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River researchers used a specially constructed model to study how water flows over gravel river beds. Postdoctoral researcher Gianluca Blois (left) and professor Jim Best also developed a technique to measure the water flow between the pore spaces in the river bed.

Rivers flow differently over gravel beds, study finds

Author: Liz Ahlberg, Physical Sciences Editor

Published Date:October 15, 2014

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.

Published Date: October 15, 2014


Illinois professor Alek Aksimentiev and graduate student Manish Shankla found that it is possible to control how DNA goes through a graphene nanopore for sequencing by applying an electric charge to the graphene.

Charged graphene gives DNA a stage to perform molecular gymnastics

Author: Liz Ahlberg, Physical Sciences Editor

Published Date:October 9, 2014

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.

Published Date: October 9, 2014


Praveen Kumar Photo by L. Brian Stauffer  Illinois researchers found that bioenergy crops like miscanthus can store more carbon in the soil than traditional corn or soybean crops.

Bioenergy crops could store more carbon in soil

Author: Liz Ahlberg, Physical Sciences Editor

Published Date:October 2, 2014

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.

Published Date: October 2, 2014


Topography of a red blood cell as measured by the SLIM optical technique. Though the cell keeps its shape as it ages, the membrane becomes less flexible.

Banked blood grows stiffer with age, study finds

Author: Liz Ahlberg, Physical Sciences Editor

Published Date:September 5, 2014

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.

Published Date: September 5, 2014


Professor Sheldon H. Jacobson led a study that found that, though seatbelt use drops as obesity rises, states with primary seatbelt laws saw a drop nearly nine times less than states without such laws.

Seatbelt laws encourage obese drivers to buckle up

Author: Liz Ahlberg, Physical Sciences

Published Date:September 2, 2014

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.

Published Date: September 2, 2014


University of Illinois plant biology professor Evan DeLucia and his colleagues found that land plants have the capacity to produce much more biomass than previously estimated

Study: Earth can sustain more terrestrial plant growth than previously thought

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:August 26, 2014

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.

Published Date: August 26, 2014


Professor Paul Braun and graduate student Chunjie Zhang developed a continuous glucose-monitoring system that changes color when glucose levels rise.

A glucose meter of a different color provides continuous monitoring

Author: Liz Ahlberg, Physical Sciences Editor

Published Date:August 25, 2014

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.

Published Date: August 25, 2014


Illinois researchers found that the material molybdenum disulfide could be the most efficient yet found for DNA sequencing, making personalized medicine more accessible.

New material could enhance fast and accurate DNA sequencing

Author: Liz Ahlberg, Physical Sciences Editor

Published Date:August 13, 2014

Illinois researchers found that the material molybdenum disulfide could be the most efficient yet found for DNA sequencing, making personalized medicine more accessible.

Published Date: August 13, 2014


Professor Ning Wang led a team that found that tumor-repopulating cancer cells can go dormant in stiffer tissues but wake up and multiply when placed in a softer environment.

Cell mechanics may hold key to how cancer spreads and recurs

Author: Liz Ahlberg, Physical Sciences Editor

Published Date:August 6, 2014

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.

Published Date: August 6, 2014


University of Illinois anthropology professor Kathryn Clancy led a new study of sexual harassment and assault of men and women working on scientific field studies.

Sexual harassment and assault are common on scientific field studies, survey indicates

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:July 16, 2014

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.

Published Date: July 16, 2014