Research at the Forest

From turning waves into electricity to developing new treatments for debilitating diseases, Wake Forest researchers raised the bar of scientific excellence yet again during the 2013-2014 academic year.



An unprecedented threat to Peru’s cloud forests

Researchers at Wake Forest have pieced together startling new evidence that shows rapid 21st century warming may spell doom for tree species in Peruvian cloud forests, with species losing 53 to 96 percent of their populations.

IDEA study researchers (left to right) Shannon Mihalko, Steve Messier and Gary Miller

WFU knee research appears in leading medical journal

Intensive dieting and an hour of exercise three times a week can lead to significantly less knee pain and improved function after 18 months for individuals suffering from debilitating and painful knee osteoarthritis, according to research by professor Stephen Messier and his WFU colleagues.

A Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scan measures body composition and bone density in different parts of the body. It is one of the many tools researchers at Wake Forest University are using as part of a new study.

Building stronger bones one runner at a time

A first-of-a-kind study by Wake Forest researchers will address why long distance runners, particularly women, are more likely than athletes in other sports to develop osteoporosis later in life.


From waste to energy

Wake Forest researchers recently developed a sugar-based compound that makes it cheaper and easier to turn low-quality fats and oils into affordable biodiesel.

Wake Forest sophomore Ally Kaminsky and computer science professor Paul Pauca work with Grace DeVito in the STEM Lab.

Empowering the voiceless

A new kind of hands-free communication device developed by Wake Forest researchers could help people with speech impediments and poor motor control interact with the world around them.


From one forest to another

A flying, insect-like robot built and tested by biology graduate student Max Messinger and a team of WFU researchers  will give an unprecedented look at Peru’s tropical cloud forest, one of the world’s most biodiverse ecosystems and a key indicator of global climate change.

Wake Forest sophomore Yinger "Eagle" Jin ('16) demonstrates his wave-powered electric generator in the pool in Reynolds Gym. The system harnesses the wave action as it compresses air inside the tube, which turns a small turbine that generates electricity.

Pool Power

Sophomore Yinger ‘Eagle’ Jin has come up with a way to turn waves in the Reynolds gym pool into electricity. The mathematical formulas he developed could one day be used to help calculate the amount of electricity that could be produced through wave energy off the North Carolina coast.

Wake Forest sophomore Tim Lee ('16) demonstrates the robot arm that he has programmed to paint pictures, in Huffman Residence Hall on Friday, January 24, 2014.

Painting robot lends surgeons a hand

Would you let an artist perform life-saving surgery on you? You might someday, if the artist is a painting robot. Timothy Lee (’16) built a robotic painting arm that could one day lend doctors a hand in practicing complex, robot-assisted surgeries without having to step foot in an operating room.


The birds and the bees of proteins

The birth of a protein is one of the most fundamental aspects of life as we know it, yet, surprisingly, there is still a lot that scientists do not know about them. A split-second snapshot of the mysterious process developed by Wake Forest researchers could someday lead to more effective antibiotics.


A programmer’s approach to problem solving

An iPhone app developed by a team of Wake Forest freshmen could one day enable patrons at campus restaurants to vote for what songs play over the speakers.

The image shows the flight path of the zone over the coal ash pond.

3D model measures coal ash spill

With a 3D model created using aerial images from an unmanned aircraft, Wake Forest researchers have received widespread national media attention by providing a new look at the extent of coal ash contaminants recently leaked into a North Carolina river.

BFBO iguana

Blue-footed boobies survival threatened

Blue-footed boobies are on the decline in the Galápagos.  A new study shows a low-sardine diet could be the reason behind the 50 percent drop in population.


Categories: Mentoring, Research, Scholars and Scientists, Science Highlights 2013-2014, Student, Sustainability, Teacher-Scholar, Top Stories