Zeynep Madak-Erdogan, Beckman affiliate faculty member and an assistant professor of food science and human nutrition, collaborated with a professor through the Birmingham-Illinois Partnership for Discovery, Engagement and Education Program. Their research will mainly be about health disparities in pregnant women and environmental factors that impact birth.
Darin Doty is a new office support specialist at the Beckman Institute.
Professor Paul Braun and colleagues developed a new templating system to help control the quality and unique properties of a special class of inorganic composite materials.
Yuhang (“Steven”) Wang, co-author of a recent paper from the Grosman and Tajkhorshid labs, investigated the role of membrane lipids on a bacterial ion-channel membrane protein called ELIC, which shares the same protein architecture as the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, GABA receptors, glycine receptors, and serotonin receptors found in the central and peripheral nervous systems of animals.
Developing autonomous tractors is easier than developing autonomous cars — a tractor’s tasks are much narrower than a vehicle ferrying human beings. “‘Harvest the field’ or ‘Find which crop is sick,’” says Girish Chowdhary, the director of the Field Robotics Engineering and Sciences Hub at the U. of I. “This is a more well-defined task than ‘Take my kids to school.’” Farm fields, unlike roads, also do not typically contain unpredictable pedestrians or human drivers.
Mike Insana, a professor of bioengineering and full-time Beckman faculty member, is a guest editor of a special issue of the Proceedings of the IEEE that focuses on the future of medical imaging. Ten articles detail the recent history and terminology in the fields of big data, machine learning, and deep learning in the context of medical imaging.
Illinois researchers — including Beckman affiliate Benita Katzenellenbogen, a Swanlund Professor of Molecular and Integrative Physiology — developed new drug agents to inhibit a pathway that contributes to cancer. The new compounds suppress tumor growth in human cells and in mouse models of several types of human breast cancer. The findings are reported in the journal NPJ Breast Cancer.
Research by neuroscientist Aron K. Barbey was cited in Forbes magazine in an article about whether artificial intelligence systems need empathy. The study showed that emotional intelligence and cognitive intelligence share many neural systems for integrating cognitive, social, and affective processes, and there are interdependencies between emotional intelligence and general intelligence.
The Biophotonics Imaging Lab, led by Stephen Boppart, has recently published papers in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and in Precision Oncology that use label-free microscopic techniques to visualize extracellular vesicles, which are associated with cancer.
Lithium-ion batteries are notorious for developing internal electrical shorts that can ignite a battery’s liquid electrolytes, leading to explosions and fires. Christopher Evens, a professor of materials science and engineering, and colleagues at the University of Illinois have developed a solid polymer-based electrolyte that can self-heal after damage and the material can also be recycled. The new study could help manufacturers produce recyclable, self-healing commercial batteries.
Three new studies show how scientists have honed a technique for handling tiny, soft particles using precisely controlled fluid flows that act as gentle microscopic hands. Led by Charles Schroeder, the Ray and Beverly Mentzer Faculty Scholar of chemical and biomolecular engineering, the technique allows researchers to test the physical limits of these soft particles and the things made from them — ranging from biological tissues to fabric softeners.
While DNA sequencing is a useful tool for determining what’s going on in a cell or a person’s body, it only tells part of the story. Protein sequencing could soon give researchers a wider window into a cell’s workings. A new study demonstrates that nanopores can be used to identify all 20 amino acids in proteins, a major step toward protein sequencing.
A fast, inexpensive yet sensitive technique to detect cancer markers is bringing researchers closer to a “liquid biopsy” — a test using a small sample of blood or serum to detect cancer, rather than the invasive tissue sampling routinely used for diagnosis. Researchers at the University of Illinois developed a method to capture and count cancer-associated microRNAs, or tiny bits of messenger molecules that are exuded from cells and can be detected in blood or serum, with single-molecule resolution.
Shashank Pant, a Ph.D student in computational biophysics, works in the Theoretical and Computational Biophysics Group.
Researchers at the University of Illinois have successfully used stem cells to engineer living biohybrid nerve tissue to develop 3D models of neural networks with the hopes of gaining a better understanding of how the brain and these networks work. The new technique may provide the ability to develop tissue models for drug screening or processing units for biological computers.