Overwhelming Majority (overwhelming + majority)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Privacy and Commercial Use of Personal Data: Policy Developments in the United States

Priscilla Regan
In the online and offline worlds, the value of personal information , especially information about commercial purchases and preferences , has long been recognised. Exchanges and uses of personal information have also long sparked concerns about privacy. Public opinion surveys consistently indicate that overwhelming majorities of the American public are concerned that they have lost all control over information about themselves and do not trust organisations to protect the privacy of their information. Somewhat smaller majorities favour federal legislation to protect privacy. Despite public support for stronger privacy protection, the prevailing policy stance for over thirty years has been one of reluctance to legislate and a preference for self-regulation by business to protect privacy. Although some privacy legislation has been adopted, policy debates about the commercial uses of personal information have been dominated largely by business concerns about intrusive government regulation, free speech and the flow of commercial information, costs, and effectiveness. Public concerns about privacy, reflected in public opinion surveys and voiced by a number of public interest groups, are often discredited because individuals seem to behave as though privacy is not important. Although people express concern about privacy, they routinely disclose personal information because of convenience, discounts and other incentives, or a lack of understanding of the consequences. This disconnect between public opinion and public behaviour has been interpreted to support a self-regulatory approach to privacy protections with emphasis on giving individuals notice and choice about information practices. In theory the self-regulatory approach also entails some enforcement mechanism to ensure that organisations are doing what they claim, and a redress mechanism by which individuals can seek compensation if they are wronged. This article analyses the course of policy formulation over the last twenty years with particular attention on how policymakers and stakeholders have used public opinion about the commercial use of personal information in formulating policy to protect privacy. The article considers policy activities in both Congress and the Federal Trade Commission that have resulted in an emphasis on "notice and consent." The article concludes that both individual behaviour and organisational behaviour are skewed in a privacy invasive direction. People are less likely to make choices to protect their privacy unless these choices are relatively easy, obvious, and low cost. If a privacy protection choice entails additional steps, most rational people will not take those steps. This appears logically to be true and to be supported by behaviour in the physical world. Organisations are unlikely to act unilaterally to make their practices less privacy invasive because such actions will impose costs on them that are not imposed on their competitors. Overall then, the privacy level available is less than what the norms of society and the stated preferences of people require. A consent scheme that is most protective of privacy imposes the largest burden on the individual, as well as costs to the individual, while a consent scheme that is least protective of privacy imposes the least burden on the individual, as well as fewer costs to the individual. Recent experience with privacy notices that resulted from the financial privacy provisions in Gramm-Leach-Bliley supports this conclusion. Finally, the article will consider whether the terrorist attacks of 11 September have changed public opinion about privacy and what the policy implications of any changes in public opinion are likely to be. [source]

Urban earthquake hazard: perceived seismic risk and preparedness in Dhaka City, Bangladesh

DISASTERS, Issue 2 2010
Bimal Kanti Paul
Bangladesh is vulnerable to seismic events. Experts suspect that if an earthquake with a 7.0 magnitude occurred in large cities of Bangladesh, there would be a major human tragedy due to the structural failure of many buildings. The primary objectives of this paper are to examine seismic risk perception among residents of Dhaka City and investigate their levels of earthquake preparedness. A questionnaire survey conducted among 444 residents of the city provided the major source of data for the paper. The survey results suggest that an overwhelming majority of the respondents were not prepared for a major earthquake, which is anticipated to occur in Dhaka. Multivariate analysis of survey data reveals that value of residential unit and respondent educational levels appear as the most significant determinants of preparedness status of the respondents. This study recommends increasing earthquake awareness and preparedness among residents of Dhaka City. [source]

Witnessing invasive paediatric procedures, including resuscitation, in the emergency department: A parental perspective

Jonathon Isoardi
Abstract Objective:, To determine whether parents prefer to be present during invasive procedures performed on their children in the ED. Methods:, A prospective study using a written survey was carried out in the ED of a secondary level regional hospital in south-east Queensland. The survey conducted between August 2003 and November 2003 consisted of parental demographics, seven theoretical paediatric procedural scenarios with increasing level of procedural invasiveness (including resuscitation) and reasons for the decisions of parents to either stay with the child or leave the room. Parents of children with Australasian Triage Scale (ATS) triage category 3, 4 and 5 were surveyed. Results:, Of 573 surveys collected, 553 (96.5%) were completed correctly. The number of parents expressing a desire to be present during a procedure performed on their child was 519 (93.9%) for phlebotomy or i.v. cannulation of an extremity, 485 (87.7%) for nasogastric tube insertion, 461 (83.4%) for lumbar puncture, 464 (83.9%) for urinary catheter insertion, 430 (77.8%) for suprapubic bladder aspiration, 519 (93.4%) during procedural sedation and 470 (85%) during a resuscitation where the possibility existed that their child may die. The most common reason for wanting to be present was to provide comfort to their child (542/98%). The most common reason for not wanting to be present was a parental concern of getting in the way (181/33%). Conclusion:, Most parents surveyed would want to be present when invasive procedures are performed on their children in the ED. With increasing invasiveness, parental desire to be present decreased. However, the overwhelming majority of parents would want to be in attendance during procedural sedation or resuscitation. [source]

Customer Satisfaction in a Large Urban Fire Department Emergency Medical Services System

David E. Persse MD
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to determine if emergency medical services (EMS) customer satisfaction could be assessed using telephone-survey methods. The process by which customer satisfaction with the EMS service in a large, fire department,based EMS system is reported, and five month results are presented. Methods: Ten percent of all patients transported during the period of October 15, 2001, through March 15, 2002, were selected for study. In addition, during the same period, all EMS incidents in which a patient was not transported were identified for contact. Customer-service representatives contacted patients via telephone and surveyed them from prepared scripts. Results: A total of 88,528 EMS incidents occurred during the study period. Of these, 53,649 resulted in patient transports and 34,879 did not. Ten percent of patients transported (5,098) were selected for study participation, of which 2,498 were successfully contacted; of these, 2,368 (94.8%) reported overall satisfaction with the service provided. Of the 34,879 incidents without transport, only 5,859 involved patients who were seen but not transported. All of these patients were selected for study. Of these, 2,975 were successfully contacted, with 2,865 (96.3%) reporting overall satisfaction. The most common reason given for nonsatisfaction in both groups was the perception of a long response time. Conclusions: It is possible to conduct a survey of EMS customer satisfaction using telephone-survey methods. Although difficulties exist in contacting patients, useful information is made available with this method. Such surveys should be an integral part of any EMS system's quality-improvement efforts. In this survey, the overwhelming majority of patients, both transported and not transported, were satisfied with their encounter with EMS. [source]

Information and communication technology among undergraduate dental students in Finland

Jorma I. Virtanen
Use of information and communication technology (ICT) is rapidly increasing in medical and dental education. The aim of the present study was to determine the knowledge, skills and opinions of dental undergraduate students regarding ICT and to analyze possible shifts in the acquisition of these resources. For these purposes a survey of all undergraduate dental students at the University of Oulu, Finland, was conducted during the spring term 2000. All the students in the 5 years of study (n = 140) were asked to answer a questionnaire presented during a lecture or demonstration. An overall response rate of 95% was achieved. The frequencies and percentage distributions of the items were analyzed separately for each year (1,5). All the students in the faculty are provided with personal e-mail addresses at the beginning of their studies and special emphasis has been laid on the utilization of their ICT knowledge and skills. An overwhelming majority of the students, more than 95%, judged themselves to have good or satisfactory skills in word processing, but only a slight majority considered that they could manage some advanced operating system functions. Use of ICT services was high, as about 60% of the students used e-mail and one-third WWW services daily. Literature retrieval was widely employed, so that almost 80% of the students had used literature databases (including Ovid Medline and collections of electronic full-text articles), which were introduced and provided by the Medical Library when the students were in their second year. More than 50% had received educational material in electronic form often or sometimes, and almost 80% had communicated by e-mail with a faculty teacher. A clear trend (P < 0.05) was found for the younger students to use ICT services in general and for educational purposes more often than the older ones. In conclusion, e-mail and WWW have been widely adopted for both private and educational purposes by dental students in Finland and are employed together with WWW-based medical and dental publication databases. The younger students have more interest in ICT and better skills, which presents a challenge for dental education in the future. [source]


EVOLUTION, Issue 2 2003
William E. Friedman
Abstract The monosporic seven-celled/eight-nucleate Polygonumtype female gametophyte has long served as a focal point for discussion of the origin and subsequent evolution of the angiosperm female gametophyte. In Polygonumtype female gametophytes, two haploid female nuclei are incorporated into the central cell, and fusion of a sperm cell with the binucleate central cell produces a triploid endosperm with a complement of two maternal and one paternal genomes, characteristic of most angiosperms. We document the development of a four-celled/four-nucleate female gametophyte in Nuphar polysepala (Engelm.) and infer its presence in many other ancient lineages of angiosperms. The central cell of the female gametophyte in these taxa contains only one haploid nucleus; thus endosperm is diploid and has a ratio of one maternal to one paternal genome. Based on comparisons among flowering plants, we conclude that the angiosperm female gametophyte is constructed of modular developmental subunits. Each module is characterized by a common developmental pattern: (1) positioning of a single nucleus within a cytoplasmic domain (pole) of the female gametophyte; (2) two free-nuclear mitoses to yield four nuclei within that domain; and (3) partitioning of three uninucleate cells adjacent to the pole such that the fourth nucleus is confined to the central region of the female gametophyte (central cell). Within the basal angiosperm lineages Nymphaeales and Illiciales, female gametophytes are characterized by a single developmental module that produces a four-celled/four-nucleate structure with a haploid uninucleate central cell. A second pattern, typical of Amborella and the overwhelming majority of eumagnoliids, monocots, and eudicots, involves the early establishment of two developmental modules that produce a seven-celled/eight-nucleate female gametophyte with two haploid nuclei in the central cell. Comparative analysis of onto-genetic sequences suggests that the seven-celled female gametophyte (two modules) evolved by duplication and ectopic expression of an ancestral Nuphar- like developmental module within the chalazal domain of the female gametophyte. These analyses indicate that the first angiosperm female gametophytes were composed of a single developmental module, which upon double fertilization yielded a diploid endosperm. Early in angiosperm history this basic module was duplicated, and resulted in a seven-celled/eight-nucleate female gametophyte, which yielded a triploid endosperm with the characteristic 2:1 maternal to paternal genome ratio. [source]

What Do Patients With Migraine Want From Acute Migraine Treatment?

HEADACHE, Issue 2002
Richard B. Lipton MD
Migraine is a common chronic condition with an ever-expanding therapeutic armamentarium. As therapeutic options multiply, it is increasingly important to understand patients' attitudes and preferences regarding various treatment characteristics. Several strategies have evolved to establish treatment priorities in migraine and rationalize and prioritize end points and outcomes to meet the needs of patients. A survey of a population-based sample of migraineurs indicated that an overwhelming majority of patients consider complete relief of head pain, no recurrence, and rapid onset of action as important or very important attributes of acute migraine therapy. An analysis of the relationship between clinical end points and satisfaction found that more than 90% of patients who were pain-free at 2 hours were at least somewhat satisfied with treatment, but satisfaction was dependent on relatively rapid relief. Using a "willingness-to-pay" approach, results indicated that while patients will pay more for migraine treatment that produces rapid, consistent relief without adverse effects or recurrence, speed of complete relief is the most valued attribute. By assessing physician preferences and practices, degree of pain relief and rapid onset were identified as the most important attributes of acute therapy. Based on results from preference studies of triptans, 50% of patients cited more rapid pain relief as the most important determinant of treatment preference. Based on these various approaches, the consensus view is that both clinicians and patients desire a broad range of positive migraine treatment attributes, but rapid onset of complete pain relief is a particularly important priority. [source]

Costs and determinants of privately financed home-based health care in Ontario, Canada

Denise N. Guerriere PhD
Abstract The Canadian context in which home-based healthcare services are delivered is characterised by limited resources and escalating healthcare costs. As a result, a financing shift has occurred, whereby care recipients receive a mixture of publicly and privately financed home-based services. Although ensuring that care recipients receive efficient and equitable care is crucial, a limited understanding of the economic outcomes and determinants of privately financed services exists. The purposes of this study were (i) to determine costs incurred by families and the healthcare system; (ii) to assess the determinants of privately financed home-based care; and (iii) to identify whether public and private expenditures are complements or substitutes. Two hundred and fifty-eight short-term clients (< 90 days of service utilisation) and 256 continuing care clients (> 90 days of utilisation) were recruited from six regions across the province of Ontario, Canada, from November 2003 to August 2004. Participants were interviewed by telephone once a week for 4 weeks and asked to provide information about time and monetary costs of care, activities of daily living (ADL), and chronic conditions. The mean total cost of care for a 4-week period was $7670.67 (in 2004 Canadian dollars), with the overwhelming majority of these costs (75%) associated with private expenditures. Higher age, ADL impairment, being female, and a having four or more chronic conditions predicted higher private expenditures. While private and public expenditures were complementary, private expenditures were somewhat inelastic to changes in public expenditures. A 10% increase in public expenditures was associated with a 6% increase in private expenditures. A greater appreciation of the financing of home-based care is necessary for practitioners, health managers and policy decision-makers to ensure that critical issues such as inequalities in access to care and financial burden on care recipients and families are addressed. [source]

Distinct MHC class I and II alleles are associated with hepatitis C viral clearance, originating from a single source

HEPATOLOGY, Issue 1 2004
Susan M. McKiernan
The role of cytotoxic T lymphocyte responses, restricted by human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I alleles, is recognized as highly significant in the successful clearance of hepatitis C virus (HCV). The frequency of class I alleles in females inoculated with HCV genotype 1b from a single source was examined for an association with outcome. Class I typing was performed using polymerase chain reaction sequence-specific primers in 227 female subjects: 141 had chronic infection and 86 had viral clearance. Statistical analysis included ,2 testing and multiple logistic regression analysis. A*03, B*27, and Cw*01 occurred more frequently in those with viral clearance (39.5%, 14%, and 9.3%, respectively) compared with those with chronic infection (19.1%, 2.1%, and 1.4%, respectively; P , .005). B*08 occurred more often in those with chronic infection compared with viral clearance (39.7% vs. 19.8%; P = .002). In combination with previously reported class II allele associations, over 75% that successfully eliminate HCV carry either A*03, DRB1*0101, or *0401, compared with only 37% of those with chronic infection (P < .0001). The haplotypes A*03-B*07-DRB1*15-DQB1*0602 and A*02-B*27-Cw*01-DRB1*0101-DQB1*0501 are associated with viral clearance (P = .004 and .01, respectively). By multiple logistic regression analysis, the alleles A*03, B*27, DRB1*0101, *0401, and *15 are associated with viral clearance, and B*27 has the strongest association (odds ratio [OR] 7.99). The haplotype A*01-B*08-Cw*07-DRB1*03011-DQB1*0201 is associated with chronic infection (P = .002), being independent for DQB1*0201 (OR 0.27). In conclusion, certain class I alleles are associated with outcome in this homogenous cohort. More significantly, either HLA-A*03, -DRB1*0101, or -*0401 are carried by an overwhelming majority of those subjects who successfully clear HCV. (HEPATOLOGY 2004;40:108,114.) [source]

Comparison of commissural sprouting in the mouse and rat fascia dentata after entorhinal cortex lesion

HIPPOCAMPUS, Issue 6 2003
Domenico Del Turco
Abstract Reactive axonal sprouting occurs in the fascia dentata after entorhinal cortex lesion. This sprouting process has been described extensively in the rat, and plasticity-associated molecules have been identified that might be involved in its regulation. To demonstrate causal relationships between these candidate molecules and the axonal reorganization process, it is reasonable to analyze knockout and transgenic animals after entorhinal cortex lesion, and because gene knockouts are primarily generated in mice, it is necessary to characterize the sprouting response after entorhinal cortex lesion in this species. In the present study, Phaseolus vulgaris -leucoagglutinin (PHAL) tracing was used to analyze the commissural projection to the inner molecular layer in mice with longstanding entorhinal lesions. Because the commissural projection to the fascia dentata is neurochemically heterogeneous, PHAL tracing was combined with immunocytochemistry for calretinin, a marker for commissural/associational mossy cell axons. Using both techniques singly as well as in combination (double-immunofluorescence) at the light or electron microscopic level, it could be shown that in response to entorhinal lesion mossy cell axons leave the main commissural fiber plexus, invade the denervated middle molecular layer, and form asymmetric synapses within the denervated zone. Thus, the commissural sprouting response in mice has a considerable translaminar component. This is in contrast to the layer-specific commissural sprouting observed in rats, in which the overwhelming majority of mossy cell axons remain within their home territory. These data demonstrate an important species difference in the commissural/associational sprouting response between rats and mice that needs to be taken into account in future studies. © 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

Hydrological regime analysis of the Selenge River basin, Mongolia

X. Ma
Abstract Arid and semi-arid regions are very vulnerable to environmental changes. Climate change studies indicate that the environment in such areas will steadily deteriorate with global warming; inland lakes will shrink and desert areas will expand. Mongolia is a landlocked country in north-central Asia that contains a unique ecological system consisting of taiga, steppe, and desert from north to south. The Selenge River basin (280 000 km2) in northern Mongolia is a semi-arid region underlain by permafrost, between latitudes 46 and 52°N, and longitudes 96 and 109°E. The issue of sustainable development of the basin is very important owing to its limited natural resources, including fresh water, forest, and rangeland. To examine the water cycle processes in the basin, a hydrological analysis was carried out using a simple scheme for the interaction between the land surface and atmosphere (big-leaf model) coupled to a hydrological model for the period 1988,92 to estimate the hydrological regime of the basin. Annual precipitation in this period averaged 298 mm, ranging from 212 to 352 mm at a 1 ° × 1 ° resolution based on data from 10 gauges, and the estimated annual evapotranspiration averaged 241 mm, ranging between 153 and 300 mm. This indicates that evapotranspiration accounts for the overwhelming majority of the annual precipitation, averaging 81% and ranging between 64 and 96%. The annual potential evapotranspiration in the basin averaged 2009 mm; the ratio of evapotranspiration (actual to potential evapotranspiration) was 0·12 and the wetness index (annual precipitation to potential evapotranspiration) was 0·15. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Novel polymorphic microsatellite markers developed in the cotton bollworm Helicoverpa armigera (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae)

INSECT SCIENCE, Issue 5 2005
Abstract A novel set of five polymorphic di- or trinucleotide microsatellite loci suitable for population genetic study were developed from an enriched genomic library for the pest insect cotton bollworm, Helicoverpa armigera, and cross-amplifiability of these and other published loci was tested in a closely related species, the tobacco budworm, H. assulta. The expected heterozygosity at these loci ranges from 0.62 to 0.91 in the cotton bollworm. The observed allele numbers varies from 4 to 12 in the limited number of individuals tested. Although a large proportion of cloned microsatellite sequences are present in multi-copy in the cotton bollworm genome, the overwhelming majority of the finalized polymorphic diallelic loci are tri-nucleotide microsatellites - an unexpected outcome, which should facilitate subsequent genotyping analysis. [source]

Diet reconstruction and historic population dynamics in a threatened seabird

Summary 1For the overwhelming majority of species, we lack long-term information on the dynamics of populations. As a consequence, we face considerable uncertainty about how to discriminate among competing hypotheses of population decline and design conservation plans. 2The marbled murrelet Brachyramphus marmoratus is a small seabird that nests in coastal old-growth forest but feeds year-round in near-shore waters of the north-eastern Pacific. Although a decline in nesting habitat is the primary reason why marbled murrelets are listed as threatened in Canada, nest predation and food availability may also influence population abundance. To examine the hypothesis that murrelet populations are influenced by variation in diet quality, we analysed stable-carbon and -nitrogen isotopes in feathers of museum specimens collected in the Georgia Basin, British Columbia. 3Between 1889 and 1996, we found a decline in stable isotopic signatures that was approximately equal to a 62% drop in trophic feeding level. We also found that the estimated proportion of fish in murrelet diet was related closely to murrelet abundance over the past 40 years, as estimated from volunteer surveys. Using these isotopic data, we modelled population size as a function of variation in reproductive rate due to changes in diet quality and found that our model matched closely the 40-year field estimates. We then applied our 107-year isotopic record to the model to back-cast estimates of population growth rate to 1889. 4Our results suggest that, up to the 1950s, murrelet populations in the Georgia Basin were capable of growing and were probably limited by factors other than diet quality. After this period, however, our results imply that murrelets were often, but not solely, limited by diet quality. 5Synthesis and applications. Protecting nesting habitat may not be sufficient to rebuild populations of this highly secretive and threatened seabird and recovery might also require the restoration of marine habitat quality, as well as a better understanding of how ocean climate affects prey abundance and reproductive rate. Combined with contemporary demographic data, stable isotope analysis of historic samples provides a unique opportunity to reconstruct population histories for species where we lack long-term information. [source]

Relevance of the developmental toxicity of ethanol in the occupational setting: a review,

Lorraine F. H. Irvine
Abstract Numerous studies have been conducted investigating the reproductive toxicology of ethanol, the overwhelming majority concerning the adverse effects of consuming alcohol in beverages during pregnancy. Because many of the in vivo studies were designed to model alcoholism, they used comparatively high doses and assessed relatively few endpoints. Outcomes may have been affected by disturbances of metabolism at such high exposures, giving rise to secondary effects on development. The available data on ethanol from ,conventional' developmental toxicity study test methods of the type used for regulatory hazard assessment of chemicals are limited. It is in this context, however, i.e. the use of ethanol as an industrial chemical rather than as a component of beverages, that this review is based. Using the usual criteria applied for the purpose of hazard assessment of industrial chemicals, it is concluded that there is no evidence that industrial exposure to ethanol is a developmental toxicity hazard. Developmental toxicity may result from drinking alcoholic beverages, the threshold level for all aspects of which has yet to be de,ned. This is not, however, considered relevant to the low blood alcohol concentrations resulting from any conceivable inhalation or dermal exposure in the workplace or through the directed use of any consumer product containing ethanol. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Incorporation of deMon2k as a new parallel quantum mechanical code for the PUPIL system

Oscar Bertran
Abstract The PUPIL system is a combination of software and protocols for the systematic linkage and interoperation of molecular dynamics and quantum mechanics codes to perform QM/MD (sometimes called QM/MM) calculations. The Gaussian03 and Amber packages were added to the PUPIL suite recently. However, efficient parallel QM codes are critical because calculation of the QM forces is the overwhelming majority of the computational load. Here we report details of incorporation of the deMon2k density functional suite as a new parallel QM code. An additional motivation is to add a highly optimized, purely DFT code. We illustrate with a demonstration study of the influence of perchlorate as a dopant ion of the poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) conducting polymer in explicit acetonitrile solvent using Amber and deMon2k. We discuss unanticipated requirements for use of a scheme for semi-empirical correction of Kohn-Sham eigenvalues to give physically meaningful one-electron gap energies. We provide comparison of both geometric parameters and electronic properties for nondoped and doped systems. We also present results comparing deMon2k and Gaussian03 calculation of forces for a short sequence of steps. We discuss briefly some difficult problems of quantum zone SCF convergence for the anionically doped system. The difficulties seem to be caused by well-know deficiencies in simple approximate exchange-correlation functionals. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Comput Chem, 2010 [source]

A participatory evaluation project to measure SANE nursing practice and adult sexual assault patients' psychological well-being

Rebecca Campbell Ph.D.
Abstract This paper describes a collaborative project between a team of researcher-evaluators and a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program to develop an evaluation survey of SANE nursing practice and patient psychological well-being. Using a participatory evaluation model, we followed a six-step process to plan and conduct an evaluation of adult sexual assault patients treated in one Midwestern SANE program. Our collaborative team developed a logic model of "empowering care," which we defined as providing healthcare, support, and resources; treating survivors with dignity and respect; believing their stories; helping them re-instate control and choice; and respecting patients' decisions. We created a corresponding survey that can be administered to patients following exam procedures and tested it with N= 52 sexual assault victims. Results indicated that nursing practice was consistent with this empowering care philosophy as the overwhelming majority of patients reported positive psychological well-being outcomes. Implications for evaluating forensic nursing practice are discussed. [source]

Doctors as Good Samaritans: Some Empirical Evidence Concerning Emergency Medical Treatment in Britain

Kevin Williams
This paper reports the results of the first survey of British doctors' attitudes towards the provision of emergency treatment outside the usual confines of a surgery or hospital. The experience and perceptions of NHS doctors practising in Sheffield concerning Good Samaritan behaviour are discussed against the background of the rather uncertain common law of medical rescue. The implications of the survey's findings for the direction of legal policy and the promotion of medical altruism are also considered. Despite the alleged deterioration in standards of social responsibility, the potentially fraught nature of such interventions, and the theoretical possibility of legal liability should any rescue attempt go badly, it seems that the overwhelming majority of doctors (in this survey, at least) are willing Samaritans. [source]

Morphological analysis of male mating organ in the Drosophila virilis species group: a multivariate approach

A. M. Kulikov
Abstract The shape of the male mating organ differs among 11 closely related species of the Drosophila virilis species group. Multivariate analyses of variation of a suite of 35 morphological traits (indices) describing the phallus shape were carried out in order to characterize interspecies variability of the traits. An overwhelming majority of the traits displayed species-specific variability. The main result of the investigation was the revelation of the differences involved in the traits studied in the evolution of the D. virilis species group. The structure of species-specific variability of some traits was discovered to be in accordance with the generally accepted taxonomy of the species group, while that of other traits required isolation of D. virilisper se from lummei phylad (former virilis phylad), and confirmed separation of montana phylad into three subphylads: montana proper, littoralis and kanekoi. Several subsets of traits having separate variability were determined in different parts of the male mating organ which correspond to spots of evolutionarily significant variability. Zusammenfassung Die Form des männlichen Begattungsorgans zeigt innerhalb von 11 nahe verwandten Arten der Drosophila virilis - Gruppe Unterschiede. Eine multivariate Variationsanalyse einer Gruppe von 35 morphologischen Merkmalen (Indizes), die die Form des Penis erfassen, wurde durchgeführt, um die zwischenartliche Variabiltät des Merkmals zu charakterisieren. Die überwältigende Mehrheit der Merkmale erwies sich als artspezifisch. Das vorrangige Ergebnis der Untersuchung war, den unterschiedlichen Anteil dieses Merkmals an der Evolution der Drosophila virilis - Gruppe aufzuklären. Die Struktur der artspezifischen Variabilität einiger Merkmale konnte als übereinstimmend mit der allgemein akzeptierten Taxonomie der Artengruppe erkannt werden, während andere Merkmale es notwendig machten, D. virilis von der D. lummei - Phylade (der früheren D. virilis - Phylade) abzutrennen; bestätigt wurde auch die Auftrennung der D. montana - Phylade in drei Subphyladen: die eigentlich montana -, die littoralis - und die kanekoi - Phylade. [source]

Irritable bowel syndrome: patients' attitudes, concerns and level of knowledge

Summary Background Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common, chronic disorder that reduces patients' quality-of-life. Although highly prevalent, little is known about patients' understanding of this disorder. Aim To evaluate the knowledge, fears and concerns of IBS patients. Methods Seven hundred thirty-six IBS patients (Rome II criteria) were eligible for inclusion in this prospective study. Each patient received a validated questionnaire to evaluate knowledge, attitudes and fears regarding IBS. Results A total of 261 of 664 potential respondents completed the questionnaire (39.3%). 83% of respondents were women, with a mean age of 53.7 years, and mean duration of symptoms of 14.2 years. Patients frequently believed that IBS develops because of anxiety (80.5%), dietary factors (75.1%) and depression (63.2%). Few respondents (28.7%) recognized that abdominal pain is the cardinal symptom of IBS, and 40.6% stated that colonoscopy can diagnose IBS. One in seven patients stated that IBS turns into cancer, and 29.9% noted that IBS increases the risk of inflammatory bowel disease. Conclusions Many IBS patients have significant misconceptions regarding the nature of their disease and its prognosis. An overwhelming majority of IBS patients believe that anxiety, dietary factors and depression cause IBS. These findings are discordant with physicians' views and practices and highlight the need for patient-oriented educational programs. [source]

Identification of operationally tolerant liver transplant recipients,

Alberto Sánchez-Fueyo
KEY POINTS: (1) Liver allografts exhibit intrinsic tolerogenic properties that result in their spontaneous acceptance in many experimental animal models. (2) In clinical transplantation, liver allografts require milder immunosuppression (IS) regimens than other organs, are remarkably resistant to antibody-mediated rejection, and only very rarely are lost because of immunological insults. (3) A fraction of stable liver transplant recipients can withdraw from all IS therapy and then maintain normal graft function and not experience rejection. This phenomenon is known as spontaneous operational tolerance. (4) The intentional discontinuation of IS in stable liver transplant recipients has led to successful weaning in almost 20% of recipients, but the true prevalence of spontaneous operational tolerance in unselected recipients is still unknown. (5) The prevalence could be higher in pediatric recipients undergoing transplantation before 1 year of age and in adult recipients with more than 10 years of posttransplant follow-up. (6) Rejection occurring during medically supervised IS weaning trials tends to be mild and, in the overwhelming majority of cases, can be easily resolved without the administration of high-dose IS. (7) Tolerant liver recipients exhibit specific transcriptional patterns in peripheral blood and in liver tissue that may constitute future diagnostic markers of tolerance. (8) There is still no formal proof that the discontinuation of low-dose IS in long-term surviving liver recipients improves the morbidity and mortality rates associated with IS therapy. Liver Transpl 16:S82-S86, 2010. © 2010 AASLD. [source]

The adipokinetic hormones of Heteroptera: a comparative study

The adipokinetic hormones (AKHs) from 15 species of heteropteran Hemiptera (encompassing eight families, six superfamilies and three infraorders) have been isolated and structurally identified using liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry. None of the structures are novel and all are octapeptides. These peptide sequence data are used, together with the previously available AKH sequence data on Heteroptera, to create a larger dataset for comparative analyses. This results, in total, in AKH sequences from 30 species (spanning 13 families), which are used in a matrix confronted with the current hypotheses on the phylogeny of Heteroptera. The expanded dataset shows that all heteropterans have octapeptide AKHs; three species have two AKHs, whereas the overwhelming majority have only one AKH. From a total of 11 different AKH peptides known from Heteroptera to date, three AKHs occur frequently: Panbo-red pigment-concentrating hormone (RPCH) (×10), Schgr-AKH-II (×6) and Anaim-AKH (×4). The heteropteran database also suggests that particular AKH variants are family-specific. The AKHs of Heteroptera: Pentatomomorpha (all terrestrial) are not present in Nepomorpha (aquatic) and Gerromorpha: Gerridae (semiaquatic); AKHs with a Val in position 2 are absent in the Pentatomomorpha (only AKHs with Leu2 are present), whereas Val2 predominates in the nonterrestrial species. An unexpected diversity of AKH sequences is found in Nepomorpha, Nepoidea, Nepidae and Nepinae, whereas Panbo-RPCH (which has been identified in all infraorders of decapod crustaceans) is present in all analysed species of Pentatomidae and also in the only species of Tessaratomidae investigated. The molecular evolution of Heteroptera with respect to other insect groups and to crustaceans is discussed [source]

Epstein-Barr Virus in Head and Neck Cancer Assessed by Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction

David Goldenberg MD
Abstract Objectives/Hypothesis: Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) has classically been associated with nasopharyngeal carcinoma and Burkitt's lymphoma. Recently, multiple studies have been published linking EBV with oral squamous cell carcinoma and, to a lesser extent, hypopharyngeal and laryngeal tumors. Using a sensitive method of detection, the authors sought to analyze the presence and quantity of EBV DNA in a large cohort of head and neck cancers. Study Design: Retrospective cohort study. Methods: Three hundred head and neck cancer samples exclusive of nasopharyngeal carcinoma were examined for the presence of EBV using quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Eighty-four tumor samples from the larynx, 30 from the hypopharynx, 73 from the oropharynx, and 113 from the oral cavity were analyzed for EBV quantity, which was expressed as the number of viral copies per cell genome. Representative samples, which contained the highest EBV DNA levels, were examined using in situ hybridization. Results were correlated with tumor grade and site and tobacco and alcohol exposure. Results: Three of 300 (1%) tumor samples were overtly positive for EBV DNA (defined as >0.1 copies of viral DNA/cell genome). Five of 300 (2%) tumor samples showed low levels (defined as >0.01 and <0.1 copies of viral DNA/cell genome), and 68 of 300 tumor samples (23%) showed trace levels (defined as < 0.01 copies of viral DNA/cell genome) of EBV DNA. No correlation was found between EBV positivity and tobacco exposure, alcohol exposure, or tumor grade. Conclusion: In the overwhelming majority of head and neck cancers in this North American cohort, EBV did not appear to contribute to growth of a dominant clonal population with integrated EBV genome and was unlikely to be a genetic etiological agent in tumor development. The low quantities of EBV detected in a minority of head and neck cancers may be related to the presence of EBV genome in rare lymphoid or epithelial cells adjacent to the primary head and neck cancer. [source]

Front and Back Covers, Volume 23, Number 1.

February 200
Front and back cover caption, volume 23 issue 1 Front cover A Dutch participant in the reality television series Groeten uit de rimboe, in which Dutch and Belgian families immerse themselves in the daily life of the world's ,most primitive tribes'. Some time afterwards, their hosts pay a return visit to experience life in Europe, screened on television in the sequel Groeten terug. The two series have been subject to heated debate in the Dutch media, having been both lauded as unpretentious entertainment and condemned as unethical ,popular anthropology'. The attention of Myrna Eindhoven, Laurens Bakker and Gerard Persoon was first drawn to the series when a family was sent to Mentawai, where all three have done fieldwork. While they themselves are critical of the unashamed focus on entertainment, they became intrigued by the reactions of other anthropologists to the series. Here they connect this case from the Netherlands to the ongoing debate on ,popular anthropology' in ANTHROPOLOGY TODAY, triggered by the UK series Tribe. Dutch anthropologists have mostly dismissed the series as ,not anthropology', criticizing it as exploitative and as ethnocentric. But do anthropologists have the authority to define ,popular anthropology'? How do we come to terms with blatant commercialization of our fieldwork sites, and their conversion into exotic locations for popular entertainment? Back cover NATION-BUILDING IN EAST TIMOR East Timor celebrates its Independence Day on 20 May each year. The day forms the backdrop for the largest annual encounter between the political centre and the periphery. In this photo, an elder (katuas) member of Fretilin, the largest political party, blends traditional and modern at the Independence Day celebrations in the capital, Dili, in 2005. As an exemplar of the United Nations' capacity for ,nation-building', the Democratic Republic of Timor Leste (or ,East Timor' as it is more popularly known) developed into something of a ,poster boy' for the United Nations from the day it became a sovereign nation on 20 May 2002. But in April 2006, some months after the last remaining UN staff had left, violence in the streets of the capital began to undermine social and political stability, resulting in the overthrow of prime minister Mari Alkatiri. Under the more engaged leadership of his successor, José Ramos-Horta, the threat of unrest has abated to some extent. Nevertheless, the country faces an array of serious problems , political, social and economic. In his article in this issue, David Hicks draws on his anthropological fieldwork to highlight the widening gap between the ,centre' and the ,periphery'. Hicks argues that the former embodies the institutions and quasi-Western values professed by the national leaders in Dili, while the latter centres around the traditional, largely indigenous values of the country's local communities, who comprise the overwhelming majority of the population. Although already latent before the United Nations left, this widening divergence in values is eroding the political integrity of the first nation-state to become a member of the United Nations in the 21st century, and if it continues to grow, will call into question the ability of the United Nations to ,manufacture' nation-states. Anthropology has an important role to play in highlighting and analysing the implications of grassroots discrepancies between local populations and political elites. More than this, it has a role to play in confronting the international community with the ethical and other consequences of its increasingly regular interventions in third countries. [source]

Structure of the ribosomal protein L1,mRNA complex at 2.1,Å resolution: common features of crystal packing of L1,RNA complexes

S. Tishchenko
The crystal structure of a hybrid complex between the bacterial ribosomal protein L1 from Thermus thermophilus and a Methanococcus vannielii mRNA fragment containing an L1-binding site was determined at 2.1,Å resolution. It was found that all polar atoms involved in conserved protein,RNA hydrogen bonds have high values of density in the electron-density map and that their hydrogen-bonding capacity is fully realised through interactions with protein atoms, water molecules and K+ ions. Intermolecular contacts were thoroughly analyzed in the present crystals and in crystals of previously determined L1,RNA complexes. It was shown that extension of the RNA helices providing canonical helix stacking between open,open or open,closed ends of RNA fragments is a common feature of these and all known crystals of complexes between ribosomal proteins and RNAs. In addition, the overwhelming majority of complexes between ribosomal proteins and RNA molecules display crystal contacts formed by the central parts of the RNA fragments. These contacts are often very extensive and strong and it is proposed that they are formed in the saturated solution prior to crystal formation. [source]