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China, the EU and the United States are the world’s largest traders, and many of the tensions in the trading system arise in the relations among them. Our premise is that reforming WTO is a necessary condition for the organization to be a more salient forum for the three large economies to address trade tensions, and that agreement among these three trade powers in turn is necessary to resolve the problems of the WTO. After a brief discussion of the global challenges that ought to be on the WTO agenda and of the systemic context, we discuss both how China understands WTO reform and how the other two leading powers see the China problem in the WTO. We consider how the three see transparency, plurilateral negotiations, economic development differences, fisheries and industrial subsidies, WTO working practices, and dispute settlement. We conclude by considering the implications of our analysis for fostering cooperation between the three major trade powers in the WTO.
Using trade policy to achieve foreign policy objectives, such as stable international relations, has a long history, from Kant to the founders of the GATT. Punishing enemies and rewarding ‘friends’ by granting or withholding market access is also not new, and sanctions or blockades are a venerable form of trade policy used as foreign policy. A more recent form is influencing the domestic policy of another country with non-commercial provisions in trade agreements. All these tools are based on linkage, on the assumption that a desired outcome can be achieved by interventions that would increase or decrease trade. The latest instance is so-called ‘friend-shoring’, which would in principle isolate enemies, although it will be difficult in practice and risks undermining multilateralism. The cost of these interventions is susceptible to economic analysis, even if the conclusion is that it is worth paying. Influenced by Alan Winters who referred to national security as a motivation for agriculture protection as a ‘so-called non-economic objective’ or SNO, I argue that using a trade policy tool for a foreign policy purpose as if there is no cost is a SNO job, an attempt to justify an intervention aimed at one objective by framing it as being valuable for another.
To assess whether measurement and feedback of chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) skin concentrations can improve CHG bathing practice across multiple intensive care units (ICUs).
A before-and-after quality improvement study measuring patient CHG skin concentrations during 6 point-prevalence surveys (3 surveys each during baseline and intervention periods).
The study was conducted across 7 geographically diverse ICUs with routine CHG bathing.
Adult patients in the medical ICU.
CHG skin concentrations were measured at the neck, axilla, and inguinal region using a semiquantitative colorimetric assay. Aggregate unit-level CHG skin concentration measurements from the baseline period and each intervention period survey were reported back to ICU leadership, which then used routine education and quality improvement activities to improve CHG bathing practice. We used multilevel linear models to assess the impact of intervention on CHG skin concentrations.
We enrolled 681 (93%) of 736 eligible patients; 92% received a CHG bath prior to survey. At baseline, CHG skin concentrations were lowest on the neck, compared to axillary or inguinal regions (P < .001). CHG was not detected on 33% of necks, 19% of axillae, and 18% of inguinal regions (P < .001 for differences in body sites). During the intervention period, ICUs that used CHG-impregnated cloths had a 3-fold increase in patient CHG skin concentrations as compared to baseline (P < .001).
Routine CHG bathing performance in the ICU varied across multiple hospitals. Measurement and feedback of CHG skin concentrations can be an important tool to improve CHG bathing practice.
Noonan syndrome is a multi-system genetic disorder and patients may suffer from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Previous studies have identified electrocardiographic features that may support a diagnosis of Noonan syndrome. In this two-centre retrospective study, we analysed typical Noonan syndrome-related electrocardiographic features in 30 patients with Noonan syndrome with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and compared these with the electrocardiographic features in 15 children with sarcomeric hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Typical Noonan syndrome-related electrocardiographic features are a negative aVF, small left precordial R-waves, large right precordial S-waves, and abnormal Q-wave. We also analysed electrocardiographic features of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy: ST-segment abnormalities and T-wave abnormalities. A negative aVF was seen in 83% of patients with Noonan syndrome-related hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in contrast to 27% of patients with primary sarcomeric hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (p < 0.001). An extreme QRS axis in the north-west was seen only in patients with Noonan syndrome-related hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. This QRS axis deviation is likely to be determined by the Noonan syndrome-related hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and not by the type of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. There were no differences between the two groups in the frequency of large right precordial S-waves and small R-waves in the left precordial leads V5 and V6. However, an abnormal R/S ratio was more often seen in patients with Noonan syndrome-related hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (p < 0.001). Pathologic Q-waves were seen statistically more frequently in patients with sarcomeric hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (p = 0.009). The occurrence of ST-segment and T-wave pathology did not statistically differ between the two groups. Electrography can be of use in differentiating sarcomeric hypertrophic cardiomyopathy from Noonan syndrome-related hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture–Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) has been a leader in weed science research covering topics ranging from the development and use of integrated weed management (IWM) tactics to basic mechanistic studies, including biotic resistance of desirable plant communities and herbicide resistance. ARS weed scientists have worked in agricultural and natural ecosystems, including agronomic and horticultural crops, pastures, forests, wild lands, aquatic habitats, wetlands, and riparian areas. Through strong partnerships with academia, state agencies, private industry, and numerous federal programs, ARS weed scientists have made contributions to discoveries in the newest fields of robotics and genetics, as well as the traditional and fundamental subjects of weed–crop competition and physiology and integration of weed control tactics and practices. Weed science at ARS is often overshadowed by other research topics; thus, few are aware of the long history of ARS weed science and its important contributions. This review is the result of a symposium held at the Weed Science Society of America’s 62nd Annual Meeting in 2022 that included 10 separate presentations in a virtual Weed Science Webinar Series. The overarching themes of management tactics (IWM, biological control, and automation), basic mechanisms (competition, invasive plant genetics, and herbicide resistance), and ecosystem impacts (invasive plant spread, climate change, conservation, and restoration) represent core ARS weed science research that is dynamic and efficacious and has been a significant component of the agency’s national and international efforts. This review highlights current studies and future directions that exemplify the science and collaborative relationships both within and outside ARS. Given the constraints of weeds and invasive plants on all aspects of food, feed, and fiber systems, there is an acknowledged need to face new challenges, including agriculture and natural resources sustainability, economic resilience and reliability, and societal health and well-being.
Assistive forces transmitted from wearable robots to the robot’s users are often defined by controllers that rely on the accurate estimation of the human posture. The compliant nature of the human–robot interface can negatively affect the robot’s ability to estimate the posture. In this article, we present a novel algorithm that uses machine learning to correct these errors in posture estimation. For that, we recorded motion capture data and robot performance data from a group of participants (n = 8; 4 females) who walked on a treadmill while wearing a wearable robot, the Myosuit. Participants walked on level ground at various gait speeds and levels of support from the Myosuit. We used optical motion capture data to measure the relative displacement between the person and the Myosuit. We then combined this data with data derived from the robot to train a model, using a grading boosting algorithm (XGBoost), that corrected for the mechanical compliance errors in posture estimation. For the Myosuit controller, we were particularly interested in the angle of the thigh segment. Using our algorithm, the estimated thigh segment’s angle RMS error was reduced from 6.3° (2.3°) to 2.5° (1.0°), mean (standard deviation). The average maximum error was reduced from 13.1° (4.9°) to 5.9° (2.1°). These improvements in posture estimation were observed for all of the considered assistance force levels and walking speeds. This suggests that ML-based algorithms provide a promising opportunity to be used in combination with wearable-robot sensors for an accurate user posture estimation.
To compare strategies for hospital ranking based on colon surgical-site infection (SSI) rate by combining all colon procedures versus stratifying by surgical approach (ie, laparoscopic vs open).
Retrospective cohort study.
We identified SSIs among Medicare beneficiaries undergoing colon surgery from 2009 through 2013 using previously validated methods. We created a risk prediction model for SSI using age, sex, race, comorbidities, surgical approach (laparoscopy vs open), and concomitant colon and noncolon procedures. Adjusted SSI rates were used to rank hospitals. Subanalyses were performed for common colon procedures and procedure types for which there were both open and laparoscopic procedures. We generated ranks using only open and only laparoscopic procedures, overall and for each subanalysis. Rankings were compared using a Spearman correlation coefficient.
In total, 694,813 colon procedures were identified among 508,135 Medicare beneficiaries. The overall SSI rate was 7.6%. The laparoscopic approach was associated with lower SSI risk (OR, 0.5; 95% CI, 0.4–0.5), and higher SSI risk was associated with concomitant abdominal surgeries (OR, 1.4; 95% CI, 1.4–1.5) and higher Elixhauser score (OR, 1.1; 95% CI, 1.0–1.1). Hospital rankings for laparascopic procedures were poorly correlated with rankings for open procedures (r = 0.23).
Hospital rankings based on total colon procedures fail to account for differences in SSI risk from laparoscopic vs open procedures. Stratifying rankings by surgical approach yields a more equitable comparison of surgical performance.
Orange wheat blossom midge, Sitodiplosis mosellana (Géhin) (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae), has been successfully reared in the laboratory for more than 20 years in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The rearing method has been developed to the point where it efficiently produces large numbers of wheat midge continuously under laboratory conditions for use in experiments on wheat midge biology and for screening wheat lines for crop resistance. Adult survival was extended by providing high humidity, and oviposition was increased by simulating natural dawn and dusk conditions and by supplying preflowering spring wheat to adults. Preventing desiccation of the wheat midge larvae in the wheat spikes before overwintering in soil and providing optimal cold conditions for a long enough period to break larval diapause enabled successful adult emergence. We provide data to facilitate the coordination of timing of wheat midge emergence from diapause with the wheat susceptible period. The method can be readily scaled up for screening many lines for resistance or scaled down for small experiments. Here, we report details of the rearing method so that others can implement it for research on the management of this internationally important pest.
As a consequence of the toxicological lead characteristics, a reduction of its exposure should consider all sources. Game meat might contain elevated levels of lead due to the use of lead ammunition. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of acidic marination on the bioavailability of ammunition-derived lead in game meat (Roe deer), using the growing pig as an animal model. Furthermore, the study should provide evidence that the large-area scattering of lead particles leads to noticeable differences in the individual lead intake per game meat portion. Pigs of group A (n 7) received lead-shot game meat, which was cooked in water. Pigs of group B (n 7) received lead-shot game meat, which was first marinated (wine and vinegar) and then cooked. The lead content of both game meat preparations was equal with 0⋅77–0⋅79 mg Pb/portion. Pigs of group C (n 4) received lead-free game meat, which was also marinated and cooked. Additionally, lead acetate was administered intravenously to group D pigs (n 4). Blood samples were taken on elevated time points before and after game meat intake/i.v.-application. The acidic marination increased the bioavailability of orally ingested lead, resulting in significantly higher blood lead concentrations. The bioavailability of lead was 2⋅7 % when game meat was just cooked and 15 % when the meat was marinated before. The considerable variation of the individual blood lead concentrations suggests that an inhomogeneous distribution of ammunition-derived lead particles (in terms of size and number) causes individually non-comparable lead intakes from the consumption of game meat.
Lichens occupy diverse substrates across tremendous ranges of environmental variation. In boreal forests, lichen communities co-occur in ‘strata’ defined by terrestrial or arboreal substrates, but these strata may or may not be interchangeable as bioindicators. Do co-occurring lichen strata have similar community structures and environmental responses? Could one stratum serve as a proxy for the other? We assessed variation in species richness and community compositions between ground-layer versus epiphyte-layer lichen strata in boreal forests and peatlands of interior Alaska. Species richness was lower and more spatially structured in the ground layer than the epiphyte layer. Richness of strata was not correlated. The most compositionally unique ground-layer communities were species-poor but contained regionally rare species not common in other plots. Variation in community compositions (ordination scores) were not congruent between strata (Procrustes congruence < 0.16 on 0–1 scale); the largest departures from congruence occurred where ground layers were species-poor. The best predictors of ground-layer community compositions were hydrological and topographic, whereas epiphytes were most associated with macroclimate and tree abundances. We conclude that lichens on different substrates ‘move in different circles’: compositional gradients did not agree and the environmental gradients most important to each lichen stratum were not the same. The conditions which strongly influence one vegetation stratum may have little bearing upon another. As global changes modify habitats, an incremental change in environment may lead community trajectories to diverge among lichen strata.
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.
While functional neuroimaging studies on attention and executive function in schizophrenia have reported several functionally aberrant cortical regions, less is known about the relationship of cognitive impairment and regional volume alterations. In order to investigate the relationship between cognitive impairment and structural alterations, we studied healthy control subjects and partially remitted, medicated inpatients with DSM-IV schizophrenia using voxel-based morphometry (VBM) and a standardised neuropsychological test battery. Schizophrenic patients showed reduced grey matter (GM) density in the bilateral temporal cortex, the left inferior parietal lobule, the cingulate gyrus and the left middle frontal gyrus. Reduced GM volume was additionally found in the left hippocampal gyrus and the right superior frontal cortex. Reduced white matter density was found in the posterior corpus callosum. Structure-cognition regression analyses revealed that decreased GM density of the left inferior parietal and the right middle temporal cortex was associated with worse performance during divided attention. Worse performance during the spatial span was associated with volumetric abnormalities of the hippocampal gyrus. These results indicate that regional abnormalities in brain structure may offer an account for some impaired cognitive domains in patients with schizophrenia, while other cognitive domains may remain relatively less affected by volumetric alterations.
Pulmonary hypertension is a complex and progressive condition that is either idiopathic or heritable, or associated with one or multiple health conditions, with or without congenital or acquired cardiovascular disease. Recent developments have tremendously increased the armamentarium of diagnostic and therapeutic approaches in children and young adults with pulmonary hypertension that is still associated with a high morbidity and mortality. These modalities include non-invasive imaging, pharmacotherapy, interventional and surgical procedures, and supportive measures. The optimal, tailored diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for pulmonary hypertension in the young are rapidly evolving but still face enormous challenges: Healthcare providers need to take the patient’s age, development, disease state, and family concerns into account when initiating advanced diagnostics and treatment. Therefore, there is a need for guidance on core and advanced medical training in paediatric pulmonary hypertension. The Association for European Paediatric and Congenital Cardiology working group “pulmonary hypertension, heart failure and transplantation” has produced this document as an expert consensus statement; however, all recommendations must be considered and applied in the context of the local and national infrastructure and legal regulations.
Cognitive impairment is a core feature of major depressive disorder (MDD). Cognitive remediation may improve cognition in MDD, yet so far, the underlying neural mechanisms are unclear. This study investigated changes in intrinsic neural activity in MDD after a cognitive remediation trial.
In a longitudinal design, 20 patients with MDD and pronounced cognitive deficits and 18 healthy controls (HC) were examined using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging. MDD patients received structured cognitive remediation therapy (CRT) over 5 weeks. The whole-brain fractional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations was computed before the first and after the last training session. Univariate methods were used to address regionally-specific effects, and a multivariate data analysis strategy was employed to investigate functional network strength (FNS).
MDD patients significantly improved in cognitive function after CRT. Baseline comparisons revealed increased right caudate activity and reduced activity in the left frontal cortex, parietal lobule, insula, and precuneus in MDD compared to HC. In patients, reduced FNS was found in a bilateral prefrontal system at baseline (p < 0.05, uncorrected). In MDD, intrinsic neural activity increased in right inferior frontal gyrus after CRT (p < 0.05, small volume corrected). Left inferior parietal lobule, left insula, left precuneus, and right caudate activity showed associations with cognitive improvement (p < 0.05, uncorrected). Prefrontal network strength increased in patients after CRT, but this increase was not associated with improved cognitive performance.
Our findings support the role of intrinsic neural activity of the prefrontal cortex as a possible mediator of cognitive improvement following CRT in MDD.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that every ambitious twenty-first century trade agreement is in want of a chapter on electronic commerce. One of the most politically sensitive and technically challenging issues is personal privacy, including cross-border transfer of information by electronic means, use and location of computing facilities, and personal information protection. States are learning to solve the problem of state responsibility for something that does not respect their borders while still allowing twenty-first century commerce to develop. A comparison of the Canada–European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) allows us to see the evolution of the issues thought necessary for an e-commerce chapter, since both include Canada, and to see the differing priorities of the US and the EU, since they are each signatory to one of the agreements, but not of the other. I conclude by seeking generalizations about why we see a mix of aspirational and obligatory provisions in free trade agreements. I suggest that the reasons are that governments are learning how to work with each other in a new domain, and learning about the trade implications of these issues.
OBJECTIVES/SPECIFIC AIMS: This study will assess the effect of essential amino acid (EAA) supplementation on plasma triglyceride (TG) in elderly adults. We will also explore the mechanisms mediating EAA mediated changes in fat metabolism and to suggest promising routes to refine therapy of hypertriglyceridemia. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: In total, 7 nondiabetic male and female subjects ages 50–75 years with elevated plasma TG levels (130–500 mg/dL) were recruited to participate in an acute (5 h) and long-term (8 wk) EAA supplementation study. We measured changes in regional and whole body fat metabolism, including changes in body composition, plasma TG levels, whole body fat metabolic rates, tissue mitochondrial respiratory capacity, and metabolomic profiles before and after supplementation. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: Long-term EAA supplementation decreased fasted plasma TG levels by 19% (p<0.01). Metabolomics of skeletal muscle found acute EAA supplementation resulted in increased EAA metabolic products while long-term supplementation resulted in increased anaplerosis [flux into the tricarboxylic acid cycle (TCA) intermediate pool] and anaplerotic substrates [propionyl (p<0.01) and succinyl (p<0.01) carnitine] and intermediates of long-chain fatty acid metabolism [stearoyl (p<0.01) and myristoyl (p<0.05) carnitine]. However, tissue level respiratory capacity appeared to be unaffected by EAA supplementation. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF IMPACT: EAA supplementation has potential to improve lipid metabolism and plasma TG levels in non-diabetic older adults. Mitochondrial metabolomics suggest that insufficient TCA pool size may limit tissue fatty acid oxidation and may provide an additional route for nutritional therapy.
Returning genomic research results to family members raises complex questions. Genomic research on life-limiting conditions such as cancer, and research involving storage and reanalysis of data and specimens long into the future, makes these questions pressing. This author group, funded by an NIH grant, published consensus recommendations presenting a framework. This follow-up paper offers concrete guidance and tools for implementation. The group collected and analyzed relevant documents and guidance, including tools from the Clinical Sequencing Exploratory Research (CSER) Consortium. The authors then negotiated a consensus toolkit of processes and documents. That toolkit offers sample consent and notification documents plus decision flow-charts to address return of results to family of living and deceased participants, in adult and pediatric research. Core concerns are eliciting participant preferences on sharing results with family and on choice of a representative to make decisions about sharing after participant death.