591 research outputs found

    Assessing the authenticity of national carbon prices : A comparison of 31 countries

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    Acord transformatiu CRUE-CSICUnidad de excelencia María de Maeztu CEX2019-000940-MMany countries have carbon pricing in place, in the form of a tax and/or market. Generally, this involves low price rates, incomplete emissions coverage, and price reductions for particular sectors. This raises the question whether the label "carbon price" - in the environmental-economics textbook sense - really applies. To answer it, we assess the authenticity of 31 national carbon prices, calculating average carbon prices and their gap with advertised prices, at both national and sector levels. The results indicate a poor level of authenticity. This means that the carbon prices published by sources such as the World Bank provide a misleading representation of the actual national policy pressure on emissions. Countries show considerable differences regarding the average carbon price level and the gap with advertised prices. Moreover, there is not a one-to-one relationship between advertised and average carbon prices, suggesting the former are not a good basis for international comparison of policy effectiveness. Across countries, the mean carbon price equals €7.90/ton of CO while the mean price gap is 57.7%. Most noticeably, the highest advertised price for Sweden should be interpreted with care as it goes along with a price gap of almost €100 to the average price. In addition, Switzerland and Finland show relatively high price gaps. To illustrate the relevance and non-triviality of our indicators, note that Sweden occupies a 3rd position in terms of average carbon price (after Norway and Switzerland), 27th in terms of price gap, and 16th in terms of effective rate (i.e. sum of implicit and explicit carbon prices). We further find that implicit carbon prices dominate explicit ones for most countries, notably in road transport, whereas the reverse holds for industrial and electricity sectors. Combining our findings with recent empirical evidence for carbon-pricing effectiveness highlights the potential of the instrument to combat climate change, provided implementation is improved and internationally harmonized. Shifting the attention from advertised to average carbon prices might help in this regard

    From monocausality to systems thinking: a complementary and alternative conceptual approach for better understanding the development and prevention of sports injury

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    The science of sports injury control, including both its cause and prevention, has largely been informed by a biomedical and mechanistic model of health. Traditional scientific practice in sports injury research has routinely involved collapsing the broader socioecological landscape down in order to analyse individual-level determinants of injury - whether biomechanical and/or behavioural. This approach has made key gains for sports injury prevention research and should be further encouraged and allowed to evolve naturally. However, the public health, Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics, and injury epidemiological literature more broadly, has accepted the value of a socioecological paradigm for better understanding disease and injury processes, and sports injury research will fall further behind unless it does the same. A complementary and alternative conceptual approach towards injury control known as systems thinking that builds on socioecological science, both methodologically and analytically, is readily available and fast developing in other research areas. This review outlines the historical progression of causal concepts in the field of epidemiology over the course of the modern scientific era. From here, causal concepts in injury epidemiology, and models of aetiology as found in the context of sports injury research are presented. The paper finishes by proposing a new research agenda that considers the potential for a systems thinking approach to further enhance sports injury aetiological understanding. A complementary systems paradigm, however, will require that sports injury epidemiologists bring their knowledge and skillsets forwards in an attempt to use, adapt, and even refine existing systems-based approaches. Alongside the natural development of conventional scientific methodologies and analyses in sports injury research, progressing forwards to a systems paradigm is now required. © 2015, Hulme and Finch

    Expressive writing for high-risk drug dependent patients in a primary care clinic: A pilot study

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    BACKGROUND: Previous research has shown that expressive writing is beneficial in terms of both physical and emotional health outcomes. This study aimed to investigate the effectiveness and acceptability of a brief expressive writing intervention for high-risk drug dependent patients in a primary care clinic, and to determine the relationship between linguistic features of writing and health outcomes. METHODS: Participants completed four 15-minute expressive writing tasks over a week, in which they described their thoughts and feelings about a recent stressful event. Self-report measures of physical (SF-12) and psychological health (DASS-21) were administered at baseline and at a two-week follow-up. Fifty-three participants were recruited and 14 (26%) completed all measures. RESULTS: No statistically significant benefits in physical or psychological health were found, although all outcomes changed in the direction of improvement. The intervention was well-received and was rated as beneficial by participants. The use of more positive emotion words in writing was associated with improvements in depression and stress, and flexibility in first person pronoun use was associated with improvements in anxiety. Increasing use of cognitive process words was associated with worsening depressive mood. CONCLUSION: Although no significant benefits in physical and psychological health were found, improvements in psychological wellbeing were associated with certain writing styles and expressive writing was deemed acceptable by high-risk drug dependent patients. Given the difficulties in implementing psychosocial interventions in this population, further research using a larger sample is warranted

    Risk and protective factors for middle- and long-distance running-related injury

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    BACKGROUND: Despite a rapidly growing body of research, a systematic evidence compilation of the risk and protective factors for middle- and long-distance running-related injury (RRI) was lacking. OBJECTIVES: Our objective was to compile the evidence about modifiable and non-modifiable training-related and behavioral risk and protective factors for middle- and long-distance RRI. METHODS: We searched five databases (PubMed, CINAHL, MEDLINE, SPORTDiscus, and PsycINFO) for the dates 1 January 1970 to 31 December 2015, inclusive, for original peer-reviewed articles. The eligible designs were cross-sectional, case-control, longitudinal observational studies, and randomized controlled trials involving runners competing at distances from >/=800 m to </=42.2 km. Outcomes were any specific and/or general RRI, and exposures included training-related and behavioral factors. We extracted authors and date, study design, injury type(s), descriptors and comparators for each exposure, and results and measures of association from the selected studies. Methodological quality was independently appraised using two separate checklists: a modified checklist for observational study designs and the Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro) scale for randomized controlled trials. RESULTS: Among 73 articles eligible for inclusion, 19 (26.0%) and 30 (41.0%) were of high or satisfactory methodological quality, respectively. As a non-modifiable exposure, a history of previous injury was found to be associated with an increased risk of both general and specific RRI. In terms of modifiable exposures, irregular and/or absent menstruation was found to be associated with an increased risk of stress fracture development, whereas the use of oral contraceptives was found to be associated with a decreased risk. High clinical, methodological, and statistical heterogeneity meant it was not feasible to estimate a pooled effect size across similar studies. CONCLUSIONS: A history of previous injury was associated with an increased risk of both general and specific RRI. The use of oral contraceptives was found to be associated with a decreased risk of skeletal stress fracture. Conversely, irregular and/or absent menstruation was associated with an increased risk. The varied effect directions and/or a number of statistically insignificant results associated with the majority of factors hindered our ability to draw any definitive conclusions about their relationship to RRI risk

    The impact of acute air pollution fluctuations on bronchiectasis pulmonary exacerbation:A case-crossover analysis

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    In bronchiectasis, exacerbations are believed to be triggered by infectious agents, but often no pathogen can be identified. We hypothesised that acute air pollution exposure may be associated with bronchiectasis exacerbations.We combined a case-crossover design with distributed lag models in an observational record linkage study. Patients were recruited from a specialist bronchiectasis clinic at Ninewells Hospital, Dundee, UK.We recruited 432 patients with clinically confirmed bronchiectasis, as diagnosed by high-resolution computed tomography. After excluding days with missing air pollution data, the final model for particles with a 50% cut-off aerodynamic diameter of 10 µm (PM; 10; ) was based on 6741 exacerbations from 430 patients and for nitrogen dioxide (NO; 2; ) it included 6248 exacerbations from 426 patients. For each 10 µg·m; -; ³ increase in PM; 10; and NO; 2; , the risk of having an exacerbation that same day increased significantly by 4.5% (95% CI 0.9-8.3) and 3.2% (95% CI 0.7-5.8) respectively. The overall (lag zero to four) increase in risk of exacerbation for a 10 μg·m; -3; increase in air pollutant concentration was 11.2% (95% CI 6.0-16.8) for PM; 10; and 4.7% (95% CI 0.1-9.5) for NO; 2; Subanalysis showed higher relative risks during spring (PM; 10; 1.198 (95% CI 1.102-1.303), NO; 2; 1.146 (95% CI 1.035-1.268)) and summer (PM; 10; 2.142 (95% CI 1.785-2.570), NO; 2; 1.352 (95% CI 1.140-1.602)) when outdoor air pollution exposure would be expected to be highest.In conclusion, acute air pollution fluctuations are associated with increased exacerbation risk in bronchiectasis

    Mixture modeling of microarray gene expression data

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    About 28% of genes appear to have an expression pattern that follows a mixture distribution. We use first- and second-order partial correlation coefficients to identify trios and quartets of non-sex-linked genes that are highly associated and that are also mixtures. We identified 18 trio and 35 quartet mixtures and evaluated their mixture distribution concordance. Concordance was defined as the proportion of observations that simultaneously fall in the component with the higher mean or simultaneously in the component with the lower mean based on their Bayesian posterior probabilities. These trios and quartets have a concordance rate greater than 80%. There are 33 genes involved in these trios and quartets. A factor analysis with varimax rotation identifies three gene groups based on their factor loadings. One group of 18 genes has a concordance rate of 56.7%, another group of 8 genes has a concordance rate of 60.8%, and a third group of 7 genes has a concordance rate of 69.6%. Each of these rates is highly significant, suggesting that there may be strong biological underpinnings for the mixture mechanisms of these genes. Bayesian factor screening confirms this hypothesis by identifying six single-nucleotide polymorphisms that are significantly associated with the expression phenotypes of the five most concordant genes in the first group

    Time-to-event analysis for sports injury research part 1: Time-varying exposures

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    BACKGROUND: ‘How much change in training load is too much before injury is sustained, among different athletes?’ is a key question in sports medicine and sports science. To address this question the investigator/practitioner must analyse exposure variables that change over time, such as change in training load. Very few studies have included time-varying exposures (eg, training load) and time-varying effect-measure modifiers (eg, previous injury, biomechanics, sleep/stress) when studying sports injury aetiology. AIM: To discuss advanced statistical methods suitable for the complex analysis of time-varying exposures such as changes in training load and injury-related outcomes. CONTENT: Time-varying exposures and time-varying effect-measure modifiers can be used in time-to-event models to investigate sport injury aetiology. We address four key-questions (i) Does time-to-event modelling allow change in training load to be included as a time-varying exposure for sport injury development? (ii) Why is time-to-event analysis superior to other analytical concepts when analysing training-load related data that changes status over time? (iii) How can researchers include change in training load in a time-to-event analysis? and, (iv) Are researchers able to include other time-varying variables into time-to-event analyses? We emphasise that cleaning datasets, setting up the data, performing analyses with time-varying variables and interpreting the results is time-consuming, and requires dedication. It may need you to ask for assistance from methodological peers as the analytical approaches presented this paper require specialist knowledge and well-honed statistical skills. CONCLUSION: To increase knowledge about the association between changes in training load and injury, we encourage sports injury researchers to collaborate with statisticians and/or methodological epidemiologists to carefully consider applying time-to-event models to prospective sports injury data. This will ensure appropriate interpretation of time-to-event data

    Time-to-event analysis for sports injury research part 2: Time-varying outcomes

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    BACKGROUND: Time-to-event modelling is underutilised in sports injury research. Still, sports injury researchers have been encouraged to consider time-to-event analyses as a powerful alternative to other statistical methods. Therefore, it is important to shed light on statistical approaches suitable for analysing training load related key-questions within the sports injury domain. CONTENT: In the present article, we illuminate: (i) the possibilities of including time-varying outcomes in time-to-event analyses, (ii) how to deal with a situation where different types of sports injuries are included in the analyses (ie, competing risks), and (iii) how to deal with the situation where multiple subsequent injuries occur in the same athlete. CONCLUSION: Time-to-event analyses can handle time-varying outcomes, competing risk and multiple subsequent injuries. Although powerful, time-to-event has important requirements: researchers are encouraged to carefully consider prior to any data collection that five injuries per exposure state or transition is needed to avoid conducting statistical analyses on time-to-event data leading to biased results. This requirement becomes particularly difficult to accommodate when a stratified analysis is required as the number of variables increases exponentially for each additional strata included. In future sports injury research, we need stratified analyses if the target of our research is to respond to the question: ‘how much change in training load is too much before injury is sustained, among athletes with different characteristics?’ Responding to this question using multiple time-varying exposures (and outcomes) requires millions of injuries. This should not be a barrier for future research, but collaborations across borders to collecting the amount of data needed seems to be an important step forward

    A Widely-Separated, Highly-Occluded Companion to the Nearby Low-Mass T Tauri Star TWA 30

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    We report the discovery of TWA 30B, a wide (~3400 AU), co-moving M dwarf companion to the nearby (~42 pc) young star TWA 30. Companionship is confirmed from their statistically consistent proper motions and radial velocities, as well as a chance alignment probability of only 0.08%. Like TWA 30A, the spectrum of TWA 30B shows signatures of an actively accreting disk (H I and alkali line emission) and forbidden emission lines tracing outflowing material ([O I], [O II], [O III], [S II], and [N II]). We have also detected [C I] emission in the optical data, marking the first such detection of this line in a pre-main sequence star. Negligible radial velocity shifts in the emission lines relative to the stellar frame of rest (Delta V < 30 km/s) indicate that the outflows are viewed in the plane of the sky and that the corresponding circumstellar disk is viewed edge-on. Indeed, TWA 30B appears to be heavily obscured by its disk, given that it is 5 magnitudes fainter than TWA 30A at K-band despite having a slightly earlier spectral type (M4 versus M5). The near-infrared spectrum of TWA 30B also evinces an excess that varies on day timescales, with colors that follow classical T Tauri tracks as opposed to variable reddening (as is the case for TWA 30A). Multi-epoch data show this excess to be well-modeled by a blackbody component with temperatures ranging from 630 to 880 K and emitting areas that scale inversely with the temperature. The variable excess may arise from disk structure such as a rim or a warp at the inner disk edge located at a radial distance of ~3-5 R_sun. As the second and third closest actively accreting and outflowing stars to the Sun (after TWA 3), TWA 30AB presents an ideal system for detailed study of star and planetary formation processes at the low-mass end of the hydrogen-burning spectrum.Comment: 34 pages, 6 figures, AJ in press; Replaced Figure 4 with a better color version, added 3 references and slightly amended Section 3.2.

    Accessibility, sustainability, excellence: How to expand access to research publications. Executive summary

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    This article is a summary, by the authors, of a 140-page report prepared in 2012 by the UK Working Group on Expanding Access to Published Research Findings, chaired by British sociologist and academic administrator Janet Finch, DBE. The Working Group was charged with recommending how to develop a model that would be effective and sustainable over time, for expanding access to the published fi ndings of research. The whole report, which can be accessed at http://www.researchinfonet.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Finch-Group-report-FINAL-VERSION.pdf [http://tinyurl.com/d2lxqks], has been published under a Creative Commons License Attribution 3.0 Unported. This is the fi rst of a series of Perspectives articles devoted to the Open Access Initiative that will be published in INTERNATIONAL MICROBIOLOGY. Our journal already published an Editorial on the topic in 2004 (Guerrero R &amp; Piqueras M, Int Microbiol 7:157-161), and strongly supports open access. [Int Microbiol 2013; 16(2):125-132
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