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We summarize some of the past year's most important findings within climate change-related research. New research has improved our understanding about the remaining options to achieve the Paris Agreement goals, through overcoming political barriers to carbon pricing, taking into account non-CO2 factors, a well-designed implementation of demand-side and nature-based solutions, resilience building of ecosystems and the recognition that climate change mitigation costs can be justified by benefits to the health of humans and nature alone. We consider new insights about what to expect if we fail to include a new dimension of fire extremes and the prospect of cascading climate tipping elements.
A synthesis is made of 10 topics within climate research, where there have been significant advances since January 2020. The insights are based on input from an international open call with broad disciplinary scope. Findings include: (1) the options to still keep global warming below 1.5 °C; (2) the impact of non-CO2 factors in global warming; (3) a new dimension of fire extremes forced by climate change; (4) the increasing pressure on interconnected climate tipping elements; (5) the dimensions of climate justice; (6) political challenges impeding the effectiveness of carbon pricing; (7) demand-side solutions as vehicles of climate mitigation; (8) the potentials and caveats of nature-based solutions; (9) how building resilience of marine ecosystems is possible; and (10) that the costs of climate change mitigation policies can be more than justified by the benefits to the health of humans and nature.
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How do we limit global warming to 1.5 °C and why is it crucial? See highlights of latest climate science.
Transcatheter implantation of pulmonary balloon-expandable stent-valves requires pre-stenting of the right ventricular outflow tract with large calibre stents. To increase awareness of the associated risks of this part of transcatheter pulmonary valve replacement therapy, we report potential fatal complications during the implantation of AndraStents® in the right ventricular outflow tract in six cases from five different European institutions and their management.
Method and result:
We present a retrospective case series analysis looking at the time period from 2013 to 2018. Of 127 AndraStents® implanted in the right ventricular outflow tract, in six patients, age from 13 to 71 years, a misconfiguration of the AndraStent® occurred forming a “diabolo”-configuration. During inflation of the balloon, the stent showed extreme “dog-boning”, an expansion of the stent at both ends with the middle part remaining unexpanded. This led to rupture of the balloon and loss of manoeuvrability in four patients. Out of the total six cases, in four patients the stent was eventually expanded with high-pressure balloons, and in one case the stent was surgically retrieved. In one patient, in whom a percutaneous retrieval of the embolised stent was attempted, a fatal bleeding occurred.
Pre-stenting of the right ventricular outflow tract by AndraStents® can lead to misconfiguration of the stent with potentially fatal complications. Rescue strategies of misconfigured stents include stent inflation and placement with high pressure non-compliant balloons or surgical backup. Interventional retrieval measures of AndraStents® cannot be advised.
Syringomyelia is a medical condition in which one or more fluid-filled cavities (syrinxes) form in the spinal cord. The syrinxes often form near locations where the spinal subarachnoid space (SSS; the fluid-filled annular region surrounding the spinal cord) is partially obstructed. Previous studies showed that nonlinear interactions between the pulsatile fluid flow in the SSS and the elastic deformation of the tissues surrounding it can generate a fluid pressure distribution that would tend to drive fluid from the SSS into the syrinx if the tissue separating the two regions was porous. This provides a potential explanation for why a partial occlusion of the SSS can induce the growth of an already existing nearby syrinx. We study this hypothesis by analysing the mass transfer between the SSS and the syrinx, using a poroelastic fluid–structure interaction model of the spinal cord that includes a representation of the partially obstructed SSS, the syrinx and the poroelastic tissues surrounding these fluid-filled cavities. Our numerical simulations show that poroelastic fluid–structure interaction can indeed cause an increase (albeit relatively small) in syrinx volume. We analyse the seepage flows and show that their structure can be captured by an analytical model which explains why the increase in syrinx volume tends to be relatively small.
Arterial thrombosis in neonates and children is a rare event and is often associated with external risk factors such as asphyxia or sepsis. We report our experiences with two neonates with spontaneous aortic arch thrombosis mimicking aortic coarctation. Despite single case reports until now, no data exist for the underlying thrombophilic risk factors and prognosis of this rare event. Both patients were carriers of a heterozygous factor V Leiden mutation, which has been reported once before as a risk factor for aortic arch thrombosis. One of our patients was operated upon successfully and is alive. The second patient suffered a large infarction of the right medial cerebral artery and had a thrombotic occlusion of the inferior caval vein. The patient obtained palliative care and died at the age of 6 days. In the literature, we identified 19 patients with neonatal aortic arch thrombosis. Of the 19 patients, 11 (58%) died. Including the two reported patients, the mortality rate of patients with multiple thromboses was 80% (8/10) compared with 18% (2/11) for patients with isolated aortic arch thrombosis; this difference reached statistical significance (p = 0.009). The analysis of thrombophilic disorders revealed that factor V Leiden mutation and protein C deficiency seem to be the most common risk factors for aortic arch thrombosis. Conclusion: Neonatal aortic arch thrombosis is a very rare but life-threatening event, with a high rate of mortality, especially if additional thrombotic complications are present. Factor V Leiden mutation seems to be one important risk factor in the pathogenesis of this fatal disease.
Liberal egalitarian political philosophers have often argued that private property is a legal convention dependent on the state and that complaints about taxation from entitlement theorists are therefore based on a conceptual mistake. But our capacity to grasp and use property concepts seems too embedded in human nature for this to be correct. This essay argues that many standard arguments that property is constitutively a legal convention fail, but that the opposition between conventionalists and natural rights theorists is outmoded. In doing this, the essay draws on recent literature in evolutionary biology and psychology. Even though modern property in a complex society involves legal conventions, those conventions should be sensitive to our natural dispositions concerning ownership.
This paper explores the contrast between two conceptions of the general will to be found in Rousseau's work, especially in the Social Contract. The first of these identifies the general will with the decisions of the sovereign people as they legislate together; the second conceives of the general will as a transcendent fact about the society which may or may not be reflected in actual legislative decisions. Though these conceptions may be capable of reconciliation in Rousseau's own work, the tension remains and is reflected both in Rousseau's own ambivalence towards democracy and in the different ways his thought has been received and adapted in philosophy and politics.
OLED with non-constant dopant concentration profiles have been processed by means of organic vapour phase deposition (OVPD) and were compared with regard to their luminous current efficiencies. Especially when driven at ultra-high luminance (>10,000 cd/A), OLED with a dopant concentration profile starting with a rather high dopant concentration on the anode side of the emissive layer showed improved luminous current efficiencies compared to their conventional counterparts.
To further investigate this effect, the width and location of the recombination zone have been simulated for all investigated concentration profiles by numerical solution of the semiconductor device equations using experimentally determined doping-dependent charge carrier mobilities. The obtained theoretical results are discussed with regard to the accomplished experiments.
The current and luminous efficacy of a red phosphorescent organic light emitting diode (OLED) with sharp interfaces between each of the organic layers can be increased from 18.8 cd/A and 14.1 lm/W (at 1,000 cd/m2) to 36.5 cd/A (+94%, 18% EQE) and 33.7 lm/W (+139%) by the introduction of a layer cross-fading zone at the hole transport layer (HTL) to emission layer (EL) interface. Layer cross-fading describes a procedure of linearly decreasing the fraction in growth rate of an organic layer during deposition over a certain thickness while simultaneously increasing the fraction in growth rate of the following layer. For OLED processing and layer cross-fading organic vapor phase deposition (OVPD) is used. The typical observation of a roll-off in current efficacy of phosphorescent OLED to higher luminance can be reduced significantly. An interpenetrating network of a prevailing hole and a prevailing electron conducting material is created in the cross-fading zone. This broadens the recombination zone and furthermore lowers the driving voltage. The concept of layer cross-fading to increase the efficacies is suggested to be useful in multi-colored OLED stacks as well.
White OLED consisting of a fluorescent blue emissive layer combined with a phosphorescent green and a phosphorescent red emissive layer were processed by means of Organic Vapor Phase Deposition (OVPD). Different concepts to tune the color coordinates of the device are discussed with respect to the luminous efficiency. Furthermore, the influence of device aging on the emitted spectrum is being investigated by means of spectrally resolved lifetime measurements.
One of most important recent developments in theorising about social justice has concerned the extension of the conception of justice developed by Rawls in A theory of justice (1999a) to the global arena. In what follows I review some of this discussion and suggest that cosmopolitan critics are right, against Rawls himself, to suggest that we should treat the world as a whole (or at least the global economic system as a whole) as being in principle subject to evaluation according to a single distributive standard. But while that standard can be extended beyond the borders of nations to the wider arena of cooperation, the key mechanism that Rawls relied on to do the distributive work, the design and selection of an institutional structure, is not available to us in the same way as it is for the domestic sphere. It exists in one sense (there is a global basic structure that does much to explain distributive outcomes) but we cannot exercise very much control over it and could not reliably predict the effects of doing so if we could. We are therefore forced both to look more directly at social outcomes and at measures to change them after the event, and also to seek not the full achievement of social justice on a global scale but rather the avoidance of the most serious harms and injustices.
For and against cosmopolitanism: beyond the self-contained Society
Rawls's original restriction of focus to a self-contained society, although made for methodological simplicity, had the important limitation of not corresponding to the world in which we live. No society is really self-contained: all societies engage in trade across borders and all permit, to varying degrees, the immigration of outsiders and the emigration of citizens. In addition, societies interact in other ways: through cultural contact, environmental effects, war, participation in global institutions of various kinds and so on. Indeed, we live in a world in which societies are less self-contained than at any time in history. The simplest of objects that a person consumes – a cup of tea for example – will have been produced by a process involving the cooperation of thousands of people in activities including mining, agriculture, transport and fuel production.
Adductor spasticity in children with cerebral palsy (CP) impairs motor function and development. In a placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized multicentre study, we evaluated the effects of botulinum toxin A(BTX-A) in 61 children (37 males, 24 females; mean age 6 years 1 month [SD 3y 1mo]) with CP (leg-dominated tetraparesis, n=39; tetraparesis, n=22; GMFCS level I, n=3; II, n=6; III, n=17; IV, n=29; V, n=6). Four weeks after treatment, a significant superiority of BTX-A was observed in the primary outcome measure (knee–knee distance ‘fast catch’, p=0.002), the Ashworth scale (p=0.001), and the Goal Attainment Scale (p=0.037).
Of all the unlucky things that can happen to a person, being born into the wrong state has to be one of the worst. Someone who is born to become the citizen of a wealthy country enjoys life prospects far better than those unfortunate enough to be born in a poor one. According to a common view, the goal of distributive justice is to nullify the effects of brute luck on a person's life and to make their success or failure a function not of their circumstances but of their choices. Such a conception, once projected onto a global scale, becomes awesomely demanding in its apparent redistributive implications. Moreover, since there will always be new people born into circumstances not of their choosing, but, rather, determined by the prior choices of their forbears, such a view suggests an almost permanent regime of correction and transfer.
This essay argues that in order to secure individuals' access to an important set of goods and some morally significant capacities, we ought to favor political arrangements that severely limit the scope for such luck-compensatory transfers. The goods in question are those associated with being a functioning citizen of a democratic community and the capacities are the Rawlsian ones of being able to form, pursue, and revise one's conception of the good and of a sense of justice.