Campus Highlights

image of researchers surrounging image of neurons and motor neurons

Team finds a better way to grow motor neurons from stem cells

Published Date:March 31, 2014

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).

Published Date: March 31, 2014

image of the volcano tambora

On its bicentennial, meet the volcano that changed the world

Published Date:March 20, 2014

Gillen D’Arcy Wood, a professor of English, is the author of “Tambora: The Eruption That Changed the World,” which documents the aftereffects of an 1815 volcanic eruption, the largest in recorded history. Consequences included climatic cooling, a worldwide cholera pandemic, a boom in opium production and an economic depression in the U.S.

Published Date: March 20, 2014

image of alumna laurie jeans and professor rosa milagros santos gilbertz

Autism signs can be identified earlier than formerly thought, study suggests

Published Date:March 17, 2014

Many characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorders can be identified by the age of 2 and are predictive of which children will be diagnosed with these disorders when they’re older, a new study suggests.

Published Date: March 17, 2014

image of internal parts of a flight data recorder

Professor Bill Hammack: Inside a 'Black Box' flight data recorder

Published Date:March 14, 2014

Professor Bill Hammack looks at the engineering behind a flight "black box." In designing an object an engineer must choose the proper material. Never is this more important than in the "black box" flight data recorder

Published Date: March 14, 2014

image of dignitaries signing agreement

Strategic alliance signed with University of Birmingham

Published Date:March 12, 2014

The University of Birmingham has strengthened its links with North America by announcing the establishment of a strategic alliance with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Published Date: March 12, 2014

image of professor julie dowling

Question of race not simple for Mexican Americans

Published Date:March 5, 2014

About half of Latinos check “white” in response to the question about race on the U.S. Census. About half check “other race.” Their choice of “white” or “other race” may have little to do with their skin color, their use of English or Spanish, or their comfort within the larger culture, contrary to common assumptions, says Julie A. Dowling, a University of Illinois professor of Latina and Latino studies.

Published Date: March 5, 2014

image of state archaeologist thomas emerson

Native American city, Cahokia, was America's first 'melting pot'

Published Date:March 3, 2014

New evidence establishes for the first time that Cahokia, a sprawling, pre-Columbian city situated at the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, hosted a sizable population of immigrants.

Published Date: March 3, 2014

image of researchers juan andrade and william helferich

Soy supplements with isoflavones 'reprogram' breast cancer cells

Published Date:February 26, 2014

Low doses of the soy isoflavone genistein change estrogen-responsive breast tumor cells to a more aggressive, less treatable form of cancer, suggests new research by Juan Andrade and William Helferich, both professors in the department of food science and human nutrition.

Published Date: February 26, 2014

image of four chess team members

Underdog Illini chess team going to Final Four again

Published Date:February 14, 2014

With no coaches, scholarships, or grand masters—trademarks of today’s powerhouse university chess teams—the club is sending a team to the national “Final Four” tournament for the second year in a row.

Published Date: February 14, 2014

graphic image for recycling plastic bags

Researchers: Plastic shopping bags make a fine diesel fuel

Published Date:February 12, 2014

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.

Published Date: February 12, 2014

image of self healing molded polymer

Off-the-shelf materials lead to self-healing polymers

Published Date:February 6, 2014

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.

Published Date: February 6, 2014

image of professor eric benson

Design professors make sustainable paper from native fibers, farm waste

Published Date:January 31, 2014

After a method for using tree pulp to make paper was perfected in 1890, people stopped using materials like corn stalks. “We’re going back to that and saying maybe they shouldn’t have stopped researching those fibers. Prairie grass makes some pretty amazing paper, we’ve found.”

Published Date: January 31, 2014

3-d image of a cell

No dye required in 3-D imaging of living cells

Published Date:January 24, 2014

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

Published Date: January 24, 2014

image of bird nest and eggs in bean field

No-till soybean fields give some rare birds a place to nest

Published Date:January 21, 2014

Researchers report in a new study that several bird species – some of them relatively rare – are making extensive use of soybean fields in Illinois. The team found significantly more birds and a greater diversity of bird species nesting, roosting and feeding in no-till soybean fields than in tilled fields.

Published Date: January 21, 2014

image of professor Anupam Agrawal

‘Sourcing hub’ could help create more efficient supply chain

Published Date:January 16, 2014

The lack of contact between firms at either end of a supply chain prevents companies from gaining efficiencies in costs, design and materials, says Anupam Agrawal, a professor of business administration at Illinois.

Published Date: January 16, 2014

image of ebert 'thumbs up' trophy

Documentary based on Roger Ebert's memoir to be shown at 'Ebertfest'

Published Date:January 15, 2014

The new documentary “Life Itself,” about the life of Roger Ebert, will be one of the 12 films shown at this year’s Roger Ebert’s Film Festival, or “Ebertfest,” coming April 23-27 to Champaign and Urbana, Ill.

Published Date: January 15, 2014

image of professor lane martin

Illinois professor Lane Martin earns Presidential Early Career Award

Published Date:January 9, 2014

Illinois professor Lane Martin was honored with a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.

Published Date: January 9, 2014

image of human and chimp lice

Study of lice tracks pace of molecular evolution

Published Date:January 9, 2014

A new study compares the relative rate of molecular evolution between humans and chimps with that of their lice. The researchers wanted to know whether evolution marches on at a steady pace in all creatures or if subtle changes in genes – substitutions of individual letters of the genetic code – occur more rapidly in some groups than in others.

Published Date: January 9, 2014

image of professor kate clancy

UI's Kate Clancy one of Nature’s 10 People who Mattered for 2013

Published Date:December 20, 2013

An anthropologist unearths disturbing trends in sexual assaults at field sites — and suspects she’s just scratching the surface.

Published Date: December 20, 2013

image of professor prashant jain

Atoms in a nanocrystal cooperate, much like in biomolecules

Published Date:December 17, 2013

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.

Published Date: December 17, 2013