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Category: Research

Boeing 737 Max: The FAA wanted a safe plane – but didn’t want to hurt America’s biggest exporter either

Even before the crashes of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 and Indonesian Lion Air Flight 610, there were concerns that the USA Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was delegating too much safety oversight to Boeing itself.

The FAA allowed Boeing to handle much of the safety certification process, and Congress supported doing so – though recent events may be prompting lawmakers to change their tune. Reports have suggested that Boeing even excluded FAA technical experts from some of those decisions.

In addition, recent analyses suggest that Boeing made several misjudgments when it designed MCAS, the automated correction system, and hasn’t been fully forthcoming with both the FAA and airlines about how it worked. The airline has also been accused of providing inadequate training for pilots.

How social media is helping Big Tobacco hook a new generation of smokers

Our research has not only helped shine a light on Big Tobacco’s unchecked use of social media, it has also informed a recent petition to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission requesting it to investigate and enforce these novel forms of cigarette advertising. Although it might be difficult for governments to keep on top of media in these rapidly changing times, they must do so if they hope to prevent global smoking rates and their consequent health problems from rising once again.

Alone together: how mobile devices have changed family time

There is increasing evidence that the mere presence of a phone negatively affects face-to-face interactions. This may go some way then to explain parents’ perceptions of decreasing family cohesion and time together with their children, reported in earlier studies. But what is clear, is that although a rise in “alone together” time means families now spend more time at home, it is not necessarily in a way that feels like quality time.

Always connected with thousands of friends – yet feeling all alone

Loneliness, with its well-documented ill effects on health, has been called an epidemic and a public health threat, especially among the elderly. But now experts are finding that the always connected social media mavens in America’s younger generations report being lonely.

“Younger people are genuinely surprised to ever feel lonely and are really overwhelmed by it,” said Dawn Fallik, an associate professor at the University of Delaware in Newark who’s working on a book about loneliness.

Why we see hope for the future of science journalism

Our decision-making and conduct is influenced by what we read, see or hear. And many parts of our lives, from the food we eat to our quality of sleep, can in some way be linked back to scientific research. The media — aiming to inform or engage — can end up peppering readers with sensationalism, hype or inaccurate science stories that shape our day-to-day lives and how we perceive the value of science. But this could be avoided if science journalists update the way they report stories.

TB doesn’t only attack the lungs — other organs are also vulnerable

A key risk factor for developing extrapulmonary TB is a compromised immune system which is why it is more common in patients infected with HIV. It can also occur in people with diabetes, cancer, low body weight and chronic kidney disease. Smoking and the use of drugs that can suppress the immune system also increase the risk of extrapulmonary TB.

University of California’s break with the biggest academic publisher could shake up scholarly publishing for good

It was not just the clash-of-the-titans drama between the University of California, whose scholars produce nearly 10 percent of the nation’s research publications, and Elsevier, the world’s largest publisher of academic research.

Reflections from a Nobel winner: Scientists need time to make discoveries.

It is understandable that people want to know how it affects them. But as a scientist, I would hope society would be equally interested in fundamental science. After all, you can’t have the applications without the curiosity-driven research behind it. Learning more about science — science for science’s sake — is worth supporting.