Week Ending Jan 19, 2018

Colour and Emotion exhibition explores colour as a visual language
University College London Hospitals – 1/17/18
A new interdisciplinary art exhibition has launched at University College Hospital that explores the potential for colour as a visual language used to express emotion and that features contributions from people with aphasia. ‘Colour & Emotion’ is an exhibition of visual artwork at UCH’s Street Gallery. It is one of the outcomes of an interdisciplinary and collaborative research project related to colour and emotion, ‘Measuring Wellbeing Creatively,’ which is funded by a University College London Grand Challenges: Human Wellbeing Award. The team collaborated with volunteers who have acquired aphasia – an impairment which affects the ability to understand or produce language – after stroke. The team also includes a range of artists and a human geographer.

World’s first ethnomathematics program offered at UH
University of Hawai’i News – 1/14/18
The first academic program in the world for ethnomathematics, an increasingly visible, highly interdisciplinary and hands-on subject, will be offered by the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa College of Education beginning in summer 2018. Ethnomathematics is real-world problem-solving that is relevant, contextualized and sustainable through the integration of indigenous wisdom and 21st century learning. Aligned with federal and state standards, the UH Mānoa ethnomathematics program will develop teachers as leaders to discover multiple approaches to teaching and learning mathematics through project-based and place-based experiences that connect classrooms and communities. “As far as I know, no other academic program in ethnomathematics exists in the world. Thus, the ethnomathematics graduate certificate at the University of Hawaiʻi is an excellent opportunity for giving an appropriate academic role to this subject,” said former President of the International Commission on Mathematical Instruction Ferdinando Arzarello.

New University of Oregon faculty member targets research on maternal nutrition
University of Oregon – 1/16/18
Physiologist Elinor Sullivan wants to understand early childhood health through the lens of maternal health. Her research examines the influence of maternal nutrition and how other factors, such as the metabolic state of mothers during pregnancy, affect children during early development and result in long-term implications for lifelong health.  Sullivan is committed to combating childhood obesity in collaboration with a team that includes a biologist, psychologists and prevention science specialists. While other members of the team are more focused on childhood and adolescence, Sullivan is zeroing in on early environment.  “An advantage of working with an interdisciplinary team is that we are able to approach the study of health promotion and obesity prevention from multiple angles,” Sullivan said. “Childhood obesity rates have increased dramatically across the nation and it is important and powerful to address the problem as a group using our different lenses and backgrounds.”

Genome architecture’s surprising role in cell fate decisions
Science Daily – 1/16/18
A new study shows an unexpected and crucial role of genome architecture in determining cell fate. The work represents an important advance in our understanding of gene regulation and reveals a new layer of complexity that needs to be studied to properly interpret genomics and gene expression in the future. This is a good example of how risky fundamental science with innovative approaches leads to surprising and important advances in knowledge.  In a paper published in Nature Genetics, an interdisciplinary research team of scientists from the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) — including a Centro Nacional de Análisis Genómico (CNAG-CRG) group — in Barcelona, Spain, shows that the three-dimensional organisation of the genome plays a key role in gene expression and consequently in determining cell fate.

NSW government-funded initiative sees students receive Ether as ‘loyalty’ reward
ZDNet – 1/16/18
Instead of receiving a free coffee or a discount on their next haircut, students from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) have been earning cryptocurrency for every 10 digital “stamps” received as part of a project aimed at shaking up the way loyalty programs are run.  Furthering research on blockchain technology is also being undertaken by the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) establishing the RMIT Blockchain Innovation Hub in September, touted by the university as being the world’s first research centre focused on the social science of blockchain. The RMIT Blockchain Innovation Hub — led by professor Jason Potts in the School of Economics, Finance, and Marketing — is expected to develop an interdisciplinary research team focused on the economic, cultural, and social implications and impacts of blockchain technologies.