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What they discovered is that when the volunteers cut back from seven-and-a-half to six-and-a-half hours’ sleep a night, genes that are associated with processes like inflammation, immune response and response to stress became more active. The team also saw increases in the activity of genes associated with diabetes and risk of cancer. The reverse happened when the volunteers added an hour of sleep.

BBC News – How much can an extra hour’s sleep change you?

Provided nothing bad happens – such as a US default – the world economy should now achieve somewhat more balanced growth.

The pain of rebalancing global growth –

Moreover, the link between parental income and college-going has increased in recent decades (Bailey & Dynarski, 2011). In short, higher education is not the kind of mobility-enhancing vehicle that it could be.

Higher Education and the Opportunity Gap | Brookings Institution

With the PE ratio for the S&P 500 expanding from 13.8 in 2012 to 15.5 today based on estimated 2013 earnings, U.S large caps have firmly moved into less-compelling fair value territory. And it’s not like U.S. small caps offer much valuation juice. The S&P Small Cap index trades at 22.3x this year’s earnings estimate. Given that the long-term norm is for small caps to trade in line with large-cap valuations, that’s not exactly compelling either. If you’re in the market for a better valuation story, Europe is where to focus your research.

U.S. Stocks Pricey – Why Europe Now Beckons

Global personal computer (PC) shipments tanked almost 9 percent on-year during the third quarter – a period of historically strong demand – to the lowest level in five years

Global PC sales tank to lowest level since 2008

Intel (INTC) is slated to report earnings Oct. 15, and analysts are weighing in on the quarter—although with rather different predictions.

Two Takes On Intel: A Buy At MKM, Raymond James Says Sell – Tech Trader Daily –

What could the Fed do to promote financial stability? First, the Fed could purchase defaulted Treasury securities. There is nothing immediately evident in the Federal Reserve Act that would preclude the Fed from this action.

Imagine the Fed bought defaulted Treasuries | FT Alphaville

An expert from Shell says that oil companies, with their deep knowledge of geophysics, are well-suited to pioneer carbon capture and storage technology.

Shell Exec Says Oil Companies Might Become Carbon Capture Ones | MIT Technology Review

The discovery of the first chemical to prevent the death of brain tissue in a neurodegenerative disease has been hailed as the “turning point” in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease.

BBC News – Alzheimer’s breakthrough hailed as ‘turning point’

The debate on very large financial institutions has reached an important moment. At the instigation of Senators Sherrod Brown, Democrat of Ohio, and David Vitter, Republican of Louisiana, the Government Accountability Office is assessing the extent to which big banks and others receive advantages because they have implicit backing from the government.

The Big-Bank Subsidy –

The European Union needs to change its policies toward energy subsidies, regulations and emissions targets, the chief executives of Europe’s leading energy companies told CNBC on Friday, warning that increasing operational difficulties could lead to “blackouts” across Europe.

Energy leaders warn of blackouts across Europe

In a depressed economy where inequality is high, however, government consumption can be beneficial as long as it a) consumes output the private sector is unable to absorb and b) it reallocates that consumption to those who have the need and capacity to consume it.

Why the level of government debt may not matter | FT Alphaville

If we can’t reasonably expect much more out of investment or consumption than what we are now seeing, then that just leaves the government and net exports. This is not really a debatable point; it is a matter of accounting identities.

The Ravings of Niall Ferguson, the Real World, and the Needless Suffering of Tens of Millions | Beat the Press

Microsoft’s share of the PC market has dropped from 90 per cent to just under a 30 per cent in five years, with the Windows platform struggling to compete with tablets.

Microsoft PC market share drops 60% in 5 years – News – Trusted Reviews

Norquist put forth the idea that business groups, led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), but also including the specialized trade associations, should back socially conservative Republican candidates, while right-to-life or gun rights organizations should back tax cuts and deregulation. What would bind the different parts together was a common opposition to raising taxes

GOP Death Watch: The Final Days of the Republican Party | New Republic

In 2013, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave the country a “D” grade for the state of its roads, dams, transit, aviation, and school infrastructure, estimating that $3.6 trillion in investment is needed by 2020. Meanwhile, bridge collapses and giant sinkholes have become routine news across the country.

How Washington bypassed a free lunch on jobs and infrastructure — MSNBC

When you are in the middle of a torrent of change, innovation eclipsing innovation, it can be hard to know what is passing and what will last. But the BBC’s Peter Day believes that, here, in 2013, we are in the middle of a revolution so great it could turn our old familiar world upside down.

BBC News – Imagine a world without shops or factories

Here’s a useful assessment of both shadow banking’s relationship to the real economy and how it will be affected by forthcoming regulatory reforms, by strategists at Barclays.

The shadow banking system, crunched one way or another | FT Alphaville

None of this is necessary. The US does not have a deficit crisis. The Congressional Budget Office says the US deficit will be 4pc of GDP this year, 3.4pc in 2014, and 2.1pc in 2015. Thanks to the monetary activism of the US Federal Reserve, nominal GDP is growing faster than the debt stock. The `denominator effect’ — so carelessly ignored by the Europeans — is working its magic.

Factional conflicts have the power to destroy empires – and republics – Telegraph