28 November 2017 中大教授利用天然螺旋藻研發可在活體內追蹤和降解的生物合成微型機械人 (Chinese version only)

香港中文大學(中大)機械與自動化工程學系副教授張立教授的研究團隊,成功研發全球首個可以在活體內追蹤和降解的生物合成微型機械人,對微創或無創診斷和治療疾病方面具有廣闊的應用前景。這款機械人能同時利用螢光和核磁共振成像技術在活體內定位,擁有遙控感應病灶環境變化的能力,降解時釋出的化合物能夠選擇性攻擊癌細胞。研究結果已刊登於美國科學促進會 (AAAS) 的期刊《科學·機械人學》(Science Robotics)。

微型或納米機械人是近年生物醫學界大力發展的技術,它能在非常狹小的空間,包括人體內發揮功用,尤其在非入侵診斷和治療方面有龐大的應用前景。現時,科學家大多採用人工合成法製造微型機械人,而張教授帶領研發的生物合成微型機械人,則採用天然螺旋藻,配以人工合成生物相容鐵磁性納米顆粒(四氧化三鐵)作為原材料。螺旋藻被廣泛用作膳食補充劑,安全性高,因此利用螺旋藻製造的微型機械人之生物安全性,較其他同類型的機械人高。研究還表明,微型機械人降解時釋出的成分,對癌細胞表現出很強的殺傷力,但不損傷正常細胞,這一研究成果有望為癌症提供全新的診療選擇。

為了讓微型機械人能夠在體內發揮功效,研究團隊會先將螺旋藻浸泡於鐵磁性納米顆粒懸浮液中,基於靜電吸附作用,鐵磁性納米顆粒會逐漸沉積在螺旋藻表面,形成鐵磁性外層,在旋轉磁場驅動下,令螺旋藻能夠在血液,胃液和尿液中定向移動。另外,藉著改變浸泡時間來調節鐵磁性納米顆粒的厚度,便能控制機器人在生理溶液中的降解速度,確保它有足夠的時間移動到指定部位進行診斷和治療。研究團隊還成功利用螺旋藻自發螢光和鐵磁性納米顆粒的核磁共振成像性能,對一群在大鼠模型腹腔和胃部內的微型機械人進行精確成像定位和操控。

今次研究由張立教授、博士研究生鄢曉暉博士,聯同英國曼徹斯特大學納米醫學Kostas Kostarelos教授進行。張教授表示:「我們並沒有使用複雜的實驗室技術和工藝設計全新的微型機械人,而是改造天然存在的微生物,充分利用它們本身的各種特點,包括其結構、豐富的生物活性成分及自發螢光的特性。研究成果毋疑令可無線遙控操控微型醫療機械人的發展,邁進重要的一步,我們將繼續改良和驗證它的降解度、安全性和效用。」

張教授一直專注微納米機械人及智慧材料的製造,驅動及行為特性的研究。現時,他與團隊其他成員正致力從結構設計及材料選擇,改善微型機械人的功能性和醫療微型機械人系統的研發。該研究工作得到香港研究資助局(RGC)的資助。張教授的研究結果曾多次登上著名國際期刊的封面,如《晶片實驗室》(Lab on a Chip), 《先進材料》(Advanced Materials) 和《今日材料》(Materials Today)。

研究論文:http://robotics.sciencemag.org/content/2/12/eaaq1155

短片介紹:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ccx8bqgkY7M

The no-excuses way to manage healthcare growth

At the first Starbucks I pass on my way to work, the line often stretches out the door. Yet if I hold my caffeine addiction at bay and drive a few minutes further, I can order my desired beverage with little or no wait at all. The cafes are almost identical in size and ambience; both menus are the same. Yet some customers routinely choose to wait in line — often for longer than it would take to drive to the other outlet.

In all likelihood, those two Starbucks aren’t identical after all. While the company makes an effort to reduce variation and deliver the same customer experience, its branches perform differently — with different financial results.

This is true across all service industries, including healthcare: When organizations grow and become geographically dispersed, they begin to see greater variability in the performance of their customer-facing outlets. How much variability to tolerate, and how to improve the performance of all outlets, becomes a central leadership challenge.

And it’s a particular challenge today for healthcare executives, many of whom have been on recent acquisition sprees and are struggling with post-merger integration issues. When athenahealth examined the financial data of its clients, it discovered clear diseconomies of scale — and a wide range of results among the individual practices in large healthcare systems.

The roots of variation

Successfully managing variation begins with recognizing why it happens — and when it can be avoided. When I was an executive at L. Brands in the 1990s, I met with many underperforming retail store managers and their superiors. They would all insist that their branch (or district or region) was struggling because of external factors: The store was tucked away in a bad location of a struggling shopping mall, or parking was an issue for customers.

Healthcare executives hear similar excuses for variation from practice leaders — the patient panel is different, the payer mix is tough, and so on. Yet I have found that, even in complex business environments, there are ways to reduce variation.

In one extreme, top-down, highly-engineered systems attempt to standardize as much as possible and put in place a management process that defines and demands compliance: Think of the white-gloved McDonald’s inspector who arrives at each franchise with a long checklist.

At the other extreme, the “affiliate” model takes a laissez faire approach. Crossfit is an example. Its CEO, Greg Glassman, requires affiliates pay a yearly fee to use the brand, and that’s about it; there are very few requirements or specifications for how they should run the business. If affiliates are doing something wrong, Glassman believes the market will let them know, and put them out of business if they don’t respond.

Across the service industry, this lighter-handed approach seems to be increasingly adopted — especially if you include sharing-economy businesses such as Uber and Airbnb. (After all, what else is Airbnb if not a hospitality company that allows all its properties to operate as they please?)

I’m a believer in empowering front-line workers to tailor their businesses to best serve their customers, so I have a natural affinity to the affiliate model, and believe it will eventually become the dominant model for franchise businesses. But a management structure that loose doesn’t transfer directly to healthcare. The consequences of business failure are too high when we are talking about health as well as economic outcomes.

So what are healthcare executives to do?

The middle ground — and the bottom up

My advice is to follow a middle path to managing variation — such as the one we used successfully at L. Brands. Called peer-based improvement, or PBI, it’s a bottom-up performance management methodology in which corporate managers group together locations within systems that face similar external environments, then compare the stores within each peer group along several key performance metrics.

Because the approach only compares apples to apples, it compels managers to focus their attention on what they could be doing better internally — as opposed to blaming their woes on external factors. If done well, PBI can improve underperforming locations within each peer group, promote relevant group learning, and identify additional opportunities for high performers.

Successful implementation of PBI involves several steps.

  • First, managers develop credible peer groups by determining which drivers most affect performance — location type, competitive intensity, size of the outlet, and so on.
  • Next, managers identify the key performance metrics they will use to compare peers by prioritizing them based on the size of financial impact. That way, best practices from high performers in peer groups can be shared widely, along with standard business-improvement coaching.
  • The final step is the most important: building the organizational capability to sustain improvements over a long period of time. By giving frontline workers the tools, resources, and latitude to make meaningful change, leaders can create the structure for a continuously learning organization.

Technology can aid in this effort by collecting, and making accessible, both performance metrics and remediation tactics. At L. Brands, we developed an integrated point-of-sale system that provided local and comparative peer group data at the store level. That way, all Victoria Secret locations, for instance, could benchmark their performance and share data and tactics on a timely basis.

But such technology isn’t essential. What matters is that information sharing and learning occurs. Food company Danone Group gave up on its attempts to install an IT system to support PBI after several false starts. Instead, they created events — termed “marketplaces” — where operating managers share what works with their peers. The goal is to identify what they call “nice stories” about successful local innovation that can be shared across geographies.

Making it work in healthcare

In healthcare, some organizations are already putting versions of this system into practice. Privia Health, a fast-growing, venture-backed physician network, develops precise road maps to help recently acquired practices transform their organizations to be able to succeed under risk-based contracts.

At Privia, performance consultants, many of whom have experience running practices themselves, review detailed performance reports with doctors — including unblinded data about how those physicians are performing versus their peers.

In addition, peer groups meet in person periodically to discuss what’s working and what’s not. They develop monthly action items tied to concrete metrics, such as increasing portal adoption or scheduling visits for high-risk patients.

Because healthcare is administered by and to human beings, we can never stamp out variation entirely. Peer-based performance improvement is a methodology that accounts for unavoidable variation while removing excuses for underperformance.

If done right, this method improvement drives results. But that’s not the only advantage. A data-driven approach to managing growth can lay the groundwork for collaboration, peer-to-peer sharing, and continuous improvement.

Len Schlesinger is Baker Foundation Professor at Harvard Business School and the former vice chairman and chief operating officer of L. Brands.

Active investing v.2.0

Nobel laureate Bob Dylan’s lyrics from his 1964 release “The Times They Are a-Changin’ ” are words every business leader should keep in mind when planning for the future: “… the present now will later be past, the order is rapidly fadin’ …”

Butler Introduces the New York City Learning Semester

Students will spend a semester interning and learning in Manhattan.

For more than a decade, Butler University has been offering students a chance to spend a semester interning and taking classes in Washington DC. Beginning in fall 2018, students will have that same opportunity in New York City.

Rusty Jones, Faculty Director of the Center for High Achievement and Scholarly Engagement, said the New York City Learning Semester will be offered to juniors and seniors of all majors with a minimum 3.0 grade-point average.

Butler will offer six credits of internships and nine credits of electives related to New York. The University is arranging for housing, either in the city or Brooklyn Heights.

“I think the experience provides the opportunity for significant personal and professional growth,” Jones said. “Our students will live and work in the nation’s largest city, developing valuable work experience, while also learning from the diverse, multi-cultural population in Manhattan.”

The New York program will be similar to DC in that students will work as interns Monday through Thursday for 30 hours. Two, three-credit courses will be offered during the semester in subjects such as City as Text and Public Art and Architecture. A New York offering might include an Intro to Wall Street course, Jones said.

Those classes will meet Tuesday and Wednesday nights.

In addition, three, one-credit courses will be offered on various weekends. In Washington, for example, Political Science Professor Terri Jett is scheduled to teach a Black History course that includes a visit to the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and Sociology Professor Antonio Menendez has taught a class on immigration.

“Most of the students in DC choose to take all the classes,” Jones said. “I think they find them fun and they leave DC as real experts in that area.”

Jones said after students are accepted to the program, he will meet with them individually to help them line up an internship in New York. He also will be checking with Butler alumni in New York to see if they have internship opportunities.

“Butler people tend to be very loyal,” he said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if they’ll be excited to have Butler students come and intern with them.”

Claire Jacobi, a Sports Media and Strategic Communications major from Batavia, Illinois, spent a semester in Washington interning at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. She said she strongly encourages Butler students to study in a different city, whether it be across the country or across the world.

“I loved my experience in Washington DC,” she said. “It was eye-opening, fun, and allowed me to take a huge step out of my comfort zone. It gave me real-life experiences and I feel it helped prepare me for life after college.”

Students have until February to apply for the New York trip, and Jones said he doesn’t expect to limit the number of students who can participate.

“There’s plenty of time for students to work with their advisers and figure out if this is a fit,” he said. “I want anybody who participates to make sure they stay on track with their graduation plan, and if it does fit their professional goals and their academic goals, I’d love to see them in the program.”

Media contact:
Marc Allan
mallan@butler.edu
317-940-9822

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The chance of a bitcoin crash is greater than 80%

There’s a greater-than-80% chance that bitcoin will soon crash.

To be sure, mine is not the first column to suggest that a bitcoin












BTCUSD, -3.20%










 crash is imminent, especially as bitcoin’s price tops $10,000. But you may not realize just how high the probability of a crash has become.

The reason I am able to estimate a crash’s probability is a recent study of what has happened on prior occasions when an asset’s price has skyrocketed. Bitcoin’s extraordinary price run-up far exceeds the threshold for when a crash becomes nearly certain.

This study, titled “Bubbles for Fama,” was published earlier this year by the National Bureau of Economic Research. Its authors are Robin Greenwood, a finance and banking professor at Harvard Business School and chair of its Behavioral Finance and Financial Stability project; Andrei Shleifer, an economics professor at Harvard University; and Yang You, a Ph.D. candidate at that institution.

The researchers defined a bubble as a sharp price run-up over a two-year followed by at least a 40% drop over the subsequent two years. When the price run-up is 100% or more, they found the probability of a crash becomes 50%. When focusing on price run-ups of at least 150%, that probability becomes 80%. As price run-ups become even bigger, a crash becomes “nearly certain.” (See chart.)

To put those thresholds in context, consider that bitcoin’s runup over the last two years is nearly 2,500%. That’s more than 10 times greater than the threshold the researchers found was associated with a “near certain” subsequent crash.

To be sure, the authors focused on the stock market in their study, not crypto-currencies. But I nevertheless am confident that their conclusions apply to bitcoin too, since they analyzed nearly a century’s worth of historical data, both in the U.S. and in foreign stock markets as well, and found broadly similar conclusions regardless of the time period or the country.

They furthermore were unable to find any evidence that the probability of a crash was dependent on any fundamental factors. That’s a crucial detail, since many of bitcoin’s true believers insist that the fundamental case for bitcoin is unique, and that therefore historical precedents don’t apply. Yet every prior bubble was accompanied by similar claims of historical uniqueness. (Can you say “dot-com bubble”?)

It’s often said that the four most dangerous words in investing are “this time is different.” Bitcoin investors in particular should not forget that.

For more information, including descriptions of the Hulbert Sentiment Indices, go to The Hulbert Financial Digest or email mark@hulbertratings.com.

Garrison Keillor Accused Of ‘Inappropriate Behavior,’ Minnesota Public Radio Says

Garrison Keillor, the creator and former host of A Prairie Home Companion, has been accused of inappropriate behavior, according to Minnesota Public Radio, which has announced it is cutting ties with Keillor and his production company.

In a statement released Wednesday, the NPR member station says it learned of the allegations in October and has retained an outside law firm to investigate them. That investigation is ongoing.

Keillor no longer hosts A Prairie Home Companion, the show indelibly tied to his name, but continued to produce The Writer’s Almanac. Both shows are widely carried by public radio stations across the country, with The Writer’s Almanac airing on WILL-FM.

MPR says in its statement that it will no longer distribute Writer’s Almanac, and it will stop rebroadcasting The Best Of A Prairie Home Companion. In addition, new episodes of A Prairie Home Companion — now hosted by Chris Thile — will be given a new name.

The allegations “relate to Mr. Keillor’s conduct while he was responsible for the production of A Prairie Home Companion,” MPR says. “Based on what we currently know, there are no similar allegations involving other staff.”

“Garrison Keillor has been an important part of the growth and success of MPR, and all of us in the MPR community are saddened by these circumstances,” Jon McTaggart, the president of MPR, said in that statement. “While we appreciate the contributions Garrison has made to MPR and to all of public radio, we believe this decision is the right thing to do and is necessary to continue to earn the trust of our audiences, employees and supporters of our public service.”

Keillor told The Associated Press that MPR cut ties with him over “a story that I think is more interesting and more complicated than the version MPR heard.”

On Tuesday, The Washington Post published an op-ed by Keillor in which he defended Sen. Al Franken, accused of forcibly kissing a radio host and groping another womanduring a photo, against calls for his resignation.

“On the flight home, in a spirit of low comedy, Al ogled Miss [Leeann] Tweeden and pretended to grab her and a picture was taken. Eleven years later, a talk show host in LA, she goes public, and there is talk of resignation. This is pure absurdity, and the atrocity it leads to is a code of public deadliness,” Keillor wrote. “No kidding.”

Allegations of misconduct — specifically, of sexual harassment — have caused a number of prominent men to lose their jobs in recent weeks, including two top editors at NPR.

Earlier Wednesday, NBC News announced that longtime Today host Matt Lauer had been fired over a complaint about “inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace.”

Wearable Computing Ring Allows Users to Write Words and Numbers with Thumb

Science and Technology

Wearable Computing Ring Allows Users to Write Words and Numbers with Thumb

Technology provides eyes-free way to interact with smart devices

FingerSound: Recognizing unistroke thumb gestures using a ring

With the whirl of a thumb, Georgia Tech researchers have created technology that allows people to trace letters and numbers on their fingers and see the figures appear on a nearby computer screen. The system is triggered by a thumb ring outfitted with a gyroscope and tiny microphone. As wearers strum their thumb across the fingers, the hardware detects the movement.

In a video demonstration, the “written” figures appear on an adjacent screen. In the future, the researchers say the technology could be used to send phone calls to voicemail or answer text messages — all without the wearer reaching for their phone or even looking at it.

“When a person grabs their phone during a meeting, even if trying to silence it, the gesture can infringe on the conversation or be distracting,” said Thad Starner, the Georgia Tech School of Interactive Computing professor leading the project. “But if they can simply send the call to voicemail, perhaps by writing an ‘x’ on their hand below the table, there isn’t an interruption.”

Starner also says the technology could be used in virtual reality, replacing the need to take off a head-mounted device in order to input commands via a mouse or keyboard.

The research team wanted to build a system that would always be available and easy to use.

“A ring augments the fingers in a way that is fairly non-obstructive during daily activities. A ring is also socially acceptable, unlike other wearable input devices,” said Cheng Zhang, the Georgia Tech graduate student who created the technology.

The system is called Fingersound. While other gesture-based systems require the user to perform gestures in the air, Fingersound uses the fingers as a canvas. This allows the system to clearly recognize the beginning and end of an intended gesture by using the microphone and gyroscope to detect the signal. In addition to helping recognize the start and end of a gesture, it also provides tactile feedback while performing the gestures. This feedback is crucial for user experience and is missing on other in-air gestures

“Our system uses sound and movement to identify intended gestures, which improves the accuracy compared to a system just looking for movements,” said Zhang. “For instance, to a gyroscope, random finger movements during walking may look very similar to the thumb gestures. But based on our investigation, the sounds caused by these daily activities are quite different from each other.”  

Fingersound sends the sound captured by the contact microphone and motion data captured by the gyroscope sensor through multiple filtering mechanisms. The system then analyzes it to determine whether a gesture was performed or whether it was simply noise from other finger-related activity.

The research was presented earlier this year at Ubicomp and the ACM International Symposium on Wearable Computing along with two other papers that feature ring-based gesture technology. FingOrbits allows the wearer to control apps on a smartwatch or head-mounted display by rubbing their thumb on their hand. With SoundTrak, people can write words or 3-D doodles in the air by localizing the absolute position of the finger in 3-D space, then see the results simultaneously on a computer screen.

The new technologies were developed by the same team that created a technique that allowed smartwatch wearers to control their device by tapping its sides.

Doctors Say Telemedicine Can’t Replace In Person Addiction Care

When President Trump declared the opioid epidemic a public health emergency in late October, it triggered a regulatory change intended to make it easier for people to get care in places with provider shortages. This declaration allows for the prescribing  of addiction medicine virtually, without doctors ever seeing the patient in person (The regulatory change is not fully implemented until the DEA issues further rules).

In Indiana, this kind of virtual visit has been legal since early 2017. But it turns out, it’s rarely used. Of  nearly a dozen addiction specialists Side Effects reached out to in Indiana no one had heard of doctors using telemedicine for opioid addiction treatment except for Dr. Jay Joshi who runs Prestige Clinics in Munster, Ind.

And even Dr. Joshi rarely uses  telemedicine for prescribing addiction medications. He prefers to use it to connect patients with counseling, a necessary component of managing their disease.  Like many addiction specialists we spoke to, Joshi, thinks the disease is best treated with regular in-person visits.

At Joshi’s practice,  a telemedicine consultation takes place in what looks like a standard exam room with a computer. On Tuesdays, his patients video chat with a psychologist who lives 140 miles away.

Elizabeth Hall is one of those patients. She’s a former nurse’s assistant and has been seeing Joshi for back pain and opioid addiction for about a year. Her first telemedicine appointment with the counselor went well.

“The only issue I really had with it was [that] it would freeze, which is kind of inconvenient and a little bit awkward,” she said.

But she appreciates how counseling helps her stay on track in her recovery.

“I’m in a good place, you know?” she said. “I’m not doing nothing I shouldn’t be doing. I’m not lying to nobody. I’m not sneaking around. Plus, I have a baby. I’m really busy!”

For Joshi, the real benefit of telemedicine is that it helps him manage one component of a very complex treatment regime.

Most insurance plans will refuse to cover addiction medicines like the drug Suboxone that Hall is taking, if patients can’t prove they’re in counseling. Local counselors are hard to find. By having a telepsychologist available, Joshi helps patients clear that hurdle.

It’s one of many hurdles he helps clear for his patients with addiction. For example, this week Hall failed her latest urine test — she had used drugs the previous week. Her insurance also requires urine tests for drug use to keep covering the her medication. Joshi asked Hall to talk to the telepsychologist about why that keeps happening.

“I know you know that I haven’t done anything since last week, and I told them I’m not doing nothing no more. I can’t screw up my life,” Hall said.

But because of the failed test, her insurance may refuse to pay her addiction medication. Joshi’s staff may need to intervene with the insurer by phone to keep Hall’s treatment covered. “It’s one of those situations where she’s not taking any other controlled substance,” Joshi said. “We’re seeing her every two weeks. She’s participating in the counseling. It’s just one thing.”

Hall said, “I’ve been doing really good, it’s just you know, it’s hard.”

This is why Joshi requires in-person visits — to begin and maintain his patients’ Suboxone prescriptions. He prefers to see these patients every two weeks and will even arrange transportation before going too long without seeing them.

Occasionally Joshi will  prescribe Suboxone remotely, but typically only for a refill once or twice during a patient’s treatment. Seeing the patient in-person is critical to their treatment, he said. He treats the whole patient, not just their addiction, treating other chronic illnesses at the same time.

“You’re not going to get a good system of health care for primary care in these high-risk areas unless you invest time and energy into these patients,” he said.

The face-to-face interaction establishes trust, allows him to pick up on body language. Plus, it’s hard to do a urine drug test screen remotely, and be sure that the sample actually belongs to the patient. A proper screen lets him know if his patients are taking their medication, instead of selling it.

He asked Hall if she mentioned her recent drug use to the counselor.

“I really don’t remember if I talked to her about it or not,” she said. Joshi said to make sure she comes in for her next counseling session.

Joshi has a lot of conversations that aren’t billable.

That’s partly why there is a shortage of addiction treatment doctors said Dr. Emily Zarse. She runs the addiction treatment program at Eskenazi Health in Indianapolis.

“Telemedicine is a great idea in theory, but it doesn’t fix the workforce shortage problem,” she said.

She said insurance billing takes up a lot of time. So do the complexities of addiction treatment.

There is one area where Zarse thinks telemedicine would be helpful — as a tool to train providers. “That takes one expert’s time for a couple of hours a week maybe and you can reach 10, 15, 20 people all at one time,” she said.

In fact, Zarse plans to launch a course to train Indiana doctors to treat addiction. In January, she’ll learn more about how to do it, from Project Echo, a resource for clinicians seeking virtual training tools. Zarse envisions a place where doctors from around the state can video call-in and walk through cases with trained psychiatrists like herself.

This story was produced by Side Effects Public Media in partnership with NPR and Kaiser Health News.

Wake Forest Hands Illini Men First Loss 80-73

The Illini men’s basketball team lost for the first time this season Tuesday night to Wake Forest 80-73 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Wake Forest employed a zone defense which forced the Illini to shoot from outside, and shut down the Illinois interior game, according to coach Illini Brad Underwood.

“We’re a really good three-point shooting team, so I’ve got no problem with our guys shooting threes,” Underwood said after the game. “What we didn’t do was do a very good job of getting the ball early to the short corner or the high post, and that’s what we talk about all the time.”

Aaron Jordan continued his torrid long-distance shooting, connecting on 4-6 three-pointers and finishing with a game-high 20 points. Bryant Crawford also scored 20 for the Demon Deacons.

Jordan’s contribution was especially important because of Illinois’ foul trouble. The Illini were cited with eight of the first nine personal fouls assessed in the game, sending starters Michael Finke and Te’Jon Lucas to the bench for the majority of the first half. 

Jordan was stoic about the foul disparity.

“That’s just basically next man up. That’s the game. That’s what’s going to happen,” Jordan said. “That’s part of basketball, and you reiterate to everybody else ‘next man up, and let’s get the job done.’”

Doral Moore, Mitchell Welbekin and Brandon Childress all added a dozen points for Wake Forest. Kipper Nichols scored 14 for Illinois, and Leron Black 10 on 3-12 shooting. Black led all rebounders with seven total.

Illini Da’Monte Williams (20) and Aaron Jordan (23) look on as Michael Finke (43) fouls Wake Forest’s Keyshawn Woods in an 80-73 loss Tuesday night.

Photo Credit: Rob McColley/Illinois Public Media

The Illini outrebounded the Deacons 39-25, but also out-fouled Wake 24-13.  Underwood said the fouls, combined with Illinois’ 19 turnovers, were the difference in the game.

“We had a bad stretch in the first half. We had three straight turnovers, and we took two quick shots without getting the ball to the interior of the zone,” Underwood said. “You combine those five turnovers, and that leads to a run. Wake’s a veteran team, and they’ve got guys who made plays. Combine that with the fouls we committed in the backcourt, and it was a parade to the free throw line.”

The Demon Deacons shot 24-31 on free throws, while Illinois attempted just 14 shots from the free throw line, making 13.

Wake Forest improves to 3-4 on the season. Illinois drops to 6-1.

The Illini return to action this weekend with a pair of unusually early Big Ten conference games against Northwestern and Maryland. Both of those teams also lost in this week’s Big Ten/ACC Challenge. The Terrapins fell at Syracuse, while the Wildcats lost on a last-second layup at Georgia Tech.

Friday’s game between Northwestern and Illinois will tip at 8 p.m., at the Allstate Arena, in Rosemont.