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Profiles of HIV-Affected Households in Ghana  [PDF]
Amos Laar, Daniel Fiaveh, Matilda Laar, Sandra Boatemaa, James Abugri, Richard Amenyah, Kyeremeh Atuahene, Andrew Anthony Adjei, Isabella Quakyi, Angela El-Adas
Health (Health) , 2014, DOI: 10.4236/health.2014.615235
Abstract: Background: To contribute to a fuller appreciation of Ghana’s HIV epidemic, this paper presents various profiles of the Ghanaian HIV-affected household. To comprehensively tackle the HIV epidemic in Ghana, the profiles would provide stakeholders with ready information for policy formulation. Methods: We used data from a nationally representative survey that measured livelihood activities, household asset wealth, household composition, health, and nutrition variables of 1745 HIV-affected households. From these emerged various profiles. Results: About 50% of the households are headed by females. Households headed by men have an average size of three members, compared to two for female-headed households. There are far more AIDS widows than widowers. The annual death rate among the surveyed households was about 1000 per 100,000-households. Relatively more deaths occurred in male-headed households. Two-thirds of the households were asset poor. Various coping strategies were instituted by the households in reaction to threat of food insecurity. The national prevalence of chronic energy deficiency is 16%. Conclusions: Our data show that age of household head, hosting of a chronically ill member, and average size of household differed by sex of household head. The annual death rate of 1000 per 100,000 households is very high.
Family Planning, Abortion, and HIV in Ghanaian Print Media: A 15-Month Content Analysis of a National Ghanaian Newspaper
AK Laar
African Journal of Reproductive Health , 2011,
Abstract: This study assessed coverage of Reproductive Health (RH) issues—family planning (FP), abortion, and HIV—in the Ghanaian Daily Graphic newspaper. Using the composite week sampling technique, the researcher analyzed the contents of 62 editions of the paper. Prominence was measured using various attributes, and differences in mean coverage over time were assessed using analysis of variance. This review shows that coverage of RH issues was extraordinarily poor, less than 1 percent each for FP, abortion, and HIV. RH news that was covered was given little prominence. These findings support the popular impression that the Daily Graphic does not give priority to reproductive health issues in its coverage. RH advocates need to develop innovative means of integrating RH content into existing media outlets. (Afr J Reprod Health 2010; 14[4]: 83-89).
A “Fine Structure Constant” for Inertia  [PDF]
Amos Harpaz
International Journal of Astronomy and Astrophysics (IJAA) , 2013, DOI: 10.4236/ijaa.2013.34046

We try to find a physical source for the inertial force, which contradicts the acceleration of an object. We find that when an object is accelerated, its gravitational field curves, and the stress force created in this curved field acts on the object against the accelerating force, thus supplying part of the inertial force that contradicts the acceleration. We also find that this force includes a term which is similar to the fine structure constant used in quantum mechanics. As well, we find that this term equals unity for a black hole object. Further work is needed in order to find whether the complete inertial force can be found in this way. The experimental results that may prove this approach are still very limited.

Ghanaian Female Immigrant Entrepreneurs in Canada: Experiences, Challenges, and Coping Strategies  [PDF]
Amos Nkrumah
Open Journal of Social Sciences (JSS) , 2016, DOI: 10.4236/jss.2016.410005
Abstract: Immigrant women of African descent face series of injustices in the process of integrating into the host society, particularly in the labour market because they are women and minorities. The purpose of this paper is to explore the experiences, challenges, and strategies of these female immigrant entrepreneurs in Canada. Using snow-ball sampling and in-depth interview, principally these women go into entrepreneurship due to family considerations. Furthermore, there are several injustices that the women face, such as race regarding the colour of skin, and the accented manner they speak English. The study also finds that Ghanaian women entrepreneurs have developed coping strategies through the building of networks, determination, and “faceless” business transactions to overcome the inequalities, and to win and maintain clients and expand their business.
The Philosophy-Psychology Linkage  [PDF]
Amos Avny
Open Journal of Philosophy (OJPP) , 2018, DOI: 10.4236/ojpp.2018.83016
Abstract: The Essay explores two questions about the subject: a. whether exist any linkage between Philosophy and Psychology, and b. what is the nature of this linkage? Actually, the Author answers that such a linkage already exists. In fact, these two disciplines are like two sides of the same coin, they are complementary rather than competitive. For clarifying this argument the Author discusses 3 example cases, examining the whole individual-organization complex. The Essay describes Adam and Eve’s nature and curiosity, qualities that empowered them in their search for knowledge. This behavior also made them the fore-parents of all explorers, pioneers and researchers who followed them. Further, the Author indicates how wrong use of ideological declarations hurts individuals and subdues them. Finally, the Author advocates the introducing of the “Normal Distribution Method” and the “Bell type Curve” as main tools in teaching and studying Social Sciences.
B-cell depletion with rituximab: a promising treatment for diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis
Jacob M van Laar
Arthritis Research & Therapy , 2010, DOI: 10.1186/ar2977
Abstract: 'No drug should be discarded until it has been tried in systemic sclerosis'. A phrase of this sort can still be found in many textbooks and reviews on systemic sclerosis (SSC), but the time has come to raise our expectations. The study by Bosello and colleagues [1] in this issue of Arthritis Research & Therapy provides tantalizing data on the effects of rituximab in nine patients with diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis (dcSSc) nonresponsive to cyclophosphamide. A single treatment course induced a consistent and sustained improvement of skin thickening, disease activity, and functional ability, notably in the seven patients with early disease. In those with organ involvement, function remained stable. Retreatment was given in one patient with clinical relapse and preemptively in two patients who had rapid reconstitution of B cells. The clinical effects were paralleled by biological effects, including depletion of circulating B cells, and changes in serum levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and BAFF (B-cell activating factor of tumor necrosis factor family). IL-6 has a role in fibrogenesis, and the reduction in IL-6 following rituximab treatment may be one of the explanations for the effect on skin fibrosis as found in this and other recent studies. Several cell types produce IL-6, including B cells, macrophages, and stromal cells, and so the effect of rituximab on IL-6 in dcSSc could be due to direct depletion of IL-6-producing B cells or, more likely, indirect effects of B-cell depletion on IL-6 production by stromal cells or macrophages or both.The study extends the results of other recently published papers reporting clinical benefit of rituximab therapy [2-4]. Together, they confirm earlier predictions that B cells might be an attractive target in SSc [5,6]. What is most striking in these studies is the prospect that this drug has a more favorable risk-to-benefit ratio of treatment when compared with other therapies such as imatinib, cyclophosphamide, or immunoablat
Immune ablation and stem-cell therapy in autoimmune disease: Immunological reconstitution after high-dose immunosuppression and haematopoietic stem-cell transplantation
Jacob M van Laar
Arthritis Research & Therapy , 2000, DOI: 10.1186/ar101
Abstract: The emergence of high-dose immunosuppressive therapy (HDIT), followed by autologous haematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (SCT) as a new treatment modality for selected patients with systemic rheumatic diseases is based on a pivotal role of the immune system in the course of such diseases [1*]. The aim is to maximally suppress or ablate the immune system and then rescue the patient from prolonged cytopenias or haematopoietic failure by infusing haematopoietic progenitor cells (CD34+ cells). Studies in experimental models of autoimmune disease in particular have lent support to the concept that autoreactive T lymphocytes can be eliminated by (myelo)lymphoablative chemo(radio)therapy, and that the subsequent transplantation of pluripotent haematopoietic stem cells gives rise to the emergence of na?ve T lymphocytes that are tolerant to self-antigens (reviewed in this issue by van Bekkum [2]).In humans, the pathogenesis of systemic rheumatic diseases is less well understood due to uncertainties regarding the nature of autoantigens, pathogenic roles of specific T and B lymphocytes, and complexity of cell-cell interactions. Study of the reconstituting immune system in relation to the disease course after HDIT and SCT may, however, yield important insights into the pathogenesis of these diseases because of the temporary profound effects of myeloablative or lymphoablative therapy on the immune system. This holds true for autologous SCT in particular, because it entails neither histoincompatibility (with its attendant risk for graft-versus-host disease) nor the use of immunosuppressive drugs to control such histoincompatibility.Clinical considerations also stress the need to incorporate monitoring of immune reconstitution in any treatment protocol. It is well appreciated that the risks associated with HDIT and SCT in terms of morbidity and mortality are determined by numerical recovery of bone marrow cellular elements on the one hand, and functional recovery of cellular i
Genomic signatures for predicting survival and adjuvant chemotherapy benefit in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer
Ryan K Van Laar
BMC Medical Genomics , 2012, DOI: 10.1186/1755-8794-5-30
Abstract: A novel prognostic algorithm was identified using genomic profiles from 332 stage I-III adenocarcinomas and independently validated on a separate series of 264 patients with stage I-II tumors, compiled from five previous studies. The prognostic algorithm was used to interrogate genomic data from a series of patients treated with adjuvant chemotherapy. Those genes associated with outcome in the adjuvant treatment setting, independent to prognosis were used to train an algorithm able to classify a patient as either a responder or non-responder to ACT. The performance of this signature was independently validated on a separate series of genomic profiles from patients enrolled in a randomized controlled trial of cisplatin/vinorelbine vs. observation alone (JBR.10).NSCLC patients exhibiting the high-risk, poor-prognosis form of the 160-gene prognosis signature experienced a 2.80-times higher rate of 5-year disease specific death (log rank P?<?0.0001) compared to those with the low-risk, good prognosis profile, adjusted for covariates. The prognosis signature was found to especially accurate at identifying early stage patients at risk of disease specific death within 24?months of diagnosis when compared to traditional methods of outcome prediction.Separately, NSCLC patients with the 37-gene ACT-response signature (n?=?70, 64?%), benefited significantly from cisplatin/vinorelbine (adjusted HR: 0.23, P?=?0.0032). For those patients predicted to be responders, receiving this form of ACT conferred a 25?% improvement in the probability of 5-year-survival, compared to observation alone and adjusted for covariates. Conversely, in those patients predicted to be non-responders, ACT was observed to offer no significant survival benefit (adjusted HR: 0.55, P?=?0.32).The two gene signatures overlap by one gene only SPSB3, which interacts with the oncogene MET. In this study, higher levels of SPSB3 which were associated with favorable prognosis and benefit from ACT.These complimentary
R. Aerts, P. de Rooy (eds.), Geschiedenis van Amsterdam, III, Hoofdstad in aanbouw 1813-1900
D. Wolthekker, Een keten van macht. Amsterdam en zijn burgemeesters vanaf 1850

Paul van de Laar
BMGN : Low Countries Historical Review , 2008,
Het Nationaal Historisch Museum en de emotional turn
P. van de Laar
BMGN : Low Countries Historical Review , 2009,
Abstract: The Dutch National History Museum and the ‘Emotional Turn’ Recent discussions about the Dutch National History Museum (NHM) should not be restricted to issues put forward by professional historians, be it the importance of a historical canon or nuanced historical debates. Two major, strongly intertwined developments will have to be considered. Firstly, the emotional turn in recent heritage discussions and, secondly, the increasing multi-medialisation of our daily lives. These 21st century developments call for a redefinition of the tasks of a museum for cultural history and a new paradigm in history museums. Traditional collection-driven museums will not be able to satisfy the challenges of the emotional and digital requirements. The NHM should aim to be at the cutting edge of new museum practises.
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