Our intestines contain millions of bacteria, known as our microbiota, which secrete compounds and play a key role in keeping us healthy. These bacteria don’t just affect the health of our digestive system, they can influence organs as far away as the brain. Dr Francesca Ronchi at Charité Universitätsmedizin in Berlin is determining the role of the microbiota in the prevention and development of neurological disorders.
The perspectives and characteristics of specific historical periods are often reflected in the literary texts produced and circulated at the time. Dr Andrea Binsfeld, an Associate Professor at University of Luxembourg, has conducted several studies examining narratives of slavery in ancient texts, including novels and political discourses. Her analyses outline, from a different perspective, the deep impact that the institution of slavery had in Greek and Roman societies.
Dr Lars Oddsson | The walk2Wellness Trial: Measuring the Impact of a Wearable Sensory Prosthesis on People with Peripheral Neuropathy
Dr Lars Oddsson, CTO of RxFunction and Adjunct Professor at the University of Minnesota is co-inventor of a wearable device called Walkasins® to help improve balance and reduce the risk of falls in people with sensory peripheral neuropathy. The walk2Wellness trial incorporated five clinical sites where they demonstrated that by replacing sensory stimulation for balance, this prosthetic device can have a positive impact on clinical mobility outcomes and quality of life for those who have suffered nerve damage causing loss of sensation in their feet.
For decades, linguists and psychologists have been trying to understand the fascinating ways in which humans communicate with each other in different real-world settings. Overall, spoken communication involves a mixture of words, facial expressions, and gestures. Dr Holly Keily, a researcher at the University at Buffalo, has recently carried out a study specifically exploring how speakers explain events to partners who will need to identify them, particularly focusing on their use of gestures.
The greatest challenge for ageing populations is that vaccines can be less protective for the elderly due to the age-related decline of the immune system. This means that improving the efficacy of vaccines in the ageing population is crucial to public health. Dr Lei Jin and colleagues from the University of Florida set out to develop a novel strategy to directly address this key issue.
Traditional Chinese Medicine has been used in the treatment of disease for centuries, although its potency is often overlooked by researchers. Dr Yu-Ling Ma and colleagues in the Oxford Chinese Medicine Research Centre at the University of Oxford have focused on a multi-component herbal medicine called Xin Su Ning in the treatment of cardiac arrhythmia to elucidate the mechanism of action and pharmacological properties of its components.