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EurekAlert! - Policy and Ethics

The premier online source for science news since 1996. A service of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Last Build Date: Sun, 21 Jan 2018 23:36:01 EST

Copyright: Copyright 2018 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS); All rights reserved.

Human smugglers operate as 'independent traders,' study finds

Sun, 21 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(University of Cambridge) First study to model the organizations behind trade in illegal border crossings shows no 'Mafia-like' monopoly of routes from Africa into Europe. Instead, myriad independent smugglers compete in open markets that have emerged at every stage of the journey.

BTI Institute, SE Texas group team up for terrorist response

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(University of Houston) The Borders, Trade, and Immigration Institute has been selected to create improved regional response plans for future terrorist attacks, providing both recommendations tailored to the needs of Southeast Texas and those that can be used nationwide.

Free online access to millions of documents on chemical toxicity made possible through ToxicDocs

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(Springer) Millions of pages of internal corporate and trade association documents relating to the introduction of new products and chemicals into the workplace and commerce have been compiled into a free searchable online database called ToxicDocs. The history and future outlook for this database is now the subject of a free to view special section in the Journal of Public Health Policy which is a Palgrave Macmillan journal and is published by Springer Nature.

Climate change affects fish reproductive phenology in plateau area: Study

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(Chinese Academy of Sciences Headquarters) The Research Group of Biological Invasion and Adaptive Evolution (BIAE; PI: CHEN Yifeng) at Institute of Hydrobiology (IHB) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences recently answered how reproductive phenology of Gymnocypris selincuoensis, an endemic fish in Lake Selicuo in Tibetan Plateau, associated with climate changes.

More University of Toronto affiliated scientists to publish lab notes in real time

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(University of Toronto) About 20 scientists affiliated with a University of Toronto research organization have agreed to publish their lab notes in real time, a groundbreaking move aimed at hastening the discovery of new medical treatments.

Mothers and young struggle as Arctic warms

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(Wildlife Conservation Society) A new study from WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) and partners reveals for the first time the ways in which wild weather swings and extreme icing events are negatively impacting the largest land mammal of the Earth's polar realms -- the muskoxen. The paper demonstrates that while this denizen of the Arctic and other cold-adapted species have spectacular adaptations, the previously unknown effects of rain-on-snow events, winter precipitation, and ice tidal surges are costly for the animals, if not deadly.

Health care financing system deepens poverty and income inequality

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(Physicians for a National Health Program) Households' payments for medical premiums, copayments and deductibles pushed more than 7 million Americans into poverty in 2014, according to a study in the American Journal of Public Health. Medical payments also dramatically worsened overall income inequality among Americans.

Low-income immigrants face barriers to US citizenship

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(Stanford University) New research shows that lowering application fees for naturalization could help more U.S. immigrants gain the benefits of citizenship.

Algorithm improves integration of refugees

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(Stanford University) A new machine learning algorithm developed by Stanford researchers could help governments and resettlement agencies find the best places for refugees to relocate, depending on their particular skills and backgrounds.

Crop failure in the Andes

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(University of Miami) As co-author of a study published in Global Change Biology, Kenneth Feeley, along with fellow biologist, Richard Tito, a native Quechua Indian from the region and the study's first author, discovered that tough times lie ahead for rural farmers growing the Andes' staple crops -- corn and potatoes.

Recent advances in understanding coral resilience are essential to safeguard coral reefs

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(Bangor University) The most urgent course of action to safeguard coral reefs is to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, but concurrently there is also a need to consider novel management techniques and previously over-looked reef areas for protective actions under predicted climate change impacts. The conclusions were reached following a comprehensive review of the literature on the mechanisms of potential coral resistance and recovery across scales from global reef areas to the microbial level within individual corals.

Groundbreaking conference examines how AI transforms our world

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(Association for Computing Machinery) ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery; AAAI, the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence; and SIGAI, the ACM Special Interest Group on Artificial Intelligence have joined forces to organize a new conference on Artificial Intelligence, Ethics and Society (AIES). The conference aims to launch a multi-disciplinary and multi-stakeholder effort to address the challenges of AI ethics within a societal context.

Wyss Center announces collaboration with CorTec

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(Wyss Center for Bio and Neuroengineering) The Wyss Center, a non-profit neurotechnology translation organization, has signed a partnership agreement with German medical engineering company, CorTec. The partners will work together on research, design and development of a device for continuous, long-term, monitoring of the brain's electrophysiological signals for clinical diagnostic and therapeutic applications. The planned device will sit on the skull, beneath the skin and has potential uses in epilepsy monitoring, tinnitus regulation through neurofeedback, neuromodulation for dyslexia and other brain circuit disorders.

Warming Arctic climate constrains life in cold-adapted mammals

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(Colorado State University) A new study led by Joel Berger has uncovered previously unknown effects of rain-on-snow events, winter precipitation and ice tidal surges on the muskoxen.

2017 was the warmest year on record for the global ocean

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences) 2017 was the warmest year on record for the global ocean according to an updated ocean analysis from Institute of Atmospheric Physics/Chinese Academy of Science.

Not just commodities: World needs broader appreciation of nature's contributions to people

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(Terry Collins Assoc) In Science, 30 experts with the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) advocate consideration of a fuller, more comprehensive range of 'nature's contributions to people' in policy- and decision-making. Says IPBES Chair Sir Robert Watson: 'This new inclusive framework demonstrates that while nature provides a bounty of essential goods and services, such as food, flood protection and many more, it also has rich social, cultural, spiritual and religious significance -- which needs to be valued in policymaking as well.'

Fort McMurray researchers find simple key to risk of severe peat fires

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(McMaster University) The scrawny black spruce trees that push up through the peat bogs of Canada's boreal forest are valuable indicators of fire risk, say researchers who studied a burned-over area just outside Fort McMurray, Alberta, where a devastating wildfire struck in 2016.

MDI Biological Laboratory develops Anecdata citizen science mobile app

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory) The MDI Biological Laboratory is riding the growing wave of interest in citizen science with the development of a new, easily accessible mobile phone app to help community organizations track and analyze crowd-sourced data from citizen volunteers on critical environmental questions.The free app is an outgrowth of, an online citizen science portal for collecting and sharing environmental data that is now home to about 60 projects.

Aid for oceans and fisheries in developing world drops by 30 percent

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(University of British Columbia) Financial aid to fisheries in developing countries has declined by 30 percent, finds a new study from UBC and Stockholm Resilience Centre researchers, published in Marine Policy. Projects focusing on climate issues in fisheries had a 77 percent decline over the five years studied.

Reimbursing ranchers for livestock killed by predators supports conservation efforts

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(University of Alberta) Alberta's predator compensation program offsets costs of conserving wildlife habitat on private lands in the province.'Our research shows that private ranchlands provide important habitats for carnivorous wildlife, including wolves, cougars, bears and eagles,' explained Mark Boyce, professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and the Alberta Conservation Association Chair in Fisheries and Wildlife at the University of Alberta.

New book, 'The Postgenomic Condition,' assesses progress since 2000

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(University of California - Santa Cruz) Sociologist Jenny Reardon, founder of the Science and Justice Research Center at the University of California, Santa Cruz, evaluates the promise and pitfalls of genomics in her new book 'The Postgenomic Condition: Ethics, Justice, and Knowledge After the Genome' (University of Chicago Press, 2017).

Commercial software no more accurate than untrained people in predicting recidivism

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(American Association for the Advancement of Science) A new study suggests that a commercial software widely used to predict which criminals will commit crimes again is no more accurate than untrained people, at foreseeing recidivism. Previous research has suggested that the criminal risk assessment tool, Correctional Offender Management Profiling for Alternative Sanctions, or COMPAS, which incorporates

Coping with climate stress in Antarctica

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(University of California - Davis) Some Antarctic fish living in the planet's coldest waters are able to cope with the stress of rising carbon dioxide levels the ocean. They can even tolerate slightly warmer waters. But they can't deal with both climate change stressors at the same time, according to a study from the University of California, Davis.

California sea lion population rebounded to new highs

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(NOAA Fisheries West Coast Region) California sea lions have fully rebounded under the protection of the Marine Mammal Protection Act, with their population on the West Coast reaching carrying capacity in 2008 before unusually warm ocean conditions reduced their numbers, according to the first comprehensive population assessment of the species.

Ultra-thin memory storage device paves way for more powerful computing

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 00:00:00 EST

(University of Texas at Austin) A team of electrical engineers at The University of Texas at Austin, in collaboration with Peking University scientists, has developed the thinnest memory storage device with dense memory capacity, paving the way for faster, smaller and smarter computer chips for everything from consumer electronics to big data to brain-inspired computing.