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Cornell Professors to Participate in March for Science

Some of the country’s smartest minds are coming together, but this time for much more than a science conference. On April 22, some Cornell professors and students will be joining thousands of their counterparts at the March for Science in Washington D.C. The march is intended to demonstrate support for scientific research and evidence based policy-making, something that many scientists believe is clearly lacking in the current administration. President Trump’s proposed 2017 budget laid out the administration’s priorities and science is not one of them. The plan included a 31 percent budget cut for the Environmental Protection Agency, a 18 percent cut for the National Institutes of Health and a small decrease in funding for NASA. These dramatic cuts could negatively affect human and environmental health as well as ongoing scientific research.

An Impossible Foods’ plant based burger that Briana Cameron ’13 consulted on.

Chicken: Fresh From the Lab!

Most burgers have their meat brought from slaughterhouses. Tasty though they may be, all forms of meat start off as a handful of cells. Flipping through your favorite restaurant’s menu, would you order a burger that contains chicken grown from a few cells in the lab? Briana Cameron ’13 and her team at the Good Food Institute, certainly hope so. The Good Food Institute is a nonprofit that is harnessing the power of markets and technology to end factory farming and its negative effects.

Schematic representation of the information provided by the app on sample pictures of pieces of furniture

Where Do I Get That Piece of Furniture?

Imagine being able to find out where your roommate gets their lamp, fridge or chair simply by taking a picture of it. Thanks to Sean Bell ’16, Prof. Kavita Bala, computer science, and their work in the field of computer vision, an app may soon exist to solve that exact problem. Bell was inspired by the disconnect between computer vision research conducted by the academic community and tools available to the general public. Consequently, he founded Grokstyle, a company that is in the midst of developing an application that recognizes objects, specifically furniture. The name Grokstyle stems from the word ‘Grok’, meaning to understand deeply, thoroughly and intuitively.

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Sperm Tails Inspire Highly Efficient Enzyme Reaction Mechanism

The very cells that created us may have a role in saving our lives. Scientists have always been amazed by the energy production system in a sperm’s tail. The system drives flagellar movement and is extremely efficient, like a high-speed vehicle with a self-charging system, independent of external energy sources. Now, Cornell researchers are mimicking such a system in the hopes of advancing fields such as human and animal health. They hope to use their findings to create implantable medical devices that utilize blood sugar to make products as well as support in drug delivery.