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

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  lasers  invention  coronavirus  medical-test  covid-19  research-brief  covid-19-testing

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

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

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

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

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  weather  climate  emotions  global-warming  negative-emotions  hot-weather  research-brief

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

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

Modern tomatoes are very different from their wild ancestors – and we found missing links in their evolution

Through genetic detective work, scientists have identified missing links in the tomato’s evolution from a wild blueberry-sized fruit in South America to the larger modern tomato of today.

Ana Caicedo, Associate Professor of Biology, University of Massachusetts Amherst • conversation
Jan. 30, 2020 ~6 min

Tags:  agriculture  genetics  evolution  crops  tomato  latin-america  genomics  plant-breeding  domestication  global-perspectives  research-brief

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