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The extent of social isolation experienced by people living with dementia who reside in the community has been well acknowledged, yet little is known about how people living alone with dementia maintain neighbourhood-based connections. The purpose of this study is to examine the experiences of people with dementia who live alone, focusing upon how they establish social networks and relationships in a neighbourhood context, and how they are supported to maintain this social context within everyday life. Multiple data collection methods were used including, semi-structured interviews, walking interviews, guided home tours and social network mapping, which were conducted with 14 community-dwelling people living alone with dementia (11 women and three men) situated across the three international study sites in England, Scotland and Sweden. Data were analysed using thematic analysis. The analysis revealed four main themes: (a) making the effort to stay connected; (b) befriending by organisations and facilitated friendships; (c) the quiet neighbourhood atmosphere; and (d) changing social connections. The analysis suggests that people with dementia who live alone were active agents who took control to find and maintain relationships and social networks in the neighbourhood. Our findings indicate the need to raise awareness about this specific group in both policy and practice, and to find creative ways to help people connect through everyday activities and by spontaneous encounters in the neighbourhood.
Invasive populations of Dalmation toadflax [Linaria dalmatica (L.) Mill.] and yellow toadflax (Linaria vulgaris Mill.) are widespread throughout the Intermountain West, where gene flow between these nonnative species is producing vigorous and fertile hybrids. These hybrid toadflax populations are less responsive to herbicides than either parent species, and biocontrol agents routinely released on L. dalmatica and L. vulgaris often fail to establish on hybrid hosts. Early detection of hybrid Linaria populations is therefore essential for effective management, but resources are limited for scouting large expanses of range and wildland. We used species distribution modeling to identify environmentally suitable areas for these invasive Linaria taxa in Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado. Areas suitable for hybrid Linaria establishment were estimated using two different modeling approaches: first, based on known hybrid occurrence and associated environmental conditions, and second, based on zones environmentally suitable for co-occurrence of the parent species. This also allowed comparison of different model outputs, especially relevant when modeling emerging invasives, such as novel hybrids, with minimal occurrence data. Combining the two model outputs identified areas at greatest risk of hybrid Linaria invasion, including parts of north-central Montana, where model estimates indicate the hybrid may spread without prior co-invasion of the parents. Potential hybrid hot spots were also identified in western Montana; northwestern, northeastern, and southeastern Wyoming; and the Western Slope and Front Range of Colorado. Despite relatively few confirmed occurrences of hybrid populations to date, our results indicate that extensive spread of hybrid populations is possible within the studied area. Model-based maps of potential Linaria distributions will allow area weed managers to direct limited resources more effectively for locating and controlling these invaders.
Despite many notable successes, the failure rate of animal translocations remains high. Conservation practitioners and reintroduction specialists have emphasised the need for ongoing documentation of translocation attempts, whether successful or not, including detailed methodologies and monitoring approaches. This study reports on the first translocation of the North Island subspecies of New Zealand’s smallest bird, the endemic Rifleman Acanthisitta chloris granti. We describe an improved transfer methodology following recommendations arising from a previous translocation of South Island Rifleman Acanthisitta chloris chloris. Key modifications included a reduced capture window, shorter holding times, lack of extended aviary housing, and separation of territorial individuals during holding. Survival from capture to release increased from 52% to 97% using this new methodology. However, only 22% of 83 released birds were found in the reserve the next breeding season, resulting in an initial breeding population of only six males and five females. An integrated Bayesian analysis of three years of subsequent population data, including a population boost from a second translocation, projected a median decrease to 0–5 females over 10 years, but with 95% prediction intervals ranging from 0 to 33. These projections explicitly account for parameter uncertainty, as well as demographic stochasticity, and illustrate the need to do so when making inferences for small reintroduced populations.
Glyphosate-resistant (GR) Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri S. Watson) is considered one of the most troublesome weeds in the southern and central United States, but results of previous research to determine the mode of inheritance of this trait have been conflicting and inconclusive. In this study, we examined segregation patterns of EPSPS gene-copy numbers in F1 and F2 generations of A. palmeri and found no evidence of a Mendelian single-gene pattern of inheritance. Transgressive segregation for copy number was exhibited by several F1 and all of the F2 families, most likely the product of EPSPS copy-number variation within each plant. This variation was confirmed by assaying gene-copy number across clonal generations and among individual shoots on the same plant, demonstrating that EPSPS amplification levels vary significantly within a single plant. Increases and decreases in copy number occurred in a controlled, stress-free environment in the absence of glyphosate, indicating that EPSPS gene amplification is a random and variable process within the plant. The ability of A. palmeri to gain or lose EPSPS gene copies is a valuable adaptive trait, allowing this species to respond rapidly to selection pressures and changing environments.
Introduction: The level of smoking cessation support across UK prisons is variable, with most offering pharmacological support, such as nicotine replacement therapy. However, with a complete smoking ban in prisons in England now imminent, additional standardised behavioural support is necessary to help offenders go smoke-free.
Aims: This study used the Behaviour Change Wheel to aim to develop the content of an online smoking cessation intervention for offenders, with consideration of their capability, motivation and opportunity for behaviour change.
Methods: This was an intervention development study. The Behaviour Change Wheel was used to map cognitive, behavioural, physiological and social targets for the intervention, onto appropriate intervention techniques for inclusion in the smoking cessation programme for offenders.
Results: Psychological capability, social opportunity and reflective and automatic motivation were identified through deductive thematic analysis as areas of change required to achieve smoking cessation. A total of 27 behavioural change techniques were chosen for this smoking cessation intervention and were mapped onto the Lifestyle Balance Model which provided the theoretical basis on which the components of the programme are conceptualised. This included strategies around increasing motivation to quit, anticipating smoking triggers, modifying smoking-related thoughts, regulating emotions, managing cravings, replacing smoking and rewarding nicotine abstinence and adopting a healthier lifestyle.
Conclusions: Through the utilisation of the Behaviour Change Wheel, the development process of this digital smoking cessation intervention was achieved. Further research is planned to evaluate the clinical effectiveness of this intervention and to explore how the programme is implemented in practice within prison settings.
The objective of this study was to examine the association between multilevel factors related to HIV awareness and risky sexual behaviour among young women in Zomba district, Malawi. Secondary analyses of the Schooling, Income, and Health Risk (SIHR) study were undertaken. Four outcomes related to risky sexual behaviour were examined among young women: if participants had ever had sex, consistent condom use and two scores measuring risk related to partner history and age during sexual activity. Independent variables included individual-level factors such as education and rural/urban residence, as well as higher-level factors such as household’s highest level of education and health facility characteristics. Regression models with cluster-robust standard errors and multilevel regression models were used to estimate associations; analyses were stratified into two strata by school enrolment status, i.e. whether the women were in school (N=1407) or had dropped out of school (N=407) at baseline of the SIHR study. For both strata, increasing age and residing within 16 km of an urban centre (‘near rural’ residence) increased the odds of ever having sex; lower educational achievement was associated with lower age during sexual activity. A history of pregnancy was associated with lower odds of condom use and riskier partner history. For women in school at baseline, lower household education was associated with higher odds of ever having sex (OR=1.48; 95% CI: 1.06, 2.07); near-rural and far-rural (≤16 km and >16km from urban centre, respectively) residence were associated with decreased odds of condom use (OR=0.47; 95% CI: 0.28, 0.78; and OR=0.27; 95% CI: 0.11, 0.65, respectively). For those not in school at baseline, lower household education was associated with lower age during sexual activity (β=0.31, 95% CI: 0.05, 0.58). Also for women not in school, the use of private or non-governmental health facilities was associated with decreased odds of condom use (OR=0.51, 95% CI: 0.39, 0.67) and higher age during sexual activity (β=−0.30, 95% CI: −0.52, −0.09). While individual factors were associated with risky sexual behaviour in both strata, contextual factors differed.
In a recent essay, Harker and coauthors stated that considering herbicide resistance as a wicked problem “without clear causes or solutions” ignores what weed scientists know about the biology and management of herbicide-resistant weeds. In this response, we argue that this misrepresents what is meant by “wicked” and that the wicked problem concept is valuable in understanding the multifaceted nature of herbicide resistance as a human-caused phenomenon.
Efforts to address health disparities and achieve health equity are critically dependent on the development of a diverse research workforce. However, many researchers from underrepresented backgrounds face challenges in advancing their careers, securing independent funding, and finding the mentorship needed to expand their research.
Faculty from the University of Maryland at College Park and the University of Wisconsin-Madison developed and evaluated an intensive week-long research and career-development institute—the Health Equity Leadership Institute (HELI)—with the goal of increasing the number of underrepresented scholars who can sustain their ongoing commitment to health equity research.
In 2010-2016, HELI brought 145 diverse scholars (78% from an underrepresented background; 81% female) together to engage with each other and learn from supportive faculty. Overall, scholar feedback was highly positive on all survey items, with average agreement ratings of 4.45-4.84 based on a 5-point Likert scale. Eighty-five percent of scholars remain in academic positions. In the first three cohorts, 73% of HELI participants have been promoted and 23% have secured independent federal funding.
HELI includes an evidence-based curriculum to develop a diverse workforce for health equity research. For those institutions interested in implementing such an institute to develop and support underrepresented early stage investigators, a resource toolbox is provided.
In this paper, we report progress on “Neighborhoods: our people, our places” an international study about how people living with dementia interact with their neighborhoods. The ideas of social health and citizenship are drawn upon to contextualize the data and make a case for recognizing and understanding the strengths and agency of people with dementia. In particular, we address the lived experience of the environment as a route to better understanding the capabilities, capacities, and competencies of people living with dementia. In doing this, our aim is to demonstrate the contribution of social engagement and environmental support to social health.
The study aims to “map” local spaces and networks across three field sites (Manchester, Central Scotland and Linkoping, Sweden). It employs a mix of qualitative and participatory approaches that include mobile and visual methods intended to create knowledge that will inform the design and piloting of a neighborhood-based intervention.
Our research shows that the neighborhood plays an active role in the lives of people with dementia, setting limits, and constraints but also offering significant opportunities, encompassing forms of help and support as yet rarely discussed in the field of dementia studies. The paper presents new and distinctive insights into the relationship between neighborhoods and everyday life for people with dementia that have important implications for the debate on social health and policy concerning dementia friendly communities.
We end by reflecting on the messages for policy and practice that are beginning to emerge from this on-going study.
The rise of on-line open access (OA) has profound implications for academic publishing, not least the shift from subscribers to authors as the primary transactional partners for peer-reviewed journals. Although OA offers many benefits, it also paves the way for predatory publishers, who exploit the author-as-customer model to obtain revenue from author fees while providing few of the editorial services associated with academic publishing. Predatory journals publish papers with little or no peer review, and often disguise their real geographical location while exaggerating their scope and editorial expertise. Such journals also attempt to attract authors by promising unrealistically rapid editorial decisions while falsely claiming peer review, and fabricating impact factors and inclusion in academic indexes. The explosive increase in predatory OA journals is not only a risk to inexperienced authors, but also threatens to undermine the OA model and the legitimate communication of research.
Gene flow between Dalmatian toadflax (DT) and yellow toadflax (YT), both aggressive invaders throughout the Intermountain West, is creating hybrid populations potentially more invasive than either parent species. To determine the direction of gene flow in these hybrid populations, species-diagnostic cytoplasmic markers were developed. Markers were based on polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) polymorphisms in the trnT-D chloroplast DNA (cpDNA) region digested with Alu1, and single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the matK and trnL-F chloroplast-barcoding regions. Four hybrid toadflax populations sampled from Colorado, Montana, and Washington contained both DT and YT cytoplasm, with YT predominating; 25 individuals from a fifth hybrid population from Idaho all had identical YT cpDNA haplotypes. Thirteen plants from two Colorado populations, assumed to be DT based on morphology and geographic isolation from any known YT population, were found to have YT cpDNA haplotypes. These results indicate that gene flow between invasive YT and DT populations is more widespread that previously realized and confirms that cryptic introgression of YT alleles has occurred in multiple western U.S. DT populations. The presence of YT genetic material in presumed DT populations may negatively affect host recognition and establishment by biocontrol agents used for toadflax management.
The evolution of herbicide-resistant weeds is a major concern in the corn- and soybean-producing Pampas region of Argentina, where growers predominantly plant glyphosate-resistant crop varieties and depend heavily on glyphosate for weed control. Currently, 16 weed species in Argentina are resistant to one or more of three different herbicide mechanisms of action, and resistant weed populations continue to increase, posing a serious threat to agricultural production. Implementation of integrated weed management to address herbicide resistance faces significant barriers in Argentina, especially current land ownership and rental patterns in the Pampas. More than 60% of Pampas cropland is rented to tenants for periods that rarely exceed 1 yr, resulting in crop rotation being largely abandoned, and crop export taxes and quotas have further discouraged wheat and corn production in favor of continuous soybean production. In this paper we discuss ways to facilitate new approaches to weed management in Argentina, including legal and economic reforms and the formation of a national committee of stakeholders from public and private agricultural sectors.
Two broad aims drive weed science research: improved management and improved
understanding of weed biology and ecology. In recent years, agricultural
weed research addressing these two aims has effectively split into separate
subdisciplines despite repeated calls for greater integration. Although some
excellent work is being done, agricultural weed research has developed a
very high level of repetitiveness, a preponderance of purely descriptive
studies, and has failed to clearly articulate novel hypotheses linked to
established bodies of ecological and evolutionary theory. In contrast,
invasive plant research attracts a diverse cadre of nonweed scientists using
invasions to explore broader and more integrated biological questions
grounded in theory. We propose that although studies focused on weed
management remain vitally important, agricultural weed research would
benefit from deeper theoretical justification, a broader vision, and
increased collaboration across diverse disciplines. To initiate change in
this direction, we call for more emphasis on interdisciplinary training for
weed scientists, and for focused workshops and working groups to develop
specific areas of research and promote interactions among weed scientists
and with the wider scientific community.
Recent developments in instrumentation mean that chemical analysis of large drill cores taken for geological purposes can be performed rapidly at sub-millimetre scales using core scanners equipped with energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometers. The present study describes the development of a calibration for the Itrax Core Scanner (Cox Analytical, Sweden), intended for whole cores of coal-seam sections, without the need for sample preparation. The calibration was developed for key major elements (Al, Si, P, S, K, Ca, Ti, and Fe) based on pressed pellets of reference coals, allowing semi-quantitative and, at times, quantitative analyses. The influence of core curvature and surface roughness compared with an ideal flat-surface was also examined using model samples, and their influence on the apparent sample composition evaluated.
Since its discovery in 2005, glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth has become a major problem for many farmers in the southern United States. One mechanism of resistance found in a Georgia population of glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth is amplification of the 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase (EPSPS) gene throughout the genome, with some resistant plants containing and expressing more than 100 EPSPS genes. Such high numbers of EPSPS genes and protein production could result in a fitness cost to resistant plants due to (1) metabolic cost of overproduction of this enzyme and (2) disruption of other genes after insertion of the EPSPS gene. A greenhouse experiment was set up to investigate differences in growth and reproduction between glyphosate-susceptible and -resistant Palmer amaranth plants. Measurements included growth rate, plant height/volume ratio, final biomass, photosynthetic rate, inflorescence length, pollen viability, and seed set. This study found no significant fitness costs for plants with the resistance trait. This study also provided a clear example of how controlling for genetic background is important in fitness cost studies and how potentially misleading results can be obtained if only a few fitness traits are measured. These results indicate that glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth plants with high EPSPS gene copy numbers are likely to persist in field populations, even in the absence of glyphosate, potentially leading to long-term loss of glyphosate as a control option for Palmer amaranth.