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The Empire of Aksum was one of Africa's most influential ancient civilisations. Traditionally, most archaeological fieldwork has focused on the capital city of Aksum, but recent research at the site of Beta Samati has investigated a contemporaneous trade and religious centre located between Aksum and the Red Sea. The authors outline the discovery of the site and present important finds from the initial excavations, including an early basilica, inscriptions and a gold intaglio ring. From daily life and ritual praxis to international trade, this work illuminates the role of Beta Samati as an administrative centre and its significance within the wider Aksumite world.
This special issue considers the relationship of the life sciences to both public policy and public administration. This makes sense because the bureaucratic process and public administration are deeply involved in the policy process and the development of substantive public policy. The two subjects are intertwined. And a biological perspective can illuminate many aspects of both. That is the focus of this issue.
Objectives: To evaluate prospective and retrospective memory abilities in Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), and Operation New Dawn (OND) Veterans with and without a self-reported history of blast-related mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). Methods: Sixty-one OEF/OIF/OND Veterans, including Veterans with a self-reported history of blast-related mTBI (mTBI group; n=42) and Veterans without a self-reported history of TBI (control group; n=19) completed the Memory for Intentions Test, a measure of prospective memory (PM), and two measures of retrospective memory (RM), the California Verbal Learning Test-II and the Brief Visuospatial Memory Test-Revised. Results: Veterans in the mTBI group exhibited significantly lower PM performance than the control group, but the groups did not differ in their performance on RM measures. Further analysis revealed that Veterans in the mTBI group with current PTSD (mTBI/PTSD+) demonstrated significantly lower performance on the PM measure than Veterans in the control group. PM performance by Veterans in the mTBI group without current PTSD (mTBI/PTSD-) was intermediate between the mTBI/PTSD+ and control groups, and results for the mTBI/PTSD- group were not significantly different from either of the other two groups. Conclusions: Results suggest that PM performance may be a sensitive marker of cognitive dysfunction among OEF/OIF/OND Veterans with a history of self-reported blast-related mTBI and comorbid PTSD. Reduced PM may account, in part, for complaints of cognitive difficulties in this Veteran cohort, even years post-injury. (JINS, 2018, 24, 324–334)
Nursing home residents are at risk for acquiring and transmitting MDROs. A serial point-prevalence study of 605 residents in 3 facilities using random sampling found MDRO colonization in 45% of residents: methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA, 26%); extended-spectrum β-lactamase–producing Enterobacteriaceae (ESBL, 17%); vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus spp. (VRE, 16%); carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE, 1%). MDRO colonization was associated with history of MDRO, care needs, incontinence, and catheters.
Yellow starthistle is the most widespread broadleaf invasive plant in the western United States, and it is particularly prevalent in California. Prior to the registration of aminopyralid in 2005, the standard for chemical control of yellow starthistle was the herbicide clopyralid. We report on a compilation of several independent trials comparing the efficacy of aminopyralid and clopyralid on yellow starthistle. Treatments were applied at several rates and timings at 11 locations in four states between 2001 and 2007. Treatments were made pre-emergence and postemergence at the seedling and rosette stages of yellow starthistle. Results showed that aminopyralid, even at the low rate of 18 g ae ha−1, provided nearly complete control of yellow starthistle when treatments were made at the seedling stage. However, less consistent control (80 to 100%) resulted with applications made at the pre-emergence and rosette stages. At the seedling stage, aminopyralid is about four times more effective on yellow starthistle compared to clopyralid, based on the rate of acid equivalent. In the Central Valley of California, complete control was obtained at the lowest registered rate (53 g ae ha−1) when applications were made from December through February. At two locations we also evaluated control of the poisonous native plant coast fiddleneck. Although clopyralid does not adequately control coast fiddleneck, aminopyralid provided almost complete control when applied in the winter growing season. Applications of aminopyralid at the rosette stage resulted in a two-fold increase in annual forage grass biomass the following year. These results indicate that aminopyralid is a valuable tool for land managers and can play an important role in integrated management strategies for yellow starthistle and coast fiddleneck.
This essay reflects on the past, present, and future of biopolitics, starting with the academic interest in the link between biology and politics. Examples of primitive adumbrations of this approach appear throughout academic history; however, the modern roots of biology and politics began in the 1960s. This reflection traces biopolitics from its modern birth through the 1990s, and considers future research endeavors related to biology and politics.
Russian knapweed is an invasive weed of rangeland, pasture, and natural areas throughout western North America. Aminopyralid is a new pyridine carboxylic acid herbicide that has activity on Russian knapweed at lower use rates than current standard treatments. The objectives of this study were to compare aminopyralid efficacy at the bud to early flower timing and the fall timing with commercial standards for Russian knapweed control. Studies were conducted at five locations in California, Utah, and Wyoming in heavily infested pastures or rangeland. When applied in summer at the bud to early flower timing, aminopyralid at 0.07 kg ae/ha controlled Russian knapweed effectively and was comparable to picloram + 2,4-D amine (0.56 + 1.12 kg ae/ha) at 12 and 24 months after treatment (MAT). The addition of 2,4-D with lower rates of aminopyralid did not improve control. When applied after seed set at the fall timing, control from aminopyralid at 0.05 kg ae/ha and higher was also comparable to picloram (0.56 kg ae/ha) and better than clopyralid (0.42 kg ae/ha) and imazapic (0.18 and 0.21 kg ae/ha) 12 and 21 MAT. Aminopyralid controlled Russian knapweed effectively at lower use rates than current commercial standards and good control lasted for at least 21 to 24 MAT.
IQ and Global Inequality is a sequel to the authors' earlier IQ and the Wealth of Nations wherein they argued that “… national differences in intelligence are an important factor contributing to differences in national wealth and rates of economic growth” (p. 2). Or, later more precisely stated, that “… national IQ is the single most powerful explanatory variable, but because the explained part of the variation does not rise higher than 40–60 percent, this explanation leaves room for other explanatory factors”(p. 13). Not surprisingly, even so qualified, this thesis triggered a “mixed reception.” As the authors relate with refreshing candor, some of the reviewers denounced them for “jumping to conclusions,” took issue with their “relatively weak statistical evidence and dubious presumptions,” found the study “neither methodologically nor theoretically convincing,” and dismissed the evidence as “virtually meaningless” (p. 3).
Small-angle scattering (SAS) and ultra small-angle scattering techniques, employing x-rays and neutrons, were used to characterize six different aluminum nanopowders and nanopowders composed of molybdenum trioxide and tungsten trioxide nanoparticles. Each material has different primary particle morphology and aggregate and agglomerate geometry, and each is important to the development of nano-energetic materials. The combination of small-angle and ultra small-angle techniques allowed a wide range of length scales to be probed, providing a more complete characterization of the materials. For the aluminum-based materials, differences in the scattering of x-rays and neutrons from aluminum and aluminum oxide provided sensitivity to the metal core and metal oxide shell structure of the primary nanoparticles. Small-angle scattering was able to discriminate between particle size and shape and agglomerate and aggregate geometry, allowing analysis of both aspects of the structure. Using the results of these analyses and guided by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images, physical models were developed, allowing for a quantitative determination of particle morphology, mean nanoparticle size, nanoparticle size distribution, surface layer thickness, and aggregate and agglomerate fractal dimension. Particle size distributions calculated using a maximum entropy algorithm or by assuming a log-normal particle size distribution function were comparable. Surface area and density determinations from the small-angle scattering measurements were comparable to those obtained from other, more commonly used analytical techniques: gas sorption using Brunauer–Emmett–Teller analysis, thermogravimetric analysis, and helium pycnometry. Particle size distribution functions derived from the SAS measurements agreed well with those obtained from SEM.
Politics in the Laboratory: The Constitution of Human
Genomics. By Ira H. Carmen. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press,
2004. 324p. $35.
This book is sure to spark debate among readers. It will also prove to
be tough sledding for many biologists and political scientists alike.
Political scientists will be challenged by the author's understanding
of the language, logic, and findings of genetics and the human genomics
(his detailed analysis of techniques of genetic analysis, for instance,
will be alien to many political scientists). Biologists will be
hard-pressed at times to get a handle on the political side of the book
(e.g., throwaway references to “strict scrutiny” may be
obscure to biologists not familiar with American constitutional doctrine).
Thus, a number of readers may well find it frustrating to launch into this
book. The author himself acknowledges this when he says (p. xii):
“The study may be hard going for some political scientists. It will
also probably be hard going for genomicists. They are as ignorant of
political science as political scientists are ignorant of them.”
There are many reasons for seeking to create a global database with which to record the outcomes of therapy for congenital heart disease. Such a database can function as a tool to support a variety of purposes:
To evaluate whether a natural language processing system, SymText, was comparable to human interpretation of chest radiograph reports for identifying the mention of a central venous catheter (CVC), and whether use of SymText could detect patients who had a CVC.
To identify patients who had a CVC, we performed two surveys of hospitalized patients. Then, we obtained available reports from 104 patients who had a CVC during one of two cross-sectional surveys (ie, case-patients) and 104 randomly selected patients who did not have a CVC (ie, control-patients).
A 600-bed public teaching hospital.
Chest radiograph reports were available from 124 of the 208 participants. Compared with human interpretation, SymText had a sensitivity of 95.8% and a specificity of 98.7%. The use of SymText to identify case- and control-patients resulted in a sensitivity of 43% and a specificity of 98%. Successful application of SymText varied significantly by venous insertion site (eg, a sensitivity of 78% for subclavian and a sensitivity of 3.7% for femoral). Twenty-six percent of the case-patients had a femoral CVC.
Compared with human interpretation, SymText performed well in interpreting whether a report mentioned a CVC. In patient populations with less frequent CVC placement in femoral veins, the sensitivity for CVC detection likely would be higher. Applying a natural language processing system to chest radiograph reports may be a useful adjunct to other data sources to automate detection of patients who had a CVC.