683 research outputs found

    Managing professional jurisdiction and domestic energy use

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    Professionals involved in organizing and undertaking domestic works, such as extensions, maintenance and refurbishment, have an important role in influencing how homes are configured and how occupants live within them. Despite this, the professional identities of these actors, and their impact on domestic energy use, is often overlooked. In response, this paper argues that one useful way of examining their influence is to consider how professional identities shape everyday working practices in relation to clients. Data from two UK interview and observation studies are combined: one with heating installers and the other with architects. The data are analysed using concepts from Abbott’s ‘system of professions’ framework that focuses on how the routine working practices of professional groups are born of how they see themselves and the tasks for which they are responsible. This comparison provides insights into how these two groups manage their professional ‘jurisdictions’ during their client interactions and what this means for policy-makers and industry representatives hoping to influence their work in pursuit of less carbon-intensive living. It also points to the value of further in-depth studies that explore how the routine management of professional jurisdiction impacts upon domestic energy use in a range of contexts

    Comparative Genomics Study of Staphylococcus epidermidis Isolates from Orthopedic-Device-Related Infections Correlated with Patient Outcome

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    Staphylococcus epidermidis has emerged as an important opportunistic pathogen causing orthopedic-device-related infections (ODRI). This study investigated the association of genome variation and phenotypic features of the infecting S. epidermidis isolate with the clinical outcome for the infected patient. S. epidermidis isolates were collected from 104 patients with ODRI. Their clinical outcomes were evaluated, after an average of 26 months, as either “cured” or “not cured.” The isolates were tested for antibiotic susceptibility and biofilm formation. Whole-genome sequencing was performed on all isolates, and genomic variation was related to features associated with “cured” and “not cured.” Strong biofilm formation and aminoglycoside resistance were associated with a “not-cured” outcome (P = 0.031 and P = 0.001, respectively). Based on gene-by-gene analysis, some accessory genes were more prevalent in isolates from the “not-cured” group. These included the biofilm-associated bhp gene, the antiseptic resistance qacA gene, the cassette chromosome recombinase-encoding genes ccrA and ccrB, and the IS256-like transposase gene. This study identifies biofilm formation and antibiotic resistance as associated with poor outcome in S. epidermidis ODRI. Whole-genome sequencing identified specific genes associated with a “not-cured” outcome that should be validated in future studies. (The study has been registered at ClinicalTrials.govwith identifier NCT02640937.

    Evaluation of nine candidate genes in patients with normal tension glaucoma: a case control study

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Normal tension glaucoma is a major subtype of glaucoma, associated with intraocular pressures that are within the statistically normal range of the population. Monogenic forms following classical inheritance patterns are rare in this glaucoma subtype. Instead, multigenic inheritance is proposed for the majority of cases. The present study tested common sequence variants in candidate genes for association with normal tension glaucoma in the German population.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>Ninety-eight SNPs were selected to tag the common genetic variation in nine genes, namely OPTN (optineurin), RDX (radixin), SNX16 (sorting nexin 16), OPA1 (optic atrophy 1), MFN1 (mitofusin 1), MFN2 (mitofusin 2), PARL (presenilin associated, rhomboid-like), SOD2 (superoxide dismutase 2, mitochondrial) and CYP1B1 (cytochrome P450, family 1, subfamily B, polypeptide 1). These SNPs were genotyped in 285 cases and 282 fully evaluated matched controls. Statistical analyses comprised single polymorphism association as well as haplogroup based association testing.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>Results suggested that genetic variation in five of the candidate genes (RDX, SNX16, OPA1, SOD2 and CYP1B1) is unlikely to confer major risk to develop normal tension glaucoma in the German population. In contrast, we observed a trend towards association of single SNPs in OPTN, MFN1, MFN2 and PARL. The SNPs of OPTN, MFN2 and PARL were further analysed by multimarker haplotype-based association testing. We identified a risk haplotype being more frequent in patients and a vice versa situation for the complementary protective haplotype in each of the three genes.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>Common variants of OPTN, PARL, MFN1 and MFN2 should be analysed in other cohorts to confirm their involvement in normal tension glaucoma.</p

    Scenario of the spread of the invasive species Zaprionus indianus Gupta, 1970 (Diptera, Drosophilidae) in Brazil

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    Zaprionus indianus was first recorded in Brazil in 1999 and rapidly spread throughout the country. We have obtained data on esterase loci polymorphisms (Est2 and Est3), and analyzed them, using Landscape Shape Interpolation and the Monmonier Maximum Difference Algorithm to discover how regional invasion occurred. Hence, it was apparent that Z. indianus, after first arriving in São Paulo state, spread throughout the country, probably together with the transportation of commercial fruits by way of the two main Brazilian freeways, BR 153, to the south and the surrounding countryside, and the BR 116 along the coast and throughout the north-east

    Inadvertent environmentalism and the action–value opportunity: reflections from studies at both ends of the generational spectrum

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    This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Local Environment on 22/11/2013, available online: doi: 10.1080/13549839.2013.852524A recent turn towards a more contextually sensitive apprehension of the challenge of making everyday life less resource hungry has been partly underwritten by widespread evidence that the environmental values people commonly profess to hold do not often translate into correspondingly low impact actions. Yet sometimes the contexts of everyday life can also conspire to make people limit their consumption without ever explicitly connecting this to the environmental agenda. This paper considers this phenomenon with reference to UK studies from both ends of the generational spectrum. The first questioned how older people keep warm at home during winter and the second examined how young people get rid of no longer wanted possessions. Both found that, though the respondents involved were acting in certain ways that may be deemed comparatively low impact, they were hitherto relatively indifferent to the idea of characterising these actions as such. We outline three ways in which sustainability advocates might respond to the existence of such “inadvertent environmentalists” and consider how they might inspire studies that generate fresh intervention ideas instead of lingering on the dispiriting recognition that people do not often feel able to act for the environment.Nuffield Foundation/Economic and Social Research Counci

    Why a successful task substitution in glaucoma care could not be transferred from a hospital setting to a primary care setting: A qualitative study

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    Background: Healthcare systems are challenged by a demand that exceeds available resources. One policy to meet this challenge is task substitution-transferring tasks to other professions and settings. Our study aimed to explore stakeholders' perceived feasibility of transferring hospital-based monitoring of stable glaucoma patients to primary care optometrists.Methods: A case study was undertaken in the Rotterdam Eye Hospital (REH) using semi-structured interviews and document reviews. They were inductively analysed using three implementation related theoretical perspectives: sociological theories on professionalism, management theories, and applied political analysis.Results: Currently it is not feasible to use primary care optometrists as substitutes for optometrists and ophthalmic technicians working in a hospital-based gl

    Geographic Variation in Advertisement Calls in a Tree Frog Species: Gene Flow and Selection Hypotheses

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    In a species with a large distribution relative to its dispersal capacity, geographic variation in traits may be explained by gene flow, selection, or the combined effects of both. Studies of genetic diversity using neutral molecular markers show that patterns of isolation by distance (IBD) or barrier effect may be evident for geographic variation at the molecular level in amphibian species. However, selective factors such as habitat, predator, or interspecific interactions may be critical for geographic variation in sexual traits. We studied geographic variation in advertisement calls in the tree frog Hyla japonica to understand patterns of variation in these traits across Korea and provide clues about the underlying forces for variation.We recorded calls of H. japonica in three breeding seasons from 17 localities including localities in remote Jeju Island. Call characters analyzed were note repetition rate (NRR), note duration (ND), and dominant frequency (DF), along with snout-to-vent length.The findings of a barrier effect on DF and a longitudinal variation in NRR seemed to suggest that an open sea between the mainland and Jeju Island and mountain ranges dominated by the north-south Taebaek Mountains were related to geographic variation in call characters. Furthermore, there was a pattern of IBD in mitochondrial DNA sequences. However, no comparable pattern of IBD was found between geographic distance and call characters. We also failed to detect any effects of habitat or interspecific interaction on call characters.Geographic variations in call characters as well as mitochondrial DNA sequences were largely stratified by geographic factors such as distance and barriers in Korean populations of H. japonica. Although we did not detect effects of habitat or interspecific interaction, some other selective factors such as sexual selection might still be operating on call characters in conjunction with restricted gene flow

    How installers select and explain domestic heating controls

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    Though central heating controls have the potential to reduce the energy consumed through domestic space heating, their installation does not guarantee savings. End users do not always understand their controls, or operate them in an energy-efficient way, but there is little appreciation of why this is. Drawing on an ethnographic study, this paper investigates how installers select and explain central heating controls. With reference to the concept of technology scripting, which suggests that the assumptions made about users during the design of devices can influence their eventual use, it shows how heating installers also draw on certain user scripts. Through these means the paper illuminates the significant role that heating installers play in influencing the control products fitted into homes, and how they might be used. Though their use of these scripts is understandable, it is not always conducive to ensuring that central heating systems are operated in the most energy-efficient way. It is suggested that industry and policy-makers might engage with how installers understand users and revise current guidelines to foster better communication between them

    Molecular phylogeny and timing of diversification in Alpine Rhithrogena (Ephemeroptera: Heptageniidae).

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    BACKGROUND: Larvae of the Holarctic mayfly genus Rhithrogena Eaton, 1881 (Ephemeroptera, Heptageniidae) are a diverse and abundant member of stream and river communities and are routinely used as bio-indicators of water quality. Rhithrogena is well diversified in the European Alps, with a number of locally endemic species, and several cryptic species have been recently detected. While several informal species groups are morphologically well defined, a lack of reliable characters for species identification considerably hampers their study. Their relationships, origin, timing of speciation and mechanisms promoting their diversification in the Alps are unknown. RESULTS: Here we present a species-level phylogeny of Rhithrogena in Europe using two mitochondrial and three nuclear gene regions. To improve sampling in a genus with many cryptic species, individuals were selected for analysis according to a recent DNA-based taxonomy rather than traditional nomenclature. A coalescent-based species tree and a reconstruction based on a supermatrix approach supported five of the species groups as monophyletic. A molecular clock, mapped on the most resolved phylogeny and calibrated using published mitochondrial evolution rates for insects, suggested an origin of Alpine Rhithrogena in the Oligocene/Miocene boundary. A diversification analysis that included simulation of missing species indicated a constant speciation rate over time, rather than any pronounced periods of rapid speciation. Ancestral state reconstructions provided evidence for downstream diversification in at least two species groups. CONCLUSIONS: Our species-level analyses of five gene regions provide clearer definitions of species groups within European Rhithrogena. A constant speciation rate over time suggests that the paleoclimatic fluctuations, including the Pleistocene glaciations, did not significantly influence the tempo of diversification of Alpine species. A downstream diversification trend in the hybrida and alpestris species groups supports a previously proposed headwater origin hypothesis for aquatic insects

    Biology-driven cancer drug development: back to the future

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    Most of the significant recent advances in cancer treatment have been based on the great strides that have been made in our understanding of the underlying biology of the disease. Nevertheless, the exploitation of biological insight in the oncology clinic has been haphazard and we believe that this needs to be enhanced and optimized if patients are to receive maximum benefit. Here, we discuss how research has driven cancer drug development in the past and describe how recent advances in biology, technology, our conceptual understanding of cell networks and removal of some roadblocks may facilitate therapeutic advances in the (hopefully) near future
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