blog postsPhysical SciencesBattery technology could charge up water desalinationFeb 1, 2016 11:15 am2559 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.HealthEngineeringLife SciencesPhysical SciencesTiny electronic implants monitor brain injury, then melt awayJan 18, 2016 10:00 am5362 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.EngineeringPhysical SciencesMaking the invisible visible: Color-changing indicators highlight microscopic damageJan 13, 2016 9:15 am2541 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.Expert ViewpointsHealthPhysical SciencesWhy you should factor driving into your weight loss planJan 8, 2016 10:00 am1031 views A Minute With...™ Sheldon Jacobson, expert on data sciencePhysical SciencesGeologic formation could hold clues to melting glacier floodwatersDec 23, 2015 8:00 am1136 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.Expert ViewpointsPhysical SciencesIs fusion energy around the corner?Dec 22, 2015 2:00 pm802 views A Minute With...™ U. of I. nuclear engineer Daniel AndruczykLife SciencesAgriculturePhysical SciencesSeven Illinois researchers rank among the world’s most influentialDec 21, 2015 9:15 am8186 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.Expert ViewpointsPhysical SciencesWhat's in the Paris climate agreement?Dec 15, 2015 2:00 pm588 views A Minute With...™ Atul Jain, expert on atmospheric carbon and climate changeLife SciencesPhysical SciencesResearchers resolve structure of a key component of bacterial decision-makingDec 8, 2015 9:30 am2172 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 neededEngineeringPhysical SciencesNanostructured metal coatings let the light through for electrical devicesDec 8, 2015 9:15 am1572 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.HealthEngineeringLife SciencesPhysical SciencesPortable device can quickly determine the extent of an eye injuryDec 8, 2015 8:45 am1984 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.Expert ViewpointsPhysical Sciences100 years of relativity: How has Einstein's theory shaped modern physics, astronomy?Nov 24, 2015 9:45 am561 views A Minute With...™ U. of I. physicist Stuart ShapiroEngineeringCampusEducationPhysical SciencesIllinois physics professor named national Professor of the YearNov 19, 2015 8:30 am8215 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.Physical SciencesMachine learning could solve riddles of galaxy formationNov 11, 2015 10:15 am2531 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.Physical SciencesEngineeringNanopores could take the salt out of seawaterNov 10, 2015 1:45 pm7282 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.”EngineeringLife SciencesPhysical SciencesNew life for EBICS project will create bio-machines to improve healthNov 6, 2015 3:30 pm239 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.Physical SciencesSupervolcanoes likely triggered externally, study findsNov 4, 2015 11:15 am2357 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.Physical SciencesEngineeringHealthLife SciencesBacterial hole puncher could be new broad-spectrum antibioticOct 27, 2015 11:00 am2328 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.Physical SciencesLife SciencesStudy: Alaskan boreal forest fires release more carbon than the trees can absorbOct 19, 2015 9:30 am1241 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.ArtsPhysical SciencesJazz-playing robot will provide insight into how computers communicate with humansOct 14, 2015 9:30 am1252 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.Physical SciencesLife SciencesCatalyst combining reactivity and selectivity could speed drug developmentOct 12, 2015 4:15 pm824 views Chemists have long believed that inserting nitrogen – a beneficial ingredient for making many pharmaceuticals and other biologically active molecules – into a carbon-hydrogen bond requires a trade-off between catalyst reactivity and selectivity. But a new manganese-based catalyst developed by University of Illinois chemists has given researchers both in one efficient, lower-cost package.Physical SciencesLife SciencesCOMPASS method points researchers to protein structuresOct 9, 2015 12:30 pm1910 views Searching for the precise, complexly folded three-dimensional structure of a protein can be like hacking through a jungle without a map: a long, intensive process with uncertain direction. University of Illinois researchers developed a new approach, dubbed COMPASS, that points directly to a protein’s likely structure using a combination of advanced molecular spectroscopy techniques, predictive protein-folding algorithms and image recognition software.Expert ViewpointsPhysical SciencesThe odds of finding microbial life on Mars just got a lot betterOct 1, 2015 12:45 pm352 views A Minute With...™ Leslie Looney, professor of astronomyExpert ViewpointsEngineeringPhysical SciencesIs backscatter X-ray a safe tool for airport security?Sep 29, 2015 12:00 pm289 views A Minute With...™ Sheldon Jacobson, expert on airport securityLife SciencesPhysical SciencesStudy shows new forests cannot take in as much carbon as predictedSep 24, 2015 9:45 am1749 views As carbon emissions continue to rise, scientists project forests will grow faster and larger, due to an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide, which fuels photosynthesis. But a new study by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom finds that these projections are overestimated.Physical SciencesNew exhibit will provide look at giant ancient molluskSep 16, 2015 11:45 am757 views A giant mollusk measuring several feet across lived in shallow marine waters in southern Illinois long before the time of the dinosaurs. An exhibit will open Thursday at the Science Center of Southern Illinois in Carbondale, with an original, life-size model of Endolobus spectabilis – its first reconstruction – as well as a fossil shell of the mollusk.HealthEngineeringLife SciencesPhysical SciencesSurgical probe seeks out where cancer ends and healthy tissue beginsSep 15, 2015 12:00 pm3026 views 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.EngineeringPhysical SciencesPaper tubes make stiff origami structuresSep 7, 2015 2:00 pm5809 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – From shipping and construction to outer space, origami could put a folded twist on structural engineering.Physical SciencesEngineeringHealthLife SciencesNew synthetic tumor environments make cancer research more realisticAug 27, 2015 1:00 pm849 views 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.Physical SciencesRogue supernovas likely flung into space by black hole slingshotsAug 13, 2015 12:00 pm261 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Rogue supernovas that explode all alone in deep space present an astronomical mystery. Where did they come from? How did they get there? The likely answer: a binary black hole slingshot, according to a new study by Ryan Foley, a professor of astronomy and physics at the University of Illinois.Expert ViewpointsPhysical SciencesUrban flooding is rising in frequency and cost. What can you do?Aug 4, 2015 6:30 am249 views A Minute With...™ Sally McConkey of the Illinois State Water SurveyExpert ViewpointsPhysical SciencesWhat can we learn from the first close-up look at Pluto via NASA's New Horizon probe?Jul 10, 2015 12:15 pm566 views A Minute With...™ Charles Gamme, a professor of astronomy and physicsHumanitiesPhysical SciencesAccess to big data is crucial for credibility of computational research findings, says U. of I. library and information science professorJul 10, 2015 9:00 am159 views Think of a scientist at work, and you might picture someone at a lab bench, doing a physical experiment involving beakers or petri dishes and recording his or her findings, which will eventually form the basis for a scientific paper.Physical SciencesEngineeringLife SciencesGenomics to surpass the biggest data producers, experts warnJul 7, 2015 1:00 pm129 views 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.Physical SciencesAgricultureEngineeringStudy: Groundwater from aquifers important factor in food securityJun 29, 2015 2:00 pm290 views 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.HealthEngineeringLife SciencesPhysical SciencesNew technology looks into the eye and brings cells into focusJun 22, 2015 11:00 am259 views 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.HealthEngineeringLife SciencesPhysical SciencesBiomedical breakthrough: Carbon nanoparticles you can make at homeJun 18, 2015 4:15 pm540 views 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.AgricultureLife SciencesPhysical SciencesStudy: Crop rotation-resistant rootworms have a lot going on in their gutsJun 9, 2015 3:00 pm185 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — After decades of effort, scientists are finally figuring out how insects develop resistance to environmentally friendly farming practices – such as crop rotation – that are designed to kill them. The researchers say their insights will help develop more sustainable agricultural practices.Physical SciencesEngineeringHealthLife SciencesGenome-editing proteins seek and find with a slide and a hopJun 1, 2015 2:00 pm159 views 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.HealthLife SciencesPhysical SciencesNew anti-microbial compounds evade resistance with less toxicityJun 1, 2015 1:00 pm54 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — New compounds that specifically attack fungal infections without attacking human cells could transform treatment for such infections and point the way to targeted medicines that evade antibiotic resistance.Social SciencesHumanitiesPhysical SciencesScience historian tells a timely story about Einstein and his most dangerous criticMay 26, 2015 9:00 am334 views Two of the 20th century’s greatest minds, one of them physicist Albert Einstein, came to intellectual blows one day in Paris in 1922. One immediate result of the controversy: There would be no mention of relativity in Einstein’s Nobel Prize. One long-term result: a split between science and the humanities. Science historian Jimena Canales tells the tale of that day and the debate that followed in a new book.EngineeringPhysical SciencesMission possible: This device will self-destruct when heatedMay 21, 2015 2:00 pm575 views 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?Physical SciencesHealthLife SciencesTiny silicone spheres come out of the mistMay 6, 2015 1:15 pm93 views Technology in common household humidifiers could enable the next wave of high-tech medical imaging and targeted medicine, thanks to a new method for making tiny silicone microspheres developed by chemists at the University of Illinois.Expert ViewpointsPhysical SciencesCan 'fracking' and other human activities cause earthquakes?Apr 29, 2015 11:00 am367 views A Minute With...™ Robert Bauer, an engineering geologist with the Illinois State Geological SurveyLife SciencesPhysical SciencesSix Illinois professors elected to National Academy of SciencesApr 28, 2015 12:45 pm318 views Six University of Illinois professors have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, one of the highest professional honors a scientist can garner. Renée Baillargeon, Gary Dell, Steve Granick, Taekjip Ha, Catherine Murphy and John A. Rogers are among 84 new members and 21 foreign associates announced by the Academy on April 28.Physical SciencesEngineeringElectronic device performance enhanced with new transistor encasing methodApr 20, 2015 9:00 am136 views 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.Physical SciencesCampusTwo Illinois professors receive 2015 Guggenheim fellowshipsApr 10, 2015 9:00 am249 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation has awarded 2015 Guggenheim fellowships to two University of Illinois faculty members: Wendy K. Tam Cho, professor of political science and of statistics, and Philip W. Phillips, professor of physics.Physical SciencesEngineeringUltrasonic hammer sets off tiny explosionsApr 2, 2015 9:00 am94 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Giving new meaning to the term "sonic boom," University of Illinois chemists have used sound to trigger microscopic explosions.HealthEngineeringLife SciencesPhysical SciencesNew technique paints tissue samples with lightMar 24, 2015 9:00 am131 views 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.Physical SciencesMolecule-making machine simplifies complex chemistryMar 12, 2015 9:00 am555 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - A new molecule-making machine could do for chemistry what 3-D printing did for engineering: Make it fast, flexible and accessible to anyone.