How to respond to an allegation of sexual assault

How to respond to an allegation of sexual assault

This week’s New York Magazine surely has its most poignant cover ever, in a piece of remarkable journalism. With the caption: “the unwelcome sisterhood”, the cover shows black and white photographs of 35 of the 46 women whose sexual assault allegations against Bill Cosby span five decades.

Let's give feral cats their citizenship

Let's give feral cats their citizenship

There’s been a lot of talk about killing feral cats, with the government’s recently announced war on cats setting the goal of killing two million by 2020.

On The Conversation last week, Katherine Moseby and John Read explained several different ways to control feral cats, including baiting.

But we would like to offer a different idea: let’s embrace cats as part of Australia’s environment. We could even rename them “Australian wildcats”. Let us explain.

Residential tourism increased earthquake risk, says sociologist

Residential tourism increased earthquake risk, says sociologist

Antonio Aledo, Professor of Sociology at the University of Alicante, warns that "because of real estate speculation and the management of public budgets based on income from the real estate business, seismic risk has been forgotten." Taking as reference the town of Torrevieja, where one of the biggest earthquakes in the province of Alicante took place in 1829 with more than 389 dead and 209 wounded, the professor has published an article on seismic risk in tourist destinations since "the technological solutions proposed in its Local Action Plan against earthquakes does not seem enough," he say

Trying to quit smoking? First strengthen self-control

The desire to quit smoking--often considered a requirement for enrolling in treatment programs--is not always necessary to reduce cigarette cravings, argues a review of addiction research published July 30 in Trends in Cognitive Sciences. Early evidence suggests that exercises aimed at increasing self-control, such as mindfulness meditation, can decrease the unconscious influences that motivate a person to smoke.

Cancer patients lose faith in healthcare system if referred late by GP

There are concerns in America about the ability of patients who are not wealthy, connected elites to get prompt medical care in an Obamacare future. In the past, the government was the great equalizer because they trumped insurance companies, but now the government is the insurance company and there is greater worry about have and have nots. Especially when it comes to prompt treatment.

The Lancet profiles scare stories from Hiroshima and Nagasaki to Fukushima

On the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, a three-part Series published in The Lancet looks at the enduring radiological and psychological impact of nuclear disasters, including the most recent accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan in 2011. The Series provides vital information for the public health planning of future disasters to protect the millions of people who live in areas surrounding the 437 nuclear power plants that are in operation worldwide.

Could a sugar tax help combat obesity?

Following the BMA's call for a 20% sugar tax to subsidise the cost of fruit and vegetables, experts in The BMJ this week debate whether a sugar tax could help combat obesity.

Sirpa Sarlio-Lähteenkorva, adviser at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health in Finland, says that a specific tax on sugar would reduce consumption. "Increasing evidence suggests that taxes on soft drinks, sugar, and snacks can change diets and improve health, especially in lower socioeconomic groups," she writes.

With racial segregation declining between neighborhoods, the search is on for new segregation

Recent research has shown that racial segregation in the U.S. is declining between neighborhoods, and sociologists have been scrambling to find new ways to see discrimination. They believe that have found it, in micro-segregation, like when gay people complain that straight people move into their neighborhoods, or when suburban communities are separate from other communities and think they are better because of things like schools.

Very early birth correlated to introversion, neuroticism, and risk aversion in adulthood

Babies born very premature or severely underweight are at heightened risk of becoming introverted, neurotic, and risk averse as adults, indicates research published online in the Archives of Disease in Childhood (Fetal & Neonatal Edition).

This personality profile may help to explain the higher rates of career and relationship difficulties experienced by this group as adults, suggest the researchers.

Personality disorders drive psychiatric patients to euthanasia

Depression and personality disorders are the most common diagnoses among Belgian psychiatric patients requesting help to die, on the grounds of unbearable suffering, finds research published in the online journal BMJ Open.

Drugs, given either by mouth or administered intravenously, are used to perform euthanasia in Belgium, where the practice has been legal since 2002.

The researchers wanted to find out if there were any discernible patterns in requests for euthanasia among mentally ill patients in Belgium in a bid to inform recommendations for future research.