Future Avenues (future + avenue)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Alcohol policy in South Africa: a review of policy development processes between 1994 and 2009

ADDICTION, Issue 8 2010
Charles D. H. Parry
ABSTRACT Background Implementation of effective policies to reduce harmful alcohol consumption requires both a good understanding of the policy development process and which strategies are likely to work. Aims To contribute to this understanding by reviewing four specific policy development initiatives that have taken place in South Africa between 1994 and 2009: restrictions on alcohol advertising and counter-advertising, regulation of retail sales of alcohol, alcohol taxation and controls on alcohol packaging. Methods Material was drawn from a record of meetings and conferences held between 1994 and 2009 and a database of reports, newspaper clippings and policy documentation. Findings When the policy process resulted in a concrete outcome there was always a clear recognition of the problem and policy alternatives, but success was more likely if there was an alignment of ,political' forces and/or when there was a determined bureaucracy. The impact of the other factors such as the media, community mobilization, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the liquor industry and research are also discussed. Future avenues for policy research are identified, including the need for more systematic studies that give greater consideration to economic factors. Conclusions Alcohol policy development in South Africa takes place in a piecemeal fashion and is the product of various competing influences. Having a comprehensive national alcohol strategy cutting across different sectors may be a better way for other developing countries to proceed. [source]

Challenges of antiangiogenic cancer therapy: trials and errors, and renewed hope

Miguel Ángel Medina
,,Introduction ,,What can we learn from the previous failures? ,,Signs of hope ,,Another turn of the screw: a surrogate marker, at last ,,Future avenues for the vascular therapy of cancer Abstract Angiogenesis inhibition has been proposed as a general strategy to fight cancer. However, in spite of the promising preclinical results, a first generation of antiangiogenic compounds yielded poor results in clinical trials. Conceptual errors and mistakes in the design of trials and in the definition of clinical end-points could account for these negative results. In this context of discouraging results, a second generation of antiangiogenic therapies is showing positive results in phases II and III trials at the beginning of the twenty-first century. In fact, several combined treatments with conventional chemotherapy and antiangiogenic compounds have been recently approved. The discovery and pharmacological development of future generations of angiogenesis inhibitors will benefit from further advances in the understanding of the mechanisms involved in human angiogenesis. New styles of trials are necessary, to avoid missing potential therapeutic effects. Different clinical end-points, new surrogate biomarkers and methods of imaging will be helpful in this process. Real efficacy in clinical trials may come with the combined use of antiangiogenic agents with conventional chemotherapy or radiotherapy, and combinations of several antiangiogenic compounds with different mechanisms of action. Finally, the existing antiangiogenic strategies should include other approaches such as vascular targeting or angioprevention. [source]

Modeling Goodwill for Banks: A Residual Income Approach with Empirical Tests,

Joy Begley
Abstract This paper uses the residual income valuation technique outlined in Feltham and Ohlson 1996 to examine the relation between stock valuations and accounting numbers for a prototypical banking firm. Prior work of this nature typically assumes a manufacturing setting. This paper contributes to the prior research by clarifying how the approach can be extended to settings where value is created from financial assets and liabilities. Key elements of our model include allowing banks to generate positive net present value from either lending or borrowing activities, and allowing for accounting policy to affect valuation through the loan loss allowance. We validate our model using archival data analysis, and interpret coefficients in light of our modeling assumptions. These results suggest that banks create value more from deposit-taking activities than from lending activities. Vuong tests confirm that our model outperforms adaptations of the unbiased accounting model of Ohlson 1995 and adaptations of the base model proposed by Beaver, Eger, Ryan, and Wolfson 1989. However, our model is outperformed by the popular net income-book value model used in many empirical studies, and we can formally reject one of our key modeling assumptions. These tests of our model suggest future avenues for improving upon the theoretical analysis. [source]

Regulation of cerebral blood flow in mammals during chronic hypoxia: a matter of balance

Philip N. Ainslie
Respiratory-induced changes in the partial pressures of arterial carbon dioxide and oxygen play a major role in cerebral blood flow (CBF) regulation. Elevations in (hypercapnia) lead to vasodilatation and increases in CBF, whereas reductions in (hypocapnia) lead to vasoconstriction and decreases in CBF. A fall in (hypoxia) below a certain threshold (<40,45 mmHg) also produces cerebral vasodilatation. Upon initial exposure to hypoxia, CBF is elevated via a greater relative degree of hypoxia compared with hypocapnia. At this point, hypoxia-induced elevations in blood pressure and loss of cerebral autoregulation, stimulation of neuronal pathways, angiogenesis, release of adenosine, endothelium-derived NO and a variety of autocoids and cytokines are additional factors acting to increase CBF. Following 2,3 days, however, the process of ventilatory acclimatization results in a progressive rise in ventilation, which increases and reduces , collectively acting to attenuate the initial rise in CBF. Other factors acting to lower CBF include elevations in haematocrit, sympathetic nerve activity and local and endothelium-derived vasoconstrictors. Hypoxia-induced alterations of cerebrovascular reactivity, autoregulation and pulmonary vascular tone may also affect CBF. Thus, the extent of change in CBF during exposure to hypoxia is dependent on the balance between the myriad of vasodilators and constrictors derived from the endothelium, neuronal innervations and perfusion pressure. This review examines the extent and mechanisms by which hypoxia regulates CBF. Particular focus will be given to the marked influence of hypoxia associated with exposure to high altitude and chronic lung disease. The associated implications of these hypoxia-induced integrative alterations for the regulation of CBF are discussed, and future avenues for research are proposed. [source]

The ARMYDA trials (Atorvastatin for Reduction of MYocardial Damage during Angioplasty) at Campus Bio-Medico University: rationale, results and future horizons

Germano Di Sciascio
Abstract Myocardial protection by atorvastation pretreatment was found in several trials applied to percutaneous coronary intervention by the ARMYDA study group. This article reviews those studies and explores future avenues. [source]

Molecular marker systems in insects: current trends and future avenues

Abstract Insects comprise the largest species composition in the entire animal kingdom and possess a vast undiscovered genetic diversity and gene pool that can be better explored using molecular marker techniques. Current trends of application of DNA marker techniques in diverse domains of insect ecological studies show that mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), microsatellites, random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD), expressed sequence tags (EST) and amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers have contributed significantly for progresses towards understanding genetic basis of insect diversity and for mapping medically and agriculturally important genes and quantitative trait loci in insect pests. Apart from these popular marker systems, other novel approaches including transposon display, sequence-specific amplification polymorphism (S-SAP), repeat-associated polymerase chain reaction (PCR) markers have been identified as alternate marker systems in insect studies. Besides, whole genome microarray and single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) assays are becoming more popular to screen genome-wide polymorphisms in fast and cost effective manner. However, use of such methodologies has not gained widespread popularity in entomological studies. The current study highlights the recent trends of applications of molecular markers in insect studies and explores the technological advancements in molecular marker tools and modern high throughput genotyping methodologies that may be applied in entomological researches for better understanding of insect ecology at molecular level. [source]

Highlights in Emergency Medicine Medical Education Research: 2008

Susan E. Farrell MD
Abstract Objectives:, The purpose of this article is to highlight medical education research studies published in 2008 that were methodologically superior and whose outcomes were pertinent to teaching and education in emergency medicine. Methods:, Through a PubMed search of the English language literature in 2008, 30 medical education research studies were independently identified as hypothesis-testing investigations and measurements of educational interventions. Six reviewers independently rated and scored all articles based on eight anchors, four of which related to methodologic criteria. Articles were ranked according to their total rating score. A ranking agreement among the reviewers of 83% was established a priori as a minimum for highlighting articles in this review. Results:, Five medical education research studies met the a priori criteria for inclusion and are reviewed and summarized here. Four of these employed experimental or quasi-experimental methodology. Although technology was not a component of the structured literature search employed to identify the candidate articles for this review, 14 of the articles identified, including four of the five highlighted articles, employed or studied technology as a focus of the educational research. Overall, 36% of the reviewed studies were supported by funding; three of the highlighted articles were funded studies. Conclusions:, This review highlights quality medical education research studies published in 2008, with outcomes of relevance to teaching and education in emergency medicine. It focuses on research methodology, notes current trends in the use of technology for learning in emergency medicine, and suggests future avenues for continued rigorous study in education. [source]

Geophysical Archaeology Research Agendas for the Future: Some Ground-penetrating Radar Examples

Lawrence B. Conyers
Abstract Archaeological geophysics research and its applications to archaeology are today positioned to move in a number of directions, building on successes in the past few decades. The basics of data acquisition, processing and interpretation are now commonplace, and along with a variety of new geophysical tools and software, readily available to most dedicated practitioners. It is now time to move beyond the basics to develop new areas of research for the coming decades. Here, we propose some future avenues that can be followed, using ground-penetrating radar (GPR) as an example. One avenue is the application of these techniques to test ideas about culture and history in ways not possible using traditional archaeological methods. Another is the application of sophisticated new equipment and three-dimensional processing methods that can produce greater precision in the products produced, while simplifying data acquisition and revealing more information about buried archaeological features. While we discuss below our ideas with regard to the future of GPR, these basic concepts and future pathways are potentially applicable to the other commonly used near-surface geophysical methods. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Manduca sexta prothoracicotropic hormone: evidence for a role beyond steroidogenesis

Robert Rybczynski
Abstract Prothoracicotropic hormone (PTTH) is a homodimeric brain peptide hormone that positively regulates the production of ecdysteroids by the prothoracic gland of Lepidoptera and probably other insects. PTTH was first purified from heads of adult domestic silkworms, Bombyx mori. Prothoracic glands of Bombyx and Manduca sexta undergo apoptosis well before the adult stage is reached, raising the recurring question of PTTH function at these later stages. Because Bombyx has been domesticated for thousands of years, the possibility exists that the presence of PTTH in adult animals is an accidental result of domestication for silk production. In contrast, Manduca has been raised in the laboratory for only five or six decades. The present study found that Manduca brains contain PTTH at all stages examined post-prothoracic gland apoptosis, i.e., pharate adult and adult life, and that PTTH-dependent changes in protein phosphorylation and protein synthesis were observed in several reproductive and reproduction-associated organs. The data indicate that PTTH indeed plays a role in non-steroidogenic tissues and suggest possible future avenues for determining which cellular processes are being so regulated. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. [source]

Interferon-, therapy for melanoma

Although surgery may be curative in early malignant melanoma, its effect on survival lessens with each succeeding stage of the disease. A wide variety of immunological strategies have therefore been used to improve the prognosis of patients with malignant melanoma, but adjuvant therapy with interferon (IFN)-, is the only treatment to show a therapeutic benefit in randomized controlled studies. The current data indicates that where IFN-, is used at low dose, its main effect is on disease-free survival, whereas high-dose regimens may improve overall survival as well. This paper will review the published data on IFN-, therapy in patients with intermediate and high-risk melanoma and explore future avenues for managing patients with this difficult disease. [source]