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Matthew Hansen 2020-08-19
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According to a new study published this week by researchers at the University of Illinois, a nearby star’s supernova may’ve caused one of out planets mass extinctions millions of years ago. The event studied here took place in the Late Devonian, “culminating in extinction events near the Devonian-Carboniferous boundary.” Evidence shown in the study published this week suggests that asteroids … Continue reading
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Lawrence Bowman 2020-08-10
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A new study from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, has looked at a new method of sanitizing N95 respirator masks using common home appliances. The study found that placing an N95 respirator into a cooker, such as a rice cooker or Instant Pot, that produces dry heat for 50 minutes, will decontaminate the masks inside and out. At the same … Continue reading
collect
0
Glenn Vedder 2020-09-09
(University of Texas at Austin, Texas Advanced Computing Center) Researchers are shedding light on a type of membrane-less organelle, known as biological condensates, that play a role in DNA repair and aging. Using the Frontera supercomputer, biophysicists from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign performed coarse-grained molecular dynamics of one particular biomolecular condensate -- fused in sarcoma (FUS). Writing in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, they outlined a phase diagram showing the physical states of the condensate under different conditions of temperature and pressure.
collect
0
Timothy Corn 2020-10-29
(University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, News Bureau) Researchers have demonstrated that they can attract, capture and destroy PFAS - a group of federally regulated substances found in everything from nonstick coatings to shampoo and nicknamed "the forever chemicals" due to their persistence in the natural environment.
collect
0
John Nelson 2020-10-01
img
(University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, News Bureau) Tissues and cells in the human body are subjected to a constant push and pull - strained by other cells, blood pressure and fluid flow, to name a few. The type and direction of the force on a cell alters gene expression by stretching different regions of DNA, researchers at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and collaborators in China found in a new study.
collect
0
James Williams 2018-05-10
img

There are typically two approaches to taking usable photos in low-light conditions.

You can either use a slow shutter, which requires a tripod to eliminate blur, or electronically increase the sensitivity of a camera’s sensor, which introduces ugly noise artefacts.

But there’s now a third approach that takes advantage of machine learning to artificially boost the brightness of a dark photo afterwards—with stunning results.

Researchers at Intel and the University of Illinois Urbana–Champaign have come up with what might be the ultimate post-production tool for photographers who often find themselves shooting in low-light scenarios like performances at concert venues, or capturing nocturnal wildlife at night.

But it can even be used to improve the quality of the smartphone photos you snapped at a dark and seedy bar.

As with countless other image processing innovations as of late, the research, which was recently published in a paper titled “Learning to See in the Dark,” takes advantage of deep learning techniques to train an algorithm on how a poorly exposed image should be properly brightened and colour-corrected during post-processing.

collect
0
Kristie Hernandez 2018-09-11
img

Scientists may have found a way to bring rainfall and greenery back to the ever-expanding Sahara Desert.

A massive wind and solar installation in the desert would raise local temperature, precipitation and vegetation and could bring benefits to the area, according to a report published last week by the University of Illinois.

Wind and solar farms simulated in the study, conducted at the Sahara Desert because of its scale, lack of inhabitation and sensitivity to land changes, would cover more than 9 million square kilometres, according to the researchers.

Researchers found that precipitation doubled with the installation of the farms, growing by as much as 0.25 millimetres per day on average.

"The rainfall increase is a consequence of complex land-atmosphere interactions that occur because solar panels and wind turbines create rougher and darker land surfaces," said Eugenia Kalnay, a co-researcher of the study.

"This increase in precipitation, in turn, leads to an increase in vegetation cover, creating a positive feedback loop," added Yan Li, lead author of the study.

collect
0
James Williams 2020-10-06
(University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, News Bureau) Researchers working to maximize solar panel efficiency said layering advanced materials atop traditional silicon is a promising path to eke more energy out of sunlight. A new study shows that by using a precisely controlled fabrication process, researchers can produce multilayered solar panels with the potential to be 1.5 times more efficient than traditional silicon panels.
collect
0
Steven Condon 2018-10-15
img

We wonder, for example, what our cat sees as she’s stalking through the woods and how the colorful world appears to a colorblind dog.

And when a cockroach scurries across the kitchen counter late at night, we wonder if it can sense the disgust in our hazy gaze.

Viktor Gruev, an electrical and computer engineer at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, shares our intrigue — albeit, from a more technical standpoint.

Gruev and his colleagues recently developed a camera prototype inspired by the mantis shrimp, which have one of the most complex visual systems in the animal kingdom.

By mimicking the marine crustacean’s vision, the researchers were able to make significant improvement on today’s commercial cameras and may help mitigate accidents by letting self-driving vehicles see more clearly.

“We have demonstrated a new camera prototype inspired by the visual system of the mantis shrimp, which has enabled us to capture polarization information under high dynamic range,” Gruev told Digital Trends.

collect
0
Irene Diaz 2018-08-21
img

Scientists have probed novel materials like these to uncover the physics of topological superconductivity and topological insulators.

Now scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign using an innovative quantum simulation technique have made one of the first observations of a mobility edge in a low-dimensional system.

Physics professor Bryce Gadway and graduate student Fangzhao Alex An were able to combine a disordered virtual material--in this case a pair of coupled 1D chains--with artificial magnetic fields to explore this phenomenon.

An explains, "The artificial magnetic field we engineered causes the neutral atoms in our experiment to behave like electrons in extremely large magnetic fields, equivalent to applying hundreds of Tesla-level magnets.

We were able to vary the strength of our artificial magnetic field to tune the properties of our atoms and strongly modify the observed mobility edge."

So what exactly is a mobility edge?

collect
0
Garland Marsella 2021-07-07
(University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences) Bioenergy from crops is a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels. New crops such as energycane can produce several times more fuel per acre than soybeans. Yet, challenges remain in processing the crops to extract fuel efficiently. Four new studies from the University of Illinois explore chemical-free pretreatment methods, development of high-throughput phenotyping methods, and commercial-scale techno-economic feasibility of producing fuel from energycane in various scenarios.
collect
0
Ronald Griffis 2020-09-23
(University of Illinois Grainger College of Engineering) Illinois graduate student Pranay Thangeda relies on the bus system in Champaign-Urbana to get to class. He wanted to understand why, despite arriving at the bus stop on time, he was sometimes late. He developed a tool that considers transportation variables weighed against how great a margin of error bus riders are willing to accept, which can also apply to getting a lunar rover to its destination, and with a high degree of reliability.
collect
0
Raymond Powers 2018-04-03
img

Part two, published last November by the Akron Law Review, uses case law from around the country to suggest a new legal rule for when an anonymous cyberbully, preying on a public school victim, can be legally "unmasked" by a court.

The new standards are needed, Holden argues, because the 1969 Supreme Court ruling that currently applies, Tinker v. Des Moines, came years before the internet.

The problem refers to the dilemma faced by courts and schools when a student's online bullying speech contains "elements of parody cloaked in violence," Holden writes.

His argument for unmasking, presented in his Akron article, may be more controversial, but he still thinks it is important.

"Some very high percentage of really foul bullying online is anonymous," he said.

As such, his legal research and suggested solutions attempt to balance the First Amendment speech rights of kids with the duty of schools to keep students safe, which he knows can be a challenge.

collect
0
Michael Webster 2021-01-11
(University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, News Bureau) For years, researchers have worked to repurpose excess atmospheric carbon dioxide into new chemicals, fuels and other products traditionally made from hydrocarbons harvested from fossil fuels. The recent push to mitigate the climactic effects of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has chemists on their toes to find the most efficient means possible. A new study introduces an electrochemical reaction, enhanced by polymers, to improve CO2-to-ethylene conversion efficiency over previous attempts.
collect
0
Eric Spilde 2021-06-24
(University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, News Bureau) Researchers report that small quantities of useful molecules such as hydrocarbons are produced when carbon dioxide and water react in the presence of light and a silver nanoparticle catalyst. Their validation study - made possible through the use of a high-resolution analytical technique - could pave the way for CO2-reduction technologies that allow industrial-scale production of renewable carbon-based fuels.
collect
0
Albert Hummel 2021-02-18
(University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, News Bureau) The incidence of prolonged hiring difficulties for workers with science and technology backgrounds is consistent with persistent hiring frictions and not a 'skills gap' in the labor market for information technology help desk workers, one of the largest computer occupations in the US, says new research by U. of I. labor professor Andrew Weaver.
collect
0
Matthew Hansen 2020-08-19
img
According to a new study published this week by researchers at the University of Illinois, a nearby star’s supernova may’ve caused one of out planets mass extinctions millions of years ago. The event studied here took place in the Late Devonian, “culminating in extinction events near the Devonian-Carboniferous boundary.” Evidence shown in the study published this week suggests that asteroids … Continue reading
Glenn Vedder 2020-09-09
(University of Texas at Austin, Texas Advanced Computing Center) Researchers are shedding light on a type of membrane-less organelle, known as biological condensates, that play a role in DNA repair and aging. Using the Frontera supercomputer, biophysicists from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign performed coarse-grained molecular dynamics of one particular biomolecular condensate -- fused in sarcoma (FUS). Writing in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, they outlined a phase diagram showing the physical states of the condensate under different conditions of temperature and pressure.
John Nelson 2020-10-01
img
(University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, News Bureau) Tissues and cells in the human body are subjected to a constant push and pull - strained by other cells, blood pressure and fluid flow, to name a few. The type and direction of the force on a cell alters gene expression by stretching different regions of DNA, researchers at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and collaborators in China found in a new study.
Kristie Hernandez 2018-09-11
img

Scientists may have found a way to bring rainfall and greenery back to the ever-expanding Sahara Desert.

A massive wind and solar installation in the desert would raise local temperature, precipitation and vegetation and could bring benefits to the area, according to a report published last week by the University of Illinois.

Wind and solar farms simulated in the study, conducted at the Sahara Desert because of its scale, lack of inhabitation and sensitivity to land changes, would cover more than 9 million square kilometres, according to the researchers.

Researchers found that precipitation doubled with the installation of the farms, growing by as much as 0.25 millimetres per day on average.

"The rainfall increase is a consequence of complex land-atmosphere interactions that occur because solar panels and wind turbines create rougher and darker land surfaces," said Eugenia Kalnay, a co-researcher of the study.

"This increase in precipitation, in turn, leads to an increase in vegetation cover, creating a positive feedback loop," added Yan Li, lead author of the study.

Steven Condon 2018-10-15
img

We wonder, for example, what our cat sees as she’s stalking through the woods and how the colorful world appears to a colorblind dog.

And when a cockroach scurries across the kitchen counter late at night, we wonder if it can sense the disgust in our hazy gaze.

Viktor Gruev, an electrical and computer engineer at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, shares our intrigue — albeit, from a more technical standpoint.

Gruev and his colleagues recently developed a camera prototype inspired by the mantis shrimp, which have one of the most complex visual systems in the animal kingdom.

By mimicking the marine crustacean’s vision, the researchers were able to make significant improvement on today’s commercial cameras and may help mitigate accidents by letting self-driving vehicles see more clearly.

“We have demonstrated a new camera prototype inspired by the visual system of the mantis shrimp, which has enabled us to capture polarization information under high dynamic range,” Gruev told Digital Trends.

Garland Marsella 2021-07-07
(University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences) Bioenergy from crops is a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels. New crops such as energycane can produce several times more fuel per acre than soybeans. Yet, challenges remain in processing the crops to extract fuel efficiently. Four new studies from the University of Illinois explore chemical-free pretreatment methods, development of high-throughput phenotyping methods, and commercial-scale techno-economic feasibility of producing fuel from energycane in various scenarios.
Raymond Powers 2018-04-03
img

Part two, published last November by the Akron Law Review, uses case law from around the country to suggest a new legal rule for when an anonymous cyberbully, preying on a public school victim, can be legally "unmasked" by a court.

The new standards are needed, Holden argues, because the 1969 Supreme Court ruling that currently applies, Tinker v. Des Moines, came years before the internet.

The problem refers to the dilemma faced by courts and schools when a student's online bullying speech contains "elements of parody cloaked in violence," Holden writes.

His argument for unmasking, presented in his Akron article, may be more controversial, but he still thinks it is important.

"Some very high percentage of really foul bullying online is anonymous," he said.

As such, his legal research and suggested solutions attempt to balance the First Amendment speech rights of kids with the duty of schools to keep students safe, which he knows can be a challenge.

Eric Spilde 2021-06-24
(University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, News Bureau) Researchers report that small quantities of useful molecules such as hydrocarbons are produced when carbon dioxide and water react in the presence of light and a silver nanoparticle catalyst. Their validation study - made possible through the use of a high-resolution analytical technique - could pave the way for CO2-reduction technologies that allow industrial-scale production of renewable carbon-based fuels.
Lawrence Bowman 2020-08-10
img
A new study from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, has looked at a new method of sanitizing N95 respirator masks using common home appliances. The study found that placing an N95 respirator into a cooker, such as a rice cooker or Instant Pot, that produces dry heat for 50 minutes, will decontaminate the masks inside and out. At the same … Continue reading
Timothy Corn 2020-10-29
(University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, News Bureau) Researchers have demonstrated that they can attract, capture and destroy PFAS - a group of federally regulated substances found in everything from nonstick coatings to shampoo and nicknamed "the forever chemicals" due to their persistence in the natural environment.
James Williams 2018-05-10
img

There are typically two approaches to taking usable photos in low-light conditions.

You can either use a slow shutter, which requires a tripod to eliminate blur, or electronically increase the sensitivity of a camera’s sensor, which introduces ugly noise artefacts.

But there’s now a third approach that takes advantage of machine learning to artificially boost the brightness of a dark photo afterwards—with stunning results.

Researchers at Intel and the University of Illinois Urbana–Champaign have come up with what might be the ultimate post-production tool for photographers who often find themselves shooting in low-light scenarios like performances at concert venues, or capturing nocturnal wildlife at night.

But it can even be used to improve the quality of the smartphone photos you snapped at a dark and seedy bar.

As with countless other image processing innovations as of late, the research, which was recently published in a paper titled “Learning to See in the Dark,” takes advantage of deep learning techniques to train an algorithm on how a poorly exposed image should be properly brightened and colour-corrected during post-processing.

James Williams 2020-10-06
(University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, News Bureau) Researchers working to maximize solar panel efficiency said layering advanced materials atop traditional silicon is a promising path to eke more energy out of sunlight. A new study shows that by using a precisely controlled fabrication process, researchers can produce multilayered solar panels with the potential to be 1.5 times more efficient than traditional silicon panels.
Irene Diaz 2018-08-21
img

Scientists have probed novel materials like these to uncover the physics of topological superconductivity and topological insulators.

Now scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign using an innovative quantum simulation technique have made one of the first observations of a mobility edge in a low-dimensional system.

Physics professor Bryce Gadway and graduate student Fangzhao Alex An were able to combine a disordered virtual material--in this case a pair of coupled 1D chains--with artificial magnetic fields to explore this phenomenon.

An explains, "The artificial magnetic field we engineered causes the neutral atoms in our experiment to behave like electrons in extremely large magnetic fields, equivalent to applying hundreds of Tesla-level magnets.

We were able to vary the strength of our artificial magnetic field to tune the properties of our atoms and strongly modify the observed mobility edge."

So what exactly is a mobility edge?

Ronald Griffis 2020-09-23
(University of Illinois Grainger College of Engineering) Illinois graduate student Pranay Thangeda relies on the bus system in Champaign-Urbana to get to class. He wanted to understand why, despite arriving at the bus stop on time, he was sometimes late. He developed a tool that considers transportation variables weighed against how great a margin of error bus riders are willing to accept, which can also apply to getting a lunar rover to its destination, and with a high degree of reliability.
Michael Webster 2021-01-11
(University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, News Bureau) For years, researchers have worked to repurpose excess atmospheric carbon dioxide into new chemicals, fuels and other products traditionally made from hydrocarbons harvested from fossil fuels. The recent push to mitigate the climactic effects of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has chemists on their toes to find the most efficient means possible. A new study introduces an electrochemical reaction, enhanced by polymers, to improve CO2-to-ethylene conversion efficiency over previous attempts.
Albert Hummel 2021-02-18
(University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, News Bureau) The incidence of prolonged hiring difficulties for workers with science and technology backgrounds is consistent with persistent hiring frictions and not a 'skills gap' in the labor market for information technology help desk workers, one of the largest computer occupations in the US, says new research by U. of I. labor professor Andrew Weaver.