215 research outputs found

    Faster than Flintstone? – Could the Ant Hill Mob beat Fred for speed?

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    This paper calculates the maximum velocity of the Ant Hill Mob from Wacky Races when employing their ‘getaway’ technique of running while carrying the car. It was found that the Mob were slower than Fred Flintstone, another character famous for powering his car with his feet, by a ratio of over 34 times

    The Super Bowl of survival – Which North American sports team comes out on top?

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    This paper creates a hypothetical scenario where animal-based teams from the 4 major North American sports leagues are placed into an ecosystem together. After determining the likely predator/prey interactions between these organisms, the apex predators of this fantasy habitat are established. While 8 teams can claim ecological dominance and feature no natural predation, only the Toronto Maple Leafs are capable of long-term survival

    Genetic frontiers for conservation:An assessment of synthetic biology and biodiversity conservation

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    In recent years synthetic biology has emerged as a suite of techniques and technologies that enable humans to read, interpret, modify, design and manufacture DNA in order to rapidly influence the forms and functions of cells and organisms, with the potential to reach whole species and ecosystems. As synthetic biology continues to evolve, new tools emerge, novel applications are proposed, and basic research is applied. This assessment is one part of IUCN’s effort to provide recommendations and guidance regarding the potential positive and negative impacts of synthetic biology on biodiversity conservation; it comprises a full assessment and a short synthesis report

    Brief of Amici Curiae Antitrust Law Professors in O\u27Bannon v. NCAA

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    On November 21, 2014, 15 professors of antitrust law at leading U.S. universities submitted an amicus brief in the O\u27Bannon v. NCAA 9th Circuit appeal in support of the NCAA. They have an interest in the proper development of antitrust jurisprudence, and they agree that the court below misapplied the “less restrictive alternative” prong of the rule of reason inquiry for assessing the legality of restraints of trade under Section 1 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1. They are concerned that the district court’s approach to the antitrust rule of reason, if affirmed, would grant undue authority to antitrust courts to regulate the details of organizational rules, and would also undermine the NCAA’s goal of amateurism in collegiate athletics, a goal that courts have recognized universally as valid and important — and in which the undersigned, as academics themselves, are deeply interested

    Rheumatoid arthritis - treatment: 180. Utility of Body Weight Classified Low-Dose Leflunomide in Japanese Rheumatoid Arthritis

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    Background: In Japan, more than 20 rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients died of interstitial pneumonia (IP) caused by leflunomide (LEF) were reported, but many of them were considered as the victims of opportunistic infection currently. In this paper, efficacy and safety of low-dose LEF classified by body weight (BW) were studied. Methods: Fifty-nine RA patients were started to administrate LEF from July 2007 to July 2009. Among them, 25 patients were excluded because of the combination with tacrolimus, and medication modification within 3 months before LEF. Remaining 34 RA patients administered 20 to 50 mg/week of LEF were followed up for 1 year and enrolled in this study. Dose of LEF was classified by BW (50 mg/week for over 50 kg, 40 mg/week for 40 to 50 kg and 20 to 30 mg/week for under 40 kg). The average age and RA duration of enrolled patients were 55.5 years old and 10.2 years. Prednisolone (PSL), methotrexate (MTX) and etanercept were used in 23, 28 and 2 patients, respectively. In case of insufficient response or adverse effect, dosage change or discontinuance of LEF were considered. Failure was defined as dosages up of PSL and MTX, or dosages down or discontinuance of LEF. Last observation carried forward method was used for the evaluation of failed patients at 1 year. Results: At 1 year after LEF start, good/ moderate/ no response assessed by the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) response criteria using Disease Activity Score, including a 28-joint count (DAS28)-C reactive protein (CRP) were showed in 14/ 10/ 10 patients, respectively. The dosage changes of LEF at 1 year were dosage up: 10, same dosage: 5, dosage down: 8 and discontinuance: 11 patients. The survival rate of patients in this study was 23.5% (24 patients failed) but actual LEF continuous rate was 67.6% (11 patients discontinued) at 1 year. The major reason of failure was liver dysfunction, and pneumocystis pneumonia was occurred in 1 patient resulted in full recovery. One patient died of sepsis caused by decubitus ulcer infection. DAS28-CRP score was decreased from 3.9 to 2.7 significantly. Although CRP was decreased from 1.50 to 0.93 mg/dl, it wasn't significant. Matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-3 was decreased from 220.0 to 174.2 ng/ml significantly. Glutamate pyruvate transaminase (GPT) was increased from 19 to 35 U/l and number of leukocyte was decreased from 7832 to 6271 significantly. DAS28-CRP, CRP, and MMP-3 were improved significantly with MTX, although they weren't without MTX. Increase of GPT and leukopenia were seen significantly with MTX, although they weren't without MTX. Conclusions: It was reported that the risks of IP caused by LEF in Japanese RA patients were past IP history, loading dose administration and low BW. Addition of low-dose LEF is a potent safe alternative for the patients showing unsatisfactory response to current medicines, but need to pay attention for liver function and infection caused by leukopenia, especially with MTX. Disclosure statement: The authors have declared no conflicts of interes

    3 years of liraglutide versus placebo for type 2 diabetes risk reduction and weight management in individuals with prediabetes: a randomised, double-blind trial

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    Background: Liraglutide 3·0 mg was shown to reduce bodyweight and improve glucose metabolism after the 56-week period of this trial, one of four trials in the SCALE programme. In the 3-year assessment of the SCALE Obesity and Prediabetes trial we aimed to evaluate the proportion of individuals with prediabetes who were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Methods: In this randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, adults with prediabetes and a body-mass index of at least 30 kg/m2, or at least 27 kg/m2 with comorbidities, were randomised 2:1, using a telephone or web-based system, to once-daily subcutaneous liraglutide 3·0 mg or matched placebo, as an adjunct to a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity. Time to diabetes onset by 160 weeks was the primary outcome, evaluated in all randomised treated individuals with at least one post-baseline assessment. The trial was conducted at 191 clinical research sites in 27 countries and is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01272219. Findings: The study ran between June 1, 2011, and March 2, 2015. We randomly assigned 2254 patients to receive liraglutide (n=1505) or placebo (n=749). 1128 (50%) participants completed the study up to week 160, after withdrawal of 714 (47%) participants in the liraglutide group and 412 (55%) participants in the placebo group. By week 160, 26 (2%) of 1472 individuals in the liraglutide group versus 46 (6%) of 738 in the placebo group were diagnosed with diabetes while on treatment. The mean time from randomisation to diagnosis was 99 (SD 47) weeks for the 26 individuals in the liraglutide group versus 87 (47) weeks for the 46 individuals in the placebo group. Taking the different diagnosis frequencies between the treatment groups into account, the time to onset of diabetes over 160 weeks among all randomised individuals was 2·7 times longer with liraglutide than with placebo (95% CI 1·9 to 3·9, p<0·0001), corresponding with a hazard ratio of 0·21 (95% CI 0·13–0·34). Liraglutide induced greater weight loss than placebo at week 160 (–6·1 [SD 7·3] vs −1·9% [6·3]; estimated treatment difference −4·3%, 95% CI −4·9 to −3·7, p<0·0001). Serious adverse events were reported by 227 (15%) of 1501 randomised treated individuals in the liraglutide group versus 96 (13%) of 747 individuals in the placebo group. Interpretation: In this trial, we provide results for 3 years of treatment, with the limitation that withdrawn individuals were not followed up after discontinuation. Liraglutide 3·0 mg might provide health benefits in terms of reduced risk of diabetes in individuals with obesity and prediabetes. Funding: Novo Nordisk, Denmark

    Dissecting the Shared Genetic Architecture of Suicide Attempt, Psychiatric Disorders, and Known Risk Factors

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    Background Suicide is a leading cause of death worldwide, and nonfatal suicide attempts, which occur far more frequently, are a major source of disability and social and economic burden. Both have substantial genetic etiology, which is partially shared and partially distinct from that of related psychiatric disorders. Methods We conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of 29,782 suicide attempt (SA) cases and 519,961 controls in the International Suicide Genetics Consortium (ISGC). The GWAS of SA was conditioned on psychiatric disorders using GWAS summary statistics via multitrait-based conditional and joint analysis, to remove genetic effects on SA mediated by psychiatric disorders. We investigated the shared and divergent genetic architectures of SA, psychiatric disorders, and other known risk factors. Results Two loci reached genome-wide significance for SA: the major histocompatibility complex and an intergenic locus on chromosome 7, the latter of which remained associated with SA after conditioning on psychiatric disorders and replicated in an independent cohort from the Million Veteran Program. This locus has been implicated in risk-taking behavior, smoking, and insomnia. SA showed strong genetic correlation with psychiatric disorders, particularly major depression, and also with smoking, pain, risk-taking behavior, sleep disturbances, lower educational attainment, reproductive traits, lower socioeconomic status, and poorer general health. After conditioning on psychiatric disorders, the genetic correlations between SA and psychiatric disorders decreased, whereas those with nonpsychiatric traits remained largely unchanged. Conclusions Our results identify a risk locus that contributes more strongly to SA than other phenotypes and suggest a shared underlying biology between SA and known risk factors that is not mediated by psychiatric disorders.Peer reviewe

    Bionic bodies, posthuman violence and the disembodied criminal subject

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    This article examines how the so-called disembodied criminal subject is given structure and form through the law of homicide and assault. By analysing how the body is materialised through the criminal law’s enactment of death and injury, this article suggests that the biological positioning of these harms of violence as uncontroversial, natural, and universal conditions of being ‘human’ cannot fully appreciate what makes violence wrongful for us, as embodied entities. Absent a theory of the body, and a consideration of corporeality, the criminal law risks marginalising, or altogether eliding, experiences of violence that do not align with its paradigmatic vision of what bodies can and must do when suffering its effects. Here I consider how the bionic body disrupts the criminal law’s understanding of human violence by being a body that is both organic and inorganic, and capable of experiencing and performing violence in unexpected ways. I propose that a criminal law that is more receptive to the changing, technologically mediated conditions of human existence would be one that takes the corporeal dimensions of violence more seriously and, as an extension of this, adopts an embodied, embedded, and relational understanding of human vulnerability to violence

    Safety and efficacy of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine (AZD1222) against SARS-CoV-2: an interim analysis of four randomised controlled trials in Brazil, South Africa, and the UK.

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    BACKGROUND: A safe and efficacious vaccine against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), if deployed with high coverage, could contribute to the control of the COVID-19 pandemic. We evaluated the safety and efficacy of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine in a pooled interim analysis of four trials. METHODS: This analysis includes data from four ongoing blinded, randomised, controlled trials done across the UK, Brazil, and South Africa. Participants aged 18 years and older were randomly assigned (1:1) to ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine or control (meningococcal group A, C, W, and Y conjugate vaccine or saline). Participants in the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 group received two doses containing 5 × 1010 viral particles (standard dose; SD/SD cohort); a subset in the UK trial received a half dose as their first dose (low dose) and a standard dose as their second dose (LD/SD cohort). The primary efficacy analysis included symptomatic COVID-19 in seronegative participants with a nucleic acid amplification test-positive swab more than 14 days after a second dose of vaccine. Participants were analysed according to treatment received, with data cutoff on Nov 4, 2020. Vaccine efficacy was calculated as 1 - relative risk derived from a robust Poisson regression model adjusted for age. Studies are registered at ISRCTN89951424 and ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04324606, NCT04400838, and NCT04444674. FINDINGS: Between April 23 and Nov 4, 2020, 23 848 participants were enrolled and 11 636 participants (7548 in the UK, 4088 in Brazil) were included in the interim primary efficacy analysis. In participants who received two standard doses, vaccine efficacy was 62·1% (95% CI 41·0-75·7; 27 [0·6%] of 4440 in the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 group vs71 [1·6%] of 4455 in the control group) and in participants who received a low dose followed by a standard dose, efficacy was 90·0% (67·4-97·0; three [0·2%] of 1367 vs 30 [2·2%] of 1374; pinteraction=0·010). Overall vaccine efficacy across both groups was 70·4% (95·8% CI 54·8-80·6; 30 [0·5%] of 5807 vs 101 [1·7%] of 5829). From 21 days after the first dose, there were ten cases hospitalised for COVID-19, all in the control arm; two were classified as severe COVID-19, including one death. There were 74 341 person-months of safety follow-up (median 3·4 months, IQR 1·3-4·8): 175 severe adverse events occurred in 168 participants, 84 events in the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 group and 91 in the control group. Three events were classified as possibly related to a vaccine: one in the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 group, one in the control group, and one in a participant who remains masked to group allocation. INTERPRETATION: ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 has an acceptable safety profile and has been found to be efficacious against symptomatic COVID-19 in this interim analysis of ongoing clinical trials. FUNDING: UK Research and Innovation, National Institutes for Health Research (NIHR), Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Lemann Foundation, Rede D'Or, Brava and Telles Foundation, NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, Thames Valley and South Midland's NIHR Clinical Research Network, and AstraZeneca
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