What's New in Research

What's New in Research


Brock scientist finds rosemary extract effective in diabetes treatment

May 21, 2015

A Brock university scientist has discovered the herb rosemary does more than pair well with mushrooms or roast chicken.

Evangelia Tsiani in the Department of Health Sciences has found that extract from the evergreen-like herb increases the transport of glucose into muscle cells, working much like drugs, such as Metformin, used to treat Type 2 diabetes.

Her findings have been published in a paper titled “Increased skeletal muscle glucose uptake by rosemary extract through AMPK activation.” They complement Tsiani’s previous work studying the positive effects of resveratrol, an antioxidant common in red wine, and naringenin, a citrus flavonoid.

Her latest work is the first of its kind to show the direct effect of rosemary extract on muscle cell glucose uptake.

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Free carbon credits can increase profits for polluters: Brock-Guelph study

May 20, 2015

Government schemes that regulate greenhouse gas emissions through the trading of carbon credits can actually increase profits for high-polluting companies if carbon credits are initially given to these companies free of charge, says new Brock University research.

Economist Marcel Oestreich and University of Guelph economist Ilias Tsiakas analyzed the impact on German industries of the European Union’s Emissions Trading System, launched in 2005 to combat climate change.

Under the system, regulators place a specific limit – or “cap” – on the amount of greenhouse gasses that factories, power plants and other companies are allowed to emit into the environment.

Some companies emit less than their limit, while others emit more. The ones that emit less can sell the difference to companies that emit more than their limit through certificates commonly known as “carbon credits.”

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Trio of awards for dramatic arts professor

May 19, 2015

It has been a busy spring for Joe Norris.

In the midst of packing up his office to transfer to the new Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, the dramatic arts professor added three newly acquired items to take with him: two awards from the American Educational Research Association and one from Brock University.

Norris and Richard D. Sawyer from Washington State University captured the association’s Significant Contribution to Educational Measurement and Research Methodology Award.

They were recognized for their book, Understanding Qualitative Research: Duoethnography, which Norris and Sawyer co-wrote. The book details the duo’s new research methodology called “duoethnography.”

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Scientists find that athletes don’t really need all of those drinks

May 11, 2015

New research by scientists at Brock University has debunked the widely-held belief that dehydration saps the strength of athletes performing in hot conditions.

It is common to see distance runners or cyclists gulp water and other drinks during long races, trying to replenish fluids and avoid the loss of strength that has long been accepted as a consequence of dehydration.

But the Brock study, published this month in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, concludes there is no such impairment.

Lead researcher Stephen Cheung, a renowned kinesiologist whose research subjects have ranged from Olympic athletes to offshore oil workers, said his team’s findings refute the long-unquestioned tenet that water loss hinders a competitor’s performance.

This particular research involved 11 trained racing cyclists who wore IV drips while riding stationary bikes under competition-like conditions. Some cyclists had IV drips containing a saline solution to replenish fluids lost through sweat, but others had IV drips that were shams, providing no rehydration at all.

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Brock-led arts documentary captures top prizes in international film competition

May 6, 2015

When young people are given the chance to tell their own stories in their own ways, amazing things can happen.

They produce plays that are both entertaining and informative. They deepen understanding of racism, bullying and other issues with which society grapples.

And they win international awards that affirm their creative ideas and work.

Such is the case with Commotion, a documentary arising out of a project of the same name that Department of Dramatic Arts associate professor Gyllian Raby and Carousel Players artistic director Pablo Felices Luna created three years ago in partnership with community groups.

Commotion captured two Prestige Film Awards for 2015: the Gold Award in the Educational/Instructional category, and the Silver Award for Research.

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Study examines links between mental health and life satisfaction

May 5, 2015

Many young people, especially those who are struggling, believe their lives will improve in time. But a study out of Brock University, published in Clinical Psychological Science, shows that for the clinically depressed, the belief that life will get better in the future may forecast more harm than good.

Michael Busseri of Brock’s Department of Psychology and graduate student Emily Peck conducted the study together and published their results jointly in the fall.

Busseri and Peck focused on depressed or recently-depressed individuals under the age of 45, using results from a large-scale study of American adults. Depression can make people view their lives in a negative way. Busseri and Peck wanted to determine how depressed individuals would view their futures compared to how they viewed their past and present lives.

While most people in the study anticipated a brighter future, even those who were depressed, this rosy view of the years to come actually placed individuals at a higher risk for clinical depression 10 years in the future.

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