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Latest news of science, reserch and studies

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    "Athenian democracy, where only some men had voice, will not do in the 21st century," said Helen Clark recently when addressing the National Assembly of Wales.Advocating for gender equality and equality of opportunity has been central in Clark's work, earlier as the Prime Minister of New Zealand and now as the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), a key organization in the UN System and the gatekeeper of the Millennium Development Goals.

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    The Internet connects not only people: machines communicate with one another online as well. The rapidly developing “Internet of things” will soon become part of our everyday lives. “First telecommunications cables connected computers located in different places, then wireless networks and smartphones formed a network of people.

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    The increased frequency of allergies and asthma among city dwellers compared to people living in the countryside may result from decreased biodiversity. Broad contact with nature may have far-reaching benefits. Plodding through muddy ditches and trudging regularly along forest trails may decrease one’s risk of developing allergies, as certain soil and plant bacteria can enhance the immune system when living on the skin.

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    “Authors and researchers have a lot in common. Both want to share their work in a meaningful way,” says Monique Truong. Truong is the Vietnamese-American author of Bitter in the Mouth and The Book of Salt, both of which discuss themes related to immigration and national identity.

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    The number of citations in scientific journals to research done at the University of Helsinki clearly exceeds the international average. A recent survey indicates that research results from the University of Helsinki also appear in high standard publications. – It is wonderful to see that the large number of references is not only due to a few researchers, but that we have a comprehensive group of leading researchers, says Johanna Björkroth, Vice-Rector of the University of Helsinki.

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    The study of the “Demon star”, Algol, made by a research group of the University of Helsinki, Finland, has received both scientific and public attention. The period of the brightness variation of this eclipsing binary star has been connected to good prognoses three millennia ago.

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    "I plan to draw comparisons between the Finnish financial crisis of the early 1990s and the present crisis," reveals Professor of Empirical Macroeconomics Antti Ripatti when asked about his inaugural lecture on Wednesday, 30 May 2012.Antti Ripatti states that in the 1990s, domestic problems made the recession seem deep and permanent.

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    At Tvärminne Zoological Station, researchers have made an unexpected finding about how eider ducks influence water fleas. Despite their name, water fleas are not insects, but small fresh-water crustaceans. In Tvärminne, they can be found in rain water pools on the islands.

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  • 06/05/12--00:47: The charm of music
  • Music has a firm basis in biology. Newborns have been found to show stronger reactions to music than to their mother's voice. Music has a strong effect on people also later in life: it has even been found to help recovery from a cerebral infarction. BIGTALK is a new interview series, where big questions are asked from the scientists of Helsinki University.

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  • 06/06/12--03:36: An astral wonder
  • This morning many Finns dragged themselves out of bed at the crack of dawn to gaze at the sky. The planet Venus’ procession across the disc of the Sun was most clearly visible in the Arctic region, eastern Asia and Australia. A glimpse of Venus could be seen in Helsinki as well.

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    This week's Nature magazine contains a survey, in which a team of 22 researchers evaluates the probability that the biosphere is approaching a state shift and the likely time of this shift.Humanity uses 20 to 40 percent of the planet's basic production. Almost half of the planet's land area is taken up by agriculture or covered by buildings.

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    Hokkaido University from Japan opened an office at the University of Helsinki on 1 June 2012.The branch office is Hokkaido University's third, and the first to be established outside of Asia. President Hiroshi Saeki of Hokkaido University says that the office aims at increasing interaction between Hokkaido and Europe.

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    The multi-disciplinary IBAM project to chart the environmental and fisheries induced risks in the Baltic Sea area presented its findings in a seminar on Friday, 25 May. The team of researches took on the task of finding out how the various risk factors affect the ecosystem in the Gulf of Finland.

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    This summer, the Think Corner of the University of Helsinki provides an excellent opportunity to play master of the elements. Visitors can adjust the availability of light, carbon dioxide and heat to a virtual tree. As a result, the carbon tree shows how different natural conditions affect the capture of carbon from the atmosphere.

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    The Board of the Academy of Finland has selected eight new Academy Professors for the years 2013–2017. Seven of them are working at the University of Helsinki. There are millions of researchers in the world, but there is always something that has not yet been studied. Much of this kind of under-cultivated room for study is found in the spaces between various scientific disciplines.

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    Last Monday, Finland’s Harvard Club celebrated its 15th birthday in the University of Helsinki. Education experts came together to discuss educational challenges in Finland and the USA.Since the release of his book "Finnish Lessons: What Can the World Learn from Educational Change in Finland?", many American educationists and politicians have sought advice from the former adviser in Finland’s Ministry of Education Pasi Sahlberg.

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    Dr. Dmitri Moisseev’s research group investigates the clouds of Helsinki with radar.In the ancient world, the weather was ascribed to the will of the gods; today we’ve got meteorological radars. About 15 years ago, scientists started developing a radar system that "slices" clouds in individual layers in order to provide a complete and accurate vertical profile.

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    Technology Academy Finland decided to divide the 2012 Millennium Technology Grand Prize evenly between two winners. Computer expert Linus Torvalds and stem cell researcher Shinya Yamanaka were granted EUR 600,000 each. “This makes me feel loved,” says Linus Torvalds.

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  • 06/21/12--04:40: Fuel from white lupin?
  • White lupin, hemp, broad beans, corn and Jerusalem artichoke may some day provide the raw material for Finnish biofuel, believes Annukka Pakarinen, who defended her doctoral dissertation on second-generation biofuels.In her study Evaluation of fresh and preserved herbaceous field crops for biogas and ethanol production, Pakarinen compared the properties of five potential fuels.

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    Intercultural awareness and understanding cannot be fostered through language policy or guidelines. The University of Hong Kong has made great progress in internationalisation, but has also found that the reality is often quite different from the rhetoric.Internationalisation is the buzzword of the day.

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