Briefly informed: language assistants, Carbonhaus, Alzheimer’s, SLS

According to research by a British research team from the University of Cambridge, the proliferation of language assistants and their use can negatively affect children’s social and cognitive development. The scientific paper published in “Archives of Disease in Childhood” shows that using Amazon’s Alexa, Google Home and Apple’s Siri can have long-term effects on language, empathy, compassion and critical thinking. The researchers concede, however, that language assistants also have positive effects, such as the ability to obtain information quickly.

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The world’s first building made of carbon concrete is located on the campus of the TU Dresden. With the exception of the window-steel-glass construction, the “Cube” is built entirely of concrete with non-metallic reinforcement. “This is the building material of the future,” says the professor for solid construction at the TU Dresden and client, Manfred Curbach. The material has been researched in Saxony’s state capital for 28 years. Carbon concrete has reinforcement made of carbon fibers, which, in contrast to steel, is much lighter, more flexible to form and highly resilient and does not rust. The carbon, which is currently made from crude oil, could alternatively also be obtained from the lignin of the wood and, explains Curbach, “the latest technology – from the CO₂ in the air”.

Our weekday news podcast delivers the most important news of the day compressed to 2 minutes. Anyone who uses language assistants such as Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant can also hear or see the news there. Simply activate the skill with Alexa or say to Google Assistant: “Play heise Top”.

In a clinical study with almost 1,800 participants, the drug “Lecanemab” slowed down cognitive decline in early-stage Alzheimer’s by 27 percent compared to the control group that received a placebo drug. This was announced by the US biotechnology company Biogen and the Japanese pharmaceutical company Eisai. The drug aims to clear deposits in the blood vessels that result from the build-up of the protein amyloid, which is made in the brain. Based on the results, Eisai had already applied for accelerated approval in the USA.

NASA’s SLS rocket was returned to its hangar with the Orion spacecraft in time for Hurricane Ian to arrive. Only a core team should remain on site to watch the violent storm pass through, with the rest fleeing to safety. As soon as the storm has passed, it should be checked how the rocket is doing. NASA will then try the next launch attempt at the end of October at the earliest, but probably not until mid-November. The hurricane has already caused severe destruction in Cuba.


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