Each cell in the body contains a whole genome, yet the data packed into a few DNA molecules could fill a hard drive. As more people have their DNA sequenced, that data will require massive computational and storage capabilities beyond anything previously anticipated, says a new assessment from computational biologists and computer scientists at the University of Illinois and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.
Thirsty cities, fields and livestock drink deeply from aquifers, natural sources of groundwater. But a study of three of the most-tapped aquifers in the United States shows that overdrawing from these resources could lead to difficult choices affecting not only domestic food security but also international markets.
Eye doctors soon could use computing power to help them see individual cells in the back of a patient’s eye, thanks to imaging technology developed by engineers at the University of Illinois. Such detailed pictures of the cells, blood vessels and nerves at the back of the eye could enable earlier diagnosis and better treatment for degenerative eye and neurological diseases.
After decades of effort, scientists are finally figuring out how insects develop resistance to environmentally friendly farming practices – such as crop rotation – that are designed to kill them. The researchers say their insights will help develop more sustainable agricultural practices.
Searching a whole genome for one particular sequence is like trying to fish a specific piece from the box of a billion-piece puzzle. Using advanced imaging techniques, University of Illinois researchers have observed how one set of genome-editing proteins finds its specific targets, which could help them design better gene therapies to treat disease.
New compounds that specifically attack fungal infections without attacking human cells could transform treatment for such infections and point the way to targeted medicines that evade antibiotic resistance.
Two of the 20th century’s greatest minds, one of them physicist Albert Einstein, came to intellectual blows one day in Paris in 1922. Their dispute, before a learned audience, was about the nature of time – mostly in connection with Einstein’s most famous work, the theory of relativity, which marks its centennial this year.
University of Illinois researchers have developed heat-triggered self-destructing electronic devices, a step toward greatly reducing electronic waste and boosting sustainability in device manufacturing. They also developed a radio-controlled trigger that could remotely activate self-destruction on demand.
Technology in common household humidifiers could enable the next wave of high-tech medical imaging and targeted medicine, thanks to a new method for making tiny silicone microspheres developed by chemists at the University of Illinois.
A more effective method for closing gaps in atomically small wires has been developed by University of Illinois researchers, further opening the doors to a new transistor technology.