The marine research vessel Aranda at sea, January 2024. Photo: Ilkka Lastumäki / Finnish Environment Institute

The Baltic Sea is facing unprecedented environmental challenges, with the latest marine research indicating alarmingly high levels of phosphate, a situation that poses a threat to its ecological balance. The annual winter survey conducted by the research vessel Aranda has unveiled that the Baltic Sea, particularly the Gulf of Finland and the Archipelago Sea, is experiencing the highest phosphate levels recorded in the last three decades.

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In an age dominated by smartphones, where social interactions and services are increasingly digitized, a study from Aalto University sheds light on why some individuals are opting for more traditional mobile phones or customized devices with limited features, and the significant challenges they face as a result.

Published in the esteemed Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction journal, the research delves into the motivations and consequences for those who, despite the inconvenience and sometimes higher cost, choose to forgo smartphones.

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Finnish researchers have provided reassuring news that COVID-19 infection does not harm the long-lasting immunological memory brought about by vaccines. This discovery addresses widespread concerns that coronavirus might permanently weaken the immune defense system, similar to the way measles virus can impair immunological memory.

Published in peer-reviewed scientific journals, Pathogens and Immunity and Virus Research,

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Houses in Helsinki's Lauttasaari, with Ruoholahti in the background. LEHTIKUVA

In recent times, the Finnish real estate market has shown intriguing statistical trends, particularly in terms of pricing. Data indicates a discernible shift in the housing market, with prices for used apartments in major cities like Helsinki, Espoo, and Tampere experiencing a slight decrease, reflecting a market adjustment post-COVID-19. Conversely, in smaller towns and rural areas, property prices have remained relatively stable, suggesting a consistent demand in these regions.

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Beta-amyloid plaques and tau in the brain.

In a pioneering move, researchers at The Florey Institute have developed a novel method utilizing mRNA technology to directly target the tau protein, which plays a critical role in the development of Alzheimer's disease and other dementia-related conditions. This innovative approach marks the first time mRNA, widely recognized for its role in COVID-19 vaccines, has been applied to Alzheimer's disease, positioning The Florey as a leader in mRNA research.

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A woman takes asthma medication with an inhaler in Helsinki. The picture shows GSK's Ventoline discus. LEHTIKUVA

A recent study suggests that children with older siblings are less likely to need allergy and asthma medication, highlighting the potential protective effect of sibling exposure during the early years of life. This finding supports the microbiome hypothesis as a significant factor in preventing asthma and allergic conditions.

Conducted by the University of Helsinki and the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela), the research analyzed data from over half a million Finnish children born between 1995 and 2004.

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Neoen's Mutkalampi wind farm. LEHTIKUVA

Wind turbines, a crucial component of green energy transition, have been found to adversely affect various bird and mammal groups, causing them to avoid these areas. Research conducted by the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) involved a comprehensive review of 84 studies across 22 countries, analyzing the impact of wind turbines on these animals.

The studies revealed that 63% of bird species, 72% of bats, and 67% of terrestrial mammals displayed avoidance behavior, steering clear of wind turbine areas.

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LEHTIKUVA

A study by Aalto University has put Apple's privacy claims under scrutiny, revealing that essential applications on Apple devices collect data even without user activation, challenging the tech giant's "Privacy. That's Apple" slogan. For the first time, researchers have delved into the privacy settings of Apple's built-in applications, which are nearly impossible to avoid upon setting up a new device, whether it be a computer, tablet, or smartphone.

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Members of the European Parliament take part in a voting session during a plenary session at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, eastern France, on November 22 , 2023. LEHTIKUVA / AFP

A groundbreaking study by the ifo Institute has revealed that attractive politicians are often less engaged in parliamentary activities, choosing instead to pursue alternative opportunities that their looks afford them. According to ifo researcher Timo Wochner, the study highlights a clear trend: politicians deemed more attractive based on a beauty scale are notably more absent from parliament, earn significantly higher from external activities, and are more frequently featured on talk shows.

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A man working on a computer in an office in Helsinki. LEHTIKUVA

A recent study by the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health and Emlyon Business School has shed light on a common issue in the workplace: the coexistence of boredom and chronic exhaustion among employees. The study, published in the Journal of Vocational Behavior, challenges the usual perceptions regarding the causes of employee ill-being, emphasizing the importance of task relevance rather than just the quantity of work.

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A recent study conducted by the Child Psychiatry Research Center at the University of Turku has unveiled concerning findings about the vitamin D levels of pregnant immigrant women in Finland. Unlike previous assumptions, early pregnancy vitamin D levels in mothers with immigrant backgrounds, whose children have been diagnosed with disorders in learning, language, or motor skills, do not differ significantly from those of Finnish mothers.

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Intrapartum CTG Registration: the mother's heart rate (green curve) recorded together with the fetal heart rate (upper blue curve). Mikko Tarvonen

A comprehensive Finnish study has revealed that monitoring the mother's heart rate during childbirth, alongside the fetus's heart rate, significantly reduces the risk of brain damage in newborns. This finding challenges the widespread use of external fetal heart rate monitoring alone, which can sometimes miss signs of fetal distress due to oxygen deprivation if the mother's heart rate is not concurrently tracked. This oversight can lead to the fetus's distress condition remaining undetected, as the fetal heart rate might be confused with the mother's during monitoring.

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A positive covid-19 test result at home. LEHTIKUVA

A groundbreaking study conducted by the University of Eastern Finland, in collaboration with the University of Helsinki, has uncovered significant changes in gene transcription within the olfactory mucosal cells of individuals with Alzheimer's disease (AD) following SARS-CoV-2 infection. Published in the Journal of Neuroinflammation, this research sheds light on the potential for exacerbated COVID-19 outcomes in AD patients due to these cellular alterations.

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If both spouses were diagnosed with a neurological disorder, the risk of divorce was already 1.38 times higher.

A recent study from the University of Helsinki has unveiled that neurological disorders significantly elevate the risk of divorce among couples in the Nordic countries, with the highest risk observed in couples where both partners are diagnosed with such conditions. The research, which tracked over 2.8 million married individuals aged 30 to 64 from Finland, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark, found that 12% of these couples divorced within a ten-year follow-up period.

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Photo: Nubelson Fernandes

A groundbreaking study conducted by the Turku PET Centre has unveiled that music evokes similar emotions and physical sensations across different cultures around the world. This revelation underscores the universal language of music, transcending geographical and cultural boundaries.

The research highlights how music can be felt directly in the body, with catchy tunes prompting an irresistible urge to move in rhythm.

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eople stroll pass the election posters of the candidates for the Parliament elections in Espoo, Finland on March 16, 2023. Finns go to polls on 2nd April, 2023. LEHTIKUVA

A recent study conducted at Åbo Akademi in Finland has revealed that the support for the fundamental principles of democracy among younger generations, specifically Millennials and Zoomers, is as strong as in older generations. This finding challenges the prevailing assumption that younger people are less committed to democratic values.

Previous studies have reported conflicting results on this matter, with some suggesting a decline in democratic support among younger generations.

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