We might not have the flying cars we envisioned for the year 2015 — but all over campus, University of Florida researchers are working toward a future filled with more health, happiness and hovercraft. Here are just a few examples.
1. Two breakthroughs have put UF Health researchers closer to ending Type I diabetes. UF studies published this year revealed a four-drug mixture that reverses diabetes in mice and a vaccine that prevented mice from developing the disease.
2. Gator engineers have invented a hovercraft that makes its own fuel out of air. Subrata Roy’s Wingless Electromagnetic Air Vehicle uses electrodes to ionize the air around it, turning into plasma that it uses for propulsion.
3. Young Futurist Kiona Elliott has already made it to the White House with her work toward creating a stable water supply in developing nations. Through STEAM Academy, the student group she created at UF, the horticulture major is leading students across all majors in addressing food insecurity, natural-disaster relief and other global issues.
4. With the support of the Michael J. Fox Foundation, researchers across campus are working toward better ways to fight Parkinson's disease, including gene therapy, deep-brain stimulation, strength training and identifying biomarkers for diagnosis and treatment.
5. Scientists at UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences are discovering how to make our future tomatoes and blueberries tastier and developing ways to protect crops like citrus and avocados from disease. That’s good news for our taste buds and our agriculture industry.