Previously, we demonstrated the possibility of fMRI in two awake and unrestrained dogs. Here, we determined the replicability and heterogeneity of these results in an additional 11 dogs for a total of 13 subjects. Based on an anatomically placed region-of-interest, we compared the caudate response to a hand signal indicating the imminent availability of a food reward to a hand signal indicating no reward. 8 of 13 dogs had a positive differential caudate response to the signal indicating reward. The mean differential caudate response was 0.09%, which was similar to a comparable human study. These results show that canine fMRI is reliable and can be done with minimal stress to the dogs.
EURO-CORDEX: new high-resolution climate change projections for European impact research
Source: Regional Environmental Change
A new high-resolution regional climate change ensemble has been established for Europe within the World Climate Research Program Coordinated Regional Downscaling Experiment (EURO-CORDEX) initiative. The first set of simulations with a horizontal resolution of 12.5 km was completed for the new emission scenarios RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 with more simulations expected to follow. The aim of this paper is to present this data set to the different communities active in regional climate modelling, impact assessment and adaptation. The EURO-CORDEX ensemble results have been compared to the SRES A1B simulation results achieved within the ENSEMBLES project. The large-scale patterns of changes in mean temperature and precipitation are similar in all three scenarios, but they differ in regional details, which can partly be related to the higher resolution in EURO-CORDEX. The results strengthen those obtained in ENSEMBLES, but need further investigations. The analysis of impact indices shows that for RCP8.5, there is a substantially larger change projected for temperature-based indices than for RCP4.5. The difference is less pronounced for precipitation-based indices. Two effects of the increased resolution can be regarded as an added value of regional climate simulations. Regional climate model simulations provide higher daily precipitation intensities, which are completely missing in the global climate model simulations, and they provide a significantly different climate change of daily precipitation intensities resulting in a smoother shift from weak to moderate and high intensities.
Critical Issues in the Identification of Gifted Students With Co-Existing Disabilities: The Twice-Exceptional
Federal law ensures all students with disabilities the right to a Free, Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). However, current policies governing a student’s eligibility for services may contribute to the underidentification of gifted children with co-existing disabilities—the Twice-Exceptional. The emphasis on below-grade-level (or lower) performance, without regard to ability or potential weaknesses, misses twice-exceptional students. Those who perform at grade level, by using advanced conceptual abilities and hard work to compensate, may still require interventions and accommodations to manage increasing educational demands. Otherwise, college and even high school graduation may be out of reach. This article reviews changing laws and policies, explores case studies of twice-exceptional students missed, and examines the diagnosis of twice-exceptionality through comprehensive assessment. Appropriate best practices for the identification of twice-exceptional learners, maintenance of their civil rights, and provision of FAPE are offered for educators, parents, advocates, and legislators as federal, state, and district laws/policies evolve.
Bayesian Analysis of Epidemics – Zombies, Influenza, and other Diseases
Mathematical models of epidemic dynamics offer significant insight into predicting and controlling infectious diseases. The dynamics of a disease model generally follow a susceptible, infected, and recovered (SIR) model, with some standard modifications. In this paper, we extend the work of Munz et.al (2009) on the application of disease dynamics to the so-called “zombie apocalypse”, and then apply the identical methods to influenza dynamics. Unlike Munz et.al (2009), we include data taken from specific depictions of zombies in popular culture films and apply Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) methods on improved dynamical representations of the system. To demonstrate the usefulness of this approach, beyond the entertaining example, we apply the identical methodology to Google Trend data on influenza to establish infection and recovery rates. Finally, we discuss the use of the methods to explore hypothetical intervention policies regarding disease outbreaks.
Jet Lag in Military and Civil Aviation: A Review Study
Source: Journal of Archives in Military Medicine
Physiological or behavioral cycles are generated by an internal pacemaker with an oscillatory frequency of approximately 24.2 hours which are named as circadian rhythm. This internal pacemaker is located at hypothalamus as suprachiasmatic nucleus and control sleep-wake cycle, with wakefulness commonly promoted during daylight hours and sleep promoted during evening hours.
The aim of this article is to provide a framework for understanding the biological basis of jet lag and recommend management strategies. Understanding jet lag can help us to address the broader problem of circadian misalignment, which has increasingly been associated with increased risk of cancer (colorectal and breast), metabolic diseases, cardiovascular dysfunction, mood disorders (depression), and cognitive decline.
Materials and Methods:
The current study is a review article based on literatures in the field of aerospace medicine. It is hoped that this presentation will be useful for those who are interested in aviation medicine.
Jet Lag usually experienced by individuals who cross at least 2 time zones by intercontinental flights. Symptoms and signs usually reveal after 1-2 days of arrival in relation with circadian system complication and cause insomnia, sleepiness, general malaise, gastrointestinal upset (anorexia, indigestion and defecation disorders), neural (fatigue, headaches, and irritability) and cognitive impairments (concentration, judgment and memory disturbance), etc.
Eastward travel requires an advance phase and these persons often complain about initiating sleep at early evening and being awake at early morning. Thus, eastbound travelers have difficult adaptation and worsen features rather than westbound travelers. The incidence of jet lag often has not been reported, so the accurate prevalence is uncertain.
Due to the progressive development of aviation and intercontinental travels, the awareness about jet lag and its complications, prevention and treatment for all population especially aviators and medical groups are necessary.
A Tale Of Two Taxes: A Comparative Examination Of The Individual Income Tax In The United States And The People’s Republic Of China
A Tale Of Two Taxes: A Comparative Examination Of The Individual Income Tax In The United States And The People’s Republic Of China (PDF)
Source: Richmond Journal of Global Law & Business
Individual income taxes have only existed in China since 1980, when they were enacted to tax a very limited segment of the Chinese population. Even today, China relies heavily on other sources of revenue to fund government operations. 1 In the United States, on the other hand, the history of the individual income tax stretches back to the U.S. Civil War in 1861. In contrast to the limited role the individual income tax plays in China, it provides nearly half of the revenue of the United States federal government. 2
The goal of this article is to provide a comparative examination of the individual income tax systems of China and the United States. In comparing the two individual income tax systems, a number of similarities will be observed. For example, in both systems the definition of income to be taxed is quite broad, and both systems incorporate a system of exemptions (though significant differences still exist in how the two systems approach exemptions and deductions). Both systems employ progressive rate structures, although they differ as to the appropriate degree of progressivity. On the other hand, there are very significant differences between the two systems. For example, many of the exemptions that exist in the Chinese tax law are uniquely Chinese, reflecting very different cultural concerns than those that exist in the United States.
Canaries in the coal mine: a cross-species analysis of the plurality of obesity epidemics
Source: Proceedings of the Royal Society
A dramatic rise in obesity has occurred among humans within the last several decades. Little is known about whether similar increases in obesity have occurred in animals inhabiting human-influenced environments. We examined samples collectively consisting of over 20 000 animals from 24 populations (12 divided separately into males and females) of animals representing eight species living with or around humans in industrialized societies. In all populations, the estimated coefficient for the trend of body weight over time was positive (i.e. increasing). The probability of all trends being in the same direction by chance is 1.2 × 10−7. Surprisingly, we find that over the past several decades, average mid-life body weights have risen among primates and rodents living in research colonies, as well as among feral rodents and domestic dogs and cats. The consistency of these findings among animals living in varying environments, suggests the intriguing possibility that the aetiology of increasing body weight may involve several as-of-yet unidentified and/or poorly understood factors (e.g. viral pathogens, epigenetic factors). This finding may eventually enhance the discovery and fuller elucidation of other factors that have contributed to the recent rise in obesity rates.
Early Stage Animal Hoarders: Are These Owners of Large Numbers of Adequately Cared for Cats?
Source: Human-Animal Interaction Bulletin
Animal hoarding is a spectrum-based condition in which hoarders are often reported to have had normal and appropriate pet-keeping habits in childhood and early adulthood. Historically, research has focused largely on well-established clinical animal hoarders with little work targeted towards the onset and development of animal hoarding. This study investigated whether a Brazilian population of owners of what might typically be considered an excessive number (20 or more) of cats were more likely to share the commonly reported psychological and demographic profile of animal hoarders than owners of 1-2 cats drawn from the same population. Psychological traits measured were attachment to pets (Lexington Pet Attachment Scale, LAPS), anxiety and depression (Hospitalized Anxiety and Depression Scale, HADS), and hoarding behavior (Saving Inventory-Revised, SI-R). Owners of 20 or more cats were significantly older, scored significantly higher pet attachment scores, and displayed significant positive relationships between hoarding behavior and anxiety. Such a profile demonstrates greater similarities to clinical animal hoarders than to typical cat owners on these particular measures, although additional disparities with clinical animal hoarders exist in the areas of functioning, veterinary care and home organization. Taking this information together, the studied population may represent the understudied group of early stage animal hoarders. However, external factors such as culture and societal animal control policies should not be overlooked as alternative explanations for pet keeping at levels that might be considered excessive.
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Efficient discovery of overlapping communities in massive networks
Source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Detecting overlapping communities is essential to analyzing and exploring natural networks such as social networks, biological networks, and citation networks. However, most existing approaches do not scale to the size of networks that we regularly observe in the real world. In this paper, we develop a scalable approach to community detection that discovers overlapping communities in massive real-world networks. Our approach is based on a Bayesian model of networks that allows nodes to participate in multiple communities, and a corresponding algorithm that naturally interleaves subsampling from the network and updating an estimate of its communities. We demonstrate how we can discover the hidden community structure of several real-world networks, including 3.7 million US patents, 575,000 physics articles from the arXiv preprint server, and 875,000 connected Web pages from the Internet. Furthermore, we demonstrate on large simulated networks that our algorithm accurately discovers the true community structure. This paper opens the door to using sophisticated statistical models to analyze massive networks.
Measurements of methane emissions at natural gas production sites in the United States
Source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
This work reports direct measurements of methane emissions at 190 onshore natural gas sites in the United States. The measurements indicate that well completion emissions are lower than previously estimated; the data also show emissions from pneumatic controllers and equipment leaks are higher than Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) national emission projections. Estimates of total emissions are similar to the most recent EPA national inventory of methane emissions from natural gas production. These measurements will help inform policymakers, researchers, and industry, providing information about some of the sources of methane emissions from the production of natural gas, and will better inform and advance national and international scientific and policy discussions with respect to natural gas development and use.
Tracing anthropogenic carbon dioxide and methane emissions to fossil fuel and cement producers, 1854–2010
his paper presents a quantitative analysis of the historic fossil fuel and cement production records of the 50 leading investor-owned, 31 state-owned, and 9 nation-state producers of oil, natural gas, coal, and cement from as early as 1854 to 2010. This analysis traces emissions totaling 914 GtCO2e—63 % of cumulative worldwide emissions of industrial CO2 and methane between 1751 and 2010—to the 90 “carbon major” entities based on the carbon content of marketed hydrocarbon fuels (subtracting for non-energy uses), process CO2 from cement manufacture, CO2 from flaring, venting, and own fuel use, and fugitive or vented methane. Cumulatively, emissions of 315 GtCO2e have been traced to investor-owned entities, 288 GtCO2e to state-owned enterprises, and 312 GtCO2e to nation-states. Of these emissions, half has been emitted since 1986. The carbon major entities possess fossil fuel reserves that will, if produced and emitted, intensify anthropogenic climate change. The purpose of the analysis is to understand the historic emissions as a factual matter, and to invite consideration of their possible relevance to public policy.
Health Insurance Is Associated With Preventive Care but Not Personal Health Behaviors
Source: Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine
Economists posit 2 mechanisms increasing financial risk to insurers after health insurance gain: ex ante moral hazard (riskier behavior because of reduced personal costs) and ex post moral hazard (increased use of care because of lower care costs). In contrast, the Health Belief Model (HBM), would anticipate no increase in risk behaviors while also predicting increased health care utilization following insurance gain (because of reduced financial barriers to accessing care). Empirical studies examining the association of insurance change with changes in preventive care and health behaviors have been limited and yielded mixed findings. The objective of this study was to examine the association of health insurance change (gain or loss of coverage) with changes in preventive care and health behaviors in a large, nationally representative sample.
We analyzed data from adults ≥18 years old and enrolled for 2 years in the 2000 to 2009 Medical Expenditure Panel Surveys (n = 76,518). Conditional logistic regression analyses modeled year-to-year individual changes in preventive care and health behaviors associated with individual changes in insurance status, adjusting for characteristics varying year to year (income, employment, total health care expenditures, office visits, prescriptions, availability of usual source of care, and health status). Preventive care included adherence to influenza vaccination, colorectal cancer screening, mammography, and Papanicolaou and prostate-specific antigen testing. Health behaviors examined were becoming nonobese, quitting smoking, and adopting consistent use of seatbelts.
Insurance gain (loss) was associated with increases (decreases) in preventive care (adjusted odds ratios [95% confidence intervals]: influenza vaccine, 1.27 [1.04–1.56]; colorectal cancer screening, 1.48 [0.96–2.29]; Papanicolaou testing, 1.56 [1.22–2.00]; mammography, 1.70 [1.21–2.38]; prostate-specific antigen, 1.42 [0.98–2.05]). Insurance change was not associated with significant changes in health behaviors.
Consistent with both economic theory and the HBM, preventive care increased (decreased) after gaining (losing) coverage. In contrast, health behaviors changed little after insurance change, consistent with the HBM but not with the potential for decreased personal health care costs (ex ante moral hazard).
Cigarette graphic warning labels and smoking prevalence in Canada: a critical examination and reformulation of the FDA regulatory impact analysis
The estimated effect of cigarette graphic warning labels (GWL) on smoking rates is a key input to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) regulatory impact analysis (RIA), required by law as part of its rule-making process. However, evidence on the impact of GWLs on smoking prevalence is scarce.
The goal of this paper is to critically analyse FDA’s approach to estimating the impact of GWLs on smoking rates in its RIA, and to suggest a path forward to estimating the impact of the adoption of GWLs in Canada on Canadian national adult smoking prevalence.
A quasi-experimental methodology was employed to examine the impact of adoption of GWLs in Canada in 2000, using the USA as a control.
We found a statistically significant reduction in smoking rates after the adoption of GWLs in Canada in comparison with the USA. Our analyses show that implementation of GWLs in Canada reduced smoking rates by 2.87–4.68 percentage points, a relative reduction of 12.1–19.6%; 33–53 times larger than FDA’s estimates of a 0.088 percentage point reduction. We also demonstrated that FDA’s estimate of the impact was flawed because it is highly sensitive to the changes in variable selection, model specification, and the time period analysed.
Adopting GWLs on cigarette packages reduces smoking prevalence. Applying our analysis of the Canadian GWLs, we estimate that if the USA had adopted GWLs in 2012, the number of adult smokers in the USA would have decreased by 5.3–8.6 million in 2013. Our analysis demonstrates that FDA’s approach to estimating the impact of GWLs on smoking rates is flawed. Rectifying these problems before this approach becomes the norm is critical for FDA’s effective regulation of tobacco products.