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Decisions on the use of nature reflect the values and rights of individuals, communities and society at large. The values of nature are expressed through cultural norms, rules and legislation, and they can be elicited using a wide range of tools, including those of economics. None of the approaches to elicit peoples’ values are neutral. Unequal power relations influence valuation and decision-making and are at the core of most environmental conflicts. As actors in sustainability thinking, environmental scientists and practitioners are becoming more aware of their own posture, normative stance, responsibility and relative power in society. Based on a transdisciplinary workshop, our perspective paper provides a normative basis for this new community of scientists and practitioners engaged in the plural valuation of nature.
Until the past half-century, all agriculture and land management was framed by local institutions strong in social capital. But neoliberal forms of development came to undermine existing structures, thus reducing sustainability and equity. The past 20 years, though, have seen the deliberate establishment of more than 8 million new social groups across the world. This restructuring and growth of rural social capital within specific territories is leading to increased productivity of agricultural and land management systems, with particular benefits for those previously excluded. Further growth would occur with more national and regional policy support.
The rapidly decreasing costs of generating genetic data sequencing and the ease of new DNA collection technologies have opened up new opportunities for anthropologists to conduct field-based genetic studies. An exciting aspect of this work comes from linking genetic data with the kinds of individual-level traits evolutionary anthropologists often rely on, such as those collected in long-term demographic and ethnographic studies. However, combining these two types of data raises a host of ethical questions related to the collection, analysis and reporting of such data. Here we address this conundrum by examining one particular case, the collection and analysis of paternity data. We are particularly interested in the logistics and ethics involved in genetic paternity testing in the localized settings where anthropologists often work. We discuss the particular issues related to paternity testing in these settings, including consent and disclosure, consideration of local identity and beliefs and developing a process of continued community engagement. We then present a case study of our own research in Namibia, where we developed a multi-tiered strategy for consent and community engagement, built around a double-blind procedure for data collection, analysis and reporting.
The science of studying diamond inclusions for understanding Earth history has developed significantly over the past decades, with new instrumentation and techniques applied to diamond sample archives revealing the stories contained within diamond inclusions. This chapter reviews what diamonds can tell us about the deep carbon cycle over the course of Earth’s history. It reviews how the geochemistry of diamonds and their inclusions inform us about the deep carbon cycle, the origin of the diamonds in Earth’s mantle, and the evolution of diamonds through time.
We commend Rotolo et al. (2018) for introducing a new lens for viewing the well-known gap between industrial and organizational (I-O) psychology research and human resource (HR) practices in organizations. However, Rotolo et al.’s characterization of practitioner behavior as “anti I-O” suggests a particularly negative view of scientific research among some HR practitioners. The label implies that some HR practitioners are intentionally ignoring or actively resisting academic research. More likely, the behavior stems from a passive indifference to academia, which may be the appropriate attitude for some practitioners to adopt when a great deal of academic research is too slow, too theoretical, and too cryptically communicated to be useful in applied settings. We agree with Rotolo et al. when they say, “we are a discipline that is not geared for being cutting edge” (p. 182), and we appreciate their recommendations for addressing this lack of relevance. However, most recommendations in this broader discussion do not address the foundational problem within our field: a systemic mismatch between the incentives of practitioners and academics. To support this point, we briefly describe a typology of I-O psychologists as well as the varying contexts and incentives that drive their behavior. We then close with our own recommendations for how academia can improve its relevance to practitioners and close the gap. These changes are not easy, but we agree with Rotolo and colleagues that if any field can address such foundational problems, it is ours.
Across the globe, the implementation of quality improvement science and collaborative learning has positively affected the care and outcomes for children born with CHD. These efforts have advanced the collective expertise and performance of inter-professional healthcare teams. In this review, we highlight selected quality improvement initiatives and strategies impacting the field of cardiovascular care and describe implications for future practice and research. The continued leveraging of technology, commitment to data transparency, focus on team-based practice, and recognition of cultural norms and preferences ensure the success of sustainable models of global collaboration.
The Arctic marine environment is undergoing a transition from thick multi-year to first-year sea-ice cover with coincident lengthening of the melt season. Such changes are evident in the Baffin Bay-Davis Strait-Labrador Sea (BDL) region where melt onset has occurred ~8 days decade−1 earlier from 1979 to 2015. A series of anomalously early events has occurred since the mid-1990s, overlapping a period of increased upper-air ridging across Greenland and the northwestern North Atlantic. We investigate an extreme early melt event observed in spring 2013. (~6σ below the 1981–2010 melt climatology), with respect to preceding sub-seasonal mid-tropospheric circulation conditions as described by a daily Greenland Blocking Index (GBI). The 40-days prior to the 2013 BDL melt onset are characterized by a persistent, strong 500 hPa anticyclone over the region (GBI >+1 on >75% of days). This circulation pattern advected warm air from northeastern Canada and the northwestern Atlantic poleward onto the thin, first-year sea ice and caused melt ~50 days earlier than normal. The episodic increase in the ridging atmospheric pattern near western Greenland as in 2013, exemplified by large positive GBI values, is an important recent process impacting the atmospheric circulation over a North Atlantic cryosphere undergoing accelerated regional climate change.
The few studies evaluating data on resource utilisation following the Fontan operation specifically are outdated. We sought to evaluate resource utilisation and factors associated with increased resource use after the Fontan operation in a contemporary, large, multi-institutional cohort. This retrospective cohort study of children who had the Fontan between January, 2004 and June, 2013 used the Pediatric Health Information Systems Database. Generalised linear regression analyses evaluated factors associated with resource use. Of 2187 Fontan patients included in the study, 62% were males. The median age at Fontan was 3.2 years (inter-quartile range (IQR): 2.6–3.8). The median length of stay following the Fontan was 9 days (IQR: 7–14). The median costs and charges in 2012 dollars for the Fontan operation were $93,900 (IQR: $67,800–$136,100) and $156,000 (IQR: $112,080–$225,607), respectively. Postoperative Fontan mortality (30 days) was 1% (n=21). Factors associated with increased resource utilisation included baseline and demographic factors such as region, race, and renal anomaly, factors at the bidirectional Glenn such as seizures, valvuloplasty, and surgical volume, number of admissions between the bidirectional Glenn and the Fontan, and factors at the Fontan such as surgical volume and age at Fontan. The most strongly associated factors for both increased Fontan length of stay and increased Fontan charges were number of bidirectional Glenn to Fontan admissions (p<0.001) and Fontan surgical volume per year (p<0.001). As patient characteristics and healthcare-related delivery variables accounted for most of the factors predicting increased resource utilisation, changes should target healthcare delivery factors to reduce costs in this resource-intensive population.
The nutrient choline is necessary for membrane synthesis and methyl donation, with increased requirements during lactation. The majority of immune development occurs postnatally, but the importance of choline supply for immune development during this critical period is unknown. The objective of this study was to determine the importance of maternal supply of choline during suckling on immune function in their offspring among rodents. At parturition, Sprague–Dawley dams were randomised to either a choline-devoid (ChD; n 7) or choline-sufficient (ChS, 1 g/kg choline; n 10) diet with their offspring euthanised at 3 weeks of age. In a second experiment, offspring were weaned to a ChS diet until 10 weeks of age (ChD-ChS, n 5 and ChS-ChS, n 9). Splenocytes were isolated, and parameters of immune function were measured. The ChD offspring received less choline in breast milk and had lower final body and organ weight compared with ChS offspring (P<0·05), but this effect disappeared by week 10 with choline supplementation from weaning. ChD offspring had a higher proportion of T cells expressing activation markers (CD71 or CD28) and a lower proportion of total B cells (CD45RA+) and responded less to T cell stimulation (lower stimulation index and less IFN-γ production) ex vivo (P<0·05). ChD-ChS offspring had a lower proportion of total and activated CD4+ T cells, and produced less IL-6 after mitogen stimulation compared with cells from ChS-ChS (P<0·05). Our study suggests that choline is required in the suckling diet to facilitate immune development, and choline deprivation during this critical period has lasting effects on T cell function later in life.
Choline demands during lactation are high; however, detailed knowledge is lacking regarding the optimal dietary intake during this critical period. The present study was designed to determine the effects of varying intakes of choline on maternal immune function during lactation. Primiparous Sprague–Dawley rats (n 42) were randomised 24-48 h before birth and fed the following diets for 21 d: choline-devoid (0 g choline/kg diet; D, n 10); 1·0 g choline/kg diet (C1, n 11); 2·5 g choline/kg diet (C2·5, n 10); 6·2 g choline/kg diet (C6, n 11). Splenocytes were isolated and stimulated ex vivo with concanavalin A, lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or CD3/CD28. D and C6 dams had lower final body weight, spleen weight and average pup weight than C1 dams (P< 0·05). There was a linear relationship between free choline concentration in pup stomach contents with maternal dietary choline content (P< 0·001, r2 0·415). Compared with C1 and C2·5, D spleens had a lower proportion of mature T cells and activated suppressor cells, and this resulted in reduced cytokine production after stimulation (P< 0·05). Feeding 6·2 g choline/kg diet resulted in a higher cytokine production after stimulation with CD3/CD28 (P< 0·05). Except for a higher IL-6 production after LPS stimulation with cells from the C2·5 dams (P< 0·05), there were no differences between the C1 and C2·5 dams. For the first time, we show that feeding lactating mothers a diet free of choline has substantial effects on their immune function and on offspring growth. Additionally, excess dietary choline had adverse effects on maternal and offspring body weight but only minimal effects on maternal immune function.
Studies on the role of diet in the development of chronic diseases often rely on self-report surveys of dietary intake. Unfortunately, many validity studies have demonstrated that self-reported dietary intake is subject to systematic under-reporting, although the vast majority of such studies have been conducted in industrialised countries. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether or not systematic reporting error exists among the individuals of African ancestry (n 324) in five countries distributed across the Human Development Index (HDI) scale, a UN statistic devised to rank countries on non-income factors plus economic indicators. Using two 24 h dietary recalls to assess energy intake and the doubly labelled water method to assess total energy expenditure, we calculated the difference between these two values ((self-report − expenditure/expenditure) × 100) to identify under-reporting of habitual energy intake in selected communities in Ghana, South Africa, Seychelles, Jamaica and the USA. Under-reporting of habitual energy intake was observed in all the five countries. The South African cohort exhibited the highest mean under-reporting ( − 52·1 % of energy) compared with the cohorts of Ghana ( − 22·5 %), Jamaica ( − 17·9 %), Seychelles ( − 25·0 %) and the USA ( − 18·5 %). BMI was the most consistent predictor of under-reporting compared with other predictors. In conclusion, there is substantial under-reporting of dietary energy intake in populations across the whole range of the HDI, and this systematic reporting error increases according to the BMI of an individual.
Despite many advances in recent years for patients with critical paediatric and congenital cardiac disease, significant variation in outcomes remains across hospitals. Collaborative quality improvement has enhanced the quality and value of health care across specialties, partly by determining the reasons for variation and targeting strategies to reduce it. Developing an infrastructure for collaborative quality improvement in paediatric cardiac critical care holds promise for developing benchmarks of quality, to reduce preventable mortality and morbidity, optimise the long-term health of patients with critical congenital cardiovascular disease, and reduce unnecessary resource utilisation in the cardiac intensive care unit environment. The Pediatric Cardiac Critical Care Consortium (PC4) has been modelled after successful collaborative quality improvement initiatives, and is positioned to provide the data platform necessary to realise these objectives. We describe the development of PC4 including the philosophical, organisational, and infrastructural components that will facilitate collaborative quality improvement in paediatric cardiac critical care.
This study describes psychometric properties of the NIH Toolbox Cognition Battery (NIHTB-CB) executive function measures in an adult sample. The NIHTB-CB was designed for use in epidemiologic studies and clinical trials for ages 3 to 85. A total of 268 self-described healthy adults were recruited at four university-based sites, using stratified sampling guidelines to target demographic variability for age (20–85 years), gender, education and ethnicity. The NIHTB-CB contains two computer-based instruments assessing executive function: the Dimensional Change Card Sort (a measure of cognitive flexibility) and a flanker task (a measure of inhibitory control and selective attention). Participants completed the NIHTB-CB, corresponding gold standard convergent and discriminant measures, and sociodemographic questionnaires. A subset of participants (N=89) was retested 7 to 21 days later. Results reveal excellent sensitivity to age-related changes during adulthood, excellent test–retest reliability, and adequate to good convergent and discriminant validity. The NIH Toolbox EF measures can be used effectively in epidemiologic and clinical studies. (JINS, 2014, 20, 1–10)