Tag Archives: Research

Week Ending July 7, 2017

‘Brightest minds’ key to future science success
BBC News – July 4, 2017
The United Kingdom’s Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson emphasizes the importance of including the brightest minds by incorporating diversity in a research landscape that is becoming increasingly interdisciplinary. According to Johnson, diversity in research should be an early focus of the new umbrella organisation for UK science funding: UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). He said that UKRI should look at “all the different facets at what makes for a diverse and resilient research system that optimises all the talents available in the country”. UKRI’s new chief executive Sir Mark Walport, speaking with Johnson at a UKRI launch event, indicated that the world of science and research is changing, driven by big data, interdisciplinary research and global collaborations. The world of business and industry is also in flux, driven by factors such as data and the need to re-use resources. Walport said that UKRI would support “the brightest minds, while recognising that the brightest minds come in many diverse forms.”

UTA 2017 interdisciplinary research grants focus on cancer, drug testing, helping youth
EurekaAlert – June 30, 2017
The University of Texas at Arlington has awarded three new seed grants for interdisciplinary research projects that propose new ways to treat skin cancer, provide a new technique for more rapid and cost-effective evaluation of chemotherapy drugs, and to develop innovative programs to reduce the mental health risks of homeless youth. “All three projects have the potential to make a real impact in our society and solve real-world problems,” said Duane Dimos, UTA vice president for research. “Funding three strong interdisciplinary initiatives is also particularly strategic prior to next year’s opening of the new $125 million Science, Engineering, Innovation and Research or SEIR building, which will be the signature facility for life and health science research at UTA.” This year marks the third year of the Interdisciplinary Research Program, which has funded a total of 12 projects. “All these projects demonstrate UTA’s capacity to create really innovative approaches through interdisciplinary research,” Dimos said. “We fully expect these projects to be funded by federal agencies and become inventions and methodologies that reach the market.”

Uniting Lost Voices
Arizona State University – June 30, 2017
“New bioarchaeological journal gives scientists a platform to share research on past lives and deaths in an international forum.” Bioarchaeology is a young but quickly growing field that studies how people from the past lived and died, and is most often described as a combination of biological anthropology, archaeology and social theory. However, this field also faces a problem: There are many different approaches to and even definitions of bioarchaeological research, making it difficult to share findings across disciplines, organizations and geographic borders. Bioarchaeology International is a new, first-of-its-kind journal specifically dedicated to bioarchaeological research. Its goal is to help unify perspectives by providing a space for peer-reviewed articles and encouraging global discussion. The quarterly publication, which will appear in print and online, will release its inaugural issue on June 30. “This is a platform for bridging the archaeological focus on mortuary behavior, ritual and cemetery organization with the more biological focus on skeletal remains,” said Brenda Baker, co-editor of the journal. Baker is an associate professor in Arizona State University’s School of Human Evolution and Social Change and a bioarchaeologist with the school’s Center for Bioarchaeological Research.”

NASA will use artificial intelligence for planetary defense
The Space Reporter – July 4, 2017
“NASA’s Frontier Development Lab (FDL), a public-private research institute operated by the space agency’s Ames Research Center and the SETI Institute, announced it will use artificial intelligence to study methods of protecting the earth from potentially hazardous asteroids and comets.  Now in its second year, FDL partners with various private and academic organizations, including Luxembourg Space Resources, Lockhead Martin, IBM, Intel, Nvidia, and various other corporations.  Using an interdisciplinary approach FDL brings together machine learning with scholars in a diversity of fields, including planetary science and heliophysics.” “Grand challenges like planetary defense require ingenious approaches,” said FDL Director James Parr. “We wanted to create a platform that industrializes breakthrough work useful to the space program and the task of protecting our planet.”

Making a bee-line for new camera technology
techradar – July 3, 2017
“The way humans perceive colour varies with the time of day, or rather the amount of sunlight falling on an object. And, unfortunately, current technology is as limited in color perception as the human eye. An interdisciplinary team of researchers in Melbourne, Australia, has discovered that for bees, however, color perception is constant, no matter the light conditions, so they can get to the right flower. If we could replicate the workings of bee vision, it would be possible to eliminate the problems associated with color vision in cameras, drones and robots. Project coordinator Associate Professor Adrian Dyer said, “For a digital system like a camera or robot, the color of objects often change. Currently this problem is dealt with by assuming the world is, on average, grey. This means it’s difficult to identify the true color of ripe fruit or mineral rich sands, limiting outdoor color imaging solutions by drones, for example.”