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A Boost for Recycling USED Disposable Diapers

October 7th, 2021

The future is increasingly shiny for used disposable diapers, suggests this November 5, 2020 press release from the Nippon Shokubai company of Fukuoka, Japan. It says:

“The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) [is] aiming to establish a guideline for the acceptance of used disposable diapers into the sewage system based on the New Sewerage Vision Acceleration Strategy. Recycling of used disposable diapers, the amount of which continues to increase, is thus expected to be promoted.”

(Thanks to Ryoma Komiyama for bringing this to our attention.)

Robotic Barbery on the Lawn: Hedghogs

October 5th, 2021

Peace has yet to be attained between robotics, lawn care specialists, and hedgehogs. This study wades into the vexatious arena:

Wildlife Conservation at a Garden Level: The Effect of Robotic Lawn Mowers on European Hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus),” Sophie Lund Rasmussen, Ane Elise Schrøder, Ronja Mathiesen, Jeppe Lund Nielsen, Cino Pertoldi, and David W. Macdonald, Animals, vol. 11, no. 119, 2021. (Thanks to Jesper Milan for bringing this to our attention.) The authors, at the University of Oxford, UK, and three institutions in Denmark— Aalborg University, University of Copenhagen, Fossil and Moclay Museum, Nykøbing Mors, and Agilent Technologies Denmark—report:

this study aimed to describe and quantify the effects of robotic lawn mowers on hedgehogs, and we tested 18 robotic lawn mowers in collision with dead hedgehogs. Some models caused extensive damage to the dead hedgehogs, but there were noteworthy differences in the degree of harm inflicted, with some consistently causing no damage. None of the robotic lawn mowers tested was able to detect the presence of dead, dependent juvenile hedgehogs, and no models could detect the hedgehog cadavers without physical interaction.

Alissa Clear joins Luxuriant Flowing Hair Club for Scientists (LFHfC)

October 4th, 2021

Alissa Clear has joined the The Luxuriant Flowing Hair Club for Scientists™ (LFHCfS). She says:

I have a BSc in Biology from Purdue and a PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the City of Hope National Medical Center.I’ve worked in many labs throughout my scientific career – structural biology, agronomy, RNA biology, immuno-oncology, classical genetics, infectious disease – I’ve loved all of them, and left behind flowing luxuriant hairs in each & every one. My thesis research focused on utilizing a model system to express and study a human protein implicated in breast cancer susceptibility to identify critical functions and structural components for future drug targeting. During my grad school years, my hair fluctuated between purple and brown like a Briggs-Rauscher oscillating color change experiment, and I discovered how to master a curl. As a postdoctoral fellow, I studied antifungal drug resistance to identify genes involved in microbial escape mechanisms, and I entered my blonde phase. Now, I leverage my broad scientific background to help answer strategic questions driving novel drug development and patient-centric healthcare solutions, and endeavor ever towards the adage, “The bigger the hair, the closer to God.”

Alissa Clear, Ph.D., LFHCfS
Clarion | A Life Sciences Consultancy
Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Music Sentiment and Stock Returns [new study]

October 4th, 2021

If you fancy dabbling on the stock market, you might want to keep an eye on the Spotify charts. According to new research from The London Business School, Auckland University of Technology and the Audencia Business School, the measures of positive or negative mood which the music download choices indicate :

“ is positively correlated with same-week equity market returns and negatively correlated with next-week returns.”

See Music Sentiment and Stock Returns Around the World   Journal of Financial Economics (JFE), Forthcoming (open access).

Podcast Episode #1082: “The Man in the Black Bag”

October 3rd, 2021

In Podcast Episode #1082, Marc Abrahams shows an unfamiliar research study to psycholinguist Jean Berko Gleason. Dramatic readings and reactions ensue.

Remember, our Patreon donors, on most levels, get access to each podcast episode before it is made public.

Jean Berko Gleason encounters:

Attitudinal effects of mere exposure,” Robert B. Zajonc, Journal of personality and social psychology, vol. 9, no. 2, part 2, 1968.

Seth GliksmanProduction Assistant

Available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Google Podcasts, AntennaPod, BeyondPod and elsewhere!

Improbable Research