1,583 research outputs found

    Menu engineering to encourage sustainable food choices when dining out: An online trial of priced-based decoys

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    Menu-based ‘nudges’ hold promise as effective ways to encourage a shift away from ruminant meat and towards more environmentally friendly plant-based options when dining out. One example of a menu-based nudge is including an inferior ‘decoy’ option to existing items on menus. Decoys have been shown to influence decision-making in other domains (e.g. Lichters, Bengart, Sarstedt, & Vogt, 2017), but have yet to be used to promote sustainable food choices. Two online randomized controlled trials tested whether the addition of higher priced ‘decoy’ vegetarian options to menus influenced the number of diners choosing a ‘target’ vegetarian option. Adjusted Generalized Estimating Equations on data from four menu conditions showed no main effect of intervention group in study 1 (decoy absent vs. decoy present; odds ratio (OR) 1.08 (95% Confidence Interval (CI) 0.45 to 2.57). Replicating the trial in study 2 across seven menu conditions and testing a more expensive decoy also showed no main effect of the intervention (decoy absent vs. decoy present; OR 0.68 (95% CI 0.41 to 1.12). Further analyses revealed that our price-based decoy strategy (a £30% price increase) did not significantly influence the numbers who chose the inferior decoy dish, potentially due to the fact that dish choices were purely hypothetical. Further research is now needed to clarify which attributes of a dish (e.g. taste, portion size, signature ingredients etc.) are optimal candidates for use as decoys and testing these in real world choice contexts

    ATRA mechanically reprograms pancreatic stellate cells to suppress matrix remodelling and inhibit cancer cell invasion

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    Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is a highly aggressive malignancy with a dismal survival rate. Persistent activation of pancreatic stellate cells (PSCs) can perturb the biomechanical homoeostasis of the tumour microenvironment to favour cancer cell invasion. Here we report that ATRA, an active metabolite of vitamin A, restores mechanical quiescence in PSCs via a mechanism involving a retinoic acid receptor beta (RAR-β)-dependent downregulation of actomyosin (MLC-2) contractility. We show that ATRA reduces the ability of PSCs to generate high traction forces and adapt to extracellular mechanical cues (mechanosensing), as well as suppresses force-mediated extracellular matrix remodelling to inhibit local cancer cell invasion in 3D organotypic models. Our findings implicate a RAR-β/MLC-2 pathway in peritumoural stromal remodelling and mechanosensory-driven activation of PSCs, and further suggest that mechanical reprogramming of PSCs with retinoic acid derivatives might be a viable alternative to stromal ablation strategies for the treatment of PDAC

    The PRINTS database: a fine-grained protein sequence annotation and analysis resource—its status in 2012

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    The PRINTS database, now in its 21st year, houses a collection of diagnostic protein family ‘fingerprints’. Fingerprints are groups of conserved motifs, evident in multiple sequence alignments, whose unique inter-relationships provide distinctive signatures for particular protein families and structural/functional domains. As such, they may be used to assign uncharacterized sequences to known families, and hence to infer tentative functional, structural and/or evolutionary relationships. The February 2012 release (version 42.0) includes 2156 fingerprints, encoding 12 444 individual motifs, covering a range of globular and membrane proteins, modular polypeptides and so on. Here, we report the current status of the database, and introduce a number of recent developments that help both to render a variety of our annotation and analysis tools easier to use and to make them more widely available

    Safer caesarean sections at Juba Teaching Hospital

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    The Hawkins\Brown emission reduction tool

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    It is now globally accepted that human activity has caused rapid climate change, and the built environment is one of the biggest contributors to carbon emissions worldwide. There are primarily two ways in which the built environment generates carbon emissions: from energy used during operation (operational carbon) and from the materials used for building and maintenance (embodied carbon). While the industry is increasingly interrogating operational carbon, embodied carbon has historically been less understood. In 2012, Hawkins\Brown and the University College London Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering agreed to co-fund a doctoral project seeking to improve the visualisation of embodied carbon and its impact on the whole life carbon (WLC) of a project. One output of this research was the Hawkins Brown Emissions Reduction Tool (H\B:ERT), a BIM-based tool for rapid reporting and visualisation of embodied carbon in buildings. This paper outlines the tool's development and initial lessons learned from its use at Hawkins\Brown. H\B:ERT v1 measures embodied carbon. As it is available for free from the Hawkins\Brown website, it has contributed to the rapid rise in discussion and dissemination of information about embodied carbon and the contribution it plays in overall emissions. Version 2, which additionally measures WLC, has been fully integrated into the Hawkins\Brown design and BIM processes allowing consideration of WLC emissions from the earliest design stages alongside more traditional design drivers. The paper concludes by outlining how the tool can develop and what regulatory frameworks are required to ensure WLC decision-making becomes the standard method of approaching building and infrastructure design

    What do people do with porn? qualitative research into the consumption, use and experience of pornography and other sexually explicit media

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    This article reviews qualitative research into the consumption of pornography and other sexually explicit media emerging from a range of subject areas. Taking a critique of quantitative methods and a focus on measuring sexual effects and attitudes as a starting point, it considers the proposition that qualitative work is more suited to an examination of the complex social, cultural and political constructions of sexuality. Examining studies into the way men, women and young people see, experience, and use explicit media texts, the article identifies the key findings that have emerged. Qualitative work shows that sexuality explicit media texts are experienced and understood in a variety of ways and evoke strong and often contradictory reactions, not all of which are represented in public debates about pornography. These texts function in a range of different ways, depending on context; as a source of knowledge, a resource for intimate practices, a site for identity construction, and an occasion for performing gender and sexuality. The article reviews these studies and their findings, identifying what they suggest about directions for future research, both in terms of developing methodology and refining approaches to sexuality and media consumption.</p

    Utopia documents: linking scholarly literature with research data

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    Motivation: In recent years, the gulf between the mass of accumulating-research data and the massive literature describing and analyzing those data has widened. The need for intelligent tools to bridge this gap, to rescue the knowledge being systematically isolated in literature and data silos, is now widely acknowledged

    gender and inorganic nitrogen what are the implications of moving towards a more balanced use of nitrogen fertilizer in the tropics

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    ABSTRACTFor agriculture to play a role in climate change mitigation strategies to reduce emissions from inorganic nitrogen (N) fertilizer through a more balanced and efficient use are necessary. Such strategies should align with the overarching principle of sustainable intensification and will need to consider the economic, environmental and social trade-offs of reduced fertilizer-related emissions. However, the gender equity dimensions of such strategies are rarely considered. The case studies cited in this paper, from India, Lake Victoria in East Africa and more broadly from sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), show that the negative externalities of imbalanced inorganic N use in high- and low-use scenarios impact more strongly on women and children. We examine, through a literature review of recent work in SSA, the relative jointness of intra-household bargaining processes in low N use scenarios to assess the degree to which they impact upon N use. We suggest that gender-equitable strategies for achieving more ba..

    Spatial coherence measurements of a 13.2 nm transient Nickel-like Cadmium soft x-ray laser pumped at grazing incidence

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    Includes bibliographical references (pages [12872-12873]).The spatial coherence of a 13.2 nm transient collisional Ni-like Cd soft X-ray laser pumped at 23 degrees grazing incidence was measured in a series of Young's double-slit experiments. We observed pronounced fringe visibility variations associated with microstructures in the beam's intensity profile. The transverse coherence length was measured to be about 1/20 of the beam diameter and did not significantly improve with longer plasma columns. The equivalent incoherent source size is determined to be 10 μm and the laser's peak spectral brightness ~ 3 × 1023 photons/sec/mm2/mrad2 within less than 0.01% spectral bandwidth
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