Culture

'Statistical significance' is one of the most widely misunderstood phrases in science, according to a 2013 Scientific American article.

It's a controversial topic. Probability values (p-values) have been used as a way to measure the significance of research studies since the 1920s, with thousands of researchers relying on them since. With this reliance, though, comes misunderstanding and, therefore, misuse.

This misunderstanding is what the latest episode of the How Researchers Changed the World podcast explores, in conversation with statistician Ron Wasserstein.

A new framework to enable retailers to better position their products to consumers has been devised by Tamer Boyaci and Frank Huettner at ESMT Berlin together with Yalcin Akcay from Melbourne Business School. According to the researchers, consumers often lack the full information when making purchasing decisions on variety of products, from day-to-day items to luxuries such as holidays, resulting in them making poor choices, and superior products losing out on sales.

A team of economists has concluded that soda taxes serve as a "net good," an assessment based on an analysis of health benefits and consumer behavior. The work, which sees advantages similar to those of long-standing cigarette taxes, also offers policy parameters that it views as more effective than many existing soda taxes.

The analysis, by researchers at New York University, the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of California, Berkeley, was released today as a National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) working paper.

Philadelphia, May 20, 2019--Teen drivers diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are significantly more likely to crash, be issued traffic and moving violations, and engage in risky driving behaviors than their peers without ADHD, according to a Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) study published today in the journal Pediatrics.

Machine learning (ML), a form of artificial intelligence that recognizes faces, understands language and navigates self-driving cars, can help bring to Earth the clean fusion energy that lights the sun and stars. Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) are using ML to create a model for rapid control of plasma -- the state of matter composed of free electrons and atomic nuclei, or ions -- that fuels fusion reactions.

When it comes to pitching business ideas to potential investors, an entrepreneur's excitement and enthusiasm can be the difference between dreams taking shape or ultimately falling flat.

But it's not just the intensity of enthusiasm that's important, according to a recent study by a team led by Georgia Institute of Technology researchers. How long an entrepreneur displays the highest level of excitement during a pitch also plays a major role in predicting success in receiving funding.

Basically, too much enthusiasm can be a bad thing.

Measuring the blood plasma levels of an enzyme called PDIA1 could one day become a method of diagnosing a person's predisposition to cardiovascular disease even if they are healthy, i.e., not obese, diabetic or a smoker, and with normal cholesterol.

This is suggested by a study published in the journal Redox Biology by Brazilian researchers affiliated with the University of São Paulo (USP), the University of Campinas (UNICAMP) and Butantan Institute.

New research reveals how frequently being the target of workplace bullying not only leads to health-related problems but can also cause victims to behave badly themselves.

Glyphosate, the primary ingredient in Monsanto’s popular weed killer Roundup, has been linked to liver disease in animal models. In a new study, the first of its kind, researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine report an association between the herbicide and negative effects upon the human liver.

Firms looking to boost their market value and make a favorable impression on investors might consider opportunities to testify before Congress, according to a new study by management researchers at the University of Arkansas.

If chosen to testify, these companies could benefit from publicizing such events, said Jason Ridge, assistant professor of management in the Sam M. Walton College of Businees, and the study's lead author.

By analyzing 26.2 million Twitter comments in the Arabic language, researchers found that despite losing territory, ISIS remains successful at inspiring low-level attacks because of its messaging for a "call for lone jihad." The study, "ISIS at its apogee: The Arabic discourse about support for ISIS on Twitter and what we can learn from that," was recently published in SAGE Open.

COLUMBUS, Ohio - A new father's views on his changing relationship with his wife or partner may depend in part on how much support he feels from her when he is caring for their baby, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that a first-time father tended to feel closer to the mother both as a co-parent and as a romantic partner when he believed he had her confidence when he was involved in child care.

The risk of 11 to 16-year-olds taking up smoking has reduced following the introduction of a ban on the open display of tobacco products in the UK, according to a new University of Stirling study.

The research also found that, for that age group, the implementation of the policy was followed by reduced cigarette brand awareness; it made cigarettes seem unappealing; and made smoking seem unacceptable.

Strict policies traditionally embraced by Asian nations to discourage illicit drug use are beginning to change, with a few nations adopting alternative approaches while other nations are taking an even harder line against drugs, according to a new RAND Corporation report.

Thailand is on the forefront of Southeast Asian nations that are reconsidering longstanding policies, moving to adopt greater harm reduction, approving the use of medical cannabis and easing restrictions on the traditional use of the substance kratom.

May 15, 2019 - We all know plants need nutrients, especially nitrogen and phosphorus. To give crops a boost, they are often put on fields as fertilizer. But we never talk about where the nutrients themselves come from.

Phosphorus, for example, is taken from the Earth, and in just 100-250 years, we could be facing a terrible shortage. That is, unless scientists can find ways to recycle it.

Scientists at Tel Hai College and MIGAL Institute in Israel are working on a way to make phosphorus fertilizer from an unlikely source -- dairy wastewater.