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Article
Vlassov V. The Lancet. 2016. Vol. 388. No. 10053. P. 1603-1658.

Background

Healthy life expectancy (HALE) and disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) provide summary measures of health across geographies and time that can inform assessments of epidemiological patterns and health system performance, help to prioritise investments in research and development, and monitor progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We aimed to provide updated HALE and DALYs for geographies worldwide and evaluate how disease burden changes with development.

Methods

We used results from the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2015 (GBD 2015) for all-cause mortality, cause-specific mortality, and non-fatal disease burden to derive HALE and DALYs by sex for 195 countries and territories from 1990 to 2015. We calculated DALYs by summing years of life lost (YLLs) and years of life lived with disability (YLDs) for each geography, age group, sex, and year. We estimated HALE using the Sullivan method, which draws from age-specific death rates and YLDs per capita. We then assessed how observed levels of DALYs and HALE differed from expected trends calculated with the Socio-demographic Index (SDI), a composite indicator constructed from measures of income per capita, average years of schooling, and total fertility rate.

Findings

Total global DALYs remained largely unchanged from 1990 to 2015, with decreases in communicable, neonatal, maternal, and nutritional (Group 1) disease DALYs offset by increased DALYs due to non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Much of this epidemiological transition was caused by changes in population growth and ageing, but it was accelerated by widespread improvements in SDI that also correlated strongly with the increasing importance of NCDs. Both total DALYs and age-standardised DALY rates due to most Group 1 causes significantly decreased by 2015, and although total burden climbed for the majority of NCDs, age-standardised DALY rates due to NCDs declined. Nonetheless, age-standardised DALY rates due to several high-burden NCDs (including osteoarthritis, drug use disorders, depression, diabetes, congenital birth defects, and skin, oral, and sense organ diseases) either increased or remained unchanged, leading to increases in their relative ranking in many geographies. From 2005 to 2015, HALE at birth increased by an average of 2·9 years (95% uncertainty interval 2·9–3·0) for men and 3·5 years (3·4–3·7) for women, while HALE at age 65 years improved by 0·85 years (0·78–0·92) and 1·2 years (1·1–1·3), respectively. Rising SDI was associated with consistently higher HALE and a somewhat smaller proportion of life spent with functional health loss; however, rising SDI was related to increases in total disability. Many countries and territories in central America and eastern sub-Saharan Africa had increasingly lower rates of disease burden than expected given their SDI. At the same time, a subset of geographies recorded a growing gap between observed and expected levels of DALYs, a trend driven mainly by rising burden due to war, interpersonal violence, and various NCDs.

Interpretation

Health is improving globally, but this means more populations are spending more time with functional health loss, an absolute expansion of morbidity. The proportion of life spent in ill health decreases somewhat with increasing SDI, a relative compression of morbidity, which supports continued efforts to elevate personal income, improve education, and limit fertility. Our analysis of DALYs and HALE and their relationship to SDI represents a robust framework on which to benchmark geography-specific health performance and SDG progress. Country-specific drivers of disease burden, particularly for causes with higher-than-expected DALYs, should inform financial and research investments, prevention efforts, health policies, and health system improvement initiatives for all countries along the development continuum.

Added: Oct 13, 2016
Article
Vlassov V. The Lancet. 2014. Vol. 348. No. 9947. P. 1005-1070.

Abstract: Background The Millennium Declaration in 2000 brought special global attention to HIV, tuberculosis and malaria through the formulation of Millennium Development Goal 6 (MDG 6). The Global Burden of Disease 2013 study provides a consistent and comprehensive approach to disease estimation 1990 to 2013, and an opportunity to assess if there has been accelerated progress since the Millennium Declaration. Methods To estimate incidence and mortality for HIV, we used the UNAIDS Spectrum model appropriately modified based on a systematic review of the literature on mortality with and without out antiretroviral therapy (ART). For concentrated epidemics, we calibrated Spectrum models to fit vital registration data corrected for misclassification of HIV deaths. In generalized epidemics, we minimized a loss function to select epidemic curves most consistent with prevalence data and demographic data on all-cause mortality. We analyzed counterfactual scenarios for HIV to assess years of life saved through prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT) and anti-retroviral therapy (ART). For tuberculosis, we analyzed vital registration and verbal autopsy data to estimate mortality using cause of death ensemble modeling. We analyzed data on corrected case-notifications, expert opinions on the case-detection rate, prevalence surveys and estimated cause-specific mortality using Bayesian metaregression to generate consistent trends in all parameters. Malaria mortality and incidence were analyzed using an updated cause of death database, a systematic analysis of verbal autopsy validation studies for malaria and recent literature on incidence, drug resistance and coverage of insecticide treated bed nets. Findings Globally in 2013, there were 1.8 million new HIV infections (95% uncertainty interval 1.7 million to 2.1 million), 29.0 million prevalent HIV cases (27.9 to 31.4) and 1.3 million HIV deaths (1.2 to 1.5). At the peak of the epidemic in 2005, HIV caused 1.7 million deaths (1.6 to 1.9). Concentrated epidemics in Latin America and Eastern Europe are substantially smaller than previously estimated. Through interventions including PMTCT and ART, 19.3 million life years have been saved, 68.9% in the developing world. From 2000 to 2011, the ratio of development assistance for health for HIV to years of life saved through intervention was $4,647-$7,137 in the developing world. All-forms tuberculosis (including Individuals who are HIV-positive) incidence, prevalence and death numbers in 2013 were 6.6 million (6.4 to 6.7), 10.1 million (9.8 to 10.4) and 1.4 million (1.3 to 1.5), the same figures in Individuals who are HIV-negative were 6.1 million (6.0 to 6.3), 9.5 million (9.2 to 9.8) and 1.3 million

Added: May 30, 2014
Article
Vlassov V. The Lancet. 2016. Vol. 388. No. 10053. P. 1545-1602.
Background

Non-fatal outcomes of disease and injury increasingly detract from the ability of the world's population to live in full health, a trend largely attributable to an epidemiological transition in many countries from causes affecting children, to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) more common in adults. For the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2015 (GBD 2015), we estimated the incidence, prevalence, and years lived with disability for diseases and injuries at the global, regional, and national scale over the period of 1990 to 2015.

Methods

We estimated incidence and prevalence by age, sex, cause, year, and geography with a wide range of updated and standardised analytical procedures. Improvements from GBD 2013 included the addition of new data sources, updates to literature reviews for 85 causes, and the identification and inclusion of additional studies published up to November, 2015, to expand the database used for estimation of non-fatal outcomes to 60 900 unique data sources. Prevalence and incidence by cause and sequelae were determined with DisMod-MR 2.1, an improved version of the DisMod-MR Bayesian meta-regression tool first developed for GBD 2010 and GBD 2013. For some causes, we used alternative modelling strategies where the complexity of the disease was not suited to DisMod-MR 2.1 or where incidence and prevalence needed to be determined from other data. For GBD 2015 we created a summary indicator that combines measures of income per capita, educational attainment, and fertility (the Socio-demographic Index [SDI]) and used it to compare observed patterns of health loss to the expected pattern for countries or locations with similar SDI scores.

Findings

We generated 9·3 billion estimates from the various combinations of prevalence, incidence, and YLDs for causes, sequelae, and impairments by age, sex, geography, and year. In 2015, two causes had acute incidences in excess of 1 billion: upper respiratory infections (17·2 billion, 95% uncertainty interval [UI] 15·4–19·2 billion) and diarrhoeal diseases (2·39 billion, 2·30–2·50 billion). Eight causes of chronic disease and injury each affected more than 10% of the world's population in 2015: permanent caries, tension-type headache, iron-deficiency anaemia, age-related and other hearing loss, migraine, genital herpes, refraction and accommodation disorders, and ascariasis. The impairment that affected the greatest number of people in 2015 was anaemia, with 2·36 billion (2·35–2·37 billion) individuals affected. The second and third leading impairments by number of individuals affected were hearing loss and vision loss, respectively. Between 2005 and 2015, there was little change in the leading causes of years lived with disability (YLDs) on a global basis. NCDs accounted for 18 of the leading 20 causes of age-standardised YLDs on a global scale. Where rates were decreasing, the rate of decrease for YLDs was slower than that of years of life lost (YLLs) for nearly every cause included in our analysis. For low SDI geographies, Group 1 causes typically accounted for 20–30% of total disability, largely attributable to nutritional deficiencies, malaria, neglected tropical diseases, HIV/AIDS, and tuberculosis. Lower back and neck pain was the leading global cause of disability in 2015 in most countries. The leading cause was sense organ disorders in 22 countries in Asia and Africa and one in central Latin America; diabetes in four countries in Oceania; HIV/AIDS in three southern sub-Saharan African countries; collective violence and legal intervention in two north African and Middle Eastern countries; iron-deficiency anaemia in Somalia and Venezuela; depression in Uganda; onchoceriasis in Liberia; and other neglected tropical diseases in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Interpretation

Ageing of the world's population is increasing the number of people living with sequelae of diseases and injuries. Shifts in the epidemiological profile driven by socioeconomic change also contribute to the continued increase in years lived with disability (YLDs) as well as the rate of increase in YLDs. Despite limitations imposed by gaps in data availability and the variable quality of the data available, the standardised and comprehensive approach of the GBD study provides opportunities to examine broad trends, compare those trends between countries or subnational geographies, benchmark against locations at similar stages of development, and gauge the strength or weakness of the estimates available.

Added: Oct 13, 2016
Article
Vlassov V. The Lancet. 2016. Vol. 388. No. 10053. P. 1459-1544.

Background

Improving survival and extending the longevity of life for all populations requires timely, robust evidence on local mortality levels and trends. The Global Burden of Disease 2015 Study (GBD 2015) provides a comprehensive assessment of all-cause and cause-specific mortality for 249 causes in 195 countries and territories from 1980 to 2015. These results informed an in-depth investigation of observed and expected mortality patterns based on sociodemographic measures.

Methods

We estimated all-cause mortality by age, sex, geography, and year using an improved analytical approach originally developed for GBD 2013 and GBD 2010. Improvements included refinements to the estimation of child and adult mortality and corresponding uncertainty, parameter selection for under-5 mortality synthesis by spatiotemporal Gaussian process regression, and sibling history data processing. We also expanded the database of vital registration, survey, and census data to 14 294 geography–year datapoints. For GBD 2015, eight causes, including Ebola virus disease, were added to the previous GBD cause list for mortality. We used six modelling approaches to assess cause-specific mortality, with the Cause of Death Ensemble Model (CODEm) generating estimates for most causes. We used a series of novel analyses to systematically quantify the drivers of trends in mortality across geographies. First, we assessed observed and expected levels and trends of cause-specific mortality as they relate to the Socio-demographic Index (SDI), a summary indicator derived from measures of income per capita, educational attainment, and fertility. Second, we examined factors affecting total mortality patterns through a series of counterfactual scenarios, testing the magnitude by which population growth, population age structures, and epidemiological changes contributed to shifts in mortality. Finally, we attributed changes in life expectancy to changes in cause of death. We documented each step of the GBD 2015 estimation processes, as well as data sources, in accordance with Guidelines for Accurate and Transparent Health Estimates Reporting (GATHER).

Findings

Globally, life expectancy from birth increased from 61·7 years (95% uncertainty interval 61·4–61·9) in 1980 to 71·8 years (71·5–72·2) in 2015. Several countries in sub-Saharan Africa had very large gains in life expectancy from 2005 to 2015, rebounding from an era of exceedingly high loss of life due to HIV/AIDS. At the same time, many geographies saw life expectancy stagnate or decline, particularly for men and in countries with rising mortality from war or interpersonal violence. From 2005 to 2015, male life expectancy in Syria dropped by 11·3 years (3·7–17·4), to 62·6 years (56·5–70·2). Total deaths increased by 4·1% (2·6–5·6) from 2005 to 2015, rising to 55·8 million (54·9 million to 56·6 million) in 2015, but age-standardised death rates fell by 17·0% (15·8–18·1) during this time, underscoring changes in population growth and shifts in global age structures. The result was similar for non-communicable diseases (NCDs), with total deaths from these causes increasing by 14·1% (12·6–16·0) to 39·8 million (39·2 million to 40·5 million) in 2015, whereas age-standardised rates decreased by 13·1% (11·9–14·3). Globally, this mortality pattern emerged for several NCDs, including several types of cancer, ischaemic heart disease, cirrhosis, and Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. By contrast, both total deaths and age-standardised death rates due to communicable, maternal, neonatal, and nutritional conditions significantly declined from 2005 to 2015, gains largely attributable to decreases in mortality rates due to HIV/AIDS (42·1%, 39·1–44·6), malaria (43·1%, 34·7–51·8), neonatal preterm birth complications (29·8%, 24·8–34·9), and maternal disorders (29·1%, 19·3–37·1). Progress was slower for several causes, such as lower respiratory infections and nutritional deficiencies, whereas deaths increased for others, including dengue and drug use disorders. Age-standardised death rates due to injuries significantly declined from 2005 to 2015, yet interpersonal violence and war claimed increasingly more lives in some regions, particularly in the Middle East. In 2015, rotaviral enteritis (rotavirus) was the leading cause of under-5 deaths due to diarrhoea (146 000 deaths, 118 000–183 000) and pneumococcal pneumonia was the leading cause of under-5 deaths due to lower respiratory infections (393 000 deaths, 228 000–532 000), although pathogen-specific mortality varied by region. Globally, the effects of population growth, ageing, and changes in age-standardised death rates substantially differed by cause. Our analyses on the expected associations between cause-specific mortality and SDI show the regular shifts in cause of death composition and population age structure with rising SDI. Country patterns of premature mortality (measured as years of life lost [YLLs]) and how they differ from the level expected on the basis of SDI alone revealed distinct but highly heterogeneous patterns by region and country or territory. Ischaemic heart disease, stroke, and diabetes were among the leading causes of YLLs in most regions, but in many cases, intraregional results sharply diverged for ratios of observed and expected YLLs based on SDI. Communicable, maternal, neonatal, and nutritional diseases caused the most YLLs throughout sub-Saharan Africa, with observed YLLs far exceeding expected YLLs for countries in which malaria or HIV/AIDS remained the leading causes of early death.

Interpretation

At the global scale, age-specific mortality has steadily improved over the past 35 years; this pattern of general progress continued in the past decade. Progress has been faster in most countries than expected on the basis of development measured by the SDI. Against this background of progress, some countries have seen falls in life expectancy, and age-standardised death rates for some causes are increasing. Despite progress in reducing age-standardised death rates, population growth and ageing mean that the number of deaths from most non-communicable causes are increasing in most countries, putting increased demands on health systems.

Added: Oct 13, 2016
Article
Vlassov V. The Lancet. 2016. Vol. 388. No. 10053. P. 1725-1774.

Background

Established in 2000, Millennium Development Goal 4 (MDG4) catalysed extraordinary political, financial, and social commitments to reduce under-5 mortality by two-thirds between 1990 and 2015. At the country level, the pace of progress in improving child survival has varied markedly, highlighting a crucial need to further examine potential drivers of accelerated or slowed decreases in child mortality. The Global Burden of Disease 2015 Study (GBD 2015) provides an analytical framework to comprehensively assess these trends for under-5 mortality, age-specific and cause-specific mortality among children under 5 years, and stillbirths by geography over time.

Methods

Drawing from analytical approaches developed and refined in previous iterations of the GBD study, we generated updated estimates of child mortality by age group (neonatal, post-neonatal, ages 1–4 years, and under 5) for 195 countries and territories and selected subnational geographies, from 1980–2015. We also estimated numbers and rates of stillbirths for these geographies and years. Gaussian process regression with data source adjustments for sampling and non-sampling bias was applied to synthesise input data for under-5 mortality for each geography. Age-specific mortality estimates were generated through a two-stage age–sex splitting process, and stillbirth estimates were produced with a mixed-effects model, which accounted for variable stillbirth definitions and data source-specific biases. For GBD 2015, we did a series of novel analyses to systematically quantify the drivers of trends in child mortality across geographies. First, we assessed observed and expected levels and annualised rates of decrease for under-5 mortality and stillbirths as they related to the Soci-demographic Index (SDI). Second, we examined the ratio of recorded and expected levels of child mortality, on the basis of SDI, across geographies, as well as differences in recorded and expected annualised rates of change for under-5 mortality. Third, we analysed levels and cause compositions of under-5 mortality, across time and geographies, as they related to rising SDI. Finally, we decomposed the changes in under-5 mortality to changes in SDI at the global level, as well as changes in leading causes of under-5 deaths for countries and territories. We documented each step of the GBD 2015 child mortality estimation process, as well as data sources, in accordance with the Guidelines for Accurate and Transparent Health Estimates Reporting (GATHER).

Findings

Globally, 5·8 million (95% uncertainty interval [UI] 5·7–6·0) children younger than 5 years died in 2015, representing a 52·0% (95% UI 50·7–53·3) decrease in the number of under-5 deaths since 1990. Neonatal deaths and stillbirths fell at a slower pace since 1990, decreasing by 42·4% (41·3–43·6) to 2·6 million (2·6–2·7) neonatal deaths and 47·0% (35·1–57·0) to 2·1 million (1·8-2·5) stillbirths in 2015. Between 1990 and 2015, global under-5 mortality decreased at an annualised rate of decrease of 3·0% (2·6–3·3), falling short of the 4·4% annualised rate of decrease required to achieve MDG4. During this time, 58 countries met or exceeded the pace of progress required to meet MDG4. Between 2000, the year MDG4 was formally enacted, and 2015, 28 additional countries that did not achieve the 4·4% rate of decrease from 1990 met the MDG4 pace of decrease. However, absolute levels of under-5 mortality remained high in many countries, with 11 countries still recording rates exceeding 100 per 1000 livebirths in 2015. Marked decreases in under-5 deaths due to a number of communicable diseases, including lower respiratory infections, diarrhoeal diseases, measles, and malaria, accounted for much of the progress in lowering overall under-5 mortality in low-income countries. Compared with gains achieved for infectious diseases and nutritional deficiencies, the persisting toll of neonatal conditions and congenital anomalies on child survival became evident, especially in low-income and low-middle-income countries. We found sizeable heterogeneities in comparing observed and expected rates of under-5 mortality, as well as differences in observed and expected rates of change for under-5 mortality. At the global level, we recorded a divergence in observed and expected levels of under-5 mortality starting in 2000, with the observed trend falling much faster than what was expected based on SDI through 2015. Between 2000 and 2015, the world recorded 10·3 million fewer under-5 deaths than expected on the basis of improving SDI alone.

Interpretation

Gains in child survival have been large, widespread, and in many places in the world, faster than what was anticipated based on improving levels of development. Yet some countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, still had high rates of under-5 mortality in 2015. Unless these countries are able to accelerate reductions in child deaths at an extraordinary pace, their achievement of proposed SDG targets is unlikely. Improving the evidence base on drivers that might hasten the pace of progress for child survival, ranging from cost-effective intervention packages to innovative financing mechanisms, is vital to charting the pathways for ultimately ending preventable child deaths by 2030.

Added: Oct 13, 2016
Article
Golubchikov O., Deda P. Energy Policy. 2012. Vol. 41. P. 733-741.

Transforming the housing stock to a low energy performance is a key priority in the context of sustainable development and a post-carbon transition. However, in terms of its practical implementation it, firstly, faces a number of complex institutional barriers, while, secondly, involves a risk of being dominated by a narrow technocratic agenda for energy/carbon reduction that may overtake the socially progressive pursuits of housing policy. Energy efficiency strategies for the residential sector must, therefore, be multidimensional, fully synergised with housing policy, and incorporating the principles of equity, access and a balanced geographical development. This paper discusses a strategic policy framework, which was designed by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) to address those important needs in international policy. The document – Action Plan for Energy-efficient Housing in the UNECE Region – outlines a number of goals, targets and actions structured at three dimensions: (i) governance and finance, (ii) technological advancement, and (iii) access and affordability. The Action Plan provides a comprehensive and integrated framework, based on which governments can shape their own pathways towards a sustainable low-energy residential sector.

Added: Oct 9, 2014
Article
Sorokowski P., Butovskaya M. Body Image. 2012. No. 9. P. 510-516.

Many studies in Western societies have shown that women prefer relatively taller men as potential partners, whereas men prefer women who are slightly shorter than themselves. Here, we discuss possible limitations of previous results within the context of the stimuli used (i.e., differences in the perceived body size of female silhouettes). Our results show that, at least in a Polish sample (N= 231), modified stimuli did not essentially change the observed male-taller preferences. In contrast, we report height preferences in a traditional ethnic group, the Datoga people from Tanzania (N= 107), in which men and women preferred extreme sexual dimorphism in stature (SDS) sets (i.e., men and women chose women much taller or much shorter than themselves). Thus, our data do not accord with the suggestion of a universal preference for taller men, but rather suggests that height preferences may be influenced by cultural, environmental, and ecological conditions.

Added: Oct 10, 2014
Article
Balasubramaniam K., Dittmar K., Berman C. et al. Animal Behavior. 2012. Vol. 83. P. 2007-2018.

Phylogenetic models of primate social behaviour posit that core social traits are inherent species characteristics that depend largely on phylogenetic histories of species rather than on adaptation to current socioecological conditions. These models predict that aspects of social structure will vary more between species than within species and that they will display strong phylogenetic signals. We tested these predictions in macaques focusing on dominance gradients, a relatively little studied, yet central, aspect of social structure.We used data from 14 social groups representing nine macaque species living in a variety of conditions. We examined proportions of counteraggression and two recently developed measures of dominance gradients (hierarchical steepness) for phylogenetic signals in nine phylogenetic trees constructed using (1) available genetic data sets and (2) Bayesian Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) and maximum likelihood algorithms. Hierarchical steepness and counteraggression showed significant variation between species but inconsistent variation within species. Both steepness and counteraggression showed evidence of phylogenetic signals, with results being particularly strong for one steepness measure and for counteraggression. Our results suggest that between-species variation in some core aspects of social structure are shaped by species’ evolutionary relationships, despite differences in living conditions. As such, they provide broad support for the phylogenetic model.

Added: Oct 10, 2014
Article
Kasheverov I., Chugunov A., Kudryavtsev D. et al. Scientific Reports. 2016. Vol. 6. No. 36848. P. 1-11.

Despite some success for small molecules, elucidating structure–function relationships for biologically active peptides — the ligands for various targets in the organism — remains a great challenge and calls for the development of novel approaches. Some of us recently proposed the Protein Surface Topography (PST) approach, which benefits from a simplified representation of biomolecules’ surface as projection maps, which enables the exposure of the structure–function dependencies. Here, we use PST to uncover the “activity pattern” in α-conotoxins — neuroactive peptides that effectively target nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). PST was applied in order to design several variants of the α-conotoxin PnIA, which were synthesized and thoroughly studied. Among the best was PnIA[R9, L10], which exhibits nanomolar affinity for the α7 nAChR, selectivity and a slow wash-out from this target. Importantly, these mutations could hardly be delineated by “standard” structure-based drug design. The proposed combination of PST with a set of experiments proved very efficient for the rational construction of new bioactive molecules.

Added: Mar 14, 2017
Article
Khrameeva E., Fudenberg G., Gelfand M. S. et al. Journal of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology. 2016. Vol. 14. No. 2. P. 1641002.

Three-dimensional (3D) organization of genomes affects critical cellular processes such as transcription, replication, and deoxyribo nucleic acid (DNA) repair. While previous studies have investigated the natural role, the 3D organization plays in limiting a possible set of genomic rearrangements following DNA repair, the influence of specific organizational principles on this process, particularly over longer evolutionary time scales, remains relatively unexplored. In budding yeast S.cerevisiae, chromosomes are organized into a Rabl-like configuration, with clustered centromeres and telomeres tethered to the nuclear periphery. Hi-C data for S.cerevisiae show that a consequence of this Rabl-like organization is that regions equally distant from centromeres are more frequently in contact with each other, between arms of both the same and different chromosomes. Here, we detect rearrangement events in Saccharomyces species using an automatic approach, and observe increased rearrangement frequency between regions with higher contact frequencies. Together, our results underscore how specific principles of 3D chromosomal organization can influence evolutionary events.

Added: Mar 13, 2017
Article
Minin A. A., Voskova A. Russian Journal of Developmental Biology. 2014. Vol. 45. No. 3. P. 127-133.

A series of dates of unfolding of the first leaves and duration of the season of vegetation in the silver birch (Betula pendula Roth. (B. verrucosa Ehrh.)), as well as the duration of flowering of the bird cherry (Padus avium), mountain ash (Sorbus aucuparia), and smallleaved lime (Tilia cordata Mill.) for the period 1970–2010 in the central part of European Russia were studied in order to assess the trends. Differences in phenological responses to homogeneous climate changes in the trees of the same species from the northernand southern parts of the range were revealed. If spring events occur 3–7 days earlier in the northern part, nosuch effect is observed in the south. This fact can be interpreted as a manifestation of the different mechanisms of homeostasis in different populations determined by their biological characteristics (in particular, by the need to pass successfully the periods of organic rest and vegetation).

Added: Oct 17, 2014
Article
Kurichev N. Regional Research of Russia. 2017. Vol. 7. No. 1. P. 23-35.

In conditions of intense spatial transformation of the Moscow agglomeration (MA) driven by housing construction and migration from Russian regions, study of how these processes are interrelated has become an urgent task. In the article a new model of spatial equilibrium in MA is developed. Model includes three blocks: (1) a spatial equilibrium model for the labor and housing markets in the MA; (2) a model of dynamic equilibrium between migration and housing construction in the MA; (3) a model of housing construction distribution by zones of the MA. In block 1, for three zones of the MA (the central business district, urban zone, and zone of new construction) the equilibrium values of population, employment, and wages are determined with allowance for commuting. In block 2, equilibrium is determined between the migration level and housing construction in the MA, which replicates the gap in real incomes between the MA and other Russian regions. Deviation from equilibrium leads to an adjustment of incentives for migration and a change in its level restores equilibrium. In block 3, it is shown that the behavior of developers owing to land price adjustment determines the location of construction by the MA zones. Despite the generic nature of the model, it is able to reproduce a number of trends in the spatial evolution of the MA, including the transition from an extensive stage of development with sprawling construction and hyperdensity of the center to an intense stage with in-depth development of the main “body” of the city. The model stresses how tightly related the processes in the largest agglomeration of the country and the national settlement system are. The model shows how the political and economic processes, via changes in rent and agglomeration economies, change incentives for work, living, and housing construction in different zones of the agglomeration and determine the fate of urban territories. The model also describes the influence of the internal structure of the MA on interregional migration. By increasing construction, especially of affordable housing in greenfield projects at the periphery of the agglomeration,

Added: Sep 24, 2019
Article
Kurkina O. E., Talipova T. Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences. 2011. Vol. 11. No. 3. P. 981-986.

The generation of huge amplitude internal waves by the barotropic tide in the Barents Sea at high latitudes is examined using the numerical model of the Euler 2D equations for incompressible stratified fluid. The considered area is located between the Spitsbergen (Svalbard) Island and the Franz-VictoriaTrough as cross-section of 350 km length. There are two underwater hills of heights about 100 - 150 m on the background depth about 300 m. It is shown that intensive nonlinear internal waves with amplitudes up to 50 m and lengths about 6-12 km are generated in this zone. The total height of such waves is huge and they must be considered as a significant factor of the environment in this basin.

Added: Nov 23, 2012
Article
Kliuchnikova A., Samokhina N., Ilina I. et al. Proteomics. 2016. Vol. 16. No. 13. P. 1938-1946.

Twenty-nine human aqueous humor samples from patients with eye diseases such as cataract and glaucoma with and without pseudoexfoliation syndrome were characterized by LC-high resolution MS analysis. In total, 269 protein groups were identified with 1% false discovery rate including 32 groups that were not reported previously for this biological fluid. Since the samples were analyzed individually, but not pooled, 36 proteins were identified in all samples, comprising the constitutive proteome of the fluid. The most dominant molecular function of aqueous humor proteins as determined by GO analysis is endopeptidase inhibitor activity. Label-free protein quantification showed no significant difference between glaucoma and cataract aqueous humor proteomes. At the same time, we found decrease in the level of apolipoprotein D as a marker of the pseudoexfoliation syndrome. The data are available from ProteomeXchange repository (PXD002623).

Added: Mar 14, 2018
Article
Shestakova A., Alexey Gorin, Тугин С. et al. Psychology. Journal of the Higher School of Economics. 2015. Vol. 12. No. 4. P. 48-63.

Humans often change their views or opinions while interacting with each other. This often leads to behavioral changes. Such changes are often reciprocal and ultimately lead to an agreement or conclusion. One way to experimentally study human reciprocity would be to offer participants to take part in collective problem solving. This study analyzed feedback-related negativity (FRN) components of visual event-related potentials (ERP) in order to examine how the brain activity changes during joint performance of a task aimed at identifying a genuine image of a famous masterpiece as opposed to its mirror reflection as a function of a number of matched answers. The results of our electroencephalographic analysis showed that both erroneous and mismatched choices evoked comparable FRN responses in the brain activity of jointly working participants, possibly reflecting individual learning process based on action-monitoring and error-detection. When the subjects were asked to judge the stimuli for the second time following the peer’s feedback, the number of matched answers significantly increased while the amplitude of prediction error signal and FRN decreased, indicating conformity changes, possibly underlying the attunement. Our results agree with previous FRN findings supporting the neurobiological model of reinforcement learning, offering a possible neural mechanism of behavioral reciprocity and social attunement 
 

Added: Oct 16, 2017
Article
Thiel S. D., Bitzer S., Nierhaus T. et al. Plos One. 2014. Vol. 2. No. 9. P. e89802.

Perceptual decisions not only depend on the incoming information from sensory systems but constitute a combination of current sensory evidence and internally accumulated information from past encounters. Although recent evidence emphasizes the fundamental role of prior knowledge for perceptual decision making, only few studies have quantified the relevance of such priors on perceptual decisions and examined their interplay with other decision-relevant factors, such as the stimulus properties. In the present study we asked whether hysteresis, describing the stability of a percept despite a change in stimulus property and known to occur at perceptual thresholds, also acts as a form of an implicit prior in tactile spatial decision making, supporting the stability of a decision across successively presented random stimuli (i.e., decision hysteresis). We applied a variant of the classical 2-point discrimination task and found that hysteresis influenced perceptual decision making: Participants were more likely to decide 'same' rather than 'different' on successively presented pin distances. In a direct comparison between the influence of applied pin distances (explicit stimulus property) and hysteresis, we found that on average, stimulus property explained significantly more variance of participants' decisions than hysteresis. However, when focusing on pin distances at threshold, we found a trend for hysteresis to explain more variance. Furthermore, the less variance was explained by the pin distance on a given decision, the more variance was explained by hysteresis, and vice versa. Our findings suggest that hysteresis acts as an implicit prior in tactile spatial decision making that becomes increasingly important when explicit stimulus properties provide decreasing evidence.

Added: Oct 23, 2014
Article
Kutuzov S. Journal of Glaciology. 2018. Vol. 64. No. 248. P. 977-989.

Despite their high value and importance for various glaciological applications, detailed ice thickness measurements of alpine glaciers are still very limited. Knowledge of bedrock topography is essential for paleoglaciological studies. The Guliya ice cap located on the Tibetan Plateau is one of the highest and largest ice caps in mid-low latitude regions. A detailed ground-penetrating radar (GPR) survey was conducted on the Guliya ice cap in 2015 using 20 and 40 MHz frequency antennas. An empirical Bayesian kriging method was used for ice thickness interpolation and uncertainty assessment. GPR measurements revealed complex basal topography of the Guliya glacier with a maximum thickness of 371.12 ± 13 m. The internal reflections caused by changes in the dielectric properties were registered on the 40 MHz radargrams at the summit and were attributed to density variations. As a result of this fieldwork, one of the largest ice thickness datasets in High Mountain Asia was obtained. Guliya glacier elevation changes were assessed by differencing digital elevation models. The glacier gained mass from 2000 to 2015 with an average rate of 0.270 ± 0.11 m w.e. a at the summit and 0.279 ± 0.11 m w.e. a at the lower elevations.

Added: Sep 4, 2019
Article
Rossman V. Slavic Review. 2013. Vol. 72. No. 3. P. 505-527.

Over the last twenty years Russia has experienced significant fluctuations in sentiments regarding the prospects and urgency of relocating the Russian capital city. In this article, Vadim Rossman examines the public debates on this topic, which have involved important Russian politicians, intellectuals, and members of various expert communities. In these debates, one can recognize several distinct new visions of society that emerged in the post-Soviet period. This article provides an overview and a critique of these debates and suggests that they should be viewed in the context of nation building, the slow emergence of the nation that was historically suppressed under the weight of the imperial ambitions of Russian statehood. In the background of these debates, the concept of self-identity looms large. National capitals can serve as catalysts for nation building and an instrument of the nation as it constitutes and constructs itself.

Added: Feb 17, 2017
Article
Ekimova I., Korshunova T., Schepetov D. et al. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. 2015. Vol. 173. No. 4. P. 841-886.

The taxonomy of common northern nudibranch molluscs of the genus Dendronotus in the vast cold regions of Eurasia remains largely unknown. Abundant material collected in many localities from the Barents Sea, via the Arctic region, to the north-west Pacific was analysed for the first time. An integrated approach combining morphological and ontogenetic data with molecular four-gene (COI, 16S, H3, and 28S) analysis reveals seven species, including three previously undescribed. Dendronotus frondosus (Ascanius, 1774) and Dendronotus dalli Bergh, 1879 were commonly considered as amphiboreal species; however, according to this study they are restricted to the North Atlantic and the North Pacific, respectively. In the north-west Pacific two new species were discovered, Dendronotus kamchaticus sp. nov. and Dendronotus kalikal sp. nov., that are externally similar to D. frondosus, but that show significant distance according to molecular analysis and are considerably different in radular morphology. In the North Atlantic a new species Dendronotus niveus sp. nov., sibling to North Pacific D. dalli, is revealed. The separate status of North Atlantic Dendronotus lacteus (Thompson, 1840) is confirmed, including considerable range extension. The essential similarity of early ontogenetic stages of radular development common for species with disparate adult radular morphology (such as D. frondosus and D. dalli) is shown, and its importance for taxonomy is discussed.

Added: Oct 11, 2015
Article
Blanchevoye C., Floquet N., Scandolera A. et al. Journal of biological chemistry. 2013. Vol. 288. No. 2. P. 1317-1328.

The elastin binding protein (EBP), a spliced variant of lysosomal β-galactosidase, is the primary receptor of elastin peptides that have been linked to emphysema, aneurysm and cancer progression. The sequences recognized by EBP share the XGXXPG consensus pattern found in numerous matrix proteins, notably in elastin where the VGVAPG motif is repeated. To delineate the elastin binding site of human EBP, we built a homology model of this protein and docked VGVAPG on its surface. Analysis of this model suggested that Gln-97 and Asp-98 were required for interaction with VGVAPG because they contribute to the definition of a pocket thought to represent the elastin binding site of EBP. Additionally, we proposed that Leu-103, Arg-107, and Glu-137 were essential residues because they could interact with VGVAPG itself. Site-directed mutagenesis experiments at these key positions validated our model. This work therefore provides the first structural data concerning the interaction of the VGVAPG with its cognate receptor. The present structural data should now allow the development of EBP-specific antagonists.

 

Added: Nov 13, 2013
Article
Myachykov A., Scheepers C., Shtyrov Y. Frontiers in Psychology. 2013. Vol. 4. No. 258. P. 1-2.

One of the most intriguing and challenging questions in the interdisciplinary study of mental processes and underlying brain mechanisms is how language is related to thought. The question is by no means new. Scholars have attempted to unravel the relationship between language and thought since the early days of Western philosophy. Recent theories range from strictly modular accounts of linguistic processing to fully integrated theories, according to which linguistic processes strongly interact with more general cognitive mechanisms such as attention, memory, and action control. Unfortunately, theoretical exchange between proponents of these different views is often lacking. In part, this is due to the interdisciplinary nature of the question itself. As a result, researchers representing various disciplines often fail to engage in an exchange of theoretical views, research ideas, and methodological expertise. The present Frontiers' Special Topic provides a platform for such dialogue. It features contributions discussing the latest advances and challenges in the frontline research on language and cognition and attempts to provide a joint discussion forum for a wide range of researchers from the domains of cognitive psychology, neuroscience, and psycholinguistics, among others. These researchers follow different theoretical approaches and use different experimental methodologies. What unites them is their goal to understand the mechanisms underlying the interplay between linguistic and general cognitive processes. General cognitive mechanisms in linguistic communication do not only include retrieval and processing of linguistic information; they also rely upon constant updating and organizing of this linguistic information in relation with other, more general representations. Some existing theoretical models assume a tight interactive coupling between domain-general and domain-specific sources of information in the cognitive organization of the linguistic faculty. Domain-specific constraints may include, for example, grammatical as well as lexical and pragmatic knowledge. Domain-general constraints comprise processing limitations imposed by the cognitive mechanisms of memory, attention, learning, and social interaction. However, much of the existing research tends to focus on one or the other of the aforementioned areas, while integrative accounts are still rather sparse at present. The aim of this Special Topic of Frontiers in Cognition is therefore to bring together researchers who, within their respective research fields and by using different methodologies, represent integrative approaches to the study of language. Our Research Topic presents a collection of seventeen excellent articles that include original research, commentaries, opinions, and reviews. A number of papers in this Topic discuss neurophysiological and behavioral evidence about the interface between language, perception, and attention. Research discussed by Roelofs and Piai (2011)suggests that word planning does not always require full executive attention while specific attention deficits may contribute to impaired language performance. The results discussed by Roelofs and Piai (2011) demonstrate how gaze shifts can be linked to the process of phonological encoding with specific focus on word production automaticity. The article by Myachykov et al. (2012) presents evidence about the special role attention plays in determining the assignment of grammatical roles and the associated syntactic choice in visually situated sentence production. Papers by Huettig et al. (2012), Knoeferle et al. (2011), and Kaiser (2012) provide complementary evidence about the involvement of the language-cognition interface during sentence comprehension in visually situated contexts. The contribution by Shtyrov (2011) reports novel findings about rapid pre-attentive mapping of novel word forms, as evidenced by changes in the dynamics of brain responses within very short exposures. Finally, Hussey and Novick (2012) report intriguing evidence about the benefits of executive control training for grammatical processing in ambiguous contexts. The question of coordination between interlocutors during dialogue is raised in two articles. Gambi and Pickering (2011) used a novel interactive methodology in order to demonstrate that interlocutors constantly coordinate their sentences to represent their partner's knowledge. They then use these representations to build unfolding predictions, which they take into account when planning self-generated utterances. Similarly, Dale and colleagues (2011) use eye-movement synchronization between interlocutors as evidence for rapid approximation of actions in dialogue and the emergence of a single coordinated interactive system. Three papers in our Topic discuss embodied and grounded aspects of language processing. Lupyan (2012) addresses the question of the language-cognition interplay from the point of view of how language affects cognition and perception. In particular, Lupyan (2012) reviews evidence showing that performance on tasks that have been presumed to be non-verbal is rapidly modulated by language. Klemfuss et al. (2012) discuss effects of language on perception by critically reviewing evidence suggesting top-down influences of linguistic representations on visual feature detection. Their own research suggests that visual search is disrupted by the automatic activation of irrelevant linguistic representations. Another important aspect of the grounded view of language is the role played by perception and action systems in the organization of abstract knowledge. Scorolli et al. (2011) discuss the crucial role played by embodied theories of cognition in linguistic experience for abstract words. A number of papers in this Special Topic discuss architectural properties of the language-cognition interface. For example, Menenti et al. (2012) investigated how brain areas adapt to repetition of various sentence properties, thereby unraveling the neuronal infrastructure for the specific components of semantic encoding. Mashal and colleagues (2012) present a novel cortical network model for observation and imitation of speech. Their results show that the network models for observation and imitation comprise the same essential structure but differ in important features that reflect distinct connectivity patterns. Andric and Small (2012) contribute to the debate by discussing how the brain processes language and co-occurring gestures. Finally, Naylor et al. (2012) focus on cognitive and electrophysiological correlates of the bilingual Stroop effect by analysing corresponding ERP components in bilingual speakers. Their research shows, among other things that color words from both languages created response conflict and that the between-within language Stroop effect reflects complex brain activity with contributions from language both and color at different task points.

Added: Oct 23, 2014