The impact of grants on research productivity has been investigated by a number of retrospective studies. The results of these studies vary considerably. The objective of my study was to investigate the impact of funding through the RF President’s grants for young scientists on the research productivity of awarded applicants. The study compared the number of total articles and citations for awarded and rejected applicants who in 2007 took part in competitions for young candidates of science (CoS’s) and doctors of science (DoS’s) in the scientific field of medicine. The bibliometric analysis was conducted for the period from 2003 to 2012 (five years before and after the competition). The source of bibliometric data is the eLIBRARY.RU database. The impact of grants on the research productivity of Russian young scientists was assessed using the meta-analytical approach based on data from quasi-experimental studies conducted in other countries. The competition featured 149 CoS’s and 41 DoS’s, out of which 24 (16%) and 22 (54%) applicants, respectively, obtained funding. No difference in the number of total articles and citations at baseline, as well as in 2008–2012, for awarded and rejected applicants was found. The combination of data from the Russian study and other quasi-experimental studies (6 studies, 10 competitions) revealed a small treatment effect – an increase in the total number of publications over a 4–5-year period after the competition by 1.23 (95% CI 0.48–1.97). However, the relationship between the number of total publications published by applicants before and after the competition revealed that this treatment effect is an effect of the “maturation” of scientists with a high baseline publication activity – not of grant funding.
Building on an earlier quantitative study which found that gay/bisexual men from Central and Eastern Europe were at greater risk of sexual ill health following migration to the UK, the aim of this qualitative study is to explore how the process of migration itself may have influenced the migrants’ sexual behaviour and attitudes.
Methods To address these questions, we conducted 17 in-depth interviews in London with gay/bisexual male migrants from Central and Eastern Europe, drawing on Fisher and Fisher's Information-Motivation-Behavioral Skills model as an interpretive framework.
Results We find that the sexual behaviours of our respondents have been significantly influenced by the process of migration itself. In particular, extricating themselves from the traditional systems of social control in their home societies and having greater access to gay venues in London resulted in their increased sexual activity, particularly in the first phase of migration. High-risk sexual behaviour was found to be a factor of sexual mixing, the use of commercial sex and perceptions of risk in the UKvis-á-vis Central and Eastern Europe, with each of these factors also influenced by the process of migration. Risk-prevention behaviour depended upon the possession of appropriate risk-prevention information, motivation to use condoms and appropriate behavioural skills, with the latter two factors in particular influenced by social mores in the home country and the UK.
Conclusions The interviews suggested a number of migration-related factors that increased the STI and HIV risk for these migrants. A number of potentially important policy recommendations stem from our analysis.
Cross-national statistical analyses based on country-level panel data are increasingly popular in social epidemiology. To provide reliable results on the societal determinants of health, analysts must give very careful consideration to conceptual and methodological issues: aggregate (historical) data are typically compatible with multiple alternative stories of the data-generating process. Studies in this field which fail to relate their empirical approach to the true underlying data-generating process are likely to produce misleading results if, for example, they misspecify their models by failing to explore the statistical properties of the longitudinal aspect of their data or by ignoring endogeneity issues. We illustrate the importance of this extra need for care with reference to a recent debate on whether discussing the role of rapid mass privatisation can explain post-communist mortality fluctuations. We demonstrate that the finding that rapid mass privatisation was a “crucial determinant” of male mortality fluctuations in the post-communist world is rejected once better consideration is given to the way in which the data are generated.
Background: Since May 2004, ten Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries have joined the European Union, leading to a large influx of CEE migrants to the United Kingdom (UK). The SALLEE project (sexual attitudes and lifestyles of London's Eastern Europeans) set out to establish an understanding of the sexual lifestyles and reproductive health risks of CEE migrants. CEE nationals make up a small minority of the population resident in the UK with no sampling frame from which to select a probability sample. There is also difficulty estimating the socio-demographic and geographical distribution of the population. In addition, measuring self-reported sexual behaviour which is generally found to be problematic, may be compounded among people from a range of different cultural and linguistic backgrounds. This paper will describe the methods adopted by the SALLEE project to address these challenges.
Methods: The research was undertaken using quantitative and qualitative methods: a cross-sectional survey of CEE migrants based on three convenience samples (recruited from community venues, sexual health clinics and from the Internet) and semi-structured in-depth interviews with a purposively selected sample of CEE migrants. A detailed social mapping exercise of the CEE community was conducted prior to commencement of the survey to identify places where CEE migrants could be recruited. A total of 3,005 respondents took part in the cross-sectional survey, including 2,276 respondents in the community sample, 357 in the clinic sample and 372 in the Internet sample. 40 in-depth qualitative interviews were undertaken with a range of individuals, as determined by the interview quota matrix.
Discussion: The SALLEE project has benefited from using quantitative research to provide generalisable data on a range of variables and qualitative research to add in-depth understanding and interpretation. The social mapping exercise successfully located a large number of CEE migrants for the community sample and is recommended for other migrant populations, especially when little or no official data are available for this purpose. The project has collected timely data that will help us to understand the sexual lifestyles, reproductive health risks and health service needs of CEE communities in the UK.
Astrocytes are considered to be an important contributor to central nervous system (CNS) disorders, particularly multiple sclerosis. The transcriptome of these cells is greatly affected by cytokines released by lymphocytes, penetrating the blood-brain barrier-in particular, the classical pro-inflammatory cytokine interferon-gamma (IFNγ). We report here the transcriptomal profiling of astrocytes treated using IFNγ and benztropine, a putative remyelinization agent. Our findings indicate that the expression of genes involved in antigen processing and presentation in astrocytes are significantly upregulated upon IFNγ exposure, emphasizing the critical role of this cytokine in the redirection of immune response towards self-antigens. Data reported herein support previous observations that the IFNγ-induced JAK-STAT signaling pathway may be regarded as a valuable target for pharmaceutical interventions.
Background: Despite the constitutional right of all Russian citizens to free medical care, out-of-pocket payment is a widespread phenomenon for all types of medical treatment. The aims of this paper are twofold: To present new evidence on the use of, and payment for, outpatient and inpatient treatment in Russia; and to compare the motivations behind both official and informal payments for outpatient services provided in public medical institutions. Methods: This study uses data from a quantitative household survey conducted in April 2014. The sample comprised 1602 individuals aged ⩾ 18 years, representing the entire adult population of the Russian Federation. We studied three types of medical care: inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment and medicines. Results: Our study found that 22.2% of patients pay for outpatient services, 37.5% pay for inpatient services and 91.5% pay for outpatient medicinal treatment. The informal payments are almost equally met in both outpatient (13.4%) and inpatient (12.2%) care; while the official payments are more common in inpatient care (25.2%), compared to outpatient care (8.8%). The main reasons for informal payment include: improvements in the quality of care and gratitude for medical staff. The official payments are more frequently motivated by an inability to receive a certain treatment free of charge. Conclusions: This study demonstrates that both official and informal payments for medical treatment are widespread in Russia: Informal payments are strongly preferred over official payments for outpatient care, while official payments dominate in inpatient care.
Spatial component analysis is often used to explore multidimensional time series data whose sources cannot be measured directly. Several methods may be used to decompose the data into a set of spatial components with temporal loadings. Component selection is of crucial importance, and should be supported by objective criteria. In some applications, the use of a well defined component selection criterion may provide for automation of the analysis. In this paper we describe a novel approach for ranking of spatial components calculated from the EEG or MEG data recorded within evoked response paradigm. Our method is called Mutual Information (MI) Spectrum and is based on gauging the amount of MI of spatial component temporal loadings with a synthetically created reference signal. We also describe the appropriate randomization based statistical assessment scheme that can be used for selection of components with statistically significant amount of MI. Using simulated data with realistic trial to trial variations and SNR corresponding to the real recordings we demonstrate the superior performance characteristics of the described MI based measure as compared to a more conventionally used power driven gauge. We also demonstrate the application of the MI Spectrum for the selection of task-related independent components from real MEG data. We show that the MI spectrum allows to identify task-related components reliably in a consistent fashion, yielding stable results even from a small number of trials. We conclude that the proposed method fits naturally the information driven nature of ICA and can be used for routine and automatic ranking of independent components calculated from the functional neuroimaging data collected within event-related paradigms.
Biomedicine is a branch of medicine that studies the human body, its structure and function in health and disease, pathological condition, methods of diagnosis, treatment and correction . At the moment, to solve their diverse problems associated with the collection, storage, and data analysis, process modeling, biomedicine extensively uses modern technical equipment. The goal of this article - to make a brief analysis of existing technologies (big data, mobile and cloud technologies), in terms of their applicability to the needs of biomedicine.
Since several years, neuroscience research started to focus on multimodal approaches. One such multimodal approach is the combination of electroencephalography (EEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). However, no standard integration procedure has been established so far. One promising data-driven approach consists of a joint decomposition of event-related potentials (ERPs) and fMRI maps derived from the response to a particular stimulus. Such an algorithm (joint independent component analysis or JointICA) has recently been proposed by Calhoun et al. (2006). This method provides sources with both a fine spatial and temporal resolution, and has shown to provide meaningful results. However, the algorithm's performance has not been fully characterized yet, and no procedure has been proposed to assess the quality of the decomposition. In this paper, we therefore try to answer why and how JointICA works. We show the performance of the algorithm on data obtained in a visual detection task, and compare the performance for EEG recorded simultaneously with fMRI data and for EEG recorded in a separate session (outside the scanner room). We perform several analyses in order to set the necessary conditions that lead to a sound decomposition, and to give additional insights for exploration in future studies. In that respect, we show how the algorithm behaves when different EEG electrodes are used and we test the robustness with respect to the number of subjects in the study. The performance of the algorithm in all the experiments is validated based on results from previous studies.
especially impaired on regular past-tense forms like played, whether the task requires production, comprehension or even the judgement that "play" and "played" sound different. Within a dual-mechanism account of inflectional morphology, these deficits reflect disruption to the rule-based process that adds (or strips) the suffix -ed to regular verb stems; but the fact that the patients are also impaired at detecting the difference between word pairs like "tray" and "trade" (the latter being a phonological but not a morphological twin to "played") suggests an important role for phonological characteristics of the regular past tense. The present study examined MEG brain responses in healthy participants evoked by spoken regular past-tense forms and phonological twin words (plus twin pseudowords and a non-speech control) presented in a passive oddball paradigm. Deviant forms (played, trade, kwade/kwayed) relative to their standards (play, tray, kway) elicited a pronounced neuromagnetic response at approximately 130 ms after the onset of the affix; this response was maximal at sensors over temporal areas of both hemispheres but stronger on the left, especially for played and kwayed. Relative to the same standards, a different set of deviants ending in /t/--plate, trait and kwate--produced stronger difference responses especially over the right hemisphere. Results are discussed with regard to dual- and single-mechanism theories of past tense processing and the need to consider neurobiological evidence in attempts to understand inflectional morphology.
The use of the MRI-navigation system ensures accurate targeting of TMS. This, in turn, results in TMS motor mapping becoming a routinely used procedure in neuroscience and neurosurgery. However, currently, there is no standardized methodology for assessment of TMS motor-mapping results. Therefore, we developed TMSmap – free standalone graphical interface software for the quantitative analysis of the TMS motor mapping results (http://tmsmap.ru/). In addition to the estimation of standard parameters (such as the size of cortical muscle representation and the center of gravity location), it allows estimation of the volume of cortical representations, excitability profile of the cortical surface map and the overlap between cortical representations. The input data for the software includes the coordinates of the coil position (or electric field maximum) and the corresponding response in each stimulation point. TMSmap has been developed for versatile assessment and comparison of TMS maps relating to different experimental interventions including, but not limited to longitudinal, pharmacological and clinical studies (e.g., stroke recovery). To illustrate the use of TMSmap we provide examples of the actual TMS motor-mapping analysis of two healthy subjects and one chronic stroke patient.
There is a paradox characterising the Russian health workforce. By international standards, Russia has a very high number of physicians per capita but at the same time is confronted by chronic real shortages of qualified physicians. This paper explores the reasons for this paradox by examining the structural characteristics of health workforce development in the context of the Soviet legacy and the comparative performance of other European countries. The paper uses data on comparative health workforce dynamics to argue that Russia is a European laggard, before then evaluating recent and current policies within that context. The health workforce challenges facing all low- and middle-income countries are acute, and this paper confirms this IS the case for Russia—Europe's largest country. The paper argues that the physician shortage is driven by the model of health workforce development inherited from the Soviet period, with its emphasis on quantitative rather than structural indicators. We find that, in contrast to most European Union countries, Russia's stalled reform process leaves it facing a chronic shortage of appropriately trained physicians. We document the costs of failed and slow reforms during the last 2 decades, while cautiously welcoming some recent policy initiatives.
Almost 70 years ago, Alexander Luria incorporated semantic aphasia among his aphasia classifications by demonstrating that deficits in linking the logical relationships of words in a sentence could co-occur with non-linguistic disorders of calculation, spatial gnosis and praxis deficits. In line with his comprehensive approach to the assessment of language and other cognitive functions, he argued that deficits in understanding semantically reversible sentences and prepositional phrases, for example, were in line with a single neuropsychological factor of impaired spatial analysis and synthesis, since understanding such grammatical relationships would also draw on their spatial relationships. Critically, Luria demonstrated the neural underpinnings of this syndrome with the critical implication of the cortex of the left temporal-parietal-occipital (TPO) junction. In this study, we report neuropsychological and lesion profiles of 10 new cases of semantic aphasia. Modern neuroimaging techniques provide support for the relevance of the left TPO area for semantic aphasia, but also extend Luria's neuroanatomical model by taking into account white matter pathways. Our findings suggest that tracts with parietal connectivity – the arcuate fasciculus (long and posterior segments), the inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus, the inferior longitudinal fasciculus, the superior longitudinal fasciculus II and III, and the corpus callosum – are implicated in the linguistic and non-linguistic deficits of patients with semantic aphasia.
The paper advocates pluralist methodological paradigm approach for improving the quality of empirical and theoretical public and nonprofit research. Many researchers rely on logico-positivist/empiricist research paradigm as leading orientation to improve the quality of their work, clarify the theoretical contributions of their work, and reduce the probability of having their journal submissions rejected. The main thesis of this paper is that pluralist methodological approach will benefit the quality of empirical and theoretical public and nonprofit research. Alternative conceptualizations of public and nonprofit marketing are suggested.
In 2012, eight million Canadians provided care to family member or friends with a long-term mental or physical health condition. In the context of mental health, the largest groups of care-recipients are children and spouses due to mental illness such as mood, anxiety, personality or psychotic disorders. Although the social work practice literature emphasizes ecological interventions in mental health, little research has been done on social workers’ role in supporting family caregivers. Using a socioecological framework, the present theoretical article proposes multi-levelled social work interventions to support family caregivers in the context of mental health. Four levels of interventions will be highlighted: attachment and strengths-based approaches (micro system), community based interventions (meso system), national policies in the context of mental health caregiving in Canada (exo system), and lastly the role of ideologies in shaping attitudes towards family caregivers (macro system).
The Russian population continues to face political and economic challenges, has experienced poor general health and high mortality for decades, and has exhibited widening health disparities. The physiological factors underlying links between health and socioeconomic position in the Russian population are therefore an important topic to investigate. We used data from a population-based survey of Moscow residents aged 55 and older (n = 1495), fielded between December 2006 and June 2009, to address two questions. First, are social disparities evident across different clusters of biomarkers? Second, does biological risk mediate the link between socioeconomic status and health?
Health outcomes included subscales for general health, physical function, and bodily pain. Socioeconomic status was represented by education and an index of material resources. Biological risk was measured by 20 biomarkers including cardiovascular, inflammatory, and neuroendocrine markers as well as heart rate parameters from 24-h ECG monitoring.
For both sexes, the age-adjusted educational disparity in standard cardiovascular risk factors was substantial (men: standardized β = −0.16, 95% CI = −0.23 to −0.09; women: β = −0.25, CI = −0.32 to −0.18). Education differences in inflammation were also evident in both men (β = −0.17, CI = −0.25 to −0.09) and women (β = −0.09, CI = −0.17 to −0.01). Heart rate parameters differed by education only in men (β = −0.10, CI = −0.18 to −0.02). The associations between material resources and biological risk scores were generally weaker than those for education. Social disparities in neuroendocrine markers were negligible for men and women.
In terms of mediating effects, biological risk accounted for more of the education gap in general health and physical function (19–36%) than in bodily pain (12–18%). Inclusion of inflammatory markers and heart rate parameters—which were important predictors of health outcomes—may explain how we accounted for more of the social disparities than previous studies.
The human-on-chip technology provides an efficient basis for preclinical studies and has potentially a greater predictive power for human drug response than classical 2D cell culture. Here we report the expression profile of druggable genes in the human colon cancer cells CaCo2 in static culture and within a microfluidic chip. We identified gene expression pattern under flow to be closer to the one of CaCo2 primary xenograft tumours as compared to those cells grown without circulation. The obtained results indicate that a microenvironment connected to a circulation within a chip brings the cells closer to in vivo situation. Hence the human-on-chip technology is a more powerful tool for drug development than conventional 2D cell culture.
Speech production, both overt and covert, down-regulates the activation of auditory cortex. This is thought to be due to forward prediction of the sensory consequences of speech, contributing to a feedback control mechanism for speech production. Critically, however, these regulatory effects should be specific to speech content to enable accurate speech monitoring. To determine the extent to which such forward prediction is content-specific, we recorded the brain's neuromagnetic responses to heard multisyllabic pseudowords during covert rehearsal in working memory, contrasted with a control task. The cortical auditory processing of target syllables was significantly suppressed during rehearsal compared with control, but only when they matched the rehearsed items. This critical specificity to speech content enables accurate speech monitoring by forward prediction, as proposed by current models of speech production. The one-to-one phonological motor-to-auditory mappings also appear to serve the maintenance of information in phonological working memory. Further findings of right-hemispheric suppression in the case of whole-item matches and left-hemispheric enhancement for last-syllable mismatches suggest that speech production is monitored by 2 auditory-motor circuits operating on different timescales: Finer grain in the left versus coarser grain in the right hemisphere. Taken together, our findings provide hemisphere-specific evidence of the interface between inner and heard speech.