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A common causal identification strategy in political science is selection on observables. This strategy assumes one observes a set of covariates that is, after statistical adjustment, sufficient to make treatment status as-if random. Under adjustment methods such as matching or inverse probability weighting, coefficients for control variables are treated as nuisance parameters and are not directly estimated. This is in direct contrast to regression approaches where estimated parameters are obtained for all covariates. Analysts often find it tempting to give a causal interpretation to all the parameters in such regression models—indeed, such interpretations are often central to the proposed research design. In this paper, we ask when we can justify interpreting two or more coefficients in a regression model as causal parameters. We demonstrate that analysts must appeal to causal identification assumptions to give estimates causal interpretations. Under selection on observables, this task is complicated by the fact that more than one causal effect might be identified. We show how causal graphs provide a framework for clearly delineating which effects are presumed to be identified and thus merit a causal interpretation, and which are not. We conclude with a set of recommendations for how researchers should interpret estimates from regression models when causal inference is the goal.
The concept of exoplanetary habitability is evolving. The driving force is a desire to define the biological potential of planets and identify which can host complex and possibly intelligent life. To assess this in a meaningful manner, climate models need to be applied to realistic surfaces. However, the vast majority of climate models are developed using generic aquaplanet, or swamp planet, scenarios that provide uniform, surface frictional coefficients. However, aside from planets with largely uniform oceans, these models are not obviously useful when it comes to understanding the impact of climate on biodiversity. Here, we show that contrary to expectation, the aquaplanet models can be directly applied to planets with a variety of land areas, with little need for modification. Using this premise, this paper provides a simple mathematical framework that may be applied to more complex planetary surfaces and identifies the majority of the climate-model components that are needed to accurately determine the biological potential of habitable exoplanets. As a proof-of-concept, an available climate model for Proxima b is used to determine its biological potential, given a suitable atmosphere.
This chapter explores the relationship of Chaucer and his literary work to the wider chivalric culture in which he lived. It discusses the developments over the course of the fourteenth century to the status, significance and remit of the gatekeepers of chivalric knowledge, the officers of arms. Heraldry, the language of chivalry, was omnipresent in the late medieval world and encapsulated status, genealogy and affinity. During the fourteenth century it emerged from exclusively aristocratic usage to include widespread adoption by the gentry and the urban patriciate. Chaucer was himself armigerous and operated at the practical fringes of chivalric culture through work such as overseeing the erection of scaffolds for the Smithfield tournaments of 1390, providing witness testimony in the Court of Chivalry in 1386, and through his wider social life with prominent officers of arms such as his father-in-law, Guyenne King of Arms.
Global institutions are afflicted by severe democratic deficits, while many of the major problems facing the world remain intractable. Against this backdrop, we develop a deliberative approach that puts effective, inclusive, and transformative communication at the heart of global governance. Multilateral negotiations, international organizations and regimes, governance networks, and scientific assessments can be rendered more deliberative and democratic. More thoroughgoing transformations could involve citizens' assemblies, nested forums, transnational mini-publics, crowdsourcing, and a global dissent channel. The deliberative role of global civil society is vital. We show how different institutional and civil society elements can be linked to good effect in a global deliberative system. The capacity of deliberative institutions to revise their own structures and processes means that deliberative global governance is not just a framework but also a reconstructive learning process. A deliberative approach can advance democratic legitimacy and yield progress on global problems such as climate change, violent conflict and poverty.
Organizations all over the world, both national and international, gather demographic data so that the progress of nations and peoples can be tracked. This data is often made available to the public in the form of aggregated national level data or individual responses (microdata). Product designers likewise conduct surveys to better understand their customer and create personas. Personas are archetypes of the individuals who will use, maintain, sell or otherwise be affected by the products created by designers. Personas help designers better understand the person the product is designed for. Unfortunately, the process of collecting customer information and creating personas is often a slow and expensive process. In this paper, we introduce a new method of creating personas, leveraging publicly available databanks of both aggregated national level and information on individuals in the population. A computational persona generator is introduced that creates a population of personas that mirrors a real population in terms of size and statistics. Realistic individual personas are filtered from this population for use in product development.
The term ‘global mental health’ came to the fore in 2007, when the Lancet published a series by that name.
To review all peer-reviewed articles using the term ‘global mental health’ and determine the implicit priorities of scientific literature that self-identifies with this term.
We conducted a systematic review to quantify all peer-reviewed articles using the English term ‘global mental health’ in their text published between 1 January 2007 and 31 December 2016, including by geographic regions and by mental health conditions.
A total of 467 articles met criteria. Use of the term ‘global mental health’ increased from 12 articles in 2007 to 114 articles in 2016. For the 111 empirical studies (23.8% of articles), the majority (78.4%) took place in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), with the most in Sub-Saharan Africa (28.4%) and South Asia (25.5%) and none from Central Asia. The most commonly studied mental health conditions were depression (29.7%), psychoses (12.6%) and conditions specifically related to stress (12.6%), with fewer studies on epilepsy (2.7%), self-harm and suicide (1.8%) and dementia (0.9%). The majority of studies lacked contextual information, including specific region(s) within countries where studies took place (20.7% missing), specific language(s) in which studies were conducted (36.9% missing), and details on ethnic identities such as ethnicity, caste and/or tribe (79.6% missing) and on socioeconomic status (85.4% missing).
Research identifying itself as ‘global mental health’ has focused predominantly on depression in LMICs and lacked contextual and sociodemographic data that limit interpretation and application of findings.
Neospora caninum is a commonly diagnosed cause of reproductive losses in farmed ruminants worldwide. This study examined 495 and 308 samples (brain, heart and placenta) which were collected from 455 and 119 aborted cattle and sheep fetuses, respectively. DNA was extracted and a nested Neospora ITS1 PCR was performed on all samples. The results showed that for bovine fetuses 79/449 brain [17.6% (14.2–21.4)], 7/25 heart [28.0% (12.1–49.4)] and 5/21 placenta [23.8% (8.2–47.2)] were PCR positive for the presence of Neospora DNA. Overall 82/455 [18.0% (14.6–21.7)] of the bovine fetuses tested positive for the presence of N. caninum DNA in at least one sample. None (0/308) of the ovine fetal samples tested positive for the presence of Neospora DNA in any of the tissues tested. The results show that N. caninum was associated with fetal losses in cattle (distributed across South-West Scotland), compared to sheep in the same geographical areas where no parasite DNA was found. Neospora is well distributed amongst cattle in South-West Scotland and is the potential cause of serious economic losses to the Scottish cattle farming community; however, it does not appear to be a problem amongst the Scottish sheep flocks.
When I checked in I asked, “Well, where is this session taking place?” and they said, “In the Hall of Battles,” which I thought sounded a little ominous, because there are some tensions involved in this topic of privacy, and particularly privacy and the free flow of information.
OBJECTIVES/SPECIFIC AIMS: We sought to solicit and synthesize stakeholders’ ideas for how the Advance-CTR program can best increase the quality and quality of clinical and translational research in Rhode Island, and to apply these findings to address barriers and strengthen research capabilities across our partner institutions. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: We utilized a Group Concept Mapping approach, involving university and Institution-based researchers and administrators. The process was conducted using the web-based concept mapping application CS Global Max (Concept Systems, Inc). Respondents were asked to provide their best ideas for promoting clinical and translational research in RI. These ideas were then organized by our project team into a set of unique items for consideration by attendees of an Advance-CTR retreat. Participants were tasked with sorting these ideas by theme (cluster), and were also asked to rate each idea according its importance and feasibility. Using the online software, these clusters and ratings were analyzed to identify key themes and to explore differences among sub-groups. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: The Group Concept Mapping exercise yielded 150 statements that were edited down to 78 unique ideas, and clustered into nine themes (e.g., institutional collaboration, training). Fifty-seven retreat participants completed the sorting and rating tasks of the concept mapping exercise. Overall, ideas rated as highly important and highly feasible included “providing seed grants to encourage new collaborations across basic science,” and “connecting researchers with common interests.” Top rated items varied across institutions and according to respondent demographics, allowing us to consider the unique issues relevant to particular groups. Relative rankings of clusters across groups revealed notable differences, such as higher importance placed on community engagement among administrators as compared with researchers, and differences in needs for internal support for research between universities. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF IMPACT: Group Concept Mapping was an effective and insightful participatory approach to engage our program’s stakeholders in developing ideas and identifying challenges to enhancing clinical and translational research in Rhode Island. Our results have implications for project decision-making and initiatives to facilitate translational research in RI. Thus, results have been presented to the Advance-CTR community via webinar, as well as Advance-CTR project leadership and advisory committees.
The aim of this study was to estimate the effectiveness of first-line biologic disease modifying drugs(boDMARDs), and their approved biosimilars (bsDMARDs), compared with conventional (csDMARD) treatment, in terms of ACR (American College of Rheumatology) and EULAR (European League against Rheumatism) responses.
Systematic literature search, on eight databases to January 2017, sought ACR and EULAR data from randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of boDMARDs / bsDMARDs (in combination with csDMARDs, or monotherapy). Two adult populations: methotrexate (MTX)-naïve patients with severe active RA; and csDMARD-experienced patients with moderate-to-severe active RA. Network meta-analyses (NMA) were conducted using a Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo simulation using a random effects model with a probit link function for ordered categorical.
Forty-six RCTs met the eligibility criteria. In the MTX-naïve severe active RA population, no biosimilar trials meeting the inclusion criteria were identified. MTX plus methylprednisolone (MP) was most likely to achieve the best ACR response. There was insufficient evidence that combination boDMARDs was superior to intensive (two or more) csDMARDs. In the csDMARD-experienced, moderate-to-severe RA population, the greatest effects for ACR responses were associated with tocilizumab (TCZ) monotherapy, and combination therapy (plus MTX) with bsDMARD etanercept (ETN) SB4, boDMARD ETN and TCZ. These treatments also had the greatest effects on EULAR responses. No clear differences were found between the boDMARDs and their bsDMARDs.
In MTX-naïve patients, there was insufficient evidence that combination boDMARDs was superior to two or more csDMARDs. In csDMARD-experienced patients, boDMARDs and bsDMARDs were comparable and all combination boDMARDs / bsDMARDs were superior to single csDMARD.
Consuming whey protein before a meal may reduce postprandial glucose excursions, however, optimising timing of supplementation is important to improve its clinical utility. A total of thirteen centrally obese, insulin-resistant males (waist circumference: 121 (sem 3) cm; homeostasis model assessment for insulin resistance (HOMA-IR): 6·4 (sem 1·2)) completed four experimental conditions in a single-blind, crossover design. Participants consumed mixed-macronutrient breakfast and lunch meals on all occasions, with 20 g whey protein consumed 15 min before (PRE), alongside (DUR) or 15 min post-breakfast (POST) or omitted (CON). Capillary glucose and plasma concentrations of insulin, TAG and NEFA, in addition to subjective appetite ratings, were collected for 180 min after each meal. PRE and DUR reduced post-breakfast glucose peak by 17·0 (sem 1·9) % (P<0·001) and 9·2 (sem 2·9) % (P=0·046), respectively, compared with CON. Post-breakfast glucose AUC was lower following PRE compared with POST and CON (PRE: 982 (sem 30) v. POST: 1031 (sem 36) and CON: 1065 (sem 37) mmol/l×180 min; P≤0·042) but similar to DUR (1013 (sem 32) mmol/l×180 min; P=0·77). Insulin was lower during PRE, when compared with POST and DUR (both P≤0·042) but similar to CON. There were no between-condition differences in measures of postprandial lipaemia or appetite, and no effect of condition post-lunch. Consumption of whey protein as a preload or alongside a mixed-macronutrient breakfast reduces postprandial glucose excursions in centrally obese, insulin-resistant males. Whey consumed as a preload has superior glycaemic-lowering effects. Supplementation at breakfast does not alter glycaemic responses to subsequent meals.
The maximum height trees can grow on Earth is around 122–130 m. The height is constrained by two factors: the availability of water, and where water is not limiting, the pressure available to drive the column of water along the xylem vessels against the pull of gravity (cohesion tension). In turn the height of trees impacts the biodiversity of the environment in a number of ways. On Earth the largest trees are found in maritime temperate environments along the Pacific Northwest coasts of northern California and southern Oregon. These forests provide a large number of secondary habitats for species and serve as moisture pumps that return significant volumes of water to the lower atmosphere. In this work, we apply simple mathematical rules to illustrate how super-terran planets will have significantly smaller trees, with concomitant effects on the habitability of the planet. We also consider the impact of varying tree height on climate models.