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The sources and fate of radiocarbon (14C) in the Dead Sea hypersaline solution are evaluated with 14C measurements in organic debris and primary aragonite collected from exposures of the Holocene Ze’elim Formation. The reservoir age (RA) is defined as the difference between the radiocarbon age of the aragonite at time of its precipitation (representing lakeʼs dissolved inorganic carbon [DIC]) and the age of contemporaneous organic debris (representing atmospheric radiocarbon). Evaluation of the data for the past 6000 yr from Dead Sea sediments reveal that the lakeʼs RA decreased from 2890 yr at 6 cal kyr BP to 2300 yr at present. The RA lies at ~2400 yr during the past 3000 yr, when the lake was characterized by continuous deposition of primary aragonite, which implies a continuous supply of freshwater-bicarbonate into the lake. This process reflects the overall stability of the hydrological-climate conditions in the lakeʼs watershed during the late Holocene where bicarbonate originated from dissolution of the surface cover in the watershed that was transported to the Dead Sea by the freshwater runoff. An excellent correlation (R2=0.98) exists between aragonite ages and contemporaneous organic debris, allowing the estimation of ages of various primary deposits where organic debris are not available.
Whereas genetic susceptibility increases the risk for major depressive disorder (MDD), non-genetic protective factors may mitigate this risk. In a large-scale prospective study of US Army soldiers, we examined whether trait resilience and/or unit cohesion could protect against the onset of MDD following combat deployment, even in soldiers at high polygenic risk.
Data were analyzed from 3079 soldiers of European ancestry assessed before and after their deployment to Afghanistan. Incident MDD was defined as no MDD episode at pre-deployment, followed by a MDD episode following deployment. Polygenic risk scores were constructed from a large-scale genome-wide association study of major depression. We first examined the main effects of the MDD PRS and each protective factor on incident MDD. We then tested the effects of each protective factor on incident MDD across strata of polygenic risk.
Polygenic risk showed a dose–response relationship to depression, such that soldiers at high polygenic risk had greatest odds for incident MDD. Both unit cohesion and trait resilience were prospectively associated with reduced risk for incident MDD. Notably, the protective effect of unit cohesion persisted even in soldiers at highest polygenic risk.
Polygenic risk was associated with new-onset MDD in deployed soldiers. However, unit cohesion – an index of perceived support and morale – was protective against incident MDD even among those at highest genetic risk, and may represent a potent target for promoting resilience in vulnerable soldiers. Findings illustrate the value of combining genomic and environmental data in a prospective design to identify robust protective factors for mental health.
Good education requires student experiences that deliver lessons about practice as well as theory and that encourage students to work for the public good—especially in the operation of democratic institutions (Dewey 1923; Dewy 1938). We report on an evaluation of the pedagogical value of a research project involving 23 colleges and universities across the country. Faculty trained and supervised students who observed polling places in the 2016 General Election. Our findings indicate that this was a valuable learning experience in both the short and long terms. Students found their experiences to be valuable and reported learning generally and specifically related to course material. Postelection, they also felt more knowledgeable about election science topics, voting behavior, and research methods. Students reported interest in participating in similar research in the future, would recommend other students to do so, and expressed interest in more learning and research about the topics central to their experience. Our results suggest that participants appreciated the importance of elections and their study. Collectively, the participating students are engaged and efficacious—essential qualities of citizens in a democracy.
Pascal Dusapin is a French intellectual – he cites the philosopher Gilles Deleuze as a particular inspiration – whose generation (he was born just a few months before Michel Houellebecq) are now to the fore following the death of Pierre Boulez. A student of Xenakis in Paris, he sometimes gives the titles of his works a linguistic quirkiness, as in for example, Ici, Iti, Incisa and Indeed. His comment on Outscape, his second cello concerto, that ‘it's difficult for me to explain my work because the substance of thought is confused with the flow of music’ is – given his musical pedigree and cultural milieu – unsurprising.
Investigations of drinking behavior across military deployment cycles are scarce, and few prospective studies have examined risk factors for post-deployment alcohol misuse.
Prevalence of alcohol misuse was estimated among 4645 US Army soldiers who participated in a longitudinal survey. Assessment occurred 1–2 months before soldiers deployed to Afghanistan in 2012 (T0), upon their return to the USA (T1), 3 months later (T2), and 9 months later (T3). Weights-adjusted logistic regression was used to evaluate associations of hypothesized risk factors with post-deployment incidence and persistence of heavy drinking (HD) (consuming 5 + alcoholic drinks at least 1–2×/week) and alcohol or substance use disorder (AUD/SUD).
Prevalence of past-month HD at T0, T2, and T3 was 23.3% (s.e. = 0.7%), 26.1% (s.e. = 0.8%), and 22.3% (s.e. = 0.7%); corresponding estimates for any binge drinking (BD) were 52.5% (s.e. = 1.0%), 52.5% (s.e. = 1.0%), and 41.3% (s.e. = 0.9%). Greater personal life stress during deployment (e.g., relationship, family, or financial problems) – but not combat stress – was associated with new onset of HD at T2 [per standard score increase: adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 1.20, 95% CI 1.06–1.35, p = 0.003]; incidence of AUD/SUD at T2 (AOR = 1.54, 95% CI 1.25–1.89, p < 0.0005); and persistence of AUD/SUD at T2 and T3 (AOR = 1.30, 95% CI 1.08–1.56, p = 0.005). Any BD pre-deployment was associated with post-deployment onset of HD (AOR = 3.21, 95% CI 2.57–4.02, p < 0.0005) and AUD/SUD (AOR = 1.85, 95% CI 1.27–2.70, p = 0.001).
Alcohol misuse is common during the months preceding and following deployment. Timely intervention aimed at alleviating/managing personal stressors or curbing risky drinking might reduce risk of alcohol-related problems post-deployment.
Julian Anderson has been interestingly public about the genesis of his new orchestral piece Incantesimi, co-commissioned by the Royal Philharmonic Society, Berliner Philharmoniker Foundation and Boston Symphony Orchestra, writing about its genesis in The Guardian as a trailer to its UK Proms premiere. Premiered by the Berlin Philharmonic under Simon Rattle in June 2016, Incantesimi toured to Rotterdam and Lucerne before opening that orchestra's Prom (Rattle's last as their chief conductor) in September. Wanting not to write a ‘showpiece’ but instead ‘something slow and quiet’, Anderson described Incantesimi as a ‘nocturne’ which takes its musical inspiration from Mozart's Jupiter Symphony, in that five themes are deployed ‘in perpetual orbit’. He also spoke of his focus on the Berlin Philharmonic's beauty of sound as a prompt to write something that would unfold slowly.
Jörg Widmann is a German composer who is acutely conscious but certainly not in awe of his musical forebears. His best-known string quartet, no. 3 ‘The Hunt’ makes dramatic use of – and has great fun with – Schumann. His 2011 concerto Flûte en suite, performed at the 2014 Proms, more than nods to Bach and baroque elegance. In Armonica, commissioned by the International Mozarteum Foundation to celebrate Mozart's 251st birthday in 2007, Widmann surprisingly and yet unsurprisingly features the glass harmonica, the distinctive instrument that Mozart featured in his own last chamber piece, the Adagio and Rondo for glass harmonica, flute, oboe, viola and cello, K617. Mozart teamed the instrument with the quieter representatives from the wind and string families; Widmann places it against the whole orchestra.
In this article, we evaluate the usefulness of Google Consumer Surveys (GCS) as a low-cost tool for doing rigorous social scientific work. We find that its relative strengths and weaknesses make it most useful to researchers who attempt to identify causality through randomization to treatment groups rather than selection on observables. This finding stems, in part, from the fact that the real cost advantage of GCS over other alternatives is limited to short surveys with a small number of questions. Based on our replication of four canonical social scientific experiments and one study of treatment heterogeneity, we find that the platform can be used effectively to achieve balance across treatment groups, explore treatment heterogeneity, include manipulation checks, and that the provided inferred demographics may be sufficiently sound for weighting and explorations of heterogeneity. Crucially, we successfully managed to replicate the usual directional finding in each experiment. Overall, GCS is likely to be a useful platform for survey experimentalists.
‘Old mythologies’ have been important for some time to Anna Clyne, and they come into play again in two of her most recent works: the violin concerto The Seamstress and her brief Auden setting, This Lunar Beauty, for soprano and ensemble. The young British composer (b. 1980) has for many years been a resident of New York; she studied with Julia Wolfe in Manhattan and since 2010 has been the composer in association with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
‘Love poems are the best things to make song cycles out of’, Hugh Wood claimed in a pre-Prom interview. Wood's affection for English poetry dates back a long way: Scenes from Comus, his Milton setting premiered at the Proms in 1965 set his career going.
James MacMillan's new St Luke Passion is unusual. No longer does the Passion story end in the death of its principal character; there's a postlude that sees Christ resurrected. Neither is it peopled with singers acting out the traditional confrontations between Christ, Pilate and the High Priest; it starts instead with a brief setting of the Annunciation text found at the opening of St Luke's gospel. Unusual too is the small size of the orchestra – no trombones or tubas, one set of timpani as the sole percussion and an organ. Perhaps most surprising, however, is that the roles of Christus and Pilate, and indeed everyone else, are given to the choruses: a children's chorus for Christ, the other choirs acting as narrator.
Brett Dean's interests in writing his new cantata The Last Days of Socrates were both political and sonic. Coming across an old edition of philosophical dialogues by Plato with this title, the composer was taken particularly by The Apology in which Socrates's trial on a charge of ‘being a menace to society’ is dramatically recounted. Following his condemnation to death by the 501-person jury, the last dialogue in the collection Phaedo revisits Socrates in prison awaiting execution. Dean certainly has form both as a politically motivated composer – his Pastoral Symphony (2000) was a protest against the soullessness of modern living – and one with an interest in blending ancient and modern. One of his breakthrough pieces, Carlo (1997), pits sampled Gesualdo against strings to wonderful effect.
How many flutes are there in Simon Holt's flute concerto Morpheus Wakes? Nominally one, here the amazing Emanuel Pahud, but more usefully two or more. Scored for alto as well as standard flute, Holt exploits the timbral possibilities of both while ensuring that the orchestra's own flautist (doubling bass flute) and alto flautist (doubling piccolo) continue the idea of ‘two-in-one’ so central to his other recent concerto Centauromachy for clarinet, flugelhorn and orchestra written in 2010 and given its London premiere at the 2011 Proms.
It's not the premiere of every Polish symphony that's greeted by a near sell-out audience at the Royal Festival Hall, but then it's not every composer whose previous symphony had the success of Henryk Górecki's Third, his Symphony of Sorrowful Songs. The Upshaw/London Sinfonietta/Zinman recording of this work has sold over a million copies.
Americans are changing in terms of when and where they vote. We endeavor to find out whether these changes have affected the voting experience. Americans offer myriad reasons for not voting (Current Population Survey [CPS] 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010). Most of these excuses are beyond immediate remedy. There may be one exception: the way we conduct and administer our elections. Voting place practices have undergone considerable change in the last decade and may offer the most immediate if not direct means of enhancing the voters’ experience at their polling places and possibly voter participation. In this chapter, we ask whether contemporary polling place practices are related to the experiences voters have when voting and whether these practices directly or through voter experiences and other covariates have a nontrivial and appreciable effect on the likelihood of voting.
Our thesis is that when and where voters cast their ballot significantly impact the voter’s experience and the likelihood an eligible voter will actually vote. We find that when voters have a choice of where and when to vote rather than being limited to voting on one day and at a location most proximate to their residence, they are more likely to report a positive voting experience and are more likely to vote. Specifically we find that voters who cast a ballot before Election Day report a more positive voting experience than Election Day voters. Further we find that voters report more favorable voting experiences when they vote in larger voting places – voting places that are more centrally located, where voters work, shop, recreate, and travel, and that have accessible parking, a large number of voting stations, and a large number of poll workers.
Matthias Pintscher was granted the sixth Roche Commissions award in 2012, when Sofia Gubaidulina had to withdraw at short notice. Pintscher's Roche commission, Chute d’étoiles, coincidentally received its London premiere within a few days of the UK premiere of Gubaidulina's The Rider on the White Horse. Roche deserve the thanks of the music world for their initiative, running since 2004 but hardly suffering from over-exposure. Their choice of composers has been good: Birtwistle, Benjamin, Hosokawa – and Unsuk Chin slated for 2014. The link with the Lucerne Festival and Cleveland Orchestra (which gave the world and US premieres of the Pintscher piece) is also marvellously helpful. While it's debatable whether luminaries like Sir Harrison need the exposure, the focus on the now-coming-to-major-prominence generation (Chin was born in 1961, Pintscher 10 years later) is welcome.
Inappropriate distribution of casualties in mass-casualty incidents (MCIs) may overwhelm hospitals. This study aimed to review the consequences of evacuating casualties from a bus accident to a single peripheral hospital and lessons learned regarding policy of casualty evacuation.
Medical records of all casualties relating to evacuation times, injury severity, diagnoses, treatments, resources utilized and outcomes were independently reviewed by two senior trauma surgeons. In addition, four senior trauma surgeons reviewed impact of treatment provided on patient outcomes. They reviewed the times for the primary and secondary evacuation, injury severity, diagnoses, surgical treatments, resources utilized, and the final outcomes of the patients at the point of discharge from the tertiary care hospital.
Thirty-one survivors were transferred to the closest local hospital; four died en route to hospital or within 30 minutes of arrival. Twenty-seven casualties were evacuated by air from the local hospital within 2.5 to 6.15 hours to Level I and II hospitals. Undertriage of 15% and overtriage of seven percent were noted. Four casualties did not receive treatment that might have improved their condition at the local hospital.
In MCIs occurring in remote areas, policy makers should consider revising the current evacuation plan so that only immediate unstable casualties should be transferred to the closest primary hospital. On site Advanced Life Support (ALS) should be administered to non-severe casualties until they can be evacuated directly to tertiary care hospitals. First responders must be trained to provide ALS to non-severe casualties until evacuation resources are available.
AdiniB, CohenR, GlassbergE, AzariaB, SimonD, SteinM, KleinY, PelegK. Reconsidering Policy of Casualty Evacuation in a Remote Mass-Casualty Incident. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2013;28(6):1-5.