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1.  Evolutionary variation in the mechanics of fiddler crab claws 
Fiddler crabs, genus Uca, are classic examples of how intense sexual selection can produce exaggerated male traits. Throughout the genus the enlarged “major” cheliped (claw) of the male fiddler crab is used both as a signal for attracting females and as a weapon for combat with other males. However, the morphology of the major claw is highly variable across the approximately 100 species within the genus. Here we address variation, scaling, and correlated evolution in the mechanics of the major claw by analyzing the morphology and mechanical properties of the claws of 21 species of fiddler crabs from the Pacific, Gulf and Atlantic coasts of the Americas.
We find that the mechanics that produce claw closing forces, the sizes of claws and the mechanical strength of the cuticle of claws are all highly variable across the genus. Most variables scale isometrically with body size across species but claw force production scales allometrically with body size. Using phylogenetically independent contrasts, we find that the force that a claw can potentially produce is positively correlated with the strength of the cuticle on the claw where forces are delivered in a fight. There is also a negative correlation between the force that a claw can potentially produce and the size of the claw corrected for the mass of the claw.
These relationships suggest that there has been correlated evolution between force production and armoring, and that there is a tradeoff between claw mechanics for signaling and claw mechanics for fighting.
PMCID: PMC3716949  PMID: 23855770
Closing force; Cuticle damage; Structural damage; Signal efficiency; Trade-off
2.  Community pharmacy and public health in Great Britain, 1936 to 2006: how a phoenix rose from the ashes 
The pharmacy profession in Great Britain has identified public health as a key area for future development; at the same time the government has been keen to make full use of pharmacists in pursuing its public health goals. To date, pharmacy has focused on microlevel activities such as health promotion, medicines management and prescribing advice, rather than on wider public health issues such as health inequalities.
The role in health promotion has its origins in the traditional advisory role of the pharmacist, which largely died out following the establishment of the National Health Service in 1948, and was resurrected only following ministerial intervention in 1981. This article traces the origins of the pharmacist's role in public health, illustrating both shifting definitions of public health and changes in pharmacy practice. It describes how the profession was able to re‐establish its advisory role and to develop it into a wider contribution to public health, indicating that this process came about as a result of convergence between a professional imperative to develop its role, on the one hand, and state recognition of the need to draw a broader range of health professionals and lay people into public health activities, on the other.
Convergence required the securing of government support, confirmed in policy documents; the recognition by pharmacy's professional body that embracing public health is a desirable activity; incentives for community pharmacists to carry out such activities; and support from the wider public health community. This article describes how each of these was achieved.
PMCID: PMC2652958  PMID: 17873218
public health; pharmacists; community; health promotion
3.  Corporate social responsibility in countries with mature and emerging pharmaceutical sectors 
Pharmacy Practice  2009;7(4):228-237.
In recent decades the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has been adopted by many business sectors, including the pharmaceutical industry. However, in this and other sectors its application remains variable, particularly between mature and developing economies. Its stakeholders include pharmacy and medical students, their attitude to the involvement of companies in socially responsible activities will be important determinants of public response to the industry.
To investigate the knowledge, attitudes and practices of senior medical and pharmacy students towards the CSR concept in the pharmaceutical sector in mature (Germany) and developing (Russia) markets.
A questionnaire survey was carried out among senior pharmacy and medical students during the summer semester 2008 in two Russian and one German university. In each country 120 questionnaires were distributed. The response rate was 95% in Russia and 93% in Germany.
Although the relevance of CSR was widely acknowledged by the students, very few were aware of CSR practices currently performed by companies.
The reputation of the pharmaceutical industry was generally poor: less than 15% of respondents gave credence to the information provided in advertisements and fully supported pricing strategies as well as policies towards the developing countries. When choosing an employer more than 90% of respondents consider the policies affecting an employee directly as pivotal. However, for a high proportion of students (59% in Russia and 64% in Germany) socially irresponsible behavior by companies has a significant negative impact.
This paper identifies practices which students believe should be a part of the CSR programmes for the pharmaceutical industry, and also some that should be abandoned. It recommends that corporate communication on CSR should be expanded. Key differences are seen in perceptions of students in Germany and Russia towards the extent of irresponsible actions and the variation between them.
PMCID: PMC4134841  PMID: 25136398
Drug Industry; Social Responsibility; Russia; Germany
4.  Adaptation in Human Balance Control: Lessons for Biomimetic Robotic Bipeds 
This paper describes mechanisms used by humans to stand on moving platforms, such as a bus or ship, and to combine body orientation and motion information from multiple sensors including vision, vestibular, and proprioception. A simple mechanism, sensory re-weighting, has been proposed to explain how human subjects learn to reduce the effects of inconsistent sensors on balance. Our goal is to replicate this robust balance behavior in bipedal robots. We review results exploring sensory re-weighting in humans and describe implementations of sensory re-weighting in simulation and on a robot.
PMCID: PMC2486449  PMID: 18555957
Balance control; posture; sensory re-weighting
5.  Asking the right questions: Scoping studies in the commissioning of research on the organisation and delivery of health services 
Scoping studies have been used across a range of disciplines for a wide variety of purposes. However, their value is increasingly limited by a lack of definition and clarity of purpose. The UK's Service Delivery and Organisation Research Programme (SDO) has extensive experience of commissioning and using such studies; twenty four have now been completed.
This review article has four objectives; to describe the nature of the scoping studies that have been commissioned by the SDO Programme; to consider the impact of and uses made of such studies; to provide definitions for the different elements that may constitute a scoping study; and to describe the lessons learnt by the SDO Programme in commissioning scoping studies.
Scoping studies are imprecisely defined but usually consist of one or more discrete components; most commonly they are non-systematic reviews of the literature, but other important elements are literature mapping, conceptual mapping and policy mapping. Some scoping studies also involve consultations with stakeholders including the end users of research.
Scoping studies have been used for a wide variety of purposes, although a common feature is to identify questions and topics for future research. The reports of scoping studies often have an impact that extends beyond informing research commissioners about future research areas; some have been published in peer reviewed journals, and others have been published in research summaries aimed at a broader audience of health service managers and policymakers.
Key lessons from the SDO experience are the need to relate scoping studies to a particular health service context; the need for scoping teams to be multi-disciplinary and to be given enough time to integrate diverse findings; and the need for the research commissioners to be explicit not only about the aims of scoping studies but also about their intended uses. This necessitates regular contact between researchers and commissioners.
Scoping studies are an essential element in the portfolio of approaches to research, particularly as a mechanism for helping research commissioners and policy makers to ask the right questions. Their utility will be further enhanced by greater recognition of the individual components, definitions for which are provided.
PMCID: PMC2500008  PMID: 18613961

Results 1-7 (7)