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Coral reefs inundated with billions of pieces of plastic

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More than 11 billion pieces of plastic are stuck in coral reefs across the Asia-Pacific region, according to an alarming new study. Tom Bawden The Scotsman The finding has raised concerns that the presence of so much plastic could considerably increase the risk of coral disease by blocking out light and depriving them of oxygen. The researchers estimate the increased chance of infection on the reefs affected could be as high as 89 per cent, in some… It is well ... Read More »

Why some of your old work commitments never seem to go away

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Study finds lingering effects of long-ended obligations EurekAlert! COLUMBUS, Ohio – You can quit work commitments if you want – but some of them never really leave you, new research suggests. In a study of 420 employees representing a wide variety of occupations and work settings at three organizations, researchers found that commitments that workers no longer had were still lingering in their minds. “It was clear to us that past commitments were still affecting employees,” said Howard Klein, lead ... Read More »

Nasal spray aimed at tackling gambling addiction to be trialled in Finland

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Researchers to test fast-working spray containing naloxone, a treatment usually given to opiate addicts that blocks production of dopamine The Guardian Could gambling addiction be treated with a nasal spray? A group of Finnish researchers are launching a study to find out. The fast-working spray contains naloxone, which is commonly used as an emergency treatment for overdoses of opiates such as heroin, opium and morphine. It blocks the production of dopamine, a neurotransmitter linked to pleasure with a central role ... Read More »

The negative side of positive thinking

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Study finds optimism may curb action Τwo Democratic fundraising emails were sent to supporters. HARVARDgazette Kennedy School Communications In one version, the candidate was leading a closely contested race; in the other, he was trailing. Which email got more clicks and coaxed more donations? Perhaps counterintuitively, the losing candidate’s message sparked the most action. The experiment was part of a study that explored how optimism can lead to inaction. Behavioral scientist Todd Rogers of the Harvard Kennedy School and colleagues conducted six related studies ... Read More »

Earth Will Start Becoming a Desert by 2050 If Global Warming Isn’t Stopped, Study Says

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More than 25 percent of the Earth will experience serious drought and desertification by the year 2050 if the attempts made by the Paris climate agreement to curb global warming are not met, according to a new study by the journal Nature Climate Change. Leah Thomas Newsweek The study, which was published on Monday, claims that if the Earth’s average yearly temperature is raised by 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) in the next 32 years, the areas of the world experiencing “aridification,” or ... Read More »

Neutron star merger left behind a black hole, study says

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A collapse of two neutron stars, which made headlines this year as the first-ever observation of gravitational waves confirmed by other signals, left behind a black hole, further study has revealed. RT The GW170817 event reported by scientists of LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) earlier this year is considered one of this year’s most significant events in astronomy. The gravitational waves detected by LIGO stations coincided with electromagnetic radiation of a wide spectrum, which confirmed that the event causing the ... Read More »

New study shows income redistribution from the poor to the rich

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Back in 1980, the bottom 50 percent of wage-earners in the United States earned about 21 percent of all income in the country – nearly twice as much as the share of income (11 percent) earned by the top 1 percent of Americans. Christopher Ingraham Washington Post Chicago Tribune But today, according to a massive new study on global inequality, those numbers have nearly reversed: the bottom 50 percent only take in 13 percent of the income pie, while the ... Read More »

Poorest men in Scotland die 10 years before richest, report finds

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Men living in Scotland’s poorest areas can expect to die 10 years before those living in more well-off places, official statistics have confirmed. CHRIS MCCALL The Scotsman The life expectancy gap between the 20 per cent most and least deprived areas of Scotland was 10.5 years for males and 7.8 years for females, a report by the National Records of Scotland found. The country has one of the lowest life expectancies in western Europe for both genders, at 77.1 years ... Read More »

Air pollution linked to poor sperm quality

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Study finds ‘strong association’ between high levels of fine particulate matter and abnormal sperm shape – but impact on wider fertility remains unclear Matthew Taylor The Guardian High levels of air pollution are associated with poor sperm quality and could be partly responsible for the sharp drop in male fertility, according to a new study. A team of scientists, led by researchers from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, studied the sperm of nearly 6,500 men and found a “strong ... Read More »

60% of organisations suffer ‘inefficient’ legal spend: Report

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New research has found that the majority of large organisations around the world allocate their legal spend inefficiently. Tom Lodewyke Lawyers Weekly Legal research firm Acritas produced the recent Patterns in Legal Spend Report – Part 2 using data from the 2016 Sharplegal Global Elite survey, which questioned over 2,000 senior in-house counsel around the world. Their responses revealed a delicate balance between internal and external legal spending that delivers maximum efficiency. According to the Acritas report, optimum efficiency is ... Read More »

Sexual violence and harassment going up, according to ABS survey

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Sexual violence against women is on the rise, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) By social affairs correspondent Norman Hermant and Catherine Hanrahan  ABC The latest Personal Safety Survey shows the proportion of women experiencing sexual violence in the past year increased from 1.2 per cent to 1.8 per cent since the last survey conducted in 2012. But very few sexual assaults are being reported to police. In 2012, an estimated 17 per cent of women reported their ... Read More »

Employee volunteerism? Only if you think your boss is ethical

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Study: Willingness to support corporate social responsibility initiatives contingent on ethical profile of your boss EurekAlert! A new study shows that people who perceive their employer as committed to environmental and community-based causes will, in turn, engage in green behavior and local volunteerism, with one caveat: their boss must display similarly ethical behavior. The forthcoming study in the Journal of Business Ethics by Kenneth De Roeck, assistant professor at the University of Vermont, and Omer Farooq of UAE University, shows ... Read More »

If Everyone Ate Beans Instead of Beef

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With one dietary change, the U.S. could almost meet greenhouse-gas emission goals. Ecoanxiety is an emerging condition. James Hamblin The Atlantic  Named in 2011, the American Psychological Association recently described it as the dread and helplessness that come with “watching the slow and seemingly irrevocable impacts of climate change unfold, and worrying about the future for oneself, children, and…It’s not a formal diagnosis. Anxiety is traditionally defined by an outsized stress response to a given stimulus. In this case, the ... Read More »

Why Australia’s small businesses are hiring migrants

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About 42 cents of every dollar on average spent at a small business is reinvested back into the local community, new research shows. Rashida Yosufzai SBS A new survey has found almost half of every dollar spent at a small business is reinvested back into the local community. The survey also shows more than a quarter of small business owners say foreign workers drive innovation within their business. Twenty six per cent of small business owners polled in the independent ... Read More »

Study shows voting does not reduce crime

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New Haven, Conn.– A new study casts doubt on a promising application of the timeworn theory — posited by thinkers such as Rousseau, Alexander de Tocqueville, and John Stuart Mill — that political engagement, such as voting, fosters good citizens and makes people more likely to obey the law. EurekAlert! The study, published in the journal Political Behavior, confirms prior research that those who vote are much less likely to be convicted of crimes than non-voters, but it also shows ... Read More »

Study calls for less shame and secrecy around menstruation in global conflict areas

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A new study by researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and the International Rescue Committee (IRC) found that girls and women in emergency contexts have inadequate access to safe and private facilities and supplies for menstrual hygiene management (MHM), and are provided with insufficient guidance by response teams on the… EurekAlert! Moreover, many staff have a limited understanding of what an improved response should entail, and… The study, published in the journal Conflict and Health, is one ... Read More »