Science and Society

Science & Society News -- ScienceDaily Videos and stories on museum exhibits, theatrical performances, and a variety of cultural activities as well as the latest research on arts and culture.

  • Tropical viruses: Coming soon to Europe?
    on June 23, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    The mosquito-borne viral disease Chikungunya is usually found in tropical areas. Researchers have now discovered how climate change is facilitating the spread of the Chikungunya virus. Even if climate change only progresses moderately – as scientists are currently observing – the risk of infection will continue to increase in many regions of the world through the end of the 21st century. If climate change continues unchecked, the virus could even spread to southern Europe and the United States. […]

  • Child safety or parental duty: New study maps out core concepts in the vaccination debate
    on June 23, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    The recent measles outbreak in Minnesota has been a sobering reminder of how highly concentrated populations of vaccination skeptics can elevate an entire community's risk of infection. Around the edges of every headline-grabbing outbreak, there's a vast range of opinions being circulated about the risks and benefits of early childhood immunization. The vaccination debate maintains a constant presence on social media platforms. These varied viewpoints caught the attention of scientists who are conducting a three-year study on the ways online interactions influence our beliefs. […]

  • Turtle 'go-slow zone' extensions needed
    on June 23, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    Marine scientists are calling for an extension of go-slow zones in turtle habitats to reduce boat strikes on the threatened creatures. […]

  • Following a friend leads to unsafe driving behavior
    on June 23, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    A new study inspired by a court case involving a driver seriously hurt in an accident when following another car to a destination, provides evidence to show that the car behind makes risky driving maneuvers. Driving faster, more erratically, closer to the car in front and jumping traffic lights are all blamed on a fear of getting lost. Drivers are advised to provide the follower with a map or navigational guide before setting off. […]

  • Study debunks claim of greatly improved survival rate for gunshot victims
    on June 22, 2017 at 9:14 pm

    The survival rate of US gunshot victims has not shown a marked improvement, as other recent studies have suggested, according to new research. The purported increase in survival rate had been credited to improvements in emergency treatment and medical care of critically injured patients. But on close analysis, researchers found problems in the way data was collected and coded. […]

  • New efficient, low-temperature catalyst for hydrogen production
    on June 22, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    Scientists have developed a new low-temperature catalyst for producing high-purity hydrogen gas while simultaneously using up carbon monoxide (CO). The discovery could improve the performance of fuel cells that run on hydrogen fuel but can be poisoned by CO. […]

  • Critical gaps in our knowledge of where infectious diseases occur
    on June 22, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    Scientists have called for action to a serious lack of data on the worldwide distribution of disease-causing organisms. Without this knowledge, predicting where and when the next disease outbreak will emerge is hardly possible. Macroecologists hold the expertise to create the needed data network and close the knowledge gaps. […]

  • Mathematical confirmation: Rewiring financial networks reduces systemic risk
    on June 22, 2017 at 2:39 pm

    A proposed tax on systemically risky financial transactions could reduce the risk of financial system crashes by spurring financial networks to reshape in more resilient ways, suggests a new report. […]

  • Negative tweets can trash TV programs for other viewers
    on June 22, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    Negative social media comments about a television show tend to lower enjoyment for other viewers, while positive comments may not significantly boost their enjoyment, according to researchers. […]

  • Dogs to sniff out chemicals that identify human remains
    on June 22, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    New research to help improve accuracy of criminal investigations involves a partnership between humans and their canine coworkers. […]

  • A simple solution to protect critical infrastructure
    on June 21, 2017 at 9:01 pm

    Experts have provided a solution for stopping flooding in subway tunnels in the form of a giant inflatable plug that will seal them off and stop water from flowing throughout the subway system into stations and other subway lines. […]

  • Recognition technology a step closer to use in courtroom
    on June 21, 2017 at 8:59 pm

    Brain-based memory recognition technology may be one step closer to court. A report suggests American jurors can appropriately integrate the evidence in their evaluations of criminal defendants, which could ultimately lead to an additional expert witness on the stand. […]

  • An end to population aging in China, Germany, USA
    on June 21, 2017 at 6:51 pm

    New measures of aging, combined with UN population projections, show that population aging is likely to end before 2100 in China, Germany, and the USA. […]

  • Yarraman flu or horse flu? Words and graphics influence willingness to vaccinate
    on June 21, 2017 at 5:34 pm

    'Yarraman flu is a virus quickly infecting the US...' The mock announcement was enough to make readers worry. But when the name of the hypothetical illness was changed to 'horse flu', readers reported being less motivated to get a vaccine that would prevent them from contracting the illness. Based on a survey of 16,510 participants from 11 countries, the findings show that the way health information is communicated, matters. […]

  • Assessesing risk in a changing insurance market for driverless vehicles
    on June 21, 2017 at 4:54 pm

    Despite projections, insurers will likely play a key role in supporting the safe deployment, adoption and sustainability of driverless cars. The relatively unknown nature, likelihood and extent of driverless accidents presents risk management challenges to both the automotive and insurance industries. Future motor policies may require non-traditional risk management. […]

  • Flooding risk: America's most vulnerable communities
    on June 21, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    Floods are the natural disaster that kill the most people. They are also the most common natural disaster. As the threat of flooding increases worldwide, a group of scientists have gathered valuable information on flood hazard, exposure and vulnerability in counties throughout the US. […]

  • In organizations, bullying begets whining, study finds
    on June 21, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    In organizations, bullying within decision-making groups appears to go hand in hand with whining, according to a new study. 'In other words, when some people act dominant by bullying, others respond by being submissive and whining,' says the professor of communication who led the study. The researchers found that both reported bullying and whining behaviors negatively impacted group perceptions of cohesiveness and decision-making effectiveness. […]

  • Climate change label leads to climate science acceptance
    on June 21, 2017 at 2:32 pm

    Labels matter when it comes to acceptance of climate science, suggests new research. For example, explain authors of a new report, the US public doubts the existence of 'global warming' more than it doubts 'climate change.' […]

  • German cities traumatized in WWII show distinct psychological resilience today
    on June 21, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    German Angst is a term commonly used to characterize the perceived tendency of Germans to be pessimistic. But is there anything to it and what are potential historical sources? A team of psychologists has addressed the issue in a study. To the surprise of the researchers, the data showed that those German cities that had suffered from more severe strategic bombing than other cities show more, not less, psychological resilience today. […]

  • Transportation noise increases risk for cardiovascular diseases and diabetes
    on June 21, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    Transportation noise increases risk for cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, new research indicates. […]

  • The rise of giant viruses
    on June 21, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    Giant viruses acquire genes piecemeal from others, researchers have found. The discovery has implications for bioenergy production and environmental cleanup. […]

  • Urban agriculture only provides small environmental benefits in northeastern US
    on June 21, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    'Buy local' sounds like a great environmental slogan, epitomized for city dwellers by urban agriculture. But when it comes to growing fruits and vegetables in vacant lots and on rooftops in cities, is the practice really better for the planet than conventional farming? A new analysis of urban agriculture in the northeastern US has found that the regional 'green' benefits consumers expect could be meager at best. […]

  • Corn better used as food than biofuel, study finds
    on June 20, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    Corn is grown not only for food, it is also an important renewable energy source. Renewable biofuels can come with hidden economic and environmental issues, and the question of whether corn is better utilized as food or as a biofuel has persisted since ethanol came into use. For the first time, researchers have quantified and compared these issues in terms of economics of the entire production system to determine if the benefits of biofuel corn outweigh the costs. […]

  • Best delivery mode for potential HIV vaccine tested
    on June 20, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    For decades, HIV has successfully evaded all efforts to create an effective vaccine but researchers are steadily inching closer. Their latest study demonstrates that optimizing the mode and timing of vaccine delivery is crucial to inducing a protective immune response in a preclinical model. […]

  • 'Principal pipelines' to develop leaders may be affordable way to improve schools
    on June 20, 2017 at 3:42 pm

    Improving school leadership by better selecting, training and evaluating principals can be an affordable option for school districts that aim to reduce turnover and improve schools, according to a new report. The first-of-its kind study examined how six large urban school districts are investing in their leaders. Researchers found that improving school leadership has been affordable for the six districts, which spent 0.4 percent of their annual budgets to better the quality of school leaders. […]

  • People looking for prestige prefer 'big ponds' over small ones
    on June 20, 2017 at 3:41 pm

    When looking at new opportunity, do you choose an average place where you are among the top performers or do you choose a prestigious place where you might be average and not particularly remarkable? In other words, do you want to be the big frog in a small pond or a little frog in a big pond? According to recent research your cultural upbringing ultimately affects your choice. […]

  • Modeling Gulf War illness: Knowing the cause of brain dysfunction is key to finding a cure
    on June 20, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    When hundreds of thousands of American troops deployed to the Persian Gulf in 1990 and 1991 in the First Gulf War, they were exposed to a variety of chemicals. These chemicals -- especially when coupled with war-related stress -- seem to still be affecting nearly 200,000 Gulf War veterans -- or 25 to 32 percent of those who served -- more than 25 years later, and the constellation of resulting symptoms has been termed Gulf War illness. […]

  • Taking stock early on is crucial for working late in life
    on June 20, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    Do you want to keep working until you’re 70, or even 75? Then, it’s good to give this some thought before you turn 50. New research now calls for early planning, and at the same time shoots down prejudices against working seniors. […]

  • Students of all ethnicities benefit from ethnically diverse middle schools
    on June 20, 2017 at 1:32 pm

    More than half of school-age youth in the United States are members of ethnic minority groups, yet the nation's public schools are becoming less ethnically diverse. Recognizing these conflicting trends and the lack of research on the effects of ethnic diversity, a new study sought to determine how the diversity of middle school students and classrooms shapes students' self-reported well-being and their views on race. […]

  • Watching cities grow
    on June 20, 2017 at 1:31 pm

    Three million measurement points in one square kilometer: a world record has now been set in information retrieval from satellite data. Thanks to new algorithms, the researchers succeeded in making four-dimensional point clouds of Berlin, Las Vegas, Paris and Washington, D.C. from images stacks of the TerraSAR-X radar satellite. Next the scientists plan to create four-dimensional models of all cities in the world. […]