Cutting-edge science at your fingertips

Flávio Beraldo, research associate at Robarts Research Institute, and Ashbeel Roy, postdoctoral fellow, are bringing scientific discovery to computers, tablets and mobile devices around the world.  
Beraldo and Roy contributed to a newly published anthology on neurodegenerative disorders that is available for free online download.
This ease and freedom of access was a crucial component of the collaborative project.  “We’re giving people free access to scientific literature,” said Beraldo, PhD. “We want to spread advanced science, to share our ideas and provide discussion for young scientists around new techniques.”
“Your location shouldn’t be a limitation,” he added.
Young Perspectives for Old Diseases brings together 33 authors from seven countries around the world. All the contributors are researchers at the beginning stages of their scientific careers. The project was initiated in early 2013 by Glaucia Hajj, PhD, with the AC Camargo Cancer Center in São Paulo, Brazil.
The book explores current understandings of common neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s and ALS. Beraldo and Roy contributed to a chapter on the cellular signaling processes involved in a number of neurodegenerative disorders, and their potential as therapeutic targets.  
“Researchers from many areas of expertise can really take advantage of the information that we have compiled,” said Roy, PhD. “This is an accessible approach to advanced science.”  
Published in mid-January, the book is already generating the kind of online buzz Beraldo and Roy were hoping for. “Social media is driving most of our traffic and making it easier for people to access the information,” explained Roy. “I think our effort is highlighting where research and science are headed, with information available to the mass public quickly. You used to have to sit in a library for hours or talk directly with a Principal Investigator, now it’s at your fingertips.”
Young Perspectives for Old Diseases is available for free download here. A print edition is also available for purchase.