blog postsIncreased number of female engineers in managerial roles brings unintended consequencesJun 5, 2017 12:45 pm2199 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.Shape-shifting organic crystals use memory to improve plastic electronicsJan 25, 2018 9:45 am2198 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.Researchers use sound waves to advance optical communicationJan 22, 2018 10:00 am2132 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.Color-changing sensor detects signs of eye damage in tearsAug 31, 2018 8:00 am2131 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. Carefully crafted light pulses control neuron activityNov 17, 2017 9:45 am1973 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.Electroplating delivers high-energy, high-power batteriesMay 12, 2017 2:00 pm1953 views The process that makes gold-plated jewelry or chrome car accents is now making powerful lithium-ion batteries.AmpliMy project to give a voice to those who have trouble being heardSep 15, 2015 9:45 am1944 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.Light helps the transistor laser switch fasterMar 9, 2016 8:30 am1938 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.Regenerating plastic grows back after damageMay 8, 2014 9:00 am1891 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.Stem cells from muscle could address diabetes-related circulation problemsNov 6, 2017 10:45 am1847 views Stem cells taken from muscle tissue could promote better blood flow in patients with diabetes who develop peripheral artery disease, a painful complication that can require surgery or lead to amputation.DNA enzyme shuffles cell membranes a thousand times faster than its natural counterpartJun 21, 2018 4:00 am1843 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.Is there a cure for potholes?Feb 27, 2019 2:00 pm1830 views Temperatures may be on the rise, but many motorists and pedestrians remain focused on the ground as they attempt to navigate safely around the many potholes that develop this time of year. Industrial and enterprise systems engineering professor Henrique M. Reis spoke with Illinois News Bureau physical sciences editor Lois Yoksoulian about how potholes form and if there are any potential solutions.Superfluidity: what is it and why does it matter?Dec 20, 2018 8:45 am1806 views 2018 marks the 80th anniversary of the landmark physics discovery of superfluidity. News Bureau physical sciences editor Lois Yoksoulian asked University of Illinois physics professor and 2003 Nobel Prize winner Anthony Leggett about the significance of the historic finding.Illinois technician combines engineering and creativity in a DIY synthesizerJan 27, 2017 8:45 am1784 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.Chemicals that keep drinking water flowing may also cause foulingJul 25, 2018 7:30 am1753 views Many city drinking water systems add softening agents to keep plumbing free of pipe-clogging mineral buildup. According to new research, these additives may amplify the risk of pathogen release into drinking water by weakening the grip that bacteria – like those responsible for Legionnaires’ disease – have on pipe interiors. Measure of age in soil nitrogen could help precision agricultureJul 25, 2016 8:00 am1748 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.New drug seeks receptors in sarcoma cells, attacks tumors in animal trialsDec 13, 2018 9:30 am1719 views A new compound that targets a receptor within sarcoma cancer cells shrank tumors and hampered their ability to spread in mice and pigs, a study from researchers at the University of Illinois reports.Ultrathin LEDs create new classes of lighting and display systemsAug 20, 2009 9:00 am1718 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.Nanostructured metal coatings let the light through for electrical devicesDec 8, 2015 9:15 am1713 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.Method opens a window on how stress and strain affect battery performanceAug 1, 2016 12:15 pm1676 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.Researchers develop microbubble scrubber to destroy dangerous biofilmsSep 19, 2018 10:15 am1640 views Stiff microbial films often coat medical devices, household items and infrastructure such as the inside of water supply pipes, and can lead to dangerous infections. Researchers have developed a system that harnesses the power of bubbles to propel tiny particles through the surfaces of these tough films and deliver an antiseptic deathblow to the microbes living inside.New aircraft-scheduling models may ease air travel frustrationsJun 11, 2018 8:30 am1634 views Flight schedules that allow for a little carefully designed wiggle room could prevent the frustration of cascading airport delays and cancellations. By focusing on the early phases of flight schedule planning and delays at various scales, researchers have developed models to help create schedules that are less susceptible to delays and easier to fix once disrupted.Study: Human wastewater valuable to global agriculture, economicsAug 15, 2018 12:45 pm1596 views It may seem off-putting to some, but human waste is full of nutrients that can be recycled into valuable products that could promote agricultural sustainability and better economic independence for some developing countries.High-power electronics keep their cool with new heat-conducting crystalsJul 5, 2018 1:00 pm1564 views The inner workings of high-power electronic devices must remain cool to operate reliably. High internal temperatures can make programs run slower, freeze or shut down. Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and The University of Texas, Dallas have collaborated to optimize the crystal-growing process of boron arsenide – a material that has excellent thermal properties and can effectively dissipate the heat generated in electronic devices.Muscle-powered bio-bots walk on commandJun 30, 2014 9:00 am1533 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - A new generation of miniature biological robots is flexing its muscle.Self-healing tech charges up performance for silicon-containing battery anodesMay 15, 2017 8:30 am1518 views Researchers at the University of Illinois have found a way to apply self-healing technology to lithium-ion batteries to make them more reliable and last longer.Shrimp-inspired camera may enable underwater navigationApr 4, 2018 1:00 pm1481 views The underwater environment may appear to the human eye as a dull-blue, featureless space. However, a vast landscape of polarization patterns appear when viewed through a camera that is designed to see the world through the eyes of many of the animals that inhabit the water. Force triggers gene expression by stretching chromatinAug 22, 2016 10:00 am1481 views A new study by University of Illinois researchers and collaborators in China has demonstrated that external mechanical force can directly regulate gene expression.New polymer manufacturing process saves 10 orders of magnitude of energyMay 9, 2018 12:00 pm1452 views Makers of cars, planes, buses – anything that needs strong, lightweight and heat resistant parts – are poised to benefit from a new manufacturing process that requires only a quick touch from a small heat source to send a cascading hardening wave through a polymer. Researchers at the University of Illinois have developed a new polymer-curing process that could reduce the cost, time and energy needed, compared with the current manufacturing process.Engineers on a roll toward smaller, more efficient radio frequency transformersMay 14, 2018 10:00 am1393 views The future of electronic devices lies partly within the “internet of things” – the network of devices, vehicles and appliances embedded within electronics to enable connectivity and data exchange. University of Illinois engineers are helping realize this future by minimizing the size of one notoriously large element of integrated circuits used for wireless communication – the transformer.Tiny aquariums put nanoparticle self-assembly on displayOct 2, 2017 8:15 am1388 views Seeing is believing when it comes to nanoparticle self-assembly. A team of University of Illinois engineers is observing the interactions of colloidal gold nanoparticles inside tiny aquariumlike sample containers to gain more control over the self-assembly process of engineered materials.Researchers develop transistors that can switch between two stable energy statesMay 9, 2017 8:30 am1377 views Engineers are unveiling an upgrade to the transistor laser that could be used to boost computer processor speeds – the formation of two stable energy states and the ability to switch between them quickly. Researchers develop model to show how bacteria grow in plumbing systemsMar 29, 2018 11:45 am1376 views Bacteria in tap water can multiply when a faucet isn’t used for a few days, such as when a house is vacant over a week’s vacation, a new study from University of Illinois engineers found. The study suggests a new method to show how microbial communities, including those responsible for illnesses like Legionnaires’ disease, may assemble inside the plumbing systems of homes and public buildingsTiny drug-delivering capsules could sustain transplanted insulin-producing cells for diabeticsFeb 12, 2018 9:15 am1362 views 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.CRISPR mines bacterial genome for hidden pharmaceutical treasureApr 10, 2017 10:00 am1361 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.New methods tackle a perplexing engineering conceptOct 9, 2017 2:00 pm1358 views Researchers at the University of Illinois are working to turn a complex materials design problem into an intuitive concept, understandable to engineers from novice to advanced experience levels. The group developed guidelines to help understand materials engineered to become thicker when stretched. This highly useful property, which is not commonly found in nature, has applications for protective sports equipment, body armor and biomedical devices.A little support from their online friends calms test-anxious studentsApr 27, 2017 10:00 am1337 views Reading supportive comments, “likes” and private messages from social media friends prior to taking a test may help college students who have high levels of test-anxiety reduce their nervousness by 21 percent and improve their scores, researchers at the University of Illinois found.Shape-shifting agent targets harmful bacteria in the stomachNov 13, 2017 2:00 pm1314 views A new shape-shifting polymer can target and kill Helicobacter pylori bacteria in the stomach without killing helpful bacteria in the gut.New model predicts how ground shipping will affect future human health, environmentFeb 11, 2019 10:00 am1311 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.Chemical etching method helps transistors stand tallJul 25, 2016 10:15 am1288 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.Science at Illinois feeds the world, furthers health, protects the planetApr 17, 2017 8:30 am1285 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.Nanopores could map small changes in DNA that signal big shifts in cancerApr 12, 2017 10:00 am1270 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.Tiny exports signal big shifts in cancer tissue, researchers findJan 25, 2017 1:30 pm1255 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.Researchers look to patterns to envision new engineering fieldOct 26, 2017 8:00 am1226 views The phenomenon that forms interference patterns on television displays when a camera focuses on a pattern like a person wearing stripes has inspired a new way to conceptualize electronic devices. Researchers at the University of Illinois are showing how the atomic-scale version of this phenomenon may hold the secrets to help advance electronics design to the limits of size and speed. Researchers make headway in desalination technologyOct 12, 2017 2:00 pm1192 views 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.Andreas C. Cangellaris to lead U. of I. College of EngineeringJun 20, 2013 9:00 am1144 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill - Andreas C. Cangellaris, the head of the department of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has been chosen to be the next dean of the College of Engineering. Industrial designer will help make wearable health-monitoring electronics comfortable, easy to useSep 15, 2015 9:30 am1099 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.Unmuting large silent genes lets bacteria produce new molecules, potential drug candidatesDec 31, 2018 10:00 am1093 views By enticing away the repressors dampening unexpressed, silent genes in Streptomyces bacteria, researchers at the University of Illinois have unlocked several large gene clusters for new natural products, according to a study published in the journal Nature Chemical Biology.Cradle turns smartphone into handheld biosensorMay 23, 2013 9:00 am1092 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Researchers and physicians in the field could soon run on-the-spot tests for environmental toxins, medical diagnostics, food safety and more with their smartphones.Researchers gain control over soft-molecule synthesisJan 14, 2019 2:00 pm1087 views By gaining control over shape, size and composition during synthetic molecule assembly, researchers can begin to probe how these factors influence the function of soft materials. Finding these answers could help advance virology, drug delivery development and the creation of new materials.