How Does Plastic Debris Make Its Way Into Ocean Garbage Patches?

Researchers in the U.S. and Germany decided to explore which pathways transport debris to the middle of the oceans, causing garbage patches, as well as the relative strengths of different subtropical gyres and how they influence long-term accumulation of debris. In Chaos, they report creating a model of the oceans’ surface dynamics from historical trajectories of surface buoys. Their model describes the probability of plastic debris being transported from one region to another.

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Temperature, Humidity, Wind Predict Second Wave of Pandemic

The “second wave” of the coronavirus pandemic has placed much blame on a lack of appropriate safety measures. However, due to the impacts of weather, research suggests two outbreaks per year are inevitable. Though face masks, travel restrictions, and social distancing guidelines help slow the number of new infections in the short term, the lack of climate effects incorporated into epidemiological models presents a glaring hole that can cause long-term effects. In Physics of Fluids, researchers discuss the impacts of these parameters.

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SARS-CoV-2 Transmission Model Offers Decision-Making Pathways for Safe School Opening

Can schools safely remain open or reopen during periods of significant community spread of COVID-19? According to predictions from a model of SARS-CoV-2 transmission in the school setting, yes – if appropriate precautions are followed both in school and in the community.

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App Developed at Rensselaer Can Help Guide COVID-19 Management on Any Campus

Leaders at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute relied on a powerful algorithm, COVID Back-to-School – now freely available to the public – to determine that twice-weekly testing of all students would be the optimal regimen for keeping the infection rate on campus safely below 1% for any two-week period.

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Final GW Election Model Project Using Twitter Activity Forecasts Sizable Biden Victory

The final PEORIA Project election forecast from the George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management (GSPM) predicts former Vice President Joe Biden will win the electoral vote count for the 2020 presidential election.

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Interactions Within Larger Social Groups Can Cause Tipping Points in Contagion Flow

Contagion processes, such as opinion formation or disease spread, can reach a tipping point, where the contagion either rapidly spreads or dies out. When modeling these processes, it is difficult to capture this complex transition. In the journal Chaos, researchers studied the parameters of these transitions by including three-person group interactions in a contagion model called the susceptible-infected-susceptible model. In this model, an infected person who recovers from an infection can be reinfected.

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Galaxy Simulations Could Help Reveal Origins of Milky Way

Rutgers astronomers have produced the most advanced galaxy simulations of their kind, which could help reveal the origins of the Milky Way and dozens of small neighboring dwarf galaxies. Their research also could aid the decades-old search for dark matter, which fills an estimated 27 percent of the universe. And the computer simulations of “ultra-faint” dwarf galaxies could help shed light on how the first stars formed in the universe.

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