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In recent years, a variety of efforts have been made in political science to enable, encourage, or require scholars to be more open and explicit about the bases of their empirical claims and, in turn, make those claims more readily evaluable by others. While qualitative scholars have long taken an interest in making their research open, reflexive, and systematic, the recent push for overarching transparency norms and requirements has provoked serious concern within qualitative research communities and raised fundamental questions about the meaning, value, costs, and intellectual relevance of transparency for qualitative inquiry. In this Perspectives Reflection, we crystallize the central findings of a three-year deliberative process—the Qualitative Transparency Deliberations (QTD)—involving hundreds of political scientists in a broad discussion of these issues. Following an overview of the process and the key insights that emerged, we present summaries of the QTD Working Groups’ final reports. Drawing on a series of public, online conversations that unfolded at www.qualtd.net, the reports unpack transparency’s promise, practicalities, risks, and limitations in relation to different qualitative methodologies, forms of evidence, and research contexts. Taken as a whole, these reports—the full versions of which can be found in the Supplementary Materials—offer practical guidance to scholars designing and implementing qualitative research, and to editors, reviewers, and funders seeking to develop criteria of evaluation that are appropriate—as understood by relevant research communities—to the forms of inquiry being assessed. We dedicate this Reflection to the memory of our coauthor and QTD working group leader Kendra Koivu.1
Telomeres are nucleoprotein complexes that form the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes where they protect DNA from genomic instability, prevent end-to-end fusion and limit cellular replicative capabilities. Increased telomere attrition rates, and relatively shorter telomere length, is associated with genomic instability and has been linked with several chronic diseases, malignancies and reduced longevity. Telomeric DNA is highly susceptible to oxidative damage and dietary habits may make an impact on telomere attrition rates through the mediation of oxidative stress and chronic inflammation. The aim of this study was to examine the association between leucocyte telomere length (LTL) with both the Dietary Inflammatory Index® 2014 (DII®) and the Alternative Healthy Eating Index 2010 (AHEI-2010). This is a cross-sectional analysis using baseline data from 263 postmenopausal women from the Alberta Physical Activity and Breast Cancer Prevention (ALPHA) Trial, in Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. No statistically significant association was detected between LTL z-score and the AHEI-2010 (P = 0·20) or DII® (P = 0·91) in multivariable adjusted models. An exploratory analysis of AHEI-2010 and DII® parameters and LTL revealed anthocyanidin intake was associated with LTL (P < 0·01); however, this association was non-significant after a Bonferroni correction was applied (P = 0·27). No effect modification by age, smoking history, or recreational physical activity was detected for either relationship. Increased dietary antioxidant and decreased oxidant intake were not associated with LTL in this analysis.
The deep subsurface of other planetary bodies is of special interest for robotic and human exploration. The subsurface provides access to planetary interior processes, thus yielding insights into planetary formation and evolution. On Mars, the subsurface might harbour the most habitable conditions. In the context of human exploration, the subsurface can provide refugia for habitation from extreme surface conditions. We describe the fifth Mine Analogue Research (MINAR 5) programme at 1 km depth in the Boulby Mine, UK in collaboration with Spaceward Bound NASA and the Kalam Centre, India, to test instruments and methods for the robotic and human exploration of deep environments on the Moon and Mars. The geological context in Permian evaporites provides an analogue to evaporitic materials on other planetary bodies such as Mars. A wide range of sample acquisition instruments (NASA drills, Small Planetary Impulse Tool (SPLIT) robotic hammer, universal sampling bags), analytical instruments (Raman spectroscopy, Close-Up Imager, Minion DNA sequencing technology, methane stable isotope analysis, biomolecule and metabolic life detection instruments) and environmental monitoring equipment (passive air particle sampler, particle detectors and environmental monitoring equipment) was deployed in an integrated campaign. Investigations included studying the geochemical signatures of chloride and sulphate evaporitic minerals, testing methods for life detection and planetary protection around human-tended operations, and investigations on the radiation environment of the deep subsurface. The MINAR analogue activity occurs in an active mine, showing how the development of space exploration technology can be used to contribute to addressing immediate Earth-based challenges. During the campaign, in collaboration with European Space Agency (ESA), MINAR was used for astronaut familiarization with future exploration tools and techniques. The campaign was used to develop primary and secondary school and primary to secondary transition curriculum materials on-site during the campaign which was focused on a classroom extra vehicular activity simulation.
The Implementing Geological Disposal of Radioactive Waste Technology Platform (IGD-TP) was launched in November 2009 to facilitate international cooperation in common areas of research, development and demonstration (RD&D) with a view to advancing the implementation of geological disposal facilities for spent fuel, high-level and other long-lived waste in Europe.
The IGD-TP's Vision is that “by 2025, the first geological disposal facilities for spent fuel, high-level waste and other long-lived radioactive waste will be operating safely in Europe”. Aside from most European waste management organisations, the IGD-TP currently has 124 members covering most of the RD&D actors in the field of implementing geological disposal of radioactive waste in Europe.
Five years after its inception, the IGD-TP has been shown to play a leading role in coordinating joint actions for RD&D in radioactive waste geological disposal programmes. The work of the platform takes into account differences between the timing and challenges for the respective waste management programmes. Following implementation of Posiva's geological disposal facility in Finland it is expected that within the next 5 years the construction of the Swedish and French geological disposal facilities will commence. Within IGD-TP, the SecIGD2 project whose remit is “Coordination and Support Action under the 7th Framework programme” aims at supporting, at the European level, the networking and structuring of RD&D programmes and competences in countries with less advanced geological disposal programmes, including those in the new European Union Member States. Furthermore, the SecIGD2 supports the development and coordination of the necessary competences to meet the Vision 2025 as a part of the platform's Competence Maintenance, Education and Training (CMET) working group.
Harvesting solar energy, is only one of the incentives of incorporating photosynthetic proteins in electrochemical devices. Understanding the interface of photosynthetic protein complexes and organic\inorganic underlying electrodes can give rise to development of new generation of nano-bioelectronics for other applications such as sensing, as well. Previous approaches in fabricating photosynthetic bio-hybrid electrochemical solar cells were mainly based on metallic electrodes with protein complexes attached, either directly or through linker molecules. Due to the energy band structure in semiconductors, they potentially can be useful for selective charge transfer in an electrochemical device. In the current study, a two terminal sealed bio-hybrid solar cell device was fabricated comprising of hydrothermally grown ZnO nanowires on fluorine doped tin oxide (FTO) glass working electrode, a Pt counter electrode, and methyl viologen (MV) as a single diffusible redox mediator. The ZnO working electrode was initially characterized using scanning electron microscopy (XRD) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). A solution of dimeric Rhodobacter sphaeroides – light harvesting 1 (RC-LH1) core complexes and redox electrolyte was injected into the cavity between working and counter electrodes. Such structure resulted in ∼0.64 µA.cm-2 photocurrent density and ∼0.24 V open circuit potential difference in the dark and under illumination. Additionally, the device stability tests demonstrated that the current response of such devices remained unchanged after 33 hours storage in the dark.
Simojovelhyus pocitosense is based on a lower jaw fragment with three molars from the late Oligocene amber mine deposits near the village of Simojovel, Chiapas Province, Mexico. It is the oldest fossil mammal known from Central America. It was described by Ferrusquia-Villafranca in 2006 as a helohyid, a group of primitive artiodactyls known from the Bridgerian and Uintan (older than 49–42 Ma), yet it comes from early Arikareean deposits about 25–27 Ma, suggesting that it was a very late helohyid living more than 10 m.y. after their apparent Uintan extinction. We re-examined the specimen, and compared it to the large collection of recently described peccaries from the Chadronian (Perchoerus minor) and Orellan (Perchoerus nanus) and Bridgerian helohyids (Helohyus sp.). Once the range of variation of characters in helohyids and peccaries is accounted for, Simojovelhyus shows derived similarities to early peccaries, especially in the bunodont molars with inflated cusps and the configuration of cristids and accessory cuspulids, and none of the incipient lophodonty and primitive morphology seen in helohyids. In fact, the only real similarity other than symplesiomorphies between Simojovelhyus and helohyids is its small size, but it is close to the size range of the tiny Chadronian peccary P. minor. Thus, based on both derived tooth characters and its age, it is much more parsimonious to regard Simojovelhyus as a tiny Mexican peccary from the Arikareean, not a very late helohyid. This removes the anomalously late occurrence of helohyids from the mammalian fossil record, and forces a re-examination of our view of mammalian evolution in Central America.
To determine the frequency of multiple pathology [Alzheimer Disease (AD) plus Vascular Dementia and/or Dementia with Lewy Bodies] in patients enrolled in clinical trials of AD therapy, and to compare the cognitive and functional assessments between patients with pure AD and AD with multiple pathology.
We conducted a retrospective analysis of patients with a clinical diagnosis of AD who were enrolled in AD therapy clinical trials and subsequently received an autopsy for confirmation of their diagnosis from 2000 to 2009. Performance on cognitive screening tests, namely Modified Mini Mental state (3MS) exam, Mini Mental state Exam (MMSE) and Functional Rating Scale (FRS) were compared between patients with pure AD and multiple pathology.
Autopsy reports were available for 16/47 (34%) of deceased patients. Of these 16 patients, 5 (31%) had pure AD pathology, 10 (63%) had AD with other pathology, and 1 (6%) had non-AD pathology. Compared to patients with pure AD, patients with AD mixed with other pathology had poorer baseline FRS in problem-solving (p<0.01) and community affairs (p<0.02).
While the strict enrollment criteria for clinical trials identified the presence of AD pathology in the majority of cases (15/16), multiple pathology was more common than pure AD in our series of autopsied patients. Premortem biomarkers that can distinguish between pure AD and AD with multiple pathology will be beneficial in future clinical trials and dementia patient management.
This chapter considers the basic anatomy and physiology of the parathyroid gland, followed by its pathologies and their implications for anaesthesia. There are usually two pairs of parathyroid gland, superior and inferior, each measuring 4 x 2 x 6 mm, surrounded by fat and each weighing approximately 25-40 mg. About 80-90% of patients have four parathyroids. Parathyroid hormone is secreted by the parathyroid chief cells in response to the fall in the level of circulating, free calcium. The clinical presentation of primary hyperparathyroidism has altered over the past century. It is a commonly recognised endocrine disorder, with the number of parathyroidectomies increasing each year. The gold standard of treatment and the only hope of cure is surgical parathyroidectomy. Preoperative intravenous infusion of methylene blue is used to identify the parathyroid glands, and in open or minimally invasive surgery the operative times can be reduced.