101 research outputs found

    The Cultural Project : Formal Chronological Modelling of the Early and Middle Neolithic Sequence in Lower Alsace

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    Starting from questions about the nature of cultural diversity, this paper examines the pace and tempo of change and the relative importance of continuity and discontinuity. To unravel the cultural project of the past, we apply chronological modelling of radiocarbon dates within a Bayesian statistical framework, to interrogate the Neolithic cultural sequence in Lower Alsace, in the upper Rhine valley, in broad terms from the later sixth to the end of the fifth millennium cal BC. Detailed formal estimates are provided for the long succession of cultural groups, from the early Neolithic Linear Pottery culture (LBK) to the Bischheim Occidental du Rhin Supérieur (BORS) groups at the end of the Middle Neolithic, using seriation and typology of pottery as the starting point in modelling. The rate of ceramic change, as well as frequent shifts in the nature, location and density of settlements, are documented in detail, down to lifetime and generational timescales. This reveals a Neolithic world in Lower Alsace busy with comings and goings, tinkerings and adjustments, and relocations and realignments. A significant hiatus is identified between the end of the LBK and the start of the Hinkelstein group, in the early part of the fifth millennium cal BC. On the basis of modelling of existing dates for other parts of the Rhineland, this appears to be a wider phenomenon, and possible explanations are discussed; full reoccupation of the landscape is only seen in the Grossgartach phase. Radical shifts are also proposed at the end of the Middle Neolithic

    Nothing Lasts Forever: Environmental Discourses on the Collapse of Past Societies

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    The study of the collapse of past societies raises many questions for the theory and practice of archaeology. Interest in collapse extends as well into the natural sciences and environmental and sustainability policy. Despite a range of approaches to collapse, the predominant paradigm is environmental collapse, which I argue obscures recognition of the dynamic role of social processes that lie at the heart of human communities. These environmental discourses, together with confusion over terminology and the concepts of collapse, have created widespread aporia about collapse and resulted in the creation of mixed messages about complex historical and social processes

    Targeting cancer metabolism: a therapeutic window opens

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    Genetic events in cancer activate signalling pathways that alter cell metabolism. Clinical evidence has linked cell metabolism with cancer outcomes. Together, these observations have raised interest in targeting metabolic enzymes for cancer therapy, but they have also raised concerns that these therapies would have unacceptable effects on normal cells. However, some of the first cancer therapies that were developed target the specific metabolic needs of cancer cells and remain effective agents in the clinic today. Research into how changes in cell metabolism promote tumour growth has accelerated in recent years. This has refocused efforts to target metabolic dependencies of cancer cells as a selective anticancer strategy.Burroughs Wellcome FundSmith Family FoundationStarr Cancer ConsortiumDamon Runyon Cancer Research FoundationNational Institutes of Health (U.S.

    Disequilibrium, adaptation and the Norse settlement of Greenland

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    This research was supported by the University of Edinburgh ExEDE Doctoral Training Studentship and NSF grant numbers 1202692 and 1140106.There is increasing evidence to suggest that arctic cultures and ecosystems have followed non-linear responses to climate change. Norse Scandinavian farmers introduced agriculture to sub-arctic Greenland in the late tenth century, creating synanthropic landscapes and utilising seasonally abundant marine and terrestrial resources. Using a niche-construction framework and data from recent survey work, studies of diet, and regional-scale climate proxies we examine the potential mismatch between this imported agricultural niche and the constraints of the environment from the tenth to the fifteenth centuries. We argue that landscape modification conformed the Norse to a Scandinavian style of agriculture throughout settlement, structuring and limiting the efficacy of seasonal hunting strategies. Recent climate data provide evidence of sustained cooling from the mid thirteenth century and climate variation from the early fifteenth century. Archaeological evidence suggests that the Norse made incremental adjustments to the changing sub-arctic environment, but were limited by cultural adaptations made in past environments.Publisher PDFPeer reviewe

    Identifying associations between diabetes and acute respiratory distress syndrome in patients with acute hypoxemic respiratory failure: an analysis of the LUNG SAFE database

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    Background: Diabetes mellitus is a common co-existing disease in the critically ill. Diabetes mellitus may reduce the risk of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), but data from previous studies are conflicting. The objective of this study was to evaluate associations between pre-existing diabetes mellitus and ARDS in critically ill patients with acute hypoxemic respiratory failure (AHRF). Methods: An ancillary analysis of a global, multi-centre prospective observational study (LUNG SAFE) was undertaken. LUNG SAFE evaluated all patients admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU) over a 4-week period, that required mechanical ventilation and met AHRF criteria. Patients who had their AHRF fully explained by cardiac failure were excluded. Important clinical characteristics were included in a stepwise selection approach (forward and backward selection combined with a significance level of 0.05) to identify a set of independent variables associated with having ARDS at any time, developing ARDS (defined as ARDS occurring after day 2 from meeting AHRF criteria) and with hospital mortality. Furthermore, propensity score analysis was undertaken to account for the differences in baseline characteristics between patients with and without diabetes mellitus, and the association between diabetes mellitus and outcomes of interest was assessed on matched samples. Results: Of the 4107 patients with AHRF included in this study, 3022 (73.6%) patients fulfilled ARDS criteria at admission or developed ARDS during their ICU stay. Diabetes mellitus was a pre-existing co-morbidity in 913 patients (22.2% of patients with AHRF). In multivariable analysis, there was no association between diabetes mellitus and having ARDS (OR 0.93 (0.78-1.11); p = 0.39), developing ARDS late (OR 0.79 (0.54-1.15); p = 0.22), or hospital mortality in patients with ARDS (1.15 (0.93-1.42); p = 0.19). In a matched sample of patients, there was no association between diabetes mellitus and outcomes of interest. Conclusions: In a large, global observational study of patients with AHRF, no association was found between diabetes mellitus and having ARDS, developing ARDS, or outcomes from ARDS. Trial registration: NCT02010073. Registered on 12 December 2013

    Spontaneous Breathing in Early Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome: Insights From the Large Observational Study to UNderstand the Global Impact of Severe Acute Respiratory FailurE Study

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    OBJECTIVES: To describe the characteristics and outcomes of patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome with or without spontaneous breathing and to investigate whether the effects of spontaneous breathing on outcome depend on acute respiratory distress syndrome severity. DESIGN: Planned secondary analysis of a prospective, observational, multicentre cohort study. SETTING: International sample of 459 ICUs from 50 countries. PATIENTS: Patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome and at least 2 days of invasive mechanical ventilation and available data for the mode of mechanical ventilation and respiratory rate for the 2 first days. INTERVENTIONS: Analysis of patients with and without spontaneous breathing, defined by the mode of mechanical ventilation and by actual respiratory rate compared with set respiratory rate during the first 48 hours of mechanical ventilation. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Spontaneous breathing was present in 67% of patients with mild acute respiratory distress syndrome, 58% of patients with moderate acute respiratory distress syndrome, and 46% of patients with severe acute respiratory distress syndrome. Patients with spontaneous breathing were older and had lower acute respiratory distress syndrome severity, Sequential Organ Failure Assessment scores, ICU and hospital mortality, and were less likely to be diagnosed with acute respiratory distress syndrome by clinicians. In adjusted analysis, spontaneous breathing during the first 2 days was not associated with an effect on ICU or hospital mortality (33% vs 37%; odds ratio, 1.18 [0.92-1.51]; p = 0.19 and 37% vs 41%; odds ratio, 1.18 [0.93-1.50]; p = 0.196, respectively ). Spontaneous breathing was associated with increased ventilator-free days (13 [0-22] vs 8 [0-20]; p = 0.014) and shorter duration of ICU stay (11 [6-20] vs 12 [7-22]; p = 0.04). CONCLUSIONS: Spontaneous breathing is common in patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome during the first 48 hours of mechanical ventilation. Spontaneous breathing is not associated with worse outcomes and may hasten liberation from the ventilator and from ICU. Although these results support the use of spontaneous breathing in patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome independent of acute respiratory distress syndrome severity, the use of controlled ventilation indicates a bias toward use in patients with higher disease severity. In addition, because the lack of reliable data on inspiratory effort in our study, prospective studies incorporating the magnitude of inspiratory effort and adjusting for all potential severity confounders are required

    Epidemiology and patterns of tracheostomy practice in patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome in ICUs across 50 countries

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    Background: To better understand the epidemiology and patterns of tracheostomy practice for patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), we investigated the current usage of tracheostomy in patients with ARDS recruited into the Large Observational Study to Understand the Global Impact of Severe Acute Respiratory Failure (LUNG-SAFE) study. Methods: This is a secondary analysis of LUNG-SAFE, an international, multicenter, prospective cohort study of patients receiving invasive or noninvasive ventilation in 50 countries spanning 5 continents. The study was carried out over 4 weeks consecutively in the winter of 2014, and 459 ICUs participated. We evaluated the clinical characteristics, management and outcomes of patients that received tracheostomy, in the cohort of patients that developed ARDS on day 1-2 of acute hypoxemic respiratory failure, and in a subsequent propensity-matched cohort. Results: Of the 2377 patients with ARDS that fulfilled the inclusion criteria, 309 (13.0%) underwent tracheostomy during their ICU stay. Patients from high-income European countries (n = 198/1263) more frequently underwent tracheostomy compared to patients from non-European high-income countries (n = 63/649) or patients from middle-income countries (n = 48/465). Only 86/309 (27.8%) underwent tracheostomy on or before day 7, while the median timing of tracheostomy was 14 (Q1-Q3, 7-21) days after onset of ARDS. In the subsample matched by propensity score, ICU and hospital stay were longer in patients with tracheostomy. While patients with tracheostomy had the highest survival probability, there was no difference in 60-day or 90-day mortality in either the patient subgroup that survived for at least 5 days in ICU, or in the propensity-matched subsample. Conclusions: Most patients that receive tracheostomy do so after the first week of critical illness. Tracheostomy may prolong patient survival but does not reduce 60-day or 90-day mortality. Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02010073. Registered on 12 December 2013

    Early Warning Signals of Social Transformation: A Case Study from the US Southwest

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    abstract: Recent research in ecology suggests that generic indicators, referred to as early warning signals (EWS), may occur before significant transformations, both critical and non-critical, in complex systems. Up to this point, research on EWS has largely focused on simple models and controlled experiments in ecology and climate science. When humans are considered in these arenas they are invariably seen as external sources of disturbance or management. In this article we explore ways to include societal components of socio-ecological systems directly in EWS analysis. Given the growing archaeological literature on ‚Äėcollapses,‚Äô or transformations, in social systems, we investigate whether any early warning signals are apparent in the archaeological records of the build-up to two contemporaneous cases of social transformation in the prehistoric US Southwest, Mesa Verde and Zuni. The social transformations in these two cases differ in scope and severity, thus allowing us to explore the contexts under which warning signals may (or may not) emerge. In both cases our results show increasing variance in settlement size before the transformation, but increasing variance in social institutions only before the critical transformation in Mesa Verde. In the Zuni case, social institutions appear to have managed the process of significant social change. We conclude that variance is of broad relevance in anticipating social change, and the capacity of social institutions to mitigate transformation is critical to consider in EWS research on socio-ecological systems.The article is published at http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.016368

    Historical Archaeologies of the American West

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