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The X-ray fluorescence screening of multiple elements in herbarium specimens from the Neotropical region reveals new records of metal accumulation in plants.

Metallomics 2021 Jul 28. Epub 2021 Jul 28.

Université Paris-Saclay, CEA, CNRS, Institute for Integrative Biology of the Cell (I2BC), 91198, Gif-sur-Yvette, France.

Plants have developed a diversity of strategies to take up and store essential metals in order to colonize various types of soils including mineralized soils. Yet, our knowledge of the capacity of plant species to accumulate metals is still fragmentary across the plant kingdom. In this study, we have used the X-Ray Fluorescence technology to analyze metal concentration in a wide diversity of species of the Neotropical flora that was not extensively investigated so far. Read More

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Cardiogenic Shock and Mitral Valve Chord Rupture: A Rare Presentation of Libman-Sacks Endocarditis.

JACC Case Rep 2020 Oct 9;2(12):1988-1991. Epub 2020 Sep 9.

Mount Sinai Heart, New York, New York.

Distinguishing Libman-Sacks endocarditis from other valvular heart disease etiologies has important implications for management. We present a case of a 23-year-old man who presented in extremis with fever and cardiogenic shock caused by Libman-Sacks endocarditis with associated mitral valve chord rupture. (). Read More

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October 2020

Ischemic Stroke From Libman-Sacks Endocarditis Not Associated With Antiphospholipid Antibodies: Good Clinical Outcome Without Anticoagulation.

JACC Case Rep 2019 Oct 11;1(3):297-300. Epub 2019 Sep 11.

Department of Clinical Neurological Sciences, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada.

Libman-Sacks endocarditis (LSE), a cardiac complication of systemic lupus erythematosus, is commonly treated with anticoagulation for stroke prevention. We describe a patient with multifocal strokes secondary to LSE, treated with aspirin, without further recurrence. Our case highlights the importance of nuanced decision-making regarding antithrombotic choices for stroke prevention in LSE. Read More

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October 2019

Beyond the metrics of health research performance in African countries.

BMJ Glob Health 2021 Jul;6(7)

Department of Health Policy, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

While it is important to be able to evaluate and measure a country's performance in health research (HR), HR systems are complex and multifaceted in nature. As such, attempts at measurement can suffer several limitations which risk leading to inadequate indices or representations. In this study, we critically review common indicators of HR capacity and performance and explore their strengths and limitations. Read More

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Spatial sonification of letters on tablets to stimulate literacy skills and handwriting in 5 y-o children: A pilot study.

Hum Mov Sci 2021 Jul 23;79:102844. Epub 2021 Jul 23.

Laboratoire d'Etude des Mécanismes Cognitifs (EA 3082), MSH LSE USR CNRS 2005, Université Lyon2, France; LabEx Cortex ANR-11-LABX-0042, Université de Lyon, France.

We evaluate the effects of multisensory training on letters, including sonification of graphic symbols. We used "spatial sonification" where letter handwriting movements recorded in a two dimensional plan, vertical and horizontal, are systematically assigned to two acoustic features, spectral composition for the horizontal axis and frequency for the vertical axis. Forty-six kindergarten children were recruited. Read More

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COVID-19 and Global Income Inequality.

Authors:
Angus Deaton

LSE Public Policy Rev 2021 3;1(4). Epub 2021 May 3.

School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University National Bureau of Economic Research.

There is a widespread belief that the COVID-19 pandemic has increased global income inequality, reducing per capita incomes by more in poor countries than in rich. This supposition is reasonable but false. Rich countries have experienced more deaths per head than have poor countries, their better health systems, higher incomes, more capable governments and better preparedness notwithstanding. Read More

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Fluorimetric Analysis of Five Amino Acids in Chocolate: Development and Validation.

Molecules 2021 Jul 16;26(14). Epub 2021 Jul 16.

Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Analysis, Department of Pharmaceutical Technology, School of Pharmacy, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece.

Amino acids present ergogenic action, helping to increase, protect, and restore the muscular system of young athletes. Moreover, the encapsulation of five relevant amino acids in chocolate pellet form will appeal to them, facilitating their daily consumption. A reliable HPLC fluorimetric method was developed to detect and quantitatively determine L-Leucine, L-Isoleucine, L-Histidine, L-Valine, and β-Alanine in chocolate using aniline as an internal standard. Read More

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Natural Fungal Endophytes From Mediate Neutral to Positive Effects on Plant Biomass, Mineral Nutrition and Zn Phytoextraction.

Front Microbiol 2021 6;12:689367. Epub 2021 Jul 6.

Université de Lorraine, CNRS, LIEC, Nancy, France.

Phytoextraction using hyperaccumulating plants is a method for the remediation of soils contaminated with trace elements (TEs). As a strategy for improvement, the concept of fungal-assisted phytoextraction has emerged in the last decade. However, the role played by fungal endophytes of hyperaccumulating plants in phytoextraction is poorly studied. Read More

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Examining the dynamics between young people's mental health, poverty and life chances in six low- and middle-income countries: protocol for the CHANCES-6 study.

Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol 2021 Jul 19. Epub 2021 Jul 19.

Department of Health Policy, Care Policy and Evaluation Centre, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

Purpose: Poverty and poor mental health are closely related and may need to be addressed together to improve the life chances of young people. There is currently little evidence about the impact of poverty-reduction interventions, such as cash transfer programmes, on improved youth mental health and life chances. The aim of the study (CHANCES-6) is to understand the impact and mechanisms of such programmes. Read More

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The use of nonrandomized evidence to estimate treatment effects in health technology assessment.

J Comp Eff Res 2021 Jul 19. Epub 2021 Jul 19.

National Institute for Health & Care Excellence, Manchester, M1 4BT, UK.

Health technology assessment (HTA) is increasingly informed by nonrandomized studies, but there is limited guidance from HTA bodies on expectations around evidence quality and study conduct. We developed recommendations to support the appropriate use of such evidence based on a pragmatic literature review and a workshop involving 16 experts from eight countries as part of the EU's Horizon-2020 IMPACT-HTA program (work package six). To ensure HTA processes remain rigorous and robust, HTA bodies should demand clear, extensive and structured reporting of nonrandomized studies, including an in-depth assessment of the risk of bias. Read More

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Measures of effectiveness in medical research: Reporting both absolute and relative measures.

Stud Hist Philos Sci 2021 Jul 12;88:280-283. Epub 2021 Jul 12.

Universitat de Barcelona, Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 08007 Barcelona, Spain; CPNSS, London School of Economics, Houghton St, London WC2A 2AE, UK. Electronic address:

Biomedical research, especially pharmaceutical research, has been criticised for engaging in practices that lead to over-estimations of the effectiveness of medical treatments. A central issue concerns the reporting of absolute and relative measures of medical effectiveness. In this paper we critically examine proposals made by Jacob Stegenga to (a) give priority to the reporting of absolute measures over relative measures, and (b) downgrade the measures of effectiveness (effect sizes) of the treatments tested in clinical trials (Stegenga, 2015a). Read More

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From Ebola to COVID-19: emergency preparedness and response plans and actions in Lagos, Nigeria.

Global Health 2021 07 9;17(1):79. Epub 2021 Jul 9.

College of Medicine University of Lagos, Idi-Araba, Lagos, Nigeria.

Background: Lagos state is the industrial nerve centre of Nigeria and was the epicentre of the 2014 Ebola outbreak in Nigeria as it is now for the current Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) outbreak. This paper describes how the lessons learned from the Ebola outbreak in 2014 informed the emergency preparedness of the State ahead of the COVID-19 outbreak and guided response.

Discussion: Following the Ebola outbreak in 2014, the Lagos State government provided governance by developing a policy on emergency preparedness and biosecurity and provided oversight and coordination of emergency preparedness strategies. Read More

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Averting multiple sclerosis long-term societal and healthcare costs: The Value of Treatment (VoT) project.

Mult Scler Relat Disord 2021 Jun 30;54:103107. Epub 2021 Jun 30.

University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark and European Academy of Neurology (EAN), Europe.

Background And Purpose: The recent report on Value-of-Treatment (VoT) project highlights the need for early diagnosis-intervention, integrated, seamless care underpinning timely care pathways and access to best treatments. The VoT-multiple-sclerosis (MS) economic case study analysis aimed to estimate the effectiveness/cost-effectiveness of both early treatment and reducing MS risk factors (e.g. Read More

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Local Semantic Enhanced ConvNet for Aerial Scene Recognition.

IEEE Trans Image Process 2021 16;30:6498-6511. Epub 2021 Jul 16.

Aerial scene recognition is challenging due to the complicated object distribution and spatial arrangement in a large-scale aerial image. Recent studies attempt to explore the local semantic representation capability of deep learning models, but how to exactly perceive the key local regions remains to be handled. In this paper, we present a local semantic enhanced ConvNet (LSE-Net) for aerial scene recognition, which mimics the human visual perception of key local regions in aerial scenes, in the hope of building a discriminative local semantic representation. Read More

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Elderly people's quality of life in rural areas of Turkey and its relationship with loneliness and sociodemographic characteristics.

Psychogeriatrics 2021 Jul 7. Epub 2021 Jul 7.

Department of Public Health, Eskisehir Osmangazi University Faculty of Medicine, Eskisehir, Turkey.

Background: The aim of the present study was to examine the relationships between loneliness, quality of life and the factors that may be related to the quality of life in individuals ≥65 years old living in rural areas of Turkey.

Methods: The World Health Organization Quality of Life Instrument Older Adults Module (WHOQOL OLD) and Loneliness Scale for the Elderly (LSE) was administered to 427 elderly participants. Multiple linear regression was used to determine the variables that affected QOL. Read More

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Opportunities and disconnects in the use of primary research on schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminths for policy and practice: results from a survey of researchers.

J Public Health Policy 2021 Jul 7. Epub 2021 Jul 7.

Firoz Lalji Institute for Africa, London School of Economics and Political Science, Houghton Street, London, WC2A 2AE, UK.

Even with efforts to facilitate use of evidence in health policy and practice, limited attention has been paid to researchers' perspectives on use of their research in informing public health policy and practice at local, national, and global levels. We conducted a systematic literature search to identify published primary research related to schistosomiasis or soil-transmitted helminths, or both. We then surveyed corresponding authors. Read More

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The peak of health: The vertical representation of healthy food.

Appetite 2021 Jul 3;167:105587. Epub 2021 Jul 3.

Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science (PBS), London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), London, UK. Electronic address:

As expressed by the "Healthy is Up" metaphor, conceptual metaphor theory argues that the representation of health is commonly associated with high verticality because, typically, people stay upright when they are healthy whereas illness may force them to lie down. Along this line of argument, this research is the first to empirically explore the metaphorical representation of healthy food in terms of verticality. Across five experiments (N = 714), this article first demonstrates that people are faster to pair healthy food with up than down in an implicit association test (Study 1, supporting a metaphorical congruency effect). Read More

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Healthful choices depend on the latency and rate of information accumulation.

Nat Hum Behav 2021 Jul 5. Epub 2021 Jul 5.

Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA.

The drift diffusion model provides a parsimonious explanation of decisions across neurobiological, psychological and behavioural levels of analysis. Although most drift diffusion model implementations assume that only a single value guides decisions, choices often involve multiple attributes that could make separable contributions to choice. Here we fit incentive-compatible dietary choices to a multi-attribute, time-dependent drift diffusion model, in which taste and health could differentially influence the evidence accumulation process. Read More

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Financial protection in health among the middle-aged and elderly: Evidence from the Greek economic recession.

Health Policy 2021 May 28. Epub 2021 May 28.

Department of Health Policy, London School of Economics and Political Science, Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE, United Kingdom. Electronic address:

Since the late 2000s, the Greek economy has entered a long period of recession, with reforms and retrenchment in health care being among the main public policy priorities. This study investigates the extent to which financial protection in health has changed among older households during the Greek crisis. We focus on the middle-aged and elderly, the heavy users of health services, who have faced a substantial health and financial burden during the crisis. Read More

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Precise date for the Laacher See eruption synchronizes the Younger Dryas.

Nature 2021 07 30;595(7865):66-69. Epub 2021 Jun 30.

Department of Geography, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

The Laacher See eruption (LSE) in Germany ranks among Europe's largest volcanic events of the Upper Pleistocene. Although tephra deposits of the LSE represent an important isochron for the synchronization of proxy archives at the Late Glacial to Early Holocene transition, uncertainty in the age of the eruption has prevailed. Here we present dendrochronological and radiocarbon measurements of subfossil trees that were buried by pyroclastic deposits that firmly date the LSE to 13,006 ± 9 calibrated years before present (BP; taken as AD 1950), which is more than a century earlier than previously accepted. Read More

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Determinants of gold price movements: An empirical investigation in the presence of multiple structural breaks.

Resour Policy 2020 Dec 14;69:101818. Epub 2020 Aug 14.

Department of Economics, University of South Africa, P.O Box 392, UNISA, 0003, Pretoria, South Africa.

This study investigates the short- and long-run determinants of gold price movements in financial markets by taking into account multiple structural breakpoints using an ARDL-based error correction approach. The study used daily time series data from December 19, 2018 to May 15, 2020. The key variables used include international stocks and bond funds that are frequently traded on stock exchanges around the world. Read More

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December 2020

How do community health workers institutionalise: An analysis of Brazil's CHW programme.

Glob Public Health 2021 Jun 23:1-18. Epub 2021 Jun 23.

Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV EAESP), Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Community health workers (CHWs) are framed as the link between communities and the formal health system. CHWs must establish trusting relationships with the community and with the broader health service. How to find the optimal balance between the various strands of work for CHWs, and how to formalise this, has been the focus of different studies. Read More

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Effectiveness of digital interventions to improve household and community infection prevention and control behaviours and to reduce incidence of respiratory and/or gastro-intestinal infections: a rapid systematic review.

BMC Public Health 2021 06 21;21(1):1180. Epub 2021 Jun 21.

School of Psychological Science, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK.

Background: Digital interventions have potential to efficiently support improved hygiene practices to reduce transmission of COVID-19.

Objective: To evaluate the evidence for digital interventions to improve hygiene practices within the community.

Methods: We reviewed articles published between 01 January 2000 and 26 May 2019 that presented a controlled trial of a digital intervention to improve hygiene behaviours in the community. Read More

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The politics of COVID-19 vaccination in middle-income countries: Lessons from Brazil.

Soc Sci Med 2021 07 2;281:114093. Epub 2021 Jun 2.

Laboratory of Health Information, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Av. Brasil 4365, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, 21045-900, Brazil. Electronic address:

As the world struggles to meet the challenges of vaccination against COVID-19, more attention needs to be paid to issues faced by countries at different income levels. Middle-income countries (MICs) typically lack the resources and regulatory capacities to pursue strategies that wealthier countries do, but they also face different sets of challenges and opportunities than low-income countries (LICs). We focus on three dimensions of vaccination: procurement and production; regulation of marketing registration; and distribution and uptake. Read More

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Seasonality and Longevity of the Functional Chloroplasts Retained by the Sacoglossan Sea Slug van Hasselt, 1824 Inhabiting A Subtropical Back Reef Off Okinawa-jima Island, Japan.

Zool Stud 2020 30;59:e65. Epub 2020 Nov 30.

Faculty of Science, University of the Ryukyus, Nishihara, Okinawa 903-0213, Japan. E-mail: (Hirose); (Chihara); (Nakamura).

is a sacoglossan sea slug that feeds on multiple algal species and retains chloroplasts as kleptoplasts for several months. The seasonal differences in the photosynthetic properties of kleptoplasts were examined in sacoglossans collected from a subtropical back reef off of Okinawa-jima (26°21'55"N 127°44'10"E) in 2017-2018. The effective quantum yield of photosystem II in kleptoplasts indicated that stronger ambient light causes more stress in kleptoplasts. Read More

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November 2020

Is gold favourable than bitcoin during the COVID-19 outbreak? Comparative analysis through wavelet approach.

Resour Policy 2021 Oct 9;73:102163. Epub 2021 Jun 9.

Erciyes University, Justice Vocational College, 38039 kayseri, Turkey.

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has tremendously oscillated the global financial markets. Consequently, investors feel pressured to find safe-haven investments during the pandemic crisis. Numerous studies have evaluated bitcoin's safe-haven properties during the COVID-19; however, the present study considered gold as a potential safe-haven for investors of renowned stock markets of Asia, Europe, and the US. Read More

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October 2021

A practical guide to estimating the light extinction coefficient with nonlinear models-a case study on maize.

Plant Methods 2021 Jun 12;17(1):60. Epub 2021 Jun 12.

Department of Agronomy, Kansas State University, 1712 Claflin Rd, Manhattan, KS, 66506, USA.

Background: The fraction of intercepted photosynthetically active radiation (fPARi) is typically described with a non-linear function of leaf area index (LAI) and k, the light extinction coefficient. The parameter k is used to make statistical inference, as an input into crop models, and for phenotyping. It may be estimated using a variety of statistical techniques that differ in assumptions, which ultimately influences the numerical value k and associated uncertainty estimates. Read More

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A 48-channel receive array coil for mesoscopic diffusion-weighted MRI of ex vivo human brain on the 3 T connectome scanner.

Neuroimage 2021 Sep 9;238:118256. Epub 2021 Jun 9.

Institute of Medical Physics and Radiation Protection (IMPS), TH-Mittelhessen University of Applied Sciences (THM), 14 Wiesenstrasse, Giessen 35390, Germany; Center for Mind, Brain and Behavior (CMBB), Marburg, Germany.

In vivo diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging is limited in signal-to-noise-ratio (SNR) and acquisition time, which constrains spatial resolution to the macroscale regime. Ex vivo imaging, which allows for arbitrarily long scan times, is critical for exploring human brain structure in the mesoscale regime without loss of SNR. Standard head array coils designed for patients are sub-optimal for imaging ex vivo whole brain specimens. Read More

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September 2021

Ensuring patient and public involvement in the transition to AI-assisted mental health care: A systematic scoping review and agenda for design justice.

Health Expect 2021 Jun 12. Epub 2021 Jun 12.

Surrey Heartlands Health and Care Partnership, Guildford and Waverley CCG, Guildford, UK.

Background: Machine-learning algorithms and big data analytics, popularly known as 'artificial intelligence' (AI), are being developed and taken up globally. Patient and public involvement (PPI) in the transition to AI-assisted health care is essential for design justice based on diverse patient needs.

Objective: To inform the future development of PPI in AI-assisted health care by exploring public engagement in the conceptualization, design, development, testing, implementation, use and evaluation of AI technologies for mental health. Read More

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