blog posts Electric cooker an easy, efficient way to sanitize N95 masks, study finds Aug 6, 2020 9:30 am146825 views Owners of electric multicookers may be able to add another use to its list of functions, a new study suggests: sanitization of N95 respirator masks. The University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign study found that 50 minutes of dry heat in an electric cooker, such as a rice cooker or Instant Pot, decontaminated N95 respirators inside and out while maintaining their filtration and fit. This could enable wearers to safely reuse limited supplies of the respirators, originally intended to be one-time-use items. Making a homemade COVID mask? Study explains best fabric choices May 1, 2020 9:45 am35952 views Health authorities believe COVID-19 spreads by the transmission of respiratory droplets, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends homemade cloth face coverings for use in public spaces. Starting today, Illinois joins many other states in requiring people to wear masks while out. However, initial uncertainty regarding the masks’ effectiveness in reducing exhaled droplets leaves some people unsure or skeptical of their usefulness during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Mechanical science and engineering professor Taher Saif spoke with News Bureau physical sciences editor Lois Yoksoulian about a study that he and his graduate students, Onur Aydin and Bashar Emon, performed on the effectiveness of common household fabrics for use in homemade masks. Six Illinois scientists rank among world's most influential Nov 16, 2021 7:45 am15437 views Six faculty members at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign have been named to the 2021 Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researchers list. Superfluidity: what is it and why does it matter? Dec 20, 2018 8:45 am13380 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. Paper tubes make stiff origami structures Sep 7, 2015 2:00 pm13144 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – From shipping and construction to outer space, origami could put a folded twist on structural engineering. Nick Holonyak Jr., pioneer of LED lighting, dies Sep 18, 2022 3:00 pm12737 views Nick Holonyak Jr., a renowned innovator of illumination, has died. The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign professor was 93 years old. Holonyak (pronounced huh-LON-yak) is credited with the development of the first practical visible-spectrum LED, now commonly used in light bulbs, device displays and lasers worldwide. Models predict optimal airplane seating for reduced viral transmission Dec 21, 2021 9:45 am12464 views As airline ticket sales have soared during the holiday season and the omicron variant causes surges of COVID-19 cases, a new University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign study may help passengers and airlines reduce risk of COVID-19 transmission by optimally seating passengers to minimize potential virus spread. Researchers used the most current data on aerosol spread on airplanes to calculate optimal seating assignments for common Boeing aircraft at different capacities. Small in size, big on power: New microbatteries a boost for electronics Apr 16, 2013 9:00 am11038 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Though they be but little, they are fierce. The most powerful batteries on the planet are only a few millimeters in size, yet they pack such a punch that a driver could use a cellphone powered by these batteries to jump-start a dead car battery - and then recharge the phone in the blink of an eye. Eleven Illinois researchers rank among world’s most influential Nov 29, 2018 10:15 am10793 views Eleven faculty members at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have been named to the 2018 Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researchers list. Bashir named College of Engineering dean Oct 10, 2018 9:30 am10295 views Rashid Bashir, the executive associate dean and chief diversity officer of the Carle Illinois College of Medicine, will become the next dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign effective Nov. 1. Three Illinois professors named Sloan Research Fellows Feb 15, 2018 9:00 am9145 views Three Illinois scientists are among 126 recipients of the 2018 Sloan Research Fellowships from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. According to the foundation, the awards “honor early career scholars whose achievements mark them as among the very best scientific minds working today.” Winners receive a two-year $65,000 fellowship to further their research. U of I to lead two of seven new national artificial intelligence institutes Aug 26, 2020 8:00 am9087 views The National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture are announcing an investment of more than $140 million to establish seven artificial intelligence institutes in the U.S. Two of the seven will be led by teams at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. The USDA-NIFA will fund the AI Institute for Future Agricultural Resilience, Management and Sustainability at the U. of I. Illinois computer science professor Vikram Adve will lead the AIFARMS Institute. The NSF will fund the AI Institute for Molecular Discovery, Synthetic Strategy and Manufacturing, also known as the Molecule Maker Lab Institute. Huimin Zhao, a U. of I. professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and of chemistry, will lead this institute. Illinois physics professor named national Professor of the Year Nov 19, 2015 8:30 am8890 views Mats Selen, professor of physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has been named Outstanding Doctoral and Research Universities Professor of the Year by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Nanopores could take the salt out of seawater Nov 10, 2015 1:45 pm8547 views University of Illinois engineers have found an energy-efficient material for removing salt from seawater that could provide a rebuttal to poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s lament, “Water, water, every where, nor any drop to drink.” Why is the use of hypersonic missiles in the Russia-Ukraine conflict significant? Mar 22, 2022 8:15 am8504 views The U.S. recently confirmed that the Russian Ministry of Defence fired a hypersonic ballistic missile to destroy an underground arms depot in western Ukraine. This event marks Russia’s first use of the Kinzhal ballistic missile in this war and the first known use of a hypersonic missile in combat. Mechanical science and engineering professor Kelly Stephani spoke with News Bureau physical sciences editor Lois Yoksoulian about the significance of this technology. Study: Portable, point-of-care COVID-19 test could bypass the lab Aug 31, 2020 2:00 pm7672 views In a new study, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign researchers have demonstrated a prototype of a rapid COVID-19 molecular test and a simple-to-use, portable instrument for reading the results with a smartphone in 30 minutes, which could enable point-of-care diagnosis without needing to send samples to a lab. Shape of tumor may affect whether cells can metastasize Apr 27, 2016 10:45 am7089 views Only a few cells in a cancerous tumor are able to break away and spread to other parts of the body, but the curve along the edge of the tumor may play a large role in activating these tumor-seeding cells, according to a new University of Illinois study. Tiny electronic implants monitor brain injury, then melt away Jan 18, 2016 10:00 am7058 views A new class of small, thin electronic sensors can monitor temperature and pressure within the skull – crucial health parameters after a brain injury or surgery – then melt away when they are no longer needed, eliminating the need for additional surgery to remove the monitors and reducing the risk of infection and hemorrhage. Eight Illinois researchers rank among world’s most influential Nov 18, 2016 9:15 am6823 views Eight University of Illinois researchers have been named to the Thomson Reuters / Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researchers list for 2016. The list identifies scientists “whose research has had significant global impact within their respective fields of study." Off the shelf, on the skin: Stick-on electronic patches for health monitoring Apr 3, 2014 1:00 pm6241 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Wearing a fitness tracker on your wrist or clipped to your belt is so 2013. Engineers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Northwestern University have demonstrated thin, soft stick-on patches that stretch and move with the skin and incorporate commercial, off-the-shelf chip-based electronics for sophisticated wireless health monitoring. Corn better used as food than biofuel, study finds Jun 20, 2017 9:00 am6069 views Corn is grown not only for food, it is also an important renewable energy source. Renewable biofuels can come with hidden economic and environmental issues, and the question of whether corn is better utilized as food or as a biofuel has persisted since ethanol came into use. For the first time, researchers at the University of Illinois have quantified and compared these issues in terms of economics of the entire production system to determine if the benefits of biofuel corn outweigh the costs. Scott R. White, pioneer of self-healing materials, has died May 31, 2018 10:45 am6063 views University of Illinois aerospace engineering professor Scott R. White, an innovator of self-healing and self-regulating materials, died Monday of cancer at age 55. Most homemade masks are doing a great job, even when we sneeze, study finds Sep 17, 2020 9:30 am6035 views Studies indicate that homemade masks help combat the spread of viruses like COVID-19 when combined with frequent hand-washing and physical distancing. Many of these studies focus on the transfer of tiny aerosol particles; however, researchers say that speaking, coughing and sneezing generates larger droplets that carry virus particles. Because of this, mechanical engineer Taher Saif said the established knowledge may not be enough to determine how the effectiveness of some fabrics used in homemade masks. Nick Holonyak Jr., pioneer of LED lighting, awarded Queen Elizabeth Prize Feb 2, 2021 8:00 am5969 views Nick Holonyak Jr., a renowned innovator of illumination, has been awarded the 2021 Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering “for the creation and development of LED lighting, which forms the basis of all solid-state lighting technology.” Holonyak (pronounced huh-LON-yak) is credited with the development of the first practical visible-spectrum LED, now commonly used in light bulbs, device displays and lasers worldwide. Disposable surgical masks best for being heard clearly when speaking, study finds Dec 23, 2020 8:00 am5958 views Researcher Ryan Corey recently heard from a friend who teaches at a school where some of the students have hearing loss. The friend wanted to know if he had any ideas to help her communicate with these students while wearing a mask to slow the spread of COVID-19. Corey, who also has hearing loss, did not know what to tell her. So, he headed to the Illinois Augmented Listening Laboratory to look for solutions. Record-speed data transmission could make big data more accessible Mar 22, 2016 9:45 am5941 views With record-breaking speeds for fiber-optic data transmission, University of Illinois engineers have paved a fast lane on the information superhighway – creating on-ramps for big data in the process. Smart skin: Electronics that stick and stretch like a temporary tattoo Aug 11, 2011 9:00 am5757 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Engineers have developed a device platform that combines electronic components for sensing, medical diagnostics, communications and human-machine interfaces, all on an ultrathin skin-like patch that mounts directly onto the skin with the ease, flexibility and comfort of a temporary tattoo. Quick test finds signs of sepsis in a single drop of blood Jul 3, 2017 7:30 am5701 views A new portable device can quickly find markers of deadly, unpredictable sepsis infection from a single drop of blood. Researchers build microscopic biohybrid robots propelled by muscles, nerves Sep 16, 2019 2:00 pm5554 views Researchers have developed soft robotic devices driven by neuromuscular tissue that triggers when stimulated by light – bringing mechanical engineering one step closer to developing autonomous biobots. Mantis shrimp-inspired camera enables glimpse into hidden world Oct 12, 2017 3:15 pm5508 views By mimicking the eye of the mantis shrimp, Illinois researchers have developed an ultra-sensitive camera capable of sensing both color and polarization. The bioinspired imager can potentially improve early cancer detection and help provide a new understanding of underwater phenomena, the researchers said. New CRISPR technique skips over portions of genes that can cause disease Aug 16, 2018 11:30 am5445 views In a new study in cells, University of Illinois researchers have adapted CRISPR gene-editing technology to cause the cell’s internal machinery to skip over a small portion of a gene when transcribing it into a template for protein building. This gives researchers a way not only to eliminate a mutated gene sequence, but to influence how the gene is expressed and regulated. Such targeted editing could one day be useful for treating genetic diseases caused by mutations in the genome, such as Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy, Huntington’s disease or some cancers. 3-D printed sugar scaffolds offer sweet solution for tissue engineering, device manufacturing May 23, 2018 2:00 pm5273 views 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. Six Illinois faculty members elected AAAS Fellows Nov 25, 2020 4:30 pm5129 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Six professors at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign have been elected 2020 Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Evolution, ecology and behavior professor Alison Bell; plant biology professor Carl Bernacchi; bioengineering professor Rohit Bhargava; materials science and engineering professor Paul Braun; chemistry professor Prashant Jain; and materials science and engineering professor Nancy Sottos are among the 489 scientists to be awarded the distinction of AAAS Fellow this year. Ag robot speeds data collection, analyses of crops as they grow Mar 12, 2018 8:45 am4676 views A new lightweight, low-cost agricultural robot, developed by a team of scientists at the University of Illinois, could transform data collection and field scouting for agronomists, seed companies and farmers. Eight Illinois faculty members elected AAAS Fellows Nov 26, 2019 10:00 am4609 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Eight professors at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have been elected 2019 Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Octopus-inspired sucker transfers thin, delicate tissue grafts and biosensors Oct 16, 2020 2:00 pm4476 views Thin tissue grafts and flexible electronics have a host of applications for wound healing, regenerative medicine and biosensing. A new device inspired by an octopus’s sucker rapidly transfers delicate tissue or electronic sheets to the patient, overcoming a key barrier to clinical application, report researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and collaborators. Bacterial hole puncher could be new broad-spectrum antibiotic Oct 27, 2015 11:00 am4316 views 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. New polymer material may help batteries become self-healing, recyclable Dec 23, 2019 8:15 am4250 views Lithium-ion batteries are notorious for developing internal electrical shorts that can ignite a battery’s liquid electrolytes, leading to explosions and fires. Engineers at the University of Illinois have developed a solid polymer-based electrolyte that can self-heal after damage – and the material can also be recycled without the use of harsh chemicals or high temperatures. Inexpensive, portable detector identifies pathogens in minutes Apr 23, 2020 12:00 pm4224 views Most viral test kits rely on labor- and time-intensive laboratory preparation and analysis techniques; for example, tests for the novel coronavirus can take days to detect the virus from nasal swabs. Now, researchers have demonstrated an inexpensive yet sensitive smartphone-based testing device for viral and bacterial pathogens that takes about 30 minutes to complete. The roughly $50 smartphone accessory could reduce the pressure on testing laboratories during a pandemic such as COVID-19. Basar named College of Engineering interim dean Dec 19, 2017 1:30 pm4177 views Tamer Basar has been named the interim dean of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's College of Engineering effective Jan. 16, subject to approval of the University of Illinois Board of Trustees. New camera gives surgeons a butterfly’s-eye view of cancer Apr 5, 2018 9:00 am3909 views Cancer lurking in tissue could be more easily found when looking through a butterfly’s eye. Children's book by U of I students teaches third graders about automotive engineering Jun 7, 2021 10:45 am3901 views A new book written and illustrated by two recent alumnae of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign introduces third graders to the nuts and bolts of automotive mechanics and engineering. Researchers demonstrate existence of new form of electronic matter Mar 14, 2018 1:00 pm3856 views Researchers have produced a “human scale” demonstration of a new phase of matter called quadrupole topological insulators that was recently predicted using theoretical physics. These are the first experimental findings to validate this theory. U of I engineering professor appointed to US Department of Energy leadership role May 10, 2021 10:00 am3837 views Kathryn D. Huff, a professor of nuclear, plasma and radiological engineering in the Grainger College of Engineering, was sworn in today to a position in the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Nuclear Energy. New mobile COVID-19 lab prototype completed Nov 6, 2020 9:00 am3818 views Researchers have completed a prototype for a mobile laboratory designed to demonstrate a way to rapidly deploy the I-COVID saliva-based test for COVID-19 developed at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The lab, called mobileSHIELD, also could deliver other testing capability during a public health crisis, and it will serve as a rich source of human factors engineering data. Illinois astronomers help capture first image of Milky Way's black hole May 12, 2022 8:15 am3815 views A team of University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign researchers led by physics and astronomy professor Charles Gammie is part of a large international collaboration that unveiled the first image of the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way. This result provides evidence that the object is indeed a black hole and yields valuable clues about the workings of such giants, which researchers think reside at the center of most galaxies. New tissue-imaging technology could enable real-time diagnostics, map cancer progression Jun 20, 2018 8:00 am3800 views A new microscope system can image living tissue in real time and in molecular detail, without any chemicals or dyes, report researchers at the University of Illinois. Solid-state batteries line up for better performance May 20, 2021 10:00 am3676 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. CRISPR-Cas13 targets proteins causing ALS, Huntington's disease in the mouse nervous system Jan 19, 2022 1:15 pm3619 views A new study by University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign researchers used a targeted CRISPR technique in the central nervous systems of mice to turn off production of mutant proteins that can cause ALS and Huntington’s disease. Rather than the popular DNA-editing CRISPR-Cas9 technique, the new approach uses CRISPR-Cas13, which can target mRNA – the messenger molecule that carries protein blueprints transcribed from DNA. The Illinois team developed Cas13 systems that could target and cut RNAs that code for the proteins that trigger ALS and Huntington’s disease, effectively silencing the genes without disturbing the cell’s DNA. Reclaimed water could help power plants run more efficiently, study finds May 12, 2016 10:00 am3613 views The water going down the drain could help keep the lights on, according to a new study showing that reclaimed water – municipal wastewater that has been treated or cleaned – could be more efficient for cooling power plants than water taken from the local environment.