Finance Minister Riikka Purra at a plenary session of Parliament in Helsinki on May 22, 2024. LEHTIKUVA

A recent study from the University of Helsinki reveals how female political leaders Marine Le Pen and Riikka Purra utilize the themes of gender and perceived threats to bolster their roles within right-wing populist parties. The research indicates that framing issues like Islam and feminism as threats allows these leaders to advocate for both men's and women's rights, enhancing their appeal across a broad spectrum of supporters.

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79% have increased their cycling after acquiring a benefit bike. Photo: Vapaus

A recent Finnish study reveals that employees using bicycles obtained through workplace benefits log significantly more miles than the average cyclist in Finland. According to Vapaus, a service provider for employee benefit bicycles, these users average 1,217 kilometers annually compared to the national average of 234 kilometers.

The study, "State of the Benefit Bikes in Finland 2024," involved feedback from nearly 4,600 benefit bike users across the country, indicating a robust adoption of cycling boosted by employer support.

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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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A recent study reveals a curious phenomenon: people perform better on tasks when they believe artificial intelligence (AI) is assisting them, even when informed that the AI could degrade their performance. This "AI placebo effect" persists regardless of the system's purported reliability.

Researchers conducted an experiment involving two groups tasked with matching pairs of letters appearing at varying speeds on a screen.

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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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Tax office on Hämeentie in Helsinki. LEHTIKUVA

A recent doctoral thesis by Jori Grym sheds light on the moral motivations that drive people to either pay taxes or evade them, highlighting the influence of communal values and emerging financial technologies on these behaviors. Grym's research, which explores the deeper psychological reasons behind tax compliance and evasion, suggests that a person’s sense of community plays a crucial role in their willingness to contribute to public coffers, whereas adherence to rules strongly influences their judgment of tax evasion.

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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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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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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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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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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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