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  • Dean Hazel Sive edits volume detailing African frog research and best practices that informed her ‘life’s work’

    The cover of "Xenopus: A Laboratory Manual," featuring a colorful picture of frog biology.

    Dean of the College of Science and professor of biology at Northeastern University Hazel Sive has edited “Xenopus: A Laboratory Manual,” a new textbook that presents “a comprehensive collection of experimental procedures for research using Xenopus.”

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  • How family doctors can save ‘Primary Care on the Brink’: Hoff argues for the return of the generalist

    In “Searching for the Family Doctor: Primary Care on the Brink,” Timothy Hoff, professor of management, health care systems and public policy, argues that “The family doctor,” according to the publisher’s webpage, “was conceived of as a powered-up version of the ‘country doctor’ idea. At a time when doctor-patient relationships are evaporating in the face of highly transactional, fast-food-style medical practice, this ideal seems both nostalgic and revolutionary.” Hoff explores “how to save primary care by giving family doctors a fighting chance to become the generalists we need in our lives.”

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  • ‘Inhalable Bottlebrush Polymer Bioconjugates as Vectors for Efficient Pulmonary Delivery of Oligonucleotides’

    “Antisense oligonucleotides hold therapeutic promise for various lung disorders, but their efficacy is limited by suboptimal delivery. To address this challenge, we explored the use of inhaled bottlebrush polymer–DNA conjugates, named pacDNA, as a delivery strategy. Inhaled pacDNA exhibits superior mucus penetration, achieving a uniform and sustained lung distribution in mice.” Find the paper and full list of authors at ACS Nano.

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  • ‘Unveiling the Degradation of Pt/NbOx/C Catalysts in PEMFCs via In Situ X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy’

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    “Among the class of the catalyst that is composed of metal nanoparticles supported on metal oxides (MMO), the Pt/NbOx/C system has shown promising oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) activities as a cathode of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). Herein, we have studied a series of Pt/NbOx/C catalysts prepared via physical vapor deposition and unraveled the nature of the metal and metal oxide interaction (MMOI) by characterizing this system under reactive conditions. … We demonstrate that Pt preferably interacts with O but not Nb in the Pt/NbOx/C system.” Find the paper and full list of authors at Journal of The Electrochemical Society.

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  • New book collecting cutting-edge, evidence-based research on crime and justice policy aims to ‘chip away at the resistance to change’

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    Professor of criminology and criminal justice Brandon Welsh has co-edited “The Oxford Handbook of Evidence-Based Crime and Justice Policy,” which contains 32 chapters of research around evidence-based policy in practice from over 50 “scholars and practitioners.”

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  • ‘The Expressive Function of Public Policy: Renewable Energy Mandates Signal Social Norms’

    “Addressing collective action problems requires individuals to engage in coordinated and cooperative behaviours. Existing research suggests that individuals’ propensity to work together depends in part on their belief that others support the cause in question. People form their expectations about prevalent beliefs and behaviours from many sources. To date, most of the literature has focussed on how social norm perceptions are inferred from peers or summary statistics. We explore an understudied source of norm information: the passage of policies by democratically elected institutions.” Find the paper and full list of authors in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B.

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  • ‘Local Adaptation in Trait-Mediated Trophic Cascades’

    “Predator-induced changes in prey foraging can influence community dynamics by increasing the abundance of basal resources via a trait-mediated trophic cascade. The strength of these cascades may be altered by eco-evolutionary relationships between predators and prey, but the role of basal resources has received limited attention. We hypothesized that trait-mediated trophic cascade strength may be shaped by selection from trophic levels above and below prey. … We suggest that adaptation to basal resource availability may shape geographical variation in the strength of trait-mediated trophic cascades.” Find the paper and full list of authors at Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

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  • ‘Does More Advice Help? The Effects of Second Opinions in AI-Assisted Decision Making’

    “AI assistance in decision-making has become popular, yet people’s inappropriate reliance on AI often leads to unsatisfactory human-AI collaboration performance. In this paper, through three pre-registered, randomized human subject experiments, we explore whether and how the provision of {second opinions} may affect decision-makers’ behavior and performance in AI-assisted decision-making. We find that if both the AI model’s decision recommendation and a second opinion are always presented together, decision-makers reduce their over-reliance on AI while increase their under-reliance on AI.” Find the paper and full list of authors at ArXiv.

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  • Dy elected as Fellow of Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence

    Professor Jennifer Dy, in the Khoury College of Computer Sciences and in the department of electrical and computer engineering, was elected as a Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) “For significant contributions to unsupervised and interpretable machine learning, advancing AI to address health care challenges and service to the AI community,” the organization wrote in its announcement.

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  • Cassella added to Fulbright Specialist Roster

    “Electrical and computer engineering associate professor Cristian Cassella was recommended by a panel of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and World Learning to join the prestigious Fulbright Specialist Roster for a tenure of three years. The program, which is part of the larger Fulbright Program, pairs highly qualified U.S. academics and professionals with host institutions in over 150 countries to share their expertise, strengthen institutional linkages, hone their skills, gain international experience and learn about other cultures while building capacity at their overseas host institutions.”

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  • ‘Native Capillary Electrophoresis–Mass Spectrometry of Near 1 MDa Non-Covalent GroEL/GroES/Substrate Protein Complexes’

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    “Protein complexes are essential for proteins’ folding and biological function. Currently, native analysis of large multimeric protein complexes remains challenging. Structural biology techniques are time-consuming and often cannot monitor the proteins’ dynamics in solution. Here, a capillary electrophoresis-mass spectrometry (CE–MS) method is reported to characterize, under near-physiological conditions, the conformational rearrangements of ∽1 MDa GroEL upon complexation with binding partners involved in a protein folding cycle.” Find the paper and full list of authors at Advanced Science.

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  • ‘Emotion Regulation Convoys: Individual and Age Differences in the Hierarchical Configuration of Emotion Regulation Behaviors in Everyday Life’

    “A key limitation of studying emotion regulation behavior is that there is currently no way to describe individual differences in use across a range of tactics, which could lead to investigations of intraindividual changes over time or interindividual differences as a function of personality, age, culture, or psychopathology diagnosis. We, therefore, introduce emotion regulation convoys. This research tool provides a snapshot of the hierarchy of emotion regulation tactics an individual favors across everyday life situations and how effective they are at regulating moods.” Find the paper and full list of authors at Research Gate.

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  • AI-driven testing for cellular networks

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    “Electrical and computer engineering assistant research professor Michele Polese is leading a $2 million project awarded by the Wireless Innovation Fund for ‘AutoRAN: Automated End-to-End Continuous Testing for Open and Disaggregated Cellular Systems.’ … The project will explore the use of AI and large language models to streamline the process of testing the performance of multi-vendor Open RAN networks. Electrical and computer engineering assistant research professor Salvatore D’Oro, associate research scientist Leonardo Bonati, principal research scientist Pedram Johari and professor Tommaso Melodia will also be collaborating on this project.”

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  • ‘Linear Extension and Calcification Rates in a Cold-Water, Crustose Coralline Alga are Modulated by Temperature, Light and Salinity’

    “Long-lived crustose coralline algae are important ecosystem engineers and environmental archives in regions where observations of climate variability are sparse. … Here, we present the results of the first, to-our-knowledge, controlled laboratory experiment isolating the effects of light, temperature, and salinity on calcification rates of C. compactum. Algal calcification rates were modulated by a combination of light exposure, salinity, and temperature, where temperature and salinity were positively correlated, and light level was negatively correlated with calcification rate.” Find the paper and full list of authors in Limnology and Oceanography.

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  • Karma receives NASA grant to study alloy solidification in space

    The COMPASS project — “Computational Modeling of Columnar‐Equiaxed Alloy Solidification Micro‐Structures” — “uses computational modeling and space experiments conducted aboard the International Space Station to develop a fundamental understanding of the alloy solidification process used to make a wide range of technological materials.”

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  • Jaeggi and Seitz receive DoD grant to develop attention-measuring tools in high performers

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    “In this collaborative project that involves groups from Washington University (St. Louis), Brown University, University of California, Irvine, as well as several groups in Australia, we develop tools / apps to assess attention control in high-performing adults (e.g., pilots or air-traffic controllers) using computational modeling as well as behavioral and neuroimaging methods. Furthermore, we build evidence-based interventions to maximize and improve attention control functions in various [stressful] environments … The outcome of our project will provide a better understanding of the human attention system and the interventions will enable individuals to maintain high levels of focus and concentration even in…

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  • ‘Enabling Rotation Over Electrophoretic Motion in Janus Particles Under Applied Electric Field’

    “Janus particles (JPs) comprising metal and dielectric halves are capable of propulsion perpendicular to an applied electric field, with promising applications in targeted drug delivery and microrobotics. Yet, not all JP geometries behave the same when activated. We explore hemispherical, snowman and matchstick-like particle dynamics and evaluate threshold values for which electric torque can overcome induced charge electrophoresis. We define conditions where JPs are more likely to undergo rotation in place rather than linear motion, highlighting design features which should be considered when using these particles as materials.” Find the paper and full list of authors at Applied Physics Letters.

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  • ‘The Effects of Lithium Chloride Exposure on the Reproduction of Caenorhabditis elegans’

    “Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) are model organisms that share similar anatomical structures to humans. By exploring the effects of lithium chloride (LiCl) on C. elegans, we can collect crucial data regarding the compound’s impact on patients taking psychiatric medications containing LiCl. Here we performed an egg retention assay on nematode populations to explore how LiCl can influence reproduction. We found a statistically significant difference in eggs retained between control and experimental groups, suggesting that LiCl has negative effects on reproductive health.” Find the paper and full list of authors at MicroPublication Biology.

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  • Ionescu receives NSF CAREER award to study ‘molecular mechanisms of skeletal growth’

    “This Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award will focus on elucidating the molecular mechanisms of skeletal growth. … Estrogen plays a vital role in growth plate closure for both sexes [of mammals] by converting androgens to estrogens through aromatase in growth plate cartilage. Deficiency or resistance to estrogen leads to growth plate fusion failure and ongoing height increase in adulthood. However, the exact mechanism by which estrogen regulates growth plate closure is still unknown. Understanding this mechanism may clarify species-specific skeletal differences or variations between bones from different anatomical locations.”

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  • Two members of the Northeastern community elected ACM Fellows for contributions to artificial intelligence and advances in computer science

    Professor of the practice at Northeastern University Kenneth Church and Northeastern graduate Natasha Noy have been elected 2023 ACM Fellows. Both Church and Noy have advanced research in artificial intelligence, and both have worked on tools to support other researchers’ efforts.

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  • For teaching computers to see, Northeastern professor receives eminent achievement award

    A leading researcher in the field of computer vision — which uses artificial intelligence to process images received from cameras that “mimic human eyes” — Yun Raymond Fu, distinguished professor in the department of electrical and computer engineering, has received the 2024 Edward J. McCluskey Technical Achievement Award for making “impactful contributions” over a nearly 20-year career.

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  • Game design textbook teaches the ‘deep patterns that underlie good design’

    Associate teaching professor Christopher Barney’s textbook Pattern Language for Game Design looks to the field of architecture for its lessons, specifically architect Christopher Alexander. Using Alexander’s work as a framework, the textbook offers “a series of practical, rigorous exercises [with which] designers can observe and analyze the failures and successes of the games they know and love to find the deep patterns that underlie good design,” the publisher’s webpage states. Using pattern theory, “this book seeks to transform how we look at building the interactive experiences that shape us.”

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  • ‘Covalent Inhibition of Pro-Apoptotic BAX’

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    “BCL-2-associated X protein (BAX) is a promising therapeutic target for activating or restraining apoptosis in diseases of pathologic cell survival or cell death, respectively. In response to cellular stress, BAX transforms from a quiescent cytosolic monomer into a toxic oligomer. … In this study, we performed a disulfide tethering screen to discover C126-reactive molecules that modulate BAX activity. We identified covalent BAX inhibitor 1 (CBI1) as a compound that selectively derivatizes BAX at C126 and inhibits BAX activation by triggering ligands or point mutagenesis.” Find the paper and full list of authors at Nature Chemical Biology.

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  • Vision paper: ‘Towards Mobility Data Science’

    “Mobility data captures the locations of moving objects such as humans, animals and cars. With the availability of GPS-equipped mobile devices and other inexpensive location-tracking technologies, mobility data is collected ubiquitously. In recent years, the use of mobility data has demonstrated significant impact in various domains including traffic management, urban planning and health sciences. In this paper, we present the emerging domain of mobility data science. Towards a unified approach to mobility data science, we envision a pipeline having the following components: mobility data collection, cleaning, analysis, management and privacy.” Find the paper and full list of authors at ArXiv.

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  • ‘Distributed Cognition Approach to Understanding Compensatory Calendaring Cognitive Systems of Older Adults With Mild Cognitive Impairment’

    “While consumer digital calendars are widely used for appointment reminders, they do not fulfill all of the compensatory functions that are supported by calendars designed for cognitive rehabilitation therapies. … We employed a Distributed Cognition framework to elucidate how older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and their care partners manage calendaring details when supported by a traditional rehabilitation calendar. … We used a Distributed Cognition framing to articulate information flows and breakdowns in participants’ calendaring systems.” Find the paper and full list of authors in the International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing and Ambient Intelligence proceedings.

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  • ‘An Efficient OFDM-Based Monostatic Radar Design for Multitarget Detection’

    “In this paper, we propose a monostatic radar design for multitarget detection based on orthogonal-frequency division multiplexing, where the monostatic radar is co-located with the transmit antenna. The monostatic antenna has the perfect knowledge of the transmitted signal and listens to echoes coming from the reflection of fixed or moving targets. We estimate the target parameters, i.e., range and velocity, using a two-dimensional periodogram. By this setup we improve the periodogram estimation performance under the condition of low signal-to-noise ratio using Zadoff-Chu precoding and the discrete Fourier transform channel estimation.” Find the paper and authors list at IEEE Access.

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  • ‘DREiMac: Dimensionality Reduction With Eilenberg-MacLane Coordinates’

    “DREiMac is a library for topological data coordinatization, visualization, and dimensionality reduction. Currently, DREiMac is able to find topology-preserving representations of point clouds taking values in the circle, in higher dimensional tori, in the real and complex projective spaces, and in lens spaces. In a few words, DREiMac takes as input a point cloud together with a topological feature of the point cloud (in the form of a persistent cohomology class), and returns a map from the point cloud to a well-understood topological space.” Find the paper and full list of authors at the Journal of Open Source Software.

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  • Noveck provides guidance on using artificial intelligence in government

    Noting how governments around the world have been slow to adopt ChatGPT in their processes, Beth Noveck, professor and director of the Burnes Center for Social Change at Northeastern University, provides guidance and examples for how large language models can be leveraged by public-serving professionals. “The journey from skepticism to the beginnings of strategic implementation,” she writes, “reflects a growing recognition of the transformative potential of AI for public good.”

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  • ‘Reconnecting Economics Education with Today’s Global Realities’

    Jennie Stephens, professor of sustainability science and policy, writes that economics education in the United States is “dangerously limited.” Responding to “an interactive session designed to kick off October’s National Economics Education Month” in which Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell “shared with educators his enthusiasm and appreciation for economics education, [but also] failed to connect economics to major societal issues,” Stephens argues for a model of economics education that would explore “a wide range of economic ideas beyond neoclassical economics and beyond neoliberal policies.”

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  • Halacheva receives NSF grant for representation theory research

    “This project delves into several research directions within representation theory, which is the mathematical framework for studying objects through their symmetries and the operations which preserve them. Such operations can carry a classical, or even more intriguingly a quantum algebraic structure. … Quantum groups and the theory surrounding them are now a thriving source of uncovering new mathematical principles. This project will develop a richer understanding of this theory by building a common ground for combining algebraic, combinatorial and higher-structural categorical techniques for the study of quantum groups and associated diagram algebras.”

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