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Articles on Research Brief

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Socioeconomic and cultural data can help governments predict and slow the spread of the next pandemic. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

How to use statistics to prepare for the next pandemic

Many governments, including the US, already collect and make public population statistics that could help them prepare for the next pandemic.
A simple two-dimensional grid can convey a lot of information – whether making pictures with Lite-Brite or storing data in DNA. Justin Day/Flickr

DNA ‘Lite-Brite’ is a promising way to archive data for decades or longer

DNA has been storing vast amounts of biological information for billions of years. Researchers are working to harness DNA for archiving data. A new method uses light to simplify the process.
Chronic absenteeism rates fell 8 percentage points among schools in Nevada and Colorado that adopted the ‘Breakfast after the Bell’ program. Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Breakfast After the Bell programs reduce school absenteeism

Chronic absenteeism is a pressing issue in high-poverty schools, but research suggests that serving students breakfast during class can help keep kids in school.
Tyrannosaurus rex spanned all of ancient North America, and about 20,000 lived at once. 1Ado123/Wikimedia Commons

How many Tyrannosaurus rex walked the Earth?

Using the incredible wealth of fossil data and a modern ecological theory, researchers estimated population density for the extinct apex predator.
The colors in this microscope photo of a fruit fly brain show different types of neurons and the cells that surround them in the brain. Sarah DeGenova Ackerman

Astrocyte cells in the fruit fly brain are an on-off switch that controls when neurons can change and grow

Adaptable neurons are tied to learning and memory but also to neurological disorders. By studying fruit flies, researchers found a mechanism that controls neuroplasticity.
Project-based learning gets kids to explore natural phenomena and solve real-world problems. Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Project-based learning deepens science knowledge for 3rd graders in Michigan

Students who took part in the program scored 8% higher on the state science test than students who received traditional instruction, and demonstrated greater social and emotional learning.

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