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Eureka!: beaker briefs

Beaker Briefs

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

By Marcene Robinson (BA ’13)

Photo of a baby gorilla

Evolution doesn’t always involve reinventing the genetic wheel. UB researchers examined the saliva of humans and primates and found that, sometimes, just amplifying old genes can do the job. They discovered that the DNA that makes saliva bind to bacteria duplicated itself over time, helping us to better fight disease. 

Led by: Biology researchers Omer Gokcumen and Duo Xu, and oral biology researcher Stefan Ruhl 

Photo of a woman advising a man on a project

It’s no secret that men hold the majority of leadership positions at American companies. But UB-led research revealed that in male-dominated workplaces that were outgoing and social, women were more likely to emerge as leaders. These groups, they found, chose leaders who best exemplified their shared values, regardless of gender. 

Led by: Organization and human resources researcher G. James Lemoine 

Illustration of a red fish standing out in a school of blue fish

Going with the flow may place a damper on your happiness. According to UB-led research that studied cardiovascular responses to peer pressure, standing up for your beliefs can lead to positive, invigorating experiences, while compromising opinions to fit in with a group may lead to feelings of anxiety. 

Led by: Psychology researcher Mark Seery