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university of illinois

  1. Sperm Are Perfect and One Day They May Save Your Life, Say Creators of Spermbots

    Sperm brought you into this world, and sperm will keep you here.

    Though we may sometimes curse the speed of sperm (sorry Mom, Dad), tiny bio-bots that mimic the flagellar movement of natures' lil' swimmers and are powered by the contractions of heart cells may be the next step in fighting cancer and other common illnesses. In other words, when our heart and sperm work together as one, we ill be unstoppable.

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  2. Tiny Wireless LED Implant Can Activate Reward Centers in the Brain

    Researchers from the University of Illinois and University of Washington have developed a wireless implant that uses LEDs thinner than a human hair to produce light, stimulating their test subjects to create dopamine, a chemical released in the brain during pleasant experiences. By manipulating specific neurons in the brains of their lab mice, the researchers hope to develop a more accurate map of the circuits in the brain associated with sleep, depression, anxiety, and even addiction.

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  3. Bipartisanship Could Be Achieved By Printing Everything In Papyrus, Not Worth It

    Even in an election season, most politicians can agree on one thing: partisan gridlock is tearing this country apart. Of course, what most of them mean by this is "I'm right and everyone who doesn't agree with me should shut the mouth and get in line," but still -- it's a start. Now, researchers from the University of Illinois may have a way to kickstart more moderate views...but at a grave cost. It turns out people with strong political beliefs are less likely to hold onto their biases when they are forced to read about matters in a hard to read font, meaning all you would really have to do to make everyone agree on middle of the road decisions is print everything in papyrus.

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  4. Brainwave Measurements May Predict Talent at Video Games, Recruiting Of LoL Super-Team Likely Already in Progress

    A study by psychologists at the University of Illinois suggests that measuring brainwave oscillation could predict how quickly someone will get good at a video game. The study, published today in the journal Psychophysiology, is simultaneously heartening to people like myself who are bad at video games. On the one hand, there's nothing we can do about it, and it doesn't mean we appreciate the medium any less. We're just not wired that way, which is a very freeing thing. On the other hand, we're bad at a fun thing because our brains our broken, which is a hard statement to paint in a flattering light.

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  5. New Generation of Biodegradable Electronic Sensors Could Dissolve In Water, Human Body

    Generally speaking, people fashioning electronic devices are working to craft things that are built to last, or at least that's what most of us hope when we're buying a new TV. A team of researchers led by scientists at the University of Illinois are instead taking planned obsolescence to the extreme, developing a new class of electronic devices that is built to dissolve over time. If they're successful, the result could be a whole new class of implantable biomedical sensors that help to track patient health -- and then disappear without surgery when they're no longer needed.

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  6. Software Uses Supercomputer to Predict Revolutions

    A new piece of software, with the aid of a supercomputer for processing, seems to have the ability to predict revolutions with stunning accuracy by analyzing news stories pertaining to the region in question. The software, developed by Kalev Leetaru of University of Illinois’ Institute for Computing in the Humanities, Arts and Social Science, was able to retroactively predict the recent unrest in Egypt. By collecting and analyzing news stories from the U.S. Open Source Center, Britain's BBC Monitoring, Times articles archived all the way back to 1945 and a variety of other sources, the software was able to detect a souring in tone matched only by the bombing of Iraqi troops in Kuwait in 1991 and the invasion of Iraq in 2003. While this spike didn't necessarily predict a revolution, such a strong drop in sentiment devoid from any extreme outside influences certainly suggests it.

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  7. New Artificial Lung is Heart-Powered, Can Breathe Real Air

    Researchers at the University of Illinois have developed a new kind of artificial lung that can run on heart power and breathe normal air. That may not sound like much, but a quick look at current artificial lung technology goes to show you how complex the organ's function really is. Current artificial lungs don't have efficient enough gas exchange to use normal air. Instead, they have to use pure oxygen to compensate, which means that they come part and parcel with heavy oxygen canisters. As if that weren't bad enough, this inefficiency also means current artificial lungs have a lifespan on the order of days and, to boot, they require an outside power source.

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  8. Pen With Silver Ink Can Draw Circuits that Actually Work

    Some scientists at University of Illinois have developed a pen that essentially draws circuit diagrams that will actually work, but no, you can't use it to draw a hamburger that you can actually eat because this is science, not magic, unfortunately. The pen uses a silver solution (the element, not the color) that allows the wielder to draw working electronic circuits on a number of different surfaces.

    Printers have used metallic ink to print circuits for a while now, but this pen, while being cheaper and more versatile, also adds a little bit of unique, artistic flair to the process. This, combined with the fact that the ink will maintain connectivity even after being folded, could make some waves in the worlds of disposable electronics and electronic art. Sure, this thing probably isn't going to change the whole world, but the parts of it that it does change should be pretty awesome.

    (via Short Sharp Science)

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