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Posted inEnviro

Protected areas saw dramatic spikes in fires during COVID lockdowns, study finds

The number of fires inside protected conservation areas across the island of Madagascar shot up dramatically when COVID-19 lockdowns led to the suspension of any on-site management for five months during 2020. The findings suggest that governments should consider keeping some staff in protected areas at all times as an “essential service”, even during periods […]

Posted inSci/Tech

Cognitive impairment from severe COVID-19 equivalent to 20 years of ageing, study finds

Cognitive impairment as a result of severe COVID-19 is similar to that sustained between 50 and 70 years of age and is the equivalent to losing 10 IQ points, say a team of scientists from the University of Cambridge and Imperial College London. The findings, published in the journal eClinicalMedicine, emerge from the NIHR COVID-19 BioResource. The […]

Posted inSci/Tech

Minor volcanic eruptions could ‘cascade’ into global catastrophe, experts warn

Researchers call for a shift in focus away from risks of “super-volcanic” eruptions and towards likelier scenarios of smaller eruptions in key global “pinch points” creating devastating domino effects. Currently, much of the thinking around risks posed by volcanoes follows a simple equation: the bigger the eruption, the worse it will be for society and […]

Posted inSci/Tech

Slamming political rivals may be the most effective way to go viral – revealing social media’s ‘perverse incentives’

Social media posts about the “political outgroup” – criticising or mocking those on the opposing side of an ideological divide – receive twice as many shares as posts that champion people or organisations from one’s own political tribe. This is according to a study led by University of Cambridge psychologists, who analysed over 2.7 million […]

Posted inSci/Tech

Psychological ‘signature’ for the extremist mind uncovered by Cambridge researchers

February 22, 2021 – A new study suggests that a particular mix of personality traits and types of unconscious cognition – the ways our brain takes in basic information – is a strong predictor for extremist views across a range of beliefs, including nationalism and religious fervour. These mental characteristics include poorer working memory and […]

Posted inSci/Tech

Game ‘pre-bunks’ COVID-19 conspiracies as part of UK’s fight against fake news

October 12, 2020 – A new online game that puts players in the shoes of a purveyor of fake pandemic news is the latest tactic in efforts to tackle the deluge of coronavirus misinformation costing lives across the world. The Go Viral! game has been developed by the University of Cambridge’s Social Decision-Making Lab in collaboration with […]

Posted inSci/Tech

Degraded soils mean tropical forests may never fully recover from logging

Dec. 17, 2019 – Continually logging and re-growing tropical forests to supply timber is reducing the levels of vital nutrients in the soil, which may limit future forest growth and recovery, a new study suggests. This raises concerns about the long-term sustainability of logging in the tropics. Trees of recovering tropical forests were found to […]

Posted inUS

Under a “business as usual” carbon emissions scenario, the U.S. would lose 10.5% of its GDP by 2100

Aug. 19, 2019 –  Prevailing economic research anticipates the burden of climate change falling on hot or poor nations. Some predict that cooler or wealthier economies will be unaffected or even see benefits from higher temperatures. However, a new study co-authored by researchers from the University of Cambridge suggests that virtually all countries – whether […]

Posted inUS

Food and drinks industry uses non-profit organization to campaign against public health policies

June 3, 2019 – A new study shows how a non-profit research organisation has been deployed by its backers from major food and beverage corporations to push industry-favourable positions to policymakers and international bodies under the guise of neutral scientific endeavour. The study, published today in the journal Globalization and Health, analysed over 17,000 pages of emails […]

Posted inUS

Psychological ‘vaccine’ could help immunize public against ‘fake news’ on climate change

Jan. 24, 2017 – New research finds that misinformation on climate change can psychologically cancel out the influence of accurate statements. However, if legitimate facts are delivered with an “inoculation” – a warning dose of misinformation – some of the positive influence is preserved. In medicine, vaccinating against a virus involves exposing a body to […]