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Reactions: exposure to pollution may increase stroke risk also in the short term

Chronic exposure to various air pollutants has been linked to an increased risk of stroke, but the short-term effects have been less well studied. A review of 110 papers and more than 18 million stroke cases shows that recent exposure - in the five days prior to stroke - also increases the likelihood of stroke. The results are published in the journal Neurology.


Victims of artificial intelligence

There are neither criminal offences to punish synthetic pornography, nor sufficient means to carry out forensic examinations of victims' and perpetrators' phones, nor sufficient staff to process these cases quickly. The law could limit these tools to professional and virtuous environments, only by known developers, and for products whose purposes don't violate public order or privacy, and aren't criminal - such measures would be more than enough.


Reactions: persistent covid studies have created misunderstandings because of their limitations, says analysis

An analysis published in BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine reviews epidemiological research on persistent covid and concludes that many studies overestimate its prevalence due to overly loose definitions, absent or inadequate control groups and other methodological shortcomings.


Mass cancer screening: advantages, disadvantages and current situation

On the occasion of World Cancer Research Day on 24 September, the Science Media Centre Spain organised an information session on mass screening. At the meeting, researchers Adrian Aginagalde, Isabel Portillo and Juan Carlos Trujillo explained how mass screening is studied, analysed its advantages and disadvantages, explained how its implementation is decided and what new developments we can expect.


Reactions: Study contradicts idea that suppressing negative thoughts harms mental health

Training people to get rid of unwanted thoughts can improve their mental health, according to a study from the University of Cambridge (UK). The research team stresses that these results "challenge the century-old wisdom" that trying to get rid of negative thoughts can have harmful effects on mental health. The study, published in Science Advances, involved 120 adults - some with major depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder - from 16 countries, who underwent a three-day online training to suppress certain thoughts. After the training, participants reported feeling less anxiety, negative emotions and symptoms of depression.


Reactions: Study blames climate change and other human factors for severe flooding in Libya and Greece

Las lluvias torrenciales caídas en Libia hace dos semanas fueron 50 veces más probables por el calentamiento global provocado por la acción humana. Algo similar ocurría con las lluvias caídas en Grecia, Bulgaria y Turquía, que fueron 10 veces más probables por el cambio climático, según concluye un estudio de atribución rápido de la Word Weather Attribution (WWA). La investigación apunta a que la tragedia en Libia se agravó por otros factores humanos, como construcciones en llanuras inundables y presas en mal estado. Los autores también analizaron las inundaciones registradas en España a principios de septiembre y concluyeron que precipitaciones tan intensas se esperan una vez cada 40 años. 


Reaction: Human action is causing vertebrate genera to disappear at an unprecedented rate

Research published in PNAS has analysed the conservation status of 5,400 terrestrial vertebrate genera, comprising 34,600 species, between the years 1500 and 2022. The authors found that 73 genera have become extinct since 1500. Birds suffered the greatest losses, with 44 extinct genera, followed by mammals, amphibians and reptiles. The results reveal that the extinction rate was 35 times higher during this period than the average extinction rate over the previous million years. According to the researchers, the genera lost in the last five centuries would have taken 18,000 years to become extinct without human impact.