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‘Baby talk’ helps infants learn words, study finds

‘Baby talk’ helps infants learn words, study finds

Science
Dec. 10 (UPI) -- Speaking "baby talk" to infants not only helps parents and caregivers connect with the young ones in their charge, but it may also help babies learn to make words, a study published Friday by the journal Speech, Language and Hearing found. Mimicking the sound of a smaller vocal tract clues babies into how words should sound coming out of their own mouths, the researchers said. "It seems to stimulate motor production of speech, not just the perception of speech," study co-author Matthew Masapollo said in a press release. "It's not just goo-goo ga-ga," said Masapollo, an assistant professor of speech, language and hearing sciences at the University of Florida in Gainesville. The way adults instinctively speak to babies, using a higher pitch, slower speed and exaggerated pr...
X-ray tomography helps reveal how solid state batteries charge, discharge

X-ray tomography helps reveal how solid state batteries charge, discharge

Science
Jan. 28 (UPI) -- With the help of X-ray tomography, scientists have for the first time observed the evolution of materials inside solid state batteries during the charging and discharging processes. The breakthrough observations -- detailed Thursday in the journal Nature Materials -- could help researchers develop more efficient solid state battery materials. Advertisement For their study, researchers used a complicated imaging technology called operando synchrotron X-ray computed microtomography to observe changes in a battery's electrode material at the interface between lithium and solid-state electrolytes. The unprecedented images showed the charge-discharge process causes voids to form at the interface, causing loss of contact between the lithium and solid-state electrolytes and trig...
New fossil helps paleontologists decipher evolutionary history of caimans, alligators

New fossil helps paleontologists decipher evolutionary history of caimans, alligators

Science
Jan. 15 (UPI) -- Alligators and caimans are closely related, but their evolutionary history is complicated. And because the two groups look so similar, untangling their evolving relations across time and space has proven especially difficult for paleontologists. Advertisement Thankfully, a new fossil, described Friday in the journal PeerJ, has offered scientists insights into the history of Alligatoridae family, the group of crocodylians that includes alligators and caimans. The fossil, a partial skull, was originally unearthed in 2010 at a dig site in Far West Texas, a mountainous region of the Chihuahuan Desert. Far West Texas, or Trans-Pecos Texas, is home to what's known as the Devil's Graveyard Formation. It's a geologic formation preserving fossils from the latter half of the Eocen...
Dolphins defense helps Tua Tagovailoa win NFL debut

Dolphins defense helps Tua Tagovailoa win NFL debut

Sports
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla., Nov. 1 (UPI) -- Tua Tagovailoa bounced back from a big hit and an early turnover -- and was aided by a dominant Miami Dolphins defense -- en route to a win over the Los Angeles Rams in his first NFL start on Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium. Tagovailoa -- the No. 5 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft -- completed 12 of 22 pass attempts for 93 yards and a touchdown and did not throw an interception in the 28-17 win. Advertisement "I don't think I played to the standard of what this offense is capable of," Tagovailoa said after the game. "Thank God we've got a good defense." The Dolphins scored touchdowns on a fumble return and a punt return in the victory. The Rams out-gained the Dolphins 436 to 139 in total yards, but had four turnovers. "It takes a team effort," Dolphins ...
Mortgage boom helps Lloyds to third quarter profit

Mortgage boom helps Lloyds to third quarter profit

Business
Lloyds Banking Group has posted a better-than-expected third quarter profit as it reaps the benefits of a boom in demand for mortgages.The bank reported a pre-tax profit of just over £1bn for the period between July and September - almost twice what was expected by analysts. Britain's biggest domestic lender received its biggest quarterly increase in mortgage applications since 2008, arranging new lending of £3.5bn.The increase is mostly due to the busy housing market, as hundreds of thousands of people rush to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday on offer for some properties until the end of March.Housing website Zoopla said earlier this week that 418,000 sales across the UK - worth a total of £112bn - are in the pipeline but are yet to be completed. ...