In The News Archive

This monthly summary includes excerpts from Illinois in the News, a daily service provided by the University of Illinois News Bureau and other media search tools. This collection of recent stories focuses on engineering topics and faculty contacted for their expertise by print and broadcast reporters around the world.

DNA enzyme shuffles cell membranes a thousand times faster than its natural counterpart (June 21) -- A new synthetic enzyme, crafted from DNA rather than protein, flips lipid molecules within the cell membrane, triggering a signal pathway that could be harnessed to induce cell death in cancer cells. Researchers at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Cambridge say their lipid-scrambling DNA enzyme is the first in its class to outperform naturally occurring enzymes – and does so by three orders of magnitude. They published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

New tissue-imaging technology could enable real-time diagnostics, map cancer progression

Science Daily (June 20) -- A new microscope system can image living tissue in real time and in molecular detail, without any chemicals or dyes. It enables researchers to study concurrent processes within cells and tissue, and could give cancer researchers a new tool for tracking tumor progression and physicians new technology for tissue pathology and diagnostics.

Discovery Partners Institute

Crain's Chicago Business (June 20) -- U. of I. System President Tim Killeen says major commitments for the Discovery Partners Institute in the South Loop will be announced “sooner rather than later” and the school is putting some of its own money on the line. The system has committed $6 million over the next four years for startup efforts, Killeen says, and a new DPI office downtown will be expanded to 20,000 square feet.

New study explores cell mechanics at work (June 19) --  In each of our bodies, more than 37 trillion cells tightly coordinate with other cells to organize into the numerous tissues and organs that make us tick. An international team made up of researchers from eight different labs, including the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, are colloborating on research to better understand the physical forces and how best to optimize available technology. They wanted to compare different common techniques and understand the differences in the results of those techniques.

Long freight trains save on fuel and crews, reducing the cost of rail transportation

Wall Street Journal (June 15) -- Freight trains are on track to stretch up to 3 miles long, with 200 cars or more. The trend is being powered, in part, by an unusual energy source: the activist investor. “Railroads thrive on economies of scale,” says Christopher Barkan, the director of the railroad engineering program at Illinois. “Longer trains are the most important advance in achieving economies of scale in the past quarter century.”

New aircraft-scheduling models may ease air travel frustrations

Science Daily (June 11) -- Flight schedules that allow for a little carefully designed wiggle room could prevent the frustration of cascading airport delays and cancellations. By focusing on the early phases of flight schedule planning and delays at various scales, researchers have developed models to help create schedules that are less susceptible to delays and easier to fix once disrupted.

The K framework ￿ a framework to formally define all programming languages

Inside Bitcoins (June 12) -- On the podcast, Grigore Rosu, professor of computer science at UIUC [University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign] takes deep dive into the K framework. The K framework is mathematic logic and language that enables language developers to formally define all programming languages; such as C, Solidity and JavaScript. 

Is this the future of medicine? Synthetic blood could buy patients 48 extra hours

Digital Trends (June 12) -- Finding blood donors continues to present a challenge across the U.S. Two scientists – Andre Palmer of Ohio State University and Dipanjan Pan, a professor of bioengineering at Illinois – have now independently developed synthetic blood technologies.

With a $500 million boost, South Loop U of I campus gains momentum

Crain's Chicago Business (June 7) -- With a nifty $500 million in "seed money" in hand, Gov. Bruce Rauner's plans to develop a South Loop engineering and research center that could jolt Illinois' economy into the 21st century are beginning to look real. But the plans still face a summer of uncertainties.

Svetlana Lazebnik to speak at ￿Machines Can See￿ Summit on Computer Vision and Machine Learning in Moscow

June 7 -- On June 8, the international summit 'Machines Can See', dedicated to the latest trends in the fields of computer vision and machine learning, will be held in Moscow. The event is organized by VisionLabs, one of the world leaders in creating solutions in the domain of people and object recognition. The world's leading researchers in the world of computer vision will take part in the summit, including Svetlana Lazebnik, associate professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, specializing in the field of computer vision. The key topics of Mrs. Lazebnik's research activities are visual interpretations of scenes, joint modeling of images and machine learning methods for visual recognition tasks. She is also a recipient of the Longuet-Higgins Prize.

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