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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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