Looking for a quiet space to work, but nothing seems welcoming? Have you wondered why there are so many plants by the north windows, but very few people? Are you excited to make a positive difference to the Beckman Institute?
Investors and executives in the agricultural industry recently got a first look at TerraSentia, a new agricultural robot developed at Illinois that autonomously measures crop traits. The robot's developer, Girish Chowdhary, an assistant professor of agricultural and biological engineering and a member of Beckman’s Organizational Intelligence and Computational Social Science Group, envisions a fleet of these ultra-compact robots roving fields doing simple tasks that will free up precious human capital to work on the big picture.
Can fake news be successfully debunked? “The effect of misinformation is very strong,” said Dolores Albarracin, a psychologist at Illinois and member of Beckman’s Social and Emotional Dimensions of Well-Being Group. “Generally, some degree of correction is possible, but it’s very difficult to completely correct.”
Richard is a 4th-year Neuroscience student working in the CONNECT lab under Dr. Sepideh Sadaghiani.
The Beckman Institute offers three postdoctoral fellows programs to support outstanding young scientists at the Beckman Institute: the Beckman Institute Postdoctoral Fellows Program, the Beckman–Brown Interdisciplinary Postdoctoral Fellows Program, and the Carle Foundation Hospital–Beckman Institute Postdoctoral Fellows Program. These programs offer a wonderful opportunity for scholars to engage in a three-year fellowship of interdisciplinary research at the Beckman Institute. Each year, four to six Beckman Institute Postdoctoral Fellows and one Beckman–Brown Interdisciplinary Fellow are selected from a highly competitive pool of applicants. Approximately every three years, one or two Carle Foundation Hospital–Beckman Institute Postdoctoral Fellows are likewise selected.
Dr. King C. Li, the inaugural dean of the Carle Illinois College of Medicine and a member of the Bioimaging Science and Technology Group at Beckman, will present the Oct. 5 Beckman Institute Director’s Seminar at noon in Room 1005. Li will talk about “Molecular Theranostics: An Imager’s Perspective.” Lunch is provided.
Aron Barbey, an associate professor of psychology and a member of the Intelligence, Learning, and Plasticity Group at Beckman, led a study that found the functional network organization in the brain mediates the relationship between nutrition and intelligence. The study found that monounsaturated fatty acids—a class of nutrients found in olive oils, nuts and avocados—are linked to general intelligence, and that this relationship is driven by the correlation between MUFAs and the organization of the brain’s attention network.
Researchers at the University of Illinois worked with physicians at Carle Foundation Hospital in a new study that found one measurement of biomarkers in the blood can predict a patient’s sepsis status as well as monitor the patient for hours. Bioengineering Professor Rashid Bashir, a member of Beckman’s 3D Micro- and Nanosystems Group, co-led the study with Ruoqing Zhu, an assistant professor of statistics at Illinois.
New research from a team in the U of I Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, published as an invited paper in Smart Materials and Structures, details how origami structures and bio-inspired design can be used to create a crawling robot. Assistant professors Sameh Tawfick and Aimy Wissa, along with graduate and undergraduate students, used origami paper folding principles to construct and actuate mechanisms and machines for possible integration with small, scalable, and cheap robots as well as deployable adaptive structures. Tawfick is a member of Beckman’s Autonomous Materials Systems Group.
MechSE associate professors Kimani Toussaint and Amy Wagoner Johnson have been awarded a four-year, $600,000 grant by the Burroughs Wellcome Fund to study preterm birth using a novel suite of technologies. Toussaint (PI) and Wagoner Johnson (collaborator) are both members of Beckman’s Bioimaging Science and Technology Group. They will be joined on the project by Professor Barbara McFarlin (collaborator), who directs a preterm birth research program and is the department head of the College of Nursing at the University of Illinois-Chicago.
Research about soybean cyst nematodes has been abundant because of the damage the pest causes, but there has been comparatively little research on nematodes in corn, says Nathan Schroeder, a professor of crop sciences and member of the Cellular and Molecular Foundations of Intelligent Behavior Group at Beckman.
With the help of high-speed cameras, scientists at Illinois have finally solved the mystery of how some ants can snap their jaws shut in half a millisecond—700 times faster than the blink of an eye. “Think of it like a giant crossbow, ready to fire,” said co-author Andrew Suarez, a professor of animal biology and member of the Bioimaging Science and Technology Group at Beckman.
Psychology professor Daniel Simons, a member of Beckman’s Mechanisms of Cognitive Control Group, was quoted in an article about whether “brain training” games improve cognitive function. “There's no compelling evidence that practicing these games leads to real world improvements in daily tasks,” Simons said. The article referenced a 2016 study led by Simons and Liz Stine-Morrow, a professor of educational psychology and member of Beckman’s Cognition, Lifespan Engagement, Aging, and Resilience Group.