Research Features – Issue 143: rebooting endocrinologists, cancer cell traffic jams, and energetic seawater

In the most recent issue of Research Features, we’re presenting research from life’s problem solvers: scientists doing the research that leads us to the solutions we need. A new thermodynamic model shows how we can increase the efficiency of the technology currently being used to extract energy from seawater, while stress on healthcare systems has led one retired professor to encourage fellow endocrinologists to get back in the game.

Research Features also interviews Dr Margaret Joan Geller about some of the remarkable advancements in astronomy over the last decades, and what we can expect to learn from the James Webb Space Telescope.

New research into how cancer cells evade treatment uses the analogy of a traffic jam to help us understand how protein pathways can be ‘blocked’. And finally, the Global North needs to pick up the pace in climate change mitigation – embracing the power of trees might be the way forward.


Extracting energy from seawater: A thermodynamic dilemma

A new thermodynamic model could help to increase the efficiency of ocean thermal-energy conversion. The technology for this technique is currently available and could be more reliable than solar or wind energy. However, it is not yet widely used. This new model could solve one of the challenges en route to global adoption of this technology.

Blocking cancer’s escape routes in drug therapy

A team of researchers in America have found a way of temporarily blocking cancer cells’ ability to develop resistance to current cancer drugs. The team have promising results from a new strategy to block cancer cells from ‘evading’ treatment.

Transdisciplinary forest science and the rise of Nature-based Solutions

Managing climate change through the power of trees is not such a wild idea – the Global South is leading the way, while the Global North seems to be clinging to industrial technology in the effort to address climate change. Embracing the full potential of natural capital in a transdisciplinary way, may be far more effective and sustainable in the long term.

The multi-forest functions act as a bioapparatus.

‘Rebooting’ retired endocrinologists to provide vital diabetes care

What happens when a doctor retires from active practice, but still wants to help? Telemedicine appears to be the answer. A new programme in south-west Virginia enables retired endocrinologists to ‘see’ diabetes patients and provide them with bespoke treatment plans.

Discovering patterns in the universe

Talking about being a woman in science, mapping galaxies, and finding patterns in the fabric of the universe. Dr Margaret Joan Geller’s career has spanned decades and has been at the forefront of some of the greatest discoveries in astrophysics – from mapping nearby galaxies using redshifts, to discovering hypervelocity stars.

Galaxy cluster SMACS 0723 taken by the James Webb Telescope, which has provided the deepest infrared images of the distant universe so far. Image credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, and STScI.

Related posts.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share this article.