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Engineering

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  • Illinois physics professor named national Professor of the Year

    Mats Selen, professor of physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has been named Outstanding Doctoral and Research Universities Professor of the Year by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

  • Nanopores could take the salt out of seawater

    University of Illinois engineers have found an energy-efficient material for removing salt from seawater that could provide a rebuttal to poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s lament, “Water, water, every where, nor any drop to drink.”

  • New life for EBICS project will create bio-machines to improve health

    By studying the behavior of living cells and combining them with synthetic tissue, researchers are creating “biological machines” to deliver drugs more effectively, function as internal diagnostic tools or serve as contaminant sensors in the field.

  • Carle Illinois College of Medicine research affiliation agreement completed

    Leaders of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Carle Health System announced the completion of a set of agreements and policies related to joint research practices and governance of the Carle Illinois College of Medicine.

  • Bacterial hole puncher could be new broad-spectrum antibiotic

    Bacteria have many methods of adapting to resist antibiotics, but a new class of spiral polypeptides developed at the University of Illinois targets one thing no bacterium can live without: an outer membrane.

  • Committee to identify, recruit founding dean for Carle Illinois College of Medicine

    A search committee established to find the Carle Illinois College of Medicine’s inaugural dean will begin its work this month with the goal of naming the dean by spring 2016

  • Is backscatter X-ray a safe tool for airport security?

    A Minute With...™ Sheldon Jacobson, expert on airport security

  • Surgical probe seeks out where cancer ends and healthy tissue begins

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – A new surgical tool that uses light to make sure surgeons removing cancerous tumors “got it all” was found to correlate well with traditional pathologists’ diagnoses in a clinical study, showing that the tool could soon enable reliable, real-time guidance for surgeons.

  • AmpliMy project to give a voice to those who have trouble being heard

    Alexis Wernsing, a University of Illinois student majoring in art history, has cerebral palsy, and her voice is not powerful. She is working with industrial design professor Deana McDonagh and Skot Wiedmann, a graduate of the School of Art and Design and a technician in electrical and computer engineering, who will design and build a voice amplifier called AmpliMy.

  • Industrial designer will help make wearable health-monitoring electronics comfortable, easy to use

    University of Illinois researchers are taking the skin-mounted electronics developed on campus and making a wearable health-monitoring device that could measure a person’s vital signs and provide information to help his or her doctor better monitor the patient’s health.

  • Paper tubes make stiff origami structures

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – From shipping and construction to outer space, origami could put a folded twist on structural engineering.

  • New synthetic tumor environments make cancer research more realistic

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Tumors are notoriously difficult to study in their natural habitat – body tissues – but a new synthetic tissue environment may give cancer researchers the next-best look at tumor growth and behavior.

  • Genomics to surpass the biggest data producers, experts warn

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Each cell in the body contains a whole genome, yet the data packed into a few DNA molecules could fill a hard drive. As more people have their DNA sequenced, that data will require massive computational and storage capabilities beyond anything previously anticipated, says a new assessment from computational biologists and computer scientists at the University of Illinois and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.

  • What's in your landscape? Plants can alter West Nile virus risk

    A new study looks at how leaf litter in water influences the abundance of Culex pipiens mosquitoes, which can transmit West Nile virus to humans, domestic animals, birds and other wildlife.

  • Study: Groundwater from aquifers important factor in food security

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Thirsty cities, fields and livestock drink deeply from aquifers, natural sources of groundwater. But a study of three of the most-tapped aquifers in the United States shows that overdrawing from these resources could lead to difficult choices affecting not only domestic food security but also international markets.

  • New technology looks into the eye and brings cells into focus

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Eye doctors soon could use computing power to help them see individual cells in the back of a patient’s eye, thanks to imaging technology developed by engineers at the University of Illinois. Such detailed pictures of the cells, blood vessels and nerves at the back of the eye could enable earlier diagnosis and better treatment for degenerative eye and neurological diseases.

  • Biomedical breakthrough: Carbon nanoparticles you can make at home

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Researchers have found an easy way to produce carbon nanoparticles that are small enough to evade the body’s immune system, reflect light in the near-infrared range for easy detection, and carry payloads of pharmaceutical drugs to targeted tissues.

  • Biomedical breakthrough: Carbon nanoparticles you can make at home

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Researchers have found an easy way to produce carbon nanoparticles that are small enough to evade the body’s immune system, reflect light in the near-infrared range for easy detection, and carry payloads of pharmaceutical drugs to targeted tissues.

  • Genome-editing proteins seek and find with a slide and a hop

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Searching a whole genome for one particular sequence is like trying to fish a specific piece from the box of a billion-piece puzzle. Using advanced imaging techniques, University of Illinois researchers have observed how one set of genome-editing proteins finds its specific targets, which could help them design better gene therapies to treat disease.

  • Mission possible: This device will self-destruct when heated

    Where do electronics go when they die? Most devices are laid to eternal rest in landfills. But what if they just dissolved away, or broke down to their molecular components so that the material could be recycled?

  • Electronic device performance enhanced with new transistor encasing method

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - A more effective method for closing gaps in atomically small wires has been developed by University of Illinois researchers, further opening the doors to a new transistor technology.

  • Ultrasonic hammer sets off tiny explosions

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Giving new meaning to the term "sonic boom," University of Illinois chemists have used sound to trigger microscopic explosions.

  • New technique paints tissue samples with light

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - One infrared scan can give pathologists a window into the structures and molecules inside tissues and cells, enabling fast and broad diagnostic assessments, thanks to an imaging technique developed by University of Illinois researchers and clinical partners.

  • Using a little science in your March Madness picks

    A Minute With...bracketology expert Sheldon Jacobson

  • How big data and engineering will change global health care

    We are right now in the early stages of a revolutionary shift from a medical education and delivery model still rooted in the 19th century to one that will fully integrate the rapid advances of technology with human health improvement.

  • Software teaches computers to translate words to math

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - If Johnny has five apples and seven oranges, and he wants to share them with three of his friends, can a computer understand the text to figure out how many pieces of fruit each person gets?

  • Illinois LED pioneers receive Draper Prize

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - A University of Illinois professor and two of his former students are among the five pioneers of LED technology honored with the 2015 Draper Prize, one of the most prestigious awards in engineering.

  • Getting into your head: Gelatin nanoparticles could deliver drugs to the brain

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Stroke victims could have more time to seek treatment that could reduce harmful effects on the brain, thanks to tiny blobs of gelatin that could deliver the medication to the brain noninvasively.

  • New method helps map species' genetic heritage

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Where did the songbird get its song? What branch of the bird family tree is closer to the flamingo - the heron or the sparrow?

  • Microtubes create cozy space for neurons to grow, and grow fast

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Tiny, thin microtubes could provide a scaffold for neuron cultures to grow so that researchers can study neural networks, their growth and repair, yielding insights into treatment for degenerative neurological conditions or restoring nerve connections after injury.

  • Charged graphene gives DNA a stage to perform molecular gymnastics

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - When Illinois researchers set out to investigate a method to control how DNA moves through a tiny sequencing device, they did not know they were about to witness a display of molecular gymnastics.

  • Bioenergy crops could store more carbon in soil

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - In addition to providing renewable energy, grass crops like switchgrass and miscanthus could store some of the carbon they pull from the atmosphere in the soil, according to a new study by University of Illinois researchers.

  • Illinois engineer wins MacArthur fellowship

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Tami Bond, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has been awarded a 2014 MacArthur Fellowship, commonly known as a "genius grant," from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

  • Banked blood grows stiffer with age, study finds

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - It may look like fresh blood and flow like fresh blood, but the longer blood is stored, the less it can carry oxygen into the tiny microcapillaries of the body, says a new study from University of Illinois researchers.

  • Seatbelt laws encourage obese drivers to buckle up

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Obesity is associated with many health risks, including heart disease and diabetes, but University of Illinois researchers have found a possible way to mitigate one often-overlooked risk: not buckling up in the car.

  • A glucose meter of a different color provides continuous monitoring

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - University of Illinois engineers are bringing a touch of color to glucose monitoring.

  • New material could enhance fast and accurate DNA sequencing

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Gene-based personalized medicine has many possibilities for diagnosis and targeted therapy, but one big bottleneck: the expensive and time-consuming DNA-sequencing process.

  • Cell mechanics may hold key to how cancer spreads and recurs

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Cancer cells that break away from tumors to go looking for a new home may prefer to settle into a soft bed, according to new findings from researchers at the University of Illinois.

  • Shrinky Dinks close the gap for nanowires

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - How do you put a puzzle together when the pieces are too tiny to pick up? Shrink the distance between them.

  • Muscle-powered bio-bots walk on command

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - A new generation of miniature biological robots is flexing its muscle.

  • Illinois mechanical science and engineering professor wins Humboldt Prize

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - University of Illinois mechanical science and engineering professor Naira Hovakimyan has been chosen to receive the prestigious Humboldt Research Award (or Humboldt Prize) honoring a career of research achievements.

  • For the first time in the lab, researchers see stem cells take initial step toward development

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The gap between stem cell research and regenerative medicine just became a lot narrower, thanks to a new technique that coaxes stem cells, with potential to become any tissue type, to take the first step to specialization. It is the first time this critical step has been demonstrated in a laboratory.

  • Regenerating plastic grows back after damage

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Looking at a smooth sheet of plastic in one University of Illinois laboratory, no one would guess that an impact had recently blasted a hole through it.

  • Three Illinois professors elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Three University of Illinois professors have been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the longest-standing honorary societies in the nation. Tere R. O'Connor, a professor of dance; John A. Rogers, the Swanlund Chair of Materials Science and Engineering; and Wilfred A. van der Donk, the Richard E. Heckert Endowed Chair in Chemistry, will join other new members in an induction ceremony in October at the academy's headquarters in Cambridge, Mass.

  • Off the shelf, on the skin: Stick-on electronic patches for health monitoring

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Wearing a fitness tracker on your wrist or clipped to your belt is so 2013. Engineers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Northwestern University have demonstrated thin, soft stick-on patches that stretch and move with the skin and incorporate commercial, off-the-shelf chip-based electronics for sophisticated wireless health monitoring.

  • Team finds a better way to grow motor neurons from stem cells

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Researchers report they can generate human motor neurons from stem cells much more quickly and efficiently than previous methods allowed. The finding, described in Nature Communications, will aid efforts to model human motor neuron development, and to understand and treat spinal cord injuries and motor neuron diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

  • A perfect March Madness bracket? That's a long shot.

    A Minute With™... computer science professor Sheldon H. Jacobson

  • Illinois professor elected to National Academy of Engineering

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - J. Gary Eden, the Gilmore Family Professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has been elected to membership in the National Academy of Engineering.

  • 3-D imaging provides window into living cells, no dye required

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Living cells are ready for their close-ups, thanks to a new imaging technique that needs no dyes or other chemicals, yet renders high-resolution, three-dimensional, quantitative imagery of cells and their internal structures - all with conventional microscopes and white light.

  • Tiny swimming bio-bots boldly go where no bot has swum before

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The alien world of aquatic micro-organisms just got new residents: synthetic self-propelled swimming bio-bots.