blog postsPortable device can quickly determine the extent of an eye injuryDec 8, 2015 8:45 am2145 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.Increased number of female engineers in managerial roles brings unintended consequencesJun 5, 2017 12:45 pm2096 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 am2075 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.Six Illinois faculty members elected AAAS FellowsNov 21, 2016 10:00 am2072 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.COMPASS method points researchers to protein structuresOct 9, 2015 12:30 pm2050 views Searching for the precise, complexly folded three-dimensional structure of a protein can be like hacking through a jungle without a map: a long, intensive process with uncertain direction. University of Illinois researchers developed a new approach, dubbed COMPASS, that points directly to a protein’s likely structure using a combination of advanced molecular spectroscopy techniques, predictive protein-folding algorithms and image recognition software.Sensors detect disease markers in breathMay 18, 2017 11:45 am2037 views A small, thin square of an organic plastic that can detect disease markers in breath or toxins in a building’s air could soon be the basis of portable, disposable sensor devices. By riddling the thin plastic films with pores, University of Illinois researchers made the devices sensitive enough to detect at levels that are far too low to smell, yet are important to human health.Carefully crafted light pulses control neuron activityNov 17, 2017 9:45 am1896 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.Researchers use sound waves to advance optical communicationJan 22, 2018 10:00 am1895 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.Light helps the transistor laser switch fasterMar 9, 2016 8:30 am1893 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.New microscope technique reveals internal structure of live embryosAug 8, 2017 7:00 am1881 views University of Illinois researchers have developed a way to produce 3-D images of live embryos in cattle that could help determine embryo viability before in vitro fertilization in humans.Cicada wings may inspire new surface technologiesAug 2, 2017 8:00 am1850 views Researchers are looking to insects – specifically cicadas – for insight into the design of artificial surfaces with de-icing, self-cleaning and anti-fogging abilities. Five Illinois faculty members named Sloan Research FellowsFeb 23, 2016 9:15 am1842 views Five University of Illinois faculty members received the 2016 Sloan Research Fellowship from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.Can data analytics help you fill out a March Madness bracket?Mar 7, 2017 9:30 am1809 views Fill in your March Madness bracket from the center out, says bracketologist Sheldon H. Jacobson.Study shows new forests cannot take in as much carbon as predictedSep 24, 2015 9:45 am1797 views As carbon emissions continue to rise, scientists project forests will grow faster and larger, due to an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide, which fuels photosynthesis. But a new study by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom finds that these projections are overestimated.Geography professor awarded Guggenheim FellowshipApr 5, 2018 8:45 am1795 views University of Illinois professor of geography Jesse Ribot has been awarded a 2018 Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship.Klaus Schulten, pioneer in biophysics and computational biology, has diedNov 4, 2016 8:30 am1759 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.Illinois researcher generates random ‘reactions’ to consider how Facebook uses our informationFeb 9, 2017 8:30 am1748 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.Electroplating delivers high-energy, high-power batteriesMay 12, 2017 2:00 pm1721 views The process that makes gold-plated jewelry or chrome car accents is now making powerful lithium-ion batteries.Measure of age in soil nitrogen could help precision agricultureJul 25, 2016 8:00 am1710 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.Scientists: Expanding Brazilian sugarcane could dent global CO2 emissionsOct 23, 2017 9:45 am1693 views Vastly expanding sugarcane production in Brazil for conversion to ethanol could reduce current global carbon dioxide emissions by as much as 5.6 percent, researchers report in the journal Nature Climate Change.Nanostructured metal coatings let the light through for electrical devicesDec 8, 2015 9:15 am1688 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.Study suggests ample warning of supervolcano eruptionsApr 30, 2018 8:30 am1661 views Concern over the potential imminent eruptions of Earth’s supervolcanoes, like Taupo in New Zealand or Yellowstone in the United States, may be quelled by the results of a new study suggesting that geological signs pointing to a catastrophic eruption would be clear far in advance.Researchers identify cheaper, greener biofuels processing catalystAug 25, 2017 8:00 am1646 views Fuels that are produced from nonpetroleum-based biological sources may become greener and more affordable, thanks to research performed at the University of Illinois’ Prairie Research Institute that examines the use of a processing catalyst made from palladium metal and bacteria.Method opens a window on how stress and strain affect battery performanceAug 1, 2016 12:15 pm1631 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.Study: Surge in obesity correlates with increased automobile usageMay 11, 2011 9:00 am1593 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Junk food, video games and a lack of exercise all have received their fair share of blame for the spiraling epidemic of obesity in the U.S. But according to a University of Illinois researcher, public health enemy No. 1 for our supersized nation may very well be the one staple of modern life most Americans can't seem to live without one (or more) of: the automobile.Regenerating plastic grows back after damageMay 8, 2014 9:00 am1591 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.Researchers tap problematic e-waste surplus to recover high-quality polymersMar 14, 2018 8:30 am1466 views 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.Muscle-powered bio-bots walk on commandJun 30, 2014 9:00 am1432 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 am1426 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.Can the FBI hack the iPhone?Feb 25, 2016 12:30 pm1408 views A Minute With...™ computer scientist Roy H. CampbellForce triggers gene expression by stretching chromatinAug 22, 2016 10:00 am1401 views A new study by University of Illinois researchers and collaborators in China has demonstrated that external mechanical force can directly regulate gene expression.Earth's surprise inside: Geologists unlock mysteries of the planet's inner coreFeb 9, 2015 9:00 am1384 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Seismic waves are helping scientists to plumb the world's deepest mystery: the planet's inner core.DNA enzyme shuffles cell membranes a thousand times faster than its natural counterpartJun 21, 2018 4:00 am1377 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.New algorithm fuses quality and quantity in satellite imageryJun 4, 2018 8:30 am1356 views Using a new algorithm, University of Illinois researchers may have found the solution to an age-old dilemma plaguing satellite imagery – whether to sacrifice high spatial resolution in the interest of generating images more frequently, or vice versa. The team’s new tool eliminates this trade-off by fusing high-resolution and high-frequency satellite data into one integrated product, and can generate 30-meter daily continuous images going back to the year 2000. Researchers develop transistors that can switch between two stable energy statesMay 9, 2017 8:30 am1344 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. Time-lapse cell imaging reveals dynamic activityOct 26, 2016 12:30 pm1338 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.Study: Alaskan boreal forest fires release more carbon than the trees can absorbOct 19, 2015 9:30 am1325 views A new analysis of fire activity in Alaska's Yukon Flats finds that so many forest fires are occurring there that the area has become a net exporter of carbon to the atmosphere. This is worrisome, the researchers say, because arctic and subarctic boreal forests like those of the Yukon Flats contain roughly one-third of the Earth's terrestrial carbon stores.Jazz-playing robot will provide insight into how computers communicate with humansOct 14, 2015 9:30 am1304 views A University of Illinois researcher is designing a robot – actually a computer system – that will communicate with humans through jazz improvisation and provide insight into artificial intelligence and human-computer interaction.New methods tackle a perplexing engineering conceptOct 9, 2017 2:00 pm1292 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.Tiny aquariums put nanoparticle self-assembly on displayOct 2, 2017 8:15 am1272 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.Science at Illinois feeds the world, furthers health, protects the planetApr 17, 2017 8:30 am1263 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.Chemical etching method helps transistors stand tallJul 25, 2016 10:15 am1243 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.Researchers develop model to show how bacteria grow in plumbing systemsMar 29, 2018 11:45 am1235 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 exports signal big shifts in cancer tissue, researchers findJan 25, 2017 1:30 pm1224 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.DNA molecules directly interact with each other based on sequence, study findsMar 22, 2016 11:00 am1223 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.Engineers on a roll toward smaller, more efficient radio frequency transformersMay 14, 2018 10:00 am1222 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 drug-delivering capsules could sustain transplanted insulin-producing cells for diabeticsFeb 12, 2018 9:15 am1192 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.New polymer manufacturing process saves 10 orders of magnitude of energyMay 9, 2018 12:00 pm1187 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.Geologic imaging technique measures strength of Earth’s outer shellSep 29, 2016 1:00 pm1181 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.Shrimp-inspired camera may enable underwater navigationApr 4, 2018 1:00 pm1179 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.