172 research outputs found

    Evaluating the Impact of Development Projects on Poverty: A Handbook for Practitioners

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    This best practices handbook provides project managers and policy analysts with the tools needed for evaluating project impact. The handbook presents an overview of concepts and methods, key steps of implementation, analytical techniques through a case study, and a discussion of lessons learned from a set of reviewed evaluations

    Parent-clinician communication intervention during end-of-life decision making for children with incurable cancer.

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    Background: In this single-site study, we evaluated the feasibility of a parent-clinician communication intervention designed to: identify parents\u27 rationale for the phase I, do-not-resuscitate (DNR), or terminal care decision made on behalf of their child with incurable cancer; identify their definition of being a good parent to their ill child; and provide this information to the child\u27s clinicians in time to be of use in the family\u27s care. Methods: Sixty-two parents of 58 children and 126 clinicians participated. Within 72 hours after the treatment decision, parents responded to 6 open-ended interview questions and completed a 10-item questionnaire about the end-of-life communication with their child\u27s clinicians. They completed the questionnaire again two to three weeks later and responded to three open-ended questions to assess the benefit:risk ratio of their study participation three months after the intervention. Clinicians received the interview data within hours of the parent interview and evaluated the usefulness of the information three weeks later. Results: All preestablished intervention feasibility criteria were met; 77.3% of families consented; and in 100% of interventions, information was successfully provided individually to 3 to 11 clinicians per child before the child died. No harm was reported by parents as a result of participating; satisfaction and other benefits were reported. Clinicians reported moderate to strong satisfaction with the intervention. Conclusion: The communication intervention was feasible within hours of decision making, was acceptable and beneficial without harm to participating parents, and was acceptable and useful to clinicians in their care of families

    Assessment of function and clinical utility of alcohol and other drug web sites: An observational, qualitative study

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    Background The increasing popularity and use of the internet makes it an attractive option for providing health information and treatment, including alcohol/other drug use. There is limited research examining how people identify and access information about alcohol or other drug (AOD) use online, or how they assess the usefulness of the information presented. This study examined the strategies that individuals used to identify and navigate a range of AOD websites, along with the attitudes concerning presentation and content. Methods Members of the general community in Brisbane and Roma (Queensland, Australia) were invited to participate in a 30-minute search of the internet for sites related to AOD use, followed by a focus group discussion. Fifty one subjects participated in the study across nine focus groups. Results Participants spent a maximum of 6.5 minutes on any one website, and less if the user was under 25 years of age. Time spent was as little as 2 minutes if the website was not the first accessed. Participants recommended that AOD-related websites should have an engaging home or index page, which quickly and accurately portrayed the site’s objectives, and provided clear site navigation options. Website content should clearly match the title and description of the site that is used by internet search engines. Participants supported the development of a portal for AOD websites, suggesting that it would greatly facilitate access and navigation. Treatment programs delivered online were initially viewed with caution. This appeared to be due to limited understanding of what constituted online treatment, including its potential efficacy. Conclusions A range of recommendations arise from this study regarding the design and development of websites, particularly those related to AOD use. These include prudent use of text and information on any one webpage, the use of graphics and colours, and clear, uncluttered navigation options. Implications for future website development are discussed

    Genetic and environmental influences on human height from infancy through adulthood at different levels of parental education

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    Genetic factors explain a major proportion of human height variation, but differences in mean stature have also been found between socio-economic categories suggesting a possible effect of environment. By utilizing a classical twin design which allows decomposing the variation of height into genetic and environmental components, we tested the hypothesis that environmental variation in height is greater in offspring of lower educated parents. Twin data from 29 cohorts including 65,978 complete twin pairs with information on height at ages 1 to 69 years and on parental education were pooled allowing the analyses at different ages and in three geographic-cultural regions (Europe, North America and Australia, and East Asia). Parental education mostly showed a positive association with offspring height, with significant associations in mid-childhood and from adolescence onwards. In variance decomposition modeling, the genetic and environmental variance components of height did not show a consistent relation to parental education. A random-effects meta-regression analysis of the aggregate-level data showed a trend towards greater shared environmental variation of height in low parental education families. In conclusion, in our very large dataset from twin cohorts around the globe, these results provide only weak evidence for the study hypothesis.Peer reviewe

    Parental Education and Genetics of BMI from Infancy to Old Age : A Pooled Analysis of 29 Twin Cohorts

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    Objective The objective of this study was to analyze how parental education modifies the genetic and environmental variances of BMI from infancy to old age in three geographic-cultural regions. Methods A pooled sample of 29 cohorts including 143,499 twin individuals with information on parental education and BMI from age 1 to 79 years (299,201 BMI measures) was analyzed by genetic twin modeling. Results Until 4 years of age, parental education was not consistently associated with BMI. Thereafter, higher parental education level was associated with lower BMI in males and females. Total and additive genetic variances of BMI were smaller in the offspring of highly educated parents than in those whose parents had low education levels. Especially in North American and Australian children, environmental factors shared by co-twins also contributed to the higher BMI variation in the low education level category. In Europe and East Asia, the associations of parental education with mean BMI and BMI variance were weaker than in North America and Australia. Conclusions Lower parental education level is associated with higher mean BMI and larger genetic variance of BMI after early childhood, especially in the obesogenic macro-environment. The interplay among genetic predisposition, childhood social environment, and macro-social context is important for socioeconomic differences in BMI.Peer reviewe

    The recovery of European freshwater biodiversity has come to a halt

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    Owing to a long history of anthropogenic pressures, freshwater ecosystems are among the most vulnerable to biodiversity loss1. Mitigation measures, including wastewater treatment and hydromorphological restoration, have aimed to improve environmental quality and foster the recovery of freshwater biodiversity2. Here, using 1,816 time series of freshwater invertebrate communities collected across 22 European countries between 1968 and 2020, we quantified temporal trends in taxonomic and functional diversity and their responses to environmental pressures and gradients. We observed overall increases in taxon richness (0.73% per year), functional richness (2.4% per year) and abundance (1.17% per year). However, these increases primarily occurred before the 2010s, and have since plateaued. Freshwater communities downstream of dams, urban areas and cropland were less likely to experience recovery. Communities at sites with faster rates of warming had fewer gains in taxon richness, functional richness and abundance. Although biodiversity gains in the 1990s and 2000s probably reflect the effectiveness of water-quality improvements and restoration projects, the decelerating trajectory in the 2010s suggests that the current measures offer diminishing returns. Given new and persistent pressures on freshwater ecosystems, including emerging pollutants, climate change and the spread of invasive species, we call for additional mitigation to revive the recovery of freshwater biodiversity.publishedVersio

    Identification of six new susceptibility loci for invasive epithelial ovarian cancer.

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    Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified 12 epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) susceptibility alleles. The pattern of association at these loci is consistent in BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers who are at high risk of EOC. After imputation to 1000 Genomes Project data, we assessed associations of 11 million genetic variants with EOC risk from 15,437 cases unselected for family history and 30,845 controls and from 15,252 BRCA1 mutation carriers and 8,211 BRCA2 mutation carriers (3,096 with ovarian cancer), and we combined the results in a meta-analysis. This new study design yielded increased statistical power, leading to the discovery of six new EOC susceptibility loci. Variants at 1p36 (nearest gene, WNT4), 4q26 (SYNPO2), 9q34.2 (ABO) and 17q11.2 (ATAD5) were associated with EOC risk, and at 1p34.3 (RSPO1) and 6p22.1 (GPX6) variants were specifically associated with the serous EOC subtype, all with P < 5 × 10(-8). Incorporating these variants into risk assessment tools will improve clinical risk predictions for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers.COGS project is funded through a European Commission's Seventh Framework Programme grant (agreement number 223175 ] HEALTH ]F2 ]2009 ]223175). The CIMBA data management and data analysis were supported by Cancer Research.UK grants 12292/A11174 and C1287/A10118. The Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium is supported by a grant from the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund thanks to donations by the family and friends of Kathryn Sladek Smith (PPD/RPCI.07). The scientific development and funding for this project were in part supported by the US National Cancer Institute GAME ]ON Post ]GWAS Initiative (U19 ]CA148112). This study made use of data generated by the Wellcome Trust Case Control consortium. Funding for the project was provided by the Wellcome Trust under award 076113. The results published here are in part based upon data generated by The Cancer Genome Atlas Pilot Project established by the National Cancer Institute and National Human Genome Research Institute (dbGap accession number phs000178.v8.p7). The cBio portal is developed and maintained by the Computational Biology Center at Memorial Sloan ] Kettering Cancer Center. SH is supported by an NHMRC Program Grant to GCT. Details of the funding of individual investigators and studies are provided in the Supplementary Note. This study made use of data generated by the Wellcome Trust Case Control consortium, funding for which was provided by the Wellcome Trust under award 076113. The results published here are, in part, based upon data generated by The Cancer Genome Atlas Pilot Project established by the National Cancerhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ng.3185This is the Author Accepted Manuscript of 'Identification of six new susceptibility loci for invasive epithelial ovarian cancer' which was published in Nature Genetics 47, 164–171 (2015) © Nature Publishing Group - content may only be used for academic research

    Frequently asked questions about chlorophyll fluorescence, the sequel

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    [EN] Using chlorophyll (Chl) a fluorescence many aspects of the photosynthetic apparatus can be studied, both in vitro and, noninvasively, in vivo. Complementary techniques can help to interpret changes in the Chl a fluorescence kinetics. Kalaji et al. (Photosynth Res 122: 121-158, 2014a) addressed several questions about instruments, methods and applications based on Chl a fluorescence. Here, additionalChl a fluorescence-related topics are discussed again in a question and answer format. Examples are the effect of connectivity on photochemical quenching, the correction of F-V/F-M values for PSI fluorescence, the energy partitioning concept, the interpretation of the complementary area, probing the donor side of PSII, the assignment of bands of 77 K fluorescence emission spectra to fluorescence emitters, the relationship between prompt and delayed fluorescence, potential problems when sampling tree canopies, the use of fluorescence parameters in QTL studies, the use of Chl a fluorescence in biosensor applications and the application of neural network approaches for the analysis of fluorescence measurements. The answers draw on knowledge fromdifferent Chl a fluorescence analysis domains, yielding in several cases new insights.Kalaji, H.; Schansker, G.; Brestic, M.; Bussotti, F.; Calatayud, A.; Ferroni, L.; Goltsev, V.... (2017). Frequently asked questions about chlorophyll fluorescence, the sequel. 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