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  • Physics and astronomy professor Stuart Shapiro used data from a computer simulation that solves Einsteins equations of general relativity to create a visualization of merging binary black holes.

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

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

  • The annual Carbon Budget Project report found that among other trends, the global COVID-19 pandemic restrictions caused a record drop in CO2 emissions for 2020, says Illinois atmospheric sciences professor and report co-author Atul Jain.

    2020 a bad year in many respects, but what about global carbon emissions?

    The Global Carbon Project recently published the Global Carbon Budget 2020, giving world leaders access to data on atmospheric carbon concentrations, emissions and trends. Illinois atmospheric scientist Atul Jain was part of an international team of scientists that contributed data to the report. Jain talked about the carbon budget and this year’s findings with News Bureau physical sciences editor Lois Yoksoulian.

  • Sheldon Jacobson and Janet Jokela stand outdoors.

    2020 deadlier than previous five years, even with COVID-19 numbers removed, study finds

    An upswing in death rates from non-COVID-19 causes in 2020 hit hard for men ages 15-64, according to a new study by computer science professor Sheldon H. Jacobson and internal medicine professor Janet Jokela.

  • A new 3-D imaging technique for live cells uses a conventional microscope to capture image slices throughout the depth of the cell, then computationally renders them into one three-dimensional image. The technique uses no dyes or chemicals, allowing researchers to observe cells in their natural state.

    3-D imaging provides window into living cells, no dye required

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Living cells are ready for their close-ups, thanks to a new imaging technique that needs no dyes or other chemicals, yet renders high-resolution, three-dimensional, quantitative imagery of cells and their internal structures - all with conventional microscopes and white light.

  • Xiaohui Zhang, left, Andrew Smith, Kelly Swanson, Erik Nelson, Mark Anastasio and Junlong Geng are part of a team working to clarify the relationship between obesity and inflammation while on the hunt for obesity-fighting drug therapies.

    3D microscopy clarifies understanding of body's immune response to obesity

    Researchers who focus on fat know that some adipose tissue is more prone to inflammation-related comorbidities than others, but the reasons why are not well understood. Thanks to a new analytical technique, scientists are getting a clearer view of the microenvironments found within adipose tissue associated with obesity. This advance may illuminate why some adipose tissues are more prone to inflammation – leading to diseases like type 2 diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disorders – and help direct future drug therapies to treat obesity.

  • Freeform printing allows the researchers to make intricate structures, such as this model of a heart, that could not be made with traditional layer-by-layer 3-D printing. The structures could be used as scaffolds for tissue engineering or device manufacturing.

    3-D printed sugar scaffolds offer sweet solution for tissue engineering, device manufacturing

    University of Illinois engineers built a 3-D printer that offers a sweet solution to making detailed structures that commercial 3-D printers can’t: Rather than a layer-upon-layer solid shell, it produces a delicate network of thin ribbons of hardened isomalt, the type of sugar alcohol used to make throat lozenges.

    The water-soluble, biodegradable glassy sugar structures have multiple applications in biomedical engineering, cancer research and device manufacturing.

  • For the first time, a research team from Harvard University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign demonstrated the ability to 3-D-print a battery. This image shows the interlaced stack of electrodes that were printed layer by layer to create the working anode and cathode of a microbattery.

    3-D printing could lead to tiny medical implants, electronics, robots, more

    3-D printing now can be used to print lithium-ion microbatteries the size of a grain of sand. The printed microbatteries could supply electricity to tiny devices in fields from medicine to communications, including many that have lingered on lab benches for lack of a battery small enough to fit the device, yet providing enough stored energy to power it.

  • AAAS Fellows elected

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. Four University of Illinois researchers Paul D. Coleman, Richard I. Gumport, Jean-Pierre Leburton and Bruce R. Schatz are among 288 scientists elected as 2001 fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  • A thin plastic ribbon printed with advanced electronics is threaded through the eye of an ordinary sewing needle. The device, containing LEDs, electrodes and sensors, can be injected into the brain or other organs.

    A bright idea: Tiny injectable LEDs help neuroscientists study the brain

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - A new class of tiny, injectable LEDs is illuminating the deep mysteries of the brain.

  • Victoria Stodden, a University of Illinois professor of library and information science, says access to data and computer code used in computational science research will provide credibility for the results and lead to better quality work.

    Access to big data is crucial for credibility of computational research findings, says U. of I. library and information science professor

    Think of a scientist at work, and you might picture someone at a lab bench, doing a physical experiment involving beakers or petri dishes and recording his or her findings, which will eventually form the basis for a scientific paper.

  • A central Illinois carbon sequestration project hits a milestone

    One of the largest carbon sequestration projects in the U.S., the Illinois Basin - Decatur Project (IBDP) has reached its goal of capturing 1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide and injecting it deep underground in the Mount Simon Sandstone formation beneath Decatur, Illinois. The project is designed to demonstrate the feasibility of carbon capture and storage. IBDP director Robert Finley talked about the million-ton milestone with News Bureau physical sciences editor Liz Ahlberg. Finley is director of the Advanced Energy Technology Institute at the Illinois State Geological Survey, part of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois.

  • Professor Xiao Su, left, graduate student Stephen Cotty, center, and postdoctoral researcher Kwiyong Kim have developed an energy-efficient device that selectively absorbs a highly toxic form of arsenic in water and converts it into a far less toxic form.

    Advanced polymers help streamline water purification, environmental remediation

    It takes a lot of energy to collect, clean and dispose of contaminated water. Some contaminants, like arsenic, occur in low concentrations, calling for even more energy-intensive selective removal processes.

  • Advanced techniques yield new insights into ribosome self-assembly

    Ribosomes, the cellular machines that build proteins, are themselves made up of dozens of proteins and a few looping strands of RNA. A new study, reported in the journal Nature, offers new clues about how the ribosome, the master assembler of proteins, also assembles itself.

  • Professor Paul Braun and graduate student Chunjie Zhang developed a continuous glucose-monitoring system that changes color when glucose levels rise.

    A glucose meter of a different color provides continuous monitoring

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - University of Illinois engineers are bringing a touch of color to glucose monitoring.

  • Aluminum foil lamps outshine incandescent lights

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Researchers at the University of Illinois are developing panels of microcavity plasma lamps that may soon brighten people's lives. The thin, lightweight panels could be used for residential and commercial lighting, and for certain types of biomedical applications.

  • Rashid Bashir, a Bliss Professor of electrical and computer engineering and of bioengineering, center, led the researchers who developed a new solid-state nanopore sensor. He is flanked by graduate students Murali Venkatesan, left, and Sukru Yemenicioglu.

    Aluminum-oxide nanopore beats other materials for DNA analysis

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Fast and affordable genome sequencing has moved a step closer with a new solid-state nanopore sensor being developed by researchers at the University of Illinois.

  • Former General Electric Co. CEO and chairman Jack Welch went to work as a chemical engineer at GE immediately after completing a Ph.D. at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1960.

    Alumnus Jack Welch, former General Electric CEO and chairman, dies at 84

    John Francis “Jack” Welch Jr., 84, the former CEO and chairman of General Electric Co., has died. He was a chemical engineer who earned a Ph.D. in 1960 in chemical engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

  • Amtrak official to speak on future of high-speed rail initiative

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Michael Franke, assistant vice president and program director of AmtrakÕs Midwest Regional Rail Initiative, will discuss the initiative at a talk at noon Feb. 8 in Room 3269 of the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, 405 N. Mathews Ave., Urbana.

  • Researchers analyzed the orthodentin and the cementum in the sloth tooth. Pits mark locations where samples were collected for analysis.

    Ancient extinct sloth tooth in Belize tells story of creature’s last year

    Some 27,000 years ago in central Belize, a giant sloth was thirsty. The region was arid, not like today’s steamy jungle. The Last Glacial Maximum had locked up much of Earth’s moisture in polar ice caps and glaciers. Water tables in the area were low.

    The sloth, a beast that stood up to 4 meters tall, eventually found water – in a deep sinkhole with steep walls down to the water. That is where it took its final drink.

  • Sheldon H. Jacobson

    An economic model to reform pricing of pediatric vaccines

    A Minute With™... computer science professor Sheldon H. Jacobson and collaborator Ruben A. Proano, a professor of industrial and systems engineering at the Rochester Institute of Technology

  • Graduate student Seiko Fujii and chemistry professor Martin Burke developed a novel class of chemical "building blocks" to more efficiently synthesize complex molecules, such as the antioxidant synechoxanthin.

    A new set of building blocks for simple synthesis of complex molecules

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Assembling chemicals can be like putting together a puzzle. University of Illinois chemists have developed a way of fitting the pieces together to more efficiently build complex molecules, beginning with a powerful and promising antioxidant.

  • Steve Hilberg

    A new way to measure winter's severity

    A Minute With™... Steve Hilberg, the senior climatologist/meteorologist for the Midwestern Regional Climate Center

  • Answers to huge wind-farm problems are blowin' in the wind

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - While harnessing more energy from the wind could help satisfy growing demands for electricity and reduce emissions of global-warming gases, turbulence from proposed wind farms could adversely affect the growth of crops in the surrounding countryside.

  • Ecologist Daniel Schneider, a professor of urban and regional planning, has written a book on sewage treatment and the industrial ecosystem.

    Antimicrobials, perfumes, drugs pose challenges for sewage treatment

    CHAMPAIGN, lll. - Think of it like sourdough. Or beer. Or yogurt. These popular products are all created through a process that involves using bacteria to systematically break down organic matter. Even though the process relies on living microorganisms, it can be mechanized or industrialized for large-scale production.

  • Anxious adults judge facial cues faster, but less accurately

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Adults who are highly anxious can perceive changes in facial expressions more quickly than adults who are less anxious, a new study shows. By jumping to emotional conclusions, however, highly anxious adults may make more errors in judgment and perpetuate a cycle of conflict and misunderstanding in their relationships.

  • Sheldon Jacobson

    A perfect March Madness bracket? That's a long shot.

    A Minute With™... computer science professor Sheldon H. Jacobson

  • Ruby Mendenhall discusses a point during a meeting last spring with collaborators on an art exhibition, one of her many interdisciplinary projects.

    A professor not afraid to cross academic boundaries

    Illinois professor Ruby Mendenhall is focused on issues of poverty, inequality and violence, but crosses many academic boundaries in search of answers.

  • A new research article suggests that longer drought recovery times could increase vulnerability to future droughts, says atmospheric sciences professor Atul Jain.

    Are droughts becoming more extreme and severe?

    "Because future climate projections exhibit 'more extreme extremes,' drought recovery times will be critical for assessing ecosystem resilience."

  • The annual Carbon Budget report found that, although fossil fuel emissions remained steady in 2015, the level of atmospheric carbon reached a record high, says atmospheric sciences professor Atul Jain.

    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.

     

  • Atmospheric sciences professor Don Wuebbles is an expert on climate and climate change

    Are global warming, recent Midwest cold snap related?

    Last month, the Midwest experienced record-breaking cold temperatures and many are wondering how, when the climate is experiencing an unprecedented warming trend, we can still experience such frigid cold. News Bureau physical sciences editor Lois Yoksoulian asked University of Illinois atmospheric sciences professor Don Wuebbles to explain.

  • Sheldon H. Jacobson

    Are there still holes in aviation security, 10 years after 9/11?

    A Minute With™... aviation security expert Sheldon H. Jacobson

  • Sheldon H. Jacobson

    Are there still holes in aviation security, ten years after 9/11?

    A Minute With™... computer science professor Sheldon H. Jacobson

     

  • Sheldon H. Jacobson

    Are there still holes in aviation security, ten years after 9/11?

    A Minute With™...  computer science professor Sheldon H. Jacobson

  • 'Are We Alone?' to be topic of astronomy's Icko Iben Distinguished Lecture

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Steven Beckwith, the director of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, will present the third talk in the department of astronomy's Icko Iben Jr. Distinguished Lectureship at 4 p.m. Oct. 4 in Foellinger Auditorium, 709 S. Mathews Ave., Urbana. The talk, "Are We Alone?," is free and open to the public.

  • Leslie Looney

    Are we sure that asteroid will miss Earth? Won't it get pulled in by gravity?

    A Minute With™... astronomy professor Leslie Looney

  • Professor Leslie Looney

    Are you ready for the solar eclipse?

    Astronomy professor Leslie Looney on what will it look like on – and off – the "path of totality."

  • Professor Chris Flectcher

    Are you vulnerable to newly discovered online security risks?

    Nearly everyone is. And the culprits, Meltdown and Spectre, could wreak havoc on personal security if ignored, says computer science professor Chris Fletcher

  • Industrial and enterprise systems engineering professor Lavanya Marla and collaborators used artificial intelligence to design a customized pricing model for airline customers.

    Artificial intelligence could help air travelers save a bundle

    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.

  • Scott Weisberg, left, professor Saurabh Sinha, seated, Mohammad (Sam) Hamedi Rad and professor Huimin Zhao have combined a fully automated robotic platform with artificial intelligence to develop a new way to manufacture chemicals.

    Artificial intelligence to run the chemical factories of the future

    A new proof-of-concept study details how an automated system driven by artificial intelligence can design, build, test and learn complex biochemical pathways to efficiently produce lycopene, a red pigment found in tomatoes and commonly used as a food coloring, opening the door to a wide range of biosynthetic applications, researchers report.  

  • Chemistry professor Prashant Jain, left, and postdoctoral researcher Sungju Yu have developed an artificial photosynthesis process that converts excess CO2 into valuable fuels, bringing green technology one step closer to large-scale solar energy storage.

    Artificial photosynthesis transforms carbon dioxide into liquefiable fuels

    Chemists at the University of Illinois have successfully produced fuels using water, carbon dioxide and visible light through artificial photosynthesis. By converting carbon dioxide into more complex molecules like propane, green energy technology is now one step closer to using excess CO2 to store solar energy – in the form of chemical bonds – for use when the sun is not shining and in times of peak demand.

  • A shot to the heart: Nanoneedle delivers quantum dots to cell nucleus

    Getting an inside look at the center of a cell can be as easy as a needle prick, thanks to University of Illinois researchers who have developed a tiny needle to deliver a shot right to a cell’s nucleus.

  • A new course co-developed by plant science professor Katy Heath teaches graduate students skills such as communicating about their research with nonscientists and developing educational outreach programs. Part of the Amplify the Signal course: graduate students, from left, front row, Cassandra Wesseln, Jennifer Han and Miranda Haus; back row, Rhiannon Peery, Christina Silliman and Heath.

    Aspiring scientists learning to translate their research into language public understands

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Communicating the relevance of one's scientific research to general audiences and developing educational outreach programs are critical to the career success of college professors and researchers, but graduate curricula often fail to help students cultivate these essential skills.

  • Asteroid named for U. of I. astronomy professor

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - James B. Kaler, professor emeritus of astronomy at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, now has even more reason to be gazing at the night sky. He has had an asteroid named after him.

  • Astronomers find stellar cradle where planets form

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Astronomers at the University of Illinois have found the first clear evidence for a cradle in space where planets and moons form. The cradle, revealed in photographs taken with NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, consists of a flattened envelope of gas and dust surrounding a young protostar.

  • Astronomy professor Tony Wong led an international team of astronomers to create a detailed map of star-forming regions of the Large Magellanic Cloud, a neighboring galaxy.

    Astronomers look to neighboring galaxy for star formation insight

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - An international team of astronomers has mapped in detail the star-birthing regions of the nearest star-forming galaxy to our own, a step toward understanding the conditions surrounding star creation.

  • Asymmetric feature shows puzzling face for superconductivity

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The weird behavior of electrons tunneling across an atomically flat interface within a cuprate superconductor has defied explanation by theories of high-temperature superconductivity.

  • At molecular scale, vibrational couplings define heat conduction

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Too much heat can destroy a sturdy automobile engine or a miniature microchip. As scientists and engineers strive to make ever-smaller nanoscale devices, from molecular motors and switches to single-molecule transistors, the control of heat is becoming a burning issue.

  • Nanocrystals of cadmium selenide, known for their brilliant luminescence, display intriguing chemical behavior resulting from positive cooperation between atoms, a behavior akin to that found in biomolecules.

    Atoms in a nanocrystal cooperate, much like in biomolecules

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Researchers have long thought that biological molecules and synthetic nanocrystals were similar only in size. Now, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign chemists have found that they can add reactivity to the list of shared traits. Atoms in a nanocrystal can cooperate with each other to facilitate binding or switching, a phenomenon widely found in biological molecules.

  • A team of researchers developed a new broad-spectrum antibiotic that kills bacteria by punching holes in their membranes. Front row, from left: materials science and engineering professor Jianjun and postdoctoral researcher Yan Bao. Back row, from left: postdoctoral researcher Menghau Xiong, graduate students Ziyuan Song and Rachael Mansbach, materials science and engineering professor Andrew Ferguson, and biochemistry professor Lin-Feng Cheng.

    Bacterial hole puncher could be new broad-spectrum antibiotic

    Bacteria have many methods of adapting to resist antibiotics, but a new class of spiral polypeptides developed at the University of Illinois targets one thing no bacterium can live without: an outer membrane.

  • Topography of a red blood cell as measured by the SLIM optical technique. Though the cell keeps its shape as it ages, the membrane becomes less flexible.

    Banked blood grows stiffer with age, study finds

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - It may look like fresh blood and flow like fresh blood, but the longer blood is stored, the less it can carry oxygen into the tiny microcapillaries of the body, says a new study from University of Illinois researchers.