- Press Release Distribution

HSE researchers examine wellbeing of Russian social media users and rank public holidays by popularity

( Researchers of the HSE Graduate School of Business trained a machine-learning (ML) model to infer users' subjective wellbeing from social media posts. Having processed 10 million tweets, the researchers compiled a rating of holidays celebrated in Russia based on their popularity. The New Year tops the list, but Russian-speaking users of Twitter are also happy to celebrate Defender of the Fatherland Day, International Women's Day, Victory Day and Halloween. The study findings have been published in PeerJ Computer Science.

As one of the most popular methods for people to communicate and share information and opinions, social media is an important source of data for researchers—particularly because this information can be used to track people's emotions in real time. 

Knowing how people feel at a given time—also defined as measuring observable subjective well-being (OSWB)—can provide valuable guidance for policymakers, instead of or alongside currently utilised indicators such as gross domestic product. 

Researchers of the HSE Graduate School of Business, prof. Mikhail Komarov and Sergey Smetanin calculated OSWB indices for the Russian-speaking segment of Twitter. Unlike common subjective wellbeing measurements based on survey data collected by research centres such as VCIOM, measuring OSWB via posts in social networks does not require direct contact with users.

'Social networks became one of the biggest sources of data which should be properly analysed in order to improve processes in the companies and in order to analyse activity of their potential customers', says Mikhail Komarov, professor of the department of business informatics, HSE Graduate School of Business

The researchers used Twitter Stream Grab—a publicly available historical collection of JSON content grabbed from the general Twitter 'Spritzer' API stream—as a data source on tweets in Russian. According to Twitter, this API provides a 1% sample of all complete public tweets and is not tied to specific topics. Thus, the researchers consider it a good and sufficiently representative source of tweets on a wide range of subjects. 

The largest dataset of general-domain tweets in Russian, RuSentiTweet, was selected to train the ML model. This is the largest dataset of tweets with manual annotations for sentiment analysis. RuSentiTweet consists of 13,392 tweets grouped into five classes: Positive, Neutral, Negative, Speech Acts (such as greetings or congratulations), and Skip (which do not express any clear sentiment or attitude).  

The researchers applied the ML model to 10,869,003 tweets posted in Russian by 1,955,827 unique users over 20 months (an average of 5.55 tweets per user).

Based on this data, the study authors compiled a popularity rating of holidays among Russian-speaking Twitter users. As expected, the New Year turned out to be the most popular holiday, with the share of greetings on December 31 being more than triple the annual average and accounting for 12.3% of all tweets for that day. Defender of the Fatherland Day and International Women's Day rank second and third, respectively. 

Halloween is one of the most popular ‘foreign’ holidays on Russian-speaking Twitter, ranking ninth among all holidays, ahead of Russia Day and International Workers' Day on May 1st. This finding, however, is different from those reported by VCIOM. According to the researchers, the reason may be that Twitter is dominated by a younger age group that is more inclined to celebrate Halloween, whereas the VCIOM survey provides a representative sample of the Russian population.

Since there is some evidence suggesting gender differences in attitudes towards certain holidays, the holiday rating was first calculated for each gender separately.

'The share of tweets from women with holiday greetings was higher for all holidays except Cosmonautics Day. Indeed, women are more likely to post greetings and other speech act tweets on ordinary days as well as on holidays,' explains Sergey Smetanin, doctoral student of the HSE Graduate School of Business. 

The researchers also note that Russian-language tweets from Twitter Stream Grab can only be used in addition to conventional survey-based SWB indicators, not as the main source of information. There are two main reasons for this. First, the analysis for this study included Russian-language tweets from users outside Russia. Their subjective wellbeing may be different, thus affecting the research findings in one way or another. Second, older age groups were underrepresented in the study, as Twitter is mainly popular among a younger audience. 

'We compared the OSWB findings with the survey-based VCIOM Happiness Index and found a statistically significant correlation. We assume that with access to a larger volume of data, it would be possible to obtain an even stronger correlation and potentially prove that Twitter can be used on its own as a reliable source of data on OSWB,' says Smetanin.



Good news for those with MS—fertility treatments not linked to increase in relapses

EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE UNTIL 4 P.M. ET, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 15, 2023 MINNEAPOLIS – There’s good news for those with multiple sclerosis (MS). A new study has found that female participants were no more likely to have a flare-up of the disease after receiving fertility treatments than they were before their treatments. The study is published in the March 15, 2023, online issue of Neurology® Neuroimmunology & Neuroinflammation, an official journal of the American Academy of Neurology. Earlier studies had shown conflicting results. The study also found a link between the use of MS medications and a lack of increase in relapses during fertility ...

UTA team to measure pollutants in DC sewer pipe project

UTA team to measure pollutants in DC sewer pipe project
A University of Texas at Arlington civil engineering researcher received a one-year, $300,000 competitive grant from the Water Research Foundation to evaluate a trenchless process to renew sanitary sewer pipes in Soapstone Valley Park, a popular Washington, D.C., attraction. Mohammad Najafi, associate professor in the Department of Civil Engineering, is leading the project. Najafi said the project will use a trenchless cured-in-place-pipe (CIPP) method that relines the old sewer pipe with new plastic material. That material then is cured in place with hot water. “We will ...

Tak W. Mak, PhD, FAACR, selected for 2023 Pezcoller Foundation-AACR International Award for Extraordinary Achievement in Cancer Research

PHILADELPHIA – The Pezcoller Foundation–American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) International Award for Extraordinary Achievement in Cancer Research will be presented to Tak W. Mak, PhD, Fellow of the AACR Academy, during the AACR Annual Meeting 2023, April 14-19 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. Mak is a senior scientist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network, as well as a university professor in the departments of medical biophysics and immunology at the Temerty Faculty of Medicine ...

Kermanshachi receives 40 Under 40 award

Kermanshachi receives 40 Under 40 award
Sharareh “Sherri” Kermanshachi, a University of Texas at Arlington associate professor of civil engineering, has received the 40 Under 40 Award from Mass Transit magazine, which recognizes individuals who have shown a capacity for innovation and demonstrated leadership and a commitment to making an impact in transit. “I am honored and humbled to receive this award and be named to the 40 Under 40 Mass Transit award list,” said Kermanshachi, who is also director of the Resilient Infrastructures and Sustainable Environment ...

Nobel Laureate Carolyn R. Bertozzi, PhD, to receive 2023 AACR Award for Outstanding Achievement in Chemistry in Cancer Research

PHILADELPHIA – The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) will honor Nobel Laureate Carolyn R. Bertozzi, PhD, with the 2023 AACR Award for Outstanding Achievement in Chemistry in Cancer Research during the AACR Annual Meeting 2023, April 14-19 in Orlando, Florida. Bertozzi is the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Chemistry in the School of Humanities and Sciences and a professor (by courtesy) of chemical and systems biology and of radiology at Stanford University, an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and the Baker Family Director of Sarafan ChEM-H. Bertozzi is being recognized for advancing basic ...

Study offers a potential strategy to improve T cell therapy in solid tumors

PHILADELPHIA – A new approach that delivers a “one-two punch” to help T cells attack solid tumors is the focus of a preclinical study by researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The findings, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), showed that targeting two regulators that control gene functions related to inflammation led to at least 10 times greater T cell expansion in models, resulting in increased antitumor immune activity and durability. CAR T cell therapy was pioneered at Penn Medicine by ...

Uncovering the ritual past of an ancient stone monument in Saudi Arabia

Uncovering the ritual past of an ancient stone monument in Saudi Arabia
A comprehensive analysis of an archaeological site in Saudi Arabia sheds new light on mustatils—stone monuments from the Late Neolithic period thought to have been used for ritual purposes. Melissa Kennedy of the University of Western Australia, Perth, and colleagues, in conjunction with The Royal Commission for AlUla present these findings in the open-access journal PLOS ONE on March 15, 2023. Built around 7,000 years ago, mustatils are rectangular, low-walled, stone structures that range from 20 to 600 meters in length. Researchers first discovered them in the 1970s, and more than 1,600 mustatils have now been discovered, primarily concentrated in northern ...

The WWII shipwreck of the SS Thistlegorm, now a popular Red Sea dive site, has formed an artificial coral reef for a diverse community of fish, according to data gathered by volunteer divers

The WWII shipwreck of the SS Thistlegorm, now a popular Red Sea dive site, has formed an artificial coral reef for a diverse community of fish, according to data gathered by volunteer divers
Article URL: Article Title: Eight years of community structure monitoring through recreational citizen science at the “SS Thistlegorm” wreck (Red Sea) Author Countries: Italy Funding: STE project was funded by Project AWARE Foundation, ASTOI Association, Ministry of Tourism of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Settemari S.p.A Tour Operator, Scuba Nitrox Safety International, Viaggio nel Blu Diving Center. The funders had no role in study design, data collection ...

Analysis links specific skills taught by US undergraduate degree courses with graduate earnings

Analysis links specific skills taught by US undergraduate degree courses with graduate earnings
Article URL: Article Title: Connecting higher education to workplace activities and earnings Author Countries: USA Funding: This research is supported in part by the University of Pittsburgh Pitt Momentum Fund and the Center for Research Computing. This work has been supported (in part) by # 2109-33808 from the Russell Sage Foundation. Any opinions expressed are those of the principal investigator(s) alone and should not be construed as representing the opinions of the Foundation. The funders had no role in study design, data collection ...

Estrogen possible risk factor in disturbed heart rhythm

Estrogen possible risk factor in disturbed heart rhythm
The sex hormone estrogen has a negative impact on heartbeat regulation, according to an experimental study from Linköping University, Sweden, published in Science Advances. Estrogen impact seems to interact with hereditary changes causing a heart disease disturbing the heart’s rhythm, while other endogenous substances may have a protecting effect. In a lifetime, the heart beats around 2.5 billion times. Each heartbeat is triggered by an electrical impulse that causes the heart muscle to contract in a very well-coordinated movement. ...


Aston University establishes new independent investment company

Outbreak of typhoid on Dutch ship traced to contaminated drinking water

Extremely rare gene variants point to a potential cause of age-related macular degeneration

After spinal cord injury, kinesthetic sense helps restore movement, model suggests

Cookin' with gas: UWO professor earns patent for flameless industrial oven

This is your brain on everyday life

Iguana stole my cake! and left behind a nasty surprise

Combination therapy a promising option for advanced kidney cancer patients already treated with immunotherapy

Final Human Brain Project Summit closes with a vision for the future of digital brain research

Metformin & leucine prevent cellular senescence & proteostasis disruption

Plastic transistor amplifies biochemical sensing signal

Childhood asthma declines during COVID-19 pandemic

Study shows ketamine could be beneficial for treating brain injury in children

Yak milk consumption among Mongol Empire elites

Hope for salamanders? Illinois study recalibrates climate change effects

Engineered E. coli delivers therapeutic nanobodies to the gut

New type of friction discovered in ligand-protein systems

New UNC Chapel Hill study quantifies $562M in financial risk from Hurricane Florence using novel modeling approach that evaluates risk of mortgage default and property abandonment

What is foreign exchange market or simply Forex?

Can cities make room for woodpeckers?

Study: ChatGPT has potential to help cirrhosis, liver cancer patients

A healthy microbiome may prevent deadly infections in critically ill people

Academic institutions receive lower financial returns from biotechnology licenses than commercial firms

Harnessing nature to promote planetary sustainability

Study examines how social rank affects response to stress

The stars in the brain may be information regulators

The Institut Pasteur and the University of São Paulo sign articles of association to establish the Institut Pasteur in São Paulo

Mathematical model provides bolt of understanding for lightning-produced X-rays

nTIDE March 2023 Deeper Dive: Intersection of race and disability perpetuate inequalities in employment impacting Black/African American people with disabilities

Researchers uncover the first steps driving antibiotic resistance

[] HSE researchers examine wellbeing of Russian social media users and rank public holidays by popularity