Health & Medicine

Cannabis: Offering hope of a breakthrough in chronic pain treatment

For thousands of years, cannabis has been used to treat pain. Now, with medicinal cannabis legal in some places, the drug might prove to be a viable alternative to opioid pain killers. Dr Alex Bekker and colleagues at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Newark, USA, is investigating how cannabis could be used to ease the pain associated with opioid addiction […]

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Education & Training

A blended learning programme for out-of-field mathematics teaching

Out-of-field teaching is an international phenomenon with particular prevalence in the teaching of mathematics. Professor Merrilyn Goos, Professor of STEM Education at the University of Limerick, and Director of EPI*STEM describes the design features of a national mathematics teacher professional development programme. Employing three boundary crossing frameworks exposes the signature features of this part-time graduate programme’s blended learning design, and […]

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Earth & Environment

Magma differentiation: The complex processes behind active volcanism

Active volcanism is prevalent across much of the Earth’s surface, yet the deep mantle and crustal processes that drive it are still being understood by geologists. Untangling the complex chemical relationships that arise from magma differentiation offer some clues as to the relationships between melting of mantle rock and crystallisation of molten magma to igneous rocks. Professor Vander Auwera at […]

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Arts & Humanities

The return of religion or the end of religion?

Jayne Svenungsson, Professor at the Centre for Theology and Religious Studies, Lund University examines the relationship between religion and secularism and the ideological underpinnings of the European concept of religion. She demonstrates that the term religion is a historical product of a secular but mainly Christian Europe, and that it is now more meaningful as an agent of disunity, and […]

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Physical Sciences

Industrial-Academic collaboration: The key for C-H bond activation

A very hot and current scientific topic is the synthesis of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), the burning question being “how can we make API synthesis efficient?”. A big step towards the answer was taken by Dr Guillaume Journot, senior scientist at Servier, France, and Dr Jean-François Brière, a CNRS senior research scientist at COBRA laboratory in Rouen, France. They proved […]

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Physical Sciences

Amino acids bombarded with ionising radiation – what breaks first?

Ionising radiation, including high-energy electrons, is usually something best avoided. However, nuclear accidents and even medical tools mean that human tissue is occasionally exposed to it. After the ‘Atomic Age’ of the mid-1900s, understanding the effect of radiation on the human body has been recognised as of paramount importance. Dr Jelena Tamuliene’s most recent research at Vilnius University is into […]

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Physical Sciences

Tracking changing shapes in falling raindrops

Raindrops can adopt remarkably similar shapes, sizes and movements as they fall to the ground, but so far, our understanding of their behaviour has remained far from complete. Through her research, Dr Merhala Thurai at Colorado State University uses innovative techniques to learn more about what happens as they fall, particularly during stormy weather. Her team’s work offers important new […]

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Earth & Environment

Coastline evolution: The rise and fall of sea level through time

Changes in global sea level have been ongoing throughout the Earth’s geological history, driven by the growth and decay of ice sheets. The Last Glacial Maximum – when ice sheets were at their greatest extent – occurred as early human communities were developing, often focused in coastal areas such as the Mediterranean Basin. Dr Emanuele Lodolo of the National Institute […]

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Physical Sciences

An introduction to the information dimension

The difficulty of defining the true nature of information has sparked a rich, seemingly unending variety of questions over the past centuries; from the nature of the human soul to whether artificial intelligence can gain consciousness. Now Daniel Boyd, an independent researcher in the Netherlands, believes that these problems could be solved if we view information as a substance residing […]

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Arts & Humanities

Organisational change through non-traditional approaches

Professor Cliff Oswick and daughter Rosie Oswick, based at Cass Business School, City, University of London, are researching new, non-traditional approaches to organisational change. Their interests are in looking beyond traditional attitudes to organisational change that take a problem-centred approach to issues. A genuine interest in social concerns is not generally incorporated into this top-down approach, whereas a bottom-up, non-hierarchical […]

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