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Scientific approach to poverty shows promise

ELWILLYBOBBY/FLICKR/CREATIVE COMMONSEvaluating the results of aid using a scientific approach -- with control groups that do not receive aid -- has been viewed as morally problematic in the past. But the aid industry is becoming increasingly more comfortable with this methodology, because it has shown that for every dollar invested, the return is sometimes double, triple, or even more than that (433% in India, 260% in Ethiopia) -- and, perhaps more importantly, it has highlighted problems and potential solutions. For instance, that aid models need to be tailored to the specific region. But this approach is not without its critics, and testing aid's effectiveness, as well as the ethics of that testing, remains controversial. Read more... (One of the Dan David Prize categories for 2016 is combatting poverty. Learn more here: selected fields 2016 - combatting poverty

Read the article "Scientific approach to poverty shows promise" - Science (Science Magazine)

UQ team develops needle-free disease detection through nanotechnology patch

A 4mm square gold-coated microneedle array next to a 31-gauge needle used to extract fluid. Photo: Alexandra Depelsenaire - The CourierScience fiction is rapidly becoming reality. Australian scientists have developed a patch that can detect disease using microneedle technology that targets the tiny blood vessels in the upper layers of the skin. In mice trials, diseases were detected within an hour. The researchers believe the technology will be most useful in remote areas that lack diagnostic facilities. This will have knock-on effects: the ability to quickly and easily detect malaria, for instance, can help prevent overtreatment in people that don't have it.

(Nanoscience is one of the categories for the 2016 Dan David Prize. Learn more here: selected fields 2016 - Future: Nanoscience

Read the article "UQ team develops needle-free disease detection through nanotechnology patch " - The Courier

Climate Expert James Hansen: The Planet May Become Ungovernable

Photo Credit: Sergey Nivens/Shutterstock.comFormer Dan David Prize laureate Dr James Hansen warns of an "emergency" on climate. If major coastal cities become “dysfunctional” because of sea level rise, as he believes is possible, the global economy could be in danger of collapse. “Even people who go around saying, ‘We have a planet in peril,’ don’t get it," he told a group of elder activists. “It will happen faster than you think."

Read the article "Climate Expert James Hansen: The Planet May Become Ungovernable" - ALTERNET

Israel's most celebrated contemporary novelist

Former Dan David Prize laureate, Amos Oz, has this month seen the cinematic release of the film adaptation of his autobiographical work, A Tale of Love and Darkness. Natalie Portman's directorial debut has been getting a lot of attention, with endless plaudits for Oz himself -- the Guardian, for instance, calling him "Israel's most celebrated contemporary novelist."

A trailer for the film

Female historians want to build Britain's 'first women's museum' after Jack the Ripper stole it

The Jack the Ripper Museum is due to open in the East End Photo: Alamy Live NewsAfter a proposed women's history museum in London opened as a Jack the Ripper exhibit instead, a public historian and an author, both "female history-lovers," are planning to fill the gap left by the "missing" museum by opening up a "museum to share the rich history of women in East London."

(One of the Dan David Prize categories for 2016 is social history. Learn more here: Selected fields 2016)

 Read the article "Female historians want to build Britain's 'first women's museum' after Jack the Ripper stole it" - The Telegraph