Scientific “facts” that you may have learned in school that are no longer true – for now

If you walked into a science class today and opened your notebook, the subject might be slightly different from where you were in school.

Our scientific knowledge base is constantly expanding and evolving. New findings or investigations frequently lead to revisions of previous beliefs and, in some cases, invalidations. As a result, some of the “facts” you learned in school may no longer be correct.

Dinosaurs, for example, probably didn’t appear like in your textbook. The history of Homo sapiens is not as simple as you might think. And much of what you learned in your health classes about nutrition and exercise has been refuted.

Here are some scientific facts that are no longer true that you may have studied in school.

(Photo: Gary Todd on Wikimedia Commons)
Fossil trilobites

No one knows what caused the dinosaurs to go extinct just yet

Scientists were puzzled as to the cause of the dinosaurs extinction. National geography Shared suggestions ranging from low-dino sex drives to a world overrun with caterpillars.

However, in 1978, geophysicists discovered Chicxulub, a 10 km wide crater on the Yucatan Peninsula created by the asteroid that likely killed the dinosaurs.

Since, Business intern said new information regarding the asteroid’s collision had been discovered. The collision resulted in a kilometer-high tsunami, forest fires and the release of billions of tons of sulfur into the atmosphere. Another Business intern the report says it has erased the sun for years.

READ ALSO : Dino-Killer Space Rock left fossilized mega-ripples from the giant Mile-High tsunami

Sixth sense and more? Sure?

Taste, touch, sight, hearing and smell are just some of the ways we perceive the environment. Accelerometers, located in the vestibular system of our ears, detect movement. Fluid moving through microscopic tubes deep inside our ears allows us to perceive movement and use our sense of balance. Make you dizzy and The conversation says it’s that feeling that puzzles you.

We can feel our blood turn acidic when we hold our breath because the carbon dioxide dissolves in it and forms carbonic acid. Not to mention the sensations of temperature, pain and time, among many others, which allow us to respond to what is happening in us and in the environment around us.

Did humans reach North America 13,000 years ago by crossing the Bering Land Bridge? NOPE!

Archaeologists have unearthed traces of human existence dating back thousands of years. Business intern experts have found nearly 2,000 stone tools, ashes and other human artifacts in a high-altitude cave in Mexico. Some are 30,000 years old.

Scientific journal said scientists found petrified human feces about 14,000 years old in an Oregon cave. Between 14,500 and 19,000 years, experts (by “New archaeological evidence of ancient human presence in Monte Verde, Chile“) discovered artifacts from a colony in southern Chile. Archaeologists say”Oldest human presence in North America dated to the last glacial maximum: new radiocarbon dates from Bluefish Caves, Canada“said humans may have lived in the Bluefish Caves in the Yukon, Canada 24,000 years ago. They based their findings on a horse jaw bone with human markings,”

However, none of these finds pushed the period as far back as the Mexican cave artefacts.

Camels don’t store water in their humps

Camels store fat on their humps, which they use as fuel when they travel great distances with limited resources. According to Animal planet, the fat of a camel can replace almost three weeks of food.

The camel’s red blood cells are responsible for the camel’s ability to go a week without drinking water. Britannica said camels, unlike other animals, have oval-shaped blood cells that are more flexible and can store huge amounts of water.

RELATED ARTICLE: How do Arabian camels travel 100 miles of desert and endure weeks without water?

Discover more news and information about Science in Science Times.

Source link

How India is adding the muscle of biotechnology to its polar science research, explained

Biotechnological applications of polar microbes have been identified as a key area of ​​interest. In addition, as highlighted in a series of MoES tweets, the proposed center will need to study the relationship between climate change and the emergence of infectious diseases, derive products from nature that could be valuable to industry, identify compounds. for purposes such as preventing infections, and exploring new molecules for commercial use.

The MoES-DBT collaboration will jointly identify other areas for action over time.

As a first step, the researchers will submit proposals to carry out research using the existing polar stations of the MoES. However, joint laboratories will be set up in the future so that researchers do not have to move samples to and from laboratories in India to perform experiments.

“We have done research in the Arctic, the Antarctic and the Himalayas – the three poles – but unfortunately we do not have expertise in biological sciences. DBT has the expertise, so we want to work together, ”said Dr M Ravichandran, director of the National Center for Polar and Oceanic Research (NCPOR), Swarajya.

Based in Goa, NCPOR is India’s premier R&D institution responsible for the country’s research activities in the Polar and Southern Ocean regions. It is an autonomous body under the Ministry of Earth Sciences, which is the nodal ministry of polar research in India.

According to Dr Ravichandran, the joint MoES-DBT effort will focus on “bioprospecting” and microbiology research.

Bioprospecting is the abbreviation for prospecting for biodiversity. It is the systematic study of bio-resources, such as plants and microorganisms, with the aim of developing products of commercial value for pharmaceutical, agricultural and other applications, and globally for the good of society. .

The bioprospecting process goes through the stages of sample collection, isolation, characterization and translation through to product development and commercialization, notes the United Nations Development Program in its report. 2016 on the subject.

“Bioprospecting, when properly regulated, generates income that can be directly linked to biodiversity conservation and the benefit of local communities,” the report says.

With eyes on bioprospecting and other biology research, India aims to add the muscle of biotechnology to the science it conducts in the polar region.

“We want to encourage cold climate polar biotechnology studies to strengthen the field of polar research,” said Dr Ravichandran.

Small-scale polar biology research is underway in India. The work is carried out by very few people and usually includes researchers from different universities and institutes whose proposals are accepted by NCPOR.

The Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology, the Wildlife Institute of India, the Zoological Survey of India and the Hindu University of Banaras are among the institutes that have fields such as microbiology and wildlife ecology at the poles.

Much of the biology over the past decade has involved the study of bacterial diversity and adaptability in snow and ice, both in terrestrial and marine environments in the region.

However, there is now a feeling that India can do more in polar biology.

The regions around the North and South Poles – north of the Arctic or south of the Antarctic Circles, respectively – are important natural laboratories for scientific research.

Much of the land and sea area of ​​this region remains unexplored and this is where the opportunity lies for researchers to find answers to scientific questions.

India’s engagement with the polar regions goes back a long way. It started with the signing of the in February 1920 to initiate formal links with the Arctic. Getting into the Antarctic region took longer, but finally started when India launched its first Antarctic expedition in 1981.

Now, four decades later, India is participating in its 40th scientific expedition to Antarctica in January 2021.

Source link

Cheating on scientific research occurs frequently with increased publication pressure

Scientists pressured to publish are more likely to be guilty of questionable research practices, according to an integrity study according to the NRC.

The results of Lex Bouter’s National Research Integrity Survey showed that more than half of Dutch scientists routinely break scientific rules by omitting unwanted research results, concealing methodological issues, or citing meaningfully. selective scientific literature. About eight percent of scientists have even identified or falsified research results in the past three years.

The investigation found a link between the violation of scientific procedures and a number of external factors. Scientists who thought they needed to publish an article as quickly as possible to receive funding were more likely to be guilty of questionable research practices. Men and early-career scientists were also more likely to forge results.

On the other hand, if the researchers felt that their article would be thoroughly reviewed by their peers, they were less likely to commit fraud.

“Maybe not very shocking, Bouter notes, but this is the first time that it has been drawn this way. Please note: these are associations. Our research does not actually determine cause and effect. It is therefore not a given that if we refuse the publication pressure, this behavior will immediately diminish. “

The integrity survey was sent to employees of 22 Dutch universities and medical centers. Questions were asked about scientifically inappropriate behavior and the factors that could possibly influence it. In total, Bouter sent over 63,000 surveys and got a response rate of 21%.

Science Minister Ingrid van Engeloven called the results “worrying” and “an important signal” that something is wrong with science. The minister said she wanted to discuss with the universities how to resolve the problem. “Shouldn’t we value the work of scientists differently? She asked herself. “So that they are not paid only for the number of publications but also for what they contribute to research, education and their impact on society.”

Participants were allowed to answer the most sensitive questions anonymously. “This technique is also used in investigations into doping in sport and social security abuses. This leads to a two to three times higher percentage of people admitting to breaking the rules, ”Bouter said.

Bouter stressed that the investigation reflected the actions of individuals and not on Dutch science as a whole. However, it is unlikely that the number of scientists who commit fraud is actually lower. “In any case, they will not be much lower because I cannot imagine that the respondents have admitted mistakes that they did not make,” thought Bouter.

Source link

Dr Jitendra Proposes India’s First National Scientific Research University

Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh speaking to scientists and officers at Technology Bhawan in New Delhi on Saturday.
Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh speaking to scientists and officers at Technology Bhawan in New Delhi on Saturday.

Excelsior correspondent
NEW DELHI, July 10: Minister of State of the Union (Independent Charge) Science and Technology, Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Staff, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh today proposed that the Department of Science and Technology (DST) strive to create the first National Scientific and Technological Research University of India, to take advantage of the research strength of its various autonomous research and development institutions working in the field of science and technology.
Speaking to the scientists and officials of Technology Bhawan here, Dr Jitendra Singh said that India today is ranked 3rd in the world in terms of research publications and number 9 in the world for the quality of research publications. in reputable and recognized SCI journals. Even though, he said, India’s global ranking in terms of research paper quality has dropped from number 14 to number 9, our concerted effort should be to be among the world’s No. 5 for research papers. quality research when India celebrates 75 years of independence.
The Minister referred to the special emphasis Prime Minister Narendra Modi placed on science and technology and said that it was thanks to the personal intervention of the Prime Minister that in 2016 the patent law was passed. less regulatory and more incentive, which not only leads to ease of work but also reduces the time required to improve patents. Not only that, over the past 7 years there has been a gradual increase in the number of resident patents filed, the number of full-time equivalent researchers (FTEs) and the number of female scientists, he added.
The Minister stressed the need to focus on an increasing number of beneficiaries in human resource related programs such as MANAK, INSPIRE, doctoral and postdoctoral fellowships and other programs.
Further stressing the need to project the successes of DST when India celebrates its 75th anniversary, i.e. Bharat Ka Amrit Mahotsav, the Minister asked DST to present important goals and plans for 2022. It s It is clear that during the 75th year of independence in 2022, DST will aim to launch 7,500 ITS-based start-ups, 750,000 students from 6 to 10 classes participating in MANAK Award programs. In addition, under the Vigyan Jyoti program, DST will target 75,000 female students benefiting from the program by 2022. Dr Jitendra Singh called on all DST institutions and scientists to wholeheartedly participate in the 75th year of independence. of India to celebrate what science and scientists have contributed to India all these years.
Earlier, the Minister was greeted by Secretary, Professor DST Ashutosh Sharma, as well as others including Professor Sandeep Verma, SERB Secretary, Vishvajit Sahai, AS&FA, Anju Bhalla, JS (Admin), Sunil Kumar, JS (SMP) and Dr Akhilesh Gupta, Chief, PCPM. In addition, the chief accountant, division heads of scientific divisions and officers of the administrative wings of the department attended the meeting.

Source link

Gender bias in science? Research written by women is cited much less than projects led by men

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania – As the gender gap in STEM slowly narrows, a new study illustrates just how far modern science has to go to view male and female scientists as equals. You might think that people judge any research project by its findings and methodology, not by its authors. Unfortunately, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania report that scientific papers with female authors receive far less attention than similar studies by male scientists. According to the results, this is especially the case when women are the primary and primary perpetrators.

Researchers analyzed a total of 5,554 articles published in five of the top academic medical journals between 2015 and 2018 for this project. Within this group, 35.6% of the studies had a female principal author and 25.8% had a female principal author.

On average, other researchers cited studies in which a woman was the lead author 36 times. Meanwhile, other studies have referred to reports primarily written by men an average of 54 times. Likewise, the scientific community cited an average of 37 times articles with senior female authors, compared to an average of 51 references for senior male authors. Studies that included a female principal and principal author received the fewest citations on average (33) in other works. Articles written primarily by men, however, received the most references, with an average of 59 references.

“The number of times a peer-reviewed article cited by other researchers is commonly used as a measure of academic recognition, influence, as well as in professional reviews and promotions,” says lead author Paula Chatterjee, MD, MPH, assistant professor of General Internal Medicine at Penn Medicine, in a university outing. “Women academics already face a number of barriers to career advancement, and the disparity in citations only widens the gap between them and their male peers. “

Is the science gap even bigger than it looks?

The research team also notes that a number of included studies appear in specialized journals in the field of internal medicine. This is worth mentioning because internal medicine generally has more female specialists than other clinical specialties. This may suggest that these results, if any, may in fact be sub-sale how drastic the gap is between male and female quotes.

“Gender disparities in quotes are just one way to look at inequalities in academic medicine. Our results highlight that the disparities stem in part from inequalities in the recognition and amplification of research. This imbalance will not be resolved by hiring and mentoring more women alone, ”concludes lead author Rachel Werner, MD, PhD, executive director of the Leonard Davis Institute for Health Economics. “We also need to ensure that women already in academic medicine are also valued and promoted for their contributions and successes. From journals publishing this work to academic institutions promoting articles once published, everyone should be involved in bridging this gender gap.

The team published its results in the review JAMA network open.

Source link

Engineering graduate receives Rader Prize for research in network science

Henry Carscadden broadens his horizons, both as a member of the US Space Force and as a computer scientist.

Carscadden, who graduated from the University of Virginia in May, received a Louis T. Rader Undergraduate Research Award, from the Department of Computer Science at the School of Engineering, for his work at UVA’s Biocomplexity Institute, where scientists use mathematical and computer sciences to solve problems. These awards are given to undergraduate students based on their academic performance, ability to get along with people, and demonstrated ability to work hard.

Carscadden, from Goochland, has more than research in its future. While a ROTC Air Force cadet at University, Carscadden, who earned degrees in computer science and math, is now a member of the US Space Force.

“Last summer, all Air Force cadets except those headed for flight were given the opportunity to apply to serve in the Space Force instead of the Air Force,” he said. he declared. “Prior to this opportunity, I had been very interested in operations research work in the Air Force due to its research style environment.”

Carscadden, who was one of five members of his ROTC class to opt for the Space Force, believes the potential of space is to transform the Earth’s economy.

“For example, the launch of initiatives such as Starlink [a satellite internet system being built by SpaceX] could provide high-speed, high-availability Internet access to rural communities, which could promote more uniform economic development, ”said Carscadden. “That being said, I see no real use for humans in space at this point outside of scientific progress. As far as I know, the current value of space to humanity consists of spacecraft without pilot providing a certain service. “

Carscadden conducts research in network science at the Biocomplexity Institute and his work on complex networks has won him the Rader Prize.

“The idea of ​​network science is that you can divide a system into atomic units and define local interactions between the units to understand the system as a whole,” Carscadden said. “Many systems work this way, the spread of contagion is one of them. “

Carscadden’s research focused on finding a way to efficiently allocate resources to block two contagions spreading simultaneously in a population.

“Multiple contagion is a newer area and we have focused on a simpler type of contagion model than disease,” he said. “We worked on blocking the spread of social contagions, like a certain type of fashion, on a network. This is important because we can try to extend these tools to real diseases to decide how to allocate scarce resources when multiple contagions spread through a population. “

Carscadden and his work are greatly appreciated at the institute.

“In general, the quality of the students in the computer science department is excellent and many of them participate in research with faculty members,” SS Ravi, lecturer-researcher at the Biocomplexity Institute. “The price is very competitive. We proposed Henry since his distinguished major project resulted in a conference publication and was subsequently invited to a journal. Henry is the co-author of several other articles which discuss certain software subsystems within a cyber infrastructure for network science. We were delighted that Henry was chosen as one of the winners.

Ravi said that Chris Kuhlman, Associate Research Professor, and Dustin Machi, Senior Software Architect, both at the Biocomplexity Institute, have worked closely with Carscadden and are very impressed with his analytical and programming skills.

“Henry is also a very sincere and humble person,” Ravi said. “He has the ability to quickly understand difficult concepts and algorithms. With a strong background in computer science and math, he also has the ability to quickly think through different approaches to solving a problem and identify which one is most appropriate for a given situation. He needs very little supervision. I have enjoyed working with him for the past two years.

Carscadden is also working on another project at the institute.

“As part of a project funded by the National Science Foundation, we are developing a scalable and ubiquitous cyber infrastructure that can be used by researchers around the world to study problems related to the science and engineering of networks.” said Madhav Marathe, professor emeritus in biocomplexity. and the Carscadden thesis director. “Henry is part of the project and has supported the development of a number of innovative software modules; some of this work will be published at the next Winter Simulation conference.

Carscadden will continue his research at the Biocomplexity Institute, where he has worked since 2019, while waiting to enter active service. He plans to start working on a master’s program at the Air Force Institute of Technology at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.

“I chose to work at the Biocomplexity Institute because I wanted to learn more about data science,” he said. “Before entering active service, I was working on a web application to allow researchers to work on complex network problems without writing a lot of code.”

Marathe describes Carscadden as “conscientious, brilliant and hardworking”.

“He is diligent and takes the work entrusted to him seriously,” said Marathe. “I believe he has a bright future and I have no doubts that he will carry out all of the duties assigned to him in a very thoughtful manner and exceed the expectations of his mentors and supervisors. Henry has already published three articles, which is no small feat for an undergraduate student. He also supported ongoing projects and did all of this while majoring in computer science and math while serving at ROTC. It is an exceptional achievement. “

Marathe said Carscadden receiving the Rader Undergraduate Research Award was a first for the institute.

“It’s a very prestigious award and we’re delighted to see Henry get it,” said Marathe. “… We are a young institute and personally believe that this will motivate other students to work hard and achieve academic excellence as well. “

Marathe said the price is also important because of its subject matter.

“Our institute is one of the leaders in the field of network science,” he said. “The award then shows how young researchers can participate in ongoing collaborative research on cutting-edge topics. In addition, our institute carries out transdisciplinary team science. Henry worked as a team, was advised by several faculty members and researchers, and collaborated with a number of students. This way of doing research at a university is unique. We believe that this way of doing science on large, complex problems is the way of the future. “

Carscadden’s life is about more than research. Self-taught guitarist, he learned some country tunes. Echols Fellow and Intermediate Award Recipient, he was a member of the UVA Climbing Club and St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church. He has also volunteered locally, including with the Catholic Hoos Homelessness Ministry and planning and attending service events for the Air Force ROTC unit.

Source link

U.S. House Passes Bill to Boost Scientific Research Competitiveness with China

The United States House of Representatives on Monday passed a law that would boost scientific research in a bid to make the United States more competitive than China.

U.S. lawmakers passed two bills on a bipartisan basis to increase funding for the National Science Foundation and establish a new science and engineering directorate to expand research opportunities, as well as allow funding research for the Department of Energy’s science office, The Hill reported.

“We need to dramatically increase funding for science. For years we have left millions of dollars of excellent research without funding,” said the chair of the Science, Space and Technology Committee. House of Commons, Eddie Bernice Johnson.

“We are at a critical moment in the history of our country and we need to focus more on the role of science in our society,” he added.

The first bill, called the National Science Foundation for the Future Act was passed by 345-67, while the second bill, titled Department of Energy Science for the Future Act, was passed by 351-68. They would increase funding to the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy’s Office of Science by about seven percent per year.

Republicans also added a committee provision prohibiting grant applicants from participating in talent programs associated with foreign governments of concern such as the Thousand Talent Program, which is linked to the Chinese government, according to The Hill.

“It is essential that we strike the right balance between keeping our research enterprise open but also protecting it from adversaries who seek to take advantage of our open system,” Republican Representative Michael Waltz said.

In addition to the two bills passed on Monday from the Science, Space and Technology Committee, separate legislation from the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee is also in the works, The Hill reported.

The bill, introduced by committee chairman Gregory Meeks, would provide temporary protection or refugee status to people in Hong Kong and Uyghurs facing human rights violations by the Chinese government and invest in manufacturing of COVID-19 vaccines to promote US “vaccine diplomacy” to counter Chinese vaccines, which are less effective than those developed in the United States.

It comes after the US Senate passed a massive package earlier this month to provide funding to the National Science Foundation, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Energy, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Senate legislation also includes provisions to increase diplomatic pressure on China, such as imposing a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Olympics.

In May, the Senate voted 84-11 to move forward with the Endless Borders Act introduced by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, which aims up to $ 100 billion over five years for basic and advanced technological research and an additional $ 10 billion to create new technologies. hubs across the country.

Under the administration of former President Donald Trump, ties between the two countries had deteriorated on issues such as human rights violations in Xinjiang, encroachment on Hong Kong’s special status, accusations of practices Beijing’s unfair trade, lack of transparency regarding the pandemic and China. military aggression in various parts of the world.

(Only the title and image of this report may have been reworked by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear reader,

Business Standard has always strived to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that matter to you and have broader political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering has only strengthened our resolve and commitment to these ideals. Even in these difficult times resulting from Covid-19, we remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and cutting-edge commentary on relevant current issues.
However, we have a demand.

As we fight the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more so that we can continue to provide you with more quality content. Our subscription model has received an encouraging response from many of you who have subscribed to our online content. More subscriptions to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of providing you with even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practice the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital editor

Source link

Scientists share ‘scary’ science facts the public knows nothing about

People on Reddit have shared “scary” science facts they think the public knows nothing about in a thread urging scientists to reveal it all. We’ll be honest, you probably would rather not know a lot of them. So come back now if you want to save yourself some trauma, and everyone keeps reading as we compile some of our “favorites.” Some are self-explanatory; we will intervene if we have anything to add.

Yes, good old smut can indeed remain buried for many years, only to be revived and infect others. In 2016, an anthrax outbreak in Siberia that killed at least 1,500 reindeer, hospitalized four humans and potentially killed a 12-year-old was caused by the thawing of an infected 75-year-old reindeer corpse.

As the climate crisis continues, this could happen more often.

Prion diseases are rightfully terrifying. Perhaps the worst part is the familiar fatal insomnia. It’s more complicated (see here) but essentially, the hereditary disease strikes around the age of 50. You lose sleep, and you lose sleep, and you lose sleep

“As a rule, one day in middle age, the patient discovers that he [or she] started to sweat. A look in the mirror will show that his pupils have shrunk to pin pricks and that he is holding his head in a weird and stiff way, “describes journalist DT Max in his 2006 book. The family that couldn’t sleep. “Constipation is common, women suddenly go through menopause, and men become powerless. The victim begins to have trouble sleeping and tries to compensate with an afternoon nap, but to no avail. Her blood pressure and pulse have become high and her body is overdrive. Over the next several months, he desperately tries to sleep, sometimes closing his eyes but never managing to fall into more than a slight stupor. “

Within 18 months of its onset, people who contract the disease have died.

This is true, but the situation is actually much worse than that.

Particularly gloomy, until 1985 very few people knew how many procedures took place on premature babies without relieving pain. Newborns still undergo painful procedures without pain relief today.

If you want to scare yourself more about anesthetics, we highly recommend checking out The Forgotten Twilight Sleep Practice.

That’s right, according to a 2020 study. However, we can’t decide if this one is scary or heartwarming.

Bad news, the “pirate disease” is making a comeback in the United States.

Yes, dying from jumping into a pool of lava is much worse than what is portrayed in the movies.

“Jumping into your deadly tub will get you stuck on the surface as the lava begins to burn all the way through you,” former IFLScience writer Dr Robin Andrews wrote in 2017.

“This injury is the type that not only destroys the top layer of your skin (epidermis), but quickly destroys your nerve endings and cuts your blood vessels in your underlying dermis. Your subcutaneous fat will also boil, so indeed. , you ‘I’ll be seared like a beef steak. “

We are starting to know how it works, many years after using it.

In 2019, part of a Russian laboratory that stores smallpox exploded. Sleep loudly.

And finally.

In addition, we need to let future humans know that what we have buried is dangerous. The ideas we have so far are pretty far-fetched and have led to the suggestion of the atomic priesthood, which is just as Publication date like that sounds.

This week in IFLScience

Get our greatest science stories delivered to your inbox every week!

Source link

Professor seeks answers in brain and behavioral science research

Ebony glove

KENNESAW, Georgia (June 11, 2021) – Continuing research in her field of behavioral neuroscience started out more as a practical matter for Ebony Glover, fueled by a healthy dose of curiosity. As a largely self-funded undergraduate psychology student at Spelman College in Atlanta, she jumped at the chance to win a scholarship to attend a series of research lectures by top neuroscientists.

After hearing one of them discuss a model of animal fear response to post-traumatic stress disorder – “fear-enhanced surprise” in scientific jargon – Glover said she was “hooked”. “It was something about how he described fear as a biological construct and not just a feeling or an emotion.”

As Associate Professor of Neuroscience at Kennesaw State Department of Psychological SciencesGlover followed the path from his undergraduate courses on Brain and Behavior to an almost 20-year research career. She has conducted doctoral studies and research in neuroscience and animal behavior at Emory University, postdoctoral research in human subjects at Grady Hospital and her most recent research on biological factors related to sex for risk increased post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in women. .

Along the way, she has attracted more than $ 620,000 in funding for her research interests, including teaching research to undergraduate students and helping to increase diversity among researchers. She has also published over 20 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. Last fall she received her most prestigious scholarship, an R15 university research improvement grant of $ 406,000 over three years from the National Institute of Health to determine why women have such a disproportionate rate of PTSD and other anxiety disorders – nearly twice the rate for men – and the worst treatment outcomes.

“I’ve been concerned about mental health disparities related to gender and race in general for some time,” Glover said. “I started this research to determine if there was a biological mechanism at play in this disparity. When I started looking at the literature, I discovered that there was very little research on the female brain. Even preclinical animal research has been almost exclusively done on male subjects. ”

As she sought to understand the roles of various neurochemicals in modulating fear learning and memory in rats, a pause came when she worked on postdoctoral research at Grady Hospital with a team of neuroscientists from Emory University. They were working to develop a way to translate the startle model to measure the fear response from animals to humans, using stimuli like a blast of air deep in the throat rather than an electric shock. With this translational model, she and her colleagues were able to study risk factors for developing PTSD in a “highly traumatized” clinical sample of patients at Grady Hospital, where she began to view gender as an important biological determinant in PTSD, looking at the impact of hormones like estrogen.

When she joined Kennesaw State faculty in 2014, Glover said she hoped to continue her translational research to study the impact of additional hormones such as progesterone and synthetic hormones found in contraceptives on responses. of fear in women with PTSD. However, a lack of space and access to a dedicated wet lab to analyze hormone levels and other biological markers has put her work on hold.

While the accommodations did not immediately meet his long-term research goals, Glover said the hiatus allowed him to focus on another passion: working with and training undergraduate research students. With funds from the University’s Research Office and the Center of Excellence in Teaching and Learning, she trained students in the collection and compilation of physiological data for studies examining sexual influences in the regulation of emotions. The students worked with Glover to collect the arousal levels of study participants, changes in sweat gland activity, motor responses, startle reflex, and other data.

Additional funding from the Department of Psychology and Norman J. Radow College of Humanities and Social Sciences provided the research equipment and supplies Glover needed to set up a fear-boosted startle research model program in Kennesaw State in 2017, including the creation of an isolation booth behavioral training to perform experimental training and fear conditioning. Through a collaboration with Sharon Pearcey, professor of psychology, and Doreen Wagner, professor of nursing, and the Wellstar School of Nursing, Glover finally achieved a dedicated office and research space to collect physiological data for a pilot program. She also had access to a wet lab at Wellstar College, where she, Wagner and Pearcey were able to analyze and measure biological markers in the brain.

Glover and his research team of collaborating professors and dozens of student researchers collected pilot data from nearly 200 participants over three academic semesters, from fall 2017 to fall 2019. The pilot data was used to support its current NIH grant.

Glover is already considering the potential of fear-motivated surprise research to understand the fear and anxiety response across racial lines and among populations that have traditionally been under-studied.

The implications of this research could be extremely useful in understanding the reactions of white police officers to confrontations with black male suspects and issues related to policing and race, Glover noted. “We just don’t see a lot of studies on this in the neuroscientific literature,” she said. “I have developed tools for an empirical and objective measurement of these unconscious and innate responses.”

Research into areas where there are gender and racial differences and disparities in mental health outcomes and where there are huge gaps in the research literature has been very helpful in attracting students and diversity among students. researchers, Glover noted.

For her, inspiring under-represented groups to pursue scientific careers and focus on issues that disproportionately affect under-represented groups and those with mental health disparities is the holy grail of research.

“It’s not so much the research itself,” she says. “This is impacting budding researchers, empowering them to believe that they can add something to the scientific literature that will help conditions that disproportionately affect women and racial minorities.”

– Sabbaye McGriff

Related stories

A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 41,000 students. With 11 colleges on two Atlanta metro campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the Georgia University System and the second largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant culture, diverse population, strong global ties, and entrepreneurial spirit attract students from across the region and from 126 countries around the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-nominated doctoral (R2) research institute, which places it among an elite group of just 6% of US colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information visit

Source link

Wendiro, the food science research guru


Debora Wendiro loves science, especially agroscience and her home in Seeta, Mukono is a kind of showroom. When we visited him recently, we saw several species of local mushrooms in his garden. She is currently conducting research to see how big she can go with them.

Wendiro, president of the Ugandan Women’s Network in Agricultural Research and Development, is a versatile person whose long scientific journey began in the labor room of Mulago Hospital.

The making

Wendiro was born in 1962 as the sixth of 12 children of Yokasani Bwanga and Magalita Namugaya (both deceased), whose peasant family in Kamuli district depended on small-scale agriculture, selling corn, coffee, beans. , sweet potatoes, among others.

She joined Buwanume Primary School at the age of seven before taking her primary school leaving exams at Kamuli Girls Primary School.

She joined the Sacred Heart Girls School in Gulu; Namasagali College, where she completed her ordinary level in 1979 and completed her advanced level of education in 1984 at Jinja Secondary School.


Wendiro wanted to take a science class at university but missed government sponsorship.

“That’s why I studied a midwifery certificate at Mulago,” she says.

She practiced midwifery at Mulago Hospital and trained midwives from 1989 to 1992, when she resigned after waiting for promotion in vain.

She studied industrial chemistry and biology at Makerere University, a food and nutrition course that would shape her career path for decades to come. She obtained her first degree in 1996.

During this time, she got married but her happiness was short-lived when her husband passed away while their first child, a boy, was still an infant. Wendiro alone would prepare the boy to become a man with a master’s degree in mass communication.

First innovation

Wendiro briefly returned to Mulago Hospital as the Child Health Development Officer, but after six months she again resigned.

She says she worked for a Korean multinational, as a quality controller in the fish processing industry, but in just a month, her protest against the company’s mistreatment of Ugandan workers took its toll. work.

At Makerere University, Michael Amenyi, a Ugandan visiting professor who has taught in Germany and the United States, entrusted him with a research mission on the transformation of wine using a microbiological approach.

She didn’t know where to start, but after reading several voluminous books on the subject, Wendiro used a plastic jerry can to brew his wine with bananas and pineapples.

She discovered that it takes an air lock to allow oxygen to make microorganisms.

The process also involves the application of aerobic fermentation, a metabolic process by which cells compress sugars by fermentation in the presence of oxygen.

Her first innovation would turn into her first freelance job when, in 1997, she started brewing wine, which she named Wendi’s Tropical Fruit Wine.

But after a year, she abandoned the company and joined the Uganda Industrial Research Institute (UIRI) in 1998 as an Assistant Research Technician in the Department of Microbiology.

At UIRI, Wendiro will become professor of innovations in biological chemistry. She read a lot about brewing beer and wine and found that certain herbal plants can be used to extract yeast during the brewing process.

Soon she was appointed head of microbiology. In 2006, his proposal won him and two others a $ 5 million grant from the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology under the Millennium Science Initiative.

The money helped renovate the institute with laboratory equipment. Later, his department produced another industrial biotechnology for processing industrial biodegradable enzymes from cassava and sweet potato starch.

This is the lab where Wendiro mentored young scientists until his departure last year during the Covid-19 lockdown as part of a restructuring exercise.

One of his innovations with rookie scientists was to extract essential oil from aromatic flowers such as lavender to make liquid and solid cosmetic oil. She says Ms. Olive Kigongo of the National Chamber of Commerce bought the first nine bottles of oil.

“We did this work with a young scientist named Anthony Lutaya who was very attentive to learning and implementing innovations and together we made more than 100 incubates aware of cosmetic innovations,” she recalls. . But most of the participants were women because “I like to promote women”. She is proud to see some of them starting cosmetics businesses in Kampala and another in Arua.

Ment scientists

Wendiro’s second innovation alongside young scientists was processing biodegradable bags from cassava starch and processing lactic acid that can be used by pharmaceutical companies.

They choose the type of lactic acid to process. It can be monotype produced by fermentation like lactic acid in milk.

The second type is isolated lactic acid, which is made using bacteria to form a polymer to process biodegradable products to process non-plastic bags.

“I taught young scientists how to make enzymes from processing sugar from cassava, because importing the enzymes is very expensive,” she says.

Another grant from the International Development Research Center in 2006 took Wendiro and his team of young scientists to villages in Kabale to collect various species of traditional mushrooms and to Arua to interact with groups of women in cassava fermentation.

The women of Arua had a contract to supply cassava flour through the World Food Program (WFP) in Karamoja. She trained three of them in the safe processing and storage of cassava. Today, women get their supplies through WFP.

Meanwhile, research has shown that the traditional mushroom can be grown in-house using modern technology, which it does at home for commercialization.

She grows varieties such as Sitake and Letina Edodes, which she says are tasty and have the potential to bring in a reasonable income.

Others are what is commonly known as the large sheath fungus (Akasukusuku), which is known to be medicinal and prevent cancerous tumors in children and adults.

His inspiration

Wendiro admires Dr Joy Constance Kwesiga, Vice-Chancellor of Kabale University and Miria Matembe, whom she calls very daring women, who fought for women’s rights and made a positive impact in society. But her best role model is her mother, a three-grade dropout, who spoke broken English but was passionate about multitasking, who did everything for the happiness of her family.

Wendiro has held several positions. After being trained as a Fellow in Mombasa with a group of East African women farmers in leadership management, she became the leader of the Ugandan Women’s Network in Agricultural Research and Development.


She is a board member of the Uganda Biotechnology and Biosafety Consortium (UBBC) located at the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology in Ntinda, Kampala.

She also registered her institute of biosciences which operates in Kamuli with the training program for young scientists in the making.

Wendiro says she is a very driven and ambitious researcher who always wants to innovate something and make sure the product is deployed in the market.

“When I see success in an innovative scientific field, I focus and make sure to pursue it to the end. “

He is a person who does not give up easily. “When I joined college via adult entry, fresh young students teased me that ‘this old woman will not succeed’, but by the end of fourth year I became the best in engineering math. and the young students questioned and congratulated me. She remembers.

Advice to women

“People think women are a weaker sex, who can’t handle so many difficult tasks, but that’s not true,” she says as if she is setting herself up as a vivid example. “It’s because the system doesn’t want lucid women. So, for women to compete, they need to be confident. They shouldn’t think that other women can guide them to be successful. Instead, she encourages women to be around men and makes sure it’s the men who can frame them. She says men are confident and assertive in everything they do.

“Men can help women avoid emotions, because another woman will instead discourage her colleague from pursuing a certain thing,” she noted.

On how to get more women to pursue science and embrace innovations, Wendiro advises teachers and lecturers to listen to girls’ aspirations before forcing them to pursue other subjects and combinations.

She was the victim of such a bias: “In high school, I liked science and literature because I loved reading novels. When I reached the advanced level, the teachers forced me to pursue artistic subjects and I failed in Secondary V. I complained to my mother and she asked the school to allow me to continue studying chemistry, biology and physics, but I was given geography as a third subject, which I failed. It’s a lesson for all teachers because they assume girls can’t do math, ”she said.

Change role

She says changing roles comes from ambition. She is also a very confident woman, who generally has authority over her work and at UIRI most men called her “a man” because of her confidence in everything she did.

She has also traveled the world and her breakthrough came when she asked the World Association of Industrial Research Organizations to present an article on scientific innovations in traditional plants in Saskatoon City, Canada.

From that point on, she won a number of scientific grants, including UN Women, after leading an innovation that made an aflatoxin biosensor.

Her second trip was to Indonesia where she presented a similar article at a conference. It was because she had befriended another teacher while in Canada.

Wendiro feels that she has not yet reached her climax. She is pushing forward a program to establish a research and innovation institute in Uganda which she wants to take charge of as that is her area of ​​interest.

For her, this will be the continuity of the industrial biotechnology center that she created at the UIRI.

New arrivals

Some of Wendiro’s innovations with the Rookies involved extracting essential oil from aromatic flowers to make liquid and solid cosmetic oil. Another innovation has been the processing of biodegradable bags from cassava starch and the processing of lactic acid which can be used by pharmaceutical companies. PHOTOS / MICHAEL KAKUMIRIZI

Source link