Research Outreach Blog
November 2, 2022

Research Outreach – Issue 132: Police deception, machine learning, and psychedelic therapy

Research Outreach Issue 132 includes a number of articles, such as a study of a natural resin as a powerful pesticide, how phytoplankton impacted biodiversity, and how implementing solvent-based recycling could transform plastic manufacturing into a more environmentally friendly process.

We also catch up with Dr Ben Sessa about his research into the field of psychedelic-assisted therapy and the work being done at Awakn to further the cause of using ketamine and other drugs in treatment. 

In this issue, we cover social issues, such as the underlying tension between some aspects of current police behaviour and the US constitution, and also how school boards are implementing staff development to improve adult learners’ experience and outcomes.

Finally, in the medical field, one researcher is blending computational science with biology to create models to help us better understand cancer, while another team is examining if it’s possible to ‘fool’ the body, thus reaping the benefits of increased skeletal muscle mass

Investigating the biopesticide activity of guayule resin

Researchers from the University of Castilla-La Mancha are exploring the alternative uses of guayule resin as a powerful, non-toxic biopesticide. Guayule is a unique plant that has been used as a source of natural rubber until now, but this research indicates that it could be used in far more ways than previously thought.

Awakn: Welcoming a new era of psychedelic-assisted therapy

Research Outreach catches up with Dr Ben Sessa to discuss developments in the realms of using psychedelics to help people with their mental health, including the changes in public opinion towards the use of medically-licensed drugs like ketamine and MDMA.

Computational biology: How mathematical modelling can help cure cancer

Using machine learning and computational simulations to predict treatment-related risks and drug resistance in cancer research, potentially leading to advancements in personalised medicine.

Does police officer deception undermine US constitutional law?

Questioning the ‘social contract’ that underlies the US constitution and what this might mean for police ethics. When police officers use deception to gather evidence or confessions from a subject, can this be considered to be undermining the social contract?

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Is the magic in the muscle? Targeting skeletal muscle to improve cardiometabolic function

Investigating the link between skeletal muscle mass and the co-morbidities of obesity and ageing, and whether it is possible to gain the benefits of exercise in those who are unable to physically exercise.

Waste into starting materials: Solvent-based recycling for the polymer industry

Finding ways to reuse and recycle waste as starting materials to reduce the polymer industry’s environmental impact. By using a solvent-based process to repurpose waste materials created during the manufacturing process, this new technology hopes to close the loop.

Change agents: Professional development for adult educators

Researching how school boards are increasing accessibility to adult education and improving professional development for educators in Canada as a result of a three-year Adult Education Strategy.

Research by Dr Alexandra Youmans into how school boards in Ontario have developed a programme to facilitate collaboration between school boards to increase accessibility to adult education and improve outcomes for adult learners.

Does phytoplankton hold the key to the evolution of marine biodiversity?

Shedding light on the role phytoplankton has played in increasing the biodiversity in our oceans, starting approximately 250 million years ago. A new study has shown that these minute plants may have supported the explosion of variety in life forms that continues to this day.



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