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Studies suggest that alcohol consumption and alcohol use disorders have distinct genetic backgrounds.
We examined whether polygenic risk scores (PRS) for consumption and problem subscales of the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT-C, AUDIT-P) in the UK Biobank (UKB; N = 121 630) correlate with alcohol outcomes in four independent samples: an ascertained cohort, the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism (COGA; N = 6850), and population-based cohorts: Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC; N = 5911), Generation Scotland (GS; N = 17 461), and an independent subset of UKB (N = 245 947). Regression models and survival analyses tested whether the PRS were associated with the alcohol-related outcomes.
In COGA, AUDIT-P PRS was associated with alcohol dependence, AUD symptom count, maximum drinks (R2 = 0.47–0.68%, p = 2.0 × 10−8–1.0 × 10−10), and increased likelihood of onset of alcohol dependence (hazard ratio = 1.15, p = 4.7 × 10−8); AUDIT-C PRS was not an independent predictor of any phenotype. In ALSPAC, the AUDIT-C PRS was associated with alcohol dependence (R2 = 0.96%, p = 4.8 × 10−6). In GS, AUDIT-C PRS was a better predictor of weekly alcohol use (R2 = 0.27%, p = 5.5 × 10−11), while AUDIT-P PRS was more associated with problem drinking (R2 = 0.40%, p = 9.0 × 10−7). Lastly, AUDIT-P PRS was associated with ICD-based alcohol-related disorders in the UKB subset (R2 = 0.18%, p < 2.0 × 10−16).
AUDIT-P PRS was associated with a range of alcohol-related phenotypes across population-based and ascertained cohorts, while AUDIT-C PRS showed less utility in the ascertained cohort. We show that AUDIT-P is genetically correlated with both use and misuse and demonstrate the influence of ascertainment schemes on PRS analyses.
The right common carotid artery originates from the innominate (brachiocephalic) artery. The external landmark is the right sternoclavicular joint. The left common carotid artery originates directly from the aortic arch in the superior mediastinum.
The carotid sheath contains the common and internal carotid arteries, the internal jugular vein, and the vagus nerve. The internal jugular vein lies lateral and superficial to the common carotid artery and vagus nerve. The vagus nerve lies posteriorly, between the artery and the vein. On occasion the vagus nerve may be located anterior to the vessels.
The carotid sheath and its contents are covered superficially by the platysma, anterior margin of the sternocleidomastoid muscle, and the omohyoid muscle. Deep to the vessels are the longus colli and longus capitis muscles. Medial to the carotid sheath is the esophagus and trachea.
At the level of the superior border of the thyroid cartilage, the common carotid artery bifurcates into the internal and external carotid arteries.
The facial vein crosses the carotid sheath superficially to enter the internal jugular vein at the level of the carotid bifurcation.
The external carotid artery lies medial to the internal carotid artery for the majority of their course. The first branch of the external carotid artery is the superior thyroid artery located near the carotid bifurcation.
The internal carotid artery does not have any extracranial branches.
At the level of the angle of the mandible, the internal and external carotid arteries are crossed superficially by the hypoglossal nerve (Cranial Nerve XII) and the posterior belly of the digastric muscle. The glossopharyngeal nerve (Cranial Nerve IX) passes in front of the internal carotid artery, above the hypoglossal nerve.
The external carotid arteries terminate in the parotid gland, where they divide into the superficial temporal and maxillary arteries.
At the level of the skull base, the internal carotid arteries cross deep and medial to the external carotid arteries to enter the carotid canal behind the styloid process.
Reducing agricultural nonpoint pollution has been an environmental policy issue since the early 1980s. We discuss the evolution and results of federal and state policy, the contributions of applied economic research to improving the effectiveness and efficiency of water pollution control policies for agriculture, elements of policy reforms that are consistent with the Clean Water Act, and the outlook for needed policy innovation.
This paper summarizes a multi-state, multi-year study assessing the potential for local agriculture in northern New England. While largely rural, this region's agricultural sector differs greatly from the rest of the United States, and demand for locally produced food has been increasing. To assess this unique economic landscape, researchers and Cooperative Extension at the Universities of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont investigated four key areas: (1) local food capacities, (2) constraints to agricultural expansion, (3) consumer preferences for local and organic produce, and (4) the role of intermediaries as alternative local food outlets. The project included input from local farmers, Extension members, restaurants, and the general public. We present the four research areas in a sequential, overlapping fashion. The timing of our research was such that each step in the process informed the next and can be used as a template for assessing a region's potential for local agricultural production.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) serves as the primary tool to alleviate food insecurity in the United States. Its effectiveness has been demonstrated in numerous studies, but the majority of SNAP recipients are still food insecure. One factor behind this is the difference in food prices across the country—SNAP benefits are not adjusted to reflect these differences. Using information from Feeding America's Map the Meal Gap (MMG) project, we compare the cost of a meal by county based on the Thrifty Food Plan (TFP)—which is used to set the maximum SNAP benefit—with the cost of the average meal for low-income food-secure households. We find that the cost of the latter meal is higher than the TFP meal for over 99 percent of the counties. We next consider the reduction in food insecurity if, by county, the maximum SNAP benefit level was set to the cost of the average meal for low-income food-secure households. We find that if this approach were implemented, there would be a decline of 50.9 percent in food insecurity among SNAP recipients at a cost of $23 billion.
Consumers in the United States fall short of meeting the recommended guideline for dietary fiber intake. Using a quarterly panel of households from Nielsen for the years 2004 through 2014, we employ a Heckman two-step approach to estimate nine panel regressions concerning per person fiber intakes derived from various food categories to uncover the importance of prices as well as socioeconomic and demographic factors. Prices play a prominent role in the per person intake of dietary fiber derived from the respective food products considered. Households below poverty thresholds had lower intakes of fiber relative to households above poverty thresholds. Ethnicity, race, age of the household head, region, and the presence of children also had significant effects on dietary fiber derived from the respective food categories. A proposed 20 percent subsidy applied to fruits and vegetables would increase per person intake of fiber by 9.4 percent. Therefore, if one were to consider meeting the dietary fiber requirement only through the provision of a subsidy, a large subsidy applied to fruits and vegetables would be required. Therefore, given the complex nature of the various factors affecting the intake of dietary fiber, the feasibility of using subsidies alone to increase the intake of dietary fiber is called into question.
Farm-to-school (F2S) local food procurement must be cost-effective to be financially sustainable without policy support. We test, among schools participating in F2S programs, whether market channel procurement strategies for local foods affect schools’ perceptions of whether meal costs decline as a result of F2S participation. Schools that buy local foods exclusively from intermediaries are 7 percentage points less likely to report lower costs from undertaking F2S initiatives. We further demonstrate that the probability that schools source local foods exclusively from intermediaries is influenced by the number of direct marketing farmers in their county.
A large and growing body of literature has studied consumer willingness to pay (WTP) for local foods in the United States. However, these studies implicitly assume that consumers perceive local foods to have superior quality than nonlocal foods. Little is known about WTP for local foods when taking into account differences in consumer perception of food quality between local and nonlocal foods. In this article, we conduct an economic experiment to assess the effect of locally grown information on consumer WTP and quality perceptions of three broccoli varieties (one commercial variety grown in California and two newly developed local varieties). Our results show that consumers rate both the appearance and the taste of the two local broccoli varieties lower than the California variety when evaluating food quality blindly. However, consumers’ evaluations of the two local varieties improve substantially after being told the two varieties are locally grown. Results also indicate that consumers are willing to pay a price premium for the two local varieties after being told that they are locally grown. Our results provide evidence that locally grown information has a positive effect on both consumer WTP and quality perception of local foods.
Food hubs are of interest in regional and local food system development because they potentially enhance the sustainability of food supply chains. Expanding on earlier literature, this study introduces economies of scale into an aggregation hub location model and disaggregates production into four seasons to account for geographic and seasonal variation of US fresh produce production. A mixed integer linear programming model is formulated with the objective of minimizing total costs of assembly and first-handler operations. Results suggest scale economies have significant effects on the optimal number, locations, and sizes of aggregation hubs. We model regional and local food systems in a manner more consistent with economic theory and provide a richer framework for policy analysis.
The rocky shores of the north-east Atlantic have been long studied. Our focus is from Gibraltar to Norway plus the Azores and Iceland. Phylogeographic processes shape biogeographic patterns of biodiversity. Long-term and broadscale studies have shown the responses of biota to past climate fluctuations and more recent anthropogenic climate change. Inter- and intra-specific species interactions along sharp local environmental gradients shape distributions and community structure and hence ecosystem functioning. Shifts in domination by fucoids in shelter to barnacles/mussels in exposure are mediated by grazing by patellid limpets. Further south fucoids become increasingly rare, with species disappearing or restricted to estuarine refuges, caused by greater desiccation and grazing pressure. Mesoscale processes influence bottom-up nutrient forcing and larval supply, hence affecting species abundance and distribution, and can be proximate factors setting range edges (e.g., the English Channel, the Iberian Peninsula). Impacts of invasive non-native species are reviewed. Knowledge gaps such as the work on rockpools and host–parasite dynamics are also outlined.
Can drug abuse (DA) be transmitted psychologically between adult siblings consistent with a social contagion model?
We followed Swedish sibling pairs born in 1932–1990 until one of them, sibling1 (S1), had a first DA registration. We then examined, using Cox regression, the hazard rate for a first registration for DA in sibling2 (S2) within 3 years of a first DA registration in S1 as a function of their geographical proximity. We examined 153 294 informative pairs. To control for familial confounding, we repeated these analyses in sibships containing multiple pairs, comparing risk in different siblings with their proximity to S1. DA was recorded in medical, criminal or pharmacy registries.
The best-fit model predicted risk for DA in S2 as a function of the log of kilometres between S1 and S2 with parameter estimates (±95% confidence intervals) of 0.94 (0.92; 0.95). Prediction of DA included effects of cohabitation and an interaction of proximity and time since S1 registration with stronger effects of proximity early in the follow-up period. Proximity effects were stronger for smaller S1–S2 age differences and for same- v. opposite-sex pairs. Sibship analyses confirmed sibling-pair results.
Consistent with a social contagion model, the probability of transmission of a first registration for DA in sibling pairs is related to their geographical proximity and similarity in age and sex. Such effects for DA are time-dependent and include cohabitation effects. These results illustrate the complexity of the familial aggregation of DA and support efforts to reduce their contagious spread within families in adulthood.
The pig industry faces many animal welfare issues. Among these, biting behaviour has a high incidence. It is indicative of an existing problem in biters and is a source of physical damage and psychological stress for the victims. We categorize this behaviour into aggressive and non-aggressive biting, the latter often being directed towards the tail. This review focusses specifically on predisposing factors in early life, comprising the prenatal and postnatal periods up to weaning, for the expression of aggressive and non-aggressive biting later in life. The influence of personality and coping style has been examined in a few studies. It varies according to these studies and, thus, further evaluation is needed. Regarding the effect of environmental factors, the number of scientific papers is low (less than five papers for most factors). No clear influence of prenatal factors has been identified to date. Aggressive biting is reduced by undernutrition, cross-fostering and socialization before weaning. Non-aggressive biting is increased by undernutrition, social stress due to competition and cross-fostering. These latter three factors are highly dependent on litter size at birth. The use of familiar odours may contribute to reducing biting when pigs are moved from one environment to another by alleviating the level of stress associated with novelty. Even though the current environment in which pigs are expressing biting behaviours is of major importance, the pre-weaning environment should be optimized to reduce the likelihood of this problem.
Despite the frequency that refugees suffer bereavement, there is a dearth of research into the prevalence and predictors of problematic grief reactions in refugees. To address this gap, this study reports a nationally representative population-based study of refugees to determine the prevalence of probable prolonged grief disorder (PGD) and its associated problems.
This study recruited participants from the Building a New Life in Australia (BNLA) prospective cohort study of refugees admitted to Australia between October 2013 and February 2014. The current data were collected in 2015–2016, and comprised 1767 adults, as well as 411 children of the adult respondents. Adult refugees were assessed for trauma history, post-migration difficulties, probable PGD, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and mental illness. Children were administered the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire.
In this cohort, 38.1% of refugees reported bereavement, of whom 15.8% reported probable PGD; this represents 6.0% of the entire cohort. Probable PGD was associated with a greater likelihood of mental illness, probable PTSD, severe mental illness, currently unemployed and reported disability. Children of refugees with probable PGD reported more psychological difficulties than those whose parents did not have probable PGD. Probable PGD was also associated with the history of imprisonment, torture and separation from family. Only 56.3% of refugees with probable PGD had received psychological assistance.
Bereavement and probable PGD appear highly prevalent in refugees, and PGD seems to be associated with disability in the refugees and psychological problems in their children. The low rate of access to mental health assistance for these refugees highlights that there is a need to address this issue in refugee populations.