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The international rule of law is a somewhat ubiquitous concept yet, as idea, it is marred by ambiguity and disagreement and, as ideal, constantly frustrated by the institutional conditions of the decentralised international legal order. Rather than necessarily undermining the concept, however, I argue that these structural conditions cause a kind of conceptual rupture, resulting in seemingly opposed or contradictory idealisations. On the one hand, the international rule of law can be understood as what Terry Nardin has called the ‘basis of association’ in international relations. This understanding places importance on the legal form as an end in itself, whereby the structural or institutional autonomy of international law is critical to the peaceable conduct of international relations. On the other hand, however, the rule of law exists as an unfulfilled promise of an order to come: it is distinctly anti-formalist in nature, stressing the functional capacity of international law to actually constrain political actors (primarily states) and thus seeking to develop more effective international institutional mechanisms. Although these competing idealisations give rise to a certain contradiction and inherent tension, their conceptual opposition is, I believe, critical to an understanding of authority and accountability dynamics in an era of ‘global governance’.
This study assessed the virulence of Trypanosoma evansi, the causative agent of camel trypanosomiasis (surra), affecting mainly camels among other hosts in Africa, Asia and South America, with high mortality and morbidity. Using Swiss white mice, we assessed virulence of 17 T. evansi isolates collected from surra endemic countries. We determined parasitaemia, live body weight, packed cell volume (PCV) and survivorship in mice, for a period of 60 days’ post infection. Based on survivorship, the 17 isolates were classified into three virulence categories; low (31–60 days), moderate (11–30 days) and high (0–10 days). Differences in survivorship, PCV and bodyweights between categories were significant and correlated (P < 0.05). Of the 10 Kenyan isolates, four were of low, five moderate and one (Type B) of high virulence. These findings suggest differential virulence between T. evansi isolates. In conclusion, these results show that the virulence of T. evansi may be region specific, the phenotype of the circulating parasite should be considered in the management of surra. There is also need to collect more isolates from other surra endemic regions to confirm this observation.
The relationship between depression and sexual behaviour among men who have sex with men (MSM) is poorly understood.
To investigate prevalence and correlates of depressive symptoms (Patient Health Questionnaire-9 score ≥10) and the relationship between depressive symptoms and sexual behaviour among MSM reporting recent sex.
The Attitudes to and Understanding of Risk of Acquisition of HIV (AURAH) is a cross-sectional study of UK genitourinary medicine clinic attendees without diagnosed HIV (2013–2014).
Among 1340 MSM, depressive symptoms (12.4%) were strongly associated with socioeconomic disadvantage and lower supportive network. Adjusted for key sociodemographic factors, depressive symptoms were associated with measures of condomless sex partners in the past 3 months (≥2 (prevalence ratio (PR) 1.42, 95% CI 1.17–1.74; P=0.001), unknown or HIV-positive status (PR 1.43, 95% CI 1.20–1.71; P<0.001)), sexually transmitted infection (STI) diagnosis (PR 1.46, 95% CI 1.19–1.79; P<0.001) and post-exposure prophylaxis use in the past year (PR 1.83, 95% CI 1.33–2.50; P<0.001).
Management of mental health may play a role in HIV and STI prevention.
Little is known about the joint mental health effects of air pollution and tobacco smoking in low- and middle-income countries.
To investigate the effects of exposure to ambient fine particulate matter pollution (PM2.5) and smoking and their combined (interactive) effects on depression.
Multilevel logistic regression analysis of baseline data of a prospective cohort study (n=41785). The 3-year average concentrations of PM2.5 were estimated using US National Aeronautics and Space Administration satellite data, and depression was diagnosed using a standardised questionnaire. Three-level logistic regression models were applied to examine the associations with depression.
The odds ratio (OR) for depression was 1.09 (95% CI 1.01–1.17) per 10 μg/m3 increase in ambient PM2.5, and the association remained after adjusting for potential confounding factors (adjusted OR = 1.10, 95% CI 1.02–1.19). Tobacco smoking (smoking status, frequency, duration and amount) was also significantly associated with depression. There appeared to be a synergistic interaction between ambient PM2.5 and smoking on depression in the additive model, but the interaction was not statistically significant in the multiplicative model.
Our study suggests that exposure to ambient PM2.5 may increase the risk of depression, and smoking may enhance this effect.
Studies using acute tryptophan depletion (ATD) to examine the effects of a rapid reduction in serotonin function have shown a reduction in global cognitive status during ATD in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD). Based on the severe cholinergic loss evident in dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and Parkinson's disease and dementia (PDD), we predicted that a reduction of global cognitive status during ATD would be greater in these conditions than in AD.
Patients having DLB or PDD underwent ATD in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized, counterbalanced, crossover design.
While the study intended to test 20 patients, the protocol was poorly tolerated and terminated after six patients attempted, but only four patients – three with DLB and one with PDD – completed the protocol. The Modified Mini-Mental State Examination (3MSE) score was reduced in all three DLB patients and unchanged in the PDD and dementia patient during ATD compared with placebo.
This reduction in global cognitive function and the poor tolerability may fit with the hypothesis that people with dementia with Lewy bodies have sensitivity to the effects of reduced serotonin function.
In 1990 Jack Winkler and Froma Zeitlin dropped a bomb on the study of Greek drama with the publication of Nothing to Do with Dionysos? Taking their departure from the narrow formalist historicism of prior scholarship, with its interest in properly historical persons, events and trends, Winkler and Zeitlin shifted their attention toward ‘the entire social context of the [dramatic] festival’ (3). Greek drama would now be a window into the sociocultural pulse of fifth-century Athens. This new praxis came to be known as ‘cultural poetics’, and its practitioners viewed Greek drama as an embedded and constitutive element of a society in constant negotiation with itself. Drama now reflected or symptomatised historical, religious and political context. As Simon Goldhill put it in the introduction to his study of the Oresteia:
Tragedy takes place…at the moment of maximal unresolved tension between…systems of ideas… It explores the different and competing ideals, different and competing obligations, different and competing sense of words in the developing polis, different and competing ideas of glory and success… It discovers tensions and ambiguities with the very civic ideology of democracy that is the context of tragedy's performance… Tragedy takes the developing notions, vocabulary, commitments of democracy and places them under rigorous, polemical, violent and public scrutiny.
The impact and aftershock of Nothing to Do with Dionysos? can still be felt today. In one way or another, we might say, we are all the children (and grandchildren) of Winkler and Zeitlin. The question remains, however, what type of children we have been in the time since (kaloi men k'agathoi, kakoi de k'aischroi?) and how we will honour their legacy as we move forward with the study of Greek drama.
The current research examined the association between state disfavoured tax on soda (i.e. the difference between soda sales tax and the tax on food products generally) and a summary score representing the strength of state laws governing competitive beverages (beverages that compete with the beverages in the federally funded school lunch programme) in US schools.
The Classification of Laws Associated with School Students (CLASS) summary score reflected the strength of a state's laws restricting competitive beverages sold in school stores, vending machines, school fundraisers and à la carte cafeteria items. Bridging the Gap (BTG) is a nationally recognized research initiative that provided state-level soda tax data. The main study outcome was the states’ competitive beverage summary scores for elementary, middle and high school grade levels, as predicted by the states’ disfavoured soda tax. Univariate and multivariate analyses were conducted, adjusting for year and state.
Data from BTG and CLASS were used.
BTG and CLASS data from all fifty states and the District of Columbia from 2003 to 2010 were used.
A higher disfavoured soda sales tax was generally associated with an increased likelihood of having strong school beverage laws across grade levels, and especially when disfavoured soda sales tax was >5 %.
These data suggest a concordance between states’ soda taxes and laws governing beverages sold in schools. States with high disfavoured sales tax on soda had stronger competitive beverage laws, indicating that the state sales tax environment may be associated with laws governing beverage policy in schools.
The false killer whale Pseudorca crassidens is currently documented from only six eastern tropical Atlantic (ETA) range states, five of which are evidenced by strandings, by-catch or skeletal remains rather than at-sea sightings and consequently provide no information on habitat or behaviour. Here we report six false killer whale records from cetacean surveys carried out off Gabon (four records) and Côte d'Ivoire (two records) between 2002 and 2012, providing the first at-sea sightings in those two existing range states. All six sightings were located in continental shelf waters (≤103 m depth) and in relatively nearshore (mean = 13.9 km) habitat. Forty-three false killer whales were photo-identified during three encounters on the Gabonese shelf; seven individuals were matched between 2002 and 2006, including two individuals that were present during all three sightings. Observations included predation of Atlantic sailfish Istiophoms albicans and two occurrences in proximity to humpback whales Megaptera novaeangliae. Whistles recorded during one sighting had simple structure, short duration and a mean fundamental frequency of 7.8 kHz. These are the first verified records of false killer whales using continental shelf waters in the ETA, indicating that the species occupies neritic habitat in the region in addition to its previously-documented oceanic habitat. The re-sightings of marked individuals between sightings and years suggest that at least some individuals exhibit a degree of site fidelity to Gabonese shelf waters. Further information on distribution, abundance, movements, population structure and mortality rates are required for effective management of the species in the ETA.