SciCombinator

Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: United States Constitution

491

It is widely reported that partisanship in the United States Congress is at an historic high. Given that individuals are persuaded to follow party lines while having the opportunity and incentives to collaborate with members of the opposite party, our goal is to measure the extent to which legislators tend to form ideological relationships with members of the opposite party. We quantify the level of cooperation, or lack thereof, between Democrat and Republican Party members in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1949-2012. We define a network of over 5 million pairs of representatives, and compare the mutual agreement rates on legislative decisions between two distinct types of pairs: those from the same party and those formed of members from different parties. We find that despite short-term fluctuations, partisanship or non-cooperation in the U.S. Congress has been increasing exponentially for over 60 years with no sign of abating or reversing. Yet, a group of representatives continue to cooperate across party lines despite growing partisanship.

Concepts: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Washington, D.C., United States Constitution, Democratic Party, United States, President of the United States, United States Senate, United States House of Representatives

213

Visit nearly any official website for a brand-name drug available in the United States and, mixed in with links to prescribing and safety information, you’ll find links to drug “coupons,” including copayment-assistance programs and monthly savings cards. Most offers are variations on “Why pay more? With the [drug] savings card, you can get [drug] for only $18 per prescription if eligible” or “Get a free 30-capsule trial of [drug] with your doctor’s prescription and ask your doctor if [drug] is right for you.” Why do manufacturers offer drug coupons? Are they good for patients in the long run? Are they . . .

Concepts: U.S. state, United States Constitution, United States, Medical prescription, American football

184

Death rates by specific causes vary across the 50 states and the District of Columbia.* Information on differences in rates for the leading causes of death among states might help state health officials determine prevention goals, priorities, and strategies. CDC analyzed National Vital Statistics System data to provide national and state-specific estimates of potentially preventable deaths among the five leading causes of death in 2014 and compared these estimates with estimates previously published for 2010. Compared with 2010, the estimated number of potentially preventable deaths changed (supplemental material at https://stacks.cdc.gov/view/cdc/42472); cancer deaths decreased 25% (from 84,443 to 63,209), stroke deaths decreased 11% (from 16,973 to 15,175), heart disease deaths decreased 4% (from 91,757 to 87,950), chronic lower respiratory disease (CLRD) (e.g., asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema) deaths increased 1% (from 28,831 to 29,232), and deaths from unintentional injuries increased 23% (from 36,836 to 45,331). A better understanding of progress made in reducing potentially preventable deaths in the United States might inform state and regional efforts targeting the prevention of premature deaths from the five leading causes in the United States.

Concepts: California, New York City, United States Constitution, Oregon, Death, Demography, U.S. state, United States

122

Building on developments in machine learning and prior work in the science of judicial prediction, we construct a model designed to predict the behavior of the Supreme Court of the United States in a generalized, out-of-sample context. To do so, we develop a time-evolving random forest classifier that leverages unique feature engineering to predict more than 240,000 justice votes and 28,000 cases outcomes over nearly two centuries (1816-2015). Using only data available prior to decision, our model outperforms null (baseline) models at both the justice and case level under both parametric and non-parametric tests. Over nearly two centuries, we achieve 70.2% accuracy at the case outcome level and 71.9% at the justice vote level. More recently, over the past century, we outperform an in-sample optimized null model by nearly 5%. Our performance is consistent with, and improves on the general level of prediction demonstrated by prior work; however, our model is distinctive because it can be applied out-of-sample to the entire past and future of the Court, not a single term. Our results represent an important advance for the science of quantitative legal prediction and portend a range of other potential applications.

Concepts: United States Constitution, Prophecy, Jury, Divination, Future, Scientific method, Supreme Court of the United States, United States

122

It’s not often that California, West Virginia, and Mississippi are politically aligned, but that unlikely trio formed on June 25, 2015, when California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Senate Bill (SB) 277, substantially narrowing exceptions to school-entry vaccination mandates. With that law, California becomes the third state to disallow exemptions based on both religious and philosophical beliefs; only medical exemptions remain. The move represents a stunning victory for public health that affects not only California schoolchildren but also the prospects for strengthening vaccination requirements nationwide. In 2014, California tightened its personal-belief exemption by requiring parents seeking such exemptions to obtain . . .

Concepts: Bill Clinton, United States Constitution, Religion, Veto, United States, Bill, Jerry Brown, United States Congress

83

In humans, spontaneous movements are often preceded by early brain signals. One such signal is the readiness potential (RP) that gradually arises within the last second preceding a movement. An important question is whether people are able to cancel movements after the elicitation of such RPs, and if so until which point in time. Here, subjects played a game where they tried to press a button to earn points in a challenge with a brain-computer interface (BCI) that had been trained to detect their RPs in real time and to emit stop signals. Our data suggest that subjects can still veto a movement even after the onset of the RP. Cancellation of movements was possible if stop signals occurred earlier than 200 ms before movement onset, thus constituting a point of no return.

Concepts: Firefly, United States Constitution

68

Illicit fentanyl use has become wide spread in the US, causing high rates of overdose deaths among people who use drugs. This study describes patterns and perceptions of fentanyl exposure among opioid users in Rhode Island.

Concepts: Rhode Island, Drug addiction, Massachusetts, Naloxone, Morphine, Opioid, United States Constitution, Heroin

47

Lung nodules are a diagnostic challenge with an estimated yearly incidence of 1.6 million in the United States. This study evaluated the accuracy of an integrated proteomic classifier in identifying benign nodules in patients with a pretest probability of malignancy (pCA) ≤50%.

Concepts: United States Constitution, U.S. state, Poverty in the United States, Cancer, Chinese language, Medical terms, United States, Solitary pulmonary nodule

43

The U.S. government is in partial shutdown. Federal employees who are not engaged in activities considered absolutely essential are on furlough. It is like a hospital at 03:00: the skeleton crew is on, but the machine is not humming. The reason for the government shutdown is a political standoff over funding for the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Since the United States is a democracy, the best way to reopen the government - which provides numerous important services in the health sector, such as approval of drugs, devices, and diagnostics, surveillance for emerging infectious diseases, research into the biology and treatment . . .

Concepts: Puerto Rico, Political philosophy, Washington, D.C., United States Constitution, President of the United States, United States, Federal government of the United States, U.S. state

39

Despite substantial financial contributions by the United States President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) since 2006, no studies have carefully assessed how this program may have affected important population-level health outcomes. We utilized multiple publicly available data sources to evaluate the association between introduction of PMI and child mortality rates in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).

Concepts: Democratic Party, Supreme Court of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson, United States Constitution, Barack Obama, Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States, United States