Pollution’s Impact on Babies
Air pollution can alter the gut microbiomes of babies during their first six months of infancy, according to first-of-its kind CU Boulder research. These pollutants — which can include exposure to traffic, wildfires or industrial zones — could affect the baby’s collection of resident microorganisms in ways that promote inflammation, influence brain development and increase risk of allergies, obesity and diabetes. The study was published in August in the journal Gut Microbes.
Palm Trees Inspire New Wind Turbines
In a move away from the traditional upwind turbine design that can result in heavy blades breaking in extreme winds, a team of CU Boulder researchers — in conjunction with collaborators at the University of Virginia, the University of Texas at Dallas, the Colorado School of Mines and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) — developed a two-blade downwind turbine modeled after the flexible and bendable nature of palm trees. The team presented the results of four years’ worth of research with their SUMR (Segmented Ultralight Morphing Rotor) turbine at the American Control Conference in Atlanta in June 2022. The turbine performed consistently and effectively during peak wind gusts at NREL’s Flatirons campus in Arvada, Colorado, they said. The team hopes to continue its research with large-scale, offshore downwind turbines.
The Misinformation of Marijuana Labels
In the largest analysis to date of the chemical composition of marijuana products, CU-involved research found that product labels can be confusing or misleading to consumers. Brian Keegan, CU Boulder assistant professor of information science, teamed up with three cannabis scientists to study nearly 90,000 samples across six states. Cannabis labels with categories such as indica, sativa and hybrid did not accurately convey enough information about the chemical composition of the product, the researchers found. Their study, which calls for a more rigorous labeling system, was published in the journal PLOS One in May.
Heard Around Campus:
“History set us up for a poor response to the pandemic.”
— Jose-Luis Jimenez, CU Boulder distinguished chemistry professor and lead author of an assessment published in August in the journal Indoor Air that examined historical medical mistakes in respiratory disease research.