Future Challenges (future + challenge)

Distribution by Scientific Domains
Distribution within Medical Sciences

Selected Abstracts


ADDICTION, Issue 6 2008
No abstract is available for this article. [source]

Performance Measurement: Current Perspectives and Future Challenges

Article first published online: 22 FEB 200
First page of article [source]

State of Research in High-consequence Hospital Surge Capacity

Carl H. Schultz MD
High-consequence surge research involves a systems approach that includes elements such as healthcare facilities, out-of-hospital systems, mortuary services, public health, and sheltering. This article focuses on one aspect of this research, hospital surge capacity, and discusses a definition for such capacity, its components, and future considerations. While conceptual definitions of surge capacity exist, evidence-based practical guidelines for hospitals require enhancement. The Health Resources and Services Administration's (HRSA) definition and benchmarks are extrapolated from those of other countries and rely mainly on trauma data. The most significant part of the HRSA target, the need to care for 500 victims stricken with an infectious disease per one million population in 24 hours, was not developed using a biological model. If HRSA's recommendation is applied to a sample metropolitan area such as Orange County, California, this translates to a goal of expanding hospital capacity by 20%,25% in the first 24 hours. Literature supporting this target is largely consensus based or anecdotal. There are no current objective measures defining hospital surge capacity. The literature identifying the components of surge capacity is fairly consistent and lists them as personnel, supplies and equipment, facilities, and a management system. Studies identifying strategies for hospitals to enhance these components and estimates of how long it will take are lacking. One system for augmenting hospital staff, the Emergency System for Advance Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals, is a consensus-derived plan that has never been tested. Future challenges include developing strategies to handle the two different types of high-consequence surge events: 1) a focal, time-limited event (such as an earthquake) where outside resources exist and can be mobilized to assist those in need and 2) a widespread, prolonged event (such as pandemic influenza) where all resources will be in use and rationing or triage is needed. [source]

Landscape issues in plant ecology

ECOGRAPHY, Issue 2 2002
Sylvie De Blois
In the last decade, we have seen the emergence and consolidation of a conceptual framework that recognizes the landscape as an ecological unit of interest. Plant ecologists have long emphasized landscape-scale issues, but there has been no recent attempt to define how landscape concepts are now integrated in vegetation studies. To help define common research paradigms in both landscape and plant ecology, we discuss issues related to three main landscape concepts in vegetation researches, reviewing theoretical influences and emphasizing recent developments. We first focus on environmental relationships, documenting how vegetation patterns emerge from the influence of local abiotic conditions. The landscape is the physical environment. Disturbances are then considered, with a particular attention to human-driven processes that often overrule natural dynamics. The landscape is a dynamic space. As environmental and historical processes generate heterogeneous patterns, we finally move on to stress current evidence relating spatial structure and vegetation dynamics. This relates to the concept of a landscape as a patch-corridor-matrix mosaic. Future challenges involve: 1) the capacity to evaluate the relative importance of multiple controlling processes at broad spatial scale; 2) better assessment of the real importance of the spatial configuration of landscape elements for plant species and finally; 3) the integration of natural and cultural processes and the recognition of their interdependence in relation to vegetation management issues in human landscapes. [source]

Future challenges for human mutation research

HUMAN MUTATION, Issue 10 2007
Garry R. Cutting
No abstract is available for this article. [source]

Challenges and Progress in High-Throughput Screening of Polymer Mechanical Properties by Indentation

Johannes M. Kranenburg
Abstract Depth-sensing or instrumented indentation is an experimental characterization approach well-suited for high-throughput investigation of mechanical properties of polymeric materials. This is due to both the precision of force and displacement, and to the small material volumes required for quantitative analysis. Recently, considerable progress in the throughput (number of distinct material samples analyzed per unit time) of indentation experiments has been achieved, particularly for studies of elastic properties. Future challenges include improving the agreement between various macroscopic properties (elastic modulus, creep compliance, loss tangent, onset of nonlinear elasticity, energy dissipation, etc.) and their counterpart properties obtained by indentation. Sample preparation constitutes a major factor for both the accuracy of the results and the speed and efficiency of experimental throughput. It is important to appreciate how this processing step may influence the mechanical properties, in particular the onset of nonlinear elastic or plastic deformation, and how the processing may affect the agreement between the indentation results and their macroscopic analogues. [source]

Using Biomonitoring Equivalents to interpret human biomonitoring data in a public health risk context

Sean M. Hays
Abstract Increasingly sensitive analytical tools allow measurement of trace concentrations of chemicals in human biological media in persons from the general population. Such data are being generated by biomonitoring programs conducted by the US Centers for Disease Control and other researchers. However, few screening tools are available for interpretation of such data in a health risk assessment context. This review describes the concept and implementation of Biomonitoring Equivalents (BEs), estimates of the concentration of a chemical or metabolite in a biological medium that is consistent with an existing exposure guidance value such as a tolerable daily intake or reference dose. The BE approach integrates available pharmacokinetic data to convert an existing exposure guidance value into an equivalent concentration in a biological medium. Key concepts regarding the derivation and communication of BE values resulting from an expert workshop held in 2007 are summarized. BE derivations for four case study chemicals (toluene, 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, cadmium and acrylamide) are presented, and the interpretation of biomonitoring data for these chemicals is presented using the BE values. These case studies demonstrate that a range of pharmacokinetic data and approaches can be used to derive BE values; fully developed physiologically based pharmacokinetic models, while useful, are not required. The resulting screening level evaluation can be used to classify these compounds into relative categories of low, medium and high priority for risk assessment follow-up. Future challenges related to the derivation and use of BE values as tools in risk management are discussed. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Recommendations for immunizations in stem cell transplantation

Deborah C. Molrine
Abstract: Investigations over the past decade have documented that there is a decline in immunity to vaccine preventable diseases in many SCT recipients. The majority of immunization studies conducted in SCT recipients to date support the use of multi-dose regimens for most protein and polysaccharide-conjugate vaccine antigens. The consensus immunization schedule recommended by ACIP/IDSA/ASBMT provides guidance for centers to utilize available vaccines in their SCT populations. With the exception of pneumococcal disease, a schedule beginning at 12 months after SCT is reasonable given the low incidence of disease in HSCT recipients for most of the recommended vaccines and improved immune reconstitution in most recipients by one year post transplant. SCT recipients respond poorly to unconjugated pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine and the development of polysaccharide-protein conjugate vaccines against S. pneumoniae holds promise to impact potentially on clinical disease in this population. In addition, the strategy of donor immunization may also be effective in eliciting early protective immune responses to vaccine antigens. Future challenges will be the development of safe and effective vaccines against the viral pathogens responsible for considerable morbidity and mortality after SCT. [source]

Recent advances in permafrost modelling

Daniel Riseborough
Abstract This paper provides a review of permafrost modelling advances, primarily since the 2003 permafrost conference in Zürich, Switzerland, with an emphasis on spatial permafrost models, in both arctic and high mountain environments. Models are categorised according to temporal, thermal and spatial criteria, and their approach to defining the relationship between climate, site surface conditions and permafrost status. The most significant recent advances include the expanding application of permafrost thermal models within spatial models, application of transient numerical thermal models within spatial models and incorporation of permafrost directly within global circulation model (GCM) land surface schemes. Future challenges for permafrost modelling will include establishing the appropriate level of integration required for accurate simulation of permafrost-climate interaction within GCMs, the integration of environmental change such as treeline migration into permafrost response to climate change projections, and parameterising the effects of sub-grid scale variability in surface processes and properties on small-scale (large area) spatial models. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Use of Western and Indigenously Developed Personality Tests in Asia

Fanny M. Cheung
Cet article passe en revue les recherches transculturelles sur les grandes évaluations de la personnalité dans les pays asiatiques, à savoir le MMPI, l'EPQ, le STAI et le NEO-PI-R. On aborde la question de l'application interculturelle de tests traduits. L'Inventaire d'Evaluation de la Personnalité Chinois (CPAI) est mentionné comme exemple de travaux autochtones qui ont mis en évidence des dimensions originales ou importantes. Développéà l'origine en tant qu'outil d'évaluation culturellement approprié au peuple chinois, le CPAI a ensuite permis de mettre à l'épreuve l'universalité des théories occidentales de la personnalité. Le facteur spécifique du CPAI relatif aux liens interpersonnels est utile pour l'étude d'un aspect de la personnalité qui est absent des mesures de la personnalité importées. On examine aussi les défis à venir qui attendent la recherche et les applications concernant l'évaluation de la personnalité en Asie. This paper reviews the cross-cultural research on major personality measures in Asian countries, including the MMPI, EPQ, STAI, and the NEO-PI-R. Considerations in the cross-cultural application of translated tests are discussed. The Chinese Personality Assessment Inventory (CPAI) is cited as an example of indigenous measures that have identified culturally salient or unique dimensions. Although developed originally as a culturally relevant assessment tool for Chinese people, the CPAI has also become a means to examine the universality of Western personality theories. The unique Interpersonal Relatedness factor of the CPAI is useful to the study of an aspect of personality that has been absent in imported personality measures. Future challenges for research and applications of personality assessment in Asia are discussed. [source]

Genetics and genomics of Candida albicans biofilm formation

Clarissa J. Nobile
Summary Biofilm formation by the opportunistic fungal pathogen Candida albicans is a complex process with significant consequences for human health: it contributes to implanted medical device-associated infections. Recent advances in gene expression profiling and genetic analysis have begun to clarify the mechanisms that govern C. albicans biofilm development and acquisition of unique biofilm phenotypes. Such studies have identified candidate adhesin genes, and have revealed that biofilm drug resistance is multifactorial. Newly defined cell,cell communication pathways also have profound effects on biofilm formation. Future challenges include the elucidation of the structure and function of the extracellular exopolymeric substance that surrounds biofilm cells, and the extension of in vitro biofilm observations to newly developed in vivo biofilm models. [source]

Implementation of brief alcohol intervention in primary health care: do nurses' and general practitioners' attitudes, skills and knowledge change?

Abstract Brief alcohol intervention reduces heavy drinking, but its implementation has been challenging. The purpose was to evaluate self-reported changes in attitudes, skills and knowledge regarding brief intervention among nurses and general practitioners (GPs) during an implementation project. A questionnaire survey was used before and after the implementation to all nurses and GPs working at the time in the seven primary health-care centres of the city of Tampere, Finland. Several positive changes indicate an increased amount of knowledge regarding brief intervention among the professionals during the implementation. This was found especially among the nurses. The success in increasing the knowledge can also be seen in a decrease of training needs. Instead, attitudes and skills among the professionals did not seem to develop positively. Increasing motivational skills especially seems to be the future challenge. [source]

Climate proofing Scottish river basin planning, , a future challenge

Kirsty Blackstock
Abstract Due to its cyclical planning process, River Basin Management Planning (RBMP) offers a route for adaptive management of a complex human,environment system. Considering how stakeholders speak about climate change provides a lens to examine social learning within RBMP. The paper explores how climate change emerged as a topic during our research and the trajectory of the social learning process. Participants were aware of the challenges that climate change might pose for achieving Good Ecological Status (GES), but as the deadline for the plans drew nearer the focus shifted from long-term issues to the current state of the environment and delivery of objectives. The degree of ,climate proofing' in RBMP depends on choices in future planning phases. We reflect on the potential for this to occur, putting our findings into the context of literature on social learning and adaptive management processes. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment. [source]

European best practice in blood transfusion: improvement of quality-related processes in blood establishments

Christian Seidl
Transfusion medicine is an expanding field comprising the interaction between several medical disciplines. Looking at the ,vein to vein process' covering the donation of blood by the voluntary donor up to the application of blood components to patients, modern blood transfusion services comprise a large variety of sociomedical functions. The production of standard cellular blood components, such as erythrocyte and thrombocyte concentrates, plasmatic blood components as well as special cellular components such as blood stem cells, mesenchymal cells or granulocytes will require an extensive laboratory testing repertoire to monitor product quality and safety. The European blood legislation has defined several key quality elements to achieve good manufacturing practice in the field of blood transfusion. In addition, GMP/GLP and ISO standards are used inter alia by blood establishments. Following the call for proposal in the field of public health by the European Commission, a consortium of blood establishments from 16 European member, acceding and EFTA states has been established in order to survey the individual quality management systems used by the participants and to developed guidelines for quality systems. These guidelines are aimed at assisting blood establishments in preparing for government inspections as required by Directive 2002/98/EC. They could also be used to adapt existing procedures to comply with current EU requirements and/or to prepare for accreditation and certification of these institutions. Major benefits from those quality management systems are (1) the definition of an overall quality policy, (2) improved personnel responsibility, qualification and training, (3) error and risk assessment system, (4) continuous improvement, (5) improved resource management, (6) performance improvement. The definition of cost,benefit relation between certification and accreditation of blood establishments will depend on the individual institution itself and the amount of processes covered. With the release of the new EU Directive 2005/62/EC, there are currently EU requirements available that describe in detail relevant processes to be covered by quality system following good practice used in blood establishments. A future challenge for transfusion medicine would be optimizing the synergetic effects expressed by the EU directive, GMP and ISO standards. [source]


William G. Sunda
Harmful algal blooms (HABs) have occurred with increasing frequency in recent years with eutrophication and other anthropogenic alterations of coastal ecosystems. Many of these blooms severely alter or degrade ecosystem function, and are referred to here as ecosystem disruptive algal blooms (EDABs). These blooms are often caused by toxic or unpalatable species that decrease grazing rates by planktonic and benthic herbivores, and thereby disrupt the transfer of nutrients and energy to higher trophic levels, and decrease nutrient recycling. Many factors, such as nutrient availability and herbivore grazing have been proposed to separately influence EDAB dynamics, but interactions among these factors have rarely been considered. Here we discuss positive feedback interactions among nutrient availability, herbivore grazing, and nutrient regeneration, which have the potential to substantially influence the dynamics of EDAB events. The positive feedbacks result from a reduction of grazing rates on EDAB species caused by toxicity or unpalatability of these algae, which promotes the proliferation of the EDAB species. The decreased rates also lower grazer-mediated recycling of nutrients and thereby decrease nutrient availability. Since many EDAB species are well-adapted to nutrient-stressed environments and many exhibit increased toxin production and toxicity under nutrient limitation, positive feedbacks are established which can greatly increase the rate of bloom development and the adverse effects on the ecosystem. An understanding of how these feedbacks interact with other regulating factors, such as benthic/pelagic nutrient coupling, physical forcing, and life cycles of EDAB species provides a substantial future challenge. [source]

Importation of Dengue by Soldiers Returning from East Timor to North Queensland, Australia

Scott Kitchener
Background: Soldiers based in Townsville, Australia, returned from East Timor following peacekeeping operations during the wet season of 1999 to 2000. This represented the potential to import dengue virus into north Queensland, a dengue receptive area of Australia. This article seeks to outline the measures taken by the Australian Defence Force (ADF) to prevent local transmission and to present the outcomes. Methods: Soldiers returning to north Queensland were provided with education on dengue fever and in the fortnight before return, their living areas were subjected to intensive vector control measures, in order to reduce the risk of acquisition of dengue. They were further encouraged to present early with any febrile illness following their return to Townsville. Provisionally diagnosed dengue cases were notified to the state public health authorities immediately and cases were isolated until suitable vector control programs were implemented or the potentially viremic period exceeded. Serologic and virologic investigations were undertaken to identify the passage and probable serotype or confirm the presence and serotype of dengue virus. Results: Nine serologically confirmed cases of dengue were identified as viremic in north Queensland. Six cases were identified as arising from dengue serotype 2, two were from serotype 3, and one case was ill defined. No dengue cases have been reported in the local population 4 months following these ADF cases. Conclusions: Local outbreaks of dengue fever have occurred in north Queensland following the importation of dengue virus in returned travelers. The successful prevention of local transmission in these circumstances was contributed to by early notification of cases and prevention of transmission through isolation of cases and collaboration between ADF and state and local public health authorities in vector control. The management of potentially viremic returning service personnel represents a future challenge for the ADF. [source]

Antiepileptic drug discovery: lessons from the past and future challenges

H. Klitgaard
Historically, most antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) have been discovered either by serendipity, or the screening of compounds using acute seizure models. However, an increasing understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying epileptogenesis has led to more rational approaches to drug discovery, which have focused on either enhancing inhibitory , -amino butyric acid (GABA)-ergic, or antagonizing excitatory glutamatergic, neurotransmission. Unfortunately, AEDs generated using such strategies have poor efficacy and safety profiles, as they interfere with normal cell processes, while ignoring the complex underlying pathophysiology of epilepsy. Recently, however, the use of new epilepsy models has led to the discovery of levetiracetam, an AED with a truly unique mechanism of action, devoid of anticonvulsant activity in normal animals, but with potent seizure suppression in genetic and kindled chronic epilepsy models, and an unusually high safety margin. The recent identification of brivaracetam and seletracetam, which optimize this unique mechanism of action, may further improve the medical management of epilepsy. The experience with levetiracetam, brivaracetam and seletracetam reveals that new experimental epilepsy models can detect AEDs possessing a unique mechanism of action and thereby target the future challenge of providing clinicians novel additions to the current armamentarium of AEDs. [source]

Hypertension, vascular cognitive disorders and neuroprotection

Dimiter Hadjiev
Objective:, The role of the antihypertensive therapy in preventing vascular cognitive disorders in elderly persons without a history of stroke is a matter of debate. This review focuses on cognitive disorders in elderly hypertensive patients. Methods:, Relevant papers were identified by searches in PubMed from 1946 until February 2007 using the keywords ,cerebral blood flow autoregulation', ,vascular cognitive disorders', ,neuroimaging in hypertension', ,antihypertensive treatment' and ,neuroprotection in cerebral ischemia'. Results:, Excessive blood pressure lowering in patients with long-standing hypertension may increase the risk of cerebral hypoperfusion, white matter lesions and consequent cognitive decline. White matter lesions have been found in the majority of patients with long-standing hypertension. They correlate with vascular cognitive disorders, particularly impairments of attention and executive function, while memory is relatively preserved. Cerebral small vessel disease in elderly patients should be taken into account when antihypertensive treatment is considered. Renin,angiotensin blockade, some calcium channel blockers and statins are thought to possess neuroprotective action. Conclusion:, For prevention of cerebral hypoperfusion in elderly hypertensives blood pressure lowering should be cautiously controlled. The increased risk of white matter lesions is an indication for early neuroprotection. The combination of renin,angiotensin blockade or calcium channel blockers with statins may become a promising preventive strategy against cognitive decline in elderly hypertensives. Cerebral white matter protection is a future challenge. [source]

Final height after combined growth hormone and GnRH analogue treatment in adopted girls with early puberty

T Tuvemo
Background: Girls adopted from developing countries often have early or precocious puberty, requiring treatment with gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) analogues. During such treatment, decreased growth velocity is frequent. Aim: To study whether the addition of growth hormone (GH) to GnRH analogue treatment improves final height in girls with early or precocious puberty. Methods: Forty-six girls with early or precocious puberty (age ± 9.5y) adopted from developing countries were randomized for treatment for 2,4 y with GnRH analogue, or with a combination of GH and GnRH analogue. Results: During treatment, the mean growth velocity in the GH/GnRH analogue group was significantly higher compared to the control group. Combined GH/GnRH analogue treatment resulted in a higher final height: 158.9 cm compared to 155.8 cm in the GnRH analogue-treated group. Three out of 24 girls (13%) in the combined group and nine of the 22 girls (41%) treated with GnRH analogue alone attained a final height below ,2 standard deviation scores (SDS). Conclusion: The difference between the two groups is statistically significant, and possibly of clinical importance. A future challenge is to identify a subgroup with clinically significant advantage of GH addition to GnRH analogue treatment. Being very short on arrival in Sweden and being short and young at start of treatment are possible indicators. [source]

Data Preparation for Real-time High Quality Rendering of Complex Models

Reinhard Klein
The capability of current 3D acquisition systems to digitize the geometry reflection behaviour of objects as well as the sophisticated application of CAD techniques lead to rapidly growing digital models which pose new challenges for interaction and visualization. Due to the sheer size of the geometry as well as the texture and reflection data which are often in the range of several gigabytes, efficient techniques for analyzing, compressing and rendering are needed. In this talk I will present some of the research we did in our graphics group over the past years motivated by industrial partners in order to automate the data preparation step and allow for real-time high quality rendering e.g. in the context of VR-applications. Strength and limitations of the different techniques will be discussed and future challenges will be identified. The presentation will go along with live demonstrations. [source]

Reflections on past successes and future challenges: Three perspectives

Liz O'Brien
The executive directors of three community mediation centers were asked to reflect on past successes and future challenges and to consider four questions: How has your center achieved diversification in funding, programs, and referrals, and what have been the benefits and challenges of diversification? What do you consider the greatest challenge in community mediation? How has your center gained credibility and visibility in your community, and what community partnerships helped in that regard? In what directions is your center moving, and what is your center's vision for the next ten years? [source]

The ecosystem approach in corporate environmental management , expert mental models and environmental drivers in the Finnish forest industry

Petteri Vihervaara
Abstract The ecosystem approach has been adopted as the framework of the Convention on Biological Diversity, and is recommended to be used widely in the integrated management of land, water and living resources, to promote conservation and sustainable use in an equitable way, also in corporations. The forest industry is a resource-intensive branch with various impacts on aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Our aims in this study were to examine (i) how the ecosystem approach is implemented in the Finnish forest industry; and (ii) to outline the mental models of environmental experts of corporations, and their conceptualization of some key terms of ecosystem thinking. We interviewed 12 experts about their opinions on the main future challenges, the risks, the mistakes of the past, the possibilities and the successes confronting the forest industry. The results were analyzed using the DPSIR (Driving forces-Pressures-State-Impacts-Responses) framework model. Finally, we give several recommendations as to how the ecosystem approach can be integrated into corporate environmental management. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment. [source]

Ecological restoration in New Zealand , current trends and future challenges

David A. Norton
No abstract is available for this article. [source]

Addiction research centres and the nurturing of creativity: Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (SoRAD), Stockholm University, Sweden

ADDICTION, Issue 3 2010
Kerstin Stenius
ABSTRACT The Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (SoRAD) was established as a national research centre and department within the Faculty of Social Science at Stockholm University in 1997, following a Government Report and with the aim to strengthen social alcohol and drug research. Initially, core funding came from the Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research and from the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs for several long-term projects. Today, SoRAD, with 25 senior and junior researchers, has core funding from the university but most of its funding comes from external national and international grants. Research is organized under three themes: consumption, problems and norms, alcohol and drug policy and societal reactions, treatment and recovery processes. SoRADs scientific approach, multi-disciplinarity, a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods and international comparisons was established by the centre's first leader, Robin Room. Regular internal seminars are held and young researchers are encouraged to attend scientific meetings and take part in collaborative projects. SoRAD researchers produce government-funded monthly statistics on alcohol consumption and purchase, and take part in various national government committees, but SoRADs research has no clear political or bureaucratic constraints. One of the future challenges for SoRAD will be the proposed system for university grants allocation, where applied social science will have difficulties competing with basic biomedical research if decisions are based on publication and citation measures. [source]


Allan Fels
This paper reviews the evolution and significance of the Trade Practices Act for the development of competition policy in Australia. The paper also discusses the role of the ACCC in the enforcement of competition law and speculates on future challenges facing the ACCC in this role. [source]

Gene,environment interactions and alcohol use and dependence: current status and future challenges

ADDICTION, Issue 6 2009
Carmen S. Van Der Zwaluw
ABSTRACT Aim To discuss the current status of gene,environment interaction research with regard to alcohol use and dependence. Further, we highlight the difficulties concerning gene,environment studies. Methods Overview of the current evidence for gene,environment interactions in alcohol outcomes, and of the associated challenges in gene,environment studies. Results Attention to the causative roles of gene,environment interactions in alcohol use and dependence is increasing. Studies with twin designs are beginning to examine gene-shared environment effects, and animal studies have investigated gene,environment interaction effects on alcohol intake in primates. Thirteen studies incorporated gene,environment interactions in examining alcohol use or dependence in humans. These studies held a variety of candidate genes and environmental risk factors and their heterogeneity made it impossible to draw firm general conclusions. Conclusions Challenges for future gene,environment studies are abundant, and consist of, for example, the development of clear theoretical assumptions about neurobiological mechanisms and the recruitment of large longitudinal samples that already start in childhood. Replication is essential to prevent an overload of false-positive results. Despite the difficulties, it is crucial to include gene,environment interactions in future studies in order to unravel the aetiological factors of human alcohol outcomes. [source]

Assessment and surgical outcomes for mild type I and severe type II cortical dysplasia: A critical review and the UCLA experience

EPILEPSIA, Issue 6 2009
Jason T. Lerner
Summary Recent findings on the clinical, electroencephalography (EEG), neuroimaging, and surgical outcomes are reviewed comparing patients with Palmini type I (mild) and type II (severe) cortical dysplasia. Resources include peer-reviewed studies on surgically treated patients and a subanalysis of the 2004 International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) Survey of Pediatric Epilepsy Surgery. These sources were supplemented with data from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Cortical dysplasia is the most frequent histopathologic substrate in children, and the second most common etiology in adult epilepsy surgery patients. Cortical dysplasia patients present with seizures at an earlier age than other surgically treated etiologies, and 33,50% have nonlocalized scalp EEG and normal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. 2-(18F)Fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) is positive in 75,90% of cases. After complete resection, 80% of patients are seizure free compared with 20% with incomplete resections. Compared with type I, patients with type II cortical dysplasia present at younger ages, have higher seizure frequencies, and are extratemporal. Type I dysplasia is found more often in adult patients in the temporal lobe and is often MRI negative. These findings identify characteristics of patients with mild and severe cortical dysplasia that define surgically treated epilepsy syndromes. The authors discuss future challenges to identifying and treating medically refractory epilepsy patients with cortical dysplasia. [source]

What is Changing in Academic Research?

Futures Scenarios, Trends
What is changing in academic research? What has changed over the past decades and what might change in the coming ones? Could the research mission of universities be carried out in slightly or radically different ways in the medium term? This article aims to cast light on the trends and driving forces that can be observed in academic research over the past two decades in the OECD area. It gives an outlook of the main current characteristics of academic research at a macro level in terms of funding and activities in comparison with research performed by other sectors. It also highlights future challenges and sketches a few possible futures scenarios in a 20-year time frame. [source]

SYNTHESIS: Evolutionary history of Pacific salmon in dynamic environments

Robin S. Waples
Abstract Contemporary evolution of Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.) is best viewed in the context of the evolutionary history of the species and the dynamic ecosystems they inhabit. Speciation was complete by the late Miocene, leaving c. six million years for intraspecific diversification. Following the most recent glacial maximum, large areas became available for recolonization. Current intraspecific diversity is thus the product of recent evolution overlaid onto divergent historical lineages forged during recurrent episodes of Pleistocene glaciation. In northwestern North America, dominant habitat features have been relatively stable for the past 5000 years, but salmon ecosystems remain dynamic because of disturbance regimes (volcanic eruptions, landslides, wildfires, floods, variations in marine and freshwater productivity) that occur on a variety of temporal and spatial scales. These disturbances both create selective pressures for adaptive responses by salmon and inhibit long-term divergence by periodically extirpating local populations and creating episodic dispersal events that erode emerging differences. Recent anthropogenic changes are replicated pervasively across the landscape and interrupt processes that allow natural habitat recovery. If anthropogenic changes can be shaped to produce disturbance regimes that more closely mimic (in both space and time) those under which the species evolved, Pacific salmon should be well-equipped to deal with future challenges, just as they have throughout their evolutionary history. [source]

Human telomeric G-quadruplex: structures of DNA and RNA sequences

FEBS JOURNAL, Issue 5 2010
Anh Tuân Phan
Telomeres play an important role in cellular aging and cancer. Human telomeric DNA and RNA G-rich sequences are capable of forming a four-stranded structure, known as the G-quadruplex. Such a structure might be important for telomere biology and a good target for drug design. This minireview describes the structural diversity or conservation of DNA and RNA human telomeric G-quadruplexes, discusses structural views on targeting these G-quadruplexes and presents some future challenges for structural studies. [source]