What's New in Research
No molecular evidence Vitamin E prevents cancer, heart disease: Brock-led study
April 30, 2015
Nutritionists have long debated the exact merits of Vitamin E, an antioxidant that protects the body from the harmful effects of unstable molecules called free radicals.
As we age, cellular damage from free radicals accumulates, possibly paving the way for certain cancers and heart disease. Past research had hoped that doses of Vitamin E could be used to actively prevent or delay cancers, heart diseases and other age-related conditions, but so far, without much success. This has led to alternate theories of what good Vitamin E does for us.
But a new Brock University-led study hopes to put an end to that debate.
“What we’re saying is that Vitamin E is an antioxidant, and the conventional wisdom is correct, and it is not more than that,” says physics professor Thad Harroun, one of the study’s researchers.
Brock researcher examines children’s memory, seeks participants
April 29, 2015
Many parents of children three to five years old can often relate to the frustration of their kids forgetting seemingly simple and obvious things, from tying their shoelaces to putting items in a designated spot.
It’s tempting to think that our children are doing this on purpose to get attention or to make us angry. But developmental psychologist Caitlin Mahy cautions that young children’s memory abilities are evolving.
“I think it’s important that parents understand that your preschool-aged children are not necessarily disobeying you,” says the assistant professor in the Department of Psychology. “They’re just not able to remember to do things reliably at this age.”
To better understand how memory develops in young children, Mahy has designed several research projects that examine how children think about the future.
Brock researcher Jennifer Rowsell renewed as Canada Research Chair
April 29, 2015
An article in a popular magazine reported recently that excessive video game-playing accounts for boys’ “underachievement” in reading and writing.
But Jennifer Rowsell says her research on the use of new media in the classroom tells a different story.
“Boys and girls are creative. They’re interested and voracious readers and, what is more, they do so many other sophisticated things that weren’t done a decade ago,” says Rowsell, director of Brock University’s Centre for Multiliteracies, The Reading Clinic and professor in the Faculty of Education.
During her five years as Canada Research Chair in Multiliteracies, Rowsell has pursued a number of projects that explore how rapidly developing technologies and new communicational practices can teach children skills and impart information in new and exciting ways.
Brock professor authors new book examining important role of municipal CAOs
April 10, 2015
Mayors are the political heads of Canadian municipalities, but chief administrative officers (CAOs) are the ones behind the scenes who have a major impact on the efficient operation of the city.
Often the highest-paid municipal public servants, CAOs or city managers, are tasked with providing advice to council and running the day-to-day operations. They’re hired, not elected, and they’re often overlooked and not well understood.
In his new book, Leaders in the Shadows, Brock University political science professor David Siegel shines a light on the CAO, examining the leadership qualities of effective municipal managers.
Siegel uses two active and three retired CAOs from across Canada as examples of exceptional city managers and shows what leadership traits, skills and behaviours helped make them successful.
End of the super-skinny model? Brock study finds Size 6 models more marketable than Size 0 models
April 7, 2015
Women are ready to see fashion models that look like them. Luckily for the fashion industry, new Brock University research shows size six models will do a better job of marketing their products, especially to women with low self-esteem.
The research by Kai-Yu Wang, a marketing professor at Brock’s Goodman School of Business, shows that fashion brands can substitute their size zero models with average sized models without impacting either the model attractiveness rating or the product evaluation.
“With the debate around the use of super-skinny models, we wanted to find out if women preferred size zero models over average sized models” says Wang.
Wang and his co-author completed three studies to test their theories about whether women aged 18-25 preferred average size models or size zero models and the role that brand and self-esteem play in their preferences. They looked at both established companies with a history of using size zero models as well as fictional new brands.
Read the full story.
Brock chemist, start-up company unveil new technology for mining sector
March 20, 2015
The Canadian start-up company ColdBlock Technologies Inc. and its research partner, Brock University chemist Ian Brindle, unveiled their pioneering technology at the recent Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada conference.
This marks the first step in the company’s global launch of its ColdBlockTM Laboratory Sample Digestion Technology, which has the potential to revolutionize the mining industry by offering a cheaper, faster and cleaner way to conduct mineral and ore analysis.
“ColdBlock Digestion offers mining operations a new alternative to achieve productivity gains,” Brindle says.
The analysis process, called digestion, involves dissolving samples in order to measure the amounts of economically valuable metals within them. Current conventional methods can take up to four hours or more to digest samples with toxic acids and acids that form explosive compounds.
Read the full story.
Brock-based water research network launches new funding competition
March 19, 2015
The Water Economics, Policy and Governance Network, a national research initiative headquartered at Brock, has launched a new funding competition for research projects in the run-up to World Water Day on March 22.
Eligible researchers may apply for two and a half years of funding under three priority research areas: “Water and Economy”; “Institutions and Community” and “Knowledge and Decision-Making.”
The network funds a cross-Canada network of social scientists to work with partners from communities, governments, First Nations, non-governmental organizations and industry all over the country. The research focuses on the social, economic, and political dimensions of water.