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Academic Insights for the Thinking World

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What does research say about electronic cigarettes?

To mark the Great American Smokeout, a day where smokers across the country – with support from family and friends – take steps to quit the habit, we got in touch with the Editor-in-Chief of Nicotine & Tobacco Research, published on behalf of the Society for Research on Nicotine & Tobacco, to learn more about the potential pros and cons of electronic cigarettes.

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Pathogen contamination in a clinical laundry facility: a Q&A with Karen E. Michael

To learn more about how bacterial pathogens are kept in check and the effectiveness of clinical laundry services in removing these bacteria, we asked Karen E. Michael, PhD candidate and an author of FEMS Microbiology Letters article “Clostridium difficile Environmental Contamination within a Clinical Laundry Facility in the USA”, to answer some pressing queries.

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Can marital quality affect your risk of getting diabetes?

Diabetes remains one of the top ten causes of death in the US, where the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that over 9% of the population has diabetes. The risk of getting diabetes can be largely reduced through factors such as proper diet and regular physical activity. Many of the resources on diabetes focus on how lifestyle changes can lower the risk of diabetes and prevent harmful complications.

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World Diabetes Day 2016

November 14 is World Diabetes Day, an observance day led by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and recognized by the World Health Organization and the United Nations. The day aims to raise awareness of the condition globally. The theme of the 2016 campaign is “Eyes on diabetes” and focuses around screening, diagnosis, and treatment to reduce the complications of type 2 diabetes.

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The complex world of climate change governance: new actors; new arrangements

Climate change governance dramatically challenges traditional International Relations (IR) notions of decision-making. The greatest challenge involves understanding the many ‘actors and the arrangements’ that describe this critical global governance issue. The field is made up of much more than the traditional intergovernmental and international organizations and their actions in a critical global issue.

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Taking back control from Brussels – but where to?

Legal commitments will continue, regardless of membership of the EU, and will be a constraint on the UK’s ability to develop its own environmental policies; new trade agreements with the EU and other nations may further affect environmental standards.

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Contrary to recent reports, coups are not a catalyst for democracy

In recent years, a new and surprising idea has emerged suggesting that coups d’état may actually be a force for democracy. The argument is surprising because coups have historically been associated with the rise of long-lasting and often brutal dictatorial regimes. During the Cold War, coups brought Suharto to power in Indonesia, military rule to Egypt, Pinochet to power in Chile, and allowed Hafez al-Assad to consolidate rule in Syria.

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Africa’s ethnic politics: demands for new administrative areas

About twenty-five years ago, politics changed in Africa. For years, rulers had manipulated the economy by doing things like creating artificial shortages and restricting import licenses. These tactics were useful to rulers, because they could dole out prized business licenses to reward supporters and consolidate power. But around 1990, many rulers were forced to relinquish these tools.

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Does skin cancer screening work?

According to the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), only limited evidence exists that skin cancer screening for adults is effective, particularly for melanoma mortality. Finding melanoma at early stages improves outcomes. That has led to research on the subject and suggestions from professional groups, such as the American Academy of Dermatology and the Skin Cancer Foundation, for yearly visits with a dermatologist.

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World Internet Day: A reading list on older adults’ internet use

The internet is arguably the most important invention in recent history. To recognize its importance, World Internet Day is celebrated each year on October 29, the date on which the first electronic message was transferred from one computer to another in 1969. At that time, a UCLA student programmer named Charley Kline was working under the supervision of his professor Leonard Klinerock, and transferred a message from a computer housed at UCLA to one at Stanford.

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Open in Action

Over a decade has passed since the Budapest Open Access Initiative and the Berlin Declaration on Open Access. A bystander could be forgiven for thinking that the level of discussion and the apparent differences in position across higher education institutions, publishing houses, laboratories, conference halls, funder headquarters, and government buildings must mean that progress has been limited.

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What exactly is ‘contract theory’?

At first glance, it may seem a dizzyingly impenetrable subject matter, but Oliver Hart and Bengt Holmström’s contributions to ‘contract theory’ have revolutionized the study of economics. They have recently been awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, with the presentation committee noting how their pioneering analysis laid the “intellectual foundation for designing policies and institutions in many areas, from bankruptcy legislation to political constitutions.”

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Discussing Open Access in action

The 24 October marks the beginning of International Open Access Week 2016. This year, the theme is “Open in Action” which attempts to encourage all stakeholders to take further steps to make their work more openly available and encourages others to do the same. In celebration of this event, we asked some of our Journal Editors to discuss their commitments to Open Access (OA).

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Brexit: environmental accountability and EU governance

Civil society will be preoccupied in the years to come with ensuring the maintenance of environmental standards formerly set by EU environmental law. This blog provides some thoughts on the less visible aspects of EU environmental governance, aspects that must be held up to scrutiny as we develop an accountability framework ‘independent’ of the rules and institutions of the European Union.

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Engendering debate and collaboration in African universities

A quick scan of issues of the most highly-ranked African studies journals published within the past year will reveal only a handful of articles published by Africa-based authors. The results would not be any better in other fields of study. This under representation of scholars from the continent has led to calls for changes in African universities, with a focus on capacity building. The barriers to research and publication in most public universities in Africa are many.

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