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Bird Louse Study Shows How Evolution Sometimes Repeats Itself

Published: August 16, 2012.
Released by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign  

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Birds of a feather flock together and – according to a new analysis – so do their lice.


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More news from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


medicine
Parents' Health Literacy Affects Child Weight-loss Tactics, Study Finds
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Parents who have low health literacy are less likely to choose government-recommended weight-loss strategies, such as increasing physical activity or serving more fruits and vegetables, to help their children control their weight than parents who are better able to understand basic health-related information, a new study suggests.

nature
Chill-tolerant Hybrid Sugarcane Also Grows at Lower Temperatures, Team Finds
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- U.S. farmers have long hoped to extend sugarcane's growing range northward from the Gulf coast, substantially increasing the land available for sugar and biofuels. Several hybrid canes developed in the 1980s have proved hardy in cooler climes, surviving overwinter as far north as Booneville, Arkansas. But until now, no one had tested whether these "miscanes," as they are called, actually photosynthesize, and thus continue to grow, when the thermometer dips.

psychology
Women's Sexual Risk-taking Focus of New Study
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Relaxing beach vacations are perfect for sexual experimentation with a steady partner, while group tours and sightseeing trips are the ultimate contexts for casual sex with acquaintances or strangers, women said in a new survey. More than 850 U.S. women, ranging in age from 18 to 50, participated in the online survey, which asked about specific tourist activities, destinations and atmospheres that women believed to be highly conducive to sexual risk-taking.

biology
Yeast Byproduct Inhibits White-nose Syndrome Fungus in Lab Experiments
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- A microbe found in caves produces a compound that inhibits Pseudogymnoascus destructans, the fungus that causes white-nose syndrome in bats, researchers report in the journal Mycopathologia. The finding could lead to treatments that kill the fungus while minimizing disruption to cave ecosystems, the researchers say.

biology
Mowing Dry Detention Basins Makes Mosquito Problems Worse, Team Finds
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- A study of the West Nile virus risk associated with "dry" water-detention basins in Central Illinois took an unexpected turn when land managers started mowing the basins. The mowing of wetland plants in basins that failed to drain properly led to a boom in populations of Culex pipiens mosquitoes, which can carry and transmit the deadly virus, researchers report. A paper describing their findings is in press in the journal Ecological Applications.

medicine
MoveSense App Makes Cellphone an Oxygen Saturation Monitor for Heart And Lung Patients
Patients suffering from chronic cardiopulmonary diseases could soon have a solution to help them accurately monitor their health and warn doctors at the first sign of trouble. By simply carrying their cellphone, equipped with the health-tracking app, MoveSense, developed by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a patient's oxygen saturation level can be passively monitored with medical accuracy.

psychology
Massive Study: Birth Order Has No Meaningful Effect on Personality Or IQ
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- For those who believe that birth order influences traits like personality and intelligence, a study of 377,000 high school students offers some good news: Yes, the study found, first-borns do have higher IQs and consistently different personality traits than those born later in the family chronology. However, researchers say, the differences between first-borns and "later-borns" are so small that they have no practical relevance to people's lives.

psychology
Dads' Parenting of Children with Autism Improves Moms' Mental Health
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Fathers who read to their infants with autism and take active roles in caregiving activities not only promote healthy development in their children, they boost moms' mental health too, new research suggests.

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