blog navigation

All Results

blog posts

  • New compounds block master regulator of cancer growth, metastasis

    Scientists have developed new drug compounds that thwart the pro-cancer activity of FOXM1, a transcription factor that regulates the activity of dozens of genes. The new compounds suppress tumor growth in human cells and in mouse models of several types of human breast cancer.

  • Illinois student's puzzle to appear in The New York Times

    Computer science student Adam Aaronson loves puzzles, and a crossword puzzle he created will be published in The New York Times.

  • For CRISPR, tweaking DNA fragments before inserting yields highest efficiency rates yet

    University of Illinois researchers achieved the highest reported rates of inserting genes into human cells with the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing system, a necessary step for harnessing CRISPR for clinical gene-therapy applications.

    By chemically tweaking the ends of the DNA to be inserted, the new technique is up to five times more efficient than current approaches. The researchers saw improvements at various genetic locations tested in a human kidney cell line, even seeing 65% insertion at one site where the previous high had been 15%.

  • Scientists develop gentle, microscopic hands to study tiny, soft materials

    Handling very soft, delicate items without damaging them is hard enough with human hands, let alone doing it at the microscopic scale with laboratory instruments. Three new studies show how scientists have honed a technique for handling tiny, soft particles using precisely controlled fluid flows that act as gentle microscopic hands. The technique allows researchers to test the physical limits of these soft particles and the things made from them – ranging from biological tissues to fabric softeners.

  • New polymer material may help batteries become self-healing, recyclable

    Lithium-ion batteries are notorious for developing internal electrical shorts that can ignite a battery’s liquid electrolytes, leading to explosions and fires. Engineers at the University of Illinois have developed a solid polymer-based electrolyte that can self-heal after damage – and the material can also be recycled without the use of harsh chemicals or high temperatures.

  • Book looks at how landscape design helps solve water issues

    Landscape design research can help solve environmental problems related to water systems.

  • Classics course uses Greek tragedies to provide war insights

    A new course in classics uses Greek tragedies to study issues of war, trauma and displacement.

  • Caffeine may offset some health risks of diets high in fat, sugar

    A new study in rats suggests that caffeine may offset some of the negative effects of an obesogenic diet by reducing lipid storage, weight gain and the production of triglycerides.

  • Single-molecule detection of cancer markers brings liquid biopsy closer to clinic

    A fast, inexpensive yet sensitive technique to detect cancer markers is bringing researchers closer to a “liquid biopsy” – a test using a small sample of blood or serum to detect cancer, rather than the invasive tissue sampling routinely used for diagnosis.

    Researchers at the University of Illinois developed a method to capture and count cancer-associated microRNAs, or tiny bits of messenger molecules that are exuded from cells and can be detected in blood or serum, with single-molecule resolution.

  • Nanopores can identify the amino acids in proteins, the first step to sequencing

    A new study demonstrates that nanopores can be used to identify all 20 amino acids in proteins, a major step toward protein sequencing.

  • What do we really know about poverty?

    The holidays are a time we focus on those in need and heap scorn on the Scrooges and Mr. Potters who don’t. But how well do we understand poverty, in either the U.S. or globally? Illinois sociologist Brian Dill addresses some misconceptions.

  • Study: Healthy diet may avert nutritional problems in head, neck cancer patients

    Head and neck cancer patients who eat a healthy diet prior to treatment may be less likely to have nutrition impact symptoms up to a year after diagnosis, according to a recent study led by U. of I. researchers.

  • Paper: Cultural variables influence consumer demand for private-label brands

    Consumer attitudes toward private-label store brands might be driven more by social variables than price, says new research co-written by Carlos Torelli, a professor of business administration and James F. Towey Faculty Fellow at Illinois.

  • Finding clarity in the fog

    My hypothesis about how to improve wind-turbine efficiency arose unexpectedly one day as I was driving to Chicago to visit my fiancée. For some reason, my GPS chose to take me off the main highway and onto country roads, and I found myself traveling through a wind farm. It was a lucky coincidence: A thick mist lay on the horizon and, thanks to the fog, I could see the turbulence fields each turbine generated in its wake.

  • New heat model may help electronic devices last longer

    A University of Illinois-based team of engineers has found that the model currently used to predict heat loss in a common semiconductor material does not apply in all situations. By testing the thermal properties of gallium nitride semiconductors fabricated using four popular methods, the team discovered that some techniques produce materials that perform better than others. This new understanding can help chip manufacturers find ways to better diffuse the heat that leads to device damage and decreased device lifespans.

  • Experts review evidence yoga is good for the brain

    Scientists have known for decades that aerobic exercise strengthens the brain and contributes to the growth of new neurons, but few studies have examined how yoga affects the brain. A review of the science finds evidence that yoga enhances many of the same brain structures and functions that benefit from aerobic exercise.

  • Paper: Economy benefits when secretarial jobs require more computer skills

    New research co-written by U. of I. labor economist Eliza Forsythe finds that the adoption of new technologies in office and administrative support occupations ultimately leads to more job growth in the local economy, but offers mixed benefits for the office support workers themselves.

  • Team finds bovine kobuvirus in US

    A virus that afflicts cattle that was first discovered in Japan in 2003 has made its way to the U.S., researchers report in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.

  • What’s in the global carbon budget?

    The Global Carbon Project recently released its 2019 annual report, giving decision-makers access to data on atmospheric carbon concentrations, emissions and trends. Illinois atmospheric scientist Atul Jain is among the many scientists worldwide who contributed data to the report. News Bureau physical sciences editor Lois Yoksoulian spoke with Jain about this year’s findings.

  • Hittite class offers glimpse of Bronze Age language, technology

    Illinois students in a Hittite class learn to write the ancient language in clay using cuneiform symbols.

  • Opera addressing questions of disability, technology being developed with Lyric Theatre's help

    A new opera exploring questions of disability, technology and communication is being created with the help of the University of Illinois’ Lyric Theatre program.

  • Study: Leaders of nonprofits that use sport to better society often lack business skills

    Many nonprofits using sport to create social change may fail because their leaders lack the leadership and business skills critical to the organizations' survival, U. of I. professor Jon Welty Peachey found in a study.

  • Finding time for play

    Before I step into the classroom, I hear children’s voices and feel the energy these five- and six-year-olds radiate. Once inside, I see bins of materials strewn about – a scene of organized chaos. The bins are full of toys, blocks, interactive cards, game pieces and other materials meant to develop the children’s fine motor skills and enhance their engagement with words and numbers.

    But I am keenly aware of a worrisome trend in classrooms like this one: They are devoting more time and attention to teaching academic content, thus reducing the time for play. Research suggests that the downward trend in time for play, coupled with growing stressors, could have negative implications for children’s mental health and, in turn, their long-term outcomes.

  • US politics aside, what's the bigger picture in Ukraine?

    There’s more happening in Ukraine than just U.S. politics. A U. of I. professor talks about how the country is dealing with a long-term war and its consequences.

  • Alumna named Schwarzman Scholar

    Illinois alumna Katherine Pollman was selected as a Schwarzman Scholar, awarded to students who seek a better understanding of China’s role in the world.

     

  • By imaging the brain, scientists can predict a person's aptitude for training

    People with specific brain attributes are more likely than others to benefit from targeted cognitive interventions designed to enhance fluid intelligence, scientists report in a new study. Fluid intelligence is a measure of one’s ability to adapt to new situations and solve never-before-seen problems.

  • Structurally designed 'DNA star' creates ultrasensitive test for dengue virus

    By folding snippets of DNA into the shape of a five-pointed star, researchers have created a trap that captures dengue virus as it floats in the bloodstream.

  • Eight Illinois faculty members elected AAAS Fellows

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Eight professors at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have been elected 2019 Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  • A little prairie can rescue honey bees from famine on the farm, study finds

    Scientists placed honey bee hives next to soybean fields in Iowa and tracked how the bees fared over the growing season. To the researchers’ surprise, the bees did well for much of the summer. The colonies thrived and gained weight, building up their honey stores. But in August, the trend reversed. By mid-October, most of the honey was gone and the overwintering brood was malnourished, the team discovered.

  • New study looks to biological enzymes as source of hydrogen fuel

    Research from the University of Illinois and the University of California, Davis has chemists one step closer to recreating nature’s most efficient machinery for generating hydrogen gas. This new development may help clear the path for the hydrogen fuel industry to move into a larger role in the global push toward more environmentally friendly energy sources.

  • Study tracks genomic changes that reinforce darter speciation

    When they share habitat, orangethroat and rainbow darters tend to avoid one another, even though they are closely related and can produce “hybrid” offspring. The males compete with males of their own species and will almost always ignore females of the other species. A new study offers an analysis of the genomic changes that occur when these fish hybridize, offering insight into the gradual accumulation of incompatible traits that likely drives them to diverge.

  • World AIDS Day commemorated with films at Krannert Art Museum, Krannert Center

    Krannert Art Museum and Krannert Center for the Performing Arts will screen short films addressing the HIV/AIDS epidemic to commemorate World AIDS Day.

  • Direct college admissions conference on campus Dec. 6

    A national conference on direct college admissions policies will be held Dec. 6 on the University of Illinois campus to explore how these programs can increase college access and boost enrollment.

  • Eight Illinois researchers rank among world’s most influential

    Eight faculty members at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have been named to the 2019 Highly Cited Researchers list, a global listing of scientists who produced the past decade’s most influential papers.

  • Paper: Higher financial incentives for crowdsourced delivery workers can improve service

    Targeted financial incentives can increase the service capacity of crowdsourced delivery workers without incurring additional costs for retailers, according to new research co-written by Yuqian Xu, a professor of business administration at the Gies College of Business at Illinois.

  • Structures near airports increase risk of airplane-goose collisions

    From mid-November 2015 through February 2016, scientists used GPS transmitters to track the movements of Canada geese near Midway International Airport in Chicago. They discovered that – in the colder months, at least – some geese are hanging out on rooftops, in a rail yard and in a canal close to Midway’s runways. This behavior increases the danger of collisions between geese and airplanes, the researchers say.

  • Dozens of potential new antibiotics discovered with free online app

    A new web tool speeds the discovery of drugs to kill Gram-negative bacteria, which are responsible for the vast majority of antibiotic-resistant infections and deaths. The tool also offers insights into discrete chemical changes that can convert drugs that kill other bacteria into drugs to fight Gram-negative infections. The team proved the system works by modifying a Gram-positive drug and testing it against three different Gram-negative bacterial culprits in mouse sepsis. The drug was successful against each.

  • Paper: Outcomes vary for workers who 'lawyer up' in employment arbitration disputes

    A worker who retains legal counsel to litigate a workplace dispute in arbitration doesn’t account for the potentially countervailing effect of employers hiring their own legal counsel, says new research co-written by U. of I. labor professor Ryan Lamare.

  • Surviving a football frenzy

    Thirty-one. That’s the number the Illinois football coaching staff writes on the white board for the players to see. Many of the fans filing into Memorial Stadium today know this number, as well. Thirty-one is the number of points by which pundits predict Illinois will lose to Wisconsin. That’s a tough number. 

    Doesn’t matter. My job as a university photographer is to tell the Illini story. There is always plenty to capture and celebrate. The weather is spectacular. It is Homecoming. Illinois has been competitive against some tough foes. I can work with that. 

  • Research explores impact of racial discrimination on dating websites for gay, bisexual men

    University of Illinois social work professor Ryan Wade is the co-creator of a new scale that enables researchers to assess the impact of racialized sexual discrimination on gay and bisexual men of color.

  • Simulation reveals how bacterial organelle converts sunlight to chemical energy

    Scientists have simulated every atom of a light-harvesting structure in a photosynthetic bacterium that generates energy for the organism. The simulated organelle behaves just like its counterpart in nature, the researchers report. The work is a major step toward understanding how some biological structures convert sunlight into chemical energy, a biological innovation that is essential to life.

  • Board to consider extension of Athletic Director Whitman through 2023-24

    The University of Illinois Board of Trustees will consider a contract extension of Athletic Director Josh Whitman through June 30, 2024.

  • Graphene: The more you bend it, the softer it gets

    New research by engineers at the University of Illinois combines atomic-scale experimentation with computer modeling to determine how much energy it takes to bend multilayer graphene – a question that has eluded scientists since graphene was first isolated. The findings are reported in the journal Nature Materials.

  • Artificial intelligence to run the chemical factories of the future

    A new proof-of-concept study details how an automated system driven by artificial intelligence can design, build, test and learn complex biochemical pathways to efficiently produce lycopene, a red pigment found in tomatoes and commonly used as a food coloring, opening the door to a wide range of biosynthetic applications, researchers report.  

  • Will anything ever change for the Kurds?

    A U. of I. specialist on Middle Eastern politics explains why Kurds often feel they have “no friends but the mountains,” why they’re a political threat to Turkey’s president and motivations for the recent Turkish attack on the Kurds in Syria.

  • BTN premieres documentary on pioneering educator

    “William L. Everitt: An Optimist’s Journey” premieres Nov. 11 at 9:30 p.m. CST/10:30 p.m. EST on the Big Ten Network. The new 30-minute documentary tells the story of the inventor, author, visionary and former dean of what is now The Grainger College of Engineering.

     

  • Martinis named vice chancellor for research and innovation

    Susan Martinis is the new vice chancellor for research and innovation at the University of Illinois, having served as interim vice chancellor for research since September 2017.

  • Film mines Zuckerberg's speeches for growth obsession

    University of Illinois researcher Ben Grosser’s new film uses 15 years of speeches by Mark Zuckerberg to look at his obsession with growth at any cost.

  • Chimesmaster Wood honored in memorial concert

    Longtime chimesmaster Sue Wood will be honored with a memorial concert Nov. 10 at Altgeld Hall.

  • New approach uses light to stabilize proteins for study

    Researchers have developed a new technique that uses light to control the lifetime of a protein inside the cell. This method will allow scientists to better observe how specific proteins contribute to health, development and disease.