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The synthesis of the Aquatic Biodiversity and Ecosystems Conference (ABEC) 2015, which was held to assess scientific progress over the past twnety-five years, this book provides a comprehensive and global review of work since the 1992 publication of Plant-Animal Interactions in the Marine Benthos. Taking a regional and, where appropriate, habitat perspective, it considers sites of coastal biodiversity from around the world to incorporate a global approach. The volume analyses abiotic and biotic interactions, and the factors determining distribution patterns, community structure and ecosystem functioning of coastal systems. It explores themes of how phylogeography and biogeographic process influence assemblage composition, and hence drive community structure and the respective roles of environmental factors and biological interactions, with the overall goal to establish how general are the processes in different regions and habitats. For researchers, graduate students and academics studying coastal ecosystems, with interest for conservation practitioners managing areas of high biodiversity.
Much of the peace agreement durability literature assumes that stronger peace agreements are more likely to survive the trials of the post-conflict environment. This work does an excellent job identifying which provisions indicate that agreements are more likely to endure. However, there is no widely accepted way to directly measure the strength of agreements, and existing measures suffer from a lack of nuance or reliance on subjective weighting. We use a Bayesian item response theory model to develop a principled measure of the latent strength of peace agreements in civil conflicts from 1975 to 2005. We illustrate the measure's utility by exploring how various international factors such as sanctions and mediation contribute to the strength or weakness of agreements.
Resin-loaded papers composed of approximately 50% cellulose and 50% ion-exchange or chelating resin provide an ideal matrix for many X-ray spectrographic analyses. Standards are prepared by multiple filtration of solutions of known composition through the paper to achieve quantitative collection or by the use of a radiotracer as a monitor for nonquantitative collection. Solutions prepared fram unknown samples are processed in the same manner as the standards.
Advantages of the resin-loaded papers are: reduction of interelement effects because standards and unknowns are present in a similar low X-ray absorbing matrix; physical parameters such as metallurgical history, grain size, and surface preparation are eliminated; and sampling errors are significantly reduced and sensitivity greatly increased by concentrating trace elements separated from large samples.
Application of these papers to a variety of metallurgical, geological, and water samples will be summarized. The possible use of resin-loaded papers as standards for air pollution monitoring will be examined.
Radiocarbon (14C or carbon-14, half-life 5730 yr) is a key radionuclide in the assessment of the safety of a geological disposal facility (GDF) for radioactive waste. In particular, the radiological impact of gaseous carbon-14 bearing species has been recognized as a potential issue. Irradiated steels are one of the main sources of carbon-14 in the United Kingdom’s radioactive waste inventory. However, there is considerable uncertainty about the chemical form(s) in which the carbon-14 will be released. The objective of the work was to measure the rate and speciation of carbon-14 release from irradiated 316L(N) stainless steel on leaching under high-pH anoxic conditions, representative of a cement-based near field for low-heat generating wastes. Periodic measurements of carbon-14 releases to both the gas phase and to solution were made in duplicate experiments over a period of up to 417 days. An initial fast release of carbon-14 from the surface of the steel is observed during the first week of leaching, followed by a drop in the rate of release at longer times. Carbon-14 is released primarily to the solution phase with differing fractions released to the gas phase in the two experiments: about 1% of the total release in one and 6% in the other. The predominant dissolved carbon-14 releases are in inorganic form (as 14C-carbonate) but also include organic species. The predominant gas-phase species are hydrocarbons with a smaller fraction of 14CO (which may include some volatile oxygen-containing carbon-species). The experiments are continuing, with final sampling and termination planned after leaching for a total of two years.
To evaluate probiotics for the primary prevention of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) among hospital inpatients.
A before-and-after quality improvement intervention comparing 12-month baseline and intervention periods.
A 694-bed teaching hospital.
We administered a multispecies probiotic comprising L. acidophilus (CL1285), L. casei (LBC80R), and L. rhamnosus (CLR2) to eligible antibiotic recipients within 12 hours of initial antibiotic receipt through 5 days after final dose. We excluded (1) all patients on neonatal, pediatric and oncology wards; (2) all individuals receiving perioperative prophylactic antibiotic recipients; (3) all those restricted from oral intake; and (4) those with pancreatitis, leukopenia, or posttransplant. We defined CDI by symptoms plus C. difficile toxin detection by polymerase chain reaction. Our primary outcome was hospital-onset CDI incidence on eligible hospital units, analyzed using segmented regression.
The study included 251 CDI episodes among 360,016 patient days during the baseline and intervention periods, and the incidence rate was 7.0 per 10,000 patient days. The incidence rate was similar during baseline and intervention periods (6.9 vs 7.0 per 10,000 patient days; P=.95). However, compared to the first 6 months of the intervention, we detected a significant decrease in CDI during the final 6 months (incidence rate ratio, 0.6; 95% confidence interval, 0.4–0.9; P=.009). Testing intensity remained stable between the baseline and intervention periods: 19% versus 20% of stools tested were C. difficile positive by PCR, respectively. From medical record reviews, only 26% of eligible patients received a probiotic per the protocol.
Despite poor adherence to the protocol, there was a reduction in the incidence of CDI during the intervention, which was delayed ~6 months after introducing probiotic for primary prevention.
In Australia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people score poorly on national mainstream indicators of wellbeing, with the lowest outcomes recorded in remote communities. As part of a ‘shared space’ collaboration between remote Aboriginal communities, government and scientists, the holistic Interplay Wellbeing Framework and accompanying survey were designed bringing together Aboriginal priorities of culture, empowerment and community with government priorities of education, employment and health. Quantitative survey data were collected from a cohort of 841 Aboriginal people aged 15–34 years, from four different Aboriginal communities. Aboriginal community researchers designed and administered the survey. Structural equation modelling was used to identify the strongest interrelating pathways within the framework. Optimal pathways from education to employment were explored with the concept of empowerment playing a key role. Here, education was defined by self-reported English literacy and numeracy and empowerment was defined as identity, self-efficacy and resilience. Empowerment had a strong positive impact on education (β = 0.38, p < .001) and strong correlation with employment (β = 0.19, p < .001). Education has a strong direct effect on employment (β = 0.40, p < .001). This suggests that education and employment strategies that foster and build on a sense of empowerment are mostly likely to succeed, providing guidance for policy and programs.
Recent droughts in Puerto Rico and throughout the Caribbean have emphasized the region's agricultural vulnerability to this hazard and the increasing need for adaptation mechanisms to support sustainable production. In this study, we assessed the geographic extent of agricultural conservation practices incentivized by US Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and evaluated their large-scale contribution to drought adaptability. We identified concentrations of drought-related practices (e.g. cover crops, ponds) applied between 2000 and 2016. Using information from spatial databases and interviews with experts, we assessed the spatial correlation between these practices and areas exposed to drought as identified by the US Drought Monitor. Between 2000 and 2016, Puerto Rico experienced seven drought episodes concentrated around the south, east and southeastern regions. The most profound drought occurred between 2014 and 2016 when the island experienced 80 consecutive weeks of moderate drought, 48 of severe drought and 33 of extreme drought conditions. A total of 44 drought-related conservation practices were applied at 6984 locations throughout 860 km2 of farmlands between 2000 and 2016 through the NRCS-Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Practices related to water availability were statistically clustered along the coasts, whereas soil and plant health practices were clustered in the mountainous region. While these concentrations strongly correlated with areas exposed to moderate drought conditions, >80% did not coincide with areas that experienced severe or extreme drought conditions, suggesting that areas highly exposed to drought conditions generally lacked drought preparedness assisted by EQIP. Climate projections indicate an increase in the frequency and intensity of drought events, particularly in the eastern region of Puerto Rico. Our analysis highlighted the need to implement more conservation practices in these areas subject to drought intensification and exposure. Government programs intended to address vulnerabilities and enhance capacity and resilience may not be reaching areas of highest exposure. Recommendations include raising producer awareness of past and future exposure and making programs more accessible to a broader audience.
The Neotoma Paleoecology Database is a community-curated data resource that supports interdisciplinary global change research by enabling broad-scale studies of taxon and community diversity, distributions, and dynamics during the large environmental changes of the past. By consolidating many kinds of data into a common repository, Neotoma lowers costs of paleodata management, makes paleoecological data openly available, and offers a high-quality, curated resource. Neotoma’s distributed scientific governance model is flexible and scalable, with many open pathways for participation by new members, data contributors, stewards, and research communities. The Neotoma data model supports, or can be extended to support, any kind of paleoecological or paleoenvironmental data from sedimentary archives. Data additions to Neotoma are growing and now include >3.8 million observations, >17,000 datasets, and >9200 sites. Dataset types currently include fossil pollen, vertebrates, diatoms, ostracodes, macroinvertebrates, plant macrofossils, insects, testate amoebae, geochronological data, and the recently added organic biomarkers, stable isotopes, and specimen-level data. Multiple avenues exist to obtain Neotoma data, including the Explorer map-based interface, an application programming interface, the neotoma R package, and digital object identifiers. As the volume and variety of scientific data grow, community-curated data resources such as Neotoma have become foundational infrastructure for big data science.
An internationally approved and globally used classification scheme for the diagnosis of CHD has long been sought. The International Paediatric and Congenital Cardiac Code (IPCCC), which was produced and has been maintained by the International Society for Nomenclature of Paediatric and Congenital Heart Disease (the International Nomenclature Society), is used widely, but has spawned many “short list” versions that differ in content depending on the user. Thus, efforts to have a uniform identification of patients with CHD using a single up-to-date and coordinated nomenclature system continue to be thwarted, even if a common nomenclature has been used as a basis for composing various “short lists”. In an attempt to solve this problem, the International Nomenclature Society has linked its efforts with those of the World Health Organization to obtain a globally accepted nomenclature tree for CHD within the 11th iteration of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). The International Nomenclature Society has submitted a hierarchical nomenclature tree for CHD to the World Health Organization that is expected to serve increasingly as the “short list” for all communities interested in coding for congenital cardiology. This article reviews the history of the International Classification of Diseases and of the IPCCC, and outlines the process used in developing the ICD-11 congenital cardiac disease diagnostic list and the definitions for each term on the list. An overview of the content of the congenital heart anomaly section of the Foundation Component of ICD-11, published herein in its entirety, is also included. Future plans for the International Nomenclature Society include linking again with the World Health Organization to tackle procedural nomenclature as it relates to cardiac malformations. By doing so, the Society will continue its role in standardising nomenclature for CHD across the globe, thereby promoting research and better outcomes for fetuses, children, and adults with congenital heart anomalies.
With the association between increased carotenoid intake and lower risk of chronic diseases, the absorption of lutein from the diet becomes an important factor in its delivery and physiological action. The primary objective of this study was to gain an understanding of how a new formulation technology (mixture of mono- and diglycerides (MDG)), affected lutein absorption. Subjects (n 24) were randomised in a cross-over, double-blind study to receive a single dose of 6 mg lutein (FloraGLO 20 %) provided as capsules containing either high-oleic safflower (SAF) oil or a MDG oil. Subjects receiving a single dose of lutein in MDG showed a significantly greater change from baseline (0 h) to 4, 6, 8, 12, 24, 48 and 336 h (P<0·05) and baseline adjusted AUC for plasma lutein at 48 and 336 h (P<0·001) as compared with subjects given lutein in SAF. Analysis of the 48 h absorption kinetics of lutein showed that the time to peak level of lutein (12 h) was the same for SAF and MDG groups, but the change in plasma lutein at 12 and 48 h were 129 and 320 % higher, respectively, for MDG compared with SAF. This difference continued as the adjusted AUC 0–48 and 0–336 h for the MDG group was 232 and 900 % higher, respectively, v. SAF. The study data show that by changing the lipid that is combined with a lutein supplement results in significant increases in lutein absorption in healthy adults.
Because individuals develop dementia as a manifestation of neurodegenerative or neurovascular disorder, there is a need to develop reliable approaches to their identification. We are undertaking an observational study (Ontario Neurodegenerative Disease Research Initiative [ONDRI]) that includes genomics, neuroimaging, and assessments of cognition as well as language, speech, gait, retinal imaging, and eye tracking. Disorders studied include Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, frontotemporal dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and vascular cognitive impairment. Data from ONDRI will be collected into the Brain-CODE database to facilitate correlative analysis. ONDRI will provide a repertoire of endophenotyped individuals that will be a unique, publicly available resource.
Background: The degree of overlap between schizophrenia (SCZ) and affective psychosis (AFF) has been a recurring question since Kraepelin’s subdivision of the major psychoses. Studying nonpsychotic relatives allows a comparison of disorder-associated phenotypes, without potential confounds that can obscure distinctive features of the disorder. Because attention and working memory have been proposed as potential endophenotypes for SCZ and AFF, we compared these cognitive features in individuals at familial high-risk (FHR) for the disorders. Methods: Young, unmedicated, first-degree relatives (ages, 13–25 years) at FHR-SCZ (n=41) and FHR-AFF (n=24) and community controls (CCs, n=54) were tested using attention and working memory versions of the Auditory Continuous Performance Test. To determine if schizotypal traits or current psychopathology accounted for cognitive deficits, we evaluated psychosis proneness using three Chapman Scales, Revised Physical Anhedonia, Perceptual Aberration, and Magical Ideation, and assessed psychopathology using the Hopkins Symptom Checklist -90 Revised. Results: Compared to controls, the FHR-AFF sample was significantly impaired in auditory vigilance, while the FHR-SCZ sample was significantly worse in working memory. Both FHR groups showed significantly higher levels of physical anhedonia and some psychopathological dimensions than controls. Adjusting for physical anhedonia, phobic anxiety, depression, psychoticism, and obsessive-compulsive symptoms eliminated the FHR-AFF vigilance effects but not the working memory deficits in FHR-SCZ. Conclusions: The working memory deficit in FHR-SZ was the more robust of the cognitive impairments after accounting for psychopathological confounds and is supported as an endophenotype. Examination of larger samples of people at familial risk for different psychoses remains necessary to confirm these findings and to clarify the role of vigilance in FHR-AFF. (JINS, 2016, 22, 1026–1037)
In the target article, Duarte et al. allege that the lack of political diversity reduces research efficacy. We pose a thought experiment that could provide an empirical test by examining whether institutional review board (IRB) members, granting agencies, and journal reviewers filter scientific products based on political values, invoking scientific criteria (rigor, etc.) as their justification. When these same products are cast in terms highlighting opposite values, do these people shift their decisions?