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Stable isotopes of mammoths and mastodons have the potential to illuminate ecological changes in late Pleistocene landscapes and megafaunal populations as these species approached extinction. The ecological factors at play in this extinction remain unresolved, but isotopes of bone collagen (δ13C, δ15N) and tooth enamel (δ13C, δ18O, 87Sr/86Sr) from midwestern North America are leveraged to examine ecological and behavioral changes that occurred during the last interglacial-glacial cycle. Both species had significant C3 contributions to their diets and experienced increasing levels of niche overlap as they approached extinction. A subset of mastodons after the last glacial maximum exhibit low δ15N values that may represent expansion into a novel ecological niche, perhaps densely occupied by other herbivores. Stable isotopes from serial and microsampled enamel show increasing seasonality and decreasing temperatures as mammoths transitioned from Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 5e to glacial conditions (MIS 4, MIS 3, MIS 2). Isotopic variability in enamel suggests mobility patterns and life histories have potentially large impacts on the interpretation of their stable isotope ecology. This study further refines the ecology of midwestern mammoths and mastodons demonstrating increasing seasonality and niche overlap as they responded to landscape changes in the final millennia before extinction.
This chapter considers the major global concept of active ageing, which represents the widely agreed optimum response to population ageing among international governmental organisations such as the European Community, UN, WHO and OECD. Despite its pre-eminence however there is often confusion about precisely what it means in practice. This chapter argues that this lack of clarity is restricting the potential of the idea of active ageing to provide an effective strategy aimed at ensuring that the effects, both societal and individual, of ageing are as beneficial as possible. In the course of examining why active ageing is so important in the era of population ageing, the promise it embodies, the concept is contrasted with its sister concept of successful ageing. The chapter then focuses on the barriers in the way of realising the full potential of active ageing and, finally, there is a sketch of the principles upon which it can be advanced in an effective and equitable way.
The narrow referendum decision for British exit from the European Union (Brexit), and its explosive political consequences, has become a lens through which decades-long tensions in European society can be viewed. The result, which was expected to be a clear Remain victory, has been interpreted as various combinations of: the unleashing of xenophobic and racist anti-immigrant sentiment; a kick back against disinterested elites by ‘left behind’ people; the fermenting of nationalist populism by political and media actors; a clash of cultural values; a rejection of ‘market is all’ globalisation in favour of national borders; or as a reaction against austerity, inequality and insecurity (Corbett, 2016; Goodwin and Heath, 2016; Hobolt, 2016; Inglehart and Norris, 2016; Kaufmann, 2016; Pettifor, 2016; Room, 2016; Seidler, 2018; Taylor-Gooby, 2017). This British-made shock has parallels in and consequences for wider European society. In the Referendum, the EU became an emblematic representation of the distrusted, remote, technocratic elites, who are said to be responsible for an unbelievably large number of societal ills. Meanwhile across Europe there are varieties of Eurosceptic populism and distrust of elites on both the right and left (Ivaldi et al., 2017).
Twenty years ago, at a public ceremony in Amsterdam, a group of European academics made a solemn declaration on the future of the European Union (EU). Eventually over 1000 scholars and policy makers signed the Amsterdam Declaration on the Social Quality of Europe and it was translated into sixteen languages. The main intention behind the declaration was to remind policy makers and citizens about the unique nature of the western European model of development, comprising aspirations for economic growth, competitiveness and social justice. The risk being warned against was that, in the process of Economic and Monetary Union, the politics of integration would neglect what was then labelled the ‘social dimension’ and, among other far-reaching consequences, this would lead to a loss of legitimacy for the whole European project. As the Comité des Sages put it, bluntly, in 1996, ‘Europe will be a Europe for everyone, for all its citizens, or it will be nothing’.
This article investigates the idea of ‘the social’ in Europe after the UK's EU Referendum vote, with reference to the ‘European social model’. It is argued that the key drivers of the vote outcome did not feature in the referendum campaign but are features of longer running and deeper fractures in both British and wider European society. Especially, the lack of response to societal problems, the downplaying of individual participation, and a crisis in democracy created by an increasingly neoliberal direction within an EU concerned with austerity and social control, contrary to the values of the ‘European social model’ (Walker, 2005). In the absence of action for better ‘social quality’, this overall neoliberal direction has also weakened the progressive and integrative potential of social policy. The result is the regressive nationalist populist backlash against neoliberal technocracy. Instead, we argue that answers to contemporary European challenges must focus on improving social quality and democracy.
This article explores the relationship between Social Quality and income in later life and represents the first application of the concept to a United Kingdom data-set with an explicit focus on older people. In order to undertake this analysis, confirmatory factor analysis models are employed in conjunction with the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS). This enables various dimensions or domains of Social Quality to be measured and then subjected to further scrutiny via regression analysis. Initially, the paper explores links between low income, poverty and older people, prior to outlining the concept of Social Quality and its four conditional factors. Following the methodology, the impact of income on Social Quality domains is explored. We identify that differences in income in older age provide a partial explanation of differences in individual Social Quality. While there is a statistically significant relationship between income and certain aspects of Social Quality such as economic security, altruism, social networks and culture/participation, other factors such as health, identity and time did not have a statistically significant relationship with income. This indicates that improvements in the income of older people are likely to positively impact on aspects of their Social Quality. Finally, some policy implications of the finding are outlined with particular reference to the potential role for pensions in enhancing aspects of Social Quality in retirement.
The inclusive development strategy proposed by the Chinese government embraces social inclusion for older people. In line with most developing countries, China's policy on social inclusion for older people focuses almost exclusively on material security in the form of pensions. This paper examines the impact of pensions on social inclusion for older people across four dimensions: family interaction, social support, social participation and self-assessment using data from the 2014 China Longitudinal Ageing Social Survey. The results demonstrate that pensions improve dramatically the relationships between older adults and their family members and friends, and therefore their social inclusion in the life world. The exception is social participation which seems to be immune to material income effects. However, the stratified pension system in China generates complex and hierarchical effects on social inclusion among different sub-groups. Social inclusion among older people with high exclusion risks but low pensions is very sensitive to pension levels. Conversely, most pensions are distributed to those with the lowest exclusion risks as a result of the disappearance of their impact on social inclusion. We argue that future social inclusion policies for older people in China should focus first on achieving greater equality in pensions.
This article makes the case for a radical new strategy on ageing which focuses on the whole life course with the intention of preventing many of the chronic conditions associated with old age. The case is built on recent research evidence and the life-course concept of ‘active ageing’ is used to encapsulate the practical measures required. Combining biological and social science insights it is argued that, while ageing is inevitable, it is also plastic. This means that it not only manifests itself in different ways but also that it can be modified by mitigating the various risk factors that drive it. Such action would have considerable potential to reduce the personal costs of chronic conditions such as strokes and those falling on family carers but, also, to cut the associated health and social care expenditures. The question of why such apparently beneficial policy action is not being taken is discussed and a range of barriers are identified. One of these appears to be the UK's extreme brand of neo-liberalism, which militates against the collective approach necessary to implement a social policy for active ageing. Although the case is made with primary reference to UK policy and practice, the call for action to prevent chronic conditions has global relevance.
Using Confirmatory Factor Analysis models in conjunction with the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) this paper reports the first application of the concept of Social Quality to a UK data set. Social Quality is concerned with the quality of society, or social relations, and consists of both a theoretical model and an empirically tested set of measures. Social Quality is explored in relation to the policy issues of low pay and the working poor given the challenges presented by the rising number of households in work and in poverty. This analysis reveals several striking characteristics. In terms of poverty per se poor employees are worse off in terms of economic security, housing, health, human capital, trust, voluntarism, citizenship, knowledge and culture whichever part of the employment structure they belong to. However, in addition, even those in the so-called upper level of the labour market (professional, managerial occupations which require reasonably high levels of skill and motivation) are significantly worse off on these dimensions if they are low paid. Therefore it suggests that measures to raise low pay, such as the living wage, are likely to have considerable implications for Social Quality.
The social care system of China has come under close scrutiny from policy makers due to the rapid ageing of China's population. Unfortunately, there is very little Chinese research evidence that might be used to plan future service developments. This article is a contribution to filling that gap and it provides essential new information on the expressed demand among older people in China for various community care services. The data are from the 2008 wave of the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey. According to the characteristics of the dependent variables, we used Binary Logistic Regression Analysis to analyse the need for community care among older people in China. The results show considerable need for such care, but China is still a developing country and there are insufficient resources to fund a Western-style social care system (even if that was desirable). Thus, it is argued that the development of social care in China should emphasise community-based care, in partnership with families, with institutional care as a last resort. In addition, it is argued that China (and other countries) should introduce measures to prevent the demand for social care.
Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) is underrecognised in clinical
To investigate whether performing a 123I-ioflupane injection
(123I-FP-CIT also called DaTSCANTM) single
photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) scan in patients with
possible DLB would lead to a more certain diagnosis (probable DLB or
We randomised 187 patients with possible DLB 2:1 to have a scan or not
(control group). The outcome measure was a change in diagnosis to
probable DLB or non-DLB.
There were 56 controls and 114 scanned patients, of whom 43% had an
abnormal scan. More patients in the imaging group had a change in
diagnosis compared with controls at 8 and 24 weeks (61%
(n = 70) v. 4% (n =
2) and 71% (n = 77) v. 16%
(n = 9); both P<0.0001).
Clinicians were more likely to change the diagnosis if the scan was
abnormal (82%) than if it was normal (46%).
Imaging significantly contributed to a more certain diagnosis, proving to
be a useful adjunct in the work-up of patients with possible DLB.
We present the results of an approximately 6 100 deg2 104–196 MHz radio sky survey performed with the Murchison Widefield Array during instrument commissioning between 2012 September and 2012 December: the MWACS. The data were taken as meridian drift scans with two different 32-antenna sub-arrays that were available during the commissioning period. The survey covers approximately 20.5 h < RA < 8.5 h, − 58° < Dec < −14°over three frequency bands centred on 119, 150 and 180 MHz, with image resolutions of 6–3 arcmin. The catalogue has 3 arcmin angular resolution and a typical noise level of 40 mJy beam− 1, with reduced sensitivity near the field boundaries and bright sources. We describe the data reduction strategy, based upon mosaicked snapshots, flux density calibration, and source-finding method. We present a catalogue of flux density and spectral index measurements for 14 110 sources, extracted from the mosaic, 1 247 of which are sub-components of complexes of sources.
From 1988 the Chinese Government pursued a policy of ‘small government, big society’. The policy was determined at the highest level and, after a pilot study in Hainan Province, was implemented vigorously in a series of political reforms. It was the chief political dimension of the economic restructuring which led from state ownership of enterprises to the so-called socialist market. Like its economic counterpart, it reflected China's adoption of neo-liberal ideology. The aims were to encourage both civil society and the private market to provide social welfare and, thereby, to restrict demands on public expenditure. However, it failed to realise these goals and was recently replaced by a more state oriented approach. The article discusses the Chinese big society project and, specifically, examines why it was introduced, what it consisted of, its impact on social welfare, the criticisms it attracted and its recent changes in nature. The article concludes by considering some possible lessons for the UK Coalition Governments’ big society project and any similar initiatives attempted in other countries.
Comparisons of successful and failed attempts to eradicate livestock ticks reveal that the social context of farming and management of the campaigns have greater influence than techniques of treatment. The biology of ticks is considered principally where it has contributed to control of ticks as practiced on farms. The timing of treatments by life cycle and season can be exploited to reduce numbers of treatments per year. Pastures can be managed to starve and desiccate vulnerable larvae questing on vegetation. Immunity to ticks acquired by hosts can be enhanced by livestock breeding. The aggregated distribution of ticks on hosts with poor immunity can be used to select animals for removal from the herd. Models of tick population dynamics required for predicting outcomes of control methods need better understanding of drivers of distribution, aggregation, stability, and density-dependent mortality. Changing social circumstances, especially of land-use, has an influence on exposure to tick-borne pathogens that can be exploited for disease control.
The scale of foot problems in the population is high, and highest in older people. Whilst podiatry is solely concerned with the foot, other professions with a broader remit are also involved in foot care, as not only the foot may be at risk but also there may be serious systemic sequelae. Foot problems can be usefully viewed from a functional, hierarchical perspective. The interventions required are suggested by considering problems according to this hierarchy. Many approaches exist for the management of foot conditions from educated self-care to surgery. In managing such conditions, multi-disciplinary approaches are required. Podiatry has developed considerably over the years, has a growing research base, an extensive scope of practice and anticipated developments. The profession can develop further, particularly in its preventative role, in terms of professional autonomy and in further increasing its evidence base.