Mobile technology may support kids learning to recognize emotions in photos of faces

Understanding others' emotions is a crucial social skill. Counter to concerns about screen time stunting kids' development, one study suggests they're getting better at recognizing emotion on screen.

Yalda T. Uhls, Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Scholars & Storytellers and Assistant Adjunct Professor in Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles • conversation
June 2, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: emotion child-development research-brief emotions screen-time adolescents adolescence smart-phones screens ipad tablet-computing tablets screentime videochat

AI tool searches thousands of scientific papers to guide researchers to coronavirus insights

The scientific community is churning out vast quantities of research about the coronavirus pandemic – far too much for researchers to absorb. An AI system aims to do the heavy lifting for them.

John Dagdelen, Graduate Student Researcher, Persson Group, University of California, Berkeley • conversation
May 12, 2020 ~5 min

Tags: machine-learning artificial-intelligence covid-19 coronavirus science new-coronavirus research-brief research biomedical-research scientific-inquiry search

Lasers could speed up coronavirus diagnostics

A team of physicists, virologists and computer scientists are seeking to develop a coronavirus diagnostic tool that could deliver rapid results.

Mauricio Terrones, Professor of Physics, Pennsylvania State University • conversation
May 7, 2020 ~7 min

Tags:  innovation  covid-19  coronavirus  lasers  covid-19-testing  research-brief  invention  medical-test

Your genes could determine whether the coronavirus puts you in the hospital – and we're starting to unravel which ones matter

Researchers from Oregon Health and Science University found that variations in genes that code for parts of the cellular alarm system might play a role in how well people fight off COVID-19.

Reid Thompson, Assistant Professor of Radiation Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University • conversation
May 5, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: genetics covid-19 coronavirus immune-system biology genes t-cells immune-cells disease viruses research-brief white-blood-cells immune cells computational-biology

A smart second skin gets all the power it needs from sweat

Lightweight, flexible materials can be used to make health-monitoring wearable devices, but powering the devices is a challenge. Using fuel cells instead of batteries could make the difference.

Wei Gao, Assistant Professor of Medical Engineering, California Institute of Technology • conversation
April 22, 2020 ~4 min

Tags: health robots research-brief carbon-nanotubes biofuel prosthetics nanotubes fuel-cells nanomaterials biomedical-devices wearables

Linking self-driving cars to traffic signals might help pedestrians give them the green light

Pedestrians are wary of autonomous cars, but they trust traffic lights. Researchers suggest driverless cars could communicate directly with the signals to make their own actions more predictable.

Lionel Peter Robert Jr., Associate Professor of Information, University of Michigan • conversation
April 21, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: robotics driverless-cars trust research-brief autonomous-vehicles traffic-lights pedestrians self-driving-vehicles

We're measuring online conversation to track the social and mental health issues surfacing during the coronavirus pandemic

America's news reports and social media chatter open a window into the nation's psyche. An AI-based text analysis of these words shows that the coronavirus is driving up familiar social ills.

Amit Sheth, Founding Director, Artificial Intelligence Institute, University of South Carolina • conversation
April 20, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: social-media artificial-intelligence mental-health covid-19 coronavirus depression big-data pandemic social-distancing alcoholism new-coronavirus research-brief domestic-violence drug-addiction

Hotter weather brings more stress, depression and other mental health problems

In a rapidly warming world, temperature increases are a challenge to mental well-being. A group of economists quantified the relationship.

Travis Smith, Assistant Professor of Agricultural & Applied Economics, University of Georgia • conversation
March 25, 2020 ~4 min

Tags:  climate-change  mental-health  climate  global-warming  research-brief  weather  emotions  negative-emotions  hot-weather

Newborn babies weigh less today – possibly due to the increased popularity of cesarean sections and induced labor

The decline in US birth weight is somewhat of a puzzle for public health researchers.

Andrea Tilstra, Ph.D. Candidate in Sociology, University of Colorado Boulder • conversation
March 11, 2020 ~4 min

Tags:  children  pregnancy  parents  mothers  parenting  research-brief  demography  birth  obstetrics  babies  caesarean-section  cesarean-section

Malnourished bugs: Higher CO2 levels make plants less nutritious, hurting insect populations

Insect populations are falling as what they eat becomes more like iceberg lettuce and less like kale.

Ellen Welti, Postdoctoral Researcher of Biology, University of Oklahoma • conversation
March 9, 2020 ~5 min

Tags:  climate-change  insects  carbon  biology  plants  carbon-dioxide-co2  nutrients  entomology  kansas  bugs  grasshoppers  food-webs  prairies  research-brief

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