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Increasing emphasis is given on involving patients in health technology assessment (HTA). While this is mainly done at the level of regional and national HTA agencies, this tendency is also emerging in local HTA units. In this study, we provide the results of a survey conducted in local HTA units in the province of Quebec, Canada. The aim of the survey was to provide an overview of local HTA unit practices to involve patients, users, caregivers, and citizens in their process, their interest in doing so, and their information needs for this.
The survey was conducted in 2017 with a response rate of eleven units over a possibility of twelve.
Three units out of eleven (27.3 percent) never involved patients or members of the public in their processes and all indicated that they will involve them in the next few years. The three most important needs for support identified in the HTA units were in: recruiting and selecting patients; integrating experiential knowledge; and knowing and implementing the best methods and practices for partnership.
Patient involvement in local HTA units is quickly evolving and that is why they urgently need tools to involve more effectively patients and members of the public in their process.
The design of government portfolios – that is, the distribution of competencies among government ministries and office holders – has been largely ignored in the study of executive and coalition politics. This article argues that portfolio design is a substantively and theoretically relevant phenomenon that has major implications for the study of institutional design and coalition politics. The authors use comparative data on portfolio design reforms in nine Western European countries since the 1970s to demonstrate how the design of government portfolios changes over time. Specifically, they show that portfolios are changed frequently (on average about once a year) and that such shifts are more likely after changes in the prime ministership or the party composition of the government. These findings suggest a political logic behind these reforms based on the preferences and power of political parties and politicians. They have major implications for the study of institutional design and coalition politics.
Word-initial obstruent-liquid clusters, frequent in English (e.g., blue), are prohibited in Korean. Korean learners of English perceptually repair illicit word-initial consonant sequences with an epenthetic vowel [ʊ]. Thus they might perceive blue as b[ʊ]lue, and, at least initially, also represent it lexically as a disyllabic word. We ask whether the sound sequences permitted in one's L1 influence the way L2 words are represented in the mental lexicon. If they do, we predict that in a lexical decision task, Korean learners will accept nonwords containing epenthetic vowels ([bʊˈluː] for blue) as real English words more often than English listeners. These predictions were confirmed: we observed high error rates on test nonwords ([bʊˈluː]) by the Korean participants only, accompanied by few errors on control nonwords ([bɪˈluː]), suggesting that learners’ lexical representations for familiar L2 words can be activated by nonwords that obey their L1 phonotactic grammar.
Although atom probe tomography (APT) reconstructions do not directly influence the local elemental analysis, any structural inferences from APT volumes demand a reliable reconstruction of the point cloud. Accurate estimation of the reconstruction parameters is crucial to obtain reliable spatial scaling. In the current work, a new automated approach of calibrating atom probe reconstructions is developed using only one correlative projection electron microscopy (EM) image. We employed an algorithm that implements a 2D cross-correlation of microstructural features observed in both the APT reconstructions and the corresponding EM image. We apply this protocol to calibrate reconstructions in a Cu(In,Ga)Se2-based semiconductor and in a Co-based superalloy. This work enables us to couple chemical precision to structural information with relative ease.
Gaia Data Release 2 (DR2; April 25, 2018) provides astrometric and photometric data for more than a billion stars - among them many AGB stars. As part of DR2 the light curves of several hundreds of thousand variable stars, including many long-period variable (LPV) candidates, are made available. The publication of the light curves and LPV-specific attributes in addition to the standard DR2 products offers a unique opportunity to study AGB stars. In this contribution, we present the first results for AGB stars based on the analysis of the Gaia data performed after their release. As an immediate result of the Gaia DR2 LPV database we introduce a new photometric index capable of efficiently distinguishing AGB stars of different masses and chemical properties.
To compare different techniques of endoscope sampling to assess residual bacterial contamination.
The endoscopy unit of an 1,100-bed university hospital performing ~13,000 endoscopic procedures annually.
In total, 4 sampling techniques, combining flushing fluid with or without a commercial endoscope brush, were compared in an endoscope model. Based on these results, sterile physiological saline flushing with or without PULL THRU brush was selected for evaluation on 40 flexible endoscopes by adenosine triphosphate (ATP) measurement and bacterial culture. Acceptance criteria from the French National guideline (<25 colony-forming units [CFU] per endoscope and absence of indicator microorganisms) were used as part of the evaluation.
On biofilm-coated PTFE tubes, physiological saline in combination with a PULL THRU brush generated higher mean ATP values (2,579 relative light units [RLU]) compared with saline alone (1,436 RLU; P=.047). In the endoscope samples, culture yield using saline plus the PULL THRU (mean, 43 CFU; range, 1–400 CFU) was significantly higher than that of saline alone (mean, 17 CFU; range, 0–500 CFU; P<.001). In samples obtained using the saline+PULL THRU brush method, ATP values of samples classified as unacceptable were significantly higher than those of samples classified as acceptable (P=.001).
Physiological saline flushing combined with PULL THRU brush to sample endoscopes generated higher ATP values and increased the yield of microbial surveillance culture. Consequently, the acceptance rate of endoscopes based on a defined CFU limit was significantly lower when the saline+PULL THRU method was used instead of saline alone.
In this paper, I relativize the widespread representation of the generalized relativism of 1970s philosophy. I will show how the group of thinkers of this period often referred to as the ‘French Theory’ movement is not always defined by the affirmation of a radical relativism, but rather by the obstinate search for an original ‘reality’ (as thing in itself) capable of competing and denouncing the false ‘reality’ constructed by reason. To demonstrate this, I will focus on the journey of a philosopher who is emblematic of this period, namely Jean-François Lyotard. I will demonstrate that Lyotard claims a form of realism, which I will qualify as ‘tragic realism.’ Then, I will compare this ‘tragic realism’ with the more contemporary forms of realism (speculative, phenomenological, etc.).
Sensory structures (sensilla) of insects are present in high number in the antennae are important for perceiving environmental cues. Thus, sensilla play an important role in the localization, discrimination, and acceptance of a possible host by parasitoid insects. The sensilla, classified according to their shape, size, and distribution, may also show sexual dimorphism in insects. The types and distribution of antennal sensilla in female and male parasitoid Trichospilus pupivorus (Ferriere, 1930) (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) were evaluated. T. pupivorus females had longer antennae than males. Both males and females have ten sensilla types with higher abundance of placoid sensilla in females, which suggest a possible functional dimorphism.
This special issue assembles five articles ensuing from a conference on “The Man and the Machine: When Systems Take Decisions Autonomously”, which took place on June 26 and 27, 2015, at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland.
The aim of the conference was to explore the broader implications of artificial intelligence, machine learning and autonomous robots and vehicles. Alphabet's Deep Mind is just one example about Whom we know, at least a little, and who, we are told, will be good. Autonomous vehicles are also about to enter the market and our phones have begun to verbalize at us. Private drones are being regulated by the US Federal Aviation Administration. The five papers in this special issue address some of the legal issues the broader development raises.
The first article is on “The Implications of Modern Business-Entity Law for the Regulation of Autonomous Systems” and is written by Shawn Bayern.
This research examines obstacles faced by older people living with HIV in maintaining their significant social ties (family, friends) in the light of a double theoretical framework, inter-sectionality and the course of life. Favoring a qualitative methodology, this research is based on in-depth, semi-directed interviews with a diverse sample of 38 people living with HIV, aged 50-73 years. Analysis reveals that a significant proportion of participants have experienced ruptures or deterioration of close ties with intimates at the level of family or friends. The principal factors behind these difficulties are the past and present stigma associated with HIV and /or other social positions, long-term effects of HIV, issues related to aging and crosscutting effects of HIV and aging.
The International Network of Twin Registries (INTR) aims to foster scientific collaboration and promote twin research on a global scale by working to expand the resources of twin registries around the world and make them available to researchers who adhere to established guidelines for international collaboration. Our vision is to create an unprecedented scientific network of twin registries that will advance knowledge in ways that are impossible for individual registries, and includes the harmonization of data. INTR will also promote a broad range of activities, including the development of a website, formulation of data harmonization protocols, creation of a library of software tools for twin studies, design of a search engine to identify research partners, establishment of searchable inventories of data and biospecimens, development of templates for informed consent and data sharing, organization of symposia at International Society of Twin Studies conferences, support for scholar exchanges, and writing grant proposals.
Myocardial infarction (MI) in rats is accompanied by apoptosis in the limbic system and a behavioural syndrome similar to models of depression. We have already shown that probiotics can reduce post-MI apoptosis and designed the present study to determine if probiotics can also prevent post-MI depressive behaviour. We also tested the hypothesis that probiotics achieve their central effects through changes in the intestinal barrier. MI was induced in anaesthetised rats via 40-min transient occlusion of the left anterior coronary artery. Sham rats underwent the same surgical procedure without actual coronary occlusion. For 7 d before MI and between the seventh post-MI day and euthanasia, half the MI and sham rats were given one billion live bacterial cells of Lactobacillus helveticus R0052 and Bifidobacterium longum R0175 per d dissolved in water, while the remaining animals received only the vehicle (maltodextrin). Depressive behaviour was evaluated 2 weeks post-MI in social interaction, forced swimming and passive avoidance step-down tests. Intestinal permeability was evaluated by oral administration with fluorescein isothiocyanate–dextran, 4 h before euthanasia. MI rats displayed less social interaction and impaired performance in the forced swimming and passive avoidance step-down tests compared to the sham controls (P < 0·05). Probiotics reversed the behavioural effects of MI (P < 0·05), but did not alter the behaviour of sham rats. Intestinal permeability was increased in MI rats and reversed by probiotics. In conclusion, L. helveticus R0052 and B. longum R0175 combination interferes with the development of post-MI depressive behaviour and restores intestinal barrier integrity in MI rats.