UIC Science posts on investigations in engineering, medicine, psychology, social science and the natural sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

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Original Catching Elephant theme by Andy Taylor

 

UIC, other universities urge lawmakers to close innovation deficit

The University of Illinois joins a coalition of university, scientific and business organizations today urging Congress and President Obama to ensure that the U.S. remains a leader in innovation by increasing federal investments in research.

The innovation deficit — the widening gap between actual and needed federal investments in research and higher education — continues to increase in the U.S., while other nations such as China, India and Singapore dramatically boost research funding to develop technological and medical breakthroughs to move their economies forward.

One year ago today, UIC Chancellor Paula Allen-Meares added her name to an open letter to President Obama and Congress signed by more than 200 university officials, urging them to take action against the innovation deficit. Progress has been made, the coalition says, but more needs to be done. Read more

Amin Salehi-Khojin, UIC professor of mechanical and industrial engineering. Photo: Roberta Dupuis-Devlin/UIC Photo Services
Scientists from the University of Illinois at Chicago have synthesized a catalyst that improves their system for converting waste carbon dioxide into syngas, a precursor of gasoline and other energy-rich products, bringing the process closer to commercial viability.
Amin Salehi-Khojin, UIC professor of mechanical and industrial engineering, and his coworkers developed a unique two-step catalytic process that uses molybdenum disulfide and an ionic liquid to “reduce,” or transfer electrons, to carbon dioxide in a chemical reaction. The new catalyst improves efficiency and lowers cost by replacing expensive metals like gold or silver in the reduction reaction.
The study was published in the journal Nature Communications on July 30. Read more

Amin Salehi-Khojin, UIC professor of mechanical and industrial engineering. Photo: Roberta Dupuis-Devlin/UIC Photo Services

Scientists from the University of Illinois at Chicago have synthesized a catalyst that improves their system for converting waste carbon dioxide into syngas, a precursor of gasoline and other energy-rich products, bringing the process closer to commercial viability.

Amin Salehi-Khojin, UIC professor of mechanical and industrial engineering, and his coworkers developed a unique two-step catalytic process that uses molybdenum disulfide and an ionic liquid to “reduce,” or transfer electrons, to carbon dioxide in a chemical reaction. The new catalyst improves efficiency and lowers cost by replacing expensive metals like gold or silver in the reduction reaction.

The study was published in the journal Nature Communications on July 30. Read more

Physicists unlock nature of high-temperature superconductivity

UIC physicist Dirk Morr. Photo: Roberta Dupuis-Devlin/UIC Photo Services

Physicists have identified the “quantum glue” that underlies a promising type of superconductivity — a crucial step towards the creation of energy superhighways that conduct electricity without current loss.

The research, published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is a collaboration between theoretical physicists led by Dirk Morr, professor of physics at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and experimentalists led by Seamus J.C. Davis of Cornell University and Brookhaven National Laboratory. Read more

Robert Bailey, UIC professor of epidemiology researching male circumcision as a strategy for HIV/STD prevention
Men do not engage in riskier behaviors after they are circumcised, according to a study in Kenya by University of Illinois at Chicago researchers.
Three clinical trials have shown that male circumcision significantly reduces the risk of acquiring HIV in young African men. However, some experts have suggested that circumcision, if promoted as an HIV preventive, may increase promiscuity or decrease condom use. This ‘risk compensation’ could diminish the effectiveness of medical male circumcision programs.
The new study, published online July 21 in the journal AIDS and Behavior, is the first population-level longitudinal assessment of risk compensation associated with adult male circumcision. Read more

Robert Bailey, UIC professor of epidemiology researching male circumcision as a strategy for HIV/STD prevention

Men do not engage in riskier behaviors after they are circumcised, according to a study in Kenya by University of Illinois at Chicago researchers.

Three clinical trials have shown that male circumcision significantly reduces the risk of acquiring HIV in young African men. However, some experts have suggested that circumcision, if promoted as an HIV preventive, may increase promiscuity or decrease condom use. This ‘risk compensation’ could diminish the effectiveness of medical male circumcision programs.

The new study, published online July 21 in the journal AIDS and Behavior, is the first population-level longitudinal assessment of risk compensation associated with adult male circumcision. Read more

Seungpyo Hong, assistant professor of pharmaceutics and bioengineering at UIC
Endoxifen is one of the most commonly used drugs in the treatment and prevention of breast cancer, but its side effects can be serious – including an increased risk of endometrial cancer and stroke. Now, researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago, in collaboration with Northwestern University clinicians, have developed a topical drug-delivery system that allows endoxifen to pass through the skin directly to the breast, which could help reduce the side effects associated with taking the drug orally and prevent the number of mastectomies. Read more

Seungpyo Hong, assistant professor of pharmaceutics and bioengineering at UIC

Endoxifen is one of the most commonly used drugs in the treatment and prevention of breast cancer, but its side effects can be serious – including an increased risk of endometrial cancer and stroke. Now, researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago, in collaboration with Northwestern University clinicians, have developed a topical drug-delivery system that allows endoxifen to pass through the skin directly to the breast, which could help reduce the side effects associated with taking the drug orally and prevent the number of mastectomies. Read more

Face your age

S. Jay Olshansky, professor of epidemology, studies aging and longevity. Photo: Jenny Fontaine/UIC Public and Government Affairs

“Imagine taking your iPhone and snapping a selfie and putting it into our Web site and discovering that your eyes are that of a 50-year-old, your lips are that of a 70-year-old, your cheeks are that of a 50-year-old.” —S. Jay Olshansky, professor of epidemiology, on a new technology he helped develop that uses facial recognition technology to reveal how old you look, July 2 Washington Post 

What factors influence mammography among first-generation Muslim immigrants?

Dr. Memoona Hasnain/ Photo: Roberta Dupuis-Devlin

First generation Muslim women living in Chicago were more likely to ever have had a mammogram if they lived in the United States longer, had a primary care physician, had higher self-efficacy and believed in the importance of getting screened for breast cancer according to a recent study in the Journal of Women’s Health.

“Despite significant reductions in mortality due to breast cancer attributed to increased screening and mammography, disparities in the use of screening persist in certain populations,” said Dr. Memoona Hasnain, associate professor of family medicine in the UIC College of Medicine and lead author of the paper. “Migration to western countries is often associated with an increased risk of breast cancer, and ethnic minority women living in western countries are more likely to present with more advanced stages of breast cancer when they do get screened.”

Hasnain and colleagues wanted to find out what the barriers to breast cancer screening were for Muslim women living in Chicago.

They surveyed 207 first-generation Muslim women with a mean age of 52 years old about their beliefs about breast cancer, screening practices and their use of mammography.

Read More

The 4-week-old peregrine falcon chicks nesting on a 28th-floor ledge of University Hall are growing fast, trading their fluff for adult feathers and strengthening their wings. Any day now, one of the three chicks will take its first flight when a gust of wind catches its wings and takes it off the ledge. 

“There is nothing quite like the actual immersion of being surrounded by stereoscopic screens,” says filmmaker Scott Rettberg of “Hearts and Minds.” 
Two new films will be presented July 7 that use cutting-edge computer visualization resources to give viewers an immersive experience unlike any other.
The films will be shown in UIC’s Electronic Visualization Lab, located in the Engineering Research Facility. Reservations are required. Read more

“There is nothing quite like the actual immersion of being surrounded by stereoscopic screens,” says filmmaker Scott Rettberg of “Hearts and Minds.” 

Two new films will be presented July 7 that use cutting-edge computer visualization resources to give viewers an immersive experience unlike any other.

The films will be shown in UIC’s Electronic Visualization Lab, located in the Engineering Research Facility. Reservations are required. Read more

Members of the Field Museum’s Chicago Peregrine Program visit UIC to give the Peregrine falcon chicks unique identification leg bands, collect blood, and thrill an audience of falcon fans.