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The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE), underscoring the urgent need for simple, efficient, and inexpensive methods to decontaminate masks and respirators exposed to severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). We hypothesized that methylene blue (MB) photochemical treatment, which has various clinical applications, could decontaminate PPE contaminated with coronavirus.
The 2 arms of the study included (1) PPE inoculation with coronaviruses followed by MB with light (MBL) decontamination treatment and (2) PPE treatment with MBL for 5 cycles of decontamination to determine maintenance of PPE performance.
MBL treatment was used to inactivate coronaviruses on 3 N95 filtering facepiece respirator (FFR) and 2 medical mask models. We inoculated FFR and medical mask materials with 3 coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2, and we treated them with 10 µM MB and exposed them to 50,000 lux of white light or 12,500 lux of red light for 30 minutes. In parallel, integrity was assessed after 5 cycles of decontamination using multiple US and international test methods, and the process was compared with the FDA-authorized vaporized hydrogen peroxide plus ozone (VHP+O3) decontamination method.
Overall, MBL robustly and consistently inactivated all 3 coronaviruses with 99.8% to >99.9% virus inactivation across all FFRs and medical masks tested. FFR and medical mask integrity was maintained after 5 cycles of MBL treatment, whereas 1 FFR model failed after 5 cycles of VHP+O3.
MBL treatment decontaminated respirators and masks by inactivating 3 tested coronaviruses without compromising integrity through 5 cycles of decontamination. MBL decontamination is effective, is low cost, and does not require specialized equipment, making it applicable in low- to high-resource settings.
War comes with terrible costs both in terms of money and lives. Do voters punish incumbents for these costs? Much of the existing literature on the effects of war deaths on public opinion toward incumbents and their war efforts suggests that the answer is yes. We test this proposition on data from a non-US case: Canada's war in Afghanistan. We estimate models of the effect of local war deaths on incumbent support using individual-level panel data from the 2006, 2008 and 2011 Canadian Election Studies and aggregate district-level data from the 2008 and 2011 general elections. In none of our models do we find support for the conclusion that war deaths decrease support for candidates of the governing party. Instead, we find evidence at both the individual and district levels that support for Conservative party candidates is higher in districts that experienced war deaths.
Nudge plus is a modification of the toolkit of behavioral public policy. It incorporates an element of reflection – the plus – into the delivery of a nudge, either blended in or made proximate. Nudge plus builds on recent work combining heuristics and deliberation. It may be used to design prosocial interventions that help preserve the autonomy of the agent. The argument turns on seminal work on dual systems, which presents a subtler relationship between fast and slow thinking than commonly assumed in the classic literature in behavioral public policy. We review classic and recent work on dual processes to show that a hybrid is more plausible than the default-interventionist or parallel-competitive framework. We define nudge plus, set out what reflection could entail, provide examples, outline causal mechanisms, and draw testable implications.
The COVID-19 pandemic has placed unprecedented pressure on governments to engage in widespread cash transfers directly to citizens to help mitigate economic losses. Major and near-universal redistribution efforts have been deployed, but there is remarkably little understanding of where the mass public believes financial support is warranted. Using experimental evidence, we evaluate whether considerations related to deservingness, similarity, and prejudicial attitudes structure support for these transfers. A preregistered experiment found broad, generous, and nondiscriminatory support for direct cash transfers related to COVID-19 in Canada. The second study, accepted as a preregistered report, further probes these dynamics by comparing COVID-19-related outlays with nonemergency ones. We find that COVID-19-related spending was more universal as compared to a more generic cash allocation program. Given that the results were driven by the income of hypothetical recipients, we find broad support for disaster relief that is not means-tested or otherwise constrained by pre-disaster income.
In 2020, we are facing unprecedented times, and as some form of lockdown continues with no signs of ending feelings of hopelessness are completely natural and understandable. Unprecedented times does not mean that these current issues and struggles have never been faced by humanity before, however. The Spanish Flu which took place after World War One and the Black Death that was rampant in Asia and Europe in the 14th century quickly come to mind as examples of past pandemics, but these are only two examples of devastating diseases throughout human history. The Plague of Athens that was raging during the beginning of the Peloponnesian War in 430 BCE is another such example. Though removed from our current situation by many centuries, its symptoms and the effects it had on the population of Athens have been meticulously recorded by the general and historian Thucydides, giving us the opportunity to compare his account to our own experiences today. The disease may be different, and the image he portrays may be more violent and desperate than our own, but nonetheless we can see similarities in how these two separate societies have reacted to unforeseen hardships. In this comparison, we can come to understand at once our own good fortune at going through a pandemic with the support of modern technology and medicine as well as how universal our reactions are to this type of suffering, thereby making it natural rather than shameful. Humanity has faced a great deal of diversity before, and COVID-19 will likely prove to be no different.
There is global interest in the reconfiguration of community mental health services, including primary care, to improve clinical and cost effectiveness.
This study seeks to describe patterns of service use, continuity of care, health risks, physical healthcare monitoring and the balance between primary and secondary mental healthcare for people with severe mental illness in receipt of secondary mental healthcare in the UK.
We conducted an epidemiological medical records review in three UK sites. We identified 297 cases randomly selected from the three participating mental health services. Data were manually extracted from electronic patient medical records from both secondary and primary care, for a 2-year period (2012–2014). Continuous data were summarised by mean and s.d. or median and interquartile range (IQR). Categorical data were summarised as percentages.
The majority of care was from secondary care practitioners: of the 18 210 direct contacts recorded, 76% were from secondary care (median, 36.5; IQR, 14–68) and 24% were from primary care (median, 10; IQR, 5–20). There was evidence of poor longitudinal continuity: in primary care, 31% of people had poor longitudinal continuity (Modified Modified Continuity Index ≤0.5), and 43% had a single named care coordinator in secondary care services over the 2 years.
The study indicates scope for improvement in supporting mental health service delivery in primary care. Greater knowledge of how care is organised presents an opportunity to ensure some rebalancing of the care that all people with severe mental illness receive, when they need it. A future publication will examine differences between the three sites that participated in this study.
Debate about the nature of climate and the magnitude of ecological change across Australia during the last glacial maximum (LGM; 26.5–19 ka) persists despite considerable research into the late Pleistocene. This is partly due to a lack of detailed paleoenvironmental records and reliable chronological frameworks. Geochemical and geochronological analyses of a 60 ka sedimentary record from Brown Lake, subtropical Queensland, are presented and considered in the context of climate-controlled environmental change. Optically stimulated luminescence dating of dune crests adjacent to prominent wetlands across North Stradbroke Island (Minjerribah) returned a mean age of 119.9 ± 10.6 ka; indicating relative dune stability soon after formation in Marine Isotope Stage 5. Synthesis of wetland sediment geochemistry across the island was used to identify dust accumulation and applied as an aridification proxy over the last glacial-interglacial cycle. A positive trend of dust deposition from ca. 50 ka was found with highest influx occurring leading into the LGM. Complexities of comparing sedimentary records and the need for robust age models are highlighted with local variation influencing the accumulation of exogenic material. An inter-site comparison suggests enhanced moisture stress regionally during the last glaciation and throughout the LGM, returning to a more positive moisture balance ca. 8 ka.
The 2019 Canadian Election Study (CES) consists of two separate surveys with campaign-period rolling cross-sections and post-election follow-ups. The parallel studies were conducted online and through a random-digit-dial (RDD) telephone survey. Both continue the long tradition of gathering information about the attitudes, opinions, preferences and behaviours of the Canadian public. The online survey, in particular, introduces some important innovations that open up the potential for exciting new research on subgroups in the electorate.
Chapter 11 focuses on one of the most important events of the last 5,000 years: the development of writing. Writing is defined as a system of more or less permanent marks used to represent an utterance in such a way that it can be recovered more or less the same way without intervention. Writing is distinguished from ideograms that represent things or concepts directly. Readers are introduced to alphabets in which, though imperfectly, each letter represents one sound, syllabaries which represent the syllable, abjads, in which, typically, only consonants are written, and abujidas, in which each consonant is represented with a basic vowel. The chapter includes examples for each type of writing from many different languages. The history of writing is summarized, from its beginnings in Mesopotamia, China, and Mesoamerica, to modern day writing in different parts of the world. Each new concept introduced is amply illustrated with images from different types of writing systems, and readers are encouraged to try to understand how reading should proceed in each case.
We conducted a field experiment with 334 Canadian Members of Parliament exploring whether politicians seek out more information about an issue when they are farther offside the average opinion in their constituency on that issue. In the midst of a contentious national debate on the oil industry, we invited MPs and their staff to watch a webinar or read a written summary of the webinar created by experts and containing a variety of viewpoints on the issue. For politicians on either side, the information could prove useful in future debate and conversation. Some politicians were randomly assigned to information about the distribution of opinion in their constituency on the issue. We find no evidence that politicians are more likely to pursue policy information when they are offside their average constituency opinion, and none that this effect is enhanced when they learn about their relative position vis-a-vis constituency preferences.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) produce guidelines for the design of pivotal psychiatric drug trials used in new drug applications. It is unknown who are involved in the guideline development and what specific trial design recommendations they give.
Cross-sectional study of EMA Clinical Efficacy and Safety Guidelines and FDA Guidance Documents. Study outcomes: (1) guideline committee members and declared conflicts of interest; (2) guideline development and organisation of commenting phases; (3) categorisation of stakeholders who comment on draft and final guidelines according to conflicts of interest (‘industry’, ‘not-industry but with industry-related conflicts’, ‘independent’, ‘unclear’); and (4) trial design recommendations (trial duration, psychiatric comorbidity, ‘enriched design’, efficacy outcomes, comparator choice). Protocol registration https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.01.22.20018499 (27 January 2020).
We included 13 EMA and five FDA guidelines covering 15 psychiatric indications. Eleven months after submission, the EMA had not processed our request regarding committee member disclosures. FDA offices draft the Guidance Documents, but the Agency is not in possession of employee conflicts of interest declarations because FDA employees generally may not hold financial interests (although some employees may hold interests up to $15,000). The EMA and FDA guideline development phases are similar; drafts and final versions are publicly announced and everybody can submit comments. Seventy stakeholders commented on ten guidelines: 38 (54%) ‘industry’, 18 (26%) ‘not-industry but with industry-related conflicts’, six (9%) ‘independent’ and eight (11%) ‘unclear’. They submitted 1014 comments: 640 (68%) ‘industry’, 243 (26%) ‘not-industry but with industry-related conflicts’, 44 (5%) ‘independent’ and 20 (2%) ‘unclear’ (67 could not be assigned to a specific stakeholder). The recommended designs were generally for trials of short duration; with restricted trial populations; allowing previous exposure to the drug; and often recommending rating scale efficacy outcomes. EMA mainly recommended three arm designs (both placebo and active comparators), whereas FDA mainly recommended placebo-controlled designs. There were also other important differences and FDA's recommendations regarding the exclusion of psychiatric comorbidity seemed less restrictive.
The EMA and FDA clinical research guidelines for psychiatric pivotal trials recommend designs that tend to have limited generalisability. Independent and non-conflicted stakeholders are underrepresented in the guideline development. It seems warranted with more active involvement of scientists and independent organisations without conflicts of interest in the guideline development process.
The first demonstration of laser action in ruby was made in 1960 by T. H. Maiman of Hughes Research Laboratories, USA. Many laboratories worldwide began the search for lasers using different materials, operating at different wavelengths. In the UK, academia, industry and the central laboratories took up the challenge from the earliest days to develop these systems for a broad range of applications. This historical review looks at the contribution the UK has made to the advancement of the technology, the development of systems and components and their exploitation over the last 60 years.
Platonism has played a central role in Christianity and is essential to a deep understanding of the Christian theological tradition. At times, Platonism has constituted an essential philosophical and theological resource, furnishing Christianity with an intellectual framework that has played a key role in its early development, and in subsequent periods of renewal. Alternatively, it has been considered a compromising influence, conflicting with the faith's revelatory foundations and distorting its inherent message. In both cases the fundamental importance of Platonism, as a force which Christianity defined itself by and against, is clear. Written by an international team of scholars, this landmark volume examines the history of Christian Platonism from antiquity to the present day, covers key concepts, and engages issues such as the environment, natural science and materialism.
This chapter frames the complex and contested concept of Christian Platonism explicated throughout this volume. Here, it is introduced as an object of theological and philosophical contention, the subject of historical and conceptual communication, and a theme of compulsory knowledge for the student of intellectual history.