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Search Results: 1 - 10 of 12727 matches for " Laura Ferguson "
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Using indicators to determine the contribution of human rights to public health efforts
Gruskin,Sofia; Ferguson,Laura;
Bulletin of the World Health Organization , 2009, DOI: 10.1590/S0042-96862009000900016
Abstract: there is general agreement on the need to integrate human rights into health policies and programmes, although there is still reluctance to go beyond rhetorical acknowledgement of their assumed significance. to determine the actual value of human rights for the effectiveness of public health efforts requires clarity about what their incorporation looks like in practice and how to assess their contribution. despite the pervasive use of indicators in the public health field, indicators that specifically capture human rights concerns are not well developed and those that exist are inconsistently used. even though "health and human rights indicators" are increasingly being constructed, it is often the case that health indicators are used to draw conclusions about some interaction between human rights and health; or that law and policy or other indicators, traditionally the domain of the human rights community, are used to make conclusions about health outcomes. to capture the added value that human rights bring to health, the differences in the contributions offered by these indicators need to be understood. to determine the value of different measures for advancing programme effectiveness, improving health outcomes and promoting human rights, requires questioning the intended purpose behind the construction of an indicator, who uses it, the kind of indicator it is, the extent to which it provides information about vulnerable populations, as well as how the data are collected and used.
Reciprocal Trophic Interactions and Transmission of Blood Parasites between Mosquitoes and Frogs
Laura V. Ferguson,Todd G. Smith
Insects , 2012, DOI: 10.3390/insects3020410
Abstract: The relationship between mosquitoes and their amphibian hosts is a unique, reciprocal trophic interaction. Instead of a one-way, predator-prey relationship, there is a cyclical dance of avoidance and attraction. This has prompted spatial and temporal synchrony between organisms, reflected in emergence time of mosquitoes in the spring and choice of habitat for oviposition. Frog-feeding mosquitoes also possess different sensory apparatuses than do their mammal-feeding counterparts. The reciprocal nature of this relationship is exploited by various blood parasites that use mechanical, salivary or trophic transmission to pass from mosquitoes to frogs. It is important to investigate the involvement of mosquitoes, frogs and parasites in this interaction in order to understand the consequences of anthropogenic actions, such as implementing biocontrol efforts against mosquitoes, and to determine potential causes of the global decline of amphibian species.
Identifying structural barriers to an effective HIV response: using the National Composite Policy Index data to evaluate the human rights, legal and policy environment
Sofia Gruskin,Laura Ferguson,Tobias Alfven,Deborah Rugg
Journal of the International AIDS Society , 2013, DOI: 10.7448/ias.16.1.18000
Abstract: Introduction: Attention to the negative effects of structural barriers on HIV efforts is increasing. Reviewing national legal and policy environments with attention to the international human rights commitments of states is a means of assessing and providing focus for addressing these barriers to effective HIV responses. Methods: Law and policy data from the 171 countries reporting under the Declaration of Commitment from the 2001 United Nations General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS were analyzed to assess attention to human rights in national legal and policy environments as relevant to the health and rights of key populations such as people who inject drugs, men who have sex with men and sex workers. Results: Seventy-eight governments and civil society in 106 countries report the existence of laws and policies which present obstacles to accessing HIV services for key populations. Laws and policies which positively affect access to HIV-related services, in and of themselves constituting structural interventions, were also reported. The dissonance between laws and how this impacts the availability and use of HIV-related services deserve greater attention. Conclusions: Recognition of the harms inherent in laws that constitute structural barriers to effective HIV responses and the potential positive role that a supportive legal environment can play suggests the need for legal reform to ensure an enabling regulatory framework within which HIV services can be effectively delivered and used by the populations who need them. Moving beyond laws and policies, further efforts are required to determine how to capture information on the range of structural barriers. Teasing apart the impact of different barriers, as well as the structural interventions put in place to address them, remains complicated. Capturing the impact of policy and legal interventions can ultimately support governments and civil society to ensure the human rights of key populations are protected in national HIV responses.
Toll-Like Receptors and Cancer: MYD88 Mutation and Inflammation
James Q. Wang,Yogesh S. Jeelall,Laura L. Ferguson
Frontiers in Immunology , 2014, DOI: 10.3389/fimmu.2014.00367
Abstract: Pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) expressed on immune cells are crucial for the early detection of invading pathogens, in initiating early innate immune response and in orchestrating the adaptive immune response. PRRs are activated by specific pathogen-associated molecular patterns that are present in pathogenic microbes or nucleic acids of viruses or bacteria. However, inappropriate activation of these PRRs, such as the Toll-like receptors (TLRs), due to genetic lesions or chronic inflammation has been demonstrated to be a major cause of many hematological malignancies. Gain-of-function mutations in the TLR adaptor protein MYD88 found in 39% of the activated B cell type of diffuse large B cell lymphomas and almost 100% of Waldenstr?m’s macroglobulinemia further highlight the involvement of TLRs in these malignancies. MYD88 mutations result in the chronic activation of TLR signaling pathways, thus the constitutive activation of the transcription factor NFκB to promote cell survival and proliferation. These recent insights into TLR pathway driven malignancies warrant the need for a better understanding of TLRs in cancers and the development of novel anti-cancer therapies targeting TLRs. This review focuses on TLR function and signaling in normal or inflammatory conditions, and how mutations can hijack the TLR signaling pathways to give rise to cancer. Finally, we discuss how potential therapeutic agents could be used to restore normal responses to TLRs and have long lasting anti-tumor effects.
Model-Based Comprehensive Analysis of School Closure Policies for Mitigating Influenza Epidemics and Pandemics
Laura Fumanelli?,Marco Ajelli?,Stefano Merler?,Neil M. Ferguson,Simon Cauchemez
PLOS Computational Biology , 2016, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1004681
Abstract: School closure policies are among the non-pharmaceutical measures taken into consideration to mitigate influenza epidemics and pandemics spread. However, a systematic review of the effectiveness of alternative closure policies has yet to emerge. Here we perform a model-based analysis of four types of school closure, ranging from the nationwide closure of all schools at the same time to reactive gradual closure, starting from class-by-class, then grades and finally the whole school. We consider policies based on triggers that are feasible to monitor, such as school absenteeism and national ILI surveillance system. We found that, under specific constraints on the average number of weeks lost per student, reactive school-by-school, gradual, and county-wide closure give comparable outcomes in terms of optimal infection attack rate reduction, peak incidence reduction or peak delay. Optimal implementations generally require short closures of one week each; this duration is long enough to break the transmission chain without leading to unnecessarily long periods of class interruption. Moreover, we found that gradual and county closures may be slightly more easily applicable in practice as they are less sensitive to the value of the excess absenteeism threshold triggering the start of the intervention. These findings suggest that policy makers could consider school closure policies more diffusely as response strategy to influenza epidemics and pandemics, and the fact that some countries already have some experience of gradual or regional closures for seasonal influenza outbreaks demonstrates that logistic and feasibility challenges of school closure strategies can be to some extent overcome.
Navigating the Lead Laws/Rules/Standards for Renovation and Repair Activities: A Guide for Contractors and Laborers  [PDF]
Alesia Ferguson, Thomas Rimmer
Journal of Environmental Protection (JEP) , 2012, DOI: 10.4236/jep.2012.310150
Abstract: Children and adults are often exposed to lead in homes as a result of deteriorating lead-based paint surfaces and any disturbance to those surfaces. There are a number of laws, regulations, standards and guidance documents in place aimed at minimization of lead dust contamination following renovation and repair activities. These laws and regulations are oftentimes confusing and conflicting for the maintenance contractor who has limited time and resources for researching the right and appropriate course of action. This paper provides a comprehensive review and discussion of the lead laws, regulations, standards and guidelines for contractors.
Computational Prediction of Broadly Neutralizing HIV-1 Antibody Epitopes from Neutralization Activity Data
Andrew L. Ferguson, Emilia Falkowska, Laura M. Walker, Michael S. Seaman, Dennis R. Burton, Arup K. Chakraborty
PLOS ONE , 2013, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0080562
Abstract: Broadly neutralizing monoclonal antibodies effective against the majority of circulating isolates of HIV-1 have been isolated from a small number of infected individuals. Definition of the conformational epitopes on the HIV spike to which these antibodies bind is of great value in defining targets for vaccine and drug design. Drawing on techniques from compressed sensing and information theory, we developed a computational methodology to predict key residues constituting the conformational epitopes on the viral spike from cross-clade neutralization activity data. Our approach does not require the availability of structural information for either the antibody or antigen. Predictions of the conformational epitopes of ten broadly neutralizing HIV-1 antibodies are shown to be in good agreement with new and existing experimental data. Our findings suggest that our approach offers a means to accelerate epitope identification for diverse pathogenic antigens.
REDD comes into fashion in Madagascar
B Ferguson
Madagascar Conservation & Development , 2009,
Abstract: As the Copenhagen negotiations on the form of post Kyoto mechanisms to tackle climate change approach, firmly on the agenda are proposals to include Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD). REDD could potentially generate tens of millions of dollars annually for Madagascar, bringing a huge potential to deliver forest conservation and improved livelihoods for the rural Malagasy. Efforts are underway in Madagascar to access REDD finance through a national working group and implementation of five REDD pilot projects. Many areas where the lowering of rates of deforestation is hoped to take place are part of the new generation of protected areas following the 2003 Durban Declaration. These new protected areas are frequently based on federations or grouping of community managed forests, which the literature and experience has shown to be highly problematic and which are rarely fully operational. If REDD is to prove to be an effective conservation tool, as well as an equitable mechanism to promote rural development several issues need to be addressed: More resources allocated to provide direct incentives to communities and to build local management capacity within their forest management associations. More serious efforts are needed to increase forest plantations and to improve management of existing plantations and natural forests, so as to meet the forest product needs of the whole Malagasy population. Basic human rights to have secure tenure of ancestral forest lands, and to derive a decent living from these needs to be recognised and empowered. The risk of ‘elite capture’ of the revenues generated by REDD should be avoided by the establishment of a transparent and independent scrutiny facility. Finally, it is proposed that improved dialogue between the social critics of conservation in Madagascar and the conservation movement itself should be encouraged.
Trends in olive fruit handling previous to its industrial transformation
Ferguson, Louise
Grasas y Aceites , 2006,
Abstract: Until the 1940s, when production economics and labor shortages became pressing, olives around the world were hand harvested. Despite 60 years of research, mechanical. There are two major reasons for this. First, trees over 20 years old are too tall and poorly structured for mechanical harvesting. Second, mechanical harvesting research for table olive production has not been sufficiently focused on the final goal, processed fruit quality. For oil olives, which are physiologically mature at harvest and require less removal force, advances in both trunk shaking and picker head technology are advancing rapidly. Also, as olive oil is enjoying a renaissance around the world new orchards are being planted in the hedgerows that facilitate mechanical harvesting. For table olives however, mechanical harvesting is still in the developmental stage. The research being done now, unlike earlier work, focuses on the parallel goals of efficient fruit removal and final processed product quality. Within 10 years most olive oil orchards of suitable tree size and shape will be mechanically harvested. When table olives will be routinely harvested mechanically cannot be predicted. Las aceitunas se recogieron a mano hasta los a os cuarenta, cuando la necesidad de reducir costes de producción y la escasez de mano de obra comenzaron ya a hacer inviable tal sistema. A pesar de la investigación realizada durante los últimos 60 a os, la recolección mecánica no es todavía una práctica común. Hay dos razones principales para ello. La primera es que los árboles de más de 20 a os de antigüedad son demasiado altos y no están adecuadamente estructurados para aplicar dichas técnicas. La segunda es que la investigación sobre la recolección mecánica para las aceitunas de mesa no se ha enfocado adecuadamente dándole el peso suficiente al objetivo final de obtener frutos elaborados de calidad. Para el caso de las aceitunas destinadas a la obtención de aceite, cuyos frutos están fisiológicamente maduros en el momento de la recolección y requieren menos fuerza para desprenderles del árbol, se han producido, sin embargo, importantes avances tanto en cuanto a los vibradores como a los sistemas de recogida. También, a medida que el aceite de oliva esta extendiéndose alrededor del mundo, las nuevas plantaciones están realizándose de manera que faciliten la recolección mecánica. Por el contrario, en el caso de las aceitunas de mesa, las técnicas de recolección mecánica están todavía en fase de desarrollo. En contraposición con los trabajos realizados con anterioridad, la investigación que se está re
IDP camp closure and gender inequality in Timor-Leste
Phyllis Ferguson
Forced Migration Review , 2010,
Abstract: The goal of humanitarian assistance in Timor-Leste during a seriesof crises from 2006 to 2008 became increasingly focused on IDPcamp closure, with the assisted return of IDPs to their communitiesor to alternative living situations.
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