Bleach-alternative COVID-19 surface disinfectants may pollute indoor air, study finds — ScienceDaily

Cleaning surfaces with hydrogen peroxide-based disinfectants has the potential to pollute the air and pose a health risk, according to research led by University of Saskatchewan (USask).

The research team found that mopping a floor with a commercially available hydrogen peroxide-based disinfectant raised the level of airborne hydrogen peroxide to more than 600 parts per billion — about 60 per cent of the maximum level permitted for exposure over eight hours, and 600 times the level naturally occurring in the air. The results were just published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.

“When you’re washing surfaces, you are also changing the air you are breathing,” said USask chemistry researcher Tara Kahan, senior author of the study and Canada Research Chair in Environmental Analytical Chemistry. “Poor indoor air quality is associated with respiratory issues such as asthma.”

Too much exposure to hydrogen peroxide could lead to respiratory, skin, and

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Study of 44 infants finds that half never slept 8 hours consecutively — ScienceDaily

New parents often expect their baby to start sleeping through the night around the time they reach six months of age. But according to a new study led by McGill Professor Marie-Helene Pennestri, parents should view sleep consolidation as a process, instead of a milestone to be achieved at a specific age. Tracking 44 infants over a period of two weeks, she found that sleeping patterns vary greatly — not only for different babies, but also night to night for the same baby.

In the study published in Sleep Medicine, researchers asked mothers to keep a sleep diary about their six-month-old infant for two weeks. On average, mothers reported that their infant slept 6 hours consecutively for about 5 nights out of a two-week period, and 8 consecutive hours for about 3 nights out of the same period. Half of the infants, however, never slept 8 hours consecutively.


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Electronic waste on the decline, new study finds

Electronic waste on the decline, new study finds
Credit: Yale School of the Environment

A new study, led by a researcher at the Yale School of the Environment’s Center for Industrial Ecology and published recently in the Journal of Industrial Ecology, has found that the total mass of electronic waste generated by Americans has been declining since 2015. In an age when most of us can’t imagine life without our digital devices, this surprising finding has ramifications for both how we think about electronic waste’s future and for the laws and regulations regarding e-waste recycling, according to the study’s authors.

The biggest contributor to this decline is the disappearance of the large, bulky cathode-ray tube (CRT) televisions and computer monitors from American homes, says Callie Babbitt, a professor at Rochester Institute of Technology’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability and one of the study’s authors. Since about 2011, CRT displays have been on the decline in the waste stream,

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New Report Finds Only 37% of Organizations Have the Skills and Technology to Keep Pace With Digital Projects

“Every industry faces immediate change, and every organization needs to respond to the needs of its customers faster than ever before in a digital-first world,” said Brent Hayward, CEO, MuleSoft. “This research shows data is one of the most critical assets that businesses need to move fast and thrive into the future. Organizations need to empower every employee to unlock and integrate data — no matter where it resides — to deliver critical, time-sensitive projects and innovation at scale, while making products and services more connected than ever.”

The State of Business and IT Innovation report highlights the challenges and opportunities that businesses need to address to digitally transform:

Data silos increasingly slow down digital initiatives
According to McKinsey, businesses that once mapped digital strategy in one- to three-year phases must now scale their initiatives

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On World AIDS Day, South Africa finds hope in new treatment

Health officials are hoping that new, long-acting drugs to help prevent HIV infection will be a turning point for the fight against a global health threat that’s been eclipsed by the coronavirus pandemic

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa highlighted the new drug in a weekly newsletter, saying the long-term acting and injectable HIV drug has “the potential to significantly strengthen our response to the epidemic.”

The region is especially hard-hit. South Africa has the biggest epidemic in the world with 7.7 million people living with HIV, according to UNAIDS.

In separate studies

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New Study Finds These Tropical Fish Can Live To Be Over 80 Years Old

How long do fish live? 10 years? Twenty? Try over 80 years, according to new research on snappers.

Before now, the oldest known snapper was recorded at 60 years old, two decades younger than findings recently published in the journal Coral Reefs. Does this twenty-year age gap matter? According to fisheries scientist and the study’s lead author Dr. Brett Taylor, it matters quite a bit.

Snappers serve as an important food source around the world. Despite the snapper’s importance, the global snapper fishery is, in large part, poorly managed. This, combined with the high market value of some snapper species, led the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to officially label red snapper as ‘at risk’ for illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing and market fraud in 2015.

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Chemical compounds in foods can inhibit a key SARS-CoV-2 enzyme, study finds — ScienceDaily

Chemical compounds in foods or beverages like green tea, muscadine grapes and dark chocolate can bind to and block the function of a particular enzyme, or protease, in the SARS-CoV-2 virus, according to a new study by plant biologists at North Carolina State University.

Proteases are important to the health and viability of cells and viruses, says De-Yu Xie, professor of plant and microbial biology at NC State and the corresponding author of the study. If proteases are inhibited, cells cannot perform many important functions — like replication, for example.

“One of our lab’s focuses is to find nutraceuticals in food or medicinal plants that inhibit either how a virus attaches to human cells or the propagation of a virus in human cells,” Xie said.

In the study, the NC State researchers performed both computer simulations and lab studies showing how the so-called “main protease” (Mpro) in the

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Carrying Children In Cargo Bikes Can Be Dangerous, New Report Finds

Cargo bikes are becoming more widely used by transportation and delivery companies. Some studies estimate that in years to come, with the variety of models coming on the market and sales growing rapidly, cargo bikes will be used for about 50% of the delivering of goods. 

Families, too, have recognized the benefits of these increasingly popular modes of transport, but carrying children in them can be dangerous and are only safe if parents strap them in.

Those are the main findings of new research showing that children can safely ride on cargo bikes, but only when the bike is equipped with a seat belt system – and when this system is actually used. The results were released on Thursday by

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The 2020 election polls were less accurate than those in 2016, our ranking finds.

So how did pollsters do in 2020?

After 2016, pollsters worked to fix problems

After the 2016 election, we worked with political scientist Aaron Weinschenk to release analyses, revealing 2016’s final, national pre-election polls were actually more accurate than they had been in 2012. They pretty closely forecast the popular vote, even if Donald Trump snagged victory in the electoral college. We found a slight pro-Democratic bias that was mostly not statistically significant.

That suggests that, overall, the 2016 national pre-election polls were generally accurate and unbiased. That year’s state-level polls similarly underestimated Republican support, but here too these biases were generally statistically insignificant. The larger problem — at least for those who wanted to know the outcome in advance — was too few quality statewide polls in key battleground states, compared with previous years.

Nevertheless, the discrepancy between poll projections and the eventual outcome pushed many pollsters to reconsider

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Climate change may increase drownings as ice thins, study finds

Falling through ice and drowning is a perennial risk in northern communities where winter ice is a defining part of the environment. But to Leary, the four-wheeler accident stuck out as an especially harrowing one, in part because of its timing: It occurred in late March 2019, a time of year when the Kuskokwim River, which runs through Bethel, should be frozen solid and safe for locals to use as a highway to drive from place to place.

“I thought to myself as I was [going] out there — this shouldn’t be happening,” Leary said in an interview. “We should have at least another month of safe travel on river ice.”

Far from an isolated incident, Leary’s experience reflects a reality facing northern communities around the world: As winters grow warmer because of climate change, seasonal lake, river and sea ice is becoming treacherous. Now, a new study is warning

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