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Every year, there are over 200 traumatic deaths at work in Australia. A government safety inspector usually investigates each incident. The investigation may lead to prosecution of the employer or another party deemed to have breached relevant legislation. However, little systematic research has examined the needs and interests of grieving families in this process. Drawing on interviews with 48 representatives of institutions that deal with deaths at work (including regulators, unions, employers, police and coronial officers), this article examines how they view the problems and experiences of families. Notwithstanding some recent improvements, findings indicate ongoing shortcomings in meeting the needs of families regarding information provision, involvement and securing justice.
Decolonizing history and anthropology is often presented as a theoretical enterprise, through which a more rigorous and inclusive framing of historical precepts will deliver a clearer and less Eurocentric understanding of the past. Yet it is arguably necessary to decouple decolonization from the broader practices of anti-Eurocentric historiography. Via an empirical assessment of the legacy of Hermann Klaatsch, a German anthropologist working on the colonial frontier, this article examines the possibilities and limitations of a decolonizing approach to settler colonial history. The article reflects upon its own study of colonial anthropology and the historical complexity of the repatriation of Indigenous human remains, and suggests that not all anti-Eurocentric interrogations of the colonial past are synonymous with decolonization.
Rare copy number variants (CNVs) are associated with risk of neurodevelopmental disorders characterised by varying degrees of cognitive impairment, including schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disability. However, the effects of many individual CNVs in carriers without neurodevelopmental disorders are not yet fully understood, and little is known about the effects of reciprocal copy number changes of known pathogenic loci.
We aimed to analyse the effect of CNV carrier status on cognitive performance and measures of occupational and social outcomes in unaffected individuals from the UK Biobank.
We called CNVs in the full UK Biobank sample and analysed data from 420 247 individuals who passed CNV quality control, reported White British or Irish ancestry and were not diagnosed with neurodevelopmental disorders. We analysed 33 pathogenic CNVs, including their reciprocal deletions/duplications, for association with seven cognitive tests and four general measures of functioning: academic qualifications, occupation, household income and Townsend Deprivation Index.
Most CNVs (24 out of 33) were associated with reduced performance on at least one cognitive test or measure of functioning. The changes on the cognitive tests were modest (average reduction of 0.13 s.d.) but varied markedly between CNVs. All 12 schizophrenia-associated CNVs were associated with significant impairments on measures of functioning.
CNVs implicated in neurodevelopmental disorders, including schizophrenia, are associated with cognitive deficits, even among unaffected individuals. These deficits may be subtle but CNV carriers have significant disadvantages in educational attainment and ability to earn income in adult life.
In the past two decades, colonial studies, the postcolonial turn, the new imperial history, as well as world and global history have made serious strides toward revising key elements of German history. Instead of insisting that German modernity was a fundamentally unique, insular affair that incubated authoritarian social tendencies, scholars working in these fields have done much to reinsert Germany into the broader logic of nineteenth-century global history, in which the thalassocratic empires of Europe pursued the project of globalizing their economies, populations, and politics. During this period, settler colonies, including German South West Africa, were established and consolidated by European states at the expense of displaced, helotized, or murdered indigenous populations. Complementing these settler colonies were mercantile entrepôts and plantation colonies, which sprouted up as part of a systematic, global attempt to reorient non-European economies, work patterns, and epistemological frameworks along European lines. Although more modestly than some of its European collaborators and competitors, Germany joined Britain, France, the Netherlands, and the United States in a largely liberal project of global maritime imperialism.
Recent excavation at Ucheliungs Cave in Palau has provided new evidence in the debate concerning the colonisation of the Palauan archipelago. An abundance of faunal material and the presence of transported artefacts contradict a previous interpretation that the site represents an early burial cave containing purported small-bodied humans. New radiocarbon dates suggest long-term use of the cave for both mortuary activity and small-scale marine foraging that may slightly precede the accepted date for the earliest human occupation of Palau. The results of this research here discount earlier claims for insular dwarfism among the earliest inhabitants of these islands.
The WAIS (West Antarctic Ice Sheet) Divide deep ice core was recently completed to a total depth of 3405 m, ending 50 m above the bed. Investigation of the visual stratigraphy and grain characteristics indicates that the ice column at the drilling location is undisturbed by any large-scale overturning or discontinuity. The climate record developed from this core is therefore likely to be continuous and robust. Measured grain-growth rates, recrystallization characteristics, and grain-size response at climate transitions fit within current understanding. Significant impurity control on grain size is indicated from correlation analysis between impurity loading and grain size. Bubble-number densities and bubble sizes and shapes are presented through the full extent of the bubbly ice. Where bubble elongation is observed, the direction of elongation is preferentially parallel to the trace of the basal (0001) plane. Preferred crystallographic orientation of grains is present in the shallowest samples measured, and increases with depth, progressing to a vertical-girdle pattern that tightens to a vertical single-maximum fabric. This single-maximum fabric switches into multiple maxima as the grain size increases rapidly in the deepest, warmest ice. A strong dependence of the fabric on the impurity-mediated grain size is apparent in the deepest samples.
In 1852, the naturalist and writer Louisa Meredith observed in her book My Home in Tasmania: “I know of no place where greater order and decorum is observed by the motley crowds assembled on any public occasion than in this most shamefully slandered country: not even in an English country village can a lady walk alone with less fear of harm or insult than in this capital of Van Diemen's Land, commonly believed at home to be a pest-house, where every crime that can disgrace and degrade humanity stalks abroad with unblushing front.”
Meredith's paean to life in the notorious Australian penal colony of Hobart was in stark contrast to her earlier, highly unfavourable account of colonial Sydney. It papered over the years of personal hardship she had endured in Australia, as well as avoiding mention of the racial warfare against Tasmania's Aborigines that had afforded her such a genteel European existence.
Such intra-Australian complexities, however, were lost when Meredith's account was superimposed onto German debates about the desirability of penal colonies for Germany. Instead, Meredith's portrait of a cultivated city emerging from the most notorious penal colony in Australia was presented as proof that the deportation of criminals was an important dimension of the civilising mission of Europe in the extra-European world. It was also presented as a vindication of those in Germany who wished to rid Germany of its lumpen criminal class through deportation. The exact paragraph of Meredith's account cited above was quoted in German debates on deportation for almost half a century; first in 1859 by the jurist Franz von Holtzendorff, and thereafter by Friedrich Freund when advocating the establishment of a penal colony in the Preußische Jahrbücher in September 1895.
Relatively little is understood about the extent to which evolution in one species can result in changes to associated communities and ecosystems, the potential mechanisms responsible for those changes (genetic drift, gene flow or natural selection), the phenotypes or candidate genes that may link ecological and evolutionary dynamics, or the role of rapid evolution and feedbacks. However, linking genes and ecosystems in this manner is fundamental to placing community structure and ecosystem function in an evolutionary framework. This is not an easy endeavour as the field of community genetics is multi-disciplinary (Whitham et al., 2006), and ecological and evolutionary dynamics occur at different spatial and temporal scales. Recent reviews show that plant genetic variation can have extended consequences at the community and ecosystem level (extended phenotype; Whitham et al., 2003) affecting arthropod diversity, soil microbial communities, trophic interactions, carbon dynamics and soil nitrogen availability (Whitham et al., 2006; Johnson & Stinchcombe, 2007; Hughes et al., 2008; Bailey et al., 2009a). Its effects are not limited to single systems or even foundation species, but are common across broadly distributed plant and animal systems, and can have effects at the community and ecosystem level of similar magnitude to traditional ecological factors, such as differences among species (Bailey et al., 2009a, b).
Theory in the fields of community genetics (Shuster et al., 2006; Whitham et al., 2006) and co-evolution (Thompson, 2005) also supports the connection between evolutionary and ecological dynamics (Johnson et al., 2009). Multiple investigators argue that community and ecosystem phenotypes represent complex traits related to variation in the fitness consequences of inter-specific indirect genetic effects (IIGEs) (Thompson, 2005; Shuster et al., 2006; Whitham et al., 2006; Tetard-Jones et al., 2007). In their most basic form, IIGEs occur when the genotype of one individual affects the phenotype and fitness of an associated individual of a different species (Moore et al.,1997; Agrawal et al., 2001; Shuster et al., 2006; Wade, 2007). Such interactions are important in the geographic mosaic theory of co-evolution (Thompson, 2005), the development of community heritability (Shuster et al., 2006) and non-additive responses of community structure, biodiversity and ecosystem function (Bailey et al., 2009a). Empirical evidence for the effects of plant genetic variation on communities and ecosystems, paired with growing theoretical models explaining evolutionary mechanisms for these results, provides a solid foundation for understanding how evolutionary processes, such as drift and selection, may affect community structure and ecosystem function.
In a recent contribution to Greece & Rome, Thomas Harrison illustrated how the conceit of the United States as the ‘New Rome’ colours our knowledge of both the ancient world and our own. His deceptively light-hearted approach and examples illustrated that the transhistorical approach is certainly one that can be used for fun; however, at its core, the article poses a much more serious question – can the transhistorical approach to imperialism be used for profit? Or, as Harrison posed the question, ‘Can an understanding of ancient imperialisms cast light on contemporary experience?’ Acutely, Harrison points to the symbiosis between interpretations of the past and the present, illustrating the abundance of what might be termed ‘palimpsestic’ readings of modern empires, which are generated by writing through the history of past empires.
In chapter eleven of Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler, having constructed aneal type “culture-bearing” Aryan race,1 came to elucidate his views on the history of Jews within Germany. Until the time of Frederick the Great, he argued, “it still entered no one's head to regard the Jews as anything else but a ‘foreign’ people.”2 Thereafter, he asserted, came a period of transition wherein Jews had “the effrontery to turn Germanic.”3 The rest of the chapter, for Hitler, was an attempt to reverse this putative historical mistake, and presents the reader with a vitriolic casting out of Jews, described as “parasites” and a “noxious bacillus,” from the German body politic.4 The aim of this textual expulsion, Hitler explained, was to ensure that the Germans would not be destroyed from within, as had “all great cultures of the past.”5 To Hitler, Jews were what Julia Kristeva has called “the abject”6—that which is simultaneously part of the self but radically rejected by the self. In seeking to expel the “Germanic Jews” from the Volkskörper, Hitler sought to expel that part of the German self that, in his view, was a source of weakness and taint.7