Over 500 million people interact daily with Facebook. Yet, whether Facebook use influences subjective well-being over time is unknown. We addressed this issue using experience-sampling, the most reliable method for measuring in-vivo behavior and psychological experience. We text-messaged people five times per day for two-weeks to examine how Facebook use influences the two components of subjective well-being: how people feel moment-to-moment and how satisfied they are with their lives. Our results indicate that Facebook use predicts negative shifts on both of these variables over time. The more people used Facebook at one time point, the worse they felt the next time we text-messaged them; the more they used Facebook over two-weeks, the more their life satisfaction levels declined over time. Interacting with other people “directly” did not predict these negative outcomes. They were also not moderated by the size of people’s Facebook networks, their perceived supportiveness, motivation for using Facebook, gender, loneliness, self-esteem, or depression. On the surface, Facebook provides an invaluable resource for fulfilling the basic human need for social connection. Rather than enhancing well-being, however, these findings suggest that Facebook may undermine it.
Genomics is a Big Data science and is going to get much bigger, very soon, but it is not known whether the needs of genomics will exceed other Big Data domains. Projecting to the year 2025, we compared genomics with three other major generators of Big Data: astronomy, YouTube, and Twitter. Our estimates show that genomics is a “four-headed beast”-it is either on par with or the most demanding of the domains analyzed here in terms of data acquisition, storage, distribution, and analysis. We discuss aspects of new technologies that will need to be developed to rise up and meet the computational challenges that genomics poses for the near future. Now is the time for concerted, community-wide planning for the “genomical” challenges of the next decade.
When we look at the rapid growth of scientific databases on the Internet in the past decade, we tend to take the accessibility and provenance of the data for granted. As we see a future of increased database integration, the licensing of the data may be a hurdle that hampers progress and usability. We have formulated four rules for licensing data for open drug discovery, which we propose as a starting point for consideration by databases and for their ultimate adoption. This work could also be extended to the computational models derived from such data. We suggest that scientists in the future will need to consider data licensing before they embark upon re-using such content in databases they construct themselves.
Alcohol use patterns that are hazardous for one’s health is prevalent among DWI (driving while intoxicated) offenders and is a key predictor of recidivism. The aim of this program evaluation was to determine the feasibility and usability of implementing a computer-assisted screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment (SBIRT) program for DWI offenders to enable the identification of those in need of treatment services soon after arrest. Our treatment program consisted of a web-based, self-guided screening tool for assessing alcohol use patterns and generating a personalized feedback report that is then used to deliver a brief motivational intervention and if needed, a referral to treatment.
Temporal baselines are needed for biodiversity, in order for the change in biodiversity to be measured over time, the targets for biodiversity conservation to be defined and conservation progress to be evaluated. Limited biodiversity information is widely recognized as a major barrier for identifying temporal baselines, although a comprehensive quantitative assessment of this is lacking. Here, we report on the temporal baselines that could be drawn from biodiversity monitoring schemes in Europe and compare those with the rise of important anthropogenic pressures. Most biodiversity monitoring schemes were initiated late in the 20(th) century, well after anthropogenic pressures had already reached half of their current magnitude. Setting temporal baselines from biodiversity monitoring data would therefore underestimate the full range of impacts of major anthropogenic pressures. In addition, biases among taxa and organization levels provide a truncated picture of biodiversity over time. These limitations need to be explicitly acknowledged when designing management strategies and policies as they seriously constrain our ability to identify relevant conservation targets aimed at restoring or reversing biodiversity losses. We discuss the need for additional research efforts beyond standard biodiversity monitoring to reconstruct the impacts of major anthropogenic pressures and to identify meaningful temporal baselines for biodiversity.
Marni Sommer and colleagues reflect on priorities needed to guide global, national, and local action to address girls' menstrual hygiene management needs in schools.
BACKGROUND: Data for trends in contraceptive use and need are necessary to guide programme and policy decisions and to monitor progress towards Millennium Development Goal 5, which calls for universal access to contraceptive services. We therefore aimed to estimate trends in contraceptive use and unmet need in developing countries in 2003, 2008, and 2012 . METHODS: We obtained data from national surveys for married and unmarried women aged 15-49 years in regions and subregions of developing countries. We estimated trends in the numbers and proportions of women wanting to avoid pregnancy, according to whether they were using modern contraceptives, or had unmet need for modern methods (ie, using no methods or a traditional method). We used comparable data sources and methods for three reference years (2003, 2008, and 2012). National survey data were available for 81-98% of married women using and with unmet need for modern methods. FINDINGS: The number of women wanting to avoid pregnancy and therefore needing effective contraception increased substantially, from 716 million (54%) of 1321 million in 2003, to 827 million (57%) of 1448 million in 2008, to 867 million (57%) of 1520 million in 2012. Most of this increase (108 million) was attributable to population growth. Use of modern contraceptive methods also increased, and the overall proportion of women with unmet need for modern methods among those wanting to avoid pregnancy decreased from 29% (210 million) in 2003, to 26% (222 million) in 2012. However, unmet need for modern contraceptives was still very high in 2012, especially in sub-Saharan Africa (53 million [60%] of 89 million), south Asia (83 million [34%] of 246 million), and western Asia (14 million [50%] of 27 million). Moreover, a shift in the past decade away from sterilisation, the most effective method, towards injectable drugs and barrier methods, might have led to increases in unintended pregnancies in women using modern methods. INTERPRETATION: Achievement of the desired number and healthy timing of births has important benefits for women, families, and societies. To meet the unmet need for modern contraception, countries need to increase resources, improve access to contraceptive services and supplies, and provide high-quality services and large-scale public education interventions to reduce social barriers. Our findings confirm a substantial and unfinished agenda towards meeting of couples' reproductive needs. FUNDING: UK Department for International Development, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the UN Population Fund (UNFPA).
We explored health care differences across the lifespan comparing people with developmental disabilities to people without developmental disabilities. Health care disparities are inequities occurring during the provision of and in access to health care that are experienced by socially disadvantaged populations. We discovered significant disparities between persons with and without developmental disabilities in health status, quality, utilization, access, and unmet health care needs. Our results highlight the need to educate health care clinicians on the care of patients with developmental disabilities of all ages.
Effective point-of-use devices for providing safe drinking water are urgently needed to reduce the global burden of waterborne disease. Here we show that plant xylem from the sapwood of coniferous trees - a readily available, inexpensive, biodegradable, and disposable material - can remove bacteria from water by simple pressure-driven filtration. Approximately 3 cm(3) of sapwood can filter water at the rate of several liters per day, sufficient to meet the clean drinking water needs of one person. The results demonstrate the potential of plant xylem to address the need for pathogen-free drinking water in developing countries and resource-limited settings.
This article reviews current data on the use of cognition enhancers as study aids in the student population. It identifies gaps and uncertainties in the knowledge required to make a balanced assessment of the need for some form of regulation. The review highlights the weak evidence on the prevalence of use of such drugs, especially outside the US, and the ambiguous evidence for their efficacy in a healthy population. Risks are well documented for the commonly used drugs, but poorly appreciated by users. These include not only the side-effects of the drugs themselves, but risks associated with on-line purchase, which offers no guarantees of authenticity and which for some drugs is illegal. The case for urgent action to regulate use is often linked to the belief that new and more effective drugs are likely to appear in the near future. The evidence for this is weak. However, drugs are not the only possible route to neuroenhancement and action is needed to collect more data on the impact of existing drugs, as well as new technologies, in order to guide society in making a proportionate response to the issue. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled ‘Cognitive Enhancers’.