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Concept: The Western


Recently, there have been efforts by stakeholders to monitor illegal mining (galamsey)activities, foster their formalization and reclaim the many abandoned wastelands in Ghana. However, limited information exists on the locations, abundance, scope and scale of galamsey types, which hinders the development of effective policy response. This study attempts to map and analyze the distribution patterns, abundance, activity statuses and the extents of nine (9) galamsey types within eleven (11) Municipal and District Assemblies (MDAs) of Ghana’s Western Region. It explores the utility of field-based survey, using the Open Data Kit (ODK) system, ArcGIS and Google Earth Imagery to map and visualize different galamsey types under a hostile working environment. A total of 911 galamsey sightings, of which 547 were found in clusters (corresponding to approximately 7106 individual operational units) and 364 in stand-alone mode. Overall, a total of 7470 individual galamsey operations were encountered in 312 different communities (towns and villages). Operationally, the Alluvial Washing Board, Mill-House and Chamfi were found to be the three most popular and practiced galamsey types. The three main galamsey hotspot districts (out of the 11) are the Tarkwa Nsuaem (294 sightings and 3648 individual galamsey sites), Amenfi East (223 sightings and 1397 individual galamsey sites) and Prestea Huni-Valley Districts (156 sightings and 1130 individual galamsey sites). In terms of their activity statuses, 199 abandoned operations (entailing 1855 individual operations), 664 active (entailing 5055 individuals operations) and 48 semi-active (comprising 560 individuals within clusters) galamsey operations were sighted at the time of the study. Whilegalamseyis generally acknowledged to be widespread in Ghana, the results suggest a scale that probably surpasses any previous estimate or expectation. The findings will adequately inform the prioritization of reclamation efforts.

Concepts: Map, Individualism, Individual, Town, Gold mining, The Western, Reclaim, Reclaimed word


Migraine is included in the top-ten disabling diseases and conditions among the Western populations. Non-invasive neurostimulation, including the Cefaly® device, for the treatment of various types of pain is a relatively new field of interest. The aim of the present study was to explore the clinical experience with Cefaly® in a cohort of migraine patients previously refractory or intolerant to topiramate prophylaxis.

Concepts: Nervous system, Present, Cohort study, Epidemiology, Clinical trial, Demography, The Western, Supraorbital nerve


I revise the subfamily Diplazontinae to include 99 Western Palaearctic species, review morphological characters useful for species delimitation and identification, and clarify the status of some morphologically similar taxa using molecular approaches. Illustrated, dichotomous keys to the Western Palaearctic genera and species of the subfamily are presented, and the utility of the molecular markers CO1 and ITS2 for species delimitation in Diplazontinae is discussed. Seven new species are described, Diplazon flixi sp. nov., Diplazon nordicus sp. nov., Diplazon parvus sp. nov., Diplazon zetteli sp. nov., Eurytyloides umbrinus sp. nov., Sussaba roberti sp. nov., and Woldstedtius bauri sp. nov. The Nearctic Sussaba cultriformis (Ashmead), formerly a subspecies of Sussaba dorsalis (Holmgren), is raised to species rank. The following taxa are valid species and hereby removed from synonymy: Episemura ensata (Bauer), stat. rev.; Homotropus frontorius (Thunberg), stat. rev.; Syrphoctonus desvignesii (Marshall), stat. rev.; Syrphophilus scabriculus (Holmgren), stat. rev.; and Tymmophorus suspiciosus (Brischke), stat. rev. Nineteen new synonyms are established: Bioblapsis mallochi Rotheray of Bioblapsis cultiformis (Davis), syn. nov.; Bioblapsis tricincta Ashmead of Syrphophilus scabriculus (Holmgren), syn. nov.; Diplazon bachmaieri Diller of Diplazon angustus Dasch, syn. nov.; Diplazon fechteri Diller of Diplazon cascadensis Dasch, syn. nov.; Homocidus brevis Hedwig of Homotropus pictus (Gravenhorst); Homocidus rubiginosum Schmiedeknecht of Enizemum scutellare (Lange), syn. nov.; Homocidus simulans Stelfox of Homotropus collinus (Stelfox), syn. nov.; Homotropus crassicrus Thomson and Homotropus nudus Dasch of Homotropus dimidiatus (Schrank), syn. nov.; Homocidus asyntactus Schmiedeknecht of Homotropus crassicornis Thomson, syn. nov.; Homocidus subopacus Stelfox and Homotropus quadrangularis Dasch of Homotropus frontorius (Thunberg), syn. nov.; Homocidus impolitus Stelfox of Homotropus pallipes (Gravenhorst), syn. nov.; Homotropus incisus Thomson and Homotropus reflexus Morley of Homotropus pectoralis (Provancher), syn. nov.; Tryphon nigricornis Zetterstedt, a former synonym of H. dimidiatus Schrank, is a synonym of Homotropus pictus (Gravenhorst), syn. nov.; Homotropus fraudulentus Dasch and Homotropus neopulcher Horstmann of Syrphoctonus desvignesii (Marshall), syn. nov.; Homotropus eximius Habermehl of Syrphoctonus tarsatorius (Panzer), syn. nov. The following new combinations are established: Bioblapsis cultiformis (Davis), comb. nov.; Homotropus collinus (Stelfox), comb. nov.; Homotropus dimidiatus (Schrank), comb. nov.; Homotropus frontorius (Thunberg), comb. nov.; Homotropus pectoralis (Provancher), comb. nov.; Homotropus strigator (Fabricius), comb. nov.; Homotropus sundevalli (Holmgren), comb. nov. The present revision is the first comprehensive treatment of the Western Palaearctic Diplazontinae, provides the basis for taxonomic, faunistic, ecological and evolutionary studies in these hoverfly parasitoids, and exemplifies an integrative approach to systematics and taxonomy.

Concepts: Species, Cladistics, Taxonomic rank, Ichneumonidae, The Western, Synonym, Diplazontinae


Patient blood management (PBM) programs are associated with improved patient outcomes, reduced transfusions and costs. In 2008, the Western Australia Department of Health initiated a comprehensive health-system-wide PBM program. This study assesses program outcomes.

Concepts: Observational study, Retrospective, Program, Program management, The Western


Reduced near-infrared reflectance observed in September 1973 in Skylab images of the western flank of Mt. Etna has been interpreted as an eruption precursor of the January 1974 eruption. Until now, it has been unclear when this signal started, whether it was sustained and which process(es) could have caused it. By analyzing tree-ring width time-series, we show that the reduced near-infrared precursory signal cannot be linked to a reduction in annual tree growth in the area. However, comparing the tree-ring width time-series with both remote sensing observations and volcano-seismic activity enables us to discuss the starting date of the pre-eruptive period of the 1974 eruption.

Concepts: Scientific method, Carbon dioxide, Observation, Protein precursor, Infrared, Remote sensing, The Western, Mount Etna


We estimated the speed of Zika virus introduction in Brazil by using confirmed cases at the municipal level. Our models indicate a southward pattern of introduction starting from the northeastern coast and a pattern of movement toward the western border with an average speed of spread of 42 km/day or 15,367 km/year.

Concepts: Speed, The Western, Zika fever


Dry forests at low elevations in temperate-zone mountains are commonly hypothesized to be at risk of exceptional rates of severe fire from climatic change and land-use effects. Their setting is fire-prone, they have been altered by land-uses, and fire severity may be increasing. However, where fires were excluded, increased fire could also be hypothesized as restorative of historical fire. These competing hypotheses are not well tested, as reference data prior to widespread land-use expansion were insufficient. Moreover, fire-climate projections were lacking for these forests. Here, I used new reference data and records of high-severity fire from 1984-2012 across all dry forests (25.5 million ha) of the western USA to test these hypotheses. I also approximated projected effects of climatic change on high-severity fire in dry forests by applying existing projections. This analysis showed the rate of recent high-severity fire in dry forests is within the range of historical rates, or is too low, overall across dry forests and individually in 42 of 43 analysis regions. Significant upward trends were lacking overall from 1984-2012 for area burned and fraction burned at high severity. Upward trends in area burned at high severity were found in only 4 of 43 analysis regions. Projections for A.D. 2046-2065 showed high-severity fire would generally be still operating at, or have been restored to historical rates, although high projections suggest high-severity fire rotations that are too short could ensue in 6 of 43 regions. Programs to generally reduce fire severity in dry forests are not supported and have significant adverse ecological impacts, including reducing habitat for native species dependent on early-successional burned patches and decreasing landscape heterogeneity that confers resilience to climatic change. Some adverse ecological effects of high-severity fires are concerns. Managers and communities can improve our ability to live with high-severity fire in dry forests.

Concepts: Scientific method, Monotonic function, Ecosystem, Climate change, Hypothesis, History, Projection, The Western


Climate and tectonics have complex feedback systems which are difficult to resolve and remain controversial. Here we propose a new climate-independent approach to constrain regional Andean surface uplift.87Sr/86Sr and143Nd/144Nd ratios of Quaternary frontal-arc lavas from the Andean Plateau are distinctly crustal (>0.705 and <0.5125, respectively) compared to non-plateau arc lavas, which we identify as a plateau discriminant. Strong linear correlations exist between smoothed elevation and87Sr/86Sr (R2 = 0.858, n = 17) and143Nd/144Nd (R2 = 0.919, n = 16) ratios of non-plateau arc lavas. These relationships are used to constrain 200 Myr of surface uplift history for the Western Cordillera (present elevation 4200 ± 516 m). Between 16 and 26°S, Miocene to recent arc lavas have comparable isotopic signatures, which we infer indicates that current elevations were attained in the Western Cordillera from 23 Ma. From 23-10 Ma, surface uplift gradually propagated southwards by ~400 km.

Concepts: Feedback, Isotope, Constraint, Andes, Elevation, Nuclide, The Western, Radiogenic


Malaria transmission is highly heterogeneous, generating malaria hotspots that can fuel malaria transmission across a wider area. Targeting hotspots may represent an efficacious strategy for reducing malaria transmission. We determined the impact of interventions targeted to serologically defined malaria hotspots on malaria transmission both inside hotspots and in surrounding communities.

Concepts: Malaria, Randomized controlled trial, The Western


Efficiency at doing a certain task, at the workplace or otherwise, is strongly influenced by how motivated individuals are. Exploring new ways to motivate employees is often at the top of a company’s agenda. Traditionally identified motivators in Western economies primarily include salary and prestige, often complemented by meaning, creation, challenge, ownership, identity, etc. We report the results of a survey conducted in Slovenia, involving an ensemble of highly educated employees from various public and private organizations. Employing new methodologies such as network analysis, we find that Slovenians are stimulated by an intricate web of interdependent factors, largely in contrast to the traditional understanding that mainly emphasizes money and prestige. In fact, these key motivators only weakly correlate with the demographic parameters. Unexpectedly, we found the evidence of a general optimism in Slovenian professional life - a tendency of the employees to look at the “bright side of things”, thus seeing more clearly the benefits of having something than the drawbacks of not having it. We attribute these particularities to Slovenian recent history, which revolves around gradually embracing the Western (economic) values.

Concepts: Economics, Motivation, Austria, Slovenia, Economy, The Western, Slovene language, Slovenes