Author archives: Invited Researcher

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Outstanding researchers present their work and share their opinions in Mapping Ignorance.

When did we become fully human? What fossils and DNA tell us about the evolution of modern intelligence

When did we become fully human? What fossils and DNA tell us about the evolution of modern intelligence

Anthropology

By Invited Researcher

When did something like us first appear on the planet? It turns out there’s remarkably little agreement on this question. Fossils and DNA suggest people looking like us, anatomically modern Homo sapiens, evolved around 300,000 years ago. Surprisingly, archaeology – tools, artefacts, cave art – suggest that complex technology and cultures, “behavioural modernity”, evolved more […]

Learning from nature: a new flapping drone can take off, hover and swoop like a bird

Learning from nature: a new flapping drone can take off, hover and swoop like a bird

Mechanical EngineeringRobotics

By Invited Researcher

Photo: Gary Bendig / Unsplash We have developed four-winged bird-like robots , called ornithopters, that can take off and fly with the agility of swifts, hummingbirds and insects. We did this by reverse engineering the aerodynamics and biomechanics of these creatures. Our ornithopters have the potential to outperform and outmanoeuvre existing drone configurations with static […]

Participatory budgeting, some issues

Participatory budgeting, some issues

Economics

By Invited Researcher

Participatory budgeting seeks to involve some form of public deliberation in the budget allocation of a city or town. The first process took place in Porto Alegre (Brazil) in the late eighties. Since then the practice spread through the world, with more than 7,000 processes around the world in 2018. The logic underpinning participatory budgeting […]

Pathogen reduction technologies and the shelf life of platelet concentrates

Pathogen reduction technologies and the shelf life of platelet concentrates

MathematicsMedicine

By Invited Researcher

Author: Mikel Lezaun is professor at the University of the Basque Country – UPV/EHU where he is director of the Mathematical Technology Transfer Group Production centers for blood components have the job of supplying hospitals with the products that they need in time and strive to discard as few units as possible due to outdating […]

Bacterial communities can store memories

Bacterial communities can store memories

Computer scienceMicrobiology

By Invited Researcher

Author: María Girbés Mínguez is a doctoral student at Center for Molecular Neurobiology Hamburg (ZMNH) / UKE (University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf) A recent study published in the journal Cell Systems uncovered that bacterial communities (biofilms) can store complex patterns of information through membrane potentials at the cellular level, in a similar way to neurons. But […]

Could regulators of the immune system have a role in schizophrenia?

Could regulators of the immune system have a role in schizophrenia?

BiomedicineNeurobiology

By Invited Researcher

In a new publication led by Dr. Albert Giralt, the researchers discovered the interaction between a transcription factor identified as “Helios” and a protein called “WDFY1” that could help elucidate the link between immunity and schizophrenia . Schizophrenia is an incurable mental illness characterized by relapsing episodes of psychosis. This disorder affects approximately 1% of […]

Human Accelerated Regions: What makes us human?

Human Accelerated Regions: What makes us human?

Neurobiology

By Invited Researcher

What differentiates us from our closest relatives and how are these differences caused? Scientists are trying to answer this question by comparing the genomic information of us and our closest relatives. Yet, we are far from having a genomic explanation that justifies the observed phenotypic differences. Human Accelerated Regions (HARs) However, some findings bring us […]