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The design of government portfolios – that is, the distribution of competencies among government ministries and office holders – has been largely ignored in the study of executive and coalition politics. This article argues that portfolio design is a substantively and theoretically relevant phenomenon that has major implications for the study of institutional design and coalition politics. The authors use comparative data on portfolio design reforms in nine Western European countries since the 1970s to demonstrate how the design of government portfolios changes over time. Specifically, they show that portfolios are changed frequently (on average about once a year) and that such shifts are more likely after changes in the prime ministership or the party composition of the government. These findings suggest a political logic behind these reforms based on the preferences and power of political parties and politicians. They have major implications for the study of institutional design and coalition politics.
A general computer program has been written in basic Fortran language and tested for computing average particle size, strain, and particle size distribution according to the Fourier method of B. E. Warren.
The program provides such optional features as input data and Fourier coefficient print out, automatic background correction, the choice of fixed count or fixed time input mode, the synthesized diffraction peaks deconvoluted with respect to the instrumental diffraction peak, and a variable amplification range of particle Size. Included in the analysis is a polynomial fitting procedure for the scattering factor. The authors have attempted to write this computer program to be as self-explanatory as possible for general applicability. This program is available on request.
This Fourier analysis program has been tested using known distribution functions, and has been used for measuring average particle size, particle size and strain distribution in heattreated boron-doped graphite samples.
In the past few years, there has been an unprecedented increase in the number of forcibly displaced migrants worldwide, of which a substantial proportion is refugees and asylum seekers. Refugees and asylum seekers may experience high levels of psychological distress, and show high rates of mental health conditions. It is therefore timely and particularly relevant to assess whether current evidence supports the provision of psychosocial interventions for this population. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) assessing the efficacy and acceptability of psychosocial interventions compared with control conditions (treatment as usual/no treatment, waiting list, psychological placebo) aimed at reducing mental health problems in distressed refugees and asylum seekers.
We used Cochrane procedures for conducting a systematic review and meta-analysis of RCTs. We searched for published and unpublished RCTs assessing the efficacy and acceptability of psychosocial interventions in adults and children asylum seekers and refugees with psychological distress. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depressive and anxiety symptoms at post-intervention were the primary outcomes. Secondary outcomes include: PTSD, depressive and anxiety symptoms at follow-up, functioning, quality of life and dropouts due to any reason.
We included 26 studies with 1959 participants. Meta-analysis of RCTs revealed that psychosocial interventions have a clinically significant beneficial effect on PTSD (standardised mean difference [SMD] = −0.71; 95% confidence interval [CI] −1.01 to −0.41; I2 = 83%; 95% CI 78–88; 20 studies, 1370 participants; moderate quality evidence), depression (SMD = −1.02; 95% CI −1.52 to −0.51; I2 = 89%; 95% CI 82–93; 12 studies, 844 participants; moderate quality evidence) and anxiety outcomes (SMD = −1.05; 95% CI −1.55 to −0.56; I2 = 87%; 95% CI 79–92; 11 studies, 815 participants; moderate quality evidence). This beneficial effect was maintained at 1 month or longer follow-up, which is extremely important for populations exposed to ongoing post-migration stressors. For the other secondary outcomes, we identified a non-significant trend in favour of psychosocial interventions. Most evidence supported interventions based on cognitive behavioural therapies with a trauma-focused component. Limitations of this review include the limited number of studies collected, with a relatively low total number of participants, and the limited available data for positive outcomes like functioning and quality of life.
Considering the epidemiological relevance of psychological distress and mental health conditions in refugees and asylum seekers, and in view of the existing data on the effectiveness of psychosocial interventions, these interventions should be routinely made available as part of the health care of distressed refugees and asylum seekers. Evidence-based guidelines and implementation packages should be developed accordingly.
Parapharyngeal abscess and mediastinitis are rare but very severe post-operative complications following an elective tonsillectomy. Parapharyngeal abscess as a complication to tonsilectomy is very seldom described in the literature and no cases in the paediatric population have been described.
This paper presents, to our knowledge, the first case of life-threatening parapharyngeal abscess and mediastinitis following elective adenotonsillectomy in an otherwise healthy, fully vaccinated 10-year-old girl.
Diagnosing parapharyngeal abscess and mediastinitis can be challenging, but should be suspected and ruled out in cases of post-operative odynophagia, fever, and/or neck swelling and thoracic pain. Diagnosis is made based on magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography findings. Prompt broad-spectrum intravenous antibiotic treatment and surgical drainage should be initiated. Other severe complications such as meningitis should also be considered.
A wealth of clinical studies have identified objective biomarkers, which separate schizophrenia patients from healthy controls on a group level, but current diagnostic systems solely include clinical symptoms. In this study, we investigate if machine learning algorithms on multimodal data can serve as a framework for clinical translation.
Forty-six antipsychotic-naïve, first-episode schizophrenia patients and 58 controls underwent neurocognitive tests, electrophysiology, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Patients underwent clinical assessments before and after 6 weeks of antipsychotic monotherapy with amisulpride. Nine configurations of different supervised machine learning algorithms were applied to first estimate the unimodal diagnostic accuracy, and next to estimate the multimodal diagnostic accuracy. Finally, we explored the predictability of symptom remission.
Cognitive data significantly classified patients from controls (accuracies = 60–69%; p values = 0.0001–0.009). Accuracies of electrophysiology, structural MRI, and diffusion tensor imaging did not exceed chance level. Multimodal analyses with cognition plus any combination of one or more of the remaining three modalities did not outperform cognition alone. None of the modalities predicted symptom remission.
In this multivariate and multimodal study in antipsychotic-naïve patients, only cognition significantly discriminated patients from controls, and no modality appeared to predict short-term symptom remission. Overall, these findings add to the increasing call for cognition to be included in the definition of schizophrenia. To bring about the full potential of machine learning algorithms in first-episode, antipsychotic-naïve schizophrenia patients, careful a priori variable selection based on independent data as well as inclusion of other modalities may be required.
The heavy reliance on imported soybean meal (SBM) as a protein source makes it necessary for the European pig industry to search for alternatives and to develop pigs that perform efficiently when fed such ingredients. Digestion and metabolism are major physiological processes contributing to variation in feed efficiency. Therefore, an experiment was conducted to assess the effects of replacing SBM with increasing levels of rapeseed meal (RSM) in diets for young pigs on apparent total tract digestibility (ATTD) of energy and nutrients, nitrogen (N) balance, energy metabolism and carbohydrate, protein and fat oxidation. Four diets were fed to 32 pigs (22.7±4.1 kg initial BW) for three weeks. The diets consisted of a control cereal grain-SBM basal diet and three test diets where SBM and wheat were partially replaced with 10%, 20%, and 30% of expeller RSM. Increasing level of RSM in the diets linearly reduced ATTD of organic matter, CP, total carbohydrates, dietary fiber and energy. Utilization of digested nitrogen (DN) for N retention and total N excretion were not affected by RSM inclusion, however, RSM inclusion induced a shift in N excretion from urine to feces. Despite a linear increase in liver to metabolic BW ratio, heat production and utilization of metabolizable energy (ME) for retention were not affected by increasing RSM inclusion. In conclusion, replacing SBM with up to 30% of expeller RSM in nutritionally balanced diets for young pigs reduced the ATTD of most nutrients and energy, but did not affect N and energy retention in the body or efficiency of utilization of DN or ME for retention.
Introduction: Interest groups have become increasingly popular as students explore potential career paths earlier in their undergraduate experience. Emergency medicine (EM) has grown as a specialty and the match has become quite competitive. Attractive features of EM cited by learners (diversity, procedural skills and flexible schedule) appeal broadly to the undergraduate population. Learners at Memorial University recognized this leadership opportunity and worked with faculty to reach this wide target audience through a streamlined iterative evaluation of their EM Interest Group (EMIG). Methods: The local EMIG was formed in 2010. Yearly, EMIG executive work with outgoing members using prior experiences, contacts and best practices to facilitate handover and progress. From 2015 to present, 305 surveys were collected, giving an 81.9% response rate. 59.7% of respondents were first year students, and 40.3% were second year. The survey consisted of Likert scale and open-response questions. The Likert scale questions yielded favorable responses. 304 students (99.6%) felt presenters were knowledgeable, 301 (98.6%) would recommend the sessions to others and 301 (98.6%) were satisfied they attended. Surprisingly, 133 students (43.6%) said they were not interested in Emergency Medicine, likely attending due to the appeal of session topics and transferrable of EM skills. 232 (76.0%) stated that attendance did increase their interest in EM. Top responses for aspects of EM most interesting to them included: ability to find a work/life balance, ability to work urban or rural, variety of cases seen, and the non-routine shifts. Results: Survey feedback is used to inform refinement of the content, delivery and format of EMIG activities, delivered by EM faculty. Hands-on sessions (eg. suturing & airway management) have been popular. Informational sessions, on specific medical topics (ECG, resuscitation cases) or broader topics (EM streams) have also been very well received. Inclusion of all interested students, particularly large numbers for hands-on sessions, has presented challenges. Beyond current survey results, it will be interesting to consider if EMIG participation translates to learning or behavioral changes relevant to later clinical encounters; a question that will be difficult to quantify. Conclusion: The EM interest group is one of the most active at Memorial University. Survey results indicate that participants enjoy the EMIG session content and the structured iterative approach used by the group has been successful in maintaining an effective student led organization.
Introduction: Despite clear health benefits, and Public Health Agency of Canada recommendations, vaccination rates among Canadian adults are low. Frequent patient contacts, wait times, and the availability of trained staff make the emergency department (ED) a potential location to target specific populations and administer vaccinations. We evaluated the feasibility of two strategies to administer the Tdap vaccine to adult patients presenting to a single referral ED. Methods: Two immunization strategies and a control group were randomly ordered from one to three. Data collection for group one started on study day one with data collection for groups two and three on study days two and three respectively. This sequence was repeated over 15 consecutive weekdays (Monday-Friday, 0730-1530), evenly assigning each group to 5 different days. On intervention days, adult patients were screened during the triage process for eligibility to receive the Tdap vaccine. An ED based (EDB) strategy offered patients vaccination during that visit. The second strategy offered eligible patients a public health referral (PHR) to receive the vaccine at a later date. On all study days, patient triage times (TT), as well as markers of ED efficiency (number of patient registrations, time to physician, length of stay, left without being seen, number of admissions, number of boarded patients) were recorded. Results: The primary outcome, the proportion of eligible adults immunized, was significantly higher at 66% (n=81) for the EDB strategy (228 screened, 122 eligible), compared with 21% (n=20) for the PHR strategy (217 screened, 94 eligible; x2 (2, n=216)=43.41, p<0.00001). In addition, 10 participants in the PHR group received a second vaccine (Pneumococcal (7), Influenza (2), Human Papillomavirus (1)). Reasons for vaccine ineligibility included having an up-to-date Tdap (EDB n=47 (21%), PHR n=46 (21%)) and being considered in too much distress by the triage nurse (EDB n=26 (11%), PHR n=19 (9%)). Triage time was less for the control group (M=5:55 [mins:secs], SD=2:48) than for the EDB (M=6:47, SD=3:12) and PHR (M=7:25, SD=2:45) strategies. Conclusion: An ED based screening and immunization strategy was highly effective in providing eligible adult patients with the Tdap vaccine. A resulting small increase in triage time was not clinically significant. Further studies are required to generalize these results.
Coinfection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and viral hepatitis is associated with high morbidity and mortality in the absence of clinical management, making identification of these cases crucial. We examined characteristics of HIV and viral hepatitis coinfections by using surveillance data from 15 US states and two cities. Each jurisdiction used an automated deterministic matching method to link surveillance data for persons with reported acute and chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections, to persons reported with HIV infection. Of the 504 398 persons living with diagnosed HIV infection at the end of 2014, 2.0% were coinfected with HBV and 6.7% were coinfected with HCV. Of the 269 884 persons ever reported with HBV, 5.2% were reported with HIV. Of the 1 093 050 persons ever reported with HCV, 4.3% were reported with HIV. A greater proportion of persons coinfected with HIV and HBV were males and blacks/African Americans, compared with those with HIV monoinfection. Persons who inject drugs represented a greater proportion of those coinfected with HIV and HCV, compared with those with HIV monoinfection. Matching HIV and viral hepatitis surveillance data highlights epidemiological characteristics of persons coinfected and can be used to routinely monitor health status and guide state and national public health interventions.
This study aims to investigate the climate–malaria associations in nine cities selected from malaria high-risk areas in China. Daily reports of malaria cases in Anhui, Henan, and Yunnan Provinces for 2005–2012 were obtained from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Generalized estimating equation models were used to quantify the city-specific climate–malaria associations. Multivariate random-effects meta-regression analyses were used to pool the city-specific effects. An inverted-U-shaped curve relationship was observed between temperatures, average relative humidity, and malaria. A 1 °C increase of maximum temperature (Tmax) resulted in 6·7% (95% CI 4·6–8·8%) to 15·8% (95% CI 14·1–17·4%) increase of malaria, with corresponding lags ranging from 7 to 45 days. For minimum temperature (Tmin), the effect estimates peaked at lag 0 to 40 days, ranging from 5·3% (95% CI 4·4–6·2%) to 17·9% (95% CI 15·6–20·1%). Malaria is more sensitive to Tmin in cool climates and Tmax in warm climates. The duration of lag effect in a cool climate zone is longer than that in a warm climate zone. Lagged effects did not vanish after an epidemic season but waned gradually in the following 2–3 warm seasons. A warming climate may potentially increase the risk of malaria resurgence in China.
Dietary carbohydrates constitute a major fraction of the diets for pigs. The carbohydrate fraction consists of mono-, di- and oligosaccharides and two broad classes of polysaccharides – starch and non-starch polysaccharides (NSP). The carbohydrate fraction has a diverse composition in terms of constituent sugars (pentoses, hexoses, deoxysugars, etc.), glycosidic linkages (alfa or beta), size (degree of polymerisation from one to several thousand), and physical form (soluble in water, insoluble, cation and adsorbing properties). It is now evidential clear that the composition of the carbohydrate fraction influences the digestion and absorption processes of carbohydrates and other nutrients in the various parts of the gastrointestinal tract, it has a profound influence on the secretory response of the gut to feed intake, the volume flow, the mucosal architecture, the composition of the gut flora and the development of the gastrointestinal tract.
There are roughly 25 very metal-poor (VMP; [Fe/H] < -2.0), highly r-process-enhanced (‘r-II’; [Eu/Fe] > + 1.0) stars currently known, discovered over the past 20+ years. These stars provide nearly pure signatures of r-process events early in the Galactic history. We are conducting a high-resolution follow-up survey of RAVE and other bright targets to identify a total of > 100 r-II stars. Our pilot runs on the du Pont 2.5-m at Las Campanas Observatory and the ARC 3.5-m at Apache Point Observatory have already identified up to fourteen new r-II stars. We are continuing our high-resolution follow-up efforts to constrain the astrophysical site(s) and nature of the r-process.
Background: Cerebral palsy (CP) is a debilitating disorder (1). Based on neuromotor impairments it is divided to spastic, dyskinetic and ataxic types (2). Inborn Errors of Metabolism (IEMs), monogenic and chromosomal disorders mimic CP (3). We aimed to identify causal genetic variants in patients with atypical dyskinetic CP in whom known IEMs were ruled out. Timely diagnosis is essential for proper management, especially in conditions that mimic CP and are treatable. Methods: We enrolled 23 patients with unexplained atypical dyskinetic CP, for whole exome sequencing. Variants were filtered against public and in-house databases to identify variants predicted as damaging (in silico tools and ACMG criteria). We applied a virtual gene panel of known and suspected CP and movement disorder genes and investigated each sample. Results: The participants presented with symptoms including: spasticity, dystonia, choera-athetosis, ataxia and cognitive delays. We identified 23 diagnoses: 13 dominant,6 recessive and 4 X-linked. 12 patients had movement disorders. In 4, the diagnoses enabled targeted treatment (neurotransmitter supplements in Unverricht Lundborg diseases (CSTB) and PAK3 deficiency, deep brain stimulation in GNAO1 deficiency, medical diet in Glutaric Aciduria (GCDH). Conclusions: Whole Exome Sequencing contributes to establishing diagnosis in patients with atypical dyskinetic CP resulting in precision medicine and improved health outcomes.
The vast majority of piglets reared in the European Union (EU) and worldwide is tail docked to reduce the risk of being tail bitten, even though EU animal welfare legislation bans routine tail docking. Many conventional herds experience low levels of tail biting among tail docked pigs, however it is not known, what the prevalence would have been had the pigs not been tail docked. The aim of this study was to compare the prevalence of tail lesions between docked and undocked pigs in a conventional piggery in Denmark with very low prevalence of tail biting among tail docked pigs. The study included 1922 DanAvl Duroc×(Landrace×Large White) female and castrated male pigs (962 docked and 960 undocked). Docked and undocked pigs were housed under the same conditions in the same room but in separate pens with 20 (±0.03) pigs/pen. Pigs had ad libitum access to commercial diets in a feed dispenser. Manipulable material in the form of chopped straw was provided daily on the floor (~10 g/pig per day), and each pen had two vertically placed soft wood boards. From weaning to slaughter, tail wounds (injury severity and freshness) were scored every 2nd week. No clinical signs of injured tails were observed within the tail docked group, whereas 23.0% of the undocked pigs got a tail lesion. On average, 4.0% of the pigs with undocked tails had a tail lesion on tail inspection days. More pens with tail lesions were observed among pigs weighing 30 to 60 kg (34.3%; P<0.05) than in pens with pigs weighing 7 to 30 kg (13.0%) and 60 to 90 kg (12.8%). Removal of pigs to a hospital pen was more likely in undocked pens (P<0.05, 47.7% undocked pens and 22.9% docked pens). Finally, abattoir meat inspection data revealed more tail biting remarks in undocked pigs (P<0.001). In conclusion, this study suggests that housing pigs with intact tails in conventional herds with very low prevalence of tail biting among tail docked pigs, will increase the prevalence of pigs with tail lesions considerably, and pig producers will need more hospital pens. Abattoir data indicate that tail biting remarks from meat inspection data severely underestimate on-farm prevalence of tail lesions.
Government transparency is widely promoted, yet little is known about transparency’s effects. Survey experiments reported here, made on the streets of Lima, Peru, investigate a simple question: what are the effects of government-sponsored transparency websites, and the information revealed by those efforts, on attitudes about the Peruvian political system? Like many developing countries, Peru lacks much system support, making it more difficult to improve governance and democracy; transparency itself has little impact on political attitudes. However, some dimensions of the information provided by transparency matter: endorsement by a credible third party or framing that associates comparatively good community well-being with government performance. These conditions substantively increase Peruvians’ approval of the national political community, the regime’s performance, institutions, and local government.
Previous studies suggest that adults with Tourette syndrome (TS) can respond unconventionally on tasks involving social cognition. We therefore hypothesized that these patients would exhibit different neural responses to healthy controls in response to emotionally salient expressions of human eyes.
Twenty-five adults with TS and 25 matched healthy controls were scanned using fMRI during the standard version of the Reading the Mind in the Eyes Task which requires mental state judgements, and a novel comparison version requiring judgements about age.
During prompted mental state recognition, greater activity was apparent in TS within left orbitofrontal cortex, posterior cingulate, right amygdala and right temporo-parietal junction (TPJ), while reduced activity was apparent in regions including left inferior parietal cortex. Age judgement elicited greater activity in TS within precuneus, medial prefrontal and temporal regions involved in mentalizing. The interaction between group and task revealed differential activity in areas including right inferior frontal gyrus. Task-related activity in the TPJ covaried with global ratings of the urge to tic.
While recognizing mental states, adults with TS exhibit greater activity than controls in brain areas involved in the processing of negative emotion, in addition to reduced activity in regions associated with the attribution of agency. In addition, increased recruitment of areas involved in mental state reasoning is apparent in these patients when mentalizing is not a task requirement. Our findings highlight differential neural reactivity in response to emotive social cues in TS, which may interact with tic expression.
To characterize meal patterns across ten European countries participating in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) calibration study.
Cross-sectional study utilizing dietary data collected through a standardized 24 h diet recall during 1995–2000. Eleven predefined intake occasions across a 24 h period were assessed during the interview. In the present descriptive report, meal patterns were analysed in terms of daily number of intake occasions, the proportion reporting each intake occasion and the energy contributions from each intake occasion.
Twenty-seven centres across ten European countries.
Women (64 %) and men (36 %) aged 35–74 years (n 36 020).
Pronounced differences in meal patterns emerged both across centres within the same country and across different countries, with a trend for fewer intake occasions per day in Mediterranean countries compared with central and northern Europe. Differences were also found for daily energy intake provided by lunch, with 38–43 % for women and 41–45 % for men within Mediterranean countries compared with 16–27 % for women and 20–26 % for men in central and northern European countries. Likewise, a south–north gradient was found for daily energy intake from snacks, with 13–20 % (women) and 10–17 % (men) in Mediterranean countries compared with 24–34 % (women) and 23–35 % (men) in central/northern Europe.
We found distinct differences in meal patterns with marked diversity for intake frequency and lunch and snack consumption between Mediterranean and central/northern European countries. Monitoring of meal patterns across various cultures and populations could provide critical context to the research efforts to characterize relationships between dietary intake and health.
Efforts to develop the next generation of aircraft with ever-increasing levels of performance – higher, farther, faster, cheaper – face great technical challenges. One of these technical challenges is to reduce structural weight of the aircraft. Another is to look to aircraft configurations that have been unrealizable to date. Both of these paths can lead to a rigid flex coupling phenomenon that can result in anything from poor flying qualities to the loss of an aircraft due to flutter. This has led to a need to develop an integrated flight and aeroelastic control capability where structural dynamics are included in the synthesis of flight control laws. Studies have indicated that the application of an integrated flight and aeroelastic control approach to a SensorCraft high-altitude long-endurance vehicle would provide substantial performance improvement(1,2). Better flying qualities and an expanded flight envelope through multi-flutter mode control are two areas of improvement afforded by integrated flight and aeroelastic control. By itself, multi-flutter mode control transforms the flutter barrier from a point of catastrophic structural failure to a benign region of flight. This paper discusses the history and issues associated with the development of such an integrated flight and aeroelastic control system for the X-56A aircraft.