Culture

Sorry, Siri, but just giving a chatbot a human name or adding humanlike features to its avatar might not be enough to win over a user if the device fails to maintain a conversational back-and-forth with that person, according to researchers. In fact, those humanlike features might create a backlash against less responsive humanlike chatbots.

Is honesty the best policy when it comes to being green?

It just might be, according to a new paper by Michel Magnan, a professor of accountancy at the John Molson School of School of Business.

In their article for Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, Magnan and co-author Hani Tadros of Elon University in North Carolina looked at 78 US firms in environmentally sensitive industries from 1997 to 2010. They wanted to deepen their understanding of the driving forces behind the firms' disclosure of their environmental practices and management.

The American Bumblebee - a species once more commonly seen buzzing around Southern Ontario - is critically endangered, according to a new study led by York University.

New Rochelle, NY, April 18, 2019--Gene therapy offers the promise of a cure for beta-thalassemia and a new study has shown that it is associated with fewer complications and hospital admissions over 2 years than treatment by allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). The study, which analyzes and compares the effectiveness and cost of gene therapy versus (HSCT) in patients with major beta-thalassemia is published in Human Gene Therapy, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers.

New North Carolina State University research shows that key proteins known for their ability to prevent viral infections by inducing cell death can also block certain bacterial infections without triggering the death of the host cells.

Rather than killing host cells infected by Listeria in the gastrointestinal tract, the RIPK3 and MLKL proteins recognize the chemical composition of the bacteria and MLKL binds to it, preventing the spread of Listeria while keeping the host cells alive.

(Hoboken, N.J. - April 16, 2019) - Farmers rely on phosphorus fertilizers to enrich the soil and ensure bountiful harvests, but the world's recoverable reserves of phosphate rocks, from which such fertilizers are produced, are finite and unevenly distributed. Stevens Institute of Technology is spearheading an international effort to map the global flow of phosphorus -- from soil to crops, and from there to livestock and humans, and eventually into sewers and landfills - and jump-start efforts to recapture and recycle the vital nutrient.

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Our system for protecting health data in the United States is fundamentally broken and we need a national effort to rethink how we safeguard this information, say three experts in data privacy.

In a perspective article in the April 18, 2019, issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, the experts call for an effort similar to what led to the Belmont Report in 1979, which laid the foundation for bioethics standards in the United States to protect human participants in research.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- A team that studies how biological structures such as cactus spines and mantis shrimp appendages puncture living tissue has turned its attention to viper fangs. Specifically, the scientists wanted to know, what physical characteristics contribute to fangs' sharpness and ability to puncture?

They report their findings in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters.

A University of Waterloo researcher has spearheaded the development of a software tool that can provide conclusive answers to some of the world's most fascinating questions.

Star Trek's Spock would not be surprised: People are "illogical." New research exploring American liberals and conservatives shows that regardless of political affiliation, tribal instincts kick in and people's ability to think logically suffers when it comes to arguments related to their political belief systems. When confronted with the unsound reasoning of opposing groups, people become better able to identify flawed logic.

The research was recently published in Social Psychological and Personality Science.