Carbon capture and storage (CCS) report shows further progress needed
Source: International Energy Agency
At the 2011 Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) meeting in Abu Dhabi, the CEM Carbon Capture, Use and Storage Action Group (CCUS AG) presented seven recommendations on concrete, near-term actions to accelerate global carbon capture and storage deployment. This week, at the 2012 CEM meeting in London, the IEA and Global CCS Institute presented a report tracking progress made against the 2011 recommendations and focusing on key questions such as how Energy Ministers can continue to drive progress to enable CCS to fully contribute to climate change mitigation. It concludes that, despite developments in some areas, significant further work is required. CCS financing and industrial applications continue to represent a particularly serious challenge.
+ Full Report (PDF)
Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome and Associated Health Care Expenditures
Source: Journal of the American Medical Association
Context: Neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) is a postnatal drug withdrawal syndrome primarily caused by maternal opiate use. No national estimates are available for the incidence of maternal opiate use at the time of delivery or NAS.
Objectives: To determine the national incidence of NAS and antepartum maternal opiate use and to characterize trends in national health care expenditures associated with NAS between 2000 and 2009.
Design, Setting, and Patients: A retrospective, serial, cross-sectional analysis of a nationally representative sample of newborns with NAS. The Kids’ Inpatient Database (KID) was used to identify newborns with NAS by International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) code. The Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) was used to identify mothers using diagnosis related groups for vaginal and cesarean deliveries. Clinical conditions were identified using ICD-9-CM diagnosis codes. NAS and maternal opiate use were described as an annual frequency per 1000 hospital births. Missing hospital charges (<5% of cases) were estimated using multiple imputation. Trends in health care utilization outcomes over time were evaluated using variance-weighted regression. All hospital charges were adjusted for inflation to 2009 US dollars.
Main Outcome Measures: Incidence of NAS and maternal opiate use, and related hospital charges.
Results: The separate years (2000, 2003, 2006, and 2009) of national discharge data included 2920 to 9674 unweighted discharges with NAS and 987 to 4563 unweighted discharges for mothers diagnosed with antepartum opiate use, within data sets including 784 191 to 1.1 million discharges for children (KID) and 816 554 to 879 910 discharges for all ages of delivering mothers (NIS). Between 2000 and 2009, the incidence of NAS among newborns increased from 1.20 (95% CI, 1.04-1.37) to 3.39 (95% CI, 3.12-3.67) per 1000 hospital births per year (P for trend < .001). Antepartum maternal opiate use also increased from 1.19 (95% CI, 1.01-1.35) to 5.63 (95% CI, 4.40-6.71) per 1000 hospital births per year (P for trend < .001). In 2009, newborns with NAS were more likely than all other hospital births to have low birthweight (19.1%; SE, 0.5%; vs 7.0%; SE, 0.2%), have respiratory complications (30.9%; SE, 0.7%; vs 8.9%; SE, 0.1%), and be covered by Medicaid (78.1%; SE, 0.8%; vs 45.5%; SE, 0.7%; all P < .001). Mean hospital charges for discharges with NAS increased from $39 400 (95% CI, $33 400-$45 400) in 2000 to $53 400 (95% CI, $49 000-$57 700) in 2009 (P for trend < .001). By 2009, 77.6% of charges for NAS were attributed to state Medicaid programs.
Conclusion: Between 2000 and 2009, a substantial increase in the incidence of NAS and maternal opiate use in the United States was observed, as well as hospital charges related to NAS.
See: About One Baby Born Each Hour Addicted to Opiate Drugs in U.S. (Science Daily)
A new study shows that in an average week, 74 percent of all Internet users rely on local newspaper media – digital as well as print – as key sources of news and information, and are engaging with their local newspaper across multiple platforms.
Major findings of the survey show that among the large base of Internet users who engage with newspaper media, 54 percent are using more than one platform to access newspaper content in an average week. Sixty-seven percent use at least one of three common digital platforms – computers, smartphones or tablets – and they use each at multiple times over the course of the day for newspaper content. The study was conducted for the Newspaper Association of America by Frank N. Magid Associates of Minneapolis.
The research, presented last week at NAA mediaXchange 2012 in Washington, D.C., also looks at what motivates consumers to turn to newspaper media for their news needs. Top answers to the question “Why Newspapers?” illustrate core newspaper brand values, including convenience, the extensive range and depth of news and information, and the amount of local news…
+ Full Report (PDF)
New GAO ReportsSource: Government Accountability Office
1. Electronic Health Records: First Year of CMS’s Incentive Programs Shows Opportunities to Improve Processes to Verify Providers Met Requirements. GAO-12-481, April 30.
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/600/590539.pdf
2. Border Security: Opportunities Exist to Ensure More Effective Use of DHS’s Air and Marine Assets. GAO-12-518, March 30.
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/590/589798.pdf
3. Medicare: Implementation of Financial Incentive Programs under Federal Fraud and Abuse Laws. GAO-12-355, March 30.
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/590/589794.pdf
4. Prescription Drugs: FDA Has Met Most Performance Goals for Reviewing Applications. GAO-12-500, March 30.
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/590/589763.pdf
5. Group Purchasing Organizations: Federal Oversight and Self-Regulation. GAO-12-399R, March 30.
In the first major assessment of progress on a unique Ceres Roadmap to corporate sustainability released two years ago, Ceres and global research and analysis firm Sustainalytics today released The Road to 2020: Corporate Progress on the Ceres Roadmap for Sustainability.
The findings – based on an assessment of how 600 U.S. companies are responding to environmental and social challenges such as climate change, water scarcity and supply chain conditions – show individual examples of leadership but significant need for overall improvement.
“While there are encouraging pockets of sustainability leadership in the U.S. business community, far too many companies are only taking small, incremental steps,” said Ceres president Mindy Lubber, in announcing the report at the opening of the Ceres annual conference today in Boston. “Sustainability has yet to gain traction at anywhere near the scale and speed required given the global threats we face.”
More Americans Entering Poverty as They Age (PDF)
Source: Employee Benefit Research Institute
Between 2005–2009, the rate of poverty among American seniors rose as they aged, as did the number of new entrants into poverty, according to a new report by the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI).
The EBRI report found that poverty rates fell in the first half of the last decade for almost all age groups of older Americans (age 50 or older), though they increased since 2005 for every age group.
Poverty rates, as defined by U.S. Census poverty thresholds, were highest for the oldest of the elderly. Almost 15 percent of those older than age 85 were in poverty in 2009, compared with approximately 10.5 percent of those older than 65, EBRI found. Additionally, in 2009, 6 percent of those age 85 older were new entrants in poverty.
Several factors account for the growing rate of poverty among the elderly, according to Sudipto Banerjee, EBRI research associate and author of the report. “As people age, personal savings and pension account balances are depleted, and as people age, their medical expenditures tend to increase,” Banerjee said.
“Also, the rising poverty rates noted correspond to the two economic recessions that occurred during the last decade.”
+ Full Report (PDF)
Marketers commonly assume that investment in branding and advertising will increase sales, profits and brand loyalty, but a recent Nielsen study suggests that marketing dollars spent do not necessarily mean revenue realized.The study, conducted in Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, shows that products supported by above the line – that is, mass media – advertising cost an average of 16 percent more and command an average of 31 percent higher share of category spending. Still, some above-the-line investments can actually hurt profitability and brand value, and internet-based marketing and that which generates buzz among consumers can often be more valuable than traditional marketing models.In the quest for market share, companies often offer discounts as a short-term strategy. Price discounting is tempting as it typically yields a positive revenue return that is higher compared to other marketing activities. However, it is not a panacea. A study of 26 failing FMCG items revealed that 19 out of 20 items that used price discounting as a strategy to hold their market positions once their loyal buyer base had been eroded, exited the market within 16-20 weeks. Only 1 item managed to save its position with a relaunch. The remaining 6 items exited the market within 4 -8 weeks.Advertisers looking to spend on advertising and promotions should consider how they can consistently generate a positive, balanced return on investment (ROI). Using tangible metrics will help focus the investments and ensure maximum efficiency.
Free registration required to download full report.
In their widely noticed study, Gergely, Bekkering, and Király (2002) showed that 14-month-old infants imitated an unusual action only if the model freely chose to perform this action and not if the choice of the action could be ascribed to external constraints. They attributed this kind of selective imitation to the infants’ capacity of understanding the principle of rational action. In the current paper, we present evidence that a simpler approach of perceptual distraction may be more appropriate to explain their results. When we manipulated the saliency of context stimuli in the two original conditions, the results were exactly opposite to what rational imitation predicts. Based on these findings, we reject the claim that the notion of rational action plays a key role in selective imitation in 14-month-olds.
Facilitating Medicaid Enrollment for People with Serious Mental Illnesses Leaving Jail or Prison: Key Questions for Policymakers Committed to Improving Health and Policy Safety
This brief provides guidance for elected officials and corrections and mental health directors to understand what percentage of the corrections population is eligible for Medicaid and SSI/SSDI, how to identify eligible individuals at intake to the facility, and when to begin the application process for benefits program.
Experimental Study of Informal Rewards in Peer Production
Source: PLoS ONE
We test the effects of informal rewards in online peer production. Using a randomized, experimental design, we assigned editing awards or “barnstars” to a subset of the 1% most productive Wikipedia contributors. Comparison with the control group shows that receiving a barnstar increases productivity by 60% and makes contributors six times more likely to receive additional barnstars from other community members, revealing that informal rewards significantly impact individual effort.
See: Informal Awards Contribute to Higher Wikipedia Participation (Science Daily)
While women’s votes have been critical in deciding federal elections since the 1980’s, women still face significant barriers towards realizing equality in politics and public life. In 2010, our nation experienced the first backslide in electing more women to office in over 30 years. In the same year, it also experienced a decrease in women’s political giving, after securing very marginal increases in past elections.She Should Run, working with the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP), found that women still lag drastically behind men in political giving. In 2010, women made up just 26% of recorded federal political contributions to candidates, political action committees (PACs), and party committees. More importantly, this is down from 31% in the 2008 cycle and down from 30% in the 2006 cycle.This report reveals a probable correlation between women’s political giving and their representation in Congress. It is telling that women’s political giving went down during the same cycle that women’s representation in Congress decreased. Our nation cannot afford these declines, given that women make up approximately 17% of Congress, yet represent over 50% of the population.
Exploitative male mating strategies: Personality, mating orientation, and relationship status (PDF)
Source: Personality and Individual Differences
Previous research suggests men are sexually attracted to women displaying cues to sexual exploitability. During human evolutionary history, men’s agreeableness, orientation towards casual sex, and relation- ship status may have been recurrently associated with greater net benefits of pursuing a sexually exploit- ative strategy. We hypothesized these three individual differences would predict men’s perceptions of women’s sexual exploitability. Seventy-two men viewed photographs of women and rated their sexual exploitability. Men’s agreeableness, sociosexual orientation, and current relationship status interacted to predict their perceptions of women’s sexual exploitability; among unmated men, the combination of low agreeableness and an orientation toward uncommitted sex was associated with higher perceptions of women’s sexual exploitability. This suggests mechanisms motivating sexually exploitative strategies may depend on an interaction between personality characteristics and situational variables.
A Comparison of DSM-IV and DSM-5 Panel Members’ Financial Associations with Industry: A Pernicious Problem Persists
Summary Points+ The American Psychiatric Association (APA) instituted a financial conflict of interest disclosure policy for the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).+ The new disclosure policy has not been accompanied by a reduction in the financial conflicts of interest of DSM panel members.+ Transparency alone cannot mitigate the potential for bias and is an insufficient solution for protecting the integrity of the revision process.+ Gaps in APA’s disclosure policy are identified and recommendations for more stringent safeguards are offered.