Chess players perform worse in air pollution
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by MIT
6h ago
Here’s something else chess players need to keep in check: air pollution. That’s the bottom line of a newly published study co-authored by an MIT researcher, showing that chess players perform objectively worse and make more suboptimal moves, as measured by a computerized analysis of their games, when there is more fine particulate matter in the air. More specifically, given a modest increase in fine particulate matter, the probability that chess players will make an error increases by 2.1 percentage points, and the magnitude of those errors increases by 10.8 percent. In this setting, at le ..read more
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Terror under lockdown: Pandemic restrictions reduce ISIS violence
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by Yale University
6h ago
Lockdown measures aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 had the unintended benefit of curtailing violence by the insurgent group ISIS, according to a new study led by Yale political scientist Dawn Brancati. The study, published on Jan. 30 in the journal American Political Science Review, found that government-imposed curfews and travel bans instituted to protect public health in Iraq, Syria, and Egypt were significantly associated with a reduction in ISIS attacks, especially in urban areas and locations outside the militant organization’s base of operations. “Although ISIS leaders vo ..read more
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Stereotyping veterans as heroes may limit their future careers
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by American Psychological Association
6h ago
While much of the American public venerates people who enlist in the military, constantly referring to all veterans as “heroes” may direct them into lower-paying careers associated with selflessness, according to research published by the American Psychological Association. “We know that veterans face issues with unemployment and underemployment, but we also know that the public holds overwhelmingly positive views of veterans as a group. The public’s views of veterans are so positive that the entire group is often given the hero label,” said lead author Matthew Stanley, PhD, a post-doctoral ..read more
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$1 smart glove could help prevent dangerous births by sensing fetal position
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by Frontiers In
6h ago
Can inexpensive technologies provide a helping hand during birth? A new study in open-access journal Frontiers in Global Women’s Health has revealed a low-cost sensing glove that could do just that. The researchers created the device to assist healthcare staff in identifying fetal position and the force applied to the fetal head during labor, factors that can contribute to obstructed labor and poor birth outcomes. The technology can provide real-time data during vaginal examinations, potentially improving birth outcomes in low-resource regions. Birth outcomes in low-resource region ..read more
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Hong Kong study finds 90% reduction in COVID-19 deaths after booster
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by Canadian Medical Association Journal
6h ago
A booster (third) dose of a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine was associated with a 90% reduction in death in people with multiple health conditions compared to 2 doses, according to a new study from Hong Kong published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) https://www.cmaj.ca/lookup/doi/10.1503/cmaj.221068. “We found a substantially reduced risk of COVID-19–related death in adults with multimorbidity who received a homologous booster dose of BNT162b2, an mRNA vaccine, or CoronaVac, an inactivated whole-virus vaccine,” writes Dr. Esther Chan, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, Th ..read more
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Fairy-like robot flies by the power of wind and light
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by ScienceBlog.com
6h ago
The development of stimuli-responsive polymers has brought about a wealth of material-related opportunities for next-generation small-scale, wirelessly controlled soft-bodied robots. For some time now, engineers have known how to use these materials to make small robots that can walk, swim and jump. So far, no one has been able to make them fly. Researchers of the Light Robots group at Tampere University are now researching how to make smart material fly. Hao Zeng, Academy Research Fellow and the group leader, and Jianfeng Yang, a doctoral researcher, have come up with a ..read more
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Can the brain compete with AI over the long haul?
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by Bar-Ilan University
6h ago
Traditionally, artificial intelligence stems from human brain dynamics. However, brain learning is restricted in a number of significant aspects compared to deep learning (DL). First, efficient DL wiring structures (architectures) consist of many tens of feedforward (consecutive) layers, whereas brain dynamics consist of only a few feedforward layers. Second, DL architectures typically consist of many consecutive filter layers, which are essential to identify one of the input classes. If the input is a car, for example, the first filter identifies wheels, the second one identifies doors, the ..read more
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Want a stronger biodegradable plastic? Add a ‘pinch’ of cream of tartar
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by American Chemical Society
6h ago
Cooking a delicious risotto and making plastics are actually very similar processes. In both, ingredients come together and are heated to create a product, but current recipes for synthesizing bioplastics often fall flat, producing flimsy materials. So, taking a hint from chefs, researchers now report in ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering a way to “season” biodegradable plastics to make them stronger. It just takes a “pinch” of cream of tartar (tartaric acid) or citric acid. To help reduce the amount of plastic waste, some companies are adopting biodegradable plastics that ..read more
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Quantum physicists make major advance in entanglement
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by University of Copenhagen
6h ago
In a new breakthrough, researchers at the University of Copenhagen, in collaboration with Ruhr University Bochum, have solved a problem that has caused quantum researchers headaches for years. The researchers can now control two quantum light sources rather than one. Trivial as it may seem to those uninitiated in quantum, this colossal breakthrough allows researchers to create a phenomenon known as quantum mechanical entanglement. This in turn, opens new doors for companies and others to exploit the technology commercially. Going from one to two is a minor feat in most contexts. But in the w ..read more
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Coffee with milk may have an anti-inflammatory effect
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by University of Copenhagen
6h ago
Can something as simple as a cup of coffee with milk have an anti-inflammatory effect in humans? Apparently so, according to a new study from the University of Copenhagen. A combination of proteins and antioxidants doubles the anti-inflammatory properties in immune cells. The researchers hope to be able to study the health effects on humans. Whenever bacteria, viruses and other foreign substances enter the body, our immune systems react by deploying white blood cells and chemical substances to protect us. This reaction, commonly known as inflammation, also occurs whenever we overload tendons ..read more
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