Research Picks Extra – August 2017

Birth rights

In many places, people conceived with artificial reproductive technology have a right to know their origins in terms of genetic and biological parents. In instances where someone other than a person who will take care of the child has been involved either as a surrogate mother for the gestation or in providing genetic material, then there are issues not only of biology, genetics but biography to consider too. Ludovica Poli of the Department of Law, at the University of Turin, Italy, explores the legal foundations of the right to genetic and biographic origins under international law and envisages possible principles to be applied in balancing it with other competing interests.

Poli, L. (2017) ‘Artificial reproductive technologies and the right to the truth about genetic and biographic origins’, Int. J. Technology Policy and Law, Vol. 3, No. 1, pp.56–67.

Aircraft emissions

Air pollution in and around airports is a critical issue. But, determining the effects on the local environment and the people live and work there is a complex problem in which meteorology plays a confounding role in any attempt to model the situation with a view to reducing detrimental effects on the environment. Oleksandr Zaporozhets and Kateryna Synylo of the Institute of Environmental Safety, at the National Aviation University, in Kyiv, Ukraine, have reviewed the way in which aircraft emissions and pollutions are analysed and suggest that the most apposite models take into account fuel flow rates, operational periods of engines, the age of the engines and their maintenance as well as ambient temperatures.

Zaporozhets, O. and Synylo, K. (2017) ‘Operational conditions influence on aircraft engine emission and pollution inside the airport’, Int. J. Sustainable Aviation, Vol. 3, No. 1, pp.1–17.

Tourist crime

Rob Mawby of the Rural Security Research Group, at Harper Adams University, in Newport, UK, suggests that it has long been recognised that tourism generates crime. There is considerable evidence, he says, that many tourist resorts suffer higher than average crime rates and that tourists are disproportionately victimised. Moreover, some touristsare themselves the criminals, especially when it comes to public disorder problems. Tourism is thus a double-edged sword for any town or city: it brings money and other benefits but it boosts crime. However, research data is not available to give policymakers are clear perspective of the pros and cons and he offers a way to remedy this problem. “Only by collecting data in a more rigorous and systematic way can appropriate policies be developed and successfully applied, with the aim of reducing crime and disorder in tourist destinations and crime against tourists. This, in turn, will benefit visitors, local residents and the tourist industry,” he concludes.

Mawby, R.I. (2017) ‘Crime and tourism: what the available statistics do or do not tell us’, Int. J. Tourism Policy, Vol. 7, No. 2, pp.81–92.

Childhood sound perception

A novel musical toy described by scientists in Italy could be used to study sound perception and auditory preferences in young children. The mechanical-electronic device generates sounds depending on how a child plays with the toy and at the same time measures and assesses through sensors and software, exactly how they are responding to those sounds. The device might help musicologists investigate childhood perception of music, but equally could be used in language development studies.

Taffoni, F., Di Perna, L., Formica, D., Focaroli, V., Keller, F. and Di Stefano, N. (2017) ‘A sensor-based approach to study sound perception in children’, Int. J. Computer Applications in Technology, Vol. 55, No. 3, pp.173–182.

Author: David Bradley

Award-winning, freelance science writer based in Cambridge, England.