Exel: Drexel University's Research Magazine – Contents
 

_John A. Fry

A message from the President.

_Examine

Evolution, Under the Microscope

The details of green algae are barely visible to the naked eye—most are much smaller than a grain of sand—but their beauty is revealed under the microscope.

_Feature

Into the Breach

Can humanoid robots one day do the kind of post-disaster work that humans can’t? A team of Drexel researchers, working with colleagues around the world, are in the process of finding out. _by Mike Unger / illustration by Josh Cochran

Race Against Time

Brazil’s Xingu River is about to be fundamentally altered by a massive dam project. Researchers from the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University are working to inventory the species of that river before the dam goes online—and before the fish that live there are pushed to the brink of extinction. _by Tim Hyland / photographs by Mark Henry Sabaj Perez

Face Value

The secretive, little-understood drill monkey has thrived for centuries on the African island of Bioko. But with hunting pressures now pushing the species to the brink, Drexel researchers are fighting back—and working to convince islanders that the monkeys, and the biodiversity they represent, are worth a great deal more than the $300 they fetch at market. _by Tim Hyland

The Inevitably Rising Tide

Sea level rise is a global problem with local consequences. Drexel’s Anna Jaworski is working to help officials along the Delaware Bay make smart decisions about coastal development. _by Tim Hyland / photographs by Tommy Leonardi

'We Created Him'

In this excerpt from his recently released book, Drexel political science professor George Ciccariello-Maher argues that discussions about Venezuelan politics far too often focused on Hugo Chávez, the man who sat in the president’s office, rather than the movement—and the people—who put him there. _illustration by Edel Rodriguez

Looking Beyond 'Looks'

The health of a bridge is not always easily judged by its appearance. With the help of cutting-edge technology and the Tacony-Palmyra bridge—equipped with one of the most advanced structural health monitoring systems in the world—Drexel researchers are working to better understand bridge behaviors. _by Danica DeLizza / photograph by Mike Morris

In The Red

As malaria continues to kill nearly 700,000 people worldwide, College of Medicine researcher Akhil Vaidya admits the challenges are enormous—but continues to work to eradicate the disease. _by Brian M. Schleter

Stacking Up

Sheila Vaidya has studied Philadelphia schools up close, and she knows what they lack: Great teachers. Through her new Master Teacher initiative, she is aiming to provide the city’s struggling system with a much-needed boost. _by Maria Zankey

_Global / Environment

Preservation Starts with Algae

Jillian Adair has a strong interest in the restoration and preservation of the natural ecosystems in the world.

On The Move

Joseph is a truck driver from Fonds-Parisien, Haiti, who has nine children. His family has lived by Lake Azuei for generations.

The Science of Stickiness

The Drexel study on Ponera, a genus of ants that possesses “sticky appendages,” could provide insight on potential applications outside of the insect kingdom.

Mongolian Perspective

For the nomadic herders of Mongolia, there is no question as to whether global warming is occurring. They know it is—and see the impacts every single day.

Good Luck from a Bad Storm

Hurricane Sandy landed right on top of Dr. Tracy Quirk’s wetland monitoring stations – but it wasn’t all bad news.

What A Bore

Infestations of emerald ash borer beetles could be uniquely tied to cardio vascular and lower respiratory diseases in humans.

Type Specimens, Immortalized

The malacology collection at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University is one of the largest in the world, numbering more than 8 million specimens, with examples of roughly half the known living species of mollusk.

Joining the Swarm

Sean O’Donnell’s research into army ants has opened up a new understanding of a peculiar South American bird species.

Monitoring the Delaware

The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University has been performing watershed and aquatic science research since the 1940s.

Prehistoric Swimmer

With the discovery of a new fish species, researchers get one step closer to understanding the Devonian Period.

_Health / Medicine

Seeing Chocolate

The brain’s pleasure response to tasting food can be measured through the eyes using a common, low-cost ophthalmological tool, according to a study just published in the journal Obesity.

Head Strong

Using vibrotactile technology on a portable device, associate dean Eugene Hong believes he and researchers at Drexel could bring more understanding to the mysterious nature of concussions.

The Age Factor

Aging cells could be the key to understanding and treating Alzheimer's.

Speeding Healing

These new experimental manipulations have taken Drexel researchers a step closer to understanding how nerve cells are repaired at their farthest reaches after injury.

An Alzheimer's Cure — with Fruit Flies

With the help of the tiny fruit fly, Drexel's Felice Elefant aims to speed up science’s understanding of Alzheimer's _by Lini Kadaba

Home Safe

School of Public Health faculty explored the connections among health, well-being and public housing in a special issue of the peer-reviewed journal, Progress in Community Health Partnerships.

Brain Imaging

Using small, portable devices such as electroencephalography and near-infrared-based functional optical brain imaging Hasan Ayaz and researchers at the Cognitive Neuroengineering and Quantitative Research Collaborative are able to capture information about the brain in situations that more closely mimic real-world activities.

The Power of Light

Drexel researchers are working to solve a problem endemic to long-term care facilities: Exposure to endless ambient light.

Focus on Focus

Researchers in Drexel’s Waterhouse Laboratory are zeroing in understanding the role that norepinephrine and Ritalin play in sustaining mental focus.

Cracking Alzheimer's

With the help of the tiny, remarkable fruit fly, two Drexel researchers aim to speed up science’s understanding of a disease that affects more than 5 million Americans. _by Lini Kadaba

Anatomy of Recollection

Where does a "memory" actually come from? A team of researchers from Drexel’s School of Biomedical Engineering is trying to find out.

_Society

New Look at Food Safety

Drexel's Jennifer Quinlan is shedding light on an area of food safety research that has typically been underrepresented—and providing tools to combat unsafe practices. _by Danica DeLizza

Seeing Red

Four researchers, including marketing professor Rajneesh Suri, found that men are quicker than women to interpret red prices on advertisements as bigger savings.

What's In It For Them?

CEOs of acquired firms are awarded merger bonuses in 25 percent of all deals, according to a LeBow College of Business researcher.

Slipping Behind

Europe is beset by a host of severe economic problems, says Marco Airaudo. Unless something is done to correct them, the region may become increasingly irrelevant to the world economy.

Rape Law Reform Failure

Debates about the term “legitimate rape” and whether a woman’s body can prevent rape permeated media coverage in 2012, shedding light on the fact that views about sexual assault victims continue to be outdated, biased and insensitive, and that victims still lack real rights and protections.

Flawed System

Drexel’s Richard Frankel says a description of his research is hard to pin down. But his objective is crystal clear: to protect individuals—in particular, low-income individuals—whose rights have been violated at the hands of a large institution, corporation or government agency.

Tweets

When news breaks on Twitter, it’s easy to let 140 characters after 140 characters disappear into the depths of the constantly refreshing news feed.

Inside the Lyrics

If you listen to hip-hop music only to enjoy the beat, you’re missing out. But it’s not your fault, says Donald Tibbs, a law professor who specializes in race, crime and punishment.

The Price of Caring

When it comes to Alzheimer’s disease, a progressive deterioration of the body’s neurologic systems, the medical community pours a lot of time and money into drug research in hopes of finding a cure or improving treatment methods.

Price Check

A LeBow College of Business study showed that mobile coupons may increase a shopper’s unplanned spending.

A New Voice

Drexel's Ellen Staurowsky has spearheaded a blog focused solely on LGBT issues in sports.

_Special Report: Drexel College of Medicine HIV/AIDS Research Update

Going Viral

Jeffrey Jacobson was among the first physicians to take on HIV/AIDS, and over the past 30 years, he had made defeating the disease his life’s work. As his most recent work has shown, he and his colleagues worldwide are getting very close to achieving precisely that. _by Brian M. Schleter / illustration by Simon Pemberton

Going Viral

Jeffrey Jacobson was among the first physicians to take on HIV/AIDS, and over the past 30 years, he had made defeating the disease his life’s work. As his most recent work has shown, he and his colleagues worldwide are getting very close to achieving precisely that. _by Brian M. Schleter / illustration by Simon Pemberton

Intricate Transmission

Despite 30 years of study, male-to-female transmission of the virus that causes AIDS is not fully understood. Even less is known about infection risk within an aging population. By Lini Kadaba

Protecting The Barrier

Thanks to significant strides in HIV research, treatments for the disease have proved to be wildly successful. But as HIV-positive individuals continue to live with the disease, scientists are posed with a new challenge—how HIV affects a now-aging population. Drexel researchers are at the forefront of finding answers and providing solutions. By Lini Kadaba

Cognitive Secrets

The retrovirus that causes AIDS acts like a shape-shifting villain. As HIV replicates over time, random mutations take place in the viral genome—one of the hallmarks of the disease that makes containing and curing it such a challenge. By Lini Kadaba

Double Whammy

About 30 percent of people worldwide—more than 10 million individuals—are not only infected with AIDS-causing HIV but also with the hepatitis C virus (HCV). That dual whammy takes its toll on the immune system and may accelerate the aging process in those patients, according to Vanessa Pirrone, a research instructor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology. By Lini Kadaba

Rats & ‘Senior Moments’

Surprisingly, few animal models exist to study HIV infection or antiretroviral therapies on the aging brain. Barry Waterhouse, a professor in neurobiology and anatomy at Drexel, hopes to address that pressing concern through the development of a robust rat model. By Lini Kadaba

_Tech / Sciece

Recharged

A research team at Drexel recently engineered a supercapacitor system that can operate at very low temperatures—a development that could eventually eliminate the use of traditional batteries.

Skin-Deep Cardiac Care

Drexel scientists are among the first nationally to use a breakthrough treatment for patients at risk of cardiac arrest.

HIV at the Molecular Level

Drexel researchers are developing a new method for HIV Detection, using “nanopores.”

Texting While Driving

Texting while driving is dangerous, practically everyone knows it, and a lot of people do it anyway.

Soaking Up the Sun

Solar panels, like those commonly perched atop house roofs or in sun-drenched fields, quietly harvesting the sun’s radiant energy, are one of the standard-bearers of the green energy movement.

Robots on the High Seas

What if it were possible to predict where a message in a bottle was going to end up?

Player One

Professor Frank Lee has pioneered gaming research at Drexel from pixels on a computer screen to scaling Philadelphia’s Cira Centre.