Welcome to the January 2020 issue of ‘Brainstorm’

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“Brainstorm,” a special edition of YFile publishing on the first Friday of every month, showcases research and innovation at York University. It offers compelling and accessible feature-length stories about the world-leading and policy-relevant work of York’s academics and researchers across all disciplines and Faculties and encompasses both pure and applied research.

Just who are the winners and losers when biomedical advances eliminate death?
Philosophy Professor Regina Rini pens a provocative article in the U.K.-based Times Literary Supplement, which suggests that our near-descendants could live forever, thanks to biomedical breakthroughs. This would mean a moral crisis for the last generation facing death, she argues. Read the full story.

Words that empower: The transformation of Indigenous language dictionaries
A travelling exhibition on dictionaries and Indigenous languages, created by student curators at the Canadian Language Museum, traces the varies functions that dictionaries have played over 400 years. This interactive show also offers resources for the enrichment of Indigenous languages. Read the full story.

Corporeal meets ethereal: Provocative performance blends video, dance and virtual reality
Professor Freya Björg Olafson’s body of work has been recognized as cutting edge on an international stage. This month, the intermedia artist in the Department of Dance premieres a new performance work in Winnipeg that promises to deliver a heady and immersive experience for all. Read full story.

Scuba enthusiasts: Your future dive buddy might not be human
Artificial Intelligence meets recreational sport: Pioneering Lassonde researchers are building robots that function underwater and can recognize the same hand gestures that conventional divers use to communicate with each other, while using the dive buddy system for safety. Read the full story.

Mosquito sperm research could aid pest control strategies in deadly viruses
New research from the Faculty of Science suggests that influencing male mosquitoes’ reproductive capacity may, one day, hold the key to improved pest control strategies. Impeding some of the world’s most deadly viruses, spread by mosquitoes, could possibly be within reach, this research suggests. Read the full story.

Launched in January 2017, “Brainstorm” is produced out of the Office of the Vice-President Research & Innovation in partnership with Communications & Public Affairs; overseen by Megan Mueller, senior manager, research communications; and edited by Jenny Pitt-Clark, YFile editor and Ashley Goodfellow Craig, YFile deputy editor.