Algal blooms cost Ohio homeowners $152 million over six years
August 17, 2017 11:48 AM - Ohio State University

In a new study, researchers at The Ohio State University estimate algal blooms at two Ohio lakes cost Ohio homeowners $152 million in lost property value over six years.

Meanwhile, a related study suggests that algae is driving anglers away from Lake Erie, causing fishing license sales to drop at least 10 percent every time a bloom reaches a moderate level of health risk. Based on those numbers, a computer model projects that a severe, summer-long bloom would cause up to $5.6 million in lost fishing revenue and associated expenditures by anglers.

Feeling bad about feeling bad can make you feel worse
August 11, 2017 11:39 AM - University of California – Berkeley

Pressure to feel upbeat can make you feel downbeat, while embracing your darker moods can actually make you feel better in the long run, according to new UC Berkeley research.

“We found that people who habitually accept their negative emotions experience fewer negative emotions, which adds up to better psychological health,” said study senior author Iris Mauss, an associate professor of psychology at UC Berkeley.

Increasing Productivity by One Day Each Month
August 2, 2017 05:03 PM - University of California – Riverside

Corporate wellness programs have been shown to save companies money by reducing absenteeism and health insurance costs. Researchers at the University of California, Riverside, UCLA, and Washington University in Saint Louis, Mo., have now quantified an additional benefit to companies’ bottom line, showing that a wellness program they studied resulted in higher productivity for all participating employees. This improvement was dramatic: approximately equal to an additional productive work day per month for the average worker.

Titled "Doing Well by Making Well: The Impact of Corporate Wellness Programs on Employee Productivity," the study's first author is Timothy Gubler, an assistant professor of management in the School of Business at UCR. It is forthcoming in the journal Management Science.

Climate Change Linked to Rising Suicide Rates in India, Study Finds
August 1, 2017 05:42 PM - Yale Environment 360

A new study links rising temperatures and subsequent crop failures to more than 59,000 suicides in India over the past 30 years.  

The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, analyzed 47 years of suicide records from India’s National Crime Records Bureau, as well as data on temperature, climate, and crop yields. It found that on days above 68 degrees Fahrenheit, a 1.8 degrees rise in temperature caused an average of 70 suicides. This correlation was found only during growing seasons, when higher temperatures can damage crop yields and deal devastating blows to the one-third of Indian farmers who live below the international poverty line.

Kids, cash, and snacks: What motivates a healthier food choice?
August 1, 2017 10:11 AM - Tufts University, Health Sciences Campus

What determines how children decide to spend their cash on snacks? A new study shows that children’s experience with money and their liking of brands influenced purchase decisions – and that for some children, higher prices for unhealthy snacks might motivate healthier choices. The study is published in the journal Appetite.

Australia is Building a 1,250-Mile Highway for Electric Vehicles
July 27, 2017 04:54 PM - Yale Environment 360

Australia will install 18 electric vehicle fast-charging stations along a nearly 1,250-mile stretch of coastal highway in Queensland, creating one of the world’s longest EV roadways, Reuters reported

The network, which will cost $3 million to build and open within six months, will stretch from Cairns to Coolangatta and west to Toowoomba, running parallel to the Great Barrier Reef. The charging stations will power a vehicle in 30 minutes. Drivers will be able to charge their vehicles for free for at least a year.

Food banks respond to hunger needs in rural America
July 27, 2017 11:18 AM - University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES)

Many images of rural America are food-related—a freshly-baked apple pie cooling on the windowsill, a roadside produce stand brimming with sweet corn and tomatoes, or a Norman Rockwell print showing a family sitting down to dinner. But the reality is that many people in rural America face hunger and don’t always know where their next meal is coming from.

Using money to buy time linked to increased happiness
July 24, 2017 04:17 PM - The University of British Columbia

New research is challenging the age-old adage that money can’t buy happiness.

The study, led by researchers at the University of British Columbia and Harvard Business School, suggests that using money to buy free time— such as paying to delegate household chores like cleaning and cooking— is linked to greater life satisfaction.

Shifting storms to bring extreme waves, damage to once placid areas
July 21, 2017 03:49 PM - University of New South Wales (UNSW)

The world’s most extensive study of a major storm front striking the coast has revealed a previously unrecognised danger from climate change: as storm patterns fluctuate, waterfront areas once thought safe are likely to be hammered and damaged as never before.

The study, led by engineers at University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney, was published in the latest issue of the journal Nature Scientific Reports.

Bringing neural networks to cellphones
July 19, 2017 06:07 PM - Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

In recent years, the best-performing artificial-intelligence systems — in areas such as autonomous driving, speech recognition, computer vision, and automatic translation — have come courtesy of software systems known as neural networks.

But neural networks take up a lot of memory and consume a lot of power, so they usually run on servers in the cloud, which receive data from desktop or mobile devices and then send back their analyses.

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