Joseph Lyding, a professor of electrical and computer engineering and member of Beckman's Nanoelectronics and Nanomaterials Group, will present the first Director's Seminar for the fall 2017 semester. Lyding will speak on "Atomic Precision: There’s Still Plenty of Room at the Bottom," at Noon, Thursday, September 7, in Room 1005 Beckman Institute.
William Randall Arnold, a graduate research assistant from Aditi Das’ group; Richard O. Bido-Medina, M.D./Ph.D. candidate from CONNECT Lab; and Jenny Ching-Yen Beach, a graduate research assistant from Shen Dillon’s group, discuss their research projects at the first fall Graduate Student Seminar at noon Wednesday, Sept. 6, in Room 1005 of the Beckman Institute. Lunch is provided.
A new study at Illinois has found that there is a three-way relationship between a type of gut bacteria, cortisol, and brain metabolites. This relationship, the researchers hypothesize, may potentially lead to further insight into autism, but more in-depth studies are needed. Researchers included animal sciences doctoral student Austin Mudd and Ryan Dilger, an associate professor of animal sciences and member of Beckman’s Bioimaging Science and Technology Group.
A 2015 study by Psychology Professor Dolores Albarracin, who is a member of Beckman’s Social and Emotional Dimensions of Well-Being Group, was cited by the Huffington Post, which was responding to an article published by New York Magazine on climate change. The Post was questioning whether alarming people—inducing anxiety about a situation—was necessary or helpful to get people to act. Albarracin’s study found that overall, inducing fear does change people’s attitudes, intentions, and behaviors. But the fear appeals that Albarracin studied came with recommended actions. “If the message is not actionable, then you’re not going to get effects overall,” she said.
Mostafa Yourdkhani, a postdoctoral research associate in the Autonomous Materials Systems (AMS) Group, recently received first place in the “Science as Art” contest sponsored by the Materials Research Society.
Fatima Husain, an associate professor of speech and hearing science and member of the Mechanisms of Cognitive Control Group at Beckman, and Sara Schmidt, a graduate student, conducted a study that found that tinnitus patients have differences in the region of the brain called the precuneus, which cause the brain to stay more at attention and be less at rest.
So Hirata, a professor of chemistry, has been named an affiliate faculty member in the Beckman Institute's Computational Molecular Science Group within the Molecular and Electronic Nanostructures research theme.
Illinois researchers have been awarded a 5-year, $4M grant by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to launch the country’s first computational node aimed at developing nanomanufacturing simulation tools. Beckman faculty members Kimani Toussaint (PI and director) and Narayana Aluru (co-PI), are working with Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering colleagues Elif Ertekin (co-PI), and Placid Ferreira (co-PI), along with Hayden Taylor (Co-PI) from UC, Berkeley.
The impact of painful experiences can last a lifetime. A new study says it is possible to wipe out memories that cause stress and even induce insomnia in some individuals. A 2014 study by Florin Dolcos, a professor of psychology and member of Beckman’s Social and Emotional Dimensions of Well-Being Group, was mentioned in an article in International Business Times about the recent study. “Looking away from the worst emotions and thinking about the context, like a friend who was there or what the weather was like, will rather effortlessly take your mind away from the unwanted emotions associated with a negative memory,” Dolcos said.
Rashid Bashir, a professor of and the head of bioengineering and a member of Beckman’s 3D Micro- and Nanosystems Group, has been appointed a permanent executive associate dean of the Carle Illinois College of Medicine.
Aaron Benjamin, a professor of psychology, and Elizabeth Stine-Morrow, a professor of educational psychology, have been appointed editors of journals published by the American Psychological Association. Benjamin is editor of the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, and Stine-Morrow of Psychology and Aging. The six-year editorial terms begin in 2019. Both are members of Beckman's Intelligent Systems Group.
In a study funded by the National Institutes of Health, researchers at Illinois, including Aron K. Barbey, associate professor of psychology, and collaborators from Northeastern University in Boston and the University of Delaware found that aerobically fit individuals have a better memory, and a firmer, more elastic brain hippocampus.
The prospect of collaborating with one-time colleagues Monica Fabiani and Gabriele Gratton, led Nelson Cowan, Curators Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of Missouri-Columbia, to an appointment as a Senior Fellow at the Beckman Institute. The Senior Fellows Program gives established faculty from other universities the opportunity to do short-term, on-site, interdisciplinary research with other Beckman Institute researchers.
University of Illinois educational psychology professor Kiel Christianson, who is a member of Beckman’s Illinois Language and Literacy Initiative, found in a recent study that readers’ likelihood of being offended by taboo words and the context in which the words were used accounted for some—but not all—of these words’ impact on readers’ attention and memory.
Researchers at the University of Illinois have developed technology that enables a smartphone to perform lab-grade medical diagnostic tests that typically require large, expensive instruments. Developed in the lab of Brian Cunningham, who is a professor of electrical and computer engineering and of bioengineering and a member of Beckman’s Nanoelectronics and Nanomaterials Group, the spectral transmission-reflectance-intensity analyzer costs only $550 and attaches to a smartphone and is able to analyze patient blood, urine, or saliva samples as reliably as clinic-based instruments that cost thousands of dollars.
University of Illinois researchers have developed a way to produce 3D images of live embryos in cattle that could help determine embryo viability before in vitro fertilization in humans. The new method, published in the journal Nature Communications, brought together electrical and computer engineering professor Gabriel Popescu and animal sciences professor Matthew Wheeler in a collaborative project through the Beckman Institute’s Bioimaging Science and Technology Group.
This summer, 10 undergraduate students performed research at the forefront of advanced imaging and microscopy technologies through the “Discoveries in Bioimaging” Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU). Funded by the National Science Foundation, the 10-week program, which ended Aug. 4, allowed the students to experience life as a graduate student.
Kenneth Schweizer, a professor of materials science and engineering, has been named a part-time faculty member in the Computational Molecular Science Group in the Molecular and Electronic Nanostructures research theme.
Michelle Rodrigues, who recently joined the Beckman Institute as a Beckman Postdoctoral Fellow, reports on how spider monkeys use adaptive social strategies to help them cope with living in disturbed habitats. Her Beckman research will study resilience in women of color in the sciences, an interdisciplinary project that integrates anthropological, psychological, and biological methods.
A team of Coordinated Science Lab researchers in the Health Care Engineering Systems Center is building prosthetics to send signals in the same way a person’s normal organs do so that the brain cannot tell the difference—helping to replace the functionality of what has been lost. Beckman affiliate Doug Jones, a professor of electrical and computer engineering who heads the Advanced Digital Sciences Center, collaborated on the research.
Psyonic, a startup operating out of U of I’s Research Park, is trying to change the future of prosthetics by building a better, more affordable bionic hand that’s guided by machine learning. Bionic limbs can aid greatly in an amputee's daily life, but the most advanced versions often cost anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 or more, according to Psyonic co-founder and CEO Aadeel Akhtar, who is a member of Beckman’s Mechanisms of Cognitive Control Group.
Beckman Postdoctoral Fellow Michelle Rodrigues discusses her career in STEM. Rodrigues is studying how women of color scientists cope with workplace stressors and the impact of friendship and social networks on mediating those stressors.
University of Illinois researchers are looking to insects—specifically cicadas—for insight into the design of artificial surfaces with de-icing, self-cleaning, and anti-fogging abilities. The research team of engineers and entomologists used high-speed microscopic photography at the Beckman Institute’s Microscopy Suite to study the wings’ ability to repel water.
Honey bees that consistently fail to respond to obvious social cues share something fundamental with autistic humans, researchers report in a new study. “Some honey bees are more active than others, and some appear indifferent to intruders that threaten the hive. This, in itself, is not unusual,” said University of Illinois entomology professor Gene Robinson, who is a member of Beckman’s Intelligence, Learning, and Plasticity Group, and the director of the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology. Robinson led the new analysis.
Soccer players are utilizing specialized video games to train their cognitive skills. More than two decades ago, Daniel Gopher, a former Israeli Air Force psychologist, found that a video game called Space Fortress actively improved cognitive skills in pilots. (The game had originally been developed by psychologists at the Beckman Institute to investigate skill acquisition.) A study Gopher published in the journal Human Factors in 1994 showed a significant improvement in the flight performance scores of 33 Israeli Air Force cadets.