New discovery may lead to the development of super premium gasoline

In contradicting a theory that’s been the standard for over eighty years, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have made a discovery with major promise for the petroleum industry. The research has revealed that in the foreseeable future products such as crude oil and gasoline could be transported across country 30 times faster, … Read more…

Novel label-free microscopy enables dynamic, high-resolution imaging of cell interactions

Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have invented a novel live-cell imaging method that could someday help biologists better understand how stem cells transform into specialized cells and how diseases like cancer spread. The Photonic Crystal Enhanced Microscope (PCEM) is capable of monitoring and quantitatively measuring cell adhesion, a critical process involved cell … Read more…

Illinois researchers discover hot hydrogen atoms in Earth’s upper atmosphere

A team of University of Illinois researchers has discovered the existence of hot atomic hydrogen (H) atoms in an upper layer of Earth’s atmosphere known as the thermosphere. This finding, which the authors report in Nature Communications, significantly changes current understanding of the H distribution and its interaction with other atmospheric constituents. Because H atoms … Read more…

TSA could save money by waiving PreCheck fees for frequent travelers, study finds

There is an easy way to reduce lines at the airport, increase security and save the Transportation Security Administration money, according to a new study by University of Illinois researchers: waive the $85 fee for frequent fliers to enroll in the TSA PreCheck program, which allows pre-screened, verified travelers to go through expedited security at … Read more…

Tunneling holds key to high-speed modulation of transistor and laser development

In 2004, electrical engineering pioneers Nick Holonyak, Jr. and Milton Feng at the University of Illinois invented the transistor laser—a three-port device that incorporated quantum-wells in the base and an optical cavity—increasing its capacity to transmit data one hundred-fold. Two recent studies by the researchers are expected to significantly impact the fundamental modulation bandwidth of … Read more…

Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics. Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent gradient refractive index (GRIN) … Read more…

New research could make ethanol production more efficient and economic

New research at the Integrated Bioprocessing Research Laboratory (IBRL) on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus could significantly change ethanol production by lowering operating costs and simplifying the dry grind process. “There are currently more than 200 dry grind plants that are processing corn to produce ethanol,” said Vijay Singh, director of IBRL and … Read more…

Slow motion waves of jumping genes in the human genome

Nature is full of parasites—organisms that flourish and proliferate at the expense of another species. Surprisingly, these same competing roles of parasite and host can be found in the microscopic molecular world of the cell. A new study by two Illinois researchers has shown that dynamic elements within the human genome interact with each other … Read more…

Machine-learning discovery and design of membrane active peptides for biomedicine

In this image the grey crosses are peptides scanned projected into a 2D plane spanned by the sequence distance to a known antimicrobial peptide (x-axis) and prediction confidence of the classifier that the peptide is membrane active (y-axis). Membrane activity was detected in diverse classes of peptides including neuropeptides, topogenic peptides, and viral fusion proteins. Membrane activity is mediated through the induction if negative Guassian curvature in the membrane (inset).

There are approximately 1,100 known antimicrobial peptides (AMP) with diverse sequences that can permeate microbial membranes. To help discover the “blueprint” for natural AMP sequences, researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of California, Los Angeles, have developed a new machine learning approach to discover and design ⍺-helical membrane active peptides … Read more…

Chemical etching method helps transistors stand tall

Smaller and faster has been the trend for electronic devices since the inception of the computer chip, but flat transistors have gotten about as small as physically possible. For researchers pushing for even faster speeds and higher performance, the only way to go is up. University of Illinois researchers have developed a way to etch … Read more…