Many African higher education institutions are under tremendous pressure to produce innovative research to solve local problems. They are encouraged to produce their country’s next generation of innovators. Scholarly journals and the popular press call on these institutions to drive their nation’s development. Yet most of them are underfunded and tasked with enormous teaching loads. External donors and their priorities, rather than local demand or need, tend to drive institutions to mimic the work of the developed world. Evidence suggests that these approaches are not effective for deeper…
A team of scholars from Mainz University Medical Center and Goethe University Frankfurt used an experiment to create what they believe is a harmful effect on bees using neonicotinoids in field-relevant concentrations. The effect, they believe, is to reduce the concentration of acetylcholine, a signaling molecule relevant for the development of the honeybee larvae, in the royal jelly/larval food secreted by nurse bees. At higher doses, neonicotinoids also damaged the microchannels of the royal jelly gland in which acetylcholine is produced. Comparable to neonicotinoids, it stimulates the…
More kids in Germany are getting prescriptions for psychotropic drugs than ever before, according to the results of a new study. On the basis of nationwide statutory health insurance data, the authors analyzed prescribing rates and rates of new prescriptions, as well as the groups of doctors who issued the initial prescriptions for psychotropic drugs in 5 million children and adolescents. Herbal or homeopathic medicines were not included. The prevalence of psychotropic drug use rose from 19.6 per 1000 children and adolescents in 2004 to 27.1/1000 in 2012. Notable increases were seen for…
Imagine you’re sitting at an important job interview. You’re suitably dressed and have taken the time to do your hair and apply some makeup. You’re smiling, answering questions, and attempting to appear competent, and, obviously, hireable. The panel, made up of men and women, aren’t giving anything away. What do you think might be influencing their perceptions of you? Though there is the old adage that one shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, makeup is one way in which they may be judging you. It’s not just about whether someone simply likes or dislikes your makeup – it can be change the…
The European Journal of Psychotraumatology has mandated sex and gender data for all papers before they will be published. Editor-in-Chief Miranda Olff and Shirin Heidari, a member of the European Association of Science Editors’ Gender Policy Committee, drafted the new guidelines they believe will have significant implications for the collective understanding of sex and gender-based differences in mental health research, and eventually impact treatment plans – both in terms of medication prescribed and psychotherapeutic approaches taken. Every article published in EJPT must now: disclose the…
American social psychologists and partisan science journalists talk so much about how they are superior to conservatives it is almost like they believe American conservatives are a separate species.  And they may be, because conservatives seem to be much happier than liberals. A new paper analyzed conservatives in Europe and found they are less polarized - but like everyone else life satisfaction depends on the overall political climate they live in and on social belonging. Conservatives and liberals alike want diversity, as long as they are in the overwhelming majority. Dr. Olga Stavrova…
Researchers have shown that circadian oscillations in the influx of immune cells into the damaged tissue play a crucial role in exacerbating the effects of an acute heart attack in the early morning hours. The extent of the inflammatory reaction triggered by an acute heart attack, and of the resulting damage to the heart muscle, varies depending on the time of day at which the infarct occurs. In a new study, researchers led by Sabine Steffens, Professor of Clinical Pathobiochemistry in the Institute for Cardiovascular Prevention (IPEK) at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich…
Previous research has suggested that certain contraceptive methods may increase women's susceptibility to HIV. A randomised trial of more than 7,800 African women found that a type of contraceptive injection (intramuscular depot medroxyprogesterone acetate - DMPA-IM) posed no substantially increased risk of HIV acquisition when compared with a copper intrauterine device (IUD) and a levonorgestrel (LNG) implant. The results of this first ever randomised trial in the area, published in The Lancet, counter 30 years of epidemiology research suggesting a potential association between some types…