Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day: A reading list on elder mistreatment and neglect

This abuse and neglect of older adults violates the cultural expectation that society’s elders should be respected. Mistreatment has far-reaching implications for the physical, mental and financial well-being of older adults, and is particularly harmful to those who are already socially isolated. In 2011 the United Nations General Assembly, in its resolution 66/127, designated 15 June as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

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A better way to model cancer

Later this year, the first US-based clinical trial to test whether an organoid model of prostate cancer can predict drug response will begin recruiting patients. Researchers will grow the organoids—miniorgans coaxed to develop from stem cells—from each patient’s cancer tissues and expose the organoids to the patient’s planned course of therapy. If the organoids mirror patients’ drug responses, the results would support the model’s use as a tool to help guide therapy.

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Saving old forests

Research shows that boreal forests, like those across much of Northern Europe and Canada, have higher levels of variability in their structure and dynamics when unmanaged, improving their biodiversity and the stability of their ecosystems. These unmanaged forests also have a higher proportion of older trees than those used in industrial forest rotation – around 70-100 years in Canadian boreal forests.

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Using novel gas observations to probe exocomet composition

Space missions like the Rosetta space probe built by the European Space Agency, that recently reached and studied the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, address the profound question of how life came to Earth by quantifying the composition of comets in the Solar System. Comets are made of the pristine material from which planets were formed. By exploring the composition of comets, we can thus access the pristine composition of the building blocks of planets.

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A reading list for Euroanaesthesia 2017 in Geneva

This weekend anaesthetists from across the globe are descending upon Geneva for Euroanaesthesia, Europe’s largest annual event focusing on anaesthesia, perioperative medicine, intensive care, emergency medicine, and pain treatment. We’ll be heading out there too, and the interactive bookcase below will give you a sneak peek at what we’ll have available at stand 81a!

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Gut microbiota and melanoma treatment responses

Monoclonal antibodies directed against checkpoint molecules such as CTLA-4 have recently demonstrated success in cancer immunotherapy in patients with melanoma. CTLA-4 (cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated protein 4) is a T cell receptor that functions as an immune checkpoint, downregulating immune responses. The monoclonal antibody, ipilimumab, blocks CTLA-4 by inhibiting this negative immune signal and amplifying immune responses.

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Celebrating LGBT Pride Month: a reading list for older LGBT adults

The month of June was chosen for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month to commemorate the Stonewall riots, which occurred at the end of June 1969. The riots were a tipping point in LGBT history and captured the long-standing feelings of anger and disenchantment among members of the gay community, who were frequently subjected to discriminatory, hateful, and even violent treatment.

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Protecting half: a plan to save life on Earth

Recently, a number of the world’s leading scientists, indigenous leaders, and advocates have been engaged in something bold: asking exactly what is required to stop the mass extinction of life on Earth and save a living planet. And the answer, after numerous reviews of the evidence for what it would take to achieve comprehensive biodiversity conservation, has become clear: fully protect half the Earth (or more) in an interconnected way.

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Brazil’s long-standing global aspirations: what is next?

Brazil has had a strong diplomatic tradition of being involved in international affairs, and has recently intensified its efforts to acquire more prominence and leverage in global issues. At the beginning of the 2000s, and under the leadership and popularity of former president ‘Lula’ da Silva, all eyes were on this country. Brazil was portrayed as a promising emerging market and rising power.

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Is suicide rationalizable? Evidence from Italian prisons.

After cancer and heart disease, suicide accounts for more years of life lost than any other cause of death, both in the United States and in Europe. In 2013 there were 41,149 suicides (12.6 every 100,000 inhabitants) in the US. To contextualize this number just think that the number of motor vehicle deaths was, in the same year, around 32,719 (10.3 every 100,000 inhabitants).

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Police violence: a risk factor for psychosis

Police victimization of US civilians has moved from the shadows to the spotlight following the widespread adaptation of smartphone technology and rapid availability of video footage through social media. The American Public Health Association recently issued a policy statement outlining the putative health and mental health costs of police violence, and declared the need to increase efforts towards understanding and preventing the effects of such victimization.

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Agricultural policy after Brexit

A majority of Britain’s farmers voted for Brexit in the referendum. This is perhaps surprising in the context of an industry which receives around £3 billion in subsidies from the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), and yet comprises only about 0.7% GDP. Of all the vested interests, British farmers have more to lose from Brexit than almost any other industry. From the public interest perspective, there is much to gain.

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Why are giant pandas black and white?

Most people in the western world learn that the giant panda has striking black and white colouration at kindergarten; but are never told why! The question is problematic because there are virtually no other mammals with this sort of colouration pattern, making analogies difficult. At UC Davis and CSU Long Beach, we instead decided to break up the external appearance of giant pandas into different regions

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Mental health at all ages

This May, Mental Health Awareness Month turns 68. To raise awareness of the fact that mental health issues affect individuals at all stages of the life course, we have put together a brief reading list of articles from The Journals of Gerontology: Social Sciences Series B. These articles also explore aspects of mental health that may be under-appreciated in the traditional social psychological literature.

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The Walking Dead and the security state

Did The Walking Dead television series help get President Donald J. Trump elected? During the presidential campaign, pro-Trump ads regularly interrupted episodes of the AMC series. Jared Kushner, who ran the campaign’s data program, explained to Forbes that the campaign’s predictive data analysis suggested it could optimize voter targeting by selectively buying ad-space in shows such as The Walking Dead.

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Lactate: the forgotten cancer master regulator

In 1923 Nobel laureate Otto Warburg observed that cancer cells expressed accelerated glycolysis and excessive lactate formation even under fully oxygenated conditions. His discovery, which is expressed in about 80% of cancers, was named the “Warburg Effect” in 1972 by Efraim Racker. The Warburg Effect in cancer and its role in carcinogenesis has been neither understood nor explained for almost a century.

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