Young toddlers may learn more from interactive than noninteractive media

Preschoolers can learn a lot from educational television, but younger toddlers may learn more from interactive digital media (such as video chats and touchscreen mobile apps) than from TV and videos alone, which don’t require them to interact. That’s the conclusion of a new article that also notes that because specific conditions that lead to learning from media are unclear, not all types of interactive media increase learning and not all children learn to the same degree from these media.

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Emergency contact info helps researchers branch out family tree

When you go to the doctor or hospital, one piece of information that you’re always asked to provide — in addition to your name, address, and insurance information — is an emergency contact. Often, that person is a blood relative. Now, a collaborative team of researchers from three major academic medical centers in New York City is showing that emergency contact information, which is included in individuals’ electronic health records (EHRs), can be used to generate family trees. Those family trees in turn can be used to study heritability in hundreds of medical conditions. The study appears May 17 in the journal Cell.

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How electronic health records can benefit clinical trials

A new study has indicated that the Secure Anonymized Information Linkage (SAIL) Databank can provide a simple, cost-effective way to follow-up after the completion of randomized controlled trials. The study entitled “Long term extension of a randomised controlled trial of probiotics using electronic health records” led by researchers in the Swansea University Medical School and the College of Human and Health Sciences, was published in Scientific Reports.

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Computers & Math 

Lifting the economy on hawks’ wings

What can help boost Michigan’s economy? American kestrels.A new Michigan State University study, published in the Journal of Applied Ecology and funded by the National Science Foundation, shows that America’s smallest raptor can boost Michigan’s — and other fruit-growing states’ — bottom lines. It’s the first study ever to measure regional job creation due to native predators’ regulating services.

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