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Active sensing: how do we scan the environment around us?

The Silvio O Conte Center for Active Sensing conducts cutting edge neuroscience research, focused on understanding how we scan the environment around us to gather information.

 

ICMPD Migrants in Countries in Crisis (MICIC) – Comparative Report

The report was conducted by the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), the University of Oxford’s International Migration Institute (IMI) and local research partners in the framework of the European Union-funded project “Migrants in Countries in Crisis: Supporting an Evidence-based Approach for Effective and Cooperative State Action”. The project aims to improve the capacity of states and other stakeholders to assist and provide protection to migrants who find themselves in countries affected by crisis.

How fast are Alzheimer’s disease changes occurring in the brain?

Alzheimer’s is the most common form of age-related dementia and causes progressive loss of memory, executive function, and language. To develop effective therapeutics, we need to understand the dynamic evolution of the pathology in the brain. A label (like a dye) given to participants tags new and growing plaques and tangles in the brain. By imaging the amount of label in normal and diseased brain, we will be able to model how fast the disease is occurring.

 

Self-guided shape-changes in metamaterials

A research team from Leiden and Amsterdam have designed a metamaterial that folds itself up in several steps. View the paper here: https://www.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-018-0541-0

 

Sharing spreads in Hadza hunter-gatherers: Insights into the evolution of cooperation

How does cooperation evolve in humans? Data from the Hadza, a nomadic hunter-gatherer group, provides new insight. Hadza cooperation clusters in camps, with some camps having more cooperators than others. This clustering happens not because people are choosing to live with other cooperators, but because Hadza transmit norms to one another about how much to cooperate. This highlights the importance of human flexibility for the evolution of cooperation.

 

Racial Double Standard: Racial Reductionist Stereotype Among Whites

Whites attribute racial motives to African Americans in complex decisions, such as voting behavior, but they do not attribute similar motives to other groups or themselves.

 

Inspiring Math Engagement among Urban Students

Jamaal Sharif Matthews is an associate professor in New York/New Jersey, studying achievement and mathematics motivation in urban classrooms. He applies a critical race perspective to his research to understand how personal agency and systems interaction to influence students’ motivation in school.

Conflict and cooperation: the control of infectious disease

Vector-borne infections are transmitted from an infected and infectious vertebrate host to another via intermediary hematophagous arthropods. The incidence of vector-borne diseases is a growing burden worldwide accounting for over 20% of emerging infectious diseases recorded during 1940-2004.Ticks are second to mosquitoes as vectors of human pathogens, and economically important ectoparasites of domestic and wild animals. Vaccines appear as the most effective and sustainable intervention for the prevention and control of these diseases. Tick-host-pathogen interactions involve conflict and cooperation, and their characterization using combined omics technologies will lead to the identification of vaccine protective antigens. These vaccines will likely combine vector and pathogen derived antigens to target different stages of vector and pathogen life cycles for efficient, safe and environmentally sound control of infectious diseases.

 

UrSure: the solution to HIV medication adherence

UrSure, Inc., is an HIV prevention startup based at Harvard University that makes diagnostic tests to measure and improve adherence for patients on PrEP for HIV prevention or medication for HIV treatment. We are collaborating with public health departments, researchers, and specialty HIV/AIDS clinics to use our novel, lab-based urine test to help reduce HIV incidence across the US. We are also developing a point-of-care version of our test that will come to market by early 2020.

 

How to change norms about bribery in international business

Companies want to compete on a level playing field, where bribery has no place. But rooting out a practice which can be deeply embedded in local social norms is tricky. This research shows how clubs can help start and maintain collective action against corruption and explains when and why they work.

 

The virtual reality of ageing: can gaming slow brain degeneration?

Dr Marios Kyriazis from the ELPIs Foundation for Indefinite Lifespans investigates the benefits of complex, interactive cognitive stimulation in the form of co-interactive, competitive, online videogames (massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs)). More information: www.indispensablesoma.info

 

How an herbivore hijacks a nutrient uptake strategy of its host plant

Maize plants release secondary metabolites into the soil that bind to iron and thereby facilitate its uptake by the plant. The Western corn rootworm (Diabrotica virgifera), the economically most important maize pest worldwide, is attracted by these complexes, extracts the bound iron from the maize plant uses it for its own nutrition. Original publication: L. Hu et al. Plant Iron Acquisition Strategy Exploited by an Insect Herbivore, Science, 2018, DOI: 10.1126/science.aat4082.

 

Reducing Nematicide Use in Soybean by Understanding Soil Textural Zones

Changing farming practices in the Mid-South USA have exposed soybeans to damage from southern root-knot. Damage from these nematodes is associated with soil texture (higher or lower sand content).  A three-state research project is determining the relationship of soil texture to yield loss from these nematodes. Our results will help farmers use soil textural zones to limit nematicide use to only those parts of fields where yield loss is likely.

 

Using Science to Model the Tour de France

We take a complicated and seemingly intractable event like the Tour de France, model the terrain, apply the laws of physics, and then predict the winning time for each of the 21 stages. We learn how cyclists improve their power outputs and how manufacturers improve bicycle design. Students model the Tour de France with John Eric Goff at the University of Lynchburg early on, sometimes after just one year of university study.

 

iBeam Materials – LEDs on Metal technology

iBeam Materials have developed a radically new way to make GaN-based LEDs. Instead of using single crystal wafers of sapphire as substrates, InGaN LEDs can now be made on large-area flexible metal foils and eventually in a roll-to-roll process. iBeam is seeking to develop new applications of this technology in lighting and for microLED displays.

 

The BETTER approach to preventing chronic diseases

The BETTER approach to preventing chronic diseases harnesses high level evidence-based strategies, resources, and tools. BETTER focuses on those chronic diseases showing strong evidence that prevention and screening improves outcomes. Using a collaborative approach, BETTER provides a framework for a paradigm shift from fragmented disease-specific management to a proactive, personalised, comprehensive approach that engages patients as active participants in their own health.

Fera in Focus: A Complete History

Just like humans, plants have an immune system that they use to fend off pathogens and pests. Research involving plant immunity was guided by Harold Flor’s influential “gene-for-gene” model but this model is now supplanted by a more complex view of pant immunity. Disease resistance genes appear to work together in intricate networks that enable plants to detect and resist parasites more effectively. An in-depth understanding of the immune system can help us breed disease resistant crops.

 

World Cup Soccer Research at the University of Lynchburg

Professor John Eric Goff of the University of Lynchburg engages in a variety of research on soccer balls with his colleagues in Japan and England. This animation highlights published work Professor Goff has performed with his Japanese colleagues on World Cup soccer balls, including this year’s Telstar 18. Professor Goff uses wind-tunnel data from his Japanese colleagues to simulate a myriad of soccer kicks, which allows for comparisons between various World Cup balls.

Plants have an immune system… and it’s complicated

Just like humans, plants have an immune system that they use to fend off pathogens and pests. Research involving plant immunity was guided by Harold Flor’s influential “gene-for-gene” model but this model is now supplanted by a more complex view of pant immunity. Disease resistance genes appear to work together in intricate networks that enable plants to detect and resist parasites more effectively. An in-depth understanding of the immune system can help us breed disease resistant crops.

 

Investigating how two related proteins influence human disease

Dr Leslie Sutherland’s lab at Health Sciences North Research Institute studies a particular family of RNA binding proteins. Using next-generation sequencing techniques, Dr Julie Loiselle, a PhD student in the Sutherland lab, was able to reveal novel functions for these proteins, as well as identify new regulatory mechanisms which may influence how these proteins contribute to human developmental diseases and cancer.

Tackling threats which are a major concern and challenge to the fruit industry

At Fera, a state of the art research laboratory based in York, Dr Audsley and colleagues have been investigating means to control a fruit fly, an invasive pest which is causing major damage to fruits such as strawberries and cherries.

Impaired Theory of Mind in very preterm birth

Dr Margot Taylor’s research utilises innovative brain imaging technology, such as magnetoencephalography (MEG), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and MRI to understand the neural bases of cognitive development.

Safe Doors, Safe Homes – Evaluating Home-Based Safety Measures for Female Survivors of IPV

Stroud Beresford Group is run by a team of volunteer trustees and paid staff team.  We fundraise and apply for grant funding to provide our services.  We are also supported by a team of members of our local community who raise funds on our behalf as the ‘Friends of Stroud Beresford Group’.

eWind Solutions – Working towards bringing affordable airborne wind energy to rural communities

eWind Solutions seek to revolutionise the renewable energy market. Through their Tethered Energy Drone (T.E.D) portable technology, higher winds can now be targeted to generate energy at four times the rate of traditional wind turbines or residential solar panels.

Dr Christine Wekerle – CSA

Looking to create an engaging video which showcased her work to a wider audience, Dr Wekerle at McMaster University approached us at Sci Ani to see what we could do. She wanted to use the video as an entry for the IHDCYH Talks competition in Canada, run by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). After being a runner up in last year’s competition, she was hoping to go the extra step and win with this year’s entry.

Center For Network Systems Biology – CNSB

The Center for Network Systems Biology at Boston University supports ambitious research initiatives to map these protein interaction networks in different biomedical contexts to address this critical knowledge gap. CNSB provides the essential interdisciplinary knowledge as well as the technical prowess to get to the heart of network systems biology. With research programs based across both Boston University campuses – BU Medical Center and Charles River – the center offers a leading hub from which to chart the molecular networks of cells and tissues.

Is there an alternative to fossil fuels?

Green Biologics are a renewable chemicals company who are not only changing the face of renewable chemicals, but are changing the world while they are at it. Dr Liz Jenkinson is one of the lead researchers at the company, and it is her work that is providing the answer to the question: is there an alternative to fossil fuels? Her work proves that the answer is yes, and that it only relies on three key components – bacteria, genetic engineering and sugar.

A technology based future for psychotheraphy

Professor Namkee Choi from the University of Texas has been investigating how video conferencing can be used to deliver cost-effective mental health care for low-income homebound older adults suffering from depression.

High precision dose monitoring can enhance targeted tumour therapy

Proton beam therapy offers the potential to treat cancerous tumours without damaging the surrounding tissue. Dr Steven Vigdor, Professor Emeritus of Physics at Indiana University, hopes that his new venture, Phenix Medical LLC, will bring this technology closer to the patients it can benefit.

The ‘intelligent’ human immune system can respond naturally to fight cancer

Dr Xuemei Zhong, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Boston University School of Medicine, in the Haematology and Oncology section of the department. Her research looks at how the ‘intelligent’ human immune system can be stimulated to fight diseases like cancer without reliance on high doses of drugs and short-lived therapies, with a particular focus on a process called immunosurveillance.

An innovative, nutrition-based approach to managing kidney stones

The biotechnology company Captozyme is spearheading an innovative approach to nutrition to prevent the formation of painful kidney stones and other complications arising from the absorption of calcium oxalate from food. The company’s research efforts are led by Dr Qing-Shan Li, co-founder and CSO of the company.