Lav Varshney, Beckman affiliate in Image Formation and Processing, and his brother Kush Varshney, of the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center in New York, have created a mathematical model that predicts how humans perceive the smell of a particular substance based on its physical and chemical properties, by matching a database of compounds to another of perceived smells. By combining compounds in just the right mixture, the researchers have worked out how to produce the olfactory equivalent of white noise
Deana McDonagh, of the Human Perception and Performance Group and professor in industrial design, worked with sophomore students in her industrial design class to design and make something wearable in order to explore kinesiology and empathy.
The National Science Foundation has awarded $1.5 million to a team of Illinois researchers and collaborators at Brown University to develop bat-inspired robots to supervise construction sites. Artificial Intelligence Group members Seth Hutchinson, professor in electrical and computer engineering, and Timothy Bretl, associate professor in aerospace engineering, will work with others in the College of Engineering and at Brown University to develop this project.
For most amputees, the road to a more functional prosthetic device is slow and costly. However, thanks to a research group at the University of Illinois, lead by Beckman graduate student Aadeel Akhtar and advised by Beckman faculty member Tim Bretl, that might be changing, which is especially good news for those who are most in need, residents of the developing world. In August, the group put their latest creation, an open-source dexterous artificial hand, to the test on an Ecuadorian man.
Current Beckman Senior Fellow Chris Chipot shares his prowess with spherification, or when liquid food is encased in a thin polysaccharide membrane that, when consumed, pops open to release a burst of flavor. This avant-garde culinary expertise combines "my two passions,” Chipot says. “My job as a theoretician and cooking.”
Mark Hersham, who did his doctoral work and Illinois and worked at Beckman with Joe Lyding of the Nanoelectronics and Nanomaterials Group, was recently awarded the MacArthur Foundation's "Genius Grant."
Lane Schwartz, assistant professor of linguistics, has been named a Beckman affiliate faculty member in the Artificial Intelligence Group, within the Human-Computer Intelligent Interaction research theme.
William O'Brien, professor of electrical and computer engineering and full-time faculty member in the Bioacoustics Research Laboratory, will present on Thursday, November 6 at noon in Beckman room 1005. Lunch will be provided.
Jianjun Cheng, part-time faculty member in the Bioimaging Science and Technology Group, and his collaborators systematically evaluated the size-dependent biological profiles of three monodisperse drug-silica nanoconjugates at 20, 50, and 200 nm.
Chad Mirkin, George B. Rathmann Professor of Chemistry and Director, International Institute for Nanotechnology, Northwestern University, speaks at 4 pm Thursday, October 16, in the Beckman Auditorium on "The Nature of the DNA Bond."
Alek Aksimentiev, of the Nanoelectronics and Nanomaterials Group, and Beckman 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.
A new online tool developed by researchers at the University of Illinois will aid studies into postnatal brain growth in human infants based on the similarities seen in the development of the piglet brain. Through a cooperative effort between researchers in animal sciences, bioengineering, and the Beckman Institute, Rod Johnson and Beckman faculty members Ryan Dilger and Brad Sutton have developed a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-based brain atlas for the four-week old piglet that offers a three-dimensional averaged brain and anatomical regions of interest.
First Lady Michelle Obama incorrectly referred to Democratic Senate candidate Rep. Bruce Braley as “Bruce Bailey” several times. This kind of slip of the tongue, or "spoonerisms," as they're called, are surprisingly common, and reveal a lot about how our brains organize and process language. Activation networks in the brain have been implemented computationally by people like psychology professor and Beckman faculty member Gary Dell, and do a pretty good job predicting the kinds of speech errors people make.
Company MC10 is testing attachable computers that look like small rectangular stickers, about the size of a piece of gum, and can include wireless antennas, temperature and heart-rate sensors, and a tiny battery. MC10 recently teamed up with John Rogers, a Beckman faculty member and professor of materials science and engineering, who has been working for nearly a decade to perfect flexible devices that can be worn on the skin or implanted internally.
Eight faculty members from the Urbana-Champaign campus gave brief presentations to the University of Illinois Board of Trustees on their research and outreach activities. The presentations address health and wellness research from a broad spectrum of academic disciplines, underscore the broad excellence of the campus, and give keen insights into the factors that attract outstanding faculty to Illinois, and why they choose to stay. Beckman affiliate Rashid Bashir's research seeks to leverage engineering principles at the micro- and nanoscale for biomedical applications. His lab has used engineering design and 3D printing to create platforms for HIV diagnostics, DNA sequencing, and miniature biological robots.
Robin Kar, professor of Law in the College of Law, has joined the Beckman Institute as an affiliate in the Cognitive Science Group within the Biological Intelligence research theme.
Beckman Institute Director Art Kramer and his colleagues found that drivers have fewer collisions when speaking on a cell phone to a remote partner who can see the road ahead than when speaking on a cell phone to someone who has no awareness of conditions inside or outside the car.
In celebration of the 25th anniversary at the Beckman Institute, this issue of Synergy showcases several photos from the archives, along with long-time faculty and staff. It also highlights Patty Jones and Cathy Murphy, identical twin sisters who work at the Beckman Institute. Two new Postdoctoral Fellows discuss plans to research issues related to the brain. Camille Goudeseune, of Beckman's Illinois Simulator Lab, shares his techniques for capturing panoramic images with a toy helicopter. Finally, Maria Bautista offers a glimpse into the world of archaea and their viruses, thanks to the imaging capabilities available in the Microscopy Suite.
Maria A. Bautista, a microbiology graduate student, studies archaea and their viruses, and tries to find connections between the two in order to explain their evolutionary histories.
With the Carle Foundation Hospital–Beckman Institute Fellowship, Rachael Rubin is planning to build a traumatic brain injury (TBI) patient registry and combine the clinical expertise of Carle with the research expertise of the Beckman Institute to further investigate TBIs.
As a 2014 Beckman Postdoctoral Fellow, Gillian Hamilton is investigating behavioral interventions that may alleviate symptoms of fetal alcohol exposure.
Patty Jones, the associate director for research at the Beckman Institute, and Cathy Murphy, a Illinois chemistry professor and Beckman affiliate, are two women with a lot in common: identical twins, first generation college students, Ph.D. scientists in their respective fields, and now colleagues at the Beckman Institute.
Susan Schantz, a faculty member in the NeuroTech Group, leads the Illinois Children’s Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Center at the Beckman Institute. The lab studies how chemicals in plastics and personal care products alter child development.
A New Yorker article about the legacy of the Vietnam War and neuroscience studies conducted around vets with traumatic brain injuries, cites the research of Aron Barbey, of the Biological Intelligence Group, and his work on general, social, and emotional intelligence.
The Beckman Institute celebrates 25 years of groundbreaking research on Friday, October 10. A daylong symposium begins at 9 am with remarks from the U of I chancellor, provost, and vice chancellor for research. Former Beckman directors also provide memories of the Institute's founding and Beckman's donors, Arnold and Mabel Beckman. The event features presentations by former Beckman Postdoctoral Fellows.