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Reimagined US-Middle East strategy would lean less on arms sales, more on dev't/governance
US policies in the Middle East need to be rethought, according to a new RAND Corporation report. If policymakers were to pursue an alternative strategy outlined by RAND researchers, they would rebalance America's support by prioritizing non-security investments in development and improved governance, which could enhance regional stability. (2021-02-23)

Shining a light on the true value of solar power
Utility companies have worried that solar panels drive up electric costs for the people who don't have panels. Michigan Tech renewable energy researchers show the opposite is actually true -- grid-tied solar photovoltaic (PV) owners are actually subsidizing their non-PV neighbors. (2021-02-09)

Coal and COVID-19: How the pandemic is accelerating the end of fossil power generation
COVID-19 has not only caused a temporary drop in global CO2 emissions, it has also reduced the share of power generated by burning coal - a trend that could in fact outlast the pandemic. This is the key result of a new study by a team of economists based in Potsdam and Berlin that looked at COVID-19's impact on the energy system and demand for electricity. (2021-02-08)

Does Goal 7 Energy for All need a rethink?
Goal 7 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aims to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all by 2030. Yet according to new research by Copenhagen Business School the poor planning and execution of decarbonisation strategies in emerging markets challenges the aims of Goal 7. (2021-02-08)

Production of 'post-lithium-ion batteries' requires new skills
Lithium-ion technology is expected to continue to dominate the market for rechargeable high-energy batteries over the next ten years. This is the conclusion reached by a team of battery researchers led by the University of Münster. (2021-01-29)

Transportation investments could save hundreds of lives, billions of dollars
Investments in infrastructure to promote bicycling and walking could save as many as 770 lives and $7.6 billion each year across 12 northeastern states and the District of Columbia under the proposed Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI), according to a new Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health study. (2021-01-28)

It's getting hot in here: Warming world will fry power plant production in coming years
During the year's hottest months, many people rely on electricity-generated cooling systems to remain comfortable. But the power plants that keep air conditioners pushing out cold air could soon be in a vicious cycle in a warming world-not able to keep up with growing demands on hotter days and driving up greenhouse gas emissions to dangerous levels. (2021-01-06)

Balancing climate and development goals
The impact on climate change would only be modest if countries in the process of development were to delay efforts to reduce their carbon emissions until they reach a certain level of economic growth. (2020-12-15)

Benefits of renewable energy vary from place to place
A new study finds the environmental benefits of renewable power generation vary significantly, depending on the nature of the conventional power generation that the renewable energy is offsetting. The researchers hope the work will help target future renewable energy investments in places where they can do the most good. (2020-12-14)

Could private investment finance conservation?
A new report called Innovative Finance for Conservation: Roles for Ecologists and Practitioners, explores how private investment could boost conservation in a big way. (2020-11-30)

Suicide prevention in COVID-19 era
COVID-19 presents a new and urgent opportunity to focus political will, federal investments, and global community on the vital imperative of suicide prevention. Suicide prevention in the COVID-19 era requires addressing not only pandemic-specific suicide risk factors, but also prepandemic risk factors. (2020-10-16)

Fraction of money earmarked for COVID-19 recovery could boost climate efforts
Global stimulus plans for economic recovery after the pandemic could easily cover climate-friendly policies, suggests new study. (2020-10-15)

Excess deaths from COVID-19, community bereavement, restorative justice for communities of color
Ways the COVID-19 pandemic has compounded existing health, human rights and economic disparities in communities of color are discussed in this Viewpoint, which also proposes a program of restorative justice in response, comprising investments in education and housing, reforms in lending practices and criminal justice, and more. (2020-10-12)

Most nations failing to protect nature in COVID-19 pandemic recovery plans
The COVID-19 pandemic provides an opportunity to reset the global economy and reverse decades of ecosystem and species losses, but most countries are failing to invest in nature-related economic reforms or investments, according to a Rutgers-led paper. (2020-10-09)

Two's a crowd: Nuclear and renewables don't mix
If countries want to lower emissions as substantially, rapidly and cost-effectively as possible, they should prioritize support for renewables, rather than nuclear power, the findings of a major new energy study concludes. (2020-10-05)

Hackers targeting companies that fake corporate responsibility
A new study found some hackers aren't in it for the money; they want to expose firms that engage in phony philanthropy. These hackers -- which include everyone from disgruntled employees to hacktivist groups -- can ''sniff out'' actions that only give the appearance of corporate social responsibility. (2020-09-30)

Hoarding and herding during the COVID-19 pandemic
Understanding the psychology behind economic decision-making, and how and why a pandemic might trigger responses such as hoarding, is the focus of a new paper published in the Journal of Behavioral Economics for Policy. (2020-09-09)

Partnerships with bankrupt companies could be double-edged sword for investors
New research from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business found that when a company is in bankruptcy, its advertising and research and development investments can cut both ways. They increase the odds of surviving for some bankrupt companies and decrease the odds for others. (2020-07-30)

University research and the private sector
Food additives get a bad rap, but a natural ingredient from orange peels and apple skins, pectin, is a thickener safely added to many food products, most notably jellies. The additive is also the subject of a University of Illinois experiment highlighting both the power and the challenges of public-private partnerships in university research. (2020-07-13)

Study finds decreased rates of high-cost care after a community development initiative
More than a decade into the community development initiative called Healthy Neighborhoods Healthy Families, the 30-block Southern Orchards neighborhood on Columbus, Ohio's South Side had clear, notable improvement. Home vacancy fell from 30% to under 6%. High school graduation rates increased. More than $40 million in investments were generated in the area. (2020-07-08)

"Protect 30% of the planet for nature," scientists urge in new report
A new report entitled, ''Protecting 30% of the planet for nature: costs, benefits, and economic implications,'' represents the first multi-sector analysis that assesses the global impacts of terrestrial and marine protected areas across the nature conservation, agriculture, forestry, and fisheries sectors. (2020-07-08)

Tropical forest loss
A new study from the University of Delaware finds that tropical forest loss is increased by large-scale land acquisitions and that certain kind investment projects -- including tree plantations and plantations for producing palm oil and wood fiber -- are ''consistently associated with increased forest loss.'' (2020-06-23)

Leveraging biodiversity science infrastructure in the COVID-19 era
The BioScience Talks podcast (http://bioscienceaibs.libsyn.com) features discussions of topical issues related to the biological sciences. (2020-06-23)

Researchers forecast COVID-19 pandemic could delay clean energy transition
Traveling restraints and shelter-in-place orders that grounded planes and emptied streets during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic brought greenhouse gas emissions down and air quality up. In a commentary in Joule, environmental economists argue COVID-19 may seem like a ''silver lining'' for climate change in the short run, but in the long run it is more likely to harm the climate due to its potential to delay clean energy investments and innovation. (2020-06-22)

Decline in green energy spending might offset COVID-era emissions benefits
Researchers have documented short-term environmental benefits during the COVID-19-related lockdown, but that silver lining could be far outweighed by a long-term decline on clean energy investments, a new Yale-led study finds. (2020-06-22)

An essential sustainable farming practice faces one big limitation: Land to produce seeds
The growth in cover cropping in the United States may soon hit a ceiling: planting millions of acres of cover crops requires huge extensions of land to produce cover crop seed. Between 3 and 6 percent of the 92 million acres of cropping land currently used for corn (maize) in the U.S. may be required to produce cover crop seed for that land area. (2020-06-11)

Falling clean energy costs can provide opportunity to boost climate action during COVID-19 recovery: UN
A UN report says 184 GW of clean power capacity was added in 2019, a 20 GW jump from the 164 GW added in 2018. However, the 12% increase in renewable GWs last year was delivered at roughly the same investment level as 2018: US$282.2 billion, demonstrating falling costs of renewables. New non-hydro renewable power currently foreseen through 2030: 826 GW; needed to get on track to Paris Agreement goals: ~ 3,000 more GW. (2020-06-10)

Gap between rich, poor neighborhoods growing in some cities
New research provides insight into how housing prices and neighborhood values have become polarized in some urban areas, with the rich getting richer and the poor becoming poorer. The results of the study, done in Columbus, Ohio, suggest that some of the factors long thought to impact neighborhood values - such as the distance to downtown, nearby highways, or attractions such as city parks - no longer matter much to changing housing prices in an area. (2020-05-28)

New Chicago Booth research suggests patients prefer expert guidance for medical decisions
New research from University of Chicago Booth School of Business suggests that in times of uncertainty, people want expert guidance when making choices about their medical care. The study, released by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, examines the important question of how patients, and advisees in general, react to full decisional autonomy when making difficult decisions about their health. It also indicates that the preference for paternalistic guidance could extend beyond doctors. (2020-05-14)

The role of European policy for improving power plant fuel efficiency
A new study published in the Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists investigates the impact of the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS), the largest international cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gas emissions in the world, on power plant fuel efficiency. (2020-05-08)

National online education platforms could make STEM degrees more affordable, Russia-based study shows
An online education model in Russia in which national platforms license STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) courses from top universities to institutions with instructor shortages could significantly lower instruction costs, allowing resource-constrained universities to enroll more STEM students, according to a new study. (2020-04-08)

Curbing the rising toll of adults with complex care needs
In an article just published in JAMA Health Forum, nurse researchers from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing (Penn Nursing) underscore that while responses to the problem have resulted in well-motivated innovations, an effective and actionable path for immediate and long-term remediation should encompass micro- and macro-level solutions. (2020-04-06)

Scientists learn how vampire bat strangers make friends
Scientists haven't had a good grip on how friendly connections among strangers are made between animals -- until now. A new study of vampire bats living in captivity with strangers supports the 'raising-the-stakes' model of the development of cooperative relationships, which suggests that trust builds over time through the gradual acceleration of smaller mutual investments in each other's well-being. (2020-03-19)

Social policies might not only improve economic well-being, but also health
A comprehensive review of US social policies evaluated for their health outcomes found suggestive evidence that early life, income, and health insurance interventions have the potential to improve health. Scientists have long known that 'social' risk factors, like poverty, are correlated with health. However, until this study, there was little research carried out to understand whether it was actually possible to improve population health by addressing these risk factors with social policies. (2020-03-19)

Social banks rely on their motivated investors
The main reason for the existence of social banks is to fund other social enterprises. On that basis, Simon Cornée from the University of Rennes 1, Panu Kalmi from the University of Vaasa and Ariane Szafarz from the Université Libre de Bruxelles propose that social banks can operate profitably and still lend to their borrowers at attractive interest rates when their owners and depositors accept lower returns on their investments. (2020-02-25)

Wall Street investors react to climate change
Institutional investors are factoring climate risks into their investment decisions, according to a first-ever survey conducted by the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin. (2020-02-18)

Environmentally friendly shipping helps to reduce freight costs
The shipping sector has potential to gain profit by reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Recent research shows that shipping companies and ports can achieve cost savings by, for example, investing in digital route planning or equipping vessels with solar panels. (2020-01-21)

Investment in medical and health R&D not keeping up with needs of nation
Total US investment in medical and health research and development (R&D) grew by 6.4% from 2017 to 2018, reaching $194.2 billion. For the third straight year, the growth-rate of medical and health R&D investment outpaced the growth-rate of overall health spending. (2019-12-18)

Increasing transparency in the healthcare sector: More might not be better
More isn't always better. That's what researchers say when it comes to transparency in the US healthcare system. This research, forthcoming in the INFORMS journal Operations Research, finds that in the short-term, patients who know more about hospital quality is positive, but in the long-term, the benefits may not be what you might think. (2019-12-11)

Study finds US policies could have negative implications for Africa
A new study finds that while the current United States administration's policies in Africa may appear undeveloped, there are distinct trends and tendencies that have the potential to negatively impact Africa's economic growth. (2019-11-19)

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