Tumors are notoriously difficult to study in their natural habitat – body tissues – but a new synthetic tissue environment may give cancer researchers the next-best look at tumor growth and behavior.
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.
Giving new meaning to the term “sonic boom,” University of Illinois chemists have used sound to trigger microscopic explosions.
One infrared scan can give pathologists a window into the structures and molecules inside tissues and cells, enabling fast and broad diagnostic assessments, thanks to an imaging technique developed by University of Illinois researchers and clinical partners.
A new molecule-making machine could do for chemistry what 3-D printing did for engineering: Make it fast, flexible and accessible to anyone.
Chemists at the University of Illinois, led by chemistry professor and medical doctor Martin D. Burke, built the machine to assemble complex small molecules at the click of a mouse, like a 3-D printer at the molecular level.
Three University of Illinois faculty members are recipients of 2015 Sloan Research Fellowships from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
Seismic waves are helping scientists to plumb the world’s deepest mystery: the planet’s inner core.
Earth's inner core
Thanks to a novel application of earthquake-reading technology, a research team at the University of Illinois and colleagues at Nanjing University in China have found that the Earth’s inner core has an inner core of its own, which has surprising properties that could reveal information about our planet.
Thanks to new software developed at the University of Illinois, machines now can learn to understand mathematical reasoning expressed in language, which could greatly improve search engines and access to data as well as boost mathematics education.
A University of Illinois professor and two of his former students are among the five pioneers of LED technology honored with the 2015 Draper Prize, one of the most prestigious awards in engineering.
Stroke victims could have more time to seek treatment that could reduce harmful effects on the brain, thanks to tiny blobs of gelatin that could deliver the medication to the brain noninvasively.
Where did the songbird get its song? What branch of the bird family tree is closer to the flamingo – the heron or the sparrow?
These questions seem simple, but are actually difficult for geneticists to answer. A new, sophisticated statistical technique developed by researchers at the University of Illinois and the University of Texas at Austin can help researchers construct more accurate species trees detailing the lineage of genes and the relationships between species.
When a large protein unfolds in transit through a cell, it slows down and can get stuck in traffic. Using a specialized microscope -- a sort of cellular traffic camera -- University of Illinois chemists now can watch the way the unfolded protein diffuses.
Farmers interested in bioenergy crops now have a resource to help them determine which kind of bioenergy crop would grow best in their regions and what kind of harvest to expect. Researchers at the University of Illinois have published a study identifying yield zones for three major bioenergy crops.
Tiny, thin microtubes could provide a scaffold for neuron cultures to grow so that researchers can study neural networks, their growth and repair, yielding insights into treatment for degenerative neurological conditions or restoring nerve connections after injury.
University of Illinois astronomers have caught their first glimpse of the invisible magnetic fields that sculpt solar systems.
River beds, where flowing water meets silt, sand and gravel, are critical ecological zones. Yet how water flows in a river with a gravel bed is very different from the traditional model of a sandy river bed, according to a new study that compares their fluid dynamics.
When Illinois researchers set out to investigate a method to control how DNA moves through a tiny sequencing device, they did not know they were about to witness a display of molecular gymnastics.
In addition to providing renewable energy, grass crops like switchgrass and miscanthus could store some of the carbon they pull from the atmosphere in the soil, according to a new study by University of Illinois researchers.
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.
Obesity is associated with many health risks, including heart disease and diabetes, but University of Illinois researchers have found a possible way to mitigate one often-overlooked risk: not buckling up in the car.
A new analysis suggests the planet can produce much more land-plant biomass – the total material in leaves, stems, roots, fruits, grains and other terrestrial plant parts – than previously thought.
University of Illinois engineers are bringing a touch of color to glucose monitoring.
The researchers developed a new continuous glucose monitoring material that changes color as glucose levels fluctuate, and the wavelength shift is so precise that doctors and patients may be able to use it for automatic insulin dosing - something not possible using current point measurements like test strips.
Illinois researchers found that the material molybdenum disulfide could be the most efficient yet found for DNA sequencing, making personalized medicine more accessible.
Cancer cells that break away from tumors to go looking for a new home may prefer to settle into a soft bed, according to new findings from researchers at the University of Illinois.
A survey of 142 men and 516 women with experience in field studies in anthropology, archaeology, geology and other scientific disciplines reveals that many of them – particularly the younger ones – suffered or witnessed sexual harassment or sexual assault while at work in the field.
Engineers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are using Shrinky Dinks, plastic that shrinks under high heat, to close the gap between nanowires in an array to make them useful for high-performance electronics applications.
A new generation of miniature biological robots is flexing its muscle. Engineers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign demonstrated a class of walking “bio-bots” powered by muscle cells and controlled with electrical pulses, giving researchers unprecedented command over their function.
University of Illinois mechanical science and engineering professor Naira Hovakimyan has been chosen to receive the prestigious Humboldt Research Award (or Humboldt Prize) honoring a career of research achievements.
The gap between stem cell research and regenerative medicine just became a lot narrower, thanks to a new technique that coaxes stem cells, with potential to become any tissue type, to take the first step to specialization. It is the first time this critical step has been demonstrated in a laboratory.
Soon, making and improving medical drugs could be as easy for chemists as stacking blocks is for a child.
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. Illinois researchers have developed materials that not only heal, but regenerate. Until now, self-repairing materials could only bond tiny microscopic cracks. The new regenerating materials fill in large cracks and holes by regrowing material.
By simply carrying around their cellphones, patients who suffer from chronic disease could soon have an accurate health monitor that warns their doctors when their symptoms worsen.
A drug under clinical trials to treat tuberculosis could be the basis for a class of broad-spectrum drugs that act against various bacteria, fungal infections and parasites, yet evade resistance, according to a study by University of Illinois chemists and collaborators.
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.
Crops that produce more while using less water seem like a dream for a world with a burgeoning population and already strained food and water resources. This dream is coming closer to reality for University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign researchers who have developed a new computer model that can help plant scientists breed better soybean crops.
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.
Researchers report they can generate human motor neurons from stem cells much more quickly and efficiently than previous methods allowed. The finding, described in Nature Communications, will aid efforts to model human motor neuron development, and to understand and treat spinal cord injuries and motor neuron diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
The 200th anniversary of the largest volcanic eruption in recorded history will be marked by the publication of a new book by University of Illinois professor Gillen D’Arcy Wood. If you think the title character might be Vesuvius, or Krakatoa, or maybe Pinatubo, you’re wrong. Wood’s focus is Tambora – a mountain in the Indonesian archipelago that erupted so violently in April of 1815 that today, it is ranked as “super colossal” on the scientific Volcanic Explosivity Index. And the explosion was only the first dose of Tambora’s destructive power.
Three University of Illinois professors have been selected to receive 2014 Sloan Research Fellowships from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
A senior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is among the recipients of this year’s prestigious Gates Cambridge Scholarship.
Plastic shopping bags, an abundant source of litter on land and at sea, can be converted into diesel, natural gas and other useful petroleum products, researchers report.
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.
J. Gary Eden, the Gilmore Family Professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has been elected to membership in the National Academy of Engineering.
Look out, super glue and paint thinner. Thanks to new dynamic materials developed at the University of Illinois, removable paint and self-healing plastics soon could be household products.
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.
The alien world of aquatic micro-organisms just got new residents: synthetic self-propelled swimming bio-bots.
University of Illinois professor Lane Martin is among the 102 researchers to receive the 2013 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the highest honor the U.S. government confers upon young investigators establishing their independent research careers.
A new study of light from quasars has provided astronomers with illuminating insights into the swirling clouds of gas that form stars and galaxies, proving that the clouds can shift and change much more quickly than previously thought.
Halomonas are a hardy breed of bacteria. They can withstand heat, high salinity, low oxygen, utter darkness and pressures that would kill most other organisms. These traits enable these microbes to eke out a living in deep sandstone formations that also happen to be useful for hydrocarbon extraction and carbon sequestration, researchers report in a new study.
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.
University of Illinois researchers have developed a way to heal gaps in wires too small for even the world’s tiniest soldering iron.
Four University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign faulty members have been named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
John A. Rogers, a Swanlund Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has been given a 2013 American Ingenuity Award by Smithsonian Magazine, the publishing arm of the Smithsonian Institution.
High-speed communication just got a turbo boost, thanks to a new laser technology developed at the University of Illinois that transmits error-free data over fiber optic networks at a blazing fast 40 gigabits per second – the fastest in the United States.
Edward Maibach, a professor at George Mason University, will give a lecture in a series that honors Charles David Keeling, an analytical chemist at the University of Illinois and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.
Researchers report that they have created a man-made catalyst that is an “enzyme mimic.” Unlike most enzymes, which act on a single target, the new catalyst can alter the chemical profiles of numerous types of small molecules. The catalyst – and others like it – will greatly speed the process of drug discovery, the researchers say.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign researchers have developed arrays of tiny nano-antennas that can enable sensing of molecules that resonate in the infrared (IR) spectrum.
Scientists have sequenced the genomes of nearly 6,900 organisms, but they know the functions of only about half of the protein-coding genes thus far discovered. Now a multidisciplinary effort involving 15 scientists from three institutions has begun chipping away at this mystery – in a big way. Their work to identify the function of one bacterial protein and the biochemical pathway in which it operates will also help identify the functions of hundreds of other proteins.
Six Urbana campus faculty members have been named University Scholars. The program recognizes excellence in teaching, scholarship and service. The faculty members will be honored at a campus reception Tuesday (Sept. 10) from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at the Levis Faculty Center, 919 W. Illinois St., Urbana.
Asian carp are knocking on the door of the Great Lakes, but managers now can better pinpoint strategies to control their rapidly increasing population, according to a new model for tracking carp eggs developed by researchers at the University of Illinois and the United States Geological Survey.
A 2,000-square-kilometer zone in the Yukon Flats of interior Alaska -- one of the most flammable high-latitude regions of the world, according to scientists -- has seen a dramatic increase in both the frequency and severity of fires in recent decades. Wildfire activity in this area is higher than at any other time in the past 10,000 years, the researchers report.
H. Edward Seidel, the senior vice president of research and innovation at the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology in Moscow, has been named the director of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, pending approval of the U. of I. Board of Trustees.
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.
Anna Jean Wirth, of Charlottesville, Va., a doctoral student in chemistry, has been selected to attend the 2013 Lindau meeting of Nobel laureates in Lindau, Germany, in June.
University of Illinois English professor Ted Underwood recently wrapped up a research project involving more than 4,200 books. Since that work revealed dramatic shifts in the English language between the 18th and 19th centuries, hes now expanding his research to include more than 470,000 books almost every English language book written during that era and preserved in a university library.
Three faculty members at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have been elected 2013 fellows of the National Academy of Sciences. Eduardo Fradkin, Martin Gruebele and Sharon Hammes-Schiffer are among the 84 new members and 21 foreign associates announced by the academy on April 30.
There's hope for patients with myotonic dystrophy. A new small molecule developed by researchers at the University of Illinois has been shown to break up the protein-RNA clusters that cause the disease in living human cells, an important first step toward developing a pharmaceutical treatment for the as-yet untreatable disease.
When a team of University of Illinois engineers set out to grow nanowires of a compound semiconductor on top of a sheet of graphene, they did not expect to discover a new paradigm of epitaxy.
A new global-scale modeling study that takes into account nitrogen a key nutrient for plants estimates that carbon emissions from human activities on land were 40 percent higher in the 1990s than in studies that did not account for nitrogen.
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.
A new class of tiny, injectable LEDs is illuminating the deep mysteries of the brain.
Illinois chemists have used DNA to do a proteins job, creating opportunities for DNA to find work in more areas of biology, chemistry and medicine than ever before.
To engineers, its a tale as old as time: Electrical current is carried through materials by flowing electrons. But physicists at the University of Illinois and the University of Pennsylvania found that for copper-containing superconductors, known as cuprates, electrons are not enough to carry the current.
Hidden in a tiny tile of interwoven DNA is a message. The message is simple, but decoding it unlocks the secret of dynamic nanoscale assembly.
Nick Holonyak Jr., a John Bardeen Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Physics at the University of Illinois, has been chosen to be a charter fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.
Three professors at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have been selected to receive 2013 Sloan Research Fellowships from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
Throughout 2012, the United States was battered by severe weather events such as hurricanes and droughts that affected both pocketbooks and livelihoods. Research suggests that in the coming years, U.S. five-day forecasts will show greater numbers of extreme weather events, a trend linked to human-driven climate change.
Like turning coal to diamond, adding pressure to an electrical material enhances its properties. Now, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign researchers have devised a method of making ferroelectric thin films with twice the strain, resulting in exceptional performance.
Sight would dramatically alter a blind mans understanding of an elephant, according to the old story. Now, a look directly at a cell surface is changing our understanding of cell membrane organization.
University of Illinois aerospace engineering professor Scott R. White has been chosen to receive the prestigious Humboldt Research Award honoring a lifetime of research achievements.
Those considering how to maintain a healthy weight during holiday festivities, or looking ahead to New Years resolutions, may want to think twice before reaching for traditional staples like cookies or candy or the car keys.
Sulfur compounds in petroleum fuels have met their nano-structured match. University of Illinois researchers developed mats of metal oxide nanofibers that scrub sulfur from petroleum-based fuels much more effectively than traditional materials.
Every time a human or bacterial cell divides it first must copy its DNA. Specialized proteins unzip the intertwined DNA strands while others follow and build new strands, using the originals as templates. Whenever these proteins encounter a break and there are many they stop and retreat, allowing a new cast of molecular players to enter the scene.
On the road to smaller, high-performance electronics, University of Illinois researchers have smoothed one speed bump by shrinking a key, yet notoriously large element of integrated circuits.
The small kerosene lamps that light millions of homes in developing countries have a dark side: black carbon fine particles of soot released into the atmosphere.
Five professors at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have been named Swanlund Chairs, the highest endowed titles on the Urbana campus.
Six faculty members at the University of Illinois have been named 2012 fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science: animal biology professor Chi-Hing Christina Cheng, electrical and computer engineering professor Kent Choquette, psychology professor Neal Cohen, chemistry professor So Hirata, anthropology professor Lisa Lucero and physics professor Philip Phillips.
New insights into a protein complex that regulates the very tips of chromosomes could improve methods of screening anti-cancer drugs.
With self-assembly guiding the steps and synchronization providing the rhythm, a new class of materials forms dynamic, moving structures in an intricate dance.
Theyre soft, biocompatible, about 7 millimeters long and, incredibly, able to walk by themselves. Miniature bio-bots developed at the University of Illinois are making tracks in synthetic biology.
Cellphones and driving go together like knives and juggling. But when cellphone use is banned, are drivers any safer?
It depends on where youre driving, a study by University of Illinois researchers says.
University of Illinois chemistry professor Douglas Mitchell has been named a Packard Fellow in science and engineering. He is among 16 early career researchers honored by the David and Lucille Packard Foundation in 2012 for outstanding creative research.
University of Illinois chemistry professor Sharon Hammes-Schiffer will be among 220 new members inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences on Saturday in Cambridge, Mass.
University of Illinois researchers have a new low-cost method to carve delicate features onto semiconductor wafers using light and watch as it happens.
Physicians and environmentalists alike could soon be using a new class of electronic devices: small, robust and high performance, yet also biocompatible and capable of dissolving completely in water or in bodily fluids.
Ralph Keeling, a climate scientist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, will deliver the annual lecture that honors his father, the late Charles David Keeling, who was an analytical chemist at the University of Illinois and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.
Two chemistry professors at the University of Illinois Ryan C. Bailey and Prashant K. Jain have been chosen as two of the worlds top young innovators by Technology Review, the worlds oldest technology magazine.
DNA holds the genetic code for all sorts of biological molecules and traits. But University of Illinois researchers have found that DNAs code can similarly shape metallic structures.
Researchers could have a new method to rebuild wetlands of the Louisiana delta, thanks to a chance finding while monitoring severe flooding of the Mississippi River.
A simple new improvement to an essential microscope component could greatly improve imaging for researchers who study the very small, from cells to computer chips.
The news a cancer patient most fears is that the disease has spread and become much more difficult to treat. A new method to isolate and grow the most dangerous cancer cells could enable new research into how cancer spreads and, ultimately, how to fight it.
Experienced anglers know that choppy waters make for difficult fishing, so they try not to rock the boat. Thanks to a new microscopy technique, cell biology researchers can heed that same advice. University of Illinois researchers developed a method they call trolling AFM, which allows them to study soft biological samples in liquid with high resolution and high quality.
Doctors can now get a peek behind the eardrum to better diagnose and treat chronic ear infections, thanks to a new medical imaging device invented by University of Illinois researchers. The device could usher in a new suite of non-invasive, 3-D diagnostic imaging tools for primary-care physicians.
Real-time, 3-D microscopic tissue imaging could be a revolution for medical fields such as cancer diagnosis, minimally invasive surgery and ophthalmology. University of Illinois researchers have developed a technique to computationally correct for aberrations in optical tomography, bringing the future of medical imaging into focus.
Through a combination of atomic-scale materials design and ultrafast measurements, researchers at the University of Illinois have revealed new insights about how heat flows across an interface between two materials.
According to new models created by University of Illinois researchers, most studies of the" food versus fuel" debate so far have overlooked a key factor: selfish and possibly competing interests of the biofuel industry and individual farmers, who independently seek the most profit from their crops.
University of Illinois professors Edward Diener and Jennifer A. Lewis are among 220 new members named to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
University of Illinois professor Huimin Zhao has received a 2012 Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship.
Food-borne diseases might soon have another warrior to contend with, thanks to a new molecule discovered by chemists at the University of Illinois. The new antibiotic, an analog of the widely used food preservative nisin, also has potential to be a boon to the dairy industry as a treatment for bovine mastitis.
Geologists are hoping to learn a great deal about geologic carbon sequestration from injecting 1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide into sandstone 7,000 feet beneath Decatur, Ill. And theyre hoping the public learns a lot from the endeavor, too.
Three University of Illinois professors have each been selected to receive a 2012 Sloan Research Fellowship from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
Anyone who has flown on a commercial airline since 2001 is well aware of increasingly strict measures at airport security checkpoints. A study by Illinois researchers demonstrates that intensive screening of all passengers actually makes the system less secure by overtaxing security resources.
With one simple experiment, University of Illinois chemists have debunked a widely held misconception about an often-prescribed drug.
University of Illinois materials scientists have developed a new reactive silver ink for printing high-performance electronics on ubiquitous, low-cost materials such as flexible plastic, paper or fabric substrates.
Creating semiconductor structures for high-end optoelectronic devices just got easier, thanks to University of Illinois researchers. The team developed a method to chemically etch patterned arrays in the semiconductor gallium arsenide, used in solar cells, lasers, light emitting diodes (LEDs), field effect transistors (FETs), capacitors and sensors.
When one tiny circuit within an integrated chip cracks or fails, the whole chip -- or even the whole device -- is a loss. But what if it could fix itself, and fix itself so fast that the user never knew there was a problem?
n his first book, University of Illinois professor Daniel Schneider tackles a topic not generally discussed at cocktail parties. Schneiders Hybrid Nature: Sewage Treatment and the Contradictions of the Industrial Ecosystem was published last month by the MIT Press.
Clinical gene therapy may be one step closer, thanks to a new twist on an old class of molecules.
Researchers have developed a bandage that stimulates and directs blood vessel growth on the surface of a wound. The bandage, called a microvascular stamp, contains living cells that deliver growth factors to damaged tissues in a defined pattern. After a week, the pattern of the stamp is written in blood vessels, the researchers report.
Eight University of Illinois faculty members have been elected fellows in the American Association for the Advancement of Science: Fouad Abd-El-Khalick, Rashid Bashir, Debasish Dutta, K. Jimmy Hsia, Keith W. Kelley, Wilfred van der Donk, M. Christina White and James Whitfield.
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.
Emissions regulations do have an environmental impact, according to a long-term study of acidic rainfall by researchers at the University of Illinois.
Tiny wires could help engineers realize high-performance solar cells and other electronics, according to University of Illinois researchers.
New observations could improve industrial production of high-quality graphene, hastening the era of graphene-based consumer electronics, thanks to University of Illinois engineers.
University of Illinois chemical and biomolecular engineering professor Charles Schroeder has been named a Packard Fellow in science and engineering. He is among 16 early career researchers honored by the David and Lucille Packard Foundation in 2011 for outstanding creative research.
Nick Holonyak Jr., the Bardeen professor of electrical and computer engineering, will be inducted into the Engineering and Science Hall of Fame for his development of the first practical light-emitting diode (LED).
University of Illinois physicists have experimentally demonstrated for the first time how three-dimensional conduction is affected by the defects that plague materials. Understanding these effects is important for many electronics applications.
An Illinois research team has succeeded in overcoming one major obstacle to a promising technology that simultaneously reduces atmospheric carbon dioxide and produces fuel.
University of Illinois professor Gang Logan Liu is among the 94 researchers to receive the 2011 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the highest honor the U.S. government confers upon young investigators establishing their independent research careers.
Professors Bruce Rhoads and Jim Best and graduate student Jessica Zinger documented development of two cutoff channels in a bend in the Wabash River, pictured in the background. The cutoffs released huge amounts of sediment into the river.
Led by electrical and computer engineering professor Gabriel Popescu, a U. of I. research team developed a new imaging method called spatial light interference microscopy (SLIM) that can measure cell mass using two beams of light.
A new physics-based theory could give researchers a deeper understanding of the unusual, slow dynamics of liquids composed of large polymers. This advance provides a better picture of how polymer molecules respond under fast-flow, high-stress processing conditions for plastics and other polymeric materials.
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.
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.
Four University of Illinois chemistry professors are among 213 distinguished scientists elected fellows of the American Chemical Society this year. Thom Dunning, Catherine Murphy, Ralph Nuzzo and Jonathan Sweedler have demonstrated outstanding accomplishments in chemistry and made important contributions to ACS, the society wrote in its announcement about the new fellows.
In an advance that could open new avenues for solar cells, lasers, metamaterials and more, researchers at the University of Illinois have demonstrated the first optoelectronically active 3-D photonic crystal.
Taking their cue from biological circulatory systems, University of Illinois researchers have developed vascularized structural composites, creating materials that are lightweight and strong with potential for self-healing, self-cooling, metamaterials and more.
Glucose meters arent just for diabetics anymore. Thanks to University of Illinois chemists, they can be used as simple, portable, inexpensive meters for a number of target molecules in blood, serum, water or food.
Nick Holonyak Jr. is called the godfather of the light-emitting diode. His scientific career, spanning more than 50 years, has changed the world and is the subject of a program to premiere on the Big Ten Network July 28 at noon (CDT).
The pen may have bested the sword long ago, but now its challenging wires and soldering irons.
With the BeeSpace Navigator, University of Illinois researchers have created both a curation tool for genetic biologists and a new approach to searching for information.
Using high-resolution imaging technology, University of Illinois researchers have answered a question that had confounded semiconductor researchers: Is amorphous silicon a glass? The answer? Yes until hydrogen is added.
John A. Rogers, the Lee J. Flory-Founder Chair in Engineering at the University of Illinois, has won the 2011 Lemelson-MIT Prize. The annual award recognizes outstanding innovation and creativity.
University of Illinois chemistry professor James Lisy has been chosen to receive a prestigious Humboldt Research Award honoring a lifetime of research achievements.
Using a high-resolution single-molecule study technique, University of Illinois researchers have seen the very subtle differences between two branches of an important family of neurotransmitter-gated ion channels.
The Illinois State Geological Survey, a unit in the newly named Prairie Research Institute, has published "Geology of Illinois," a full-color, 530-page book exploring the integral link between the state's geology and life on the surface.
The surge in passenger vehicle usage in the U.S. between the 1950s and today may be associated with surging levels of obesity, says Sheldon H. Jacobson, a University of Illinois researcher who specializes in statistics and data analysis.
Chemistry professor Ken Suslick developed an artificial "nose" than can diagnose bacterial infections in only a few hours.
Coastal residents and oil-rig workers may soon have longer warning when a storm headed in their direction is becoming a hurricane, thanks to a University of Illinois study demonstrating how to use existing satellites to monitor tropical storm dynamics and predict sudden surges in strength.
Two University of Illinois professors Anne Dawson Hedeman, in medieval studies and art history, and Kenneth Suslick, in chemistry have received Guggenheim Foundation Fellowships.
With the first observation of thermoelectric effects at graphene contacts, University of Illinois researchers found that graphene transistors have a nanoscale cooling effect that reduces their temperature.
The effects of climate change and population growth on agricultural land area vary from region to region, according to a new study by University of Illinois researchers.
With intensity a million times brighter than sunlight, a new synchrotron-based imaging technique offers high-resolution pictures of the molecular composition of tissues with unprecedented speed and quality.
The batteries in Illinois professor Paul Brauns lab look like any others, but they pack a surprise inside. Brauns group developed a three-dimensional nanostructure for battery cathodes that allows for dramatically faster charging and discharging without sacrificing energy storage capacity.
Technophiles who have been dreaming of mobile devices that run longer on lighter, slimmer batteries may soon find their wish has been granted.
Think picking all the top-seeded teams as the Final Four in your March Madness bracket is your best bet for winning the office pool? Think again.
Cardiologists may soon be able to place sensitive electronics inside their patients hearts with minimal invasiveness, enabling more sophisticated and efficient diagnosis and treatment of arrhythmias.
Illinois researchers have combined two molecular imaging technologies to create an instrument with incredible sensitivity that provides new, detailed insight into dynamic molecular processes.
Researchers have developed a simple method of making short protein chains with spiral structures that can also dissolve in water, two desirable traits not often found together. Such structures could have applications as building blocks for self-assembling nanostructures and as agents for drug and gene delivery.
University of Illinois chemistry professor Ryan C. Bailey has been selected to receive a 2011 Sloan Research Fellowship from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
Illinois researchers have documented the first observations of some unusual physics when two prominent electric materials are connected: superconductors and graphene.
John A. Rogers, the Lee J. Flory-Founder Chair in Engineering at the University of Illinois, is among the 68 new members elected to the National Academy of Engineering.
University of Illinois materials scientists have developed a simple, generalizable technique to fabricate complex structures that assemble themselves.
Researchers have determined the structure and mechanism of an enzyme that performs the crucial first step in the formation of cholesterol and a key virulence factor in staph bacteria.
Researchers at the University of Illinois and Northwestern University have demonstrated bio-inspired structures that self-assemble from simple building blocks: spheres.
A University of Illinois mathematician has been elected a 2011 Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Using detailed land analysis, Illinois researchers have found that biofuel crops cultivated on available land could produce up to half of the worlds current fuel consumption without affecting food crops or pastureland.
In one University of Illinois lab, invisibility is a matter of now you hear it, now you dont. Led by mechanical science and engineering professor Nicholas Fang, Illinois researchers have demonstrated an acoustic cloak, a technology that renders underwater objects invisible to sonar and other ultrasound waves.
Fortified with iron: Its not just for breakfast cereal anymore. University of Illinois researchers have demonstrated a simpler method of adding iron to tiny carbon spheres to create catalytic materials that have the potential to remove contaminants from gas or liquid.
Civil and environmental engineering professor Mark Rood, graduate student John Atkinson and their team described their technique in the journal Carbon.
University of Illinois researchers have found a key to keeping stem cells in their neutral state: It takes a soft touch.
The long, anxious wait for biopsy results could soon be over, thanks to a tissue-imaging technique developed at the University of Illinois.
University of Illinois researchers are using a new kind of microsensor to answer one of the weightiest questions in biology the relationship between cell mass and growth rate.
Money may not grow on trees, but energy could grow in grass. Researchers at the University of Illinois have completed the first extensive geographic yield and economic analysis of potential bioenergy grass crops in the Midwestern United States.
The National Science Foundation has awarded $4.4 million to an initiative led by the University of Illinois that will combine cyberinfrastructure, spatial analysis and modeling, and geographic information science to form a collaborative software framework encompassing many research fields.
University of Illinois chemists have developed a simple sensor to detect an explosive used in shoe bombs. It could lead to inexpensive, easy-to-use devices for luggage and passenger screening at airports and elsewhere.
University of Illinois physics professor Benjamin Lev has been named a Packard Fellow in science and engineering. He is among 17 early career researchers honored by the David and Lucille Packard Foundation in 2010 for outstanding creative research.
University of Illinois chemistry professor Alexander Scheeline wants to see high school students using their cell phones in class. Not for texting or surfing the Web, but as an analytical chemistry instrument.
ind power is likely to play a large role in the future of sustainable, clean energy, but wide-scale adoption has remained elusive. Now, researchers have found wind farms effects on local temperatures and proposed strategies for mediating those effects, increasing the potential to expand wind farms to a utility-scale energy resource.
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 cells nucleus.
Ralph Cicerone, the president of the National Academy of Sciences, will give the inaugural lecture Monday (Sept. 13) in a series honoring the late Charles David Keeling, an analytical chemist who measured atmospheric carbon dioxide with great precision.
Armed with a decades worth of satellite data, University of Illinois atmospheric scientists have documented some surprising trends in aerosol pollution concentration, distribution and composition over the Indian subcontinent.
Thanks to a single-molecule imaging technique developed by a University of Illinois professor, researchers have revealed the mechanisms of an important DNA-regulating enzyme.
Four University of Illinois chemistry professors are among the 192 distinguished scientists elected 2010 fellows of the American Chemical Society. Peter Beak, Theodore Brown, Jeffrey Moore and Kenneth Suslick were recognized by their peers for their outstanding contributions to the field of chemistry and to ACS.
University of Illinois engineers have developed a novel direct-writing method for manufacturing metal interconnects that could shrink integrated circuits and expand microelectronics.
Facial reconstruction patients may soon have the option of custom-made bone replacements optimized for both form and function, thanks to researchers at the University of Illinois and the Ohio State University Medical Center.
A researcher at the University of Illinois is developing a floating oil skimmer that removes oil from the surface of water more efficiently than existing skimmers and, when it becomes available, could help clean up oil spills such as the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico caused by the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig.
High-intensity ultrasound waves traveling through liquid leave bubbles in their wake. Under the right conditions, these bubbles implode spectacularly, emitting light and reaching very high temperatures, a phenomenon called sonoluminescence. Researchers have observed imploding bubble conditions so hot that the gas inside the bubbles ionizes into plasma, but quantifying the temperature and pressure properties has been elusive.
Thanks to a new semiconductor manufacturing method pioneered at the University of Illinois, the future of solar energy just got brighter.
While the laws of physics werent made to be broken, sometimes they need revision. A major current law has been rewritten thanks to the three-port transistor laser, developed by Milton Feng and Nick Holonyak Jr. at the University of Illinois.
Thanks to an interdisciplinary team of researchers, scientists now have a more complete understanding of one of the human bodys most vital structures: the red blood cell.
Nigel Goldenfeld has been elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences. Goldenfeld is the Swanlund Professor of Physics at the University of Illinois.
University of Illinois professors Nigel Goldenfeld and Martin Gruebele are among 229 new members named to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Although it looks small and unassuming, the tiny origami crane sitting in a sample dish in University of Illinois professor Jennifer Lewis lab heralds a new method for creating complex three-dimensional structures for biocompatible devices, microscaffolding and other microsystems. The penny-sized titanium bird began as a printed sheet of titanium hydride ink.
Arrhythmic hearts soon may beat in time again, with minimal surgical invasion, thanks to flexible electronics technology developed by a team of University of Illinois researchers, in collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Northwestern University. These biocompatible silicon devices could mark the beginning of a new wave of surgical electronics.
For the average college basketball fan looking for an edge in a March Madness office pool, a University of Illinois expert in statistics and data analysis has some advice on how to pick winners: After the Sweet Sixteen round of play, ignore a teams seeding, which is a statistically insignificant predictor of a teams chances of winning.
Understanding the steps to the intricate dance inside a cell is essential to one day choreographing the show. By studying the molecules that give a cell its structure, University of Illinois researchers are moving closer to understanding one of those steps: the conga line.
Mastering mathematics can be daunting for many children, but researchers have found that children with visual impairments face disproportionate challenges learning math, and by the time they reach the college level, they are significantly under-represented in science, technology, mathematics and engineering disciplines.
A new technique to study protein dynamics in living cells has been created by a team of University of Illinois scientists, and evidence yielded from the new method indicates that an in vivo environment strongly modulates a proteins stability and folding rate, according to research accepted for publication in the journal Nature Methods and posted on the journals Web site Feb. 28.
With the world awash in information, curating all the scientifically relevant bits and bytes is an important task, especially given digital datas increasing importance as the raw materials for new scientific discoveries, an expert in information science at the University of Illinois says.
William D. Gropp has been elected to membership in the National Academy of Engineering. Gropp is the Paul and Cynthia Saylor Professor of Computer Science at the University of Illinois.
Two University of Illinois faculty members have been selected to receive 2010 Sloan Research Fellowships from the Alfred P. Sloan foundation: Yann R. Chemla, a professor of physics, and Karrie Karahalios, a professor of computer science.
In the battle against bacteria, researchers at the University of Illinois have developed a powerful new weapon an enhanced photocatalytic disinfection process that uses visible light to destroy harmful bacteria and viruses, even in the dark.
Scientists have designed a synthetic protein that is both a structural model and a functional model of a native protein, nitric-oxide reductase.
You can think of it as origami. very high-tech origami. Researchers at the University of Illinois have developed a technique for fabricating three-dimensional, single-crystalline silicon structures from thin films by coupling photolithography and a self-folding process driven by capillary interactions.
A new statistical technique developed by researchers at the University of Illinois allows scientists to scan a genome for specific gene-regulatory regions without requiring prior knowledge of the relevant transcription factors.
New insight into how nature handles some fundamental processes is guiding researchers in the design of tailor-made proteins for applications such as artificial photosynthetic centers, long-range electron transfers, and fuel-cell catalysts for energy conversion.
As reported in the Sept. 13 issue of the journal Nature Chemistry, Ken Suslick and his team at the University of Illinois have developed an artificial nose for the general detection of toxic industrial chemicals (TICs) that is simple, fast and inexpensive and works by visualizing odors. This sensor array could be useful in detecting high exposures to chemicals that pose serious health risks in the workplace or through accidental exposure.
A team of expert divers, a geochemist and an archaeologist will be the first to explore the sacred pools of the southern Maya lowlands in rural Belize. The expedition, made possible with a grant from the National Geographic Society and led by a University of Illinois archaeologist, will investigate the cultural significance and environmental history and condition of three of the 23 pools of Cara Blanca, in central Belize.
Allen H. Renear and Carole L. Palmer, professors of library and information science at Illinois, say that as techniques originally designed to organize and share scientific data are integrated into scientific publishing, scientists' long-standing practice of reading "strategically" will be dramatically enhanced.
From the pounding of the surf and the rumbling of thunder, to the gentle rustling of leaves, Earth is not a quiet planet. The key is knowing how to listen to the ever-present ambient noise.
Better tools for manipulating DNA in the laboratory may soon be possible with newly discovered deoxyribozymes (catalytic DNA) capable of cleaving single-stranded DNA, researchers at the University of Illinois say.
Nuclear engineer Clifford Singer is one of three writers of a report, produced by the Program in Arms Control, Disarmament and International Security at the University of Illinois that calls for creating specific institutions, funds and financial incentives to manage spent nuclear fuel.
In the classic fairy tale, “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” Hans Christian Andersen uses the eyes of a child to challenge conventional wisdom and help others to see more clearly. In similar fashion, researchers at the University of Illinois have now revealed the naked truth about a classic bell-shaped curve used to describe the motion of a liquid as it diffuses through another material.
New findings from a research team led by University of Illinois chemist Deborah Leckband show that flexibility in the region near the binding sites of DC-SIGN plays a significant role in pathogen targeting and binding.
A team of researchers at the University of Illinois has created the world’s first acoustic “superlens,” an innovation that could have practical implications for high-resolution ultrasound imaging, non-destructive structural testing of buildings and bridges, and novel underwater stealth technology.
Research led by chemistry professor Roman Boulatov contradicts the intuitive notion that molecules – like rubber bands – break faster when pulled.
Researchers have constructed a light-emitting transistor that has set a new record with a signal-processing modulation speed of 4.3 gigahertz, breaking the previous record of 1.7 gigahertz held by a light-emitting diode.
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.
A new method to induce protein folding by taking the pressure off of proteins is up to 100 times faster than previous methods, and could help guide more accurate computer simulations for how complex proteins fold, according to research by a team of University of Illinois scientists.
Researchers at Illinois have demonstrated that an entire collection of superconducting electrons in an ultrathin superconducting wire is able to “tunnel” as a pack from a state with a higher electrical current to one with a notably lower current, providing more evidence of the phenomenon of macroscopic quantum tunneling.
By creating a model of the active site found in a naturally occurring enzyme, chemists at the University of Illinois have described a catalyst that acts like nature’s most pervasive hydrogen processor.
Parachute cords, climbing ropes, and smart coatings for bridges that change color when overstressed are several possible uses for force-sensitive polymers being developed by researchers at the University of Illinois.
Researchers at the University of Illinois have developed a membrane-penetrating nanoneedle for the targeted delivery of one or more molecules into the cytoplasm or the nucleus of living cells. In addition to ferrying tiny amounts of cargo, the nanoneedle can also be used as an electrochemical probe and as an optical biosensor.
Researchers at the University of Illinois have found a new way to make transistors smaller and faster. The technique uses self-assembled, self-aligned, and defect-free nanowire channels made of gallium arsenide.
In a new study, researchers at the University of Illinois have identified and visualized the signaling pathways in protein-RNA complexes that help set the genetic code in all organisms. The genetic code allows information stored in DNA to be translated into proteins.
Chemists at the University of Illinois have created a simple and inexpensive molecular technique that replaces an expensive atomic force microscope for studying what happens to small molecules when they are stretched or compressed.
A 200-year-old report by a sea captain and a stunning photograph of the 2008 eruption of Mount Chaiten are helping scientists at the University of Illinois better understand strong volcanic plumes.
University of Illinois chemistry department researchers have engineered a new bisphosphonate drug that is about 200 times more effective at killing cancer cells than a bisphosphonate drug used in a recent clinical trial.
The benefits of ridesharing – aka car-pooling – are well known: less traffic, less wear on roads and less fuel consumed, and the ability to engage in pre-office-hours water-cooler talk that can be accomplished without the water cooler.
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.
Like firemen fighting fire with fire, researchers at the University of Illinois and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst have found a way to fool a bacteria’s evolutionary machinery into programming its own death.
Like water and ice cubes mixed in a glass, a group of organic compounds called lipids can coexist as liquid and solid in membranes. This patchiness in phospholipid membranes is fundamental to their use as biomolecules and biosensors. Using charged nanoparticles, researchers at the University of Illinois have found a new way to stimulate patchiness in phospholipid membranes.
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research, or A*STAR, a Singapore government agency that oversees 22 research institutes, consortia and centers, are establishing a major research center in Singapore. The Advanced Digital Sciences Center will be focused on breakthrough innovations in information technology that are expected to have a major impact in transforming human beings’ utilization of information technology.
Adding a food additive to damaged polymers can help restore them to full strength, say scientists at the University of Illinois who cooked up the novel, self-healing system.
Scientists putting the squeeze on thin films of polystyrene have discovered that at very short length scales the polymer doesn’t play by the rules.
Scientists at the University of Illinois have developed a new class of disposable, microplate-based optical biosensors capable of detecting protein-DNA interactions. Based on the properties of photonic crystals, the biosensors are suitable for the rapid identification of inhibitors of protein-nucleic acid and protein-protein interactions.
People who hope to keep their age a secret won’t want to go near a computer running this software. Like an age-guesser at a carnival, computer software being developed at the University of Illinois can fairly accurately estimate a person’s age. But, unlike age-guessers, who can view a person’s body, the software works by examining only the person’s face.
By discovering the physical mechanism behind the rapid transport of water in carbon nanotubes, scientists at the University of Illinois have moved a step closer to ultra-efficient, next-generation nanofluidic devices for drug delivery, water purification and nano-manufacturing.
A group of aerospace engineering students were working to improve the Olympics-bound wheelchair athletes’ racing speeds as the athletes themselves worked to increase their speed.
Understanding the form and function of certain proteins in the human body is becoming faster and easier, thanks to the work of researchers at the University of Illinois.
By combining stretchable optoelectronics and biologically inspired design, scientists have created a remarkable imaging device, with a layout based on the human eye.
According to new research, old ideas about water behavior are all wet.
Ubiquitous on Earth, water also has been found in comets, on Mars and in molecular clouds in interstellar space. Now, scientists say this common fluid is not as well understood as we thought.
Detecting deadly fumes in subways, toxic gases in chemical spills, and hidden explosives in baggage is becoming easier and more efficient with a measurement technique called surface-enhanced Raman scattering. To further improve the technique’s sensitivity, scientists must design better scattering surfaces, and more effective ways of evaluating them.
Each thought or action sends a million electrical signals pulsing through your body. At the heart of the process of generating these electrical impulses is the ion channel. A new study by researchers from the University of Illinois measures movements smaller than one-billionth of a meter in ion channels. This movement is critical to how these tiny pores in the cell membrane open and close in response to changes in voltage across the membrane. The findings appear this week in the journal Neuron.
Now you see it, soon you might not, researchers at the University of Illinois say. In computer simulations, the researchers have demonstrated an approximate cloaking effect created by concentric rings of silicon photonic crystals. The mathematical proof brings scientists a step closer to a practical solution for optical cloaking.
New scientific evidence suggests that deep inside the planet Mercury, iron “snow” forms and falls toward the center of the planet, much like snowflakes form in Earth’s atmosphere and fall to the ground.
A new low-temperature, catalyst-free technique for growing copper nanowires has been developed by researchers at the University of Illinois. The copper nanowires could serve as interconnects in electronic device fabrication and as electron emitters in a television-like, very thin flat-panel display known as a field-emission display.
ientists have developed a new form of stretchable silicon integrated circuit that can wrap around complex shapes such as spheres, body parts and aircraft wings, and can operate during stretching, compressing, folding and other types of extreme mechanical deformations, without a reduction in electrical performance.
Using computer simulations, researchers at the University of Illinois have demonstrated a strategy for sequencing DNA by driving the molecule back and forth through a nanopore capacitor in a semiconductor chip. The technique could lead to a device that would read human genomes quickly and affordably.
Researchers at the University of Illinois have developed a new model of global carbon and nitrogen cycling that will fundamentally transform the understanding of how plants and soils interact with a changing atmosphere and climate.
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.
A new catalyst-free, self-healing material system developed by researchers at the University of Illinois offers a far less expensive and far more practical way to repair composite materials used in structural applications ranging from airplane fuselages to wind-farm propeller blades.
Using an extremely sensitive measurement technique, researchers at the University of Illinois have found clear evidence that a lead-specific DNAzyme uses the "lock and key" reaction mechanism. In the presence of zinc or magnesium, however, the same DNAzyme uses the "induced fit" reaction mechanism, similar to that used by ribozymes.
Determining the origin and rate of magma production in subduction zone volcanoes is essential to understanding the formation of continental crust and the recycling of subducted materials back into Earth's mantle.
In a familiar high-school chemistry demonstration, an instructor first uses electricity to split liquid water into its constituent gases, hydrogen and oxygen. Then, by combining the two gases and igniting them with a spark, the instructor changes the gases back into water with a loud pop.
Want to help unravel the mysteries of the universe? A new distributed computing project designed by a University of Illinois researcher allows people around the world to participate in cutting-edge cosmology research by donating their unused computing cycles.
For years, the ratio of uranium's two long-lived isotopes, U-235 and U-238, has been considered invariant, despite measurements made in the mid-1970s that hinted otherwise. Now, with improved precision from state-of-the-art instrumentation, researchers at the University of Illinois unequivocally show this ratio actually does vary significantly in Earth materials.
A hybrid device combining force and fluorescence developed by researchers at the University of Illinois has made possible the accurate detection of nanometer-scale motion of biomolecules caused by pico-newton forces.
Placing a film of silicon nanoparticles onto a silicon solar cell can boost power, reduce heat and prolong the cell's life, researchers now report.
A new model of Saturn's icy moon Enceladus may quell hopes of finding life there. Developed by researchers at the University of Illinois, the model explains the most salient observations on Enceladus without requiring the presence of liquid water.
Like navigating spacecraft through the solar system by means of gravity and small propulsive bursts, researchers can guide atoms, molecules and chemical reactions by utilizing the forces that bind nuclei and electrons into molecules (analogous to gravity) and by using light for propulsion. But, knowing the minimal amount of light required, and how that amount changes with the complexity of the molecule, has been a problem.
One of the fundamental challenges facing organic synthesis in the 21st century is the need to significantly increase the efficiency with which carbon frameworks can be constructed and functionalized. Chemists at the University of Illinois are helping to meet this challenge by developing a class of carbon-hydrogen catalysts that are highly selective, reactive and tolerant of other functionality.
New research from the University of Illinois challenges the premise that the brain must build new proteins in response to an experience for that experience to be recorded in long-term memory.
New fundamental particles aren't found only at Fermilab and at other particle accelerators. They also can be found hiding in plain pieces of ceramic, scientists at the University of Illinois report.
In a paper published online this month in the journal Nature Chemical Biology, researchers report that they have developed a way to determine the function of some of the hundreds of thousands of proteins for which amino acid sequence data are available, but whose structure and function remain unknown.
Illinois educators to gain skills at U. of I. to improve chemistry education
More than 50 educators from rural school districts across Illinois will gather at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois for a two-week summer institute, June 18-29.
Using X-ray data and advanced computer simulation and visualization software, researchers at the University of Illinois have painstakingly modeled a critical part of a mechanism by which bacteria take up large molecules. Their findings provide a rare window on the complex interplay of proteins involved in the active transport of materials across cell membranes.
A data-driven computational approach developed by a University of Illinois statistician is revealing secrets about inner Earth and discovering unique gene expressions in fruit flies, zebra fish and other living organisms.
Researchers at the University of Illinois report that a new study of mechanoluminescence revealed extensive atomic and molecular spectral emission not previously seen in a mechanoluminescence event. The findings, which appear online this month in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, also include the first report of gas phase chemical reactions resulting from a mechanoluminescence event.
By utilizing ideas developed in disparate fields, from earthquake dynamics to random-field magnets, researchers at the University of Illinois have constructed a model that describes the avalanche-like, phase-slip cascades in the superflow of helium.
Using relic radiation from the birth of the universe, astrophysicists at the University of Illinois have proposed a new way of measuring the fine-structure constant in the past, and comparing it with today.
Using relic radiation from the birth of the universe, astrophysicists at the University of Illinois have proposed a new way of measuring the fine-structure constant in the past, and comparing it with today.
Mechanics meets chemistry in new ways to manipulate matter
The inventors of self-healing plastic have come up with another invention: a new way of doing chemistry.
Like a piece of chalk dissolving in vinegar, marine life with hard shells is in danger of being dissolved by increasing acidity in the oceans.
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed a simple, disposable sensor for detecting hazardous uranium ions, with sensitivity that rivals the performance of much more sophisticated laboratory instruments.
Geologists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have located a huge chunk of Earth's lithosphere that went missing 15 million years ago. By finding the massive block of errant rock beneath Tibet, the researchers are helping solve a long-standing mystery, and clarifying how continents behave when they collide.
Scientists exploring the physics of hearing have found an underlying molecular cause for one form of deafness, and a conceptual connection between deafness and the organization of liquid crystals, which are used in flat-panel displays.
Estrogen is known to enhance the growth and migration of breast cancer cells. Now researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have found that estrogen also can shield breast cancer cells from immune cells.
A superbubble in space, caught in the act of forming, can help scientists better understand the life and death of massive stars, say researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Quasars are some of the most luminous and distant objects in the universe- and appear to have something in common with ordinary light bulbs, say researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications.
What's causing all the commotion on Enceladus?
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are studying the environmental impact that unique patterns of deforestation in Rondonia, Brazil, have on the land and climate.
The decomposition of plant, animal and microbial material in soil and water produces a variety of complex organic molecules, collectively called natural organic matter. These compounds play many important roles in the environment.
An astronomy expert looking for in-depth research about stars can consult the same new reference book that an undergraduate freshman with a limited knowledge of astronomy might use.
The successful synthesis of an antibiotic in a non-native host has provided a team of researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with the potential for developing new treatments for bacterial infections.
Since it was discovered to be superconducting over a decade ago, the pairing symmetry of strontium ruthenium oxide has been widely explored and debated. Now, a team of researchers led by Dale Van Harlingen at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign say the debate is over.
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed a simple "dipstick" test for detecting cocaine and other drugs in saliva, urine or blood serum. The test is based upon DNA-gold nanoparticle technology, and can be packaged in user-friendly kits similar to those used for home pregnancy tests.
Many people know that if you bite or break a Wint-O-Green Lifesaver in the dark, you will see a spark of green light. That light is called mechanoluminescence, also known as triboluminescence.
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have demonstrated that quantum coherence is possible in electronic systems that are incommensurate, thereby removing one obstacle in the development of quantum devices.
The discovery and preparation of a naturally occurring antibiotic could open the door to new therapeutic drugs for treating nasty infections.
As American waistlines have expanded since 1960, so has their consumption of gasoline, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Virginia Commonwealth University say.
Superconducting wires are used in magnetic resonance imaging machines, high-speed magnetic-levitation trains, and in sensitive devices that detect variations in the magnetic field of a brain. Eventually, ultra-narrow superconducting wires might be used in power lines designed to carry electrical energy long distances with little loss.
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have created polarized, spherical particles that spontaneously self-assemble into clusters with specific shapes and distributions of electric charge. The polarized particles can be used in the directional self-assembly of intricate shapes and unique structures.
The death of a massive nearby star billions of years ago offers evidence the sun was born in a star cluster, say astronomers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Rather than being an only child, the sun could have hundreds or thousands of celestial siblings, now dispersed across the heavens.
Since the discovery of buckyballs and carbon nanotubes, there has been intense interest inpreparing carbon materials of various morphologies and structures. Now, graduate student Sara E. Skrabalak and chemistry professor Kenneth S. Suslick at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a way to prepare porous carbon sponges by heating a chemical mist from an ordinary home humidifier.
Using computer simulations and experimental results, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Arizona have identified a key component of the gating mechanism in aquaporins that controls both the passage of water and the conduction of ions.
New software developed by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign allows scientists to more effectively analyze and compare both sequence and structure data from a growing library of proteins and nucleic acids.
Scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed a new chemical catalyst that uses hydrogen gas to efficiently remove and destroy harmful perchlorate in contaminated groundwater.
Scientists have found a way to trick cancer cells into committing suicide. The novel technique potentially offers an effective method of providing personalized anti-cancer therapy.
Using a sensitive, single-molecule measurement technique, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have observed the life cycle of RecA, a protein that plays a major role in repairing damaged DNA.
Scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have successfully modeled the spectacular landscapes seen at geothermal hot springs.
Coffee drinkers are familiar with the ring-shaped stains that result from spilled drops that have dried, in which the brown stain is not evenly distributed, but instead concentrated at the edge. Now, a team led by Gerard Wong, a professor of materials science and engineering, physics and bioengineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has found the same "coffee-ring" formation in drying drops of DNA.
A light-sensitive, self-assembled monolayer that provides unique control over particle interactions has been developed by scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Particles coated with the monolayer change their surface charge and chemistry upon exposure to ultraviolet light.
Three unique photographs of a recent volcanic eruption in a remote part of Ecuador show a plume unlike any previously documented, and hint at a newly recognized hazard, say scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
In Roman mythology, Janus was the god of change and transition, often portrayed with two faces gazing in opposite directions. At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Janus particles are providing insight into the movement of molecules, and serving as the basis for new materials and sensors.
Scientists have made nisin, a natural antibiotic used for more than 40 years to preserve food, in a test tube using nature's toolbox. They also identified the structure of the enzyme that makes nisin and gives it its unique biological power.
An innovative strategy of mixing lipids and nanoparticles to produce new drug and agricultural materials and delivery vehicles has been developed by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
In living organisms, hundreds of different kinds of molecular motors perform a variety of essential, but little understood tasks that result in such actions as muscle contraction, cell division and the movement of materials within cells. Some motors act as transporters, some serve as anchors, and some may do both.
A simple but groundbreaking experiment performed more than 70 years ago finally has been explained by scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The solution sheds new light on fluid turbulence - the last major unsolved problem in classical physics.
Single walled carbon nanotubes wrapped with DNA can be placed inside living cells and detect trace amounts of harmful contaminants using near infrared light, report researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Their discovery opens the door to new types of optical sensors and biomarkers that exploit the unique properties of nanoparticles in living systems.
Black and white reproductions of Vincent van Gogh's "The Starry Night" lack the beauty and depth of the original oil painting. In a similar fashion, images of stars and galaxies composed of a single wavelength band cannot convey the wealth of information now accessible to astronomers.
A serendipitous comparison prompted by an old scientific image and involving an ancient but understudied molecule may lead to a new treatment strategy for injuries or illnesses in which blood clotting is paramount to survival.
A powerful new tool for probing molecular structure on surfaces has been developed by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Single molecule absorption spectroscopy can enhance molecular analysis, surface manipulation and studies of molecular energy and reactivity at the atomic level.
Absent any climate policy, scientists have found a 70 percent chance of shutting down the thermohaline circulation in the North Atlantic Ocean over the next 200 years, with a 45 percent probability of this occurring in this century. The likelihood decreases with mitigation, but even the most rigorous immediate climate policy would still leave a 25 percent chance of a thermohaline collapse.
By soaking up moisture with their roots and later releasing it from their leaves, plants play an active role in regulating the climate. In fact, in vegetated ecosystems, plants are the primary channels that connect the soil to the atmosphere, with plant roots controlling the below-ground dynamics.
Recent evidence from the Huygens Probe of the Cassini Mission suggests that Titan, the largest moon orbiting Saturn, is a world where rivers of liquid methane sculpt channels in continents of ice. Surface images even show gravel-sized pieces of water ice that resemble rounded stones lying in a dry riverbed on Earth.
An experimental mystery - the origin of the insulating state in a class of materials known as doped Mott insulators - has been solved by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The solution helps explain the bizarre behavior of doped Mott insulators, such as high-temperature copper-oxide superconductors.
Researchers studying how proteins called helicases travel along strands of DNA have found that when the proteins hit an obstacle they snap back to where they began, repeating the process over and over, possibly playing a preventative role in keeping the genome intact.
Mimicking nature, a procedure developed by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign can find and correct defects in self-assembled nanomaterials. The new proofreading and error-removal process is based on catalytic DNA and represents a paradigm shift in nanoscale science and engineering.
By storing carbon in their fields through no-till farming practice, farmers can help countries meet targeted reductions in atmospheric carbon dioxide and reduce the harmful effects of global warming.
Oxygen may be necessary for life, but it sure gets in the way of making hydrogen fuel cheaply and abundantly from a family of enzymes present in many microorganisms. Blocking oxygen's path to an enzyme's production machinery could lead to a renewable energy source that would generate only water as its waste product.
The first close-up look at a pro-inflammatory signaling molecule involved in immune response in mammals suggests that researchers "should rethink what they are doing" in creating drugs based on a fruit-fly model, scientists say.
An Earth System model developed by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign indicates that the best location to store carbon dioxide in the deep ocean will change with climate change.
The human brain is composed of billions of cells, each a separate entity that communicates with others. The chemical interaction of those cells determines personality, controls behavior and encodes memory; but much remains to be understood.
Scientists have ended a 9-year-old debate by proving that Earth's core rotates faster than its surface, by about 0.3 to 0.5 degree per year.
Scientists studying the structure and interaction of negatively charged lipids and DNA molecules have created a "cookbook" for a class of nontoxic DNA delivery systems that will assist doctors and clinicians in the safe and effective delivery of genetic medicine.
For a glycerol molecule, a measly angstrom's difference in diameter is a road-closed sign: You can't squeeze through unless you are a sleek, water-molecule-sized sports car, say scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
The catalytic reforming of liquid fuels offers an attractive solution to supplying hydrogen to fuel cells while avoiding the safety and storage issues related to gaseous hydrogen. Existing catalytic support structures, however, tend to break down at the high temperatures needed to prevent fouling of the catalytic surface by soot.
One of the longstanding challenges in the synthesis of pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and food additives is the continuous regeneration of molecules called cofactors that permit the synthesis through inexpensive and environmentally friendly biocatalytic processes.
Using a technique called ultrasonic spray pyrolysis, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have created an improved catalyst for removing smelly sulfur-containing compounds from gasoline and other fossil fuels. The improved catalyst is a form of molybdenum disulfide, most commonly recognized as the black lubricant used to grease automobiles and machinery.
A burst of mesospheric cloud activity over Antarctica in January 2003 was caused by the exhaust plume of the space shuttle Columbia during its final flight, reports a team of scientists who studied satellite and ground-based data from three different experiments. The data also call into question the role these clouds may play in monitoring global climate change.
A new method for manipulating macromolecules has been developed by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The technique uses double-stranded DNA to direct the behavior of other molecules.
An international team of nuclear physicists has determined that particles called strange quarks do, indeed, contribute to the ordinary properties of the proton.
By using DNA molecules as scaffolds, scientists have created superconducting nanodevices that demonstrate a new type of quantum interference and could be used to measure magnetic fields and map regions of superconductivity.
Twenty-five years ago today Mount St. Helens erupted in Washington state, prompting U. of I. graduate David Johnston of the U.S. Geological Survey to report "Vancouver, Vancouver, this is it" from inside his monitoring-station trailer. Johnston's body and trailer were never found; he was among 57 fatalities that day.
By designing a molecular bridge, scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have forged a successful pathway through a complex ocean of barriers: They've changed the function of a protein using a co-evolution approach.
Converting forests into croplands and pastures reduces carbon storage, say scientists who studied the impacts of human-induced change on terrestrial ecosystems. The study results have important implications for predicting carbon dioxide levels, and will help provide a more complete understanding of Earth's carbon cycle.
Late last January, while most people were battling winter's cold and snow, University of Illinois structural geologist
Stephen Hurst left for a monthlong cruise in the South Pacific. It was no vacation, though. Hurst joined a team of scientists, engineers and technicians who set sail from Easter Island to explore the Pito Deep, a rift in Earth's crust nearly 6,000 meters deep.
Researchers using an extremely fast and accurate imaging technique have shed light on the tiny movements of molecular motors that shuttle material within living cells. The motors cooperate in a delicate choreography of steps, rather than engaging in the brute-force tug of war many scientists had imagined.
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have set a new standard in the design and engineering of nuclear hormone receptor-based genetic on-off switches, without causing new problems or aggravating existing ones.
Even though spring and warm-weather thoughts are here, a chilling, soon-to-be published report says that December's immense Midwest snowstorm was one to remember.
Theoretical understanding of heavy-fermion superconductors has just slipped a notch or two, says a team of experimentalists.
Scientists seeking to explain high-temperature superconductivity have been violating the Pauli exclusion principle, a team of researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Rutgers University report. Any theory that does not embrace the Pauli principle has a lot of explaining to do, they say.
Water use in Illinois is expected to grow faster than the population in the next 20 years, with Chicago-area counties leading increased demand in 89 of the state's 102 counties, according to two new studies released by the Illinois State Water Survey
If farmers talk big about 2004 crops as they get ready to head out into the fields this spring, let them talk. Believe them. Last year's crop season saw record yields in every major crop amid the closest-to-perfect weather conditions of the last century, scientists say.
A fuel cell designed by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign can operate without a solid membrane separating fuel and oxidant, and functions with alkaline chemistry in addition to the more common acidic chemistry.
Using a technique employed by astronomers to determine stellar surface temperatures, chemists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have measured the temperature inside a single, acoustically driven collapsing bubble.
The first synthesis of QS-21A, a medicinally important molecule that helps the body battle disease, has been achieved by chemists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Using high-intensity ultrasound, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have created hollow nanospheres and the first hollow nanocrystals. The nanospheres could be used in microelectronics, drug delivery and as catalysts for making environmentally friendly fuels.
Ultrathin superconducting wires can withstand stronger magnetic fields than larger wires made from the same material, researchers now report. This finding may be useful for technologies that employ superconducting magnets, such as magnetic resonance imaging.
Scientists studying satellite data have discovered an immense wintertime pool of pollution over the northern Indian state of Bihar. Blanketing around 100 million people, primarily in the Ganges Valley, the pollution levels are about five times larger than those typically found over Los Angeles.
Scientists using molds derived from carbon nanotubes have approached the ultimate resolution - defined by molecular scale dimensions - in a widely used polymer nanoimprinting technique. By accurately replicating features with nanometer dimensions, the technique could play future roles in fabricating structures in fields as diverse as microelectronics, nanofluidics and biotechnology.
A trio of massive, young star clusters found embedded in a star cloud may shed light on the formation of super-star clusters and globular clusters.
Protein-encapsulated single-walled carbon nanotubes that alter their fluorescence in the presence of specific biomolecules could generate many new types of implantable biological sensors, say researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign who developed the encapsulation technique.
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.
A new approach to outwit resistance to antibiotics has been discovered by a team of researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Microbial processes ultimately determine whether arsenic builds to dangerous levels in groundwater, say researchers at the University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign. Remediation may be as simple as stimulating certain microbes to grow.
Doing a little now to mitigate long-term climate change would cost much less than doing nothing and making an adjustment in the future, say scientists whose paper appears in the Oct. 15 issue of the journal Science.
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.
From mollusks to mammals, newly discovered chemical pathways of serotonin in the nervous system are paving a path toward future pharmaceutical treatments for depression and other disorders.
Self-organizing synthetic molecules originally used for gene therapy may have applications as templates and scaffolds for the production of inorganic materials. Using electrostatic interactions between oppositely charged molecules as the binding force, scientists are learning how to organize these synthetic molecules into more versatile complexes with large and controllable pore sizes.
In the human body, hundreds of different types of biomolecular motors help carry out such essential tasks as muscle contraction, moving chromosomes during cell division, and reloading nerve cells so they can repeatedly fire.
The weird behavior of electrons tunneling across an atomically flat interface within a cuprate superconductor has defied explanation by theories of high-temperature superconductivity.
By depositing thin films of silicon nanoparticles on silicon substrates, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have fabricated a photodetector sensitive to ultraviolet light. Silicon-based ultraviolet sensors could prove very handy in military, security and commercial applications.
Developing novel ways to control the motion of atoms on surfaces is essential for the future of nanotechnology. Now, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have found a phenomenon of dislocation-driven nucleation and growth that creates holes that spiral into a surface and pull atoms into crystalline solids.
By threading a magnetic field through a carbon nanotube, scientists have switched the molecule between metallic and semiconducting states, a phenomenon predicted by physicists some years ago, but never before clearly seen in individual molecules.
As the U.S. Department of Defense's Missile Defense Agency ramps up efforts to have the first phase of a multiyear, multibillion-dollar "layered" national defense system in place by September - as mandated by President Bush - the agency's fast-tracked plans have been hitting a few speed bumps.
Baggage screeners have just seconds amid loud airport noises and the pressure of rushed airline travelers to scan X-rays of carry-on items for weapons. How good they are at finding one may depend on the specificity of their training, say researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Scientists studying the adhesive properties of the neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) - a protein that helps bind the nervous system together - have found that two opposing models of cell adhesion are both correct.
Scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have designed a potential roadmap to use a biosynthetic pathway taken from a common microorganism to produce compounds that could serve as precursors to explosives or components in everyday devices such as liquid crystal displays or anti-cancer agents.
In what may sound like a project from a high school science fair, scientists are using a household humidifier to create porous spheres a hundred times smaller than a red blood cell. The technique is a new and inexpensive way to do chemistry using sound waves, the researchers say.
Astronomers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will be major participants in the construction and operation of a new millimeter-wave telescope array to be located in the high desert of California. Groundbreaking for the facility - called the Combined Array for Research in Millimeter-Wave Astronomy - is set for 2 p.m. on Saturday (March 27) at Cedar Flat in the Inyo Mountains near Bishop.
Like the delicate form of an icicle defying gravity during a spring thaw, patterns emerge in nature when forces compete. Scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have found a hidden pattern in cuprate (copper-containing) superconductors that may help explain high-temperature superconductivity.
Chemists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have uncovered the molecular activity of an enzyme responsible for naturally turning a small protein into a potent antibiotic known as a lantibiotic.
From within the rich fabric of connecting tissue between cells, researchers of four institutions, led by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, have identified the action of anastellin, a natural agent that is showing promise blocking metastasis of cancer cells and enhancing wound healing.
Chemists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have produced a molecule that selectively kills cancerous cells in a desired way and leaves healthy cells virtually untouched.
The Heisenberg uncertainty principle places severe constraints on the subatomic world. To illustrate, for particles called bosons, the principle dictates that bosons either condense to form a superconductor or they must remain localized in an insulator. However, experiments conducted during the last 15 years on thin films have revealed a third possibility: Bosons can exist as a metal. Scientists have been struggling to interpret this surprising result.
All single-walled-carbon nanotubes are not created equal. Instead, they form diverse assortments that vary markedly in features such as size and electrical properties. Although carbon nanotubes have been proposed for myriad applications - from miniature motors and chemical sensors to molecule-size electronic circuits - their actual uses have been severely limited by an inability to isolate and manipulate nanotubes having different characteristics.
Identifying the structures of certain types of molecular compounds can now take minutes, instead of days, and be performed much more accurately, say scientists who developed a new approach for analyzing key experimental X-ray data.
Highway travelers view much of the Midwest as little more than barren flatlands. The formation of the region and its rich soils, especially tall grass areas that seemingly should support diverse forests, however, have long fascinated scientists. Newly available, long-term climate data now say the area is the product of weather extremes.
The ability of proteins to guide small molecules to reaction sites and across membranes is essential to many metabolic pathways, but the process is not well understood. Now, scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have shown that a globular protein with a barrel structure can direct small molecules in much the same fashion as a membrane protein.
Scientists have developed an extremely accurate imaging technique for looking inside the machinery of a cell and have found that molecules of myosin "walk" in a fashion very much like a human.
The production of lariat RNAs is a key step in the biologically important process of splicing. Because splicing changes the protein that is made from a given gene, a fundamental understanding of splicing is critical for comprehending the connections between genes and proteins. The study of splicing, however, has been very difficult in part because lariat RNAs have been nearly impossible to make artificially.
Detecting the presence of hazardous lead paint could become as simple as pressing a piece of paper against a wall and noting a color change.
To carry out their functions, proteins must first fold into particular structures. How rapidly this process can occur has been both a source of debate and a roadblock to comparing protein folding theory and experiment.
Uncertainty in the climate sensitivity to growing levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide has been a stumbling block to policy makers addressing the climate change issue. A study published in the March 28 issue of the journal Science, however, concludes that huge reductions in fossil-fuel carbon emissions will be required by the middle of this century - regardless of the likely climate sensitivity.
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have demonstrated an all-optical frequency shifter that could remove a bottleneck in optical communications networks. The device can rapidly and accurately shift the frequency of optical signals without the time-consuming tasks of detection, storage and rebroadcast.
Of the five basic senses, the sense of smell is the least understood. Now, scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have sniffed out potential clues to how olfactory receptors in the nose detect odors. Those clues may also explain why dietary zinc deficiencies lead to a loss of smell.
NAMD, a molecular dynamics code for high-performance simulation of large biomolecular systems developed at the University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign, was among the winners of this year's Gordon Bell Awards - the Olympics of supercomputing at the SC2002 conference held in November in Baltimore.
The direct injection of unwanted carbon dioxide deep into the ocean is one suggested strategy to help control rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and mitigate the effects of global warming. But, like the problems associated with the long-term storage of nuclear waste, finding a safe place to sequester the carbon may be more difficult than scientists first anticipated.
Americans take verbal shortcuts to say someone is intellectually underwhelming -- he's no brain surgeon ... no rocket scientist ...no Einstein.
Phospholipid bilayers that mimic cell membranes in living organisms are of interest as substrates for biosensors and for the controlled release of pharmaceuticals. To better understand how these materials behave with embedded proteins, a necessary first step is to understand how the bilayers respond by themselves.
Regulations alone will not stabilize atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and curb global warming, an international team of climate and technology experts says. What's needed is the further development of alternative energy technologies that permit worldwide economic development while simultaneously stabilizing carbon dioxide levels and controlling climate change.
Two of the three largest impact craters on Earth have nearly the same size and structure, researchers say, but one was caused by a comet while the other was caused by an asteroid. These surprising results could have implications for where scientists might look for evidence of primitive life on Mars.
For years, the comparison of simulated and experimental protein folding kinetics has been a "Holy Grail" for biologists and chemists. But scientists seeking to confirm protein-folding theory with laboratory experiments have been unable to cross the microsecond barrier. This obstacle in time existed because experiments could not be performed fast enough, nor simulations run long enough, to permit a direct comparison.
Using an optical fluorescence microscope to monitor enzyme activity, researchers at three universities have solved a long-running mystery. It takes at least two proteins, working in an unstable tandem, to unzip two strands of DNA.
When animals metabolize food or when plants photosynthesize it, electrons are moved across cell membranes. The "extension cords" of this bioelectrical circuit are mostly iron-containing proteins called cytochromes.
Zeolites are an extremely important class of inorganic materials that can separate gases or liquids on the basis of molecular size and shape. The backbone of a billion-dollar-a-year industry, these molecular sieves are used in numerous applications, from the production of biodegradable detergents, to the removal of moisture from natural gas pipelines, to the catalytic cracking of heavy petroleum distillates into gasoline.
A high-fidelity spectrometric system for studying the behavior of drops and particles in industrial flame reactors has been constructed by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in collaboration with researchers at the University of Arizona. The instrument was used to study the potential of thermal combustors for reducing the volume of liquid nuclear wastes for safe, long-term storage.
Researchers collaborating by means of the Internet is nothing new. However, an evolving Web-based environment created at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is redefining long-range collaboration and linking far-away labs to supercomputers - for free.
Atmospheric measurements made at Earth's geographic poles provide a convenient way of validating and calibrating global circulation models. Such measurements also might provide some of the first conclusive evidence of global change in the middle and upper atmospheres. But new data shows that the current models are wrong: Temperatures over the South Pole are much colder in winter than scientists had anticipated.
The peculiar behavior of high-temperature superconductors has baffled scientists for many years. Now, by imaging the copper-oxide plane in a cuprate superconductor for the first time, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have found several new pieces to this important puzzle.
Nature is especially adept at producing molecules that can recognize and bind other molecules. For example, antibody molecules will search out and bind a single foreign molecule, called an antigen, from among myriad other natural substances. This type of exquisite molecular recognition has long inspired chemists, who for decades have tried to make molecules that are capable of performing similar feats.
Like fireflies, bubbles trapped and energized by ultrasound emit light in a periodic rhythm. By holding a single bubble of gas in a standing acoustic wave and driving it into pulsations, the bubble converts sonic energy into light with clocklike regularity. At the same time, the intense energy released by the implosive compression of the bubble rips molecules apart. Chemists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have now quantified those effects in a single bubble.
As telecommunications and information systems become commonplace in society, a more secure means of encrypting and transmitting data is required. Underlying nearly all forms of encryption is the necessity for a truly secret key, which can be distributed without the threat of an undetected eavesdropper. Several protocols have demonstrated the potential effectiveness of quantum cryptography in meeting this need.
Substituting natural gas for coal in electrical power generating plants could reap greater long-term climate benefits than previously thought.
Using an ultrafast laser spectroscopy technique, scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have tracked - and timed - the flow of vibrational energy through certain molecules in their liquid state.
A new way to assemble complex, three-dimensional structures from specially formulated colloidal inks could find use in advanced ceramics, sensors, composites, catalyst supports, tissue engineering scaffolds and photonic materials.
Unusual weather across most of the United States last winter created huge and generally positive impacts to the nation's struggling economy.
If you had a friend who looked like he weighed 150 pounds, but moved as though he were a ponderous 1.5 tons, you would certainly wonder why.
An experiment to understand how chemokine peptides dock to a receptor on a cell wall - a pivotal connection that allows HIV to infect healthy cells - has yielded an unexpected fundamental discovery and a possible new way to block AIDS.
The universe appears to be permeated with an invisible force - dark energy - that is pushing it apart faster and faster. By conducting redshift surveys of galaxy clusters, astronomers hope to learn more about this mysterious force, and about the structure and geometry of the universe.
The elusive goal of controlling the release rate of encapsulated compounds for the precise delivery of drugs over a prolonged period is finally within reach.
Through the wonders of modern technology, the world is said to have gotten smaller. Correspondingly, the world of research has grown more minute, a realm where scientists and engineers now routinely work on a scale ranging from the size of small atoms to that of large molecules.
Fleshy tube feet preserved in a rare fossil suggest an ecological shift through time, and may settle a long-standing debate about the preservation of soft parts, say paleontologists at the University of Illinois.
By creating superconducting nanowires using carbon nanotube molecules, researchers at the University of Illinois are investigating just how small a wire can become and remain a superconductor. The answer could prove useful in applications such as supercomputing, where short superconducting wires can connect circuit elements.
A lensless X-ray microscope that can create three-dimensional images of micron-size samples has been developed by scientists at the University of Illinois. The instrument can be used in metallurgical and semiconductor applications, and for studying the early growth stages of protein crystals.
New evidence from short-period earthquake waves may solve a long-standing mystery of Earth's inner core, and offers additional support for a layered inner core model, say seismologists at the University of Illinois.
A University of Illinois astronomy professor has won an Association of American Publishers' (AAP) annual award for his latest book on stars.
Scientists at the University of Illinois have fabricated features within self-assembled photonic crystals, greatly enhancing the potential functionality of this class of photonic band gap materials.
Water trapped against a surface it doesn't like will ripple in frustration as it seeks to escape, say researchers at the University of Illinois who will report their findings in the Jan. 25 issue of the journal Science.
A process for creating silicon nanoparticles, developed at the University of Illinois, has now been shown to produce a family of discrete particle sizes useful for microelectronics, optoelectronics and biomedical applications.
Evidence of a carbon-silicon compound found in a living colony of diatoms could lead to a variety of beneficial applications, from low-cost synthesis of high-performance materials to therapeutic treatments for osteoporosis.
First came fullerenes, those cage-like molecules of 60 carbon atoms bound in a ball. Then came long, thin soda straws of carbon atoms called nanotubes. Now there are fullerenes nested within nanotubes, like so many peas in a pod.
Blocking the sun may not be such a cool way of counteracting climate change, scientists at the University of Illinois say. Potential effects upon the biosphere could be important to agriculture and forest production, and also could create secondary feedback mechanisms that may further change the climate.
Sea-level measurements of aerosol properties, obtained last spring under both clean and polluted conditions in the Pacific Ocean, are helping to quantify aerosol optical properties related to climate change.
A mechanism to explain how the behavior of the stratosphere may affect tropospheric weather patterns has been proposed by scientists at the University of Illinois. If correct, the idea could be included in models to better understand the climate system and predict the weather.
How old is your groundwater? Chances are, it's much older than you, or many scientists, had thought.
By picking up the tiny vibrations of thermal energy that exist naturally in all objects, researchers at the University of Illinois have performed ultrasonic measurements without using a source. Potential applications range from seismology to materials science.
The uncertainty of climate change because of global warming is much greater than previously thought, and as a result, policy-makers should adopt a robust, adaptive-decision strategy to cope with potential consequences, researchers at the University of Illinois say.
Now that the human genome has been sequenced, one of the hottest areas in life sciences is characterizing the human proteome. Researchers at the University of Illinois have developed techniques that facilitate the rapid identification and characterization of proteins.
Scientists have discovered what looks like a jet contrail, possibly left behind by a dwarf star traveling through interstellar space.
By colliding two laser beams head-on, scientists at the University of Illinois can measure the movement of chromatin (tiny packets of DNA) in the nucleus of a living cell.
When it comes to predicting boundary conditions of fluids flowing over solid surfaces, the textbooks are all wet, say researchers at the University of Illinois.
In the northwest foothills of the Alaska Range, the last 150 years have been warm by historical reckoning, scientists report. However, they note, two other lengthy periods of climatic warmth appear to have occurred in that region during the last 2,000 years.
The discovery of a large amount of subducted lithosphere beneath the Fiji Islands suggests that the mixing of Earth's mantle caused by plate tectonics occurs less than previously thought, so large volumes of primordial mantle may still exist, University of Illinois researchers say.
In the wake of mounting evidence of global warming, decision-makers are wrestling with related policy issues. Now, researchers at the University of Illinois have shown that the probability of severe climate change is much greater than many scientists or policy-makers had thought.
By adding topographic features to their hydrologic model, researchers at the University of Illinois can better assess the impact of climate variability and global warming on terrestrial systems such as stream ecology, water quality and water resources management.
When Karin Dahmen hears the crackling noise in a bowl of crisped-rice cereal, her thoughts turn to earthquakes.
By comparing computer simulations of a galaxy collision with actual observations, astronomers at the University of Illinois have found discrete star-formation episodes that may help explain the prodigious star-formation rates that occurred in the early universe.
As Plutarch observed 2 millennia ago, mapmakers aren't nearly as accurate as they claim to be. Even in the Greek historian's day, they had biases, agendas and tricks - often inventing places and fudging with marginalia, noting, for example, that beyond a certain point "lies nothing but sandy deserts full of wild beasts and unapproachable bogs."
By measuring how long it takes phonons (lattice vibrations) to travel through a thin crystal, University of Illinois researchers have found experimental evidence of an unusual spin-density-wave ground state in lead superconductors.
A sensitive laser radar (lidar) system, first deployed over Okinawa, Japan, to observe meteor trails during the 1998 Leonid meteor shower, has now been used to probe temperatures in the upper atmosphere over both geographic poles.
Entanglement, the bizarre quantum mechanical connection that can exist between particles, is an essential component in many quantum information processing applications, such as quantum computation, teleportation and cryptography. But the connection between the particles can become "noisy" or "dirty," degrading the quality of the entanglement and rendering it useless for quantum information processing.
Fabricating pathways and manipulating fluid flow in microdevices just got a lot easier with the help of "virtual walls" -- sides that lack physical barriers.
What are stars? How do they shine? How are stars born and what makes them die? How do stars relate to the Sun and to the inhabitants of Earth?
While Earth as a whole has warmed during the last half-century, much of the continental United States has grown slightly colder.
A high-precision measurement of the muon spin anomaly has shown a tantalizing discrepancy with the Standard Model of particle physics that may require new physics to explain, say University of Illinois researchers who participated in the experiment.
To help unlock the innermost secrets of the proton, a doughnut-shaped superconducting magnet 14 feet in diameter is now being tested at the University of Illinois.
Hot gas from a shocked stellar wind is responsible for the complex shape of a planetary nebula known as the Cat's Eye, say astronomers using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory.
Demonstrations of the unique, three-dimensional, cloud-imaging capabilities of the Multi-angle Imaging Spectro-Radiometer -- one of the instruments on the satellite Terra -- will be among highlights presented at a special session devoted to the satellite at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting on Tuesday morning, Dec. 19.
Scientists seeking to confirm earlier measurements of the strange quark's contribution to the proton's magnetic moment have found several surprises, instead.
A superconducting magnet 14 feet in diameter and weighing more than 80,000 pounds will be moved into the high-bay area of the Nuclear Physics Laboratory, 23 E. Stadium Drive, Champaign, beginning at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday (Dec. 13).
Humans have a penchant for travel - driving, sailing and flying over the planet in search of new places to live. So do microbes, say researchers at the University of Illinois who have been studying microbial transport at Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park.
The ability to describe the rates at which microbial populations metabolize in the natural environment has been limited by the lack of a general theory of microbial kinetics. Now, researchers at the University of Illinois have found an approach that holds significant promise for extending the results of laboratory experiments to better understand microbial metabolism in nature.
Lead is a common environmental contaminant that can cause a number of health problems, particularly in children. Current techniques for lead detection require sophisticated equipment or complicated sample treatment. Now, researchers at the University of Illinois have developed a simple and inexpensive method that permits real-time, on-site detection of lead ions.
By combining ultrashort pulses from a mid-infrared laser with pulses of visible light, chemists at the University of Illinois have added an important new dimension to vibrational spectroscopy.
Imagine a small slip of paper that can sniff out odors such as sour milk, illegal drugs, environmental pollutants, poisonous gases or deadly toxins simply by changing color.
The human contribution to global warming is clearly present and must be controlled, say researchers at the University of Illinois.
By manipulating simple and nonspecific interactions, researchers have discovered a way to make chemicals spontaneously self-assemble into ribbon-like tubules that resemble bacterial cell walls. The micrometer-sized tubules have potential applications in drug delivery systems and as templates for the synthesis of inorganic nanostructured materials.
Evidence of life in Martian meteorites or future rock samples from the Red Planet may be easier to identify thanks to microbes living in hot springs at Yellowstone National Park.
Geographer Thomas Bassett wants to put African mapmaking on the map.
The idea that rigidity and orderliness go together is a triumph of modern theoretical physics. But how these two properties interrelate when a liquid is cooled and becomes solid-like -- a phenomenon called the glass transition -- has been less clear. Now, University of Illinois chemical physics professor Peter Wolynes and graduate student Xiaoyu Xia have found a way to explain the odd behavior of glassy materials.
Recent experiments by a University of Illinois researcher have shed light on how glassy materials -- melts that have been quickly frozen -- are formed in exotic chunks of mantle called xenoliths, and how ascending magmas in the mantle can affect the lava output at Earth's surface through chemical, rather than thermal, reactions.
University of Illinois researchers have developed a process for converting bulk silicon into ultra-small, nano-sized particles. The nanoparticles -- which are about one billionth of a meter in diameter and contain about 30 silicon atoms -- can be formed into colloids, crystals, films and collimated beams for unique applications in the electronics, optoelectronics and biomedical industries.
A blue-light photoreceptor found in nerve layers of the eyes and brains has caught the attention of University of Illinois researchers who are seeking the magnetic compass that lets migratory birds and many other creatures find home using the magnetic field of Earth.
A wealth of information on the physical properties and global distribution of clouds -- soon to be collected by a recently launched satellite called Terra -- could help scientists better predict climate change, says a University of Illinois researcher involved with the project.
Scientists who performed the first direct measurement of voltage-induced distance changes in ion channels -- critical components of the nervous system -- have reached a surprising conclusion. As reported in the Dec. 16 issue of Nature, the amino acids in the voltage sensor move like keys turning in locks, not like the simple plungers that were predicted by current models.
By deriving an equation of state for compressible foam, and then simulating it numerically, University of Illinois researchers predict a dramatic morphological change that will occur as the surface tension is increased or, equivalently, the volume of the foam is greatly expanded.
Since Otto Stern first surprised his colleagues in 1933 by announcing that the proton magnetic moment was three times larger than expected, physicists have puzzled over the origin of the difference. During the past two summers the SAMPLE experiment at the MIT-Bates Linear Accelerator Center has shed new light on this question by measuring the proton magnetic moment as seen by the weak interaction, rather than the electromagnetic interaction.