The Conversation

New Way Of Monitoring Medicines Could Vastly Improve Lives Of People In Care Homes

pills-main

By Sue Jones and Mel Storey in The Conversation.   More than 50% of care home residents are being prescribed medicines that they do not need, or which do not properly address their health problems. Antipsychotics, for example, are often overused to treat the behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia. But this problem is not easy to remedy. The […]

Venice Is Flooded, But Other Cities Are In Much Greater Danger

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  By Richard Tol in The Conversation.   Venice has flooded. But while worry about the worst floods in a decade and warnings about the impacts of climate change and sea level risedominate most of the media coverage, there’s a more complex story to be told. In Venice, floods are a feature, not a bug. The city was founded by people fleeing […]

Mindfulness Meditation: Ten Minutes A Day Improves Cognitive Function

Meditation

  By Peter Malinowski in The Conversation.   Practising mindfulness meditation for ten minutes a day improves concentration and the ability to keep information active in one’s mind, a function known as “working memory”. The brain achieves this by becoming more efficient, literally requiring fewer brain resources to do these tasks. Many big claims have been made […]

Evolution Is Getting A Rethink After Scientists Take A Closer Look At Earth’s First Animals

Evolution

  By Jennifer Hoyal Cuthill in The Conversation.   When did animals originate? In research published in the journal Palaeontology, we show that this question is answered by Cambrian period fossils of a frond-like sea creature called Stromatoveris psygmoglena. The Ediacaran Period lasted from 635 to 542m years ago. This era is key to understanding animal origins because it […]

Why Private Alternatives To The NHS Are So Much More Expensive

NHS

  By Cam Donaldson in The Conversation.   The NHS has survived to the age of 70 and now costs the UK just over £120 billion per annum. Many advanced economies spend even more on healthcare per head of population. Why do fully paid-up capitalist nations persist with this Stalinist approach to healthcare? Instinctively we might cite humanitarian and […]

The IQ Test Wars: Why Screening For Intelligence Is Still So Controversial

IQ

  By Daphne Martschenko in The Conversation.   John, 12-years-old, is three times as old as his brother. How old will John be when he is twice as old as his brother? Two families go bowling. While they are bowling, they order a pizza for £12, six sodas for £1.25 each, and two large buckets of popcorn for £10.86 […]

Your exposure to Air Pollution Could Be Much Higher Than Your Neighbour’s – Here’s Why

Air Pollution

  By Johanna Buechler in The Conversation.   Each year, tens of thousands of people in the UK die early due to air pollution, which is linked to asthma, heart disease and lung cancer. The health risk presented by air pollution depends on how much dirty air we breathe over time. Pollution levels in UK cities regularly exceed the limits set by […]

Activated Charcoal Doesn’t Detox The Body – Four Reasons You Should Avoid It

Charcoal

  By Sophie Medlin in The Conversation.   On her Goop website, Gwyneth Paltrow claimed that charcoal lemonade was one of the “best juice cleansers”. That was in 2014. Today, charcoal products – from croissants to capsules – are everywhere. Even high street coffee chains have taken to selling charcoal “shots”. Some vendors of these products claim that […]

How We Discovered 840 Minor Planets Beyond Neptune – And What They Can Tell Us

Space

  By Michele Bannister in The Conversation.   Our solar system is a tiny but wonderfully familiar corner of the vast, dark universe – we have even been able to land spacecraft on our celestial neighbours. Yet its outer reaches are still remarkably unmapped. Now we have discovered 840 small worlds in the distant and hard-to-explore region beyond Neptune. […]

Why Are Britain’s Job Centres Disappearing ?

Job Centre Plus

  By Dan Flinn in The Conversation.   The jobcentre. It used to be a staple of the British high street, where the unemployed went to sign on and look for work. But Britain’s national network of jobcentres is currently undergoing radical change as the government implements multiple welfare reforms and cuts as part of its continued […]

Greenland: How Rapid Climate Change On World’s Largest Island Will Affect Us All

Greenland

  By Kathryn Adamson in The Conversation.   The largest wildfire ever recorded in Greenland was recently spotted close to the west coast town of Sisimiut, not far from Disko Island where I research retreating glaciers. The fire has captured public and scientific interest not just because its size and location came as a surprise, but also because it is […]

Stimulating The Pathway Connecting Body And Brain May Change Chronic Condition Patients’ Lives

Health and Wellbeing

  By Zoe Fisher and Andrew H Kemp in The Conversation.   Health and wellbeing is something of a buzz phrase these days. It’s become almost an ideal state: if one takes care of their health and wellbeing, then they will be “healthy”. But what exactly is health and wellbeing? The World Health Organization defines […]

Gene Therapies Are Proving Their Worth, But With Million Dollar Price Tags, It’s Not Clear Who Should Pay For Them

Genes

  By Sterghios Moschos in The Conversation.   If you were born with a rare form of blindness, there is now a treatment for you that may restore your eyesight. That’s because gene therapies became a clinical reality in 2017. Yet many people with rare diseases that could be treated in this way may never benefit from […]

How To Future-Proof The NHS – Copy The Bank Of England

NHS

    By Anne Marie Rafferty and Jonathan Grant in The Conversation.   Faced with an ageing population and funding pressures, fresh thinking is needed to brace the NHS for what lies ahead. Perhaps the answer to some of the impending problems in health policy can be solved with a relatively old idea adapted from the world of monetary […]

Cardigans And Anoraks Won’t Cut It: Why There Should Be More Fashion For Older Men

Dress

  By Ania Sadkowska and Katherine Townsend in The Conversation. Now we find ourselves nearly drawing pensions and thinking what? What now? Put a cardigan on and grey shoes? Is there an age when you think: ‘Oh, I can’t possibly be involved in fashion now? I must get some old man kit and plod about in misshapen anoraks.’ […]

Why The Annual Winter Health Crisis Could Be Solved In Homes, Not Hospitals

NHS

  By Richard Morris in The Conversation.   As winter continues, so does the usual soul searching about the state of the UK’s National Health Service (NHS). Images of ambulances backing up outside emergency departments and patients lying on trolleys in corridors haunt politicians and the public alike. Demand on the NHS, which is always […]

The Biological Reason Why It’s So Hard For Teenagers To Wake Up Early For School

Sleep

  By Paul Kelley in The Conversation.   In societies the world over, teenagers are blamed for staying up late, then struggling to wake up in the morning. While it’s true that plenty of teenagers (like many adults) do have bad bedtime habits, researchers have long since proven that this global problem has a biological cause. In […]

Why (ex)Hurricane Ophelia Took A Wrong Turn Towards Ireland And Britain – And Carried All That Dust

Hurricane

  By Alexander Roberts in The Conversation.   Hurricane Ophelia, by then downgraded to Storm Ophelia, reached Ireland on Monday October 16. At the time of writing there had already been three deaths and countless reports of severe damage to buildings and fallen trees. Unlike other severe storms to reach Ireland and Britain, such as […]

How Healthy Is The French Health System ?

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      Laurent Chambaud in The Conversation.   Among themselves the French can be highly critical of the care provided by their nation’s hospitals and doctors, yet they are always ready to defend the French health care system, considered to be one the world’s best. Indeed, in a World Health Organisation comparison of 191 different […]

Tom Petty Stood Up For Authentic Rock Music – And He Never Backed Down

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    By Adam Behr in The Conversation.   The most watched video on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s YouTube Channel – at over 46m views – is a cover version of the Beatles’ While My Guitar Gently Weeps. The performance features an all-star cast and a famous guitar solo by Prince. Channelling George Harrison’s […]

What It’s Like To Transition On To Universal Credit

Universal Credit

By Peter Dwyer and Sharon Wright in The Conversation.   Originally designed with the intention of “making work pay” by smoothing out transitions between paid work and welfare, Universal Credit is now being widely criticised for failing to deliver on its promises. Despite calls by a group of Conservative MPs for the next phase of the welfare […]

Why Onions Make Us Cry (And Why Some Don’t)

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    By Duane Mellor in The Conversation.   Mark Anthony in Shakespeare’s Cleopatra may have referred to “the tears that live in the onion”. But why do onions actually make us cry? And why do only some onions make us blub in this way when others, including related “allium” plants such as garlic, barely ever draw […]

Why People Believe In Conspiracy Theories – And How To Change Their Minds

Conspiracy

    By Mark Lorch in The Conversation.   I’m sitting on a train when a group of football fans streams on. Fresh from the game – their team has clearly won – they occupy the empty seats around me. One picks up a discarded newspaper and chuckles derisively as she reads about the latest […]

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