With researchers continuing to understand space and the planetary bodies around it, UCF’s Top 10 Research News list included the completion of NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission.

In a first-of-its-kind mission for the United States that spanned over seven years, the unmanned spacecraft mapped and studied the surface of the near-Earth asteroid Bennu, then retrieved a sample for researchers to study the asteroid’s composition.

Topping the list was a story on the world’s first energy-saving paint inspired by butterflies. The plasmonic paint utilizes a nanoscale structural arrangement of colorless materials — aluminum and aluminum oxide — instead of pigments to create colors. The paint can contribute to energy-saving efforts and help reduce global warming.

Other stories included a $12.6 million Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency grant looking to create self-repairing, biological and human-engineered reef-mimicking structures. UCF is helping design reef structures that will be used to mitigate coastal flooding, erosion and storm damage that threaten civilian and Department of Defense infrastructure and personnel. Another story featured new research on the earliest presence of Homo sapiens in Southeast Asia, pushing back the presence of humans in that part of the world by at least 20,000 years and a human presence in the region for at least 56,000 years.

Here are the Top 10 UCF Research News Stories of 2023:

1. UCF Researcher Creates World’s First Energy-saving Paint – Inspired by Butterflies

2. The Long Journey of NASA’S OSIRIS-REx

3. Human Migration Timeline Redrawn by Fresh Fossil Analysis

4. New UCF-developed Battery Could Prevent Post-hurricane Electric Vehicle Fires

5. UCF Researchers Are Advancing AI-assisted Drug Discovery

6. UCF is Designing Self-repairing Oyster Reefs to Protect Florida’s Coastlines

7. New DOD-funded Project Will Develop Morphing Hypersonic Engine

8. UCF Researchers Create Bioabsorbable Implants for Better Bone Healing

9. UCF Team Awarded $2.3M Grant for Innovative Intervention to Prevent Falls

10. Deadly Frog Disease More Prevalent in Central Florida Than Expected, UCF Study Finds

The annual top 10 list is based on UCF Today page views and coverage UCF research received by global, national, state, and local media. The stories were generated by news releases and pitches from UCF Communications and Marketing, UCF’s Office of Research and UCF’s colleges.