Cannabis: Offering hope of a breakthrough in chronic pain treatment

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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Tracking changing shapes in falling raindrops

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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#SocialScience: Mining Twitter for Social and Behavioural Research

Twitter is a rich and timely resource for social and behavioural research.

A disaster strikes, somewhere in the world. Within minutes there are millions rushing to their screens, letting out their thoughts and feelings. This makes Twitter, along with other social platforms, a rich and timely resource for social and behavioural research. Surprisingly, however, it is a lot less utilised in the social sciences compared with other fields. Tweeters don’t reflect the […]

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Harnessing anger for social change

Harnessing anger for social change

Dr Monique Turner of Michigan State University, is an expert in persuasion and health and risk communication, and is conducting research into the way people cognitively process campaign messages. Emotions, including anger, are known to be predominant in persuasion, decision-making and risk assessments. Although commonly associated with negative behaviours, anger as a positive motivator in behaviour change is a promising […]

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The effect of religiosity on emotional well-being among prisoners

The effect of religiosity on emotional well-being among prisoners

Studies show that religion enhances emotional well-being among prisoners, but they rarely address how. Professors Sung Joon Jang and Byron R. Johnson at the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor University, examine the effects of religion on offenders in the South African correctional system. They test whether religiosity is likely to lead to a sense of meaning and purpose […]

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Understanding statistical significance of subgroups in the data science era

Understanding statistical significance of subgroups in the data science era

Statistical models are routinely used to derive inferences from large amounts of data. They directly impact several disciplines, including precision medicine and individualised learning, which rely on information concerning individuals and groups to make predictions on the expected effects of a specific intervention on population subgroups. Although it is relatively easy to find impressive-looking associations in big data, for instance […]

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Thinking through livelihood: How a peasantry of princely Rājpuţāna became educated and activist rural citizens of Rajasthan, India

Thinking through livelihood

R. Thomas Rosin, Professor Emeritus, explores how folk knowledge and partnerships among tenant farmers in the desert region of Rajasthan, India supported peasant activism and rebellion in the decades around Indian Independence. Demanding livelihoods involving computation and ethno-hydrology prepared them for formal education. Gandhi’s Satyagraha (non-violent resistance) campaigns in British India inspired them as citizens to overturn their domination as […]

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Post-quantum secure encryption and cybersecurity education

Post-quantum secure encryptio

Encryption systems that are capable of surviving quantum computer attacks are urgently required, but the cybersecurity talent gap militates against securing cyberinfrastructure. Dr Aydin Aysu, Assistant Professor at North Carolina State University, is advancing the research and teaching of post-quantum secure encryption. He has developed a quantum-secure encryption system together with a new graduate program on hardware security and is […]

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How treatment epidemiology can shape future healthcare research

How treatment epidemiology can shape future healthcare researc

Dr Aisling Caffrey is an Associate Professor of Health Outcomes at the College of Pharmacy, University of Rhode Island. For over a decade, Dr Caffrey has been studying the treatment of diseases in real-world clinical practice, an area Dr Caffrey has termed ‘treatment epidemiology’. Dr Caffrey’s expertise is in comparative effectiveness and safety research, where she studies the benefits and harms of healthcare interventions, […]

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Subcellular dissection of plant immunity towards bacteria

Subcellular dissection of plant immunity towards bacteria

In the plant kingdom, disease is an exception rather than a rule. That is because plants have an immune system. A plants’ immune system consists of several signalling pathways that act together to counteract microbial pathogens. However, there is not enough known about the subcellular pathways that allow proteins to move within and out of the plant cell and ward […]

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