Research up close

Research up close

Research up close

Picture of Ana

Parasites contributing to growing global cancer rates
February 6, 2014

The news coming out of the World Health Organization (WHO) this week is bleak: cancer around the globe is growing “at an alarming pace.” The bulk of this - at least 60 per cent - is occurring in low-income countries.

The common contributors to cancer are well known: smoking; unhealthy diet; a sedentary lifestyle; stress. But … parasites?

“It’s been estimated that up to 20 per cent of all cancers are caused by infectious agents, including some parasites,” says Brock University medical microbiologist Ana Sanchez.

Bacterial and viral infections such as Hepatitis B and C, H. pylory and others have been identified as contributing factors in such cancers as lymphoma, sarcoma, liver cancer and cervical cancer.

In the case of parasites, Opisthorchis viverrini and Clonorchis sinensis (liver flukes) are linked to an increased risk of developing cancer of the bile ducts, while infection with Schistosoma haematobium has been linked to bladder cancer.

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Brock University professor explores gender identities in award-winning paper, February 4, 2014

What can we learn about gender identities and class structure in ancient Rome by examining the dolls that girls played with during that time?

The question intrigues Roman social historian Fanny Dolansky, who explores this topic in her award-winning paper “Playing with Gender: Girls, Dolls, and Adult Ideals in the Roman World.”

Much like today, girls in ancient Rome played with dolls, which at that time were made out of ivory, bone, wood or cloth, and fashioned to look like upper-class adult women. And, like today, girls were taught certain messages about society through those dolls.

In her research on ancient Roman dolls, the associate professor in the Department of Classics focuses on three aspects: how the dolls are adorned; the dolls’ capacity for movement, such as joints that enabled them to move their shoulders, elbows, hips and knees; and the use of imperial figures, such as Roman empresses, as models.

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Picture of battle

Researchers turning to colleagues in other disciplines to further work
December 17, 2013

Pity the poor British. The Charge of the Light Brigade, a battle that occurred in 1854 during the Crimean War, was supposed to have been directed against retreating Russian artillery.

Instead, a miscommunication sent the hapless British soldiers on a frontal assault on a well-prepared, well-equipped Russian battery. It was a disaster.

But what if the British used a different military strategy? What if they had used their heavy cavalry? How would changes to these or any other factors have shaped the final outcome of the battle and the war?

John Bonnett, historian and Canada Research Chair in Digital Humanities, explains that this line of questioning is called “counter-factual analysis: explorations of history as it might have unfolded but did not.”

Up until now, historians conducted this analysis, which helps to deepen the understanding of history, in a very limited way.

Enter Michael Armstrong, Finance, Operations and Information Systems associate professor.

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