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A new 3-D 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.

3-D imaging provides window into living cells, no dye required

Author: Liz Ahlberg, Physical Sciences Editor

Published Date:January 21, 2014

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.

Published Date: January 21, 2014


Engineers developed the first tiny, synthetic machines that can swim by themselves, powered by beating heart cells.

Tiny swimming bio-bots boldly go where no bot has swum before

Author: Liz Ahlberg, Physical Sciences Editor

Published Date:January 17, 2014

The alien world of aquatic micro-organisms just got new residents: synthetic self-propelled swimming bio-bots.

Published Date: January 17, 2014


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

Illinois professor Lane Martin earns Presidential Early Career Award

Author: Liz Ahlberg, Physical Sciences Editor

Published Date:January 9, 2014

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.

Published Date: January 9, 2014


Invisible gas clouds in galaxies absorb light from background quasars based on the clouds' physical properties.  By searching for changes in absorption from repeat observations of the same quasar, University of Illinois astronomers found the first evidence that small-scale gas clouds are likely to exist.

Quasars illuminate swiftly swirling clouds around galaxies

Author: Liz Ahlberg, Physical Sciences Editor

Published Date:January 7, 2014

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.

Published Date: January 7, 2014


Study leader Bruce Fouke conducts research on microbes in extreme environments. His work in Yellowstone offers a basis for interpreting new research on subterranean microbes.

Oil- and metal-munching microbes dominate deep sandstone formations

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:December 17, 2013

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.

Published Date: December 17, 2013


Nanocrystals of cadmium selenide, known for their brilliant luminescence, display intriguing chemical behavior resulting from positive cooperation between atoms, a behavior akin to that found in biomolecules.

Atoms in a nanocrystal cooperate, much like in biomolecules

Author: Liz Ahlberg, Physical Sciences Editor

Published Date:December 16, 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 16, 2013


Electrical and computer engineering professor Joseph Lyding led the research team that developed a way to heal gaps in wires too small for even the world's tiniest soldering iron.

Nanotubes can solder themselves, markedly improving device performance

Author: Liz Ahlberg, Physical Sciences Editor

Published Date:November 25, 2013

University of Illinois researchers have developed a way to heal gaps in wires too small for even the world’s tiniest soldering iron.

Published Date: November 25, 2013


Among the four Illinois professors named fellows of the Amercian Association for the Advancement of Science is Stephen A. Boppart, an Abel Bliss professor of engineering, who was cited for distinguished contributions to optical coherence tomography and its applications to biomedical imaging.

Four named fellows of American Association for the Advancement of Science

Author: Liz Ahlberg, Physical Sciences Editor

Published Date:November 25, 2013

Four University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign faulty members have been named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Published Date: November 25, 2013


John A. Rogers, a pioneer in flexible, stretchable electronics, has been given a 2013 American Ingenuity Award by Smithsonian Magazine, the publishing arm of the Smithsonian Institution.

John A. Rogers wins American Ingenuity Award from Smithsonian Magazine

Author: Liz Ahlberg, Physical Sciences Editor

Published Date:November 20, 2013

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.

Published Date: November 20, 2013


University of Illinois engineers    from left, postdoctoral researcher  Fei Tan, graduate students Mong-Kai Wu  and Michael Liu, led by Milton Feng, front  developed a laser that can transmit data at a blazing fast 40 gigabits per second, without errors  the fastest in the U.S.

Tiny laser gives big boost to high speed data transmission

Author: Liz Ahlberg, Physical Sciences Editor

Published Date:November 5, 2013

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.

Published Date: November 5, 2013