|'Housekeepers' of the brain renew themselves more quickly than first thought
||Cells in the brain responsible for detecting and fixing minor damage renew themselves more quickly than previously thought, new research has shown.
|Glia, not neurons, are most affected by brain aging
||The difference between an old brain and a young brain isn't so much the number of neurons but the presence and function of supporting cells called glia. In a new article, researchers who examined postmortem brain samples from 480 individuals ranging in age from 16 to 106 found that the state of someone's glia is so consistent through the years that it can be used to predict someone's age.
|Can a Psychopath Kiss a Baby, and Mean It?
||Kissing a baby is often used as the supreme metaphor for showing you are an honest person. New research shows why it’s so important to us when judging someone’s true character.
|What's the Best Way to Judge a Psychopath's Empathy?
||We need the people we place our trust into to show they're empathic. New research shows why baby-kissing becomes such an important measure of psychopathy.
|Meryl Streep and the Power of Empathy at Work
||Meryl Streep’s emotional speech at the Golden Globes holds some lessons for business leaders and our office cultures.
|Why Trump’s Election May Be Especially Difficult for Many...
||I have heard from many who grew up with dysfunction, abuse, or narcissistic control how upset they feel by Donald Trump’s election. As one person told me, “It feels like a nightmare. An egomaniac who cares little for my welfare is taking over my country … ...
|Today I Love Seeing The Future
||Today I love seeing the future, though I know I can’t actually tell what will happen, so I love seeing the future I’m hoping for. I love that there are … ...
|What Happens When We Die
||I don’t know (just in case you were wondering). In fact, I have no idea what happens. However, intriguingly, I am not in as large of a majority here as I … ...
|Biological changes could underlie higher psychosis risk in immigrants
||A new study could explain how migrating to another country increases a person's risk of developing schizophrenia, by altering brain chemistry. Immigrants had higher levels of the brain chemical dopamine than non-immigrants in the study; abnormal dopamine levels are linked to symptoms of schizophrenia, say the researchers.
|3 Tips for Using Social Media to Market Your...
||The advent of social media brought about some unique challenges as well as opportunities for clinicians in private practice. It appears that more clinicians are starting to utilize social media platforms as a way to market their private practices. While social media is often not … ...
|Cocaine users make riskier decisions after losing a gamble
||People addicted to cocaine make riskier decisions than healthy people after losing a potential reward, according to a study. In the study, researchers show that this heightened sensitivity to loss displayed by the cocaine users correlated with an exaggerated decrease in a part of the brain that processes rewards.
|How Parents Can Help Their Children Without Psychiatric Meds
||Are parents being served by the current "mental disorder labeling and medicating" model? Join experts from around the world as we look at alternative models and helping strategies.
|No Longer Bending Over Backward To Please People
||The term co-dependence has been in the recovery vernacular for a long time. It originated in reference to the enabling family and friends of those with addictions. You know, the … ...
|Why 2016 Was Actually One of the Best Years on Record
||By conventional wisdom, 2016 has been a horrible year. Only someone living in a cave could have missed the flood of disheartening headlines. However, if 2016 continues the global trends of previous years, it may turn out to have been one of the best years for humanity as a whole.
Those of us who live in the world of poverty research and rigorous measurement have watched many global indicators improve consistently for the past few decades. Between 1990 and 2013 (the last year for which there is good data), the number of people living in extreme poverty dropped by more than half, from 1.85 billion to 770 million. As the University of Oxford’s Max Roser recently put it, the top headline every day for the past two decades should have been: “Number of people in extreme poverty fell by 130,000 since yesterday.” At the same time, child mortality has dropped by nearly half, while literacy, vaccinations, and the number of people living in democracy have all increased.
Emergencies and bad news tend to command our attention, so it’s easy to miss humanity’s remarkable ability to improve its own lot. At the research and policy nonprofit Innovations for Poverty Action, we work with academics and field researchers to test which programs help the poor. Here are four things we’ve learned in 2016.
First, give the poor cash. Studies in Kenya and elsewhere show that the simplest way to help is also quite effective. We also know that if we give cash, the poor won’t smoke or drink it away. In fact, a recent look at 19 studies across three continents shows that when the poor are given money, they are less likely to spend it on “temptation goods” such as alcohol and tobacco. More and more research shows that when the poor come into a windfall, they spend it on productive things—sending their children to school, fixing the roof that’s letting in the harsh weather, or investing in a business. Based on this evidence, a “cash revolution” is taking hold in the humanitarian world. Even refugees in places such as Lebanon and Turkey increasingly carry ATM cards provided by aid organizations, which are periodically loaded with cash to spend on whatever they need—including shoes, food, and rent.
Second, innovative health-care delivery can dramatically improve outcomes. Despite the recent drops in child mortality, an estimated 5.9 million children younger than five died in 2015, often due to conditions that would be easily treatable elsewhere, such as diarrhea. The nongovernmental organizations Living Goods and BRAC Uganda have been training women in Uganda to make a living by going door-to-door selling over-the-counter medications and health products. They function as franchisees in an “Avon lady”-style business. But these small-business owners also perform basic health checks for children to look for symptoms that warrant getting the child to a clinic. One randomized evaluation released this year concluded that taking this health care to people’s homes reduced child mortality (for those younger than five) by an astounding 27 percent and infant mortality (less than a year old) by 33 percent.
Third, access to mobile money may lift people out of poverty in large numbers. In many parts of the world, cellphone signals are reaching remote areas, and with that new forms of electronic services. In Kenya, the M-Pesa mobile money system, introduced in 2007, allows anybody with a mobile phone to transfer money through a text message. Research from this year shows that as M-Pesa became more available in a local area, households became less poor—particularly households run by women. The study estimates that 185,000 women changed professions from subsistence agriculture to business and retail and that 194,000 households were lifted out of extreme poverty.
Finally, mobile phone technologies are leapfrogging the reach of traditional telecom infrastructure, and text message reminders are proving to be effective at helping people follow through on things they want to do. One study found that they helped the poor save money. Another in Ghana aimed at combating drug resistance found that such reminders helped people to finish all of their antimalarial drugs. Researchers in Ghana also found that text message quizzes improved girls’ understanding of reproductive health, resulting in fewer reported pregnancies. In Kenya, another interactive text message system offering support for teachers helped reduce student dropouts by 50 percent.
This is not to say that poverty research is a continuous parade of celebratory findings. Many programs don’t work, but knowing what does work allows governments, investors, and aid organizations to move toward the more effective programs. Here’s to a 2017 that’s even better for humanity than 2016.
This article was originally published on Washington Post. Read the original article.
|Taylor Swift Psychoanalyzed by Artificial Intelligence
||Artificial Intelligence is deployed to analyze Taylor Swift's personality from her Twitter account. She seems like a good person to be friends with.
|Are Slang Terms Describing Mental Illness Always Offensive?...
||Recently, while talking to a friend, I called myself a “whack job.” It isn’t uncommon for me to use a variety of colorful terms to describe my mental illness or … ...
|Best of Our Blogs: January 10, 2017
||I’ve been talking a lot about self-care lately. I think it’s pivotal if we have any chance at succeeding in our New Year’s Resolutions. But what is self-care really and how do we start doing it for ourselves? I struggled with this personally. On the … ...
|Behind the Book ‘Curvy Yoga’: Q&A with Anna Guest-Jelley...
||What I love about the creative process is how much it mirrors so many other areas of our lives. After all, when we’re creating, we confront all sorts of challenges … ...
|When Loving or Even Tolerating Your Body Feels Impossible...
||When you’ve hated your body for years, the very idea that you can love it or appreciate it or even just tolerate it might seem ridiculous. It might feel overwhelming … ...
|5 Tips on How to Parent a Child with OCD
||Watching your children suffer from irrational beliefs and partaking in bizarre rituals is heartbreaking. The parenting handbook left out the chapter on how to parent children with OCD. How are … ...