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  • Researchers tap problematic e-waste surplus to recover high-quality polymers

    Mixed-plastic electronics waste could be a valuable source of reusable polymers, a new study led by Illinois Sustainability Technology Center scientists suggests. The team has developed the first energy-efficient and environmentally friendly process that separates mixed polymers so that they can be recycled into new, high-quality plastic products.

  • 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.

  • TSA could save money by waiving PreCheck fees for frequent travelers, study finds

    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.

  • Electrostatic force takes charge in bioinspired polymers

    Researchers at the University of Illinois and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst have taken the first steps toward gaining control over the self-assembly of synthetic materials in the same way that biology forms natural polymers. This advance could prove useful in designing new bioinspired, smart materials for applications ranging from drug delivery to sensing to remediation of environmental contaminants.

  • Can you analyze me now? Cell phones bring spectroscopy to the classroom

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - University of Illinois chemistry professor Alexander Scheeline wants to see high school students using their cell phones in class. Not for texting or surfing the Web, but as an analytical chemistry instrument.

  • Catalyst combining reactivity and selectivity could speed drug development

    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.

  • How to improve your chances for a perfect March Madness bracket

    A Minute With...™ bracketology expert Sheldon Jacobson

  • Study: Changing the environment within bone marrow alters blood cell development

    Researchers at the University of Illinois report they can alter blood cell development through the use of biomaterials designed to mimic characteristics of the bone marrow.

  • Honey bee chemoreceptors found for smell and taste

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Honey bees have a much better sense of smell than fruit flies or mosquitoes, but a much worse sense of taste, according to researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

  • Tiny drug-delivering capsules could sustain transplanted insulin-producing cells for diabetics

    A drug-carrying microsphere within a cell-bearing microcapsule could be the key to transplanting insulin-secreting pig pancreas cells into human patients whose own cells have been destroyed by type I diabetes.

  • How is Illinois contributing to gravitational wave research?

    Illinois research scientist, NCSA Gravity Group leader Eliu Huerta Escudero on what gravitational waves are, how they were discovered, and the huge data processing effort behind the breakthrough

  • Is fusion energy around the corner?

    A Minute With...™ U. of I. nuclear engineer Daniel Andruczyk

  • Particle-free silver ink prints small, high-performance electronics

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - University of Illinois materials scientists have developed a new reactive silver ink for printing high-performance electronics on ubiquitous, low-cost materials such as flexible plastic, paper or fabric substrates.

  • Molecule-making machine simplifies complex chemistry

    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.

  • What can be learned from 3-D mapping of groundwater?

    A Minute With...™ Illinois State Geological Survey director Richard Berg

  • Report proposes standards for sharing data and code used in computational studies

    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.

  • Are global carbon emissions increasing or decreasing?

    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.


  • Survey reveals widespread bias in astronomy and planetary science

    In an online survey about their workplace experiences, 88 percent of academics, students, postdoctoral researchers and administrators in astronomy and planetary science reported hearing, experiencing or witnessing negative language or harassment relating to race, gender or other physical characteristics at work within the last five years. Of the 423 respondents, 39 percent reported having been verbally harassed and 9 percent said they had suffered physical harassment at work.

  • Four Illinois professors named Sloan Research Fellows

    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.

  • 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?

  • Researchers make headway in desalination technology

    Engineers at the University of Illinois have taken a step forward in developing a saltwater desalination process that is potentially cheaper than reverse osmosis and borrows from battery technology. In their study, the researchers are focusing on new materials that could make desalination of brackish waters economically desirable and energy efficient.

  • Why does atmospheric chemistry research matter?

    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 contributors

  • U. of I. researchers help discover ‘dark galaxy’

    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.

  • 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.

  • What should be done about long delays for security checks at airports?

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

  • Is the future of hurricane forecasting in danger?

    Satellites that help forecast hurricanes require constant upkeep and frequent replacement, but budget cuts have left the future of hurricane monitoring satellites in doubt

  • How massive is supermassive? Astronomers measure more black holes, farther away

    Astronomers from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey announced new measurements of the masses of a large sample of supermassive black holes far beyond our universe.

  • Large, crystalline lipid scaffolds bring new possibilities to protein, drug research

    Proteins and drugs are often attached to lipids to promote crystallization or ensure delivery to targeted tissues within the body, but only the smallest proteins and molecules fit within these fat structures. A new study reveals a lipid structure that can support much larger proteins and molecules than before, potentially increasing the variety of drugs that can be attached to these fat molecules.

  • Tiny nanoclusters could solve big problems for lithium-ion batteries

    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.

  • 100 years of relativity: How has Einstein's theory shaped modern physics, astronomy?

    A Minute With...™ U. of I. physicist Stuart Shapiro

  • What's in the Paris climate agreement?

    A Minute With...™ Atul Jain, expert on atmospheric carbon and climate change

  • 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.

  • Powerful drug's surprising, simple method could lead to better treatments

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - With one simple experiment, University of Illinois chemists have debunked a widely held misconception about an often-prescribed drug.

  • Events explore how technology, creativity interact to imagine the future

    A series of events at the University of Illinois called Speculative Futures will bring artists together with technology innovators with the goal of sparking new creative projects at the intersection of computer science and science fiction.

  • Engineers shine light on deadly landslide

    A new report by University of Illinois civil and environmental engineering professor Tim Stark and colleagues details the factors that led to the deadliest landslide on record in the continental United States, along with steps that can be taken to mitigate landslide consequences and risk in the Pacific Northwest.

  • Farewell, Cassini: What have we learned about Saturn?

    Astronomy professor Leslie Looney talks about NASA’s Cassini satellite, which will descend into Saturn’s atmosphere tomorrow, twenty years after it's launch 

  • Metal-ion catalysts and hydrogen peroxide could green up plastics production

    Researchers at the University of Illinois are contributing to the development of more environmentally friendly catalysts for the production of plastic and resin precursors that are often derived from fossil fuels. The key to their technique comes from recognizing the unique physical and chemical properties of certain metals and how they react with hydrogen peroxide.

  • Silver pen has the write stuff for flexible electronics

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The pen may have bested the sword long ago, but now it's challenging wires and soldering irons.

  • Next up: Environmentally safe electronics that also vanish in the body

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Physicians and environmentalists alike could soon be using a new class of electronic devices: small, robust and high performance, yet also biocompatible and capable of dissolving completely in water - or in bodily fluids.

  • Carbon-coated iron catalyst structure could lead to more-active fuel cells

    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.

  • What can we learn from the first close-up look at Pluto via NASA's New Horizon probe?

    A Minute With...™ Charles Gamme, a professor of astronomy and physics

  • Floating oil skimmer model removes oil more efficiently; prototype next

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - A researcher at the University of Illinois is developing a floating oil skimmer that removes oil from the surface of water more efficiently than existing skimmers and, when it becomes available, could help clean up oil spills such as the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico caused by the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig.

  • Iron catalysts can modify amino acids, peptides to create new drug candidates

    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.”

  • Researchers put new spin on old technique to engineer better absorptive materials

    A team of University of Illinois bioengineers has taken a new look at an old tool to help characterize a class of materials called metal organic frameworks – MOFs for short. MOFs are used to detect, purify and store gases, and could help solve some of the worlds most challenging energy, environmental and pharmaceutical challenges – they can even pull water molecules straight from the air to provide relief from droughts.

  • Science historian tells a timely story about Einstein and his most dangerous critic

    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.

  • Batteries charge very quickly and retain capacity, thanks to new structure

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The batteries in Illinois professor Paul Braun's lab look like any others, but they pack a surprise inside.

  • Research: Graphene grows better on certain copper crystals

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - New observations could improve industrial production of high-quality graphene, hastening the era of graphene-based consumer electronics, thanks to University of Illinois engineers.

  • Self-healing electronics could work longer and reduce waste

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - When one tiny circuit within an integrated chip cracks or fails, the whole chip - or even the whole device - is a loss. But what if it could fix itself, and fix itself so fast that the user never knew there was a problem?

  • Interpreting the recent discovery of two massive near-Earth supernovas

    A Minute With...™ Brian Fields, expert on near-Earth supernovas

  • 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.