News: 2020


Takeout noodles inspire UChicago scientists to invent remarkable synthetic tissue

February 4, 2020

Takeout noodles inspire UChicago scientists to invent remarkable synthetic tissue
Breakthrough creates tough material able to stretch, heal and defend itself

New telescope reveals most detailed images of sun’s surface

February 4, 2020

The first images from NSF’s Inouye Solar Telescope in Hawaii show a remarkable, close-up view of the sun’s surface. Robert Rosner, the William E. Wrather Distinguished Service Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Chicago, said seeing the amazing surfaces of its structures has been a forty-year endeavor.

What does climate change sound like? An Antarctic iceberg speaks in concert at Millennium Park

February 4, 2020

Using seismic vibrations collected from glaciers in the Antarctic, Prof. Doug MacAyeal partnered with Chicago-based artist collective Luftwerk to convert the sonic data into frequencies humans could hear. The goal was to translate an ailing iceberg and deepen public understanding through an emotional artistic experience of sea level rise.

Meet physics student, Meg Panetta

February 3, 2020

Meg Panetta is from Atlanta, Georgia. She studied physics and astrophysics at Harvard University before obtaining a master’s degree in history and philosophy of science at Cambridge University. She is now in her second year of pursuing a PhD in physics.


Scientists discover hidden symmetries, opening new avenues for material design

January 31, 2020

UChicago scientists see opportunities for ‘metamaterials’ designed using dualities.

Prof. Eugene Parker wins prestigious Crafoord Prize in Astronomy

January 30, 2020

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced Jan. 30 that University of Chicago Prof. Emeritus Eugene Parker has been awarded the 2020 Crafoord Prize in Astronomy.
Awarded every three years, the prestigious Crafoord Prize consists of a gold medal and a sum of six million Swedish krona (about $600,000)—one of the largest prizes in science. 
The Academy, which is also responsible for selecting Nobel Prize winners, cited Parker for his “pioneering and fundamental studies of the solar wind and magnetic fields from stellar to galactic scales.”

Researchers propose why sub-Neptunes planets are so abundant

January 30, 2020

Edwin Kite, assistant professor in the Department of the Geophysical Sciences, and collaborators have proposed a novel explanation for the radius cliff, and it has to do with the solubility of hydrogen gas in the hot, molten rock that makes up the surface of a young planetary core.

PSD in the News - January 2020

January 29, 2020

This month, PSD researchers have been featured for helping identify the first habitable exoplanet, discovering the oldest material on Earth, and finding evidence that RNA modulates how DNA is transcribed.

Fred T. Anderson, scientist who studied rocks to recreate volcanic eruptions, 1937-2020

January 28, 2020

A professor in the Department of Geophysical Sciences for nearly 40 years, Alfred T. Anderson, Jr., died on Jan. 15. He made pioneering contributions to the field of volcanology—particularly how to reconstruct long-ago volcanic explosions using clues in the rocks left behind. He was 82. For years, he and his wife, Caroline, served as the resident masters for the Snell-Hitchcock residence hall. 

Prof. Dan Holz discusses ‘Doomsday Clock’ on WTTW 

January 27, 2020

The UChicago-based Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moved the 'Doomsday Clock' to 100 seconds to midnight, closer to global catastrophe than ever before. Prof. Dan Holz, a member of the Bulletin's Science and Security Board, joined Chicago Tonight to discuss the announcement. 

Doomsday Clock closer than ever before to apocalypse   

January 23, 2020

The hands of the Doomsday Clock are now at 100 seconds to midnight—the closest it has ever been to apocalypse since its creation following World War II. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, which is housed at the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago and whose board includes several UChicago scientists, announced the change during a Jan. 23 event in Washington, D.C. 

Surprise discovery shakes up our understanding of gene expression 

January 23, 2020

A group of University of Chicago scientists has uncovered a previously unknown way that our genes are made into reality. 

Rather than directions going one-way from DNA to RNA to proteins, the latest study shows that RNA itself modulates how DNA is transcribed—using a chemical process that is increasingly apparent to be vital to biology. The discovery has significant implications for our understanding of human disease and drug design.  

How to feed 10 billion without wrecking the planet 

January 23, 2020

A study in Nature Sustainability led by researchers from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) — and co-authored by UChicago CS postdoctoral researcher Jonas Jägermeyr — now suggests a comprehensive solution package for feeding 10 billion people within our planet’s environmental boundaries.  Jägermeyr contributed simulations of Earth’s biosphere and agriculture to the study. 

New quantum certificates program to retrain scientists and build the quantum workforce 

January 17, 2020

UChicago’s certificates program in Quantum Engineering and Technology is aimed at retraining scientists across their careers, particularly those who have been educated in classical physics, computer science, and other science and engineering fields, but who want to pursue a career in the growing quantum industries. The certificates program allows scientists and engineers to apply their existing knowledge to quantum applications without attaining another degree. While offered by the University’s Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering (PME) the certificates program will be managed by the Chicago Quantum Exchange. 

A look at the UChicago roots of the Doomsday Clock 

January 17, 2020

On Jan. 23, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists will hold a news conference unveiling the 2020 update to the “Doomsday Clock,” which symbolizes how close humanity is to apocalypse.  The Doomsday Clock has its roots in the University Chicago, where a group of Manhattan Project scientists created the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists in the aftermath of WWII. The group has been dedicated to informing the public about technologies “with the potential to end civilization" ever since. To this day, the Bulletin is housed at the University of Chicago, though its mission has expanded to address such global threats as terrorism, cyberattacks and climate change.