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The influence of experience on the perception of homelessness in individuals

Dua et al. | Jun 30, 2022

The influence of experience on the perception of homelessness in individuals

Economic disruptions and housing instabilities have for long propelled a homelessness epidemic among adults and youth in the United States. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated this phenomenon with a 2.2% increase in the number of homeless individuals and more than 70% of Americans fearing this outcome for themselves. This study aimed to analyze the perception of homelessness in two groups: Those who have previously experienced and overcome homelessness and those who are at-risk for experiencing the same. The study analyzed publicly available Reddit posts by people in both groups and found that at-risk individuals tended to associate primarily fearful emotions with the event, and those who had overcome homelessness tended to view the event in a negative context. These results may encourage the establishment of resources to support the currently homeless and help them transition into society, and services to help them cope with negative emotions, as negative attitudes have been shown to decrease life expectancy.

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A novel filtration model for microplastics using natural oils and its application to the environment

Park et al. | Jun 27, 2022

A novel filtration model for microplastics using natural oils and its application to the environment

Recognizing the need for a method to filter microplastics from polluted water the authors sought to use nonpolar solvents, palm oil and palm kernel oil, to filter microplastics out of model seawater. By relying on the separation of polar and nonpolar solvents followed by freezing the nonpolar solvent, they reported that microplastics could be extracted with percentages ranging from 96.2% to 94.2%. They also provided an estimation to use this method as part of container ships to clean the Pacific Ocean of microplastics.

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A machine learning approach for abstraction and reasoning problems without large amounts of data

Isik et al. | Jun 25, 2022

A machine learning approach for abstraction and reasoning problems without large amounts of data

While remarkable in its ability to mirror human cognition, machine learning and its associated algorithms often require extensive data to prove effective in completing tasks. However, data is not always plentiful, with unpredictable events occurring throughout our daily lives that require flexibility by artificial intelligence utilized in technology such as personal assistants and self-driving vehicles. Driven by the need for AI to complete tasks without extensive training, the researchers in this article use fluid intelligence assessments to develop an algorithm capable of generalization and abstraction. By forgoing prioritization on skill-based training, this article demonstrates the potential of focusing on a more generalized cognitive ability for artificial intelligence, proving more flexible and thus human-like in solving unique tasks than skill-focused algorithms.

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Impact of Kindles4Covid Virtual Reading Buddies Program on reading frequency and social connections

Pandey et al. | Jun 25, 2022

Impact of Kindles4Covid Virtual Reading Buddies Program on reading frequency and social connections

With the COVID-19 pandemic necessitating the transition to remote learning, disruption to daily school routine has impacted educational experiences on a global scale. As a result, it has potentially worsened reading achievement gaps typically exacerbated by long summer months. To address literacy skill retention and pandemic-induced social isolation, the non-profit organization ByKids4Kids has created a reading program, “Kindles4Covid Virtual Reading Buddies Program,” to instill a structure for youth to read together and connect with the convenience of Amazon Kindle devices. In this article, the authors determine the efficacy of their invaluable program by assessing changes in reading frequency and self-reported connectedness among program participants.

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Effects of caffeine on muscle signals measured with sEMG signals

Park et al. | Jun 20, 2022

Effects of caffeine on muscle signals measured with sEMG signals

Here, the authors used surface electromyography to measure the effects of caffeine intake on the resting activity of muscles. They found a significant increase in the measured amplitude suggesting that caffeine intake increased the number of activated muscle fibers during rest. While previous research has focused on caffeine's effect on the contraction signals of muscles, this research suggests that its effects extend to even when a muscle is at rest.

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Impact of salinity and phosphorus on growth of Phaseolus Vulgaris inoculated with Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi

Matanachai et al. | Jun 16, 2022

Impact of salinity and phosphorus on growth of <em>Phaseolus Vulgaris</em> inoculated with Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi

Here, recognizing a declining supply of rock phosphate, as well as its role in crop fertilization, the authors investigated a fungus that forms a symbiotic relationship with many crops. They found that symbiosis between the fungus and common bean plant increased the affinity of the plant towards absorbing nutrients as evidenced by lower root-to-shoot ratios in beans planted in soil with various concentrations of phosphorous and salinity.

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