Music beats beeps: Researchers find redesigned medical alarms can better alert staff and improve patient experience

Changing the tune of hospital medical devices could improve public health, according to researchers at McMaster University and Vanderbilt University.
“By simply changing the sounds in medical devices, we can improve the quality of healthcare delivery and even save lives,” said Michael Schutz, co-author and professor of music cognition and percussion at McMaster.

Noise from Urban Environments Affects the Color of Songbirds’ Beaks

A study examined the effects of anthropogenic noise on cognition, beak color, and growth in the zebra finch. Researchers first tested adult zebra finches on a battery of cognition assays while they were exposed to playbacks of urban noise versus birds tested without noise. Urban noises caused the birds to take longer to learn a novel foraging task and to learn an association-learning task. Urban noise exposure also resulted in treated males to develop less bright beak coloration, and females developed beaks with brighter orange coloration, respectively, than untreated birds. Findings suggest that urban noise exposure may affect morphological traits, such as beak color, which influence social interactions and mate choice.

Supersonic Travel, Without the Sonic Boom #ASA183

At the 183rd ASA Meeting, Gautam Shah will discuss plans to test a supersonic aircraft with technology to alter how supersonic shock waves behave and reduce sonic booms. NASA will conduct a series of flights over various communities across the U.S., and Shah and his team will measure the sound of the aircraft and conduct public surveys to understand the public response to different noise levels. By providing this information to regulatory agencies, the group hopes to inform an overland supersonic sound standard.

UNC Biological Education Doctoral Candidate Awarded $20,000 Award

Karina Sanchez, a Biological Education Ph.D. candidate at the University of Northern Colorado, has been awarded a $20,000 American Dissertation Fellowship award from the American Association of University Women (AAUW), an organization that promotes education and equity for women and girls. Her dissertation involves researching how noise and light pollution and landscape composition in urban settings affects American robins, specifically their bird song.

Pilot assistance system LNAS reduces noise in the approach path

During more than 90 approaches to Zurich Airport conducted under the leadership of the Swiss SkyLab Foundation, researchers from Empa and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) tested an assistance system that supports pilots via a display during quiet and, at the same time, fuel-efficient approaches. The results show a measurable reduction in noise emissions and fuel consumption. Now the system, developed by DLR, is to be made ready for production.