Crowd behaviour: united they stand

Abstract: Is there a link between the Arab Spring uprisings and the behaviour of market traders?... From Cairo to Tunis, demonstrators united by emotion, purpose and social media gather in their thousands to topple long-standing despotic regimes. Across the UK, crowds of a different temperament surge through summer streets, leaving behind them a trail of destruction. Meanwhile, in the world's financial centres, bond traders linked by the internet behave like a "virtual" crowd as they sell the securities of increasingly embattled eurozone members, leading yields to soar. The crowd was at the heart of some of the most memorable events of 2011, demonstrating the power of the group driven by common identity and capacity for decision-making. They are classic examples of the herd mentality - the shared and self-regulated thinking of individuals in a group - an area of study popular with sociologists and

Fall in funding to combat neglected diseases

Abstract: A global downturn in funding is threatening research into neglected diseases... Potential new treatments and vaccines for diseases including malaria and tuberculosis may never reach patients because of a downturn in international funding for research into "neglected" diseases, a new study has warned. After 10 years of steady increases, global support for research and development for innovative drugs, vaccines, and diagnostics that largely affect the poor in developing countries fell by 4 per cent to $3bn last year, according to the G-Finder report produced by Policy Cures, a non-profit group. The drop threatens a number of research programmes that have entered clinical trials in humans and offer considerable promise to improve prevention and treatment for up to 31 diseases. Mary Moran, the organisation's director, said: "It's time for governments to step up to the plate, otherwise we risk losing a decade of investment that is