Male infertility is on the rise, with significant declines in sperm quantity and quality occurring across the human population worldwide in the past two decades. The reason for this is poorly understood, but scientists suspect spermatogenesis – the process by which sperm develops – is a crucial piece in this puzzle.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has selected Penn Medicine as one of 25 award recipients across 30 sites in the United States to serve as Impact of Genomic Variation on Function (IGVF) investigators, with the goal of better understanding how genetic differences impact how human genes function, and how these variations influence human health and disease. Funded by the NIH’s National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), Penn Medicine will be awarded more than $1.2 million per year, with a contract that is expected to be supported for five years, totaling more than $6 million in funding for this research.
The National Science Foundation has announced the award of $12.5 million to Arizona State University for the development of a new Biological Integration Institute (BII). The award will initiate a university-wide program, under the direction of Michael Lynch, Principal Investigator, and director of the Biodesign Center for Mechanisms of Evolution (CME).
The Hispanic Health Paradox is a phenomenon in which Hispanics have better disease outcomes than non-Hispanic whites, despite having greater risk factors for poor outcomes. Researchers theorize that the importance of family and strong social networks in Hispanic culture may confer some resilience. University of Arizona researchers have been awarded approximately $3.4 million from the National Institutes of Health to test this hypothesis.
In the event of a natural disaster like Hurricane Ida, artificial intelligence (AI) may be used to assess damage, using imagery reports to identify the severity of flooded areas. Using AI in disaster scene assessment has its limitations, however, and input from the people affected is needed, in order to get a better picture. A new project being led by Dong Wang, associate professor in the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, will explore the power of human intelligence to address the failures of existing AI schemes in disaster damage assessment applications and boost the performance of the system. Wang has received a National Science Foundation (NSF) Human-Centered Computing (HCC) grant for his new project, “DeepCrowd: A Crowd-assisted Deep Learning-based Disaster Scene Assessment System with Active Human-AI Interactions.”
Shark depredation, where a shark partially or completely consumes a fish before a fisherman can get it out of the water, causes a range of negative biological and economic impacts. Scientists have found a novel way to address this issue using a citizen-science approach that includes surveys, videos, forensics and social media. They will get data from Florida anglers on their seasonal fishing behavior, methods, locations, target species, frequency of experiencing shark depredation events, and their attitudes and opinions regarding shark depredation, conservation, and management.
UNF received a $247,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to purchase a magnetron sputtering thin film deposition system.
The future of vaccines may look more like eating a salad than getting a shot in the arm. UC Riverside scientists are studying whether they can turn edible plants like lettuce into mRNA vaccine factories.
A University of Guam team led by Associate Professor William Jeffery has received grant funding to identify, survey, and help preserve the less-documented World War II sites, including three unlocated shipwrecks, in Chuuk — the Micronesian island the Americans attacked in 1944 in retaliation for the Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor.
Neil Hayes, MD, MPH, director of the Center for Cancer Research at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, is one of two principal investigators for a $1.8 million grant that extends the work of The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), a groundbreaking multisite project to understand cancer at its molecular level through genome sequencing and extensive data analysis.
- NIH/National Cancer Institute
The Army Research Lab has awarded the University of Central Florida a $4.5 million grant to develop a smart, computer vision-based navigation system for when GPS is unavailable or jammed. The system will be like a cyber co-pilot that supports navigation of ground vehicles by using artificial intelligence and machine learning to assess computer imaging of terrain captured by the vehicle and by unmanned aerial vehicles. It will help drivers determine where they are and how to get to where they are going in complex terrain.