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Many commentators argued that if elites and voters had coordinated on an alternative candidate, Donald Trump could have been defeated for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. This claim rests on the implicit assumption that Trump would have been defeated in a head-to-head contest against another candidate—that he was a Condorcet loser. Conventional pre-election polls, however, do not provide enough information about voters’ preferences to assess the plausibility of this claim. Relying on novel data to construct individuals’ complete preferences over the set of leading Republican candidates, we find that no other candidate strictly defeats Trump in pairwise majority-rule comparisons and—far from being a Condorcet loser—that Trump is a member of the majority-rule core. Our results question the plausibility of the coordination narrative because Trump’s support was wider than political observers believed: it came from a broad base of the Republican primary electorate rather than a small but intense minority.
Organismal metabolic rates reflect the interaction of environmental and physiological factors. Thus, calcifying organisms that record growth history can provide insight into both the ancient environments in which they lived and their own physiology and life history. However, interpreting them requires understanding which environmental factors have the greatest influence on growth rate and the extent to which evolutionary history constrains growth rates across lineages. We integrated satellite measurements of sea-surface temperature and chlorophyll-a concentration with a database of growth coefficients, body sizes, and life spans for 692 populations of living marine bivalves in 195 species, set within the context of a new maximum-likelihood phylogeny of bivalves. We find that environmental predictors overall explain only a small proportion of variation in growth coefficient across all species; temperature is a better predictor of growth coefficient than food supply, and growth coefficient is somewhat more variable at higher summer temperatures. Growth coefficients exhibit moderate phylogenetic signal, and taxonomic membership is a stronger predictor of growth coefficient than any environmental predictor, but phylogenetic inertia cannot fully explain the disjunction between our findings and the extensive body of work demonstrating strong environmental control on growth rates within taxa. Accounting for evolutionary history is critical when considering shells as historical archives. The weak relationship between variation in food supply and variation in growth coefficient in our data set is inconsistent with the hypothesis that the increase in mean body size through the Phanerozoic was driven by increasing productivity enabling faster growth rates.
In the 2015 review paper ‘Petawatt Class Lasers Worldwide’ a comprehensive overview of the current status of high-power facilities of
was presented. This was largely based on facility specifications, with some description of their uses, for instance in fundamental ultra-high-intensity interactions, secondary source generation, and inertial confinement fusion (ICF). With the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics being awarded to Professors Donna Strickland and Gerard Mourou for the development of the technique of chirped pulse amplification (CPA), which made these lasers possible, we celebrate by providing a comprehensive update of the current status of ultra-high-power lasers and demonstrate how the technology has developed. We are now in the era of multi-petawatt facilities coming online, with 100 PW lasers being proposed and even under construction. In addition to this there is a pull towards development of industrial and multi-disciplinary applications, which demands much higher repetition rates, delivering high-average powers with higher efficiencies and the use of alternative wavelengths: mid-IR facilities. So apart from a comprehensive update of the current global status, we want to look at what technologies are to be deployed to get to these new regimes, and some of the critical issues facing their development.
The quantity of biomass in an ecosystem is constrained by energy availability. It is less clear, however, how energy availability constrains taxonomic and functional diversity. Competing models suggest biodiversity is either resource-limited or far from any bound. We test the hypothesis that functional diversity in marine bivalve communities is constrained by energy availability, measured as particulate organic carbon (POC) flux, in the modern oceans. We find that POC flux predicts the relative prevalence of ecological modes in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Moreover, the associations of ecological modes with POC fluxes are similar between the Atlantic and Pacific despite being based on independent sets of species, indicating a direct causal relationship. We then use the relationship between POC flux and the prevalence of functional groups in the modern to test the hypothesis that the trend of increasing functional diversity in bivalves across the past 500 Myr has occurred in response to increased POC flux. We find no evidence that the earliest-appearing modes of life are preferentially associated with low-POC environments or that the mean POC flux experienced by marine bivalves has increased across geological time. To reconcile the close association between ecological mode and POC flux in the modern oceans with the lack of evidence for increasing POC fluxes across time, we propose that POC flux has not increased substantially over time but, rather, the increase in bivalve functional diversity enabled bivalves to become more abundant, to occupy a broader range of environments, and to capture a greater fraction of the total POC flux. The results here suggest at the geographic scale of oceans and through geologic time bivalve diversity was not bounded by food availability.
Maudsley International was set up to help improve people's mental health and well-being around the world. A variety of programmes have been developed by Maudsley International over the past 10 years, for planning and implementing services; building capacity; and training and evaluation to support organisations and individuals, professionals and managers to train and develop health and social care provisions. Maudsley International's model is based on collaboration, sharing expertise and cultural understanding with international partners.
We review the development of a disaster health care response system in Mississippi aimed at improving disaster response efforts. Large-scale disasters generate many injured and ill patients, which causes a significant utilization of emergency health care services and often requires external support to meet clinical needs. Disaster health care services require a solid infrastructure of coordination and collaboration to be effective. Following Hurricane Katrina, the state of Mississippi implemented best practices from around the nation to establish a disaster health care response system. The State Medical Response System of Mississippi provides an all-hazards system designed to support local response efforts at the time, scope, and scale required to successfully manage the incident. Components of this disaster health care response system can be replicated or adapted to meet the dynamic landscape of health care delivery following disasters. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2017;11:600–604)
Objectives: The Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) makes recommendations to the Australian Government for funding health technologies under the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS). Differences in public, clinical, commercial, and political opinions on health expenditure emphasize the importance of defensible funding decisions. We aimed to evaluate the quality of health technology assessment (HTA) reports over time and among health technologies assessed for MSAC.
Main Outcome Measures: A cohort study was performed of HTA reports prepared for MSAC between 1998 and 2013. We measured the quality of HTA reports using reporting guidelines proposed by the European Collaboration for Assessment of Health Interventions. Individual component scores across eleven domains were calculated, and summed for an overall aggregate score. We used linear regression to investigate any change in quality over time and among the types of technologies assessed.
Results: We included 110 HTA reports. The safety (80 percent), effectiveness (84 percent), economic (74 percent), and organizational (99 percent) domains were better reported than the psychological, social, and ethical considerations (34 percent). The basic (75 percent), methodological (62 percent), background (82 percent), contextual (46 percent), status quo (54 percent), and technical information (66 percent) that framed each assessment were inconsistently reported. On average, overall quality scores increased by 2 percent (p < 0.001) per year, from approximately 60 percent to 80 percent over the 15-year period, with no significant difference among surgical, diagnostic or other nonpharmaceutical health technologies (p = 0.22).
Conclusions: HTA reports prepared for MSAC are a key tool in allocating scarce health resources. The overall quality of these reports has improved, but the reporting of specific domains and subthemes therein could be better addressed.
Diurnal preference is an individual's preference for daily activities and sleep timing and is strongly correlated with the underlying circadian clock and the sleep-wake cycle validating its use as an indirect circadian measure in humans. Recent research has implicated DNA methylation as a mechanism involved in the regulation of the circadian clock system in humans and other mammals. In order to evaluate the extent of epigenetic differences associated with diurnal preference, we examined genome-wide patterns of DNA methylation in DNA from monozygotic (MZ) twin-pairs discordant for diurnal preference. MZ twins were selected from a longitudinal twin study designed to investigate the interplay of genetic and environmental factors in the development of emotional and behavioral difficulties. Fifteen pairs of MZ twins were identified in which one member scored considerably higher on the Horne–Ostberg Morningness–Eveningness Questionnaire (MEQ) than the other. Genome-wide DNA methylation patterns were assessed in twins’ buccal cell DNA using the Illumina Infinium HumanMethylation450 BeadChips. Quality control and data pre-processing was undertaken using the wateRmelon package. Differentially methylated probes (DMPs) were identified using an analysis strategy taking into account both the significance and the magnitude of DNA methylation differences. Our data indicate that DNA methylation differences are detectable in MZ twins discordant for diurnal preference. Moreover, downstream gene ontology (GO) enrichment analysis on the top-ranked diurnal preference associated DMPs revealed significant enrichment of pathways that have been previously associated with circadian rhythm regulation, including cell adhesion processes and calcium ion binding.
Conservation strategies to protect biodiversity and support household livelihoods face numerous challenges. Across the tropics, efforts focus on balancing trade-offs in local communities near the borders of protected areas. Devolving rights and control over certain resources to communities is increasingly considered necessary, but decades of attempts have yielded limited success and few lessons on how such interventions could be successful in improving livelihoods. We investigated a key feature of household well-being, the experience of food insecurity, in villages across Tanzania's northern wildlife tourist circuit. Using a sample of 2,499 primarily livestock-keeping households we compared food insecurity in villages participating in the country's principal community-based conservation strategy with nearby control areas. We tested whether community-based projects could offset the central costs experienced by households near strictly protected areas (i.e. frequent human–wildlife conflict and restricted access to resources). We found substantial heterogeneity in outcomes associated with the presence of community-based conservation projects across multiple project sites. Although households in project villages experienced more frequent conflict with wildlife and received few provisioned benefits, there is evidence that these households may have been buffered to some degree against negative effects of wildlife conflict. We interpret our results in light of qualitative institutional factors that may explain various project outcomes. Tanzania, like many areas of conservation importance, contains threatened biodiversity alongside areas of extreme poverty. Our analyses highlight the need to examine more precisely the complex and locally specific mechanisms by which interventions do or do not benefit wildlife and local communities.