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“Uncertain futures” refers to a set of policy problems that possess some combination of the following characteristics: (i) they potentially cause irreversible changes; (ii) they are widespread, so that policy responses may make sense only on a global scale; (iii) network effects are difficult to understand and may amplify (or moderate) consequences; (iv) time horizons are long; and (v) the likelihood of catastrophic outcomes is unknown or even unknowable. These characteristics tend to make uncertain futures intractable to market solutions because property rights are not clearly defined and essential information is unavailable. These same factors also pose challenges for benefit-cost analysis (BCA) and other traditional decision analysis tools. The diverse policy decisions confronting decision-makers today demand “dynamic BCA,” analytic frameworks that incorporate uncertainties and trade-offs across policy areas, recognizing that: perceptions of risks can be uninformed, misinformed, or inaccurate; risk characterization can suffer from ambiguity; and experts’ tendency to focus on one risk at a time may blind policymakers to important trade-offs. Dynamic BCA – which recognizes trade-offs, anticipates the need to learn from experience, and encourages learning – is essential for lowering the likelihoods and mitigating the consequences of uncertain futures while encouraging economic growth, reducing fragility, and increasing resilience.
Background: Focal cortical dysplasias (FCDs) are congenital structural abnormalities of the brain, and represent the most common cause of medication-resistant focal epilepsy in children and adults. Recent studies have shown that somatic mutations (i.e. mutations arising in the embryo) in mTOR pathway genes underlie some FCD cases. Specific therapies targeting the mTOR pathway are available. However, testing for somatic mTOR pathway mutations in FCD tissue is not performed on a clinical basis, and the contribution of such mutations to the pathogenesis of FCD remains unknown. Aim: To investigate the feasibility of screening for somatic mutations in resected FCD tissue and determine the proportion and spatial distribution of FCDs which are due to low-level somatic mTOR pathway mutations. Methods: We performed ultra-deep sequencing of 13 mTOR pathway genes using a custom HaloPlexHS target enrichment kit (Agilent Technologies) in 16 resected histologically-confirmed FCD specimens. Results: We identified causal variants in 62.5% (10/16) of patients at an alternate allele frequency of 0.75–33.7%. The spatial mutation frequency correlated with the FCD lesion’s size and severity. Conclusions: Screening FCD tissue using a custom panel results in a high yield, and should be considered clinically given the important potential implications regarding surgical resection, medical management and genetic counselling.
Background: Trigeminal neuralgia (TGN) is usually caused by arterial compression of the trigeminal nerve. There are very few cases caused by intra-axial brainstem masses. Little information is therefore available regarding the response to incomplete resection of offending lesions. We present one such case, and systematically review the published in the literature. Methods: Case report and systematic review of MEDLINE and EMBASE Results: Case report: A seven year-old girl is referred with typical TGN pain. MRI revealed a cervicomedullary tumor with no abnormalities of the pons or trigeminal nerve. Subtotal resection under neurophysiologic monitoring was achieved, leaving a small residual attached near the expected location of the trigeminal spinal nucleus and tract.Patient recovered well with resolution of her TGN pain. She is asymptomatic seven years post-operatively. Literature Review: We found no other published cases in children or secondary to gliomas. Among reviewed cases, only two underwent surgery. Both were adults with brainstem cavernomas and both reported substantial improvement despite incomplete resection. Conclusions: Our case as well as literature review both show that surgical resection is beneficial in such cases and, even if subtotal, can result in substantial pain relief. This suggests intra-axial compression of the trigeminal spinal nucleus and tract as the possible cause of TGN pain in such cases.
Background: Indigenous populations are disproportionately affected by traumatic brain injury (TBI). These populations rely on large jurisdiction surveillance efforts to inform their prevention strategies, which may not address their needs. This study describes the TBI determinants of a Quebec indigenous population, the Cree served by the Terres-Cries-de-la-Baie-James health region, and compares them to the determinants of two neighbouring health regions and the entire Province of Quebec. Methods: We conducted a retrospective population-based cohort study of incident TBI hospitalizations, stratified by the aforementioned health regions, in Quebec from 2000-2012. MED-éCHO administrative data were used for case finding. A sub-analysis of the Terres-Cries-de-la-Baie-James adults was completed to assess for determinants of TBI severity and outcomes. Regression models, multiple imputations and a sensitivity analysis were used to account for biased associations. Results: 172 incident TBI hospitalizations occurred in the Terres-Cries-de-la-Baie-James region from 2000-2012. The incidence rate was 92.1 per 100,000 person-years and the adjusted IRR was 1.86 (95% CI 1.56-2.17) when compared to the entire province. Determinants of TBI for the Terres-Cries-de-la-Baie-James were significantly different from those of neighboring populations and the entire province. Conclusions: TBI surveillance information from large jurisdiction initiatives can be misleading for indigenous communities. Community-based surveillance provides evidence that these populations should use to prioritize prevention strategies.
It has come to our knowledge, not without grievous amazement and displeasure of heart [Bishop Grandisson wrote to the clergy of Exeter Cathedral and of other collegiate churches in his diocese before Christmas 1360] that for these past years and some years preceding, at the most holy solemnities of Christ’s Nativity, and the feasts of St Stephen, St John the Apostle and Evangelist, and the Innocents, when all faithful Christians are bound to busy themselves the more devoutly and quietly in praise of God and in Church Services, certain Ministers of our aforesaid Church, together with the boys, not only at Matins and Vespers and other hours, but also (which is more detestable) during the solemnity of the Mass have rashly presumed, putting the fear of God behind them, after the pernicious example of certain Churches, to associate together within the Church itself and play certain foolish and noxious games, unbecoming to clerical honesty.
Insecticidal activities of five pesticidal plant species, Tephrosia vogelii, Dysphania (Syn: Chenopodium) ambrosioides, Lippia javanica, Tithonia diversifolia and Vernonia amygdalina, which have been reported to control storage pests, were evaluated as leaf powders against Callosobruchus maculatus (Fabricius 1775) in stored cowpea. Their efficacy was compared with the commercial pesticide Actellic dust (pirimiphos-methyl) at the recommended concentration (50 g/90 kg), and with untreated cowpea seeds as a negative control. The plant powders were applied at concentrations of 0.01, 0.1, 1 and 3 g/10 g of cowpea seeds in 250 ml plastic containers (to measure contact toxicity), or 0.005, 0.05, 0.5 and 5 g tied in small muslin cloth bags and hung in 500 ml plastic bottles containing 10 g of cowpea seeds (to measure fumigant toxicity). Mortality of adults, oviposition deterrence, adult emergence, and percent seed damage were recorded. Complete protection of seeds and inhibition of adult emergence were achieved in Actellic dust-treated seeds; contact toxicity using leaf powders of T. vogelii at all concentrations, D. ambrosioides at concentrations of 0.1, 1 and 3 g and L. javanica at concentrations of 1 and 3 g; and fumigant toxicity using D. ambrosioides at concentrations of 0.5 and 5 g and L. javanica at a concentration of 5 g. Head space analysis of D. ambrosioides and L. javanica identified ascaridole and camphor, respectively, as components that could be responsible for the bioactivity of these plant species. These plants may, therefore, serve as effective but less harmful biopesticide alternatives to Actellic. Conversely, V. amygdalina and T. diversifolia were not effective, indicating that they should not be promoted for controlling bruchids in cowpea.
A review is presented of Synchrotron X-ray Topography and KOH etching studies carried out on n type 4H-SiC offcut substrates before and after homo-epitaxial growth to study defect replication and strain relaxation processes and identify the nucleation sources of both interfacial dislocations (IDs) and half-loop arrays (HLAs) which are known to have a deleterious effect on device performance. We show that these types of defects can nucleate during epilayer growth from: (1) short segments of edge oriented basal plane dislocations (BPDs) in the substrate which are drawn by glide into the epilayer; and (2) segments of half loops of BPD that are attached to the substrate surface prior to growth which also glide into the epilayer. It is shown that the initial motion of the short edge oriented BPD segments that are drawn from the substrate into the epilayer is caused by thermal stress resulting from radial temperature gradients experienced by the wafer whilst in the epi-chamber. This same stress also causes the initial glide of the surface half-loop into the epilayer and through the advancing epilayer surface. These mobile BPD segments provide screw oriented segments that pierce the advancing epilayer surface that initially replicate as the crystal grows. Once critical thickness is reached, according to the Mathews-Blakeslee model , these screw segments glide sideways under the action of the mismatch stress leaving IDs and HLAs in their wake. The origin of the mismatch stress is shown to be associated with lattice parameter differences at the growth temperature, arising from the differences in doping concentration between substrate and epilayer.
Defect structures in Rubidium Titanyl Phosphate (RTP) crystals (non-doped and doped) grown by the Top Seeded Solution Growth (TSSG) method were characterized using Synchrotron White Beam X-ray Topography. Main defects observed in non-doped crystals are growth sector boundaries while both growth sector boundaries and growth striations are observed in the Nb single doped and (Nb,Yb)-codoped crystals with relatively few linear defects such as dislocations. Results show that the overall crystalline quality is lowered as more doping elements are incorporated. Details of defect distributions are correlated with the growth process to facilitate high quality growth of doped RTP.
Tamarisk (a.k.a. saltcedar, Tamarix spp.) is an invasive plant species that occurs throughout western riparian and wetland ecosystems. It is implicated in alterations of ecosystem structure and function and is the subject of many local control projects, including removal using heavy equipment. We evaluated short-term vegetation responses to mechanical Tamarix spp. removal at sites ranging from 2 to 5 yr post-treatment along the Virgin River in Nevada, USA. Treatments resulted in lower density and cover (but not eradication) of Tamarix spp., increased cover of the native shrub Pluchea sericia (arrow weed), decreased density and cover of all woody species combined, increased density of both native annual forbs and the nonnative annual Salsola tragus (prickly Russian-thistle), and lower density of nonnative annual grasses. The treated plots had lower mean woody species richness, but greater herbaceous species richness and diversity. Among herbaceous species, native taxa increased in richness whereas nonnative species increased in both species richness and diversity. Thus, efforts to remove Tamarix spp. at the Virgin River reduced vegetative cover contributing to fuel loads and probability of fire, and resulted in positive effects for native plant diversity, with mixed effects on other nonnative species. However, absolute abundances of native species and species diversity were very low, suggesting that targets of restoring vegetation to pre-invasion conditions were not met. Longer evaluation periods are needed to adequately evaluate how short-term post-treatment patterns translate to long-term patterns of plant community dynamics.