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A feedforward pathological signaling loop generated by TNFα and IFN-γ synergy in the inflamed lung, driving CXCL-10 (IP-10) and CXCL-9 chemokine-mediated activated T-cell and monocyte/macrophage tissue recruitment, may define the inflammatory biology of lethal COVID-19 respiratory failure.
To assess TNFα-antagonist therapy, 18 hospitalized adults with hypoxic respiratory failure and COVID-19 pneumonia received single-dose infliximab-abda therapy 5 mg/kg intravenously between April and December 2020. The primary endpoint was time to increase in oxygen saturation to fraction of inspired oxygen ratio (SpO2/FiO2) by ≥50 compared to baseline and sustained for 48 h. Secondary endpoints included 28-day mortality, dynamic cytokine profiles, secondary infections, duration of supplemental oxygen support, and hospitalization.
Patients were predominantly in critical respiratory failure (15/18, 83%), male (14/18, 78%), above 60 years (median 63 years, range 31–80), race-ethnic minorities (13/18, 72%), lymphopenic (13/18, 72%), steroid-treated (17/18, 94%), with a median ferritin of 1953 ng/ml. Sixteen patients (89%) met the primary endpoint within a median of 4 days; 14/18 (78%) were discharged in a median of 8 days and were alive at 28-day follow-up. Three deaths were attributed to secondary lung infection. Mean plasma IP-10 levels declined sharply from 9183 to 483 pg/ml at Day 3 and 146 pg/ml at Day 14/discharge. Significant Day 3 declines in IFN-
, TNFα, IL-27, CRP, and ferritin occurred. IP-10 and CXCL-9 declines were strongly correlated among patients with lymphopenia reversal (Day 3, Pearson r: 0.98, P-value 0.0006).
Infliximab-abda may rapidly abrogate pathological inflammatory signaling to facilitate clinical recovery in severe and critical COVID-19.
Despite the multifactorial space of language experience in which people continuously vary, bilinguals are often dichotomized into ostensibly homogeneous groups. The timing of language exposure (age of acquisition) to a second language (L2) is one well-studied construct that is known to impact language processing, cognitive processing, and brain organization, but recent work shows that current language exposure is also a crucial determinant in these domains. Critically, many indices of bilingual experience are inherently subjective and based on self-report questionnaires. Such measures have been criticized in favor of objective measures of language ability (e.g., naming ability or verbal fluency). Here, we estimate the bilingual experience jointly as a function of multiple continuous aspects of experience, including the timing of language exposure, the amount of L2 exposure across communicative contexts, and language entropy (a flexible measure of language balance) across communicative contexts. The results suggest that current language exposure exhibits distinct but interrelated patterns depending on the socio-experiential context of language usage. They also suggest that, counterintuitively, our sample more accurately self-assesses L2 proficiency than native language proficiency. A precise quantification of the multidimensional nature of bilingualism will enhance the ability of future research to assess language processing, acquisition, and control.
A proliferation of popular music genres flourished in post-independence Nigeria: highlife, jùjú, Afrobeat, and fújì. Originating within Yorùbá Muslim communities, the genres of fújì and Islamic are Islamised dance music genres characterised by their Arabic-influenced vocal style, Yorùbá praise poetry, driving percussion, and aesthetics of incorporation, flexibility, and cultural fusion. Based on analysis of interviews and performances in Ìlọrin in the 2010s, this article argues that the genres of fújì and Islamic allegorise Nigerian unity—an ideology of tolerance, peaceful coexistence, and equity—while exposing the gap between the aspiration for unity and everyday inequities shaped by gender and morality.
Although bilinguals benefit from semantic context while perceiving speech-in-noise in their native language (L1), the extent to which bilinguals benefit from semantic context in their second language (L2) is unclear. Here, 57 highly proficient English–French/French–English bilinguals, who varied in L2 age of acquisition, performed a speech-perception-in-noise task in both languages while event-related brain potentials were recorded. Participants listened to and repeated the final word of sentences high or low in semantic constraint, in quiet and with a multi-talker babble mask. Overall, our findings indicate that bilinguals do benefit from semantic context while perceiving speech-in-noise in both their languages. Simultaneous bilinguals showed evidence of processing semantic context similarly to monolinguals. Early sequential bilinguals recruited additional neural resources, suggesting more effective use of semantic context in L2, compared to late bilinguals. Semantic context use was not associated with bilingual language experience or working memory.
This anthology provides insightful data on and discussions of a wide array of popular cultural manifestations and theoretical perspectives, covering such issues as kinship, religion, conflict resolution, music, cinema, drama, and literary texts. The issues cohere around the understanding that culture is situational and political. Going beyond merely challenging popular stereotypes and representations of Africans and African related practices in various outlets, the book reveals how popular cultural practices are instruments that have been manipulated for personal and collective survival. The book is distinctive in its codification and explication of aspects of popular practices that are based on data from countries in Africa, Europe, and the Americas that showcase cultural negotiations either with reference to how notions, values, norms, and images of Africans have been packaged and exploited over the years or how popular cultures are used as tools of resistance and agitation by the various focal groups that are discussed. The topics are presented and illustrated in ways easily accessible to readers of all backgrounds. Toyin Falola is the Frances Higginbotham Nalle Centennial Professor in History at the University of Texas at Austin as well as a University Distinguished Teaching Professor. Augustine Agwuele is an assistant professor of linguistics in the Department of Anthropology, Texas State University, San Marcos. Contributors: Arinpe Adejumo, Augustine Agwuele, Antoinette Tidjani Alou, Maurice N. Amutabi, Tokunbo A. Ayoola, Nicholas M. Creary, Toyin Falola, Celeste A. Fisher, Denise Amy-Rose Forbes-Erickson, Hetty ter Haar, Debra L. Klein, Emmanuel M. Mbah, Sarah Steinbock-Pratt, and Asonzeh Ukah.
The “Popular Cultures in Africa” conference held at the University of Texas at Austin, March 30 through April 1, 2007, witnessed a broad array of scholars who provided insightful and lively scholarly debate on the processes of cultures in Africa. In order to document significant aspects of the discussion during the meeting, we collected papers focused on inter- and intra-politicking by peoples of African descent for purposes of self-agitation through popular practices as well as the spread of their lifestyles.
This collection is not so much intended to document “a complex of distinctive expression of life experiences” but rather to provide an understanding of the quest of people of African descent for the right to express and maintain these distinctive life experiences in the face of competing and inhibitory political and sociocultural forces intent on enforcing some standards, values, and ways of being and doing things in the world. It is an active process of rejection of impositions, be it imposition by existing customs or by external influences. The complexity of this quest requires a broad and interdisciplinary approach, hence, the diverse, complementary chapters whose topics range from lifestyle and religion to visual and print media. We hope that the chapters of this book will promote scholarship on African cultures.
We are deeply thankful for the support of faculty members and students who worked tirelessly to make the conference successful. We appreciate the support of the University of Texas at Austin, Texas State University San Marcos, and all our sponsors.
Wasiu Alabi's catchy melody and lyrics, consisting of every possible combination of the words émi (me), láiyé (alive in the world), and mi (me), became a popular choral refrain with the cohort of fújì-loving bàtá artists in the rural town of Erìn-Oṣun, Nigeria, during the late 1990s. Whenever I joked with these artists about their potential stardom as globally renowned fújì front men, they would try to out-perform each other by singing and dancing some version of the tune, “Émi láiyé mi.” Not only are the words and melody easy to remember, but they represent a significant shift in the style and content of performance for extended families of drummers and dancers who specialize in traditional Yorùbá Bàtá. “It's All about Me” gave the young artists the creative license to transform their traditional artists' identities into pop culture personae (see fig. 6.1). However, these young artists' fathers criticized their children's “all about me” culture for its diversion from tradition, àṣà ìbíle. What can we learn from this generation gap in a rural Nigerian town during the late 1990s?
The most recent generational shift in the culture of Yorùbá Bàtá performance has provoked frustration in older artists who are worried that their tradition is dying. The generation of artists in its twenties fuses traditional bàtá, with popular musical genres, creating a fusion style I call “pop tradition.” “Pop” signifies the young artists' desires to identify with a pan-Yorùbá and global culture, fueling a particular worldly performance style rooted in both tradition and modernity.
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