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Some neurotropic enteroviruses hijack Trojan horse/raft commensal gut bacteria to render devastating biomimicking cryptic attacks on human/animal hosts. Such virus-microbe interactions manipulate hosts’ gut-brain axes with accompanying infection-cycle-optimizing central nervous system (CNS) disturbances, including severe neurodevelopmental, neuromotor, and neuropsychiatric conditions. Co-opted bacteria thus indirectly influence host health, development, behavior, and mind as possible “fair-weather-friend” symbionts, switching from commensal to context-dependent pathogen-like strategies benefiting gut-bacteria fitness.
Foraging for nutritional sustenance represents common significant learned/heritable survival strategies evolved for phylum-diverse cellular life on Earth. Unicellular aneural to multicellular neural foragers display conserved rational or irrational decision making depending on outcome predictions for noise-susceptible real/illusory homeodynamic and ambient dietary cues. Such context-dependent heuristic-guided foraging enables optimal, suboptimal, or fallacious decisions that drive organismal adaptation, health, longevity, and life history.
Emergency physicians play an important role in providing care at the end-of-life as well as identifying patients who may benefit from a palliative approach. Several studies have shown that emergency medicine (EM) residents desire further training in palliative care. We performed a national cross-sectional survey of EM program directors. Our primary objective was to describe the number of Canadian postgraduate EM training programs with palliative and end-of-life care curricula.
A 15-question survey in English and French was sent by email to all program directors of both the Canadian College of Family Physicians emergency medicine (CCFP(EM)) and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada emergency medicine (RCPSC-EM) postgraduate training programs countrywide using FluidSurveys™ with a modified Dillman approach.
We received a total of 26 responses from the 36 (response rate = 72.2%) EM postgraduate programs in Canada. Ten out of 26 (38.5%) programs had a structured educational program pertaining to palliative and end-of-life care. Lectures or seminars were the exclusive choice to teach content. Clinical palliative medicine rotations were mandatory in one out of 26 (3.8%) programs. The top two barriers to implementation of palliative and end-of-life care curricula were lack of time (84.6%) and curriculum development concerns (80.8%).
Palliative and end-of-life care training within EM has been identified as an area of need. This cross-sectional survey demonstrates that a minority of Canadian EM programs have palliative and end-of-life care curricula. It will be important for all EM training programs, RCPSC-EM and CCFP(EM), in Canada, to develop an agreed upon set of competencies and to structure their curricula around them.
Technoscientific ambitions for perfecting human-like machines, by advancing state-of-the-art neuromorphic architectures and cognitive computing, may end in ironic regret without pondering the humanness of fallible artificial non-normative personalities. Self-organizing artificial personalities individualize machine performance and identity through fuzzy conscientiousness, emotionality, extraversion/introversion, and other traits, rendering insights into technology-assisted human evolution, robot ethology/pedagogy, and best practices against unwanted autonomous machine behavior.
This paper considers a simple distribution-free test for nonnested model selection. The new test is shown to be asymptotically more efficient than the well-known Vuong test when the distribution of individual log-likelihood ratios is highly peaked. Monte Carlo results demonstrate that for many applied research situations, this distribution is indeed highly peaked. The simulation further demonstrates that the proposed test has greater power than the Vuong test under these conditions. The substantive application addresses the effect of domestic political institutions on foreign policy decision making. Do domestic institutions have effects because they hold political leaders accountable, or do they simply promote political norms that shape elite bargaining behavior? The results indicate that the latter model has greater explanatory power.
The purpose of this Comment is to put the current debate regarding testing necessary conditions into perspective and to point out a particularly troubling aspect of the “all cases” research design (Seawright 2002).
Prior to the recent spate of books and articles in the social sciences (Ragin 1987; Dion 1988; Braumoeller and Goertz 2000), the debate over the testing or the confirmation of necessary conditions took place in the philosophical literature, mainly in terms of Hempel's (1945) paradox of the ravens. In what follows, I briefly review Hempel's paradox and the Bayesian solution to it. I argue that Seawright's account, while Bayesian in nature, relies on an assumption that no Bayesian would be willing to make.
The effect of conditioning on an additional covariate on confounding bias depends, in part, on covariates that are unobserved. We characterize the conditions under which the interaction between a covariate that is available for conditioning and one that is not can affect bias. When the confounding effects of two covariates, one of which is observed, are countervailing (in opposite directions), conditioning on the observed covariate can increase bias. We demonstrate this possibility analytically, and then show that these conditions are not rare in actual data. We also consider whether balance tests or sensitivity analysis can be used to justify the inclusion of an additional covariate. Our results indicate that neither provide protection against overadjustment.
This paper examines the phonological leveling and diffusion of variants of /t/ in Liverpool, northwest England, and two localities in its hinterland. We show that lenited realizations of /t/, thought to be historically restricted to Liverpool, are increasing over time and spreading over geographical space. We explore Labov's (2007) claims that linguistic changes that progress via transmission, within a speech community, are reproduced in all their structural complexity, whereas changes that spread across speech communities, via diffusion, are “simplified” en route. We find support for these hypotheses. Using a comparative sociolinguistic methodology, we show that the linguistic constraints operating on the realization of /t/ as [h] in Liverpool have remained stable over time, while those in a nearby town—Skelmersdale—seem to have simplified. However, we show that not all speakers from Skelmersdale share the same constraints on this variable form, and we connect this with speakers' positive or negative attitudes toward Skelmersdale or Liverpool.
The public health burden of alcohol is unevenly distributed across the life course, with levels of use, abuse, and dependence increasing across adolescence and peaking in early adulthood. Here, we leverage this temporal patterning to search for common genetic variants predicting developmental trajectories of alcohol consumption. Comparable psychiatric evaluations measuring alcohol consumption were collected in three longitudinal community samples (N = 2,126, obs = 12,166). Consumption-repeated measurements spanning adolescence and early adulthood were analyzed using linear mixed models, estimating individual consumption trajectories, which were then tested for association with Illumina 660W-Quad genotype data (866,099 SNPs after imputation and QC). Association results were combined across samples using standard meta-analysis methods. Four meta-analysis associations satisfied our pre-determined genome-wide significance criterion (FDR < 0.1) and six others met our ‘suggestive’ criterion (FDR <0.2). Genome-wide significant associations were highly biological plausible, including associations within GABA transporter 1, SLC6A1 (solute carrier family 6, member 1), and exonic hits in LOC100129340 (mitofusin-1-like). Pathway analyses elaborated single marker results, indicating significant enriched associations to intuitive biological mechanisms, including neurotransmission, xenobiotic pharmacodynamics, and nuclear hormone receptors (NHR). These findings underscore the value of combining longitudinal behavioral data and genome-wide genotype information in order to study developmental patterns and improve statistical power in genomic studies.
Finch trichomonosis, caused by Trichomonas gallinae, emerged in the Canadian Maritime provinces in 2007 and has since caused ongoing mortality in regional purple finch (Carpodacus purpureus) and American goldfinch (Carduelis tristis) populations. Trichomonas gallinae was isolated from (1) finches and rock pigeons (Columbia livia) submitted for post-mortem or live-captured at bird feeding sites experiencing trichomonosis mortality; (2) bird seed at these same sites; and (3) rock pigeons live-captured at known roosts or humanely killed. Isolates were characterized using internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region and iron hydrogenase (Fe-hyd) gene sequences. Two distinct ITS types were found. Type A was identical to the UK finch epidemic strain and was isolated from finches and a rock pigeon with trichomonosis; apparently healthy rock pigeons and finches; and bird seed at an outbreak site. Type B was obtained from apparently healthy rock pigeons. Fe-hyd sequencing revealed six distinct subtypes. The predominant subtype in both finches and the rock pigeon with trichomonosis was identical to the UK finch epidemic strain A1. Single nucleotide polymorphisms in Fe-hyd sequences suggest there is fine-scale variation amongst isolates and that finch trichomonosis emergence in this region may not have been caused by a single spill-over event.
Contradicting new dual-pathway models of language evolution, cortico-striatal-thalamic circuitry disambiguate uncertainties in affective prosody and propositional linguistic content of language production and comprehension, predictably setting limits on useful complexity of articulate phonic and/or signed speech. Such limits likely evolved to ensure public information is discriminated by intended communicants and safeguarded against the ecological pressures of social eavesdropping within and across phylogenetic boundaries.