Science.gov

Sample records for improved economic diversity

  1. Cultural diversity, economic development and societal instability

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nettle, D.; Grace, J.B.; Choisy, M.; Cornell, H.V.; Guegan, J.-F.; Hochberg, M.E.

    2007-01-01

    Background. Social scientists have suggested that cultural diversity in a nation leads to societal instability. However, societal instability may be affected not only by within-nation on ?? diversity, but also diversity between a nation and its neighbours or ?? diversity. It is also necessary to distinguish different domains of diversity, namely linguistic, ethnic and religious, and to distinguish between the direct effects of diversity on societal instability, and effects that are mediated by economic conditions. Methodology/Principal Findings. We assembled a large cross-national dataset with information on ?? and ?? cultural diversity, economic conditions, and indices of societal instability. Structural equation modeling was used to evaluate the direct and indirect effects of cultural diversity on economics and societal stability. Results show that different type and domains of diversity have interacting effects. As previously documented, linguistic ?? diversity has a negative effect on economic performance, and we show that it is largely through this economic mechanism that it affects societal instability. For ?? diversity, the higher the linguistic diversity among nations in a region, the less stable the nation. But, religious ?? diversity has the opposite effect, reducing instability, particularly in the presence of high linguistic diversity. Conclusions. Within-nation linguistic diversity is associated with reduced economic performance, which, in turn, increases societal instability. Nations which differ linguistically from their neighbors are also less stable. However, religious diversity between, neighboring nations has the opposite effect, decreasing societal instability.

  2. Office of Economic Impact and Diversity 2003 annual report

    SciTech Connect

    None, None

    2004-05-01

    This report covers a one-year period in which the Office successfully completed several major activities. The Office of Economic Impact and Diversity (ED) is responsible for the development and implementation of Department-wide polices in the areas of small business, diversity and minority economic development. ED oversees civil rights laws, rules, and regulations, and establishes Department-wide civil rights policy. Additionally, ED promotes excellence in the workplace and adheres to the objectives stated below relative to the President’s Management Agenda (PMA): Strategic management of human capital; Competitive sourcing; Improved financial performance; Expanded electronic government, and Budget and performance integration

  3. Environmental Improvement: The Economic Aspects

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rockefeller, David

    1974-01-01

    Trade-offs between environmental and economical considerations are discussed. Questions such as: How much am I willing to give up?, are asked. Monies, costs, and long-term implications are considered from both viewpoints. Increased productivity through increased efforts by everyone is suggested to provide for continued environmental improvement.…

  4. Crop diversity effects on productivity and economic returns under dryland agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Increasing crop diversity has been identified as a method to improve agronomic performance of cropping systems and increase provision of ecosystem services. However, there is a need to understand the economic performance of more diverse cropping systems. Crop productivity and economic net returns we...

  5. Political diversity will improve social psychological science.

    PubMed

    Duarte, José L; Crawford, Jarret T; Stern, Charlotta; Haidt, Jonathan; Jussim, Lee; Tetlock, Philip E

    2015-01-01

    Psychologists have demonstrated the value of diversity--particularly diversity of viewpoints--for enhancing creativity, discovery, and problem solving. But one key type of viewpoint diversity is lacking in academic psychology in general and social psychology in particular: political diversity. This article reviews the available evidence and finds support for four claims: (1) Academic psychology once had considerable political diversity, but has lost nearly all of it in the last 50 years. (2) This lack of political diversity can undermine the validity of social psychological science via mechanisms such as the embedding of liberal values into research questions and methods, steering researchers away from important but politically unpalatable research topics, and producing conclusions that mischaracterize liberals and conservatives alike. (3) Increased political diversity would improve social psychological science by reducing the impact of bias mechanisms such as confirmation bias, and by empowering dissenting minorities to improve the quality of the majority's thinking. (4) The underrepresentation of non-liberals in social psychology is most likely due to a combination of self-selection, hostile climate, and discrimination. We close with recommendations for increasing political diversity in social psychology. PMID:25036715

  6. Socio-Economic Diversity and Mathematical Competences

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thiel, Oliver

    2012-01-01

    The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) has proved that in Germany the impact that socio-economic background has on 15-year-old pupils' achievement is stronger than in other countries. The Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) showed that the correlation is less with 10-year-old children, but is still apparent.…

  7. Program Diversity in Higher Education: An Economic Perspective.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dill, David D.; Teixeira, Pedro

    2000-01-01

    Suggests an economic perspective for defining and measuring academic diversity in terms of program innovation, not only in teaching, research, and public service activities, but also in the processes of production and markets served. Such a perspective would also provide valuable theoretical frameworks for exploring important questions of how…

  8. Diversity improves performance in excitable networks

    PubMed Central

    Copelli, Mauro; Roberts, James A.

    2016-01-01

    As few real systems comprise indistinguishable units, diversity is a hallmark of nature. Diversity among interacting units shapes properties of collective behavior such as synchronization and information transmission. However, the benefits of diversity on information processing at the edge of a phase transition, ordinarily assumed to emerge from identical elements, remain largely unexplored. Analyzing a general model of excitable systems with heterogeneous excitability, we find that diversity can greatly enhance optimal performance (by two orders of magnitude) when distinguishing incoming inputs. Heterogeneous systems possess a subset of specialized elements whose capability greatly exceeds that of the nonspecialized elements. We also find that diversity can yield multiple percolation, with performance optimized at tricriticality. Our results are robust in specific and more realistic neuronal systems comprising a combination of excitatory and inhibitory units, and indicate that diversity-induced amplification can be harnessed by neuronal systems for evaluating stimulus intensities. PMID:27168961

  9. Integrating Diverse Datasets Improves Developmental Enhancer Prediction

    PubMed Central

    Erwin, Genevieve D.; Oksenberg, Nir; Truty, Rebecca M.; Kostka, Dennis; Murphy, Karl K.; Ahituv, Nadav; Pollard, Katherine S.; Capra, John A.

    2014-01-01

    Gene-regulatory enhancers have been identified using various approaches, including evolutionary conservation, regulatory protein binding, chromatin modifications, and DNA sequence motifs. To integrate these different approaches, we developed EnhancerFinder, a two-step method for distinguishing developmental enhancers from the genomic background and then predicting their tissue specificity. EnhancerFinder uses a multiple kernel learning approach to integrate DNA sequence motifs, evolutionary patterns, and diverse functional genomics datasets from a variety of cell types. In contrast with prediction approaches that define enhancers based on histone marks or p300 sites from a single cell line, we trained EnhancerFinder on hundreds of experimentally verified human developmental enhancers from the VISTA Enhancer Browser. We comprehensively evaluated EnhancerFinder using cross validation and found that our integrative method improves the identification of enhancers over approaches that consider a single type of data, such as sequence motifs, evolutionary conservation, or the binding of enhancer-associated proteins. We find that VISTA enhancers active in embryonic heart are easier to identify than enhancers active in several other embryonic tissues, likely due to their uniquely high GC content. We applied EnhancerFinder to the entire human genome and predicted 84,301 developmental enhancers and their tissue specificity. These predictions provide specific functional annotations for large amounts of human non-coding DNA, and are significantly enriched near genes with annotated roles in their predicted tissues and lead SNPs from genome-wide association studies. We demonstrate the utility of EnhancerFinder predictions through in vivo validation of novel embryonic gene regulatory enhancers from three developmental transcription factor loci. Our genome-wide developmental enhancer predictions are freely available as a UCSC Genome Browser track, which we hope will enable

  10. Integrating diverse datasets improves developmental enhancer prediction.

    PubMed

    Erwin, Genevieve D; Oksenberg, Nir; Truty, Rebecca M; Kostka, Dennis; Murphy, Karl K; Ahituv, Nadav; Pollard, Katherine S; Capra, John A

    2014-06-01

    Gene-regulatory enhancers have been identified using various approaches, including evolutionary conservation, regulatory protein binding, chromatin modifications, and DNA sequence motifs. To integrate these different approaches, we developed EnhancerFinder, a two-step method for distinguishing developmental enhancers from the genomic background and then predicting their tissue specificity. EnhancerFinder uses a multiple kernel learning approach to integrate DNA sequence motifs, evolutionary patterns, and diverse functional genomics datasets from a variety of cell types. In contrast with prediction approaches that define enhancers based on histone marks or p300 sites from a single cell line, we trained EnhancerFinder on hundreds of experimentally verified human developmental enhancers from the VISTA Enhancer Browser. We comprehensively evaluated EnhancerFinder using cross validation and found that our integrative method improves the identification of enhancers over approaches that consider a single type of data, such as sequence motifs, evolutionary conservation, or the binding of enhancer-associated proteins. We find that VISTA enhancers active in embryonic heart are easier to identify than enhancers active in several other embryonic tissues, likely due to their uniquely high GC content. We applied EnhancerFinder to the entire human genome and predicted 84,301 developmental enhancers and their tissue specificity. These predictions provide specific functional annotations for large amounts of human non-coding DNA, and are significantly enriched near genes with annotated roles in their predicted tissues and lead SNPs from genome-wide association studies. We demonstrate the utility of EnhancerFinder predictions through in vivo validation of novel embryonic gene regulatory enhancers from three developmental transcription factor loci. Our genome-wide developmental enhancer predictions are freely available as a UCSC Genome Browser track, which we hope will enable

  11. Improving communication in a diverse healthcare environment.

    PubMed

    Thiederman, S

    1996-11-01

    Ethnic and racial diversity enriches the healthcare environment just as it enriches the nation. But diversity in the healthcare environment also can cause communication difficulties that impede effective service delivery. Many communication difficulties stem from differences in cultural values, languages, and points of view, and usually they can be overcome by understanding their source and applying techniques to resolve them. Techniques that can be used to help resolve communication difficulties include: listening carefully to what is said, repeating messages that are not readily understood, accepting responsibility for a lack of understanding, phrasing questions in different ways, and creating a relaxed atmosphere. PMID:10162352

  12. Trust-aware recommendation for improving aggregate diversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Haifeng; Bai, Xiaomei; Yang, Zhuo; Tolba, Amr; Xia, Feng

    2015-10-01

    Recommender systems are becoming increasingly important and prevalent because of the ability of solving information overload. In recent years, researchers are paying increasing attention to aggregate diversity as a key metric beyond accuracy, because improving aggregate recommendation diversity may increase long tails and sales diversity. Trust is often used to improve recommendation accuracy. However, how to utilize trust to improve aggregate recommendation diversity is unexplored. In this paper, we focus on solving this problem and propose a novel trust-aware recommendation method by incorporating time factor into similarity computation. The rationale underlying the proposed method is that, trustees with later creation time of trust relation can bring more diverse items to recommend to their trustors than other trustees with earlier creation time of trust relation. Through relevant experiments on publicly available dataset, we demonstrate that the proposed method outperforms the baseline method in terms of aggregate diversity while maintaining almost the same recall.

  13. Improving the Teaching of Economics: Achievements and Aspirations.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bach, G. L.; Kelley, Allen C.

    Achievements and possible future projects of the American Economic Association's Committee on Economic Education (CEE), whose goal is to improve teaching in college and university economics, are discussed. The Teacher Training Program (TTP) was established by the CEE in the 1970's to develop programs to train economic educators. To date the…

  14. Integrating Ethics and Diversity Issues into Economic and Business Statistics.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rose, Margarita M.

    1996-01-01

    Addressing ethics and diversity issues in statistics curriculum not only meets accreditation criteria but creates interesting and relevant applications of statistical tools. Objectives should be to recognize unethical uses of statistics, appreciate their usefulness in diversity issues, and recognize diversity in a population using statistical…

  15. Improved Differential Evolution for Combined Heat and Power Economic Dispatch

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jena, C.; Basu, M.; Panigrahi, C. K.

    2016-04-01

    This paper presents an improved differential evolution to solve non-smooth non-convex combined heat and power economic dispatch (CHPED) problem. Valve-point loading and prohibited operating zones of conventional thermal generators are taken into account. Differential evolution (DE) exploits the differences of randomly sampled pairs of objective vectors for its mutation process. Consequently the variation between vectors will outfit the objective function toward the optimization process and therefore provides efficient global optimization capability. However, although DE is shown to be precise, fast as well as robust, its search efficiency will be impaired during solution process with fast descending diversity of population. This paper proposes Gaussian random variable instead of scaling factor which improves search efficiency. The effectiveness of the proposed method has been verified on four test systems. The results of the proposed approach are compared with those obtained by other evolutionary methods. It is found that the proposed improved differential evolution based approach is able to provide better solution.

  16. The Role of School Improvement in Economic Development

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hanushek, Eric A.; Woessmann, Ludger

    2007-01-01

    The role of improved schooling, a central part of most development strategies, has become controversial because expansion of school attainment has not guaranteed improved economic conditions. This paper reviews the role of education in promoting economic wellbeing, with a particular focus on the role of educational quality. It concludes that there…

  17. Evolutionary and Political Economic Influences on Biological Diversity in African Americans.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jackson, Fatimah Linda Collier

    1993-01-01

    Examines existing data on biological diversity among Americans of African descent within the contexts of their evolutionary backgrounds and political and economic realities. Explores the origins of the diversity, and provides an evolutionary and political economy synthesis for evaluating the biological distinctions apparent among African…

  18. Exoskeletons and economics: indoor arthropod diversity increases in affluent neighbourhoods.

    PubMed

    Leong, Misha; Bertone, Matthew A; Bayless, Keith M; Dunn, Robert R; Trautwein, Michelle D

    2016-08-01

    In urban ecosystems, socioeconomics contribute to patterns of biodiversity. The 'luxury effect', in which wealthier neighbourhoods are more biologically diverse, has been observed for plants, birds, bats and lizards. Here, we used data from a survey of indoor arthropod diversity (defined throughout as family-level richness) from 50 urban houses and found that house size, surrounding vegetation, as well as mean neighbourhood income best predict the number of kinds of arthropods found indoors. Our finding, that homes in wealthier neighbourhoods host higher indoor arthropod diversity (consisting of primarily non-pest species), shows that the luxury effect can extend to the indoor environment. The effect of mean neighbourhood income on indoor arthropod diversity was particularly strong for individual houses that lacked high surrounding vegetation ground cover, suggesting that neighbourhood dynamics can compensate for local choices of homeowners. Our work suggests that the management of neighbourhoods and cities can have effects on biodiversity that can extend from trees and birds all the way to the arthropod life in bedrooms and basements. PMID:27484644

  19. Using Cultural Diversity in Teaching Economics: Global Business Implications

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mitry, Darryl J.

    2008-01-01

    Globalization and increasing cross-cultural interactivity have implications for education in general and may also present valuable pedagogical opportunities in the practice of teaching economics for business students. Therefore, the author investigated this proposition and offers some empirical observations from research and teaching experiments.…

  20. Improved Economics of Nuclear Plant Life Management

    SciTech Connect

    Bond, Leonard J.; Doctor, Steven R.; Jarrell, Donald B.; Bond, Joseph W D.

    2007-07-31

    The adoption of new on-line monitoring, diagnostic and eventually prognostics technologies has the potential to impact the economics of the existing nuclear power plant fleet, new plants and future advanced designs. To move from periodic inspection to on-line monitoring for condition based maintenance and eventually prognostics will require advances in sensors, better understanding of what and how to measure within the plant; enhanced data interrogation, communication and integration; new predictive models for damage/aging evolution; system integration for real world deployments; quantification of uncertainties in what are inherently ill-posed problems and integration of enhanced condition based maintenance/prognostics philosophies into new plant designs, operation and O&M approaches. The move to digital systems in petrochemical, process and fossil fuel power plants is enabling major advances to occur in the instrumentation, controls and monitoring systems and approaches employed. The adoption within the nuclear power community of advanced on-line monitoring and advanced diagnostics has the potential for the reduction in costly periodic surveillance that requires plant shut-down , more accurate cost-benefit analysis, “just-in-time” maintenance, pre-staging of maintenance tasks, move towards true “operation without failures” and a jump start on advanced technologies for new plant concepts, such as those under the International Gen IV Program. There are significant opportunities to adopt condition-based maintenance when upgrades are implemented at existing facilities. The economic benefit from a predictive maintenance program based upon advanced on-line monitoring and advanced diagnostics can be demonstrated from a cost/benefit analysis. An analysis of the 104 US legacy systems has indicated potential savings at over $1B per year when applied to all key equipment; a summary of the supporting analysis is provided in this paper.

  1. Economic and policy implications of improving longevity.

    PubMed

    Vladeck, Bruce C

    2005-09-01

    With all the rhetoric surrounding the impending "entitlement crisis" produced by the "graying of America," there has been surprisingly little serious analysis of the social and economic implications of increased longevity and the doubling of the number of elderly people that will occur in this country over the next 30 years. This article identifies five critical areas in which the effect of demographic change will be significant. First, patterns of work life and labor-force participation will almost inevitably change. Second, government expenditures now financed largely by payroll and federal income taxes will increase, whereas those financed by state and local property taxes will fall, at least proportionately. Third, the post-World War II pattern of suburbanized, automobile-dependent communities will pose special challenges to serving an aging population, and new adaptations will need to be developed. Fourth, intrafamily caregiving patterns will necessarily change. Fifth, the level of disability and dependence of older people, for which the rate of change is inherently unpredictable, will have a major effect on all these and other phenomena. Whether one views the net effect of all these changes as a positive or a negative, it is necessary to begin thinking a lot harder and more systematically about all of them. PMID:16131358

  2. A Rapid and Economical Method for Efficient DNA Extraction from Diverse Soils Suitable for Metagenomic Applications

    PubMed Central

    Devi, Selvaraju Gayathri; Fathima, Anwar Aliya; Radha, Sudhakar; Arunraj, Rex; Curtis, Wayne R.; Ramya, Mohandass

    2015-01-01

    A rapid, cost effective method of metagenomic DNA extraction from soil is a useful tool for environmental microbiology. The present work describes an improved method of DNA extraction namely “powdered glass method” from diverse soils. The method involves the use of sterile glass powder for cell lysis followed by addition of 1% powdered activated charcoal (PAC) as purifying agent to remove humic substances. The method yielded substantial DNA (5.87 ± 0.04 μg/g of soil) with high purity (A260/280: 1.76 ± 0.05) and reduced humic substances (A340: 0.047 ± 0.03). The quality of the extracted DNA was compared against five different methods based on 16S rDNA PCR amplification, BamHI digestion and validated using quantitative PCR. The digested DNA was used for a metagenomic library construction with the transformation efficiency of 4 X 106 CFU mL-1. Besides providing rapid, efficient and economical extraction of metgenomic DNA from diverse soils, this method’s applicability is also demonstrated for cultivated organisms (Gram positive B. subtilis NRRL-B-201, Gram negative E. coli MTCC40, and a microalgae C. sorokiniana UTEX#1666). PMID:26167854

  3. Improved, Low-Stress Economical Submerged Pipeline

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, Jack A.; Chao, Yi

    2011-01-01

    A preliminary study has shown that the use of a high-strength composite fiber cloth material may greatly reduce fabrication and deployment costs of a subsea offshore pipeline. The problem is to develop an inexpensive submerged pipeline that can safely and economically transport large quantities of fresh water, oil, and natural gas underwater for long distances. Above-water pipelines are often not feasible due to safety, cost, and environmental problems, and present, fixed-wall, submerged pipelines are often very expensive. The solution is to have a submerged, compliant-walled tube that when filled, is lighter than the surrounding medium. Some examples include compliant tubes for transporting fresh water under the ocean, for transporting crude oil underneath salt or fresh water, and for transporting high-pressure natural gas from offshore to onshore. In each case, the fluid transported is lighter than its surrounding fluid, and thus the flexible tube will tend to float. The tube should be ballasted to the ocean floor so as to limit the motion of the tube in the horizontal and vertical directions. The tube should be placed below 100-m depth to minimize biofouling and turbulence from surface storms. The tube may also have periodic pumps to maintain flow without over-pressurizing, or it can have a single pump at the beginning. The tube may have periodic valves that allow sections of the tube to be repaired or maintained. Some examples of tube materials that may be particularly suited for these applications are non-porous composite tubes made of high-performance fibers such as Kevlar, Spectra, PBO, Aramid, carbon fibers, or high-strength glass. Above-ground pipes for transporting water, oil, and natural gas have typically been fabricated from fiber-reinforced plastic or from more costly high-strength steel. Also, previous suggested subsea pipeline designs have only included heavy fixed-wall pipes that can be very expensive initially, and can be difficult and expensive

  4. Increasing Crop Diversity Mitigates Weather Variations and Improves Yield Stability

    PubMed Central

    Gaudin, Amélie C. M.; Tolhurst, Tor N.; Ker, Alan P.; Janovicek, Ken; Tortora, Cristina; Martin, Ralph C.; Deen, William

    2015-01-01

    Cropping sequence diversification provides a systems approach to reduce yield variations and improve resilience to multiple environmental stresses. Yield advantages of more diverse crop rotations and their synergistic effects with reduced tillage are well documented, but few studies have quantified the impact of these management practices on yields and their stability when soil moisture is limiting or in excess. Using yield and weather data obtained from a 31-year long term rotation and tillage trial in Ontario, we tested whether crop rotation diversity is associated with greater yield stability when abnormal weather conditions occur. We used parametric and non-parametric approaches to quantify the impact of rotation diversity (monocrop, 2-crops, 3-crops without or with one or two legume cover crops) and tillage (conventional or reduced tillage) on yield probabilities and the benefits of crop diversity under different soil moisture and temperature scenarios. Although the magnitude of rotation benefits varied with crops, weather patterns and tillage, yield stability significantly increased when corn and soybean were integrated into more diverse rotations. Introducing small grains into short corn-soybean rotation was enough to provide substantial benefits on long-term soybean yields and their stability while the effects on corn were mostly associated with the temporal niche provided by small grains for underseeded red clover or alfalfa. Crop diversification strategies increased the probability of harnessing favorable growing conditions while decreasing the risk of crop failure. In hot and dry years, diversification of corn-soybean rotations and reduced tillage increased yield by 7% and 22% for corn and soybean respectively. Given the additional advantages associated with cropping system diversification, such a strategy provides a more comprehensive approach to lowering yield variability and improving the resilience of cropping systems to multiple environmental

  5. Economic load dispatch using improved gravitational search algorithm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Yu; Wang, Jia-rong; Guo, Feng

    2016-03-01

    This paper presents an improved gravitational search algorithm(IGSA) to solve the economic load dispatch(ELD) problem. In order to avoid the local optimum phenomenon, mutation processing is applied to the GSA. The IGSA is applied to solve the economic load dispatch problems with the valve point effects, which has 13 generators and a load demand of 2520 MW. Calculation results show that the algorithm in this paper can deal with the ELD problems with high stability.

  6. The Diverse Social and Economic Structure of Nonmetropolitan America. Rural Development Research Report No. 49.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bender, Lloyd D.; And Others

    Effective rural development planning depends on facts and analysis based, not on rural averages, but on the diverse social and economic structure of rural America. Programs tailored to particular types of rural economies may be more effective than generalized programs. Because of their unique characteristics, government policies and economic…

  7. The 'Out of Africa' Hypothesis, Human Genetic Diversity, and Comparative Economic Development

    PubMed Central

    Ashraf, Quamrul; Galor, Oded

    2013-01-01

    This research argues that deep-rooted factors, determined tens of thousands of years ago, had a significant effect on the course of economic development from the dawn of human civilization to the contemporary era. It advances and empirically establishes the hypothesis that, in the course of the exodus of Homo sapiens out of Africa, variation in migratory distance from the cradle of humankind to various settlements across the globe affected genetic diversity and has had a long-lasting effect on the pattern of comparative economic development that is not captured by geographical, institutional, and cultural factors. In particular, the level of genetic diversity within a society is found to have a hump-shaped effect on development outcomes in both the pre-colonial and the modern era, reflecting the trade-off between the beneficial and the detrimental effects of diversity on productivity. While the intermediate level of genetic diversity prevalent among Asian and European populations has been conducive for development, the high degree of diversity among African populations and the low degree of diversity among Native American populations have been a detrimental force in the development of these regions. PMID:25506083

  8. Improving industrial yeast strains: exploiting natural and artificial diversity

    PubMed Central

    Steensels, Jan; Snoek, Tim; Meersman, Esther; Nicolino, Martina Picca; Voordeckers, Karin; Verstrepen, Kevin J

    2014-01-01

    Yeasts have been used for thousands of years to make fermented foods and beverages, such as beer, wine, sake, and bread. However, the choice for a particular yeast strain or species for a specific industrial application is often based on historical, rather than scientific grounds. Moreover, new biotechnological yeast applications, such as the production of second-generation biofuels, confront yeast with environments and challenges that differ from those encountered in traditional food fermentations. Together, this implies that there are interesting opportunities to isolate or generate yeast variants that perform better than the currently used strains. Here, we discuss the different strategies of strain selection and improvement available for both conventional and nonconventional yeasts. Exploiting the existing natural diversity and using techniques such as mutagenesis, protoplast fusion, breeding, genome shuffling and directed evolution to generate artificial diversity, or the use of genetic modification strategies to alter traits in a more targeted way, have led to the selection of superior industrial yeasts. Furthermore, recent technological advances allowed the development of high-throughput techniques, such as ‘global transcription machinery engineering’ (gTME), to induce genetic variation, providing a new source of yeast genetic diversity. PMID:24724938

  9. Improving industrial yeast strains: exploiting natural and artificial diversity.

    PubMed

    Steensels, Jan; Snoek, Tim; Meersman, Esther; Picca Nicolino, Martina; Voordeckers, Karin; Verstrepen, Kevin J

    2014-09-01

    Yeasts have been used for thousands of years to make fermented foods and beverages, such as beer, wine, sake, and bread. However, the choice for a particular yeast strain or species for a specific industrial application is often based on historical, rather than scientific grounds. Moreover, new biotechnological yeast applications, such as the production of second-generation biofuels, confront yeast with environments and challenges that differ from those encountered in traditional food fermentations. Together, this implies that there are interesting opportunities to isolate or generate yeast variants that perform better than the currently used strains. Here, we discuss the different strategies of strain selection and improvement available for both conventional and nonconventional yeasts. Exploiting the existing natural diversity and using techniques such as mutagenesis, protoplast fusion, breeding, genome shuffling and directed evolution to generate artificial diversity, or the use of genetic modification strategies to alter traits in a more targeted way, have led to the selection of superior industrial yeasts. Furthermore, recent technological advances allowed the development of high-throughput techniques, such as 'global transcription machinery engineering' (gTME), to induce genetic variation, providing a new source of yeast genetic diversity. PMID:24724938

  10. A plan for application system verification tests: The value of improved meteorological information, volume 1. [economic consequences of improved meteorological information

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1976-01-01

    The framework within which the Applications Systems Verification Tests (ASVTs) are performed and the economic consequences of improved meteorological information demonstrated is described. This framework considers the impact of improved information on decision processes, the data needs to demonstrate the economic impact of the improved information, the data availability, the methodology for determining and analyzing the collected data and demonstrating the economic impact of the improved information, and the possible methods of data collection. Three ASVTs are considered and program outlines and plans are developed for performing experiments to demonstrate the economic consequences of improved meteorological information. The ASVTs are concerned with the citrus crop in Florida, the cotton crop in Mississippi and a group of diverse crops in Oregon. The program outlines and plans include schedules, manpower estimates and funding requirements.

  11. The Economic Benefits of Improving Literacy Skills in the Workplace.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bloom, Michael; Burrows, Marie; Lafleur, Brenda; Squires, Robert

    A Canadian study explored the economic benefits of improving literacy skills in the workplace from the perspective of both employers and employees. The Conference Board identified and measured these benefits by conducting a survey of 40 employers, as well as by analyzing data gathered in the International Adult Literacy Survey. The study found…

  12. The economic valuation of improved process plant decision support technology.

    PubMed

    White, Douglas C

    2007-06-01

    How can investments that would potentially improve a manufacturing plant's decision process be economically justified? What is the value of "better information," "more flexibility," or "improved integration" and the technologies that provide these effects? Technology investments such as improved process modelling, new real time historians and other databases, "smart" instrumentation, better data analysis and visualization software, and/or improved user interfaces often include these benefits as part of their valuation. How are these "soft" benefits to be converted to a quantitative economic return? Quantification is important if rational management decisions are to be made about the correct amount of money to invest in the technologies, and which technologies to choose among the many available ones. Modelling the plant operational decision cycle-detect, analyse, forecast, choose and implement--provides a basis for this economic quantification. In this paper a new economic model is proposed for estimation of the value of decision support investments based on their effect upon the uncertainty in forecasting plant financial performance. This model leads to quantitative benefit estimates that have a realistic financial basis. An example is presented demonstrating the application of the method. PMID:17434170

  13. The nutrition intervention improved adult human capital and economic productivity.

    PubMed

    Martorell, Reynaldo; Melgar, Paul; Maluccio, John A; Stein, Aryeh D; Rivera, Juan A

    2010-02-01

    This article reviews key findings about the long-term impact of a nutrition intervention carried out by the Institute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama from 1969 to 1977. Results from follow-up studies in 1988-89 and 2002-04 show substantial impact on adult human capital and economic productivity. The 1988-89 study showed that adult body size and work capacity increased for those provided improved nutrition through age 3 y, whereas the 2002-04 follow-up showed that schooling was increased for women and reading comprehension and intelligence increased in both men and women. Participants were 26-42 y of age at the time of the 2002-04 follow-up, facilitating the assessment of economic productivity. Wages of men increased by 46% in those provided with improved nutrition through age 2 y. Findings for cardiovascular disease risk factors were heterogeneous; however, they suggest that improved nutrition in early life is unlikely to increase cardiovascular disease risk later in life and may indeed lower risk. In conclusion, the substantial improvement in adult human capital and economic productivity resulting from the nutrition intervention provides a powerful argument for promoting improvements in nutrition in pregnant women and young children. PMID:20032473

  14. Improved techniques for fluid diversion in oil recovery. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Seright, R.

    1996-01-01

    This three-year project had two technical objectives. The first objective was to compare the effectiveness of gels in fluid diversion (water shutoff) with those of other types of processes. Several different types of fluid-diversion processes were compared, including those using gels, foams, emulsions, particulates, and microorganisms. The ultimate goals of these comparisons were to (1) establish which of these processes are most effective in a given application and (2) determine whether aspects of one process can be combined with those of other processes to improve performance. Analyses and experiments were performed to verify which materials are the most effective in entering and blocking high-permeability zones. The second objective of the project was to identify the mechanisms by which materials (particularly gels) selectively reduce permeability to water more than to oil. A capacity to reduce water permeability much more than oil or gas permeability is critical to the success of gel treatments in production wells if zones cannot be isolated during gel placement. Topics covered in this report include (1) determination of gel properties in fractures, (2) investigation of schemes to optimize gel placement in fractured systems, (3) an investigation of why some polymers and gels can reduce water permeability more than oil permeability, (4) consideration of whether microorganisms and particulates can exhibit placement properties that are superior to those of gels, and (5) examination of when foams may show placement properties that are superior to those of gels.

  15. Diversity combining in laser Doppler vibrometry for improved signal reliability

    SciTech Connect

    Dräbenstedt, Alexander

    2014-05-27

    Because of the speckle nature of the light reflected from rough surfaces the signal quality of a vibrometer suffers from varying signal power. Deep signal outages manifest themselves as noise bursts and spikes in the demodulated velocity signal. Here we show that the signal quality of a single point vibrometer can be substantially improved by diversity reception. This concept is widely used in RF communication and can be transferred into optical interferometry. When two statistically independent measurement channels are available which measure the same motion on the same spot, the probability for both channels to see a signal drop-out at the same time is very low. We built a prototype instrument that uses polarization diversity to constitute two independent reception channels that are separately demodulated into velocity signals. Send and receive beams go through different parts of the aperture so that the beams can be spatially separated. The two velocity channels are mixed into one more reliable signal by a PC program in real time with the help of the signal power information. An algorithm has been developed that ensures a mixing of two or more channels with minimum resulting variance. The combination algorithm delivers also an equivalent signal power for the combined signal. The combined signal lacks the vast majority of spikes that are present in the raw signals and it extracts the true vibration information present in both channels. A statistical analysis shows that the probability for deep signal outages is largely decreased. A 60 fold improvement can be shown. The reduction of spikes and noise bursts reduces the noise in the spectral analysis of vibrations too. Over certain frequency bands a reduction of the noise density by a factor above 10 can be shown.

  16. [Geriatric fracture centers. Improved patient care and economic benefits].

    PubMed

    Kates, S L

    2016-01-01

    The world's population is aging resulting in changes in the way we manage geriatric care. Furthermore, this population has a considerable risk of fragility fractures, most notably hip fractures. Hip fractures are associated with significant morbidity and mortality and have large economic consequences. It is due to these factors that the concept of an elderly trauma center was developed. These trauma centers utilize the expertise in orthopedic and geriatric disciplines to provide coordinated care to the elderly hip fracture patient. As a result, studies have demonstrated improvements in clinical outcomes within the hospital stay, a reduction in iatrogenic complications, and improvements in 1-year mortality rates compared to the usual care given at a similar facility. Furthermore, economic models have demonstrated that there is a role for regionalized hip fracture centers that can be both profitable and provide more efficient care to these patients. PMID:26658903

  17. The potential economic benefits of improvements in weather forecasting

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thompson, J. C.

    1972-01-01

    The study was initiated as a consequence of the increased use of weather satellites, electronic computers and other technological developments which have become a virtual necessity for solving the complex problems of the earth's atmosphere. Neither the economic emphasis, nor the monetary results of the study, are intended to imply their sole use as criteria for making decisions concerning the intrinsic value of technological improvements in meteorology.

  18. Economic valuation of plant diversity storage service provided by Brazilian rupestrian grassland ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Resende, F M; Fernandes, G W; Coelho, M S

    2013-11-01

    The rupestrian grassland ecosystems provide various goods and services to society and support a significant amount of biological diversity. Notably the rich plant diversity has high levels of endemism and a variety of uses among the local communities and general society. Despite the socio-ecological importance of these ecosystems, they are subjected to significant anthropogenic pressures. The goal of this study is to perform economic valuation of the plant diversity storage service provided by rupestrian grassland ecosystems to provide grounds for the development of conservation policies and encourage sustainable practices in these ecosystems. Given the intense human disturbances and unique flora, the Serra do Cipó (southern portion of the Espinhaço Range in southeast Brazil) was selected for the study. We estimate the monetary value related to the plant diversity storage service provided by the study area using the maintenance costs of native plants in the living collections of the botanical garden managed by the Zoobotanical Foundation - Belo Horizonte (located 97 km from Serra do Cipó). The plant diversity storage value provided by Serra do Cipó ecosystems is significant, reaching US$25.26 million year-1. This study contributes to the development of perspectives related to the conservation of rupestrian grassland ecosystems as well as others threatened tropical ecosystems with high biodiversity. PMID:24789385

  19. Oil palm natural diversity and the potential for yield improvement.

    PubMed

    Barcelos, Edson; Rios, Sara de Almeida; Cunha, Raimundo N V; Lopes, Ricardo; Motoike, Sérgio Y; Babiychuk, Elena; Skirycz, Aleksandra; Kushnir, Sergei

    2015-01-01

    African oil palm has the highest productivity amongst cultivated oleaginous crops. Species can constitute a single crop capable to fulfill the growing global demand for vegetable oils, which is estimated to reach 240 million tons by 2050. Two types of vegetable oil are extracted from the palm fruit on commercial scale. The crude palm oil and kernel palm oil have different fatty acid profiles, which increases versatility of the crop in industrial applications. Plantations of the current varieties have economic life-span around 25-30 years and produce fruits around the year. Thus, predictable annual palm oil supply enables marketing plans and adjustments in line with the economic forecasts. Oil palm cultivation is one of the most profitable land uses in the humid tropics. Oil palm fruits are the richest plant source of pro-vitamin A and vitamin E. Hence, crop both alleviates poverty, and could provide a simple practical solution to eliminate global pro-vitamin A deficiency. Oil palm is a perennial, evergreen tree adapted to cultivation in biodiversity rich equatorial land areas. The growing demand for the palm oil threatens the future of the rain forests and has a large negative impact on biodiversity. Plant science faces three major challenges to make oil palm the key element of building the future sustainable world. The global average yield of 3.5 tons of oil per hectare (t) should be raised to the full yield potential estimated at 11-18t. The tree architecture must be changed to lower labor intensity and improve mechanization of the harvest. Oil composition should be tailored to the evolving needs of the food, oleochemical and fuel industries. The release of the oil palm reference genome sequence in 2013 was the key step toward this goal. The molecular bases of agronomically important traits can be and are beginning to be understood at the single base pair resolution, enabling gene-centered breeding and engineering of this remarkable crop. PMID:25870604

  20. Oil palm natural diversity and the potential for yield improvement

    PubMed Central

    Barcelos, Edson; Rios, Sara de Almeida; Cunha, Raimundo N. V.; Lopes, Ricardo; Motoike, Sérgio Y.; Babiychuk, Elena; Skirycz, Aleksandra; Kushnir, Sergei

    2015-01-01

    African oil palm has the highest productivity amongst cultivated oleaginous crops. Species can constitute a single crop capable to fulfill the growing global demand for vegetable oils, which is estimated to reach 240 million tons by 2050. Two types of vegetable oil are extracted from the palm fruit on commercial scale. The crude palm oil and kernel palm oil have different fatty acid profiles, which increases versatility of the crop in industrial applications. Plantations of the current varieties have economic life-span around 25–30 years and produce fruits around the year. Thus, predictable annual palm oil supply enables marketing plans and adjustments in line with the economic forecasts. Oil palm cultivation is one of the most profitable land uses in the humid tropics. Oil palm fruits are the richest plant source of pro-vitamin A and vitamin E. Hence, crop both alleviates poverty, and could provide a simple practical solution to eliminate global pro-vitamin A deficiency. Oil palm is a perennial, evergreen tree adapted to cultivation in biodiversity rich equatorial land areas. The growing demand for the palm oil threatens the future of the rain forests and has a large negative impact on biodiversity. Plant science faces three major challenges to make oil palm the key element of building the future sustainable world. The global average yield of 3.5 tons of oil per hectare (t) should be raised to the full yield potential estimated at 11–18t. The tree architecture must be changed to lower labor intensity and improve mechanization of the harvest. Oil composition should be tailored to the evolving needs of the food, oleochemical and fuel industries. The release of the oil palm reference genome sequence in 2013 was the key step toward this goal. The molecular bases of agronomically important traits can be and are beginning to be understood at the single base pair resolution, enabling gene-centered breeding and engineering of this remarkable crop. PMID:25870604

  1. Techniques to improve the economics of limestone FGDS

    SciTech Connect

    Bresowar, G.E.; Klingspor, J.

    1995-12-31

    Many utilities have evaluated the cost of scrubbing versus fuel switching in various plans and scenarios to determine the most economical means for meeting the requirements of the new law. Presently, the future cost of removing a ton of SO{sub 2} is based on fuel switching, and the market values are in the range of $150 - $250 per ton. The perceived cost of FGDS retrofits is $250 - $400 per ton for eastern medium to high sulfur coal. ABB has studied the overall costs of FGDS and has developed a series of cost reducing improvements. and innovations. The improvements are manifested in ABBs new limestone FGDS technology known by the code phrase {open_quote}Stealth FGDS{close_quotes}. Stealth promises low capital and operating cost, high removal efficiencies for SO{sub 2} and other pollutants, little or positive environmental and economic impact on the local community, salable or non-hazardous by-products, ease of retrofit, and exceptionally short installation schedules. The concepts are being demonstrated in one system at the Miles Generating Station of Ohio Edison Company. Bearing the name {open_quote}LS-2 Advanced SO, Scrubbing{close_quotes}, the Stealth scrubber at Niles is a 110 MWe turnkey, retrofit unit to be completed 20 months after the release of engineering. It will remove 20,000 or more tons per year of SO{sub 2} from the flue gases generated by both Unit 1 and Unit 2 boilers, producing wallboard-grade gypsum. Upon completion of a four month test program, the plant will be operated by Ohio Edison for a four to five year reliability demonstration period. The performance and economic projections for LS-2 scrubbers show the technology to be quite attractive relative to projections for fuel switching when installed in a manner similar to the installation plan for Niles. The description and basis for these economic projections are described in this paper.

  2. Applying Diversity Management Concepts to Improve the Minority Educational Pipeline

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oguntebi, Joy; Shcherbakova, Maria; Wooten, Lynn P.

    2012-01-01

    The objective of this conceptual article is to investigate existing diversity management paradigms and extend their implications toward the goal of increasing minority representation in management education. We suggest that the existing learning-and-effectiveness diversity management paradigm (Thomas & Ely, 1996, "Harvard Business…

  3. Developing Diverse Teams to Improve Performance in the Organizational Setting

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yeager, Katherine L.; Nafukho, Fredrick M.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: The use of teams in organizations given the current trend toward globalization, population changes, and an aging workforce, especially in high-income countries, makes the issue of diverse team building critical. The purpose of this paper is to explore the issue of team diversity and team performance through the examination of theory and…

  4. Performance improvement of OFDM-FSO multi-user communication system with combined transmit frequency diversity and receive space diversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kumar, Pravindra; Srivastava, Anand

    2016-05-01

    Orthogonal frequency division multiplexed (OFDM) based free space optical (FSO) communication link gives improved performance because of narrow-band interference, improved robustness against fading and high bandwidth efficiency. It is further improved using transmit frequency diversity and space diversity at the receiver. In this paper, we propose to use OFDM architecture combined with spreading code in electrical domain, referred as code division multiplexed-orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (CDM-OFDM) which provides frequency diversity at the transmitter and using more than one receiver to get receive diversity. Analytical model of CDM-OFDM-FSO communication system with photo-detector space diversity using maximal ratio combining (MRC) is analyzed in the presence of turbulent atmosphere, multi-user-interference (MUI) and timing jitter. The error performance is computed in terms of receiver sensitivity and bit-error-rate (BER). In the analysis, Gamma-Gamma distribution is considered for atmospheric turbulence. The performance of OFDM-FSO link and CDM-OFDM-FSO link is compared. It is seen that for multiple users, CDM-OFDM-FSO link with transmit and receive diversity gives improved performance as compared to OFDM-FSO link.

  5. New bits, motors improve economics of slim hole horizontal wells

    SciTech Connect

    McDonald, S.; Felderhoff, F.; Fisher, K.

    1996-03-11

    The latest generation of small-diameter bits, combined with a new extended power section positive displacement motor (PDM), has improved the economics of slim hole drilling programs. As costs are driven down, redevelopment reserves are generated in the older, more established fields. New reserves result from increases in the ultimate recovery and accelerated production rates from the implementation of horizontal wells in reentry programs. This logic stimulated an entire development program for a Gulf of Mexico platform, which was performed without significant compromises in well bore geometry. The savings from this new-generation drilling system come from reducing the total number of trips required during the drilling phase. This paper reviews the design improvements of roller cone bits, PDC bits, and positive displacement motors for offshore directional drilling operations.

  6. Integrating diverse calibration products to improve seismic location

    SciTech Connect

    Schultz, C; Myers, S; Swenson, J; Flanagan, M; Pasyanos, M; Bhattacharyya, J; Dodge, D

    2000-07-17

    The monitoring of nuclear explosions on a global basis requires accurate event locations. As an example, under the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, the size of an on-site inspection search area is 1,000 square kilometers or approximately 17 km accuracy assuming a circular area. This level of accuracy is a significant challenge for small events that are recorded using a sparse regional network. In such cases, the travel-time of seismic energy is strongly affected by crustal and upper mantle heterogeneity and large biases can result. This can lead to large systematic errors in location and, more importantly, to invalid error bounds associated with location estimates. Corrections can be developed and integrated to correct for these biases. These path corrections take the form of both three-dimensional model corrections along with three-dimensional empirically based travel time corrections. LLNL is currently working to integrate a diverse set of three-dimensional velocity model and empirical based travel-time products into one consistent and validated calibration set. To perform this task, we have developed a hybrid approach that uses three-dimensional model corrections for a region and then uses reference events when available to improve the path correction. This Bayesian kriging approach uses the best apriori three-dimensional velocity model that is produced for a local region and uses this as a baseline correction. When multiple models are produced for a local region, uncertainties in the models are compared against each other using ground truth data and an optimal model is chosen. We .are in the process of combining three-dimensional models on a region-by-region basis and integrating the uncertainties to form a global correction set. The Bayesian kriging prediction combines this a priori model and its statistics with the empirical calibrations to give an optimal aposteriori calibration estimate. In regions where there is limited or no coverage by reference events the

  7. Preparing Students for a Diverse Workplace: Strategies to Improve Dispositions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Melton, Deana; Dail, Teresa

    2010-01-01

    The curriculum for kinesiology students typically includes foundation courses focused on the scientific principles underlying human movement. Modifications for gender, age, and physical ability are also commonly included in these courses. Rarely addressed, however, are students' dispositions toward diverse groups. This article examines several…

  8. A century of potato breeding: improvement, diversification, and diversity

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Breeding within potato has relied almost entirely on phenotypic selection and little is known of the underlying genetic elements being acted upon. To characterize the effects of this selection on phenotypic and genotypic diversity within cultivated potato, the SolCAP 8300 Infinium SNP chip was utili...

  9. Improving Test Performance among Culturally Diverse Gifted Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harmon, Deborah

    2004-01-01

    When trying to explain the discrepancy between the numbers of white students in gifted education programs and the number of culturally diverse students in gifted education programs, it becomes apparent that there are multiple factors at play with the most prominent one being the identification process. Most districts begin the identification…

  10. Increasing Teacher Diversity: Strategies to Improve the Teacher Workforce

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bireda, Saba; Chait, Robin

    2011-01-01

    The lack of diversity in the teaching force is troubling for several reasons. Fewer minority teachers may indicate that few minorities are interested in pursuing a career in teaching. The low number of minority teachers also may indicate that there are fewer minority candidates with the skills and qualifications to enter the field. The inability…

  11. Improving in vitro mineral nutrition for diverse germplasm

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Complex chemical interactions in growth media and variation in genotype response make it very difficult to optimize mineral nutrition of in vitro plants. Germplasm collections contain diverse species and cultivars that often do not grow well on standard tissue culture media or do not grow at all. Se...

  12. Crop diversity sequencing can improve crop tolerance to weeds

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The corn-soybean rotation in eastern South Dakota has led to a weed community comprised of species with similar life cycles to the crops; subsequently, weed management is a major input cost for producers. We are exploring crop diversity in this rotation to determine if producers can reduce the need...

  13. Political diversity versus stimuli diversity: Alternative ways to improve social psychological science.

    PubMed

    Kessler, Thomas; Proch, Jutta; Hechler, Stefanie; Nägler, Larissa A

    2015-01-01

    Instead of enhancing diversity in research groups, we suggest that in order to reduce biases in social psychological research a more basic formulation and systematic testing of theories is required. Following the important but often neglected ecological research approach would lead to systematic variation of stimuli and sometimes representative sampling of stimuli for specific environments. PMID:26786753

  14. Improving diversity in cultures of bacteria from an extreme environment.

    PubMed

    Vester, Jan Kjølhede; Glaring, Mikkel Andreas; Stougaard, Peter

    2013-08-01

    The ikaite columns in the Ikka Fjord in Greenland represent one of the few permanently cold and alkaline environments on Earth, and the interior of the columns is home to a bacterial community adapted to these extreme conditions. The community is characterized by low cell numbers imbedded in a calcium carbonate matrix, making extraction of bacterial cells and DNA a challenge and limiting molecular and genomic studies of this environment. To utilize this genetic resource, cultivation at high pH and low temperature was studied as a method for obtaining biomass and DNA from the fraction of this community that would not otherwise be amenable to genetic analyses. The diversity and community dynamics in mixed cultures of bacteria from ikaite columns was investigated using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and pyrosequencing of 16S rDNA. Both medium composition and incubation time influenced the diversity of the culture and many hitherto uncharacterized genera could be brought into culture by extended incubation time. Extended incubation time also gave rise to a more diverse community with a significant number of rare species not detected in the initial community. PMID:23899002

  15. Strategies for Improving Diversity at Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murray, Cherry A.

    2001-03-01

    Over the last quarter century, top management in Bell Labs Research has initiated efforts to train, recruit, and encourage underrepresented minorities into science and engineering positions, and in hiring and retaining underrepresented minority scientists and engineers. I will give some historical background of some of the programs which have worked over the years and some of the new programs in recruiting, mentoring and career planning that we have recently initiated in order to better create a workplace that is accepting and even welcoming of diversity.

  16. Transcriptome analysis of a barley breeding program examines gene expression diversity and reveals target genes for malting quality improvement

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    breeding program. A reduction in gene expression diversity was detected, although there is diversity still present after forty years of breeding that can exploited for future crop improvement. In addition, the identification of candidate genes for enhancing malting quality may be used to optimize the selection of targets for further improvements in this economically important phenotype. PMID:21092286

  17. Genetic diversity for wheat improvement as a conduit to food security

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Genetic diversity is paramount for any crops genetic improvement and this resides in three gene pools of the Triticeae for wheat. Access to the diversity and its exploitation is based upon genetic distance of the species relatives from the wheat genomes. Apart from the conventional genetic base fo...

  18. Socio-economic comparison between traditional and improved cultivation methods in agroforestry systems, East Usambara Mountains, Tanzania.

    PubMed

    Reyes, Teija; Quiroz, Roberto; Msikula, Shija

    2005-11-01

    The East Usambara Mountains, recognized as one of the 25 most important biodiversity hot spots in the world, have a high degree of species diversity and endemism that is threatened by increasing human pressure on resources. Traditional slash and burn cultivation in the area is no longer sustainable. However, it is possible to maintain land productivity, decrease land degradation, and improve rural people's livelihood by ameliorating cultivation methods. Improved agroforestry seems to be a very convincing and suitable method for buffer zones of conservation areas. Farmers could receive a reasonable net income from their farm with little investment in terms of time, capital, and labor. By increasing the diversity and production of already existing cultivations, the pressure on natural forests can be diminished. The present study shows a significant gap between traditional cultivation methods and improved agroforestry systems in socio-economic terms. Improved agroforestry systems provide approximately double income per capita in comparison to traditional methods. More intensified cash crop cultivation in the highlands of the East Usambara also results in double income compared to that in the lowlands. However, people are sensitive to risks of changing farming practices. Encouraging farmers to apply better land management and practice sustainable cultivation of cash crops in combination with multipurpose trees would be relevant in improving their economic situation in the relatively short term. The markets of most cash crops are already available. Improved agroforestry methods could ameliorate the living conditions of the local population and protect the natural reserves from human disturbance. PMID:16261277

  19. Improving science inquiry with elementary students of diverse backgrounds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cuevas, Peggy; Lee, Okhee; Hart, Juliet; Deaktor, Rachael

    2005-03-01

    This study examined the impact of an inquiry-based instructional intervention on (a) children's ability to conduct science inquiry overall and to use specific skills in inquiry, and (b) narrowing the gaps in children's ability among demographic subgroups of students. The intervention consisted of instructional units, teacher workshops, and classroom practices. The study involved 25 third- and fourth-grade students from six elementary schools representing diverse linguistic and cultural groups. Quantitative results demonstrated that the intervention enhanced the inquiry ability of all students regardless of grade, achievement, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status (SES), home language, and English proficiency. Particularly, low-achieving, low-SES, and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) exited students made impressive gains. The study adds to the existing literature on designing learning environments that foster science inquiry of all elementary students.

  20. An improved criterion for new particle formation in diverse environments

    SciTech Connect

    Kuang, C.; Riipinen, I.; Sihto, S.-L.; Kulmala, M.; McCormick, A.; McMurry, P.

    2010-03-15

    A dimensionless theory for new particle formation (NPF) was developed, using an aerosol population balance model incorporating recent developments in nucleation rates and measured particle growth rates. Based on this theoretical analysis, it was shown that a dimensionless parameter Lg, characterizing the ratio of the particle scavenging loss rate to the particle growth rate, exclusively determined whether or not NPF would occur on a particular day. This parameter determines the probability that a nucleated particle will grow to a detectable size before being lost by coagulation with the pre-existing aerosol. Cluster-cluster coagulation was shown to contribute negligibly to this survival probability under conditions pertinent to the atmosphere. Data acquired during intensive measurement campaigns in Tecamac (MILAGRO), Atlanta (ANARChE), Boulder, and Hyytiala (QUEST II, QUEST IV, and EUCAARI) were used to test the validity of Lg as an NPF criterion. Measurements included aerosol size distributions down to 3 nm and gas-phase sulfuric acid concentrations. The model was applied to 77 NPF events and 19 non-events (characterized by growth of pre-existing aerosol without NPF) measured in diverse environments with broad ranges in sulfuric acid concentrations, ultrafine number concentrations, aerosol surface areas, and particle growth rates (nearly two orders of magnitude). Across this diverse data set, a nominal value of Lg = 0.7 was found to determine the boundary for the occurrence of NPF, with NPF occurring when Lg < 0.7 and being suppressed when Lg > 0.7. Moreover, nearly 45% of measured Lg values associated with NPF fell in the relatively narrow range of 0.1 < Lg < 0.3.

  1. Does Child Labor Decline with Improving Economic Status?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Edmonds, Eric V.

    2005-01-01

    The rapid economic growth of Vietnam provides an interesting insight into the sharp decline in child labor. A study of the rising economic status of the population across Vietnam shows that children returned to school or stopped working as their family incomes grew. The decline in child labor is steep in poor households as they emerged from…

  2. Advanced Placement Economics Improves Both Merit and Equity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Meek, Sally; Morton, John

    2009-01-01

    In 1989, microeconomics and macroeconomics examinations debuted on the Advanced Placement (AP) scene. At that time, many professors of economics were skeptical that college freshmen had the skills and maturity to understand the concepts in principles of economics courses. They thought teaching these concepts to high school students was even more…

  3. Scope for improved eco-efficiency varies among diverse cropping systems.

    PubMed

    Carberry, Peter S; Liang, Wei-li; Twomlow, Stephen; Holzworth, Dean P; Dimes, John P; McClelland, Tim; Huth, Neil I; Chen, Fu; Hochman, Zvi; Keating, Brian A

    2013-05-21

    Global food security requires eco-efficient agriculture to produce the required food and fiber products concomitant with ecologically efficient use of resources. This eco-efficiency concept is used to diagnose the state of agricultural production in China (irrigated wheat-maize double-cropping systems), Zimbabwe (rainfed maize systems), and Australia (rainfed wheat systems). More than 3,000 surveyed crop yields in these three countries were compared against simulated grain yields at farmer-specified levels of nitrogen (N) input. Many Australian commercial wheat farmers are both close to existing production frontiers and gain little prospective return from increasing their N input. Significant losses of N from their systems, either as nitrous oxide emissions or as nitrate leached from the soil profile, are infrequent and at low intensities relative to their level of grain production. These Australian farmers operate close to eco-efficient frontiers in regard to N, and so innovations in technologies and practices are essential to increasing their production without added economic or environmental risks. In contrast, many Chinese farmers can reduce N input without sacrificing production through more efficient use of their fertilizer input. In fact, there are real prospects for the double-cropping systems on the North China Plain to achieve both production increases and reduced environmental risks. Zimbabwean farmers have the opportunity for significant production increases by both improving their technical efficiency and increasing their level of input; however, doing so will require improved management expertise and greater access to institutional support for addressing the higher risks. This paper shows that pathways for achieving improved eco-efficiency will differ among diverse cropping systems. PMID:23671071

  4. Controlling parental feeding practices and child body composition in ethnically and economically diverse preschool children.

    PubMed

    Wehrly, Sarah E; Bonilla, Chantal; Perez, Marisol; Liew, Jeffrey

    2014-02-01

    Controlling parental feeding practices may be associated with childhood overweight, because coercive or intrusive feeding practices may negatively impact children's development of self-regulation of eating. This study examined pressuring or forcing a child (healthy or unhealthy foods) and restricting child from unhealthy or snack foods as two types of controlling feeding practices that explain unique variances in measures of child body composition (BMI, percent body fat, and parental perception of child weight). In an ethnically and economically diverse sample of 243 children aged 4-6years old and their biological parents (89% biological mothers, 8% biological fathers, and 3% step or grand-parent), descriptive statistics indicate ethnic and family income differences in measures of feeding practices and child body composition. Additionally, the two "objective" indices of body composition (BMI and percent body fat) were related to low pressure to eat, whereas the "subjective" index (perceived child weight) was related to restriction. Regression analyses accounting for ethnic and family income influences indicate that pressure to eat and restriction both explained unique variances in the two "objective" indices of body composition, whereas only restriction explained variance in perceived child weight. Findings have implications for helping parents learn about feeding practices that promote children's self-regulation of eating that simultaneously serves as an obesity prevention strategy. PMID:24269508

  5. Cyberdiversity: Improving the Informatic Value of Diverse Tropical Arthropod Inventories

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Jeremy A.; Miller, Joshua H.; Pham, Dinh-Sac; Beentjes, Kevin K.

    2014-01-01

    In an era of biodiversity crisis, arthropods have great potential to inform conservation assessment and test hypotheses about community assembly. This is because their relatively narrow geographic distributions and high diversity offer high-resolution data on landscape-scale patterns of biodiversity. However, a major impediment to the more widespread application of arthropod data to a range of scientific and policy questions is the poor state of modern arthropod taxonomy, especially in the tropics. Inventories of spiders and other megadiverse arthropods from tropical forests are dominated by undescribed species. Such studies typically organize their data using morphospecies codes, which make it difficult for data from independent inventories to be compared and combined. To combat this shortcoming, we offer cyberdiversity, an online community-based approach for reconciling results of independent inventory studies where current taxonomic knowledge is incomplete. Participating scientists can upload images and DNA barcode sequences to dedicated databases and submit occurrence data and links to a web site (www.digitalSpiders.org). Taxonomic determinations can be shared with a crowdsourcing comments feature, and researchers can discover specimens of interest available for loan and request aliquots of genomic DNA extract. To demonstrate the value of the cyberdiversity framework, we reconcile data from three rapid structured inventories of spiders conducted in Vietnam with an independent inventory (Doi Inthanon, Thailand) using online image libraries. Species richness and inventory completeness were assessed using non-parametric estimators. Community similarity was evaluated using a novel index based on the Jaccard replacing observed with estimated values to correct for unobserved species. We use a distance-decay framework to demonstrate a rudimentary model of landscape-scale changes in community composition that will become increasingly informative as additional

  6. Cyberdiversity: improving the informatic value of diverse tropical arthropod inventories.

    PubMed

    Miller, Jeremy A; Miller, Joshua H; Pham, Dinh-Sac; Beentjes, Kevin K

    2014-01-01

    In an era of biodiversity crisis, arthropods have great potential to inform conservation assessment and test hypotheses about community assembly. This is because their relatively narrow geographic distributions and high diversity offer high-resolution data on landscape-scale patterns of biodiversity. However, a major impediment to the more widespread application of arthropod data to a range of scientific and policy questions is the poor state of modern arthropod taxonomy, especially in the tropics. Inventories of spiders and other megadiverse arthropods from tropical forests are dominated by undescribed species. Such studies typically organize their data using morphospecies codes, which make it difficult for data from independent inventories to be compared and combined. To combat this shortcoming, we offer cyberdiversity, an online community-based approach for reconciling results of independent inventory studies where current taxonomic knowledge is incomplete. Participating scientists can upload images and DNA barcode sequences to dedicated databases and submit occurrence data and links to a web site (www.digitalSpiders.org). Taxonomic determinations can be shared with a crowdsourcing comments feature, and researchers can discover specimens of interest available for loan and request aliquots of genomic DNA extract. To demonstrate the value of the cyberdiversity framework, we reconcile data from three rapid structured inventories of spiders conducted in Vietnam with an independent inventory (Doi Inthanon, Thailand) using online image libraries. Species richness and inventory completeness were assessed using non-parametric estimators. Community similarity was evaluated using a novel index based on the Jaccard replacing observed with estimated values to correct for unobserved species. We use a distance-decay framework to demonstrate a rudimentary model of landscape-scale changes in community composition that will become increasingly informative as additional

  7. Exploitation of interspecific diversity for monocot crop improvement

    PubMed Central

    King, J; Armstead, I; Harper, J; Ramsey, L; Snape, J; Waugh, R; James, C; Thomas, A; Gasior, D; Kelly, R; Roberts, L; Gustafson, P; King, I

    2013-01-01

    In many cultivated crop species there is limited genetic variation available for the development of new higher yielding varieties adapted to climate change and sustainable farming practises. The distant relatives of crop species provide a vast and largely untapped reservoir of genetic variation for a wide range of agronomically important traits that can be exploited by breeders for crop improvement. In this paper, in what we believe to be the largest introgression programme undertaken in the monocots, we describe the transfer of the entire genome of Festuca pratensis into Lolium perenne in overlapping chromosome segments. The L. perenne/F. pratensis introgressions were identified and characterised via 131 simple sequence repeats and 1612 SNPs anchored to the rice genome. Comparative analyses were undertaken to determine the syntenic relationship between L. perenne/F. pratensis and rice, wheat, barley, sorghum and Brachypodium distachyon. Analyses comparing recombination frequency and gene distribution indicated that a large proportion of the genes within the genome are located in the proximal regions of chromosomes which undergo low/very low frequencies of recombination. Thus, it is proposed that past breeding efforts to produce improved varieties have centred on the subset of genes located in the distal regions of chromosomes where recombination is highest. The use of alien introgression for crop improvement is important for meeting the challenges of global food supply and the monocots such as the forage grasses and cereals, together with recent technological advances in molecular biology, can help meet these challenges. PMID:23321705

  8. Improving diversity, inclusion, and representation in radiology and radiation oncology part 2: challenges and recommendations.

    PubMed

    Lightfoote, Johnson B; Fielding, Julia R; Deville, Curtiland; Gunderman, Richard B; Morgan, Gail N; Pandharipande, Pari V; Duerinckx, Andre J; Wynn, Raymond B; Macura, Katarzyna J

    2014-08-01

    The ACR Commission for Women and General Diversity is committed to identifying barriers to a diverse physician workforce in radiology and radiation oncology (RRO), and to offering policy recommendations to overcome these barriers. Part 2 of a 2-part position article from the commission addresses issues regarding diversity and inclusion in the context of career choices and professional advancement. Barriers to improving diversity and representation in RRO are reviewed. Discussion focuses on the development and implementation of concrete strategies designed to eliminate the current subspecialty disparity and highlights the need for the ACR to introduce programs and incentives with targeted and achievable goals with measurable outcomes. Recommendations are made aimed at fostering an environment of inclusion and diversity, so as to secure a successful future for all members of the RRO workforce. The future of radiology will be enhanced by increasing diversity and representation in the professional workforce, which will allow us to better address the varied needs of increasingly diverse patient populations, and to mitigate disparities in healthcare access, delivery, and outcomes. By leveraging diverse backgrounds, experiences, and skills of those in RRO, we will create new, effective ways to not only educate our trainees, medical colleagues, and patients but also improve delivery of health care and our service to society. PMID:25087987

  9. Growth Versus Government Management Improvement During Economic Downturn

    PubMed Central

    Podobnik, Boris; Baaquie, Belal E.; Bishop, Steven; Njavro, Djuro; Li, Baowen

    2013-01-01

    In estimating how economic growth depends on various inputs, economists commonly use long periods of data encompassing both main extremes to fluctuations in the economy: recession and expansion. Here we focus on recession years because during expansion even countries with bad economic policies may experience large growth. Specifically, we study how growth depends on the proportion of public-sector workforce, p and competitiveness, quantified by the Global Competitiveness Index, GCI. For the 2008–2011 economic downturn and for 57 countries, we find that the growth rate of GDP per capita, g, decreases with p, and increases with ΔGCI. Further, more competitive countries attract more foreign direct investments per capita, I, than less competitive countries, where I ∝ GCIα. We propose a production function, divided into the private and public sectors, where GDP depends on market capitalization, the public (private)-sector workforce, and competitiveness level, used to quantify the public sector efficiency. PMID:23563321

  10. Growth Versus Government Management Improvement During Economic Downturn

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Podobnik, Boris; Baaquie, Belal E.; Bishop, Steven; Njavro, Djuro; Li, Baowen

    2013-04-01

    In estimating how economic growth depends on various inputs, economists commonly use long periods of data encompassing both main extremes to fluctuations in the economy: recession and expansion. Here we focus on recession years because during expansion even countries with bad economic policies may experience large growth. Specifically, we study how growth depends on the proportion of public-sector workforce, p and competitiveness, quantified by the Global Competitiveness Index, GCI. For the 2008-2011 economic downturn and for 57 countries, we find that the growth rate of GDP per capita, g, decreases with p, and increases with ΔGCI. Further, more competitive countries attract more foreign direct investments per capita, I, than less competitive countries, where I ~ GCIα. We propose a production function, divided into the private and public sectors, where GDP depends on market capitalization, the public (private)-sector workforce, and competitiveness level, used to quantify the public sector efficiency.

  11. Growth versus government management improvement during economic downturn.

    PubMed

    Podobnik, Boris; Baaquie, Belal E; Bishop, Steven; Njavro, Djuro; Li, Baowen

    2013-01-01

    In estimating how economic growth depends on various inputs, economists commonly use long periods of data encompassing both main extremes to fluctuations in the economy: recession and expansion. Here we focus on recession years because during expansion even countries with bad economic policies may experience large growth. Specifically, we study how growth depends on the proportion of public-sector workforce, p and competitiveness, quantified by the Global Competitiveness Index, GCI. For the 2008-2011 economic downturn and for 57 countries, we find that the growth rate of GDP per capita, g, decreases with p, and increases with ΔGCI. Further, more competitive countries attract more foreign direct investments per capita, I, than less competitive countries, where I is proportional to GCI(α). We propose a production function, divided into the private and public sectors, where GDP depends on market capitalization, the public (private)-sector workforce, and competitiveness level, used to quantify the public sector efficiency. PMID:23563321

  12. Towards improved socio-economic assessments of ocean acidification's impacts.

    PubMed

    Hilmi, Nathalie; Allemand, Denis; Dupont, Sam; Safa, Alain; Haraldsson, Gunnar; Nunes, Paulo A L D; Moore, Chris; Hattam, Caroline; Reynaud, Stéphanie; Hall-Spencer, Jason M; Fine, Maoz; Turley, Carol; Jeffree, Ross; Orr, James; Munday, Philip L; Cooley, Sarah R

    2013-01-01

    Ocean acidification is increasingly recognized as a component of global change that could have a wide range of impacts on marine organisms, the ecosystems they live in, and the goods and services they provide humankind. Assessment of these potential socio-economic impacts requires integrated efforts between biologists, chemists, oceanographers, economists and social scientists. But because ocean acidification is a new research area, significant knowledge gaps are preventing economists from estimating its welfare impacts. For instance, economic data on the impact of ocean acidification on significant markets such as fisheries, aquaculture and tourism are very limited (if not non-existent), and non-market valuation studies on this topic are not yet available. Our paper summarizes the current understanding of future OA impacts and sets out what further information is required for economists to assess socio-economic impacts of ocean acidification. Our aim is to provide clear directions for multidisciplinary collaborative research. PMID:24391285

  13. Skill improvement from increased ensemble size and model diversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DelSole, Timothy; Nattala, Jyothi; Tippett, Michael K.

    2014-10-01

    This paper proposes an objective procedure for deciding if the skill of a combination of forecasts is significantly larger than that of a single forecast, and for deciding if the observed improvement is dominated by reduction of noise associated with ensemble averaging, or by addition of new predictable signals. Information theory provides an attractive framework for addressing these questions. The procedure is applied to El Niño-Southern Oscillation hindcasts from the North American Multimodel Ensemble (NMME) and reveals that the observed skill advantage of the NMME compared to individual models is substantially greater than that expected from increased ensemble size alone and is more consistent with the addition of new signals.

  14. Improving the diversity of manufacturing electroluminescent flat panel displays

    SciTech Connect

    Moss, T.S.; Samuels, J.A.; Smith, D.C.

    1995-09-01

    Crystalline calcium thiogallate with a cerium dopant has been deposited by metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) at temperatures below 600{degrees}C on a low cost glass substrate. An EL luminance of 1.05 fL was observed 40 volts above threshold at 60 Hz. This is more than an order of magnitude improvement over earlier crystalline-as-deposited thiogallate materials. These results pave the way for the use of MOCVD as a potential method for processing full color thin-film electroluminescent (TFEL) flat panel displays. The formation of the CaGa{sub 2}S{sub 4}:Ce phosphor requires precise control over a number of deposition parameters including flow rates, substrate temperature, and reactor pressure. The influence of these parameters will be discussed in terms of structure, uniformity, and TFEL device performance.

  15. ON IMPROVING THE ECONOMIC STATUS OF THE NEGRO.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    TOBIN, JAMES

    EFFORTS TO ELIMINATE NEGRO POVERTY MUST BE UNDERTAKEN WITHIN A FAVORABLE OVERALL ECONOMIC CLIMATE, AND THE CURRENT CLIMATE IS NOT FAVORABLE BECAUSE MANPOWER AND PLANT CAPACITY ARE NOT FULLY UTILIZED. SUCH FACTORS AS LIMITED JOBS, EXAGGERATED JOB REQUIREMENTS, LOWER EARNING CAPACITY, DURATION OF UNEMPLOYMENT, FLUCTUATIONS OF THE BUSINESS CYCLE, AND…

  16. Reduced foodborne toxin exposure is a benefit of improving dietary diversity.

    PubMed

    Wu, Felicia; Mitchell, Nicole J; Male, Denis; Kensler, Thomas W

    2014-10-01

    Naturally occurring foodborne toxins are common in subsistence diets of low-income human populations worldwide. Often, these populations rely on one or two staple foods for the bulk of their calories, making them more susceptible to chronic intake of certain toxins. Exposure to common foodborne toxins is associated with diverse conditions such as cancer, immunotoxicity, growth impairment, and neurological deficits. Interventions focused solely on reducing toxin levels have proven difficult to sustain. Using case studies of two foodborne toxins, aflatoxin and cassava cyanide, this article addresses the heightened risk of particular diseases from eating monotonous diets based in maize, groundnuts, and cassava: common in sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Asia. We also discuss the potential role of increased dietary diversity in counteracting these diseases. Increased dietary diversity can reduce consumption of toxins and increase intake of nutrients that could counteract the toxicity of such chemicals. In Qidong, China, a population that previously consumed a monotonous maize-based diet and increased dietary diversity since the 1980s has experienced a dramatic reduction in liver cancer mortalities. That liver cancer decreased as dietary diversity increased is the catalyst for the hypothesis that dietary diversity could have a direct impact on reducing health effects of foodborne toxins. Future research, agricultural development, and food policy reforms should take into consideration the multifaceted benefits associated with improved dietary diversity. Collaborations between toxicologists, nutritionists, and policymakers are important to development of sustainable interventions to reduce foodborne toxin exposure and promote health through increased dietary diversity. PMID:25015663

  17. Reduced Foodborne Toxin Exposure Is a Benefit of Improving Dietary Diversity

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Felicia; Mitchell, Nicole J.; Male, Denis; Kensler, Thomas W.

    2014-01-01

    Naturally occurring foodborne toxins are common in subsistence diets of low-income human populations worldwide. Often, these populations rely on one or two staple foods for the bulk of their calories, making them more susceptible to chronic intake of certain toxins. Exposure to common foodborne toxins is associated with diverse conditions such as cancer, immunotoxicity, growth impairment, and neurological deficits. Interventions focused solely on reducing toxin levels have proven difficult to sustain. Using case studies of two foodborne toxins, aflatoxin and cassava cyanide, this article addresses the heightened risk of particular diseases from eating monotonous diets based in maize, groundnuts, and cassava: common in sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Asia. We also discuss the potential role of increased dietary diversity in counteracting these diseases. Increased dietary diversity can reduce consumption of toxins and increase intake of nutrients that could counteract the toxicity of such chemicals. In Qidong, China, a population that previously consumed a monotonous maize-based diet and increased dietary diversity since the 1980s has experienced a dramatic reduction in liver cancer mortalities. That liver cancer decreased as dietary diversity increased is the catalyst for the hypothesis that dietary diversity could have a direct impact on reducing health effects of foodborne toxins. Future research, agricultural development, and food policy reforms should take into consideration the multifaceted benefits associated with improved dietary diversity. Collaborations between toxicologists, nutritionists, and policymakers are important to development of sustainable interventions to reduce foodborne toxin exposure and promote health through increased dietary diversity. PMID:25015663

  18. Economic benefits of improved meteorological forecasts - The construction industry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bhattacharyya, R. K.; Greenberg, J. S.

    1976-01-01

    Estimates are made of the potential economic benefits accruing to particular industries from timely utilization of satellite-derived six-hour weather forecasts, and of economic penalties resulting from failure to utilize such forecasts in day-to-day planning. The cost estimate study is centered on the U.S. construction industry, with results simplified to yes/no 6-hr forecasts on thunderstorm activity and work/no work decisions. Effects of weather elements (thunderstorms, snow and sleet) on various construction operations are indicated. Potential dollar benefits for other industries, including air transportation and other forms of transportation, are diagrammed for comparison. Geosynchronous satellites such as STORMSAT, SEOS, and SMS/GOES are considered as sources of the forecast data.

  19. Technology for Improving Production, Economic Efficiency, Quality, and Sustainability in Peanut Production and Handling

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    USDA ARS National Peanut Research Laboratory has a very diverse scientific staff conducting research to address the needs of the United States peanut industry. Research is conducted in the fields of mycology, chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, breeding, agronomy, economics, and engineering....

  20. Technology for Improving Production, Economic Efficiency, Quality and Sustainability in Peanut Production and Handling

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    USDA ARS National Peanut Research Laboratory has a very diverse scientific staff conducting research to address the needs of the United States peanut industry. Research is conducted in the fields of mycology, chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, breeding, agronomy, economics, and engineering....

  1. Technology for improving production, economic efficiency, quality, and sustainability in peanut production and handling

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    USDA ARS National Peanut Research Laboratory has a very diverse scientific staff conducting research to address the needs of the United States peanut industry. Research is conducted in the fields of mycology, chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, breeding, agronomy, economics, and engineering....

  2. Persistent Diversity, Learning and Convergence among First Year University Students of Economics.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bonetti, Shane; Smith, Ian

    1996-01-01

    Administration of the Test of Understanding in College Economics to 79 British college freshmen before and after a required introductory economics course revealed that students with little prior exposure to economics typically did not achieve the knowledge level of more experienced students by course end. Results were not affected by intelligence,…

  3. Economic Impact on the Justice System from Reductions in Diversion Program Funding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dembo, Richard; Wareham, Jennifer; Chirikos, Thomas N.; Schmeidler, James

    2005-01-01

    Following a national trend of "getting tough" on increased juvenile crime, the Florida legislature eliminated one of the primary community service-oriented juvenile diversion programs, the Juvenile Alternative Services Program (JASP). JASP was subsequently replaced with four other diversion programs, two of which (the Walker Plan and an expanded…

  4. Near-term improvements in parabolic troughs: an economic and performance assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Gee, R.; Murphy, L.M.

    1981-08-01

    Improved parabolic-trough concentrating collectors will result from better design, improved fabrication techniques, and the development and utilization of improved materials. This analysis qualifies the performance potential of various parabolic-trough component improvements from a systems viewpoint and uses these performance data to determine the worth of each improvement on an economic basis. The improvements considered are evacuated receivers, silvered-glass reflectors, improved receiver, selective coatings, higher optical accuracy concentrations, and higher transmittance receiver glazings. Upper-bound costs for each improvement are provided as well as estimates of the increased solar system rates of return that are made possible by these improvements. The performance and economic potential of some of these improvements are shown to be substantial, especially at higher collector operating temperatures.

  5. Can combining economizers with improved filtration save energy and protect equipment in data centers?

    SciTech Connect

    Shehabi, Arman; Ganguly, Srirupa; Gundel, Lara A.; Horvath, Arpad; Kirchstetter, Thomas W.; Lunden, Melissa M.; Tschudi, William; Gadgil, Ashok J.; Nazaroff, William W

    2009-06-05

    Economizer use in data centers is an energy efficiency strategy that could significantly limit electricity demand in this rapidly growing economic sector. Widespread economizer implementation, however, has been hindered by potential equipment reliability concerns associated with exposing information technology equipment to particulate matter of outdoor origin. This study explores the feasibility of using economizers in data centers to save energy while controlling particle concentrations with high-quality air filtration. Physical and chemical properties of indoor and outdoor particles were analyzed at an operating northern California data center equipped with an economizer under varying levels of air filtration efficiency. Results show that when improved filtration is used in combination with an economizer, the indoor/outdoor concentration ratios for most measured particle types were similar to levels when using conventional filtration without economizers. An energy analysis of the data center reveals that, even during the summer months, chiller savings from economizer use greatly outweigh any increase in fan power associated with improved filtration. These findings indicate that economizer use combined with improved filtration could reduce data center energy demand while providing a level of protection from particles of outdoor origin similar to that observed with conventional design.

  6. Economic analysis of the health impacts of housing improvement studies: a systematic review

    PubMed Central

    Fenwick, Elisabeth; Macdonald, Catriona; Thomson, Hilary

    2013-01-01

    Background Economic evaluation of public policies has been advocated but rarely performed. Studies from a systematic review of the health impacts of housing improvement included data on costs and some economic analysis. Examination of these data provides an opportunity to explore the difficulties and the potential for economic evaluation of housing. Methods Data were extracted from all studies included in the systematic review of housing improvement which had reported costs and economic analysis (n=29/45). The reported data were assessed for their suitability to economic evaluation. Where an economic analysis was reported the analysis was described according to pre-set definitions of various types of economic analysis used in the field of health economics. Results 25 studies reported cost data on the intervention and/or benefits to the recipients. Of these, 11 studies reported data which was considered amenable to economic evaluation. A further four studies reported conducting an economic evaluation. Three of these studies presented a hybrid ‘balance sheet’ approach and indicated a net economic benefit associated with the intervention. One cost-effectiveness evaluation was identified but the data were unclearly reported; the cost-effectiveness plane suggested that the intervention was more costly and less effective than the status quo. Conclusions Future studies planning an economic evaluation need to (i) make best use of available data and (ii) ensure that all relevant data are collected. To facilitate this, economic evaluations should be planned alongside the intervention with input from health economists from the outset of the study. When undertaken appropriately, economic evaluation provides the potential to make significant contributions to housing policy. PMID:23929616

  7. Genetic diversity provides opportunities for improvement of fresh-cut pepper quality

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Extensive genetic diversity present in the Capsicum genepool has been utilized extensively to improve pepper disease resistance, fruit quality and varied yield attributes. Little attention has been dedicated to genetic enhancement of pepper fresh-cut quality. We evaluated pepper accessions with dive...

  8. Visual Working Memory in Deaf Children with Diverse Communication Modes: Improvement by Differential Outcomes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lopez-Crespo, Ginesa; Daza, Maria Teresa; Mendez-Lopez, Magdalena

    2012-01-01

    Although visual functions have been proposed to be enhanced in deaf individuals, empirical studies have not yet established clear evidence on this issue. The present study aimed to determine whether deaf children with diverse communication modes had superior visual memory and whether their performance was improved by the use of differential…

  9. Creating Taxonomies to Improve School-Home Connections with Families of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Linse, Caroline Teresa

    2011-01-01

    Families of culturally and linguistically diverse pupils often do not participate fully in their children's school-based education. The purpose of this article is to introduce taxonomies as a means to examine and improve school practices and levels of responsiveness to families whose home language is not English, so that families feel more…

  10. Improving Education Outcomes in Germany. OECD Economics Department Working Papers, No. 611

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carey, David

    2008-01-01

    Improving education outcomes is important for Germany's long-term economic performance and social cohesion. While student achievement is above the OECD average in science and at the OECD average in reading and mathematics according to the 2006 OECD PISA study, weaker students tend to do badly by international comparison and socio-economic and/or…

  11. Tree diversity does not always improve resistance of forest ecosystems to drought.

    PubMed

    Grossiord, Charlotte; Granier, André; Ratcliffe, Sophia; Bouriaud, Olivier; Bruelheide, Helge; Chećko, Ewa; Forrester, David Ian; Dawud, Seid Muhie; Finér, Leena; Pollastrini, Martina; Scherer-Lorenzen, Michael; Valladares, Fernando; Bonal, Damien; Gessler, Arthur

    2014-10-14

    Climate models predict an increase in the intensity and frequency of drought episodes in the Northern Hemisphere. Among terrestrial ecosystems, forests will be profoundly impacted by drier climatic conditions, with drastic consequences for the functions and services they supply. Simultaneously, biodiversity is known to support a wide range of forest ecosystem functions and services. However, whether biodiversity also improves the resistance of these ecosystems to drought remains unclear. We compared soil drought exposure levels in a total of 160 forest stands within five major forest types across Europe along a gradient of tree species diversity. We assessed soil drought exposure in each forest stand by calculating the stand-level increase in carbon isotope composition of late wood from a wet to a dry year (Δδ(13)CS). Δδ(13)CS exhibited a negative linear relationship with tree species diversity in two forest types, suggesting that species interactions in these forests diminished the drought exposure of the ecosystem. However, the other three forest types were unaffected by tree species diversity. We conclude that higher diversity enhances resistance to drought events only in drought-prone environments. Managing forest ecosystems for high tree species diversity does not necessarily assure improved adaptability to the more severe and frequent drought events predicted for the future. PMID:25267642

  12. Tree diversity does not always improve resistance of forest ecosystems to drought

    PubMed Central

    Grossiord, Charlotte; Granier, André; Ratcliffe, Sophia; Bouriaud, Olivier; Bruelheide, Helge; Chećko, Ewa; Forrester, David Ian; Dawud, Seid Muhie; Finér, Leena; Pollastrini, Martina; Scherer-Lorenzen, Michael; Valladares, Fernando; Bonal, Damien

    2014-01-01

    Climate models predict an increase in the intensity and frequency of drought episodes in the Northern Hemisphere. Among terrestrial ecosystems, forests will be profoundly impacted by drier climatic conditions, with drastic consequences for the functions and services they supply. Simultaneously, biodiversity is known to support a wide range of forest ecosystem functions and services. However, whether biodiversity also improves the resistance of these ecosystems to drought remains unclear. We compared soil drought exposure levels in a total of 160 forest stands within five major forest types across Europe along a gradient of tree species diversity. We assessed soil drought exposure in each forest stand by calculating the stand-level increase in carbon isotope composition of late wood from a wet to a dry year (Δδ13CS). Δδ13CS exhibited a negative linear relationship with tree species diversity in two forest types, suggesting that species interactions in these forests diminished the drought exposure of the ecosystem. However, the other three forest types were unaffected by tree species diversity. We conclude that higher diversity enhances resistance to drought events only in drought-prone environments. Managing forest ecosystems for high tree species diversity does not necessarily assure improved adaptability to the more severe and frequent drought events predicted for the future. PMID:25267642

  13. How can we improve socio-economic condition of women?

    PubMed

    Mohapatra, P C; Pattanaik, B E

    Aspects of discrimination against women in India are summarized, a case study of a rural district in Orissa is presented, and the article follows with a suggested 3-part strategy of education, employment and appropriate technology. The economic role played by women is difficult to quantitate because of their lifestyle that combines domestic work and unpaid family or low-paid outside farm or cottage industry labor. Besides these tasks, women usually care for dairy animals, and carry water and firewood. Discrimination against women in this system is evident, however, from some available statistics. 46% of women, as opposed to 20% of men, work as agricultural laborers. Women are denied education because they are not expected to do responsible work, then they are denied employment because they are not educated. Their work is counted as worth only half that of men, and based on this assumption, they are paid less then men. The male heads of 124 households in 7 villages in the Orissa area were interviewed to study labor participation of household members. 89% of the people worked in agriculture, 94% in rice paddy and 6% in oilseed or pulses for cash crops. The average farm size was 2.29 acres. Female literacy had risen to 14.3% from 1% 10 years before. Women usually worked in transplantation, weeding, harvesting and threshing, but also in heavier farm labor, construction of roads and buildings, quarrying and forestry. In this poor, hilly region, the custom of purdah was not practiced to the extent of keeping women from doing day labor outside the home. The authors' suggested strategy for women's development included appropriate technology such as the Gobar methane gas plant, provision of credit for women's industries, retention of girls in school and literacy programs for girls and women, and higher wages for women. PMID:12281792

  14. Modelling snow cover duration improves predictions of functional and taxonomic diversity for alpine plant communities

    PubMed Central

    Carlson, Bradley Z.; Choler, Philippe; Renaud, Julien; Dedieu, Jean-Pierre; Thuiller, Wilfried

    2015-01-01

    Background and Aims Quantifying relationships between snow cover duration and plant community properties remains an important challenge in alpine ecology. We developed a method to estimate spatial variation in energy availability in the context of a topographically complex, high-elevation watershed, which we used to test the explanatory power of environmental gradients both with and without snow cover in relation to taxonomic and functional plant diversity. Methods We mapped snow cover at 15 m resolution using Landsat imagery for five recent years and fitted a generalized additive model (GAM) for each year linking snow to time and topography. Predicted snow cover maps were combined with air temperature and solar radiation at daily resolution, summed for each year and averaged across years. Equivalent growing season energy gradients were also estimated without accounting for snow cover duration. Relationships were tested between environmental gradients and diversity metrics measured for 100 plots (including species richness, community weighted mean traits, functional diversity and hyperspectral estimates of canopy chlorophyll content). Key Results Accounting for snow cover in environmental variables consistently led to improved predictive power as well as more ecologically meaningful characterizations of plant diversity. Model parameters differed significantly when fitted with and without snow cover. Filtering solar radiation with snow as compared to without led to an average gain in R2 of 0.26 and also reversed slope direction to more intuitive relationships for several diversity metrics. Conclusions We show that in alpine environments, high-resolution data on snow cover duration are pivotal for capturing the spatial heterogeneity of both taxonomic and functional diversity. The use of climate variables without consideration of snow cover can lead to erroneous predictions of plant diversity. Our results further indicate that studies seeking to predict the response

  15. It may be harder than we thought, but political diversity will (still) improve social psychological science.

    PubMed

    Crawford, Jarret T; Duarte, José L; Haidt, Jonathan; Jussim, Lee; Stern, Charlotta; Tetlock, Philip E

    2015-01-01

    In our target article, we made four claims: (1) Social psychology is now politically homogeneous; (2) this homogeneity sometimes harms the science; (3) increasing political diversity would reduce this damage; and (4) some portion of the homogeneity is due to a hostile climate and outright discrimination against non-liberals. In this response, we review these claims in light of the arguments made by a diverse group of commentators. We were surprised to find near-universal agreement with our first two claims, and we note that few challenged our fourth claim. Most of the disagreements came in response to our claim that increasing political diversity would be beneficial. We agree with our critics that increasing political diversity may be harder than we had thought, but we explain why we still believe that it is possible and desirable to do so. We conclude with a revised list of 12 recommendations for improving political diversity in social psychology, as well as in other areas of the academy. PMID:26816000

  16. South Africa: Distance Higher Education Policies for Access, Social Equity, Quality, and Social and Economic Responsiveness in a Context of the Diversity of Provision

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Badat, Saleem

    2005-01-01

    The principal concern of this paper is the implication of the increasing diversity of higher education provision in South Africa for equity of access and opportunity for historically disadvantaged social groups, high-quality provision, and social and economic responsiveness in distance higher education. This diversity is signalled by a variety of…

  17. Evaluation of a service intervention to improve awareness and uptake of bowel cancer screening in ethnically-diverse areas

    PubMed Central

    Shankleman, J; Massat, N J; Khagram, L; Ariyanayagam, S; Garner, A; Khatoon, S; Rainbow, S; Rangrez, S; Colorado, Z; Hu, W; Parmar, D; Duffy, S W

    2014-01-01

    Background: Uptake of bowel cancer screening is lowest in London, in populations of lower socio-economic status, and in particular ethnic or religious groups. Methods: We report on the evaluation of two interventions to improve uptake in an area including populations of low socio-economic status and considerable ethnic diversity. The interventions were face-to-face health promotion on bowel cancer screening at invitees' general practice and health promotion delivered by telephone only. Nine large general practices in East London were chosen at random to offer face-to-face health promotion, and nine other large practices to offer telephone health promotion, with 24 practices of similar size as comparators. Data at practice level were analysed by Mann–Whitney–Wilcoxon tests and grouped-logistic regression. Results: There were 2034 invitees in the telephone intervention practices, 1852 in the face-to-face intervention practices and 5227 in the comparison practices. Median gFOBt kit uptake in the target population (aged 59–70) was 46.7% in the telephone practices, 43.8% in the face-to-face practices and 39.1% in the comparison practices. Significant improvements in the odds of uptake were observed following telephone intervention in both males (OR=1.39, 95% CI=1.20–1.61, P<0.001) and females (OR=1.49, 95% CI=1.29–1.73, P<0.001), while the face-to-face intervention mainly impacted uptake in males (OR=1.23, 95% CI=1.10–1.36), P<0.001) but did not lead to a significant increase in females (OR=1.12, 95% CI=0.96–1.29, P=0.2). Conclusions: Personally delivered health promotion improved uptake of bowel cancer screening in areas of low socio-economic status and high ethnic diversity. The intervention by telephone appears to be the most effective method. PMID:24983374

  18. Assessing and Broadening Genetic Diversity of Elymus sibiricus Germplasm for the Improvement of Seed Shattering.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zongyu; Zhang, Junchao; Zhao, Xuhong; Xie, Wengang; Wang, Yanrong

    2016-01-01

    Siberian wild rye (Elymus sibiricus L.) is an important native grass in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau of China. It is difficult to grow for commercial seed production, since seed shattering causes yield losses during harvest. Assessing the genetic diversity and relationships among germplasm from its primary distribution area contributes to evaluating the potential for its utilization as a gene pool to improve the desired agronomic traits. In the study, 40 EST-SSR primers were used to assess the genetic diversity and population structure of 36 E. sibiricus accessions with variation of seed shattering. A total of 380 bands were generated, with an average of 9.5 bands per primer. The polymorphic information content (PIC) ranged from 0.23 to 0.50. The percentage of polymorphic bands (P) for the species was 87.11%, suggesting a high degree of genetic diversity. Based on population structure analysis, four groups were formed, similar to results of principal coordinate analysis (PCoA). The molecular variance analysis (AMOVA) revealed the majority of genetic variation occurred within geographical regions (83.40%). Two genotypes from Y1005 and ZhN06 were used to generate seven F₁ hybrids. The molecular and morphological diversity analysis of F₁ population revealed rich genetic variation and high level of seed shattering variation in F₁ population, resulting in significant improvement of the genetic base and desired agronomic traits. PMID:27376263

  19. Improving SFR Economics Through Innovations from Thermal Design and Analysis Aspects

    SciTech Connect

    Haihua Zhao; Hongbin Zhang; Vincent Mousseau; Per F. Peterson

    2009-06-01

    Achieving economic competitiveness as compared to LWRs and other Generation IV (Gen-IV) reactors is one of the major requirements for large-scale investment in commercial sodium cooled fast reactor (SFR) power plants. Advances in R&D for advanced SFR fuel and structural materials provide key long-term opportunities to improve SFR economics. In addition, other new opportunities are emerging to further improve SFR economics. This paper provides an overview on potential ideas from the perspective of thermal hydraulics to improve SFR economics. These include a new hybrid loop-pool reactor design to further optimize economics, safety, and reliability of SFRs with more flexibility, a multiple reheat and intercooling helium Brayton cycle to improve plant thermal efficiency and reduce safety related overnight and operation costs, and modern multi-physics thermal analysis methods to reduce analysis uncertainties and associated requirements for over-conservatism in reactor design. This paper reviews advances in all three of these areas and their potential beneficial impacts on SFR economics.

  20. Improving SFR Economics through Innovations from Thermal Design and Analysis Aspects

    SciTech Connect

    Haihua Zhao; Hongbin Zhang; Vincent Mousseau; Per F. Peterson

    2008-06-01

    Achieving economic competitiveness as compared to LWRs and other Generation IV (Gen-IV) reactors is one of the major requirements for large-scale investment in commercial sodium cooled fast reactor (SFR) power plants. Advances in R&D for advanced SFR fuel and structural materials provide key long-term opportunities to improve SFR economics. In addition, other new opportunities are emerging to further improve SFR economics. This paper provides an overview on potential ideas from the perspective of thermal hydraulics to improve SFR economics. These include a new hybrid loop-pool reactor design to further optimize economics, safety, and reliability of SFRs with more flexibility, a multiple reheat and intercooling helium Brayton cycle to improve plant thermal efficiency and reduce safety related overnight and operation costs, and modern multi-physics thermal analysis methods to reduce analysis uncertainties and associated requirements for over-conservatism in reactor design. This paper reviews advances in all three of these areas and their potential beneficial impacts on SFR economics.

  1. The Economic Diversity of Rural England: Stylised Fallacies and Uncertain Evidence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hodge, Ian; Monk, Sarah

    2004-01-01

    Debate about rural policy is often based on persistent presumptions about conditions in "rural England," generally associated with economic decline, low incomes, and a lack of services. Such generalisations are rarely justified for rural areas as a whole and we term them as "stylised fallacies." The impression of their relevance is perpetuated by…

  2. Optimal Deployment of Thermal Energy Storage under Diverse Economic and Climate Conditions

    SciTech Connect

    DeForest, Nicolas; Mendes, Goncalo; Stadler, Michael; Feng, Wei; Lai, Judy; Marnay, Chris

    2014-04-15

    This paper presents an investigation of the economic benefit of thermal energy storage (TES) for cooling, across a range of economic and climate conditions. Chilled water TES systems are simulated for a large office building in four distinct locations, Miami in the U.S.; Lisbon, Portugal; Shanghai, China; and Mumbai, India. Optimal system size and operating schedules are determined using the optimization model DER-CAM, such that total cost, including electricity and amortized capital costs are minimized. The economic impacts of each optimized TES system is then compared to systems sized using a simple heuristic method, which bases system size as fraction (50percent and 100percent) of total on-peak summer cooling loads. Results indicate that TES systems of all sizes can be effective in reducing annual electricity costs (5percent-15percent) and peak electricity consumption (13percent-33percent). The investigation also indentifies a number of criteria which drive TES investment, including low capital costs, electricity tariffs with high power demand charges and prolonged cooling seasons. In locations where these drivers clearly exist, the heuristically sized systems capture much of the value of optimally sized systems; between 60percent and 100percent in terms of net present value. However, in instances where these drivers are less pronounced, the heuristic tends to oversize systems, and optimization becomes crucial to ensure economically beneficial deployment of TES, increasing the net present value of heuristically sized systems by as much as 10 times in some instances.

  3. Specific guidelines for assessing and improving the methodological quality of economic evaluations of newborn screening

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Economic evaluation of newborn screening poses specific methodological challenges. Amongst others, these challenges refer to the use of quality adjusted life years (QALYs) in newborns, and which costs and outcomes need to be considered in a full evaluation of newborn screening programmes. Because of the increasing scale and scope of such programmes, a better understanding of the methods of high-quality economic evaluations may be crucial for both producers/authors and consumers/reviewers of newborn screening-related economic evaluations. The aim of this study was therefore to develop specific guidelines designed to assess and improve the methodological quality of economic evaluations in newborn screening. Methods To develop the guidelines, existing guidelines for assessing the quality of economic evaluations were identified through a literature search, and were reviewed and consolidated using a deductive iterative approach. In a subsequent test phase, these guidelines were applied to various economic evaluations which acted as case studies. Results The guidelines for assessing and improving the methodological quality of economic evaluations in newborn screening are organized into 11 categories: “bibliographic details”, “study question and design”, “modelling”, “health outcomes”, “costs”, “discounting”, “presentation of results”, “sensitivity analyses”, “discussion”, “conclusions”, and “commentary”. Conclusions The application of the guidelines highlights important issues regarding newborn screening-related economic evaluations, and underscores the need for such issues to be afforded greater consideration in future economic evaluations. The variety in methodological quality detected by this study reveals the need for specific guidelines on the appropriate methods for conducting sound economic evaluations in newborn screening. PMID:22947299

  4. A plan for the economic assessment of the benefits of improved meteorological forecasts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bhattacharyya, R.; Greenberg, J.

    1975-01-01

    Benefit-cost relationships for the development of meteorological satellites are outlined. The weather forecast capabilities of the various weather satellites (Tiros, SEOS, Nimbus) are discussed, and the development of additional satellite systems is examined. A rational approach is development that leads to the establishment of the economic benefits which may result from the utilization of meteorological satellite data. The economic and social impacts of improved weather forecasting for industries and resources management are discussed, and significant weather sensitive industries are listed.

  5. Economics of Caring Labor: Improving Compensation in the Early Childhood Workforce. Summary. Working Paper Series.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ripple, Carol

    Improving compensation in early care and education (ECE) has been and will continue to be an extremely difficult policy issue. The Mailman Family Foundation and the Foundation for Child Development convened a group of 18 representatives of diverse disciplines concerned about child- and elder-care compensation. This report details the issues…

  6. Economics.

    PubMed

    Palley, Paul D; Parcero, Miriam E

    2016-10-01

    A review of literature in the calendar year 2015 dedicated to environmental policies and sustainable development, and economic policies. This review is divided into these sections: sustainable development, irrigation, ecosystems and water management, climate change and disaster risk management, economic growth, water supply policies, water consumption, water price regulation, and water price valuation. PMID:27620113

  7. Economics.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    James, L. D.

    1978-01-01

    Presents a literature review of the economic aspects of water pollution control covering publications of 1976-77. This review also includes the policy issues of water management. A list of 77 references is presented. (HM)

  8. Social and Economic Benefits of Improved Adult Literacy: Towards a Better Understanding: Support Document

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hartley, Robyn; Horne, Jackie

    2005-01-01

    This document was produced by the authors based on their research for the report, "Social and Economic Benefits of Improved Adult Literacy: Towards a Better Understanding," and is an added resource for further information. The original document is a feasibility study which explores the frameworks and methodologies available for determining and…

  9. Randomized Controlled Trial of Teaching Methods: Do Classroom Experiments Improve Economic Education in High Schools?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eisenkopf, Gerald; Sulser, Pascal A.

    2016-01-01

    The authors present results from a comprehensive field experiment at Swiss high schools in which they compare the effectiveness of teaching methods in economics. They randomly assigned classes into an experimental and a conventional teaching group, or a control group that received no specific instruction. Both teaching treatments improve economic…

  10. The Role of Christian Educational Institutions in Improving Economic Self-Reliance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nwosu, Constance C.

    2012-01-01

    This article argues that Christian educational institutions in Africa can play a major role in improving economic self-reliance within the continent, if those who establish Christian universities there take time to plan the programs and activities in those institutions. Specifically, it argues that with proper planning of quality education--the…

  11. Cryptic diversity and habitat partitioning in an economically important aphid species complex.

    PubMed

    Savory, F R; Ramakrishnan, U

    2015-03-01

    Cardamom Bushy Dwarf Virus (CBDV) is an aphid-borne nanovirus which infects large cardamom, Amomum subulatum (Zingiberaceae family), in the Himalayan foothills of Northeast India, Nepal and Bhutan. Two aphid species have been reported to transmit CBDV, including Pentalonia nigronervosa and Micromyzus kalimpongensis (also described as Pentalonia kalimpongensis). However, P. nigronervosa was recently split into two species which exhibit different host plant affiliations. Whilst P. nigronervosa primarily feeds on banana plants, Pentaloniacaladii (previously considered a 'form' of P. nigronervosa) typically feeds on plants belonging to the Araceae, Heliconiaceae and Zingiberaceae families. This raises the possibility that CBDV vectors that were originally described as P. nigronervosa correspond to P. caladii. Accurate identification of vector species is important for understanding disease dynamics and for implementing management strategies. However, closely related species can be difficult to distinguish based on morphological characteristics. In this study, we used molecular markers (two mitochondrial loci and one nuclear locus) and Bayesian phylogenetic analyses to identify aphid specimens collected from 148 CBDV infected plants at a range of locations and elevations throughout Sikkim and the Darjeeling district of West Bengal (Northeast India). Our results revealed the presence of a diversity of lineages, comprising up to six distinct species in at least two related genera. These included the three species mentioned above, an unidentified Pentalonia species and two lineages belonging to an unknown genus. Surprisingly, P. caladii was only detected on a single infected plant, indicating that this species may not play an important role in CBDV transmission dynamics. Distinct elevation distributions were observed for the different species, demonstrating that the community composition of aphids which feed on large cardamom plants changes across an elevation gradient

  12. Visual working memory in deaf children with diverse communication modes: improvement by differential outcomes.

    PubMed

    López-Crespo, Ginesa; Daza, María Teresa; Méndez-López, Magdalena

    2012-01-01

    Although visual functions have been proposed to be enhanced in deaf individuals, empirical studies have not yet established clear evidence on this issue. The present study aimed to determine whether deaf children with diverse communication modes had superior visual memory and whether their performance was improved by the use of differential outcomes. Severely or profoundly deaf children who employed spoken Spanish, Spanish Sign Language (SSL), and both spoken Spanish and SSL modes of communication were tested in a delayed matching-to-sample task for visual working memory assessment. Hearing controls were used to compare performance. Participants were tested in two conditions, differential outcome and non-differential outcome conditions. Deaf groups with either oral or SSL modes of communication completed the task with less accuracy than bilingual and control hearing children. In addition, the performances of all groups improved through the use of differential outcomes. PMID:22119682

  13. The benefits of improved technologies in agricultural aviation. [economic impact and aircraft configurations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1978-01-01

    The economic benefits attributable to a variety of potential technological improvements in agricultural aviation are discussed. Topics covered include: the ag-air industry, the data base used to estimate the potential benefits and a summary of the potential benefits from technological improvements; ag-air activities in the United States; foreign ag-air activities; major ag-air aircraft is use and manufacturers' sales and distribution networks; and estimates of the benefits to the United States of proposed technological improvements to the aircraft and dispersal equipment. A bibliography of references is appended.

  14. Improved techniques for fluid diversion in oil recovery. Second annual report, October 1, 1993--September 30, 1994

    SciTech Connect

    Seright, R.S.

    1995-03-01

    This project is directed at reducing water production and increasing oil recovery efficiency. Today, the cost of water disposal is typically between $0.25 and $0.50 per bbl. Therefore, there is a tremendous economic incentive to reduce water production if that can be accomplished without sacrificing hydrocarbon production. Environmental considerations also provide a significant incentive to reduce water production during oilfield operations. This three-year project has two technical objectives. The first objective is to compare the effectiveness of gels in fluid diversion (water shutoff) with those of other types of processes. Several different types of fluid-diversion processes are being compared, including those using gels, foams, emulsions, and particulates. The ultimate goals of these comparisons are to (1) establish which of these processes are most effective in a given application and (2) determine whether aspects of one process can be combined with those of other processes to improve performance. Analyses and experiments are being performed to verify which materials are the most effective in entering and blocking high-permeability zones. The second objective of the project is to identify the mechanisms by which materials (particularly gels) selectively reduce permeability to water more than to oil. Topics covered in this report include (1) comparisons of the use of gels, foams, emulsions, and particulates as blocking agents; (2) propagation of aluminum-citrate-HPAM gels through porous rock; (3) gel properties in fractured systems; (4) gel placement in unfractured anisotropic flow systems; and (5) an investigation of why some gels can reduce water permeability more than oil permeability.

  15. Afforestation or intense pasturing improve the ecological and economic value of abandoned tropical farmlands

    PubMed Central

    Knoke, Thomas; Bendix, Jörg; Pohle, Perdita; Hamer, Ute; Hildebrandt, Patrick; Roos, Kristin; Gerique, Andrés; Sandoval, María L.; Breuer, Lutz; Tischer, Alexander; Silva, Brenner; Calvas, Baltazar; Aguirre, Nikolay; Castro, Luz M.; Windhorst, David; Weber, Michael; Stimm, Bernd; Günter, Sven; Palomeque, Ximena; Mora, Julio; Mosandl, Reinhard; Beck, Erwin

    2014-01-01

    Increasing demands for livelihood resources in tropical rural areas have led to progressive clearing of biodiverse natural forests. Restoration of abandoned farmlands could counter this process. However, as aims and modes of restoration differ in their ecological and socio-economic value, the assessment of achievable ecosystem functions and benefits requires holistic investigation. Here we combine the results from multidisciplinary research for a unique assessment based on a normalization of 23 ecological, economic and social indicators for four restoration options in the tropical Andes of Ecuador. A comparison of the outcomes among afforestation with native alder or exotic pine, pasture restoration with either low-input or intense management and the abandoned status quo shows that both variants of afforestation and intense pasture use improve the ecological value, but low-input pasture does not. Economic indicators favour either afforestation or intense pasturing. Both Mestizo and indigenous Saraguro settlers are more inclined to opt for afforestation. PMID:25425182

  16. Afforestation or intense pasturing improve the ecological and economic value of abandoned tropical farmlands.

    PubMed

    Knoke, Thomas; Bendix, Jörg; Pohle, Perdita; Hamer, Ute; Hildebrandt, Patrick; Roos, Kristin; Gerique, Andrés; Sandoval, María L; Breuer, Lutz; Tischer, Alexander; Silva, Brenner; Calvas, Baltazar; Aguirre, Nikolay; Castro, Luz M; Windhorst, David; Weber, Michael; Stimm, Bernd; Günter, Sven; Palomeque, Ximena; Mora, Julio; Mosandl, Reinhard; Beck, Erwin

    2014-01-01

    Increasing demands for livelihood resources in tropical rural areas have led to progressive clearing of biodiverse natural forests. Restoration of abandoned farmlands could counter this process. However, as aims and modes of restoration differ in their ecological and socio-economic value, the assessment of achievable ecosystem functions and benefits requires holistic investigation. Here we combine the results from multidisciplinary research for a unique assessment based on a normalization of 23 ecological, economic and social indicators for four restoration options in the tropical Andes of Ecuador. A comparison of the outcomes among afforestation with native alder or exotic pine, pasture restoration with either low-input or intense management and the abandoned status quo shows that both variants of afforestation and intense pasture use improve the ecological value, but low-input pasture does not. Economic indicators favour either afforestation or intense pasturing. Both Mestizo and indigenous Saraguro settlers are more inclined to opt for afforestation. PMID:25425182

  17. Language Diversity & Practice in Higher Education: Can Discipline-Specific Language Instruction Improve Economics Learning Outcomes?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nguyen, Trien; Trimarchi, Angela; Williams, Julia

    2012-01-01

    In the field of second language acquisition, discipline-specific language instruction is becoming widely known as Content and Language Integrated Learning. This method includes any activity that involves teaching a subject in a second language for the purpose of teaching both the subject content and the language. Research has shown that this two…

  18. Condensing economizers for efficiency improvement and emissions control in industrial boilers

    SciTech Connect

    Butcher, T.A.; Litzke, W.L.; Schulze, K.; Bailey, R.

    1996-06-01

    Condensing economizers recover sensible and latent heat from boiler flue gas, leading to marked improvements in thermal efficiency. This paper summarizes the current commercial status and continuing development efforts with one type of condensing economizer. In this design Teflon{reg_sign} covered tubes and enclosure walls are used to handle the corrosive condensate. Flue gas flows around the tubes and feed water, being heated, flows through the inside. In addition to improving thermal efficiency, condensing economizers can also be used to reduce particulate emissions primarily by inertial impaction of particles on tube surfaces, water droplets, and added impactors. Collected particles are then removed with condensate. Water sprays directly on the tubes can be used to enhance particle capture. With coal-firing, tests have shown particle removal efficiencies as high as 98%. To enhance the emissions control potential of condensing economizer technology a two-stage economizer system concept has been developed. Two heat exchanger modules are used. The first is a downflow design and recovers primarily sensible heat from the flue gas. The second is upflow and recovers mostly latent heat. Condensate is collected in a transition plenum between the two stages. This configuration, termed the Integrated Flue Gas Treatment System, provides great flexibility for implementing emissions reduction strategies. Particulate emissions can be reduced without impacting sensible heat recovery by recirculating collected condensate to spray nozzles at the top of the second stage heat exchanger. In tests at BNL with heavy oil firing, particulate reductions over 90% and final emission rates on the order of.005 lb/MMBtu are achieved. Adding sorbents to the recirculated condensate reduces sulfur dioxide emissions and SO{sub 2} removal efficiencies over 95% are achieved. Also, condensing economizers show great potential for the removal of certain air toxics such as mercury and nickel.

  19. Lathyrus diversity: available resources with relevance to crop improvement – L. sativus and L. cicera as case studies

    PubMed Central

    Vaz Patto, M. C.; Rubiales, D.

    2014-01-01

    Background The Lathyrus genus includes 160 species, some of which have economic importance as food, fodder and ornamental crops (mainly L. sativus, L. cicera and L. odoratus, respectively) and are cultivated in >1·5 Mha worldwide. However, in spite of their well-recognized robustness and potential as a source of calories and protein for populations in drought-prone and marginal areas, cultivation is in decline and there is a high risk of genetic erosion. Scope In this review, current and past taxonomic treatments of the Lathyrus genus are assessed and its current status is examined together with future prospects for germplasm conservation, characterization and utilization. A particular emphasis is placed on the importance of diversity analysis for breeding of L. sativus and L. cicera. Conclusions Efforts for improvement of L. sativus and L. cicera should concentrate on the development of publicly available joint core collections, and on high-resolution genotyping. This will be critical for permitting decentralized phenotyping. Such a co-ordinated international effort should result in more efficient and faster breeding approaches, which are particularly needed for these neglected, underutilized Lathyrus species. PMID:24623333

  20. Phylogenetically diverse AM fungi from Ecuador strongly improve seedling growth of native potential crop trees.

    PubMed

    Schüßler, Arthur; Krüger, Claudia; Urgiles, Narcisa

    2016-04-01

    In many deforested regions of the tropics, afforestation with native tree species could valorize a growing reservoir of degraded, previously overused and abandoned land. The inoculation of tropical tree seedlings with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AM fungi) can improve tree growth and viability, but efficiency may depend on plant and AM fungal genotype. To study such effects, seven phylogenetically diverse AM fungi, native to Ecuador, from seven genera and a non-native AM fungus (Rhizophagus irregularis DAOM197198) were used to inoculate the tropical potential crop tree (PCT) species Handroanthus chrysanthus (synonym Tabebuia chrysantha), Cedrela montana, and Heliocarpus americanus. Twenty-four plant-fungus combinations were studied in five different fertilization and AMF inoculation treatments. Numerous plant growth parameters and mycorrhizal root colonization were assessed. The inoculation with any of the tested AM fungi improved seedling growth significantly and in most cases reduced plant mortality. Plants produced up to threefold higher biomass, when compared to the standard nursery practice. AM fungal inoculation alone or in combination with low fertilization both outperformed full fertilization in terms of plant growth promotion. Interestingly, root colonization levels for individual fungi strongly depended on the host tree species, but surprisingly the colonization strength did not correlate with plant growth promotion. The combination of AM fungal inoculation with a low dosage of slow release fertilizer improved PCT seedling performance strongest, but also AM fungal treatments without any fertilization were highly efficient. The AM fungi tested are promising candidates to improve management practices in tropical tree seedling production. PMID:26260945

  1. Energy and women's economic empowerment: Rethinking the benefits of improved cookstove use in rural India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seaward, James Nicholas

    International development organizations have recently ramped up efforts to promote the use of improved cookstoves (ICS) in developing countries, aiming to reduce the harmful environmental and public health impacts of the burning of biomass for cooking and heating. I hypothesize that ICS use also has additional benefits---economic and social benefits---that can contribute to women's economic empowerment in the developing world. To explore the relationship between ICS use and women's economic empowerment, I use Ordinary Least Squares and Logit models based on data from the India Human Development Survey (IHDS) to analyze differences between women living in households that use ICS and those living in homes that use traditional cookstoves. My regression results reveal that ICS use has a statistically significant and negative effect on the amount of time women and girls spend on fuel collection and a statistically significant and positive effect on the likelihood of women's participation in side businesses, but does not have a statistically significant effect on the likelihood of lost productivity. My analysis shows promise that in addition to health and environmental benefits, fuel-efficient cooking technologies can also have social and economic impacts that are especially beneficial to women. It is my hope that the analysis provided in this paper will be used to further the dialogue about the importance of women's access to modern energy services in the fight to improve women's living standards in the developing world.

  2. Genetic diversity for grain nutrients in wild emmer wheat: potential for wheat improvement

    PubMed Central

    Chatzav, Merav; Peleg, Zvi; Ozturk, Levent; Yazici, Atilla; Fahima, Tzion; Cakmak, Ismail; Saranga, Yehoshua

    2010-01-01

    Background and Aims Micronutrient malnutrition, particularly zinc and iron deficiency, afflicts over three billion people worldwide due to low dietary intake. In the current study, wild emmer wheat (Triticum turgidum ssp. dicoccoides), the progenitor of domesticated wheat, was tested for (1) genetic diversity in grain nutrient concentrations, (2) associations among grain nutrients and their relationships with plant productivity, and (3) the association of grain nutrients with the eco-geographical origin of wild emmer accessions. Methods A total of 154 genotypes, including wild emmer accessions from across the Near Eastern Fertile Crescent and diverse wheat cultivars, were characterized in this 2-year field study for grain protein, micronutrient (zinc, iron, copper and manganese) and macronutrient (calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and sulphur) concentrations. Key Results Wide genetic diversity was found among the wild emmer accessions for all grain nutrients. The concentrations of grain zinc, iron and protein in wild accessions were about two-fold greater than in the domesticated genotypes. Concentrations of these compounds were positively correlated with one another, with no clear association with plant productivity, suggesting that all three nutrients can be improved concurrently with no yield penalty. A subset of 12 populations revealed significant genetic variation between and within populations for all minerals. Association between soil characteristics at the site of collection and grain nutrient concentrations showed negative associations between soil clay content and grain protein and between soil-extractable zinc and grain zinc, the latter suggesting that the greatest potential for grain nutrient minerals lies in populations from micronutrient-deficient soils. Conclusions Wild emmer wheat germplasm offers unique opportunities to exploit favourable alleles for grain nutrient properties that were excluded from the domesticated wheat gene pool. PMID

  3. The economic and environmental value of genetic improvements in fattening pigs: An integrated dynamic model approach.

    PubMed

    Niemi, J K; Sevón-Aimonen, M-L; Stygar, A H; Partanen, K

    2015-08-01

    The selection of animals for improved performance affects the profitability of pig fattening and has environmental consequences. The goal of this paper was to examine how changes in genetic and market parameters impact the biophysical (feeding patterns, timing of slaughter, nitrogen excretion) and economic (return per pig space unit) results describing pig fattening in a Finnish farm. The analysis can be viewed as focusing on terminal line breeding goals. An integrated model using recursive stochastic dynamic programming and a biological pig growth model was used to estimate biophysical results and economic values. Combining these models allowed us to provide more accurate estimates for the value of genetic improvement and, thus, provide better feedback to animal breeding programs than the traditional approach, which is based on fixed management patterns. Besides the benchmark scenario, the results were simulated for 5 other scenarios. In each scenario, genotype was improved regarding daily growth potential, carcass lean meat content, or the parameters of the Gompertz growth curve (maturing rate [], adult weight of protein [α], and adult weight of lipid mass []). The change in each parameter was equal to approximately 1 SD genetic improvement (ceteris paribus). Increasing , , daily growth potential, or carcass lean meat content increased the return on pig space unit by €12.60, €7.60, €4.10, or €2.90 per year, respectively, whereas an increase in decreased the return by €3.10. The genetic improvement in and resulted in the highest decrease in nitrogen excretion calculated in total or per kilogram of carcass gain but only under the optimal feeding pattern. Simulated changes in the Gompertz growth function parameters imply greater changes in ADG and lean meat content than changes in scenarios focusing on improving ADG and lean meat content directly. The economic value of genetic improvements as well as the quantity of nitrogen excreted during the fattening

  4. An administrative concern: Science teachers' instructional efficacy beliefs regarding racially, culturally, economically, and linguistically diverse student populations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tuck Bonner, Natalie Christine

    A teacher's sense of {instructional} efficacy has been considered a critical variable in student academic performance. Researchers Tschannen-Moran and Hoy Woolfolk (2001, p.783) defined teachers' {instructional} efficacy as a teacher's judgment of his or her capabilities to bring about desired outcomes of student engagement and learning, even among those students who may be difficult or unmotivated. There has been a substantial amount of research which reveals a strong correlation among teacher efficacy, teaching performance, and student achievement (Goddard & Goddard, et.al., 2000; Hackett; Hackett, 1995; Pajares, 1997 as cited in Villereal, 2005). This research study explored the content area of science and teacher's personal perception of their competency level in teaching science to all learners regardless of socio-economic, ethnicity/race or gender for grade levels Pre-K to 12. Lewthwaite states that a science teacher's personal teacher attributes or intrinsic factors such as science teaching self-efficacy, professional science knowledge, science teaching, instructional methodologies, interest in science, and motivation to teach science are critical dimensions and noted barriers in the delivery of science programs on elementary level campuses (Lewthwaite, Stableford & Fisher, 2001). This study focused on teacher instructional efficacy issues which may affect diverse learners' classroom and state-mandated assessment academic performance outcomes. A SPSS analysis of data was obtained from the following teacher survey instruments: The Bandura Teacher Efficacy Scale, the SEBEST, and the SETAKIST. Research findings revealed that a majority of science teachers surveyed believe they can effectively teach learners of diverse backgrounds, but responded with a sense of lower efficaciousness in teaching English Language Learners. There was also a statistically significant difference found between a state science organization and a national science organization

  5. Improvement of phase diversity algorithm for non-common path calibration in extreme AO context

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robert, Clélia; Fusco, Thierry; Sauvage, Jean-François; Mugnier, Laurent

    2008-07-01

    Exoplanet direct imaging with a ground-based telescope needs a very high performance adaptive optics (AO) system, so-called eXtreme AO (XAO), a coronagraph device, and a smart imaging process. One limitation of AO system in operation remains the Non Common Path Aberrations (NCPA). To achieve the ultimate XAO performance, these aberrations have to be measured with a dedicated wavefront sensor placed in the imaging camera focal plane, and then pre-compensated using the AO closed loop process. In any events, the pre-compensation should minimize the aberrations at the coronagraph focal plane mask. An efficient way for the NCPA measurement is the phase diversity technique. A pixel-wise approach is well-suited to estimate NCPA on large pupils and subsequent projection on the deformable mirror with Cartesian geometry. However it calls for a careful regularization for optimal results. The weight of the regularization is written in close-form for un-supervised tuning. The accuracy of NCPA pre-compensation is below 8 nm for a wide range of conditions. Point-by-point phase estimation improves the accuracy of the Phase Diversity method. The algorithm is validated in simulation and experimentally. It will be implemented in SAXO, the XAO system of the second generation VLT instrument: SPHERE.

  6. Community Partners in Care: Leveraging Community Diversity to Improve Depression Care for Underserved Populations

    PubMed Central

    Khodyakov, Dmitry; Mendel, Peter; Dixon, Elizabeth; Jones, Andrea; Masongsong, Zoe; Wells, Kenneth

    2011-01-01

    Research suggests that the quality and outcomes of depression treatment for adults can be substantially improved through “collaborative care” programs. However, there is a lack of resources required to implement such programs in vulnerable communities. Our paper examines the planning phase of the Community Partners in Care (CPIC) initiative, which addresses this problem through a unique approach in which academic institutions partner directly with a wide range of community-based and service organizations in all phases of the project fielded in two underserved communities in Los Angeles. CPIC offers a unique opportunity to understand how diverse organizations can work together to address community depression care needs and to analyze the potential strengths and tradeoffs of coordinating among such varied entities. This article focuses on intra-group dynamics that surround the process of participatory research and reports results of the first wave of process evaluation of the planning phase of the CPIC initiative. Our analysis explores two main themes: Community-Partnered Participatory Research and benefits and challenges of collaboration in diverse groups. PMID:21528111

  7. A review of approaches to improve participation of culturally and linguistically diverse populations in clinical trials.

    PubMed

    Hughson, Jo-Anne; Woodward-Kron, Robyn; Parker, Anna; Hajek, John; Bresin, Agnese; Knoch, Ute; Phan, Tuong; Story, David

    2016-01-01

    The under-representation of culturally and linguistically diverse participants in clinical trials is an ongoing concern for medical researchers and the community. The aim of this review is to examine the complex issue of recruiting culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) older people to medical research and to examine responses to these issues. The review focuses on (1) trends in the existing literature on barriers to and strategies for recruiting CALD and older people to clinical research, (2) issues with informed consent for CALD populations, and (3) the efficacy of innovative approaches, including approaches incorporating multimedia in research and consent processes. The literature indicates that predominant barriers to greater involvement of CALD patients in clinical trials are communication, including literacy and health literacy considerations; English language competence; and cultural factors in the research setting such as mistrust of consent processes, as well as considerable practical and logistical barriers, including mobility considerations. Some evidence exists that incorporating multimedia resources into the informed consent process can improve patient understanding and is preferred by patients, yet these findings are inconclusive. A multi-methodological approach, including the use of culturally and linguistically sensitive multimedia tools, may help address the issue of low inclusion of CALD groups in clinical research. Researcher education needs to be taken into account to address preconceptions about CALD resistance to research participation and to raise awareness of cultural concerns in regard to research participation. PMID:27229153

  8. Current State of Economic Returns from Education in China's Ethnic Regions and Explorations into Ways of Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lijun, Zhang; Fei, Wang

    2010-01-01

    Economic development and social progress in China's ethnic minority regions depend on improvements in population attributes brought about by education. Developing education in China's ethnic regions is a project of fundamental significance for realizing sustainable economic and social development in the ethnic regions. Improving the economic…

  9. Fluid Diversion and Sweep Improvement with Chemical Gels in Oil Recovery Processes

    SciTech Connect

    Seright, R.S.; Martin, F.D.

    1991-11-01

    This report describes progress made during the second year of the three-year project, Fluid diversion and Sweep Improvement with Chemical Gels in Oil Recovery Processes.'' The objectives of this project are to identify the mechanisms by which gel treatments divert fluids in reservoirs and to establish where and how gel treatments are best applied. Several different types of gelants are being examined. This research is directed at gel applications in water injection wells, in production wells, and in high-pressure gasfloods. The work examines how the flow properties of gels and gelling agents are influenced by permeability, lithology, and wettability. Other goals include determining the proper placement of gelants, the stability of in-place gels, and the types of gels required for the various oil recovery processes and for different scales of reservoir heterogeneity. 93 refs., 39 figs., 43 tabs.

  10. Improving Diversity, Inclusion, and Representation in Radiology and Radiation Oncology Part 1: Why These Matter

    PubMed Central

    Lightfoote, Johnson B.; Fielding, Julia R.; Deville, Curtiland; Gunderman, Richard B.; Morgan, Gail N.; Pandharipande, Pari V.; Duerinckx, Andre J.; Wynn, Raymond B.; Macura, Katarzyna J.

    2015-01-01

    The ACR Commission for Women and General Diversity is committed to identifying barriers to a diverse physician workforce in radiology and radiation oncology (RRO), and to offering policy recommendations to overcome these barriers. In Part 1 of a 2-part position article from the commission, diversity as a concept and its dimensions of personality, character, ethnicity, biology, biography, and organization are introduced. Terms commonly used to describe diverse individuals and groups are reviewed. The history of diversity and inclusion in US society and health care are addressed. The post–Civil Rights Era evolution of diversity in medicine is delineated: Diversity 1.0, with basic awareness, nondiscrimination, and recruitment; Diversity 2.0, with appreciation of the value of diversity but inclusion as peripheral or in opposition to other goals; and Diversity 3.0, which integrates diversity and inclusion into core missions of organizations and their leadership, and leverages its potential for innovation and contribution. The current states of diversity and inclusion in RRO are reviewed in regard to gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and gender identity. The lack of representation and unchanged demographics in these fields relative to other medical specialties are explored. The business case for diversity is discussed, with examples of successful models and potential application to the health care industry in general and to RRO. The moral, ethical, and public health imperative for diversity is also highlighted. PMID:24993534

  11. Improving diversity, inclusion, and representation in radiology and radiation oncology part 1: why these matter.

    PubMed

    Lightfoote, Johnson B; Fielding, Julia R; Deville, Curtiland; Gunderman, Richard B; Morgan, Gail N; Pandharipande, Pari V; Duerinckx, Andre J; Wynn, Raymond B; Macura, Katarzyna J

    2014-07-01

    The ACR Commission for Women and General Diversity is committed to identifying barriers to a diverse physician workforce in radiology and radiation oncology (RRO), and to offering policy recommendations to overcome these barriers. In Part 1 of a 2-part position article from the commission, diversity as a concept and its dimensions of personality, character, ethnicity, biology, biography, and organization are introduced. Terms commonly used to describe diverse individuals and groups are reviewed. The history of diversity and inclusion in US society and health care are addressed. The post-Civil Rights Era evolution of diversity in medicine is delineated: Diversity 1.0, with basic awareness, nondiscrimination, and recruitment; Diversity 2.0, with appreciation of the value of diversity but inclusion as peripheral or in opposition to other goals; and Diversity 3.0, which integrates diversity and inclusion into core missions of organizations and their leadership, and leverages its potential for innovation and contribution. The current states of diversity and inclusion in RRO are reviewed in regard to gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and gender identity. The lack of representation and unchanged demographics in these fields relative to other medical specialties are explored. The business case for diversity is discussed, with examples of successful models and potential application to the health care industry in general and to RRO. The moral, ethical, and public health imperative for diversity is also highlighted. PMID:24993534

  12. Health and Economic Benefits of Improved Injury Prevention and Trauma Care Worldwide

    PubMed Central

    Kotagal, Meera; Agarwal-Harding, Kiran J.; Mock, Charles; Quansah, Robert; Arreola-Risa, Carlos; Meara, John G.

    2014-01-01

    Objectives Injury is a significant source of morbidity and mortality worldwide, and often disproportionately affects younger, more productive members of society. While many have made the case for improved injury prevention and trauma care, health system development in low- and middle-income countries is often limited by resources. This study aims to determine the economic benefit of improved injury prevention and trauma care in low- and middle-income countries. Methods This study uses existing data on injury mortality worldwide from the 2010 Global Burden of Disease Study to estimate the number of lives that could be saved if injury mortality rates in low- and middle-income countries could be reduced to rates in high-income countries. Using economic modeling – through the human capital approach and the value of a statistical life approach – the study then demonstrates the associated economic benefit of these lives saved. Results 88 percent of injury-related deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries. If injury mortality rates in low- and middle-income countries were reduced to rates in high-income countries, 2,117,500 lives could be saved per year. This would result in between 49 million and 52 million disability adjusted life years averted per year, with discounting and age weighting. Using the human capital approach, the associated economic benefit of reducing mortality rates ranges from $245 to $261 billion with discounting and age weighting. Using the value of a statistical life approach, the benefit is between 758 and 786 billion dollars per year. Conclusions Reducing injury mortality in low- and middle-income countries could save over 2 million lives per year and provide significant economic benefit globally. Further investments in trauma care and injury prevention are needed. PMID:24626472

  13. Climate change and environmental water reallocation in the Murray-Darling Basin: Impacts on flows, diversions and economic returns to irrigation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kirby, J. M.; Connor, J.; Ahmad, M. D.; Gao, L.; Mainuddin, M.

    2014-10-01

    Increasing river environment degradation from historical growth in withdrawal is leading to reallocation of water from irrigation in many basins. We examine how potential reduction in irrigation allocations under a newly enacted environmental water plan for the Murray Darling Basin in Australia, in combination with projected climate change, impact on flows, diversions and the economic returns to irrigation. We use an integrated hydrology-economics model capable of simulating the year-to-year variability of flows, diversions, and economic returns to model three levels of reallocation (2400, 2750 and 3200 GL) under the historical climate, and under a dry, a median and a wet climate change projection. Previous assessments of the reallocation plan do not address climate change impacts, nor the impact of year to year variability in flows on economic returns. The broad results of this analysis are that estimated river flows and diversions are more sensitive to the range of climate change projections than to the range of diversion reallocation scenarios considered. The projected median climate change more or less removes from flows the gains to the environment resulting from reallocation. Reallocations only in combination with no climate change, or climate change at the wetter end of the range of projections, will lead to flows greater than those experienced under the water management regime prior to reallocation. The reduction in economic returns to irrigation is less than the reduction in water available for irrigation: a 25% reduction in the annual average water availability is estimated to reduce the annual average gross value of irrigated agricultural production by about 10%. This is consistent with expectation of economic theory (since more marginal activities are reduced first) and also with observations of reduced water availability and returns in the recent drought in the Murray-Darling Basin. Irrigation returns vary less across the range of climate change

  14. Conditional economic incentives to improve HIV treatment adherence: literature review and theoretical considerations.

    PubMed

    Galárraga, Omar; Genberg, Becky L; Martin, Rosemarie A; Barton Laws, M; Wilson, Ira B

    2013-09-01

    We present selected theoretical issues regarding conditional economic incentives (CEI) for HIV treatment adherence. High HIV treatment adherence is essential not only to improve individual health for persons living with HIV, but also to reduce transmission. The incentives literature spans several decades and various disciplines, thus we selectively point out useful concepts from economics, psychology and HIV clinical practice to elucidate the complex interaction between socio-economic issues, psychological perspectives and optimal treatment adherence. Appropriately-implemented CEI can help patients improve their adherence to HIV treatment in the short-term, while the incentives are in place. However, more research is needed to uncover mechanisms that can increase habit formation or maintenance effects in the longer-term. We suggest some potentially fruitful avenues for future research in this area, including the use of concepts from self-determination theory. This general framework may have implications for related research among disadvantaged communities with high rates of HIV/AIDS infection. PMID:23370833

  15. Conditional economic incentives to improve HIV treatment adherence: literature review and theoretical considerations

    PubMed Central

    Galárraga, Omar; Genberg, Becky L.; Martin, Rosemarie A.; Laws, M. Barton; Wilson, Ira B.

    2013-01-01

    We present selected theoretical issues regarding conditional economic incentives (CEI) for HIV treatment adherence. High HIV treatment adherence is essential not only to improve individual health for persons living with HIV, but also to reduce transmission. The incentives literature spans several decades and various disciplines, thus we selectively point out useful concepts from economics, psychology and HIV clinical practice to elucidate the complex interaction between socio-economic issues, psychological perspectives and optimal treatment adherence. Appropriately-implemented CEI can help patients improve their adherence to HIV treatment in the short-term, while the incentives are in place. However, more research is needed to uncover mechanisms that can increase habit formation or maintenance effects in the longer-term. We suggest some potentially fruitful avenues for future research in this area, including the use of concepts from self-determination theory. This general framework may have implications for related research among disadvantaged communities with high rates of HIV/AIDS infection. PMID:23370833

  16. Improving biomass project economic evaluations with the use of fuzzy modeling

    SciTech Connect

    Warnken, P.G.

    1994-12-31

    This paper discusses the use of fuzzy modeling for improving economic feasibility evaluations of biomass power generation projects. Fuzzy logic, in concert with traditional financial and economic concepts, provides a powerful tool for incorporating qualitative and uncertain information into the evaluation framework. The paper first describes the basic elements of fuzzy logic - fuzzy set theory and verbal rules. Through the modeling process, these elements form a language-based representation of complex business problems. An example of a simple fuzzy investment decision expert system is then provided to demonstrate the mechanics of fuzzy model development. The example shows how multiple expert opinions and confidence in profitability measures can be modeled using fuzzy concepts. Finally, generic applications of fuzzy modeling to the investment decisionmaking process are discussed.

  17. AST: An Automated Sequence-Sampling Method for Improving the Taxonomic Diversity of Gene Phylogenetic Trees

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Chan; Mao, Fenglou; Yin, Yanbin; Huang, Jinling; Gogarten, Johann Peter; Xu, Ying

    2014-01-01

    A challenge in phylogenetic inference of gene trees is how to properly sample a large pool of homologous sequences to derive a good representative subset of sequences. Such a need arises in various applications, e.g. when (1) accuracy-oriented phylogenetic reconstruction methods may not be able to deal with a large pool of sequences due to their high demand in computing resources; (2) applications analyzing a collection of gene trees may prefer to use trees with fewer operational taxonomic units (OTUs), for instance for the detection of horizontal gene transfer events by identifying phylogenetic conflicts; and (3) the pool of available sequences is biased towards extensively studied species. In the past, the creation of subsamples often relied on manual selection. Here we present an Automated sequence-Sampling method for improving the Taxonomic diversity of gene phylogenetic trees, AST, to obtain representative sequences that maximize the taxonomic diversity of the sampled sequences. To demonstrate the effectiveness of AST, we have tested it to solve four problems, namely, inference of the evolutionary histories of the small ribosomal subunit protein S5 of E. coli, 16 S ribosomal RNAs and glycosyl-transferase gene family 8, and a study of ancient horizontal gene transfers from bacteria to plants. Our results show that the resolution of our computational results is almost as good as that of manual inference by domain experts, hence making the tool generally useful to phylogenetic studies by non-phylogeny specialists. The program is available at http://csbl.bmb.uga.edu/~zhouchan/AST.php. PMID:24892935

  18. Improved techniques for fluid diversion in oil recovery. First annual report

    SciTech Connect

    Seright, R.S.

    1993-12-01

    This three-year project has two general objectives. The first objective is to compare the effectiveness of gels in fluid diversion with those of other types of processes. Several different types of fluid-diversion processes are being compared, including those using gels, foams, emulsions, and particulates. The ultimate goals of these comparisons are to (1) establish which of these processes are most effective in a given application, and (2) determine whether aspects of one process can be combined with those of other processes to improve performance. Analyses and experiments are being performed to verify which materials are the most effective in entering and blocking high-permeability zones. Another objective of the project is to identify the mechanisms by which materials (particularly gels) selectively reduce permeability to water more than to oil. This report describes work performed during the first year of the project. Following the introduction, Chapters 2 through 5 present several surveys concerning field applications of gel treatments. Based on the results of the surveys, guidelines are proposed in Chapter 5 for the selection of candidates for gel treatments (both injection wells and production wells). Chapters 6, 7, 8, and 11 discuss theoretical work that was performed during the project. Chapter 6 examines whether Hall plots indicated selectivity during gelant placement. Chapter 7 discusses several important theoretical aspects of gel treatments in production wells with water-coning problems. Chapter 8 considers exploitation of density differences during gelant placement. Chapter 11 presents a preliminary consideration of the use of precipitates as blocking agents. Chapters 9 and 10 detail the experimental work for the project. Chapter 9 describes an experimental investigation of gelant placement in fractured systems. Chapter 10 describes experiments that probe the mechanisms for disproportionate permeability reduction by gels.

  19. Are Economic Development and Education Improvement Associated with Participation in Transnational Terrorism?

    PubMed

    Elbakidze, L; Jin, Y H

    2015-08-01

    Using transnational terrorism data from 1980 to 2000, this study empirically examines the relationships between frequency of participation in transnational terrorism acts and economic development and education improvement. We find an inverse U-shaped association between the frequency of various nationals acting as perpetrators in transnational terrorism acts and per capita income in their respective home countries. As per capita incomes increase from relatively low levels, frequencies of participation in transnational terrorism increase. However, at sufficiently higher levels of per capita income, further increase in per capita income is negatively associated with the rate of participation in transnational terrorism. Education improvement from elementary to secondary is positively correlated with frequency of participation in transnational terrorism events, whereas further improvement from secondary to tertiary level is negatively correlated with participation in transnational terrorism. We also find that citizens of countries with greater openness to international trade, lower degree of income inequality, greater economic freedom, larger proportion of population with tertiary education, and less religious prevalence participate in transnational terrorism events less frequently. PMID:25868529

  20. Improving protocol design feasibility to drive drug development economics and performance.

    PubMed

    Getz, Kenneth

    2014-05-01

    Protocol design complexity has increased substantially during the past decade and this in turn has adversely impacted drug development economics and performance. This article reviews the results of two major Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development studies quantifying the direct cost of conducting less essential and unnecessary protocol procedures and of implementing amendments to protocol designs. Indirect costs including personnel time, work load and cycle time delays associated with complex protocol designs are also discussed. The author concludes with an overview of steps that research sponsors are taking to improve protocol design feasibility. PMID:24823665

  1. Improving Protocol Design Feasibility to Drive Drug Development Economics and Performance

    PubMed Central

    Getz, Kenneth

    2014-01-01

    Protocol design complexity has increased substantially during the past decade and this in turn has adversely impacted drug development economics and performance. This article reviews the results of two major Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development studies quantifying the direct cost of conducting less essential and unnecessary protocol procedures and of implementing amendments to protocol designs. Indirect costs including personnel time, work load and cycle time delays associated with complex protocol designs are also discussed. The author concludes with an overview of steps that research sponsors are taking to improve protocol design feasibility. PMID:24823665

  2. Improving Diversity and Educational Outreach at the K-14 level: A Call to Action for the AGU Membership

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hall, F. R.; Johnson, R.

    2002-12-01

    In 2002, the Subcommittee on Diversity (SD) of the Committee on Education and Human Resources (CEHR) submitted a Diversity Plan to the leadership of AGU. This plan outlines specific programs and goals that AGU can follow to help improve diversity in the Earth and space sciences. Diversity issues are key components to improve the human resource potential in the geosciences. As women are the majority population, and racial and ethnic minorities are experiencing the largest growing segment of the United States population, it is within our best interest to actively recruit and retain these populations into our dynamic fields of study. The SD recognizes that the strength of the AGU lies within its membership. Composed of some of the brightest and talented scientists in the world, the AGU members are leaders and pioneers in our understanding of the Earth System. Yet, many, if not most, people within underrepresented communities are not aware of the relevance that the Earth and space sciences play in their lives. In this discussion, we will discuss the importance of the AGU membership in the Diversity Plan. In addition, we will outline specific things that AGU members can do to improve access of US students and citizenry to Earth and space science education. These steps require that AGU members become active advocates in the public, especially at the K-14 level.

  3. An improved method to set significance thresholds for β diversity testing in microbial community comparisons.

    PubMed

    Gülay, Arda; Smets, Barth F

    2015-09-01

    Exploring the variation in microbial community diversity between locations (β diversity) is a central topic in microbial ecology. Currently, there is no consensus on how to set the significance threshold for β diversity. Here, we describe and quantify the technical components of β diversity, including those associated with the process of subsampling. These components exist for any proposed β diversity measurement procedure. Further, we introduce a strategy to set significance thresholds for β diversity of any group of microbial samples using rarefaction, invoking the notion of a meta-community. The proposed technique was applied to several in silico generated operational taxonomic unit (OTU) libraries and experimental 16S rRNA pyrosequencing libraries. The latter represented microbial communities from different biological rapid sand filters at a full-scale waterworks. We observe that β diversity, after subsampling, is inflated by intra-sample differences; this inflation is avoided in the proposed method. In addition, microbial community evenness (Gini > 0.08) strongly affects all β diversity estimations due to bias associated with rarefaction. Where published methods to test β significance often fail, the proposed meta-community-based estimator is more successful at rejecting insignificant β diversity values. Applying our approach, we reveal the heterogeneous microbial structure of biological rapid sand filters both within and across filters. PMID:25534614

  4. Protein-fold recognition using an improved single-source K diverse shortest paths algorithm.

    PubMed

    Lhota, John; Xie, Lei

    2016-04-01

    Protein structure prediction, when construed as a fold recognition problem, is one of the most important applications of similarity search in bioinformatics. A new protein-fold recognition method is reported which combines a single-source K diverse shortest path (SSKDSP) algorithm with Enrichment of Network Topological Similarity (ENTS) algorithm to search a graphic feature space generated using sequence similarity and structural similarity metrics. A modified, more efficient SSKDSP algorithm is developed to improve the performance of graph searching. The new implementation of the SSKDSP algorithm empirically requires 82% less memory and 61% less time than the current implementation, allowing for the analysis of larger, denser graphs. Furthermore, the statistical significance of fold ranking generated from SSKDSP is assessed using ENTS. The reported ENTS-SSKDSP algorithm outperforms original ENTS that uses random walk with restart for the graph search as well as other state-of-the-art protein structure prediction algorithms HHSearch and Sparks-X, as evaluated by a benchmark of 600 query proteins. The reported methods may easily be extended to other similarity search problems in bioinformatics and chemoinformatics. The SSKDSP software is available at http://compsci.hunter.cuny.edu/~leixie/sskdsp.html. Proteins 2016; 84:467-472. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26800480

  5. Comparative analysis of maize (Zea mays) crop performance: natural variation, incremental improvements and economic impacts.

    PubMed

    Leibman, Mark; Shryock, Jereme J; Clements, Michael J; Hall, Michael A; Loida, Paul J; McClerren, Amanda L; McKiness, Zoe P; Phillips, Jonathan R; Rice, Elena A; Stark, Steven B

    2014-09-01

    Grain yield from maize hybrids continues to improve through advances in breeding and biotechnology. Despite genetic improvements to hybrid maize, grain yield from distinct maize hybrids is expected to vary across growing locations due to numerous environmental factors. In this study, we examine across-location variation in grain yield among maize hybrids in three case studies. The three case studies examine hybrid improvement through breeding, introduction of an insect protection trait or introduction of a transcription factor trait associated with increased yield. In all cases, grain yield from each hybrid population had a Gaussian distribution. Across-location distributions of grain yield from each hybrid partially overlapped. The hybrid with a higher mean grain yield typically outperformed its comparator at most, but not all, of the growing locations (a 'win rate'). These results suggest that a broad set of environmental factors similarly impacts grain yields from both conventional- and biotechnology-derived maize hybrids and that grain yields among two or more hybrids should be compared with consideration given to both mean yield performance and the frequency of locations at which each hybrid 'wins' against its comparators. From an economic standpoint, growers recognize the value of genetically improved maize hybrids that outperform comparators in the majority of locations. Grower adoption of improved maize hybrids drives increases in average U.S. maize grain yields and contributes significant value to the economy. PMID:24851925

  6. Improving utilization of and retention in PMTCT services: Can behavioral economics help?

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The most recent strategic call to action of the World Health Organization sets the elimination of pediatric HIV as a goal. While recent efforts have focused on building infrastructure and ensuring access to high-quality treatment, we must now turn our focus to the behavior change needed to eliminate vertical transmission. We make the case for the application of concepts from the field of behavioral economics to prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) programs to more effectively address demand-side issues of uptake and retention. Discussion We introduce five concepts from the field of behavioral economics and discuss their application to PMTCT programs: 1) Mentor mothers who come from similar circumstances as PMTCT patients can serve as social references who provide temporally salient modeling of utilization of services and adherence to treatment. 2) Economic incentives, like cell phone minutes or food vouchers, that reward adherence to PMTCT protocols leverage present bias, the observation that people are generally biased toward immediate versus future awards. 3) Default bias, our preference for the default option, is already being used in many countries in the form of opt-out testing, and could be expanded to all PMTCT programs. 4) We are hardwired to avoid loss more than to pursue an equivalent gain. PMTCT programs can take advantage of loss aversion through the use of commitment contracts that incentivize mothers to return to the clinic in order to avoid both reputational and financial loss. Summary Eliminating vertical transmission of HIV is an ambitious goal. To close the remaining gap, innovations are needed to address demand for PMTCT services. Behavioral economics offers a set of tools that can be engineered into PMTCT programs to increase uptake and improve retention with minimal investment. PMID:24112440

  7. Economic Insights into Providing Access to Improved Groundwater Sources in Remote, Low-Resource Areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abramson, A.; Lazarovitch, N.; Adar, E.

    2013-12-01

    Groundwater is often the most or only feasible drinking water source in remote, low-resource areas. Yet the economics of its development have not been systematically outlined. We applied CBARWI (Cost-Benefit Analysis for Remote Water Improvements), a recently developed Decision Support System, to investigate the economic, physical and management factors related to the costs and benefits of non-networked groundwater supply in remote areas. Synthetic profiles of community water services (n = 17,962), defined across 14 parameters' values and ranges relevant to remote areas, were imputed into the decision framework, and the parameter effects on economic outcomes were investigated through regression analysis (Table 1). Several approaches were included for financing the improvements, after Abramson et al, 2011: willingness-to -pay (WTP), -borrow (WTB) and -work (WTW) in community irrigation (';water-for-work'). We found that low-cost groundwater development approaches are almost 7 times more cost-effective than conventional boreholes fitted with handpumps. The costs of electric, submersible borehole pumps are comparable only when providing expanded water supplies, and off-grid communities pay significantly more for such expansions. In our model, new source construction is less cost-effective than improvement of existing wells, but necessary for expanding access to isolated households. The financing approach significantly impacts the feasibility of demand-driven cost recovery; in our investigation, benefit exceeds cost in 16, 32 and 48% of water service configurations financed by WTP, WTB and WTW, respectively. Regressions of total cost (R2 = 0.723) and net benefit under WTW (R2 = 0.829) along with analysis of output distributions indicate that parameters determining the profitability of irrigation are different from those determining costs and other measures of net benefit. These findings suggest that the cost-benefit outcomes associated with groundwater-based water

  8. Economic Barriers To Improvement Of Human Health Associated With Wastewater Irrigation In The Mezquital Valley, Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamagata, H.; Sedlak, D. L.

    2008-12-01

    To improve public health, the United Nations' Johannesburg Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002 set Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of reducing by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and sanitation by 2015. The Mezquital Valley of Mexico is one of the places suffering serious human health problems such as ascariasis due to agricultural irrigation with untreated wastewater discharged by Mexico City. Despite the existence of serious health problems, wastewater treatment has not been installed due to economic barriers: the agricultural benefit of nutrients in the wastewater and cost of building and operating wastewater treatment plants. To develop solutions to this problem, the human health damage and the benefits of nutrient input were evaluated. The health impact caused by untreated wastewater reuse in the Mezquital Valley was estimated to be about 14 DALYs (disability-adjusted life year) per 100,000, which was 2.8 times higher than the DALYs lost by ascariasis in Mexico in 2002 estimated by WHO. The economic damage of the health impact was evaluated at 77,000 /year using willingness-to-pay (WTP) for reducing DALYs. The value of nutrient inputs (nitrogen and phosphorus) due to reuse of untreated wastewater was evaluated at 33 million /year using fertilizer prices. Therefore, attempts to decrease public health problems associated with reuse in the Mezquital Valley need to address losses of economic benefits associated with nutrients in sewage. In 2007, the Mexican Government announced plans to install wastewater treatment plants in this area. Although nutrient inputs in irrigated water is expected to decrease by 33% due to the wastewater treatment, farmers in the Mezquital Valley would still benefit from improved public health in the community and increases of crop values due to the ability to grow raw-eaten vegetables.

  9. IMPROVED TUBULARS FOR BETTER ECONOMICS IN DEEP GAS WELL DRILLING USING MICROWAVE TECHNOLOGY

    SciTech Connect

    Dinesh Agrawal

    2004-01-01

    The main objective of the research program has been to improve the rate-of-penetration in deep hostile environments by improving the life cycle and performance of coiled-tubing, an important component of a deep well drilling system for oil and gas exploration, by utilizing the latest developments in the microwave materials technology. This is being accomplished by developing an efficient and economically viable continuous microwave process to sinter continuously formed/extruded steel powder for the manufacture of seamless coiled tubing and other tubular products. The entire program has been spread over three phases with the following goals: Phase I--Demonstration of the feasibility concept of continuous microwave sintering process for tubular steel products. Phase II--Design, building and testing of a prototype microwave system which shall be combined with a continuous extruder for steel tubular objects. Phase III--Execution of the plan for commercialization of the technology by one of the industrial partners. The criteria for the success of the program is based on the performance of coiled tubing made by the microwave process. It is expected that this product will have superior quality and performance to the standard product, and will be economically viable.

  10. An economic decision framework using modeling for improving aquifer remediation design

    SciTech Connect

    James, B.R.; Gwo, J.P.; Toran, L.E.

    1995-11-01

    Reducing cost is a critical challenge facing environmental remediation today. One of the most effective ways of reducing costs is to improve decision-making. This can range from choosing more cost- effective remediation alternatives (for example, determining whether a groundwater contamination plume should be remediated or not) to improving data collection (for example, determining when data collection should stoop). Uncertainty in site conditions presents a major challenge for effective decision-making. We present a framework for increasing the effectiveness of remedial design decision-making at groundwater contamination sites where there is uncertainty in many parameters that affect remediation design. The objective is to provide an easy-to-use economic framework for making remediation decisions. The presented framework is used to 1) select the best remedial design from a suite of possible ones, 2) estimate if additional data collection is cost-effective, and 3) determine the most important parameters to be sampled. The framework is developed by combining elements from Latin-Hypercube simulation of contaminant transport, economic risk-cost-benefit analysis, and Regional Sensitivity Analysis (RSA).

  11. SEASAT economic assessment. Volume 9: Ports and harbors case study and generalization. [economic benefits of SEASAT satellites to harbors and shipping industries through improved weather forecasting

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1975-01-01

    This case study and generalization quantify benefits made possible through improved weather forecasting resulting from the integration of SEASAT data into local weather forecasts. The major source of avoidable economic losses to shipping from inadequate weather forecasting data is shown to be dependent on local precipitation forecasting. The ports of Philadelphia and Boston were selected for study.

  12. A Bridge to the Stars: An Innovative Pipeline to Improve STEM Diversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McIntosh, Daniel H.

    2016-06-01

    Improving diversity in the STEM workforce is a top priority for both the NSF and NASA. Increasing participation from underrepresented groups in the physical sciences like astronomy remains an even more serious challenge with little progress made despite federal mandates. Focusing resources on a small number of academically high-performing individuals is not enough and reinforces the idea that STEM is exclusive. To make real progress requires (1) identifying a larger pool of inner-city secondary students who may not have been exposed to many STEM opportunities nor have the highest grades, yet, may have both the ability and desire to succeed in STEM if inspired; (2) providing these students with high impact exposure to science through an extended and engaging interaction with a professional scientist that fosters student success; and (3) establishing long-term partnerships with community teachers and administrators to facilitate a critical bridge between high school and college. My bridge pipeline provides a role model. The extended engagement is enrollment in a 1-semester, learner-centered 'Astro100' course with an award-winning professor. Using NASA Space Grant funding, 31 scholarships have been awarded over 6 semesters. All Scholars meet underrepresented/underprivileged criteria based on race, sex or income; key demographics: 2/3 AA+HA, 2/3 female. To promote student success, the program includes mentoring interns drawn from top students in previous Astro100 courses; 50% are female. The Scholars gained university credit with an 81% overall average grade, 97% with a passing grade. Longitudinal tracking of college enrollment into STEM is underway.

  13. Economic well-being and children's social adjustment: the role of family process in an ethnically diverse low-income sample.

    PubMed

    Mistry, Rashmita S; Vandewater, Elizabeth A; Huston, Aletha C; McLoyd, Vonnie C

    2002-01-01

    Using latent variable structural equation modeling, a family economic stress model that links economic well-being to child well-being in an ethnically diverse, low-income sample of 419 elementary school-age children was evaluated. The sample was 57% African American and 28% Hispanic, and most families were headed by single mothers. The results provided support for the position that family process is a critical mediator of the effects of economic hardship on children's social adjustment. Lower levels of economic well-being, and the corollary elevated perceptions of economic pressure indirectly affected parenting behavior through an adverse impact on parental psychological well-being. Distressed parents reported feeling less effective and capable in disciplinary interactions with their child and were observed to be less affectionate in parent-child interactions. In turn, less than optimal parenting predicted lower teacher ratings of children's positive social behavior and higher ratings of behavior problems. Multiple-group analyses revealed that the pathways by which economic hardship influences children's behavior appear to operate similarly for boys and girls, and for African American and Hispanic families. PMID:12038561

  14. Improved Tubulars for Better Economics in Deep Gas Well Drilling using Microwave Technology

    SciTech Connect

    Dinesh Agrawal; Paul Gigl; Mark Hunt; Mahlon Dennis

    2007-07-31

    The main objective of the entire research program has been to improve the rate-of-penetration in deep hostile environments by improving the life cycle and performance of coiled-tubing, an important component of a deep well drilling system for oil and gas exploration, by utilizing the latest developments in the microwave materials technology. Based on the results of the Phase I and insurmountable difficulties faced in the extrusion and de-waxing processes, the approach of achieving the goals of the program was slightly changed in the Phase II in which an approach of microwave sintering combined with Cold Isostatic Press (CIP) and joining (by induction or microwave) has been adopted. This process can be developed into a semicontinuous sintering process if the CIP can produce parts fast enough to match the microwave sintering rates. The main objective of the Phase II research program is to demonstrate the potential to economically manufacture microwave processed coiled tubing with improved performance for extended useful life under hostile coiled tubing drilling conditions. After the completion of the Phase II, it is concluded that scale up and sintering of a thin wall common O.D. size tubing that is widely used in the market is still to be proved and further experimentation and refinement of the sintering process is needed in Phase III. Actual manufacturing capability of microwave sintered, industrial quality, full length tubing will most likely require several million dollars of investment.

  15. Improved Tubulars for Better Economics in Deep Gas Well Drilling Using Microwave Technology

    SciTech Connect

    Dinesh Agrawal

    2006-09-30

    The main objective of the entire research program has been to improve the rate-of-penetration in deep hostile environments by improving the life cycle and performance of coiled-tubing, an important component of a deep well drilling system for oil and gas exploration, by utilizing the latest developments in the microwave materials technology. Based on the results of the Phase I and insurmountable difficulties faced in the extrusion and de-waxing processes, the approach of achieving the goals of the program was slightly changed in the Phase II in which an approach of microwave sintering combined with Cold Isostatic Press (CIP) and joining (by induction or microwave) has been adopted. This process can be developed into a semicontinuous sintering process if the CIP can produce parts fast enough to match the microwave sintering rates. The main objective of the Phase II research program is to demonstrate the potential to economically manufacture microwave processed coiled tubing with improved performance for extended useful life under hostile coiled tubing drilling conditions. After the completion of the Phase II, it is concluded that scale up and sintering of a thin wall common O.D. size tubing that is widely used in the market is still to be proved and further experimentation and refinement of the sintering process is needed in Phase III. Actual manufacturing capability of microwave sintered, industrial quality, full length tubing will most likely require several million dollars of investment.

  16. Improving efficiencies in pharmaceutical distribution channels using the economic order quantity model.

    PubMed

    Sullivan, D L; Schommer, J C

    1993-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate empirically the potential cost savings to a pharmaceutical wholesaler using the Economic Order Quantity (EOQ) model. This model allows for calculating the order quantity that minimizes both ordering and holding costs. A regional pharmaceutical wholesaler was selected for a case analysis study using the EOQ model. Eleven brand name products were randomly selected for the analysis. The average yearly cost savings using EOQ was $31.92 per product. The potential yearly cost savings based on 8500 brand name stock-keeping units was $271,320. Using EOQ can therefore assist pharmaceutical wholesalers in minimizing holding and ordering costs and improve efficiency for pharmaceutical distribution channels. PMID:8111811

  17. African goat improvement project: A feed the future initiative harnessing genetic diversity for conservation, disease resistance, and improved productivity

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Food production systems in Africa depend heavily on the use of locally adapted animals. These animals are of agricultural, cultural, and economic importance to humans. Goats, in particular, are critical to the small-scale farmer as they are easier to acquire, maintain, and act as scavengers in spar...

  18. African goat improvement project: a Feed the Future initiative harnessing genetic diversity for conservation, disease resistance, and improved productivity

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Food production systems in Africa depend heavily on the use of locally adapted animals. These animals are of agricultural, cultural, and economic importance to humans, providing milk, meat, fuel, and income. These animals are also often part of local tradition. Goats, in particular, are critical t...

  19. Autologous stem cell transplantation improves quality of life in economically challenged, Brazilian multiple myeloma patients

    PubMed Central

    Etto, Leina Y.; Morelli, Vânia Maris; Silva, Vanderleia C.; Hungria, Vania T. M.; Ciconelli, Rozana M.; Almeida, Manuella S. S.; de Oliveira, José Salvador R.; Barros, José Carlos; Durie, Brian G.; Colleoni, Gisele W. B.

    2011-01-01

    OBJECTIVES: 1) To characterize the impact of multiple myeloma on the quality of life of patients treated in two public institutions in São Paulo State, Brazil, using a generic Short Form 36 Health Survey and a questionnaire specific for oncologic patients (QLQ-C30) upon diagnosis, after the clinical treatment, and at day +100 after autologous stem cell transplantation; 2) to evaluate whether autologous stem cell transplantation can improve the quality of life of our economically challenged population aside from providing a clinical benefit and disease control. METHODS: We evaluated 49 patients with multiple myeloma (a total of 70 interviews) using the two questionnaires. The scores upon diagnosis, post-treatment/pre-autologous stem cell transplantation, and at D+100 were compared using ANOVA (a comparison of the three groups), post hoc tests (two-by-two comparisons of the three groups), and paired t-tests (the same case at two different times). RESULTS : Of the included patients, 87.8% had a family budget under US $600 (economic class C, D, or E) per month. The generic Short Form 36 Health Survey questionnaire demonstrated that physical function, role-physical, and bodily pain indices were statistically different across all three groups, favoring the D+100 autologous stem cell transplantation group (ANOVA). The questionnaire specific for oncologic patients, the QLQ-C30 questionnaire, confirmed what had been demonstrated by the Short Form 36 Health Survey with respect to physical function and bodily pain, with improvements in role functioning, fatigue, and lack of appetite and constipation, favoring the D+100 autologous stem cell transplant group (ANOVA). The post hoc tests and paired t-tests confirmed a better outcome after autologous stem cell transplantation. CONCLUSION: The questionnaire specific for cancer patients seems to be more informative than the generic Short Form 36 Health Survey questionnaire and reflects the real benefit of autologous stem cell

  20. The High Cost of Low Educational Performance: The Long-Run Economic Impact of Improving PISA Outcomes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hanushek, Eric A.; Woessmann, Ludger

    2010-01-01

    While many nations express a commitment to improved educational quality, education often slips down on the policy agenda. Because the benefits of educational investments are seen only in the future, it is possible to underestimate the value and the importance of improvements. This report uses recent economic modelling to relate cognitive…

  1. Diversity of Inner Ears in Fishes: Possible Contribution Towards Hearing Improvements and Evolutionary Considerations.

    PubMed

    Schulz-Mirbach, Tanja; Ladich, Friedrich

    2016-01-01

    Fishes have evolved the largest diversity of inner ears among vertebrates. While G. Retzius introduced us to the diversity of the gross morphology of fish ears in the late nineteenth century, it was A. N. Popper who unraveled the large variety of the fine structure during the last four decades. Modifications of the basic inner ear structure-consisting of three semicircular canals and their sensory epithelia, the cristae and three otolithic end organs (utricle, saccule, lagena) including the maculae-mainly relate to the saccule and lagena and the respective sensory epithelia, the macula sacculi and macula lagenae. Despite the profound morphological knowledge of inner ears and the morphological variability, the functional significance of this diversity is still largely unknown. The aims of this review are therefore twofold. First it provides an update of the state of the art of inner ear diversity in bony fishes. Second it summarizes and discusses hypotheses on the evolution of this diversity as well as formulates open questions and promising approaches to tackle these issues. PMID:26515322

  2. Improving Students' Understanding of the Importance of Economic Consequences in Standard Setting: A Computerized Spreadsheet Tool.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ivancevich, Daniel M.; And Others

    1996-01-01

    Points out that political and economic pressures have sometimes caused the Financial Accounting Standards Board to alter standards. Presents a spreadsheet tool that demonstrates the economic consequences of adopting accounting standards. (SK)

  3. Investments in women, economic development, and improvements in health in low-income countries.

    PubMed

    Schultz, T P

    1989-01-01

    Investments in human resources are more likely to have higher rates of return than investments in capital resources like factories, equipment, inventories, and infrastructure. There are a variety of studies that estimate the ratio of return from primary and secondary schooling to be between 5-40% annually. The primary factor affecting return is the level of development of the country in question. Developing countries are able to achieve higher rates of return than already developed countries. Determining the rates of return on public and private health investments and related research and developments is much harder because the major improvements that have occurred in the past were accompanied by other significant improvements in trade, nutrition, and income. However, there is a growing body of evidence that suggests that improvements in health were significantly responsible for the economic growth following World War II. Analysis of education expenditures indicates that the less educated a country's women are, the lower its standard of living. 90% of the intracountry variation in enrollment rates for men and women for 80 countries between 1960-1980 indicate that this is the case. Studies conducted during the 1970s and 1980s by demographers, economists, anthropologists, and sociologists clearly show a trend in education of women and child mortality. Every additional year of female education translates to a 5-10% reduction in child mortality. It is clear that women play a central role in the health determinants of family members. The education of women is a strong, although not clearly understood, force affecting child mortality, nutrition, health, and school achievement. Household resources and maternal education must always be determined before any study of health care delivery effectiveness is conducted. The same is true for any studies of the effectiveness of local family planning expenditures. PMID:2698095

  4. Improving Achievement for Linguistically and Culturally Diverse Learners through an Inquiry-Based Earth Systems Curriculum

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lambert, Julie; Ariza, Eileen N. Whelan

    2008-01-01

    This report describes an inquiry-based Earth systems curriculum and strategies for teaching diverse students, which were embedded in the curriculum. The curriculum was implemented with 5th-grade students with varied linguistic, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds in five schools in a large, southeastern U.S., urban school district. At the end…

  5. Setting an Egalitarian Social Norm in the Classroom: Improving Attitudes towards Diversity among Male Engineering Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bennett, Jill E.; Sekaquaptewa, Denise

    2014-01-01

    This study tested the effect of a message describing a social norm of egalitarian attitudes and behaviors in an engineering college on male students' attitudes and behavioral intentions surrounding diversity in engineering. Participants were first-semester university students enrolled in four sections of an introductory engineering course in…

  6. Implementing Perennial Kitchen Garden Model to Improve Diet Diversity in Melghat, India

    PubMed Central

    Birdi, Tannaz J.; Shah, Shimoni U.

    2016-01-01

    Lack of diet diversity causing micronutrient deficiency is common in developing countries and is gaining attention due to the hidden consequences of impaired physical and cognitive development. This paper describes the propagation of a sustainable perennial kitchen garden (KG) model to address household (HH) diet diversity in Melghat. Nutrient dense plants, comprising of minimum one tree (perennial) and one green leafy vegetable (GLV) were given to participating HHs along with qualitative interventions. Baseline survey was conducted in winter 2011 followed by seasonal surveys over 2 years to record changes in KG practices, dietary intake and childcare practices. Marked increase from 4% at baseline to 95% at endline was seen in the KG maintainance. Increased diversity was seen in all food categories other than cereals and pulses. Variety of GLVs consumed increased over the two winters as well as the 2 summers. However, no change in the quantity of GLV consumed was noted which was attributed to the duration of the study period being insufficient for the trees to grow and provide adequate leaves for consumption. Notably, livelihood component was not promoted and HHs were encouraged to harvest and distribute excess seeds to relatives and neighbours. The study generated huge demand from HHs within the intervention and neighbouring villages. It concludes that a well designed perennial KG along with imparting adequate knowledge can be a sustainable practice to increase diet diversity and GLV intake which would help address micronutrient deficiencies in the community. PMID:26573040

  7. Improvement on Diversity Gain with Filter Bandwidth Enlargement in Fractional Sampling OFDM Receiver

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shinkai, Toshiya; Nishimura, Haruki; Sanada, Yukitoshi

    A diversity scheme with Fractional Sampling (FS) in an OFDM receiver has been investigated recently. Through FS, it is possible to separate multipath components and obtain diversity gain in OFDM systems. Enlargement of the bandwidth of the total frequency response between transmit and receive baseband filters allows the FS scheme to achieve path diversity. However, the transmit filter has to be designed according to the spectrum mask of the wireless standards such as IEEE802.11a/g to avoid interference to the other communication systems and the frequency response of the composite channel including the transmit and receive filters has often been set to minimal bandwidth to eliminate adjacent channel signals. In order to achieve the maximum signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), the same filter is commonly used in the transmitter and the receiver. In this paper, the trade-off among the SNR deterioration, adjacent channel interference, and the diversity gain due to the enlargement of the bandwidth of the receive filter is investigated. Numerical results from computer simulations indicate that the BER performance with wider bandwidth in the receiver shows better performance than that with the minimal bandwidth for maximizing the SNR in certain conditions.

  8. Improving Vocabulary and Comprehension Skills of Secondary-Level Students from Diverse Backgrounds

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McCollin, Michelle; O'Shea, Doris J.; McQuiston, Kathleen

    2009-01-01

    Secondary-level students from culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) backgrounds who struggle with reading need strategies for aligning new information with their previous knowledge as well as for obtaining and retaining essential information from the text. Important components of all secondary literacy support must include instruction in…

  9. Integration options for high energy efficiency and improved economics in a wood-to-ethanol process

    PubMed Central

    Sassner, Per; Zacchi, Guido

    2008-01-01

    Background There is currently a steady increase in the use of wood-based fuels for heat and power production in Sweden. A major proportion of these fuels could serve as feedstock for ethanol production. In this study various options for the utilization of the solid residue formed during ethanol production from spruce, such as the production of pellets, electricity and heat for district heating, were compared in terms of overall energy efficiency and production cost. The effects of changes in the process performance, such as variations in the ethanol yield and/or the energy demand, were also studied. The process was based on SO2-catalysed steam pretreatment, which was followed by simultaneous saccharification and fermentation. A model including all the major process steps was implemented in the commercial flow-sheeting program Aspen Plus, the model input was based on data recently obtained on lab scale or in a process development unit. Results For the five base case scenarios presented in the paper the overall energy efficiency ranged from 53 to 92%, based on the lower heating values, and a minimum ethanol selling price from 3.87 to 4.73 Swedish kronor per litre (0.41–0.50 EUR/L); however, ethanol production was performed in essentially the same way in each base case scenario. (Highly realistic) improvements in the ethanol yield and reductions in the energy demand resulted in significantly lower production costs for all scenarios. Conclusion Although ethanol was shown to be the main product, i.e. yielding the major part of the income, the co-product revenue had a considerable effect on the process economics and the importance of good utilization of the entire feedstock was clearly shown. With the assumed prices of the co-products, utilization of the excess solid residue for heat and power production was highly economically favourable. The study also showed that improvements in the ethanol yield and reductions in the energy demand resulted in significant production

  10. Adolescent Diversity in Ethnic, Economic, and Cultural Contexts. Advances in Adolescent Development: An Annual Book Series, Volume 10.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Montemayor, Raymond, Ed.; Adams, Gerald R., Ed; Gullotta, Thomas P., Ed.

    This book is designed to summarize, integrate, and evaluate current research on adolescent development. It contains the following chapters: (1) "Paths to Adulthood: Adolescent Diversity in Contemporary America" (Ramond Montemayor); (2) "Competence among Urban Adolescents in Poverty: Multiple Forms, Contexts, and Developmental Processes" (Hirokazu…

  11. A two-component rain model for the prediction of attenuation and diversity improvement

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Crane, R. K.

    1982-01-01

    A new model was developed to predict attenuation statistics for a single Earth-satellite or terrestrial propagation path. The model was extended to provide predictions of the joint occurrences of specified or higher attenuation values on two closely spaced Earth-satellite paths. The joint statistics provide the information required to obtain diversity gain or diversity advantage estimates. The new model is meteorologically based. It was tested against available Earth-satellite beacon observations and terrestrial path measurements. The model employs the rain climate region descriptions of the Global rain model. The rms deviation between the predicted and observed attenuation values for the terrestrial path data was 35 percent, a result consistent with the expectations of the Global model when the rain rate distribution for the path is not used in the calculation. Within the United States the rms deviation between measurement and prediction was 36 percent but worldwide it was 79 percent.

  12. IMPROVED TUBULARS FOR BETTER ECONOMICS IN DEEP GAS WELL DRILLING USING MICROWAVE TECHNOLOGY

    SciTech Connect

    Dinesh Agrawal; Paul Gigl; Mahlon Dennis; Roderic Stanley

    2005-03-01

    The main objective of the research program has been to improve the rate-of-penetration in deep hostile environments by improving the life cycle and performance of coiled-tubing, an important component of a deep well drilling system for oil and gas exploration, by utilizing the latest developments in the microwave materials technology. Originally, it was proposed to accomplish this by developing an efficient and economically viable continuous microwave process to sinter continuously formed/extruded steel powder for the manufacture of seamless coiled tubing and other tubular products. However, based on the results and faced with insurmountable difficulties in the extrusion and de-waxing processes, the approach of achieving the goals of the program has been slightly changed. In the continuation proposal an approach of microwave sintering combined with Cold Isostatic Press (CIP) and joining (by induction or microwave) is adopted. This process can be developed into a semi-continuous sintering process if the CIP can produce parts fast enough to match the microwave sintering rates. Originally, the entire program was spread over three phases with the following goals: Phase I: Demonstration of the feasibility concept of continuous microwave sintering process for tubular steel products. Phase II: Design, building and testing of a prototype microwave system which shall be combined with a continuous extruder for steel tubular objects. Phase III: Execution of the plan for commercialization of the technology by one of the industrial partners. However, since some of the goals of the phase I were not completed, an extension of nine months was granted and we continued extrusion experiments, designed and built semicontinuous microwave sintering unit.

  13. Bigger is better: Improved nature conservation and economic returns from landscape-level mitigation

    PubMed Central

    Kennedy, Christina M.; Miteva, Daniela A.; Baumgarten, Leandro; Hawthorne, Peter L.; Sochi, Kei; Polasky, Stephen; Oakleaf, James R.; Uhlhorn, Elizabeth M.; Kiesecker, Joseph

    2016-01-01

    Impact mitigation is a primary mechanism on which countries rely to reduce environmental externalities and balance development with conservation. Mitigation policies are transitioning from traditional project-by-project planning to landscape-level planning. Although this larger-scale approach is expected to provide greater conservation benefits at the lowest cost, empirical justification is still scarce. Using commercial sugarcane expansion in the Brazilian Cerrado as a case study, we apply economic and biophysical steady-state models to quantify the benefits of the Brazilian Forest Code (FC) under landscape- and property-level planning. We find that FC compliance imposes small costs to business but can generate significant long-term benefits to nature: supporting 32 (±37) additional species (largely habitat specialists), storing 593,000 to 2,280,000 additional tons of carbon worth $69 million to $265 million ($ pertains to U.S. dollars), and marginally improving surface water quality. Relative to property-level compliance, we find that landscape-level compliance reduces total business costs by $19 million to $35 million per 6-year sugarcane growing cycle while often supporting more species and storing more carbon. Our results demonstrate that landscape-level mitigation provides cost-effective conservation and can be used to promote sustainable development. PMID:27419225

  14. Bigger is better: Improved nature conservation and economic returns from landscape-level mitigation.

    PubMed

    Kennedy, Christina M; Miteva, Daniela A; Baumgarten, Leandro; Hawthorne, Peter L; Sochi, Kei; Polasky, Stephen; Oakleaf, James R; Uhlhorn, Elizabeth M; Kiesecker, Joseph

    2016-07-01

    Impact mitigation is a primary mechanism on which countries rely to reduce environmental externalities and balance development with conservation. Mitigation policies are transitioning from traditional project-by-project planning to landscape-level planning. Although this larger-scale approach is expected to provide greater conservation benefits at the lowest cost, empirical justification is still scarce. Using commercial sugarcane expansion in the Brazilian Cerrado as a case study, we apply economic and biophysical steady-state models to quantify the benefits of the Brazilian Forest Code (FC) under landscape- and property-level planning. We find that FC compliance imposes small costs to business but can generate significant long-term benefits to nature: supporting 32 (±37) additional species (largely habitat specialists), storing 593,000 to 2,280,000 additional tons of carbon worth $69 million to $265 million ($ pertains to U.S. dollars), and marginally improving surface water quality. Relative to property-level compliance, we find that landscape-level compliance reduces total business costs by $19 million to $35 million per 6-year sugarcane growing cycle while often supporting more species and storing more carbon. Our results demonstrate that landscape-level mitigation provides cost-effective conservation and can be used to promote sustainable development. PMID:27419225

  15. Advanced Aerodynamic Devices to Improve the Performance, Economics, Handling, and Safety of Heavy Vehicles

    SciTech Connect

    Robert J. Englar

    2001-05-14

    Research is being conducted at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) to develop advanced aerodynamic devices to improve the performance, economics, stability, handling and safety of operation of Heavy Vehicles by using previously-developed and flight-tested pneumatic (blown) aircraft technology. Recent wind-tunnel investigations of a generic Heavy Vehicle model with blowing slots on both the leading and trailing edges of the trailer have been conducted under contract to the DOE Office of Heavy Vehicle Technologies. These experimental results show overall aerodynamic drag reductions on the Pneumatic Heavy Vehicle of 50% using only 1 psig blowing pressure in the plenums, and over 80% drag reductions if additional blowing air were available. Additionally, an increase in drag force for braking was confirmed by blowing different slots. Lift coefficient was increased for rolling resistance reduction by blowing only the top slot, while downforce was produced for traction increase by blowing only the bottom. Also, side force and yawing moment were generated on either side of the vehicle, and directional stability was restored by blowing the appropriate side slot. These experimental results and the predicted full-scale payoffs are presented in this paper, as is a discussion of additional applications to conventional commercial autos, buses, motor homes, and Sport Utility Vehicles.

  16. An Improved DNA Extraction Method for Efficient and Quantitative Recovery of Phytoplankton Diversity in Natural Assemblages

    PubMed Central

    Yuan, Jian; Li, Meizhen; Lin, Senjie

    2015-01-01

    Marine phytoplankton are highly diverse with different species possessing different cell coverings, posing challenges for thoroughly breaking the cells in DNA extraction yet preserving DNA integrity. While quantitative molecular techniques have been increasingly used in phytoplankton research, an effective and simple method broadly applicable to different lineages and natural assemblages is still lacking. In this study, we developed a bead-beating protocol based on our previous experience and tested it against 9 species of phytoplankton representing different lineages and different cell covering rigidities. We found the bead-beating method enhanced the final yield of DNA (highest as 2 folds) in comparison with the non-bead-beating method, while also preserving the DNA integrity. When our method was applied to a field sample collected at a subtropical bay located in Xiamen, China, the resultant ITS clone library revealed a highly diverse assemblage of phytoplankton and other micro-eukaryotes, including Archaea, Amoebozoa, Chlorophyta, Ciliphora, Bacillariophyta, Dinophyta, Fungi, Metazoa, etc. The appearance of thecate dinoflagellates, thin-walled phytoplankton and “naked” unicellular organisms indicates that our method could obtain the intact DNA of organisms with different cell coverings. All the results demonstrate that our method is useful for DNA extraction of phytoplankton and environmental surveys of their diversity and abundance. PMID:26218575

  17. A Systematic Review of Health Economic Analyses of Housing Improvement Interventions and Insecticide-Treated Bednets in the Home

    PubMed Central

    Pega, Frank; Wilson, Nick

    2016-01-01

    Background Housing improvements have considerable potential for improving health. So does the provision of insecticide-treated bednets for malaria prevention. Therefore we aimed to conduct updated systematic reviews of health economic analyses in both these intervention domains. Methods and findings The search strategy included economic analyses of housing improvement interventions and use of insecticide-treated bednets for community-dwelling, healthy populations (published between 1 January 2000 and 15 April 2014). We searched the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, MEDLINE, PubMed, EMBASE, and three health economics databases. Thirty-five economic analyses of seven types of intervention fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Most included studies adopted a health sector perspective and were cost-effectiveness analyses using decision analytic modeling or conducted alongside trials. The overall quality of the studies was generally likely to be adequate for informing policy-making (albeit with limitations in some areas). There was fairly consistent evidence for the cost-effectiveness/favorable cost-benefit of removing indoor lead to prevent lead poisoning and sequelae, and retrofitting insulation to prevent lung disease. But the value of assessing and improving home safety and providing smoke alarms to prevent injuries was more mixed and the economic evidence was inconclusive or insufficient for: home ventilation to prevent lung disease, installing heaters to prevent lung disease and regulating tap water temperatures to prevent scalding. Few studies (n = 4) considered health equity. The 12 studies of providing insecticide-treated bednets or hammocks to prevent malaria found these interventions to be moderately to highly cost-effective. Conclusions This systematic review provides updated evidence that several housing improvement interventions (such as removing indoor lead and retrofitting insulation) and also the provision of insecticide-treated bednets are cost

  18. Recruitment strategies should not be randomly selected: empirically improving recruitment success and diversity in developmental psychology research

    PubMed Central

    Sugden, Nicole A.; Moulson, Margaret C.

    2015-01-01

    Psychological and developmental research have been critiqued for the lack of diversity of research samples. Because differences in culture, race, and ethnicity can influence participant behavior, limited diversity limits the generalizability of the findings. These differences may also impact how participants behave in response to recruitment attempts, which suggests that recruitment itself may be leveraged to increase sample diversity. The goal of the current study was to determine what factors, within a recruitment interaction, could be leveraged to increase success and diversity when recruiting families with children for developmental research. Study 1 found three factors influenced success: (1) recruitment was more successful when other potential participants were also interested (i.e., recruiters were busy), (2) recruiters of particular races were more successful than recruiters of other races, and (3) differences in success were related to what the recruiter said to engage the potential participant (i.e., the script). The latter two factors interacted, suggesting some recruiters were using less optimal scripts. To improve success rates, study 2 randomly assigned scripts to recruiters and encouraged them to recruit more vigorously during busy periods. Study 2 found that two factors influenced success: (1) some scripts were more successful than others and (2) we were more successful at recruiting non-White potential participants than White participants. These two interacted, with some scripts being more successful with White and other scripts being more successful with non-White families. This intervention significantly increased recruitment success rate by 8.1% and the overall number of families recruited by 15.3%. These findings reveal that empirically evaluating and tailoring recruitment efforts based on the most successful strategies is effective in boosting diversity through increased participation of children from non-White families. PMID:25972829

  19. Socio-Economic Status, Cultural Diversity and the Aspirations of Secondary Students in the Western Suburbs of Melbourne, Australia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bowden, Mark P.; Doughney, James

    2010-01-01

    Using data from a recent survey of Australian secondary students, we find that those from higher socio-economic backgrounds are more likely to aspire to attend university. The same can be said for students who do not speak English at home. We find that students with an ethnic minority background are more likely to perceive higher levels of support…

  20. Does In-Service Professional Learning for High School Economics Teachers Improve Student Achievement?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Swinton, John R.; De Berry, Thomas; Scafidi, Benjamin; Woodard, Howard C.

    2010-01-01

    Education policy analysts and professional educators have called for more and better professional learning opportunities for in-service teachers, and for at least 30 years economists called for more content training for high school economics teachers. Using new data from all Georgia high school economics students, we assess the impact of…

  1. Service score segmentation of diverse populations to improve patient and physician satisfaction- a multicase quality improvement study.

    PubMed

    Newhouse, David

    2009-01-01

    The changing demographics in the country require new strategies for providing culturally competent care. The Northern California Region Member Patient Survey provides detailed information for the clinician when the data is segmented into subsets by age, gender, and race/ethnicity. Any gaps identified allow for the clinician to focus on key areas for improvement in an efficient manner respecting the time constraints of a busy practice. PMID:20740100

  2. Service Score Segmentation of Diverse Populations to Improve Patient and Physician Satisfaction— A Multicase Quality Improvement Study

    PubMed Central

    Newhouse, David

    2009-01-01

    The changing demographics in the country require new strategies for providing culturally competent care. The Northern California Region Member Patient Survey provides detailed information for the clinician when the data is segmented into subsets by age, gender, and race/ethnicity. Any gaps identified allow for the clinician to focus on key areas for improvement in an efficient manner respecting the time constraints of a busy practice. PMID:20740100

  3. Heavy agricultural workloads and low crop diversity are strong barriers to improving child feeding practices in the Bolivian Andes

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Andrew D; Agudo, Yesmina Cruz; Galway, Lindsay; Bentley, Jeffery; Pinstrup-Andersen, Per

    2012-01-01

    Most nutrition initiatives to date aimed at improving infant and young child feeding (IYCF) have emphasized addressing knowledge gaps through behavior change messaging with less focus on addressing the underlying environmental barriers that may shape these behaviors. This research integrates an analysis of longitudinal dietary data with qualitative data on barriers to improved child feeding to identify the nature and extent of the barriers caregivers face to improving IYCF practices in a farming region of the Bolivian Andes, and to determine the relative influence of these barriers on caregivers’ abilities to improve IYCF practices. Sixty-nine caregivers were selected from a sample of 331 households that participated in a longitudinal survey assessing changes in IYCF practices among caregivers with children aged 0–36 months from March 2009 to March 2010. Forty-nine barriers within 12 categories of barriers were identified through semi-structured interviews with the 69 caregivers. The most frequently reported barriers were those related to women’s time dedicated to agricultural labor, the limited diversity of household agricultural production, and lack of support for child feeding from spouses and mothers-in-law. In multivariate analyses controlling for several variables that could potentially influence IYCF practices, these barriers were negatively associated with changes to the diversity of child diets, child dietary energy intake, and child meal frequency. While knowledge gaps and individual-level influences affected IYCF practices, physical and social caregiving environments in this region of Bolivia were even more important. Behavior change communication alone will likely not address the social and environmental barriers to improved child feeding that often prevent translation of improved knowledge into action. Particularly in rural regions, agriculture may strongly influence child feeding, not only indirectly through household food security, but also

  4. Recruiting diverse patients to a breast cancer risk communication trial--waiting rooms can improve access.

    PubMed Central

    Bodurtha, Joann N.; Quillin, John M.; Tracy, Kelly A.; Borzelleca, Joseph; McClish, Donna; Wilson, Diane Baer; Jones, Resa M.; Quillin, Julie; Bowen, Deborah

    2007-01-01

    Low participation among underserved populations in health research constrains progress in public health practices. From 2003 to 2005, Women's Health Clinic patients at the VCU Health System were recruited to a trial investigating breast cancer risk communication. In secondary analyses, we examined dimensions of the recruitment of these diverse women. The sample characteristics (age, insurance, race and previous mammograms) were compared to the overall clinic. Of recruitment attempts for eligible women, 45% consented; of those who declined, the top cited reasons were lack of time (40%) and lack of interest (18%). Of 899 participants, 35% qualified for the indigent care program, compared to 31% of the overall clinic (P<0.001). Forty-five percent of participants were African American, compared to 54% of overall clinic patients (P<0.001). Participants were younger (50 vs. 53 years, P<0.001) than the overall clinic population. Nonrepresentative enrollment of patients in clinical trials is common and could lead to suboptimal applicability of findings. Although there were statistically significant race and age differences between the study sample and the overall population, we demonstrate that waiting room recruitment can engage diverse women in a clinical trial and cancer risk communication. PMID:17722671

  5. Development of Pneumatic Aerodynamic Devices to Improve the Performance, Economics, and Safety of Heavy Vehicles

    SciTech Connect

    Robert J. Englar

    2000-06-19

    Under contract to the DOE Office of Heavy Vehicle Technologies, the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) is developing and evaluating pneumatic (blown) aerodynamic devices to improve the performance, economics, stability and safety of operation of Heavy Vehicles. The objective of this program is to apply the pneumatic aerodynamic aircraft technology previously developed and flight-tested by GTRI personnel to the design of an efficient blown tractor-trailer configuration. Recent experimental results obtained by GTRI using blowing have shown drag reductions of 35% on a streamlined automobile wind-tunnel model. Also measured were lift or down-load increases of 100-150% and the ability to control aerodynamic moments about all 3 axes without any moving control surfaces. Similar drag reductions yielded by blowing on bluff afterbody trailers in current US trucking fleet operations are anticipated to reduce yearly fuel consumption by more than 1.2 billion gallons, while even further reduction is possible using pneumatic lift to reduce tire rolling resistance. Conversely, increased drag and down force generated instantaneously by blowing can greatly increase braking characteristics and control in wet/icy weather due to effective ''weight'' increases on the tires. Safety is also enhanced by controlling side loads and moments caused on these Heavy Vehicles by winds, gusts and other vehicles passing. This may also help to eliminate the jack-knifing problem if caused by extreme wind side loads on the trailer. Lastly, reduction of the turbulent wake behind the trailer can reduce splash and spray patterns and rough air being experienced by following vehicles. To be presented by GTRI in this paper will be results developed during the early portion of this effort, including a preliminary systems study, CFD prediction of the blown flowfields, and design of the baseline conventional tractor-trailer model and the pneumatic wind-tunnel model.

  6. Genome-wide comparative diversity uncovers multiple targets of selection for improvement in hexaploid wheat landraces and cultivars

    PubMed Central

    Cavanagh, Colin R.; Chao, Shiaoman; Wang, Shichen; Huang, Bevan Emma; Stephen, Stuart; Kiani, Seifollah; Forrest, Kerrie; Saintenac, Cyrille; Brown-Guedira, Gina L.; Akhunova, Alina; See, Deven; Bai, Guihua; Pumphrey, Michael; Tomar, Luxmi; Wong, Debbie; Kong, Stephan; Reynolds, Matthew; da Silva, Marta Lopez; Bockelman, Harold; Talbert, Luther; Anderson, James A.; Dreisigacker, Susanne; Baenziger, Stephen; Carter, Arron; Korzun, Viktor; Morrell, Peter Laurent; Dubcovsky, Jorge; Morell, Matthew K.; Sorrells, Mark E.; Hayden, Matthew J.; Akhunov, Eduard

    2013-01-01

    Domesticated crops experience strong human-mediated selection aimed at developing high-yielding varieties adapted to local conditions. To detect regions of the wheat genome subject to selection during improvement, we developed a high-throughput array to interrogate 9,000 gene-associated single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) in a worldwide sample of 2,994 accessions of hexaploid wheat including landraces and modern cultivars. Using a SNP-based diversity map we characterized the impact of crop improvement on genomic and geographic patterns of genetic diversity. We found evidence of a small population bottleneck and extensive use of ancestral variation often traceable to founders of cultivars from diverse geographic regions. Analyzing genetic differentiation among populations and the extent of haplotype sharing, we identified allelic variants subjected to selection during improvement. Selective sweeps were found around genes involved in the regulation of flowering time and phenology. An introgression of a wild relative-derived gene conferring resistance to a fungal pathogen was detected by haplotype-based analysis. Comparing selective sweeps identified in different populations, we show that selection likely acts on distinct targets or multiple functionally equivalent alleles in different portions of the geographic range of wheat. The majority of the selected alleles were present at low frequency in local populations, suggesting either weak selection pressure or temporal variation in the targets of directional selection during breeding probably associated with changing agricultural practices or environmental conditions. The developed SNP chip and map of genetic variation provide a resource for advancing wheat breeding and supporting future population genomic and genome-wide association studies in wheat. PMID:23630259

  7. Growing into My White Coat: Improving the Patient-Provider Relationship Through Diverse Patient Interviews

    PubMed Central

    Davis, Katherine J.

    2013-01-01

    The “Patient Diversity” assignment is an integral component for all medical and other health care professional students rotating through the Surgery clerkship at the Yale School of Medicine. Students are instructed to interview a surgical patient who is of a varied social or cultural background to identify how psychosocial factors impact patient coping strategies. In the process, students often appreciate how health care providers’ own social and cultural backgrounds similarly shape their sentiments and reactions in patient care. In this interview with a 26-year-old surgical patient, one student strives to come to terms with her personal insecurities in patient interactions and seeks to overcome them through open conversation and honest introspection. By working to acknowledge and understand patient diversity, health care providers can enhance understanding of their patients’ conditions and form more trustful and empathic relationships with both their patients and colleagues. PMID:24058314

  8. Improved Environmental Impact with Diversion of Perfusion Bypass Circuit to Municipal Solid Waste

    PubMed Central

    DeBois, William; Prata, Jessica; Elmer, Barbara; Liu, Junli; Fominyam, Edward; Salemi, Arash

    2013-01-01

    Abstract: The project goal was to reduce waste disposal volume, costs and minimize the negative impact that regulated waste treatment and disposal has on the environment. This was accomplished by diverting bypass circuits from the traditional regulated medical waste (RMW) to clear bag waste, or municipal solid waste (MSW). To qualify circuits to be disposed of through MSW stream, the circuits needed to be void of any free-flowing blood and be “responsibly clear.” Traditionally the perfusion bypass circuit was emptied through the cardioplegia pump starting shortly after decannulation and heparin reversal. Up to 2000 mL of additional prime solution was added until the bypass circuit was rinsed clear. Three hundred sixty of 400 procedures (90%) had a complete circuit rinse and successful diversion to MSW. An additional 240 mL of processed cell salvage blood was available for transfusion. No additional time was spent in the operating room as a result of this procedure. Based on our procedure case volume and circuit weight of 15 pounds, almost 15,000 pounds (7.5 tons) of trash will be diverted from RMW. This technique represents another way for perfusionists to participate in sustainability efforts. Diverting the bypass circuit to clear bag waste results in a reduced environmental impact and annual cost savings. The treatment of RMW is associated with various environmental implications. MSW, or clear bag waste, on the other hand can now be disposed of in waste-to-energy facilities. This process not only releases a significantly less amount of carbon dioxide into the environment, but also helps generate renewable energy. Therefore, the bypass circuit diversion pilot project effectively demonstrates decreases in the carbon footprint of our organization and overall operating costs. PMID:23930387

  9. ECONOMICS AND FEASIBILITY OF RANKINE CYCLE IMPROVEMENTS FOR COAL FIRED POWER PLANTS

    SciTech Connect

    Richard E. Waryasz; Gregory N. Liljedahl

    2004-09-08

    ALSTOM Power Inc.'s Power Plant Laboratories (ALSTOM) has teamed with the U.S. Department of Energy National Energy Technology Laboratory (DOE NETL), American Electric Company (AEP) and Parsons Energy and Chemical Group to conduct a comprehensive study evaluating coal fired steam power plants, known as Rankine Cycles, equipped with three different combustion systems: Pulverized Coal (PC), Circulating Fluidized Bed (CFB), and Circulating Moving Bed (CMB{trademark}). Five steam cycles utilizing a wide range of steam conditions were used with these combustion systems. The motivation for this study was to establish through engineering analysis, the most cost-effective performance potential available through improvement in the Rankine Cycle steam conditions and combustion systems while at the same time ensuring that the most stringent emission performance based on CURC (Coal Utilization Research Council) 2010 targets are met: > 98% sulfur removal; < 0.05 lbm/MM-Btu NO{sub x}; < 0.01 lbm/MM-Btu Particulate Matter; and > 90% Hg removal. The final report discusses the results of a coal fired steam power plant project, which is comprised of two parts. The main part of the study is the analysis of ten (10) Greenfield steam power plants employing three different coal combustion technologies: Pulverized Coal (PC), Circulating Fluidized Bed (CFB), and Circulating Moving Bed (CMB{trademark}) integrated with five different steam cycles. The study explores the technical feasibility, thermal performance, environmental performance, and economic viability of ten power plants that could be deployed currently, in the near, intermediate, and long-term time frame. For the five steam cycles, main steam temperatures vary from 1,000 F to 1,292 F and pressures from 2,400 psi to 5,075 psi. Reheat steam temperatures vary from 1,000 F to 1,328 F. The number of feedwater heaters varies from 7 to 9 and the associated feedwater temperature varies from 500 F to 626 F. The main part of the study

  10. Genomic Signatures of North American Soybean Improvement Inform Diversity Enrichment Strategies and Clarify the Impact of Hybridization

    PubMed Central

    Vaughn, Justin N.; Li, Zenglu

    2016-01-01

    Crop improvement represents a long-running experiment in artificial selection on a complex trait, namely yield. How such selection relates to natural populations is unclear, but the analysis of domesticated populations could offer insights into the relative role of selection, drift, and recombination in all species facing major shifts in selective regimes. Because of the extreme autogamy exhibited by soybean (Glycine max), many “immortalized” genotypes of elite varieties spanning the last century have been preserved and characterized using ∼50,000 single nucleotide polymorphic (SNP) markers. Also due to autogamy, the history of North American soybean breeding can be roughly divided into pre- and posthybridization eras, allowing for direct interrogation of the role of recombination in improvement and selection. Here, we report on genome-wide characterization of the structure and history of North American soybean populations and the signature of selection in these populations. Supporting previous work, we find that maturity defines population structure. Though the diversity of North American ancestors is comparable to available landraces, prehybridization line selections resulted in a clonal structure that dominated early breeding and explains many of the reductions in diversity found in the initial generations of soybean hybridization. The rate of allele frequency change does not deviate sharply from neutral expectation, yet some regions bare hallmarks of strong selection, suggesting a highly variable range of selection strengths biased toward weak effects. We also discuss the importance of haplotypes as units of analysis when complex traits fall under novel selection regimes. PMID:27402364

  11. Genomic Signatures of North American Soybean Improvement Inform Diversity Enrichment Strategies and Clarify the Impact of Hybridization.

    PubMed

    Vaughn, Justin N; Li, Zenglu

    2016-01-01

    Crop improvement represents a long-running experiment in artificial selection on a complex trait, namely yield. How such selection relates to natural populations is unclear, but the analysis of domesticated populations could offer insights into the relative role of selection, drift, and recombination in all species facing major shifts in selective regimes. Because of the extreme autogamy exhibited by soybean (Glycine max), many "immortalized" genotypes of elite varieties spanning the last century have been preserved and characterized using ∼50,000 single nucleotide polymorphic (SNP) markers. Also due to autogamy, the history of North American soybean breeding can be roughly divided into pre- and posthybridization eras, allowing for direct interrogation of the role of recombination in improvement and selection. Here, we report on genome-wide characterization of the structure and history of North American soybean populations and the signature of selection in these populations. Supporting previous work, we find that maturity defines population structure. Though the diversity of North American ancestors is comparable to available landraces, prehybridization line selections resulted in a clonal structure that dominated early breeding and explains many of the reductions in diversity found in the initial generations of soybean hybridization. The rate of allele frequency change does not deviate sharply from neutral expectation, yet some regions bare hallmarks of strong selection, suggesting a highly variable range of selection strengths biased toward weak effects. We also discuss the importance of haplotypes as units of analysis when complex traits fall under novel selection regimes. PMID:27402364

  12. New Fabrication Method Improves the Efficiency and Economics of Solar Cells (Fact Sheet)

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    2012-07-01

    NT-based DSSCs and determines an optimal illumination direction to use in these cells. The synthetic fabrication strategy will improve the economics and conversion efficiency of DSSCs.

  13. A livelihood intervention to improve economic and psychosocial well-being in rural Uganda: Longitudinal pilot study.

    PubMed

    Kakuhikire, Bernard; Suquillo, Diego; Atuhumuza, Elly; Mushavi, Rumbidzai; Perkins, Jessica M; Venkataramani, Atheendar S; Weiser, Sheri D; Bangsberg, David R; Tsai, Alexander C

    2016-12-01

    HIV and poverty are inextricably intertwined in sub-Saharan Africa. Economic and livelihood intervention strategies have been suggested to help mitigate the adverse economic effects of HIV, but few intervention studies have focused specifically on HIV-positive persons. We conducted three pilot studies to assess a livelihood intervention consisting of an initial orientation and loan package of chickens and associated implements to create poultry microenterprises. We enrolled 15 HIV-positive and 22 HIV-negative participants and followed them for up to 18 months. Over the course of follow-up, participants achieved high chicken survival and loan repayment rates. Median monthly income increased, and severe food insecurity declined, although these changes were not statistically significant (P-values ranged from 0.11 to 0.68). In-depth interviews with a purposive sample of three HIV-positive participants identified a constellation of economic and psychosocial benefits, including improved social integration and reduced stigma. PMID:27619011

  14. Improved coverage of fungal diversity in polluted groundwaters by semi-nested PCR.

    PubMed

    Solé, M; Chatzinotas, A; Sridhar, K R; Harms, H; Krauss, G

    2008-11-15

    Traditional methods used for studying communities of aquatic hyphomycetes are based on the detection and identification of their asexual spores under a microscope. These techniques limit detection to aquatic fungi present in sufficient quantity and capable of sporulating under laboratory conditions. Our objective was to develop a molecular approach to detect and monitor all types of fungi (i.e. strictly or facultatively aquatic) in harsh habitats (i.e. groundwater wells and heavily polluted surface water) where fungal biomass may become limited. We developed a semi-nested PCR protocol for fungal 18S ribosomal RNA genes coupled to subsequent analysis of the PCR products by Temperature Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (TGGE) to monitor the fungal community structure in aquatic habitats characterized by a pollution gradient. Our TGGE-protocol was compared with the traditional morphological approach and revealed a higher diversity in groundwaters and in some polluted surface waters. Thus, PCR-TGGE is a promising alternative in particular in habitats with low fungal biomass. The dynamics of fungal biomass and sporulation rates during the first weeks of leaf colonization showed that habitats with adverse ecological conditions allow only reduced fungal growth, which might subsequently impact upper trophic levels and thus interfere with key ecological processes of leaf decomposition. PMID:18715627

  15. Exploring Folate Diversity in Wild and Primitive Potatoes for Modern Crop Improvement.

    PubMed

    Robinson, Bruce R; Sathuvalli, Vidyasagar; Bamberg, John; Goyer, Aymeric

    2015-01-01

    Malnutrition is one of the world's largest health concerns. Folate (also known as vitamin B₉) is essential in the human diet, and without adequate folate intake, several serious health concerns, such as congenital birth defects and an increased risk of stroke and heart disease, can occur. Most people's folate intake remains sub-optimal, even in countries that have a folic acid food fortification program in place. Staple crops, such as potatoes, represent an appropriate organism for biofortification through traditional breeding based on their worldwide consumption and the fact that modern cultivars only contain about 6% of the daily recommended intake of folate. To start breeding potatoes with enhanced folate content, high folate potato material must be identified. In this study, 250 individual plants from 77 accessions and 10 Solanum species were screened for their folate content using a tri-enzyme extraction and microbial assay. There was a 10-fold range of folate concentrations among individuals. Certain individuals within the species Solanum tuberosum subsp. andigenum, Solanum vernei and Solanum boliviense have the potential to produce more than double the folate concentrations of commercial cultivars, such as Russet Burbank. Our results show that tapping into the genetic diversity of potato is a promising approach to increase the folate content of this important crop. PMID:26670256

  16. Exploring Folate Diversity in Wild and Primitive Potatoes for Modern Crop Improvement

    PubMed Central

    Robinson, Bruce R.; Sathuvalli, Vidyasagar; Bamberg, John; Goyer, Aymeric

    2015-01-01

    Malnutrition is one of the world’s largest health concerns. Folate (also known as vitamin B9) is essential in the human diet, and without adequate folate intake, several serious health concerns, such as congenital birth defects and an increased risk of stroke and heart disease, can occur. Most people’s folate intake remains sub-optimal, even in countries that have a folic acid food fortification program in place. Staple crops, such as potatoes, represent an appropriate organism for biofortification through traditional breeding based on their worldwide consumption and the fact that modern cultivars only contain about 6% of the daily recommended intake of folate. To start breeding potatoes with enhanced folate content, high folate potato material must be identified. In this study, 250 individual plants from 77 accessions and 10 Solanum species were screened for their folate content using a tri-enzyme extraction and microbial assay. There was a 10-fold range of folate concentrations among individuals. Certain individuals within the species Solanum tuberosum subsp. andigenum, Solanum vernei and Solanum boliviense have the potential to produce more than double the folate concentrations of commercial cultivars, such as Russet Burbank. Our results show that tapping into the genetic diversity of potato is a promising approach to increase the folate content of this important crop. PMID:26670256

  17. Using Central Asian germplasm to Improve Fruit Quality and Enhance Diversity in California Adapted Apricots

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Fifty years of apricot breeding efforts at the Agricultural Research Service in Parlier, California have led to the development of ten new fresh market and processing varieties. During this period, consumer comments indicated that increased sugar and aroma would be desirable improvements in Califor...

  18. Leading for Diversity: How School Leaders Can Improve Interethnic Relations. Educational Practice Report 7.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Henze, Rosemary

    This report examines 21 case studies of schools where leaders took proactive steps to improve relations among different racial/ethnic groups. Among the dilemmas they encountered were staff issues (differential treatment based on race) and student issues (the composition of ethnic clubs). Roots of racial/ethnic conflict included segregation,…

  19. Improved Tubulars for Better Economics in Deep Gas Well Drilling using Microwave Technology

    SciTech Connect

    Dinesh Agrawal; Paul Gigl; Mahlon Dennis

    2006-02-01

    The objective of the research program has been to improve the rate-of-penetration in deep hostile environments by improving the life cycle and performance of coiled-tubing, an important component of a deep well drilling system for oil and gas exploration. The current process of the manufacture long tubular steel products consists of shaping the tube from flat strip, welding the seam and sections into lengths that can be miles long, and coiling onto reels. However, the welds, that are a weak point, now limit the performance of the coil tubing. This is not only from a toughness standpoint but also from a corrosion standpoint. By utilizing the latest developments in the sintering of materials with microwave energy and powder metal extrusion technology for the manufacture of seamless coiled tubing and other tubular products, these problems can be eliminated. The project is therefore to develop a continuous microwave process to sinter continuously steel tubulars and butt-join them using microwave/induction process. The program started about three years ago and now we are in the middle of Phase II. In Phase I (which ended in February 2005) a feasibility study of the extrusion process of steel powder and continuously sinter the extruded tubing was conducted. The research program has been based on the development of microwave technology to process tubular specimens of powder metals, especially steels. The existing microwave systems at the Materials Research Laboratory (MRL) and Dennis Tool Company (DTC) were suitably modified to process tubular small specimens. The precursor powder metals were either extruded or cold isostatically pressed (CIP) to form tubular specimens. After conducting an extensive and systematic investigation of extrusion process for producing long tubes, it was determined that there were several difficulties in adopting extrusion process and it cannot be economically used for producing thousands of feet long green tubing. Therefore, in the Phase II the

  20. Can we do better? Economic analysis of human resource investment to improve home care service for the elderly in Serbia

    PubMed Central

    Mihic, Marko M; Todorovic, Marija Lj; Obradovic, Vladimir Lj; Mitrovic, Zorica M

    2016-01-01

    Background Social services aimed at the elderly are facing great challenges caused by progressive aging of the global population but also by the constant pressure to spend funds in a rational manner. Purpose This paper focuses on analyzing the investments into human resources aimed at enhancing home care for the elderly since many countries have recorded progress in the area over the past years. The goal of this paper is to stress the significance of performing an economic analysis of the investment. Methods This paper combines statistical analysis methods such as correlation and regression analysis, methods of economic analysis, and scenario method. Results The economic analysis of investing in human resources for home care service in Serbia showed that the both scenarios of investing in either additional home care hours or more beneficiaries are cost-efficient. However, the optimal solution with the positive (and the highest) value of economic net present value criterion is to invest in human resources to boost the number of home care hours from 6 to 8 hours per week and increase the number of the beneficiaries to 33%. Conclusion This paper shows how the statistical and economic analysis results can be used to evaluate different scenarios and enable quality decision-making based on exact data in order to improve health and quality of life of the elderly and spend funds in a rational manner. PMID:26869778

  1. Economic feasibility study for improving drinking water quality: a case study of arsenic contamination in rural Argentina.

    PubMed

    Molinos-Senante, María; Perez Carrera, Alejo; Hernández-Sancho, Francesc; Fernández-Cirelli, Alicia; Sala-Garrido, Ramón

    2014-12-01

    Economic studies are essential in evaluating the potential external investment support and/or internal tariffs available to improve drinking water quality. Cost-benefit analysis (CBA) is a useful tool to assess the economic feasibility of such interventions, i.e. to take some form of action to improve the drinking water quality. CBA should involve the market and non-market effects associated with the intervention. An economic framework was proposed in this study, which estimated the health avoided costs and the environmental benefits for the net present value of reducing the pollutant concentrations in drinking water. We conducted an empirical application to assess the economic feasibility of removing arsenic from water in a rural area of Argentina. Four small-scale methods were evaluated in our study. The results indicated that the inclusion of non-market benefits was integral to supporting investment projects. In addition, the application of the proposed framework will provide water authorities with more complete information for the decision-making process. PMID:24925717

  2. Cation Exchange Reactions for Improved Quality and Diversity of Semiconductor Nanocrystals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beberwyck, Brandon James

    Observing the size and shape dependent physical properties of semiconductor nanocrystals requires synthetic methods capable of not only composition and crystalline phase control but also molecular scale uniformity for a particle consisting of tens to hundreds of thousands of atoms. The desire for synthetic methods that produce uniform nanocrystals of complex morphologies continues to increase as nanocrystals find roles in commercial applications, such as biolabeling and display technologies, that are simultaneously restricting material compositions. With these constraints, new synthetic strategies that decouple the nanocrystal's chemical composition from its morphology are necessary. This dissertation explores the cation exchange reaction of colloidal semiconductor nanocrystals, a template-based chemical transformation that enables the interconversion of nanocrystals between a variety of compositions while maintaining their size dispersity and morphology. Chapter 1 provides an introduction to the versatility of this replacement reaction as a synthetic method for semiconductor nanocrystals. An overview of the fundamentals of the cation exchange reaction and the diversity of products that are achievable is presented. Chapter 2 examines the optical properties of nanocrystal heterostructures produced through cation exchange reactions. The deleterious impact of exchange on the photoluminescence is correlated to residual impurities and a simple annealing protocol is demonstrated to achieve photoluminescence yields comparable to samples produced by conventional methods. Chapter 3 investigates the extension of the cation exchange reaction beyond ionic nanocrystals. Covalent III-V nanocrystal of high crystallinity and low size dispersity are synthesized by the cation exchange of cadmium pnictide nanocrystals with group 13 ions. Lastly, Chapter 4 highlights future studies to probe cation exchange reactions in colloidal semiconductor nanocrystals and progress that needs to be

  3. Are social relationships a healthy influence on obesogenic behaviors among racially/ethnically diverse and socio-economically disadvantaged residents?

    PubMed Central

    Tamers, Sara L.; Okechukwu, Cassandra; Allen, Jennifer; Yang, May; Stoddard, Anne; Tucker-Seeley, Reginald; Sorensen, Glorian

    2012-01-01

    Objective To examine associations between social support and ties (family, friend, neighbors) individually and jointly with diet and physical activity among an ethnically-diverse, low-income population. Methods The Health in Common study (2005–2009) was designed to examine risk factors among individuals residing in low-income housing in the Boston, MA area. Cross-sectional surveys (n = 828) were administered in residents’ homes. Linear/logistic multivariable analyses were employed with clustering of individuals within housing sites controlled as a random effect. Results In multivariable analyses, total social support was significantly associated with higher red meat consumption per day (p = 0.029). Having more friends was significantly associated with more daily fruit and vegetable intake (p = 0.007) and higher levels of daily vigorous physical activity (p = 0.011). Those who reported having a greater number of family ties also reported higher daily consumption of sugary drinks (p = 0.013) and fast food (p = 0.011). More neighbor social ties was associated with more fast food per day (p = 0.024). Conclusions Social relationships can have both positive and negative associations with health behaviors. Understanding these relationships could help to inform the design of interventions that promote healthy behavior change among vulnerable populations. PMID:23200880

  4. A SOLCAP STRATEGY TO EVALUATE ALLELIC DIVERSITY OF CULTIVATED AND WILD SOLANUM GERMPLASM AND ACCESS ECONOMICALLY IMPORTANT GENES

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Solanaceae Coordinated Agricultural Project (SolCAP) is an effort to organize a community of public and private researchers for “translational genomics”, the utilization of information derived from genome technologies for crop improvement. Standard germplasm panels will be developed that represe...

  5. A SolCAP strategy to evaluate allelic diversity of cultivated and wild Solanum germplasm and access economically important genes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    THE Solanaceae Coordinated Agricultural Project (SolCAP) is an effort to organize a community of public and private researchers for “translational genomics”, the utilization of information derived from genome technologies for crop improvement. Standard germplasm panels will be developed that represe...

  6. Application of Reservoir Characterization and Advanced Technology to Improve Recovery and Economics in a Lower Quality Shallow Shelf Carbonate Reservoir

    SciTech Connect

    Hickman, Scott T.; Justice James L.; Taylor, Archie R.

    1999-10-28

    The Class 2 Project at West Welch was designed to demonstrate the use of advanced technologies to enhance the economics of improved oil recovery (IOR) projects in lower quality Shallow Shelf Carbonate (SSC) reservoirs, resulting in recovery of additional oil that would otherwise be left in the reservoir at project abandonment. Accurate reservoir description is critical to the effective evaluation and efficient design of IOR projects in the heterogeneous SSC reservoirs.

  7. Electronic Clinical Surveillance to Improve Outpatient Care: Diverse Applications within an Integrated Delivery System

    PubMed Central

    Danforth, Kim N.; Smith, Andrea E.; Loo, Ronald K.; Jacobsen, Steven J.; Mittman, Brian S.; Kanter, Michael H.

    2014-01-01

    Efforts to improve patient safety have largely focused on inpatient or emergency settings, but the importance of patient safety in ambulatory care is increasingly being recognized as a key component of overall health care quality. Care gaps in outpatient settings may include missed diagnoses, medication errors, or insufficient monitoring of patients with chronic conditions or on certain medications. Further, care gaps may occur across a wide range of clinical conditions. We report here an innovative approach to improve patient safety in ambulatory settings – the Kaiser Permanente Southern California (KPSC) Outpatient Safety Net Program – which leverages electronic health information to efficiently identify and address a variety of potential care gaps across different clinical conditions. Between 2006 and 2012, the KPSC Outpatient Safety Net Program implemented 24 distinct electronic clinical surveillance programs, which routinely scan the electronic health record to identify patients with a particular condition or event. For example, electronic clinical surveillance may be used to scan for harmful medication interactions or potentially missed diagnoses (e.g., abnormal test results without evidence of subsequent care). Keys to the success of the program include strong leadership support, a proactive clinical culture, the blame-free nature of the program, and the availability of electronic health information. The Outpatient Safety Net Program framework may be adopted by other organizations, including those who have electronic health information but not an electronic health record. In the future, the creation of a forum to share electronic clinical surveillance programs across organizations may facilitate more rapid improvements in outpatient safety. PMID:25848588

  8. Learning to Work. Improving Youth Employability. Education-Economic Development Series 4.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Duggan, Paula; Mazza, Jacqueline

    This volume is part of a series that is designed to promote stronger ties between the educational resources in the Northeast and Midwest and the economic development process. This monograph examines programs that develop the employment potential of those youth who are not likely to make it on their own. It first looks at the problem of youth…

  9. Technology for Improving Production, Economic Efficiency, Quality and Sustainability in Peanut Production and Handling

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Proper crop rotation is essential to maintaining high peanut yield and quality. However, the economic considerations of maintaining or altering crop rotation sequences must incorporate the commodity prices, production costs, and yield responses of all crops in, or potentially in, the crop rotation ...

  10. Private Sector/Educator Collaboration: Project Improves Financial, Economic Literacy of America's Youth

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haynes, Deborah C.; Chinadle, Nicole

    2007-01-01

    The Family Economics and Financial Education Project (FEFE) began in 2001 at Montana State University with an annual grant from Take Charge America, Inc., a credit counseling and debt management company headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona. FEFE's mission is to provide educators with curriculum materials and training to be effective teachers of…

  11. Using "U-Pace" Instruction to Improve the Academic Performance of Economically Disadvantaged Undergraduates

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fleming, R.; Stoiber, L. C.; Pfeiffer, H. M.; Kienzler, S. E.; Fleming, R. R.; Pedrick, L. E.; Barth, D. J.; Reddy, D. .

    2016-01-01

    This study was undertaken to evaluate whether the student success associated with the "U-Pace" instructional approach, which integrates mastery-based learning with proactive instructor support in an online learning environment, would replicate for both economically disadvantaged students and students who are not economically…

  12. Mass Media Campaign Improves Cervical Screening across All Socio-Economic Groups

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Anderson, Jenny O.; Mullins, Robyn M.; Siahpush, Mohammad; Spittal, Matthew J.; Wakefield, Melanie

    2009-01-01

    Low socio-economic status (SES) has been associated with lower cervical screening rates. Mass media is one known strategy that can increase cervical screening participation. This study sought to determine whether a mass media campaign conducted in Victoria, Australia, in 2005 was effective in encouraging women across all SES groups to screen. Data…

  13. Economic consequences of improved temperature forecasts: An experiment with the Florida citrus growers (control group results). Executive summary. [weather forecasting

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1977-01-01

    A demonstration experiment is being planned to show that frost and freeze prediction improvements are possible utilizing timely Synchronous Meteorological Satellite temperature measurements and that this information can affect Florida citrus grower operations and decisions so as to significantly reduce the cost for frost and freeze protection and crop losses. The design and implementation of the first phase of an economic experiment which will monitor citrus growers decisions, actions, costs and losses, and meteorological forecasts and actual weather events was carried out. The economic experiment was designed to measure the change in annual protection costs and crop losses which are the direct result of improved temperature forecasts. To estimate the benefits that may result from improved temperature forecasting capability, control and test groups were established with effective separation being accomplished temporally. The control group, utilizing current forecasting capability, was observed during the 1976-77 frost season and the results are reported. A brief overview is given of the economic experiment, the results obtained to date, and the work which still remains to be done.

  14. Proposed fish passage improvements at Three Mile Falls Diversion Dam, Umatilla River, Oregon: Finding of no significant impact

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1986-05-01

    The Bureau of Reclamation proposes to administer the construction of fish passage and protective facilities at Three Mile Falls Diversion Dam on the Umatilla River in Oregon to increase the numbers of anadromous fish. The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) proposes to provide funding for the project. These agencies' actions would implement section 904(d) of the Northwest Power Planning Council's Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Program which addresses the provision of offsite enhancement to compensate for fish and wildlife losses caused by hydroelectric project development and operations throughout the Columbia River Basin. This Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) is the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) decision document for both agencies. The proposed action would improve both upstream and downstream passage by providing a new right bank ladder on Three Mile Falls Diversion Dam, modifying the existing left bank ladder, and installing rotary drum fish screens and related structures on the adjacent West Extension Irrigation District (WEID) Canal. Four other alternatives are considered in the environmental assessment (EA): a concrete apron plus a left bank ladder; a cap on the crest of the dam plus a left bank ladder; dam removal; and no action. 5 figs., 6 tabs.

  15. Improved techniques for fluid diversion in oil recovery. Quarterly technical progress report, October 1, 1993--December 31, 1993

    SciTech Connect

    Seright, R.S.

    1994-01-01

    This three-year project has two general objectives. The first objective is to compare the effectiveness of gels in fluid diversion with those of other types of processes. Several different types of fluid-diversion processes will be compared, including those using gels, foams, emulsions, and particulates. The ultimate goals of these comparisons are to (1) establish which of these processes are most effective in a given application, and (2) determine whether aspects of one process can be combined with those of other processes to improve performance. Analyses will be performed to assess where the various diverting agents will be most effective (e.g., in fractured vs. unfractured wells, deep vs. near-wellbore applications, reservoirs with vs. without crossflow, or injection wells vs. production wells). Experiments will be performed to verify which materials are the most effective in entering and blocking high-permeability zones. Another objective of the project is to identify the mechanisms by which materials (particularly gels) selectively reduce permeability to water more than to oil. In addition to establishing why this occurs, our research will attempt to identify materials and conditions that maximize this phenomenon.

  16. Attention Diversion Improves Response Inhibition of Immediate Reward, But Only When it Is Beneficial: An fMRI Study.

    PubMed

    Scalzo, Franco; O'Connor, David A; Orr, Catherine; Murphy, Kevin; Hester, Robert

    2016-01-01

    Deficits of self-control are associated with a number of mental state disorders. The ability to direct attention away from an alluring stimulus appears to aid inhibition of an impulsive response. However, further functional imaging research is required to assess the impact of shifts in attention on self-regulating processes. We varied the level of attentional disengagement in an functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)-based Go/No-go task to probe whether diversion of attention away from alluring stimuli facilitates response inhibition. We used the attention-grabbing characteristic of faces to exogenously direct attention away from stimuli and investigated the relative importance of attention and response inhibition mechanisms under different delayed reward scenarios [i.e., where forgoing an immediate reward ($1) led to a higher ($10) or no payoff in the future]. We found that diverting attention improved response inhibition performance, but only when resistance to an alluring stimulus led to delayed reward. Region of interest analyses indicated significant increased activity in posterior right inferior frontal gyrus during successful No-go trials for delayed reward trials compared to no delayed reward trials, and significant reduction in activity in the superior temporal gyri and left caudate in contexts of high attentional diversion. Our findings imply that strategies that increase the perceived benefits of response inhibition might assist individuals in abstaining from problematic impulsive behaviors. PMID:27616988

  17. Attention Diversion Improves Response Inhibition of Immediate Reward, But Only When it Is Beneficial: An fMRI Study

    PubMed Central

    Scalzo, Franco; O’Connor, David A.; Orr, Catherine; Murphy, Kevin; Hester, Robert

    2016-01-01

    Deficits of self-control are associated with a number of mental state disorders. The ability to direct attention away from an alluring stimulus appears to aid inhibition of an impulsive response. However, further functional imaging research is required to assess the impact of shifts in attention on self-regulating processes. We varied the level of attentional disengagement in an functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)-based Go/No-go task to probe whether diversion of attention away from alluring stimuli facilitates response inhibition. We used the attention-grabbing characteristic of faces to exogenously direct attention away from stimuli and investigated the relative importance of attention and response inhibition mechanisms under different delayed reward scenarios [i.e., where forgoing an immediate reward ($1) led to a higher ($10) or no payoff in the future]. We found that diverting attention improved response inhibition performance, but only when resistance to an alluring stimulus led to delayed reward. Region of interest analyses indicated significant increased activity in posterior right inferior frontal gyrus during successful No-go trials for delayed reward trials compared to no delayed reward trials, and significant reduction in activity in the superior temporal gyri and left caudate in contexts of high attentional diversion. Our findings imply that strategies that increase the perceived benefits of response inhibition might assist individuals in abstaining from problematic impulsive behaviors. PMID:27616988

  18. Advanced Burner Reactor with Breed-and-Burn Thorium Blankets for Improved Economics and Resource Utilization

    SciTech Connect

    Greenspan, Ehud

    2015-11-04

    This study assesses the feasibility of designing Seed and Blanket (S&B) Sodium-cooled Fast Reactor (SFR) to generate a significant fraction of the core power from radial thorium fueled blankets that operate on the Breed-and-Burn (B&B) mode without exceeding the radiation damage constraint of presently verified cladding materials. The S&B core is designed to maximize the fraction of neutrons that radially leak from the seed (or “driver”) into the subcritical blanket and reduce neutron loss via axial leakage. The blanket in the S&B core makes beneficial use of the leaking neutrons for improved economics and resource utilization. A specific objective of this study is to maximize the fraction of core power that can be generated by the blanket without violating the thermal hydraulic and material constraints. Since the blanket fuel requires no reprocessing along with remote fuel fabrication, a larger fraction of power from the blanket will result in a smaller fuel recycling capacity and lower fuel cycle cost per unit of electricity generated. A unique synergism is found between a low conversion ratio (CR) seed and a B&B blanket fueled by thorium. Among several benefits, this synergism enables the very low leakage S&B cores to have small positive coolant voiding reactivity coefficient and large enough negative Doppler coefficient even when using inert matrix fuel for the seed. The benefits of this synergism are maximized when using an annular seed surrounded by an inner and outer thorium blankets. Among the high-performance S&B cores designed to benefit from this unique synergism are: (1) the ultra-long cycle core that features a cycle length of ~7 years; (2) the high-transmutation rate core where the seed fuel features a TRU CR of 0.0. Its TRU transmutation rate is comparable to that of the reference Advanced Burner Reactor (ABR) with CR of 0.5 and the thorium blanket can generate close to 60% of the core power; but requires only one sixth of the reprocessing and

  19. Improving the cost-effectiveness of a healthcare system for depressive disorders by implementing telemedicine: a health economic modeling study

    PubMed Central

    Lokkerbol, Joran; Adema, Dirk; Cuijpers, Pim; Reynolds, Charles F.; Schulz, Richard; Weehuizen, Rifka; Smit, Filip

    2014-01-01

    Objective Depressive disorders are important causes of disease burden and are associated with substantial economic costs. Therefore, it is important to design a health care system that can effectively manage depression at sustainable costs. This paper computes the benefit-to-costs ratio of the current Dutch health care system for depression, and investigates whether offering more online preventive interventions improves the cost-effectiveness overall. Methods A health economic (Markov) model was used to synthesize clinical and economic evidence and to compute population-level costs and effects of interventions. The model compares a base-case scenario without preventive telemedicine and alternative scenarios with preventive telemedicine. The central outcome is the benefit-to-cost ratio, also known as return-on-investment (ROI). Results In terms of ROI, a health care system with preventive telemedicine for depressive disorders offers better value for money than a health care system without internet-based prevention. Overall, the ROI increases from €1.45 ($1.72) in the base-case scenario to €1.76 ($2.09) in the alternative scenario where preventive telemedicine is offered. In a scenario where the costs of offering preventive telemedicine are balanced by cutting back on the expenditure for curative interventions, ROI increases to €1.77 ($2.10), while keeping the health care budget constant. Conclusion In order for a health care system for depressive disorders to remain economically sustainable, its cost-benefit ratio needs to be improved. Offering preventive telemedicine at a large scale is likely to introduce such an improvement. PMID:23759290

  20. Advanced process modeling at the BCL smelter: Improving economic and environmental performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tripathi, Nagendra; Peek, Edgar; Stroud, Milton

    2011-01-01

    Since 1973 Bamangwato Concessions Limited (BCL) has operated a nickel-copper smelter in Selebi-Phikwe, Botswana. The smelter treats concentrates from local mines and various custom feed concentrates. The nickel throughput capacity of this smelter is constrained by a low nickel feed grade in its primary BCL concentrate. BCL contracted Xstrata Process Support (XPS) to assist in identifying key economic drivers to maximize revenue-generating opportunities. After the disclosure of essential BCL plant performance data XPS developed and utilized advanced metallurgical modeling techniques to identify production bottlenecks, calculate Ni, Cu, and Co recoveries, manage the slag volumes, increase the custom feed capacity, and perform various feasibility analyses for key unit process operations in the BCL smelter. The methodology for developing the process model and its application in contributing to the economic bottom line are outlined in this paper.

  1. Black-white differences in the economic value of improving health.

    PubMed

    Murphy, Kevin M; Topel, Robert H

    2005-01-01

    This article examines how differences in longevity over time and across groups add to the typical measures of economic progress and intergroup differentials. We focus on gains for and differences between groups defined both by race (black and white) and by gender, relying on willingness to pay as our measure of the economic value of gains in longevity. Measured at birth, the gains for white males between 1968 and 1998 were about 245,000 dollars per person, while the gains for black males were far larger, about 390,000 dollars per person. The gains for women were somewhat smaller, with white females gaining about 150,000 dollars per person and black females gaining about 305,000 dollars per person. Our estimates suggest that differences in income explain about 1/3 to 1/2 of the current black-white gap in longevity. PMID:15842095

  2. Genetic diversity analysis of cyanogenic potential (CNp) of root among improved genotypes of cassava using simple sequence repeat markers.

    PubMed

    Moyib, O K; Mkumbira, J; Odunola, O A; Dixon, A G

    2012-12-01

    Cyanogenic potential (CNp) of cassava constitutes a serious problem for over 500 million people who rely on the crop as their main source of calories. Genetic diversity is a key to successful crop improvement for breeding new improved variability for target traits. Forty-three improved genotypes of cassava developed by International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (ITA), Ibadan, were characterized for CNp trait using 35 Simple Sequence.Repeat (SSR) markers. Essential colorimetry picric test was used for evaluation of CNp on a color scale of 1 to 14. The CNp scores obtained ranged from 3 to 9, with a mean score of 5.48 (+/- 0.09) based on Statistical Analysis System (SAS) package. TMS M98/ 0068 (4.0 +/- 0.25) was identified as the best genotype with low CNp while TMS M98/0028 (7.75 +/- 0.25) was the worst. The 43 genotypes were assigned into 7 phenotypic groups based on rank-sum analysis in SAS. Dissimilarity analysis representatives for windows generated a phylogenetic tree with 5 clusters which represented hybridizing groups. Each of the clusters (except 4) contained low CNp genotypes that could be used for improving the high CNp genotypes in the same or near cluster. The scatter plot of the genotypes showed that there was little or no demarcation for phenotypic CNp groupings in the molecular groupings. The result of this study demonstrated that SSR markers are powerful tools for the assessment of genetic variability, and proper identification and selection of parents for genetic improvement of low CNp trait among the IITA cassava collection. PMID:23678653

  3. Advancing Research on Racial–Ethnic Health Disparities: Improving Measurement Equivalence in Studies with Diverse Samples

    PubMed Central

    Landrine, Hope; Corral, Irma

    2014-01-01

    To conduct meaningful, epidemiologic research on racial–ethnic health disparities, racial–ethnic samples must be rendered equivalent on other social status and contextual variables via statistical controls of those extraneous factors. The racial–ethnic groups must also be equally familiar with and have similar responses to the methods and measures used to collect health data, must have equal opportunity to participate in the research, and must be equally representative of their respective populations. In the absence of such measurement equivalence, studies of racial–ethnic health disparities are confounded by a plethora of unmeasured, uncontrolled correlates of race–ethnicity. Those correlates render the samples, methods, and measures incomparable across racial–ethnic groups, and diminish the ability to attribute health differences discovered to race–ethnicity vs. to its correlates. This paper reviews the non-equivalent yet normative samples, methodologies and measures used in epidemiologic studies of racial–ethnic health disparities, and provides concrete suggestions for improving sample, method, and scalar measurement equivalence. PMID:25566524

  4. Economic consequences of improved temperature forecasts: An experiment with the Florida citrus growers (control group results). [weather forecasting

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1977-01-01

    A demonstration experiment is being planned to show that frost and freeze prediction improvements are possible utilizing timely Synchronous Meteorological Satellite temperature measurements and that this information can affect Florida citrus grower operations and decisions. An economic experiment was carried out which will monitor citrus growers' decisions, actions, costs and losses, and meteorological forecasts and actual weather events and will establish the economic benefits of improved temperature forecasts. A summary is given of the economic experiment, the results obtained to date, and the work which still remains to be done. Specifically, the experiment design is described in detail as are the developed data collection methodology and procedures, sampling plan, data reduction techniques, cost and loss models, establishment of frost severity measures, data obtained from citrus growers, National Weather Service, and Federal Crop Insurance Corp., resulting protection costs and crop losses for the control group sample, extrapolation of results of control group to the Florida citrus industry and the method for normalization of these results to a normal or average frost season so that results may be compared with anticipated similar results from test group measurements.

  5. A global evaluation of coral reef management performance: are MPAs producing conservation and socio-economic improvements?

    PubMed

    Hargreaves-Allen, Venetia; Mourato, Susana; Milner-Gulland, Eleanor Jane

    2011-04-01

    There is a consensus that Marine Protected Area (MPA) performance needs regular evaluation against clear criteria, incorporating counterfactual comparisons of ecological and socio-economic performance. However, these evaluations are scarce at the global level. We compiled self-reports from managers and researchers of 78 coral reef-based MPAs world-wide, on the conservation and welfare improvements that their MPAs provide. We developed a suite of performance measures including fulfilment of design and management criteria, achievement of aims, the cessation of banned or destructive activities, change in threats, and measurable ecological and socio-economic changes in outcomes, which we evaluated with respect to the MPA's age, geographical location and main aims. The sample was found to be broadly representative of MPAs generally, and suggests that many MPAs do not achieve certain fundamental aims including improvements in coral cover over time (in 25% of MPAs), and conflict reduction (in 25%). However, the large majority demonstrated improvements in terms of slowing coral loss, reducing destructive uses and increasing tourism and local employment, despite many being small, underfunded and facing multiple large scale threats beyond the control of managers. However spatial comparisons suggest that in some regions MPAs are simply mirroring outside changes, with demonstrates the importance of testing for additionality. MPA benefits do not appear to increase linearly over time. In combination with other management efforts and regulations, especially those relating to large scale threat reduction and targeted fisheries and conflict resolution instruments, MPAs are an important tool to achieve coral reef conservation globally. Given greater resources and changes which incorporate best available science, such as larger MPAs and no-take areas, networks and reduced user pressure, it is likely that performance could further be enhanced. Performance evaluation should test for

  6. A Global Evaluation of Coral Reef Management Performance: Are MPAs Producing Conservation and Socio-Economic Improvements?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hargreaves-Allen, Venetia; Mourato, Susana; Milner-Gulland, Eleanor Jane

    2011-04-01

    There is a consensus that Marine Protected Area (MPA) performance needs regular evaluation against clear criteria, incorporating counterfactual comparisons of ecological and socio-economic performance. However, these evaluations are scarce at the global level. We compiled self-reports from managers and researchers of 78 coral reef-based MPAs world-wide, on the conservation and welfare improvements that their MPAs provide. We developed a suite of performance measures including fulfilment of design and management criteria, achievement of aims, the cessation of banned or destructive activities, change in threats, and measurable ecological and socio-economic changes in outcomes, which we evaluated with respect to the MPA's age, geographical location and main aims. The sample was found to be broadly representative of MPAs generally, and suggests that many MPAs do not achieve certain fundamental aims including improvements in coral cover over time (in 25% of MPAs), and conflict reduction (in 25%). However, the large majority demonstrated improvements in terms of slowing coral loss, reducing destructive uses and increasing tourism and local employment, despite many being small, underfunded and facing multiple large scale threats beyond the control of managers. However spatial comparisons suggest that in some regions MPAs are simply mirroring outside changes, with demonstrates the importance of testing for additionality. MPA benefits do not appear to increase linearly over time. In combination with other management efforts and regulations, especially those relating to large scale threat reduction and targeted fisheries and conflict resolution instruments, MPAs are an important tool to achieve coral reef conservation globally. Given greater resources and changes which incorporate best available science, such as larger MPAs and no-take areas, networks and reduced user pressure, it is likely that performance could further be enhanced. Performance evaluation should test for

  7. Improving Education Outcomes in the Slovak Republic. OECD Economics Department Working Papers, No. 578

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carey, David

    2007-01-01

    Improving education outcomes is vital for achieving convergence with GDP per capita levels in Western European countries and for reducing income inequality. While some education outcomes are favourable, such as the low secondary-school drop-out rate, others have room for improvement: education achievement is below the OECD average and strongly…

  8. Study on improving the method of analyzing the economic incident effects caused by public investment policies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Momma, Toshiyuki; Hino, Seiichi; Koike, Atsushi; Nakano, Takeshi; Fujii, Satoshi

    A nationwide micro-econometric model was established to estimate changes in the national gross product based on road-related investment amounts. And by considering the supply-demand balance during inflationary and deflationary times and the price adjustment mechanism, this model was then used to examine issues with the current micro-econometric model in light of the present economic circumstances. The results showed that during deflationary times issuing government bonds is less likely to have a crowding-out effect and public investments tend to be more effective than during inflationary times.

  9. Maximizing children's physical activity: an evaluability assessment to plan a community-based, multi-strategy approach in an ethno-racially and socio-economically diverse city.

    PubMed

    Dwyer, John J M; Hansen, Barbara; Barrera, Maru; Allison, Kenneth; Ceolin-Celestini, Sandra; Koenig, Dan; Young, Deborah; Good, Margaret; Rees, Tim

    2003-09-01

    An evaluability assessment was conducted to plan a community-based, multi-strategy approach to physical activity promotion (MSAPAP) to maximize young children's physical activity in an ethno-racially and socio-economically diverse city. This assessment involved consultation with various stakeholders to develop a program logic model to diagrammatically describe the MSAPAP. First, published literature regarding physical activity was reviewed to describe interventions designed to increase children's physical activity and to identify factors that contributed to program effectiveness. Secondly, key informants from mainstream service organizations and smaller community-based agencies were interviewed to determine their views on how to increase physical activity among children and families. A workgroup developed a draft logic model based on the results of the literature review and community needs assessment results. Thirdly, stakeholders were consulted about the draft model. This consisted of 12 focus groups with members of school boards (two sessions), members of community organizations (three sessions), lay home visitors who provide support to mothers of young children in ethno-racially diverse communities (one session), and parents from six cultural groups (six sessions). The logic model was revised based on the findings from this consultation. The final logic model shows children aged 3-8 years as the main target group, and parents and various community members who influence children as intermediate target groups. The MSAPAP is depicted as six strategies, which are clusters of program activities that are conceptually similar: community engagement, community assessment, accessibility, promotion, education and skill development, and inclusive programming. The logic model shows the 'cause and effect' relationships among program activities, shorter-term outcome objectives (e.g. to reduce user fees for physical activity programs) and longer-term outcome objectives (e.g. to

  10. Improvement Limitation of Satellite Visibility by Space Diversity Consisted of Two Geostationary Satellites in Urban Areas of Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kitano, Toshihiko; Juzoji, Hiroshi; Nakajima, Isao

    The paramedic in the moving ambulance sends via the communications satellite the moving picture data to the doctor in the hospital However, when an ambulance runs inside a city, a radio wave to the communication satellite is blocked and as a result the moving picture data sometimes freeze. Maximum value of the satellite visibility by the space diversity which uses two geostationary satellites is acquired in each city of Japan. From these simulation results, it was found that there was a limit in the improvement of the satellite visibility by the space. The limit of this improvement depends on the city. .Moreover the angle of elevation of the quasi zenith satellite which the satellite visibility exceeds the limit value of two geostationary satellites was acquired ,and these angles of elevation were compared between each city of Japan. It became clear that more than 69 degrees of an elevation angle of the quasi zenith satellite is necessary to exceed a maximum satellite visibility of two geostationary satellites.

  11. Mass media campaign improves cervical screening across all socio-economic groups.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Jenny O; Mullins, Robyn M; Siahpush, Mohammad; Spittal, Matthew J; Wakefield, Melanie

    2009-10-01

    Low socio-economic status (SES) has been associated with lower cervical screening rates. Mass media is one known strategy that can increase cervical screening participation. This study sought to determine whether a mass media campaign conducted in Victoria, Australia, in 2005 was effective in encouraging women across all SES groups to screen. Data were obtained from the Victorian Cervical Cytology Registry for each Pap test registered during 2005 and categorized into SES quintiles using the Index of Socio-Economic Advantage/Disadvantage. Negative binomial regression was used to determine the impact of the campaign on the weekly number of Pap tests and whether the media campaign had a differential effect by SES, after adjusting for the number of workdays per week, age group and time since previous test. Cervical screening increased 27% during the campaign period and was equally effective in encouraging screening across all SES groups, including low-SES women. Mass media campaigns can prompt increased rates of cervical screening among all women, not just those from more advantaged areas. Combining media with additional strategies targeted at low-SES women may help lessen the underlying differences in screening rates across SES. PMID:19342422

  12. Economic analysis of interventions to improve village chicken production in Myanmar.

    PubMed

    Henning, J; Morton, J; Pym, R; Hla, T; Sunn, K; Meers, J

    2013-07-01

    A cost-benefit analysis using deterministic and stochastic modelling was conducted to identify the net benefits for households that adopt (1) vaccination of individual birds against Newcastle disease (ND) or (2) improved management of chick rearing by providing coops for the protection of chicks from predation and chick starter feed inside a creep feeder to support chicks' nutrition in village chicken flocks in Myanmar. Partial budgeting was used to assess the additional costs and benefits associated with each of the two interventions tested relative to neither strategy. In the deterministic model, over the first 3 years after the introduction of the interventions, the cumulative sum of the net differences from neither strategy was 13,189Kyat for ND vaccination and 77,645Kyat for improved chick management (effective exchange rate in 2005: 1000Kyat=1$US). Both interventions were also profitable after discounting over a 10-year period; Net Present Values for ND vaccination and improved chick management were 30,791 and 167,825Kyat, respectively. The Benefit-Cost Ratio for ND vaccination was very high (28.8). This was lower for improved chick management, due to greater costs of the intervention, but still favourable at 4.7. Using both interventions concurrently yielded a Net Present Value of 470,543Kyat and a Benefit-Cost Ratio of 11.2 over the 10-year period in the deterministic model. Using the stochastic model, for the first 3 years following the introduction of the interventions, the mean cumulative sums of the net difference were similar to those values obtained from the deterministic model. Sensitivity analysis indicated that the cumulative net differences were strongly influenced by grower bird sale income, particularly under improved chick management. The effects of the strategies on odds of households selling and consuming birds after 7 months, and numbers of birds being sold or consumed after this period also influenced profitability. Cost variations for

  13. Projected techno-economic improvements for advanced solar thermal power plants

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fujita, T.; Manvi, R.; Roschke, E. J.

    1979-01-01

    The projected characteristics of solar thermal power plants (with outputs up to 10 MWe) employing promising advanced technology subsystems/components are compared to current (or pre-1985) steam-Rankine systems. Improvements accruing to advanced technology development options are delineated. The improvements derived from advanced systems result primarily from achieving high efficiencies via solar collector systems which (1) capture a large portion of the available insolation and (2) concentrate this captured solar flux to attain high temperatures required for high heat engine/energy conversion performance. The most efficient solar collector systems employ two-axis tracking. Attractive systems include the central receiver/heliostat and the parabolic dish.

  14. Improving Education Achievement and Attainment in Luxembourg. OECD Economics Department Working Papers, No. 508

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carey, David; Ernst, Ekkehard

    2006-01-01

    Improving education achievement in Luxembourg is a priority for strengthening productivity growth and enhancing residents' employment prospects in the private sector, where employers mainly hire cross-border workers. Student achievement in Luxembourg is below the OECD average according to the 2003 OECD PISA study, with the performance gap between…

  15. Economic Viewpoints in Educational Effectiveness: Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of an Educational Improvement Project.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Creemers, Bert; van der Werf, Greetje

    2000-01-01

    An evaluation of the Primary Education Quality Improvement Project in Indonesia illustrates that combining the knowledge base and methodology of educational effectiveness research and cost-effectiveness analysis provides fruitful possibilities for future theoretical/practical developments in both approaches. PEQIP positively affected student…

  16. Improving the Economic and Life Outcomes of At-Risk Youth.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ivry, Robert; Doolittle, Fred

    This paper outlines ideas and strategies to engage alienated and disaffected young people and help them acquire skills, gain work experience, and improve their lives. Based on lessons learned from three decades of demonstrations and evaluations concerning at-risk youth, the paper presents ideas that government agencies and private foundations…

  17. Predicting positive mental health in internally displaced persons in Indonesia: the roles of economic improvement and exposure to violent conflict.

    PubMed

    Saragih Turnip, Sherly; Sörbom, Dag; Hauff, Edvard

    2016-01-01

    Positive mental health, rather than just the absence of mental illness, is rarely investigated among the internally displaced persons (IDPs) affected by violent conflict in low-income countries. The purpose of this study was to investigate a model that could explain the interrelationship between factors contributing to positive mental health in displaced populations. In a longitudinal study we examine poverty, exposure to traumatic events and the change of material well-being after one year. We collected data in two consecutive years (2005 and 2006) from a community-based sample of IDPs in Ambon, Indonesia, through face-to-face structured interviews with consenting adults. Participants of this study were IDPs lived in Ambon during the violent conflict period. We interviewed 471 IDPs in the first year and reinterviewed 399 (85%) of the same subjects in the second year. The IDPs possessed good sense of coherence and subjective well-being. Our final model, which was generated by the use of structural equation modeling, fits the data well (χ(2) = 52.51, df = 45, p = .21, CFI = .99, RMSEA = .019). Exposure to violent conflict had a negative impact on IDPs' mental health initially and better economic conditions improved it (r = -.30 and .29 respectively). Mental health status one year previously was a strong predictor of future mental health, followed by individual economic growth in the past year (r = .43 and .29 respectively). On a group level the IDPs were resilient and adaptive to survive in adverse living conditions after devastating violent conflict, and the economic improvement contributed to it. PMID:26059612

  18. Salinity Tolerance Mechanism of Economic Halophytes From Physiological to Molecular Hierarchy for Improving Food Quality.

    PubMed

    Xu, Chongzhi; Tang, Xiaoli; Shao, Hongbo; Wang, Hongyan

    2016-06-01

    Soil salinity is becoming the key constraints factor to agricultural production. Therefore, the plant especially the crops possessing capacities of salt tolerance will be of great economic significance. The adaptation or tolerance of plant to salinity stress involves a series of physiological, metabolic and molecular mechanisms. Halophytes are the kind of organisms which acquire special salt tolerance mechanisms to respond to the salt tress and ensure normal growth and development under saline conditions in their lengthy evolutionary adaptation, so understanding how halophytes respond to salinity stress will provide us with methods and tactics to foster and develop salt resistant varieties of crops. The strategies in physiological and molecular level adopted by halophytes are various including the changes in photosynthetic and transpiration rate, the sequestration of Na+ to extracellular or vacuole, the regulation of stomata aperture and stomatal density, the accumulation and synthesis of the phytohormones as well as the relevant gene expression underlying these physiological traits, such as the stress signal transduction, the regulation of the transcription factors, the activation and expression of the transporter genes, the activation or inhibition of the synthetases and so on. This review focuses on the research advances of the regulating mechanisms in halophytes from physiological to molecular, which render the halophytes tolerance and adaption to salinity stress. PMID:27252587

  19. The Economics of Improving Medication Adherence in Osteoporosis: Validation and Application of a Simulation Model

    PubMed Central

    Schousboe, John T.; Losina, Elena; Solomon, Daniel H.

    2011-01-01

    Context: Adherence to osteoporosis treatment is low. Although new therapies and behavioral interventions may improve medication adherence, questions are likely to arise regarding their cost-effectiveness. Objective: Our objectives were to develop and validate a model to simulate the clinical outcomes and costs arising from various osteoporosis medication adherence patterns among women initiating bisphosphonate treatment and to estimate the cost-effectiveness of a hypothetical intervention to improve medication adherence. Design: We constructed a computer simulation using estimates of fracture rates, bisphosphonate treatment effects, costs, and utilities for health states drawn from the published literature. Probabilities of transitioning on and off treatment were estimated from administrative claims data. Setting and Patients: Patients were women initiating bisphosphonate therapy from the general community. Intervention: We evaluated a hypothetical behavioral intervention to improve medication adherence. Main Outcome Measures: Changes in 10-yr fracture rates and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios were evaluated. Results: A hypothetical intervention with a one-time cost of $250 and reducing bisphosphonate discontinuation by 30% had an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of $29,571 per quality-adjusted life year in 65-yr-old women initiating bisphosphonates. Although the ICER depended on patient age, intervention effectiveness, and intervention cost, the ICERs were less than $50,000 per quality-adjusted life year for the majority of intervention cost and effectiveness scenarios evaluated. Results were sensitive to bisphosphonate cost and effectiveness and assumptions about the rate at which intervention and treatment effects decline over time. Conclusions: Our results suggests that behavioral interventions to improve osteoporosis medication adherence will likely have favorable ICERs if their efficacy can be sustained. PMID:21733991

  20. Professional motivation and career plan differences between African-American and Caucasian dental students: implications for improving workforce diversity.

    PubMed Central

    Butters, Janice M.; Winter, Paul A.

    2002-01-01

    Vast disparities in oral health status coupled with projected decreases in African Americans enrolling in and graduating from dental school have heightened concern about the underrepresentation of African Americans in the dental profession. The purpose of this study was to explore differences between African-American and white American students regarding demographics, professional motivations, and career plans. African-American (n = 104) and white American (n = 226) dental students completed a biographical data survey instrument, which included information about family background and professional motivations and plans, and rated descriptions of three practice arrangements. African-American students were more motivated to become a dentist to serve the public, plan to specialize, work in an urban area, and work part-time. White American students were more motivated to become a dentist based on factors related to family commitments. Race was a significant predictor for student ratings for both solo and employee practice. Study results have implications for health professions educators, administrators, and policy makers in their efforts to improve the recruitment and retention of African-American students, shape dental curricula to meet diverse student needs, and implement loan forgiveness programs to enhance minority student recruitment. PMID:12078931

  1. Could Transparency Bring Economic Diversity?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kahlenberg, Richard D.

    2007-01-01

    The Spellings Commission report calls for greater access to higher education for low- and moderate-income students, greater transparency in the way higher education works and greater accountability for producing results. These recommendations are all significant in their own right, but the three concepts also converge to provide powerful support…

  2. Using the economics of certification to improve the safety and quality of male circumcision in developing countries: three models of implementation.

    PubMed

    Richards, Michael R

    2012-03-01

    Although male circumcision (MC) has been a widespread practice in some regions, while relatively new in others, it has recently ascended in popularity as a HIV-reduction intervention, particularly in areas with high rates of HIV but low rates of MC. However, the uptake and potential effectiveness of MC may be hampered by uneven levels of provider training and procedure skill within developing country settings. Indeed, this procedure that is otherwise considered simple and safe has witnessed complication rates as high as 25-35% in some areas, leaving some men with irreversible injuries. To improve the transparency of procedure quality for prospective patients, I borrow from a classic economics approach and advocate a new application in the form of provider certification. Building on some experience in the healthcare systems and economic rationale of high-income counties, I explore the potential for certifying providers of MC in low-income countries and compare and contrast three models of implementation: government agency, private certifiers and private MC device manufacturers. The hope is that increased transparency of provider quality through any or all three types of certifying programmes can better assist local men as they navigate this otherwise complex and unclear medical care market. As more resources are being devoted to MC scale up, I argue that certification should be considered for incorporation as a means of complementing both current and future efforts in order to enhance the effectiveness of MC campaigns. The two models based on privatized certification, as opposed to having the local government underwrite the intervention, may prove most useful when public or philanthropic funding is volatile or incomplete for a given location. The timing for MC campaign adoption and desired speed of scale up may vary across countries in ways that international assistance efforts cannot always immediately and flexibly adapt to. As such, the role of the diverse MC

  3. Modeling Water Utility Investments and Improving Regulatory Policies using Economic Optimisation in England and Wales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Padula, S.; Harou, J. J.

    2012-12-01

    Water utilities in England and Wales are regulated natural monopolies called 'water companies'. Water companies must obtain periodic regulatory approval for all investments (new supply infrastructure or demand management measures). Both water companies and their regulators use results from least economic cost capacity expansion optimisation models to develop or assess water supply investment plans. This presentation first describes the formulation of a flexible supply-demand planning capacity expansion model for water system planning. The model uses a mixed integer linear programming (MILP) formulation to choose the least-cost schedule of future supply schemes (reservoirs, desalination plants, etc.) and demand management (DM) measures (leakage reduction, water efficiency and metering options) and bulk transfers. Decisions include what schemes to implement, when to do so, how to size schemes and how much to use each scheme during each year of an n-year long planning horizon (typically 30 years). In addition to capital and operating (fixed and variable) costs, the estimated social and environmental costs of schemes are considered. Each proposed scheme is costed discretely at one or more capacities following regulatory guidelines. The model uses a node-link network structure: water demand nodes are connected to supply and demand management (DM) options (represented as nodes) or to other demand nodes (transfers). Yields from existing and proposed are estimated separately using detailed water resource system simulation models evaluated over the historical period. The model simultaneously considers multiple demand scenarios to ensure demands are met at required reliability levels; use levels of each scheme are evaluated for each demand scenario and weighted by scenario likelihood so that operating costs are accurately evaluated. Multiple interdependency relationships between schemes (pre-requisites, mutual exclusivity, start dates, etc.) can be accounted for by

  4. Economic support to improve tuberculosis treatment outcomes in South Africa: a pragmatic cluster-randomized controlled trial

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Poverty undermines adherence to tuberculosis treatment. Economic support may both encourage and enable patients to complete treatment. In South Africa, which carries a high burden of tuberculosis, such support may improve the currently poor outcomes of patients on tuberculosis treatment. The aim of this study was to test the feasibility and effectiveness of delivering economic support to patients with pulmonary tuberculosis in a high-burden province of South Africa. Methods This was a pragmatic, unblinded, two-arm cluster-randomized controlled trial, where 20 public sector clinics acted as clusters. Patients with pulmonary tuberculosis in intervention clinics (n = 2,107) were offered a monthly voucher of ZAR120.00 (approximately US$15) until the completion of their treatment. Vouchers were redeemed at local shops for foodstuffs. Patients in control clinics (n = 1,984) received usual tuberculosis care. Results Intention to treat analysis showed a small but non-significant improvement in treatment success rates in intervention clinics (intervention 76.2%; control 70.7%; risk difference 5.6% (95% confidence interval: -1.2%, 12.3%), P = 0.107). Low fidelity to the intervention meant that 36.2% of eligible patients did not receive a voucher at all, 32.3% received a voucher for between one and three months and 31.5% received a voucher for four to eight months of treatment. There was a strong dose–response relationship between frequency of receipt of the voucher and treatment success (P <0.001). Conclusions Our pragmatic trial has shown that, in the real world setting of public sector clinics in South Africa, economic support to patients with tuberculosis does not significantly improve outcomes on treatment. However, the low fidelity to the delivery of our voucher meant that a third of eligible patients did not receive it. Among patients in intervention clinics who received the voucher at least once, treatment success rates were significantly

  5. The Economic Promise of Investing in High-Quality Preschool: Using Early Education to Improve Economic Growth and the Fiscal Sustainability of States and the Nation. Executive Summary

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Committee for Economic Development, 2006

    2006-01-01

    Preschool programs have long prepared children for early educational success, but investing in high-quality early education also offers promising ways to strengthen the future economic and fiscal position of states and the nation. The Committee for Economic Development (CED) believes that broadening access to preschool programs for all children is…

  6. Improving Conceptual Design for Launch Vehicles. The Bimese Concept: A Study of Mission and Economic Options

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Olds, John R.; Tooley, Jeffrey

    1999-01-01

    This report summarizes key activities conducted in the third and final year of the cooperative agreement NCC1-229 entitled "Improving Conceptual Design for Launch Vehicles." This project has been funded by the Vehicle Analysis Branch at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA. Work has been performed by the Space Systems Design Lab (SSDL) at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA. Accomplishments during the first and second years of this project have been previously reported in annual progress reports. This report will focus on the third and final year of the three year activity.

  7. Socio-economic improvements and health system strengthening of maternity care are contributing to maternal mortality reduction in Cambodia.

    PubMed

    Liljestrand, Jerker; Sambath, Mean Reatanak

    2012-06-01

    Maternal mortality has been falling significantly in Cambodia since 2005 though it had been stagnant for at least 15 years before that. This paper analyzes the evolution of some major societal and health system factors based on recent national and international reports. The maternal mortality ratio fell from 472 per 100,000 live births in 2000-2005 to 206 in 2006-2010. Background factors have included peace and stability, economic growth and poverty reduction, improved primary education, especially for girls, improved roads, improved access to information on health and health services via TV, radio and cellphones, and increased ability to communicate with and within the health system. Specific health system improvements include a rapid increase in facility-based births and skilled birth attendance, notably investment in midwifery training and numbers of midwives providing antenatal care and deliveries within an expanding primary health care network, a monetary incentive for facility-based midwives for every live birth conducted, and an expanding system of health equity funds, making health care free of cost for poor people. Several major challenges remain, including post-partum care, family planning, prevention and treatment of breast and cervical cancer, and addressing sexual violence against women, which need the same priority attention as maternity care. PMID:22789083

  8. Increasing performance of health care services within economic constraints: working towards improved incentive structures.

    PubMed

    Custers, Thomas; Klazinga, Niek S; Brown, Adalsteinn D

    2007-01-01

    There is increasing evidence that health care systems can create better value for money by improving performance and setting the right incentives. Worldwide this has led to an emergence of financial and non-financial incentive structures as a strategy to improve performance. The role of incentives is not only to motivate high performance through the alignment of results and rewards (financial/non-financial as well as direct/indirect) but also to enable health care providers to perform better by mitigating financial barriers that typically result from funding schemes. Various incentive structures in health care, identified in the scientific literature, are described in this article and available evidence on effectiveness and side effects is summarized. Literature shows that there is no single best approach to create an incentive yet and that the ability of financial and non-financial incentives to achieve desired results depends on a number of circumstantial elements. Several incentive schemes that can be used by health care insurers or local health authorities are discussed and concrete examples are provided. Decision-making on incentive schemes requires a careful design with the involvement of those targeted by incentives. PMID:17902405

  9. Melon (Cucumis melo L.) Diversity Analyses Provide Strategies for Germplasm Curation, Genetic Improvement and Evidentiary Support of Domestication Patterns

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The genetic diversity of melon market types (Cucumis melo L., 2n = 2x = 24) in China, an important secondary center of diversity, has not been examined. Therefore, reference accessions (India, Africa, Crete/Greece, Japan, Europe, USA, and Spain) and 68 Chinese cultigens (fresh market non-netted thi...

  10. Economic support to improve tuberculosis treatment outcomes in South Africa: a qualitative process evaluation of a cluster randomized controlled trial

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Poverty undermines the adherence of patients to tuberculosis treatment. A pragmatic cluster randomized controlled trial was conducted to investigate the extent to which economic support in the form of a voucher would improve patients’ adherence to treatment, and their treatment outcomes. Although the trial showed a modest improvement in the treatment success rates of the intervention group, this was not statistically significant, due in part to the low fidelity to the trial intervention. A qualitative process evaluation, conducted in the final few months of the trial, explained some of the factors that contributed to this low fidelity. Methods In-depth interviews were conducted with patients who received vouchers, nurses in intervention clinics, personnel in shops who administered the vouchers, and managers of the TB Control Programme. These interviews were analyzed thematically. Results The low fidelity to the trial intervention can be explained by two main factors. The first was nurses’ tendency to ‘ration’ the vouchers, only giving them to the most needy of eligible patients and leaving out those eligible patients whom they felt were financially more comfortable. The second was logistical issues related to the administration of the voucher as vouchers were not always available for patients on their appointed clinic dates, necessitating further visits to the clinics which they were not always able to make. Conclusions This process evaluation identifies some of the most important factors that contributed to the results of this pragmatic trial. It highlights the value of process evaluations as tools to explain the results of randomized trials and emphasizes the importance of implementers as ‘street level bureaucrats’ who may profoundly affect the way an intervention is administered. Trial registration Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN50689131, registered 21 April 2009. The trial protocol is available at the following web address: http://www