The term literature refers to a wide and diverse range of work, including novels, poems, plays, and essays. While literary experts agree that all literature is composed of language, they often argue about which texts can or should be considered as a part of the literature that we value. In recent years, technological advances have led to the creation of innovative works that merge language with digital media, state-of-the-art technologies and computation itself. In a fascinating book called Grammalepsy, Professor John Cayley of Brown University introduces a new theory of aesthetic linguistic practice that could shed new light on digital literature or, more comprehensively, language art.
Rises in population and demographic changes can have significant effects on the development and governance of urban environments. Associate Professor Glen Searle of the University of Sydney recently published a paper that highlights the ways in which Sydney’s rapid population growth is supported by national immigration targets and the state government’s desire to keep Sydney ahead of other Australian cities as a global city. This population growth then drives important governance decisions at state and national levels, particularly relating to development. By prioritising rapid dwelling construction to accommodate Sydney’s rising population, but lacking adequate funding for new transport, the state government has had to reduce checks and balances needed for more democratic planning and sustainable development.
Italy was the first European country to experience a major outbreak of COVID-19. Across the country, intriguingly different patterns of mortality were seen across regions. Dr. Marzia Cremona from Université Laval, in collaboration with a global team of researchers from the Pennsylvania State University and the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, used novel statistical tools from the field of functional data analysis (FDA) to identify several important factors contributing to these differences. This work has critical implications for policymaking and also demonstrates the useful application of FDA techniques to epidemiological research.
Dr Pal Bela Szecsi | Changes in Maternal Vitamin D Levels Throughout Pregnancy and Across the Seasons
Maternal nutrition plays a major role in reducing pregnancy complications and improving infant and child health. Vitamin D is important during pregnancy as it helps the baby’s heart, bones, teeth and nervous system develop properly. Low levels of vitamin D in pregnancy have been linked to a number of problems and conditions. Dr Pal Bela Szecsi and his team at Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark have been investigating vitamin D concentrations throughout normal pregnancy and in relation to possible complications.
Energy is vital for life. It allows important functions to occur in living systems, from the molecular level to the scale of the whole organism. Dr Helen Greenwood Hansma, from the University of California in Santa Barbara, believes that the types of energy used in living cells can provide clues to help us understand the origins of life. In her recent research, she explores how mechanical energy could have driven the processes that gave rise to early life in the absence of chemical energy.
Herman and Chomsky’s propaganda model is among the most renowned academic contributions to the study of journalism. Although it offers valuable insight into news content and how the media industry operates, it mostly ignores an important step in the production of news: what happens in the newsroom. Dr Tabe Bergman, an Assistant Professor at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University and Deputy Head of the University’s Media and Communication department, recently assessed practices in the newsroom, with the aim to supplement the propaganda model.