Research Features – Issue 150: Questions of life, maritime security, and environmental education

In our last issue of Research Features for 2023, we continue to showcase research that pushes boundaries forward, tackles important issues, and highlights the critical studies being carried out all around the world.

We catch up with Nobel laureate Sir Paul Nurse about founding the Francis Crick Institute in London, a pioneer in biomedical and biological research. We also look at a digital tool for environmental education students to explore how to heal previously abandoned brownfield sites, as well as a study that analyses the initiative to reform the maritime sector in South Africa

Researchers have also been looking into the impact of daily activities on our bone density and structure to discover if we can differentiate between nomads and farmers from their humeri alone.

Finally, we examine the use of minimally invasive techniques in interventional oncology to see if these therapies increase survival rates and recommend future research directions.

Moraine 3D field of play in the BA simulation.

Out in the brownfields: An inquiry-based simulation for environmental science education

Studying the complex steps to heal brownfield sites has been restricted to traditional laboratory exercises. A new simulation platform gives students access to a digital space for learning and exploring how to redevelop these previously abandoned properties.

South Africa: Maritime security sector reform

South Africa’s maritime sector, crucial for its economy, has nevertheless been side-lined in favour of terrestrial concerns. In 2014, Operation Phakisa was launched to counter this neglect – but how effective has it been?

Does lifestyle change humeral bone structure?

Which came first – the lifestyle or the humerus? Morphometric mapping of human remains may show how daily activities have impacted the density of the bones in our arms.

Interventional oncology: A new era of minimally invasive techniques

Open surgery puts a lot of stress on the body, and may not always be the best course of action for a cancer patient. But removing cancerous tissue is still important – so do minimally invasive procedures hold the key to future cancer therapies?

What is life? Catching up with Paul Nurse from the Francis Crick Institute

When scientists lead the approach to research, are they better researchers? Taking a creative ‘bottom-up’ approach to research, Paul Nurse and the researchers at Francis Crick Institute tackle big topics in biomedical and biological research.

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