blog posts A fruitful partnership in agricultural robotics Jul 25, 2022 9:00 am Being at the nexus of ag technology is great for startups and students. The ability to teach agricultural and robotics students a mere mile from campus at the Illinois Autonomous Farm testbed provides meaningful research experiences for all. A huge leap forward: Photosynthesis hack boosts soybean yield 20% Aug 18, 2022 2:15 pm U of I-led team of RIPE researchers prove bioengineering better photosynthesis increases yields in food crops for the first time ever. Artificial intelligence and molecule machine join forces to generalize automated chemistry Oct 28, 2022 12:45 pm By combining powerful artificial intelligence and a molecule-making machine created at Illinois, researchers are finding the best conditions for automated complex chemistry. Artificial intelligence produces a recipe for lower-carbon concrete May 4, 2022 10:30 am 'We designed new formulations that nearly halve the carbon requirements of concrete yet are just as strong or stronger than traditional formulations. Given the popularity of concrete, there is a global scale of potential applications.' Center based at U of I will develop distributed computing tech for 2030 and beyond Jan 5, 2023 3:00 pm Illinois will lead the ACE Center for Evolvable Computing, which will advance distributed computing technology, from cloud-based datacenters to edge nodes, so it operates with orders of magnitude more energy efficiency than today. Changing police culture with stories of wrongful convictions Jun 8, 2023 9:15 am The Wrongful Conviction Awareness and Avoidance course first introduced as an elective class at the Police Training Institute at U of I has been mandated for all Illinois police recruits as part of their standard training. CI MED students' anti-fatigue vest helps surgeons operate at their best Feb 23, 2023 10:45 am Studies indicate that between 50 and 85% of surgeons regularly experience discomfort in the back, neck, and shoulders. The students' solution combines both monitoring functions and supportive features in one product. Circadian rhythm and the blood-brain barrier Feb 24, 2022 3:15 pm What is the best time to take your medications? How much does time of day affect the blood-brain barrier's permeability to hormones, drugs? U of I researchers will design a chip from human stem cells to model the blood-brain interface. Click beetle-inspired robots jump using elastic energy Jan 23, 2023 3:30 pm U of I professor Sameh Tawfick led a new study introducing click beetle-sized robots small enough to fit into tight spaces, powerful enough to maneuver over obstacles and fast enough to match an insect’s rapid escape time. Climate-smart cows could deliver 10-20x more milk in Global South Oct 31, 2023 11:00 am U of I animal scientists are set to deliver a potential game changer for subsistence farmers in Tanzania: cows that produce up to 20 times the milk of indigenous breeds. Designing AI software to improve student learning Mar 17, 2023 1:30 pm Can artificial intelligence be used to improve students’ learning—while keeping their data private and being fair and effective for students from all demographic backgrounds? Nigel Bosch and Dong Wang aim to find out. DOE funds project to create bioplastic packaging that's infinitely recyclable Mar 11, 2022 9:15 am The Department of Energy has granted $2 million over three years to the U of I, Braskem America, and Princeton University to develop plastic that can be recycled perpetually, reducing waste and pollution from single-use plastics. Experimental composer headlines events examining art-science connections Sep 27, 2022 11:45 am David Rosenboom, a pioneer in experimental music, will lecture, perform and conduct workshops with students during a two-week series of events, 'Experimental Arts & Sciences at UIUC,' beginning Oct. 3. Fast, automated, affordable test for cement durability Jul 5, 2023 12:45 pm Engineers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign have developed a new test that can predict the durability of cement in seconds to minutes – rather than the hours it takes using current methods. First major breakthrough for U of I's Molecule Maker Lab May 3, 2022 2:00 pm It would have been a tedious process using conventional methods. The Molecule Maker Lab made it easier because it’s designed to facilitate molecular discovery research that requires testing of large numbers of molecules. Five more years of funding for U of I's Bioenergy Research Center Mar 17, 2023 1:15 pm 'Continuing to fund the important scientific work conducted at our Bioenergy Research Centers is critical to ensuring these sustainable resources can be an efficient and affordable part of our clean energy future,' said Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm. Flying taxi cabs in the near future? Researcher Naira Hovakimyan says, 'Heads up' Apr 27, 2022 9:45 am For years, Hovakimyan's L1 adaptive flight control system has provided maneuverability and safety in airplanes, vastly outperforming human pilots in challenging conditions. This technology is key to making trustworthy small autonomous aircraft. Future of underwater geolocalization: Polarization patterns enable new technology Jul 11, 2023 9:30 am The search and rescue operation for the missing Titan submersible pointed to a significant problem: pinpointing a location underwater, where GPS doesn't work. U of I researchers have created a new promising new solution. Generating the disruptive ideas needed to achieve sustainable flight by 2050 Jun 1, 2022 1:00 pm A U of I study considers the aircraft configuration needed to support a liquid hydrogen/fuel cell electric propulsion system in a single-aisle, transport-class aircraft having the consistent performance capability of a Boeing 737-800. Geothermal 'battery' repurposes abandoned oil and gas well in Illinois Jan 25, 2023 2:00 pm Researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign have successfully demonstrated efficient geothermal heat storage while simultaneously repurposing an abandoned oil and gas well. How AI can be used to aid learning and teaching May 3, 2023 10:15 am AI is rapidly advancing, with no signs of slowing down. It is impacting our lives in every facet—including education, where the field has evolved from the raw mining of mountains of data to pinpointing what is relevant and useful in that data. How to harvest an untapped source of fresh water Dec 6, 2022 8:45 am A new study from Illinois is the first to suggest an investment in new infrastructure capable of harvesting oceanic water vapor as a solution to limited supplies of fresh water Illinois and U of I System commit $50 million to support NCSA services for campus researchers Apr 5, 2023 11:45 am The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and the University of Illinois System have announced significant new investments in world-class computing and data resources for campus researchers and students. Illinois lands finalist spot in U.S. DOE prize Sep 2, 2022 1:45 pm The Grainger College of Engineering and Xerion Battery Corps.' team, SelectPureLi, is a finalist in the U.S. DOE's American-Made Geothermal Lithium Extraction Prize. Illinois musicians, chemists use sound to better understand science Feb 17, 2022 11:00 am Music and chemistry researchers at Illinois have teamed up to use sonification – the use of sound to convey information – to depict biochemical processes and better understand how they happen. Illinois researchers develop a new framework for super-resolution ultrasound May 25, 2023 10:45 am Researchers at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology hope that speeding up the higher-resolution technology will make it a useful option for clinicians. Imaging agents light up two cancer biomarkers to give more complete picture of tumor Jun 5, 2023 12:45 pm 'If you want to find all the cancer, imaging one biomarker is not enough. It could miss some tumors. If you introduce a second or a third biomarker, the likelihood of removing all cancer cells increases,' says Professor Viktor Gruev. Innovative teaching tackles climate change and health Nov 1, 2023 11:00 am Students in various health-related disciplines – from medicine to veterinary medicine to public health – work together to examine how climate change affects health across species and ecosystems and then offer possible solutions. iVenture Accelerator welcomes eighth and largest cohort Jun 8, 2022 1:30 pm The university's iVenture Accelerator—powered by Gies College of Business—has admitted 16 startups into its eighth and largest cohort ever. This year’s group consists of 55 full-time students across 30 fields of study. Launch of new Amazon-Illinois Center on AI for Interactive Conversational Experiences Mar 27, 2023 11:15 am 'To begin AICE will focus on a multimodal form of knowledge acquisition. Some tools intake only textual data, but a multimodal interface can continually learn and update knowledge from users through voice, text, image and video interactions...' Leaf-like veins provide structure, transport fluids in foamed polymers Jan 13, 2022 9:30 am Illinois researchers equip polymeric foam with a vascular system that mimicks the structure of trees. Organizing the channeled system in a parallel structure enables the transport of fluids in a single, predetermined direction. Magic lamps: Microcavity plasma devices Nov 10, 2022 11:15 am The most prominent application of microcavity plasma devices to date has been producing ozone for drinking water disinfection. Microcavity plasmas developed in Eden’s lab overcome raditional barriers of cost and power consumption. Mechanical engineers lend fresh insight into battery-based desalination technology Jun 7, 2023 4:15 pm Using fluid movement rather than new materials, mechanical engineers were able to increase the extent of seawater desalination five times over their non-channeled counterparts to reach salinity levels below the freshwater threshold. Med students design bionic knee brace to empower cerebral palsy patients Jan 12, 2022 3:30 pm The bionic knee brace couples a power generator with built-in bio-feedback sensors. When the sensors detect muscle contraction, the system triggers the power generator to help move the stiffened/spastic muscles. Microelectronics provide a remote control for biological robots Jan 18, 2023 12:15 pm Rashid Bashir’s research group pioneered the development of biobots - tiny biological robots powered by mouse muscle tissue. They demonstrated walking biobots in 2012 and light-activation in 2016. Now they're introducing remote control. Mimicking biological enzymes may be key to hydrogen fuel production Mar 29, 2023 1:00 pm Researchers say nickel-iron hydrogenase may be key to producing hydrogen for a renewable energy economy. U of I chemists have designed a synthetic molecule that mimics the hydrogen gas-producing chemical reaction performed by the enzyme. National Cancer Institute funds expansion of mantis shrimp-inspired surgical visualization tech Jul 12, 2022 10:00 am An innovative camera technology developed by Cancer Center at Illinois scientists, has the potential to transform intraoperative surgical procedures for cancer patients, giving clinicians more information during biopsies and detection procedures. NCSA names May grad winner of 2022 Fiddler Innovation Fellowship May 25, 2022 12:00 pm Gabe Tavas is the latest recipient of the $10,000 Fiddler Innovation Fellowship for developing a sustainable wood alternative to combat deforestation. Tavas graduated this spring with a degree in Sustainable Design. New accelerated cancer biomarker detection for point of care diagnostics Jan 28, 2022 10:30 am '(This test) can be used for detecting cancer, monitoring cancer treatment effectiveness, and following up with treatment. We envision (it) being used in a health clinic so you wouldn't have to take a sample, send it to a lab, and wait several days.' New AI tool predicts enzyme function better than leading tools Mar 31, 2023 8:30 am Better understanding of enzymes and their functions would be a boon for research in genomics, chemistry, industrial materials, medicine, pharmaceuticals and more. The tool is being made available online for the use of researchers everywhere. New antifungal molecule kills fungi without toxicity in human cells, mice Nov 8, 2023 10:15 am A new antifungal molecule, devised by tweaking the structure of prominent antifungal drug Amphotericin B, has the potential to harness the drug’s power against fungal infections while doing away with its toxicity. New approach to flexible robotics, metamaterials design mimics nature, encourages sustainability Feb 28, 2022 2:00 pm An algorithm-based design process called topology optimization, also known as digital synthesis, creates composite structures that can precisely achieve complex prescribed mechanical responses. New digital ag degree prepares candidates for highly skilled technology careers Sep 14, 2022 10:30 am 'Agriculture is entering a transformative age, where advanced technology will change how we support a growing healthy population and will serve as a catalyst for collaborative work across engineering and agricultural disciplines.' New material can perform different tasks depending on temperature Nov 28, 2023 1:45 pm U of I-led research produced the new temperature dependent 3D-printed polymer composite. These materials are poised to be part of the next generation of autonomous robotics that will interact with the environment. New metric allows researchers to better understand soft material behavior Apr 27, 2023 10:45 am U of I researchers have developed a new metric for understanding how soft materials yield to stress – an advancement that will help solve various materials engineering challenges, such as how to formulate better 3D printing inks. New paper points to better way to assess noncognitive abilities Sep 5, 2023 9:00 am 'Almost everyone one has the motivation to fake, and almost all (job) applicants know how to exaggerate their fit for a job, for example. If you’re a recruiter, that’s a serious problem ,' says researcher Bo Zhang. New polymer property could give accessible solar power a boost Jun 7, 2022 10:30 am A new Illinois discovery could help enhance flexible solar cell design and increase access to affordable renewable energy. New set of chemical building blocks makes complex 3D molecules in a snap Feb 8, 2022 10:30 am 'This has been the secret chamber that onlychemists with decades of experience can enter. This new advance blows that door wide open. Now everyone can come in and play in the sandbox, because very complex molecules become very accessible.' New smartphone clip-on can detect Zika virus in blood samples Jul 29, 2022 3:00 pm Up next, devices that will simultaneously detect other mosquito-borne viruses and making the devices even smaller. 'Our clip-on detector is pretty small, (but) a lot of space is taken up by the batteries. The next version... will be powered by the phone's battery.' New U of I center to develop autonomous construction systems, ecosystem Sep 1, 2023 11:30 am With a fleet of self-driving vehicles, U of I is developing a new research center that will focus on some of the most pressing questions related to autonomous construction technologies.