The university was founded in 1846 as a private college, but in 1962 was absorbed into the State University of New York (SUNY) system. By enrollment, UB is the largest of SUNY’s four comprehensive university centers, and also the largest public university in the northeastern United States (comprising New York state and the New England region). In addition, by either endowment or research funding, UB is also the largest one of SUNY’s four comprehensive flagship university centers.
As of 2012, the university enrolls 28,601 students in 13 separate colleges. The university houses the largest state-operated medical school and features the only state law school, architecture and urban planning school, and pharmacy school in the state of New York. The university offers over 100 bachelor’s, 205 master’s, 84 doctoral, and 10 professional areas of study.
According to the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, the University at Buffalo is a Research University with Very High Research Activity (RU/VH). In 1989, UB was elected to the Association of American Universities, which represents 62 prestigious, leading research universities in the United States and Canada. UB’s alumni and faculty have produced a U.S. President, a Prime Minister, astronauts, Nobel laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners, Academy Award winners, Emmy Award winners, Rhodes Scholars, and other notable individuals in their fields.
University at Buffalo research articles from Innovation Toronto
- This “nanocavity” may improve ultrathin solar panels, video cameras and other optoelectronic devices – May 14, 2016
- The secret to 3-D graphene? Just freeze it – March 8, 2016
- Next-gen pacemakers may be powered by unlikely source: the heart – November 2, 2015
- New sensing technology could improve our ability to detect diseases, fraudulent art, chemical weapons and more – June 6, 2015
- The Wild West of physics – January 24, 2015
- The Internet of Things – Underwater: The Sunrise Project – September 14, 2014
- New tech could take light-based cancer treatment deep inside the body – May 16, 2014
- Fighting cancer with lasers and nanoballoons that pop
- Rainbow-catching waveguide could revolutionize energy technologies
- Graphene-Based Nano-Antennas May Enable Networks of Tiny Machines
- Stingray movement could inspire the next generation of submarines
- The next frontier of wireless tech? Your body
- Solar panels as inexpensive as paint?
- NASA announces new CubeSat space mission candidates
- Engineers are catching rainbows with a material that slows light
- Just Add Water: How Scientists Are Using Silicon to Produce Hydrogen on Demand
- An innovative idea to eradicate polio
- A Gorgeous, Towering Hive To Save Our Dying Bees
- Real-life Spider Men Using Protein Found in Venom to Develop Muscular Dystrophy Treatment
- Using Graphene, Scientists Develop a Less Toxic Way to Rust-Proof Steel
- Primate study provides positive sign for the safety of nanomedicine
- Can Computers Catch You Telling a Lie?
- Engineers Create a Rainbow-Colored Polymer That Could Open the Door to Portable, Handheld Multispectral Imaging Devices
- New Drug Target for Alzheimer’s, Stroke Discovered
- ‘Smart’ Sunglasses Block Blinding Glare
- Math Framework That Could Help Convert ‘Junk’ Energy Into Useful Power
- Chameleon Magnets: Ability to Switch Magnets ‘On’ or ‘Off’ Could Revolutionize Computing
- Tech Solutions Start With Pattern Recognition
- Robotic surgery world first surgical training software
Could a glow-in-the-dark dye be the next advancement in energy storage technology?
Scientists at the University at Buffalo think so.
They have identified a fluorescent dye called BODIPY as an ideal material for stockpiling energy in rechargeable, liquid-based batteries that could one day power cars and homes.
BODIPY — short for boron-dipyrromethene — shines brightly in the dark under a black light.
But the traits that facilitate energy storage are less visible. According to new research, the dye has unusual chemical properties that enable it to excel at two key tasks: storing electrons and participating in electron transfer. Batteries must perform these functions to save and deliver energy, and BODIPY is very good at them.
In experiments, a BODIPY-based test battery operated efficiently and with longevity, running well after researchers drained and recharged it 100 times.
“As the world becomes more reliant on alternative energy sources, one of the huge questions we have is, ‘How do we store energy?’ What happens when the sun goes down at night, or when the wind stops?” says lead researcher Timothy Cook, PhD, an assistant professor of chemistry in the University at Buffalo College of Arts and Sciences. “All these energy sources are intermittent, so we need batteries that can store enough energy to power the average house.”
The research was published on Nov. 16 in ChemSusChem, an academic journal devoted to topics at the intersection of chemistry and sustainability.
A dye-based battery of the future
BODIPY is a promising material for a liquid-based battery called a “redox flow battery.”
These fluid-filled power cells present several advantages over those made from conventional materials.
Lithium-ion batteries, for example, are risky in that they can catch fire if they break open, Cook says. The dye-based batteries would not have this problem; if they ruptured, they would simply leak, he says.
Redox flow batteries can also be easily enlarged to store more energy — enough to allow a homeowner to power a solar house overnight, for instance, or to enable a utility company to stockpile wind energy for peak usage times. This matters because scaling up has been a challenge for many other proposed battery technologies.
How BODIPY works in a battery
Redox flow batteries consist of two tanks of fluids separated by various barriers.
When the battery is being used, electrons are harvested from one tank and moved to the other, generating an electric current that — in theory — could power devices as small as a flashlight or as big as a house. To recharge the battery, you would use a solar, wind or other energy source to force the electrons back into the original tank, where they would be available to do their job again.
A redox flow battery’s effectiveness depends on the chemical properties of the fluids in each tank.
“The library of molecules used in redox flow batteries is currently small but is expected to grow significantly in coming years,” Cook says. “Our research identifies BODIPY dye as a promising candidate.”
In experiments, Cook’s team filled both tanks of a redox flow battery with the same solution: a powdered BODIPY dye called PM 567 dissolved in liquid.
Within this cocktail, the BODIPY compounds displayed a notable quality: They were able to give up and receive an electron without degrading as many other chemicals do. This trait enabled the dye to store electrons and facilitate their transfer between the battery’s two ends during repeated cycles — 100 — of charging and draining.
Based on the experiments, scientists also predict that BODIPY batteries would be powerful enough to be useful to society, generating an estimated 2.3 volts of electricity.
The study focused on PM 567, different varieties of BODIPY share chemical properties, so it’s likely that other BOPIDY dyes would also make good energy storage candidates, Cook says.
The optics advancement may solve an approaching data bottleneck by helping to boost computing power and information transfer rates tenfold
Like a whirlpool, a new light-based communication tool carries data in a swift, circular motion.
Described in a study published today (July 28, 2016) by the journal Science, the optics advancement could become a central component of next generation computers designed to handle society’s growing demand for information sharing.
It may also be a salve to those fretting over the predicted end of Moore’s Law, the idea that researchers will find new ways to continue making computers smaller, faster and cheaper.
“To transfer more data while using less energy, we need to rethink what’s inside these machines,” says Liang Feng, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University at Buffalo’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and the study’s co-lead author.
A new vaccine allows pneumonia-causing bacteria to colonize inside the body, springing into action only if the bacteria pose a threat.
The breakthrough approach, coupled with the protein-based vaccine’s potential to counteract more than 90 strains of the bacteria, has the makings to override how vaccines have worked (destroying bacteria before colonization) since the days of Louis Pasteur.
Moreover, it offers what could be the most direct and broad response to pneumonia – the leading cause of death of children worldwide under the age of 5, according to the World Health Organization – as well as meningitis, sepsis and other serious infections caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, a bacteria more commonly known as pneumococcus.
“These are very serious illnesses that we haven’t been able to completely suppress. The vaccine we’re developing could finally get that job done,” says Blaine A. Pfeifer, PhD, an associate professor of chemical and biological engineering at the University at Buffalo School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.
Finding paves the way for devices that switch quickly between transparency and opacity to specific forms of light
Imagine a device that is selectively transparent to various wavelengths of light at one moment, and opaque to them the next, following a minute adjustment.
Such a gatekeeper would enable powerful and unique capabilities in a wide range of electronic, optical and other applications, including those that rely on transistors or other components that switch on and off.
In a May 20 paper in the journal Physical Review Letters, researchers in the University at Buffalo School of Engineering and Applied Sciences report a discovery that brings us one step closer to this imagined future.
The finding has to do with materials that are periodic, which means that they’re made up of parts or units that repeat. Crystals fall into this category, as do certain parts of the wings of butterflies, whose periodic structure helps give them color by reflecting specific colors of light.
Scientists have known since the early 20th century that periodic materials have special qualities when it comes to light. Such materials can reflect light, as butterfly wings do, and if you understand the internal structure of a periodic material, you can use an equation called Bragg’s law to determine which wavelengths will pass through the material, and which will be blocked due to reflection.
The new UB study shows that a completely periodic material structure is not needed for this kind of predictable reflection to take place.
UB research part of study arc to determine why this is happening
Rapidly advancing technology has created ever more realistic video games. Images are sharp, settings have depth and detail, and the audio is crisp and authentic. At a glance, it appears real. So real, that research has consistently found that gamers feel guilty committing unjustified acts of violence within the game.
Now, a new University at Buffalo-led study suggests that the moral response produced by the initial exposure to a video game decreases as experience with the game develops.
The findings provide the first experimental evidence that repeatedly playing the same violent game reduces emotional responses — like guilt — not only to the original game, but to other violent video games as well.
Yet why this is happening remains a mystery, according to Matthew Grizzard, assistant professor of communication and principal investigator of the study published in current issue of the journal “Media Psychology,” with co-authors Ron Tamborini and John L. Sherry of Michigan State University and René Weber of the University of California Santa Barbara.
“What’s underlying this finding?” asks Grizzard. “Why do games lose their ability to elicit guilt, and why does this seemingly generalize to other, similar games?”
Grizzard, an expert in the psychological effects of media entertainment, has previously studied the ability of violent video games to elicit guilt. The current study builds upon that work.
Gamers often claim their actions in a video game are as meaningless to the real world as players capturing pawns on a chess board. Yet, previous research by Grizzard and others shows that immoral virtual actions can elicit higher levels of guilt than moral virtual actions. This finding would seem to contradict claims that virtual actions are completely divorced from the real world. Grizzard’s team wanted to replicate their earlier research and determine whether gamers’ claims that their virtual actions are meaningless actually reflects desensitization processes.
Although the findings of his study suggest that desensitization occurs, mechanisms underlying these findings are not entirely clear.
He says there are two arguments for the desensitization effect.
“One is that people are deadened because they’ve played these games over and over again,” he says. “This makes the gamers less sensitive to all guilt-inducing stimuli.”
The second argument is a matter of tunnel vision.
“This is the idea that gamers see video games differently than non-gamers, and this differential perception develops with repeated play.”
Non-gamers look at a particular game and process all that’s happening. For the non-gamer, the intensity of the scene trumps the strategies required to succeed. But gamers ignore much of the visual information in a scene as this information can be meaningless to their success in a game, according to Grizzard.
“This second argument says the desensitization we’re observing is not due to being numb to violence because of repeated play, but rather because the gamers’ perception has adapted and started to see the game’s violence differently.”
“Through repeated play, gamers may come to understand the artificiality of the environment and disregard the apparent reality provided by the game’s graphics.”
Grizzard say his future research is working toward answering these questions.
“This study is part of an overarching framework that I’ve been looking at in terms of the extent to which media can elicit moral emotions, like guilt, disgust and anger,” he says.