Published: Dec. 14, 2018

In 2018 these stories attracted widespread media coverage and represented significant advancements in fields of study, from the politics of climate change to self-charging cars and soft robots. They also reflect our campus priorities to lead, innovate and create positive impact in the world.


Next-gen flexible robots move and heal like us

The next generation of robots are made from soft materials that react to applied voltage with a wide range of motions. Such soft robots contain tremendous potential for future applications as they adapt to dynamic environments and are well-suited to closely interact with humans.

How bright light keeps preschoolers wired at night

Exposing preschoolers to an hour of bright light before bedtime almost completely shuts down their production of the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin and keeps it suppressed for at least 50 minutes after lights out, according to CU Boulder research.

Collective gravity, not Planet Nine, may explain the orbits of 'detached objects'

CU Boulder Assistant Professor Ann-Marie Madigan and a team of researchers have offered up a new theory for the existence of planetary oddities like Sedna—an icy minor planet that circles the sun at a distance of nearly 8 billion miles.

A pill that staves off aging? It's on the horizon

When people consume a natural dietary supplement called nicotinomide riboside (NR) daily, it mimics caloric restriction, kick-starting the chemical pathways responsible for improved blood pressure, arterial health and extended lifespan.

Household cleaners are almost as dirty as cars

Chemical products that contain compounds refined from petroleum, like household cleaners, pesticides, paints and perfumes, now rival motor vehicle emissions as the top source of urban air pollution, according to a NOAA-led study by researchers from CU Boulder and other institutions.

Future electric cars could recharge wirelessly while you drive

Electric vehicles may one day be able to recharge while driving down the highway, drawing wireless power directly from plates installed in the road that would make it possible to drive hundreds—if not thousands—of miles without having to plug in.

How growing up with pets, dust may boost mental health

Children raised in a rural environment, surrounded by animals and bacteria-laden dust, grow up to have more stress-resilient immune systems and might be at lower risk of mental illness than pet-free city dwellers, according to CU Boulder research.

Having a 'household chief financial officer' can ruin financial literacy

As couples mature together, they often grow apart in their level of interest and skill in handling their finances. When it comes to skill in handling finances, people evolve—or stagnate—on a “need-to-know” basis, driven in large part by relationship roles.

Dems, GOP agree more than they think on climate change

Researchers found that people are more likely to support the same climate policy proposal when they think that their own political party supports it. And both Democrats and Republicans overestimate how much their peers oppose the ideas of the other party.

Keeping an eye on the hurricane

A group of CMCI researchers scoured through tweets from the 2017 hurricane season for a project designed to make forecast images easier to understand for those in harm’s way. Today, digital technology enables ordinary citizens to provide a voice amid disaster.