Science & Technology

Five rules from psychology to help keep your new year’s resolutions

How to keep going with those resolutions. Shutterstock Brian Harman, De Montfort University and Janine Bosak, Dublin City University We are creatures of habit. Between a third and half of our behaviour is habitual, according to research estimates. Unfortunately, our bad habits compromise our health, wealth and happiness. You can listen to more articles from The Conversation, narrated by Noa, …

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Five of the most exciting telescope pictures of the universe

Hubble: NASA, ESA, and Q.D. Wang (University of Massachusetts, Amherst); Spitzer: NASA, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and S. Stolovy (Spitzer Science Center/Caltech) Carole Haswell, The Open University The forthcoming launch of the James Webb Space Telescope offers unprecedented new opportunities for astronomers. It’s also a timely opportunity to reflect on what previous generations of telescopes have shown us. Astronomers rarely use …

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COVID: how the disease moves through the air

Alexander Limbach/shutterstock Lena Ciric, UCL; Abigail Hathway, University of Sheffield; Benjamin Jones, University of Nottingham, and Chris Iddon, University of Nottingham Masks have been a common sight all over the world since SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus, invaded our lives. We set out to investigate if they work. Our goal was to find out how the virus travels through the air …

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Great headphones blend physics, anatomy and psychology – but what you like to listen to is also important for choosing the right pair

Headphone designers have to balance scientific limitations with human preferences. Vladimir Godnik via Getty Images Timothy Hsu, IUPUI Between music, podcasts, gaming and the unlimited supply of online content, most people spend hours a week wearing headphones. Perhaps you are considering a new pair for the holidays, but with so many options on the market, it can be hard to …

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Antibiotic resistance is at a crisis point – government support for academia and Big Pharma to find new drugs could help defeat superbugs

Bacteria that are resistant to every available antibiotic in the U.S. already exist. Rodolfo Parulan Jr/Moment via Getty Images Andre Hudson, Rochester Institute of Technology Antibiotic resistance poses one of the most important health challenges of the 21st century. And time has already run out to stop its dire consequences. The rise of multidrug-resistant bacteria has already led to a …

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Quantum entanglement: what it is, and why physicists want to harness it

Two particles are said to be entangled when one cannot be perfectly described without information about the other being included. Shutterstock/ezphoto Nicholas Bornman, University of the Witwatersrand “Quantum entanglement” is one of several plot devices that crops up in modern sci-fi movies. Fans of the Marvel superhero movies, for instance, will be familiar with the idea of different time lines …

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Are you binge-watching too much? How to know if your TV habits are a problem – and what to do about it

SeventyFour/Shutterstock Mark Griffiths, Nottingham Trent University The term “binge-watch” was a contender for the Oxford English Dictionary’s 2013 word of the year. Although it didn’t win (“selfie” ultimately took the crown), this pointed to the rise of what was becoming a popular activity of watching multiple episodes of a TV show in a single sitting. Today, millions of us – …

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What is the metaverse? 2 media and information experts explain

Are these people interacting in some virtual world? Lucrezia Carnelos/Unsplash Rabindra Ratan, Michigan State University and Yiming Lei, Michigan State University The metaverse is a network of always-on virtual environments in which many people can interact with one another and digital objects while operating virtual representations – or avatars – of themselves. Think of a combination of immersive virtual reality, …

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