Professor Tandy Warnow developed a new statistical method that sorts genetic data to construct better species trees detailing genetic lineage.
Where did the songbird get its song? What branch of the bird family tree is closer to the flamingo – the heron or the sparrow? These questions seem simple, but are actually difficult for geneticists to answer. A new, sophisticated statistical technique developed by researchers at the University of Illinois and the University of Texas at Austin can help researchers construct more accurate species trees detailing the lineage of genes and the relationships between species.
Professor Martin Gruebele led a team that developed a way to watch how unfolded proteins move through a cell using a fluorescent microscope and three-dimensional diffusion modeling.
When a large protein unfolds in transit through a cell, it slows down and can get stuck in traffic. Using a specialized microscope -- a sort of cellular traffic camera -- University of Illinois chemists now can watch the way the unfolded protein diffuses.
Illinois researchers used a land-surface model to determine regions in the United States where bioenergy crops would grow best. L-R: Atmospheric sciences professor Atul Jain, graduate student Yang Song, and agricultural and consumer economics professor Madhu Khanna.
Farmers interested in bioenergy crops now have a resource to help them determine which kind of bioenergy crop would grow best in their regions and what kind of harvest to expect. Researchers at the University of Illinois have published a study identifying yield zones for three major bioenergy crops.
Illinois researchers developed a platform to grow and study neuron cells using tiny rolled microtubes. Pictured, left to right: Olivia Cangellaris, Paul Froeter, professor Xiuling Li, Wen Huang and professor Martha Gillette.
Tiny, thin microtubes could provide a scaffold for neuron cultures to grow so that researchers can study neural networks, their growth and repair, yielding insights into treatment for degenerative neurological conditions or restoring nerve connections after injury.
Illinois astronomy professor Leslie Looney (left) and former graduate student Ian Stephens, now at Boston University, studied a newborn star to see, for the first time, the magnetic field that will shape the planets of that star's solar system.
University of Illinois astronomers have caught their first glimpse of the invisible magnetic fields that sculpt solar systems.
River researchers used a specially constructed model to study how water flows over gravel river beds. Postdoctoral researcher Gianluca Blois (left) and professor Jim Best also developed a technique to measure the water flow between the pore spaces in the river bed.
River beds, where flowing water meets silt, sand and gravel, are critical ecological zones. Yet how water flows in a river with a gravel bed is very different from the traditional model of a sandy river bed, according to a new study that compares their fluid dynamics.
Illinois professor Alek Aksimentiev and graduate student Manish Shankla found that it is possible to control how DNA goes through a graphene nanopore for sequencing by applying an electric charge to the graphene.
When Illinois researchers set out to investigate a method to control how DNA moves through a tiny sequencing device, they did not know they were about to witness a display of molecular gymnastics.
Praveen Kumar Photo by L. Brian Stauffer Illinois researchers found that bioenergy crops like miscanthus can store more carbon in the soil than traditional corn or soybean crops.
In addition to providing renewable energy, grass crops like switchgrass and miscanthus could store some of the carbon they pull from the atmosphere in the soil, according to a new study by University of Illinois researchers.
Topography of a red blood cell as measured by the SLIM optical technique. Though the cell keeps its shape as it ages, the membrane becomes less flexible.
It may look like fresh blood and flow like fresh blood, but the longer blood is stored, the less it can carry oxygen into the tiny microcapillaries of the body, says a new study from University of Illinois researchers.
Professor Sheldon H. Jacobson led a study that found that, though seatbelt use drops as obesity rises, states with primary seatbelt laws saw a drop nearly nine times less than states without such laws.
Obesity is associated with many health risks, including heart disease and diabetes, but University of Illinois researchers have found a possible way to mitigate one often-overlooked risk: not buckling up in the car.