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Protein ‘big bang’ reveals molecular makeup for medicine and bioengineering

June 30, 2021

Proteins have been quietly taking over our lives since the COVID-19 pandemic began. We’ve been living at the whim of the virus’s so-called “spike” protein, which has mutated dozens of times to create increasingly deadly variants. But the truth is, we have always been ruled by proteins. At the cellular level, they’re responsible for pretty much everything.


June 30, 2021


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Portable, affordable, accurate, fast: Team invents new COVID-19 test

May 19, 2021

A new coronavirus test can get accurate results from a saliva sample in less than 30 minutes, researchers report in the journal Nature Communications. Many of the components of the hand-held device used in this technology can be 3D-printed, and the test can detect as little as one viral particle per 1-microliter drop of fluid.


May 19, 2021


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Study maps COVID-19 health disparities in Greater Santiago

April 27, 2021

People up to age 40 living in economically depressed municipalities in the Greater Santiago, Chile, metropolitan area were three times more likely to die as a result of the infection than their counterparts in wealthier areas, researchers report in the journal Science. People ages 41-80 in low socioeconomic-status municipalities also suffered more from the pandemic than their peers in more affluent areas, the team found.


April 27, 2021


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K-12 Shield Playbook offers guidance for reopening schools

April 15, 2021

A new resource is available to help guide teachers and school administrators as they reopen schools amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, assembled by researchers and experts at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. 

As vaccines for the virus that causes COVID-19 become more accessible, more communities and schools are reopening. However, no vaccines have been approved for children under 16 to date, leaving school districts with many questions to navigate as they reopen and plan for the 2021-22 school year.


April 15, 2021


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COVID-19 peaks reflect time-dependent social activity, not herd immunity

April 14, 2021

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) have developed a new mathematical model for predicting how epidemics such as COVID-19 spread. This model not only accounts for individuals’ varying biological susceptibility to infection but also their levels of social activity, which naturally change over time. Using their model, the team showed that a temporary state of collective immunity—which they termed “transient collective immunity”—emerged during the early, fast-paced stages of the epidemic.


April 14, 2021


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Vaccine study now open for student enrollment

March 23, 2021

Students at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign who have not yet been vaccinated against COVID-19 can enroll in a study to help understand the effectiveness of vaccines in reducing the spread of the coronavirus. Participants will be paid and could receive the vaccine as soon as April 1.


March 23, 2021


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Microscope that detects individual viruses could power rapid diagnostics

March 20, 2021

A fast, low-cost technique to see and count viruses or proteins from a sample in real time, without any chemicals or dyes, could underpin a new class of devices for rapid diagnostics and viral load monitoring, including HIV and the virus that causes COVID-19.

Researchers at Illinois described the technique, called Photonic Resonator Interferometric Scattering Microscopy, or PRISM, in the journal Nature Communications.


March 20, 2021


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