Washington, DC, United States
Washington, DC, United States

American University is a private, coeducational, liberal arts curriculum, doctoral, and research-based university in Washington, D.C., United States, affiliated with the United Methodist Church, although the university's curriculum is secular. The university was chartered by an Act of Congress on February 24, 1893 as "The American University," when the bill was approved by President Benjamin Harrison. Roughly 7,200 undergraduate students and 5,230 graduate students are currently enrolled. AU is a member of the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area. A member of the Division I Patriot League, its sports teams compete as the American University Eagles. AU's 84-acre campus is designated as a national arboretum and public garden that has a rich botanical history.American's main campus is located at the intersection of Nebraska and Massachusetts Avenues at Ward Circle in the Spring Valley neighborhood of Northwest Washington. The area is served by the Tenleytown-AU station on the Washington Metro subway line in the nearby neighborhood of Tenleytown.AU was named the "most politically active school" in the nation in The Princeton Review's annual survey of college students in 2008, 2010, and 2012. American University is especially known for promoting international understanding reflected in the diverse student body from more than 150 countries, the university’s course offerings, the faculty's research, and from the regular presence of world leaders on its campus. The university has six unique schools, including the well-regarded School of International Service that is currently ranked 8th in the world for its graduate programs in International Affairs by Foreign Policy. and the Washington College of Law. Wikipedia.


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Patent
American University of Washington | Date: 2016-08-05

The present application relates to cellulose nanocrystals and other anionic carbohydrates and methods of preparation thereof. Specifically, in certain embodiments, the cellulose nanocrystals are modified using ion exchange technology to yield thermally stable or task-specific, dispersible cellulose nanocrystals.


Groves A.K.,Drexel University | Del Rio-Gonzalez A.M.,American University of Washington | Rosenberg A.,Yale University | Blankenship K.M.,American University of Washington
AIDS and Behavior | Year: 2017

Incarceration fractures relationship ties and has been associated with unprotected sex. Relationships where both individuals have a history of incarceration (dual incarceration) may face even greater disruption and involve more unprotected sex than relationships where only one individual has been incarcerated. We sought to determine whether dual incarceration is associated with condom use, and whether this association varies by relationship type. Data come from 499 sexual partnerships reported by 210 individuals with a history of incarceration. We used generalized estimating equations to examine whether dual incarceration was associated with condom use after controlling for individual and relationship characteristics. Interaction terms between dual incarceration and relationship commitment were also examined. Among currently committed relationships, dual incarceration was associated with inconsistent condom use (AOR: 4.33; 95% CI 1.02, 18.45). Dual incarceration did not affect condom use in never committed relationships. Reducing incarcerations may positively impact committed relationships and subsequently decrease HIV-related risk. © 2017 Springer Science+Business Media New York


Zanarini M.C.,McLean Hospital | Zanarini M.C.,Harvard University | Temes C.M.,McLean Hospital | Temes C.M.,Harvard University | And 5 more authors.
Psychiatry Research | Year: 2017

This study had two aims. The first was to assess and compare various types of aggressive behavior toward others reported by borderline patients and axis II comparison subjects over time. The second was to determine the best baseline and time-varying predictors of aggressive behavior in these borderline patients. At baseline, a series of interviews and self-report measures were administered to 290 borderline patients and 72 axis II comparison subjects. Measures assessing aggression toward others, axis I and II disorders as well as adult adversity were re-administered every two years over the course of ten years. It was found that borderline patients reported significantly higher rates of verbal, emotional, and physical aggression toward others than comparison subjects but the rates of these forms of aggression toward others declined significantly for those in both study groups. Multivariate analyses indicated that the strongest predictors of adult aggression towards others were severity of adult adversity and a substance use disorder. Taken together, these results suggest that borderline patients commonly report aggression toward others but that this aggression declines significantly over time. These results also suggest that this aggression toward others is most strongly associated with adult experiences of adversity and concurrent substance abuse. © 2017 Elsevier Ireland Ltd


Rosenberg A.,Yale University | Groves A.K.,Drexel University | Blankenship K.M.,American University of Washington
Journal of Drug Issues | Year: 2017

Despite knowledge of racial bias for drug-related criminal justice involvement and its collateral consequences, we know less about differences between Black and White drug offenders. We compare 243 Black and White non-violent drug offenders in New Haven, Connecticut, for demographic characteristics, substance use, and reentry services accessed. Blacks were significantly more likely to have sales and possession charges; significantly more likely to prefer marijuana, a less addictive drug; and significantly less likely to report having severe drug problems. For both races, drug treatment was the most common service accessed through supervision. These comparisons suggest different reasons for committing drug-related crimes and, thus, different reentry programming needs. Although drug treatment is critical for all who need it, for racial justice, we must also intervene to address other needs of offenders, such as poverty alleviation and employment opportunities. © The Author(s) 2016.


Dixon E.L.,American University of Washington | Shapiro A.G.,American University of Washington
Journal of Vision | Year: 2017

The color-changing dress is a 2015 Internet phenomenon in which the colors in a picture of a dress are reported as blue-black by some observers and white-gold by others. The standard explanation is that observers make different inferences about the lighting (is the dress in shadow or bright yellow light?); based on these inferences, observers make a best guess about the reflectance of the dress. The assumption underlying this explanation is that reflectance is the key to color constancy because reflectance alone remains invariant under changes in lighting conditions. Here, we demonstrate an alternative type of invariance across illumination conditions: An object that appears to vary in color under blue, white, or yellow illumination does not change color in the high spatial frequency region. A first approximation to color constancy can therefore be accomplished by a high-pass filter that retains enough low spatial frequency content so as to not to completely desaturate the object. We demonstrate the implications of this idea on the Rubik's cube illusion; on a shirt placed under white, yellow, and blue illuminants; and on spatially filtered images of the dress. We hypothesize that observer perceptions of the dress's color vary because of individual differences in how the visual system extracts high and low spatial frequency color content from the environment, and we demonstrate cross-group differences in average sensitivity to low spatial frequency patterns. © 2017 The Authors.


Chifman J.,American University of Washington | Arat S.,The Jackson Laboratory | Deng Z.,University of Connecticut Health Center | Lemler E.,University of Connecticut Health Center | And 9 more authors.
PLoS Computational Biology | Year: 2017

Dysregulation of iron metabolism in cancer is well documented and it has been suggested that there is interdependence between excess iron and increased cancer incidence and progression. In an effort to better understand the linkages between iron metabolism and breast cancer, a predictive mathematical model of an expanded iron homeostasis pathway was constructed that includes species involved in iron utilization, oxidative stress response and oncogenic pathways. The model leads to three predictions. The first is that overexpression of iron regulatory protein 2 (IRP2) recapitulates many aspects of the alterations in free iron and iron-related proteins in cancer cells without affecting the oxidative stress response or the oncogenic pathways included in the model. This prediction was validated by experimentation. The second prediction is that iron-related proteins are dramatically affected by mitochondrial ferritin overexpression. This prediction was validated by results in the pertinent literature not used for model construction. The third prediction is that oncogenic Ras pathways contribute to altered iron homeostasis in cancer cells. This prediction was validated by a combination of simulation experiments of Ras overexpression and catalase knockout in conjunction with the literature. The model successfully captures key aspects of iron metabolism in breast cancer cells and provides a framework upon which more detailed models can be built. © 2017 Chifman et al.


Bruno V.G.,American University of Washington | Buyuksahin B.,Bank of Canada | Robe M.A.,American University of Washington
American Journal of Agricultural Economics | Year: 2017

Commodity-equity return co-movements rose dramatically during the Great Recession. This development took place following what has been dubbed the "financialization" of commodity markets. We first document changes since 1995 in the relative importance of financial institutions' activity in agricultural futures markets. We then use a structural vector autoregression (VAR) model to ascertain the role of that activity in explaining correlations between weekly grain, livestock, and equity returns from 1995-2015. We provide robust evidence that, accounting for shocks that are idiosyncratic to agricultural markets, world business cycle shocks have a substantial and long-lasting impact on the latter's co-movements with financial markets. In contrast, changes in the intensity of financial speculation have an impact on cross-market return linkages that is shorter-lived and not statistically significant in all model specifications. © The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association. All rights reserved.


Taylor A.,Defence RandD Canada | Leblanc S.,Royal Military College of Canada | Japkowicz N.,American University of Washington
Proceedings - 3rd IEEE International Conference on Data Science and Advanced Analytics, DSAA 2016 | Year: 2016

Modern automobiles have been proven vulnerable to hacking by security researchers. By exploiting vulnerabilities in the car's external interfaces, such as wifi, bluetooth, and physical connections, they can access a car's controller area network (CAN) bus. On the CAN bus, commands can be sent to control the car, for example cutting the brakes or stopping the engine. While securing the car's interfaces to the outside world is an important part of mitigating this threat, the last line of defence is detecting malicious behaviour on the CAN bus. We propose an anomaly detector based on a Long Short-Term Memory neural network to detect CAN bus attacks. The detector works by learning to predict the next data word originating from each sender on the bus. Highly surprising bits in the actual next word are flagged as anomalies. We evaluate the detector by synthesizing anomalies with modified CAN bus data. The synthesized anomalies are designed to mimic attacks reported in the literature. We show that the detector can detect anomalies we synthesized with low false alarm rates. Additionally, the granularity of the bit predictions can provide forensic investigators clues as to the nature of flagged anomalies. © 2016 IEEE.


Khan S.,University of Missouri-St. Louis | Lacity M.,University of Missouri-St. Louis | Carmel E.,American University of Washington
Information Systems Journal | Year: 2016

This article answers calls for better characterizations of impact sourcing given its potential to create social impacts in conjunction with global sourcing. It introduces a conceptual framework consisting of four dimensions drawn from entrepreneurship literature: primary mission, success criteria, resource mobilization and innovation approach - that characterize entrepreneurial impact sourcing service providers. These four dimensions are anchored across ideal types of social and commercial institutional logics to explicitly account for and capture the dual social and commercial value orientations of impact sourcing service providers as acknowledged in the literature. We evaluate the utility of this framework by using it to assess a US-based business process outsourcing social enterprise that focuses on the underserved workforce of military veterans and spouses of military personnel. We found that this firm used social logic for both the firm's primary mission and the firm's resource mobilization; it used commercial logic for its success criteria, and it used both logics for its innovation. Our analysis of the case substantiates the applicability of the framework for capturing variation in how impact sourcing providers may selectively draw upon different logics across the four dimensions. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Baron N.S.,American University of Washington
Mobile Media and Communication | Year: 2013

With the growth of mobile communication technologies, we increasingly use portable devices to produce and read text that previously existed in hardcopy or on stationary screens. Voice recognition software now enables us to speak rather than write, potentially shifting the current dominance of texting over voice calls on mobile phones. This article describes contemporary studies of language use on mobile technologies and poses research questions for new investigations. © The Author(s) 2013.


Proffitt J.M.,Florida State University | Susca M.A.,American University of Washington
Communication, Culture and Critique | Year: 2015

In 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court in Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association overturned a California law that sought to keep violent video games away from minors. Entertainment Software Association (ESA), the video game industry's trade organization, for years fought legislation aimed at providing parents with more information about extremely violent games. This article analyzes campaign finance records, lobbying reports, trade publications, and court documents to illustrate how ESA uses its power to influence the U.S. regulatory, legislative, and judicial process. By documenting this political economic influence, this article charts interrelated developments regarding the consolidation of ownership and growth of the corporate video game lobby and assesses how ESA political contributions marginalize the public's access to information about violent games. © 2015 International Communication Association


Cotter E.W.,American University of Washington | Teixeira C.,Kingston University | Bontrager A.,Alliance for a Healthier Generation | Horton K.,National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors | Soriano D.,American University of Washington
Public Health Nutrition | Year: 2017

Objective: To better understand low-income adults’ attitudes towards participating in farmers’ markets, community-supported agriculture (CSA) and nutrition education programming. Design: Focus groups were held with a diverse sample of adults. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed using thematic analysis. Setting: Three affordable housing communities in Washington, DC, USA. Subjects: Participants included twenty-eight residents of the three affordable housing communities. Results: Four major themes emerged across groups, along with several sub-themes within each theme. These included: (i) perceptions of farmers’ markets (benefits, barriers, current participation and knowledge); (ii) perceptions of CSA (benefits, barriers and questions/concerns); (iii) need/interest in additional programming (nutrition education, non-nutrition education, qualities of programming and perceived barriers); and (iv) current health knowledge and behaviours (dietary behaviours, health recommendations and health concerns). Conclusion: Adults living in urban, affordable housing communities desire access to healthy foods, but are limited by cost. Programmes could have a higher likelihood of success if they accept benefits like SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), are heavily marketed and incorporate culturally relevant nutrition education components. Copyright © The Authors 2017


Radchenko N.,American University of Washington | Corral P.,The World Bank
Journal of Development Studies | Year: 2017

This paper contributes to the debate on the nutrition-related outcomes of cash crop adoption by using a model with essential heterogeneity and a semi-parametric estimation technique. The model explicitly frames non-separability between production and consumption decisions of farming households providing an original test of separability. The empirical application is run using Malawian data. The results imply rational anticipations and decision process of agrarian households relative to the crop portfolio choice, disparate strength of market barriers faced by the farmers, non-separability between production and consumption decisions and a weak transmission from agricultural incomes to higher food expenditures and better diet. © 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group


Leon K.S.,American University of Washington | Ken I.,George Washington University
Critical Criminology | Year: 2017

At a moment of heightened public concern over food-related health issues, major corporations in the food industry have found their products and practices under scrutiny. Needing to be understood as socially responsible, these corporations have established partnerships with the state to construct a positive, proactive, and cooperative public image. One major public–private partnership that evolved from former First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move initiative—the Partnership for a Healthier America—serves as a case study in this paper, which analyzes the consequences and social harms perpetuated by a public health campaign bound by the imperative to maximize profit. By using trusted state actors to deliver accurate but deceptive claims about food companies’ commitment to public health, this public–private partnership actively misleads the public and potentially exacerbates public health challenges, warranting a skeptical revision of how we understand corporate social responsibility and neoliberal governance on issues of health and nutrition. As a form of fraud, these attempts to mislead the public go beyond the actions of public sector individuals or members of corporate boards, but are structurally incentivized by the legal rights, regulatory privileges, and profit-related incentives central to the modern corporate form. While conventional criminological research tends to underemphasize state and corporate harms, we make use of a critical criminological perspective to analyze state-corporate partnerships in the space between food industry practices and public health policy. © 2017 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht


Reiss H.R.,Max Born Institute for Nonlinear Optics and Short Pulse Spectroscopy | Reiss H.R.,American University of Washington
Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics | Year: 2017

It is shown that electromagnetic potentials convey physical information beyond that supplied by electric and magnetic fields alone, and are thus more fundamental. Observable physical properties can impose conditions on the selection of electromagnetic gauge (i.e. sets of potentials) that are explicit and restrictive. This is true both classically and quantum mechanically. The implication that the choice of gauge carries physical information is confirmed by exhibiting a set of potentials that describes fields correctly, but that violates physical constraints. The basic conclusions are that physical requirements place limits on acceptable gauges; and that potentials are more fundamental than fields in both classical and quantum physics, representing a major generalization of the quantum-only Aharonov-Bohm effect. These important properties are obscured if the dipole approximation is employed. The properties demonstrated here relate directly to conditions that exist in strong-field laser applications. © 2017 IOP Publishing Ltd.


Williams C.G.,American University of Washington
New Forests | Year: 2017

Pine pollen dispersal has been well-studied over a century due to its ubiquity, robust shape and unusual longevity; this knowledge can be brought to bear on forest population genetics applications and gene conservation programs for pines and other high-latitude wind-pollinated species. Dispersal models are shifting towards meso-scale transport processes so I assert here that this shift in transport scale is important to population genetics assumptions inherent to gene conservation decision-making. Support comes from the following: (1) aerodynamic properties for pollen is more akin to spores than seeds. (2) Gradient-free dispersal is typical of pollen transported at meso-scale distances. (3) Importance of vertically uplifted pollen on meso-scale transport has been overlooked and its interaction with atmospheric processes is not yet understood. (4) A fraction of pine pollen retains its capacity for germination and seed fertilization after meso-scale transport. These findings raise the question of whether forest fragmentation aligns with genetics theory of small populations; this question shapes ex situ and in situ collections. The shift to meso-scale transport of pine pollen can re-shape forest gene conservation decision-making about ex situ and in situ collection strategies. © 2017 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht


Zhang Q.,Southern Medical University | Dehghan S.,American University of Washington | Dehghan S.,George Mason University | Seto D.,George Mason University
Virologica Sinica | Year: 2016

[Figure not available: see fulltext.] © 2016, Wuhan Institute of Virology, CAS and Springer Science+Business Media Singapore.


Henning C.R.,American University of Washington
Global Policy | Year: 2017

Regions of the world have developed an increasing number of financial arrangements to underpin the stability of capital markets and combat crises. But these arrangements vie for influence over international finance with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), as has been dramatically illustrated during the euro crisis, and threatens to fragment global financial governance. This article reviews the regional financial arrangements (RFAs) and their relationships to the IMF, examines the sources of conflict between these institutions, draws lessons from the euro crisis for institutional cooperation, and proposes a set of guidelines and principles to avoid fragmentation of financial governance in the future. © 2017 University of Durham and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd


Eisenstadt T.A.,American University of Washington | West K.J.,New York University
Global Environmental Politics | Year: 2017

Indigenous people around the world have been particularly vocal about climate change as a challenge to their cosmovision—or traditional worldview—resulting in demands for protection of the earth as part of their core beliefs. Is this because indigenous people are the most vulnerable, and feel the impact of climate change more directly? Or is it because of the centrality of the earth to their traditional beliefs? Using survey evidence from Ecuador, we examine how indigenous cosmovision, science, and vulnerability influence the belief that climate change exists. On the basis of one-on-one interviews with indigenous leaders in Ecuador, we argue that both traditional beliefs and Western science inform citizen views of climate change. We discuss the implications of these findings, arguing that rather than competing with science, the Kichwa-based cosmovision complements Western scientific efforts to combat climate change. We also find that proximity to oil extraction is an important determinant of belief in climate change in Ecuador, suggesting that conceptualizations of vulnerability should be tailored to the particular expriences of individuals. © 2017 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Bailey D.J.,St. Norbert College | Makeyeva Y.V.,St. Norbert College | Paitel E.R.,St. Norbert College | Pedersen A.L.,American University of Washington | And 3 more authors.
Endocrinology | Year: 2017

The estrogen-synthesizing enzyme aromatase is abundant at the synapse in the zebra finch hippocampus (HP), and its inhibition impairs spatial memory function. To more fully test the role of local estradiol (E2) synthesis in memory, the HP of adult male zebra finches was exposed to either control pellets or those containing the aromatase inhibitor 1,4,6-androstatriene-3,17-dione (ATD), ATD and E2, ATD and the G protein-coupled estrogen receptor (GPER) agonist G1, or the antagonist G15 alone. Birds were tested for spatial memory acquisition and performance, and HP levels of the postsynaptic protein PSD95 were measured. ATD-treated birds took longer to reach criterion than control birds, whereas acquisition in ATD+E2 and ATD+G1 birds was indistinguishable from control and ATD treatments. Interestingly, all G15 birds failed to acquire the task. Following a retention interval, ATD birds took the longest to reach the (formerly) baited cup and made the most mistakes. ATD+E2 animals displayed the lowest retention latencies and made fewer mistakes than ATDtreated birds, and ATD+G1 birds did not significantly differ from controls in retention latencies. The amount of PSD95 in the HP was lowest in ATD-treated animals compared with birds with siliconeonly- implanted craniotomies, ATD+E2, and ATD+G1 birds, who did not differ in this expression. Thus, spatial memory acquisition and performance appear aromatase and E2 dependent, an effect more reliably revealed after consolidation and/or recall compared to acquisition. E2 may exert this effect via GPERs, resulting in an increase in PSD95 levels that may modify receptor activity or intracellular signaling pathways to increase synaptic strength. © 2017 Endocrine Society.


Levi E.L.,American University of Washington
The American University law review | Year: 2017

The pharmaceutical market is divided into two types of compounds: small-molecule chemical compounds and large-molecule biologics. Due to biologics’ molecular sizes and the current scientific state of biologics manufacturing, manufacturing facilities and processes require frequent reassessment to ensure production of safe, pure, and potent therapeutics. Manufacturers utilize patent and drug regulatory law to protect their investments and simultaneously signal where innovation and investment are lacking. The current four- and twelve-year regimented structures of the Biologics Price, Competition, and Innovation Act do not keep pace with scientific development; biologics manufacturing processes drift with time, and if a manufacturer can obtain a higher degree of process control, then it should not feel restricted to wait until their exclusivity period lapses. Currently, the FDA rarely grants market exclusivity privileges for manufacturing process improvements alone; hence, manufacturing processes--or at least large portions thereof--are typically withheld as trade secrets or strategically claimed within companion composition claims. As a result, significant opportunity exists in regulatory framework to incentivize the research and development of biologics manufacturing processes. By creating a one- to four-year data exclusivity extension opportunity, manufacturers will feel more comfortable reinvesting their returns on investment towards manufacturing efficiency, and manufacturers can capitalize on the complex-molecule nature of their biologic.


Tarboush R.,American University of Washington | Tarboush R.,U.S. Navy | Chapman G.B.,Georgetown University | Connaughton V.P.,American University of Washington
European Journal of Anatomy | Year: 2016

The effects of light rearing regimen on distal retinal development and photoreceptor ultrastructure were investigated using light and electron microscopy. Zebrafish larvae were reared in constant light, control/cyclic light (14 hr light/10 hr dark), or constant dark conditions until 4 or 8 days postfertilization (dpf). Gross retinal morphology was not altered by light rearing conditions; however, ultrastructural differences were noted both within and between age groups. Significant differences were seen in photoreceptor outer segments (OS) and synaptic ribbons, the size of cone photoreceptor mitochondria, and postsynaptic horizontal cell spinules. Larvae reared in constant dark displayed reduced pigment dispersion; OS development was delayed and cone mitochondria were smaller at 4dpf, two results that reversed by 8dpf. Photoreceptor terminals of larvae reared in all treatment conditions displayed anchored synaptic ribbons with arciform densities and no significant differences in ribbon number. Ribbons were 30-40% longer in photoreceptor terminals within the constant light treatment. The number of horizontal cell spinules invaginating into cone terminals varied and the spinule-to-ribbon ratio was higher in control and constant light-reared tissue by more than 2x at 4dpf. By 8dpf, this ratio was significantly highest in retinas reared in control/cyclic light conditions. Taken together, these results show that abnormal light rearing conditions affect synaptic structure in distal retina. These changes suggest a mechanism for the physiological and behavioral deficits reported in zebrafish larvae grown under constant light and/or dark conditions.


Glasofer D.R.,New York State Psychiatric Institute | Glasofer D.R.,Columbia University | Haaga D.A.F.,American University of Washington | Hannallah L.,Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences | And 8 more authors.
International Journal of Eating Disorders | Year: 2013

Objective: To examine the relationship between self-related agency beliefs and observed eating behavior in adolescent girls with loss of control (LOC) eating. Method: One-hundred eleven adolescent girls (14.5 ± 1.7 years; BMI: 27.1 ± 2.6 kg/m2) were administered the General Self-Efficacy Scale and the Weight Efficacy Lifestyle Questionnaire (WEL). Adolescents then participated in a laboratory test meal. Results Greater general and eating self-efficacy were associated with fewer episodes of LOC eating. General self-efficacy was inversely related to total intake at the meal (p <.01). Only the WEL availability subscale score, but not the other WEL subscales, was inversely related to total energy, snack, and dessert intake (ps < 0.05). Discussion General self-related agency beliefs may be important in relation to energy consumption. Among girls susceptible to disordered eating and obesity, the domain-specific belief in one's ability to refrain from eating when food is widely available may be especially salient in determining overeating in the current food environment. Further research is therefore needed to assess the predictive validity of these beliefs on eating and weight outcomes. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Saldanha C.J.,American University of Washington | Duncan K.A.,Vassar College
Journal of Neuroendocrinology | Year: 2013

Studies on birds have long provided landmarks and touchstones in the fields of neuroendocrinology, immunology and neuroplasticity. The passerine brain is an excellent model for studying the actions of hormones, including steroids, on a diversity of behavioural endpoints. Oestrogens, for example, have profound effects on avian neuroanatomy and neurophysiology throughout life and, importantly, are synthesised at high levels within neurones of the songbird brain. More recently, aromatisation in another set of neural cells has been identified. Specifically, aromatase expression is induced in astrocytes and radial glia following disruption of the neuropil by multiple forms of perturbation. The avian brain, therefore, can be provided with high levels of oestrogens constitutively or via induction, by aromatisation in neurones and glia, respectively. In this review, we begin with the initial discovery of aromatisation by non-neuronal cells and discuss the mechanisms underlying the induction of aromatase expression in glial cells. We then focus on the emerging interactions between the neuroendocrine and neuroimmune systems with respect to brain injury. Next, we briefly review the extensive literature on the influence of glial aromatisation on neuroplasticity, and end with some recent data on sex differences in the induction of glial aromatase in the zebra finch. Throughout this review, we consider the unanswered questions and future studies that may emerge from these findings. © 2013 British Society for Neuroendocrinology.


Quinn J.,Columbia University | Bader M.D.M.,American University of Washington | Yousefzadeh P.,Columbia University | Weiss C.,Columbia University | Neckerman K.,American University of Washington
American Journal of Health Promotion | Year: 2013

Purpose. To determine whether body mass index (BMI) is associated with proximity to neighborhood parks, the size of the parks, their cleanliness, and the availability of recreational facilities in the parks. Design. Cross-sectional. Setting. New York City. Subjects. Adults (13,102) were recruited from 2000 to 2002 (median age 45 years, 36% male). Measures. Anthropometric and sociodemographic data from study subjects were linked to Department of Parks & Recreation data on park space, cleanliness, and facilities. Neighborhood-level sociodemographic and park proximity metrics were created for half-mile-radius circular buffers around each subject's residence. Proximity to park space was measured as the proportion of the subject's neighborhood buffer area that was total park space, large park space (a park ≤6 acres) and small park space (a park >6 acres). Analysis. Hierarchical linear models were used to determine whether neighborhood park metrics were associated with BMI. Results. Higher proximity to large park space was significantly associated with lower BMI (beta = -1.69, 95% confidence interval = -2.76, -.63). Across the population distribution of proximity to large park space, compared to subjects living in neighborhoods at the 10th percentile of the distribution, the covariate-adjusted average BMI was estimated to be .35 kg/m2 lower for those living in neighborhoods at the 90th percentile. The proportion of neighborhood area that was small park space was not associated with BMI, nor was park cleanliness or the availability of recreational facilities. Conclusion. Neighborhood proximity to large park spaces is modestly associated with lower BMI in a diverse urban population. Copyright © 2013 by American Journal of Health Promotion, Inc.


Asfaw S.,Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations FAO | Davis B.,Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations FAO | Dewbre J.,Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations FAO | Handa S.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Winters P.,American University of Washington
Journal of Development Studies | Year: 2014

This paper reports the analysis of the impact of Kenya's Cash Transfer for Orphans and Vulnerable Children Programme on the household decisions on productive activities using data from a randomised experimental design. Results show that the programme had a positive and significant impact on food consumption coming from home production, accumulation of productive assets, especially on the ownership of small livestock, and on formation of nonfarm enterprise, especially for females. The programme has provided more flexibility to families in terms of labour allocation decisions, particularly for those who are geographically isolated. The programme was also found to reduce child labour, an important objective of the programme. However, we find very little impact of the programme on direct indicators of crop production. © 2014 © 2014 Taylor & Francis.


Leddy M.,American University of Washington | Haaga D.,American University of Washington | Gray J.,American University of Washington
Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynecology | Year: 2011

Postpartum depression (PPD) and postpartum psychosis (PPP) can impact mother, infant, and family. Obstetrician-gynecologists (ob-gyns) are often the most frequent medical contact for postpartum women, and so are in a position to identify women needing psychological care. This study assessed ob-gyns' knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding diagnosing PPD/PPP. A survey was sent to 400 members of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists who have volunteered to participate in research. Response rate was 56%. Routine screening for PPD and PPP is conducted by 72% and 30% of respondents, respectively. Personal experience (through friend, family, or self) was associated with increased screening. Perceived PPP screening barriers are similar to those found in the PPD literature: time constraints, lack of training, and lack of knowledge of diagnostic criteria. In responding to standardised vignettes, physicians were more likely to over-diagnose, than under diagnose PPD/PPP. This study is the first to provide exploratory data of ob-gyns' knowledge, attitudes, and practice regarding PPD and PPP. Ob-gyns are screening for PPD/PPP, though not universally so. Future research should identify ways to mitigate screening barriers. © 2011 Informa UK, Ltd.


Jackson M.C.,American University of Washington | Huang L.,U.S. Food and Drug Administration | Xie Q.,American University of Washington | Tiwari R.C.,U.S. Food and Drug Administration
International Journal of Health Geographics | Year: 2010

Background: Investigation of global clustering patterns across regions is very important in spatial data analysis. Moran's I is a widely used spatial statistic for detecting global spatial patterns such as an east-west trend or an unusually large cluster. Here, we intend to improve Moran's I for evaluating global clustering patterns by including the weight function in the variance, introducing a population density (PD) weight function in the statistics, and conducting Monte Carlo simulation for testing. We compare our modified Moran's I with Oden's I*popfor simulated data with homogeneous populations. The proposed method is applied to a census tract data set.Methods: We present a modified version of Moran's I which includes information about the strength of the neighboring association when estimating the variance for the statistic. We provide a power analysis on Moran's I, a modified version of Moran's I, and I*popin a simulation study. Data were simulated under two common spatial correlation scenarios of local and global clustering.Results: For simulated data with a large cluster pattern, the modified Moran's I has the highest power (43.4%) compared to Moran's I (39.9%) and I*pop(12.4%) when the adjacent weight function is used with 5%, 10%, 15%, 20%, or 30% of the total population as the geographic range for the cluster.For two global clustering patterns, the modified Moran's I (power > 25.3%) performed better than both Moran's I (> 24.6%) and I*pop(> 7.9%) with the adjacent weight function. With the population density weight function, all methods performed equally well.In the real data example, all statistics indicate the existence of a global clustering pattern in a leukemia data set. The modified Moran's I has the lowest p-value (.0014) followed by Moran's I (.0156) and I*pop(.011).Conclusions: Our power analysis and simulation study show that the modified Moran's I achieved higher power than Moran's I and I*popfor evaluating global and local clustering patterns on geographic data with homogeneous populations. The inclusion of the PD weight function which in turn redefines the neighbors seems to have a large impact on the power of detecting global clustering patterns. Our methods to improve the original version of Moran's I for homogeneous populations can also be extended to some alternative versions of Moran's I methods developed for heterogeneous populations. © 2010 Jackson et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Culver D.C.,American University of Washington | Holsinger J.R.,Old Dominion University | Feller D.J.,Heritage University
Northeastern Naturalist | Year: 2012

A number of shallow groundwater habitats that occur in the Coastal Plain and Piedmont of the mid-Atlantic region are documented and described. These isolated tiny aquifers are underlain by clay (hypotelminorheic habitats) and exit at seepage springs, springs, tiled fields and tile drains, and shallow wells. These shallow groundwater habitats harbor species with reduced eyes and pigment that are limited to these habitats. The distribution of 23 such species-four planarians (Sphalloplana and Phagocata), one snail (Fontigens), 13 amphipods (Stygobromus), and five isopods (Caecidotea)-is documented, based on over 450 records. More species (16) were found in hypotelminorheic habitats than in other shallow groundwater habitats. Also, more species were found exclusively in either the Piedmont or Coastal Plain, but seven species were found along the boundary (Fall Line) between these physiographic provinces. Compared to surface waters in nearby habitats, hypotelminorheic water had higher conductivity, higher dissolved oxygen, and slightly lower pH.


Anderson B.L.,American University of Washington | Obrecht N.A.,William Paterson University | Chapman G.B.,Rutgers University | Driscoll D.A.,University of Pennsylvania | Schulkin J.,Georgetown University
Genetics in Medicine | Year: 2011

Purpose: We investigated three questions: (1) How do obstetrician- gynecologists communicate positive and negative test results? (2) When reporting screening test results, do obstetrician-gynecologists use quantitative or qualitative information? and (3) Is physician numeracy (i.e., the ability to use and understand numbers) associated with use of quantitative or qualitative information? Method: Obstetrician-gynecologists (N = 203; 55.6% response rate) who were members of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists completed a survey about their communication of Down syndrome screening test results, an Objective Numeracy Scale, and the Subjective Numeracy Scale. Results: Higher scores on the Subjective Numeracy Scale and younger age predicted obstetrician-gynecologists' use of numbers to explain testing results. The Objective Numeracy Scale did not predict use of numbers. Gender was correlated with scores on the Subjective Numeracy Scale (r = 0.2) and the Subjective Numeracy Scale-Ability Subscale (r = 0.3), with men scoring higher than women when controlling for age. Open-ended questions revealed that communication strategies vary, with approximately one in three obstetrician-gynecologists providing numerical information, and frequency format being the commonly used numerical format. Conclusion: Although physicians are often overlooked in the problem of low health literacy, it is important that we continue to investigate the impact of physician numeracy on patient care. © 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.


Gardner J.R.,University of Cambridge | Gardner J.R.,Duke University | Fisher T.R.,University of Cambridge | Jordan T.E.,Smithsonian Environmental Research Center | Knee K.L.,American University of Washington
Biogeochemistry | Year: 2016

Denitrification is critical for removal of reactive nitrogen (Nr) from ecosystems. However, measuring realistic, scalable rates and understanding the role of denitrification and other dissimilatory processes in watershed nitrogen (N) budgets remains a significant challenge in biogeochemistry. In this study, we focused on the stream reach and network scale in three Mid-Atlantic coastal plain watersheds. We applied open channel methods to measure biogenic N2 and N2O gas fluxes derived from both in-stream and terrestrial nitrogen processing. A large portion of biogenic N2 flux through streams (33–100 %, mean = 74 %) was a result of groundwater delivery of biogenic N2 with the remaining portion due to in-stream N2 production. In contrast, N2O was largely produced in-stream, with groundwater delivery contributing on average 12 % of the total biogenic N2O flux. We scaled these measurements across one stream network and compared them to hydrologic Nr export and net anthropogenic N inputs (NANI) to a 4.8 km2 watershed. The N budget revealed that, during the study period, the biogenic N2 flux through streams was comparable to the difference between NANI and hydrologic Nr export (i.e. the “missing” N). This study provides a methodological and conceptual framework for incorporating terrestrial and in-stream derived biogenic N gas fluxes into watershed N budgets and supports the hypothesis that denitrification is the primary fate of NANI that is not exported in streamflow. © 2016 Springer International Publishing Switzerland


Allen J.D.,Dana-Farber Cancer Institute | Allen J.D.,Harvard University | De Jesus M.,Dana-Farber Cancer Institute | De Jesus M.,American University of Washington | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Oncology | Year: 2012

Objective: To describe parents' knowledge, attitudes, and decision-making with regard to obtaining the HPV vaccine for their daughters. Methods: White, Black, and Hispanic parents of daughters who were age eligible to receive the HPV vaccine (9-17 years) were recruited from community settings to participate in focus groups. Parents were asked about knowledge and awareness of HPV, decision-making about HPV vaccine, as well as preferred and actual sources of HPV information. Results: Seven focus groups (n = 64 participants) were conducted. Groups were segmented by gender (women = 72%) and race/ethnicity (Black = 59%; White = 23%; Hispanic = 19%). Prevalent themes included: insufficient information to make informed decisions; varied preferences for involvement in decision-making; concerns about vaccine safety; mistrust of medical providers and pharmaceutical companies; and mismatch between actual and preferred sources of information. Discussion: Improving communication between providers and caregivers and helping parents to access information necessary for informed decision-making, while alleviating concerns about vaccine safety, may help to improve vaccine acceptance. Copyright © 2012 Jennifer D. Allen et al.


Leddy M.A.,American University of Washington
Obstetrical and Gynecological Survey | Year: 2011

Background: Many mental illnesses are more prevalent in women than men (e.g., depression). Obstetrician-gynecologists (ob-gyns) are frequent medical contacts for women, and so can play an important role in screening for mental illness. Methods: This review summarizes studies published between 2005 and 2009 by the Research Department of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists that encompass depression, anxiety, and eating disorders (EDs). Results: Ob-gyns were more accurate in identifying depression than anxiety. Treatment with antidepressants was reported as a course of action twice as often as referral to a mental health professional. Physicians were moderately confident that they could recognize anxiety, but were less confident regarding treatment. One-fifth routinely screen pregnant patients for anxiety; level of interest in anxiety was the only significant predictor of screening rates. The main barriers to anxiety screening in pregnancy were time constraints and perceived inadequate training. Almost all believed EDs can harm pregnancy outcome, although few ask about ED histories. Only half view assessment of ED as within routine ob-gyn practice. Those who self-identify as primary care providers, and those who more strongly believe EDs can harm pregnancy outcomes, agreed more strongly that ED assessment is within their role. Ob-gyns perceived training regarding EDs to be poor. Knowledge of risks associated with EDs was low. Conclusions: Ob-gyns view mental health issues as important topics; however, they are not confident in their abilities to diagnose these conditions and are also concerned about the adequacy of their training. Additional training could prepare ob-gyns to incorporate mental health screening into their practices. Target Audience: Obstetricians & Gynecologists, Family Physicians. Learning Objectives: After completion of this educational activity, the obstetrician/gynecologists should be better able to evaluate their role relative to diagnosing and treating mental illness; state the negative consequences and signs of major depressive disorder, anxiety, eating disorder, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) in women; examine their peers attitudes, referral patterns, and preferred treatment methods for mental disorders; and prevent negative health consequences for women and babies resulting from mental illnesses. © 2011 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.


Loughead J.W.,University of Pennsylvania | Luborsky L.,University of Pennsylvania | Weingarten C.P.,University of Pennsylvania | German R.E.,American University of Washington | And 2 more authors.
Psychotherapy Research | Year: 2010

The authors combined the core conflictual relationship theme (CCRT) method and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to identify brain regions involved in recall of autobiographical relationship episodes, a key process in psychotherapy. Relationship narratives were obtained from healthy subjects and scored for CCRT relationship themes and emotion. Autobiographical personal and nonautobiographical control narratives were presented in a block-design fMRI experiment. Personal versus control narratives showed activations in anterior cingulate, precuneus, inferior and middle frontal gyri, and inferior parietal lobule. These are regions involved in autobiographical memory, theory of mind, self-referential processing, and emotion. In an exploratory analysis, higher CCRT scores correlated with increased brain activation in the left hippocampus, parahippocampal gyrus, and middle occipital gyrus. This suggests that brain systems subserving memory processes are more active when recalling relationship episodes with greater CCRT content. © 2010 Society for Psychotherapy Research.


Zagmajster M.,University of Ljubljana | Culver D.C.,American University of Washington | Christman M.C.,University of Florida | Sket B.,University of Ljubljana
Biodiversity and Conservation | Year: 2010

We investigated the pattern of species richness of obligate subterranean (troglobiotic) beetles in caves in the northwestern Balkans, given unequal and biased sampling. On the regional scale, we modeled the relationship between species numbers and sampling intensity using an asymptotic Clench (Michaelis-Menten) function. On the local scale, we calculated Chao 2 species richness estimates for 20 × 20 km grid cells, and investigated the distribution of uniques, species found in only one cave within the grid cell. Cells having high positive residuals, those with above average species richness than expected according to the Clench function, can be considered true hotspots. They were nearly identical to the observed areas of highest species richness. As sampling intensity in a grid cell increases the expected number of uniques decreases for any fixed number of species in the grid cell. High positive residuals show above average species richness for a certain level of sampling intensity within a cell, so further sampling has the most potential for additional species. In some cells this was supported by high numbers of uniques, also indicating insufficient sampling. Cells with low negative residuals have fewer species than would be expected, and some of them also had a low number of uniques, both indicating sufficient sampling. By combining different analyses in a novel way we were able to evaluate observed species richness pattern as well as identify, where further sampling would be most beneficial. Approach we demonstrate is of broad interest to study of biota with high levels of endemism, small distribution ranges and low catchability. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.


Tucker Edmonds B.,Indiana University | Mckenzie F.,Indiana University | Farrow V.,American University of Washington | Raglan G.,American University of Washington
Journal of Perinatology | Year: 2015

Objective:Test the association between provider characteristics and antenatal interventions offered for periviable delivery.Study Design:Six hundred surveys mailed to members of the College's Collaborative Ambulatory Research Network. Items queried physicians' practices regarding administering steroids, recommending cesarean (for breech) and offering induction (for ruptured membranes) at 23 weeks.Result:Three hundred and ten (52%) obstetricians (OBs) responded. Respondents reported institutional cutoffs of 23 weeks for resuscitation (34%) and 24 weeks for cesarean (35%), whereas personal preferences for cesarean were ≥25 weeks (44%). At 23 weeks, two-thirds ordered steroids, 43% recommended cesarean and 23% offered induction. In multivariable analyses, institutional cutoffs and providers' personal preferences predicted steroid administration (odds ratio, OR=4.37; 95% confidence interval, CI=1.73 to 11.00; OR=0.30, 95% CI=0.13 to 0.70); institutional cutoffs and the impression that cesarean decreases neurodevelopmental disability predicted recommending cesarean (OR=3.09, 95% CI=1.13 to 8.44; OR=6.41, 95% CI=2.06 to 19.91). For offering induction, practice location and religious service attendance approached, but did not meet, statistical significance (P=0.06 and P=0.05).Conclusion:OBs' willingness to intervene can impact periviable outcomes. These findings suggest that personal and institutional factors may influence obstetrical counseling and decision-making. © 2015 Nature America, Inc.


Rundle A.,Columbia University | Richards C.,Columbia University | Bader M.D.M.,American University of Washington | Schwartz-Soicher O.,Columbia University | And 4 more authors.
American Journal of Epidemiology | Year: 2012

To identify student-and school-level sociodemographic characteristics associated with overweight and obesity, the authors conducted cross-sectional analyses of data from 624,204 public school children (kindergarten through 12th grade) who took part in the 2007-2008 New York City Fitnessgram Program. The overall prevalence of obesity was 20.3, and the prevalence of overweight was 17.6. In multivariate models, the odds of being obese as compared with normal weight were higher for boys versus girls (odds ratio (OR) 1.39, 95 confidence interval (CI): 1.36, 1.42), for black (OR 1.11, 95 CI: 1.07, 1.15) and Hispanic (OR 1.48, 95 CI: 1.43, 1.53) children as compared with white children, for children receiving reduced-price (OR 1.17, 95 CI: 1.13, 1.21) or free (OR 1.12, 95 CI: 1.09, 1.15) school lunches as compared with those paying full price, and for US-born students (OR 1.54, 95 CI: 1.50, 1.58) as compared with foreign-born students. After adjustment for individual-level factors, obesity was associated with the percentage of students who were US-born (across interquartile range (75th percentile vs. 25th), OR 1.10, 95 CI: 1.07, 1.14) and the percentage of students who received free or reduced-price lunches (across interquartile range, OR 1.13, 95 CI: 1.10, 1.18). The authors conclude that individual sociodemographic characteristics and school-level sociodemographic composition are associated with obesity among New York City public school students. © 2012 The Author.


Prikladnicki R.,Grande Rio University | Marczak S.,Grande Rio University | Carmel E.,American University of Washington | Ebert C.,Vector Consulting Services
IEEE Software | Year: 2012

Time zone differences are a challenge to global software engineering. This column surveys the key technologies and tools that support collaboration across time zones. The insights on technologies derive from a meta-analysis of the 2010 and 2011 IEEE-sponsored International Conference on Global Software Engineering (ICGSE), among others. © 1984-2012 IEEE.


Silvestro D.,Senckenberg Institute | Tudge C.C.,Smithsonian Institution | Tudge C.C.,American University of Washington
Zoologischer Anzeiger | Year: 2010

The male gonopores, male reproductive apparatus, spermatophore and spermatozoa of the Mediterranean hermit crab Paguristes eremita are described, using interference phase microscopy, scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. A correlation is made between the gonopore morphology and the different kinds of setae accompanying them, and the reproductive biology of these crabs. Each testes merges into a tubular duct made up of four zones: (1) the collecting tubule with free spermatozoa; (2) the proximal zone, where the ampulla of the spermatophores starts to be formed; (3) the medial zone, where the ampulla is completed, the stalk lengthens and the pedestal is formed; (4) the distal zone, where the mature spermatophores are stored. The sizes of the different parts of the spermatophore and of the sperm are given and their exterior morphology and ultrastructure described and compared to congeners. The morphology of the gonopore, male reproductive system, spermatophore and spermatozoa of P. eremita are species-specific, clearly distinguishing the species from the other members of the family. The available spermatozoal and spermatophore data is used to place P. eremita within a sperm phylogeny of the hermit crab family Diogenidae. © 2010 Elsevier GmbH.


Culver D.C.,American University of Washington | Holsinger J.R.,Old Dominion University | Christman M.C.,University of Florida | Pipan T.,Karst Research Institute
Journal of Crustacean Biology | Year: 2010

The amphipod genus Stygobromus occurs in a variety of subterranean habitats in North America, including caves, phreatic (groundwater) lakes, and superficial subterranean habitats (seeps and epikarst). The habitats share the absence of light but differ in other features, such as pore size of the habitat, available food, and degree of seasonality. Measurements of body size, antennal size, and antennal segment number of type specimens were compared for 56 species occurring in the eastern United States. Except for differences in body size, differences among species in the four different habitats were not significant. Body size was related to relative pore size of the habitat, e.g., epikarst, with the smallest spaces, had the smallest species. However, in all habitats, there was one very large species (> 15mm); these enigmatic species apparently occupy a distinct ecological niche, perhaps being more predatory. Differences in relative antennal size showed no significant differences among habitats, and differences in number of antennal segments were marginally significant (P=0.06) among habitat types and not in the predicted pattern. Differences among habitats in seasonality and available food seemed to be a minor part of the selective environment; absence of light seemed to be a major part of the selective environment. © 2010 The Crustacean Society.


Knee K.L.,American University of Washington | Knee K.L.,Smithsonian Environmental Research Center | Jordan T.E.,Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
Estuaries and Coasts | Year: 2013

The Choptank River, Chesapeake Bay's largest eastern-shore tributary, is experiencing increasing nutrient loading and eutrophication. Productivity in the Choptank is predominantly nitrogen-limited, and most nitrogen inputs occur via discharge of high-nitrate groundwater into the river system's surface waters. However, spatial patterns in the magnitude and quality of groundwater discharge are not well understood. In this study, we surveyed the activity of 222Rn, a natural groundwater tracer, in the Choptank's main tidal channel, the large tidal tributary Tuckahoe Creek, smaller tidal and non-tidal tributaries around the basin, and groundwater discharging into those tributaries, measuring nitrate and salinity concurrently. 222Rn activities were <100 Bq m-3 in the main tidal channel and 100-700 Bq m-3 in the upper Choptank River and Tuckahoe Creek, while the median Rn activities of fresh tributaries and discharging groundwater were 1,000 and 7,000 Bq m-3, respectively. Nitrate-N concentrations were <0.01 mg L-1 throughout most of the tidal channel, 1.5-3 mg L-1 in the upper reaches, up to 13 mg L-1 in tributary samples, and up to 19.6 mg L-1 in groundwater. Nitrate concentrations in tributary surface water were correlated with Rn activity in three of five sub-watersheds, indicating a groundwater nitrate source. 222Rn and salinity mass balances indicated that Rn-enriched groundwater discharges directly into the Choptank's tidal waters and suggested that it consists of a mixture of fresh groundwater and brackish re-circulated estuarine water. Further sampling is necessary to constrain the Rn activity and nitrate concentration of discharging groundwater and quantify direct discharge and associated nitrogen inputs. © 2013 Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation (outside the USA).


Strong E.E.,Smithsonian Institution | Colgan D.J.,Australian Museum Evolutionary Biology Unit | Healy J.M.,Queensland Museum Biodiversity Program | Lydeard C.,American University of Washington | And 2 more authors.
Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society | Year: 2011

The Cerithioidea is an ecologically important superfamily of basal Caenogastropoda with speciose marine, brackish water, and freshwater lineages primarily in tropical, subtropical, and warm temperate regions of the world. They often represent significant components of the communities where they occur and have given rise to several spectacular endemic radiations in rivers and ancient lakes. Earlier attempts to resolve the phylogenetic history of the group have been based on smaller taxon and character subsets with incongruent results. Here the monophyly and phylogeny of the group is evaluated with expanded morphological and molecular (16S, 28S rRNA) data sets. For morphological analyses, 151 characters (shell, operculum, radula, alimentary tract, kidney, nervous system, reproductive anatomy, and sperm ultrastructure) were scored for 47 cerithioideans (representing 17 families) and nine outgroup taxa. To test monophyly of the Cerithioidea, extended molecular data sets of 16S and 28S sequences for 57 and 44 taxa, respectively, were compiled using new and previously published sources. For combined analyses, a pruned molecular data set was combined with the morphological partition. The morphological data were analysed alone using only parsimony; molecular and simultaneous analyses were performed using both parsimony and Bayesian inference. The effect of excluding unconserved regions of the alignments was also explored. All analyses, with the exception of the individual 16S and 28S data sets, support monophyly of the Cerithioidea as currently formulated. Of the 12 families represented by more than one terminal, only two (Planaxidae, Potamididae) are always supported as monophyletic; Batillariidae, Cerithiidae, Pachychilidae, Pleuroceridae, Semisulcospiridae, Thiaridae, and Turritellidae are monophyletic in most but not all topologies. The combination of diverse data sources (morphology, 16S and 28S sequences) and inclusion of unconserved regions of the alignments improved the recovery of monophyletic families. At deeper levels, a consensus is beginning to emerge in the recognition of three main assemblages, but whether these represent clades or grades is still unclear; the resolution of these assemblages and the branching order within them are sensitive to exclusion of unconserved regions and choice of optimality criterion. No clear conclusion is reached with respect to the number of freshwater invasions, with two invasions supported on some topologies and three supported on others. Progress toward a robust and stable resolution of cerithioidean relationships will require (1) strategically coordinated sampling for additional morphological and molecular data; (2) comprehensive anatomical treatments for several poorly documented limnic lineages (e.g. Melanopsidae, Thiaridae) and comparative data for poorly understood organ systems (e.g. renal system); (3) the addition of poorly known, minute, and/or rare marine taxa, to provide novel character combinations, insight into putative homologies, and to help anchor basal nodes and break up long branches. © 2011 The Linnean Society of London.


Stark J.H.,Pfizer | Neckerman K.,Columbia University | Lovasi G.S.,Columbia University | Quinn J.,Columbia University | And 4 more authors.
Preventive Medicine | Year: 2014

Objective: To evaluate the association between adult individuals' body mass index (BMI) and characteristics of parks (size and cleanliness) in an urban environment taking into account the physical and social environments of the neighborhood. Methods: Cross-sectional, hierarchical linear models were used to determine whether park effects were associated with BMI using self-reported height and weight data obtained from the Community Health Survey in New York City (2002-2006). Results: Both the proportion of the residential zip code that was large park space and the proportion that was small park space had significant inverse associations with BMI after controlling for individual socio-demographic and zip code built environment characteristics (-. 0.20 BMI units across the inter-quartile range (IQR) for large parks, 95% CI -. 0.32, -. 0.08; -. 0.21 BMI units across the IQR for small parks, 95% CI -. 0.31, -. 0.10, respectively). Poorer scores on the park cleanliness index were associated with higher BMI, 0.18 BMI units across the IQR of the park cleanliness index (95% CI 0.05, 0.30). Conclusions: This study demonstrated that proportion of neighborhoods that was large or small park space and park cleanliness were associated with lower BMI among NYC adults after adjusting for other neighborhood features such as homicides and walkability, characteristics that could influence park usage. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.


Background: The aim of this study was to assess physicians' perception of their patients' knowledge and opinions regarding regular screening, and the association of their perceptions with physician numeracy and patient education level. Methods: We carried out a survey study of 240 obstetrician-gynecologists. Results: Overall, 99.6% physicians perceive that their patients know that breast cancer is hereditary, 86.5% predicted that there is a gene mutation related to breast cancer, and 79.4% predicted that most breast cancer cases occur in women aged 50 years or greater. Physicians with less educated patients thought that their patients would not know about genetic screening, and physicians with more educated patients thought that their patients would know that mammography does not reduce the risk of getting breast cancer. A total of 66.0% of obstetrician-gynecologists answered all 3 numeracy questions correctly. Less numerate physicians were more likely to indicate that their typical patient would agree with the statement about regular mammography screens than the more numerate physicians. Conclusions: Obstetrician-gynecologists expect that their patients know some things about breast cancer and not others. Some of the physicians' perceptions about patients differ based on numeracy. Copyright © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel.


Smith S.L.,University of New Mexico | Shiffman J.,American University of Washington
Global Public Health | Year: 2014

Deaths to babies in their first 28 days of life now account for more than 40% of global under-5 child mortality. High neonatal mortality poses a significant barrier to achieving the child survival Millennium Development Goal. Surmounting the problem requires national-level political commitment, yet only a few nation-states have prioritised this issue. We compare Bolivia, Malawi and Nepal, three low-income countries with high neonatal mortality, with a view to understanding why countries prioritise or neglect the issue. The three have had markedly different trajectories since 2000: attention grew steadily in Nepal, stagnated then grew in Malawi and grew then stagnated in Bolivia. The comparison suggests three implications for proponents seeking to advance attention to neglected health issues in low-income countries: the value of (1) advancing solutions with demonstrated efficacy in low-resource settings, (2) building on existing and emerging national priorities and (3) developing a strong network of domestic and international allies. Such actions help policy communities to weather political storms and take advantage of policy windows. © 2014 © 2014 Taylor & Francis.


Harrell P.T.,American University of Washington | Juliano L.M.,American University of Washington
Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology | Year: 2012

Regardless of actual nicotine content, expectations about the nicotine content of a cigarette influence the rewarding subjective effects of smoking, and may even affect cognitive performance. These effects are theorized to be mediated by beliefs about effects of cigarette smoking, or response expectancies. However, few studies have directly manipulated response expectancies. Understanding the effects of such manipulations could improve effectiveness of nicotine-dependence treatments and medications. Using a 2 × 2 between-subjects factorial design, cigarette smokers (N = 80) smoked either a nicotine or a placebo (denicotinized) cigarette crossed with instructions that the cigarette would either enhance or impair cognitive and motor performance. As predicted, participants in the "told enhance" condition reported significantly greater beliefs that nicotine had beneficial effects on performance than those in the "told impair" condition. Compared to those "told impair," those "told enhance" reported more psychological reward, enjoyable physical sensations, and craving reduction from the cigarette, as well as greater motivation to perform well on a cognitive task. Relative to placebo cigarettes, nicotine cigarettes produced greater reports of satisfaction, craving reduction, and dizziness. Smoking a nicotine cigarette produced better performance on the Rapid Visual Information Processing Task, a test of sustained attention; but the expectancy manipulation had no effect. These data suggest that response expectancies can be experimentally manipulated and can influence perceived rewarding effects of cigarette smoking, but do not appear to affect cognitive performance. These findings add to our understanding of the benefits and limitations of expectancy manipulations, both experimentally and as a treatment technique. © 2012 American Psychological Association.


Inzana T.J.,Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University | Kaplan J.B.,American University of Washington
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Cell-free extracts isolated from colony biofilms of Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae serotype 5 were found to inhibit biofilm formation by Staphylococcus aureus, S. epidermidis and Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, but not by A. pleuropneumoniae serotype 5 itself, in a 96-well microtiter plate assay. Physical and chemical analyses indicated that the antibiofilm activity in the extract was due to high-molecular-weight polysaccharide. Extracts isolated from a mutant strain deficient in the production of serotype 5 capsular polysaccharide did not exhibit antibiofilm activity. A plasmid harboring the serotype 5 capsule genes restored the antibiofilm activity in the mutant extract. Purified serotype 5 capsular polysaccharide also exhibited antibiofilm activity against S. aureus. A. pleuropneumoniae wild-type extracts did not inhibit S. aureus growth, but did inhibit S. aureus intercellular adhesion and binding of S. aureus cells to stainless steel surfaces. Furthermore, polystyrene surfaces coated with A. pleuropneumoniae wild-type extracts, but not with capsule-mutant extracts, resisted S. aureus biofilm formation. Our findings suggest that the A. pleuropneumoniae serotype 5 capsule inhibits cell-to-cell and cell-to-surface interactions of other bacteria. A. pleuropneumoniae serotype 5 capsular polysaccharide is one of a growing number of bacterial polysaccharides that exhibit broad-spectrum, nonbiocidal antibiofilm activity. Future studies on these antibiofilm polysaccharides may uncover novel functions for bacterial polysaccharides in nature, and may lead to the development of new classes of antibiofilm agents for industrial and clinical applications. © 2013 Karwacki et al.


Stadler D.D.,University of Oregon | Musser E.D.,Florida International University | Holton K.F.,American University of Washington | Shannon J.,University of Oregon | Nigg J.T.,University of Oregon
Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology | Year: 2016

Early environmental influences are increasingly of interest in understanding ADHD as a neurodevelopmental condition, particularly in light of recognition that gene by environment interplay are likely involved in this condition. Breastfeeding duration predicts cognitive development, as well as development of brain white matter connectivity, in areas similar to those seen in ADHD. Prior studies show an association between breastfeeding and ADHD but without adequate evaluation of ADHD. A case control cohort of 474 children aged 7–13 years was examined, 291 with wellcharacterized ADHD (71.5 % male) and the rest typically developing controls (51.9 % male). Mothers retrospectively reported on breast feeding initiation and duration. Initiation of breastfeeding was not associated with child ADHD, but shorter duration of breastfeeding was associated with child ADHD with a medium effect size (d = 0.40, p < 0.05); this effect held after covarying a broad set of potential confounders, including child oppositional defiant and conduct problems and including maternal and paternal ADHD symptoms. Effects were replicated across both parent and teacher ratings of child ADHD symptoms. Shorter duration of breastfeeding is among several risk factors in early life associated with future ADHD, or else longer duration is protective. The direction of this effect is unknown, however. It may be that some children are more difficult to breastfeed or that breastfeeding provides nutrients or other benefits that reduce future chance of ADHD. © 2015, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


Freeman L.,Columbia University | Neckerman K.,Columbia University | Schwartz-Soicher O.,Columbia University | Quinn J.,Columbia University | And 8 more authors.
Journal of Urban Health | Year: 2013

Urban planners have suggested that built environment characteristics can support active travel (walking and cycling) and reduce sedentary behavior. This study assessed whether engagement in active travel is associated with neighborhood walkability measured for zip codes in New York City. Data were analyzed on engagement in active travel and the frequency of walking or biking ten blocks or more in the past month, from 8,064 respondents to the New York City 2003 Community Health Survey (CHS). A neighborhood walkability scale that measures: residential, intersection, and subway stop density; land use mix; and the ratio of retail building floor area to retail land area was calculated for each zip code. Data were analyzed using zero-inflated negative binomial regression incorporating survey sample weights and adjusting for respondents' sociodemographic characteristics. Overall, 44 % of respondents reported no episodes of active travel and among those who reported any episode, the mean number was 43.2 episodes per month. Comparing the 75th to the 25th percentile of zip code walkability, the odds ratio for reporting zero episodes of active travel was 0.71 (95 % CI 0.61, 0.83) and the exponentiated beta coefficient for the count of episodes of active travel was 1.13 (95 % CI 1.06, 1.21). Associations between lower walkability and reporting zero episodes of active travel were significantly stronger for non-Hispanic Whites as compared to non-Hispanic Blacks and to Hispanics and for those living in higher income zip codes. The results suggest that neighborhood walkability is associated with higher engagement in active travel. © 2012 The New York Academy of Medicine.


Palazzolo S.L.,American University of Washington | Yamanis T.J.,American University of Washington | De Jesus M.,American University of Washington | Maguire-Marshall M.,American University of Washington
LGBT Health | Year: 2016

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore the contextual factors that determine or mitigate vulnerability to HIV among Latina transgender women. Documentation status (legal authorization to live in the United States) has been cited by other studies as a barrier to recruitment or engagement in HIV-related care among immigrant Latinos, but not explored as a determinant of HIV risk for transgender immigrant Latinas. Methods: We collaborated with a community-based organization to explore these contextual, including social and structural, factors. In-depth interviews in Spanish captured life histories of eight 18- to 29-year-old transgender Latinas, who collectively self-identify as chicas trans. Codes were assigned deductively from the interview guide, and emerging themes were identified throughout data collection. Results: Most participants migrated to the United States from Central America after experiencing discrimination and violence in their countries of origin. Participants emphasized documentation status as a critical factor in three areas related to social and structural determinants of HIV risk: gender identity expression, access to services, and relationship power dynamics. Chicas trans who gained legal asylum reported greater control over sexual relationships, improved access to services, and less risky employment. Conclusions: Documentation status emerged as a key HIV risk factor for this population. For undocumented transgender Latinas, legal asylum appears to be a promising HIV-related protective factor. Further research could assess whether legal assistance combined with wraparound support services affects HIV prevention for this population. © Copyright 2016, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 2016.


Jones K.M.,American University of Washington | Queenan J.T.,Georgetown University
Breastfeeding Medicine | Year: 2015

This article's aim is to review the literature on racial and ethnic disparities in breastfeeding rates and practices, address barriers to breastfeeding among minority women, conduct a systematic review of breastfeeding interventions, and provide obstetrician-gynecologists with recommendations on how they can help increase rates among minority women. In order to do so, the literature of racial and ethnic disparities in breastfeeding rates and barriers among minority women was reviewed, and a systematic review of breastfeeding interventions among minority women on PubMed and MEDLINE was conducted. Racial and ethnic minority women continue to have lower breastfeeding rates than white women and are not close to meeting the Healthy People 2020 goals. Minority women report many barriers to breastfeeding. Major efforts are still needed to improve breastfeeding initiation and duration rates among minority women in the United States. Obstetrician-gynecologists have a unique opportunity to promote and support breastfeeding through their clinical practices and public policy, and their efforts can have a meaningful impact on the future health of the mother and child. © 2015, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.


Kaplan J.B.,American University of Washington | Johnson S.,Los Alamos National Laboratory
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy | Year: 2013

Kingella kingae is a human pathogen that causes pediatric osteoarticular infections and infective endocarditis in children and adults. The bacterium is usually susceptible to β-lactam antibiotics, although β-lactam resistance has been reported in rare isolates. This study was conducted to identify β-lactam-resistant strains and to characterize the resistance mechanism. Screening of a set of 90 K. kingae clinical isolates obtained from different geographic locations revealed high-level resistance to penicillins among 25% of the strains isolated from Minnesota and Iceland. These strains produced TEM-1 β-lactamase and were shown to contain additional≥50-kb plasmids. Ion Torrent sequencing of extrachromosomal DNA from a β-lactamase-producing strain confirmed the plasmid location of the bla TEM gene. An identical plasmid pattern was demonstrated by multiplex PCR in all β-lactamase producers. The porin gene's fragments were analyzed to investigate the relatedness of bacterial strains. Phylogenetic analysis revealed 27 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the por gene fragment, resulting in two major clusters with 11 allele types forming bacterial-strain subclusters. β-Lactamase producers were grouped together based on por genotyping. Our results suggest that the β-lactamase-producing strains likely originate from a single plasmid-bearing K. kingae isolate that traveled from Europe to the United States, or vice versa. This study highlights the prevalence of penicillin resistance among K. kingae strains in some regions and emphasizes the importance of surveillance for antibiotic resistance of the pathogen. Copyright © 2013, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


Null K.A.,University of California at Santa Cruz | Null K.A.,East Carolina University | Knee K.L.,University of California at Santa Cruz | Knee K.L.,American University of Washington | And 5 more authors.
Continental Shelf Research | Year: 2014

Submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) to the coastal environment along the eastern Yucatan Peninsula, Quintana Roo, Mexico was investigated using a combination of tracer mass balances and analytical solutions. Two distinct submarine groundwater sources including water from the unconfined surficial aquifer discharging at the beach face and water from a deeper aquifer discharging nearshore through submarine springs (ojos) were identified. The groundwater of nearshore ojos was saline and significantly enriched in short-lived radium isotopes (223Ra, 224Ra) relative to the unconfined aquifer beach face groundwater. We estimated SGD from ojos using 223Ra and used a salinity mass balance to estimate the freshwater discharge at the beach face. Analytical calculations were also used to estimate wave set-up and tidally driven saline seepage into the surf zone and were compared to the salinity-based freshwater discharge estimates. Results suggest that average SGD from ojos along the Yucatan Peninsula Caribbean coast is on the order of 308m3d-1m-1 and varies between sampling regions. Higher discharge was observed in the southern regions (568m3d-1m-1) compared to the north (48m3d-1m-1). Discharge at the beach face was in the range of 3.3-8.5m3d-1m-1 for freshwater and 2.7m3d-1m-1 for saline water based on the salinity mass balance and wave- and tidally-driven discharge, respectively. Although discharge from the ojos was larger in volume than discharge from the unconfined aquifer at the beach face, dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) was significantly higher in beach groundwater; thus, discharge of this unconfined beach aquifer groundwater contributed significantly to total DIN loading to the coast. DIN fluxes were up to 9.9mold-1m-1 from ojos and 2.1mold-1m-1 from beach discharge and varied regionally along the 500km coastline sampled. These results demonstrate the importance of considering the beach zone as a significant nutrient source to coastal waters for future management strategies regarding nutrient loading to reef environments and coastal development. This study also identifies the importance of understanding the connectivity of submarine spring discharge to the nearshore coastal environment and the impact of inland anthropogenic activities may have on coastal health. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


Karpel H.,American University of Washington | Silberberg A.,American University of Washington
Animal Cognition | Year: 2012

Rosati et al. (Curr Biol 17(19):1663-1668, 2007) found in a self-control test in which choice was between a smaller, immediately delivered food and a larger, delayed food, that chimpanzees preferred the larger reward (self-control); humans, however, preferred the smaller reward (impulsivity). They attributed their results to a species difference in self-control. In Experiment 1, monkeys (long-tailed macaques) were exposed to a self-control task in two conditions: where the food was hidden under differently colored bowls and where it was visible. When these two conditions were compared, choice shifted from greater preference for the impulsive alternative in the hidden condition to greater preference for the self-control alternative in the visible condition. Additionally, in both conditions, preference shifted from self-control to impulsivity over sessions. These results were explained in terms of the reversed-contingency effect (a propensity to reach for more over less when rewards are visible) and not to a capacity for self-control. In Experiment 2, humans that demonstrated preference for more over less in choice preferred the impulsive alternative when choice to either alternative was followed by the same intertrial interval-a preference that accelerates trial rates relative to preference of the self-control alternative. When trial rates were equated so that neither choice accelerated session's end, humans demonstrated self-control. These results suggest that Rosati et al.'s demonstration of impulsivity in humans was due to participants' desire to minimize session time. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.


Farrow V.A.,American University of Washington | Schulkin J.,American University of Washington
Obstetrical and Gynecological Survey | Year: 2011

Obstetricians-gynecologists (ob-gyns) are frequently confronted with situations that have ethical implications (e.g., whether to accept gifts or samples from drug companies or disclosing medical errors to patients). Additionally, various factors, including specific job-related tasks, costs, and benefits, may impact ob-gyns career satisfaction. Ethical concerns and career satisfaction can play a role in the quality of womens health care. This article summarizes the studies published between 2005 and 2009 by the Research Department of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which encompass ethical concerns regarding interactions with pharmaceutical representatives and patient safety/medical error reporting, as well as ob-gyn career satisfaction. Additionally, a brief discussion regarding ethical concerns in the ob-gyn field, in general, highlights key topics for the last 30 years. Ethical dilemmas continue to be of concern for ob-gyns. Familiarity with guidelines on appropriate interactions with industry is associated with lower percentages of potentially problematic relationships with pharmaceutical industries. Physicians report that the expense of patient safety initiatives is one of the top barriers for improving patient safety, followed by fear of liability. Overall, respondents reported being satisfied with their careers. However, half of the respondents reported that they were extremely concerned about the impact of professional liability costs on the duration of their careers. Increased familiarity with guidelines may lead to a decreased ob-gyn reliance on pharmaceutical representatives and free samples, whereas specific and practical tools may help them implement patient safety techniques. The easing of malpractice insurance and threat of litigation may enhance career satisfaction among ob-gyns. This article will discuss related findings in recent years. Target Audience: Obstetricians & Gynecologists and Family Physicians Learning Objectives: After the completing the CME activity, physicians should be better able to analyze how interactions with pharmaceutical industry may pose ethical dilemmas, examine current barriers to implementing patient safety initiatives, and evaluate the factors that influence career satisfaction among obstetrician-gynecologists. © 2011 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.


Mooney S.J.,Columbia University | DiMaggio C.J.,Columbia University | Lovasi G.S.,Columbia University | Neckerman K.M.,Columbia University | And 4 more authors.
American Journal of Public Health | Year: 2016

Objectives. To demonstrate an information technology-based approach to assess characteristics of streets and intersections associated with injuries that is less costly and time-consuming than location-based studies of pedestrian injury. Methods.Weusedimagery captured byGoogle StreetViewfrom2007 to 2011 to assess 9 characteristics of 532 intersections within New York City. We controlled for estimated pedestrian count and estimated the relation between intersections' characteristics and frequency of injurious collisions. Results. The count of pedestrian injuries at intersections was associated with the presence of marked crosswalks (80% increase; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 2%, 218%), pedestrian signals (156% increase; 95% CI = 69%, 259%), nearby billboards (42% increase; 95%CI =7%,90%), andbus stops (120%increase;95%CI = 51%,220%). Injury incidenceper pedestrian was lower at intersections with higher estimated pedestrian volumes. Conclusions. Consistent with in-person study observations, the information-technology approach found traffic islands, visual advertising, bus stops, and crosswalk infrastructures tobeassociatedwith elevatedcounts ofpedestrian injury in New York City. Virtual sitevisits for pedestrian injury control studies are a viable and informativemethodology.


Bartley K.,Gotham Center | Eisenhower D.,Gotham Center | Bader M.M.D.,American University of Washington | Neckerman K.M.,Columbia Population Research Center
American Journal of Preventive Medicine | Year: 2016

Introduction Urban form characteristics intended to support pedestrian activity, collectively referred to as neighborhood walkability, are thought to increase total physical activity. However, little is known about how neighborhood walkability influences utilization of neighborhood space by residents and their overall physical activity. Methods Sociodemographic information and data on mobility and physical activity over 1-week periods measured by GPS loggers and accelerometers were collected from 803 residents of New York City between November 2010 and November 2011. Potentially accessible neighborhood areas were defined as land area within a 1-kilometer distance of the subject's home (radial buffer) and within a 1-kilometer journey on the street network from the home (network buffer). To define actual areas utilized by subjects, a minimum convex polygon was plotted around GPS waypoints falling within 1 kilometer of the home. A neighborhood walkability scale was calculated for each neighborhood area. Data were analyzed in 2014. Results Total residential neighborhood space utilized by subjects was significantly associated with street intersection density and was significantly negatively associated with residential density and subway stop density within 1 kilometer of the home. Walkability scale scores were significantly higher within utilized as compared with non-utilized neighborhood areas. Neighborhood walkability in the utilized neighborhood area was positively associated with total weekly physical activity (32% [95% CI=17%, 49%] more minutes of moderate-equivalent physical activity across the interquartile range of walkability). Conclusion Neighborhood walkability is associated with neighborhood spaces utilized by residents and total weekly physical activity. © 2016 American Journal of Preventive Medicine.


Culver D.C.,American University of Washington | Trontelj P.,University of Ljubljana | Zagmajster M.,University of Ljubljana | Pipan T.,Karst Research Institute
Subterranean Biology | Year: 2013

A series of potential pitfalls (fallacies) in estimating subterranean biodiversity are outlined: (1) provincialism-treating different regions differently, especially with respect to new discoveries and undescribed species; (2) equality of described and undescribed species-ignoring the possibility that undescribed species are not really new species; (3) isotropy-assuming all cave regions of similar size have equally rich faunas; (4) scale invariance-ignoring the affect of area on species richness; and (5) misuse of expert opinion-the over-reliance on experts estimates often without comparable estimates for all areas. Some standard procedures are suggested for subterranean biodiversity studies, and the value of such studies is emphasized.


Jones K.M.,American University of Washington | Carter M.M.,American University of Washington
Journal of racial and ethnic health disparities | Year: 2015

OBJECTIVE: To assess whether OB/GYN race/ethnicity and OB/GYN practices with increasing minority patient populations predicted differences in OB/GYNs' knowledge, attitudes, and practice patterns relevant to racial/ethnic disparities in CVD. This study also sought to determine provider and patient-related barriers to CVD care.BACKGROUND: African American and Hispanic women are disproportionately affected by cardiovascular disease (CVD) and its many risk factors. Obstetrician-gynecologists (OB/GYNs) play an integral role in well-woman care and have a unique opportunity to provide CVD counseling and screening to these at-risk and underserved groups.METHOD: A questionnaire on CVD was mailed to 273 members of The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in March-July 2013.RESULTS: African American and Hispanic OB/GYNs and OB/GYN practices with increasing minority patient populations were more knowledgeable of CVD disparities. These OB/GYNs reported greater concern for minority women's CVD risk relative to White OB/GYNs. Overall, OB/GYNs appear less knowledgeable and concerned with Hispanics' increased CVD risk relative to African Americans'. The most commonly reported provider and patient-related barriers to CVD care were time constraints, patient nonadherence to treatment recommendations, and inadequate training.CONCLUSION: It is likely that minority OB/GYNs and those with practices with increasing minority patient populations have greater exposure to women at risk for CVD. Dissemination of educational information regarding Hispanic women's CVD risk profile may improve OB/GYN knowledge, counseling, and screening. Increased training in CVD and multicultural competency during medical school and residency should help OB/GYNs overcome what they report as primary barriers to CVD care.


Yesuf M.,American University of Washington | Kohlin G.,Gothenburg University | Ringler C.,International Food Policy Research Institute
Environmental and Resource Economics | Year: 2012

This paper presents an empirical analysis of the impact of climate change on agriculture in a typical developing country. The economic implications of climate change are estimated by using both a farm productivity and a Ricardian framework. Data are drawn from about 1,000 farms producing cereal crops in the Nile Basin of Ethiopia. The thin plate spline method of spatial interpolation was used to predict household specific rainfall and temperature values using meteorological station data collected for 30 years across the regions. We found that climate change adaptation has a significant impact on both farm productivity and farm net revenues. We complement the analysis by providing an estimation of the determinants of adaptation. Extension services (both formal and farmer to farmer), as well as access to credit and information on future climate changes are key drivers of adaptation. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.


Reed E.,George Washington University | Reed E.,Duke University | Reed E.,American University of Washington | Biradavolu M.,American University of Washington | Blankenship K.M.,American University of Washington
International Journal of STD and AIDS | Year: 2012

We examined the relation between high mobility/migration (sex work in three or more villages/towns within the past year) and HIV risk factors among a sample of female sex workers (FSWs) in Andhra Pradesh, India. We recruited FSWs aged ≥18 years (n = 673) through respondent-driven sampling for a survey on HIV risk. Adjusted logistic and linear regression models assessed high mobility in relation to sexual and physical victimization, sexually transmitted infection (STI) symptoms and treatment, condom use and negotiation, number and/or types of sex trades, number of clients and number of days worked. Twelve percent (n = 82) of FSWs were highly mobile; those with high mobility were more likely to report recent HIV risk factors: sexual violence (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 5.2; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 3.0-8.9), physical violence (AOR = 1.7; 95% CI: 1.1-2.7), unprotected sex for more money (AOR = 1.7; 95% CI: 1.1-3.0), at least one STI symptom (AOR 1/4 1.9; 95% CI: 1.1-3.1), a greater number of vaginal sex trades (β = 3.9, P = 0.003), a greater number of clients (β = 2.5, P = 0.02) and anal sex with clients (AOR = 2.4; 95% CI: 1.4-4.1). Findings from this study underscore the violence and HIV-related vulnerability faced by mobile/migrant FSWs and highlight the need to inform and tailor related prevention strategies.


Silverman G.K.,Carnegie Mellon University | Silverman G.K.,University of Pittsburgh | Loewenstein G.F.,Carnegie Mellon University | Anderson B.L.,American University of Washington | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Medical Ethics | Year: 2010

Context: Physicians are regularly confronted with research that is funded or presented by industry. Objective: To assess whether physicians discount for conflicts of interest when weighing evidence for prescribing a new drug. Design and setting Participants were presented with an abstract from a single clinical trial finding positive results for a fictitious new drug. Physicians were randomly assigned one version of a hypothetical scenario, which varied on conflict of interest: 'presenter conflict', 'researcher conflict' and 'no conflict'. Participants: 515 randomly selected Fellows in the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists' Collaborative Ambulatory Research Network; 253 surveys (49%) were returned. Main object measures: The self-reported likelihood that physicians would prescribe the new drug as a first-line therapy. Results: Physicians do not significantly discount for conflicts of interest in their self-reported likelihood of prescribing the new drug after reading the single abstract and scenario. However, when asked explicitly to compare conflict and no conflict, 69% report that they would discount for researcher conflict and 57% report that they would discount for presenter conflict. When asked to guess how favourable the results of this study were towards the new drug, compared with the other trials published so far, their perceptions were not significantly influenced by conflict of interest information. Conclusion: While physicians believe that they should discount the value of information from conflicted sources, they did not do so in the absence of a direct comparison between two studies. This brings into question the effectiveness of merely disclosing the funding sources of published studies.


Aikin K.J.,U.S. Food and Drug Administration | O'Donoghue A.C.,U.S. Food and Drug Administration | Swasy J.L.,American University of Washington | Sullivan H.W.,U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Medical Decision Making | Year: 2011

Background. Federal regulations specify that print advertisements for prescription drugs and biological products must provide a true statement of information "in brief summary" about each advertised product's "side effects, contraindications, and effectiveness." Some of the current approaches to fulfilling the brief summary requirement, although adequate from a regulatory perspective, result in ads that may be difficult to read and understand when used in consumer-directed promotion. Objective. To explore ways in which the brief summary might be improved. Design. The authors conducted an experimental study that examined 300 consumers' (mall visitors ever told that they were overweight) understanding of and preference for 4 different brief summary formats: traditional (a plain-language version of the risk sections from professional labeling), question and answer (Q&A; with headings framed in the form of questions), highlights (a summary section from revised professional labeling), and prescription drug facts box (similar to the current over-the-counter drug facts label). Results. The format had several effects. For instance, participants who viewed the drug facts format were better able to recall risks (P <.01) and reported greater confidence to perform the tasks (P <.01) than those who saw the traditional format. Differences in preference were noted; for example, the drug facts format was ranked highest, followed by the Q&A format, the traditional format, and finally the highlights format, P < 0.001. Conclusions. Taken together, these data suggest that the traditional method of conveying information in the brief summary is neither the most comprehensible nor the most preferred by consumers. These data provide policy makers and researchers with important information regarding the role of format in consumers' understanding of the brief summary.


Farrow V.A.,American University of Washington
Obstetrical and Gynecological Survey | Year: 2013

Whether practice differences exist between the sexes is a question of clinical and educational significance. The obstetrician-gynecologist (ob-gyn) workforce has been shifting to majority women. An examination of sex differences in ob-gyn practice contributes to the discussion about how the changing workforce may impact women's healthcare. We sought to review survey studies to assess whether there are specific topics in which differences in attitudes, opinions, and practice patterns between male and female ob-gyns are apparent. : We conducted a systematic review to identify all survey studies of ob-gyns from the years 2002-2012. A total of 93 studies were reviewed to identify statements of sex differences and categorized by conceptual theme. : Sex differences were identified in a number of areas. In general, women report more supportive attitudes toward abortion. A number of differences were identified with regard to workforce issues, such as women earning 23% less than their male counterparts as reported in 1 study and working an average of 4.1 fewer hours per week than men in another study. Men typically provide higher self-ratings than women in a number of areas. Other noted findings include men tending toward more pharmaceutical therapies and women making more referrals for medical conditions. : Although a number of areas of difference were identified, the impact of such differences is yet to be determined. Additional research may help to clarify the reasons for such differences and their potential impact on patients. TARGET AUDIENCE: Obstetricians and gynecologists, family physicians LEARNING OBJECTIVES: After completing this CME activity, physicians should be better able to determine how the relevance of studying sex differences among physicians, specifically ob-gyns, can help improve patient care, assess whether there are topical areas in which male and female ob-gyns have reported different beliefs, practices, attitudes, and opinions, and examine how the limitations of survey studies and systematic reviews can affect the findings of these studies and reviews. © 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.


Medaglia R.,Copenhagen Business School | Andersen K.N.,Copenhagen Business School | Scott M.,National University of Ireland | DeLone W.,American University of Washington
Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy | Year: 2012

Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationships between constructs of information system (IS) success in the public sector, as perceived by webmaster intermediaries, and investigate how user testing affects these relationships. Design/methodology/approach - Online surveys were conducted, using questionnaires, with webmasters in Denmark and Norway who participated in the public sector web award contests organized by the government (n = 1,237, n = 541; response rate 44 per cent). Findings - It was found that the frequency with which webmasters carry out user testing affects their perceptions of IS success, with those who conduct no user testing displaying the weakest associations among success variables. Findings also suggest that webmasters who do little or no user testing conveniently assume that citizen users are satisfied, while webmasters who are more knowledgeable of the user experience have a greater perception of levels of success. Practical implications - The fact that the majority of webmasters do not perform any type of user testing triggers a reflection on the need for such important intermediaries to enhance their feedback channels. User involvement in assessing IS success cannot be overlooked, especially considering that user empowerment in the design, implementation, and evaluation of information systems matches a window of opportunity originating in the ongoing growth of web interactivity. Originality/value - The paper is one of the few that investigates constructs of IS success in the public sector, and arguably the first one that focuses on the impacts of user testing on the relationships between constructs of IS success in a public setting. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.


Farrow V.A.,American University of Washington | Goldenberg R.L.,Columbia University | Fretts R.,Harvard University | Schulkin J.,American University of Washington
Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine | Year: 2013

Objective: To assess the psychological impact on US obstetricians when they care for women who have suffered a stillbirth and explore whether demographic (e.g. age, gender) and practice (e.g. number of patients, practice type) variables were related to the extent of psychological impact for obstetricians following stillbirth. Methods: Using a questionnaire that could be completed in about 20 min, we surveyed 1000 American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) members. Physicians were asked about how stillbirths have affected them personally. Results: Half of those surveyed responded (499) and of those 365 currently practiced obstetrics. Virtually all obstetricians have looked after women who have had a stillbirth. Grief was the most common reaction experienced with 53.7% reporting that they personally "very much" experienced grief. Other common and significant reactions were self-doubt (17.2%), depression (16.9%) and self-blame (16.4%). Significant psychological impact on the obstetrician was associated with older age, solo practice, higher volume practices and higher proportion of Medicaid patients; gender was not found to be associated with psychological impact when controlling for age. Further, greater self-reported performance and training regarding maternal and family counseling, management of stillbirth, and knowledge of stillbirth evaluation was associated with greater levels of grief. Conclusion: Physician grief is a common reaction among obstetricians after caring for a patient who has had a stillbirth. © 2013 Informa UK Ltd.


Golan A.,American University of Washington
Entropy | Year: 2012

In this paper we examine an Information-Theoretic method for solving noisy linear inverse estimation problems which encompasses under a single framework a whole class of estimation methods. Under this framework, the prior information about the unknown parameters (when such information exists), and constraints on the parameters can be incorporated in the statement of the problem. The method builds on the basics of the maximum entropy principle and consists of transforming the original problem into an estimation of a probability density on an appropriate space naturally associated with the statement of the problem. This estimation method is generic in the sense that it provides a framework for analyzing non-normal models, it is easy to implement and is suitable for all types of inverse problems such as small and or ill-conditioned, noisy data. First order approximation, large sample properties and convergence in distribution are developed as well. Analytical examples, statistics for model comparisons and evaluations, that are inherent to this method, are discussed and complemented with explicit examples. © 2012 by the authors.


Macdonald J.R.,Michigan State University | Frommer I.D.,United States Coast Guard Academy | Karaesmen I.Z.,American University of Washington
Operations Management Research | Year: 2013

The beer game has been used to emphasize, investigate, and analyze supply chain inefficiencies as well as the effect of decision makers' biases. This paper investigates the short- and long-run performance in the beer distribution game by analyzing Sterman's (Manag Sci 35(3): 321-339, 1989) model that simulates decision-making. In this model, the system may have chaotic behavior depending on the heuristics used by decision makers. We investigate how quickly the system reaches a steady state (if at all). It is known that ignoring supply line (outstanding orders) leads to the bullwhip effect in experimental research. Among other results, we show that the short-term performance of a supply chain is not a predictor of the long-term performance even when decision makers fully recognize outstanding orders. Results of the simulation and practical implications are discussed. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.


Price C.,RAND Corporation | Golden B.,University of Maryland University College | Harrington M.,University of Maryland, Baltimore | Konewko R.,Johns Hopkins Comprehensive Transplant Center | And 2 more authors.
Production and Operations Management | Year: 2011

When operating room schedules in hospitals are produced, the constraints and preferences of surgeons and hospital workers are a primary consideration. The downstream impact on post-operative bed availability is often ignored. This can lead to the boarding of patients overnight in the post-anesthesia care unit (PACU) because intensive care unit beds are unavailable. In this paper, we apply integer programming and simulation to develop improved surgical scheduling assignments. We want to balance new surgeries with hospital discharges in order to reduce the variability of occupied beds from one day to the next and, as a result, to reduce boarding in the PACU. © 2011 Production and Operations Management Society.


Friedman-Wheeler D.G.,Goucher College | Rizzo-Busack H.,Goucher College | Ahrens A.H.,American University of Washington | Haaga D.A.F.,American University of Washington
Addictive Behaviors | Year: 2010

Regulatory focus theory (RFT; Higgins, 1997) may help to address the issue of motivation in cigarette smoking cessation. RFT suggests that individuals may be motivated to approach desired end-states (e.g., improved lung capacity) and/or avoid undesired end-states (e.g., illness). These motivations are referred to as promotion focus, in which people attempt to achieve their aspirations, and prevention focus, in which people are motivated to live up to responsibilities. According to RFT, smoking-related messages framed to match an individual's regulatory focus should be more effective than those that do not match. The current study attempted to prime promotion and prevention focus in a sample of cigarette smokers, to determine if priming impacts memory for smoking-related narratives. We expected that participants in the promotion-focus condition would outperform those in the prevention-focus condition on recall of materials reflecting approach strategies, whereas those in the prevention-focus condition would score better on recall of vignettes depicting avoidance. This hypothesis was not supported. There was, however, a significant interaction between participants' recall of vignettes depicting smoking vs. abstaining and approach vs. avoidance strategies, such that participants recalled smoking vignettes better when the described-person's goal was smoking to avoid an undesired state and recalled abstaining vignettes better when the target's goal was to approach a desired state. Further research into how regulatory focus theory may apply to adult cigarette smokers is warranted. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Black M.,American University of Washington
ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings | Year: 2010

Computer science and engineering education in India is a growing industry, with numerous new engineering colleges founded in the last decade. Many graduates of these colleges pursue postgraduate studies and industry jobs in America. Consequently, the qualify of Indian engineering education directly affects American technical industry. While the computer engineering curricula in these Indian colleges is largely similar to that in the US. there are significant differences in the teaching approaches and emphasis. Faculty tend to be relatively inexperienced, with many not yet possessing a Masters degree, and rarely have autonomy over their courses. Syllabi and examinations are developed by an external Board of Study comprised of academicians and industrialists. This results in a rigid, examination-focused educational system that under-emphasizes student design projects, creativity, and classroom innovation. The authors of this paper instructed computer engineering at a teaching-focused engineering college in Gujarat. India. This institution was founded in the last decade and is typical of these new undergraduate engineering institutions. One of the authors is a computer science professor from American University who taught courses at this college under the Fulbright program. The other author is an assistant professor of that institute. This study contrasts Indian undergraduate computer engineering education in teaching-focused schools with the model prevalent in. American schools. The paper describes initiatives taken by the authors to introduce Gujarati students to more hands-on design projects. These initiatives include a short-term training program for computer engineering faculty members across Gujarat. This program introduced faculty to examples of design projects used in .American universities and resulted in a laboratory manual targeted for undergraduate engineering students in Gujarat. © American Society for Engineering Education, 2010.


Jack D.,Columbia University | Neckerman K.,University of Chicago | Schwartz-Soicher O.,Columbia University | Lovasi G.S.,Columbia University | And 7 more authors.
Public Health Nutrition | Year: 2013

Objective Recommendations for fruit and vegetable consumption are largely unmet. Lower socio-economic status (SES), neighbourhood poverty and poor access to retail outlets selling healthy foods are thought to predict lower consumption. The objective of the present study was to assess the interrelationships between these risk factors as predictors of fruit and vegetable consumption. Design Cross-sectional multilevel analyses of data on fruit and vegetable consumption, socio-demographic characteristics, neighbourhood poverty and access to healthy retail food outlets. Setting Survey data from the 2002 and 2004 New York City Community Health Survey, linked by residential zip code to neighbourhood data. Subjects Adult survey respondents (n 15 634). Results Overall 9·9 % of respondents reported eating ≥5 servings of fruits or vegetables in the day prior to the survey. The odds of eating ≥5 servings increased with higher income among women and with higher educational attainment among men and women. Compared with women having less than a high-school education, the OR was 1·12 (95 % CI 0·82, 1·55) for high-school graduates, 1·95 (95 % CI 1·43, 2·66) for those with some college education and 2·13 (95 % CI 1·56, 2·91) for college graduates. The association between education and fruit and vegetable consumption was significantly stronger for women living in lower- v. higher-poverty zip codes (P for interaction < 0·05). The density of healthy food outlets did not predict consumption of fruits or vegetables. Conclusions Higher SES is associated with higher consumption of produce, an association that, in women, is stronger for those residing in lower-poverty neighbourhoods. © 2013 The Authors.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: AHRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 4.16M | Year: 2012

Over the last decade, the creative industries have been revolutionised by the Internet and the digital economy. The UK, already punching above its weight in the global cultural market, stands at a pivotal moment where it is well placed to build a cultural, business and regulatory infrastructure in which first movers as significant as Google, Facebook, Amazon or iTunes may emerge and flourish, driving new jobs and industry. However, for some creators and rightsholders the transition from analogue to digital has been as problematic as it has been promising. Cultural heritage institutions are also struggling to capitalise upon new revenue streams that digitisation appears to offer, while maintaining their traditional roles. Policymakers are hampered by a lack of consensus across stakeholders and confused by partisan evidence lacking robust foundations. Research in conjunction with industry is needed to address these problems and provide support for legislators. CREATe will tackle this regulatory and business crisis, helping the UK creative industry and arts sectors survive, grow and become global innovation pioneers, with an ambitious programme of research delivered by an interdisciplinary team (law, business, economics, technology, psychology and cultural analysis) across 7 universities. CREATe aims to act as an honest broker, using open and transparent methods throughout to provide robust evidence for policymakers and legislators which can benefit all stakeholders. CREATe will do this by: - focussing on studying and collaborating with SMEs and individual creators as the incubators of innovation; - identifying good, bad and emergent business models: which business models can survive the transition to the digital?, which cannot?, and which new models can succeed and scale to drive growth and jobs in the creative economy, as well as supporting the public sector in times of recession?; - examining empirically how far copyright in its current form really does incentivise or reward creative work, especially at the SME/micro level, as well as how far innovation may come from open business models and the informal economy; - monitoring copyright reform initiatives in Europe, at WIPO and other international fora to assess how they impact on the UK and on our work; - using technology as a solution not a problem: by creating pioneering platforms and tools to aid creators and users, using open standards and released under open licences; - examining how to increase and derive revenues from the user contribution to the creative economy in an era of social media, mash-up, data mining and prosumers; - assessing the role of online intermediaries such as ISPs, social networks and mobile operators to see if they encourage or discourage the production and distribution of cultural goods, and what role they should play in enforcing copyright. Given the important governing role of these bodies should they be subject to regulation like public bodies, and if so, how?; - consider throughout this work how the public interest and human rights, such as freedom of expression, privacy, and access to knowledge for the socially or physically excluded, may be affected either positively or negatively by new business models and new ways to enforce copyright. To investigate these issues our work will be arranged into seven themes: SMEs and good, bad and emergent business models; Open business models; Regulation and enforcement; Creators and creative practice; Online intermediaries and physical and virtual platforms; User creation, behaviour and norms; and, Human rights and the public interest. Our deliverables across these themes will be drawn together to inform a Research Blueprint for the UK Creative Economy to be launched in October 2016.


PubMed | American University of Washington, San Diego State University, University of California and Fordham University
Type: | Journal: AIDS care | Year: 2016

The purpose of this study was to examine factors influencing the motivation for and perceived voluntariness of participation in non-intervention HIV research among female sex workers (FSW) in India. FSW (n=30) who participated in non-intervention HIV studies in the previous three years were recruited from a local community-based organization. Semi-structured qualitative interviews focused on womens personal and economic motivations for participation and their perceptions of the informed consent process. Interviews were audio-recorded, translated, transcribed, and reviewed for common themes. Content analysis indicated that while many women reported willing participation, reports of obligatory participation were also a common theme. Obligations included money-related pressures and coercion by other FSW, social pressures, not wanting to disappoint the researchers, and perceiving that they had a contractual agreement to complete participation as a result of signing the consent form. Findings suggest a need for additional efforts during and following informed consent to prevent obligatory participation in HIV research studies among FSW. Findings emphasize the importance of integrating ongoing participant feedback into research ethics practices to identify issues not well addressed via standard ethics protocols when conducting HIV research among vulnerable populations.


PubMed | American University of Washington, University of New England of Australia and Pennsylvania State University
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of psycholinguistic research | Year: 2016

Salience influences grammatical structure during production in a language-dependent manner because different languages afford different options to satisfy preferences. During production, speakers may always try to satisfy all syntactic encoding preferences (e.g., salient entities to be mentioned early, themes to be assigned the syntactic function of object) and adjust when this is not possible (e.g., a salient theme in English) or, alternatively, they may learn early on to associate particular conceptual configurations with particular syntactic frames (e.g., salient themes with passives). To see which of these alternatives is responsible for the production of passives when dealing with a salient theme, we looked at the second language effects of salience for English-speaking learners of Spanish, where the two preferences can be satisfied simultaneously by fronting the object (Prat-Sala and Branigan in J Mem Lang 42:168-182, 2000). In accordance with highly incremental models of language production, English speakers appear to quickly make use of the alternatives in the second language that allow observance of more processing preferences.


PubMed | American University of Washington, Fort Valley State University and Georgetown University
Type: | Journal: International Conference on Bioinformatics and Biomedical Engineering : [proceedings]. International Conference on Bioinformatics and Biomedical Engineering | Year: 2015

Suicidal attempts have a very significant effect on the society, and they also reflect on the efforts of the supporting health care and counseling facilities and the therapist involved. The impact of suicide is further magnified by the needs of persons who attempt suicide multiple times, requiring emergency health care and rehabilitation. Preventing such activities becomes a major task for the support providing agencies as soon as clients with such tendencies are identified. There are repetitive traits that can be observed during the therapeutic program among the high-risk group individuals, who are susceptible to this kind of activity and such traits indicate for a specific profile. The aim of the instrument is to prevent the occurrence of the repetitive suicidal attempts of the clients in Washington State, which has one of the highest suicide rates. This profile has been constructed on the various parameters recognized in the statistical analysis of the client pool in Washington State, who have been under treatment for their suicidal behavior. This predictor indicates the probability of clients who attempt suicides repetitively by matching the parameters of the profile with that of the client. Building a profile for the purpose of predicting behavior of this kind can strengthen the intervention strategies more comprehensively and reduce such incidents and health care requirements and expenses.


PubMed | Georgetown University, American University of Washington, Fort Valley State University and Ashirwad Hospital and Research Center
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Advances in infectious diseases | Year: 2014

Diarrhoea is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in developing countries in Africa and South Asia such as India. Prevalence of diarrheal diseases in those countries is higher than developed western world and largely has been associated with socio-economic and sanitary conditions. However, present available data has not been sufficiently evaluated to study the role of other factors like healthcare development, population density, sex and regional influence on diarrheal prevalence pattern. Study was performed to understand the relationship of diarrheal prevalence with specific measures namely; healthcare services development, demographics, population density, socio-economic conditions, sex, and regional prevalence patterns in India. Data from Annual national health reports and other epidemiological studies were included and statistically analyzed. Our results demonstrate significant correlation of the disease prevalence pattern with certain measures like healthcare centers, population growth rate, sex and region-specific morbidity. Available information on sanitation like water supply and toilet availability and socioeconomic conditions like poverty and literacy measures could only be associated as trends of significance. This study can be valuable for improvisation of appropriate strategies focused on important measures like healthcare resources, population growth and regional significances to evaluate prevalence patterns and management of the diarrhoea locally and globally.


PubMed | American University of Washington, University of Oregon, Yale University and Virginia Commonwealth University
Type: | Journal: Eating behaviors | Year: 2016

The aim of this study was to examine relations among missing and discrepant data on the Eating Disorders Examination Questionnaire (EDE-Q; Fairburn & Beglin, 1994) and individual demographic factors and eating disorder symptoms. Data from 3968 men and women collected in five independent studies were examined. Descriptive statistics were used to detect the quantity of missing and discrepant data, as well as independent samples t-tests and chi-square analyses to examine group differences between participants with and without missing or discrepant data. Results indicated significant differences in data completeness by participant race/ethnicity and severity of eating disorder symptoms. White participants were most likely to provide complete survey responses, and Asian American participants were least likely to provide complete survey responses. Participants with incomplete surveys reported greater eating disorder symptoms and behaviors compared with those with complete surveys. Similarly, those with discrepant responses to behavioral items reported greater eating disorder symptoms and behaviors compared with those with congruent responses. Practical implications and recommendations for reducing and addressing incomplete data on the EDE-Q are discussed.


PubMed | American University of Washington and Baylor College of Medicine
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Behavior modification | Year: 2016

This study aimed to concretize and pilot test comprehensive behavioral (ComB) treatment of trichotillomania (TTM), to facilitate rigorous testing of its efficacy. ComB provides a conceptualization to develop individualized treatment and choose interventions for managing distinct factors that maintain the individuals hair pulling. It has been used by clinicians for almost three decades, yet was not previously manualized or studied empirically. A manual was drafted and revised based on patient (N= 16) and therapist feedback, an intervention choice study demonstrated therapists reliably selected model-consistent interventions, and a therapist adherence measure was developed and tested. Uncontrolled preliminary data showed ComB to be highly acceptable, and it led to reduced TTM symptom severity and impairment, with large effects. Quality of life and disability also improved, with effects maintained at follow-up. This study resulted in the development of a manual and measures to be used in a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of ComB for TTM.


PubMed | Universitatsklinikum Hamburg Eppendorf and American University of Washington
Type: Journal Article | Journal: International journal of medical microbiology : IJMM | Year: 2016

Biofilm-associated Staphylococcus epidermidis implant infections are notoriously reluctant to antibiotic treatment. Here we studied the effect of sub-inhibitory concentrations of penicillin, oxacillin, vancomycin, daptomycin, linezolid and tigecycline on S. epidermidis 1585 biofilm formation, expression of extracellular matrix binding protein (Embp) and potential implications for S. epidermidis - macrophage interactions. Penicillin, vancomycin, daptomycin, and linezolid had no biofilm augmenting effect at any of the concentrations tested. In contrast, at sub-inhibitory concentrations tigecycline and oxacillin exhibited significant biofilm inducing activity. In S. epidermidis 1585, SarA is a negative regulator of giant 1 MDa Embp, and down regulation of sarA induces Embp-dependent assembly of a multi-layered biofilm architecture. Dot blot immune assays, confocal laser scanning microscopy, and qPCR showed that under biofilm inducing conditions, tigecycline augmented embp expression compared to the control grown without antibiotics. Conversely, expression of regulator sarA was suppressed, suggesting that tigecycline exerts its effects on embp expression through SarA. Tigecycline failed to induce biofilm formation in embp transposon mutant 1585-M135, proving that under these conditions Embp up-regulation is necessary for biofilm accumulation. As a functional consequence, tigecycline induced biofilm formation significantly impaired the up-take of S. epidermidis by mouse macrophage-like cell line J774A.1. Our data provide novel evidence for the molecular basis of antibiotic induced biofilm formation, a phenotype associated with inherently increased antimicrobial tolerance. While this could explain failure of antimicrobial therapies, persistence of S. epidermidis infections in the presence of sub-inhibitory antimicrobials is additionally propelled by biofilm-related impairment of macrophage-mediated pathogen eradication.


PubMed | Columbia Population Research Center, American University of Washington and Columbia University
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of maps | Year: 2016

Neighborhood physical disorder, or the deterioration of urban environments, is associated with negative mental and physical health outcomes. Eleven trained raters used CANVAS, a web-based system for conducting reliable virtual street audits, to collect data on nine indicators of physical disorder using Google Street View imagery of 532 block faces in New York City, New York, USA. We combined the block face indicator data into a disorder scale using item response theory; indicators ranged in severity from presence of litter, a weak indicator of disorder, to abandoned cars, a strong indicator. Using this scale, we estimated disorder at the center point of each sampled block. We then used ordinary kriging to interpolate estimates of disorder levels throughout the city. The resulting map condenses a complex estimation process into an interpretable visualization of the spatial distribution of physical disorder in New York City.


PubMed | University of Trento, Syracuse University, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Korea Institute of Science and Technology and 117 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Physical review letters | Year: 2014

We present the results of a search for gravitational waves associated with 223 -ray bursts (GRBs) detected by the InterPlanetary Network (IPN) in 2005-2010 during LIGOs fifth and sixth science runs and Virgos first, second, and third science runs. The IPN satellites provide accurate times of the bursts and sky localizations that vary significantly from degree scale to hundreds of square degrees. We search for both a well-modeled binary coalescence signal, the favored progenitor model for short GRBs, and for generic, unmodeled gravitational wave bursts. Both searches use the event time and sky localization to improve the gravitational wave search sensitivity as compared to corresponding all-time, all-sky searches. We find no evidence of a gravitational wave signal associated with any of the IPN GRBs in the sample, nor do we find evidence for a population of weak gravitational wave signals associated with the GRBs. For all IPN-detected GRBs, for which a sufficient duration of quality gravitational wave data are available, we place lower bounds on the distance to the source in accordance with an optimistic assumption of gravitational wave emission energy of 10(-2)Mc(2) at 150 Hz, and find a median of 13 Mpc. For the 27 short-hard GRBs we place 90% confidence exclusion distances to two source models: a binary neutron star coalescence, with a median distance of 12 Mpc, or the coalescence of a neutron star and black hole, with a median distance of 22 Mpc. Finally, we combine this search with previously published results to provide a population statement for GRB searches in first-generation LIGO and Virgo gravitational wave detectors and a resulting examination of prospects for the advanced gravitational wave detectors.


PubMed | American University of Washington, University of Oregon and Florida International University
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of abnormal child psychology | Year: 2016

Early environmental influences are increasingly of interest in understanding ADHD as a neurodevelopmental condition, particularly in light of recognition that gene by environment interplay are likely involved in this condition. Breastfeeding duration predicts cognitive development, as well as development of brain white matter connectivity, in areas similar to those seen in ADHD. Prior studies show an association between breastfeeding and ADHD but without adequate evaluation of ADHD. A case control cohort of 474 children aged 7-13 years was examined, 291 with well characterized ADHD (71.5 % male) and the rest typically developing controls (51.9 % male). Mothers retrospectively reported on breast feeding initiation and duration. Initiation of breastfeeding was not associated with child ADHD, but shorter duration of breastfeeding was associated with child ADHD with a medium effect size (d = 0.40, p < 0.05); this effect held after covarying a broad set of potential confounders, including child oppositional defiant and conduct problems and including maternal and paternal ADHD symptoms. Effects were replicated across both parent and teacher ratings of child ADHD symptoms. Shorter duration of breastfeeding is among several risk factors in early life associated with future ADHD, or else longer duration is protective. The direction of this effect is unknown, however. It may be that some children are more difficult to breastfeed or that breastfeeding provides nutrients or other benefits that reduce future chance of ADHD.


PubMed | American University of Washington and University of Oregon
Type: | Journal: Journal of attention disorders | Year: 2016

The objective of the study is to examine whether children aged 7 to 11 years with very well-characterized ADHD, recruited from the community, have a similar number of healthy lifestyle behaviors as compared with typically developing children from the same community.Parents of children with (n = 184) and without (n = 104) ADHD completed a lifestyle questionnaire asking about water intake, sweetened beverage consumption, multivitamin/supplement use, reading, screen time, physical activity, and sleep. A lifestyle index was formed from these seven domains (0-7), and multivariable ordered logistic regression was used to examine the association of ADHD status and total healthy lifestyle behaviors.Children with ADHD were almost twice as likely to have fewer healthy behaviors, even after adjustment for age, sex, intelligence quotient (IQ), ADHD medication use, household income, and four comorbid psychiatric disorders (odds ratio [OR] [95% confidence interval] = 1.95 [1.16, 3.30], p = .01).Future research is needed to assess the effects of a combined lifestyle intervention in this group.


PubMed | American University of Washington and The American College
Type: | Journal: Infectious diseases in obstetrics and gynecology | Year: 2016

Influenza and Tdap vaccines are vital factors for improving maternal and neonatal health outcomes.A prospective, longitudinal study was conducted to determine whether the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOGs) efforts to increase ob-gyn use of their immunization toolkits and vaccination administration were successful. Pre- and postintervention questionnaires were mailed to a random sample of 1,500 ACOG members between August 2012 and July 2015.Significantly more postintervention survey ob-gyns reported that they received the immunization toolkits than preintervention survey ob-gyns (84.5% versus 67.0%, p < .001). The large majority of ob-gyns from both surveys (76.9% versus 78.9%) reported that they offered or planned to offer influenza vaccinations to their patients for the 2012-2013 and 2014-2015 flu seasons. Postintervention survey respondents were significantly more likely than preintervention survey participants to report that they routinely offer Tdap vaccinations to all patients during pregnancy (76.8% versus 59.3%, p < .001).ACOGs efforts to improve ob-gyn use of immunization toolkits and vaccine administration appear to have been successful in several ways. ACOGs toolkits are an example of an effective intervention to overcome barriers to offering vaccines and help improve influenza and Tdap immunization coverage for pregnant women.


PubMed | American University of Washington and McMaster University
Type: | Journal: Endocrine connections | Year: 2017

The stress response has been linked to the expression of anxiety and depression, but the mechanisms for these connections are under continued consideration. The activation and expression of glucocorticoids and CRH are variable, and may hold important clues to individual experiences of mood disorders. This paper explores the interactions of glucocorticoids and CRH in the presentation of anxiety and depressive disorders in an effort to better describe their differing roles in each of these clinical presentations. In addition, it focuses on ways in which extra-hypothalamic glucocorticoids and CRH, often overlooked, may play important roles in the presentation of clinical disorders.


PubMed | University of Würzburg, American University of Washington, Molecular Neurobiology, Medicinal Chemistry and 2 more.
Type: | Journal: Molecular medicine (Cambridge, Mass.) | Year: 2016

The cadherin 13 (CDH13) gene encodes a cell adhesion molecule likely to influence development and connections of brain circuits that modulate addiction, locomotion and cognition, including those that involve midbrain dopamine neurons. Human CDH13 mRNA expression differs by more than 80% in postmortem cerebral cortical samples from individuals with different CDH13 genotypes, supporting examination of mice with altered Cdh13 expression as models for common human variation at this locus. Constitutive cdh13 knockout mice display evidence for changed cocaine reward: shifted dose response relationship in tests of cocaine-conditioned place preference using doses that do not alter cocaine conditioned taste aversion. Reduced adult Cdh13 expression in conditional knockouts also alters cocaine reward in ways that correlate with individual differences in cortical Cdh13 mRNA levels. In control and comparison behavioral assessments, knockout mice display modestly-quicker acquisition of rotarod and water maze tasks, with a trend toward faster acquisition of 5 choice serial reaction time tasks that otherwise displayed no genotype-related differences. They display significant differences in locomotion in some settings, with larger effects in males. In assessments of brain changes that might contribute to these behavioral differences, there are selective alterations of dopamine levels, dopamine/metabolite ratios, dopaminergic fiber densities and mRNA encoding the activity dependent transcription factor


PubMed | American University of Washington
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of racial and ethnic health disparities | Year: 2016

African American and Hispanic women are disproportionately affected by cardiovascular disease (CVD) and its many risk factors. Obstetrician-gynecologists (OB/GYNs) play an integral role in well-woman care and have a unique opportunity to provide CVD counseling and screening to these at-risk and underserved groups.To assess whether OB/GYN race/ethnicity and OB/GYN practices with increasing minority patient populations predicted differences in OB/GYNs knowledge, attitudes, and practice patterns relevant to racial/ethnic disparities in CVD. This study also sought to determine provider and patient-related barriers to CVD care.A questionnaire on CVD was mailed to 273 members of The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in March-July 2013.African American and Hispanic OB/GYNs and OB/GYN practices with increasing minority patient populations were more knowledgeable of CVD disparities. These OB/GYNs reported greater concern for minority womens CVD risk relative to White OB/GYNs. Overall, OB/GYNs appear less knowledgeable and concerned with Hispanics increased CVD risk relative to African Americans. The most commonly reported provider and patient-related barriers to CVD care were time constraints, patient nonadherence to treatment recommendations, and inadequate training.It is likely that minority OB/GYNs and those with practices with increasing minority patient populations have greater exposure to women at risk for CVD. Dissemination of educational information regarding Hispanic womens CVD risk profile may improve OB/GYN knowledge, counseling, and screening. Increased training in CVD and multicultural competency during medical school and residency should help OB/GYNs overcome what they report as primary barriers to CVD care.


PubMed | Indiana University and American University of Washington
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of perinatology : official journal of the California Perinatal Association | Year: 2015

Test the association between provider characteristics and antenatal interventions offered for periviable delivery.Six hundred surveys mailed to members of the Colleges Collaborative Ambulatory Research Network. Items queried physicians practices regarding administering steroids, recommending cesarean (for breech) and offering induction (for ruptured membranes) at 23 weeks.Three hundred and ten (52%) obstetricians (OBs) responded. Respondents reported institutional cutoffs of 23 weeks for resuscitation (34%) and 24 weeks for cesarean (35%), whereas personal preferences for cesarean were 25 weeks (44%). At 23 weeks, two-thirds ordered steroids, 43% recommended cesarean and 23% offered induction. In multivariable analyses, institutional cutoffs and providers personal preferences predicted steroid administration (odds ratio, OR=4.37; 95% confidence interval, CI=1.73 to 11.00; OR=0.30, 95% CI=0.13 to 0.70); institutional cutoffs and the impression that cesarean decreases neurodevelopmental disability predicted recommending cesarean (OR=3.09, 95% CI=1.13 to 8.44; OR=6.41, 95% CI=2.06 to 19.91). For offering induction, practice location and religious service attendance approached, but did not meet, statistical significance (P=0.06 and P=0.05).OBs willingness to intervene can impact periviable outcomes. These findings suggest that personal and institutional factors may influence obstetrical counseling and decision-making.


PubMed | University of Illinois at Chicago, Harvard University, New York University, Hang Seng Management College and 34 more.
Type: | Journal: Scientific data | Year: 2016

We present the data from a crowdsourced project seeking to replicate findings in independent laboratories before (rather than after) they are published. In this Pre-Publication Independent Replication (PPIR) initiative, 25 research groups attempted to replicate 10 moral judgment effects from a single laboratorys research pipeline of unpublished findings. The 10 effects were investigated using online/lab surveys containing psychological manipulations (vignettes) followed by questionnaires. Results revealed a mix of reliable, unreliable, and culturally moderated findings. Unlike any previous replication project, this dataset includes the data from not only the replications but also from the original studies, creating a unique corpus that researchers can use to better understand reproducibility and irreproducibility in science.


Lumsdaine R.L.,American University of Washington | Lumsdaine R.L.,National Bureau of Economic Research | Vermeer S.J.C.,World Trade Center
Demography | Year: 2015

This article considers the potential relationship between providing care for grandchildren and retirement, among women nearing retirement age. Using 47,444 person-wave observations from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), we find that the arrival of a new grandchild is associated with more than an 8 % increase in the retirement hazard despite little overall evidence of a care/retirement interaction. We document that although family characteristics seem to be the most important factors driving the care decision, they are also important determinants of retirement. In contrast, although financial incentives such as pensions and retiree health insurance have the largest influence on retirement, the opportunity cost associated with outside income seems to have little effect on whether a grandmother provides care. There is little evidence of substitution between caring for grandchildren versus providing care for elderly parents or engaging in volunteer activities; grandchild care is instead taken on as an additional responsibility. Our findings suggest that policies aimed at prolonging work life may need to consider grandchild care responsibilities as a countervailing factor, while those policies focused on grandchild care may also affect elderly labor force participation. © 2015, Population Association of America.


Simon K.S.,University of Maine, United States | Pipan T.,Karst Research Institute | Ohno T.,University of Maine, United States | Culver D.C.,American University of Washington
Fundamental and Applied Limnology | Year: 2010

The spatial and temporal patterns in concentration and character of dissolved organic matter (DOM) in karst basins in Slovenia and the United States were characterized. DOM in the shallow aquifer, or epikarst, waters was characterized by low, stable concentration and compounds of low aromaticity and humification. There was strong temporal coherence in DOM character, but not concentration, across locations within the epikarst. DOM in sinking streams, cave streams, and resurgence springs typically had higher DOM concentration and aromaticity. Fluorescence and parallel factor analysis of DOM revealed that humic or fulvic-like substances in soils, surface and cave streams, and springs were the dominant fluorophores. However, DOM extracted from soils was chemically different from that present in the stream and spring waters. Epikarst water contained humic-like and protein-like DOM, and had fluorescence characteristics indicative of microbial uptake and release of DOM in the epikarst. These data show that there are substantial basin-scale patterns in DOM concentration and character and that aquifer structure influences the spatial patterns of DOM in karst groundwater. © 2010 E. Schweizerbart'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, Stuttgart, Germany.


Joslyn C.,Pacific Northwest National Laboratory | Hogan E.,Pacific Northwest National Laboratory | Robinson M.,American University of Washington
CEUR Workshop Proceedings | Year: 2014

In this position paper we argue for the role that Topological Data Modeling (TDM) principles can play in providing a framework for sensor integration. While used successfully in standard (quantitative) sensors, we are developing this methodology in new directions to make it appropriate specifically for semantic information sources, including keyterms, ontology terms, and other general Boolean, categorical, ordinal, and partially-ordered data types. Given pairwise information source integration principles, TDM can measure overall consistency, and most importantly, reveal cyclic dependencies amongst data sources where conflicts might not be able to be identified. We illustrate the basics of the methodology in an extended use case/example, and discuss path forward.


Sawers L.,American University of Washington | Isaac A.G.,American University of Washington | Stillwaggon E.,Gettysburg College
Journal of the International AIDS Society | Year: 2011

Background: The concurrency hypothesis asserts that high prevalence of overlapping sexual partnerships explains extraordinarily high HIV levels in sub-Saharan Africa. Earlier simulation models show that the network effect of concurrency can increase HIV incidence, but those models do not account for the coital dilution effect (non-primary partnerships have lower coital frequency than primary partnerships). Methods. We modify the model of Eaton et al (AIDS and Behavior, September 2010) to incorporate coital dilution by assigning lower coital frequencies to non-primary partnerships. We parameterize coital dilution based on the empirical work of Morris et al (PLoS ONE, December 2010) and others. Following Eaton et al, we simulate the daily transmission of HIV over 250 years for 10 levels of concurrency. Results: At every level of concurrency, our focal coital-dilution simulation produces epidemic extinction. Our sensitivity analysis shows that this result is quite robust; even modestly lower coital frequencies in non-primary partnerships lead to epidemic extinction. Conclusions: In order to contribute usefully to the investigation of HIV prevalence, simulation models of concurrent partnering and HIV epidemics must incorporate realistic degrees of coital dilution. Doing so dramatically reduces the role that concurrency can play in accelerating the spread of HIV and suggests that concurrency cannot be an important driver of HIV epidemics in sub-Saharan Africa. Alternative explanations for HIV epidemics in sub-Saharan Africa are needed. © 2011 Sawers et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Stoodley C.J.,American University of Washington | Limperopoulos C.,Diagnostic Imaging and Radiology
Seminars in Fetal and Neonatal Medicine | Year: 2016

The increasing appreciation of the role of the cerebellum in motor and non-motor functions is crucial to understanding the outcomes of acquired cerebellar injury and developmental lesions in high-risk fetal and neonatal populations, children with cerebellar damage (e.g. posterior fossa tumors), and neurodevelopmental disorders (e.g. autism). We review available data regarding the relationship between the topography of cerebellar injury or abnormality and functional outcomes. We report emerging structure-function relationships with specific symptoms: cerebellar regions that interconnect with sensorimotor cortices are associated with motor impairments when damaged; disruption to posterolateral cerebellar regions that form circuits with association cortices impact long-term cognitive outcomes; and midline posterior vermal damage is associated with behavioral dysregulation and an autism-like phenotype. We also explore the impact of age and the potential role for critical periods on cerebellar structure and child function. These findings suggest that the cerebellum plays a critical role in motor, cognitive, and social-behavioral development, possibly via modulatory effects on the developing cerebral cortex. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.


Aspiras A.C.,American University of Washington | Smith F.W.,University of Connecticut | Angelini D.R.,American University of Washington
Developmental Biology | Year: 2011

Genitalia play an important role in the life histories of insects, as in other animals. These sexually dimorphic structures evolve rapidly and derive from multiple body segments. Despite the importance of insect genitalia, descriptions of their genetic patterning have been limited to fruit flies. In this study, we report the functions, interactions and regulation of appendage patterning genes (e.g. homothorax, dachshund, and Distal-less) in two insects: the milkweed bug Oncopeltus fasciatus, and the red flour beetle Tribolium castaneum. These species differ in the anatomical complexity of their genitalia. Females of T. castaneum have a terminal ovipositor ending in short styli, while O. fasciatus have a multi-jointed subterminal ovipositor. Male O. fasciatus have a genital capsule consisting of large gonocoxopodites and claspers; T. castaneum males have relatively simple genitalia. The requirement of appendage-patterning genes in males differed between the two species: No defects were observed in T. castaneum male genitalia, and while the male claspers of O. fasciatus were affected by depletion of appendage-patterning genes, the proximal gonocoxopodite was not, suggesting a non-appendicular origin for this structure. Only the styli of the T. castaneum ovipositor were affected by RNAi depletion of appendage-patterning genes (14 genes in all). The posterior Hox genes (abdominal-A and Abdominal-B) were required for proper genital development in O. fasciatus and regulated Distal-less and homothorax similarly in both sexes. Distal-less and dachshund were regulated differently in male and female O. fasciatus. Knockdown of the sex determination gene intersex produced a partial female-to-male transformation of abdominal and genital anatomy and also resulted in abrogation of female-specific regulation of these genes. These results provide developmental genetic support for specific anatomical hypotheses of serial homology. Importantly, these gene functions and interactions describe the developmental patterning of sexually dimorphic structures that have been critical to the diversification of these species-rich insect groups. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.


Ross K.C.,American University of Washington | Ross K.C.,University of California at San Francisco | Juliano L.M.,American University of Washington
Addictive Behaviors | Year: 2015

Introduction: This between subjects study explored the relationship between smoking availability and smoking motivation and is the first study to include three smoking availability time points. This allowed for an examination of an extended period of smoking unavailability, and a test of the linearity of the relationships between smoking availability and smoking motivation measures. Methods: Ninety 3-hour abstinent smokers (mean ~ 15 cigarettes per day) were randomly assigned to one of three availability manipulations while being exposed to smoking stimuli (i.e., pack of cigarettes): smoke in 20. min, smoke in 3. h, or smoke in 24. h. Participants completed pre- and post-manipulation measures of urge, positive affect and negative affect, and simple reaction time. Results: The belief that smoking would next be available in 24. h resulted in a significant decrease in positive affect and increase in negative affect relative to the 3. h and 20. min conditions. A Lack of Fit test suggested a linear relationship between smoking availability and affect. A quadratic model appeared to be a better fit for the relationship between smoking availability and simple reaction time with participants in the 24. h and 20. min conditions showing a greater slowing of reaction time relative to the 3. h condition. There were no effects of the manipulations on self-reported urge, but baseline ceiling effects were noted. Conclusions: Future investigations that manipulate three or more periods of time before smoking is available will help to better elucidate the nature of the relationship between smoking availability and smoking motivation. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


Chintakunta H.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign | Robinson M.,American University of Washington | Krim H.,North Carolina State University
ICASSP, IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing - Proceedings | Year: 2016

Topological Data Analysis (TDA) is a topic which has recently seen many applications. The goal of this special session is to highlight the bridge between signal processing, machine learning and techniques in topological data analysis. In this way, we hope to encourage more engineers to start exploring TDA and its applications. This paper briefly introduces the standard techniques used in this area, delineates the common theme connecting the works presented in this session, and concludes with a brief summary of each of the papers presented. © 2016 IEEE.


Benn P.,University of Connecticut Health Center | Chapman A.R.,University of Connecticut | Erickson K.,American University of Washington | Defrancesco M.S.,Womens Health Connecticut | And 5 more authors.
Prenatal Diagnosis | Year: 2014

Objective: The objective of this study is to assess the opinions of Fellows of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists on expanded carrier testing (molecular detection of >100 genetic diseases of variable severity) and noninvasive prenatal testing (NIPT). Methods: A survey conducted between March and August 2012, assessed current use of testing, provision of genetic counseling, types of disorders that should be identified, preferences for future use, ethical aspects, and views on regulatory oversight. Results: Expanded carrier testing was offered to all patients by 15% of the responders and 52.1% upon patient request. Most (67.3%) favored testing only for mutations of known significance. In this study, 79.1% supported the use of NIPT as a screen for Down syndrome for all women with 47.9% viewing NIPT as a complete substitution for invasive testing. Most supported expansion to other aneuploidies (97.5%) and severe early-onset Mendelian disorders (90.4%) but not for adult-onset disorders (29.8%) or nonmedical sex identification (15.7%). A majority (73.2%) believed that NIPT would increase pregnancy terminations for mild disease states. Respondents favored a role for professional societies in providing regulatory oversight. Conclusion: Rapid incorporation of new genetic technologies may be limited by the availability of genetic counseling, concerns regarding inclusion of clinically mild disorders, results of unknown significance, and costs. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Jelin A.C.,University of California at San Francisco | Kuppermann M.,University of California at San Francisco | Erickson K.,The American College | Erickson K.,American University of Washington | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine | Year: 2014

Objective: Although delayed umbilical cord clamping has been demonstrated to reduce the incidence of intraventricular hemorrhage and neonatal sepsis, and decrease the need for neonatal transfusions (without affecting cord pH, Apgar scores or the need for phototherapy), the extent to which this practice is being employed is unknown. We conducted a survey of US obstetricians to assess their attitudes and beliefs about cord clamping. Study design: Questionnaires were randomly mailed to members of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), and the Collaborative Ambulatory Research Network (CARN). The data were analyzed using Chi-square and Student t tests. Results: The response rates for the CARN and other ACOG members were 47% and 21%, respectively. Most (88%) responders reported their hospital had no umbilical cord clamping policy. The most frequent response for optimal timing of umbilical cord clamping, regardless of gestational age, was "don't know". Potential for neonatal red blood cell transfusion was the only concern cited as a reason for being somewhat or very inclined to delay umbilical cord clamping (51%). Delayed neonatal resuscitation (76%) was listed as a reason to clamp the cord immediately, despite the paucity of literature to support immediate cord clamping in this cohort. Conclusion: Despite substantial evidence supporting the practice of delayed cord clamping, few institutions have policies regarding this practice. Moreover, obstetricians' beliefs about the appropriate timing for umbilical cord clamping are not consistent with the evidence that demonstrates its beneficial impact on neonatal outcomes. © 2014 Informa UK Ltd.


Tanno T.,Bunkyo Gakuin University | Silberberg A.,American University of Washington | Sakagami T.,Keio University
Behavioural Processes | Year: 2015

The strengthening view of reinforcement attributes behavior change to changes in the response strength or the value of the reinforcer. In contrast, the shaping view explains behavior change as shaping different response units through differential reinforcement. In this paper, we evaluate how well these two views explain: (1) the response-rate difference between variable-ratio and variable-interval schedules that provide the same reinforcement rate; and (2) the phenomenon of matching in choice. The copyist model (Tanno and Silberberg, 2012) - a shaping-view account - can provided accurate predictions of these phenomena without a strengthening mechanism; however, the model has limitations. It cannot explain the relation between behavior change and stimulus control, reinforcer amount, and reinforcer quality. These relations seem easily explained by a strengthening view. Future work should be directed at a model which combine the strengths of these two types of accounts. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.


Cogan E.,Montclair State University | Cogan E.,University of Michigan | Parker S.,American University of Washington | Zellner D.A.,Montclair State University
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance | Year: 2013

Three studies investigated the effects of extreme context stimuli and categorizationon hedonic contrast by having subjects judge the attractiveness of faces. Experiment 1 demonstrated hedonic contrast in both directions by using 2 sets of stimuli presented in different orders. Preceding moderately unattractive faces with moderately attractive facesmade the unattractive faces more unattractive. When the order of presentation was reversed, the moderately attractive faces became more attractive. Experiment 2 found that this hedonic contrast was eliminated when the moderately attractive faces were replaced with extremely attractive faces. Experiment 3 showed that even with those 2 sets of extremely different stimuli, hedonic contrast occurred if subjects were instructed to think of both sets of stimuli as belonging to the same category. These findings, using hedonic judgments, parallel Sarris's (1967, 1968) finding with weights that when 2 sets of stimuli are toodifferent in the dimension being judged, no contrast occurs. They also lend support to his explanation for this result. When the 2 sets of stimuli are too different they are not seen as belonging to the same category. They are therefore not compared, and contrast does not occur. The authors propose that these principles might apply to contrast in all settings. © 2012 American Psychological Association.


Petter S.,University of Nebraska at Omaha | Delone W.,American University of Washington | McLean E.R.,Georgia State University
Journal of Management Information Systems | Year: 2013

In 1992, DeLone and McLean suggested that the dependent variable for information systems (IS) research is IS Success. Their research resulted in the widely cited DeLone and McLean (D&M) IS Success Model, in which System Quality, Information Quality, Use, User Satisfaction, Individual Impact, and Organizational Impact are distinct, but related dimensions of IS success. Since the original IS Success Model was published, research has developed a better understanding of IS success. Meanwhile, comprehensive and integrative research on the variables that influence IS success has been lacking. Therefore, we examine the literature on the independent variables that affect IS success. After examining over 600 articles, we focused our attention on integrating the findings of over 140 studies. In this research, we identify 43 specific variables posited to influence the different dimensions of IS success, and we organize these success factors into five categories based on the Leavitt Diamond of Organizational Change: task characteristics, user characteristics, social characteristics, project characteristics, and organizational characteristics. Next, we identify 15 success factors that have consistently been found to influence IS success: Enjoyment, Trust, User Expectations, Extrinsic Motivation, IT Infrastructure, Task Compatibility, Task Difficulty, Attitudes Toward Technology, Organizational Role, User Involvement, Relationship with Developers, Domain Expert Knowledge, Management Support, Management Processes, and Organizational Competence. Finally, we highlight gaps in our knowledge of success factors and propose a road map for future research. © 2013 M.E. Sharpe, Inc. All rights reserved.


Stillwaggon E.,Gettysburg College | Sawers L.,American University of Washington
Journal of the International AIDS Society | Year: 2015

Introduction: The extraordinarily high incidence of HIV in sub-Saharan Africa led to the search for cofactor infections that could explain the high rates of transmission in the region. Genital inflammation and lesions caused by sexually transmitted infections (STIs) were a probable mechanism, and numerous observational studies indicated several STI cofactors. Nine out of the ten randomized controlled trials (RCTs), however, failed to demonstrate that treating STIs could lower HIV incidence.We evaluate all 10 trials to determine if their design permits the conclusion, widely believed, that STI treatment is ineffective in reducing HIV incidence. Discussion: Examination of the trials reveals critical methodological problems sufficient to account for statistically insignificant outcomes in nine of the ten trials. Shortcomings of the trials include weak exposure contrast, confounding, non-differential misclassification, contamination and effect modification, all of which consistently bias the results toward the null. In any future STI-HIV trial, ethical considerations will again require weak exposure contrast. The complexity posed by HIV transmission in the genital microbial environment means that any future STI-HIV trial will face confounding, non-differential misclassification and effect modification. As a result, it is unlikely that additional trials would be able to answer the question of whether STI control reduces HIV incidence. Conclusions: Shortcomings in published RCTs render invalid the conclusion that treating STIs and other cofactor infections is ineffective in HIV prevention. Meta-analyses of observational studies conclude that STIs can raise HIV transmission efficiency two-to fourfold. Health policy is always implemented under uncertainty. Given the known benefits of STI control, the irreparable harm from not treating STIs and the likely decline in HIV incidence resulting from STI control, it is appropriate to expand STI control programmes and to use funds earmarked for HIV prevention to finance those programmes.


Supervie V.,University of California at Los Angeles | Halima Y.,Global Campaign for Microbicides | Halima Y.,American University of Washington | Blower S.,University of California at Los Angeles
AIDS | Year: 2010

Objectives: To quantify the potential impact of mass rape on HIV incidence in seven conflict-afflicted countries (CACs), with severe HIV epidemics, in sub-Saharan Africa. Design: Uncertainty analysis of a risk equation model. Methods: A mathematical model was used to evaluate the potential impact of mass rape on increasing HIV incidence in women and girls in Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, southern Sudan and Uganda. The model was parameterized with data from UNAIDS/WHO and the US Census Bureau's International Database. Incidence data from UNAIDS/WHO were used for calibration. Results: Mass rape could cause approximately five HIV infections per 100 000 females per year in the DRC, Sudan, Somalia and Sierra Leone, double the number in Burundi and Rwanda, and quadruple the number in Uganda. The number of females infected per year due to mass rape is likely to be relatively low in Somalia and Sierra Leone at 127 [median (interquartile range [IQR] 55-254)] and 156 [median (IQR 69-305)], respectively. Numbers could be high in the DRC and Uganda: 1120 [median (IQR 527-2360)] and 2172 [median (IQR 1031-4668)], respectively. In Burundi, Rwanda and Sudan, the numbers are likely to be intermediate. Under extreme conditions, 10 000 women and girls could be infected per year in the DRC and 20 000 women and girls could be infected per year in Uganda. Mass rape could increase annual incidence by approximately 7% [median (IQR 3-15)]. Conclusion: Interventions and treatment targeted to rape survivors during armed conflicts could reduce HIVincidence. Support should be provided both on the basis of human rights and public health. © 2010 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.


Stillwaggon E.,Gettysburg College | Sawers L.,American University of Washington | Rout J.,Churchs Auxiliary for Social Action CASA | Addiss D.,Task Force for Global Health | Fox L.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene | Year: 2016

Lymphatic filariasis afflicts 68 million people in 73 countries, including 17 million persons living with chronic lymphedema. The Global Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis aims to stop new infections and to provide care for persons already affected, but morbidity management programs have been initiated in only 24 endemic countries. We examine the economic costs and benefits of alleviating chronic lymphedema and its effects through a simple limb-care program. For Khurda District, Odisha State, India, we estimated lifetime medical costs and earnings losses due to chronic lymphedema and acute dermatolymphangioadenitis (ADLA) with and without a community-based limb-care program. The program would reduce economic costs of lymphedema and ADLA over 60 years by 55%. Savings of US$1,648 for each affected person in the workforce are equivalent to 1,258 days of labor. Per-person savings are more than 130 times the per-person cost of the program. Chronic lymphedema and ADLA impose a substantial physical and economic burden on the population in filariasis-endemic areas. Low-cost programs for lymphedema management based on limb washing and topical medication for infection are effective in reducing the number of ADLA episodes and stopping progression of disabling and disfiguring lymphedema. With reduced disability, people are able to work longer hours, more days per year, and in more strenuous, higher-paying jobs, resulting in an important economic benefit to themselves, their families, and their communities. Mitigating the severity of lymphedema and ADLA also reduces out-of-pocket medical expense. Copyright © 2016 by The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.


Kajari E.,University of Ulm | Harshman N.L.,University of Ulm | Harshman N.L.,American University of Washington | Rasel E.M.,Leibniz University of Hanover | And 4 more authors.
Applied Physics B: Lasers and Optics | Year: 2010

We show that in complete agreement with classical mechanics, the dynamics of any quantum mechanical wave packet in a linear gravitational potential involves the gravitational and the inertial mass only as their ratio. In contrast, the spatial modulation of the corresponding energy wave function is determined by the third root of the product of the two masses. Moreover, the discrete energy spectrum of a particle constrained in its motion by a linear gravitational potential and an infinitely steep wall depends on the inertial as well as the gravitational mass with different fractional powers. This feature might open a new avenue in quantum tests of the universality of free fall. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.


Forsythe M.,Montclair State University | Zellner D.,Montclair State University | Cogan E.,University of Michigan | Parker S.,American University of Washington
Perception | Year: 2014

Previous studies have shown that, when subjects view hedonically positive stimuli followed by stimuli of lesser hedonic value, their preference between the stimuli of lesser hedonic value decreases. This is hedonic condensation. In addition, its opposite, hedonic expansion, occurs when subjects view less hedonically positive stimuli followed by more hedonically positive stimuli. Experiment 1 showed both hedonic condensation and expansion in subjects who viewed pictures of unattractive and moderately attractive faces. Experiment 2 showed that, when subjects were instructed to view the stimuli as coming from two different groups, hedonic expansion but not hedonic condensation was eliminated. Experiment 3 showed that increasing the attractiveness difference between the attractive and unattractive faces eliminated all effects of context on subjects' attractiveness difference judgments. Experiment 4 showed that forcing subjects to categorize the extremely attractive and unattractive faces into the same group resulted in hedonic expansion among attractive faces but not condensation among the unattractive faces. These results suggest that, as hedonic contrast changes the hedonic values of stimuli, it also changes the attention paid to those stimuli, thereby altering the degree of preference between them. Manipulations that prevent a shift in hedonic value also block a shift in the magnitude of the preference judgments. © 2014 a pion publication.


Angelini D.R.,American University of Washington | Angelini D.R.,University of Connecticut | Smith F.W.,University of Connecticut | Aspiras A.C.,American University of Washington | And 2 more authors.
Genetics | Year: 2012

Specialized insect mouthparts, such as those of Drosophila, are derived from an ancestral mandibulate state, but little is known about the developmental genetics of mandibulate mouthparts. Here, we study the metamorphic patterning of mandibulate mouthparts of the beetle Tribolium castaneum, using RNA interference to deplete the expression of 13 genes involved in mouthpart patterning. These data were used to test three hypotheses related to mouthpart development and evolution. First, we tested the prediction that maxillary and labial palps are patterned using conserved components of the leg-patterning network. This hypothesis was strongly supported: depletion of Distal-less and dachshund led to distal and intermediate deletions of these structures while depletion of homothorax led to homeotic transformation of the proximal maxilla and labium, joint formation required the action of Notch signaling components and odd-skipped paralogs, and distal growth and patterning required epidermal growth factor (EGF) signaling. Additionally, depletion of abrupt or pdm/nubbin caused fusions of palp segments. Second, we tested hypotheses for how adult endites, the inner branches of the maxillary and labial appendages, are formed at metamorphosis. Our data reveal that Distal-less, Notch signaling components, and odd-skipped paralogs, but not dachshund, are required for metamorphosis of the maxillary endites. Endite development thus requires components of the limb proximal-distal axis patterning and joint segmentation networks. Finally, adult mandible development is considered in light of the gnathobasic hypothesis. Interestingly, while EGF activity is required for distal, but not proximal, patterning of other appendages, it is required for normal metamorphic growth of the mandibles. © 2012 by the Genetics Society of America.


Pipan T.,Karst Research Institute | Lopez H.,University of La Laguna | Lopez H.,Island Ecology and Evolution Research Group INNA CSIC | Oromi P.,University of La Laguna | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Natural History | Year: 2011

Within the soil matrix and underlying rock, cracks and fissures and other air-filled spaces between rocks, sometimes called the milieu souterrain superficiel (MSS), are present in a variety of geological contexts. We examined year-long hourly temperature profiles at sites in lava in the Canary Islands and limestone in Slovenia. All sites had species that show morphological adaptations usually associated with cave-dwelling organisms, including elongated appendages and reduced eyes and pigment. MSS sites were studied at depths between 10 and 70 cm and showed strong seasonality, and most had a discernible diurnal cycle as well. The most striking difference from surface habitats was that the temperature extremes were much less pronounced in MSS sites. Temperature variability was not correlated with troglobiotic species richness. The presence of species with similar morphologies to those found in caves indicates that selective pressures are similar in cave and shallow subterranean habitats. © 2010 Taylor & Francis.


Sawers L.,American University of Washington | Stillwaggon E.,Gettysburg College
Journal of the International AIDS Society | Year: 2010

The notion that concurrent sexual partnerships are especially common in sub-Saharan Africa and explain the region's high HIV prevalence is accepted by many as conventional wisdom. In this paper, we evaluate the quantitative and qualitative evidence offered by the principal proponents of the concurrency hypothesis and analyze the mathematical model they use to establish the plausibility of the hypothesis. We find that research seeking to establish a statistical correlation between concurrency and HIV prevalence either finds no correlation or has important limitations. Furthermore, in order to simulate rapid spread of HIV, mathematical models require unrealistic assumptions about frequency of sexual contact, gender symmetry, levels of concurrency, and per-act transmission rates. Moreover, quantitative evidence cited by proponents of the concurrency hypothesis is unconvincing since they exclude Demographic and Health Surveys and other data showing that concurrency in Africa is low, make broad statements about non-African concurrency based on very few surveys, report data incorrectly, report data from studies that have no information about concurrency as though they supported the hypothesis, report incomparable data and cite unpublished or unavailable studies. Qualitative evidence offered by proponents of the hypothesis is irrelevant since, among other reasons, there is no comparison of Africa with other regions. Promoters of the concurrency hypothesis have failed to establish that concurrency is unusually prevalent in Africa or that the kinds of concurrent partnerships found in Africa produce more rapid spread of HIV than other forms of sexual behaviour. Policy makers should turn attention to drivers of African HIV epidemics that are policy sensitive and for which there is substantial epidemiological evidence. © 2010 Sawers and Stillwaggon; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Nolan J.P.,American University of Washington | Gonzalez J.G.,Intellep LLC | Nunez R.C.,Robust Analysis Inc.
IEEE National Radar Conference - Proceedings | Year: 2010

The radar systems of the twenty-first century are being pushed to improve signal detection beyond current capabilities. Current systems perform poorly when the clutter departs from the Gaussian model and becomes heavy-tailed. We introduce stable filters as a general framework for signal processing in heavy-tailed scenarios. The performance gains attainable from these filters can provide significant improvements to digital systems in impulsive noise. Stable filters make use of advanced numerical optimizations to overcome the computational complexity that is common in non-linear approaches. Current performance results show superior performance of stable filters when compared with conventional linear approaches. © 2010 IEEE.


Petter S.,University of Nebraska at Omaha | Delone W.,American University of Washington | McLean E.R.,Georgia State University
Journal of the Association of Information Systems | Year: 2012

Since the introduction of information systems more than 60 years ago, organizations want to ensure that their systems are effective or "successful". Much has changed in the evaluation of information systems success during this period. The role of information systems in organizations has changed dramatically, as have the key stakeholders and the expected benefits of the investments in IS. During this period, IS research has evolved to keep pace with the changing expectations regarding the success of information systems, yet practice tends to lag behind. In this commentary, we discuss five eras of information systems evolution and explain how the perceptions and measures of successful information systems have changed across these eras. By looking at the past and present, we are able to comment on how our understanding of success has evolved over time in research and practice. We discuss the inadequacy of IS success evaluation in practice. Finally, we offer four themes as calls for future action related to the research of information systems success.


Boone R.,Claremont McKenna College | Covarrubias K.,Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies | Davis B.,Food and Agriculture Organization | Winters P.,American University of Washington
Agricultural Economics (United Kingdom) | Year: 2013

Cash transfer programs are increasingly utilized to combat poverty and hunger while building the human capital of future generations; however, they have been faulted by some for failing to build the productive capacity of current generations. This article analyzes the impact of the Malawi Social Cash Transfer Scheme on agricultural production. The results show strong increases in ownership of productive agricultural assets, in time devoted to household farms, and in food types consumed from own production, coupled with a sharp decrease in ganyu labor, which is often used as a coping mechanism once food stores have been depleted. These results are most likely achieved by helping farmers overcome credit and liquidity constraints. This research shows that cash transfer programs can help the capacity of extremely poor farm households to expand agriculture production even if the goal of the program is focusing on other dimensions of poverty. © 2013 International Association of Agricultural Economists.


Hu A.,National United University | Hu A.,American University of Washington | Maska M.M.,University of Silesia | Clark C.W.,National United University | Freericks J.K.,Georgetown University
Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics | Year: 2015

Ultracold mixtures of different atomic species have great promise for realizing novel many-body phenomena. In a binary mixture of fermions with a large mass difference and repulsive interspecies interactions, a disordered Mott-insulator phase can occur. This phase displays an incompressible total density, although the relative density remains compressible. We use strong-coupling and Monte Carlo calculations to show that this phase exists for a broad parameter region for ultracold gases confined in a harmonic trap on a three-dimensional optical lattice, for experimentally accessible values of the trap parameters. © 2015 American Physical Society.


Oshri A.,University of Rochester | Tubman J.G.,American University of Washington | Morgan-Lopez A.A.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Morgan-Lopez A.A.,Rti International | And 3 more authors.
American Journal on Addictions | Year: 2013

Objective This study evaluated relations between sexual sensation seeking, co-occurring sex and alcohol use, and sexual risk behaviors (eg, unprotected intercourse and multiple sex partners) among adolescents receiving treatment for substance abuse problems. Method The ethnically diverse sample included 394 adolescents recruited from outpatient treatment (280 males; Mage = 16.33 years, SDage = 1.15). Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to test direct and indirect paths between sexual sensation seeking and sexual risk behaviors via the frequency of co-occurring sex and alcohol use. Conditional indirect effects by gender were also tested. Results Analyses identified significant effects of sexual sensation seeking on co-occurring sex and alcohol use and sexual risk behaviors. The path from co-occurring sex and alcohol use to unprotected intercourse was significantly stronger among adolescent girls, suggesting a mediation effect moderated by gender. No gender difference was found for the indirect path from sexual sensation seeking and number of past year sexual partners via co-occurring sex and alcohol use. Conclusions Selected prevention efforts are needed to promote HIV risk reduction among adolescents in substance abuse treatment. The documented conditional indirect effect for unprotected intercourse suggests that HIV prevention programs should pay special attention to gender-specific patterns of alcohol use and sexual risk behavior when tailoring program content. © American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SSH.2011.4.3-1 | Award Amount: 3.23M | Year: 2012

In an era of global flux, emerging powers and growing interconnectedness, transatlantic relations appear to have lost their bearings. As the international system fragments into different constellations of state and non-state powers across different policy domains, the US and the EU can no longer claim exclusive leadership in global governance. Not only the ability, but also the willingness of the US and the EU to exercise leadership together can no longer be taken for granted. Political, economic, and social elites on both shores of the Atlantic express different views on whether the US and the EU should be bound together, freelance, or seek alternative partnerships in a confusing multipolar world. Traditional paradigms to understand the transatlantic relationship are thus wanting. A new approach is needed to pinpoint the direction transatlantic relations are taking. TRANSWORLD provides such an approach. By combining an inter-disciplinary analysis of transatlantic relations, including desk research, in-depth interviews, an elite survey and a sophisticated Delphi exercise to elaborate solid policy proposals, TRANSWORLD would: a) ascertain, differentiating among four policy domains (economic, security, environment, and human rights/democracy), whether transatlantic relations are drifting apart, adapting along an ad hoc cooperation-based pattern, or evolving into a different but resilient special partnership; b) assess the role of a re-defined transatlantic relationship in the global governance architecture; c) provide tested policy recommendations on how the US and the EU could best cooperate to enhance the viability, effectiveness, and accountability of governance structures. In so doing, TRANSWORLD, which features a thirteen-partner transatlantic consortium of attested academic, policy, dissemination and management excellence, would contribute to an inter-disciplinary transatlantic research area, with in-built connections to policy-making.


Zellner D.A.,Montclair State University | Jones K.,Montclair State University | Morino J.,Montclair State University | Cogan E.S.,Montclair State University | And 2 more authors.
Attention, Perception, and Psychophysics | Year: 2010

Viewing hedonically negative paintings increased the hedonic ratings of subsequently viewed test paintings (positive hedonic contrast; Experiment 1) and also increased the degree of preference between the test paintings (Experiments 2 and 3). This result differs from the reduction in hedonic preference (hedonic condensation) that accompanies negative hedonic contrast. It also differs from the reduction in perceived differences that usually accompanies expansion of stimulus range and that is predicted by numerous theories. © 2010 The Psychonomic Society, Inc.


PubMed | American University of Washington, Fort Valley State University, Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare and Manav Rachna International University
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Advances in aging research | Year: 2016

Growth of older population in United States (US) raises concerns for evaluation of health indices that could sustain their workability. This study aimed to characterize the association of health practices used by older working population and measures of quality and duration of their work. Forty (40) non-treatment seeking healthy working individuals residing within United States within 22 - 75 years of age were included in this study. Data were collected from the Customized Employee Biographical Questionnaire (EBQ) and Occupational Health Surveillance Questionnaire (OHRQ) by age groups as 22 - 31, 32 - 41, 42 - 51, 52 - 61 and 62+ and statistically analyzed. Length of working (LOW) showed close association with the duration of physical exercise (DPE) at adjusted R


PubMed | American University of Washington, Neumann University and University of Connecticut
Type: | Journal: Journal of athletic training | Year: 2015

In its best-practices recommendation, the Inter-Association Task Force for Preventing Sudden Death in Secondary School Athletics Programs urged all high schools to have a certified athletic trainer (AT) on staff. Despite the recommendation, many high schools lack the medical services of an AT. To examine the barriers that athletic directors (ADs) face in hiring ATs in public high schools and in providing medical coverage for their student-athletes. Qualitative study. Semistructured telephone interviews. Twenty full-time public high school ADs (17 men, 3 women) from various geographical regions of the United States (6 North, 4 South, 4 Midwest, 6 West) participated. Data saturation guided the total number of participants. We completed telephone interviews guided by a semistructured questionnaire with all participants. Interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim. Multiple-analyst triangulation and peer review were included as steps to establish data credibility. We analyzed the data using the principles of the general inductive approach. We identified 3 themes. Lack of power represented the inability of an AD to hire an AT, which was perceived to be a responsibility of the superintendent and school board. Budget concerns pertained to the funding allocated to specific resources within a school, which often did not include an AT. Nonbudget concerns represented rural locations without clinics or hospitals nearby; misconceptions about the role of an AT, which led to the belief that first-aid-trained coaches are appropriate medical providers; and community support from local clinics, hospitals, and volunteers. Many ADs would prefer to employ ATs in their schools; however, they perceive that they are bound by the hiring and budgeting decisions of superintendents and school boards. Public school systems are experiencing the consequences of national budget cuts and often do not have the freedom to hire ATs when other school staff are being laid off.


PubMed | American University of Washington, Temple University and University of Connecticut
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of athletic training | Year: 2015

In its best-practices recommendation, the Inter-Association Task Force for Preventing Sudden Death in Secondary School Athletics Programs urged all high schools to have a certified athletic trainer (AT) on staff. Despite the recommendation, many high schools lack the medical services of an AT.To examine the barriers that athletic directors (ADs) face in hiring ATs in public high schools and in providing medical coverage for their student-athletes.Qualitative study.Semistructured telephone interviews.Twenty full-time public high school ADs (17 men, 3 women) from various geographical regions of the United States (6 North, 4 South, 4 Midwest, 6 West) participated. Data saturation guided the total number of participants.We completed telephone interviews guided by a semistructured questionnaire with all participants. Interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim. Multiple-analyst triangulation and peer review were included as steps to establish data credibility. We analyzed the data using the principles of the general inductive approach.We identified 3 themes. Lack of power represented the inability of an AD to hire an AT, which was perceived to be a responsibility of the superintendent and school board. Budget concerns pertained to the funding allocated to specific resources within a school, which often did not include an AT. Nonbudget concerns represented rural locations without clinics or hospitals nearby; misconceptions about the role of an AT, which led to the belief that first-aid-trained coaches are appropriate medical providers; and community support from local clinics, hospitals, and volunteers.Many ADs would prefer to employ ATs in their schools; however, they perceive that they are bound by the hiring and budgeting decisions of superintendents and school boards. Public school systems are experiencing the consequences of national budget cuts and often do not have the freedom to hire ATs when other school staff are being laid off.


PubMed | American University of Washington, Bunkyo Gakuin University and Keio University
Type: | Journal: Behavioural processes | Year: 2015

The strengthening view of reinforcement attributes behavior change to changes in the response strength or the value of the reinforcer. In contrast, the shaping view explains behavior change as shaping different response units through differential reinforcement. In this paper, we evaluate how well these two views explain: (1) the response-rate difference between variable-ratio and variable-interval schedules that provide the same reinforcement rate; and (2) the phenomenon of matching in choice. The copyist model (Tanno and Silberberg, 2012) - a shaping-view account - can provided accurate predictions of these phenomena without a strengthening mechanism; however, the model has limitations. It cannot explain the relation between behavior change and stimulus control, reinforcer amount, and reinforcer quality. These relations seem easily explained by a strengthening view. Future work should be directed at a model which combine the strengths of these two types of accounts.


PubMed | American University of Washington and Diagnostic Imaging and Radiology
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Seminars in fetal & neonatal medicine | Year: 2016

The increasing appreciation of the role of the cerebellum in motor and non-motor functions is crucial to understanding the outcomes of acquired cerebellar injury and developmental lesions in high-risk fetal and neonatal populations, children with cerebellar damage (e.g. posterior fossa tumors), and neurodevelopmental disorders (e.g. autism). We review available data regarding the relationship between the topography of cerebellar injury or abnormality and functional outcomes. We report emerging structure-function relationships with specific symptoms: cerebellar regions that interconnect with sensorimotor cortices are associated with motor impairments when damaged; disruption to posterolateral cerebellar regions that form circuits with association cortices impact long-term cognitive outcomes; and midline posterior vermal damage is associated with behavioral dysregulation and an autism-like phenotype. We also explore the impact of age and the potential role for critical periods on cerebellar structure and child function. These findings suggest that the cerebellum plays a critical role in motor, cognitive, and social-behavioral development, possibly via modulatory effects on the developing cerebral cortex.


PubMed | American University of Washington and Gettysburg College
Type: | Journal: Journal of the International AIDS Society | Year: 2015

The extraordinarily high incidence of HIV in sub-Saharan Africa led to the search for cofactor infections that could explain the high rates of transmission in the region. Genital inflammation and lesions caused by sexually transmitted infections (STIs) were a probable mechanism, and numerous observational studies indicated several STI cofactors. Nine out of the ten randomized controlled trials (RCTs), however, failed to demonstrate that treating STIs could lower HIV incidence. We evaluate all 10 trials to determine if their design permits the conclusion, widely believed, that STI treatment is ineffective in reducing HIV incidence.Examination of the trials reveals critical methodological problems sufficient to account for statistically insignificant outcomes in nine of the ten trials. Shortcomings of the trials include weak exposure contrast, confounding, non-differential misclassification, contamination and effect modification, all of which consistently bias the results toward the null. In any future STI-HIV trial, ethical considerations will again require weak exposure contrast. The complexity posed by HIV transmission in the genital microbial environment means that any future STI-HIV trial will face confounding, non-differential misclassification and effect modification. As a result, it is unlikely that additional trials would be able to answer the question of whether STI control reduces HIV incidence.Shortcomings in published RCTs render invalid the conclusion that treating STIs and other cofactor infections is ineffective in HIV prevention. Meta-analyses of observational studies conclude that STIs can raise HIV transmission efficiency two- to fourfold. Health policy is always implemented under uncertainty. Given the known benefits of STI control, the irreparable harm from not treating STIs and the likely decline in HIV incidence resulting from STI control, it is appropriate to expand STI control programmes and to use funds earmarked for HIV prevention to finance those programmes.


PubMed | University of Pennsylvania, Rti International, American University of Washington, The World Bank and 6 more.
Type: Review | Journal: Lancet (London, England) | Year: 2016

Early childhood development programmes vary in coordination and quality, with inadequate and inequitable access, especially for children younger than 3 years. New estimates, based on proxy measures of stunting and poverty, indicate that 250 million children (43%) younger than 5 years in low-income and middle-income countries are at risk of not reaching their developmental potential. There is therefore an urgent need to increase multisectoral coverage of quality programming that incorporates health, nutrition, security and safety, responsive caregiving, and early learning. Equitable early childhood policies and programmes are crucial for meeting Sustainable Development Goals, and for children to develop the intellectual skills, creativity, and wellbeing required to become healthy and productive adults. In this paper, the first in a three part Series on early childhood development, we examine recent scientific progress and global commitments to early childhood development. Research, programmes, and policies have advanced substantially since 2000, with new neuroscientific evidence linking early adversity and nurturing care with brain development and function throughout the life course.


Ramos Olazagasti M.A.,New York University | Klein R.G.,New York University | Belsky E.R.,Columbia University | Hutchison J.A.,American University of Washington | And 2 more authors.
Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry | Year: 2013

Objective: To test whether children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), free of conduct disorder (CD) in childhood (mean = 8 years), have elevated risk-taking, accidents, and medical illnesses in adulthood (mean = 41 years); whether development of CD influences risk-taking during adulthood; and whether exposure to psychostimulants in childhood predicts cardiovascular disease. We hypothesized positive relationships between childhood ADHD and risky driving (in the past 5 years), risky sex (in the past year), and between risk-taking and medical conditions in adulthood; and that development of CD/antisocial personality (APD) would account for the link between ADHD and risk-taking. We report causes of death. Method: Prospective 33-year follow-up of 135 boys of white ethnicity with ADHD in childhood and without CD (probands), and 136 matched male comparison subjects without ADHD (comparison subjects; mean = 41 years), blindly interviewed by clinicians. Results: In adulthood, probands had relatively more risky driving, sexually transmitted disease, head injury, and emergency department admissions (p<.05-.01). Groups did not differ on other medical outcomes. Lifetime risk-taking was associated with negative health outcomes (p =.01-.001). Development of CD/APD accounted for the relationship between ADHD and risk-taking. Probands without CD/APD did not differ from comparison subjects in lifetime risky behaviors. Psychostimulant treatment did not predict cardiac illness (p =.55). Probands had more deaths not related to specific medical conditions (p =.01). Conclusions: Overall, among children with ADHD, it is those who develop CD/APD who have elevated risky behaviors as adults. Over their lifetime, those who did not develop CD/APD did not differ from comparison subjects in risk-taking behaviors. Findings also provide support for long-term safety of early psychostimulant treatment. © 2013 American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.


Golub A.,American University of Washington | Golub A.,Academy of Public Administration | Narita D.,Kiel Institute for The World Economy | Schmidt M.G.W.,Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research
Environmental Modeling and Assessment | Year: 2014

Uncertainty plays a key role in the economics of climate change, and research on this topic has led to a substantial body of literature. However, the discussion on the policy implications of uncertainty is still far from being settled, partly because the uncertainty of climate change comes from a variety of sources and takes diverse forms. To reflect the multifaceted nature of climate change uncertainty better, an increasing number of analytical approaches have been used in the studies of integrated assessment models of climate change. The employed approaches could be seen as complements rather than as substitutes, each of which possesses distinctive strength for addressing a particular type of problems. We review these approaches-specifically, the non-recursive stochastic programming, the real option analysis, and the stochastic dynamic programming-their corresponding literatures and their respective policy implications. We also identify the current research gaps associated with the need for further developments of new analytical approaches. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.


Heasly B.S.,University of Pennsylvania | Cottaris N.P.,University of Pennsylvania | Lichtman D.P.,University of Pennsylvania | Xiao B.,American University of Washington | Brainard D.H.,University of Pennsylvania
Journal of Vision | Year: 2014

RenderToolbox3 provides MATLAB utilities and prescribes a workflow that should be useful to researchers who want to employ graphics in the study of vision and perhaps in other endeavors as well. In particular, RenderToolbox3 facilitates rendering scene families in which various scene attributes and renderer behaviors are manipulated parametrically, enables spectral specification of object reflectance and illuminant spectra, enables the use of physically based material specifications, helps validate renderer output, and converts renderer output to physical units of radiance. This paper describes the design and functionality of the toolbox and discusses several examples that demonstrate its use. We have designed RenderToolbox3 to be portable across computer hardware and operating systems and to be free and open source (except for MATLAB itself). RenderToolbox3 is available at https://github.com/DavidBrainard/ RenderToolbox3. © 2014 ARVO.


Decicco-Skinner K.L.,American University of Washington | Trovato E.L.,American University of Washington | Trovato E.L.,U.S. National Cancer Institute | Simmons J.K.,U.S. National Cancer Institute | And 2 more authors.
Oncogene | Year: 2011

Tumor progression locus 2 (Tpl2) is a serine/threonine kinase in the mitogen-activated protein kinase signal transduction cascade known to regulate inflammatory pathways. Previously identified as an oncogene, its mutation or overexpression is reported in a variety of human cancers. To address its role in skin carcinogenesis, Tpl2-/- or wild-type (WT) C57BL/6 mice were subjected to a two-stage dimethylbenzanthracene/12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13- acetate (TPA) mouse skin carcinogenesis model. Tpl2-/- mice developed a significantly higher incidence of tumors (80%) than WT mice (17%), as well as a reduced tumor latency and a significantly higher number of total tumors (113 vs 6). Moreover, Tpl2-/- mice treated with TPA experienced significantly higher nuclear factor kappaB (NF-B) activation, edema, infiltrating neutrophils and production of proinflammatory cytokines than did WT mice. We investigated the role of the p38, JNK, MEK and NF-B signaling pathways both in vitro and in vivo in WT and Tpl2-/- mice by using inhibitors for each of these pathways. We confirmed that the proinflammatory effect in Tpl2-/- mice was due to heightened activity of the NF-B pathway. These studies indicate that Tpl2 may serve more as a tumor suppressor than as an oncogene in chemically induced skin carcinogenesis, with its absence contributing to both tumorigenesis and inflammation. © 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.


Block L.G.,Bernard M Baruch College, CUNY | Grier S.A.,American University of Washington | Childers T.L.,Iowa State University | Davis B.,Baylor University | And 9 more authors.
Journal of Public Policy and Marketing | Year: 2011

The authors propose a restructuring of the "food as health" paradigm to "food as well-being." This requires shifting from an emphasis on restraint and restrictions to a more positive, holistic understanding of the role of food in overall well-being. The authors propose the concept of food wellbeing (FWB), defined as a positive psychological, physical, emotional, and social relationship with food at both individual and societal levels. The authors define and explain the five primary domains of FWB: food socialization, food literacy, food marketing, food availability, and food policy. The FWB framework employs a richer definition of food and highlights the need for research that bridges other disciplines and paradigms outside and within marketing. Further research should develop and refine the understanding of each domain with the ultimate goal of moving the field toward this embodiment of food as well-being. © 2011, American Marketing Association.


Kumanyika S.,University of Pennsylvania | Taylor W.C.,University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston | Grier S.A.,American University of Washington | Lassiter V.,University of Pennsylvania | And 3 more authors.
Preventive Medicine | Year: 2012

Introduction: Increases in the availability, affordability, and promotion of high-calorie foods and beverages and decreased obligations for routine physical activity have fostered trends of increased obesity worldwide. In high-income, plural societies, above average obesity prevalence is often observed in ethnic minority communities, suggesting that obesity-promoting influences are more prevalent or potent in these communities. Methods: An interdisciplinary group of scholars engaged in multiple rounds of focused discussion and literature review to develop a Community Energy Balance Framework (CEB). The objective was to explore the nature of the excess obesity risk in African descent and other ethnic minority populations and identify related implications for planning and evaluating interventions to prevent obesity. Results: A key principle that emerged is that researchers and programmers working with ethnic minority communities should contextualize the food- and physical activity-related sociocultural perspectives of these communities, taking into account relevant historical, political, and structural contexts. This perspective underscores the fallacy of approaches that place the entire burden of change on the individual, particularly in circumstances of social disadvantage and rapid cultural shifts. Conclusion: The CEB framework is proposed for use and further development to aid in understanding potential health-adverse effects of cultural-contextual stresses and accommodations to these stresses. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.


Shavers V.L.,U.S. National Cancer Institute | Jackson M.C.,American University of Washington | Sheppard V.B.,Georgetown University
Journal of the National Medical Association | Year: 2010

Background: Lower access and/or utilization of colorectal screening are thought to be major contributors to the higher proportion of cancers among African Americans and Hispanics that are diagnosed at advanced stages of disease and the poorer outcomes observed among Hispanics and African Americans compared with non-Hispanic whites. We examine rates of initiation, utilization of specific screening modalities, adherence to colorectal screening guidelines, and rate of uptake of colonoscopy among age-eligible African Americans, Hispanics and non-Hispanic whites. Methods: Data on 46 145 African American, Hispanic, and non-Hispanic white survey respondents to the 2000 and 2005 Cancer Control Modules and the 2003 and 2008 Sample Adult Cores of the National Health Interview Surveys are examined in these analyses. Results: There was a modest increase in the initiation of colorectal screening among non-Hispanic whites, only and racial/ethnic disparities colorectal screening utilization persisted. The proportion of respondents for whom colonoscopy was the most complete guideline consistent exam received increased over time, while use of other modalities decreased among all racial/ethnic groups. Conclusion: More effort must be made to increase colorectal screening among the US population in general but particularly among racial/ethnic minority populations. With the increased attention on prevention, there is also a need to increase knowledge of the strengths and limitations of specific screening modalities and the need to receive screening exams within recommended time intervals among both patients and providers making screening recommendations.


Pahl-Wostl C.,University of Osnabrück | Conca K.,American University of Washington | Kramer A.,Adelphi Research | Schmidt F.,Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies
Ecology and Society | Year: 2013

Over the past decade, the policy and scholarly communities have increasingly recognized the need for governance of water-related issues at the global level. There has been major progress in the achievement of international goals related to the provision of basic water and some progress on sanitation services. However, the water challenge is much broader than securing supply. Doubts have been raised about the effectiveness of some of the existing governance processes, in the face of trends such as the unsustainable use of water resources, the increasing pressure imposed by climate change, or the implications of population growth for water use in food and energy production. Conflicts between different water uses and users are increasing, and the state of the aquatic environment is further declining. Inequity in access to basic water and sanitation services is still an issue. We argue that missing links in the trajectories of policy development are one major reason for the relative ineffectiveness of global water governance. To identify these critical links, a framework is used to examine how core governance processes are performed and linked. Special attention is given to the role of leadership, representativeness, legitimacy, and comprehensiveness, which we take to be critical characteristics of the processes that underpin effective trajectories of policy development and implementation. The relevance of the identified categories is illustrated with examples from three important policy arenas in global water governance: the effort to address access to water and sanitation, currently through the Millennium Development Goals; the controversy over large dams; and the links between climate change and water resources management. Exploratory analyses of successes and failures in each domain are used to identify implications and propose improvements for more effective and legitimate action. © 2013 by the author(s).


Nigg J.T.,Oregon Health And Science University | Holton K.,American University of Washington
Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America | Year: 2014

Food elimination diets are defined and the history of their investigation in relation to attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is reviewed. After noting that a consensus has emerged that an elimination diet produces a small but reliable aggregate effect, the present review provides updated quantitative estimates of effect size and clinical response rates to elimination diets. It then highlights key issues that require research attention, in particular characterization of dietary responders. Finally, because some children may benefit, clinical guidelines at the present state of knowledge are summarized. It is concluded that updated trials of elimination diets are sorely needed for ADHD. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.


McCright A.M.,Michigan State University | Xiao C.,American University of Washington | Dunlap R.E.,Oklahoma State University
Social Science Research | Year: 2014

Since the early 1990s, the American conservative movement has become increasingly hostile toward environmental protection and Congressional Republicans have become increasingly anti-environmental in their voting records. Party sorting theory holds that such political polarization among elites will likely extend to the general public. Analyzing General Social Survey data from 1974 to 2012, we examine whether political polarization has occurred on support for government spending on environmental protection over this time period in the US general public. We find that there has been significant partisan and ideological polarization on support for environmental spending since 1992-consistent with the expectations of party sorting theory. This political polarization on environmental concern in the general public will likely endure save for political convergence on environmental concern among elites in the near future. Such polarization likely will inhibit the further development and implementation of environmental policy and the diffusion of environmentally friendly behaviors. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.


Klein R.G.,New York University | Ramos Olazagasti M.A.,New York University | Roizen E.,Columbia University | Hutchison J.A.,American University of Washington | And 3 more authors.
Archives of General Psychiatry | Year: 2012

Context: Prospective studies of childhood attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have not extended beyond early adulthood. Objective: To examine whether children diagnosed as having ADHD at a mean age of 8 years (probands) have worse educational, occupational, economic, social, and marital outcomes and higher rates of ongoing ADHD, antisocial personality disorder (ASPD), substance use disorders (SUDs), adult-onset psychiatric disorders, psychiatric hospitalizations, and incarcerations than non-ADHD comparison participants at amean age of 41 years. Design: Prospective, 33-year follow-up study, with masked clinical assessments. Setting: Research clinic. Participants: A total of 135 white men with ADHD in childhood, free of conduct disorder, and 136 men without childhood ADHD (65.2% and 76.4% of original cohort, respectively). Main Outcome Measures: Occupational, economic, and educational attainment; marital history; occupational and social functioning; ongoing and lifetime psychiatric disorders; psychiatric hospitalizations; and incarcerations. Results: Probands had significantly worse educational, occupational, economic, and social outcomes; more divorces; and higher rates of ongoing ADHD (22.2% vs 5.1%, P<.001), ASPD (16.3% vs 0%, P<.001), and SUDs (14.1% vs 5.1%, P=.01) but not more mood or anxiety disorders (P=.36 and .33) than did comparison participants. Ongoing ADHD was weakly related to ongoing SUDs (φ=0.19, P=.04), as well as ASPD with SUDs (φ=0.20, P=.04). During their lifetime, probands had significantly more ASPD and SUDs but not mood or anxiety disorders and more psychiatric hospitalizations and incarcerations than comparison participants. Relative to comparisons, psychiatric disorders with onsets at 21 years or older were not significantly elevated in probands. Probands without ongoing psychiatric disorders had worse social, but not occupational, functioning. Conclusions: The multiple disadvantages predicted by childhood ADHD well into adulthood began in adolescence, without increased onsets of new disorders after 20 years of age. Findings highlight the importance of extended monitoring and treatment of children with ADHD. ©2012 American Medical Association. All rights reserved.


Glanz K.,University of Pennsylvania | Bader M.D.M.,American University of Washington | Iyer S.,San Francisco Foundation
American Journal of Preventive Medicine | Year: 2012

Context: In-store food marketing can influence food-purchasing behaviors and warrants increased attention given the dramatic rise in obesity. Descriptive and experimental studies of key marketing components have been conducted by consumer scientists, marketing researchers, and public health experts. This review synthesizes research and publications from industry and academic sources and provides direction for developing and evaluating promising interventions. Evidence acquisition: Literature sources for the review were English-language articles published from 1995 to 2010, identif?ed from multidisciplinary search indexes, backward searches of cited articles, review articles, industry reports, and online sources. Only articles that focused on physical grocery stores and food products were included. Data collection occurred in 2010 and2011. Evidence synthesis: Articles were classif?ed in the categories of product, price, placement, and promotion and divided into controlled laboratory experiments, observation, and f?eld experiments; 125 primary peer-reviewed articles met the inclusion criteria. Narrative synthesis methods were used. Key f?ndings were synthesized by category of focus and study design. Evidence synthesis was completed in 2011. Conclusions: Findings suggest several strategies for in-store marketing to promote healthful eating by increasing availability, affordability, prominence, and promotion of healthful foods and/or restricting or de-marketing unhealthy foods. Key results of research in controlled laboratory studies should be adapted and tested in real-world in-store settings. Industry methods for assessing consumer behavior, such as electronic sales data and individually linked sales information from loyalty card holders, can help public health researchers increase the scientif?c rigor of field studies. © 2012 American Journal of Preventive Medicine.


Starik M.,American University of Washington | Stubbs W.,Monash University | Benn S.,UTS Business School
Australasian Journal of Environmental Management | Year: 2016

Over the last decade, increasing research into sustainable business models has produced a number of prototypes that address various dimensions and levels of sustainability. What exists is a patchwork of certification and disconnected frameworks that are less than systematic and comprehensive. This article addresses this lack of integrated, holistic sustainability management research and practice guides by bringing together several salient and strategic sustainability management models. The authors then forward a synthesised, integrated environmental and socio-economic sustainability model that can be used by different types of entities, at different levels of human organisation, to identify, apply, assess, evaluate, and improve processes that advance sustainability values. This article concludes by suggesting future directions for modelling and applying the concepts and practices of multiple levels, systems elements, stages, structures, and cultures to advance sustainability management. © 2016 Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand Inc.


Tang Y.,Oakland University | Chi X.,Oakland University | Zou S.,American University of Washington | Zeng X.,Oakland University
Nanoscale | Year: 2016

Palladium nanocrystals enclosed by {100} and {110} crystal facets, were successfully synthesized through an aqueous one-pot synthesis method. A new thermal annealing approach was developed for fabricating these palladium nanocrystals as a working electrode on a gas permeable membrane to study the facet effects of the oxygen reduction process in an ionic liquid, 1-butyl-1-methylpyrrolidinium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide ([Bmpy][NTf2]). Results were compared with the same processes at a conventional platinum electrode. Our study shows that the structural difference between the two facets of Pd nanocrystals has little effect on the oxygen reduction process but significantly affects the oxidation process of the superoxide. It is found that the Pd{110}/IL interface can better stabilize superoxide radicals revealed by a more positive oxidation potential compared to that of Pd{100}. In addition, the analytical characteristic of utilizing both palladium nanocrystals as electrodes for oxygen sensing is comparable with a polycrystal platinum oxygen sensor, in which Pd{110} presents the best sensitivity and lowest detection limit. Our results demonstrate the facet-dependence of oxygen reduction in an ionic liquid medium and provide the fundamental information needed to guide the applications of palladium nanocrystals in electrochemical gas sensor and fuel cell research. © 2016 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


McCright A.M.,Michigan State University | Dunlap R.E.,Oklahoma State University | Xiao C.,American University of Washington
Climatic Change | Year: 2013

Given the well-documented campaign in the USA to deny the reality and seriousness of anthropogenic climate change (a major goal of which is to "manufacture uncertainty" in the minds of policy-makers and the general public), we examine the influence that perception of the scientific agreement on global warming has on the public's beliefs about global warming and support for government action to reduce emissions. A recent study by Ding et al. (Nat Clim Chang 1:462-466, 2011) using nationally representative survey data from 2010 finds that misperception of scientific agreement among climate scientists is associated with lower levels of support for climate policy and beliefs that action should be taken to deal with global warming. Our study replicates and extends Ding et al. (Nat Clim Chang 1:462-466, 2011) using nationally representative survey data from March 2012. We generally confirm their findings, suggesting that the crucial role of perceived scientific agreement on views of global warming and support for climate policy is robust. Further, we show that political orientation has a significant influence on perceived scientific agreement, global warming beliefs, and support for government action to reduce emissions. Our results suggest the importance of improving public perception of the scientific agreement on global warming, but in ways that do not trigger or aggravate ideological or partisan divisions. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.


DiSantis K.I.,University of Pennsylvania | Grier S.A.,American University of Washington | Odoms-Young A.,University of Illinois at Chicago | Baskin M.L.,University of Alabama at Birmingham | And 2 more authors.
American Journal of Public Health | Year: 2013

Objectives. We explored the role of price in the food purchasing patterns of Black adults and youths. Methods. We analyzed qualitative data from interviews and focus groups with socioeconomically diverse, primarily female, Black adults or parents (n = 75) and youths (n = 42) in 4 US cities. Interview protocols were locality specific, but all were designed to elicit broad discussion of food marketing variables. We performed a conventional qualitative content analysis by coding and analyzing data from each site to identify common salient themes. Results. Price emerged as a primary influence on food purchases across all sites. Other value considerations (e.g., convenience, food quality, healthfulness of product, and family preferences) were discussed, providing a more complex picture of how participants considered the price of a product. Conclusions. Food pricing strategies that encourage consumption of healthful foods may have high relevance for Black persons across income or education levels. Accounting for how price intersects with other value considerations may improve the effectiveness of these strategies.


Bader M.D.M.,American University of Washington | Mooney S.J.,Columbia University | Lee Y.J.,University of Pennsylvania | Sheehan D.,Columbia University | And 3 more authors.
Health and Place | Year: 2015

Public health research has shown that neighborhood conditions are associated with health behaviors and outcomes. Systematic neighborhood audits have helped researchers measure neighborhood conditions that they deem theoretically relevant but not available in existing administrative data. Systematic audits, however, are expensive to conduct and rarely comparable across geographic regions. We describe the development of an online application, the Computer Assisted Neighborhood Visual Assessment System (CANVAS), that uses Google Street View to conduct virtual audits of neighborhood environments. We use this system to assess the inter-rater reliability of 187 items related to walkability and physical disorder on a national sample of 150 street segments in the United States. We find that many items are reliably measured across auditors using CANVAS and that agreement between auditors appears to be uncorrelated with neighborhood demographic characteristics. Based on our results we conclude that Google Street View and CANVAS offer opportunities to develop greater comparability across neighborhood audit studies. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


Gorman J.A.,Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Medical Center | McKay C.E.,University of Massachusetts Medical School | Yates B.T.,American University of Washington | Fisher W.H.,University of Massachusetts Lowell
Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research | Year: 2016

Clubhouses are recovery centers that help persons with serious mental illness obtain and maintain community-based employment, education, housing, social integration, and other services. Key informants from U.S. clubhouses were interviewed to create a conceptual framework for clubhouse sustainability. Survival analyses tested this model for 261 clubhouses. Clubhouses stayed open significantly longer if they had received full accreditation, had more administrative autonomy, and received funding from multiple rather than sole sources. Cox regression analyses showed that freestanding clubhouses which were accredited endured the longest. Budget size, clubhouse size, and access to managed care did not contribute significantly to sustainability. © 2016 Springer Science+Business Media New York


Grier S.A.,American University of Washington | Kumanyika S.,University of Pennsylvania
Annual Review of Public Health | Year: 2010

Targeted marketing techniques, which identify consumers who share common needs or characteristics and position products or services to appeal to and reach these consumers, are now the core of all marketing and facilitate its effectiveness. However, targeted marketing, particularly of products with proven or potential adverse effects (e.g., tobacco, alcohol, entertainment violence, or unhealthful foods) to consumer segments defined as vulnerable raises complex concerns for public health. It is critical that practitioners, academics, and policy makers in marketing, public health, and other fields recognize and understand targeted marketing as a specific contextual influence on the health of children and adolescents and, for different reasons, ethnic minority populations and other populations who may benefit from public health protections. For beneficial products, such understanding can foster more socially productive targeting. For potentially harmful products, understanding the nature and scope of targeted marketing influences will support identification and implementation of corrective policies. Copyright © 2010 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.


McCright A.M.,Michigan State University | Dunlap R.E.,Oklahoma State University | Xiao C.,American University of Washington
Nature Climate Change | Year: 2014

Although perceptions of common weather phenomena moderately align with instrumental measurements of such phenomena, the evidence that weather or climatic conditions influence beliefs about anthropogenic climate change is mixed. This study addresses both foci, which are important to scholars who investigate human-environment interactions and observers who expect greater exposure to weather or climate extremes to translate into stronger support for climate change adaptive measures and mitigative policies. We analyse the extent to which state-level winter temperature anomalies influence the likelihood of perceiving local winter temperatures to be warmer than usual and attributing these warmer temperatures mainly to global warming. We show that actual temperature anomalies influence perceived warming but not attribution of such warmer-than-usual winter temperatures to global warming. Rather, the latter is influenced more by perceived scientific agreement; beliefs about the current onset, human cause, threat and seriousness of global warming; and political orientation. This is not surprising given the politicization of climate science and political polarization on climate change beliefs in recent years. These results suggest that personal experience with weather or climate variability may help cultivate support for adaptive measures, but it may not increase support for mitigation policies. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


McCright A.M.,Michigan State University | Dunlap R.E.,Oklahoma State University | Xiao C.,American University of Washington
Weather, Climate, and Society | Year: 2014

Since the mid-2000s, U.S. conservative leaders and Republican politicians have stepped up efforts to challenge the reality and seriousness of anthropogenic climate change (ACC). Especially with the rise of the Tea Party in 2009, ACC denial has become something of a litmus test for Republican politicians to prove their conservative bona fides. Two recent studies find that misperception of scientific agreement on ACC is associated with lower levels of support for government action to deal with ACC. Using nationally representative survey data from 2006 and 2012, the analytical model developed in those two studies was applied to investigate whether the effect of political orientation on perceived scientific agreement and support for government action to reduce emissions has increased since the heightened ACC denial by Republican politicians beginning in 2009. The results indicated that political ideology and party identification are moderately strong predictors of perceived scientific agreement; beliefs about the timing, human cause, seriousness, and threat of global warming; and support for government action in both 2006 and 2012. Further, as expected, the effect of party identification on perceived scientific agreement and support for government action increased from 2006 and 2012, evidence that rank-and-file Republicans in the general public are more strongly embracing theACC denial espoused by Republican politicians in recent years. Such increased partisanship poses a formidable barrier to public understanding of ACC. © 2014 American Meteorological Society.


Glibert P.M.,University of Cambridge | Kana T.M.,University of Cambridge | Brown K.,Delaware Valley College | Brown K.,American University of Washington
Journal of Marine Systems | Year: 2013

Current parameterization of several important physiological rates using rectangular hyperbolic saturation formulations is inadequate to capture our expanding understanding of the dynamic regulation of nutrients and energy at the primary producer level across all substrate levels, from limiting to super-saturating. Nutrient regulation by primary producers can affect chemical composition, in turn affecting predator-prey interactions and biogeochemical feedbacks in complex foodwebs. Anthropogenically altered nutrient loads are accentuating these challenges by altering nutrient stoichiometry. Using examples derived from the development of phytoplankton physiological dynamic regulation, the case is made that dynamic regulatory concepts are relevant at all levels of ecosystem regulation, that elemental stoichiometry must be considered in physiological, trophodynamic and biogeochemical constructs, and that the classical notion that nutrients and nutrient stoichiometry are only regulatory for physiology when at the limiting end of the spectrum must be laid to rest. Advancing models will require new emphasis on physiology including both dissipatory regulation and assimilatory regulation and the feed-back mechanisms between them. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


Davis C.M.,Johns Hopkins University | Decicco-Skinner K.L.,American University of Washington | Roma P.G.,Johns Hopkins University | Roma P.G.,Institutes for Behavior Resources | Hienz R.D.,Johns Hopkins University
Radiation Research | Year: 2014

To assess the possible neurobehavioral performance risks to astronauts from living in a space radiation environment during long-duration exploration missions, the effects of head-only proton irradiation (150 MeV/n) at low levels (25-50 cGy, approximating an astronaut's exposure during a 2-year planetary mission) were examined in adult male Long-Evans rats performing an analog of the human psychomotor vigilance test (PVT). The rodent version of PVT or rPVT tracks performance variables analogous to the human PVT, including selective attention/inattention, inhibitory control ("impulsivity") and psychomotor speed. Exposure to head-only proton radiation (25, 50, 100 or 200 cGy) disrupted rPVT performance (i.e., decreased accuracy, increased premature responding, elevated lapses in attention and slowed reaction times) over the 250 day testing period. However, the performance decrements only occurred in a subgroup of animals at each exposure level, that is, the severity of the rPVT performance deficit was unrelated to proton exposure level. Analysis of brain tissue from irradiated and control rats indicated that only rats with rPVT performance deficits displayed changes in the levels of the dopamine transporter and, to a lesser extent, the D2 receptor. Additional animals trained to perform a line discrimination task measuring basic and reversal learning showed no behavioral effects over the same exposure levels, suggesting a specificity of the proton exposure effects to attentional deficits and supporting the rPVT as a sensitive neurobehavioral assay.


Dillon R.T.,College of Charleston | Wethington A.R.,Chowan University | Lydeard C.,American University of Washington | Lydeard C.,National Science Foundation
BMC Evolutionary Biology | Year: 2011

Background: The cosmopolitan freshwater snail Physa acuta has recently found widespread use as a model organism for the study of mating systems and reproductive allocation. Mitochondrial DNA phylogenies suggest that Physa carolinae, recently described from the American southeast, is a sister species of P. acuta. The divergence of the acuta/carolinae ancestor from the more widespread P. pomilia appears to be somewhat older, and the split between a hypothetical acuta/carolinae/pomilia ancestor and P. gyrina appears older still. Results: Here we report the results of no-choice mating experiments yielding no evidence of hybridization between gyrina and any of four other populations (pomilia, carolinae, Philadelphia acuta, or Charleston acuta), nor between pomilia and carolinae. Crosses between pomilia and both acuta populations yielded sterile F1 progeny with reduced viability, while crosses between carolinae and both acuta populations yielded sterile F1 hybrids of normal viability. A set of mate-choice tests also revealed significant sexual isolation between gyrina and all four of our other Physa populations, between pomilia and carolinae, and between pomilia and Charleston acuta, but not between pomilia and the acuta population from Philadelphia, nor between carolinae and either acuta population. These observations are consistent with the origin of hybrid sterility prior to hybrid inviability, and a hypothesis that speciation between pomilia and acuta may have been reinforced by selection for prezygotic reproductive isolation in sympatry. Conclusions: We propose a two-factor model for the evolution of postzygotic reproductive incompatibility in this set of five Physa populations consistent with the Dobzhansky-Muller model of speciation, and a second two-factor model for the evolution of sexual incompatibility. Under these models, species trees may be said to correspond with gene trees in American populations of the freshwater snail, Physa. © 2011 Dillon et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Haggag S.A.,Ain Shams University | Mansouri A.,American University of Washington
SAE Technical Papers | Year: 2016

The control of automotive braking systems performance and wheel slip is a challenging problem due to the nonlinear of the braking process, vehicle body dynamics during braking and the tire-road interaction. When the wheel slip is not between the optimal limits during braking, the desired tire-friction force cannot be achieved, which influences the braking distance, the loss in steerability and maneuverability of the vehicle. A simple and at the same time realistic vehicle longitudinal braking model is essential for such challenging problem. In this paper, a new longitudinal rolling/braking lumped-vehicle model that takes vehicle aerodynamic forces in consideration is presented. The proposed model takes the rolling resistance force, the braking force and the aerodynamic lift and drag forces in consideration and investigates their impact on the vehicle longitudinal dynamics especially vehicle braking distance and time. An anti- lock sliding-mode controller is designed to provide wheel slip control during vehicle motion. This type of controller is chosen due to its expected robustness against varying road friction coefficient. The controllers provide an optimal braking torque control which minimize the braking distance by maintaining a desired slip ratio corresponding to the road condition. Based on this optimal braking control method, the impact of the vehicle aerodynamic forces (lift and drag) are investigated and presented. Copyright © 2016 SAE International.


Lamm S.H.,CEOH LLC | Lamm S.H.,Johns Hopkins University | Lamm S.H.,Georgetown University | Robbins S.,CEOH LLC | And 4 more authors.
Toxicology | Year: 2014

Background: The ingestion of inorganic arsenic causes bladder and lung cancers demonstrably at >400-500. ug/L but questionably below 100-200. ug/L. Using the standard 42-village cancer mortality dataset from the Blackfoot-disease (BFD) endemic area of southwest Taiwan ( Wu et al., 1989), we examined the risk from low exposures by excluding the high exposures. Method: Poisson regression analyses with the sequential removal of the highest exposure village have been performed using the median, mean, or maximum village well water arsenic level and demonstrated graphically. Results: Risk estimates are positive when villages with exposures of 200-400. ug/L are included and significantly so when villages with >400. ug/L are included. Risk estimates for exposures below 100. ug/L are negative but rarely significantly so. The inflection point where the slope is no longer positive occurs in the range of 100-200. ug/L, depending upon whether the exposure metric used is the median, the mean or the maximum. Conclusion: There is a discontinuity in the cancer slope factor or risk from arsenic exposure that occurs in the range of 100-200. ug/L. Above these levels, there are significantly positive risks, while below these levels there are not. The analysis reveals within this dataset an intrinsic non-linearity in the cancer risk. The literature speaks to this discontinuity, but this is the first demonstration within a single dataset that shows the discontinuity across the full exposure range and where the low-dose data are not compromised with high-dose data. © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.


Mostafavi S.,Stanford University | Battle A.,Stanford University | Zhu X.,Stanford University | Potash J.B.,University of Iowa | And 19 more authors.
Molecular Psychiatry | Year: 2014

A study of genome-wide gene expression in major depressive disorder (MDD) was undertaken in a large population-based sample to determine whether altered expression levels of genes and pathways could provide insights into biological mechanisms that are relevant to this disorder. Gene expression studies have the potential to detect changes that may be because of differences in common or rare genomic sequence variation, environmental factors or their interaction. We recruited a European ancestry sample of 463 individuals with recurrent MDD and 459 controls, obtained self-report and semi-structured interview data about psychiatric and medical history and other environmental variables, sequenced RNA from whole blood and genotyped a genome-wide panel of common single-nucleotide polymorphisms. We used analytical methods to identify MDD-related genes and pathways using all of these sources of information. In analyses of association between MDD and expression levels of 13 857 single autosomal genes, accounting for multiple technical, physiological and environmental covariates, a significant excess of low P-values was observed, but there was no significant single-gene association after genome-wide correction. Pathway-based analyses of expression data detected significant association of MDD with increased expression of genes in the interferon α/β signaling pathway. This finding could not be explained by potentially confounding diseases and medications (including antidepressants) or by computationally estimated proportions of white blood cell types. Although cause-effect relationships cannot be determined from these data, the results support the hypothesis that altered immune signaling has a role in the pathogenesis, manifestation, and/or the persistence and progression of MDD. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited.


PubMed | Pennsylvania State University, University of Florida, University of Granada and American University of Washington
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Bilingualism (Cambridge, England) | Year: 2016

We investigate the gender-congruency effect during a spoken-word recognition task using the visual world paradigm. Eye movements of Italian-Spanish bilinguals and Spanish monolinguals were monitored while they viewed a pair of objects on a computer screen. Participants listened to instructions in Spanish (encuentra la bufanda / find the scarf) and clicked on the object named in the instruction. Grammatical gender of the objects name was manipulated so that pairs of objects had the same (congruent) or different (incongruent) gender in Italian, but gender in Spanish was always congruent. Results showed that bilinguals, but not monolinguals, looked at target objects less when they were incongruent in gender, suggesting a between-language gender competition effect. In addition, bilinguals looked at target objects more when the definite article in the spoken instructions provided a valid cue to anticipate its selection (different-gender condition). The temporal dynamics of gender processing and cross-language activation in bilinguals are discussed.


PubMed | American University of Washington, Michigan State University and Oklahoma State University
Type: | Journal: Social science research | Year: 2014

Since the early 1990s, the American conservative movement has become increasingly hostile toward environmental protection and Congressional Republicans have become increasingly anti-environmental in their voting records. Party sorting theory holds that such political polarization among elites will likely extend to the general public. Analyzing General Social Survey data from 1974 to 2012, we examine whether political polarization has occurred on support for government spending on environmental protection over this time period in the US general public. We find that there has been significant partisan and ideological polarization on support for environmental spending since 1992-consistent with the expectations of party sorting theory. This political polarization on environmental concern in the general public will likely endure save for political convergence on environmental concern among elites in the near future. Such polarization likely will inhibit the further development and implementation of environmental policy and the diffusion of environmentally friendly behaviors.


PubMed | American University of Washington, University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University
Type: | Journal: Health & place | Year: 2015

Public health research has shown that neighborhood conditions are associated with health behaviors and outcomes. Systematic neighborhood audits have helped researchers measure neighborhood conditions that they deem theoretically relevant but not available in existing administrative data. Systematic audits, however, are expensive to conduct and rarely comparable across geographic regions. We describe the development of an online application, the Computer Assisted Neighborhood Visual Assessment System (CANVAS), that uses Google Street View to conduct virtual audits of neighborhood environments. We use this system to assess the inter-rater reliability of 187 items related to walkability and physical disorder on a national sample of 150 street segments in the United States. We find that many items are reliably measured across auditors using CANVAS and that agreement between auditors appears to be uncorrelated with neighborhood demographic characteristics. Based on our results we conclude that Google Street View and CANVAS offer opportunities to develop greater comparability across neighborhood audit studies.


PubMed | University of Minnesota, Personalis, Illumina, American University of Washington and 6 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Molecular psychiatry | Year: 2014

A study of genome-wide gene expression in major depressive disorder (MDD) was undertaken in a large population-based sample to determine whether altered expression levels of genes and pathways could provide insights into biological mechanisms that are relevant to this disorder. Gene expression studies have the potential to detect changes that may be because of differences in common or rare genomic sequence variation, environmental factors or their interaction. We recruited a European ancestry sample of 463 individuals with recurrent MDD and 459 controls, obtained self-report and semi-structured interview data about psychiatric and medical history and other environmental variables, sequenced RNA from whole blood and genotyped a genome-wide panel of common single-nucleotide polymorphisms. We used analytical methods to identify MDD-related genes and pathways using all of these sources of information. In analyses of association between MDD and expression levels of 13857 single autosomal genes, accounting for multiple technical, physiological and environmental covariates, a significant excess of low P-values was observed, but there was no significant single-gene association after genome-wide correction. Pathway-based analyses of expression data detected significant association of MDD with increased expression of genes in the interferon / signaling pathway. This finding could not be explained by potentially confounding diseases and medications (including antidepressants) or by computationally estimated proportions of white blood cell types. Although cause-effect relationships cannot be determined from these data, the results support the hypothesis that altered immune signaling has a role in the pathogenesis, manifestation, and/or the persistence and progression of MDD.


PubMed | American University of Washington and University of Salerno
Type: | Journal: Evaluation and program planning | Year: 2016

An introduction to the issue Social Return On Investment (SROI), including an overview of problems prompting this special issue, plus definitions and examples of terms in this exciting, burgeoning area of cost-inclusive evaluation.


PubMed | American University of Washington, Oregon Health And Science University, University of Portland and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, and allied disciplines | Year: 2015

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is theorized to have temperamental precursors early in life. These are difficult to identify because many core features of ADHD, such as breakdowns in executive function and self-control, involve psychological and neural systems that are too immature to reliably show dysfunction in early life. ADHD also involves emotional dysregulation, and these temperamental features appear earlier as well. Here, we report a first attempt to utilize indices of emotional regulation to identify ADHD-related liability in infancy.Fifty women were recruited in the 2nd trimester of pregnancy, with overselection for high parental ADHD symptoms. Measures of maternal body mass index, nutrition, substance use, stress, and mood were examined during pregnancy as potential confounds. Offspring were evaluated at 6 months of age using LABTAB procedures designed to elicit fear, anger, and regulatory behavior. Mothers completed the Infant Behavior Questionnaire about their childs temperament.After control for associated covariates, including maternal depression and prenatal stress, family history of ADHD was associated with measures of anger/irritability, including infant negative vocalizations during the arm restraint task (p = .004), and maternal ratings of infant distress to limitations (p = .036). In the regulation domain, familial ADHD was associated with less parent-oriented attention seeking during the still face procedure (p < .001), but this was not echoed in the maternal ratings of recovery from distress.Affective response at 6 months of age may identify infants with familial history of ADHD, providing an early indicator of ADHD liability. These preliminary results provide a foundation for further studies and will be amplified by enlarging this cohort and following participants longitudinally to evaluate ADHD outcomes.


PubMed | American University of Washington, University of Pennsylvania and Second Street
Type: | Journal: Appetite | Year: 2014

Identifying food pricing strategies to encourage purchases of lower-calorie food products may be particularly important for black Americans. Black children and adults have higher than average obesity prevalence and disproportionate exposure to food marketing environments in which high calorie foods are readily available and heavily promoted. The main objective of this study was to characterize effects of price on food purchases of black female household shoppers in conjunction with other key decision attributes (calorie content/healthfulness, package size, and convenience). Factorial discrete choice experiments were conducted with 65 low- and middle-/higher-income black women. The within-subject study design assessed responses to hypothetical scenarios for purchasing frozen vegetables, bread, chips, soda, fruit drinks, chicken, and cheese. Linear models were used to estimate the effects of price, calorie level (or healthfulness for bread), package size, and convenience on the propensity to purchase items. Moderating effects of demographic and personal characteristics were assessed. Compared with a price that was 35% lower, the regular price was associated with a lesser propensity to purchase foods in all categories (=-0.33 to -0.82 points on a 1 to 5 scale). Other attributes, primarily calorie content/healthfulness, were more influential than price for four of seven foods. The moderating variable most often associated with propensity to pay the regular versus lower price was the reported use of nutrition labels. Price reductions alone may increase purchases of certain lower-calorie or more healthful foods by black female shoppers. In other cases, effects may depend on combining price changes with nutrition education or improvements in other valued attributes.


PubMed | American University of Washington and Oakland University
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Nanoscale | Year: 2016

Palladium nanocrystals enclosed by {100} and {110} crystal facets, were successfully synthesized through an aqueous one-pot synthesis method. A new thermal annealing approach was developed for fabricating these palladium nanocrystals as a working electrode on a gas permeable membrane to study the facet effects of the oxygen reduction process in an ionic liquid, 1-butyl-1-methylpyrrolidinium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide ([Bmpy][NTf2]). Results were compared with the same processes at a conventional platinum electrode. Our study shows that the structural difference between the two facets of Pd nanocrystals has little effect on the oxygen reduction process but significantly affects the oxidation process of the superoxide. It is found that the Pd{110}/IL interface can better stabilize superoxide radicals revealed by a more positive oxidation potential compared to that of Pd{100}. In addition, the analytical characteristic of utilizing both palladium nanocrystals as electrodes for oxygen sensing is comparable with a polycrystal platinum oxygen sensor, in which Pd{110} presents the best sensitivity and lowest detection limit. Our results demonstrate the facet-dependence of oxygen reduction in an ionic liquid medium and provide the fundamental information needed to guide the applications of palladium nanocrystals in electrochemical gas sensor and fuel cell research.


PubMed | American University of Washington, University of Massachusetts Lowell, University of Massachusetts Medical School and Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Medical Center
Type: | Journal: Administration and policy in mental health | Year: 2016

Clubhouses are recovery centers that help persons with serious mental illness obtain and maintain community-based employment, education, housing, social integration, and other services. Key informants from U.S. clubhouses were interviewed to create a conceptual framework for clubhouse sustainability. Survival analyses tested this model for 261 clubhouses. Clubhouses stayed open significantly longer if they had received full accreditation, had more administrative autonomy, and received funding from multiple rather than sole sources. Cox regression analyses showed that freestanding clubhouses which were accredited endured the longest. Budget size, clubhouse size, and access to managed care did not contribute significantly to sustainability.


PubMed | American University of Washington, University of Massachusetts Medical School and Pohang University of Science and Technology
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Asia T'aep'yongyang sangdam yon'gu | Year: 2014

The purpose of this paper is to review Hwa-Byung, a cultural syndrome specific to Koreans and Korean immigrants. Hwa-Byung is a unique diagnosis and differs from other


PubMed | Georgetown University, CEOH LLC., Johns Hopkins University and American University of Washington
Type: | Journal: Toxicology | Year: 2014

The ingestion of inorganic arsenic causes bladder and lung cancers demonstrably at >400-500ug/L but questionably below 100-200ug/L. Using the standard 42-village cancer mortality dataset from the Blackfoot-disease (BFD) endemic area of southwest Taiwan (Wu et al., 1989), we examined the risk from low exposures by excluding the high exposures.Poisson regression analyses with the sequential removal of the highest exposure village have been performed using the median, mean, or maximum village well water arsenic level and demonstrated graphically.Risk estimates are positive when villages with exposures of 200-400ug/L are included and significantly so when villages with >400ug/L are included. Risk estimates for exposures below 100ug/L are negative but rarely significantly so. The inflection point where the slope is no longer positive occurs in the range of 100-200ug/L, depending upon whether the exposure metric used is the median, the mean or the maximum.There is a discontinuity in the cancer slope factor or risk from arsenic exposure that occurs in the range of 100-200ug/L. Above these levels, there are significantly positive risks, while below these levels there are not. The analysis reveals within this dataset an intrinsic non-linearity in the cancer risk. The literature speaks to this discontinuity, but this is the first demonstration within a single dataset that shows the discontinuity across the full exposure range and where the low-dose data are not compromised with high-dose data.


PubMed | American University of Washington and University of Salerno
Type: | Journal: Evaluation and program planning | Year: 2016

The conclusion of this special issue on Social Return On Investment (SROI) begins with a summary of both advantages and problems of SROI, many of which were identified in preceding articles. We also offer potential solutions for some of these problems that can be derived from standard evaluation practices and that are becoming expected in SROIs that follow guidances from international SROI networks. A remaining concern about SROI is that we do not yet know if SROI itself adds sufficient benefit to programs to justify its cost. Two frameworks for this proposed metaevaluation of SROI are suggested, the first comparing benefits to costs summatively (the resourceoutcome model). The second framework evaluates costs and benefits according to how much they contribute to or are caused by the different activities of SROI. This resourceactivityoutcome model could enable outcomes of SROI to be maximized within resource constraints (such as budget and time limits) on SROI. Alternatively, information from this model could help minimize the costs of achieving a specific level of return on investment from conducting SROI. Possible problems with this metaevaluation of SROI are discussed.


PubMed | American University of Washington, University of Pennsylvania, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard University and University of Reading
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of autism and developmental disorders | Year: 2016

Individuals with Williams syndrome (WS) often experience significant anxiety. A promising approach to anxiety intervention has emerged from cognitive studies of attention bias to threat. To investigate the utility of this intervention in WS, this study examined attention bias to happy and angry faces in individuals with WS (N=46). Results showed a significant difference in attention bias patterns as a function of IQ and anxiety. Individuals with higher IQ or higher anxiety showed a significant bias toward angry, but not happy faces, whereas individuals with lower IQ or lower anxiety showed the opposite pattern. These results suggest that attention bias interventions to modify a threat bias may be most effectively targeted to anxious individuals with WS with relatively high IQ.


PubMed | American University of Washington and University of Pennsylvania
Type: | Journal: Lancet (London, England) | Year: 2016

Despite progress, early childhood development (ECD) remains a neglected issue, particularly in resource-poor countries. We analyse the challenges and opportunities that ECD proponents face in advancing global priority for the issue. We triangulated among several data sources, including 19 semi-structured interviews with individuals involved in global ECD leadership, practice, and advocacy, as well as peer-reviewed research, organisation reports, and grey literature. We undertook a thematic analysis of the collected data, drawing on social science scholarship on collective action and a policy framework that elucidates why some global initiatives are more successful in generating political priority than others. The analysis indicates that the ECD community faces two primary challenges in advancing global political priority. The first pertains to framing: generation of internal consensus on the definition of the problem and solutions, agreement that could facilitate the discovery of a public positioning of the issue that could generate political support. The second concerns governance: building of effective institutions to achieve collective goals. However, there are multiple opportunities to advance political priority for ECD, including an increasingly favourable political environment, advances in ECD metrics, and the existence of compelling arguments for investment in ECD. To advance global priority for ECD, proponents will need to surmount the framing and governance challenges and leverage these opportunities.


Oshri A.,University of Rochester | Tubman J.G.,American University of Washington | Burnette M.L.,University of Rochester
American Journal of Public Health | Year: 2012

Objectives: We tested a structural model of relations among self-reported childhood maltreatment, alcohol and other drug abuse and dependence symptoms, and sexual risk behavior in a sample of adolescents receiving outpatient treatment of substance use problems. Methods. Structured interviews were administered to an ethnically diverse sample of 394 adolescents (114 girls, 280 boys; mean = 16.30 years; SD = 1.15 years; 44.9% Hispanic, 20.6% African American, 25.4% White non-Hispanic, and 9.1% other) in 2 outpatient treatment settings. Results. Path analyses yielded findings consistent with amediation model. Alcohol abuse and dependence symptoms mediated (1) relations between emotional neglect scores and sex with co-occurring alcohol use and (2) relations between sexual abuse scores and sex with co-occurring alcohol use. Drug abuse and dependence symptoms mediated relations between (1) neglect scores and (2) sexual intercourse with co-occurring alcohol or drug use, as well as unprotected sexual intercourse. Conclusions. Efforts to treat alcohol or drug use problems among adolescents or to prevent transmission of HIV or other sexually transmitted infections among youths with substance use problemsmay require tailoring treatment or prevention protocols to address client histories of maltreatment.


Kenworthy L.,Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders | Wallace G.L.,National Institute of Mental Health | Powell K.,American University of Washington | Anselmo C.,Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders | And 2 more authors.
Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders | Year: 2012

Language ability is a known predictor of outcome in children with autism but plays a more controversial role for higher functioning children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). We studied the relationship between early language milestones and later structural language, adaptive functioning and autism symptoms in a sample of 76 children (mean age = 9.1 years) with an ASD, using two different language milestones: first phrase by 24 or 36 months. After controlling for age and nonverbal abilities, retrospectively reported early language milestones were predictive of later structural language abilities, measured by a sentence repetition task, and adaptive communication skills, but not autism symptoms or adaptive social skills. Acquisition of phrase speech by 24 months was sensitive to language and communication impairments in our ASD group, the majority (84%) of which had already acquired phrase speech by 36 months of age. Early available and easily collectable milestone data may be a useful marker of later language performance even in higher functioning, verbal children on the autism spectrum. When a detailed assessment of language is not possible, data on early milestones may be useful for identifying children at-risk in clinical settings and for language phenotyping in the laboratory. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


McComas K.A.,Cornell University | Stedman R.,Cornell University | Sol Hart P.,American University of Washington
Energy Policy | Year: 2011

Across the United States, universities are grappling with challenges associated with adopting approaches to more sustainable energy use. One approach has been to develop energy-related projects in their local, host communities. Because host communities can play a major role in the successful planning and implementation of these projects, understanding the factors relating to their support is important. Building on research that suggests that procedural fairness is one such key factor, this study examines community members' support of six approaches a local university could implement to work towards a goal of carbon neutrality. The results of a mail survey (N=677) found that perceived fairness of campus decision makers was significantly related to community support for the proposed approaches; however, beliefs about the efficacy of the different approaches to address challenges associated with climate change had the strongest relationship with support. The results also suggest that residents prefer changes in the energy infrastructure, such as the development of wind power, over the purchase of carbon offsets. We discuss the results in terms of actions that universities may take to foster community engagement in decision-making for university-sponsored sustainable energy projects. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


Christensen J.G.,Colgate University | Olafsson G.,Louisiana State University | Casey S.D.,American University of Washington
2015 International Conference on Sampling Theory and Applications, SampTA 2015 | Year: 2015

Inspired by recent work on the connection between representation theory and atomic decompositions, we take a look at convolution operators on non-unimodular amenable groups as well as non-compact semi-simple Lie groups. We then discuss this in context of sampling. Furthermore, we look at sampling and optimal sampling sets for some often studied spaces. © 2015 IEEE.


Reinhard M.J.,War Related Illness and Injury Study Center | Reinhard M.J.,Georgetown University | Nassif T.H.,War Related Illness and Injury Study Center | Nassif T.H.,American University of Washington | And 6 more authors.
Medical Care | Year: 2014

Background: Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is increasingly seen as an adjunct to traditional plans of care. This study utilized a representative sample of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) veterans and OEF/OIF-era veterans to explore the prevalence and characteristics of CAM users.Research Design: The National Health Study for a New Generation of US Veterans (NewGen) is a longitudinal health study of a populationbased cohort of OEF/OIF (deployed) and OEF/OIF-era (nondeployed) veterans. Data from the 2009-2011 NewGen survey (n = 20,563) were analyzed to determine prevalence of CAM use by demographic and military characteristics, the types of CAM modalities used, and where the modalities were sought. Results were weighted to the entire population of OEF/OIF and OEF/OIF-era veterans.Results: There was no statistically significant association between CAM use and deployment. Those who used Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care after separation were more likely to be CAM users compared with those who did not use VA care; however, the majority of veterans using CAM are using it outside the VA health care system. Massage was the most prevalent CAM modality followed by chiropractic treatment; males were less likely to use CAM than women.Conclusions: CAM modalities are being utilized by OEF/OIF veterans for health problems mainly outside the VA. Policymakers should determine appropriate use of these modalities. Copyright © 2014 by Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.


Roy A.K.,Fordham University | Klein R.G.,New York University | Angelosante A.,New York University | Bar-Haim Y.,Tel Aviv University | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology | Year: 2013

Objective: In light of the current controversy about whether severe temper outbursts are diagnostic of mania in young children, we conducted a study to characterize such children, focusing on mania and other mood disorders, emotion regulation, and parental psychiatric history. Methods: Study participants included 51 5-9-year-old children with frequent, impairing outbursts (probands) and 24 non-referred controls without outbursts. Parents completed a lifetime clinical interview about their child, and rated their child's current mood and behavior. Teachers completed a behavior rating scale. To assess emotion regulation, children were administered the Balloons Game, which assesses emotion expressivity in response to frustration, under demands of high and low regulation. Parental lifetime diagnoses were ascertained in blind clinical interviews. Results: No child had bipolar disorder, bipolar disorder not otherwise specified (NOS), or major depression (MDD). The most prevalent disorder was oppositional defiant disorder (88.2%), followed by attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (74.5%), anxiety disorders (49.0%), and non-MDD depressive disorders (33.3%). Eleven probands (21.6%) met criteria for severe mood dysregulation. During the Balloons Game, when there were no demands for self-regulation, children with severe outbursts showed reduced positive expressivity, and also showed significant deficits in controlling negative facial expressions when asked to do so. Anxiety disorders were the only diagnoses significantly elevated in probands' mothers. Conclusions: Overall, young children with severe temper outbursts do not present with bipolar disorder. Rather, disruptive behavior disorders with anxiety and depressive mood are common. In children with severe outbursts, deficits in regulating emotional facial expressions may reflect deficits controlling negative affect. This work represents a first step towards elucidating mechanisms underlying severe outbursts in young children. © Copyright 2013, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 2013.


Adeigbe R.T.,University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio | Baldwin S.,University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio | Gallion K.,University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio | Grier S.,American University of Washington | Ramirez A.G.,University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
Health Education and Behavior | Year: 2015

Obesity rates among U.S. adults and children have increased over the past two decades and, although signs of stabilization and decline among certain age groups and geographies are being reported, the prevalence of obesity among Latino adults and children remain high. The Latino population is growing in parallel to these obesity rates and marketers realize they cannot ignore this growing, high-spending, media-consuming segment. Studies examining food and beverage marketing strategies tend to discuss minority groups in general but do not account for racial and ethnic differences, reducing our ability to explain existing inequities. This article aimed to identify the food and beverage marketing strategies used to influence food environments for Latinos versus non-Latinos. A systematic literature review and analysis, guided by an established marketing conceptual framework, determined that the food and beverage marketing environment for Latinos is less likely to promote healthy eating and more likely to encourage consumption of low-nutrient, calorie-dense foods and beverages. This analysis also determined that Latinos’ food environment and the placement of food retail stores appears to influence their body mass index; however, placement of these stores cannot be generalized, as geographical differences exist. While food and beverage marketing is only one of many sources of influence on food and beverage consumption, these findings reinforce the notion that Latinos are at a disadvantage when it comes to exposure of healthy lifestyle messaging and health-promoting food environments. © 2014, © 2014 Society for Public Health Education.


Addington L.A.,American University of Washington | Perumean-Chaney S.E.,University of Alabama at Birmingham
Homicide Studies | Year: 2014

Comparing male and female victims across lethal and non-lethal intimate partner violence (IPV) can provide a better understanding of these incidents and assist policy makers in developing more tailored victim services and prevention programs. To date, little research has examined this issue. This study compares the characteristics that predict female and male IPV victimization. Given the role that law enforcement can play in promoting victim assistance programs, police data are used to explore this issue. This study finds that victim sex differences do exist within and across lethal and non-lethal IPV. These findings are discussed as well as their implications for future policy and research. © 2012 SAGE Publications.


Nassif T.H.,American University of Washington | Hull A.,War Related Illness and Injury Study Center | Holliday S.B.,War Related Illness and Injury Study Center | Sullivan P.,War Related Illness and Injury Study Center | Sandbrink F.,Veterans Affairs Medical Center
Pain Medicine (United States) | Year: 2015

Objective: The purpose of this report is to investigate the concurrent validity of the Defense and Veterans Pain Rating Scale (DVPRS) with other validated self-report measures in U.S. veterans. Design: This correlational study was conducted using two samples of outpatients at the Washington, DC Veterans Affairs Medical Center who completed self-report measures relevant to pain conditions, including pain disability, quality of life, and mental health. Study 1 and 2 consisted of n=204 and n=13 participants, respectively. Methods: Bivariate Spearman correlations were calculated to examine the correlation among total scores and subscale scores for each scale of interest. Multiple linear regressions were also computed in Study 1. Results: In Study 1, the DVPRS interference scale (DVPRS-II) was significantly correlated with the Pain Disability Questionnaire (PDQ) (ρ=0.69, P<0.001) and the Veterans RAND 36-item Health Survey physical and mental component scales (ρ=-0.37, P<0.001; ρ=-0.46, P<0.001, respectively). When controlling for sex, age, and other self-report measures, the relationship between the DVPRS-II and PDQ remained significant. In Study 2, pain interference on the DVPRS and Brief Pain Inventory were highly correlated (ρ=0.90, P<0.001); however, the intensity scale of each measure was also highly associated with the interference summary scores. Conclusions: These findings provide preliminary evidence for the concurrent validity of the DVPRS as a brief, multidimensional measure of pain interference that make it a practical tool for use in primary care settings to assess the impact of pain on daily functioning and monitor chronic pain over time. © 2015 American Academy of Pain Medicine.


Esser D.E.,American University of Washington | Ward P.S.,York University
Global Public Health | Year: 2013

Since 2002, ageing populations worldwide have received increasing attention by global policy-makers. However, resources committed by inter-governmental donors and US-based private foundations in support of ageing-related policies and interventions in non-Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries have remained minimal during this decade and, where mobilised, have rarely responded to actual country-level demographics and institutional capacities. We argue that this lag between issue recognition and effective resource mobilisation, while mirroring known dynamics in global agenda-setting, has also been caused by a depiction of ageing as a uniform trend across the Global South. We develop and apply a comprehensive analytical framework to assess the state of ageing dynamics at the country level and uncover substantial regional and sub-regional variation. In response, we suggest replacing complexity reduction in the interest of issue recognition with targeted support for a more nuanced research agenda and policy debate on country-specific ageing dynamics in order to inform and catalyse effective international assistance. © 2013 Taylor & Francis.


Schwartz L.P.,American University of Washington | Silberberg A.,American University of Washington | Casey A.H.,American University of Washington | Paukner A.,Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development | Suomi S.J.,Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
Animal Cognition | Year: 2016

In Experiment 1, six capuchins lifted a weight during a 10-min session to receive a food piece. Across conditions, the weight was increased across six different amounts for three different food types. The number of food pieces obtained as a function of the weight lifted was fitted by a demand equation that is hypothesized to quantify food value. For most subjects, this analysis showed that the three food types differed little in value. In Experiment 2, these monkeys were given pairwise choices among these food types. In 13 of 18 comparisons, preferences at least equaled a 3-to-1 ratio; in seven comparisons, preference was absolute. There was no relation between values based on degree of preference versus values based on the demand equation. When choices in the present report were compared to similar data with these subjects from another study, between-study lability in preference emerged. This outcome contrasts with the finding in demand analysis that test–retest reliability is high. We attribute the unreliability and extreme assignment of value based on preference tests to high substitutability between foods. We suggest use of demand analysis instead of preference tests for studies that compare the values of different foods. A better strategy might be to avoid manipulating value by using different foods. Where possible, value should be manipulated by varying amounts of a single food type because, over an appropriate range, more food is consistently more valuable than less. Such an approach would be immune to problems in between-food substitutability. © 2016 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg


Remage-Healey L.,University of Massachusetts Amherst | Saldanha C.J.,American University of Washington | Schlinger B.A.,University of Massachusetts Amherst | Schlinger B.A.,University of California at Los Angeles
Frontiers in Endocrinology | Year: 2011

Classically, the modulation of brain function and behavior by steroid hormones was linked exclusively to secretion by peripheral endocrine glands. Subsequently, steroid actions within the brain were shown dependent upon either synthesis and secretion by peripheral organs or by production within the CNS itself using peripheral sources of precursors. Discovery of the estrogen-synthetic enzyme aromatase in brain further bolstered the latter view and served as a catalyst for expanding concepts of neurosteroidogenesis. In parallel research, several steroids, including estradiol, were found to have rapid effects on neuronal excitability, partially explained by novel actions at neuronal membranes. Recent findings from multiple levels of analysis and labs necessitate an updated view on how steroids are delivered to neural circuits.There is now considerable evidence for expression of the aromatase enzyme within synaptic boutons in the vertebrate CNS. Furthermore, additional work now directly couples rapid regulation of neuroestrogen synthesis with neurophysiological and behavioral outcomes. In this review we summarize evidence for targeted and acute synaptic estrogen synthesis and perisynaptic estrogen actions in the CNS of songbirds. We evaluate these findings in the context of criteria associated with classic neuromodulatory signaling. We term this novel form of signaling "synaptocrine," and discuss its implications. © 2011Remage-Healey,Sal-danha and Schlinger.


Shiffman J.,American University of Washington | Quissell K.,American University of Washington | Schmitz H.P.,University of San Diego | Pelletier D.L.,Cornell University | And 7 more authors.
Health Policy and Planning | Year: 2016

Since 1990 mortality and morbidity decline has been more extensive for some conditions prevalent in low- and middle-income countries than for others. One reason may be differences in the effectiveness of global health networks, which have proliferated in recent years. Some may be more capable than others in attracting attention to a condition, in generating funding, in developing interventions and in convincing national governments to adopt policies. This article introduces a supplement on the emergence and effectiveness of global health networks. The supplement examines networks concerned with six global health problems: tuberculosis (TB), pneumonia, tobacco use, alcohol harm, maternal mortality and newborn deaths. This article presents a conceptual framework delineating factors that may shape why networks crystallize more easily surrounding some issues than others, and once formed, why some are better able than others to shape policy and public health outcomes. All supplement papers draw on this framework. The framework consists of 10 factors in three categories: (1) features of the networks and actors that comprise them, including leadership, governance arrangements, network composition and framing strategies; (2) conditions in the global policy environment, including potential allies and opponents, funding availability and global expectations concerning which issues should be prioritized; (3) and characteristics of the issue, including severity, tractability and affected groups. The article also explains the design of the project, which is grounded in comparison of networks surrounding three matched issues: TB and pneumonia, tobacco use and alcohol harm, and maternal and newborn survival. Despite similar burden and issue characteristics, there has been considerably greater policy traction for the first in each pair. The supplement articles aim to explain the role of networks in shaping these differences, and collectively represent the first comparative effort to understand the emergence and effectiveness of global health networks. © 2015 The Author; all rights reserved.


Davidson T.L.,American University of Washington | Tracy A.L.,Grinnell College | Schier L.A.,Florida State University | Swithers S.E.,Purdue University
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes | Year: 2014

This articles describes how a cascade of associative relationships involving the sensory properties of foods, the nutritional consequences of their consumption, and perceived internal states may play an important role in the learned control of energy intake and body weight regulation. In addition, we describe ways in which dietary factors in the current environment can promote excess energy intake and body weight gain by degrading these relationships or by interfering with the neural substrates that underlie the ability of animals to use them to predict the nutritive or energetic consequences of intake. We propose that an expanded appreciation of the diversity of orosensory, gastrointestinal, and energy state signals about which animals learn, combined with a greater understanding of predictive relationships in which these cues are embedded, will help generate new information and novel approaches to addressing the current global problems of obesity and metabolic disease. © 2014 American Psychological Association.


Groffman P.M.,Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies | Stylinski C.,University of Maryland College Park | Nisbet M.C.,American University of Washington | Duarte C.M.,CSIC - Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies | And 4 more authors.
Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment | Year: 2010

The exchange of information between researchers, resource managers, decision makers, and the general public has long been recognized as a critical need in environmental science. We examine the challenges in using ecological knowledge to inform society and to change societal actions, and identify a set of options and strategies to enhance this exchange. Our objectives are to provide background information on societal knowledge and interest in science and environmental issues, to describe how different components of society obtain information and develop their interests and values, and to present a framework for evaluating and improving communication between science and society. Our analysis strongly suggests that the interface between science and society can only be improved with renewed dedication to public outreach and a wholesale reconsideration of the way that scientists communicate with society. Ecologists need to adopt new models of engagement with their audiences, frame their results in ways that are more meaningful to these audiences, and use new communication tools, capable of reaching large and diverse target groups. © The Ecological Society of America.


Morrissey T.W.,American University of Washington | Dunifon R.E.,Cornell University | Kalil A.,University of Chicago
Child Development | Year: 2011

Previous work has shown that mothers' employment is associated with increases in children's body mass index (BMI), a measure of weight for height. Nonstandard work (working evenings or nights, weekends, or an irregular shift) may also be associated with children's BMI. This article examines the association between maternal work and children's BMI and considers the influence of mothers' nonstandard work schedules. Using data from school-age children (approximately 8 to 12 years) in the NICHD's Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development (N = 990), this study found that an increase in the total time a mother is employed is associated with an increase in her child's BMI; additionally, the association between maternal employment and children's weight is much stronger at 6th grade relative to younger ages. There was no evidence that maternal or home characteristics or children's time use mediated these associations, nor was there any evidence that nonstandard work was associated with children's BMI. Implications for policy and future research are discussed. © 2011 The Authors. Child Development © 2011 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.


Bruno J.F.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Ellner S.P.,Cornell University | Vu I.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Kim K.,American University of Washington | Harvell C.D.,Cornell University
Ecological Monographs | Year: 2011

Little is known about how epizootics in natural populations affect vital rates and population structure, or about the process of recovery after an outbreak subsides. We investigated the effects of aspergillosis, an infectious disease caused by the fungal pathogen Aspergillus sydowii, on the demography of a gorgonian coral, Gorgonia ventalina. Caribbean sea fans were affected by a seven-year epizootic, marked by an initial period in 1994 of high infection prevalence, high mortality rates, and almost complete reproductive failure of infected fans. Post epizootic, in 2005, host populations were relatively healthy, with low disease prevalence. Using longitudinal data from populations on coral reefs in the Florida Keys (USA) and the Yucatán Peninsula (Mexico), we documented changes in the epidemiology of sea fan aspergillosis over the course of the epizootic. We developed an "integral projection model" that scales disease impacts from individual to population levels using direct estimates of vital rates. Within-colony lesion growth rate and host mortality were higher during the peak of the epizootic. Effects on individuals and populations changed substantially post-epizootic; recruitment increased, mortality of infected adults decreased, and the size dependence of infection was reduced. Elasticity analysis indicated that population growth is more sensitive to changes in the growth and survival of established colonies than to recruitment, due to slow colony growth and the longevity and fecundity of large adults. Disease prevalence in our monitored populations decreased from ∼50% in 1997 to <10% by 2003 and <1% in 2007 and was accompanied by very high mortality during the early stages of the epizootic. The population model suggested that host evolution (due to selection for higher disease resistance through differential mortality) could proceed quickly enough to explain the observed changes in prevalence and in the size independence of infection risk. Our model indicates that the time required for population recovery following an outbreak is largely determined by the percentage of healthy tissue lost from the population. However, recovery following an especially severe outbreak (i.e., 80% or more tissue loss) is much faster if the affected population receives an external supply of recruits from unaffected areas. © 2011 by the Ecological Society of America.


Kaler A.,University of Alberta | Watkins S.C.,University of California at Los Angeles | Angotti N.,American University of Washington
African Journal of AIDS Research | Year: 2015

The Malawi Journals Project is one of the longest-running observational field studies in rural sub-Saharan Africa, ongoing since 1999. The journals provide real-time accounts of the unfolding epidemic, from the days when AIDS was considered by rural Malawians to be a death sentence, through the advent of international AIDS organisations bearing advice on avoiding infections by self-control, and then the turn to institutionally-based efforts to control infection through HIV testing and antiretroviral medications. This paper examines the epistemological and substantive contributions of the Journals Project, which we and others who have analysed the journals have made to understanding the AIDS epidemic. The paper has three primary aims. The first is to provide evidence of the chasm between the top-down perspectives of global actors with a mandate to address the pandemic and the bottom-up perspectives of local actors trying to avoid dying from AIDS, perspectives that are often contradictory. Second, beyond what can be learned from the journals about individual and collective responses to AIDS, they suggest the value of longitudinal observational field studies as a method for understanding how cultural change occurs. And third, as an example of the potential of longitudinal field studies as a research method on AIDS as well as other topics, we have structured our argument around the broader empirical and theoretical debates in the social sciences featured in published and presented analyses of the Malawi journals data: multiple moral logics, the course of global flows of information and injunctions, and the collective deliberation that produces authoritative local knowledge. © 2015 NISC (Pty) Ltd.


Paz-Soldan V.A.,Tulane University | Paz-Soldan V.A.,Cayetano Heredia Peruvian University | Bayer A.M.,University of California at Los Angeles | Bayer A.M.,Cayetano Heredia Peruvian University | And 2 more authors.
Reproductive Health Matters | Year: 2012

Through in-depth interviews with 30 key informants from 19 institutions in the health care system in four regions of Peru, this study identifies multiple barriers to obtaining cervical cancer screening, follow-up, and treatment. Some facilities outside Lima do not have the capacity to take Pap smear samples; others cannot do so on a continuing basis. Variation in procedures used by facilities and between regions, differences in women's ability to pay, as well as varying levels of training of laboratory personnel, all affect the quality and timing of service delivery and outcomes. In some settings, perverse incentives to accrue overtime payments increase the lag time between sample collection and reporting back of results. Some patients with abnormal results are lost to follow-up; others find needed treatment to be out of their financial or geographic reach. To increase coverage for cervical cancer screening and follow-up, interventions are needed at all levels, including an institutional overhaul to ensure that referral mechanisms are appropriate and that treatment is accessible and affordable. Training for midwives and gynaecologists is needed in good sample collection and fixing, and quality control of samples. Training of additional cytotechnologists, especially in the provinces, and incentives for processing Pap smears in an appropriate, timely manner is also required. © 2012 Reproductive Health Matters.


Ganguli B.,University of Calcutta | Roy S.S.,University of Calcutta | Naskar M.,ICAR Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute | Malloy E.J.,American University of Washington | Eisen E.A.,University of California at Berkeley
Statistics in Medicine | Year: 2016

The Generalised linear mixed model (GLMM) is widely used for modelling environmental data. However, such data are prone to influential observations, which can distort the estimated exposure-response curve particularly in regions of high exposure. Deletion diagnostics for iterative estimation schemes commonly derive the deleted estimates based on a single iteration of the full system holding certain pivotal quantities such as the information matrix to be constant. In this paper, we present an approximate formula for the deleted estimates and Cook's distance for the GLMM, which does not assume that the estimates of variance parameters are unaffected by deletion. The procedure allows the user to calculate standardised DFBETAs for mean as well as variance parameters. In certain cases such as when using the GLMM as a device for smoothing, such residuals for the variance parameters are interesting in their own right. In general, the procedure leads to deleted estimates of mean parameters, which are corrected for the effect of deletion on variance components as estimation of the two sets of parameters is interdependent. The probabilistic behaviour of these residuals is investigated and a simulation based procedure suggested for their standardisation. The method is used to identify influential individuals in an occupational cohort exposed to silica. The results show that failure to conduct post model fitting diagnostics for variance components can lead to erroneous conclusions about the fitted curve and unstable confidence intervals. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Casey A.H.,American University of Washington | Silberberg A.,American University of Washington | Paukner A.,Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development | Suomi S.J.,Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
Animal Cognition | Year: 2014

Researchers in comparative psychology often use different food rewards in their studies, with food values defined by a pre-experimental preference test. While this technique rank orders food values, it provides limited information about value differences because preferences may reflect not only value differences, but also the degree to which one good may "substitute" for another (e.g., one food may substitute well for another food, but neither substitutes well for water). We propose scaling the value of food pairs by a third food that is less substitutable for either food offered in preference tests (cross-modal scaling). Here, Cebus monkeys chose between four pairwise alternatives: fruits A versus B; cereal amount X versus fruit A and cereal amount Y versus fruit B where X and Y were adjusted to produce indifference between each cereal amount and each fruit; and cereal amounts X versus Y. When choice was between perfect substitutes (different cereal amounts), preferences were nearly absolute; so too when choice was between close substitutes (fruits); however, when choice was between fruits and cereal amounts, preferences were more modest and less likely due to substitutability. These results suggest that scaling between-good value differences in terms of a third, less-substitutable good may be better than simple preference tests in defining between-good value differences. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Saldanha C.J.,Lehigh University | Saldanha C.J.,American University of Washington | Remage-Healey L.,University of Massachusetts Amherst | Schlinger B.A.,University of California at Los Angeles
Endocrine Reviews | Year: 2011

Sex steroids have long been recognized for their dramatic impact on brain and behavior, including rapid modulation of membrane excitability. It is a widely held perception that these molecules are largely derived from peripheral sources and lack the spatial and temporal specificity ascribed to classical neuromodulatory systems. Neuromodulatory systems, in contrast, are defined by their regulated neuronal presynaptic secretion and by their functional modulation of perisynaptic events. Here we provide evidence for regulated presynaptic estrogen synthesis and functional postsynaptic actions. These results meet all the criteria for a neuromodulatory system and shift our perception of estrogens from that of peripheral signals exclusively to include that of a signaling system intrinsic to the brain itself. We apply the term synaptocrine to describe this form of neuromodulation. © 2011 by The Endocrine Society.


Baker D.M.,Cornell University | Baker D.M.,Carnegie Institution of Washington | Kim K.,American University of Washington | Andras J.P.,Cornell University | And 2 more authors.
Coral Reefs | Year: 2011

The stable nitrogen isotope ratio (δ15N) of coral tissue is a useful recorder of anthropogenic pollution in tropical marine ecosystems. However, little is known of the natural environmentally induced fractionations that affect our interpretation of coral δ15N values. In symbiotic scleractinians, light affects metabolic fractionation of N during photosynthesis, which may confound the identification of N pollution between sites of varied depth or turbidity. Given the superiority of octocorals for δ15N studies, our goal was to quantify the effect of light on gorgonian δ15N in the context of monitoring N pollution sources. Using field collections, we show that δ15N declined by 1. 4‰ over 20 m depth in two species of gorgonians, the common sea fan, Gorgonia ventalina, and the slimy sea plume, Pseudopterogorgia americana. An 8-week laboratory experiment with P. americana showed that light, not temperature causes this variation, whereby the lowest fractionation of the N source was observed in the highest light treatment. Finally, we used a yearlong reciprocal depth transplant experiment to quantify the time frame over which δ15N changes in G. ventalina as a function of light regime. Over the year, δ15N was unchanged and increased slightly in the deep control colonies and shallow colonies transplanted to the deep site, respectively. Within 6 months, colonies transplanted from deep to shallow became enriched by 0. 8‰, mirroring the enrichment observed in the shallow controls, which was likely due to the combined effect of an increase in the source δ15N and reduced fractionation. We conclude that light affects gorgonian δ15N fractionation and should be considered in sampling designs for N pollution monitoring. However, these fractionations are small relative to differences observed between natural and anthropogenic N sources. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.


Xiao B.,American University of Washington | Walter B.,Cornell University | Gkioulekas I.,Harvard University | Zickler T.,Harvard University | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Vision | Year: 2014

Translucency is an important aspect of material appearance. To some extent, humans are able to estimate translucency in a consistent way across different shapes and lighting conditions, i.e., to exhibit translucency constancy. However, Fleming and Bülthoff(2005) have shown that that there can be large failures of constancy, with lighting direction playing an important role. In this paper, we explore the interaction of shape, illumination, and degree of translucency constancy more deeply by including in our analysis the variations in translucent appearance that are induced by the shape of the scattering phase function. This is an aspect of translucency that has been largely neglected. We used appearance matching to measure how perceived translucency depends on both lighting and phase function. The stimuli were rendered scenes that contained a figurine and the lighting direction was represented by spherical harmonic basis function. Observers adjusted the density of a figurine under one lighting condition to match the material property of a target figurine under another lighting condition. Across the trials, we varied both the lighting direction and the phase function of the target. The phase functions were sampled from a 2D space proposed by Gkioulekas et al. (2013) to span an important range of translucent appearance. We find the degree of translucency constancy depends strongly on the phase function's location in the same 2D space, suggesting that the space captures useful information about different types of translucency. We also find that the geometry of an object is important. We compare the case of a torus, which has a simple smooth shape, with that of the figurine, which has more complex geometric features. The complex shape shows a greater range of apparent translucencies and a higher degree of constancy failure. In summary, humans show significant failures of translucency constancy across changes in lighting direction, but the effect depends both on the shape complexity and the translucency phase function. © 2014 ARVO.


De Jesus M.,American University of Washington | Carrete C.,American University of Washington | Maine C.,Womens Collective | Nalls P.,Womens Collective
AIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV | Year: 2015

Washington, DC, has the highest AIDS diagnosis rate in the USA, and Black women are disproportionately affected. Although HIV testing is the first entryway into vital treatment services, evidence reveals that foreign-born blacks have a lower rate of recent HIV testing than US-born blacks. To date, however, there are no studies that examine the culture-specific perceptions of HIV testing among East African immigrant women (who comprise a large share of Black Africans in DC) to better understand their potential barriers to testing. Adopting the PEN-3 cultural model as our theoretical framework, the main objective of this study was to examine East African women's HIV testing perceptions and partner communication norms. Between October 2012 and March 2013, trained interviewers conducted a total of 25 interviews with East African women in the Washington, DC,metropolitan area. For triangulation purposes, data collection consisted of both in-depth, semi-structured interviews and cognitive interviews, in which participants were administered a quantitative survey and assessed on how they interpreted items. Qualitative thematic analysis revealed a systematic pattern of discordant responses across participants. While they were aware of messages related to Western public health discourse surrounding HIV testing (e.g., Everyone should get tested for HIV; One should talk to one's spouse about HIV testing), divergent sociocultural expectations rooted in cultural and religious beliefs prevailed (e.g., Getting an HIV test brings shame to the person who got tested and to one's family; it implies one is engaging in immoral behavior; One should not talk with one's spouse about HIV testing; doing so breaks cultural norms). Implications of using a culture-centered model to examine the role of sociocultural expectations in HIV prevention research and to develop culturally responsive prevention strategies are discussed. © 2015 Taylor & Francis.


Yun H.,Yonsei University | Lee G.,American University of Washington | Kim D.J.,University of North Texas
35th International Conference on Information Systems "Building a Better World Through Information Systems", ICIS 2014 | Year: 2014

IS researchers have studied online information privacy concerns for decades. However, prior research has produced a sub-optimal contribution to knowledge because findings are rather inconsistent and inconclusive. To address this issue, this research uses metaanalysis methods to analyze cumulative effects of the relationships between online information privacy concern and its theoretically-associated constructs. Our analysis of 89 empirical studies suggests that information privacy concerns have been most frequently tested with such constructs as user experience, awareness/knowledge, usefulness, privacy control, privacy risk, willingness to transact, willingness to provide personal information, trust, and attitude. We find that while most of these bivariate relationships are significant, their effect size varies. We also find that measure instrument, sample characteristics, and culture significantly moderate several relationships. We will use meta-analytic structural equation modeling techniques to delve deeper into the most frequently tested constructs.


Baker D.M.,Cornell University | Webster K.L.,American University of Washington | Webster K.L.,University of Virginia | Kim K.,American University of Washington
Global Change Biology | Year: 2010

During the last century, the global biogeochemical cycles of carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) have been drastically altered by human activities. A century of land-clearing and biomass burning, followed by fossil fuel combustion have increased the concentration of atmospheric CO2 by approximately 20%, and since the mid-1900s, the use of agricultural fertilizers has been the primary driver of an approximate 90% increase in bioavailable N. Geochemical records obtained through stable isotope analysis of terrestrial and marine biota effectively illustrate rising anthropogenic C inputs. However, there are fewer records of anthropogenic N, despite the enormous magnitude of change and the known negative effects of N on ecosystem health. We used stable isotope values from independent octocorals (gorgonians) sampled across the Western Atlantic over the last 143 years to document human perturbations of the marine C and N pools. Here, we demonstrate that in sea plumes δ13C values and in both sea plumes and sea fans δ15N values declined significantly from 1862 to 2005. Sea plume δ13C values were negatively correlated with increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations and corroborate known rates of change resulting from global fossil fuel combustion, known as the Suess effect. We suggest that widespread input of agricultural fertilizers to near-shore coastal waters is the dominant driver for the decreasing δ15N trend, though multiple anthropogenic sources are likely affecting this trend. Given the interest in using δ15N as an indicator for N pollution in aquatic systems, we highlight the risk of underestimating contributions of pollutants as a result of source mixing as demonstrated by a simple isotope-mixing model. We conclude that signals of major human-induced perturbations of the C and N pools are detectable in specimens collected over wide geographic scales, and that archived materials are invaluable for establishing baselines against which we can assess environmental change. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


Singh J.A.,Birmingham Veterans Affairs Medical Center | Singh J.A.,University of Alabama at Birmingham | Singh J.A.,Rochester College | Cameron C.,University of Ottawa | And 9 more authors.
The Lancet | Year: 2015

Background Serious infections are a major concern for patients considering treatments for rheumatoid arthritis. Evidence is inconsistent as to whether biological drugs are associated with an increased risk of serious infection compared with traditional disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). We did a systematic review and meta-analysis of serious infections in patients treated with biological drugs compared with those treated with traditional DMARDs. Methods We did a systematic literature search with Medline, Embase, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and ClinicalTrials.gov from their inception to Feb 11, 2014. Search terms included "biologics", "rheumatoid arthritis" and their synonyms. Trials were eligible for inclusion if they included any of the approved biological drugs and reported serious infections. We assessed the risk of bias with the Cochrane Risk of Bias Tool. We did a Bayesian network meta-analysis of published trials using a binomial likelihood model to assess the risk of serious infections in patients with rheumatoid arthritis who were treated with biological drugs, compared with those treated with traditional DMARDs. The odds ratio (OR) of serious infection was the primary measure of treatment effect and calculated 95% credible intervals using Markov Chain Monte Carlo methods. Findings The systematic review identified 106 trials that reported serious infections and included patients with rheumatoid arthritis who received biological drugs. Compared with traditional DMARDs, standard-dose biological drugs (OR 1·31, 95% credible interval [CrI] 1·09-1·58) and high-dose biological drugs (1·90, 1·50-2·39) were associated with an increased risk of serious infections, although low-dose biological drugs (0·93, 0·65-1·33) were not. The risk was lower in patients who were methotrexate naive compared with traditional DMARD-experienced or anti-tumour necrosis factor biological drug-experienced patients. The absolute increase in the number of serious infections per 1000 patients treated each year ranged from six for standard-dose biological drugs to 55 for combination biological therapy, compared with traditional DMARDs. Interpretation Standard-dose and high-dose biological drugs (with or without traditional DMARDs) are associated with an increase in serious infections in rheumatoid arthritis compared with traditional DMARDs, although low-dose biological drugs are not. Clinicians should discuss the balance between benefit and harm with the individual patient before starting biological treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. Funding Rheumatology Division at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


Zhu T.,Sun Yat Sen University | Ding X.,CAS Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry | Kusimba C.M.,American University of Washington | Feng Z.,Sun Yat Sen University
Ceramics International | Year: 2015

Abstract The provenance of cobalt mineral of the blue decoration in Yuan Qinghua porcelain would reveal the technological and cultural interaction between ancient China and the Islamic world. However, the limitation of conventional methods in the determining trace elements of the blue decoration hampered the deep research on provenance of the cobalt mineral. In the paper, we employed the good advantage of Laser-ablation-inductively-coupled-plasma-mass-spectroscopy (LA-ICP-MS) to determine the major element and trace elements of blue decoration of the different type of Qinghua successfully. The blue decoration of all different types of samples shared the same characteristics of higher FeO and lower Mn, which suggested the potter adopted the non-native cobalt material of China to paint the Yuan Qinghua in Jingdezheng, and the difference on the outside appearance of blue decoration of different samples were supposed to be related to the tenor of ore, the different treatment process of cobalt material and the firing process in the kiln. In addition, the significant differences on the element concentrations of Cu, Ni, Pb, Zr and Sb in the blue decoration between Yuan Qinghua and the Islamic blue and white wares of 13-14th century provided a new evidence to discuss the provenance of the cobalt of Yuan Qinghua porcelain. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd and Techna Group S.r.l.


Ferguson C.J.,Texas A&M International University | Savage J.,American University of Washington
Aggression and Violent Behavior | Year: 2012

Media violence continues to be a concern to parents, policy makers and researchers. In spite of confidence expressed by some that exposure to television violence causes serious aggression and violent crime, critics hold that serious flaws in research methodology limits or nullifies conclusions drawn from widely-cited studies. In this paper, we will examine a series of classic studies for lessons learned about conducting media violence research, and assess whether recent publications adhere to those standards. We conclude that empirical reports with serious flaws continue to be published, compromising our ability to understand this phenomenon. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


De Jesus M.,American University of Washington | Carrete C.,American University of Washington | Maine C.,Womens Collective | Nalls P.,Womens Collective
Sexually Transmitted Infections | Year: 2015

Objectives The objective of the study was to examine and compare the HIV testing attitudes, perceptions and behaviours between African-American and East African immigrant women in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Methods Adopting an inductive, qualitative methodological approach, we conducted a total of 40 in-depth, semistructured interviews between October 2012 and March 2013. Qualitative thematic analysis was used to analyse the data. Results Overall, African-American women held more favourable views towards HIV testing than East African immigrant women. Very few East African immigrant women sought HIV testing intentionally. The majority of East African participants were tested inadvertently, while others tested for immigration-related or employmentrelated purposes. There were many barriers that impede women from seeking an HIV test including negative assumptions (eg, "Getting an HIV test implies that I am HIV positive"), negative emotions (eg, "Fear of being diagnosed with HIV and what this will mean for me") and potential negative reactions from partner or others (eg, "Getting an HIV test can signal distrust, disrespect, or infidelity"). There were nuances in how each group articulated some of these barriers and East African women expressed unique concerns that originated from experiences in their home countries. Conclusions The study shed light into the complexity of factors that constrain women from presenting themselves voluntarily for an HIV test and highlighted the nuances between African-American and East African perceptions. Implications of findings for effective targeted HIV screening promotion and communication strategies among these groups of women are discussed.


De Jesus M.,American University of Washington | Taylor J.,American University of Washington | Maine C.,Womens Collective | Nalls P.,Womens Collective
Sexually Transmitted Diseases | Year: 2016

Background To date, there are very few comparative US studies and none in DC that distinguish between US-born and foreign-born black women to examine and compare their perceptions of HIV risk. This qualitative study, therefore, analyzes African American and East African women's perceptions of HIV risk in the Washington DC Metropolitan area, which has the highest AIDS rate in the United States. Methods Forty in-depth, semistructured interviews and 10 cognitive interviews were conducted among a sample of 25 African American women and 25 East African born women between October 2012 and March 2013 to examine perceptions regarding HIV risk. The in-depth semistructured interviews were preceded by the cognitive interviews and accompanying survey. Study protocol was reviewed and approved by the American University Institutional Review Board. Results Adopting Boerma and Weir's Proximate Determinants conceptual framework to interpret the data, the results of the study demonstrate that African American and East African immigrant women have divergent perceptions of HIV risk. Although African American women ascribe HIV risk to individual-level behaviors and choices such as unprotected sex, East African women attribute HIV risk to conditions of poverty and survival. Conclusions Study findings suggest that addressing HIV prevention and education among black women in DC will require distinct and targeted strategies that are culturally and community-centered to resonate with these different audiences. © 2015 American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association All rights reserved.


Shiffman J.,American University of Washington | Schmitz H.P.,University of San Diego | Berlan D.,Florida State University | Smith S.L.,University of New Mexico | And 4 more authors.
Health Policy and Planning | Year: 2016

Global health issues vary in the amount of attention and resources they receive. One reason is that the networks of individuals and organizations that address these issues differ in their effectiveness. This article presents key findings from a research project on the emergence and effectiveness of global health networks addressing tobacco use, alcohol harm, maternal mortality, neonatal mortality, tuberculosis and pneumonia. Although networks are only one of many factors influencing priority, they do matter, particularly for shaping the way the problem and solutions are understood, and convincing governments, international organizations and other global actors to address the issue. Their national-level effects vary by issue and are more difficult to ascertain. Networks are most likely to produce effects when (1) their members construct a compelling framing of the issue, one that includes a shared understanding of the problem, a consensus on solutions and convincing reasons to act and (2) they build a political coalition that includes individuals and organizations beyond their traditional base in the health sector, a task that demands engagement in the politics of the issue, not just its technical aspects. Maintaining a focused frame and sustaining a broad coalition are often in tension: effective networks find ways to balance the two challenges. The emergence and effectiveness of a network are shaped both by its members' decisions and by contextual factors, including historical influences (e.g. prior failed attempts to address the problem), features of the policy environment (e.g. global development goals) and characteristics of the issue the network addresses (e.g. its mortality burden). Their proliferation raises the issue of their legitimacy. Reasons to consider them legitimate include their members' expertise and the attention they bring to neglected issues. Reasons to question their legitimacy include their largely elite composition and the fragmentation they bring to global health governance. © 2016 The Author; all rights reserved.


Liu N.,Southern Research Institute | Liu N.,Tianjin Medical University | Boohaker R.J.,Southern Research Institute | Jiang C.,Nanchang University | And 4 more authors.
Oncotarget | Year: 2015

MicroRNA, a class of small non-coding RNAs, play critical roles in the cellular response to DNA damage induced by ionizing irradiation (IR). Growing evidence shows alteration of miRNAs, in response to radiation, controls cellular radiosensitivity in DNA damage response pathways. However, it is less clear about the clinical relevance of miRNA regulation in radiosensitivity. Using an in vitro system, we conducted microarray to identify a miRNA signature to assess radiosensitivity. The data were validated by analyzing available Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma (HNSCC) samples in the cancer genome atlas (TCGA) database. A total of 27 miRNAs showed differential alteration in response to IR in an Ataxia-Telangiectasia Mutated (ATM) kinase -dependent manner. We validated the list and identified a five miRNA signature that can predict radiation responsiveness in HNSCC. Furthermore, we found that the expression level of ATM in these patients was correlated with the radiation responsiveness. Together, we demonstrate the feasibility of using a miRNA signature to predict the clinical responsiveness of HNSCC radiotherapy.


Morris G.A.,Valparaiso University | Harshman N.,American University of Washington | Branum-Martin L.,University of Houston | Mazur E.,Harvard University | And 2 more authors.
American Journal of Physics | Year: 2012

Several years ago, we introduced the idea of item response curves (IRC), a simplistic form of item response theory (IRT), to the physics education research community as a way to examine item performance on diagnostic instruments such as the Force Concept Inventory (FCI). We noted that a full-blown analysis using IRT would be a next logical step, which several authors have since taken. In this paper, we show that our simple approach not only yields similar conclusions in the analysis of the performance of items on the FCI to the more sophisticated and complex IRT analyses but also permits additional insights by characterizing both the correct and incorrect answer choices. Our IRC approach can be applied to a variety of multiple-choice assessments but, as applied to a carefully designed instrument such as the FCI, allows us to probe student understanding as a function of ability level through an examination of each answer choice. We imagine that physics teachers could use IRC analysis to identify prominent misconceptions and tailor their instruction to combat those misconceptions, fulfilling the FCI authors' original intentions for its use. Furthermore, the IRC analysis can assist test designers to improve their assessments by identifying nonfunctioning distractors that can be replaced with distractors attractive to students at various ability levels. © 2012 American Association of Physics Teachers.


Benetti A.S.,University of Sao Paulo | Tavares M.,University of Sao Paulo | Dos Santos D.C.,São Paulo State University | Tudge C.,American University of Washington
Invertebrate Reproduction and Development | Year: 2013

The ultrastructure of the sperm of the gecarcinid land crab Cardisoma guanhumi is described by scanning and transmission electron microscopy. Ultrastructural sperm morphology lends support for the monophyletic origin of the Thoracotremata, and for the placement of C. guanhumi in that clade. Additionally, it further attests the low level of variability within the thoracotreme clade. With regard to ultrastructural morphology, small differences concerning the apical button, the hyaline periopercular rim, the inner acrosome zone, and the outer two lamellations in the outer acrosome zone have been found between the spermatozoa of C. guanhumi and Cardisoma carnifex, the only other species in this genus studied for spermatozoal morphology. Copyright © 2013 Taylor & Francis.


MacLean P.S.,Aurora University | Wing R.R.,Brown University | Davidson T.,American University of Washington | Epstein L.,State University of New York at Buffalo | And 8 more authors.
Obesity | Year: 2014

Objectives The National Institutes of Health, led by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, organized a working group of experts to discuss the problem of weight regain after weight loss. A number of experts in integrative physiology and behavioral psychology were convened with the goal of merging their perspectives regarding the barriers to scientific progress and the development of novel ways to improve long-term outcomes in obesity therapeutics. The specific objectives of this working group were to: (1) identify the challenges that make maintaining a reduced weight so difficult; (2) review strategies that have been used to improve success in previous studies; and (3) recommend novel solutions that could be examined in future studies of long-term weight control. Results Specific barriers to successful weight loss maintenance include poor adherence to behavioral regimens and physiological adaptations that promote weight regain. A better understanding of how these behavioral and physiological barriers are related, how they vary between individuals, and how they can be overcome will lead to the development of novel strategies with improved outcomes. Conclusions Greater collaboration and cross-talk between physiological and behavioral researchers is needed to advance the science and develop better strategies for weight loss maintenance. © 2014 The Obesity Society.


Caticha A.,University at Albany | Golan A.,American University of Washington
Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications | Year: 2014

We develop an information-theoretic framework for economic modeling. This framework is based on principles of entropic inference that are designed for reasoning on the basis of incomplete information. We take the point of view of an external observer who has access to limited information about broad macroscopic economic features. We view this framework as complementary to more traditional methods. The economy is modeled as a collection of agents about whom we make no assumptions of rationality (in the sense of maximizing utility or profit). States of statistical equilibrium are introduced as those macrostates that maximize entropy subject to the relevant information codified into constraints. The basic assumption is that this information refers to supply and demand and is expressed in the form of the expected values of certain quantities (such as inputs, resources, goods, production functions, utility functions and budgets). The notion of economic entropy is introduced. It provides a measure of the uniformity of the distribution of goods and resources. It captures both the welfare state of the economy as well as the characteristics of the market (say, monopolistic, concentrated or competitive). Prices, which turn out to be the Lagrange multipliers, are endogenously generated by the economy. Further studies include the equilibrium between two economies and the conditions for stability. As an example, the case of the nonlinear economy that arises from linear production and utility functions is treated in some detail. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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