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Viruses are the most numerically abundant biological entities on Earth. As ubiquitous replicators of molecular information and agents of community change, viruses have potent effects on the life on Earth, and may play a critical role in human spaceflight, for life-detection missions to other planetary bodies and planetary protection. However, major knowledge gaps constrain our understanding of the Earth's virosphere: (1) the role viruses play in biogeochemical cycles, (2) the origin(s) of viruses and (3) the involvement of viruses in the evolution, distribution and persistence of life. As viruses are the only replicators that span all known types of nucleic acids, an expanded experimental and theoretical toolbox built for Earth's viruses will be pivotal for detecting and understanding life on Earth and beyond. Only by filling in these knowledge and technical gaps we will obtain an inclusive assessment of how to distinguish and detect life on other planetary surfaces. Meanwhile, space exploration requires life-support systems for the needs of humans, plants and their microbial inhabitants. Viral effects on microbes and plants are essential for Earth's biosphere and human health, but virus–host interactions in spaceflight are poorly understood. Viral relationships with their hosts respond to environmental changes in complex ways which are difficult to predict by extrapolating from Earth-based proxies. These relationships should be studied in space to fully understand how spaceflight will modulate viral impacts on human health and life-support systems, including microbiomes. In this review, we address key questions that must be examined to incorporate viruses into Earth system models, life-support systems and life detection. Tackling these questions will benefit our efforts to develop planetary protection protocols and further our understanding of viruses in astrobiology.
Slowing climate change will almost certainly require a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, but agreement on who should reduce emissions by how much is difficult, in part because of the self-serving bias—the tendency to believe that what is beneficial to oneself is also fair. Conducting surveys among college students in the United States and China, we show that each of these groups displays a nationalistic self-serving bias in judgments of a fair distribution of economic burdens resulting from mitigation. Yet, we also show, by disguising the problem and the identity of the parties, that it is possible to elicit perceptions of fairness that are not influenced by national interests. Our research reveals that the self-serving bias plays a major role in the difficulty of obtaining agreement on how to implement emissions reductions. That is, the disagreement over what constitutes fair climate policy does not appear to be due to cross-national differences in what constitutes a fair distribution of burdens. Interventions to mitigate the self-serving bias may facilitate agreement.
We report on the automatic alignment of a transmission electron microscope equipped with an orbital angular momentum sorter using a convolutional neural network. The neural network is able to control all relevant parameters of both the electron-optical setup of the microscope and the external voltage source of the sorter without input from the user. It can compensate for mechanical and optical misalignments of the sorter, in order to optimize its spectral resolution. The alignment is completed over a few frames and can be kept stable by making use of the fast fitting time of the neural network.
Despite the availability of more than 20 antiseizure drugs (ASDs) for the treatment of epilepsy, up to 30% of patients continue to experience disabling seizures and are classified as having medically refractory epilepsy (MRE).1 Some patients with MRE are candidates for resective surgery or other palliative interventions, such as disconnection therapies (callosotomy or subpial transections).2 Unfortunately, the majority of refractory patients are not candidates for these surgical options due to having multifocal epileptogenic foci, foci localized to an eloquent brain area or because the focus cannot be adequately localized.3,4 For some of these patients, stimulation therapy (also known as neuromodulation) is an alternative palliative treatment option. This chapter will review the different neuromodulation modalities that are available as adjunctive treatment of MRE. The impact of neuromodulation on sudden unexplained death in epilepsy (SUDEP) will be explored in the final section.
Surgical site infections (SSIs) are common surgical complications that lead to increased costs. Depending on payer type, however, they do not necessarily translate into deficits for every hospital.
We investigated how surgical site infections (SSIs) influence the contribution margin in 2 reimbursement systems based on diagnosis-related groups (DRGs).
This preplanned observational health cost analysis was nested within a Swiss multicenter randomized controlled trial on the timing of preoperative antibiotic prophylaxis in general surgery between February 2013 and August 2015. A simulation of cost and income in the National Health Service (NHS) England reimbursement system was conducted.
Of 5,175 patients initially enrolled, 4,556 had complete cost and income data as well as SSI status available for analysis. SSI occurred in 228 of 4,556 of patients (5%). Patients with SSIs were older, more often male, had higher BMIs, compulsory insurance, longer operations, and more frequent ICU admissions. SSIs led to higher hospital cost and income. The median contribution margin was negative in cases of SSI. In SSI cases, median contribution margin was Swiss francs (CHF) −2045 (IQR, −12,800 to 4,848) versus CHF 895 (IQR, −2,190 to 4,158) in non-SSI cases. Higher ASA class and private insurance were associated with higher contribution margins in SSI cases, and ICU admission led to greater deficits. Private insurance had a strong increasing effect on contribution margin at the 10th, 50th (median), and 90th percentiles of its distribution, leading to overall positive contribution margins for SSIs in Switzerland. The NHS England simulation with 3,893 patients revealed similar but less pronounced effects of SSI on contribution margin.
Depending on payer type, reimbursement systems with DRGs offer only minor financial incentives to the prevention of SSI.
In interwar Germany, internationalism and nationalism coexisted in a public sphere that often transcended national borders. This seeming contradiction helps explain the mindset of an era, which simultaneously recognized interconnectedness while privileging national identity. Historians’ interest in internationalism has primarily focused on liberal and cooperative actors and on some selected examples demonstrating the dark sides of internationalism. Fewer historians, however, have analyzed the ambiguities and contradictions of liberal internationalism and the perseverance of the national as a frame of reference in internationalist discourses. Ernst Jäckh, best known as the founder of the Deutsche Hochschule für Politik, perhaps best represented this collision of values while simultaneously being one of the biggest proponents of such a view. Jäckh's internationalism permeated all his endeavors and served the goal of reintegrating Germany in the international community.
Environmental scientists and managers increasingly recognize that socio-cultural evaluations expand the understanding of human–nature relationships. Here, user groups’ perceptions of the benefits from and threats to nature were analysed in Tierra del Fuego National Park, Argentina. We hypothesized that the different relationships of users to this place would lead to significantly different valuations among local Ushuaia residents (n = 122), Argentine nationals (n = 147) and international tourists (n = 294). All users perceived a broad spectrum of benefits. The three groups assessed intrinsic and relational values more highly than instrumental benefits, and significant differences included a higher mean valuation of benefits by Argentine visitors. Overall, threats were less perceived than benefits, and significant differences included a higher mean threat assessment by Ushuaia residents. To explain these relationships, we found that mean valuations of benefits and threats were weakly related to increased biodiversity knowledge for residents and international tourists, but not for Argentine visitors. These findings can orient environmental management in Patagonia and elsewhere by identifying areas where information can improve user experiences and by contributing a more pluralistic understanding of nature from multiple stakeholders.
We agree with Lake and colleagues on their list of “key ingredients” for building human-like intelligence, including the idea that model-based reasoning is essential. However, we favor an approach that centers on one additional ingredient: autonomy. In particular, we aim toward agents that can both build and exploit their own internal models, with minimal human hand engineering. We believe an approach centered on autonomous learning has the greatest chance of success as we scale toward real-world complexity, tackling domains for which ready-made formal models are not available. Here, we survey several important examples of the progress that has been made toward building autonomous agents with human-like abilities, and highlight some outstanding challenges.
Alachlor [2-chloro-2′,6′-diethyl-N-(methoxymethyl) acetanilide], acetochlor [2-chloro-N-(ethoxymethyl)-6′-ethyl-o-acetotoluidide] and metolachlor [2-chloro-N-(2-ethyl-6-methylphenyl)-N-(2-methoxy-1-methylethyl)acetamide] were adsorbed in similar amounts, approximately one-third that of the reference compound prometryn [2,4-bis(isopropylamino)-6-(methylthio)-s-triazine] by Ca-organic matter and seven soils. Adsorption isotherms for the four herbicides by Ca-montmorillonite were of the same shape, but different bonding mechanisms were involved. Adsorption and bioactivity of the acetanilide herbicides were correlated with organic matter, clay content, and other soil parameters as determined by two different soil- testing laboratories.
The effect of various soil parameters on metribuzin [4-amino-6-(1,1-dimethylethyl)-3-(methylthio)-1,2,4-triazin-5(4H)-one] efficacy was studied on seven soils and metribuzin adsorption was investigated in nine soils. Soil organic-matter and clay contents were correlated with metribuzin activity. Specific surface area, as measured by ethylene glycol monoethyl ether (EGME) was highly correlated with metribuzin activity. Soil organic-matter content and EGME surface area measurements were also highly correlated with metribuzin adsorption in soils. Since metribuzin is highly water soluble (water solubility greater than 1000 ppm), it was probably adsorbed at the hydrophilic sites on the soil surfaces that were measured by EGME. Metribuzin was much more mobile than atrazine [6-chloro-N-ethyl-N′-(1-methylethyl)-1,3,5-triazine-2,4-diamine] in a leaching study.
Alachlor [2-chloro-N-(2,6-diethylphenyl)-N-(methoxymethyl)acetamide] and metolachlor [2-chloro-N-(2-ethyl-6-methylphenyl)-N-(2-methoxy-1-methylethyl)acetamide] adsorption was positively correlated with soil organic-matter content, clay content, and surface area as measured by ethylene glycol monoethyl ether (EGME) or benzyl ethyl ether (BEE) and inversely correlated with herbicidal activity. Alachlor was adsorbed in slightly greater amounts by soil than metolachlor. Metolachlor had slightly greater bioactivity than alachlor on grass weeds, but the herbicides had similar activity on broadleaf weeds. Slightly greater amounts of metolachlor than alachlor were leached through a Norfolk soil and slightly greater amounts of alachlor were retained in the upper soil zones, compared with metolachlor.
Significantly higher rates of butralin [4-(1,1-dimethylethyl)-N-(1-methylpropyl)-2,6-dinitrobenzenamine] were required to produce the same level of weed control as trifluralin [2,6-dinitro -N,N-dipropyl-4-(trifluoromethyl) benzenamine] when applied to soybeans [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] on seven different soils in the field. Higher rates of butralin were also required to control barnyardgrass [Echinochloa crus-galli (L.) Beauv. ♯ ECHCG] in growth chamber studies. No differences in the extent of soil adsorption of trifluralin and butralin were apparent; therefore, differences in efficacy could not be attributed to differences in soil adsorption. Herbicide rates required for 80% weed control and Freundlich K-values (adsorption capacity indices) were mostly highly correlated with soil organic-matter content and soil surface area as measured by benzyl ethyl ether (BEE) and ethylene glycol monoethyl ether (EGME) on nine soils. Analysis of the organic-matter content of the nine soils by 10 soil testing laboratories resulted in highly significant differences among laboratories.
There has been a steep increase in empirical research in economics in the past 20–30 years. This chapter brings together several actors and stakeholders in these developments to discuss their drivers and implications. All types of data are considered: official data, data collected by researchers, lab experiments, randomized control trials, and proprietary data from private and public sources. When relevant, emphasis is placed on developments specific to Europe. The basic message of the chapter is that there is no single type of data that is superior to all others. We need to promote diversity of data sources for economic research and ensure that researchers are equipped to take advantage of them. All stakeholders – researchers, research institutions, funders, statistical agencies, central banks, journals, data firms, and policy-makers – have a role to play in this.
The past 20–30 years have witnessed a steady rise in empirical research in economics. In fact, a majority of articles published by leading journals these days are empirical, in stark contrast with the situation 40 or 50 years ago (Hamermesh, 2013). This change in the distribution of methodologies used in economic research was made possible by improved computing power but, more importantly, thanks to an increase in the quantity, quality and variety of data used in economics.
This chapter brings together several actors and stakeholders in these changes to discuss their drivers and implications. All types of data are considered. When relevant, emphasis is placed on developments specific to Europe. Sections 13.2 and 13.3 deal with official microdata. Section 13.2 focuses on the level of access to microdata in Europe and its determinants. Section 13.3 focuses on cross-country data harmonization. Section 13.4 then switches gears entirely and discusses the benefits and costs of large-scale data collection efforts led by researchers, instead of statistical offices. Section 13.5 discusses data produced by researchers, either in the context of lab experiments or in the context of randomized control trials. Both types of data have led to major advances; for the first one in our understanding of human behaviour and the robustness of economic institutions; for the second in our understanding of the impact of policies and themechanisms underlying them.
An efficient and robust method to measure vitamin D (25-hydroxy vitamin D3 (25(OH)D3) and 25-hydroxy vitamin D2 in dried blood spots (DBS) has been developed and applied in the pan-European multi-centre, internet-based, personalised nutrition intervention study Food4Me. The method includes calibration with blood containing endogenous 25(OH)D3, spotted as DBS and corrected for haematocrit content. The methodology was validated following international standards. The performance characteristics did not reach those of the current gold standard liquid chromatography-MS/MS in plasma for all parameters, but were found to be very suitable for status-level determination under field conditions. DBS sample quality was very high, and 3778 measurements of 25(OH)D3 were obtained from 1465 participants. The study centre and the season within the study centre were very good predictors of 25(OH)D3 levels (P<0·001 for each case). Seasonal effects were modelled by fitting a sine function with a minimum 25(OH)D3 level on 20 January and a maximum on 21 July. The seasonal amplitude varied from centre to centre. The largest difference between winter and summer levels was found in Germany and the smallest in Poland. The model was cross-validated to determine the consistency of the predictions and the performance of the DBS method. The Pearson’s correlation between the measured values and the predicted values was r 0·65, and the sd of their differences was 21·2 nmol/l. This includes the analytical variation and the biological variation within subjects. Overall, DBS obtained by unsupervised sampling of the participants at home was a viable methodology for obtaining vitamin D status information in a large nutritional study.
Vitamin E (α-tocopherol) is recognised as a key essential lipophilic antioxidant in humans protecting lipoproteins, PUFA, cellular and intra-cellular membranes from damage. The aim of this review was to evaluate the relevant published data about vitamin E requirements in relation to dietary PUFA intake. Evidence in animals and humans indicates a minimal basal requirement of 4–5 mg/d of RRR-α-tocopherol when the diet is very low in PUFA. The vitamin E requirement will increase with an increase in PUFA consumption and with the degree of unsaturation of the PUFA in the diet. The vitamin E requirement related to dietary linoleic acid, which is globally the major dietary PUFA in humans, was calculated to be 0·4–0·6 mg of RRR-α-tocopherol/g of linoleic acid. Animal studies show that for fatty acids with a higher degree of unsaturation, the vitamin E requirement increases almost linearly with the degree of unsaturation of the PUFA in the relative ratios of 0·3, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 for mono-, di-, tri-, tetra-, penta- and hexaenoic fatty acids, respectively. Assuming a typical intake of dietary PUFA, a vitamin E requirement ranging from 12 to 20 mg of RRR-α-tocopherol/d can be calculated. A number of guidelines recommend to increase PUFA intake as they have well-established health benefits. It will be prudent to assure an adequate vitamin E intake to match the increased PUFA intake, especially as vitamin E intake is already below recommendations in many populations worldwide.