UF News

Breaking Down the Threat of Ransomware Attacks

Kevin Butler, a University Term Professor in UF’s Department of Computer and Information Science and Engineering, breaks down the potential threats from ransomware attacks and how researchers from the Florida Institute for Cybersecurity Research developed some of the first solutions for protecting against this threat and continue to work on solutions as the attacks become more advanced.

UF Hopes To Speed Solutions to Citrus Greening, Other Crop Diseases With New Center

University of Florida scientists plan to utilize $2 million from an initiative by UF President Ben Sasse for a Crop Transformation Center to help Florida farmers improve production of citrus and specialty crops. For now, front and center among goals for the center is to find citrus varieties that can tolerate or even resist citrus greening disease, also known as Huanlongbing (HLB). Growers are looking for solutions to the disease, which has caused a 70 percent to 80 percent reduction in production to Florida’s signature crop.

UF Part of Multi-Institutional, $22M Cereal Crops Project Funded by USAID

The U.S. Agency for International Development announced the creation of the Feed the Future Climate Resilient Cereals Innovation Lab, or CRCIL, to improve lives around the world by making cereal crops more readily available to those most at risk for hunger and malnutrition. University of Florida researchers involved will focus on sorghum. Charlie Messina, UF/IFAS horticultural sciences professor — who is a leading expert in applying artificial intelligence to crop modeling and simulation techniques — will head the efforts from the Gainesville campus while utilizing the supercomputing powers of the UF HiPerGator.

Clinical Spotlight: UF Health Aortic Disease Center Celebrates Five Years

As of 2023, the team at UF Health's Aortic Disease Center has surpassed their 2018 goals of increasing case volume, broadening research, and improving the quality of treatment for patients. Led by Tom Martin, M.D., the center is also leveraging AI to improve the future of health care and put patients first.

Fang Receives Distinguished Recognition By Rising Stars (Engineering) From the Academy of Science, Engineering, and Medicine of Florida

Dr. Ruogu Fang has achieved the distinguished recognition of Rising Stars (Engineering) and will be honored at the forthcoming annual meeting of the Academy of Science, Engineering, and Medicine of Florida (ASEMFL). The ASEMFL is an esteemed gathering of Florida’s preeminent scholars, encompassing individuals who both reside and work in the state. Situated at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, ASEMFL is a non-profit organization that unites top-tier scholars and researchers hailing from various universities, public agencies, and industries throughout Florida. Their collective mission is to delve into critical issues at the intersection of science, engineering, and medicine that have a direct impact on the people of Florida. Furthermore, they provide impartial and expert advice concerning these matters.

Would You Use an App To Talk to Police After You Get Pulled Over?

Dr. Juan Gilbert, an engineering professor at the University of Florida, has developed an app called Virtual Traffic Stop. This innovative solution aims to de-escalate tensions during traffic stops and reduce nervousness on both sides, ultimately creating a safer environment for all parties involved. The app is designed to be inclusive, making it particularly beneficial for individuals who are hearing impaired or deaf. “It began with my students, actually,” Gilbert told News4JAX from his office on campus. “One day I was in the lab and talking to my students, and they were a little frustrated with interactions between law enforcement and drivers. I said, ‘Well, let’s do something about that.’” Gilbert has already created what he calls the most secure way to vote and in his spare time rolled out the app called Virtual Traffic Stop. President Joe Biden recently honored him with the National Medal of Technology and Innovation at the White House. “The idea from a driver’s perspective is that I can de-escalate tensions between law enforcement and myself, bring down the nervousness that a driver may have,” he said. “The idea is that by having the virtual traffic stop, we can have an icebreaker.”

David B. Tanner Wins Top US Prize in Experimental Particle Physics

Distinguished Professor of Physics DAVID B. TANNER has been awarded the American Physical Society (APS) 2024 W.K.H. Panofsky Prize in Experimental Particle Physics for his innovative contributions to the field. The prestigious award underscores Tanner’s exceptional standing within the scientific community. Since joining the UF faculty in 1982, he has not only excelled as an educator and mentor but also served as a forward-thinking department chair. Additionally, Tanner continues to make an impact through his experimental research on dark matter axions, an endeavor that began over 40 years ago.

Nci Grant Funds Study of Cancer Cachexia

Sarah Judge, Ph.D., a research assistant professor in the University of Florida College of Public Health and Health Professions, has received a $2.4 million, five-year grant from the National Cancer Institute to study the role of a key protein in driving cancer cachexia. Cancer cachexia, which is highly prevalent in cancers of the pancreas and gastrointestinal tract, is a frequent complication of cancer involving muscle wasting and weakness. The breakdown of muscle tissue reduces patients’ physical function and worsens their quality of life. It also often negatively impacts their ability to withstand aggressive conventional cancer treatments and contributes to decreased survival. There are no known effective therapies to preserve or reverse the loss of muscle mass in patients with cancer.

Scientists Train AI To Illuminate Drugs’ Impact on Cellular Targets

An ideal medicine for one person may prove ineffective or harmful for someone else, and predicting who could benefit from a given drug has been difficult. Now, an international team led by neuroscientist Kirill Martemyanov, Ph.D., based at The Herbert Wertheim UF Scripps Institute for Biomedical Innovation & Technology, is training artificial intelligence to assist.

Tech Tuesday: A Helpful Virus

In this week's Tech Tuesday for WCJB TV20, UF Innovate's Melanie Morón interviews Dr. Arun Srivastava from the University of Florida's College of Medicine Department of Pediatrics who introduces us to a virus -- the adeno-associated virus or AAV -- that cures rather than infects. AAV has cured nine human diseases. The FDA has approved five drugs using it. And Dr. Srivastava's lab of scientists is working to make the vectors more efficient.

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