blog postsEngineeringCampusEducationPhysical SciencesIllinois physics professor named national Professor of the YearNov 19, 2015 8:30 am8250 views Mats Selen, professor of physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has been named Outstanding Doctoral and Research Universities Professor of the Year by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.Life SciencesAgriculturePhysical SciencesSeven Illinois researchers rank among the world’s most influentialDec 21, 2015 9:15 am8216 views Seven University of Illinois researchers have been named to the Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researchers list for 2015. The list includes “some of the world’s most influential scientific minds,” according to a statement from Thomson Reuters.Physical SciencesEngineeringNanopores could take the salt out of seawaterNov 10, 2015 1:45 pm7318 views University of Illinois engineers have found an energy-efficient material for removing salt from seawater that could provide a rebuttal to poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s lament, “Water, water, every where, nor any drop to drink.”HonorsAgricultureAnnouncementsEngineeringHealthLife SciencesPhysical SciencesEight Illinois researchers rank among world’s most influentialNov 18, 2016 9:15 am6152 views Eight University of Illinois researchers have been named to the Thomson Reuters / Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researchers list for 2016. The list identifies scientists “whose research has had significant global impact within their respective fields of study."EngineeringPhysical SciencesPaper tubes make stiff origami structuresSep 7, 2015 2:00 pm6005 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – From shipping and construction to outer space, origami could put a folded twist on structural engineering.HealthEngineeringLife SciencesPhysical SciencesTiny electronic implants monitor brain injury, then melt awayJan 18, 2016 10:00 am5435 views A new class of small, thin electronic sensors can monitor temperature and pressure within the skull – crucial health parameters after a brain injury or surgery – then melt away when they are no longer needed, eliminating the need for additional surgery to remove the monitors and reducing the risk of infection and hemorrhage.EngineeringPhysical SciencesRecord-speed data transmission could make big data more accessibleMar 22, 2016 9:45 am5422 views With record-breaking speeds for fiber-optic data transmission, University of Illinois engineers have paved a fast lane on the information superhighway – creating on-ramps for big data in the process.Physical SciencesEngineeringSmall in size, big on power: New microbatteries a boost for electronicsApr 16, 2013 9:00 am3993 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - 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.EngineeringPhysical SciencesReclaimed water could help power plants run more efficiently, study findsMay 12, 2016 10:00 am3424 views The water going down the drain could help keep the lights on, according to a new study showing that reclaimed water – municipal wastewater that has been treated or cleaned – could be more efficient for cooling power plants than water taken from the local environment.Expert ViewpointsEngineeringLife SciencesPhysical SciencesIs Academia Waking Up to the Problem of Sexual Harassment?Sep 19, 2016 2:15 pm3227 views U. of I. anthropology professor Kathryn Clancy supports a federal legislative effort that would require universities to report – and federal funding agencies to consider – findings that any university professor engaged in discrimination on the basis of sex. HealthEngineeringLife SciencesPhysical SciencesSurgical probe seeks out where cancer ends and healthy tissue beginsSep 15, 2015 12:00 pm3034 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – A new surgical tool that uses light to make sure surgeons removing cancerous tumors “got it all” was found to correlate well with traditional pathologists’ diagnoses in a clinical study, showing that the tool could soon enable reliable, real-time guidance for surgeons.Physical SciencesStudy challenges widely accepted theory of Yellowstone formationFeb 10, 2016 9:00 am3014 views Understanding the complex geological processes that form supervolcanoes could ultimately help geologists determine what triggers their eruptions. A new study using an advanced computer model casts doubt on previously held theories about the Yellowstone supervolcano’s origins, adding to the mystery of Yellowstone’s formation.EngineeringHealthPhysical SciencesOff the shelf, on the skin: Stick-on electronic patches for health monitoringApr 3, 2014 1:00 pm2942 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — 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.HealthEngineeringLife SciencesPhysical SciencesTumor-targeting system uses cancer’s own mechanisms to betray its locationFeb 14, 2017 9:00 am2907 views By hijacking a cancer cell’s own metabolism, researchers have found a way to tag and target elusive cancers with small-molecule sugars. This opens treatment pathways for cancers that are not responsive to conventional targeted antibodies, such as triple-negative breast cancer.Life SciencesPhysical SciencesStudy offers clearest picture yet of how HIV defeats a cellular defenderMar 4, 2016 8:30 am2854 views A new study offers the first atomic-scale view of an interaction between the HIV capsid - the protein coat that shepherds HIV into the nucleus of human cells - and a host protein known as cyclophilin A. This interaction is key to HIV infection, researchers say.HealthEngineeringPhysical SciencesStudy: Higher mass transit use associated with lower obesity ratesMay 16, 2017 10:30 am2645 views Healthy mass transit systems could contribute to healthier communities, according to a new study by University of Illinois researchers that determined higher mass transit use was correlated with lower obesity rates in counties across the United States.Physical SciencesBattery technology could charge up water desalinationFeb 1, 2016 11:15 am2586 views The technology that charges batteries for electronic devices could provide fresh water from salty seas, says a new study by University of Illinois engineers. Electricity running through a salt water-filled battery draws the salt ions out of the water.EngineeringPhysical SciencesMaking the invisible visible: Color-changing indicators highlight microscopic damageJan 13, 2016 9:15 am2555 views Damage developing in a material can be difficult to see until something breaks or fails. A new polymer damage indication system automatically highlights areas that are cracked, scratched or stressed, allowing engineers to address problem areas before they become more problematic.Physical SciencesMachine learning could solve riddles of galaxy formationNov 11, 2015 10:15 am2543 views A new machine-learning simulation system developed at the University of Illinois promises cosmologists an expanded suite of galaxy models – a necessary first step to developing more accurate and relevant insights into the formation of the universe.CampusHumanitiesLife SciencesPhysical SciencesSocial SciencesSix Illinois professors named Guggenheim FellowsMay 2, 2016 12:15 pm2502 views Six professors at the University of Illinois have been named 2016 Guggenheim Fellows, bringing to 13 the number of U. of I. faculty members who have been honored with the fellowship over the last three years. This year’s fellows are Dennis Baron, Karin A. Dahmen, Craig Koslofsky, Mei-Po Kwan, Ralph W. Mathisen and Rebecca Stumpf.Physical SciencesEngineeringNewly developed cloak hides underwater objects from sonarJan 5, 2011 9:00 am2501 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - In one University of Illinois lab, invisibility is a matter of now you hear it, now you don't.EngineeringPhysical SciencesStructural, regulatory and human error were factors in Washington highway bridge collapseAug 24, 2016 9:00 am2395 views When an important bridge collapsed on Interstate 5 near Mount Vernon, Washington, in 2013, questions were raised about how such a catastrophic failure could occur. A new analysis by a team of civil engineering faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign outlines the many factors that led to the collapse, as well as steps that transportation departments can take to prevent such accidents on other bridges of similar design.Physical SciencesSupervolcanoes likely triggered externally, study findsNov 4, 2015 11:15 am2369 views Supervolcanoes, massive eruptions with potential global consequences, appear not to follow the conventional volcano mechanics of internal pressure building until the volcano blows. Instead, a new study finds, such massive magma chambers might erupt when the roof above them cracks or collapses.Physical SciencesEngineeringHealthLife SciencesBacterial hole puncher could be new broad-spectrum antibioticOct 27, 2015 11:00 am2356 views Bacteria have many methods of adapting to resist antibiotics, but a new class of spiral polypeptides developed at the University of Illinois targets one thing no bacterium can live without: an outer membrane.EngineeringLife SciencesPhysical SciencesLight illuminates the way for bio-botsMar 14, 2016 2:00 pm2261 views A new class of miniature biological robots, or bio-bots, has seen the light – and is following where the light shines.EngineeringPhysical SciencesSmart skin: Electronics that stick and stretch like a temporary tattooAug 11, 2011 9:00 am2248 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - 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.HealthEngineeringLife SciencesPhysical SciencesVeterinary MedicineShape of tumor may affect whether cells can metastasizeApr 27, 2016 10:45 am2246 views Only a few cells in a cancerous tumor are able to break away and spread to other parts of the body, but the curve along the edge of the tumor may play a large role in activating these tumor-seeding cells, according to a new University of Illinois study.Life SciencesPhysical SciencesResearchers resolve structure of a key component of bacterial decision-makingDec 8, 2015 9:30 am2178 views For bacteria that swim, determining whether to stay the course or head in a new direction is vital to survival. A new study offers atomic-level details of the molecular machinery that allows swimming bacteria to sense their environment and change direction when neededHealthEngineeringLife SciencesPhysical SciencesPortable device can quickly determine the extent of an eye injuryDec 8, 2015 8:45 am1998 views An engineer and an ophthalmologist are working together to develop a portable sensor that can quickly and inexpensively determine whether an eye injury is mild or severe. The device, called OcuCheck, works by measuring levels of vitamin C in the fluids that coat or leak from the eye. The sensor could speed efforts to determine the extent of eye injuries at accident sites, in rural areas lacking ophthalmology specialists or on the battlefield, the researchers said.EngineeringPhysical SciencesDual-function nanorod LEDs could make multifunctional displaysFeb 9, 2017 1:00 pm1936 views Cellphones and other devices could soon be controlled with touchless gestures and charge themselves using ambient light, thanks to new LED arrays that can both emit and detect light.HonorsAnnouncementsPhysical SciencesSix Illinois faculty members elected AAAS FellowsNov 21, 2016 10:00 am1923 views Six University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign faculty members have been elected 2016 Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science: Jianjun Cheng, Brian T. Cunningham, Kevin T. Pitts, Bruce L. Rhoads, Chad M. Rienstra and Josep Torrellas.Physical SciencesLife SciencesCOMPASS method points researchers to protein structuresOct 9, 2015 12:30 pm1914 views Searching for the precise, complexly folded three-dimensional structure of a protein can be like hacking through a jungle without a map: a long, intensive process with uncertain direction. University of Illinois researchers developed a new approach, dubbed COMPASS, that points directly to a protein’s likely structure using a combination of advanced molecular spectroscopy techniques, predictive protein-folding algorithms and image recognition software.Physical SciencesLife SciencesFive Illinois faculty members named Sloan Research FellowsFeb 23, 2016 9:15 am1793 views Five University of Illinois faculty members received the 2016 Sloan Research Fellowship from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.EngineeringPhysical SciencesLight helps the transistor laser switch fasterMar 9, 2016 8:30 am1787 views Light and electrons interact in a complex dance within fiber optic devices. A new study by University of Illinois engineers found that in the transistor laser, a device for next-generation high-speed computing, the light and electrons spur one another on to faster switching speeds than any devices available.Life SciencesPhysical SciencesStudy shows new forests cannot take in as much carbon as predictedSep 24, 2015 9:45 am1751 views As carbon emissions continue to rise, scientists project forests will grow faster and larger, due to an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide, which fuels photosynthesis. But a new study by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom finds that these projections are overestimated.Life SciencesPhysical SciencesPlastic shopping bags make a fine diesel fuel, researchers reportFeb 12, 2014 9:00 am1640 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - 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.ArtsPhysical SciencesIllinois researcher generates random ‘reactions’ to consider how Facebook uses our informationFeb 9, 2017 8:30 am1586 views University of Illinois researcher Ben Grosser has created a web browser extension he calls Go Rando that randomly chooses one of Facebook’s six reactions whenever you click “like.” His intention is to obfuscate your recorded feelings to Facebook.EngineeringPhysical SciencesNanostructured metal coatings let the light through for electrical devicesDec 8, 2015 9:15 am1584 views Light and electricity dance a complicated tango in devices like LEDs, solar cells and sensors. A new anti-reflection coating developed by engineers at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, in collaboration with researchers at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, lets light through without hampering the flow of electricity, a step that could increase efficiency in such devices.AgricultureEngineeringLife SciencesPhysical SciencesMeasure of age in soil nitrogen could help precision agricultureJul 25, 2016 8:00 am1522 views University of Illinois engineers developed a model to calculate the age of nitrogen in corn and soybean fields, which could lead to improved fertilizer application techniques to promote crop growth while reducing leaching.Physical SciencesEngineeringMethod opens a window on how stress and strain affect battery performanceAug 1, 2016 12:15 pm1453 views Batteries that charge faster and have greater capacity could boost portable electronic devices and electric cars. A new method to simultaneously test stress and strain in battery electrodes gives researchers a window into the mechanical, electrical and chemical forces within lithium-ion batteries. The method revealed an unexpected point of stress in the charging cycle, which could guide development of better batteries.Life SciencesCampusCampus LifeDeathsPhysical SciencesKlaus Schulten, pioneer in biophysics and computational biology, has diedNov 4, 2016 8:30 am1401 views University of Illinois physics professor Klaus Schulten, an innovator in the use of computational methods to study the chemical and biological processes driving living cells, died Monday, Oct. 31, at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana. He was 69.Expert ViewpointsPhysical SciencesCan the FBI hack the iPhone?Feb 25, 2016 12:30 pm1399 views A Minute With...™ computer scientist Roy H. CampbellExpert ViewpointsPhysical SciencesCan data analytics help you fill out a March Madness bracket?Mar 7, 2017 9:30 am1368 views Fill in your March Madness bracket from the center out, says bracketologist Sheldon H. Jacobson.Life SciencesPhysical SciencesTime-lapse cell imaging reveals dynamic activityOct 26, 2016 12:30 pm1297 views Living cells are miniature worlds bustling with activity. A new advanced imaging method can track cells over long periods of time using only light – no dye or chemicals required – to reveal dynamics and provide insight into how cells function, develop and interact.ArtsPhysical SciencesJazz-playing robot will provide insight into how computers communicate with humansOct 14, 2015 9:30 am1258 views A University of Illinois researcher is designing a robot – actually a computer system – that will communicate with humans through jazz improvisation and provide insight into artificial intelligence and human-computer interaction.Physical SciencesLife SciencesStudy: Alaskan boreal forest fires release more carbon than the trees can absorbOct 19, 2015 9:30 am1251 views A new analysis of fire activity in Alaska's Yukon Flats finds that so many forest fires are occurring there that the area has become a net exporter of carbon to the atmosphere. This is worrisome, the researchers say, because arctic and subarctic boreal forests like those of the Yukon Flats contain roughly one-third of the Earth's terrestrial carbon stores.Life SciencesEngineeringPhysical SciencesForce triggers gene expression by stretching chromatinAug 22, 2016 10:00 am1201 views A new study by University of Illinois researchers and collaborators in China has demonstrated that external mechanical force can directly regulate gene expression.Physical SciencesEngineeringLife SciencesMuscle-powered bio-bots walk on commandJun 30, 2014 9:00 am1157 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - A new generation of miniature biological robots is flexing its muscle.HealthLife SciencesPhysical SciencesSensors detect disease markers in breathMay 18, 2017 11:45 am1152 views A small, thin square of an organic plastic that can detect disease markers in breath or toxins in a building’s air could soon be the basis of portable, disposable sensor devices. By riddling the thin plastic films with pores, University of Illinois researchers made the devices sensitive enough to detect at levels that are far too low to smell, yet are important to human health.Physical SciencesLife SciencesDNA molecules directly interact with each other based on sequence, study findsMar 22, 2016 11:00 am1142 views Proteins play a large role in DNA regulation, but a new study finds that DNA molecules directly interact with one another in a way that’s dependent on the sequence of the DNA and epigenetic factors. This could have implications for how DNA is organized in the cell and even how genes are regulated in different cell types, the researchers say.