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A mental process that leads to putting off an unpleasant task

Putting off a burdensome task may seem like a universal trait, but new research suggests that people whose negative attitudes tend to dictate their behavior in a range of situations are more likely to delay tackling the task at hand.
Fri, 01 Mar 2024 13:47:45 EST

Early vocabulary size is genetically linked to ADHD, literacy, and cognition

Are genetic factors underlying children's language development linked to later-life outcomes? In a genome-wide analysis, an international research team found genetic associations between children's early vocabulary size and later-life ADHD, literacy, and general cognition. These associations changed dynamically across the first three years of life. Both producing more words in infancy and understanding fewer words in toddlerhood were associated with a higher risk of ADHD.
Fri, 01 Mar 2024 13:46:57 EST

Parents, wealth, race drive girls' chances to play sports

The likelihood that a girl will participate in high school sports in the United States is driven not so much by individual choice, new research suggests. Instead, decisions made by parents, the wealth of one's family and community, and racial dynamics matter.
Thu, 29 Feb 2024 12:47:11 EST

EU countries have seen a decade of progress towards their 2030 sustainable energy goal

Countries in the European Union (EU) have made progress over the past decade toward Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG 7), which calls for 'access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all' by 2030, according to a new study.
Wed, 28 Feb 2024 15:47:03 EST

The West is best to spot UFOs

Researchers identified environmental factors that explain why reports of Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena (UAP) are more common in certain regions of the country. Most sightings occur in the American West where proximity to public lands, dark skies and military installations afford more opportunities to see strange objects in the air. Understanding the environmental context of these sightings will make it easier to find explanations for their occurrence and help identify truly anomalous objects that may be a legitimate threat.
Wed, 28 Feb 2024 11:54:20 EST

How air pollution can harm team performance

High levels of air pollution can affect teams doing complex tasks, which holds implications for emerging economies.
Wed, 28 Feb 2024 11:53:10 EST

Addressing societal concerns of genetic determinism of human behavior by linking environmental influences and genetic research

In a new perspective article, researchers underscore the importance of integrating environmental effects into genetic research. The authors discuss how failure to do so can perpetuate deterministic thinking in genetics, as historically observed in the justification of eugenics movements and, more recently, in cases of racially motivated violence.
Tue, 27 Feb 2024 17:21:37 EST

Maths: Smart learning software helps children during lockdowns -- and beyond

Intelligent tutoring systems for math problems helped pupils remain or even increase their performance during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new study. Researchers analyzed data from five million exercises done by around 2,700 pupils in Germany over a period of five years. The study found that particularly lower-performing children benefit if they use the software regularly.
Tue, 27 Feb 2024 13:07:40 EST

Long-term memory and lack of mental images

When people lack visual imagination, this is known as aphantasia. Researchers investigated how the lack of mental imagery affects long-term memory. They were able to show that changes in two important brain regions, the hippocampus and the occipital lobe, as well as their interaction, have an influence on the impaired recall of personal memories in aphantasia.
Tue, 27 Feb 2024 13:01:25 EST

A new, comprehensive roadmap for the future of biomedical engineering

Experts published a detailed position paper on the field of biomedical engineering which lays the foundation for a concerted worldwide effort to achieve technological and medical breakthroughs.
Mon, 26 Feb 2024 20:46:17 EST

What math tells us about social dilemmas

Human coexistence depends on cooperation. Individuals have different motivations and reasons to collaborate, resulting in social dilemmas, such as the well-known prisoner's dilemma. Scientists now present a new mathematical principle that helps to understand the cooperation of individuals with different characteristics.
Mon, 26 Feb 2024 20:46:09 EST

What will it take for China to reach carbon neutrality by 2060?

To become carbon neutral by 2060, China will have to build eight to 10 times more wind and solar power installations than existed in 2022, according to a new study. Reaching carbon neutrality will also require major construction of transmission lines.
Mon, 26 Feb 2024 20:46:03 EST

Reforestation schemes are not enough to recover the carbon created by harvesting wood

Forests have a critical role to play in capturing and storing carbon from the Earth's atmosphere -- but some models exaggerate their carbon removal potential by almost three-fold, according to a leading professor of forest economics.
Mon, 26 Feb 2024 11:46:48 EST

First-in-humans discovery reveals brain chemicals at work influencing social behavior

The idea that people make decisions based on social context is not a new one in neural economic games. But now, for the first time, researchers show the impact of the social context may spring from the dynamic interactions of dopamine and serotonin. Researchers built carbon-fiber electrodes that were implanted in patients receiving Deep Brain Stimulation surgery. The method allows researchers to measure more than one neurotransmitter at a time, revealing a dance that has never been seen before.
Mon, 26 Feb 2024 11:46:27 EST

Poison center calls for 'magic mushrooms' spiked after decriminalization, study finds

Calls to U.S. poison centers involving psilocybin, or 'magic mushrooms,' among adolescents and young adults rose sharply after several U.S. cities and states began decriminalizing the hallucinogen, researchers have found.
Mon, 26 Feb 2024 11:46:13 EST

Researchers overestimate their own honesty

The average researcher thinks they are better than their colleagues at following good research practice. They also think that their own research field is better than other research fields at following good research practice. The results point to a risk of becoming blind to one's own shortcomings.
Mon, 26 Feb 2024 11:46:10 EST

Can hunger be eradicated by 2030?

World hunger is growing at an alarming rate, with prolonged conflicts, climate change, and COVID-19 exacerbating the problem. In 2022, the World Food Programme helped a record 158 million people. On this trajectory, the United Nations' goal to eradicate hunger by 2030 appears increasingly unattainable.
Mon, 26 Feb 2024 11:46:02 EST

Mindfulness at work protects against stress and burnout

A new study has revealed that employees who are more mindful in the digital workplace are better protected against stress, anxiety and overload. Researchers analyzed survey data from 142 employees.
Sun, 25 Feb 2024 21:25:14 EST

School focus on grades, test scores linked to violence against teachers

Violence against teachers is likely to be higher in schools that focus on grades and test scores than in schools that emphasize student learning, a new study has found.
Fri, 23 Feb 2024 13:28:43 EST

UBC Okanagan researchers look to the past to improve construction sustainability

Researchers are revisiting old building practices -- the use of by-products and cast-offs -- as a way to improve building materials and sustainability of the trade. A technique known as rammed earth construction uses materials that are alternatives to cement and are often more readily available in the environment. One such alternative is wood fly ash, a by-product of pulp mills and coal-fired power plants.
Fri, 23 Feb 2024 10:38:46 EST

Climate change linked to rise in mental distress among teens, according to Drexel study

Worsening human-induced climate change may have effects beyond the widely reported rising sea levels, higher temperatures, and impacts on food supply and migration -- and may also extend to influencing mental distress among high schoolers in the United States.
Thu, 22 Feb 2024 21:41:20 EST

Ag economists offer food for thought to improve baby formula supply

Remember the 2022 baby formula crisis? The historic shortage of infant formula that year highlighted the precarious balance between regulation, competition and safety, according to a new study. The article takes a close look at the infant formula market and factors that contributed to the crisis.
Thu, 22 Feb 2024 21:40:22 EST

Combination of group competition and repeated interactions promotes cooperation

How did cooperative behavior prevail in human evolution? Researchers have challenged two prevailing explanations -- repeated interactions on the one hand or group competition on the other. Instead, both mechanisms synergistically contribute to fostering cooperation effectively.
Thu, 22 Feb 2024 13:22:01 EST

Does Russia stand to benefit from climate change?

There exists a narrative about climate change that says there are winners and losers -- with Russia being one of the countries that stand to benefit from its effects. In a new study, researchers found that Russia is suffering from a variety of climate change impacts and is ill-prepared to mitigate or adapt to those climate impacts. And, as the rest of the world transitions to renewable energy sources, Russia's fossil-fuel-dependent government is not willing or ready to make alternative plans for the country, changes that could potentially benefit the whole of their society.
Wed, 21 Feb 2024 21:38:39 EST

Sleep improves ability to recall complex events

Sleep helps consolidate our memory of complex associations, thus supporting the ability to complete memories of whole events.
Wed, 21 Feb 2024 16:05:17 EST

Teachers' growth mindset appears more important than warmth

Students tend to like friendly teachers, but they like those who believe they can improve even more, new research indicates. Students in a study still responded positively to instructors described as being cold but who also had a growth mindset, meaning they felt students' ability in a subject could improve by working hard and trying different strategies. The opposite was also true: more participants reacted negatively to a warm, smiling teacher when they stated a fixed mindset, which is a belief that innate abilities cannot be changed, such as someone being naturally good at math.
Wed, 21 Feb 2024 16:04:58 EST

Citizen science to mitigate the environmental crisis in the marine environment

Citizen science can help to improve conservation and management strategies for Mediterranean marine ecosystems, and to mitigate the impact of the environmental crisis.
Wed, 21 Feb 2024 16:04:36 EST

Highways through historically redlined areas likely cause air pollution disparities today

As part of the New Deal, several governmental programs were created to expand homeownership through mortgages and loans. However, neighborhoods with primarily Black or immigrant communities often were rated 'hazardous' for repayment under the discriminatory, 'redlining' practice that restricted lending. Today, those same areas are exposed to more air pollution than other urban neighborhoods, and the cause could relate to nearby highways or industrial parks.
Wed, 21 Feb 2024 16:04:23 EST

Time watching videos may stunt toddler language development, but it depends on why they're watching

A new study reveals that passive video use among toddlers can negatively affect language development, but their caregiver's motivations for exposing them to digital media could also lessen the impact.
Tue, 20 Feb 2024 14:46:42 EST

The cultural evolution of collective property rights

Common pool resources comprise around 65 percent of Earth's surface and vast tracts of the ocean. While examples of successful governance of these resources exist, the circumstances and mechanisms behind their development have remained unclear. Researchers have developed a simulation model to examine the emergence, stability and temporal dynamics of collective property rights.
Tue, 20 Feb 2024 14:45:51 EST

Generating 'buzz' about new products can influence their success

The way companies announce new products or build up hype can often influence their success once those new products hit the market, according to new research. Whether it's an upcoming blockbuster movie or a new rollout from major companies like Coca-Cola or Apple, the new research shows how companies might use this type of pre-announcement marketing to their advantage.
Tue, 20 Feb 2024 14:45:00 EST

Spy-satellite images offer insights into historical ecosystem changes

New study advocates the use of more than one million declassified images for ecology and conservation. The images can offer better insights into the historical changes of ecosystems, species populations or changes in human influences on the environment dating back to the 1960s. Collaboration between ecologists, conservationists, and remote sensing experts is necessary to explore the full potential of the data.
Tue, 20 Feb 2024 14:44:38 EST

If your TV spoke to you, would you buy it? Study finds people spend more on some 'talking products'

New research used brain scanning technology to understand the effect of advertisements that try to sell products with talking versions of themselves. The work suggests that that anthromorphic displays lead to different cognition, and that buyers are likely to spend up to 20 percent more on more complex products promoted in advertisements that anthropomorphizes the product.
Tue, 20 Feb 2024 14:44:29 EST

Study finds students, designers have different perceptions of masculine, feminine traits of classrooms

Researchers conducted a study in which they showed four classrooms to students and asked about their perceptions of masculine traits versus feminine traits of the rooms. They also showed the same images to employees at design firms that work on such spaces. Results showed that the two groups' perceptions of such gendered traits differed widely, which can have broader effects on students' sense of belonging in higher education and within disciplines, the authors argue.
Tue, 20 Feb 2024 14:44:17 EST

Improving traffic signal timing with a handful of connected vehicles

With GPS data from as little as 6% of vehicles on the road, researchers can recalibrate traffic signals to significantly reduce congestion and delays at intersections.
Tue, 20 Feb 2024 14:43:38 EST

To boost a preschooler's language skills, consider reminiscing

Book sharing is a popular way parents engage young children in conversation. However, not all parents are comfortable with book sharing and not all children like having books read to them. Research provides an alternative. To boost the quality of a preschooler's language experience and skills, consider reminiscing with them. Findings show reminiscing is very good at eliciting high quality speech from parents, and in many ways, is just as good as book sharing (wordless picture books).
Mon, 19 Feb 2024 13:08:49 EST

Why do(n't) people support being nudged towards healthier diets?

You may not realize it, but 'nudge' has been used by businesses, policy-makers and governments for years to prod the public into making different choices. Small changes in our environment can 'nudge' us into different behaviors without restricting the options available to us. For example, printing the low-calorie options in bold on a menu, or showing the calorie information, might change what we choose to eat. But does the public support this?
Fri, 16 Feb 2024 23:17:03 EST

Electrification or hydrogen? Both have distinct roles in the European energy transition

A key step to achieving climate neutrality in the European Union is to rapidly shift from fossil fuels to electric technologies powered by renewable energies, a new study shows. At the same time, hydrogen produced from electricity will also be indispensable in hard-to-electrify sectors such as aviation, shipping and chemicals. By 2050, electrification and hydrogen are the key strategies to reach climate neutrality based on renewable power.
Fri, 16 Feb 2024 13:59:14 EST

Games in the classroom and the boardroom: How 'serious games' are helping us learn

A team of researchers are encouraging us to swap textbooks for games, as they drive the application of games in learning, engagement and research.
Fri, 16 Feb 2024 13:59:09 EST

Under pressure -- space exploration in our time

A new paradigm is taking shape in the space industry as the countries and entities accessing space continue to grow and diversify. This dynamic landscape creates both competition and potential for scientific collaboration, as well as the challenges and opportunities of progress.
Fri, 16 Feb 2024 13:59:03 EST

New study finds chemical composition of US air pollution changed over time

A new study analyzed space and time trends for fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in the continental United States to track the progress of regulatory actions by federal, state and local authorities aimed at curbing air pollution. The team found that while the annual average concentration for PM2.5 had been significantly reduced, its chemical composition had changed during the study period of 2006 to 2020. Their analysis suggests targeted strategies to reduce specific pollutants for different regions of the U.S. may be more effective in further reducing total air pollution and PM2.5 -related adverse health effects. PM2.5, an airborne pollutant, is a mix of multiple chemical species and includes fine particles less than 2.5 microns in size. PM2.5 has been linked to many adverse human health effects including premature death. It also can reduce visibility by creating haze in the air.
Fri, 16 Feb 2024 13:59:01 EST

Earthquake fatality measure offers new way to estimate impact on countries

A new measure that compares earthquake-related fatalities to a country's population size concludes that Ecuador, Lebanon, Haiti, Turkmenistan, Iran and Portugal have experienced the greatest impact from fatalities in the past five centuries.
Fri, 16 Feb 2024 13:58:53 EST

Mystery solved: The oldest fossil reptile from the alps is an historical forgery

Palaeontological analysis shows that a renowned fossil thought to show soft tissue preservation is in fact just paint. The fossil discovered in 1931 was thought to be an important specimen for understanding early reptile evolution. While not all of the celebrated fossil is a forgery, scientists urge caution in how the fossil is utilized in future.
Fri, 16 Feb 2024 13:58:35 EST

Study shows background checks don't always check out

New research shows that background checks for employment, housing and more can be highly problematic.
Thu, 15 Feb 2024 14:22:58 EST

How is deforested land in Africa used?

Africa's forested areas -- an estimated 14 % of the global forest area -- are continuing to decline at an increasing rate -- mostly because of human activities to convert forest land for economic purposes. As natural forests are important CO2 and biodiversity reservoirs, this development has a significant impact on climate change and effects the integrity of nature.
Thu, 15 Feb 2024 14:22:47 EST

Reforestation programs could threaten vast area of tropical grasslands

New research reveals the scale of inappropriate reforestation projects across Africa. A new study reveals that an area the size of France is threatened by forest restoration initiatives, such as the AFR100 initiative (African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative), due to inappropriate restoration in the form of tree-planting.
Thu, 15 Feb 2024 14:21:40 EST

'Scientists' warning' on climate and technology

Throughout human history, technologies have been used to make peoples' lives richer and more comfortable, but they have also contributed to a global crisis threatening Earth's climate, ecosystems and even our own survival. Researchers have suggested that industrial civilization's best way forward may entail embracing further technological advancements but doing so with greater awareness of their potential drawbacks.
Thu, 15 Feb 2024 14:08:33 EST

Artificial intelligence: Aim policies at 'hardware' to ensure AI safety, say experts

Chips and datacentres -- the 'compute' power driving the AI revolution -- may be the most effective targets for risk-reducing AI policies as they have to be physically possessed, according to a new report.
Thu, 15 Feb 2024 11:37:17 EST

The brain is 'programmed' for learning from people we like

Our brains are 'programmed' to learn more from people we like -- and less from those we dislike. This has been shown by researchers in cognitive neuroscience in a series of experiments.
Thu, 15 Feb 2024 11:36:42 EST

Burnout: Identifying people at risk

Researchers have developed a new tool that can help identify the early warning signs of burnout.
Thu, 15 Feb 2024 11:36:02 EST

School uniform policies linked to students getting less exercise, study finds

School uniforms could be restricting young people from being active, particularly primary school-aged girls, according to a new study. The study used data about the physical activity of more than a million five-to-17-year-olds in 135 countries. In countries where a majority of schools require students to wear uniforms, fewer young people are meeting the World Health Organization's recommendations for physical activity (60 minutes per day). Fewer girls are meeting the guidelines than boys -- with a standard gap of 7.6 percentage points between boys and girls.
Wed, 14 Feb 2024 20:34:09 EST

Significantly fewer births on weekends and holidays than weekdays, data analysis of over 21 million births from 1979-2018 in Japan shows

Significantly more babies were born on a weekday instead of weekend day or holiday, reveals a large-scale analysis of 21 million births in Japan over almost four decades.
Wed, 14 Feb 2024 15:02:49 EST

Reported marital harmony -- or conflict -- accounts for nearly ten percent of the variation in mental health self-assessments in a broad study of Australian adults

Australian adults who report a good relationship that meets their original expectations tend to score higher in mental health, while adults who report loving their spouse but wished they had never entered the relationship and note relationship problems tend to score significantly lower in mental health, according to a survey of almost 7000 Australian adults.
Wed, 14 Feb 2024 15:02:37 EST

Emojis are differently interpreted depending on gender, culture, and age of viewer

Gender, culture, and age all appear to play a role in how emojis are interpreted, according to a new study.
Wed, 14 Feb 2024 15:02:29 EST

Neuronal insights: Flash and freeze-fracture

Fear and addiction exert significant influence within society. Managing them is often challenging, as they are driven by intricate neuronal circuits in our brains. Understanding the underlying molecular mechanisms is crucial to intervene when these processes malfunction. The novel 'Flash and Freeze-fracture' technique provides a unique glimpse into the respective brain region.
Wed, 14 Feb 2024 12:26:55 EST

Did Eurasia's dominant East-West axis 'turn the fortunes of history'?

Jared Diamond proposed that Eurasia's unique geographic axis of orientation fueled a rapid spread of critical innovations among its societies, leading to a cultural and military dominance over other regions. A team of ecologists and cultural evolutionists from the USA, Germany and New Zealand harnessed extensive cultural, environmental and linguistic databases to test these claims. They found that environmental barriers have influenced cultural spread but do not consistently favour Eurasia.
Wed, 14 Feb 2024 12:26:35 EST

Seeking a middle ground for reducing greenhouse emissions

Estimates show global greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced by at least half in 2030 at a cost of less than $100 per ton of CO2 equivalent. But a new paper shows there are underlying frictions that might prevent people from simply adopting a newer, greener technology.
Tue, 13 Feb 2024 15:44:31 EST

Benefits of heat pumps

Millions of U.S. households would benefit from heat pumps, but the cost of installing the technology needs to come down to make their use a more attractive proposition.
Tue, 13 Feb 2024 13:05:21 EST

Determining who gets blamed when cars hit pedestrians

A new study examines the circumstances behind who is found at fault when cars hit pedestrians in an urban area. Results showed that the environment where the crash took place -- especially the types of roads and the amount of access to marked crosswalks -- played a key role in whether the pedestrian or the driver was blamed for the collision.
Tue, 13 Feb 2024 13:04:30 EST

Older adults rely more on trust in decision making. It could open them up to scams

Elderly adults lose billions to financial scams by people they trust every year. New psychological research suggests this vulnerability could be linked to older adults' overrliance on initial impressions of trustworthiness.
Tue, 13 Feb 2024 13:04:14 EST

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