Thinking of the World: Best of 2010

Students up in the air at Olympic celebration site
Olympic celebrators at Surrey’s Olympic Holland Park had the chance to direct the movements of a remote-controlled blimp developed by Surrey- campus students Nathan Waddington, Andrew Thong, Anna Wu and Brian Quan. The Interactive Arts and Technology (IAT) students designed the blimp to move about in response to the actions of people on the ground.

New research chair tracks potential HIV moms in Africa 
Health sciences assistant professor Angela Kaida became SFU’s newest Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Global Perspectives in HIV, and Sexual and Reproductive Health. She is studying how expanding access to HIV treatment services, including the availability of highly active antiretroviral therapy, influences reproductive decision-making, behaviours and outcomes among women in high-risk areas, primarily sub-Saharan Africa.

Obesity study targets kids in India, Canada
Health scientists Scott Lear, of SFU, and Zubin Punthakee of McMaster University, launched a sweeping new study of more than 4,000 children in India and Canada in their quest to develop critical strategies for preventing obesity. Funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the study compares seven- to 15-year-old children from both countries to determine the extent of the problem and determine whether family, school or environmental factors may affect obesity.


Ghanaian Aids-stigma project completed
SFU’s six-year partnership project with three universities in Ghana to help reduce the stigma of HIV/AIDS in this African country, ended in 2010. Funded by the Canadian International Development Agency, the project successfully graduated a critical mass of school teachers, youth workers, students and others who have a more comprehensive understanding of HIV/AIDS and who can continue to inform thousands of others in order to reduce the disease’s stigma.

Biochips could save thousands of Indian newborns 
SFU engineering scientist Ash Parameswaran and a trio of grad students working with Indian researchers created a fast, effective way to diagnose bacteria-infected newborns that could potentially save thousands of lives in rural India. The researchers developed a class of plastic microfluidic chips that can determine the sensitivity of bacterial strains to different antibiotics within hours, using a simple LED light source.