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Latest University of Illinois Stories

2011-01-12 16:35:26

Researchers report that they are the first to show in molecular detail how one gene evolved two competing functions that eventually split up "“ via gene duplication "“ to pursue their separate destinies. The study, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, validates a decades-old hypothesis about a key mechanism of evolution. The study also confirms the ancestry of a family of "antifreeze proteins" that helps the Antarctic eelpout survive in the frigid waters of the...

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2011-01-12 13:44:18

Astronomers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), and University of Hawaii (UH) have discovered 16 close-knit pairs of supermassive black holes in merging galaxies. The discovery, based on observations done at the W. M. Keck Observatory on Hawaii's Mauna Kea, is being presented in Seattle on January 12 at the meeting of the American Astronomical Society, and has been submitted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal. These...

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2011-01-11 08:20:00

University of Illinois research reports that several herbicides used on corn also have good selectivity to Miscanthus x giganteus (Giant Miscanthus), a potential bioenergy feedstock. "No herbicides are currently labeled for use in Giant Miscanthus grown for biomass," said Eric Anderson, an instructor of bioenergy for the Center of Advanced BioEnergy Research at the University of Illinois. "Our research shows that several herbicides used on corn are also safe on this rhizomatous grass." M. x...

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2011-01-06 11:17:25

Liz Ahlberg, Physical Sciences Editor, University of Illinois In one University of Illinois lab, invisibility is a matter of now you hear it, now you don't. Led by mechanical science and engineering professor Nicholas Fang, Illinois researchers have demonstrated an acoustic cloak, a technology that renders underwater objects invisible to sonar and other ultrasound waves. "We are not talking about science fiction. We are talking about controlling sound waves by bending and twisting them in a...

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2011-01-04 06:20:00

Four species of bumblebees that were once abundant in the United States are now close to becoming extinct, researchers said on Monday in a study confirming that the important insects are being affected globally. The researchers documented a 96 percent downfall in the numbers of the four species, and also confirmed their range had shrunk by as much as 87 percent. "We provide incontrovertible evidence that multiple Bombus species have experienced sharp population declines at the national...

2010-12-27 20:41:56

A newly engineered yeast strain can simultaneously consume two types of sugar from plants to produce ethanol, researchers report. The sugars are glucose, a six-carbon sugar that is relatively easy to ferment; and xylose, a five-carbon sugar that has been much more difficult to utilize in ethanol production. The new strain, made by combining, optimizing and adding to earlier advances, reduces or eliminates several major inefficiencies associated with current biofuel production methods. The...

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2010-12-22 09:00:00

A team of US and UK researchers have used genetic evidence to confirm that there are, in fact, two different species of African elephant, not one as previously believed. Reporting in the online edition of PLoS Biology, experts from Harvard Medical School, the University of Illinois, and the University of York compared the DNA of modern-day elephants from Asia and Africa against genetic material obtained from the extinct mastodon and wooly mammoth. By using gene sequencing tools, the...

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2010-12-22 08:13:58

In the minds of many, Miscanthus x giganteus is the forerunner in the race of viable feedstock options for lignocellulosic bioenergy production. But researchers believe "putting all their eggs in one basket" could be a big mistake. Scientists at the University of Illinois recently reported the first natural occurrence in several decades of Miscanthus hybrid plants in Japan. "If M. x giganteus is the only variety available, there are certainly risks involved such as diseases or pests causing...

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2010-12-16 14:45:08

Graduate student Markita Landry describes her research, learning experiences and cultural adjustment in Japan as part of NSF's EAPSI program Proteins are able to identify a tiny DNA target--usually only a few base pairs long--among thousands of non-targeted base pairs. I study how that happens using high resolution, optical traps. And, to help advance my research for my doctoral thesis, I spent a summer doing research in Toshio Yanagida's laboratory in Osaka, Japan, as part of NSF's East Asia...

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2010-12-13 15:35:00

The Obama administration's decision to maintain a ban on oil drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico and off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts is a mistake, according to a University of Illinois expert who wrote a six-volume book series on marine pollution. "It's a ridiculous decision on the part of the Interior Department," said John W. Kindt, a professor of business and legal policy at Illinois. "The previous 180-day moratorium really hurt a lot of businesses. Well, a seven-year ban is going...


Word of the Day
blee
  • Color; hue; complexion.
This word is Middle English in origin.
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