Featured Project

October 17, 2018

Reducing misappropriation of foreign aid funds

Foreign aid is an important support mechanism that helps developing nations build infrastructure, develop communities, or fight climate change. However, misappropriation of foreign aid is frequent in certain communities via embezzlement, fraud, and misuse. Ultimately, this causes endemic poverty leading to mass migration towards the developed world.

In this study researchers will test different fund-allocation protocols to determine which one reduces funds misappropriation, directing policy-makers instead towards the common good. The funds in this project will go toward paying lab participants 10€ per hour and supporting a student assistant to help gather data.

Featured Results

Crowdfunded scientific discoveries

The very first firefly genome illuminates an interesting discovery about Luciferase

Jing-Ke Weng and collaborators from 14 other institutions ranging from MIT to Japan have just shared a major discovery about the evolutionary origins of the special bioluminescence of fireflies.

By sequencing the genomes of two American and Japanese firefly species that diverged approximately 100 million years ago, along with a more evolutionarily distant bioluminescent Caribbean click beetle, the team discovered that Luciferase appears to have arisen independently in fireflies and click beetles. 

The results were originally shared with backers as a preprint on bioRxiv, but just yesterday a new article was published open-access in the journal eLife. In addition, they've also made available the genomes of the fireflies and beetles that led them to this discovery, thanks in part to $10,000 in funding from 90 experiment backers!

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