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[ Industry trends ] July 21, 2022

Recent trends rocking the research community

From the first spark of an idea to the final results of an experiment, tracing the research lifecycle from the beginning to end is what Morressier’s all about. We’ve gathered some of our favorite early-stage results, covering topics that range from extending the life of electric car batteries to TikTok’s effect on the young brain.Read on to discover the latest cutting-edge research.

When do teens turn to processed foods, and what can parents do?

Ultra-processed foods now make up more than half of adolescents’ diets. But at what age do these unhealthy eating habits kick in, and how can parents combat them?

Maria Balhara, a researcher from Broward College sought to answer these questions by collecting data from adolescents and young adults aged 14-19 years in Florida. Balhara was able to calculate the trends in consumption of ultra-processed foods (UPF) by calculating a processed intake evaluation (PIE) for each participant. The new study presented at The Nutrition Society’s Irish Section Conference 2022, found that in females, there is a significant UPF intake increase at age 16, while for young males, this increase typically begins at age 18. The research also shows that in larger-sized families, UPF intake increase occurs earlier when compared to intake rates in smaller households, potentially due to the lack of parental supervision. 

Adolescence is a critical time for growth, with many teens being away from home for the first time in addition to puberty and relationship struggles. With all of these changes, it is not surprising that diet changes occur too. These findings provide parents with the best ages to intervene and ensure that their teens make healthy food choices before they establish the dietary habits that they will carry into adulthood.

 

Alternative ways to power electric cars

As temperatures continue to rise across the globe, how can we find ways to reduce emissions while still satisfying our technological needs?

This ePoster, presented at the European Association for Electromobility’s 35th Edition of the International Electric Vehicle Symposium & Exhibition, explores the current trends in the electric vehicle industry. Old, used electric car batteries are getting second lives like never before. On the surface, this seems like an easy way to mitigate any environmental and economic challenges that arise from electric vehicles. Now, rather than accumulating in large, wasteful landfill piles, these batteries can be made useful and cheaper even after they have lost their original capacity, right? Not so fast.

The demand for stationary energy storage is “expected to be saturated in the near future with these second-life batteries”, yet many technical and economic issues can arise from second-life battery use. Researchers from the Catalonia Institute for Energy Research and the Universitat Politécnica de Catalunya have found alternatives to second-life batteries. They have discovered that finding more ways to extend the first life of batteries can lead to greater economic profit than investing in second-life batteries. We can still make use of low and zero emissions vehicles without sacrificing economic growth and technical ease.

 

Is TikTok affecting young teens’’ attention spans?

Are your teens spending too much time on TikTok? Or do you find yourself mindlessly scrolling on social media and later finding it difficult to focus on important tasks?

In this new study, presented at The International Psychological Forum - Child in the Digital World, researchers from Moscow State University explore how TikTok affects the cognitive functions of its users. The researchers split a sample size into categories of frequent TikTok users and those who do not engage with the app at all, with an average age of average age 21.8 years. The group completed several online questionnaires and tests. Surprisingly, the results found that there were “no significant differences” in focused attention scores between the TikTok and noTikTok groups. The same study was conducted again on another sample size with younger participants, and similar results were recorded.

 

The use of medical cannabis during cultural turmoil

Did you know that the demand for medical cannabis sharply increased in 2020?

Researchers from Veriheal, a tele-med medical cannabis recommendation provider, conducted a case study to explore whether there was a correlation between the COVID-19 pandemic and demand for medical cannabis.

The results of the study, presented at the American Chemical Society’s Spring Meeting 2021, found that interest in cannabis greatly increased during 2020. The sharpest increases were recorded during months of cultural turmoil in America (e.g., the George Floyd protests & presidential elections) compared to months with no significant societal events. This caused scientists to conclude that, as opposed to a method of pain relief, cannabis was sought after as a tool for happiness and improving mental health.

 

Conclusion

Science moves fast. So does public attention. That’s why we’re here. At Morressier, we use our platform to ensure your community’s work has a home long after the conference is over and your early-stage findings get the attention they deserve.

Each one of these studies is a small piece of the scientific puzzle. Because their early-stage research is shared online, we're able to track how thinking on these topics moves faster and how the broader scientific community benefits from the democratization of this research.

To discover more of the inspiring and impactful early-stage research hosted by Morressier, head over to our platform.