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Prenatal exposure to nicotine, tobacco’s major addictive constituent, has been shown to reduce birth weight and increases apoptosis, oxidative stress, and mitochondrial dysfunction in the postnatal pancreas. Given that upregulated levels of the pro-oxidative adapter protein p66shc is observed in growth-restricted offspring and is linked to beta-cell apoptosis, the goal of this study was to investigate whether alterations in p66shc expression underlie the pancreatic deficits in nicotine-exposed offspring. Maternal administration of nicotine in rats increased p66shc expression in the neonatal pancreas. Similarly, nicotine treatment augmented p66shc expression in INS-1E pancreatic beta cells. Increased p66shc expression was also associated with decreased histone H3 lysine 9 methylation. Finally, nicotine increased the expression of Kdm4c, a key histone lysine demethylase, and decreased Suv39h1, a critical histone lysine methyltransferase. Collectively, these results suggest that upregulation of p66shc through posttranslational histone modifications may underlie the reported adverse outcomes of nicotine exposure on pancreatic function.
Rescue has long been a defense for the removal of cultural property. Since the explosion of iconoclasm in West Asia, North Africa, and West Africa, there has been a growing demand for cultural property in danger zones to be “rescued” by being purchased and given “asylum” in “safe zones” (typically, in the market countries of Western Europe and North America). This article reviews evidence from natural experiments with the “rescue” of looted antiquities and stolen artifacts from across Asia and Europe. Unsurprisingly, the evidence reaffirms that “rescue” incentivizes looting, smuggling, and corruption, as well as forgery, and the accompanying destruction of knowledge. More significantly, “rescue” facilitates the laundering of “ordinary” illicit assets and may contribute to revenue streams of criminal organizations and violent political organizations; it may even weaken international support for insecure democracies. Ultimately, “rescue” by purchase appears incoherent, counter-productive, and dangerous for the victimized communities that it purports to support.
Hamit Bozarslan, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris,Cengiz Gunes, The Open University, Milton Keynes,Veli Yadirgi, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
The history of women’s activism in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) is closely intertwined with the history of political resistance. In the 1950s, women mobilized against political oppression. Later, they joined the struggle as members of the underground movement, as couriers, as protectors and nurturers of male fighters, and sometimes as the peshmerga (those who face death) fighters. However, only few women played leadership roles in the resistance. After 1992, when a form of autonomy was attained, civil society organizations, including independent women’s organizations, proliferated. This growth in the 1990s and 2000s, combined with the end of the four-year Kurdish civil war in 1998, led to the formation of collaborative networks and umbrella organizations. Now we can speak of a women’s movement that, despite its internal shortcomings and outside obstacles, has been able to bring about change in the region (Hardi, 2013). This chapter builds on two earlier studies about the women’s movement in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (Hardi, 2011, 2013). It draws on the voices of a group of experts to highlight the achievements and limitations and focuses on what to do next to surpass the perceived stagnation.
External evaluations by an international committee of the scientific risk assessment and decision-making processes of the Netherlands Competent Authority for the authorisation of plant protection products and biocides (Ctgb) were conducted in 2013 and 2018. Based on the experience drawn from them, a general guidance for such visitations is suggested. An international visitation committee examined the structure and management of the Authority, its human resources and staff policy, the scientific processes and output, the documentation and communication of its decisions and the mechanisms for keeping up to date with international scientific developments. Attention was paid to the degree of openness and transparency throughout the organisation and in particular when dealing with confidential information. From the experience gained it can be concluded that visitations not aiming at finding mistakes and omissions but instead focusing on recommendations and constructive suggestions will result in cooperation, mutual trust and acceptance of the recommendations made. A follow-up visitation after a few years can be effective in maintaining a traceable, high-level scientific output. In view of the strong drive towards the European Union-wide harmonisation of the regulatory practices of hazardous chemicals, a voluntary evaluation of regulatory authorities’ scientific performance is recommended as a means for organisational learning.
Evidence supports the use of group therapy for symptom reduction and improving functioning in people with psychosis. However, research guidelines highlight the importance of establishing the feasibility of interventions. Adherence is an important indicator of feasibility and an essential step in supporting the development of the evidence base for group interventions. This review aims to estimate adherence, and possible barriers and facilitators, to psychotherapeutic groups in people with psychosis.
Embase, Ovid MEDLINE and PsycINFO databases were searched for cross-referencing terms related to group therapy and psychosis. Studies were assessed against inclusion criteria and methodological quality was evaluated. Data wasextracted from each paper including the average session attendance, demographic, clinical, study and therapy-related characteristics and the impact of these on adherence levels evaluated.
Fifty-nine original research papers were included, reporting on 52 independent studies which consisted of 66 therapy groups comprised of 2109 participants. Average adherence was 76.4% (s.d. = 17.4). Adherence was improved by receiving incentives and was higher in participants of older age. Study sample size was inversely associated with adherence levels. Study quality was variable with approximately 61.5% found to be at risk of bias. The results support the feasibility of group therapy and suggest that adherence in people with psychosis is not dissimilar to those for people experiencing common mental health difficulties. These findings, alongside efficacy evidence, support the use of group interventions in people with psychosis but also highlight the need for further high-quality research on the efficacy for these approaches.