Year in Review: Science and Health

As NYU Abu Dhabi celebrates its 10-year anniversary and enters anew into the next decade, we take a look back at the last year of advancements in science and technology. Research in machine learning, environmental science, and the mysteries within the human body have all been touchstones for academic excellence in 2019.

Here are some of our most memorable stories:

1. You Snooze You Win

There is a lot of pseudoscience about sleep out there. Every week brings a flurry of new articles that recommend a different strategy to get the best sleep. Regardless of what these new “findings” suggest, their frequency represent our appetite to understand more about snoozing. Our own faculty has taken a similar fascination with what happens when we’re jet lagged and the processes that are involved in recalibrating our sleep schedule in an entirely new timezone.

2. Watering Worries

With more than 70 water plants in the UAE alone, desalination provides water to millions of people albeit at a heavy environmental cost. Along with all the fossil fuels needed to drive the process, the leftover waste — comprised of highly concentrated brine — is dumped back into what is already one of the saltiest bodies of water on earth. Research from NYU Abu Dhabi has discovered a use for the salty byproduct in making one of the most used materials on earth: cement.

3. Where There's Smoke

Researchers from the Public Health Research Center NYUAD have shed light on the ancient tradition of burning incense. Their findings show that those who engage in the practice could increase the probability of oral infections and systemic diseases by changing the composition of oral microbiota.

4. A Serious Meltdown

Global warming is showing no signs of slowing down, threatening the livelihoods of billions around the planet. Science can help illuminate climate change problems to illustrate not only the concerns we’ll deal with, but also possible solutions. NYU Abu Dhabi researchers have shown the extent of rapid ice melting in Greenland’s largest glacier could be contributing to faster than expected sea level rise.

5. Reach for the Stars

While the United Arab of Emirates celebrated sending the first Emirati to space, NYU Abu Dhabi welcomed a young space prodigy, Alia Almansoori into our scientific fellowship. Almansoori will work on developing lab skills including mammalian cell/tissue culture, RNA and protein extractions, primer design, Real-time PCR, microscopy, and cell staining methods.