Showing posts with label research. Show all posts
Showing posts with label research. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Consider donating a blood sample for COVID research and earn some money

Consider donating a blood sample for COVID research and earn some money
COVID research

Via MRN Diagnostics

Read all about our COVID-19 research collection and others like it at to see how you may qualify.

We talked with MRN Diagnostics CEO Dr. Greg Chiklis in October 2023 about the work his company (based here in Franklin) does. You can listen here ->

Saturday, December 9, 2023

CommonWealth Beacon: "Yes, building more housing does lower rents, study says"

"IT’S A QUESTION that looms large over the effort to promote more development in housing-starved Massachusetts: Does increasing the supply of housing, even if it’s mainly higher-cost, market-priced units, temper the runup in costs that has so many residents straining to make ends meet? 

The idea follows the basic economic principle of supply and demand – when more of something is made available, its price falls. But there are plenty of “supply skeptics” who aren’t convinced that simply opening the housing production spigot will lower costs, and argue instead that it often just drives up prices by promoting gentrification. 

In a recent report, only 30 to 40 percent of those polled in a national survey of urban and suburban residents believed a 10 percent increase in housing production would result in lower home prices and rents. Against that backdrop, however, a research team at New York University issued a report last month arguing that there is clear evidence that boosting supply is the key to lowering or moderating housing costs. 

“All the evidence shows that it does reduce housing costs,” said Vicki Been, director of the NYU Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy. The report by Been and two NYU colleagues attempts to look at all the evidence available from studies of the question. 

“In sum,” they write, “significant new evidence shows that new construction in a variety of settings decreases, or slows increases in, rents, not only for the city as a whole, but generally also for apartments located close to the new construction.”
Continue reading the article at CommonWealth Beacon

From the paper referenced in the article the Abstract summarizes:
"Although “supply skeptics” claim that new housing supply does not slow growth in rents, we show that rigorous recent studies demonstrate that: 1) Increases in housing supply slow the growth in rents in the region; 2) In some circumstances, new construction also reduces rents or rent growth in the surrounding area; 3) The chains of moves sparked by new construction free up apartments that are then rented (or retained) by households across the income spectrum; 4) While new supply is associated with gentrification, it has not been shown to cause significant displacement of lower income households; and 5) Easing land use restrictions, at least on a broad scale and in ways that change binding constraints on development, generally leads to more new housing over time, but only a fraction of the new capacity created because many other factors constrain the pace of new development."

The Taj Estates apartments on East Central street
The Taj Estates apartments on East Central street

Saturday, November 11, 2023

Amy Dain published her exclusionary zoning research (video)

Amy Dain (@amydain) posted at 4:25 PM on Thu, Nov 09, 2023:
In case you missed it, here is the presentation of my research on the history of exclusionary zoning in Boston's suburbs.  or


Report presentation from Amy Dain at the November 8, 2023 release event for "Exclusionary by Design: An Investigation of Zoning's Use as a Tool of Race, Class, and Family Exclusion in Boston's Suburbs, 1920s to Today," which was released as part of Boston Indicators’ Racial Wealth Equity Resource Center. Read the full report here:

Direct link to PDF report ->

Shared from Twitter ->

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

The Guardian: "Doubts about whether heat pumps work well in subzero conditions shown to be unfounded, say researchers"

"Heat pumps are more than twice as efficient as fossil fuel heating systems in cold temperatures, research shows.

Even at temperatures approaching -30C, heat pumps outperform oil and gas heating systems, according to the research from Oxford University and the Regulatory Assistance Project thinktank.

Heat pump uptake is rising in many countries as fossil fuel energy prices have soared following the invasion of Ukraine and as governments seek to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions.

But the UK has lagged far behind. France, for instance, installs 10 times as many heat pumps as the UK, where many people are unfamiliar with them and doubts about their efficacy have been widely publicised. Reports have spread that they do not work well in low temperatures despite their increasing use in Scandinavia and other cold climates."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Friday, January 6, 2023

Did you know the National Register of Historic Districts lists 2 in Franklin, MA? (video)

This narrated PowerPoint presentation reveals details on the two National Register Historic Districts located in Franklin, Massachusetts.  The narration is presented by Reference Librarian Vicki Earls.

The National Register of Historic Districts lists 2 in Franklin, MA (video)
The National Register of Historic Districts lists 2 in Franklin, MA (video)

Saturday, August 6, 2022

Who listens to podcasts vs. radio? Edison Research has the answer

Via Edison Research 

"We are regularly asked about the ‘median age’ of users to different audio platforms.  Fortunately, with Edison Research’s Share of Ear® study we can answer this question – at least for those age 13 and older.   

But there are two ways to solve for this, and the differences are interesting. 

The two ways are represented in the table below.  In the first data column you see the median age for the ‘cume’ or ‘reach’ of the 13+ audience – the point where half the listeners are older and half are younger.  You will note that Streaming Audio (essentially listening to pureplays like Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music, Amazon Music, and the like – but not listening to podcasts on any of these platforms) and Podcasts have the exact same median age when looked at this way.  The median listener to AM/FM Radio is 46 years old — 12 years older than the listener to streaming and podcasts. "

Continue reading the article online

Who listens to podcasts vs. radio?
Who listens to podcasts vs. radio?

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

"More children die by gunfire in a year than on-duty police officers and active military members"

Via Scientific American:

"The science is abundantly clear: More guns do not stop crime. Guns kill more children each year than auto accidents. More children die by gunfire in a year than on-duty police officers and active military members. Guns are a public health crisis, just like COVID, and in this, we are failing our children, over and over again.

In the U.S., we have existing infrastructure that we could easily emulate to make gun use safer: the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Created by Congress in 1970, this federal agency is tasked, among other things, with helping us drive a car safely. It gathers data on automobile deaths. It’s the agency that monitors and studies seat belt usage. While we track firearm-related deaths, no such safety-driven agency exists for gun use."

Continue reading the article online

"More children die by gunfire in a year than on-duty police officers and active military members"
"More children die by gunfire in a year than on-duty police officers and active military members"

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

“Oreology” — or the “study of the flow and fracture of sandwich cookies”

"But because researchers concluded that additional “questions remain to be explored if we are to fully understand cookie flow phenomena,” the device was conceived with the idea of “enabling widespread use.” The authors also published instructions for those curious about how to build their own.

“I hope people can use this information to improve their cookie eating when they twist open an Oreo, or when they dunk it in milk,” Owens told CNN. “I hope people can also take inspiration to investigate other puzzles in the kitchen in scientific ways.

“The best scientific research, even at MIT, is driven by curiosity to understand the world around us,” Owens said. “When someone sees something weird or unknown and takes the time to think, ‘I wonder why that happens like that?’”

Continue reading the article (subscription may be required)

MIT instructions on how to build your own tester

A variety of Oreo cookies.TONY CENICOLA/NYT
A variety of Oreo cookies.TONY CENICOLA/NYT

Monday, December 20, 2021

Register O'Donnell Promotes Registry of Deeds Internet Research

Register of Deeds William P. O'Donnell again reminds Norfolk County residents that you do not have to spend time and money driving to the Registry to view land records since they are available online via the Registry's internet-based document research system at

"Providing secure, accurate and accessible land record information, coupled with our on-site customer service center, is central to our work here at the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds," stated Register O'Donnell.

Elaborating on the Registry's research capabilities, O'Donnell noted, "Users are able to research land record information by multiple options, including the name of the property owner and property address. Members of the public can access our internet-based document research system for many endeavors such as determining property ownership, researching land titles, reviewing land plans (only plans which are recorded at the Registry) and finally to confirm that documents affecting a person's property, such as mortgage discharges, have been recorded."

Through technology and the Registry of Deeds modernization initiatives there are a tremendous amount of documents for viewing.  For example, our website allows people to look up and view over 13 million scanned images with some 41 million pages of land documents dating back to the Registry's beginnings in 1793.  Our Registry on-site IT Technology Department and Customer Service Center work to help anyone in need of internet research help find what they are looking for.

"A few years back, the Registry of Deeds completed a project which transcribed all our hand-written land documents that were recorded from 1793 to 1900. Prior to this effort, these hand-written documents were in many cases difficult to near impossible to read. With the transcription project completed, over 450,000 hand written documents were transcribed.  Both the handwritten and the transcribed text can be viewed from the comfort of your home or business via our website"

It should be noted that while the transcribers made a best effort to translate these hard to read documents, their accuracy is not guaranteed. "These transcribed documents," noted O'Donnell, "are not legal documents in and of itself, and are not considered binding on the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds or its employees. It is considered merely a convenient reference for Registry users. For documentation purposes, users should refer to the scanned image of the original document instead of the transcribed image."

The Registry's website also provides information on how to obtain certified copies of land documents. The Registry's certified copy charges are $1.00 per page plus an additional $1.00 per document for postage.

In conclusion, Register O'Donnell stated, "Our core mission here at the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds includes providing our users with first-class customer service each and every day. Norfolk County residents and businesses deserve a Registry of Deeds that provides them with access to land record information in an easily accessible and consumer friendly manner. The Registry website does that by bringing the Registry records into your homes and businesses."

To learn more about these and other Registry of Deeds events and initiatives like us at or follow us on and

The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds is located at 649 High Street in Dedham.  The Registry is a resource for homeowners, title examiners, mortgage lenders, municipalities and others with a need for secure, accurate, accessible land record information.  All land record research information can be found on the Registry's website  Residents in need of assistance can contact the Registry of Deeds Customer Service Center via telephone at (781) 461-6101, or email us at

Register O'Donnell Promotes Registry of Deeds Internet Research
Register O'Donnell Promotes Registry of Deeds Internet Research

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Boston Globe: "A local disinformation researcher breaks down what to know" and News Literacy Project provides guidance on what to do

"When does online disinformation cross a line from mostly innocuous to harmful to others? A Boston-based researcher who studies disinformation and misinformation sought to break it down in a chart that rocketed across the Internet last week, offering clarity to readers in an age when new conspiracy theories seem to pop up all the time.

The chart, which was retweeted more than 18,000 times, is organized to convey both an increasing detachment from reality and threat level, with the top grouping largely rooted in antisemitic views, its creator, Abbie Richards said. She emphasized that her design is “just one of many conspiracy theory frameworks.”

In the time since Richards first designed her framework for understanding conspiracies and conspiracy theories, monumental events like the 2020 presidential election had not yet taken place nor had the coronavirus pandemic become as deeply intertwined with daily life."
Continue reading the article online (subscription maybe required)

Conveniently, the News Literacy Project ( an infographic on how to deal with someone on this misinformation front:
"How can you speak up to someone who's shared misinformation without starting a showdown or turning them off? Check out our infographic ⤵️

Shared from Twitter:

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

"Could long COVID unlock clues to chronic fatigue and other poorly understood conditions?"

Via The Washington Post

"In early 2020, Alison Sbrana watched the coronavirus skip from China across continents with a sense of impending doom. Sbrana, plagued by fatigue and brain fog since being diagnosed with mononucleosis six years earlier, was convinced that the pernicious new virus would wreak similar havoc in some of those who contracted it.

Her intuition proved prescient. Some people who had suffered even mild cases of covid-19 began complaining of problems that Sbrana knew too well, including muscle pain and drop-dead exhaustion. Now, as millions of people nationwide are suffering from long-haul COVID, Sbrana and an army of patient advocates are cautiously hopeful that new research may unlock clues to other conditions that appear to crop up after infections, including myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome, known as ME/CFS.

“I think there is potential,” said Sbrana, who suffers from ME/CFS.

COVID long-haulers inherited many of the challenges that have faced people like Sbrana for years, including a lack of understanding of the mechanisms that triggered their disabilities — leaving some doctors to view their symptoms as largely psychosomatic."
Continue reading the article online. (Subscription maybe required)

Alison Sbrana, who struggles with fatigue and brain fog after having mono several years ago, sits on a screened-in patio at her home in Fort Collins, Colo., on Nov. 3. (Stephen Speranza/for The Washington Post)
Alison Sbrana, who struggles with fatigue and brain fog after having mono several years ago, sits on a screened-in patio at her home in Fort Collins, Colo., on Nov. 3. (Stephen Speranza/for The Washington Post)

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

“We should not even be thinking about closing the book or backing off, but rather ratcheting up the effort”

As shared earlier this week (Virus theory vs politics: "unlikely hard answers will be provided this week"), the report did lead to no hard conclusions and more research (in the scientific manner) remains to be done. The 90 day push accomplished much but could not reach a conclusion in the time allotted.

"President Biden on Tuesday received a classified report from the intelligence community that was inconclusive about the origins of the novel coronavirus, including whether the pathogen jumped from an animal to a human as part of a natural process, or escaped from a lab in central China, according to two U.S. officials familiar with the matter.

The intelligence community will seek within days to declassify elements of the report for potential public release, officials said.

The assessment is the result of a 90-day sprint after Biden tasked his intelligence agencies in May to produce a report “that could bring us closer to a definitive conclusion” on the origins of a virus that has killed more than 4 million people globally and wrecked national economies. But despite analyzing a raft of existing intelligence and searching for new clues, intelligence officials fell short of a consensus, said the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the report is not yet public."

Continue reading the article online (subscription maybe required)

New York Times coverage of this topic (subscription maybe required)

Monday, March 29, 2021

Next year juniors/seniors in high school - check out the CDC Museum Disease Detective Camp

"Do you know a rising high school junior or senior interested in public health? @CDCgov Disease Detective Camp is an incredible experience, and this year it is offering a new, web-based Public Health Academy for remote learners!"

"All students to who will be high-school juniors or seniors during the 2021-2022 school year and at least 16 years old on the first day of the camp session to which they are accepted.

As the CDC Museum remains closed due to COVID-19 precautions, we are not able to predict yet if in-person programming will be available the summer of 2021. If the museum is not reopened for in-person programming, the CDC Museum will offer only online courses. A final decision on in-person programming will be made May 3, 2021; all applicants will be notified of the decision by email."

Details and reg links:
Shared from Twitter:

Next year juniors/seniors in high school - check out the CDC Museum Disease Detective Camp
Next year juniors/seniors in high school - check out the CDC Museum Disease Detective Camp

Thursday, February 11, 2021

JAMA Insights: "Effectiveness of Mask Wearing to Control Community Spread of SARS-CoV-2"

Here's the data: 
"Prior to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the efficacy of community mask wearing to reduce the spread of respiratory infections was controversial because there were solid relevant data to support their use. During the pandemic, the scientific evidence has increased. Compelling data now demonstrate that community mask wearing is an effective nonpharmacologic intervention to reduce the spread of this infection, especially as source control to prevent spread from infected persons, but also as protection to reduce wearers’ exposure to infection.

COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets exhaled when infected people breathe, talk, cough, sneeze, or sing. Most of these droplets are smaller than 10 μm in diameter, often referred to as aerosols. The amount of small droplets and particles increases with the rate and force of airflow during exhalation (eg, shouting, vigorous exercise). Exposure is greater the closer a person is to the source of exhalations. Larger droplets fall out of the air rapidly, but small droplets and the dried particles formed from them (ie, droplet nuclei) can remain suspended in the air. In circumstances with poor ventilation, typically indoor enclosed spaces where an infected person is present for an extended period, the concentrations of these small droplets and particles can build sufficiently to transmit infection."'

Continue reading the Article in the Journal of  American Medicine Association (JAMA)

Effectiveness of Mask Wearing to Control Community Spread of SARS-CoV-2
Effectiveness of Mask Wearing to Control Community Spread of SARS-CoV-2

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

The Guardian: "How the 'shecession' will cause long-term harm for women in the US"

"For the first time in history, the US is in a “shecession” – an economic downturn where job and income losses are affecting women more than men. The term was coined by C Nicole Mason, president and chief executive of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), a thinktank.

Mason put forward the term to highlight the disproportionate impact of this economic downturn on women. More than 11 million women have lost their jobs and another 2.65 million have left the workforce since February, according to an IWPR analysis of labor department data.

Mason spoke to the Guardian recently about what needs to change to get an equitable economic recovery."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Friday, June 26, 2020

"Some 2,000 hidden infections were already spreading through major cities"

From the New York Times, comes a great read showing research on how much travel (without social distancing and other measures) spread the virus around  before the country acted on it. 

Note: this is best viewed on a laptop/desktop. The phone screen was too small to display the scrolling data.
"Invisible outbreaks sprang up everywhere. The United States ignored the warning signs. We analyzed travel patterns, hidden infections and genetic data to show how the epidemic spun out of control."

screen capture of NY Times article
screen capture of NY Times article

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Sleep Research Event features Dr. Judith Owens - Nov 19

"Join us as we welcome Dr. Judith Owens, Director of the Center for Pediatric Sleep Disorders at Boston Children's Hospital and Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medial School.
She will be sharing her expertise in the areas of sleep regulation, consequences of sleep deficiency, school start times perspectives, challenges for communities and lessons to be learned.
Please RSVP to this event so we can plan accordingly."

RSVP via the Facebook event

Sleep Research Event features Dr. Judith Owens - Nov 19
Sleep Research Event features Dr. Judith Owens - Nov 19

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

“Almost everyone has a story or a close call like this"

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"The first sexual experience for 1 in 16 U.S. women was forced or coerced intercourse in their early teens, encounters that for some may have had lasting health repercussions, a study suggests.

The experiences amount to rape, the authors say, although they relied on a national survey that didn’t use the word in asking women about forced sex.

Almost 7 percent of women surveyed said their first sexual intercourse experience was involuntary; it happened at age 15 on average and the man was often several years older.

Almost half of those women who said intercourse was involuntary said they were held down and slightly more than half of them said they were verbally pressured to have sex against their will."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

JAMA Research

JAMA Commentary 

Forced and Coerced Sexual Initiation in WomenNew Insights, Even More Questions
Forced and Coerced Sexual Initiation in Women New Insights, Even More Questions