Clever chemistry turns ordinary bricks into electricity storage devices

Bricks turn out to be useful for storing electricity thanks to their porousness and red pigment.

Julio M. D'Arcy, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Washington University in St Louis • conversation
Aug. 11, 2020 ~5 min

Tags: chemistry innovation energy nanotechnology electricity research-brief buildings energy-storage

Parents with children forced to do school at home are drinking more

The stress of having children do distance learning at home during the pandemic is linked to an increase in alcohol consumption among parents, a new survey finds.

Elyse R. Grossman, Policy Fellow, Department of Health, Behavior and Society, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health • conversation
July 29, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: covid-19 stress quick-reads research-brief k-12-education distance-learning k-12-online-learning pandemic-school-closures

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

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