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April eNews

Welcome to the April edition of our eNews.

Take a look through the top 5 most read items from last month, along with our editors' choices and our stunning image of the month.

If you have any questions, please email the News Team

Top 5 March 2021

1. New Lego-like beams could revolutionise construction, published by Universitat Politècnica de València on 9/03/21

Researchers from the Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV) have come up with and patented a new system for manufacturing beams that aims to revolutionise the architecture, construction and civil engineering sectors. They are manufactured with 3D-printed plastic pieces that can be assembled as if they were pieces of Lego adding a high-performance layer of concrete in the most compressed area.

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2. Does ‘harsh parenting’ lead to smaller brains?, published by Université de Montréal on 19/03/21

A study shows that harsh parenting practices in childhood have long-term repercussions for children’s brain development.

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3. New book reveals Charles Darwin’s cultural impact in unprecedented detail, published by the National University of Singapore on 2/03/21

NUS historian of science Dr John van Wyhe has co-published a groundbreaking new book on Charles Darwin which shows for the first time the extent of his cultural impact over the past 160 years. A decade in the making, this volume demonstrates that Darwin is the most influential scientist who has ever lived, having the most species named after him and he is also the most translated scientist in history.

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4. Second Edition of the Classic Handbook of Satisfiability Published, published by IOS Press on 8/03/21

IOS Press is pleased to announce the publication of the second edition of the classic Handbook of Satisfiability. Originally published in 2009 and part of the Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence and Applications series, the handbook has been thoroughly updated and revised. It succeeds in capturing the full breadth and depth of satisfiability (SAT), bringing together significant progress and advances in automated solving.

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5. The human footprints of Ojo Guareña, published by CENIEH on 5/03/21

The CENIEH has participated in the study of the prints of bare feet found at the Sala y Galerías de las Huellas site in the Ojo Guareña Karst Complex (Burgos), which are the marks left in a soft floor sediment of an exploration by a small group of people between 4600 and 4200 years ago. Dating carried out in the access galleries to this site has documented intensive human traffic during the Neolithic, Mesolithic and Upper Paleolithic, confirming reiterated visits to this great cave complex throughout prehistory.

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Editors' choices

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused changes to people’s wellbeing around the world, published by University of Jyväskylä on 09/03/2021

According to an international study published in Frontiers in Psychology, people around the world have reported changes in their physical activity levels, wellbeing, and eating habits during the first stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.A decrease in physical activity during the pandemic was associated with poorer perceived physical and mental health. Reduced exercise was also associated with perceptions of weight gain and decreased sleep.

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Image Caption: There has been great variability in people's physical activity during COVID-19 pandemic. Photo: University of Jyväskylä

A pocket guide to Mars published by Europlanet Media Centre on 17/03/2021

A pocket atlas of Mars has been published that uses geographic techniques developed for terrestrial maps to reveal a wealth of information about the surface of the Red Planet, as well as its climate and cloud cover. The atlas is being presented this week at the 52nd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference.

The 84-page atlas is currently available in English, Hungarian and Czech, and will be available in a digital format later this year. The atlas, which has been developed for use in astronomy clubs and schools, was funded by the Europlanet Society through its Central European Hub.

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Image caption: Albedo Map from the Pocket Atlas of Mars 36. Credit: NASA/JPL/ASU/ESA/H. Hargitai.

New Contributors

We are very pleased to count among our new contributors:


Chemnitz University of Technology

Gregor Mendel Institute of Molecular Plant Biology (GMI)

IMDEA Software Institute


National Botanic Garden of Wales

South Ural State University (SUSU)

The Strategy Unit (NHS)


Image of the month

The colour blue in the world of flowers: International study explores its rarity published by University of Bayreuth on 26/03/2021

Blue is the favourite colour of more people in the world than any other, and the "blue flower" is considered a symbol of romantic longing. In nature, however, there are only a few plant species whose flowers contain blue colour pigments. An international research team led by Bayreuth ecologist Prof. Dr. Anke Jentsch has investigated the reasons for this. One important factor is the great chemical effort required to produce blue dyes, however differing colour perception of pollinators also plays a role. For bees, all the shades of blue assume a more conspicuous share in the colourfulness of flowers than they do for the human eye. The study was published in "Frontiers in Plant Science".

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Latest image of the month

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