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Dr Robert Winglee – High Velocity Impacts: A New Way to Collect Samples from Space

Dr Robert Winglee – High Velocity Impacts: A New Way to Collect Samples from Space

For now, planetary scientists can only dream of getting their hands-on rock samples taken from the surfaces of distant worlds. Achieving these extractions presents a significant set of challenges, but Dr Robert Winglee and his colleagues at the University of Washington have made significant strides towards developing feasible techniques for retrieving samples. Through detailed computer design and field experiments, they have now clearly demonstrated that obtaining core samples created during high-velocity impacts with planetary surfaces could one day be a reality.

Dr Nicholas M. Teets – Advancing Genetic Control of Destructive Fruit Flies

Dr Nicholas M. Teets – Advancing Genetic Control of Destructive Fruit Flies

Fruit flies cause significant annual damage to fruit crops globally by laying their eggs into healthy, living fruit tissue. The difficulty in predicting the attacks and controlling the flies before it is too late leads farmers to spray pesticides that can have damaging consequences for surrounding ecosystems. Dr Nicholas M. Teets and his team from the University of Kentucky’s Department of Entomology aim to eliminate the need for pesticides in the battle against these insect pests, through the development of sterile insects that are easy to rear and release en masse.

Dr Scott King – The Dawn Mission: Casting New Light on Ceres

Dr Scott King – The Dawn Mission: Casting New Light on Ceres

The dwarf planet Ceres is just a fraction of the size of Pluto, yet it holds valuable information about the evolution of our solar system. As a member of the Dawn mission team, Dr Scott King at Virginia Tech has been using data gathered by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft to explore the interior structure of Ceres.

Dr Renée Arias | Dr Victor Sobolev | Dr Marshall Lamb – Ensuring Peanut Safety by Harnessing Plant Defences

Dr Renée Arias | Dr Victor Sobolev | Dr Marshall Lamb – Ensuring Peanut Safety by Harnessing Plant Defences

Fungal toxins that may accumulate in peanuts pose a hidden threat to people globally. Whereas European countries and the USA have controls to prevent contaminated seed from entering the market, this is not available in many developing countries, where peanuts are a vital source of protein and nutrients. However, detecting and controlling these toxins has posed significant scientific and economic challenges. Dr Renée Arias, Dr Victor Sobolev and Dr Marshall Lamb of the USDA National Peanut Research Laboratory have pioneered methods for inhibiting toxin production using RNAi technology and enhancing natural peanut defences.

Dr Sanju Sanjaya – Gene Technology for Boosting Biodiesel Production

Dr Sanju Sanjaya – Gene Technology for Boosting Biodiesel Production

As the human population increases, so does the demand for food and fuel. However, suitable land for growing crops is already severely limited, and there is an urgent need to protect remaining wilderness areas from being converted into cropland. Through a translational research approach, Dr Sanju Sanjaya and his team at the Energy and Environmental Science Institute of West Virginia State University are developing ways to increase the oil content of crops that are able to grow on poor-quality land, such as reclaimed surface coal mines. By increasing the energy provided by plants, the land requirement to grow both biodiesel and food crops could be significantly reduced.

Professor Dominique Durand – Plugging into the Nervous System

Professor Dominique Durand – Plugging into the Nervous System

New advances in neural engineering have led to devices that can be operated using the nerves of the user, but the effectiveness and safety of these devices over long periods of use is a key concern. Professor Dominique Durand, Director of the Neural Engineering Center at Case Western Reserve University, leads a team of scientists looking to improve neuroprosthetics through developing new methods of interfacing with the nervous system.

Latest Publications

Scientia Issue #127

Scientia Issue #127

  STRENGTHENING THE STEM COMMUNITY THROUGH INCLUSIVE EDUCATION   In this critical issue of Scientia, we showcase an inspiring array of projects, each seeking to enhance science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education worldwide....

Scientia Issue #126

Scientia Issue #126

  SHAPING A BETTER WORLD THROUGH SOCIAL SCIENCE AND HUMANITIES RESEARCH   In this captivating edition of Scientia, we showcase a diverse selection of research achievements across the humanities and social sciences, from history to linguistics, and...

Scientia Issue #125

Scientia Issue #125

  CELEBRATING DISCOVERY AND INNOVATION IN GENETIC SCIENCE   This important issue of Scientia showcases the vital work of scientists in the field of genetics, the branch of biology concerned with the study of genes, genetic variation, and heredity....

Editor’s Pick

Professor Christine Larson – Understanding Brain Function, Cognition, and Emotion in Psychopathology

Professor Christine Larson – Understanding Brain Function, Cognition, and Emotion in Psychopathology

Mental health conditions such as anxiety disorders significantly impact on the quality of life of sufferers, their physical health and psycho-social functioning. Given the high prevalence and extent of impairment inflicted on affected individuals, the economic cost to public health is substantial. Professor Christine Larson at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, USA, seeks to identify new and more effective targets for intervention by better understanding the relationship between brain function, cognitive processing, and emotion.

Dr Scot Rafkin – Exploring the Weather of Titan and Mars

Dr Scot Rafkin – Exploring the Weather of Titan and Mars

The moons and rocky planets of our Solar System may be remote, unfamiliar worlds, but even on the very strangest of them, the weather on those with atmospheres is not wholly unlike our own. Dr Scot Rafkin, a planetary scientist at the Southwest Research Institute, believes that the small-scale patterns their atmospheres exhibit are directly comparable with Earth’s weather. Based on the results of computer models simulating the atmospheres of Titan and Mars, he argues that these local and regional behaviours are significantly underappreciated in planetary science.

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Blog

Connecting Science and Society Through Comedy

Connecting Science and Society Through Comedy

Sometimes, science can feel like a joke. Experiments don’t work, simulations produce physically impossible outcomes, and a question that you thought would take two weeks to answer instead can take two years. All too often we hide the messiness of science, presenting progress as linear rather than admitting the missteps and follies along the way. But surprises and setbacks shape the story of science as a human endeavour, and if we are unwilling to share this side of science, to laugh at ourselves, we risk alienating society from science altogether.

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#Researchers @cwru are developing new approaches to #neuroprosthetics with greater #safety and #efficacy for #amputee #patients. Read more: https://t.co/jFDmGDXb1u #neuralinterfaces #prosthesis #neuralengineering

#Scientists @UW are developing feasible techniques for retrieving rock samples from the surfaces of distant worlds. Read about the team's #technology here: https://t.co/KCk31tkWTW #planetary #science #europa #planets #space #research

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