ResearchPad - Law https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Impact of law enforcement and increased traffic fines policy on road traffic fatality, injuries and offenses in Iran: Interrupted time series analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N9254ca97-b759-40e9-8001-23227e05911a

Background

Road traffic law enforcement was implemented on 1st April 2011 (the first intervention) and traffic ticket fines have been increased on 1st March 2016 (the second intervention) in Iran. The aim of the current study was to evaluate the effects of the law enforcement on reduction in the incidence rate of road traffic fatality (IRRTF), the incidence rate of road traffic injuries (IRRTI) and the incidence rate of rural road traffic offenses (IRRRTO) in Iran.

Methods

Interrupted time series analysis was conducted to evaluate the impact of law enforcement and increased traffic tickets fines. Monthly data of fatality on urban, rural and local rural roads, injuries with respect to gender and traffic offenses namely speeding, illegal overtaking and tailgating were investigated separately for the period 2009–2016.

Results

Results showed a reduction in the incidence rate of total road traffic fatality (IRTRTF), the incidence rate of rural road traffic fatality (IRRRTF) and the incidence rate of urban road traffic fatality (IRURTF) by –21.44% (–39.3 to –3.59, 95% CI), –21.25% (–31.32 to –11.88, 95% CI) and –26.75% (–37.49 to –16, 95% CI) through the first intervention which resulted in 0.383, 0.255 and 0.222 decline in casualties per 100 000 population, respectively. Conversely, no reduction was found in the incidence rate of local rural road traffic fatality (IRLRRTF) and the IRRTI. Second intervention was found to only affect the IRURTF with –26.75% (–37.49 to –16, 95% CI) which led to 0.222 casualties per 100 000 population. In addition, a reduction effect was observed on the incidence rate of illegal overtaking (IRIO) and the incidence rate of speeding (IRS) with –42.8% (–57.39 to –28.22, 95% CI) and –10.54% (–21.05 to –0.03, 95% CI which implied a decrease of 415.85 and 1003.8 in monthly traffic offenses per 100 000 vehicles), respectively.

Conclusion

Time series analysis suggests a decline in IRTRTF, IRRRTF, and IRURTF caused by the first intervention. However, the second intervention found to be only effective in IRURTF, IRIO, and IRS with the implication that future initiatives should be focused on modifying the implementation of the traffic interventions.

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<![CDATA[Fingerprint evidence for the division of labour and learning pottery-making at Early Bronze Age Tell eṣ-Ṣâfi/Gath, Israel]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N5152a5b5-1b3f-41e8-b706-9ccd50f6a496

The organization of craft production has long been a marker for broader social, economic and political changes that accompanied urbanism. The identity of producers who comprised production groups, communities, or workshops is out of reach using conventional archaeological data. There has been some success using epidermal prints on artefacts to identify the age and sex of producers. However, forensic research indicates that a combination of ridge breadth and ridge density would best identify the age and sex of individuals. To this end, we combine mean ridge breadth (MRB) and mean ridge density (MRD) to distinguish the age and sex of 112 fingerprints on Early Bronze Age (EB) III pottery from the early urban neighbourhood at Tell eṣ-Ṣâfi/Gath, Israel, dating to a 100 year time span. Our analysis accounts for the shrinkage of calcareous fabrics used to make six type of vessels, applies a modified version of the Kamp et al. regression equation to the MRB for each individual print, and infers sex by correlating MRD data to appropriate modern reference populations. When the results are combined, our analyses indicate that most fingerprints were made by adult and young males and the remainder by adult and young females. Children’s prints are in evidence but only occur on handles. Multiple prints of different age and sex on the same vessels suggest they were impressed during the training of young potters. Production appears dominated by adult and young males working alone, together, and in cooperation with adult and/or young females. Vessels with prints exclusively by females of any age are rare. This male dominant cooperative labour pattern contrasts recent studies showing that adult women primarily made Neolithic figurines in Anatolia, and more females than males were making pottery prior to the rise of city-states in northern Mesopotamia.

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<![CDATA[Optimizing predictive performance of criminal recidivism models using registration data with binary and survival outcomes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5c8c193ed5eed0c484b4d25f

In a recidivism prediction context, there is no consensus on which modeling strategy should be followed for obtaining an optimal prediction model. In previous papers, a range of statistical and machine learning techniques were benchmarked on recidivism data with a binary outcome. However, two important tree ensemble methods, namely gradient boosting and random forests were not extensively evaluated. In this paper, we further explore the modeling potential of these techniques in the binary outcome criminal prediction context. Additionally, we explore the predictive potential of classical statistical and machine learning methods for censored time-to-event data. A range of statistical manually specified statistical and (semi-)automatic machine learning models is fitted on Dutch recidivism data, both for the binary outcome case and censored outcome case. To enhance generalizability of results, the same models are applied to two historical American data sets, the North Carolina prison data. For all datasets, (semi-) automatic modeling in the binary case seems to provide no improvement over an appropriately manually specified traditional statistical model. There is however evidence of slightly improved performance of gradient boosting in survival data. Results on the reconviction data from two sources suggest that both statistical and machine learning should be tried out for obtaining an optimal model. Even if a flexible black-box model does not improve upon the predictions of a manually specified model, it can serve as a test whether important interactions are missing or other misspecification of the model are present and can thus provide more security in the modeling process.

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<![CDATA[Workplace burnout and health issues among Colombian correctional officers]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5c6c75e7d5eed0c4843d047c

Introduction

Correctional employees typically work under adverse conditions that may enhance the occurrence of different negative psychological states. Burnout constitutes a high-risk phenomenon that may affect people’s physical/mental health and welfare, especially in vulnerable occupational groups.

Objectives

The aim of this study was to characterize the burnout profile of correctional officers, and to associate their burnout profile with health issues and lifestyle factors.

Methods

The full sample was composed of 219 Colombian correctional officers with a mean age of 30.18 years. A questionnaire composed of three sections was employed: demographic data, burnout, and health information.

Results

A high proportion of participants reported burnout indicators, also significantly correlated to their health indicators and lifestyle factors. Cluster analyses were used in order to characterize the burnout/age (model A) and burnout/age/psychological disturbance (model B) profiles of correctional officers. Furthermore, significant differences were found when comparing frequencies of alcohol consumption and physical exercise (lifestyle indicators) and perceived social support of officers depending on their profile.

Conclusions

the discussion focused on the negative impact of burnout on health, and on the importance of strengthening occupational programs aimed at reducing the impact of hazardous working conditions that contribute to the development of burnout, and to the arise different mid and long-term health complains among correctional workers.

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<![CDATA[Do professional facial image comparison training courses work?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5c6dca04d5eed0c48452a6c3

Facial image comparison practitioners compare images of unfamiliar faces and decide whether or not they show the same person. Given the importance of these decisions for national security and criminal investigations, practitioners attend training courses to improve their face identification ability. However, these courses have not been empirically validated so it is unknown if they improve accuracy. Here, we review the content of eleven professional training courses offered to staff at national security, police, intelligence, passport issuance, immigration and border control agencies around the world. All reviewed courses include basic training in facial anatomy and prescribe facial feature (or ‘morphological’) comparison. Next, we evaluate the effectiveness of four representative courses by comparing face identification accuracy before and after training in novices (n = 152) and practitioners (n = 236). We find very strong evidence that short (1-hour and half-day) professional training courses do not improve identification accuracy, despite 93% of trainees believing their performance had improved. We find some evidence of improvement in a 3-day training course designed to introduce trainees to the unique feature-by-feature comparison strategy used by facial examiners in forensic settings. However, observed improvements are small, inconsistent across tests, and training did not produce the qualitative changes associated with examiners’ expertise. Future research should test the benefits of longer examination-focussed training courses and incorporate longitudinal approaches to track improvements caused by mentoring and deliberate practice. In the absence of evidence that training is effective, we advise agencies to explore alternative evidence-based strategies for improving the accuracy of face identification decisions.

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<![CDATA[The continuing evolution of ownership]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5c6c7577d5eed0c4843cfddd

The evolution in animals of a first possession convention, in which individuals retain what they are the first to acquire, has often been taken as a foundation for the evolution of human ownership institutions. However, among humans, individuals actually only seldom retain an item they have acquired from the environment, instead typically transferring what they possess to other members of the community, to those in command, or to those who hold a contractual title. This paper presents a novel game-theoretic model of the evolution of ownership institutions as rules governing resource transfers. Integrating existing findings, the model contributes a new perspective on the emergence of communal transfers among hominin large game hunters around 200,000 years ago, of command ownership among sedentary humans in the millennia prior to the transition to agriculture, and of titled property ownership around 5,500 years ago. Since today’s property institutions motivate transfers through the promise of future returns, the analysis presented here suggests that these institutions may be placed under considerable pressure should resources become significantly constrained.

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<![CDATA[Social representation of palliative care in the Spanish printed media: A qualitative analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5c57e65fd5eed0c484ef2e16

Background

Lack of social awareness is a major barrier to the development of palliative care. Mass media influences public opinion, and frequently deal with palliative care contributing to its image and public understanding.

Aim

To analyse how palliative care is portrayed in Spanish newspapers, as well as the contribution made by the press to its social representation.

Design

Based on criteria of scope and editorial plurality, four print newspapers were selected. Using the newspaper archive MyNews (www.mynews.es), articles published between 2009 and 2014 containing the words “palliative care” or “palliative medicine” were identified. Sociological discourse analysis was performed on the identified texts on two levels: a) contextual analysis, focusing on the message as a statement; b) interpretative analysis, considering the discourse as a social product.

Results

We examined 262 articles. Politician and healthcare professionals were the main representatives transmitting messages on palliative care. The discourses identified were characterised by: strong ideological and moral content focusing on social debate, strong ties linking palliative care and death and, to a lesser degree, as a healthcare service. The messages transmitted by representatives with direct experience in palliative care (professionals, patients and families) contributed the most to building a positive image of this healthcare practice. Overall, media reflect different interests in framing public understanding about palliative care.

Conclusion

The knowledge generated about how palliative care is reflected in the printed media may help to understand better one of the main barriers to its development not only in Spain, but also in other contexts.

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<![CDATA[Adolescent offenders' current whereabouts predict locations of their future crimes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5c5b529fd5eed0c4842bcce5

Knowing where crime is likely to happen can help prevent it. Here I investigate whether two basic mechanisms of human mobility—preferential return and spatial exploration—explain and predict where offenders commit future crimes. A sample of 843 adolescents reported their hourly whereabouts during four days. In line with findings from other sources and populations, their locations were concentrated and predictable. During the subsequent four years, 70 of the 843 were apprehended for committing one or more crimes. Compared to others, these 70 future offenders had visited slightly more different locations. However, their action radius and the predictability of their whereabouts had been very similar to those who would not become offenders. The offenders perpetrated most of their crimes around places they had visited before, including places where they previously offended. These findings show that the predictability of human mobility applies to offending and to offenders as well, and helps us understand and forecast where they will commit future crimes. They may prove particularly useful in criminal investigations, as they suggest that police should generally prioritize suspects who are familiar with the location of the crime and its environs, either because of their legal routine activities or because of their prior offences.

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<![CDATA[More than one in three proxies do not know their loved one’s current code status: An observational study in a Maryland ICU]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5c5b5258d5eed0c4842bc6a8

Rationale

The majority of ICU patients lack decision-making capacity at some point during their ICU stay. However the extent to which proxy decision-makers are engaged in decisions about their patient’s care is challenging to quantify.

Objectives

To assess 1)whether proxies know their patient’s actual code status as recorded in the electronic medical record (EMR), and 2)whether code status orders reflect ICU patient preferences as reported by proxy decision-makers.

Methods

We enrolled proxy decision-makers for 96 days starting January 4, 2016. Proxies were asked about the patient’s goals of care, preferred code status, and actual code status. Responses were compared to code status orders in the EMR at the time of interview. Characteristics of patients and proxies who correctly vs incorrectly identified actual code status were compared, as were characteristics of proxies who reported a preferred code status that did vs did not match actual code status.

Measurements and main results

Among 111 proxies, 42 (38%) were incorrect or unsure about the patient’s actual code status and those who were correct vs. incorrect or unsure were similar in age, race, and years of education (P>0.20 for all comparisons). Twenty-nine percent reported a preferred code status that did not match the patient’s code status in the EMR. Matching preferred and actual code status was not associated with a patient’s age, gender, income, admission diagnosis, or subsequent in-hospital mortality or with proxy age, gender, race, education level, or relation to the patient (P>0.20 for all comparisons).

Conclusions

More than 1 in 3 proxies is incorrect or unsure about their patient’s actual code status and more than 1 in 4 proxies reported that a preferred code status that did not match orders in the EMR. Proxy age, race, gender and education level were not associated with correctly identifying code status or code status concordance.

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<![CDATA[Maintenance and inspection as risk factors in helicopter accidents: Analysis and recommendations]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5c5df318d5eed0c484580cfa

In this work, we establish that maintenance and inspection are a risk factor in helicopter accidents. Between 2005 and 2015, flawed maintenance and inspection were causal factors in 14% to 21% of helicopter accidents in the U.S. civil fleet. For these maintenance-related accidents, we examined the incubation time from when the maintenance error was committed to the time when it resulted in an accident. We found a significant clustering of maintenance accidents within a short number of flight-hours after maintenance was performed. Of these accidents, 31% of these accidents occurred within the first 10 flight-hours. This is reminiscent of infant mortality in reliability engineering, and we characterized it as maintenance error infant mortality. The last quartile of maintenance-related accidents occurred after 60 flight-hours following maintenance and inspection. We then examined the “physics of failures” underlying maintenance-related accidents and analyzed the prevalence of different types of maintenance errors in helicopter accidents. We found, for instance, that the improper or incomplete (re)assembly or installation of a part category accounted for the majority of maintenance errors with 57% of such cases, and within this category, the incorrect torquing of the B-nut and incomplete assembly of critical linkages were the most prevalent maintenance errors. We also found that within the failure to perform a required preventive maintenance and inspection task category, the majority of the maintenance programs were not executed in compliance with federal regulations, nor with the manufacturer maintenance plan. Maintenance-related accidents are particularly hurtful for the rotorcraft community, and they can be eliminated. This is a reachable objective when technical competence meets organizational proficiency and the collective will of all the stakeholders in this community. We conclude with a set of recommendations based on our findings, which borrow from the ideas underlying the defense-in-depth safety principle to address this disquieting problem.

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<![CDATA[Automatic classification of human facial features based on their appearance]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5c59ff05d5eed0c484135990

Classification or typology systems used to categorize different human body parts have existed for many years. Nevertheless, there are very few taxonomies of facial features. Ergonomics, forensic anthropology, crime prevention or new human-machine interaction systems and online activities, like e-commerce, e-learning, games, dating or social networks, are fields in which classifications of facial features are useful, for example, to create digital interlocutors that optimize the interactions between human and machines. However, classifying isolated facial features is difficult for human observers. Previous works reported low inter-observer and intra-observer agreement in the evaluation of facial features. This work presents a computer-based procedure to automatically classify facial features based on their global appearance. This procedure deals with the difficulties associated with classifying features using judgements from human observers, and facilitates the development of taxonomies of facial features. Taxonomies obtained through this procedure are presented for eyes, mouths and noses.

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<![CDATA[Discourses mapped by Q-method show governance constraints motivate landscape approaches in Indonesia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5c5ca2f1d5eed0c48441ee11

Interpreting discourses among implementers of what is termed a “landscape approach” enables us to learn from their experience to improve conservation and development outcomes. We use Q-methodology to explore the perspectives of a group of experts in the landscape approach, both from academic and implementation fields, on what hinderances are in place to the realisation of achieving sustainable landscape management in Indonesia. The results show that, at a generic level, “corruption” and “lack of transparency and accountability” rank as the greatest constraints on landscape functionality. Biophysical factors, such as topography and climate change, rank as the least constraining factors. When participants considered a landscape with which they were most familiar, the results changed: the rapid change of regulations, limited local human capacity and inaccessible data on economic risks increased, while the inadequacy of democratic institutions, “overlapping laws” and “corruption” decreased. The difference indicates some fine-tuning of generic perceptions to the local context and may also reflect different views on what is achievable for landscape approach practitioners. Overall, approximately 55% of variance is accounted for by five discourse factors for each trial. Four overlapped and two discourses were discrete enough to merit different discourse labels. We labelled the discourses (1) social exclusionists, (2) state view, (3) community view, (4) integrationists, (5) democrats, and (6) neoliberals. Each discourse contains elements actionable at the landscape scale, as well as exogenous issues that originate at national and global scales. Actionable elements that could contribute to improving governance included trust building, clarified resource rights and responsibilities, and inclusive representation in management. The landscape sustainability discourses studied here suggests that landscape approach “learners” must focus on ways to remedy poor governance if they are to achieve sustainability and multi-functionality.

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<![CDATA[Active and latent tuberculosis among inmates in La Esperanza prison in Guaduas, Colombia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5c6448ebd5eed0c484c2f1cf

Introduction

Active tuberculosis (TB) and latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) are a public health threat in prisons around the world. The objectives of the study were to estimate the prevalence of LTBI and TB as well as to investigate TB transmission inside one prison, in Colombia.

Methods

A Cross-sectional study was conducted in inmates who agreed to participate. Inmates with respiratory symptoms (RS) of any duration underwent to medical evaluation and three sputum samples were taken for smear microscopy and culture for TB diagnosis. Drug susceptibility was analyzed using BACTEC MGIT 960 and GenoType MTBDRplus. Molecular genotyping of Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates was performed by 24-Locus MIRU-VNTR and spoligotyping. LTBI was evaluated according to the result of the tuberculin skin test (TST). Close contact investigation was conducted inside the prison for inmates that shared the cell with the index TB case.

Results

Among 301/2,020 (15%) inmates with RS of any duration, 8% were diagnosed with active TB. The prevalence of active TB was 1,026 cases/100,000 inmates. We isolated M. tuberculosis in 19/24 (79%) TB cases, 94.7% were susceptible to first line drugs and only one was monoresistant to isoniazid. The most prevalent sub-lineage was Haarlem (68.4%), followed by LAM (26.3%) and T superfamily (5.3%). 24-Locus MIRU-VNTR typing results alone or in combination with spoligotyping identified three clusters containing two isolates each. Two clusters corresponded to inmates that shared the same cell, but each one was located in different blocks of the prison. Inmates from the last cluster were in the same block in nearby cells. TST reading was performed in 95.6% inmates, and 67.6% had a positive reaction.

Conclusions

The prevalence of LTBI and TB was higher in prison than in the general population. Molecular genotyping suggests that TB in this prison is mainly caused by strains imported by inmates or endogenous reactivation.

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<![CDATA[A method for automatic forensic facial reconstruction based on dense statistics of soft tissue thickness]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5c521825d5eed0c484797560

In this paper, we present a method for automated estimation of a human face given a skull remain. Our proposed method is based on three statistical models. A volumetric (tetrahedral) skull model encoding the variations of different skulls, a surface head model encoding the head variations, and a dense statistic of facial soft tissue thickness (FSTT). All data are automatically derived from computed tomography (CT) head scans and optical face scans. In order to obtain a proper dense FSTT statistic, we register a skull model to each skull extracted from a CT scan and determine the FSTT value for each vertex of the skull model towards the associated extracted skin surface. The FSTT values at predefined landmarks from our statistic are well in agreement with data from the literature. To recover a face from a skull remain, we first fit our skull model to the given skull. Next, we generate spheres with radius of the respective FSTT value obtained from our statistic at each vertex of the registered skull. Finally, we fit a head model to the union of all spheres. The proposed automated method enables a probabilistic face-estimation that facilitates forensic recovery even from incomplete skull remains. The FSTT statistic allows the generation of plausible head variants, which can be adjusted intuitively using principal component analysis. We validate our face recovery process using an anonymized head CT scan. The estimation generated from the given skull visually compares well with the skin surface extracted from the CT scan itself.

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<![CDATA[Compensate a little, but punish a lot: Asymmetric routes to restoring justice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5c40f811d5eed0c484386f86

Most people have a desire to live in a just world, a place where good things happen to good people and bad things happen to bad people. And yet, injustices do occur: good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people. Across four experiments, we show that people respond quite differently to correct these two types of injustices. When bad things happen to good people, individuals are eager to compensate a good person’s losses, but only do so to a small degree. In contrast, when a good thing happens to a bad person, because the only perceived appropriate act of punishment is to fully strip the bad actor of all his or her illegitimate gains, few people choose to punish in this costly way. However, when they do, they do so to very large degrees. Moreover, we demonstrate that differential psychological mechanisms drive this asymmetry.

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<![CDATA[Resource use, costs, and approval times for planning and preparing a randomized clinical trial before and after the implementation of the new Swiss human research legislation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5c42439ad5eed0c4845e07bc

Background

The preparation of a randomized controlled trial (RCT) requires substantial resources and the administrative processes can be burdensome. To facilitate the conduct of RCTs it is important to better understand cost drivers. In January 2014 the enactment of the new Swiss Legislation on Human Research (LHR) considerably changed the regulatory framework in Switzerland. We assess if the new LHR was associated with change in (i) resource use and costs to prepare an RCT, and (ii) approval times with research ethics committees (RECs) and the regulatory authority Swissmedic.

Methods

We surveyed investigators of RCTs which were approved by RECs in 2012 or in 2016 and asked for RCT preparation costs using a pre-specified item list. Additionally, we collected approval times from RECs and Swissmedic.

Results

The response rates of the investigator survey were 8.3% (19/228) for 2012 and 16.5% (47/285) in 2016. The median preparation cost of an RCT was USD 72,400 (interquartile range [IQR]: USD 59,500–87,700; n = 18) in 2012 and USD 72,600 (IQR: USD 42,800–169,600; n = 35) in 2016. For single centre RCTs a median REC approval time of 82 (IQR: 49–107; n = 38) days in 2012 and 92 (IQR: 65–131; n = 63) days in 2016 was observed. The median Swissmedic approval time for any clinical trial was 27 (IQR: 19–51; n = 213) days in 2012 and 49 (IQR: 36–67; n = 179) days in 2016. The total duration for achieving RCT approval from both authorities (REC and Swissmedic) in the parallel submission procedure applied in 2016 could not be assessed.

Conclusion

Based on limited data the costs to plan and prepare RCTs in Switzerland were approximately USD 72,000 in 2012 and 2016. For effective and valid research on costs and approval times of RCTs a greater willingness to share cost information among investigators and more collaboration between stakeholders with data linkage is necessary.

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<![CDATA[Large carnivores under assault in Alaska]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5c478c41d5eed0c484bd1177

In Alaska, gray wolves (Canis lupis), brown bears (Ursus arctos), and black bears (U. americanus) are managed in most of the state in ways intended to significantly reduce their abundance in the expectation of increasing hunter harvests of ungulates. To our knowledge, Alaska is unique in the world because this management priority is both widespread and mandated by state law. Large carnivore management in Alaska is a reversion to outdated management concepts and occurs without effective monitoring programs designed to scientifically evaluate impacts on predator populations. Large carnivore management in Alaska should be based on rigorous science including the status and trends of carnivore populations.

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<![CDATA[Does a history of sexual and physical childhood abuse contribute to HIV infection risk in adulthood? A study among post-natal women in Harare, Zimbabwe]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5c390bb2d5eed0c48491ddfa

Background

Sexual and physical abuse in childhood creates a great health burden including on mental and reproductive health. A possible link between child abuse and HIV infection has increasingly attracted attention. This paper investigated whether a history of child physical and sexual abuse is associated with HIV infection among adult women.

Methods

A cross sectional survey was conducted among 2042 postnatal women (mean age = 26y) attending six public primary health care clinics in Harare, Zimbabwe within 6 weeks post-delivery. Clinic records were reviewed for mother’s antenatal HIV status. Participants were interviewed about childhood abuse including physical or sexual abuse before 15 years of age, forced first sex before 16, HIV risk factors such as age difference at first sex before age 16. Multivariate analyses assessed the associations between mother’s HIV status and child physical and sexual abuse while controlling for confounding variables.

Results

More than one in four (26.6%) reported abuse before the age of 15: 14.6% physical abuse and 9.1% sexual abuse,14.3% reported forced first sex and 9.0% first sex before 16 with someone 5+ years older. Fifteen percent of women tested HIV positive during the recent antenatal care visit. In multivariate analysis, childhood physical abuse (aOR 3.30 95%CI 1.58–6.90), sexual abuse (3.18 95%CI: 1.64–6.19), forced first sex (aOR 1.42, 95%CI: 1.00–2.02), and 5+ years age difference with first sex partner (aOR 1.66 95%CI 1.09–2.53) were independently associated with HIV infection.

Conclusion

This study highlights that child physical and/or sexual abuse may increase risk for HIV acquisition. Further research is needed to assess the pathways to HIV acquisition from childhood to adulthood. Prevention of child abuse must form part of the HIV prevention agenda in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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<![CDATA[Distinguishing genetically between the germlines of male monozygotic twins]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5c25454dd5eed0c48442c476

Identification of the potential donor(s) of human germline-derived cells is an issue in many criminal investigations and in paternity testing. The experimental and statistical methodology necessary to work up such cases is well established but may be more challenging if monozygotic (MZ) twins are involved. Then, elaborate genome-wide searches are required for the detection of early somatic mutations that distinguish the cell sample and its donor from the other twin, usually relying upon reference material other than semen (e.g. saliva). The first such cases, involving either criminal sexual offenses or paternity disputes, have been processed successfully by Eurofins Genomics and Forensics Campus. However, when presenting the experimental results in court, common forensic genetic practice requires that the residual uncertainty about donorship is quantified in the form of a likelihood ratio (LR). Hence, we developed a general mathematical framework for LR calculation, presented herein, which allows quantification of the evidence in favour of the true donor in the respective cases, based upon observed DNA sequencing read counts.

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<![CDATA[Doubling down on forensic twin studies]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5c25454bd5eed0c48442c452 ]]>