News 2019

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Economics / Business - 09.12.2019
Conserve now or pay later? New study compares floodplain protection today to predicted future flood losses
A new study by scientists from The Nature Conservancy (TNC), the University of Bristol and flood analytics company Fathom, seeks to answer an important question related to flooding in the United States - pay now to protect undeveloped areas that are likely to flood in the future or allow developments to go ahead and pay for damage when it occurs.

Health - Pharmacology - 09.12.2019
Inhibition of gene helps overcome resistance to immunotherapy
Cancer immunology drugs, which harness the body's immune system to better attack cancer cells, have significantly changed the face of cancer treatment. People with aggressive cancers are now living longer, healthier lives. Unfortunately, cancer immunology therapy only works in a subset of patients. Now, a new study from scientists at the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center helps explain why some people with advanced cancer may not respond to one of the leading immunotherapies, PD-1 blockade, and how a new combination approach may help overcome resistance to the immunotherapy drug.

Psychology - Health - 09.12.2019
'Clingy' spouses face greater health risks after partner dies
’Clingy’ spouses face greater health risks after partner dies
"Clingy” spouses - whether spending every waking moment with their partners or constantly telephoning when they're not together - are at greater risk for heart problems and poor mental health after their spouses die, according to new research from psychologists at Rice. The study, "Attachment orientations and loss adjustment among bereaved spouses,” examined mental and physical health outcomes for people who recently lost a spouse.

Life Sciences - Health - 09.12.2019
New tool predicts three-dimensional organization of human chromosomes
University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers have developed a computational tool that can accurately predict the three-dimensional interactions between regions of human chromosomes. The predictive tool is a boon for researchers studying how cells control the activity of genes. The fine-tuned interaction between regulatory signals and the three-dimensional architecture of chromosomes helps explain how cells achieve their key functions, and how they go haywire, as happens in diseases such as cancer.

Economics / Business - 09.12.2019
Why businesses need to rethink diversity training
Why businesses need to rethink diversity training
It's not a one-size-fits-all solution, according to new research from Rice Within the past couple of years, Starbucks and Sephora have come under fire for racial insensitivity. They responded to the criticism and negative publicity by closing their stores for companywide diversity training. But does this type of training actually work? The short answer is yes, it can, but new research from Rice finds that factors such as personality type and personal circumstances must be considered when determining what type of training to offer or how the training should be administered.

Health - Life Sciences - 09.12.2019
Probiotics and prebiotics work differently in girls and boys according to piglet study
Baby boy's and girl's immune systems respond differently to prebiotics and probiotics, according to new research. The paper published in Frontiers in Immunology today [9 December] suggests that differences in male and female immunity begin much earlier than previously thought. The team from the Universities of Bristol and Reading found that 28-day old piglets produced very different levels of immune cells, antibodies and other immune-associated molecules depending on their sex, contradicting previous evidence suggesting that the difference in immunity begins during puberty.

Environment - 09.12.2019
Cities and their rising impacts on biodiversity - a global overview
Channels McGill University News and Events Cities and their rising impacts on biodiversity versity. To gain a clearer picture of the situation, an international group of scientists, including Professor Andrew Gonzalez from McGill's Biology Department, surveyed over 600 studies on the impacts of urban growth on biodiversity.

Agronomy / Food Science - 09.12.2019
Less sleep linked to teen obesity, poor eating habits and low physical activity
Sleep can impact an individual's health in many ways. University of Minnesota researchers were interested in how much teens sleep at night is related to their weight, eating habits and physical activity. Their findings were published in the journal Childhood Obesity.

Health - Pharmacology - 09.12.2019
Deeper understanding of irregular heartbeat may lead to more effective treatment
Researchers at Imperial have shown how the chaotic electrical signals underlying irregular heart rhythms lead to the failure of standard treatments. By modelling how electrical signals on the inside and the outside of the heart move across the muscle, researchers at Imperial College London have suggested why corrective surgery is not currently always beneficial.

Environment - 07.12.2019
Trust in government hits all time low
Trust in government has reached its lowest level on record, with just one-in-four Australians saying they had confidence in their political leaders and institutions, according to a major study of the 2019 Federal Election. The latest Australian Election Study, conducted by The Australian National University (ANU), also found Australians' satisfaction with democracy is at its lowest since the constitutional crisis of the 1970s.

Physics - Chemistry - 07.12.2019
Liquid flow is influenced by a quantum effect in water
Liquid flow is influenced by a quantum effect in water
Researchers at EPFL have discovered that the viscosity of solutions of electrically charged polymers dissolved in water is influenced by a quantum effect. This tiny quantum effect influences the way water molecules interact with one another. Yet, it can lead to drastic changes in large-scale observations.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 06.12.2019
Analysis: A spacecraft is starting to unravel the sun’s biggest mysteries
NASA's Parker Solar Probe is going closer to the sun than any spacecraft has been before - Dr Daniel Verscharen (UCL Space & Climate Physics) writes about the findings so far. If you ask a child to paint a picture of the sun, you will most likely get a bright yellow circle on a piece of paper. This is actually quite accurate, given that the sun is a ball of hot gas and that its surface (called the photosphere) mostly shines in bright yellow light.

Health - 06.12.2019
Grow your own blood vessel model in a dish
Personalised blood vessel testing kit could unravel causes and treatments for heart attack, stroke and vascular dementia, find scientists. Researchers can now grow a model of a patient's blood vessel wall in a dish from a small sample of their blood. The technology could be used to create personalised testing kits for new drugs and advance research into diseases of the blood vessels including stroke, heart attack and vascular dementia.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 06.12.2019
The Arctic’s changing landscape: Impact on plants, animals, livelihoods and global temperatures
With 2019 on track to be one of the warmest years on record, a major new study reveals the impact of warming temperatures on Arctic vegetation, animal species, and human communities who rely on the stability of the Arctic food chain to survive. The study, published today in Science Advances by an international team of researchers, reports that the Arctic has warmed by 0.

Physics - Electroengineering - 06.12.2019
In surprise breakthrough, scientists create quantum states in everyday electronics
After decades of miniaturization, the electronic components we've relied on for computers and modern technologies are now starting to reach fundamental limits. Faced with this challenge, engineers and scientists around the world are turning toward a radically new paradigm: quantum information technologies.

Health - 06.12.2019
One third of premature deaths linked to social inequality
Nearly 900,000 deaths in England could have been avoided in a more equal society, according to a UCL study of 2.5 million premature deaths over the last 16 years. The study, published today in The Lancet Public Health , found that one in three deaths before the age of 75 are attributable to socio-economic and regional health inequalities.

Physics - Electroengineering - 06.12.2019
Electronic map reveals 'rules of the road' in superconductor
Electronic map reveals ’rules of the road’ in superconductor
Band structure map exposes iron selenide's enigmatic electronic signature Using a clever technique that causes unruly crystals of iron selenide to snap into alignment, Rice University physicists have drawn a detailed map that reveals the "rules of the road” for electrons both in normal conditions and in the critical moments just before the material transforms into a superconductor.

Environment - 06.12.2019
Reduced soil tilling helps both soils and yields
By monitoring crops through machine learning and satellite data, Stanford scientists have found farms that till the soil less can increase yields of corn and soybeans and improve the health of the soil - a win-win for meeting growing food needs worldwide. Agriculture degrades over 24 million acres of fertile soil every year, raising concerns about meeting the rising global demand for food.

Health - 06.12.2019
Tick box questionnaire could significantly improve oesophageal cancer survival rates
A simple health questionnaire could be a highly effective tool to pre-screen people for early signs of oesophageal cancer, enabling much earlier diagnosis and treatment, finds a UCL-led study. The research, published in Lancet Digital Health , used artificial intelligence to analyse a large oesophageal cancer dataset, known as BEST2 (1,299 patients), to establish which health factors were common in those individuals who had Barrett's oesophagus.

Life Sciences - Health - 06.12.2019
How do you cultivate a healthy plant microbiome?
Plant leaves harbor a diverse microbial community, as seen in this plate of agar stamped with the leaf of a greenhouse-grown tomato plant. After incubating for two days, the bacteria from the leaf grew into visible colonies. (Photo courtesy of Britt Koskella lab) Scientists are homing in on what a healthy human microbiome looks like, mapping the normal bacteria that live in and on the healthy human body.
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