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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)

African Violet

The African violet is one of the world’s most common houseplants, but deforestation has endangered its existence in the wild. Dubbed the panda of the plant world, the flower may be saved by researchers hoping to sequence its genome, unlocking keys within its DNA for better breeding and conservation.

Led by: Biology researchers Charlotte Lindqvist and Victor Albert

 Boy eats muffin

A UB-led study of kids through age 6 discovered that children who showed emotional distress when eating had a higher BMI, strengthening a previously observed link between difficult temperament and childhood obesity. Researchers speculate that parents may be turning to food as a pacifier when faced with an upset child.

Led by: UB education researcher Myles S. Faith and College of Charleston psychology researcher James B. Hittner

 Toxic workplace

When it comes to dirty office politics, what goes around comes around. A UB-led study found that employees who are the victims of undermining by colleagues often become future office bullies, causing a vicious cycle. Office bullying costs businesses $6 billion each year in employee turnover and productivity loss.

Led by: Organization and human resources researcher KiYoung Lee