CRISPR mines bacterial genome for hidden pharmaceutical treasure

In the fight against disease, many weapons in the medicinal arsenal have been plundered from bacteria themselves. Using CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technology, researchers now have uncovered even more potential treasure hidden in silent genes. A new study from researchers at the University of Illinois and colleagues at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research in Singapore … Read more

Gray tin exhibits novel topological electronic properties in 3D

Alpha-tin joins two other known materials in class of topological Dirac semimetals  In a surprising new discovery, alpha-tin, commonly called gray tin, exhibits a novel electronic phase when its crystal structure is strained, putting it in a rare new class of 3D materials called topological Dirac semimetals (TDSs). Only two other TDS materials are known … Read more

Researchers partner with Adobe to revolutionize visual SFX

Spiderman, Man of Steel, The Matrix, Game of Thrones, and even Boardwalk Empire wouldn’t be the same without green-screen technology. Most moviegoers recognize the signature solid green backdrops in pre-production still images and understand that the final product will have fantastic backgrounds, sizeable crowds, or special effects in the green-screen’s space. But a new paper … Read more

Parity-time symmetry breaking in an electrically injected, room temperature VCSEL array demonstrated for the first time

A team of University of Illinois researchers at the Micro + Nanotechnology Lab recently applied new theoretical physics concepts to enhance the performance of a well-established semiconductor laser technology. In a paper published in Optica, Kent Choquette, a professor of electrical and computer engineering (ECE), and his group reported parity-time (PT) symmetry breaking in an … Read more

Illinois researchers create first exact model for diffusion in magnesium alloys

The movement of atoms in solids controls everything. In order to develop new materials, material engineers need to be able to predict how fast impurity atoms diffuse, or spread, in a crystal over a range of temperatures. Using new computational techniques, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have constructed the first exact model … Read more

Can data analytics help you fill out a March Madness bracket?

The NCAA men’s basketball tournament – commonly known as March Madness – begins March 14. Millions of college basketball enthusiasts will be filling out their brackets, hoping to predict the outcome of all the games. Computer science professor Sheldon H. Jacobson discusses patterns he’s observed in the tournament and how data analytics can provide guidance … Read more

Hand-picked specialty crops ‘ripe’ for precision agriculture techniques

Timing the harvest and transport of highly perishable, hand-picked crops such as strawberries so these delicate products reach consumers at peak flavor and freshness is an intricate dance that partners Mother Nature with manual labor. However, many of the “smart farming” techniques and technologies that help growers harvest more of what they sow faster and … Read more

Agricultural robot may be “game changer” for crop growers, breeders

A semiautonomous robot may soon be roaming agricultural fields gathering and transmitting real-time data about the growth and development of crops, information that crop breeders – and eventually farmers – can use to identify the genetic traits in plants likely to produce the greatest yields. A team of scientists from the Carle R. Woese Institute … Read more

Study: Changing the environment within bone marrow alters blood cell development

Researchers at the University of Illinois report they can alter blood cell development through the use of biomaterials designed to mimic characteristics of the bone marrow. The findings, reported in the journal Science Advances, are a first step toward developing more effective bone marrow treatments for diseases like leukemia and lymphoma. Blood cells flow throughout … Read more