blog postsFour Illinois professors named Sloan Research FellowsFeb 21, 2017 9:00 am781 views Four Illinois researchers are recipients of 2017 Sloan Research Fellowships from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. According to the foundation, the awards “honor early career scholars whose achievements mark them as the next generation of scientific leaders.” Awardees receive $60,000 to be used as they wish to further their research.Tiny nanoclusters could solve big problems for lithium-ion batteriesFeb 20, 2017 9:15 am631 views As devices become smaller and more powerful, they require faster, smaller, more stable batteries. University of Illinois chemists have developed a superionic solid that could be the basis of next-generation lithium-ion batteries.Tumor-targeting system uses cancer’s own mechanisms to betray its locationFeb 14, 2017 9:00 am3126 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.Dual-function nanorod LEDs could make multifunctional displaysFeb 9, 2017 1:00 pm2263 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.Illinois researcher generates random ‘reactions’ to consider how Facebook uses our informationFeb 9, 2017 8:30 am1738 views University of Illinois researcher Ben Grosser has created a web browser extension he calls Go Rando that randomly chooses one of Facebook’s six reactions whenever you click “like.” His intention is to obfuscate your recorded feelings to Facebook.New brush polymers catalyze their own formationFeb 8, 2017 10:45 am411 views Researchers at the University of Illinois and the University of Connecticut have developed new brush polymers – synthetic proteinlike molecules that catalyze their own formation – that could provide insight into enzyme behavior and self-replicating systems. The polymers have potential applications in catalyst development, nanomaterials and medicine.Tiny exports signal big shifts in cancer tissue, researchers findJan 25, 2017 1:30 pm1181 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.Tool to map gene's ‘social network’ sheds light on function, interactions and drug efficacyJan 19, 2017 9:00 am936 views Although the human genome has been mapped, many questions remain about how genes are regulated, how they interact with one another, and what function some genes serve. A new tool developed by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology distills the huge amount of genomic data into gene networks that can point to the function of genes, highlighting relationships between genes and offering insights into disease, treatment and gene analogs across species.Report proposes standards for sharing data and code used in computational studiesDec 8, 2016 1:00 pm821 views A new report by prominent leaders in computational methods and reproducibility lays out recommendations for ways researchers, institutions, agencies and journal publishers can work together to standardize sharing of data sets and software code.TSA could save money by waiving PreCheck fees for frequent travelers, study findsDec 5, 2016 8:45 am883 views There could be an easy way to reduce lines at the airport, increase security, and save the Transportation Security Administration money, according to a new study by University of Illinois researchers: waive the $85 fee for frequent fliers to enroll in the TSA PreCheck program, which allows pre-screened, verified travelers to go through expedited security at airports.Are global carbon emissions increasing or decreasing?Nov 22, 2016 11:30 am793 views Illinois atmospheric scientist Atul Jain was among the many scientists worldwide who contributed data to the Global Carbon Budget 2016, providing new data on atmospheric carbon concentrations, emissions and trends. Six Illinois faculty members elected AAAS FellowsNov 21, 2016 10:00 am2043 views Six University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign faculty members have been elected 2016 Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science: Jianjun Cheng, Brian T. Cunningham, Kevin T. Pitts, Bruce L. Rhoads, Chad M. Rienstra and Josep Torrellas.Eight Illinois researchers rank among world’s most influentialNov 18, 2016 9:15 am6517 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."Klaus Schulten, pioneer in biophysics and computational biology, has diedNov 4, 2016 8:30 am1634 views University of Illinois physics professor Klaus Schulten, an innovator in the use of computational methods to study the chemical and biological processes driving living cells, died Monday, Oct. 31, at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana. He was 69.Time-lapse cell imaging reveals dynamic activityOct 26, 2016 12:30 pm1334 views Living cells are miniature worlds bustling with activity. A new advanced imaging method can track cells over long periods of time using only light – no dye or chemicals required – to reveal dynamics and provide insight into how cells function, develop and interact.Geologic imaging technique measures strength of Earth’s outer shellSep 29, 2016 1:00 pm1172 views An advanced imaging technique used to map Earth’s outer shell also can provide a measure of strength, finding weak spots and magma upwellings that could point to volcanic or earthquake activity, according to a new study by geologists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Adelaide in Australia.Is Academia Waking Up to the Problem of Sexual Harassment?Sep 19, 2016 2:15 pm3361 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. Carbon-coated iron catalyst structure could lead to more-active fuel cellsSep 12, 2016 9:00 am573 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 am449 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 pm753 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 am2563 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 am1307 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 pm913 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 pm1572 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 am540 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 am1184 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 am1683 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 am826 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 pm705 views A Minute With...™ Sheldon Jacobson, expert on aviation securityReclaimed water could help power plants run more efficiently, study findsMay 12, 2016 10:00 am3479 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 pm2550 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 am2742 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 am735 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 am494 views A Minute With...™ Brian Fields, expert on near-Earth supernovasResearchers develop new method of trapping multiple particles using fluidicsMar 28, 2016 2:15 pm961 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 am1037 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 am1202 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 am5659 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 am423 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 pm2473 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 pm862 views A Minute With...™ bracketology expert Sheldon JacobsonLight helps the transistor laser switch fasterMar 9, 2016 8:30 am1871 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 am2918 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 pm1404 views A Minute With...™ computer scientist Roy H. CampbellFive Illinois faculty members named Sloan Research FellowsFeb 23, 2016 9:15 am1834 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 pm202 views A Minute With...™ Illinois astronomy professor Ryan FoleyStudy challenges widely accepted theory of Yellowstone formationFeb 10, 2016 9:00 am3085 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 am2910 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 am5868 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 am2717 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.