Category - Featured Articles

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Causes of Poverty in Pakistan
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one in three women take anti-depressants pills
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Parents are more worried about the rising cost of their children’s education than the dangers of drugs and teenage pregnancy.
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Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY 4G
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The unsung sense: How smell rules your life
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Your amazing brain: Top 10 articles

Causes of Poverty in Pakistan

Causes of Poverty in Pakistan


Pakistan is a poor country. Its economy is facing fluctuations now a day. At the time of independence Pakistan has very low resources and capital, so the processes of progress were very slow. Unfortunately the politicians of Pakistan were all not well aware of modern global system and the progress processes and the needs of country. Due to bad policies today Pakistan is facing a lot of problems. The continuous failure of policies leads the people of country to miserable conditions. The major problem in the country is poverty which is becoming the cause of crime and social disorder.

It is difficult to point out all causes of poverty in Pakistan but the major causes of are given below:

Government Policies:


Government is not well aware of present conditions of country. The policies of government are base on the suggestions of officials which do not have awareness about the problems of a common man. After implementation the policies do not get effective result. After the failure of one policy, government does not consider its failure and announces another policy without studying the aftermaths of last one. Heavy taxes and unemployment crushes the people and they are forced to live below poverty line. The suitable medical facilities are not provided to people and they are forced to get treatment for private clinics which are too costly.

Corruption:


Another cause of poverty is corruption. There are two types of corruption. There is not morality and every one is trying to earn more and more by using fair and unfair means. Officials waste their time has low efficiency. Only one relationship that is exists in society is money. One has to pay a heavy cost to get his right. Law and order conditions are out of control and institutions are failed to provide justice to a common man. Justice can be bought by money only. But government is unable to control such type of things. In this whole scenario some corrupt people has been occupying the resources and common man is living in miserable condition

Division of Agricultural Land:

Pakistan is an agricultural country. Most of people are farmers by profession. One has land which is fulfilling the needs of his family but he has to divide the land into his children when they got young. After division the land is not sufficient to support a family. Now the families of his children are suffering and spending their lives below poverty line.

Materialism:


In our society social bonding are gradually becomes thinner and thinner. A race of material object has been started even no one tried to understand the problems of others. Every one is gradually changing from human to a bioman which only know about his needs and have no concept about the limitations of others. People are not ready to help each other. At last every one has lose his trust on others which effect our social and economic system and it is another cause of poverty.

Lack of Education:



The literacy rate of Pakistan is very low. Most of people do not have any concept about the modern earning sources. Most people are unable to adopt technology for their business needs, that’s why business do not meet international standards and results as decrease in revenue which lead the society to poor financial conditions.

Large Scale Import:


The import of Pakistan is greater than export. Big revenue is consumed in importing good every year, even raw material has to import for industry. If we decrease import and establish own supply chains from our country natural resources the people will have better opportunities to earn.

Law and Order:


There are lot of problems regarding law and order. Terrorist attacks create uncertainty in stock markets and people earning from stock are getting loss due to which the whole country faces uncertain increase in commodity prices.

Fluctuated Foreign investment::

Foreign investor comes to local markets. They invest millions of dollars in stock markets and stock market gets rise in index. Then the investor withdraws his money with profit and market suddenly collapses. The after math always be faced by poor people.

Privatization:


Government is unable to manage the departments and country has low reserve assets. So the meet the requirements some companies run by government are sold to foreign investors. The commodities or services provided by the companies are becoming costly. For example if government sold a gas plant then prices for gas in country rises.

Moral Culture:

The main reason for poverty is the social dishonesty and irresponsible behavior of people. Every one is trying to get rich by using unfair means. A shop keeper is ready to get whole money from the pocket of customer. People doing jobs are not performing their duties well. In society the man considered brave or respectful who do not pay taxes or continuously violate the laws. This irresponsible behavior continuously increases and produces loss for county.

M.Ihsan Sharif

An article by M.Ihsan Sharif

one in three women take anti-depressants pills

A survey has found that one in three womenare resorting to using anti- depressants at some point in their lives.

The staggering figure has revealed many outwardly strong mothers and daughters are battling mental illness.

One in four of those quizzed had been taking happy pills for at least 10 years.

Eighteen per cent of all users did not tell their family, a tenth did not confide in their partner.

The study found almost half of women currently taking anti-depressants had been using them for at least five years.

Fifty-seven per cent who had taken the medication were not offered any alternatives to drugswhen they were prescribed.

The findings raise worrying questions for the NHS, women’s group Platform 51 said. The organisation – formerly the YWCA – quizzed 2,000 women in England and Wales.

“These shocking figures reveal an escalating crisis in women’s use of anti-depressants,” the Sunquoted Policy chief Rebecca Gill, as saying.

“They do have a role to play but they are too readily prescribed as the first and only remedy,” Gill added.

Parents are more worried about the rising cost of their children’s education than the dangers of drugs and teenage pregnancy.

A study has shown that parents are more worried about the rising cost of their children’s education than the dangers of drugs and teenage pregnancy.

According to the poll of about 700 parents with teenagers, four out of 10 said their main concern was for their child’s financial future as they worry about tution fees and the pressure of student debt.

The London College of Accountancy’s research showed only 27 per cent of parents rate drugs as their number one concern for their children.

Teenage pregnancy and bullying polled 12 per cent and seven per cent. And only five per cent of those questioned admitted they worried about their teenagers’ safety on the Internet.

“It comes as no surprise that rising higher education costs are causing parents major concern,” the Daily Express quoted Professor Steve Lumby, who headed the research, as saying.

“The increasingly competitive job market means degrees are becoming more essential for career success, but the prospect of 9,000 pounds fees and additional debt incurred through living expenses are a major worry for both parents and students,

Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY 4G

The Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY 4G is a fusion ofgamming and communications in a single device, where it will combine a PlayStation – certified gaming device with the capabilities and portability of an Android smartphone.

For beginners, the Xperia PLAY 4G will come with dedicated gaming controls. The slide-out controller comes with a D-pad, dual analog touch joysticks, a couple a shoulder buttons and the quartet of iconicPlayStation symbol keys which comprise of the circle, X, square and triangle.

Moreover, a 1GHz CPU and Adreno 205 graphics processor will keep things pumping from within, plus with a front-facing VGA camera in addition to a 5 megapixel rear camera, Wi-Fi connectivity, and sevenXperial PLAY optimized games including, Dungeon Defenders Second Wave, Asphalt 6 Adrenaline, Star Battalion, Madden NFL 11, The Sims 3, Tower Bloxx: My City, and Crash Bandicoot.

The unsung sense: How smell rules your life

Smells shape our moods, behaviour and decisions, so why do they barely register in our conscious lives?

I TRY to forget about potential onlookers as I crawl around a central London park, blindfolded and on all fours. With a bit of luck, the casual passer-by might not notice the blindfold and think I’m just looking for a contact lens.

In fact, I’m putting my sense of smell to the test, and attempting to emulate the sensory skills of a sniffer dog. Just as a beagle can swiftly hunt down a pheasant using only its nasal organ, I am using mine to follow a 10-metre trail of cinnamon oil.

Such a challenge might sound doomed to failure. After all, dog noses are renowned for their sensitivity to smells, while human noses are poor by comparison. Yet that might be a misconception. According to a spate of recent studies, our noses are in fact exquisitely sensitive instruments that guide our everyday life to a surprising extent. Subtle smells can change your mood, behaviour and the choices you make, often without you even realising it. Our own scents, meanwhile, flag up emotional states such as fear or sadness to those around us. The big mystery is why we aren’t aware of our nasal activity for more of the time.

Noses have certainly never been at the forefront of sensory research, and were pushed aside until recently in favour of the seemingly more vital senses of vision and hearing. “There has been a lot of prejudice that people are not that influenced by olfactory stimuli, especially compared to other mammals,” says Lilianne Mujica-Parodi, who studies the neurobiology of human stress at Stony Brook University in New York.

One of the first people to assert the relative unimportance of human smelling was Pierre Paul Broca, an influential 19th-century anatomist. After comparing the proportion of the brain devoted to smell in different animals, he suggested that mammals can be classed into two broad groups: macrosmatic mammals, such as dogs, have a finely tuned sense of smell which they rely on to perceive the world, while we, along with other primates and the marine mammals, are microsmatic – we have a small and functionally redundant olfactory apparatus.

That idea seemed to fit with more recent studies in genetics, which found that the majority of mammals have genes coding for about 1000 different types of smell receptor. Most of these genes aren’t expressed in humans, giving our noses just 400 different types of receptor (see chart).

Yet these findings may have been misleading. Brain scans now show that more of the brain is devoted to smell processing than Broca’s anatomical studies would have suggested. And although we may have fewer types of receptor than other mammals, Charles Greer at Yale University has shown that the human nose and brain are unusually well connected, with each group of receptors linking to many more neural regions than is the case in other animals. That should give us a good ability to process incoming scents.

Once researchers began looking, they found the nose to be far more sensitive than its reputation suggested. One study, for example, found that we can detect certain chemicals diluted in water to less than one part per billion. That means that a person can detect just a few drops of a strong odorant like ethyl mercaptan in an Olympic-sized pool.

We are also exceptionally gifted at telling smells apart, even distinguishing between two molecules whose only difference is that their structures are mirror images of one another (Chemical Senses, vol 24, p 161). “That is fantastic sensitivity,” says George Dodd, a perfumer and researcher at the olfaction group of the University of Warwick, UK.

What’s more, it is becoming clear that the brain’s olfactory centres are intimately linked to its limbic system, which is involved in emotion, fear and memory. That suggests a link between smell and the way we think.

The power of smell will be no news to estate agents, who often advocate the smell of baking bread or brewing coffee to promote the sale of a house. But there are more subtle and surprising effects too. For instance, when Hendrick Schifferstein from Delft University of Technology and colleagues pumped the smell of orange, seawater or peppermint into a nightclub, the revellers partied harder – they danced more, rated their night as more enjoyable, and even thought the music was better – than when there was no added scent (Chemosensory Perception, vol 4, p 55). Rob Holland and colleagues at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands, meanwhile, have found that the hint of aroma wafting out of a hidden bucket of citrus-scented cleaner was enough to persuade students to clean up after themselves – even though the vast majority of them hadn’t actually registered the smell (Psychological Science, vol 16, p 689).

Other work has found that scent can influence our cognitive skills. A study this year by William Overman and colleagues at the University of North Carolina Wilmington found that when men were subjected to a novel smell – either good or bad – during a gambling task used to test decision-making skills, they performed significantly worse than normal. The researchers conclude the scent stimulated brain areas connected with emotion, making their decisions emotional rather than rational (Behavioral Brain Research, vol 218, p 64). Smells also seem to direct our visual attention, and they may play a key role in consolidating memories too (see “Blast from the past”).

Our sense of smell may even help us to pick up on the emotional state of those around us. This idea has been highly controversial, but work by Mujica-Parodi suggests we can sense another’s fear from their sweat. At the time, she was working on a way to assess a person’s vulnerability to stress, and needed a reliable way to scare her subjects, without socially loaded words or pictures that might mean different things to different people. That’s hard to do, says Mujica-Parodi: “You can’t mug somebody in a scanner.”

Freak out

The answer came from nature. Rats are known to be able to smell each other’s fear, leading them to “freak out” if placed in an empty cage in which another rat has just seen a predator. Mujica-Parodi figured humans might do the same thing. To test the idea, her team took sweat samples from people doing a skydive for the first time. When they presented the samples to unrelated subjects in an fMRI scanner, they saw activation of the amygdala – the brain area that normally lights up in studies of emotion. This did not happen when sweat samples came from the same skydivers pounding a treadmill.

Mujica-Parodi’s team next tested whether the smell of fear sweat affected people’s responses to various facial expressions – angry, ambiguous or neutral. Normally, we would pay more attention to angry faces, because they pose a threat, but after smelling the fear sweat, the participants gave all three types the same attention (Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, in press, DOI: 10.1093/scan/nsq097). “It forced the brain to pay attention to things that otherwise it wouldn’t consider worth its time,” Mujica-Parodi says.

The smell of fear may be just one of many olfactory signals emitted by the human body. Another study this year, by Yaara Yeshurun at the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot, Israel, and her team found that the imperceptible smell of women’s tears decreases sexual arousal in men (Science, vol 331, p 226). “It’s a way of giving power to females, to make men less attracted to them,” she says. The role of scent, or pheromones, in sexual attraction remains controversial, however.

The surprising thing about these studies is that few of the subjects were aware of the smells that they were facing, yet their behaviour was altered nevertheless. The question, then, is why we pay so little conscious attention to our noses unless we get a whiff of something truly pungent?

Lee Sela and Noam Sobel, also at the Weizmann Institute, blame our obliviousness on two factors. Firstly, they point out that our noses just aren’t equipped to locate the source of an odour. This makes the sense of smell fundamentally different to vision or hearing, which are built to pinpoint sights and sounds and turn them into a mental map. According to one leading theory of consciousness, we become aware of something when the brain’s “attentional spotlight” focuses on a single location, after which it picks out the fine details, like a familiar face, from the scene. With such a poor map of smells, the spotlight can’t shine on any particular part of the smellscape and make us aware of the details, say Sela and Sobel. It’s for this reason that we can only ever pick out around four smells from a complex mixture, they say.

The other reason centres on a phenomenon called change blindness, which was first found to influence our vision. In 1999, Kevin O’Regan from the Laboratory for the Psychology of Perception in Paris, France, and colleagues found that people can miss even large changes to a visual scene when those changes are accompanied by an interruption, such as a camera cutting to a different viewpoint in a film (Nature, vol 398, p 34). They argued that the cut provides a fleeting distraction which means the change goes unnoticed. Since then, change blindness has been demonstrated in hearing and in touch.

Sela and Sobel think that smell could be next on the list. They point out that our sniffs are full of gaps as we breathe in and out, which could make it difficult for us to notice new odours wafting around – even if we do react to them subconsciously (Experimental Brain Research, vol 205, p 13).

It’s an interesting idea, says O’Regan, but he’s not yet convinced. In particular, he is critical of the suggestion that sniffing more quickly would dissipate the effect. “Even if you were going to sniff very quickly you would still have a break between each sniff.” In visual change blindness, even the subtlest of cuts can mask large changes, he says.

There are other ways that we can improve our noses, though. “We all have the capacity to train our sense of smell,” says Dodd, “but you have to work at it.” Master perfumers, for instance, learn to recognise, name and imagine an extraordinary range of smells through years of training. This is accompanied by a significant reorganisation of the olfactory areas that helps them to process the scents more efficiently (Human Brain Mapping, in press, DOI: 10.1002/hbm.21207).

Jess Porter and colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley, have also been trying to train people’s noses. They persuaded 32 students to wear blindfolds and ear defenders, and get down on all fours to see whether they could sniff out a trail of chocolate oil.Intrigued, I wanted to try it for myself, which is how I ended up on all fours in a London park.

My first attempt didn’t go well – there seemed to be so many smells competing for my attention, including damp soil, grass and cigarette butts. But, like the majority of the participants in Porter’s experiment, I did manage to follow the trail to the end on the subsequent attempts, even when it deviated off a straight path. For Porter’s volunteers, repeated practice over three days brought greater accuracy and speed.

Of course you don’t have to crawl on the grass to train your nose. Any attempt to consciously pay attention to what your nose is telling you should have some benefit. And even if you choose to ignore it entirely, there’s no getting away from the fact that, behind the scenes, your nose is working overtime to make you who you are. That’s one discovery that’s not to be sniffed at

Your amazing brain: Top 10 articles

A vast increase in brain research in recent years is giving us a much improved picture of what’s going on in our white and grey matter.

In case you hadn’t noticed, NewScientist.com is now making the last 12 months’ of articles free for everyone to read. Here we round up the top 10 in-depth articles on the brain from 2008

Is it worth going to the mind gym?

The latest lifestyle trend is to sharpen your mental skills or stave off the effects of ageing by training your brain. But is there any evidence that such techniques work? New Scientist investigates

Brains apart: The real difference between the sexes

The supposed differences between male and female brains are a constant source of controversy, not to mention humour. Research into the topic is pointing unerringly to one conclusion: there is not just one kind of human brain, but two.

A unified theory of the brain?

It would be great to have a single, elegant description of how the human brain works – a neural equivalent of Einstein’s E=mc2. That law may be closer than you think…

How primate porn reveals what we really want

Humans make decisions in the face of a wide range of opportunities, desires and often conflicting information. Bizarrely, how we do this may in part be revealed by what turns monkeys on…

The secret life of the brain

When you close your eyes and rest, you might think your brain switches off too. Nothing is further from the truth: the brain’s energy consumption can even rise. It’s all to do with a brain structure that has remained hidden until now.

The subconscious mind: Your unsung hero

There’s more to being human than consciousness. Many of the mental faculties we prize as uniquely human appear to be orchestrated at a level below the conscious.

Forgetfulness is key to a healthy mind

Having too good a memory can leave sufferers chronically exhausted. These unfortunate people are revealing surprises about how a healthy memory works.

Does the brain feature built-in noise?

We generally think of noise as a nuisance. But in the right place, it can be a real boon – it might even enhance the way our brains work.

Do supercharged brains give rise to autism?

Most theories of autism assume that affected people have some form of neurological deficit. It could be, however, that their brains are overperforming.

The outer limits of the human brain

Some people have brains that excel at certain mental tasks. They may have a higher IQ than average, a better memory, speak many languages or even be a scientific genius. What sets their brains apart?

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