A coronavirus recession will mean more robots and fewer jobs


Automated delivery bots are already working in the small town of Milton Keynes, England.

All economic downturns increase automation. This one will be worse.

The novel coronavirus pandemic is certainly not good for the labor market. Recent weeks have seen unemployment claims surge to record levels as businesses and entire industries shutter in order to stop the spread of the Covid-19. As a result, the economy has plummeted, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 down more than 20 percent from their February highs.

While social distancing measures may be temporary, this economic downturn’s effect on the labor market will have long-lasting effects. In a joint post with his colleagues, Mark Muro, a senior fellow and policy director at the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program, recently wrote, “any coronavirus-related recession is likely to bring about a spike in labor-replacing automation.”

Economic downturns, he argues, bring about increased levels of automation, which is already an existential threat to many jobs. And a coronavirus recession, due to its breadth and scale, could cause even more automation.

Continue reading… “A coronavirus recession will mean more robots and fewer jobs”

Striking study reveals how dietary fats enter the brain and cause depression


A new study demonstrates how fatty acids can enter the brain and disrupt signaling pathways that lead to depression

An intriguing new study, led by scientists from the University of Glasgow, suggests there is a direct causative link between eating a high-fat diet and the development of depression. The new research demonstrates how certain dietary fats can enter the brain, disrupt specific signaling pathways in the hypothalamus, and subsequently induce signs of depression.

Scientists have long observed a strong correlation between obesity and depression and, while it may seem like the two are simply interlinked through obvious psychological associations, some studies are starting to suggest the connection may actually be underpinned by biological mechanisms.

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Income flowing to the top 1% is at a record high

The economic recovery belongs to the rich. It seemed ominous in 2007 when the share of national income flowing to America’s top 1% of earners reached 18.3%: the highest since just before the crash of 1929. But whereas the Depression kicked off a long era of even income growth the rich have done much better this time round.



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There is more depression among clergy than the general population: Study

Clergy members are at a higher risk of depression.

Using phone surveys and written questionnaires, researchers from the Clergy Health Initiative at Duke Divinity School decided to look into the mental health of members of the clergy.  They interviewed over 1,700 United Methodist pastors, and found that depression is about 1.6 times higher in that group compared to the general population (8.7% versus 5.5%).



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New blood test can screen teens for depression: Study

teen depression

Scientists showed that teenage depression could be diagnosed through a panel of 11 genetic markers.

One day a simple blood test may be all that’s needed to help parents figure out whether a child is suffering from clinical depression or normal teenage angst, according to a new study.

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Researchers predict next great depression by 2030


Physicist Graham Turner says “the world is on track for disaster.”

Researchers at Jay W. Forrester’s institute at MIT in a new study says that the world could suffer from “global economic collapse” and “precipitous population decline” if people continue to consume the world’s resources at the current pace.

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6 secondhand health hazards that may surprise you


One-quarter of people who share a bed with a snorer lose 49 minutes of sleep per night.

Unhealthy behaviors can spread.  And by now you know to avoid a roommate who smokes, lest her carcinogenic cloud take you down. But did you know you should avoid shacking up with a snorer. Recent research shows that a slew of health problems and their side effects can be transferred from one person to another, according to the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity–meaning that friends’ or relatives’ medical issues, or their disregard for their own well-being, can rub off on you!

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