(Press-News.org) Communities with more socioeconomic vulnerability experience longer-duration power outages than more advantaged communities, according to a study. Research has shown that environmental disasters hit economically and socially vulnerable communities hardest. Scott Ganz and colleagues assessed the unequal impacts caused by the procedures electric utilities follow to restore power to customers after extreme-weather related outages. Using data from eight Atlantic hurricanes that made landfall between January 2017 and October 2020, which knocked out power for a total of over 15 million customers in 588 counties in the Southeast, the authors find people with lower socioeconomic status wait longer for the lights to go back on. Socioeconomic status was measured using the socioeconomic status theme of the Social Vulnerability Index, a metric produced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which combines quantitative data on themes including poverty, housing costs, education, health insurance, racial & ethnic minority status, housing type, and transportation access. A one-decile drop in socioeconomic status is associated with a 6.1% longer outage duration, which corresponds to an extra 170 minute wait for power to be restored. Elucidating the precise mechanisms that causes this relationship will require more granular data, according to the authors. The authors contend that their results point to the necessity of re-examining post-storm resource allocation policies. In addition, the authors note that investing in energy infrastructure and renewable energy in these vulnerable communities may help buffer them from negative outage impacts.
Socioeconomic status and power outages
ELSE PRESS RELEASES FROM THIS DATE:
Broad Clinical Labs established to expand clinical services
The Genomics Platform at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard has been one of the world’s leading academic genome sequencing centers since the days of the Human Genome Project. For the last decade, these services have included clinical sequencing and other molecular assays through its wholly-owned subsidiary, the Clinical Research Sequencing Platform. Now renamed Broad Clinical Labs (BCL), the lab is poised to further accelerate the power of ’omics technologies in clinical research, screening, and diagnostics. BCL supports large-scale projects for which results need to be generated under a clinical quality system, such as analyses for clinical trials, biobank profiling, ...
Bioengineering breakthrough increases DNA detection sensitivity by 100 times
UMass Amherst researchers have pushed forward the boundaries of biomedical engineering one hundredfold with a new method for DNA detection with unprecedented sensitivity. “DNA detection is in the center of bioengineering,” says Jinglei Ping, lead author of the paper that appeared in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Ping is an assistant professor of mechanical and industrial engineering, an adjunct assistant professor in biomedical engineering and affiliated with the Center for Personalized Health Monitoring of the Institute for Applied Life Sciences. “Everyone ...
Type 2 diabetes diagnosis at age 30 can reduce life expectancy by up to 14 years
An individual diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at age 30 years could see their life expectancy fall by as much as 14 years, an international team of researchers has warned. Even people who do not develop the condition until later in life – with a diagnosis at age 50 years – could see their life expectancy fall by up to six years, an analysis of data from 19 high-income countries found. The researchers say the findings, published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, highlight the urgent need to ...
New $81million NIH grant will help U.S. answer urgent need for better dementia care
Watching a loved one suffer the slow decline of dementia is hard enough. But trying to find care for them that’s high-quality, safe, available and affordable is nearly as difficult, as millions of American families have found out the hard way in recent years. That lack of options stems from a combination of workforce shortages, payment policies and a lack of consistency in dementia care delivery and regulation, according to experts from the University of Michigan and the University of California, San Francisco and their colleagues. Now, fueled by new five-year funding expected to total $81 million from the NIH’s National Institute on Aging or ...
Humans inherit artificial intelligence biases
New research by the psychologists Lucía Vicente and Helena Matute from Deusto University in Bilbao, Spain, provides evidence that people can inherit artificial intelligence biases (systematic errors in AI outputs) in their decisions. The astonishing results achieved by artificial intelligence systems, which can, for example, hold a conversation as a human does, have given this technology an image of high reliability. More and more professional fields are implementing AI-based tools to support the decision-making of specialists to minimise errors in their decisions. However, this technology is not without risks due to biases in AI results. ...
Globally, consumption of sugary drinks increased at least 16% since 1990
The decision to reach for a sugary beverage is heavily influenced by where you live, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy researchers report in a new study published October 3 in the journal Nature Communications. While an analysis of the Global Dietary Database for the years 1990, 2005, and 2018 found overall consumption of sweetened drinks increased—by nearly 16% worldwide over the 28-year period studied—regional intake widely varied. Sugary drinks are a public health concern because they have been widely associated ...
Electronic sensor the size of a single molecule a potential game-changer
Australian researchers have developed a molecular-sized, more efficient version of a widely used electronic sensor, in a breakthrough that could bring widespread benefits. Piezoresistors are commonly used to detect vibrations in electronics and automobiles, such as in smart phones for counting steps, and for airbag deployment in cars. They are also used in medical devices such as implantable pressure sensors, as well as in aviation and space travel. In a nationwide initiative, researchers led by Dr Nadim Darwish from Curtin University, Professor Jeffrey ...
Controlled burns help prevent wildfires; Climate change is limiting their use
Key takeaways Rising temperatures will cut the number of days when conditions favor prescribed fires by 17% on average across the Western U.S., mostly in spring and summer. Winter, however, will see a net 4% increase in the number of favorable days. Implementing controlled burns in the West will require changes to policy and the availability of firefighters. Prescribed fires, sometimes called controlled burns, are one of the most common tools for preventing catastrophic wildfires in the Western United States. Lit by highly trained firefighters, they help clear away excess dry plant matter that might otherwise ...
Pregnant women offered new hope for safe and effective gestational diabetes treatment
Researchers at University of Galway have taken a significant step forward in the management of gestational diabetes mellitus after a clinical trial involving pregnant women provided new hope for expectant mothers suffering the condition. The findings from the trial are being published in JAMA: the Journal of American Medical Association. Gestational diabetes is a global health issue affecting almost 3 million pregnant women worldwide every year. It is a condition characterised by elevated blood sugar levels during pregnancy, posing increased health risks for both mothers and their babies. Professor Fidelma Dunne, Professor of Medicine ...
Early metformin in gestational diabetes
About The Study: In this randomized clinical trial, early treatment with metformin was not superior to placebo for the composite primary outcome of insulin initiation or a fasting glucose level of 5.1 mmol/L or greater at gestation weeks 32 or 38. Prespecified secondary outcome data support further investigation of metformin in larger clinical trials. Authors: Fidelma Dunne, Ph.D., of the University of Galway in Galway, Ireland, is the corresponding author. To access the embargoed study: Visit our For The Media website ...