Exel: Drexel University's Research Magazine – Contents

_John A. Fry

A message from the President.

_Body of Research

Still Life

The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University’s insect collection has a renovated resting place within the Academy and a new life online. _photographs by Jason Weintraub

_Culture / Society

Protest or Terrorism?

Law scholars document the rise in violence faced by women’s health-care providers and propose a new legal standard.

Second Chances

Changes in how Philadelphia schools are policed aim to keep youth out of “the system.”

Point-and-Click Critical Thinking

An interdisciplinary team is investigating how their learning model can help children answer research questions in the information age.

The Study of Where

Drexel’s new Center for Spatial Analytics and Geocomputation uses geographic information science, statistics, and mapping software to provide a deeper perspective on topics of public interest.

Data Limits

Quality far outweighs quantity when leaders use data to shape policies.

The Walls Have Eyes

There’s a lot more going on in the LeBow College of Business’ new behavioral lab than meets the eye.

The Poverty Cliff

Just when people manage to earn more money, they may find themselves worse off than before, according to new research.

A Pipeline for Principals

Can exposing educators to the arts reduce turnover, improve retention and instill leadership skills?


Science at Extremes

A team of Drexel researchers traveled to Antarctica on a mission to collect the world's most complete database of Antarctic air samples.


A Watershed Moment

The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University is leading a massive, $35 million conservation initiative to ensure that the Delaware River remains a vibrant natural habitat and safe source of drinking water for millions. _by Robin Abell

Giant From Patagonia

Discovered a decade ago and preserved in secrecy until just last year, the record-setting new dinosaur species Dreadnoughtus schrani is informing the way scientists think about the largest animals to ever walk the surface of the Earth. _by Rachel Ewing / photos by Robert Clark

Banged Up & Burned Out

A Drexel professor is building a case for policy changes to protect medics from physical and psychological job hazards. _by Theresa Everline / _photographs by Jeff Fusco

Let the Bird-Bugs Bite

Hiding in the feathers of the birds of the Earth, there is a whole other world just waiting to be unruffled. _by Katie Clark

Building a Better Power Plant

A group of academics is testing a radical new way of cooling thermoelectric plants that could reduce the power grid’s dependence on freshwater. _by Mike Unger / _photos by Harry Campbell

Invented Here

Drexel is one of only a small number of research universities endowed by the Coulter Foundation to bring promising academic inventions to the marketplace. _by Lini S. Kadaba / illustrations by Harriet Lee Merrion

Gait Keepers

Drexel scientists and clinicians in the College of Nursing and Health Professions are making sure that research on running injuries and advancements in rehabilitation keep up with the popularity of the sport. _by Katie Clark / _photos by Jeff Fusco


Dementia Diagnostics

The two most common forms of dementia may have more in common than current diagnostic guidelines allow.

Quarantine in Question

A Drexel study suggests that the standard 21-day quarantine for individuals who might have been exposed to Ebola might not be long enough.

A ‘C. Diff’ vaccine?

A vaccine successful in animal models could protect humans from the dangerous and increasingly common “C. diff” infection.

Cell Block

A series of new compounds shows promise in blocking circulating tumor cells from disseminating to bone, preventing further spread and causing the cells’ eventual death.

Mapping Language in the Brain

A new Drexel study maps the brains of individuals with aphasia, an impairment of language common after a stroke or other brain injury.

Gut Bacteria Grow Old, Too

Growing research on the human microbiome — the bacteria in our digestive tract and elsewhere — has made it possible to study how these organisms change over time and influence our own aging.

Pest Control

A recently discovered compound causes drug-resistant malaria parasites to burst.

Operation: Crucial Upgrade

Drexel biomedical engineers are helping to upgrade a lifesaving device used by the military to instantly screen for brain injuries.

_Nature / Environment

Mystery Fish Defies Classification

Kryptoglanis shajii is a strange fish — and the closer scientists look, the stranger it gets.

The Costly Life of Social Insects

The parasitic relationship between slave-making ants and their hijacked workers is a unique and effective system for studying brain evolution in social insects.

On the (Scientific) Record

At Drexel and the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, scientists have helped enter dozens of new species into the scientific record—and that’s just in the past year.

The Dirt on Cleaning Products

Some of the same chemical reactions that occur in the atmosphere from smog and ozone are taking place in your house while you clean.

Urban Water Alliance

Drexel, NJIT and Rowan have partnered to examine the water resource challenges facing the Northeast.


Inside the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, an unusual butterfly provides a living lesson on the diversity of life.

Urban Bug Trap

The Swann Memorial Fountain in Center City is a place for coin tossing and feet splashing — but scientists also collect specimens there to learn more about the urban insect population.

Seeding Sustainability

Six research projects earned support in the first round of funding by the newly established A.J. Drexel Institute for Energy and the Environment.

_Public Health

Pointed Questions

The creator of the most widely used autism screening tool for toddlers has joined the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute to make early screening a research priority.

Local Flavors of Drug Use

The region of the country where drug users get high — whether they live in California or New York, where different drugs are dominant — can impact health outcomes.

Deadly Link

Could exposure to a rare metal in the workplace explain the occurrence of a mysterious inflammatory disease?

Psyche and the City

Can Philadelphia’s massive initiative to provide mental illness literacy teach our communities to be kinder?

The Prenatal Runaround

A hypothetical case study illustrates the challenges faced by low-income pregnant women in reaching places for prenatal care.

Child Obesity

New research suggests that women who are heavier than their peers before puberty may be more vulnerable to developing an eating disorder.

Not Just a ‘Wound of War’

Public policy addressing post-traumatic stress disorder has a strong focus on military personnel, but what about civilians?

Violence Intervention in the ER

Hospital-based violence intervention programs can save a healthcare system millions, according to a first-of-its-kind study.

Diabetes Risk by ZIP Code

Where you live can impact your health as much as your lifestyle.

_Tech / Sciece

3-D Printed Tumors

An engineering breakthrough will allow cancer researchers to create living tumors with a 3-D printer.

Robotics on a Budget

A Drexel engineering professor is building a business plan and a curriculum around a small instructional robot that could make STEM education more affordable for elementary classrooms everywhere.

Strong Enough to Bend

A conductive material created at Drexel is flexible enough to fold into a paper airplane and could find uses in wearable energy storage devices.

Holding Out Hope

A soft, robotic exoskeleton glove developed at Drexel could hold the key to new ways of restoring function to individuals with hand injuries.

A Hand on Your Heart

What if you could hold your own heart in the palm of your hand and study it while your cardiologist explained your condition?

Virtual Salvage Project

Though there have been efforts to revive the rusting remains of the SS United States luxury liner as a hotel or casino, it is unlikely that the public will ever again tour its interior — until now.

Molding the Future in Energy

A conductive clay can be rolled to any thickness and shows promise in energy storage devices such as batteries and supercapacitors.

Dusting for Cyber Prints

Computer scientists are using coding style to identify anonymous cybercriminals.