What's New in Research

What's New in Research

 

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Two Brock profs to hold high positions in Pan Am games

June 29, 2015

Brock University professors Nota Klentrou and Brian Roy are gearing up for their major roles in the upcoming Pan Am Games.

Kinesiology professor Klentrou, who is also associate dean in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, assumes the position of “Venue Results Manager” for all gymnastics competitions, to be held at the Ricoh Coliseum in the Exhibition Centre, Toronto.

Klentrou will oversee the scoring and results functions that involve several groups of people: technical delegates from the International Gymnastics Federation and the Pan American Gymnastics Union; judges; the information technology team, Atos; and volunteers.

“Volunteers sit next to the judges in each apparatus and compile all the judges’ scores,” she says. “I have to go through the scores and make sure that they make sense. Then I get approval from the technical delegation, oversee the printing of results and communicate the scores with announcer, the broadcasting crew and media.”

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Networking breakfast highlight’s healthcare’s potential in Niagara

June 29, 2015

Niagara has the potential to lead the province - possibly the world - in healthcare intiatives.

That was the consensus arrived at recently at the Life Sciences Ontario Knowledge Networking Breakfast, co-hosted by Brock University’s BioLinc and Niagara Economic Development.

The event featured a discussion about Niagara’s Healthcare ecosystem in which an international panel talked about improving health, life and the economy in Niagara. Panel members agreed that if entrepreneurs and policymakers take advantage of readily available or emerging technologies, work in collaboration with healthcare facilities, and engage the community to embrace the potential, it could result in huge opportunities for Niagara to be a provincial and global leader in healthcare initiatives.

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MPP praises Brock researcher’s Mars work

June 26, 2015

Mariek Schmidt is trying to find the answers to big picture questions.

The volcanologist, who is part of an international team of scientists helping to direct NASA’s Curiosity mission on Mars, wants to unravel the history of our solar system, and determine the history of life within it, too.

Next month, Schmidt leaves for Hawaii with a team of researchers that will analyze lava rocks on two volcanoes there to help figure out whether Mars could have supported life.

But Schmidt, an associate professor in the Department of Earth Sciences, notes the work of her research team and NASA has broader applications here on Earth.

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Education professor wins book award

June 25, 2015

Five-year-old Fern makes a huge mess every day when she eats her lunch. Food flies all over the place as she slowly consumes her meal; Fern is still eating when the other children in her kindergarten class have long been done.

Fern’s educators are mystified. Why does Fern make such a mess, why does she take so long to eat her lunch, and what should be done to support the situation?

If you’re a teacher or early childhood educator faced with a similar problem, you can turn to page 150 of Kimberly Maich’s book, which received the 2015 Exceptionality Education International Book Prize Award earlier this month.

“Independent reviewers commented that your text provided a concise, yet comprehensive collection of well-crafted stories about children’s experiences as they begin their lives at school,” says the Exceptionality Education International team awarding the prize.

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Brock researchers receive NSERC grants and scholarships

June 22, 2015

A product of Vitamin A metabolism, retinoic acid, has long been known to aid the development of nerve cells, which are cells that process and transmit information in the brain through electrical and chemical signals.

Brock University biologist Gaynor Spencer is examining how retinoic acid guides the growing nerve cells during their development and regeneration.

Specifically, she’ll be looking at how the growing tips of these nerve cells, called “growth cones,” turn towards retinoic acid and investigate how retinoic acid changes the direction of growth. She will be using snails to study this process.

“If we can utilize the snail nerve cells to actually determine how retinoic acid is doing this, then hopefully that information will be applicable to understanding growth-cone behaviour in vertebrates and mammals,” says Spencer.

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Martian rocks yield important clues about life on Mars

June 18, 2015

Efforts to assess the possibility of life on Mars have taken a step forward thanks to the work of scientists who have successfully extracted methane from Martian rock.

The discovery was made as part of a joint research project carried out by the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, in collaboration Brock University, the University of Western Ontario and the University of Glasgow.

Brock University assistant professor Nigel Blamey said scientists crushed samples of meteorites known to have come from Mars and found that six different meteorites - representing volcanic rock from the Red Planet - all contained methane.

The significance of the discovery lies in the possibility that the gas could be used as a food source by simple life beneath the Martian surface, in the same way as it is on earth.

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