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Jun 13, 2024

Use of Nicotine and Cannabis Products by Young Adults Increasing Amid Mental Health Stressors

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, law, neuroscience

What connection does nicotine and cannabis use have on mental health stressors, including anxiety, depression, and discrimination, for young adults? This is what a recent study published in Addictive Behaviors hopes to address as a team of researchers led by Indiana University investigated how increased use of nicotine and cannabis in young adults also comes at a time when mental health stressors are also on the rise with them, as well. This study holds the potential to help researchers, medical professionals, and the public better understand the link between nicotine and cannabis use and mental health, especially with the legalization of recreational cannabis becoming more prevalent across the United States.

For the study, the researchers conducted a survey between 2019 and 2021 consisting of 2,478 young adults from Los Angeles between 18 to 29 years old with the following demographics: 57 percent Hispanic, 19 percent Asian, 15 percent White, 4 percent Black, and 3 percent as Multiracial. The participants were instructed to provide their mental health symptoms status (anxiety and depressions) and social stressors (discrimination), along with how much they use cannabis or nicotine, including vaping.

In the end, the researchers found a correlation between nicotine and cannabis use, along with some dual use, with higher rates of depression and anxiety with Hispanic young adults, with both Hispanic and Asian young adults having increased use of nicotine and cannabis correlating with higher rates of discrimination. For Black young adults, the researchers found increased use of nicotine products with higher anxiety while finding the opposite occurred for higher rates of depression and discrimination.

Jun 13, 2024

More or Less

Posted by in category: futurism

The life and achievements of the mathematician John Nash.

Jun 13, 2024

Daycares in Finland Grew Forests, And It Changed Kids’ Immune Systems

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food

Playing through the greenery and litter of a mini forest’s undergrowth for just one month may be enough to change a child’s immune system, according to an experiment in Finland.

When daycare workers rolled out a lawn, planted forest undergrowth (such as dwarf heather and blueberries), and allowed children to care for crops in planter boxes, the diversity of microbes in the guts and on the skin of the young kids appeared healthier in a very short space of time.

Compared to other city kids who play in standard urban daycares with yards of pavement, tile, and gravel, 3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds at these greened-up daycare centers in Finland showed increased T-cells and other important immune markers in their blood within 28 days.

Jun 13, 2024

Webb Finds Plethora of Carbon Molecules Around Young Star

Posted by in category: space

An international team of astronomers has used NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope to study the disk of gas and dust around a young, very low-mass star. The results reveal the largest number of carbon-containing molecules seen to date in such a disk. These findings have implications for the potential composition of any planets that might form around this star.

Jun 13, 2024

Ultrasound offers a new way to perform deep brain stimulation

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

MIT researchers have developed an alternative approach that uses ultrasound instead of electricity to perform deep brain stimulation, delivered by a fiber about the thickness of a human hair.


Deep brain stimulation, by implanted electrodes that deliver electrical pulses to the brain, is often used to treat Parkinson’s disease and other neurological disorders. However, the electrodes used for this treatment can eventually corrode and accumulate scar tissue, requiring them to be removed.

MIT researchers have now developed an alternative approach that uses ultrasound instead of electricity to perform deep brain stimulation, delivered by a fiber about the thickness of a human hair. In a study of mice, they showed that this stimulation can trigger neurons to release dopamine, in a part of the brain that is often targeted in patients with Parkinson’s disease.

Continue reading “Ultrasound offers a new way to perform deep brain stimulation” »

Jun 13, 2024

Clean Energy Spending Will Surpass $2 Trillion This Year

Posted by in category: energy

Investments in carbon-free energy will be twice as large as fossil fuel spending in 2024, the International Energy Agency predicts.

By Benjamin Storrow & E&E News

CLIMATEWIRE | Clean energy is on fire.

Jun 13, 2024

New robotic gripper for automated apple picking developed

Posted by in categories: food, life extension, robotics/AI, sustainability

Washington state leads the nation in apple production, and in 2022, the industry contributed more than two billion dollars to the U.S. gross domestic product. Throughout Washington, farms employ anywhere from a dozen to hundreds of workers each year for orchard operations, including for pollination, pruning, flower thinning and fruit harvesting. With an and a decrease in migrant farm workers, however, farmers have struggled to meet their needs for workers during harvest season.

In recent years, researchers have started developing robotic apple harvesting systems, but the ones that have been developed are expensive and complex to use in orchards.

Ninatanta, who grew up in Yakima, Washington, picked fruit alongside his parents during his childhood. When he began his work with Luo on a robotic apple gripper, he had his parents videotape their work, so he could model his gripper on their handiwork.

Jun 13, 2024

Wild New Study Suggests Gravity Can Exist Without Mass

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

What is gravity without mass? Both Newton’s revolutionary laws describing its universal effect and Einstein’s proposal of a dimpled spacetime, we’ve thought of gravity as exclusively within the domain of matter.

Now a wild new study suggesting that gravity can exist without mass, conveniently eliminating the need for one of the most elusive substances in our Universe: dark matter.

Dark matter is a hypothetical, invisible mass thought to make up 85 percent of the Universe’s total bulk. Originally devised to account for galaxies holding together under high speed rotation, it has yet to be directly observed, leading physicists to propose all sorts of out-there ideas to avoid invoking this elusive material as a way to plug the holes in current theories.

Jun 13, 2024

NASA’s Webb Opens New Window on Supernova Science

Posted by in categories: cosmology, science

Peering deeply into the cosmos, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope is giving scientists their first detailed glimpse of supernovae from a time when our universe was just a small fraction of its current age. A team using Webb data has identified 10 times more supernovae in the early universe than were previously known. A few of the newfound exploding stars are the most distant examples of their type, including those used to measure the universe’s expansion rate.

Jun 13, 2024

Quantum Magic: How “Super Photons” Are Shaping the Future of Physics

Posted by in categories: particle physics, quantum physics

Researchers at the University of Bonn have demonstrated that super photons, or photon Bose-Einstein condensates, conform to fundamental physics theorems, enabling insights into properties that are often difficult to observe.

Under suitable conditions, thousands of particles of light can merge into a type of “super photon.” Physicists call such a state a photon Bose-Einstein condensate. Researchers at the University of Bonn have now shown that this exotic quantum state obeys a fundamental theorem of physics. This finding now allows one to measure properties of photon Bose-Einstein condensates which are usually difficult to access. The study was published on June 3 in the journal Nature Communications.

If many atoms are cooled to a very low temperature confined in a small volume, they can become indistinguishable and behave like a single “super particle.” Physicists also call this a Bose-Einstein condensate or quantum gas. Photons condense based on a similar principle and can be cooled using dye molecules. These molecules act like small refrigerators and swallow the “hot” light particles before spitting them out again at the right temperature.

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