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The Dark Energy Survey is undertaking an observational programme imaging 1/4 of the southern hemisphere sky with unprecedented photometric accuracy. In the process of observing millions of faint stars and galaxies to constrain the parameters of the dark energy equation of state, the Dark Energy Survey will obtain pre-discovery images of the regions surrounding an estimated 100 gamma-ray bursts over 5 yr. Once gamma-ray bursts are detected by, e.g., the Swift satellite, the DES data will be extremely useful for follow-up observations by the transient astronomy community. We describe a recently-commissioned suite of software that listens continuously for automated notices of gamma-ray burst activity, collates information from archival DES data, and disseminates relevant data products back to the community in near-real-time. Of particular importance are the opportunities that non-public DES data provide for relative photometry of the optical counterparts of gamma-ray bursts, as well as for identifying key characteristics (e.g., photometric redshifts) of potential gamma-ray burst host galaxies. We provide the functional details of the DESAlert software, and its data products, and we show sample results from the application of DESAlert to numerous previously detected gamma-ray bursts, including the possible identification of several heretofore unknown gamma-ray burst hosts.
This article intervenes in the debate on the place of religious arguments in public reason. I advance the debate not by asking whether something called “religious reasons” ought to be invoked in the justification of coercive laws, but by creating a typology of (a) different kinds and forms of religious arguments and, more importantly, (b) different areas of political and social life which coercive laws regulate or about which human political communities deliberate. Religious arguments are of many different kinds, are offered to others in a variety of ways, and the spheres of life about which communities deliberate pose distinct moral questions. Turning back to the public reason debate, I argue then that political liberals ought to be concerned primarily about the invocation of a certain subset of religious reasons in a certain subset of areas of human activity, but also that inclusivist arguments on behalf of religious contributions to public deliberation fail to justify the use of religious arguments in all areas of public deliberation.
The different incidence rates of, and risk factors for, depression in different countries argue for the need to have a specific risk algorithm for each country or a supranational risk algorithm. We aimed to develop and validate a predictD-Spain risk algorithm (PSRA) for the onset of major depression and to compare the performance of the PSRA with the predictD-Europe risk algorithm (PERA) in Spanish primary care.
A prospective cohort study with evaluations at baseline, 6 and 12 months. We measured 39 known risk factors and used multi-level logistic regression and inverse probability weighting to build the PSRA. In Spain (4574), Chile (2133) and another five European countries (5184), 11 891 non-depressed adult primary care attendees formed our at-risk population. The main outcome was DSM-IV major depression (CIDI).
Six variables were patient characteristics or past events (sex, age, sex×age interaction, education, physical child abuse, and lifetime depression) and six were current status [Short Form 12 (SF-12) physical score, SF-12 mental score, dissatisfaction with unpaid work, number of serious problems in very close persons, dissatisfaction with living together at home, and taking medication for stress, anxiety or depression]. The C-index of the PSRA was 0.82 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.79–0.84]. The Integrated Discrimination Improvement (IDI) was 0.0558 [standard error (s.e.)=0.0071, Zexp=7.88, p<0.0001] mainly due to the increase in sensitivity. Both the IDI and calibration plots showed that the PSRA functioned better than the PERA in Spain.
The PSRA included new variables and afforded an improved performance over the PERA for predicting the onset of major depression in Spain. However, the PERA is still the best option in other European countries.
The goal of this research is to develop molecular imprinted polymers (MIP) for biomimetic recognition of viruses. Our experimental results indicate that hydrogels can be produced, which can specifically and selectively bind recombinant baculoviruses. Although it is expected that imprinted cavities will be distorted due to the swelling of the hydrogel in water, our experiments show that even the swollen gels exhibit remarkable affinity toward recombinant baculovirus. The proposed methodologies for the synthesis and characterization of MIPs thus offer exciting avenues for the development of virus recognition techniques. The virus MIPs must function in aqueous environments. Our approach employs a more flexible non-covalent imprinting method, starting from a readily available polyamine polymer, and both MIP synthesis and testing are performed in aqueous solutions. The development of a virus imprinted MIP, which would apply to the identification, classification, and removal of viruses. This is currently a very difficult task, but the need is widespread in diverse sectors, including national security, human and animal health, crop protection, and biologics production. The development of general methods using MIPs capable of specific recognition of biological analytes would have an enormous value in medicine and bioanalytics.
This article presents an interpretation of Sayyid Qutb's political theory based on a prominent feature of his thought: the claim that Islamic law and human nature (fitra) are in perfect harmony, and that the demands of Islamic law are easy and painless for ordinary human moral capacities. I argue that Qutb is not only defending Islamic law as true and obligatory, but also as a coherent “realistic utopia”—a normative theory that also contains a psychological account of that theory's feasibility. Qutb's well-known fascination with the earliest generation of Muslims (the salaf) is an integral part of this account that serves two functions: (1) as a model of the feasibility and realism of an ideal Islamic political order, and (2) as a genealogy of the political origins of moral vice in society. Qutb's project is thus an account of exactly why and how Islam requires politics, and how modern humans can be both free and governed.
This paper examines what is involved in using comparative methods within political theory and whether there should be a comparative political theory subfield. It argues that political theory consists of multiple kinds of activities that are either primarily “scholarly” or “engaged.” It is easy to imagine how scholarly forms of political theory can be, and have been, comparative. The paper critiques (not rejects) existing calls for the creation of a comparative political theory subfield focused on the study of non-Western texts. Comparative political theory needs to explain why it is not merely expanding the canon to include non-Western texts and why a certain non-Western text is “alien,” thus justifying the moniker comparative. Ten discrete theses are presented that argue that the strongest warrant for an engaged comparative political theory is the first-order evaluation of the implication of the contestations of norms, values, and principles between distinct and coherent doctrines of thought.
In this article I take up John Rawls's invitation to investigate the capacity of a given comprehensive ethical doctrine to endorse on principled grounds the liberal terms of social cooperation. In the case of Islamic political ethics, however, far more is at stake in affirming citizenship in a (non-Muslim) liberal democracy than state neutrality and individual autonomy. Islamic legal and political traditions have traditionally held that submission to non-Muslim political authority and bonds of loyalty and solidarity with non-Muslim societies are to be avoided. In this article, I examine the Islamic foundations for affirming on principled grounds residence, political obligation, and loyalty to a non-Muslim state. My research shows not only that such grounds exist even in classical Islamic legal discourses, but also that the concerns of Islamic scholars vindicate political liberalism's claim to successfully accommodate the adherents of certain nonliberal doctrines by refraining from proclaiming controversial metaphysical truthclaims.
One of the most fascinating anti-predator responses displayed by parasites is that of hairworms (Nematomorpha). Following the ingestion of the insect host by fish or frogs, the parasitic worm is able to actively exit both its host and the gut of the predator. Using as a model the hairworm, Paragordius tricuspidatus, (parasitizing the cricket Nemobius sylvestris) and the fish predator Micropterus salmoïdes, we explored, with proteomics tools, the physiological basis of this anti-predator response. By examining the proteome of the parasitic worm, we detected a differential expression of 27 protein spots in those worms able to escape the predator. Peptide Mass Fingerprints of candidate protein spots suggest the existence of an intense muscular activity in escaping worms, which functions in parallel with their distinctive biology. In a second step, we attempted to determine whether the energy expended by worms to escape the predator is traded off against its reproductive potential. Remarkably, the number of offspring produced by worms having escaped a predator was not reduced compared with controls.
We analysed a strain collection representative of the overall Neisseria meningitidis population circulating in an open community (46000 inhabitants, Spain) during an endemic period (30 isolates from patients and 191 from throat cultures of healthy individuals) by both phenotypic and molecular techniques. Almost all patient isolates were assigned to three hyper-virulent lineages (ET-5 complex, ET-37 complex and cluster A4) by both multilocus enzyme electrophoresis (MEE) and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). In contrast, MEE and PFGE assigned 20% and 15% respectively of carrier isolates to the hyper-virulent clones (4% for both methods together). There was also a higher correlation between PFGE and phenotypes associated with virulent clones. These notable differences between the two molecular methods were further observed in more than half the carrier isolates, suggesting that the associations between these strains were distorted by recombination events. However, almost one-third of total endemic strains from symptom-free carriers and almost all patient strains belonged to clones defined by MEE and PFGE, with no known epidemiological connection. These data indicate low transmission and a weak clonal structure for N. meningitidis.
Phytate (inositol hexaphosphate; InsP6) was determined in rat tissues fed on diets with different phytate contents, using a GC–mass detection methodology that permitted the evaluation of the total amount of this substance present in such tissues. The highest InsP6 concentrations were found in brain (5·89×10-2 (SE 5·7×10-3) MG/G DM), WHEREAS THE CONCENTRATIONS DETECTED IN KIDNEYS, LIVER AND BONE WERE SIMILAR TO EACH OTHER (1·96×10-3 (se 0·20×10-3), 3·11×10-3 (se 0·24×10-3), 1·77×10-3 (se 0·17×10-3) mg/g DM respectively) and 10-fold less than those detected in brain. When rats were fed on a purified diet in which InsP6 was undetectable, the InsP6 levels of the organs mentioned earlier decreased dramatically (9·0×10-4, 3·8×10-5, 1·4×10-5 mg/g DM in brain, kidneys and liver respectively) and in some cases became undetectable (bone). The addition of InsP6 to this purified diet led to the increase of InsP6 levels in these tissues. This clearly demonstrated that the majority of the InsP6 found in organs and tissues has a dietary origin and is not a consequence of endogenous synthesis. Consequently, considering that InsP6 could be involved in some important biological roles, the value of any diet on supplying this substance is noteworthy.
Several studies have indicated that additional genes in the major histocompatibility complex
(MHC) region, other than the class II genes HLA-DQB1 and -DRB1 (the IDDM1 locus), may
contribute to susceptibility and resistance to type 1 diabetes. The relative magnitude of these non-
DR/DQ effects is uncertain and their map location is unknown owing to the extraordinary linkage
disequilibrium that extends over the 3.5 Mb of the MHC. The homozygous parent test has been
proposed as a method for detection of additional risk factors conditional on HLA-DQB1 and -DRB1.
However, this method is inefficient since it uses only parents homozygous for the primary disease
locus, the DQB1-DRB1 haplotype. To overcome this limitation, Conditional ETDT was used in the
present report to test for association conditional on the DQB1-DRB1 haplotype, thereby allowing all
parents to be included in the analysis. First, we confirm in UK and Sardinian type 1 diabetic families
that allelic variation at HLA-DRB1 has a very significant effect on the association of DQB1 and vice
versa. The Conditional ETDT was then applied to the HLA TNF (tumour necrosis factor) region and
microsatellite marker D6S273 region, both of which have been reported to contribute to IDDM1
independent of the HLA-DQB1-DRB1 genes. We found no evidence for a major role for either of these
two regions in IDDM1.
While large cities typically staff ambulances with two emergency medical services (EMS) professionals, some EMS agencies use three people for ambulance crews. The Greenville, North Carolina, EMS agency converted from three-person to two-person EMS crews in July 1993. There are no published reports investigating the best crew size for out-of-hospital emergency care.
Two-person EMS crews perform the same number and types of interventions as three-person EMS crews. Two-person EMS crews do not have longer on-scene times than do three-person EMS crews.
Data for the two most common advanced life support calls in this system—seizures and chest pains—were collected for the months of June and August 1993. Three-person EMS crews responded to both types of calls in June. In August, two-person EMS crews responded to seizure calls; two-person EMS crews accompanied by a fire department engine (pumper) with additional manpower responded to chest pain calk. The frequency of specific interventions, number of total interventions, and scene times for the August calls were compared to their historical control groups, the June calls.
One hundred twenty-six patient contacts were included in the study. There were no significant differences in total number or types of procedures performed for the two patient groups. Mean on-scene time for patients with seizures was 11.0±4.2 minutes for three-person crews and 19.4±8.3 minutes for two-person crews (p <0.001). Mean on-scene time for patients with chest pain was 13.6±4.9 minutes for three-person crews, and 15.4±3.2 minutes for two-person crews assisted by fire department personnel (p >0.05).
Two-person EMS crews perform the same number of procedures as do three-person EMS crews. However, without the assistance of additional responders, two-person EMS crews may have statistically significantly longer onscene times than three-person EMS crews.