Title

Topic

  • ‘Addressing Climate Change With Behavioral Science: A Global Intervention Tournament in 63 Countries’

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    “Effectively reducing climate change requires marked, global behavior change. However, it is unclear which strategies are most likely to motivate people to change their climate beliefs and behaviors. Here, we tested 11 expert-crowdsourced interventions on four climate mitigation outcomes: beliefs, policy support, information sharing intention, and an effortful tree-planting behavioral task. Across 59,440 participants from 63 countries, the interventions’ effectiveness was small, largely limited to nonclimate skeptics and differed across outcomes. … These findings suggest that the impact of behavioral climate interventions varies across audiences and target behaviors.” Find the paper and full list of authors at Science Advances.

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  • ‘Characterizing collective physical distancing in the U.S. during the first nine months of the COVID-19 pandemic’

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    “The COVID-19 pandemic offers an unprecedented natural experiment providing insights into the emergence of collective behavioral changes. … Here, we characterize collective physical distancing … in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the pre-vaccine era by analyzing de-identified, privacy-preserving location data for a panel of over 5.5 million anonymized, opted-in U.S. devices. We define five indicators of users’ mobility and proximity to investigate how the emerging collective behavior deviates from typical pre-pandemic patterns during the first nine months of the COVID-19 pandemic.” Find the paper and full list of authors at PLOS Digital Health.

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  • ‘Neural Network Field Theories: Non-Gaussianity, Actions and Locality’

    “Both the path integral measure in field theory (FT) and ensembles of neural networks (NN) describe distributions over functions. When the central limit theorem can be applied in the infinite-width (infinite-N) limit, the ensemble of networks corresponds to a free FT. … Given the connected correlators of a FT, one can systematically reconstruct the action order-by-order in the expansion parameter, using a new Feynman diagram prescription whose vertices are the connected correlators.” Find the paper and full list of authors at Machine Learning: Science and Technology.

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  • ‘An Evolution of Hashtags: A Comparative Analysis of Hashtag Usage Following the Deaths of Michael Brown and George Floyd’

    “Recent instances of racial injustice and the growth of the Black Lives Matter movement have spurred conversations about police reform across the United States. Exposure to police aggression through the second-hand accounts of family members, friends, and the media is known to shape individuals’ perceptions of law enforcement. However, it remains unclear whether social media platforms can also facilitate vicarious exposure to racialized police violence. The current study addresses this gap by focusing on patterns of hashtag usage in a sample of over 350,000 tweets related to law enforcement.” Find the paper and list of authors at Race and Justice.

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  • ‘From Alert Child to Sleepy Adolescent: Age Trends in Chronotype, Social Jetlag and Sleep Problems in Youth With Autism’

    “Developmental changes in sleep in youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are understudied. In non-ASD youth, adolescents exhibit a ‘night owl chronotype’ … and social jetlag (i.e., shifts in sleep timing across school nights and weekends), with corresponding sleep problems. The purpose of this study is to evaluate age trends in chronotype, social jetlag and sleep problems in high-risk youth with ASD. … Older age was associated with later chronotype, more social jetlag, fewer sleep anxiety/co-sleeping problems, fewer night waking and parasomnia problems and more daytime alertness problems.” Find the paper and authors list at the Journal of Autism and…

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  • Ocean Genome Legacy Center receives grant from Cell Signaling Technology

    Cell Signaling Technology, a biotechnology company located in Danvers, Mass, is providing a grant in support of Northeastern University’s Ocean Genome Legacy Center, bolstering their “long-running and highly successful Student Research in DNA Preservation Program, providing funds for experiments to improve the quality of DNA extracted from frozen biological materials.”

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  • Lili Su receives NSF CAREER Award for developing ‘resilient, scalable distributed algorithms’

    Assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering Lili Su has received an NSF CAREER Award for her work on federated learning, a “privacy-preserving and communication-efficient” methodology for large distributed systems.

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  • Introductory textbook on human services present ‘a complex and interwoven system’

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    Director of the human services program and senior research associate at the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy Lori Gardinier, working with teaching professors in human services Emily Mann, Matthew Lee and Simmons University associate professor Lydia Ogden, have published “Introduction to Human Services and Social Change: History, Practice, and Policy.” The publisher’s webpage describes the book as an “introductory text that provides a foundation for future human service professionals interested in the intersection of theory, research and practice.” The textbook places “human services professionals within a complex and interwoven system” for students and practitioners.

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  • Ghuman traces musical intermingling in ‘Resonances of the Raj’

    Professor of music Nalini Ghuman’s book “Resonances of the Raj: India in the English Musical Imagination, 1897-1947,” studies the overlooked transmission of musical influences between English and Indian culture “during the last fifty years of the Indo-British encounter,” according to the book’s companion website. “Ghuman reintegrates music into the cultural history of the British Raj, revealing unexpected minglings of peoples, musics and ideas that raise questions about ‘Englishness,’ about the nature of Empire and about the fixedness of identity.”

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  • Interdisciplinary team of Northeastern researchers propose ‘Reengineering the Sharing Economy’

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    Professors Yakov Bart, Rashmi Dyal-Chand, Ozlem Ergun and Babak Heydari have edited and contributed to — along with numerous Northeastern-affiliated faculty and students — “Reengineering the Sharing Economy: Design, Policy and Regulation.” The volume arises from questions like, “Will there be any workers in the sharing economy? Can we know enough about these technologies to regulate them? Is there any way to avoid the monopolization of assets?” A radically interdisciplinary collection of articles exploring the modern sharing economy, “this volume examines the challenge of reengineering a sharing economy that is more equitable, democratic, sustainable and just,” according to the publisher’s…

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  • ‘Evaluating Protein Cross-Linking as a Therapeutic Strategy to Stabilize SOD1 Variants in a Mouse Model of Familial ALS’

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    “Mutations in the gene encoding Cu-Zn superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) cause a subset of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (fALS) cases. A shared effect of these mutations is that SOD1, which is normally a stable dimer, dissociates into toxic monomers that seed toxic aggregates. Considerable research effort has been devoted to developing compounds that stabilize the dimer of fALS SOD1 variants, but unfortunately, this has not yet resulted in a treatment. We hypothesized that cyclic thiosulfinate cross-linkers, which selectively target a rare, 2 cysteine-containing motif, can stabilize fALS-causing SOD1 variants in vivo.” Find the paper and list of authors at PLOS Biology.

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  • ‘Exploring the Indian Political YouTube Landscape: A Multimodal Multi-Task Approach’

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    “Social media profoundly influences all facets of our lives, including politics. Political parties, politicians, and media outlets have strategically cultivated their social media presence to engage with the public. However, with the advent of freely available Internet services in India, there has been a rising proliferation in the community of independent content creators on YouTube, with many getting millions of views per video. In this study, we present a novel multimodal dataset of videos, taken from 20 independent and influential content creators. … By introducing this novel dataset, we aim to stimulate further investigation within the domains of opinion dissemination…

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  • ‘Deploying and Evaluating LLMs to Program Service Mobile Robots’

    “Recent advancements in large language models (LLMs) have spurred interest in using them for generating robot programs from natural language, with promising initial results. We investigate the use of LLMs to generate programs for service mobile robots leveraging mobility, perception, and human interaction skills, and where accurate sequencing and ordering of actions is crucial for success. We contribute CodeBotler, an open-source robot-agnostic tool to program service mobile robots from natural language, and RoboEval, a benchmark for evaluating LLMs’ capabilities of generating programs to complete service robot tasks.” Find the paper and full list of authors at ArXiv.

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  • Ferrins receives NIH AViDD Center Development Grant

    “There are two goals in this project, firstly, to continue to develop our advanced hit compound … to identify a lead suitable for in vivo proof of concept studies. Secondly, to develop novel methods to study the structural dynamics of both covalent inhibitors and PLpro active site structures enabling the development of more potent covalent inhibitors.”

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  • ‘Adaptive thresholding increases sensitivity to detect … rate of skin conductance responses to psychologically arousing stimuli’

    “Psychophysiologists recording electrodermal activity (EDA) often derive measures of slow, tonic activity—skin conductance level (SCL)—and faster, more punctate changes—skin conductance responses (SCRs). … We developed a fixed plus adaptive (FA) thresholding method that adjusts identification of SCRs based on an individual’s SC at the onset of the SCR to increase statistical power and include data from more participants. We assess the utility of applying FA thresholding across two independent samples and explore age and race-related associations with EDA outcomes.” Find the paper and full list of authors at the International Journal of Psychophysiology.

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  • ‘Fossil Fuel Interests in Puerto Rico: Perceptions of Incumbent Power and Discourses of Delay’

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    “This study explores perceptions of fossil fuel interests and the role narratives of fossil fuel obstruction play in slowing down the renewable energy transition in Puerto Rico. We analyzed interviews conducted with 56 ‘energy actors’ engaged in Puerto Rico’s energy system. … Our interviews revealed that a wide range of energy actors perceived obstruction by fossil fuel interests as shaping Puerto Rico’s energy transition and used discourses of delay to describe Puerto Rico’s energy transition, but also employed narratives that countered this obstruction and resisted fossil fuel interests.” Find the paper and list of authors in Energy Research and Social…

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  • ‘Interpretation Issues With “Genomic Vulnerability” Arise From Conceptual Issues in Local Adaptation and Maladaptation’

    “As climate change causes the environment to shift away from the local optimum that populations have adapted to, fitness declines are predicted to occur. Recently, methods known as genomic offsets (GOs) have become a popular tool to predict population responses to climate change from landscape genomic data. Populations with a high GO have been interpreted to have a high ‘genomic vulnerability’ to climate change. … This study uses hypothetical and empirical data to explore situations in which different types of fitness offsets may or may not be correlated with each other or with a GO.”

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  • ‘A Network-Based Normalized Impact Measure Reveals Successful Periods of Scientific Discovery Across Disciplines’

    “The impact of a scientific publication is often measured by the number of citations it receives from the scientific community. However, citation count is susceptible to well-documented variations in citation practices across time and discipline, limiting our ability to compare different scientific achievements. Previous efforts to account for citation variations often rely on a priori discipline labels of papers, assuming that all papers in a discipline are identical in their subject matter. Here, we propose a network-based methodology to quantify the impact of an article by comparing it with locally comparable research.” Find the paper and authors list at PNAS.

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  • Meni Wanunu, developer of sensitive biological sensors, receives Northeastern University NAI Innovator of the Year Award

    Professor of physics and chemistry and chemical biology Meni Wanunu develops “nanopores,” sensors composed of molecule-sized holes that stretch individual molecules for scientific observation. At this year’s annual gathering of the Northeastern chapter of the National Academy of Inventors, Wanunu received the Innovator of the Year Award.

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  • Dean Hazel Sive edits volume detailing African frog research and best practices that informed her ‘life’s work’

    Dean of the College of Science and professor of biology at Northeastern University Hazel Sive has edited “Xenopus: A Laboratory Manual,” a new textbook that presents “a comprehensive collection of experimental procedures for research using Xenopus.”

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  • How family doctors can save ‘Primary Care on the Brink’: Hoff argues for the return of the generalist

    In “Searching for the Family Doctor: Primary Care on the Brink,” Timothy Hoff, professor of management, health care systems and public policy, argues that “The family doctor,” according to the publisher’s webpage, “was conceived of as a powered-up version of the ‘country doctor’ idea. At a time when doctor-patient relationships are evaporating in the face of highly transactional, fast-food-style medical practice, this ideal seems both nostalgic and revolutionary.” Hoff explores “how to save primary care by giving family doctors a fighting chance to become the generalists we need in our lives.”

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  • ‘Inhalable Bottlebrush Polymer Bioconjugates as Vectors for Efficient Pulmonary Delivery of Oligonucleotides’

    “Antisense oligonucleotides hold therapeutic promise for various lung disorders, but their efficacy is limited by suboptimal delivery. To address this challenge, we explored the use of inhaled bottlebrush polymer–DNA conjugates, named pacDNA, as a delivery strategy. Inhaled pacDNA exhibits superior mucus penetration, achieving a uniform and sustained lung distribution in mice.” Find the paper and full list of authors at ACS Nano.

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  • ‘Unveiling the Degradation of Pt/NbOx/C Catalysts in PEMFCs via In Situ X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy’

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    “Among the class of the catalyst that is composed of metal nanoparticles supported on metal oxides (MMO), the Pt/NbOx/C system has shown promising oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) activities as a cathode of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). Herein, we have studied a series of Pt/NbOx/C catalysts prepared via physical vapor deposition and unraveled the nature of the metal and metal oxide interaction (MMOI) by characterizing this system under reactive conditions. … We demonstrate that Pt preferably interacts with O but not Nb in the Pt/NbOx/C system.” Find the paper and full list of authors at Journal of The Electrochemical Society.

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  • New book collecting cutting-edge, evidence-based research on crime and justice policy aims to ‘chip away at the resistance to change’

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    Professor of criminology and criminal justice Brandon Welsh has co-edited “The Oxford Handbook of Evidence-Based Crime and Justice Policy,” which contains 32 chapters of research around evidence-based policy in practice from over 50 “scholars and practitioners.”

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  • ‘The Expressive Function of Public Policy: Renewable Energy Mandates Signal Social Norms’

    “Addressing collective action problems requires individuals to engage in coordinated and cooperative behaviours. Existing research suggests that individuals’ propensity to work together depends in part on their belief that others support the cause in question. People form their expectations about prevalent beliefs and behaviours from many sources. To date, most of the literature has focussed on how social norm perceptions are inferred from peers or summary statistics. We explore an understudied source of norm information: the passage of policies by democratically elected institutions.” Find the paper and full list of authors in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B.

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  • ‘Local Adaptation in Trait-Mediated Trophic Cascades’

    “Predator-induced changes in prey foraging can influence community dynamics by increasing the abundance of basal resources via a trait-mediated trophic cascade. The strength of these cascades may be altered by eco-evolutionary relationships between predators and prey, but the role of basal resources has received limited attention. We hypothesized that trait-mediated trophic cascade strength may be shaped by selection from trophic levels above and below prey. … We suggest that adaptation to basal resource availability may shape geographical variation in the strength of trait-mediated trophic cascades.” Find the paper and full list of authors at Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

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  • ‘Does More Advice Help? The Effects of Second Opinions in AI-Assisted Decision Making’

    “AI assistance in decision-making has become popular, yet people’s inappropriate reliance on AI often leads to unsatisfactory human-AI collaboration performance. In this paper, through three pre-registered, randomized human subject experiments, we explore whether and how the provision of {second opinions} may affect decision-makers’ behavior and performance in AI-assisted decision-making. We find that if both the AI model’s decision recommendation and a second opinion are always presented together, decision-makers reduce their over-reliance on AI while increase their under-reliance on AI.” Find the paper and full list of authors at ArXiv.

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  • Dy elected as Fellow of Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence

    Professor Jennifer Dy, in the Khoury College of Computer Sciences and in the department of electrical and computer engineering, was elected as a Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) “For significant contributions to unsupervised and interpretable machine learning, advancing AI to address health care challenges and service to the AI community,” the organization wrote in its announcement.

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  • Cassella added to Fulbright Specialist Roster

    “Electrical and computer engineering associate professor Cristian Cassella was recommended by a panel of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and World Learning to join the prestigious Fulbright Specialist Roster for a tenure of three years. The program, which is part of the larger Fulbright Program, pairs highly qualified U.S. academics and professionals with host institutions in over 150 countries to share their expertise, strengthen institutional linkages, hone their skills, gain international experience and learn about other cultures while building capacity at their overseas host institutions.”

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  • ‘Native Capillary Electrophoresis–Mass Spectrometry of Near 1 MDa Non-Covalent GroEL/GroES/Substrate Protein Complexes’

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    “Protein complexes are essential for proteins’ folding and biological function. Currently, native analysis of large multimeric protein complexes remains challenging. Structural biology techniques are time-consuming and often cannot monitor the proteins’ dynamics in solution. Here, a capillary electrophoresis-mass spectrometry (CE–MS) method is reported to characterize, under near-physiological conditions, the conformational rearrangements of ∽1 MDa GroEL upon complexation with binding partners involved in a protein folding cycle.” Find the paper and full list of authors at Advanced Science.

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