Inflation and Interest Rates in the time of COVID and War
Faced with pandemic-related shortages and soaring shipping costs, central banks around the world grapple with the acceleration in inflation, and brace for further stagnation of supply chains and raised oil and gas prices caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the COVID lockdowns in China. (MORE)
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Chair AXA - BSE on Macroeconomic Risk
When great expectations meet financial uncertainty. Widespread crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and war, are huge shocks to economies and generate massive uncertainty. Together with the past 2 years of high inflation, this creates an off-the-charts “macroeconomic risk”—uncertainty that affects the aggregate behavior of an economy. (MORE)
Yes I Can: A Trial of Immersive Virtual Reality to Treat Social Avoidance
Waiting times to see a psychologist in Hong Kong’s public health system are long, and private consultations are expensive. New work from a joint initiative between the Chinese University of Hong Kong, AXA Hong Kong, and Oxford VR, supported by the AXA Research Fund, has revealed that virtual reality (VR) therapy could overcome this accessibility issue while also alleviating social avoidance, depression, and anxiety. (MORE)
Sand and Dust Storms and Their Diverse Impacts (Environmental, Economic, and Sanitary)
As the most abundant aerosol in the atmosphere, dust is pervasive and capable of traveling thousands of kilometers, as illustrated by the impressive swath of Saharan dust over Europe in March 2022. Nutrient-rich dust storms carry vital fertilizers across entire continents, but are also... (MORE)
COVID-19, war, and economic crisis
In this period of great uncertainty, decisions must still be made. How do agents and policymakers deal with uncertainty when pursuing individual goals and social objectives? Recognizing the increasing importance of linking theory and practice, the iRisk conference, held on 8 July 2022, provided... (MORE)
Gender equality: Challenges ahead. From She-cession to She-recovery
The Covid-19 crisis has crippled female-dominated sectors, causing a “she-cession” that poses additional challenges to gender equality. During a conference held on 7 March 2022, following a presentation of research insights from Italy, Spain, the UK, and the US, industry leaders and policymakers discussed the steps needed and initiatives implemented for a “she-recovery”. The event was organized within the framework of the AXA-Bocconi Research Lab on Gender Equality and was supported by AXA Italy and the AXA Research Fund... (MORE)
After three years of extreme drought, it became clear that Cape Town was not equipped to deal with an urban water crisis of this scale. The drought exposed failings in Cape Town’s water management, government infrastructure, resource equality, and resilience. Prof. Gina Ziervogel, AXA Research Fund Award in 2016, is an expert in climate adaptation, water governance, and social justice issues, linked to the African Climate and Development Initiative, University of Cape Town... (MORE)
After a few months spent indoors with only your family pod for company, you might be craving fresh air, birdsong, and the scent of a pine forest. A new theory called "the Lovebug Effect" suggests there may be a backseat driver in our daydreams of nature holidays and woodland strolls: the gut microbiome.
Humans have an innate tendency to seek out and spend time in natural environments, but we’re still not really sure why. A new paper published in the journal Science of The Total Environment suggests that our thirst for nature could be driven by microscopic life lurking in the deepest, darkest crevices of the gut.
“While it seems clear that we benefit from having the drive to spend time in nature, the exact reasons behind nature-seeking behavior haven’t been resolved,” senior author Martin Breed, a lecturer in biology at Flinders University, tells Mental Floss. (MORE)
The Interpersonal Behaviour Laboratory at the University of Lausanne use virtual reality to help people overcome the fear of public speaking. By terrifying them. Tripping over words, trembling hands you can’t conceal, the glossy eyes of an audience that didn’t laugh at your only joke. Whether it’s giving a speech at your brother’s wedding or defending your PhD thesis, public speaking is one of the most common phobias. So should we ‘face our fears’ or imagine everyone in their underwear? The most common treatment for phobias is exposure therapy, during which people must face their fears at increasing intensities whilst being taught how to manage stress. Virtual reality exposure training (VRET) does the same in immersive... (MORE)
Acute myeloid leukemia is the most common form of leukemia. With an estimated global incidence of 3–8.7 people per 100,000, it’s easy to understand the importance of identifying therapeutic targets and reliable diagnostic markers. In new work, Dr Sebastien Chateauvieux of Professor Marc Diederich’s lab found that PTTG1-1:1, a long non-coding RNA, affects survival of patients with acute myeloid leukemia via a feedback loop of the regulation of inflammation. Acute myeloid leukemia is a fast-growing cancer that starts in bone marrow before moving to the blood, and primarily develops from cells that are programmed to turn into white blood cells. There is still no... (MORE)
Every crater tells a story, every tilt a tale. Until recently, the 2° orbital tilt of Mars’s oldest moon, Deimos, hasn’t been considered particularly fascinating. Now, researchers claim that it points towards the existence of an ancient Martian moon-ring cycle. The slight orbital tilt of Mars’s oldest and farthest moon, Deimos, gives us clues that a moon-ring cycle of creation and destruction has already happened multiple times throughout history. This new research will be published in Astrophysical Journal Letters, and was presented today at the 236th meeting of the American Astronomical Society conference. In 2017, Hesselbrock and Minton published a paper outlinoutlining the cyclic Martian moon theory. They proposed that, over billions of years, generations of Martianmoons have been destroyed, forming Martian rings of dust and moonlets... (MORE)
Is it just a “spot” or precancerous lesion? Two physicians debate how best to treat actinic keratosis in a talk given at EADV last week. PARIS, In a joint, interactive session at the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV) Congress in Paris last week, two physicians discussed the pros and cons of treatment for actinic keratosis. David de Berker, M.D., of the University of Bristol, England, argued against treatment, while GÃ¼nther Hofbauer, M.D., of Allergology and Dermatology, Switzerland, proposed another argument: actinic keratosis is a precancerous growth that should be treated... (MORE)
The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association have updated treatment recommendations for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease. Among the recommendations: Stop recommending aspirin to prevent CVD. The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association have updated treatment recommendations for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease. The report was presented earlier this month at the American College of Cardiology annual meeting in New Orleans. In this slideshow, we highlight the take-home messages... (MORE)
Death, stroke and re-hospitalizations were reduced by 46 percent in low-risk patients with severe aortic stenosis who opted for a minimally invasive procedure over open heart surgery to repair the aortic valve.
NEW ORLEANS, Death, stroke and re-hospitalizations were reduced by 46 percent in low-risk patients with severe aortic stenosis who opted for a minimally invasive procedure to repair their damaged aortic valve, instead of removing it via open heart surgery. The procedure, called transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), was performed using a SAPIEN 3 valve which was inserted with a catheter next to the damaged valve. The findings were reported this week at the American College of Cardiology’s annual meeting in New Orleans. Martin Leon, M.D., of Columbia University Irving Medical Center, described the procedure which he suggested would be suitable for patients who are at high risk of surgery-associated... (MORE)
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