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Life Sciences - Computer Science - 10.12.2020
DeepLabCut-Live! real-time marker-less motion capture for animals
DeepLabCut-Live! real-time marker-less motion capture for animals
Behavioral scientists at EPFL introduce DeepLabCut-Live!, a deep-learning tool that can enable real-time feedback studies on animal movement and posture. The software features "maker-less" real-time motion capture, can interface with lab hardware for neurological analysis, and is now available open source for use by researchers.

Health - Economics / Business - 09.12.2020
Grasping exponential growth
Grasping exponential growth
Most people underestimate exponential growth, including when it comes to the spread of the coronavirus. The ability to grasp the magnitude of exponential growth depends on the way in which it is communicated. Using the right framing helps to understand the benefit of mitigation measures. The coronavirus outbreak offered the public a crash course in statistics, with terms like doubling time, logarithmic scales, R factor, rolling averages, and excess mortality now on everyone's tongue.

Physics - Astronomy / Space Science - 09.12.2020
Breakthrough in nuclear physics
Breakthrough in nuclear physics
High-precision measurements of the strong interaction between stable and unstable particles The positively charged protons in atomic nuclei should actually repel each other, and yet even heavy nuclei with many protons and neutrons stick together. The so-called strong interaction is responsible for this.

Health - Life Sciences - 09.12.2020
Cancer Research in Bern: Analysing and finding solutions to treatment resistance
Cancer Research in Bern: Analysing and finding solutions to treatment resistance
A number of types of cancer are prone to adapt to targeted treatment, enabling resistance. Prof. Mark Rubin, Department for BioMedical Research and Bern Center for Precision Medicine, together with colleagues from the Weill Cornell Medicine and the University of Manchester have now published a 'Perspective' in the journal Molecular Cell.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 09.12.2020
Warm oceans helped first human migration from Asia to North America
Warm oceans helped first human migration from Asia to North America
New research reveals significant changes to the circulation of the North Pacific and its impact on the initial migration of humans from Asia to North America. The international study, led by the University of St. Andrews in Scotland and published Dec. 9 in Science Advances, provides a new picture of the circulation and climate of the North Pacific at the end of the last ice age, with implications for early human migration.

Health - Social Sciences - 09.12.2020
Exposure to coronavirus explains racial disparities in COVID-19 mortality rates
Large variations in exposure at home, in the community and at work-rather than case-fatality rates-may explain the well-documented racial disparities in COVID-19 mortality during the first wave of the pandemic last spring, according to a new University of Michigan study. "Our results highlight yawning gaps in COVID-19 incidence and mortality in Michigan that cannot be explained away by differences in population age and sex composition,” said lead author Jon Zelner, assistant professor of epidemiology.

Environment - Life Sciences - 09.12.2020
How soil fungi respond to wildfire
How soil fungi respond to wildfire
When wildfires swept through the North Bay in 2017, graduate student Gabriel Smith saw a unique opportunity to study how fire affected his research subject: soil fungi. In the wake of the 2017 North Bay fires, the golden hills of Santa Rosa, California, were unrecognizable. Smoky, seared and buried under ash, the landscape appeared desolate, save for some ghostly, blackened - but still alive - oak trees.

Innovation - 09.12.2020
Researchers confirm overcrowding alerts can help maintain social distancing on UK public transport
A service that predicts passenger intent to travel can be used across the UK rail network to reduce overcrowding and help people maintain social distancing. Researchers from the University of Birmingham's Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education (BCRRE) worked in collaboration with British technology start-up Zipabout to validate the data powering the service, which was designed by Zipabout.

Physics - Materials Science - 09.12.2020
"Game changer" perovskite can detect gamma rays
Scientists at EPFL have developed a game-changing perovskite material that can be used as a cheaper and highly efficient alternative to gamma-ray detectors. Perovskites are materials made up of organic compounds bound to a metal. Propelled into the forefront of materials' research because of their structure and properties, perovskites are earmarked for a wide range of applications, including in solar cells, LED lights, lasers, and photodetectors.

Health - Social Sciences - 09.12.2020
Very high rates of Covid-19 in the Brazilian Amazon
By testing approximately 1,000 blood donation samples each month in in the Brazilian cities of So Paulo and Manaus, an international team of researchers have shown that, while both cities have experienced large epidemics with high mortality, as much as three-quarters of the population in Manaus was infected between March and October, and a third of the population in So Paulo.

Health - Career - 09.12.2020
Healthcare workers 7 times as likely to have severe COVID-19 as other workers
Healthcare workers are seven times as likely to have severe COVID-19 infection as those with other types of 'non-essential' jobs, finds research led by the University of Glasgow which focused on the first UK-wide lockdown The study, which is published in the journal Occupational & Environmental Medicine, found those with jobs in the social care and transport sectors are twice as likely to have severe COVID-19, emphasising the need to ensure that essential (key) workers are adequately protected against the infection, say the researchers.

History / Archeology - Earth Sciences - 09.12.2020
New evidence: Neandertals buried their dead
New evidence: Neandertals buried their dead
Was burial of the dead practiced by Neandertals or is it an innovation specific to our species? There are indications in favour of the first hypothesis but some scientists remain sceptical. For the first time in Europe, however, a multi-disciplinary team led by researchers at the CNRS and the Musum national d'histoire naturelle (France) and the University of the Basque Country (Spain) 1 has demonstrated, using a variety of criteria, that a Neandertal child was buried, probably around 41,000 years ago, at the Ferrassie site (Dordogne).

Environment - Materials Science - 09.12.2020
New research project on environmental and safety aspects of stationary energy storage
New research project on environmental and safety aspects of stationary energy storage
The SABATLE project coordinated by TU Graz focuses on the sustainability and safety of redox flow technologies, which are of immanent importance for the stabilization of the power grid. The increasing use of battery technologies in the mobility sector and in stationary applications has been leading to increasing efforts in battery research of operational safety and battery recycling.

Health - Materials Science - 09.12.2020
This Anti-COVID Mask Breaks the Mold
This Anti-COVID Mask Breaks the Mold
Scientists from Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley have designed a rechargeable N95 mask with a custom fit In the early days of the pandemic, amidst all the uncertainty, one thing was for sure: N95 masks - the personal protective respiratory devices that filter out viruses, bacteria, and wildfire smoke - were in short supply.

Astronomy / Space Science - 09.12.2020
Spiders in space: without gravity, light becomes key to orientation
Spiders in space: without gravity, light becomes key to orientation
Humans have taken spiders into space more than once to study the importance of gravity to their web-building. What originally began as a somewhat unsuccessful PR experiment for high school students has yielded the surprising insight that light plays a larger role in arachnid orientation than previously thought.

Environment - 09.12.2020
Index reveals integrity issues for many of the world's forests
Index reveals integrity issues for many of the world’s forests
Only 40 per cent of forests are considered to have high ecological integrity, according to a new global measure, the Forest Landscape Integrity Index. The Index was created by 47 forest and conservation experts from across the world, including Professor James Watson of The University of Queensland and the Wildlife Conservation Society.

Physics - Environment - 09.12.2020
Hidden symmetry could be key to more robust quantum systems, researchers find
Researchers have found a way to protect highly fragile quantum systems from noise, which could aid in the design and development of new quantum devices, such as ultra-powerful quantum computers. Until we can find a way to make quantum systems more robust, their real-world applications will be limited Shovan Dutta The researchers, from the University of Cambridge, have shown that microscopic particles can remain intrinsically linked, or entangled, over long distances even if there are random disruptions between them.

Environment - Health - 09.12.2020
Social media messages help reduce meat consumption
Sending direct messages on social media informing people of the negative health and environmental impacts of consuming meat has proven successful at changing eating habits, a new study from Cardiff University has shown. The study showed that sending direct messages twice a day through Facebook Messenger led to a significant reduction in the amount of red and processed meat the participants consumed over a 14-day period.

Environment - 09.12.2020
Big data offers promise of better groundwater management in California
To ensure that California's groundwater is sustainably managed in the future and over the long-term, current state definitions of what constitutes groundwater may need to be revised, according to research published this week in PNAS . A McGill University-led research team has analyzed big data of more than 200,000 groundwater samples taken from across the state and found that there are problems with the guidelines used for groundwater management.

Social Sciences - Psychology - 08.12.2020
Significant increase in depression seen among children during first lockdown
The first lockdown led to a significant increase in symptoms of depression among children, highlighting the unintended consequences of school closures, according to a new study from the University of Cambridge. Our study is one of the first to follow the same children over time during lockdown and suggests that symptoms of depression among children got much worse during this period Giacomo Bignardi In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the UK Government implemented a national "lockdown" involving school closures and social distancing.
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