blog postsMaking a homemade COVID mask? Study explains best fabric choicesMay 1, 2020 9:45 am27484 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.'Fettuccine' may be most obvious sign of life on Mars, researchers reportMay 29, 2019 8:00 am19924 views A rover scanning the surface of Mars for evidence of life might want to check for rocks that look like pasta, researchers report in the journal Astrobiology. The bacterium that controls the formation of such rocks on Earth is ancient and thrives in harsh environments that are similar to conditions on Mars, said University of Illinois geology professor Bruce Fouke, who led the new, NASA-funded study.Eleven Illinois researchers rank among world’s most influentialNov 29, 2018 10:15 am10616 views Eleven faculty members at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have been named to the 2018 Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researchers list.Paper tubes make stiff origami structuresSep 7, 2015 2:00 pm10398 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – From shipping and construction to outer space, origami could put a folded twist on structural engineering.Small in size, big on power: New microbatteries a boost for electronicsApr 16, 2013 9:00 am9894 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.How is Illinois contributing to the Event Horizon Telescope Project?Apr 10, 2019 8:15 am9243 views The Event Horizon Telescope Project announced that it has captured the first image of a black hole. The feature is located at the center of Messier 87 – a giant elliptical galaxy in the constellation Virgo. News Bureau physical sciences editor Lois Yoksoulian spoke with University of Illinois physics and astronomy professor Charles Gammie, who heads up the theory working group for the large, multi-institutional collaboration.Three Illinois professors named Sloan Research FellowsFeb 15, 2018 9:00 am8967 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.Illinois physics professor named national Professor of the YearNov 19, 2015 8:30 am8785 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.Seven Illinois researchers rank among the world’s most influentialDec 21, 2015 9:15 am8494 views Seven University of Illinois researchers have been named to the Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researchers list for 2015. The list includes “some of the world’s most influential scientific minds,” according to a statement from Thomson Reuters.Nanopores could take the salt out of seawaterNov 10, 2015 1:45 pm8281 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.”Long-term study shows acid pollution in rain decreases with emissionsNov 16, 2011 9:00 am7338 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Emissions regulations do have an environmental impact, according to a long-term study of acidic rainfall by researchers at the University of Illinois.Growing mountains or shifting ground: What is going on in Earth’s inner core?May 12, 2020 11:45 am7067 views Exhaustive seismic data from repeating earthquakes and new data-processing methods have yielded the best evidence yet that the Earth’s inner core is rotating – revealing a better understanding of the hotly debated processes that control the planet’s magnetic field.Shutdown of circulation pattern could be disastrous, researchers sayDec 13, 2004 9:00 am6884 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - If global warming shuts down the thermohaline circulation in the North Atlantic Ocean, the result could be catastrophic climate change. The environmental effects, models indicate, depend upon whether the shutdown is reversible or irreversible.Eight Illinois researchers rank among world’s most influentialNov 18, 2016 9:15 am6788 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."Potential new cystic fibrosis treatment uses 'molecular prosthetic' for missing lung proteinMar 13, 2019 1:00 pm6734 views An approved drug normally used to treat fungal infections could also do the job of a protein channel that is missing or defective in the lungs of people with cystic fibrosis, operating as a prosthesis on the molecular scale, says new research from the University of Illinois and the University of Iowa. Cystic fibrosis is a lifelong disease that makes patients vulnerable to lung infections. There are treatments for some but not all patients, and there is no cure. The drug restored infection-fighting properties in lung tissue donated by human patients as well as in pigs with cystic fibrosis. It has potential to become the first treatment to address all types of cystic fibrosis, regardless of the genetic mutation that causes the protein deficiency.Tiny electronic implants monitor brain injury, then melt awayJan 18, 2016 10:00 am6683 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.Illinois student's puzzle to appear in The New York TimesJan 2, 2020 1:30 pm6079 views Computer science student Adam Aaronson loves puzzles, and a crossword puzzle he created will be published in The New York Times.Record-speed data transmission could make big data more accessibleMar 22, 2016 9:45 am5848 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.Superfluidity: what is it and why does it matter?Dec 20, 2018 8:45 am5421 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.Off the shelf, on the skin: Stick-on electronic patches for health monitoringApr 3, 2014 1:00 pm5393 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.Researchers build microscopic biohybrid robots propelled by muscles, nervesSep 16, 2019 2:00 pm5187 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.Corn better used as food than biofuel, study findsJun 20, 2017 9:00 am5083 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.Mantis shrimp-inspired camera enables glimpse into hidden worldOct 12, 2017 3:15 pm4942 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.Scott R. White, pioneer of self-healing materials, has diedMay 31, 2018 10:45 am4922 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.Five Illinois researchers rank among world’s most influentialNov 17, 2017 8:00 am4901 views Five faculty members have been named to the 2017 Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researchers list (previously known as the Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researchers list). The list recognizes “leading researchers in the sciences and social sciences from around the world."3-D printed sugar scaffolds offer sweet solution for tissue engineering, device manufacturingMay 23, 2018 2:00 pm4721 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.Shape of tumor may affect whether cells can metastasizeApr 27, 2016 10:45 am4694 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.Smart skin: Electronics that stick and stretch like a temporary tattooAug 11, 2011 9:00 am4586 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.Microplastic contamination found in common source of groundwater, researchers reportJan 25, 2019 6:30 am4509 views Microplastics contaminate the world's surface waters, yet scientists have only just begun to explore their presence in groundwater systems. A new study is the first to report microplastics in fractured limestone aquifers – a groundwater source that accounts for 25 percent of the global drinking water supply.Eight Illinois faculty members elected AAAS FellowsNov 26, 2019 10:00 am4413 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.Two Illinois professors named Sloan Research FellowsFeb 12, 2020 9:00 am4217 views Two University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign scientists are among 126 recipients of the 2020 Sloan Research Fellowships from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. This honor is one of the most competitive and prestigious awards available to early career researchers. Heat from below Pacific Ocean fuels Yellowstone, study findsDec 18, 2017 9:45 am4115 views Recent stories in the national media are magnifying fears of a catastrophic eruption of the Yellowstone volcanic area, but scientists remain uncertain about the likelihood of such an event. To better understand the region’s subsurface geology, University of Illinois geologists have rewound and played back a portion of its geologic history, finding that Yellowstone volcanism is more far more complex and dynamic than previously thought. New polymer material may help batteries become self-healing, recyclableDec 23, 2019 8:15 am3876 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.Researchers demonstrate existence of new form of electronic matterMar 14, 2018 1:00 pm3777 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.Artificial photosynthesis transforms carbon dioxide into liquefiable fuelsMay 22, 2019 12:30 pm3757 views 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.New camera gives surgeons a butterfly’s-eye view of cancerApr 5, 2018 9:00 am3645 views Cancer lurking in tissue could be more easily found when looking through a butterfly’s eye.Inexpensive, portable detector identifies pathogens in minutesApr 23, 2020 12:00 pm3614 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.New tissue-imaging technology could enable real-time diagnostics, map cancer progressionJun 20, 2018 8:00 am3612 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.Bacterial hole puncher could be new broad-spectrum antibioticOct 27, 2015 11:00 am3591 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.Reclaimed water could help power plants run more efficiently, study findsMay 12, 2016 10:00 am3546 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.Researchers develop dynamic templates critical to printable electronics technologyJul 13, 2017 4:00 am3445 views When it comes to efficiency, sometimes it helps to look to Mother Nature for advice – even in technology as advanced as printable, flexible electronics. Researchers at the University of Illinois have developed bio-inspired dynamic templates used to manufacture organic semiconductor materials that produce printable electronics. It uses a process similar to biomineralization – the way that bones and teeth form. This technique is also eco-friendly compared with how conventional electronics are made, which gives the researchers the chance to return the favor to nature. Is Academia Waking Up to the Problem of Sexual Harassment?Sep 19, 2016 2:15 pm3437 views U. of I. anthropology professor Kathryn Clancy supports a federal legislative effort that would require universities to report – and federal funding agencies to consider – findings that any university professor engaged in discrimination on the basis of sex. Five professors named University Scholars for Urbana-Champaign campusSep 12, 2019 10:45 am3355 views Five Urbana-Champaign campus professors have been named University Scholars in recognition of their excellence in teaching, scholarship and service.Click beetles inspire design of self-righting robotsSep 25, 2017 8:30 am3335 views Robots perform many tasks that humans can’t or don’t want to perform, getting around on intricately designed wheels and limbs. If they tip over, however, they are rendered almost useless. A team of University of Illinois mechanical engineers and entomologists are looking to click beetles, who can right themselves without the use of their legs, to solve this robotics challenge.Supervolcanoes likely triggered externally, study findsNov 4, 2015 11:15 am3335 views Supervolcanoes, massive eruptions with potential global consequences, appear not to follow the conventional volcano mechanics of internal pressure building until the volcano blows. Instead, a new study finds, such massive magma chambers might erupt when the roof above them cracks or collapses.Tumor-targeting system uses cancer’s own mechanisms to betray its locationFeb 14, 2017 9:00 am3328 views By hijacking a cancer cell’s own metabolism, researchers have found a way to tag and target elusive cancers with small-molecule sugars. This opens treatment pathways for cancers that are not responsive to conventional targeted antibodies, such as triple-negative breast cancer.Is there a cure for potholes?Feb 27, 2019 2:00 pm3287 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.New, highly stable catalyst may help turn water into fuelSep 28, 2018 8:30 am3206 views Breaking the bonds between oxygen and hydrogen in water could be a key to the creation of hydrogen in a sustainable manner, but finding an economically viable technique for this has proved difficult. Researchers report a new hydrogen-generating catalyst that clears many of the obstacles – abundance, stability in acid conditions and efficiency.Battery technology could charge up water desalinationFeb 1, 2016 11:15 am3171 views The technology that charges batteries for electronic devices could provide fresh water from salty seas, says a new study by University of Illinois engineers. Electricity running through a salt water-filled battery draws the salt ions out of the water.Study challenges widely accepted theory of Yellowstone formationFeb 10, 2016 9:00 am3164 views Understanding the complex geological processes that form supervolcanoes could ultimately help geologists determine what triggers their eruptions. A new study using an advanced computer model casts doubt on previously held theories about the Yellowstone supervolcano’s origins, adding to the mystery of Yellowstone’s formation.