News: Research


RNA breakthrough creates crops that can grow 50% more potatoes, rice

July 22, 2021

Manipulating RNA can allow plants to yield dramatically more crops, as well as increasing drought tolerance, announced a group of scientists from the University of Chicago, Peking University and Guizhou University. The discovery of the exciting and simple modification was co-led by John T. Wilson Distinguished Service Professor of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Chuan He.

Event Horizon Telescope takes pioneering image of massive jet spewing from black hole

July 20, 2021

UChicago-led South Pole Telescope has helped pinpoint the location of a supermassive black hole in galaxy Centaurus A. Contributing to the Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration, the new imagery reveals how a gigantic jet is being born. Most remarkably, only the outer edges of the jet seem to emit radiation, which challenges our theoretical models of jets.

Astronaut historian Jordan Bimm on the changing arc of aerospace history

July 20, 2021

We are in the arc of aerospace history where small spaceflight experiences are sold—and may realize long-term visions of off-world settlements. Read more from postdoctoral scholar Jordan Bimm, historian of astronauts and astrobiology at the UChicago Stevanovich Institute, who published a commentary on billionaire space flights for Barron’s economy & policy coverage.

To catch deep-space neutrinos, astronomers lay traps in Greenland’s ice

July 15, 2021

High on Greenland’s ice sheet, particle astrophysicists like Cosmin Deaconu are searching for the cosmic accelerators responsible for the universe’s most energetic particles. By placing hundreds of radio antennas on the ice surface and dozens of meters below it, they hope to trap elusive particles known as neutrinos at higher energies than ever before. Deaconu, a senior researcher with Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics, spoke to Science from Greenland’s Summit Station: “It’s a discovery machine, looking for the first neutrinos at these energies.”

Duality quantum accelerator accepts six startups into inaugural cohort

July 14, 2021

Duality, a first-of-its-kind accelerator for quantum companies, has accepted into its inaugural cohort six startups from across the United States and abroad. The 12-month program will provide training from the University of Chicago, as well as opportunities from Duality’s other founding partners. Read more about the six startups who join with UChicago to unlock the potential of quantum technology.

Argonne, UChicago researchers create method to dramatically reduce data processing time for LIGO detections

July 13, 2021

Scientists at Argonne and UChicago used a new artificial intelligence framework that allows for accelerated, scalable and reproducible detection of gravitational waves. Ian Foster, the UChicago Arthur Holly Compton Distinguished Service Professor of Computer Science and director of Argonne’s Data Science and Learning division, comments on their creation of a method to dramatically reduce data processing time for LIGO detections.

Largest-ever CDAC Summer Lab adds 55 students, new social impact track

July 13, 2021

Building the wide open future of data science requires bringing new students into the fold today. And at UChicago, for the third consecutive year, the Center for Data an Computing (CDAC) Summer Lab serves as one of those gateways. Welcoming 55 high school, undergraduate, and master’s students to serve as research assistants on projects with more than 39 mentors and adding a new “social impact” track, it’s the largest year yet for the program designed to train and inspire the next generation of interdisciplinary computational and data scientists.

Planets with seasons like ours could host complex alien life

July 13, 2021

Planets with seasons like ours could host complex alien life, suggests a NASA study co-authored by Megan Barnett, graduate student in the Department of the Geophysical Sciences.

More cell phone data use is negatively affecting Wi-Fi performance, study finds

July 1, 2021

In a recent paper, University of Chicago researchers demonstrate how increased network competition from cell phone data use negatively impacts internet service for everyday Wi-Fi users. 

Could dark matter be behind mysterious, supermassive black holes in the early universe?

June 30, 2021

KICP Fellow Yi-Ming Zhong and scientists at UC Riverside have put forward a surprising theory to explain mysterious, supermassive black holes that formed early in the universe; those black holes could have formed with the help of dark matter.

The Hubble constant, explained

June 30, 2021

The Hubble constant is one of the most important numbers in cosmology because it tells us how fast the universe is expanding. Read about the debate surrounding it and meet Wendy Freedman and Daniel Holz, the UChicago astronomers leading the way.

‘There may not be a conflict after all’ in expanding universe debate

June 30, 2021

New analysis by astronomy professor Wendy Freedman finds agreement with standard model in ongoing Hubble tension.

PSD in the News - June 2021

June 28, 2021

This month PSD researchers have been featured for their efforts to transform plastics, electronics, and transportation, experiment with materials that can 'remember,' and contribute to the most precise look yet at the universe's evolution.

For a sustainable future, scientists rethink plastics and devices

June 24, 2021

Scientists and engineers at the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory are using biomaterials, advanced polymers, and artificial intelligence to engineer new materials that are fully recyclable and biodegradable from the ground up, without sacrificing the useful qualities of traditional plastics and consumer products. At the same time, these new materials can be engineered with specific properties to incorporate them into a new generation of electronics, better batteries, clean energy systems, and more.
This work has the potential to advance technology across the board, while reducing environmental harms and enabling human society to move forward in a more sustainable manner.

Prof. Diana Franklin discusses the “big gaps” in computer science education

June 24, 2021

Prof. Diana Franklin discusses her research into how computer science curricula are used in school and the "big gaps" in learning with Education Next.