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The modern antiquities market uses radiocarbon (14C) dating to screen for forged objects. Although this fact shows the potential and power of the method, the circumstances where it is applied can be questionable and call for our attention. Here we present an outline of a call to radiocarbon laboratories for due diligence and best practice approaches to the analysis of antique objects requested by non-research clients.
BACTOT, Quebec’s healthcare-associated bloodstream infection (HABSI) surveillance program has been operating since 2007. In this study, we evaluated the changes in HABSI rates across 10 years of BACTOT surveillance under a Bayesian framework.
A retrospective, cohort study of eligible hospitals having participated in BACTOT for at least 3 years, regardless of their entry date. Multilevel Poisson regressions were fitted independently for cases of HABSI, catheter-associated bloodstream infections (CA-BSIs), non–catheter-associated primary BSIs (NCA-BSIs), and BSIs secondary to urinary tract infections (BSI-UTIs) as the outcome and log of patient days as the offset. The log of the mean Poisson rate was decomposed as the sum of a surveillance year effect, period effect, and hospital effect. The main estimate of interest was the cohort-level rate in years 2–10 of surveillance relative to year 1.
Overall, 17,479 cases and 33,029,870 patient days were recorded for the cohort of 77 hospitals. The pooled 10-year HABSI rate was 5.20 per 10,000 patient days (95% CI, 5.12–5.28). For HABSI, CA-BSI, and BSI-UTI, there was no difference between the estimated posterior rates of years 2–10 compared to year 1. The posterior means of the NCA-BSI rate ratios increased from the seventh year until the tenth year, when the rate was 29% (95% confidence interval, 1%–89%) higher than the first year rate.
HABSI rates and those of the most frequent subtypes remained stable over the surveillance period. To achieve reductions in incidence, we recommend that more effort be expended in active interventions against HABSI alongside surveillance.
The genus Falsolikanella, introduced by Granier (1987), was based on the basal Cretaceous species Likanella campanensis Azéma and Jaffrezo (1972) and assigned to the tribe Diploporeae (Pia, 1920) emend. Güvenc, 1979 within the green alga order Dasycladales. Later, other species were assigned to Falsolikanella. Sections of the type specimens of Likanella campanensis are reviewed. They show that in this species, the arrangement of the laterals is not metaspondyl, but typical of the genus Actinoporella (Gümbel in Alth, 1882) emend Conrad, Praturlon, and Radoičić, 1974, with coronae arising from a single primary lateral. Therefore, the species is assigned to the genus Actinoporella within the tribe Acetabularieae Decaisne, 1842, family Polyphysaceae Kützing, 1843, and the generic attribution of other species previously assigned to Falsolikanella is discussed.
Patients suffering from an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) associated with an initial shockable rhythm have a better prognosis than their counterparts. The implications of recurrent or refractory malignant arrhythmia in such context remain unclear. The objective of this study is to evaluate the association between the number of prehospital shocks delivered and survival to hospital discharge among patients in OHCA.
This cohort study included adult patients with an initial shockable rhythm over a 5-year period from a registry of OHCA in Montreal, Canada. The relationship between the number of prehospital shocks delivered and survival to discharge was described using dynamic probabilities. The association between the number of prehospital shocks delivered and survival to discharge was assessed using multivariable logistic regression.
A total of 1,788 patients (78% male with a mean age of 64 years) were included in this analysis, of whom 536 (30%) received treatments from an advanced care paramedic. A third of the cohort (583 patients, 33%) survived to hospital discharge. The probability of survival was highest with the first shock (33% [95% confidence interval 30%-35%]), but decreased to 8% (95% confidence interval 4%-13%) following nine shocks. A higher number of prehospital shocks was independently associated with lower odds of survival (adjusted odds ratio=0.88 [95% confidence interval 0.85-0.92], p < 0.001).
Survival remains possible even after a high number of shocks for patients suffering from an OHCA with an initial shockable rhythm. However, requiring more shocks is independently associated with worse survival.
Healthcare-associated bloodstream infections (HABSI) are a significant cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. In Québec, Canada, HABSI arising from acute-care hospitals have been monitored since April 2007 through the Surveillance des bactériémies nosocomiales panhospitalières (BACTOT) program, but this is the first detailed description of HABSI epidemiology.
This retrospective, descriptive study was conducted using BACTOT surveillance data from hospitals that participated continuously between April 1, 2007, and March 31, 2017. HABSI cases and rates were stratified by hospital type and/or infection source. Temporal trends of rates were analyzed by fitting generalized estimating equation Poisson models, and they were stratified by infection source.
For 40 hospitals, 13,024 HABSI cases and 23,313,959 patient days were recorded, for an overall rate of 5.59 per 10,000 patient days (95% CI, 5.54–5.63). The most common infection sources were catheter-associated BSIs (23.0%), BSIs secondary to a urinary focus (21.5%), and non–catheter-associated primary BSIs (18.1%). Teaching hospitals and nonteaching hospitals with ICUs often had rates higher than nonteaching hospitals without ICUs. Annual HABSI rates did not exhibit statistically significant changes from year to year. Non–catheter-associated primary BSIs were the only HABSI type that exhibited a sustained change across the 10 years, increasing from 0.69 per 10,000 patient days (95% CI, 0.59–0.80) in 2007–2008 to 1.42 per 10,000 patient days (95% CI, 1.27–1.58) in 2016–2017.
Despite ongoing surveillance, overall HABSI rates have not decreased. The effect of BACTOT participation should be more closely investigated, and targeted interventions along alternative surveillance modalities should be considered, prioritizing high-burden and potentially preventable BSI types.
Innovation platforms are fast becoming part of the mantra of agricultural research for development projects and programmes. Their basic tenet is that stakeholders depend on one another to achieve agricultural development outcomes, and hence need a space where they can learn, negotiate and coordinate to overcome challenges and capture opportunities through a facilitated innovation process. Although much has been written on how to implement and facilitate innovation platforms efficiently, few studies support ex-ante appraisal of when and for what purpose innovation platforms provide an appropriate mechanism for achieving development outcomes, and what kinds of human and financial resource investments and enabling environments are required. Without these insights, innovation platforms run the risk of being promoted as a panacea for all problems in the agricultural sector. This study makes clear that not all constraints will require innovation platforms and, if there is a simpler and cheaper alternative, that should be considered first. Based on the review of critical design principles and plausible outcomes of innovation platforms, this study provides a decision support tool for research, development and funding agencies that can enhance more critical thinking about the purposes and conditions under which innovation platforms can contribute to achieving agricultural development outcomes.
The poor fens of the Laforge region, northeastern Canada, have developed under subarctic conditions. They are characterized by a microtopography of large pools and low, narrow strings. Paleorecords suggest some of these systems were once ombrotrophic and relatively dry. Taking account of their current bioclimatic position, we aimed to explore the possible pathways towards the current wet state, a process referred to as “aqualysis”. We combined paleoecological methods applied to a peat core with conceptual modelling to identify factors that might plausibly explain aqualysis. Reconstructions showed the Abeille peatland became minerotrophic with high water tables between 2400 and 2100 cal yr BP. Conceptual modelling, supported by simulations using the numerical DigiBog model, allowed us to identify the effects of cooling and increased precipitation on productivity, decay, peat hydraulic conductivity and vertical peat accumulation. Both cooling and increased precipitation were required for aqualysis to occur and for wet surface conditions to persist to the present day. Increased recharge from the catchment, which also restricted drainage from the peatland center laterally, was likely critical for the development of minerotrophic conditions. The scenario of cooling and wetting in these peatlands is supported by available paleoclimate records for eastern Canada.
Objective: This study aimed to systematically review the effects of currently prescribed antiparkinson medication on cognition in patients with mild-to-moderate Parkinson’s disease (PD) who were either cognitively intact or mildly impaired. Methods: English- and French-language studies published between 1969 and 2017 were accessed via MedLine, PsychNET, EMBASE and EBSCO databases. Methodological quality (MQ) was evaluated with the quality assessment instrument of the Cochrane Collaboration Depression, Anxiety and Neurosis Review (scores from 0% to 44% indicate very low quality; scores from 45% to 64% indicate low quality; scores from 65% to 84% indicate medium quality; and scores from 85% to 100% indicate high quality). Hedges’ g and Student’s t-test were performed on all cognitive outcome measures reported. Results: In total, 14 studies assessed the cognitive effects of levodopa (L-D), pramipexole (PRX), selegiline (SEL) and rasagiline (RAS) in mild-to-moderate non-demented PD patients. The MQ was overall low, with an average score of 49.1%. Results for L-D showed deleterious effects on a test of cognitive inhibition, as well as benefits on tests of attention/processing speed/working memory, executive functions and episodic memory. Pramipexole was associated with a worsening of episodic memory and impulse control. Results on SEL indicated a deterioration of global cognition over time and of concept formation. Rasagiline had some benefits on working memory and verbal fluency. Conclusion: Antiparkinson medications can have deleterious (L-D; PRX; SEL) and beneficial (L-D; RAS) effects on cognition. However, randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trials with larger sample sizes are required to better elucidate this issue.
We add agency costs into a two-country, two-good international business-cycle model. In our model, changes in the relative price of investment arise endogenously. Despite the fact that technology shocks are uncorrelated across countries, the relative price of investment is positively correlated across countries in our model, much as it is in detrended U.S./Euro-area data. We also find that financial frictions tend to increase the volatility of the terms of trade and the international correlations of consumption, hours worked, output, and investment. We then compare this model to an alternative model that also includes risk shocks. We use credit spread data (for the United States) to calibrate the AR(1) process for risk shocks. We find that risk shocks are too small to significantly impact the model's dynamics.
Using official electoral results from provincial elections since 1973, we evaluate the incumbency effect in Quebec by measuring the impact of a combination of characteristics related to candidates and political parties. We verify whether the presence of an incumbent candidate is necessary to ensure that the incumbent party benefits from an electoral advantage. We also compare the magnitude of the incumbency effect between governing and opposition parties. Making use of parametric multivariate statistical tools, we conclude that political parties benefit from an electoral advantage in Quebec. Except for ministers who make a small difference, simple Members of the National Assembly (MNAs) do not improve their electoral performance, while in some cases new candidates with incumbent parties perform better.
Most patients born with CHD nowadays reach adulthood, and thus quality of life, life situation, and state of medical care aspects are gaining importance in the current era. The present study aimed to investigate whether patients’ assessment depends on their means of occupation. The findings are expected to be helpful in optimising care and for developing individual treatment plans.
The present study was based on an online survey conducted in cooperation with patient organisations. Participants were recruited from the database of the German National Register for Congenital Heart Defects. In total, 1828 individuals (777 males, 1051 females) took part. Participants were asked to rate aspects such their state of health on a six-tier scale (1=worst specification). Response behaviour was measured against the background of occupational details.
Training for or pursuing a profession was found to be significantly associated with participants’ rating of five of the six examined aspects (p<0.05). Sex seemed to play an important part in four of the six aspects.
An optimal treatment plan for adults with CHD should always consider aspects such as sex and employment status. To work out such an optimal and individual treatment plan for each adult CHD patient, an objective tool to measure patients’ actual CHD-specific knowledge precluding socially accepted response bias would be very useful.
The looting of archaeological and ethnographic objects from emerging countries and areas of conflict has prospered due to the high prices that these objects can achieve on the art market. This commercial value now almost necessarily requires proof of authenticity by the object’s age. To do so, absolute dating has been conducted since the end of the 1970s on terra cotta art objects using the thermoluminescence method, a practice that has since been condemned. It is only more recently, since the 2000s, that art dealers and collectors have begun to use the accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) method to date different kinds of objects made of organic materials. Compared to conventional radiocarbon dating, the AMS technique requires only very small samples, thus depreciating neither the aesthetics nor commercial value of the object. As a result, the use of absolute dating has become widespread, accompanying the increase in looting of the cultural heritage of countries destabilized by political overthrows and armed conflicts, especially in the Near East and Africa. The present article condemns the practice of AMS dating of looted art objects and encourages the creation of a code of deontology for 14C dating laboratories in order to enhance an ethical approach in this sensitive field facing the current challenges.
We propose a new standard for evaluating the performance of electoral democracies: the correspondence between citizens’ party preferences and the party composition of governments that are formed after elections. We develop three criteria for assessing such correspondence: the proportion of citizens whose most preferred party is in government, whether the party that is most liked overall is in government, and how much more positively governing parties are rated than non-governing parties. We pay particular attention to the last criterion, which takes into account how each citizen feels about each of the parties as well as the intensity of their preferences. We find that proportional representation systems perform better on the first criterion. Majoritarian systems do better on the other two.