Eureka!: beaker briefs

Research highlights from the desk, lab and field

By Marcene Robinson (BA ’13)

Punch-Drunk Love

Can love make us mean? UB researchers think so. A study that explored the link between empathy and aggression revealed that hormones in the brain can harden our heart, causing unprovoked hostility toward strangers who happen to be in a loved one’s way. Think a mother sabotaging her child’s competitors.

Psychology researcher Michael Poulin

Startup Hiccups

For startups, having too many friends can stunt future growth. While established companies have much to offer newcomers in experience and status, a startup that forms too many alliances may crumble under the weight of heightened expectations or a diluted vision. Researchers urge young companies to pace their growth.

Operations management and strategy researcher Ramin Vandaie

Hammering Stem Cells

With a little tinkering, certain cells can be transformed into stem cells. Researchers discovered that altering mechanical forces in specific cells could reprogram them into “stem-like” cells, which can regenerate or repair damaged tissue. Unlike older techniques that use hazardous chemicals to reprogram cells, the new method is nontoxic.

Physiology and biophysics researchers Fanjie Meng and Frederick Sachs