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We disentangle the effects of biodiesel incentives and shale oil expansion on the long-run equilibrium price relationships among biodiesel feedstocks and crude oil in the United States (US) and European Union (EU). We find that the 2005 Energy Policy Act in the US substantially increased the responsiveness of soy oil, canola oil, and corn oil prices to crude oil price movements. However, in recent years, expansion in the global supply of crude oil from shale oil extraction has offset the effects of US biodiesel incentives and blending mandates. In the EU, the Indirect Land Use Change Directive of 2015 substantially reduced the responsiveness of biodiesel feedstock prices to crude oil price movements.
Background: Phase 3 COMET trial (NCT02782741) compares avalglucosidase alfa (n=51) with alglucosidase alfa (n=49) in treatment-naïve LOPD. Methods: Primary objective: determine avalglucosidase alfa effect on respiratory muscle function. Secondary/other objectives include: avalglucosidase alfa effect on functional endurance, inspiratory/expiratory muscle strength, lower/upper extremity muscle strength, motor function, health-related quality of life, safety. Results: At Week 49, change (LSmean±SE) from baseline in upright forced vital capacity %predicted was greater with avalglucosidase alfa (2.89%±0.88%) versus alglucosidase alfa (0.46%±0.93%)(absolute difference+2.43%). The primary objective, achieving statistical non-inferiority (p=0.0074), was met. Superiority testing was borderline significant (p=0.0626). Week 49 change from baseline in 6-minute walk test was 30.01-meters greater for avalglucosidase alfa (32.21±9.93m) versus alglucosidase alfa (2.19±10.40m). Positive results for avalglucosidase alfa were seen for all secondary/other efficacy endpoints. Treatment-emergent adverse events (AEs) occurred in 86.3% of avalglucosidase alfa-treated and 91.8% of alglucosidase alfa-treated participants. Five participants withdrew, 4 for AEs, all on alglucosidase alfa. Serious AEs occurred in 8 avalglucosidase alfa-treated and 12 alglucosidase alfa-treated participants. IgG antidrug antibody responses were similar in both. High titers and neutralizing antibodies were more common for alglucosidase alfa. Conclusions: Results demonstrate improvements in clinically meaningful outcome measures and a more favorable safety profile with avalglucosidase alfa versus alglucosidase alfa. Funding: Sanofi Genzyme
In recent years, a variety of efforts have been made in political science to enable, encourage, or require scholars to be more open and explicit about the bases of their empirical claims and, in turn, make those claims more readily evaluable by others. While qualitative scholars have long taken an interest in making their research open, reflexive, and systematic, the recent push for overarching transparency norms and requirements has provoked serious concern within qualitative research communities and raised fundamental questions about the meaning, value, costs, and intellectual relevance of transparency for qualitative inquiry. In this Perspectives Reflection, we crystallize the central findings of a three-year deliberative process—the Qualitative Transparency Deliberations (QTD)—involving hundreds of political scientists in a broad discussion of these issues. Following an overview of the process and the key insights that emerged, we present summaries of the QTD Working Groups’ final reports. Drawing on a series of public, online conversations that unfolded at www.qualtd.net, the reports unpack transparency’s promise, practicalities, risks, and limitations in relation to different qualitative methodologies, forms of evidence, and research contexts. Taken as a whole, these reports—the full versions of which can be found in the Supplementary Materials—offer practical guidance to scholars designing and implementing qualitative research, and to editors, reviewers, and funders seeking to develop criteria of evaluation that are appropriate—as understood by relevant research communities—to the forms of inquiry being assessed. We dedicate this Reflection to the memory of our coauthor and QTD working group leader Kendra Koivu.1
Coexistence of people and large carnivores depends on a complex combination of factors that vary geographically. Both the number and range of the Asiatic lion Panthera leo leo in the Greater Gir landscape, India, has increased since the 1990s. The challenge has been managing the success of conservation, with a particular focus on the spillover population ranging extensively in human-dominated landscapes. To understand the factors conducive to lion survival in this landscape, we undertook an interview-based survey. Overall, people expressed positive, tolerant attitudes towards lions. There was a distinct contrast between people's liking for lions (76.9% of respondents) compared to leopards (27.7%) in spite of greater depredation of livestock by lions (82.6%) than by leopards (17.4%). Younger people and respondents having greater awareness regarding lions expressed positive attitudes. Although community discussions on lions had a positive effect, there was no evidence that land-holding, management interventions, personal encounters with lions, or association of lions with religion affected attitudes. Respondents who had experienced livestock depredation tended to express negative attitudes. Respondents with positive attitudes towards lions favoured non-interventionist strategies for managing lions in the village areas. We advocate consideration of varied factors influencing tolerance of wildlife in conservation planning. We emphasize that site-specific human–wildlife conflict issues such as crop-foraging by wild ungulates and variation in attitudes towards different species should also be considered. Specifically, improved livestock management, motivation of local youth and their participation in awareness campaigns could all further strengthen the prevalent positive attitudes towards lions.
Glyphosate-resistant (GR) canola is a widely grown crop across western Canada and has quickly become a prolific volunteer weed. Glyphosate-resistant soybean is rapidly gaining acreage in western Canada. Thus, there is a need to evaluate herbicide options to manage volunteer GR canola in GR soybean crops. We conducted an experiment to evaluate the efficacy of various PRE and POST herbicides applied sequentially to volunteer GR canola and to evaluate soybean injury caused by these herbicides. Trials were conducted across Saskatchewan and Manitoba in 2014 and 2015. All treatments provided a range of suppression (>70%) to control (>80%) of volunteer canola. All treatments with the exception of the glyphosate-treated control reduced aboveground canola biomass by an average of 96%. As well, canola seed contamination was reduced from 36% to less than 5% when a PRE and POST herbicide were both used. Moreover, all combinations of herbicides used had excellent crop safety (<10%). All PRE and POST herbicide combinations provided better control of volunteer canola compared with the glyphosate-only control, but tribenuron followed by bentazon and tribenuron followed by imazamox plus bentazon provided solutions that were low cost, currently available (registered in western Canada), and had the potential to minimize development of herbicide resistance in other weeds.
In recent years, soybean acreage has increased significantly in western Canada. One of the challenges associated with growing soybean in western Canada is the control of volunteer glyphosate-resistant (GR) canola, because most soybean cultivars are also glyphosate resistant. The objective of this research was to determine the impact of soybean seeding rate and planting date on competition with volunteer canola. We also attempted to determine how high seeding rate could be raised while still being economically feasible for producers. Soybean was seeded at five different seeding rates (targeted 10, 20, 40, 80, and 160 plants m−2) and three planting dates (targeted mid-May, late May, and early June) at four sites across western Canada in 2014 and 2015. Soybean yield consistently increased with higher seeding rates, whereas volunteer canola biomass decreased. Planting date generally produced variable results across site-years. An economic analysis determined that the optimal rate was 40 to 60 plants m−2, depending on market price, and the optimal planting date range was from May 20 to June 1.
Increasing fluorination of organosilyl nitrile solvents improves ionic conductivities of lithium salt electrolytes, resulting from higher values of salt dissociation. Ionic conductivities at 298 K range from 1.5 to 3.2 mS/cm for LiPF6 salt concentrations at 0.6 or 0.7 M. The authors also report on solvent blend electrolytes where the fluoroorganosilyl (FOS) nitrile solvent is mixed with ethylene carbonate and diethyl carbonate. Ionic conductivities of the FOS solvent/carbonate blend electrolytes increase achieving ionic conductivities at 298 K of 5.5–6.3 mS/cm and salt dissociation values ranging from 0.42 to 0.45. Salt dissociation generally decreases with increasing temperature.
The authors report on 7Li, 19F, and 1H pulsed field gradient NMR measurements of 26 organosilyl nitrile solvent-based electrolytes of either lithium bis(trifluorosulfonyl)imide (LiTFSI) or lithium hexafluorophosphate. Lithium transport numbers (as high as 0.50) were measured and are highest in the LiTFSI electrolytes. The authors also report on solvent blend electrolytes of fluoroorganosilyl (FOS) nitrile solvent mixed with ethylene carbonate (EC) and diethyl carbonate. Solvent diffusion measurements on an electrolyte with 6% FOS suggest both the FOS and EC solvate the lithium cation. By comparing lithium transport and transference numbers, the authors find less ion pairing in FOS nitrile carbonate blend electrolytes and difluoroorganosilyl nitrile electrolytes.
Flax yield can be severely reduced by weeds. The combination of limited herbicide options and the spread of herbicide-resistant weeds across the prairies has resulted in a need for more weed control options for flax producers. The objective of this research was to evaluate the tolerance of flax to topramezone, pyroxasulfone, flumioxazin, and fluthiacet-methyl applied alone as well as in a mix with currently registered herbicides. These herbicides were applied alone and in mixtures at the 1X and 2X rates and compared with three industry standards and one nontreated control. This experiment was conducted at Carman, MB, and Saskatoon, SK, as a randomized complete block with four replications. Data were collected for crop population, crop height, yield, and thousand-seed weight. Ratings for crop damage (phytotoxicity) were also taken at three separate time intervals: 7 to 14, 21 to 28, and 56+ d after treatment. Crop tolerance to these herbicides varied between site-years. This was largely attributed to differences in spring moisture conditions and the differences in soil characteristics between sites. Herbicide injury was transient. Hence, no herbicide or combination of herbicides significantly impacted crop yield consistently. Flumioxazin was the least promising herbicide evaluated, as it caused severe crop damage (>90%) when conditions were conducive. Overall, flax had excellent tolerance to fluthiacet-methyl, pyroxasulfone, and topramezone. Flax had excellent crop safety to the combination of pyroxasulfone + sulfentrazone. However, mixing fluthiacet-methyl and topramezone with MCPA and bromoxynil, respectively, increased crop damage and would not be recommended.
Despite the significant health benefits of breastfeeding for the mother and the infant, economic class and race disparities in breastfeeding rates persist. Support for breastfeeding from the father of the infant is associated with higher rates of breastfeeding initiation. However, little is known about the factors that may promote or deter father support of breastfeeding, especially in fathers exposed to contextual adversity such as poverty and violence. Using a mixed methods approach, the primary aims of the current work were to (1) elicit, using qualitative methodology, the worries, barriers and promotive factors for breastfeeding that expectant mothers and fathers identify as they prepare to parent a new infant, and (2) to examine factors that influence the parental breastfeeding intentions of both mothers and fathers using quantitative methodology. A sample (N=95) of expectant, third trimester mothers and fathers living in a low-income, urban environment in Midwestern USA, were interviewed from October 2013 to February 2015 about their infant feeding intentions. Compared with fathers, mothers more often identified the benefits of breastfeeding for the infant’s health and the economic advantage of breastfeeding. Mothers also identified more personal and community breastfeeding support resources. Fathers viewed their own support of breastfeeding as important but expressed a lack of knowledge about the breastfeeding process and often excluded themselves from discussions about infant feeding. The results point to important targets for interventions that aim to increase breastfeeding initiation rates in vulnerable populations in the US by increasing father support for breastfeeding.
To evaluate probiotics for the primary prevention of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) among hospital inpatients.
A before-and-after quality improvement intervention comparing 12-month baseline and intervention periods.
A 694-bed teaching hospital.
We administered a multispecies probiotic comprising L. acidophilus (CL1285), L. casei (LBC80R), and L. rhamnosus (CLR2) to eligible antibiotic recipients within 12 hours of initial antibiotic receipt through 5 days after final dose. We excluded (1) all patients on neonatal, pediatric and oncology wards; (2) all individuals receiving perioperative prophylactic antibiotic recipients; (3) all those restricted from oral intake; and (4) those with pancreatitis, leukopenia, or posttransplant. We defined CDI by symptoms plus C. difficile toxin detection by polymerase chain reaction. Our primary outcome was hospital-onset CDI incidence on eligible hospital units, analyzed using segmented regression.
The study included 251 CDI episodes among 360,016 patient days during the baseline and intervention periods, and the incidence rate was 7.0 per 10,000 patient days. The incidence rate was similar during baseline and intervention periods (6.9 vs 7.0 per 10,000 patient days; P=.95). However, compared to the first 6 months of the intervention, we detected a significant decrease in CDI during the final 6 months (incidence rate ratio, 0.6; 95% confidence interval, 0.4–0.9; P=.009). Testing intensity remained stable between the baseline and intervention periods: 19% versus 20% of stools tested were C. difficile positive by PCR, respectively. From medical record reviews, only 26% of eligible patients received a probiotic per the protocol.
Despite poor adherence to the protocol, there was a reduction in the incidence of CDI during the intervention, which was delayed ~6 months after introducing probiotic for primary prevention.
Hospitalized patients with suspected tuberculosis (TB) are placed in airborne isolation until 3 sputum smear samples are negative for acid-fast bacilli (AFB). The Xpert MTB/RIF assay (“Xpert”) nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) to identify Mycobacterium tuberculosis DNA and resistance to rifampicin is superior to AFB sputum smear microscopy for the diagnosis of TB.
To compare the performance of a single Xpert to AFB smear microscopy for time to airborne infection isolation (AII) discontinuation.
Consecutive patients over 17 years of age in AII for suspected pulmonary TB between October 1, 2014, and March 31, 2016, with leftover respiratory AFB samples were enrolled in this study. A single Xpert was performed on the first available sample. Demographic, clinical, and microbiological data were recorded for each patient. We compared the duration of AII using a single Xpert to AFB smear microscopy under multiple theoretical scenarios using Kaplan-Meier cumulative incidence curves and the log-rank test.
In total, 131 samples were included in our performance analysis of the Xpert, and 114 samples were included in our AII analysis. Overall, 81 patients (65%) were immunosuppressed, of whom 46 (37%) were positive for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The sensitivity and specificity of Xpert for diagnosis of M. tuberculosis infection were 67% and 100%, respectively. Xpert was negative in all cases of nontuberculous mycobacteria. Use of a single Xpert reduced AII duration from a median of 67 hours per patient to 42 hours with usual reporting, to 26 hours with direct communication, and to 12 hours with immediate testing.
A single negative Xpert result can reduce AII duration compared to the AFB smear microscopy technique under multiple theoretical scenarios.
Objectives: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disproportionately affects Hispanics/Latinos in the United States, yet little is known about neurocognitive impairment (NCI) in this group. We compared the rates of NCI in large well-characterized samples of HIV-infected (HIV+) Latinos and (non-Latino) Whites, and examined HIV-associated NCI among subgroups of Latinos. Methods: Participants included English-speaking HIV+ adults assessed at six U.S. medical centers (194 Latinos, 600 Whites). For overall group, age: M=42.65 years, SD=8.93; 86% male; education: M=13.17, SD=2.73; 54% had acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. NCI was assessed with a comprehensive test battery with normative corrections for age, education and gender. Covariates examined included HIV-disease characteristics, comorbidities, and genetic ancestry. Results: Compared with Whites, Latinos had higher rates of global NCI (42% vs. 54%), and domain NCI in executive function, learning, recall, working memory, and processing speed. Latinos also fared worse than Whites on current and historical HIV-disease characteristics, and nadir CD4 partially mediated ethnic differences in NCI. Yet, Latinos continued to have more global NCI [odds ratio (OR)=1.59; 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.13–2.23; p<.01] after adjusting for significant covariates. Higher rates of global NCI were observed with Puerto Rican (n=60; 71%) versus Mexican (n=79, 44%) origin/descent; this disparity persisted in models adjusting for significant covariates (OR=2.40; CI=1.11–5.29; p=.03). Conclusions: HIV+ Latinos, especially of Puerto Rican (vs. Mexican) origin/descent had increased rates of NCI compared with Whites. Differences in rates of NCI were not completely explained by worse HIV-disease characteristics, neurocognitive comorbidities, or genetic ancestry. Future studies should explore culturally relevant psychosocial, biomedical, and genetic factors that might explain these disparities and inform the development of targeted interventions. (JINS, 2018, 24, 163–175)
Objectives: The present study examined differences in neurocognitive outcomes among non-Hispanic Black and White stroke survivors using the NIH Toolbox-Cognition Battery (NIHTB-CB), and investigated the roles of healthcare variables in explaining racial differences in neurocognitive outcomes post-stroke. Methods: One-hundred seventy adults (91 Black; 79 White), who participated in a multisite study were included (age: M=56.4; SD=12.6; education: M=13.7; SD=2.5; 50% male; years post-stroke: 1–18; stroke type: 72% ischemic, 28% hemorrhagic). Neurocognitive function was assessed with the NIHTB-CB, using demographically corrected norms. Participants completed measures of socio-demographic characteristics, health literacy, and healthcare use and access. Stroke severity was assessed with the Modified Rankin Scale. Results: An independent samples t test indicated Blacks showed more neurocognitive impairment (NIHTB-CB Fluid Composite T-score: M=37.63; SD=11.67) than Whites (Fluid T-score: M=42.59, SD=11.54; p=.006). This difference remained significant after adjusting for reading level (NIHTB-CB Oral Reading), and when stratified by stroke severity. Blacks also scored lower on health literacy, reported differences in insurance type, and reported decreased confidence in the doctors treating them. Multivariable models adjusting for reading level and injury severity showed that health literacy and insurance type were statistically significant predictors of the Fluid cognitive composite (p<.001 and p=.02, respectively) and significantly mediated racial differences on neurocognitive impairment. Conclusions: We replicated prior work showing that Blacks are at increased risk for poorer neurocognitive outcomes post-stroke than Whites. Health literacy and insurance type might be important modifiable factors influencing these differences. (JINS, 2017, 23, 640–652)