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30 Nov 2023

Frontiers is gearing up for COP28 to address the climate emergency 

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) parties meet every year at the Conference of the Parties (COP) to negotiate and agree action on how to tackle climate change, limit emissions, and halt global warming. These gatherings are the world’s highest decision-making body on climate issues and one of the largest international meetings in the world. COP28 will provide a milestone opportunity for the world to come together, course correct, and drive progress to keep 1.5C within reach – so we can meet the goals and ambitions of the Paris Agreement. It will be a pivotal moment for the world to unite around tangible climate action and deliver realistic solutions.   Photo credit: Kyle Anthony Photography  Addressing climate change, the paramount challenge of our era, hinges upon harmonizing fundamental human needs with sustainable climate remedies. Despite heightened awareness and global pledges, advancements in climate action have lagged and, at moments, fallen short. Confronting this hurdle, open science emerges as a pivotal force for innovation and a driver of groundbreaking solutions, playing a vital role in addressing climate change challenges.  As world leaders convene at COP28 in an effort to reach consensus on actions to prevent the planet from surpassing the 1.5-degree […]

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19 Jul 2023

Uniting generations for a sustainable future: Insights from the 2023 Villars Symposium

Established in 2022, the Villars Institute is a non-profit foundation dedicated to accelerating the transition to net-zero emissions. It aims to create a healthier planet through intergenerational collaboration and systems leadership. Last month, a team of Frontiers staff led our first collaboration with the Villars Institute by taking part in its 2023 Villars Symposium, an event that fosters intergenerational collaboration and promotes transdisciplinary cooperation. Young minds embarking on their journey toward becoming lifelong systems leaders. The Symposium was created to unite the Villars Institute’s Knowledge Partners with a group of exceptional young minds who are embarking on their journey toward becoming lifelong systems leaders. The blog, Five traits to look for in a Systems Leader, explains more about what this concept is and represents. The Villars Symposium unites high school-aged youth and sustainability experts worldwide to address urgent global challenges. Participants, future systems leaders, explore intricate complex systems (ecological, economic, political, and social) while developing skills for driving systemic change. By engaging with professionals in sustainability and international affairs, they gain insights, forge connections, and align their passions with a sustainable future. Representatives from the Frontiers family of outreach and engagement initiatives led two sessions during the Symposium. “Mobilizing Science […]

Photo credit: Frontiers

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27 Jun 2023

Frontiers and the World Economic Forum collaboration reveals the Top 10 Emerging Technologies of 2023 report 

The Top 10 Emerging Technologies of 2023 report co-published by open access publisher Frontiers and the World Economic Forum has been presented today. The report identifies those technologies poised to have the biggest positive impact on society over the next three to five years. Curated by an international steering group of experts, the technologies were selected from nearly 100 contenders based on criteria including novelty, applicability, depth, and power. As this year’s knowledge partner, Frontiers collaborated with the Forum to identify experts from its far-reaching research community to provide further analysis of the technologies.  Photo credit: Frontiers For more than a decade, the report has helped business leaders, innovators, policymakers, and other professionals across industries and disciplines anticipate developing technology and understand the associated risks and opportunities. The 2023 report has broadened its scope for the first time, incorporating a qualitative assessment of how each technology will impact people, the planet, prosperity, industry, and equity. These “impact fingerprints” are based on data gathered from more than 90 experts across 20 countries. They offer in-depth analysis of how the technology is predicted to influence society within the next five years. The academics were selected from Frontiers’ network of scientific journal editors, […]

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22 Jun 2023 An open letter from Frontiers’ chief executive editor

To our community, In March of this year, we alerted you to the emergence of predatoryreports[.]org. This website and its authors, whose motives are unknown, deliberately seek to undermine our organization, our community, and the open access movement by disseminating false information about Frontiers.  At the risk of feeding the egos of the anonymous and irresponsible people behind with this second public acknowledgement, I report here on how we are seeking to address this issue. As responsibly asserted by the Committee of Publication Ethics in April, ‘authors and institutions should treat lists of predatory (or fake) journals with the same degree of scrutiny as they do with the journals themselves. Lists that are not transparent about criteria used should not be relied on.’ Researchers and institutions have valid questions about the quality, impact, and motives of their publishers. Predatoryreports[.]org attempts to undermine any constructive discussion by sloppily promulgating “the p-word”; unfortunately, this unethical behavior is being noticed, creating concern and bewilderment.  The p-word is a blanket derogatory term that is so easy to use that it blocks scientific, critical, and common-sense thought processes. Some employ it liberally to create a smokescreen, in the hope that no one will feel […]

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20 Jun 2023

Frontiers Community Summit 2023: accelerating open science

The Frontiers Community Summit highlighted the accelerator effect of open science – and the critical need for quality, to ensure society is enabled by science and can take the right decisions. The summit took place as part of Frontiers Forum Live, an annual event that brings together Frontiers’ editors, other top researchers, innovators, and policy makers in a united mission to accelerate and mobilize open science. This 8th edition took place in Montreux, Switzerland, from 27-29 April as our first-ever hybrid event.  The event opened with the Community Summit, where Frontiers’ publishing and technology experts provided an update on the global transition to open science – and demonstrated Frontiers’ laser focus on quality across all stages of the publishing process.  Opening access to science is the most affordable, simplest, and fastest way to deliver solutions for healthy lives on a healthy planet.  – Kamila Markram, Frontiers Co-founder and CEO Dialogs and discussions between key stakeholders across science and policy further strengthened actions and collaborations for open science, which will help build a brighter future for everyone, all around the world.   Watch the talks via the links below. Jump to: Kamila Markram | Why our mission matters: driving the transition to […]

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05 Jun 2023

Frontiers Forum Live 2023: Accelerating and mobilizing open science for global challenges

This year’s Frontiers Forum Live brought top researchers, innovators, and influencers together in-person and virtually, united in a common mission to accelerate the global transition to open science and mobilize solutions for critical challenges – with the most urgent being to reach net-zero carbon to prevent climate disaster. The Frontiers Forum is where researchers, policymakers, and other experts from around the world discuss science-led solutions for healthy lives on a healthy planet. This 8th edition was the largest yet, taking place in Montreux, Switzerland from 27-29 April as our first-ever hybrid event. The program highlighted the accelerator effect of open science, making it clear that science has solutions to the climate crisis and other critical challenges – but must be openly available to researchers and innovators across the globe for these solutions to be implemented in time to avert disaster. Keynote talks from Frontiers co-founder and CEO Dr Kamila Markram as well as four iconic representatives of biodiversity, sustainability, and climate change – conservationist Dr Jane Goodall, eighth Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon, former US Vice President Al Gore, and planetary boundary pioneer Prof Johan Rockström – reinforced the central role of science in restoring planetary health. And […]

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27 Mar 2023

Shh! Intensive care incubators resonate sounds and risk damage to premature babies’ hearing, scientists say

by Angharad Brewer Gillham, Frontiers science writer Image/ Although the effects of a noisy environment in the neonatal intensive care unit have been studied before, the effect of the incubators premature babies spend their first weeks or even months in has not. A team of scientists investigated, and found that while the incubators dampen some sounds, they amplify others, potentially damaging babies’ hearing. For vulnerable premature babies, an incubator in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is a lifesaver, but the consequences can last a lifetime. Many studies have shown that the NICU is a noisy environment and that babies who spend time there have higher rates of hearing impairment, which can lead to delays in language acquisition. Scientists from Vienna, Hamburg, Munich, and Osnabruck set out to investigate the role of the incubator, an underestimated element in the soundscape that surrounds babies during their time in the NICU. “The motivation of our multidisciplinary research team concerns the question: why many more premature babies suffer hearing impairments,” said Dr Christoph Reuter from the University of Vienna, corresponding author of the study published in Frontiers in Pediatrics. “We believe that what we have measured in our studies could be a leading […]

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02 Mar 2023

Sleep too much or too little and you might get sick more, scientists find

by Angharad Brewer Gillham, Frontiers science writer Image/ Patients visiting their GP who reported sleeping less than six hours or more than nine were more likely to present with an infection. Patients who reported sleeping too little, or having insomnia or a chronic sleep disorder, were even more likely to need antibiotics. Scientists say that good sleep could lower our risk of infection and need for antibiotics. A good night’s sleep can solve all sorts of problems – but scientists have now discovered new evidence that sleeping well may make you less vulnerable to infection. Scientists at the University of Bergen recruited medical students working in doctors’ surgeries to hand out short questionnaires to patients, asking about sleep quality and recent infections. They found that patients who reported sleeping too little or too much were more likely also to report a recent infection, and patients who experienced chronic sleep problems were more likely to report needing antibiotics. “Most previous observational studies have looked at the association between sleep and infection in a sample of the general population,” said Dr Ingeborg Forthun, corresponding author of the study published in Frontiers in Psychiatry. “We wanted to assess this association among patients in […]

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28 Feb 2023

‘We cannot change the human body, but we can change the environment’

by Liad Hollender, Frontiers science writer Dr Barbara Natterson-Horowitz (a cardiologist) and Prof Daniel Blumstein (a behavioral ecologist) were faculty members at the Los Angeles campus of the University of California for decades before they met. Since their serendipitous encounter in the mid-2000s at a lecture on evolution, the two have become prolific scientific collaborators. They are leading researchers in the emerging field of evolutionary medicine, which applies insights from ecology and evolution to drive biomedical innovation and public health reform.  Their most recent article, published in Frontiers in Science, brings together diverse experts to chart a research agenda of staggering scope. Their aim is to tackle major health challenges by applying an evolutionary perspective to everything from antibiotic resistance and drug-resistant cancers to obesity, diabetes, and other ‘modern’ diseases. We met with them to learn more about this disruptive field.    Evolution and medicine seem like very distinct disciplines. How are they related?    Barbara: There is a famous saying – ‘Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution’ by Theodosius Dobzhansky. But what is medicine if not the biology of the human body and mind? Viewing health through the lens of evolutionary biology helps explain why we […]

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13 Feb 2023

Frontiers ebook releases: February 2023

Download the top ebook releases from this month, including the special issues on innovation in STEAM education, a showcase of neuroscientific perspectives in sports psychology, the effect of bioactive compounds on neurodegenerative disease phenotypes, the ability of robots to perform tasks that require interaction with their external environment, nature-based solutions for climate risk management and many more! All ebooks are free to download, share and distribute. Shape the future of your field — and publish your own ebook — by editing a special collection around your research area. Learn more about Research Topics or submit your suggestion. COVID-19 pandemics: ethical, legal and social issuesEdited by Dov Greenbaum; David Gurwitz; Yann JolyPDFBioactive Compounds, Lifestyle Factors and Neurodegenerative DiseasesEdited by Binosha Fernando; Stephanie R Rainey-Smith; Tejal ShahPDFThe Nobel Collection – Volume 1Edited by Robert T Knight; Idan SegevPDFMachine Learning in NeuroscienceEdited by Hamid R Rabiee; Ali Ghazizadeh; Mackenzie W Mathis; Reza LashgariPDFThe Thyroid and Covid-19Edited by Gabriela Brenta; Marco António Campinho; CELIA REGINA NOGUEIRA; JOSE SGARBIPDF2nd Synthetic Biology Forum: System and Synthetic Biology for Biofuels and BioproductsEdited by Jean Marie François; Min Jiang; Mingjie Jin; Shihui YangPDFCOVID-19 Pandemic: Mental Health, Life Habit Changes and Social PhenomenaEdited by Daria Smirnova; Konstantinos N Fountoulakis; Xenia […]

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07 Feb 2023

Proof that Neanderthals ate crabs is another ‘nail in the coffin’ for primitive cave dweller stereotypes

by Angharad Brewer Gillham, Frontiers science writer Image: Tomasz Ochocki/ Scientists studying archaeological remains at Gruta da Figueira Brava, Portugal, discovered that Neanderthals were harvesting shellfish to eat – including brown crabs, where they preferred larger specimens and cooked them in fires. Archeologists say this disproves the idea that eating marine foods gave early modern humans’ brains the competitive advantage. In a cave just south of Lisbon, archeological deposits conceal a Paleolithic dinner menu. As well as stone tools and charcoal, the site of Gruta de Figueira Brava contains rich deposits of shells and bones with much to tell us about the Neanderthals that lived there – especially about their meals. A study published in Frontiers in Environmental Archaeology shows that 90,000 years ago, these Neanderthals were cooking and eating crabs. “At the end of the Last Interglacial, Neanderthals regularly harvested large brown crabs,” said Dr Mariana Nabais of the Catalan Institute of Human Paleoecology and Social Evolution (IPHES-CERCA), lead author of the study. “They were taking them in pools of the nearby rocky coast, targeting adult animals with an average carapace width of 16cm. The animals were brought whole to the cave, where they were roasted on coals and […]

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30 Jan 2023

$1 smart glove could help prevent dangerous births by sensing fetal position

by Conn Hastings, science writer Image/ Low-resource regions often lack the medical technology to assess when things are going wrong during birth. A new study has revealed an inexpensive sensing glove that can transmit data on fetal position and force applied to the fetal head. The technology could be invaluable in identifying obstructed birth in low-resource regions, providing real-time data on a smartphone app. Can inexpensive technologies provide a helping hand during birth? A new study in open-access journal Frontiers in Global Women’s Health has revealed a low-cost sensing glove that could do just that. The researchers created the device to assist healthcare staff in identifying fetal position and the force applied to the fetal head during labor, factors that can contribute to obstructed labor and poor birth outcomes. The technology can provide real-time data during vaginal examinations, potentially improving birth outcomes in low-resource regions. Birth outcomes in low-resource regions When labor is not going as it should, clinicians can use a wide array of medical technologies to determine what is wrong. However, in low- and middle-income countries, these technologies and skilled staff who can use them are not always available. The researchers behind this latest study reported that 98% […]

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25 Jan 2023

Using running to escape everyday stresses may lead to exercise dependence instead of mental wellbeing

By Angharad Brewer Gillham, Frontiers science writer Image/ Different kinds of escapism can motivate people to take part in running, but using running to escape from negative experiences rather than using it to escape to positive ones may lead to exercise dependence. Recreational running offers a lot of physical and mental health benefits – but some people can develop exercise dependence, a form of addiction to physical activity which can cause health issues. Shockingly, signs of exercise dependence are common even in recreational runners. A study published in Frontiers in Psychology investigated whether the concept of escapism can help us understand the relationship between running, wellbeing, and exercise dependence. “Escapism is an everyday phenomenon among humans, but little is known regarding its motivational underpinnings, how it affects experiences, and the psychological outcomes from it,” said Dr Frode Stenseng of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, lead author of the paper. Running to explore or to evade? “Escapism is often defined as ‘an activity, a form of entertainment, etc. that helps you avoid or forget unpleasant or boring things’. In other words, many of our everyday activities may be interpreted as escapism,” said Stenseng. “The psychological reward from escapism is […]

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17 Jan 2023

Healthy Eating: Article Collections on Nutrition

What is a healthy diet? Is gluten free actually better for you? Are there good fats? Find the answers to your biggest research questions on nutrition with our top article collections about what to put on your plate. With collective views of over 1.2 million, researchers explored topics spanning from antioxidants and food additives to sustainable diets and the rise of flexitarianism. Article Collections: Mediterranean diet 4 articles | 62,000 views Uncovering the health promoting effects of traditional Mediterranean diets, including lower risk of chronic degenerative diseases, neurodegenerative disorders, and certain types of cancer Sustainable diets 43 articles | 90,000 views Examining a diet that is measured by calorie or nutrient content as well as by the quality and environmental footprint of the ingredients used Flexitarianism 6 articles | 167,000 views Exploring the health implications of flexitarianism, referring to an individual who follows a primarily but not strictly vegetarian diet, occasionally eating meat or fish Fermented foods 19 articles | 190,000 views Understanding the viability of probiotic bacteria in fermented foods has opened up possibilities of producing new ingredients for nutritionally optimized foods, which can promote consumers’ health through microbial activities in the gut Dietary antioxidants 6 articles | 41,000 […]

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17 Jan 2023

Rare fossilized feathers reveal secrets of paleontology hotspot during Cretaceous period

by Angharad Brewer Gillham, Frontiers science writer Fossil STM 15-36, photographed by Xuwei Yin at the Shangdong Tianyu Museum of Natural History. Photograph courtesy of the authors. Rare preserved soft tissue – feathers from early Cretaceous birds at Jehol Biota – sheds new light on the world in which they died, millions of years ago. The site of Jehol Biota in China is famous for stunning fossils which preserve soft tissue – skin, organs, feathers, and fur. These fossils offer rare insights into the evolution of characteristics like flight, but they need careful interpretation to understand what the soft tissue looked and behaved like in life, and how decomposition may have affected it. A study published in Frontiers in Earth Science analyzed five fossils of an early Cretaceous bird, Sapeornis chaoyangensis, in order to study how the environment they were buried in changed the preservation of their soft tissue. “Jehol Biota provides the most informative source for understanding Mesozoic ecology,” said corresponding author Dr Yan Zhao, based at the Institute of Geology and Paleontology, Linyi University. “Better understanding of the diverse taphonomy of Jehol terrestrial vertebrates can help us finally understand more about the past and future of biological evolution.” […]