NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) celebrated its tenth anniversary by listing ten important research projects initiated over the past decade.
1- UAE Healthy Future Study
The UAE Healthy Future Study (UAEHFS) is the first long-term national study of Emirati health which aims to understand the cause of the rising cases of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease and prevent these diseases in the future.
Researchers at the NYUAD Center for Genomics and Systems Biology (CGSB) have analyzed the evolution of mangrove research in the Arabian region over the past half-century to determine geographic and topic-area trends, and allow identification of priority areas for future research.
3- Sustainable 3D Printed Masks to Combat the Spread of COVID-19
The pandemic has seen N95 face masks become a critical accessory for healthcare professionals as they protect themselves against the virus. NYUAD Program Head and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Anthony Tzes, in collaboration with the Health Center at NYUAD, startAD, NYUAD Core Technology Platforms, Mubadala Healthcare, and Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, has developed an eco-friendly 3D printed face mask, based on the N95 specifications, designed to be protective, comfortable, and re-usable, while reducing the impact on the environment.
4- Historical Photo Preservation
Akkasah’s Zaki Nusseibeh Collection is a series of photographs from the private library of UAE Minister of State His Excellency Zaki Nusseibeh. The Akkasah Center for Photography, as part of the newly established Arab Center for the Study of Art, aims to contribute to the growing interest in national history and heritage in the UAE by creating a focus on the photographic cultures of the UAE through the archiving of photographs and the commissioning of new documentary works.
5- Uncovering the Ancient History of the UAE and Oman
A team of researchers from NYUAD, alongside other institutions, have discovered new details about the prehistory of the UAE and Bat in Oman. The Bat Archaeological Project’s recent research has been key to improving understanding of ancient people’s choice of location, their living environment, and use of natural resources.
6- Burning Incense Can Affect Oral Health
Researchers at NYUAD showed for the first time that burning incense, which according to the study is used in at least 90% of households in the UAE, can affect oral health. The study, published in Scientific Reports, revealed that incense burning changes the composition of oral microbiota which could potentially increase the risk of oral infections and systemic diseases.
7- Wadi Drone for Wildlife Conservation
The NYUAD student-led Wadi Drone team won first prize for the national portion of the Drones for Good competition for their invention of the Wadi Drone. This innovation leverages commercial drone technology and proprietary software for wildlife conservation and environmental protection in the UAE.
At the Center for Genomics and Systems Biology (CGSB), NYUAD Professor of Biology Stéphane Boissinot, NYUAD Assistant Professor of Biology Youssef Idaghdour, and CGSB NYUAD Postdoctoral Associate Justin Wilcox have sequenced the complete genomes of several species of falcons in a bid to shed some light on the evolution of one of the most diverse groups of birds in the world. This research has great potential to support and inform conservation efforts in this group of birds, many of which are threatened, and provide insights into the process of domestication and adaptation to human activity in wild animals.
9- New Date Palm Genome Sequence and Mapping New Genes
Researchers at NYU Abu Dhabi’s Center for Genomics and Systems Biology, working with other institutions, have developed an improved assembly of the genome for the date palm using long-read sequencing technology. Genes for fruit color and sugar content were also mapped in this crop species. This improvement over the current versions of the genome will help advance further research, and also inform the propagation practices of this essential MENA region food source.