Tech

Global sustainability is important now more than ever due to increasing urban populations and the resulting stress it can have on natural resources. But increased populations in cities may lead to greater efficiency, as a team of Penn State researchers discovered when they analyzed the water footprint of 65 mid- to large-sized U.S. cities.

When moving through a crowd to reach some end goal, humans can usually navigate the space safely without thinking too much. They can learn from the behavior of others and note any obstacles to avoid. Robots, on the other hand, struggle with such navigational concepts.

Engineers at UC San Diego used wearable off-the-shelf technology and machine learning to predict, for the first time, an individual's blood pressure and provide personalized recommendations to lower it based on this data.

Their work earned the title of Best Paper at IEEE Healthcom 2018. To the researchers' knowledge, this is the first work investigating daily blood pressure prediction and its relationship to health behavior data collected by wearables.

HOUSTON -- (Oct. 4, 2018) -- Rice University nanoscientists have demonstrated a new catalyst that can convert ammonia into hydrogen fuel at ambient pressure using only light energy, mainly due to a plasmonic effect that makes the catalyst more efficient.

The inability to alter intrinsic piezoelectric behavior in organic polymers hampers their application in flexible, wearable and biocompatible devices, according to researchers at Penn State and North Carolina State University, but now a molecular approach can improve those piezoelectric properties.

"Morphotropic phase boundary (MPB) is an important concept developed a half-century ago in ceramic materials," said Qing Wang, professor of materials science and engineering. "This concept has never before been realized in organic materials."

New findings suggest that diet is a major contributor for the increased risk of hypertension in black compared to white Americans. The results, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, are part of the Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) study, which looks at the incidence of stroke in approximately 30,000 individuals. The study is funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), a part of the National Institutes of Health.

Lately the fact-checking world has been in a bit of a crisis. Sites like Politifact and Snopes have traditionally focused on specific claims, which is admirable but tedious - by the time they've gotten through verifying or debunking a fact, there's a good chance it's already traveled across the globe and back again.

Social media companies have also had mixed results limiting the spread of propaganda and misinformation: Facebook plans to have 20,000 human moderators by the end of the year, and is spending many millions developing its own fake-news-detecting algorithms.

Genetics isn't as important as once thought for the evolution of altruistic social behavior in some organisms, a new insight into a decade-long debate.

This is the first empirical evidence that suggests social behavior in eusocial species--organisms that are highly organized, with divisions of infertile workers--is only mildly attributed to how related these organisms are to each other.

New research from the University of British Columbia suggests that reducing mutated Huntington disease protein in the brain can restore cognitive and psychiatric impairments in mice.

Huntington disease (HD) is a genetic, progressive disorder that causes mental decline, psychiatric problems and uncontrolled movements. The disease is caused by mutant huntingtin (HTT) protein, with symptoms appearing in adulthood and worsening over time.

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- University at Buffalo childhood obesity experts are praising a study published Monday in JAMA Pediatrics that rigorously assessed how the home environments of young children who are genetically at high risk for obesity can influence whether they become overweight or obese.

"The study's main finding was that genetic influences on children's body mass index (BMI) depends upon their home environment," said Myles S. Faith, PhD, professor of counseling, school and educational psychology in the UB Graduate School of Education.