blog postsCarbon-coated iron catalyst structure could lead to more-active fuel cellsSep 12, 2016 9:00 am544 views Researchers at the University of Illinois and collaborators have identified the active form of an iron-containing catalyst for the trickiest part of the process: reducing oxygen gas. The finding could help researchers refine better catalysts, making fuel cells a more energy- and cost-efficient option for powering vehicles and other applications.Illinois researcher looks at how software design controls our interactions with technologySep 8, 2016 8:00 am447 views University of Illinois professor Ben Grosser says software design is directing the way all of us move as we use our technology, yet we pay little attention to these human-tech interactions. Grosser recently made a video supercut of scenes from the Netflix series “House of Cards” showing characters in the show using technology – the first in a series of three videos for his “Touching Software” project.Why does atmospheric chemistry research matter?Aug 29, 2016 12:15 pm744 views On Aug. 26, the National Academy of Sciences released a report on the future of atmospheric chemistry research in the U.S. Illinois civil and environmental engineering professor Tami Bond was among the contributorsStructural, regulatory and human error were factors in Washington highway bridge collapseAug 24, 2016 9:00 am2490 views When an important bridge collapsed on Interstate 5 near Mount Vernon, Washington, in 2013, questions were raised about how such a catastrophic failure could occur. A new analysis by a team of civil engineering faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign outlines the many factors that led to the collapse, as well as steps that transportation departments can take to prevent such accidents on other bridges of similar design.Force triggers gene expression by stretching chromatinAug 22, 2016 10:00 am1256 views A new study by University of Illinois researchers and collaborators in China has demonstrated that external mechanical force can directly regulate gene expression.Genome-editing proteins ride a DNA zip lineAug 15, 2016 1:30 pm898 views For gene-editing proteins to be useful in clinical applications, they need to be able to find the specific site they’re supposed to edit among billions of DNA sequences. Using advanced imaging techniques, University of Illinois researchers have found that one class of genome-editing proteins rapidly travels along a strand of DNA like a rider on a zip line – a unique behavior among documented DNA-binding proteins.Method opens a window on how stress and strain affect battery performanceAug 1, 2016 12:15 pm1516 views Batteries that charge faster and have greater capacity could boost portable electronic devices and electric cars. A new method to simultaneously test stress and strain in battery electrodes gives researchers a window into the mechanical, electrical and chemical forces within lithium-ion batteries. The method revealed an unexpected point of stress in the charging cycle, which could guide development of better batteries.Iron catalysts can modify amino acids, peptides to create new drug candidatesAug 1, 2016 9:45 am513 views For medicinal chemists, making tweaks to peptide structures is key to developing new drug candidates. Now, researchers have demonstrated that two iron-containing small-molecule catalysts can help turn certain types of amino acids – the building blocks of peptides and proteins – into an array of potential new forms, even when part of a larger peptide, while preserving a crucial aspect of their chemistry: chirality, or “handedness.”Chemical etching method helps transistors stand tallJul 25, 2016 10:15 am1134 views University of Illinois researchers have developed a way to etch very tall, narrow finFETs, a type of transistor that forms a tall semiconductor “fin” for the current to travel over.Measure of age in soil nitrogen could help precision agricultureJul 25, 2016 8:00 am1626 views University of Illinois engineers developed a model to calculate the age of nitrogen in corn and soybean fields, which could lead to improved fertilizer application techniques to promote crop growth while reducing leaching.What can be learned from 3-D mapping of groundwater?Jun 27, 2016 10:00 am824 views A Minute With...™ Illinois State Geological Survey director Richard BergWhat should be done about long delays for security checks at airports?May 17, 2016 2:15 pm698 views A Minute With...™ Sheldon Jacobson, expert on aviation securityReclaimed water could help power plants run more efficiently, study findsMay 12, 2016 10:00 am3453 views The water going down the drain could help keep the lights on, according to a new study showing that reclaimed water – municipal wastewater that has been treated or cleaned – could be more efficient for cooling power plants than water taken from the local environment.Six Illinois professors named Guggenheim FellowsMay 2, 2016 12:15 pm2524 views Six professors at the University of Illinois have been named 2016 Guggenheim Fellows, bringing to 13 the number of U. of I. faculty members who have been honored with the fellowship over the last three years. This year’s fellows are Dennis Baron, Karin A. Dahmen, Craig Koslofsky, Mei-Po Kwan, Ralph W. Mathisen and Rebecca Stumpf.Shape of tumor may affect whether cells can metastasizeApr 27, 2016 10:45 am2463 views Only a few cells in a cancerous tumor are able to break away and spread to other parts of the body, but the curve along the edge of the tumor may play a large role in activating these tumor-seeding cells, according to a new University of Illinois study.U. of I. researchers help discover ‘dark galaxy’Apr 18, 2016 11:00 am726 views Researchers have uncovered the existence of a dwarf “dark galaxy” lurking nearly 4 billion light-years away from Earth. The discovery was made when a team of researchers, including astronomers at the University of Illinois, using the Blue Waters supercomputer at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, noticed subtle distortions in the image of gravitational lens SDP.81. The discovery paves the way to spot many more such objects, which could help astronomers address important questions on the true nature of dark matter.Interpreting the recent discovery of two massive near-Earth supernovasApr 8, 2016 10:30 am476 views A Minute With...™ Brian Fields, expert on near-Earth supernovasResearchers develop new method of trapping multiple particles using fluidicsMar 28, 2016 2:15 pm944 views Precise control of an individual particle or molecule is a difficult task. Controlling multiple particles simultaneously is an even more challenging endeavor. Researchers at the University of Illinois have developed a new method that relies on fluid flow to manipulate and assemble multiple particles. This new technique can trap a range of submicron- to micron-sized particles, including single DNA molecules, vesicles, drops or cells.Structure of protein that forms fibrils in Parkinson's patients could lead to new diagnostic and treatment optionsMar 28, 2016 10:15 am1003 views Chemists have identified the complex chemical structure of the protein that stacks together to form fibrils in the brains of Parkinson’s disease patients. Armed with this knowledge, researchers can identify specific targets for diagnosis and treatment.DNA molecules directly interact with each other based on sequence, study findsMar 22, 2016 11:00 am1177 views Proteins play a large role in DNA regulation, but a new study finds that DNA molecules directly interact with one another in a way that’s dependent on the sequence of the DNA and epigenetic factors. This could have implications for how DNA is organized in the cell and even how genes are regulated in different cell types, the researchers say.Record-speed data transmission could make big data more accessibleMar 22, 2016 9:45 am5523 views With record-breaking speeds for fiber-optic data transmission, University of Illinois engineers have paved a fast lane on the information superhighway – creating on-ramps for big data in the process.Illinois scientists dig deeper to build a better permafrost modelMar 15, 2016 9:30 am409 views Scientists report they have found a way to improve predictions of permafrost area and stability in the northern high latitudes. Their improved model finds that the rate of permafrost decline in recent decades is slower than previously thought.Light illuminates the way for bio-botsMar 14, 2016 2:00 pm2341 views A new class of miniature biological robots, or bio-bots, has seen the light – and is following where the light shines.How to improve your chances for a perfect March Madness bracketMar 9, 2016 12:00 pm858 views A Minute With...™ bracketology expert Sheldon JacobsonLight helps the transistor laser switch fasterMar 9, 2016 8:30 am1831 views Light and electrons interact in a complex dance within fiber optic devices. A new study by University of Illinois engineers found that in the transistor laser, a device for next-generation high-speed computing, the light and electrons spur one another on to faster switching speeds than any devices available.Study offers clearest picture yet of how HIV defeats a cellular defenderMar 4, 2016 8:30 am2892 views A new study offers the first atomic-scale view of an interaction between the HIV capsid - the protein coat that shepherds HIV into the nucleus of human cells - and a host protein known as cyclophilin A. This interaction is key to HIV infection, researchers say.Can the FBI hack the iPhone?Feb 25, 2016 12:30 pm1400 views A Minute With...™ computer scientist Roy H. CampbellFive Illinois faculty members named Sloan Research FellowsFeb 23, 2016 9:15 am1825 views Five University of Illinois faculty members received the 2016 Sloan Research Fellowship from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.Hubble telescope's successor will look for dark energy, new planetsFeb 18, 2016 12:45 pm197 views A Minute With...™ Illinois astronomy professor Ryan FoleyStudy challenges widely accepted theory of Yellowstone formationFeb 10, 2016 9:00 am3055 views Understanding the complex geological processes that form supervolcanoes could ultimately help geologists determine what triggers their eruptions. A new study using an advanced computer model casts doubt on previously held theories about the Yellowstone supervolcano’s origins, adding to the mystery of Yellowstone’s formation.Battery technology could charge up water desalinationFeb 1, 2016 11:15 am2740 views The technology that charges batteries for electronic devices could provide fresh water from salty seas, says a new study by University of Illinois engineers. Electricity running through a salt water-filled battery draws the salt ions out of the water.Tiny electronic implants monitor brain injury, then melt awayJan 18, 2016 10:00 am5662 views A new class of small, thin electronic sensors can monitor temperature and pressure within the skull – crucial health parameters after a brain injury or surgery – then melt away when they are no longer needed, eliminating the need for additional surgery to remove the monitors and reducing the risk of infection and hemorrhage.Making the invisible visible: Color-changing indicators highlight microscopic damageJan 13, 2016 9:15 am2634 views Damage developing in a material can be difficult to see until something breaks or fails. A new polymer damage indication system automatically highlights areas that are cracked, scratched or stressed, allowing engineers to address problem areas before they become more problematic.Why you should factor driving into your weight loss planJan 8, 2016 10:00 am1042 views A Minute With...™ Sheldon Jacobson, expert on data scienceGeologic formation could hold clues to melting glacier floodwatersDec 23, 2015 8:00 am1139 views Geologists investigating an unusual landform in the Wabash River Valley in southern Illinois expected to find seismic origins, but instead found the aftermath of rushing floodwaters from melting Midwestern glaciers after the last ice age. The finding could give clues to how floodwaters may behave as glacier melt increases today in places like Greenland and Iceland.Is fusion energy around the corner?Dec 22, 2015 2:00 pm814 views A Minute With...™ U. of I. nuclear engineer Daniel AndruczykSeven Illinois researchers rank among the world’s most influentialDec 21, 2015 9:15 am8281 views Seven University of Illinois researchers have been named to the Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researchers list for 2015. The list includes “some of the world’s most influential scientific minds,” according to a statement from Thomson Reuters.What's in the Paris climate agreement?Dec 15, 2015 2:00 pm631 views A Minute With...™ Atul Jain, expert on atmospheric carbon and climate changeResearchers resolve structure of a key component of bacterial decision-makingDec 8, 2015 9:30 am2208 views For bacteria that swim, determining whether to stay the course or head in a new direction is vital to survival. A new study offers atomic-level details of the molecular machinery that allows swimming bacteria to sense their environment and change direction when neededNanostructured metal coatings let the light through for electrical devicesDec 8, 2015 9:15 am1617 views Light and electricity dance a complicated tango in devices like LEDs, solar cells and sensors. A new anti-reflection coating developed by engineers at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, in collaboration with researchers at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, lets light through without hampering the flow of electricity, a step that could increase efficiency in such devices.Portable device can quickly determine the extent of an eye injuryDec 8, 2015 8:45 am2055 views An engineer and an ophthalmologist are working together to develop a portable sensor that can quickly and inexpensively determine whether an eye injury is mild or severe. The device, called OcuCheck, works by measuring levels of vitamin C in the fluids that coat or leak from the eye. The sensor could speed efforts to determine the extent of eye injuries at accident sites, in rural areas lacking ophthalmology specialists or on the battlefield, the researchers said.100 years of relativity: How has Einstein's theory shaped modern physics, astronomy?Nov 24, 2015 9:45 am606 views A Minute With...™ U. of I. physicist Stuart ShapiroIllinois physics professor named national Professor of the YearNov 19, 2015 8:30 am8384 views 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.Machine learning could solve riddles of galaxy formationNov 11, 2015 10:15 am2583 views A new machine-learning simulation system developed at the University of Illinois promises cosmologists an expanded suite of galaxy models – a necessary first step to developing more accurate and relevant insights into the formation of the universe.Nanopores could take the salt out of seawaterNov 10, 2015 1:45 pm7582 views 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 healthNov 6, 2015 3:30 pm246 views 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.Supervolcanoes likely triggered externally, study findsNov 4, 2015 11:15 am2422 views Supervolcanoes, massive eruptions with potential global consequences, appear not to follow the conventional volcano mechanics of internal pressure building until the volcano blows. Instead, a new study finds, such massive magma chambers might erupt when the roof above them cracks or collapses.Bacterial hole puncher could be new broad-spectrum antibioticOct 27, 2015 11:00 am2473 views 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.Study: Alaskan boreal forest fires release more carbon than the trees can absorbOct 19, 2015 9:30 am1282 views A new analysis of fire activity in Alaska's Yukon Flats finds that so many forest fires are occurring there that the area has become a net exporter of carbon to the atmosphere. This is worrisome, the researchers say, because arctic and subarctic boreal forests like those of the Yukon Flats contain roughly one-third of the Earth's terrestrial carbon stores.Jazz-playing robot will provide insight into how computers communicate with humansOct 14, 2015 9:30 am1283 views A University of Illinois researcher is designing a robot – actually a computer system – that will communicate with humans through jazz improvisation and provide insight into artificial intelligence and human-computer interaction.