blog posts Illinois architecture professor designs transformable, adaptive structures Apr 11, 2018 8:30 am3267 views University of Illinois architecture professor Sudarshan Krishnan designs lightweight and transformable structures that can expand and collapse to adapt to a user’s needs. Solid-state batteries line up for better performance May 20, 2021 10:00 am3254 views Solid-state batteries pack a lot of energy into a small space, but their electrodes are not good at keeping in touch with their electrolytes. Liquid electrolytes reach every nook and cranny of an electrode to spark energy, but liquids take up space without storing energy and fail over time. Researchers are now putting solid electrolytes in touch with electrodes made of strategically arranged materials – at the atomic level – and the results are helping drive better solid-state battery technologies. Artificial intelligence could help air travelers save a bundle Aug 1, 2019 8:00 am3187 views Researchers are using artificial intelligence to help airlines price ancillary services such as checked bags and seat reservations in a way that is beneficial to customers’ budget and privacy, as well as to the airline industry’s bottom line. Three Illinois scientists rank among world's most influential Nov 18, 2020 8:45 am3184 views Three faculty members at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have been named to the 2020 Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researchers list. The list recognizes leading researchers in the sciences and social sciences from around the world. It is based on an analysis of journal article publication and citation data, an objective measure of a researcher’s influence, from 2009-2019. The highly cited Illinois researchers this year are: materials science and engineering professor Axel Hoffmann, crop sciences and plant biology professor Stephen Long, and plant biology professor Donald Ort. Study: Higher mass transit use associated with lower obesity rates May 16, 2017 10:30 am3181 views Healthy mass transit systems could contribute to healthier communities, according to a new study by University of Illinois researchers that determined higher mass transit use was correlated with lower obesity rates in counties across the United States. Congressional redistricting less contentious when resolved using computer algorithm Sep 11, 2017 8:30 am3171 views Concerns that the process of U.S. congressional redistricting may be politically biased have fueled many debates, but a team of University of Illinois computer scientists and engineers has developed a new computer algorithm that may make the task easier for state legislatures and fairer for their constituents. Newly developed cloak hides underwater objects from sonar Jan 5, 2011 9:00 am3152 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - In one University of Illinois lab, invisibility is a matter of now you hear it, now you don't. Surgical probe seeks out where cancer ends and healthy tissue begins Sep 15, 2015 12:00 pm3133 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. Making the invisible visible: Color-changing indicators highlight microscopic damage Jan 13, 2016 9:15 am3041 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. Study: Biomarkers as predictive of sepsis as lengthy patient monitoring Sep 7, 2017 8:15 am2980 views One measurement of key biomarkers in blood that characterize sepsis can give physicians as much information as hours of monitoring symptoms, a new study found. Hand-picked specialty crops ‘ripe’ for precision agriculture techniques Mar 2, 2017 9:15 am2976 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. Light illuminates the way for bio-bots Mar 14, 2016 2:00 pm2954 views A new class of miniature biological robots, or bio-bots, has seen the light – and is following where the light shines. Regenerating plastic grows back after damage May 8, 2014 9:00 am2902 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Looking at a smooth sheet of plastic in one University of Illinois laboratory, no one would guess that an impact had recently blasted a hole through it. Committee to identify, recruit founding dean for Carle Illinois College of Medicine Sep 30, 2015 10:00 am2896 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 2016 Structural, regulatory and human error were factors in Washington highway bridge collapse Aug 24, 2016 9:00 am2832 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. Sottos elected to National Academy of Engineering Feb 7, 2020 1:00 pm2768 views Nancy Sottos, an engineering professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering. She is one of 87 new members and 18 international members announced by the Academy on Feb. 6. Drug-delivering nanoparticles seek and destroy elusive cancer stem cells Nov 27, 2017 10:15 am2703 views Researchers are sending tiny drug-laden nanoparticles on a mission to seek and destroy cancer stem cells. Four Illinois faculty members elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences Apr 23, 2021 8:30 am2657 views University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign College of Education Dean James Anderson, physics professor Nadya Mason, chemistry professor Nancy Makri and materials science and engineering professor Kenneth Schweizer have been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the oldest honor societies in the nation. Human waste an asset to economy, environment, study finds Jul 8, 2019 8:00 am2640 views Human waste might be an unpleasant public health burden, but scientists at the University of Illinois see sanitation as a valuable facet of global ecosystems and an overlooked source of nutrients, organic material and water. Dual-function nanorod LEDs could make multifunctional displays Feb 9, 2017 1:00 pm2634 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. Three Illinois faculty members elected to National Academy of Sciences Apr 27, 2021 9:30 am2627 views Three University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign professors have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, one of the highest professional honors a scientist can receive. Physics professor Nadya Mason and chemistry professors Ralph Nuzzo and Wilfred van der Donk are among 120 newly elected U.S. members – 59 of whom are women, the most elected in a single year – and 30 international members in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Researchers use sound waves to advance optical communication Jan 22, 2018 10:00 am2616 views Illinois researchers have demonstrated that sound waves can be used to produce ultraminiature optical diodes that are tiny enough to fit onto a computer chip. These devices, called optical isolators, may help solve major data capacity and system size challenges for photonic integrated circuits, the light-based equivalent of electronic circuits, which are used for computing and communications. Feeling groovy: Neurons integrate better with muscle grown on grooved platforms Jan 22, 2019 9:00 am2614 views Growing muscle tissue on grooved platforms helps neurons more effectively integrate with the muscle, a requirement for engineering muscle in the lab that responds and functions like muscle in the body, University of Illinois researchers found in a new study. Engineers find way to evaluate green roofs Jul 5, 2017 9:45 am2611 views Green infrastructure is an attractive concept, but there is concern surrounding its effectiveness. Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are using a mathematical technique traditionally used in earthquake engineering to determine how well green infrastructure works and to communicate with urban planners, policymakers and developers. Study of non-COVID-19 deaths shows 2020 increase in several demographics Nov 17, 2020 8:00 am2549 views March through May saw a significant increase in deaths over previous years – and not just from COVID-19, says a new study from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. When deaths attributed to COVID-19 were removed from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention totals, the death rate in several demographics outpaced the same period in 2019, the study found. The timeframe represents the first three months of response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. Cicada-inspired waterproof surfaces closer to reality, researchers report Oct 22, 2020 9:30 am2528 views A multidisciplinary group that studies the physical and chemical properties of insect wings has demonstrated the ability to reproduce the nanostructures that help cicada wings repel water and prevent bacteria from establishing on the surface. The new technique – which uses commercial nail polish – is economical and straightforward, and the researchers said it will help fabricate future high-tech waterproof materials. Graphene: The more you bend it, the softer it gets Nov 13, 2019 8:00 am2510 views New research by engineers at the University of Illinois combines atomic-scale experimentation with computer modeling to determine how much energy it takes to bend multilayer graphene – a question that has eluded scientists since graphene was first isolated. The findings are reported in the journal Nature Materials. Human activity on rivers outpaces, compounds effects of climate change Jun 19, 2020 10:00 am2472 views The livelihoods of millions of people living along the world’s biggest river systems are under threat by a range of stressors caused by the daily economic, societal and political activity of humans – in addition to the long-term effects of climate change, researchers report. New CRISPR base-editing technology slows ALS progression in mice Feb 21, 2020 10:15 am2439 views A new CRISPR gene-editing method can inactivate one of the genes responsible for an inherited form of ALS, scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign report in a new study. The novel treatment slowed disease progression, improved muscle function and extended lifespan in mice with an aggressive form of ALS. For CRISPR, tweaking DNA fragments before inserting yields highest efficiency rates yet Dec 23, 2019 10:00 am2405 views University of Illinois researchers achieved the highest reported rates of inserting genes into human cells with the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing system, a necessary step for harnessing CRISPR for clinical gene-therapy applications. By chemically tweaking the ends of the DNA to be inserted, the new technique is up to five times more efficient than current approaches. The researchers saw improvements at various genetic locations tested in a human kidney cell line, even seeing 65% insertion at one site where the previous high had been 15%. Color-changing sensor detects signs of eye damage in tears Aug 31, 2018 8:00 am2404 views A new point-of-care rapid-sensing device can detect a key marker of eye injury in minutes – a time frame crucial to treating eye trauma. University of Illinois researchers developed a gel laden with gold nanoparticles that changes color when it reacts with a teardrop containing ascorbic acid, released from a wound to the eye. In a new study published in the journal Biosensors and Bioelectronics, the researchers used the sensor, called OjoGel, to measure ascorbic acid levels in artificial tears and in clinical samples of fluid from patients’ eyes. Crumpled graphene makes ultra-sensitive cancer DNA detector Mar 24, 2020 6:00 am2389 views Graphene-based biosensors could usher in an era of liquid biopsy, detecting DNA cancer markers circulating in a patient’s blood or serum. But current designs need a lot of DNA. In a new study, crumpling graphene makes it more than ten thousand times more sensitive to DNA by creating electrical “hot spots,” researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign found. Electroplating delivers high-energy, high-power batteries May 12, 2017 2:00 pm2389 views The process that makes gold-plated jewelry or chrome car accents is now making powerful lithium-ion batteries. Illinois scientist named Packard Fellow Oct 18, 2017 12:30 pm2367 views Pinshane Huang, a professor of materials science and engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is among 18 early career researchers to receive 2017 Packard Fellowships from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. Core curriculum committee formed for Carle Illinois College of Medicine Dec 10, 2015 9:00 am2364 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. Shape-shifting organic crystals use memory to improve plastic electronics Jan 25, 2018 9:45 am2363 views Researchers have identified a mechanism that triggers shape-memory phenomena in organic crystals used in plastic electronics. Shape-shifting structural materials are made with metal alloys, but the new generation of economical printable plastic electronics is poised to benefit from this phenomenon, too. Shape-memory materials science and plastic electronics technology, when merged, could open the door to advancements in low-power electronics, medical electronics devices and multifunctional shape-memory materials. Increased number of female engineers in managerial roles brings unintended consequences Jun 5, 2017 12:45 pm2326 views Increased female representation in the managerial ranks of engineering organizations may add another layer of sex segregation on top of the one it’s intended to mitigate, says a new paper from U. of I. labor professor M. Teresa Cardador. Portable device can quickly determine the extent of an eye injury Dec 8, 2015 8:45 am2294 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. New data-driven global climate model provides projections for urban environments Jan 4, 2021 9:00 am2288 views Cities only occupy about 3% of the Earth’s total land surface, but they bear the burden of the human-perceived effects of global climate change, researchers said. Global climate models are set up for big-picture analysis, leaving urban areas poorly represented. In a new study, researchers take a closer look at how climate change affects cities by using data-driven statistical models combined with traditional process-driven physical climate models. Machine learning helps spot gait problems in individuals with multiple sclerosis Mar 26, 2021 11:00 am2278 views Monitoring the progression of multiple sclerosis-related gait issues can be challenging in adults over 50 years old, requiring a clinician to differentiate between problems related to MS and other age-related issues. To address this problem, researchers are integrating gait data and machine learning to advance the tools used to monitor and predict disease progression. Carefully crafted light pulses control neuron activity Nov 17, 2017 9:45 am2232 views Specially tailored, ultrafast pulses of light can trigger neurons to fire and could one day help patients with light-sensitive circadian or mood problems, according to a new study in mice at the University of Illinois. Polymers jump through hoops on pathway to sustainable materials May 17, 2019 9:30 am2197 views Recyclable plastics that contain ring-shaped polymers may be a key to developing sustainable synthetic materials. Despite some promising advances, researchers said, a full understanding of how to processes ring polymers into practical materials remains elusive. In a new study, researchers identified a mechanism called “threading” that takes place when a polymer is stretched – a behavior not witnessed before. This new insight may lead to new processing methods for sustainable polymer materials. New model predicts how ground shipping will affect future human health, environment Feb 11, 2019 10:00 am2189 views The trucks and trains that transport goods across the United States emit gases and particles that threaten human health and the environment. A University of Illinois-led project developed a new model that predicts through 2050 the impact of different environmental policies on human mortality rates and short- and long-term climate change caused by particulate and greenhouse gas emissions. Multi-institutional team extracts more energy from sunlight with advanced solar panels Oct 6, 2020 8:00 am2170 views Researchers working to maximize solar panel efficiency said layering advanced materials atop traditional silicon is a promising path to eke more energy out of sunlight. A new study shows that by using a precisely controlled fabrication process, researchers can produce multilayered solar panels with the potential to be 1.5 times more efficient than traditional silicon panels. New study shows how oxygen transfer is altered in diseased lung tissue Apr 9, 2020 12:00 pm2164 views A multidisciplinary team of researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has developed tiny sensors that measure oxygen transport in bovine lung tissue. The study – which establishes a new framework for observing the elusive connection between lung membranes, oxygen flow and related disease – is published in the journal Nature Communications. Researchers expand microchip capability with new 3D inductor technology Jan 23, 2020 12:15 pm2148 views Smaller is better when it comes to microchips, researchers said, and by using 3D components on a standardized 2D microchip manufacturing platform, developers can use up to 100 times less chip space. A team of engineers has boosted the performance of its previously developed 3D inductor technology by adding as much as three orders of magnitudes more induction to meet the performance demands of modern electronic devices. DNA sensor quickly determines whether viruses are infectious Sep 22, 2021 1:00 pm2142 views A new sensor can detect not only whether a virus is present, but whether it’s infectious – an important distinction for containing viral spread. Researchers demonstrated the sensor, which integrates specially designed DNA fragments and nanopore sensing, with two key viruses that cause infections worldwide: the human adenovirus and the virus that causes COVID-19. AmpliMy project to give a voice to those who have trouble being heard Sep 15, 2015 9:45 am2079 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. DNA enzyme shuffles cell membranes a thousand times faster than its natural counterpart Jun 21, 2018 4:00 am2072 views A new synthetic enzyme, crafted from DNA rather than protein, flips lipid molecules within the cell membrane, triggering a signal pathway that could be harnessed to induce cell death in cancer cells. It is the first such synthetic enzyme to outperform its natural counterparts. Ultrathin LEDs create new classes of lighting and display systems Aug 20, 2009 9:00 am2051 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - A new process for creating ultrathin, ultrasmall inorganic light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and assembling them into large arrays offers new classes of lighting and display systems with interesting properties, such as see-through construction and mechanical flexibility, that would be impossible to achieve with existing technologies.