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Time-series cross-section (TSCS) data are prevalent in political science, yet many distinct challenges presented by TSCS data remain underaddressed. We focus on how dependence in both space and time complicates estimating either spatial or temporal dependence, dynamics, and effects. Little is known about how modeling one of temporal or cross-sectional dependence well while neglecting the other affects results in TSCS analysis. We demonstrate analytically and through simulations how misspecification of either temporal or spatial dependence inflates estimates of the other dimension’s dependence and thereby induces biased estimates and tests of other covariate effects. Therefore, we recommend the spatiotemporal autoregressive distributed lag (STADL) model with distributed lags in both space and time as an effective general starting point for TSCS model specification. We illustrate with two example reanalyses and provide R code to facilitate researchers’ implementation—from automation of common spatial-weights matrices (W) through estimated spatiotemporal effects/response calculations—for their own TSCS analyses.
E-cigarettes (ECs) are gaining popularity in Turkey among smokers. With the rapid increase of EC consumption, it is important to ascertain how family physicians (FPs) perceive ECs as they play a key role in providing smoking cessation services.
Our main objectives were to determine FPs’ level of awareness and harm reduction perceptions of ECs and to delineate the factors associated with their counseling practices.
This was a cross-sectional study with descriptive and analytical components. Data were collected through questionnaires. Questions mainly focused on demographic characteristics, knowledge and own use of ECs, general attitudes towards ECs, and daily practices while performing counseling on tobacco use. In order to control confounding factors, logistic regression analysis was performed.
Among a total of 271 FPs, 49.1% (n = 133) were males and the median age (IQR) was 41 years (32–46). Almost one-fifth of the FPs (n = 52) reported that they did not provide counseling services to their smoking patients. Only 26.6% (n = 72) of the FPs stated that they felt confident enough to advise patients on smoking cessation. Of the FPs, 6.6% have stated that they have recommended ECs to their patients for smoking cessation with the strategy of harm reduction. Factors associated with providers’ recommendation of ECs to their patients as a harm reduction strategy included ‘believing that ECs help smokers to quit, ECs could be vaped in closed areas, and ECs were healthier than combustible tobacco products’.
In our study, FPs stated lack of confidence to advice patients on smoking cessation. Furthermore, they recommended ECs to their smoking patients as a harm reduction strategy. FPs’ confidence should be increased with the trainings based on recent evidence on ECs.
Across Eurasia, horse transport transformed ancient societies. Although evidence for chariotry is well dated, the origins of horse riding are less clear. Techniques to distinguish chariotry from riding in archaeological samples rely on elements not typically recovered from many steppe contexts. Here, the authors examine horse remains of Mongolia's Deer Stone-Khirigsuur (DSK) Complex, comparing them with ancient and modern East Asian horses used for both types of transport. DSK horses demonstrate unique dentition damage that could result from steppe chariotry, but may also indicate riding with a shallow rein angle at a fast gait. A key role for chariots in Late Bronze Age Mongolia helps explain the trajectory of horse use in early East Asia.
Gravitational waves from coalescing neutron stars encode information about nuclear matter at extreme densities, inaccessible by laboratory experiments. The late inspiral is influenced by the presence of tides, which depend on the neutron star equation of state. Neutron star mergers are expected to often produce rapidly rotating remnant neutron stars that emit gravitational waves. These will provide clues to the extremely hot post-merger environment. This signature of nuclear matter in gravitational waves contains most information in the 2–4 kHz frequency band, which is outside of the most sensitive band of current detectors. We present the design concept and science case for a Neutron Star Extreme Matter Observatory (NEMO): a gravitational-wave interferometer optimised to study nuclear physics with merging neutron stars. The concept uses high-circulating laser power, quantum squeezing, and a detector topology specifically designed to achieve the high-frequency sensitivity necessary to probe nuclear matter using gravitational waves. Above 1 kHz, the proposed strain sensitivity is comparable to full third-generation detectors at a fraction of the cost. Such sensitivity changes expected event rates for detection of post-merger remnants from approximately one per few decades with two A+ detectors to a few per year and potentially allow for the first gravitational-wave observations of supernovae, isolated neutron stars, and other exotica.
Yukon Territory (YT) is a remote region in northern Canada with ongoing spread of tuberculosis (TB). To explore the utility of whole genome sequencing (WGS) for TB surveillance and monitoring in a setting with detailed contact tracing and interview data, we used a mixed-methods approach. Our analysis included all culture-confirmed cases in YT (2005–2014) and incorporated data from 24-locus Mycobacterial Interspersed Repetitive Units-Variable Number of Tandem Repeats (MIRU-VNTR) genotyping, WGS and contact tracing. We compared field-based (contact investigation (CI) data + MIRU-VNTR) and genomic-based (WGS + MIRU-VNTR + basic case data) investigations to identify the most likely source of each person's TB and assessed the knowledge, attitudes and practices of programme personnel around genotyping and genomics using online, multiple-choice surveys (n = 4) and an in-person group interview (n = 5). Field- and genomics-based approaches agreed for 26 of 32 (81%) cases on likely location of TB acquisition. There was less agreement in the identification of specific source cases (13/22 or 59% of cases). Single-locus MIRU-VNTR variants and limited genetic diversity complicated the analysis. Qualitative data indicated that participants viewed genomic epidemiology as a useful tool to streamline investigations, particularly in differentiating latent TB reactivation from the recent transmission. Based on this, genomic data could be used to enhance CIs, focus resources, target interventions and aid in TB programme evaluation.
This article, the first detailed scholarly assessment of northern responses to the death of former Confederate President Jefferson Davis in December 1889, contributes to ongoing academic debates over the troubled process of sectional reconciliation after the Civil War. Southern whites used their leader's funeral obsequies to assert not only their affection for the deceased but also their devotion to the Lost Cause that he had championed and embodied. Based on an analysis of northern newspapers and mass-circulation magazines in the two weeks after Davis's death, the essay demonstrates that many northerners, principally Republican politicians and editors, Union veterans, and African Americans, were outraged by southerners’ flagrant willingness to laud a man whom they regarded as the arch-traitor and that they remained opposed to reconciliation on southern terms. However, despite continuing concerns about public displays of affection for the Confederacy evident at the time of Davis's reinterment in Richmond in May 1893, northern opposition to the Lost Cause waned rapidly in the last decade of the nineteenth century. Full-blown sectional reconciliation occurred after the Republicans gave up on their efforts to enforce black voting rights in the South and President William McKinley's imperialist foreign policy necessitated, and to some degree garnered, support from southern whites. The death of Jefferson Davis, therefore, can be seen as an important event in the difficult transition from a heavily sectionalized postwar polity to a North-South rapprochement based heavily on political pragmatism, sentiment, nationalism, and white supremacism.
Few studies have used genomic epidemiology to understand tuberculosis (TB) transmission in rural and remote settings – regions often unique in history, geography and demographics. To improve our understanding of TB transmission dynamics in Yukon Territory (YT), a circumpolar Canadian territory, we conducted a retrospective analysis in which we combined epidemiological data collected through routine contact investigations with clinical and laboratory results. Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates from all culture-confirmed TB cases in YT (2005–2014) were genotyped using 24-locus Mycobacterial Interspersed Repetitive Units-Variable Number of Tandem Repeats (MIRU-VNTR) and compared to each other and to those from the neighbouring province of British Columbia (BC). Whole genome sequencing (WGS) of genotypically clustered isolates revealed three sustained transmission networks within YT, two of which also involved BC isolates. While each network had distinct characteristics, all had at least one individual acting as the probable source of three or more culture-positive cases. Overall, WGS revealed that TB transmission dynamics in YT are distinct from patterns of spread in other, more remote Northern Canadian regions, and that the combination of WGS and epidemiological data can provide actionable information to local public health teams.
A fracture analysis is developed for crack initiation sequences occurring during sharp indentation of brittle materials. Such indentations, generated by pyramidal or conical loading, generate elastic and plastic deformation. The analysis uses a nonlinear elements-in-series model to describe indentation load–displacement responses, onto which lateral, radial, cone, and median crack initiation points are located. The crack initiation points are determined by extension and application of a contact stress-field model coupled to the indentation load, originally developed by Yoffe, in combination with crack nuclei coupled to the indentation displacement to arrive at an explicit fracture model. Parameters in the analysis are adapted directly from experimental fracture and deformation measurements, and the analysis outputs are directly comparable to experimental observations. After adaptation, crack initiation loads and sequences during indentation loading and unloading of glasses and crystals are predicted by the model from material modulus, hardness, and toughness values to within about 25% of peak contact load. This work is dedicated to George M. Pharr IV on the occasion of his 65th birthday in recognition of his contributions to indentation mechanics.
Advances in technologies and biomedical informatics have expanded capacity to generate and share biomedical data. With a lens on genomic data, we present a typology characterizing the data-sharing landscape in biomedical research to advance understanding of the key stakeholders and existing data-sharing practices. The typology highlights the diversity of data-sharing efforts and facilitators and reveals how novel data-sharing efforts are challenging existing norms regarding the role of individuals whom the data describe.
A medical information commons (MIC) is a networked data environment utilized for research and clinical applications. At three deliberations across the U.S., we engaged 75 adults in two-day facilitated discussions on the ethical and social issues inherent to sharing data with an MIC. Deliberants made recommendations regarding opt-in consent, transparent data policies, public representation on MIC governing boards, and strict data security and privacy protection. Community engagement is critical to earning the public's trust.
Drawing on a landscape analysis of existing data-sharing initiatives, in-depth interviews with expert stakeholders, and public deliberations with community advisory panels across the U.S., we describe features of the evolving medical information commons (MIC). We identify participant-centricity and trustworthiness as the most important features of an MIC and discuss the implications for those seeking to create a sustainable, useful, and widely available collection of linked resources for research and other purposes.
Making data broadly accessible is essential to creating a medical information commons (MIC). Transparency about data-sharing practices can cultivate trust among prospective and existing MIC participants. We present an analysis of 34 initiatives sharing DNA-derived data based on public information. We describe data-sharing practices captured, including practices related to consent, privacy and security, data access, oversight, and participant engagement. Our results reveal that data-sharing initiatives have some distance to go in achieving transparency.
Accessing BRCA1/2 data facilitates the detection of disease-associated variants, which is critical to informing clinical management of risks. BRCA1/2 data sharing is complex and many practices exist. We describe current BRCA1/2 data-sharing practices, in the United States and globally, and discuss obstacles and incentives to sharing, based on 28 interviews with personnel at U.S. and non-U.S. clinical laboratories and databases. Our examination of the BRCA1/2 data-sharing landscape demonstrates strong support for and robust sharing of BRCA1/2 data around the world, increasing global accesses to diverse data sets.
A 2011 National Academies of Sciences report called for an “Information Commons” and a “Knowledge Network” to revolutionize biomedical research and clinical care. We interviewed 41 expert stakeholders to examine governance, access, data collection, and privacy in the context of a medical information commons. Stakeholders' attitudes about MICs align with the NAS vision of an Information Commons; however, differences of opinion regarding clinical use and access warrant further research to explore policy and technological solutions.
The consensus within psychiatry is that patients' religion/spirituality are legitimate topics in assessment and treatment. Religion/spirituality can help people cope with mental illness, but their use as therapeutic tools is controversial. Despite the publication of position statements by national and international psychiatric organisations, there is no clarity over therapeutic boundaries.
Declaration of interest
R.P. and R.H. are atheists. C.C.H.C. is an ordained Anglican and a past Chair of the Royal College of Psychiatrists Spirituality and Psychiatry Special Interest Group. He writes here in a personal capacity.
For Brunei Darussalam, 2015 was primarily about the dilemma of maintaining domestic stability in the face of significant regional and global instability in areas of particular vulnerability for Southeast Asia's smallest country. Plummeting global energy prices saw the country's once extremely large current account surplus reverse into a large deficit. At the same time, as the smallest and weakest claimant in the South China Sea, Brunei has the fewest means to counter the effects of growing Chinese assertiveness, U.S.–China rivalry, and ASEAN ineffectiveness in relation to these disputed waters that lap on to the shores of the Sultanate. Aided by significant long-standing financial, political and diplomatic reserves, Brunei Darussalam was able to maintain an impressive level of social, political and diplomatic stability in these challenging times. On the economic and diplomatic fronts, Bandar Seri Begawan responded by enhancing existing relations and assets and seeking greater diversification. On the social and political fronts, the response was one of greater conservatism and centralization. As Brunei Darussalam's economic problems are significant and structural, the responses will have to pass the test of time for the country to overcome them.
More than Headwinds
Even a cursory glance at Table 1 shows how dramatically the Brunei economy was affected by falling energy prices. And yet, the growth estimates for 2015 are based on inflated price assumptions for both oil and liquefied natural gas, so the reality will likely be even worse. Likewise, current market movements suggest that the IMF price assumptions going forward err on the side of optimism.
The Sultan, His Majesty Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, is well aware that the country's hydrocarbon resources will eventually expire, possibly as early as 2025, and has tried to extend their life in recent years by capping production. The volume of oil production reportedly is now a full 40 per cent less than in 2006.1 In 2015 the scheduled and unscheduled maintenance of some of the most important energy projects has further hit production. However, the short-term costs of the policy have been exacerbated by the global collapse in the value of hydrocarbons with the price of crude oil having fallen from above US$100 in mid-2014 to less than US$30 per barrel by January 2016 and the value of natural gas per million Btu (British Thermal Unit) having fallen from over US$6 to nearly US$2 during the same period.
Varroa destructor mites (Acari: Varroidae) are harmful ectoparasites of Apis mellifera honey bees. Female foundresses of wax-capped pupal host cells and their daughters feed on host fluids from open wounds on the host's integument. Details of V. destructor mite nutrition are forthcoming, and little is known about the potential physical effects on hosts from mite feeding. Chemical analysis of waste excretions can infer details of animals’ nutrition. Here, chemical analysis by high-performance liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS) of mite excretions showed that the purine content of V. destructor waste consists of guanine with traces of hypoxanthine. Traces of uric acid and caffeine were also detected. Concentrations of guanine attenuated over time and excretions collected from senescing mites did not contain detectable guanine. Non-reproducing individual female mites maintained in vitro, housed in gelatin capsules and provided a honey bee pupa, deposited an average of nearly 18 excretions daily, mostly on the host's integument rather than on the capsule wall. The weight and volume of excretions suggest mites can consume nearly a microlitre of host fluids each day. Compounded over 10 days, this together with open wounds, could lead to substantial water loss and stress to developing pupae.