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Prader–Willi syndrome (PWS) is a rare condition because of the deletion of paternal chromosomal material (del PWS), or a maternal uniparental disomy (mUPD PWS), at 15q11-13. Affective psychosis is more prevalent in mUPD PWS. We investigated the relationship between the two PWS genetic variants and brain-stem serotonin transporter (5-HTT) availability in adult humans. Mean brain-stem 5-HTT availability determined by [123I]-beta-CIT single photon emission tomography was lower in eight adults with mUPD PWS compared with nine adults with del PWS (mean difference −0.93, t = −2.85, P = 0.014). Our findings confirm an association between PWS genotype and brain-stem 5-HTT availability, implicating a maternally expressed/paternally imprinted gene, that is likely to account for the difference in psychiatric phenotypes between the PWS variants.
Tumor profiling tests can help to identify whether women with breast cancer need chemotherapy due to their risk of relapse, and some may be able to predict benefit from chemotherapy. We focused on four genetic tests: Oncotype DX (O-DX), MammaPrint (MMP), EndoPredict and Prosigna, and one immunohistochemistry test, IHC4, for the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence as part of their Diagnostic Appraisal Programme.
A systematic review was undertaken, including searching of nine databases in February 2017 plus other sources including a previous review published in 2013. The review included studies assessing clinical effectiveness of the five tumor profiling tests, with or without clinicopathological factors, to guide decisions about adjuvant chemotherapy in people with ER-positive, HER-2 negative, Stage I-II cancer with 0 to 3 positive lymph nodes (LN). The PROBAST tool and Cochrane risk of bias tools were used to assess risk of bias.
A total of 153 studies were included; the strength of evidence base for individual tests was varied. Results suggest all tests are prognostic for risk of relapse, though results were more varied in LN positive (+) patients than in LN negative (0) patients. Evidence was limited about whether tests can predict benefit from chemotherapy (available for MMP and O-DX only). Studies that assessed the impact of the tests on clinical decisions indicate that the net change in chemotherapy recommendations or decisions pre-/post-test ranged from an increase of one percent to a decrease of 23 percent among UK studies, and a decrease of zero percent to 64 percent across European studies.
The studies included in the review suggest that all of the tests can provide prognostic information on the risk of relapse; however results were more varied in LN+ patients than in LN0 patients. There is limited and varying evidence for prediction of chemotherapy benefit.
Recent archaeological fieldwork on Isla de Mona in the Caribbean has led to the discovery of a substantial corpus of early colonial inscriptions inside the darkzone of one of the 200 cave systems on the island. Cave 18, like multiple others on Isla de Mona, was a well-established indigenous spiritual realm in the centuries leading up to European colonization. Christian symbols, individual names, written dates, and Spanish and Latin religious commentaries are located in direct association with preexisting indigenous iconography and activities. This paper applies paleographic (handwriting) analysis to establish the authenticity, authorship, and chronology of the inscriptions and to interpret the nature of this early spiritual encounter. We conclude that these sixteenth-century inscriptions represent visits to the cave by first-generation Europeans, including Spanish royal officials in Puerto Rico, and reflect their reactions to native religious landscapes. The inscriptions on Isla de Mona capture personal, face-to-face encounters with native religion and represent Christian commentaries and reactions to indigenous spaces and worldview in the early colonial period.
The Caribbean island of Mona, on a key Atlantic route from Europe to the Americas, was at the heart of sixteenth-century Spanish colonial projects. Communities on the island were exposed to the earliest waves of European impact during a critical period of transformation and the forging of new identities. One of many caves within an extensive subterranean world on the island was marked both by indigenous people and by the first generations of Europeans to arrive in the New World. This account of spiritual encounters provides a rare, personalised insight into intercultural religious dynamics in the early Americas.
This paper takes a critical look at the struggle between the European Commission and European consumer markets over the future of agricultural biotechnology. While the Commission is keen to normalize the commercialization of biotech foods and crops, European consumers refuse to eat/buy products containing genetically modified organisms (GMO) and have effectively closed the market to GMO. Is this a rare example of European citizens prevailing over the elitist technical decision making procedures in Brussels and the pro-GMO coalition of agro-chemical companies, biotech research institutes, big farming, and selected member states? We show that peculiar circumstances enabled consumer-protection and environmental NGOs to mobilize consumers and to deflect the Commission’s goal of introducing biotech foods for a time, a rare achievement in the annals of EU policymaking. However, shifts in global agricultural markets will render this more difficult in the future, in part by awakening dormant tensions within the European anti-biotech movement.
The Nationalization of Politics: The Formation of National
Electorates and Party Systems in Western Europe. By Daniele Caramani.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004. 347p. $75.00 cloth, $28.99
Daniele Caramani endeavors to document and explain the nationalization
of party systems in Western Europe, the process by which the localized and
territorialized politics of the nineteenth century (clientelistic politics
dominated by local personalities) was replaced by nationwide functional
alignments on the basis of class, in particular. This nationalization
process was a crucial step in the structuring of party systems in the
first century of electoral (democratic) politics. Although central to
Western European electoral developments, it has received little scholarly
attention, a gap that Caramani means to fill through empirical
As its title indicates, this book explores the links between institutions and innovation—specifically, between electoral systems and parties' capacity to innovate. The latter, in turn, is considered a crucial determinant of democratic performance because it shapes parties' capacity in times of economic crisis to offer policy prescriptions sufficiently attractive to limit voter defection to nondemocratic alternatives.
Protestant participation in postwar West German peace movements has markedly outstripped Catholic participation, suggesting that age is not the only important cleavage separating participants and nonparticipants. It is argued that because churches interpret collective experience, they have helped shape individual attitudes and political protest across generations throughout the postwar period. In West Germany, church interpretations of fascism, World War Two, and postwar developments have offered interpretive frameworks and defined the parameters of defense issues for their members. In doing so, churches have provided or restricted ideological, as well as organizational, resources to peace protest within their midst. Similar processes are at work in institutions like parties and unions as well. Although younger generations have sometimes adopted more radical views than their elders, the interplay between generations has taken place in the context of a previous institutional framing of issues.
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