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Eureka!: beaker briefs

Research highlights from the desk, lab and field

Photograph by Mitchell Bring

Digital Restoration

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Digital tools meet ancient art. UB architects are helping local firm Boston Valley Terra Cotta restore historic edifices using 3-D milling and laser-cutting. Their first undertaking involved making four 19-foot-tall angels that sit atop a Manhattan building.

Who’s Leading It: Omar Khan, chair of architecture

Cavities and Cancer

In a study looking at several hundred patients, researchers found that those with more cavities had fewer cancer diagnoses. Correlation doesn’t prove causation, but the findings raise intriguing questions about how microorganisms linked with tooth decay may affect the onset of head and neck cancers.

Who’s Leading It: Dental researcher Mine Tezal

Injectable Crystals

Shooting brightly shining crystals into the bloodstream may be how doctors of the future conduct deep-tissue imaging. A three-month study found the crystals, called silicon quantum dots, to be safe in monkeys, bringing the technology a step closer to a clinic near you.

Who’s Leading It: An international research team including UB engineering, chemistry, physics and medical researchers.

Turncoat Bacteria

Pneumonia-causing germs often colonize our noses without harm. So what triggers these peaceful bacteria to go bad? One answer: The flu! When microbiologists infected germ-carrying mice with influenza or exposed them to flu-like conditions, the bacteria fled their surroundings and turned virulent.

Who’s Leading It: Microbiology researcher Anders Hakansson