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[ Innovations & updates ] November 2, 2022

Check out the latest scientific discoveries - long before they’re published

The publishing process can be long and complex, and it often takes years for scientific results to see the light of day. What discoveries are scientists making right now? Learn from the fascinating early-stage findings on our platform that are freely available for all to view.

     1. Creating more equitable systems for cancer patients

How can the healthcare system better support cancer patients from different socioeconomic backgrounds? In findings presented from this year’s PROSCA/BLADDR Global Congress on Bladder Cancer, researchers worked together to identify the unmet needs of bladder cancer patients from deprived populations. Researchers conducted a study of a pool of over 1,000 carers and patients, including those from low-income backgrounds, those living in regional areas, as well as elderly and digitally-excluded people. Based on these results and follow-up surveys, researchers created initiatives that met the needs outlined by these patients. These included full-color information booklets for digitally-excluded individuals, using clearer language for people at an educational disadvantage, and more.

While the world is beginning to recognize the importance of providing access to healthcare resources in underprivileged communities, this is just a first step. Efforts like these that seek to meet the needs of underprivileged individuals improve health literacy and result in more awareness and informed decision-making for patients across all backgrounds.

 

    2. A sustainable solution

Aloe vera is known for its hydrating benefits, antioxidant properties, and soothing qualities. Yet, did you know that the natural skincare craze sparked by these plants can contribute to agricultural waste and environmental pollution?

When aloe vera products are created, the rind (peel) in which the gel is contained is often discarded as waste. Researchers have found that aloe vera rind can actually pose benefits to the world’s environment and agricultural life. In this poster and video, presented at the American Chemical Society’s Fall Meeting 2022, researchers share that two species of caterpillars that damage crops worldwide have shown an aversion to aloe vera plants. Based on this, they hypothesized that a specific wax found in the aloe vera plant may serve as a defense for these plants. After testing extracts of the wax, they learned that it contained natural insecticides. Rather than simply throwing away aloe vera peels, these researchers posit that aloe vera rinds can serve a “sustainable and unlimited source of natural insecticide(s).” These findings have paved the way for further research that can delve more into how these plants can protect our crops, vegetables, and wildlife.

 

     3. Everything but the kitchen sink: the dangers of using digital technology during food preparation

In our digital age, many people looking to learn how to cook or try new recipes may not think twice about using a smartphone, tablet, or laptop in the kitchen. But, contrary to popular belief, the kitchen is actually a high-risk area when it comes to contamination, with the Food Standards Agency (FSA) reporting that up to 64% of foodborne illness  originates from the home environment through sponges, dishtowels, and more. As seen in a poster from this year’s Nutrition Society Irish Conference, researchers from the Institute of Food Security at Queens University Belfast hypothesized that there could be a link between cross-contamination in the kitchen and foodborne illness.

Researchers conducted a critical review of research materials investigating microbial contamination on personal electronics. They found “indisputable evidence” that personal digital devices can harbor microorganisms and result in contamination. 

However, the researchers noted that this can all change when consumers practice hygiene habits and regularly clean their electronic devices. They also acknowledged that further research needs to be done to truly identify the food safety risks that these devices hold.

 

Conclusion

When researchers get a chance to share their ideas at every step of the scientific process, great things happen. From discoveries that center on transforming the healthcare system to exposing the dangers of seemingly ordinary household items, the Morressier platform supports thinkers in bringing their breakthroughs to the world.

Butterfly on flower with message about digital transformation in scholarly publishing