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  • Horizon scanning is intended to identify the opportunities and threats associated with technological, regulatory and social change. In 2017 some of the present authors conducted a horizon scan for bioengineering (Wintle et al., 2017). Here we report the results of a new horizon scan that is based on inputs from a larger and more international group of 38 participants. The final list of 20 issues includes topics spanning from the political (the regulation of genomic data, increased philanthropic funding and malicious uses of neurochemicals) to the environmental (crops for changing climates and agricultural gene drives). The early identification of such issues is relevant to researchers, policy-makers and the wider public.
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  • The Cuckoos have a long history of difficult classification. The species of this order have been the subject of several studies based on osteology, behavior, ecology, morphology and molecular data. Despite this, the relationship between Cuculiformes and species of other orders remains controversial. In this work, two species of Cuculidae, Guira guira (Gmelin, 1788) and Piaya cayana (Linnaeus, 1766), were analyzed by means of comparative chromosome painting in order to study the chromosome evolution of this group and to undertake the first chromosome mapping of these species. Our results demonstrate high chromosomal diversity, with 2n = 76 in G. guira, with fission and fusion events involving ancestral syntenies, while P. cayana presented only fissions, which were responsible for the high diploid number of 2n = 90. Interestingly, there were no chromosomal rearrangements in common between these species. Our results, based on Giemsa staining, were compared with previous data for other cuckoos and also with taxa proposed as sister-groups of Cuculiformes (Otidiformes, Musophagiformes and Opisthocomiformes). Cytogenetic comparisons demonstrated that cuckoo species can be divided into at least three major groups. In addition, we found no evidence to place Cuculiformes close to the groups proposed previously as sister-groups.
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  • Immune checkpoint inhibition has transformed cancer treatment. For gastroesophageal cancer, this class of drugs have demonstrated durable responses and survival benefit in a subgroup of patients, resulting in regulatory approval. However, several recent randomized phase III studies in gastroesophageal cancer have reported negative results, blunting initial enthusiasm. Identification and validation of predictive biomarkers with appropriate patient selection for benefit from immunotherapy is an area of intense research with novel concepts rapidly emerging. In this review we describe the latest immune checkpoint inhibitor trials which have been reported in gastroesophageal cancers with a focus on predictive biomarkers. We also explore novel biomarkers being developed to improve precision oncology for immunotherapy in gastroesophageal cancers.
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  • This article examines what drives audience participation in interactive broadcast shows, with implications for the democratic potential of these shows as spaces of citizen engagement and public discussion. It makes three contributions, the first two to audience and media studies and the last to political communication. First, it provides evidence to fill a gap in empirical knowledge on what drives audience participation in interactive broadcasts in Africa. “Mediated sociability”—the ways in which audience members are socialized into thinking about interactive broadcast shows as a space in which people like them have a voice—emerges as a strong determinant of audience participation. Second, it then uses this evidence from a non-Western perspective to reinforce the importance of conceptualizing the interactive broadcast show as a convened social space that can enable active citizenship. Third, by advancing scholarship on audiences and publics, the article deepens our understanding on the democratic significance of interactive broadcast in Africa and beyond.
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  • This paper proposes a new form of passive UHF RFID system which has high tag detection accuracy but lower costs than existing systems for wide-range RFID scenarios requiring greater flexibility. This new system concept consists of a central baseband controller and a remote antenna subsystem, connected using a twisted-pair cable. Baseband signals are transmitted over the twisted-pair cable during the inventory session, and the transmitted radio frequency (RF) signals are up and down converted in the antenna subsystem. – 88 dBm reader sensitivity is achieved with an active leakage cancellation block, showing little degradation in tag detection performance over a 300m of Cat5e cable between the controller and the antenna. An average leakage suppression of 36.9 dB can be achieved with a fixed transmission power of 26.5 dBm. Compared with conventional RFID systems using coaxial cables between the reader and antenna, the presented system is superior in terms of link distance, link cost, and installation flexibility.
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  • Objectives: To determine differences in body composition and glucose metabolism according to childhood growth outcomes, in a population-based sample of children born small for gestational age (SGA). Methods: Single-centre study of 259 children born SGA identified through hospital records and contacted when aged 4-7years. Questionnaire data on pre/perinatal history and growth parameters during childhood were collected from the parents and, in a subgroup of 150 children, face-to-face assessments were performed, including anthropometric parameters, lean and fat mass, blood pressure, fasting glucose and C-peptide. Results: Based on the questionnaires few children had formal clinic follow-up of growth, but 7% of the cohort showed height and weight <-2SDS during childhood, and only 2 children were put on GH therapy. Out of the 150 children assessed at a mean age of 6.1±0.8 years, 122 (81%) showed catch-up growth in weight. Compared to those without weight catch-up, they had higher fat mass index (3.13±1.36 vs 2.56±0.91Kg/m2, p=0.04), trunk/limb fat mass ratio (0.63±0.14 vs 0.56±0.08, p=0.002), systolic blood pressure SDS (0.09±0.71 vs -0.32±0.63, p=0.008), fasting glucose (4.5±0.5 vs 4.3±0.5 mmol/l, p=0.03) and C-peptide (306±116 vs 256±112pmol/l, p=0.08). Among children with weight catch-up growth, those with less height gain had lower limb lean (4.25±0.48 vs 4.48±0.56Kg/m2, p=0.02) and fat mass index (1.57±0.59 vs 1.83±0.77Kg/m2, p=0.04). Conclusions: Within this population-based sample of SGA children, catch-up growth in weight was associated with higher abdominal fat mass, blood pressure and glycemia; furthermore, in these children less height gain was associated with reduced limb lean mass.
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  • This study examines the lanthanide calcium oxyborates Ca4LnO(BO3)3 (Ln = La, Pr, Nd, Sm, Eu, Gd, Tb, Dy, Ho, Y, Er, Yb). The reported monoclinic structure (space group Cm) was confirmed using powder X-ray diffraction. The magnetic Ln3+ ions are situated in well-separated chains parallel to the c axis in a quasi-one-dimensional array. Here we report the first bulk magnetic characterisation of Ca4LnO(BO3)3 using magnetic susceptibility χ(T) and isothermal magnetisation M(H) measurements at T ⩾ 2 K. With the sole exception of Ca4TbO(BO3)3, which displays a transition at T = 3.6 K, no magnetic transitions occur above 2 K, and Curie-Weiss analysis indicates antiferromagnetic nearest-neighbour interactions for all samples. Calculation of the magnetic entropy change ΔSm indicates that Ca4GdO(BO3)3 and Ca4HoO(BO3)3 are viable magnetocaloric materials at liquid helium temperatures in the high-field and low-field regimes respectively.
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