinois at Chicago and one of the study researchers. “Alternate-day fasting gives you a break from dieting every day, which we thought people would like,” Varady says. It turns out, though, that it's a difficult diet regimen to stick to, she says. Thirty-eight percent of the alternate-day fasters dropped out, compared with 29 percent of the regular dieters. And about half of the alternate-day eaters ended up downing more calories on their fasting days and fewer on the “feasting” days, which means they essentially followed the same plan as the regular dieters. Cardiovascular disease risk factors—inflammatory markers and insulin, cholesterol, and blood pressure levels—which usually improve with weight loss, were similar in both groups as well, except for "bad" cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein, or LDL) levels, which were significantly higher in the fasters after a year. “We did have a subgroup of people who had pre-diabetes, and they saw bigger improvements in insulin resistance, inflammatory factors, and triglyceride levels with alternate-day fasting,” says Varady, who hopes to explore that further in a future study. Low-carb, high-fat, high-protein, alternate-day fasting—how do you know which type of diet will work for you? “They can all work,” says researcher Marie-Pierre St-Onge, Ph.D., associate professor of nutritional medicine at Columbia University in New York City. “If it’s a diet that helps you feel full and less deprived, and it’s something you can adhere to, you should be able to lose weight.” Here are some other ways to get your eating plan to stick: Play to your strengths. Alternate-day fasting may be a good plan for some people. “It doesn’t work well with people who are frequent snackers, but those who routinely go 5 or 6 hours without eating tend to do well with it,” Varady says. Find what suits your lifestyle and preferences. Eat more veggies and fruits. In addition to being packed with health-promoting nutrients, veggies and fruits add bulk to your plate, so you feel like you’re eating more food but without the calories, St-Onge says. Know your triggers. “Be aware of when, where, and why you’re susceptible to overeating,” St-Onge says. “We eat for so many reasons other than hunger, so stop and ask yourself why you want to eat right now.” Being mindful of your hunger level can also help you avoid subconscious cues to eat more, such as larger plates, “healthy” language on food labels, and watching television or surfing the web while eating. Add protein if you decide to try intermittent fasting. Try to get 50 to 70 grams of protein on your fast day, which will help you feel fuller longer, Varady says. The current recommended dietary allowance for protein is 0.36 grams per pound of body weight. (That’s 56 grams of protein per day for a 155-pound person.) Don’t drink your calories. Beverages are often high in calories, but liquids such as sodas, juices, and coffee drinks don’t register in the brain the same way solid foods do, so you don’t feel as full and you end up eating more, St-Onge says. Opt for water, black coffee, or unsweetened tea and chew your calories instead. Front-load your meals. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that obese women who ate the bulk of their daily calories (50 percent) at lunch lost 3 pounds more over the 12-week study period than those who ate most of their calories at dinner. We need more research looking at meal timing, but it may have cardiovascular benefits in addition to helping with weight loss. More from Consumer Reports: Top pick tires for 2016 Best used cars for $25,000 and less 7 best mattresses for couples Consumer Reports has no relationship with any advertisers on this website. Copyright © 2006-2017 Consumer Reports, Inc.


News Article | May 1, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Alternate day fasting regimens have increased in popularity because some patients find it difficult to adhere to a conventional weight-loss diet. A new article published by JAMA Internal Medicine reports on a randomized clinical trial that compared the effects of alternate-day fasting with daily calorie restriction on weight loss, weight maintenance and indicators of cardiovascular disease risk. Krista A. Varady, Ph.D., of the University of Illinois at Chicago, and coauthors included 100 obese adults in the single-center trial, which was conducted between October 2011 and January 2015. Patients were assigned to 1 of 3 groups for one year: alternate-day fasting (25 percent of calorie needs on fast days; 125 percent of calorie needs on alternating "feast" days); daily calorie restriction (75 percent of calorie needs every day); or no intervention. After one year, weight loss in the alternate-day fasting group (6.0 percent) was not significantly different from the daily calorie restriction group (5.3 percent), according to the results. "The results of this randomized clinical trial demonstrated that alternate-day fasting did not produce superior adherence, weight loss, weight maintenance or improvements in risk indicators for cardiovascular disease compared with daily calorie restriction," the article concludes. The authors note some study limitations, which included a short maintenance phase of six months. For more details and to read the full study, please visit the For The Media website. Editor's Note: The article contains conflict of interest and funding/support disclosures. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.


News Article | April 28, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Bethesda, MD (April 28, 2017) -- The American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Research Foundation is thrilled to award 52 researchers with research funding in the 2017 award year. "The AGA Research Foundation has a proven track record of funding young investigators who subsequently achieve great success in research. We are confident that the 2017 class will be no exception," said Robert S. Sandler, MD, MPH, AGAF, chair, AGA Research Foundation. "AGA is honored to invest in this year's award recipients and looks forward to seeing how each research project contributes to advancing the field of gastroenterology." The AGA Research Award Program serves to support talented investigators who are pursuing careers in digestive disease research. A grant from the AGA Research Foundation ensures that a major proportion of the recipient's time is protected for research. The awards program is made possible thanks to generous donors and funders contributing to the AGA Research Foundation. Show your support for GI research.https:/ Below are the 2017 AGA Research Foundation award recipients. To learn about upcoming research funding opportunities, visit http://www. . Shrinivas Bishu, MD, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor David Boone, PhD, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis Sarah Glover, DO, University of Florida, Gainesville Jennifer Lai, MD, MBA, The Regents of the University of California, San Francisco Jill Smith, MD, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. Chandler Brown, Gallaudet University, Washington, D.C. Carlos Lodeiro, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso Paul L. Foster School of Medicine Alyssa Murillo, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine Kristeen Onyirioha, University of Texas San Antonio Health Sciences Center Gabriela Portilla Skerrett, San Juan Bautista School of Medicine, Puerto Rico Ray Ramirez, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk Rani Richardson, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Nefertiti Tyehemba, State University of New York Upstate Medical University, Syracuse Elsie Ureta, California State University of Los Angeles Carlos Zavala, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Edward Barnes, MD, MPH, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill Daniel Duncan, MD, Boston Children's Hospital, MA Amy Engevik, PhD, Vanderbilt University, Nashville Tossapol Kerdsirichairat, MD, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor Anne-Marie Overstreet, PhD, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis Shusuke Toden, PhD, Baylor University Medical Center/Baylor Research Institute, Houston Amy Tsou, MD, PhD, Boston Children's Hospital, MA Lavanya Viswanathan, MD, MS, Augusta University, GA Hongtao Wang, MD, PhD, Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital, Houston Lauren Cole, BS, University of Arizona College of Medicine, Phoenix Cindy Law, BSc, University of Ottawa, Canada Christopher Moreau, BS, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio Satish Munigala, MBBS, MPH, St. Louis University, MO Rajiv Perinbasekar, MD, University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore Chung Sang Tse, MD, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN Anika Ullah, University of California, San Diego Kathy Williams, MS, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, Camden, NJ Quan Zhou, MS, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor This year's honorees will be recognized during several AGA Research Foundation events at Digestive Disease Week® 2017, taking place May 6-9 in Chicago, IL. The American Gastroenterological Association is the trusted voice of the GI community. Founded in 1897, the AGA has grown to more than 16,000 members from around the globe who are involved in all aspects of the science, practice and advancement of gastroenterology. The AGA Institute administers the practice, research and educational programs of the organization.http://www. . Like AGA on Facebook.http://www. facebook. com/ amergastroassn> Follow us on Twitter @AmerGastroAssn.http://www. twitter. com/ amergastroassn> Check out our videos on YouTube.http://www. The AGA Research Foundation, formerly known as the Foundation for Digestive Health and Nutrition, is the cornerstone of AGA's effort to expand digestive disease research funding. Since 1984, the AGA, through its foundations, has provided more than $47 million in research grants to more than 870 scientists. The AGA Research Foundation serves as a bridge to the future of research in gastroenterology and hepatology by providing critical funding to advance the careers of young researchers between the end of training and the establishment of credentials that earn National Institutes of Health grants. Learn more about the AGA Research Foundation or make a contribution at http://www. .


As part of a partnership with APA and Harvard University's Graduate School of Design that brings planning directors from the nation's largest cities to the Lincoln Institute each year, Armando Carbonell, chair of the institute's Department of Planning and Urban Form, will moderate a panel, Big City Planning Directors on Equitable Redevelopment and Food Access, which will examine the economic, planning, and equity issues facing St. Louis, Milwaukee and other cities. The session, from 2:45 to 4:00 p.m. Monday May 8, will include a discussion of redevelopment surrounding the nearly $2 billion National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency facility planned in St. Louis near the site of the former Pruitt-Igoe housing complex. The Lincoln Institute's recently published book Nature and Cities: The Ecological Imperative in Urban Design and Planning will also make its debut at the conference. Featuring essays by leading landscape architects, planners, and urban designers, the book calls for integration of nature more fully into cities as the world urbanizes and the effects of climate change grow more severe. A complete list of the Lincoln Institute's sessions at the conference follows (all sessions at the Javits Convention Center): Fiscal Analysis, Municipal Finance, and the Economy, from 10:45 a.m. to noon Saturday May 6, kicking off the conference's fiscal track with a discussion of the pillars of municipal fiscal health, why they are relevant to the planners, and how cities and towns can make better land use decisions, with George "Mac" McCarthy of the Lincoln Institute and L. Carson Bise of TischlerBise (Room 1E07). Benchmarking and Municipal Fiscal Health, from 1 to 2:15 p.m. Saturday May 6, exploring ways planners can use the Fiscally Standardized Cities (FiSC) database to make meaningful budgetary comparisons across the largest 150 U.S., with Lincoln Institute Senior Research Analyst Adam Langley and Research Fellow Andrew Reschovsky, as well as Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center Senior Fellow Tracy Gordon and Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning Deputy Executive Director for Planning Bob Dean (Room 1E08). Infrastructure Public Finance 101, from 4 to 5:15 p.m. Saturday May 6, surveying the financial avenues available to cities to pay for critical projects and the relationships between finance, project planning, and capital project administration, with Lourdes Germán of the Lincoln Institute and Susan Kendall of FirstSouthwest/Hilltop Securities (Room 1E15). Best Practices for Using Tax Incentives, from 1 to 2:15 p.m. Sunday May 7, detailing the costs and benefits of tax incentives, ways to make incentives more effective, the value of taking a regional approach, and alternative economic development strategies, with Edward Hill of Ohio State University, Daphne Kenyon of the Lincoln Institute, Greg LeRoy of Good Jobs First and Ronald Rakow of the City of Boston (Room E116). Nature and Cities: Ecological Planning and Design, from 1 to 2:15 p.m. Sunday May 7, looking at how ecological understanding can help planners respond to urban challenges like climate change with a focus on resilient urban design, with Timothy Beatley of the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Armando Carbonell of the Lincoln Institute, Nina-Marie Lister of Ryerson University, and Forster Ndubisi of Texas A&M University (Room 1E10). Financing NYC's Hudson Yards, from 4 to 5:15 p.m. Sunday May 7, examining how the city of New York used the value of land to finance the multi-billion-dollar Hudson Yards infrastructure project on the city's Far West Side, with Lourdes Germán of the Lincoln Institute, and William Glasgall of the Volcker Alliance (Room 1A07). Applying Big Data to Small Projects, from 4 to 5:15 p.m. Sunday May 7, highlighting projects in California and Virginia to show how to gather and deploy big data to help achieve planning and transportation goals, with Amy Cotter of the Lincoln Institute, Chris McCahill of the State Smart Transportation Initiative, Chris Pangilinan of TransitCenter, and Laura Schewel of StreetLight Data (Room 1A08). Advancing Equity Analysis in Scenario Planning, from 7:30 to 8:45 a.m. Monday May 8, investigating how social equity concepts can be implemented  in planning practice using innovative scenario planning tools, with Colbey Brown of the Manhan Group, LLC, Arnab Chakraborty of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Robert Goodspeed of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Jennifer Minner of Cornell University, Peter Pollock of the Lincoln Institute, Alex Steinberger of Fregonese Associates, and Bev Wilson of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Room  1A10). Big City Planning Directors on Equitable Redevelopment and Food Access, from 2:45 to 4:00 p.m. Monday May 8, confronting the economic, planning, and equity issues facing St. Louis, Milwaukee and other cities, with David Rouse of APA, Armando Carbonell of the Lincoln Institute, Vanessa Koster and Tim McCollow of the City of Milwaukee, Donald Roe of the City of St. Louis, Karen Shore of The Food Trust, and Toni Griffin of Urban Planning for the American City (Room 1E10). Scenario Analysis for Urban Planners, from 2:45 to 4 p.m. Monday May 8, on how scenario planning can acknowledge the inherent uncertainty of the future, using case studies that incorporated a wide range of voices, with Arnab Chakraborty of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Amy Cotter of the Lincoln Institute, Janae Futrell of the city of Atlanta, and Kenneth Snyder of PlaceMatters (Room 1E07). Using the CIP to Make Plans Happen, from 4:15 to 5:30 p.m. Monday May 8, on how capital improvement plans can be used as vehicles to achieve planning goals, with Jean Gatza of the City of Boulder, Colorado, Julie Herlands of TischlerBise, and Peter Pollock of the Lincoln Institute (Room 1E09). Fiscal Policy and Land Use Interaction, from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. Tuesday May 9, looking at how fiscal policy decisions affect land use outcomes and vice versa, and how to promote cooperation between city planners and public finance experts, with Amy Cotter of the Lincoln Institute, Julie Herlands of TischlerBise, Michael Pagano of the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Andrew Reschovsky of the Lincoln Institute (Room 1A06). Planning Directors' Perspectives on the Region, from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. Tuesday May 9, providing a forum for planning directors form the New York City region to share the results of an all-day retreat, with Purnima Kapur of New York City, Peter Pollock of the Lincoln Institute and a number of planning directors from throughout the region (Room 1A21). Weighing the Future of Buyouts, from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. Tuesday May 9, exploring the structure and function of buyout programs in flood-prone communities, and the improvements that can be made, with Robert Freudenberg of the Regional Plan Association and Deborah Hoffman of the County of Passaic, Totowa, New Jersey (Room 1E15). Improving Fiscal Impacts Analysis, from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. Tuesday May 9, taking a deep dive into traditional methods used in fiscal impact analysis, critiques of traditional fiscal impact analysis, and alternative methodologies, with Peter Angelides, Daniel Miles, and Steven Nelson of Econsult Solutions, Inc. and Sidney Wong of Community Data Analytics (Room 1E14). The Lincoln Institute has been a longstanding partner with the American Planning Association's National Planning Conference, which is in its 109th year. The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy is an independent, nonpartisan organization whose mission is to help solve global economic, social, and environmental challenges to improve the quality of life through creative approaches to the use, taxation, and stewardship of land. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/lincoln-institute-at-the-american-planning-association-2017-national-planning-conference-300446392.html


News Article | May 4, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Research at 2017 Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting finds that teens developing depression likely to use terms such as feeling 'stressed' rather than 'depressed' SAN FRANCISCO - While it's estimated at least one in 10 teens in the U.S. suffer from depression at some point, few will use the word "depressed" to describe negative emotions hanging over them. Instead, new research at the 2017 Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting in San Francisco suggests, they're likely to use terms such as "stressed," or "down," and other words that may sound like ordinary teen angst but could be a signal of more serious, pre-depressive symptoms. Researchers will present the abstract, "Understanding teen expression of sadness in primary care: A qualitative exploration" on Sunday, May 7, at the Moscone West Convention Center. For the study, they analyzed a sample of screening interviews with 369 teens ages 13 and 18 at risk for depression who participated in the Promoting Adolescent Health Study (PATH), a large, randomized control trial funded by the National Institutes of Mental Health. "Much of what a teen is feeling and experiencing is easy to attribute to the ups and downs of teen angst," said abstract co-author Daniela DeFrino, PhD, RN, an assistant professor of research in the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine and College of Nursing. "But, sometimes, there is so much more under the surface that can lead to depression," she said. For the PATH study, adolescents who reported feeling down irritable or hopeless during the past two weeks in private, written responses to two brief screening questions received a call from the study team. During the call, researchers used validated measures to screen for those at risk for depression. "Teens rarely stated they were depressed, but described bursts of feeling stressed and sad that often came and went," DeFrino said. For example, a teen might say, "I always find somehow to go back to stressful mode," DeFrino said, or, "I get really mad at people very easily. They don't understand why I'm upset. Sometimes I don't either." Other common symptoms the teens in the study reported: Recruited from the Chicago and Boston areas, PATH study participants were 68 percent female, 21 percent Hispanic, 26 percent African-American and 43 percent white. More than half of the teens' mothers and fathers (60 percent and 54 percent, respectively) were college graduates. DeFrino said the teens often noted school pressure related to homework and expectations to succeed as sources of stress and difficulty. Arguments with parents, verbal and emotional abuse, divorce, separation, neglect, sexual abuse and home relocation were among major reasons cited for worsening mood. Teens also often attributed new feelings of sadness to deaths from illness and suicides of family members or friends. The researchers also noted that, unrelated to expressed feelings of depression, two-thirds of the teens had visited their primary healthcare providers for physical illnesses such as ulcers, migraines, stomach pains and fatigue. These visits could offer an opportunity for a health care provider to identify feelings and check in with mental health concerns as well, DeFrino said. "Teens may be experiencing a lot of internal turmoil and difficult life stresses that we can easily overlook if we don't probe with sensitive questioning and understanding," DeFrino said. "Reframing these feelings as outward symptoms of pre-depression by the primary care provider would allow for connection to and discussion about the importance of mental health with the teen and parent." Dr. DeFrino will present the abstract, "Understanding teen expression of sadness in primary care: A qualitative exploration," at the Mental Health/Substance Use poster session from 4:15 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Please note: only the abstract is being presented at the meeting. In some cases, the researcher may have more data available to share with media, or may be preparing a longer article for submission to a journal. Contact the researcher for more information. The Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) Meeting brings together thousands of individuals united by a common mission: to improve child health and wellbeing worldwide. This international gathering includes pediatric researchers, leaders in academic pediatrics, experts in child health, and practitioners. The PAS Meeting is produced through a partnership of four organizations leading the advancement of pediatric research and child advocacy: Academic Pediatric Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Pediatric Society, and Society for Pediatric Research. For more information, visit the PAS Meeting online at http://www. , follow us on Twitter @PASMeeting and #pasm17, or like us on Facebook. Background: The lifetime and 12-month prevalences of depression in adolescents are believed to be 11% and 7.5%, respectively. The prevalence of teen depression in primary care settings is estimated as twice that in community samples. It is the role of the Primary Care Provider (PCP) to recognize and investigate early signs of depression in adolescents. However, there are barriers such as time, inadequate training, dearth of referral sources, and lack of health care coverage. Understanding how adolescents express pre-depressive symptoms and coping strategies may help PCPs in depression prevention. Design/Methods: The PATH study (Promoting Adolescent Health Study)--a large, multi-site, NIMH-funded, depression prevention trial of N=446 adolescents--was completed in 2016. The screening process for PATH included semi-structured diagnostic hour-long Kiddie-Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for School-Age Children interviews. We chose N=24 of these interviews for qualitative content analysis to explore how adolescents express pre-depressive symptoms and coping. Analysis was conducted until data saturation occurred and patterns emerged. Results: Teens rarely stated they were "depressed," but used terms such as "stressed" or "sad" to describe feelings that came and went, often in "bursts." The majority noticed increased anger and irritability toward others. Teens mentioned new feelings of apathy toward prior interests. They overwhelmingly discussed marked difficulty falling and staying asleep. Consistently they noted school pressure related to homework and expectations to succeed were sources of stress and difficulty. Family discord was a major stressor related to mood worsening. Examples include: arguments with a parent or in the household, divorce, separation, neglect, sexual abuse and moving. Notably many teens had visited their PCPs for physical illnesses such as ulcers, migraines, stomach pains, difficulty sleeping, and fatigue - all unrelated to expression of feelings of depression. Having friends to spend time with and talk to helped the teens cope with stressors. Conclusion(s): The findings identify often common and seemingly innocuous topics and feelings PCPs should tune into with teens, exploring with inquiry and probing, during both annual and episodic visits. Reframing of these feelings as outward symptoms of pre-depression by the PCP would allow for connection to mental health and allow for opening the discussion of mental health with the teen and parent.


Mazumder S.K.,University of Illinois at Chicago | Rathore A.K.,National University of Singapore
IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics | Year: 2011

Emerging trends of high-power-density power-electronics interfaces for renewable- and alternative-energy sources have led to the need for high-frequency-inverter designs without compromising energy-conversion efficiency. In that context, a zero-voltage-switching (ZVS)-based scheme is described in this letter, for a cycloconverter-type high-frequency-link inverter, which is applicable for renewable- and alternative-energy sources as well as other commercial applications. The proposed scheme achieves the primary-side-converter-assisted switching of the ac/ac converter switches under ZVS condition. The modes of operation of the ac/ac converter are explained to outline the behavioral response. The results on the efficacy of the ZVS-based inverter and its performance show satisfactory performances. © 2010 IEEE.


Mancilla-Martinez J.,University of Illinois at Chicago
Child Development | Year: 2011

This longitudinal study modeled growth rates, from ages 4.5 to 11, in English and Spanish oral language and word reading skills among 173 Spanish-speaking children from low-income households. Individual growth modeling was employed using scores from standardized measures of word reading, expressive vocabulary, and verbal short-term language memory. The trajectories demonstrate that students' rates of growth and overall ability in word reading were on par with national norms. In contrast, students' oral language skills started out below national norms and their rates of growth, although surpassing the national rates, were not sufficient to reach age-appropriate levels. The results underscore the need for increased and sustained attention to promoting this population's language development. © 2011 The Authors. Child Development © 2011 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.


King A.C.,University of Chicago | McNamara P.J.,University of Chicago | Hasin D.S.,Columbia University | Cao D.,University of Illinois at Chicago
Biological Psychiatry | Year: 2014

Background Propensity for alcohol misuse may be linked to an individuals' response to alcohol. This study examined the role of alcohol response phenotypes to future drinking problems. Methods One hundred four young heavy social drinkers participated in a within-subject, double-blind, placebo-controlled laboratory alcohol challenge study with 6-year follow-up. Participants were examined for subjective responses before and after receiving an intoxicating dose of alcohol (.8 g/kg) or a placebo beverage, given in random order. Follow-up was conducted in 5 waves over 6 years after the sessions to assess drinking behaviors and alcohol use disorder (AUD) symptoms. Retention was high with 98% (509 of 520) of possible follow-ups completed. Results Greater sensitivity to alcohol, in terms of stimulation and rewarding effects (like, want more) and lower sensitivity to alcohol sedation predicted greater number of AUD symptoms through 6 years of follow-up. Cluster analyses revealed that for half the sample, increasing levels of stimulation and liking were predictors of more AUD symptoms with the other half divided between those showing like and want more and want more alone as significant predictors. Conclusions The findings extend previous findings and offer new empirical insights into the propensity for excessive drinking and alcohol problems. Heightened alcohol stimulation and reward sensitivity robustly predicted more alcohol use disorder symptoms over time associated with greater binge-drinking frequency. These drinking problems were maintained and progressed as these participants were entering their third decade of life, a developmental interval when continued alcohol misuse becomes more deviant. © 2014 Society of Biological Psychiatry.


Hay N.,University of Illinois at Chicago | Hay N.,Jesse Brown Medical Center
Nature Reviews Cancer | Year: 2016

In recent years there has been a growing interest among cancer biologists in cancer metabolism. This Review summarizes past and recent advances in our understanding of the reprogramming of glucose metabolism in cancer cells, which is mediated by oncogenic drivers and by the undifferentiated character of cancer cells. The reprogrammed glucose metabolism in cancer cells is required to fulfil anabolic demands. This Review discusses the possibility of exploiting the reprogrammed glucose metabolism for therapeutic approaches that selectively target cancer cells. © 2016 Macmillan Publishers Limited.


Louch W.E.,University of Oslo | Sheehan K.A.,University of Illinois at Chicago | Wolska B.M.,University of Illinois at Chicago
Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology | Year: 2011

Since techniques for cardiomyocyte isolation were first developed 35 years ago, experiments on single myocytes have yielded great insight into their cellular and sub-cellular physiology. These studies have employed a broad range of techniques including electrophysiology, calcium imaging, cell mechanics, immunohistochemistry and protein biochemistry. More recently, techniques for cardiomyocyte culture have gained additional importance with the advent of gene transfer technology. While such studies require a high quality cardiomyocyte population, successful cell isolation and maintenance during culture remain challenging. In this review, we describe methods for the isolation of adult and neonatal ventricular myocytes from rat and mouse heart. This discussion outlines general principles for the beginner, but also provides detailed specific protocols and advice for common caveats. We additionally review methods for short-term myocyte culture, with particular attention given to the importance of substrate and media selection, and describe time-dependent alterations in myocyte physiology that should be anticipated. Gene transfer techniques for neonatal and adult cardiomyocytes are also reviewed, including methods for transfection (liposome, electroporation) and viral-based gene delivery. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


Merkel O.M.,Wayne State University | Rubinstein I.,University of Illinois at Chicago | Rubinstein I.,Jesse Brown Medical Center | Kissel T.,University of Marburg
Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews | Year: 2014

RNA interference (RNAi) has been thought of as the general answer to many unmet medical needs. After the first success stories, it soon became obvious that short interfering RNA (siRNA) is not suitable for systemic administration due to its poor pharmacokinetics. Therefore local administration routes have been adopted for more successful in vivo RNAi. This paper reviews nucleic acid modifications, nanocarrier chemistry, animal models used in successful pulmonary siRNA delivery, as well as clinical translation approaches. We summarize what has been published recently and conclude with the potential problems that may still hamper the efficient clinical application of RNAi in the lung. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.


Patra K.C.,Harvard University | Hay N.,University of Illinois at Chicago | Hay N.,Jesse Brown Medical Center
Trends in Biochemical Sciences | Year: 2014

The pentose phosphate pathway (PPP), which branches from glycolysis at the first committed step of glucose metabolism, is required for the synthesis of ribonucleotides and is a major source of NADPH. NADPH is required for and consumed during fatty acid synthesis and the scavenging of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Therefore, the PPP plays a pivotal role in helping glycolytic cancer cells to meet their anabolic demands and combat oxidative stress. Recently, several neoplastic lesions were shown to have evolved to facilitate the flux of glucose into the PPP. This review summarizes the fundamental functions of the PPP, its regulation in cancer cells, and its importance in cancer cell metabolism and survival. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


News Article | February 22, 2017
Site: www.cemag.us

What can’t graphene do? You can scratch “detect cancer” off of that list. By interfacing brain cells onto graphene, University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) researchers have shown they can differentiate a single hyperactive cancerous cell from a normal cell, pointing the way to developing a simple, noninvasive tool for early cancer diagnosis. “This graphene system is able to detect the level of activity of an interfaced cell,” says Vikas Berry, associate professor and head of chemical engineering, who led the research along with Ankit Mehta, assistant professor of clinical neurosurgery in the UIC College of Medicine. “Graphene is the thinnest known material and is very sensitive to whatever happens on its surface,” Berry says. The nanomaterial is composed of a single layer of carbon atoms linked in a hexagonal chicken-wire pattern, and all the atoms share a cloud of electrons moving freely about the surface. “The cell’s interface with graphene rearranges the charge distribution in graphene, which modifies the energy of atomic vibration as detected by Raman spectroscopy,” Berry says, referring to a powerful workhorse technique that is routinely used to study graphene. The atomic vibration energy in graphene’s crystal lattice differs depending on whether it’s in contact with a cancer cell or a normal cell, Berry says, because the cancer cell’s hyperactivity leads to a higher negative charge on its surface and the release of more protons. “The electric field around the cell pushes away electrons in graphene’s electron cloud,” he says, which changes the vibration energy of the carbon atoms. The change in vibration energy can be pinpointed by Raman mapping with a resolution of 300 nanometers, he says, allowing characterization of the activity of a single cell. The study, reported in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, looked at cultured human brain cells, comparing normal astrocytes to their cancerous counterpart, the highly malignant brain tumor glioblastoma multiforme. The technique is being studied in a mouse model of cancer, with results that are “very promising,” Berry says. Experiments with patient biopsies would be further down the road. “Once a patient has brain tumor surgery, we could use this technique to see if the tumor relapses,” Berry says. “For this, we would need a cell sample we could interface with graphene and look to see if cancer cells are still present.” The same technique may also work to differentiate between other types of cells or the activity of cells. “We may be able to use it with bacteria to quickly see if the strain is Gram-positive or Gram-negative,” Berry says. “We may be able to use it to detect sickle cells.” Last year, Berry and other coworkers introduced nanoscale ripples in graphene, causing it to conduct differently in perpendicular directions, useful for electronics. They wrinkled the graphene by draping it over a string of rod-shaped bacteria, then vacuum-shrinking the germs. “We took the earlier work and sort of flipped it over,” Berry says. “Instead of laying graphene on cells, we laid cells on graphene and studied graphene’s atomic vibrations.” Co-authors on the study are Bijentimala Keisham and Phong Nguyen of UIC chemical engineering and Arron Cole of UIC neurosurgery.


News Article | December 5, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

David H. Yang, a senior at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is the recipient of the 2017 AMS-MAA-SIAM Frank and Brennie Morgan Prize for Outstanding Research in Mathematics by an Undergraduate Student. Yang is honored for his outstanding research in algebraic geometry and geometric representation theory. Although he is still an undergraduate student, Yang is already an author of five research papers, with two more in preparation. Three of his papers have appeared or will appear in the Memoirs of the AMS, Journal für die reine und angewandte Mathematik, and Research in the Mathematical Sciences. His joint paper with two senior collaborators --- Professor Lawrence Ein of the University of Illinois at Chicago and Professor Robert Lazarsfeld of Stony Brook University --- builds on Yang's earlier single-author work. The letters supporting Yang's nomination for the Morgan Prize describe his work as truly exceptional. In addition to doing outstanding research, he has excelled in contest math. He was a Putnam Competition Fellow for the last three consecutive years, and he won two gold medals in the International Mathematical Olympiad. David H. Yang was born in California, where he spent most of his early childhood. He moved to New Hampshire to attend Phillips Exeter Academy, where he was first exposed to algebraic geometry. Starting in his freshman year at MIT, Yang's research was guided by Professors Joe Harris at Harvard and Roman Bezrukavnikov at MIT. It was at MIT that Yang started pursuing research in algebraic geometry. He plans to continue his research after graduating from MIT. Presented annually, the Morgan Prize recognizes an undergraduate student who has done outstanding research in mathematics; the student must be in a college or university in Canada, Mexico, or the United States or its possessions. It is sponsored by the AMS, the Mathematical Association of America, and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. The prize will be awarded Thursday, January 5, 2017, at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in Atlanta. Find out more about AMS prizes and awards at http://www. . Founded in 1888 to further mathematical research and scholarship, today the American Mathematical Society fulfills its mission through programs and services that promote mathematical research and its uses, strengthen mathematical education, and foster awareness and appreciation of mathematics and its connections to other disciplines and to everyday life.


News Article | November 18, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Several anxiety disorders, including panic disorder, social anxiety disorder and specific phobias, share a common underlying trait: increased sensitivity to uncertain threat, or fear of the unknown, report researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago. The finding could help steer treatment of these disorders away from diagnosis-based therapies to treating their common characteristics. "We may, one day, open up clinics that focus on treating the underlying common neurobiology of the patient's symptoms instead of individual diagnoses," says Stephanie Gorka, research assistant professor of psychiatry and a clinical psychologist in the UIC College of Medicine. "A treatment, or set of treatments, focused on sensitivity to uncertain threat could result in a more impactful and efficient way of treating a variety of anxiety disorders and symptoms." Uncertain threat is unpredictable in its timing, intensity, frequency or duration and elicits a generalized feeling of apprehension and hypervigilance. "It's what we call anticipatory anxiety," says Gorka, who is corresponding author on the study, published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology. "It could be something like not knowing exactly when your doctor will call with test results." When a person is sensitive to uncertain threat, they can spend the entire day anxious and concerned that something bad could happen to them, Gorka said. Panic disorder is one example -- patients are constantly anxious over the fact that they could have a panic attack at any moment, she said. Predictable threat, on the other hand, produces a discrete fight-or-flight response that has a clear trigger, like a hungry bear coming at you, and it abates once the threat has resolved. Previous research by Gorka and colleagues suggests that heightened sensitivity to uncertain threat may be an important factor that characterizes the fear-based internalizing psychopathologies, but most research focuses on panic disorder, so its role in the other fear-based disorders -- particularly social anxiety disorder and specific phobias -- remains unclear. Gorka and her colleagues looked at data from participants who underwent a startle task in two different studies performed at UIC. The two studies, of participants ages 18 to 65, included 25 participants with major depressive disorder; 29 with generalized anxiety disorder; 41 with social anxiety disorder; and 24 with a specific phobia. Forty-one control subjects had no current or prior diagnoses of psychopathology. The researchers measured the participants' eye-blink responses to predictable and unpredictable mild electric shocks to the wrist. To elicit blinking during the shock-task, the participants heard short, acoustic tones via headphones. "No matter who you are or what your mental health status, you are going to blink in response to the tone," Gorka said. "It's a natural reflex, so everyone does it, without exception." The researchers measured the strength of the blinks using an electrode under the participants' eyes. They compared the strength of the blinks in response to tones delivered during the predictable shock to the blinks during the unpredictable shock. They found that participants with social anxiety disorder or a specific phobia blinked much more strongly during the unpredictable shocks, when compared to participants without a mental health diagnosis or to participants with major depressive disorder or generalized anxiety disorder. "We classify so many different mood and anxiety disorders, and each has its own set of guidelines for treatment, but if we spend time treating their shared characteristics, we might make better progress," said Dr. K. Luan Phan, professor of psychiatry and director of the mood and anxiety disorders research program and senior author on the study. "Knowing that sensitivity to uncertain threat underlies all of the fear-based anxiety disorders also suggests that drugs that help specifically target this sensitivity could be used or developed to treat these disorders." Lynne Lieberman and Stewart Shankman of UIC are co-authors on the study. This research was funded by grants R01MH101497 and R01MH098093 from the National Institute of Mental Health. Other support was provided by the UIC Center for Clinical and Translational Science award number UL1RR029879 from the National Center for Research Resources.


News Article | October 26, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Chicago have received a three-year, $900,000 Defense Department grant to investigate how the gut microbiome - the trillions of bacteria, viruses and other bugs that make our digestive systems their home - influences breast cancer.gut microbiome Jun Sun, associate professor of gastroenterology and hepatology in the UIC College of Medicine, and Tao Pan, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Chicago, will look at how a molecule called queuine made by gut bacteria is related to breast cancer. "Gut microbiota represents a complex ecosystem that develops in close parallel with hosts," says Sun. "Perturbations or abnormalities in the mixture of microbes that make up the microbiome can lead to altered host responses that increase the risk of diseases." Queuine is produced by certain gut bacteria and is taken up through the intestine as a micronutrient and circulated in the blood. Cells use queuine to modify tRNAs -- a set of molecules used by cells to translate the genetic message of DNA into proteins. Queuine-modified tRNAs are more accurate and efficient in making proteins. Previous research has shown that abnormal levels of tRNAs are associated with increased risk for breast cancer. But researchers have not yet pinned down if and how queuine may play a role. It is possible that levels of queuine or of queuine-modified tRNAs could serve as "biomarkers" for breast cancer risk, Sun said, "and as such, we need to know how different levels of queuine influence the risk of and development of breast cancer." Different kinds of cancer cells are known to have different levels of queuine-modified tRNAs, Sun said. In some cultured cancer cells, increasing the levels of queuine-modified tRNAs can reduce cell proliferation. "But we don't know exactly how queuine-modified tRNA levels affect breast cancer cells, especially in physiologically relevant models," she said. The researchers think that breast tumors may have high levels of queuine-modified tRNAs that speed up protein production as "If we know that a certain level of queuine produced by the gut microbiome increases risk for breast cancer, we may be able to design therapies to alter the amount of queuine, as part of a therapeutic approach to preventing or treating breast cancer in patients." The researchers will look at how queuine affects tRNA function and breast cancer growth in mouse models of breast cancer and in breast tumor tissue.


News Article | December 19, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Structured tools can reduce "end-of-round time compression" during multidisciplinary morning rounds in the hospital, according to a new study. Previous studies on multidisciplinary rounds, or MDRs, have demonstrated that the daily meeting of doctors, nurses, and other clinicians-used to coordinate patient care across disciplines and shifts-has positive effects on patient care and outcomes. But those studies have also shown that clinical staff spend less time discussing patients at the end of rounds compared to those presented at the beginning of rounds. In addition, data from the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality show that approximately 70 percent of deaths caused by medical errors are related to communication breakdowns during handoffs. To see if structured rounding tools might lessen these communications problems, University of Illinois at Chicago researchers tracked MDRs in a medical intensive care unit for two months to study two different paper-based communication rounding tools. Their results are reported in JMIR Human Factors, a spin-off of the Journal of Medical Internet Research. The goal was to test structured rounding tools and "evaluate if they improved equality in time allocation across patients and quality of patient care team communication," said Joanna Abraham, assistant professor of biomedical and health information sciences in the UIC College of Applied Health Sciences. "We audio-recorded rounding for a total of 82 patient cases and observed the sessions," Abraham said. The patients were presented using one of two rounding tools -- either one called SOAP, for Subjective, Objective, Assessment and Plan, or HAND-IT, a systems-oriented Handoff Intervention Tool. Both were used to gather patient information before rounds and to support communication during rounds. The researchers calculated the time spent discussing each patient and coded the recordings for communication breakdowns during rounds, which were defined as any failure in information transfer between the outgoing team to the on-coming team. Breakdowns were classified as missing or incomplete information; incorrect or conflicting information; or irrelevant or ambiguous information. Results showed that time allocation per patient improved with use of either tool when compared to no tool, and that the difference between the two tools was not significant. Abraham and her colleagues also found that communication breakdowns increased with the amount of time spent discussing each patient--on average there were 1.04 additional breakdowns per every 120 seconds in discussion. "This study shows that the use of structured rounding tools mitigates disproportionate time allocation and communication breakdowns during rounds," Abraham said. "With the more structured HAND-IT tool, these effects were almost completely eliminated. "Our results help to demonstrate the benefits of using structured rounding tools for reducing communication errors and improving patient care quality and safety. Although our results are preliminary, they present a strong case for further research into rounding communication," she said. Co-authors on the paper include Thomas Kannampallil of UIC, Vimla Patel of the New York Academy of Medicine, Dr. Bela Patel of the University of Texas Health Science Center, and Dr. Khalid Almoosa of Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital. This research was supported in part by a Grant No. 220020152 from the James S McDonnell Foundation and by Grant No. 1 T32 HS017586-02 from the Keck Center AHRQ Training Program in Patient Safety and Quality on the Gulf Coast Consortia.


News Article | November 1, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Two widely prescribed antibiotics -- chloramphenicol and linezolid -- may fight bacteria in a different way from what scientists and doctors thought for years, University of Illinois at Chicago researchers have found. Instead of indiscriminately stopping protein synthesis, the drugs put the brakes on the protein synthesis machinery only at specific locations in the gene. Ribosomes are among the most complex components in the cell, responsible for churning out all the proteins a cell needs for survival. In bacteria, ribosomes are the target of many important antibiotics. The team of Alexander Mankin and Nora Vazquez-Laslop has conducted groundbreaking research on the ribosome and antibiotics. In their latest study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, they found that while chloramphenicol and linezolid attack the catalytic center of the ribosome, they stop protein synthesis only at specific checkpoints. "Many antibiotics interfere with the growth of pathogenic bacteria by inhibiting protein synthesis," says Mankin, director of the UIC Center for Biomolecular Sciences and professor of medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy. "This is done by targeting the catalytic center of the bacterial ribosome, where proteins are being made. It is commonly assumed that these drugs are universal inhibitors of protein synthesis and should readily block the formation of every peptide bond." "But -- we have shown that this is not necessarily the case," said Vazquez-Laslop, research associate professor of medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy. A natural product, chloramphenicol is one of the oldest antibiotics on the market. For decades it has been useful for many bacterial infections, including meningitis, plague, cholera and typhoid fever. Linezolid, a synthetic drug, is a newer antibiotic used to treat serious infections -- streptococci and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), among others -- caused by Gram-positive bacteria that are resistant to other antibiotics. Mankin's previous research established the site of action and mechanism of resistance to linezolid. While the antibiotics are very different, they each bind to the ribosome's catalytic center, where they were expected to inhibit formation of any peptide bond that links the components of the protein chain into a long biopolymer. In simple enzymes, an inhibitor that invades the catalytic center simply stops the enzyme from doing its job. This, Mankin said, had been what scientists had believed was also true for antibiotics that target the ribosome. "Contrary to this view, the activity of chloramphenicol and linezolid critically depends on the nature of specific amino acids of the nascent chain carried by the ribosome and by the identity of the next amino acid to be connected to a growing protein," Vazquez-Laslop said. "These findings indicate that the nascent protein modulates the properties of the ribosomal catalytic center and affects binding of its ligands, including antibiotics." Combining genomics and biochemistry has allowed the UIC researchers to better understand how the antibiotics work. "If you know how these inhibitors work, you can make better drugs and make them better tools for research," said Mankin. "You can also use them more efficiently to treat human and animal diseases." James Marks, Krishna Kannan, Emily Roncase, Dorota Klepacki, Amira Kefi and Cedric Orelle, all of UIC, are co-authors on the publication. The research was funded by National Institutes of Health grant AI 125518.


News Article | April 20, 2016
Site: phys.org

Bacteria possess the ability to take up DNA from their environment, a skill that enables them to acquire new genes for antibiotic resistance or to escape the immune response. Scientists have now mapped the core set of genes that are consistently controlled during DNA uptake in strep bacteria, and they hope the finding will allow them to cut off the microbes' ability to survive what doctors and nature can throw at them. The findings, by a team of researchers from the University of Oslo, the Forsyth Institute, and the University of Illinois at Chicago, appeared last week in the American Society for Microbiology's new open-access journal, mSystems. The researchers wanted to know precisely which metabolic pathways in the bacterial cell must be activated for the bacteria to become "competent," or able to acquire genes from DNA in the environment. They focused on Streptococcus mutans, a strain involved in tooth decay. Earlier studies of competence had pointed to more than 300 active genes. The new study identifies only 83 genes in 29 regions of the strep chromosome that are specific to the competence pathway, with 27 of these genes lying within an interconnected network controlled by one of three key regulator molecules. When the researchers compared the new results to earlier studies in five other strep species, they found that in all those species a core set of only 27 activated competence genes was required for DNA uptake. "Streptococcus is a diverse group of species that evolved from a common ancestor to adapt to diverse hosts and sugar-rich niches," says study co-author Donald Morrison, professor of biological sciences at UIC. "Our findings—that two-thirds of the core activated genes in streptococcus have transformation functions—suggest that this is an ancient response, maintained because of its value in promoting ready access to external DNA." The question now, says Morrison, is what is the function of the remaining one-third of the core genes? "We know that gene transfer can occur in their absence," the authors write, "suggesting that new aspects of competence are just waiting to be discovered." New insights in this field may pave the way to new strategies to avoid unwanted gene transfers, such as those enabling the spread of antibiotic resistance.


News Article | October 28, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

The University of Illinois at Chicago College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is seeking a select group of students for a historic summer expedition that will send them from city to sea under the banner of the National Science Foundation. The one-time Northwest Passage Project, a climate and marine research and education program aimed at engaging diverse participants and audiences, is funded by a three-year, $3 million NSF grant. Set to begin in August 2017, students will join ocean scientists aboard the SSV Oliver Hazard Perry, a 200-foot sailing vessel, for an excursion across the Canadian Arctic's remote Northwest Passage. The initiative is led by researchers from the University of Rhode Island's Graduate School of Oceanography's Inner Space Center, in collaboration with UIC and five other minority-serving institutions: California State University Channel Islands; City College of New York; Florida International University; Texas State University; and Virginia Commonwealth University. Other partners include the film company David Clark, Inc.; the SSV Oliver Hazard Perry; three science museums; and PBS NewsHour Reporting Labs. Scientists from the departments of biological sciences and earth and environmental sciences will select 15 - 20 UIC undergraduates -- about half from science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines, and the other half from any major -- to participate in the expedition and on-shore support activities. UIC will be represented on the vessel by at least three undergraduates and one graduate student on two crews, each on a 17-day journey. At least four undergraduate student internships will be supported by NSF funds, the rest being supported by UIC College of Liberal Arts and Sciences programs. Students will learn about the changing Arctic as the ship travels; gain navigation and sailing skills; retrace lost expeditions to the passage; and work alongside the scientists as they conduct Arctic research. Participants will also contribute to 30 live broadcasts from the Arctic that will stream from the ship via satellite to the Inner Space Center, which will then send the transmissions to the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History, the Exploratorium in San Francisco, the Alaska Sea Life Center and UIC. Audiences will be able to interact in real time with the scientists and students aboard the ship during these broadcasts. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for UIC students, says Miquel Gonzalez-Meler, the faculty representative involved with the project. "Students will not only be part of pioneering research in the Arctic, but will also be able to place the science in the social context of a globalized world," said Gonzalez-Meler, professor of biological sciences and the college's associate dean for student academic affairs. "We've built a program where adventurous and highly motivated students will be able to observe the climate sensitivity of the Arctic and the social and climate repercussions of these changes to Chicago, Illinois, and the nation. And best of all, no experience is necessary." Max Berkelhammer, assistant professor of earth and environmental sciences, and other faculty mentors will also work with the UIC students. Some students not aboard the ship will participate in science telepresence or in the media production while based at the University of Rhode Island's oceanography institute. Other students will participate from UIC in support of onboard science activities, science communication and social media. All UIC students selected for the project will take a college-required course during the spring semester before their summer internships. An onboard film crew will capture the science discoveries and follow the students for a two-hour documentary, "Frozen Obsession," that will describe the history and implications - from climate to commerce - of the changing Arctic. In 2018, UIC's student team will host a screening of the film and other events related to the expedition. UIC undergraduates - seniors are excluded - interested in applying to the program can find more information and an application online. The deadline to apply is Nov. 18 at 5 p.m. ET. Selected students will be notified by the end of November to enroll in the mandatory topic course. Call (312) 413-7563 or email mmeler@uic.edu for further details.


News Article | February 25, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

The Community for Accredited Online Schools, a leading resource provider for higher education information, has ranked the best colleges and universities with online programs in the state of Illinois. Of the four-year schools that were ranked, 35 made the list with Northwestern University, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, Loyola University Chicago, Southern Illinois University Carbondale and DePaul University positioned as the top five. Illinois’ top 19 two-year schools were also included on the list, with Illinois Central College, Richland Community College, Kaskaskia College, Harper College and Waubonsee Community College coming in as the top five. “As online programs become more readily available at Illinois schools, the options for students who want to earn a degree on their own schedule become more difficult to choose from,” said Doug Jones, CEO and founder of AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org. “The schools on our list have proven themselves to be the most high-quality options for an online education in Illinois.” To earn a spot on the Best Online Schools list, Illinois colleges and universities must be institutionally accredited, public or private not-for-profit entities. Each college is also scored based on more than a dozen unique data points that include graduation rates, total online program offerings and financial aid availability. For more details on where each school falls in the rankings and the data and methodology used to determine the lists, visit: The Best Online Four-Year Schools in Illinois for 2017 include the following: Aurora University Benedictine University Chicago State University Concordia University-Chicago DePaul University Dominican University Eastern Illinois University Elmhurst College Governors State University Greenville College Illinois Institute of Technology Illinois State University Judson University Lewis University Lincoln Christian University Loyola University Chicago MacMurray College McKendree University Moody Bible Institute National Louis University North Park University Northwestern University Olivet Nazarene University Quincy University Roosevelt University Rush University Saint Xavier University Southern Illinois University-Carbondale Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville University of Chicago University of Illinois at Chicago University of Illinois at Springfield University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign University of St Francis Western Illinois University Illinois’ Best Online Two-Year Schools for 2017 include the following: Frontier Community College Harper College Illinois Central College John A. Logan College John Wood Community College Joliet Junior College Kaskaskia College Lincoln Trail College McHenry County College Moraine Valley Community College Olney Central College Richland Community College Shawnee Community College Southeastern Illinois College Wabash Valley College Waubonsee Community College ### About Us: AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org was founded in 2011 to provide students and parents with quality data and information about pursuing an affordable, quality education that has been certified by an accrediting agency. Our community resource materials and tools span topics such as college accreditation, financial aid, opportunities available to veterans, people with disabilities, as well as online learning resources. We feature higher education institutions that have developed online learning programs that include highly trained faculty, new technology and resources, and online support services to help students achieve educational success.


News Article | November 3, 2016
Site: www.sciencedaily.com

Two widely prescribed antibiotics -- chloramphenicol and linezolid -- may fight bacteria in a different way from what scientists and doctors thought for years, University of Illinois at Chicago researchers have found. Instead of indiscriminately stopping protein synthesis, the drugs put the brakes on the protein synthesis machinery only at specific locations in the gene. Ribosomes are among the most complex components in the cell, responsible for churning out all the proteins a cell needs for survival. In bacteria, ribosomes are the target of many important antibiotics. The team of Alexander Mankin and Nora Vazquez-Laslop has conducted groundbreaking research on the ribosome and antibiotics. In their latest study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, they found that while chloramphenicol and linezolid attack the catalytic center of the ribosome, they stop protein synthesis only at specific checkpoints. "Many antibiotics interfere with the growth of pathogenic bacteria by inhibiting protein synthesis," says Mankin, director of the UIC Center for Biomolecular Sciences and professor of medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy. "This is done by targeting the catalytic center of the bacterial ribosome, where proteins are being made. It is commonly assumed that these drugs are universal inhibitors of protein synthesis and should readily block the formation of every peptide bond." "But -- we have shown that this is not necessarily the case," said Vazquez-Laslop, research associate professor of medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy. A natural product, chloramphenicol is one of the oldest antibiotics on the market. For decades it has been useful for many bacterial infections, including meningitis, plague, cholera and typhoid fever. Linezolid, a synthetic drug, is a newer antibiotic used to treat serious infections -- streptococci and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), among others -- caused by Gram-positive bacteria that are resistant to other antibiotics. Mankin's previous research established the site of action and mechanism of resistance to linezolid. While the antibiotics are very different, they each bind to the ribosome's catalytic center, where they were expected to inhibit formation of any peptide bond that links the components of the protein chain into a long biopolymer. In simple enzymes, an inhibitor that invades the catalytic center simply stops the enzyme from doing its job. This, Mankin said, had been what scientists had believed was also true for antibiotics that target the ribosome. "Contrary to this view, the activity of chloramphenicol and linezolid critically depends on the nature of specific amino acids of the nascent chain carried by the ribosome and by the identity of the next amino acid to be connected to a growing protein," Vazquez-Laslop said. "These findings indicate that the nascent protein modulates the properties of the ribosomal catalytic center and affects binding of its ligands, including antibiotics." Combining genomics and biochemistry has allowed the UIC researchers to better understand how the antibiotics work. "If you know how these inhibitors work, you can make better drugs and make them better tools for research," said Mankin. "You can also use them more efficiently to treat human and animal diseases."


News Article | November 18, 2016
Site: www.sciencedaily.com

Several anxiety disorders, including panic disorder, social anxiety disorder and specific phobias, share a common underlying trait: increased sensitivity to uncertain threat, or fear of the unknown, report researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago. The finding could help steer treatment of these disorders away from diagnosis-based therapies to treating their common characteristics. "We may, one day, open up clinics that focus on treating the underlying common neurobiology of the patient's symptoms instead of individual diagnoses," says Stephanie Gorka, research assistant professor of psychiatry and a clinical psychologist in the UIC College of Medicine. "A treatment, or set of treatments, focused on sensitivity to uncertain threat could result in a more impactful and efficient way of treating a variety of anxiety disorders and symptoms." Uncertain threat is unpredictable in its timing, intensity, frequency or duration and elicits a generalized feeling of apprehension and hypervigilance. "It's what we call anticipatory anxiety," says Gorka, who is corresponding author on the study, published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology. "It could be something like not knowing exactly when your doctor will call with test results." When a person is sensitive to uncertain threat, they can spend the entire day anxious and concerned that something bad could happen to them, Gorka said. Panic disorder is one example -- patients are constantly anxious over the fact that they could have a panic attack at any moment, she said. Predictable threat, on the other hand, produces a discrete fight-or-flight response that has a clear trigger, like a hungry bear coming at you, and it abates once the threat has resolved. Previous research by Gorka and colleagues suggests that heightened sensitivity to uncertain threat may be an important factor that characterizes the fear-based internalizing psychopathologies, but most research focuses on panic disorder, so its role in the other fear-based disorders -- particularly social anxiety disorder and specific phobias -- remains unclear. Gorka and her colleagues looked at data from participants who underwent a startle task in two different studies performed at UIC. The two studies, of participants ages 18 to 65, included 25 participants with major depressive disorder; 29 with generalized anxiety disorder; 41 with social anxiety disorder; and 24 with a specific phobia. Forty-one control subjects had no current or prior diagnoses of psychopathology. The researchers measured the participants' eye-blink responses to predictable and unpredictable mild electric shocks to the wrist. To elicit blinking during the shock-task, the participants heard short, acoustic tones via headphones. "No matter who you are or what your mental health status, you are going to blink in response to the tone," Gorka said. "It's a natural reflex, so everyone does it, without exception." The researchers measured the strength of the blinks using an electrode under the participants' eyes. They compared the strength of the blinks in response to tones delivered during the predictable shock to the blinks during the unpredictable shock. They found that participants with social anxiety disorder or a specific phobia blinked much more strongly during the unpredictable shocks, when compared to participants without a mental health diagnosis or to participants with major depressive disorder or generalized anxiety disorder. "We classify so many different mood and anxiety disorders, and each has its own set of guidelines for treatment, but if we spend time treating their shared characteristics, we might make better progress," said Dr. K. Luan Phan, professor of psychiatry and director of the mood and anxiety disorders research program and senior author on the study. "Knowing that sensitivity to uncertain threat underlies all of the fear-based anxiety disorders also suggests that drugs that help specifically target this sensitivity could be used or developed to treat these disorders."


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

Probiotics may hold part of the key to treating ALS. New research led by Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences(KCU) scientist Jingsong Zhou, PhD and Jun Sun, PhD of University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) found an imbalance of bacteria in the digestive tract may contribute to the progression of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Their preliminary research suggests probiotics could be a potential therapy for the disease. The study which appears in the journal Clinical Therapies, found evidence that targeting gut microbiota with natural bacteria products was successful in alleviating ALS progression in animal models. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28129947 ALS is a fatal disease with progressive loss of motor neurons. The only current treatment approved by the US Food and Drug Administration extends life by just a few months. “Due to the severe and rapidly progressing neuromuscular symptoms, the majority of study on ALS has focused on neurodegeneration,” said Zhou. “We hope that our published studies will draw attention from the research field, encouraging more investigators to consider ALS as a systemic disorder by evaluating the potential contributors outside of the nervous system.” While Zhou and her colleagues are encouraged by what they believe is a solid step forward, Zhou says the work is still in the preliminary stages. “There is a lot to do before we can translate the basic research to finally treat ALS patients,” Zhou said. Robert White, PhD, dean of the KCU College of Biosciences said Zhou and her colleagues are contributing crucial knowledge about the devastating disease. “This research represents a significant and innovative approach to understanding and treating ALS,” said White. “Dr. Zhou is a nationally recognized researcher in this field, and we are delighted to have her at KCU.” Funding for the research came from one of 58 ALS Association grants totaling $11.6 million, which was raised through the international Ice Bucket challenge. About Kansas City University The Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences (KCU), founded in 1916, is a fully accredited, private not-for-profit university with a College of Biosciences and a College of Osteopathic Medicine. The College of Osteopathic Medicine is the oldest medical school in Kansas City, Mo., and the largest in the state. KCU is the second-leading producer of physicians for both the states of Missouri and Kansas. KCU will open a second medical school in Joplin, Mo., in 2017 to help address the growing need for primary care physicians in the region’s rural communities.


News Article | December 12, 2016
Site: www.prweb.com

Drs. Allen Huang and Jeffrey Wang are pleased to announce that they recently attended a continuing education course focused on new techniques for implant dentistry titled, "The Changing World of Implant Dentistry: The Latest Patient Specific Overdenture Solutions." Drs. Huang, Wang, and the entire Significance Dental Implant Specialists team, are happy to provide patients with the experience, knowledge and skills they require for this important procedure. Patients in need of a skilled periodontist in Las Vegas, NV, to replace their missing teeth and restore oral function, are able to receive cutting-edge dental implant care at Significance Dental Specialists. The field of dentistry is always evolving to improve patient care as new research and technology is developed. During this course held by Dentsply Implants, Drs. Huang and Wang learned the latest, patient-focused techniques by utilizing state-of-the-art technology in implant placement and overdenture solutions. A large focus of the course covered advanced overdenture solutions including All-on-4® dental implants. The Significance Dental Specialists team strive to take numerous continuing education courses to stay up-to-date on new advancements in dentistry and integrate innovative technology into every procedure including the All-on-4® dental implant tooth replacement solution. This treatment option is increasingly popular for patients with multiple missing teeth because of its comfortable, convenient and aesthetically appealing nature. The All-on-4® treatment concept offers immediate function and the stability of dental implants by using four strategically placed implants as the foundation of a customized bridge of new teeth. Patients with some degree of bone loss are also able to receive this technique without a bone graft. Other instructional elements of this course enhanced dental implant treatment planning, overdenture fabrication, attachment system options for the overdenture, and detailed instructions for the entire clinical team to improve patient care. Drs. Huang and Wang are pleased to offer some of the most preferred and effective overdenture solutions, including All-on-4®. Patients who want to receive treatment for their missing teeth from a skilled, knowledgeable and dependable periodontist in Las Vegas, NV, can contact Significance Dental Specialists for more information. To schedule an appointment, call 844-801-3177. Dr. Allen Huang is a Board Certified Periodontist and Implant Specialist, offering personalized dental care for patients in Las Vegas, NV. Dr. Huang received his degree in Bio-Chemical Engineering from the University of California at Los Angeles. He went on to earn his DMD degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine. Following his general dental training, Dr. Huang received a full 3-year scholarship to train in Periodontics and Implant Dentistry at University of Illinois at Chicago. During his training, Dr. Huang received many academic honors, and was named as the first Chief-Resident in program history. In addition to his specialty training, Dr. Huang also obtained a Master of Science (MS) degree in oral biology from the University of Illinois where he conducted clinical and histological research in bone regeneration in furcation defects in baboons. Dr. Huang was also involved in clinical and histological study of platelet rich plasma (PRP) in sinus lift bone regeneration project. Dr. Huang is a Diplomate of the American Academy of Periodontology and a member of the America Academy of Periodontology, American Academy of Osseointegration, Academy of Dental Association and Southern Nevada Dental Society. In addition, Dr. Huang recently started his own dental implant company and is the CEO of Altosbiotech, LLC. Dr. Jeffrey Wang is a Board Certified Periodontist and Implant Specialist, and is committed to the maintenance, restoration health and aesthetics of the mouth. Dr. Wang attended the University of Michigan for his undergraduate education. He completed his dental training in the University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine. He went on to pursue his post-doctoral training and certification in periodontics and implantology in the University of California, San Francisco, where he also received his master’s degree. To learn more about the services Dr. Huang and Dr. Wang provide please visit their website at http://www.sdsdental.com or call (844) 801-3177.


News Article | November 10, 2016
Site: www.prweb.com

Drs. Allen Huang and Jeffery Wang, board certified periodontists with Significance Dental Specialists, are excited to announce their upcoming continuing education (CE) course dedicated to All-on-4® dental implants. This course will take place on November, 17, 2016 at The Range 702 in Las Vegas, NV. During the course, skilled dental professionals will be able to discuss current and past cases as well as cutting-edge research in order to provide their patients with state-of-the-art treatment for dental implants in Las Vegas, NV. The Significance Dental Specialists team will facilitate an open forum discussion dedicated to the All-on-4® full-arch tooth replacement treatment with a focus on advancing their community’s understanding of this technique. Dental professionals can bring lower case complications and new findings to further All-on-4® care. The All-on-4® technique uses implant supported dentures that combine the advantages of dentures with those of implants to create a full arch that is fully supported and fixed. This solution is a cost effective form of dental implants in Las Vegas, NV, and are more minimally invasive than traditional implant care. Many patients do not qualify for traditional implants, as a result of low bone mass or a variety of other issues, however All-on-4® is the reliable alternative that offers a completely new arch of teeth. Traditional dentures require messy, ineffective pastes and adhesives and frequently cause embarrassment from clicking and slipping during eating or while talking. The All-on-4® treatment is permanently fixed in place offering a long-term, dependable solution. There is also little need for bone grafting in this procedure, and patients often report a shorter recovery period than if they had received traditional implants. Bone growth is also stimulated from the titanium dental implant posts placed in the jaw bone, preventing future bone loss and maintaining proper oral health. The Significance Dental Specialists team hopes that by hosting this forum other dental professionals will expand their All-on-4® implant treatment, and more patients will receive the cutting-edge care they need. Those interested in attending the CE course are invited to call 702-239-8178. Patients interested in receiving dental implants in Las Vegas, NV, from an experienced periodontist are encouraged to contact Significance Dental Specialists at 844-801-3177. Dr. Allen Huang is a Board Certified Periodontist and Implant Specialist, offering personalized dental care for patients in Las Vegas, NV. Dr. Huang received his degree in Bio-Chemical Engineering from the University of California at Los Angeles. He went on to earn his DMD degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine. Following his general dental training, Dr. Huang received a full 3-year scholarship to train in Periodontics and Implant Dentistry at University of Illinois at Chicago. During his training, Dr. Huang received many academic honors, and was named as the first Chief-Resident in program history. In addition to his specialty training, Dr. Huang also obtained a Master of Science (MS) degree in oral biology from the University of Illinois where he conducted clinical and histological research in bone regeneration in furcation defects in baboons. Dr. Huang was also involved in clinical and histological study of platelet rich plasma (PRP) in sinus lift bone regeneration project. Dr. Huang is a Diplomate of the American Academy of Periodontology and a member of the America Academy of Periodontology, American Academy of Osseointegration, Academy of Dental Association and Southern Nevada Dental Society. In addition, Dr. Huang recently started his own dental implant company and is the CEO of Altosbiotech, LLC. Dr. Jeffrey Wang is a Board Certified Periodontist and Implant Specialist, and is committed to the maintenance, restoration health and aesthetics of the mouth. Dr. Wang attended the University of Michigan for his undergraduate education. He completed his dental training in the University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine. He went on to pursue his post-doctoral training and certification in periodontics and implantology in the University of California, San Francisco, where he also received his master’s degree. To learn more about the services Dr. Huang and Dr. Wang provide please visit their website at http://www.sdsdental.com or call (844) 801-3177.


News Article | December 14, 2016
Site: www.24-7pressrelease.com

CHICAGO, IL, December 14, 2016-- Dr. Carl Bell has been included in Marquis Who's Who. As in all Marquis Who's Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.A native of Chicago, Dr. Bell has established himself as a respected psychiatrist and researcher over the course of his career. Dr. Bell, who has worked as a psychiatrist in private practice in Chicago since 1974, has also held a number of positions utilizing his expertise. After graduating from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1967 with a Bachelor of Science in biology, he obtained an MD from Meharry Medical College in 1971. He then completed an internship and residency at Illinois State Psychiatric Institute. By 1976, Dr. Bell was the director of psychiatric emergency services at Jackson Park Hospital in Chicago. He later served as associate director of the division of behavioral and psychodynamic medicine at the hospital, and has remained a member of the staff since 1972. From 1977 to 1979, he held staff psychiatrist roles at the Human Correctional Services Institute, the Chatham Avalon Mental Health Center, the Community Mental Health Council and the Chicago Board of Education.Dr. Bell served as medical director of the Community Mental Health Council and Foundation from 1983 to 1987, when he became executive director of the organization. In 1993, he earned the titles of president and chief executive officer of the Community Mental Health Council and Foundation, a position in which he served until 2012. Also in 1993, Dr. Bell assumed the role of professor of public health at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He initially joined the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1983 as an associate professor, and went on to become a full professor of clinical psychiatry. From 2009 to 2013, he was the director of the department of psychiatry at the Institute for Juvenile Research at the University of Illinois at Chicago. On June 25, 2014, Dr. Bell was appointed Clinical Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago by the Board of Trustees. Dr. Bell has also been a researcher for the National Research Council and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine's Committee on Law and Justice since 2009.In addition to these roles, Dr. Bell has remained involved in the mental health community through affiliations and leadership positions with several professional associations and institutions. He is a fellow of the American College of Psychiatrists and a diplomate of the American Board Psychiatry and Neurology, as well as an active member of the American Psychiatric Association, National Medical Association, and Black Psychiatrists of America. His further affiliations include, but are not limited to, the Cook County Physicians Association, and the Illinois Psychiatric Society.Dr. Bell's achievements have been highlighted with numerous formal honors and awards over the years. Recent recognitions include a Distinguished Service Award from the American Psychiatric Association in 2013, the Abraham Halpern Humanism Psychiatry Award from the American Association for Social Psychiatry, and the Agnes Purcell McGavin Award from the American Psychiatric Foundation in 2012. He has been named a Top Doctor in Chicago Magazine and listed in the Guide to America's Top Psychiatrists as well. Dr. Bell's multitude of accomplishments were taken into consideration when he was chosen to be featured in the 56th through 70th editions of Who's Who in America, the 5th through 8th editions of Who's Who in Medicine and Healthcare, the 20th through 23rd editions of Who's Who in the World, and the 1st through 4th editions of Who's Who of Emerging Leaders in America. He has also appeared in several editions of Who's Who in the Midwest and Who's Who in Science and Engineering.About Marquis Who's Who :Since 1899, when A. N. Marquis printed the First Edition of Who's Who in America , Marquis Who's Who has chronicled the lives of the most accomplished individuals and innovators from every significant field of endeavor, including politics, business, medicine, law, education, art, religion and entertainment. Today, Who's Who in America remains an essential biographical source for thousands of researchers, journalists, librarians and executive search firms around the world. Marquis now publishes many Who's Who titles, including Who's Who in America , Who's Who in the World , Who's Who in American Law , Who's Who in Medicine and Healthcare , Who's Who in Science and Engineering , and Who's Who in Asia . Marquis publications may be visited at the official Marquis Who's Who website at www.marquiswhoswho.com


News Article | December 20, 2016
Site: www.materialstoday.com

Battery researchers seeking improved electrode materials have focused on ‘tunneled’ structures that make it easier for charge-carrying ions to move in and out of the electrode. Now a team led by a researcher at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) has used a special electron microscope with atomic-level resolution to show that certain large ions can hold the tunnels open so that the charge-carrying ions can enter and exit the electrode easily and quickly. This finding is reported in a paper in Nature Communications. "Significant research has been done to increase the energy density and power density of lithium ion (Li-ion) battery systems," says Reza Shahbazian-Yassar, associate professor of mechanical and industrial engineering at UIC. The current generation of Li-ion batteries is useful enough for portable devices, but the maximum energy and power that can be extracted is limiting. "So for an electric car, we need to increase the energy and power of the battery – and decrease the cost as well." His team, which includes co-workers at Argonne National Laboratory, Michigan Technological University and the University of Bath in the UK, has focused on developing a cathode based on manganese dioxide, a very low cost and environmentally-friendly material with high storage capacity. Manganese dioxide has a lattice structure with regularly-spaced tunnels that allow charge carriers – like lithium ions – to move in and out freely. "But for the tunnels to survive for long-lasting function, they need support structures at the atomic scale," Shahbazian-Yassar said. "We call them tunnel stabilizers, and they are generally big, positive ions, like potassium or barium." The potential problem, however, is that as the tunnel stabilizers and lithium ions are both positively charged they should repel each other. "If lithium goes in, will the tunnel stabilizer come out?" questions Shahbazian-Yassar. "The research community was in disagreement about the role of tunnel stabilizers during the transfer of lithium into tunnels. Does it help, or hurt?" This new study represents the first use of electron microscopy to visualize the atomic structure of tunnels in a one-dimensional electrode material, which the researchers say had not previously been possible due to the difficulty of preparing samples. It took them two years to establish the procedure to look for tunnels in potassium-doped nanowires of manganese dioxide down to the single-atom level. Yifei Yuan, a postdoctoral researcher working jointly at Argonne National Laboratory and UIC and the lead author on the study, used a powerful technique called aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy to image the tunnels at sub-angstrom resolution. This allowed him to see inside the tunnels – and he saw that they do change in the presence of a stabilizer ion. "It's a direct way to see the tunnels," Yuan said. "And we saw that when you add a tunnel stabilizer, the tunnels expand, their electronic structures also change, and such changes allow the lithium ions to move in and out, around the stabilizer." According to Shahbazian-Yassar, this finding shows that tunnel stabilizers can help in the transfer of ions into tunnels and the rate of charge and discharge. The presence of potassium ions in the tunnels improves the electronic conductivity of manganese dioxide and the ability of lithium ions to diffuse quickly in and out of the nanowires. "With potassium ions staying in the center of the tunnels, the capacity retention improves by half under high cycling current, which means the battery can hold on to its capacity for a longer time," he says. This story is adapted from material from the University of Illinois at Chicago, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier. Link to original source.


News Article | April 28, 2016
Site: www.cemag.us

An effective vaccine against the virus that causes genital herpes has evaded researchers for decades. But now, researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago working with scientists from Germany have shown that zinc-oxide nanoparticles shaped like jacks can prevent the virus from entering cells, and help natural immunity to develop. Results of the study are published in The Journal of Immunology. "We call the virus-trapping nanoparticle a microbivac, because it possesses both microbicidal and vaccine-like properties," says corresponding author Deepak Shukla, professor of ophthalmology and microbiology & immunology in the UIC College of Medicine. "It is a totally novel approach to developing a vaccine against herpes, and it could potentially also work for HIV and other viruses," he said. The particles could serve as a powerful active ingredient in a topically-applied vaginal cream that provides immediate protection against herpes virus infection while simultaneously helping stimulate immunity to the virus for long-term protection, explained Shukla. Herpes simplex virus-2, which causes serious eye infections in newborns and immunocompromised patients as well as genital herpes, is one of the most common human viruses. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 15 percent of people from ages 14-49 carry HSV-2, which can hide out for long periods of time in the nervous system. The genital lesions caused by the virus increase the risk for acquiring human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV. "Your chances of getting HIV are three to four times higher if you already have genital herpes, which is a very strong motivation for developing new ways of preventing herpes infection," Shukla said. Treatments for HSV-2 include daily topical medications to suppress the virus and shorten the duration of outbreaks, when the virus is active and genital lesions are present. However, drug resistance is common, and little protection is provided against further infections. Efforts to develop a vaccine have been unsuccessful because the virus does not spend much time in the bloodstream, where most traditional vaccines do their work. The tetrapod-shaped zinc-oxide nanoparticles, called ZOTEN, have negatively charged surfaces that attract the HSV-2 virus, which has positively charged proteins on its outer envelope. ZOTEN nanoparticles were synthesized using technology developed by material scientists at Germany's Kiel University and protected under a joint patent with UIC. When bound to the nanoparticles, HSV-2 cannot infect cells. But the bound virus remains susceptible to processing by immune cells called dendritic cells that patrol the vaginal lining. The dendritic cells "present" the virus to other immune cells that produce antibodies. The antibodies cripple the virus and trigger the production of customized killer cells that identify infected cells and destroy them before the virus can take over and spread. The researchers showed that female mice swabbed with HSV-2 and an ointment containing ZOTEN had significantly fewer genital lesions than mice treated with a cream lacking ZOTEN. Mice treated with ZOTEN also had less inflammation in the central nervous system, where the virus can hide out. The researchers were able to watch immune cells pry the virus off the nanoparticles for immune processing, using high-resolution fluorescence microscopy. "It's very clear that ZOTEN facilitates the development of immunity by holding the virus and letting the dendritic cells get to it," Shukla said. If found safe and effective in humans, a ZOTEN-containing cream ideally would be applied vaginally just prior to intercourse, Shukla said. But if a woman who had been using it regularly missed an application, he said, she may have already developed some immunity and still have some protection. Shukla hopes to further develop the nanoparticles to work against HIV, which like HSV-2 also has positively charged proteins embedded in its outer envelope. ZOTEN particles are uniform in size and shape, making them attractive for use in other biomedical applications. The novel flame transport synthesis technology used to make them allows large-scale production, said Rainer Adelung, professor of nanomaterials at Kiel University. And, because no chemicals are used, the production process is green. Adelung hopes to begin commercial production of ZOTEN through a startup company that will be run jointly with his colleagues at UIC.


News Article | April 29, 2016
Site: www.nanotech-now.com

Abstract: An effective vaccine against the virus that causes genital herpes has evaded researchers for decades. But now, researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago working with scientists from Germany have shown that zinc-oxide nanoparticles shaped like jacks can prevent the virus from entering cells, and help natural immunity to develop. Results of the study are published in The Journal of Immunology. "We call the virus-trapping nanoparticle a microbivac, because it possesses both microbicidal and vaccine-like properties," says corresponding author Deepak Shukla, professor of ophthalmology and microbiology & immunology in the UIC College of Medicine. "It is a totally novel approach to developing a vaccine against herpes, and it could potentially also work for HIV and other viruses," he said. The particles could serve as a powerful active ingredient in a topically-applied vaginal cream that provides immediate protection against herpes virus infection while simultaneously helping stimulate immunity to the virus for long-term protection, explained Shukla. Herpes simplex virus-2, which causes serious eye infections in newborns and immunocompromised patients as well as genital herpes, is one of the most common human viruses. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 15 percent of people from ages 14-49 carry HSV-2, which can hide out for long periods of time in the nervous system. The genital lesions caused by the virus increase the risk for acquiring human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV. "Your chances of getting HIV are three to four times higher if you already have genital herpes, which is a very strong motivation for developing new ways of preventing herpes infection," Shukla said. Treatments for HSV-2 include daily topical medications to suppress the virus and shorten the duration of outbreaks, when the virus is active and genital lesions are present. However, drug resistance is common, and little protection is provided against further infections. Efforts to develop a vaccine have been unsuccessful because the virus does not spend much time in the bloodstream, where most traditional vaccines do their work. The tetrapod-shaped zinc-oxide nanoparticles, called ZOTEN, have negatively charged surfaces that attract the HSV-2 virus, which has positively charged proteins on its outer envelope. ZOTEN nanoparticles were synthesized using technology developed by material scientists at Germany's Kiel University and protected under a joint patent with UIC. When bound to the nanoparticles, HSV-2 cannot infect cells. But the bound virus remains susceptible to processing by immune cells called dendritic cells that patrol the vaginal lining. The dendritic cells "present" the virus to other immune cells that produce antibodies. The antibodies cripple the virus and trigger the production of customized killer cells that identify infected cells and destroy them before the virus can take over and spread. The researchers showed that female mice swabbed with HSV-2 and an ointment containing ZOTEN had significantly fewer genital lesions than mice treated with a cream lacking ZOTEN. Mice treated with ZOTEN also had less inflammation in the central nervous system, where the virus can hide out. The researchers were able to watch immune cells pry the virus off the nanoparticles for immune processing, using high-resolution fluorescence microscopy. "It's very clear that ZOTEN facilitates the development of immunity by holding the virus and letting the dendritic cells get to it," Shukla said. If found safe and effective in humans, a ZOTEN-containing cream ideally would be applied vaginally just prior to intercourse, Shukla said. But if a woman who had been using it regularly missed an application, he said, she may have already developed some immunity and still have some protection. Shukla hopes to further develop the nanoparticles to work against HIV, which like HSV-2 also has positively charged proteins embedded in its outer envelope. ZOTEN particles are uniform in size and shape, making them attractive for use in other biomedical applications. The novel flame transport synthesis technology used to make them allows large-scale production, said Rainer Adelung, professor of nanomaterials at Kiel University. And, because no chemicals are used, the production process is green. Adelung hopes to begin commercial production of ZOTEN through a startup company that will be run jointly with his colleagues at UIC. ### Co-authors on the study are Bellur Prabhakar, Tibor Valyi-Nagy, Thessicar Antoine, Satvik Hadigal, Abraam Yakoub, Palash Bhattacharya, and Christine Haddad of UIC and Yogendra Kumar Mishra of Kiel University. The research was supported by National Institutes of Health grants AI103754 and EY001792 and German Research Foundation grant Ad/183/10-1. For more information, please click If you have a comment, please us. Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.


Home > Press > Supersonic spray yields new nanomaterial for bendable, wearable electronics: Film of self-fused nanowires clear as glass, conducts like metal Abstract: A new, ultrathin film that is both transparent and highly conductive to electric current has been produced by a cheap and simple method devised by an international team of nanomaterials researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago and Korea University. The film is also bendable and stretchable, offering potential applications in roll-up touchscreen displays, wearable electronics, flexible solar cells and electronic skin. The results are reported in Advanced Functional Materials. The new film is made of fused silver nanowires, and is produced by spraying the nanowire particles through a tiny jet nozzle at supersonic speed. The result is a film with nearly the electrical conductivity of silver-plate -- and the transparency of glass, says senior author Alexander Yarin, UIC Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering. "The silver nanowire is a particle, but very long and thin," Yarin said. The nanowires measure about 20 microns long, so four laid end-to-end would span the width of a human hair. But their diameter is a thousand times smaller -- and significantly smaller than the wavelength of visible light, which minimizes light scattering. The researchers suspended the nanowire particles in water and propelled them by air through a de Laval nozzle, which has the same geometry as a jet engine, but is only a few millimeters in diameter. "The liquid needs to be atomized so it evaporates in flight," Yarin said. When the nanowires strike the surface they are being applied to at supersonic speed, they fuse together, as their kinetic energy is converted to heat. "The ideal speed is 400 meters per second," Yarin said. "If the energy is too high, say 600 meters per second, it cuts the wires. If too low, as at 200 meters per second, there's not enough heat to fuse the wires." The researchers applied the nanowires to flexible plastic films and to three-dimensional objects. "The surface shape doesn't matter," Yarin said. The transparent flexible film can be bent repeatedly and stretched to seven times its original length and still work, said Sam Yoon, the corresponding author of the study and a professor of mechanical engineering at Korea University. Earlier this year, Yarin and Yoon and their colleagues produced a transparent conducting film by electroplating a mat of tangled nanofiber with copper. Compared to that film, the self-fused silver nanowire film offers better scalability and production rate, Yoon said. "It should be easier and cheaper to fabricate, as it's a one-step versus a two-step process," said Yarin. "You can do it roll-to-roll on an industrial line, continuously." ### Co-authors with Yarin and Yoon are Jong-Gun Lee, Do-Yeon Kim, Jong-Hyuk Lee and Donghwan Kim of Korea University; Suman Sinha-Ray of the Indian Institute of Technology in Indore, India; and Mark T. Swihart of the State University of New York at Buffalo. The research was supported by the National Research Foundation, GFHIM-2013M3A6B1078879, and the Industrial Strategic Technology Development Program, 10045221, funded by the Ministry of Knowledge Economy of Korea. For more information, please click If you have a comment, please us. Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.


News Article | November 23, 2016
Site: www.cemag.us

A new, ultrathin film that is both transparent and highly conductive to electric current has been produced by a cheap and simple method devised by an international team of nanomaterials researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago and Korea University. The film is also bendable and stretchable, offering potential applications in roll-up touchscreen displays, wearable electronics, flexible solar cells, and electronic skin. The results are reported in Advanced Functional Materials. The new film is made of fused silver nanowires, and is produced by spraying the nanowire particles through a tiny jet nozzle at supersonic speed. The result is a film with nearly the electrical conductivity of silver-plate — and the transparency of glass, says senior author Alexander Yarin, UIC Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering. “The silver nanowire is a particle, but very long and thin,” Yarin says. The nanowires measure about 20 microns long, so four laid end-to-end would span the width of a human hair. But their diameter is a thousand times smaller — and significantly smaller than the wavelength of visible light, which minimizes light scattering. The researchers suspended the nanowire particles in water and propelled them by air through a de Laval nozzle, which has the same geometry as a jet engine, but is only a few millimeters in diameter. “The liquid needs to be atomized so it evaporates in flight,” Yarin says. When the nanowires strike the surface they are being applied to at supersonic speed, they fuse together, as their kinetic energy is converted to heat. “The ideal speed is 400 meters per second,” Yarin says. “If the energy is too high, say 600 meters per second, it cuts the wires. If too low, as at 200 meters per second, there’s not enough heat to fuse the wires.” The researchers applied the nanowires to flexible plastic films and to three-dimensional objects. “The surface shape doesn’t matter,” Yarin says. The transparent flexible film can be bent repeatedly and stretched to seven times its original length and still work, says Sam Yoon, the corresponding author of the study and a professor of mechanical engineering at Korea University. Earlier this year, Yarin and Yoon and their colleagues produced a transparent conducting film by electroplating a mat of tangled nanofiber with copper. Compared to that film, the self-fused silver nanowire film offers better scalability and production rate, Yoon says. “It should be easier and cheaper to fabricate, as it’s a one-step versus a two-step process,” says Yarin. “You can do it roll-to-roll on an industrial line, continuously.” Co-authors with Yarin and Yoon are Jong-Gun Lee, Do-Yeon Kim, Jong-Hyuk Lee, and Donghwan Kim of Korea University; Suman Sinha-Ray of the Indian Institute of Technology in Indore, India; and Mark T. Swihart of the State University of New York at Buffalo. The research was supported by the National Research Foundation, GFHIM-2013M3A6B1078879, and the Industrial Strategic Technology Development Program, 10045221, funded by the Ministry of Knowledge Economy of Korea.


News Article | November 23, 2016
Site: www.rdmag.com

A new, ultrathin film that is both transparent and highly conductive to electric current has been produced by a cheap and simple method devised by an international team of nanomaterials researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago and Korea University. The film is also bendable and stretchable, offering potential applications in roll-up touchscreen displays, wearable electronics, flexible solar cells and electronic skin. The results are reported in Advanced Functional Materials. The new film is made of fused silver nanowires, and is produced by spraying the nanowire particles through a tiny jet nozzle at supersonic speed. The result is a film with nearly the electrical conductivity of silver-plate—and the transparency of glass, says senior author Alexander Yarin, UIC Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering. "The silver nanowire is a particle, but very long and thin," Yarin said. The nanowires measure about 20 microns long, so four laid end-to-end would span the width of a human hair. But their diameter is a thousand times smaller—and significantly smaller than the wavelength of visible light, which minimizes light scattering. The researchers suspended the nanowire particles in water and propelled them by air through a de Laval nozzle, which has the same geometry as a jet engine, but is only a few millimeters in diameter. "The liquid needs to be atomized so it evaporates in flight," Yarin said. When the nanowires strike the surface they are being applied to at supersonic speed, they fuse together, as their kinetic energy is converted to heat. "The ideal speed is 400 meters per second," Yarin said. "If the energy is too high, say 600 meters per second, it cuts the wires. If too low, as at 200 meters per second, there's not enough heat to fuse the wires." The researchers applied the nanowires to flexible plastic films and to three-dimensional objects. "The surface shape doesn't matter," Yarin said. The transparent flexible film can be bent repeatedly and stretched to seven times its original length and still work, said Sam Yoon, the corresponding author of the study and a professor of mechanical engineering at Korea University. Earlier this year, Yarin and Yoon and their colleagues produced a transparent conducting film by electroplating a mat of tangled nanofiber with copper. Compared to that film, the self-fused silver nanowire film offers better scalability and production rate, Yoon said. "It should be easier and cheaper to fabricate, as it's a one-step versus a two-step process," said Yarin. "You can do it roll-to-roll on an industrial line, continuously."


News Article | November 22, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

A new, ultrathin film that is both transparent and highly conductive to electric current has been produced by a cheap and simple method devised by an international team of nanomaterials researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago and Korea University. The film is also bendable and stretchable, offering potential applications in roll-up touchscreen displays, wearable electronics, flexible solar cells and electronic skin. The results are reported in Advanced Functional Materials. The new film is made of fused silver nanowires, and is produced by spraying the nanowire particles through a tiny jet nozzle at supersonic speed. The result is a film with nearly the electrical conductivity of silver-plate -- and the transparency of glass, says senior author Alexander Yarin, UIC Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering. "The silver nanowire is a particle, but very long and thin," Yarin said. The nanowires measure about 20 microns long, so four laid end-to-end would span the width of a human hair. But their diameter is a thousand times smaller -- and significantly smaller than the wavelength of visible light, which minimizes light scattering. The researchers suspended the nanowire particles in water and propelled them by air through a de Laval nozzle, which has the same geometry as a jet engine, but is only a few millimeters in diameter. "The liquid needs to be atomized so it evaporates in flight," Yarin said. When the nanowires strike the surface they are being applied to at supersonic speed, they fuse together, as their kinetic energy is converted to heat. "The ideal speed is 400 meters per second," Yarin said. "If the energy is too high, say 600 meters per second, it cuts the wires. If too low, as at 200 meters per second, there's not enough heat to fuse the wires." The researchers applied the nanowires to flexible plastic films and to three-dimensional objects. "The surface shape doesn't matter," Yarin said. The transparent flexible film can be bent repeatedly and stretched to seven times its original length and still work, said Sam Yoon, the corresponding author of the study and a professor of mechanical engineering at Korea University. Earlier this year, Yarin and Yoon and their colleagues produced a transparent conducting film by electroplating a mat of tangled nanofiber with copper. Compared to that film, the self-fused silver nanowire film offers better scalability and production rate, Yoon said. "It should be easier and cheaper to fabricate, as it's a one-step versus a two-step process," said Yarin. "You can do it roll-to-roll on an industrial line, continuously." Co-authors with Yarin and Yoon are Jong-Gun Lee, Do-Yeon Kim, Jong-Hyuk Lee and Donghwan Kim of Korea University; Suman Sinha-Ray of the Indian Institute of Technology in Indore, India; and Mark T. Swihart of the State University of New York at Buffalo. The research was supported by the National Research Foundation, GFHIM-2013M3A6B1078879, and the Industrial Strategic Technology Development Program, 10045221, funded by the Ministry of Knowledge Economy of Korea.


News Article | December 1, 2016
Site: www.materialstoday.com

A new, ultrathin film that is both transparent and highly conductive to electric current can be produced by a cheap and simple method devised by an international team of nanomaterials researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and Korea University. The film is also bendable and stretchable, offering potential applications in roll-up touchscreen displays, wearable electronics, flexible solar cells and electronic skin. The film is reported in a paper in Advanced Functional Materials. The new film is made of fused silver nanowires, and is produced by spraying the nanowire particles through a tiny jet nozzle at supersonic speed. The resultant film possesses nearly the electrical conductivity of silver plate and the transparency of glass, says senior author Alexander Yarin, professor of mechanical engineering at UIC. "The silver nanowire is a particle, but very long and thin," Yarin said. The nanowire is around 20µm long, so four laid end-to-end would span the width of a human hair. But their diameter is a thousand times smaller – and significantly smaller than the wavelength of visible light, which minimizes light scattering. To produce the film, the researchers suspend these nanowire particles in water and then propel them by air through a de Laval nozzle, which has the same geometry as a jet engine but is only a few millimeters in diameter. "The liquid needs to be atomized so it evaporates in flight," Yarin explained. When the nanowires strike a surface at this supersonic speed, they fuse together, as their kinetic energy is converted into heat. "The ideal speed is 400 meters per second," Yarin said. "If the energy is too high, say 600 meters per second, it cuts the wires. If too low, as at 200 meters per second, there's not enough heat to fuse the wires." The researchers applied the nanowires to flexible plastic films and to three-dimensional objects. "The surface shape doesn't matter," Yarin said. The transparent flexible film can be bent repeatedly and stretched to seven times its original length and still work, said Sam Yoon, corresponding author of the study and a professor of mechanical engineering at Korea University. Earlier this year, Yarin, Yoon and their colleagues produced a transparent conducting film by electroplating a mat of tangled nanofiber with copper. Compared to that film, this self-fused silver nanowire film offers better scalability and production rate, Yoon said. "It should be easier and cheaper to fabricate, as it's a one-step versus a two-step process," said Yarin. "You can do it roll-to-roll on an industrial line, continuously." This story is adapted from material from the University of Illinois at Chicago, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier. Link to original source.


News Article | October 28, 2016
Site: www.prfire.com

New Film “Microbirth” Reveals the Microscopic Secrets of Childbirth [http://microbirth.com] – A new documentary “MICROBIRTH” warns how our children are born could have serious repercussions for their lifelong health. “Microbirth” looks at childbirth in a whole new way; through the lens of a microscope. Featuring Ivy League scientists, the film investigates the latest research that is starting to indicate modern birth practices could be interfering with critical biological processes. This could be making our children more susceptible to disease later in life. Recent population studies have shown babies born by Caesarean Section have approximately: 20% increased risk of developing asthma 20% increased risk of developing type 1 diabetes 20% increased risk of obesity slightly smaller increases with gastro-intestinal conditions like Crohn’s disease or coeliac disease. These conditions are all linked to the immune system. In the film, scientists hypothesise that Caesarean Section could be interfering with “the seeding of the baby’s microbiome”. This is an important microbiological process where bacteria is transferred from mother to baby in the birth canal. As a consequence, the baby’s immune system may not develop to its full potential. Another hypothesis is that the stresses and hormones associated with natural birth could switch on or off certain genes related to the immune system and metabolism. If a baby is born by C-Section, this might affect these epigenetic processes. Dr Rodney R Dietert, Professor of Immunotoxicology at Cornell University, says, “Over the past 20-30 years, we’ve seen dramatic increases in childhood asthma, type 1 diabetes, coeliac disease, childhood obesity. We’ve also seen increases in Caesarean delivery. Does Caesarean cause these conditions? No. What Caesarean does is not allow the baby to be seeded with the microbes. The immune system doesn’t mature. And the metabolism changes. It’s the immune dysfunction and the changes in metabolism that we now know contribute to those diseases and conditions.” Dr Matthew Hyde, Research Associate of Neonatal Medicine, Imperial College London says, ”We are increasingly seeing a world out there with what is really a public health time-bomb waiting to go off. And the research we are doing suggests it is only going to get worse, generation on generation. So tomorrow’s generation really is on the edge of the precipice unless we can begin to do something about it.” The film’s co-Director Toni Harman says, “The very latest scientific research is starting to indicate that the microscopic processes happening during childbirth could be critical for the life-long health of the baby. We are hoping “Microbirth” raises awareness of the importance of “seeding the microbiome” for all babies, whether born naturally or by C-Section, to give all children the best chance of a healthy life. This could be an exciting opportunity to improve health across populations. And it all starts at birth”. “MICROBIRTH” is premiering with hundreds of simultaneous grass-roots public screenings around the world on Saturday 20th September 2014. http://microbirth.com/events – High-res images and academics available for interview upon request. – Short synopsis of “Microbirth”: “Microbirth” is a new sixty minute documentary looking at birth in a whole new way: through the lens of a microscope. Investigating the latest scientific research, the film reveals how we give birth could impact the lifelong health of our children. http://microbirth.com – “Microbirth” is an independent production by Alto Films Ltd. The film has been produced and directed by British filmmaking couple, Toni Harman and Alex Wakeford. Their previous film “Freedom For Birth” premiered in over 1,100 public screenings in 50 countries in September 2012. – “Microbirth” will premiere at grass-roots public screenings around the world on Saturday 20th September 2014. The film will then be represented for international broadcast sales as well as being available via online platforms. For a full list of screenings, please visit: http://microbirth.com/events – For more information about the film, please visit http://microbirth.com – “Microbirth” includes the following scientists and academics: RODNEY DIETERT, Professor of Immunotoxicology, Cornell University MARTIN BLASER, Director of the Human Microbiome Program & Professor of Translational Medicine, New York University MARIA GLORIA DOMINGUEZ BELLO, Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, New York University PHILIP STEER, Emeritus Professor of Obstetrics, Imperial College, London NEENA MODI, Professor of Neonatal Medicine, Imperial College, London MATTHEW HYDE, Research Associate in the Section of Neonatal Medicine, Imperial College, London SUE CARTER, Professor, Behavioral Neurobiologist, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill ALEECA BELL, Assistant Professor, Dept of Women, Children and Family Health Science, University of Illinois at Chicago STEFAN ELBE, Professor of International Relations, University of Sussex and Director of Centre for Global Health Policy ANITA KOZYRSKYJ, Professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of Alberta and Co-Principal Investigator, Synergy in Microbiota Research (SyMBIOTA) JACQUELYN TAYLOR, Associate Professor of Nursing, University of Yale HANNAH DAHLEN, Professor of Midwifery, University of Western Sydney LESLEY PAGE, Professor of Midwifery, King’s College London and President, Royal College of Midwives


Aktipis C.A.,University of California at San Francisco | Aktipis C.A.,Arizona State University | Boddy A.M.,University of California at San Francisco | Gatenby R.A.,H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute | And 2 more authors.
Nature Reviews Cancer | Year: 2013

Somatic evolution during cancer progression and therapy results in tumour cells that show a wide range of phenotypes, which include rapid proliferation and quiescence. Evolutionary life history theory may help us to understand the diversity of these phenotypes. Fast life history organisms reproduce rapidly, whereas those with slow life histories show less fecundity and invest more resources in survival. Life history theory also provides an evolutionary framework for phenotypic plasticity, which has potential implications for understanding 'cancer stem cells'. Life history theory suggests that different therapy dosing schedules might select for fast or slow life history cell phenotypes, with important clinical consequences. © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


Liu L.,University of Notre Dame | Das A.,University of Illinois at Chicago | Megaridis C.M.,University of Illinois at Chicago
Carbon | Year: 2014

Electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding reduces coupling between signals, crosstalk among electrical components, noise in cables and communication systems, etc. With the increasing speed of terahertz (THz) electronic circuits and systems, THz EMI shielding is becoming increasingly more important. We review recent and pioneering studies on shielding property-structure characterization and applications of carbon nanocomposite materials in the THz frequency domain. The theory of EMI shielding by nanocomposite materials is summarized first. A description of relevant fabrication methods follows, along with structural characterization details. THz probing and characterization of carbon nanofillers and their composites as EMI shielding and attenuation materials is presented next. Finally, the application of these materials in quasi-optical THz components, including polarizers and potentially mesh filters, as well as related manufacturing techniques are reviewed and discussed. Specific examples are presented in some detail to introduce the reader to this exciting and rapidly evolving technological area. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Coughlin M.M.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Prabhakar B.S.,University of Illinois at Chicago
Reviews in Medical Virology | Year: 2012

The emergence of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (SARS-CoV) led to a rapid response not only to contain the outbreak but also to identify possible therapeutic interventions, including the generation of human monoclonal antibodies (hmAbs). hmAbs may be used therapeutically without the drawbacks of chimeric or animal Abs. Several different methods have been used to generate SARS-CoV specific neutralizing hmAbs including the immunization of transgenic mice, cloning of small chain variable regions from naïve and convalescent patients, and the immortalization of convalescent B cells. Irrespective of the techniques used, the majority of hmAbs specifically reacted with the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the spike (S) protein and likely prevented receptor binding. However, several hmAbs that can bind to epitopes either within the RBD, located N terminal of the RBD or in the S2 domain, and neutralize the virus with or without inhibiting receptor binding have been identified. Therapeutic utility of hmAbs has been further elucidated through the identification of potential combinations of hmAbs that could neutralize viral variants including escape mutants selected using hmAbs. These results suggest that a cocktail of hmAbs that can bind to unique epitopes and have different mechanisms of action might be of clinical utility against SARS-CoV infection, and indicate that a similar approach may be applied to treat other viral infections. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


O'Donoghue C.,University of Illinois at Chicago | Eklund M.,University of California at San Francisco | Ozanne E.M.,Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice | Esserman L.J.,University of California at San Francisco
Annals of Internal Medicine | Year: 2014

Background: Controversy exists over how often and at what age mammography screening should be implemented. Given that evidence supports less frequent screening, the cost differences among advocated screening policies should be better understood. Objective: To estimate the aggregate cost of mammography screening in the United States in 2010 and compare the costs of policy recommendations by professional organizations. Design: A model was developed to estimate the cost of mammography screening in 2010 and 3 screening strategies: annual (ages 40 to 84 years), biennial (ages 50 to 69 years), and U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) guidelines (biennial for those aged 50 to 74 years and personalized based on risk for those younger than 50 years and based on comorbid conditions for those 75 years and older). Setting: United States. Patients: Women aged 40 to 85 years. Intervention: Mammography annually, biennially, or following USPSTF guidelines. Measurements: Cost of screening per year, using Medicare reimbursements. Results: The estimated cost of mammography screening in the United States in 2010 was $7.8 billion, with approximately 70% of women screened. The simulated cost of screening 85% of women was $10.1 billion, $2.6 billion, and $3.5 billion for annual, biennial, and USPSTF guidelines, respectively. The largest drivers of cost (in order) were screening frequency, percentage of women screened, cost of mammography, percentage of women screened with digital mammography, and percentage of mammography recalls. Limitation: Cost estimates and assumptions used in the model were conservative. Conclusion: The cost of mammography varies by at least $8 billion per year on the basis of screening strategy. The USPSTF guidelines are based on the scientific evidence to date to maximize patient benefit and minimize harm but also result in far more effective use of resources. © 2014 American College of Physicians.


Yarin A.L.,University of Illinois at Chicago | Yarin A.L.,TU Darmstadt
Polymers for Advanced Technologies | Year: 2011

The mini-review is devoted to coaxial electrospinning (co-electrospinning, emulsion electrospinning), a group of novel methods for making core-shell nanofibers and hollow nanotubes. The physical aspects of the process are described in brief, in particular, its modeling and possible drawbacks of the process resulting in formation of fibers without a long intact core. After that the main applications of co-electrospinning are considered. They include drug release, encapsulation of different biologically active compounds, cell scaffolds, formation of nanotubes, and nanofluidics. © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Powell L.M.,University of Illinois at Chicago | Harris J.L.,Yale University | Fox T.,Food Nutrition and Policy Consultants LLC
American Journal of Preventive Medicine | Year: 2013

In response to concerns about childhood obesity, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released two reports documenting food and beverage marketing expenditures to children and adolescents. The recently released 2012 report found an inflation-adjusted 19.5% reduction in marketing expenditures targeted to youth from $2.1 billion in 2006 to $1.8 billion in 2009. The current article highlights features of the FTC's analysis, examines how expenditures relate to youth exposure to food marketing, and assesses changes in the nutritional content of marketed products. Of the $304.0 million decline in expenditures, $117.8 million (38.7%) was from a decline in premium (i.e., restaurant children's meal toys) expenditures rather than direct marketing. Although inflation-adjusted TV expenditures fell by 19.4%, children and teens still see 12-16 TV advertisements (ads)/day for products generally high in saturated fat, sugar, or sodium. In addition, newer digital forms of unhealthy food and beverage marketing to youths are increasing; the FTC reported an inflation-adjusted 50.7% increase in new media marketing expenditures. The self-regulatory Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI) is limited in scope and effectiveness: expenditures increased for many noncovered marketing techniques (i.e., product placement, movie/video, cross-promotion licenses, athletic sponsorship, celebrity fees, events, philanthropy, and other); only two restaurants are members of CFBAI, and nonpremium restaurant marketing expenditures were up by $86.0 million (22.5% inflation-adjusted increase); industry pledges do not protect children aged >11 years, and some marketing appears to have shifted to older children; and, nutritional content remains poor. Continued monitoring of and improvements to food marketing to youth are needed. © 2013 American Journal of Preventive Medicine.


Yee H.-U.,University of Illinois at Chicago | Yee H.-U.,Brookhaven National Laboratory
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2013

Recent experimental results from RHIC and LHC on hard photon emission rates in heavy-ion collisions indicate a large azimuthal asymmetry of photon emission rate parametrized by the elliptic flow v2. Motivated by a recent proposal that the early magnetic field created by two colliding heavy ions may be responsible for this large azimuthal asymmetry of photon emission rate, we compute the azimuthal dependence of the photon emission rate from a strongly coupled finite temperature plasma with magnetic field in the framework of gauge/gravity correspondence. We also propose and compute a new observable, "in/out-plane polarization asymmetry," constructed from the polarization dependence of the photon emission rates. We observe that both the azimuthal and polarization asymmetry of photon emissions are strongly affected by the triangle anomaly (chiral anomaly) for the low frequency regime below 1 GeV. © 2013 American Physical Society.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Missile Defense Agency | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 1000.00K | Year: 2013

The potential threat of directed energy weapons (DEW) and other high peak power electromagnetic transient signals require radar systems to implement front door protection against high power signals. Fast ultra wideband (UWB) and high power microwave (HPM) signals are not successfully blocked by most current protection technologies. The Phase I work demonstrated a quasi-passive, solid state electro-optic terminal protection system (EOTPS) to effectively block UWB and HPM signals from the front end of radar systems. The device uses power from the incoming transient to switch the signal line to ground. Because the system as a whole requires no external power other than the transient, it can be considered a passive device. Inherent delay in the system permits the switch to become fully conductive before the transient arrives, effectively creating a system with a negative switching time. This allows the entire transient to be reflected, in contrast to other high power terminal protection techniques which allow part of the transient to reach the LNA. The Phase II proposal presents a plan to further develop the performance of the EOTPS for higher frequencies and to coordinate with two prime contractors in developing test validation procedures to integrate this technology into BMDS architectures.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Missile Defense Agency | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 100.00K | Year: 2011

Current state-of-the-art infrared focal plane arrays are based on HgCdTe grown on bulk CdZnTe substrates. The use of Si-based substrates would eliminate a number of drawbacks related to the HgCdTe/CdZnTe system and permit larger formats. We have developed growth protocols that produce material with good crystal quality for such a highly mismatched heteroepitaxial system. Double crystal rocking curves (DCRC), a typical benchmark for crystal quality, are measured with full widths as low as 50 arc seconds. We believe that by transferring this growth process to appropriate compliant substrates, material quality can be significantly improved. The enhanced compliance can significantly alter the forces acting on threading dislocations, facilitating the reduction of dislocations in HgCdTe device layers. Our recent data on molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) growth of thin CdTe layers on compliant substrates shows drastically improved DCRC values are achieved at early stages of growth. We plan to grow optimized material below the 50 arc second DCRC value, while reducing the concentration of macroscopic defects by reduction in the total layer thickness. Other material characteristics such as carrier mobility, lifetime, and etch pit density are typically poorer in HgCdTe/CdTe/Si compared to HgCdTe/CdZnTe, and will be used as diagnostics for optimization.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Missile Defense Agency | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 149.96K | Year: 2011

Hydrogen isotopes have been shown to reduce the electrical effects of various semiconductor defects. Specifically, monoatomic hydrogen and deuterium passivate the electrical activity of defects such as dislocations in long-wavelength HgCdTe grown on Si. We propose a novel method of controlling the intake of hydrogen in HgCdTe IRFPAs by using the H2/He plasma afterglow formed by flowing plasma-generated species outside the discharge area. The reduced reactivity of the afterglow plasma will maintain the IRFPA integrity while a nozzle specially designed to generate a supersonic flow and used to extract the hydrogen species increases the static pressure and axial velocity, thereby enhancing the uptake of passivants.


News Article | October 29, 2016
Site: www.prweb.com

Leading online higher education information provider AffordableCollegesOnline.org has announced it’s ranking of the 2016-2017 Best Online Colleges in Illinois. A total of 21 schools were selected for excellence in online education, with the University of Illinois at Springfield, Lincoln Christian University, Aurora University, National Louis University and Governors State University on top for four-year programs and Shawnee Community College and Southeastern Illinois College ranking highest for two-year programs. "Illinois has seen a steady increase in college enrollment since the mid-1990’s,” said Dan Schuessler, CEO and Founder of AffordableCollegesOnline.org. "These colleges are taking learning to the next level by offering online education options that are affordable and high quality. The flexibility online classes provide is paramount when it comes to helping a growing number of students earn college degrees.” To qualify for a place on the Best Online Colleges in Illinois list, AffordableCollegesOnline.org requires schools to hold public or private not-for-profit status. They must also carry accreditation and maintain specific in-state tuition standards; only two-year schools offering in-state tuition under $5,000 annually and four-year schools offering in-state tuition under $25,000 annually are considered. Rankings are assigned based on analysis of a dozen different data points, including variety of online offerings, graduation rates and financial aid statistics. A complete list of schools featured on the 2016-2017 Best Online Colleges in Illinois ranking are included below. Details on each school’s rank, specific data points and methodology used for the comparison can be found at: Aurora University Eastern Illinois University Governors State University Greenville College Illinois State University Lincoln Christian University MacMurray College Methodist College Moody Bible Institute National Louis University National University of Health Sciences North Park University Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing Shawnee Community College Southeastern Illinois College Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville St. John's College of Nursing University of Illinois at Chicago University of Illinois at Springfield University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign Western Illinois University AffordableCollegesOnline.org began in 2011 to provide quality data and information about pursuing an affordable higher education. Our free community resource materials and tools span topics such as financial aid and college savings, opportunities for veterans and people with disabilities, and online learning resources. We feature higher education institutions that have developed online learning environments that include highly trained faculty, new technology and resources, and online support services to help students achieve educational and career success. We have been featured by nearly 1,100 postsecondary institutions and nearly 120 government organizations.


News Article | December 23, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

The Biophysical Society has announced the winners of its annual CPOW Travel Awards to attend the Biophysical Society's 61st Annual Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, February 11-15, 2017. CPOW, the Society's Committee for Professional Opportunities for Women, has initiated these travel fellowships to increase the number of women biophysicists and encourage their participation at the Meeting. The recipients of this competitive award must be female postdoctoral fellows or mid-career scientists presenting a poster or oral presentation at the conference. Each awardee receives a travel grant and will be recognized at a reception on Saturday, February 11, at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Teresa Aman, University of Washington, HCN CHANNEL GATING STUDIED WITH TMFRET AND A FLUORESCENT NONCANONICAL AMINO ACID. Anna Blice-Baum, Sam Houston State University, CARDIAC-SPECIFIC EXPRESSION OF VCP/TER94 RNAI OR DISEASE ALLELES DISRUPTS DROSOPHILA HEART STRUCTURE AND IMPAIRS FUNCTION. Lusine Demirkhanyan, University of Illinois at Chicago, ASSESSMENT OF ENDOGENOUS AND EXOGENOUS MODULATORS OF THE TRPM7 CHANNEL IN PLANAR LIPID BILAYERS. Maria Hoernke, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, GUV AND LUV LEAKAGE: HOW ALL-OR-NONE AND GRADED LEAKAGE SCALE WITH VESICLE SIZE. Pooja Jadiya, Temple University, GENETIC RESCUE OF MITOCHONDRIAL CALCIUM EFFLUX IN ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE PRESERVES MITOCHONDRIAL FUNCTION AND PROTECTS AGAINST NEURONAL CELL DEATH. Marthe Ludtmann, UCL, Institute of Neurology, DIRECT MODULATION OF THE MITOCHONDRIAL PERMEABILITY TRANSITION PORE BY OLIGOMERIC ALPHA-SYNUCLEIN CAUSES TOXICITY IN PD. Yoojin Oh, Johannes Kepler University, Linz, CURLI MEDIATE BACTERIAL ADHESION TO FIBRONECTIN VIA A TENSILE COLLECTIVE BINDING NETWORK. Laura Orellana, Science for Life Laboratory, TRAPPING ON-PATHWAY INTERMEDIATES FOR LARGE SCALE CONFORMATIONAL CHANGES WITH COARSE-GRAINED SIMULATIONS. Hagit Peretz Soroka, University of Manitoba, NOVEL MECHANISM FOR DRIVING AMOEBOIDLIKE MOTILITY OF HUMAN NEUTROPHILS UNDER AN ELECTRIC FIELD, BASED ON INTRACELLULAR PROTON CURRENTS AND CYTOPLASM STREAMING. Sarah Rouse, Imperial College London, STRUCTURAL AND MECHANISTIC INSIGHTS INTO TRANSPORT OF FUNCTIONAL AMYLOID SUBUNITS ACROSS THE PSEUDOMONAS OUTER MEMBRANE. Siobhan Toal, University of Pennsylvania, DETERMINING THE ROLE OF N-TERMINAL ACETYLATION ON α-SYNUCLEIN FUNCTION. Shelli Frey, Gettysburg College, THE ROLE OF SPHINGOMYELIN AND GANGLIOSIDE GM1 IN THE INTERACTION OF POLYGLUTAMINE PEPTIDES WITH LIPID MEMBRANES. Rebecca Howard, Stockholm University, TRANSMEMBRANE STRUCTURAL DETERMINANTS OF ALCOHOL BINDING AND MODULATION IN A MODEL LIGAND-GATED ION CHANNEL. Sabina Mate, INIBIOLP-CONICET-UNLP, ORIENTATIONAL PROPERTIES OF DOPC/SM/CHOLESTEROL MIXTURES: A PM-IRRAS STUDY. Ekaterina Nestorovich, The Catholic University of America, LIPID DYNAMICS AND THE ANTHRAX TOXIN INTRACELLULAR JOURNEY. The Biophysical Society, founded in 1958, is a professional, scientific Society established to encourage development and dissemination of knowledge in biophysics. The Society promotes growth in this expanding field through its annual meeting, monthly journal, and committee and outreach activities. Its 9000 members are located throughout the U.S. and the world, where they teach and conduct research in colleges, universities, laboratories, government agencies, and industry. For more information on these awards, the Society, or the 2017 Annual Meeting, visit http://www.


News Article | October 26, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

PITTSBURGH (October 25, 2016) ... Although cerebral aneurysms affect a substantial portion of the adult population, the risk of treatment including open brain surgery often outweighs the risks associated with rupture. With increasing numbers of unruptured aneurysms detected using noninvasive imaging techniques, there is an urgent need for a reliable method to distinguish aneurysms vulnerable to impending rupture from those that are presently robust and can be safely monitored. An international research team led by the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering recently received a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to improve risk assessment and treatment of this devastating disease. Principle investigator of the five-year, $2,950,622 grant, "Improving cerebral aneurysm risk assessment through understanding wall vulnerability and failure modes," is Anne M. Robertson, PhD, the William Kepler Whiteford Professor of Engineering at the Swanson School. The R01 grant is funded through the NIH National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. "The cells in our blood vessels have a remarkable capacity for rebuilding and maintaining the collagen fibers that give the artery walls their strength. Unfortunately, this natural process can be derailed by the abnormal fluid flow in brain aneurysms, leading to vulnerable walls and rupture," explained Dr. Robertson. "Understanding the factors that discriminate between robust aneurysm walls with well-organized collagen fibers, and fragile aneurysm walls with diverse changes to the collagen architecture, is essential for improving risk assessment and developing new treatments to prevent rupture." To support their work, Dr. Robertson and a multi-disciplinary team of world leaders in aneurysm research from Pitt, Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, George Mason University in Virginia, University of Illinois at Chicago, and Helsinki University Central Hospital and Kuopio University Hospital in Finland, will analyze brain tissue donated from patients with cerebral aneurysms. Using state of the art facilities for biomechanical analysis and bioimaging, the investigators will specifically look at how and why some patients are naturally able to maintain a healthy aneurysm wall while the walls in other patients weaken, leaving the vulnerable to rupture. They will use computational mechanics to explore the possible multiple mechanisms by which hemodynamics alters the wall and study the mechanisms of structural failure. "The diverse expertise in our team and our access to an unprecedented number of aneurysm tissue samples enables us to study this disease in an entirely new way," Dr. Robertson said. "We are also able to leverage computational and experimental tools developed during our prior NIH supported program." "Because of the critical importance and delicate nature of the brain, surgical treatment of cerebral aneurysms is avoided unless absolutely necessary. That's why doctors and surgeons need a more effective way to determine whether a patient with a cerebral aneurysm is at risk for rupture," Dr. Robertson said. "We expect that by understanding the differences in the vulnerable and robust aneurysm wall, we will be able to improve risk assessment, identify biomarkers of wall fragility, and provide essential knowledge for developing pharmacological treatments to harness and augment the natural repair process of the aneurysm wall."


The International Association of HealthCare Professionals is pleased to welcome Claudia P. Piccolo, DDS, FAAID, Dentist, to their prestigious organization with her upcoming publication in The Leading Physicians of the World. She is a highly trained and qualified dentist with an extensive expertise in all facets of her work, especially Invisalign, general dentistry, facial pain and aesthetics. Dr. Piccolo has been in practice for over 22 years and is currently serving patients at Family Dental Care in Chicago, Illinois. With her fellow dentists at Family Dental Care, she treats her patients with personalized and state of the art care and technology. Dr. Piccolo graduated with her Doctor of Dental Surgery Degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry. She subsequently completed a three-year fellowship in dental implants and became certified in facial pain and esthetics. Dr. Piccolo has earned the coveted title of Fellow of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, and keeps up with the latest advances in her field through her professional memberships with the American Dental Association, the Illinois State Dental Association, the Chicago Dental Society, and the American Academy of Facial Esthetics. Dr. Piccolo attributes her success to always striving for excellence, caring for her patients, and providing care that will give her patient’s a smile to last a lifetime. Dr. Piccolo also volunteers her work for several National and International Organizations providing resources and expertise to underserved communities. When she is not practicing, Dr. Piccolo enjoys crafts and yoga. Learn more about Dr. Piccolo here: http://chicagofamilydentalcare.com/our-staff/ and be sure to read her upcoming publication in The Leading Physicians of the World. FindaTopDoc.com is a hub for all things medicine, featuring detailed descriptions of medical professionals across all areas of expertise, and information on thousands of healthcare topics.  Each month, millions of patients use FindaTopDoc to find a doctor nearby and instantly book an appointment online or create a review.  FindaTopDoc.com features each doctor’s full professional biography highlighting their achievements, experience, patient reviews, and areas of expertise.  A leading provider of valuable health information that helps empower patient and doctor alike, FindaTopDoc enables readers to live a happier and healthier life.  For more information about FindaTopDoc, visit:http://www.findatopdoc.com


News Article | September 2, 2016
Site: www.cemag.us

Cancer thrives when mutated cells undergo frequent division. Most anti-cancer drugs work by inserting themselves in between the DNA base pairs that encode our genetic information. This process is known as intercalation, and it can result in subtle changes to the DNA molecule’s geometric shape or tertiary structure. These structural changes interfere with the DNA’s transcription and a cell’s replication process, ultimately resulting in cell death. While intercalating agents used in chemotherapy drugs are highly effective in fighting cancer, they also may kill important cells in the body and lead to other complications such as heart failure. Therefore, researchers are always searching for faster, cheaper and more accurate tools to aid in the design of next-generation anti-cancer drugs with reduced side effects. A paper published in ACS Nano, one of the top nanotechnology journals in the world, explores this topic. “Modeling and Analysis of Intercalant Effects on Circular DNA Conformation,” focuses on the effect of the intercalating agent ethidium bromide (a mimic for many chemotherapy drugs) on the tertiary structure of DNA. Lead researchers on the project were Daniel Fologea, assistant professor in the Department of Physics, and David Estrada, assistant professor and graduate program coordinator, Micron School of Materials Science and Engineering. “The second dogma of biology states that structure determines function. Any structural change may be translated into a change of function,” says Fologea. “So we devised a simple method to allow us to ‘see’ how an intercalating agent is changing the shape of DNA at the single molecule level.” To achieve this, the team created a nanopore — a nanoscale sized opening in an ultrathin membrane — through which a single DNA molecule can pass when an electric field is applied to the microfluidics containing the device. When the DNA goes through this nanoscale aperture, it generates an electrical signal that provides information about its physical properties such as its shape, elasticity and even interactions with other biomolecules. “Our measurements revealed unique current blockades correlated to branched structures in the DNA molecule that resulted from ethidium bromide intercalation,” says lead author Eric Krueger, who was a postdoctoral researcher working jointly in Estrada and Fologea’s laboratories. “These results show that nanopores can be a scalable, efficient and cost effective way to measure DNA interactions with emerging anti-cancer drugs.” The team involved collaborations with the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Using a combination of nanofabrication techniques, nanopore electrical measurements, atomic force microscopy imaging and all-atom simulations carried out on XSEDE supercomputer resources, the team’s interdisciplinary approach has extended the practical use of solid-state nanopores to a new area of cancer research. XSEDE (Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment) provides researchers with access to several advanced computing resources across the country. “The new simulation capabilities developed by Dr. Khalili-Araghi’s group at the University of Illinois at Chicago have opened up a new computational space for the rapid screening of intercalating molecules as potential cancer therapies,” says Estrada. “We are now working on coupling such simulations with atomically thin materials, such as graphene and two-dimensional molybdenum disulfide, in order to increase the sensitivity of our approach.” This project highlights the capabilities of two of Boise State University’s newest Ph.D. programs, in biomolecular sciences and materials science and engineering, that have helped the university become designated as a doctoral research university by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, the nation’s premier college classification system. The research was supported by the Division of Research and Economic Development and the Biomolecular Research Center at Boise State University.


News Article | January 26, 2016
Site: www.biosciencetechnology.com

In patients suffering from Type 1 diabetes, the immune system attacks the pancreas, eventually leaving patients without the ability to naturally control blood sugar. These patients must carefully monitor the amount of sugar in their blood, measuring it several times a day and then injecting themselves with insulin to keep their blood sugar levels within a healthy range. However, precise control of blood sugar is difficult to achieve, and patients face a range of long-term medical problems as a result. A better diabetes treatment, many researchers believe, would be to replace patients’ destroyed pancreatic islet cells with healthy cells that could take over glucose monitoring and insulin release. This approach has been used in hundreds of patients, but it has one major drawback — the patients’ immune systems attack the transplanted cells, requiring patients to take immunosuppressant drugs for the rest of their lives. Now, a new advance from MIT, Boston Children’s Hospital, and several other institutions may offer a way to fulfill the promise of islet cell transplantation. The researchers have designed a material that can be used to encapsulate human islet cells before transplanting them. In tests on mice, they showed that these encapsulated human cells could cure diabetes for up to six months, without provoking an immune response. Although more studies are needed, this approach “has the potential to provide diabetics with a new pancreas that is protected from the immune system, which would allow them to control their blood sugar without taking drugs. That’s the dream,” says Daniel Anderson, the Samuel A. Goldblith Associate Professor in MIT’s Department of Chemical Engineering, a member of MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research and Institute for Medical Engineering and Science (IMES), and a research fellow in the Department of Anesthesiology at Boston Children’s Hospital. Anderson is the senior author of two studies describing this method in the Jan. 25 issues of Nature Medicine and Nature Biotechnology. Researchers from Harvard University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, the Joslin Diabetes Center, and the University of Massachusetts Medical School also contributed to the research. Since the 1980s, a standard treatment for diabetic patients has been injections of insulin produced by genetically engineered bacteria. While effective, this type of treatment requires great effort by the patient and can generate large swings in blood sugar levels. At the urging of JDRF director Julia Greenstein, Anderson, Langer, and colleagues set out several years ago to come up with a way to make encapsulated islet cell transplantation a viable therapeutic approach. They began by exploring chemical derivatives of alginate, a material originally isolated from brown algae. Alginate gels can be made to encapsulate cells without harming them, and also allow molecules such as sugar and proteins to move through, making it possible for cells inside to sense and respond to biological signals. However, previous research has shown that when alginate capsules are implanted in primates and humans, scar tissue eventually builds up around the capsules, making the devices ineffective. The MIT/Children’s Hospital team decided to try to modify alginate to make it less likely to provoke this kind of immune response. “We decided to take an approach where you cast a very wide net and see what you can catch,” said Arturo Vegas, a former MIT and Boston Children’s Hospital postdoc who is now an assistant professor at Boston University. Vegas is the first author of the Nature Biotechnology paper and co-first author of the Nature Medicine paper. “We made all these derivatives of alginate by attaching different small molecules to the polymer chain, in hopes that these small molecule modifications would somehow give it the ability to prevent recognition by the immune system.” After creating a library of nearly 800 alginate derivatives, the researchers performed several rounds of tests in mice and nonhuman primates. One of the best of those, known as triazole-thiomorpholine dioxide (TMTD), they decided to study further in tests of diabetic mice. They chose a strain of mice with a strong immune system and implanted human islet cells encapsulated in TMTD into a region of the abdominal cavity known as the intraperitoneal space. The pancreatic islet cells used in this study were generated from human stem cells using a technique recently developed by Douglas Melton, a professor at Harvard University who is an author of the Nature Medicine paper. Following implantation, the cells immediately began producing insulin in response to blood sugar levels and were able to keep blood sugar under control for the length of the study, 174 days. “The really exciting part of this was being able to show, in an immune-competent mouse, that when encapsulated these cells do survive for a long period of time, at least six months,” said Omid Veiseh, a senior postdoc at the Koch Institute and Boston Children’s hospital, co-first author of the Nature Medicine paper, and an author of the Nature Biotechnology paper. “The cells can sense glucose and secrete insulin in a controlled manner, alleviating the mice’s need for injected insulin.” The researchers also found that 1.5-millimeter diameter capsules made from their best materials (but not carrying islet cells) could be implanted into the intraperitoneal space of nonhuman primates for at least six months without scar tissue building up. “The combined results from these two papers suggests that these capsules have real potential to protect transplanted cells in human patients,” said Robert Langer, the David H. Koch Institute Professor at MIT, a senior research associate at Boston’s Children Hospital, and co-author on both papers.  “We are so pleased to see this research in cell transplantation reach these important milestones.” Cherie Stabler, an associate professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Florida, said this approach is impressive because it tackles all aspects of the problem of islet cell delivery, including finding a source of cells, preventing an immune response, and developing a suitable delivery material. “It’s such a complex, multipronged problem that it’s important to get people from different disciplines to address it,” said Stabler, who was not involved in the research. “This is a great first step towards a clinically relevant, cell-based therapy for Type I diabetes.” The researchers now plan to further test their new materials in nonhuman primates, with the goal of eventually performing clinical trials in diabetic patients. If successful, this approach could provide long-term blood sugar control for such patients. “Our goal is to continue to work hard to translate these promising results into a therapy that can help people,” Anderson said. “Being insulin-independent is the goal,” Vegas said. “This would be a state-of-the-art way of doing that, better than any other technology could. Cells are able to detect glucose and release insulin far better than any piece of technology we’ve been able to develop.” The researchers are also investigating why their new material works so well. They found that the best-performing materials were all modified with molecules containing a triazole group — a ring containing two carbon atoms and three nitrogen atoms. They suspect this class of molecules may interfere with the immune system’s ability to recognize the material as foreign. The work was supported, in part, by the JDRF, the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, the National Institutes of Health, and the Tayebati Family Foundation. Other authors of the papers include MIT postdoc Joshua Doloff; former MIT postdocs Minglin Ma and Kaitlin Bratlie; MIT graduate students Hok Hei Tam and Andrew Bader; Jeffrey Millman, an associate professor at Washington University School of Medicine; Mads Gürtler, a former Harvard graduate student; Matt Bochenek, a graduate student at the University of Illinois at Chicago; Dale Greiner, a professor of medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School; Jose Oberholzer, an associate professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago; and Gordon Weir, a professor of medicine at the Joslin Diabetes Center.


News Article | January 27, 2016
Site: news.mit.edu

In patients suffering from Type 1 diabetes, the immune system attacks the pancreas, eventually leaving patients without the ability to naturally control blood sugar. These patients must carefully monitor the amount of sugar in their blood, measuring it several times a day and then injecting themselves with insulin to keep their blood sugar levels within a healthy range. However, precise control of blood sugar is difficult to achieve, and patients face a range of long-term medical problems as a result. A better diabetes treatment, many researchers believe, would be to replace patients’ destroyed pancreatic islet cells with healthy cells that could take over glucose monitoring and insulin release. This approach has been used in hundreds of patients, but it has one major drawback — the patients’ immune systems attack the transplanted cells, requiring patients to take immunosuppressant drugs for the rest of their lives. Now, a new advance from MIT, Boston Children’s Hospital, and several other institutions may offer a way to fulfill the promise of islet cell transplantation. The researchers have designed a material that can be used to encapsulate human islet cells before transplanting them. In tests on mice, they showed that these encapsulated human cells could cure diabetes for up to six months, without provoking an immune response. Although more studies are needed, this approach “has the potential to provide diabetics with a new pancreas that is protected from the immune system, which would allow them to control their blood sugar without taking drugs. That’s the dream,” says Daniel Anderson, the Samuel A. Goldblith Associate Professor in MIT’s Department of Chemical Engineering, a member of MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research and Institute for Medical Engineering and Science (IMES), and a research fellow in the Department of Anesthesiology at Boston Children’s Hospital. Anderson is the senior author of two studies describing this method in the Jan. 25 issues of Nature Medicine and Nature Biotechnology. Researchers from Harvard University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, the Joslin Diabetes Center, and the University of Massachusetts Medical School also contributed to the research. Since the 1980s, a standard treatment for diabetic patients has been injections of insulin produced by genetically engineered bacteria. While effective, this type of treatment requires great effort by the patient and can generate large swings in blood sugar levels. At the urging of JDRF director Julia Greenstein, Anderson, Langer, and colleagues set out several years ago to come up with a way to make encapsulated islet cell transplantation a viable therapeutic approach. They began by exploring chemical derivatives of alginate, a material originally isolated from brown algae. Alginate gels can be made to encapsulate cells without harming them, and also allow molecules such as sugar and proteins to move through, making it possible for cells inside to sense and respond to biological signals. However, previous research has shown that when alginate capsules are implanted in primates and humans, scar tissue eventually builds up around the capsules, making the devices ineffective. The MIT/Children’s Hospital team decided to try to modify alginate to make it less likely to provoke this kind of immune response. “We decided to take an approach where you cast a very wide net and see what you can catch,” says Arturo Vegas, a former MIT and Boston Children’s Hospital postdoc who is now an assistant professor at Boston University. Vegas is the first author of the Nature Biotechnology paper and co-first author of the Nature Medicine paper. “We made all these derivatives of alginate by attaching different small molecules to the polymer chain, in hopes that these small molecule modifications would somehow give it the ability to prevent recognition by the immune system.” After creating a library of nearly 800 alginate derivatives, the researchers performed several rounds of tests in mice and nonhuman primates. One of the best of those, known as triazole-thiomorpholine dioxide (TMTD), they decided to study further in tests of diabetic mice. They chose a strain of mice with a strong immune system and implanted human islet cells encapsulated in TMTD into a region of the abdominal cavity known as the intraperitoneal space. The pancreatic islet cells used in this study were generated from human stem cells using a technique recently developed by Douglas Melton, a professor at Harvard University who is an author of the Nature Medicine paper. Following implantation, the cells immediately began producing insulin in response to blood sugar levels and were able to keep blood sugar under control for the length of the study, 174 days. “The really exciting part of this was being able to show, in an immune-competent mouse, that when encapsulated these cells do survive for a long period of time, at least six months,” says Omid Veiseh, a senior postdoc at the Koch Institute and Boston Children’s hospital, co-first author of the Nature Medicine paper, and an author of the Nature Biotechnology paper. “The cells can sense glucose and secrete insulin in a controlled manner, alleviating the mice’s need for injected insulin.” The researchers also found that 1.5-millimeter diameter capsules made from their best materials (but not carrying islet cells) could be implanted into the intraperitoneal space of nonhuman primates for at least six months without scar tissue building up. “The combined results from these two papers suggests that these capsules have real potential to protect transplanted cells in human patients,” says Robert Langer, the David H. Koch Institute Professor at MIT, a senior research associate at Boston’s Children Hospital, and co-author on both papers.  “We are so pleased to see this research in cell transplantation reach these important milestones.” Cherie Stabler, an associate professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Florida, says this approach is impressive because it tackles all aspects of the problem of islet cell delivery, including finding a source of cells, preventing an immune response, and developing a suitable delivery material. “It’s such a complex, multipronged problem that it’s important to get people from different disciplines to address it,” says Stabler, who was not involved in the research. “This is a great first step towards a clinically relevant, cell-based therapy for Type I diabetes.” The researchers now plan to further test their new materials in nonhuman primates, with the goal of eventually performing clinical trials in diabetic patients. If successful, this approach could provide long-term blood sugar control for such patients. “Our goal is to continue to work hard to translate these promising results into a therapy that can help people,” Anderson says. “Being insulin-independent is the goal,” Vegas says. “This would be a state-of-the-art way of doing that, better than any other technology could. Cells are able to detect glucose and release insulin far better than any piece of technology we’ve been able to develop.” The researchers are also investigating why their new material works so well. They found that the best-performing materials were all modified with molecules containing a triazole group — a ring containing two carbon atoms and three nitrogen atoms. They suspect this class of molecules may interfere with the immune system’s ability to recognize the material as foreign. The work was supported, in part, by the JDRF, the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, the National Institutes of Health, and the Tayebati Family Foundation. Other authors of the papers include MIT postdoc Joshua Doloff; former MIT postdocs Minglin Ma and Kaitlin Bratlie; MIT graduate students Hok Hei Tam and Andrew Bader; Jeffrey Millman, an associate professor at Washington University School of Medicine; Mads Gürtler, a former Harvard graduate student; Matt Bochenek, a graduate student at the University of Illinois at Chicago; Dale Greiner, a professor of medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School; Jose Oberholzer, an associate professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago; and Gordon Weir, a professor of medicine at the Joslin Diabetes Center.


News Article | October 11, 2016
Site: www.medicalnewstoday.com

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) have demonstrated how Rad4, a protein involved in DNA repair, scans the DNA in a unique pattern of movement called 'constrained motion' to efficiently find structural faults in DNA. The findings, reported in the journal Molecular Cell, could lead to therapies that boost existing drug treatments and counter drug-resistance. "Rad4 is like the cop who is the first responder at an accident," said senior author Bennett Van Houten, Ph.D., Richard M. Cyert Professor of Molecular Oncology, Pitt School of Medicine, and co-leader of UPCI's Molecular and Cellular Cancer Biology Program. "The cop can move quickly to recognize where the incident is, and regulate traffic while directing the paramedics arriving in an ambulance." Constrained motion allows Rad4 to be fast enough to scan large lengths of DNA quickly, yet slow enough that it does not miss structural errors in DNA that could be caused by chemicals or ultraviolet (UV) light. Mutations in Rad4, called XPC in humans, and other proteins in the DNA repair machinery are known to cause a genetic condition called xeroderma pigmentosum, where individuals have sensitivity to sunlight and are at an extremely high risk for developing skin cancer. Muwen Kong, a graduate student in Dr. Van Houten's laboratory, along with his collaborators, tagged normal and mutant Rad4 molecules with light-emitting quantum dots. They then watched them move across strands of DNA suspended between beads using a fluorescence microscope. The results obtained suggest that the first responder, consisting of Rad4 and another protein, Rad23, quickly scans the DNA for accidents by attempting to bend it. Alterations in the structure of DNA, such as those caused by chemicals or UV light, change the ease with which DNA can be bent. Once a potential accident is recognized, the Rad4-Rad23 first-responder team slows down to a 'constrained motion' pattern to more carefully examine a smaller region of 500-1,000 base pairs in the DNA. When structural damage is confirmed, Rad4-Rad23 stays near the scene and flags down the 'paramedics,' comprised of the rest of the DNA repair machinery, to fix the damage. This mechanism, which Dr. Van Houten calls 'recognition-at-a-distance,' allows Rad4 to be near the error without impeding the rest of the DNA repair crew. Though much work is needed before these results can be translated to the clinic, the results provide new avenues to improve treatment methods, especially in cancer. Resistance is a major problem with current treatments, such as the drug cisplatin, which kills cancer cells by introducing DNA crosslinks similar to UV light. By developing drugs that target Rad4/XPC or other repair proteins, it could be possible to enhance the effects of current treatments when they are used together, and also reduce the chances of tumor cells developing resistance, Dr. Van Houten said. Co-investigators include Lili Liu Ph.D., Stefanie Böhm, Ph.D., Simon C. Watkins, Ph.D., and Kara A. Bernstein, Ph.D., all of the Pitt School of Medicine; Xuejing Chen, Ph.D., and Jung-Hyun Min, Ph.D., both of the University of Illinois at Chicago; Peng Mao, Ph.D., and John J. Wyrick, Ph.D., both of Washington State University; and Neil M. Kad, Ph.D., of the University of Kent, U.K. The research was funded by National Institutes of Health grants 5R01ES019566, 5R01ES024872, 5R01ES002614 and 2P30CA047904; and National Science Foundation grant MCB-1412692.


Kaestner R.,University of Illinois at Chicago | Silber J.H.,University of Pennsylvania
Milbank Quarterly | Year: 2010

Context: It is widely believed that a significant amount, perhaps as much as 20 to 30 percent, of health care spending in the United States is wasted, despite market forces such as managed care organizations and large, self-insured firms with a financial incentive to eliminate waste of this magnitude. Methods: This article uses Medicare claims data to study the association between inpatient spending and the thirty-day mortality of Medicare patients admitted to hospitals between 2001 and 2005 for surgery (general, orthopedic, vascular) and medical conditions (acute myocardial infarction [AMI], congestive heart failure [CHF], stroke, and gastrointestinal bleeding). Findings: Estimates from the analysis indicated that except for AMI patients, a 10 percent increase in inpatient spending was associated with a decrease of between 3.1 and 11.3 percent in thirty-day mortality, depending on the type of patient. Conclusions: Although some spending may be inefficient, the results suggest that the amount of waste is less than conventionally believed, at least for inpatient care. © 2010 Milbank Memorial Fund. Published by Wiley Periodicals Inc.


Xu D.,Litepoint | Yao Y.,University of Illinois at Chicago
IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications | Year: 2012

In this work, we propose a contention-based protocol for general decentralized detection problem in the context of wireless sensor networks. In this scheme, fusion task is implemented in a multi-stage fashion: sensors are first grouped according to the informativeness of their data; fusion center then polls the sensor sets sequentially in the order of their informativeness until a target performance is reached. Within one stage, all polled sensors compete for a common channel medium where exists near-far effect, Raleigh fading, and shadowing. To determine the optimal transmission probability, we propose a novel Bayesian update algorithm utilizing both sensing information and channel feedback. The proposed dynamic protocol is applied to signal detection in Gaussian noise. As shown by our simulations, incorporating sensing information greatly improves efficiency over a generic Bayesian update scheme relying only on channel feedback. Our results also show that exploiting capture effect can significantly improve communication and energy efficiency. Comparison with fixed sample size test and sequential probability ratio test shows that the proposed scheme achieves significant efficiency gain over existing fusion strategies. © 2012 IEEE.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 80.00K | Year: 2015

Kyma will develop and model a modular high rep rate (>100kHz) photoconductive switch using GaN and commercial-off-the-shelf laser diodes. The switch will be designed to switch >1.5kV at >150A in 5-10ns.


Grant
Agency: National Science Foundation | Branch: | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 225.00K | Year: 2014

This Small Business Technology Transfer Research (STTR) Phase I project will focus on oral cancer (OC), a disease that strikes over 30,000 new patients each year in the US resulting in about 8,000 deaths and even more disfigurements. This costs hundreds of millions of dollars in medical fees. A surgical biopsy with histopathology diagnosis is routine for oral tumor assessment and about one million oral biopsies are done each year in the US. Currently a dentist will detect a discoloration or spot in the patient?s mouth and advise the patient to see an oral surgeon to have the lesion surgically biopsied if it remains 2 weeks later. However, many patients wish to avoid the biopsy, choose to ignore the lesion, and if it is early cancer it goes undetected. There is a clear need for a noninvasive method to detect early OC. The study proposes to use a small brush to obtain cells from oral discolorations that may be early cancers and then analyze the RNA. If done properly this analysis may allow the detection of a developing cancer This provides a means to detect oral cancer early when it can be cured, that does not rely on a surgical biopsy. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is to make the detection and diagnosis of early oral cancer one-step, noninvasive, and accurate. This would make the detection of this cancer easier, increase the percentage of oral cancers that are detected early and result in improved cure rates. These patient are treated just with surgery require no chemotherapy or radiation and usually do very well. The goal of this project is create the first non-invasive oral cancer cell based detection kits involving RNA or DNA analysis to be used in the clinic. The technology, gene expression based classification, could be adapted to diagnose other oral diseases often misdiagnosed and inaccurately linked to oral cancer such as lichen planus, papilloma, severe gingivitis, etc.


Grant
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services | Branch: | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 148.53K | Year: 2014

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Arphion is a company established to develop noninvasive products that will be used to diagnose, prevent, and treat head and neck and other cancers. 41,000 people are diagnosed with head and neck cancer (HNC) every yearin the United States, with 8,000 deaths. Tens of millions of people in the US are at increased risk for HNC due to exposure to the polycyclic aryl hydrocarbons (PAHs) found in tobacco and some foods. Other risk factors are involved, because although many millions of people in the US are exposed to high levels of tobacco PAHs and a second risk factor, ethanol, only a small minority will get the disease. Curiously, the changes in oral bacteria that occur with tobacco-induced periodontal disease somehow also increase the risk for HNC. Dr. Joel Schwartz's team has recent evidence that may explain the connection between oral bacteria and cancer. They showed that tobacco users have excess numbers of 8 different oral microbial species that can metabolize PAHs, and

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