More Swedish dollar millionaires
Last year one million people became millionaires around the world. And Swedish wallets are also swelling. In Capgemini's 2013 World Wealth Report, one can see that the number of people with investable assets of over one million dollars has decreased markedly. In Sweden but also in the rest of the world it seems like the richest just get richer. “Yes, that’s one way to put it. The trend continues. It was a comparatively flat development in 2011, but during 2012 the dollar millionaires’ wealth increased with 10% to 46 billion dollars, which equals 80 times Sweden’s GDP,” says Krister Rydmark, who is responsible for the financial services at Capgemini Consulting Sweden. During 2012 the number of millionaires increased with just one million people to 12 million altogether, which is a 9.2% increase compared to the year before. As part of the World Wealth Report, Capgemini has interviewed 4400 millionaires worldwide, and Krister Rydmark is surprised how many of them have gotten richer. The collected wealth of the world’s millionaires has increased with 10%. “It’s surprising, because so many are careful. A third has as their focus to preserve their assets.” Part of the explanation is that the stock- and trade markets have developed better during 2012, than in 2011. It is already possible to roughly gauge how the next year’s report will look. North America had the most millionaires in the world last year. That will change, as Asia is likely to reclaim that spot. “The dynamics in Asia are huge at the moment. They will take over.” On the list of most millionaires, the US leads, followed by Japan, Germany, China, and England. In Sweden there are currently 69 800 dollar millionaires, and that’s an increase with 14.3% compared to prior years. Meanwhile, the relatively high unemployment in the country is on the same level (8%) and the housing prices continue to fall. For more information:

The danger of texting and driving
According to a survey, more than half of all Swedes say they have driven too fast in the last year, and nearly as many admit they talk on their cell phones while driving. But what’s even more worrisome is that almost every third driver says he or she texts while behind the wheel. “To text while driving is extremely dangerous,” says Claes Tingvall, traffic safety director at Trafikverket (the Swedish Transport Administration). Driving a car is one of the most risky everyday thing to do, according to the Swedes polled in the survey TNS Sifo did for Skanska as a preparation for Midsummer traffic. And looking at the answers on that survey, it is not surprising. The survey further shows that 5% admit they’ve ran red lights the past year and one percent said they’ve driven under the influence of alcohol. When asked “What is the most risky thing you do in your everyday life?” 25% said biking, 48% said driving, 2% said walking to work, while 8% said using public transport. “The most startling thing is that traffic issues are so high up on the list. According to the answers, the work place is not risky, what one does on one’s spare time is not considered risky, neither is partying and things like that, but driving and biking are. There are many other dangerous behaviors one can engage in,” says Tingvall. The survey was conducted through 1184 interviews with Sifo’s online web panel, a nation wide sample.

“Suicidal” plants may solve food crises
Plants that get infected commit suicide in defense. Now Swedish scientists have produced completely new knowledge regarding this method. “It could lead to more resistant produce,” says Anders Nilsson at Göteborg University. It was discovered already in 1915, that plants infected by micro organisms such as viruses, bacteria, and fungus, “committed suicide” in order to stop the infection. The plants produce poisonous elements that kill the infected and nearby cells, but the plant itself survives. But scientists at Göteborg University have now discovered that the molecule sulforaphane can help create plants that are more resistant to infections. “We believe this molecule create cell death in the plants and spread it to nearby cells. What we are showing is that when a plant gets infected by a bacteria we have chosen, it produces the molecule,” says Nilsson, who is the scientist behind the doctoral thesis at the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences at Göteborg University. The plants that lack the capacity to produce sulforaphane, showed not to be as resilient – something that can be devastating. Each year one third of all the world’s crops produced by microorganisms like viruses and bacteria are destroyed. “I believe it will be very important in the future, when we will need to grow more food in less space. If we know what creates this cell death, we can select crops that are more resistant, and we do not have to use as much pesticide,” Nilsson concludes. The study shows that the molecule sulforaphane is formed and released in high concentrations from the model plant thale cress, which as a hypersensitive response commits suicide in defense, and that sulforaphane can help spread the programmed cell death. Sulforaphane belongs to the class of molecules that gives cabbage vegetables like broccoli and radishes their special flavor.

More cases of breast cancer
The number of breast cancer cases in Sweden has increased with 20% in five years. 8000 Swedish women are diagnosed yearly, and the number keeps increasing. “Sadly, there’s no doubt about it; more women get breast cancer. We have to understand it and do something about it,” says Signe Borgquist, Associate Professor of Oncology at Lund University to daily Sydsvenskan. An aging and growing population is one of the explanations. Increased mammography and changed lifestyles are some others.