Eureka!: beaker briefs

Research highlights from the desk, lab and field

By Marcene Robinson (BA ’13)

New research has found that security measures in high schools are disproportionally used in big schools with large populations of African-American students, independent of objective criteria like crime levels. This is especially disturbing as the study also found that the measures result in higher suspension rates, which can impact learning.

Led by: Education researcher Jeremy Finn and Canisius College psychology researcher Tim Servoss (PhD ’02)

When is $4 trillion considered bad money? When it comes from a foreign government investor, particularly a nondemocratic regime. While stock markets usually react positively to news of any major financial investment, research found that sovereign wealth funds generally hurt returns, especially when a large or controlling stake was acquired.

Led by: Finance researcher Veljko Fotak, University of Turin economics researcher Bernardo Bortolotti and University of Oklahoma finance researcher William L. Megginson

By weakening the protein that guards our DNA, researchers were able to reprogram average skin cells into valuable dopamine neurons at record speeds. The finding may revolutionize Parkinson’s disease treatment by allowing scientists to create patient-specific dopamine neurons and then transplant them into the brain to repair faulty ones.

Led by: Physiology and biophysics researcher Jian Feng