Research News | Duke Kunshan University

Research News

Recent research highlights from Duke Kunshan University’s centers and programs, plus a few other places. Use the filter to narrow your search.

Bedroom air filters allow asthmatic children to breathe easier

Pharmaceutical companies have spent a great deal of resources to developing expensive drugs that can work on lower airways. However, a two-week study in Shanghai by American and Chinese scientists, including health expert Jim Zhang, have found that using a bedroom air filter that traps PM2.5 – fine particulate matter – can significantly improve breathing in asthmatic children. The findings were published in the American Medical Association’s JAMA Pediatrics

How the works of R. Nachman of Braslav influenced Jewish literary modernity

Hasidic master and religious thinker R. Nachman of Braslav (1772-1810) lived in a time of extraordinary change, when imperial modernization was transforming Eastern Europe. In a new book, “A Permanent Beginning,” Duke Kunshan professor Yitzhak Lewis places Nachman’s tales and teachings in the context of the social, legal and intellectual history of the time, and lays out a new paradigm for understanding a creative genius and his formative influence on Jewish literary modernity.

Flagging 11 frontier issues facing the Belt and Road

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which aims to boost connectivity among Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, may become the largest infrastructure project in human history. After conducting a horizon scan of the BRI, an interdisciplinary group of experts including biodiversity conservationist Binbin Li have identified 11 frontier issues stemming from the initiative that policymakers may have overlooked or underestimated, including threats to freshwater and karst ecosystems, and the effect of invasive species on food security.

Deciphering the drag force in complex fluids

We feel the drag force from air while walking, jogging or riding a vehicle, and we feel the drag force from sand while walking on the beach. Combining experiments, numerical simulations and theory, physicist Kai Huang addresses the question “How can we predict the trajectory of an object thrown into granular materials, such as sands, powders and grains?” in Nature’s Scientific Reports. The work sheds light on a fundamental understanding of drag force in complex fluids.

Women’s singleness and feminism in 1920s China

In the 1920s, some Chinese intellectuals considered women’s singleness, or the choice to be unmarried, a central part of discussions of marriage, family and gender. Drawing on the works of Shen Zijiu (1898-1989), historian Qian Zhu agues in the International Journal of Gender and Women’s Studies that debate of women’s singleness marked China’s enlightenment movement by rethinking the concept of modernity, in which gender equality and women’s emancipation became the measuring stick of the degrees of civilization.

Energy stable scheme for two-phase flow problems

Mathematician Shixin Xu and fellow researchers have developed a q-NSCH system based on the energy variational method for two-phase flow problems with contact lines and variable density. In a paper published in the Journal of Computational Physics, they propose a mass conserving C0 finite element scheme to solve the PDE system. Various numerical results confirm that the proposed scheme for both P1 element and P2 element are energy stable.

Lack of knowledge points to underreporting of equine zoonotic infection

Worldwide, horses play a critical role in recreation, food production and transportation, and as a result, there remains potential risk for equine zoonotic pathogen transmission to humans. After conducting a systematic review of equine zoonoses, epidemiologist Gregory Gray and colleagues warn that there is a high potential for underreporting zoonotic infections due to lack of knowledge among health professionals.

Stress testing with influencing factors to accelerate data race software failures

Software failures caused by data race bugs remain major concerns in parallel and distributed systems. To address the issue, iAPSE’s Kishor Trivedi and fellow researchers propose in IEEE Transactions on Reliability stress testing with influencing factors, in which the system runs under certain workloads for a long time with controlled stress conditions, and explore mathematical relationship models between data races’ statistical characteristics of time to failure (TTF) or mean TTF and the influencing factors.

Women still missing from cardiovascular trials

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death among women worldwide. So why don’t more women participate in trials? Lijing Yan, an expert in non-communicable diseases, and global health master’s student Xurui Jin, explore the key factors behind the under-representation of women in cardiovascular trials in Circulation, an American Health Association journal.

First ancient DNA from West Africa illuminates deep human past

An international research team including archaeologist Scott MacEachern has produced the first whole-genome ancient human DNA sequences from West and Central Africa. Scientists recovered the data from two pairs of children buried at an iconic archaeological site in Cameroon from between 3,000 and 8,000 years ago. The findings, published by Nature, provide fresh clues in the search to identify the populations that first spoke Bantu languages, the most widespread and diverse group of languages in Africa today.