Posts tagged with "Research"

Make a passionate pitch—if you want investors

The brains of investors are wired to pay closer attention to entrepreneurs who pitch with passion, according to new research.

One would expect that entrepreneurs who pitch their startup ideas with passion are more apt to entice investors. Now there’s scientific proof the two are connected: enthusiasm and financial backing. According to new research from Case Western Reserve University, the brains of potential investors are wired to pay closer attention to entrepreneurs who pitch with passion.

Researchers examined investors’ neural responses to entrepreneurs’ pitches, conducting a randomized experiment that explored the response of investors’ brains using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging

(fMRI)—finding a causal relationship between passion of the pitcher and interest from investors.

“No one has ever invested in a startup they ignored,” said Scott Shane, the A. Malachi Mixon III Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies in the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve.

“Founder passion is essential to establishing investor attention, and our study demonstrates measurable neural effects that offer a biological explanation for their tendency to react positively to enthusiasm and emotion of entrepreneurs,” said Shane, lead author of the paper, published in the Journal of Business Venturing. By showing such energy in pitching their business ideas, entrepreneurs can considerably increase neural engagement in potential investors—increasing the odds these financiers will support a new, untested venture by having strong, measurable effects on their decision-making.

“Most of time investors just say ‘no,’” said Shane. “In fact, the vast majority of entrepreneurs never receive a dime from external investors.

“Entrepreneurs should know: More engaged brains are more likely to meaningfully evaluate pitches,” he said. “We believe our data makes a strong argument that displays of passion trigger heightened engagement that, in turn, makes investors more likely to write a check.”

The experiment

Videos of pitches—identical in content but different in delivery—were randomly assigned to investors inside an fMRI machine. Depending on the passion-level of the pitch, investors’ brains reacted differently: Heightened displays of passion increased investor fixation on the stimulus (the pitch) to override distractions—and demonstrate a causal effect of displayed passion on investor interest.

· Investors randomly assigned a pitch with high founder passion resulted in informal investor interest increasing by 26%, relative to the same pitch delivered with low passion;

· Data from fMRIs showed investor neural responses to entrepreneurs’ high-passion pitches increased investor neural engagement by 39% over lower founder passion.

“More engaged brains are more likely to meaningfully evaluate pitches—and not play on their phones or think about lunch which should result in more favorable investor assessments,” said Shane.

While it’s possible that other mechanisms may be present in the brains of investors—such as inferring from passion that entrepreneurs may be more capable or competent—the experiment showed that passion is a key mechanism because it causes investors to pay attention, said Shane.

The practice of passion

The findings offer strong implications for the practice of entrepreneurship. “Pitching with enthusiasm and passion—these are skills that can be taught,” said Shane. “Flat, unenthusiastic pitches are the enemy of attracting investor attention and to succeeding in a competitive, cutthroat environment.”

Each year, hundreds of thousands of early-stage entrepreneurs, who often lack established track records, offer pitches—widely recognized as the gateway to investor funding—to financiers across the globe. The study focused on Informal investors—referred to as “family, friends and foolhardy strangers” by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor who account for most startup investments, investing $1 trillion globally between 2012-2015, according to the organization.

The study was co-authored by David Clingingsmith, an associate professor of economics at the Weatherhead School. Will Drover of the University of Oklahoma, and Moran Cerf of Northwestern University also co-authored the paper.

Stem Cell Relief

Clinical trial shows promise of stem cells in offering safe, effective relief from arthritic knees

Stem cells collected from the patient’s own bone marrow holds great interest as a potential therapy for osteoarthritis of the knee (KOA) because of their ability to regenerate the damaged cartilage. The results were released today in STEM CELLS Translational Medicine (SCTM).

KOA is a common, debilitating disease of the aging population in which the cartilage wears away, resulting in bone wearing upon bone and subsequently causing great pain. In its end stages, joint replacement is currently the recommended treatment. In the first clinical trial of its kind to take place in Canada, researchers used mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs), collected from the patient’s own bone marrow under local anesthesia, to treat KOA.

The study was conducted by a research team from the Arthritis Program at the Krembil Research Institute, University Health Network, Toronto, led by Sowmya Viswanathan, Ph.D., and Jaskarndip Chahal, M.D. “Our goal was to test for safety as well as to gain a better understanding of MSC dosing, mechanisms of action and donor selection,” Dr. Viswanathan said.

It involved 12 patients, aged 45 to 65, with moderate to severe KOA. They were divided into three groups, with each group receiving a different dose of MSCs. (Each patient was injected with his or her own cells.) The researchers then followed the patients for the next 12 months, using analytical methods that included imaging, biomarkers, molecular fingerprinting and the patient’s own assessment of how he or she felt.

At the end of the 12-month period, the team noted significant improvements in the patients’ pain levels and quality of life. The study also showed that the MSCs were safe at all the doses tested and that the higher the dose, the more effective the outcome.

Dr. Viswanathan said, “We also obtained novel insights into a potential anti-inflammatory mechanism of action of these cells in osteoarthritic knee joints. We noted that donor heterogeneity is an important factor, and our assembled panel of genes helps us identify cells which are potent in osteoarthritis. These are important findings which we hope to translate into a larger, powered clinical trial as part of our next steps.”  

“Furthermore,” added Dr. Chahal, “we have been able to show that through an anti-inflammatory mechanism of action, such patients have an improvement in pain, function and quality of life. This sets the stage for the future of cell-based therapy and trials in Canada.”

“This clinical pilot study advances the field of stem cell research for patients with arthritis, showing safety, and giving insights into potential therapy efficacy guidelines”, said Anthony Atala, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of STEM CELLS Translational Medicine and director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine. “We look forward to larger scale trial results.”

The full article, “Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Stromal Cells in Patients with Osteoarthritis Results in Overall Improvement in Pain and Symptoms and Reduces Synovial Inflammation,” can be accessed here.

About STEM CELLS Translational Medicine

STEM CELLS Translational Medicine (SCTM), co-published by AlphaMed Press and Wiley, is a monthly peer-reviewed publication dedicated to significantly advancing the clinical utilization of stem cell molecular and cellular biology. By bridging stem cell research and clinical trials, SCTM will help move applications of these critical investigations closer to accepted best practices. SCTM is the official journal partner of Regenerative Medicine Foundation.

About AlphaMed Press

Established in 1983, AlphaMed Press with offices in Durham, NC, San Francisco, CA, and Belfast, Northern Ireland, publishes two other internationally renowned peer-reviewed journals: STEM CELLS® , celebrating its 37th year, is the world’s first journal devoted to this fast paced field of research. The Oncologist® also a monthly peer-reviewed publication, entering its 24th year, is devoted to community and hospital-based oncologists and physicians entrusted with cancer patient care. All three journals are premier periodicals with globally recognized editorial boards dedicated to advancing knowledge and education in their focused disciplines.  

About Wiley

Wiley, a global company, helps people and organizations develop the skills and knowledge they need to succeed. Our online scientific, technical, medical and scholarly journals, combined with our digital learning, assessment and certification solutions, help universities, learned societies, businesses, governments and individuals increase the academic and professional impact of their work. For more than 200 years, we have delivered consistent performance to our stakeholders. The company’s website can be accessed here.

About Regenerative Medicine Foundation (RMF)

The non-profit Regenerative Medicine Foundation fosters strategic collaborations to accelerate the development of regenerative medicine to improve health and deliver cures. RMF pursues its mission by producing its flagship World Stem Cell Summit, honoring leaders through the Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Action Awards, and promoting educational initiatives.

T.I. Launches Tech Cypha

This February, Hip-Hop Entrepreneurs are making black history by advancing the technology industry. Clifford Harris Jr, known as “T.I.,” launches a new syndicated investment vehicle called Tech Cypha with business partner Jason Geter and Brandon “BL” Lewis; son of late great boxing promoter and entrepreneur Butch Lewis. Leveraging technologies such as Airbnb, Lyft and Lime through the eyes of hip-hop culture, the team also launched a Los Angeles-based entertainment startup called Culture Genesis. Together, the new collaborative investment strategy allows high-net-worth individuals to participate in trending tech startup deals.

The strategy evolved when Geter and Harris made their first investment 12 years ago into a company called Streetcred.com, a site that allowed fans to go online and share opinions about street culture. While that first deal didn’t work out, Geter and Harris maintained interest in the technology and startup scene to create opportunities for their networks and promote new businesses.

“We learned a lot,” says Harris. “Now, we know where our demographic is.”

For Geter, that demographic is taking advantage of Atlanta’s surging position as a cultural and technological mecca in the United States. Indeed, Atlanta-area startups raised roughly $1.15 billion in 2018, a record for the region, according to data from PitchBook and the National Venture Capital Association.

“Being in the city of Atlanta and with Georgia Tech producing so much talent, and coming from us being within the hip-hop culture, which is always influencing and promoting things, we saw an opportunity,” says Geter. “In the past, we were always looking through the glass window and looking at ways we can participate earlier. And that’s by coming together to pool our resources so we can invest more.”

Through informed mentorship programs and partnerships, Tech Cypha will include using influencers in various fields. Currently, the syndicate includes Lil Duval, Killer Mike, Tamika ‘Tiny’ Harris, Tai Green, Korey Roberson, Stephanie Shirley, and BJ Kerr among others. As an industry leader, Lewis is known for his talent in branding, marketing and partnership deals.

“Often times, we drive technology like social media and apps, but we are never apart of the ownership,” Lewis continues, “Tech Cypha is going to be an investment vehicle looking for promising, early and late-stage startups to invest capital in, assist with marketing and give branding directions. It’s our way of bridging the gap between the culture and technology.”

Rise in Obesity-Related Cancers

A new analysis, published in the Lancet Public Health, raises the alarm that the rates of obesity-related cancers are rising in younger and younger adults. In the new study, six of twelve types of obesity-related cancers have significantly increased between 1995-2014 and the risk of these cancers is increasing in each successive younger age group. These cancers include colorectal, pancreatic, gallbladder, kidney cancer and multiple myeloma (a type of blood cancer). These cancer types are particularly concerning because they are very serious and account for over 150,000 deaths in the U.S. every year.

“These numbers are worrying but not surprising; the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) recently sounded the alarm that having overweight and obesity cause at least 12 types of cancer. However, the younger and younger age bracket in which we see rates increasing is even more troubling and demands a response. We cannot just watch these rates go up and ignore the factors that we know are contributing to these increases,” says Dr. Nigel Brockton, Vice President of Research at AICR.

Disturbingly, over 70% of Americans have overweight or obesity according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And AICR maintains that cancer risk increases across each higher category of Body Mass Index (BMI) as an indicator of body fatness (Healthy = 18.5-24.9, Overweight = 25-29.9, and Obesity = 30 and above).

A mere five BMI points (kg/m2) separate the three basic (healthy, overweight, obese) BMI categories. It is important to emphasize that cancer risk is not limited to the extreme category of obesity only, the risk increases for those with overweight too. For example, compared to those having healthy BMI range overweight category face an increased liver cancer risk of 30% and those having obesity of 60%.

The recent AICR Energy Balance and Body Fatness Report presented strong evidence for factors that can reduce risk of having weight gain, overweight and obesity, including walking, aerobic physical activity, food containing fiber and a “Mediterranean-type” diets rich in fruits and vegetables that reduce the risk of weight gain, overweight and obesity. Conversely, sugar-sweetened drinks, fast foods and a “Western type” diet rich in meats and energy-dense proteins are strongly linked to increased weight gain, overweight and obesity.

The Report also points to the evidence that greater screen time is a cause of weight gain, overweight and obesity in children. This is particularly relevant in light of the Lancet study that discussed the onset of cancer at an early age, since children with overweight and obesity are likely to turn into young adults in a similar status. There is enormous opportunity to prevent future cancer cases, if changes can be made to stop and reverse the current trend of increasing overweight and obesity. In addition to helping individuals learn about healthy lifestyle choices, community and national policies play a crucial role in creating living spaces more conducive to physical activity and healthier food choices.

AICR is urging Congress and federal agencies to improve funding for cancer prevention research, ensure that federal nutrition and physical activity guidelines reflect the latest research regarding cancer risk, improve nutrition labeling and improve access to lifestyle interventions.

GENERATION OF AUTOMATION: IS YOUR JOB IN DANGER?

Humanity has made great strides in the technical world and, as of late, those strides have begun affecting the livelihood of people directly. Technology, (specifically A.I.) has seen vast advancements in recent years, so much so that for some industries the threat of redundancy is becoming ever more real.

According to original research from MoneySuperMarket, driverless vehicles are growing in capability and becoming more popular among firms that traditionally employ large numbers of drivers. Such a transition could trigger large-scale redundancies by as early as 2020. But, which jobs are in danger of being automated first?

Is Your Job At Risk?

To date in the UK, many motoring jobs have already fallen victim to automation – and as many as 1.2 million face a 67% or higher probability of their jobs being automated – representing up to £23.9 billion in annual salaries.

Among professional drivers, only driving instructors have little to fear, with the 29,000 employed in the UK having only a 13% chance of replacement with a machine. However, there are many other driving oriented jobs that could be in danger of being automated such as:
1. Food delivery drivers – The takeaway delivery industry is likely to see replacements across the board, with a 98% chance of automation.
2. Waste disposal workers – Waste collectors face a 93% likelihood of having their roles replaced by a machine. Volvo showcased a prototype bin lorry that uses drones to identify nearby bins, although this wouldn’t completely replace the need for human workers.
3. Taxi drivers – As with bus drivers, there have been moves to automate private transport services. Notably, Addison Lee has stated that the company intends to have automated vehicles deployed in London by 2021. In Tokyo, meanwhile, an autonomous taxi service began operation in August, transporting passengers along a set route.
Even though, driverless technology advances with each passing year, there are some jobs in emergency services, that aren’t at high risk of being fully automated. Services such as, ambulances, police and the fire department are at less risk of being fully replaced due to requiring additional skills.

Tom Flack, Editor-in-Chief at MoneySuperMarket, commented:

“Automation will bring massive changes across the whole of society and those who drive for a living may be among the first to feel its effects. Tests of driverless vehicles are well-advanced and are soon to be on the roads – with future positions in commercial usage already identified.
“If businesses see an opportunity to save money by making drivers redundant, they are likely to grab it – that’s the nature of competition. We can only hope that automation brings with it fresh employment opportunities for those whose existing roles disappear.”

Study: Dak Prescott Most Cost-Effective QB

  • New research from PlayUSA finds the players who give more bang for their buck.

  • Salary to performance ratio finds Dallas Cowboys’ QB Dak Prescott to be the most cost-effective QB, with a cost of $28,902 per touchdown.

  • Survey finds Tom Brady to be the most ‘overvalued’ player in the league, according to fans.

The astronomical salaries of sports stars across the world is constantly under the scrutiny of fans and the media, and none more so than the National Football League (NFL). The income that sports like these gather means that their players are inevitably paid huge sums for their service, but is this reflected by their performance?

PlayUSA have compared the key stats for every NFL player with their wages to find the most cost-effective players. From the amount Eli Manning is paid per touchdown pass to the price of every sack DeMarcus Lawrence makes for the Cowboys, this interactive tool shows it all. Our research has also compiled each teams statistics to determine how well the most and least frugal teams perform.

Quarterbacks

In our survey, Aaron Rodgers and Eli Manning were top when asked who the ‘unsung’ heroes of the league were, but who were last season’s most cost-efficient QBs?

  • Cost-Effective Cowboys – Dak Prescott threw for an impressive 22 touchdowns in an otherwise unimpressive season for the Cowboys. His low salary gave him a score of $28,902 per touchdown.
  • Unsung Rodgers? With a salary exceeding $20 million, Packers’ Aaron Rodgers isn’t as undervalued as fans think, costing over $1.2 million per touchdown.

Wide Receivers

This season, Odell Beckham has become the highest paid wide-receiver, but in an injury-plagued season for Beckham, which receiver gave teams the most value?

  • Runaway Robby – New York Jets receiver Robby Anderson’s 7 touchdowns at a cost of $77,619 per score makes him the most cost-effective wide-receiver in the league.
  • High score Hopkins – No player got close to the Texans’ scorecard in 2017, but with a salary of $18 million, his cost-to-performance ranks worse than his peers.
  • Frivolous Falcons – Often considered as the best wide-receiver in the league, Julio Jones made more yards than any player, but made a mere 3 touchdowns at a cost of $4.6 million per score.

Tight Ends

Fans often regard the likes of Rob Gronkowski and Greg Olsen as the league’s best tight-ends, but who offers the best return on investment?

  • Cash-cow Kroft – Bengals tight-end Tyler Kroft made 7 touchdowns from 42 of his receptions last season, and with a modest salary he ranks as the most cost-effective TE.
  • Million Dollar Man – Jimmy Graham’s 10 touchdowns last year for the Seahawks gave him a cost-per-score ratio of $1 million.

Running Backs

For the league’s running backs, we’ve compared salary to both touchdowns and yards per game to find the most economical throughout the league.

  • The Saint of New Orleans – With an impressive 13 touchdowns and 45.5 yards on average per game, Alvin Kamara comes out as the most cost efficient RB in the league.
  • The Price of Ivory – With only 2 touchdowns all year, Jaguars’ Chris Ivory ranks as the least cost-effective with a value of nearly $3 million.

Defensive

Linebackers (OLB/ILB)

Defense will almost always be considered as the true unsung heroes of the sport, but who’s cheap salary and high performance has gone under the radar?

  • Big Tackling Burgess – Cleveland Browns Linebackers James Burgess cost his team less than any other, with a cost-per-tackle score of $10,568 for the season.
  • Tackling Teammates – Fellow Browns’ star Chris Kirksey made a mammoth 86 tackles last season, but his $5 million salary means he’s not as cost-effective as his colleague.

Defensive Backs (Safety/Cornerbacks)

Much of the work of the defensive backs goes unseen, but without them many teams would be at a loss. These are the players that do their utmost to earn their keep:

  • Top scorer across the board – Kevin Byard of the Tennessee Titans outperforms everyone in the strong safety rankings, with the most interceptions (8) and the lowest cost per action score. $105,354.
  • Leading the Charge – Los Angeles Chargers free-safety Tre Boston made 56 tackles and 5 interceptions last year, making him one of the most cost-effective defensive players in the ranks.

Defensive Line

Defensive ends and tackles are typically some of the biggest and strongest men in the sport, but who among them pulls their weight in terms of performance.

  • Sack City – Jaguars defensive-end Yannick Ngakoue made 12 sacks and 24 tackles putting him in one of the top spots for return on investment in the defensive line.
  • Defensive Dallas – Cowboy’s defensive tackle David Irving brings home a comparatively low salary of $470,000, completing 7 sacks, 13 tackles and 1 forced fumble in the regular season.

Specialists

If any aspect of the game is truly overlooked, it’s the special teams. These positions can often win games, but at what cost?

  • Bolting in Baltimore – Ravens Kick-return Alex Collins averages 27.4 yards on every return which, when compared against his salary, comes at the price of $18,549 per average yard.

  • The Kansas Kicker – Harrison Butker boasts a strong field goal % with 38 made out of 42 and ranks as the most cost-effective kicker in our ranks.

The study found that 81% of fans believe that better performance warrants better pay, and while some teams seem to be stepping up to the mark, others are lagging behind. You can find how your favourite team or player score in the interactive tool here.

L’Oréal Paris Women Of Worth Honorees

Today L’Oréal Paris announced the 2018 Women of Worth Honorees, recognizing 10 extraordinary women across the United States who are selflessly making a difference in their communities through volunteerism. Now in its 13th year, Women of Worth is the signature philanthropic program inspired by the L’Oréal Paris tagline, “Because You’re Worth It,” and honors the intrinsic worth of everyday women inspiring others and creating positive change. Each with their own inspiring journey, the Women of Worth are united by a singular vision of giving back to their communities to champion a range of charitable causes. From advocating for youth literacy programs, empowering women victim to cyberbullying, to providing sustainable food solutions, these women are finding unique and innovative ways to tackle some of society’s most pressing issues for greater good.

This year’s 10 Honorees join a group of 130 extraordinary Women of Worth who have turned their vision into reality. As a result of L’Oréal Paris’ support over the past 13 years, Women of Worth have gone on to receive national recognition from The White House, United Nations, and were awarded Presidential service medals. Past Honorees impacted national and local legislation mandating free sepsis education in schools, private insurers to cover the costs of diagnostic assessments for autism and required food service businesses to recycle their waste oil. Through their collective power, Women of Worth have gone on to provide resources to more than 78,000 homeless women in need across the country, funded nearly 50 childhood cancer research grants and rescued thousands of adults and children living in abusive situations.

Selected by a distinguished panel of judges, the 2018 L’Oréal Paris Women of Worth Honorees were chosen from thousands of nominees for their unwavering commitment, drive and desire to better the lives of those around them.  In addition to receiving $10,000 to support her charitable cause, each 2018 L’Oréal Paris Women of Worth Honoree will be supported by national paid media, receive educational and training opportunities and a platform to tell her story on a national scale. Starting today, the public is invited to support the Women of Worth by voting for one woman to become this year’s National Honoree, who will receive an additional $25,000 to support her cause for a total of $35,000.

Visit WomenofWorth.com to learn about the 2018 Honorees’ stories and vote once per day through November 30, 2018 for the woman’s organization that you believe has significant impact.

Ways to vote include:

• Visit WomenofWorth.com and register with an e-mail address to vote once per day

• Re-tweet a mention about one of the Women of Worth made by L’Oréal Paris on Twitter

“This year’s Honorees beautifully exemplify the L’Oréal Paris mission and we look forward to continuing to champion our Women of Worth to make an impact in their communities and around the world,” said Tim Coolican, President, L’Oréal Paris. “We are inspired by these breathtaking Women of Worth whose courageous spirit and incredible strength has sparked worth within others and it is our privilege to share their causes and stories with the world,” added Karen T. Fondu, President Emeritus and Chairwoman of L’Oréal Paris Women of Worth.

MEET THE 2018 WOMEN OF WORTH HONOREES

• Shreya Mantha – Charlotte, N.C.; Founder,  Foundation For Girls, a youth-led social venture that endeavors to change the life trajectory for at-risk girls and youth through programs in financial wellness, leadership, digital literacy and health and well-being.

• Alisha Zhao – Portland, Ore.; Founder, Kids First Project, a non-profit that brings programs and services to youth who are homeless and living in shelters.

• Hannah Dehradunwala – New York, N.Y.: Founder of New York-based Transfernation, which provides a platform for companies and corporate hospitality groups to donate extra food through on-demand pickups. The excess food is then delivered to community-based organizations that feed hungry and food insecure New Yorkers.

• Genevieve Chase – Sun Valley, Idaho.; Founder, American Women Veterans, is focused on raising awareness of women’s contributions to the military and giving female veterans a place to connect and advocate on behalf of military women and veterans.

• Dr. Holly Jacobs – Coral Gables, Fla.; Founder, Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, a non-profit that serves thousands of victims of cyber sexual assault around the world and advocates for technological, social and legal innovation to fight the offense.

• Jennifer Maddox – Chicago, Ill.; Police Officer and Founder, Future Ties, a non-profit organization that helps young people and families on the South Side of Chicago become the best version of themselves by providing life skills training, mentoring, academic support, field trips, conflict resolution, resume building, community volunteerism and workshops.

• Laura Reiss – Boca Raton, Fla.; Founder, The Samaritan365 Foundation and Kindness Matters Movement. The Kindness Matters movement educates and inspires children about the importance of being grateful for who they are, showing kindness to themselves and others, and the many different ways that they can give back so they can make a positive impact within their own communities and the world.

• Christy Silva, – Thorndale, Pa.; Founder, Aidan’s Heart Foundation, a non-profit that is committed to providing awareness, education and support to create heart-safe communities for youth regarding the prevention and response to Sudden Cardiac Arrest.

• Betty Mohlenbrock – San Diego, Calif.; Founder, Reading Legacies, an organization committed to empowering children and youth in underserved, low-income areas and/or those who have incarcerated parents or family members through intergenerational shared-reading experiences.

• Carolyn Keller – Miami, Fla.; Founder, EBeauty Community, a non-profit that supports women undergoing treatment for cancer through a wig exchange program.

To learn more about this year’s Honorees, read their stories and vote for the 2018 Women of Worth National Honoree, visit WomenofWorth.com, and L’Oréal Twitter (www.twitter.com/lorealparisusa). Join and follow the conversation using the hashtag #WomenofWorth.

The WMC Report: #MeToo

A year following revelations in The New York Times about decades of allegations against movie producer Harvey Weinstein, the #MeToo movement has led to a significant change in the way media covers stories about sexual assault and harassment, a new report from the Women’s Media Center shows.

Overall, the number of articles on sexual assault is up over 30 percent at the end of the study, in August 2018, as compared with the first month the research looked at (before the revived momentum for #MeToo), May 2017. When articles about just #MeToo are added, the total coverage is up 52 percent, according to the report, Media and #MeToo, which was released today.

“The world has permanently changed,” said actor and Weinstein accuser Ashley Judd. “We are in a new era. It is messy, imperfect, and urgent.”

The study found that even stories beyond those about sexual abuse, assault, and harassment—beginning with the Times story in October 2017—have been amplified by the #MeToo movement. After October 2017, media began to more commonly write about issues that particularly pertain to women—such as reproductive health and the wage gap.

“We’ve come a long way since Anita Hill’s courageous testimony in 1991, and it is women who have led the way. It took the explosion of the #MeToo movement to shift and increase coverage of women, sexual assault, and harassment. There’s no going back,” said Maya Harris, co-chair, Women’s Media Center.

The Women’s Media Center research took a close look at the press coverage five months before and in the 10 months that followed the Weinstein revelations and the rise of #MeToo. The report looked at whose stories were covered, what outlets considered sexual assault and harassment important enough to report on, and whether or not the media industry—and American culture as a whole—has changed as a result of the movement.

“In an era in which women are insisting that their stories of sexualized violence be heard—and believed—the media has a critical role to play in helping shift our culture, by credibly presenting accusations, doing its own investigations, and explaining the context in which an alleged attack occurred,” said Lauren Wolfe, director of the WMC Women Under Siege Project and co-author of this report. “It is beyond time that the media treat women survivors with the respect they deserve.”

By breaking down how coverage of sexual assault in various arenas of American life waxed and waned (specifically, the report looked at the church (instances of clergy abuse within and beyond the Catholic Church), Hollywood, media, and politics), the Women’s Media Center was able to clarify which institutions took precedence in the press. By looking at the gender of bylines on sexual assault/#MeToo articles, it found a surprising shift in who is writing stories on sexual assault and harassment. Examining the words most used in headlines for stories on each institution the report focused on (and, separately, for Trump and Weinstein) gave the researchers an idea of how media framed these stories.

“This has been a year when the media and truth itself are under siege,” said Julie Burton, president of the Women’s Media Center. “With #MeToo exposing horrible individual and institutional practices, we see an opportunity for a new transparency and permanent changes aimed at greater equality and power for women.”

“Naming sexualized violence makes it visible and subject to prosecution,” said Gloria Steinem, co-founder of the Women’s Media Center. “In the past, what happened to men was political, but what happened to women was cultural. The first was public and could be changed, and the second was private, off limits, even sacred. By making clear that sexualized violence is political and public, it breaches that wall. It admits that sexualized violence can be changed.”

The Women’s Media Center Media and #MeToo research was produced by the Media Lab at the Women’s Media Center and conducted by Eliza Ennis, media analyst and data manager of the lab. Eliza Ennis is also the co-author of this report.

The Women’s Media Center analyzed the content of headlines, bylines, and articles on 15,228 pieces of news produced from May 1, 2017, through August 31, 2018. The survey consisted of 14 of the nation’s most widely circulated newspapers. They are: Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Newsday (N.Y.), Tampa Bay Times, The Arizona Republic, The Columbus Dispatch, The Denver Post, The Houston Chronicle, The Mercury News (Calif.), The New York Times, The Seattle Times, The Washington Post, and USA Today.

CBD: An Alternative to Prescription Drugs?

In the modern world, our first approach to treating an illness is to find the most suitable pharmaceutical drug, which we typically get either over-the-counter or on prescription. However, while these medicines are normally effective, they can unlock a whole new box of issues, including dependency and side effects.

Becoming reliant on medication can be mentally unsettling, and nasty side effects like nausea and dizziness typically require further treatment, leaving patients on a cocktail of pharmaceutical-grade drugs before they know it.

In the case of opioid painkillers, dependency may even be life-threatening, with the risk of overdose frighteningly high. In 2016, abuse of prescription opioid painkillers and recreational opiates accounted for more than 40,000 US lives, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

This cycle of illness, drugs, side effects and more drugs is wearing thin with many, and combined with the new wave of medical cannabis science, a clear divide has formed between those who favor prescription drugs, and those who’d rather take natural, plant-based medicines.

From a historical perspective, medicinal cannabis use makes perfect sense, with the herb being used for millennia across the world, but particularly in Africa and Asia.

Technological advancements have greatly developed our knowledge of cannabis, and scientists now know which compounds are responsible for various effects. For example, the psychoactive “high” mostly comes from a therapeutic cannabinoid called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). However, numerous other cannabinoids have medicinal properties, sans the hallucinogenic effects.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is the most studied and seemingly most useful non-intoxicating cannabinoid, and the market for CBD products has exploded in the 2010s, thanks in part to the relaxation of laws surrounding non-psychoactive hemp.

CBD over opioids
Opioid-based painkillers like Tramadol are now regularly prescribed for chronic pain, with stronger synthetic drugs such as fentanyl available on prescription for the most extreme discomfort. These drugs are designed to interact with opioid receptors in the opioid system. The pain relief from these drugs is substantial, however sustained use leads to increased tolerance, stronger doses and addiction.

However, CBD may be helpful for chronic patients, and also those who have ended up dependent on opioids, as the cannabinoid seems to exhibit anti-addiction properties by interfering with pleasure-reward mechanisms.

By elevating concentrations of anandamide in the body, CBD is promoting a neurotransmitter that works to ease both physical and mental pain. How CBD tackles addiction is less clear, but some evidence indicates that CBD is active in the opioid system.

Not all pain is the same – for example, some chronic pain is persistent and always at a similar intensity, whereas the worst effects of inflammatory and neuropathic pain tend to come from flare-ups.

For internal neuropathic pain, CBD vape oil and e-liquid treatment is ideal, because the relief comes very quickly. Meanwhile, lingering pain is economically and perhaps more efficiently managed by orally-consumed CBD products (e.g. capsules, edibles, coffee).

Experimenting with gels, creams and balms infused with cannabis or CBD is a novel method of coping with localized pain. These ensure that the cannabinoid receptors in the affected area are directly activated.

If you’re unsure where to start searching for the right CBD product and form for your pain or you simply can’t decide with the long list of options, you can click here to learn more.

CBD: the new anti-inflammatory drug?
Immune system response is still not well that understood, and this has made it difficult to control. Researchers have struggled to find ways of influencing inflammation, but studies into the endocannabinoid system have found that immune system response is accessible via cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2). Endocannabinoids look to signal a stoppage in inflammation, after a wound has fully healed or an infection is neutralized.

This discovery may be crucial, as the current leading class of anti-inflammatories (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs) are known to cause concerning side effects, including stomach ulcers.

The best CBD product for inflammation depends, unsurprisingly on the type of inflammation. Internal conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which could be exacerbated by endocannabinoid deficiency, respond well to both CBD vape juice and CBD edibles, or even tincture oils.

For osteoarthritis, a form of inflammation which affects the joints, CBD creams and other topicals are likely to produce better results.

CBD’s promise as an antidepressant
Cannabinoid research is providing genuine hope for antidepressant researchers, after decades of stagnation in medication development. The current situation with depression medicine is far from ideal, with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) slow to show benefits – for up to 40 percent of patients, these drugs may not even work at all. And then there are the side effects to contend with, which range from drowsiness to impotence. Depersonalization and derealization have also been anecdotally reported with SSRIs.

However, a glut of promising studies on CBD and the brain have found that the ECS could be important in correcting off-balance brain chemistry. The CB1 receptor modulates many variables, mood being one, and the bond between anandamide and this receptor is important for good mental wellbeing. Factors outside of the ECS also affect mood, but the potency of anandamide as an antidepressant makes the link with the CB1 receptor an essential one.

Some of the most exciting research on cannabinoids has been on their neuroprotective and neurogenesis properties. Studies on the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex and cannabinoid treatments, which are associated with depression, have demonstrated that CBD is able to repair these regions of the brain, by restoring neuronal circuitry and helping to form new brain cells.

A 2018 study on rats carried out in Brazil showed that CBD was effective from the first treatment and for up to seven days after the last dose at blocking synaptic proteins which damage neuronal circuitry in the prefrontal cortex. Meanwhile, CBD-initiated neurogenesis in the hippocampus helps to regrow the brains of adult rats with depression. These results have not yet been replicated in humans, but rats are used for such studies because their brains are similar to humans. General memories and our autobiographical memory are stored in the hippocampus.

The only CBD products that aren’t suitable for managing depression are topicals, as the cannabinoids remain in the skin, and do not reach the brain.

Pirelli Shines at Monterey Car Week

From August 18, Monterey County became America’s capital of automotive culture. The Monterey Car Week, which ends on August 26, has attracted thousands of enthusiasts, with Pirelli – a vital partner of the world’s most exclusive car manufacturers – playing a starring role.

The Italian firm is sponsor of ‘The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering’, which is one of the key events of the Californian car week, with more than 5000 visitors and 250 cars. Now celebrating its 16th anniversary, this event is synonymous with exclusivity. Starting from the venue: the Quail Lodge & Golf Club in Carmel, an oasis of green set against the backdrop of the imposing Santa Lucia mountains in California.

The brands present among the 250 acres of The Quail are just as impressive. Among them are Pagani, McLaren and Lamborghini – all of whom use Pirelli tires exclusively as original equipment – which have chosen The Quail as the venue to exhibit some of the most important models in their range.

Pirelli is also showcasing some of its most iconic products. First and foremost is the P Zero, the ultra high performance tire chosen by some of the world’s most powerful supercars, many of which are present at the Quail.

The Collezione range also takes pride of place: a family of tires developed by Pirelli for classic cars that combine modern technology with vintage looks. These use cutting edge compounds to offer maximum grip and water evacuation, in order to guarantee the highest standards of safety and dependability without compromising on looks.

As a result, Collezione tires are on many of the classic cars at The Quail, which is just as much about timeless classics as it is about modern cars. Among there are a number of examples of the Lamborghini Espada and Lamborghini Islero, which celebrate their 50th birthdays, not to mention the iconic Porsche 356, which first saw the light of day exactly 70 years ago.

It’s this blend of the past and future, as well as enthusiasm for cars and the finer things in life, which make The Quail one of the jewels in the crown of Monterey Car week. It’s a unique event, where car manufacturers share the space with six gourmet pavilions – including one dedicated to Italian food, which is also sponsored by Pirelli. It all adds up to an unforgettable and uniquely refined atmosphere.

Pirelli and Pagani 10 years of technical partnership at The Quail

The 2018 Quail also marked an important landmark: 10 years of technical partnership between Pirelli and Pagani. Back in 2008, Horacio Pagani first decided to entrust Pirelli with the task of making tires for his increasingly powerful and exclusive hypercars built in Modena.

It was an Italian marriage that got off the best possible start when, only a few months later, a Pagani Zonda equipped with P Zero, set a new record at the Nürburgring. Since then the partnership has gone from strength to strength. Every Pagani car now leaves the factory on made to measure Pirelli tires. This tailor-made approach, a cornerstone of Pirelli’s philosophy, has ensured the highest standards of performance and safety for Pagani since 2008. It’s a genuine partnership, with Pirelli’s engineers working hand in hand with their counterparts at Pagani throughout all the phases of research and development, coming up with compounds and processes that are specifically suited to the characteristics of each model.