New plasmonic sensor improves early cancer detection

A new plasmonic sensor developed by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will serve as a reliable early detection of biomarkers for many forms of cancer and eventually other diseases.  The sensor has been proven reliable to detect the presence of the cancer biomarker carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) to the magnitude of 1 nanogram … Read more

New understanding of superconductor’s ‘normal’ state may open the way to solving longstanding puzzle

Since the discovery two decades ago of the unconventional topological superconductor Sr2RuO4, scientists have extensively investigated its properties at temperatures below its 1°K critical temperature (Tc), at which a phase transition from a metal to superconducting state occurs. Now experiments done at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the Madhavan and Abbamonte laboratories, in … Read more

Researchers at Illinois gain insights to redirect leading HIV cure strategy

Research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has provided the first evidence that viruses and hosts share highly similar regulatory sequences in their promoters—the initiation sequences of human genes that code for functional proteins. “To date viral-host networks include protein and mRNA interactions between viruses and their hosts at later stages of gene expression, … 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

Time-lapse cell imaging reveals dynamic activity

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. Researchers from the University of Illinois and collaborators described the method, … Read more

University of Illinois researchers quantify drug delivery from nanoparticles inside a cell

For the first time, researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have demonstrated the successful delivery of drug from nanoparticles can be quantified inside a cell. “We can precisely tell how much drug has been released from the carrier at a given time point,” stated Dipanjan Pan, an assistant professor of bioengineering at Illinois. … Read more

Structural, regulatory and human error were factors in Washington highway bridge collapse

A key factor in the crash was the curved opening of the bridge. The posted height was the maximum in the center, not the lower curved section above the outer lanes, which the truck hit, which means the databases that shipping companies rely on to plan routes may be inaccurate.

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 … Read more

Force triggers gene expression by stretching chromatin

How genes in our DNA are expressed into traits within a cell is a complicated mystery with many players, the main suspects being chemical. However, a new study by University of Illinois researchers and collaborators in China has demonstrated that external mechanical force can directly regulate gene expression. The study also identified the pathway that … Read more

Genome-editing proteins ride a DNA zip line

For gene-editing proteins to be useful in clinical applications, they need to be able to find the specific site they’re supposed to edit among billions of DNA sequences. Using advanced imaging techniques, University of Illinois researchers have found that one class of genome-editing proteins rapidly travels along a strand of DNA like a rider on … Read more