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Kant deploys analogies from private law in describing relations between states. I explore the relation between these analogies and the broader Kantian idea of the distinctively public nature of a rightful condition, in order to explain why states, understood as public things, stand in horizontal, private legal relations without themselves being private. I use this analysis to explore the international law analogues of the three titles of private right, explaining how territory differs from property, treaty from contract and the specific form of status relations between nations. I conclude with a brief discussion of the ongoing relevance of these horizontal relations.
Depression is a leading cause of disability, with older people particularly susceptible to poor outcomes.
To investigate whether the prevalence of depression and antidepressant use have changed across two decades in older people.
The Cognitive Function and Ageing Studies (CFAS I and CFAS II) are two English population-based cohort studies of older people aged ≥65 years, with baseline measurements for each cohort conducted two decades apart (between 1990 and 1993 and between 2008 and 2011). Depression was assessed by the Geriatric Mental State examination and diagnosed with the Automated Geriatric Examination for Computer-Assisted Taxonomy algorithm.
In CFAS I, 7635 people aged ≥65 years were interviewed, of whom 1457 were diagnostically assessed. In CFAS II, 7762 people were interviewed and diagnostically assessed. Age-standardised depression prevalence in CFAS II was 6.8% (95% CI 6.3–7.5%), representing a non-significant decline from CFAS I (risk ratio 0.82, 95% CI 0.64–1.07, P = 0.14). At the time of CFAS II, 10.7% of the population (95% CI 10.0–11.5%) were taking antidepressant medication, more than twice that of CFAS I (risk ratio 2.79, 95% CI 1.96–3.97, P < 0.0001). Among care home residents, depression prevalence was unchanged, but the use of antidepressants increased from 7.4% (95% CI 3.8–13.8%) to 29.2% (95% CI 22.6–36.7%).
A substantial increase in the proportion of the population reporting taking antidepressant medication is seen across two decades for people aged ≥65 years. However there was no evidence for a change in age-specific prevalence of depression.
Advancing understanding of human health promotion and disease prevention and treatment often requires teamwork. To evaluate academic medical institutions’ support for team science in the context of researchers’ career development, we measured the value placed on team science and specificity of guidance provided for documenting team science contributions in the promotion and tenure (P&T) documents of Colleges/Schools of Medicine (CoMs) in the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences’ Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) program.
We reviewed complete P&T documents from 57 of 63 CTSA CoMs to identify career paths defined by three dimensions: academic rank (associate versus full professor), tenure eligibility (tenure track versus not), and role (research, clinical, education, and administrative), and we rated team science value and documentation guidance for each path. Multilevel models were estimated to compare team science value and documentation guidance as a function of the three career path dimensions while accounting for the clustered data (N = 357 career paths within 57 CoMs).
Team science value was greater for associate than full professors, non-tenure-eligible versus tenure-eligible positions, and roles prioritizing clinical, education, and administrative responsibilities versus those prioritizing research. Guidance for documenting team science achievements was more explicit for roles that prioritized research.
Although P&T policies at most CTSA institutions express value for team science, inconsistent within-institutional patterns of recognition and reward across career paths may have implications for researchers’ involvement in team science. We discuss the implications of our findings for research and for P&T policies that promote team science.
Since 1997, execution in China has been increasingly performed by lethal injection. The current criteria for determination of death for execution by lethal injection (cessation of heartbeat, cessation of respiration, and dilated pupils) neither conform to current medical science nor to any standard of medical ethics. In practice, death is pronounced in China within tens of seconds after starting the lethal injection. At this stage, however, neither the common criteria for cardiopulmonary death (irreversible cessation of heartbeat and breathing) nor that of brain death (irreversible cessation of brain functions) have been met. To declare a still-living person dead is incompatible with human dignity, regardless of the processes following death pronouncement. This ethical concern is further aggravated if organs are procured from the prisoners. Analysis of postmortem blood thiopental level data from the United States indicates that thiopental, as used, may not provide sufficient surgical anesthesia. The dose of thiopental used in China is kept secret. It cannot be excluded that some of the organ explantation surgeries on prisoners subjected to lethal injection are performed under insufficient anesthesia in China. In such cases, the inmate may potentially experience asphyxiation and pain. Yet this can be easily overlooked by the medical professionals performing the explantation surgery because pancuronium prevents muscle responses to pain, resulting in an extremely inhumane situation. We call for an immediate revision of the death determination criteria in execution by lethal injection in China. Biological death must be ensured before death pronouncement, regardless of whether organ procurement is involved or not.
In September 2016, the annual meeting of the International Union for Quaternary Research’s Loess and Pedostratigraphy Focus Group, traditionally referred to as a LoessFest, met in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, USA. The 2016 LoessFest focused on “thin” loess deposits and loess transportation surfaces. This LoessFest included 75 registered participants from 10 countries. Almost half of the participants were from outside the United States, and 18 of the participants were students. This review is the introduction to the special issue for Quaternary Research that originated from presentations and discussions at the 2016 LoessFest. This introduction highlights current understanding and ongoing work on loess in various regions of the world and provides brief summaries of some of the current approaches/strategies used to study loess deposits.
Loess is widespread over Alaska, and its accumulation has traditionally been associated with glacial periods. Surprisingly, loess deposits securely dated to the last glacial period are rare in Alaska, and paleowind reconstructions for this time period are limited to inferences from dune orientations. We report a rare occurrence of loess deposits dating to the last glacial period, ~19 ka to ~12 ka, in the Yukon-Tanana Upland. Loess in this area is very coarse grained (abundant coarse silt), with decreases in particle size moving south of the Yukon River, implying that the drainage basin of this river was the main source. Geochemical data show, however, that the Tanana River valley to the south is also a likely distal source. The occurrence of last-glacial loess with sources to both the south and north is explained by both regional, synoptic-scale winds from the northeast and opposing katabatic winds that could have developed from expanded glaciers in both the Brooks Range to the north and the Alaska Range to the south. Based on a comparison with recent climate modeling for the last glacial period, seasonality of dust transport may also have played a role in bringing about contributions from both northern and southern sources.
Invasive plants may dramatically impact forest ecosystems by establishing dense populations and suppressing the recruitment of native tree species. One invasive shrub currently spreading throughout eastern deciduous forests of North America, Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii DC), may be limiting tree recruitment in stands where it invades. Once established, B. thunbergii becomes densely populated within forest understories and suppresses native plants by competing for limited resources, altering soil conditions, and changing the understory microclimate. To quantify native seedling inhibition caused by B. thunbergii invasion, we conducted an observational study on seedling abundance within forest plots that were either invaded or not invaded by B. thunbergii and used survey data to generate Bayesian models of native seedling densities along gradients of increasing B. thunbergii stem counts and aboveground plant dry mass. Model outputs predicted that B. thunbergii–invaded plots had 82% lower seedling densities compared with uninvaded plots. Native tree seedling densities were very low even in areas with moderate B. thunbergii density, suggesting that reduced tree seedling densities are observed even at low densities of invasion. Our findings indicate that forests invaded with B. thunbergii harbor substantially lower densities of native tree seedlings, with potentially significant long-term consequences for forest ecological integrity, biodiversity, and ecosystem services.
To describe the utilization of electronic medical data resources, including health records and nursing scheduling resources, to conduct a tuberculosis (TB) exposure investigation in a high-risk oncology unit.
A 42-bed inpatient unit with a mix of surgical and medical patients at a large tertiary-care cancer center in New York City.
High-risk subjects and coworkers exposed to a healthcare worker (HCW) with cavitary smear positive lung TB.
During the 3-month exposure period, 270 patients were admitted to the unit; 137 of these (50.7%) received direct care from the index case HCW. Host immune status and intensity of exposure were used to establish criteria for postexposure testing, and 63 patients (45%) met these criteria for first-tier postexposure testing. No cases of active TB occurred. Among coworkers, 146 had significant exposure (ie, >8 hours cumulative). In the 22-month follow-up period after the exposure, no purified protein derivative or interferon gamma release assay conversions or active cases of TB occurred among exposed HCWs or patients.
Electronic medical records and employee scheduling systems are useful resources to conduct otherwise labor-intensive contact investigations. Despite the high-risk features of our index case, a highly vulnerable immunocompromised patient population, and extended proximity to coworkers, we did not find any evidence of transmission of active or latent tuberculosis infection among exposed individuals.
Glyphosate is now the most widely used herbicide; after years of frequent utilization, resistant weeds were selected, mainly due to widespread adoption of glyphosate-resistant crops and no-tillage sowing system. Increasing difficulty in controlling Chloris polydactyla with glyphosate has been noticed in agricultural areas. Here, the susceptibility level of various C. polydactyla accessions from Brazil is examined. Two whole-plant studies were conducted to confirm the presence and extent of glyphosate susceptibility among accessions, which involved the application of seven glyphosate doses on four accessions. The four accessions showed different glyphosate susceptibilities. The “Matão” accession presented major tolerance for glyphosate compared to “Palotina” accessions. “Jaboticabal” plants showed an intermediary susceptibility. The resistance factor (RF) was 3.76 between the “Matão” and “Palotina” accessions. All biotypes died at 2,880 g ae ha−1 glyphosate.
Prebiotics, probiotics and synbiotics are dietary ingredients with the potential to influence health and mucosal and systemic immune function by altering the composition of the gut microbiota. In the present study, a candidate prebiotic (xylo-oligosaccharide, XOS, 8 g/d), probiotic (Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis Bi-07, 109 colony-forming units (CFU)/d) or synbiotic (8 g XOS+109 CFU Bi-07/d) was given to healthy adults (25–65 years) for 21 d. The aim was to identify the effect of the supplements on bowel habits, self-reported mood, composition of the gut microbiota, blood lipid concentrations and immune function. XOS supplementation increased mean bowel movements per d (P= 0·009), but did not alter the symptoms of bloating, abdominal pain or flatulence or the incidence of any reported adverse events compared with maltodextrin supplementation. XOS supplementation significantly increased participant-reported vitality (P= 0·003) and happiness (P= 0·034). Lowest reported use of analgesics was observed during the XOS+Bi-07 supplementation period (P= 0·004). XOS supplementation significantly increased faecal bifidobacterial counts (P= 0·008) and fasting plasma HDL concentrations (P= 0·005). Bi-07 supplementation significantly increased faecal B. lactis content (P= 0·007), lowered lipopolysaccharide-stimulated IL-4 secretion in whole-blood cultures (P= 0·035) and salivary IgA content (P= 0·040) and increased IL-6 secretion (P= 0·009). XOS supplementation resulted in lower expression of CD16/56 on natural killer T cells (P= 0·027) and lower IL-10 secretion (P= 0·049), while XOS and Bi-07 supplementation reduced the expression of CD19 on B cells (XOS × Bi-07, P= 0·009). The present study demonstrates that XOS induce bifidogenesis, improve aspects of the plasma lipid profile and modulate the markers of immune function in healthy adults. The provision of XOS+Bi-07 as a synbiotic may confer further benefits due to the discrete effects of Bi-07 on the gut microbiota and markers of immune function.