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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: Advances in Space Research, 2012, Vol.49(1), pp.2-48
    Description: In response to the growing importance of space exploration in future planning, the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) Panel on Exploration (PEX) was chartered to provide independent scientific advice to support the development of exploration programs and to safeguard the potential scientific assets of solar system objects. In this report, PEX elaborates a stepwise approach to achieve a new level of space cooperation that can help develop world-wide capabilities in space science and exploration and support a transition that will lead to a global space exploration program. The proposed stepping stones are intended to transcend cross-cultural barriers, leading to the development of technical interfaces and shared legal frameworks and fostering coordination and cooperation on a broad front. Input for this report was drawn from expertise provided by COSPAR Associates within the international community and via the contacts they maintain in various scientific entities. The report provides a summary and synthesis of science roadmaps and recommendations for planetary exploration produced by many national and international working groups, aiming to encourage and exploit synergies among similar programs. While science and technology represent the core and, often, the drivers for space exploration, several other disciplines and their stakeholders (Earth science, space law, and others) should be more robustly interlinked and involved than they have been to date. The report argues that a shared vision is crucial to this linkage, and to providing a direction that enables new countries and stakeholders to join and engage in the overall space exploration effort. Building a basic space technology capacity within a wider range of countries, ensuring new actors in space act responsibly, and increasing public awareness and engagement are concrete steps that can provide a broader interest in space exploration, worldwide, and build a solid basis for program sustainability. By engaging developing countries and emerging space nations in an international space exploration program, it will be possible to create to support program continuity in the development and execution of future global space exploration frameworks. With a focus on stepping stones, COSPAR can support a global space exploration program that stimulates scientists in current and emerging spacefaring nations, and that will invite those in developing countries to participate—pursuing research aimed at answering outstanding questions about the origins and evolution of our solar system and life on Earth (and possibly elsewhere). COSPAR, in cooperation with national and international science foundations and space-related organizations, will advocate this stepping stone approach to enhance future cooperative space exploration efforts.
    Keywords: Space Exploration ; Planetary Protection ; International Cooperation ; Engineering ; Astronomy & Astrophysics ; Physics
    ISSN: 0273-1177
    E-ISSN: 1879-1948
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  • 2
    Language: English
    In: The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology, 2014, Vol. 2(9), pp. 719-729
    Description: BACKGROUND: Low plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) concentration is associated with high arterial blood pressure and hypertension risk, but whether this association is causal is unknown. We used a mendelian randomisation approach to test whether 25(OH)D concentration is causally associated with blood pressure and hypertension risk.METHODS: In this mendelian randomisation study, we generated an allele score (25[OH]D synthesis score) based on variants of genes that affect 25(OH)D synthesis or substrate availability (CYP2R1 and DHCR7), which we used as a proxy for 25(OH)D concentration. We meta-analysed data for up to 108 173 individuals from 35 studies in the D-CarDia collaboration to investigate associations between the allele score and blood pressure measurements. We complemented these analyses with previously published summary statistics from the International Consortium on Blood Pressure (ICBP), the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology (CHARGE) consortium, and the Global Blood Pressure Genetics (Global BPGen) consortium.FINDINGS: In phenotypic analyses (up to n=49 363), increased 25(OH)D concentration was associated with decreased systolic blood pressure (β per 10% increase, -0·12 mm Hg, 95% CI -0·20 to -0·04; p=0·003) and reduced odds of hypertension (odds ratio [OR] 0·98, 95% CI 0·97-0·99; p=0·0003), but not with decreased diastolic blood pressure (β per 10% increase, -0·02 mm Hg, -0·08 to 0·03; p=0·37). In meta-analyses in which we combined data from D-CarDia and the ICBP (n=146 581, after exclusion of overlapping studies), each 25(OH)D-increasing allele of the synthesis score was associated with a change of -0·10 mm Hg in systolic blood pressure (-0·21 to -0·0001; p=0·0498) and a change of -0·08 mm Hg in diastolic blood pressure (-0·15 to -0·02; p=0·01). When D-CarDia and consortia data for hypertension were meta-analysed together (n=142 255), the synthesis score was associated with a reduced odds of hypertension (OR per allele, 0·98, 0·96-0·99; p=0·001). In instrumental variable analysis, each 10% increase in genetically instrumented 25(OH)D concentration was associated with a change of -0·29 mm Hg in diastolic blood pressure (-0·52 to -0·07; p=0·01), a change of -0·37 mm Hg in systolic blood pressure (-0·73 to 0·003; p=0·052), and an 8·1% decreased odds of hypertension (OR 0·92, 0·87-0·97; p=0·002).INTERPRETATION: Increased plasma concentrations of 25(OH)D might reduce the risk of hypertension. This finding warrants further investigation in an independent, similarly powered study.
    Keywords: Medical And Health Sciences ; Clinical Medicine ; Endocrinology And Diabetes ; Medicin Och Hälsovetenskap ; Klinisk Medicin ; Endokrinologi Och Diabetes
    ISSN: 2213-8587
    E-ISSN: 22138595
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