A slice of science news

Cell Phones and Sunrises: Cities are perpetually ablaze with activity, suggesting that humans are less influenced by Earth’s light-dark cycle than we used to be. However, a new study from Aalto University in Finland that analyzes the cellphone call records of over one million people claims otherwise; researchers found cell phone activity grew longer and shorter over the course of the year, waxing and waning with the amount of daylight. Shifts in call records correlated closely with seasonal shifts in light. Over the course of 3-4 months, the latest call times crept later while the earliest call times grew...

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Gates’ Goalkeepers report: Taking the pulse of health news

Midterms may be gradually approaching on campus, but in the global health arena, a report card has already been issued. Bill and Melinda Gates presented their foundation’s assessment of  the world’s progress in addressing health and poverty to the United Nations General Assembly this past week.  Various health indicators were assessed including child and maternal mortality, stunted growth, malaria, vaccine use and HIV/AIDS. The primary purpose of the report is indicated in its name: Goalkeepers. In 2015, the United Nations committed itself to a collection of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that together illustrate what all member states would like the world to look like in 2030. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation issued this report to hold policymakers and donors accountable to these SDGs. Goalkeepers is the result of three years of research — a huge statistical undertaking — and tracks progress for 18 data points included in the SDGs. The report will be issued every year until 2030 with the intention to accelerate the fight against poverty and ensure money spent on development has a maximal impact. The health issues identified mostly plague developing nations, but the Gates emphasize the importance of international donors and political support. The report is issued at a crucial time when the Trump administration is considering large cuts in foreign aid. Goalkeepers is as strategic as it is informative. Its graphic-heavy layout and...

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