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Ongoing, rapid innovations in fields ranging from microelectronics, aerospace, and automotive to defense, energy, and health demand new advanced materials at even greater rates and lower costs. Traditional materials R&D methods offer few paths to achieve both outcomes simultaneously. Materials informatics, while a nascent field, offers such a promise through screening, growing databases of materials for new applications, learning new relationships from existing data resources, and building fast predictive models. We highlight key materials informatics successes from the atomic-scale modeling community, and discuss the ecosystem of open data, software, services, and infrastructure that have led to broad adoption of materials informatics approaches. We then examine emerging opportunities for informatics in materials science and describe an ideal data ecosystem capable of supporting similar widespread adoption of materials informatics, which we believe will enable the faster design of materials.
High blood pressure (BP) variability, which may be an important determinant of hypertensive end-organ damage, is emerging as an important predictor of cardiovascular health. Dietary antioxidants can influence BP, but their effects on variability are yet to be investigated. The aim of the present study was to assess the effects of vitamin E, vitamin C and polyphenols on the rate of daytime and night-time ambulatory BP variation. To assess these effects, two randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials were performed. In the first trial (vitamin E), fifty-eight individuals with type 2 diabetes were given 500 mg/d of RRR-α-tocopherol, 500 mg/d of mixed tocopherols or placebo for 6 weeks. In the second trial (vitamin C–polyphenols), sixty-nine treated hypertensive individuals were given 500 mg/d of vitamin C, 1000 mg/d of grape-seed polyphenols, both vitamin C and polyphenols, or neither (placebo) for 6 weeks. At baseline and at the end of the 6-week intervention, 24 h ambulatory BP and rate of measurement-to-measurement BP variation were assessed. Compared with placebo, treatment with α-tocopherol, mixed tocopherols, vitamin C and polyphenols did not significantly alter the rate of daytime or night-time systolic BP, diastolic BP or pulse pressure variation (P>0·05). Treatment with the vitamin C and polyphenol combination resulted in higher BP variation: the rate of night-time systolic BP variation (P= 0·022) and pulse pressure variation (P= 0·0036) were higher and the rate of daytime systolic BP variation was higher (P= 0·056). Vitamin E, vitamin C or grape-seed polyphenols did not significantly alter the rate of BP variation. However, the increase in the rate of BP variation suggests that the combination of high doses of vitamin C and polyphenols could be detrimental to treated hypertensive individuals.
The woylie Bettongia penicillata is categorized as Critically Endangered, having declined by c. 90% between 1999 and 2006. The decline continues and the cause is not fully understood. Within a decline diagnosis framework we characterized the nature of the decline and identified potential causes, with a focus on the species’ largest populations, located in south-west Western Australia. We described the spatio-temporal pattern of the decline, and several attributes that are common across sites. We categorized the potential causes of the decline as resources, predators, disease and direct human interference. Based on the available evidence the leading hypothesis is that disease may be making woylies more vulnerable to predation but this remains to be tested. No substantial recoveries have been sustained to date, and one of the three remaining indigenous populations now appears to be extinct. Therefore, verifying the factors causing the decline and those limiting recovery is becoming increasingly urgent. Active adaptive management can be used to test putative agents, such as introduced predators. Insurance populations and ecological monitoring should also be included in an integrated conservation and management strategy for the species.
The pyroelectric coefficients of a range of polymers with a methacrylate backbone and nitrostilbene or nitrobipheny mesogens attached by a 3 or 6 carbon spacer have been measured in order to assess the efficiency of the poling process. It is found that the response is much lower than the guest-host system MNA in PMMA, suggesting that the polar mesogens pack anti-parallel and that this alignment is not broken by the applied field.
These strong interactions also provide an explanation for the absence of the β relaxation process in the experimental polymers and therefore the brittle nature of the films. They may also explain the stability of the polarisation achieved.
The purpose of this feminist narrative study was to examine the experiences of women in four different health professions (nursing, medicine, physiotherapy, and social work) who provided care to elderly relatives. Although caring is a central and common feature of the personal and professional lives of many women (Baines, Evans, & Neysmith, 1991; Baines, 2004), the separation of professional, paid caregiving from family, unpaid caregiving among health care providers is problematic. Study findings suggest that female health professionals who assume familial responsibilities continually negotiate the boundaries between their professional and personal caring work. Despite the use of a variety of strategies for managing their double-duty caregiving demands, many women experienced a dramatic blurring or erosion of these boundaries, resulting in feelings of isolation, tension, and extreme physical and mental exhaustion. These findings suggest that women who are double-duty caregivers, especially those with limited time, finances, or other tangible supports, may experience poor health, which warrants further study.
During the 1790s, Mary Hays was one of the most influential radical novelists and polemicists in England. She counted amongst her closest friends and mentors the likes of Joseph Johnson, William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft. During this tumultuous final decade of the century, she published two novels, The Memoirs of Emma Courtney and The Victim of Prejudice. Both were controversial in the extreme, attracting the opprobrium of conservative critics. What caused such consternation was not merely their vivid description of the myriad political and social injustices suffered by her female compatriots, but the role of the law in perpetuating such injustices. For much of the last two hundred years Hays has been a largely forgotten figure, her novels occasioning rare interest amongst literary critics and historians, rarer interest still amongst jurists. The purpose of this article is to address this neglect, and to recommend Hays as one of the most intriguing and urgent prophets of modern literary and jurisprudential feminism.
Far away in Cuba there is a small plot of land leased by the US government from the Cuban state. The rent is minimal, derisory even; and the Cuban government treats it with suitable contempt. For much of the last 5 years, around 650 alleged terrorists, the ‘worst of a very bad lot’, in the words of US Vice-President Cheney, have resided at Guantanamo. Their degradation is deemed to be essential to the ‘life of the nation’. These men, and boys, ‘the most dangerous, best-trained vicious killers on the face of the earth’, according to former Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld, are so terrifying that they must exist ‘beyond’ the reaches of the law. Those ncarcerated at Guantanamo are, quite literally, outlaws. As one who purports to defend this state of affairs confirms, they are pirates and bandits and nihilists.
Guantanamo is a ‘law-free zone’, a semiotic for the extra-judicial ‘war on terror’, a visceral expression of a nation that is troubled, not just by feelings of impotence and rage, but of guilt too. We are, once again, adrift amongst the images and the metaphors. In the discourse of terrorism, as we have already noted, it is always thus. The law vanishes and in its place comes linguistic and metaphysical allusion. In the context of Guantanamo, there are lots of allusions to gulags and concentration camps. And lots of references to Kafka too. US military and State Department officials can be found talking about the need to conceptualise a ‘vanishing point’ of the law, or to locate a ‘legal equivalent of outer space’.
Writing in the New York Times in early 2004, the neo-conservative columnist David Brooks, despairing the apparent incompetence of US intelligence, advised that when it ‘comes to understanding the world's thugs and menaces’ his readers would be better advised to read a Dostoevsky novel. The statement echoes one made thirty years ago, when a US Congressional committee urgently advised that all police officers in America should be made to read Joseph Conrad's novel The Secret Agent. A similar injunction was placed on the FBI officers who sought the notorious Unabomber Theodor Kaczynski, between 1975 and 1998. Kaczynski was himself fascinated by Conrad's novel, and used it as something of a terrorist handbook. Of course, there is a pragmatic edge to such injunctions, and the idea that counter-terrorists might be able to brush up their skills by reading Conrad or Dostoevsky may seem to smack of a certain naivety.
But there is rather more to it than this. Writing as long ago as 1977, the doyenne of terrorist studies, Walter Lacqueur, suggested that ‘fiction holds more promise for the understanding of the terrorist phenomenon than political science’ ever can. More recently, Margaret Scanlon has attributed a vital shared affinity between the writer of novels and the terrorist, a common desire to destabilise and to deconstruct; and we shall encounter the same affinity in the next chapter when we engage Don DeLillo's novel Mao II. Exploring this canon, Margaret Scanlon describes a ‘paradoxical affiliation’ between literature and terrorism, between ‘actual killing’ and ‘fictional construct’, between what is apparently fictional and what seems to be chillingly real.
Criminal proceedings tend to be surprisingly dull. There again, dullness is supposed to be a requisite of impartial justice; so perhaps it is not so surprising. The problem, of course, is that this can very easily lead to what has been termed ‘emotional disconnect’. In her account of proceedings at the Zigic trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia (ICTY) at The Hague, the Serbian journalist and writer Slavenka Drakulic testified to the sheer boredom of events, as well as the experience of emotional disconnect. The courtroom, she reported, looked ‘more like a hospital waiting room’; the epitome of ‘aseptic’ décor. Boredom rapidly set in. She was bored. The defendant looked bored. The judge looked particularly bored. It was ‘not a show for an audience’. Of course, the idea that law, like the evil which it is so often supposed to address, might be surprisingly banal is not new.
But suddenly, whilst listening to the distant account of a particular room in the concentration camp at Keraterm, Drakulic was aroused from her dozing:
Suddenly I see that picture in front of my eyes, and I realise what the judge is talking about. The death of 120 prisoners is no longer abstract, no longer mere words. Now the tedious, precise interrogation takes on a new meaning. Now I realise how much we are all poisoned by the trials depicted in television shows and Hollywood movies, with their rapid exchange of arguments between good looking lawyers in expensive suits. In The Hague there is no such false drama. […]