Eureka!: beaker briefs

Beaker Briefs

Research highlights from the desk, lab and field in 50 words or less

By Andrew Coddington

electronic circuit being increasingly stretched

Inspired by kirigami, a variation of origami, a UB-led research team is designing flexible electronic components that can expand and contract like an accordion while maintaining strength and increasing conductivity. The innovation could improve a host of new technologies, including electronic skin, bendable screens and smart clothing.

Led by: Mechanical and aerospace engineering researcher Shenqiang Ren

Scanning electron microscopy image of NTHi strain. Image shows biofilm formed on fixed human bronchial epithelial cells. 4,000 X magnification

A 15-year UB study of COPD is yielding unprecedented insights into its most harmful pathogen. Samples collected monthly from 192 patients revealed how it adapts to human airways in real time, creating hundreds of unique strains. Now that researchers know the wily bug’s secrets, they can focus on eliminating it.

Led by: Medicine researcher Timothy Murphy

Interior of a church

Is the political polarization that’s dividing America like the Red Sea also driving down church membership? UB research found that partisanship is not a major impetus for departing congregants. Churches are rarely influenced by outside factors, and those who are leaving were generally on the periphery to begin with.

Led by: Political science researcher Jacob Neiheisel