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We analyze the strategic considerations inherent in legislative subsidies and develop an informational lobbying model with costly policy reforms. In contrast to other models of informational lobbying, we focus on the implications of a policymaker’s and a lobby’s resource constraints for lobbying activities. We allow both a policymaker and a lobby to gather information, and each can either fund or subsidize policymaking. Our analysis highlights that legislative subsidies are both chosen strategically by lobbyists and strategically induced by policymakers, dependent on the circumstances. These involve which resource constraints bind the policymaker’s prior beliefs, the salience of policy, and the policymaker’s and lobby’s expertise in information gathering. Our results highlight five distinct motives for informational lobbying and demonstrate that for both a lobby and policymaker, there can be strategic advantages arising from being resource-constrained.
The aim of this study was to assess the impact of a urinary tract infection (UTI) management bundle to reduce the treatment of asymptomatic bacteriuria (AB) and to improve the management of symptomatic UTIs.
Before-and-after intervention study.
Consecutive sample of inpatients with positive single or mixed-predominant urine cultures collected and reported while admitted to the hospital.
The UTI management bundle consisted of nursing and prescriber education, modification of the reporting of positive urine cultures, and pharmacists’ prospective audit and feedback. A retrospective chart review of consecutive inpatients with positive urinary cultures was performed before and after implementation of the management bundle.
Prior to the implementation of the management bundle, 276 patients were eligible criteria for chart review. Of these 276 patients, 165 (59·8%) were found to have AB; of these 165 patients with AB, 111 (67·3%) were treated with antimicrobials. Moreover, 268 patients met eligibility criteria for postintervention review. Of these 268, 133 patients (49·6%) were found to have AB; of these 133 with AB, 22 (16·5%) were treated with antimicrobials. Thus, a 75·5% reduction of AB treatment was achieved. Educational components of the bundle resulted in a substantial decrease in nonphysician-directed urine sample submission. Adherence to a UTI management algorithm improved substantially in the intervention period, with a notable decrease in fluoroquinolone prescription for empiric UTI treatment.
A UTI management bundle resulted in a dramatic improvement in the management of urinary tract infection, particularly a reduction in the treatment of AB and improved management of symptomatic UTI.
We provide the first examination of hedge fund boards and their directors. The majority of directorships are held by extremely busy independent directors. These directors are sought by funds because they have more reputational capital at stake, making them independent and credible monitors whose presence can certify fund quality to investors. Busy independent directors are more likely to be hired by high-quality funds, and their departure from the board is associated with investor withdrawals. Moreover, funds with busy independent directors are less likely to commit fraud, abuse discretionary liquidity restrictions, or engage in performance-based risk shifting.
Within the NHS health check (NHSHC) programme, there is evidence of marked inconsistencies and challenges in practice-level self-reporting of uptake. Consequently, we explored the perceptions of those involved in commissioning of NHSHC to better understand the implications for local and national monitoring and evaluation of programme uptake. Semi-structured, one-to-one, telephone interviews (n=15) were conducted with NHSHC commissioners and leads, and were analysed using inductive thematic analysis. NHSHC data were often collected from practices using online extraction systems but many still relied on self-reported data. Performance targets and indicators used to monitor and feedback to general practices varied between localities. Participants reported a number of issues when collecting and reporting data for NHSHC, namely because of opportunistic checks. Owing to the perceived inaccuracies in reporting, there was concern about the credibility and relevance of national uptake figures. The general practice extraction service will be important to fully understand uptake of NHSHC.
Recent evidence suggests that exercise plays a role in cognition and that the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) can be divided into dorsal and ventral subregions based on distinct connectivity patterns.
To examine the effect of physical activity and division of the PCC on brain functional connectivity measures in subjective memory complainers (SMC) carrying the epsilon 4 allele of apolipoprotein E (APOE 4) allele.
Participants were 22 SMC carrying the APOE ɛ4 allele (ɛ4+; mean age 72.18 years) and 58 SMC non-carriers (ɛ4–; mean age 72.79 years). Connectivity of four dorsal and ventral seeds was examined. Relationships between PCC connectivity and physical activity measures were explored.
ɛ4+ individuals showed increased connectivity between the dorsal PCC and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and the ventral PCC and supplementary motor area (SMA). Greater levels of physical activity correlated with the magnitude of ventral PCC–SMA connectivity.
The results provide the first evidence that ɛ4+ individuals at increased risk of cognitive decline show distinct alterations in dorsal and ventral PCC functional connectivity.
Parasites of the genera Plasmodium and Haemoproteus (Apicomplexa: Haemosporida) are a diverse group of pathogens that infect birds nearly worldwide. Despite their ubiquity, the ecological and evolutionary factors that shape the diversity and distribution of these protozoan parasites among avian communities and geographic regions are poorly understood. Based on a survey throughout the Neotropics of the haemosporidian parasites infecting manakins (Pipridae), a family of Passerine birds endemic to this region, we asked whether host relatedness, ecological similarity and geographic proximity structure parasite turnover between manakin species and local manakin assemblages. We used molecular methods to screen 1343 individuals of 30 manakin species for the presence of parasites. We found no significant correlations between manakin parasite lineage turnover and both manakin species turnover and geographic distance. Climate differences, species turnover in the larger bird community and parasite lineage turnover in non-manakin hosts did not correlate with manakin parasite lineage turnover. We also found no evidence that manakin parasite lineage turnover among host species correlates with range overlap and genetic divergence among hosts. Our analyses indicate that host switching (turnover among host species) and dispersal (turnover among locations) of haemosporidian parasites in manakins are not constrained at this scale.
Objectives: Following pediatric moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injury (msTBI), few predictors have been identified that can reliably identify which individuals are at risk for long-term cognitive difficulties. This study sought to determine the relative contribution of detailed descriptors of injury severity as well as demographic and psychosocial factors to long-term cognitive outcomes after pediatric msTBI. Methods: Participants included 8- to 19-year-olds, 46 with msTBI and 53 uninjured healthy controls (HC). Assessments were conducted in the post-acute and chronic stages of recovery. Medical record review provided details regarding acute injury severity. Parents also completed a measure of premorbid functioning and behavioral problems. The outcome of interest was four neurocognitive measures sensitive to msTBI combined to create an index of cognitive performance. Results: Results indicated that none of the detailed descriptors of acute injury severity predicted cognitive performance. Only the occurrence of injury, parental education, and premorbid academic competence predicted post-acute cognitive functioning. Long-term cognitive outcomes were best predicted by post-acute cognitive functioning. Discussion: The findings suggest that premorbid factors influence cognitive outcomes nearly as much as the occurrence of a msTBI. Furthermore, of youth with msTBI who initially recover to a level of moderate disability or better, a brief cognitive battery administered within several months after injury can best predict which individuals will experience poor long-term cognitive outcomes and require additional services. (JINS, 2016, 22, 1–8)
When considering professional use of the internet, the focus tends to be on access to information. Yet the development of Web 2.0 and the growth of social media have transformed the internet from a largely read-only medium to one that facilitates interaction and user-created content. I will discuss some of the positive effects that online resources can have on professional practice, looking not just at access to information, but what we do with that information and how we interact online with fellow professionals and the public.
FFQ are commonly used to examine the association between diet and disease. They are the most practical method for usual dietary data collection as they are relatively inexpensive and easy to administer. In Australia, the Cancer Council of Victoria FFQ (CCVFFQ) version 2 and the online Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation FFQ (CSIROFFQ) are used. The aim of our study was to establish the level of agreement between nutrient intakes captured using the online CSIROFFQ and the paper-based CCVFFQ. The CCVFFQ and the online CSIROFFQ were completed by 136 healthy participants. FFQ responses were analysed to give g per d intake of a range of nutrients. Agreement between twenty-six nutrient intakes common to both FFQ was measured by a variety of methods. Nutrient intake levels that were significantly correlated between the two FFQ were carbohydrates, total fat, Na and MUFA. When assessing ranking of nutrients into quintiles, on average, 56 % of the participants (for all nutrients) were classified into the same or adjacent quintiles in both FFQ, with the highest percentage agreement for sugar. On average, 21 % of participants were grossly misclassified by three or four quintiles, with the highest percentage misclassification for fibre and Fe. Quintile agreement was similar to that reported by other studies, and we concluded that both FFQ are suitable tools for dividing participants’ nutrient intake levels into high- and low-consumption groups. Use of either FFQ was not appropriate for obtaining accurate estimates of absolute nutrient intakes.
In 1969, Robert E. Gregg collected five species of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in three Subarctic localities near the town of Churchill, Manitoba, Canada, which he documented in a 1972 publication in The Canadian Entomologist. To determine whether there have been any additions to the local fauna – as might be predicted to occur in response to a warming climate and increased traffic to the Port of Churchill in the intervening 40 years – we re-collected ants from the same localities in 2012. We identified the ants we collected from Gregg’s sampling sites using both traditional morphological preparations and DNA barcoding. In addition, we examined specimens from Gregg’s initial collection that are accessioned at the Field Museum of Natural History (Chicago, Illinois, United States of America). Using this integrative approach we report seven species present at the same sites Gregg sampled 40 years earlier. We conclude that the apparent increase is likely not due to any arrivals from more southerly distributed ants, but to the increased resolution provided by DNA barcodes to resident species complexes with a complicated history. We provide a brief synopsis of these results and their taxonomic context.
Across much of lowland Britain, lichen diversity has been dramatically affected by the Industrial Revolution, including the lasting legacy of pollution, and changes in land use including the loss, intensification, or abandonment of traditional woodland management. We sampled preserved epiphytes on historical timbers in vernacular buildings to reconstruct pre-industrial lichen species occurrence for a site in Exmoor, south-west England, and used these data to quantify biodiversity loss that appears related to shifts in woodland composition. A total of 33 lichen epiphyte species were collected from pre-industrial structural timbers, and these were compared with modern lichen occurrence. Based on a direct comparison with species presence-absence in the same 10 km target grid-square, c. 31% of species recorded from the pre-industrial landscape had disappeared from the post-1960 landscape. Based on statistical inference comparing historical records with present-day biogeographical distributions, up to 38% of species could be inferred to be lost. This study presents a surprisingly high figure for these losses for a region in Britain usually recognized as having a relatively unpolluted environment and a diverse set of lichens. Of 12 species that were inferred to be lost, nine are predominantly found on nutrient-rich bark, and in our study on Ulmus, the dominant timber in the archaeological samples. We conclude that shifts in phorophyte distribution and abundance may be more important in this region than previously understood.
High Speed Sintering (HSS) is a novel additive manufacturing technology which currently uses Nylon 12 as the standard feedstock material. To expand the number of processable materials, the preferred characteristics of polymeric powder as a feedstock powder are presented, appropriate materials identified, parts made, and mechanical properties measured. Two commercially available laser sintering (LS) grade powders previously untested for HSS were selected, DuraForm® HST10 and ALM TPE 210-S. Tensile test specimens were manufactured using each material and mechanical properties analyzed and compared to the manufacturers' specification for LS. Tensile test specimens built using DuraForm® PA show higher tensile strength and elongation at break than LS whereas DuraForm® HST10 shows somewhat reduced tensile strength but slightly increased elongation at break. ALM TPE 210-S shows elongation at break of more than double that of LS demonstrating the capability of HSS to process viscous materials. The results indicate that HSS is capable of processing LS grade polymeric powders and may extend beyond.
Autobiographical memory (ABM), personal semantic memory (PSM), and autonoetic consciousness are affected in individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) but their relationship with Alzheimer's disease (AD) biomarkers are unclear.
Forty-five participants (healthy controls (HC) = 31, MCI = 14) completed the Episodic ABM Interview and a battery of memory tests. Thirty-one (HC = 22, MCI = 9) underwent β-amyloid positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. Fourteen participants (HC = 9, MCI = 5) underwent one imaging modality.
Unlike PSM, ABM differentiated between diagnostic categories but did not relate to AD biomarkers. Personal semantic memory was related to neocortical β-amyloid burden after adjusting for age and apolipoprotein E (APOE) ɛ4. Autonoetic consciousness was not associated with AD biomarkers, and was not impaired in MCI.
Autobiographical memory was impaired in MCI participants but was not related to neocortical amyloid burden, suggesting that personal memory systems are impacted by differing disease mechanisms, rather than being uniformly underpinned by β-amyloid. Episodic and semantic ABM impairment represent an important AD prodrome.
Coarse deadwood provides an important habitat for a suite of niche-specialist lichens in old-growth forests, for example, snags (standing dead trees) and fallen logs. Conversely, the scarcity of deadwood in managed forests is a limiting factor to lichen diversity, though cut stumps may provide an alternative habitat for deadwood species. The surface of cut stumps is an ecologically useful study system, facilitating standardized sampling with which to determine the pattern and process of deadwood succession. This study examined vegetation patterns for the surface of cut stumps at Abernethy RSPB Reserve in northern Scotland. We demonstrate the interrelationship between key topographic, management and edaphic factors during a successional process of terrestrialization. Consequently, we recommend that deadwood diversity might be maximized by 1) creating managed plots with varying degrees of canopy openness for sites with different levels of topographic exposure, and 2) providing cut stumps at different heights within plots, to ensure that during a rotational period the process of terrestrialization operates at different speeds among individual microhabitats. The study examined successional processes on cut stumps using two recently accessible and powerful statistical methods: 1) nonparametric multiplicative regression (NPMR), and 2) multivariate regression trees (MRT). The principles on which these techniques are based are becoming the preferred statistical framework with which to provide robust interpretation of field-sampled data; they are unconstrained by prior assumptions as to the form of a species' niche response, and are data-led models evaluated based on cross-validated performance, thereby avoiding the complication of multiple hypothesis tests.
Although beta-amyloid, anxiety and depression have been linked cross-sectionally to reduced memory function in healthy older adults without dementia, prospective data evaluating these associations are lacking. Using data from an observational cohort study of 178 healthy older adults without dementia followed for 3 years, we found that anxiety symptoms significantly moderated the relationship between beta-amyloid level and decline in verbal (Cohen's d = 0.65) and episodic (Cohen's d = 0.38) memory. Anxiety symptoms were additionally linked to greater decline in executive function, irrespective of beta-amyloid and other risk factors. These findings suggest that interventions to mitigate anxiety symptoms may help delay memory decline in otherwise healthy older adults with elevated beta-amyloid.