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Study finds health trade-offs for wildlife as urbanization expands
City living appears to improve reproductive success for migratory tree swallows compared to breeding in more environmentally protected areas, a new five-year study suggests. But urban life comes with a big trade-off - health hazards linked to poorer water quality. (2020-11-18)

Pandemic has surprising impacts on public transit demand
The COVID-19 pandemic had surprising effects on demand for public transit in American cities, new research suggests. While demand for public transit dropped about 73% across the country after the pandemic hit, the reduction didn't impact all cities equally, according to the study, which analyzed activity data from a widely used public transit navigation app. (2020-11-18)

Why untraceable cryptocurrencies are here to stay
Financial regulators have a wait and see approach to decentralized privacy-preserving cryptocurrencies, letting them mature before deciding how to regulate them. Yet they assume there will be some way for oversight in the future to track extraordinary transactions linked to organized crime, terrorism financing and money laundering. (2020-11-17)

Corporate fraud may lead to neighborhood financial crimes
After a major corporate fraud case hits a city, financially motivated neighborhood crimes like robbery and theft increase in the area, a new study suggests. Researchers from The Ohio State University and Indiana University found that the revelation of corporate accounting misconduct is linked to about a 2.3 percent increase in local financially motivated crimes in the following year. (2020-11-16)

Orbits of ancient stars prompt rethink on Milky Way evolution
Theories on how the Milky Way formed are set to be rewritten following discoveries about the behaviour of some of its oldest stars. An investigation into the orbits of the Galaxy's metal-poor stars - assumed to be among the most ancient in existence - has found that some of them travel in previously unpredicted patterns. (2020-11-16)

OHIO's Franz publishes study on strategies hospitals adopt to address opioid epidemic
Ohio University professors Berkeley Franz, Ph. D., and assistant professor Cory Cronin, Ph.D., along with New York University professor José Pagán, Ph.D., co-authored the article, ''What Strategies Are Hospitals Adopting to Address the Opioid Epidemic? Evidence From a National Sample of Nonprofit Hospitals,'' to identify what hospitals are doing to combat the opioid epidemic and how they could better address these problems in communities. (2020-11-16)

Making the best decision: Math shows diverse thinkers equal better results
A Florida State University researcher found that networks that consisted of both impulsive and deliberate individuals made, on average, quicker and better decisions than a group with homogenous thinkers. (2020-11-16)

Survey: Americans likely to attend large holiday gatherings despite COVID-19
A new national survey by The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center finds that although a majority of Americans plan to take precautions at holiday gatherings, such as social distancing and asking those with COVID symptoms not to attend, many will also put themselves at risk. Nearly two in five report they will likely attend a gathering with more than 10 people and a third will not ask guests to wear masks. (2020-11-12)

Calls to city 311 lines can predict opioid overdose hotspots
Service requests to city non-emergency telephone lines can help identify 'hotspots' for opioid use and overdoses, a study in Columbus found. Researchers found that calls to the 311 line - used in many cities across the United States to report non-emergency issues - tracked closely to places and times in Columbus in which opioid overdose events were on the rise. (2020-11-11)

Ohio State study finds playing brain games before surgery helps improve recovery
A new study by led by researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and The Ohio State University College of Medicine finds that exercising your brain with ''neurobics'' before surgery can help prevent post-surgery delirium. Essentially, your brain can be prepared for surgery, just as the body can, by keeping your mind active and challenged, according to findings published online in the journal JAMA Surgery. (2020-11-11)

Attending an HBCU may protect Black students from later health problems
African Americans who attend Historically Black Colleges or Universities (HBCUs) may be at lower risk for health problems later in adulthood compared to African Americans who attend predominantly white institutions, a new study suggests. (2020-11-09)

Study finds surprising diversity in early child care
A new study of kindergarteners in one Midwestern state identified seven different pathways the children took in their early education and care before arriving at school. The researchers were surprised by the diverse experiences that kids brought with them to kindergarten: While some received care only in their home or mainly in a child care center, others switched back and forth between different types of care, or had other arrangements. (2020-11-09)

Paleogenomics -- the prehistory of modern dogs
An international team of scientists has used ancient DNA samples to elucidate the population history of dogs. The results show that dogs had already diverged into at least five distinct lineages by about 11,000 years ago and that their early population history only partially reflects that of human groups. (2020-11-06)

Population dynamics and the rise of empires in Inner Asia
In a new study published in Cell, researchers seek to understand the genetic, sociopolitical and cultural changes surrounding the formation of the eastern Eurasian Steppe's historic empires. The study analyzes genome-wide data for 214 ancient individuals spanning 6,000 years and discusses the genetic and cultural changes that preceded the rise of the Xiongnu and Mongol nomadic pastoralist empires. (2020-11-05)

Earliest example of a rapid-fire tongue found in 'weird and wonderful' extinct amphibians
Fossils of bizarre, armored amphibians known as albanerpetontids provide the oldest evidence of a slingshot-style tongue, a new Science study shows. (2020-11-05)

A species identified in 2016 as an ancient form of chameleon was misidentified at that time, say researchers
A species identified in 2016 as an ancient form of chameleon was misidentified at that time, say researchers, many of whom were part of the original 2016 report. (2020-11-05)

The long and complex history of cereal cuisine in ancient China
Changing cuisines in ancient China were driven by multiple environmental and cultural practices over thousands of years, according to a study published November 4, 2020 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Xinyi Liu of Washington University in St. Louis and Rachel E. B. Reid of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Virginia. (2020-11-04)

Denisovan DNA in the genome of early East Asians
Researchers analyzed the genome of the oldest human fossil found in Mongolia to date and show that the 34,000-year-old woman inherited around 25 percent of her DNA from western Eurasians, demonstrating that people moved across the Eurasian continent shortly after it had first been settled by the ancestors of present-day populations. This individual and a 40,000-year-old individual from China also carried DNA from Denisovans, an extinct form of hominins that inhabited Asia before modern humans arrived. (2020-10-29)

New ancient genomes reveal a complex common history of dogs and humans
Newly sequenced whole genomes of ancient dogs reveal a complicated genetic legacy that reflects a long, shared history with humans spanning more than 11,000 years into the past. (2020-10-29)

Study of ancient dog DNA traces canine diversity to the Ice Age
A global study of ancient dog DNA, led by scientists at the Francis Crick Institute, University of Oxford, University of Vienna and archaeologists from more than 10 countries, presents evidence that there were different types of dogs more than 11,000 years ago in the period immediately following the Ice Age. (2020-10-29)

Humans are born with brains 'prewired' to see words
Humans are born with a part of the brain that is prewired to be receptive to seeing words and letters, setting the stage at birth for people to learn how to read, a new study suggests. Analyzing brain scans of newborns, researchers found that this part of the brain - called the ''visual word form area'' (VWFA) - is connected to the language network of the brain. (2020-10-22)

Ancient Maya built sophisticated water filters
Ancient Maya in the once-bustling city of Tikal built sophisticated water filters using natural materials they imported from miles away, according to the University of Cincinnati. A multidisciplinary team of UC anthropologists, geographers and biologists identified quartz and zeolite, a crystalline compound consisting of silicon and aluminum, that created a natural molecular sieve. Both minerals are used in modern water filtration. (2020-10-22)

Genome archeologists discover path to activate immune response against cancer
Ancient embedded elements in our DNA from generations past can activate a powerful immune response to kill cancer cells like an infection. (2020-10-21)

Study reveals why some blame Asian Americans for COVID-19
A blend of racial prejudice, poor coping and partisan media viewing were found in Americans who stigmatized people of Asian descent during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new study. But it was prejudice against Asian Americans that was most strongly linked to beliefs that Asians were responsible for the pandemic and most at risk for spreading it, results showed. (2020-10-20)

Lost and found: UH geologists 'resurrect' missing tectonic plate
A team of geologists at the University of Houston College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics believes they have found the lost plate known as Resurrection in northern Canada by using existing mantle tomography images. (2020-10-20)

New lab test clarifies the potential protective effects of COVID-19 antibodies
Knowing you have developed antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 virus after recovering from COVID-19 doesn't tell you everything about your immunity. Scientists have developed a new lab testing procedure for the detection of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 that gives results more quickly than existing assays and specifically identifies so-called ''neutralizing'' antibodies. (2020-10-19)

Newborn brains lack maturity to process emotions as adults do
Humans aren't born with mature brain circuitry that attaches emotions to the things they see or hear in their environment, a new study shows. Researchers studying brain scans of newborns found that the part of the brain involved in experiencing emotions isn't functionally connected in a mature way with the regions that process visual or auditory stimuli. (2020-10-19)

Robot swarms follow instructions to create art
Controlling a swarm of robots to paint a picture sounds like a difficult task. However, a new technique allows an artist to do just that, without worrying about providing instructions for each robot. Using this method, the artist can assign different colors to specific areas of a canvas, and the robots will work together to paint the canvas. The technique could open up new possibilities in art and other fields. (2020-10-14)

Evolution: No social distancing at the beginning of life
Bacteria are a dominant form of life that inhabit every environment on Earth. This includes human bodies, where they outnumber our cells and genes and regulate our existence for good or bad. Bacteria are regularly viewed as simple, single-celled organisms. As bacteria are ancient, it is widely accepted that a bacteria-like, unicellular being was the first life. Recent work published in 'Molecular Biology and Evolution' by an international research team challenges these views. (2020-10-13)

If the glove fits
Israeli archaeologists found an astonishing common denominator among storage jars in Israel over a period of 350 years: the inner-rim diameter of the jar's neck. It's consistent with measurements of the palm of a (male) hand and may reflect the use of the original metrics for the biblical measurement of the ''tefach,'' a unit of measurement that was used primarily by ancient Israelites, appears frequently in the Old Testament and is the basis for many legal and purity laws (2020-10-13)

Want to wait less at the bus stop? Beware real-time updates
Smartphone apps that tell commuters when a bus will arrive at a stop don't result in less time waiting than reliance on an official bus route schedule, a new study suggests. In fact, people who followed the suggestions of transit apps to time their arrival for when the bus pulls up to the stop were likely to miss the bus about three-fourths of the time, results showed. (2020-10-13)

Stopping lethal lung damage from the flu with a natural human protein
The raging lung inflammation that can contribute to death from the flu can be stopped in its tracks by a drug derived from a naturally occurring human protein, a new animal study suggests. (2020-10-12)

HKUMed develops a novel therapeutic approach against Epstein-Barr virus-associated tumours
A research team at LKS Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong (HKUMed) discovered that exosomes derived from Vδ2-T cells (Vδ2-T-Exos) can effectively control Epstein-Barr virus-associated tumours and induce T-cell anti-tumour immunity. The novel findings of Vδ2-T-Exos provide insights into new therapeutic approach for Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-associated tumours. The ground-breaking findings have been published in the leading academic journal, Science Translational Medicine. (2020-10-09)

Candidates who lie more likely to win elections - new study
A new economics experiment suggests the electoral system attracts candidates who are dishonest and highlights why greater transparency might foster more trust in politics. (2020-10-08)

Why some friends make you feel more supported than others
It's good to have friends and family to back you up when you need it - but it's even better if your supporters are close with each other too, a new set of studies suggests. Researchers found that people perceived they had more support from a group of friends or family who all knew and liked each other than from an identical number of close relationships who were not linked. (2020-10-07)

Moon's magnetic crust research sees scientists debunk long-held theory
New international research into the Moon provides scientists with insights as to how and why its crust is magnetised, essentially 'debunking' one of the previous longstanding theories. (2020-10-07)

Past tropical forest changes drove megafauna and hominin extinctions
Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History (MPI-SHH) and Griffith University have discovered that Southeast Asia, today renowned for its lush rainforests, was at various points in the past covered by sweeping grasslands. The expansion and reduction of these grasslands had drastic effects on local megafauna, variously supporting success and inducing extinction. (2020-10-07)

Donors more likely to give to COVID causes when font matches message
Appeals seeking donations to help fight hunger during the COVID-19 pandemic were more successful when the typeface in which the appeal was written mirrored the tone of the donation request, a new study has found. (2020-10-06)

Preliminary results of two large immune therapy studies show promise in advanced cervical cancer
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Preliminary results from two independent, phase II clinical trials investigating a new PD-1 (programmed cell death protein 1)-based immune therapy for metastatic cervical cancer suggest potential new treatment options for a disease that currently has limited effective options and disproportionately impacts younger women. (2020-10-05)

Virtual driving assessment shows feasibility, validity, efficiency as part of licensing
Researchers have demonstrated the feasibility of incorporating a virtual driving assessment system into the driver's licensing process in Ohio. The researchers also assessed the validity of the tool in identifying likely on-road test failure while providing personalized feedback regarding skills that need improvement to keep drivers safe. (2020-10-05)

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