Research careers, citizen equality, and new advances in miniaturisation
Welcome to a thought-provoking pick of some of our latest animations, bringing research, discoveries, and innovation to life.
Our featured animations examine peer review, perceptions of inequality, and how to cope with hate speech against minority groups. We go on to take a close look at how insect wings are inspiring new ways to fight drug-resistant superbugs. Lastly, we look at mini-genes, which could unlock previously inaccessible targets in gene therapy to improve treatments for rare genetic disorders.
How can peer review better serve early career researchers?
Research by Lancaster University’s Peer Review and Expert Review Laboratory, known as PEARL, investigates whether the peer review system can be used to help early career researchers stay in academia and research. They ask if positive signals from reviewers – through targeted, actionable, and fair feedback – can support continued and successful academic careers.
What shapes (mis)perceptions of inequality in the land of opportunities?
Research on perceptions of inequality in the US by the Penn Center for Social Norms and Behavioral Dynamics, supported by the Charles Koch Foundation, finds that people who feel more in control of their lives believe there is less income inequality, and that inequality is fair – equating success with hard work rather than luck or circumstances outside of one's control.
Research like this can help understand subconscious biases and other psychological traits, to lay the groundwork for lasting social and political change.
In the minority: Coping with populist challenges
How do minorities attacked by populist movements in Europe endure the challenges of political tactics directed at them? How does hate speech spread on social media and what can you do about it? Research from the DEMOS (Democratic Efficacy and the Varieties of Populism in Europe) project aims to answer these important questions.
Insect wings protect against antibiotic-resistant microbes – here's how!
Scientists at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, have recently discovered the mechanism behind the anti-microbial properties of insect wings: tiny nanopillars on the surface of the wing mechanically impale and destroy bacterial cells. The close proximity of the nanopillars also creates an air pocket, which prevents fungal cells from invading the wing surface. Replicating this structure could lead to the development of antimicrobial surfaces on medical devices without the use of chemicals.
What can you do with a mini-gene?
Conventional gene therapy predominantly uses engineered viruses to deliver DNA to target cells. Biotechnology company Evozyne has developed a mini-gene that is 36% smaller and five times more active than unmodified genes. Currently more than 20% of human diseases cannot be treated with gene therapy because the genes are too big. Mini-genes have the potential to unlock previously inaccessible targets in gene therapy, improving treatment approaches for patients with rare genetic disorders.
Science Animated is a science communication agency that brings research, discoveries, and innovation to life.
We collaborate with researchers to convert complex topics into engaging animations that explore and explain ideas in bitesize chunks. The animations are then promoted on YouTube and across all our social media channels.
Sci Ani animations help forge important connections with collaborators, funders, and the public – the people who can help your research make a difference.
Get in touch if you would like us to help you and your colleagues achieve your communication goals.
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