92 research outputs found

    High growth firms, innovation and competition: the case of the US pharmaceutical industry

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    Innovation is key to economic growth. But firms, across sectors and regions, are highly skewed in their ability to engage with innovation, and even more skewed in their ability to translate investments in innovation into higher growth. While there was initially much attention on 'small' firms (SMEs), due to the assumption that they are more entrepreneurial and innovative, recent evidence that small firms contribute less to innovation and employment than commonly believed, has caused attention to move towards 'high growth innovative' firms (HGF). There is, however, the risk that this newly emphasized category of firms is also being 'hyped up' given how short a time period 'high growth' lasts, and how 'high growth' appears to only be important when combined with other firm specific conditions. Our paper is dedicated to exploring under what conditions high growth firms matter, in a dynamic setting over the history of the US pharmaceutical industry from 1963-2002. Following Coad and Rao (2008), we use quantile regression techniques to study the R&D-growth relationship in high growth firms compared to low growth firms. We find that the relationship is influenced by a mix of firm level characteristics including R&D intensity, R&D scale and venture capital funding. But more importantly we find that this relationship is sensitive to the changing competitive environment over the industry's history

    Restored Agricultural Wetlands in central Iowa: Habitat Quality and Amphibian Response

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    Amphibians are declining throughout the United States and worldwide due, partly, to habitat loss. Conservation practices on the landscape restore wetlands to denitrify tile drainage effluent and restore ecosystem services. Understanding how water quality, hydroperiod, predation, and disease affect amphibians in restored wetlands is central to maintaining healthy amphibian populations in the region. We examined the quality of amphibian habitat in restored wetlands relative to reference wetlands by comparing species richness, developmental stress, and adult leopard frog (Lithobates pipiens) survival probabilities to a suite of environmental metrics. Although measured habitat variables differed between restored and reference wetlands, differences appeared to have sub-lethal rather than lethal effects on resident amphibian populations. There were few differences in amphibian species richness and no difference in estimated survival probabilities between wetland types. Restored wetlands had more nitrate and alkaline pH, longer hydroperiods, and were deeper, whereas reference wetlands had more amphibian chytrid fungus zoospores in water samples and resident amphibians exhibited increased developmental stress. Restored and reference wetlands are both important components of the landscape in central Iowa and maintaining a complex of fish-free wetlands with a variety of hydroperiods will likely contribute to the persistence of amphibians in this landscape

    Sodium Chloride Inhibits the Growth and Infective Capacity of the Amphibian Chytrid Fungus and Increases Host Survival Rates

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    The amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is a recently emerged pathogen that causes the infectious disease chytridiomycosis and has been implicated as a contributing factor in the global amphibian decline. Since its discovery, research has been focused on developing various methods of mitigating the impact of chytridiomycosis on amphibian hosts but little attention has been given to the role of antifungal agents that could be added to the host's environment. Sodium chloride is a known antifungal agent used routinely in the aquaculture industry and this study investigates its potential for use as a disease management tool in amphibian conservation. The effect of 0‚Äď5 ppt NaCl on the growth, motility and survival of the chytrid fungus when grown in culture media and its effect on the growth, infection load and survivorship of infected Peron's tree frogs (Litoria peronii) in captivity, was investigated. The results reveal that these concentrations do not negatively affect the survival of the host or the pathogen. However, concentrations greater than 3 ppt significantly reduced the growth and motility of the chytrid fungus compared to 0 ppt. Concentrations of 1‚Äď4 ppt NaCl were also associated with significantly lower host infection loads while infected hosts exposed to 3 and 4 ppt NaCl were found to have significantly higher survival rates. These results support the potential for NaCl to be used as an environmentally distributed antifungal agent for the prevention of chytridiomycosis in susceptible amphibian hosts. However, further research is required to identify any negative effects of salt exposure on both target and non-target organisms prior to implementation

    Replanting reduces frog diversity in oil palm

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    A growing body of literature has demonstrated significant biodiversity losses for many taxa when forest is converted to oil palm. However, no studies have directly investigated changes to biodiversity throughout the oil palm life cycle, in which oil palm matures for 25‚Äď30 yr before replanting. This process leads to major changes in the oil palm landscape that likely influence species assemblages and ecosystem function. We compare frog assemblages between mature (21‚Äď27-yr old) and recently replanted (1‚Äď2-yr old) oil palm in Sumatra, Indonesia. Across eighteen 2.25-ha oil palm plots, we found 719 frogs from 14 species. Frog richness was 31 percent lower in replanted oil palm (nine species) than mature oil palm (13 species). Total frog abundance was 47 percent lower in replanted oil palm, and frog assemblage composition differed significantly between the two ages of oil palm. The majority of frog species were disturbance-tolerant, although we encountered four forest-associated frog species within mature oil palm despite a distance of 28 km between our study sites and the nearest extensive tract of forest. Although it is clear that protection of forest is of paramount importance for the conservation of tropical fauna, our results indicate that management decisions within tropical agricultural landscapes also have a profound impact on biodiversity. Practices such as staggered replanting or maintenance of connectivity among mature oil palm patches could help maintain frog diversity in the oil palm landscape.The Isaac Newton Trust and Sinar Mas Agro Resources and Technology funded both the fieldwork and the BEFTA Project.This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Wiley via https://doi.org/10.1111/btp.1232

    Genetic mechanisms of critical illness in COVID-19.

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    Host-mediated lung inflammation is present1, and drives mortality2, in the critical illness caused by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Host genetic variants associated with critical illness may identify mechanistic targets for therapeutic development3. Here we report the results of the GenOMICC (Genetics Of Mortality In Critical Care) genome-wide association study in 2,244 critically ill patients with COVID-19 from 208 UK intensive care units. We have identified and replicated the following new genome-wide significant associations: on chromosome 12q24.13 (rs10735079, P = 1.65 × 10-8) in a gene cluster that encodes antiviral restriction enzyme activators (OAS1, OAS2 and OAS3); on chromosome 19p13.2 (rs74956615, P = 2.3 × 10-8) near the gene that encodes tyrosine kinase 2 (TYK2); on chromosome 19p13.3 (rs2109069, P = 3.98 ×  10-12) within the gene that encodes dipeptidyl peptidase 9 (DPP9); and on chromosome 21q22.1 (rs2236757, P = 4.99 × 10-8) in the interferon receptor gene IFNAR2. We identified potential targets for repurposing of licensed medications: using Mendelian randomization, we found evidence that low expression of IFNAR2, or high expression of TYK2, are associated with life-threatening disease; and transcriptome-wide association in lung tissue revealed that high expression of the monocyte-macrophage chemotactic receptor CCR2 is associated with severe COVID-19. Our results identify robust genetic signals relating to key host antiviral defence mechanisms and mediators of inflammatory organ damage in COVID-19. Both mechanisms may be amenable to targeted treatment with existing drugs. However, large-scale randomized clinical trials will be essential before any change to clinical practice

    The Changing Landscape for Stroke\ua0Prevention in AF: Findings From the GLORIA-AF Registry Phase 2

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    Background GLORIA-AF (Global Registry on Long-Term Oral Antithrombotic Treatment in Patients with Atrial Fibrillation) is a prospective, global registry program describing antithrombotic treatment patterns in patients with newly diagnosed nonvalvular atrial fibrillation at risk of stroke. Phase 2 began when dabigatran, the first non\u2013vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulant (NOAC), became available. Objectives This study sought to describe phase 2 baseline data and compare these with the pre-NOAC era collected during phase 1. Methods During phase 2, 15,641 consenting patients were enrolled (November 2011 to December 2014); 15,092 were eligible. This pre-specified cross-sectional analysis describes eligible patients\u2019 baseline characteristics. Atrial fibrillation disease characteristics, medical outcomes, and concomitant diseases and medications were collected. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Results Of the total patients, 45.5% were female; median age was 71 (interquartile range: 64, 78) years. Patients were from Europe (47.1%), North America (22.5%), Asia (20.3%), Latin America (6.0%), and the Middle East/Africa (4.0%). Most had high stroke risk (CHA2DS2-VASc [Congestive heart failure, Hypertension, Age  6575 years, Diabetes mellitus, previous Stroke, Vascular disease, Age 65 to 74 years, Sex category] score  652; 86.1%); 13.9% had moderate risk (CHA2DS2-VASc = 1). Overall, 79.9% received oral anticoagulants, of whom 47.6% received NOAC and 32.3% vitamin K antagonists (VKA); 12.1% received antiplatelet agents; 7.8% received no antithrombotic treatment. For comparison, the proportion of phase 1 patients (of N = 1,063 all eligible) prescribed VKA was 32.8%, acetylsalicylic acid 41.7%, and no therapy 20.2%. In Europe in phase 2, treatment with NOAC was more common than VKA (52.3% and 37.8%, respectively); 6.0% of patients received antiplatelet treatment; and 3.8% received no antithrombotic treatment. In North America, 52.1%, 26.2%, and 14.0% of patients received NOAC, VKA, and antiplatelet drugs, respectively; 7.5% received no antithrombotic treatment. NOAC use was less common in Asia (27.7%), where 27.5% of patients received VKA, 25.0% antiplatelet drugs, and 19.8% no antithrombotic treatment. Conclusions The baseline data from GLORIA-AF phase 2 demonstrate that in newly diagnosed nonvalvular atrial fibrillation patients, NOAC have been highly adopted into practice, becoming more frequently prescribed than VKA in Europe and North America. Worldwide, however, a large proportion of patients remain undertreated, particularly in Asia and North America. (Global Registry on Long-Term Oral Antithrombotic Treatment in Patients With Atrial Fibrillation [GLORIA-AF]; NCT01468701

    Intraperitoneal drain placement and outcomes after elective colorectal surgery: international matched, prospective, cohort study