blog postsLife SciencesAgricultureEngineeringHealthPhysical SciencesSocial SciencesScience at Illinois feeds the world, furthers health, protects the planetApr 17, 2017 8:30 am781 views Illinois scientists are helping power plants run more efficiently, designing better, longer-lasting batteries, finding new ways to target cancerous tumors, and developing robots that can aid in construction, in agricultural fields and even inside the human body.HealthEngineeringLife SciencesNanopores could map small changes in DNA that signal big shifts in cancerApr 12, 2017 10:00 am801 views Detecting cancer early, just as changes are beginning in DNA, could enhance diagnosis and treatment as well as further our understanding of the disease. A new study by University of Illinois researchers describes a method to detect, count and map tiny additions to DNA called methylations, which can be a warning sign of cancer, with unprecedented resolution.HealthEngineeringLife SciencesCRISPR mines bacterial genome for hidden pharmaceutical treasureApr 10, 2017 10:00 am604 views In the fight against disease, many weapons in the medicinal arsenal have been plundered from bacteria themselves. Using CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technology, researchers have now uncovered even more potential treasure hidden in silent genes.AgricultureEngineeringHand-picked specialty crops ‘ripe’ for precision agriculture techniquesMar 2, 2017 9:15 am2223 views Using precision agriculture, researchers at the University of Illinois have developed an algorithm to help producers of hand-picked crops such as strawberries determine the optimal time to transport their highly perishable crop from the field to cold storage.HealthEngineeringLife SciencesPhysical SciencesTumor-targeting system uses cancer’s own mechanisms to betray its locationFeb 14, 2017 9:00 am2606 views By hijacking a cancer cell’s own metabolism, researchers have found a way to tag and target elusive cancers with small-molecule sugars. This opens treatment pathways for cancers that are not responsive to conventional targeted antibodies, such as triple-negative breast cancer.EngineeringPhysical SciencesDual-function nanorod LEDs could make multifunctional displaysFeb 9, 2017 1:00 pm1849 views Cellphones and other devices could soon be controlled with touchless gestures and charge themselves using ambient light, thanks to new LED arrays that can both emit and detect light.ArtsEngineeringIllinois technician combines engineering and creativity in a DIY synthesizerJan 27, 2017 8:45 am1471 views Skot Wiedmann, an electronics technician and art instructor at the University of Illinois, built his Hyve Touch Synthesizer to inspire interdisciplinary work between engineers and musicians, and to allow people to explore music in a creative and fun way.HealthEngineeringLife SciencesPhysical SciencesTiny exports signal big shifts in cancer tissue, researchers findJan 25, 2017 1:30 pm1070 views Microscopic shifts in metabolism and increases in tiny transport vesicles out of tumor cells preface larger changes to the tumor environment and could prepare the way for cancerous cells to spread and metastasize, University of Illinois researchers report.HonorsAgricultureAnnouncementsEngineeringHealthLife SciencesPhysical SciencesEight Illinois researchers rank among world’s most influentialNov 18, 2016 9:15 am6068 views Eight University of Illinois researchers have been named to the Thomson Reuters / Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researchers list for 2016. The list identifies scientists “whose research has had significant global impact within their respective fields of study."Expert ViewpointsEngineeringLife SciencesPhysical SciencesIs Academia Waking Up to the Problem of Sexual Harassment?Sep 19, 2016 2:15 pm3211 views U. of I. anthropology professor Kathryn Clancy supports a federal legislative effort that would require universities to report – and federal funding agencies to consider – findings that any university professor engaged in discrimination on the basis of sex. EngineeringPhysical SciencesStructural, regulatory and human error were factors in Washington highway bridge collapseAug 24, 2016 9:00 am2374 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.Life SciencesEngineeringPhysical SciencesForce triggers gene expression by stretching chromatinAug 22, 2016 10:00 am1149 views A new study by University of Illinois researchers and collaborators in China has demonstrated that external mechanical force can directly regulate gene expression.Life SciencesEngineeringPhysical SciencesGenome-editing proteins ride a DNA zip lineAug 15, 2016 1:30 pm880 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.Expert ViewpointsEngineeringSocial SciencesWhat are the challenges of providing services for children with mental illnesses?Aug 12, 2016 9:00 am748 views Wynne Korr, dean of the School of Social Work at the University of Illinois, discusses the challenges of diagnosing and providing treatment for this vulnerable population in light of the state's financial problemsPhysical SciencesEngineeringMethod opens a window on how stress and strain affect battery performanceAug 1, 2016 12:15 pm1432 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.EngineeringPhysical SciencesChemical etching method helps transistors stand tallJul 25, 2016 10:15 am1063 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.AgricultureEngineeringLife SciencesPhysical SciencesMeasure of age in soil nitrogen could help precision agricultureJul 25, 2016 8:00 am1471 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.EngineeringPhysical SciencesReclaimed water could help power plants run more efficiently, study findsMay 12, 2016 10:00 am3416 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.HealthEngineeringLife SciencesPhysical SciencesVeterinary MedicineShape of tumor may affect whether cells can metastasizeApr 27, 2016 10:45 am2217 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.EngineeringPhysical SciencesRecord-speed data transmission could make big data more accessibleMar 22, 2016 9:45 am5397 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.EngineeringLife SciencesPhysical SciencesLight illuminates the way for bio-botsMar 14, 2016 2:00 pm2219 views A new class of miniature biological robots, or bio-bots, has seen the light – and is following where the light shines.EngineeringPhysical SciencesLight helps the transistor laser switch fasterMar 9, 2016 8:30 am1759 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.HealthEngineeringLife SciencesPhysical SciencesTiny electronic implants monitor brain injury, then melt awayJan 18, 2016 10:00 am5361 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 am2536 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.EducationEngineeringCore curriculum committee formed for Carle Illinois College of MedicineDec 10, 2015 9:00 am2088 views Dr. Robert Good and professor Rashid Bashir have been named co-chairs of the 18-member group that will lead the effort to build the engineering-based Carle Illinois College of Medicine’s core curriculum. EngineeringPhysical 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.EngineeringCampusEducationPhysical SciencesIllinois physics professor named national Professor of the YearNov 19, 2015 8:30 am8213 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 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.EngineeringCampusCarle Illinois College of Medicine research affiliation agreement completedNov 2, 2015 9:00 am744 views 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.Physical SciencesEngineeringHealthLife SciencesBacterial hole puncher could be new broad-spectrum antibioticOct 27, 2015 11:00 am2327 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.CampusEngineeringHealthCommittee to identify, recruit founding dean for Carle Illinois College of MedicineSep 30, 2015 10:00 am2676 views 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 2016Expert 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 securityHealthEngineeringLife 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.ArtsEngineeringAmpliMy project to give a voice to those who have trouble being heardSep 15, 2015 9:45 am1841 views 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.ArtsEngineeringIndustrial designer will help make wearable health-monitoring electronics comfortable, easy to useSep 15, 2015 9:30 am844 views 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.EngineeringPhysical SciencesPaper tubes make stiff origami structuresSep 7, 2015 2:00 pm5802 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 pm848 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 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.Life SciencesEngineeringHealthWhat's in your landscape? Plants can alter West Nile virus riskJul 1, 2015 10:45 am318 views 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.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 pm539 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.EngineeringLawLife SciencesBiomedical breakthrough: Carbon nanoparticles you can make at homeJun 18, 2015 10:30 am683 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.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.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 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 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.