Chakrapani, Venkatesan; Newman, Peter A; Singhal, Neeti; Jerajani, Jhalak; Shunmugam, Murali
Recruitment of low- and middle-income country volunteers from most-at-risk populations in HIV vaccine trials is essential to vaccine development. In India, men who have sex with men (MSM) are at disproportionately high risk for HIV infection and an important population for trial recruitment. Investigations of willingness to participate (WTP) in HIV vaccine trials have focused predominantly on individual-level determinants. We explored multi-level factors associated with WTP among MSM in India. We conducted 12 focus groups (n = 68) with low socioeconomic MSM in Chennai and Mumbai, and 14 key informant interviews with MSM community leaders and service providers. Focus groups/interviews were recorded, transcribed and translated into English. Two bilingual investigators conducted thematic analysis using line-by-line coding and a constant comparative method, with member-checking by community representatives. Factors associated with WTP were evidenced across the social ecology of MSM-social-structural: poverty, HIV-, sexual- and gender non-conformity stigma, institutionalized discrimination and government sponsorship of trials; community-level: endorsement by MSM community leaders and organizations, and fear of within-group discrimination; interpersonal: anticipated family discord, partner rejection, having financially-dependent family members and disclosure of same-sex sexuality; and individual-level: HIV vaccine trial knowledge and misconceptions, safety concerns, altruism and preventive misconception. Pervasive familial, community and social-structural factors characteristic of the Indian sociocultural context may complicate individual-focused approaches to WTP and thereby constrain the effectiveness of interventions to support recruitment and retention in HIV vaccine trials. Interventions to reduce stigma and discrimination against MSM and people living with HIV, capacity-building of MSM community organizations and transparent communications tailored to the knowledge
Chakrapani, Venkatesan; Newman, Peter A.; Singhal, Neeti; Jerajani, Jhalak; Shunmugam, Murali
Background Recruitment of low- and middle-income country volunteers from most-at-risk populations in HIV vaccine trials is essential to vaccine development. In India, men who have sex with men (MSM) are at disproportionately high risk for HIV infection and an important population for trial recruitment. Investigations of willingness to participate (WTP) in HIV vaccine trials have focused predominantly on individual-level determinants. We explored multi-level factors associated with WTP among MSM in India. Methods We conducted 12 focus groups (n = 68) with low socioeconomic MSM in Chennai and Mumbai, and 14 key informant interviews with MSM community leaders and service providers. Focus groups/interviews were recorded, transcribed and translated into English. Two bilingual investigators conducted thematic analysis using line-by-line coding and a constant comparative method, with member-checking by community representatives. Results Factors associated with WTP were evidenced across the social ecology of MSM–social-structural: poverty, HIV-, sexual- and gender non-conformity stigma, institutionalized discrimination and government sponsorship of trials; community-level: endorsement by MSM community leaders and organizations, and fear of within-group discrimination; interpersonal: anticipated family discord, partner rejection, having financially-dependent family members and disclosure of same-sex sexuality; and individual-level: HIV vaccine trial knowledge and misconceptions, safety concerns, altruism and preventive misconception. Conclusion Pervasive familial, community and social-structural factors characteristic of the Indian sociocultural context may complicate individual-focused approaches to WTP and thereby constrain the effectiveness of interventions to support recruitment and retention in HIV vaccine trials. Interventions to reduce stigma and discrimination against MSM and people living with HIV, capacity-building of MSM community organizations and
Full Text Available Recruitment of low- and middle-income country volunteers from most-at-risk populations in HIV vaccine trials is essential to vaccine development. In India, men who have sex with men (MSM are at disproportionately high risk for HIV infection and an important population for trial recruitment. Investigations of willingness to participate (WTP in HIV vaccine trials have focused predominantly on individual-level determinants. We explored multi-level factors associated with WTP among MSM in India.We conducted 12 focus groups (n = 68 with low socioeconomic MSM in Chennai and Mumbai, and 14 key informant interviews with MSM community leaders and service providers. Focus groups/interviews were recorded, transcribed and translated into English. Two bilingual investigators conducted thematic analysis using line-by-line coding and a constant comparative method, with member-checking by community representatives.Factors associated with WTP were evidenced across the social ecology of MSM-social-structural: poverty, HIV-, sexual- and gender non-conformity stigma, institutionalized discrimination and government sponsorship of trials; community-level: endorsement by MSM community leaders and organizations, and fear of within-group discrimination; interpersonal: anticipated family discord, partner rejection, having financially-dependent family members and disclosure of same-sex sexuality; and individual-level: HIV vaccine trial knowledge and misconceptions, safety concerns, altruism and preventive misconception.Pervasive familial, community and social-structural factors characteristic of the Indian sociocultural context may complicate individual-focused approaches to WTP and thereby constrain the effectiveness of interventions to support recruitment and retention in HIV vaccine trials. Interventions to reduce stigma and discrimination against MSM and people living with HIV, capacity-building of MSM community organizations and transparent communications tailored to
DeClerck, Fabrice A J; Fanzo, Jessica; Palm, Cheryl; Remans, Roseline
Malnutrition affects a large number of people throughout the developing world. Approaches to reducing malnutrition rarely focus on ecology and agriculture to simultaneously improve human nutrition and environmental sustainability. However, evidence suggests that interdisciplinary approaches that combine the knowledge bases of these disciplines can serve as a central strategy in alleviating hidden hunger for the world's poorest. To describe the role that ecological knowledge plays in alleviating hidden hunger, considering human nutrition as an overlooked ecosystem service. We review existing literature and propose a framework that expands on earlier work on econutrition. We provide novel evidence from case studies conducted by the authors in western Kenya and propose a framework for interdisciplinary collaboration to alleviate hidden hunger, increase agricultural productivity, and improve environmental sustainability. Our review supports the concept that an integrated approach will impact human nutrition. We provide evidence that increased functional agrobiodiversity can alleviate anemia, and interventions that contribute to environmental sustainability can have both direct and indirect effects on human health and nutritional well-being. Integrated and interdisciplinary approaches are critical to reaching development goals. Ecologists must begin to consider not only how their field can contribute to biodiversity conservation, but also, the relationship between biodiversity and provisioning of nontraditional ecosystem services such as human health. Likewise, nutritionists and agronomists must recognize that many of the solutions to increasing human wellbeing and health can best be achieved by focusing on a healthy environment and the conservation of ecosystem services.
Lopes, V. L.
Human agency is transforming the planetary processes at unprecedented rates risking damaging essential life-support systems. Climate change, massive species extinction, land degradation, resources depletion, overpopulation, poverty and social injustice are all the result of human choices and non-sustainable ways of life. The survival of our modern economic systems depends upon insatiable consumption - a simple way of life no longer satisfies most people. Detached, instrumental rationality has created an ideal of liberalism based on individual pursuit of self-interest, leading the way into unprecedented material progress but bringing with it human alienation, social injustice, and ecological degradation. The purpose of this presentation is to introduce a community-based systems response to a growing sense that the interlocked social-ecological crisis is as much a problem of human thought and behavior as it is about identifying carrying capacities and CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere. This approach, referred to here as civic ecology, presents a new and important paradigm shift in sustainability practice that attempts to bring together and integrate ecological ideas and postmodern thinking. As such, it is as much a holistic, dynamic, and synergistic approach to ecological sustainability, as it is a philosophy of life and ethical perspective born of ecological understanding and insight. Civic ecology starts with the proposition that the key factor determining the health of the ecosphere is the behavior of human beings, and therefore many of the most important issues related to sustainability lie in the areas of human thought and culture. Thus, the quest for sustainability must include as a central concern the transformation of psychological and behavioral patterns that have become an imminent danger to planetary health. At the core of this understanding is a fundamental paradigm shift from the basic commitments of modern Western culture to its model of mechanism
Faria, Rui; Renaut, Sebastien; Galindo, Juan; Pinho, Catarina; Melo-Ferreira, José; Melo, Martim; Jones, Felicity; Salzburger, Walter; Schluter, Dolph; Butlin, Roger
The role of natural selection in promoting reproductive isolation has received substantial renewed interest within the last two decades. As a consequence, the study of ecological speciation has become an extremely productive research area in modern evolutionary biology. Recent innovations in sequencing technologies offer an unprecedented opportunity to study the mechanisms involved in ecological speciation. Genome scans provide significant insights but have some important limitations; efforts are needed to integrate them with other approaches to make full use of the sequencing data deluge. An international conference 'Advances in Ecological Speciation' organized by the University of Porto (Portugal) aimed to review current progress in ecological speciation. Using some of the examples presented at the conference, we highlight the benefits of integrating ecological and genomic data and discuss different mechanisms of parallel evolution. Finally, future avenues of research are suggested to advance our knowledge concerning the role of natural selection in the establishment of reproductive isolation during ecological speciation. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Brown, Christopher J.; Schoeman, David S.; Sydeman, William J.
Contemporary impacts of anthropogenic climate change on ecosystems are increasingly being recognized. Documenting the extent of these impacts requires quantitative tools for analyses of ecological observations to distinguish climate impacts in noisy data and to understand interactions between...... climate variability and other drivers of change. To assist the development of reliable statistical approaches, we review the marine climate change literature and provide suggestions for quantitative approaches in climate change ecology. We compiled 267 peer‐reviewed articles that examined relationships...
Medori, P.; Devaux, J.; Faurie, C.; Ferra, Ch.
In this work devoted to ecology and ecosystems, is a chapter relative to the nuclear power and its pollutions in environment. From the nuisances of operating nuclear facilities to the problem of radioactive wastes management, each kind of risk is studied. The fact that any problem can become a world problem, and the example of Chernobyl accident proved it, gives a particular dimension to nuclear energy use. (N.C.)
the somewhat opposing talent discovery and development approaches by focusing on how an environment manages the balance between these two, and how this balance becomes a part of the environment’s identity. Ecological perspectives on talent development hold rich insights for developing theories, research......Research on athletic talent has evolved from talent detection to talent development with both perspectives focusing on an individual athlete. This individual focus has been mirrored in the applied work of the sport psychology practitioner in youth competitive sport who has primarily focused...... on equipping individual athletes with the psychosocial skills required in a sport career. In contrast, the holistic ecological approach (HEA) to talent development in sport (Henriksen, Stambulova & Roessler, 2010) acknowledges the role of the overall environment in athletes’ development. The HEA integrates...
Krasny, Marianne E.; Tidball, Keith G.
Civic ecology refers to the philosophy and science of community forestry, community gardening, watershed enhancement, and other volunteer-driven restoration practices in cities and elsewhere. Such practices, although often viewed as initiatives to improve a degraded environment, also foster social attributes of resilient social-ecological systems,…
Sazykina, Tatiana G.
A unified methodology is proposed to simulate the dynamic processes of radionuclide migration in aquatic food chains in parallel with their stable analogue elements. The distinguishing feature of the unified radioecological/ecological approach is the description of radionuclide migration along with dynamic equations for the ecosystem. The ability of the methodology to predict the results of radioecological experiments is demonstrated by an example of radionuclide (iron group) accumulation by a laboratory culture of the algae Platymonas viridis. Based on the unified methodology, the 'ECOMOD' radioecological model was developed to simulate dynamic radioecological processes in aquatic ecosystems. It comprises three basic modules, which are operated as a set of inter-related programs. The 'ECOSYSTEM' module solves non-linear ecological equations, describing the biomass dynamics of essential ecosystem components. The 'RADIONUCLIDE DISTRIBUTION' module calculates the radionuclide distribution in abiotic and biotic components of the aquatic ecosystem. The 'DOSE ASSESSMENT' module calculates doses to aquatic biota and doses to man from aquatic food chains. The application of the ECOMOD model to reconstruct the radionuclide distribution in the Chernobyl Cooling Pond ecosystem in the early period after the accident shows good agreement with observations
The unprecedented ability to quantitatively measure and probe complex microbial communities has renewed interest in identifying the fundamental ecological principles governing community ecology in microbial ecosystems. Here, we present work from our group and others showing how ideas from statistical physics can help us uncover these ecological principles. Two major lessons emerge from this work. First, large, ecosystems with many species often display new, emergent ecological behaviors that are absent in small ecosystems with just a few species. To paraphrase Nobel laureate Phil Anderson, ''More is Different'', especially in community ecology. Second, the lack of trophic layer separation in microbial ecology fundamentally distinguishes microbial ecology from classical paradigms of community ecology and leads to qualitative different rules for community assembly in microbes. I illustrate these ideas using both theoretical modeling and novel new experiments on large microbial ecosystems performed by our collaborators (Joshua Goldford and Alvaro Sanchez). Work supported by Simons Investigator in MMLS and NIH R35 R35 GM119461.
Full Text Available As a concept sustainable development has evolved over the past two decades from a concept closely associated with the biophysical environment to become much more complex, embracing social, cultural, economic political and esthetic phenomenon, which are invariably in mutual interaction, so they influence sustainability of natural environment. The very notion of "sustainable" we are meeting today in almost all significance areas of human activities. Contemporary planning, projecting and building techniques undoubtedly implied integration of goals of environmental prevention with goals of socio-economic development, all with respecting the esthetic standards. This paper represents experience from foreign praxis. Project defines and resolves objectives from social, economical, morphological and ecological aspects. Most important is aspect of Ecological Optimisation, which consists of main components: energy use optimization, water concept, exemplary waste management concept and ecological soil management.
Keown, Damien V.
Introduction: Whether Buddhism has a compelling ecological dimension or not has been a much discussed question in recent years. I think I should put my cards on the table at the outset and say that I count myself among the sceptics in this respect. I see little evidence that the Buddha or his followers, at least down to modern times, have been greatly concerned with questions of ecology. If anything, there is more evidence of a negative presupposition about the value and status of the natural...
Těšitel, Jan; Kučera, Tomáš
Roč. 24, č. 1 (2005), s. 3-6 ISSN 1335-342X Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60870520 Keywords : integrative ecological approach * transdisciplinarity * interdisciplinarity * landscape ecology Subject RIV: DO - Wilderness Conservation Impact factor: 0.085, year: 2005
Schweiger, Andreas; Irl, Severin D. H.; Steinbauer, Manuel
1. Natural scientists and especially ecologists use manipulative experiments or field observations along gradients to differentiate patterns driven by processes from those caused by random noise. A well-conceived sampling design is essential for identifying, analysing and reporting underlying...... patterns in a statistically solid and reproducible manner, given the normal restrictions in labour, time and money. However, a technical guideline about an adequate sampling design to maximize prediction success under restricted resources is lacking. This study aims at developing such a solid...... and reproducible guideline for sampling along gradients in all fields of ecology and science in general. 2. We conducted simulations with artificial data for five common response types known in ecology, each represented by a simple function (no response, linear, exponential, symmetric unimodal and asymmetric...
Jeroen C.J.M. van den Bergh
This provides a short overview of the main themes of ecological economics (EE). It isargued that EE provides a platform that fosters multidisciplinary environmental research bybringing together the core contributing disciplines economics and ecology. In addition, EE isregarded as a pluralistic approach to environmental research that can be set opposite to, and hasindeed developed as a response to, traditional environmental and resource economics. Acomparison of the two fields is presented to ...
Gross, Louis J.; DeAngelis, Donald L.; Scott, J. Michael; Heglund, Patricia J.; Morrison, Michael L.
The Everglades region of South Florida presents one of the major natural system management challenges facing the United States. With its assortment of alligators, crocodiles, manatees, panthers, large mixed flocks of wading birds, highly diverse subtropical flora, and sea of sawgrass, the ecosystem is unique in this country (Davis and Ogden 1994). The region is also perhaps the largest human-controlled system on the planet in that the major environmental factor influencing the region is water, and water flows are managed on a daily basis--subject to the vagaries of rainfall--by a massive system of locks, pumps, canals, and levees constructed over the past century. The changes brought about by such control have led to extensive modifications of historical patterns and magnitudes of flow, causing large declines in many native species, extensive changes in nutrient cycling and vegetation across south Florida, and great increases in pollutants such as mercury. Constrained by the conflicting demands of agriculture, urban human populations, and wildlife for control of water resources, and the varying agendas of hosts of government agencies and nongovernmental organizations, there is now an ongoing effort to plan for major changes to the system with expenditure estimates of eight billion dollars or more over the next several decades (USACOE 1999). Carrying out such planning, particularly as it impacts the natural systems of the region, provides one of the major challenges to the new field of computational ecology.
Mullins, Philip M.
To answer calls for an ecological approach to outdoor adventure that can respond to the crisis of sustainability, this paper suggests greater theoretical and empirical attention to skill and skill development as shaping participant interactions with and experiences of environments, landscapes, places, and inhabitants. The paper reviews calls for…
Wong, Alina; Rodriguez, Mabel; Quevedo, Liliana; de Cossio, Lourdes Fernandez; Borges, Ariel; Reyes, Alicia; Corral, Roberto; Blanco, Florentino; Alvarez, Miguel
There is a current debate about the ecological validity of executive function (EF) tests. Consistent with the verisimilitude approach, this research proposes the Ballet Executive Scale (BES), a self-rating questionnaire that assimilates idiosyncratic executive behaviors of classical dance community. The BES was administrated to 149 adolescents,…
John P. Allegrante
Full Text Available
Background: Injury as a cause of significant morbidity and mortality has remained fairly stable in countries with developed economies. Although injury prevention often is conceptualised as a biomedical construct, such a reductionist perspective overlooks the importance of the psychological, environmental, and sociocultural conditions as contributing factors to injury and its consequences. This paper describes the potential of the ecological model for understanding the antecedent causes of unintentional injuries and guiding injury prevention approaches. We review the origins and conceptualise the elements of the ecological model and conclude with some examples of applications of ecological approaches to the prevention of unintentional injury and promotion of community safety.
Methods: A review of the English-language literature on the conceptualization of ecological models in public health and injury prevention, including the application of the ecological model in the prevention of falls and road traffic injuries and in the community safety promotion movement.
Results: Three dimensions are important in social-ecological systems that comprise key determinants of injuries: 1 the individual and his or her behaviour, 2 the physical environment, and 3 the social environment. Social and environmental determinants have profound impact on population health and in the causation of injuries.
Conclusions: Social and environmental determinants of injury should be studied with the same energy, urgency, and intellectual rigor as physical determinants. Application of the ecological model in injury prevention shows the most promise in falls injury prevention, road traffic injury prevention, and community safety promotion.
Hall, E.K.; Maixner, F.; Franklin, O.; Daims, H.; Richter, A.; Battin, T.
Currently, one of the biggest challenges in microbial and ecosystem ecology is to develop conceptual models that organize the growing body of information on environmental microbiology into a clear mechanistic framework with a direct link to ecosystem processes. Doing so will enable development of testable hypotheses to better direct future research and increase understanding of key constraints on biogeochemical networks. Although the understanding of phenotypic and genotypic diversity of microorganisms in the environment is rapidly accumulating, how controls on microbial physiology ultimately affect biogeochemical fluxes remains poorly understood. We propose that insight into constraints on biogeochemical cycles can be achieved by a more rigorous evaluation of microbial community biomass composition within the context of ecological stoichiometry. Multiple recent studies have pointed to microbial biomass stoichiometry as an important determinant of when microorganisms retain or recycle mineral nutrients. We identify the relevant cellular components that most likely drive changes in microbial biomass stoichiometry by defining a conceptual model rooted in ecological stoichiometry. More importantly, we show how X-ray microanalysis (XRMA), nanoscale secondary ion mass spectroscopy (NanoSIMS), Raman microspectroscopy, and in situ hybridization techniques (for example, FISH) can be applied in concert to allow for direct empirical evaluation of the proposed conceptual framework. This approach links an important piece of the ecological literature, ecological stoichiometry, with the molecular front of the microbial revolution, in an attempt to provide new insight into how microbial physiology could constrain ecosystem processes.
Buscema, Massimo; Sacco, Pier Luigi
We propose an alternative approach to "deep" learning that is based on computational ecologies of structurally diverse artificial neural networks, and on dynamic associative memory responses to stimuli. Rather than focusing on massive computation of many different examples of a single situation, we opt for model-based learning and adaptive flexibility. Cross-fertilization of learning processes across multiple domains is the fundamental feature of human intelligence that must inform "new" artificial intelligence.
Hampton, N.L.; VanHorn, R.L.; Morris, R.; Brewer, R.
The ecological risk assessment (ERA) paradigm acknowledges all levels of ecological organization as having potential for defining assessment and measurement endpoints. However, assessment goals and endpoints are generally concentrated at individual species and population levels. As part of a sitewide, screening-level ERA process at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL), a ''functional group'' approach was developed to incorporate assessment at a higher level of ecological organization into the risk analysis process. Functional groups demonstrating biological similarity and similar potential for contaminant exposure were developed using taxonomic, trophic and habitat parameters. As defined, all species are potential surrogates for the other members of the same functional group. Measurement endpoint data for several species may be integrated to address the risk to the group as a whole. The functional group concept was applied throughout the problem formulation, analysis, and risk characterization phases of the assessment process. This approach allows the ERA to be focused on risk to the integrity of individual functional groups, which can subsequently be related to guild and community integrity
Using a social-ecological systems (SES) perspective to examine wetland restoration helps decision-makers recognize interdependencies and relations between ecological and social components of coupled systems. Conceptual models are an invaluable tool to capture, visualize, and organize the key factors in complex social-ecological systems, but can be overwhelming to generate and lead to key concepts being overlooked if development is unstructured. Using a DPSIR approach (Drivers, Pressures, State, Impact, Responses), conceptual models can be developed to link decision scenarios and stressors to impacts on ecosystem services. These impacts on priority ecosystem services can then be linked to changes in human health and well-being through benefit functions. Expert input and contributions across disciplines provides appropriate temporal and spatial scales for determination of targets, project implementation, and monitoring strategies. This approach is being applied to create descriptive SES models of two wetland restoration projects. The first, the dredging of a degraded estuarine channel and restoration of mangrove forests in Caño Martìn Peña in San Juan, Puerto Rico is in the planning stage. The second, the restoration of a former cranberry farm in Plymouth, Massachusetts has completed a large restoration of freshwater wetland, and is gearing up for a second phase. Through the development of conceptual models, we are connecting driving forces wi
Erin J. Campbell
Full Text Available To transcend the divisions in art historical research between high art and decorative art, this study proposes an ecological approach. Drawing on research in the social sciences and humanities, and using the early modern domestic interior as a case study, the essay develops the concepts of environment, ecology, meshwork, assemblage, distributive agency, vital materiality, and matter as social performance, which appear in the work of political scientist Jane Bennett, feminist philosopher Karen Barad, sociologist Bruno Latour, anthropologist Tim Ingold, and others. As the study argues, such concepts provide a phenomenological, integrative, and non-hierarchical framework for the study of the decorative arts within the institutions and practices of art history, allowing art historians to analyse the processes through which the human and the material are intertwined.
Full Text Available Apathy, a quantitative reduction in goal-directed behavior, is a prevalent symptom dimension with a negative impact on functional outcome in various neuropsychiatric disorders including schizophrenia and depression. The aim of this review is to show that interview-based assessment of apathy in humans and observation of spontaneous rodent behavior in an ecological setting can serve as an important complementary approach to already existing task-based assessment, to study and understand the neurobiological bases of apathy. We first discuss the paucity of current translational approaches regarding animal equivalents of psychopathological assessment of apathy. We then present the existing evaluation scales for the assessment of apathy in humans and propose five sub-domains of apathy, namely self-care, social interaction, exploration, work/education and recreation. Each of the items in apathy evaluation scales can be assigned to one of these sub-domains. We then show that corresponding, well-validated behavioral readouts exist for rodents and that, indeed, three of the five human apathy sub-domains have a rodent equivalent. In conclusion, the translational ecological study of apathy in humans and mice is possible and will constitute an important approach to increase the understanding of the neurobiological bases of apathy and the development of novel treatments.
A.E. Lugo; C.M. Concepcion; L.E. Santiago-Acevedo; T.A. Munoz-Erickson; J.C. Verdejo Ortiz; R. Santiago-Bartolomei; J. Forero-Montana; C.J. Nytch; H. Manrique; W. Colon-Cortes
This essay describes our effort to develop a practical approach to the integration of the social and ecological sciences in the context of a Latin-American city such as San Juan, Puerto Rico. We describe our adaptive social-ecological approach in the historical context of the developing paradigms of the Anthropocene, new integrative social and ecological sciences, and...
Bebie, B.; Hug, F.; Vonbank, A.; Wieland, P.
This article discusses the promotion of sustainable energy use and power-production from renewable resources. In particular, the approach adopted by the City of Zurich in Switzerland is discussed. Changes currently being experienced in the Swiss energy business are looked at. The approach adopted by the City of Zurich, which includes both rewards for increasing energy efficiency as well as the definition of criteria for the evaluation of measures and their effect, is discussed. Instruments and goals are looked at. Other topics discussed include the 'ecologicalisation' of electrical power production and economical incentives for industry. The role played by the labelling of ecologically-produced power is discussed and the economical advantages for the City of Zurich itself are examined
Nancy B. Grimm; J. Morgan Grove; Steward T.A. Pickett; Charles L. Redman
Urban ecological systems present multiple challenges to ecologistsâpervasive human impact and extreme heterogeneity of cities, and the need to integrate social and ecological approaches, concepts, and theory.
Martinez, Diego A; Tsalatsanis, Athanasios; Yalcin, Ali; Zayas-Castro, José L; Djulbegovic, Benjamin
The administrative process associated with clinical trial activation has been criticized as costly, complex, and time-consuming. Prior research has concentrated on identifying administrative barriers and proposing various solutions to reduce activation time, and consequently associated costs. Here, we expand on previous research by incorporating social network analysis and discrete-event simulation to support process improvement decision-making. We searched for all operational data associated with the administrative process of activating industry-sponsored clinical trials at the Office of Clinical Research of the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida. We limited the search to those trials initiated and activated between July 2011 and June 2012. We described the process using value stream mapping, studied the interactions of the various process participants using social network analysis, and modeled potential process modifications using discrete-event simulation. The administrative process comprised 5 sub-processes, 30 activities, 11 decision points, 5 loops, and 8 participants. The mean activation time was 76.6 days. Rate-limiting sub-processes were those of contract and budget development. Key participants during contract and budget development were the Office of Clinical Research, sponsors, and the principal investigator. Simulation results indicate that slight increments on the number of trials, arriving to the Office of Clinical Research, would increase activation time by 11 %. Also, incrementing the efficiency of contract and budget development would reduce the activation time by 28 %. Finally, better synchronization between contract and budget development would reduce time spent on batching documentation; however, no improvements would be attained in total activation time. The presented process improvement analytic framework not only identifies administrative barriers, but also helps to devise and evaluate potential improvement scenarios. The strength
Despite the expansion of environmental toxicology studies over the past decade, soil ecosystems have largely been ignored in ecotoxicological studies in the United States. The objective of this project was to develop and test the efficacy of a comprehensive methodology for assessing ecological impacts of soil contamination. A hierarchical approach that integrates biotic parameters and ecosystem processes was used to give insight into the mechanisms that lead to alterations in the structure and function of soil ecosystems in contaminated areas. This approach involved (1) a thorough survey of the soil biota to determine community structure, (2) laboratory and field tests on critical ecosystem processes, (3) toxicity trials, and (4) the use of spatial analyses to provide input to the decision-making, process. This methodology appears to, offer an efficient and potentially cost-saving tool for remedial investigations of contaminated sites.
Highlights: • An irreversible MCFC - Braysson heat engine is considered. • Its performance is investigated with ecological approach. • A new ecological criteria are presented called as modified ecological function. • Result are obtained numerically and discussed. - Abstract: An irreversible hybrid molten carbonate fuel cell-Braysson heat engine is taken into account. Basic thermodynamics parameters including power output, efficiency and exergy destruction rate are considered. In addition ecological function and new criteria, which is based on ecological function, for heat engines called as modified ecological function is suggested. Optimum conditions for mentioned parameters above are determined. Numerical results are obtained and plotted. Finally, results are discussed.
Turrini, Tabea; Knop, Eva
Cities are growing rapidly worldwide, yet a mechanistic understanding of the impact of urbanization on biodiversity is lacking. We assessed the impact of urbanization on arthropod diversity (species richness and evenness) and abundance in a study of six cities and nearby intensively managed agricultural areas. Within the urban ecosystem, we disentangled the relative importance of two key landscape factors affecting biodiversity, namely the amount of vegetated area and patch isolation. To do so, we a priori selected sites that independently varied in the amount of vegetated area in the surrounding landscape at the 500-m scale and patch isolation at the 100-m scale, and we hold local patch characteristics constant. As indicator groups, we used bugs, beetles, leafhoppers, and spiders. Compared to intensively managed agricultural ecosystems, urban ecosystems supported a higher abundance of most indicator groups, a higher number of bug species, and a lower evenness of bug and beetle species. Within cities, a high amount of vegetated area increased species richness and abundance of most arthropod groups, whereas evenness showed no clear pattern. Patch isolation played only a limited role in urban ecosystems, which contrasts findings from agro-ecological studies. Our results show that urban areas can harbor a similar arthropod diversity and abundance compared to intensively managed agricultural ecosystems. Further, negative consequences of urbanization on arthropod diversity can be mitigated by providing sufficient vegetated space in the urban area, while patch connectivity is less important in an urban context. This highlights the need for applying a landscape ecological approach to understand the mechanisms shaping urban biodiversity and underlines the potential of appropriate urban planning for mitigating biodiversity loss. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Full Text Available The specific weight of resource and power consuming technologies that is typical for Ukrainian economy, the absence of effective legal, administrative and economic mechanisms of management of nature and the low level of ecological society consciousness have led to the significant deterioration of environment state in Ukraine, excessive pollution of waters, air, and soil, accumulation of a large number of waste products. Besides, the produce as a result of such enterprises’ production affects consumers’ health badly. This causes the need to develop theory and methodology of production ecological quality accounting. The problem of quality is the most important factor of increasing of life level, economic, social and ecological security in market economy. This, the current research aims to formulate the essence of concept “ecological quality of production” The research determines that ecological quality is characterized by the following main 6 aspects: social, technical, legal, economic, aesthetic and ecological. If one of these six aspects does not work, we cannot speak about ecological quality of a certain commodity. Many various factors influence upon the level of ecological quality of products and services. According to their contents and directions, they can be united into the following main 6 groups: technical, organizational, economic and social, ecological and aesthetic and legal. The article determines the directions of production ecological quality increasing.
Ternjej, Ivancica; Mihaljevic, Zlatko
Ecology is a science that studies the mutual interactions between organisms and their environment. The fundamental subject of interest in ecology is the individual. Topics of interest to ecologists include the diversity, distribution and number of particular organisms, as well as cooperation and competition between organisms, both within and among ecosystems. Today, ecology is a multidisciplinary science. This is particularly true when the subject of interest is the ecosystem or biosphere, which requires the knowledge and input of biologists, chemists, physicists, geologists, geographists, climatologists, hydrologists and many other experts. Ecology is applied in a science of restoration, repairing disturbed sites through human intervention, in natural resource management, and in environmental impact assessments.
Brink, van den P.J.; Alexander, A.; Desrosiers, M.; Goedkoop, W.; Goethals, P.L.M.; Liess, M.; Dyer, S.
We discuss the application of traits-based bioassessment approaches in retrospective bioassessment as well as in prospective ecological risk assessments in regulatory frameworks. Both approaches address the interaction between species and stressors and their consequences at different levels of
Sonia F. Hoque
Full Text Available The commodification of peasant livelihoods through export-oriented aquaculture has brought about significant social-ecological changes in low-lying coastal areas in many parts of Asia. A better understanding of the underlying drivers and distributional effects of these changes requires integration of social and ecological approaches that often have different epistemological origins. Resilience thinking has gained increased traction in social-ecological systems research because it provides a dynamic analysis of the cross-scalar interactions between multiple conditions and processes. However, the system-oriented perspective inherent in resilience thinking fails to acknowledge the heterogeneous values, interests, and power of social actors and their roles in navigating social-ecological change. Incorporation of political ecology and well-being perspectives can provide an actor-oriented analysis of the trade-offs associated with change and help to determine which state is desirable for whom. However, empirical demonstrations of such interdisciplinary approaches remain scarce. Here, we explore the combined application of resilience, political ecology, and well-being in investigating the root causes of social-ecological change and identifying the winners and losers of system transformation through empirical analysis of the differential changes in farming systems in two villages in coastal Bangladesh. Using the adaptive cycle as a structuring model, we examine the evolution of the shrimp aquaculture system over the past few decades, particularly looking at the power dynamics between households of different wealth classes. We found that although asymmetric land ownership and political ties enabled the wealthier households to reach their desired farming system in one village, social resilience achieved through memory, leadership, and crisis empowered poorer households to exercise their agency in another village. Material dimensions such as improved
Hallisey Elaine J
Full Text Available Abstract Background Child maltreatment and its consequences are a persistent problem throughout the world. Public health workers, human services officials, and others are interested in new and efficient ways to determine which geographic areas to target for intervention programs and resources. To improve assessment efforts, selected perinatal factors were examined, both individually and in various combinations, to determine if they are associated with increased risk of infant maltreatment. State of Georgia birth records and abuse and neglect data were analyzed using an area-based, ecological approach with the census tract as a surrogate for the community. Cartographic visualization suggested some correlation exists between risk factors and child maltreatment, so bivariate and multivariate regression were performed. The presence of spatial autocorrelation precluded the use of traditional ordinary least squares regression, therefore a spatial regression model coupled with maximum likelihood estimation was employed. Results Results indicate that all individual factors or their combinations are significantly associated with increased risk of infant maltreatment. The set of perinatal risk factors that best predicts infant maltreatment rates are: mother smoked during pregnancy, families with three or more siblings, maternal age less than 20 years, births to unmarried mothers, Medicaid beneficiaries, and inadequate prenatal care. Conclusion This model enables public health to take a proactive stance, to reasonably predict areas where poor outcomes are likely to occur, and to therefore more efficiently allocate resources. U.S. states that routinely collect the variables the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS defines for birth certificates can easily identify areas that are at high risk for infant maltreatment. The authors recommend that agencies charged with reducing child maltreatment target communities that demonstrate the perinatal risks
The book turns to the freshment, the teacher, for preparation of ecological topics for lessons, but also to pupils of the secondary stage II, and the main course ecology. The book was knowingly held simple with the restriction to: the ecosystem and its abiotic basic functions, simple articles on population biology, bioceonotic balance ith the questions of niche formation and the life form types coherent with it, of the substance and energy household, the production biology and space-wise and time-wise differentations within an ecological system form the main points. A central role in the volume is given to the illustrations. Their variety is to show and deepen the coherences shown. (orig./HP) [de
Craig, Jonathan C; Tong, Allison; Strippoli, Giovanni F M
Randomized controlled trials are required to reliably identify interventions to improve the outcomes for people with glomerulonephritis (GN). Unfortunately, although easier, observational studies are inherently unreliable even though the findings of both study designs agree most of the time. Currently there are ∼790 trials in GN, but suboptimal design and reporting, together with small sample sizes, mean that they may not be reliable for decision making. If the history is somewhat bleak, the future looks bright, with recent initiatives to improve the quality, size and relevance of clinical trials in nephrology, including greater patient engagement, trial networks, core outcome sets, registry-based trials and adaptive designs. Given the current state of the evidence informing the care of people with GN, disruptive technologies and pervasive culture change is required to ensure that the potential of trials to improve the health of people with this complex condition is to be realized. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of ERA-EDTA. All rights reserved.
Diamond, Karen E.; And Others
The paper describes an ecological-developmental model for planning a child's transition from a preschool special education program to a public school classroom. The model stresses interactions between the various environments in which the child functions. A description of a preschool transition program based on the model is also included.…
Mišković Milan M.
Full Text Available In the industrial society, nature is conceived as a resource for unlimited exploitation, and the entropic effects of its pollution and depletion can be effectively controlled and resolved. Non-human entities are viewed as raw materials for technical manipulation and the increase in the standard of living for consumers in mass societies. Contrary to such utilitarian pragmatism, some new views on the relationship of man, society and nature are appearing, as well as different concepts of environmentally balanced development. According to these views, the transition to ecological society and ecological culture will not be possible without replacing the current anthropocentric ethics with the ecocentric or environmental ethics. Deep ecology arises in the spectrum of environmental ethics theories. It is considered as a movement and a new approach to solving environmental problems. Deep ecology is a type of ecosophy formed by Arne Nes, and it focuses on wisdom and ecological balance. It is based on ecological science, but it asks deeper questions about the causes of the ecological crisis and corresponds to the general discourse on sustainable development. The article discusses the platform of deep ecology movement and gives the basic principles of deep ecology. It gives explanations of the two basic norms of deep ecology (self-understanding and biospheric egalitarianism and criticism of these concepts.
Koenig-Lewis, Nicole; Palmer, Adrian; Dermody, Janine; Urbye, Andreas
Ecological marketing claims have been criticized for confusing or misleading buyers, leading to calls for more rationality in promoting and evaluating ‘green’ products. However, emotions are important drivers influencing pro-environmental purchase decisions. This study investigates consumers' emotional and rational evaluations of pro-environmental packaging. A conceptual model incorporates individuals' general environmental concerns, their rational beliefs about environmental effects of produ...
Baer, H A
This essay presents an effort to incorporate the "environment" into critical medical anthropology. Rather than relying upon the multifactorial approach characteristic of medical ecology or biocultural approaches in medical anthropology, it urges critical medical anthropologists to turn to the burgeoning literature on eco-Marxism, eco-socialism, or political ecology in their efforts to develop a political ecology of health. Given that political ecologists generally advocate democratic eco-socialism as a meaningful alternative to the capitalist world system, this essay also presents a critical examination of the environmental record of post-revolutionary societies.
Peng, Changhui; Guiot, Joel; Wu, Haibin; Jiang, Hong; Luo, Yiqi
It is increasingly being recognized that global ecological research requires novel methods and strategies in which to combine process-based ecological models and data in cohesive, systematic ways. Model-data fusion (MDF) is an emerging area of research in ecology and palaeoecology. It provides a new quantitative approach that offers a high level of empirical constraint over model predictions based on observations using inverse modelling and data assimilation (DA) techniques. Increasing demands to integrate model and data methods in the past decade has led to MDF utilization in palaeoecology, ecology and earth system sciences. This paper reviews key features and principles of MDF and highlights different approaches with regards to DA. After providing a critical evaluation of the numerous benefits of MDF and its current applications in palaeoecology (i.e., palaeoclimatic reconstruction, palaeovegetation and palaeocarbon storage) and ecology (i.e. parameter and uncertainty estimation, model error identification, remote sensing and ecological forecasting), the paper discusses method limitations, current challenges and future research direction. In the ongoing data-rich era of today's world, MDF could become an important diagnostic and prognostic tool in which to improve our understanding of ecological processes while testing ecological theory and hypotheses and forecasting changes in ecosystem structure, function and services. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.
Evolutionary biology and ecology have a strong theoretical underpinning, and this has fostered a variety of modeling approaches. A major challenge of this theoretical work has been to unravel the tangled feedback loop between ecology and evolution. This has prompted the development of two main classes of models. While quantitative genetics models jointly consider the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of a focal population, a separation of timescales between ecology and evolution is assumed by evolutionary game theory, adaptive dynamics, and inclusive fitness theory. As a result, theoretical evolutionary ecology tends to be divided among different schools of thought, with different toolboxes and motivations. My aim in this synthesis is to highlight the connections between these different approaches and clarify the current state of theory in evolutionary ecology. Central to this approach is to make explicit the dependence on environmental dynamics of the population and evolutionary dynamics, thereby materializing the eco-evolutionary feedback loop. This perspective sheds light on the interplay between environmental feedback and the timescales of ecological and evolutionary processes. I conclude by discussing some potential extensions and challenges to our current theoretical understanding of eco-evolutionary dynamics.
Knaus, Michael; Loehr, Dirk; O'Regan, Bernadette
All economic activities impact on the environment but not all environmental impacts are assigned values and taken into consideration in development budgets. At project level, the environmental consequences of proposed economic activities have to be evaluated by conducting an environmental impact assessment. Threshold levels in physical terms are outlined in corresponding laws and regulations. Projects fulfilling the necessary environmental assessment requirements (threshold levels) tend to be permitted without predicting the expected environmental impacts in monetary terms. The economic valuation of environmental impacts tends to be affected by uncertainties. The following example of indirect monetary valuation of environmental impacts uses the Ecological Footprint (EF) concept to calculate the total land use of projects. According to the strong sustainability concept it is assumed that every additional direct or indirect utilisation of land caused by a project requires corresponding offset areas. The offset areas required by different project alternatives are valued with relevant regional guide land values
Municipal solid waste (MSW) can be viewed as a feedstock for industrial ecology inspired conversions of wastes to valuable products and energy. The industrial ecology principle of symbiotic processes using waste streams for creating value-added products is applied to MSW, with examples suggested for various residual streams. A methodology is presented to consider individual waste-to-energy or waste-to-product system synergies, evaluating the economic and environmental issues associated with each system. Steps included in the methodology include identifying waste streams, specific waste components of interest, and conversion technologies, plus steps for determining the economic and environmental effects of using wastes and changes due to transport, administrative handling, and processing. In addition to presenting the methodology, technologies for various MSW input streams are categorized as commercialized or demonstrated to provide organizations that are considering processes for MSW with summarized information. The organization can also follow the methodology to analyze interesting processes. Presents information useful for analyzing the sustainability of alternatives for the management of municipal solid waste.
Pigolotti, Simone; Cencini, Massimo; Molina, Daniel; Muñoz, Miguel A.
Ecosystems display a complex spatial organization. Ecologists have long tried to characterize them by looking at how different measures of biodiversity change across spatial scales. Ecological neutral theory has provided simple predictions accounting for general empirical patterns in communities of competing species. However, while neutral theory in well-mixed ecosystems is mathematically well understood, spatial models still present several open problems, limiting the quantitative understanding of spatial biodiversity. In this review, we discuss the state of the art in spatial neutral theory. We emphasize the connection between spatial ecological models and the physics of non-equilibrium phase transitions and how concepts developed in statistical physics translate in population dynamics, and vice versa. We focus on non-trivial scaling laws arising at the critical dimension D = 2 of spatial neutral models, and their relevance for biological populations inhabiting two-dimensional environments. We conclude by discussing models incorporating non-neutral effects in the form of spatial and temporal disorder, and analyze how their predictions deviate from those of purely neutral theories.
The organic fraction of municipal solid waste provides abundant opportunities for industrial ecology-based symbiotic use. Energy production, economics, and environmental aspects are analyzed for four alternatives based on different technologies: incineration with energy recovery, gasification, anaerobic digestion, and fermentation. In these cases electricity and ethanol are the products considered, but other products and attempts at symbiosis can be made. The four technologies are in various states of commercial development. To highlight their relative complexities some adjustable parameters which are important for the operability of each process are discussed. While these technologies need to be considered for specific locations and circumstances, generalized economic and environmental information suggests relative comparisons for newly conceptualized processes. The results of industrial ecology-based analysis suggest that anaerobic digestion may improve seven emission categories, while fermentation, gasification, and incineration successively improve fewer emissions. A conceptual level analysis indicates that gasification, anaerobic digestion, and fermentation alternatives lead to positive economic results. In each case the alternatives and their assumptions need further analysis for any particular community. Presents information useful for analyzing the sustainability of alternatives for the management of municipal solid waste.
Lee, Bandy X; Young, John L
We now know that harmful social policies, such as those that deny health care to some people, can generate structural violence and be far more harmful than any type of direct violence. A health professional who engages in public health promotion must thus consider the adverse effects of structural violence generated by bad policies. On this view, the dictum, "first, do no harm," can be interpreted as a mandate to protect patients from injustice. Health care professionals' responsibilities extend to motivating policies that prevent avoidable deaths and disabilities. As we exist within an ecology, we must each recognize our responsibility to care for one another and for the larger human community. © 2018 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved.
Philip Robertson, G.; Gross, Katherine L.; Hamilton, Stephen K.; Landis, Douglas A.; Schmidt, Thomas M.; Snapp, Sieglinde S.; Swinton, Scott M.
A balanced assessment of ecosystem services provided by agriculture requires a systems-level socioecological understanding of related management practices at local to landscape scales. The results from 25 years of observation and experimentation at the Kellogg Biological Station long-term ecological research site reveal services that could be provided by intensive row-crop ecosystems. In addition to high yields, farms could be readily managed to contribute clean water, biocontrol and other biodiversity benefits, climate stabilization, and long-term soil fertility, thereby helping meet society's need for agriculture that is economically and environmentally sustainable. Midwest farmers—especially those with large farms—appear willing to adopt practices that deliver these services in exchange for payments scaled to management complexity and farmstead benefit. Surveyed citizens appear willing to pay farmers for the delivery of specific services, such as cleaner lakes. A new farming for services paradigm in US agriculture seems feasible and could be environmentally significant. PMID:26955069
Philip Robertson, G; Gross, Katherine L; Hamilton, Stephen K; Landis, Douglas A; Schmidt, Thomas M; Snapp, Sieglinde S; Swinton, Scott M
A balanced assessment of ecosystem services provided by agriculture requires a systems-level socioecological understanding of related management practices at local to landscape scales. The results from 25 years of observation and experimentation at the Kellogg Biological Station long-term ecological research site reveal services that could be provided by intensive row-crop ecosystems. In addition to high yields, farms could be readily managed to contribute clean water, biocontrol and other biodiversity benefits, climate stabilization, and long-term soil fertility, thereby helping meet society's need for agriculture that is economically and environmentally sustainable. Midwest farmers-especially those with large farms-appear willing to adopt practices that deliver these services in exchange for payments scaled to management complexity and farmstead benefit. Surveyed citizens appear willing to pay farmers for the delivery of specific services, such as cleaner lakes. A new farming for services paradigm in US agriculture seems feasible and could be environmentally significant.
James M. Fincher; Marie-Louise Smith
Describes one approach to ecologically based classification of upland forest community types of the White and Green Mountain physiographic regions. The classification approach is based on an intensive statistical analysis of the relationship between the communities and soil-site factors. Discriminant functions useful in distinguishing between types based on soil-site...
This study is a theoretical approach to consumer's processing of product trail, and equally explored ... consumer's first usage experience with a company's brand or product that is most important in determining ... product, what it is really marketing is the expected ..... confidence, thus there is a positive relationship between ...
Igarashi, Heidi; Levenson, Michael R; Aldwin, Carolyn M
This study examined the development of wisdom within the context of difficult life events (DLEs), and the importance of individuals and their social environments in this process of growth. Social support has long been studied in adulthood, yet less is known about the ways social transactions can promote wisdom. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with men (n = 14) and women (n = 36), ages 56-91 years (M = 71.71; SD = 8.8) who described a DLE and how they coped with it. The analysis was guided by constructivist grounded theory. DLEs included those from childhood through later life. When personal meaning was disrupted by adversity, the social environment played a key role in facilitating new perspectives that corresponded with aspects of wisdom: self-knowledge, compassion, comfort with uncertainty, and accepting complexity. Wisdom is often studied as an individual characteristic, but this study highlighted the relevance of a social ecological perspective to understanding how wisdom development is also facilitated through social transactions. © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: email@example.com.
Smyth, Robyn L; Watzin, Mary C; Manning, Robert E
Ecological indicators can facilitate an adaptive management approach, but only if acceptable levels for those indicators have been defined so that the data collected can be interpreted. Because acceptable levels are an expression of the desired state of the ecosystem, the process of establishing acceptable levels should incorporate not just ecological understanding but also societal values. The goal of this research was to explore an approach for defining acceptable levels of ecological indicators that explicitly considers social perspectives and values. We used a set of eight indicators that were related to issues of concern in the Lake Champlain Basin. Our approach was based on normative theory. Using a stakeholder survey, we measured respondent normative evaluations of varying levels of our indicators. Aggregated social norm curves were used to determine the level at which indicator values shifted from acceptable to unacceptable conditions. For seven of the eight indicators, clear preferences were interpretable from these norm curves. For example, closures of public beaches because of bacterial contamination and days of intense algae bloom went from acceptable to unacceptable at 7-10 days in a summer season. Survey respondents also indicated that the number of fish caught from Lake Champlain that could be safely consumed each month was unacceptably low and the number of streams draining into the lake that were impaired by storm water was unacceptably high. If indicators that translate ecological conditions into social consequences are carefully selected, we believe the normative approach has considerable merit for defining acceptable levels of valued ecological system components.
J. Morgan Grove; Karen E. Hinson; Robert J. Northrop
The shape and dynamics of cities are the result of physical, biological, and social forces. We include the term dynamic to emphasize that cities change over time and are the result of both idiosyncratic events and dominant trends. To begin to understand the patterns and processes of cities, we approach the idiosyncratic and dominant - whether it is physical, biological...
Environmental economics postulates the assumption of homo economicus and presumes that externality occurs as a result of the rational economic activities of economic agents. This paper examines this assumption using an experimental economic approach in the context of regime shift, which has been receiving increasing attention. We observe that when externality does not exist, economic agents (subjects of experimemt) act economically rationally, but when externality exists, economic agents avoi...
Hummell, R.; Vedagiri, U.
The RBCA guidelines proposed by ASTM form an evaluation and decision-making framework for sites potentially contaminated by petroleum releases. They present a three-tiered approach of decreasing conservatism and increasing site-specificity that primarily evaluates risks to human health. While RBCA includes consideration of environmental impacts, there are no specific recommendations on how this is to be achieved. A RBCA-based ecological risk assessment approach was developed for TPH-contaminated areas in Alaska. The approach presents a habitat-based selection process for surrogate chemicals and indicator chemicals of ecological relevance, evaluation of ecotoxicity, derivation of matrix-specific Tier 1 RBSLs (including soils) and determination of Tier 2 and 3 SSTLS. Chemicals are considered by class, aquatic (freshwater and saltwater) and terrestrial habitats are evaluated independently, and chemical concentrations are screened in all media of concern (air, soil, water, sediment). Data needs and decision points specific to ecological receptors are identified for each tier of the approach. Other aspects of the approach include consideration of contaminant migration pathways and habitats that are typical of Arctic conditions. Areas where ecological and human risk concerns may overlap are identified
This study is a theoretical approach to consumer's processing of product trail, and equally explored the literature of product levels, concept benefit and life cycle. Product trial is described as consumer's first usage experience with a company's brand or product that is most important in determining brand attributes and the ...
Leaf, Justin B.; Cihon, Joseph H.; Leaf, Ronald; McEachin, John; Taubman, Mitchell
Discrete trial teaching (DTT) is one of the cornerstones of applied behavior analysis (ABA) based interventions. Conventionally, DTT is commonly implemented within a prescribed, fixed manner in which the therapist is governed by a strict set of rules. In contrast to conventional DTT, a progressive approach to DTT allows the therapist to remain…
Andersen, Jesper H.; Aroviita, Jukka; Carstensen, Jacob
We review approaches and tools currently used in Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden) for integrated assessment of ‘ecological status’ sensu the EU Water Framework Directive as well as assessment of ‘eutrophication status’ in coastal and marine waters. Integration principles for...... principles applied within BQEs are critical and in need of harmonisation if we want a better understanding of potential transition in ecological status between surface water types, e.g. when riverine water enters a downstream lake or coastal water body.......We review approaches and tools currently used in Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden) for integrated assessment of ‘ecological status’ sensu the EU Water Framework Directive as well as assessment of ‘eutrophication status’ in coastal and marine waters. Integration principles...
Full text: Multi-disciplinary groups, such as medical physicists and radiation therapists, which work effectively together, can ensure continued improvements in radiation therapy quality. The same is also true for clinical trials, which have the added complication of requiring multi-institutional participation to collate sufficient data to effectively assess treatment benefits. It can be difficult to manage quality across all aspects of a multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional trial. A planned system of quality assurance is necessary to provide support for participating centres and facilitate a collaborative approach. To ensure protocol compliance a good relationship between the clinical trial group and treatment centre is idea with definition of mutual goals and objectives before and during the trial, and ongoing consultation and feedback throughout the trial process. To ensure good quality data and maximise the validity of results the study protocol must be strictly adhered to. Because of the need for meticulous attention to detail, both in treatment delivery and standards of documentation, clinical trials are often seen to further complicate the process of delivery of radiation therapy treatment. The Declaration of Helsinki and Good Clinical Practise Guidelines (adopted in May 1996, ICH) provide 'international ethical and scientific standards for designing, conducting, recording and reporting clinical research' and multi-disciplinary groups in each participating centre should also adhere to these guidelines. Copyright (2001) Australasian College of Physical Scientists and Engineers in Medicine
McCormack, Lauren; Thomas, Veronica; Lewis, Megan A; Rudd, Rima
This article posits four principal objectives related to the overarching goal of broadening the conceptualization of health literacy. We propose a social ecological approach to health literacy and patient engagement by illustrating how this multilevel approach offers an array of strategic options for interventions. A social ecological approach supports a broader understanding of health literacy that aligns with increased patient engagement. The ecological model highlights the importance of context, demonstrates how health literacy and patient engagement are inextricably connected, and gives rise to strategies to enhance them both. We illustrate the five multilevel intervention strategies for addressing low health literacy and promoting patient engagement: accumulation, amplification, facilitation, cascade, and convergence strategies. In addition, we provide a theoretical foundation to facilitate the development of interventions to enhance health literacy and ultimately increase patient engagement. The practice implications of adopting a broader social ecological perspective to address low health literacy shifts the field from thinking about individual educational interventions to how individual interventions may be augmented or supported by interventions at additional levels of influence. The potential benefit of adopting a multilevel intervention approach is that combining interventions could produce synergies that are greater than interventions that only utilize one level of influence. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Goodrum, Nada M.; Chan, Wing Yi; Latzman, Robert D.
Immigrant and refugee youth are at elevated risk for joining gangs, which, in turn, is associated with a host of maladaptive outcomes. Previous literature on risk and protective factors for immigrant and refugee youth gang involvement has been inconclusive. Applying a developmental ecological systems approach, this study investigated contextual…
Karjalainen, A.-M.; Kilpi-Koski, J.; Väisänen, A.O.; Penttinen, S.; van Gestel, C.A.M.; Penttinen, O.-P.
Although many studies deal with the distribution and mobility of chromated copper arsenate (CCA) metals in soil, the ecotoxicity of CCA-contaminated soils is rarely studied. The Triad approach was applied to determine the ecological risks posed by a CCA mixture at a decommissioned wood impregnation
Michael J. Wisdom; Jeanne C. Chambers
Native shrublands dominate the Great Basin of western of North America, and most of these communities are at moderate or high risk of loss from non-native grass invasion and woodland expansion. Landscape-scale management based on differences in ecological resistance and resilience of shrublands can reduce these risks. We demonstrate this approach with an example that...
Bespalov, Vadim; Udina, Natalya; Samarskaya, Natalya
Use of wind energy is related to one of the prospective directions among renewed energy sources. A methodological approach is reviewed in the article to simulation and choice of ecologically efficient and energetically economic wind turbines on the designing stage taking into account characteristics of natural-territorial complex and peculiarities of anthropogenic load in the territory of WT location.
This article looks at the experiences of children in war from a psychosocial and social ecologic perspective. In contrast to clinical approaches, it offers a conceptualization of how the impacts of political violence and war are socially mediated. It suggests that psychologic assistance to war-affected children often occurs not through the provision of therapy by outsiders but via support from insiders.
Dowell, Susan; Morphew, Ephimia; Shively, Jay
Use of UAVs in military and commercial applications will continue to increase. However, there has been limited research devoted to UAV GCS design. The current study employed an ecological approach to interfac e design. Ecological Interface Design (EID) can be characterized as r epresenting the properties of a system, such that an operator is enco uraged to use skill-based behavior when problem solving. When more ef fortful cognitive processes become necessary due to unfamiliar situations, the application of EID philosophy supports the application of kn owledge-based behavior. With advances toward multiple UAV command and control, operators need GCS interfaces designed to support understan ding of complex systems. We hypothesized that use of EID principles f or the display of UAV status information would result in better opera tor performance and situational awareness, while decreasing workload. Pilots flew a series of missions with three UAV GCS displays of statu s information (Alphanumeric, Ecological, and Hybrid display format). Measures of task performance, Situational Awareness, and workload dem onstrated the benefits of using an ecological approach to designing U AV GCS displays. The application of ecological principles to the design of UAV GCSs is a promising area for improving UAV operations.
Suter, G.W. II; Hull, R.N.; Stack, M.; Cornaby, B.W.; Hadden, C.T.; Zafran, F.A.
Human health and ecological risks must be balanced at hazardous waste sites in order to ensure that remedial actions prevent unacceptable risks of either type. Actions that are designed to protect humans may fail to protect nonhuman populations and ecosystems or may damage ecosystems. However, there is no common scale of health and ecological risk that would allow comparisons to be performed. This paper presents an approach to addressing this problem based on classifying all risks (i.e., health and ecological risks due contaminants and remediation) as insignificant (de minimis), highly significant (de manifestis), or intermediate. For health risks the classification is based on standard criteria. However, in the absence of national guidance concerning the acceptability of ecological risks, new ecological criteria are proposed based on an analysis of regulatory precedents. Matrices and flow charts are presented to guide the use of these risk categories in remedial decision making. The assessment of mercury contamination of the East Fork Poplar Creek is presented as an example of the implementation of the approach. 15 refs., 3 figs., 3 tabs
Full Text Available In a rapidly changing world, sustainability, if it can be said to exist at all, is concept that has attained mythic status, often pursued and rarely reached. In order to improve our capability to cope with environmental problems, adopting an Ecosystem Approach has been suggested. One of the major challenges in the implementation of this new paradigm relates to control of externalities. The recognition and quantification of externalities is often cast as valuing the unmarketable, and there are several approaches that have been proposed. Here, we analyze the opportunity to “feed” the economic valuation with ecological concepts. From an ecological perspective, the energy required to sustain a biomass unit at a given trophic level (TL is the same, whatever the species. We build on this central tenet of ecology to assess the value of a TL unit for each trophic position using fish market data. The results obtained were then used to assign a value to each species living in a given habitat, together with consideration of their ecological role within the community. Estimates of both natural capital and functional value were applied to assess the ecological impacts of mechanical clam harvesting versus the multi-species artisanal fishery in the Venice lagoon. Results are discussed in relation to possible contribution to the implementation of a different management strategy.
Treloar Padovano, Hayley; Miranda, Robert
The present study used youth's in vivo reports of subjective responses to cannabis while smoking in their natural environments to identify real-world mechanisms of topiramate treatment for cannabis misuse. Participants were 40 cannabis users (≥ twice weekly in past 30 days), ages 15-24 years (47.5% female), with at least one cannabis use episode during the final 3 weeks of a 6-week, randomized clinical trial. Youth reported subjective "high" while smoking, stimulation, sedation, stress, craving, and grams of marijuana used in the natural environment via wireless electronic devices. Bayesian multilevel structural equation modeling (MSEM) evaluated mediation via indirect effect tests. Significant within (daily) and between (person) variability and distinctive within and between effects supported the MSEM approach. Subjective high while smoking was significantly reduced for youth in the topiramate condition, relative to placebo, and the indirect effect of reduced subjective high on total grams of cannabis smoked that day was significant. Indirect effects through other subjective responses were not significant. The results of this initial study suggest that altering subjective responses to smoking, specifically subjective high, may be a key target for developing adjunctive pharmacotherapies for cannabis misuse. More generally, this work provides an example for applying ecological momentary assessment and analytic techniques to evaluate mechanisms of behavior change in longitudinal data.
Full Text Available In modern conditions of social development, changes in land eco-system of economic relations in Ukraine, the problem of providing conditions for the creation of sustainable land use and creation of protected areas get the status of special urgency. Ideology establishment of ecological networks became logical continuation of environmental thought in general. Considering the methodological approach to the establishment of ecological networks we can constitute, that it is an environmental frame of spatial infrastructure, land conservation and environmental areas, major part of land is the basis of the structural elements of ecological network. Designing an ecological network is made through developing regional schemes of Econet formation, regional and local schemes for establishing an ecological network areas, settlements and other areas. Land Management uses design of structural elements of the ecological network in the village council, as a rule, begins with ecological and landscape mikrozonationof the village council, held during the preparatory work for the land drafting and finishing the formation of environmentally homogeneous regions, which represents the tied system components of ecological network, environmental measures in the form of local environmental restrictions (encumbrances to use land and other natural resources. Additionally, there are some project organization and territorial measures that increase the sustainability area, such as: key, binders, buffer areas and renewable ecological network. Land management projects on the formation of structural elements of ecological network as territorial restrictions (encumbrances in land are used within the territories Councils determined the location and size of land: - Protection zones around especially valuable natural objects of cultural heritage, meteorological stations, etc. in order to protect them from adverse human impacts; - Protection zones along telecommunication lines, power
Doerr, Marilyn Noble
This classroom research is a case study of a high school ecology curriculum based on William Pinar's currere. The author, both the practitioner in the classroom and the curriculum developer, uses the dissertation to analyze the success of the ecology course. A successful course, she feels, not only teaches the students the rudiments of ecology but also introduces them to the political and moral issues surrounding ecological principles. Currere is curriculum as autobiographical text. It is phenomenological, exploring students' lived experiences and their interpretations of those experiences. With the focus on introspection and hermeneutics, curriculum becomes something to be encountered and the student immerses her/himself in trying to understand that encounter. In this study, currere is adapted for use in an ecology classroom through what the author terms "the Environmental Autobiography," or EA. The paper explores qualitative data collected from the researcher and 50 students, mostly high school seniors, who took the class over a two-year period. The researcher analyzes and interprets a generous selection of excerpts from these EAs when considering the efficacy of using the currere process in this course. The researcher then examines five frequently-appearing themes in the writings: caring, insecurities and gender issues, egocentrism, politicization, and definitions of success. The researcher finds that the use of currere in this way brought a postmodern approach to the teaching of this most holistic of the sciences---ecology. This non-traditional method allowed students to begin to see ecological problems in context and to realize that knowledge is always partial. For many students this currere-based ecology curriculum moved them from "I know" to "I care," and on to "I want to do something about this." Finally, the researcher concludes that the EA gave a richness and energy to the class that was unlike any of her past teaching experiences. The paper explores
Zolezzi, M.; Nicolella, C.; Tarazona, J.V.
This paper presents a tiered methodology for probabilistic ecological risk assessment. The proposed approach starts from deterministic comparison (ratio) of single exposure concentration and threshold or safe level calculated from a dose-response relationship, goes through comparison of probabilistic distributions that describe exposure values and toxicological responses of organisms to the chemical of concern, and finally determines the so called distribution-based quotients (DBQs). In order to illustrate the proposed approach, soil concentrations of 1,2,4-trichlorobenzene (1,2,4- TCB) measured in an industrial contaminated site were used for site-specific probabilistic ecological risks assessment. By using probabilistic distributions, the risk, which exceeds a level of concern for soil organisms with the deterministic approach, is associated to the presence of hot spots reaching concentrations able to affect acutely more than 50% of the soil species, while the large majority of the area presents 1,2,4- TCB concentrations below those reported as toxic [it
Full Text Available Upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB reactor has served as an effective process to treat industrial wastewater such as purified terephthalic acid (PTA wastewater. For optimal UASB performance, balanced ecological interactions between syntrophs, methanogens, and fermenters are critical. However, much of the interactions remain unclear because UASB have been studied at a "macro"-level perspective of the reactor ecosystem. In reality, such reactors are composed of a suite of granules, each forming individual micro-ecosystems treating wastewater. Thus, typical approaches may be oversimplifying the complexity of the microbial ecology and granular development. To identify critical microbial interactions at both macro- and micro- level ecosystem ecology, we perform community and network analyses on 300 PTA-degrading granules from a lab-scale UASB reactor and two full-scale reactors. Based on MiSeq-based 16S rRNA gene sequencing of individual granules, different granule-types co-exist in both full-scale reactors regardless of granule size and reactor sampling depth, suggesting that distinct microbial interactions occur in different granules throughout the reactor. In addition, we identify novel networks of syntrophic metabolic interactions in different granules, perhaps caused by distinct thermodynamic conditions. Moreover, unseen methanogenic relationships (e.g. "Candidatus Aminicenantes" and Methanosaeta are observed in UASB reactors. In total, we discover unexpected microbial interactions in granular micro-ecosystems supporting UASB ecology and treatment through a unique single-granule level approach.
Mei, Ran; Narihiro, Takashi; Bocher, Benjamin T. W.; Yamaguchi, Takashi; Liu, Wen-Tso
Upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor has served as an effective process to treat industrial wastewater such as purified terephthalic acid (PTA) wastewater. For optimal UASB performance, balanced ecological interactions between syntrophs, methanogens, and fermenters are critical. However, much of the interactions remain unclear because UASB have been studied at a “macro”-level perspective of the reactor ecosystem. In reality, such reactors are composed of a suite of granules, each forming individual micro-ecosystems treating wastewater. Thus, typical approaches may be oversimplifying the complexity of the microbial ecology and granular development. To identify critical microbial interactions at both macro- and micro- level ecosystem ecology, we perform community and network analyses on 300 PTA–degrading granules from a lab-scale UASB reactor and two full-scale reactors. Based on MiSeq-based 16S rRNA gene sequencing of individual granules, different granule-types co-exist in both full-scale reactors regardless of granule size and reactor sampling depth, suggesting that distinct microbial interactions occur in different granules throughout the reactor. In addition, we identify novel networks of syntrophic metabolic interactions in different granules, perhaps caused by distinct thermodynamic conditions. Moreover, unseen methanogenic relationships (e.g. “Candidatus Aminicenantes” and Methanosaeta) are observed in UASB reactors. In total, we discover unexpected microbial interactions in granular micro-ecosystems supporting UASB ecology and treatment through a unique single-granule level approach. PMID:27936088
Steven D. Prager
Full Text Available The premise of this research is to better understand how approaches to implementing rainwater management practices can be informed by understanding how the people living and working in agroecosystems are connected to one another. Because these connections are via both social interactions and functional characteristics of the landscape, a social-ecological network emerges. Using social-ecological network theory, we ask how understanding the structure of interactions can lead to improved rainwater management interventions. Using a case study situated within a small sub-basin in the Fogera area of the Blue Nile Basin of Ethiopia, we build networks of smallholders based both on the biophysical and social-institutional landscapes present in the study site, with the smallholders themselves as the common element between the networks. In turn we explore how structures present in the networks may serve to guide decision making regarding both where and with whom rainwater management interventions could be developed. This research thus illustrates an approach for constructing a social-ecological network and demonstrates how the structures of the network yield insights for tailoring the implementation of rainwater management practices to the social and ecological setting.
Full Text Available China is facing ecological and environmental challenges as its urban growth rate continues to rise, and zoning protected ecological areas is recognized as an effective response measure. Zoning inherently involves both site attributes and aggregation attributes, and the combination of mathematical models and heuristic algorithms have proven advantageous. In this article, an improved artificial bee colony (IABC-based approach is proposed for zoning protected ecological areas at a regional scale. Three main improvements were made: the first is the use of multiple strategies to generate the initial bee population of a specific quality and diversity, the second is an exploitation search procedure to generate neighbor solutions combining "replace" and "alter" operations, and the third is a "swap" strategy to enable a local search for the iterative optimal solution. The IABC algorithm was verified using simulated data. Then it was applied to define an optimum scheme of protected ecological areas of Sanya (in the Hainan province of China, and a reasonable solution was obtained. Finally, a comparison experiment with other methods (agent-based land allocation model, ant colony optimization, and density slicing was conducted and demonstrated that the IABC algorithm was more effective and efficient than the other methods. Through this study, we aimed to provide a scientifically sound, practical approach for zoning procedures.
Brendan D Cowled
Full Text Available Infectious wildlife diseases have enormous global impacts, leading to human pandemics, global biodiversity declines and socio-economic hardship. Understanding how infection persists and is transmitted in wildlife is critical for managing diseases, but our understanding is limited. Our study aim was to better understand how infectious disease persists in wildlife populations by integrating genetics, ecology and epidemiology approaches. Specifically, we aimed to determine whether environmental or host factors were stronger drivers of Salmonella persistence or transmission within a remote and isolated wild pig (Sus scrofa population. We determined the Salmonella infection status of wild pigs. Salmonella isolates were genotyped and a range of data was collected on putative risk factors for Salmonella transmission. We a priori identified several plausible biological hypotheses for Salmonella prevalence (cross sectional study design versus transmission (molecular case series study design and fit the data to these models. There were 543 wild pig Salmonella observations, sampled at 93 unique locations. Salmonella prevalence was 41% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 37-45%. The median Salmonella DICE coefficient (or Salmonella genetic similarity was 52% (interquartile range [IQR]: 42-62%. Using the traditional cross sectional prevalence study design, the only supported model was based on the hypothesis that abundance of available ecological resources determines Salmonella prevalence in wild pigs. In the molecular study design, spatial proximity and herd membership as well as some individual risk factors (sex, condition score and relative density determined transmission between pigs. Traditional cross sectional surveys and molecular epidemiological approaches are complementary and together can enhance understanding of disease ecology: abundance of ecological resources critical for wildlife influences Salmonella prevalence, whereas Salmonella transmission is
Cowled, Brendan D.; Ward, Michael P.; Laffan, Shawn W.; Galea, Francesca; Garner, M. Graeme; MacDonald, Anna J.; Marsh, Ian; Muellner, Petra; Negus, Katherine; Quasim, Sumaiya; Woolnough, Andrew P.; Sarre, Stephen D.
Infectious wildlife diseases have enormous global impacts, leading to human pandemics, global biodiversity declines and socio-economic hardship. Understanding how infection persists and is transmitted in wildlife is critical for managing diseases, but our understanding is limited. Our study aim was to better understand how infectious disease persists in wildlife populations by integrating genetics, ecology and epidemiology approaches. Specifically, we aimed to determine whether environmental or host factors were stronger drivers of Salmonella persistence or transmission within a remote and isolated wild pig (Sus scrofa) population. We determined the Salmonella infection status of wild pigs. Salmonella isolates were genotyped and a range of data was collected on putative risk factors for Salmonella transmission. We a priori identified several plausible biological hypotheses for Salmonella prevalence (cross sectional study design) versus transmission (molecular case series study design) and fit the data to these models. There were 543 wild pig Salmonella observations, sampled at 93 unique locations. Salmonella prevalence was 41% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 37–45%). The median Salmonella DICE coefficient (or Salmonella genetic similarity) was 52% (interquartile range [IQR]: 42–62%). Using the traditional cross sectional prevalence study design, the only supported model was based on the hypothesis that abundance of available ecological resources determines Salmonella prevalence in wild pigs. In the molecular study design, spatial proximity and herd membership as well as some individual risk factors (sex, condition score and relative density) determined transmission between pigs. Traditional cross sectional surveys and molecular epidemiological approaches are complementary and together can enhance understanding of disease ecology: abundance of ecological resources critical for wildlife influences Salmonella prevalence, whereas Salmonella transmission is driven by
Justin B. Leaf
Full Text Available Discrete trial teaching (DTT is one of the cornerstones of applied behavior analysis (ABA based interventions. Conventionally, DTT is commonly implemented within a prescribed, fixed manner in which the therapist is governed by a strict set of rules. In contrast to conventional DTT, a progressive approach to DTT allows the therapist to remain flexible, making in-the-moment analyses and changes based on several variables (e.g., individual responding, current and previous history. The present paper will describe some guidelines to a progressive approach to DTT. The guidelines presented here should not be taken as a set of rules or as an exhaustive list.
Justin B. LEAF
Full Text Available Discrete trial teaching (DTT is one of the cornerstones of applied behavior analysis (ABA based interventions. Conventionally, DTT is commonly implemented within a prescribed, fixed manner in which the therapist is governed by a strict set of rules. In contrast to conventional DTT, a progressive approach to DTT allows the therapist to remain flexible, making in-the-moment analyses and changes based on several variables (e.g., individual responding, current and previous history. The present paper will describe some guidelines to a progressive approach to DTT. The guidelines presented here should not be taken as a set of rules or as an exhaustive list.
Full Text Available The concept of ecological ambience (Ecological Ambience System, EASY is based on the idea that biocenoses (BIO are not only related to the input of organic and mineral substances (IN but also to the way they are stored and processed by the ecosystem. Storage, assimilation and self-purification processes ("ecosystem defences": ED are likely to vary among the different functional units (FUs of the ecosystem. The functional units have been defined on the basis of a simple physical description of sites in an ecosystem, because the physical structure of these units is considered as being of prime importance in the ED processes. For example, mineral and organic substances may be preferentially stored in fine-sediment units, whereas the mineralization rate of organic matter is more likely to be highest in coarse permeable sediments. If the stream ecosystem is viewed as a mosaic, its overall ecological defences will depend upon: 1 the self-purification capacity of the different functional units; 2 their relative proportion within the ecosystem. The EASY concept is now used for ecological researches and also has several applications in the biomonitoring of running waters, illustrated by the study of the River Dore. Biological compartments, specific for each functional unit, are related to operational bio-indicators to build up a global harmonisation system for biomonitoring indices. Four main biological compartments were defined with their related bio-indicators: 1 general biological quality (IBGN biotic index, 2 biological sediment quality (IOBS oligochaete index, 3 biological water quality (diatom index IBD and 4 biological fish quality (study of fish communities. The selected bio-indicators were adjusted to an ecological classification model (Typic concept. A weighting system of the general ecological quality at a site based on the percentage cover of fine sediments is proposed. This approach can be developed using several other compartments. Major
Full Text Available Integrating multiple measures of stream health into a combined metric can provide a holistic assessment of the ecological integrity of a stream. The aim of this study was to develop a multimetric index (MMI of stream integrity based on predictive modelling of national data sets of water quality, macroinvertebrates, fish and ecosystem process metrics. We used a boosted regression tree approach to calculate an observed/expected score for each metric prior to combining metrics in a MMI based on data availability and the strength of predictive models. The resulting MMI provides a geographically meaningful prediction of the ecological integrity of rivers in New Zealand, but identifies limitations in data and approach, providing focus for ongoing research.
Douterelo, Isabel; Boxall, Joby B.; Deines, Peter; Sekar, Raju; Fish, Katherine E.; Biggs, Catherine A.
The study of the microbial ecology of drinking water distribution systems (DWDS) has traditionally been based on culturing organisms from bulk water samples. The development and application of molecular methods has supplied new tools for examining the microbial diversity and activity of environmental samples, yielding new insights into the microbial community and its diversity within these engineered ecosystems. In this review, the currently available methods and emerging approaches for chara...
de la Torre-Castro, Maricela
The present study is one of the first attempts to analyze the societal importance of seagrasses (marine flowering plants) from a Natural Resource Management perspective, using a social-ecological systems (SES) approach. The interdisciplinary study takes place in East Africa (Western Indian Ocean, WIO) and includes in-depth studies in Chwaka Bay, Zanzibar, Tanzania. Natural and social sciences methods were used. The results are presented in six articles, showing that seagrass ecosystems are ri...
Smith, Cindy J; Osborn, A Mark
Quantitative PCR (Q-PCR or real-time PCR) approaches are now widely applied in microbial ecology to quantify the abundance and expression of taxonomic and functional gene markers within the environment. Q-PCR-based analyses combine 'traditional' end-point detection PCR with fluorescent detection technologies to record the accumulation of amplicons in 'real time' during each cycle of the PCR amplification. By detection of amplicons during the early exponential phase of the PCR, this enables the quantification of gene (or transcript) numbers when these are proportional to the starting template concentration. When Q-PCR is coupled with a preceding reverse transcription reaction, it can be used to quantify gene expression (RT-Q-PCR). This review firstly addresses the theoretical and practical implementation of Q-PCR and RT-Q-PCR protocols in microbial ecology, highlighting key experimental considerations. Secondly, we review the applications of (RT)-Q-PCR analyses in environmental microbiology and evaluate the contribution and advances gained from such approaches. Finally, we conclude by offering future perspectives on the application of (RT)-Q-PCR in furthering understanding in microbial ecology, in particular, when coupled with other molecular approaches and more traditional investigations of environmental systems.
Baine, David; Puhan, Biranchi; Puhan, Gautam; Puhan, Siba
The paper describes a curriculum development pilot study in a rural village in India. The purpose of the study was to develop and test application of an ecological inventory approach to curriculum development integrating academic and functional skill training. Ecologically valid curricula teach the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values required by students to function effectively in current and future environments (e.g., urban and/or rural, academic, vocational, domestic, community and recreational) in which the students perform. The discussion illustrates application of ecological inventories and describes several related data collection instruments and procedures. The paper also describes an Integrated Core Curriculum Structure (ICCS) as a guide for designing curricula based on ecological inventories. An example is provided of a practical Thematic Unit Plan derived from the ICCS and integrating a variety of functional and academic skills into a guide for instruction and evaluation. The discussion provides a clear insight into many of the problems faced by students, school leavers and graduates in rural areas of developing countries, both in their daily lives and as they plan for their futures.
Rachel D. Cavanagh
Full Text Available Increasing concern about the impacts of climate change on ecosystems is prompting ecologists and ecosystem managers to seek reliable projections of physical drivers of change. The use of global climate models in ecology is growing, although drawing ecologically meaningful conclusions can be problematic. The expertise required to access and interpret output from climate and earth system models is hampering progress in utilizing them most effectively to determine the wider implications of climate change. To address this issue, we present a joint approach between climate scientists and ecologists that explores key challenges and opportunities for progress. As an exemplar, our focus is the Southern Ocean, notable for significant change with global implications, and on sea ice, given its crucial role in this dynamic ecosystem. We combined perspectives to evaluate the representation of sea ice in global climate models. With an emphasis on ecologically-relevant criteria (sea ice extent and seasonality we selected a subset of eight models that reliably reproduce extant sea ice distributions. While the model subset shows a similar mean change to the full ensemble in sea ice extent (approximately 50% decline in winter and 30% decline in summer, there is a marked reduction in the range. This improved the precision of projected future sea ice distributions by approximately one third, and means they are more amenable to ecological interpretation. We conclude that careful multidisciplinary evaluation of climate models, in conjunction with ongoing modeling advances, should form an integral part of utilizing model output.
Tian, Dayong; Mao, Haichen; Lv, Huichao; Zheng, Yong; Peng, Conghu; Hou, Shaogang
Ecological risk assessments for mixtures have attracted considerable attention. In this study, 38 pesticides in the real environment were taken as objects and their toxicities to different organisms from three trophic levels were employed to assess the ecological risk of the mixture. The first tier assessment was based on the CA effect and the obtained sum of risk quotients (SRQ species-CA ) were 3.06-9.22. The second tier assessment was based on non-CA effects and the calculated SRQ species-TU are 5.37-9.29 using joint effects (TU sum ) as modified coefficients, which is higher than SRQ species-CA and indicates that ignoring joint effects might run the risk of underestimating the actual impact of pesticide mixtures. Due to the influences of synergistic and antagonistic effects, risk contribution of components to mixture risks based on non-CA effects are different from those based on the CA effect. Moreover, it was found that the top 8 dominating components explained 95.5%-99.8% of mixture risks in this study. The dominating components are similar in the two tiers for a given species. Accordingly, a novel two-tiered approach was proposed to assess the ecological risks of mixtures based on joint effects. This study provides new insights for ecological risk assessments with the consideration of joint effects of components in the pesticide mixtures. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available In this paper, we report on a project conducted in a New Zealand primary school that aimed to enhance the writing achievement of primary school boys who were achieving just below the national standard for their age or level through the use of peer feedback and information and communication technologies (ICTs. The project involved a teacher collaborative inquiry approach where all seven teachers in the school and the school principal participated to achieve the project aim. We adopt an ecological approach as a lens to offer a holistic and comprehensive view of how peer assessment and use of ICTs can be facilitated to improve writing achievement. Data were collected through teacher interviews and written reflections of practice and student learning, teacher analysis of student work, team meeting notes, classroom observations, and student focus group interviews. Findings from the thematic analysis of textual data illustrate the potential of adopting an ecological approach to consider how teacher classroom practices are shaped by the school, community, and wider policy context. At the classroom level, our ecological analysis highlighted a productive synergy between commonplace writing pedagogy strategies and assessment for learning (AfL practices as part of teacher orchestration of an ensemble of interdependent routines, tools, and activities. Diversity, redundancy, and local adaptations of resources to provide multiple pathways and opportunities—social and material and digital—emerged as important in fostering peer assessment and ICT use in support of writing achievement. Importantly, these practices were made explicit and taken up across the school and in the parent community because of whole staff involvement in the project. The wider policy context allowed for and supported teachers developing more effective pedagogy to impact student learning outcomes. We propose that an ecological orientation offers the field a productive insight into the
Denys Yemshanov; Frank H. Koch; D. Barry Lyons; Mark Ducey; Klaus Koehler
Aim Uncertainty has been widely recognized as one of the most critical issues in predicting the expansion of ecological invasions. The uncertainty associated with the introduction and spread of invasive organisms influences how pest management decision makers respond to expanding incursions. We present a model-based approach to map risk of ecological invasions that...
Buchholz, Thomas S.; Volk, Timothy A.; Luzadis, Valerie A.
Availability of and access to useful energy is a crucial factor for maintaining and improving human well-being. Looming scarcities and increasing awareness of environmental, economic, and social impacts of conventional sources of non-renewable energy have focused attention on renewable energy sources, including biomass. The complex interactions of social, economic, and ecological factors among the bioenergy system components of feedstock supply, conversion technology, and energy allocation have been a major obstacle to the broader development of bioenergy systems. For widespread implementation of bioenergy to occur there is a need for an integrated approach to model the social, economic, and ecological interactions associated with bioenergy. Such models can serve as a planning and evaluation tool to help decide when, where, and how bioenergy systems can contribute to development. One approach to integrated modeling is by assessing the sustainability of a bioenergy system. The evolving nature of sustainability can be described by an adaptive systems approach using general systems principles. Discussing these principles reveals that participation of stakeholders in all components of a bioenergy system is a crucial factor for sustainability. Multi-criteria analysis (MCA) is an effective tool to implement this approach. This approach would enable decision-makers to evaluate bioenergy systems for sustainability in a participatory, transparent, timely, and informed manner
Cédric L Meunier
Full Text Available Stoichiometric homeostasis is the ability of an organism to keep its body chemical composition constant, despite varying inputs. Stoichiometric homeostasis therefore constrains the metabolic needs of consumers which in turn often feed on resources not matching these requirements. In a broader context, homeostasis also relates to the capacity of an organism to maintain other biological parameters (e.g. body temperature at a constant level over ambient environmental variations. Unfortunately, there are discrepancies in the literature and ecological and physiological definitions of homeostasis are disparate and partly contradictory. Here, we address this matter by reviewing the existing knowledge considering two distinct groups, regulators and conformers and, based on examples of thermo- and osmoregulation, we propose a new approach to stoichiometric homeostasis, unifying ecological and physiological concepts. We suggest a simple and precise graphical way to identify regulators and conformers: for any given biological parameter (e.g. nutrient stoichiometry, temperature, a sigmoidal relation between internal and external conditions can be observed for conformers while an inverse sigmoidal response is characteristic of regulators. This new definition and method, based on well-studied physiological mechanisms, unifies ecological and physiological approaches and is a useful tool for understanding how organisms are affected by and affect their environment.
James A Fordyce
Full Text Available Many ecological studies use the analysis of count data to arrive at biologically meaningful inferences. Here, we introduce a hierarchical bayesian approach to count data. This approach has the advantage over traditional approaches in that it directly estimates the parameters of interest at both the individual-level and population-level, appropriately models uncertainty, and allows for comparisons among models, including those that exceed the complexity of many traditional approaches, such as ANOVA or non-parametric analogs. As an example, we apply this method to oviposition preference data for butterflies in the genus Lycaeides. Using this method, we estimate the parameters that describe preference for each population, compare the preference hierarchies among populations, and explore various models that group populations that share the same preference hierarchy.
Full Text Available Photographic identification of individual organisms can be possible from natural body markings. Data from photo-ID can be used to estimate important ecological and conservation metrics such as population sizes, home ranges or territories. However, poor quality photographs or less well-studied individuals can result in a non-unique ID, potentially confounding several similar looking individuals. Here we present a Bayesian approach that uses known data about previous sightings of individuals at specific sites as priors to help assess the problems of obtaining a non-unique ID. Using a simulation of individuals with different confidence of correct ID we evaluate the accuracy of Bayesian modified (posterior probabilities. However, in most cases, the accuracy of identification decreases. Although this technique is unsuccessful, it does demonstrate the importance of computer simulations in testing such hypotheses in ecology.
Linwood Hagan Pendleton
Full Text Available Ocean acidification, climate change, and other environmental stressors threaten coral reef ecosystems and the people who depend upon them. New science reveals that these multiple stressors interact and may affect a multitude of physiological and ecological processes in complex ways. The interaction of multiple stressors and ecological complexity may mean that the negative effects on coral reef ecosystems will happen sooner and be more severe than previously thought. Yet, most research on the effects of global change on coral reefs focus on one or few stressors and pathways or outcomes (e.g. bleaching. Based on a critical review of the literature, we call for a regionally targeted strategy of mesocosm-level research that addresses this complexity and provides more realistic projections about coral reef impacts in the face of global environmental change. We believe similar approaches are needed for other ecosystems that face global environmental change.
Suwondo; Darmadi; Yunus, M.
The development process has resulted in deforestation. A comprehensive study is needed to obtain an objective solution by integrating the ecological dimension and human dimension. This study was conducted within Balai Raja Wildlife Reserve (BRWR), Bengkalis Regency, Riau Province, Indonesia. We used the social-ecological systems (SES) approach based on local characteristics, categorized into ecological status, social status and actors. Each factoris ranked using Multi-Dimensional Scaling (MDS).BRWR sustainability levels are in moderate condition. The ecological dimension is in a less sustainable state, with leverage: (1) forest conversion; (2) local ecological knowledge; (3) high conservation value. The social dimension is in a less sustainable state, with leverage: (1) community empowerment; (2) social conflict; (3) participation in landscape management. Dimensions actors are on a fairly sustainable status, with leverage: (1) institutional interaction; (2) stakeholder’s commitment; (3) law enforcement. We recommend strengthening community empowerment, local ecological knowledge, interaction, and stakeholder commitment
Flik, B.J.G.; Daan, N.; Meulemans, J.; Gulati, R.D.
Two studies of complicated ecological phenomena in Lake Maarsseveen (The Netherlands) are presented to illustrate that a combination of field and laboratory analysis might be a successful approach. In the first one, the yearly varying ratio of population abundance of two diatoms, Asterionella
Ecology (from the Greek words οιχοσ, "house" and λογια "study of") is the science of the "house", since it studies the environments where we live. There are three main ways of thinking about Ecology: Ecology as the study of interactions (between humans and the environment, between humans and living beings, between all living beings, etc.), Ecology as the statistical study of interactions, Ecology as a faith, or rather as a science that requires a metaphysical view. The history of Ecology shows us how this view was released by the label of "folk sense" to gain the epistemological status of science, a science that strives to be interdisciplinary. So, the aim of Ecology is to study, through a scientific methodology, the whole natural world, answering to very different questions, that arise from several fields (Economics, Biology, Sociology, Philosophy, etc.). The plurality of issues that Ecology has to face led, during the Twentieth-century, to branch off in several different "ecologies". As a result, each one of these new approaches chose as its own field a more limited and specific portion of reality.
Jensen, Jesper Ole; Gram-Hanssen, Kirsten
Gram-Hanssen and Jensen explore the development of green buildings in Denmark over the last three decades, identifying differences in design philosophies and techniques. They look at four approaches to green buildings: as energy-saving devices, as ecological grassroots alternatives, as subsidised...... large-scale urban projects, and as consumer products in a market approach. Using detailed case descriptions, the chapter asks to what extent it is possible to define some buildings or some approaches as more 'green' than others. The authors suggest that in order to more fully understand sustainable...... buildings we must account for the social structuring of both the identification of environmental problems and their resulting embodiment in built form....
Ocampo-Duque, William; Schuhmacher, Marta; Domingo, Jose L.
A methodology based on a hybrid approach that combines fuzzy inference systems and artificial neural networks has been used to classify ecological status in surface waters. This methodology has been proposed to deal efficiently with the non-linearity and highly subjective nature of variables involved in this serious problem. Ecological status has been assessed with biological, hydro-morphological, and physicochemical indicators. A data set collected from 378 sampling sites in the Ebro river basin has been used to train and validate the hybrid model. Up to 97.6% of sampling sites have been correctly classified with neural-fuzzy models. Such performance resulted very competitive when compared with other classification algorithms. With non-parametric classification-regression trees and probabilistic neural networks, the predictive capacities were 90.7% and 97.0%, respectively. The proposed methodology can support decision-makers in evaluation and classification of ecological status, as required by the EU Water Framework Directive. - Fuzzy inference systems can be used as environmental classifiers
Full Text Available Urbanization has become a key part of social and economic progress in the 21st Century, but achieving healthy and safe urban development has a long way to go for many developed and developing countries. Urbanization has been recognized as a complex ecosystem which is affected by economic, social, and ecological factors. With this in mind, this paper looks at many factors to first evaluate based on the matter-element (ME method and then model an Economy-Society-Ecology (ESE subsystem using a hybrid method by a fuzzy analytical hierarchy process (FAHP, and then by using the entropy method (EM to determine the relevant index weights. To avoid subjectivity when defining the model’s boundaries, the technique for order preference by similarity to an ideal solution (TOPSIS is introduced. Then, a coupling coordination degree model focusing on the degree of coordination in the ESE subsystem is established. Panel data collected from 2003 to 2012 for Chengdu, China, is then simulated to analyze the development process. The results show that: (1 The quality of urbanization continues to improve and the phasic features are presented; (2 The sensitivity analysis of subsystem weight shown that it had less effect on the coupling coordinated system; (3 The coordination in the ESE subsystem has also improved. However, the development rate of the economic subsystem is greater than that of the societal and ecological subsystem. The approach used here therefore, is shown to provide a promising basis for policy-making to support healthy urban development.
Leverkus, Alexandro B; Castro, Jorge
Forest disturbances diminish ecosystem services and boost disservices. Because post-disturbance management intends to recover the greatest possible value, selling timber often prevails over other considerations. Ecological research has shown diverse effects of salvage logging, yet such research has focused on the biophysical component of post-disturbance ecosystems and lacks the link with human well-being. Here we bridge that gap under the ecosystem services framework by assessing the impact of post-fire management on a non-timber value. By employing the replacement cost method, we calculated the value of the post-fire natural regeneration of Holm oaks in southern Spain under three post-fire management options by considering the cost of planting instead. The value of this ecosystem service in non-intervention areas doubled that of salvage-logged stands due to the preference for standing dead trees by the main seed disperser. Still, most of the value resulted from the resprouting capacity of oaks. The value of this and other ecosystem services should be added to traditional cost/benefit analyses of post-disturbance management. We thus call for a more holistic approach to salvage logging research, one that explicitly links ecological processes with human well-being through ecosystem services, to better inform decision-makers on the outcomes of post-disturbance management. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.
Boettiger, Alistair N; Wittemyer, George; Starfield, Richard; Volrath, Fritz; Douglas-Hamilton, Iain; Getz, Wayne M
Understanding the environmental factors influencing animal movements is fundamental to theoretical and applied research in the field of movement ecology. Studies relating fine-scale movement paths to spatiotemporally structured landscape data, such as vegetation productivity or human activity, are particularly lacking despite the obvious importance of such information to understanding drivers of animal movement. In part, this may be because few approaches provide the sophistication to characterize the complexity of movement behavior and relate it to diverse, varying environmental stimuli. We overcame this hurdle by applying, for the first time to an ecological question, a finite impulse-response signal-filtering approach to identify human and natural environmental drivers of movements of 13 free-ranging African elephants (Loxodonta africana) from distinct social groups collected over seven years. A minimum mean-square error (MMSE) estimation criterion allowed comparison of the predictive power of landscape and ecological model inputs. We showed that a filter combining vegetation dynamics, human and physical landscape features, and previous movement outperformed simpler filter structures, indicating the importance of both dynamic and static landscape features, as well as habit, on movement decisions taken by elephants. Elephant responses to vegetation productivity indices were not uniform in time or space, indicating that elephant foraging strategies are more complex than simply gravitation toward areas of high productivity. Predictions were most frequently inaccurate outside protected area boundaries near human settlements, suggesting that human activity disrupts typical elephant movement behavior. Successful management strategies at the human-elephant interface, therefore, are likely to be context specific and dynamic. Signal processing provides a promising approach for elucidating environmental factors that drive animal movements over large time and spatial
Glackin, Erin; Gray, Sarah A O
This commentary expands on Anderson, Bushman, Donnerstein, Hummer, and Warburton's agenda for minimizing the impacts of violent media exposure (VME) on youth aggression. We argue that in order to effectively intervene in the development of aggression and other maladaptive traits, researchers and policymakers should take an ecological, developmental psychopathology approach to understanding children's exposure to VME within developmental, relational, environmental, and cultural contexts. Such a framework holds the most promise for identifying at-risk groups, establishing targets of intervention, and testing mechanisms of change.
John J Orloff
Full Text Available Pharmaceutical innovation is increasingly risky, costly and at times inefficient, which has led to a decline in industry productivity. Despite the increased investment in R&D by the industry, the number of new molecular entities achieving marketing authorization is not increasing. Novel approaches to clinical development and trial design could have a key role in overcoming some of these challenges by improving efficiency and reducing attrition rates. The effectiveness of clinical development can be improved by adopting a more integrated model that increases flexibility and maximizes the use of accumulated knowledge. Central to this model of drug development are novel tools, including modelling and simulation, Bayesian methodologies, and adaptive designs, such as seamless adaptive designs and sample-size re-estimation methods. Applications of these methodologies to early- and late-stage drug development are described with some specific examples, along with advantages, challenges, and barriers to implementation. Because they are so flexible, these new trial designs require significant statistical analyses, simulations and logistical considerations to verify their operating characteristics, and therefore tend to require more time for the planning and protocol development phase. Greater awareness of the distinct advantages of innovative designs by regulators and sponsors are crucial to increasing the adoption of these modern tools.
Full Text Available doi: https://doi.org/10.15447/sfews.2017v15iss3art3Current legislation and plans for the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta (Delta call for large-scale restoration of aquatic and terrestrial habitats, which will require significant changes in waterways, land uses, and cultural patterns. These re-made landscapes will be subject to a variety of new human uses, which Delta planning and adaptive management literature has yet to adequately consider. Failing to account for human uses and evolving place values can lead to diminished performance and public support for Delta restoration efforts. Our empirical study examined restored and naturalized Delta landscapes using an integrative landscape approach that seeks to reconcile multiple goals and land-use agendas that span ecological, social, economic, and political domains. The research design consisted of six overlapping methods that included a planning, policy, and law review specific to the Delta; surveys and interviews with approximately 100 land managers, scientists, land-owners, law-enforcement personnel, agency representatives, and Delta residents; nine case studies of restored and naturalized delta landscapes; GIS mapping; and extensive field work. Findings derived from the synthesis of these methods show that human uses of the Delta’s re-wilded landscapes are diverse and pervasive. Given the infrastructural and urbanized context of the region, these environments are subject to multiple and sometimes conflicting uses, perceptions, and place values. Though these myriad uses cannot be fully predicted or controlled (nor should they be, findings showed that more proactive and inclusive planning for human uses can encourage or discourage particular uses while also building constituency, support, and active engagement in ecological restoration efforts. We conclude that reconciling human uses with ecological recovery in the Delta will require a more localized, multi-functional, and creative approach to
Lucini, Daniela; Zanuso, Silvano; Solaro, Nadia; Vigo, Chiara; Malacarne, Mara; Pagani, Massimo
Given the time spent at work, the workplace represents an ideal setting to implement preventive programs for non-communicable diseases, the major cause of mortality and morbidity in Western and developing countries. We sought to verify if an ecological approach based on corporate culture, employees' education and concrete modifications of workplace environment, offering easy opportunity to assume healthy lifestyle, could be associated with reduced cardiometabolic risk. The study involved 1089 workers in two multinational companies following different workplace health promotion policies. Company A offered to all employees the opportunity to access a web platform dedicated to general information on health and diseases. Company B implemented an ecological model encompassing company culture, employees' education and concrete modifications of workplace environment, giving to all employees the opportunity to adopt healthy solutions throughout daily living at workplace. Participants volunteered self-reported clinical information using an IT tool. Numbers of Metabolic Syndrome components (MetS) were taken as proxy of cardiometabolic risk. MetS probability obtained via statistical modeling was lower in company B as compared to company A, and absenteeism was also lower in company B. Our study shows that a work environment favoring assumption of healthy lifestyle, as in company B, is associated with a lower percentage of employees with MetS components and lower absenteeism. Moreover, statistical modeling shows that individual probabilities of being without MetS elements, controlling for age and gender, is remarkably higher in company B. Our data suggest that ecological approaches might be useful in worksite prevention policies.
Full Text Available Schistosomiasis is a widespread water-based disease that puts close to 800 million people at risk of infection with more than 250 million infected, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa. Transmission is governed by the spatial distribution of specific freshwater snails that act as intermediate hosts and the frequency, duration and extent of human bodies exposed to infested water sources during human water contact. Remote sensing data have been utilized for spatially explicit risk profiling of schistosomiasis. Since schistosomiasis risk profiling based on remote sensing data inherits a conceptual drawback if school-based disease prevalence data are directly related to the remote sensing measurements extracted at the location of the school, because the disease transmission usually does not exactly occur at the school, we took the local environment around the schools into account by explicitly linking ecologically relevant environmental information of potential disease transmission sites to survey measurements of disease prevalence. Our models were validated at two sites with different landscapes in Côte d’Ivoire using high- and moderateresolution remote sensing data based on random forest and partial least squares regression. We found that the ecologically relevant modelling approach explained up to 70% of the variation in Schistosoma infection prevalence and performed better compared to a purely pixelbased modelling approach. Furthermore, our study showed that model performance increased as a function of enlarging the school catchment area, confirming the hypothesis that suitable environments for schistosomiasis transmission rarely occur at the location of survey measurements.
Verfaillie, Els; Degraer, Steven; Schelfaut, Kristien; Willems, Wouter; Van Lancker, Vera
Mapping ecologically relevant zones in the marine environment has become increasingly important. Biological data are however often scarce and alternatives are being sought in optimal classifications of abiotic variables. The concept of 'marine landscapes' is based on a hierarchical classification of geological, hydrographic and other physical data. This approach is however subject to many assumptions and subjective decisions. An objective protocol for zonation is being proposed here where abiotic variables are subjected to a statistical approach, using principal components analysis (PCA) and a cluster analysis. The optimal number of clusters (or zones) is being defined using the Calinski-Harabasz criterion. The methodology has been applied on datasets of the Belgian part of the North Sea (BPNS), a shallow sandy shelf environment with a sandbank-swale topography. The BPNS was classified into 8 zones that represent well the natural variability of the seafloor. The internal cluster consistency was validated with a split-run procedure, with more than 99% correspondence between the validation and the original dataset. The ecological relevance of 6 out of the 8 zones was demonstrated, using indicator species analysis. The proposed protocol, as exemplified for the BPNS, can easily be applied to other areas and provides a strong knowledge basis for environmental protection and management of the marine environment. A SWOT-analysis, showing the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the protocol was performed.
Full Text Available Risks have been classically understood as a probability of damage or a potential hazard resulting in appropriate management strategies. However, research on environmental issues such as pollutants in the aquatic environment or the impacts of climate change have shown that classical management approaches do not sufficiently cover these interactions between society and nature. There have been several attempts to develop interdisciplinary approaches to risk that include natural as well as social science contributions. In this paper, the authors aim at developing a social-ecological perspective on risk by drawing on the concept of societal relations to nature and the model of provisioning systems. This perspective is used to analyze four cases, pharmaceuticals, microplastics, semicentralized water infrastructures and forest management, with regard to risk identification, assessment and management. Finally, the paper aims at developing a perspective on risks which takes into account non-intended side-effects, system interdependencies and uncertainty.
Full Text Available Zhejiang Province, China is experiencing rapid urbanization, facing the challenge of coupling socioeconomic development and ecological conservation. This paper establishes a comprehensive index system to assess coordinating development of economic, construction land use (CLU, and ecology subsystems. A Granger test and a coupling coordination model were applied to explore the causal relationship and the coordinated development state among the three subsystems from 2000 to 2012. The results showed that: (1 changes in the integrated value of the economic subsystem were the Granger cause of changes in the ecology and CLU subsystems, and the changes in the integrated values of ecology and CLU was each other’s Granger cause; (2 the coupling coordination relationship of the integrated value for economic–CLU–ecology was constrained by the relationship between the economic and the CLU subsystems from 2000 to 2004, and that between the ecology and the economic subsystems was the impediment of the sustainable development of economic–CLU–ecology from 2004 to 2012. This research helps to identify approach to sustainable development through analyzing synergistic effects, interdependencies, and trade-offs among the integrated economic–CLU–ecology values, and to make significant contribution to urban planning policies in rapid urbanization region.
Veselov, E I
The article deals with specifying systemic approach to ecologic safety of objects with radiation jeopardy. The authors presented stages of work and algorithm of decisions on preserving reliability of storage for radiation jeopardy waste. Findings are that providing ecologic safety can cover 3 approaches: complete exemption of radiation jeopardy waste, removal of more dangerous waste from present buildings and increasing reliability of prolonged localization of radiation jeopardy waste at the initial place. The systemic approach presented could be realized at various radiation jeopardy objects.
Hall, Robert K; Guiliano, David; Swanson, Sherman; Philbin, Michael J; Lin, John; Aron, Joan L; Schafer, Robin J; Heggem, Daniel T
Prioritizing total maximum daily load (TMDL) development starts by considering the scope and severity of water pollution and risks to public health and aquatic life. Methodology using quantitative assessments of in-stream water quality is appropriate and effective for point source (PS) dominated discharge, but less so in watersheds with mostly nonpoint source (NPS) related impairments. For NPSs, prioritization in TMDL development and implementation of associated best management practices should focus on restoration of ecosystem physical functions, including how restoration effectiveness depends on design, maintenance and placement within the watershed. To refine the approach to TMDL development, regulators and stakeholders must first ask if the watershed, or ecosystem, is at risk of losing riparian or other ecologically based physical attributes and processes. If so, the next step is an assessment of the spatial arrangement of functionality with a focus on the at-risk areas that could be lost, or could, with some help, regain functions. Evaluating stream and wetland riparian function has advantages over the traditional means of water quality and biological assessments for NPS TMDL development. Understanding how an ecosystem functions enables stakeholders and regulators to determine the severity of problem(s), identify source(s) of impairment, and predict and avoid a decline in water quality. The Upper Reese River, Nevada, provides an example of water quality impairment caused by NPS pollution. In this river basin, stream and wetland riparian proper functioning condition (PFC) protocol, water quality data, and remote sensing imagery were used to identify sediment sources, transport, distribution, and its impact on water quality and aquatic resources. This study found that assessments of ecological function could be used to generate leading (early) indicators of water quality degradation for targeting pollution control measures, while traditional in-stream water
Small, Neil; Raghavan, Raghu; Pawson, Nicole
Transition planning using a person-centred approach has, in the main, failed to shape service provision. We offer an alternative based on an ecological understanding of human development linked to public health approaches that prioritise whole system planning. A total of 43 young people with intellectual disabilities, in Bradford, England, who…
Full Text Available Urbanization has significant impacts on the regional environmental quality through altering natural lands, converting them to urban built-up areas. One common strategy applied by urban planners to manage urbanization and preserve natural resources is to make a comprehensive plan and concentrate future land use in certain areas. However, in practice, planners used to make future land use planning mainly based on their subjective interpretations with limited ecological supporting evidence and analysis. Here, we propose a new approach composed of ecological modelling and land use zoning in the spatial matrix to evaluate the comprehensive plan and identify priority lands for sustainable land use planning. We use the city of Corvallis, OR, as the test bed to demonstrate this new approach. The results indicate that the Corvallis Comprehensive Plan 1998–2020 featured with compact development is not performing efficiently in conserving ecological values, and the land use plan featured with mixed-use spreading development generated by the proposed approach meets the city’s land demands for urban growth, and conserves 103% more ecological value of retaining storm water nitrogen, 270% more ecological value of retaining storm water phosphorus and 19% more ecological value in storing carbon in the whole watershed. This study indicates that if planned with scientific analysis and evidence, spreading urban development does not necessarily result in less sustainable urban environment than the compact development recommended in smart growth.
Full Text Available Abstract Background In clinical trials, both unequal randomization design and sequential analyses have ethical and economic advantages. In the single-stage-design (SSD, however, if the sample size is not adjusted based on unequal randomization, the power of the trial will decrease, whereas with sequential analysis the power will always remain constant. Our aim was to compare sequential boundaries approach with the SSD when the allocation ratio (R was not equal. Methods We evaluated the influence of R, the ratio of the patients in experimental group to the standard group, on the statistical properties of two-sided tests, including the two-sided single triangular test (TT, double triangular test (DTT and SSD by multiple simulations. The average sample size numbers (ASNs and power (1-β were evaluated for all tests. Results Our simulation study showed that choosing R = 2 instead of R = 1 increases the sample size of SSD by 12% and the ASN of the TT and DTT by the same proportion. Moreover, when R = 2, compared to the adjusted SSD, using the TT or DTT allows to retrieve the well known reductions of ASN observed when R = 1, compared to SSD. In addition, when R = 2, compared to SSD, using the TT and DTT allows to obtain smaller reductions of ASN than when R = 1, but maintains the power of the test to its planned value. Conclusion This study indicates that when the allocation ratio is not equal among the treatment groups, sequential analysis could indeed serve as a compromise between ethicists, economists and statisticians.
Brock, P M; Fornace, K M; Parmiter, M; Cox, J; Drakeley, C J; Ferguson, H M; Kao, R R
The public health threat posed by zoonotic Plasmodium knowlesi appears to be growing: it is increasingly reported across South East Asia, and is the leading cause of malaria in Malaysian Borneo. Plasmodium knowlesi threatens progress towards malaria elimination as aspects of its transmission, such as spillover from wildlife reservoirs and reliance on outdoor-biting vectors, may limit the effectiveness of conventional methods of malaria control. The development of new quantitative approaches that address the ecological complexity of P. knowlesi, particularly through a focus on its primary reservoir hosts, will be required to control it. Here, we review what is known about P. knowlesi transmission, identify key knowledge gaps in the context of current approaches to transmission modelling, and discuss the integration of these approaches with clinical parasitology and geostatistical analysis. We highlight the need to incorporate the influences of fine-scale spatial variation, rapid changes to the landscape, and reservoir population and transmission dynamics. The proposed integrated approach would address the unique challenges posed by malaria as a zoonosis, aid the identification of transmission hotspots, provide insight into the mechanistic links between incidence and land use change and support the design of appropriate interventions.
Li, Mengdi; Fan, Juntao; Zhang, Yuan; Guo, Fen; Liu, Lusan; Xia, Rui; Xu, Zongxue; Wu, Fengchang
Aiming to protect freshwater ecosystems, river ecological restoration has been brought into the research spotlight. However, it is challenging for decision makers to set appropriate objectives and select a combination of rehabilitation acts from numerous possible solutions to meet ecological, economic, and social demands. In this study, we developed a systematic approach to help make an optimal strategy for watershed restoration, which incorporated ecological security assessment and multi-objectives optimization (MOO) into the planning process to enhance restoration efficiency and effectiveness. The river ecological security status was evaluated by using a pressure-state-function-response (PSFR) assessment framework, and MOO was achieved by searching for the Pareto optimal solutions via Non-dominated Sorting Genetic Algorithm II (NSGA-II) to balance tradeoffs between different objectives. Further, we clustered the searched solutions into three types in terms of different optimized objective function values in order to provide insightful information for decision makers. The proposed method was applied in an example rehabilitation project in the Taizi River Basin in northern China. The MOO result in the Taizi River presented a set of Pareto optimal solutions that were classified into three types: I - high ecological improvement, high cost and high benefits solution; II - medial ecological improvement, medial cost and medial economic benefits solution; III - low ecological improvement, low cost and low economic benefits solution. The proposed systematic approach in our study can enhance the effectiveness of riverine ecological restoration project and could provide valuable reference for other ecological restoration planning. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Leaving school has far reaching consequences both for the individual and the society. We tackled this problem by using Bronfenbrenner's ecological systems theory to analyse case studies of 12 children (elementary and secondary schools who quit schooling or are under risk to do so. It is an adequate frame of reference for understanding the causes of school-leaving since it considers different levels of development and their relations. The children and four parents took part in semi-structured interviews. Other data were gathered by interviewing the focus groups of school principals, school pedagogues and psychologists, teachers, Parent Councils, and pupils. The qualitative analysis shows a disturbed structure and functioning even at the level of microsystem (family, school, peers which may be linked with school-leaving. The relations between microsystems are sporadic and inadequate (mesosystem which additionally stimulates school-leaving. Higher levels of environment (exo and macro systems in which children do not participate, yet depend upon their indirect influence, stimulate school leaving, too. Many children were faced with nonnormative life events (chrono-system: divorce or death of parent/s, underage pregnancy, family moving. We view this research as the initial step which will identify the problems and lead to future directions of research which would, based on Bronfenbrenner's approach, systematically examine different levels of environment and form the basis for creating ecologically valid measures for prevention of school-leaving.
Rinku Roy Chowdhury
Full Text Available Urban residential expansion increasingly drives land use, land cover and ecological changes worldwide, yet social science theories explaining such change remain under-developed. Existing theories often focus on processes occurring at one scale, while ignoring other scales. Emerging evidence from four linked U.S. research sites suggests it is essential to examine processes at multiple scales simultaneously when explaining the evolution of urban residential landscapes. Additionally, focusing on urbanization dynamics across multiple sites with a shared research design may yield fruitful comparative insights. The following processes and social-hierarchical scales significantly influence the spatial configurations of residential landscapes: household-level characteristics and environmental attitudes; formal and informal institutions at the neighborhood scale; and municipal-scale land-use governance. While adopting a multi-scale and multi-site approach produces research challenges, doing so is critical to advancing understanding of coupled socio-ecological systems and associated vulnerabilities in a dynamic and environmentally important setting: residential landscapes.
Full Text Available Up to now, ecology has a strong influence on the development of technical and instrumental aspects of architecture, such as renewable and efficient of resources and energy, CO2 emissions, air quality, water reuse, some social and economical aspects. These concepts define the physical keys and codes of the current ׳sustainable׳ architecture, normally instrumental but rarely and insufficiently theorised. But is not there another way of bringing us to nature? We need a theoretical referent. This is where we place the Van der Laan׳s thoughts: he considers that art completes nature and he builds his theoretical discourse on it, trying to better understand many aspects of architecture. From a conceptual point of view, we find in his works sense of timelessness, universality, special attention on the ׳locus׳ and a strict sense of proportions and use of materials according to nature. Could these concepts complement our current sustainable architecture? How did Laan apply the current codes of ecology in his architecture? His work may help us to get a theoretical interpretation of nature and not only physical. This paper develops this idea through the comparison of thoughts and works of Laan with the current technical approach to ׳sustainable׳ architecture.
Ieshko Evgeny Pavlovich
Full Text Available We studied the biological diversity of the parasite fauna in pike from four habitats found in northern lakes of Karelia. The curves of the expected species richness versus sampling effort (the number of examined specimens dependency were plotted. A universal approach to the description of the new species replenishment dynamics is proposed – including finding (through combinatorial analysis the median value between the fastest and the slowest paths of the species richness growth followed by approximation using logistic function . Our analysis showed that the leading ecological factors controlling the formation of the parasite species richness in a specific waterbody are the richness of infracommunities and the age composition of the host sample. The sample of 15 host specimens contains at least 80% of all species in the parasite community.
Full Text Available The objective of this report is to conceptualize ecological and economic interactions in mariculture; to implement a dynamic ecological-economic model in order to: simulate the socio-economics of aquaculture production, simulate its effects...
Using a social-ecological systems (SES) perspective to examine wetland restoration helps decision-makers recognize interdependencies and relations between ecological and social components of coupled systems. Conceptual models are an invaluable tool to capture, visualize, and orga...
Full Text Available The emergence and re-emergence of plant pathogenic microorganisms are processes that imply perturbations in both host and pathogen ecological niches. Global change is largely assumed to drive the emergence of new etiological agents by altering the equilibrium of the ecological habitats which in turn places hosts more in contact with pathogen reservoirs. In this context, the number of epidemics is expected to increase dramatically in the next coming decades both in wild and crop plants. Under these considerations, the identification of the genetic variants underlying natural variation of resistance is a pre-requisite to estimate the adaptive potential of wild plant populations and to develop new breeding resistant cultivars. On the other hand, the prediction of pathogen's genetic determinants underlying disease emergence can help to identify plant resistance alleles. In the genomic era, whole genome sequencing combined with the development of statistical methods led to the emergence of Genome Wide Association (GWA mapping, a powerful tool for detecting genomic regions associated with natural variation of disease resistance in both wild and cultivated plants. However, GWA mapping has been less employed for the detection of genetic variants associated with pathogenicity in microbes. Here, we reviewed GWA studies performed either in plants or in pathogenic microorganisms (bacteria, fungi and oomycetes. In addition, we highlighted the benefits and caveats of the emerging joint GWA mapping approach that allows for the simultaneous identification of genes interacting between genomes of both partners. Finally, based on co-evolutionary processes in wild populations, we highlighted a phenotyping-free joint GWA mapping approach as a promising tool for describing the molecular landscape underlying plant - microbe interactions.
The development of ecological sites as management units has emerged as a highly effective land management framework, but its utility has been limited by spatial ambiguity of ecological site locations in the U.S., lack of ecological site concepts in many other parts of the world, and the inability to...
Chugunova, N.S.; Balykbaeva, S.Y.
The paper presents methods used for ecological-economical assessment of the environment condition at the former Semipalatinsk Test Site. It also presents methodology of calculating ecological and economical parameters for different options. Besides, the paper provides data describing assessment of ecological and economical damage caused by defense establishment activities at the Semipalatinsk Test Site. (author)
Del Signore, Anastasia; Hendriks, A Jan; Lenders, H J Rob; Leuven, Rob S E W; Breure, A M
Species sensitivity distributions (SSDs) are used in ecological risk assessment for extrapolation of the results of toxicity tests with single species to a toxicity threshold considered protective of ecosystem structure and functioning. The attention to and importance of the SSD approach has increased in scientific and regulatory communities since the 1990s. Discussion and criticism have been triggered on the concept of the approach as well as its technical aspects (e.g., distribution type, number of toxicity endpoints). Various questions remain unanswered, especially with regard to different endpoints, statistical methods, and protectiveness of threshold levels, for example. In the present literature review (covering the period 2002-2013), case studies are explored in which the SSD approach was applied, as well as how endpoint types, species choice, and data availability affect SSDs. How statistical methods may be used to construct reliable SSDs and whether the lower 5th percentile hazard concentrations (HC5s) from a generic SSD can be protective for a specific local community are also investigated. It is shown that estimated protective concentrations were determined by taxonomic groups rather than the statistical method used to construct the distribution. Based on comparisons between semifield and laboratory-based SSDs, the output from a laboratory SSD was protective of semifield communities in the majority of studies. Environ Toxicol Chem 2016;35:2149-2161. © 2016 SETAC. © 2016 SETAC.
Gao, Yuan; Zhang, Chuanrong; He, Qingsong; Liu, Yaolin
Ecological security is an important research topic, especially urban ecological security. As highly populated eco-systems, cities always have more fragile ecological environments. However, most of the research on urban ecological security in literature has focused on evaluating current or past status of the ecological environment. Very little literature has carried out simulation or prediction of future ecological security. In addition, there is even less literature exploring the urban ecological environment at a fine scale. To fill-in the literature gap, in this study we simulated and predicted urban ecological security at a fine scale (district level) using an improved Cellular Automata (CA) approach. First we used the pressure-state-response (PSR) method based on grid-scale data to evaluate urban ecological security. Then, based on the evaluation results, we imported the geographically weighted regression (GWR) concept into the CA model to simulate and predict urban ecological security. We applied the improved CA approach in a case study-simulating and predicting urban ecological security for the city of Wuhan in Central China. By comparing the simulated ecological security values from 2010 using the improved CA model to the actual ecological security values of 2010, we got a relatively high value of the kappa coefficient, which indicates that this CA model can simulate or predict well future development of ecological security in Wuhan. Based on the prediction results for 2020, we made some policy recommendations for each district in Wuhan.
Full Text Available It is on the way of producing that how many resources and how much energy we would spend, how many harmful substances would appear in the environment, as well as how the life cycle of a product would be like depends. Through certain interventions in the production process we can have a favorable impact on all these parameters. By using higher quality materials we have a direct impact on quality and longer life cycle of the product, by using a better technology we reduce the consumption of energy and resources, by a better and more efficient design we have an impact on the energy consumption throughout life cycle of the product, and by all of the aforementioned things we contribute to less pollution and sustainability of our environment. Therefore, it is quite clear that today the industrial ecology is one of the most significant aspects of the production issues in the Republic of Srpska and the EU.
Heymans, Johanna Jacomina; Coll, Marta; Libralato, Simone; Morissette, Lyne; Christensen, Villy
, and invertebrates). Keystone groups were prevalent in estuarine or small/shallow systems, and in systems with reduced fishing pressure. Changes to the abundance of key functional groups might have significant implications for the functioning of ecosystems and should be avoided through management. Conclusion/significance Our results provide additional understanding of patterns of structural and functional indicators in different ecosystems. Ecosystem traits such as type, size, depth, and location need to be accounted for when setting reference levels as these affect absolute values of ecological indicators. Therefore, establishing absolute reference values for ecosystem indicators may not be suitable to the ecosystem-based, precautionary approach. Reference levels for ecosystem indicators should be developed for individual ecosystems or ecosystems with the same typologies (similar location, ecosystem type, etc.) and not benchmarked against all other ecosystems. PMID:24763610
Johanna Jacomina Heymans
seagrass and macroalgae, and invertebrates. Keystone groups were prevalent in estuarine or small/shallow systems, and in systems with reduced fishing pressure. Changes to the abundance of key functional groups might have significant implications for the functioning of ecosystems and should be avoided through management. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results provide additional understanding of patterns of structural and functional indicators in different ecosystems. Ecosystem traits such as type, size, depth, and location need to be accounted for when setting reference levels as these affect absolute values of ecological indicators. Therefore, establishing absolute reference values for ecosystem indicators may not be suitable to the ecosystem-based, precautionary approach. Reference levels for ecosystem indicators should be developed for individual ecosystems or ecosystems with the same typologies (similar location, ecosystem type, etc. and not benchmarked against all other ecosystems.
Guo, Guang-Hui; Wu, Feng-Chang; He, Hong-Ping; Feng, Cheng-Lian; Zhang, Rui-Qing; Li, Hui-Xian
Probabilistic approaches, such as Monte Carlo Sampling (MCS) and Latin Hypercube Sampling (LHS), and non-probabilistic approaches, such as interval analysis, fuzzy set theory and variance propagation, were used to characterize uncertainties associated with risk assessment of sigma PAH8 in surface water of Taihu Lake. The results from MCS and LHS were represented by probability distributions of hazard quotients of sigma PAH8 in surface waters of Taihu Lake. The probabilistic distribution of hazard quotient were obtained from the results of MCS and LHS based on probabilistic theory, which indicated that the confidence intervals of hazard quotient at 90% confidence level were in the range of 0.000 18-0.89 and 0.000 17-0.92, with the mean of 0.37 and 0.35, respectively. In addition, the probabilities that the hazard quotients from MCS and LHS exceed the threshold of 1 were 9.71% and 9.68%, respectively. The sensitivity analysis suggested the toxicity data contributed the most to the resulting distribution of quotients. The hazard quotient of sigma PAH8 to aquatic organisms ranged from 0.000 17 to 0.99 using interval analysis. The confidence interval was (0.001 5, 0.016 3) at the 90% confidence level calculated using fuzzy set theory, and the confidence interval was (0.000 16, 0.88) at the 90% confidence level based on the variance propagation. These results indicated that the ecological risk of sigma PAH8 to aquatic organisms were low. Each method has its own set of advantages and limitations, which was based on different theory; therefore, the appropriate method should be selected on a case-by-case to quantify the effects of uncertainties on the ecological risk assessment. Approach based on the probabilistic theory was selected as the most appropriate method to assess the risk of sigma PAH8 in surface water of Taihu Lake, which provided an important scientific foundation of risk management and control for organic pollutants in water.
Full Text Available A framework for web-based collaborative teaching has been created. This framework is implemented as an ecological modeling course (http://iee.umces.edu/AV/Simmod.html, but should be flexible enough to apply to other disciplines. I have developed a series of tools to facilitate interactive communication between students and instructors, and among students taking the course. The course content consists of reading materials that describe the theory of systems analysis and modeling, guidelines on how models can be built, and numerous examples and illustrations. The interactive part includes exercises that can be discussed with and evaluated by the instructor, and provides a means to mimic class discussions. To what extent this approach can replace conventional in-class tutoring has yet to be tested, but the preliminary applications show great promise. I offer this course format as a framework and a prototype for collaborative "open-source" approaches to education, in which the web provides the means to communicate knowledge and skills asynchronously between geographically dispersed educators and students.
Full Text Available Abstract Background As the US population ages, there is an increasing need for evidence based, peer-led physical activity programs, particularly in ethnically diverse, low income senior centers where access is limited. Methods/design The Peer Empowerment Program 4 Physical Activity’ (PEP4PA is a hybrid Type II implementation-effectiveness trial that is a peer-led physical activity (PA intervention based on the ecological model of behavior change. The initial phase is a cluster randomized control trial randomized to either a peer-led PA intervention or usual center programming. After 18 months, the intervention sites are further randomized to continued support or no support for another 6 months. This study will be conducted at twelve senior centers in San Diego County in low income, diverse communities. In the intervention sites, 24 peer health coaches and 408 adults, aged 50 years and older, are invited to participate. Peer health coaches receive training and support and utilize a tablet computer for delivery and tracking. There are several levels of intervention. Individual components include pedometers, step goals, counseling, and feedback charts. Interpersonal components include group walks, group sharing and health tips, and monthly celebrations. Community components include review of PA resources, walkability audit, sustainability plan, and streetscape improvements. The primary outcome of interest is intensity and location of PA minutes per day, measured every 6 months by wrist and hip accelerometers and GPS devices. Secondary outcomes include blood pressure, physical, cognitive, and emotional functioning. Implementation measures include appropriateness & acceptability (perceived and actual fit, adoption & penetration (reach, fidelity (quantity & quality of intervention delivered, acceptability (satisfaction, costs, and sustainability. Discussion Using a peer led implementation strategy to deliver a multi-level community based PA
Wouter van Ballegooijen
Full Text Available Abstract Background Ecological momentary assessment (EMA of mental health symptoms may influence the symptoms that it measures, i.e. assessment reactivity. In the field of depression, EMA reactivity has received little attention. We aim to investigate whether EMA of depressive symptoms induces assessment reactivity. Reactivity will be operationalised as an effect of EMA on depressive symptoms measured by a retrospective questionnaire, and, secondly, as a change in response rate and variance of the EMA ratings. Methods This study is a 12-week randomised controlled trial comprising three groups: group 1 carries out EMA of mood and completes a retrospective questionnaire, group 2 carries out EMA of how energetic they feel and completes a retrospective questionnaire, group 3 is the control group, which completes only the retrospective questionnaire. The retrospective questionnaire (Centre for Epidemiologic Studies Depression scale; CES-D assesses depressive symptoms and is administered at baseline, 6 weeks after baseline and 12 weeks after baseline. We aim to recruit 160 participants who experience mild to moderate depressive symptoms, defined as a Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9 score of 5 to 15. This study is powered to detect a small between-groups effect, where no clinically relevant effect is defined as the effect size margin −0.25< d <0.25. Discussion To our knowledge, this is the first study to investigate whether self-rated EMA of depressive symptoms could induce assessment reactivity among mildly depressed individuals. Trial registration Netherlands Trial Register NTR5803. Registered 12 April 2016. http://www.trialregister.nl/trialreg/admin/rctview.asp?TC=5803 .
Full Text Available Abstract Background Public health promotes an ecological approach to chronic disease prevention, however, little research has been conducted to assess the integration of an ecological approach in community-based prevention programs. This study sought to contribute to the evidence base by assessing the extent to which an ecological approach was integrated into an Aboriginal community-based cardiovascular disease (CVD and type 2 diabetes prevention program, across three-intervention years. Methods Activity implementation forms were completed by interview with implementers and participant observation across three intervention years. A standardised ecological coding procedure was applied to assess participant recruitment settings, intervention targets, intervention strategy types, extent of ecologicalness and organisational partnering. Inter-rater reliability for two coders was assessed at Kappa = 0.76 (p Results 215 activities were implemented across three intervention years by the health program (HP with some activities implemented in multiple years. Participants were recruited most frequently through organisational settings in years 1 and 2, and organisational and community settings in year 3. The most commonly utilised intervention targets were the individual (IND as a direct target, and interpersonal (INT and organisational (ORG environments as indirect targets; policy (POL, and community (COM were targeted least. Direct (HP→ IND and indirect intervention strategies (i.e., HP→ INT→ IND, HP→ POL → IND were used most often; networking strategies, which link at least two targets (i.e., HP→[ORG-ORG]→IND, were used the least. The program did not become more ecological over time. Conclusions The quantity of activities with IND, INT and ORG targets and the proportion of participants recruited through informal cultural networking demonstrate community commitment to prevention. Integration of an ecological approach would have been
Simon, C; Kellou, N; Dugas, J; Platat, C; Copin, N; Schweitzer, B; Hausser, F; Bergouignan, A; Lefai, E; Blanc, S
Obesity in youth remains a major public health issue. Yet no effective long-term preventive strategy exists. We previously showed that a school-based socio-ecological approach targeting behavior and social/environmental influences on physical activity (PA) prevented 4-year excessive weight gain in 12-year olds. In this study, we investigated if this efficacy persists 30 months after intervention cessation. The program targeted students, family, school and the living environment to promote/support PA and prevent sedentary behavior (SB). A total of 732 students from eight randomized middle schools completed the 4-year trial. At the 30-month post-trial follow-up, body mass index (BMI), fat mass index (FMI), leisure PA (LPA), home/school/workplace active commuting, TV/video time (TVT), and attitudes toward PA were measured in 531 adolescents. The beneficial effects of the intervention on the excess BMI increase (+0.01 vs +0.34 kg m(-2) in the intervention and control groups, respectively) and on the overweight incidence in initially non-overweight students (4.3% vs 8.6%; odds ratio=0.48 (95% confidence interval: 0.23-1.01)) were maintained at the post-trial follow-up. LPA was not maintained at the level achieved during the trial. However, we still observed a prevention of the age-related decrease of the adolescents' percentage reporting regular LPA (-14.4% vs -26.5%) and a higher intention to exercise in the intervention group. The intervention promoted lower TVT (-14.0 vs +13.6 min per day) and higher active commuting changes (+11.7% vs -4.8%). Trends in higher BMI reduction in students with high initial TVT and in the least wealthy group were noted. TVT changes throughout the follow-up predicted excess BMI and FMI changes. Long-term multilevel approach targeting PA and SB prevents excessive weight gain up to 30 months after intervention cessation. The efficacy may be higher in the most sedentary and least wealthy adolescents. Healthy PA-related behavior
Stark, Christina M.; Graham-Kiefer, Meredith L.; Devine, Carol M.; Dollahite, Jamie S.; Olson, Christine M.
Objective: To assess the impact of an online continuing education course on the knowledge, skills, and self-efficacy of nutrition professionals to use an ecological approach to prevent childhood obesity. Design: Quasi-experimental design using intervention and delayed intervention comparison groups with pre/post-course assessments. Setting: Online…
Mackie, R.I.; Cann, I.K.O.
All animals, including humans, are adapted to life in a microbial world. Large populations of micro-organisms inhabit the gastrointestinal tract of all animals and form a closely integrated ecological unit with the host. This complex, mixed, microbial culture can be considered the most metabolically adaptable and rapidly renewable organ of the body, which plays a vital role in the normal nutritional, physiological, immunological and protective functions of the host animal. Bacteria have traditionally been classified mainly on the basis of phenotypic properties. Despite the vast amount of knowledge generated for ruminal and other intestinal ecosystems using traditional techniques, the basic requisites for ecological studies, namely, enumeration and identification of all community members, have limitations. The two major problems faced by microbial ecologists are bias introduced by culture-based enumeration and characterization techniques, and the lack of a phylogenetically-based classification scheme. Modem molecular ecology techniques based on sequence comparisons of nucleic acids (DNA or RNA) can be used to provide molecular characterization while at the same time providing a classification scheme that predicts natural evolutionary relationships. These molecular methods provide results that are independent of growth conditions and media used. Also, using these techniques, bacteria can be classified and identified before they can be grown in pure culture. These nucleic acid-based techniques will enable gut microbiologists to answer the most difficult question in microbial ecology: namely, describing the exact role or function a specific bacterium plays in its natural environment and its quantitative contribution to the whole. However, rather than replacing the classical culture-based system, the new molecular-based techniques can be used in combination with the classical approach to improve cultivation, speciation and evaluation of diversity. The study of microbial
Petrushenko Mykola M.
Full Text Available The article analyses organisational and economic factors and forms a theoretical and methodical approach to budget management in the system of solving ecological contradictions of development of territorial systems of the national economy. The article justifies improvement of processes of managing budgets, directed at overcoming ecological contradictions, on the basis of conceptual provisions of the budgeting oriented at the result. It develops a scheme-model of the organisational and structural solution of ecological contradictions, with reinforcement of the integration role of the budgeting method, in the system of managing an administrative and territorial unit using example of the Sumy oblast. The offered theoretical and methodical approach to improvement of the budget management in the territorial and economic system allows development of principles of the on trust management in the field of ecological and economic relations and also activation of practical introduction of managerial instruments of consensual solution of ecologically caused conflict situations with application of specialised management-consulting activity.
Kydralieva, Kamilia; Uzbekov, Beksultan; Khudaibergenova, Bermet; Terekhova, Vera; Jorobekova, Sharipa
substances), 2) ecological parameters (assessing changes in microorganism's community structure and functions, bioindication); and 3) toxicological bioassays (utilizing classical endpoints such as survival and reproduction rates, genotoxicity). The output will be consisted of 3 indexes: 1) Environmental Risk Index, quantifying the level of biological damage at population-community level, 2) Biological Vulnerability Index, assessing the potential threats to biological equilibria, and 3) Genotoxicity Index, screening genotoxic effects. Multi-criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) will be used to integrate a set of environmental Triad data to be obtained during the project, which will be carried out in order to estimate the potential risk from soil contamination of the highly anthropized areas of Kadzhi-Say, which have been impacted by deposition of heavy metals. The basis of the development under this research is studies with a particular focus concerning the biocenosis mapping of Kyrgyz soils (Mamytova et al., 2003, 2010), investigations on interaction of humic substances with soil contaminants (Jorobekova, Kydralieva, Khudaibergenova, 2004; Khudaibergenova, 2005, 2007), and in addition, technical approach for ecotoxicological assessment of soils (Terekhova, 2007, 2011). Soil ecotoxicological estimation has been studied with a battery of tests using test-organisms of many trophic levels. Currently, bioindication of soils with various humus states is under study (Senesi, Yakimenko 2007; Yakimenko, et al., 2008).
Roelfsema, Chris; Thurstan, Ruth; Beger, Maria; Dudgeon, Christine; Loder, Jennifer; Kovacs, Eva; Gallo, Michele; Flower, Jason; Gomez Cabrera, K-le; Ortiz, Juan; Lea, Alexandra; Kleine, Diana
Subtropical reefs provide an important habitat for flora and fauna, and proper monitoring is required for conservation. Monitoring these exposed and submerged reefs is challenging and available resources are limited. Citizen science is increasing in momentum, as an applied research tool and in the variety of monitoring approaches adopted. This paper aims to demonstrate an ecological assessment and mapping approach that incorporates both top-down (volunteer marine scientists) and bottom-up (divers/community) engagement aspects of citizen science, applied at a subtropical reef at Point Lookout, Southeast Queensland, Australia. Marine scientists trained fifty citizen scientists in survey techniques that included mapping of habitat features, recording of substrate, fish and invertebrate composition, and quantifying impacts (e.g., occurrence of substrate damage, presence of litter). In 2014 these volunteers conducted four seasonal surveys along semi-permanent transects, at five sites, across three reefs. The project presented is a model on how citizen science can be conducted in a marine environment through collaboration of volunteer researchers, non-researchers and local marine authorities. Significant differences in coral and algal cover were observed among the three sites, while fluctuations in algal cover were also observed seasonally. Differences in fish assemblages were apparent among sites and seasons, with subtropical fish groups observed more commonly in colder seasons. The least physical damage occurred in the most exposed sites (Flat Rock) within the highly protected marine park zones. The broad range of data collected through this top-down/bottom-up approach to citizen science exemplifies the projects' value and application for identifying ecosystem trends or patterns. The results of the project support natural resource and marine park management, providing a valuable contribution to existing scientific knowledge and the conservation of local reefs.
Zlateva, Plamena; Stoyanov, Krasimir
The paper proposes an approach for a complex assessment of the geo-ecological risk of a certain geographic region on the basis of quantitative and qualitative datum about the potential natural disasters. A fuzzy logic model is designed. The type of the threats, consequences and interdependencies between infrastructure objects are taken into account. The geographic region is considered as a complex system of interconnected and mutually influencing elements. The expected damages are directly and/or indirectly connected with life quality deterioration. Keywords: Risk, Geo-ecological risk, Damages, Threats, Vulnerabilities, Natural disasters
Hua, Hairui; Burke, Danielle L; Crowther, Michael J; Ensor, Joie; Tudur Smith, Catrin; Riley, Richard D
Stratified medicine utilizes individual-level covariates that are associated with a differential treatment effect, also known as treatment-covariate interactions. When multiple trials are available, meta-analysis is used to help detect true treatment-covariate interactions by combining their data. Meta-regression of trial-level information is prone to low power and ecological bias, and therefore, individual participant data (IPD) meta-analyses are preferable to examine interactions utilizing individual-level information. However, one-stage IPD models are often wrongly specified, such that interactions are based on amalgamating within- and across-trial information. We compare, through simulations and an applied example, fixed-effect and random-effects models for a one-stage IPD meta-analysis of time-to-event data where the goal is to estimate a treatment-covariate interaction. We show that it is crucial to centre patient-level covariates by their mean value in each trial, in order to separate out within-trial and across-trial information. Otherwise, bias and coverage of interaction estimates may be adversely affected, leading to potentially erroneous conclusions driven by ecological bias. We revisit an IPD meta-analysis of five epilepsy trials and examine age as a treatment effect modifier. The interaction is -0.011 (95% CI: -0.019 to -0.003; p = 0.004), and thus highly significant, when amalgamating within-trial and across-trial information. However, when separating within-trial from across-trial information, the interaction is -0.007 (95% CI: -0.019 to 0.005; p = 0.22), and thus its magnitude and statistical significance are greatly reduced. We recommend that meta-analysts should only use within-trial information to examine individual predictors of treatment effect and that one-stage IPD models should separate within-trial from across-trial information to avoid ecological bias. © 2016 The Authors. Statistics in Medicine published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Solmon, Melinda A
The benefits associated with being physically active are well documented, but a significant proportion of the population is insufficiently active. Physical inactivity is a major health risk factor in our society, and physical education programs are consistently identified as a means to address this concern. The purpose of this article is to use the social-ecological model as a framework to examine ways in which physical education programs can play an important role in promoting physical activity. Policies that require time allocations and resources for physical education and physical activity in schools and community designs that provide infrastructure that makes being physically active accessible and convenient are important factors in making schools and communities healthier spaces. It is clear, however, that policies alone are not sufficient to address concerns about physical inactivity. We must consider individual factors that influence decisions to be physically active in efforts to engage children in physical education programs that promote active lifestyles. The learning climate that teachers create determines what students do and learn in physical education classes. Ensuring that students see value in the content presented and structuring classes so that students believe they can experience success when they exert effort are key elements in an effective motivational climate. Efforts to address public health concerns about physical inactivity require a comprehensive approach including quality physical education. It is critical that kinesiology professionals emerge as leaders in these efforts to place physical education programs at the center of promoting children's physical activity.
Schloss, Karen B; Goldberger, Carolyn S; Palmer, Stephen E; Levitan, Carmel A
How do odor preferences arise? Following Palmer and Schloss's (2010, PNAS, 107, 8877-8882) ecological valence theory of color preferences, we propose that preference for an odor is determined by preferences for all objects and/or entities associated with that odor. The present results showed that preferences for familiar odors were strongly predicted by average preferences for all things associated with the odors (eg people liked the apple odor which was associated with mostly positive things, such as apples, soap, and candy, but disliked the fish odor, which was associated with mostly negative things, such as dead fish, trash, and vomit). The odor WAVEs (weighted affective valence estimates) performed significantly better than one based on preference for only the namesake object (eg predicting preference for the apple odor based on preference for apples). These results suggest that preferences for familiar odors are based on a summary statistic, coding the valence of previous odor-related experiences. We discuss how this account of odor preferences is consistent with the idea that odor preferences exist to guide organisms to approach beneficial objects and situations and avoid harmful ones.
Douterelo, Isabel; Boxall, Joby B; Deines, Peter; Sekar, Raju; Fish, Katherine E; Biggs, Catherine A
The study of the microbial ecology of drinking water distribution systems (DWDS) has traditionally been based on culturing organisms from bulk water samples. The development and application of molecular methods has supplied new tools for examining the microbial diversity and activity of environmental samples, yielding new insights into the microbial community and its diversity within these engineered ecosystems. In this review, the currently available methods and emerging approaches for characterising microbial communities, including both planktonic and biofilm ways of life, are critically evaluated. The study of biofilms is considered particularly important as it plays a critical role in the processes and interactions occurring at the pipe wall and bulk water interface. The advantages, limitations and usefulness of methods that can be used to detect and assess microbial abundance, community composition and function are discussed in a DWDS context. This review will assist hydraulic engineers and microbial ecologists in choosing the most appropriate tools to assess drinking water microbiology and related aspects. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.
Mitchell, Michael; Lockwood, Michael; Moore, Susan A; Clement, Sarah
Current policy interventions are having limited success in addressing the ongoing decline in global biodiversity. In part, this is attributable to insufficient attention being paid to the social and governance processes that drive decisions and can undermine their implementation. Scenario planning that draws on social-ecological systems (SES) analysis provides a useful means to systematically explore and anticipate future uncertainties regarding the interaction between humans and biodiversity outcomes. However, the effective application of SES models has been limited by the insufficient attention given to governance influences. Understanding the influence governance attributes have on the future trajectory of SES is likely to assist choice of effective interventions, as well as needs and opportunities for governance reform. In a case study in the Australian Alps, we explore the potential of joint SES and scenario analyses to identify how governance influences landscape-scale biodiversity outcomes. Novel aspects of our application of these methods were the specification of the focal system's governance attributes according to requirements for adaptive capacity, and constraining scenarios according to the current governance settings while varying key social and biophysical drivers. This approach allowed us to identify how current governance arrangements influence landscape-scale biodiversity outcomes, and establishes a baseline from which the potential benefits of governance reform can be assessed. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Bordron, Philippe; Latorre, Mauricio; Cortés, Maria-Paz; González, Mauricio; Thiele, Sven; Siegel, Anne; Maass, Alejandro; Eveillard, Damien
Following the trend of studies that investigate microbial ecosystems using different metagenomic techniques, we propose a new integrative systems ecology approach that aims to decipher functional roles within a consortium through the integration of genomic and metabolic knowledge at genome scale. For the sake of application, using public genomes of five bacterial strains involved in copper bioleaching: Acidiphilium cryptum, Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans, Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans, Leptospirillum ferriphilum, and Sulfobacillus thermosulfidooxidans, we first reconstructed a global metabolic network. Next, using a parsimony assumption, we deciphered sets of genes, called Sets from Genome Segments (SGS), that (1) are close on their respective genomes, (2) take an active part in metabolic pathways and (3) whose associated metabolic reactions are also closely connected within metabolic networks. Overall, this SGS paradigm depicts genomic functional units that emphasize respective roles of bacterial strains to catalyze metabolic pathways and environmental processes. Our analysis suggested that only few functional metabolic genes are horizontally transferred within the consortium and that no single bacterial strain can accomplish by itself the whole copper bioleaching. The use of SGS pinpoints a functional compartmentalization among the investigated species and exhibits putative bacterial interactions necessary for promoting these pathways. © 2015 The Authors. MicrobiologyOpen published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Izak, Dariusz; Klim, Joanna; Kaczanowski, Szymon
Malaria remains one of the highest mortality infectious diseases. Malaria is caused by parasites from the genus Plasmodium. Most deaths are caused by infections involving Plasmodium falciparum, which has a complex life cycle. Malaria parasites are extremely well adapted for interactions with their host and their host's immune system and are able to suppress the human immune system, erase immunological memory and rapidly alter exposed antigens. Owing to this rapid evolution, parasites develop drug resistance and express novel forms of antigenic proteins that are not recognized by the host immune system. There is an emerging need for novel interventions, including novel drugs and vaccines. Designing novel therapies requires knowledge about host-parasite interactions, which is still limited. However, significant progress has recently been achieved in this field through the application of bioinformatics analysis of parasite genome sequences. In this review, we describe the main achievements in 'malarial' bioinformatics and provide examples of successful applications of protein sequence analysis. These examples include the prediction of protein functions based on homology and the prediction of protein surface localization via domain and motif analysis. Additionally, we describe PlasmoDB, a database that stores accumulated experimental data. This tool allows data mining of the stored information and will play an important role in the development of malaria science. Finally, we illustrate the application of bioinformatics in the development of population genetics research on malaria parasites, an approach referred to as reverse ecology.
Hull, R.N.; Suter, G.W.
The Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant (PORTS), an uranium enrichment plant, has released various contaminants into the environment. An ecological risk assessment is underway for the site, which includes an evaluation of Little Beaver Creek, which flows along the eastern and northern sides of PORTS. For this assessment, the creek was divided into reaches which were defined in terms of contaminant sources. This creek receives contaminants from permitted outfalls, groundwater discharge, non-point sources, and accidental releases. Metal contamination is the major concern at the site. Receptors include the fish and benthic communities in the creek, and soil invertebrates and plants in the floodplain. A weight-of-evidence approach was used to evaluate risks to those receptors, based on chemical analyses, toxicity tests and field surveys. The fish and benthic communities are impacted on Little Beaver Creek in a reach near a permitted discharge, with improvements seen downstream of this location. Ambient water, sediment and soil samples were not toxic to laboratory organisms. Either these toxicity tests were not sufficiently sensitive to detect toxicity, or the observed changes in the aquatic communities did not result from toxicity. Because conditions improved downstream from the permitted discharge, it was concluded that this is the major source of toxicity in the creek
Municipal solid waste (MSW) can be viewed as a feedstock for industrial ecology inspired conversions of wastes to valuable products and energy. The industrial ecology principle of symbiotic processes using waste streams for creating value-added products is applied to MSW, with e...
Vashchenko, V.N.; Zlochevskij, V.V.; Skalozubov, V.I.
Ingenious risk-informed methods to assess ecological safety of facilities with radioactive waste are proposed in the paper. Probabilistic norms on lethal outcomes and reliability of safety barriers are used as safety criteria. Based on the probability measures, it is established that ecological safety conditions are met for the standard criterion of lethal outcomes
Eric Gustafson; John Nestler; Louis Gross; Keith M. Reynolds; Daniel Yaussy; Thomas P. Maxwell; Virginia H. Dale
Understanding the effects of management activities is difficult for natural resource managers and decision makers because ecological systems are highly complex and their behavior is difficult to predict. Furthermore, the empirical studies necessary to illuminate all management questions quickly become logistically complicated and cost prohibitive. Ecological models...
Full Text Available Despite its ambiguities, the concept of resilience is of critical importance to researchers, practitioners, and policy-makers in dealing with dynamic socio-ecological systems. In this paper, we critically examine the three empirical approaches of (i panarchy; (ii ecological information-based network analysis; and (iii statistical evidence of resilience to three criteria determined for achieving a comprehensive understanding and application of this concept. These criteria are the ability: (1 to reflect a system’s adaptability to shocks; (2 to integrate social and environmental dimensions; and (3 to evaluate system-level trade-offs. Our findings show that none of the three currently applied approaches are strong in handling all three criteria. Panarchy is strong in the first two criteria but has difficulty with normative trade-offs. The ecological information-based approach is strongest in evaluating trade-offs but relies on common dimensions that lead to over-simplifications in integrating the social and environmental dimensions. Statistical evidence provides suggestions that are simplest and easiest to act upon but are generally weak in all three criteria. This analysis confirms the value of these approaches in specific instances but also the need for further research in advancing empirical approaches to the concept of resilience.
Woerman, Anders [Swedish Univ. of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala (Sweden). Dept. of Biometry and Technology
The design of the repository for final disposal of spent nuclear fuel proposed by SKB is based on a multi-barrier system, in which the geosphere and biosphere are the utmost barrier surrounding the engineer barriers. This report briefly reviews the current approach taken by SKB to account for hydrological and ecological processes at the geosphere-biosphere interface (GBI) and their future plans in this area. A simple analysis was performed to shift the focus of performance assessment involving geosphere-biosphere interface modelling from the very simplistic assumption that the quaternary sediments are bypassed to one in which a more detailed model for sub-surface flows is included. This study indicated that, for many assumed ecosystem descriptions, the presence of the GBI leads to lower maximum doses to individual humans compared to a case when the GBI is neglected. This effect is due to the additional 'barrier' offered by the GBI. The main exposure pathways were assumed to occur through the food web. However, particularly the leakage on land through the stream-network and lakes can lead to higher doses due to ecosystem interaction with arable land. A scenario that gives particularly long duration of doses occurs due to land rise and with the transformation of the former bay and lake bed sediments into agricultural land. This effect is due to the significant retention or accumulation in aquatic sediment, which causes high activities to build up with time. Particularly, in combination with changing conditions in climate, humans life-style or geographic conditions (land rise, deforestation,etc.) doses to individual humans can be large.
The design of the repository for final disposal of spent nuclear fuel proposed by SKB is based on a multi-barrier system, in which the geosphere and biosphere are the utmost barrier surrounding the engineer barriers. This report briefly reviews the current approach taken by SKB to account for hydrological and ecological processes at the geosphere-biosphere interface (GBI) and their future plans in this area. A simple analysis was performed to shift the focus of performance assessment involving geosphere-biosphere interface modelling from the very simplistic assumption that the quaternary sediments are bypassed to one in which a more detailed model for sub-surface flows is included. This study indicated that, for many assumed ecosystem descriptions, the presence of the GBI leads to lower maximum doses to individual humans compared to a case when the GBI is neglected. This effect is due to the additional 'barrier' offered by the GBI. The main exposure pathways were assumed to occur through the food web. However, particularly the leakage on land through the stream-network and lakes can lead to higher doses due to ecosystem interaction with arable land. A scenario that gives particularly long duration of doses occurs due to land rise and with the transformation of the former bay and lake bed sediments into agricultural land. This effect is due to the significant retention or accumulation in aquatic sediment, which causes high activities to build up with time. Particularly, in combination with changing conditions in climate, humans life-style or geographic conditions (land rise, deforestation,etc.) doses to individual humans can be large
Cumming, Graeme S.; Allen, Craig R.; Ban, Natalie C.; Biggs, Duan; Biggs, Harry C.; Cumming, David H.M; De Vos, Alta; Epstein, Graham; Etienne, Michel; Maciejewski, Kristine; Mathevet, Raphael; Moore, Christine; Nenadovic, Mateja; Schoon, Michael
Protected areas (PAs) remain central to the conservation of biodiversity. Classical PAs were conceived as areas that would be set aside to maintain a natural state with minimal human influence. However, global environmental change and growing cross-scale anthropogenic influences mean that PAs can no longer be thought of as ecological islands that function independently of the broader social-ecological system in which they are located. For PAs to be resilient (and to contribute to broader social-ecological resilience), they must be able to adapt to changing social and ecological conditions over time in a way that supports the long-term persistence of populations, communities, and ecosystems of conservation concern. We extend Ostrom's social-ecological systems framework to consider the long-term persistence of PAs, as a form of land use embedded in social-ecological systems, with important cross-scale feedbacks. Most notably, we highlight the cross-scale influences and feedbacks on PAs that exist from the local to the global scale, contextualizing PAs within multi-scale social-ecological functional landscapes. Such functional landscapes are integral to understand and manage individual PAs for long-term sustainability. We illustrate our conceptual contribution with three case studies that highlight cross-scale feedbacks and social-ecological interactions in the functioning of PAs and in relation to regional resilience. Our analysis suggests that while ecological, economic, and social processes are often directly relevant to PAs at finer scales, at broader scales, the dominant processes that shape and alter PA resilience are primarily social and economic.
Christensen, Andreas Aagaard; Brandt, Jesper; Svenningsen, Stig Roar
Landscape ecology is an interdisciplinary field of research and practice that deals with the mutual association between the spatial configuration and ecological functioning of landscapes, exploring and describing processes involved in the differentiation of spaces within landscapes......, and the ecological significance of the patterns which are generated by such processes. In landscape ecology, perspectives drawn from existing academic disciplines are integrated based on a common, spatially explicit mode of analysis developed from classical holistic geography, emphasizing spatial and landscape...... pattern analysis and ecological interaction of land units. The landscape is seen as a holon: an assemblage of interrelated phenomena, both cultural and biophysical, that together form a complex whole. Enduring challenges to landscape ecology include the need to develop a systematic approach able...
Igondova, Erika; Pavlickova, Katarina; Majzlan, Oto
The construction of roads is one of the most widespread forms of natural landscape modification. Over the last 20 years, dozens of road constructions have been assessed in Slovakia, which makes it possible to talk about methodological positives and negatives. A special feature of Slovakia is that many planned or renovated roads are located in protected areas or are in contact with them (including Natura 2000 sites). Therefore, it is important to understand the scope of the roads' ecological impacts and find ways for their appropriate evaluation and incorporation into the Environmental Impact Assessment process. For this reason, the Ecological Impact Assessment methodology can be used as a basis for our research, which consists of three stages. In the first stage (scoping), a buffer circumventing the proposed road is created to determine the area for impact prediction and evaluation. Subsequently, the landscape structure and baseline landscape conditions are discussed, a map of current landscape structure is created and the current ecological status of the affected area is calculated. In the second stage (the evaluation of ecological resources), important ecological parts of the landscape are delineated. This step is based on the importance of previous information and its vulnerability, and leads to the mapping of the road ecological impact zone. In the third stage (impact assessment), important ecological parts are spatially correlated with the proposed road construction. Finally, the significance of ecological impacts of the activity is evaluated by applying specific criteria (duration, reversibility, magnitude, size and road ecological impact zone significance). A scale is proposed for each criterion to evaluate the total significance of impacts. In this way, detailed significant ecological impacts can be found which will help lead to proposed correct mitigation measures and a post-project analysis. - Highlights: • This paper proposes a methodology for the Ec
Igondova, Erika, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Pavlickova, Katarina, E-mail: email@example.com; Majzlan, Oto, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The construction of roads is one of the most widespread forms of natural landscape modification. Over the last 20 years, dozens of road constructions have been assessed in Slovakia, which makes it possible to talk about methodological positives and negatives. A special feature of Slovakia is that many planned or renovated roads are located in protected areas or are in contact with them (including Natura 2000 sites). Therefore, it is important to understand the scope of the roads' ecological impacts and find ways for their appropriate evaluation and incorporation into the Environmental Impact Assessment process. For this reason, the Ecological Impact Assessment methodology can be used as a basis for our research, which consists of three stages. In the first stage (scoping), a buffer circumventing the proposed road is created to determine the area for impact prediction and evaluation. Subsequently, the landscape structure and baseline landscape conditions are discussed, a map of current landscape structure is created and the current ecological status of the affected area is calculated. In the second stage (the evaluation of ecological resources), important ecological parts of the landscape are delineated. This step is based on the importance of previous information and its vulnerability, and leads to the mapping of the road ecological impact zone. In the third stage (impact assessment), important ecological parts are spatially correlated with the proposed road construction. Finally, the significance of ecological impacts of the activity is evaluated by applying specific criteria (duration, reversibility, magnitude, size and road ecological impact zone significance). A scale is proposed for each criterion to evaluate the total significance of impacts. In this way, detailed significant ecological impacts can be found which will help lead to proposed correct mitigation measures and a post-project analysis. - Highlights: • This paper proposes a methodology for the
Ecologists often engage in global-scale research through partnerships among scientists from many disciplines. Such research projects require collaboration, interdisciplinary thinking, and strong communication skills. We advocate including these three practices as an integral part of ecology educatio...
Libich, V.; Kadrnozka, J.; Drahos, I.
Orientation on local low-grade coal and nuclear sources also for heat supply, with which the construction of large heating systems and heat transport on large distances is connected, these are specific features of energy economy in Czechoslovakia. The development programme is challenging in economic respect, it causes numerous ecological problems, as well as those connected with coverage of variable loads. In case of additional construction at a later date many problems appear requiring differentiated approach that depends on concrete conditions. In the paper there are described possibilities and conditions of heat accumulation in feed water, in gravity accumulators at very quick changes of output, the accumulation systems involving steam release facilities and heat accumulation in heat conducting systems. Also the manufacture of heat generating equipment has an important role to play. There are given the outlines of construction of hot water accumulators. Specific conditions of the Czechoslovak energy economy also include the problem of efficient combustion of low-grade coal with a high sulfur content. In this connection it is especially the fluidized bed combustion that is under consideration. This combustion process can be run by clinkering of ash particles or a klinkerless process can be used. The combustion process can be either single-stage or double-stage. All these combustion methods are used in boilers made in Czechoslovakia. In the paper two types of boilers are described: the boiler with cooled fluidized bed and the fluidized bed reactor installed in front of a powdered coal fired boiler. There is briefly outlined the experience obtained from the operation of these boilers
Götzenberger, Lars; de Bello, Francesco; Bråthen, Kari Anne; Davison, John; Dubuis, Anne; Guisan, Antoine; Lepš, Jan; Lindborg, Regina; Moora, Mari; Pärtel, Meelis; Pellissier, Loic; Pottier, Julien; Vittoz, Pascal; Zobel, Kristjan; Zobel, Martin
Understanding how communities of living organisms assemble has been a central question in ecology since the early days of the discipline. Disentangling the different processes involved in community assembly is not only interesting in itself but also crucial for an understanding of how communities will behave under future environmental scenarios. The traditional concept of assembly rules reflects the notion that species do not co-occur randomly but are restricted in their co-occurrence by interspecific competition. This concept can be redefined in a more general framework where the co-occurrence of species is a product of chance, historical patterns of speciation and migration, dispersal, abiotic environmental factors, and biotic interactions, with none of these processes being mutually exclusive. Here we present a survey and meta-analyses of 59 papers that compare observed patterns in plant communities with null models simulating random patterns of species assembly. According to the type of data under study and the different methods that are applied to detect community assembly, we distinguish four main types of approach in the published literature: species co-occurrence, niche limitation, guild proportionality and limiting similarity. Results from our meta-analyses suggest that non-random co-occurrence of plant species is not a widespread phenomenon. However, whether this finding reflects the individualistic nature of plant communities or is caused by methodological shortcomings associated with the studies considered cannot be discerned from the available metadata. We advocate that more thorough surveys be conducted using a set of standardized methods to test for the existence of assembly rules in data sets spanning larger biological and geographical scales than have been considered until now. We underpin this general advice with guidelines that should be considered in future assembly rules research. This will enable us to draw more accurate and general
Fatemeh Bakhtari Aghdam
Full Text Available Background Despite of healthy nutrition recommendations have been offered in recent decades, researches show an increasing rate of unhealthy junk food consumption among primary school children. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of health promotion intervention on the school food buffets and the changes in nutritional behaviors of the students. Materials and Methods In this Quasi-interventional study, eight schools agreed to participate in Tabriz city, Iran. The schools were randomly selected and divided into an intervention and a control group, and a pretest was given to both groups. A four weeks interventional program was conducted in eight randomly selected schools of the city based on the socio-ecological model. A check list was designed for the assessment of food items available at the schools’ buffets, a 60-item semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire (FFQ was used to assess the rate of food consumption and energy intake. Results evaluation and practice were analyzed using the Wilcoxon, Mann Whitney-U and Chi-square tests. Results The findings revealed reduction in the intervention group between before and after intervention with regard the range of junk food consumption, except for the sweets consumption. The number of junk foods provided in the schools buffets reduced in the intervention group. After the intervention on the intervention group significant decreases were found in the intake of energy, fat and saturated fatty acids compared to the control group (p = 0.00. Conclusion In order to design effective school food environment promotion programs, school healthcare providers should consider multifaceted approaches.
Felton, A. J.; Warren, J.; Ricciuto, D. M.; Smith, M. D.
Poorly understood are the mechanisms contributing to variability in ecosystem recovery following drought. Grasslands of the central U.S. are ecologically and economically important ecosystems, yet are also highly sensitive to drought. Although characteristics of these ecosystems change across gradients of temperature and precipitation, a consistent feature among these systems is the presence of highly abundant, dominant grass species that control biomass production. As a result, the incorporation of these species' traits into terrestrial biosphere models may constrain predictions amid increases in climatic variability. Here we report the results of a modeling-experiment (MODEX) research approach. We investigated the physiological, morphological and growth responses of the dominant grass species from each of the four major grasslands of the central U.S. (ranging from tallgrass prairie to desert grassland) following severe drought. Despite significant differences in baseline values, full recovery in leaf physiological function was evident across species, of which was consistently driven by the production of new leaves. Further, recovery in whole-plant carbon uptake tended to be driven by shifts in allocation from belowground to aboveground structures. However, there was clear variability among species in the magnitude of this dynamic as well as the relative allocation to stem versus leaf production. As a result, all species harbored the physiological capacity to recover from drought, yet we posit that variability in the recovery of whole-plant carbon uptake to be more strongly driven by variability in the sensitivity of species' morphology to soil moisture increases. The next step of this project will be to incorporate these and other existing data on these species and ecosystems into the community land model in an effort to test the sensitivity of this model to these data.
Victor Olusegun Okoruwa
The Nigerian rice and maize sectors are faced with decreasing supply and increasing demand as rice and maize have taken a strategic place of other staples leading to excessive importation and increasing government intervention. This study therefore assesses the competitiveness of Nigerian rice and maize production ecologies using the policy analysis matrix (PAM) on a sample of 122 farmers. Results of the PAM revealed that outputs from the production ecologies are taxed. This is further confir...
Schirmer, Mario; Lyon, Ken; Armstrong, James E.; Farrell, Katharine N.
Mega-sites have a notable impact on surrounding ecological systems. At such sites there are substantial risks associated with complex socio-ecological interactions that are hard to characterize, let alone model and predict. While the urge to control and clean-up mega-sites (control and correct) is understandable, rather than setting a goal of cleaning up such sites, we suggest a more realistic response strategy is to address these massive and persistent sources of contamination by acknowledging their position as new features of the socio-ecological landscapes within which they are located. As it seems nearly impossible to clean up such sites, we argue for consideration of a 'coping with change' rather than a 'control and correct' approach. This strategy recognizes that the current management option for a mega-site, in light of its physical complexities and due to changing societal preferences, geochemical transformations, hydrogeology knowledge and remedial technology options may not remain optimal in future, and therefore needs to be continuously adapted, as community, ecology, technology and understanding change over time. This approach creates an opportunity to consider the relationship between a mega-site and its human and ecological environments in a different and more dynamic way. Our proposed approach relies on iterative adaptive management to incorporate mega-site management into the overall socio-ecological systems of the site's context. This approach effectively embeds mega-site management planning in a triple bottom line and environmental sustainability structure, rather than simply using single measures of success, such as contaminant-based guidelines. Recognizing that there is probably no best solution for managing a mega-site, we present a starting point for engaging constructively with this seemingly intractable issue. Therefore, we aim to initiate discussion about a new approach to mega-site management, in which the complexity of the problems posed
Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) are generally regarded as the gold standard for evaluating health care interventions. The level of uncertainty around a trial's estimate of effect is, however, frequently linked to how successful the trial has been in recruiting and retaining participants. As recruitment is often slower or more difficult than expected, with many trials failing to reach their target sample size within the timescale and funding originally envisaged, the results are often less reliable than they could have been. The high number of trials that require an extension to the recruitment period in order to reach the required sample size potentially delays the introduction of more effective therapies into routine clinical practice. Moreover, it may result in less research being undertaken as resources are redirected to extending existing trials rather than funding additional studies. Poor recruitment to publicly-funded RCTs has been much debated but there remains remarkably little clear evidence as to why many trials fail to recruit well, which recruitment methods work, in which populations and settings and for what type of intervention. One proposed solution to improving recruitment and retention is to adopt methodology from the business world to inform and structure trial management techniques. We review what is known about interventions to improve recruitment to trials. We describe a proposed business approach to trials and discuss the implementation of using a business model, using insights gained from three case studies. PMID:21396088
Full Text Available Abstract Randomised controlled trials (RCTs are generally regarded as the gold standard for evaluating health care interventions. The level of uncertainty around a trial's estimate of effect is, however, frequently linked to how successful the trial has been in recruiting and retaining participants. As recruitment is often slower or more difficult than expected, with many trials failing to reach their target sample size within the timescale and funding originally envisaged, the results are often less reliable than they could have been. The high number of trials that require an extension to the recruitment period in order to reach the required sample size potentially delays the introduction of more effective therapies into routine clinical practice. Moreover, it may result in less research being undertaken as resources are redirected to extending existing trials rather than funding additional studies. Poor recruitment to publicly-funded RCTs has been much debated but there remains remarkably little clear evidence as to why many trials fail to recruit well, which recruitment methods work, in which populations and settings and for what type of intervention. One proposed solution to improving recruitment and retention is to adopt methodology from the business world to inform and structure trial management techniques. We review what is known about interventions to improve recruitment to trials. We describe a proposed business approach to trials and discuss the implementation of using a business model, using insights gained from three case studies.
McDonald, Alison M; Treweek, Shaun; Shakur, Haleema; Free, Caroline; Knight, Rosemary; Speed, Chris; Campbell, Marion K
Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) are generally regarded as the gold standard for evaluating health care interventions. The level of uncertainty around a trial's estimate of effect is, however, frequently linked to how successful the trial has been in recruiting and retaining participants. As recruitment is often slower or more difficult than expected, with many trials failing to reach their target sample size within the timescale and funding originally envisaged, the results are often less reliable than they could have been. The high number of trials that require an extension to the recruitment period in order to reach the required sample size potentially delays the introduction of more effective therapies into routine clinical practice. Moreover, it may result in less research being undertaken as resources are redirected to extending existing trials rather than funding additional studies.Poor recruitment to publicly-funded RCTs has been much debated but there remains remarkably little clear evidence as to why many trials fail to recruit well, which recruitment methods work, in which populations and settings and for what type of intervention. One proposed solution to improving recruitment and retention is to adopt methodology from the business world to inform and structure trial management techniques.We review what is known about interventions to improve recruitment to trials. We describe a proposed business approach to trials and discuss the implementation of using a business model, using insights gained from three case studies.
Paterniti, Debora A.; Chen, Moon S.; Chiechi, Christine; Beckett, Laurel A.; Horan, Nora; Turrell, Corinne; Smith, Ligaya; Morain, Claudia; Montell, Lisa; Gonzalez, Jose Luis; Davis, Sharon; Lara, Primo N.
Cancer clinical trials have been based on low accrual rates. Barriers to recruitment of minority populations affect the generalizability and impact of trial findings for those populations. The authors undertook a mixed-methods approach to understanding levels of awareness and experiences with cancer clinical trials. A survey was administered to new cancer patients and their caretakers (family, close friends, or other social support) at outpatient oncology clinics. Field observations of the trial accrual process also were conducted by employing the grounded theory approach in qualitative methods. Comparison of survey results for Asian-American respondents and non-Asian respondents indicated that Asians were less likely to have heard the term “clinical trial” and were more likely to define a clinical trial as “an experiment” or “a test procedure in a clinic” than non-Asians. Asians were more likely to have employer-based insurance and to report understanding issues related to cost reimbursement. Asians were less likely to have been involved in or to know someone in a trial and reported less willingness than white respondents to consider trial participation. Qualitative observations suggested that Asians who presented for a potential trial were interested in the availability of a novel cancer therapy but were not eligible for available trials. Multiple strategies will be necessary to enhance awareness of and experience with accrual to cancer clinical trials for Asians, including richer understanding and increased involvement of Asians in cancer clinical trials and greater attention to the location and diversity of the Asian population in structuring study centers and evaluating trial results. PMID:16247795
A trial of Knovel, a web-based application integrating technical information with analytical and search tools, started on 4 March and will finish on 5 April. Knovel is both a platform for e-books and a powerful search engine, allowing users to search the full text, and to extract and exploit numerical data available inside the e-books. It covers several subject areas of Engineering and Materials Science. Go to "our" Knovel trial page to learn how Knovel can support your needs, and to then use the product. Upon entering, please register as a trial participant. After registering you will receive an e-mail to activate your new profile. To help you get started, two webinar sessions will provide tips on how to navigate and search Knovel, a demonstration of the interactive tools that help you use and apply data, and a quick "how-to" on saving and organising useful information with MyKnovel. The sessions will take place on: Thursday 7 March at 11:00 ...
Vivian L Choo; Vivian L Choo; John L Sievenpiper; John L Sievenpiper; John L Sievenpiper
Background: Select trials of fructose overfeeding have been used to implicate fructose as a driver of cardiometabolic risk.Objective: We examined temporal trends of fructose dose in human controlled feeding trials of fructose and cardiometabolic risk.Methods: We combined studies from eight meta-analyses on fructose and cardiometabolic risk to assess the average fructose dose used in these trials. Two types of trials were identified: 1) substitution trials, in which energy from fructose was e...
Choo, Vivian L.; Sievenpiper, John L.
Background Select trials of fructose overfeeding have been used to implicate fructose as a driver of cardiometabolic risk. Objective We examined temporal trends of fructose dose in human controlled feeding trials of fructose and cardiometabolic risk. Methods We combined studies from eight meta-analyses on fructose and cardiometabolic risk to assess the average fructose dose used in these trials. Two types of trials were identified: (1) substitution trials, in which energy f...
Full Text Available The purpose of this study was to explore the effective method of the comprehensive evaluation of ecological environmental quality in a coal mining area. Firstly, we analyzed the ecological environmental effect of the coal mining area according to Pigovian Tax theory and, according to the results of the analysis and the demand for the selection of evaluation indices by the comprehensive evaluation, built the corresponding comprehensive evaluation index system. We then used the correlation function method to determine the relative weights of each index. We determined the basic standards of a comprehensive evaluation of ecological environmental quality in a coal mining area according to the actual situation of ecological environmental quality assessments in coal mining areas in our country and the relevant provisions of the government. On this basis, we built the two-level extension comprehensive evaluation model for the evaluation of ecological environmental quality in mining areas. Finally, we chose a certain coal mining area of Yanzhou Coal Mining Company Limited as the specific case. We used the relevant statistic data, technical and economic indices and the extension evaluation model to do the applied research of the comprehensive evaluation and tested the effectiveness of the comprehensive evaluation model.
Victor Olusegun Okoruwa
Full Text Available The Nigerian rice and maize sectors are faced with decreasing supply and increasing demand as rice and maize have taken a strategic place of other staples leading to excessive importation and increasing government intervention. This study therefore assesses the competitiveness of Nigerian rice and maize production ecologies using the policy analysis matrix (PAM on a sample of 122 farmers. Results of the PAM revealed that outputs from the production ecologies are taxed. This is further confirmed by the Effective protection coefficient (EPC and Subsidy ratio to producers (SRP values, however, the production ecologies are subsidized on the use of tradable inputs. The production ecologies show a strong competitiveness at the farm level (under irrigated rice, upland rice and upland maize and a strong comparative advantage. Sensitivity analysis indicated that a 50 percent increase in output and a 13.3 percent depreciation of the domestic currency will increase competitiveness and comparative advantage of rice and maize production in all ecologies. The study recommends that government should ensure a level of policy stability in the rice and maize sectors, assist farmers with irrigated water scheme to ensure constant water supply, and increase the level of output through provision of improved seed varieties.
Rasmussen, Andrew; Chu, Tracy; Akinsulure-Smith, Adeyinka M; Keatley, Eva
The current study employs a grounded theory approach to examine West African immigrants' resolution of parent-child conflict and intimate partner conflict. Data from 59 participants present an interactive social ecological framework, where a lack of resolution at one level results in attempts to resolve problems at higher levels. Four levels are identified within West African immigrants' problem solving ecology, each with specific actors in positions of authority: individual/dyadic (parents and spouses), extended family (which includes distant relatives and relatives living in home countries), community leadership (non-family elders and religious leaders), and state authorities. From participants' descriptions of family challenges emerged a picture of a social ecology in flux, with traditional, socially conservative modes of resolving family conflict transposed across migration into the more liberal and state-oriented familial context of the United States. This transposition results in a loss spiral for the traditional social ecology, differentially affecting individual actors within families. Implications for helping professionals working with new immigrant communities include identifying variability in openness to adapting structures that are not working well (e.g., patriarchal protection of abusive husbands) and supporting structures known to be associated with well being (e.g., collective monitoring of youth).
Muchiri, Evans; Odimegwu, Clifford; Banda, Pamela; Ntoimo, Lorreta; Adedini, Sunday
Studies in South Africa have reported unsafe levels of risky sexual behvaiours among adolescents and young adults, with the country reporting the highest burden of HIV/AIDS globally, as well as a high rate of teenage pregnancy. While determinants of risky sexual behaviours have been investigated for factors occurring at the individual and household levels, not fully explored in the literature is the effect of community level factors. Furthermore, it is unclear whether risk factors occurring within the ecology of adolescents and young adults act cumulatively to influence their sexual practices. This article aims to address this knowledge gap using a case study of the Cape Area Panel Study of adolescents and young adults in urban Cape Town, South Africa. The ecological framework was adopted to guide the selection of risk factors at the individual, household, and community levels. Multivariate linear discriminant function analyses were used to select significant risk factors for multiple sexual partnerships and used to produce risk indices for the respondents. The cumulative risk approach was applied to test whether significant risk factors acted cumulatively. Findings point to the importance of ecological factors in influencing outcomes of multiple sexual partnerships among respondents and further demonstrate that ecological risk factors may act cumulatively. These findings are important for South Africa that is grappling with teenage pregnancy and disproportionate HIV epidemic among the youth.
Langston, Anne L; McCallum, Marilyn; Campbell, Marion K; Robertson, Clare; Ralston, Stuart H
Although, consumer involvement in individual studies is often limited, their involvement in guiding health research is generally considered to be beneficial. This paper outlines our experiences of an integrated relationship between the organisers of a clinical trial and a consumer organisation. The PRISM trial is a UK multicentre, randomized controlled trial comparing treatment strategies for Paget's disease of the bone. The National Association for the Relief of Paget's Disease (NARPD) is the only UK support group for sufferers of Paget's disease and has worked closely with the PRISM team from the outset. NARPD involvement is integral to the conduct of the trial and specific roles have included: peer-review; trial steering committee membership; provision of advice to participants, and promotion of the trial amongst Paget's disease patients. The integrated relationship has yielded benefits to both the trial and the consumer organisation. The benefits for the trial have included: recruitment of participants via NARPD contacts; well-informed participants; unsolicited patient advocacy of the trial; and interested and pro-active collaborators. For the NARPD and Paget's disease sufferers, benefits have included: increased awareness of Paget's disease; increased access to relevant health research; increased awareness of the NARPD services; and wider transfer of diagnosis and management knowledge to/from health care professionals. Our experience has shown that an integrated approach between a trial team and a consumer organisation is worthwhile. Adoption of such an approach in other trials may yield significant improvements in recruitment and quality of participant information flow. There are, however, resource implications for both parties.
Newton Paulo Bueno
Full Text Available While growing attention has been paid to the idea of resilience of social-ecological systems, it seems that there still are a number of gaps to bridge before we could really use this concept for practical purposes. The main problem is that the most of the works in the field are unclear on how to unequivocally measure the degree of resilience of particular social-ecological systems. In this paper, we suggest to be possible identifying the loss of resilience of social-ecological systems as a process of loop dominance shift. In order to illustrate the argument, we use a very stylized system dynamics model for irrigation systems developed by scholars associated to the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis at Indiana University.
Hans-Georg Schwarz-v. Raumer
Full Text Available This paper considers scenarios of cultivating energy crops in the German Federal State of Baden-Württemberg to identify potentials and limitations of a sustainable bioenergy production. Trade-offs are analyzed among income and production structure in agriculture, bioenergy crop production, greenhouse gas emissions, and the interests of soil, water and species habitat protection. An integrated modelling approach (IMA was implemented coupling ecological and economic models in a model chain. IMA combines the Economic Farm Emission Model (EFEM; key input: parameter sets on farm production activities, the Environmental Policy Integrated Climate model (EPIC; key input: parameter sets on environmental cropping effects and GIS geo-processing models. EFEM is a supply model that maximizes total gross margins on farm level with simultaneous calculation of greenhouse gas emission from agriculture production. Calculations by EPIC result in estimates for soil erosion by water, nitrate leaching, Soil Organic Carbon and greenhouse gas emissions from soil. GIS routines provide land suitability analyses, scenario settings concerning nature conservation and habitat models for target species and help to enable spatial explicit results. The model chain is used to calculate scenarios representing different intensities of energy crop cultivation. To design scenarios which are detailed and in step to practice, comprehensive data research as well as fact and effect analyses were carried out. The scenarios indicate that, not in general but when considering specific farm types, energy crop share extremely increases if not restricted and leads to an increase in income. If so this leads to significant increase in soil erosion by water, nitrate leaching and greenhouse gas emissions. It has to be expected that an extension of nature conservation leads to an intensification of the remaining grassland and of the arable land, which were not part of nature conservation measures
Suter, G.W. II; Sample, B.E.; Jones, D.S.; Ashwood, T.L.
This report provides guidance for planning and performing ecological risk assessments on the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR). The tiered approach to ecological risk assessment has been implemented, generic conceptual models have been developed, and a general approach for developing ecological assessment endpoints and measurement endpoints has been agreed upon. The document also includes changes in terminology to agree with the terminology in the US Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) framework for ecological risk assessment. Although ecological risks are equal in regulatory importance to human health risks, formal procedures for ecological risk assessment are poorly developed. This report will provide specific guidance and promote the use of consistent approaches for ecological risk assessments at individual sites on the ORR. The strategy discussed in this report is consistent with the overall strategy for site management and Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) compliance and with relevant EPA guidance. The general approach and strategy presented herein was developed for the ORR, but it should be applicable to other complex CERCLA sites that possess significant ecological resources
Suter, G.W. II; Sample, B.E.; Jones, D.S.; Ashwood, T.L.
This report provides guidance for planning and performing ecological risk assessments on the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR). The tiered approach to ecological risk assessment has been implemented, generic conceptual models have been developed, and a general approach for developing ecological assessment endpoints and measurement endpoints has been agreed upon. The document also includes changes in terminology to agree with the terminology in the US Environmental Protection Agency`s (EPA`s) framework for ecological risk assessment. Although ecological risks are equal in regulatory importance to human health risks, formal procedures for ecological risk assessment are poorly developed. This report will provide specific guidance and promote the use of consistent approaches for ecological risk assessments at individual sites on the ORR. The strategy discussed in this report is consistent with the overall strategy for site management and Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) compliance and with relevant EPA guidance. The general approach and strategy presented herein was developed for the ORR, but it should be applicable to other complex CERCLA sites that possess significant ecological resources.
different views of all stakeholders should be reconciled in a pragmatic approach to social-ecological system management.
Rinku Roy Chowdhury; Kelli Larson; Morgan Grove; Colin Polsky; Elizabeth Cook; Jeffrey Onsted; Laura. Ogden
Urban residential expansion increasingly drives land use, land cover and ecological changes worldwide, yet social science theories explaining such change remain under-developed. Existing theories often focus on processes occurring at one scale, while ignoring other scales. Emerging evidence from four linked U.S. research sites suggests it is essential to examine...
Shah, Mamta; Foster, Aroutis
Systematic incorporation of digital games in schools is largely unexplored. This case study explored the ecological conditions necessary for implementing a game-based learning course by examining the interaction between three domains (the innovator, the innovation, and the context). From January-April 2012, one in-service teacher learned and…
Kimberley K. Ayre; Wayne G. Landis
We present a Bayesian network model based on the ecological risk assessment framework to evaluate potential impacts to habitats and resources resulting from wildfire, grazing, forest management activities, and insect outbreaks in a forested landscape in northeastern Oregon. The Bayesian network structure consisted of three tiers of nodes: landscape disturbances,...
Grift-Simeonova, van der Vanya; Achterberg, E.; Grift, van der E.A.
Regional and local governments in Europe are often challenged with establishing suitable institutional practices to meet ecological targets within urban spatial development plans and address the ultimate goal of the Environmental Policy Integration (EPI). EPI has been proliferated by the European
There is great interest in recovering populations of large carnivores in locations where they previously were extirpated or severely reduced in size as a result of human activity. Determining the ecological feasibility (i.e., is adequate habitat available?) of a species is diffi...
Derting, Terry L.
Develops a research-oriented method of studying the digestive system that integrates species' ecology with the form and function of this system. Uses problem-posing, problem-probing, and peer persuasion. Presents information for mammalian systems. (27 references) (MKR)
Wieringa, N.F.; van der Windt, H.J.; Zuiker, R.R.M.; Dijkhuizen, L.; Verkerk, M.A.; Vonk, R.J.; Swart, J.A.A.
To contribute to the social debate about the role of functional foods in the prevention of overweight and obesity using an ecological model to study the positioning of functional foods and their social implications. Positioning was conceptualized as the relative attention given to functional foods
Loon, van J.J.A.; Casas, J.; Pincebourde, S.
Quantifying the flow of matter and energy in food webs is indispensable when assessing the effects of increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide, ozone level and temperature as a result of global climate change. In insect nutritional ecology, quantification of digestive and metabolic efficiency is
Keywords: ecological-economic modelling; ecosystem services; resource use; efficient; sustainability; wetlands, rangelands.
Gilioli, Gianni; Caroli, Anna Maria; Tikubet, Getachew; Herren, Hans R.; Baumgärtner, Johann
all stakeholders should be reconciled in a pragmatic approach to social-ecological system management. Significance for public health Recently, there is a growing interest in studying the link between human, animal and environmental health. The connection between these different dimensions is particularly important for developing countries in which people face the challenge of escaping vicious cycle of high diseases prevalence, food insecurity driven by absolute poverty and population growth, and natural capital as a poverty trap. The design and implementation of such efforts, aiming at human health improvement and poverty alleviation, should be framed into adaptive social-ecological system management perspectives. In this paper, we present few case studies dealing with human health improvement through anopheline malaria vectors control in Kenya, cattle health improvement through tsetse vectored nagana control, antitrypanosomal drug administration to cattle in Ethiopia and with the development of rural sustainable communities in Ethiopia. Some recommendations are given to rationalise human and cattle health improvement efforts and to smoothen the road towards enhanced sustainability. PMID:25170511
Gilioli, Gianni; Caroli, Anna Maria; Tikubet, Getachew; Herren, Hans R; Baumgärtner, Johann
all stakeholders should be reconciled in a pragmatic approach to social-ecological system management. Significance for public healthRecently, there is a growing interest in studying the link between human, animal and environmental health. The connection between these different dimensions is particularly important for developing countries in which people face the challenge of escaping vicious cycle of high diseases prevalence, food insecurity driven by absolute poverty and population growth, and natural capital as a poverty trap. The design and implementation of such efforts, aiming at human health improvement and poverty alleviation, should be framed into adaptive social-ecological system management perspectives. In this paper, we present few case studies dealing with human health improvement through anopheline malaria vectors control in Kenya, cattle health improvement through tsetse vectored nagana control, antitrypanosomal drug administration to cattle in Ethiopia and with the development of rural sustainable communities in Ethiopia. Some recommendations are given to rationalise human and cattle health improvement efforts and to smoothen the road towards enhanced sustainability.
Full Text Available When environmental processes cut across socioeconomic boundaries, traditional top-down government approaches struggle to effectively manage and conserve ecosystems. In such cases, governance arrangements that foster multiactor collaboration are needed. The effectiveness of such arrangements, however, depends on how well any ecological interdependencies across governed ecosystems are aligned with patterns of collaboration. This inherent interdisciplinary and complex problem has impeded progress in developing a better understanding of how to govern ecosystems for conservation in an increasingly interconnected world. We argue for the development of empirically informed theories, which are not only able to transcend disciplinary boundaries, but are also explicit in taking these complex social-ecological interdependences into account. We show how this emerging research frontier can be significantly improved by incorporating recent advances in stochastic modeling of multilevel social networks. An empirical case study from an agricultural landscape in Madagascar is reanalyzed to demonstrate these improvements.
Suter, G.W. II
This technical memorandum provides guidance for planning and performing ecological risk assessments (ERAs) on the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR). This work was performed under Work Breakdown Structure 18.104.22.168.3.04.07.02 (Activity Data Sheet 8304) and meets an Environmental Restoration Program milestone for FY 95. The strategy discussed in this report is consistent with the overall strategy for site management and Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) compliance developed for the ORR and relevant U.S. Environmental Protection Agency documents and guidance. The general approach and strategy presented herein was developed for the ORR, but it could be applicable to other complex CERCLA sites that possess significant ecological resources.
Voogt, Carmen; Kuntsche, Emmanuel; Kleinjan, Marloes; Poelen, Evelien; Engels, Rutger
Web-based brief alcohol interventions are effective in reducing alcohol use among students when measured at limited follow-up time points. To date, no studies have tested Web-based brief alcohol intervention effectiveness over time by using a large number of measurements. Testing whether the What Do You Drink (WDYD) Web-based brief alcohol intervention can sustain a reduction in alcohol use among heavy-drinking students aged 18-24 years at 1-, 3-, and 6-month follow-up intervals. A purely Web-based, 2-arm, parallel-group randomized controlled trial applying an ecological momentary assessment approach with 30 weekly measurements was conducted in the Netherlands (2010-2011). Participants were recruited offline and online. A total of 907 participants were randomized into the experimental condition (n=456) including the single-session and fully automated WDYD intervention, or into the control condition (n=451) including assessment only. Weekly alcohol consumption and frequency of binge drinking were the self-assessed outcome measures. Attrition rates of the 907 participants were 110 (12.1%), 130 (14.3%), and 162 (17.9%) at 1-, 3-, and 6-month follow-up intervals, respectively. Latent growth curve analyses according to the intention-to-treat principle revealed that participants in the experimental condition had significantly lower weekly alcohol consumption compared to participants in the control condition that was sustained at 3-month follow-up (intercept=-2.60, Padmin/rctview.asp?TC=2665 (Archived by WebCite at http://webcitation.org/6LuQVn12M).
Sami F Shaban
research culture’. This article examines the barriers to and benefits of physician participation in clinical research as well as interventions needed to increase their participation, including the specific role of undergraduate medical education. The main challenge is the unwillingness of many physicians and patients to participate in clinical trials. Barriers to participation include lack of time, lack of resources, trial-specific issues, communication difficulties, conflicts between the role of clinician and scientist, inadequate research experience and training for physicians, lack of rewards and recognition for physicians, and sometimes a scientifically uninteresting research question, among others. Strategies to encourage physician participation in clinical research include financial and nonfinancial incentives, adequate training, research questions that are in line with physician interests and have clear potential to improve patient care, and regular feedback. Finally, encouraging research culture and fostering the development of inquiry and research-based learning among medical students is now a high priority in order to develop more and better clinician-researchers.Keywords: physician, clinical research, clinical trial, medical education
Full Text Available This paper discusses the reasoning behind the development of a new approach to designed urban planting with grasses, forbs and geophytes that has been undertaken at the University of Sheffield over the past 15 years. The resulting plant communities are the result of applying contemporary ecological science to planting design, to maximize their sustainability while at the same time meeting the aesthetic and functional needs of the users of urban public landscapes. The geographical origin of the plants used in these communities varies according to the physical, ecological, and cultural context in which they are to be used. In some cases species are entirely native, in others entirely non-native. In many cases, a mixture of both is used. In discussing the rationale for the development of this approach in the United Kingdom context, the paper raises important issues about increasing the capacity of urban landscapes to support a greater diversity of native animals and to engage ordinary citizens in these activities at a time of dramatic climatic and social change. The approach we outline addresses some of these issues in the United Kingdom context, but it is uncertain whether there is merit in these approaches in the context of American towns and cities.
Small, Neil; Raghavan, Raghu; Pawson, Nicole
Transition planning using a person-centred approach has, in the main, failed to shape service provision. We offer an alternative based on an ecological understanding of human development linked to public health approaches that prioritise whole system planning. A total of 43 young people with intellectual disabilities, in Bradford, England, who were approaching transition from school or college were recruited to a qualitative study. Their ethnic breakdown was as follows: 16 white British, 24 Pakistani, 2 Bangladeshi and 1 Black African. Each young person was interviewed twice, at recruitment and a year later, to observe any changes in their social networks during transition. Interviews were undertaken with a semi-structured interview schedule and with the pictorial approach of Talking Mats. Both the networks the young people live within, and their sense of what the future might hold for them, are described and linked to Bronfenbrenner's ecological model of human development. The importance of the family and school is emphasised, as is the absence of engagement in leisure activities and work. Transition planning needs to start with mapping the systems individuals live within, areas of strength should be supported and parts of the system, which are not fit for purpose for these young people, should be prioritised for interventions.
Nizovtsev, Vyacheslav; Natalia, Erman
The territory of Moscow, in particular in its former borders, is distinct for its strong transformation of the natural properties of virtually all types of landscape complexes. The modern landscape structure is characterized by fragmentation of natural land cover. Natural and quasinatural (natural and anthropogenic) landscape complexes with preserved natural structure are represented by isolated areas and occupy small areas. During recent years landscape diversity in general and biodiversity in particular have been rapidly declining, and many of the natural landscape complexes are under ever-increasing degradation. Ecological balance is broken, and preserved natural landscapes are not able to maintain it. Effective territorial organization of Moscow and the rational use of its territory are impossible without taking into account the natural component of the city as well as the properties and potential of the landscape complexes that integrate all natural features in specific areas. The formation of the ecological framework of the city is particularly important. It should be a single system of interrelated and complementary components that make up a single environmental space: habitat-forming cores (junctions), ecological corridors and elements of environmental infrastructure. Systemic unity of the environmental framework can support the territorial ecological compensation where a break of the ecological functions of one part of the system is compensated by maintaining or restoring them in another part and contribute to the polarization of incompatible types of land use. Habitat-forming cores should include as mandatory parts all the specifically protected natural areas (SPNAs), particularly valuable landscape complexes, as well as preserved adjacent forest areas. Their most important function should be to maintain resources and area reproducing abilities of landscapes, landscape diversity and biodiversity. Ecological corridors which perform environmental and
Conducting an integrated analysis to evaluate the societal and ecological consequences of environmental management actions requires decisions about data collection, theory development, modeling and valuation. Approaching these decisions in coordinated fashion necessitates a syste...
Full Text Available Abstract Intellectual property is associated with the creative work needed to design clinical trials. Two approaches have developed to protect the intellectual property associated with multicentre trial protocols prior to site initiation. The ‘open access’ approach involves publishing the protocol, permitting easy access to the complete protocol. The main advantages of the open access approach are that the protocol is freely available to all stakeholders, permitting them to discuss the protocol widely with colleagues, assess the quality and rigour of the protocol, determine the feasibility of conducting the trial at their centre, and after trial completion, to evaluate the reported findings based on a full understanding of the protocol. The main potential disadvantage of this approach is the potential for plagiarism; however if that occurred, it should be easy to identify because of the open access to the original trial protocol, as well as ensure that appropriate sanctions are used to deal with plagiarism. The ‘restricted access’ approach involves the use of non-disclosure agreements, legal documents that must be signed between the trial lead centre and collaborative sites. Potential sites must guarantee they will not disclose any details of the study before they are permitted to access the protocol. The main advantages of the restricted access approach are for the lead institution and nominated principal investigator, who protect their intellectual property associated with the trial. The main disadvantages are that ownership of the protocol and intellectual property is assigned to the lead institution; defining who ‘needs to know’ about the study protocol is difficult; and the use of non-disclosure agreements involves review by lawyers and institutional representatives at each site before access is permitted to the protocol, significantly delaying study implementation and adding substantial indirect costs to research institutes
Ross, Sue; Magee, Laura; Walker, Mark; Wood, Stephen
Intellectual property is associated with the creative work needed to design clinical trials. Two approaches have developed to protect the intellectual property associated with multicentre trial protocols prior to site initiation. The 'open access' approach involves publishing the protocol, permitting easy access to the complete protocol. The main advantages of the open access approach are that the protocol is freely available to all stakeholders, permitting them to discuss the protocol widely with colleagues, assess the quality and rigour of the protocol, determine the feasibility of conducting the trial at their centre, and after trial completion, to evaluate the reported findings based on a full understanding of the protocol. The main potential disadvantage of this approach is the potential for plagiarism; however if that occurred, it should be easy to identify because of the open access to the original trial protocol, as well as ensure that appropriate sanctions are used to deal with plagiarism. The 'restricted access' approach involves the use of non-disclosure agreements, legal documents that must be signed between the trial lead centre and collaborative sites. Potential sites must guarantee they will not disclose any details of the study before they are permitted to access the protocol. The main advantages of the restricted access approach are for the lead institution and nominated principal investigator, who protect their intellectual property associated with the trial. The main disadvantages are that ownership of the protocol and intellectual property is assigned to the lead institution; defining who 'needs to know' about the study protocol is difficult; and the use of non-disclosure agreements involves review by lawyers and institutional representatives at each site before access is permitted to the protocol, significantly delaying study implementation and adding substantial indirect costs to research institutes. This extra step may discourage sites from
Nicholas A. Bokulich1,2,3 & David A. Mills1,2,3*
Full Text Available Food fermentations have enhanced human health since the dawnof time and remain a prevalent means of food processing andpreservation. Due to their cultural and nutritional importance,many of these foods have been studied in detail using moleculartools, leading to enhancements in quality and safety. Furthermore,recent advances in high-throughput sequencing technologyare revolutionizing the study of food microbial ecology,deepening insight into complex fermentation systems. Thisreview provides insight into novel applications of selectmolecular techniques, particularly next-generation sequencingtechnology, for analysis of microbial communities in fermentedfoods. We present a guideline for integrated molecular analysis offood microbial ecology and a starting point for implementingnext-generation analysis of food systems.
CERN. Geneva; Hagemann, Melissa
An increasing number of university institutions and other organisations are deciding to deploy repositories and a growing number of formal and informal distributed services are supporting or capitalising on the information these repositories provide. Despite reasonably well understood technical architectures, early majority adopters may struggle to articulate their place within the actualities of a wider information environment. The idea of a repository ecology provides developers and administrators with a useful way of articulating and analysing their place in the information environment, and the technical and organisational interactions they have, or are developing, with other parts of such an environment. This presentation will provide an overview of the concept of a repository ecology and examine some examples from the domains of scholarly communications and elearning.
An increasing number of university institutions and other organisations are deciding to deploy repositories and a growing number of formal and informal distributed services are supporting or capitalising on the information these repositories provide. Despite reasonably well understood technical architectures, early majority adopters may struggle to articulate their place within the actualities of a wider information environment. The idea of a repository ecology provides developers and administrators with a useful way of articulating and analysing their place in the information environment, and the technical and organisational interactions they have, or are developing, with other parts of such an environment. This presentation will provide an overview of the concept of a repository ecology and examine some examples from the domains of scholarly communications and elearning. View John Robertson's biography
Götzenberger, L.; de Bello, Francesco; Brathen, K. A.; Davison, J.; Dubuis, A.; Guisan, A.; Lepš, Jan; Lindborg, R.; Moora, M.; Partel, M.; Pellissier, L.; Pottier, J.; Vittoz, P.; Zobel, K.; Zobel, M.
Roč. 87, č. 1 (2012), s. 111-127 ISSN 1464-7931 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA206/09/1471 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516; CEZ:AV0Z50070508 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 ; RVO:60077344 Keywords : community assembly * competition * meta - analysis Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 10.256, year: 2012
Ioan G. Pop
Full Text Available The paper combines original concepts about eco-energetic systems, in a transdisciplinary sustainable context. Firstly, it introduces the concept of M.E.N. (Mega-Eco-Nega-Watt, the eco-energetic paradigm based on three different but complementary ecological economic spaces: the Megawatt as needed energy, the Ecowatt as ecological energy, and the Negawatt as preserved energy. The paper also deals with the renewable energies and technologies in the context of electrical energy production. Secondly, in the context of the M.E.N. eco-energetic paradigm, comprehensive definitions are given about eco-energetic systems and for pollution. Thirdly, the paper introduces a new formula for the eco-energetic efficiency which correlates the energetic efficiency of the system and the necessary newly defined ecological coefficient. The proposed formula for eco-energetic efficiency enables an interesting form of relating to different situations in which the input energy, output energy, lost energy, and externalities involved in an energetic process, interact to produce energy in a specific energetic system, in connection with the circular resilient economy model. Finally, the paper presents an original energetic diagram to explain different channels to produce electricity in a resilience regime, with high eco-energetic efficiency from primary external energetic sources (gravitation and solar sources, fuels (classical and radioactive, internal energetic sources (geothermal, volcanoes and other kind of sources. Regardless the kind of energetic sources used to obtain electricity, the entire process should be sustainable in what concerns the transdisciplinary integration of the different representative spheres as energy, socio-economy, and ecology (environment.
Metadata only record Soil quality represents an integral value of the compositional structures and natural functions of soil in relation to soil use and environmental conditions on site. Among the indigenous soil components, different organisms and especially microorganisms play a key role in ecologically important biogeochemical processes. In that way, soil microorganisms contribute to the maintenance of the matter and energy transfer in terrestrial environments. Under stress conditions c...
Tzeng, Yu-Fen; Gau, Bih-Shya
This research applied the Ecological System Theory of Dr. Bronfenbrenner (1979) to evaluate and analyze the impact of a school-age asthmatic child's ecological environment on the child's development. This project ran from March 16th to April 16th, 2010. A full range of data was collected during clinical care, outpatient follow-up services, telephone interviews, home visits, and school visits and then identified and analyzed. Results indicated that the family, household environment, campus, teachers, classmates, physical education program, and medical staffs comprised the most immediate microsystem and that parents, school nurses, teachers, and classmates formed the child's mesosystem. Researchers found a lack of understanding and appreciation in the mesosystem regarding asthmatic patient care needs. Hidden factors in the environment induced asthma, which eventually caused the child to be unable to obtain necessary medical care assistance. The exosystem reflected adequacy of the family social economy. The father's flexible working hours allowed him to allocate more time to childcare responsibilities. The government Asthma Medical Payment program also facilitated effective care. The macrosystem demonstrated parental cognition related to asthma treatment and caring to be deeply influenced by local customs. Thus, rather than using advanced medical treatments, parents preferred to follow traditional Chinese medicinal practices. Evaluation using the Ecological of Human Development Theory showed the subject's ecology environment relationships as based upon a foundation of family and school. Therefore, active family and school support for an asthma management plan appropriate to the subject's needs was critical. Asthma symptoms were better controlled after the child and his parents invested greater effort in mastering asthma management protocols.
Řeřucha, Šimon; Bartonička, T.; Jedlička, Petr; Čížek, Martin; Hlouša, Ondřej; Lučan, R.; Horáček, I.
-, FEB 25 (2015), e0116785:1-19 E-ISSN 1932-6203 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LO1212; GA MŠk EE2.3.30.0054; GA MŠk ED0017/01/01; GA AV ČR IAA601110905 Institutional support: RVO:68081731 Keywords : radiotracking * behavior Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 3.057, year: 2015
Leon Sicard, Tomas
A comparative analysis of the human ecology focus versus the environmental dimension analysis, emphasizing that the first one does not have theoretical instruments to adequately consider the human action inside the ecosystems, while the second one considers the concept of culture as an explanation of the human niche and then of the environmental problem. It ends with thoughts about the environmental or ecologist conception that is discussed in the Colombian peace negotiations
Poh, Catherine F; Durham, J Scott; Brasher, Penelope M; Anderson, Donald W; Berean, Kenneth W; MacAulay, Calum E; Lee, J Jack; Rosin, Miriam P
Oral cancer is a major health problem worldwide. The 5-year survival rate ranges from 30-60%, and has remained unchanged in the past few decades. This is mainly due to late diagnosis and high recurrence of the disease. Of the patients who receive treatment, up to one third suffer from a recurrence or a second primary tumor. It is apparent that one major cause of disease recurrence is clinically unrecognized field changes which extend beyond the visible tumor boundary. We have previously developed an approach using fluorescence visualization (FV) technology to improve the recognition of the field at risk surrounding a visible oral cancer that needs to be removed and preliminary results have shown a significant reduction in recurrence rates. This paper describes the study design of a randomized, multi-centre, double blind, controlled surgical trial, the COOLS trial. Nine institutions across Canada will recruit a total of 400 patients with oral severe dysplasia or carcinoma in situ (N = 160) and invasive squamous cell carcinoma (N = 240). Patients will be stratified by participating institution and histology grade and randomized equally into FV-guided surgery (experimental arm) or white light-guided surgery (control arm). The primary endpoint is a composite of recurrence at or 1 cm within the previous surgery site with 1) the same or higher grade histology compared to the initial diagnosis (i.e., the diagnosis used for randomization); or 2) further treatment due to the presence of severe dysplasia or higher degree of change at follow-up. This is the first randomized, multi-centre trial to validate the effectiveness of the FV-guided surgery. In this paper we described the strategies, novelty, and challenges of this unique trial involving a surgical approach guided by the FV technology. The success of the trial requires training, coordination, and quality assurance across multiple sites within Canada. The COOLS trial, an example of translational research, may result in
Crabtree, B; Dempsey, P; Johnson, I; Whitehead, M
In the UK, the Highways Agency is responsible for operating, maintaining and improving the strategic road network in England. One focus of the Highways Agency's ongoing research into the nature and impact of highway runoff is aimed at ensuring that the Highways Agency will meet the requirements of the EU Water Framework Directive. A research programme, undertaken in partnership with the Environment Agency, is in progress to develop a better understanding of pollutants in highway runoff and their ecological impact. The paper presents the outcome of a study to: (1) monitor pollutants in highway runoff under different climate and traffic conditions; (2) develop standards to assess potential ecological risks from soluble pollutants in highway runoff; and (3) develop a model to predict pollutant concentrations in highway runoff. The model has been embedded in a design tool incorporating risk assessment procedures and receiving water standards for soluble and insoluble pollutants--the latter has been developed elsewhere in another project within the research programme. The design tool will be used to support improved guidance on where, and to what level, treatment of runoff is required for highway designers to manage the risk of ecological impact from highway runoff.
Saleem, Haneefa T; Narasimhan, Manjulaa; Denison, Julie A; Kennedy, Caitlin E
The recognition and fulfilment of the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of all individuals and couples affected by HIV, including HIV-serodiscordant couples, requires intervention strategies aimed at achieving safe and healthy pregnancies and preventing undesired pregnancies. Reducing risk of horizontal and vertical transmission and addressing HIV-related infertility are key components of such interventions. In this commentary, we present challenges and opportunities for achieving safe pregnancies for serodiscordant couples through a social ecological lens. At the individual level, knowledge (e.g. of HIV status, assisted reproductive technologies) and skills (e.g. adhering to antiretroviral therapy or pre-exposure prophylaxis) are important. At the couple level, communication between partners around HIV status disclosure, fertility desires and safer pregnancy is required. Within the structural domain, social norms, stigma and discrimination from families, community and social networks influence individual and couple experiences. The availability and quality of safer conception and fertility support services within the healthcare system remains essential, including training for healthcare providers and strengthening integration of SRHR and HIV services. Policies, legislation and funding can improve access to SRHR services. A social ecological framework allows us to examine interactions between levels and how interventions at multiple levels can better support HIV-serodiscordant couples to achieve safe pregnancies. Strategies to achieve safer pregnancies should consider interrelated challenges at different levels of a social ecological framework. Interventions across multiple levels, implemented concurrently, have the potential to maximize impact and ensure the full SRHR of HIV-serodiscordant couples.
Full Text Available The emerging neurocomputational vision of humans as embodied, ecologically embedded, social agents—who shape and are shaped by their environment—offers a golden opportunity to revisit and revise ideas about the physical and information-theoretic underpinnings of life, mind, and consciousness itself. In particular, the active inference framework (AIF makes it possible to bridge connections from computational neuroscience and robotics/AI to ecological psychology and phenomenology, revealing common underpinnings and overcoming key limitations. AIF opposes the mechanistic to the reductive, while staying fully grounded in a naturalistic and information-theoretic foundation, using the principle of free energy minimization. The latter provides a theoretical basis for a unified treatment of particles, organisms, and interactive machines, spanning from the inorganic to organic, non-life to life, and natural to artificial agents. We provide a brief introduction to AIF, then explore its implications for evolutionary theory, ecological psychology, embodied phenomenology, and robotics/AI research. We conclude the paper by considering implications for machine consciousness.
Wolaver, Brad D; Pierre, Jon Paul; Ikonnikova, Svetlana A; Andrews, John R; McDaid, Guinevere; Ryberg, Wade A; Hibbitts, Toby J; Duran, Charles M; Labay, Benjamin J; LaDuc, Travis J
Directional well drilling and hydraulic fracturing has enabled energy production from previously inaccessible resources, but caused vegetation conversion and landscape fragmentation, often in relatively undisturbed habitats. We improve forecasts of future ecological impacts from unconventional oil and gas play developments using a new, more spatially-explicit approach. We applied an energy production outlook model, which used geologic and economic data from thousands of wells and three oil price scenarios, to map future drilling patterns and evaluate the spatial distribution of vegetation conversion and habitat impacts. We forecast where future well pad construction may be most intense, illustrating with an example from the Eagle Ford Shale Play of Texas. We also illustrate the ecological utility of this approach using the Spot-tailed Earless Lizard (Holbrookia lacerata) as the focal species, which historically occupied much of the Eagle Ford and awaits a federal decision for possible Endangered Species Act protection. We found that ~17,000-45,500 wells would be drilled 2017‒2045 resulting in vegetation conversion of ~26,485-70,623 ha (0.73-1.96% of pre-development vegetation), depending on price scenario ($40-$80/barrel). Grasslands and row crop habitats were most affected (2.30 and 2.82% areal vegetation reduction). Our approach improves forecasts of where and to what extent future energy development in unconventional plays may change land-use and ecosystem services, enabling natural resource managers to anticipate and direct on-the-ground conservation actions to places where they will most effectively mitigate ecological impacts of well pads and associated infrastructure.
Suter, G.W. II; Sample, B.E.; Jones, D.S.; Ashwood, T.L.; Loar, J.M.
The purpose of this document is to provide guidance for planning and performing ecological risk assessments (ERAs) on the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR). It is the third such document prepared for this purpose. The first ecorisk strategy document described the ERA process and presented a tiered approach to ERAs appropriate to complex sites. The first revision was necessitated by the considerable progress that has been made by the parties to the Federal Facilities Agreement (FFA) for the ORR in resolving specific issues relating to ERA as a result of a series of data quality objectives (DQOs) meetings. The tiered approach to ERAs as recommended in the first document was implemented, generic conceptual models were developed, and a general approach for developing ecological assessment endpoints and measurement endpoints was agreed upon. This revision is necessitated by comments from the US Environmental Protection Agency's Region IV and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) which clarified and modified the positions taken during the DQO process. In particular, support for the collection of data that would support ERAs for all OUs on the ORR have been withdrawn. Therefore, the work plan developed to fill the reservation-wide data needs identified in the DQO process has also been withdrawn, and portions that are still relevant have been incorporated into this document. The reader should be aware that this guidance is complex and lengthy because it attempts to cover all the reasonable contingencies that were considered to be potentially important to the FFA parties
Full Text Available This article deals with methodological issues and how to link global processes - social and ecological - with environmental changes and human health in local communities. The discussion concerns how interdisciplinary approaches can help us find tools to develop new knowledge. Scientific knowledge and local knowledge are not seen as opposite epistemological forms, but as socially and culturally constructed. Power and social legitimacy have to be included when analyzing how to deal with the interaction between global processes and local environmental change and the health/disease interface.
Österblom, H.; Gårdmark, A.; Bergström, L.
Effectively reducing cumulative impacts on marine ecosystems requires co-evolution between science, policy and practice. Here, long-term social–ecological changes in the Baltic Sea are described, illustrating how the process of making the ecosystem approach operational in a large marine ecosystem...... stimulating innovations and re-organizing governance structures at drainage basin level to the Baltic Sea catchment as a whole. Experimentation and innovation at local to the regional levels is critical for a transition to ecosystem-based management. Establishing science-based learning platforms at sub...
Full Text Available The application of scientific-based conservation measures requires that sampling methodologies in studies modelling similar ecological aspects produce comparable results making easier their interpretation. We aimed to show how the choice of different methodological and ecological approaches can affect conclusions in nest-site selection studies along different Palearctic meta-populations of an indicator species. First, a multivariate analysis of the variables affecting nest-site selection in a breeding colony of cinereous vulture (Aegypius monachus in central Spain was performed. Then, a meta-analysis was applied to establish how methodological and habitat-type factors determine differences and similarities in the results obtained by previous studies that have modelled the forest breeding habitat of the species. Our results revealed patterns in nesting-habitat modelling by the cinereous vulture throughout its whole range: steep and south-facing slopes, great cover of large trees and distance to human activities were generally selected. The ratio and situation of the studied plots (nests/random, the use of plots vs. polygons as sampling units and the number of years of data set determined the variability explained by the model. Moreover, a greater size of the breeding colony implied that ecological and geomorphological variables at landscape level were more influential. Additionally, human activities affected in greater proportion to colonies situated in Mediterranean forests. For the first time, a meta-analysis regarding the factors determining nest-site selection heterogeneity for a single species at broad scale was achieved. It is essential to homogenize and coordinate experimental design in modelling the selection of species' ecological requirements in order to avoid that differences in results among studies would be due to methodological heterogeneity. This would optimize best conservation and management practices for habitats and species in
Juul, Rasmus Vestergaard; Nyberg, Joakim; Kreilgaard, Mads
Inconsistent trial design and analysis is a key reason that few advances in postoperative pain management have been made from clinical trials analyzing opioid consumption data. This study aimed to compare four different approaches to analyze opioid consumption data. A repeated time-to-event (RTTE...... to determine sample size required to demonstrate efficacy with 80% power using t test, Mann-Whitney rank sum test, time-to-event (TTE) modeling and RTTE modeling. Precision of efficacy estimates for RTTE models were evaluated in 500 simulations. A sample size of 50 patients was required to detect 37% morphine...... sparing effect with at least 80% power in a 24 h trial with RTTE modeling whereas the required sample size was 200 for Mann-Whitney, 180 for t-test and 76 for TTE models. Extending the trial duration from 24 to 96 h reduced the required sample size by 3.1 fold with RTTE modeling. Precise estimate...
Kalipeni, E; Oppong, J
Political violence in civil war and ethnic conflicts has generated millions of refugees across the African continent with unbelievable pictures of suffering and unnecessary death. Using a political ecology framework, this paper examines the geographies of exile and refugee movements and the associated implications for re-emerging and newly emerging infectious diseases in great detail. It examines how the political ecologic circumstances underlying the refugee crisis influences health services delivery and the problems of disease and health in refugee camps. It has four main themes, namely, an examination of the geography of the refugee crisis: the disruption of health services due to political ecologic forces that produce refugees; the breeding of disease in refugee camps due to the prevailing desperation and destitution; and the creation of an optimal environment for emergence and spread of disease due to the chaotic nature of war and violence that produces refugees. We argue in this paper that there is great potential of something more virulent than cholera and Ebola emerging and taking a big toll before being identified and controlled. We conclude by noting that once such a disease is out in the public rapid diffusion despite political boundaries is likely, a fact that has a direct bearing on global health. The extensive evidence presented in this paper of the overriding role of political factors in the refugee health problem calls for political reform and peace accords, engagement and empowerment of Pan-African organizations, foreign policy changes by Western governments and greater vigilance of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the allocation and distribution of relief aid.
Kumar, Amal; Chakraborty, Bhaswat S
Interim analysis of especially sizeable trials keeps the decision process free of conflict of interest while considering cost, resources, and meaningfulness of the project. Whenever necessary, such interim analysis can also call for potential termination or appropriate modification in sample size, study design, and even an early declaration of success. Given the extraordinary size and complexity today, this rational approach helps to analyze and predict the outcomes of a clinical trial that incorporate what is learned during the course of a study or a clinical development program. Such approach can also fill the gap by directing the resources toward relevant and optimized clinical trials between unmet medical needs and interventions being tested currently rather than fulfilling only business and profit goals.
Full Text Available Interim analysis of especially sizeable trials keeps the decision process free of conflict of interest while considering cost, resources, and meaningfulness of the project. Whenever necessary, such interim analysis can also call for potential termination or appropriate modification in sample size, study design, and even an early declaration of success. Given the extraordinary size and complexity today, this rational approach helps to analyze and predict the outcomes of a clinical trial that incorporate what is learned during the course of a study or a clinical development program. Such approach can also fill the gap by directing the resources toward relevant and optimized clinical trials between unmet medical needs and interventions being tested currently rather than fulfilling only business and profit goals.
This book presents the proceedings of a workshop on community ecology organized at Davis, in April, 1986, sponsored by the Sloan Foundation. There have been several recent symposia on community ecology (Strong et. al., 1984, Diamond and Case, 1987) which have covered a wide range of topics. The goal of the workshop at Davis was more narrow: to explore the role of scale in developing a theoretical approach to understanding communities. There are a number of aspects of scale that enter into attempts to understand ecological communities. One of the most basic is organizational scale. Should community ecology proceed by building up from population biology? This question and its ramifications are stressed throughout the book and explored in the first chapter by Simon Levin. Notions of scale have long been important in understanding physical systems. Thus, in understanding the interactions of organisms with their physical environment, questions of scale become paramount. These more physical questions illustrate the...
Full Text Available In this, the first of two papers, the roles of key features of any landscape in determining potentials for erosional losses of soil and water are considered from an agro-ecological viewpoint. In this light, the effectiveness of past commonly-accepted approaches to soil and water conservation are often found to have been inadequate. In many cases they have tackled symptoms of land degradation without appreciating fully the background causes, which often relate to inadequate matching of land-use/land-management with features of the landscape. A number of reasons for this mismatch are suggested. Understanding the ecological background to land husbandry (as defined below will improve the effectiveness of attempts to tackle land degradation. In particular, an ecologically based approach to better land husbandry helps to foresee potential problems in some detail, so that appropriate forward planning can be undertaken to avoid them. This paper describes some practical ways of undertaking an appropriate survey of significant landscape features, enabling the definition and mapping of discrete areas of different land-use incapability classes. This is accompanied by an example of how the outcome was interpreted and used to guide the selection of appropriate areas which were apparently suitable for growing flue-cured tobacco within an area of ca. 140 km2 in Malawi. This process relied on knowledge and experience in various disciplines (interpretation of air-photos, topographic survey, soil survey, vegetation analysis, hydrology, soil & water conservation, geology, agronomy so as to ensure that the mapping process was based on the principles of better land husbandry.
de la Iglesia, Diana; García-Remesal, Miguel; Anguita, Alberto; Muñoz-Mármol, Miguel; Kulikowski, Casimir; Maojo, Víctor
Clinical Trials (CTs) are essential for bridging the gap between experimental research on new drugs and their clinical application. Just like CTs for traditional drugs and biologics have helped accelerate the translation of biomedical findings into medical practice, CTs for nanodrugs and nanodevices could advance novel nanomaterials as agents for diagnosis and therapy. Although there is publicly available information about nanomedicine-related CTs, the online archiving of this information is carried out without adhering to criteria that discriminate between studies involving nanomaterials or nanotechnology-based processes (nano), and CTs that do not involve nanotechnology (non-nano). Finding out whether nanodrugs and nanodevices were involved in a study from CT summaries alone is a challenging task. At the time of writing, CTs archived in the well-known online registry ClinicalTrials.gov are not easily told apart as to whether they are nano or non-nano CTs-even when performed by domain experts, due to the lack of both a common definition for nanotechnology and of standards for reporting nanomedical experiments and results. We propose a supervised learning approach for classifying CT summaries from ClinicalTrials.gov according to whether they fall into the nano or the non-nano categories. Our method involves several stages: i) extraction and manual annotation of CTs as nano vs. non-nano, ii) pre-processing and automatic classification, and iii) performance evaluation using several state-of-the-art classifiers under different transformations of the original dataset. The performance of the best automated classifier closely matches that of experts (AUC over 0.95), suggesting that it is feasible to automatically detect the presence of nanotechnology products in CT summaries with a high degree of accuracy. This can significantly speed up the process of finding whether reports on ClinicalTrials.gov might be relevant to a particular nanoparticle or nanodevice, which is
Full Text Available Termites are key components of soil fauna, playing an essential role in organic matter decomposition and nutrient cycling. However, they can cause significant economic losses in commercial plantations, such as sugar cane. Therefore, the correct identification of termite species is critical for pest control. Here, we evaluated the species richness, abundance and functional groups of termites in sugarcane plantations in 53 cities throughout the state of SÃ£o Paulo, southeastern Brazil. We also analyzed the influence of macroclimatic variables on termite species distribution and functional groups. We found 22 taxa of two families, of which the most frequent species were Termitidae (96.51%. Within this family, Apicotermitinae had the highest frequency of occurrence (37.12%, followed by Termitinae (30.57%, Syntermitinae (27.95%, and Nasutitermitinae (0.8 %. The other family, Rhinotermitidae, had the lowest frequency (3.5%, being represented only by Heterotermes sulcatus Mathews. We classified Neocapritermes opacus Hagen (29.26%, Apicotermitinae sp.2 (24.89%, Cornitermes cumulans Kollar (13.10%, and Apicotermitinae sp.1 (6.99% as common taxa. The remaining 18 species were classified as rare. The most common functional group was humus-feeders (37%, followed by wood-feeders (34%, grass-litter feeders (25%, and intermediate feeders (4%. Climate influenced the distribution of common species, humus-feeders and grass-litter feeders. Regarding the pest status of termites in sugar cane plantations, we suggest that the exasperated use of pesticide in the last decades has reduced the abundance of species considered pests (e.g. Heterotermes and reinforce the importance of ecological approaches for determining the best pest control methods. Comunidades de Cupins em Cultivos de Cana-de-AÃ§Ãºcar no Estado de SÃ£o Paulo: Uma Abordagem EcolÃ³gica Resumo. Os cupins sÃ£o importantes componentes da fauna de solo, atuando na decomposiÃ§Ã£o da mat
Sznycer, Daniel; Takemura, Kosuke; Delton, Andrew W; Sato, Kosuke; Robertson, Theresa; Cosmides, Leda; Tooby, John
People vary in how easily they feel ashamed, that is, in their shame proneness. According to the information threat theory of shame, variation in shame proneness should, in part, be regulated by features of a person's social ecology. On this view, shame is an emotion program that evolved to mitigate the likelihood or costs of reputation-damaging information spreading to others. In social environments where there are fewer possibilities to form new relationships (i.e., low relational mobility), there are higher costs to damaging or losing existing ones. Therefore, shame proneness toward current relationship partners should increase as perceived relational mobility decreases. In contrast, individuals with whom one has little or no relationship history are easy to replace, and so shame-proneness towards them should not be modulated by relational mobility. We tested these predictions cross-culturally by measuring relational mobility and shame proneness towards friends and strangers in Japan, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Japanese subjects were more shame-prone than their British and American counterparts. Critically, lower relational mobility was associated with greater shame proneness towards friends (but not strangers), and this relationship partially mediated the cultural differences in shame proneness. Shame proneness appears tailored to respond to relevant features of one's social ecology.
Full Text Available People vary in how easily they feel ashamed, that is, in their shame proneness. According to the information threat theory of shame, variation in shame proneness should, in part, be regulated by features of a person's social ecology. On this view, shame is an emotion program that evolved to mitigate the likelihood or costs of reputation-damaging information spreading to others. In social environments where there are fewer possibilities to form new relationships (i.e., low relational mobility, there are higher costs to damaging or losing existing ones. Therefore, shame proneness toward current relationship partners should increase as perceived relational mobility decreases. In contrast, individuals with whom one has little or no relationship history are easy to replace, and so shame-proneness towards them should not be modulated by relational mobility. We tested these predictions cross-culturally by measuring relational mobility and shame proneness towards friends and strangers in Japan, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Japanese subjects were more shame-prone than their British and American counterparts. Critically, lower relational mobility was associated with greater shame proneness towards friends (but not strangers, and this relationship partially mediated the cultural differences in shame proneness. Shame proneness appears tailored to respond to relevant features of one's social ecology.
Full Text Available The present pilot study aims at analyzing the human activity of playing in the light of an indicator of human ecology (HE. We highlighted the four essential anthropological dimensions (FEAD, starting from the analysis of questionnaires administered to actual gamers. The coherence between theoretical construct and observational data is a remarkable proof-of-concept of the possibility of establishing an experimentally motivated link between a philosophical construct (coming from Huizinga's Homo ludens definition and actual gamers' motivation pattern. The starting hypothesis is that the activity of playing becomes ecological (and thus not harmful when it achieves the harmony between the FEAD, thus realizing HE; conversely, it becomes at risk of creating some form of addiction, when destroying FEAD balance. We analyzed the data by means of variable clustering (oblique principal components so to experimentally verify the existence of the hypothesized dimensions. The subsequent projection of statistical units (gamers on the orthogonal space spanned by principal components allowed us to generate a meaningful, albeit preliminary, clusterization of gamer profiles.
Full Text Available Efforts at improving child-health and development initiatives in sub-Saharan Africa had focused on the physical health of children due to the neglect of child and adolescent mental health (CAMH policy initiatives. A thorough and broad-based understanding of the prevalent child mental-health risk and vulnerability factors is needed to successfully articulate CAMH policies. In this discourse, we present a narrative on the child mental-health risk and vulnerability factors in sub-Saharan Africa. Through an ecological point of view, we identified widespread family poverty, poor availability and uptake of childcare resources, inadequate community and institutional childcare systems, and inadequate framework for social protection for vulnerable children as among the risk and vulnerability factors for CAMH in the region. Others are poor workplace policy/practice that does not support work-family life balance, poor legislative framework for child protection, and some harmful traditional practices. We conclude that an ecological approach shows that child mental-health risks are diverse and cut across different layers of the care environment. The approach also provides a broad and holistic template from which appropriate CAMH policy direction in sub-Saharan Africa can be understood.
Curran, Michael; de Souza, Danielle Maia; Antón, Assumpció; Teixeira, Ricardo F M; Michelsen, Ottar; Vidal-Legaz, Beatriz; Sala, Serenella; Milà i Canals, Llorenç
The modeling of land use impacts on biodiversity is considered a priority in life cycle assessment (LCA). Many diverging approaches have been proposed in an expanding literature on the topic. The UNEP/SETAC Life Cycle Initiative is engaged in building consensus on a shared modeling framework to highlight best-practice and guide model application by practitioners. In this paper, we evaluated the performance of 31 models from both the LCA and the ecology/conservation literature (20 from LCA, 11 from non-LCA fields) according to a set of criteria reflecting (i) model completeness, (ii) biodiversity representation, (iii) impact pathway coverage, (iv) scientific quality, and (v) stakeholder acceptance. We show that LCA models tend to perform worse than those from ecology and conservation (although not significantly), implying room for improvement. We identify seven best-practice recommendations that can be implemented immediately to improve LCA models based on existing approaches in the literature. We further propose building a "consensus model" through weighted averaging of existing information, to complement future development. While our research focuses on conceptual model design, further quantitative comparison of promising models in shared case studies is an essential prerequisite for future informed model choice.
Efforts at improving child-health and development initiatives in sub-Saharan Africa had focused on the physical health of children due to the neglect of child and adolescent mental health (CAMH) policy initiatives. A thorough and broad-based understanding of the prevalent child mental-health risk and vulnerability factors is needed to successfully articulate CAMH policies. In this discourse, we present a narrative on the child mental-health risk and vulnerability factors in sub-Saharan Africa. Through an ecological point of view, we identified widespread family poverty, poor availability and uptake of childcare resources, inadequate community and institutional childcare systems, and inadequate framework for social protection for vulnerable children as among the risk and vulnerability factors for CAMH in the region. Others are poor workplace policy/practice that does not support work-family life balance, poor legislative framework for child protection, and some harmful traditional practices. We conclude that an ecological approach shows that child mental-health risks are diverse and cut across different layers of the care environment. The approach also provides a broad and holistic template from which appropriate CAMH policy direction in sub-Saharan Africa can be understood.
Efforts at improving child-health and development initiatives in sub-Saharan Africa had focused on the physical health of children due to the neglect of child and adolescent mental health (CAMH) policy initiatives. A thorough and broad-based understanding of the prevalent child mental-health risk and vulnerability factors is needed to successfully articulate CAMH policies. In this discourse, we present a narrative on the child mental-health risk and vulnerability factors in sub-Saharan Africa. Through an ecological point of view, we identified widespread family poverty, poor availability and uptake of childcare resources, inadequate community and institutional childcare systems, and inadequate framework for social protection for vulnerable children as among the risk and vulnerability factors for CAMH in the region. Others are poor workplace policy/practice that does not support work-family life balance, poor legislative framework for child protection, and some harmful traditional practices. We conclude that an ecological approach shows that child mental-health risks are diverse and cut across different layers of the care environment. The approach also provides a broad and holistic template from which appropriate CAMH policy direction in sub-Saharan Africa can be understood. PMID:24834431
Bell, Imogen H; Fielding-Smith, Sarah F; Hayward, Mark; Rossell, Susan L; Lim, Michelle H; Farhall, John; Thomas, Neil
Smartphone-based ecological momentary assessment and intervention (EMA/I) show promise for enhancing psychological treatments for psychosis. EMA has the potential to improve assessment and formulation of experiences which fluctuate day-to-day, and EMI may be used to prompt use of therapeutic strategies in daily life. The current study is an examination of these capabilities in the context of a brief, coping-focused intervention for distressing voice hearing experiences. This is a rater-blinded, pilot randomised controlled trial comparing a four-session intervention in conjunction with use of smartphone EMA/I between sessions, versus treatment-as-usual. The recruitment target is 34 participants with persisting and distressing voice hearing experiences, recruited through a Voices Clinic based in Melbourne, Australia, and via wider advertising. Allocation will be made using minimisation procedure, balancing of the frequency of voices between groups. Assessments are completed at baseline and 8 weeks post-baseline. The primary outcomes of this trial will focus on feasibility and acceptability of the intervention and trial methodology, with secondary outcomes examining preliminary clinical effects related to overall voice severity, the emotional and functional impact of the voices, and emotional distress. This study offers a highly novel examination of specific smartphone capabilities and their integration with traditional psychological treatment for distressing voices. Such technology has potential to enhance psychological interventions and promote adaptation to distressing experiences. Australian New Zealand Clinical Trial Registry, ACTRN12617000348358 . Registered on 7 March 2017.
Full Text Available Storytelling, as a distinctively human characteristic, is a product of our capacity for language and symbolic communication. Just as language is considered a medium within the field of media ecology, so too can narrative be understood as a medium of communication, as well as a kind of language, and as a fundamentally social phenomenon. As a medium, narrative interacts with and is modified by other media, undergoing significant change as it is expressed through oral tradition, dramatic performance, written documents, and audiovisual media. In particular, major changes in the nature of character and plot accompany the shift from orality to literacy, and writing and especially printing make possible new forms of tragedy as opposed to comedy, prose as opposed to poetry, and fiction as opposed to nonfiction. Storytelling continues to mutate through the introduction of new media, with increasingly greater emphasis on narrative as an environment, especially one associated with social interaction and gaming.
A single invisible displacement object permanence task was administered to 19 cats (Felis catus). In this task, cats watched a target object from behind a transparent panel. However, cats had to walk around an opaque panel to reach the object. While cats were behind the opaque panel, the object was hidden behind one of two screens. As cats did not perceive the disappearance of the object behind the target screen, the object was invisibly hidden. Results showed that cats solved this task with great flexibility, which markedly contrasts with what has been observed in previous research. The discussion emphasizes the difference between the typical Piagetian task in which the information necessary to succeed must be dealt with in retrospective way, whereas in our task cats had to anticipate a new position of the object. The ecological relevance of this new task is also discussed.
Sanchez, Rosario V; Pacquiao, Dula F
Sex trafficking is a widespread form of human trafficking that exists globally. The forced sexual exploitation of young women for profit at the hands of traffickers is a human rights violation. Sex trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery where youths are sold as a commodity. It is difficult to determine the wide range of negative health outcomes associated with domestic minor sex trafficking due to the hidden nature of the crime and its lack of statistical data to determine prevalence. Viewing domestic minor sex trafficking through an ecological lens assists in the understanding of the multiple complex interactions between victims, their relationships, and environments that influence their health. Forensic nurses are poised as experts in the healthcare of vulnerable populations and possess the knowledge to understand that social determinants of vulnerability depend on the distinct setting or environment where victims of sex trafficking reside and how different factors affect their victimology, resilience, and well-being.
Henrich, Christopher C; Brookmeyer, Kathryn A; Shrier, Lydia A; Shahar, Golan
To examine the longitudinal associations between supportive relationships with friends and parents and sexual risk behavior in adolescence based on an ecological-transactional perspective. Analyses were conducted on 2,652 sexually active adolescents from the first two waves of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health). African-American adolescents had lower risk for sexual risk behavior. Supportive friendships and parent connectedness interacted in predicting decreased likelihood of sexual risk behavior. Mother-child communication about sex contributed to decreased likelihood of sexual risk only for girls. There were also small reciprocal effects of sexual risk behavior on decreased relationship quality over time. To better understand the parents' role in adolescent sexual risk behavior, multiple facets of parenting, the social contexts of parenting and adolescents' peers, and the effects of adolescents' behavior on these relationships should be taken into consideration.
Dossing, Anna; Tarp, Simon; Furst, Daniel E
10 biological and targeted drugs based on collections of trials that would correspond to 10 individual meta-analyses. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: This study will enhance transparency for evaluating mITT treatment effects described in meta-analyses. The intended audience will include healthcare...... concerns when executing different mITT approaches in meta-analyses. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: Using meta-epidemiology on randomised trials considered less prone to bias (ie, good internal validity) and assessing biological or targeted agents in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, we will meta-analyse data from...
The Field Workshop 'Ecological Stability of Landscape - Ecological Infrastructure - Ecological Management' was held within a State Environmental Programme financed by the Federal Committee for the Environment. The objectives of the workshop were to present Czech and Slovak approaches to the ecological stability of the landscape by means of examples of some case studies in the field, and to exchange ideas, theoretical knowledge and practical experience on implementing the concept of ecological infrastructure in landscape management. Out of 19 papers contained in the proceedings, 3 items were inputted to the INIS system. (Z.S.)
Full Text Available that an effect-likelihood approach has the potential to address the variability and uncertainty in management of a surface water body subject to multiple stressors. An in-stream receiving water risk objective approach might be considered....
Full Text Available ... questions and clinical trials. Optimizing our Clinical Trials Enterprise NHLBI has a strong tradition of supporting clinical ... multi-pronged approach to Optimize our Clinical Trials Enterprise that will make our clinical trials enterprise even ...
Full Text Available Collapsed gully erosion constantly plagues the sustainability of rural areas in China. To control collapsed gully erosion, an ecological and economic approach, which uses tree plantation to gain economic benefits and control soil erosion, has been widely applied by local governments in Southern China. However, little is known about the economic feasibility of this new method. The objective of this study was to determine the effectiveness and economic benefits of the new method. Based on a case study in Changting County, Southeast China, two farms were selected to represent a timber tree plantation and a fruit tree plantation, respectively. The Annual Capital Capitalization Method and Return on Investment (ROI were selected to conduct cost-benefit analysis. In contrast to previous studies, we found that the new approach was far from economic. The value of the newly-built forestland in Sanzhou Village and Tufang Village is 2738 RMB ha−1 and 5477 RMB ha−1, respectively, which are extremely lower than the costs of ecological restoration. Meanwhile, the annual ROI is −3.60% and −8.90%, respectively, which is negative and also far poorer than the average value of forestry in China. The costs of conservation were substantially over the related economic benefits, and the investors would suffer from greater loss if they invested more in the conservation. Low-cost terraces with timber trees had less economic loss compared with the costly terraces with fruit tree plantation. Moreover, the cost efficiency of the new approaches in soil conservation was also greatly poorer than the conventional method. The costs of conserving one ton soil per year for conventional method, new method for planting timber trees, and planting fruit trees were 164 RMB, 696 RMB, and 11,664 RMB, respectively. Therefore, the new collapsed gully erosion control methods are uneconomic and unsuitable to be widely carried out in China in the near future.
Beaumelle, Léa; Della Vedova, Claire; Beaugelin-Seiller, Karine; Garnier-Laplace, Jacqueline; Gilbin, Rodolphe
A main challenge in ecological risk assessment is to account for the impact of multiple stressors. Nuclear facilities can release both radiological and chemical stressors in the environment. This study is the first to apply species sensitivity distribution (SSD) combined with mixture models (concentration addition (CA) and independent action (IA)) to derive an integrated proxy of the ecological impact of combined radiological and chemical stressors: msPAF (multisubstance potentially affected fraction of species). The approach was tested on the routine liquid effluents from nuclear power plants that contain both radioactive and stable chemicals. The SSD of ionising radiation was significantly flatter than the SSD of 8 stable chemicals (namely Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, Zn, B, chlorides and sulphates). This difference in shape had strong implications for the selection of the appropriate mixture model: contrarily to the general expectations the IA model gave more conservative (higher msPAF) results than the CA model. The msPAF approach was further used to rank the relative potential impact of radiological versus chemical stressors. - Highlights: • msPAF methodology was applied on mixtures of radiological and chemical stressors. • A consistent set of chronic SSDs was collected for ionising radiation and 8 stable chemicals. • The SSD of ionising radiation had lower steepness than the SSD of stable chemicals. • This resulted in higher msPAF values based on the IA than on the CA mixture model. - The msPAF approach combining SSD and mixture models was used for the first time on mixtures of radiological and chemical stressors.
Sigamani, Sivaraj; Perumal, Murugesan; Arumugam, Silambarasan; Preetha Mini Jose, H M; Veeraiyan, Bharathidasan
Estuaries receive a considerable amount of pollutants from various sources. Presently an attempt has been made to assess whether the aquaculture discharges and dredging activities alter the ecological conditions of Vellar-Coleroon estuarine complex. The European Water Framework Directive (WFD) established a framework for the protection of marine waters. In this commission, a variety of indices were used, among them, AMBI (AZTI Marine Biotic Index) indices along with multivariate statistical approach is unique, to assess the ecological status by using macrobenthic communities. Keeping this in view, stations VE-1 and VE-4 in Vellar; CE-6 and CE-7 in Coleroon estuaries showed moderately disturbed with the AMBI values ranging between 3.45 and 3.72. The above said stations were situated near the shrimp farm discharge point and sites of dredging activities. The present study proves that various statistical and biotic indices have great potential in assessing the nature of the ecosystem undergoing various human pressures. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Humphries, C.E.L.; Humphries, R.N.; Wesemann, H.
Since the 1940s the restoration of opencast coal sites in the UK has been predominantly to productive agriculture and forestry. With new UK government policies on sustainability and biodiversity such land uses may be no longer be acceptable or appropriate in the upland areas of South Wales. A scheme was prepared for the upland Nant Helen site with the objective of restoring the landscape ecology of the site; it included acid grassland to provide the landscape setting and for grazing. The scheme met with the approval of the planning authority. An initial forty hectares (about 13% of the site) was restored between 1993 and 1996. While the approved low intensity grazing and low fertilizer regime met the requirements of the planning authority and the statutory agencies, it was not meeting the expectations of the grazers who had grazing rights to the land. To help reconcile the apparent conflict a fertilizer trial was set up. The trial demonstrated that additional fertilizer and intensive grazing was required to meet the nutritional needs of sheep. It also showed typical upland stocking densities of sheep could be achieved with the acid grassland without the need for reseeding with lowland types. However this was not acceptable to the authority and agencies as such fertilizer and grazing regimes would be detrimental to the landscape and ecological objectives of the restoration scheme. A compromise was agreed whereby grazing intensity and additional fertilizer have been zoned. This has been implemented and is working to the satisfaction of all parties. Without the fertilizer trial it is unlikely that the different interests could have been reconciled
Full Text Available To date, most studies comparing prospective and retrospective timing have failed to use long durations and tasks with a certain degree of ecological validity. The present study assessed the effect of the timing paradigm on playing video games in a "naturalistic environment" (gaming centers. In addition, as it involved gamers, it provided an opportunity to examine the effect of gaming profile on time estimation. A total of 116 participants were asked to estimate prospectively or retrospectively a video game session lasting 12, 35 or 58 minutes. The results indicate that time is perceived as longer in the prospective paradigm than in the retrospective one, although the variability of estimates is the same. Moreover, the 12-minute session was perceived as longer, proportionally, than the 35- and 58-minute sessions. The study also revealed that the number of hours participants spent playing video games per week was a significant predictor of time estimates. To account for the main findings, the differences between prospective and retrospective timing are discussed in quantitative terms using a proposed theoretical framework, which states that both paradigms use the same cognitive processes, but in different proportions. Finally, the hypothesis that gamers play more because they underestimate time is also discussed.
Herrera, José M; Alagador, Diogo; Salgueiro, Pedro; Mira, António
Managing landscape connectivity is a widely recognized overarching strategy for conserving biodiversity in human-impacted landscapes. However, planning the conservation and management of landscape connectivity of multiple and ecologically distinct species is still challenging. Here we provide a spatially-explicit framework which identifies and prioritizes connectivity conservation and restoration actions for species with distinct habitat affinities. Specifically, our study system comprised three groups of common bird species, forest-specialists, farmland-specialists, and generalists, populating a highly heterogeneous agricultural countryside in the southwestern Iberian Peninsula. We first performed a comprehensive analysis of the environmental variables underlying the distributional patterns of each bird species to reveal generalities in their guild-specific responses to landscape structure. Then, we identified sites which could be considered pivotal in maintaining current levels of landscape connectivity for the three bird guilds simultaneously, as well as the number and location of sites that need to be restored to maximize connectivity levels. Interestingly, we found that a small number of sites defined the shortest connectivity paths for the three bird guilds simultaneously, and were therefore considered key for conservation. Moreover, an even smaller number of sites were identified as critical to expand the landscape connectivity at maximum for the regional bird assemblage as a whole. Our spatially-explicit framework can provide valuable decision-making support to conservation practitioners aiming to identify key connectivity and restoration sites, a particularly urgent task in rapidly changing landscapes such as agroecosystems.
Sage, Daniel; Sircar, Indraneel; Dainty, Andrew; Fussey, Pete; Goodier, Chris
The resilience of any system, human or natural, centres on its capacity to adapt its structure, but not necessarily its function, to a new configuration in response to long-term socio-ecological change. In the long term, therefore, enhancing resilience involves more than simply improving a system's ability to resist an immediate threat or to recover to a stable past state. However, despite the prevalence of adaptive notions of resilience in academic discourse, it is apparent that infrastructure planners and policies largely continue to struggle to comprehend longer-term system adaptation in their understanding of resilience. Instead, a short-term, stable system (STSS) perspective on resilience is prevalent. This paper seeks to identify and problematise this perspective, presenting research based on the development of a heuristic 'scenario-episode' tool to address, and challenge, it in the context of United Kingdom infrastructure resilience. The aim is to help resilience practitioners to understand better the capacities of future infrastructure systems to respond to natural, malicious threats. © 2015 The Author(s). Disasters © Overseas Development Institute, 2015.
Guo, Qinghai; Ma, Keming; Zhao, Jingzhu; Yang, Liu; Yin, Chengqing
Urban non-point source pollution is a new problem appeared with the speeding development of urbanization. The particularity of urban land use and the increase of impervious surface area make urban non-point source pollution differ from agricultural non-point source pollution, and more difficult to control. Best Management Practices (BMPs) are the effective practices commonly applied in controlling urban non-point source pollution, mainly adopting local repairing practices to control the pollutants in surface runoff. Because of the close relationship between urban land use patterns and non-point source pollution, it would be rational to combine the landscape ecological planning with local BMPs to control the urban non-point source pollution, which needs, firstly, analyzing and evaluating the influence of landscape structure on water-bodies, pollution sources and pollutant removal processes to define the relationships between landscape spatial pattern and non-point source pollution and to decide the key polluted fields, and secondly, adjusting inherent landscape structures or/and joining new landscape factors to form new landscape pattern, and combining landscape planning and management through applying BMPs into planning to improve urban landscape heterogeneity and to control urban non-point source pollution.
Based on the Social-Economic-Natural Complex Ecosystem theory, this paper questioned 8 kinds of misunderstandings in current planning, incubation, development, and management of circular economy, which had led to either ultra-right or ultra-left actions in ecological and economic development. Rather than concentrated only on the 3-r micro-principles of "reduce-reuse-recycle", thise paper suggested 3-R macro-principles of "Rethinking-Reform-Refunction" for circular economy development. Nine kinds of eco-integrative strategies in industrial transition were put forward, i.e., food web-based horizontal/parallel coupling, life cycle-oriented vertical/serial coupling, functional service rather than products-oriented production, flexible and adaptive structure, ecosystem-based regional coupling, social integrity, comprehensive capacity building, employment enhancement, and respecting human dignity. Ten promising potential eco-industries in China's near-future circular economy development were proposed, such as the transition of traditional chemical fertilizer and pesticide industry to a new kind of industrial complex for agro-ecosystem management.
Diana de la Iglesia
Full Text Available Clinical Trials (CTs are essential for bridging the gap between experimental research on new drugs and their clinical application. Just like CTs for traditional drugs and biologics have helped accelerate the translation of biomedical findings into medical practice, CTs for nanodrugs and nanodevices could advance novel nanomaterials as agents for diagnosis and therapy. Although there is publicly available information about nanomedicine-related CTs, the online archiving of this information is carried out without adhering to criteria that discriminate between studies involving nanomaterials or nanotechnology-based processes (nano, and CTs that do not involve nanotechnology (non-nano. Finding out whether nanodrugs and nanodevices were involved in a study from CT summaries alone is a challenging task. At the time of writing, CTs archived in the well-known online registry ClinicalTrials.gov are not easily told apart as to whether they are nano or non-nano CTs-even when performed by domain experts, due to the lack of both a common definition for nanotechnology and of standards for reporting nanomedical experiments and results.We propose a supervised learning approach for classifying CT summaries from ClinicalTrials.gov according to whether they fall into the nano or the non-nano categories. Our method involves several stages: i extraction and manual annotation of CTs as nano vs. non-nano, ii pre-processing and automatic classification, and iii performance evaluation using several state-of-the-art classifiers under different transformations of the original dataset.The performance of the best automated classifier closely matches that of experts (AUC over 0.95, suggesting that it is feasible to automatically detect the presence of nanotechnology products in CT summaries with a high degree of accuracy. This can significantly speed up the process of finding whether reports on ClinicalTrials.gov might be relevant to a particular nanoparticle or nanodevice
van Brunschot, Sandra; van Grinsven, Janneke; van Santvoort, Hjalmar C; Bakker, Olaf J; Besselink, Marc G; Boermeester, Marja A; Bollen, Thomas L; Bosscha, Koop; Bouwense, Stefan A; Bruno, Marco J; Cappendijk, Vincent C; Consten, Esther C; Dejong, Cornelis H; van Eijck, Casper H; Erkelens, Willemien G; van Goor, Harry; van Grevenstein, Wilhelmina M U; Haveman, Jan-Willem; Hofker, Sijbrand H; Jansen, Jeroen M; Laméris, Johan S; van Lienden, Krijn P; Meijssen, Maarten A; Mulder, Chris J; Nieuwenhuijs, Vincent B; Poley, Jan-Werner; Quispel, Rutger; de Ridder, Rogier J; Römkens, Tessa E; Scheepers, Joris J; Schepers, Nicolien J; Schwartz, Matthijs P; Seerden, Tom; Spanier, B W Marcel; Straathof, Jan Willem A; Strijker, Marin; Timmer, Robin; Venneman, Niels G; Vleggaar, Frank P; Voermans, Rogier P; Witteman, Ben J; Gooszen, Hein G; Dijkgraaf, Marcel G; Fockens, Paul
Infected necrotising pancreatitis is a potentially lethal disease and an indication for invasive intervention. The surgical step-up approach is the standard treatment. A promising alternative is the endoscopic step-up approach. We compared both approaches to see whether the endoscopic step-up approach was superior to the surgical step-up approach in terms of clinical and economic outcomes. In this multicentre, randomised, superiority trial, we recruited adult patients with infected necrotising pancreatitis and an indication for invasive intervention from 19 hospitals in the Netherlands. Patients were randomly assigned to either the endoscopic or the surgical step-up approach. The endoscopic approach consisted of endoscopic ultrasound-guided transluminal drainage followed, if necessary, by endoscopic necrosectomy. The surgical approach consisted of percutaneous catheter drainage followed, if necessary, by video-assisted retroperitoneal debridement. The primary endpoint was a composite of major complications or death during 6-month follow-up. Analyses were by intention to treat. This trial is registered with the ISRCTN registry, number ISRCTN09186711. Between Sept 20, 2011, and Jan 29, 2015, we screened 418 patients with pancreatic or extrapancreatic necrosis, of which 98 patients were enrolled and randomly assigned to the endoscopic step-up approach (n=51) or the surgical step-up approach (n=47). The primary endpoint occurred in 22 (43%) of 51 patients in the endoscopy group and in 21 (45%) of 47 patients in the surgery group (risk ratio [RR] 0·97, 95% CI 0·62-1·51; p=0·88). Mortality did not differ between groups (nine [18%] patients in the endoscopy group vs six [13%] patients in the surgery group; RR 1·38, 95% CI 0·53-3·59, p=0·50), nor did any of the major complications included in the primary endpoint. In patients with infected necrotising pancreatitis, the endoscopic step-up approach was not superior to the surgical step-up approach in reducing major
Wolfe, Amy K [ORNL; Dale, Virginia H [ORNL; Arthur, Taryn A [ORNL; Baskaran, Latha Malar [ORNL
This chapter approaches participatory modeling in environmental decision making from an atypical perspective. It broadly addresses the question of how to assure that science conducted to assist practitioners improves resource management. More specifically, it describes a case involving environmental science and natural resource management at Fort Benning, a U.S. Army installation in the southeastern United States where disparate environmental research projects were funded by a single federal agency to enhance the ability of Fort Benning resource managers to achieve their resource management goals. The role of our effort was to integrate the scientific studies in a manner that would be meaningful and useful for resource managers. Hence we assembled a team consisting of an anthropologist, ecologist, microbiologist, statistician, and geographic information systems specialist who developed a common framework that served as the basis for this integration. The team first used a Delphi expert elicitation, which evolved into an approach more akin to facilitated negotiation. This second approach arose organically, particularly when our team took advantage of an opportunity for face-to-face interaction. Although the shift in our approach was unplanned, it proved to be highly productive. We discuss the potential utility of our approach for other situations and suggest that it would be useful to initiate at the beginning of research where the aim is to produce scientific results that meet practitioners needs, specifically in the realm of environmental science and resource management.
Full Text Available The developmental time of vector insects is important in population dynamics, evolutionary biology, epidemiology and in their responses to global climatic change. In the triatomines (Triatominae, Reduviidae, vectors of Chagas disease, evolutionary ecology concepts, which may allow for a better understanding of their biology, have not been applied. Despite delay in the molting in some individuals observed in triatomines, no effort was made to explain this variability.We applied four methods: (1 an e-mail survey sent to 30 researchers with experience in triatomines, (2 a statistical description of the developmental time of eleven triatomine species, (3 a relationship between development time pattern and climatic inter-annual variability, (4 a mathematical optimization model of evolution of developmental delay (diapause.85.6% of responses informed on prolonged developmental times in 5(th instar nymphs, with 20 species identified with remarkable developmental delays. The developmental time analysis showed some degree of bi-modal pattern of the development time of the 5(th instars in nine out of eleven species but no trend between development time pattern and climatic inter-annual variability was observed. Our optimization model predicts that the developmental delays could be due to an adaptive risk-spreading diapause strategy, only if survival throughout the diapause period and the probability of random occurrence of "bad" environmental conditions are sufficiently high.Developmental delay may not be a simple non-adaptive phenotypic plasticity in development time, and could be a form of adaptive diapause associated to a physiological mechanism related to the postponement of the initiation of reproduction, as an adaptation to environmental stochasticity through a spreading of risk (bet-hedging strategy. We identify a series of parameters that can be measured in the field and laboratory to test this hypothesis. The importance of these findings is
Mintram, Kate S; Brown, A Ross; Maynard, Samuel K; Thorbek, Pernille; Tyler, Charles R
Endocrine active chemicals (EACs) are widespread in freshwater environments and both laboratory and field based studies have shown reproductive effects in fish at environmentally relevant exposures. Environmental risk assessment (ERA) seeks to protect wildlife populations and prospective assessments rely on extrapolation from individual-level effects established for laboratory fish species to populations of wild fish using arbitrary safety factors. Population susceptibility to chemical effects, however, depends on exposure risk, physiological susceptibility, and population resilience, each of which can differ widely between fish species. Population models have significant potential to address these shortfalls and to include individual variability relating to life-history traits, demographic and density-dependent vital rates, and behaviors which arise from inter-organism and organism-environment interactions. Confidence in population models has recently resulted in the EU Commission stating that results derived from reliable models may be considered when assessing the relevance of adverse effects of EACs at the population level. This review critically assesses the potential risks posed by EACs for fish populations, considers the ecological factors influencing these risks and explores the benefits and challenges of applying population modeling (including individual-based modeling) in ERA for EACs in fish. We conclude that population modeling offers a way forward for incorporating greater environmental relevance in assessing the risks of EACs for fishes and for identifying key risk factors through sensitivity analysis. Individual-based models (IBMs) allow for the incorporation of physiological and behavioral endpoints relevant to EAC exposure effects, thus capturing both direct and indirect population-level effects.
McConnell, Scott L. B.
This dissertation contributes to heterodox economics by developing a theoretical and policy-relevant link that will promote the conservation of energy while driving the value of the domestic currency. The analysis relies upon the theoretical foundation of modern money theory and functional finance, which states that "taxes-drive-money" where the value of a sovereign nation's currency is imputed through the acceptance by the sovereign nation of the currency in payment of taxation. This theoretical perspective lends itself to various public policy prescriptions, such as government employment policies or the employer of last resort (ELR), which has been discussed at length elsewhere (Wray 1998; Tcherneva 2007, Forstater 2003). This research contributes to this overall program by arguing that the basis for taxation under modern money theory allows public policy makers various alternatives regarding the make-up of the tax system in place. In particular, following functional finance, taxes do not have the sole purpose of paying for government spending, but rather drive the value of the currency and may be designed to perform other functions as well, such as penalizing socially undesirable behavior. The focus in this dissertation is on the amelioration of pollution and increasing energy conservation. The research question for this dissertation is this: what federally implemented tax would best serve the multiple criteria of 1) driving the value of the currency, 2) promoting energy conservation and 3) ameliorating income and wealth disparities inherent in a monetary production economy? This dissertation provides a suggestion for such a tax that would be part of a much larger overall policy program based upon the tenets of modern money theory and functional finance. Additionally, this research seeks to provide an important theoretical contribution to the emerging Post Keynesian and ecological economics dialog.
Elliott, Daisy; Husbands, Samantha; Hamdy, Freddie C; Holmberg, Lars; Donovan, Jenny L
The importance of evidence from randomised trials is now widely recognised, although recruitment is often difficult. Qualitative research has shown promise in identifying the key barriers to recruitment, and interventions have been developed to reduce organisational difficulties and support clinicians undertaking recruitment. This article provides an introduction to qualitative research techniques and explains how this approach can be used to understand-and subsequently improve-recruitment and informed consent within a range of clinical trials. A literature search was performed using Medline, Embase, and CINAHL. All studies with qualitative research methods that focused on the recruitment activity of clinicians were included in the review. The majority of studies reported that organisational difficulties and lack of time for clinical staff were key barriers to recruitment. However, a synthesis of qualitative studies highlighted the intellectual and emotional challenges that arise when combining research with clinical roles, particularly in relation to equipoise and patient eligibility. To support recruiters to become more comfortable with the design and principles of randomised controlled trials, interventions have been developed, including the QuinteT Recruitment Intervention, which comprises in-depth investigation of recruitment obstacles in real time, followed by implementation of tailored strategies to address these challenges as the trial proceeds. Qualitative research can provide important insights into the complexities of recruitment to trials and inform the development of interventions, and provide support and training initiatives as required. Investigators should consider implementing such methods in trials expected to be challenging or recruiting below target. Qualitative research is a term used to describe a range of methods that can be implemented to understand participants' perspectives and behaviours. Data are gathered from interviews, focus groups
Stankov, Lazar; Lee, Jihyun
We investigated the factorial structure of four major domains in social psychology (personality traits, social attitudes, values, and social norms) with an emphasis on cross-cultural differences. Three distinctive approaches--pancultural, multigroup, and multilevel--were applied to the data based on 22 measures that were collected from 2029…
The importance and complexity of sustainability has been well recognized and a formal study of sustainability based on system theory approaches is imperative as many of the relationships between various components of the ecosystem could be nonlinear, intertwined and non intuitive...
Storey, Brian; Butler, Joy
Background: This article draws on the literature relating to game-centred approaches (GCAs), such as Teaching Games for Understanding, and dynamical systems views of motor learning to demonstrate a convergence of ideas around games as complex adaptive learning systems. This convergence is organized under the title "complexity thinking"…
Pheromones and other semiochemicals play a crucial role in today’s integrated pest and vector management strategies for controlling populations of insects causing loses to agriculture and vectoring diseases to humans. These semiochemicals are typically discovered by bioassay-guided approaches. Here,...
Reiss, H.; Greenstreet, S.P.R.; Robinson, L.; Ehrich, S.; Jorgensen, L.L.; Piet, G.J.; Wolff, W.J.
Fisheries management in European waters is gradually moving from a single-species perspective towards a more holistic ecosystem approach to management (EAM), acknowledging the need to take all ecosystem components into account. Prerequisite within an EAM is the need for management processes that
The aim of the paper is to make a critical reading of ecocentrism and its meta-scientific use of ecology. First, basic assumptions of ecocentrism will be examined, which involve nature's intrinsic value, postmodern and modern positions in ecocentrism, and the subject-object dichotomy under the lenses of ecocentrism. Then, we will discuss…
McAllister, T A; Dunière, L; Drouin, P; Xu, S; Wang, Y; Munns, K; Zaheer, R
can also lead to biases in the interpretation of sequence data. Bioinformatic analyses are reliant on the integrity and presence of sequence data within established databases and can be subject to low taxonomic resolution. Despite these limitations, advancements in molecular biology are poised to revolutionize our current understanding of the microbial ecology of silage. Published by FASS Inc. and Elsevier Inc. on behalf of the American Dairy Science Association®. All rights reserved.
Le Page, Y; Vasconcelos, Maria; Palminha, A; Melo, I Q; Pereira, J M C
The objective of this work is to develop a simple methodology for high resolution crop suitability analysis under current and future climate, easily applicable and useful in Least Developed Countries. The approach addresses both regional planning in the context of climate change projections and pre-emptive short-term rural extension interventions based on same-year agricultural season forecasts, while implemented with off-the-shelf resources. The developed tools are applied operationally in a case-study developed in three regions of Guinea-Bissau and the obtained results, as well as the advantages and limitations of methods applied, are discussed. In this paper we show how a simple approach can easily generate information on climate vulnerability and how it can be operationally used in rural extension services.
Y Le Page
Full Text Available The objective of this work is to develop a simple methodology for high resolution crop suitability analysis under current and future climate, easily applicable and useful in Least Developed Countries. The approach addresses both regional planning in the context of climate change projections and pre-emptive short-term rural extension interventions based on same-year agricultural season forecasts, while implemented with off-the-shelf resources. The developed tools are applied operationally in a case-study developed in three regions of Guinea-Bissau and the obtained results, as well as the advantages and limitations of methods applied, are discussed. In this paper we show how a simple approach can easily generate information on climate vulnerability and how it can be operationally used in rural extension services.
Mielke, Johanna; Schmidli, Heinz; Jones, Byron
For the approval of biosimilars, it is, in most cases, necessary to conduct large Phase III clinical trials in patients to convince the regulatory authorities that the product is comparable in terms of efficacy and safety to the originator product. As the originator product has already been studied in several trials beforehand, it seems natural to include this historical information into the showing of equivalent efficacy. Since all studies for the regulatory approval of biosimilars are confirmatory studies, it is required that the statistical approach has reasonable frequentist properties, most importantly, that the Type I error rate is controlled-at least in all scenarios that are realistic in practice. However, it is well known that the incorporation of historical information can lead to an inflation of the Type I error rate in the case of a conflict between the distribution of the historical data and the distribution of the trial data. We illustrate this issue and confirm, using the Bayesian robustified meta-analytic-predictive (MAP) approach as an example, that simultaneously controlling the Type I error rate over the complete parameter space and gaining power in comparison to a standard frequentist approach that only considers the data in the new study, is not possible. We propose a hybrid Bayesian-frequentist approach for binary endpoints that controls the Type I error rate in the neighborhood of the center of the prior distribution, while improving the power. We study the properties of this approach in an extensive simulation study and provide a real-world example. © 2018 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.
Cuggia, Marc; Campillo-Gimenez, Boris; Bouzille, Guillaume; Besana, Paolo; Jouini, Wassim; Dufour, Jean-Charles; Zekri, Oussama; Gibaud, Isabelle; Garde, Cyril; Duvauferier, Regis
Recruitment of patients in clinical trials is nowadays preoccupying, as the inclusion rate is particularly low. The main identified factors are the multiplicity of open clinical trials, the high number and complexity of eligibility criteria, and the additional workload that a systematic search of the clinical trials a patient could be enrolled in for a physician. The principal objective of the ASTEC project is to automate the prescreening phase during multidisciplinary meetings (MDM). This paper presents the evaluation of a computerized recruitment support systems (CRSS) based on semantic web approach. The evaluation of the system was based on data collected retrospectively from a 6 month period of MDM in Urology and on 4 clinical trials of prostate cancer. The classification performance of the ASTEC system had a precision of 21%, recall of 93%, and an error rate equal to 37%. Missing data was the main issue encountered. The system was designed to be both scalable to other clinical domains and usable during MDM process.
V. B. Ivanov
Full Text Available The article considers the experience of Russian and leading foreign regulatory agencies in organisation and conduction of preclinical and clinical trials of human immunoglobulin products. The authors suggest a classification of human immunoglobulins and provide updated information on authorization of these products in Russia. The article summarizes methodological approaches, basic scientific principles and criteria relating to expert evaluation of preclinical and clinical trials of blood products. The authors further define the expert body’s requirements for data on preclinical and clinical trials of human normal immuniglobulins and human specific immunoglobulins for the prevention and/or treatment of infectious and non-infectious diseases which are submitted as part of applications for marketing authorization or marketing authorization variation. The article suggests programs of preclinical and clinical trials for human normal immunoglobulins and human specific immunoglobulins for the prevention and/or treatment of infectious and non-infectious diseases that are aligned with the Russian legislation and Eurasian Economic Union’s regulations on medicines circulation, and have been elaborated with respect to the guidelines of the European Medicines Agency.
Zhao HongSheng [Scottish University Physics Alliance, University of St Andrews, KY16 8SB (United Kingdom); Sterrewacht Leiden, PO Box 9513, 2300 RA Leiden (Netherlands)], E-mail: email@example.com
Modern astronomical data on galaxy and cosmological scales have revealed powerfully the existence of certain dark sectors of fundamental physics, i.e., existence of particles and fields outside the standard models and inaccessible by current experiments. Various approaches are taken to modify/extend the standard models. Generic theories introduce multiple de-coupled fields A, B, C, each responsible for the effects of DM (cold supersymmetric particles), DE (Dark Energy) effect, and MG (Modified Gravity) effect respectively. Some theories use adopt vanilla combinations like AB, BC, or CA, and assume A, B, C belong to decoupled sectors of physics. MOND-like MG and Cold DM are often taken as antagnising frameworks, e.g. in the muddled debate around the Bullet Cluster. Here we argue that these ad hoc divisions of sectors miss important clues from the data. The data actually suggest that the physics of all dark sectors is likely linked together by a self-interacting oscillating field, which governs a chameleon-like dark fluid, appearing as DM, DE and MG in different settings. It is timely to consider an interdisciplinary approach across all semantic boundaries of dark sectors, treating the dark stress as one identity, hence accounts for several 'coincidences' naturally.
Full Text Available The aim of our study is to provide an integrated framework for the management of alien plant invasions, combining insights and experiences from the fields of invasion and restoration ecology to enable more effective management of invasive species. To determine linkages between the scientific outputs of the two disciplines we used an existing data base on restoration studies between 2000 and 2008 and did a bibliometric analysis. We identified the type of restoration applied, determined by the aim of the study, and conducted a content analysis on 208 selected studies with a link to biological invasions (invasion-restoration studies. We found a total of 1075 articles on ecosystem restoration, with only eight percent of the studiesthe main objective to control alien invasions. The content analysis of 208 invasion-restoration studies showed that the majority of the studies focused on causes of degradation other than alien invasions. If invaders were referred to as the main driver of degradation, the prevalent cause for degradation was invaders outcompeting and replacing native species. Mechanical control of alien plant invasions was by far the most common control method used. Measures that went beyond the removal of alien plants were implemented in sixty-five percent of the studies.Although invasion control was not as common as other types of restoration, a closer look at the sub-group of invasion-restoration studies shows a clear link between restoration and invasion ecology. Concerns, as identified in the literature review, are firstly that restoration activities mostly focus on controlling the invader while other underlying causes for degradation are neglected, and secondly that the current approach of dealing with alien invasions lacks a combination of theoretical and practical aspects. We suggest that closer collaboration between invasion and restoration ecologists can help to improve the management of alien plant invasions. We conclude with a
Zeng, Donglin; Chen, Ming-Hui; Ibrahim, Joseph G; Wei, Rachel; Ding, Beiying; Ke, Chunlei; Jiang, Qi
Clinical trials generally allow various efficacy and safety outcomes to be collected for health interventions. Benefit-risk assessment is an important issue when evaluating a new drug. Currently, there is a lack of standardized and validated benefit-risk assessment approaches in drug development due to various challenges. To quantify benefits and risks, we propose a counterfactual p-value (CP) approach. Our approach considers a spectrum of weights for weighting benefit-risk values and computes the extreme probabilities of observing the weighted benefit-risk value in one treatment group as if patients were treated in the other treatment group. The proposed approach is applicable to single benefit and single risk outcome as well as multiple benefit and risk outcomes assessment. In addition, the prior information in the weight schemes relevant to the importance of outcomes can be incorporated in the approach. The proposed CPs plot is intuitive with a visualized weight pattern. The average area under CP and preferred probability over time are used for overall treatment comparison and a bootstrap approach is applied for statistical inference. We assess the proposed approach using simulated data with multiple efficacy and safety endpoints and compare its performance with a stochastic multi-criteria acceptability analysis approach.
Worrich, Anja; König, Sara; Banitz, Thomas; Centler, Florian; Frank, Karin; Kästner, Matthias; Miltner, Anja; Thullner, Martin; Wick, Lukas
Although bacterial degraders in soil are commonly exposed to fluctuating environmental conditions, the functional performance of the biodegradation processes can often be maintained by resistance and resilience mechanisms. However, there is still a gap in the mechanistic understanding of key factors contributing to the stability of such an ecosystem service. Therefore we developed an integrated approach combining microcosm experiments, simulation models and ecological theory to directly make use of the strengths of these disciplines. In a continuous interplay process, data, hypotheses, and central questions are exchanged between disciplines to initiate new experiments and models to ultimately identify buffer mechanisms and factors providing functional stability. We focus on drying and rewetting-cycles in soil ecosystems, which are a major abiotic driver for bacterial activity. Functional recovery of the system was found to depend on different spatial processes in the computational model. In particular, bacterial motility is a prerequisite for biodegradation if either bacteria or substrate are heterogeneously distributed. Hence, laboratory experiments focussing on bacterial dispersal processes were conducted and confirmed this finding also for functional resistance. Obtained results will be incorporated into the model in the next step. Overall, the combination of computational modelling and laboratory experiments identified spatial processes as the main driving force for functional stability in the considered system, and has proved a powerful methodological approach.
Full Text Available This paper presents a review of the presentations and synthesis of the discussion during a Symposium on ‘Transformation of rural-urban cultural landscapes in Europe: Integrating approaches from ecological, socio-economic and planning perspectives’ held at the European IALE conference 2009 in Salzburg, Austria. The symposium addressed an extended and much debated subject of the landscape dynamics in Europe. The papers presented during the symposium showcased a broad spectrum of cutting edge research questions and challenges faced by the cultural landscapes of Europe. During six sessions, 18 presentations (besides 20 posters were made by 36 scientists (including co-authors from 14 countries, representing 25 institutions of Europe. A glance at the presentations revealed that the state-of-the-art focuses on driving forces and selected aspects of transformation processes, methods of its analysis and planning support as dimensions of research in this field. However, inter- and transdisciplinary research and integrative approaches to the development of rural-urban cultural landscapes are needed. The extended discussion session at the latter part of the symposium highlighted some critical and unaddressed research questions which remained a pending agenda for future research.
Van Heertum, Ronald L; Scarimbolo, Robert; Ford, Robert; Berdougo, Eli; O'Neal, Michael
In the era of personalized medicine, diagnostic approaches are helping pharmaceutical and biotechnology sponsors streamline the clinical trial process. Molecular assays and diagnostic imaging are routinely being used to stratify patients for treatment, monitor disease, and provide reliable early clinical phase assessments. The importance of diagnostic approaches in drug development is highlighted by the rapidly expanding global cancer diagnostics market and the emergent attention of regulatory agencies worldwide, who are beginning to offer more structured platforms and guidance for this area. In this paper, we highlight the key benefits of using companion diagnostics and diagnostic imaging with a focus on oncology clinical trials. Nuclear imaging using widely available radiopharmaceuticals in conjunction with molecular imaging of oncology targets has opened the door to more accurate disease assessment and the modernization of standard criteria for the evaluation, staging, and treatment responses of cancer patients. Furthermore, the introduction and validation of quantitative molecular imaging continues to drive and optimize the field of oncology diagnostics. Given their pivotal role in disease assessment and treatment, the validation and commercialization of diagnostic tools will continue to advance oncology clinical trials, support new oncology drugs, and promote better patient outcomes.
Full Text Available For years, a vast majority of clinical trial industry has followed the tenet of 100% source data verification (SDV. This has been driven partly by the overcautious approach to linking quality of data to the extent of monitoring and SDV and partly by being on the safer side of regulations. The regulations however, do not state any upper or lower limits of SDV. What it expects from researchers and the sponsors is methodologies which ensure data quality. How the industry does it is open to innovation and application of statistical methods, targeted and remote monitoring, real time reporting, adaptive monitoring schedules, etc. In short, hybrid approaches to monitoring. Coupled with concepts of optimum monitoring and SDV at site and off-site monitoring techniques, it should be possible to save time required to conduct SDV leading to more available time for other productive activities. Organizations stand to gain directly or indirectly from such savings, whether by diverting the funds back to the R&D pipeline; investing more in technology infrastructure to support large trials; or simply increasing sample size of trials. Whether it also affects the work-life balance of monitors who may then need to travel with a less hectic schedule for the same level of quality and productivity can be predicted only when there is more evidence from field.
For years, a vast majority of clinical trial industry has followed the tenet of 100% source data verification (SDV). This has been driven partly by the overcautious approach to linking quality of data to the extent of monitoring and SDV and partly by being on the safer side of regulations. The regulations however, do not state any upper or lower limits of SDV. What it expects from researchers and the sponsors is methodologies which ensure data quality. How the industry does it is open to innovation and application of statistical methods, targeted and remote monitoring, real time reporting, adaptive monitoring schedules, etc. In short, hybrid approaches to monitoring. Coupled with concepts of optimum monitoring and SDV at site and off-site monitoring techniques, it should be possible to save time required to conduct SDV leading to more available time for other productive activities. Organizations stand to gain directly or indirectly from such savings, whether by diverting the funds back to the R&D pipeline; investing more in technology infrastructure to support large trials; or simply increasing sample size of trials. Whether it also affects the work-life balance of monitors who may then need to travel with a less hectic schedule for the same level of quality and productivity can be predicted only when there is more evidence from field.
Korman, M; Weiss, P L; Kizony, R
The term "Living Lab" was coined to reflect the use of sensors to monitor human behavior in real life environments. Until recently such measurements had been feasible only within experimental laboratory settings. The objective of this paper is to highlight research on health care sensing and monitoring devices that enable direct, objective and accurate capture of real-world functioning. Selected articles exemplifying the key technologies that allow monitoring of the motor-cognitive activity of persons with disabilities during naturally occurring daily experiences in real-life settings are discussed in terms of (1) the ways in which the Living Lab approach has been used to date, (2) limitations related to clinical assessment in rehabilitation settings and (3) three categories of the instruments most commonly used for this purpose: personal technologies, ambient technologies and external assistive systems. Technology's most important influences on clinical practice and rehabilitation are in a shift from laboratory-based to field-centered research and a transition between in-clinic performance to daily life activities. Numerous applications show its potential for real-time clinical assessment. Current technological solutions that may provide clinicians with objective, unobtrusive measurements of health and function, as well as tools that support rehabilitation on an individual basis in natural environments provide an important asset to standard clinical measures. Until recently objective clinical assessment could not be readily performed in a client's daily functional environment. Novel technologies enable health care sensing and monitoring devices that enable direct, objective and accurate capture of real-world functioning. Such technologies are referred to as a "Living Lab" approach since they enable the capture of objective and non-obtrusive data that clinicians can use to assess performance. Research and development in this field help clinicians support maintain
Spiegelhalter, D J; Freedman, L S
The 'textbook' approach to determining sample size in a clinical trial has some fundamental weaknesses which we discuss. We describe a new predictive method which takes account of prior clinical opinion about the treatment difference. The method adopts the point of clinical equivalence (determined by interviewing the clinical participants) as the null hypothesis. Decision rules at the end of the study are based on whether the interval estimate of the treatment difference (classical or Bayesian) includes the null hypothesis. The prior distribution is used to predict the probabilities of making the decisions to use one or other treatment or to reserve final judgement. It is recommended that sample size be chosen to control the predicted probability of the last of these decisions. An example is given from a multi-centre trial of superficial bladder cancer.
. With recent reports of scientific misconduct from China, there is an urgent need to find approaches to compel researchers to adhere to ethical research practices. This problem does not call for a simple solution, but if forces are joined with governmental regulations, education in ethics issues for medical......Zeng et al.'s Ethics Review highlights some of the challenges associated with clinical research in China. They found that only a minority of published clinical trials of anti-dementia drugs reported that they fulfilled the basic ethical principles as outlined in the Declaration of Helsinki...... researchers, and strong reinforcement by Chinese journal editors not to publish studies with these flaws, then research ethics and publication standards will probably improve. Other solutions to foster ethical practice of drug trials are discussed including Chinese initiatives directed at managing conflict...
Trickett, Edison J.; Rowe, Hillary L.
In recent years, ecological perspectives have become more visible in prevention, health promotion, and public health within the school context. Individually based approaches to understanding and changing behavior have been increasingly challenged by these perspectives because of their appreciation for contextual influences on individual behavior.…
Aleksander Ivanovich Semyachkov
Full Text Available In modern conditions, for the purpose of preservation a territory’s ecosystem at its involvement in economic circulation, it is necessary to carry out the anticipatory geo-ecological assessment for indicating the degree of resistance to hypothetical anthropogenic influence. The existing methodological approaches for performing the geo-ecological assessment are unified and can often be equally applied to various types of territories. A new methodical approach for geo-ecological assessment is brought forth in the article. It takes into account the specific character of the Ural region’s northern territories. The approach is based on the point assessment of territory, which is explained by its large area, moreover, the point assessment is proposed to carry out before the development of the territory. This approach makes possible to consider the specific features of the territory’s ecosystem, namely its ability for self-restoration and self-cleaning in the process of economic development and after it. It allows carrying out the choice of economic activity direction on the whole and satisfying the condition of the minimization of the damage from violation the territory’s ecosystem and preservation its resource potential. The research results can be utilized in the studies of experts and students working on the geo-ecological assessment of territory
Derguy, C.; M'Bailara, K.; Michel, G.; Roux, S.; Bouvard, M.
This study aimed to identify parental stress predictors in ASD by considering individual and environmental factors in an ecological approach. Participants were 115 parents of children with ASD aged from 3 to 10 years. Multiple regression analyses were conducted to determine the best predictors of parental stress among child-related, parent-related…
Hernández, Laura; Vignes, Annick; Saba, Stéphanie
Centralized markets are often considered more efficient than bilateral exchanges because information is public and the same for all the agents. On decentralized markets, where the information is private, the influence of trust on the market outcome has been underlined by many authors. We present an empirical study of the distinctive Boulogne-sur-Mer Fish Market (where both buyers and sellers can choose to trade by either bidding or bargaining), focused on the interactions between agents. Our approach is inspired by studies of mutualistic ecosystems, where the agents are of two different types (as in plant-pollinator networks) and the interactions only take place between agents of different kinds, naturally providing benefits to both. In our context, where the two kinds of agents are buyers and sellers, our study shows that not only do their interactions bring economic benefits for the agents directly involved, but they also contribute to the stability of the market. Our results help to explain the surprising coexistence of the two forms of market in the distinctive Boulogne sur Mer Fish Market.
Bebout, Leslie; Keller, R.; Miller, S.; Jahnke, L.; DeVincenzi, D. (Technical Monitor)
The Ames Exobiology Culture Collection Database (AECC-DB) has been developed as a collaboration between microbial ecologists and information technology specialists. It allows for extensive web-based archiving of information regarding field samples to document microbial co-habitation of specific ecosystem micro-environments. Documentation and archiving continues as pure cultures are isolated, metabolic properties determined, and DNA extracted and sequenced. In this way metabolic properties and molecular sequences are clearly linked back to specific isolates and the location of those microbes in the ecosystem of origin. Use of this database system presents a significant advancement over traditional bookkeeping wherein there is generally little or no information regarding the environments from which microorganisms were isolated. Generally there is only a general ecosystem designation (i.e., hot-spring). However within each of these there are a myriad of microenvironments with very different properties and determining exactly where (which microenvironment) a given microbe comes from is critical in designing appropriate isolation media and interpreting physiological properties. We are currently using the database to aid in the isolation of a large number of cyanobacterial species and will present results by PI's and students demonstrating the utility of this new approach.
D’Ovidio, Francesco; Penna, Alice Della; Cotté, Cedric; De Monte, Silvia; Guinet, Christophe
The repartition of tracers in the ocean’s upper layer on the scale of a few tens of kilometres is largely determined by the horizontal transport induced by surface currents. Here we consider surface currents detected from satellite altimetry (Jason and Envisat missions) and we study how surface waters may be trapped by mesoscale eddies through a semi-Lagrangian diagnostic which combines the Lyapunov approach with Eulerian techniques. Such a diagnostic identifies the regions of the ocean’s upper layer with different retention times that appear to influence the behaviour of a tagged marine predator (an elephant seal) along a foraging trip. The comparison between predator trajectory and eddy retention time suggests that water trapping by mesoscale eddies, derived from satellite altimetry, may be an important factor for monitoring hotspots of trophic interactions in the open ocean. This article is part of a special issue of Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical devoted to ‘Lyapunov analysis: from dynamical systems theory to applications’. (paper)
Green, Denise M; Twill, Sarah E; Nackerud, Larry; Holosko, Michael
System of care (SOC) models in North America were developed in response to the needs of children with a severe emotional disturbance. Such children experience problems across life spheres including issues at home that put them at risk of abuse and neglect, difficulties at school including special education classification and dropping-out, and involvement with the juvenile courts. SOC evaluations and research suggests that an overreliance of evaluative research efforts on standardized scales and preconceived measurable outcomes have resulted in a loss of other important data. This study's confirmatory and holistic approach to evaluation illuminates important information concerning commonly ignored variables when using traditional evaluation models. The evaluative research study described focuses on three often overlooked behavioral variables in one SOC initiative, KidsNet Georgia, of Rockdale County, GA. These variables are: (a) using cohort analysis over time; (b) costing out services utilized; and (c) focusing on behavioral indicators and chance over time. The evaluative strategy, data collection, data, and cost analysis are discussed along with implications for practice with severe emotional disturbance youth and their families.
Rajaram, T; Das, Ashutosh
Developing countries across the world have embraced the policy of high economic growth as a means to reduce poverty. This economic growth largely based on industrial output is fast degrading the ecosystems, jeopardizing their long term sustainability. Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) has long been recognized as a tool which can help in protecting the ecosystems and aid sustainable development. The Screening guidelines for EIA reflect the level of commitment the nation displays towards tightening its environmental protection system. The paper analyses the screening process for EIA in India and dissects the rationale behind the exclusions and thresholds set in the screening process. The screening process in India is compared with that of the European Union with the aim of understanding the extent of deviations from a screening approach in the context of better economic development. It is found that the Indian system excludes many activities from the purview of screening itself when compared to the EU. The constraints responsible for these exclusions are discussed and the shortcomings of the current command and control system of environmental management in India are also explained. It is suggested that an ecosystem carrying capacity based management system can provide significant inputs to enhance the effectiveness of EIA process from screening to monitoring. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Girardet, Xavier, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Foltête, Jean-Christophe, E-mail: email@example.com; Clauzel, Céline, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The development of major linear infrastructures contributes to landscape fragmentation and impacts natural habitats and biodiversity in various ways. To anticipate and minimize such impacts, landscape planning needs to be capable of effective strategic environmental assessment (SEA) and of supporting environmental impact assessment (EIA) decisions. To this end, species distribution models (SDMs) are an effective way of making predictive maps of the presence of a given species. In this paper, we propose to combine SDMs and graph-based representation of landscape networks to integrate the potential long-distance effect of infrastructures on species distribution. A diachronic approach, comparing distribution before and after the linear infrastructure is constructed, leads to the design of a species distribution assessment (SDA), taking into account population isolation. The SDA makes it possible (1) to estimate the local variation in probability of presence and (2) to characterize the impact of the infrastructure in terms of global variation in presence and of distance of disturbance. The method is illustrated by assessing the impact of the construction of a high-speed railway line on the distribution of several virtual species in Franche-Comté (France). The study shows the capacity of the SDA to characterize the impact of a linear infrastructure either as a research concern or as a spatial planning challenge. SDAs could be helpful in deciding among several scenarios for linear infrastructure routes or for the location of mitigation measures. -- Highlights: • Graph connectivity metrics were integrated into a species distribution model. • SDM was performed before and after the implementation of linear infrastructure. • The local variation of presence provides spatial indicators of the impact.
Girardet, Xavier; Foltête, Jean-Christophe; Clauzel, Céline
The development of major linear infrastructures contributes to landscape fragmentation and impacts natural habitats and biodiversity in various ways. To anticipate and minimize such impacts, landscape planning needs to be capable of effective strategic environmental assessment (SEA) and of supporting environmental impact assessment (EIA) decisions. To this end, species distribution models (SDMs) are an effective way of making predictive maps of the presence of a given species. In this paper, we propose to combine SDMs and graph-based representation of landscape networks to integrate the potential long-distance effect of infrastructures on species distribution. A diachronic approach, comparing distribution before and after the linear infrastructure is constructed, leads to the design of a species distribution assessment (SDA), taking into account population isolation. The SDA makes it possible (1) to estimate the local variation in probability of presence and (2) to characterize the impact of the infrastructure in terms of global variation in presence and of distance of disturbance. The method is illustrated by assessing the impact of the construction of a high-speed railway line on the distribution of several virtual species in Franche-Comté (France). The study shows the capacity of the SDA to characterize the impact of a linear infrastructure either as a research concern or as a spatial planning challenge. SDAs could be helpful in deciding among several scenarios for linear infrastructure routes or for the location of mitigation measures. -- Highlights: • Graph connectivity metrics were integrated into a species distribution model. • SDM was performed before and after the implementation of linear infrastructure. • The local variation of presence provides spatial indicators of the impact
Kjaersgaard, Annette; Nielsen, Lars Hedemann; Sjölund, Bengt H.
trial. SETTING: Specialized, national neurorehabilitation centre. SUBJECTS: Adult patients with acquired brain injury. Six hundred and seventy-nine patients were assessed for eligibility and 138 were randomly allocated between June 2009 and April 2011. INTERVENTIONS: Assessment by Facial-Oral Tract....... Seven patients were left for analysis, 4 of whom developed aspiration pneumonia within 10 days after initiating oral intake (1 control/3 interventions). CONCLUSION: In the presence of a structured clinical assessment with the Facial-Oral Tract Therapy approach, it is unnecessary to undertake...
Blanke, M.; Knudsen, Morten
Non-linear mathematical models of ships comprise one hundred parameters, or more, and differences between full-scale trials and model tests are difficult to associate with individual terms. Direct identification of parameters would be advantageous. The paper employs a sensitivity approach...... in an attempt to achieve this. Using the method on full-scale data from a containership, a good fit in roll and yaw is obtained, but the method reveals that this does not imply good determination of individual parameters. The sensitivity method is found to be easily applied for both identification...
Maria de Fatima P Militão de Albuquerque
Full Text Available The microcephaly epidemic in Brazil generated intense debate regarding its causality, and one hypothesised cause of this epidemic, now recognised as congenital Zika virus syndrome, was the treatment of drinking water tanks with pyriproxyfen to control Aedes aegypti larvae. We present the results of a geographical analysis of the association between the prevalence of microcephaly confirmed by Fenton growth charts and the type of larvicide used in the municipalities that were home to the mothers of the affected newborns in the metropolitan region of Recife in Pernambuco, the state in Brazil where the epidemic was first detected. The overall prevalence of microcephaly was 82 per 10,000 live births in the three municipalities that used the larvicide Bti (Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis instead of pyriproxyfen, and 69 per 10,000 live births in the eleven municipalities that used pyriproxyfen. The difference was not statistically significant. Our results show that the prevalence of microcephaly was not higher in the areas in which pyriproxyfen was used. In this ecological approach, there was no evidence of a correlation between the use of pyriproxyfen in the municipalities and the microcephaly epidemic.
Kokeš, J.; Zahrádková, S.; Němejcová, D.; Hodovský, J.; Jarkovský, J.; Soldán, Tomáš
Roč. 566, - (2006), s. 343-354 ISSN 0018-8158 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR(CZ) 1QS500070505 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50070508 Keywords : benthic macroinvertebrates * ecological quality * stream assessment Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 1.049, year: 2006
Brook Weld Muller
Full Text Available This essay describes strategic approaches to graphic representation associated with critical environmental engagement and that build from the idea of works of architecture as stitches in the ecological fabric of the city. It focuses on the building up of partial or fragmented graphics in order to describe inclusive, open-ended possibilities for making architecture that marry rich experience and responsive performance. An aphoristic approach to crafting drawings involves complex layering, conscious absence and the embracing of tension. A self-critical attitude toward the generation of imagery characterized by the notion of ‘loose precision’ may lead to more transformative and environmentally responsive architectures.
Melchiorre, Maria Gabriella; Di Rosa, Mirko; Lamura, Giovanni; Torres-Gonzales, Francisco; Lindert, Jutta; Stankunas, Mindaugas; Ioannidi-Kapolou, Elisabeth; Barros, Henrique; Macassa, Gloria; Soares, Joaquim J F
Several studies on elder abuse indicate that a large number of victims are women, but others report that men in later life are also significantly abused, especially when they show symptoms of disability and poor health, and require help for their daily activities as a result. This study focused on the prevalence of different types of abuse experienced by men and on a comparison of male victims and non-victims concerning demographic/socio-economic characteristics, lifestyle/health variables, social support and quality of life. Additionally, the study identified factors associated with different types of abuse experienced by men and characteristics associated with the victims. The cross-sectional data concerning abuse in the past 12 months were collected by means of interviews and self-response during January-July 2009, from a sample of 4,467 not demented individuals aged between 60-84 years living in seven European countries (Germany, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Portugal, Spain and Sweden). We used a multilevel approach, within the framework of an Ecological Model, to explore the phenomenon of abuse against males as the complex result of factors from multiple levels: individual, relational, community and societal. Multivariate analyses showed that older men educated to higher levels, blue-collar workers and men living in a rented accommodation were more often victims than those educated to lower levels, low-rank white-collar workers and home owners, respectively. In addition, high scores for factors such as somatic and anxiety symptoms seemed linked with an increased probability of being abused. Conversely, factors such as increased age, worries about daily expenses (financial strain) and greater social support seemed linked with a decreased probability of being abused. Male elder abuse is under-recognized, under-detected and under-reported, mainly due to the vulnerability of older men and to social/cultural norms supporting traditional male characteristics of
Wyatt, A. S. J.; Miyajima, T.; Leichter, J.; Naruse, T.; Kuwae, T.; Yamamoto, S.; Satoh, N.; Nagata, T.
Mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCE) occur in the `twilight zone' of decreasing light between 30 - 150 m water depth where they may be protected or damped from disturbances impacting shallower reefs. However insufficient information is available on the environmental conditions that support MCE to allow us to understand and conserve these `deep water refugia'. For instance, nutrient inputs and recycling have rarely been quantified over MCE, but deeper reefs may differ fundamentally to that of shallow counterparts due to the reduction in light and increasing use of oceanic nutrients at the base of the food web, leading to increased reliance on heterotrophy over autotrophy at species and ecosystem levels and stronger links to oceanic processes. For instance, due to their depth relative to typical water column density stratification, MCE are particularly likely to experience internal wave forcing, the significance of which should vary spatially depending on aspect and exposure. In this study we are focusing on MCE occurring along a continuum of oceanic-exposure along Funauki Bay on the west coast of Iriomote, Japan. Here our preliminary observations indicate that ocean-exposed MCE are subject to semi-diurnal temperature oscillations of up to 4 C during summer (range 23 - 29 deg C), while inner bay MCE occur at shallower depths in more turbid but stable environments. This continuum of oceanic exposure is ideal for testing a range of approaches for quantifying the relative ecological and biogeochemical influence of internal waves. Stable isotope analyses (SIA) are a particularly useful tool for understanding functional links between oceanic processes, local-scale nutrient cycling, and trophic ecology, with results from shallow reefs showing they likely function along a continuum of reliance on external inputs versus internal recycling depending on the degree of oceanic exposure. Although challenging to implement in deep water habitats, the combination of SIA with compound
Maria Gabriella Melchiorre
Full Text Available Several studies on elder abuse indicate that a large number of victims are women, but others report that men in later life are also significantly abused, especially when they show symptoms of disability and poor health, and require help for their daily activities as a result. This study focused on the prevalence of different types of abuse experienced by men and on a comparison of male victims and non-victims concerning demographic/socio-economic characteristics, lifestyle/health variables, social support and quality of life. Additionally, the study identified factors associated with different types of abuse experienced by men and characteristics associated with the victims.The cross-sectional data concerning abuse in the past 12 months were collected by means of interviews and self-response during January-July 2009, from a sample of 4,467 not demented individuals aged between 60-84 years living in seven European countries (Germany, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Portugal, Spain and Sweden. We used a multilevel approach, within the framework of an Ecological Model, to explore the phenomenon of abuse against males as the complex result of factors from multiple levels: individual, relational, community and societal.Multivariate analyses showed that older men educated to higher levels, blue-collar workers and men living in a rented accommodation were more often victims than those educated to lower levels, low-rank white-collar workers and home owners, respectively. In addition, high scores for factors such as somatic and anxiety symptoms seemed linked with an increased probability of being abused. Conversely, factors such as increased age, worries about daily expenses (financial strain and greater social support seemed linked with a decreased probability of being abused.Male elder abuse is under-recognized, under-detected and under-reported, mainly due to the vulnerability of older men and to social/cultural norms supporting traditional male
Laurila, Tomi; Paulasto-Kröckel, Mervi; Turunen, Markus; Mattila, Toni T; Kivilahti, Jorma
Interfaces between dissimilar materials are met everywhere in microelectronics and microsystems. In order to ensure faultless operation of these highly sophisticated structures, it is mandatory to have fundamental understanding of materials and their interactions in the system. In this difficult task, the “traditional” method of trial and error is not feasible anymore; it takes too much time and repeated efforts. In Interfacial Compatibility in Microelectronics, an alternative approach is introduced. In this revised method four fundamental disciplines are combined: i) thermodynamics of materials ii) reaction kinetics iii) theory of microstructures and iv) stress and strain analysis. The advantages of the method are illustrated in Interfacial Compatibility in Microelectronics which includes: •solutions to several common reliability issues in microsystem technology, •methods to understand and predict failure mechanisms at interfaces between dissimilar materials and •an approach to DFR based on deep un...
Wallace, Byron C; Noel-Storr, Anna; Marshall, Iain J; Cohen, Aaron M; Smalheiser, Neil R; Thomas, James
Identifying all published reports of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) is an important aim, but it requires extensive manual effort to separate RCTs from non-RCTs, even using current machine learning (ML) approaches. We aimed to make this process more efficient via a hybrid approach using both crowdsourcing and ML. We trained a classifier to discriminate between citations that describe RCTs and those that do not. We then adopted a simple strategy of automatically excluding citations deemed very unlikely to be RCTs by the classifier and deferring to crowdworkers otherwise. Combining ML and crowdsourcing provides a highly sensitive RCT identification strategy (our estimates suggest 95%-99% recall) with substantially less effort (we observed a reduction of around 60%-80%) than relying on manual screening alone. Hybrid crowd-ML strategies warrant further exploration for biomedical curation/annotation tasks. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Medical Informatics Association.
Lim, Angelina; Stewart, Kay; Abramson, Michael J; Walker, Susan P; George, Johnson
Uncontrolled asthma during pregnancy is associated with the maternal hazards of disease exacerbation, and perinatal hazards including intrauterine growth restriction and preterm birth. Interventions directed at achieving better asthma control during pregnancy should be considered a high priority in order to optimise both maternal and perinatal outcomes. Poor compliance with prescribed asthma medications during pregnancy and suboptimal prescribing patterns to pregnant women have both been shown to be contributing factors that jeopardise asthma control. The aim is to design and evaluate an intervention involving multidisciplinary care for women experiencing asthma in pregnancy. A pilot single-blinded parallel-group randomized controlled trial testing a Multidisciplinary Approach to Management of Maternal Asthma (MAMMA©) which involves education and regular monitoring. Pregnant women with asthma will be recruited from antenatal clinics in Victoria, Australia. Recruited participants, stratified by disease severity, will be allocated to the intervention or the usual care group in a 1:1 ratio. Both groups will be followed prospectively throughout pregnancy and outcomes will be compared between groups at three and six months after recruitment to evaluate the effectiveness of this intervention. Outcome measures include Asthma Control Questionnaire (ACQ) scores, oral corticosteroid use, asthma exacerbations and asthma related hospital admissions, and days off work, preventer to reliever ratio, along with pregnancy and neonatal adverse events at delivery. The use of FEV(1)/FEV(6) will be also investigated during this trial as a marker for asthma control. If successful, this model of care could be widely implemented in clinical practice and justify more funding for support services and resources for these women. This intervention will also promote awareness of the risks of poorly controlled asthma and the need for a collaborative, multidisciplinary approach to asthma
Vandelanotte, Corneel; Kolt, Gregory S; Caperchione, Cristina M; Savage, Trevor N; Rosenkranz, Richard R; Maeder, Anthony J; Van Itallie, Anetta; Tague, Rhys; Oldmeadow, Christopher; Mummery, W Kerry; Duncan, Mitch J
was more effective in improving physical activity in real-world conditions. While the Web 2.0 website was visited significantly more, both groups nevertheless displayed high nonusage attrition and low intervention engagement. More research is needed to examine the external validity and generalizability of Web-based physical activity interventions. Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry: ACTRN12611000253909; https://anzctr.org.au /Trial/Registration/TrialReview.aspx?id=336588&isReview=true (Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/6ufzw 2HxD). ©Corneel Vandelanotte, Gregory S Kolt, Cristina M Caperchione, Trevor N Savage, Richard R Rosenkranz, Anthony J Maeder, Anetta Van Itallie, Rhys Tague, Christopher Oldmeadow, W Kerry Mummery, Mitch J Duncan. Originally published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research (http://www.jmir.org), 13.11.2017.
.... Though innocuous within its native range, elsewhere this species is an aggressive menace that has had devastating ecological and socioeconomic impacts on aquatic systems in parts of Africa, Sri Lanka...
von Wulffen, M; Clark, P J; Macdonald, G A; Raj, A S; Kendall, B J; Powell, E E; Jones, M P; Holtmann, G
Liver-related mortality varies across developed nations. To assess the relative role of various risk factors in relation to liver-related mortality in an ecological study approach. Data for liver-related mortality, prevalence data for hepatitis B and C, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), alcohol consumption per capita, Type 2 Diabetes mellitus (T2DM), overweight and obesity were extracted from peer-reviewed publications or WHO databases for different developed countries. As potential other risk-modifying factors, purchase power parity (PPP)-adjusted gross domestic product (GDP) per capita and health expenditure per capita were assessed. As an environmental 'hygiene factor', we also assessed the effect of the prevalence of Helicobacter pylori. Only countries with a PPP-adjusted GDP greater than $20 000 and valid information for at least 8 risk modifiers were included. Univariate and multivariate analyses were utilised to quantify the contribution to the variability in liver-related mortality. The proportion of chronic liver diseases (CLD)-related mortality ranged from 0.73-2.40% [mean 1.56%, 95% CI (1.43-1.69)] of all deaths. Univariately, CLD-related mortality was significantly associated with Hepatitis B prevalence, alcohol consumption, PPP-adjusted GDP (all P < 0.05) and potentially H. pylori prevalence (P = 0.055). Other investigated factors, including hepatitis C, did not yield significance. Backward elimination suggested hepatitis B, alcohol consumption and PPP-adjusted GDP as risk factors (explaining 66.3% of the variability). Hepatitis B infection, alcohol consumption and GDP, but not hepatitis C or other factors, explain most of the variance of liver-related mortality. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
With growing interest in resilience among mental health care providers globally, there is a need for a simple way to consider the complex interactions that predict adaptive coping when there is exposure to high levels of adversity such as family violence, mental illness of a child or caregiver, natural disasters, social marginalization, or political conflict. This article presents diagnostic criteria for assessing childhood resilience in a way that is sensitive to the systemic factors that influence a child's wellbeing. The most important characteristics of children who cope well under adversity and avoid problems like depression, PTSD, and delinquency are highlighted. A multidimensional assessment of resilience is presented that examines, first, the severity, chronicity, ecological level, children's attributions of causality, and cultural and contextual relevance of experiences of adversity. Second, promotive and protective factors related to resilience are assessed with sensitivity to the differential impact these have on outcomes depending on a child's level of exposure to adversity. These factors include individual qualities like temperament, personality, and cognitions, as well as contextual dimensions of positive functioning related to the available and accessibility of resources, their strategic use, positive reinforcement by a child's significant others, and the adaptive capacity of the environment itself. Third, an assessment of resilience includes temporal and cultural factors that increase or decrease the influence of protective factors. A decision tree for the diagnosis of resilience is presented, followed by a case study and diagnosis of a 15-year-old boy who required treatment for a number of mental health challenges. The diagnostic criteria for assessing resilience and its application to clinical practice demonstrate the potential usefulness of a systemic approach to understanding resilience among child populations. © 2014 Association for Child and
Tu, Yiheng; Hung, Yeung Sam; Hu, Li; Huang, Gan; Hu, Yong; Zhang, Zhiguo
This study aims (1) to develop an automated and fast approach for detecting visual evoked potentials (VEPs) in single trials and (2) to apply the single-trial VEP detection approach in designing a real-time and high-performance brain-computer interface (BCI) system. The single-trial VEP detection approach uses common spatial pattern (CSP) as a spatial filter and wavelet filtering (WF) a temporal-spectral filter to jointly enhance the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of single-trial VEPs. The performance of the joint spatial-temporal-spectral filtering approach was assessed in a four-command VEP-based BCI system. The offline classification accuracy of the BCI system was significantly improved from 67.6±12.5% (raw data) to 97.3±2.1% (data filtered by CSP and WF). The proposed approach was successfully implemented in an online BCI system, where subjects could make 20 decisions in one minute with classification accuracy of 90%. The proposed single-trial detection approach is able to obtain robust and reliable VEP waveform in an automatic and fast way and it is applicable in VEP based online BCI systems. This approach provides a real-time and automated solution for single-trial detection of evoked potentials or event-related potentials (EPs/ERPs) in various paradigms, which could benefit many applications such as BCI and intraoperative monitoring. Copyright © 2014 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
The main effort of the Terrestrial Ecology Division has been redirected to a comprehensive study of the Espiritu Santo Drainage Basin located in northeastern Puerto Rico. The general objective are to provide baseline ecological data for future environmental assessment studies at the local and regional levels, and to provide through an ecosystem approach data for the development of management alternatives for the wise utilization of energy, water, and land resources. The interrelationships among climate, vegetation, soils, and man, and their combined influence upon the hydrologic cycle will be described and evaluated. Environmental management involves planning and decision making, and both require an adequate data base. At present, little is known about the interworkings of a complete, integrated system such as a drainage basin. A literature survey of the main research areas confirmed that, although many individual ecologically oriented studies have been carried out in a tropical environment, few if any provide the data base required for environmental management. In view of rapidly changing socio-economic conditions and natural resources limitations, management urgently requires data from these systems: physical (climatological), biological, and cultural. This integrated drainage basin study has been designed to provide such data. The scope of this program covers the hydrologic cycle as it is affected by the interactions of the physical, biological, and cultural systems
Norton, Bryan G
A post-positivist understanding of ecological science and the call for an "ecological ethic" indicate the need for a radically new approach to evaluating environmental change. The positivist view of science cannot capture the essence of environmental sciences because the recent work of "reflexive" ecological modelers shows that this requires a reconceptualization of the way in which values and ecological models interact in scientific process. Reflexive modelers are ecological modelers who believe it is appropriate for ecologists to examine the motives for their choices in developing models; this self-reflexive approach opens the door to a new way of integrating values into public discourse and to a more comprehensive approach to evaluating ecological change. This reflexive building of ecological models is introduced through the transformative simile of Aldo Leopold, which shows that learning to "think like a mountain" involves a shift in both ecological modeling and in values and responsibility. An adequate, interdisciplinary approach to ecological valuation, requires a re-framing of the evaluation questions in entirely new ways, i.e., a review of the current status of interdisciplinary value theory with respect to ecological values reveals that neither of the widely accepted theories of environmental value-neither economic utilitarianism nor intrinsic value theory (environmental ethics)-provides a foundation for an ecologically sensitive evaluation process. Thus, a new, ecologically sensitive, and more comprehensive approach to evaluating ecological change would include an examination of the metaphors that motivate the models used to describe environmental change.
The advancement of geographic science in the area of land surface status and trends and land cover change is at the core of the current geographic scientific research of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) (McMahon and others, 2005). Perhaps the least developed or articulated aspects of USGS land change science have been the identification and analysis of the ecological consequences of land cover change. Changes in land use and land cover significantly affect the ability of ecosystems to provide essential ecological goods and services, which, in turn, affect the economic, public health, and social benefits that these ecosystems provide. One of the great scientific challenges for geographic science is to understand and calibrate the effects of land use and land cover change and the complex interaction between human and biotic systems at a variety of natural, geographic, and political scales. Understanding the dynamics of land surface change requires an increased understanding of the complex nature of human-environmental systems and will require a suite of scientific tools that include traditional geographic data and analysis methods, such as remote sensing and geographic information systems (GIS), as well as innovative approaches to understanding the dynamics of complex systems. One such approach that has gained much recent scientific attention is the landscape indicator, or landscape assessment, approach, which has been developed with the emergence of the science of landscape ecology.
Bourne, Amanda; Holness, Stephen; Holden, Petra; Scorgie, Sarshen; Donatti, Camila I.; Midgley, Guy
Climate change adds an additional layer of complexity to existing sustainable development and biodiversity conservation challenges. The impacts of global climate change are felt locally, and thus local governance structures will increasingly be responsible for preparedness and local responses. Ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) options are gaining prominence as relevant climate change solutions. Local government officials seldom have an appropriate understanding of the role of ecosystem functioning in sustainable development goals, or access to relevant climate information. Thus the use of ecosystems in helping people adapt to climate change is limited partially by the lack of information on where ecosystems have the highest potential to do so. To begin overcoming this barrier, Conservation South Africa in partnership with local government developed a socio-ecological approach for identifying spatial EbA priorities at the sub-national level. Using GIS-based multi-criteria analysis and vegetation distribution models, the authors have spatially integrated relevant ecological and social information at a scale appropriate to inform local level political, administrative, and operational decision makers. This is the first systematic approach of which we are aware that highlights spatial priority areas for EbA implementation. Nodes of socio-ecological vulnerability are identified, and the inclusion of areas that provide ecosystem services and ecological resilience to future climate change is innovative. The purpose of this paper is to present and demonstrate a methodology for combining complex information into user-friendly spatial products for local level decision making on EbA. The authors focus on illustrating the kinds of products that can be generated from combining information in the suggested ways, and do not discuss the nuance of climate models nor present specific technical details of the model outputs here. Two representative case studies from rural South Africa
Full Text Available Climate change adds an additional layer of complexity to existing sustainable development and biodiversity conservation challenges. The impacts of global climate change are felt locally, and thus local governance structures will increasingly be responsible for preparedness and local responses. Ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA options are gaining prominence as relevant climate change solutions. Local government officials seldom have an appropriate understanding of the role of ecosystem functioning in sustainable development goals, or access to relevant climate information. Thus the use of ecosystems in helping people adapt to climate change is limited partially by the lack of information on where ecosystems have the highest potential to do so. To begin overcoming this barrier, Conservation South Africa in partnership with local government developed a socio-ecological approach for identifying spatial EbA priorities at the sub-national level. Using GIS-based multi-criteria analysis and vegetation distribution models, the authors have spatially integrated relevant ecological and social information at a scale appropriate to inform local level political, administrative, and operational decision makers. This is the first systematic approach of which we are aware that highlights spatial priority areas for EbA implementation. Nodes of socio-ecological vulnerability are identified, and the inclusion of areas that provide ecosystem services and ecological resilience to future climate change is innovative. The purpose of this paper is to present and demonstrate a methodology for combining complex information into user-friendly spatial products for local level decision making on EbA. The authors focus on illustrating the kinds of products that can be generated from combining information in the suggested ways, and do not discuss the nuance of climate models nor present specific technical details of the model outputs here. Two representative case studies from
The environmental determinants of public health and social equity present many challenges to a sustainable urbanism-climate change, water shortages and oil dependency to name a few. There are many pathways from urban environments to human health. Numerous links have been described but some underlying mechanisms behind these relationships are less understood. Combining theory and methods is a way of understanding and explaining how the underlying structures of urban environments relate to public health and social equity. This paper proposes a model for an ecological public health, which can be used to explore these relationships. Four principles of an ecological public health-conviviality, equity, sustainability and global responsibility-are used to derive theoretical concepts that can inform ecological public health thinking, which, among other things, provides a way of exploring the underlying mechanisms that link urban environments to public health and social equity. Theories of more-than-human agency inform ways of living together (conviviality) in urban areas. Political ecology links the equity concerns about environmental and social justice. Resilience thinking offers a better way of coming to grips with sustainability. Integrating ecological ethics into public health considers the global consequences of local urban living and thus attends to global responsibility. This way of looking at the relationships between urban environments, public health and social equity answers the call to craft an ecological public health for the twenty-first century by re-imagining public health in a way that acknowledges humans as part of the ecosystem, not separate from it, though not central to it. © The Author (2013). Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: email@example.com.
Suter, G.W. II; Redfearn, A.; White, R.K.; Shaw, R.A.
This document is intended to supplement exiting US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidance for ecological risk assessment at hazardous waste sites by providing guidance that is more specific and more tailored to US Department of Energy sites than the guidance available from the EPA. However, it is a conceptual strategy document and does not include specific guidance on data, assumptions, and models. That detailed guidance is under development and will be presented in subsequent documents. Ecological risk assessments are equal to human health risk assessments in regulatory importance and can use many of the same data and some of the same estimation methods. However, they also have peculiar data needs and methods. Ecological risk assessments begin with an initial scoping phase, termed hazard definition, that characterizes the sources, the potentially environment, and the assessment endpoints. In the subsequent measurement and estimation phase, in which data are obtained concerning source of the endpoint biota to the contaminants and the effects of those exposures, and assumptions and models are used to relate the data to the desired exposure and effects parameters. Finally, in an integration phase, termed risk characterization, the various exposure and effects estimates are combined to infer the existence, cause, magnitude, and extent of effects of contaminants on the ecological endpoints. This phase is much more complicated for ecological risk assessments than for human health assessments because more types of data are available. Ecological risk assessments estimate effects using laboratory toxicity test results, like human health assessments, but also use results of ambient toxicity tests and biological surveys
Caperchione, Cristina M; Kolt, Gregory S; Savage, Trevor N; Rosenkranz, Richard R; Maeder, Anthony J; Vandelanotte, Corneel; Duncan, Mitch J; Van Itallie, Anetta; Tague, Rhys; Mummery, W Kerry
Introduction Low levels of health-enhancing physical activity require novel approaches that have the potential to reach broad populations. Web-based interventions are a popular approach for behaviour change given their wide reach and accessibility. However, challenges with participant engagement and retention reduce the long-term maintenance of behaviour change. Web 2.0 features present a new and innovative online environment supporting greater interactivity, with the potential to increase engagement and retention. In order to understand the applicability of these innovative interventions for the broader population, ‘real-world’ interventions implemented under ‘everyday conditions’ are required. The aim of this study is to investigate the difference in physical activity behaviour between individuals using a traditional Web 1.0 website with those using a novel Web 2.0 website. Methods and analysis In this study we will aim to recruit 2894 participants. Participants will be recruited from individuals who register with a pre-existing health promotion website that currently provides Web 1.0 features (http://www.10000steps.org.au). Eligible participants who provide informed consent will be randomly assigned to one of the two trial conditions: the pre-existing 10 000 Steps website (with Web 1.0 features) or the newly developed WALK 2.0 website (with Web 2.0 features). Primary and secondary outcome measures will be assessed by self-report at baseline, 3 months and 12 months, and include: physical activity behaviour, height and weight, Internet self-efficacy, website usability, website usage and quality of life. Ethics and dissemination This study has received ethics approval from the University of Western Sydney Human Research Ethics Committee (Reference Number H8767) and has been funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (Reference Number 589903). Study findings will be disseminated widely through peer-reviewed publications, academic
Gradl-Dietsch, Gertraud; Lübke, Cavan; Horst, Klemens; Simon, Melanie; Modabber, Ali; Sönmez, Tolga T; Münker, Ralf; Nebelung, Sven; Knobe, Matthias
The objectives of this prospective randomized trial were to assess the impact of Peyton's four-step approach on the acquisition of complex psychomotor skills and to examine the influence of gender on learning outcomes. We randomly assigned 95 third to fifth year medical students to an intervention group which received instructions according to Peyton (PG) or a control group, which received conventional teaching (CG). Both groups attended four sessions on the principles of manual therapy and specific manipulative and diagnostic techniques for the spine. We assessed differences in theoretical knowledge (multiple choice (MC) exam) and practical skills (Objective Structured Practical Examination (OSPE)) with respect to type of intervention and gender. Participants took a second OSPE 6 months after completion of the course. There were no differences between groups with respect to the MC exam. Students in the PG group scored significantly higher in the OSPE. Gender had no additional impact. Results of the second OSPE showed a significant decline in competency regardless of gender and type of intervention. Peyton's approach is superior to standard instruction for teaching complex spinal manipulation skills regardless of gender. Skills retention was equally low for both techniques.
Champault, G G; Rizk, N; Catheline, J M; Turner, R; Boutelier, P
In a prospective randomized trial comparing the totally preperitoneal (TPP) laparoscopic approach and the Stoppa procedure (open), 100 patients with inguinal hernias (Nyhus IIIA, IIIB, IV) were followed over a 3-year period. Both groups were epidemiologically comparable. In the laparoscopic group, operating time was significantly longer (p = 0.01), but hospital stay (3.2 vs. 7.3 days) and delay in return to work (17 vs. 35 days) were significantly reduced (p = 0.01). Postoperative comfort (less pain) was better (p = 0.001) after laparoscopy. In this group, morbidity was also reduced (4 vs. 20%; p = 0.02). The mean follow-up was 605 days, and 93% of the patients were reviewed at 3 years. There were three (6%) recurrences after TPP, especially at the beginning of the surgeon's learning curve, versus one for the Stoppa procedure (NS). For bilateral hernias, the authors suggest the use of a large prosthesis rather than two small ones to minimize the likelihood of recurrence. In the conditions described, the laparoscopic (TPP) approach to inguinal hernia treatment appears to have the same long-term recurrence rate as the open (Stoppa) procedure but a real advantage in the early postoperative period.
Full Text Available The assessment of ecological quality in freshwater ecosystems is a key issue in many countries, but conditions for the development of assessment methodologies are often country-specific. This study proposes a simple methodology for the assessment of the ecological potential of reservoirs based on fish communities using a dataset covering major environmental and pressure gradients in reservoirs in the Czech Republic. Fish data obtained by gillnet sampling were correlated with a proxy of eutrophication as a key indicator of anthropogenic pressure for selecting appropriate fish-based indicators, establishing scoring criteria and developing the index of ecological quality. Expert judgement was also used to select potential fish indicators. Nine indicators were selected for the final fish-based index, fulfilling the criteria required by the Water Framework Directive. Two steps were used to validate the fish-based index quantification of its inter annual stability and sensitivity analysis of individual indicators. Finally, the index was compared to a previously developed general index for Central and Western Europe. Our study demonstrates that a combination of expert judgement and strict validation methods can result in an informative assessment of the ecological conditions, which can help identify conservation and restoration priorities.
Reeb, Roger N.; Snow-Hill, Nyssa L.; Folger, Susan F.; Steel, Anne L.; Stayton, Laura; Hunt, Charles A.; O'Koon, Bernadette; Glendening, Zachary
This article presents the Psycho-Ecological Systems Model (PESM)--an integrative conceptual model rooted in General Systems Theory (GST). PESM was developed to inform and guide the development, implementation, and evaluation of transdisciplinary (and multilevel) community-engaged scholarship (e.g., a participatory community action research project…
Nag, Chetan; Chetan, Nag; Karanth, K Praveen; Praveen, Karanth K; Gururaja, Kotambylu Vasudeva; Vasudeva, Gururaja Kotambylu
Hanuman langur is one of the widely distributed and extensively studied non-human diurnal primates in India. Until recently it was believed to be a single species - Semnopithecus entellus. Recent molecular and morphological studies suggest that the Hanuman langurs consists of at least three species S. entellus, S. hypoleucos and S. priam. Furthermore, morphological studies suggested that both S. hypoleucos and S. priam have at least three subspecies in each. We explored the use of ecological niche modeling (ENM) to confirm the validity of these seven taxa and an additional taxon S. johnii belonging to the same genus. MaxEnt modeling tool was used with 19 bioclimatic, 12 vegetation and 6 hydrological environmental layers. We reduced total environmental variables to 14 layers after testing for collinearity and an independent test for model prediction was done using ENMTools. A total of 196 non-overlapping data points from primary and secondary sources were used as inputs for ENM. Results showed eight distinct ecological boundaries, corroborating the eight taxa mentioned above thereby confirming validity of these eight taxa. The study, for the first time provided ecological variables that determined the ecological requirements and distribution of members of the Hanuman langur species complex in the Indian peninsula.
Gülci, Sercan; Akay, Abdullah Emin
Major roads cause barrier effect and fragmentation on wildlife habitats that are suitable places for feeding, mating, socializing, and hiding. Due to wildlife collisions (Wc), human-wildlife conflicts result in lost lives and loss of biodiversity. Geographical information system (GIS)-based multi criteria evaluation (MCE) methods have been successfully used in short-term planning of road networks considering wild animals. Recently, wildlife passages have been effectively utilized as road engineering structures provide quick and certain solutions for traffic safety and wildlife conservation problems. GIS-based MCE methods provide decision makers with optimum location for ecological passages based on habitat suitability models (HSMs) that classify the areas based on ecological requirements of target species. In this study, ecological passages along Motorway 52 within forested areas in Mediterranean city of Osmaniye in Turkey were evaluated. Firstly, HSM coupled with nine eco-geographic decision variables were developed based on ecological requirements of roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) that were chosen as target species. Then specified decision variables were evaluated using GIS-based weighted linear combination (WLC) method to estimate movement corridors and mitigation points along the motorway. In the solution process, two linkage nodes were evaluated for eco-passages which were determined based on the least-cost movement corridor intersecting with the motorway. One of the passages was identified as a natural wildlife overpass while the other was suggested as underpass construction. The results indicated that computer-based models provide accurate and quick solutions for positioning ecological passages to reduce environmental effects of road networks on wild animals.
Full Text Available Mental Retardation (MR is a developmental disability characterized by impairments in adaptive daily life skills and difficulties in social and interpersonal functioning. Since multiple causes may contribute to MR, associated clinical pictures may vary accordingly. Nevertheless, when psychiatric disorders as Treatment Resistant Depression (TRD and/or alcohol abuse co-exist, their proper detection and management is often troublesome, essentially due to a limited vocabulary MR people could use to describe their symptoms, feelings and concerns, and the lack of reliable screening tools. Furthermore, MR people are among the most medicated subjects, with (over prescription of antidepressants and/or typical antipsychotics being the rule rather than exception. Thus, treatment resistance or even worsening of depression, constitute frequent occurrences. This report describes the case of a person with MR who failed to respond to repetitive trials of antidepressant monotherapies, finally recovering using aripiprazole to fluvoxamine augmentation upon consideration of a putative bipolar diathesis for “agitated” TRD. Although further controlled investigations are needed to assess a putative bipolar diathesis in some cases of MR associated to TRD, prudence is advised in the long-term prescription of antidepressant monotherapies in such conditions.
Delis, Ioannis; Berret, Bastien; Pozzo, Thierry; Panzeri, Stefano
Muscle synergies, i.e., invariant coordinated activations of groups of muscles, have been proposed as building blocks that the central nervous system (CNS) uses to construct the patterns of muscle activity utilized for executing movements. Several efficient dimensionality reduction algorithms that extract putative synergies from electromyographic (EMG) signals have been developed. Typically, the quality of synergy decompositions is assessed by computing the Variance Accounted For (VAF). Yet, little is known about the extent to which the combination of those synergies encodes task-discriminating variations of muscle activity in individual trials. To address this question, here we conceive and develop a novel computational framework to evaluate muscle synergy decompositions in task space. Unlike previous methods considering the total variance of muscle patterns (VAF based metrics), our approach focuses on variance discriminating execution of different tasks. The procedure is based on single-trial task decoding from muscle synergy activation features. The task decoding based metric evaluates quantitatively the mapping between synergy recruitment and task identification and automatically determines the minimal number of synergies that captures all the task-discriminating variability in the synergy activations. In this paper, we first validate the method on plausibly simulated EMG datasets. We then show that it can be applied to different types of muscle synergy decomposition and illustrate its applicability to real data by using it for the analysis of EMG recordings during an arm pointing task. We find that time-varying and synchronous synergies with similar number of parameters are equally efficient in task decoding, suggesting that in this experimental paradigm they are equally valid representations of muscle synergies. Overall, these findings stress the effectiveness of the decoding metric in systematically assessing muscle synergy decompositions in task space.
Kassakian, Jennifer; Jones, Ann; Martinich, Jeremy; Hudgens, Daniel
Sea level rise has the potential to substantially alter the extent and nature of coastal wetlands and the critical ecological services they provide. In making choices about how to respond to rising sea level, planners are challenged with weighing easily quantified risks (e.g., loss of property value due to inundation) against those that are more difficult to quantify (e.g., loss of primary production or carbon sequestration services provided by wetlands due to inundation). Our goal was to develop a cost-effective, appropriately-scaled, model-based approach that allows planners to predict, under various sea level rise and response scenarios, the economic cost of wetland loss-with the estimates proxied by the costs of future restoration required to maintain the existing level of wetland habitat services. Our approach applies the Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model to predict changes in wetland habitats over the next century, and then applies Habitat Equivalency Analysis to predict the cost of restoration projects required to maintain ecological services at their present, pre-sea level rise level. We demonstrate the application of this approach in the Delaware Bay estuary and in the Indian River Lagoon (Florida), and discuss how this approach can support future coastal decision-making.
Hastings, Alan; Petrovskii, Sergei; Morozov, Andrew
The international conference 'Models in population dynamics and ecology 2010: animal movement, dispersal and spatial ecology' took place at the University of Leicester, UK, on 1-3 September 2010, focusing on mathematical approaches to spatial population dynamics and emphasizing cross-scale issues. Exciting new developments in scaling up from individual level movement to descriptions of this movement at the macroscopic level highlighted the importance of mechanistic approaches, with different descriptions at the microscopic level leading to different ecological outcomes. At higher levels of organization, different macroscopic descriptions of movement also led to different properties at the ecosystem and larger scales. New developments from Levy flight descriptions to the incorporation of new methods from physics and elsewhere are revitalizing research in spatial ecology, which will both increase understanding of fundamental ecological processes and lead to tools for better management.
Bruni, Luis Emilio
of the qualitative and relational aspects that can only be grasped by considering the semiotic networks operative in complex ecological and cultural systems. In this paper, it is suggested that a biosemiotic approach to ecology may prove useful for the modelling process, which in turn will allow the construction...... of meaningful monitoring systems. It is also contended that a biosemiotic approach may also serve to better integrate our understanding and monitoring of ecosystems into the cultural process of searching for (human) sustainability....
Minimally invasive 'step-up approach' versus maximal necrosectomy in patients with acute necrotising pancreatitis (PANTER trial): design and rationale of a randomised controlled multicenter trial [ISRCTN13975868].
Besselink, Marc G H; van Santvoort, Hjalmar C; Nieuwenhuijs, Vincent B; Boermeester, Marja A; Bollen, Thomas L; Buskens, Erik; Dejong, Cornelis H C; van Eijck, Casper H J; van Goor, Harry; Hofker, Sijbrand S; Lameris, Johan S; van Leeuwen, Maarten S; Ploeg, Rutger J; van Ramshorst, Bert; Schaapherder, Alexander F M; Cuesta, Miguel A; Consten, Esther C J; Gouma, Dirk J; van der Harst, Erwin; Hesselink, Eric J; Houdijk, Lex P J; Karsten, Tom M; van Laarhoven, Cees J H M; Pierie, Jean-Pierre E N; Rosman, Camiel; Bilgen, Ernst Jan Spillenaar; Timmer, Robin; van der Tweel, Ingeborg; de Wit, Ralph J; Witteman, Ben J M; Gooszen, Hein G
The initial treatment of acute necrotizing pancreatitis is conservative. Intervention is indicated in patients with (suspected) infected necrotizing pancreatitis. In the Netherlands, the standard intervention is necrosectomy by laparotomy followed by continuous postoperative lavage (CPL). In recent years several minimally invasive strategies have been introduced. So far, these strategies have never been compared in a randomised controlled trial. The PANTER study (PAncreatitis, Necrosectomy versus sTEp up appRoach) was conceived to yield the evidence needed for a considered policy decision. 88 patients with (suspected) infected necrotizing pancreatitis will be randomly allocated to either group A) minimally invasive 'step-up approach' starting with drainage followed, if necessary, by videoscopic assisted retroperitoneal debridement (VARD) or group B) maximal necrosectomy by laparotomy. Both procedures are followed by CPL. Patients will be recruited from 20 hospitals, including all Dutch university medical centres, over a 3-year period. The primary endpoint is the proportion of patients suffering from postoperative major morbidity and mortality. Secondary endpoints are complications, new onset sepsis, length of hospital and intensive care stay, quality of life and total (direct and indirect) costs. To demonstrate that the 'step-up approach' can reduce the major morbidity and mortality rate from 45 to 16%, with 80% power at 5% alpha, a total sample size of 88 patients was calculated. The PANTER-study is a randomised controlled trial that will provide evidence on the merits of a minimally invasive 'step-up approach' in patients with (suspected) infected necrotizing pancreatitis.
Kruse, Christine; Rosenlund, Signe; Broeng, Leif; Overgaard, Søren
The two most common surgical approaches to total hip arthroplasty are the posterior approach and lateral approach. The surgical approach may influence cup positioning and restoration of the offset, which may affect the biomechanical properties of the hip joint. The primary aim was to compare cup position between posterior approach and lateral approach. Secondary aims were to compare femoral offset, abductor moment arm and leg length discrepancy between the two approaches. Eighty patients with primary hip osteoarthritis were included in a randomized controlled trial and assigned to total hip arthroplasty using posterior approach or lateral approach. Postoperative radiographs from 38 patients in each group were included in this study for measurement of cup anteversion and inclination. Femoral offset, cup offset, total offset, abductor moment arm and leg length discrepancy were measured on preoperative and postoperative radiographs in 28 patients in each group. We found that mean anteversion was 5° larger in the posterior approach group (95% CI, -8.1 to -1.4; p = 0.006), while mean inclination was 5° less steep (95% CI, 2.7 to 7.2; pcup anteversion but less steep cup inclination in the posterior approach group compared with the lateral approach group. Femoral offset and abductor moment arm were restored after total hip arthroplasty using lateral approach but significantly increased when using posterior approach.
Visagan, Ravindran; Xiang, Ally; Lamar, Melissa
We compared the original deck-based model of advantageous decision making assessed with the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) with a trial-based approach across behavioral and physiological outcomes in 33 younger adults (15 men, 18 women; 22.2 ± 3.7 years of age). One administration of the IGT with simultaneous measurement of skin conductance responses (SCRs) was performed and the two methods applied: (a) the original approach of subtracting disadvantageous picks of Decks A and B from advantageous picks of Decks C and D and (b) a trial-based approach focused on the financial outcome for each deck leading up to the trial in question. When directly compared, the deck-based approach resulted in a more advantageous behavioral profile than did the trial-based approach. Analysis of SCR data revealed no significant differences between methods for physiological measurements of SCR fluctuations or anticipatory responses to disadvantageous picks. Post hoc investigation of the trial-based method revealed Deck B contributed to both advantageous and disadvantageous decision making for the majority of participants. When divided by blocks of 20, the number of advantageous to disadvantageous choices reversed as the task progressed despite the total number of picks from Deck B remaining high. SCR fluctuations for Deck B, although not significantly different from the other decks, did show a sharp decline after the first block of 20 and remained below levels for Decks C and D toward the end of the task, suggesting that participants may have gained knowledge of the frequency of loss for this deck. (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved
Full Text Available In this study, it is aimed to point out the direction of change in the organizational ecology theory, which is one of the management approaches today. When it was promoted, this theory provided a way to clarify the harmony between the organizational structures and the environment.According to the organizational ecology theory, business organizations act as living organisms in that they undergo a natural selection in which some die out while others evolve and survive. In this theoretical study, the relationships of organizations with their environment in their development was tried to be explained within the framework of the organizational ecology theory and the strategic management approach.
Acosta, J.A; Martinez, S.M; Faz, A; Van Mourik, J.M; Arocena, J.M
We investigated the changes in faunal activities as measures of the ecological functions of soils impacted by potentially toxic metals (PTMs) under urban, industrial, agricultural, and natural uses. Concentrations and distributions of Zn, Cd, Pb, Cu, Mn, and Fe were estimated by sequential chemical extractions, while relicts and present faunal activities were studied by micro morphological analyses. Urban and natural lands were contaminated with Pb, Cd, and Zn. Micro arthropods and fungi are observed to be active in the litter decomposition in natural, agricultural and urban lands which indicates that total concentration of PTMs in soils is not a good indicator to evaluate the limitations of PTMs to fauna activity. Metals immobilization on carbonates and Fe/Mn oxides, and fertilizations reduced the negative effects of metals on faunal activity. Micro morphological analyses showed the impacts of metal on soil ecological functions in industrial site, where the surface soils are devoid of any evidence of faunal activity; likely due to high proportion of Pb and Zn in organic components. Therefore, the impacts of metals in soil fauna activities, hence ecological functions of soils, are best evaluated by the knowledge of metal partitioning on solid phases in combination with observations of fauna activities using micro morphological techniques.
Griffith, J.A.; Trettin, C.C.; O'Neill, R. V.
Geographic information systems (GIS) are increasingly being used in environmental impact assessments (EIA) because GIS is useful for analysing spatial impacts of various development scenarios. Spatially representing these impacts provides another tool for landscape ecology in environmental and geographical investigations by facilitating analysis of the effects of landscape patterns on ecological processes and examining change over time. Landscape ecological principles are applied in this study to a hypothetical geothermal development project on the Island of Hawaii. Some common landscape pattern metrics were used to analyse dispersed versus condensed development scenarios and their effect on landscape pattern. Indices of fragmentation and patch shape did not appreciably change with additional development. The amount of forest to open edge, however, greatly increased with the dispersed development scenario. In addition, landscape metrics showed that a human disturbance had a greater simplifying effect on patch shape and also increased fragmentation than a natural disturbance. The use of these landscape pattern metrics can advance the methodology of applying GIS to EIA.
J. A. Acosta
Full Text Available We investigated the changes in faunal activities as measures of the ecological functions of soils impacted by potentially toxic metals (PTMs under urban, industrial, agricultural, and natural uses. Concentrations and distributions of Zn, Cd, Pb, Cu, Mn, and Fe were estimated by sequential chemical extractions, while relicts and present faunal activities were studied by micromorphological analyses. Urban and natural lands were contaminated with Pb, Cd, and Zn. Microarthropods and fungi are observed to be active in the litter decomposition in natural, agricultural and urban lands which indicates that total concentration of PTMs in soils is not a good indicator to evaluate the limitations of PTMs to fauna activity. Metals immobilization on carbonates and Fe/Mn oxides, and fertilizations reduced the negative effects of metals on faunal activity. Micromorphological analyses showed the impacts of metal on soil ecological functions in industrial site, where the surface soils are devoid of any evidence of faunal activity; likely due to high proportion of Pb and Zn in organic components. Therefore, the impacts of metals in soil fauna activities, hence ecological functions of soils, are best evaluated by the knowledge of metal partitioning on solid phases in combination with observations of fauna activities using micromorphological techniques.
Caperchione, Cristina M; Kolt, Gregory S; Savage, Trevor N; Rosenkranz, Richard R; Maeder, Anthony J; Vandelanotte, Corneel; Duncan, Mitch J; Van Itallie, Anetta; Tague, Rhys; Mummery, W Kerry
Low levels of health-enhancing physical activity require novel approaches that have the potential to reach broad populations. Web-based interventions are a popular approach for behaviour change given their wide reach and accessibility. However, challenges with participant engagement and retention reduce the long-term maintenance of behaviour change. Web 2.0 features present a new and innovative online environment supporting greater interactivity, with the potential to increase engagement and retention. In order to understand the applicability of these innovative interventions for the broader population, 'real-world' interventions implemented under 'everyday conditions' are required. The aim of this study is to investigate the difference in physical activity behaviour between individuals using a traditional Web 1.0 website with those using a novel Web 2.0 website. In this study we will aim to recruit 2894 participants. Participants will be recruited from individuals who register with a pre-existing health promotion website that currently provides Web 1.0 features (http://www.10000steps.org.au). Eligible participants who provide informed consent will be randomly assigned to one of the two trial conditions: the pre-existing 10 000 Steps website (with Web 1.0 features) or the newly developed WALK 2.0 website (with Web 2.0 features). Primary and secondary outcome measures will be assessed by self-report at baseline, 3 months and 12 months, and include: physical activity behaviour, height and weight, Internet self-efficacy, website usability, website usage and quality of life. This study has received ethics approval from the University of Western Sydney Human Research Ethics Committee (Reference Number H8767) and has been funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (Reference Number 589903). Study findings will be disseminated widely through peer-reviewed publications, academic conferences and local community-based presentations. Australian New
Full Text Available This article presents a comparison of two proposals for how to conceive of the evolution of non-organic intelligence. One is Valentino Braitenberg’s 1984 essay ‘Vehicles: Experiments in Synthetic Psychology’. The other is the Strandbeesten (beach animals of Dutch engineer-artist Theo Jansen. Jansen’s beach animals are not robots. Yet, as semi-autonomous non-organic agents created by humans, they are interesting in the context of the development of robots for how they present an ecological approach to the design of non-organic intelligence. Placing Braitenberg’s and Jansen’s approaches side by side illuminates how Jansen’s approach implies a radically different take than Braitenberg’s on non-organic intelligence, on intelligence as environmental, and on what the relationship between agency and behaviour might comprise.
Doolittle, Amity A.
The study of human-environmental relations is complex and by nature draws on theories and practices from multiple disciplines. There is no single research strategy or universal set of methods to which researchers must adhere. Particularly for scholars interested in a political ecology approach to understanding human-environmental relationships, very little has been written examining the details of “how to” design a project, develop appropriate methods, produce data, and, finally, integrate multiple forms of data into an analysis. A great deal of attention has been paid, appropriately, to the theoretical foundations of political ecology, and numerous scholarly articles and books have been published recently. But beyond Andrew Vayda’s “progressive contextualization” and Piers Blaikie and Harold Brookfield’s “chains of explanation,” remarkably little is written that provides a research model to follow, modify, and expand. Perhaps one of the reasons for this gap in scholarship is that, as expected in interdisciplinary research, researchers use a variety of methods that are suitable (and perhaps unique) to the questions they are asking. To start a conversation on the methods available for researchers interested in adopting a political ecology perspective to human-environmental interactions, I use my own research project as a case study. This research is by no means flawless or inclusive of all possible methods, but by using the details of this particular research process as a case study I hope to provide insights into field research that will be valuable for future scholarship.
Doolittle, Amity A
The study of human-environmental relations is complex and by nature draws on theories and practices from multiple disciplines. There is no single research strategy or universal set of methods to which researchers must adhere. Particularly for scholars interested in a political ecology approach to understanding human-environmental relationships, very little has been written examining the details of "how to" design a project, develop appropriate methods, produce data, and, finally, integrate multiple forms of data into an analysis. A great deal of attention has been paid, appropriately, to the theoretical foundations of political ecology, and numerous scholarly articles and books have been published recently. But beyond Andrew Vayda's "progressive contextualization" and Piers Blaikie and Harold Brookfield's "chains of explanation," remarkably little is written that provides a research model to follow, modify, and expand. Perhaps one of the reasons for this gap in scholarship is that, as expected in interdisciplinary research, researchers use a variety of methods that are suitable (and perhaps unique) to the questions they are asking. To start a conversation on the methods available for researchers interested in adopting a political ecology perspective to human-environmental interactions, I use my own research project as a case study. This research is by no means flawless or inclusive of all possible methods, but by using the details of this particular research process as a case study I hope to provide insights into field research that will be valuable for future scholarship.
Leahey, Tricia M; Fava, Joseph L; Seiden, Andrew; Fernandes, Denise; Doyle, Caroline; Kent, Kimberly; La Rue, Molly; Mitchell, Marc; Wing, Rena R
Weight loss maintenance is a significant challenge in obesity treatment. During maintenance the "costs" of adhering to weight management behaviors may outweigh the "benefits." This study examined the efficacy of a novel approach to weight loss maintenance based on modifying the cost-benefit ratio. Individuals who achieved a 5% weight loss (N=75) were randomized to one of three, 10-month maintenance interventions. All interventions were delivered primarily via the Internet. The Standard arm received traditional weight maintenance strategies. To increase benefits, or rewards, for maintenance behaviors, the two cost-benefit intervention conditions received weekly monetary rewards for self-monitoring and social reinforcement via e-coaching. To decrease behavioral costs (boredom) and increase novelty, participants in the cost-benefit conditions also monitored different evidence-based behaviors every two weeks (e.g., Weeks 1 & 2: steps; Week 3 & 4: red foods). The primary difference between the cost-benefit interventions was type of e-coach providing social reinforcement: Professional (CB Pro) or Peer (CB Peer). Study procedures took place in Providence, RI from 2013 to 2014. Retention was 99%. There were significant group differences in weight regain (p=.01). The Standard arm gained 3.5±5.7kg. In contrast, participants in CB Pro and CB Peer lost an additional 1.8±7.0kg and 0.5±6.4kg, respectively. These results suggest that an Internet delivered cost-benefit approach to weight loss maintenance may be effective for long-term weight control. In addition, using peer coaches to provide reinforcement may be a particularly economic alternative to professionals. These data are promising and provide support for a larger, longer trial. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Campos, B G; Cruz, A C F; Buruaem, L M; Rodrigues, A P C; Machado, W T V; Abessa, D M S
This study sought to assess the ecological risks of sediments from the northern portion of an estuarine protected area (Cananéia-Iguape-Peruíbe Protected Area--CIP-PA). The CIP-PA is located on the southern coast of São Paulo State, Brazil and is influenced by former mining activities along the Ribeira de Iguape River (RIR). We used a tiered approach based on multiple lines of evidence (geochemical analyses, toxicity tests, and whole sediment toxicity identification and evaluation) in order to assess environmental quality. The sediments presented a heterogeneous composition, but the samples collected close to the RIR exhibited higher concentrations of metals (Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb) and toxicity. Multivariate analysis showed that toxicity was associated with metals, mud, organic matter, and CaCO3 quantities. The whole-sediment toxicity identification evaluation approach indicated that ammonia and metals were responsible for sediment toxicity. Overall, we concluded that the sediments collected at depositional areas from the northern portion of the CIP-PA presented high levels of metals, which originated from former mining areas located in the upper RIR basin, and that this contamination had toxic effects on aquatic invertebrates. The tiered approach was useful for identifying the degradation of sediment quality and also for indicating the causes of toxicity. Because the CIP-PA is an important estuarine protected area that is ecologically at risk, large-scale measures are required to control the sources of contamination.
Suter, G.W. II; Sample, B.E.; Jones, D.S.; Ashwood, T.L.; Loar, J.M.
The purpose of this document is to provide guidance for planning and performing ecological risk assessments (ERAs) on the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR). It is the third such document prepared for this purpose. The first ecorisk strategy document described the ERA process and presented a tiered approach to ERAs appropriate to complex sites. The first revision was necessitated by the considerable progress that has been made by the parties to the Federal Facilities Agreement (FFA) for the ORR in resolving specific issues relating to ERA as a result of a series of data quality objectives (DQOs) meetings. The tiered approach to ERAs as recommended in the first document was implemented, generic conceptual models were developed, and a general approach for developing ecological assessment endpoints and measurement endpoints was agreed upon. This revision is necessitated by comments from the US Environmental Protection Agency`s Region IV and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) which clarified and modified the positions taken during the DQO process. In particular, support for the collection of data that would support ERAs for all OUs on the ORR have been withdrawn. Therefore, the work plan developed to fill the reservation-wide data needs identified in the DQO process has also been withdrawn, and portions that are still relevant have been incorporated into this document. The reader should be aware that this guidance is complex and lengthy because it attempts to cover all the reasonable contingencies that were considered to be potentially important to the FFA parties.
Bradley, Peter; Coke, Alexia; Leach, Matthew
Whilst tariff-based approaches to load-shifting are common in the residential sector, incentive-based approaches are rare. This is so, even though providing customers incentives to shape their power consumption patterns has substantial potential. This paper presents findings from an exploratory UK pilot study that trials financial payments and detailed energy feedback to incentivise load-shifting of residential electricity consumption. An intervention study was implemented measuring actual energy use by individual households as well as conducting surveys and interviews. From the trials it was found that the approaches resulted in reductions in peak time energy use. Evidence from the study found that the incentives-based approaches were able to overcome some of the barriers to response experienced in Time-of-Use studies, though less good on others. Interestingly, the height of the barriers varied by the electricity-using practice and the incentivising approach applied. The height of the barriers also varied by participant. The study concludes by identifying that broad participation in demand response is likely to require a suite of incentivising approaches that appeal to different people, a key policy finding of interest to international agencies, government, public and private sector entities. - Highlights: • Novel study of financial incentive approaches for shifting residential energy. • First academic paper comprehensively identifying barriers to time of use tariffs. • First study reporting barriers to financial incentive approaches for demand response. • Incentive study design can be applied by government and energy companies.
Javier Sánchez Castañeda
Full Text Available In recent years, due to changes in the global environment brought about largely by man, a greater awareness and changing attitudes and habits has been developing, in certain parts of the population that seeks to protect the environment, including the use of goods and services that reduce certain negative conditions for life, and developing practices and consumption that can be called sustainable. This article proposes to review the approaches that have been developed in the study of these variables, which influence pro-environmental and ecological behavior.
Kristiansen, Ib; Jongman, Rob H.G.; Kulvik, Mart
renewed. Within the framework of nature conservation, the notion of an ecological network has become increasingly important. Throughout Europe, regional and national approaches are in different phases of development, which are all based on recent landscape ecological principles. Ecological networks......In the context of European integration, networks are becoming increasingly important in both social and ecological sense. Since the beginning of the 1990s, societal and scientific exchanges are being restructured as the conceptual approaches towards new nature conservation strategies have been....... This complex interaction between cultural and natural features results in quite different ways for the elaboration of ecological networks and greenways....
van der Graaf, Rieke; van der Zande, Indira S E; den Ruijter, Hester M; Oudijk, Martijn A; van Delden, Johannes J M; Oude Rengerink, Katrien; Groenwold, Rolf H H
Since pregnant women are severely underrepresented in clinical research, many take the position that the exclusion of pregnant women from research must be justified unless there are compelling "scientific reasons" for their exclusion. However, it is questionable whether this approach renders research with pregnant women fair. This paper analyzes and evaluates when research with pregnant women can be considered as fair and what constitutes scientific reasons for exclusion. Conceptual ethical and methodological analysis and evaluation of fair inclusion. Fair inclusion of pregnant women means (1) that pregnant women who are eligible are not excluded solely for being pregnant and (2) that the research interests of pregnant women are prioritized, meaning that they ought to receive substantially more attention. Fairness does not imply that pregnant women should be included in virtually every research project, as including only a few pregnant women in a population consisting only of women will not help to determine the effectiveness and safety of a treatment in pregnant women. Separate trials in pregnant women may be preferable once we assume, or know, that effects of interventions in pregnant women differ from the effects in other subpopulations, or when we assume, or know, that there are no differences. In the latter case, it may be preferable to conduct post-marketing studies or establish registries. If there is no conclusive evidence indicating either differences or equivalence of effects between pregnant and non-pregnant women, yet it seems unlikely that major differences or exact equivalence exist, the inclusion of pregnant women should be sufficient. Depending on the research question, this boils down to representativeness in terms of the proportion of pregnant and non-pregnant women, or to oversampling pregnant women. Fair inclusion of pregnant women in research implies that separate trials in pregnant women should be promoted. Inclusion of pregnant women has to
This article presents a comparison of two proposals for how to conceive of the evolution of non-organic intelligence. One is Valentino Braitenberg’s 1984 essay ‘Vehicles: Experiments in Synthetic Psychology’. The other is the Strandbeesten (beach animals) of Dutch engineer-artist Theo Jansen. Jansen’s beach animals are not robots. Yet, as semi-autonomous non-organic agents created by humans, they are interesting in the context of the development of robots for how they present an ecological ap...
Blabolil, Petr; Říha, Milan; Ricard, Daniel; Peterka, Jiří; Prchalová, Marie; Vašek, Mojmír; Čech, Martin; Frouzová, Jaroslava; Jůza, Tomáš; Muška, Milan; Tušer, Michal; Draštík, Vladislav; Sajdlová, Zuzana; Šmejkal, Marek; Vejřík, Lukáš; Matěna, Josef; Boukal, D.S.; Ritterbusch, D.; Kubečka, Jan
Roč. 418, November (2017), č. článku 53. ISSN 1961-9502 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) EE2.3.20.0204; GA ČR(CZ) GA15-01625S; GA MŠk(CZ) LM2015075; GA MŠk(CZ) EE2.3.30.0032 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : artificial lakes * fish indicators * eutrophication * gillnets * index sensitivity Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Marine biology, freshwater biology, limnology Impact factor: 1.217, year: 2016
Full Text Available ... the past, clinical trial participants often were White men. Researchers assumed that trial results were valid for ... different ethnic groups sometimes respond differently than White men to the same medical approach. As a result, ...
Full Text Available ... for trials with cutting-edge approaches, such as gene therapy or new biological treatments. Health insurance and ... trials that involve high-risk procedures (such as gene therapy) or vulnerable patients (such as children). A ...
Full Text Available ... healthy people to test new approaches to prevention, diagnosis, or screening. In the past, clinical trial participants ... DSMBs for large trials comparing alternative strategies for diagnosis or treatment. In addition, the NIH requires DSMBs ...
Full Text Available ... whether a new approach causes any harm. In later phases of clinical trials, researchers learn more about ... other National Institutes of Health (NIH) Institutes and Centers sponsor clinical trials. Many other groups, companies, and ...
Benessaiah, Karina; Sengupta, Raja
Ecosystem-based approaches to aquaculture integrate environmental concerns into planning. Social-ecological systems research can improve this approach by explicitly relating ecological and social dynamics of change at multiple scales. Doing so requires not only addressing direct effects of aquaculture but also considering indirect factors such as changes in livelihood strategies, governance dynamics, and power relations. We selected the community of Puerto Morazán, Nicaragua as a case study to demonstrate how the introduction of small-scale aquaculture radically transformed another key livelihood activity, lagoon shrimp fishing, and the effects that these changes have had on lagoons and the people that depend on them. We find that shrimp aquaculture played a key role in the collapse, in the 1990s, of an existing lagoon common-property management. Shrimp aquaculture-related capital enabled the adoption of a new fishing technique that not only degraded lagoons but also led to their gradual privatization. The existence of social ties between small-scale shrimp farmers and other community members mitigated the impacts of privatization, illustrating the importance of social capital. Since 2008, community members are seeking to communally manage the lagoons once again, in response to degraded environmental conditions and a consolidation of the shrimp industry at the expense of smaller actors. This research shows that shrimp aquaculture intersects with a complex set of drivers, affecting not only how ecosystems are managed but also how they are perceived and valued. Understanding these social-ecological dynamics is essential to implement realistic policies and management of mangrove ecosystems and address the needs of resource-dependent people.
Gabriel Orlando Lobelles Sardiñas
Full Text Available Despite the current highly stringent international standards regulating the contaminating emissions to the environment, the Oil refinery of Cienfuegos is still generating liquid and gaseous emissions contaminating the environment. The construction of new units as part of the Refinery expansion leads to an increase of these emissions due to the lack of technologies for the reutilization of the sulphurous water. The objective of this paper is to propose a methodology for the integral management of the sulphurous residual water in the oil refining process, including the evaluation and selection of the most feasible technological variant to minimize the sulphur contamination of water and the resulting emissions during the process. The methodology is based on the ecological economy tools, allowing a comprehensible evaluation of six technological variants at the refinery of Cienfuegos. The Life Cycle Assessment was applied (ACV by its Spanish acronym, by means of the software SimaPro 7.1. It was evaluated through the Eco Speed Method, to minimize the possible uncertainty. An economic evaluation was performed, taking into account the external costs for a more comprehensive analysis, enabling, along with the ecological indicators, the selection of the best technological variant, achieving a methodology based on a comprehensive evaluation, and as a positive impact, the implementation of the chosen variant (V5, 98.27% of the process water was recovered, as well as the sulphur that recovered from 94 to 99.8 %, reducing the emissions from 12 200 to 120 mg/Nm3 as SO2.
Kloos, Bret; Shah, Seema
This paper seeks to advance mental health-housing research regarding which factors of housing and neighborhood environments are critical for adaptive functioning, health, and recovery for persons with serious mental illness (SMI). Housing and neighborhood environments are particularly important for persons with SMI because of the prevalence of poor housing conditions among this population. Most mental health-housing research has been limited by a focus on problems in environments and functioning. The paper seeks to expand the mental health-housing research agenda to consider protective factors that promote community integration and adaptive functioning. We provide an account of how social ecology theory transformed a research program, from examining individual risk factors to investigating the functioning of persons in the contexts of their housing and neighborhood experiences. The resulting housing environment framework-physical aspects of housing and neighborhoods, social environment of neighborhoods, and interpersonal relationships tied to housing-allows for identification of opportunities for health promotion and facilitation of participation in community-based settings. This program of research draws upon several methods to understand the social experience of persons with SMI living in community settings-survey research, qualitative interviews, Geographic Information Systems, participatory research, and visual ethnography. In this paper, we present how social ecology theory was instrumental in the development of new housing environment measures, the selection of appropriate research methods, and framing research questions that are building a new empirical base of knowledge about promoting adaptive functioning, health, and recovery for persons with SMI living in community settings.
Full Text Available This research supports the sustainable environmental development, especially at Perhutani area. The objective of this ethno-ecological study was to know relationship between daily life of local people related to their agroforestry practices in edge of the forest belong to Perhutani at the landscape of Bromo Tengger Semeru-East Java. The Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs showed the importance of the forest for the local people. This study covered the perception and conception traditional management system of environment by the local society and also impact of their activities. Data were collected by applying ethno-ecology research methods. Quality of data were measured by means of participatory ethno-botanical appraisal (PEA and some research methods included semi-structural and open discussion, in-deep interview, direct observation and plants identification. The results showed that development and management of the natural resources, in Komplangan agroforestry, were highly related to the plant conservation policy. The land use system was adapted from indigenous knowledge which consisted of holly sites (Pedanyangan, worship sites (Sanggar Pamujan, cemetery area and terrace. The conservation model and traditional knowledge in agricultural practices could be used as a model of komplangan area which should be taken into account as the key of biodiversity conservation. Traditional knowledge from these integrative studies will support the sustainable development of NTFPs.
Li, Changbin; Qi, Jiaguo; Feng, Zhaodong; Yin, Runsheng; Guo, Biyun; Zhang, Feng; Zou, Songbing
Land degradation due to erosion is one of the most serious environmental problems in China. To reduce land degradation, the government has taken a number of conservation and restoration measures, including the Sloping Land Conversion Program (SLCP), which was launched in 1999. A logical question is whether these measures have reduced soil erosion at the regional level. The objective of this article is to answer this question by assessing soil erosion dynamics in the Zuli River basin in the Loess Plateau of China from 1999 to 2006. The MMF (Morgan, Morgan and Finney) model was used to simulate changes in runoff and soil erosion over the period of time during which ecological restoration projects were implemented. Some model variables were derived from remotely sensed images to provide improved land surface representation. With an overall accuracy rate of 0.67, our simulations show that increased ground vegetation cover, especially in forestlands and grasslands, has reduced soil erosion by 38.8% on average from 1999 to 2006. During the same time period, however, the change in rainfall pattern has caused a 13.1% +/- 4.3% increase in soil erosion, resulting in a net 25.7% +/- 8.5% reduction in soil erosion. This suggests that China's various ecological restoration efforts have been effective in reducing soil loss.
Wade, Shari L; Taylor, Hudson Gerry; Yeates, Keith Owen; Kirkwood, Michael; Zang, Huaiyu; McNally, Kelly; Stacin, Terry; Zhang, Nanhua
Adolescent traumatic brain injury (TBI) contributes to deficits in executive functioning and behavior, but few evidence-based treatments exist. We conducted a randomized clinical trial comparing Teen Online Problem Solving with Family (TOPS-Family) with Teen Online Problem Solving with Teen Only (TOPS-TO) or the access to Internet Resources Comparison (IRC) group. Children, aged 11 to 18 years, who sustained a complicated mild-to-severe TBI in the previous 18 months were randomly assigned to the TOPS-Family (49), TOPS-TO (51), or IRC group (52). Parent and self-report measures of externalizing behaviors and executive functioning were completed before treatment and 6 months later. Treatment effects were examined using linear regression models, adjusting for baseline symptom levels. Age, maternal education, and family stresses were examined as moderators. The TOPS-Family group had lower levels of parent-reported executive dysfunction at follow-up than the TOPS-TO group, and differences between the TOPS-Family and IRC groups approached significance. Maternal education moderated improvements in parent-reported externalizing behaviors, with less educated parents in the TOPS-Family group reporting fewer symptoms. On the self-report Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Functions, treatment efficacy varied with the level of parental stresses. The TOPS-Family group reported greater improvements at low stress levels, whereas the TOPS-TO group reported greater improvement at high-stress levels. The TOPS-TO group did not have significantly lower symptoms than the IRC group on any comparison. Findings support the efficacy of online family problem solving to address executive dysfunction and improve externalizing behaviors among youth with TBI from less advantaged households. Treatment with the teen alone may be indicated in high-stress families.
Li, Yun; Taylor, Jeremy M.G.; Elliott, Michael R.
Summary A surrogate marker (S) is a variable that can be measured earlier and often easier than the true endpoint (T) in a clinical trial. Most previous research has been devoted to developing surrogacy measures to quantify how well S can replace T or examining the use of S in predicting the effect of a treatment (Z). However, the research often requires one to fit models for the distribution of T given S and Z. It is well known that such models do not have causal interpretations because the models condition on a post-randomization variable S. In this paper, we directly model the relationship among T, S and Z using a potential outcomes framework introduced by Frangakis and Rubin (2002). We propose a Bayesian estimation method to evaluate the causal probabilities associated with the cross-classification of the potential outcomes of S and T when S and T are both binary. We use a log-linear model to directly model the association between the potential outcomes of S and T through the odds ratios. The quantities derived from this approach always have causal interpretations. However, this causal model is not identifiable from the data without additional assumptions. To reduce the non-identifiability problem and increase the precision of statistical inferences, we assume monotonicity and incorporate prior belief that is plausible in the surrogate context by using prior distributions. We also explore the relationship among the surrogacy measures based on traditional models and this counterfactual model. The method is applied to the data from a glaucoma treatment study. PMID:19673864
Zilcha-Mano, Sigal; Roose, Steven P; Brown, Patrick J; Rutherford, Bret R
Despite efforts to identify characteristics associated with medication-placebo differences in antidepressant trials, few consistent findings have emerged to guide participant selection in drug development settings and differential therapeutics in clinical practice. Limitations in the methodologies used, particularly searching for a single moderator while treating all other variables as noise, may partially explain the failure to generate consistent results. The present study tested whether interactions between pretreatment patient characteristics, rather than a single-variable solution, may better predict who is most likely to benefit from placebo versus medication. Data were analyzed from 174 patients aged 75 years and older with unipolar depression who were randomly assigned to citalopram or placebo. Model-based recursive partitioning analysis was conducted to identify the most robust significant moderators of placebo versus citalopram response. The greatest signal detection between medication and placebo in favor of medication was among patients with fewer years of education (≤12) who suffered from a longer duration of depression since their first episode (>3.47 years) (B = 2.53, t(32) = 3.01, p = 0.004). Compared with medication, placebo had the greatest response for those who were more educated (>12 years), to the point where placebo almost outperformed medication (B = -0.57, t(96) = -1.90, p = 0.06). Machine learning approaches capable of evaluating the contributions of multiple predictor variables may be a promising methodology for identifying placebo versus medication responders. Duration of depression and education should be considered in the efforts to modulate placebo magnitude in drug development settings and in clinical practice. Copyright © 2018 American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Heyen, H. [GKSS-Forschungszentrum Geesthacht GmbH (Germany). Inst. fuer Gewaesserphysik
A multivariate statistical approach is presented that allows a systematic search for relationships between the interannual variability in climate records and ecological time series. Statistical models are built between climatological predictor fields and the variables of interest. Relationships are sought on different temporal scales and for different seasons and time lags. The possibilities and limitations of this approach are discussed in four case studies dealing with salinity in the German Bight, abundance of zooplankton at Helgoland Roads, macrofauna communities off Norderney and the arrival of migratory birds on Helgoland. (orig.) [Deutsch] Ein statistisches, multivariates Modell wird vorgestellt, das eine systematische Suche nach potentiellen Zusammenhaengen zwischen Variabilitaet in Klima- und oekologischen Zeitserien erlaubt. Anhand von vier Anwendungsbeispielen wird der Klimaeinfluss auf den Salzgehalt in der Deutschen Bucht, Zooplankton vor Helgoland, Makrofauna vor Norderney, und die Ankunft von Zugvoegeln auf Helgoland untersucht. (orig.)
Mamhidir, Anna-Greta; Sjölund, Britt-Marie; Fläckman, Birgitta; Wimo, Anders; Sköldunger, Anders; Engström, Maria
Chronic pain affects nursing home residents' daily life. Pain assessment is central to adequate pain management. The overall aim was to investigate effects of a pain management intervention on nursing homes residents and to describe staffs' experiences of the intervention. A cluster-randomized trial and a mixed-methods approach. Randomized nursing home assignment to intervention or comparison group. The intervention group after theoretical and practical training sessions, performed systematic pain assessments using predominately observational scales with external and internal facilitators supporting the implementation. No measures were taken in the comparison group; pain management continued as before, but after the study corresponding training was provided. Resident data were collected baseline and at two follow-ups using validated scales and record reviews. Nurse group interviews were carried out twice. Primary outcome measures were wellbeing and proxy-measured pain. Secondary outcome measures were ADL-dependency and pain documentation. Using both non-parametric statistics on residential level and generalized estimating equation (GEE) models to take clustering effects into account, the results revealed non-significant interaction effects for the primary outcome measures, while for ADL-dependency using Katz-ADL there was a significant interaction effect. Comparison group (n = 66 residents) Katz-ADL values showed increased dependency over time, while the intervention group demonstrated no significant change over time (n = 98). In the intervention group, 13/44 residents showed decreased pain scores over the period, 14/44 had no pain score changes ≥ 30% in either direction measured with Doloplus-2. Furthermore, 17/44 residents showed increased pain scores ≥ 30% over time, indicating pain/risk for pain; 8 identified at the first assessment and 9 were new, i.e. developed pain over time. No significant changes in the use of drugs was found in any of
Minimally invasive 'step-up approach' versus maximal necrosectomy in patients with acute necrotising pancreatitis (PANTER trial): design and rationale of a randomised controlled multicenter trial [ISRCTN38327949
Besselink, Marc GH; van Santvoort, Hjalmar C; Nieuwenhuijs, Vincent B; Boermeester, Marja A; Bollen, Thomas L; Buskens, Erik; Dejong, Cornelis HC; van Eijck, Casper HJ; van Goor, Harry; Hofker, Sijbrand S; Lameris, Johan S; van Leeuwen, Maarten S; Ploeg, Rutger J; van Ramshorst, Bert; Schaapherder, Alexander FM; Cuesta, Miguel A; Consten, Esther CJ; Gouma, Dirk J; van der Harst, Erwin; Hesselink, Eric J; Houdijk, Lex PJ; Karsten, Tom M; van Laarhoven, Cees JHM; Pierie, Jean-Pierre EN; Rosman, Camiel; Bilgen, Ernst Jan Spillenaar; Timmer, Robin; van der Tweel, Ingeborg; de Wit, Ralph J; Witteman, Ben JM; Gooszen, Hein G
Background The initial treatment of acute necrotizing pancreatitis is conservative. Intervention is indicated in patients with (suspected) infected necrotizing pancreatitis. In the Netherlands, the standard intervention is necrosectomy by laparotomy followed by continuous postoperative lavage (CPL). In recent years several minimally invasive strategies have been introduced. So far, these strategies have never been compared in a randomised controlled trial. The PANTER study (PAncreatitis, Necrosectomy versus sTEp up appRoach) was conceived to yield the evidence needed for a considered policy decision. Methods/design 88 patients with (suspected) infected necrotizing pancreatitis will be randomly allocated to either group A) minimally invasive 'step-up approach' starting with drainage followed, if necessary, by videoscopic assisted retroperitoneal debridement (VARD) or group B) maximal necrosectomy by laparotomy. Both procedures are followed by CPL. Patients will be recruited from 20 hospitals, including all Dutch university medical centres, over a 3-year period. The primary endpoint is the proportion of patients suffering from postoperative major morbidity and mortality. Secondary endpoints are complications, new onset sepsis, length of hospital and intensive care stay, quality of life and total (direct and indirect) costs. To demonstrate that the 'step-up approach' can reduce the major morbidity and mortality rate from 45 to 16%, with 80% power at 5% alpha, a total sample size of 88 patients was calculated. Discussion The PANTER-study is a randomised controlled trial that will provide evidence on the merits of a minimally invasive 'step-up approach' in patients with (suspected) infected necrotizing pancreatitis. PMID:16606471
Minimally invasive 'step-up approach' versus maximal necrosectomy in patients with acute necrotising pancreatitis (PANTER trial: design and rationale of a randomised controlled multicenter trial [ISRCTN13975868
Houdijk Lex PJ
Full Text Available Abstract Background The initial treatment of acute necrotizing pancreatitis is conservative. Intervention is indicated in patients with (suspected infected necrotizing pancreatitis. In the Netherlands, the standard intervention is necrosectomy by laparotomy followed by continuous postoperative lavage (CPL. In recent years several minimally invasive strategies have been introduced. So far, these strategies have never been compared in a randomised controlled trial. The PANTER study (PAncreatitis, Necrosectomy versus sTEp up appRoach was conceived to yield the evidence needed for a considered policy decision. Methods/design 88 patients with (suspected infected necrotizing pancreatitis will be randomly allocated to either group A minimally invasive 'step-up approach' starting with drainage followed, if necessary, by videoscopic assisted retroperitoneal debridement (VARD or group B maximal necrosectomy by laparotomy. Both procedures are followed by CPL. Patients will be recruited from 20 hospitals, including all Dutch university medical centres, over a 3-year period. The primary endpoint is the proportion of patients suffering from postoperative major morbidity and mortality. Secondary endpoints are complications, new onset sepsis, length of hospital and intensive care stay, quality of life and total (direct and indirect costs. To demonstrate that the 'step-up approach' can reduce the major morbidity and mortality rate from 45 to 16%, with 80% power at 5% alpha, a total sample size of 88 patients was calculated. Discussion The PANTER-study is a randomised controlled trial that will provide evidence on the merits of a minimally invasive 'step-up approach' in patients with (suspected infected necrotizing pancreatitis.
Arrow, Peter; Klobas, Elizabeth
A pragmatic randomized control trial was undertaken to compare the minimum intervention dentistry (MID) approach, based on the atraumatic restorative treatment procedures (MID-ART: Test), against the standard care approach (Control) to treat early childhood caries in a primary care setting. Consenting parent/child dyads were allocated to the Test or Control group using stratified block randomization. Inclusion and exclusion criteria were applied. Participants were examined at baseline and at follow-up by two calibrated examiners blind to group allocation status (κ = 0.77), and parents completed a questionnaire at baseline and follow-up. Dental therapists trained in MID-ART provided treatment to the Test group and dentists treated the Control group using standard approaches. The primary outcome of interest was the number of children who were referred for specialist pediatric care. Secondary outcomes were the number of teeth treated, changes in child oral health-related quality of life and dental anxiety and parental perceptions of care received. Data were analyzed on an intention to treat basis; risk ratio for referral for specialist care, test of proportions, Wilcoxon rank test and logistic regression were used. Three hundred and seventy parents/carers were initially screened; 273 children were examined at baseline and 254 were randomized (Test = 127; Control = 127): mean age = 3.8 years, SD 0.90; 59% male, mean dmft = 4.9, SD 4.0. There was no statistically significant difference in age, sex, baseline caries experience or child oral health-related quality of life between the Test and Control group. At follow-up (mean interval 11.4 months, SD 3.1 months), 220 children were examined: Test = 115, Control = 105. Case-notes review of 231 children showed Test = 6 (5%) and Control = 53 (49%) were referred for specialist care, P < 0.0001. More teeth were filled in the Test group (mean = 2.93, SD 2.48) than in the Control group (mean = 1.54, SD
James, Gareth D; Symeonides, Stefan N; Marshall, Jayne; Young, Julia; Clack, Glen
The continual reassessment method (CRM) requires an underlying model of the dose-toxicity relationship ("prior skeleton") and there is limited guidance of what this should be when little is known about this association. In this manuscript the impact of applying the CRM with different prior skeleton approaches and the 3 + 3 method are compared in terms of ability to determine the true maximum tolerated dose (MTD) and number of patients allocated to sub-optimal and toxic doses. Post-hoc dose-escalation analyses on real-life clinical trial data on an early oncology compound (AZD3514), using the 3 + 3 method and CRM using six different prior skeleton approaches. All methods correctly identified the true MTD. The 3 + 3 method allocated six patients to both sub-optimal and toxic doses. All CRM approaches allocated four patients to sub-optimal doses. No patients were allocated to toxic doses from sigmoidal, two from conservative and five from other approaches. Prior skeletons for the CRM for phase 1 clinical trials are proposed in this manuscript and applied to a real clinical trial dataset. Highly accurate initial skeleton estimates may not be essential to determine the true MTD, and, as expected, all CRM methods out-performed the 3 + 3 method. There were differences in performance between skeletons. The choice of skeleton should depend on whether minimizing the number of patients allocated to suboptimal or toxic doses is more important. NCT01162395 , Trial date of first registration: July 13, 2010.
Bartell, S.M.; Gardner, R.H.; O'Neill, R.V.
Ecological risk assessment, the process that evaluates the likelihood that adverse ecological effects may occur or are occurring as a result of exposure to one or more stressors, is being developed by the US EPA as a tool for decision making. This book presents one approach to risk assessment-that of applying laboratory toxicity data within an ecosystem model to predict the potential ecological consequences of toxic chemicals. Both Standard Water Column Model (SWACOM), using zooplankton and fish, and Monte Carlo simulations are discussed in detail, along with quantitative explanations for many responses. Simplifying assumptions are explicitly presented. The final chapter discusses strengths, weaknesses, and future directions of the approach. The book is appropriate for anyone who does or uses ecological risk assessment methodologies
Deborah Oughton started with a view of the work in progress by the ICRP TG 94 on ethics, from the historical context and the principles-based ethics in RP, to continue with an overview of the ethical theories and with the main area of elaboration which concerns the common values, to conclude with considerations about the implementation in different area such as biomedicine, nuclear safety and workers, ecological aspects, and environmental health and society. By reading again the ICRP and IAEA publications on the ethical aspects in the protection of environment from the effects of ionizing radiation, the presentation covers the various and different cultures within the history of environmental ethics, the perception of Nature and the theories of environmental ethics, in particular by focusing on anthropocentrism, biocentrism and ecocentrism, as philosophical worldwide views, and on conservation, biodiversity, sustainability, environmental justice and human dignity, as primary principles of environmental protection. The influence of western Christianity, with a view of man dominating over every creeping thing on earth, and of the non-western ideas, the human perception of Nature has been analyzed and discussed to conclude that, in reality then, the anthropocentrism, biocentrism and ecocentrism, as reflected in many cultures and religions, they all support the need to protect the environment and to recognise and preserve the diversity. Three challenges were then discussed in the presentation: the ecosystem approach and ecological economics, for example in the case of Fukushima by asking what is the economic cost of marine contamination; the ecosystem changes with attention to what harms, as in the case of the environment in the contaminated areas around Chernobyl; and the environmental consequences of remediation, which can be considered a source of controversy for environmental ethics and policy
Langhammer, Maria; Grimm, Volker; Putz, Sandro
and Man Simulation System (ALMaSS), an established simulation system that has been used to simulate a wide range of farmland species relevant to biodiversity. We analysed the benefits of seven greening scenarios for the European brown hare (Lepus europaeus), which has been in widespread decline throughout......With the current implementation of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) for 2014–2020, the European Commission wants to move towards “greener” farming practices in the European Union. Therefore, the EU funds both obligatory measures, such as Ecological Focus Areas (EFAs) through the Green Direct...... of each type was increased separately up to 5% of the area in three Danish landscapes, which are characterised by low hare densities. The effects on female and yearling abundance were observed over a period of 30 years. All greening scenarios had significant positive effects on hare populations...
This review explores Anne Kamstrupp's "The Wow-effect in Science Teacher Education" by examining her theorized "wow-effect" as a teaching enactment that may serve to engage students, but often fails to provide deep understanding of science content. My response extends her perspective of socio-materiality as means to understand the "wow-effect" by suggesting social constructivism provides a more accurate lens to disentangle the phenomenon. I react to her position that tension fields within the phenomenon include the relationship between new and old technologies, boredom and engagement, and active and sedentary learning. In this conversation, I point to a new way of conceptualizing using digital media in the classroom as ecology of learning that may serve to decrease problems associated with the "wow-effect".
Full Text Available Hearing loss is associated with cognitive decline and impairment in daily living activities. Access to hearing health care has broad implications for healthy aging of the U.S. population. This qualitative study investigated factors related to the socio-ecological domains of hearing health in a US-Mexico border community experiencing disparities in access to care. A multidisciplinary research team partnered with Community Health Workers (CHWs from a Federally Qualified Health Center in designing the study. CHWs conducted interviews with people with hearing loss (n=20 and focus groups with their family/friends (n=27 and with members of the community-at-large (n=47. The research team conducted interviews with FQHC providers and staff (n=12. Individuals experienced depression, sadness and social isolation, as well as frustration and even anger regarding communication. Family members experienced negative impacts of deteriorating communication, but expressed few coping strategies. There was general agreement across data sources that hearing loss was not routinely addressed within primary care and assistive hearing technology was generally unaffordable. Community members described stigma related to hearing loss and a need for greater access to hearing health care and broader community education. Findings confirm the causal sequence of hearing impairment on quality of life aggravated by socio-economic conditions and lack of access to hearing health care. Hearing loss requires a comprehensive and innovative public health response across the socio-ecological framework that includes both individual communication intervention and greater access to hearing health resources. Community health workers can be effective in tailoring intervention strategies to community characteristics.
Chaves, Leonardo Suveges Moreira; Rodrigues de Sá, Ivy Luizi; Bergamaschi, Denise Pimentel; Sallum, Maria Anice Mureb
On the ecological scale of an organism, a homogeneous geographical landscape can represent a mosaic of heterogeneous landscapes. The bionomy of Kerteszia mosquitoes can contribute to foundation landscape ecology by virtue of in the role of the configuration and composition of the habitat played in the distribution of mosquito species. Thus, this study aimed: to compare the abundance of Kerteszia in dense tropical rainforest, restinga and rural area, to assess the bioecological characteristics of the main bromeliads hosting Kerteszia, and to associate the bioecological arrangement of the bromeliads with Kerteszia distribution. Field collections were conducted in a monthly schedule from December of 2010 to November 2011. The vegetation of landscapes was characterized on the basis of a digital cartographic database, the manual of the Brazilian vegetation, environmental atlas information, satellite images and visits to the sites. Multivariate generalized linear models were employed using the R-project statistical program. The results were: Anopheles cruzii was the most frequent species in dense tropical rainforest (67.42%), with a positive association (deviance=25.8; P=0.002). Anopheles bellator was more abundant in the Restinga area (78.97%), with a positive association (deviance=10.4, P=0.018). There was a positive aggregation of Restinga with An. bellator (RR=2.42) but a lower level with An. cruzii (RR=0.31). Thus we can conclude that landscape characteristics influence the distribution of Kerteszia mosquitoes. An. bellator has a higher prevalence in Restinga areas, whereas An. cruzii was the most prevalent in the dense tropical rainforest. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Dagnino, Alessandro; Sforzini, Susanna; Dondero, Francesco; Fenoglio, Stefano; Bona, Elisa; Jensen, John; Viarengo, Aldo
A new Expert Decision Support System (EDSS) that can integrate Triad data for assessing environmental risk and biological vulnerability at contaminated sites has been developed. Starting with ecosystem relevance, the EDSS assigns different weights to the results obtained from Triad disciplines. The following parameters have been employed: 1) chemical soil analyses (revealing the presence of potentially dangerous substances), 2) ecotoxicological bioassays (utilizing classical endpoints such as survival and reproduction rates), 3) biomarkers (showing sublethal pollutant effects), and 4) ecological parameters (assessing changes in community structure and functions). For each Triad discipline, the EDSS compares the data obtained at the studied field sites with reference values and calculates different 0-1 indexes (e.g., Chemical Risk Index, Ecotoxicological Risk Index, and Ecological Risk Index). The EDSS output consists of 3 indexes: 1) Environmental Risk index (EnvRI), quantifying the levels of biological damage at population-community level, 2) Biological Vulnerability Index (BVI), assessing the potential threats to biological equilibriums, and 3) Genotoxicity Index (GTI), screening genotoxicity effects. The EDSS has been applied in the integration of a battery of Triad data obtained during the European Union-funded Life Intervention in the Fraschetta Area (LINFA) project, which has been carried out in order to estimate the potential risk from soils of a highly anthropized area (Alessandria, Italy) mainly impacted by deposition of atmospheric pollutants. Results obtained during 4 seasonal sampling campaigns (2004-2005) show maximum values of EnvRI in sites A and B (characterized by industrial releases) and lower levels in site D (affected by vehicular traffic emissions). All 3 potentially polluted sites have shown high levels of BVI and GTI, suggesting a general change from reference conditions (site C).
Darlow, Ben; Stanley, James; Dean, Sarah; Abbott, J Haxby; Garrett, Sue; Mathieson, Fiona; Dowell, Anthony
Low back pain (LBP) is a major health issue associated with considerable health loss and societal costs. General practitioners (GPs) play an important role in the management of LBP; however, GP care has not been shown to be the most cost-effective approach unless exercise and behavioural counselling are added to usual care. The Fear Reduction Exercised Early (FREE) approach to LBP has been developed to assist GPs to manage LBP by empowering exploration and management of psychosocial barriers to recovery and provision of evidence-based care and information. The aim of the Low Back Pain in General Practice (LBPinGP) trial is to explore whether patients with LBP who receive care from GPs trained in the FREE approach have better outcomes than those who receive usual care. This is a cluster randomised controlled superiority trial comparing the FREE approach with usual care for LBP management with investigator-blinded assessment of outcomes. GPs will be recruited and then cluster randomised (in practice groups) to the intervention or control arm. Intervention arm GPs will receive training in the FREE approach, and control arm GPs will continue to practice as usual. Patients presenting to their GP with a primary complaint of LBP will be allocated on the basis of allocation of the GP they consult. We aim to recruit 60 GPs and 275 patients (assuming patients are recruited from 75% of GPs and an average of 5 patients per GP complete the study, accounting for 20% patient participant dropout). Patient participants and the trial statistician will be blind to group allocation throughout the study. Analyses will be undertaken on an intention-to-treat basis. The primary outcome will be back-related functional impairment 6 months post-initial LBP consultation (interim data at 2 weeks, 6 weeks and 3 months), measured with the Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire. Secondary patient outcomes include pain, satisfaction, quality of life, days off from work and costs of care
Full Text Available of randomised and clinically controlled trials of HIV/AIDS interventions can provide invaluable information to decision-making processes. Using the newly emerging geographical information systems (GIS) technology, researchers have developed a tool which assists...
Aboraya, Ahmed; Leucht, Stefan; Nasrallah, Henry A; Samara, Myrto; Haro, Josep Maria; Elshazly, Ahmed; Zangeneh, Masood
Pharmaceutical companies conduct clinical trials to show the efficacy and safety of new medications for the treatment of schizophrenia. After the new medications are marketed, clinicians treating patients with schizophrenia discover that a considerable number of patients do not respond to these new medications. The goals of the review are to examine the methodology and design of recent antipsychotic clinical trials, identify common flaws, and propose guidelines to fix the flaws and improve the quality of future clinical trials of antipsychotic medications. A review of recent antipsychotic clinical trials was conducted using a PubMed search. Ten recent trials published in the past four years were reviewed and their methods analyzed and critiqued. The authors identified six major methodological flaws that may explain the suboptimal response in many patients after a drug is approved. Most of the flaws are related to eligibility criteria, the misuse of the Positive and Negative Syndromes Scale (PANSS) and the lack of consensus on how to define remission, response and exacerbation in schizophrenia. Proposed guidelines for a more rigorous use of the PANSS are presented and recommendations are proposed for using uniform criteria for remission, response and exacerbation in schizophrenia. The authors recommend using standardized diagnostic interviews to screen patients for eligibility criteria and using the PANSS according to the author's recommendations and the proposed guidelines. Uniform criteria to define remission, response and exacerbation are recommended for clinical trials examining the efficacy and safety of antipsychotic drugs in schizophrenia. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Ler, Peggy; Sivakami, Muthusamy; Monárrez-Espino, Joel
Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a critical public health issue that has reached epidemic proportions. Research investigating IPV among young women in India using large-scale population data is lacking. This study examined the prevalence and factors associated with IPV among women aged 15 to 24 years in India through a social-ecological approach. This cross-sectional study analyzed data from the National Family Health Survey, a population-based survey conducted in India from 2005 to 2006. The past-year prevalence of emotional, physical, and sexual forms of IPV, among ever-married women aged 15 to 24 years were computed. Multivariate logistic regression was conducted to evaluate the association of factors at various levels of the social-ecological framework with the past-year experience of emotional, physical, sexual, and any form of IPV. The past-year prevalence of IPV among women aged 15 to 24 years ( n = 16,285) was 29%. Physical IPV was the most common, affecting 23% in the past year. The past-year prevalence of sexual IPV among women aged 15 to 24 years at 9.5% was higher than older women. Individual factors significantly associated with the past-year experience of all forms of IPV were the young age at first marriage, parental IPV, and ever had a terminated pregnancy. At the relationship level, husband's controlling behaviors, his consumption of alcohol, and experience of violence from other family members were positively associated with all forms of IPV in the past year. Poverty and acceptance of IPV increased the women's odds of experiencing IPV. IPV was associated with multiple factors occurring at all levels of the social-ecological framework. Actions to prevent and eliminate IPV in India demand multidisciplinary and collaborative efforts that are tailored specifically for adolescents and young women. It is imperative to protect the girls and young women from IPV; it protects the future of India.
Nicklas, Jacinda M; Skurnik, Geraldine; Zera, Chloe A; Reforma, Liberty G; Levkoff, Sue E; Seely, Ellen W
The postpartum period is a window of opportunity for diabetes prevention in women with recent gestational diabetes (GDM), but recruitment for clinical trials during this period of life is a major challenge. We adapted a social-ecologic model to develop a multi-level recruitment strategy at the macro (high or institutional level), meso (mid or provider level), and micro (individual) levels. Our goal was to recruit 100 women with recent GDM into the Balance after Baby randomized controlled trial over a 17-month period. Participants were asked to attend three in-person study visits at 6 weeks, 6, and 12 months postpartum. They were randomized into a control arm or a web-based intervention arm at the end of the baseline visit at six weeks postpartum. At the end of the recruitment period, we compared population characteristics of our enrolled subjects to the entire population of women with GDM delivering at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH). We successfully recruited 107 of 156 (69 %) women assessed for eligibility, with the majority (92) recruited during pregnancy at a mean 30 (SD ± 5) weeks of gestation, and 15 recruited postpartum, at a mean 2 (SD ± 3) weeks postpartum. 78 subjects attended the initial baseline visit, and 75 subjects were randomized into the trial at a mean 7 (SD ± 2) weeks postpartum. The recruited subjects were similar in age and race/ethnicity to the total population of 538 GDM deliveries at BWH over the 17-month recruitment period. Our multilevel approach allowed us to successfully meet our recruitment goal and recruit a representative sample of women with recent GDM. We believe that our most successful strategies included using a dedicated in-person recruiter, integrating recruitment into clinical flow, allowing for flexibility in recruitment, minimizing barriers to participation, and using an opt-out strategy with providers. Although the majority of women were recruited while pregnant, women recruited in the early postpartum period were
I. V. Kalashnikova
Full Text Available . The aims of the publication are: to analyse domestic experience of education and training of preschool children with logoneurosis; to designate the causes and displays of this disease; to define the problems arising through organization of correctional work in preschool institution taking into account modern requirements of the Russian legislation and climatic features of regions; to present a possible version of the solution of these problems.Methods. The methods of theoretical analysis and generalization of scientific, methodical publications, and legislative base on a problem of correctional work on stuttering among preschool children are used.Results and scientific novelty. The authors’ program of additional education with the correctional elements «Ecotherapy for Children at the age of 5–7 years with Logoneurosis» developed by the staff of the Ecotherapy Laboratory of the Polar Alpine Botanical Garden – Institute named after N. A. Avrorin is described in the publication. The program complies with the modern requirements of Federal State Educational Standard of preschool education and is focused on tutors and speech language therapists of correctional groups and logocentres. In the course of mastering the program, a child by means of a game at once joins in search-investigative activity in the field of biology and ecology with visualization of an ultimate goal and obligatory practical material realization of results of work. From the point of view of medical expediency, the program has included the special breathing and relaxation exercises which are picked up for the lesson topic. The efficiency of a combination in correctional pedagogics of standard logopedic methods and the practise with nonconventional methods of art-, garden-, and animal-assisted therapy is confirmed. Special relevance of the proposed techniques and methods in the conditions of the Polar region (the region, wherein during the period of an exit from polar night
Pivato, Alberto; Lavagnolo, Maria Cristina; Manachini, Barbara; Vanin, Stefano; Raga, Roberto; Beggio, Giovanni
The Italian legislation on contaminated soils does not include the Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA) and this deficiency has important consequences for the sustainable management of agricultural soils. The present research compares the results of two ERA procedures applied to agriculture (i) one based on the "substance-based" approach and (ii) a second based on the "matrix-based" approach. In the former the soil screening values (SVs) for individual substances were derived according to institutional foreign guidelines. In the latter, the SVs characterizing the whole-matrix were derived originally by the authors by means of experimental activity. The results indicate that the "matrix-based" approach can be efficiently implemented in the Italian legislation for the ERA of agricultural soils. This method, if compared to the institutionalized "substance based" approach is (i) comparable in economic terms and in testing time, (ii) is site specific and assesses the real effect of the investigated soil on a battery of bioassays, (iii) accounts for phenomena that may radically modify the exposure of the organisms to the totality of contaminants and (iv) can be considered sufficiently conservative.
Full Text Available The Italian legislation on contaminated soils does not include the Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA and this deficiency has important consequences for the sustainable management of agricultural soils. The present research compares the results of two ERA procedures applied to agriculture (i one based on the “substance-based” approach and (ii a second based on the “matrix-based” approach. In the former the soil screening values (SVs for individual substances were derived according to institutional foreign guidelines. In the latter, the SVs characterizing the whole-matrix were derived originally by the authors by means of experimental activity.The results indicate that the “matrix-based” approach can be efficiently implemented in the Italian legislation for the ERA of agricultural soils. This method, if compared to the institutionalized “substance based” approach is (i comparable in economic terms and in testing time, (ii is site specific and assesses the real effect of the investigated soil on a battery of bioassays, (iii accounts for phenomena that may radically modify the exposure of the organisms to the totality of contaminants and (iv can be considered sufficiently conservative. Keyword: Environmental science
Crain A Lauren
Full Text Available Abstract Background Since many individuals who initiate physical activity programs are highly likely to return to a sedentary lifestyle, innovative strategies to efforts to increase the number of physically active older adults who successfully maintain beneficial levels of PA for a substantial length of time are needed. Methods/Design The Keep Active Minnesota Trial is a randomized controlled trial of an interactive phone- and mail-based intervention to help 50–70 year old adults who have recently increased their physical activity level, maintain that activity level over a 24-month period in comparison to usual care. Baseline, 6, 12, and 24 month measurement occurred via phone surveys with kilocalories expended per week in total and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (CHAMPS Questionnaire as the primary outcome measures. Secondary outcomes include hypothesized mediators of physical activity change (e.g., physical activity enjoyment, self-efficacy, physical activity self-concept, body mass index, and depression. Seven day accelerometry data were collected on a sub-sample of participants at baseline and 24-month follow-up. Discussion The Keep Active Minnesota study offers an innovative approach to the perennial problem of physical activity relapse; by focusing explicitly on physical activity maintenance, the intervention holds considerable promise for modifying the typical relapse curve. Moreover, if shown to be efficacious, the use of phone- and mail-based intervention delivery offers potential for widespread dissemination. Trial registration ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00283452.
Tvete, Ingunn F; Olsen, Inge C; Fagerland, Morten W; Meland, Nils; Aldrin, Magne; Smerud, Knut T; Holden, Lars
In active run-in trials, where patients may be excluded after a run-in period based on their response to the treatment, it is implicitly assumed that patients have individual treatment effects. If individual patient data are available, active run-in trials can be modelled using patient-specific random effects. With more than one trial on the same medication available, one can obtain a more precise overall treatment effect estimate. We present a model for joint analysis of a two-sequence, four-period cross-over trial (AABB/BBAA) and a three-sequence, two-period active run-in trial (AB/AA/A), where the aim is to investigate the effect of a new treatment for patients with pain due to osteoarthritis. Our approach enables us to separately estimate the direct treatment effect for all patients, for the patients excluded after the active run-in trial prior to randomisation, and for the patients who completed the active run-in trial. A similar model approach can be used to analyse other types of run-in trials, but this depends on the data and type of other trials available. We assume equality of the various carry-over effects over time. The proposed approach is flexible and can be modified to handle other designs. Our results should be encouraging for those responsible for planning cost-efficient clinical development programmes.
Full Text Available Palaeolimnological techniques were utilized to determine the extent of the effect of anthropogenic pollutants or other environmental stressors on three lake ecosystems over the last 200 years. The ecology of the study sites has experienced significant changes due to various activities such as (1 extensive catchment drainage and using poisoning as a fish management measure, (2 seepage of urban waste water due to establishment and growth of a town and (3 artificial inflow of oil-shale mining waters. Sediment geochemical composition, fossil pigments and Cladocera remains from the sediment cores were analysed to demonstrate that sufficient information can be derived from sediments to permit a historical reconstruction. The integrated use of archival maps, historical records and lake monitoring data confirmed links to anthropogenic pollutants, primarily on the catchment level. The examples show how the sediment indicators provide unique insights into the causes and temporal dynamics of lake ecosystem changes relevant for environmental management decisions. This study demonstrates that palaeolimnology has great potential to assist in eutrophication assessment and management efforts in waterbodies.
Jairo Calderari de Oliveira Junior
Full Text Available Vegetated mounds are an important geomorphological feature of the Pantanal, where the influence of floods dictates not only hydropedological processes, but also the distribution and ecology of the flora and fauna. This work aimed to identify factors and processes that influence the formation and spatial distribution of the mounds, which are commonly associated with termite activity. In order to characterize pedological processes, macro and micro morphological descriptions, satellite image interpretation, dating of the sandy sedimentary material using OSL and carbon dating using 14C AMS were carried out. This dating of the materials indicates that the sediments in which the soils were formed were deposited during the Pleistocene, while the carbonates are from the Holocene. The basin-like format of the laminar structures suggests that part of the more clayey material was deposited in lacustrine environments. The more humid climate in the Holocene intensified argilluviation, which at an advanced stage, led to a more pronounced textural gradient, reducing drainage and leading to ferrolysis and thickening of the E horizon. Besides pedogenic processes, more erosive flooding during the Holocene began reducing and rounding the landscape's more elevated structures (paleolevees. In the final stage, these structures were occupied by termites to shelter from flooding. Thereafter, the bio-cementation action of the termite nests has increased the resistance of the vegetated mounds to processes of erosion.
Birmingham, Daniel; Smetana, Lara; Coleman, Elizabeth
While a renewed national dialog promotes the importance of science education for future technological and economic viability, students must find science personally relevant to themselves and their communities if the goals set forth in recent reform movements are to be achieved. In this paper, we investigate how incorporating an ecological perspective to learning in teacher education, including opportunities to participate with science in connection to their everyday lives, influenced the ways in which elementary teacher candidates (TCs) envisioned learning and doing science and its potential role in their future classroom. We draw from data collected across three sections of a field-based elementary methods course focused on learning to teach science and social studies through inquiry. We argue that participating in an authentic interdisciplinary inquiry project impacted the ways in which TCs conceived of science, their identities as science learners and teachers and their commitments to bringing inquiry-based science instruction to their future classrooms. This paper addresses issues regarding access to quality science learning experiences in elementary classrooms through empowering TCs to build identities as science learners and teachers in order to impact conditions in their future classrooms.
McLaughlin, Megan M; Simonson, Louis; Zou, Xia; Ling, Li; Tucker, Joseph D
Patient trust in physicians is a critical determinant of health seeking behaviors, medication adherence, and health outcomes. A crisis of interpersonal trust exists in China, extending throughout multiple social spheres, including the healthcare system. At the same time, with increased migration from Africa to China in the last two decades, Chinese physicians must establish mutual trust with an increasingly diverse patient population. We undertook a qualitative study to identify factors affecting African migrants' trust in Chinese physicians and to identify potential mechanisms for promoting trust. We conducted semi-structured, in-depth interviews with 40 African migrants in Guangzhou, China. A modified version of the social ecological model was used as a theoretical framework. At the patient-physician level, interpersonal treatment, technical competence, perceived commitment and motive, and language concordance were associated with enhanced trust. At the health system level, two primary factors influenced African migrants' trust in their physicians: the fee-for-service payment system and lack of continuity with any one physician. Patients' social networks and the broader socio-cultural context of interactions between African migrants and Chinese locals also influenced patients' trust of their physicians. These findings demonstrate the importance of factors beyond the immediate patient-physician interaction and suggest opportunities to promote trust through health system interventions.
Megan M McLaughlin
Full Text Available Patient trust in physicians is a critical determinant of health seeking behaviors, medication adherence, and health outcomes. A crisis of interpersonal trust exists in China, extending throughout multiple social spheres, including the healthcare system. At the same time, with increased migration from Africa to China in the last two decades, Chinese physicians must establish mutual trust with an increasingly diverse patient population. We undertook a qualitative study to identify factors affecting African migrants' trust in Chinese physicians and to identify potential mechanisms for promoting trust.We conducted semi-structured, in-depth interviews with 40 African migrants in Guangzhou, China. A modified version of the social ecological model was used as a theoretical framework. At the patient-physician level, interpersonal treatment, technical competence, perceived commitment and motive, and language concordance were associated with enhanced trust. At the health system level, two primary factors influenced African migrants' trust in their physicians: the fee-for-service payment system and lack of continuity with any one physician. Patients' social networks and the broader socio-cultural context of interactions between African migrants and Chinese locals also influenced patients' trust of their physicians.These findings demonstrate the importance of factors beyond the immediate patient-physician interaction and suggest opportunities to promote trust through health system interventions.
Full Text Available Beach sands from the Rosa Marina locality (Adriatic coast, southern Italy were analysed mainly microscopically in order to trace the source areas of their lithoclastic and bioclastic components. The main cropping out sedimentary units were also studied with the objective to identify the potential source areas of lithoclasts. This allowed to establish how the various rock units contribute to the formation of beach sands. The analysis of the bioclastic components allows to estimate the actual role of organisms regarding the supply of this material to the beach. Identification of taxa that are present in the beach sands as shell fragments or other remains was carried out at the genus or family level. Ecological investigation of the same beach and the recognition of sub-environments (mainly distinguished on the basis of the nature of the substrate and of the water depth was the key topic that allowed to establish the actual source areas of bioclasts in the Rosa Marina beach sands. The sedimentological analysis (including a physical study of the beach and the calculation of some statistical parameters concerning the grain-size curves shows that the Rosa Marina beach is nowadays subject to erosion.
Serpetti, Natalia; Taylor, M. L.; Brennan, D.; Green, D. H.; Rogers, A. D.; Paterson, G. L. J.; Narayanaswamy, B. E.
The polychaete family polynoid is very large and includes a high diversity of behaviours, including numerous examples of commensal species. The comparison between free-living and commensal behaviours and the evolution of the relationships between commensal species and their hosts are valuable case studies of ecological adaptations. Deep-sea species of Polynoidae were sampled at four seamounts in the Southwest Indian Ridge and twenty specimens from seven species were selected to be analysed. Among them, there were free-living species, living within the three-dimensional framework of cold-water coral reefs, on coral rubble and on mobile sediments, and commensal species, associated with octocorals, hydrocorals (stylasterids), antipatharians and echinoderms (holothurian and ophiuroids). We analysed two mitochondrial (COI, 16S) and two nuclear (18S, 28S) ribosomal genetic markers and their combined sequences were compared with other Genbank sequences to assess the taxonomic relationships within the species under study, and the potential role of hosts in speciation processes. Most basal species of the sub-family Polynoinae are obligate symbionts showing specific morphological adaptations. Obligate and facultative commensal species and free-living species have evolved a number of times, although, according to our results, the obligate coral commensal species appear to be monophyletic.
Full Text Available By May 29t h 2006 with an average hot mud volcano volume of 100,000 m3 /per day, disasters on well kick (i.e. Lapindo Brantas Ltd. in Banjar Panji 1 drilling well have deviated the Spatial Planning of Sidoarjo’s Regency for 2003- 2013. Regional Development Concept that is aimed at developing triangle growth pole model on SIBORIAN (SIdoarjo-JaBOn-KRIaAN could not be implemented. This planning cannot be applied due to environmental imbalance to sub district of Porong that was damaged by hot mud volcano. In order to anticipate deviations of the Regional and Spatial Planning of Sidoarjo Regency for 2003-2013, a review on regional planning and dynamic implementation as well as Spatial Planning Concept based on geologicalecological condition are required, especially the regions affected by well kick disaster. The spatial analysis is based on the geological and ecological condition by using an overlay technique using several maps of hot mud volcano affected areas. In this case, dynamic implementation is formulated to the responsiblity plan that can happen at any time because of uncertain ending of the hot mud volcano eruption disaster in Porong. The hot mud volcano affected areas in the Sidoarjo’s Spatial Planning 2009-2029 have been decided as a geologic protected zone. The result of this research is scenarios of spatial planning for the affected area (short term, medium term and long term spatial planning scenarios.
de Oliveira Junior, Jairo Calderari; Beirigo, Raphael Moreira; Chiapini, Mariane; do Nascimento, Alexandre Ferreira; Couto, Eduardo Guimarães; Vidal-Torrado, Pablo
Vegetated mounds are an important geomorphological feature of the Pantanal, where the influence of floods dictates not only hydropedological processes, but also the distribution and ecology of the flora and fauna. This work aimed to identify factors and processes that influence the formation and spatial distribution of the mounds, which are commonly associated with termite activity. In order to characterize pedological processes, macro and micro morphological descriptions, satellite image interpretation, dating of the sandy sedimentary material using OSL and carbon dating using 14C AMS were carried out. This dating of the materials indicates that the sediments in which the soils were formed were deposited during the Pleistocene, while the carbonates are from the Holocene. The basin-like format of the laminar structures suggests that part of the more clayey material was deposited in lacustrine environments. The more humid climate in the Holocene intensified argilluviation, which at an advanced stage, led to a more pronounced textural gradient, reducing drainage and leading to ferrolysis and thickening of the E horizon. Besides pedogenic processes, more erosive flooding during the Holocene began reducing and rounding the landscape's more elevated structures (paleolevees). In the final stage, these structures were occupied by termites to shelter from flooding. Thereafter, the bio-cementation action of the termite nests has increased the resistance of the vegetated mounds to processes of erosion.
Sharma, Neha Shankar
The clinical research industry today is undergoing a major facelift. Companies are continuously looking to adopt and implement effective and innovative ways to accelerate drug launches in the market. Companies today are more open and do not view patients as mere "subjects" who generate data, - but as informed collaborators whose participation is "core" to the overall success of trials leading to the emergence of the concept of "patient-centric trials." This paper is intended to highlight the current trends and new opportunities that can be seen in industry -indicative of crucial role patients today play in their own health care using technology, social media and self education.
Neha Shankar Sharma
Full Text Available The clinical research industry today is undergoing a major facelift. Companies are continuously looking to adopt and implement effective and innovative ways to accelerate drug launches in the market. Companies today are more open and do not view patients as mere "subjects" who generate data, - but as informed collaborators whose participation is "core" to the overall success of trials leading to the emergence of the concept of "patient-centric trials." This paper is intended to highlight the current trends and new opportunities that can be seen in industry -indicative of crucial role patients today play in their own health care using technology, social media and self education.
Borcard, Daniel; Legendre, Pierre
This new edition of Numerical Ecology with R guides readers through an applied exploration of the major methods of multivariate data analysis, as seen through the eyes of three ecologists. It provides a bridge between a textbook of numerical ecology and the implementation of this discipline in the R language. The book begins by examining some exploratory approaches. It proceeds logically with the construction of the key building blocks of most methods, i.e. association measures and matrices, and then submits example data to three families of approaches: clustering, ordination and canonical ordination. The last two chapters make use of these methods to explore important and contemporary issues in ecology: the analysis of spatial structures and of community diversity. The aims of methods thus range from descriptive to explanatory and predictive and encompass a wide variety of approaches that should provide readers with an extensive toolbox that can address a wide palette of questions arising in contemporary mul...
Topping, Alice; Kappel, Franz; Thijssen, Stephan; Kotanko, Peter
In silico approaches have been proposed as a novel strategy to increase the repertoire of clinical trial designs. Realistic simulations of clinical trials can provide valuable information regarding safety and limitations of treatment protocols and have been shown to assist in the cost‐effective planning of clinical studies. In this report, we present a blueprint for the stepwise integration of internal, external, and ecological validity considerations in virtual clinical trials (VCTs). We exemplify this approach in the context of a model‐based in silico clinical trial aimed at anemia treatment in patients undergoing hemodialysis (HD). Hemoglobin levels and subsequent anemia treatment were simulated on a per patient level over the course of a year and compared to real‐life clinical data of 79,426 patients undergoing HD. The novel strategies presented here, aimed to improve external and ecological validity of a VCT, significantly increased the predictive power of the discussed in silico trial. PMID:29368434
Castiblanco R, Carmenza
Ecological Economics arise as a scientific discipline aimed to integrate concepts of economics, ecology, thermodynamics, ethic and other natural and social sciences in order to incorporate a biophysical and integrated perspective of the inter dependences between economies and environment, from a plural conception and a methodology beyond disciplines. Ecological Economics studies the black box of economic processes usually excluded of the traditional economics: thermodynamics and ecology. Although it is relatively a new field of study, it has been strengthening its theoretical framework with scientific basis and analytic principles that lead to its identification as a new discipline that show a whole new paradigm. The scope of this article is to show the conceptual and methodological bases, the main founders, approaches and central debates of this new discipline. This brief introduction is a preamble to the papers of the meeting Ecological Economics: a perspective for Colombia included in this number, that took place on September 22 - 27 of 2007, at the National University of Colombia at Bogota. During tree days national and international experts, professors, researchers, workers of environmental sector and people interested on environmental issues joined together to know the conceptual and methodological achievements reached of this discipline; as well as to analyse and evaluate the environmental problems of the country, from the systemic, interdisciplinary and general perspective that it promotes
Christensen, Andreas Aagaard; Brandt, Jesper; Svenningsen, Stig Roar
, and the ecological significance of the patterns which are generated by such processes. In landscape ecology, perspectives drawn from existing academic disciplines are integrated based on a common, spatially explicit mode of analysis developed from classical holistic geography, emphasizing spatial and landscape...... to translate positivist readings of the environment and hermeneutical perspectives on socioecological interaction into a common framework or terminology....
Sawayama, Shuhei; Nurdin, Nurjannah; Akbar AS, Muhammad; Sakamoto, Shingo X.; Komatsu, Teruhisa
Coral reef ecosystems worldwide are now being harmed by various stresses accompanying the degradation of fish habitats and thus knowledge of fish-habitat relationships is urgently required. Because conventional research methods were not practical for this purpose due to the lack of a geospatial perspective, we attempted to develop a research method integrating visual fish observation with a seabed habitat map and to expand knowledge to a two-dimensional scale. WorldView-2 satellite imagery of Spermonde Archipelago, Indonesia obtained in September 2012 was analyzed and classified into four typical substrates: live coral, dead coral, seagrass and sand. Overall classification accuracy of this map was 81.3% and considered precise enough for subsequent analyses. Three sub-areas (CC: continuous coral reef, BC: boundary of coral reef and FC: few live coral zone) around reef slopes were extracted from the map. Visual transect surveys for several fish species were conducted within each sub-area in June 2013. As a result, Mean density (Ind. / 300 m2) of Chaetodon octofasciatus, known as an obligate feeder of corals, was significantly higher at BC than at the others (p < 0.05), implying that this species' density is strongly influenced by spatial configuration of its habitat, like the "edge effect." This indicates that future conservation procedures for coral reef fishes should consider not only coral cover but also its spatial configuration. The present study also indicates that the introduction of a geospatial perspective derived from remote sensing has great potential to progress conventional ecological studies on coral reef fishes.
Sindato, Calvin; Stevens, Kim B.; Karimuribo, Esron D.; Mboera, Leonard E. G.; Paweska, Janusz T.; Pfeiffer, Dirk U.
Background Despite the long history of Rift Valley fever (RVF) in Tanzania, extent of its suitable habitat in the country remains unclear. In this study we investigated potential effects of temperature, precipitation, elevation, soil type, livestock density, rainfall pattern, proximity to wild animals, protected areas and forest on the habitat suitability for RVF occurrence in Tanzania. Materials and Methods Presence-only records of 193 RVF outbreak locations from 1930 to 2007 together with potential predictor variables were used to model and map the suitable habitats for RVF occurrence using ecological niche modelling. Ground-truthing of the model outputs was conducted by comparing the levels of RVF virus specific antibodies in cattle, sheep and goats sampled from locations in Tanzania that presented different predicted habitat suitability values. Principal Findings Habitat suitability values for RVF occurrence were higher in the northern and central-eastern regions of Tanzania than the rest of the regions in the country. Soil type and precipitation of the wettest quarter contributed equally to habitat suitability (32.4% each), followed by livestock density (25.9%) and rainfall pattern (9.3%). Ground-truthing of model outputs revealed that the odds of an animal being seropositive for RVFV when sampled from areas predicted to be most suitable for RVF occurrence were twice the odds of an animal sampled from areas least suitable for RVF occurrence (95% CI: 1.43, 2.76, p < 0.001). Conclusion/Significance The regions in the northern and central-eastern Tanzania were more suitable for RVF occurrence than the rest of the regions in the country. The modelled suitable habitat is characterised by impermeable soils, moderate precipitation in the wettest quarter, high livestock density and a bimodal rainfall pattern. The findings of this study should provide guidance for the design of appropriate RVF surveillance, prevention and control strategies which target areas with
Gorely, Trish; Biddle, Stuart J H; Marshall, Simon J; Cameron, Noel
To use ecological momentary assessment to describe how adolescent boys in the United Kingdom spend their leisure time. Design. Cross-sectional, stratified, random sample from secondary schools in 15 regions within the United Kingdom. The data are from a larger study of adolescent lifestyles (Project STIL). A total of 561 boys with a mean age of 14.6 years (range 12.7-16.7 years). The majority were white-European (86.5%). Television viewing occupied the most leisure time on both weekdays (131 minutes) and weekend (202.5 minutes) days. On weekdays the five most time consuming sedentary activities (television viewing, homework, motorised travel, playing computer/video games and shopping/hanging out) occupied on average 272.2 minutes. On weekend days, the five most time consuming sedentary activities (television viewing, shopping/hanging out, motorised travel, sitting and talking and playing computer/video games) occupied 405.5 minutes. In total, 54 minutes were occupied by active transport or sports and exercise per weekday and 81 minutes per weekend day. Only a minority watched more than 4 hours of TV per day (8.9% on weekdays and 33.8% on weekend days). Differences were noted in the means and prevalence between weekend and weekdays, reflecting the greater discretionary time available at the weekend. Adolescent boys engage in a variety of sedentary and active free time behaviours. It appears prudent to encourage adolescents to adopt overall healthy lifestyles by considering the combination of both active and sedentary pursuits an individual engages in and by moving beyond a focus on any one single behaviour.
Alex M. Lechner
Full Text Available Regional planning approaches to mining infrastructure aim to reduce the conflict associated with mining operations and existing land uses, such as urban areas and biodiversity conservation, as well as the cumulative impacts that occur offsite. In this paper, we describe a method for conducting Geographical Information System (GIS least-cost path and least-cost corridor analysis for linear mining infrastructure, such as roads. Least-cost path analysis identifies the optimal pathways between two locations as a function of the cost of traveling through different land use/cover types. In a case study from South-East Sulawesi, Indonesia, we identify potential linear networks for road infrastructure connecting mines, smelters, and ports. The method used interview data from government officials to characterise their orientation (perceived importance and positive/negative attitude toward the social and environmental factors associated with mining infrastructure. A cost-surface was constructed by integrating spatial layers representing the social and environmental factors to identify areas that should be avoided and areas that were compatible with linear infrastructure using the least-cost path analysis. We compared infrastructure scenario outputs from local and national government officials by the degree of spatial overlap and found broad spatial agreement for infrastructure corridors. We conclude by discussing this approach in relation to the wider social-ecological and mine planning literature and how quantitative approaches can reduce the conflict associated with infrastructure planning.
Osinga, R.; Sidri, M.; Cerig, E.; Gokalp, S.Z.; Gokalp, M.
Aquaculture trials were conducted in the East Aegean Sea with Dysidea avara and Chondrosia reniformis to test the possibility of growing these sponges in the vicinity of sea-based fish farms. Culturing sponges in the vicinity of fish farms may have two benefits: the sponges may grow faster due to an
Ameur, F.; Fischer, Paul; Hoeffgen, H.-U.
A pac-learning algorithm is d-space bounded, if it stores at most d examples from the sample at any time. We characterize the d-space learnable concept classes. For this purpose we introduce the compression parameter of a concept class 𝒞 and design our trial and error learning algorithm. We ...
Full Text Available Including current published evidence is vital as part of evidence-based decision making in veterinary practice. Sometimes there is no published evidence which is relevant or applicable to the clinical situation.This can be either because it refers to patients with experimentally induced conditions, from a referral population or who lack the co-morbities often seen outside of the experimental context. The Veterinary Clinical Trials Network is unique. It is a rapidly expanding network of veterinary practices, with whom we are working to establish methods for running prospective, pragmatic, practical clinical trials in veterinary practice.Data is extracted from the patient record using an XML Schema. The data extracted is already captured by the Practice Management Software (PMS system as part of the consultation, no extra information is required, and the extraction method is automated. This improves participation as it minimises the time input required from vets and vet nurses. Other data is obtained directly from owners of the animals involved.By working with a large number of first opinion veterinary practices we are able to include enough patients to ensure that our trials are suitably powered, and the participants will be representative of the wider vet-visiting pet population. The research generated from this clinical trials network will help strengthen the evidence base to aid decision making by veterinary practitioners.
Leza, Cristina; Puthusserypady, Sadasivan
Brain Computer Interfaces (BCIs) use brain signals to communicate with the external world. The main challenges to address are speed, accuracy and adaptability. Here, a novel algorithm for P300 based BCI spelling system is presented, speciﬁcally suited for single-trial detection of Event...
Mukherjee, Anita; Sen, Somnath; Paul, Saikat Kumar
Landscape art or land art is the discourse of scientific application of artistic skill to integrate man-made structures with the natural landscape for planning, design, management, preservation and rehabilitation of natural and built environment. It does beautification of the landscape enhancing its utility for habitats. Availability of water with acceptable quality is crucial for economic growth, social peace and equality and of course for environmental sustainability. Development of new and growth of existing urban and suburban units are obvious. It postulates the increase of population density and percent of the impervious area in an urban unit. The demand for water is increasing with progressive concentration of population, the volume and velocity of surface runoff increase and the travel time decreases. At the same time, an increase in the volume of gray water not only contaminate water bodies, it also reduces the quantity of available freshwater transforming a portion of blue and green water to gray one and would intensify the pressure on water resources of the area. Therefore, to meet the incremental pressure of demand for and pollution of water collection, treatment and reuse of wastewater, both sewage and storm water, are on the requirement to improve urban water security. People must be concerned not to stifle urban lives with concrete; rather must provide all basic amenities for achieving a higher standard of life than the previous one with the essence of natural green spaces. The objective of the study is to propose a conceptual design and planning guidelines for developing urban and suburban drainage network and reuse of surface runoff and sewage water utilizing less used natural water bodies, such as paleo-channels or lakes or moribund channels as retention or detention basin. In addition to wastewater management, the proposal serves to promote the aesthetics of environmental engagement, ecological utility and restoration of moribund channels
Richter, Craig G; Thompson, William H; Bosman, Conrado A; Fries, Pascal
The quantification of covariance between neuronal activities (functional connectivity) requires the observation of correlated changes and therefore multiple observations. The strength of such neuronal correlations may itself undergo moment-by-moment fluctuations, which might e.g. lead to fluctuations in single-trial metrics such as reaction time (RT), or may co-fluctuate with the correlation between activity in other brain areas. Yet, quantifying the relation between moment-by-moment co-fluctuations in neuronal correlations is precluded by the fact that neuronal correlations are not defined per single observation. The proposed solution quantifies this relation by first calculating neuronal correlations for all leave-one-out subsamples (i.e. the jackknife replications of all observations) and then correlating these values. Because the correlation is calculated between jackknife replications, we address this approach as jackknife correlation (JC). First, we demonstrate the equivalence of JC to conventional correlation for simulated paired data that are defined per observation and therefore allow the calculation of conventional correlation. While the JC recovers the conventional correlation precisely, alternative approaches, like sorting-and-binning, result in detrimental effects of the analysis parameters. We then explore the case of relating two spectral correlation metrics, like coherence, that require multiple observation epochs, where the only viable alternative analysis approaches are based on some form of epoch subdivision, which results in reduced spectral resolution and poor spectral estimators. We show that JC outperforms these approaches, particularly for short epoch lengths, without sacrificing any spectral resolution. Finally, we note that the JC can be applied to relate fluctuations in any smooth metric that is not defined on single observations. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Olsen, Rasmus; Bihlet, Asger Reinstrup; Kalakou, Faidra; Andersen, Jeppe Ragnar
Monitoring is a costly requirement when conducting clinical trials. New regulatory guidance encourages the industry to consider alternative monitoring methods to the traditional 100 % source data verification (SDV) approach. The purpose of this literature review is to provide an overview of publications on different monitoring methods and their impact on subject safety data, data integrity, and monitoring cost. The literature search was performed by keyword searches in MEDLINE and hand search of key journals. All publications were reviewed for details on how a monitoring approach impacted subject safety data, data integrity, or monitoring costs. Twenty-two publications were identified. Three publications showed that SDV has some value for detection of not initially reported adverse events and centralized statistical monitoring (CSM) captures atypical trends. Fourteen publications showed little objective evidence of improved data integrity with traditional monitoring such as 100 % SDV and sponsor queries as compared to reduced SDV, CSM, and remote monitoring. Eight publications proposed a potential for significant cost reductions of monitoring by reducing SDV without compromising the validity of the trial results. One hundred percent SDV is not a rational method of ensuring data integrity and subject safety based on the high cost, and this literature review indicates that reduced SDV is a viable monitoring method. Alternative methods of monitoring such as centralized monitoring utilizing statistical tests are promising alternatives but have limitations as stand-alone tools. Reduced SDV combined with a centralized, risk-based approach may be the ideal solution to reduce monitoring costs while improving essential data quality.
Quantitative approaches to measure and assess resilience are needed to bridge gaps between science, policy, and management. In this paper, we suggest a quantitative framework for assessing ecological resilience. Ecological resilience as an emergent ecosystem phenomenon can be de...
Wilson, Caroline; Rooshenas, Leila; Paramasivan, Sangeetha; Elliott, Daisy; Jepson, Marcus; Strong, Sean; Birtle, Alison; Beard, David J; Halliday, Alison; Hamdy, Freddie C; Lewis, Rebecca; Metcalfe, Chris; Rogers, Chris A; Stein, Robert C; Blazeby, Jane M; Donovan, Jenny L
Research has shown that recruitment to trials is a process that stretches from identifying potentially eligible patients, through eligibility assessment, to obtaining informed consent. The length and complexity of this pathway means that many patients do not have the opportunity to consider participation. This article presents the development of a simple framework to document, understand and improve the process of trial recruitment. Eight RCTs integrated a QuinteT Recruitment Intervention (QRI) into the main trial, feasibility or pilot study. Part of the QRI required mapping the patient recruitment pathway using trial-specific screening and recruitment logs. A content analysis compared the logs to identify aspects of the recruitment pathway and process that were useful in monitoring and improving recruitment. Findings were synthesised to develop an optimised simple framework that can be used in a wide range of RCTs. The eight trials recorded basic information about patients screened for trial participation and randomisation outcome. Three trials systematically recorded reasons why an individual was not enrolled in the trial, and further details why they were not eligible or approached, or declined randomisation. A framework to facilitate clearer recording of the recruitment process and reasons for non-participation was developed: SEAR - Screening, to identify potentially eligible trial participants; Eligibility, assessed against the trial protocol inclusion/exclusion criteria; Approach, the provision of oral and written information and invitation to participate in the trial, and Randomised or not, with the outcome of randomisation or treatment received. The SEAR framework encourages the collection of information to identify recruitment obstacles and facilitate improvements to the recruitment process. SEAR can be adapted to monitor recruitment to most RCTs, but is likely to add most value in trials where recruitment problems are anticipated or evident. Further work
absenteeism , misconduct, and sick call visits [4–6]. However, less than half of U.S. military members with PTSD receive mental health treatment [2,3,5,7...functioning SF-12  BL, 3-, 6-, and 12 months Work presenteeism and absenteeism WHO Health & Work Performance Questionnaire (HPQ) Short Form  BL, 3...and veteran service systems. Key by- products of the trial for posterity will be program manuals (primary care, mental health specialist, care manager
Chekroud, Adam Mourad; Zotti, Ryan Joseph; Shehzad, Zarrar; Gueorguieva, Ralitza; Johnson, Marcia K; Trivedi, Madhukar H; Cannon, Tyrone D; Krystal, John Harrison; Corlett, Philip Robert
Antidepressant treatment efficacy is low, but might be improved by matching patients to interventions. At present, clinicians have no empirically validated mechanisms to assess whether a patient with depression will respond to a specific antidepressant. We aimed to develop an algorithm to assess whether patients will achieve symptomatic remission from a 12-week course of citalopram. We used patient-reported data from patients with depression (n=4041, with 1949 completers) from level 1 of the Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression (STAR*D; ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00021528) to identify variables that were most predictive of treatment outcome, and used these variables to train a machine-learning model to predict clinical remission. We externally validated the model in the escitalopram treatment group (n=151) of an independent clinical trial (Combining Medications to Enhance Depression Outcomes [COMED]; ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00590863). We identified 25 variables that were most predictive of treatment outcome from 164 patient-reportable variables, and used these to train the model. The model was internally cross-validated, and predicted outcomes in the STAR*D cohort with accuracy significantly above chance (64·6% [SD 3·2]; p<0·0001). The model was externally validated in the escitalopram treatment group (N=151) of COMED (accuracy 59·6%, p=0.043). The model also performed significantly above chance in a combined escitalopram-buproprion treatment group in COMED (n=134; accuracy 59·7%, p=0·023), but not in a combined venlafaxine-mirtazapine group (n=140; accuracy 51·4%, p=0·53), suggesting specificity of the model to underlying mechanisms. Building statistical models by mining existing clinical trial data can enable prospective identification of patients who are likely to respond to a specific antidepressant. Yale University. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Saccone, Gabriele; Caissutti, Claudia; Khalifeh, Adeeb; Meltzer, Sara; Scifres, Christina; Simhan, Hyagriv N; Kelekci, Sefa; Sevket, Osman; Berghella, Vincenzo
To compare both the prevalence of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) as well as maternal and neonatal outcomes by either the one-step or the two-step approaches. Electronic databases were searched from their inception until June 2017. We included all randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing the one-step with the two-step approaches for the screening and diagnosis of GDM. The primary outcome was the incidence of GDM. Three RCTs (n = 2333 participants) were included in the meta-analysis. 910 were randomized to the one step approach (75 g, 2 hrs), and 1423 to the two step approach. No significant difference in the incidence of GDM was found comparing the one step versus the two step approaches (8.4 versus 4.3%; relative risk (RR) 1.64, 95%CI 0.77-3.48). Women screened with the one step approach had a significantly lower risk of preterm birth (PTB) (3.7 versus 7.6%; RR 0.49, 95%CI 0.27-0.88), cesarean delivery (16.3 versus 22.0%; RR 0.74, 95%CI 0.56-0.99), macrosomia (2.9 versus 6.9%; RR 0.43, 95%CI 0.22-0.82), neonatal hypoglycemia (1.7 versus 4.5%; RR 0.38, 95%CI 0.16-0.90), and admission to neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) (4.4 versus 9.0%; RR 0.49, 95%CI 0.29-0.84), compared to those randomized to screening with the two step approach. The one and the two step approaches were not associated with a significant difference in the incidence of GDM. However, the one step approach was associated with better maternal and perinatal outcomes.
Ducrot, Virginie; Ashauer, Roman; Bednarska, Agnieszka J; Hinarejos, Silvia; Thorbek, Pernille; Weyman, Gabriel
Recent guidance identified toxicokinetic-toxicodynamic (TK-TD) modeling as a relevant approach for risk assessment refinement. Yet, its added value compared to other refinement options is not detailed, and how to conduct the modeling appropriately is not explained. This case study addresses these issues through 2 examples of individual-level risk assessment for 2 hypothetical plant protection products: 1) evaluating the risk for small granivorous birds and small omnivorous mammals of a single application, as a seed treatment in winter cereals, and 2) evaluating the risk for fish after a pulsed treatment in the edge-of-field zone. Using acute test data, we conducted the first tier risk assessment as defined in the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) guidance. When first tier risk assessment highlighted a concern, refinement options were discussed. Cases where the use of models should be preferred over other existing refinement approaches were highlighted. We then practically conducted the risk assessment refinement by using 2 different models as examples. In example 1, a TK model accounting for toxicokinetics and relevant feeding patterns in the skylark and in the wood mouse was used to predict internal doses of the hypothetical active ingredient in individuals, based on relevant feeding patterns in an in-crop situation, and identify the residue levels leading to mortality. In example 2, a TK-TD model accounting for toxicokinetics, toxicodynamics, and relevant exposure patterns in the fathead minnow was used to predict the time-course of fish survival for relevant FOCUS SW exposure scenarios and identify which scenarios might lead to mortality. Models were calibrated using available standard data and implemented to simulate the time-course of internal dose of active ingredient or survival for different exposure scenarios. Simulation results were discussed and used to derive the risk assessment refinement endpoints used for decision. Finally, we compared the
Zolezzi, M. [Fisia Italimpianti SpA, Genova (Italy); Nicolella, C. [Pisa Univ., Pisa (Italy). Dipartimento di ingegneria chimica, chimica industriale e scienza dei materiali; Tarazona, J.V. [Instituto Nacional de Investigacion y Tecnologia Agraria y Alimentaria, Madrid (Spain). Departamento de Medio Ambiente, Laboratorio de toxicologia
This paper presents a tiered methodology for probabilistic ecological risk assessment. The proposed approach starts from deterministic comparison (ratio) of single exposure concentration and threshold or safe level calculated from a dose-response relationship, goes through comparison of probabilistic distributions that describe exposure values and toxicological responses of organisms to the chemical of concern, and finally determines the so called distribution-based quotients (DBQs). In order to illustrate the proposed approach, soil concentrations of 1,2,4-trichlorobenzene (1,2,4- TCB) measured in an industrial contaminated site were used for site-specific probabilistic ecological risks assessment. By using probabilistic distributions, the risk, which exceeds a level of concern for soil organisms with the deterministic approach, is associated to the presence of hot spots reaching concentrations able to affect acutely more than 50% of the soil species, while the large majority of the area presents 1,2,4- TCB concentrations below those reported as toxic. [Italian] Scopo del presente studio e fornire una procedura per l'analisi di rischio ecologico di siti contaminati basata su livelli successivi di approfondimento. L'approccio proposto, partendo dal semplice rapporto deterministico tra un livello di esposizione ed un valore di effetto che consenta la salvaguardia del maggior numero di specie dell'ecosistema considerato, procede attraverso il confronto tra le distribuzioni statistiche dei valori di esposizione e di sensitivita delle specie, per determinare infine la distribuzione probabilistica del quoziente di rischio. Ai fini di illustrare la metodologia proposta, le concentrazioni di 1,2,4-triclorobenzene determinate nel suolo di un sito industriale contaminato sono state utilizzate per condurre l'analisi di rischio per le specie terrestri. L'utilizzo delle distribuzioni probabilistiche ha permesso di associare il rischio, inizialmente
Adams, S.M.; Vaughan, D.S.; Hildebrand, S.G.; Kumar, K.D.
Assessment approaches and strategies useful in addressing important issues in section 316(b) of the 1972 Federal Water Pollution Control Act are illustrated in this report through the analysis and evaluation of the Prairie Island Nuclear Station 316(b) data base. The main issues in 316(b) demonstrations, cooling water intake operation and location, involve determining the impacts of entrainment and impingement. Entrainment impacts were addressed by applying the equivalent adult approach and correcting for inherent biases and by determining the through-plant survival of zooplankton. An assessment of impingement impacts was made by comparing for each of various species the number of fish impinged to estimates of population size. Densities of plankton and fish were compared between the intake area and an alternate area to determine if the location of the present intake minimizes impacts. No definitive conclusion relative to the best location of the intake could be made because of high year to year variability in the data and the differential dominance of trophic groups between areas
Considering high levels of uncertainty, epistemological conflicts over facts and values, and a sense of urgency, normal paradigm-driven science will be insufficient to mobilize people and nation toward sustainability. The conceptual framework to bridge the societal system dynamics with that of natural ecosystems in which humanity operates remains deficient. The key to understanding their coevolution is to understand `self-organization.' Information-theoretic approach may shed a light to provide a potential framework which enables not only to bridge human and nature but also to generate useful knowledge for understanding and sustaining the integrity of ecological-societal systems. How can information theory help understand the interface between ecological systems and social systems? How to delineate self-organizing processes and ensure them to fulfil sustainability? How to evaluate the flow of information from data through models to decision-makers? These are the core questions posed by sustainability science in which visioneering (i.e., the engineering of vision) is an essential framework. Yet, visioneering has neither quantitative measure nor information theoretic framework to work with and teach. This presentation is an attempt to accommodate the framework of self-organizing hierarchical open systems with visioneering into a common information-theoretic framework. A case study is presented with the UN/FAO's communal vision of climate-smart agriculture (CSA) which pursues a trilemma of efficiency, mitigation, and resilience. Challenges of delineating and facilitating self-organizing systems are discussed using transdisciplinary toold such as complex systems thinking, dynamic process network analysis and multi-agent systems modeling. Acknowledgments: This study was supported by the Korea Meteorological Administration Research and Development Program under Grant KMA-2012-0001-A (WISE project).
Parker, Caroline M.; Parker, Richard G.; Wilson, Patrick A.; Garcia, Jonathan; Hirsch, Jennifer S.
Abstract Research has demonstrated the clinical effectiveness of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV prevention, but little is known about how factors at the individual-, interpersonal-, community-, and structural levels impact PrEP use for black men who have sex with men (BMSM). We advance existing work by examining how all levels of the ecological framework must be addressed for PrEP to be successfully implemented as an effective HIV prevention approach. We interviewed 31 BMSM three times each and 17 community stakeholders once each; interviews were taped, transcribed, and analyzed using the constant comparative method. Factors that influence how BMSM experienced PrEP emerged across all levels of the ecological framework: At the individual level, respondents were wary of giving medication to healthy people and of the potential side-effects. At the interpersonal level, BMSM believed that PrEP use would discourage condom use and that PrEP should only be one option for HIV prevention, not the main option. At the community level, men described not trusting the pharmaceutical industry and described PrEP as an option for others, not for themselves. At the structural level, BMSM talked about HIV and sexuality-related stigmas and how they must overcome those before PrEP engagement. BMSM are a key population in the US National HIV/AIDS Strategy, yet few individuals believe that PrEP would be personally helpful. Our research indicates the urgent need to raise awareness and address structural stigma and policies that could be substantial barriers to the scale-up and implementation of PrEP-related services. PMID:27220036
Thomas Non E
sessions will be video recorded and rate of perceived exertion (RPE and mood states will also be taken after each exercise session. Discussion Our study may be able to demonstrate a time efficient means of reducing CVD risk factors in adolescents. Trial Registration NCT01027156
Steven A. Gray
Full Text Available There is a growing interest in the use of fuzzy cognitive mapping (FCM as a participatory method for understanding social-ecological systems (SESs. In recent years, FCM has been used in a diverse set of contexts ranging from fisheries management to agricultural development, in an effort to generate transparent graphical models of complex systems that are useful for decision making, illuminate the core presumptions of environmental stakeholders, and structure environmental problems for scenario development. This increase in popularity is because of FCM's bottom-up approach and its ability to incorporate a range of individual, community-level, and expert knowledge into an accessible and standardized format. Although there has been an increase in the use of FCM as an environmental planning and learning tool, limited progress has been made with regard to the method's relationship to existing resilience frameworks and how the use of FCM compares with other participatory modeling/approaches available. Using case study data developed from community-driven models of the bushmeat trade in Tanzania, we examine the usefulness of FCM for promoting resilience analysis among stakeholders in terms of identifying key state variables that comprise an SES, evaluating alternative SES equilibrium states, and defining desirable or undesirable state outcomes through scenario analysis.
Alba Valéria Machado da Silva
Full Text Available Visceral leishmaniasis is a vector-borne disease highly influenced by eco-epidemiological factors. Geographical information systems (GIS have proved to be a suitable approach for the analysis of environmental components that affect the spatial distribution of diseases. Exploiting this methodology, a model was developed for the mapping of the distribution and incidence of canine leishmaniasis in an endemic area of Brazil. Local variations were observed with respect to infection incidence and distribution of serological titers, i.e. high titers were noted close to areas with preserved vegetation, while low titers were more frequent in areas where people kept chickens. Based on these results, we conclude that the environment plays an important role in generating relatively protected areas within larger endemic regions, but that it can also contribute to the creation of hotspots with clusters of comparatively high serological titers indicating a high level of transmission compared with neighbouring areas.
Hsieh, Yu-Wei; Wu, Ching-Yi; Wang, Wei-En; Lin, Keh-Chung; Chang, Ku-Chou; Chen, Chih-Chi; Liu, Chien-Ting
To investigate the treatment effects of bilateral robotic priming combined with the task-oriented approach on motor impairment, disability, daily function, and quality of life in patients with subacute stroke. A randomized controlled trial. Occupational therapy clinics in medical centers. Thirty-one subacute stroke patients were recruited. Participants were randomly assigned to receive bilateral priming combined with the task-oriented approach (i.e., primed group) or to the task-oriented approach alone (i.e., unprimed group) for 90 minutes/day, 5 days/week for 4 weeks. The primed group began with the bilateral priming technique by using a bimanual robot-aided device. Motor impairments were assessed by the Fugal-Meyer Assessment, grip strength, and the Box and Block Test. Disability and daily function were measured by the modified Rankin Scale, the Functional Independence Measure, and actigraphy. Quality of life was examined by the Stroke Impact Scale. The primed and unprimed groups improved significantly on most outcomes over time. The primed group demonstrated significantly better improvement on the Stroke Impact Scale strength subscale ( p = 0.012) and a trend for greater improvement on the modified Rankin Scale ( p = 0.065) than the unprimed group. Bilateral priming combined with the task-oriented approach elicited more improvements in self-reported strength and disability degrees than the task-oriented approach by itself. Further large-scale research with at least 31 participants in each intervention group is suggested to confirm the study findings.
Baird, S.O.; Rinck, M.; Rosenfield, D.; Davis, M.L.; Fisher, J.R.; Becker, E.S.; Powers, M.B.; Smits, J.A.J.
This study aimed to provide a preliminary test of the efficacy of a brief cognitive bias modification program for reducing approach bias in adult smokers motivated to quit. Participants were 52 smokers who were randomly assigned to four sessions of approach bias modification training (AAT) or sham
YAKOVYSHYNA T. F.
Full Text Available Raising of problem. In modern conditions, anthropogenic impact to the soil urban ecosystems is fairly stable over time and space, is manifested in various forms, as the transformation of the soil profile, the change in direction of the soil-forming processes, contamination of the various pollutants, and, above all, heavy metals (HM – elements of the first class of the danger. Their sources of the income to the urban environment are industrial enterprises, transport, housing and communal services. Determination of the anthropogenic pressure to the urban soil is carried out by the environmental assessment of the HM polyelement contamination, which allows to establish not only the fact of pollution, but also limits of the possible load with considering regional background or sanitary standards – MPC. However, until now discussions arise regarding the index which will be carried out the valuation – the cornerstone of any methodological approach to the environmental assessment of the soil polyelement contamination by the HM of the urban ecosystems, which allows to establish not only the fact of contamination, but also limits the possible load, taking into account the regional background or sanitary norm – MPC. Purpose. Lies in the grounded selection of the environmental assessment indexes of the soil contamination by the HM of the urban ecosystems through a comparative analysis of the existing approaches, such as the determination of the summary contamination index (SCI, the index of the soil contamination (ISC, factor imbalance (Sd, taking into account environmental safety standards and binding to the specific conditions territory. Conclusion. In summary it should be noted that it is necessary to use a set of integrated indexes, including the SCI to determine the violation of the metals content with respect to the geochemical background of zonal soil, ISC – link the contamination level with health indexes of the environmental safety
Laura J. Damschroder; Peter A. Ubel; Jason Riis; Dylan M. Smith
Open-ended methods that elicit willingness-to-pay (WTP) in terms of absolute dollars often result in high rates of questionable and highly skewed responses, insensitivity to changes in health state, and raise an ethical issue related to its association with personal income. We conducted a 2x2 randomized trial over the Internet to test 4 WTP formats: 1) WTP in dollars; 2) WTP as a percentage of financial resources; 3) WTP in terms of monthly payments; and 4) WTP as a single lump-sum amount. WT...
Nelson, N.; Munoz-Carpena, R.; Phlips, E. J.
Diversity in the eco-physiological adaptations of cyanobacteria genera creates challenges for water managers who are tasked with developing appropriate actions for controlling not only the intensity and frequency of cyanobacteria blooms, but also reducing the potential for blooms of harmful taxa (e.g., toxin producers, N2 fixers). Compounding these challenges, the efficacy of nutrient management strategies (phosphorus-only versus nitrogen-and-phosphorus) for cyanobacteria bloom abatement is the subject of an ongoing debate, which increases uncertainty associated with bloom mitigation decision-making. In this work, we analyze a unique long-term (17-year) dataset composed of monthly observations of cyanobacteria genera abundances, zooplankton abundances, water quality, and flow from Lake George, a bloom-impacted flow-through lake of the St. Johns River (FL, USA). Using the Random Forests machine learning algorithm, an assumption-free ensemble modeling approach, the dataset was evaluated to quantify and characterize relationships between environmental conditions and seven cyanobacteria groupings: five genera (Anabaena, Cylindrospermopsis, Lyngbya, Microcystis, and Oscillatoria) and two functional groups (N2 fixers and non-fixers). Results highlight the selectivity of nitrogen in describing genera and functional group dynamics, and potential for physical effects to limit the efficacy of nutrient management as a mechanism for cyanobacteria bloom mitigation.
Kruk, Carla; Segura, Angel M; Nogueira, Lucía; Alcántara, Ignacio; Calliari, Danilo; Martínez de la Escalera, Gabriela; Carballo, Carmela; Cabrera, Carolina; Sarthou, Florencia; Scavone, Paola; Piccini, Claudia
The Microcystis aeruginosa complex (MAC) clusters cosmopolitan and conspicuous harmful bloom-forming cyanobacteria able to produce cyanotoxins. It is hypothesized that low temperatures and brackish salinities are the main barriers to MAC proliferation. Here, patterns at multiple levels of organization irrespective of taxonomic identity (i.e. a trait-based approach) were analyzed. MAC responses from the intracellular (e.g. respiratory activity) to the ecosystem level (e.g. blooms) were evaluated in wide environmental gradients. Experimental results on buoyancy and respiratory activity in response to increased salinity (0-35) and a literature review of maximum growth rates under different temperatures and salinities were combined with field sampling from headwaters (800km upstream) to the marine end of the Rio de la Plata estuary (Uruguay-South America). Salinity and temperature were the major variables affecting MAC responses. Experimentally, freshwater MAC cells remained active for 24h in brackish waters (salinity=15) while colonies increased their flotation velocity. At the population level, maximum growth rate decreased with salinity and presented a unimodal exponential response with temperature, showing an optimum at 27.5°C and a rapid decrease thereafter. At the community and ecosystem levels, MAC occurred from fresh to marine waters (salinity 30) with a sustained relative increase of large mucilaginous colonies biovolume with respect to individual cells. Similarly, total biomass and, specific and morphological richness decreased with salinity while blooms were only detected in freshwater both at high (33°C) and low (11°C) temperatures. In brackish waters, large mucilaginous colonies presented advantages under osmotic restrictive conditions. These traits values have also been associated with higher toxicity potential. This suggest salinity or low temperatures would not represent effective barriers for the survival and transport of potentially toxic MAC under
Amponsah, Owusu; Vigre, Håkan; Schou, Torben Wilde
-barrier approach field trials. The results of the study show that participation in the field trials has statistically significant effects on farmers’ awareness of the farm-based multiple-barrier approach. Compliance has, however, been undermined by the farmers’ perception that the cost of compliance is more......The results of a study aimed as assessing the extent to which urban vegetable farmers’ participation in field trials can impact on their awareness and engender compliance with the World Health Organization’s farm-based multiple-barrier approach are presented in this paper. Both qualitative...... and quantitative approaches have been used in this paper. One hundred vegetable farmers and four vegetable farmers’ associations in the Kumasi Metropolis in Ghana were covered. The individual farmers were grouped into two, namely: (1) participants and (2) non-participants of the farm-based multiple...
Ravenell, Joseph; Leighton-Herrmann, Ellyn; Abel-Bey, Amparo; DeSorbo, Alexandra; Teresi, Jeanne; Valdez, Lenfis; Gordillo, Madeleine; Gerin, William; Hecht, Michael; Ramirez, Mildred; Noble, James; Cohn, Elizabeth; Jean-Louis, Giardin; Spruill, Tanya; Waddy, Salina; Ogedegbe, Gbenga; Williams, Olajide
Stroke is a leading cause of adult disability and mortality. Intravenous thrombolysis can minimize disability when patients present to the emergency department for treatment within the 3 - 4½ h of symptom onset. Blacks and Hispanics are more likely to die and suffer disability from stroke than whites, due in part to delayed hospital arrival and ineligibility for intravenous thrombolysis for acute stroke. Low stroke literacy (poor knowledge of stroke symptoms and when to call 911) among Blacks and Hispanics compared to whites may contribute to disparities in acute stroke treatment and outcomes. Improving stroke literacy may be a critical step along the pathway to reducing stroke disparities. The aim of the current study is to test a novel intervention to increase stroke literacy in minority populations in New York City. In a two-arm cluster randomized trial, we will evaluate the effectiveness of two culturally tailored stroke education films - one in English and one in Spanish - on changing behavioral intent to call 911 for suspected stroke, compared to usual care. These films will target knowledge of stroke symptoms, the range of severity of symptoms and the therapeutic benefit of calling 911, as well as address barriers to timely presentation to the hospital. Given the success of previous church-based programs targeting behavior change in minority populations, this trial will be conducted with 250 congregants across 14 churches (125 intervention; 125 control). Our proposed outcomes are (1) recognition of stroke symptoms and (2) behavioral intent to call 911 for suspected stroke, measured using the Stroke Action Test at the 6-month and 1-year follow-up. This is the first randomized trial of a church-placed narrative intervention to improve stroke outcomes in urban Black and Hispanic populations. A film intervention has the potential to make a significant public health impact, as film is a highly scalable and disseminable medium. Since there is at least one
Denny, Lynette; Kuhn, Louise; De Souza, Michelle; Pollack, Amy E; Dupree, William; Wright, Thomas C
Non-cytology-based screen-and-treat approaches for cervical cancer prevention have been developed for low-resource settings, but few have directly addressed efficacy. To determine the safety and efficacy of 2 screen-and-treat approaches for cervical cancer prevention that were designed to be more resource-appropriate than conventional cytology-based screening programs. Randomized clinical trial of 6555 nonpregnant women, aged 35 to 65 years, recruited through community outreach and conducted between June 2000 and December 2002 at ambulatory women's health clinics in Khayelitsha, South Africa. All patients were screened using human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA testing and visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA). Women were subsequently randomized to 1 of 3 groups: cryotherapy if she had a positive HPV DNA test result; cryotherapy if she had a positive VIA test result; or to delayed evaluation. Biopsy-confirmed high-grade cervical cancer precursor lesions and cancer at 6 and 12 months in the HPV DNA and VIA groups compared with the delayed evaluation (control) group; complications after cryotherapy. The prevalence of high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia and cancer (CIN 2+) was significantly lower in the 2 screen-and-treat groups at 6 months after randomization than in the delayed evaluation group. At 6 months, CIN 2+ was diagnosed in 0.80% (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.40%-1.20%) of the women in the HPV DNA group and 2.23% (95% CI, 1.57%-2.89%) in the VIA group compared with 3.55% (95% CI, 2.71%-4.39%) in the delayed evaluation group (Pcryotherapy, major complications were rare. Both screen-and-treat approaches are safe and result in a lower prevalence of high-grade cervical cancer precursor lesions compared with delayed evaluation at both 6 and 12 months. Trial Registration http://clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00233727.
. Preliminary results from the Danish trial: Action Competencies in Social Pedagogical Work with Socially Endangered Children (The ASP-project) based on a Bourdiean perspective - indicate that there is reason to focus more on teachers' professional skills and qualifications concerning new challenges....... It is demanding for teachers working with the entire ECE/ASPimplementation process because they have to reflect upon their own practice and role in relation to create and implement new knowledge of socially endangered children. Based on an analysis of the Nordic situation, the paper discusses preliminary results......The aim of this study is to develop an intervention and test its effects based on a theoretical concept of learning and social innovation. International research shows that early interventions can make a positive difference, and, as shown in American RCT studies, there are long-term effects...
. Preliminary results from the Danish trial: Action Competencies in Social Pedagogical Work with Socially Endangered Children (The ASP-project) based on a Bourdiean perspective - indicate that there is reason to focus more on teachers' professional skills and qualifications concerning new challenges...... emphasizing the question of the challenges for the professionals working with evidencebased knowledge and learning in the ASP-project, a RCT study which aims at social innovation in 60 centres, covering 2700 preschool children.......The aim of this study is to develop an intervention and test its effects based on a theoretical concept of learning and social innovation. International research shows that early interventions can make a positive difference, and, as shown in American RCT studies, there are long-term effects...
van der Straten, Ariane; Cheng, Helen; Mensch, Barbara; Friedland, Barbara; Katzen, Lauren; Littlefield, Sarah; Buckley, Niall; Espinoza, Lilia; Keller, Marla J.; Herold, Betsy C.; Einstein, Mark H.
Background: Accurate measurement of adherence to product use is an ongoing challenge in microbicide trials. Methods: We compared adherence estimates using two applicator tests (a dye stain assay [DSA] and an ultraviolet light assay [UVA]), the Wisebag (an applicator container that electronically tracks container openings), and self-reported adherence (ability, frequency, and percent missed doses). Healthy, HIV-negative, non-pregnant US women aged 23 to 45 received a Wisebag and 32 applicators filled with placebo gel, were instructed to insert one applicator daily for 30 days, returned the Wisebag and all applicators, and completed an exit interview. Emptied applicators were tested by UVA and then DSA, and scored by two blinded readers. Positive and negative controls were randomly included in applicator batches. Results: Among 42 women enrolled, 39 completed the study. DSA and UVA yielded similar sensitivity (97% and 95%) and specificity (79% and 79%). Two participants had fully inoperable Wisebags and nine had partially inoperable Wisebags. The proportion of participants considered to have high adherence (≥80%) varied: 43% (Wisebag), 46% (UVA), 49% (DSA), and 62% to 82% (self-reports). For estimating high adherence, Wisebag had a sensitivity of 76% (95% CI, 50% to 93%) and a specificity of 85% (95% CI, 62% to 97%) compared with DSA. Although 28% of participants reported forgetting to open the Wisebag daily, 59% said it helped them remember gel use. Conclusions: DSA and UVA performed similarly. Compared with these tests, self-reports overestimated and Wisebag underestimated adherence. Although Wisebag may encourage gel use, the applicator tests currently appear more useful for measuring use in clinical trials. PMID:24220357
Del Re, A C; Maisel, Natalya C; Blodgett, Janet C; Finney, John W
Intention to treat (ITT) is an analytic strategy for reducing potential bias in treatment effects arising from missing data in randomised controlled trials (RCTs). Currently, no universally accepted definition of ITT exists, although many researchers consider it to require either no attrition or a strategy to handle missing data. Using the reports of a large pool of RCTs, we examined discrepancies between the types of analyses that alcohol pharmacotherapy researchers stated they used versus those they actually used. We also examined the linkage between analytic strategy (ie, ITT or not) and how missing data on outcomes were handled (if at all), and whether data analytic and missing data strategies have changed over time. Descriptive statistics were generated for reported and actual data analytic strategy and for missing data strategy. In addition, generalised linear models determined changes over time in the use of ITT analyses and missing data strategies. 165 RCTs of pharmacotherapy for alcohol use disorders. Of the 165 studies, 74 reported using an ITT strategy. However, less than 40% of the studies actually conducted ITT according to the rigorous definition above. Whereas no change in the use of ITT analyses over time was found, censored (last follow-up completed) and imputed missing data strategies have increased over time, while analyses of data only for the sample actually followed have decreased. Discrepancies in reporting versus actually conducting ITT analyses were found in this body of RCTs. Lack of clarity regarding the missing data strategy used was common. Consensus on a definition of ITT is important for an adequate understanding of research findings. Clearer reporting standards for analyses and the handling of missing data in pharmacotherapy trials and other intervention studies are needed.
Full Text Available We explored microbial contributions to decomposition using a sophisticated approach to DNA Stable Isotope Probing (SIP. Our experiment evaluated the dynamics and ecological characteristics of functionally defined microbial groups that metabolize labile and structural C in soils. We added to soil a complex amendment representing plant derived organic matter substituted with either 13C-xylose or 13C-cellulose to represent labile and structural C pools derived from abundant components of plant biomass. We found evidence for 13C-incorporation into DNA from 13C-xylose and 13C-cellulose in 49 and 63 operational taxonomic units (OTUs, respectively. The types of microorganisms that assimilated 13C in the 13C-xylose treatment changed over time being predominantly Firmicutes at day 1 followed by Bacteroidetes at day 3 and then Actinobacteria at day 7. These 13C-labeling dynamics suggest labile C traveled through different trophic levels. In contrast, microorganisms generally metabolized cellulose-C after 14 days and did not change to the same extent in phylogenetic composition over time. Microorganisms that metabolized cellulose-C belonged to poorly characterized but cosmopolitan soil lineages including Verrucomicrobia, Chloroflexi and Planctomycetes.
by a more theoretical debate and increased interaction between the heterodox schools of ecological economics and post-Keynesian economics. In addition, both the degrowth community and the research community organized around sustainable transitions of socio-technical systems have contributed to discussions...... on how to reconcile environmental and social concerns. Based on this broad variety of pieces in a jigsaw puzzle, a new ecological macroeconomics is emerging, but the contours are still vague. This chapter seeks to outline some of this topography and to add a few pieces of its own by highlighting the need...... to shift resources from consumption to investment and describing the role of consumer-citizens in such a change. The chapter starts by identifying the problems and challenges for an ecological macroeconomics. The next section outlines some of the shortcomings of traditional macroeconomics...
Arcadio Morales-Pérez; Elizabeth Nava-Aguilera; Alejandro Balanzar-Martínez; Antonio Juan Cortés-Guzmán; David Gasga-Salinas; Irma Esther Rodríguez-Ramos; Alba Meneses-Rentería; Sergio Paredes-Solís; José Legorreta-Soberanis; Felipe Gil Armendariz-Valle; Robert J. Ledogar; Anne Cockcroft; Neil Andersson
Abstract Background Understanding the breeding patterns of Aedes aegypti in households and the factors associated with infestation are important for implementing vector control. The baseline survey of a cluster randomised controlled trial of community mobilisation for dengue prevention in Mexico and Nicaragua collected information about the containers that are the main breeding sites, identified possible actions to reduce breeding, and examined factors associated with household infestation. T...
Thomas, J.M.; Eberhardt, L.L.
Quantitative problems in accomplishing ecological impact assessment with particular reference to defining population effects are discussed with some comments on the two approaches most commonly used, e.g., the experimental and simulation models. Some alternatives are suggested because both methods will probably fail to detect real population effects mostly due to poor understanding of ecosystems or because of the limitations inherent in field census methods. Most judgments of ecological impact are not quantitatively defensible but are qualitative, subjective, or political in nature. An examination of aggregates of data from various nuclear power plant sites may be one way to obtain enough replication to judge ecological impact. Thus, currently available data from such studies as well as appropriate demographic, vegetation, census, and bibliographic material could offer an interesting challenge to computer professionals if such an undertaking were contemplated. Present research programs at PNL and computer involvement are described. Future possibilities and directions are discussed. (U.S.)
Kallis, Giorgos [ICREA Researcher, ICTA, Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona, ETSE, QC/3095, 08193 Bellatera, Barcelona (Spain); Norgaard, Richard B. [Energy and Resources Group, University of California at Berkeley, 310 Barrows Hall, Berkeley, CA, 94720-3050 (United States)
This paper maps a coevolutionary research agenda for ecological economics. At an epistemological level coevolution offers a powerful logic for transcending environmental and social determinisms and developing a cross-disciplinary approach in the study of socio-ecological systems. We identify four consistent stories emerging out of coevolutionary studies in ecological economics, concerning: environmental degradation and development failure in peripheral regions; the lock-in of unsustainable production-consumption patterns; the vicious cycle between human efforts to control undesirable micro-organisms and the evolution of these organisms; and the adaptive advantages of other-regarding, cooperative behaviors and institutions. We identify challenges in the conceptualization of coevolutionary relationships in relation to: the interaction between different hierarchical levels of evolution; the role of space and social power; uneven rates of change and crises. We conclude with the political implications of a coevolutionary perspective based on the premises of pragmatism. (author)
Opdam, P.; Vos, C.C.; Foppen, R.
Landscapes are studied by pattern (the geographical approach) and by process (the ecological approach within landscape ecology). The future of landscape ecology depends on whether the two approaches can be integrated. We present an approach to bridge the gap between the many detailed process studies
Deng, Ye; Jiang, Yi-Huei; Yang, Yunfeng; He, Zhili; Luo, Feng; Zhou, Jizhong
Understanding the interaction among different species within a community and their responses to environmental changes is a central goal in ecology. However, defining the network structure in a microbial community is very challenging due to their extremely high diversity and as-yet uncultivated status. Although recent advance of metagenomic technologies, such as high throughout sequencing and functional gene arrays, provide revolutionary tools for analyzing microbial community structure, it is still difficult to examine network interactions in a microbial community based on high-throughput metagenomics data. Here, we describe a novel mathematical and bioinformatics framework to construct ecological association networks named molecular ecological networks (MENs) through Random Matrix Theory (RMT)-based methods. Compared to other network construction methods, this approach is remarkable in that the network is automatically defined and robust to noise, thus providing excellent solutions to several common issues associated with high-throughput metagenomics data. We applied it to determine the network structure of microbial communities subjected to long-term experimental warming based on pyrosequencing data of 16 S rRNA genes. We showed that the constructed MENs under both warming and unwarming conditions exhibited topological features of scale free, small world and modularity, which were consistent with previously described molecular ecological networks. Eigengene analysis indicated that the eigengenes represented the module profiles relatively well. In consistency with many other studies, several major environmental traits including temperature and soil pH were found to be important in determining network interactions in the microbial communities examined. To facilitate its application by the scientific community, all these methods and statistical tools have been integrated into a comprehensive Molecular Ecological Network Analysis Pipeline (MENAP), which is open
Carrie, Rachael; Dixon, Alan
Sustainable land management is increasingly taking a landscape approach to advocate simultaneously for local and multiple stakeholder-negotiated development and environmental objectives. Landscape approaches advance earlier frameworks that failed to acknowledge or reconcile either biodiversity or societal trade-offs, and that often tended toward externally-derived or imposed management interventions. Most recently, the management of land to balance biodiversity, food security and ecosystem services outcomes has been informed by socio-ecological systems thinking that seeks to promote an interdisciplinary understanding of any given 'landscape' where environmental and social factors continually interact in complex, adaptive and resilient ways. Reflecting these concepts, and integrating local and external scientific knowledge, the Functional Landscape Approach (FLA) was developed by Wetland Action, focussing on wetland systems in rural sub-Saharan Africa to contribute to environmentally sensitive and climate resilient strategies for safeguarding essential ecosystem services and improving livelihoods and well-being. In particular, the FLA stresses the ways in which land productivity can be improved through supporting, strengthening or re-establishing functional linkages between wetlands and their catchments and provides a basis for local identification of specific interventions to improve the sustainability of land use. Crucially, it also emphasises the need for community-based institutional support and the importance of incentives through market linkages and value-chain development. In this paper we will describe our experiences of developing and implementing the FLA in Ethiopia, Zambia and Malawi over the past two decades. Drawing on successful and less-successful elements of participatory planning, monitoring and evaluation, and the facilitation of long-term sustainable benefits, we will discuss some of the accomplishments and challenges that can be associated with
Huppelschoten Aleida G
Full Text Available Abstract Background Beside traditional outcomes of safety and (cost-effectiveness, the Institute of Medicine states patient-centeredness as an independent outcome indicator to evaluate the quality of healthcare. Providing patient-centered care is important because patients want to be heard for their ideas and concerns. Healthcare areas associated with high emotions and intensive treatment periods could especially benefit from patient-centered care. How care can become optimally improved in patient-centeredness is unknown. Therefore, we will conduct a study in the context of Dutch fertility care to determine the effects of a multifaceted approach on patient-centeredness, patients’ quality of life (QoL and levels of distress. Our aims are to investigate the effectiveness of a multifaceted approach and to identify determinants of a change in the level of patient-centeredness, patients’ QoL and distress levels. This paper presents the study protocol. Methods/Design In a cluster-randomized trial in 32 Dutch fertility clinics the effects of a multifaceted approach will be determined on the level of patient-centeredness (Patient-centredness Questionnaire – Infertility, patients’ QoL (FertiQoL and levels of distress (SCREENIVF. The multifaceted approach includes audit and feedback, educational outreach visits and patient-mediated interventions. Potential determinants of a change in patient-centeredness, patients’ QoL and levels of distress will be collected by an addendum to the patients’ questionnaire and a professionals’ questionnaire. The latter includes the Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument about the clinic’s culture as a possible determinant of an increase in patient-centered care. Discussion The study is expected to yield important new evidence about the effects of a multifaceted approach on levels of patient-centeredness, patients’ QoL and distress in fertility care. Furthermore, determinants associated with a change
Bingley, Polly J; Wherrett, Diane K; Shultz, Ann; Rafkin, Lisa E; Atkinson, Mark A; Greenbaum, Carla J
What will it take to bring disease-modifying therapy to clinical use in type 1 diabetes? Coordinated efforts of investigators involved in discovery, translational, and clinical research operating in partnership with funders and industry and in sync with regulatory agencies are needed. This Perspective describes one such effort, Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet, a National Institutes of Health-funded and JDRF-supported international clinical trials network that emerged from the Diabetes Prevention Trial-Type 1 (DPT-1). Through longitudinal natural history studies, as well as trials before and after clinical onset of disease combined with mechanistic and ancillary investigations to enhance scientific understanding and translation to clinical use, TrialNet is working to bring disease-modifying therapies to individuals with type 1 diabetes. Moreover, TrialNet uses its expertise and experience in clinical studies to increase efficiencies in the conduct of trials and to reduce the burden of participation on individuals and families. Herein, we highlight key contributions made by TrialNet toward a revised understanding of the natural history of disease and approaches to alter disease course and outline the consortium's plans for the future. © 2018 by the American Diabetes Association.
den Uyl, T.E.; Gladwin, T.E.; Rinck, M.; Lindenmeyer, J.; Wiers, R.W.
Two studies showed an improvement in clinical outcomes after alcohol approach bias retraining, a form of Cognitive Bias Modification (CBM). We investigated whether transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) could enhance effects of CBM. TDCS is a neuromodulation technique that can increase
van der Graaf, Rieke; van der Zande, Indira S. E.; den Ruijter, Hester M.; Oudijk, Martijn A.; van Delden, Johannes J. M.; Oude Rengerink, Katrien; Groenwold, Rolf H. H.
Background: Since pregnant women are severely underrepresented in clinical research, many take the position that the exclusion of pregnant women from research must be justified unless there are compelling "scientific reasons" for their exclusion. However, it is questionable whether this approach
van der Graaf, Rieke; van der Zande, Indira S E; den Ruijter, Hester M; Oudijk, Martijn A; van Delden, Johannes J M; Oude Rengerink, Katrien; Groenwold, Rolf H H
BACKGROUND: Since pregnant women are severely underrepresented in clinical research, many take the position that the exclusion of pregnant women from research must be justified unless there are compelling "scientific reasons" for their exclusion. However, it is questionable whether this approach
Schaarup, Clara; Hejlesen, Ole Kristian
Objective. The aim of the present study is to evaluate the usability of the telehealth system, coined Telekit, by using an iterative, mixed usability approach. Materials and Methods. Ten double experts participated in two heuristic evaluations (HE1, HE2), and 11 COPD patients attended two think-aloud tests. The double experts identified usability violations and classified them into Jakob Nielsen's heuristics. These violations were then translated into measurable values on a scale of 0 to 4 indicating degree of severity. In the think-aloud tests, COPD participants were invited to verbalise their thoughts. Results. The double experts identified 86 usability violations in HE1 and 101 usability violations in HE2. The majority of the violations were rated in the 0–2 range. The findings from the think-aloud tests resulted in 12 themes and associated examples regarding the usability of the Telekit system. The use of the iterative, mixed usability approach produced both quantitative and qualitative results. Conclusion. The iterative, mixed usability approach yields a strong result owing to the high number of problems identified in the tests because the double experts and the COPD participants focus on different aspects of Telekit's usability. This trial is registered with Clinicaltrials.gov, NCT01984840, November 14, 2013. PMID:27974888
The dispersion relation for capillary waves at the boundary of two different Bose condensates is investigated using a trial wave-function approach applied to the Gross-Pitaevskii (GP) equations. The surface tension is expressed by the parameters of the GP equations. In the long wave-length limit the usual dispersion relation is re-derived while for wavelengths comparable to the healing length we predict significant deviations from the ω ∝ k 3/2 law which can be experimentally observed. We approximate the wave variables by a frozen order parameter, i.e. the wave function is frozen in the superfluid analogous to the magnetic field in highly conductive space plasmas. PACS codes: 67.85.Jk
This volume contains three critical contributions on the application of modern technology from the ethical point of view. The peaceful use of nuclear power is rejected as a technical error, which is overwhelming humanity. Ethical bases of a preventive technological policy and ecological aims are developed for the 21st century, in economy, technology, politics, and consciousness. (HSCH) [de
Christiansen, Ellen Tove
in the 1960ties, and chosen here because it integrates cultural and psychological trajectories in a theory of living settings. The pedagogical-didactical paradigm comprises three distinct information ecologies, named after their intended outcome: the problem-setting, the exploration-setting, and the fit...
Wilms, E.; Gerritsen, J.; Smidt, H.; Besseling-van der Vaart, I.; Rijkers, G. T.; Garcia Fuentes, A. R.; Masclee, A. A. M.; Troost, F. J.
Background and Aims Probiotics, prebiotics and synbiotics have been suggested as dietary strategies to improve intestinal barrier function. This study aimed to assess the effect of two weeks synbiotic supplementation on intestinal permeability under basal and stressed conditions. Secondary aims were the assessment of two weeks synbiotic supplementation on systemic immune function and gastrointestinal symptoms including defecation pattern. Design Twenty healthy adults completed a double-blind, controlled, randomized, parallel design study. Intervention Groups either received synbiotic (1.5 × 1010 CFU Ecologic® 825 + 10 g fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS P6) per day) or control supplements for two weeks. Outcomes Intestinal segment specific permeability was assessed non-invasively by oral administration of multiple sugar probes and, subsequently, assessing the excretion of these probes in urine. This test was conducted at baseline and at the end of intervention, in the absence and in the presence of an indomethacin challenge. Indomethacin was applied to induce a compromised gut state. Plasma zonulin, cytokines and chemokines were measured at baseline and at the end of intervention. Gastrointestinal symptoms and stool frequency were recorded at baseline and daily during intervention. Results Significantly more male subjects were in the synbiotic group compared to the control group (P = 0.025). Indomethacin significantly increased urinary lactulose/rhamnose ratio versus without indomethacin, both in the control group (P = 0.005) and in the synbiotic group (P = 0.017). Urinary sugar recoveries and ratios, plasma levels of zonulin, cytokines and chemokines, and gastrointestinal symptom scores were not significantly different after control or synbiotic intervention. Stool frequency within the synbiotic group was significantly increased during synbiotic intervention compared to baseline (P = 0.039) and higher compared to control intervention (P = 0.045). Conclusion Two weeks
Wilms, E; Gerritsen, J; Smidt, H; Besseling-van der Vaart, I; Rijkers, G T; Garcia Fuentes, A R; Masclee, A A M; Troost, F J
Probiotics, prebiotics and synbiotics have been suggested as dietary strategies to improve intestinal barrier function. This study aimed to assess the effect of two weeks synbiotic supplementation on intestinal permeability under basal and stressed conditions. Secondary aims were the assessment of two weeks synbiotic supplementation on systemic immune function and gastrointestinal symptoms including defecation pattern. Twenty healthy adults completed a double-blind, controlled, randomized, parallel design study. Groups either received synbiotic (1.5 × 1010 CFU Ecologic® 825 + 10 g fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS P6) per day) or control supplements for two weeks. Intestinal segment specific permeability was assessed non-invasively by oral administration of multiple sugar probes and, subsequently, assessing the excretion of these probes in urine. This test was conducted at baseline and at the end of intervention, in the absence and in the presence of an indomethacin challenge. Indomethacin was applied to induce a compromised gut state. Plasma zonulin, cytokines and chemokines were measured at baseline and at the end of intervention. Gastrointestinal symptoms and stool frequency were recorded at baseline and daily during intervention. Significantly more male subjects were in the synbiotic group compared to the control group (P = 0.025). Indomethacin significantly increased urinary lactulose/rhamnose ratio versus without indomethacin, both in the control group (P = 0.005) and in the synbiotic group (P = 0.017). Urinary sugar recoveries and ratios, plasma levels of zonulin, cytokines and chemokines, and gastrointestinal symptom scores were not significantly different after control or synbiotic intervention. Stool frequency within the synbiotic group was significantly increased during synbiotic intervention compared to baseline (P = 0.039) and higher compared to control intervention (P = 0.045). Two weeks Ecologic® 825/FOS P6 supplementation increased stool frequency
Full Text Available Probiotics, prebiotics and synbiotics have been suggested as dietary strategies to improve intestinal barrier function. This study aimed to assess the effect of two weeks synbiotic supplementation on intestinal permeability under basal and stressed conditions. Secondary aims were the assessment of two weeks synbiotic supplementation on systemic immune function and gastrointestinal symptoms including defecation pattern.Twenty healthy adults completed a double-blind, controlled, randomized, parallel design study.Groups either received synbiotic (1.5 × 1010 CFU Ecologic® 825 + 10 g fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS P6 per day or control supplements for two weeks.Intestinal segment specific permeability was assessed non-invasively by oral administration of multiple sugar probes and, subsequently, assessing the excretion of these probes in urine. This test was conducted at baseline and at the end of intervention, in the absence and in the presence of an indomethacin challenge. Indomethacin was applied to induce a compromised gut state. Plasma zonulin, cytokines and chemokines were measured at baseline and at the end of intervention. Gastrointestinal symptoms and stool frequency were recorded at baseline and daily during intervention.Significantly more male subjects were in the synbiotic group compared to the control group (P = 0.025. Indomethacin significantly increased urinary lactulose/rhamnose ratio versus without indomethacin, both in the control group (P = 0.005 and in the synbiotic group (P = 0.017. Urinary sugar recoveries and ratios, plasma levels of zonulin, cytokines and chemokines, and gastrointestinal symptom scores were not significantly different after control or synbiotic intervention. Stool frequency within the synbiotic group was significantly increased during synbiotic intervention compared to baseline (P = 0.039 and higher compared to control intervention (P = 0.045.Two weeks Ecologic® 825/FOS P6 supplementation increased stool
Interactions between economics and ecology are analyzed by means of a deductive approach as well as by means of an iteration model. Additional approaches are briefly touched upon, with the Black box approach being considered as particularly suitable. Finally, the limits of all thought models are defined.
Graham, Amanda L; Burke, Michael V; Jacobs, Megan A; Cha, Sarah; Croghan, Ivana T; Schroeder, Darrell R; Moriarty, James P; Borah, Bijan J; Rasmussen, Donna F; Brookover, M Jody; Suesse, Dale B; Midthun, David E; Hays, J Taylor
Delivering effective tobacco dependence treatment that is feasible within lung cancer screening (LCS) programs is crucial for realizing the health benefits and cost savings of screening. Large-scale trials and systematic reviews have demonstrated that digital cessation interventions (i.e. web-based and text message) are effective, sustainable over the long-term, scalable, and cost-efficient. Use of digital technologies is commonplace among older adults, making this a feasible approach within LCS programs. Use of cessation treatment has been improved with models that proactively connect smokers to treatment rather than passive referrals. Proactive referral to cessation treatment has been advanced through healthcare systems changes such as modifying the electronic health record to automatically link smokers to treatment. This study evaluates the impact of a proactive enrollment strategy that links LCS-eligible smokers with an evidence-based intervention comprised of a web-based (WEB) program and integrated text messaging (TXT) in a three-arm randomized trial with repeated measures at one, three, six, and 12 months post randomization. The primary outcome is biochemically confirmed abstinence at 12 months post randomization. We will randomize 1650 smokers who present for a clinical LCS to: (1) a usual care control condition (UC) which consists of Ask-Advise-Refer; (2) a digital (WEB + TXT) cessation intervention; or (3) a digital cessation intervention combined with tobacco treatment specialist (TTS) counseling (WEB + TXT + TTS). The scalability and sustainability of a digital intervention may represent the most cost-effective and feasible approach for LCS programs to proactively engage large numbers of smokers in effective cessation treatment. We will also evaluate the impact and cost-effectiveness of adding proven clinical intervention provided by a TTS. We expect that a combined digital/clinical intervention will yield higher quit rates than digital
Lurgi, Miguel; Robertson, David
In ecological networks, natural communities are studied from a complex systems perspective by representing interactions among species within them in the form of a graph, which is in turn analysed using mathematical tools. Topological features encountered in complex networks have been proved to provide the systems they represent with interesting attributes such as robustness and stability, which in ecological systems translates into the ability of communities to resist perturbations of different kinds. A focus of research in community ecology is on understanding the mechanisms by which these complex networks of interactions among species in a community arise. We employ an agent-based approach to model ecological processes operating at the species' interaction level for the study of the emergence of organisation in ecological networks. We have designed protocols of interaction among agents in a multi-agent system based on ecological processes occurring at the interaction level between species in plant-animal mutualistic communities. Interaction models for agents coordination thus engineered facilitate the emergence of network features such as those found in ecological networks of interacting species, in our artificial societies of agents. Agent based models developed in this way facilitate the automation of the design an execution of simulation experiments that allow for the exploration of diverse behavioural mechanisms believed to be responsible for community organisation in ecological communities. This automated way of conducting experiments empowers the study of ecological networks by exploiting the expressive power of interaction models specification in agent systems.
Kuhlisch, Constanze; Pohnert, Georg
Chemical ecology elucidates the nature and role of natural products as mediators of organismal interactions. The emerging techniques that can be summarized under the concept of metabolomics provide new opportunities to study such environmentally relevant signaling molecules. Especially comparative tools in metabolomics enable the identification of compounds that are regulated during interaction situations and that might play a role as e.g. pheromones, allelochemicals or in induced and activated defenses. This approach helps overcoming limitations of traditional bioassay-guided structure elucidation approaches. But the power of metabolomics is not limited to the comparison of metabolic profiles of interacting partners. Especially the link to other -omics techniques helps to unravel not only the compounds in question but the entire biosynthetic and genetic re-wiring, required for an ecological response. This review comprehensively highlights successful applications of metabolomics in chemical ecology and discusses existing limitations of these novel techniques. It focuses on recent developments in comparative metabolomics and discusses the use of metabolomics in the systems biology of organismal interactions. It also outlines the potential of large metabolomics initiatives for model organisms in the field of chemical ecology.
Bitter, Neis; Roeg, Diana; van Assen, Marcel; van Nieuwenhuizen, Chijs; van Weeghel, Jaap
The CARe methodology aims to improve the quality of life of people with severe mental illness by supporting them in realizing their goals, handling their vulnerability and improving the quality of their social environment. This study aims to investigate the effectiveness of the CARe methodology for people with severe mental illness on their quality of life, personal recovery, participation, hope, empowerment, self-efficacy beliefs and unmet needs. A cluster Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) was conducted in 14 teams of three organizations for sheltered and supported housing in the Netherlands. Teams in the intervention group received training in the CARe methodology. Teams in the control group continued working according to care as usual. Questionnaires were filled out at baseline, after 10 months and after 20 months. A total of 263 clients participated in the study. Quality of life increased in both groups, however, no differences between the intervention and control group were found. Recovery and social functioning did not change over time. Regarding the secondary outcomes, the number of unmet needs decreased in both groups. All intervention teams received the complete training program. The model fidelity at T1 was 53.4% for the intervention group and 33.4% for the control group. At T2 this was 50.6% for the intervention group and 37.2% for the control group. All clients improved in quality of life. However we did not find significant differences between the clients of the both conditions on any outcome measure. Possible explanations of these results are: the difficulty to implement rehabilitation-supporting practice, the content of the methodology and the difficulty to improve the lives of a group of people with longstanding and severe impairments in a relatively short period. More research is needed on how to improve effects of rehabilitation trainings in practice and on outcome level. ISRCTN77355880 , retrospectively registered (05/07/2013).
Wolf, Steven L; Sahu, Komal; Bay, R Curtis; Buchanan, Sharon; Reiss, Aimee; Linder, Susan; Rosenfeldt, Anson; Alberts, Jay
Geographical location, socioeconomic status, and logistics surrounding transportation impede access of poststroke individuals to comprehensive rehabilitative services. Robotic therapy may enhance telerehabilitation by delivering consistent and state-of-the art therapy while allowing remote monitoring and adjusting therapy for underserved populations. The Hand Mentor Pro (HMP) was incorporated within a home exercise program (HEP) to improve upper-extremity (UE) functional capabilities poststroke. To determine the efficacy of a home-based telemonitored robotic-assisted therapy as part of a HEP compared with a dose-matched HEP-only intervention among individuals less than 6 months poststroke and characterized as underserved. In this prospective, single-blinded, multisite, randomized controlled trial, 99 hemiparetic participants with limited access to UE rehabilitation were randomized to either (1) the experimental group, which received combined HEP and HMP for 3 h/d ×5 days ×8 weeks, or (2) the control group, which received HEP only at an identical dosage. Weekly communication between the supervising therapist and participant promoted compliance and progression of the HEP and HMP prescription. The Action Research Arm Test and Wolf Motor Function Test along with the Fugl-Meyer Assessment (UE) were primary and secondary outcome measures, respectively, undertaken before and after the interventions. Both groups demonstrated improvement across all UE outcomes. Robotic + HEP and HEP only were both effectively delivered remotely. There was no difference between groups in change in motor function over time. Additional research is necessary to determine the appropriate dosage of HMP and HEP. © The Author(s) 2015.
Full Text Available ... for trials with cutting-edge approaches, such as gene therapy or new biological treatments. Health insurance and health ... trials that involve high-risk procedures (such as gene therapy) or vulnerable patients (such as children). A DSMB's ...
Pennaforte, Thomas; Moussa, Ahmed; Loye, Nathalie; Charlin, Bernard; Audétat, Marie-Claude
Helping trainees develop appropriate clinical reasoning abilities is a challenging goal in an environment where clinical situations are marked by high levels of complexity and unpredictability. The benefit of simulation-based education to assess clinical reasoning skills has rarely been reported. More specifically, it is unclear if clinical reasoning is better acquired if the instructor's input occurs entirely after or is integrated during the scenario. Based on educational principles of the dual-process theory of clinical reasoning, a new simulation approach called simulation with iterative discussions (SID) is introduced. The instructor interrupts the flow of the scenario at three key moments of the reasoning process (data gathering, integration, and confirmation). After each stop, the scenario is continued where it was interrupted. Finally, a brief general debriefing ends the session. System-1 process of clinical reasoning is assessed by verbalization during management of the case, and System-2 during the iterative discussions without providing feedback. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of Simulation with Iterative Discussions versus the classical approach of simulation in developing reasoning skills of General Pediatrics and Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine residents. This will be a prospective exploratory, randomized study conducted at Sainte-Justine hospital in Montreal, Qc, between January and March 2016. All post-graduate year (PGY) 1 to 6 residents will be invited to complete one SID or classical simulation 30 minutes audio video-recorded complex high-fidelity simulations covering a similar neonatology topic. Pre- and post-simulation questionnaires will be completed and a semistructured interview will be conducted after each simulation. Data analyses will use SPSS and NVivo softwares. This study is in its preliminary stages and the results are expected to be made available by April, 2016. This will be the first study to explore a new
LaBrecque, D. J.; Morelli, G.; Fischanger, F.; Lamoureux, P.; Brigham, R.
Implementing systems of distributed receivers and transmitters for resistivity and induced polarization data is an almost inevitable result of the availability of wireless data communication modules and GPS modules offering precise timing and instrument locations. Such systems have a number of advantages; for example, they can be deployed around obstacles such as rivers, canyons, or mountains which would be difficult with traditional 'hard-wired' systems. However, deploying a system of identical, small, battery powered, transceivers, each capable of injecting a known current and measuring the induced potential has an additional and less obvious advantage in that multiple units can inject current simultaneously. The original purpose for using multiple simultaneous current sources (multi-source) was to increase signal levels. In traditional systems, to double the received signal you inject twice the current which requires you to apply twice the voltage and thus four times the power. Alternatively, one approach to increasing signal levels for large-scale surveys collected using small, battery powered transceivers is it to allow multiple units to transmit in parallel. In theory, using four 400 watt transmitters on separate, parallel dipoles yields roughly the same signal as a single 6400 watt transmitter. Furthermore, implementing the multi-source approach creates the opportunity to apply more complex current flow patterns than simple, parallel dipoles. For a perfect, noise-free system, multi-sources adds no new information to a data set that contains a comprehensive set of data collected using single sources. However, for realistic, noisy systems, it appears that multi-source data can substantially impact survey results. In preliminary model studies, the multi-source data produced such startling improvements in subsurface images that even the authors questioned their veracity. Between December of 2012 and July of 2013, we completed multi-source surveys at five sites
The organic fraction of municipal solid waste provides abundant opportunities for industrial ecology-based symbiotic use. Energy production, economics, and environmental aspects are analyzed for four alternatives based on different technologies: incineration with energy recovery...
Käyhkö, Jukka; Horstkotte, Tim; Vehmas, Jarmo; Forbes, Bruce
The area allocated for reindeer husbandry in Finland, Sweden and Norway covers approximately 40 % of each country. As the livelihood requires large, relatively unfragmented territories while being marginal in terms of direct income, land-use conflicts between various livelihoods and activities, such as forestry, agriculture, mining, energy production, tourism, and nature protection are common phenomena in the region. Simultaneously, rapid societal change, urban exodus and fading traditions as well as climate warming and subsequent ecosystem change may put the livelihood at stake. We have probed potential futures of reindeer husbandry in Northern Fennoscandia using the Social-Ecological System (SES) approach, knowledge co-production in stakeholder-scientist workshops in all three countries, and scenario building based on quantitative data and narratives. Regarding the future of the livelihood, we have identified some crucial components in the SES that are influential in determining the direction of development. We produced four potential pathways of future development and demonstrate that important factors controlling the direction of development include governance and actor relations. Governance is often considered distant and opaque by local stakeholders, fostering conflicts in land allocation, while unclear regulations at local level reinforce emerging conflict situations leading to distrust and restrained communication between the actors. Regionally, these conflicts may lead to decreased resilience and threaten the future of the livelihood altogether. Therefore, research should focus on supporting the reform process of institutional arrangements and governance mechanisms, and fostering co-design and co-production processes that ease distrust and improve resilience of the livelihood in multifunctional landscapes.
Full Text Available ... patients to find out whether a new approach causes any harm. In later phases of clinical trials, ... device improves patient outcomes; offers no benefit; or causes unexpected harm All of these results are important ...
Full Text Available ... to Expect During a clinical trial, doctors, nurses, social workers, and other health care providers might be ... the new approach. You also will have the support of a team of health care providers, who ...
Full Text Available ... harm. In later phases of clinical trials, researchers learn more about the new approach's risks and benefits. ... explore whether surgery or other medical treatments produce better results for certain illnesses or groups of people; ...
Full Text Available ... a laboratory (lab), where scientists first develop and test new ideas. If an approach seems promising, the ... Centers (including the NHLBI) usually sponsor trials that test principles or strategies. For example, one NHLBI study ...
Full Text Available ... combination of estrogen and progestin, the risk of breast cancer also increased. As a result, the U.S. Food ... to test new approaches to prevention, diagnosis, or screening. In the past, clinical trial participants often were ...
Peters, Brandilyn A; Hall, Megan N; Liu, Xinhua; Parvez, Faruque; Sanchez, Tiffany R; van Geen, Alexander; Mey, Jacob L; Siddique, Abu B; Shahriar, Hasan; Uddin, Mohammad Nasir; Islam, Tariqul; Balac, Olgica; Ilievski, Vesna; Factor-Litvak, Pam; Graziano, Joseph H; Gamble, Mary V
The World Health Organization estimates that > 140 million people worldwide are exposed to arsenic (As)-contaminated drinking water. As undergoes biologic methylation, which facilitates renal As elimination. In folate-deficient individuals, this process is augmented by folic acid (FA) supplementation, thereby lowering blood As (bAs). Creatinine concentrations in urine are a robust predictor of As methylation patterns. Although the reasons for this are unclear, creatine synthesis is a major consumer of methyl donors, and this synthesis is down-regulated by dietary/supplemental creatine. Our aim was to determine whether 400 or 800 μg FA and/or creatine supplementation lowers bAs in an As-exposed Bangladeshi population. We conducted a clinical trial in which 622 participants were randomized to receive 400 μg FA, 800 μg FA, 3 g creatine, 3 g creatine+400 μg FA, or placebo daily. All participants received an As-removal filter on enrollment, and were followed for 24 weeks. After the 12th week, half of the two FA groups were switched to placebo to evaluate post-treatment bAs patterns. Linear models with repeated measures indicated that the decline in ln(bAs) from baseline in the 800-μg FA group exceeded that of the placebo group (weeks 1-12: β= -0.09, 95% CI: -0.18, -0.01; weeks 13-24: FA continued: β= -0.12, 95% CI: -0.24, -0.00; FA switched to placebo: β= -0.14, 95% CI: -0.26, -0.02). There was no rebound in bAs related to cessation of FA supplementation. Declines in bAs observed in the remaining treatment arms were not significantly different from those of the placebo group. In this mixed folate-deficient/replete study population, 12- and 24-week treatment with 800 μg (but not 400 μg) FA lowered bAs to a greater extent than placebo; this was sustained 12 weeks after FA cessation. In future studies, we will evaluate whether FA and/or creatine altered As methylation profiles.
Gou, Faxiang; Liu, Xinfeng; Ren, Xiaowei; Liu, Dongpeng; Liu, Haixia; Wei, Kongfu; Yang, Xiaoting; Cheng, Yao; Zheng, Yunhe; Jiang, Xiaojuan; Li, Juansheng; Meng, Lei; Hu, Wenbiao
The influence of socio-ecological factors on hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) were explored in this study using Bayesian spatial modeling and spatial patterns identified in dry regions of Gansu, China. Notified HFMD cases and socio-ecological data were obtained from the China Information System for Disease Control and Prevention, Gansu Yearbook and Gansu Meteorological Bureau. A Bayesian spatial conditional autoregressive model was used to quantify the effects of socio-ecological factors on the HFMD and explore spatial patterns, with the consideration of its socio-ecological effects. Our non-spatial model suggests temperature (relative risk (RR) 1.15, 95 % CI 1.01-1.31), GDP per capita (RR 1.19, 95 % CI 1.01-1.39) and population density (RR 1.98, 95 % CI 1.19-3.17) to have a significant effect on HFMD t