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.

How environmental policy can affect polluters’ exports

Stringent water pollution regulations in China not only can help improve the environment but also significantly affect the decisions polluting companies make regarding their exports, including types of products and destinations, depending on the trade mode, economist Jingbo Cui and colleagues found in a study published in China Economic Review. They discovered that tightened standards have led to some “dirty firms” switching to less-polluting products.

Does residential greenness protect against the dangers of air pollution?

Air pollution in China is the fourth-largest cause of death and disability combined. In a study, John Ji and Anna Zhu of the Environmental Research Center and colleagues assessed whether greenness protects against air pollution-related mortality. The findings, published by The Lancet Planetary Health, suggest people living in urban areas benefit more from greenness, while rural residents experience more harm from low-level air pollution.

The longer history of imperial incidents on the Yangtze

Today, the United States operates nearly 800 overseas military bases in more than 70 countries. But before World War II, China hosted the largest U.S. military presence on foreign soil. A new article by historian Zach Fredman published in Modern American History examines how this presence contributed to anti-imperialist resentment by looking at a deadly 1933 accident involving the USS Panay, a U.S. Navy gunboat that Japanese aircraft famously bombed and sank near Nanjing in 1937.

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.