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Large-scale tree planting is advocated to provide additional atmospheric cooling and further reduce global warming. This raises a question about the present time: do trees cool or warm the atmosphere? This question does not have a simple yes or no answer. Examination of the greenhouse effect, global warming and the carbon cycle and how trees and forests function provides the basis for understanding how forests might cool or warm the atmosphere. Results from research and models indicate that cooling or warming depends on where forests are located and the type and color of trees. Cooling generally prevails over warming, but this may change. This book will appeal to anyone interested in climate change, ecology and conservation.
Tick-borne diseases caused by Theileria are of economic importance in domestic and wildlife ruminants. The majority of Theileria infects a limited number of host species, supporting the concept of host specificity. However, some Theileria seem to be generalists challenging the host specificity paradigm, such as Theileria sp. (sable) reported from various vertebrate hosts, including African buffalo, cattle, dogs and different antelope species. We tested the hypothesis that T. sp. (sable) uses Bovidae as hosts in general using a real-time polymerase chain reaction assay specific for T. sp. (sable) and a closely related genotype: T. sp. (sable-like). Various antelope species from the Tragelaphini (black wildebeest, blesbuck, blue wildebeest, gemsbuck, sable and waterbuck) tested positive for either T. sp. (sable) or T. sp. (sable-like). However, no African buffalo (n = 238) or cattle (n = 428) sampled in the current study tested positive, suggesting that these latter species are not carrier hosts. The results were confirmed using next-generation sequencing which also indicated at least 13 new genotypes or species found in various antelope and giraffes. Genotypes were found in single host species or in evolutionarily related hosts, suggesting that host specificity in Theileria may be a lineage specific phenomenon likely associated with tick-host-parasite co-evolution.
Item 9 of the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) queries about thoughts of death and self-harm, but not suicidality. Although it is sometimes used to assess suicide risk, most positive responses are not associated with suicidality. The PHQ-8, which omits Item 9, is thus increasingly used in research. We assessed equivalency of total score correlations and the diagnostic accuracy to detect major depression of the PHQ-8 and PHQ-9.
We conducted an individual patient data meta-analysis. We fit bivariate random-effects models to assess diagnostic accuracy.
16 742 participants (2097 major depression cases) from 54 studies were included. The correlation between PHQ-8 and PHQ-9 scores was 0.996 (95% confidence interval 0.996 to 0.996). The standard cutoff score of 10 for the PHQ-9 maximized sensitivity + specificity for the PHQ-8 among studies that used a semi-structured diagnostic interview reference standard (N = 27). At cutoff 10, the PHQ-8 was less sensitive by 0.02 (−0.06 to 0.00) and more specific by 0.01 (0.00 to 0.01) among those studies (N = 27), with similar results for studies that used other types of interviews (N = 27). For all 54 primary studies combined, across all cutoffs, the PHQ-8 was less sensitive than the PHQ-9 by 0.00 to 0.05 (0.03 at cutoff 10), and specificity was within 0.01 for all cutoffs (0.00 to 0.01).
PHQ-8 and PHQ-9 total scores were similar. Sensitivity may be minimally reduced with the PHQ-8, but specificity is similar.
The Working Party has produced this report in order to prompt readers to engage at an early stage in InsurTech projects, through considering (i) the full range of risks associated with InsurTech developments, (ii) the lifecycle of an InsurTech venture and how any risk considerations may vary over this lifecycle and (iii) the extent to which InsurTech ventures align with risk strategy and risk appetite.
The report contains practical guidance for actuaries, risk professionals, insurance companies and their Boards on these considerations, and can be used to facilitate appropriate questioning, to help ensure that InsurTech-related business decisions are fully cognisant of the risk management issues and to help ensure the success of projects.
The Working Party developed this guidance having carried out an industry survey on a number of risk management topics relating to InsurTech, as well as having carried out interviews with a number of relevant senior stakeholders across the insurance industry, in order to better understand current sentiment and how risk management plays a part when considering opportunities in InsurTech. The Working Party views on the findings from these activities are summarised in the report.
Total laryngectomy is considered the primary treatment modality for advanced laryngeal carcinoma. This study assessed the quality of life in patients after total laryngectomy, and ascertained whether quality of life is affected by socioeconomic status.
Forty-seven patients (20 state- and 27 private-sector) who underwent total laryngectomy between 1998 and 2014 responded to the University of Washington Quality of Life Questionnaire, the Voice-Related Quality of Life Questionnaire and the Brief Illness Perception Questionnaire.
Significant differences were found in socioeconomic status between state- and private-sector patients (p < 0.001). There was no significant difference in overall quality of life between groups (p = 0.210). State-sector patients scored significantly higher Voice-Related Quality of Life Questionnaire scores (p = 0.043). Perception of illness did not differ significantly between groups.
Overall quality of life after total laryngectomy appears to be similar in patients from different socioeconomic backgrounds. However, patients from lower socioeconomic circumstances have better voice-related quality of life. The results illustrate the importance of including socioeconomic status when reporting voice outcomes in total laryngectomy patients.
Bacterial cultures exposed to iron-doped apatite nanoparticles (IDANPs) prior to the introduction of antagonistic viruses experience up to 2.3 times the bacterial destruction observed in control cultures. Maximum antibacterial activity of these bacteria-specific viruses, or phage, occurs after bacterial cultures have been exposed to IDANPs for 1 hr prior to phage introduction, demonstrating that IDANP-assisted phage therapy would not be straight forward, but would instead require controlled time release of IDANPs and phage. These findings motivated the design of an electrospun nanofiber mesh treatment delivery system that allows burst release of IDANPs, followed by slow, consistent release of phage for treatment of topical bacterial infections. IDANPs resemble hydroxyapatite, a biocompatible mineral analogous to the inorganic constituent of mammalian bone, which has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for many biomedical purposes. The composite nanofiber mesh was designed for IDANP-assisted phage therapy treatment of topical wounds and consists of a superficial, rapid release layer of polyethylene oxide (PEO) fibers doped with IDANPs, followed by inner, coaxial polycaprolactone / polyethylene glycol (PCL/PEG) blended polymer fiber layer for slower phage delivery. Our investigations have established that IDANP-doped PEO fibers are effective vehicles for dissemination of IDANPs for bacterial exposure and resultant increased bacterial death by phage. In this work, slower delivery of the phage behind IDANPs was accomplished using coaxial, electrospun fibers composed of PCL/PEG polymer blend.
An unexpected increase in gastroenteritis cases was reported by healthcare workers on the KwaZulu-Natal Coast, South Africa, January 2017 with >600 cases seen over a 3-week period. A case–control study was conducted to identify the source and risk factors associated with the outbreak so as to recommend control and prevention measures. Record review identified cases and controls and structured-telephonic interviews were conducted to obtain exposure history. Stool specimens were collected from 20 cases along with environmental samples and both screened for enteric pathogens. A total of 126 cases and 62 controls were included in the analysis. The odds of developing gastroenteritis were 6.0 times greater among holiday makers than residents (95% confidence interval (CI) 2.0–17.7). Swimming in the lagoon increased the odds of developing gastroenteritis by 3.3 times (95% CI 1.06–10.38). Lagoon water samples tested positive for norovirus (NoV) GI.6, GII.3 and GII.6, astrovirus and rotavirus. Eleven (55%) stool specimens were positive for NoV with eight genotyped as GI.1 (n = 2), GI.5 (n = 3), GI.6 (n = 2), and GI.7 (n = 1). A reported sewage contamination event impacting the lagoon was the likely source with person-to-person spread perpetuating the outbreak. Restriction to swimming in the lagoon was apparently ineffective at preventing the outbreak, possibly due to inadequate enforcement, communication and signage strategies.
Different diagnostic interviews are used as reference standards for major depression classification in research. Semi-structured interviews involve clinical judgement, whereas fully structured interviews are completely scripted. The Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI), a brief fully structured interview, is also sometimes used. It is not known whether interview method is associated with probability of major depression classification.
To evaluate the association between interview method and odds of major depression classification, controlling for depressive symptom scores and participant characteristics.
Data collected for an individual participant data meta-analysis of Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) diagnostic accuracy were analysed and binomial generalised linear mixed models were fit.
A total of 17 158 participants (2287 with major depression) from 57 primary studies were analysed. Among fully structured interviews, odds of major depression were higher for the MINI compared with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI) (odds ratio (OR) = 2.10; 95% CI = 1.15–3.87). Compared with semi-structured interviews, fully structured interviews (MINI excluded) were non-significantly more likely to classify participants with low-level depressive symptoms (PHQ-9 scores ≤6) as having major depression (OR = 3.13; 95% CI = 0.98–10.00), similarly likely for moderate-level symptoms (PHQ-9 scores 7–15) (OR = 0.96; 95% CI = 0.56–1.66) and significantly less likely for high-level symptoms (PHQ-9 scores ≥16) (OR = 0.50; 95% CI = 0.26–0.97).
The MINI may identify more people as depressed than the CIDI, and semi-structured and fully structured interviews may not be interchangeable methods, but these results should be replicated.
Declaration of interest
Drs Jetté and Patten declare that they received a grant, outside the submitted work, from the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, which was jointly funded by the Institute and Pfizer. Pfizer was the original sponsor of the development of the PHQ-9, which is now in the public domain. Dr Chan is a steering committee member or consultant of Astra Zeneca, Bayer, Lilly, MSD and Pfizer. She has received sponsorships and honorarium for giving lectures and providing consultancy and her affiliated institution has received research grants from these companies. Dr Hegerl declares that within the past 3 years, he was an advisory board member for Lundbeck, Servier and Otsuka Pharma; a consultant for Bayer Pharma; and a speaker for Medice Arzneimittel, Novartis, and Roche Pharma, all outside the submitted work. Dr Inagaki declares that he has received grants from Novartis Pharma, lecture fees from Pfizer, Mochida, Shionogi, Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma, Daiichi-Sankyo, Meiji Seika and Takeda, and royalties from Nippon Hyoron Sha, Nanzando, Seiwa Shoten, Igaku-shoin and Technomics, all outside of the submitted work. Dr Yamada reports personal fees from Meiji Seika Pharma Co., Ltd., MSD K.K., Asahi Kasei Pharma Corporation, Seishin Shobo, Seiwa Shoten Co., Ltd., Igaku-shoin Ltd., Chugai Igakusha and Sentan Igakusha, all outside the submitted work. All other authors declare no competing interests. No funder had any role in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis and interpretation of the data; preparation, review or approval of the manuscript; and decision to submit the manuscript for publication.
Neuroticism in older adults is common yet understudied, particularly its effects on depression treatment outcomes. We hypothesized that presence of high neuroticism would be associated with lower 12-week remission rates in older depressed sertraline-treated patients. In this longitudinal cohort study, 43 depressed older adults completed the Revised NEO Personality Inventory (NEO PI-R). A study psychiatrist administered the Montgomery Ǻsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS), and the Cumulative Illness Rating Scale (CIRS, a measure of medical burden) at baseline, and the MADRS at each clinical visit. All subjects began open-label sertraline treatment and were followed over 12 weeks with clinically indicated flexible dosing and an option to switch antidepressants. We used regression analyses to examine factors related to 12-week remission of depression (MADRS score < 8) and final MADRS score. We found that higher total neuroticism (odds ratio (OR) = 0.963, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.928–1.000) and a neuroticism subscale, stress vulnerability (OR = 0.846, 95% CI = 0.728–0.983), were associated with lower likelihood of remission among both the intention-to-treat group and sertraline completers. Findings remained significant after controlling for baseline MADRS and CIRS score. In conclusion, assessment of personality, particularly features of neuroticism, may be important in management of late-life depression. Future studies should determine if depressed patients high in neuroticism may benefit from psychotherapy focusing on emotional regulation and stress management.
This paper investigates the role of additional regulation in mitigating the ‘adverse scale effect’ associated with daily driving restrictions, which has become a popular regulatory tool used to control episodic air pollution internationally, especially in developing countries. We find that although an annual vehicle registration tax reduces the incentive to purchase additional vehicles among households whose sole purpose for doing so is to ‘cheat’ the restriction (i.e., the ‘adverse scale effect’), it does so with an external cost. The cost occurs because households whose purpose for purchasing an additional vehicle is not to cheat the restriction are given the same disincentive with the tax. We show how simple one- and two-stage lotteries can be used to not only discriminate between cheater and non-cheater households (in particular, to avoid providing a disincentive to the latter type of household), but also to provide an even stronger disincentive to the former.
Public health interest in norovirus (NoV) has increased in recent years following improved diagnostics, global burden estimates and the development of NoV vaccine candidates. This study aimed to describe the detection rate, clinical characteristics and environmental features associated with NoV detection in hospitalized children <5 years with diarrhoea in South Africa (SA). Between 2009 and 2013, prospective diarrhoeal surveillance was conducted at four sites in SA. Stool specimens were collected and screened for NoVs and other enteric pathogens using molecular and serological assays. Epidemiological and clinical data were compared in patients with or without detection of NoV. The study detected NoV in 15% (452/3103) of hospitalized children <5 years with diarrhoea with the majority of disease in children <2 years (92%; 417/452). NoV-positive children were more likely to present with diarrhoea and vomiting (odds ratio (OR) 1·3; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1·1–1·7; P = 0·011) with none-to-mild dehydration (adjusted OR 0·5; 95% CI 0·3–0·7) compared with NoV-negative children. Amongst children testing NoV positive, HIV-infected children were more likely to have prolonged hospitalization and increased mortality compared with HIV-uninfected children. Continued surveillance will be important to consider the epidemic trends and estimate the burden and risk of NoV infection in SA.
This study was conducted to examine the incidence trend of campylobacteriosis in Michigan over a 10-year period and to investigate risk factors and clinical outcomes associated with infection. Campylobacter case data from 2004 to 2013 was obtained from the Michigan Disease Surveillance System. We conducted statistical and spatial analyses to examine trends and identify factors linked to campylobacteriosis as well as ecological associations using animal density data from the National Agricultural Statistics Service. An increasing trend of Campylobacter incidence and hospitalization was observed, which was linked to specific age groups and rural residence. Cases reporting ruminant contact and well water as the primary drinking source had a higher risk of campylobacteriosis, while higher cattle density was associated with an increased risk at the county level. Additional studies are needed to identify age-specific risk factors and examine prevalence and transmission dynamics in ruminants and the environment to aid in the development of more effective preventive strategies.
This study examined subjective and objective cognitive functioning in 26 female breast cancer survivors (BCS) who received chemotherapy treatment that finished .5 to 5 years prior to testing and compared their results to 25 demographically matched women with no history of cancer. Participants were assessed on prospective memory (PM) tasks; neuropsychological tests of processing speed, attentional flexibility with greater cognitive load, executive function, and verbal memory; self-report measures of cognitive dysfunction and PM failures; and distress. The BCS group showed significantly slower speed of processing and reduced attentional flexibility, and reported significantly more cognitive complaints and PM failures than the control group on five of six self-report measures. The groups did not differ on other PM or neuropsychological measures or on a measure of distress. Subjective cognition correlated with some neuropsychological tests and with a virtual reality PM task. Objective cognitive impairments were associated with reduced quality of life in the BCS group. The results provide some evidence of both self-reported impairment and objective cognitive dysfunction following chemotherapy treatment.
Existing data and theory do not support a recent assertion that upwelling of old carbon has led to systematically 100–300 yr too old radiocarbon ages for the Mediterranean region. Similarly, the prehistoric tree-ring record produced over 3 decades by the Aegean Dendrochronology Project is shown to provide robust, well-replicated data, contrary to a recent unfounded assertion. 14C and dendrochronology provide an accurate and precise chronometric framework for the Mediterranean region.
14C measured in trace gases in clean air helps to determine the sources of such gases, their long-range transport in the atmosphere, and their exchange with other carbon cycle reservoirs. In order to separate sources, transport and exchange, it is necessary to interpret measurements using models of these processes. We present atmospheric 14CO2 measurements made in New Zealand since 1954 and at various Pacific Ocean sites for shorter periods. We analyze these for latitudinal and seasonal variation, the latter being consistent with a seasonally varying exchange rate between the stratosphere and troposphere. The observed seasonal cycle does not agree with that predicted by a zonally averaged global circulation model. We discuss recent accelerator mass spectrometry measurements of atmospheric 14CH4 and the problems involved in determining the fossil fuel methane source. Current data imply a fossil carbon contribution of ca 25%, and the major sources of uncertainty in this number are the uncertainty in the nuclear power source of 14CH4, and in the measured value for δ14C in atmospheric methane.