55 research outputs found

    Sticky fingers : the investment structure of the Spanish oil business

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    One of the main subjects of debate in the analysis of the Roman economy is the question whether the Roman aristocracy made investments in trade and industry and if so, to what extent this money supply was able to support economic performance. I will argue that the focus on elite money is flawed, because the available evidence does not allow a serial analysis of the origin of commercial investments. Nevertheless, the amphora epigraphy of the Spanish oil industry offers a promising avenue to counterbalance these limitations. First, it allows us to trace personal investments by elites in the oil trade and their strategies to increase efficiency and profitability, viz. the creation of family firms and vertical integration of production and distribution stages. Second, the evidence shows that the same two strategies were also implemented by entrepreneurs who, to our knowledge, did not belong to the aristocracy. Yet, as they were able to finance these investments, we can conclude that these entrepreneurs, whether being part of the elite or not, commanded financial reserves similar to or even superior to elite fortunes. In conclusion, the focus on elite investments in Roman trade can never be an argument to question the scale of exchange

    Industries and services

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    The efficacy of case management with persons who have substance abuse problems: a three level meta-analysis of outcomes

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    Objective: Case management has been widely used as an intervention in the treatment of substance abuse problems. Its effectiveness has been associated with over 450 outcomes, some consistent with case management’s traditional functions of linking (treatment tasks) and others typical of treatment outcomes such as substance use (personal functioning). Method: Meta-analyses were conducted on 21 randomized clinical trials in which we compared the efficacy of case management with standard-of-care conditions and active interventions. Characteristics of case management— including targeted outcomes, case management model, location on the treatment continuum, and intervention quality—were treated as moderators, as were 2 study features, length of follow-up, and methodological quality. Results: Results showed that case management was efficacious across all targeted outcomes when compared with standard of care (ˆ 0.15, SE 0.037), although the overall effect was weak. There was a significant difference, F(1, 429) 25.26, p .0001, between case management’s effect on treatment task outcomes such as linking with and staying in treatment (ˆ 2 .29, p .001) and improving individuals’ functioning of persons with substance abuse problems in areas such as substance use and HIV risk behaviors (ˆ 1 0.06, p .05). Moderator analyses demonstrated that (a) 4 case management models were more effective than standard of care in improving treatment task outcomes and (b) case management was effective either in or out of treatment. Conclusions: Our results demonstrate that case management is effective across a wide range of treatment task outcomes, but more limited in its effectiveness with personal functioning outcomes

    A Mediator Role For Metallothionein in Tumor Necrosis Factor–induced Lethal Shock

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    Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) is a proinflammatory cytokine, which is centrally involved in several inflammatory disorders. Administration of TNF leads to a potentially lethal systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS). We observed that (a) mice lacking functional genes for metallothionein 1 and 2 (MT-null) were protected compared with wild-type controls (P = 0.0078), and (b) mice overexpressing MT-1 (MT-TG) were more sensitized for the lethal effect of TNF than control mice (P = 0.0003), indicating a mediating role for MT in TNF induced SIRS. As MT is involved in the body zinc homeostasis, we tested whether zinc-deprivation or -supplementation alters the response to TNF. Although zinc-depletion strongly sensitized (P = 0.036), and pretreatment with zinc sulfate (ZnSO4) conferred protection against the deleterious effects of TNF (P < 0.0002), it was also found that the protection provided by zinc is independent of MT. Our observation that hsp70 is strongly induced in jejunum after ZnSO4 treatment, suggests a contribution of hsp70 in the protection against TNF. In addition, ZnSO4 cotreatment allowed complete regression of inoculated tumors with TNF and interferon Îł, leading to a significantly better survival (P = 0.0045)

    Psychiatric disorders in detained male adolescents : a systematic literature review

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    Objective: To provide a best estimate of the prevalence of psychiatric disorders among detained male adolescents, with particular emphasis on impairment, multi-informant assessment, and race or ethnicity. Method: Computer-assisted searches were executed to identify relevant studies. Results: Fifteen studies using adolescents as informants met inclusion criteria (n = 3401), of which only 2 reported within a subsample on parent-derived diagnoses. The mean prevalence of any disorder was 69.9% (95% CI 69.5% to 70.3%); with conduct disorder occurring most frequently (46.4%, 95% CI 45.6% to 47.3%), followed by substance use disorder (45.1%, 95% CI 44.6% to 45.5%), oppositional defiant disorder (19.8%, 95% CI 19.2% to 20.3%), and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (13.5%, 95% CI 13.2% to 13.9%). Although lower, rates for internalizing disorders were still substantial, with any anxiety disorder found in 15.9% (95% CI 15.6% to 16.1%), major depression in 12.0% (95% CI 11.7% to 12.2%), and posttraumatic stress disorder in 9.6% (95% CI 9.2% to 10.0%). Three studies reported on psychotic disorders, finding low rates (1.35%, 95% CI 1.32% to 1.39%). Estimates of prevalence were only marginally different when impairment was not required, while consistency between adolescents and parents was poor. Findings on the relations between race or ethnicity were too scarce and inconsistent to interpret. Conclusion: Detained male adolescents bear substantial mental health needs, emphasizing the need to organize effective mental health services for this troubled group. However, our knowledge on mental disorders in detained youth should be enhanced, in particular regarding the reliability of adolescents, compared with parent report, and whether clinically relevant differences exist by race or ethnicity

    Effects of a wheat bran extract containing arabinoxylan oligosaccharides on gastrointestinal health parameters in healthy adult human volunteers : a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled, cross-over trial

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    Wheat bran extract (WBE) is a food-grade soluble fibre preparation that is highly enriched in arabinoxylan oligosaccharides. In this placebo-controlled cross-over human intervention trial, tolerance and effects on colonic protein and carbohydrate fermentation were studied. After a 1-week run-in period, sixty-three healthy adult volunteers consumed 3, 10 and 0 g WBE/d for 3 weeks in a random order, with 2 weeks' washout between each treatment period. Fasting blood samples were collected at the end of the run-in period and at the end of each treatment period for analysis of haematological and clinical chemistry parameters. Additionally, subjects collected a stool sample for analysis of microbiota, SCFA and pH. A urine sample, collected over 48 h, was used for analysis of p-cresol and phenol content. Finally, the subjects completed questionnaires scoring occurrence frequency and distress severity of eighteen gastrointestinal symptoms. Urinary p-cresol excretion was significantly decreased after WBE consumption at 10 g/d. Faecal bifidobacteria levels were significantly increased after daily intake of 10 g WBE. Additionally, WBE intake at 10 g/d increased faecal SCFA concentrations and lowered faecal pH, indicating increased colonic fermentation of WBE into desired metabolites. At 10 g/d, WBE caused a mild increase in flatulence occurrence frequency and distress severity and a tendency for a mild decrease in constipation occurrence frequency. In conclusion, WBE is well tolerated at doses up to 10 g/d in healthy adults volunteers. Intake of 10 g WBE/d exerts beneficial effects on gut health parameters
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