Science.gov

Sample records for advantages include increased

  1. 78 FR 69878 - First Advantage Corporation, Including On-Site Leased Workers From Tapfin, Staffworks, Aerotek...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-11-21

    ... Employment and Training Administration First Advantage Corporation, Including On-Site Leased Workers From... Staffing, St. Petersburg, Florida; First Advantage Corporation, Charlotte, North Carolina, First Advantage Corporation, Bolingbrook, Illinois; First Advantage Corporation, Dallas, Texas; First Advantage...

  2. Plant circadian clocks increase photosynthesis, growth, survival, and competitive advantage.

    PubMed

    Dodd, Antony N; Salathia, Neeraj; Hall, Anthony; Kévei, Eva; Tóth, Réka; Nagy, Ferenc; Hibberd, Julian M; Millar, Andrew J; Webb, Alex A R

    2005-07-22

    Circadian clocks are believed to confer an advantage to plants, but the nature of that advantage has been unknown. We show that a substantial photosynthetic advantage is conferred by correct matching of the circadian clock period with that of the external light-dark cycle. In wild type and in long- and short-circadian period mutants of Arabidopsis thaliana, plants with a clock period matched to the environment contain more chlorophyll, fix more carbon, grow faster, and survive better than plants with circadian periods differing from their environment. This explains why plants gain advantage from circadian control.

  3. Norco College's Summer Advantage Program: Leading Change to Increase College Readiness

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ring, April

    2016-01-01

    Norco College, in Riverside County, California, developed the Summer Advantage program in 2012. This program is designed to reduce the number of students placed into precollegiate-level courses and increase first-year retention through participation in academic workshops, intrusive advisement, and college orientation. After four years, the Summer…

  4. A competitive trade-off limits the selective advantage of increased antibiotic production

    PubMed Central

    Gerardin, Ylaine; Springer, Michael; Kishony, Roy

    2016-01-01

    In structured environments, antibiotic producing microorganisms can gain a selective advantage by inhibiting nearby competing species1. However, despite their genetic potential2,3, natural isolates often make only small amounts of antibiotics, and laboratory evolution can lead to loss rather than enhancement of antibiotic production4. Here we show that, due to competition with antibiotic resistant cheater cells, increased levels of antibiotic production can actually decrease the selective advantage to producers. Competing fluorescently-labeled Escherichia coli colicin producers with non-producing resistant and sensitive strains on solid media, we found that while producer colonies can greatly benefit from the inhibition of nearby sensitive colonies, this benefit is shared with resistant colonies growing in their vicinity. A simple model, which accounts for such local competitive and inhibitory interactions, suggests that the advantage of producers varies non-monotonically with the amount of production. Indeed, experimentally varying the amount of production shows a peak in selection for producers, reflecting a trade-off between benefit gained by inhibiting sensitive competitors and loss due to an increased contribution to resistant cheater colonies. These results help explain the low level of antibiotic production observed for natural species, and can help direct laboratory evolution experiments selecting for increased or novel production of antibiotics. PMID:27668360

  5. A competitive trade-off limits the selective advantage of increased antibiotic production.

    PubMed

    Gerardin, Ylaine; Springer, Michael; Kishony, Roy

    2016-09-26

    In structured environments, antibiotic-producing microorganisms can gain a selective advantage by inhibiting nearby competing species(1). However, despite their genetic potential(2,3), natural isolates often make only small amounts of antibiotics, and laboratory evolution can lead to loss rather than enhancement of antibiotic production(4). Here, we show that, due to competition with antibiotic-resistant cheater cells, increased levels of antibiotic production can actually decrease the selective advantage to producers. Competing fluorescently labelled Escherichia coli colicin producers with non-producing resistant and sensitive strains on solid media, we found that although producer colonies can greatly benefit from the inhibition of nearby sensitive colonies, this benefit is shared with resistant colonies growing in their vicinity. A simple model, which accounts for such local competitive and inhibitory interactions, suggests that the advantage of producers varies non-monotonically with the amount of production. Indeed, experimentally varying the amount of production shows a peak in selection for producers, reflecting a trade-off between benefit gained by inhibiting sensitive competitors and loss due to an increased contribution to resistant cheater colonies. These results help explain the low level of antibiotic production observed for natural species and can help direct laboratory evolution experiments selecting for increased or novel production of antibiotics.

  6. Increased gastrin gene expression provides a physiological advantage to mice under hypoxic conditions.

    PubMed

    Laval, Marie; Baldwin, Graham S; Shulkes, Arthur; Marshall, Kathryn M

    2015-01-15

    Hypoxia, or a low concentration of O2, is encountered in humans undertaking activities such as mountain climbing and scuba diving and is important pathophysiologically as a limiting factor in tumor growth. Although data on the interplay between hypoxia and gastrins are limited, gastrin expression is upregulated by hypoxia in gastrointestinal cancer cell lines, and gastrins counterbalance hypoxia by stimulating angiogenesis in vitro and in vivo. The aim of this study was to determine if higher concentrations of the gastrin precursor progastrin are protective against hypoxia in vivo. hGAS mice, which overexpress progastrin in the liver, and mice of the corresponding wild-type FVB/N strain were exposed to normoxia or hypoxia. Iron status was assessed by measurement of serum iron parameters, real-time PCR for mRNAs encoding critical iron regulatory proteins, and Perls' stain and atomic absorption spectrometry for tissue iron concentrations. FVB/N mice lost weight at a faster rate and had higher sickness scores than hGAS mice exposed to hypoxia. Serum iron levels were lower in hGAS than FVB/N mice and decreased further when the animals were exposed to hypoxia. The concentration of iron in the liver was strikingly lower in hGAS than FVB/N mice. We conclude that increased circulating concentrations of progastrin provide a physiological advantage against systemic hypoxia in mice, possibly by increasing the availability of iron stores. This is the first report of an association between progastrin overexpression, hypoxia, and iron homeostasis.

  7. Action specificity increases anticipatory performance and the expert advantage in natural interceptive tasks.

    PubMed

    Mann, David L; Abernethy, Bruce; Farrow, Damian

    2010-09-01

    The relationship between perception-action coupling and anticipatory skill in an interceptive task was examined using an in-situ temporal occlusion paradigm. Skilled and novice cricket batsmen were required to predict the direction of balls bowled towards them under four counterbalanced response conditions of increasing perception-action coupling: (i) verbal, (ii) lower-body movement only, (iii) full-body movement (no bat), and (iv) full-body movement with bat (i.e., the usual batting response). Skilled but not novice anticipation was found to improve as a function of coupling when responses were based on either no ball-flight, or early ball-flight information, with a response requiring even the lowest degree of body movement found to enhance anticipation when compared to a verbal prediction. Most importantly, a full-body movement using a bat elicited greater anticipation than an equivalent movement with no bat. This result highlights the important role that the requirement and/or opportunity to make bat-ball interception may play in eliciting skill differences for anticipation. Results verify the importance of using experimental conditions and task demands that closely reflect the natural performance environment in order to reveal the full nature of the expert advantage.

  8. The Catholic School Advantage in a Changing Social Landscape: Consistency or Increasing Fragility?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Freeman, Kendralin J.; Berends, Mark

    2016-01-01

    For several decades, researchers have examined sector effects on student outcomes. Several argue the presence of a Catholic school advantage (CSA), an effect that shows improvement of educational outcomes upon attendance at a Catholic school. The magnitude of this effect, however, is often debated, particularly in the era of educational reform. In…

  9. Assessing the benefits of a rising tide: Educational attainment and increases in neighborhood socioeconomic advantage.

    PubMed

    Johnston, William R

    2017-02-01

    An emerging approach to studying associations between neighborhood contexts and educational outcomes is to estimate the outcomes of adolescents growing up in neighborhoods that are experiencing economic growth in comparison to peers that reside in economically stable or declining communities. Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), I examine the association between education attainment and changes in socioeconomic advantage in urban neighborhoods between 1990 and 2000. I find that residing in a neighborhood that experiences economic improvements has a positive association with educational attainment for urban adolescents. Furthermore, race-based analyses suggest consistently positive associations for all race subgroups, lending support to protective models of neighborhood effects that argue high neighborhood SES supports positive outcomes for adolescents residing in these contexts.

  10. Ohio's Economic Advantage. Enhancing Workforce Performance. Improving Business Results. Increasing Global Competitiveness.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ohio Board of Regents, Columbus.

    This booklet contains 36 one-page "success stories" that reveal how the two-year colleges and the vocational and adult education system in Ohio are responding to business and industry needs with innovative problem solving and effective partnerships. Each profile includes a challenge, a solution, results, and comments from business…

  11. Advantages and challenges of increased antimicrobial copper use and copper mining.

    PubMed

    Elguindi, Jutta; Hao, Xiuli; Lin, Yanbing; Alwathnani, Hend A; Wei, Gehong; Rensing, Christopher

    2011-07-01

    Copper is a highly utilized metal for electrical, automotive, household objects, and more recently as an effective antimicrobial surface. Copper-containing solutions applied to fruits and vegetables can prevent bacterial and fungal infections. Bacteria, such as Salmonellae and Cronobacter sakazakii, often found in food contamination, are rapidly killed on contact with copper alloys. The antimicrobial effectiveness of copper alloys in the healthcare environment against bacteria causing hospital-acquired infections such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Escherichia coli O157:H7, and Clostridium difficile has been described recently. The use of copper and copper-containing materials will continue to expand and may lead to an increase in copper mining and production. However, the copper mining and manufacturing industry and the consumer do not necessarily enjoy a favorable relationship. Open pit mining, copper mine tailings, leaching products, and deposits of toxic metals in the environment often raises concerns and sometimes public outrage. In addition, consumers may fear that copper alloys utilized as antimicrobial surfaces in food production will lead to copper toxicity in humans. Therefore, there is a need to mitigate some of the negative effects of increased copper use and copper mining. More thermo-tolerant, copper ion-resistant microorganisms could improve copper leaching and lessen copper groundwater contamination. Copper ion-resistant bacteria associated with plants might be useful in biostabilization and phytoremediation of copper-contaminated environments. In this review, recent progress in microbiological and biotechnological aspects of microorganisms in contact with copper will be presented and discussed, exploring their role in the improvement for the industries involved as well as providing better environmental outcomes.

  12. The evolution of increased competitive ability, innate competitive advantages, and novel biochemical weapons act in concert for a tropical invader.

    PubMed

    Qin, Rui-Min; Zheng, Yu-Long; Valiente-Banuet, Alfonso; Callaway, Ragan M; Barclay, Gregor F; Pereyra, Carlos Silva; Feng, Yu-Long

    2013-02-01

    There are many non-mutually exclusive mechanisms for exotic invasions but few studies have concurrently tested more than one hypothesis for the same species. Here, we tested the evolution of increased competitive ability (EICA) hypothesis in two common garden experiments in which Chromolaena odorata plants originating from native and nonnative ranges were grown in competition with natives from each range, and the novel weapons hypothesis in laboratory experiments with leachates from C. odorata. Compared with conspecifics originating from the native range, C. odorata plants from the nonnative range were stronger competitors at high nutrient concentrations in the nonnative range in China and experienced far more herbivore damage in the native range in Mexico. In both China and Mexico, C. odorata was more suppressed by species native to Mexico than by species native to China. Species native to China were much more inhibited by leaf extracts from C. odorata than species from Mexico, and this difference in allelopathic effects may provide a possible explanation for the biogeographic differences in competitive ability. Our results indicate that EICA, innate competitive advantages, and novel biochemical weapons may act in concert to promote invasion by C. odorata, and emphasize the importance of exploring multiple, non-mutually exclusive mechanisms for invasions.

  13. Including dietary fiber and resistant starch to increase satiety and reduce aggression in gestating sows

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The swine industry is under a great deal of pressure to return sows to group housing. However, aggression during mixing of pregnant sows impacts sow welfare and productivity. The aim of this study was to increase satiety and reduce aggression by including dietary fiber and fermentable carbohydrate. ...

  14. U.S. Geological Survey budget would increase but includes targeted cuts to some key programs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Showstack, Randy

    2012-03-01

    The Obama administration's proposed budget for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) for fiscal year (FY) 2013 is 1.1 billion, 34.5 million (3.2%) above the Agency's 2012 enacted level. The budget includes 73.2 million in targeted increases but also has 49.5 million in proposed reductions, including cuts to some water and minerals programs and other areas. Funding for the budget was prioritized to maintain programs that are legislatively mandated, that are important for protecting lives and human property, and that are among the Obama administration's key emphases. These include research and development, which the administration believes will help end the economic recession, USGS director Marcia McNutt said at a 14 February briefing.

  15. Increased hematocrit after applications of conducted energy weapons (including TASER(®) devices) to Sus scrofa.

    PubMed

    Jauchem, James R

    2011-01-01

    Conducted energy weapons (CEWs) are used by law enforcement personnel to incapacitate individuals quickly and effectively, without intending to cause lethality. CEWs have been deployed for relatively long or repeated exposures in some cases. In laboratory animal models, central venous hematocrit has increased significantly after CEW exposure. Even limited applications (e.g., three 5-sec applications) resulted in statistically significant increases in hematocrit. Preexposure hematocrit was significantly higher in nonsurvivors versus survivors after more extreme CEW applications. The purpose of this technical note is to address specific questions that may be generated when examining these results. Comparisons among results of CEW applications, other electrical muscle stimulation, and exercise/voluntary muscle contraction are included. The anesthetized swine appears to be an acceptable animal model for studying changes in hematocrit and associated red blood cell changes. Potential detrimental effects of increased hematocrit, and considerations during law enforcement use, are discussed.

  16. A germ-line-selective advantage rather than an increased mutation rate can explain some unexpectedly common human disease mutations.

    PubMed

    Choi, Soo-Kyung; Yoon, Song-Ro; Calabrese, Peter; Arnheim, Norman

    2008-07-22

    Two nucleotide substitutions in the human FGFR2 gene (C755G or C758G) are responsible for virtually all sporadic cases of Apert syndrome. This condition is 100-1,000 times more common than genomic mutation frequency data predict. Here, we report on the C758G de novo Apert syndrome mutation. Using data on older donors, we show that spontaneous mutations are not uniformly distributed throughout normal testes. Instead, we find foci where C758G mutation frequencies are 3-4 orders of magnitude greater than the remaining tissue. We conclude this nucleotide site is not a mutation hot spot even after accounting for possible Luria-Delbruck "mutation jackpots." An alternative explanation for such foci involving positive selection acting on adult self-renewing Ap spermatogonia experiencing the rare mutation could not be rejected. Further, the two youngest individuals studied (19 and 23 years old) had lower mutation frequencies and smaller foci at both mutation sites compared with the older individuals. This implies that the mutation frequency of foci increases as adults age, and thus selection could explain the paternal age effect for Apert syndrome and other genetic conditions. Our results, now including the analysis of two mutations in the same set of testes, suggest that positive selection can increase the relative frequency of premeiotic germ cells carrying such mutations, although individuals who inherit them have reduced fitness. In addition, we compared the anatomical distribution of C758G mutation foci with both new and old data on the C755G mutation in the same testis and found their positions were not correlated with one another.

  17. Increased expression of fatty acid synthase provides a survival advantage to colorectal cancer cells via upregulation of cellular respiration.

    PubMed

    Zaytseva, Yekaterina Y; Harris, Jennifer W; Mitov, Mihail I; Kim, Ji Tae; Butterfield, D Allan; Lee, Eun Y; Weiss, Heidi L; Gao, Tianyan; Evers, B Mark

    2015-08-07

    Fatty acid synthase (FASN), a lipogenic enzyme, is upregulated in colorectal cancer (CRC). Increased de novo lipid synthesis is thought to be a metabolic adaptation of cancer cells that promotes survival and metastasis; however, the mechanisms for this phenomenon are not fully understood. We show that FASN plays a role in regulation of energy homeostasis by enhancing cellular respiration in CRC. We demonstrate that endogenously synthesized lipids fuel fatty acid oxidation, particularly during metabolic stress, and maintain energy homeostasis. Increased FASN expression is associated with a decrease in activation of energy-sensing pathways and accumulation of lipid droplets in CRC cells and orthotopic CRCs. Immunohistochemical evaluation demonstrated increased expression of FASN and p62, a marker of autophagy inhibition, in primary CRCs and liver metastases compared to matched normal colonic mucosa. Our findings indicate that overexpression of FASN plays a crucial role in maintaining energy homeostasis in CRC via increased oxidation of endogenously synthesized lipids. Importantly, activation of fatty acid oxidation and consequent downregulation of stress-response signaling pathways may be key adaptation mechanisms that mediate the effects of FASN on cancer cell survival and metastasis, providing a strong rationale for targeting this pathway in advanced CRC.

  18. Including dietary fiber and resistant starch to increase satiety and reduce aggression in gestating sows.

    PubMed

    Sapkota, A; Marchant-Forde, J N; Richert, B T; Lay, D C

    2016-05-01

    Aggression during mixing of pregnant sows impacts sow welfare and productivity. The aim of this study was to increase satiety and reduce aggression by including dietary fiber and fermentable carbohydrates. Sows were housed in individual stalls 7 to 14 d after breeding (moving day was considered d 0 of treatment) and were fed (at 0700 h) with a CONTROL (corn-soybean meal based with no additional fiber sources), RSTARCH (10.8% resistant starch), BEETPULP (27.2% sugar beet pulp), SOYHULLS (19.1% soybean hulls), or INCSOY (14.05% soybean hulls) for 21 d (5 sows/diet × 5 diets × 8 replications = 200 sows). The CONTROL diet was targeted to contain 185 g(d∙sow) NDF and the other diets were targeted to contain 350 g(d∙sow) NDF. The INCSOY diet was fed at 2.2 kg/(d∙sow) and the other diets were fed at 2 kg(d∙sow). On d 22, sows were mixed in groups of 5 (at 1200 h). Behaviors in stalls (on d 1, 7, 14, and 21) and after mixing (d 22 and 23), heart rate (on d 1, 7, 14, and 21), blood metabolites (on d 2, 8, 15, 22, and 25), and the effects of diets on production were collected and analyzed. Sows stood more ( < 0.01) and rested less ( < 0.001) over time irrespective of the diet. Sows on BEETPULP stood more ( < 0.01) and sows on SOYHULLS rested more ( < 0.01). Sham chewing increased over days irrespective of the diet. Chewing behavior (bar and feeder) increased with days on diet ( < 0.001) and was lowest in sows on the SOYHULLS diet ( = 0.045). When mixed, biting frequency in the first hour was highest for sows on the CONTROL diet (236.5 ± 62.6) and lowest for sows on the RSTARCH diet (90.5 ± 30.5). Skin lesions increased ( < 0.001) 24 h after mixing sows irrespective of diet. Blood urea nitrogen (BUN) concentration was lowest in sows fed BEETPULP and SOYHULLS ( < 0.001). Serum glucose concentration was highest in sows fed RSTARCH and BEETPULP ( = 0.04), but there was no day effect ( = 0.62) or diet × day interaction ( = 0.60). The NEFA was greatest in sows fed

  19. Practical advantages of evolutionary computation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fogel, David B.

    1997-10-01

    Evolutionary computation is becoming a common technique for solving difficult, real-world problems in industry, medicine, and defense. This paper reviews some of the practical advantages to using evolutionary algorithms as compared with classic methods of optimization or artificial intelligence. Specific advantages include the flexibility of the procedures, as well as their ability to self-adapt the search for optimum solutions on the fly. As desktop computers increase in speed, the application of evolutionary algorithms will become routine.

  20. Including the biogeochemical impacts of deforestation increases projected warming of climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scott, Catherine; Monks, Sarah; Spracklen, Dominick; Arnold, Stephen; Forster, Piers; Rap, Alexandru; Carslaw, Kenneth; Chipperfield, Martyn; Reddington, Carly; Wilson, Christopher

    2016-04-01

    Forests cover almost one third of the Earth's land area and their distribution is changing as a result of human activities. The presence, and removal, of forests affects the climate in many ways, with the net climate impact of deforestation dependent upon the relative strength of these effects (Betts, 2000; Bala et al., 2007; Davin and de Noblet-Ducoudré, 2010). In addition to controlling the surface albedo and exchanging carbon dioxide (CO2) and moisture with the atmosphere, vegetation emits biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs), which lead to the formation of biogenic secondary organic aerosol (SOA) and alter the oxidative capacity of the atmosphere, affecting ozone (O3) and methane (CH4) concentrations. In this work, we combine a land-surface model with a chemical transport model, a global aerosol model, and a radiative transfer model to compare several radiative impacts of idealised deforestation scenarios in the present day. We find that the simulated reduction in biogenic SOA production, due to complete global deforestation, exerts a positive combined aerosol radiative forcing (RF) of between +308.0 and +362.7 mW m-2; comprised of a direct radiative effect of between +116.5 and +165.0 mW m-2, and a first aerosol indirect effect of between +191.5 and +197.7 mW m-2. We find that the reduction in O3 exerts a negative RF of -150.7 mW m-2 and the reduction in CH4 results in a negative RF of -76.2 mWm-2. When the impacts on biogenic SOA, O3 and CH4 are combined, global deforestation exerts an overall positive RF of between +81.1 and +135.9 mW m-2 through changes to short-lived climate forcers (SLCF). Taking these additional biogeochemical impacts into account increases the net positive RF of complete global deforestation, due to changes in CO2 and surface albedo, by 7-11%. Overall, our work suggests that deforestation has a stronger warming impact on climate than previously thought. References: Bala, G. et al., 2007. Combined climate and carbon-cycle effects

  1. Educational advantage.

    PubMed

    2006-06-01

    WHAT SPECIAL ADVANTAGE DOES JERHRE offer to research ethics education? Empirical research employs concepts and methods for understanding and addressing problems; the methods employed can be generalized to related problems in new contexts. Research published in JERHRE uses concepts and methods designed to understand and solve ethical problems in human research. These tools can be reused by JERHRE's readership as part of their learning and problem solving. Instead of telling scientists, students, ethics committee members and others what they ought to do, educators can use curriculum based on the empirical articles contained in JERHRE to enable learners to solve the particular research-related problems they confront. Each issue of JERHRE publishes curriculum based on articles published therein. The lesson plans are deliberately general so that they can be adapted to the particular learners.

  2. Educational advantage.

    PubMed

    2006-03-01

    What special advantage does JERHRE offer to research ethics education? Empirical research employs concepts and methods for understanding and addressing problems; the methods employed can be generalized to related problems in new contexts. Research published in JERHRE uses concepts and methods designed to understand and solve ethical problems in human research. These tools can be reused by JERHRE's readership as part of their learning and problem solving. Instead of telling scientists, students, ethics committee members and others what they ought to do, educators can use curriculum based on the empirical articles contained in JERHRE to enable learners to solve the particular research-related problems they confront. Each issue of JERHRE publishes curriculum based on articles published therein. The lesson plans are deliberately general so that they can be adapted to the particular learners.

  3. Cannabidiol protects liver from binge alcohol-induced steatosis by mechanisms including inhibition of oxidative stress and increase in autophagy.

    PubMed

    Yang, Lili; Rozenfeld, Raphael; Wu, Defeng; Devi, Lakshmi A; Zhang, Zhenfeng; Cederbaum, Arthur

    2014-03-01

    Acute alcohol drinking induces steatosis, and effective prevention of steatosis can protect liver from progressive damage caused by alcohol. Increased oxidative stress has been reported as one mechanism underlying alcohol-induced steatosis. We evaluated whether cannabidiol, which has been reported to function as an antioxidant, can protect the liver from alcohol-generated oxidative stress-induced steatosis. Cannabidiol can prevent acute alcohol-induced liver steatosis in mice, possibly by preventing the increase in oxidative stress and the activation of the JNK MAPK pathway. Cannabidiol per se can increase autophagy both in CYP2E1-expressing HepG2 cells and in mouse liver. Importantly, cannabidiol can prevent the decrease in autophagy induced by alcohol. In conclusion, these results show that cannabidiol protects mouse liver from acute alcohol-induced steatosis through multiple mechanisms including attenuation of alcohol-mediated oxidative stress, prevention of JNK MAPK activation, and increasing autophagy.

  4. Increased virulence and competitive advantage of a/alpha over a/a or alpha/alpha offspring conserves the mating system of Candida albicans.

    PubMed

    Lockhart, Shawn R; Wu, Wei; Radke, Joshua B; Zhao, Rui; Soll, David R

    2005-04-01

    The majority of Candida albicans strains in nature are a/alpha and must undergo homozygosis to a/a or alpha/alpha to mate. Here we have used a mouse model for systemic infection to test the hypothesis that a/alpha strains predominate in nature because they have a competitive advantage over a/a and alpha/alpha offspring in colonizing hosts. Single-strain injection experiments revealed that a/alpha strains were far more virulent than either their a/a or alpha/alpha offspring. When equal numbers of parent a/alpha and offspring a/a or alpha/alpha cells were co-injected, a/alpha always exhibited a competitive advantage at the time of extreme host morbidity or death. When equal numbers of an engineered a/a/alpha2 strain and its isogenic a/a parent strain were co-injected, the a/a/alpha2 strain exhibited a competitive advantage at the time of host morbidity or death, suggesting that the genotype of the mating-type (MTL) locus, not associated genes on chromosome 5, provides a competitive advantage. We therefore propose that heterozygosity at the MTL locus not only represses white-opaque switching and genes involved in the mating process, but also affects virulence, providing a competitive advantage to the a/alpha genotype that conserves the mating system of C. albicans in nature.

  5. Reduced Dietary Sodium Intake Increases Heart Rate. A Meta-Analysis of 63 Randomized Controlled Trials Including 72 Study Populations.

    PubMed

    Graudal, Niels A; Hubeck-Graudal, Thorbjørn; Jürgens, Gesche

    2016-01-01

    Reduced dietary sodium intake (sodium reduction) increases heart rate in some studies of animals and humans. As heart rate is independently associated with the development of heart failure and increased risk of premature death a potential increase in heart rate could be a harmful side-effect of sodium reduction. The purpose of the present meta-analysis was to investigate the effect of sodium reduction on heart rate. Relevant studies were retrieved from an updated pool of 176 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published in the period 1973-2014. Sixty-three of the RCTs including 72 study populations reported data on heart rate. In a meta-analysis of these data sodium reduction increased heart rate with 1.65 beats per minute [95% CI: 1.19, 2.11], p < 0.00001, corresponding to 2.4% of the baseline heart rate. This effect was independent of baseline blood pressure. In conclusion sodium reduction increases heart rate by as much (2.4%) as it decreases blood pressure (2.5%). This side-effect, which may cause harmful health effects, contributes to the need for a revision of the present dietary guidelines.

  6. Increasing optical absorption in one-dimensional photonic crystals including MoS2 monolayer for photovoltaics applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ansari, N.; Mohebbi, E.

    2016-12-01

    Investigation of optical absorption of monolayer Molybdenum disulfide, MoS2, has attracted intense attention for its application in the visible optoelectronic and photonic elements. In this paper, one-dimensional photonic crystals (1DPCs) including MoS2 monolayer are designed toward increasing the optical absorption. Reflection and absorption spectra for TE and TM modes are calculated by transfer matrix method (TMM) for different designs. We found that the optical absorption wavelength of designed structures can be tuned by changing the number of period or using of different materials in the 1DPC.

  7. Increasing resource allocation and research into tobacco control activities: a comprehensive approach including primary prevention, treatment and brief intervention.

    PubMed

    Richmond, R

    1993-01-01

    The range of tobacco control activities should be viewed as essential parts of a complex multi-component puzzle. Intervention strategies designed to address tobacco control should be comprehensive and include both primary and secondary prevention activities and be multi-faceted and capable of bringing about change at both the individual and broader social and cultural levels. In this paper I argue for a mutually inclusive framework in which the various components contribute in important and different ways. I examine the prevalence of smoking and identify the high risk groups, then I examine the range of available strategies and present the evidence for their success. I discuss the primary prevention approaches such as warning labels, taxes, price increases, workplace bans, education in schools, mass media and self-help materials, as well as brief interventions and treatment strategies which are conducted at the worksite, general practice and specialized cessation clinics. The areas for future research are delineated for increased resource allocation and include: the best ways to disseminate brief interventions to smokers, methods to motivate smokers; training of health professionals to deliver brief interventions; enhancing quitting and access to existing treatment resources among specific disadvantaged minority groups, e.g. migrants, unemployed youth, the effect on smoking prevalence of warning labels on cigarette packets and price rises on cigarettes.

  8. Creating Collaborative Advantage.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Huxham, Chris, Ed.

    Although interorganizational collaboration is becoming increasingly significant as a means of achieving organizational objectives, it is not an easy process to implement. Drawing on the work of authors with extensive experience, an accessible introduction to the theory and practice of creating collaborative advantage is presented in this volume.…

  9. A review of the application of propensity score methods yielded increasing use, advantages in specific settings, but not substantially different estimates compared with conventional multivariable methods

    PubMed Central

    Stürmer, Til; Joshi, Manisha; Glynn, Robert J.; Avorn, Jerry; Rothman, Kenneth J.; Schneeweiss, Sebastian

    2006-01-01

    Objective Propensity score analyses attempt to control for confounding in non-experimental studies by adjusting for the likelihood that a given patient is exposed. Such analyses have been proposed to address confounding by indication, but there is little empirical evidence that they achieve better control than conventional multivariate outcome modeling. Study design and methods Using PubMed and Science Citation Index, we assessed the use of propensity scores over time and critically evaluated studies published through 2003. Results Use of propensity scores increased from a total of 8 papers before 1998 to 71 in 2003. Most of the 177 published studies abstracted assessed medications (N=60) or surgical interventions (N=51), mainly in cardiology and cardiac surgery (N=90). Whether PS methods or conventional outcome models were used to control for confounding had little effect on results in those studies in which such comparison was possible. Only 9 out of 69 studies (13%) had an effect estimate that differed by more than 20% from that obtained with a conventional outcome model in all PS analyses presented. Conclusions Publication of results based on propensity score methods has increased dramatically, but there is little evidence that these methods yield substantially different estimates compared with conventional multivariable methods. PMID:16632131

  10. An increase in melatonin in transgenic rice causes pleiotropic phenotypes, including enhanced seedling growth, delayed flowering, and low grain yield.

    PubMed

    Byeon, Yeong; Back, Kyoungwhan

    2014-05-01

    No previous reports have described the effects of an increase in endogenous melatonin levels on plant yield and reproduction. Here, the phenotypes of melatonin-rich transgenic rice plants overexpressing sheep serotonin N-acetyltransferase were investigated under field conditions. Early seedling growth of melatonin-rich transgenic rice was greatly accelerated, with enhanced biomass relative to the wild type (WT). However, flowering was delayed by 1 wk in the transgenic lines compared with the WT. Grain yields of the melatonin-rich transgenic lines were reduced by 33% on average. Other phenotypes also varied among the transgenic lines. For example, the transgenic line S1 exhibited greater height and biomass than the WT, while the S10 transgenic line showed diminished height and an increase in panicle numbers per plant. The expression levels of Oryza sativa homeobox1 (OSH1) and TEOSINTE BRANCHED1 (TB1) genes, two key regulators of meristem initiation and maintenance, were not altered in the transgenic lines. These data demonstrate that an alteration of endogenous melatonin levels leads to pleiotropic effects such as height, biomass, panicle number, flowering time, and grain yield, indicating that melatonin behaves as a signaling molecule in plant growth and reproduction.

  11. Including Thermal Fluctuations in Actomyosin Stable States Increases the Predicted Force per Motor and Macroscopic Efficiency in Muscle Modelling.

    PubMed

    Marcucci, Lorenzo; Washio, Takumi; Yanagida, Toshio

    2016-09-01

    Muscle contractions are generated by cyclical interactions of myosin heads with actin filaments to form the actomyosin complex. To simulate actomyosin complex stable states, mathematical models usually define an energy landscape with a corresponding number of wells. The jumps between these wells are defined through rate constants. Almost all previous models assign these wells an infinite sharpness by imposing a relatively simple expression for the detailed balance, i.e., the ratio of the rate constants depends exponentially on the sole myosin elastic energy. Physically, this assumption corresponds to neglecting thermal fluctuations in the actomyosin complex stable states. By comparing three mathematical models, we examine the extent to which this hypothesis affects muscle model predictions at the single cross-bridge, single fiber, and organ levels in a ceteris paribus analysis. We show that including fluctuations in stable states allows the lever arm of the myosin to easily and dynamically explore all possible minima in the energy landscape, generating several backward and forward jumps between states during the lifetime of the actomyosin complex, whereas the infinitely sharp minima case is characterized by fewer jumps between states. Moreover, the analysis predicts that thermal fluctuations enable a more efficient contraction mechanism, in which a higher force is sustained by fewer attached cross-bridges.

  12. Including Thermal Fluctuations in Actomyosin Stable States Increases the Predicted Force per Motor and Macroscopic Efficiency in Muscle Modelling

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Muscle contractions are generated by cyclical interactions of myosin heads with actin filaments to form the actomyosin complex. To simulate actomyosin complex stable states, mathematical models usually define an energy landscape with a corresponding number of wells. The jumps between these wells are defined through rate constants. Almost all previous models assign these wells an infinite sharpness by imposing a relatively simple expression for the detailed balance, i.e., the ratio of the rate constants depends exponentially on the sole myosin elastic energy. Physically, this assumption corresponds to neglecting thermal fluctuations in the actomyosin complex stable states. By comparing three mathematical models, we examine the extent to which this hypothesis affects muscle model predictions at the single cross-bridge, single fiber, and organ levels in a ceteris paribus analysis. We show that including fluctuations in stable states allows the lever arm of the myosin to easily and dynamically explore all possible minima in the energy landscape, generating several backward and forward jumps between states during the lifetime of the actomyosin complex, whereas the infinitely sharp minima case is characterized by fewer jumps between states. Moreover, the analysis predicts that thermal fluctuations enable a more efficient contraction mechanism, in which a higher force is sustained by fewer attached cross-bridges. PMID:27626630

  13. Travel and the home advantage.

    PubMed

    Pace, A; Carron, A V

    1992-03-01

    The purpose of the present study was to examine the relative contributions of various travel related variables to visiting team success in the National Hockey League. A multiple regression design was used with game outcome as the dependent variable. The independent variables of interest included, as main effects and interactions, number of time zones crossed, direction of travel, distance traveled, preparation/adjustment time, time of season, game number on the road trip, and the home stand. Visiting team success was negatively associated with the interaction of number of time zones crossed and increased preparation time between games, and was positively associated with game number on the road. It was concluded that only a small portion of the variance in the home advantage/visitor disadvantage can be explained by travel related factors.

  14. Competitive Intelligence and Social Advantage.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Davenport, Elisabeth; Cronin, Blaise

    1994-01-01

    Presents an overview of issues concerning civilian competitive intelligence (CI). Topics discussed include competitive advantage in academic and research environments; public domain information and libraries; covert and overt competitive intelligence; data diversity; use of the Internet; cooperative intelligence; and implications for library and…

  15. Were there evolutionary advantages to premenstrual syndrome?

    PubMed Central

    Gillings, Michael R

    2014-01-01

    Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) affects up to 80% of women, often leading to significant personal, social and economic costs. When apparently maladaptive states are widespread, they sometimes confer a hidden advantage, or did so in our evolutionary past. We suggest that PMS had a selective advantage because it increased the chance that infertile pair bonds would dissolve, thus improving the reproductive outcomes of women in such partnerships. We confirm predictions arising from the hypothesis: PMS has high heritability; gene variants associated with PMS can be identified; animosity exhibited during PMS is preferentially directed at current partners; and behaviours exhibited during PMS may increase the chance of finding a new partner. Under this view, the prevalence of PMS might result from genes and behaviours that are adaptive in some societies, but are potentially less appropriate in modern cultures. Understanding this evolutionary mismatch might help depathologize PMS, and suggests solutions, including the choice to use cycle-stopping contraception. PMID:25469168

  16. Will the Latino Mortality Advantage Endure?

    PubMed Central

    Goldman, Noreen

    2016-01-01

    Persons of Mexican origin and some other Latino groups in the US have experienced a survival advantage compared with their non-Latino white counterparts, a pattern known as the Latino, Hispanic or epidemiological paradox. However, high rates of obesity and diabetes among Latinos relative to whites and continued increases in the prevalence of these conditions suggest that this advantage may soon disappear. Other phenomena, including high rates of disability in the older Latino population compared with whites, new evidence of health declines shortly after migration to the US, increasing environmental stressors for immigrants, and high risk values of inflammatory markers among Latinos compared with whites support this prediction. One powerful counterargument, however, is substantially lower smoking-attributable mortality among Latinos. Still, it is questionable as to whether smoking behavior can counteract the many forces at play that may impede Latinos from experiencing future improvements in longevity on a par with whites. PMID:26966251

  17. 76 FR 9626 - Community Advantage Pilot Program

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-02-18

    ... ADMINISTRATION Community Advantage Pilot Program AGENCY: U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). ACTION: Notice... Advantage'' to provide 7(a) loan guaranties to small businesses in underserved markets, including Veterans and members of the military community. The Community Advantage Pilot Program will allow...

  18. 77 FR 67433 - Community Advantage Pilot Program

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-11-09

    ... ADMINISTRATION Community Advantage Pilot Program AGENCY: U.S. Small Business Administration. ACTION: Notice of extension of and changes to Community Advantage Pilot Program and request for comments. SUMMARY: The Community Advantage (``CA'') Pilot Program is a pilot program to increase SBA-guaranteed loans to...

  19. Advantages of proteins being disordered

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Zhirong; Huang, Yongqi

    2014-01-01

    The past decade has witnessed great advances in our understanding of protein structure-function relationships in terms of the ubiquitous existence of intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) and intrinsically disordered regions (IDRs). The structural disorder of IDPs/IDRs enables them to play essential functions that are complementary to those of ordered proteins. In addition, IDPs/IDRs are persistent in evolution. Therefore, they are expected to possess some advantages over ordered proteins. In this review, we summarize and survey nine possible advantages of IDPs/IDRs: economizing genome/protein resources, overcoming steric restrictions in binding, achieving high specificity with low affinity, increasing binding rate, facilitating posttranslational modifications, enabling flexible linkers, preventing aggregation, providing resistance to non-native conditions, and allowing compatibility with more available sequences. Some potential advantages of IDPs/IDRs are not well understood and require both experimental and theoretical approaches to decipher. The connection with protein design is also briefly discussed. PMID:24532081

  20. Cholesteryl ester loading of mouse peritoneal macrophages is associated with changes in the expression or modification of specific cellular proteins, including increase in an alpha-enolase isoform.

    PubMed

    Bottalico, L A; Kendrick, N C; Keller, A; Li, Y; Tabas, I

    1993-02-01

    This report explores the hypothesis that massive cholesteryl ester (CE) accumulation in macrophages, such as that occurring in atheroma foam cells, results in changes in the expression or modification of specific cellular proteins. Two-dimensional (2-D) gel electrophoretic patterns of metabolically labeled cellular proteins from mouse peritoneal macrophages that were loaded with CE (through incubation with acetylated low density lipoprotein [acetyl-LDL] for 4 days) were compared with those of control macrophages. Densitometric analysis of 2-D gel autoradiograms from the cell lysates revealed statistically significant changes in seven cellular proteins (five decreases and two increases). The changes in protein expression (foam cell versus control) ranged from a 458 +/- 164% (p < 0.001) increase to a 35 +/- 34% (p < 0.001) decrease (n = 11). Incubation of macrophages with beta-very low density lipoprotein, which also increased the CE content of macrophages (albeit to a lesser extent than acetyl-LDL), resulted in changes in five of the seven proteins. In contrast, incubation of cells with LDL, fucoidan, or latex beads, none of which caused CE accumulation, did not lead to significant changes in four of these five proteins. One of these four proteins, which increased fourfold to fivefold in foam cells (M(r) = 49,000; isoelectric point of 6.8), was purified by preparative 2-D gel electrophoresis. Internal amino acid sequence of cyanogen bromide fragments of this protein as well as Western blot analysis identified this protein as an isoform of alpha-enolase. The increased expression of this alpha-enolase isoform, which was seen as early as day 2 of acetyl-LDL incubation of the macrophages, was diminished by including an inhibitor of cholesterol esterification during the acetyl-LDL incubation period. In conclusion, macrophage foam cell formation is associated with distinct changes in protein expression, including a marked increase in an isoform of alpha

  1. The SWIR advantage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lane, Richard N.

    1995-09-01

    The advantage of panchromatic imaging at wavelengths between 1.1 - 2.5 micrometer [short-wave infrared (SWIR)] to that of 0.5 - 1.0 micrometer [visible and near wave infrared (NWIR)] is shown by analysis and experiment in this paper. At long ranges and under low visibility conditions, the signal-to-noise ratio and image quality in the SWIR are significantly better than in the NWIR and visible spectral bands. This effect can be utilized to great advantage in airborne reconnaissance to extend the range of coverage and to improve the interpretability of the product. Such improvements apply to ground-based and space borne systems as well. Other system benefits are derived by utilizing SWIR in place of the NWIR wavelength region. Stabilization requirements can be relaxed; larger optical fabrication, alignment, environmental and boundary layer wavefront error can be tolerated; and less degradation occurs due to atmospheric turbulence and dispersion error. SWIR systems can be fabricated with some of the same optical materials available as in the NWIR and visible systems. All these effects lead to a simpler, less-expensive, and more capable imaging system that together comprise the SWIR Advantage.

  2. [Internet research methods: advantages and challenges].

    PubMed

    Liu, Yi; Tien, Yueh-Hsuan

    2009-12-01

    Compared to traditional research methods, using the Internet to conduct research offers a number of advantages to the researcher, which include increased access to sensitive issues and vulnerable / hidden populations; decreased data entry time requirements; and enhanced data accuracy. However, Internet research also presents certain challenges to the researcher. In this article, the advantages and challenges of Internet research methods are discussed in four principle issue areas: (a) recruitment, (b) data quality, (c) practicality, and (d) ethics. Nursing researchers can overcome problems related to sampling bias and data truthfulness using creative methods; resolve technical problems through collaboration with other disciplines; and protect participant's privacy, confidentiality and data security by maintaining a high level of vigilance. Once such issues have been satisfactorily addressed, the Internet should open a new window for Taiwan nursing research.

  3. March 2013: Medicare Advantage update.

    PubMed

    Sayavong, Sarah; Kemper, Leah; Barker, Abigail; McBride, Timothy

    2013-09-01

    Key Data Findings. (1) From March 2012 to March 2013, rural enrollment in Medicare Advantage (MA) and other prepaid plans increased by over 200,000 enrollees, to more than 1.9 million. (2) Preferred provider organization (PPO) plan enrollment increased to nearly one million enrollees, accounting for more than 51% of the rural MA market (up from 48% in March 2012). (3) Health maintenance organization (HMO) enrollment continued to grow in 2013, with over 31% of the rural MA market, while private fee-for-service (PFFS) plan enrollment decreased to less than 10% of market share. (4) Despite recent changes to MA payment, rural MA enrollment continues to increase.

  4. Selective advantage for sexual reproduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tannenbaum, Emmanuel

    2006-03-01

    We develop a simplified model for sexual replication within the quasispecies formalism. We assume that the genomes of the replicating organisms are two-chromosomed and diploid, and that the fitness is determined by the number of chromosomes that are identical to a given master sequence. We also assume that there is a cost to sexual replication, given by a characteristic time τseek during which haploid cells seek out a mate with which to recombine. If the mating strategy is such that only viable haploids can mate, then when τseek= 0 , it is possible to show that sexual replication will always outcompete asexual replication. However, as τseek increases, sexual replication only becomes advantageous at progressively higher mutation rates. Once the time cost for sex reaches a critical threshold, the selective advantage for sexual replication disappears entirely. The results of this talk suggest that sexual replication is not advantageous in small populations per se, but rather in populations with low replication rates. In this regime, the cost for sex is sufficiently low that the selective advantage obtained through recombination leads to the dominance of the strategy. In fact, at a given replication rate and for a fixed environment volume, sexual replication is selected for in high populations because of the reduced time spent finding a reproductive partner.

  5. Selective advantage for sexual reproduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tannenbaum, Emmanuel

    2006-06-01

    This paper develops a simplified model for sexual reproduction within the quasispecies formalism. The model assumes a diploid genome consisting of two chromosomes, where the fitness is determined by the number of chromosomes that are identical to a given master sequence. We also assume that there is a cost to sexual reproduction, given by a characteristic time τseek during which haploid cells seek out a mate with which to recombine. If the mating strategy is such that only viable haploids can mate, then when τseek=0 , it is possible to show that sexual reproduction will always out compete asexual reproduction. However, as τseek increases, sexual reproduction only becomes advantageous at progressively higher mutation rates. Once the time cost for sex reaches a critical threshold, the selective advantage for sexual reproduction disappears entirely. The results of this paper suggest that sexual reproduction is not advantageous in small populations per se, but rather in populations with low replication rates. In this regime, the cost for sex is sufficiently low that the selective advantage obtained through recombination leads to the dominance of the strategy. In fact, at a given replication rate and for a fixed environment volume, sexual reproduction is selected for in high populations because of the reduced time spent finding a reproductive partner.

  6. Creating corporate advantage.

    PubMed

    Collis, D J; Montgomery, C A

    1998-01-01

    What differentiates truly great corporate strategies from the merely adequate? How can executives at the corporate level create tangible advantage for their businesses that makes the whole more than the sum of the parts? This article presents a comprehensive framework for value creation in the multibusiness company. It addresses the most fundamental questions of corporate strategy: What businesses should a company be in? How should it coordinate activities across businesses? What role should the corporate office play? How should the corporation measure and control performance? Through detailed case studies of Tyco International, Sharp, the Newell Company, and Saatchi and Saatchi, the authors demonstrate that the answers to all those questions are driven largely by the nature of a company's special resources--its assets, skills, and capabilities. These range along a continuum from the highly specialized at one end to the very general at the other. A corporation's location on the continuum constrains the set of businesses it should compete in and limits its choices about the design of its organization. Applying the framework, the authors point out the common mistakes that result from misaligned corporate strategies. Companies mistakenly enter businesses based on similarities in products rather than the resources that contribute to competitive advantage in each business. Instead of tailoring organizational structures and systems to the needs of a particular strategy, they create plain-vanilla corporate offices and infrastructures. The company examples demonstrate that one size does not fit all. One can find great corporate strategies all along the continuum.

  7. Does sports participation (including level of performance and previous injury) increase risk of osteoarthritis? A systematic review and meta-analysis

    PubMed Central

    Tran, Gui; Smith, Toby O; Grice, Adam; Kingsbury, Sarah R; McCrory, Paul; Conaghan, Philip G

    2016-01-01

    Background To assess the relationship between sport and osteoarthritis (OA), and specifically to determine whether previous participation, in terms of level (elite or non-elite), type of sport, intensity or previous injury, was associated with OA. Methods This systematic review was developed using PRISMA guidelines. Databases were searched (to May 2016). Narrative review and meta-analysis (with risk ratio (RR) and 95% CIs) approaches were undertaken where appropriate. Study quality was assessed using GRADE. Results 46 studies were included. Narratively, 31 studies reported an increased risk of OA, with 19 demonstrating an increased risk in elite athletes. There was an increased risk after sports exposure (irrespective of type; RR 1.37; 95% CI 1.14 to 1.64; 21 studies). It remained uncertain whether there was a difference in risk of OA between elite and non-elite athletes (RR 1.37; 95% CI 0.84 to 2.22; 17 studies). The risk was higher in soccer (RR 1.42; 95% CI 1.14 to 1.77; 15 studies) but lower in runners (RR 0.86; 95% CI 0.53 to 1.41; 12 studies). 9 studies showed an association with the intensity of sport undertaken and OA. 5 studies demonstrated a higher prevalence of OA following meniscectomies and anterior cruciate ligament tears. Overall, the evidence was of GRADE ‘very low’ quality. Conclusions There was very low-quality evidence to support an increased relationship between sports participation and OA in elite participants. It is unclear whether there is a difference in risk between elite and non-elite participants with further prospective studies needed to evaluate this. Pooled findings suggested that significant injuries were associated with OA in soccer players. PMID:27683348

  8. The Persistence of Wives' Income Advantage

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Winslow-Bowe, Sarah

    2006-01-01

    Recent reports using cross-sectional data indicate an increase in the percentage of wives who outearn their husbands, yet we know little about the persistence of wives' income advantage. The present analyses utilize the 1990-1994 waves of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 (N = 3,481) to examine wives' long-term earnings advantage.…

  9. Blogging to My Advantage

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stock, Mark

    2006-01-01

    In this article, the author discusses blogging and its benefits. Blog is shorthand for weblog, which is a series of items posted on the Internet for others to read. It usually includes text, images, and links to other websites. Blogs provide a running commentary or conversation. Although many people use blogs as online journals, detailing the…

  10. The Rural Advantage.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Coble, Charles R.; Koballa, Thomas R., Jr.

    1983-01-01

    Science teachers in rural areas have the opportunity to present their students with concrete examples of science concepts they're studying simply by going outdoors. Examples presented focus on earth science, food webs, succession, and comparative ecology. Tips for developing topics using outdoor experiences are included. (JM)

  11. Preliminary Report on Floodplain Animals of the Upper Mississippi River and the Illinois Waterway Including Some Probable Impacts of Increased Commercial Traffic,

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1975-01-01

    al. (1975) and covers the central region of the present study area. In total, 529 species or subspecies occur including 37 amphibians, 89 reptiles...included. When more than one subspecies occurs in the study area, all are listed after the species name. Birds utilizing the un- protected floodplain...Birds (1957) and the 32nd Supplement (1973). In a few cases where ranges have not been adequately deline- ated for subspecies , Mengel (1965) is followed

  12. The cost of privatization: extra payments to Medicare Advantage plans.

    PubMed

    Biles, Brian; Nicholas, Lauren Hersch; Cooper, Barbara S

    2004-05-01

    The recently enacted Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA) includes a broad set of provisions intended to enlarge the role of private health plans (called Medicare Advantage plans) in Medicare. This issue brief examines the payments that private plans are receiving in 2004 relative to costs in traditional fee-for-service Medicare, using data from the 2004 Medicare Advantage Rate Calculation Data spreadsheet. The authors find that, for 2004, Medicare Advantage payments will average 8.4 percent more than costs in traditional fee-for-service Medicare: $552 for each of the 5 million Medicare enrollees in managed care, for a total of more than $2.75 billion. In some counties, extra payments by Medicare are more than double this amount. Although the stated objective of efforts to increase enrollment in private plans is to lower costs, the policies of MMA regarding private plans explicitly increase Medicare costs in 2004 and through 2013.

  13. Vasectomy offers many advantages.

    PubMed

    Finger, W R

    1997-01-01

    Vasectomy, surgical sterilization for men, is very safe, has few side effects, and results in reported annual pregnancy rates of less than 1%. However, men in only a few countries widely adopt vasectomy as their contraceptive method of choice even though it is safer and easier to perform than female sterilization. Approximately 45 million men worldwide have been vasectomized, largely in China, Thailand, India, Korea, the UK, Canada, and the US. Vasectomy is not available in many developing countries, and even if it is available and men have heard of it, many have the misconception that vasectomy causes weakness and adversely affects male sexual function. When trying to increase the access, acceptability, and uptake of vasectomy, enough providers must be trained so that their services are readily available, sustained promotional campaigns should encourage method use, and male clinics and services should be available to help men feel comfortable. Competent counseling is essential to success. The myths and facts of vasectomy, the no-scalpel approach, and promotional campaigns are discussed.

  14. Medicare Advantage Enrollment Update 2016.

    PubMed

    Ullrich, Fred; Mueller, Keith

    2016-09-01

    Purpose. The RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis reports annually on rural beneficiary enrollment in Medicare Advantage (MA) plans, noting any trends or new developments evident in the data. These reports are based on data through March of each year, capturing results of open enrollment periods. Key Findings. (1)The number of non-metropolitan beneficiaries enrolled in MA and other prepaid plans increased to 2,189,300 as of March 2016, representing 21.8 percent of all non-metropolitan Medicare beneficiaries compared with 31.5 percent of beneficiaries enrolled in MA and other prepaid plans nationally. (2) While non-metropolitan enrollment continued to increase through March 2016, the annual growth rate slowed to 5.5 percent, compared to 6.8 percent between March 2014 and March 2015. (3) Enrollment in private fee-for-service MA plans continued to decline, both nationally and in non-metropolitan counties, while enrollment in other types of MA plans increased. (4) The states with the highest percentage of non-metropolitan beneficiaries enrolled in MA plans continued to be Minnesota, Hawaii, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and New York, ranging from a high of 53.4 percent in Minnesota to 32.6 percent in New York. (5) Non-metropolitan beneficiary enrollment (counts) in MA plans declined in five states: Hawaii, Idaho, Ohio, Washington, and Wyoming.

  15. Advantages of Oscillatory Hydraulic Tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kitanidis, P. K.; Bakhos, T.; Cardiff, M. A.; Barrash, W.

    2012-12-01

    Characterizing the subsurface is significant for most hydrogeologic studies, such as those involving site remediation and groundwater resource explo¬ration. A variety of hydraulic and geophysical methods have been developed to estimate hydraulic conductivity and specific storage. Hydraulic methods based on the analysis of conventional pumping tests allow the estimation of conductivity and storage without need for approximate petrophysical relations, which is an advantage over most geophysical methods that first estimate other properties and then infer values of hydraulic parameters. However, hydraulic methods have the disadvantage that the head-change signal decays with distance from the pumping well and thus becomes difficult to separate from noise except in close proximity to the source. Oscillatory hydraulic tomography (OHT) is an emerging technology to im¬age the subsurface. This method utilizes the idea of imposing sinusoidally varying pressure or discharge signals at several points, collecting head observations at several other points, and then processing these data in a tomographic fashion to estimate conductivity and storage coefficients. After an overview of the methodology, including a description of the most important potential advantages and challenges associated with this approach, two key promising features of the approach will be discussed. First, the signal at an observation point is orthogonal to and thus can be separated from nuisance inputs like head fluctuation from production wells, evapotranspiration, irrigation, and changes in the level of adjacent streams. Second, although the signal amplitude may be weak, one can extract the phase and amplitude of the os¬cillatory signal by collecting measurements over a longer time, thus compensating for the effect of large distance through longer sampling period.

  16. Benefits of Group Living Include Increased Feeding Efficiency and Lower Mass Loss during Desiccation in the Social and Inbreeding Spider Stegodyphus dumicola

    PubMed Central

    Vanthournout, Bram; Greve, Michelle; Bruun, Anne; Bechsgaard, Jesper; Overgaard, Johannes; Bilde, Trine

    2016-01-01

    Group living carries a price: it inherently entails increased competition for resources and reproduction, and may also be associated with mating among relatives, which carries costs of inbreeding. Nonetheless, group living and sociality is found in many animals, and understanding the direct and indirect benefits of cooperation that override the inherent costs remains a challenge in evolutionary ecology. Individuals in groups may benefit from more efficient management of energy or water reserves, for example in the form of reduced water or heat loss from groups of animals huddling, or through reduced energy demands afforded by shared participation in tasks. We investigated the putative benefits of group living in the permanently social spider Stegodyphus dumicola by comparing the effect of group size on standard metabolic rate, lipid/protein content as a body condition measure, feeding efficiency, per capita web investment, and weight/water loss and survival during desiccation. Because energetic expenditure is temperature sensitive, some assays were performed under varying temperature conditions. We found that feeding efficiency increased with group size, and the rate of weight loss was higher in solitary individuals than in animals in groups of various sizes during desiccation. Interestingly, this was not translated into differences in survival or in standard metabolic rate. We did not detect any group size effects for other parameters, and group size effects did not co-vary with experimental temperature in a predictive manner. Both feeding efficiency and mass loss during desiccation are relevant ecological factors as the former results in lowered predator exposure time, and the latter benefits social spiders which occupy arid, hot environments. PMID:26869936

  17. The Oilheat Manufacturers Associations Oilheat Advantages Project

    SciTech Connect

    Hedden, R.; Bately, J.E.

    1995-04-01

    The Oilheat Advantages Project is the Oilheat Manufacturers Association`s first project. It involves the creation and disseminaiton of the unified, well documented, compellingly packaged oilheat story. The project invovles three steps: the first step is to pull together all the existing data on the advantages of oilheat into a single, well documented engineering report. The second step will be to rewrite and package the technical document into a consumer piece and a scripted presentation supported with overheads, and to disseminate the information throughout the industry. The third step will be to fund new research to update existing information and discover new advantages of oilheat. This step will begin next year. The inforamtion will be packaged in the following formats: The Engineering Document. This will include all the technical information including the creditable third party sources for all the findings on the many advantages of oilheat; the Consumer Booklet. This summarizes all the findings in the Engineering Document in simple language with easy to understand illustrations and graphs; a series of single topic Statement Stuffers on each of the advantages; an Overhead Transparency-Supported Scripted Show that can be used by industry representatives for presentations to the general public, schools, civic groups, and service clubs; and the Periodic publication of updates to the Oilheat Advantages Study.

  18. Advantageous Solubility-Permeability Interplay When Using Amorphous Solid Dispersion (ASD) Formulation for the BCS Class IV P-gp Substrate Rifaximin: Simultaneous Increase of Both the Solubility and the Permeability.

    PubMed

    Beig, Avital; Fine-Shamir, Noa; Lindley, David; Miller, Jonathan M; Dahan, Arik

    2017-02-15

    Rifaximin is a BCS class IV (low-solubility, low-permeability) drug and also a P-gp substrate. The aims of this work were to assess the efficiency of different rifaximin amorphous solid dispersion (ASDs) formulations in achieving and maintaining supersaturation and to investigate the consequent solubility-permeability interplay. Spray-dried rifaximin ASDs were prepared with different hydrophilic polymers and their ability to achieve and maintain supersaturation was assessed. Then, rifaximin's apparent intestinal permeability was investigated as a function of increasing supersaturation both in vitro using the parallel artificial membrane permeability assay (PAMPA) and in vivo using the single-pass rat intestinal perfusion (SPIP) model. The efficiency of the different ASDs to achieve and maintain supersaturation of rifaximin was found to be highly polymer dependent, and the copovidone/HPC-SL formulation was found to be superior to the other two, allowing supersaturation of 200× that of the crystalline solubility for 20 h. In vitro, rifaximin flux was increased and the apparent permeability was constant as a function of increasing supersaturation level. In vivo, on the other hand, absorption rate coefficient (k a) was first constant as a function of increasing supersaturation, but at 250×, the crystalline solubility k a was doubled, similar to the k a in the presence of the strong P-gp inhibitor GF120918. In conclusion, a new and favorable nature of solubility-permeability interplay was revealed in this work: delivering high supersaturation level of the BCS class IV drug rifaximin via ASD, thereby saturating the drugs' P-gp-mediated efflux transport, led to the favorable unique win-win situation, where both the solubility and the permeability increased simultaneously.

  19. How Successful Is Medicare Advantage?

    PubMed Central

    Newhouse, Joseph P; McGuire, Thomas G

    2014-01-01

    Context Medicare Part C, or Medicare Advantage (MA), now almost 30 years old, has generally been viewed as a policy disappointment. Enrollment has vacillated but has never come close to the penetration of managed care plans in the commercial insurance market or in Medicaid, and because of payment policy decisions and selection, the MA program is viewed as having added to cost rather than saving funds for the Medicare program. Recent changes in Medicare policy, including improved risk adjustment, however, may have changed this picture. Methods This article summarizes findings from our group's work evaluating MA's recent performance and investigating payment options for improving its performance even more. We studied the behavior of both beneficiaries and plans, as well as the effects of Medicare policy. Findings Beneficiaries make “mistakes” in their choice of MA plan options that can be explained by behavioral economics. Few beneficiaries make an active choice after they enroll in Medicare. The high prevalence of “zero-premium” plans signals inefficiency in plan design and in the market's functioning. That is, Medicare premium policies interfere with economically efficient choices. The adverse selection problem, in which healthier, lower-cost beneficiaries tend to join MA, appears much diminished. The available measures, while limited, suggest that, on average, MA plans offer care of equal or higher quality and for less cost than traditional Medicare (TM). In counties, greater MA penetration appears to improve TM's performance. Conclusions Medicare policies regarding lock-in provisions and risk adjustment that were adopted in the mid-2000s have mitigated the adverse selection problem previously plaguing MA. On average, MA plans appear to offer higher value than TM, and positive spillovers from MA into TM imply that reimbursement should not necessarily be neutral. Policy changes in Medicare that reform the way that beneficiaries are charged for MA plan

  20. Home advantage in Greek football.

    PubMed

    Armatas, Vasilis; Pollard, Richard

    2014-01-01

    Home advantage as it relates to team performance at football was examined in Superleague Greece using nine seasons of game-by-game performance data, a total of 2160 matches. After adjusting for team ability and annual fluctuations in home advantage, there were significant differences between teams. Previous findings regarding the role of territorial protection were strengthened by the fact that home advantage was above average for the team from Xanthi (P =0.015), while lower for teams from the capital city Athens (P =0.008). There were differences between home and away teams in the incidence of most of the 13 within-game match variables, but associated effect sizes were only moderate. In contrast, outcome ratios derived from these variables, and measuring shot success, had negligible effect sizes. This supported a previous finding that home and away teams differed in the incidence of on-the-ball behaviours, but not in their outcomes. By far the most important predictor of home advantage, as measured by goal difference, was the difference between home and away teams in terms of kicked shots from inside the penalty area. Other types of shots had little effect on the final score. The absence of a running track between spectators and the playing field was also a significant predictor of goal difference, worth an average of 0.102 goals per game to the home team. Travel distance did not affect home advantage.

  1. Did Babe Ruth Have a Comparative Advantage as a Pitcher?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Scahill, Edward M.

    1990-01-01

    Advocates using baseball statistics to illustrate the advantages of specialization in production. Using Babe Ruth's record as an analogy, suggests a methodology for determining a player's comparative advantage as a teaching illustration. Includes the team's statistical profile in five tables to explain comparative advantage and profit maximizing.…

  2. 2014: Rural Medicare Advantage Enrollment Update.

    PubMed

    Kemper, Leah; Barker, Abigail; McBride, Timothy; Mueller, Keith

    2015-01-01

    Key Data Findings. (1) Reclassification of rural and urban county designations (due to the switch from 2000 census data to 2010 census data) resulted in a 10 percent decline in the number of Medicare eligible Americans living in rural counties in 2014 (from roughly 10.7 million to 9.6 million). These changes also resulted in a decline in the number of MA enrollees considered to be living in a rural area, from 2.19 million to 1.95 million. However, the percentage of Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in MA and prepaid plans in rural areas declined only slightly from 20.6 percent to 20.3 percent. (2) Rural Medicare Advantage (MA) and other prepaid plan enrollment in March 2014 was nearly 1.95 million, or 20.3 percent of all rural Medicare beneficiaries, an increase of more than 216,000 from March 2013. Enrollment increased to 1.99 million (20.4 percent) in October 2014. (3) In March 2014, 56 percent of rural MA enrollees were enrolled in Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans, 29 percent were enrolled in Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) or Point-of-Service (POS) plans, 7 percent were enrolled in Private Fee-for-Service (PFFS) plans, and 8 percent were enrolled in other prepaid plans, including Cost plans and Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) plans. (4) States with the highest percentage of rural Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in MA and other prepaid plans include Minnesota (49.1 percent), Hawaii (41.1 percent), Pennsylvania (35.4 percent), Wisconsin (34.3 percent), New York (30.4 percent), and Ohio (30.1 percent).

  3. Energy Advantages for Green Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Griffin, J. Tim

    2012-01-01

    Because of many advantages associated with central utility systems, school campuses, from large universities to elementary schools, have used district energy for decades. District energy facilities enable thermal and electric utilities to be generated with greater efficiency and higher system reliability, while requiring fewer maintenance and…

  4. An Experiment in Comparative Advantage.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haupert, Michael J.

    1996-01-01

    Describes an undergraduate economics course experiment designed to teach the concepts of comparative advantage and opportunity costs. Students have a limited number of labor hours and can chose to produce either wheat or steel. As the project progresses, the students trade commodities in an attempt to maximize use of their labor hours. (MJP)

  5. Achieving a sustainable service advantage.

    PubMed

    Coyne, K P

    1993-01-01

    Many managers believe that superior service should play little or no role in competitive strategy; they maintain that service innovations are inherently copiable. However, the author states that this view is too narrow. For a company to achieve a lasting service advantage, it must base a new service on a capability gap that competitors cannot or will not copy.

  6. Women's Heart Advantage Program: the impact 3 years later.

    PubMed

    Gombeski, William R; Kramer, R Kyle; Freed, Lisa; Foody, JoAnne; Parkosewich, Janet; Wilson, Tammi; Wack, Jeffery T; D'Onofrio, Gail

    2005-01-01

    Yale-New Haven Hospital, in partnership with Voluntary Hospital Association (VHA Inc), launched the Women's Heart Advantage program in March 2001. Major program components implemented include (1) a comprehensive initial and ongoing internal communication program; (2) a health promotion initiative including a 24-hour, 7-days-a-week women's heart line staffed by nurses and an Internet health question-and-answer forum; (3) significant ongoing communication with nurses and physicians; (4) a community outreach effort to educate poor and minority women; and (5) an aggressive effort to secure financial partners to underwrite the cost of the program. Before launching the program, a telephone survey of 300 randomly selected New Haven County women ages 40 to 70 years was initiated in January 2001 and repeated in January 2002, 2003, and 2004. Findings include (1) the percentage of women who recognize heart disease as the number-one killer of women their age increased from 26% in 2001 to 59% in 2004, (2) the percentage of women who would call 9-1-1 or go directly to a hospital emergency department increased from 63% in 2002 to 83% in 2004, and (3) the percentage of women aware of recent Women's Heart Advantage program promotion grew from 33% in 2002 to 50% in 2004. Perhaps most importantly, the number of women with heart problems admitted through the hospital's emergency department increased from 1528 per year in 2001 to 1870 per year in 2004 (7.5% annual increase), whereas the number of men with heart problems admitted through the emergency department during the same time period has been relatively low (0.8% annual increase). By linking clinical, public health, and marketing expertise along with finding ways to partner with other organizations, the Women's Heart Advantage program has contributed to remarkable changes in women's awareness, knowledge, and behaviors, suggesting a model for approaching similar health-related problems.

  7. Regular versus Online versus Blended: A Qualitative Description of the Advantages of the Electronic Modes and a Quantitative Evaluation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tang, Michael; Byrne, Roxanne

    2007-01-01

    The first part of this article discusses the advantages of offering courses online or in a blended format from an instructor's and manager's perspective. These advantages include: (a) improved distance support of faculty in the delivery of courses; (b) effective delivery of tutoring for students; (c) increased facility in the sharing of digital…

  8. Nonlocal advantage of quantum coherence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mondal, Debasis; Pramanik, Tanumoy; Pati, Arun Kumar

    2017-01-01

    A bipartite state is said to be steerable if and only if it does not have a single-system description, i.e., the bipartite state cannot be explained by a local hidden state model. Several steering inequalities have been derived using different local uncertainty relations to verify the ability to control the state of one subsystem by the other party. Here, we derive complementarity relations between coherences measured on mutually unbiased bases using various coherence measures such as the l1-norm, relative entropy, and skew information. Using these relations, we derive conditions under which a nonlocal advantage of quantum coherence can be achieved and the state is steerable. We show that not all steerable states can achieve such an advantage.

  9. Advantage of resonant power conversion in aerospace applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hansen, I. G.

    1983-01-01

    An ultrasonic, sinusoidal aerospace power distribution system is shown to have many advantages over other candidate power systems. These advantages include light weight, ease of fault clearing, versatility in handling many loads including motors, and the capability of production within the limits of present technology. References are cited that demonstrate the state of resonant converter technology and support these conclusions.

  10. New hydraulic downhole pump offers several advantages

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1983-06-01

    A self-contained, hydraulically operated plunger pump is available to replace conventional equipment in troublesome producing situations. The Soderberg pump from EMI Pump Systems uses an oscillating hydraulic fluid column to energize the plunger, thus eliminating the need for sucker rods and pump jacks or submersible motors. An advantage to the pump's design is that it will stroke only when the pump chamber has been vented of gasses and is filled with well liquids. This reduces energy consumption. Other advantages are discussed. The new pump consists of 4 basic sections including an upper subassembly that contains the pump's intelligence, a chamber to receive well fluids, a plunger and a pressurized nitrogen gas chamber that stores energy for the pump's return stroke.

  11. Taking advantage of natural biodegradation

    SciTech Connect

    Butler, W.A.; Bartlett, C.L.

    1995-12-31

    A chemical manufacturing facility in central New Jersey evaluated alternatives to address low levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in groundwater. Significant natural attenuation of VOCs was observed in groundwater, and is believed to be the result of natural biodegradation, commonly referred to as intrinsic bioremediation. A study consisting of groundwater sampling and analysis, field monitoring, and transport modeling was conducted to evaluate and confirm this phenomenon. The primary conclusion that can be drawn from the study is that observed natural attenuation of VOCs in groundwater is due to natural biodegradation. Based on the concept that natural biodegradation will minimize contaminant migration, bioventing has been implemented to remove the vadose-zone source of VOCs to groundwater. Taking advantage of natural biodegradation has resulted in significant cost savings compared to implementing a conventional groundwater pump-and-treat system, while still protecting human health and the environment.

  12. Combination pharmacotherapy for stopping smoking: what advantages does it offer?

    PubMed

    Ebbert, Jon O; Hays, J Taylor; Hurt, Richard D

    2010-04-16

    Globally, tobacco kills almost 5 million people around the world annually. Seven first-line pharmacotherapies are currently available and recommended by the United States Public Health Service (USPHS) clinical practice guideline for treating tobacco dependence, all of which have been proven to be effective for increasing tobacco abstinence rates when used as monotherapy. However, not all smokers are able to quit with single-drug therapy. Some smokers may benefit from combination therapy that includes the simultaneous use of different nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs) or medications with different mechanisms of action (e.g. NRT and bupropion). Combination therapy with different types of NRT may provide a therapeutic advantage by increasing serum nicotine concentrations, and combination therapy with different drugs may capitalize on synergy obtained from two different mechanisms of action. However, controversy exists regarding this approach. Available data suggests that combination therapy may increase abstinence rates compared with monotherapy. However, the cost effectiveness of this approach has not been clearly demonstrated.

  13. Evolutionary advantages of adaptive rewarding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szolnoki, Attila; Perc, Matjaž

    2012-09-01

    Our well-being depends on both our personal success and the success of our society. The realization of this fact makes cooperation an essential trait. Experiments have shown that rewards can elevate our readiness to cooperate, but since giving a reward inevitably entails paying a cost for it, the emergence and stability of such behavior remains elusive. Here we show that allowing for the act of rewarding to self-organize in dependence on the success of cooperation creates several evolutionary advantages that instill new ways through which collaborative efforts are promoted. Ranging from indirect territorial battle to the spontaneous emergence and destruction of coexistence, phase diagrams and the underlying spatial patterns reveal fascinatingly rich social dynamics that explain why this costly behavior has evolved and persevered. Comparisons with adaptive punishment, however, uncover an Achilles heel of adaptive rewarding, coming from over-aggression, which in turn hinders optimal utilization of network reciprocity. This may explain why, despite its success, rewarding is not as firmly embedded into our societal organization as punishment.

  14. Advantages and Uses of AMTEC

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lodhi, M. A. K.

    2012-10-01

    Static conversion systems are gaining importance in recent times because of newer applications of electricity like in spacecraft, hybrid-electric vehicles, military uses and domestic purposes. Of the many new static energy conversion systems that are being considered, one is the Alkali Metal Thermal Electric Converter (AMTEC). It is a thermally regenerative, electrochemical device for the direct conversion of heat to electrical power. As the name suggests, this system uses an alkali metal in its process. The electrochemical process involved in the working of AMTEC is ionization of alkali metal atoms at the interface of electrode and electrolyte. The electrons produced as a result flow through the external load thus doing work, and finally recombine with the metal ions at the cathode. AMTECs convert the work done during the nearly isothermal expansion of metal vapor to produce a high current and low voltage electron flow. Due to its principle of working it has many inherent advantages over other conventional generators. These will be discussed briefly.

  15. Advantage, Absence of Advantage, and Disadvantage Among Scientists and Engineers

    SciTech Connect

    Nancy DiTomaso

    2008-09-23

    DiTomaso talks about survey data on the career experiences of 3,200 scientists and engineers from 24 major companies. Her survey findings indicate that most people who do well in their careers and make significant contributions to their organizations get assistance from others in their workplace in many forms, including offering opportunities such as good projects, providing resources that make good performance more likely, and opening up networking possibilities.

  16. Enforced Clonality Confers a Fitness Advantage

    PubMed Central

    Martínková, Jana; Klimešová, Jitka

    2016-01-01

    In largely clonal plants, splitting of a maternal plant into potentially independent plants (ramets) is usually spontaneous; however, such fragmentation also occurs in otherwise non-clonal species due to application of external force. This process might play an important yet largely overlooked role for otherwise non-clonal plants by providing a mechanism to regenerate after disturbance. Here, in a 5-year garden experiment on two short-lived, otherwise non-clonal species, Barbarea vulgaris and Barbarea stricta, we compared the fitness of plants fragmented by simulated disturbance (“enforced ramets”) both with plants that contemporaneously originate in seed and with individuals unscathed by the disturbance event. Because the ability to regrow from fragments is related to plant age and stored reserves, we compared the effects of disturbance applied during three different ontogenetic stages of the plants. In B. vulgaris, enforced ramet fitness was higher than the measured fitness values of both uninjured plants and plants established from seed after the disturbance. This advantage decreased with increasing plant age at the time of fragmentation. In B. stricta, enforced ramet fitness was lower than or similar to fitness of uninjured plants and plants grown from seed. Our results likely reflect the habitat preferences of the study species, as B. vulgaris occurs in anthropogenic, disturbed habitats where body fragmentation is more probable and enforced clonality thus more advantageous than in the more natural habitats preferred by B. stricta. Generalizing from our results, we see that increased fitness yielded by enforced clonality would confer an evolutionary advantage in the face of disturbance, especially in habitats where a seed bank has not been formed, e.g., during invasion or colonization. Our results thus imply that enforced clonality should be taken into account when studying population dynamics and life strategies of otherwise non-clonal species in disturbed

  17. Take Advantage of Constitution Day

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McCune, Bonnie F.

    2008-01-01

    The announcement of the mandate for Constitution and Citizenship Day shortly before September, 2005, probably led to groans of dismay. Not another "must-do" for teachers and schools already stressed by federal and state requirements for standardized tests, increasingly rigid curricula, and scrutiny from the public and officials. But the…

  18. 76 FR 56262 - Community Advantage Pilot Program

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-09-12

    ... ADMINISTRATION Community Advantage Pilot Program AGENCY: U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). ACTION: Notice of change to Community Advantage Pilot Program. SUMMARY: On February 18, 2011, SBA published a notice and request for comments introducing the Community Advantage Pilot Program. In that notice,...

  19. 77 FR 6619 - Community Advantage Pilot Program

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-02-08

    ... ADMINISTRATION Community Advantage Pilot Program AGENCY: U.S. Small Business Administration. ACTION: Notice of changes to Community Advantage Pilot Program. SUMMARY: On February 18, 2011, SBA published a notice introducing the Community Advantage Pilot Program. In that notice, SBA provided an overview of the...

  20. Nurses’ Creativity: Advantage or Disadvantage

    PubMed Central

    Shahsavari Isfahani, Sara; Hosseini, Mohammad Ali; Fallahi Khoshknab, Masood; Peyrovi, Hamid; Khanke, Hamid Reza

    2015-01-01

    Background Recently, global nursing experts have been aggressively encouraging nurses to pursue creativity and innovation in nursing to improve nursing outcomes. Nurses’ creativity plays a significant role in health and well-being. In most health systems across the world, nurses provide up to 80% of the primary health care; therefore, they are critically positioned to provide creative solutions for current and future global health challenges. Objectives The purpose of this study was to explore Iranian nurses’ perceptions and experiences toward the expression of creativity in clinical settings and the outcomes of their creativity for health care organizations. Patients and Methods A qualitative approach using content analysis was adopted. Data were collected through in-depth semistructured interviews with 14 nurses who were involved in the creative process in educational hospitals affiliated to Jahrom and Tehran Universities of Medical Sciences in Iran. Results Four themes emerged from the data analysis, including a) Improvement in quality of patient care, b) Improvement in nurses’ quality of work, personal and social life, c) Promotion of organization, and d) Unpleasant outcomes. Conclusions The findings indicated that nurses’ creativity in health care organizations can lead to major changes of nursing practice, improvement of care and organizational performance. Therefore, policymakers, nurse educators, nursing and hospital managers should provide a nurturing environment that is conducive to creative thinking, giving the nurses opportunity for flexibility, creativity, support for change, and risk taking. PMID:25793116

  1. Environmental standards provide competitive advantage

    SciTech Connect

    Chynoweth, E.; Kirshner, E.

    1993-04-28

    Quality organizations are breaking new ground with the development of international standards for environmental management. These promise to provide the platform for chemical companies wanting to establish their environmental credibility with a global audience. [open quotes]It will be similar to auditing our customers to ISO 9000[close quote], says the environmental manager for a European chemical firm. [open quote]We will only want to deal with people who have got their environmental act together. And we'll be in a better competitive positions[close quote]. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO;Geneva) has set up a taskforce to develop an environmental management standard, which is expected to be completed by the mid-1990s. Observers think the ISO standard will draw heavily on the British Standard Institute's (BSI;London) environmental management standard, BS7750, which will likely be the first system adopted in the world. Published last year, BS7750 has been extensively piloted in the UK (CW, Sept. 30, 1992, p. 62) and is now set to be revised before being offically adopted by BSI. The UK's Chemical Industries Association (CIA;London) is anxious to prevent a proliferation of standards, and its report on BS7750 pilot projects calls for an approach integrating quality, environment, and health and safety. But standard setters, including ISO, appear to be moving in the opposite direction. In the US, the American national Standards Institute (ANSI;Washington) has started work on an environmental management standard.

  2. The manifold advantages of articulatory representations, Including microphone and speaker normalization

    SciTech Connect

    Hogden, J. E.; Valdez, P. F.; Gurvits, L.

    2002-01-01

    I'm going to be making two broad points during my talk. The first is that we should do a transformation from speech acoustics to articulator positions as part of our speech processing. The second point I will try to make is that we can do a transformation from speech sounds to articulator positions.

  3. IPP leveraged financing: Unfair advantage

    SciTech Connect

    Naill, R.F.; Dudley, W.C. )

    1992-01-15

    IPPs normally employ project financing - in which the loans for a project are secured primarily by the assets of the project (and not by the assets of the parent or owner of the project). To support project financing, the IPP developer puts together a package that includes a site, a signed electric contract, a steam contract (if the plant is to be a qualifying facility (QF) under PURPA), a construction contract, and all the necessary environmental permits. The developer then usually attempts to borrow as much of the project's capital costs as possible - ergo the term highly leveraged financing. This is because debt is cheaper than equity (equity is a riskier investment and requires a return significantly higher than debt), and cheaper still when is preferential tax treatment is considered. For this reason, equity is typically used by IPPs only to take risks that lenders are unwilling to assume, and to assure lenders that the developer will not walk away if a project becomes, less profitable. In contrast, a utility finances construction - and all its other capital requirements - by issuing debt or selling equity from the parent company. Its capital needs are typically financed by issuing equity and debt, secured by the assets on the balance sheet, in roughly a 50:50 ratio. The cost of debt depends on the utility's bond rating - with the more risky utilities rated lower and, therefore, paying more for debt. If borrowing new capital would cause the utility to exceed its allowed debt-to-equity ratio, the utility will have to sell equity to raise part of its capital requirements. In the case of utility financing, the debt is secured by all the utility's assets - not just those of the particular construction project needing the investment.

  4. Advantages and Challenges of Superconducting Accelerators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krischel, Detlef

    After a short review of the history toward high-energy superconducting (SC) accelerators for ion beam therapy (IBT), an overview is given on material properties and technical developments enabling to use SC components in a medical accelerator for full body cancer treatment. The design concept and the assembly of a commercially available SC cyclotron for proton therapy (PT) are described and the potential advantages for applying superconductivity are assessed. The discussion includes the first years of operation experience with regard to cryogenic and magnetic performance, automated beam control, and maintenance aspects. An outlook is given on alternative machine concepts for protons-only or for heavier ions. Finally, it is discussed whether the application of superconductivity might be expanded in the future to a broader range of subsystems of clinical IBT accelerators such as SC magnets for transfer beam lines or gantries.

  5. Optical advantages in retinal scanning displays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Urey, Hakan

    2000-06-01

    Virtual Retinal DisplayTM technology is a retinal scanning display (RSD) technology being developed at Microvision, Inc., for a variety of applications including microdisplays. An RSD scans a modulated light beam onto a viewer's retina to produce a perceived image. Red, green and blue light sources, such as lasers, laser diodes or LEDs combine with Microvision's proprietary miniaturized scanner designs to make the RSD very well suited for head-worn and helmet-mounted displays (HMD). This paper compares the features of RSD technology to other display technologies such as the cathode ray tubes or matrix-based displays for HMD and other wearable display applications, and notes important performance advantages due to the number of pixel- generating elements. Also discussed are some fundamental optical limitations for virtual displays used in the HMD applications.

  6. The mechanical defence advantage of small seeds.

    PubMed

    Fricke, Evan C; Wright, S Joseph

    2016-08-01

    Seed size and toughness affect seed predators, and size-dependent investment in mechanical defence could affect relationships between seed size and predation. We tested how seed toughness and mechanical defence traits (tissue density and protective tissue content) are related to seed size among tropical forest species. Absolute toughness increased with seed size. However, smaller seeds had higher specific toughness both within and among species, with the smallest seeds requiring over 2000 times more energy per gram to break than the largest seeds. Investment in mechanical defence traits varied widely but independently of the toughness-mass allometry. Instead, a physical scaling relationship confers a toughness advantage on small seeds independent of selection on defence traits and without a direct cost. This scaling relationship may contribute to seed size diversity by decreasing fitness differences among large and small seeds. Allometric scaling of toughness reconciles predictions and conflicting empirical relationships between seed size and predation.

  7. Vacuum-assisted drainage in cardiopulmonary bypass: advantages and disadvantages

    PubMed Central

    de Carvalho Filho, Élio Barreto; Marson, Fernando Augusto de Lima; da Costa, Loredana Nilkenes Gomes; Antunes, Nilson

    2014-01-01

    Systematic review of vacuum assisted drainage in cardiopulmonary bypass, demonstrating its advantages and disadvantages, by case reports and evidence about its effects on microcirculation. We conducted a systematic search on the period 1997-2012, in the databases PubMed, Medline, Lilacs and SciELO. Of the 70 selected articles, 26 were included in the review. Although the vacuum assisted drainage has significant potential for complications and requires appropriate technology and professionalism, prevailed in literature reviewed the concept that vacuum assisted drainage contributed in reducing the rate of transfusions, hemodilutions, better operative field, no significant increase in hemolysis, reduced complications surgical, use of lower prime and of smaller diameter cannulas. PMID:25140478

  8. Vegetarian diets: what are the advantages?

    PubMed

    Leitzmann, Claus

    2005-01-01

    A growing body of scientific evidence indicates that wholesome vegetarian diets offer distinct advantages compared to diets containing meat and other foods of animal origin. The benefits arise from lower intakes of saturated fat, cholesterol and animal protein as well as higher intakes of complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber, magnesium, folic acid, vitamin C and E, carotenoids and other phytochemicals. Since vegetarians consume widely divergent diets, a differentiation between various types of vegetarian diets is necessary. Indeed, many contradictions and misunderstandings concerning vegetarianism are due to scientific data from studies without this differentiation. In the past, vegetarian diets have been described as being deficient in several nutrients including protein, iron, zinc, calcium, vitamin B12 and A, n-3 fatty acids and iodine. Numerous studies have demonstrated that the observed deficiencies are usually due to poor meal planning. Well-balanced vegetarian diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including children, adolescents, pregnant and lactating women, the elderly and competitive athletes. In most cases, vegetarian diets are beneficial in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis, renal disease and dementia, as well as diverticular disease, gallstones and rheumatoid arthritis. The reasons for choosing a vegetarian diet often go beyond health and well-being and include among others economical, ecological and social concerns. The influences of these aspects of vegetarian diets are the subject of the new field of nutritional ecology that is concerned with sustainable life styles and human development.

  9. Childhood eczema: disease of the advantaged?

    PubMed Central

    Williams, H. C.; Strachan, D. P.; Hay, R. J.

    1994-01-01

    OBJECTIVE--To determine whether the increased prevalence of childhood eczema in advantaged socioeconomic groups is due to increased parental reporting. DESIGN--Comparison of parental reports of eczema with visible eczema recorded by medical officers during a detailed physical examination. SETTING--National birth cohort study. SUBJECTS--8279 children from England, Wales, and Scotland born during 3-9 March 1958 and followed up at the ages of 7, 11, and 16. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--Prevalence of eczema according to parental report compared with medical officer's examination at the ages of 7, 11, and 16. RESULTS--Prevalence of both reported and examined eczema increased with rising social class at the ages of 7, 11, and 16 years. The point prevalence of examined eczema at age 7 was 4.8%, 3.6%, 3.6%, 2.4%, 2.2%, and 2.4% in social classes I, II, III non-manual, III manual, IV, and V respectively (chi 2 value for linear trend 12.6, P < 0.001). This trend persisted after adjustment for potential confounders such as region and family size and was not present for examined psoriasis or acne. CONCLUSIONS--Eczema is more prevalent among British schoolchildren in social classes I and II than those in lower classes. Exposures associated with social class are probably at least as important as genetic factors in the expression of childhood eczema. PMID:8173454

  10. The cost of privatization: extra payments to Medicare Advantage plans--updated and revised.

    PubMed

    Biles, Brian; Hersch Nicholas, Lauren; Cooper, Barbara S; Adrion, Emily; Guterman, Stuart

    2006-11-01

    The Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 sharply increased payments to private Medicare Advantage plans. As a result, every plan in every county in the nation was paid more in 2005 than its enrollees would have been expected to cost if they had been enrolled in traditional fee-for-service Medicare. The authors calculate that payments to Medicare Advantage plans averaged 12.4 percent more than costs in traditional Medicare during 2005: a total of more than $5.2 billion, or $922 for each of the 5.6 million Medicare enrollees in managed care. This issue brief updates an earlier analysis of Medicare Advantage payments in 2005 previously published by The Commonwealth Fund; the updated estimates in this report are based on final 2005 enrollment figures that were not available at the time the previous estimates were developed, and they include the effect of policy decisions that were not reflected in the previous estimates.

  11. The Down Syndrome Advantage: Fact or Fiction?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Corrice, April M.; Glidden, Laraine Masters

    2009-01-01

    The "Down syndrome advantage" is the popular conception that children with Down syndrome are easier to rear than children with other developmental disabilities. We assessed whether mothers of children with developmental disabilities would demonstrate a consistent Down syndrome advantage as their children aged from 12 to 18 years. Results did not…

  12. Advantages of thin silicon solar cells for use in space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Denman, O. S.

    1978-01-01

    A system definition study on the Solar Power Satellite System showed that a thin, 50 micrometers, silicon solar cell has significant advantages. The advantages include a significantly lower performance degradation in a radiation environment and high power-to-mass ratios. The advantages of such cells for an employment in space is further investigated. Basic questions concerning the operation of solar cells are considered along with aspects of radiation induced performance degradation. The question arose in this connection how thin a silicon solar cell had to be to achieve resistance to radiation degradation and still have good initial performance. It was found that single-crystal silicon solar cells could be as thin as 50 micrometers and still develop high conversion efficiencies. It is concluded that the use of 50 micrometer silicon solar cells in space-based photovoltaic power systems would be advantageous.

  13. An energy-reduced dietary pattern, including moderate protein and increased nonfat dairy intake combined with walking promotes beneficial body composition and metabolic changes in women with excess adiposity: a randomized comparative trial

    PubMed Central

    Shlisky, Julie D; Durward, Carrie M; Zack, Melissa K; Gugger, Carolyn K; Campbell, Jessica K; Nickols-Richardson, Sharon M

    2015-01-01

    Moderate protein and nonfat dairy intake within an energy-reduced diet (ERD) may contribute to health benefits achieved with body weight (BW) loss. The current study examined the effectiveness of a weight-loss/weight-loss maintenance intervention using an ERD with moderate dietary protein (30% of kcals) and increased nonfat dairy intake (4–5 svg/d), including yogurt (INT group) and daily walking compared to an ERD with standard protein (16–17% of kcals) and standard nonfat dairy intake (3 svg/d) (COM group) with daily walking. A randomized comparative trial with 104 healthy premenopausal women with overweight/obesity was conducted in a university setting. Women were randomized to INT group or COM group. Anthropometric measurements, as well as dietary intake, selected vital signs, resting energy expenditure, blood lipids, glucose, insulin, and selected adipose-derived hormones were measured at baseline, and weeks 2, 12, and 24. Targets for dietary protein and nonfat dairy intake, while initially achieved, were not sustained in the INT group. There were no significant effects of diet group on anthropometric measurements. Women in the INT group and COM group, respectively, reduced BW (−4.9 ± 3.2 and −4.3 ± 3.3 kg, P < 0.001) and fat mass (−3.0 ± 2.2 and −2.3 ± 2.3 kg, P < 0.001) during the 12-week weight-loss phase and maintained these losses at 24 weeks. Both groups experienced significant decreases in body mass index, fat-free soft tissue mass, body fat percentage, waist and hip circumferences and serum triglycerides, total cholesterol, and leptin (all P < 0.001). Healthy premenopausal women with excess adiposity effectively lost BW and fat mass and improved some metabolic risk factors following an ERD with approximately 20% protein and 3 svg/d of nonfat dairy intake. PMID:26405524

  14. An energy-reduced dietary pattern, including moderate protein and increased nonfat dairy intake combined with walking promotes beneficial body composition and metabolic changes in women with excess adiposity: a randomized comparative trial.

    PubMed

    Shlisky, Julie D; Durward, Carrie M; Zack, Melissa K; Gugger, Carolyn K; Campbell, Jessica K; Nickols-Richardson, Sharon M

    2015-09-01

    Moderate protein and nonfat dairy intake within an energy-reduced diet (ERD) may contribute to health benefits achieved with body weight (BW) loss. The current study examined the effectiveness of a weight-loss/weight-loss maintenance intervention using an ERD with moderate dietary protein (30% of kcals) and increased nonfat dairy intake (4-5 svg/d), including yogurt (INT group) and daily walking compared to an ERD with standard protein (16-17% of kcals) and standard nonfat dairy intake (3 svg/d) (COM group) with daily walking. A randomized comparative trial with 104 healthy premenopausal women with overweight/obesity was conducted in a university setting. Women were randomized to INT group or COM group. Anthropometric measurements, as well as dietary intake, selected vital signs, resting energy expenditure, blood lipids, glucose, insulin, and selected adipose-derived hormones were measured at baseline, and weeks 2, 12, and 24. Targets for dietary protein and nonfat dairy intake, while initially achieved, were not sustained in the INT group. There were no significant effects of diet group on anthropometric measurements. Women in the INT group and COM group, respectively, reduced BW (-4.9 ± 3.2 and -4.3 ± 3.3 kg, P < 0.001) and fat mass (-3.0 ± 2.2 and -2.3 ± 2.3 kg, P < 0.001) during the 12-week weight-loss phase and maintained these losses at 24 weeks. Both groups experienced significant decreases in body mass index, fat-free soft tissue mass, body fat percentage, waist and hip circumferences and serum triglycerides, total cholesterol, and leptin (all P < 0.001). Healthy premenopausal women with excess adiposity effectively lost BW and fat mass and improved some metabolic risk factors following an ERD with approximately 20% protein and 3 svg/d of nonfat dairy intake.

  15. BIOREACTOR LANDFILLS, THEORETICAL ADVANTAGES AND RESEARCH CHALLENGES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Bioreactor landfills are municipal solid waste landfills that utilize bulk liquids in an effort to accelerate solid waste degradation. There are few potential benefits for operating a MSW landfill as a bioreactor. These include leachate treatment and management, increase in the s...

  16. Prochlorococcus: advantages and limits of minimalism.

    PubMed

    Partensky, Frédéric; Garczarek, Laurence

    2010-01-01

    Prochlorococcus is the key phytoplanktonic organism of tropical gyres, large ocean regions that are depleted of the essential macronutrients needed for photosynthesis and cell growth. This cyanobacterium has adapted itself to oligotrophy by minimizing the resources necessary for life through a drastic reduction of cell and genome sizes. This rarely observed strategy in free-living organisms has conferred on Prochlorococcus a considerable advantage over other phototrophs, including its closest relative Synechococcus, for life in this vast yet little variable ecosystem. However, this strategy seems to reach its limits in the upper layer of the S Pacific gyre, the most oligotrophic region of the world ocean. By losing some important genes and/or functions during evolution, Prochlorococcus has seemingly become dependent on co-occurring microorganisms. In this review, we present some of the recent advances in the ecology, biology, and evolution of Prochlorococcus, which because of its ecological importance and tiny genome is rapidly imposing itself as a model organism in environmental microbiology.

  17. Clinical advantages of carbon-ion radiotherapy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsujii, Hirohiko; Kamada, Tadashi; Baba, Masayuki; Tsuji, Hiroshi; Kato, Hirotoshi; Kato, Shingo; Yamada, Shigeru; Yasuda, Shigeo; Yanagi, Takeshi; Kato, Hiroyuki; Hara, Ryusuke; Yamamoto, Naotaka; Mizoe, Junetsu

    2008-07-01

    Carbon-ion radiotherapy (C-ion RT) possesses physical and biological advantages. It was started at NIRS in 1994 using the Heavy Ion Medical Accelerator in Chiba (HIMAC); since then more than 50 protocol studies have been conducted on almost 4000 patients with a variety of tumors. Clinical experiences have demonstrated that C-ion RT is effective in such regions as the head and neck, skull base, lung, liver, prostate, bone and soft tissues, and pelvic recurrence of rectal cancer, as well as for histological types including adenocarcinoma, adenoid cystic carcinoma, malignant melanoma and various types of sarcomas, against which photon therapy could be less effective. Furthermore, when compared with photon and proton RT, a significant reduction of overall treatment time and fractions has been accomplished without enhancing toxicities. Currently, the number of irradiation sessions per patient averages 13 fractions spread over approximately three weeks. This means that in a carbon therapy facility a larger number of patients than is possible with other modalities can be treated over the same period of time.

  18. Prochlorococcus: Advantages and Limits of Minimalism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Partensky, Frédéric; Garczarek, Laurence

    2010-01-01

    Prochlorococcus is the key phytoplanktonic organism of tropical gyres, large ocean regions that are depleted of the essential macronutrients needed for photosynthesis and cell growth. This cyanobacterium has adapted itself to oligotrophy by minimizing the resources necessary for life through a drastic reduction of cell and genome sizes. This rarely observed strategy in free-living organisms has conferred on Prochlorococcus a considerable advantage over other phototrophs, including its closest relative Synechococcus, for life in this vast yet little variable ecosystem. However, this strategy seems to reach its limits in the upper layer of the S Pacific gyre, the most oligotrophic region of the world ocean. By losing some important genes and/or functions during evolution, Prochlorococcus has seemingly become dependent on co-occurring microorganisms. In this review, we present some of the recent advances in the ecology, biology, and evolution of Prochlorococcus, which because of its ecological importance and tiny genome is rapidly imposing itself as a model organism in environmental microbiology.

  19. Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy: Part II. Advantages of FT-IR.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Perkins, W. D.

    1987-01-01

    This is Part II in a series on Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR). Described are various advantages of FT-IR spectroscopy including energy advantages, wavenumber accuracy, constant resolution, polarization effects, and stepping at grating changes. (RH)

  20. Advantages of a leveled commitment contracting protocol

    SciTech Connect

    Sandholm, T.W.; Lesser, V.R.

    1996-12-31

    In automated negotiation systems consisting of self-interested agents, contracts have traditionally been binding. Such contracts do not allow agents to efficiently accommodate future events. Game theory has proposed contingency contracts to solve this problem. Among computational agents, contingency contracts are often impractical due to large numbers of interdependent and unanticipated future events to be conditioned on, and because some events are not mutually observable. This paper proposes a leveled commitment contracting protocol that allows self-interested agents to efficiently accommodate future events by having the possibility of unilaterally decommitting from a contract based on local reasoning. A decommitment penalty is assigned to both agents in a contract: to be freed from the contract, an agent only pays this penalty to the other party. It is shown through formal analysis of several contracting settings that this leveled commitment feature in a contracting protocol increases Pareto efficiency of deals and can make contracts individually rational when no full commitment contract can. This advantage holds even if the agents decommit manipulatively.

  1. Using integration technology as a strategic advantage.

    PubMed

    Fry, P A

    1993-08-01

    The underlying premise of the Managed Competition Act previously cited is that through managed competition providers will be forced to lower care costs while increasing the level of positive care outcomes. Because it may also be that tomorrow's hospitals will find a severe rationing of technology, what can they do to prepare? Most of the systems in place today already have built within them all the necessary potential to address this premise and technology requirement with no change, no conversion, no expense for new equipment and software, and no disruption in day-to-day operations, just a little re-engineering. Today, however, these systems are similar to a 20-mule team pulling in different directions: all the power is there, but the wagon remains motionless and totally unable to reach its objective. It takes a skilled wagonmaster to bring them together, to make the mules work as a cohesive unit, to make the power of 20 mules greater than the sum of 20 mules. So it is and will be for the hospital of tomorrow. System integration is no longer a question of whether but of when. Those hospitals that use it today as a strategic advantage will be in a better position tomorrow to use it as a competitive strategic advantage in an environment that will reward low cost and high positive care outcomes and will penalize those that cannot compete. The technology is already here and economically within reach of nearly every hospital, just waiting to be used. The question that must nag all of us who want to make the health care system of America better is, Why not make the when now? Rich Helppie, president of Superior Consultant Company, summarized the solution well: The old ways will not give way to the new overnight. The re-engineering process in healthcare must evolve. Compared to the last 20 years, however, such evolution may appear to be a massive, forthright, complete, comprehensive, drastic and rapid revolution. Survival is the name of the game, and for healthcare

  2. The advantage of first mention in Spanish

    PubMed Central

    CARREIRAS, MANUEL; GERNSBACHER, MORTON ANN; VILLA, VICTOR

    2015-01-01

    An advantage of first mention—that is, faster access to participants mentioned first in a sentence—has previously been demonstrated only in English. We report three experiments demonstrating that the advantage of first mention occurs also in Spanish sentences, regardless of whether the first-mentioned participants are syntactic subjects, and regardless, too, of whether they are proper names or inanimate objects. Because greater word-order flexibility is allowed in Spanish than in English (e.g., nonpassive object-verb-subject constructions exist in Spanish), these findings provide additional evidence that the advantage of first mention is a general cognitive phenomenon. PMID:24203596

  3. Self-Advantage in the Online World

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Hongsheng; Wang, Fang; Gu, Nianjun; Zhang, Ying

    2015-01-01

    In the current research, screen name was employed to explore the possible cognitive advantage for self-related online material. The results showed that one’s own screen name and real name were detected faster than famous names in both visual search and discrimination tasks. In comparison, there was no difference in visual search speed for the two kinds of self-related names. These findings extend self-advantage from the physical world to the virtual online environment and confirm its robustness. In addition, the present findings also suggest that familiarity might not be the determining factor for self-advantage. PMID:26461490

  4. Refraction, including prisms.

    PubMed

    Hiatt, R L

    1991-02-01

    The literature in the past year on refraction is replete with several isolated but very important topics that have been of interest to strabismologists and refractionists for many decades. The refractive changes in scleral buckling procedures include an increase in axial length as well as an increase in myopia, as would be expected. Tinted lenses in dyslexia show little positive effect in the nonasthmatic patients in one study. The use of spectacles or bifocals as a way to control increase in myopia is refuted in another report. It has been shown that in accommodative esotropia not all patients will be able to escape the use of bifocals in the teenage years, even though surgery might be performed. The hope that disposable contact lenses would cut down on the instance of giant papillary conjunctivitis and keratitis has been given some credence, and the conventional theory that sclerosis alone is the cause of presbyopia is attacked. Also, gas permeable bifocal contact lenses are reviewed and the difficulties of correcting presbyopia by this method outlined. The practice of giving an aphakic less bifocal addition instead of a nonaphakic, based on the presumption of increased effective power, is challenged. In the review of prisms, the majority of articles concern prism adaption. The most significant report is that of the Prism Adaptation Study Research Group (Arch Ophthalmol 1990, 108:1248-1256), showing that acquired esotropia in particular has an increased incidence of stable and full corrections surgically in the prism adaptation group versus the control group.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  5. Competitive advantage on a warming planet.

    PubMed

    Lash, Jonathan; Wellington, Fred

    2007-03-01

    Whether you're in a traditional smokestack industry or a "clean" business like investment banking, your company will increasingly feel the effects of climate change. Even people skeptical about global warming's dangers are recognizing that, simply because so many others are concerned, the phenomenon has wide-ranging implications. Investors already are discounting share prices of companies poorly positioned to compete in a warming world. Many businesses face higher raw material and energy costs as more and more governments enact policies placing a cost on emissions. Consumers are taking into account a company's environmental record when making purchasing decisions. There's also a burgeoning market in greenhouse gas emission allowances (the carbon market), with annual trading in these assets valued at tens of billions of dollars. Companies that manage and mitigate their exposure to the risks associated with climate change while seeking new opportunities for profit will generate a competitive advantage over rivals in a carbon-constrained future. This article offers a systematic approach to mapping and responding to climate change risks. According to Jonathan Lash and Fred Wellington of the World Resources Institute, an environmental think tank, the risks can be divided into six categories: regulatory (policies such as new emissions standards), products and technology (the development and marketing of climate-friendly products and services), litigation (lawsuits alleging environmental harm), reputational (how a company's environmental policies affect its brand), supply chain (potentially higher raw material and energy costs), and physical (such as an increase in the incidence of hurricanes). The authors propose a four-step process for responding to climate change risk: Quantify your company's carbon footprint; identify the risks and opportunities you face; adapt your business in response; and do it better than your competitors.

  6. THE HOME ADVANTAGE IN MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL.

    PubMed

    Jones, Marshall B

    2015-12-01

    Home advantage is smaller in baseball than in other major professional sports for men, specifically football, basketball, or soccer. This paper advances an explanation. It begins by reviewing the main observations to support the view that there is little or no home advantage in individual sports. It then presents the case that home advantage originates in impaired teamwork among the away players. The need for teamwork and the extent of it vary from sport to sport. To the extent that a sport requires little teamwork it is more like an individual sport, and the home team would be expected to enjoy only a small advantage. Interactions among players on the same side (teamwork) are much less common in baseball than in the other sports considered.

  7. HOW MUCH FAVORABLE SELECTION IS LEFT IN MEDICARE ADVANTAGE?

    PubMed

    Newhouse, Joseph P; Price, Mary; McWilliams, J Michael; Hsu, John; McGuire, Thomas G

    2015-01-01

    The health economics literature contains two models of selection, one with endogenous plan characteristics to attract good risks and one with fixed plan characteristics; neither model contains a regulator. Medicare Advantage, a principal example of selection in the literature, is, however, subject to anti-selection regulations. Because selection causes economic inefficiency and because the historically favorable selection into Medicare Advantage plans increased government cost, the effectiveness of the anti-selection regulations is an important policy question, especially since the Medicare Advantage program has grown to comprise 30 percent of Medicare beneficiaries. Moreover, similar anti-selection regulations are being used in health insurance exchanges for those under 65. Contrary to earlier work, we show that the strengthened anti-selection regulations that Medicare introduced starting in 2004 markedly reduced government overpayment attributable to favorable selection in Medicare Advantage. At least some of the remaining selection is plausibly related to fixed plan characteristics of Traditional Medicare versus Medicare Advantage rather than changed selection strategies by Medicare Advantage plans.

  8. HOW MUCH FAVORABLE SELECTION IS LEFT IN MEDICARE ADVANTAGE?

    PubMed Central

    PRICE, MARY; MCWILLIAMS, J. MICHAEL; HSU, JOHN; MCGUIRE, THOMAS G.

    2015-01-01

    The health economics literature contains two models of selection, one with endogenous plan characteristics to attract good risks and one with fixed plan characteristics; neither model contains a regulator. Medicare Advantage, a principal example of selection in the literature, is, however, subject to anti-selection regulations. Because selection causes economic inefficiency and because the historically favorable selection into Medicare Advantage plans increased government cost, the effectiveness of the anti-selection regulations is an important policy question, especially since the Medicare Advantage program has grown to comprise 30 percent of Medicare beneficiaries. Moreover, similar anti-selection regulations are being used in health insurance exchanges for those under 65. Contrary to earlier work, we show that the strengthened anti-selection regulations that Medicare introduced starting in 2004 markedly reduced government overpayment attributable to favorable selection in Medicare Advantage. At least some of the remaining selection is plausibly related to fixed plan characteristics of Traditional Medicare versus Medicare Advantage rather than changed selection strategies by Medicare Advantage plans. PMID:26389127

  9. The data sharing advantage in astrophysics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dorch, Bertil F.; Drachen, Thea M.; Ellegaard, Ole

    2016-10-01

    We present here evidence for the existence of a citation advantage within astrophysics for papers that link to data. Using simple measures based on publication data from NASA Astrophysics Data System we find a citation advantage for papers with links to data receiving on the average significantly more citations per paper than papers without links to data. Furthermore, using INSPEC and Web of Science databases we investigate whether either papers of an experimental or theoretical nature display different citation behavior.

  10. Nutritional therapies (including fosteum).

    PubMed

    Nieves, Jeri W

    2009-03-01

    Nutrition is important in promoting bone health and in managing an individual with low bone mass or osteoporosis. In adult women and men, known losses of bone mass and microarchitecture occur, and nutrition can help minimize these losses. In every patient, a healthy diet with adequate protein, fruits, vegetables, calcium, and vitamin D is required to maintain bone health. Recent reports on nutritional remedies for osteoporosis have highlighted the importance of calcium in youth and continued importance in conjunction with vitamin D as the population ages. It is likely that a calcium intake of 1200 mg/d is ideal, and there are some concerns about excessive calcium intakes. However, vitamin D intake needs to be increased in most populations. The ability of soy products, particularly genistein aglycone, to provide skeletal benefit has been recently studied, including some data that support a new medical food marketed as Fosteum (Primus Pharmaceuticals, Scottsdale, AZ).

  11. An Admission-to-Discharge BNP Increase Is a Predictor of Six-Month All-Cause Death in ADHF Patients: Inferences from Multivariate Analysis Including Admission BNP and Various Clinical Measures of Congestion

    PubMed Central

    De Vecchis, Renato; Ariano, Carmelina; Baldi, Cesare

    2016-01-01

    Background: According to some authors, a single isolated measurement of serum B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) executed on hospital admission would not be a sufficiently accurate method to predict the outcome of patients with acute decompensated heart failure (ADHF). Aims: To verify this assumption, a retrospective study was conducted on patients hospitalized for ADHF. Our main objective was to ascertain whether there was any difference in midterm mortality among patients with increasing BNP at discharge as compared with those with decreasing BNP at discharge. Methods: Medical records were examined so as to make a partition of the ADHF patient population into two groups, the former characterized by a rise in BNP during hospitalization, and the latter exhibiting a decrease in BNP in the measurement taken at hospital discharge. Results: 177 patients were enrolled in a retrospective study. Among them, 53 patients (30%) had increased BNP at the time of discharge, whereas 124 (70%) showed decreases in serum BNP during their hospital stay. The group with patients who exhibited BNP increases at the time of discharge had a higher degree of congestion evident in the higher frequency of persistent jugular venous distention and persistent orthopnea at discharge. Moreover, patients with increased BNP at the time of discharge had a lower reduction in inferior vena cava maximum diameter (1.58 ± 2.2 mm vs. 6.32 ± 1.82 mm; p (one-way ANOVA) = 0.001). In contrast, there was no significant difference in weight loss when patients with increased BNP at discharge were compared with those with no such increase. A total of 14 patients (7.9%) died during the six-month follow-up period. Multivariable Cox proportional-hazards regression analysis revealed that a BNP increase at the time of discharge was an independent predictor of six-month all-cause mortality after adjustment for persistent jugular venous distention, persistent orthopnea, reduction in inferior vena cava maximum diameter

  12. Competitive advantage of PET/MRI.

    PubMed

    Jadvar, Hossein; Colletti, Patrick M

    2014-01-01

    Multimodality imaging has made great strides in the imaging evaluation of patients with a variety of diseases. Positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) is now established as the imaging modality of choice in many clinical conditions, particularly in oncology. While the initial development of combined PET/magnetic resonance imaging (PET/MRI) was in the preclinical arena, hybrid PET/MR scanners are now available for clinical use. PET/MRI combines the unique features of MRI including excellent soft tissue contrast, diffusion-weighted imaging, dynamic contrast-enhanced imaging, fMRI and other specialized sequences as well as MR spectroscopy with the quantitative physiologic information that is provided by PET. Most evidence for the potential clinical utility of PET/MRI is based on studies performed with side-by-side comparison or software-fused MRI and PET images. Data on distinctive utility of hybrid PET/MRI are rapidly emerging. There are potential competitive advantages of PET/MRI over PET/CT. In general, PET/MRI may be preferred over PET/CT where the unique features of MRI provide more robust imaging evaluation in certain clinical settings. The exact role and potential utility of simultaneous data acquisition in specific research and clinical settings will need to be defined. It may be that simultaneous PET/MRI will be best suited for clinical situations that are disease-specific, organ-specific, related to diseases of the children or in those patients undergoing repeated imaging for whom cumulative radiation dose must be kept as low as reasonably achievable. PET/MRI also offers interesting opportunities for use of dual modality probes. Upon clear definition of clinical utility, other important and practical issues related to business operational model, clinical workflow and reimbursement will also be resolved.

  13. The 'Adventist advantage'. Glendale Adventist Medical Center distinguishes itself.

    PubMed

    Botvin, Judith D

    2002-01-01

    Glendale Adventist Medical Center, Glendale, Calif., adopted an image-building campaign to differentiate the 450-bed hospital from its neighbors. This included the headline "Adventist Advantage," used in a series of sophisticated ads, printed in gold. In all their efforts, marketers consider the sensibilities of the sizable Armenian, Korean, Hispanic and Chinese populations.

  14. Educating Students to Give Them a Sustainable Competitive Advantage

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hopkins, Christopher D.; Raymond, Mary Anne; Carlson, Les

    2011-01-01

    With an increasingly competitive job market, this study focuses on what marketing educators can do to help students develop a sustainable competitive advantage. The authors conducted a survey of students, faculty, and recruiters to develop a better understanding of what skills and characteristics might be of value to each group of respondents and…

  15. Advantages and pitfalls in the application of mixed-model association methods.

    PubMed

    Yang, Jian; Zaitlen, Noah A; Goddard, Michael E; Visscher, Peter M; Price, Alkes L

    2014-02-01

    Mixed linear models are emerging as a method of choice for conducting genetic association studies in humans and other organisms. The advantages of the mixed-linear-model association (MLMA) method include the prevention of false positive associations due to population or relatedness structure and an increase in power obtained through the application of a correction that is specific to this structure. An underappreciated point is that MLMA can also increase power in studies without sample structure by implicitly conditioning on associated loci other than the candidate locus. Numerous variations on the standard MLMA approach have recently been published, with a focus on reducing computational cost. These advances provide researchers applying MLMA methods with many options to choose from, but we caution that MLMA methods are still subject to potential pitfalls. Here we describe and quantify the advantages and pitfalls of MLMA methods as a function of study design and provide recommendations for the application of these methods in practical settings.

  16. Dietary Echium Oil Increases Long-Chain n–3 PUFAs, Including Docosapentaenoic Acid, in Blood Fractions and Alters Biochemical Markers for Cardiovascular Disease Independently of Age, Sex, and Metabolic Syndrome12

    PubMed Central

    Kuhnt, Katrin; Fuhrmann, Claudia; Köhler, Melanie; Kiehntopf, Michael; Jahreis, Gerhard

    2014-01-01

    Dietary supplementation with echium oil (EO) containing stearidonic acid (SDA) is a plant-based strategy to improve long-chain (LC) n–3 (ω-3) polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) status in humans. We investigated the effect of EO on LC n–3 PUFA accumulation in blood and biochemical markers with respect to age, sex, and metabolic syndrome. This double-blind, parallel-arm, randomized controlled study started with a 2-wk run-in period, during which participants (n = 80) were administered 17 g/d run-in oil. Normal-weight individuals from 2 age groups (20–35 and 49–69 y) were allotted to EO or fish oil (FO; control) groups. During the 8-wk intervention, participants were administered either 17 g/d EO (2 g SDA; n = 59) or FO [1.9 g eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA); n = 19]. Overweight individuals with metabolic syndrome (n = 19) were recruited for EO treatment only. During the 10-wk study, the participants followed a dietary n–3 PUFA restriction, e.g., no fish. After the 8-wk EO treatment, increases in the LC n–3 metabolites EPA (168% and 79%) and docosapentaenoic acid [DPA (68% and 39%)] were observed, whereas docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) decreased (−5% and −23%) in plasma and peripheral blood mononuclear cells, respectively. Compared with FO, the efficacy of EO to increase EPA and DPA in blood was significantly lower (∼25% and ∼50%, respectively). A higher body mass index (BMI) was associated with lower relative and net increases in EPA and DPA. Compared with baseline, EO significantly reduced serum cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, oxidized LDL, and triglyceride (TG), but also HDL cholesterol, regardless of age and BMI. In the FO group, only TG decreased. Overall, daily intake of 15–20 g EO increased EPA and DPA in blood but had no influence on DHA. EO lowered cardiovascular risk markers, e.g., serum TG, which is particularly relevant for individuals with metabolic syndrome. Natural EO could be a noteworthy source of n–3 PUFA in human nutrition. This trial

  17. Quantum communication complexity advantage implies violation of a Bell inequality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buhrman, Harry; Czekaj, Łukasz; Grudka, Andrzej; Horodecki, Michał; Horodecki, Paweł; Markiewicz, Marcin; Speelman, Florian; Strelchuk, Sergii

    2016-03-01

    We obtain a general connection between a large quantum advantage in communication complexity and Bell nonlocality. We show that given any protocol offering a sufficiently large quantum advantage in communication complexity, there exists a way of obtaining measurement statistics that violate some Bell inequality. Our main tool is port-based teleportation. If the gap between quantum and classical communication complexity can grow arbitrarily large, the ratio of the quantum value to the classical value of the Bell quantity becomes unbounded with the increase in the number of inputs and outputs.

  18. Quantum communication complexity advantage implies violation of a Bell inequality.

    PubMed

    Buhrman, Harry; Czekaj, Łukasz; Grudka, Andrzej; Horodecki, Michał; Horodecki, Paweł; Markiewicz, Marcin; Speelman, Florian; Strelchuk, Sergii

    2016-03-22

    We obtain a general connection between a large quantum advantage in communication complexity and Bell nonlocality. We show that given any protocol offering a sufficiently large quantum advantage in communication complexity, there exists a way of obtaining measurement statistics that violate some Bell inequality. Our main tool is port-based teleportation. If the gap between quantum and classical communication complexity can grow arbitrarily large, the ratio of the quantum value to the classical value of the Bell quantity becomes unbounded with the increase in the number of inputs and outputs.

  19. Quantum communication complexity advantage implies violation of a Bell inequality

    PubMed Central

    Buhrman, Harry; Czekaj, Łukasz; Grudka, Andrzej; Horodecki, Michał; Horodecki, Paweł; Markiewicz, Marcin; Speelman, Florian; Strelchuk, Sergii

    2016-01-01

    We obtain a general connection between a large quantum advantage in communication complexity and Bell nonlocality. We show that given any protocol offering a sufficiently large quantum advantage in communication complexity, there exists a way of obtaining measurement statistics that violate some Bell inequality. Our main tool is port-based teleportation. If the gap between quantum and classical communication complexity can grow arbitrarily large, the ratio of the quantum value to the classical value of the Bell quantity becomes unbounded with the increase in the number of inputs and outputs. PMID:26957600

  20. Is There an Islamist Political Advantage?

    PubMed Central

    Cammett, Melani; Luong, Pauline Jones

    2014-01-01

    There is a widespread presumption that Islamists have an advantage over their opponents when it comes to generating mass appeal and winning elections. The question remains, however, as to whether these advantages—or, what we refer to collectively as an Islamist political advantage—actually exist. We argue that—to the extent that Islamists have a political advantage—the primary source of this advantage is reputation rather than the provision of social services, organizational capacity, or ideological hegemony. Our purpose is not to dismiss the main sources of the Islamist governance advantage identified in scholarly literature and media accounts, but to suggest a different causal path whereby each of these factors individually and sometimes jointly promotes a reputation for Islamists as competent, trustworthy, and pure. It is this reputation for good governance that enables Islamists to distinguish themselves in the streets and at the ballot box. PMID:25767370

  1. The Ethics of Conferring Parental Advantage: A Question of Parental Liberty versus Societal Equality

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roberts, J. Kessa

    2016-01-01

    In raising their children, parents confer certain advantages upon them. Harry Brighouse and Adam Swift argue that because these parental advantages increase inequality, parents should have the right to confer only advantages that are integral to the core good of the parent-child relationship: building an intimate relationship between parent and…

  2. Advantages of natural gas as a vehicular fuel

    SciTech Connect

    Remick, R.J.; Blazek, C.F.

    1992-01-01

    The advantages of natural gas vehicles can be broken down into four major categories: social/political, technical, economic, and environmental. The social/political advantages of natural gas as a vehicular fuel lie predominantly in its ability to substitute for petroleum fuels. This frees petroleum reserves for other uses or, in areas with dwindling reserves, it reduces the dependence on imported oil and oil products. The technical advantages of natural gas include its high octane rating, which permits higher compression ratios to be used with spark ignition engines. The economic advantages, although variable from one geographical region to another, are derived from the price differential between natural gas and refined oil products. In approximate terms, the average price of a megajoule (MJ) of natural gas is about 60% that of an MJ of refined petroleum products. Finally, there are significant environmental advantages associated with the use of natural gas as a vehicle fuel. Emissions from dedicated natural gas vehicles equipped with catalytic convertors have met the 1996 clean air standards set by the US EPA for both heavy-duty trucks and passenger cars. With further research, they also will be able to meet the 1997 ultra-low emission vehicle (ULEV) California standards set by the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

  3. Advantages of natural gas as a vehicular fuel

    SciTech Connect

    Remick, R.J.; Blazek, C.F.

    1992-12-31

    The advantages of natural gas vehicles can be broken down into four major categories: social/political, technical, economic, and environmental. The social/political advantages of natural gas as a vehicular fuel lie predominantly in its ability to substitute for petroleum fuels. This frees petroleum reserves for other uses or, in areas with dwindling reserves, it reduces the dependence on imported oil and oil products. The technical advantages of natural gas include its high octane rating, which permits higher compression ratios to be used with spark ignition engines. The economic advantages, although variable from one geographical region to another, are derived from the price differential between natural gas and refined oil products. In approximate terms, the average price of a megajoule (MJ) of natural gas is about 60% that of an MJ of refined petroleum products. Finally, there are significant environmental advantages associated with the use of natural gas as a vehicle fuel. Emissions from dedicated natural gas vehicles equipped with catalytic convertors have met the 1996 clean air standards set by the US EPA for both heavy-duty trucks and passenger cars. With further research, they also will be able to meet the 1997 ultra-low emission vehicle (ULEV) California standards set by the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

  4. Polyploidy in haloarchaea: advantages for growth and survival

    PubMed Central

    Zerulla, Karolin; Soppa, Jörg

    2014-01-01

    The investigated haloarchaeal species, Halobacterium salinarum, Haloferax mediterranei, and H. volcanii, have all been shown to be polyploid. They contain several replicons that have independent copy number regulation, and most have a higher copy number during exponential growth phase than in stationary phase. The possible evolutionary advantages of polyploidy for haloarchaea, most of which have experimental support for at least one species, are discussed. These advantages include a low mutation rate and high resistance toward X-ray irradiation and desiccation, which depend on homologous recombination. For H. volcanii, it has been shown that gene conversion operates in the absence of selection, which leads to the equalization of genome copies. On the other hand, selective forces might lead to heterozygous cells, which have been verified in the laboratory. Additional advantages of polyploidy are survival over geological times in halite deposits as well as at extreme conditions on earth and at simulated Mars conditions. Recently, it was found that H. volcanii uses genomic DNA as genetic material and as a storage polymer for phosphate. In the absence of phosphate, H. volcanii dramatically decreases its genome copy number, thereby enabling cell multiplication, but diminishing the genetic advantages of polyploidy. Stable storage of phosphate is proposed as an alternative driving force for the emergence of DNA in early evolution. Several additional potential advantages of polyploidy are discussed that have not been addressed experimentally for haloarchaea. An outlook summarizes selected current trends and possible future developments. PMID:24982654

  5. Appetite - increased

    MedlinePlus

    ... Have you noticed any other symptoms such as anxiety, palpitations , increased thirst , vomiting , frequent urination , or unintentional weight gain? Tests that may be done include: Blood tests, ...

  6. Places and faces: Geographic environment influences the ingroup memory advantage.

    PubMed

    Rule, Nicholas O; Garrett, James V; Ambady, Nalini

    2010-03-01

    The preferential allocation of attention and memory to the ingroup (the ingroup memory advantage) is one of the most replicated effects in the psychological literature. But little is known about what factors may influence such effects. Here the authors investigated a potential influence: category salience as determined by the perceiver's geographic environment. They did so by studying the ingroup memory advantage in perceptually ambiguous groups for whom perceptual cues do not make group membership immediately salient. Individuals in an environment in which a particular group membership was salient (Mormon and non-Mormon men and women living in Salt Lake City, Utah) showed better memory for faces belonging to their ingroup in an incidental encoding paradigm. Majority group participants in an environment where this group membership was not salient (non-Mormon men and women in the northeastern United States), however, showed no ingroup memory advantage whereas minority group participants (Mormons) in the same environment did. But in the same environment, when differences in group membership were made accessible via an unobtrusive priming task, non-Mormons did show an ingroup memory advantage and Mormons' memory for ingroup members increased. Environmental context cues therefore influence the ingroup memory advantage for categories that are not intrinsically salient.

  7. Declining longevity advantage and low birthweight in Okinawa.

    PubMed

    Hokama, Tomiko; Binns, Colin

    2008-10-01

    The prefecture of Okinawa is known for the longevity of its population, for 30 years it had the longest life expectancy of all prefectures in Japan. However this advantage was lost in 2000 and male longevity is now ranked 26th among the 47 prefectures of Japan. The aim of this study was to explore whether the recent decline in Okinawan life expectancy advantage is due to the cohort effect of low birthweight infants becoming middle- and older- aged Okinawans. This is an observational study using existing demographic and health statistics. Data on life expectancy, mortality and low birthweight rates were obtained from the Okinawan Prefectural Department of Health and Welfare and the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. In the year 2000 the longevity advantage of Okinawan males over the Japanese mainland was lost and the relative life expectancy of females declines. The mortality ratio for heart disease has reversed showing a cohort effect, with younger Okinawans having higher death rates than those living in the rest of Japan. The low birthweight rate for Okinawa is 20% greater than mainland Japan. As the post World War cohort of low birthweight infants reaches middle age, the longevity advantage of Okinawans has been lost. The loss of the longevity advantage of Okinawa over the rest of Japan may be due to the increase in non-communicable disease in the post war cohort that has experienced a higher low birthweight rate.

  8. Human TRPM8 and TRPA1 pain channels, including a gene variant with increased sensitivity to agonists (TRPA1 R797T), exhibit differential regulation by SRC-tyrosine kinase inhibitor.

    PubMed

    Morgan, Kevin; Sadofsky, Laura R; Crow, Christopher; Morice, Alyn H

    2014-08-06

    TRPM8 (transient receptor potential M8) and TRPA1 (transient receptor potential A1) are cold-temperature-sensitive nociceptors expressed in sensory neurons but their behaviour in neuronal cells is poorly understood. Therefore DNA expression constructs containing human TRPM8 or TRPA1 cDNAs were transfected into HEK (human embryonic kidney cells)-293 or SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells and G418 resistant clones analysed for effects of agonists and antagonists on intracellular Ca2+ levels. Approximately 51% of HEK-293 and 12% of SH-SY5Y cell clones expressed the transfected TRP channel. TRPM8 and TRPA1 assays were inhibited by probenecid, indicating the need to avoid this agent in TRP channel studies. A double-residue mutation in ICL-1 (intracellular loop-1) of TRPM8 (SV762,763EL, mimicking serine phosphorylation) or one in the C-terminal tail region (FK1045,1046AG, a lysine knockout) retained sensitivity to agonists (WS 12, menthol) and antagonist {AMTB [N-(3-Aminopropyl)-2-[(3-methylphenyl)methoxy]-N-(2-thienylmethyl)benzamide]}. SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism) variants in TRPA1 ICL-1 (R797T, S804N) and TRPA1 fusion protein containing C-terminal (His)10 retained sensitivity to agonists (cinnamaldehyde, allyl-isothiocyanate, carvacrol, eugenol) and antagonists (HC-030031, A967079). One SNP variant, 797T, possessed increased sensitivity to agonists. TRPA1 became repressed in SH-SY5Y clones but was rapidly rescued by Src-family inhibitor PP2 [4-amino-5-(4-chlorophenyl)-7-(t-butyl)pyrazolo[3,4-d]pyrimidine]. Conversely, TRPM8 in SH-SY5Y cells was inhibited by PP2. Further studies utilizing SH-SY5Y may identify structural features of TRPA1 and TRPM8 involved in conferring differential post-translational regulation.

  9. Advantages of Studying Processes in Educational Research

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schmitz, Bernhard

    2006-01-01

    It is argued that learning and instruction could be conceptualized from a process-analytic perspective. Important questions from the field of learning and instruction are presented which can be answered using our approach of process analyses. A classification system of process concepts and methods is given. One main advantage of this kind of…

  10. Advantages and Problems with Merging Data Bases.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cnaan, Ram A.

    1985-01-01

    Presents the Israeli experience with merging different computerized files using a unique identifier. The advantages and disadvantages of this identifier are examined. Four types of problems are identified and some examples of use of an I.D. number as identifier are given. The desirability of merging files and confidentiality issues are also…

  11. Achieving a competitive advantage in managed care.

    PubMed

    Stahl, D A

    1998-02-01

    When building a competitive advantage to thrive in the managed care arena, subacute care providers are urged to be revolutionary rather than reactionary, proactive rather than passive, optimistic rather than pessimistic and growth-oriented rather than cost-reduction oriented. Weaknesses must be addressed aggressively. To achieve a competitive edge, assess the facility's strengths, understand the marketplace and comprehend key payment methods.

  12. Assessing Binocular Advantage in Aided Vision

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-06-01

    SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES Report contains color. 88ABW Cleared 02/03/2014; 88ABW-2014-0320. 14. ABSTRACT Advances in microsensors, microprocessors and...HMD Abstract Advances in microsensors, microprocessors and microdisplays are creating new opportunities for improving vision in degraded...advantages of binocularity are lost. Discussion Recent advances in microsensors, microdisplays, and microprocessors are creating new technology

  13. Sustainable competitive advantage for accountable care organizations.

    PubMed

    Macfarlane, Michael Alex

    2014-01-01

    In the current period of health industry reform, accountable care organizations (ACOs) have emerged as a new model for the delivery of high-quality and cost-effective healthcare. However, few ACOs operate in direct competition with one another, and the accountable care business model has yet to present a means of continually developing new marginal value for patients and network partners. With value-based purchasing and patient consumerism strengthening as market forces, ACOs must build organizational sustainability and competitive advantage to meet the value demands set by customers and competitors. This essay proposes a strategy, adapted from the disciplines of agile software development and Lean product development, through which ACOs can engage internal and external customers in the development of new products that will provide sustainability and competitive advantage to the organization by decreasing waste in development, promoting specialized knowledge, and closely targeting customer value.

  14. Indian Defense Procurements: Advantage Russia or USA?

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-02-17

    the 21st century, India has emerged as the biggest importer of defense equipment in the international market . The US, on the other hand, is the...undisputed ruler, and pure logic would entail that it should be the one enjoying a lion???s share of the Indian market . However, India???s strong strategic...the Russian advantage in Indian defense market is just a myth. The author synthesizes the problem by contextualizing the reasons for the India???s

  15. Advantageous effect of theanine intake on cognition.

    PubMed

    Tamano, Haruna; Fukura, Kotaro; Suzuki, Miki; Sakamoto, Kazuhiro; Yokogoshi, Hidehiko; Takeda, Atsushi

    2014-11-01

    Theanine, γ-glutamylethylamide, is one of the major amino acid components in green tea. On the basis of the preventive effect of theanine intake after weaning on stress-induced impairment of recognition memory, the advantageous effect of theanine intake on recognition memory was examined in young rats, which were fed water containing 0.3% theanine for 3 weeks after weaning. The rats were subjected to object recognition test. Object recognition memory was maintained in theanine-administered rats 48 hours after the training, but not in the control rats. When in vivo dentate gyrus long-term potentiation (LTP) was induced, it was more greatly induced in theanine-administered rats than in the control rats. The levels of brain-derived neurotropic factor and nerve growth factor in the hippocampus were significantly higher in theanine-administered rats than in the control rats. The present study indicates the advantageous effect of theanine intake after weaning on recognition memory. It is likely that theanine intake is of advantage to the development of hippocampal function after weaning.

  16. Explaining Asian Americans' academic advantage over whites.

    PubMed

    Hsin, Amy; Xie, Yu

    2014-06-10

    The superior academic achievement of Asian Americans is a well-documented phenomenon that lacks a widely accepted explanation. Asian Americans' advantage in this respect has been attributed to three groups of factors: (i) socio-demographic characteristics, (ii) cognitive ability, and (iii) academic effort as measured by characteristics such as attentiveness and work ethic. We combine data from two nationally representative cohort longitudinal surveys to compare Asian-American and white students in their educational trajectories from kindergarten through high school. We find that the Asian-American educational advantage is attributable mainly to Asian students exerting greater academic effort and not to advantages in tested cognitive abilities or socio-demographics. We test explanations for the Asian-white gap in academic effort and find that the gap can be further attributed to (i) cultural differences in beliefs regarding the connection between effort and achievement and (ii) immigration status. Finally, we highlight the potential psychological and social costs associated with Asian-American achievement success.

  17. Assessing the binocular advantage in aided vision.

    PubMed

    Harrington, Lawrence K; McIntire, John P; Hopper, Darrel G

    2014-09-01

    Advances in microsensors, microprocessors, and microdisplays are creating new opportunities for improving vision in degraded environments through the use of head-mounted displays. Initially, the cutting-edge technology used in these new displays will be expensive. Inevitably, the cost of providing the additional sensor and processing required to support binocularity brings the value of binocularity into question. Several assessments comparing binocular, binocular, and monocular head-mounted displays for aided vision have concluded that the additional performance, if any, provided by binocular head-mounted displays does not justify the cost. The selection of a biocular [corrected] display for use in the F-35 is a current example of this recurring decision process. It is possible that the human binocularity advantage does not carry over to the aided vision application, but more likely the experimental approaches used in the past have been too coarse to measure its subtle but important benefits. Evaluating the value of binocularity in aided vision applications requires an understanding of the characteristics of both human vision and head-mounted displays. With this understanding, the value of binocularity in aided vision can be estimated and experimental evidence can be collected to confirm or reject the presumed binocular advantage, enabling improved decisions in aided vision system design. This paper describes four computational approaches-geometry of stereopsis, modulation transfer function area for stereopsis, probability summation, and binocular summation-that may be useful in quantifying the advantage of binocularity in aided vision.

  18. Pump apparatus including deconsolidator

    DOEpatents

    Sonwane, Chandrashekhar; Saunders, Timothy; Fitzsimmons, Mark Andrew

    2014-10-07

    A pump apparatus includes a particulate pump that defines a passage that extends from an inlet to an outlet. A duct is in flow communication with the outlet. The duct includes a deconsolidator configured to fragment particle agglomerates received from the passage.

  19. Optical modulator including grapene

    DOEpatents

    Liu, Ming; Yin, Xiaobo; Zhang, Xiang

    2016-06-07

    The present invention provides for a one or more layer graphene optical modulator. In a first exemplary embodiment the optical modulator includes an optical waveguide, a nanoscale oxide spacer adjacent to a working region of the waveguide, and a monolayer graphene sheet adjacent to the spacer. In a second exemplary embodiment, the optical modulator includes at least one pair of active media, where the pair includes an oxide spacer, a first monolayer graphene sheet adjacent to a first side of the spacer, and a second monolayer graphene sheet adjacent to a second side of the spacer, and at least one optical waveguide adjacent to the pair.

  20. Snapshot advantage: a review of the light collection improvement for parallel high-dimensional measurement systems

    PubMed Central

    Hagen, Nathan; Kester, Robert T.; Gao, Liang; Tkaczyk, Tomasz S.

    2012-01-01

    The snapshot advantage is a large increase in light collection efficiency available to high-dimensional measurement systems that avoid filtering and scanning. After discussing this advantage in the context of imaging spectrometry, where the greatest effort towards developing snapshot systems has been made, we describe the types of measurements where it is applicable. We then generalize it to the larger context of high-dimensional measurements, where the advantage increases geometrically with measurement dimensionality. PMID:22791926

  1. Evolutionary advantage of small populations on complex fitness landscapes.

    PubMed

    Jain, Kavita; Krug, Joachim; Park, Su-Chan

    2011-07-01

    Recent experimental and theoretical studies have shown that small asexual populations evolving on complex fitness landscapes may achieve a higher fitness than large ones due to the increased heterogeneity of adaptive trajectories. Here, we introduce a class of haploid three-locus fitness landscapes that allow the investigation of this scenario in a precise and quantitative way. Our main result derived analytically shows how the probability of choosing the path of the largest initial fitness increase grows with the population size. This makes large populations more likely to get trapped at local fitness peaks and implies an advantage of small populations at intermediate time scales. The range of population sizes where this effect is operative coincides with the onset of clonal interference. Additional studies using ensembles of random fitness landscapes show that the results achieved for a particular choice of three-locus landscape parameters are robust and also persist as the number of loci increases. Our study indicates that an advantage for small populations is likely whenever the fitness landscape contains local maxima. The advantage appears at intermediate time scales, which are long enough for trapping at local fitness maxima to have occurred but too short for peak escape by the creation of multiple mutants.

  2. Selective advantage of trisomic human cells cultured in non-standard conditions

    PubMed Central

    Rutledge, Samuel D.; Douglas, Temple A.; Nicholson, Joshua M.; Vila-Casadesús, Maria; Kantzler, Courtney L.; Wangsa, Darawalee; Barroso-Vilares, Monika; Kale, Shiv D.; Logarinho, Elsa; Cimini, Daniela

    2016-01-01

    An abnormal chromosome number, a condition known as aneuploidy, is a ubiquitous feature of cancer cells. A number of studies have shown that aneuploidy impairs cellular fitness. However, there is also evidence that aneuploidy can arise in response to specific challenges and can confer a selective advantage under certain environmental stresses. Cancer cells are likely exposed to a number of challenging conditions arising within the tumor microenvironment. To investigate whether aneuploidy may confer a selective advantage to cancer cells, we employed a controlled experimental system. We used the diploid, colorectal cancer cell line DLD1 and two DLD1-derived cell lines carrying single-chromosome aneuploidies to assess a number of cancer cell properties. Such properties, which included rates of proliferation and apoptosis, anchorage-independent growth, and invasiveness, were assessed both under standard culture conditions and under conditions of stress (i.e., serum starvation, drug treatment, hypoxia). Similar experiments were performed in diploid vs. aneuploid non-transformed human primary cells. Overall, our data show that aneuploidy can confer selective advantage to human cells cultured under non-standard conditions. These findings indicate that aneuploidy can increase the adaptability of cells, even those, such as cancer cells, that are already characterized by increased proliferative capacity and aggressive tumorigenic phenotypes. PMID:26956415

  3. Establishing a competitive advantage through quality management.

    PubMed

    George, R J

    1996-06-01

    The successful dentist of the future will establish a sustainable competitive advantage in the marketplace by recognising that patients undergoing dental treatment cannot see the result before purchase, and that they therefore look for signs of service quality to reduce uncertainty. Thus the successful dentist will implement a quality programme that recognises not only that quality is defined by meeting patients' needs and expectations, but also that quality service is fundamental to successful business strategy. Finally, the successful dentist of the future will realise that the pursuit of quality is a never-ending process which requires leadership by example.

  4. Advantages of diabetic tractional retinal detachment repair

    PubMed Central

    Sternfeld, Amir; Axer-Siegel, Ruth; Stiebel-Kalish, Hadas; Weinberger, Dov; Ehrlich, Rita

    2015-01-01

    Purpose To evaluate the outcomes and complications of patients with diabetic tractional retinal detachment (TRD) treated with pars plana vitrectomy (PPV). Patients and methods We retrospectively studied a case series of 24 eyes of 21 patients at a single tertiary, university-affiliated medical center. A review was carried out on patients who underwent PPV for the management of TRD due to proliferative diabetic retinopathy from October 2011 to November 2013. Preoperative and final visual outcomes, intraoperative and postoperative complications, and medical background were evaluated. Results A 23 G instrumentation was used in 23 eyes (95.8%), and a 25 G instrumentation in one (4.2%). Mean postoperative follow-up time was 13.3 months (4–30 months). Visual acuity significantly improved from logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution (LogMAR) 1.48 to LogMAR 1.05 (P<0.05). Visual acuity improved by ≥3 lines in 75% of patients. Intraoperative complications included iatrogenic retinal breaks in seven eyes (22.9%) and vitreal hemorrhage in nine eyes (37.5%). In two eyes, one sclerotomy was enlarged to 20 G (8.3%). Postoperative complications included reoperation in five eyes (20.8%) due to persistent subretinal fluid (n=3), vitreous hemorrhage (n=1), and dislocated intraocular lens (n=1). Thirteen patients (54.2%) had postoperative vitreous hemorrhage that cleared spontaneously, five patients (20.8%) required antiglaucoma medications for increased intraocular pressure, seven patients (29.2%) developed an epiretinal membrane, and two patients (8.3%) developed a macular hole. Conclusion Patients with diabetic TRD can benefit from PPV surgery. Intraoperative and postoperative complications can be attributed to the complexity of this disease. PMID:26604667

  5. Rural Medicare Advantage Plan Payment in 2015.

    PubMed

    Kemper, Leah; Barker, Abigail R; McBride, Timothy D; Mueller, Keith

    2015-12-01

    Payment to Medicare Advantage (MA) plans was fundamentally altered in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA). MA plans now operate under a new formula for county-level payment area benchmarks, and in 2012 began receiving quality-based bonus payments. The Medicare Advantage Quality Bonus Payment Demonstration expanded the bonus payments to most MA plans through 2014; however, with the end of the demonstration bonus payments has been reduced for intermediate quality MA plans. This brief examines the impact that these changes in MA baseline payment are having on MA plans and beneficiaries in rural and urban areas. Key Data Findings. (1) Payments to plans in rural areas were 3.9 percent smaller under ACA payment policies in 2015 than they would have been in the absence of the ACA. For plans in urban areas, the payments were 8.8 percent smaller than they would have been. These figures were determined using hypothetical pre-ACA and actual ACA-mandated benchmarks for 2015. (2) MA plans in rural areas received an average annual bonus payment of $326.77 per enrollee in 2014, but only $63.76 per enrollee in 2015, with the conclusion of the demonstration. (3) In 2014, 92 percent of rural MA beneficiaries were in a plan that received quality-based bonus payments under the demonstration, while in March 2015, 56 percent of rural MA beneficiaries were in a plan that was eligible for quality-based bonus payments.

  6. An evolutionary advantage for extravagant honesty.

    PubMed

    Bullock, Seth

    2012-01-07

    A game-theoretic model of handicap signalling over a pair of signalling channels is introduced in order to determine when one channel has an evolutionary advantage over the other. The stability conditions for honest handicap signalling are presented for a single channel and are shown to conform with the results of prior handicap signalling models. Evolutionary simulations are then used to show that, for a two-channel system in which honest signalling is possible on both channels, the channel featuring larger advertisements at equilibrium is favoured by evolution. This result helps to address a significant tension in the handicap principle literature. While the original theory was motivated by the prevalence of extravagant natural signalling, contemporary models have demonstrated that it is the cost associated with deception that stabilises honesty, and that the honest signals exhibited at equilibrium need not be extravagant at all. The current model suggests that while extravagant and wasteful signals are not required to ensure a signalling system's evolutionary stability, extravagant signalling systems may enjoy an advantage in terms of evolutionary attainability.

  7. Including Jews in Multiculturalism.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Langman, Peter F.

    1995-01-01

    Discusses reasons for the lack of attention to Jews as an ethnic minority within multiculturalism both by Jews and non-Jews; why Jews and Jewish issues need to be included; and addresses some of the issues involved in the ethical treatment of Jewish clients. (Author)

  8. Left hemispheric advantage for numerical abilities in the bottlenose dolphin.

    PubMed

    Kilian, Annette; von Fersen, Lorenzo; Güntürkün, Onur

    2005-02-28

    In a two-choice discrimination paradigm, a bottlenose dolphin discriminated relational dimensions between visual numerosity stimuli under monocular viewing conditions. After prior binocular acquisition of the task, two monocular test series with different number stimuli were conducted. In accordance with recent studies on visual lateralization in the bottlenose dolphin, our results revealed an overall advantage of the right visual field. Due to the complete decussation of the optic nerve fibers, this suggests a specialization of the left hemisphere for analysing relational features between stimuli as required in tests for numerical abilities. These processes are typically right hemisphere-based in other mammals (including humans) and birds. The present data provide further evidence for a general right visual field advantage in bottlenose dolphins for visual information processing. It is thus assumed that dolphins possess a unique functional architecture of their cerebral asymmetries.

  9. Accounting for the Down syndrome advantage?

    PubMed

    Esbensen, Anna J; Seltzer, Marsha Mailick

    2011-01-01

    The authors examined factors that could explain the higher levels of psychosocial well being observed in past research in mothers of individuals with Down syndrome compared with mothers of individuals with other types of intellectual disabilities. The authors studied 155 mothers of adults with Down syndrome, contrasting factors that might validly account for the ?Down syndrome advantage? (behavioral phenotype) with those that have been portrayed in past research as artifactual (maternal age, social supports). The behavioral phenotype predicted less pessimism, more life satisfaction, and a better quality of the mother?child relationship. However, younger maternal age and fewer social supports, as well as the behavioral phenotype, predicted higher levels of caregiving burden. Implications for future research on families of individuals with Down syndrome are discussed.

  10. The competitive advantage of sanctioning institutions.

    PubMed

    Gürerk, Ozgür; Irlenbusch, Bernd; Rockenbach, Bettina

    2006-04-07

    Understanding the fundamental patterns and determinants of human cooperation and the maintenance of social order in human societies is a challenge across disciplines. The existing empirical evidence for the higher levels of cooperation when altruistic punishment is present versus when it is absent systematically ignores the institutional competition inherent in human societies. Whether punishment would be deliberately adopted and would similarly enhance cooperation when directly competing with nonpunishment institutions is highly controversial in light of recent findings on the detrimental effects of punishment. We show experimentally that a sanctioning institution is the undisputed winner in a competition with a sanction-free institution. Despite initial aversion, the entire population migrates successively to the sanctioning institution and strongly cooperates, whereas the sanction-free society becomes fully depopulated. The findings demonstrate the competitive advantage of sanctioning institutions and exemplify the emergence and manifestation of social order driven by institutional selection.

  11. The kinematic advantage of electric cars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meyn, Jan-Peter

    2015-11-01

    Acceleration of a common car with with a turbocharged diesel engine is compared to the same type with an electric motor in terms of kinematics. Starting from a state of rest, the electric car reaches a distant spot earlier than the diesel car, even though the latter has a better specification for engine power and average acceleration from 0 to 100 km h-1. A three phase model of acceleration as a function of time fits the data of the electric car accurately. The first phase is a quadratic growth of acceleration in time. It is shown that the tenfold higher coefficient for the first phase accounts for most of the kinematic advantage of the electric car.

  12. Longitudinal research strategies: advantages, problems, and prospects.

    PubMed

    Farrington, D P

    1991-05-01

    The single-cohort, long-term longitudinal survey has many advantages in comparison with a cross-sectional survey in advancing knowledge about offending and other types of psychopathology, notably in providing information about onset and desistance, about continuity and prediction, and about within-individual change. However, the longitudinal survey also has significant problems, notably in confounding aging and period effects, delayed results, achieving continuity in funding and research direction, and cumulative attrition. This paper suggests the use of a multiple-cohort sequential strategy (the "accelerated longitudinal design") as a way of achieving the benefits of the longitudinal method while minimizing the problems in advancing knowledge about the natural history, causes, prevention, and treatment of psychopathological disorders.

  13. Competitive advantages of Caedibacter-infected Paramecia.

    PubMed

    Kusch, Jürgen; Czubatinski, Lars; Wegmann, Silke; Hubner, Markus; Alter, Margret; Albrecht, Petra

    2002-03-01

    Intracellular bacteria of the genus Caedibacter limit the reproduction of their host, the freshwater ciliate Paramecium. Reproduction rates of infected strains of paramecia were significantly lower than those of genetically identical strains that had lost their parasites after treatment with an antibiotic. Interference competition occurs when infected paramecia release a toxic form of the parasitic bacterium that kills uninfected paramecia. In mixed cultures of infected and uninfected strains of either P tetraurelia or of P novaurelia, the infected strains outcompeted the uninfected strains. Infection of new host paramecia seems to be rare. Infection of new hosts was not observed in either mixtures of infected with uninfected strains, or after incubation of paramecia with isolated parasites. The competitive advantages of the host paramecia, in combination with their vegetative reproduction, makes infection of new hosts by the bacterial parasites unnecessary, and could be responsible for the continued existence of "killer paramecia" in nature. Caedibacter parasites are not a defensive adaptation. Feeding rates and reproduction of the predators Didinium nasutum (Ciliophora) and Amoeba proteus (Amoebozoa, Gymnamoebia) were not influenced by whether or not their paramecia prey were infected. Infection of the predators frequently occurred when they preyed on infected paramecia. Caedibacter-infected predators may influence competition between Paramecium strains by release of toxic parasites into the environment that are harmful to uninfected strains.

  14. Advantageous grain boundaries in iron pnictide superconductors

    PubMed Central

    Katase, Takayoshi; Ishimaru, Yoshihiro; Tsukamoto, Akira; Hiramatsu, Hidenori; Kamiya, Toshio; Tanabe, Keiichi; Hosono, Hideo

    2011-01-01

    High critical temperature superconductors have zero power consumption and could be used to produce ideal electric power lines. The principal obstacle in fabricating superconducting wires and tapes is grain boundaries—the misalignment of crystalline orientations at grain boundaries, which is unavoidable for polycrystals, largely deteriorates critical current density. Here we report that high critical temperature iron pnictide superconductors have advantages over cuprates with respect to these grain boundary issues. The transport properties through well-defined bicrystal grain boundary junctions with various misorientation angles (θGB) were systematically investigated for cobalt-doped BaFe2As2 (BaFe2As2:Co) epitaxial films fabricated on bicrystal substrates. The critical current density through bicrystal grain boundary (JcBGB) remained high (>1 MA cm−2) and nearly constant up to a critical angle θc of ∼9°, which is substantially larger than the θc of ∼5° for YBa2Cu3O7–δ. Even at θGB>θc, the decay of JcBGB was much slower than that of YBa2Cu3O7–δ. PMID:21811238

  15. Inferring causal structure: a quantum advantage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ried, Katja; Spekkens, Robert

    2014-03-01

    The problem of inferring causal relations from observed correlations is central to science, and extensive study has yielded both important conceptual insights and widely used practical applications. Yet some of the simplest questions are impossible to answer classically: for instance, if one observes correlations between two variables (such as taking a new medical treatment and the subject's recovery), does this show a direct causal influence, or is it due to some hidden common cause? We develop a framework for quantum causal inference, and show how quantum theory provides a unique advantage in this decision problem. The key insight is that certain quantum correlations can only arise from specific causal structures, whereas pairs of classical variables can exhibit any pattern of correlation regardless of whether they have a common cause or a direct-cause relation. For example, suppose one measures the same Pauli observable on two qubits. If they share a common cause, such as being prepared in an entangled state, then one never finds perfect (positive) correlations in every basis, whereas perfect anticorrelations are possible (if one prepares the singlet state). Conversely, if a channel connects the qubits, hence a direct causal influence, perfect anticorrelations are impossible.

  16. The advantages and disadvantages of pacifier use.

    PubMed

    Cinar, Dede Nursan

    2004-01-01

    A powerful reflex of the infant in the weeks following birth is sucking. Breastfed babies benefit from both the nutrition in mother's milk and the satisfaction of their sucking instinct. Babies that can not be breastfed due to various reasons may satisfy their sucking instinct by using pacifiers. Pacifier use and digit sucking are believed to be harmless habits. In many places of the world, and especially in developing countries, pacifier use in early childhood is very common. It is said that pacifier use eases the baby and satisfies its sucking instinct. It has been reported in several studies that pacifier use reduces the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). The most important risks of this non-nutritive sucking habit are failure of breastfeeding, dental deformities, recurrent acute otitis media, and the possibility of accidents. The development of latex allergy, tooth decay, oral ulcers and sleep disorders are other problems encountered with pacifier use. Parents may hesitate to use pacifiers for their babies and consult nurses or midwives on this issue. In this article, the advantages and disadvantages of pacifier use are discussed with the aim of providing guidance to nurses and midwives working in the field of pediatrics and infant health.

  17. Is Concentrated Advantage the Cause? The Relative Contributions of Neighborhood Advantage and Disadvantage to Educational Inequality

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Odis, Jr.

    2013-01-01

    Supported by persistent educational inequality and growth of the field of neighborhood effects research, this meta-analysis investigates the relative association of neighborhood advantage and disadvantage to educational outcomes; the consistency of associations across different educational indicators; and the moderating influence of model…

  18. [The precautionary principle: advantages and risks].

    PubMed

    Tubiana, M

    2001-04-01

    The extension of the precautionary principle to the field of healthcare is the social response to two demands of the population: improved health safety and the inclusion of an informed public in the decision-making process. The necessary balance between cost (treatment-induced risk) and benefit (therapeutic effect) underlies all healthcare decisions. An underestimation or an overestimation of cost, i.e. risk, is equally harmful in public healthcare. A vaccination should be prescribed when its beneficial effect outweighs its inevitable risk. Mandatory vaccination, such as in the case of the Hepatitis B virus, is a health policy requiring some courage because those who benefit will never be aware of its positive effect while those who are victims of the risk could resort to litigation. Defense against such accusations requires an accurate assessment of risk and benefit, which underlines the importance of expertise. Even within the framework of the precautionary principle, it is impossible to act without knowledge, or at least a plausible estimation, of expected effects. Recent affairs (blood contamination, transmissible spongiform encephalitis by growth hormone, and new variant of Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease) illustrate that in such cases the precautionary principle would have had limited impact and it is only when enough knowledge was available that effective action could be taken. Likewise, in current debates concerning the possible risks of electromagnetic fields, cellular phones and radon, research efforts must be given priority. The general public understands intuitively the concept of cost and benefit. For example, the possible health risks of oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy were not ignored, but the public has judged that their advantages justify the risk. Estimating risk and benefit and finding a balance between risk and preventive measures could help avoid the main drawbacks of the precautionary principle, i.e. inaction and refusal of

  19. Searching for the Advantages of Virus Sex

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turner, Paul E.

    2003-02-01

    Sex (genetic exchange) is a nearly universal phenomenon in biological populations. But this is surprising given the costs associated with sex. For example, sex tends to break apart co-adapted genes, and sex causes a female to inefficiently contribute only half the genes to her offspring. Why then did sex evolve? One famous model poses that sex evolved to combat Muller's ratchet, the mutational load that accrues when harmful mutations drift to high frequencies in populations of small size. In contrast, the Fisher-Muller Hypothesis predicts that sex evolved to promote genetic variation that speeds adaptation in novel environments. Sexual mechanisms occur in viruses, which feature high rates of deleterious mutation and frequent exposure to novel or changing environments. Thus, confirmation of one or both hypotheses would shed light on the selective advantages of virus sex. Experimental evolution has been used to test these classic models in the RNA bacteriophage φ6, a virus that experiences sex via reassortment of its chromosomal segments. Empirical data suggest that sex might have originated in φ6 to assist in purging deleterious mutations from the genome. However, results do not support the idea that sex evolved because it provides beneficial variation in novel environments. Rather, experiments show that too much sex can be bad for φ6 promiscuity allows selfish viruses to evolve and spread their inferior genes to subsequent generations. Here I discuss various explanations for the evolution of segmentation in RNA viruses, and the added cost of sex when large numbers of viruses co-infect the same cell.

  20. Invaders do not require high resource levels to maintain physiological advantages in a temperate deciduous forest.

    PubMed

    Heberling, J Mason; Fridley, Jason D

    2016-04-01

    Non-native, invasive plants are commonly typified by trait strategies associated with high resource demands and plant invasions are often thought to be dependent upon site resource availability or disturbance. However, the invasion of shade-tolerant woody species into deciduous forests of the Eastern United States seems to contradict such generalization, as growth in this ecosystem is strongly constrained by light and, secondarily, nutrient stress. In a factorial manipulation of light and soil nitrogen availability, we established an experimental resource gradient in a secondary deciduous forest to test whether three common, woody, invasive species displayed increased metabolic performance and biomass production compared to six co-occurring woody native species, and whether these predicted differences depend upon resource supply. Using hierarchical Bayesian models of photosynthesis that included leaf trait effects, we found that invasive species exhibited functional strategies associated with higher rates of carbon gain. Further, invader metabolic and growth-related attributes were more responsive to increasing light availability than those of natives, but did not fall below average native responses even in low light. Surprisingly, neither group showed direct trait or growth responses to soil N additions. However, invasive species showed increased photosynthetic nitrogen use efficiencies with decreasing N availability, while that of natives remained constant. Although invader advantage over natives was amplified in higher resource conditions in this forest, our results indicate that some invasive species can maintain physiological advantages over co-occurring natives regardless of resource conditions.

  1. Olfactory morphology of carcharhinid and sphyrnid sharks: does the cephalofoil confer a sensory advantage?

    PubMed

    Kajiura, Stephen M; Forni, Jesica B; Summers, Adam P

    2005-06-01

    Many hypotheses have been advanced to explain the adaptive significance of the sphyrnid cephalofoil, including potential advantages of spacing the olfactory organs at the distal tips of the broad surface. We employed comparative morphology to test whether the sphyrnid cephalofoil provides better stereo-olfaction, increases olfactory acuity, and samples a greater volume of the medium compared to the situation in carcharhiniform sharks. The broadly spaced nares provide sphyrnid species with a significantly greater separation between the olfactory rosettes, which could lead to an enhanced ability to resolve odor gradients. In addition, most sphyrnid species possess prenarial grooves that greatly increase the volume of water sampled by the nares and thus increase the probability of odorant encounter. However, despite a much greater head width, and a significantly greater number of olfactory lamellae, scalloped hammerhead sharks do not possess a greater amount of olfactory epithelial surface area than the carcharhiniform sandbar sharks. Therefore, sphyrnid sharks might not possess any greater olfactory acuity than carcharhinids. Despite this, there are clear olfactory advantages to the cephalofoil head morphology that could have led to its evolution, persistence, and diversification. persistence, and diversification.

  2. Citation advantage of open access articles.

    PubMed

    Eysenbach, Gunther

    2006-05-01

    Open access (OA) to the research literature has the potential to accelerate recognition and dissemination of research findings, but its actual effects are controversial. This was a longitudinal bibliometric analysis of a cohort of OA and non-OA articles published between June 8, 2004, and December 20, 2004, in the same journal (PNAS: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences). Article characteristics were extracted, and citation data were compared between the two groups at three different points in time: at "quasi-baseline" (December 2004, 0-6 mo after publication), in April 2005 (4-10 mo after publication), and in October 2005 (10-16 mo after publication). Potentially confounding variables, including number of authors, authors' lifetime publication count and impact, submission track, country of corresponding author, funding organization, and discipline, were adjusted for in logistic and linear multiple regression models. A total of 1,492 original research articles were analyzed: 212 (14.2% of all articles) were OA articles paid by the author, and 1,280 (85.8%) were non-OA articles. In April 2005 (mean 206 d after publication), 627 (49.0%) of the non-OA articles versus 78 (36.8%) of the OA articles were not cited (relative risk = 1.3 [95% Confidence Interval: 1.1-1.6]; p = 0.001). 6 mo later (mean 288 d after publication), non-OA articles were still more likely to be uncited (non-OA: 172 [13.6%], OA: 11 [5.2%]; relative risk = 2.6 [1.4-4.7]; p < 0.001). The average number of citations of OA articles was higher compared to non-OA articles (April 2005: 1.5 [SD = 2.5] versus 1.2 [SD = 2.0]; Z = 3.123; p = 0.002; October 2005: 6.4 [SD = 10.4] versus 4.5 [SD = 4.9]; Z = 4.058; p < 0.001). In a logistic regression model, controlling for potential confounders, OA articles compared to non-OA articles remained twice as likely to be cited (odds ratio = 2.1 [1.5-2.9]) in the first 4-10 mo after publication (April 2005), with the odds ratio increasing to 2.9 (1.5-5.5) 10

  3. Cumulative Advantage in the Skill Development of STEM Graduate Students: A Mixed-Methods Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Feldon, David F.; Maher, Michelle A.; Roksa, Josipa; Peugh, James

    2016-01-01

    Studies of skill development often describe a process of cumulative advantage, in which small differences in initial skill compound over time, leading to increasing skill gaps between those with an initial advantage and those without. We offer evidence of a similar phenomenon accounting for differential patterns of research skill development in…

  4. A visual short-term memory advantage for objects of expertise

    PubMed Central

    Curby, Kim M.; Glazek, Kuba; Gauthier, Isabel

    2014-01-01

    Visual short-term memory (VSTM) is limited, especially for complex objects. Its capacity, however, is greater for faces than for other objects, an advantage that may stem from the holistic nature of face processing. If the holistic processing explains this advantage, then object expertise—which also relies on holistic processing—should endow experts with a VSTM advantage. We compared VSTM for cars among car experts to that among car novices. Car experts, but not car novices, demonstrated a VSTM advantage similar to that for faces; this advantage was orientation-specific and was correlated with an individual's level of car expertise. Control experiments ruled out accounts based solely on verbal- or long-term memory representations. These findings suggest that the processing advantages afforded by visual expertise result in domain-specific increases in VSTM capacity, perhaps by allowing experts to maximize the use of an inherently limited VSTM system. PMID:19170473

  5. A visual short-term memory advantage for objects of expertise.

    PubMed

    Curby, Kim M; Glazek, Kuba; Gauthier, Isabel

    2009-02-01

    Visual short-term memory (VSTM) is limited, especially for complex objects. Its capacity, however, is greater for faces than for other objects; this advantage may stem from the holistic nature of face processing. If the holistic processing explains this advantage, object expertise--which also relies on holistic processing--should endow experts with a VSTM advantage. The authors compared VSTM for cars among car experts and car novices. Car experts, but not car novices, demonstrated a VSTM advantage similar to that for faces; this advantage was orientation specific and was correlated with an individual's level of car expertise. Control experiments ruled out accounts based solely on verbal- or long-term memory representations. These findings suggest that the processing advantages afforded by visual expertise result in domain-specific increases in VSTM capacity, perhaps by allowing experts to maximize the use of an inherently limited VSTM system.

  6. The advantage of knowing the talker

    PubMed Central

    Souza, Pamela; Gehani, Namita; Wright, Richard; McCloy, Daniel

    2013-01-01

    Background Many audiologists have observed a situation where a patient appears to understand something spoken by his/her spouse or a close friend but not the same information spoken by a stranger. However, it is not clear whether this observation reflects choice of communication strategy or a true benefit derived from the talker’s voice. Purpose The current study measured the benefits of long-term talker familiarity for older individuals with hearing impairment in a variety of listening situations. Research Design In Experiment 1, we measured speech recognition with familiar and unfamiliar voices when the difficulty level was manipulated by varying levels of a speech-shaped background noise. In Experiment 2, we measured the benefit of a familiar voice when the background noise was other speech (informational masking). Study Sample A group of 31 older listeners with high-frequency sensorineural hearing loss participated in the study. Fifteen of the participants served as talkers, and sixteen as listeners. In each case, the talker-listener pair for the familiar condition represented a close, long-term relationship (spouse or close friend). Data Collection and Analysis Speech-recognition scores were compared using controlled stimuli (low-context sentences) recorded by the study talkers. The sentences were presented in quiet and in two levels of speech-spectrum noise (Experiment 1) as well as in multitalker babble (Experiment 2). Repeated-measures analysis of variance was used to compare performance between the familiar and unfamiliar talkers, within and across conditions. Results Listeners performed better when speech was produced by a talker familiar to them, whether that talker was in a quiet or noisy environment. The advantage of the familiar talker was greater in a more adverse listening situation (i.e., in the highest level of background noise), but was similar for speech-spectrum noise and multi-talker babble. Conclusions The present data support a frequent

  7. End-to-end imaging information rate advantages of various alternative communication systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rice, R. F.

    1982-01-01

    The efficiency of various deep space communication systems which are required to transmit both imaging and a typically error sensitive class of data called general science and engineering (gse) are compared. The approach jointly treats the imaging and gse transmission problems, allowing comparisons of systems which include various channel coding and data compression alternatives. Actual system comparisons include an advanced imaging communication system (AICS) which exhibits the rather significant advantages of sophisticated data compression coupled with powerful yet practical channel coding. For example, under certain conditions the improved AICS efficiency could provide as much as two orders of magnitude increase in imaging information rate compared to a single channel uncoded, uncompressed system while maintaining the same gse data rate in both systems. Additional details describing AICS compression and coding concepts as well as efforts to apply them are provided in support of the system analysis.

  8. Red Dirt Thinking on Remote Educational Advantage

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Guenther, John; Bat, Melodie; Osborne, Sam

    2014-01-01

    The discourse of remote education is often characterised by a rhetoric of disadvantage. This is reflected in statistics that on the surface seem unambiguous in their demonstration of poor outcomes for remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. A range of data support this view, including National Assessment Program-Literacy and…

  9. Taking Full Advantage of Children's Literature

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Serafini, Frank

    2012-01-01

    Teachers need a deeper understanding of the texts being discussed, in particular the various textual and visual aspects of picturebooks themselves, including the images, written text and design elements, to support how readers made sense of these texts. As teachers become familiar with aspects of literary criticism, art history, visual grammar,…

  10. The Arts: A Competitive Advantage for California.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    KPMG Peat Marwick, Washington, DC. Policy Economic Group.

    This 1993 study attempts to define the size and scope of state-wide economic activity generated by the arts in California. The analysis is based on data from surveys of nonprofit arts organization and five case studies. The case studies, which provided context for the core research, include examinations of: (1) artists in Los Angeles County; (2)…

  11. Logistics as a Competitive Warfighting Advantage

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2016-10-20

    maintenance and supply issues continue to impact the Services’ ability to budget and manage DWCF workload which increases carryover – Timing – Defining...industry developments, and legislation – Speak with industry practitioners and academic experts to better understand outside recommendations for...to achieve results Refinements to the performance management system 6 Tight control over overhead personnel Continuous evaluation and

  12. Connecting in Megaclasses: The Netnographic Advantage

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    O'Reilly, Norman J.; Rahinel, Ryan; Foster, Mary K.; Patterson, Mark

    2007-01-01

    Large universities are increasingly offering marketing courses in classes of 300 or more students. Without access to the usual verbal and nonverbal cues, instructors in these megaclasses are disadvantaged in terms of their ability to respond to learners' needs. As a result, marketing instructors have supplemented course infrastructure with…

  13. Relatively Fast! Efficiency Advantages of Comparative Thinking

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mussweiler, Thomas; Epstude, Kai

    2009-01-01

    Comparisons are a ubiquitous process in information processing. Seven studies examine whether, how, and when comparative thinking increases the efficiency of judgment and choice. Studies 1-4 demonstrate that procedurally priming participants to engage in more vs. less comparison influences how they process information about a target. Specifically,…

  14. The Advantage of Mentally Rotating Clockwise

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liesefeld, Heinrich R.; Zimmer, Hubert D.

    2011-01-01

    The time taken to decide whether a character is shown in its mirror or normal version has been shown to increase approximately linearly with the angular departure from an up-right position. Additionally, in some studies, decisions took longer for clockwise tilted characters than for counterclockwise tilted ones. Other studies do not report the…

  15. [Mirtazapine--pharmacologic action and clinical advantages].

    PubMed

    Rihmer, Zoltán; Purebl, György

    2009-03-01

    Mirtazapine is an effective antidepressant with unique and special mechanism of action characterized by high response and remission rates, relatively early onest of action and favourable side-effect profile. The present paper reviews some special points of the clinical use of mirtazapine, which is on the market in Hungary for almost 10 years, including its sleep-improving and anxiolytic effets. This review will also touch the management of the most commonly occuring side-effects.

  16. Advantages of a polycentric approach to climate change policy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cole, Daniel H.

    2015-02-01

    Lack of progress in global climate negotiations has led scholars to reconsider polycentric approaches to climate policy. Several examples of subglobal mechanisms to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions have been touted, but it remains unclear why they might achieve better climate outcomes than global negotiations alone. Decades of work conducted by researchers associated with the Vincent and Elinor Ostrom Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis at Indiana University have emphasized two chief advantages of polycentric approaches over monocentric ones: they provide more opportunities for experimentation and learning to improve policies over time, and they increase communications and interactions -- formal and informal, bilateral and multilateral -- among parties to help build the mutual trust needed for increased cooperation. A wealth of theoretical, empirical and experimental evidence supports the polycentric approach.

  17. Relative Advantage: Strength for Favorable Conflict Resolution

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-05-22

    Hiroshima and Nagasaki (New York, NY: Osprey, 2008), 19. 30Ibid., 22. 15 home islands increased the effect of the strategic bombing campaign aimed...focus on the use of the atomic bombs as the primary event that caused the surrender of Japan, e.g. is Wilson Miscamble’s. The Most Controversial Decision...Truman, the Atomic Bombs , and the Defeat of Japan. While some, like Downfall written by Richard Frank debate the necessity of the atomic bomb

  18. Supporting elderly homecare with smartwatches: advantages and drawbacks.

    PubMed

    Ehrler, Frederic; Lovis, Christian

    2014-01-01

    The demographic transition in industrialized countries leads to a growth of elderly population. This population is more prone to chronic diseases and puts an increasing pressure on the healthcare system. One way to reduce the cost associated to the support of this population is to improve its autonomy to keep it independent as long as possible. Many assistive technologies and environmental interventions can be implemented to achieve this goal. In this paper, we are looking at the advantages and drawbacks of smartwatches as a platform to support elderly at home. By doing a literature search and by performing expert interview, we have identified the advantages of this technology to insure the success of promising applications as well as the obstacles that should be gone beyond. Among the advantages, the ubiquity of smartwatches makes possible a continuous medical surveillance, harder to achieve with other devices. Moreover, the versatility of smartwatches provides an appropriate ground to implement a centralized platform providing multiples services facilitating elderly homecare. However, the physical constraints of the watches such as the tiny screen size, the small connectors and the limited power autonomy can be significant barriers to the adoption of these tools. In conclusion, beside the actual homecare system, improving the autonomy and the independence of elderly at home can be leveraged by a combination of environmental and assistive technologies. Smartwatches have definitively the potential to become close assistants to help elderly in their daily life. However, this will not be achieved without dedicating a significant effort in designing appropriate user interfaces and certainly dedicated hardware to respond to the constraints associated with potential physical and cognitive impairments.

  19. Home advantage in retractable-roof baseball stadia.

    PubMed

    Romanowich, Paul

    2012-10-01

    This study examined whether the home advantage varies for open-air, domed, or retractable-roof baseball stadia, and whether having the roof open or closed affects the home advantage in retractable-roof baseball stadia. Data from Major League Baseball (MLB) games played between 2001 and 2009 were analyzed for whether or not the presence of a home-advantage was dependent on the type of home stadium used. Home advantage was robust for all three types of stadia. A significant effect of stadium type on home advantage was found, with a greater home advantage for teams playing home games in domed stadia relative to open-air stadia, replicating a previous study. There was a greater home advantage for teams playing home games in domed stadia relative to retractable-roof stadia. No other differences in the home advantage were found; results are discussed in terms of familiarity with the facility.

  20. Child center closures: Does nonprofit status provide a comparative advantage?

    PubMed Central

    Lam, Marcus; Klein, Sacha; Freisthler, Bridget; Weiss, Robert E.

    2013-01-01

    Reliable access to dependable, high quality childcare services is a vital concern for large numbers of American families. The childcare industry consists of private nonprofit, private for-profit, and governmental providers that differ along many dimensions, including quality, clientele served, and organizational stability. Nonprofit providers are theorized to provide higher quality services given comparative tax advantages, higher levels of consumer trust, and management by mission driven entrepreneurs. This study examines the influence of ownership structure, defined as nonprofit, for-profit sole proprietors, for-profit companies, and governmental centers, on organizational instability, defined as childcare center closures. Using a cross sectional data set of 15724 childcare licenses in California for 2007, we model the predicted closures of childcare centers as a function of ownership structure as well as center age and capacity. Findings indicate that for small centers (capacity of 30 or less) nonprofits are more likely to close, but for larger centers (capacity 30+) nonprofits are less likely to close. This suggests that the comparative advantages available for nonprofit organizations may be better utilized by larger centers than by small centers. We consider the implications of our findings for parents, practitioners, and social policy. PMID:23543882

  1. Systems neuroscience in Drosophila: Conceptual and technical advantages.

    PubMed

    Kazama, H

    2015-06-18

    The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster is ideally suited for investigating the neural circuit basis of behavior. Due to the simplicity and genetic tractability of the fly brain, neurons and circuits are identifiable across animals. Additionally, a large set of transgenic lines has been developed with the aim of specifically labeling small subsets of neurons and manipulating them in sophisticated ways. Electrophysiology and imaging can be applied in behaving individuals to examine the computations performed by each neuron, and even the entire population of relevant neurons in a particular region, because of the small size of the brain. Moreover, a rich repertoire of behaviors that can be studied is expanding to include those requiring cognitive abilities. Thus, the fly brain is an attractive system in which to explore both computations and mechanisms underlying behavior at levels spanning from genes through neurons to circuits. This review summarizes the advantages Drosophila offers in achieving this objective. A recent neurophysiology study on olfactory behavior is also introduced to demonstrate the effectiveness of these advantages.

  2. Achieving competitive advantage through strategic human resource management.

    PubMed

    Fottler, M D; Phillips, R L; Blair, J D; Duran, C A

    1990-01-01

    The framework presented here challenges health care executives to manage human resources strategically as an integral part of the strategic planning process. Health care executives should consciously formulate human resource strategies and practices that are linked to and reinforce the broader strategic posture of the organization. This article provides a framework for (1) determining and focusing on desired strategic outcomes, (2) identifying and implementing essential human resource management actions, and (3) maintaining or enhancing competitive advantage. The strategic approach to human resource management includes assessing the organization's environment and mission; formulating the organization's business strategy; assessing the human resources requirements based on the intended strategy; comparing the current inventory of human resources in terms of numbers, characteristics, and human resource management practices with respect to the strategic requirements of the organization and its services or product lines; formulating the human resource strategy based on the differences between the assessed requirements and the current inventory; and implementing the appropriate human resource practices to reinforce the strategy and attain competitive advantage.

  3. Decreasing Supermarket Tantrums by Increasing Shopping Tasks: Advantages of Pre-Teaching

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Greenwald, Ashley E.; Williams, W. Larry; Seniuk, Holly A.

    2014-01-01

    A brief training package consisting of pre-teaching of appropriate grocery item--gathering skills and reinforcement for appropriate behavior was used to teach a child diagnosed with autism to remain in a store and participate in shopping without exhibiting tantrums. The training package began with teaching the necessary component skills and…

  4. Is increased residual shank length a competitive advantage for elite transtibial amputee long jumpers?

    PubMed

    Nolan, Lee; Patritti, Benjamin L; Stana, Laura; Tweedy, Sean M

    2011-07-01

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate the extent to which residual shank length affects long jump performance of elite athletes with a unilateral transtibial amputation. Sixteen elite, male, long jumpers with a transtibial amputation were videoed while competing in major championships (World Championships 1998, 2002 and Paralympic Games, 2004). The approach, take-off, and landing of each athlete's best jump was digitized to determine residual and intact shank lengths, jump distance, and horizontal and vertical velocity of center of mass at touchdown. Residual shank length ranged from 15 cm to 38 cm. There were weak, nonsignificant relationships between residual shank length and (a) distance jumped (r = 0.30), (b) horizontal velocity (r = 0.31), and vertical velocity (r = 0.05). Based on these results, residual shank length is not an important determinant of long jump performance, and it is therefore appropriate that all long jumpers with transtibial amputation compete in the same class. The relationship between residual shank length and key performance variables was stronger among athletes that jumped off their prosthetic leg (N = 5), and although this result must be interpreted cautiously, it indicates the need for further research.

  5. Home Banking Experiments: Do the Advantages Outweigh the Increased Costs for Customers?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Immel, A. Richard

    1984-01-01

    Reviews services available through home banking via a personal computer, and discusses cash management, whether these services are worthwhile, and if they'll be successful. Two home banking services--Chemical Bank's Pronto and Bank of America's Homebanking--are described. (MBR)

  6. Kinetic advantage of controlled intermediate nuclear fusion

    SciTech Connect

    Guo Xiaoming

    2012-09-26

    The dominated process of controlled fusion is to let nuclei gain enough kinetic energy to overcome Coulomb barrier. As a result, a fusion scheme can consider two factors in its design: to increase kinetic energy of nuclei and to alter the Coulomb barrier. Cold Fusion and Hot fusion are all one-factor schemes while Intermediate Fusion is a twofactors scheme. This made CINF kinetically superior. Cold Fusion reduces deuteron-deuteron distance, addressing Coulomb barrier, and Hot Fusion heat up plasma into extreme high temperature, addressing kinetic energy. Without enough kinetic energy made Cold Fusion skeptical. Extreme high temperature made Hot Fusion very difficult to engineer. Because CIFN addresses both factors, CIFN is a more promising technique to be industrialized.

  7. Multi-core advantages for mask data preparation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yeap, Johnny; Nogatch, John

    2009-04-01

    Smaller design pattern feature sizes continue to increase mask data file sizes, which increases mask data processing (MDP) times. To satisfy the need for faster turn-around-time, MDP has progressively migrated from single-computer computation, to multi-threading, and then to distributed processing on multiple computers. The availability of low cost multi-core processors can be used advantageously to reduce Mask Data Preparation runtime. Compared to single core processors, multi-core processor have higher performance, however, total available memory and I/O bandwidth need to be increased proportionally with the additional cores. Memory per core and available I/O bandwidth limit the maximum number of cores that can be effective with distributed processing. When a single job is broken down to 2 or more tasks, the granularity of the tasks influences the efficiency of the processing. Smaller tasks allow for smaller memory footprint, better distribution of tasks and increased scalability, but increase input file access time and reduce output data compaction. By choosing a combination of multi-threading and distributed processing, faster run-time and better scalability can be achieved, as compared to either technique alone. The optimal configuration depends on the number of cores per processor, number of processors and memory per core.

  8. The competitive advantage of corporate philanthropy.

    PubMed

    Porter, Michael E; Kramer, Mark R

    2002-12-01

    When it comes to philanthropy, executives increasingly see themselves as caught between critics demanding ever higher levels of "corporate social responsibility" and investors applying pressure to maximize short-term profits. In response, many companies have sought to make their giving more strategic, but what passes for strategic philanthropy is almost never truly strategic, and often isn't particularly effective as philanthropy. Increasingly, philanthropy is used as a form of public relations or advertising, promoting a company's image through high-profile sponsorships. But there is a more truly strategic way to think about philanthropy. Corporations can use their charitable efforts to improve their competitive context--the quality of the business environment in the locations where they operate. Using philanthropy to enhance competitive context aligns social and economic goals and improves a company's long-term business prospects. Addressing context enables a company to not only give money but also leverage its capabilities and relationships in support of charitable causes. The produces social benefits far exceeding those provided by individual donors, foundations, or even governments. Taking this new direction requires fundamental changes in the way companies approach their contribution programs. For example, philanthropic investments can improve education and local quality of life in ways that will benefit the company. Such investments can also improve the company's competitiveness by contributing to expanding the local market and helping to reduce corruption in the local business environment. Adopting a context-focused approach goes against the grain of current philanthropic practice, and it requires a far more disciplined approach than is prevalent today. But it can make a company's philanthropic activities far more effective.

  9. Back to Basics: A Bilingual Advantage in Infant Visual Habituation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Singh, Leher; Fu, Charlene S. L.; Rahman, Aishah A.; Hameed, Waseem B.; Sanmugam, Shamini; Agarwal, Pratibha; Jiang, Binyan; Chong, Yap Seng; Meaney, Michael J.; Rifkin-Graboi, Anne

    2015-01-01

    Comparisons of cognitive processing in monolinguals and bilinguals have revealed a bilingual advantage in inhibitory control. Recent studies have demonstrated advantages associated with exposure to two languages in infancy. However, the domain specificity and scope of the infant bilingual advantage in infancy remains unclear. In the present study,…

  10. Surface modification: advantages, techniques, and applications

    SciTech Connect

    Natesan, K.

    2000-03-01

    Adequate performance of materials at elevated temperatures is a potential problem in many systems within the chemical, petroleum, process, and power-generating industries. Degradation of materials occurs because of interaction between the structural material and the exposure environment. These interactions are generally undesired chemical reactions that can lead to accelerated wastage and alter the functional requirements and/or structural integrity of the materials. Therefore, material selection for high-temperature applications must be based not only on a material strength properties but also on resistance to the complex environments prevalent in the anticipated exposure environment. As plants become larger, the satisfactory performance and reliability of components play a greater role in plant availability and economics. However, system designers are becoming increasingly concerned with finding the least expensive material that will satisfactorily perform the design function for the desired service life. This present paper addresses the benefits of surface modification and identified several criteria for selection and application of modified surfaces in the power sector. A brief review is presented on potential methods for modification of surfaces, with the emphasis on coatings. In the final section of the paper, several examples address the requirements of different energy systems and surface modification avenues that have been applied to resolve the issues.

  11. Clinical advantages of dual activity in urticaria.

    PubMed

    Kontou-Fili, K

    2000-01-01

    Urticaria is a common disorder that adversely affects quality of life; work-related and recreational activities are restricted, while rest, sleep, and emotions are seriously disturbed in a significant proportion of patients. The pathogenic mechanisms vary, but cutaneous mast-cell activation with release of histamine and other vasoactive or proinflammatory mediators is thought to be the final common pathway for lesion induction in most cases. A subsequent, but incompletely understood, late-phase allergic reaction seems to prolong the inflammatory process, particularly in certain chronic forms of the disorder. Although histamine is considered an important mediator of urticaria, additional substances, including the cysteinyl leukotrienes (LTs), are putative mediators of the immediate urticarial responses and the inflammatory events that follow in some types of urticaria. A second-generation antihistamine, mizolastine, which exhibits dual activity with selective H1-receptor antagonism and, as shown in animal studies, anti-5-lipoxygenase activity, represents an advance in the treatment of urticaria. It has rapid, potent and sustained action. At the recommended 10-mg dose, mizolastine suppresses the histamine-induced wheal reaction as early as 1 h after oral administration. Compared to placebo, mizolastine significantly reduces overall patient discomfort and pruritus in patients with chronic idiopathic urticaria. Double-blind, placebo-controlled studies have also shown mizolastine to be at least as effective as other second-generation antihistamines. Furthermore, with long-term use of mizolastine over 1 year, a reduction in pruritus and the number of urticarial episodes was maintained with no evidence of tachyphylaxis or tolerance. Mizolastine has also been shown to be an effective treatment for cold-induced urticaria, causing significant delay in the whealing response to the ice-cube test and also reducing the wheal diameter.

  12. The evolutionary advantage of limited network knowledge.

    PubMed

    Larson, Jennifer M

    2016-06-07

    Groups of individuals have social networks that structure interactions within the groups; evolutionary theory increasingly uses this fact to explain the emergence of cooperation (Eshel and Cavalli-Sforza, 1982; Boyd and Richerson, 1988, 1989; Ohtsuki et al., 2006; Nowak et al., 2010; Van Veelen et al., 2012). This approach has resulted in a number of important insights for the evolution of cooperation in the biological and social sciences, but omits a key function of social networks that has persisted throughout recent evolutionary history (Apicella et al., 2012): their role in transmitting gossip about behavior within a group. Accounting for this well-established role of social networks among rational agents in a setting of indirect reciprocity not only shows a new mechanism by which the structure of networks is fitness-relevant, but also reveals that knowledge of social networks can be fitness-relevant as well. When groups enforce cooperation by sanctioning peers whom gossip reveals to have deviated, individuals in certain peripheral network positions are tempting targets of uncooperative behavior because gossip they share about misbehavior spreads slowly through the network. The ability to identify these individuals creates incentives to behave uncooperatively. Consequently, groups comprised of individuals who knew precise information about their social networks would be at a fitness disadvantage relative to groups of individuals with a coarser knowledge of their networks. Empirical work has consistently shown that modern humans know little about the structure of their own social networks and perform poorly when tasked with learning new ones. This robust empirical regularity may be the product of natural selection in an environment of strong selective pressure at the group level. Imprecise views of networks make enforcing cooperation easier.

  13. Organic proxies in speleothems - New developments, advantages and limitations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blyth, Alison J.; Hartland, Adam; Baker, Andy

    2016-10-01

    Research into organic matter in speleothems has progressed recently to encompass new analytical approaches and applications, which offer increased potential in areas such as palaeo-temperature reconstruction and high-resolution palaeo-environmental records from the Quaternary. Here we review three major areas of relevance for future work in the field - the origin, transport and transformation of the organic matter which is ultimately preserved in speleothems; the types of proxies currently available for use or in development, and their advantages and issues; and the recently developed prospect of high-resolution organic matter records derived from the analysis of organic/trace elements complexes. The continuing extension of work in these research areas offers excellent potential for organic speleothem proxies to grow as a valuable tool in palaeoenvironmental research.

  14. Gaining information advantage: an integrated approach to airborne mission recording

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sundgren, Mats; Ljunggren, Lars

    1999-08-01

    Information advantage is the key success factor in all conflicts. In a modern combat aircraft the amount of available information is continuously increasing with new and more sophisticated sensor systems. By incorporating an integrated mission recording system the vast amount of information captured in a modern combat aircraft is recorded. Evaluating this information, whether for aircraft development, pilot training or in combat, will maximize the experience from each flight and enhance the efficiency of the following missions. All Lot 3 of the Swedish fighter JAS39 Gripen as well as the export versions will be equipped with a digital mission recording system. The system is called DiRECT and is used for video, audio and data recording on a direct access, solid- state memory.

  15. Practices of Weight Regulation Among Elite Athletes in Combat Sports: A Matter of Mental Advantage?

    PubMed Central

    Pettersson, Stefan; Ekström, Marianne Pipping; Berg, Christina M

    2013-01-01

    Context The combination of extensive weight loss and inadequate nutritional strategies used to lose weight rapidly for competition in weight-category sports may negatively affect athletic performance and health. Objective To explore the reasoning of elite combat-sport athletes about rapid weight loss and regaining of weight before competitions. Design Qualitative study. Setting With grounded theory as a theoretical framework, we employed a cross-examinational approach including interviews, observations, and Internet sources. Sports observations were obtained at competitions and statements by combat-sport athletes were collected on the Internet. Patients or Other Participants Participants in the interviews were 14 Swedish national team athletes (9 men, 5 women; age range, 18 to 36 years) in 3 Olympic combat sports (wrestling, judo, and taekwondo). Data Collection and Analysis Semistructured interviews with 14 athletes from the Swedish national teams in wrestling, judo, and taekwondo were conducted at a location of each participant's choice. The field observations were conducted at European competitions in these 3 sports. In addition, interviews and statements made by athletes in combat sports were collected on the Internet. Results Positive aspects of weight regulation other than gaining physical advantage emerged from the data during the analysis: sport identity, mental diversion, and mental advantage. Together and individually, these categories point toward the positive aspects of weight regulation experienced by the athletes. Practicing weight regulation mediates a self-image of being “a real athlete.” Weight regulation is also considered mentally important as a part of the precompetition preparation, serving as a coping strategy by creating a feeling of increased focus and commitment. Moreover, a mental advantage relative to one's opponents can be gained through the practice of weight regulation. Conclusions Weight regulation has mentally important functions

  16. Choosy Wolves? Heterozygote Advantage But No Evidence of MHC-Based Disassortative Mating.

    PubMed

    Galaverni, Marco; Caniglia, Romolo; Milanesi, Pietro; Lapalombella, Silvana; Fabbri, Elena; Randi, Ettore

    2016-03-01

    A variety of nonrandom mate choice strategies, including disassortative mating, are used by vertebrate species to avoid inbreeding, maintain heterozygosity and increase fitness. Disassortative mating may be mediated by the major histocompatibility complex (MHC), an important gene cluster controlling immune responses to pathogens. We investigated the patterns of mate choice in 26 wild-living breeding pairs of gray wolf (Canis lupus) that were identified through noninvasive genetic methods and genotyped at 3 MHC class II and 12 autosomal microsatellite (STR) loci. We tested for deviations from random mating and evaluated the covariance of genetic variables at functional and STR markers with fitness proxies deduced from pedigree reconstructions. Results did not show evidences of MHC-based disassortative mating. Rather we found a higher peptide similarity between mates at MHC loci as compared with random expectations. Fitness values were positively correlated with heterozygosity of the breeders at both MHC and STR loci, whereas they decreased with relatedness at STRs. These findings may indicate fitness advantages for breeders that, while avoiding highly related mates, are more similar at the MHC and have high levels of heterozygosity overall. Such a pattern of MHC-assortative mating may reflect local coadaptation of the breeders, while a reduction in genetic diversity may be balanced by heterozygote advantages.

  17. Disconnects between popular discourse and home advantage research: what can fans and media tell us about the home advantage phenomenon?

    PubMed

    Smith, D Randall

    2005-04-01

    Many of the factors identified as influencing the home advantage have an underlying social basis, presumably through the influence exerted by the home crowd. Beliefs in the home advantage and the causes of that advantage also have a social basis: sports coverage and fan discourse focus on some aspects of the phenomenon at the expense of others. This paper compares home advantage research with the use of the concept in media narratives and fan Intemet postings. While there are many similarities across sources, the findings suggest three major differences. Fans, and to a lesser extent the media, (1) focus almost exclusively on winning as the evidence for a home advantage, (2) see crowd noise as the main factor for the home advantage, and (3) treat the phenomenon as much more transient than is suggested by academic studies. I identify several features of the phenomenon that facilitate popular views of the home advantage and suggest how future research may benefit from incorporating those views.

  18. Gene-environment studies: any advantage over environmental studies?

    PubMed

    Bermejo, Justo Lorenzo; Hemminki, Kari

    2007-07-01

    Gene-environment studies have been motivated by the likely existence of prevalent low-risk genes that interact with common environmental exposures. The present study assessed the statistical advantage of the simultaneous consideration of genes and environment to investigate the effect of environmental risk factors on disease. In particular, we contemplated the possibility that several genes modulate the environmental effect. Environmental exposures, genotypes and phenotypes were simulated according to a wide range of parameter settings. Different models of gene-gene-environment interaction were considered. For each parameter combination, we estimated the probability of detecting the main environmental effect, the power to identify the gene-environment interaction and the frequency of environmentally affected individuals at which environmental and gene-environment studies show the same statistical power. The proportion of cases in the population attributable to the modeled risk factors was also calculated. Our data indicate that environmental exposures with weak effects may account for a significant proportion of the population prevalence of the disease. A general result was that, if the environmental effect was restricted to rare genotypes, the power to detect the gene-environment interaction was higher than the power to identify the main environmental effect. In other words, when few individuals contribute to the overall environmental effect, individual contributions are large and result in easily identifiable gene-environment interactions. Moreover, when multiple genes interacted with the environment, the statistical benefit of gene-environment studies was limited to those studies that included major contributors to the gene-environment interaction. The advantage of gene-environment over plain environmental studies also depends on the inheritance mode of the involved genes, on the study design and, to some extend, on the disease prevalence.

  19. Selenium utilization in thioredoxin and catalytic advantage provided by selenocysteine

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, Moon-Jung; Lee, Byung Cheon; Hwang, Kwang Yeon; Gladyshev, Vadim N.; Kim, Hwa-Young

    2015-06-12

    Thioredoxin (Trx) is a major thiol-disulfide reductase that plays a role in many biological processes, including DNA replication and redox signaling. Although selenocysteine (Sec)-containing Trxs have been identified in certain bacteria, their enzymatic properties have not been characterized. In this study, we expressed a selenoprotein Trx from Treponema denticola, an oral spirochete, in Escherichia coli and characterized this selenoenzyme and its natural cysteine (Cys) homologue using E. coli Trx1 as a positive control. {sup 75}Se metabolic labeling and mutation analyses showed that the SECIS (Sec insertion sequence) of T. denticola selenoprotein Trx is functional in the E. coli Sec insertion system with specific selenium incorporation into the Sec residue. The selenoprotein Trx exhibited approximately 10-fold higher catalytic activity than the Sec-to-Cys version and natural Cys homologue and E. coli Trx1, suggesting that Sec confers higher catalytic activity on this thiol-disulfide reductase. Kinetic analysis also showed that the selenoprotein Trx had a 30-fold higher K{sub m} than Cys-containing homologues, suggesting that this selenoenzyme is adapted to work efficiently with high concentrations of substrate. Collectively, the results of this study support the hypothesis that selenium utilization in oxidoreductase systems is primarily due to the catalytic advantage provided by the rare amino acid, Sec. - Highlights: • The first characterization of a selenoprotein Trx is presented. • The selenoenzyme Trx exhibits 10-fold higher catalytic activity than Cys homologues. • Se utilization in Trx is primarily due to the catalytic advantage provided by Sec residue.

  20. Copper-phosphorus alloys offer advantages in brazing copper

    SciTech Connect

    Rupert, W.D.

    1996-05-01

    Copper-phosphorus brazing alloys are used extensively for joining copper, especially refrigeration and air-conditioning copper tubing and electrical conductors. What is the effect of phosphorus when alloyed with copper? The following are some of the major effects: (1) It lowers the melt temperature of copper (a temperature depressant). (2) It increases the fluidity of the copper when in the liquid state. (3) It acts as a deoxidant or a fluxing agent with copper. (4) It lowers the ductility of copper (embrittles). There is a misconception that silver improves the ductility of the copper-phosphorus alloys. In reality, silver added to copper acts in a similar manner as phosphorus. The addition of silver to copper lowers the melt temperature (temperature depressant) and decreases the ductility. Fortunately, the rate and amount at which silver lowers copper ductility is significantly less than that of phosphorus. Therefore, taking advantage of the temperature depressant property of silver, a Ag-Cu-P alloy can be selected at approximately the same melt temperature as a Cu-P alloy, but at a lower phosphorus content. The lowering of the phosphorus content actually makes the alloy more ductile, not the silver addition. A major advantage of the copper-phosphorus alloys is the self-fluxing characteristic when joining copper to copper. They may also be used with the addition of a paste flux on brass, bronze, and specialized applications on silver, tungsten and molybdenum. Whether it is selection of the proper BCuP alloy or troubleshooting an existing problem, the suggested approach is a review of the desired phosphorus content in the liquid metal and how it is being altered during application. In torch brazing, a slight change in the oxygen-fuel ratio can affect the joint quality or leak tightness.

  1. Virtual online consultations: advantages and limitations (VOCAL) study

    PubMed Central

    Greenhalgh, Trisha; Vijayaraghavan, Shanti; Wherton, Joe; Shaw, Sara; Byrne, Emma; Campbell-Richards, Desirée; Bhattacharya, Satya; Hanson, Philippa; Ramoutar, Seendy; Gutteridge, Charles; Hodkinson, Isabel; Collard, Anna; Morris, Joanne

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Remote video consultations between clinician and patient are technically possible and increasingly acceptable. They are being introduced in some settings alongside (and occasionally replacing) face-to-face or telephone consultations. Methods To explore the advantages and limitations of video consultations, we will conduct in-depth qualitative studies of real consultations (microlevel) embedded in an organisational case study (mesolevel), taking account of national context (macrolevel). The study is based in 2 contrasting clinical settings (diabetes and cancer) in a National Health Service (NHS) acute trust in London, UK. Main data sources are: microlevel—audio, video and screen capture to produce rich multimodal data on 45 remote consultations; mesolevel—interviews, ethnographic observations and analysis of documents within the trust; macrolevel—key informant interviews of national-level stakeholders and document analysis. Data will be analysed and synthesised using a sociotechnical framework developed from structuration theory. Ethics approval City Road and Hampstead NHS Research Ethics Committee, 9 December 2014, reference 14/LO/1883. Planned outputs We plan outputs for 5 main audiences: (1) academics: research publications and conference presentations; (2) service providers: standard operating procedures, provisional operational guidance and key safety issues; (3) professional bodies and defence societies: summary of relevant findings to inform guidance to members; (4) policymakers: summary of key findings; (5) patients and carers: ‘what to expect in your virtual consultation’. Discussion The research literature on video consultations is sparse. Such consultations offer potential advantages to patients (who are spared the cost and inconvenience of travel) and the healthcare system (eg, they may be more cost-effective), but fears have been expressed that they may be clinically risky and/or less acceptable to patients or staff, and they

  2. The Advantages of Fixed Facilities in Characterizing TRU Wastes

    SciTech Connect

    FRENCH, M.S.

    2000-02-08

    In May 1998 the Hanford Site started developing a program for characterization of transuranic (TRU) waste for shipment to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in New Mexico. After less than two years, Hanford will have a program certified by the Carlsbad Area Office (CAO). By picking a simple waste stream, taking advantage of lessons learned at the other sites, as well as communicating effectively with the CAO, Hanford was able to achieve certification in record time. This effort was further simplified by having a centralized program centered on the Waste Receiving and Processing (WRAP) Facility that contains most of the equipment required to characterize TRU waste. The use of fixed facilities for the characterization of TRU waste at sites with a long-term clean-up mission can be cost effective for several reasons. These include the ability to control the environment in which sensitive instrumentation is required to operate and ensuring that calibrations and maintenance activities are scheduled and performed as an operating routine. Other factors contributing to cost effectiveness include providing approved procedures and facilities for handling hazardous materials and anticipated contingencies and performing essential evolutions, and regulating and smoothing the work load and environmental conditions to provide maximal efficiency and productivity. Another advantage is the ability to efficiently provide characterization services to other sites in the Department of Energy (DOE) Complex that do not have the same capabilities. The Waste Receiving and Processing (WRAP) Facility is a state-of-the-art facility designed to consolidate the operations necessary to inspect, process and ship waste to facilitate verification of contents for certification to established waste acceptance criteria. The WRAP facility inspects, characterizes, treats, and certifies transuranic (TRU), low-level and mixed waste at the Hanford Site in Washington state. Fluor Hanford operates the $89

  3. Advantages of using volar vein repair in finger replantations.

    PubMed

    Mersa, Berkan; Kabakas, Fatih; Pürisa, Hüsrev; Özçelik, Ismail Bülent; Yeşiloğlu, Nebil; Sezer, Ilker; Tunçer, Serdar

    2014-01-01

    Providing adequate venous outflow is essential in finger replantation surgeries. For a successful result, the quality and quantity of venous repairs should be adequate to drain arterial inflow. The digital dorsal venous plexus is a reliable source of material for venous repairs. Classically, volar digital veins have been used only when no other alternative was available. However, repairing volar veins to augment venous outflow has a number of technical advantages and gives a greater chance of survival. Increasing the repaired vein:artery ratio also increases the success of replantation. The volar skin, covering the volar vein, is less likely to be avulsed during injury and is also less likely to turn necrotic, than dorsal skin, after the replantation surgery. Primary repair of dorsal veins can be difficult due to tightness ensuing from arthrodesis of the underlying joint in flexion. In multiple finger replantations, repairing the volar veins after arterial repair and continuing to do so for each finger in the same way without changing the position of the hand and surgeon save time. In amputations with tissue loss, the size discrepancy is less for volar veins than for dorsal veins. We present the results of 366 finger replantations after volar vein repairs.

  4. Favorable Selection, Risk Adjustment, and the Medicare Advantage Program

    PubMed Central

    Morrisey, Michael A; Kilgore, Meredith L; Becker, David J; Smith, Wilson; Delzell, Elizabeth

    2013-01-01

    Objectives To examine the effects of changes in payment and risk adjustment on (1) the annual enrollment and switching behavior of Medicare Advantage (MA) beneficiaries, and (2) the relative costliness of MA enrollees and disenrollees. Data From 1999 through 2008 national Medicare claims data from the 5 percent longitudinal sample of Parts A and B expenditures. Study Design Retrospective, fixed effects regression analysis of July enrollment and year-long switching into and out of MA. Similar regression analysis of the costliness of those switching into (out of) MA in the 6 months prior to enrollment (after disenrollment) relative to nonswitchers in the same county over the same period. Findings Payment generosity and more sophisticated risk adjustment were associated with substantial increases in MA enrollment and decreases in disenrollment. Claims experience of those newly switching into MA was not affected by any of the policy reforms, but disenrollment became increasingly concentrated among high-cost beneficiaries. Conclusions Enrollment is very sensitive to payment levels. The use of more sophisticated risk adjustment did not alter favorable selection into MA, but it did affect the costliness of disenrollees. PMID:23088500

  5. Polysemy Advantage with Abstract but Not Concrete Words

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jager, Bernadet; Cleland, Alexandra A.

    2016-01-01

    It is a robust finding that ambiguous words are recognized faster than unambiguous words. More recent studies (e.g., Rodd et al. in "J Mem Lang" 46:245-266, 2002) now indicate that this "ambiguity advantage" may in reality be a "polysemy advantage": caused by related senses (polysemy) rather than unrelated meanings…

  6. Information Technology, Core Competencies, and Sustained Competitive Advantage.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Byrd, Terry Anthony

    2001-01-01

    Presents a model that depicts a possible connection between competitive advantage and information technology. Focuses on flexibility of the information technology infrastructure as an enabler of core competencies, especially mass customization and time-to-market, that have a relationship to sustained competitive advantage. (Contains 82…

  7. Referee bias contributes to home advantage in English Premiership football.

    PubMed

    Boyko, Ryan H; Boyko, Adam R; Boyko, Mark G

    2007-09-01

    Officiating bias is thought to contribute to home advantage. Recent research has shown that sports with subjective officiating tend to experience greater home advantage and that referees' decisions can be influenced by crowd noise, but little work has been done to examine whether individual referees vary in their home bias or whether biased decisions contribute to overall home advantage. We develop an ordinal regression model to determine whether various measures of home advantage are affected by the official for the match and by crowd size while controlling for team ability. We examine 5244 English Premier League (EPL) match results involving 50 referees and find that home bias differs between referees. Individual referees give significantly different levels of home advantage, measured as goal differential between the home and away teams, although the significance of this result depends on one referee with a particularly high home advantage (an outlier). Referees vary significantly and robustly in their yellow card and penalty differentials even excluding the outlier. These results confirm that referees are responsible for some of the observed home advantage in the EPL and suggest that home advantage is dependent on the subjective decisions of referees that vary between individuals. We hypothesize that individual referees respond differently to factors such as crowd noise and suggest further research looking at referees' psychological and behavioural responses to biased crowds.

  8. Comparative Advantage, Relative Wages, and the Accumulation of Human Capital.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Teulings, Coen N.

    2005-01-01

    I apply Ricardo's principle of comparative advantage to a theory of factor substitutability in a model with a continuum of worker and job types. Highly skilled workers have a comparative advantage in complex jobs. The model satisfies the distance-dependent elasticity of substitution (DIDES) characteristic: substitutability between types declines…

  9. Zebrafish models of human motor neuron diseases: advantages and limitations.

    PubMed

    Babin, Patrick J; Goizet, Cyril; Raldúa, Demetrio

    2014-07-01

    Motor neuron diseases (MNDs) are an etiologically heterogeneous group of disorders of neurodegenerative origin, which result in degeneration of lower (LMNs) and/or upper motor neurons (UMNs). Neurodegenerative MNDs include pure hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP), which involves specific degeneration of UMNs, leading to progressive spasticity of the lower limbs. In contrast, spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) involves the specific degeneration of LMNs, with symmetrical muscle weakness and atrophy. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the most common adult-onset MND, is characterized by the degeneration of both UMNs and LMNs, leading to progressive muscle weakness, atrophy, and spasticity. A review of the comparative neuroanatomy of the human and zebrafish motor systems showed that, while the zebrafish was a homologous model for LMN disorders, such as SMA, it was only partially relevant in the case of UMN disorders, due to the absence of corticospinal and rubrospinal tracts in its central nervous system. Even considering the limitation of this model to fully reproduce the human UMN disorders, zebrafish offer an excellent alternative vertebrate model for the molecular and genetic dissection of MND mechanisms. Its advantages include the conservation of genome and physiological processes and applicable in vivo tools, including easy imaging, loss or gain of function methods, behavioral tests to examine changes in motor activity, and the ease of simultaneous chemical/drug testing on large numbers of animals. This facilitates the assessment of the environmental origin of MNDs, alone or in combination with genetic traits and putative modifier genes. Positive hits obtained by phenotype-based small-molecule screening using zebrafish may potentially be effective drugs for treatment of human MNDs.

  10. Advantages and disadvantages of the animal models v. in vitro studies in iron metabolism: a review.

    PubMed

    García, Y; Díaz-Castro, J

    2013-10-01

    Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency in the world. Special molecules have evolved for iron acquisition, transport and storage in soluble, nontoxic forms. Studies about the effects of iron on health are focused on iron metabolism or nutrition to prevent or treat iron deficiency and anemia. These studies are focused in two main aspects: (1) basic studies to elucidate iron metabolism and (2) nutritional studies to evaluate the efficacy of iron supplementation to prevent or treat iron deficiency and anemia. This paper reviews the advantages and disadvantages of the experimental models commonly used as well as the methods that are more used in studies related to iron. In vitro studies have used different parts of the gut. In vivo studies are done in humans and animals such as mice, rats, pigs and monkeys. Iron metabolism is a complex process that includes interactions at the systemic level. In vitro studies, despite physiological differences to humans, are useful to increase knowledge related to this essential micronutrient. Isotopic techniques are the most recommended in studies related to iron, but their high cost and required logistic, making them difficult to use. The depletion-repletion of hemoglobin is a method commonly used in animal studies. Three depletion-repletion techniques are mostly used: hemoglobin regeneration efficiency, relative biological values (RBV) and metabolic balance, which are official methods of the association of official analytical chemists. These techniques are well-validated to be used as studies related to iron and their results can be extrapolated to humans. Knowledge about the main advantages and disadvantages of the in vitro and animal models, and methods used in these studies, could increase confidence of researchers in the experimental results with less costs.

  11. Large- and small-size advantages in sneaking behaviour in the dusky frillgoby Bathygobius fuscus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takegaki, Takeshi; Kaneko, Takashi; Matsumoto, Yukio

    2012-04-01

    Sneaking tactic, a male alternative reproductive tactic involving sperm competition, is generally adopted by small individuals because of its inconspicuousness. However, large size has an advantage when competition occurs between sneakers for fertilization of eggs. Here, we suggest that both large- and small-size advantages of sneaker males are present within the same species. Large sneaker males of the dusky frillgoby Bathygobius fuscus showed a high success rate in intruding into spawning nests because of their advantage in competition among sneaker males in keeping a suitable position to sneak, whereas small sneakers had few chances to sneak. However, small sneaker males were able to stay in the nests longer than large sneaker males when they succeeded in sneak intrusion. This suggests the possibility of an increase in their paternity. The findings of these size-specific behavioural advantages may be important in considering the evolution of size-related reproductive traits.

  12. Large- and small-size advantages in sneaking behaviour in the dusky frillgoby Bathygobius fuscus.

    PubMed

    Takegaki, Takeshi; Kaneko, Takashi; Matsumoto, Yukio

    2012-04-01

    Sneaking tactic, a male alternative reproductive tactic involving sperm competition, is generally adopted by small individuals because of its inconspicuousness. However, large size has an advantage when competition occurs between sneakers for fertilization of eggs. Here, we suggest that both large- and small-size advantages of sneaker males are present within the same species. Large sneaker males of the dusky frillgoby Bathygobius fuscus showed a high success rate in intruding into spawning nests because of their advantage in competition among sneaker males in keeping a suitable position to sneak, whereas small sneakers had few chances to sneak. However, small sneaker males were able to stay in the nests longer than large sneaker males when they succeeded in sneak intrusion. This suggests the possibility of an increase in their paternity. The findings of these size-specific behavioural advantages may be important in considering the evolution of size-related reproductive traits.

  13. Recent Growth In Medicare Advantage Enrollment Associated With Decreased Fee-For-Service Spending In Certain US Counties.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Garret; Figueroa, José F; Zhou, Xiner; Orav, E John; Jha, Ashish K

    2016-09-01

    Recent increases in Medicare Advantage enrollment may have caused lower spending growth in the fee-for-service (FFS) Medicare population. We identified the counties of largest Medicare Advantage growth and determined if increased enrollment was associated with reduced FFS Medicare spending growth in those counties. We found that 73 percent of counties experienced at least a 5-percentage-point increase in Medicare Advantage penetration between 2007 and 2014, with the most growth occurring in larger and poorer counties in the Northeast and South. The association between Medicare Advantage growth and FFS Medicare costs varied depending on baseline Medicare Advantage penetration: In counties with low baseline penetration, Medicare Advantage growth did not have a significant effect on per capita FFS Medicare spending, whereas in counties in the highest quartile of baseline Medicare Advantage penetration, it was associated with a significant decrease in FFS Medicare spending growth ($154 annually per 10-percentage-point increase in Medicare Advantage). These findings suggest that Medicare Advantage growth may be playing a role in moderating FFS Medicare costs.

  14. Analysis of the microbiome: Advantages of whole genome shotgun versus 16S amplicon sequencing.

    PubMed

    Ranjan, Ravi; Rani, Asha; Metwally, Ahmed; McGee, Halvor S; Perkins, David L

    2016-01-22

    The human microbiome has emerged as a major player in regulating human health and disease. Translational studies of the microbiome have the potential to indicate clinical applications such as fecal transplants and probiotics. However, one major issue is accurate identification of microbes constituting the microbiota. Studies of the microbiome have frequently utilized sequencing of the conserved 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene. We present a comparative study of an alternative approach using whole genome shotgun sequencing (WGS). In the present study, we analyzed the human fecal microbiome compiling a total of 194.1 × 10(6) reads from a single sample using multiple sequencing methods and platforms. Specifically, after establishing the reproducibility of our methods with extensive multiplexing, we compared: 1) The 16S rRNA amplicon versus the WGS method, 2) the Illumina HiSeq versus MiSeq platforms, 3) the analysis of reads versus de novo assembled contigs, and 4) the effect of shorter versus longer reads. Our study demonstrates that whole genome shotgun sequencing has multiple advantages compared with the 16S amplicon method including enhanced detection of bacterial species, increased detection of diversity and increased prediction of genes. In addition, increased length, either due to longer reads or the assembly of contigs, improved the accuracy of species detection.

  15. Advantages and Disadvantages of Different Methods of Hospitals' Downsizing: A Narrative Systematic Review

    PubMed Central

    Mousazadeh, Yalda; Jannati, Ali; Jabbari Beiramy, Hossein; AsghariJafarabadi, Mohammad; Ebadi, Ali

    2013-01-01

    Background: Hospitals as key actors in health systems face growing pres­sures especially cost cutting and search for costeffective ways to resources management. Downsizing is one of these ways. This study was conducted to identify advantages and disadvantages of different methods of hospital' downsizing. Methods:The search was conducted in databases of Medlib, SID, Pub Med, Science Direct and Google Scholar Meta search engine by keywords of Downsizing, Hospital Downsizing, Hospital Rightsizing, Hospital Restructuring, Staff Downsizing, Hospital Merging, Hospital Reorganization and the Persian equivalents. Resulted 815 articles were studied and refined step by step. Finally, 27 articles were selected for analysis. Results: Five hospital downsizing methods were identified during searching. These methods were reducing the number of employees and beds, outsourcing, integration of hospital units, and the combination of these methods. The most important benefits were cost reduction, increasing patient satisfaction, increasing home care and outpatient services. The most important disadvantage included reducing access, reducing the rate of hospital admissions and increasing employees’ workload and dissatisfaction. Conclusion: Each downsizing method has strengths and weaknesses. Using different methods of downsizing, according to circumstances and applying appropriate interventions after implementation, is necessary for promotion. PMID:24688978

  16. In Vitro Tumor Models: Advantages, Disadvantages, Variables, and Selecting the Right Platform

    PubMed Central

    Katt, Moriah E.; Placone, Amanda L.; Wong, Andrew D.; Xu, Zinnia S.; Searson, Peter C.

    2016-01-01

    In vitro tumor models have provided important tools for cancer research and serve as low-cost screening platforms for drug therapies; however, cancer recurrence remains largely unchecked due to metastasis, which is the cause of the majority of cancer-related deaths. The need for an improved understanding of the progression and treatment of cancer has pushed for increased accuracy and physiological relevance of in vitro tumor models. As a result, in vitro tumor models have concurrently increased in complexity and their output parameters further diversified, since these models have progressed beyond simple proliferation, invasion, and cytotoxicity screens and have begun recapitulating critical steps in the metastatic cascade, such as intravasation, extravasation, angiogenesis, matrix remodeling, and tumor cell dormancy. Advances in tumor cell biology, 3D cell culture, tissue engineering, biomaterials, microfabrication, and microfluidics have enabled rapid development of new in vitro tumor models that often incorporate multiple cell types, extracellular matrix materials, and spatial and temporal introduction of soluble factors. Other innovations include the incorporation of perfusable microvessels to simulate the tumor vasculature and model intravasation and extravasation. The drive toward precision medicine has increased interest in adapting in vitro tumor models for patient-specific therapies, clinical management, and assessment of metastatic potential. Here, we review the wide range of current in vitro tumor models and summarize their advantages, disadvantages, and suitability in modeling specific aspects of the metastatic cascade and drug treatment. PMID:26904541

  17. Analysis of the microbiome: Advantages of whole genome shotgun versus 16S amplicon sequencing

    PubMed Central

    Ranjan, Ravi; Rani, Asha; Metwally, Ahmed; McGee, Halvor S.; Perkins, David L.

    2016-01-01

    The human microbiome has emerged as a major player in regulating human health and disease. Translation studies of the microbiome have the potential to indicate clinical applications such as fecal transplants and probiotics. However, one major issue is accurate identification of microbes constituting the microbiota. Studies of the microbiome have frequently utilized sequencing of the conserved 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene. We present a comparative study of an alternative approach using shotgun whole genome sequencing (WGS). In the present study, we analyzed the human fecal microbiome compiling a total of 194.1×106 reads from a single sample using multiple sequencing methods and platforms. Specifically, after establishing the reproducibility of our methods with extensive multiplexing, we compared: 1) The 16S rRNA amplicon versus the WGS method, 2) the Illumina HiSeq versus MiSeq platforms, 3) the analysis of reads versus de novo assembled contigs, and 4) the effect of shorter versus longer reads. Our study demonstrates that shotgun whole genome sequencing has multiple advantages compared with the 16S amplicon method including enhanced detection of bacterial species, increased detection of diversity and increased prediction of genes. In addition, increased length, either due to longer reads or the assembly of contigs, improved the accuracy of species detection. PMID:26718401

  18. Advantages and limitations of common testing methods for antioxidants.

    PubMed

    Amorati, R; Valgimigli, L

    2015-05-01

    Owing to the importance of antioxidants in the protection of both natural and man-made materials, a large variety of testing methods have been proposed and applied. These include methods based on inhibited autoxidation studies, which are better followed by monitoring the kinetics of oxygen consumption or of the formation of hydroperoxides, the primary oxidation products. Analytical determination of secondary oxidation products (e.g. carbonyl compounds) has also been used. The majority of testing methods, however, do not involve substrate autoxidation. They are based on the competitive bleaching of a probe (e.g. ORAC assay, β-carotene, crocin bleaching assays, and luminol assay), on reaction with a different probe (e.g. spin-trapping and TOSC assay), or they are indirect methods based on the reduction of persistent radicals (e.g. galvinoxyl, DPPH and TEAC assays), or of inorganic oxidizing species (e.g. FRAP, CUPRAC and Folin-Ciocalteu assays). Yet other methods are specific for preventive antioxidants. The relevance, advantages, and limitations of these methods are critically discussed, with respect to their chemistry and the mechanisms of antioxidant activity. A variety of cell-based assays have also been proposed, to investigate the biological activity of antioxidants. Their importance and critical aspects are discussed, along with arguments for the selection of the appropriate testing methods according to the different needs.

  19. The Star Rating System and Medicare Advantage Plans.

    PubMed

    Sprague, Lisa

    2015-05-05

    With nearly 30 percent of Medicare beneficiaries opting to enroll in Medicare Advantage (MA) plans instead of fee-for-service Medicare, it's safe to say the MA program is quite popular. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) administers a Star Ratings program for MA plans, which offers measures of quality and service among the plans that are used not only to help beneficiaries choose plans but also to award additional payments to plans that meet high standards. These additional payments, in turn, are used by plans to provide additional benefits to beneficiaries or to reduce cost sharing--added features that are likely to factor into beneficiaries' choice of MA plans. The Star Ratings program is also meant to drive improvements in the quality of plans, and this secondary effort seems to have been successful. Despite this success, issues with the Star Ratings system remain, including: how performance metrics are developed, chosen, and maintained; how differences among beneficiary populations (particularly with regard to the dually eligible and those receiving low-income subsidies) should be recognized; and the extent to which health plans can control the variables on which they are being measured. Because the Star Ratings approach has been extended to providers of health care as well--hospitals, nursing homes, and dialysis facilities--these issues are worth exploring as CMS fine-tunes its methods of measurement.

  20. Medicare Advantage update: benefits, enrollment, and payments after the ACA.

    PubMed

    Linehan, Kathryn

    2013-07-19

    In 2012, the Medicare program paid private health plans $136 billion to cover about 13 million beneficiaries who received Part A and B benefits through the Medicare Advantage (MA) program rather than traditional fee-for-service (FFS) Medicare. Private plans have been a part of the program since the 1970s. Debate about the policy goals--Should they cost less per beneficiary than FFS Medicare? Should they be available to all beneficiaries? Should they be able to offer additional benefits?--has long accompanied Medicare's private plan option.This debate is reflected in the history of Medicare payment policy,and policy decisions over the years have affected plans' willingness to participate and beneficiaries' enrollment at different periods of the program. Recently, evidence that the Medicare program was paying more per beneficiary in MA relative to what would have been spent under FFS Medicare prompted policymakers to reduce MA payments in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA). So far, plans continue to participate in MA and enrollment continues to grow, but payment reductions in 2012 through 2014 have been partially offset by payments made to plans through the quality bonus payment demonstration.This brief contains recent data on plan enrollment, availability, and benefits and discusses MA plan payment policy, including changes to MA payment made in the ACA and their actual and projected effects.

  1. Increased intracranial pressure

    MedlinePlus

    ... brain. Many conditions can increase intracranial pressure. Common causes include: Aneurysm rupture and subarachnoid hemorrhage Brain tumor Encephalitis Head injury Hydrocephalus (increased fluid around ...

  2. Flow mediated endothelium function: advantages of an automatic measuring technique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maio, Yamila; Casciaro, Mariano E.; José Urcola y, Maria; Craiem, Damian

    2007-11-01

    The objective of this work is to show the advantages of a non invasive automated method for measuring flow mediated dilation (FMD) in the forearm. This dilation takes place in answer to a shear tension generated by the increase of blood flow, sensed by the endothelium, after the liberation of an occlusion sustained in the time. The method consists of three stages: the continuous acquisition of images of the brachial artery using ultrasound techniques, the pulse to pulse measurement of the vessel's diameter by means of a border detection algorithm, and the later analysis of the results. By means of this technique one cannot only obtain the maximum dilation percentage (FMD%), but a continuous diameter curve that allows to evaluate other relevant aspects such as dilation speed, dilation sustain in time and general maneuver performance. The simplicity of this method, robustness of the technique and accessibility of the required elements makes it a viable alternative of great clinical value for diagnosis in the early detection of numerous cardiovascular pathologies.

  3. Epistasis and the selective advantage of sex and recombination

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Oliveira, Viviane M.; da Silva, Juliana K.; Campos, Paulo R. A.

    2008-09-01

    The understanding of the central mechanisms favoring sex and recombination in real populations is one of the fundamental issues in evolutionary biology. Based on a previous stochastic formulation for the study of sex, here we aim to investigate the conditions under which epistasis favors the fixation of the sexual mode of reproduction in a given population. In addition, we try to identify the evolutionary forces which contribute to this process. One considers a finite population model which assumes the existence of a recombination modifier allele that can activate the recombination mechanism. We have found that sex is very little favored in a scenario of antagonistic epistasis, and this advantage only occurs in a narrow range of values of the selection coefficient sd . On the other hand, synergistic epistasis favors recombination in a very broad domain. However, the major mechanism contributing to the spreading of the modifier allele depends on the range of values of sd . At large sd , background selection favors recombination since it increases the efficacy of selection, while at low sd Muller’s ratchet is the leading mechanism.

  4. Payer-provider collaboration in accountable care reduced use and improved quality in Maine Medicare Advantage plan.

    PubMed

    Claffey, Thomas F; Agostini, Joseph V; Collet, Elizabeth N; Reisman, Lonny; Krakauer, Randall

    2012-09-01

    Patient-centered, accountable care has garnered increased attention with the passage of the Affordable Care Act and new Medicare regulations. This case study examines a care model jointly developed by a provider and a payer that approximates an accountable care organization for a Medicare Advantage population. The collaboration between Aetna and NovaHealth, an independent physician association based in Portland, Maine, focused on shared data, financial incentives, and care management to improve health outcomes for approximately 750 Medicare Advantage members. The patient population in the pilot program had 50 percent fewer hospital days per 1,000 patients, 45 percent fewer admissions, and 56 percent fewer readmissions than statewide unmanaged Medicare populations. NovaHealth's total per member per month costs across all cost categories for its Aetna Medicare Advantage members were 16.5 percent to 33 percent lower than costs for members not in this provider organization. Clinical quality metrics for diabetes, ischemic vascular disease, annual office visits, and postdischarge follow-up for patients in the program were consistently high. The experience of developing and implementing this collaborative care model suggests that several components are key, including robust data sharing and information systems that support it, analytical support, care management and coordination, and joint strategic planning with close provider-payer collaboration.

  5. Left ear advantage in speech-related dichotic listening is not specific to auditory processing disorder in children: A machine-learning fMRI and DTI study.

    PubMed

    Schmithorst, Vincent J; Farah, Rola; Keith, Robert W

    2013-01-01

    Dichotic listening (DL) tests are among the most frequently included in batteries for the diagnosis of auditory processing disorders (APD) in children. A finding of atypical left ear advantage (LEA) for speech-related stimuli is often taken by clinical audiologists as an indicator for APD. However, the precise etiology of ear advantage in DL tests has been a source of debate for decades. It is uncertain whether a finding of LEA is truly indicative of a sensory processing deficit such as APD, or whether attentional or other supramodal factors may also influence ear advantage. Multivariate machine learning was used on diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and functional MRI (fMRI) data from a cohort of children ages 7-14 referred for APD testing with LEA, and typical controls with right-ear advantage (REA). LEA was predicted by: increased axial diffusivity in the left internal capsule (sublenticular region), and decreased functional activation in the left frontal eye fields (BA 8) during words presented diotically as compared to words presented dichotically, compared to children with right-ear advantage (REA). These results indicate that both sensory and attentional deficits may be predictive of LEA, and thus a finding of LEA, while possibly due to sensory factors, is not a specific indicator of APD as it may stem from a supramodal etiology.

  6. Seeking the competitive advantage: it's more than cost reduction.

    PubMed

    South, S F

    1999-01-01

    Most organizations focus considerable time and energy on reducing operating costs as a way to attain marketplace advantage. This strategy was not inappropriate in the past. To be competitive in the future, however, focus must be placed on other issues, not just cost reduction. The near future will be dominated by service industries, knowledge management, and virtual partnerships, with production optimization and flexibility, innovation, and strong partnerships defining those organizations that attain competitive advantage. Competitive advantage will reside in clarifying the vision and strategic plan, reviewing and redesigning work processes to optimize resources and value-added work, and creating change-ready environments and empowered workforces.

  7. Comparison of home advantage in men's and women's football leagues in Europe.

    PubMed

    Pollard, Richard; Gómez, Miguel A

    2014-01-01

    Most research into home advantage is based on men's sports. This article analyses home advantage in the women's domestic football leagues of Europe and makes a comparison with the corresponding men's football leagues. A total of 47,042 games were included. From 2004 to 2010, home advantage existed in the domestic women's soccer leagues of all 26 European countries analysed, ranging from 51.0% to 58.8% and averaging 54.2%. In every country, this was less than the corresponding men's home advantage which averaged 60.0%. Crowd effects, both on players and referees, and different gender perceptions of territorial protection are plausible reasons for the differences found. Using a regression model that controlled for the competitive balance of each league, as well as for crowd size, the Gender Gap Index, which quantifies the status of women in each country, was a significant predictor of the difference between men's and women's home advantage. As the status of women becomes closer to that of men within a country, the difference in home advantage is less between the men's and women's football leagues.

  8. Cognitive advantage in bilingualism: an example of publication bias?

    PubMed

    de Bruin, Angela; Treccani, Barbara; Della Sala, Sergio

    2015-01-01

    It is a widely held belief that bilinguals have an advantage over monolinguals in executive-control tasks, but is this what all studies actually demonstrate? The idea of a bilingual advantage may result from a publication bias favoring studies with positive results over studies with null or negative effects. To test this hypothesis, we looked at conference abstracts from 1999 to 2012 on the topic of bilingualism and executive control. We then determined which of the studies they reported were subsequently published. Studies with results fully supporting the bilingual-advantage theory were most likely to be published, followed by studies with mixed results. Studies challenging the bilingual advantage were published the least. This discrepancy was not due to differences in sample size, tests used, or statistical power. A test for funnel-plot asymmetry provided further evidence for the existence of a publication bias.

  9. Back to basics: a bilingual advantage in infant visual habituation.

    PubMed

    Singh, Leher; Fu, Charlene S L; Rahman, Aishah A; Hameed, Waseem B; Sanmugam, Shamini; Agarwal, Pratibha; Jiang, Binyan; Chong, Yap Seng; Meaney, Michael J; Rifkin-Graboi, Anne

    2015-01-01

    Comparisons of cognitive processing in monolinguals and bilinguals have revealed a bilingual advantage in inhibitory control. Recent studies have demonstrated advantages associated with exposure to two languages in infancy. However, the domain specificity and scope of the infant bilingual advantage in infancy remains unclear. In the present study, 114 monolingual and bilingual infants were compared in a very basic task of information processing-visual habituation-at 6 months of age. Bilingual infants demonstrated greater efficiency in stimulus encoding as well as in improved recognition memory for familiar stimuli as compared to monolinguals. Findings reveal a generalized cognitive advantage in bilingual infants that is broad in scope, early to emerge, and not specific to language.

  10. Review of ADHD Pharmacotherapies: Advantages, Disadvantages, and Clinical Pearls

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Daughton, Joan M.; Kratochvil, Christopher J.

    2009-01-01

    The advantages, disadvantages, as well as helpful hints on when to use several drug therapies against attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are discussed. The drugs discussed are methylphenidate, atomoxetine, clonidine, and bupropion.

  11. Ageing and bilingualism: absence of a "bilingual advantage" in stroop interference in a nonimmigrant sample.

    PubMed

    Kousaie, Shanna; Phillips, Natalie A

    2012-01-01

    Previous research has found an advantage for bilinguals relative to monolinguals on tasks of attentional control. This advantage has been found to be larger in older adults than in young adults, suggesting that bilingualism provides a buffer against age-related declines in executive functioning. Using a computerized Stroop task in a nonimmigrant sample of young and older monolinguals and bilinguals, the current investigation tried to replicate previous findings of a bilingual advantage. A bilingual advantage would have been demonstrated by smaller Stroop interference (i.e., smaller increases in response time for incongruent than for neutral trials) for bilinguals than for monolinguals. The results showed that bilingual young adults showed a general speed advantage relative to their monolingual counterparts, but this was not associated with smaller Stroop interference. Older adults showed no effect of bilingualism. Thus, the present investigation does not find evidence of a bilingual advantage in young or older adults and suggests limits to the robustness and/or specificity of previous findings.

  12. Medicare Advantage Plans Pay Hospitals Less Than Traditional Medicare Pays.

    PubMed

    Baker, Laurence C; Bundorf, M Kate; Devlin, Aileen M; Kessler, Daniel P

    2016-08-01

    There is ongoing debate about how prices paid to providers by Medicare Advantage plans compare to prices paid by fee-for-service Medicare. We used data from Medicare and the Health Care Cost Institute to identify the prices paid for hospital services by fee-for-service (FFS) Medicare, Medicare Advantage plans, and commercial insurers in 2009 and 2012. We calculated the average price per admission, and its trend over time, in each of the three types of insurance for fixed baskets of hospital admissions across metropolitan areas. After accounting for differences in hospital networks, geographic areas, and case-mix between Medicare Advantage and FFS Medicare, we found that Medicare Advantage plans paid 5.6 percent less for hospital services than FFS Medicare did. Without taking into account the narrower networks of Medicare Advantage, the program paid 8.0 percent less than FFS Medicare. We also found that the rates paid by commercial plans were much higher than those of either Medicare Advantage or FFS Medicare, and growing. At least some of this difference comes from the much higher prices that commercial plans pay for profitable service lines.

  13. Competitive bidding in Medicare Advantage: effect of benchmark changes on plan bids.

    PubMed

    Song, Zirui; Landrum, Mary Beth; Chernew, Michael E

    2013-12-01

    Bidding has been proposed to replace or complement the administered prices that Medicare pays to hospitals and health plans. In 2006, the Medicare Advantage program implemented a competitive bidding system to determine plan payments. In perfectly competitive models, plans bid their costs and thus bids are insensitive to the benchmark. Under many other models of competition, bids respond to changes in the benchmark. We conceptualize the bidding system and use an instrumental variable approach to study the effect of benchmark changes on bids. We use 2006-2010 plan payment data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, published county benchmarks, actual realized fee-for-service costs, and Medicare Advantage enrollment. We find that a $1 increase in the benchmark leads to about a $0.53 increase in bids, suggesting that plans in the Medicare Advantage market have meaningful market power.

  14. Comparison of the home advantage in nine different professional team sports in Spain.

    PubMed

    Gómez, Miguel A; Pollard, Richard; Luis-Pascual, Juan-Carlos

    2011-08-01

    Home advantage is a well-established phenomenon in many sports. The present study is unique in that it includes different sports analysed in the same country, at the same level of competition, and over the same time period. Nine team sports from Spain were included: baseball, basketball, handball, indoor soccer, roller hockey, rugby, soccer, volleyball, and water polo. Data for five seasons (2005-2006 to 2009-2010) were obtained, totaling 9,472 games. The results confirmed the existence of home advantage in all nine sports. There was a statistically significant difference between the sports; home advantage was highest in rugby (67.0%), and lowest in volleyball (55.7%), water polo (56.2%), and roller hockey (58.3%). The design of the study controlled for some of the likely causes of home advantage, and the results suggested that the high home advantage for rugby was likely a reflection of the continuous, aggressive, and intense nature of the sport.

  15. School Enrollment among Urban Non-Slum, Slum and Rural Children in Kenya: Is the Urban Advantage Eroding?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mugisha, Frederick

    2006-01-01

    For long now, the urban child has been considered to be more likely than his/her rural counterpart in being able to realize the dream of fully participating in school. This observation has mainly been attributed to what is commonly known as the "urban advantage." This "urban advantage" is associated with increased access to…

  16. Urban Health in Tanzania: Questioning the Urban Advantage.

    PubMed

    Levira, Francis; Todd, Gemma

    2017-03-16

    How are health inequalities articulated across urban and rural spaces in Tanzania? This research paper explores the variations, differences, and inequalities, in Tanzania's health outcomes-to question both the idea of an urban advantage in health and the extent of urban-rural inequalities in health. The three research objectives aim to understand: what are the health differences (morbidity and mortality) between Tanzania's urban and rural areas; how are health inequalities articulated within Tanzania's urban and rural areas; and how are health inequalities articulated across age groups for rural-urban Tanzania? By analyzing four national datasets of Tanzania (National Census, Household Budget Survey, Demographic Health Survey, and Health Demographic Surveillance System), this paper reflects on the outcomes of key health indicators across these spaces. The datasets include national surveys conducted from 2009 to 2012. The results presented showcase health outcomes in rural and urban areas vary, and are unequal. The risk of disease, life expectancy, and unhealthy behaviors are not the same for urban and rural areas, and across income groups. Urban areas show a disadvantage in life expectancy, HIV prevalence, maternal mortality, children's morbidity, and women's BMI. Although a greater level of access to health facilities and medicine is reported, we raise a general concern of quality and availability in health services; what data sources are being used to make decisions on urban-rural services, and the wider determinants of urban health outcomes. The results call for a better understanding of the sociopolitical and economic factors contributing to these inequalities. The urban, and rural, populations are diverse; therefore, we need to look at service quality, and use, in light of inequality: what services are being accessed; by whom; for what reasons?

  17. Advantages of expanded universal carrier screening: what is at stake?

    PubMed

    van der Hout, Sanne; Holtkamp, Kim Ca; Henneman, Lidewij; de Wert, Guido; Dondorp, Wybo J

    2016-01-01

    Expanded universal carrier screening (EUCS) entails a twofold expansion of long-standing (preconception) carrier screening programmes: it not only allows the simultaneous screening of a large list of diseases ('expanded'), but also refers to a pan-ethnic screening offer ('universal'). Advocates mention three main moral advantages of EUCS as compared with traditional (targeted and/or ancestry-based) forms of carrier screening: EUCS will (1) maximise opportunities for autonomous reproductive choice by informing prospective parents about a much wider array of reproductive risks; (2) provide equity of access to carrier testing services; (3) reduce the risk of stigmatisation. This empirical ethics study aims to widen this account and provide a balanced picture of the potential pros and cons of EUCS. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 17 health (policy) professionals and representatives of patient organisations about their views on carrier screening including a possible EUCS scenario. Stakeholders acknowledged the potential benefits of EUCS, but also expressed five main moral concerns: (1) Does EUCS respond to an urgent problem or population need? (2) Is it possible to offer couples both understandable and sufficient information about EUCS? (3) How will societal views on 'reproductive responsibility' change as a result of EUCS? (4) Will EUCS lead to a lower level of care for high-risk populations? (5) Will EUCS reinforce disability-based stigmatisation? While having the potential to overcome some moral limits inherent in traditional carrier screening, EUCS comes with moral challenges of its own. More research is needed to (further) anticipate the ethical and practical consequences of EUCS.

  18. Cardiac and CNS toxicity of levobupivacaine: strengths of evidence for advantage over bupivacaine.

    PubMed

    Gristwood, Robert W

    2002-01-01

    Bupivacaine is currently the most widely used long-acting local anaesthetic. Its uses include surgery and obstetrics; however, it has been associated with potentially fatal cardiotoxicity, particularly when given intravascularly by accident. Levobupivacaine, a single enantiomer of bupivacaine, has recently been introduced as a new long-acting local anaesthetic with a potentially reduced toxicity compared with bupivacaine. Numerous preclinical and clinical studies have compared levobupivacaine with bupivacaine and in most but not all studies there is evidence that levobupivacaine is less toxic. Advantages for levobupivacaine are seen on cardiac sodium and potassium channels, on isolated animal hearts and in whole animals, anaesthetised or awake. In particular the intravascular dose of levobupivacaine required to cause lethality in animals is consistently higher compared with bupivacaine. In awake sheep, for example, almost 78% more levobupivacaine was required to cause death. In contrast, in anaesthetised dogs no differences were seen in the incidence of spontaneous or electrical stimulation- induced ventricular tachycardia and fibrillations among animals exposed to levobupivacaine or bupivacaine. The reversibility of levobupivacaine-induced cardiotoxicity has also been assessed. Some data point to an advantage of levobupivacaine over bupivacaine but this potential advantage was not confirmed in a recent study in anaesthetised dogs. Three clinical studies have been conducted using surrogate markers of both cardiac and CNS toxicity. In these studies levobupivacaine or bupivacaine were given by intravascular injection to healthy volunteers. Levobupivacaine was found to cause smaller changes in indices of cardiac contractility and the QTc interval of the electrocardiogram and also to have less depressant effect on the electroencephalogram. Assuming that levobupivacaine has the same local anaesthetic potency as bupivacaine, then, all things being equal, it is difficult

  19. Shielding synchrotron light sources: Advantages of circular shield walls tunnels

    SciTech Connect

    Kramer, S. L.; Ghosh, V. J.; Breitfeller, M.

    2016-04-26

    Third generation high brightness light sources are designed to have low emittance and high current beams, which contribute to higher beam loss rates that will be compensated by Top-Off injection. Shielding for these higher loss rates will be critical to protect the projected higher occupancy factors for the users. Top-Off injection requires a full energy injector, which will demand greater consideration of the potential abnormal beam miss-steering and localized losses that could occur. The high energy electron injection beam produce significantly higher neutron component dose to the experimental floor than lower energy injection and ramped operations. High energy neutrons produced in the forward direction from thin target beam losses are a major component of the dose rate outside the shield walls of the tunnel. The convention has been to provide thicker 90° ratchet walls to reduce this dose to the beam line users. We present an alternate circular shield wall design, which naturally and cost effectively increases the path length for this forward radiation in the shield wall and thereby substantially decreasing the dose rate for these beam losses. Here, this shield wall design will greatly reduce the dose rate to the users working near the front end optical components but will challenge the beam line designers to effectively utilize the longer length of beam line penetration in the shield wall. Additional advantages of the circular shield wall tunnel are that it's simpler to construct, allows greater access to the insertion devices and the upstream in tunnel beam line components, as well as reducing the volume of concrete and therefore the cost of the shield wall.

  20. Shielding synchrotron light sources: Advantages of circular shield walls tunnels

    DOE PAGES

    Kramer, S. L.; Ghosh, V. J.; Breitfeller, M.

    2016-04-26

    Third generation high brightness light sources are designed to have low emittance and high current beams, which contribute to higher beam loss rates that will be compensated by Top-Off injection. Shielding for these higher loss rates will be critical to protect the projected higher occupancy factors for the users. Top-Off injection requires a full energy injector, which will demand greater consideration of the potential abnormal beam miss-steering and localized losses that could occur. The high energy electron injection beam produce significantly higher neutron component dose to the experimental floor than lower energy injection and ramped operations. High energy neutrons producedmore » in the forward direction from thin target beam losses are a major component of the dose rate outside the shield walls of the tunnel. The convention has been to provide thicker 90° ratchet walls to reduce this dose to the beam line users. We present an alternate circular shield wall design, which naturally and cost effectively increases the path length for this forward radiation in the shield wall and thereby substantially decreasing the dose rate for these beam losses. Here, this shield wall design will greatly reduce the dose rate to the users working near the front end optical components but will challenge the beam line designers to effectively utilize the longer length of beam line penetration in the shield wall. Additional advantages of the circular shield wall tunnel are that it's simpler to construct, allows greater access to the insertion devices and the upstream in tunnel beam line components, as well as reducing the volume of concrete and therefore the cost of the shield wall.« less

  1. Shielding synchrotron light sources: Advantages of circular shield walls tunnels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kramer, S. L.; Ghosh, V. J.; Breitfeller, M.

    2016-08-01

    Third generation high brightness light sources are designed to have low emittance and high current beams, which contribute to higher beam loss rates that will be compensated by Top-Off injection. Shielding for these higher loss rates will be critical to protect the projected higher occupancy factors for the users. Top-Off injection requires a full energy injector, which will demand greater consideration of the potential abnormal beam miss-steering and localized losses that could occur. The high energy electron injection beam produce significantly higher neutron component dose to the experimental floor than lower energy injection and ramped operations. High energy neutrons produced in the forward direction from thin target beam losses are a major component of the dose rate outside the shield walls of the tunnel. The convention has been to provide thicker 90° ratchet walls to reduce this dose to the beam line users. We present an alternate circular shield wall design, which naturally and cost effectively increases the path length for this forward radiation in the shield wall and thereby substantially decreasing the dose rate for these beam losses. This shield wall design will greatly reduce the dose rate to the users working near the front end optical components but will challenge the beam line designers to effectively utilize the longer length of beam line penetration in the shield wall. Additional advantages of the circular shield wall tunnel are that it's simpler to construct, allows greater access to the insertion devices and the upstream in tunnel beam line components, as well as reducing the volume of concrete and therefore the cost of the shield wall.

  2. Advantages of GPU technology in DFT calculations of intercalated graphene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pešić, J.; Gajić, R.

    2014-09-01

    Over the past few years, the expansion of general-purpose graphic-processing unit (GPGPU) technology has had a great impact on computational science. GPGPU is the utilization of a graphics-processing unit (GPU) to perform calculations in applications usually handled by the central processing unit (CPU). Use of GPGPUs as a way to increase computational power in the material sciences has significantly decreased computational costs in already highly demanding calculations. A level of the acceleration and parallelization depends on the problem itself. Some problems can benefit from GPU acceleration and parallelization, such as the finite-difference time-domain algorithm (FTDT) and density-functional theory (DFT), while others cannot take advantage of these modern technologies. A number of GPU-supported applications had emerged in the past several years (www.nvidia.com/object/gpu-applications.html). Quantum Espresso (QE) is reported as an integrated suite of open source computer codes for electronic-structure calculations and materials modeling at the nano-scale. It is based on DFT, the use of a plane-waves basis and a pseudopotential approach. Since the QE 5.0 version, it has been implemented as a plug-in component for standard QE packages that allows exploiting the capabilities of Nvidia GPU graphic cards (www.qe-forge.org/gf/proj). In this study, we have examined the impact of the usage of GPU acceleration and parallelization on the numerical performance of DFT calculations. Graphene has been attracting attention worldwide and has already shown some remarkable properties. We have studied an intercalated graphene, using the QE package PHonon, which employs GPU. The term ‘intercalation’ refers to a process whereby foreign adatoms are inserted onto a graphene lattice. In addition, by intercalating different atoms between graphene layers, it is possible to tune their physical properties. Our experiments have shown there are benefits from using GPUs, and we reached an

  3. Accent, Listening Assessment and the Potential for a Shared-L1 Advantage: A DIF Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harding, Luke

    2012-01-01

    This paper reports on an investigation of the potential for a shared-L1 advantage on an academic English listening test featuring speakers with L2 accents. Two hundred and twelve second-language listeners (including 70 Mandarin Chinese L1 listeners and 60 Japanese L1 listeners) completed three versions of the University Test of English as a Second…

  4. Advantages and Limitations of the e-Delphi Technique: Implications for Health Education Researchers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Donohoe, Holly; Stellefson, Michael; Tennant, Bethany

    2012-01-01

    In the last 30 years, the application of the Delphi technique has been increasing. With the recent availability and established popularity of Internet-based research tools, the Internet has been identified as a means for mitigating Delphi limitations, maximizing its advantages, and expanding the breadth of its application. The discourse on the…

  5. A Dynamic Capabilities View of Employability: Exploring the Drivers of Competitive Advantage for University Graduates

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Finch, David J.; Peacock, Melanie; Levallet, Nadege; Foster, William

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: The increasing demand for post-secondary education, and the ongoing difficulty students' face in securing appropriate work upon program completion, highlight the importance of an enhanced understanding of employability resources for university graduates. Just as organizations achieve a strategic advantage from resources and dynamic…

  6. Students' Use of Extra-Curricular Activities for Positional Advantage in Competitive Job Markets

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roulin, Nicolas; Bangerter, Adrian

    2013-01-01

    With the rise of mass higher education, competition between graduates in the labour market is increasing. Students are aware that their degree will not guarantee them a job and realise they should add value and distinction to their credentials to achieve a positional advantage. Participation in extra-curricular activities (ECAs) is one such…

  7. Exposure-Based Cat Modeling, Available data, Advantages, & Limitations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michel, Gero; Hosoe, Taro; Schrah, Mike; Saito, Keiko

    2010-05-01

    This paper discusses the advantages and disadvantages of exposure data for cat-modeling and considers concepts of scale as well as the completeness of data and data scoring using field/model examples. Catastrophe modeling based on exposure data has been considered the panacea for insurance-related cat modeling since the late 1980's. Reasons for this include: • The ability to extend risk modeling to consider data beyond historical losses, • Usability across many relevant scales, • Flexibility in addressing complex structures and policy conditions, and • Ability to assess dependence of risk results on exposure-attributes and exposure-modifiers, such as lines of business, occupancy types, and mitigation features, at any given scale. In order to calculate related risk, monetary exposure is correlated to vulnerabilities that have been calibrated with historical results, plausibility concepts, and/or physical modeling. While exposure based modeling is widely adopted, we also need to be aware of its limitations which include: • Boundaries in our understanding of the distribution of exposure, • Spatial interdependence of exposure patterns and the time-dependence of exposure, • Incomplete availability of loss information to calibrate relevant exposure attributes/structure with related vulnerabilities and losses, • The scale-dependence of vulnerability, • Potential for missing or incomplete communication of assumptions made during model calibration, • Inefficiencies in the aggregation or disaggregation of vulnerabilities, and • Factors which can influence losses other than exposure, vulnerability, and hazard. Although we might assume that the higher the resolution the better, regional model calibration is often limited to lower than street level resolution with higher resolution being achieved by disaggregating results using topographic/roughness features with often loosely constrained and/or varying effects on losses. This suggests that higher accuracy

  8. Competitive Advantage and its Sources in an Evolving Market

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zaridis, Apostolos D.

    2009-08-01

    In a continuously altered and evolving Market, as is the food manufacturing market, the main and long-lasting objective of firm that is the maximization of its wealth and consequently the continuous remaining in profit regions, appears that it is possible to be achieved via the obtainment and maintenance of diachronically long-term competitive advantage, which it will render the firm unique or leader force in a inexorable competition that is continuously extended in a globalized market. Various definitions and different regards are developed in regard to the competitive advantage and the way with which a firm it is possible, acquiring it, to star in the market in which it is activated. As result of sustainable competitive advantage in a firm comes the above the average performance. Abundance of resources and competences that are proposed as sources of competitive advantage in the resource-based view literature exists, while they are added continuously new based on empiric studies. In any case, it appears to suffer hierarchy of sources of competitive advantage, with regard to sustainability of these.

  9. The use of an exoskeleton to investigate the self advantage phenomenon.

    PubMed

    Moreau, R; Moubarak, S; Pham, M T; Frassinetti, F; Farne, A

    2013-01-01

    This paper presents an upper extremity exoskeleton with an original application in neuroscience. The novelty of this study is the investigation of the self-advantage phenomenon under various experimental conditions. Usually this kind of experiments lies only on human visual ability to explicitly and/or implicitly recognize their own arm movements. Using an exoskeleton to replay recorded trajectories allows to give another perspective to the previous studies in including the proprioceptive ability of humans. Twelve healthy subjects were involved in this study. The results show that the self advantage phenomenon is even more present in the implicit tasks.

  10. Competitive advantage in the ERP system's value-chain and its influence on future development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johansson, Björn; Newman, Mike

    2010-02-01

    Using the resource-based view, we present a set of propositions related to enterprise resource planning (ERP) development, reflections on competitive advantage and the different roles that stakeholders play in the value-chain. This has the goal of building a foundation for future research on ERPs and how stakeholders' desire to achieve competitive advantage influence ERP development, especially when it comes to development of a more standardised or pre-customised ERP system. The propositions also act as a foundation for increasing our knowledge concerning the difficulty in developing improved ERP systems.

  11. Reasoning about other people's beliefs: bilinguals have an advantage.

    PubMed

    Rubio-Fernández, Paula; Glucksberg, Sam

    2012-01-01

    Bilingualism can have widespread cognitive effects. In this article we investigate whether bilingualism might have an effect on adults' abilities to reason about other people's beliefs. In particular, we tested whether bilingual adults might have an advantage over monolingual adults in false-belief reasoning analogous to the advantage that has been observed with bilingual children. Using a traditional false-belief task coupled with an eye-tracking technique, we found that adults in general suffer interference from their own perspective when reasoning about other people's beliefs. However, bilinguals are reliably less susceptible to this egocentric bias than are monolinguals. Moreover, performance on the false-belief task significantly correlated with performance on an executive control task. We argue that bilinguals' early sociolinguistic sensitivity and enhanced executive control may account for their advantage in false-belief reasoning.

  12. A Longitudinal Study of Memory Advantages in Bilinguals

    PubMed Central

    Ljungberg, Jessica K.; Hansson, Patrik; Andrés, Pilar; Josefsson, Maria; Nilsson, Lars-Göran

    2013-01-01

    Typically, studies of cognitive advantages in bilinguals have been conducted previously by using executive and inhibitory tasks (e.g. Simon task) and applying cross-sectional designs. This study longitudinally investigated bilingual advantages on episodic memory recall, verbal letter and categorical fluency during the trajectory of life. Monolingual and bilingual participants (n = 178) between 35–70 years at baseline were drawn from the Betula Prospective Cohort Study of aging, memory, and health. Results showed that bilinguals outperformed monolinguals at the first testing session and across time both in episodic memory recall and in letter fluency. No interaction with age was found indicating that the rate of change across ages was similar for bilinguals and monolinguals. As predicted and in line with studies applying cross-sectional designs, no advantages associated with bilingualism were found in the categorical fluency task. The results are discussed in the light of successful aging. PMID:24023803

  13. The use of carbon fibre material in radiographic cassettes: estimation of the dose and contrast advantages.

    PubMed

    Dance, D R; Lester, S A; Carlsson, G A; Sandborg, M; Persliden, J

    1997-04-01

    A Monte Carlo simulation has been used to estimate the dose and contrast advantages of replacing radiographic cassette fronts fabricated from aluminium with cassette fronts fabricated from low atomic number material (carbon fibre). The simulation used a realistic imaging geometry and calculations were made both with and without an anti-scatter grid. Account was taken of the scatter generated in the cassette front and the effect of beam hardening on primary contrast. Dose and contrast were evaluated for a range of cassette front thicknesses and tube potentials (60-150 kV) as well as for four examinations representative of situations with varying amounts of scatter. The results with an anti-scatter grid show a clear dose and contrast advantage in all cases when an aluminium cassette front is replaced with a low attenuation cassette front. The contrast advantage is dependent upon the examination and is generally greater for imaging bony structures than for imaging soft tissue. If a 1.74 mm aluminium cassette front is compared with a 1.1 mm carbon fibre cassette front, then the dose advantages are 16%, 9%, 8% and 6% and the contrast advantages are 10%, 7%, 4% and 5% for the AP paediatric pelvis examination at 60 kV, the anteroposterior (AP) lumbar spine examination at 80 kV, the lateral lumbar spine examination at 100 kV and the posteroanterior (PA) chest examination at 150 kV, respectively. The results without an anti-scatter grid show an increased dose advantage when a low attenuation cassette front is used, but the contrast advantage is small and in some situations negative.

  14. Minimally Invasive Suturectomy and Postoperative Helmet Therapy : Advantages and Limitations

    PubMed Central

    Chong, Sangjoon; Wang, Kyu-Chang; Phi, Ji Hoon; Lee, Ji Yeoun

    2016-01-01

    Various operative techniques are available for the treatment of craniosynostosis. The patient's age at presentation is one of the most important factors in the determination of the surgical modality. Minimally invasive suturectomy and postoperative helmet therapy may be performed for relatively young infants, whose age is younger than 6 months. It relies upon the potential for rapid brain growth in this age group. Its minimal invasiveness is also advantageous. In this article, we review the advantages and limitations of minimally invasive suturectomy followed by helmet therapy for the treatment of craniosynostosis. PMID:27226853

  15. Spatial Ability Explains the Male Advantage in Approximate Arithmetic

    PubMed Central

    Wei, Wei; Chen, Chuansheng; Zhou, Xinlin

    2016-01-01

    Previous research has shown that females consistently outperform males in exact arithmetic, perhaps due to the former’s advantage in language processing. Much less is known about gender difference in approximate arithmetic. Given that approximate arithmetic is closely associated with visuospatial processing, which shows a male advantage we hypothesized that males would perform better than females in approximate arithmetic. In two experiments (496 children in Experiment 1 and 554 college students in Experiment 2), we found that males showed better performance in approximate arithmetic, which was accounted for by gender differences in spatial ability. PMID:27014124

  16. Competitive Advantage in Intercollegiate Athletics: Role of Intangible Resources.

    PubMed

    Won, Doyeon; Chelladurai, Packianathan

    2016-01-01

    The present research explored the dynamics of competitive advantages in intercollegiate athletics by investigating the contribution of intangible resources (i.e., athletic and academic reputations) on the generation of more tangible resources (i.e., human and financial resources), which in turn influence the athletic performance (i.e., winning record) and academic performance (i.e., graduation rates), and gender equity. The research was based entirely on archival data of 324 NCAA Division I member institutions. The results of the SEM supported the study's basic arguments that tangible resources are the sources of competitive advantages in Division I intercollegiate athletics, and that intangible resources contribute to the generation of tangible resources.

  17. Romanowsky staining in cytopathology: history, advantages and limitations.

    PubMed

    Krafts, K P; Pambuccian, S E

    2011-04-01

    If the entire discipline of diagnostic cytopathology could be distilled into a single theme, it would be the Papanicolaou stain. Yet it was the Romanowsky stain upon which the discipline of cytopathology was founded. Both stains are used today in the cytopathology laboratory, each for a different and complementary purpose. We trace the history of cytopathological stains and discuss the advantages and limitations of Romanowsky-type stains for cytological evaluation. We also provide suggestions for the advantageous use of Romanowsky-type stains in cytopathology.

  18. Does hydroxyapatite coating have no advantage over porous coating in primary total hip arthroplasty? A meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yun-Lin; Lin, Tiao; Liu, An; Shi, Ming-Min; Hu, Bin; Shi, Zhong-Li; Yan, Shi-Gui

    2015-01-28

    There are some arguments between the use of hydroxyapatite and porous coating. Some studies have shown that there is no difference between these two coatings in total hip arthroplasty (THA), while several other studies have shown that hydroxyapatite has advantages over the porous one. We have collected the studies in Pubmed, MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Cochrane library from the earliest possible years to present, with the search strategy of "(HA OR hydroxyapatite) AND ((total hip arthroplasty) OR (total hip replacement)) AND (RCT* OR randomiz* OR control* OR compar* OR trial*)". The randomized controlled trials and comparative observation trials that evaluated the clinical and radiographic effects between hydroxyapatite coating and porous coating were included. Our main outcome measurements were Harris hip score (HHS) and survival, while the secondary outcome measurements were osteolysis, radiolucent lines, and polyethylene wear. Twelve RCTs and 9 comparative observation trials were included. Hydroxyapatite coating could improve the HHS (p < 0.01), reduce the incidence of thigh pain (p = 0.01), and reduce the incidence of femoral osteolysis (p = 0.01), but hydroxyapatite coating had no advantages on survival (p = 0.32), polyethylene wear (p = 0.08), and radiolucent lines (p = 0.78). Hydroxyapatite coating has shown to have an advantage over porous coating. The HHS and survival was duration-dependent-if given the sufficient duration of follow-up, hydroxyapatite coating would be better than porous coating for the survival. The properties of hydroxyapatite and the implant design had influence on thigh pain incidence, femoral osteolysis, and polyethylene wear. Thickness of 50 to 80 μm and purity larger than 90% increased the thigh pain incidence. Anatomic design had less polyethylene wear.

  19. When David Beats Goliath: The Advantage of Large Size in Interspecific Aggressive Contests Declines over Evolutionary Time

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Paul R.; Ghalambor, Cameron K.

    2014-01-01

    Body size has long been recognized to play a key role in shaping species interactions. For example, while small species thrive in a diversity of environments, they typically lose aggressive contests for resources with larger species. However, numerous examples exist of smaller species dominating larger species during aggressive interactions, suggesting that the evolution of traits can allow species to overcome the competitive disadvantage of small size. If these traits accumulate as lineages diverge, then the advantage of large size in interspecific aggressive interactions should decline with increased evolutionary distance. We tested this hypothesis using data on the outcomes of 23,362 aggressive interactions among 246 bird species pairs involving vultures at carcasses, hummingbirds at nectar sources, and antbirds and woodcreepers at army ant swarms. We found the advantage of large size declined as species became more evolutionarily divergent, and smaller species were more likely to dominate aggressive contests when interacting with more distantly-related species. These results appear to be caused by both the evolution of traits in smaller species that enhanced their abilities in aggressive contests, and the evolution of traits in larger species that were adaptive for other functions, but compromised their abilities to compete aggressively. Specific traits that may provide advantages to small species in aggressive interactions included well-developed leg musculature and talons, enhanced flight acceleration and maneuverability, novel fighting behaviors, and traits associated with aggression, such as testosterone and muscle development. Traits that may have hindered larger species in aggressive interactions included the evolution of morphologies for tree trunk foraging that compromised performance in aggressive contests away from trunks, and the evolution of migration. Overall, our results suggest that fundamental trade-offs, such as those associated with body size

  20. Comparison of Home Advantage in College and Professional Team Sports in the United States.

    PubMed

    Pollard, Richard; Gómez, Miguel A

    2015-09-01

    Home advantage in seven American college team sports (baseball, basketball, football, hockey, lacrosse, soccer and women's basketball) was compared with professional leagues in the United States for the same sports and for the same time period. A total of 81,063 college games and 22,477 professional games were analyzed for the four seasons 2006-07 to 2009-10. There was a significant home advantage, as measured by home winning percentage, in all sports, both college and professional. The overall home advantage in college sports was significantly greater than in professional sports (p<0.015). The mean difference was 3.73 home winning percentage points, being greatest for baseball, basketball, and hockey (all p<0.001). Plausible explanations for these results include differences in college and professional competition in terms of familiarity with local conditions, referee bias, territoriality and psychological factors. However, the influence of travel fatigue was inconclusive. Only for soccer was the home advantage greater for professionals. This was the only sport where crowd size appeared to be having an effect. In addition the rules of college soccer allow more substitution and hence greater coach intervention than in professional soccer, a factor that could also be reducing home advantage.

  1. Giving rheumatology patients online home access to their electronic medical record (EMR): advantages, drawbacks and preconditions according to care providers.

    PubMed

    van der Vaart, Rosalie; Drossaert, Constance H C; Taal, Erik; van de Laar, Mart A F J

    2013-09-01

    Technology enables patients home access to their electronic medical record (EMR), via a patient portal. This study aims to analyse (dis)advantages, preconditions and suitable content for this service, according to rheumatology health professionals. A two-phase policy Delphi study was conducted. First, interviews were performed with nurses/nurse practitioners (n = 9) and rheumatologists (n = 13). Subsequently, collected responses were quantified, using a questionnaire among the interviewees. The following advantages of patient home access to the EMR were reported: (1) enhancement of patient participation in treatment, (2) increased knowledge and self-management, (3) improved patient-provider interaction, (4) increased patient safety, and (5) better communication with others. Foreseen disadvantages of the service included: (1) problems with interpretation of data, (2) extra workload, (3) a change in consultation content, and (4) disturbing the patient-provider interaction. Also, the following preconditions emerged from the data: (1) optimal security, (2) no extra record, but a patient-accessible section, (3) no access to clinical notes, and (4) a lag time on the release of lab data. Most respondents reported that data on diagnosis, medication, treatment plan and consultations could be released to patients. On releasing more complex data, such as bodily examinations, lab results and radiological images the opinions differed considerably. Providing patients home access to their medical record might be a valuable next step into patient empowerment and in service towards the patient, provided that security is optimal and content and presentation of data are carefully considered.

  2. What Are the Advantages of 3D Cameras in Gynaecological Laparoscopy?

    PubMed

    Baum, S; Sillem, M; Ney, J T; Baum, A; Friedrich, M; Radosa, J; Kramer, K M; Gronwald, B; Gottschling, S; Solomayer, E F; Rody, A; Joukhadar, R

    2017-01-01

    Introduction Minimally invasive operative techniques are being used increasingly in gynaecological surgery. The expansion of the laparoscopic operation spectrum is in part the result of improved imaging. This study investigates the practical advantages of using 3D cameras in routine surgical practice. Materials and Methods Two different 3-dimensional camera systems were compared with a 2-dimensional HD system; the operating surgeon's experiences were documented immediately postoperatively using a questionnaire. Results Significant advantages were reported for suturing and cutting of anatomical structures when using the 3D compared to 2D camera systems. There was only a slight advantage for coagulating. The use of 3D cameras significantly improved the general operative visibility and in particular the representation of spacial depth compared to 2-dimensional images. There was not a significant advantage for image width. Depiction of adhesions and retroperitoneal neural structures was significantly improved by the stereoscopic cameras, though this did not apply to blood vessels, ureter, uterus or ovaries. Conclusion 3-dimensional cameras were particularly advantageous for the depiction of fine anatomical structures due to improved spacial depth representation compared to 2D systems. 3D cameras provide the operating surgeon with a monitor image that more closely resembles actual anatomy, thus simplifying laparoscopic procedures.

  3. Emerging Bilingualism: Dissociating Advantages for Metalinguistic Awareness and Executive Control

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bialystok, Ellen; Barac, Raluca

    2012-01-01

    The present studies revealed different factors associated with the reported advantages found in fully bilingual children for metalinguistic awareness and executive control. Participants were 100 children in Study 1 and 80 children in Study 2 in the process of becoming bilingual by attending immersion programs. In both studies, "level of…

  4. Elasticity and Mechanical Advantage in Cables and Ropes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    O'Shea, M. J.

    2007-01-01

    Abstract. The conditions under which one can gain mechanical advantage by pulling with a force F perpendicular to a cable (or rope) that is fixed at both ends are examined. While this is a commonly discussed example in introductory physics classes, its solution in terms of fundamental properties of the cable requires one to model the elasticity of…

  5. The UNIX/XENIX Advantage: Applications in Libraries.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gordon, Kelly L.

    1988-01-01

    Discusses the application of the UNIX/XENIX operating system to support administrative office automation functions--word processing, spreadsheets, database management systems, electronic mail, and communications--at the Central Michigan University Libraries. Advantages and disadvantages of the XENIX operating system and system configuration are…

  6. Career management: a competitive advantage in today's health care marketplace.

    PubMed

    Bourbeau, J

    2001-01-01

    A valuable new tool to attract and retain new employees is being used by some of the most progressive companies in Michigan. It is called career management, and it is being used with great success by businesses of all types to give themselves a competitive advantage.

  7. Binaural Advantage for Younger and Older Adults with Normal Hearing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dubno, Judy R.; Ahlstrom, Jayne B.; Horwitz, Amy R.

    2008-01-01

    Purpose: Three experiments measured benefit of spatial separation, benefit of binaural listening, and masking-level differences (MLDs) to assess age-related differences in binaural advantage. Method: Participants were younger and older adults with normal hearing through 4.0 kHz. Experiment 1 compared spatial benefit with and without head shadow.…

  8. Upward Wealth Mobility: Exploring the Roman Catholic Advantage

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Keister, Lisa A.

    2007-01-01

    Wealth inequality is among the most extreme forms of stratification in the United States, and upward wealth mobility is not common. Yet mobility is possible, and this paper takes advantage of trends among a unique group to explore the processes that generate mobility. I show that non-Hispanic whites raised in Roman Catholic families have been…

  9. Sustainable Competitive Advantage for Educational Institutions: A Suggested Model.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mazzarol, Tim; Soutar, Geoffrey Norman

    1999-01-01

    Outlines a model of factors critical to establishing and maintaining sustainable competitive advantage for education-services enterprises in international markets. The model, which combines industrial economics, management theory, and services marketing, seeks to explain the strategic decision-making environment in which the education exporter…

  10. TAKING SCIENTIFIC ADVANTAGE OF A DISASTROUS OIL SPILL

    EPA Science Inventory

    On 19 January 1996, the North Cape barge ran aground on Moonstone Beach in southern Rhode Island, releasing 828,000 gallons of refined oil. This opportunistic study was designed to take scientific advantage of the most severely affected seabird, the common loon (Gavia immer) . As...

  11. Congruent Knowledge Management Behaviors as Discriminate Sources of Competitive Advantage

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Magnier-Watanabe, Remy; Senoo, Dai

    2009-01-01

    Purpose: While knowledge management has been shown to be a strategic source of competitive advantage, processes designed to enhance the productivity of knowledge do not, however, equally contribute to the organization's capabilities. Consequently, this research aims to focus on the relationship between each mode of the knowledge management process…

  12. Providing Homeless Adults with Advantage: A Sustainable University Degree Program

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sinatra, Richard; Lanctot, Melissa Kim

    2016-01-01

    A university partnered with the New York City Department of Homeless Services (NYC DHS) to provide cohorts of adults a 60-credit Associate Degree Program in Business Administration over a 2-year period. Results of two cohorts of 30 Advantage Academy Program graduates revealed significant improvement in College Board AccuPlacer (ACPL) Arithmetic…

  13. A Generation Advantage for Multiplication Skill and Nonword Vocabulary Acquisition.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1998-07-01

    of Psychology Box 344 University of Colorado Boulder, CO 80309 mcnamaraSclipr.Colorado.edu Running Head: A GENERATION ADVANTAGE FOR SKILLS * A...a class in introductory psychology participated for course credit. There were two experimental conditions (read and generate ); subjects were... generation effect. Journal o_f Experimental Psychology : Learning, Memory, & Cognition, 15., 669-675. Donaldson, W., & Bass, M. (1980). Relational

  14. Strategic Mergers of Strong Institutions to Enhance Competitive Advantage

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harman, Grant; Harman, Kay

    2008-01-01

    Strategic mergers are formal combinations or amalgamations of higher education institutions with the aim of enhancing competitive advantage, or merging for "mutual growth". Recently, in a number of countries, there has been a decided shift from mergers initiated by governments, and dealing mainly with "problem" cases, towards…

  15. Advantages of Laser Polarimetry Applied to Tequila Industrial Process Control

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fajer, V.; Rodriguez, C.; Flores, R.; Naranjo, S.; Cossio, G.; Lopez, J.

    2002-03-01

    The development of a polarimetric method for crude and cooked agave juice quality control not only by direct polarimetric measurement also by means of laser polarimeter LASERPOL 101M used as a liquid chromatographic detector is presented. The viability and advantage of this method for raw material quality control and during Tequila industrial process is shown.

  16. Cognitive Advantages and Disadvantages in Early and Late Bilinguals

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pelham, Sabra D.; Abrams, Lise

    2014-01-01

    Previous research has documented advantages and disadvantages of early bilinguals, defined as learning a 2nd language by school age and using both languages since that time. Relative to monolinguals, early bilinguals manifest deficits in lexical access but benefits in executive function. We investigated whether becoming bilingual "after"…

  17. Online Data Collection in Academic Research: Advantages and Limitations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lefever, Samuel; Dal, Michael; Matthiasdottir, Asrun

    2007-01-01

    Online data collection in academic research might be replacing paper-and-pencil surveys or questionnaires in the near future. This paper discusses the advantages and limitations of online data collection, with particular reference to the conduct of two qualitative studies involving upper secondary school teachers and students in Iceland in 2002.…

  18. Enduring Advantages of Early Cochlear Implantation for Spoken Language Development

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Geers, Anne E.; Nicholas, Johanna G.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: In this article, the authors sought to determine whether the precise age of implantation (AOI) remains an important predictor of spoken language outcomes in later childhood for those who received a cochlear implant (CI) between 12 and 38 months of age. Relative advantages of receiving a bilateral CI after age 4.5 years, better…

  19. Advantages and Disadvantages of Student Loans Repayment Patterns

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shen, Hua

    2010-01-01

    It is a difficulty problem to choice repayment patterns of student loan. "Conventional mortgage-type loan" and "Income contingent loan" has been performed in many countries. These loan repayment manners have their own characteristics. In this paper, we discuss their advantages and disadvantages, and would provide policy choice…

  20. A Bilateral Advantage for Storage in Visual Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Umemoto, Akina; Drew, Trafton; Ester, Edward F.; Awh, Edward

    2010-01-01

    Various studies have demonstrated enhanced visual processing when information is presented across both visual hemifields rather than in a single hemifield (the "bilateral advantage"). For example, Alvarez and Cavanagh (2005) reported that observers were able to track twice as many moving visual stimuli when the tracked items were presented…

  1. Are Articulatory Settings Mechanically Advantageous for Speech Motor Control?

    PubMed Central

    Ramanarayanan, Vikram; Lammert, Adam; Goldstein, Louis; Narayanan, Shrikanth

    2014-01-01

    We address the hypothesis that postures adopted during grammatical pauses in speech production are more “mechanically advantageous” than absolute rest positions for facilitating efficient postural motor control of vocal tract articulators. We quantify vocal tract posture corresponding to inter-speech pauses, absolute rest intervals as well as vowel and consonant intervals using automated analysis of video captured with real-time magnetic resonance imaging during production of read and spontaneous speech by 5 healthy speakers of American English. We then use locally-weighted linear regression to estimate the articulatory forward map from low-level articulator variables to high-level task/goal variables for these postures. We quantify the overall magnitude of the first derivative of the forward map as a measure of mechanical advantage. We find that postures assumed during grammatical pauses in speech as well as speech-ready postures are significantly more mechanically advantageous than postures assumed during absolute rest. Further, these postures represent empirical extremes of mechanical advantage, between which lie the postures assumed during various vowels and consonants. Relative mechanical advantage of different postures might be an important physical constraint influencing planning and control of speech production. PMID:25133544

  2. Bioremediation techniques-classification based on site of application: principles, advantages, limitations and prospects.

    PubMed

    Azubuike, Christopher Chibueze; Chikere, Chioma Blaise; Okpokwasili, Gideon Chijioke

    2016-11-01

    Environmental pollution has been on the rise in the past few decades owing to increased human activities on energy reservoirs, unsafe agricultural practices and rapid industrialization. Amongst the pollutants that are of environmental and public health concerns due to their toxicities are: heavy metals, nuclear wastes, pesticides, green house gases, and hydrocarbons. Remediation of polluted sites using microbial process (bioremediation) has proven effective and reliable due to its eco-friendly features. Bioremediation can either be carried out ex situ or in situ, depending on several factors, which include but not limited to cost, site characteristics, type and concentration of pollutants. Generally, ex situ techniques apparently are more expensive compared to in situ techniques as a result of additional cost attributable to excavation. However, cost of on-site installation of equipment, and inability to effectively visualize and control the subsurface of polluted sites are of major concerns when carrying out in situ bioremediation. Therefore, choosing appropriate bioremediation technique, which will effectively reduce pollutant concentrations to an innocuous state, is crucial for a successful bioremediation project. Furthermore, the two major approaches to enhance bioremediation are biostimulation and bioaugmentation provided that environmental factors, which determine the success of bioremediation, are maintained at optimal range. This review provides more insight into the two major bioremediation techniques, their principles, advantages, limitations and prospects.

  3. The advantage of ultrasonography in the diagnosis of extracranial vertebral artery dissection

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Lijuan; Ran, Haitao

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Rationale: With the rapid development in technology of vascular imaging, the detection of artery dissection is also gradually increasing. Cervical artery dissection, including carotid artery and vertebral artery dissection, is associated in at least 20% of young adult patients with stroke. So, the diagnosis of cervical artery has become a great challenge. Patient concerns: We reported 2 patients who complained of dizziness and pain, the findings of US confirmed the presence of extracranial vertebral artery dissection. Diagnoses: The floating membrane in lumen and intramural hematoma were found in US, consistent with vertebral artery dissection, whereas DSA revealed no typical sign of artery dissection. Interventions: In order to the definite diagnosis we persuaded the patients to undergo DSA, but there was no strong evidence on the diagnosis of vertebtal artery dissection. Outcomes: The patients were diagnosed of vertebral artery dissection by US. Lessons: US show more advantages in diagnosis of extracranial vertebral artery dissection, might even be considered as the first choice. PMID:28328828

  4. Battle of the Bacteria: Characterizing the Evolutionary Advantage of Stationary Phase Growth †

    PubMed Central

    Kram, Karin E.; Yim, Kristina M.; Coleman, Aaron B.; Sato, Brian K.

    2016-01-01

    Providing students with authentic research opportunities has been shown to enhance learning and increase retention in STEM majors. Accordingly, we have developed a novel microbiology lab module, which focuses on the molecular mechanisms of evolution in E. coli, by examining the growth advantage in stationary phase (GASP) phenotype. The GASP phenotype is demonstrated by growing cells into long-term stationary phase (LTSP) and then competing them against un-aged cells in a fresh culture. This module includes learning goals related to strengthening practical laboratory skills and improving student understanding of evolution. In addition, the students generate novel data regarding the effects of different environmental stresses on GASP and the relationship between evolution, genotypic change, mutation frequency, and cell stress. Pairs of students are provided with the experimental background, select a specific aspect of the growth medium to modify, and generate a hypothesis regarding how this alteration will impact the GASP phenotype. From this module, we have demonstrated that students are able to achieve the established learning goals and have produced data that has furthered our understanding of the GASP phenotype. Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education PMID:27158307

  5. Advantages of temporary venoatrial shunt using centrifugal pump during bidirectional cavopulmonary shunt.

    PubMed

    Kotani, Yasuhiro; Honjo, Osami; Ishino, Kozo; Osaki, Satoru; Kuroko, Yosuke; Kawabata, Takuya; Ugaki, Shinya; Yoshizumi, Ko; Kasahara, Shingo; Kawada, Masaaki; Sano, Shunji

    2006-01-01

    Single-ventricle palliation without the use of cardiopulmonary bypass carries advantages that reduce systemic edema and inflammatory responses; however, simple clamping of the superior vena cava (SVC) without a temporary shunt leads to increase in cerebral venous pressure and subsequent decrease in cerebral blood flow during bidirectional cavopulmonary shunt (BCPS). We report our experience of BCPS, using a centrifugal pump-assisted temporary shunt. The criteria included an unrestrictive interatrial communication, the absence of atrioventricular valve regurgitation, and the existence of an antegrade pulmonary blood flow. From August 2000, 14 children with single-ventricle physiology met the criteria. The mean age was 1.0 +/- 0.9 years, and the mean weight was 8.4 +/- 2.6 kg. A temporary shunt was established between the SVC and the right atrium with right-angle cannulae, which were connected to a centrifugal pump to accelerate the blood flow from the SVC to the right atrium. All patients tolerated the procedure. Mean central venous pressure was 17 +/- 4 mm Hg, and transcutaneous oxygen saturation was maintained at 77 +/- 8% during anastomosis. No patients required blood transfusion. There were no postoperative neurological complications. The centrifugal pump-assisted temporary shunt offered safer and more effective circulatory support than other shunt systems, with excellent venous drainage in pediatric patients undergoing BCPS.

  6. Fitness advantage and cytoplasmic incompatibility in Wolbachia single- and superinfected Aedes albopictus.

    PubMed

    Dobson, S L; Rattanadechakul, W; Marsland, E J

    2004-08-01

    Wolbachia are obligate, maternally inherited, intracellular bacteria that infect numerous insects and other invertebrates. Wolbachia infections have evolved multiple mechanisms to manipulate host reproduction and facilitate invasion of naive host populations. One such mechanism is cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI) that occurs in many insect species, including Aedes albopictus (Asian tiger mosquito). The multiple Wolbachia infections that occur naturally in A. albopictus make this mosquito a useful system in which to study CI. Here, experiments employ mosquito strains that have been introgressed to provide genetically similar strains that harbor differing Wolbachia infection types. Cytoplasmic incompatibility levels, host longevity, egg hatch rates, and fecundity are examined. Crossing results demonstrate a pattern of additive unidirectional cytoplasmic incompatibility. Furthermore, relative to uninfected females, infected females are at a reproductive advantage due to both cytoplasmic incompatibility and a fitness increase associated with Wolbachia infection. In contrast, no fitness difference was observed in comparisons of single- and superinfected females. We discuss the observed results in regard to the evolution of the Wolbachia/A. albopictus symbiosis and the observed pattern of Wolbachia infection in natural populations.

  7. Photobiomodulation in human muscle tissue: an advantage in sports performance?

    PubMed

    Ferraresi, Cleber; Huang, Ying-Ying; Hamblin, Michael R

    2016-12-01

    Photobiomodulation (PBM) describes the use of red or near-infrared (NIR) light to stimulate, heal, and regenerate damaged tissue. Both preconditioning (light delivered to muscles before exercise) and PBM applied after exercise can increase sports performance in athletes. This review covers the effects of PBM on human muscle tissue in clinical trials in volunteers related to sports performance and in athletes. The parameters used were categorized into those with positive effects or no effects on muscle performance and recovery. Randomized controlled trials and case-control studies in both healthy trained and untrained participants, and elite athletes were retrieved from MEDLINE up to 2016. Performance metrics included fatigue, number of repetitions, torque, hypertrophy; measures of muscle damage and recovery such as creatine kinase and delayed onset muscle soreness. Searches retrieved 533 studies, of which 46 were included in the review (n = 1045 participants). Studies used single laser probes, cluster of laser diodes, LED clusters, mixed clusters (lasers and LEDs), and flexible LED arrays. Both red, NIR, and red/NIR mixtures were used. PBM can increase muscle mass gained after training, and decrease inflammation and oxidative stress in muscle biopsies. We raise the question of whether PBM should be permitted in athletic competition by international regulatory authorities.

  8. Environmental structure and competitive scoring advantages in team competitions.

    PubMed

    Merritt, Sears; Clauset, Aaron

    2013-10-29

    In most professional sports, playing field structure is kept neutral so that scoring imbalances may be attributed to differences in team skill. It thus remains unknown what impact environmental heterogeneities can have on scoring dynamics or competitive advantages. Applying a novel generative model of scoring dynamics to roughly 10 million team competitions drawn from an online game, we quantify the relationship between the structure within a competition and its scoring dynamics, while controlling the impact of chance. Despite wide structural variations, we observe a common three-phase pattern in the tempo of events. Tempo and balance are highly predictable from a competition's structural features alone and teams exploit environmental heterogeneities for sustained competitive advantage. Surprisingly, the most balanced competitions are associated with specific environmental heterogeneities, not from equally skilled teams. These results shed new light on the design principles of balanced competition, and illustrate the potential of online game data for investigating social dynamics and competition.

  9. Environmental structure and competitive scoring advantages in team competitions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Merritt, Sears; Clauset, Aaron

    2013-10-01

    In most professional sports, playing field structure is kept neutral so that scoring imbalances may be attributed to differences in team skill. It thus remains unknown what impact environmental heterogeneities can have on scoring dynamics or competitive advantages. Applying a novel generative model of scoring dynamics to roughly 10 million team competitions drawn from an online game, we quantify the relationship between the structure within a competition and its scoring dynamics, while controlling the impact of chance. Despite wide structural variations, we observe a common three-phase pattern in the tempo of events. Tempo and balance are highly predictable from a competition's structural features alone and teams exploit environmental heterogeneities for sustained competitive advantage. Surprisingly, the most balanced competitions are associated with specific environmental heterogeneities, not from equally skilled teams. These results shed new light on the design principles of balanced competition, and illustrate the potential of online game data for investigating social dynamics and competition.

  10. Informal leadership support: an often overlooked competitive advantage.

    PubMed

    Peters, L H; O'Connor, E J

    2001-01-01

    As environmental pressures mount, the advantage of using the same strategies and tactics employed by competitors continues to shrink. An alternative is adapting and applying answers successfully employed in other industries to health care organizations. Working with informal influence leaders to share your change management efforts represents one such example. Informal influence leaders offer an often-overlooked source of competitive advantage--they have already earned credibility and respect from others, who regularly look to them for guidance. When sharing their views, they significantly influence the acceptance or rejection of new initiatives. Influence leaders reach into every conversation, every meeting, and every decision made in an organization. The important question is whether they will exert their leadership in support or in opposition to changes you propose. By identifying influence leaders and inviting them to join a group to discuss change initiatives, physician executives can create a positive force for change.

  11. An In–Group Advantage in Detecting Intergroup Anxiety

    PubMed Central

    Gray, Heather M.; Mendes, Wendy Berry; Denny-Brown, Carrigan

    2009-01-01

    We examined the possibility of an in-group advantage in detecting intergroup anxiety. Specifically, we videotaped White and Black participants while they engaged in same-race or interrace interactions. Then we asked White and Black observers to view these videotapes (unaware of the racial context) and provide their impressions of participants' anxiety. Two results pointed to an in-group advantage in detecting intergroup anxiety. First, only same-race observers perceived a modulation of participants' anxious behavior as a function of racial context. This held true not only for relatively subjective perceptions of global anxiety, but also for perceptions of single, discrete behaviors tied to anxiety. Second, we found that only same-race observers provided descriptions of anxiety that tracked reliably with participants' cortisol changes during the task. These results suggest that White and Black Americans may have difficulty developing a sense of shared emotional experience. PMID:19121129

  12. Competitive Advantage in Intercollegiate Athletics: Role of Intangible Resources

    PubMed Central

    Won, Doyeon; Chelladurai, Packianathan

    2016-01-01

    The present research explored the dynamics of competitive advantages in intercollegiate athletics by investigating the contribution of intangible resources (i.e., athletic and academic reputations) on the generation of more tangible resources (i.e., human and financial resources), which in turn influence the athletic performance (i.e., winning record) and academic performance (i.e., graduation rates), and gender equity. The research was based entirely on archival data of 324 NCAA Division I member institutions. The results of the SEM supported the study’s basic arguments that tangible resources are the sources of competitive advantages in Division I intercollegiate athletics, and that intangible resources contribute to the generation of tangible resources. PMID:26731118

  13. Paedomorphic facial expressions give dogs a selective advantage.

    PubMed

    Waller, Bridget M; Peirce, Kate; Caeiro, Cátia C; Scheider, Linda; Burrows, Anne M; McCune, Sandra; Kaminski, Juliane

    2013-01-01

    How wolves were first domesticated is unknown. One hypothesis suggests that wolves underwent a process of self-domestication by tolerating human presence and taking advantage of scavenging possibilities. The puppy-like physical and behavioural traits seen in dogs are thought to have evolved later, as a byproduct of selection against aggression. Using speed of selection from rehoming shelters as a proxy for artificial selection, we tested whether paedomorphic features give dogs a selective advantage in their current environment. Dogs who exhibited facial expressions that enhance their neonatal appearance were preferentially selected by humans. Thus, early domestication of wolves may have occurred not only as wolf populations became tamer, but also as they exploited human preferences for paedomorphic characteristics. These findings, therefore, add to our understanding of early dog domestication as a complex co-evolutionary process.

  14. Paedomorphic Facial Expressions Give Dogs a Selective Advantage

    PubMed Central

    Waller, Bridget M.; Peirce, Kate; Caeiro, Cátia C.; Scheider, Linda; Burrows, Anne M.; McCune, Sandra; Kaminski, Juliane

    2013-01-01

    How wolves were first domesticated is unknown. One hypothesis suggests that wolves underwent a process of self-domestication by tolerating human presence and taking advantage of scavenging possibilities. The puppy-like physical and behavioural traits seen in dogs are thought to have evolved later, as a byproduct of selection against aggression. Using speed of selection from rehoming shelters as a proxy for artificial selection, we tested whether paedomorphic features give dogs a selective advantage in their current environment. Dogs who exhibited facial expressions that enhance their neonatal appearance were preferentially selected by humans. Thus, early domestication of wolves may have occurred not only as wolf populations became tamer, but also as they exploited human preferences for paedomorphic characteristics. These findings, therefore, add to our understanding of early dog domestication as a complex co-evolutionary process. PMID:24386109

  15. Selective advantage of topological disorder in biological evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kolář, M.; Slanina, F.

    2003-02-01

    We examine a model of biological evolution of Eigen's quasispecies in a so-called holey fitness landscape, where the fitness of a site is either 0 (lethal site) or a uniform positive constant (viable site). The evolution dynamics is therefore determined by the topology of the genome space which is modelled by the random Bethe lattice. We use the effective medium and single-defect approximations to find the criteria under which the localized quasispecies cloud is created. We find that shorter genomes, which are more robust to random mutations than average, represent a selective advantage which we call ``topological''. A way of assessing empirically the relative importance of reproductive success and topological advantage is suggested.

  16. A minimal ingroup advantage in emotion identification confidence.

    PubMed

    Young, Steven G; Wilson, John Paul

    2016-12-28

    Emotion expressions convey valuable information about others' internal states and likely behaviours. Accurately identifying expressions is critical for social interactions, but so is perceiver confidence when decoding expressions. Even if a perceiver correctly labels an expression, uncertainty may impair appropriate behavioural responses and create uncomfortable interactions. Past research has found that perceivers report greater confidence when identifying emotions displayed by cultural ingroup members, an effect attributed to greater perceptual skill and familiarity with own-culture than other-culture faces. However, the current research presents novel evidence for an ingroup advantage in emotion decoding confidence across arbitrary group boundaries that hold culture constant. In two experiments using different stimulus sets participants not only labeled minimal ingroup expressions more accurately, but did so with greater confidence. These results offer novel evidence that ingroup advantages in emotion decoding confidence stem partly from social-cognitive processes.

  17. Computer simulation for the growing probability of additional offspring with an advantageous reversal allele in the decoupled continuous-time mutation-selection model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gill, Wonpyong

    2016-01-01

    This study calculated the growing probability of additional offspring with the advantageous reversal allele in an asymmetric sharply-peaked landscape using the decoupled continuous-time mutation-selection model. The growing probability was calculated for various population sizes, N, sequence lengths, L, selective advantages, s, fitness parameters, k and measuring parameters, C. The saturated growing probability in the stochastic region was approximately the effective selective advantage, s*, when C≫1/Ns* and s*≪1. The present study suggests that the growing probability in the stochastic region in the decoupled continuous-time mutation-selection model can be described using the theoretical formula for the growing probability in the Moran two-allele model. The selective advantage ratio, which represents the ratio of the effective selective advantage to the selective advantage, does not depend on the population size, selective advantage, measuring parameter and fitness parameter; instead the selective advantage ratio decreases with the increasing sequence length.

  18. The half-truth of first-mover advantage.

    PubMed

    Suarez, Fernando; Lanzolla, Gianvito

    2005-04-01

    Many executives take for granted that the first company in a new product category gets an unbeatable head start and reaps long-lasting benefits. But that doesn't always happen. The authors of this article discovered that much depends on the pace at which the category's technology is changing and the speed at which the market is evolving. By analyzing these two factors, companies can improve their odds of succeeding as first movers with the resources they possess. Gradual evolution in both the technology and the market provides a first mover with the best conditions for creating a dominant position that is long lasting (Hoover in the vacuum cleaner industry is a good example). In such calm waters, a company can defend its advantages even without exceptional skills or extensive financial resources. When the market is changing rapidly and the product isn't, a first entrant with extensive resources can obtain a long-lasting advantage (as Sony did with its Walkman personal stereo); a company with only limited resources probably must settle for a short-term benefit. When the market is static but the product is changing constantly, first-mover advantages of either kind--durable or short-lived--are unlikely. Only companies with very deep pockets can survive (think of Sony and the digital cameras it pioneered). Rapid churn in both the technology and the market creates the worst conditions. But if companies have an acute sense of when to exit-as Netscape demonstrated when it agreed to be acquired by AOL-a worthwhile short-term gain is possible. Before venturing into a newly forming market, you need to analyze the environment, assess your resources, then determine which type offirst-mover advantage is most achievable. Once you've gone into the water, you have no choice but to swim.

  19. The survival advantage of olfaction in a competitive environment.

    PubMed

    Asahina, Kenta; Pavlenkovich, Viktoryia; Vosshall, Leslie B

    2008-08-05

    Olfaction is generally assumed to be critical for survival because this sense allows animals to detect food and pheromonal cues. Although the ability to sense sex pheromones [1, 2, 3] is likely to be important for insects, the contribution of general odor detection to survival is unknown. We investigated the extent to which the olfactory system confers a survival advantage on Drosophila larvae foraging for food under conditions of limited resources and competition from other larvae.

  20. Medicare Advantage: Issues, Insights, and Implications for the Future

    PubMed Central

    Cotton, Paul; Newhouse, Joseph P.; Volpp, Kevin G.; Fendrick, A. Mark; Oesterle, Susan Lynne; Oungpasuk, Pat; Aggarwal, Ruchi; Wilensky, Gail; Sebelius, Kathleen

    2016-01-01

    Medicare Advantage: Issues, Insights, and Implications for the Future Paul Cotton, Joseph P. Newhouse, PhD, Kevin G. Volpp, MD, PhD, A. Mark Fendrick, MD, Susan Lynne Oesterle, Pat Oungpasuk, Ruchi Aggarwal, Gail Wilensky, PhD, and Kathleen Sebelius Editorial   S-2 D.B. Nash, and A.Y. Schwartz The History, Impact, and Future of the Medicare Advantage Star Ratings System   S-3 P. Cotton Medicare Advantage and Traditional Fee-For-Service Medicare   S-4 J.P. Newhouse Behavioral Economics: Key to Effective Care Management Programs for Patients, Payers, and Providers   S-5 K.G. Volpp Value-Based Insurance Design: A Promising Strategy for Medicare Advantage   S-6 A.M. Fendrick, S.L. Oesterle, P. Oungpasuk, and R. Aggarwal Two Perspectives on the Future of Medicare Advantage   S-7 G. Wilensky and K. Sebelius PMID:27834576

  1. The inhibitory advantage in bilingual children revisited: myth or reality?

    PubMed

    Duñabeitia, Jon Andoni; Hernández, Juan Andrés; Antón, Eneko; Macizo, Pedro; Estévez, Adelina; Fuentes, Luis J; Carreiras, Manuel

    2014-01-01

    In recent decades several authors have suggested that bilinguals exhibit enhanced cognitive control as compared to monolinguals and some proposals suggest that this main difference between monolinguals and bilinguals is related to bilinguals' enhanced capacity of inhibiting irrelevant information. This has led to the proposal of the so-called bilingual advantage in inhibitory skills. However, recent studies have cast some doubt on the locus and generality of the alleged bilingual advantage in inhibitory skills. In the current study we investigated inhibitory skills in a large sample of 252 monolingual and 252 bilingual children who were carefully matched on a large number of indices. We tested their performance in a verbal Stroop task and in a nonverbal version of the same task (the number size-congruency task). Results were unequivocal and showed that bilingual and monolingual participants performed equally in these two tasks across all the indices or markers of inhibitory skills explored. Furthermore, the lack of differences between monolingual and bilingual children extended to all the age ranges tested and was not modulated by any of the independent factors investigated. In light of these results, we conclude that bilingual children do not exhibit any specific advantage in simple inhibitory tasks as compared to monolinguals.

  2. Raspberry, not a car: context predictability and a phonological advantage in early and late learners' processing of speech in noise.

    PubMed

    Gor, Kira

    2014-01-01

    Second language learners perform worse than native speakers under adverse listening conditions, such as speech in noise (SPIN). No data are available on heritage language speakers' (early naturalistic interrupted learners') ability to perceive SPIN. The current study fills this gap and investigates the perception of Russian speech in multi-talker babble noise by the matched groups of high- and low-proficiency heritage speakers (HSs) and late second language learners of Russian who were native speakers of English. The study includes a control group of Russian native speakers. It manipulates the noise level (high and low), and context cloze probability (high and low). The results of the SPIN task are compared to the tasks testing the control of phonology, AXB discrimination and picture-word discrimination, and lexical knowledge, a word translation task, in the same participants. The increased phonological sensitivity of HSs interacted with their ability to rely on top-down processing in sentence integration, use contextual cues, and build expectancies in the high-noise/high-context condition in a bootstrapping fashion. HSs outperformed oral proficiency-matched late second language learners on SPIN task and two tests of phonological sensitivity. The outcomes of the SPIN experiment support both the early naturalistic advantage and the role of proficiency in HSs. HSs' ability to take advantage of the high-predictability context in the high-noise condition was mitigated by their level of proficiency. Only high-proficiency HSs, but not any other non-native group, took advantage of the high-predictability context that became available with better phonological processing skills in high-noise. The study thus confirms high-proficiency (but not low-proficiency) HSs' nativelike ability to combine bottom-up and top-down cues in processing SPIN.

  3. Raspberry, not a car: context predictability and a phonological advantage in early and late learners’ processing of speech in noise

    PubMed Central

    Gor, Kira

    2014-01-01

    Second language learners perform worse than native speakers under adverse listening conditions, such as speech in noise (SPIN). No data are available on heritage language speakers’ (early naturalistic interrupted learners’) ability to perceive SPIN. The current study fills this gap and investigates the perception of Russian speech in multi-talker babble noise by the matched groups of high- and low-proficiency heritage speakers (HSs) and late second language learners of Russian who were native speakers of English. The study includes a control group of Russian native speakers. It manipulates the noise level (high and low), and context cloze probability (high and low). The results of the SPIN task are compared to the tasks testing the control of phonology, AXB discrimination and picture-word discrimination, and lexical knowledge, a word translation task, in the same participants. The increased phonological sensitivity of HSs interacted with their ability to rely on top–down processing in sentence integration, use contextual cues, and build expectancies in the high-noise/high-context condition in a bootstrapping fashion. HSs outperformed oral proficiency-matched late second language learners on SPIN task and two tests of phonological sensitivity. The outcomes of the SPIN experiment support both the early naturalistic advantage and the role of proficiency in HSs. HSs’ ability to take advantage of the high-predictability context in the high-noise condition was mitigated by their level of proficiency. Only high-proficiency HSs, but not any other non-native group, took advantage of the high-predictability context that became available with better phonological processing skills in high-noise. The study thus confirms high-proficiency (but not low-proficiency) HSs’ nativelike ability to combine bottom–up and top–down cues in processing SPIN. PMID:25566130

  4. Advantages of an antagonist: bicuculline and other GABA antagonists

    PubMed Central

    Johnston, Graham AR

    2013-01-01

    The convulsant alkaloid bicuculline continues to be investigated more than 40 years after the first publication of its action as an antagonist of receptors for the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA. This historical perspective highlights key aspects of the discovery of bicuculline as a GABA antagonist and the sustained interest in this and other GABA antagonists. The exciting advances in the molecular biology, pharmacology and physiology of GABA receptors provide a continuing stimulus for the discovery of new antagonists with increasing selectivity for the myriad of GABA receptor subclasses. Interesting GABA antagonists not structurally related to bicuculline include gabazine, salicylidene salicylhydrazide, RU5135 and 4-(3-biphenyl-5-(4-piperidyl)-3-isoxazole. Bicuculline became the benchmark antagonist for what became known as GABAA receptors, but not all ionotropic GABA receptors are susceptible to bicuculline. In addition, not all GABAA receptor antagonists are convulsants. Thus there are still surprises in store as the study of GABA receptors evolves. PMID:23425285

  5. Shifts in comparative advantages for maize, oat and wheat cropping under climate change in Europe.

    PubMed

    Elsgaard, L; Børgesen, C D; Olesen, J E; Siebert, S; Ewert, F; Peltonen-Sainio, P; Rötter, R P; Skjelvåg, A O

    2012-01-01

    Climate change is anticipated to affect European agriculture, including the risk of emerging or re-emerging feed and food hazards. Indirectly, climate change may influence such hazards (e.g. the occurrence of mycotoxins) due to geographic shifts in the distribution of major cereal cropping systems and the consequences this may have for crop rotations. This paper analyses the impact of climate on cropping shares of maize, oat and wheat on a 50-km square grid across Europe (45-65°N) and provides model-based estimates of the changes in cropping shares in response to changes in temperature and precipitation as projected for the time period around 2040 by two regional climate models (RCM) with a moderate and a strong climate change signal, respectively. The projected cropping shares are based on the output from the two RCMs and on algorithms derived for the relation between meteorological data and observed cropping shares of maize, oat and wheat. The observed cropping shares show a south-to-north gradient, where maize had its maximum at 45-55°N, oat had its maximum at 55-65°N, and wheat was more evenly distributed along the latitudes in Europe. Under the projected climate changes, there was a general increase in maize cropping shares, whereas for oat no areas showed distinct increases. For wheat, the projected changes indicated a tendency towards higher cropping shares in the northern parts and lower cropping shares in the southern parts of the study area. The present modelling approach represents a simplification of factors determining the distribution of cereal crops, and also some uncertainties in the data basis were apparent. A promising way of future model improvement could be through a systematic analysis and inclusion of other variables, such as key soil properties and socio-economic conditions, influencing the comparative advantages of specific crops.

  6. [Applications and advantages of a multimedia system for autopsies ].

    PubMed

    Gualco, M; Benzi, D; Fulcheri, E

    2001-10-01

    This work evaluates the benefits and applications of computers and multimedia systems in post-mortem examination practice and, more in particular, in the definition of data collection protocols. We examined issues concerning the different aims of autopsy (e.g. diagnostic, scientific, educational, legal), and found that the pathologist's main duty is to acquire a large amount of data in the best possible way. However, despite the will to carry out detailed post-mortem examinations, many pathologic anatomy services face objective difficulties in doing so, especially due to understaffing, lack of time and high costs. The Institute for Pathologic Anatomy of the University of Genoa has developed software for data handling and for outcome reporting, a particularly important aspect in fetal-perinatal diagnosis. The system consists of a relational database in a client-server environment (Fourth Dimension) with two integrated parts. The first part, with unrestricted access, contains patients' personal data, including gender, age, time and date of death, hospital department of origin, person and department requiring the post-mortem examination, hour and time of autopsy, pathologist's name, and clinical diagnosis of death. Using a scanner, a copy of the autopsy application is also field, together with the patient's medical file and any diagnostic images useful to document the case history. The second part of the information system is accessible by pathologists only, and contains the autopsy report. This part is organized to balance two different needs: it allows sufficient space and freedom for autopsy description while providing guidelines for presentation of the report. The structure of the conventional autopsy protocol has been maintained, with subdivisions for all the organs and apparatuses according to topographic criteria. Before this part, a section is dedicated to external cadaver examination and anthropometric data; weight, shape, volume and texture are described for

  7. Leveraging U.S. Geo-Strategic Positional Advantage to Prevail in a Mercantile World

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-02-14

    AIR WAR COLLEGE AIR UNIVERSITY LEVERAGING U.S. GEO-STRATEGIC POSITIONAL ADVANTAGE TO PREVAIL IN A MERCANTILE WORLD by Jeremey D. Turner, Lt...United States to prevail among competitors. Strategy ends consistent with U.S. interests and a mercantile environment are a well-defended homeland...international system by establishing a dominant trade bloc in the Western Hemisphere including western Africa. Developing a strategy to prevail in this

  8. Children's understanding of certainty and evidentiality: advantage of grammaticalized forms over lexical alternatives.

    PubMed

    Matsui, Tomoko; Miura, Yui

    2009-01-01

    In verbal communication, the hearer takes advantage of the linguistic expressions of certainty and evidentiality to assess how committed the speaker might be to the truth of the informational content of the utterance. Little is known, however, about the precise developmental mechanism of this ability. In this chapter, we approach the question by elucidating factors that are likely to constrain young children's understanding of linguistically encoded certainty and evidentiality, including the types of linguistic form of these expressions, namely, grammaticalized or lexical forms.

  9. The advantage of coronal scanning in cerebral computed angiotomography for diagnosis of moyamoya disease

    SciTech Connect

    Asari, S.; Satoh, T.; Sakurai, M.; Yamamoto, Y.; Sadamoto, K.

    1982-12-01

    The advantage of coronal scanning in cerebral computed angiotomography for diagnosis of and screening for moyamoya disease is demonstrated. Characteristic features on the coronal CT scan include (a) attenuation of and difficulty in following the supraclinoid internal carotid arteries and carotid fork and (b) abnormal ''nebula-like'' high-density areas consisting of irregular, tortuous, or patchy vessels arising in the basal cisterns and extending to the basal ganglia.

  10. [The advantages of the short intensive training course in endoscopic surgery].

    PubMed

    Fedorov, A V; Khripun, A I; Ivanov, A A; Gushchin, A V; Tariverdiev, M L; Sazhin, A V

    2013-01-01

    The advantages of one-day training courses on the example of the short intensive course "manual suture in endoscopic surgery" are represented. The programme consists of the short 8-hours course, including theoretic lectures, practice seminars, virtual trainings and the trainee's self work under the control of the experienced supervisors. The preliminary assessment of the course, performed with the use of questionnaires and testing in small groups, showed it's unarguable efficacy for surgeons.

  11. High-Cost Patients Had Substantial Rates Of Leaving Medicare Advantage And Joining Traditional Medicare

    PubMed Central

    Rahman, Momotazur; Keohane, Laura; Trivedi, Amal N.; Mor, Vincent

    2015-01-01

    Medicare Advantage payment regulations include risk-adjusted capitated reimbursement, which was implemented to discourage favorable risk selection and encourage the retention of members who incur high costs. However, the extent to which risk-adjusted capitation has succeeded is not clear, especially for members using high-cost services not previously considered in assessments of risk selection. We examined the rates at which participants who used three high-cost services switched between Medicare Advantage and traditional Medicare. We found that the switching rate from 2010 to 2011 away from Medicare Advantage and to traditional Medicare exceeded the switching rate in the opposite direction for participants who used long-term nursing home care (17 percent versus 3 percent), short-term nursing home care (9 percent versus 4 percent), and home health care (8 percent versus 3 percent). These results were magnified among people who were enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid. Our findings raise questions about the role of Medicare Advantage plans in serving high-cost patients with complex care needs, who account for a disproportionately high amount of total health care spending. PMID:26438743

  12. High-Cost Patients Had Substantial Rates Of Leaving Medicare Advantage And Joining Traditional Medicare.

    PubMed

    Rahman, Momotazur; Keohane, Laura; Trivedi, Amal N; Mor, Vincent

    2015-10-01

    Medicare Advantage payment regulations include risk-adjusted capitated reimbursement, which was implemented to discourage favorable risk selection and encourage the retention of members who incur high costs. However, the extent to which risk-adjusted capitation has succeeded is not clear, especially for members using high-cost services not previously considered in assessments of risk selection. We examined the rates at which participants who used three high-cost services switched between Medicare Advantage and traditional Medicare. We found that the switching rate from 2010 to 2011 away from Medicare Advantage and to traditional Medicare exceeded the switching rate in the opposite direction for participants who used long-term nursing home care (17 percent versus 3 percent), short-term nursing home care (9 percent versus 4 percent), and home health care (8 percent versus 3 percent). These results were magnified among people who were enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid. Our findings raise questions about the role of Medicare Advantage plans in serving high-cost patients with complex care needs, who account for a disproportionately high amount of total health care spending.

  13. Revisiting the Hispanic mortality advantage in the United States: the role of smoking.

    PubMed

    Fenelon, Andrew

    2013-04-01

    More than three decades of health disparities research in the United States has consistently found lower adult mortality risks among Hispanics than their non-Hispanic white counterparts, despite lower socioeconomic status among Hispanics. Explanations for the "Hispanic Paradox" include selective migration and cultural factors, though neither has received convincing support. This paper uses a large nationally representative survey of health and smoking behavior to examine whether smoking can explain life expectancy advantage of Hispanics over US-born non-Hispanics whites, with special attention to individuals of Mexican origin. It tests the selective migration hypothesis using data on smoking among Mexico-to-US migrants in Mexico and the United States. Both US-born and foreign-born Mexican-Americans exhibit a life expectancy advantage vis-à-vis whites. All other Hispanics only show a longevity advantage among the foreign-born, while those born in the United States are disadvantaged relative to whites. Smoking-attributable mortality explains the majority of the advantage for Mexican-Americans, with more than 60% of the gap deriving from lower rates of smoking among Mexican-Americans. There is no evidence of selective migration with respect to smoking; Mexicans who migrate to the US smoke at similar rates to Mexicans who remain in Mexico, with both groups smoking substantially less than non-Hispanic whites in the US. The results suggest that more research is needed to effectively explain the low burden of smoking among Mexican-Americans in the United States.

  14. [Animal models for assessment of GMO allergenicity: advantages and limitations].

    PubMed

    Adel-Patient, K; Wal, J M

    2004-03-01

    Incidence of IgE-mediated allergic reactions to foods is increasing as well as the severity of associated symptoms and numerous foods are now incriminated, probably in relation with modifications of dietary habits and increased exposure to new or modified food ingredients. Therefore, the introduction on the market of food composed of or derived from genetically modified organisms (GMOs) raised the question of their potential allergenicity. Particularly with regards to the allergenicity of a newly expressed protein, it is necessary to obtain, from several steps in the risk assessment process, a cumulative body of evidence which minimises any uncertainty. This may include the use of animal model despite no fully reliable validated model is available yet. Such animal models should allow to address 3 major issues: Is the novel protein a sensitizer, i.e. does it possess intrinsic properties that allow to sensitize a predisposed individual? Is the protein an elicitor i.e. is it able to elicit an allergic reaction in a sensitised individual? And is the protein an adjuvant, i.e. can it facilitate or enhance the sensitisation to an other protein? Animal models under investigation currently include mice, rats and guinea pigs but models such as dogs and swine also appeared a few years ago. The aim is to mimic the mechanism and characteristics of the sensitisation phase and/or the elicitation phase of the allergic reaction as it occurs in atopic humans. They are necessary because sensitisation studies can obviously not be done in human and because in vitro tests cannot reproduce the complexity of the immune system. We propose a mouse model which mimics both phases of the allergic reaction. It has permitted to evidence that biochemical and clinical manifestations occuring during the active phases of the allergic reaction differ according to the structure of the allergen used for the challenge. This may allow to compare the allergenic potential of a genetically modified protein

  15. The Advantage of Playing Home in NBA: Microscopic, Team-Specific and Evolving Features.

    PubMed

    Ribeiro, Haroldo V; Mukherjee, Satyam; Zeng, Xiao Han T

    2016-01-01

    The idea that the success rate of a team increases when playing home is broadly accepted and documented for a wide variety of sports. Investigations on the so-called "home advantage phenomenon" date back to the 70's and ever since has attracted the attention of scholars and sport enthusiasts. These studies have been mainly focused on identifying the phenomenon and trying to correlate it with external factors such as crowd noise and referee bias. Much less is known about the effects of home advantage in the "microscopic" dynamics of the game (within the game) or possible team-specific and evolving features of this phenomenon. Here we present a detailed study of these previous features in the National Basketball Association (NBA). By analyzing play-by-play events of more than sixteen thousand games that span thirteen NBA seasons, we have found that home advantage affects the microscopic dynamics of the game by increasing the scoring rates and decreasing the time intervals between scores of teams playing home. We verified that these two features are different among the NBA teams, for instance, the scoring rate of the Cleveland Cavaliers team is increased ≈0.16 points per minute (on average the seasons 2004-05 to 2013-14) when playing home, whereas for the New Jersey Nets (now the Brooklyn Nets) this rate increases in only ≈0.04 points per minute. We further observed that these microscopic features have evolved over time in a non-trivial manner when analyzing the results team-by-team. However, after averaging over all teams some regularities emerge; in particular, we noticed that the average differences in the scoring rates and in the characteristic times (related to the time intervals between scores) have slightly decreased over time, suggesting a weakening of the phenomenon. This study thus adds evidence of the home advantage phenomenon and contributes to a deeper understanding of this effect over the course of games.

  16. Associated petroleum gas utilization in Tomsk Oblast: energy efficiency and tax advantages

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vazim, A.; Romanyuk, V.; Ahmadeev, K.; Matveenko, I.

    2015-11-01

    This article deals with oil production companies activities in increasing the utilization volume of associated petroleum gas (APG) in Tomsk Oblast. Cost-effectiveness analysis of associated petroleum gas utilization was carried out using the example of gas engine power station AGP-350 implementation at Yuzhno-Cheremshanskoye field, Tomsk Oblast. Authors calculated the effectiveness taking into account the tax advantages of 2012. The implementation of this facility shows high profitability, the payback period being less than 2 years.

  17. Indy gene variation in natural populations confers fitness advantage and life span extension through transposon insertion.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Chen-Tseh; Chang, Chengyi; Reenan, Robert A; Helfand, Stephen L

    2014-01-01

    Natural selection acts to maximize reproductive fitness. However, antagonism between life span and reproductive success frequently poses a dilemma pitting the cost of fecundity against longevity. Here, we show that natural populations of Drosophila melanogaster harbor a Hoppel transposon insertion variant in the longevity gene Indy (I'm not dead yet), which confers both increased reproduction and longevity through metabolic changes. Heterozygosity for this natural long-lived variant has been maintained in isolates despite long-term inbreeding under laboratory conditions and advantageously confers increased fecundity. DNA sequences of variant chromosome isolates show evidence of selective sweep acting on the advantageous allele, suggesting that natural selection acts to maintain this variant. The transposon insertion also regulates Indy expression level, which has experimentally been shown to affect life span and fecundity. Thus, in the wild, evolution reaffirms that the mechanism of heterozygote advantage has acted upon the Indy gene to assure increased reproductive fitness and, coincidentally, longer life span through regulatory transposon mutagenesis.

  18. Advantage of collocating research facilities The administrator's point of view

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spilker, H.-M.; Blomeyer, C.

    1995-02-01

    Research facilities are collocated in order to create a maximum of synergy. This also requires a close cooperation of the administration concerned leading to advantages, in particular with regards to infrastructure and cost effectiveness. Faced with the specificities of the research facilities involved, administrators feel challenged to find appropriate solutions. The successive establishment of research institutes on the Polygone Scientifique in Grenoble is described. Forms and content of administrative collaboration between the Institut Max von Laue-Paul Langevin and the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility are analysed, where collocation has led to intensive cooperation.

  19. Emerging bilingualism: dissociating advantages for metalinguistic awareness and executive control.

    PubMed

    Bialystok, Ellen; Barac, Raluca

    2012-01-01

    The present studies revealed different factors associated with the reported advantages found in fully bilingual children for metalinguistic awareness and executive control. Participants were 100 children in Study 1 and 80 children in Study 2 in the process of becoming bilingual by attending immersion programs. In both studies, level of proficiency in the language of testing was related to performance on metalinguistic tasks and length of time in the immersion program was related to performance on executive control tasks. This dissociation is consistent with models of lifespan development that distinguish between representational structure and executive control.

  20. [Advantages and disadvantages of a "no-fault" compensation system].

    PubMed

    Legemaate, J

    2003-10-11

    Should the present legal regulation of medical negligence be replaced by a no-fault compensation system (NFCS)? The Dutch government is preparing a viewpoint on this issue on the basis of a research report that describes the pros and cons of a NFCS. Recently, the British chief medical officer (CMO) rejected the introduction of a comprehensive NFCS. Instead, the CMO proposed to introduce other reforms to mitigate the disadvantages of the present system of medical litigation. A NFCS has certain advantages but is supposedly very expensive. Other policy measures can be considered as well.

  1. Advantages of less-tech, less-than-lethal technologies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marts, Donna J.; Overlin, Trudy K.

    1995-05-01

    This paper illustrates the advantages of developing less-tech technologies by reporting on two less-tech, less-than-lethal prototype law enforcement tools developed at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory. The devices were developed for the National Institute of Justice, less- than-lethal weapons program: 1) an air bag restraint device for use in restraining suspects who become violent during transport in patrol vehicles, and 2) a retractable spiked barrier strip for stopping fleeing vehicles during high-speed pursuit. The success of both projects relied on developing design requirements in conjunction with the actual users of the devices.

  2. The potential advantages of digital PCR for clinical virology diagnostics.

    PubMed

    Hall Sedlak, Ruth; Jerome, Keith R

    2014-05-01

    Digital PCR (dPCR), a new nucleic acid amplification technology, offers several potential advantages over real-time or quantitative PCR (qPCR), the current workhorse of clinical molecular virology diagnostics. Several studies have demonstrated dPCR assays for human cytomegalovirus or HIV, which give more precise and reproducible results than qPCR assays without sacrificing sensitivity. Here we review the literature comparing dPCR and qPCR performance in viral molecular diagnostic assays and offer perspective on the future of dPCR in clinical virology diagnostics.

  3. Proton Radiotherapy for Liver Tumors: Dosimetric Advantages Over Photon Plans

    SciTech Connect

    Wang Xiaochun Krishnan, Sunil; Zhang Xiaodong; Dong Lei; Briere, Tina; Crane, Christopher H.; Martel, Mary; Gillin, Michael; Mohan, Radhe; Beddar, Sam

    2008-01-01

    The purpose of the study is to dosimetrically investigate the advantages of proton radiotherapy over photon radiotherapy for liver tumors. The proton plan and the photon plan were designed using commercial treatment planning systems. The treatment target dose conformity and heterogeneity and dose-volume analyses of normal structures were compared between proton and photon radiotherapy for 9 patients with liver tumors. Proton radiotherapy delivered a more conformal target dose with slightly less homogeneity when compared with photon radiotherapy. Protons significantly reduced the fractional volume of liver receiving dose greater or equal to 30 Gy (V{sub 30}) and the mean liver dose. The stomach and duodenal V{sub 45} were significantly lower with the use of proton radiotherapy. The V{sub 40} and V{sub 50} of the heart and the maximum spinal cord dose were also significantly lower with the use of proton radiotherapy. Protons were better able to spare one kidney completely and deliver less dose to one (generally the left) kidney than photons. The mean dose to the total body and most critical structures was significantly decreased using protons when compared to corresponding photon plans. In conclusion, our study suggests the dosimetric benefits of proton radiotherapy over photon radiotherapy. These dosimetric advantages of proton plans may permit further dose escalation with lower risk of complications.

  4. Green synthesis of nanoparticles: Their advantages and disadvantages

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parveen, Khadeeja; Banse, Viktoria; Ledwani, Lalita

    2016-04-01

    The nanotechnology and biomedical sciences opens the possibility for a wide variety of biological research topics and medical uses at the molecular and cellular level. The biosynthesis of nanoparticles has been proposed as a cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternative to chemical and physical methods. Plant-mediated synthesis of nanoparticles is a green chemistry approach that connects nanotechnology with plants. Novel methods of ideally synthesizing NPs are thus thought that are formed at ambient temperatures, neutral pH, low costs and environmentally friendly fashion. Keeping these goals in view nanomaterials have been synthesized using various routes. Among the biological alternatives, plants and plant extracts seem to be the best option. Plants are nature's "chemical factories". They are cost efficient and require low maintenance. The advantages and disadvantages of nanotechnology can be easily enumerated. This study attempts to review the diversity of the field, starting with the history of nanotechnology, the properties of the nanoparticle, various strategies of synthesis, the many advantages and disadvantages of different methods and its application.

  5. Solubility Advantage (and Disadvantage) of Pharmaceutical Amorphous Solid Dispersions.

    PubMed

    Huang, Siyuan; Mao, Chen; Williams, Robert O; Yang, Chia-Yi

    2016-12-01

    The solubility of a drug is ultimately governed by its chemical potential as it is present in the undissolved solute. For a pharmaceutical amorphous solid dispersion (ASD), its solubility depends on the state and composition of the undissolved solute when the ASD is equilibrated with water. Concerning the undissolved solute phase that can contain up to 3 components (drug, polymer, and water), we developed a complete thermodynamic model to calculate the chemical potential of a drug in the multicomponent, amorphous system. This approach enables the estimation of the true solubility advantage of ASD from calorimetric measurements and moisture sorption isotherms. Both theoretical estimation and experimental studies, using indomethacin (IMC)/Eudragit E ASD systems, show that the solubility advantage of the amorphous IMC is significantly reduced through ASD formation and water partitioning. For the ASD with 70% drug loading, the solubility of IMC is lower than its crystalline counterpart. Our results show that stabilization through the ASD formation and water sorption can be manifested by the lowering of drug solubility; they demonstrate that the core property in ASD development is the drug chemical potential, which is essentially the thermodynamic driving force and can be quantitated using the model presented in this work.

  6. Football supporters' perceptions of their role in the home advantage.

    PubMed

    Wolfson, Sandy; Wakelin, Delia; Lewis, Matthew

    2005-04-01

    Football fans' views on their role in the home advantage were obtained by placing links to an internet questionnaire on supporters' websites. Altogether, 461 fans from clubs which had been promoted, relegated or unchanged in the past season of the English football leagues rated crowd support as significantly more influential than familiarity, travel, territoriality and referee bias in contributing to the home advantage. Fans felt responsible for inspiring their team to victory, took credit for distracting opponents, and believed that they could influence officials into making decisions in their team's favour. However, they did not accept personal blame for poor results. No effects for gender, age or the team's outcome in the promotion/relegation battle emerged, though season ticket holders were more extreme in their feelings of responsibility overall. Furthermore, it was suggested that mechanisms such as the perception of being superior to rivals can encourage fans to retain their allegiance to their teams, even when outcomes are disappointing. Indeed, affiliation may become so incorporated into self-identity that supporters may not have the option of abandoning their team, but instead perceive a reciprocal relationship in which both they and the team are expected to do their best to achieve success.

  7. Complexity, Competitive Intelligence and the "First Mover" Advantage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fellman, Philip Vos; Post, Jonathan Vos

    In the following paper we explore some of the ways in which competitive intelligence and game theory can be employed to assist firms in deciding whether or not to undertake international market diversification and whether or not there is an advantage to being a market leader or a market follower overseas. In attempting to answer these questions, we take a somewhat unconventional approach. We first examine how some of the most recent advances in the physical and biological sciences can contribute to the ways in which we understand how firms behave. Subsequently, we propose a formal methodology for competitive intelligence. While space considerations here do not allow for a complete game-theoretic treatment of competitive intelligence and its use with respect to understanding first and second mover advantage in firm internationalization, that treatment can be found in its entirety in the on-line proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Complex Systems at http://knowledgetoday.org/wiki/indec.php/ICCS06/89

  8. Complexity, Competitive Intelligence and the "First Mover" Advantage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fellman, Philip Vos; Post, Jonathan Vos

    In the following paper we explore some of the ways in which competitive intelligence and game theory can be employed to assist firms in deciding whether or not to undertake international market diversification and whether or not there is an advantage to being a market leader or a market follower overseas. In attempting to answer these questions, we take a somewhat unconventional approach. We first examine how some of the most recent advances in the physical and biological sciences can contribute to the ways in which we understand how firms behave. Subsequently, we propose a formal methodology for competitive intelligence. While space considerations here do not allow for a complete game-theoretic treatment of competitive intelligence and its use with respect to understanding first and second mover advantage in firm internationalization, that treatment can be found in its entirety in the on-line proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Complex Systems at e">http://knowledgetoday.org/wiki/indec.php/ICCS06/89.

  9. Selective Advantage of Recombination in Evolving Protein Populations:. a Lattice Model Study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, Paul D.; Pollock, David D.; Goldstein, Richard A.

    Recent research has attempted to clarify the contributions of several mutational processes, such as substitutions or homologous recombination. Simplistic, tractable protein models, which determine the compact native structure phenotype from the sequence genotype, are well-suited to such studies. In this paper, we use a lattice-protein model to examine the effects of point mutation and homologous recombination on evolving populations of proteins. We find that while the majority of mutation and recombination events are neutral or deleterious, recombination is far more likely to be beneficial. This results in a faster increase in fitness during evolution, although the final fitness level is not significantly changed. This transient advantage provides an evolutionary advantage to subpopulations that undergo recombination, allowing fixation of recombination to occur in the population.

  10. Metabolic engineering of microbial competitive advantage for industrial fermentation processes.

    PubMed

    Shaw, A Joe; Lam, Felix H; Hamilton, Maureen; Consiglio, Andrew; MacEwen, Kyle; Brevnova, Elena E; Greenhagen, Emily; LaTouf, W Greg; South, Colin R; van Dijken, Hans; Stephanopoulos, Gregory

    2016-08-05

    Microbial contamination is an obstacle to widespread production of advanced biofuels and chemicals. Current practices such as process sterilization or antibiotic dosage carry excess costs or encourage the development of antibiotic resistance. We engineered Escherichia coli to assimilate melamine, a xenobiotic compound containing nitrogen. After adaptive laboratory evolution to improve pathway efficiency, the engineered strain rapidly outcompeted a control strain when melamine was supplied as the nitrogen source. We additionally engineered the yeasts Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Yarrowia lipolytica to assimilate nitrogen from cyanamide and phosphorus from potassium phosphite, and they outcompeted contaminating strains in several low-cost feedstocks. Supplying essential growth nutrients through xenobiotic or ecologically rare chemicals provides microbial competitive advantage with minimal external risks, given that engineered biocatalysts only have improved fitness within the customized fermentation environment.

  11. Improving the design of competitive bidding in Medicare Advantage.

    PubMed

    Cawley, John H; Whitford, Andrew B

    2007-04-01

    In 2003, Congress passed the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act, which required that in 2006 the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) implement a system of competitive bids to set payments for the Medicare Advantage program. Managed care plans now bid for the right to enroll Medicare beneficiaries. Data from the first year of bidding suggest that imperfect competition is limiting the success of the bidding system. This article offers suggestions to improve this system based on findings from auction theory and previous government-run auctions. In particular, CMS can benefit by adjusting its system of competitive bids in four ways: credibly committing to regulations governing bidding; limiting the scope for collusion, entry deterrence, and predatory behavior among bidders; adjusting how benchmark reimbursement rates are set; and accounting for asymmetric information among bidders.

  12. Implement the medical group revenue function. Create competitive advantage.

    PubMed

    Colucci, C

    1998-01-01

    This article shows medical groups how they can employ new financial management and information technology techniques to safeguard their revenue and income streams. These managerial techniques stem from the application of the medical group revenue function, which is defined herein. This article also describes how the medical group revenue function can be used to create value by employing a database and a decision support system. Finally, the article describes how the decision support system can be used to create competitive advantage. Through the wise use of internally generated information, medical groups can negotiate better contract terms, improve their operations, cut their costs, embark on capital investment programs and improve market share. As medical groups gain market power by improving in these areas, they will be more attractive to potential strategic allies, payers and investment bankers.

  13. Solar thermal upper stage: Economic advantage and development status

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Adams, Alan M.

    1995-01-01

    A solar thermal upper stage (STUS) is envisioned as a propulsive concept for the future. The STUS will be used for low Earth orbit (LEO) to geostationary-Earth orbit (GEO) transfer and for planetary exploration missions. The STUS offers significant performance gains over conventional chemical propulsion systems. These performance gains translate into a more economical, more efficient method of placing useful payloads in space and maximizing the benefits derived from space activity. This paper will discuss the economical advantages of an STUS compared to conventional chemical propulsion systems, the potential market for an STUS, and the recent activity in the development of an STUS. The results of this assessment combined with the performance gains, will provide a strong justification for the development of an STUS.

  14. Some advantages of methane in an aircraft gas turbine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Graham, R. W.; Glassman, A. J.

    1980-01-01

    Liquid methane, which can be manufactured from any of the hydrocarbon sources such as coal, shale biomass, and organic waste considered as a petroleum replacement for aircraft fuels. A simple cycle analysis is carried out for a turboprop engine flying a Mach 0.8 and 10, 688 meters (35,000 ft.) altitude. Cycle performance comparisions are rendered for four cases in which the turbine cooling air is cooled or not cooled by the methane fuel. The advantages and disadvantages of involving the fuel in the turbine cooling system are discussed. Methane combustion characteristics are appreciably different from Jet A and will require different combustor designs. Although a number of similar difficult technical problems exist, a highly fuel efficient turboprop engine burning methane appear to be feasible.

  15. The competitive advantage of a dual-transporter system.

    PubMed

    Levy, Sagi; Kafri, Moshe; Carmi, Miri; Barkai, Naama

    2011-12-09

    Cells use transporters of different affinities to regulate nutrient influx. When nutrients are depleted, low-affinity transporters are replaced by high-affinity ones. High-affinity transporters are helpful when concentrations of nutrients are low, but the advantage of reducing their abundance when nutrients are abundant is less clear. When we eliminated such reduced production of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae high-affinity transporters for phosphate and zinc, the elapsed time from the initiation of the starvation program until the lack of nutrients limited growth was shortened, and recovery from starvation was delayed. The latter phenotype was rescued by constitutive activation of the starvation program. Dual-transporter systems appear to prolong preparation for starvation and to facilitate subsequent recovery, which may optimize sensing of nutrient depletion by integrating internal and external information about nutrient availability.

  16. COMP-1 promotes competitive advantage of nematode sperm.

    PubMed

    Hansen, Jody M; Chavez, Daniela R; Stanfield, Gillian M

    2015-03-19

    Competition among sperm to fertilize oocytes is a ubiquitous feature of sexual reproduction as well as a profoundly important aspect of sexual selection. However, little is known about the cellular mechanisms sperm use to gain competitive advantage or how these mechanisms are regulated genetically. In this study, we utilize a forward genetic screen in Caenorhabditis elegans to identify a gene, comp-1, whose function is specifically required in competitive contexts. We show that comp-1 functions in sperm to modulate their migration through and localization within the reproductive tract, thereby promoting their access to oocytes. Contrary to previously described models, comp-1 mutant sperm show no defects in size or velocity, thereby defining a novel pathway for preferential usage. Our results indicate not only that sperm functional traits can influence the outcome of sperm competition, but also that these traits can be modulated in a context-dependent manner depending on the presence of competing sperm.

  17. Some advantages of methane in an aircraft gas turbine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Graham, R. W.; Glassman, A. J.

    1980-01-01

    Because liquid methane may be obtained from existing natural gas sources or produced synthetically from a range of other hydrocarbon sources (coal, biomass, shale, organic waste), it is considered as an aviation fuel in a simplified cycle analysis of the performance of a turboprop engine intended for operation at Mach 0.8 and 10,688 m altitude. Performance comparisons are given for four cases in which the turbine cooling air is either not cooled or cooled to -111, -222, and -333 K, and the advantages and problems that may be expected from direct use of the cryogenic fuel in turbine cooling are discussed. It is shown that while (1) methane combustion characteristics are appreciably different from those of Jet A fuel and will require the development of different combustor designs, and (2) the safe integration of methane cryotanks into transport aircraft structures poses a major design problem, a highly fuel-efficient turboprop engine fueled by methane appears to be feasible.

  18. Does Medicare Advantage Cost Less Than Traditional Medicare?

    PubMed

    Biles, Brian; Casillas, Giselle; Guterman, Stuart

    2016-01-01

    The costs of providing benefits to enrollees in private Medicare Advantage (MA) plans are slightly less, on average, than what traditional Medicare spends per beneficiary in the same county. However, MA plans that are able to keep their costs comparatively low are concen­trated in a fairly small number of U.S. counties. In the 25 counties where the cost differences between MA plans and traditional Medicare are largest, MA plans spent a total of $5.2 billion less than what traditional Medicare would have been expected to spend on the same benefi­ciaries, with health maintenance organizations (HMOs) accounting for all of that difference. In the rest of the country, MA plans spent $4.8 billion above the expected costs under tradi­tional Medicare. Broad determinations about the relative efficiency of MA plans and traditional Medicare can therefore be misleading, as they fail to take into account local conditions and individual plans' performance.

  19. Dietary protein requirements and adaptive advantages in athletes.

    PubMed

    Phillips, Stuart M

    2012-08-01

    Dietary guidelines from a variety of sources are generally congruent that an adequate dietary protein intake for persons over the age of 19 is between 0·8-0·9 g protein/kg body weight/d. According to the US/Canadian Dietary Reference Intakes, the RDA for protein of 0·8 g protein/kg/d is "...the average daily intake level that is sufficient to meet the nutrient requirement of nearly all [~98 %]… healthy individuals..." The panel also states that "...no additional dietary protein is suggested for healthy adults undertaking resistance or endurance exercise." These recommendations are in contrast to recommendations from the US and Canadian Dietetic Association: "Protein recommendations for endurance and strength trained athletes range from 1·2 to 1·7 g/kg/d." The disparity between those setting dietary protein requirements and those who might be considered to be making practical recommendations for athletes is substantial. This may reflect a situation where an adaptive advantage of protein intakes higher than recommended protein requirements exists. That population protein requirements are still based on nitrogen balance may also be a point of contention since achieving balanced nitrogen intake and excretion likely means little to an athlete who has the primary goal of exercise performance. The goal of the present review is to critically analyse evidence from both acute and chronic dietary protein-based studies in which athletic performance, or correlates thereof, have been measured. An attempt will be made to distinguish between protein requirements set by data from nitrogen balance studies, and a potential adaptive 'advantage' for athletes of dietary protein in excess of the RDA.

  20. [Advantages and disadvantages of inactivated and live influenza vaccine].

    PubMed

    Gendon, Iu Z

    2004-01-01

    Published data related with comparison studies of safety, efficiency and some other properties of cold-adapted live influenza vaccine (LIV) and of inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV) are analyzed. LIV and IIV do not differ by systemic reactions after administration; however, it is not ruled out that there can be unfavorable reactions in vaccination of persons with allergy to the chicken-embryo proteins as well as in cases of persistence/reversion of cold-adapted strain observed in vaccination of persons with primary impairments of the immune system. There are no convincing data, up to now, on that LIV is superior to IIV in coping with influenza pandemics. The efficiency of LIV and IIV for children aged 3 years and more and for healthy adults is virtually identical. Additional controllable field comparative studies of LIV and IIV efficiency in immunization of elderly persons are needed. Limited data on LIV efficiency for children aged 2 months and more were obtained. The need in a 2-stage vaccination of all age group with the aim of ensuring responses to all 3 LIV components is, certainly, a LIV disadvantage. In case of IIV, the 2-stage vaccination is needed only for persons who were not ill with influenza. The intranasal LIV administration has, from the practical and psychological standpoints, an advantage before the IIV administration by syringe. The ability of LIV to protect from the drift influenza-virus variations could be its advantage before IIV; still, more research is needed to verify it. Transplantable cell lines meeting the WHO requirements could be an optimal substrate for the production of LIV and IIV. Children are the optimal age group for influenza prevention by cold-adapted LIV, whereas, IIV fits better for vaccination of adults and elderly persons.

  1. Advantages of gridless full-field digital mammography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nykanen, Kirsi; Siltanen, Samuli

    2003-06-01

    The purpose of the study was to find out whether the image quality in full-field digital mammography can be improved while lowering the patient dose by removing the anti-scatter grid. Moreover, a fast approximate computational algorithm was developed for determining the scattered field in a real mammogram. The method is non-iterative, robust against noise, and works without modification for any scatter-to-primary ratio. Furthermore, it is computationally effective since it is based on fast Fourier transform (FFT). It was found out that the wide dynamic range of digital detectors leads to decrease in patient dose from 10.9% up to 46.6% at breast thickness of 2cm and from 0.8% up to 40.8% at breast thickness of 4cm depending on the efficiency of the removed grid. At constant patient dose the increase in contrast-to-noise ratio is 5.8% - 36.9% and 0.4%-30.0% accordingly at those two breast thickness. The convolution-based X-ray scatter model was considered. The developed scatter removal method was demonstrated with simulated mammograms and applied to clinical full-field digital mammograms acquired with a high-end digital flat panel detector based on amorphous selenium. Errors in reconstructed scattered fields were 0.3% in case of an ideal simulated mammogram and 7.4% in case of a real simulated mammogram (3cm breast). Applications where the scattered field needs to be determined include 3-D mammography and dual-energy breast imaging. In screening mammography gray-scale optimization eliminates the effect of scattering.

  2. Bibliographic study of georadar principles, applications, advantages, and inconvenience

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Declerck, Paul

    Electromagnetic soil surveying has been studied for more than 20 years. The abundant number of references on the subject testifies to the many attempts that have been made to sound the subsurface soil by means of electromagnetic waves. This method has also been used to investigate structures such as tunnel walls and airfield pavements. Electromagnetic waves can be used to examine both soils and structures (bridge decks, tunnel walls, etc.). The possibilities offered by the technique are constantly increased by new developments in electronics and computer science. As a result, large quantities of measuring data and extensive signals processing (including Fourier analysis) are no longer an obstacle to the frequent use of soil-penetrating radar. The road industry too is very interested, with a view to applications such as investigating sites for new road construction, surveying existing road structures or probing for buried conduits or remnants of foundations, which may cause a lot of problems or entail substantial costs when carrying out road works. The literature survey reviews some 25 years of reporting on attempts to use electromagnetic pulses for nondestructive material testing. The applications of the technique were originally of a military nature, but now range from geology, archaeology, environmental management and mining to the investigation of structures, buildings, bridges and roads. The higher the frequency, the higher the resolution and the smaller the depth of penetration. Special antennas are required for specific applications such as the detection of linear structures (pipes, cables) or the investigation of walls and bridge decks. Radar is a fast, high-yield and continuous method of surveying and the waves are not stopped by voids or cracks, unlike acoustic waves or seismic vibrations. Radar operates well in poorly conducting materials and less well in wet or clayey soils. It is a very promising technique besides resistivity, infrared thermography and

  3. 77 FR 1877 - Medicare Program; Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Benefit Programs: Negotiated Pricing...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-01-12

    ...; Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Benefit Programs: Negotiated Pricing and Remaining Revisions..., governing what was renamed the Medicare Advantage (MA) program (formerly Medicare+Choice). The MMA...

  4. An Experimental Investigation of the Functional Hypothesis and Evolutionary Advantage of Stone-Tipped Spears

    PubMed Central

    Wilkins, Jayne; Schoville, Benjamin J.; Brown, Kyle S.

    2014-01-01

    Stone-tipped weapons were a significant innovation for Middle Pleistocene hominins. Hafted hunting technology represents the development of new cognitive and social learning mechanisms within the genus Homo, and may have provided a foraging advantage over simpler forms of hunting technology, such as a sharpened wooden spear. However, the nature of this foraging advantage has not been confirmed. Experimental studies and ethnographic reports provide conflicting results regarding the relative importance of the functional, economic, and social roles of hafted hunting technology. The controlled experiment reported here was designed to test the functional hypothesis for stone-tipped weapons using spears and ballistics gelatin. It differs from previous investigations of this type because it includes a quantitative analysis of wound track profiles and focuses specifically on hand-delivered spear technology. Our results do not support the hypothesis that tipped spears penetrate deeper than untipped spears. However, tipped spears create a significantly larger inner wound cavity that widens distally. This inner wound cavity is analogous to the permanent wound cavity in ballistics research, which is considered the key variable affecting the relative ‘stopping power’ or ‘killing power’ of a penetrating weapon. Tipped spears conferred a functional advantage to Middle Pleistocene hominins, potentially affecting the frequency and regularity of hunting success with important implications for human adaptation and life history. PMID:25162397

  5. An experimental investigation of the functional hypothesis and evolutionary advantage of stone-tipped spears.

    PubMed

    Wilkins, Jayne; Schoville, Benjamin J; Brown, Kyle S

    2014-01-01

    Stone-tipped weapons were a significant innovation for Middle Pleistocene hominins. Hafted hunting technology represents the development of new cognitive and social learning mechanisms within the genus Homo, and may have provided a foraging advantage over simpler forms of hunting technology, such as a sharpened wooden spear. However, the nature of this foraging advantage has not been confirmed. Experimental studies and ethnographic reports provide conflicting results regarding the relative importance of the functional, economic, and social roles of hafted hunting technology. The controlled experiment reported here was designed to test the functional hypothesis for stone-tipped weapons using spears and ballistics gelatin. It differs from previous investigations of this type because it includes a quantitative analysis of wound track profiles and focuses specifically on hand-delivered spear technology. Our results do not support the hypothesis that tipped spears penetrate deeper than untipped spears. However, tipped spears create a significantly larger inner wound cavity that widens distally. This inner wound cavity is analogous to the permanent wound cavity in ballistics research, which is considered the key variable affecting the relative 'stopping power' or 'killing power' of a penetrating weapon. Tipped spears conferred a functional advantage to Middle Pleistocene hominins, potentially affecting the frequency and regularity of hunting success with important implications for human adaptation and life history.

  6. Processing Chinese relative clauses: evidence for the subject-relative advantage.

    PubMed

    Vasishth, Shravan; Chen, Zhong; Li, Qiang; Guo, Gueilan

    2013-01-01

    A general fact about language is that subject relative clauses are easier to process than object relative clauses. Recently, several self-paced reading studies have presented surprising evidence that object relatives in Chinese are easier to process than subject relatives. We carried out three self-paced reading experiments that attempted to replicate these results. Two of our three studies found a subject-relative preference, and the third study found an object-relative advantage. Using a random effects bayesian meta-analysis of fifteen studies (including our own), we show that the overall current evidence for the subject-relative advantage is quite strong (approximate posterior probability of a subject-relative advantage given the data: 78-80%). We argue that retrieval/integration based accounts would have difficulty explaining all three experimental results. These findings are important because they narrow the theoretical space by limiting the role of an important class of explanation-retrieval/integration cost-at least for relative clause processing in Chinese.

  7. Cumulative (Dis)Advantage and the Matthew Effect in Life-Course Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Bask, Miia; Bask, Mikael

    2015-01-01

    To foster a deeper understanding of the mechanisms behind inequality in society, it is crucial to work with well-defined concepts associated with such mechanisms. The aim of this paper is to define cumulative (dis)advantage and the Matthew effect. We argue that cumulative (dis)advantage is an intra-individual micro-level phenomenon, that the Matthew effect is an inter-individual macro-level phenomenon and that an appropriate measure of the Matthew effect focuses on the mechanism or dynamic process that generates inequality. The Matthew mechanism is, therefore, a better name for the phenomenon, where we provide a novel measure of the mechanism, including a proof-of-principle analysis using disposable personal income data. Finally, because socio-economic theory should be able to explain cumulative (dis)advantage and the Matthew mechanism when they are detected in data, we discuss the types of models that may explain the phenomena. We argue that interactions-based models in the literature traditions of analytical sociology and statistical mechanics serve this purpose. PMID:26606386

  8. Advantage of dose fractionation in monoclonal antibody-targeted radioimmunotherapy

    SciTech Connect

    Schlom, J.; Molinolo, A.; Simpson, J.F.; Siler, K.; Roselli, M.; Hinkle, G.; Houchens, D.P.; Colcher, D. )

    1990-05-02

    Monoclonal antibody (MAb) B72.3 IgG was radiolabeled with 131I and administered to female athymic NCr-nu mice bearing the LS-174T human colon adenocarcinoma xenograft to determine if fractionation of MAb dose had any advantage in tumor therapy. In the LS-174T xenograft, only approximately 30%-60% of tumor cells express the B72.3-reactive TAG-72 antigen. The LS-174T xenograft was used to reflect the heterogeneity of the TAG-72 antigen often seen in biopsy specimens from patients. In contrast to a single 600-muCi dose of 131I-B72.3 IgG where 60% of the animals died from toxic effects, two 300-muCi doses of 131I-B72.3 IgG reduced or eliminated tumor growth in 90% of mice, with only 10% of the animals dying from toxic effects. Dose fractionation even permitted escalation of the dose to three doses of 300 muCi of 131I-B72.3 IgG, resulting in even more extensive tumor reduction or elimination and minimal toxic effects. The use of an isotype-matched control MAb revealed a nonspecific component to tumor growth retardation, but the use of the specific B72.3 IgG demonstrated a much greater therapeutic effect. Tumors that had escaped MAb therapy were analyzed for expression of the B72.3-reactive TAG-72 antigen with the use of the immunoperoxidase method; they were shown to have the same antigenic phenotype as the untreated tumors. We verified tumor elimination by killing the test animals after a 7-week observation period and performing histologic examination of tumor sites. We also monitored toxic effects by histologic examination of numerous organs. These studies thus demonstrate the advantage of dose fractionation of a radiolabeled MAb for tumor therapy. We anticipate that the concept of dose fractionation can be practically applied in radioimmunotherapeutic clinical trials with the development and use of recombinant-chimeric MAbs and modified constructs.

  9. The temporal advantage for individuating objects of expertise: perceptual expertise is an early riser.

    PubMed

    Curby, Kim M; Gauthier, Isabel

    2009-06-10

    The identification of faces has a temporal advantage over that of other object categories. The orientation-specific nature of this advantage suggests that it stems from our extensive experience and resulting expertise with upright faces. While experts can identify objects faster than novices, it is unclear exactly how the temporal dynamics of identification are changed by expertise and whether the nature of this temporal advantage is similar for face and non-face objects of expertise. Here, we titrated encoding time using a backward-masking paradigm with variable stimulus-mask onset-asynchronies and mapped the resulting effect on recognition for upright and inverted faces (Experiment 1) and for cars among car experts and car novices (Experiment 2). Performance for upright faces and cars among car experts rose above chance between 33 and 70 ms before that for inverted faces or cars among car novices. A shifted exponential function fitted to these data suggested that performance started to rise earlier for experts than for novices, but that additional encoding time increased performance at a similar rate. Experience influences the availability of information early in processing, possibly through the recruitment of more category-selective neurons, while the rate of perceptual processing may be less flexible and limited by inherent physiological constraints.

  10. Loss of DNA mismatch repair imparts a selective advantage in planarian adult stem cells.

    PubMed

    Hollenbach, Jessica P; Resch, Alissa M; Palakodeti, Dasaradhi; Graveley, Brenton R; Heinen, Christopher D

    2011-01-01

    Lynch syndrome (LS) leads to an increased risk of early-onset colorectal and other types of cancer and is caused by germline mutations in DNA mismatch repair (MMR) genes. Loss of MMR function results in a mutator phenotype that likely underlies its role in tumorigenesis. However, loss of MMR also results in the elimination of a DNA damage-induced checkpoint/apoptosis activation barrier that may allow damaged cells to grow unchecked. A fundamental question is whether loss of MMR provides pre-cancerous stem cells an immediate selective advantage in addition to establishing a mutator phenotype. To test this hypothesis in an in vivo system, we utilized the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea which contains a significant population of identifiable adult stem cells. We identified a planarian homolog of human MSH2, a MMR gene which is mutated in 38% of LS cases. The planarian Smed-msh2 is expressed in stem cells and some progeny. We depleted Smed-msh2 mRNA levels by RNA-interference and found a striking survival advantage in these animals treated with a cytotoxic DNA alkylating agent compared to control animals. We demonstrated that this tolerance to DNA damage is due to the survival of mitotically active, MMR-deficient stem cells. Our results suggest that loss of MMR provides an in vivo survival advantage to the stem cell population in the presence of DNA damage that may have implications for tumorigenesis.

  11. Photoactive devices including porphyrinoids with coordinating additives

    DOEpatents

    Forrest, Stephen R; Zimmerman, Jeramy; Yu, Eric K; Thompson, Mark E; Trinh, Cong; Whited, Matthew; Diev, Vlacheslav

    2015-05-12

    Coordinating additives are included in porphyrinoid-based materials to promote intermolecular organization and improve one or more photoelectric characteristics of the materials. The coordinating additives are selected from fullerene compounds and organic compounds having free electron pairs. Combinations of different coordinating additives can be used to tailor the characteristic properties of such porphyrinoid-based materials, including porphyrin oligomers. Bidentate ligands are one type of coordinating additive that can form coordination bonds with a central metal ion of two different porphyrinoid compounds to promote porphyrinoid alignment and/or pi-stacking. The coordinating additives can shift the absorption spectrum of a photoactive material toward higher wavelengths, increase the external quantum efficiency of the material, or both.

  12. Ontogenetic change in skull morphology and mechanical advantage in the spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta).

    PubMed

    Tanner, Jaime B; Zelditch, Miriam L; Lundrigan, Barbara L; Holekamp, Kay E

    2010-03-01

    Weaning represents a challenging transition for young mammals, one particularly difficult for species coping with extreme conditions during feeding. Spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta) experience such extreme conditions imposed by intense feeding competition during which the ability to consume large quantities of food quickly is highly advantageous. As adult spotted hyenas have massive skulls specialized for durophagy and can feed very rapidly, young individuals are likely at a competitive disadvantage until that specialized morphology is completely developed. Here we document developmental changes in skull size, shape, and mechanical advantage of the jaws. Sampling an ontogenetic series of Crocuta skulls from individuals ranging in age from 2 months to 18 years, we use linear measurements and geometric morphometrics to test hypotheses suggesting that size, limited mechanical advantage of the jaws, and/or limited attachment sites for jaw muscles might constrain the feeding performance of juveniles. We also examine skull development in relation to key life history events, including weaning and reproductive maturity, to inquire whether ontogeny of the feeding apparatus is slower or more protracted in this species than in carnivores not specialized for durophagy. We find that, although mechanical advantage reaches maturity in hyenas at 22 months, adult skull size is not achieved until 29 months of age, and skull shape does not reach maturity until 35 months. The latter is nearly 2 years after mean weaning age, and more than 1 year after reproductive maturity. Thus, skull development in Crocuta is indeed protracted relative to that in most other carnivores. Based on the skull features that continue to change and to provide additional muscle attachment area, protracted development may be largely due to development of the massive musculature required by durophagy. These findings may ultimately shed light on the adaptive significance of the unusual "role-reversed" pattern of

  13. An Integrated Biochemistry Laboratory, Including Molecular Modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hall, Adele J. Wolfson Mona L.; Branham, Thomas R.

    1996-11-01

    for lysozyme activity and a colorimetric one for protein concentration. Familiarity with the assays is reinforced by an independently designed project to modify a variable in one of these assays. The assay for lysozyme activity is that of Shugar (6), based on hydrolysis of a cell-wall suspension from the bacterium Micrococcus lysodeikticus, a substrate that is particularly sensitive to lysozyme. As the cell walls are broken down by the enzyme, the turbidity of the sample decreases. This decrease can be conveniently measured by following the decrease in absorbance at a wavelength of 450 nm, using a spectrophotometer or other device for measuring light scattering. The Bradford method (7), a standard assay, is used to determine protein concentration. Using the data from both lysozyme activity assays and protein concentration assays, students can calculate the specific activity for commercial lysozyme and an egg- white solution. These calculations clearly demonstrate the increase in specific activity with increasing purity, since the purified (commercial) preparation has a specific activity approximately 20-fold higher than that of the crude egg-white solution. Lysozyme Purification by Ion-Exchange Chromatography (5 weeks) As suggested by Strang (8), students can design a rational purification of lysozyme using ion-exchange chromatography when presented with information on the isoelectric point of the enzyme and the properties of ion- exchange resins. One week is spent discussing protein purification and the relative advantages and disadvantages of different resins. Each group has a choice of anion-exchange (DEAE) or cation-exchange (CM) resins. Because lysozyme is positively charged below a pH of 11, it will not be adsorbed to an anion-exchange resin, but will be adsorbed to the cation-exchange resin. Therefore, for the cation-exchange protocols, there are further options for methods of collecting and eluting the desired protein. A purification table, including

  14. Neural Blockade Anaesthesia of the Mandibular Nerve and Its Terminal Branches: Rationale for Different Anaesthetic Techniques Including Their Advantages and Disadvantages

    PubMed Central

    Khoury, Jason; Townsend, Grant

    2011-01-01

    Anaesthesia of structures innervated by the mandibular nerve is necessary to provide adequate pain control when performing dental and localised surgical procedures. To date, numerous techniques have been described and, although many of these methods are not used routinely, there are some situations where their application may be indicated. Patient factors as well as anatomical variability of the mandibular nerve and associated structures dictate that no one technique can be universally applied with a 100% success rate. This fact has led to a proliferation of alternative techniques that have appeared in the literature. This selective review of the literature provides a brief description of the different techniques available to the clinician as well as the underlying anatomy which is fundamental to successfully anaesthetising the mandibular nerve. PMID:21716730

  15. The advantages of including professionals from different fields of study in the solution of today`s water-related problems

    SciTech Connect

    Renshaw, A.

    1995-05-09

    This report presents the details of a meeting of the American Society of Civil Engineers pertaining to water resources and quality. This report suggests an interdisciplinary approach to solving today`s problems dealing with water resources.

  16. On the Shallow Processing (Dis)Advantage: Grammar and Economy

    PubMed Central

    Koornneef, Arnout; Reuland, Eric

    2016-01-01

    In the psycholinguistic literature it has been proposed that readers and listeners often adopt a “good-enough” processing strategy in which a “shallow” representation of an utterance driven by (top-down) extra-grammatical processes has a processing advantage over a “deep” (bottom-up) grammatically-driven representation of that same utterance. In the current contribution we claim, both on theoretical and experimental grounds, that this proposal is overly simplistic. Most importantly, in the domain of anaphora there is now an accumulating body of evidence showing that the anaphoric dependencies between (reflexive) pronominals and their antecedents are subject to an economy hierarchy. In this economy hierarchy, deriving anaphoric dependencies by deep—grammatical—operations requires less processing costs than doing so by shallow—extra-grammatical—operations. In addition, in case of ambiguity when both a shallow and a deep derivation are available to the parser, the latter is actually preferred. This, we argue, contradicts the basic assumptions of the shallow–deep dichotomy and, hence, a rethinking of the good-enough processing framework is warranted. PMID:26903897

  17. [Laboratory unification: advantages and disadvantages for clinical microbiology].

    PubMed

    Andreu, Antonia; Matas, Lurdes

    2010-10-01

    This article aims to reflect on which areas or tasks of microbiology laboratories could be unified with those of clinical biochemistry, hematology, immunology or pathology laboratories to benefit patients and the health system, as well as the areas that should remain independent since their amalgamation would not only fail to provide a benefit but could even jeopardize the quality of microbiological diagnosis, and consequently patient care. To do this, the distinct analytic phases of diagnosis are analyzed, and the advantages and disadvantages of amalgamation are evaluated in each phase. The pros and cons of the unification of certain areas such as the computer system, occupational risk units, customer service, purchasing logistics, and materials storage, etc, are also discussed. Lastly, the effect of unification on urgent microbiology diagnosis is analyzed. Microbiological diagnosis should be unique. The microbiologist should perform an overall evaluation of the distinct techniques used for a particular patient, both those that involve direct diagnosis (staining, culture, antigen detection techniques or molecular techniques) and indirect diagnosis (antibody detection). Moreover, the microbiology laboratory should be independent, with highly trained technicians and specialists in microbiology that provide added value as experts in infection and as key figures in the process of establishing a correct etiological diagnosis.

  18. Advantages and applications of CAR-expressing natural killer cells.

    PubMed

    Glienke, Wolfgang; Esser, Ruth; Priesner, Christoph; Suerth, Julia D; Schambach, Axel; Wels, Winfried S; Grez, Manuel; Kloess, Stephan; Arseniev, Lubomir; Koehl, Ulrike

    2015-01-01

    In contrast to donor T cells, natural killer (NK) cells are known to mediate anti-cancer effects without the risk of inducing graft-versus-host disease (GvHD). In order to improve cytotoxicity against resistant cancer cells, auspicious efforts have been made with chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) expressing T- and NK cells. These CAR-modified cells express antigen receptors against tumor-associated surface antigens, thus redirecting the effector cells and enhancing tumor-specific immunosurveillance. However, many cancer antigens are also expressed on healthy tissues, potentially leading to off tumor/on target toxicity by CAR-engineered cells. In order to control such potentially severe side effects, the insertion of suicide genes into CAR-modified effectors can provide a means for efficient depletion of these cells. While CAR-expressing T cells have entered successfully clinical trials, experience with CAR-engineered NK cells is mainly restricted to pre-clinical investigations and predominantly to NK cell lines. In this review we summarize the data on CAR expressing NK cells focusing on the possible advantage using these short-lived effector cells and discuss the necessity of suicide switches. Furthermore, we address the compliance of such modified NK cells with regulatory requirements as a new field in cellular immunotherapy.

  19. A search advantage for faces learned in motion.

    PubMed

    Pilz, Karin S; Thornton, Ian M; Bülthoff, Heinrich H

    2006-06-01

    Recently there has been growing interest in the role that motion might play in the perception and representation of facial identity. Most studies have considered old/new recognition as a task. However, especially for non-rigid motion, these studies have often produced contradictory results. Here, we used a delayed visual search paradigm to explore how learning is affected by non-rigid facial motion. In the current studies we trained observers on two frontal view faces, one moving non-rigidly, the other a static picture. After a delay, observers were asked to identify the targets in static search arrays containing 2, 4 or 6 faces. On a given trial target and distractor faces could be shown in one of five viewpoints, frontal, 22 degrees or 45 degrees to the left or right. We found that familiarizing observers with dynamic faces led to a constant reaction time advantage across all setsizes and viewpoints compared to static familiarization. This suggests that non-rigid motion affects identity decisions even across extended periods of time and changes in viewpoint. Furthermore, it seems as if such effects may be difficult to observe using more traditional old/new recognition tasks.

  20. Advantages and limitations of clear-native PAGE.

    PubMed

    Wittig, Ilka; Schägger, Hermann

    2005-11-01

    Clear-native PAGE (CN-PAGE) separates acidic water-soluble and membrane proteins (pI < 7) in an acrylamide gradient gel, and usually has lower resolution than blue-native PAGE (BN-PAGE). The migration distance depends on the protein intrinsic charge, and on the pore size of the gradient gel. This complicates estimation of native masses and oligomerization states when compared to BN-PAGE, which uses negatively charged protein-bound Coomassie-dye to impose a charge shift on the proteins. Therefore, BN-PAGE rather than CN-PAGE is commonly used for standard analyses. However, CN-PAGE offers advantages whenever Coomassie-dye interferes with techniques required to further analyze the native complexes, e.g., determination of catalytic activities, as shown here for mitochondrial ATP synthase, or efficient microscale separation of membrane protein complexes for fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) analyses. CN-PAGE is milder than BN-PAGE. Especially the combination of digitonin and CN-PAGE can retain labile supramolecular assemblies of membrane protein complexes that are dissociated under the conditions of BN-PAGE. Enzymatically active oligomeric states of mitochondrial ATP synthase previously not detected using BN-PAGE were identified by CN-PAGE.

  1. Stars advantages vs parallel coordinates: shape perception as visualization reserve

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grishin, Vladimir; Kovalerchuk, Boris

    2013-12-01

    Although shape perception is the main information channel for brain, it has been poor used by recent visualization techniques. The difficulties of its modeling are key obstacles for visualization theory and application. Known experimental estimates of shape perception capabilities have been made for low data dimension, and they were usually not connected with data structures. More applied approach for certain data structures detection by means of shape displays are considered by the example of analytical and experimental comparison of popular now Parallel Coordinates (PCs), i.e. 2D Cartesian displays of data vectors, with polar displays known as stars. Advantages of stars vs. PCs by Gestalt Laws are shown. About twice faster feature selection and classification with stars than PCs are showed by psychological experiments for hyper-tubes structures detection in data space with dimension up to 100-200 and its subspaces. This demonstrates great reserves of visualization enhancement in comparison with many recent techniques usually focused on few data attributes analysis.

  2. Decision support and data warehousing tools boost competitive advantage.

    PubMed

    Waldo, B H

    1998-01-01

    The ability to communicate across the care continuum is fast becoming an integral component of the successful health enterprise. As integrated delivery systems are formed and patient care delivery is restructured, health care professionals must be able to distribute, access, and evaluate information across departments and care settings. The Aberdeen Group, a computer and communications research and consulting organization, believes that "the single biggest challenge for next-generation health care providers is to improve on how they consolidate and manage information across the continuum of care. This involves building a strategic warehouse of clinical and financial information that can be shared and leveraged by health care professionals, regardless of the location or type of care setting" (Aberdeen Group, Inc., 1997). The value and importance of data and systems integration are growing. Organizations that create a strategy and implement DSS tools to provide decision-makers with the critical information they need to face the competition and maintain quality and costs will have the advantage.

  3. Heterozygote Advantage in a Finite Population: Black Color in Wolves.

    PubMed

    Hedrick, Philip W; Stahler, Daniel R; Dekker, Dick

    2014-01-01

    There is a striking color polymorphism for wolves in the Yellowstone National Park where approximately half the wolves are black. The genetic basis for this polymorphism is known, and fitnesses of the genotypes are estimated. These estimates suggest that there is strong heterozygote advantage but substantial asymmetry in the fitness differences of the 2 homozygotes. Theoretically, such fitnesses in a finite population are thought to reduce genetic variation at least as fast as if there were no selection at all. Because the color polymorphism has remained at about the same frequency for 17 years, about 4 generations, we investigated whether this was consistent with the theoretical predictions. Counter to this general expectation of loss, given the initial frequency of black wolves, the theoretical expectation in this case was found to be that the frequency would only decline slowly over time. For example, if the effective population size is 20, then the expected black allele frequency after 4 generations would be 0.191, somewhat less than the observed value of 0.237. However, nearly 30% of the time the expected frequency is 0.25 or greater, consistent with the contemporary observed frequency. In other words and in contrast to general theoretical predictions, because of the short period of time in evolutionary terms and the relatively weak selection at low frequencies, the observed variation and the predicted theoretical variation are not inconsistent.

  4. Making Medicare advantage a middle-class program.

    PubMed

    Glazer, Jacob; McGuire, Thomas G

    2013-03-01

    This paper studies the role of Medicare's premium policy in sorting beneficiaries between traditional Medicare (TM) and managed care plans in the Medicare advantage (MA) program. Beneficiaries vary in their demand for care. TM fully accommodates demand but creates a moral hazard inefficiency. MA rations care but disregards some elements of the demand. We describe an efficient assignment of beneficiaries to these two options, and argue that efficiency requires an MA program oriented to serve the large middle part of the distribution of demand: the "middle class." Current Medicare policy of a "single premium" for MA plans cannot achieve efficient sorting. We characterize the demand-based premium policy that can implement the efficient assignment of enrollees to plans. If only a single premium is feasible, the second-best policy involves too many of the low-demand individuals in MA and a too low level of services relative to the first best. We identify approaches to using premium policy to revitalize MA and improve the efficiency of Medicare.

  5. Cognitive Advantages of Blending with Material Anchors in Energy Instruction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Close, Hunter; Close, Eleanor; Scherr, Rachel; McKagan, Sarah

    2012-03-01

    Conceptual blending theory [1] explains how the human imagination creates unreal situations that help us think about reality. In these imaginary blended situations, we establish new correspondences, interactions, and dynamics, and the outcomes of the dynamics lend insight to the nature of various real situations that were used to compose the blend. Blends are not just in the head, however; in some cases, a material system participates in the blend by lending its material structure as conceptual structure [2]. In the instructional activity Energy Theater [3], people represent units of energy and move around in order to solve puzzles of energy transfer and transformation. We use the ideas of blending and material anchors to understand how learners are able to use the representation to their cognitive advantage. [4pt] [1] Fauconnier, G. & Turner, M. (2002). The Way We Think: Conceptual Blending and the Mind's Hidden Complexities. New York: Basic Books.[0pt] [2] Hutchins, E. (2005) Material anchors for conceptual blends. Journal of Pragmatics 37, 1555-1577.[0pt] [3] Scherr, R. E., Close, H. G., McKagan, S. B., & Close, E. W. (2010) ``Energy Theater'': Using the body symbolically to understand energy. In C. Singh, M. Sabella, & S. Rebello (Eds.) 2010 PERC Proceedings. Melville, NY: AIP Press.

  6. Advantages and challenges of dissimilar materials in automotive lightweight construction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weberpals, Jan-Philipp; Schmidt, Philipp A.; Böhm, Daniel; Müller, Steffen

    2015-03-01

    The core of future automotive lightweight materials is the joining technology of various material mixes. The type of joining will be essential, particularly in electrified propulsion systems, especially as an improved electrical energy transmission leads to a higher total efficiency of the vehicle. The most evident parts to start the optimization process are the traction battery, the electrical performance modules and the engines. Consequently aluminum plays a very central role for lightweight construction applications. However, the physical-technical requirements of components often require the combination with other materials. Thus the joining of mixed material connections is an essential key technology for many of the current developments, for example in the areas E-Mobility, solar energy and lightweight construction. Due to these advantages mixed material joints are already established in the automotive industry and laser beam remote welding is now a focus technology for mixed material connections. The secret of the laser welding process with mixed materials lies within the different areas of the melting phase diagram depending on the mixing ratio and the cooling down rate. According to that areas with unwanted, prim, intermetallic phases arise in the fusion zone. Therefore, laser welding of mixed material connections can currently only be used with additional filler in the automotive industry.

  7. [The advantages and limitations of brain function analyses by PET].

    PubMed

    Kato, M; Taniwaki, T; Kuwabara, Y

    2000-12-01

    PET has been proved to be a powerful tool for exploring the brain function. We discussed the advantages and limitations of PET for analyzing the brain function on the basis of our clinical and experimental experiences of functional imaging. A multimodality PET study measuring cerebral energy metabolism (CMRO2 and CMRglc), cerebral blood flow (CBF), oxygen extraction fraction (OEF) and neurotransmitter function (presynaptic and postsynaptic) opens up a closer insight into a precise pathophysiology of the brain dysfunction: In cerebral infarction, it reveals a state of "misery perfusion" in the acute stage, "luxury perfusion" in the intermediate stage, and proportionately decreased CBF and CMRO2 in the chronic stage. Neurotransmitter function may identify specifically a neuronal subgroup of dysfunction. Owing to the low temporal resolution of PET, a neuronal activity may propagate transsynaptically to remote areas during the period of scanning, resulting in an obscured primary site of the neuronal activity. Uncoupling between neuronal activities and cerebral energy metabolism/CBF may occur under a certain state of brain pathology, particularly after an acute destructive lesion, according to our experimental studies. Neurotransmitter function may reveal the effect of drugs on the brain function, and may be useful for developing a new method of drug therapy for brain diseases in the future.

  8. Use of antimicrobial peptides against microbial biofilms: advantages and limits.

    PubMed

    Batoni, Giovanna; Maisetta, Giuseppantonio; Brancatisano, Franca Lisa; Esin, Semih; Campa, Mario

    2011-01-01

    The formation of surface-attached cellular agglomerates, the so-called biofilms, contributes significantly to bacterial resistance to antibiotics and innate host defenses. Bacterial biofilms are associated to various pathological conditions in humans such as cystic fibrosis, colonization of indwelling medical devices and dental plaque formation involved in caries and periodontitis. Over the last years, natural antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) have attracted considerable interest as a new class of antimicrobial drugs for a number of reasons. Among these, there are the broad activity spectrum, the relative selectivity towards their targets (microbial membranes), the rapid mechanism of action and, above all, the low frequency in selecting resistant strains. Since biofilm resistance to antibiotics is mainly due to the slow growth rate and low metabolic activity of bacteria in such community, the use of AMPs to inhibit biofilm formation could be potentially an attractive therapeutic approach. In fact, due to the prevalent mechanism of action of AMPs, which relies on their ability to permeabilize and/or to form pores within the cytoplasmic membranes, they have a high potential to act also on slow growing or even non-growing bacteria. This review will highlight the most important findings obtained testing AMPs in in vitro and in vivo models of bacterial biofilms, pointing out the possible advantages and limits of their use against microbial biofilm-related infections.

  9. In-situ propellant advantages for fast transfer to Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Galecki, Diane L.

    1988-01-01

    The advantages of in situ propellant for a fast transfer to Mars were studied as compared to all earth-based propellants and other options for reduction of total masss in low earth orbit. For a 10-year, 10-mission model and a baseline vehicle taken from the literature, the total reduction in number of earth launches was calculated. The scenario in which the return propellants are transferred to Mars on a slow cargo vehicle provides a 29-percent reduction in ALS launches over the baseline scenario in which all propellants are brought directly from earth. The scenarios in which in situ propellants are used for a successively greater portion of the total mission continue to reduce the number of launches required. With Mars propellant used for the Mars ascent vehicle and the return leg of the mission, a 59-percent reduction in launches is obtained. Finally, if the oxygen, or oxygen and fuel, for the outbound leg of the mission is also obtained by in situ production, from the moon for example, then the total reduction in number of earth launches is more than 80 percent.

  10. Principles and advantages of robotics in urologic surgery.

    PubMed

    Renda, Antonio; Vallancien, Guy

    2003-04-01

    Although the available minimally invasive surgical techniques (ie, laparoscopy) have clear advantages, these procedures continue to cause problems for patients. Surgical tools are limited by set axes of movement, restricting the degree of freedom available to the surgeon. In addition, depth perception is lost with the use of two-dimensional viewing systems. As surgeons view a "virtual" target on a television screen, they are hampered by decreased sensory input and a concurrent loss of dexterity. The development of robotic assistance systems in recent years could be the key to overcoming these difficulties. Using robotic systems, surgeons can experience a more natural and ergonomic surgical "feel." Surgical assistance, dexterity and precision enhancement, systems networking, and image-guided therapy are among the benefits offered by surgical robots. In return, the surgeon gains a shorter learning curve, reduced fatigue, and the opportunity to perform complex procedures that would be difficult using conventional laparoscopy. With the development of image-guided technology, robotic systems will become useful tools for surgical training and simulation. Remote surgery is not a routine procedure, but several teams are working on this and experiencing good results. However, economic concerns are the major drawbacks of these systems; before remote surgery becomes routinely feasible, the clinical benefits must be balanced with high investment and running costs.

  11. Face context advantage explained by vernier and separation discrimination acuity.

    PubMed

    Vesker, Michael; Wilson, Hugh R

    2012-01-01

    Seeing facial features in the context of a full face is known to provide an advantage for perception. Using an interocular separation perception task we confirmed that seeing eyes within the context of a face improves discrimination in synthetic faces. We also show that this improvement of the face context can be explained using the presence of individual components of the face such as the nose mouth, or head-outline. We demonstrate that improvements due to the presence of the nose, and head-outline can be explained in terms of two-point separation measurements, obeying Weber's law as established in the literature. We also demonstrate that performance improvements due to the presence of the mouth can be explained in terms of Vernier acuity judgments between eye positions and the corners of the mouth. Overall, our study shows that the improvements in perception of facial features due to the face context effect can be traced to well understood basic visual measurements that may play a very general role in perceptual measurements of distance. Deficiencies in these measurements may also play a role in prosopagnosia. Additionally, we show interference of the eyebrows with the face-inversion effect for interocular discrimination.

  12. Mission and System Advantages of Iodine Hall Thrusters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dankanich, John W.; Szabo, James; Pote, Bruce; Oleson, Steve; Kamhawi, Hani

    2014-01-01

    The exploration of alternative propellants for Hall thrusters continues to be of interest to the community. Investments have been made and continue for the maturation of iodine based Hall thrusters. Iodine testing has shown comparable performance to xenon. However, iodine has a higher storage density and resulting higher ?V capability for volume constrained systems. Iodine's vapor pressure is low enough to permit low-pressure storage, but high enough to minimize potential adverse spacecraft-thruster interactions. The low vapor pressure also means that iodine does not condense inside the thruster at ordinary operating temperatures. Iodine is safe, it stores at sub-atmospheric pressure, and can be stored unregulated for years on end; whether on the ground or on orbit. Iodine fills a niche for both low power (<1kW) and high power (>10kW) electric propulsion regimes. A range of missions have been evaluated for direct comparison of Iodine and Xenon options. The results show advantages of iodine Hall systems for both small and microsatellite application and for very large exploration class missions.

  13. Are survival processing memory advantages based on ancestral priorities?

    PubMed

    Soderstrom, Nicholas C; McCabe, David P

    2011-06-01

    Recent research has suggested that our memory systems are especially tuned to process information according to its survival relevance, and that inducing problems of "ancestral priorities" faced by our ancestors should lead to optimal recall performance (Nairne & Pandeirada, Cognitive Psychology, 2010). The present study investigated the specificity of this idea by comparing an ancestor-consistent scenario and a modern survival scenario that involved threats that were encountered by human ancestors (e.g., predators) or threats from fictitious creatures (i.e., zombies). Participants read one of four survival scenarios in which the environment and the explicit threat were either consistent or inconsistent with ancestrally based problems (i.e., grasslands-predators, grasslands-zombies, city-attackers, city-zombies), or they rated words for pleasantness. After rating words based on their survival relevance (or pleasantness), the participants performed a free recall task. All survival scenarios led to better recall than did pleasantness ratings, but recall was greater when zombies were the threat, as compared to predators or attackers. Recall did not differ for the modern (i.e., city) and ancestral (i.e., grasslands) scenarios. These recall differences persisted when valence and arousal ratings for the scenarios were statistically controlled as well. These data challenge the specificity of ancestral priorities in survival-processing advantages in memory.

  14. SPR-based fragment screening: advantages and applications.

    PubMed

    Neumann, T; Junker, H-D; Schmidt, K; Sekul, R

    2007-01-01

    Fragment-based screening has recently evolved into a promising strategy in drug discovery, and a range of biophysical methods can be employed for fragment library screening. Relevant approaches, such as X-ray, NMR and tethering are briefly introduced focussing on their suitability for fragment-based drug discovery. In particular the application of surface plasmon resonance (SPR) techniques to the primary screening of large libraries comprising small molecules is discussed in detail. SPR is known to be a powerful tool for studying biomolecular interactions in a sensitive and label-free detection format. Advantages of SPR methods over more traditional assay formats are discussed and the application of available channel and array based SPR systems to biosensing are reviewed. Today, SPR protocols have been applied to secondary screening of compound libraries and hit conformation, but primary screening of large fragment libraries for drug discovery is often hampered by the throughput of available systems. Chemical microarrays, in combination with SPR imaging, can simultaneously generate affinity data for protein targets with up to 9,216 immobilized fragments per array. This approach has proven to be suitable for screening fragment libraries of up to 110,000 compounds in a high throughput fashion. The design of fragment libraries and appropriate immobilization chemistries are discussed, as well as suitable follow-up strategies for fragment hit optimization. Finally, described case studies demonstrate the successful identification of selective low molecular weight inhibitors for pharmacologically relevant drug targets through the SPR screening of fragment libraries.

  15. [Biomarkers for liver fibrosis: advances, advantages and disadvantages].

    PubMed

    Cequera, A; García de León Méndez, M C

    2014-01-01

    Liver cirrhosis in Mexico is one of the most important causes of death in persons between the ages of 25 and 50 years. One of the reasons for therapeutic failure is the lack of knowledge about the molecular mechanisms that cause liver disorder and make it irreversible. One of its prevalent anatomical characteristics is an excessive deposition of fibrous tissue that takes different forms depending on etiology and disease stage. Liver biopsy, traditionally regarded as the gold standard of fibrosis staging, has been brought into question over the past decade, resulting in the proposal for developing non-invasive technologies based on different, but complementary, approaches: a biological one that takes the serum levels of products arising from the fibrosis into account, and a more physical one that evaluates scarring of the liver by methods such as ultrasound and magnetic resonance elastography; some of the methods were originally studied and validated in patients with hepatitis C. There is great interest in determining non-invasive markers for the diagnosis of liver fibrosis, since at present there is no panel or parameter efficient and reliable enough for diagnostic use. In this paper, we describe the biomarkers that are currently being used for studying liver fibrosis in humans, their advantages and disadvantages, as well as the implementation of new-generation technologies and the evaluation of their possible use in the diagnosis of fibrosis.

  16. Hiding effort to gain a competitive advantage: Evidence from China.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Li; Heyman, Gail D

    2016-06-06

    Previous studies with Western populations have shown that adolescents' tendency to downplay their academic effort is affected by two kinds of motives: ability-related motives (e.g., to appear competent) and social approval motives (e.g., to be popular). In this research, we test for the presence of additional competition-related motives in China, a culture placing strong emphasis on academic competition. Study 1 (N = 150) showed that, in response to a scenario in which a hard-working high-school junior hid effort from classmates, the most highly endorsed explanation was "to influence others to work less hard to maintain a competitive advantage." Study 2 (N = 174) revealed that competition-related explanations were endorsed relatively more often when the speaker and audience had similar academic rankings. This tendency was most evident when both speaker and audience were top performers, and when this was the case, participants' desire to demonstrate superiority over others was a positive predictor of endorsement of competition-related motives. Study 3 (N = 137) verified that competition-related motives were more strongly endorsed among Chinese participants than U.S.

  17. Immortality of cell lines: challenges and advantages of establishment.

    PubMed

    Maqsood, Muhammad Irfan; Matin, Maryam M; Bahrami, Ahmad Reza; Ghasroldasht, Mohammad M

    2013-10-01

    Cellular immortality happens upon impairment of cell-cycle checkpoint pathways (p53/p16/pRb), reactivation or up-regulation of telomerase enzyme, or upregulation of some oncogenes or oncoproteins leading to a higher rate of cell division.There are also some other factors and mechanisms involved in immortalisation, which need to be discovered. Immortalisation of cells derived from different sources and establishment of immortal cell lines has proven useful in understanding the molecular pathways governing cell developmental cascades in eukaryotic, especially human, cells. After the breakthrough of achieving the immortal cells and understanding their critical importance in the field of molecular biology, intense efforts have been dedicated to establish cell lines useful for elucidating the functions of telomerase, developmental lineage of progenitors, self-renewal potency, cellular transformation, differentiation patterns and some bioprocesses, like odontogenesis. Meanwhile, discovering the exact mechanisms of immortality, a major challenge for science yet, is believed to open new gateways toward understanding and treatment of cancer in the long term. This review summarises the methods involved in establishing immortality, its advantages and the challenges still being faced in this field.

  18. Advantage of four-electrode over two-electrode defibrillators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bragard, J.; Šimić, A.; Laroze, D.; Elorza, J.

    2015-12-01

    Defibrillation is the standard clinical treatment used to stop ventricular fibrillation. An electrical device delivers a controlled amount of electrical energy via a pair of electrodes in order to reestablish a normal heart rate. We propose a technique that is a combination of biphasic shocks applied with a four-electrode system rather than the standard two-electrode system. We use a numerical model of a one-dimensional ring of cardiac tissue in order to test and evaluate the benefit of this technique. We compare three different shock protocols, namely a monophasic and two types of biphasic shocks. The results obtained by using a four-electrode system are compared quantitatively with those obtained with the standard two-electrode system. We find that a huge reduction in defibrillation threshold is achieved with the four-electrode system. For the most efficient protocol (asymmetric biphasic), we obtain a reduction in excess of 80% in the energy required for a defibrillation success rate of 90%. The mechanisms of successful defibrillation are also analyzed. This reveals that the advantage of asymmetric biphasic shocks with four electrodes lies in the duration of the cathodal and anodal phase of the shock.

  19. Comparative advantage strategy for rapid pollution mitigation in China.

    PubMed

    Xu, Yuan

    2013-09-03

    Due to its sheer size and growth trend, no other country is facing more daunting challenges than China in reducing its pollutant emissions. A critical but inadequately addressed question is how rapidly China could feasibly achieve such mitigation. The stake is high not only about how much worse China's environmental quality could become but also about how the world can prevent catastrophic climate change. Through examining sulfur dioxide (SO2) mitigation in coal-fired power plants and wind energy development for carbon dioxide (CO2) mitigation, this article proposes a comparative advantage strategy for overcoming high barriers to fast pollution mitigation. On the demand side, China could first make progress in the deployment of more pollution control facilities and then improve their operational performance. The resulting low technological market entry barriers could help to build enough industrial capacity to meet the huge demand with prices under control. The strategy in the current practice could be improved to establish not only a large supply industry but also a strong one to enable other countries to move more rapidly in pollution mitigation.

  20. Immediate-loading post extractive implants: indications, advantages and limits.

    PubMed

    Mampieri, G; Ottria, L; Barlattani, A

    2008-07-01

    The possibility of rehabilitating immediately an edentulous patient offers today remarkable advantages because it satisfies the patient's demands for comfort, aesthetics, and functionality and reduces the surgical stages for the professional.In the last years clinicians and companies have been concentrating their efforts in the development of new surgical techniques and biomaterials in order to speed up the osteointegration process, which fosters the functionality, that is the immediate-loading.This clinical report, based on the analysis of the literature and on the presentation of a case report, shows how satisfying results in functionality and aesthetic can be obtained by a careful diagnosis and an accurate therapeutic planning, reducing at the same time the stress for the patient and the surgical stages for the professional.In any case, it is necessary to have the rehabilitations with immediate-loaded implants directed by workers with a good knowledge and experience in surgery, periodontology, and prosthesis or by a work team able to face all the complications such advanced rehabilitations may cause.

  1. Experimentally quantifying the advantages of weak-value-based metrology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Viza, Gerardo I.; Martínez-Rincón, Julián; Alves, Gabriel B.; Jordan, Andrew N.; Howell, John C.

    2015-09-01

    We experimentally investigate the relative advantages of implementing weak-value-based metrology versus standard methods. While the techniques outlined herein apply more generally, we measure small optical beam deflections both using a Sagnac interferometer with a monitored dark port (the weak-value-based technique), and by focusing the entire beam to a split detector (the standard technique). By introducing controlled external transverse detector modulations and transverse beam deflection momentum modulations, we quantify the mitigation of these sources in the weak-value-based experiment versus the standard focusing experiment. The experiments are compared using a combination of deterministic and stochastic methods. In all cases, the weak-value technique performs the same or better than the standard technique by up to two orders of magnitude in precision for our parameters. We further measure the statistical efficiency of the weak-value-based technique. By postselecting on 1 % of the photons, we obtain 99 % of the available Fisher information of the beam deflection parameter.

  2. [Advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing hospital microbiological testings].

    PubMed

    Komatsu, Masaru

    2011-10-01

    In Japan, laws and ordinances were enforced to relax the regulation of the clinical laboratory setting in hospitals by revising the law of medical institutions in 2001. For this reason, outsourcing hospital microbiological testing, particularly by medium- or small-sized hospitals, was encouraged. The advantage of outsourcing microbiological testing is promotion of an efficient hospital management by cost saving. In contrast, the disadvantages are as follows: deterioration of specimen quality by extension of transportation time, delay in reporting by an independent laboratory compared with that by a hospital-based laboratory; this report is generally obtained within 1 or 2 days, difficulty and lack of communication between the laboratory staff and physician, and deterioration of the value of the microbiology report and the quality of the infection control system in a hospital. In addition to performing profit-related maintenance, independent laboratories should strive hard to maintain the same quality as that of a laboratory registered in a hospital. Furthermore, the new role of independent laboratories demands them to have a system allowing instant communication of information regarding the crisis control of infectious diseases to a hospital.

  3. Advantages of Robotic Right Colectomy With Intracorporeal Anastomosis.

    PubMed

    Lujan, Henry J; Plasencia, Gustavo; Rivera, Brian X; Molano, Andres; Fagenson, Alex; Jane, Louis A; Holguin, Diego

    2017-03-17

    Through retrospective review of consecutive charts, we compare the short-term and long-term clinical outcomes after robotic-assisted right colectomy with intracorporeal anastomosis (RIA) (n=89) and laparoscopic right colectomy with extracorporeal anastomosis (LEA) (n=135). Cohorts were similar in demographic characteristics, comorbidities, pathology, and perioperative outcomes (conversion, days to flatus and bowel movement, and length of hospitalization). The RIA cohort experienced statistically significant: less blood loss, shorter incision lengths, and longer specimen lengths than the LEA cohort. Operative times were significantly longer for the RIA group. No incisional hernias occurred in the RIA group, whereas the LEA group had 5 incisional hernias; mean follow-up was 33 and 30 months, respectively. RIA is effective and safe and provides some clinical advantages. Future studies may show that, in obese and other technically challenging patients, RIA facilitates resection of a longer, consistent specimen with less mesentery trauma that can be extracted through smaller incisions.This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives License 4.0 (CCBY-NC-ND), where it is permissible to download and share the work provided it is properly cited. The work cannot be changed in any way or used commercially without permission from the journal. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/.

  4. Advantages of Parallel Processing and the Effects of Communications Time

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Eddy, Wesley M.; Allman, Mark

    2000-01-01

    Many computing tasks involve heavy mathematical calculations, or analyzing large amounts of data. These operations can take a long time to complete using only one computer. Networks such as the Internet provide many computers with the ability to communicate with each other. Parallel or distributed computing takes advantage of these networked computers by arranging them to work together on a problem, thereby reducing the time needed to obtain the solution. The drawback to using a network of computers to solve a problem is the time wasted in communicating between the various hosts. The application of distributed computing techniques to a space environment or to use over a satellite network would therefore be limited by the amount of time needed to send data across the network, which would typically take much longer than on a terrestrial network. This experiment shows how much faster a large job can be performed by adding more computers to the task, what role communications time plays in the total execution time, and the impact a long-delay network has on a distributed computing system.

  5. Advantages and challenges of microfluidic cell culture in polydimethylsiloxane devices.

    PubMed

    Halldorsson, Skarphedinn; Lucumi, Edinson; Gómez-Sjöberg, Rafael; Fleming, Ronan M T

    2015-01-15

    Culture of cells using various microfluidic devices is becoming more common within experimental cell biology. At the same time, a technological radiation of microfluidic cell culture device designs is currently in progress. Ultimately, the utility of microfluidic cell culture will be determined by its capacity to permit new insights into cellular function. Especially insights that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to obtain with macroscopic cell culture in traditional polystyrene dishes, flasks or well-plates. Many decades of heuristic optimization have gone into perfecting conventional cell culture devices and protocols. In comparison, even for the most commonly used microfluidic cell culture devices, such as those fabricated from polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), collective understanding of the differences in cellular behavior between microfluidic and macroscopic culture is still developing. Moving in vitro culture from macroscopic culture to PDMS based devices can come with unforeseen challenges. Changes in device material, surface coating, cell number per unit surface area or per unit media volume may all affect the outcome of otherwise standard protocols. In this review, we outline some of the advantages and challenges that may accompany a transition from macroscopic to microfluidic cell culture. We focus on decisive factors that distinguish macroscopic from microfluidic cell culture to encourage a reconsideration of how macroscopic cell culture principles might apply to microfluidic cell culture.

  6. The Advantages of ISDN for High-Speed Remote Access.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Galvin, Mark; Hauf, Al

    1997-01-01

    Explains why ISDN (integrated services digital network) is the most practical solution for high-speed remote access, including reliability, cost, flexibility, scaleability, standards, and manageability. Other data transmission options are discussed, including asymmetric digital subscriber lines (ADSL), high-speed digital subscriber lines (HDSL),…

  7. Extensions of the survival advantage in memory: examining the role of ancestral context and implied social isolation.

    PubMed

    Kostic, Bogdan; McFarlan, Chastity C; Cleary, Anne M

    2012-07-01

    Recent work (e.g., Nairne & Pandeirada, 2010) has shown that words are remembered better when they have been processed for their survival value in a grasslands context than when processed in other contexts. It has been suggested that this is because human memory systems were shaped by evolution specifically to help humans survive. Thus far, the survival processing advantage has mainly been shown with grasslands contexts, which are thought to be particularly relevant to human evolution. The present study demonstrated the survival processing advantage with other contexts (e.g., lost in a jungle), including with contexts that should not, in and of themselves, be relevant to human evolution (e.g., lost in outer space). We further examined whether implied social isolation plays a critical role in the survival advantage to memory by comparing scenarios in which the person is alone versus with other people present (e.g., lost at sea alone or with others), and whether the perceived source of danger is social isolation or other human attackers. A survival advantage was shown in both the isolation and the group settings, and whether the primary source of danger was isolation or other human attackers did not matter. These findings suggest that the survival advantage in memory is not dependent on evolutionarily relevant physical contexts (e.g., grasslands) or particular sources of perceived danger (social isolation vs. perceived attackers), showing the advantage to be robust and applicable to a variety of scenarios.

  8. Including School Libraries in National Bibliographic Systems.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dyer, Esther R.

    1979-01-01

    Considers the incorporation of school libraries and media centers into a national bibliographic system, and discusses questions pertaining to the contributions, advantages, points of access, obstacles, and international implications of such a program. A bibliography of additional readings is provided. (FM)

  9. The Advantage of Playing Home in NBA: Microscopic, Team-Specific and Evolving Features

    PubMed Central

    Ribeiro, Haroldo V.; Mukherjee, Satyam; Zeng, Xiao Han T.

    2016-01-01

    The idea that the success rate of a team increases when playing home is broadly accepted and documented for a wide variety of sports. Investigations on the so-called “home advantage phenomenon” date back to the 70’s and ever since has attracted the attention of scholars and sport enthusiasts. These studies have been mainly focused on identifying the phenomenon and trying to correlate it with external factors such as crowd noise and referee bias. Much less is known about the effects of home advantage in the “microscopic” dynamics of the game (within the game) or possible team-specific and evolving features of this phenomenon. Here we present a detailed study of these previous features in the National Basketball Association (NBA). By analyzing play-by-play events of more than sixteen thousand games that span thirteen NBA seasons, we have found that home advantage affects the microscopic dynamics of the game by increasing the scoring rates and decreasing the time intervals between scores of teams playing home. We verified that these two features are different among the NBA teams, for instance, the scoring rate of the Cleveland Cavaliers team is increased ≈0.16 points per minute (on average the seasons 2004–05 to 2013–14) when playing home, whereas for the New Jersey Nets (now the Brooklyn Nets) this rate increases in only ≈0.04 points per minute. We further observed that these microscopic features have evolved over time in a non-trivial manner when analyzing the results team-by-team. However, after averaging over all teams some regularities emerge; in particular, we noticed that the average differences in the scoring rates and in the characteristic times (related to the time intervals between scores) have slightly decreased over time, suggesting a weakening of the phenomenon. This study thus adds evidence of the home advantage phenomenon and contributes to a deeper understanding of this effect over the course of games. PMID:27015636

  10. Organic foods: health and environmental advantages and disadvantages.

    PubMed

    Forman, Joel; Silverstein, Janet

    2012-11-01

    The US market for organic foods has grown from $3.5 billion in 1996 to $28.6 billion in 2010, according to the Organic Trade Association. Organic products are now sold in specialty stores and conventional supermarkets. Organic products contain numerous marketing claims and terms, only some of which are standardized and regulated. In terms of health advantages, organic diets have been convincingly demonstrated to expose consumers to fewer pesticides associated with human disease. Organic farming has been demonstrated to have less environmental impact than conventional approaches. However, current evidence does not support any meaningful nutritional benefits or deficits from eating organic compared with conventionally grown foods, and there are no well-powered human studies that directly demonstrate health benefits or disease protection as a result of consuming an organic diet. Studies also have not demonstrated any detrimental or disease-promoting effects from an organic diet. Although organic foods regularly command a significant price premium, well-designed farming studies demonstrate that costs can be competitive and yields comparable to those of conventional farming techniques. Pediatricians should incorporate this evidence when discussing the health and environmental impact of organic foods and organic farming while continuing to encourage all patients and their families to attain optimal nutrition and dietary variety consistent with the US Department of Agriculture's MyPlate recommendations. This clinical report reviews the health and environmental issues related to organic food production and consumption. It defines the term "organic," reviews organic food-labeling standards, describes organic and conventional farming practices, and explores the cost and environmental implications of organic production techniques. It examines the evidence available on nutritional quality and production contaminants in conventionally produced and organic foods. Finally, this

  11. Advantage of soybean isoflavone as antiandrogen on acne vulgaris

    PubMed Central

    Riyanto, Puguh; Subchan, Prasetyowati; Lelyana, Rosa

    2015-01-01

    Background: Acne vulgaris (AV) is the commonest skin disorder, whereas soybean isoflavone had been proved as antiandrogen that is it can inhibit the enzyme 3ß-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase,17ß-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase and 5α-reductase. The purpose of this study is to prove the advantage of soybean isoflavone as antiandrogen on AV. Methods: this study is a clinical study using randomized pretest-posttest control group design. This study is a study with 40 samples randomized into 2 groups, i.e. placebo group and 160 mgs of isoflavone group, the duration is 12 weeks, conducted a double-blind manner. The dependent variabel is total of AV lesion, whereas the intermediate variable is DHT that will be examined using ELISA. Defferential test and multivariate analysis were performed on dependent, independent and intermediate variables. Results: This study found that the difference in mean of total AV lesion before treatment was not significant (p: 0.099), whereas after treatment it differed significantly (p: 0.000), with significant delta difference (p: 0.000). Difference of mean DHT level before treatment was not significant (p: 0.574), whereas after treatment it differed significantly (p: 0.000), with significant delta difference (p: 0.000). Delta of DHT (p: 0.003) (r: 0.736) had significant influence on delta of total AV lesion (P < 0.05). Conclusion: This study concludes that supplementation with 160 mgs/day of soybean isoflavone can reduce total AV lesion as a result of decreased DHT level. PMID:26413190

  12. Loss of the Mexican American survival advantage after ischemic stroke

    PubMed Central

    Morgenstern, Lewis B.; Brown, Devin L.; Smith, Melinda A.; Sánchez, Brisa N.; Zahuranec, Darin B.; Garcia, Nelda; Kerber, Kevin A.; Skolarus, Lesli E.; Meurer, William J; Burke, James F; Adelman, Eric E.; Baek, Jonggyu; Lisabeth, Lynda D.

    2014-01-01

    Background and Purpose Mexican Americans (MAs) were previously found to have lower mortality following ischemic stroke than non Hispanic Whites (NHWs). We studied mortality trends in a population-based design. Methods Active and passive surveillance were used to find all ischemic stroke cases from January, 2000–December, 2011 in Nueces County, Texas. Deaths were ascertained from the Texas Department of Health through December 31 2012. Cumulative 30-day and 1 year mortality adjusted for covariates was estimated using log-binomial models with a linear term for year of stroke onset used to model time trends. Models used data from the entire study period to estimate adjusted mortality among stroke cases in 2000 and 2011, and to calculate projected ethnic differences. Results There were 1,974 ischemic strokes among NHWs and 2,439 among MAs. Between 2000 and 2011, model estimated mortality declined among NHWs at 30 days (7.6% to 5.6%, p=0.24) and 1 year (20.8% to 15.5%, p=0.02). Among MAs, 30-day model estimated mortality remained stagnant at 5.1% to 5.2% (p=0.92), and a slight decline from 17.4% to 15.3% was observed for 1 year mortality (p=0.26). While ethnic differences in 30-day (p=0.01) and 1 year (p=0.06) mortality were apparent in 2000, they were not so in 2011 (30-day, p=0.63; 1 year p=0.92). Conclusions Overall, mortality following ischemic stroke has declined in the last decade, although significant declines were only observed for NHWs and not MAs at 1 year. The survival advantage previously documented among MAs vanished by 2011. Renewed stroke prevention and treatment efforts for MAs are needed. PMID:25074514

  13. Economic advantage of pharmacogenomics - clinical trials with genetic information.

    PubMed

    Ohashi, Wataru; Mizushima, Hiroshi; Tanaka, Hiroshi

    2008-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to clarify the benefit and loss for the pharmaceutical companies when they adopt introducing pharmacogenomics in their clinical trials (in the following description, clinical trials by using pharmacogenomics is called "pgx clinical trial"), that is, when they use genetic information in their clinical trials. Particularly, the benefit for the pharmaceutical companies in terms of following two points is analyzed. 1. Development cost of new drug and period of clinical trial can be reduced because a clinical trial needs less subjects, 2. The new drug can be placed on the market earlier because the development period can be shortened. A survey conducted by Japan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association revealed that the pharmaceutical companies in Japan are interested in "pgx clinical trial". Specifically, 95% of the member companies (n=19) of the Association replied that the establishment of a guideline for pgx clinical trial by regulatory authorities are highly desirable. However, 65% of them (n=13) also replied that pgx clinical trial is difficult for the time being. It can be concluded that the pharmaceutical companies are positive about pgx clinical trial, but they cannot take a step towards it for several reasons: some of them may be worried their sales for non-responders will be reduced, poor understanding of pgx among the concerned parties, and not matured methodology of pgx clinical trial. This study shows that the advantage of pgx clinical trial outweighs its disadvantage. The sales may decrease because the drug is not used for non-responders, however, the number of subjects necessary for a clinical trial can be reduced, study period can be shortened and the drug can be marketed earlier. Furthermore, adverse events (AE) and adverse drug reactions (ADR) during the clinical trial and post-marketing phase can be markedly reduced. This represents a great benefit for the patients, pharmaceutical companies and the society as a whole.

  14. On the duration and intensity of cumulative advantage competitions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, Bo; Sun, Liyuan; Figueiredo, Daniel R.; Ribeiro, Bruno; Towsley, Don

    2015-11-01

    Network growth can be framed as a competition for edges among nodes in the network. As with various other social and physical systems, skill (fitness) and luck (random chance) act as fundamental forces driving competition dynamics. In the context of networks, cumulative advantage (CA)—the rich-get-richer effect—is seen as a driving principle governing the edge accumulation process. However, competitions coupled with CA exhibit non-trivial behavior and little is formally known about duration and intensity of CA competitions. By isolating two nodes in an ideal CA competition, we provide a mathematical understanding of how CA exacerbates the role of luck in detriment of skill. We show, for instance, that when nodes start with few edges, an early stroke of luck can place the less skilled in the lead for an extremely long period of time, a phenomenon we call ‘struggle of the fittest’. We prove that duration of a simple skill and luck competition model exhibit power-law tails when CA is present, regardless of skill difference, which is in sharp contrast to the exponential tails when fitness is distinct but CA is absent. We also prove that competition intensity is always upper bounded by an exponential tail, irrespective of CA and skills. Thus, CA competitions can be extremely long (infinite mean, depending on fitness ratio) but almost never very intense. The theoretical results are corroborated by extensive numerical simulations. Our findings have important implications to competitions not only among nodes in networks but also in contexts that leverage socio-physical models embodying CA competitions.

  15. Data reuse and the open data citation advantage.

    PubMed

    Piwowar, Heather A; Vision, Todd J

    2013-01-01

    Background. Attribution to the original contributor upon reuse of published data is important both as a reward for data creators and to document the provenance of research findings. Previous studies have found that papers with publicly available datasets receive a higher number of citations than similar studies without available data. However, few previous analyses have had the statistical power to control for the many variables known to predict citation rate, which has led to uncertain estimates of the "citation benefit". Furthermore, little is known about patterns in data reuse over time and across datasets. Method and Results. Here, we look at citation rates while controlling for many known citation predictors and investigate the variability of data reuse. In a multivariate regression on 10,555 studies that created gene expression microarray data, we found that studies that made data available in a public repository received 9% (95% confidence interval: 5% to 13%) more citations than similar studies for which the data was not made available. Date of publication, journal impact factor, open access status, number of authors, first and last author publication history, corresponding author country, institution citation history, and study topic were included as covariates. The citation benefit varied with date of dataset deposition: a citation benefit was most clear for papers published in 2004 and 2005, at about 30%. Authors published most papers using their own datasets within two years of their first publication on the dataset, whereas data reuse papers published by third-party investigators continued to accumulate for at least six years. To study patterns of data reuse directly, we compiled 9,724 instances of third party data reuse via mention of GEO or ArrayExpress accession numbers in the full text of papers. The level of third-party data use was high: for 100 datasets deposited in year 0, we estimated that 40 papers in PubMed reused a dataset by year 2, 100 by

  16. Teacher and Child Talk in Active Learning and Whole-Class Contexts: Some Implications for Children from Economically Less Advantaged Home Backgrounds

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Martlew, Joan; Ellis, Sue; Stephen, Christine; Ellis, Jennifer

    2010-01-01

    This paper reports the experiences of 150 children and six primary teachers when active learning pedagogies were introduced into the first year of primary schools. Although active learning increased the amount of talk between children, those from socio-economically advantaged homes talked more than those from less advantaged homes. Also,…

  17. Internet Usage and Competitive Advantage: The Impact of the Internet on an Old Economy Industry in Spain.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    del Aguila Obra, Ana Rosa; Bruque Camara, Sebastian; Padilla Melendez, Antonio

    2002-01-01

    Considers whether Internet technologies have led to competitive advantage for companies operating in traditional industries. Highlights include a literature review; using the resource-based view (RBV) of firms as a theoretical framework for an empirical investigation; and a survey that investigated Internet technologies and competitive advantage…

  18. An Individual-Based Diploid Model Predicts Limited Conditions Under Which Stochastic Gene Expression Becomes Advantageous

    PubMed Central

    Matsumoto, Tomotaka; Mineta, Katsuhiko; Osada, Naoki; Araki, Hitoshi

    2015-01-01

    Recent studies suggest the existence of a stochasticity in gene expression (SGE) in many organisms, and its non-negligible effect on their phenotype and fitness. To date, however, how SGE affects the key parameters of population genetics are not well understood. SGE can increase the phenotypic variation and act as a load for individuals, if they are at the adaptive optimum in a stable environment. On the other hand, part of the phenotypic variation caused by SGE might become advantageous if individuals at the adaptive optimum become genetically less-adaptive, for example due to an environmental change. Furthermore, SGE of unimportant genes might have little or no fitness consequences. Thus, SGE can be advantageous, disadvantageous, or selectively neutral depending on its context. In addition, there might be a genetic basis that regulates magnitude of SGE, which is often referred to as “modifier genes,” but little is known about the conditions under which such an SGE-modifier gene evolves. In the present study, we conducted individual-based computer simulations to examine these conditions in a diploid model. In the simulations, we considered a single locus that determines organismal fitness for simplicity, and that SGE on the locus creates fitness variation in a stochastic manner. We also considered another locus that modifies the magnitude of SGE. Our results suggested that SGE was always deleterious in stable environments and increased the fixation probability of deleterious mutations in this model. Even under frequently changing environmental conditions, only very strong natural selection made SGE adaptive. These results suggest that the evolution of SGE-modifier genes requires strict balance among the strength of natural selection, magnitude of SGE, and frequency of environmental changes. However, the degree of dominance affected the condition under which SGE becomes advantageous, indicating a better opportunity for the evolution of SGE in different genetic

  19. Quantifying the individual effects of ethanol and temperature on the fitness advantage of Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    PubMed

    Salvadó, Z; Arroyo-López, F N; Barrio, E; Querol, A; Guillamón, J M

    2011-09-01

    The presence of Saccharomyces cerevisiae in grape berries and fresh musts is usually very low. However, as fermentation progresses, the population levels of this species considerably increase. In this study, we use the concept of fitness advantage to measure how increasing ethanol concentrations (0-25%) and temperature values (4-46 °C) in wine fermentations affects competition between S. cerevisiae and several non-Saccharomyces yeasts (Hanseniaspora uvarum, Torulaspora delbrueckii, Candida zemplinina, Pichia fermentans and Kluyveromyces marxianus). We used a mathematical approach to model the hypothetical time needed for S. cerevisiae to impose itself on a mixed population of the non-Saccharomyces species described above. This approach also took into consideration the influence of environmental factors and the initial population levels of S. cerevisiae (0.1, 1.0 and 10.0%). Our results suggest that Saccharomyces niche construction via ethanol production does not provide a clear ecological advantage (at least not until the ethanol concentration exceeds 9%), whereas a temperature rise (above 15 °C) does give S. cerevisiae a considerable advantage. The initial frequency of S. cerevisiae considerably influences the time it needs to impose itself (until it reaches a final frequency of 99% in the mixed culture), the lowest time values being found at the highest initial frequency. In light of these results, the application of low temperatures in the wine industry could favor the growth and survival of non-Saccharomyces species for a longer period of time.

  20. An Effective Model to Increase Student Attitude and Achievement: Narrative Including Analogies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Akkuzu, Nalan; Akcay, Husamettin

    2011-01-01

    This study describes the analogical models and narratives used to introduce and teach Grade 9 chemical covalent compounds which are relatively abstract and difficult for students. We explained each model's development during the lessons and analyzed understanding students derived from these learning materials. In this context, achievement,…

  1. Satellite Cell Functional Alterations Following Cutaneous Burn in rats Include an Increase in Their Osteogenic Potential

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-10-07

    Rudnicki M. Muscle satellite cells are multipotential stem cells that exhibit myogenic, osteogenic, and adipogenic differentiation. Differentiation...apoptosis-related genes / proteins in skeletal muscles of rats. Apoptosis 2009;14:52. [22] Stover SL, Niemann KM, Tulloss JR. Experience with surgical

  2. Mimivirus and Mimiviridae: giant viruses with an increasing number of potential hosts, including corals and sponges.

    PubMed

    Claverie, Jean-Michel; Grzela, Renata; Lartigue, Audrey; Bernadac, Alain; Nitsche, Serge; Vacelet, Jean; Ogata, Hiroyuki; Abergel, Chantal

    2009-07-01

    Mimivirus, a giant DNA virus (i.e. "girus") infecting species of the genus Acanthamoeba, was first identified in 2003. With a particle size of 0.7microm in diameter, and a genome size of 1.2Mb encoding more than 900 proteins, it is the most complex virus described to date. Beyond its unusual size, the Mimivirus genome was found to contain the first viral homologues of many genes thought to be the trademark of cellular organisms, such as central components of the translation apparatus. These findings revived the debate on the origin of DNA viruses, and the role they might have played in the emergence of eukaryotes. Published and ongoing studies on Mimivirus continue to lead to unexpected findings concerning a variety of aspects, such as the structure of its particle, unique features of its replication cycle, or the distribution and abundance of Mimivirus relatives in the oceans. Following a summary of these recent findings, we present preliminary results suggesting that octocorals might have come in close contact with an ancestor of Mimivirus, and that modern sponges might be host to a yet unidentified, even larger, member of the Mimiviridae.

  3. Administration's Proposed NSF Budget Includes a 5.5% Increase for Geosciences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Showstack, Randy

    2013-04-01

    The fiscal year (FY) 2014 proposed federal budget for the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) is $7.63 billion, 7.3% above the FY 2012 actual amount. NSF acting director Cora Marrett said the budget reflects the administration's recognition of NSF and the importance of funding basic research. "We are pleased about where we stand and hope that Congress will be just as pleased with the budget proposal and will help move things forward," she said during a meeting of the NSF Advisory Committee for Geosciences on 11 April. Budget comparisons are to FY 2012 because the 2013 appropriations were enacted at the end of March, less than 2 weeks before President Barack Obama sent the proposed budget to Congress.

  4. Solid-immersion fluorescence microscopy with increased emission and super resolution

    SciTech Connect

    Liau, Z. L.; Porter, J. M.; Liau, A. A.; Chen, J. J.; Salmon, W. C.; Sheu, S. S.

    2015-01-07

    We investigate solid-immersion fluorescence microscopy suitable for super-resolution nanotechnology and biological imaging, and have observed limit of resolution as small as 15 nm with microspheres, mitochondria, and chromatin fibers. We have further observed that fluorescence efficiency increases with excitation power density, implicating appreciable stimulated emission and increased resolution. We discuss potential advantages of the solid-immersion microscopy, including combined use with previously established super-resolution techniques for reaching deeper beyond the conventional diffraction limit.

  5. A procedure and program to calculate shuttle mask advantage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balasinski, A.; Cetin, J.; Kahng, A.; Xu, X.

    2006-10-01

    A well-known recipe for reducing mask cost component in product development is to place non-redundant elements of layout databases related to multiple products on one reticle plate [1,2]. Such reticles are known as multi-product, multi-layer, or, in general, multi-IP masks. The composition of the mask set should minimize not only the layout placement cost, but also the cost of the manufacturing process, design flow setup, and product design and introduction to market. An important factor is the quality check which should be expeditious and enable thorough visual verification to avoid costly modifications once the data is transferred to the mask shop. In this work, in order to enable the layer placement and quality check procedure, we proposed an algorithm where mask layers are first lined up according to the price and field tone [3]. Then, depending on the product die size, expected fab throughput, and scribeline requirements, the subsequent product layers are placed on the masks with different grades. The actual reduction of this concept to practice allowed us to understand the tradeoffs between the automation of layer placement and setup related constraints. For example, the limited options of the numbers of layer per plate dictated by the die size and other design feedback, made us consider layer pairing based not only on the final price of the mask set, but also on the cost of mask design and fab-friendliness. We showed that it may be advantageous to introduce manual layer pairing to ensure that, e.g., all interconnect layers would be placed on the same plate, allowing for easy and simultaneous design fixes. Another enhancement was to allow some flexibility in mixing and matching of the layers such that non-critical ones requiring low mask grade would be placed in a less restrictive way, to reduce the count of orphan layers. In summary, we created a program to automatically propose and visualize shuttle mask architecture for design verification, with

  6. Comparative advantages of new drugs: French Pharmacoeconomic Committee is not sufficiently demanding.

    PubMed

    2015-12-01

    In France, the Pharmacoeconomic Committee (Commission de la Transparence) is responsible for assessing the therapeutic value of new drugs and their therapeutic advantages over existing therapies. These assessments are used in particular by public authorities to guide reimbursement policy, to decide whether to approve the drug's use in hospitals and other healthcare institutions, and to negotiate its price. Prescrire evaluates the therapeutic advantages of new drugs marketed in France (including products not reimbursed by the national health insurance system) and new indications, to help prescribers and patients make informed treatment choices. A study comparing the Pharmacoeconomic Committee's ratings versus Prescrire's ratings, issued during the period 2009-2014 on a total of more than 300 new drugs and indications, has confirmed the results of a comparison carried out in 2004: overall, the French Pharmacoeconomic Committee is less demanding than Prescrire. The Pharmacoeconomic Committee is less concerned with ease of use, and more often considers positively drugs approved for situations in which there is a pressing need for better treatments, even when their efficacy is slight and poorly established. Prescrire's assessments are based on explicit procedures: a literature search; analysis of the evidence for efficacy; analysis of adverse effects; systematic consideration of treatment convenience, including packaging quality; and a systematic rating system. In addition, our ratings are free of any influence from the pharmaceutical industry.

  7. Advantages and limits of hemorrhoidal dearterialization in the treatment of symptomatic hemorrhoids

    PubMed Central

    Giamundo, Paolo

    2016-01-01

    In the last two decades, hemorrhoidal dearterialization has become universally accepted as a treatment option for symptomatic hemorrhoids. The rationale for this procedure is based on the assumption that arterial blood overflow is mainly responsible for dilatation of the hemorrhoidal plexus due to the absence of capillary interposition between the arterial and venous systems within the anal canal. Dearterialization, with either suture ligation (Doppler-guided hemorrhoid artery ligation/transanal hemorrhoidal dearterialization) or laser (hemorrhoidal laser procedure), may be successfully performed alone or with mucopexy. Although the added value of Doppler-guidance in association with dearterialization has recently been challenged, this imaging method still plays an important role in localizing hemorrhoidal arteries and, therefore, minimizing the effect of anatomic variation among patients. However, it is important to employ the correct Doppler transducer. Some Doppler transducers may not easily detect superficial arteries due to inadequate frequency settings. All techniques of dearterialization have the advantage of preserving the anatomy and physiology of the anal canal, when compared to other surgical treatments for hemorrhoids. This advantage cannot be underestimated as impaired anal function, including fecal incontinence and other defecation disorders, may occur following surgical treatment for hemorrhoids. Furthermore, this potentially devastating problem can occur in patients of all ages, including younger patients. PMID:26843909

  8. Future home hemodialysis - advantages of the NxStage System One.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Susumu

    2012-01-01

    To improve the quality of life (QOL) of patients with renal failure who are on dialysis, we have been working to promote home hemodialysis (HHD), but it has not come into widespread use at present because of various problems, including limitations of the equipment, the large proportion of elderly patients, and difficulty performing self-care. With regard to problems with the equipment, dialysis equipment for home use has not yet been approved in Japan, so equipment designed for medical facilities has to be used for home dialysis. Such equipment is bulky and occupies living space, as well as involving the cost of home renovation and the need for a caregiver. The NxStage System One (NSO) artificial kidney has served advantages for HHD compared with conventional equipment, since it is compact, portable, and easy to operate (especially for preparation and cleaning), does not require a water supply, occupies less living space, and reduces the need for renovation of the home. Other advantages of the NSO include improvement of QOL by saving time travelling to hospitals and helping patients to participate in social activities. In addition, HHD with the NSO can improve sleep disorders, the restless legs syndrome, and depressive symptoms, resulting in a good outcome. Moreover, HHD with the NSO reduces the need for drugs, such as antihypertensive medications and erythropoietin, possibly leading to saving of healthcare costs.

  9. The health advantage of a vegan diet: exploring the gut microbiota connection.

    PubMed

    Glick-Bauer, Marian; Yeh, Ming-Chin

    2014-10-31

    This review examines whether there is evidence that a strict vegan diet confers health advantages beyond that of a vegetarian diet or overall healthy eating. Few studies include vegan subjects as a distinct experimental group, yet when vegan diets are directly compared to vegetarian and omnivorous diets, a pattern of protective health benefits emerges. The relatively recent inclusion of vegan diets in studies of gut microbiota and health allows us the opportunity to assess whether the vegan gut microbiota is distinct, and whether the health advantages characteristic of a vegan diet may be partially explained by the associated microbiota profile. The relationship between diet and the intestinal microbial profile appears to follow a continuum, with vegans displaying a gut microbiota most distinct from that of omnivores, but not always significantly different from that of vegetarians. The vegan gut profile appears to be unique in several characteristics, including a reduced abundance of pathobionts and a greater abundance of protective species. Reduced levels of inflammation may be the key feature linking the vegan gut microbiota with protective health effects. However, it is still unclear whether a therapeutic vegan diet can be prescribed to alter the gut microflora for long-term health benefits.

  10. In Search of Functional Advantages of Knots in Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Dabrowski-Tumanski, Pawel; Sulkowska, Joanna I.

    2016-01-01

    We analysed the structure of deeply knotted proteins representing three unrelated families of knotted proteins. We looked at the correlation between positions of knotted cores in these proteins and such local structural characteristics as the number of intra-chain contacts, structural stability and solvent accessibility. We observed that the knotted cores and especially their borders showed strong enrichment in the number of contacts. These regions showed also increased thermal stability, whereas their solvent accessibility was decreased. Interestingly, the active sites within these knotted proteins preferentially located in the regions with increased number of contacts that also have increased thermal stability and decreased solvent accessibility. Our results suggest that knotting of polypeptide chains provides a favourable environment for the active sites observed in knotted proteins. Some knotted proteins have homologues without a knot. Interestingly, these unknotted homologues form local entanglements that retain structural characteristics of the knotted cores. PMID:27806097

  11. Military Base Realignments and Closures: More Guidance and Information Needed to Take Advantage of Opportunities to Consolidate Training

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2016-02-01

    Consolidate Training Report to Congressional Committees February 2016 GAO-16-45 United States Government Accountability Office...REALIGNMENTS AND CLOSURES More Guidance and Information Needed to Take Advantage of Opportunities to Consolidate Training Why GAO Did This Study...evaluates the extent to which DOD has (1) implemented the recommendations requiring the services to relocate select training functions to increase

  12. Placebo and Nocebo Effects: The Advantage of Measuring Expectations and Psychological Factors

    PubMed Central

    Corsi, Nicole; Colloca, Luana

    2017-01-01

    influence expectations. In fact, mediation analyses including expectations, personality factors and placebo and nocebo responses, revealed that expectations were not influenced by personality factors. These findings highlight the potential advantage of considering batteries of personality factors and measurements of expectation in predicting placebo and nocebo effects related to experimental acute pain. PMID:28321201

  13. Placebo and Nocebo Effects: The Advantage of Measuring Expectations and Psychological Factors.

    PubMed

    Corsi, Nicole; Colloca, Luana

    2017-01-01

    influence expectations. In fact, mediation analyses including expectations, personality factors and placebo and nocebo responses, revealed that expectations were not influenced by personality factors. These findings highlight the potential advantage of considering batteries of personality factors and measurements of expectation in predicting placebo and nocebo effects related to experimental acute pain.

  14. Advantages, problems and limitations of different field and laboratory approaches for investigating soil hydrophobicity switching patterns

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walsh, R. P. D.; Ferreira, C. S. S.; Urbanek, E.; Shakesby, R. A.; Leighton-Boyce, G.; Doerr, S. H.; Ferreira, A. D. J.; Stoof, C.

    2009-04-01

    physical soil scenarios (e.g. with or without vertical cracks and holes and differing arrangements of surface and subsurface stone clasts). In the first two approaches, because of the destructive nature of measuring hydrophobicity with the Ethanol Molarity technique, sampling is carried out in clockwise fashion around each grid point (i.e. each survey involved measurements and sampling at a different clock position). In the third approach, pits are constructed in different points within the seedling area, but always including soil away from and close to roots. In the laboratory approach, different stages in drying or wetting phases are provided by replicated experiments. The poster focuses on the advantages, problems and limitations of the above approaches.

  15. Digital scrambling for shuttle communication links: Do drawbacks outweigh advantages?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dessouky, K.

    1985-01-01

    Digital data scrambling has been considered for communication systems using NRZ (non-return to zero) symbol formats. The purpose is to increase the number of transitions in the data to improve the performance of the symbol synchronizer. This is accomplished without expanding the bandwidth but at the expense of increasing the data bit error rate (BER). Models for the scramblers/descramblers of practical interest are presented together with the appropriate link model. The effects of scrambling on the performance of coded and uncoded links are studied. The results are illustrated by application to the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System links. Conclusions regarding the usefulness of scrambling are also given.

  16. Taking Advantage of Murder and Mayhem for Social Studies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harden, G. Daniel

    1991-01-01

    Suggests the use of key historical antisocial acts to teach social studies concepts as a means of arousing the interest of adolescents. Recommends overcoming initial sensationalism by shifting emphasis to more appropriate interests. Includes discussion of the Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy assassinations and the Rosenberg spy case. Suggests…

  17. Carbon offers advantages as implant material in human body

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Benson, J.

    1969-01-01

    Because of such characteristics as high strength and long-term biocompatability, aerospace carbonaceous materials may be used as surgical implants to correct pathological conditions in the body resulting from disease or injury. Examples of possible medical uses include bone replacement, implantation splints and circulatory bypass implants.

  18. Intercultural Competence as a Competitive Advantage of Secondary School Graduates

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Karnyshev, A. D.; Kostin, A. K.

    2010-01-01

    Among the qualities of today's school graduate, the ones that are becoming more and more important are those that determine the ability to compete. These qualities include intercultural competence, which both researchers and practitioners all over the world acknowledge to be one of the most important characteristics of any citizen who engages in…

  19. Including non-public data and studies in systematic reviews and systematic maps.

    PubMed

    Haddaway, Neal R; Collins, Alexandra M; Coughlin, Deborah; Kohl, Christian

    2017-02-01

    Systematic reviews and maps should be based on the best available evidence, and reviewers should make all reasonable efforts to source and include potentially relevant studies. However, reviewers may not be able to consider all existing evidence, since some data and studies may not be publicly available. Including non-public studies in reviews provides a valuable opportunity to increase systematic review/map comprehensiveness, potentially mitigating negative impacts of publication bias. Studies may be non-public for many reasons: some may still be in the process of being published (publication can take a long time); some may not be published due to author/publisher restrictions; publication bias may make it difficult to publish non-significant or negative results. Here, we consider what forms these non-public studies may take and the implications of including them in systematic reviews and maps. Reviewers should carefully consider the advantages and disadvantages of including non-public studies, weighing risks of bias against benefits of increased comprehensiveness. As with all systematic reviews and maps, reviewers must be transparent about methods used to obtain data and avoid risks of bias in their synthesis. We make tentative suggestions for reviewers in situations where non-public data may be present in an evidence base.

  20. Fortune favours the bold: an agent-based model reveals adaptive advantages of overconfidence in war.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Dominic D P; Weidmann, Nils B; Cederman, Lars-Erik

    2011-01-01

    Overconfidence has long been considered a cause of war. Like other decision-making biases, overconfidence seems detrimental because it increases the frequency and costs of fighting. However, evolutionary biologists have proposed that overconfidence may also confer adaptive advantages: increasing ambition, resolve, persistence, bluffing opponents, and winning net payoffs from risky opportunities despite occasional failures. We report the results of an agent-based model of inter-state conflict, which allows us to evaluate the performance of different strategies in competition with each other. Counter-intuitively, we find that overconfident states predominate in the population at the expense of unbiased or underconfident states. Overconfident states win because: (1) they are more likely to accumulate resources from frequent attempts at conquest; (2) they are more likely to gang up on weak states, forcing victims to split their defences; and (3) when the decision threshold for attacking requires an overwhelming asymmetry of power, unbiased and underconfident states shirk many conflicts they are actually likely to win. These "adaptive advantages" of overconfidence may, via selection effects, learning, or evolved psychology, have spread and become entrenched among modern states, organizations and decision-makers. This would help to explain the frequent association of overconfidence and war, even if it no longer brings benefits today.

  1. Online Teaching: Navigating Its Advantages, Disadvantages and Best Practices

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Al-Asfour, Ahmed

    2012-01-01

    Many tribal colleges are already offering distance learning. With increased Internet use, it's likely that even more will offer online courses to their tribal members in order to reach a larger student pool. Online education can reach students who care for their immediate and extended families and who have to work. It is also appealing to students…

  2. Female Leadership Advantage and Disadvantage: Resolving the Contradictions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eagly, Alice H.

    2007-01-01

    In the United States, women are increasingly praised for having excellent skills for leadership and, in fact, women, more than men, manifest leadership styles associated with effective performance as leaders. Nevertheless, more people prefer male than female bosses, and it is more difficult for women than men to become leaders and to succeed in…

  3. Fast Similarities: Efficiency Advantages of Similarity-Focused Comparisons

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Corcoran, Katja; Epstude, Kai; Damisch, Lysann; Mussweiler, Thomas

    2011-01-01

    People constantly have to make efficient use of their limited cognitive resources. Recently, T. Mussweiler and K. Epstude (2009) demonstrated that comparative thinking simplifies information processing and increases the efficiency of judgment. However, there are different types of comparative thinking. While comparing 2 entities, people may focus…

  4. The Advantages of a Rooftop Garden and Other Things

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zande, Robin Vande

    2006-01-01

    Design education is an aesthetic and humanistic approach for teaching how to contribute to the improvement of the conditions that affect everyone's lives. This article offers an overview of some important concepts to teach young people about regeneration design and the future of our changing environment. It is becoming increasingly evident that we…

  5. Advantages of Integrative Data Analysis for Developmental Research

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bainter, Sierra A.; Curran, Patrick J.

    2015-01-01

    Amid recent progress in cognitive development research, high-quality data resources are accumulating, and data sharing and secondary data analysis are becoming increasingly valuable tools. Integrative data analysis (IDA) is an exciting analytical framework that can enhance secondary data analysis in powerful ways. IDA pools item-level data across…

  6. Global University Alliances and the Creation of Collaborative Advantage

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gunn, Andrew; Mintrom, Michael

    2013-01-01

    The past two decades have seen the development of many global university alliances. Some alliances have taken a bilateral form, others are multilateral. In a period of increasing competition among universities, such alliances represent a curious form of cooperation. They have become more common just as global competition for academic talent has…

  7. Mechanical advantage of the human parasternal intercostal and triangularis sterni muscles.

    PubMed

    De Troyer, A; Legrand, A; Gevenois, P A; Wilson, T A

    1998-12-15

    1. Previous studies in dogs have demonstrated that the maximum change in airway pressure (DeltaPao) produced by a particular respiratory muscle is the product of three factors, namely the mass of the muscle, the maximal active muscle tension per unit cross-sectional area ( approximately 3.0 kg cm-2), and the fractional change in muscle length per unit volume increase of the relaxed chest wall (i.e. the muscle's mechanical advantage). In the present studies, we have used this principle to infer the DeltaPao values generated by the parasternal intercostal and triangularis sterni muscles in man. 2. The mass of the muscles and the direction of the muscle fibres relative to the sternum were first assessed in six cadavers. Seven healthy individuals were then placed in a computed tomographic scanner to determine the orientation of the costal cartilages relative to the sternum and their rotation during passive inflation to total lung capacity. The fractional changes in length of the muscles during inflation, their mechanical advantages, and their DeltaPao values were then calculated. 3. Passive inflation induced shortening of the parasternal intercostals in all interspaces and lengthening of the triangularis sterni. The fractional shortening of the parasternal intercostals decreased gradually from 7.7 % in the second interspace to 2.0 % in the fifth, whereas the fractional lengthening of the triangularis sterni increased progressively from 5.9 to 13.8 %. These rostrocaudal gradients were well accounted for by the more caudal orientation of the cartilages of the lower ribs. 4. Since these fractional changes in length corresponded to a maximal inflation, the inspiratory mechanical advantage of the parasternal intercostals was only 2.2-0. 6 % l-1, and the expiratory mechanical advantage of the triangularis sterni was only 1.6-3.8 % l-1. In addition, whatever the interspace, parasternal and triangularis muscle mass was 3-5 and 1-3 g, respectively. As a result, the magnitude of

  8. Know the risk, take the win: how executive functions and probability processing influence advantageous decision making under risk conditions.

    PubMed

    Brand, Matthias; Schiebener, Johannes; Pertl, Marie-Theres; Delazer, Margarete

    2014-01-01

    Recent models on decision making under risk conditions have suggested that numerical abilities are important ingredients of advantageous decision-making performance, but empirical evidence is still limited. The results of our first study show that logical reasoning and basic mental calculation capacities predict ratio processing and that ratio processing predicts decision making under risk. In the second study, logical reasoning together with executive functions predicted probability processing (numeracy and probability knowledge), and probability processing predicted decision making under risk. These findings suggest that increasing an individual's understanding of ratios and probabilities should lead to more advantageous decisions under risk conditions.

  9. Should family planning include STD services?

    PubMed

    Finger, W R

    1994-05-01

    Recent reviews suggest that the addition of programs aimed at preventing and controlling sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), specifically human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), to existing family planning programs does not necessarily dilute overall program effectiveness. In Colombia, Mexico, and Jamaica, where condom distribution and/or information to prevent HIV transmission was integrated into the activities of family planning field workers, no negative effect on the image of condoms as a pregnancy prevention method was observed and there was a great demand on the part of family planning clients for information about acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). In Brazil, family planning staff are receiving training in HIV risk assessment and the counseling of women in partner negotiation skills. However, steps must be taken to reach men since it is their high-risk behavior that puts most women at risk of HIV. Both separate STD clinics for men and condom social marketing projects have yielded promising results. Obstacles to the addition of STD services to family planning programs include the need to treat male partners as well as female clients, a shortage of diagnostic tools and antibiotics for treatment, and the fact that the majority of women with STDs are asymptomatic. Indicative of the increased attention being given this approach, however, is the recent release of guidelines by the US Agency for International Development Office of Population on how family planning programs should approach integration. Suggested activities include condom promotion, behavior change, counseling, information, contraceptive development, and selected efforts at STD treatment.

  10. Treatment for pulmonary hypertension including lung transplantation.

    PubMed

    Kusano, Kengo F

    2011-08-01

    Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a progressive disease characterized by sustained elevation in pulmonary arterial pressure and increased pulmonary vascular resistance, leading to right-sided ventricular failure. The untreated median survival period is 2-3 years from the time of diagnosis, with the cause of death usually being right-sided ventricular failure. However, outcomes have dramatically changed in recent years because of great advances in medical management of PH, including early diagnosis and new drugs such as prostaglandins, endothelin receptor antagonists, and phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors. Long-term continuous intravenous prostacyclin therapy has shown excellent results in patients with PH. More recently, a molecular-targeted agent, imatinib mesylate, that acts by specifically inhibiting a certain enzyme that is characteristic of a particular cancer cell, rather than nonspecifically inhibiting and killing all rapidly dividing cells, has also been shown to have a potential role in the treatment of PH. This drug has been shown to reduce both pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cell hypertrophy and hyperplasia in a variety of disease processes. We summarize here recent topics regarding PH and advances in treatments for PH, particularly pulmonary arterial hypertension, including lung transplantation.

  11. A perspective on superaugmented flight control - Advantages and problems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcruer, D.; Johnston, D.; Myers, T.

    1986-01-01

    Superaugmented aircraft are an important subclass of actively controlled, highly augmented aircraft. The aircraft without augmentation is unstable; the control system not only redresses the stability and control imbalance, but also provides effective vehicle dynamics that differ in kind from those associated with conventional aircraft. In this paper, the longitudinal properties of highly unstable aircraft and typical superaugmented control systems used to remedy their dynamic deficiencies are explored generically. The topics considered include: (1) Basic flight control system architectures suitable to reduce or completely alleviate the unstable aircraft characteristics. (2) The primary dynamic characteristics and regulatory properties of typical superaugmented aircraft control systems, including governing factors in the linear system, dominant mode characteristics, and fundamental stability margin properties. The total available gain range factor is presented as a basic measure that relates degree of instability, control system limitations, and key control system adjustments. (3) Some flying qualities features for superaugmented aircraft with rate command/attitude hold, extended bandwidth, and attitude command configurations.

  12. Biomechanical Reconstructions and Selective Advantages of Neck Poses and Feeding Strategies of Sauropods with the Example of Mamenchisaurus youngi

    PubMed Central

    Christian, Andreas; Peng, Guangzhao; Sekiya, Toru; Ye, Yong; Wulf, Marco G.; Steuer, Thorsten

    2013-01-01

    A very long neck is a characteristic feature of most sauropod dinosaurs. In the genus Mamenchisaurus, neck length is extreme, greater than 40 percent of total body length. However, the posture, utilization, and selective advantage of very long necks in sauropods are still controversial. An excellently preserved skeleton of Mamenchisaurus youngi, including a complete neck, provides an opportunity for a comprehensive biomechanical analysis of neck posture and mobility. The biomechanical evidence indicates that Mamenchisaurus youngi had a nearly straight, near horizontal neck posture and browsed at low or medium heights. The results differ from the findings for some other sauropod species, like Euhelopus, Diplodocus, and Giraffatitan (Brachiosaurus) that had been analyzed in previous studies with similar methods. The selective advantage of extreme neck length in sauropods is likely advantageous for different feeding strategies. PMID:24204557

  13. Salmonella Typhimurium exploits inflammation to its own advantage in piglets

    PubMed Central

    Chirullo, Barbara; Pesciaroli, Michele; Drumo, Rosanna; Ruggeri, Jessica; Razzuoli, Elisabetta; Pistoia, Claudia; Petrucci, Paola; Martinelli, Nicola; Cucco, Lucilla; Moscati, Livia; Amadori, Massimo; Magistrali, Chiara F.; Alborali, Giovanni L.; Pasquali, Paolo

    2015-01-01

    Salmonella Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium) is responsible for foodborne zoonotic infections that, in humans, induce self-limiting gastroenteritis. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether the wild-type strain S. Typhimurium (STM14028) is able to exploit inflammation fostering an active infection. Due to the similarity between human and porcine diseases induced by S. Typhimurium, we used piglets as a model for salmonellosis and gastrointestinal research. This study showed that STM14028 is able to efficiently colonize in vitro porcine mono-macrophages and intestinal columnar epithelial (IPEC-J2) cells, and that the colonization significantly increases with LPS pre-treatment. This increase was then reversed by inhibiting the LPS stimulation through LPS antagonist, confirming an active role of LPS stimulation in STM14028-intracellular colonization. Moreover, LPS in vivo treatment increased cytokines blood level and body temperature at 4 h post infection, which is consistent with an acute inflammatory stimulus, capable to influence the colonization of STM14028 in different organs and tissues. The present study proves for the first time that in acute enteric salmonellosis, S. Typhimurium exploits inflammation for its benefit in piglets. PMID:26441914

  14. Medicare Program; Revisions to Payment Policies Under the Physician Fee Schedule and Other Revisions to Part B for CY 2017; Medicare Advantage Bid Pricing Data Release; Medicare Advantage and Part D Medical Loss Ratio Data Release; Medicare Advantage Provider Network Requirements; Expansion of Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program Model; Medicare Shared Savings Program Requirements. Final rule.

    PubMed

    2016-11-15

    This major final rule addresses changes to the physician fee schedule and other Medicare Part B payment policies, such as changes to the Value Modifier, to ensure that our payment systems are updated to reflect changes in medical practice and the relative value of services, as well as changes in the statute. This final rule also includes changes related to the Medicare Shared Savings Program, requirements for Medicare Advantage Provider Networks, and provides for the release of certain pricing data from Medicare Advantage bids and of data from medical loss ratio reports submitted by Medicare health and drug plans. In addition, this final rule expands the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program model.

  15. No childhood advantage in the acquisition of skill in using an artificial language rule.

    PubMed

    Ferman, Sara; Karni, Avi

    2010-10-27

    A leading notion is that language skill acquisition declines between childhood and adulthood. While several lines of evidence indicate that declarative ("what", explicit) memory undergoes maturation, it is commonly assumed that procedural ("how-to", implicit) memory, in children, is well established. The language superiority of children has been ascribed to the childhood reliance on implicit learning. Here we show that when 8-year-olds, 12-year-olds and young adults were provided with an equivalent multi-session training experience in producing and judging an artificial morphological rule (AMR), adults were superior to children of both age groups and the 8-year-olds were the poorest learners in all task parameters including in those that were clearly implicit. The AMR consisted of phonological transformations of verbs expressing a semantic distinction: whether the preceding noun was animate or inanimate. No explicit instruction of the AMR was provided. The 8-year-olds, unlike most adults and 12-year-olds, failed to explicitly uncover the semantic aspect of the AMR and subsequently to generalize it accurately to novel items. However, all participants learned to apply the AMR to repeated items and to generalize its phonological patterns to novel items, attaining accurate and fluent production, and exhibiting key characteristics of procedural memory. Nevertheless, adults showed a clear advantage in learning implicit task aspects, and in their long-term retention. Thus, our findings support the notion of age-dependent maturation in the establishment of declarative but also of procedural memory in a complex language task. In line with recent reports of no childhood advantage in non-linguistic skill learning, we propose that under some learning conditions adults can effectively express their language skill acquisition potential. Altogether, the maturational effects in the acquisition of an implicit AMR do not support a simple notion of a language skill learning advantage

  16. Advantages of the use of lunar and Mars propellant production

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roberts, Barney

    1991-01-01

    The use of nonterrestrial resources is discussed in the context of facilitating the transport of space-vehicle propellant to be used for lunar and/or Mars missions. A cost-benefit analysis is conducted to determine the feasibility and efficiency of developing propellant-production facilities in space for future mission support. The analysis suggests that after 2-3 years a break-even point is possible for return-on-investment mass, and technological hurdles are described that include systems for automation, mining, and processing.

  17. Underground nuclear energy complexes - technical and economic advantages

    SciTech Connect

    Myers, Carl W; Kunze, Jay F; Giraud, Kellen M; Mahar, James M

    2010-01-01

    Underground nuclear power plant parks have been projected to be economically feasible compared to above ground instalIations. This paper includes a thorough cost analysis of the savings, compared to above ground facilities, resulting from in-place entombment (decommissioning) of facilities at the end of their life. reduced costs of security for the lifetime of the various facilities in the underground park. reduced transportation costs. and reduced costs in the operation of the waste storage complex (also underground). compared to the fair share of the costs of operating a national waste repository.

  18. Mission Advantages of NEXT: Nasa's Evolutionary Xenon Thruster

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oleson, Steven; Gefert, Leon; Benson, Scott; Patterson, Michael; Noca, Muriel; Sims, Jon

    2002-01-01

    With the demonstration of the NSTAR propulsion system on the Deep Space One mission, the range of the Discovery class of NASA missions can now be expanded. NSTAR lacks, however, sufficient performance for many of the more challenging Office of Space Science (OSS) missions. Recent studies have shown that NASA's Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT) ion propulsion system is the best choice for many exciting potential OSS missions including outer planet exploration and inner solar system sample returns. The NEXT system provides the higher power, higher specific impulse, and higher throughput required by these science missions.

  19. Microalgae for economic applications: advantages and perspectives for bioethanol

    SciTech Connect

    Simas-Rodrigues, Cíntia; Villela, Helena D. M.; Martins, Aline P.; Marques, Luiza G.; Colepicolo, Pio; Tonon, Angela P.

    2015-04-04

    Renewable energy has attracted significant interest in recent years as a result of sustainability, environmental impact, and socio-economic considerations. Given existing technological knowledge and based on projections relating to biofuels derived from microalgae, microalgal feedstock is considered to be one of the most important renewable energy sources potentially available for industrial production. Finally and therefore, this paper examines microalgal bioethanol technology, which converts biomass from microalgae to fuel, the chemical processes involved, and possible ways of increasing the bioethanol yield, such as abiotic factors and genetic manipulation of fermenting organisms.

  20. Space station automation and autonomy - Advantages and problems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carlisle, R. F.

    1982-01-01

    Design guidelines and functional systems being considered in the process of defining the configuration of the automated systems for a manned space station are outlined. The requirements are dependent on life-cycle costing and will set the necessary level of automation, as well as autonomy from outside commands. Fault protection routines have been largely devised according to successful programming on the Voyager spacecraft. An analysis is still needed of the housekeeping functions, including human necessities, machine functions, and mission objectives. A data base will result, defining the functions that have historically been delegated to either man or machine. Care must be taken to coordinate and document stationkeeping functions that might interface with mission functions. A data management system that is flexible with regards to changing mission objectives and to the MTBF factors, which will determine the level of technology to be used is required. Expert systems will be integrated into the automation to guide the machines in problem solving, including ensuring adequate management of the battery subsystem.

  1. Enhancing indoor air quality –The air filter advantage

    PubMed Central

    Vijayan, Vannan Kandi; Paramesh, Haralappa; Salvi, Sundeep Santosh; Dalal, Alpa Anil Kumar

    2015-01-01

    Air pollution has become the world's single biggest environmental health risk, linked to around 7 million deaths in 2012 according to a recent World Health Organisation (WHO) report. The new data further reveals a stronger link between, indoor and outdoor air pollution exposure and cardiovascular diseases, such as strokes and ischemic heart disease, as well as between air pollution and cancer. The role of air pollution in the development of respiratory diseases, including acute respiratory infections and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, is well known. While both indoor and outdoor pollution affect health, recent statistics on the impact of household indoor pollutants (HAP) is alarming. The WHO factsheet on HAP and health states that 3.8 million premature deaths annually - including stroke, ischemic heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer are attributed to exposure to household air pollution. Use of air cleaners and filters are one of the suggested strategies to improve indoor air quality. This review discusses the impact of air pollutants with special focus on indoor air pollutants and the benefits of air filters in improving indoor air quality. PMID:26628762

  2. Environmental Sustainability - Including Land and Water Use

    EPA Science Inventory

    Assessments of environmental sustainability can be conducted in many ways with one of the most quantitative methods including Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA). While historically LCIA has included a comprehensive list of impact categories including: ozone depletion, global c...

  3. Biological processing in oscillatory baffled reactors: operation, advantages and potential

    PubMed Central

    Abbott, M. S. R.; Harvey, A. P.; Perez, G. Valente; Theodorou, M. K.

    2013-01-01

    The development of efficient and commercially viable bioprocesses is essential for reducing the need for fossil-derived products. Increasingly, pharmaceuticals, fuel, health products and precursor compounds for plastics are being synthesized using bioprocessing routes as opposed to more traditional chemical technologies. Production vessels or reactors are required for synthesis of crude product before downstream processing for extraction and purification. Reactors are operated either in discrete batches or, preferably, continuously in order to reduce waste, cost and energy. This review describes the oscillatory baffled reactor (OBR), which, generally, has a niche application in performing ‘long’ processes in plug flow conditions, and so should be suitable for various bioprocesses. We report findings to suggest that OBRs could increase reaction rates for specific bioprocesses owing to low shear, good global mixing and enhanced mass transfer compared with conventional reactors. By maintaining geometrical and dynamic conditions, the technology has been proved to be easily scaled up and operated continuously, allowing laboratory-scale results to be easily transferred to industrial-sized processes. This is the first comprehensive review of bioprocessing using OBRs. The barriers facing industrial adoption of the technology are discussed alongside some suggested strategies to overcome these barriers. OBR technology could prove to be a major aid in the development of commercially viable and sustainable bioprocesses, essential for moving towards a greener future. PMID:24427509

  4. Biological processing in oscillatory baffled reactors: operation, advantages and potential.

    PubMed

    Abbott, M S R; Harvey, A P; Perez, G Valente; Theodorou, M K

    2013-02-06

    The development of efficient and commercially viable bioprocesses is essential for reducing the need for fossil-derived products. Increasingly, pharmaceuticals, fuel, health products and precursor compounds for plastics are being synthesized using bioprocessing routes as opposed to more traditional chemical technologies. Production vessels or reactors are required for synthesis of crude product before downstream processing for extraction and purification. Reactors are operated either in discrete batches or, preferably, continuously in order to reduce waste, cost and energy. This review describes the oscillatory baffled reactor (OBR), which, generally, has a niche application in performing 'long' processes in plug flow conditions, and so should be suitable for various bioprocesses. We report findings to suggest that OBRs could increase reaction rates for specific bioprocesses owing to low shear, good global mixing and enhanced mass transfer compared with conventional reactors. By maintaining geometrical and dynamic conditions, the technology has been proved to be easily scaled up and operated continuously, allowing laboratory-scale results to be easily transferred to industrial-sized processes. This is the first comprehensive review of bioprocessing using OBRs. The barriers facing industrial adoption of the technology are discussed alongside some suggested strategies to overcome these barriers. OBR technology could prove to be a major aid in the development of commercially viable and sustainable bioprocesses, essential for moving towards a greener future.

  5. How Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage Works with a Medicare Advantage Plan or Medicare Cost Plan

    MedlinePlus

    ... Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage Works with a Medicare Advantage Plan or Medicare Cost Plan Medicare offers prescription ... elect the drug coverage. 2. Join a Medicare Advantage Plan— like a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO), Preferred ...

  6. Small and Large Animal Models in Cardiac Contraction Research: Advantages and Disadvantages

    PubMed Central

    Milani-Nejad, Nima; Janssen, Paul M.L.

    2013-01-01

    The mammalian heart is responsible for not only pumping blood throughout the body but also adjusting this pumping activity quickly depending upon sudden changes in the metabolic demands of the body. For the most part, the human heart is capable of performing its duties without complications; however, throughout many decades of use, at some point this system encounters problems. Research into the heart’s activities during healthy states and during adverse impacts that occur in disease states is necessary in order to strategize novel treatment options to ultimately prolong and improve patients’ lives. Animal models are an important aspect of cardiac research where a variety of cardiac processes and therapeutic targets can be studied. However, there are differences between the heart of a human being and an animal and depending on the specific animal, these differences can become more pronounced and in certain cases limiting. There is no ideal animal model available for cardiac research, the use of each animal model is accompanied with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. In this review, we will discuss these advantages and disadvantages of commonly used laboratory animals including mouse, rat, rabbit, canine, swine, and sheep. Since the goal of cardiac research is to enhance our understanding of human health and disease and help improve clinical outcomes, we will also discuss the role of human cardiac tissue in cardiac research. This review will focus on the cardiac ventricular contractile and relaxation kinetics of humans and animal models in order to illustrate these differences. PMID:24140081

  7. Small and large animal models in cardiac contraction research: advantages and disadvantages.

    PubMed

    Milani-Nejad, Nima; Janssen, Paul M L

    2014-03-01

    The mammalian heart is responsible for not only pumping blood throughout the body but also adjusting this pumping activity quickly depending upon sudden changes in the metabolic demands of the body. For the most part, the human heart is capable of performing its duties without complications; however, throughout many decades of use, at some point this system encounters problems. Research into the heart's activities during healthy states and during adverse impacts that occur in disease states is necessary in order to strategize novel treatment options to ultimately prolong and improve patients' lives. Animal models are an important aspect of cardiac research where a variety of cardiac processes and therapeutic targets can be studied. However, there are differences between the heart of a human being and an animal and depending on the specific animal, these differences can become more pronounced and in certain cases limiting. There is no ideal animal model available for cardiac research, the use of each animal model is accompanied with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. In this review, we will discuss these advantages and disadvantages of commonly used laboratory animals including mouse, rat, rabbit, canine, swine, and sheep. Since the goal of cardiac research is to enhance our understanding of human health and disease and help improve clinical outcomes, we will also discuss the role of human cardiac tissue in cardiac research. This review will focus on the cardiac ventricular contractile and relaxation kinetics of humans and animal models in order to illustrate these differences.

  8. Inhibition of fungal colonization by Pseudoalteromonas tunicata provides a competitive advantage during surface colonization.

    PubMed

    Franks, A; Egan, S; Holmström, C; James, S; Lappin-Scott, H; Kjelleberg, S

    2006-09-01

    The marine epiphytic bacterium Pseudoalteromonas tunicata produces a range of extracellular secondary metabolites that inhibit an array of common fouling organisms, including fungi. In this study, we test the hypothesis that the ability to inhibit fungi provides P. tunicata with an advantage during colonization of a surface. Studies on a transposon-generated antifungal-deficient mutant of P. tunicata, FM3, indicated that a long-chain fatty acid-coenzyme A ligase is involved in the production of a broad-range antifungal compound by P. tunicata. Flow cell experiments demonstrated that production of an antifungal compound provided P. tunicata with a competitive advantage against a marine yeast isolate during surface colonization. This compound enabled P. tunicata to disrupt an already established fungal biofilm by decreasing the number of yeast cells attached to the surface by 66% +/- 9%. For in vivo experiments, the wild-type and FM3 strains of P. tunicata were used to inoculate the surface of the green alga Ulva australis. Double-gradient denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis analysis revealed that after 48 h, the wild-type P. tunicata had outcompeted the surface-associated fungal community, whereas the antifungal-deficient mutant had no effect on the fungal community. Our data suggest that P. tunicata is an effective competitor against fungal surface communities in the marine environment.

  9. Advantages of Selective Use of Intraluminal Shunt in Carotid Endarterectomy: A Study of 122 Cases

    PubMed Central

    Usman, Rashid; Ghaffar, Salma

    2016-01-01

    Objectives: To assess the advantage of selective use of shunt in carotid endarterectomy (CEA) under local anesthesia. Materials and Methods: A total of 122 consecutive patients fulfilling international guidelines were included. Shunt was used selectively only in cases of bilateral severe carotid artery occlusive disease or in those patients who developed neurological symptoms on clamping of carotid artery. Follow up was done weekly for one month; then every month for 3 months; and then every 3 months for a year. Results: Shunt was used only in 5% (n = 6) patients. Of these, 2.5% (n = 3) patients were those who developed neurological symptoms on clamping the internal carotid and deployment of shunt resulted in complete resolution of symptoms. 2.5% (n = 3) had severe bilateral carotid stenosis and shunt was deployed. One of these patients developed stroke which was permanent. There was no mortality. The mean procedure time was 170 min in patients in whom shunt was used, when compared with 100 min in patients without shunt (P = 0.003). Conclusion: Use of shunt in carotid endarterectomy under local anesthesia as selective policy has an advantage in terms of cost effectiveness, operation time and prevention of potential complications. PMID:28018499

  10. Inhibition of Fungal Colonization by Pseudoalteromonas tunicata Provides a Competitive Advantage during Surface Colonization†

    PubMed Central

    Franks, A.; Egan, S.; Holmström, C.; James, S.; Lappin-Scott, H.; Kjelleberg, S.

    2006-01-01

    The marine epiphytic bacterium Pseudoalteromonas tunicata produces a range of extracellular secondary metabolites that inhibit an array of common fouling organisms, including fungi. In this study, we test the hypothesis that the ability to inhibit fungi provides P. tunicata with an advantage during colonization of a surface. Studies on a transposon-generated antifungal-deficient mutant of P. tunicata, FM3, indicated that a long-chain fatty acid-coenzyme A ligase is involved in the production of a broad-range antifungal compound by P. tunicata. Flow cell experiments demonstrated that production of an antifungal compound provided P. tunicata with a competitive advantage against a marine yeast isolate during surface colonization. This compound enabled P. tunicata to disrupt an already established fungal biofilm by decreasing the number of yeast cells attached to the surface by 66% ± 9%. For in vivo experiments, the wild-type and FM3 strains of P. tunicata were used to inoculate the surface of the green alga Ulva australis. Double-gradient denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis analysis revealed that after 48 h, the wild-type P. tunicata had outcompeted the surface-associated fungal community, whereas the antifungal-deficient mutant had no effect on the fungal community. Our data suggest that P. tunicata is an effective competitor against fungal surface communities in the marine environment. PMID:16957232

  11. Biological Consequences and Advantages of Asymmetric Bacterial Growth

    PubMed Central

    Kysela, David T.; Brown, Pamela J.B.; Huang, Kerwyn Casey; Brun, Yves V.

    2014-01-01

    Asymmetries in cell growth and division occur in eukaryotes and prokaryotes alike. Even seemingly simple and morphologically symmetric cell division processes belie inherent underlying asymmetries in the composition of the resulting daughter cells. We consider the types of asymmetry that arise in various bacterial cell growth and division processes, which include both conditionally activated mechanisms and constitutive, hardwired aspects of bacterial life histories. Although asymmetry disposes some cells to the deleterious effects of aging, it may also benefit populations by efficiently purging accumulated damage and rejuvenating newborn cells. Asymmetries may also generate phenotypic variation required for successful exploitation of variable environments, even when extrinsic changes outpace the capacity of cells to sense and respond to challenges. We propose specific experimental approaches to further develop our understanding of the prevalence and the ultimate importance of asymmetric bacterial growth. PMID:23808335

  12. Advantageous Uses of Mass Spectrometry for the Quantification of Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Hale, John E.

    2013-01-01

    Quantitative protein measurements by mass spectrometry have gained wide acceptance in research settings. However, clinical uptake of mass spectrometric protein assays has not followed suit. In part, this is due to the long-standing acceptance by regulatory agencies of immunological assays such as ELISA assays. In most cases, ELISAs provide highly accurate, sensitive, relatively inexpensive, and simple assays for many analytes. The barrier to acceptance of mass spectrometry in these situations will remain high. However, mass spectrometry provides solutions to certain protein measurements that are difficult, if not impossible, to accomplish by immunological methods. Cases where mass spectrometry can provide solutions to difficult assay development include distinguishing between very closely related protein species and monitoring biological and analytical variability due to sample handling and very high multiplexing capacity. This paper will highlight several examples where mass spectrometry has made certain protein measurements possible where immunological techniques have had a great difficulty. PMID:23365751

  13. Gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogs: Understanding advantages and limitations.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Pratap; Sharma, Alok

    2014-07-01

    Pituitary stimulation with pulsatile gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) analogs induces both follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). Pituitary gonadotropin secretions are blocked upon desensitization when a continuous GnRH stimulus is provided by means of an agonist or when the pituitary receptors are occupied with a competitive antagonist. GnRH antagonists were not available originally; therefore, prolonged daily injections of agonist with its desensitizing effect were used. Today, single- and multiple-dose injectable antagonists are also available to block the LH surge and thus to cause desensitization. This review provides an overview of the use of GnRH analogs which is potent therapeutic agents that are considerably useful in a variety of clinical indications from the past to the future with some limitations. These indications include management of endometriosis, uterine leiomyomas, hirsutism, dysfunctional uterine bleeding, premenstrual syndrome, assisted reproduction, and some hormone-dependent tumours, other than ovulation induction.

  14. Functional Advantages Conferred by Extracellular Prokaryotic Membrane Vesicles

    PubMed Central

    Manning, Andrew J.; Kuehn, Meta J.

    2015-01-01

    The absence of subcellular organelles is a characteristic typically used to distinguish prokaryotic from eukaryotic cells. But recent discoveries do not support this dogma. Over the past 50 years, researchers have begun to appreciate and characterize Gram-negative bacterial outer membrane derived vesicles and Gram-positive and archaeal membrane vesicles. These extracellular, membrane-bound organelles can perform a variety of functions, including binding and delivery of DNA, transport of virulence factors, protection of the cell from outer membrane targeting antimicrobials, and ridding the cell of toxic envelope proteins. Here we review the contributions of these extracellular organelles to prokaryotic physiology and compare these with the contributions of the bacterial interior membrane bound organelles responsible for harvesting light energy and for generating magnetic crystals of heavy metals. Understanding the roles of these multifunctional extracellular vesicle organelles as microbial tools will help us to better realize the diverse interactions that occur in our polymicrobial world. PMID:23615201

  15. Functional advantages conferred by extracellular prokaryotic membrane vesicles.

    PubMed

    Manning, Andrew J; Kuehn, Meta J

    2013-01-01

    The absence of subcellular organelles is a characteristic typically used to distinguish prokaryotic from eukaryotic cells. But recent discoveries do not support this dogma. Over the past 50 years, researchers have begun to appreciate and characterize Gram-negative bacterial outer membrane-derived vesicles and Gram-positive and archaeal membrane vesicles. These extracellular, membrane-bound organelles can perform a variety of functions, including binding and delivery of DNA, transport of virulence factors, protection of the cell from outer membrane targeting antimicrobials and ridding the cell of toxic envelope proteins. Here, we review the contributions of these extracellular organelles to prokaryotic physiology and compare these with the contributions of the bacterial interior membrane-bound organelles responsible for harvesting light energy and for generating magnetic crystals of heavy metals. Understanding the roles of these multifunctional extracellular vesicle organelles as microbial tools will help us to better realize the diverse interactions that occur in our polymicrobial world.

  16. Advantages of High Tolerance Measurements in Fusion Environments Applying Photogrammetry

    SciTech Connect

    T. Dodson, R. Ellis, C. Priniski, S. Raftopoulos, D. Stevens, M. Viola

    2009-02-04

    Photogrammetry, a state-of-the-art technique of metrology employing digital photographs as the vehicle for measurement, has been investigated in the fusion environment. Benefits of this high tolerance methodology include relatively easy deployment for multiple point measurements and deformation/distortion studies. Depending on the equipment used, photogrammetric systems can reach tolerances of 25 microns (0.001 in) to 100 microns (0.004 in) on a 3-meter object. During the fabrication and assembly of the National Compact Stellarator Experiment (NCSX) the primary measurement systems deployed were CAD coordinate-based computer metrology equipment and supporting algorithms such as both interferometer-aided (IFM) and absolute distance measurementbased (ADM) laser trackers, as well as portable Coordinate Measurement Machine (CMM) arms. Photogrammetry was employed at NCSX as a quick and easy tool to monitor coil distortions incurred during welding operations of the machine assembly process and as a way to reduce assembly downtime for metrology processes.

  17. Association of soil organic matter with metal phases examined by selective dissolution approach: limitations and advantages

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wagai, R.; Mayer, L. M.

    2014-12-01

    Positive co-variation of organic matter (OM) with iron and aluminum phases has been known for decades in soil and, in case of OM-Fe, in marine sediments. More recent studies point to the metal control on the mean residence time of organic carbon in soils, suggesting that better understanding of the role of these metal phases and the nature of these organo-metal associations would help to improve the models of soil OM dynamics. We developed a selective dissolution approach to assess these associations (Wagai and Mayer, 2007; Wagai et al., 2013). By taking advantage of well-established extraction techniques that were targeted to dissolve specific metal and aluminosilicate phases in soil, we quantified the amounts of OM co-dissolved by the selective dissolution of these inorganic phases. The inherent limitations in this conceptually simple approach include the presence of C-based compounds (often as complexing agent for metal) in the extractants and the lack of selectivity when dissolving specific inorganic phases. The former was resolved by using nitrogen (N), instead of C, as a surrogate for OM because (i) soil N is mostly present as soil OM with relatively narrow C:N ratio, and (ii) the extractants are N free. We were able to partially overcome the lack of selectivity problem by comparing the co-dissolution of OM from a variety of extractants that use reductive, complexation, and acid/alkaline dissolutions. The potential advantages of our approach include the ability (i) to estimate the contribution of specific inorganic phases to OM stabilization, and (ii) to infer the possible modes of the organo-mineral associations that were extracted from field soils (e.g., adsorptive association vs. coprecipitation of organo-metallic complexes). In this presentation, we will further consider the advantages and limitations of this approach (e.g., methodological cautions), present some of the previous and new findings gained from this approach (including its application to

  18. Transmission advantage favors selfing allele in experimental populations of self-incompatible Witheringia solanacea (solanaceae).

    PubMed

    Stone, Judy L; VanWyk, Emily J; Hale, Jennifer R

    2014-07-01

    The evolution of self-fertilization is one of the most commonly traversed transitions in flowering plants, with profound implications for population genetic structure and evolutionary potential. We investigated factors influencing this transition using Witheringia solanacea, a predominantly self-incompatible (SI) species within which self-compatible (SC) genotypes have been identified. We showed that self-compatibility in this species segregates with variation at the S-locus as inherited by plants in F1 and F2 generations. To examine reproductive assurance and the transmission advantage of selfing, we placed SC and SI genotypes in genetically replicated gardens and monitored male and female reproductive success, as well as selfing rates of SC plants. Self-compatibility did not lead to increased fruit or seed set, even under conditions of pollinator scarcity, and the realized selfing rate of SC plants was less than 10%. SC plants had higher fruit abortion rates, consistent with previous evidence showing strong inbreeding depression at the embryonic stage. Although the selfing allele did not provide reproductive assurance under observed conditions, it also did not cause pollen discounting, so the transmission advantage of selfing should promote its spread. Given observed numbers of S-alleles and selfing rates, self-compatibility should spread even under conditions of exceedingly high initial inbreeding depression.

  19. Environmental fluctuations and host skin bacteria shift survival advantage between frogs and their fungal pathogen.

    PubMed

    Longo, Ana V; Zamudio, Kelly R

    2017-02-01

    Fluctuating environments can modulate host-pathogen interactions by providing a temporary advantage to one of the interacting organisms. However, we know very little about how environmental conditions facilitate beneficial interactions between hosts and their microbial communities, resulting in individual persistence with a particular pathogen. Here, we experimentally infected Eleutherodactylus coqui frogs with the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) under environmental conditions known to confer the survival advantage to the host during the warm-wet season, or alternatively to the pathogen during the cool-dry season. We used 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing to quantify changes in bacterial richness and phylogenetic diversity, and identified operational taxonomic units (OTUs) that became overrepresented or suppressed as a consequence of Bd infection. During the warm-wet season, frogs limited Bd infections, recruited putatively beneficial bacteria and returned to pre-infection levels of richness and phylogenetic diversity. In contrast, during the cool-dry season, Bd infections kept increasing through time, and bacterial diversity remained constant. Our findings confirm that infection outcome not only depends on abiotic factors, but also on biotic interactions between hosts and their associated bacterial communities.

  20. Is That Me or My Twin? Lack of Self-Face Recognition Advantage in Identical Twins

    PubMed Central

    Martini, Matteo; Bufalari, Ilaria; Stazi, Maria Antonietta; Aglioti, Salvatore Maria

    2015-01-01

    Despite the increasing interest in twin studies and the stunning amount of research on face recognition, the ability of adult identical twins to discriminate their own faces from those of their co-twins has been scarcely investigated. One’s own face is the most distinctive feature of the bodily self, and people typically show a clear advantage in recognizing their own face even more than other very familiar identities. Given the very high level of resemblance of their faces, monozygotic twins represent a unique model for exploring self-face processing. Herein we examined the ability of monozygotic twins to distinguish their own face from the face of their co-twin and of a highly familiar individual. Results show that twins equally recognize their own face and their twin’s face. This lack of self-face advantage was negatively predicted by how much they felt physically similar to their co-twin and by their anxious or avoidant attachment style. We speculate that in monozygotic twins, the visual representation of the self-face overlaps with that of the co-twin. Thus, to distinguish the self from the co-twin, monozygotic twins have to rely much more than control participants on the multisensory integration processes upon which the sense of bodily self is based. Moreover, in keeping with the notion that attachment style influences perception of self and significant others, we propose that the observed self/co-twin confusion may depend upon insecure attachment. PMID:25853249

  1. Fluoropyrimidines in the treatment of advanced neoplastic diseases: role and advantages of UFT.

    PubMed

    Del Vecchio, M; Procopio, G; Cassata, A; Pozzi, P; Busto, G; Celio, L; Bajetta, E

    1999-01-01

    The fluoropyrimidine antimetabolites were employed in a wide range of neoplastic diseases. In particular, 5-fluorouracil in association with other chemotherapeutic agents, or biochemical modulators was successfully used in the treatment of colorectal, gastric, breast, head and neck cancers. With this type of chemotherapy, a response rate < or = 20% was obtained in gastrointestinal tumors, without a statistically significant impact on the overall survival. UFT is a combination of tegafur an uracil, which has the important advantage of an improved oral bioavailability, if we compare it with 5-fluorouracil. Uracil, avoiding the fluoropyrimidine degradation inside the tumor cells, increases the permanence of the metabolically active fluoropyrimidine into the target cell, so having an improvement in the therapeutic activity. A very large spectrum of cancers were treated with this molecule. In particular, a response rate in the range of 20-40% was observed in the treatment of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. Phase III trials are ongoing to evaluate the advantage on 5-FU of this new fluoropyrimidine in terms of clinical efficacy, and quality of life, considering the possibility to administer it orally.

  2. Insurance-based advantages for subordinate co-foundresses in a temperate paper wasp.

    PubMed Central

    Shreeves, Gavin; Cant, Michael A; Bolton, Alan; Field, Jeremy

    2003-01-01

    Recent explanations for the evolution of eusociality, focusing more on costs and benefits than relatedness, are largely untested. We validate one such model by showing that helpers in foundress groups of the paper wasp Polistes dominulus benefit from an insurance-based mechanism known as Assured Fitness Returns (AFRs). Experimental helper removals left remaining group members with more offspring than they would normally rear. Reduced groups succeeded in preserving the dead helpers' investment by rearing these extra offspring, even when helper removals occurred long before worker emergence. While helpers clearly gained from AFRs, offspring of lone foundresses failed after foundress death, so that AFRs represent a true advantage for helpers. Smaller, less valuable offspring were probably sacrificed to feed larger offspring, but reduced groups did not preferentially attract joiners or increase their foraging effort to compensate for their smaller workforce. We failed to detect a second insurance-based advantage, Survivorship Insurance, in which larger groups are less likely to fail than smaller groups. We suggest that through their use of small offspring as a food store to cope with temporary shortages, wasps may be less susceptible than vertebrates to offspring failure following the death of group members. PMID:12908983

  3. Transmission advantage favors selfing allele in experimental populations of self-incompatible Witheringia solanacea (Solanaceae)

    PubMed Central

    Stone, Judy L.; VanWyk, Emily J.; Hale, Jennifer R.

    2014-01-01

    The evolution of self-fertilization is one of the most commonly traversed transitions in flowering plants, with profound implications for population genetic structure and evolutionary potential. We investigated factors influencing this transition using Witheringia solanacea, a predominantly self-incompatible species within which self-compatible genotypes have been identified. We showed that self-compatibility in this species segregates with variation at the S-locus as inherited by plants in F1 and F2 generations. To examine reproductive assurance and the transmission advantage of selfing, we placed self-compatible and self-incompatible genotypes in genetically replicated gardens and monitored male and female reproductive success, as well as selfing rates of self-compatible plants. Self-compatibility did not lead to increased fruit or seed set, even under conditions of pollinator scarcity, and the realized selfing rate of self-compatible plants was less than 10%. Self-compatible plants had higher fruit abortion rates, consistent with previous evidence showing strong inbreeding depression at the embryonic stage. Although the selfing allele did not provide reproductive assurance under observed conditions, it also did not cause pollen discounting, so the transmission advantage of selfing should promote its spread. Given observed numbers of S-alleles and selfing rates, self-compatibility should spread even under conditions of exceedingly high initial inbreeding depression. PMID:24713065

  4. Cognitive control in bilinguals: Advantages in Stimulus–Stimulus inhibition*

    PubMed Central

    BLUMENFELD, HENRIKE K.; MARIAN, VIORICA

    2014-01-01

    Bilinguals have been shown to outperform monolinguals at suppressing task-irrelevant information and on overall speed during cognitive control tasks. Here, monolinguals’ and bilinguals’ performance was compared on two nonlinguistic tasks: a Stroop task (with perceptual Stimulus–Stimulus conflict among stimulus features) and a Simon task (with Stimulus–Response conflict). Across two experiments testing bilinguals with different language profiles, bilinguals showed more efficient Stroop than Simon performance, relative to monolinguals, who showed fewer differences across the two tasks. Findings suggest that bilingualism may engage Stroop-type cognitive control mechanisms more than Simon-type mechanisms, likely due to increased Stimulus–Stimulus conflict during bilingual language processing. Findings are discussed in light of previous research on bilingual Stroop and Simon performance. PMID:25093009

  5. Vegetarianism: advantages and drawbacks in patients with chronic kidney diseases.

    PubMed

    Chauveau, Philippe; Combe, Christian; Fouque, Denis; Aparicio, Michel

    2013-11-01

    Vegetarian diet is a very old practice that is liable to confer some health benefits. Recent studies have demonstrated that modification of the dietary pattern with a reduction of animal protein intake and increased consumption of plant-based foods could influence cardiovascular risk profile and mortality rate. Moreover, phosphate bioavailability from plant proteins is reduced. These statements could lead to some benefits for chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients. This review summarizes the characteristics and benefits of vegetarian diets in the general population and the potential beneficial effects of such a diet on phosphate balance, insulin sensitivity, and the control of metabolic acidosis in CKD patients. Potential drawbacks exist when a vegetarian diet is associated with protein intake that is too restrictive and/or insufficient energy intake, justifying an early and regular nutritional follow-up jointly assumed by a nephrologist and a renal dietitian.

  6. Homeland Security: What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Different Local Homeland Security Organizational Structures?

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-06-01

    WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF DIFFERENT LOCAL HOMELAND SECURITY ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURES? by William Mark Fitzpatrick...ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF DIFFERENT LOCAL HOMELAND SECURITY ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURES? 5. FUNDING NUMBERS 6. AUTHOR(S) William Mark Fitzpatrick 7...analyzed three homeland security organizational structures located within the Metro Atlanta, GA, area to find their advantages and disadvantages

  7. 78 FR 43820 - Medicare Program; Medical Loss Ratio Requirements for the Medicare Advantage and the Medicare...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-07-22

    ... Program; Medical Loss Ratio Requirements for the Medicare Advantage and the Medicare Prescription Drug...; Medical Loss Ratio Requirements for the Medicare Advantage and the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit...-referencing errors in the Medicare Program; Medical Loss Ratio Requirements for the Medicare Advantage and...

  8. 77 FR 32407 - Medicare Program; Changes to the Medicare Advantage and the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-06-01

    ... Medicare Program; Changes to the Medicare Advantage and the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Programs for...; Changes to the Medicare Advantage and the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Programs for Contract Year...), the final rule with comment period entitled ``Medicare Program; Changes to the Medicare Advantage...

  9. 75 FR 18825 - Advantage Electronic Product Development Incorporated/Utility Crew Safety LLC

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-04-13

    ... Advantage Electronic Product Development Incorporated/Utility Crew Safety LLC AGENCY: Department of Energy... intent to grant to: Advantage Electronic Product Development Incorporated/Utility Crew Safety LLC, of... enhanced. Advantage Electronic Product Development Incorporated/Utility Crew Safety LLC, of...

  10. 75 FR 32858 - Medicare Program; Policy and Technical Changes to the Medicare Advantage and the Medicare...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-06-10

    ...-AP77 Medicare Program; Policy and Technical Changes to the Medicare Advantage and the Medicare...; Policy and Technical Changes to the Medicare Advantage and the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit... entitled ``Medicare Program; Policy and Technical Changes to the Medicare Advantage and the...

  11. 78 FR 12427 - Medicare Program; Medical Loss Ratio Requirements for the Medicare Advantage and the Medicare...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-02-22

    ... 42 CFR Parts 422 and 423 Medicare Program; Medical Loss Ratio Requirements for the Medicare Advantage... Loss Ratio Requirements for the Medicare Advantage and the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Programs... proposed rule would implement medical loss ratio (MLR) requirements for the Medicare Advantage Program...

  12. Compensatory Advantage as a Mechanism of Educational Inequality: A Regression Discontinuity Based on Month of Birth

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bernardi, Fabrizio

    2014-01-01

    Compensatory advantage is a mechanism of social stratification that complements cumulative advantage and path dependence. In this article, I first discuss the theoretical foundations of the compensatory advantage and path dependence mechanisms and the methodological challenges that complicate identification of their effects. Next, I present a…

  13. Undermatched? School-Based Linguistic Status, College Going, and the Immigrant Advantage

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Callahan, Rebecca M.; Humphries, Melissa H.

    2016-01-01

    Considerable research investigates the immigrant advantage--the academic benefit first- and second-generation students experience relative to native-born peers. However, little work examines how school-based linguistic status may influence this advantage. Contradictory patterns exist: Research identifies both an immigrant advantage and a language…

  14. Cyberbullying: An Increasing Challenge for Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    von Marees, Nandoli; Petermann, Franz

    2012-01-01

    The use of information and communication technology (ICT) has not only brought advantages to mankind. One downside is the emergence and increase of cyberbullying in schools. Affecting students of all ages, teachers, parents, and other educators, this special form of bullying is an increasing challenge for schools. This article offers an overview…

  15. Advantages of micro-optics over holograms for document authentication

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steenblik, Richard A.; Hurt, Mark J.; Knotts, Michael E.

    2002-04-01

    Holograms have been utilized to authenticate financial instruments and high value products for many years. The security provided by embossed holograms is limited by their low surface relief, typically 0.25 micron, which makes them susceptible to counterfeiting: stripping the hologram from the substrate exposes the complete holographic microstructure which can be easily used to create counterfeit tooling. A large improvement in counterfeit deterrence can be gained by the use of high precision non-holographic micro-optics and microstructures having a surface relief greater than a few microns. An unlimited range of distinctive optical effects can be obtained from micro-optic systems. Many of the possible optical effects, such as optical interactions between discrete elements, cannot be effectively simulated by any other means, including holography. We present descriptions of five Visual Physics document authentication micro-optic systems that provide sophisticated optical effects: Virtual Image, BackLite, Encloak, Optical Black, and Structural Color . Visual Physics document authentication micro-optics impose an additional level of counterfeit deterrence because the production of polymer films incorporating these microstructures requires unconventional manufacturing methods; conventional holographic reproduction processes, typical of hologram counterfeiting operations, are inadequate to faithfully reproduce the details and the function of these micro-optic elements. We have developed mastering, tooling, and high precision/high speed manufacturing processes that can faithfully replicate these complex surface relief micro-optics at low cost.

  16. The southpaw advantage? Lateral preference in mixed martial arts.

    PubMed

    Baker, Joseph; Schorer, Jörg

    2013-01-01

    Performers with a left-orientation have a greater likelihood of obtaining elite levels of performance in many interactive sports. This study examined whether combat stance orientation was related to skill and success in Mixed Martial Arts fighters. Data were extracted for 1468 mixed martial artists from a reliable and valid online data source. Measures included fighting stance, win percentage and an ordinal measure of skill based on number of fights. The overall analysis revealed that the fraction of fighters using a southpaw stance was greater than the fraction of left-handers in the general population, but the relationship between stance and hand-preference is not well-understood. Furthermore, t-tests found no statistically significant relationship between laterality and winning percentage, although there was a significant difference between stances for number of fights. Southpaw fighters had a greater number of fights than those using an orthodox stance. These results contribute to an expanding database on the influence of laterality on sport performance and a relatively limited database on variables associated with success in mixed martial arts.

  17. Tumour Heterogeneity: The Key Advantages of Single-Cell Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Tellez-Gabriel, Marta; Ory, Benjamin; Lamoureux, Francois; Heymann, Marie-Francoise; Heymann, Dominique

    2016-01-01

    Tumour heterogeneity refers to the fact that different tumour cells can show distinct morphological and phenotypic profiles, including cellular morphology, gene expression, metabolism, motility, proliferation and metastatic potential. This phenomenon occurs both between tumours (inter-tumour heterogeneity) and within tumours (intra-tumour heterogeneity), and it is caused by genetic and non-genetic factors. The heterogeneity of cancer cells introduces significant challenges in using molecular prognostic markers as well as for classifying patients that might benefit from specific therapies. Thus, research efforts for characterizing heterogeneity would be useful for a better understanding of the causes and progression of disease. It has been suggested that the study of heterogeneity within Circulating Tumour Cells (CTCs) could also reflect the full spectrum of mutations of the disease more accurately than a single biopsy of a primary or metastatic tumour. In previous years, many high throughput methodologies have raised for the study of heterogeneity at different levels (i.e., RNA, DNA, protein and epigenetic events). The aim of the current review is to stress clinical implications of tumour heterogeneity, as well as current available methodologies for their study, paying specific attention to those able to assess heterogeneity at the single cell level. PMID:27999407

  18. Advantages of wet work for near-surface seismic reflection

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Miller, R.D.; Markiewicz, R.D.; Rademacker, T.R.; Hopkins, R.; Rawcliffe, R.J.; Paquin, J.

    2007-01-01

    Benefits of shallow water settings (0.1 to 0.5 m) are pronounced on shallow, high-resolution seismic reflection images and, for examples discussed here, range from an order of magnitude increased signal-to-noise ratio to resolution potential elevated by more than 8 times. Overall data quality of high-resolution seismic reflection data at three sites notorious for poor near-surface reflection returns was improved by coupling the source and/or receivers to a well sorted and fully saturated surface. Half-period trace-to-trace static offsets evident in reflections from receivers planted into a creek bank were eliminated by moving the geophones to the base of a shallow creek at the toe of the bank. Reflections from a dipping bedrock were recorded with a dominant frequency approaching 1 KHz from hydrophones in 0.5 m of water at the toe of a dam using a hammer impact source. A tamper impacted by a dead blow hammer in a shallow (10-20 cm) deep creek produced reflections with a dominant frequency over 400 Hz at depths as shallow as 6 ms. ?? 2007 Society of Exploration Geophysicists.

  19. TPH measurements: The advantage of using GC/MS

    SciTech Connect

    Haddad, R.; MacMurphey, J.

    1997-12-31

    This study provides analytical data supporting the use of GC/MS to quantify TPH in environmental samples. Analysis of these data shows that there is no statistical difference between TPH values quantified using GC/MS and those derived from conventional TPH methods using GC/FID. Further, the GC/MS analysis used in this study is readily adaptable to most environmental laboratories currently performing the volatile and semi-volatile EPA analyses (i.e., 8260 and 8270, respectively; EPA SW 846). The strategic implications of this result are: (1) additional information (e.g., PAHs) often required when conducting a risk based assessment can be derived from pre-existing site assessment data, thereby decreasing the cost and time required to obtain the additional samples and analytical information; and (2) unique TPH distributions can be critically evaluated using mass spectral analysis in order to ascertain the nature and potential source of the compounds present in the TPH mixture. The later point can be crucial when specific sources and their distributions are unknown. The benefits of having MS data available on a routine basis seem to increase as a function of the size and the public profile of the project.

  20. Advantages of improved timing accuracy in PET cameras using LSOscintillator

    SciTech Connect

    Moses, William W.

    2002-12-02

    PET scanners based on LSO have the potential forsignificantly better coincidence timing resolution than the 6 ns fwhmtypically achieved with BGO. This study analyzes the performanceenhancements made possible by improved timing as a function of thecoincidence time resolution. If 500 ps fwhm coincidence timing resolutioncan be achieved in a complete PET camera, the following four benefits canbe realized for whole-body FDG imaging: 1) The random event rate can bereduced by using a narrower coincidence timing window, increasing thepeak NECR by~;50 percent. 2) Using time-of-flight in the reconstructionalgorithm will reduce the noise variance by a factor of 5. 3) Emissionand transmission data can be acquired simultaneously, reducing the totalscan time. 4) Axial blurring can be reduced by using time-of-flight todetermine the correct axial plane that each event originated from. Whiletime-of-flight was extensively studied in the 1980's, practical factorslimited its effectiveness at that time and little attention has been paidto timing in PET since then. As these potential improvements aresubstantial and the advent of LSO PET cameras gives us the means toobtain them without other sacrifices, efforts to improve PET timingshould resume after their long dormancy.

  1. Advantages offered by high average power picosecond lasers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moorhouse, C.

    2011-03-01

    As electronic devices shrink in size to reduce material costs, device size and weight, thinner material thicknesses are also utilized. Feature sizes are also decreasing, which is pushing manufacturers towards single step laser direct write process as an attractive alternative to conventional, multiple step photolithography processes by eliminating process steps and the cost of chemicals. The fragile nature of these thin materials makes them difficult to machine either mechanically or with conventional nanosecond pulsewidth, Diode Pumped Solids State (DPSS) lasers. Picosecond laser pulses can cut materials with reduced damage regions and selectively remove thin films due to the reduced thermal effects of the shorter pulsewidth. Also, the high repetition rate allows high speed processing for industrial applications. Selective removal of thin films for OLED patterning, silicon solar cells and flat panel displays is discussed, as well as laser cutting of transparent materials with low melting point such as Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET). For many of these thin film applications, where low pulse energy and high repetition rate are required, throughput can be increased by the use of a novel technique to using multiple beams from a single laser source is outlined.

  2. Assessment of potential advantages of relevant ions for particle therapy: A model based study

    SciTech Connect

    Grün, Rebecca; Friedrich, Thomas; Krämer, Michael; Scholz, Michael; Zink, Klemens; Durante, Marco; Engenhart-Cabillic, Rita

    2015-02-15

    Purpose: Different ion types offer different physical and biological advantages for therapeutic applications. The purpose of this work is to assess the advantages of the most commonly used ions in particle therapy, i.e., carbon ({sup 12}C), helium ({sup 4}He), and protons ({sup 1}H) for different treatment scenarios. Methods: A treatment planning analysis based on idealized target geometries was performed using the treatment planning software TRiP98. For the prediction of the relative biological effectiveness (RBE) that is required for biological optimization in treatment planning the local effect model (LEM IV) was used. To compare the three ion types, the peak-to-entrance ratio (PER) was determined for the physical dose (PER{sub PHY} {sub S}), the RBE (PER{sub RBE}), and the RBE-weighted dose (PER{sub BIO}) resulting for different dose-levels, field configurations, and tissue types. Further, the dose contribution to artificial organs at risk (OAR) was assessed and a comparison of the dose distribution for the different ion types was performed for a patient with chordoma of the skull base. Results: The study showed that the advantages of the ions depend on the physical and biological properties and the interplay of both. In the case of protons, the consideration of a variable RBE instead of the clinically applied generic RBE of 1.1 indicates an advantage in terms of an increased PER{sub RBE} for the analyzed configurations. Due to the fact that protons show a somewhat better PER{sub PHY} {sub S} compared to helium and carbon ions whereas helium shows a higher PER{sub RBE} compared to protons, both protons and helium ions show a similar RBE-weighted dose distribution. Carbon ions show the largest variation of the PER{sub RBE} with tissue type and a benefit for radioresistant tumor types due to their higher LET. Furthermore, in the case of a two-field irradiation, an additional gain in terms of PER{sub BIO} is observed when using an orthogonal field configuration

  3. Laparoscopic Transcystic Common Bile Duct Exploration: Advantages over Laparoscopic Choledochotomy

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Kai; Yuan, Rongfa; Xiong, Xiaoli; Wu, Linquan

    2016-01-01

    Purpose The ideal treatment for choledocholithiasis should be simple, readily available, reliable, minimally invasive and cost-effective for patients. We performed this study to compare the benefits and drawbacks of different laparoscopic approaches (transcystic and choledochotomy) for removal of common bile duct stones. Methods A systematic search was implemented for relevant literature using Cochrane, PubMed, Ovid Medline, EMBASE and Wanfang databases. Both the fixed-effects and random-effects models were used to calculate the odds ratio (OR) or the mean difference (MD) with 95% confidence interval (CI) for this study. Results The meta-analysis included 18 trials involving 2,782 patients. There were no statistically significant differences between laparoscopic choledochotomy for common bile duct exploration (LCCBDE) (n = 1,222) and laparoscopic transcystic common bile duct exploration (LTCBDE) (n = 1,560) regarding stone clearance (OR 0.73, 95% CI 0.50–1.07; P = 0.11), conversion to other procedures (OR 0.62, 95% CI 0.21–1.79; P = 0.38), total morbidity (OR 1.65, 95% CI 0.92–2.96; P = 0.09), operative time (MD 12.34, 95% CI −0.10–24.78; P = 0.05), and blood loss (MD 1.95, 95% CI −9.56–13.46; P = 0.74). However, the LTCBDE group showed significantly better results for biliary morbidity (OR 4.25, 95% CI 2.30–7.85; P<0.001), hospital stay (MD 2.52, 95% CI 1.29–3.75; P<0.001), and hospital expenses (MD 0.30, 95% CI 0.23–0.37; P<0.001) than the LCCBDE group. Conclusions LTCBDE is safer than LCCBDE, and is the ideal treatment for common bile duct stones. PMID:27668730

  4. On the advantages of cross-culture psychotherapy: the minority therapist/mainstream patient dyad.

    PubMed

    Cheng, L Y; Lo, H T

    1991-11-01

    The personal quality of the therapist is a key element in therapy. In the case of the minority therapist, the difference in language and cultural background offers the patient unique benefits. Value orientations amongst cultures are similar enough for the minority therapist to acculturate. Through acculturation, the therapist becomes aware of a new set of value orientations. This cultural objectivity better enables the therapist to help the mainstream patient to see alternatives in coping with stresses of life, and to fortify the patient's adaptive skills. Because Western psychiatry and psychotherapy are culture-bound, mainstream therapists may easily be "culturally addicted," whereas a minority therapist can maintain cultural neutrality. Advantages discussed include language independence, culture independence, positive transference and analogous experiences.

  5. The effective mechanical advantage of a.L. 129-1a for knee extension.

    PubMed

    Sylvester, Adam D; Mahfouz, Mohamed R; Kramer, Patricia Ann

    2011-09-01

    The functional significance of shape differences between modern human and australopithecine distal femora remains unclear. Here, we examine the morphological component of the effective mechanical advantage (EMA) of the quadriceps muscle group in a sample of hominins that includes the fossil A.L. 129-1a (Australopithecus afarensis) and modern humans. Quadriceps muscle moment arms were calculated from three-dimensional computer models of specimens through a range of knee flexion. All hominins were compared using the same limb positions to allow us to examine, in isolation, the morphological component of the lengths of the pertinent moment arms. After taking into account the differences in bicondylar angle, the morphological component of the EMA was calculated as the ratio of the quadriceps muscle and ground reaction force moment arms. Our analyses reveal that A.L. 129-1a would have possessed a morphological component of the quadriceps muscle EMA expected for a hominin of its body mass.

  6. Uniqueness, Advantages, Challenges, Solutions, and Perspectives in Therapeutics Applying RNA Nanotechnology

    PubMed Central

    Haque, Farzin; Hallahan, Brent; Reif, Randall; Li, Hui

    2012-01-01

    The field of RNA nanotechnology is rapidly emerging. RNA can be manipulated with the simplicity characteristic of DNA to produce nanoparticles with a diversity of quaternary structures by self-assembly. Additionally RNA is tremendously versatile in its function and some RNA molecules display catalytic activities much like proteins. Thus, RNA has the advantage of both worlds. However, the instability of RNA has made many scientists flinch away from RNA nanotechnology. Other concerns that have deterred the progress of RNA therapeutics include the induction of interferons, stimulation of cytokines, and activation of other immune systems, as well as short pharmacokinetic profiles in vivo. This review will provide some solutions and perspectives on the chemical and thermodynamic stability, in vivo half-life and biodistribution, yield and production cost, in vivo toxicity and side effect, specific delivery and targeting, as well as endosomal trapping and escape. PMID:22913595

  7. Inappropriate Utilization in Fee-for-Service Medicare and Medicare Advantage Plans.

    PubMed

    Parashuram, Shriram; Kim, Seung; Dowd, Bryan

    2017-04-01

    This study uses a national multi-payer claims database to test for differences in potentially inappropriate emergency department (ED) visits and ambulatory care sensitive (ACS) admissions in fee-for-service (FFS) Medicare and Medicare Advantage (MA) plans. Rates of ACS admissions for MA enrollees were approximately one third those of FFS beneficiaries, controlling for covariates, which included the beneficiary's health status as represented by their risk score. This study then compared FFS and MA beneficiaries when they moved from one type of health plan to another. Again, controlling for covariates, potentially inappropriate ED visits and ACS admissions remained at their low baseline values for FFS beneficiaries who switched from FFS Medicare to MA plans, but rose for MA enrollees switching to FFS Medicare.

  8. Operational-safety advantages of LMFBR's: the EBR-II experience and testing program

    SciTech Connect

    Sackett, J.I.; Lindsay, R.W.; Golden, G.H.

    1982-01-01

    LMFBR's contain many inherent characteristics that simplify control and improve operating safety and reliability. The EBR-II design is such that good advantage was taken of these characteristics, resulting in a vary favorable operating history and allowing for a program of off-normal testing to further demonstrate the safe response of LMFBR's to upsets. The experience already gained, and that expected from the future testing program, will contribute to further development of design and safety criteria for LMFBR's. Inherently safe characteristics are emphasized and include natural convective flow for decay heat removal, minimal need for emergency power and a large negative reactivity feedback coefficient. These characteristics at EBR-II allow for ready application of computer diagnosis and control to demonstrate their effectiveness in response to simulated plant accidents. This latter testing objective is an important part in improvements in the man-machine interface. (MMI)

  9. Cell-Mediated Delivery of Nanoparticles: Taking Advantage of Circulatory Cells to Target Nanoparticles

    PubMed Central

    Anselmo, Aaron C.; Mitragotri, Samir

    2014-01-01

    Cellular hitchhiking leverages the use of circulatory cells to enhance the biological outcome of nanoparticle drug delivery systems, which often suffer from poor circulation time and limited targeting. Cellular hitchhiking utilizes the natural abilities of circulatory cells to: (i) navigate the vasculature while avoiding immune system clearance, (ii) remain relatively inert until needed and (iii) perform specific functions, including nutrient delivery to tissues, clearance of pathogens, and immune system surveillance. A variety of synthetic nanoparticles attempt to mimic these functional attributes of circulatory cells for drug delivery purposes. By combining the advantages of circulatory cells and synthetic nanoparticles, many advanced drug delivery systems have been developed that adopt the concept of cellular hitchhiking. Here, we review the development and specific applications of cellular hitchhiking-based drug delivery systems. PMID:24747161

  10. Statistical Power of Alternative Structural Models for Comparative Effectiveness Research: Advantages of Modeling Unreliability

    PubMed Central

    Iordache, Eugen; Dierker, Lisa; Fifield, Judith; Schensul, Jean J.; Suggs, Suzanne; Barbour, Russell

    2015-01-01

    The advantages of modeling the unreliability of outcomes when evaluating the comparative effectiveness of health interventions is illustrated. Adding an action-research intervention component to a regular summer job program for youth was expected to help in preventing risk behaviors. A series of simple two-group alternative structural equation models are compared to test the effect of the intervention on one key attitudinal outcome in terms of model fit and statistical power with Monte Carlo simulations. Some models presuming parameters equal across the intervention and comparison groups were underpowered to detect the intervention effect, yet modeling the unreliability of the outcome measure increased their statistical power and helped in the detection of the hypothesized effect. Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) could benefit from flexible multi-group alternative structural models organized in decision trees, and modeling unreliability of measures can be of tremendous help for both the fit of statistical models to the data and their statistical power. PMID:26640421

  11. Toward a social capital theory of competitive advantage in medical groups.

    PubMed

    Hoelscher, Mark L; Hoffman, James J; Dawley, David

    2005-01-01

    Social capital can have a positive impact on medical group performance. We forward our theory based on the integration of theories in social capital, resource advantage, and the resource-based view of the firm. Further, we suggest specific ways in which medical groups can increase their levels of social capital. First, medical groups should design or redesign the workplace so that there is ample interaction among employees. Second, employee participation within the community should be encouraged. Third, medical groups should recognize that social capital becomes ingrained in organizational culture. Therefore, medical groups should take steps to ensure a culture that supports its social capital. Fourth, hiring procedures should be designed (or redesigned) to ensure that new employees add social capital to the organization. Finally, trust must be fostered at the employee level.

  12. Advantages of Fast Ignition Scenarios with Two Hot Spots for Space Propulsion Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shmatov, M. L.

    The use of the fast ignition scenarios with the attempts to create two hot spots in one blob of the compressed thermonuclear fuel or, briefly, scenarios with two hot spots in space propulsion systems is proposed. The model, predicting that for such scenarios the probability pf of failure of ignition of thermonuclear microexplosion can be significantly less than that for the similar scenarios with the attempts to create one hot spot in one blob of the compressed fuel, is presented. For space propulsion systems consuming a relatively large amount of propellant, a decrease in pf due to the choice of the scenario with two hot spots can result in large, for example, two-fold, increase in the payload mass. Other advantages of the scenarios with two hot spots and some problems related to them are considered.

  13. Strain US Elastography for the Characterization of Thyroid Nodules: Advantages and Limitation.

    PubMed

    Cantisani, Vito; Grazhdani, Hektor; Drakonaki, Elena; D'Andrea, Vito; Di Segni, Mattia; Kaleshi, Erton; Calliada, Fabrizio; Catalano, Carlo; Redler, Adriano; Brunese, Luca; Drudi, Francesco Maria; Fumarola, Angela; Carbotta, Giovanni; Frattaroli, Fabrizio; Di Leo, Nicola; Ciccariello, Mauro; Caratozzolo, Marcello; D'Ambrosio, Ferdinando

    2015-01-01

    Thyroid nodules, with their high prevalence in the general population, represent a diagnostic challenge for clinicians. Ultrasound (US), although absolutely reliable in detecting thyroid nodules, is still not accurate enough to differentiate them into benign and malignant. A promising novel modality, US elastography, has been introduced in order to further increase US accuracy. The purpose of this review article is to assess the thyroid application of US strain elastography, also known as real-time elastography or quasistatic elastography. We provide a presentation of the technique, and of up-to-date literature, analyzing the most prominent results reported for thyroid nodules differentiation. The practical advantages and limitations of strain elastography are extensively discussed herein.

  14. Strain US Elastography for the Characterization of Thyroid Nodules: Advantages and Limitation

    PubMed Central

    Cantisani, Vito; Grazhdani, Hektor; Drakonaki, Elena; D'Andrea, Vito; Di Segni, Mattia; Kaleshi, Erton; Calliada, Fabrizio; Catalano, Carlo; Brunese, Luca; Drudi, Francesco Maria; Fumarola, Angela; Carbotta, Giovanni; Frattaroli, Fabrizio; Di Leo, Nicola; Ciccariello, Mauro; Caratozzolo, Marcello; D'Ambrosio, Ferdinando

    2015-01-01

    Thyroid nodules, with their high prevalence in the general population, represent a diagnostic challenge for clinicians. Ultrasound (US), although absolutely reliable in detecting thyroid nodules, is still not accurate enough to differentiate them into benign and malignant. A promising novel modality, US elastography, has been introduced in order to further increase US accuracy. The purpose of this review article is to assess the thyroid application of US strain elastography, also known as real-time elastography or quasistatic elastography. We provide a presentation of the technique, and of up-to-date literature, analyzing the most prominent results reported for thyroid nodules differentiation. The practical advantages and limitations of strain elastography are extensively discussed herein. PMID:25954310

  15. Earth Science applications on Grid -advantages and limitations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petitdidier, M.; Schwichtenberg, H.

    2012-04-01

    The civil society at large has addressed to the Earth Science community many strong requirements related in particular to natural and industrial risks, climate changes, new energies…. Our total knowledge about the complex Earth system is contained in models and measurements, how we put them together has to be managed cleverly… The technical challenge is to put together databases and computing resources to answer the ES challenges. The main critical point is that on one hand the civil society and all public ask for certainties i.e. precise values with small error range as it concerns prediction at short, medium and long term in all domains; on the other hand Science can mainly answer only in terms of probability of occurrence. To improve the answer or/and decrease the uncertainties, (1) new observational networks have been deployed in order to have a better geographical coverage and more accurate measurements have been carried out in key locations and aboard satellites, (2) new algorithms and methodologies have been developed using new technologies and compute resources. Numerous applications in atmospheric chemistry, meteorology, seismology, hydrology, pollution, climate and biodiversity were deployed successfully on Grid. In order to fulfill requirements of risk management, several prototype applications have been deployed using OGC (Open geospatial Consortium) components with Grid middleware. The Grid has permitted to decrease uncertainties by increasing the probability of occurrence via a larger number of runs. Some limitations are related to the combination of databases-outside the grid infrastructure- and grid compute resources; and to real-time applications that need resource reservation in order to insure results at given time. As a matter of fact ES scientists use different compute resources according to the phase of their application are used to work in large projects and share their results. They need a service-oriented architecture and a platform of

  16. [Advantages and limitations of interspecies associations in northern migratory sandpipers (Charadrii, Aves)].

    PubMed

    Gavrilov, V V

    2014-01-01

    Investigations were carried out at two stations of Ornithological Unit, IBPN FEB RAS, located in Nizhnekolymsk District, Yakutia, starting from May 15-20 in 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, and 1990; at the northern coast of Pukhovoy Bay, Southern Island of Novaya Zemlya starting from June 1 in 1994; at Cape Beliy Nos, the Yugorsky Peninsula, starting from June 1 in 1995-1997. Classic associations are detected in interspecies flocks of sandpipers between the following species: the Pacific golden plover and the curlew sandpiper, the pectoral sandpiper and the long-billed dowitcher, the pectoral sandpiper and the dunlin, the grey plover and the dunlin. However, total amount of birds that form associations is not large. In species of group "A" (the grey plover, the Pacific golden plover, the pectoral sandpiper), no difference has been observed in migratory birds behavior within inter- or conspecific flocks. Species of group "B" (the dunlin, the curlew sandpiper, the long-billed dowitcher), on the contrary, change their behavior sharply depending on whether they belong to an association or not. Species of group "A" do not get any advantages when forming an association. Unlike them, species of group "B" profit from associating: a part of time spent in foraging substantially increases; more time is spent on rest and less time is spent on reconnaissance and vigilance (readiness for actions); safety of birds is enhanced. On the other hand, in species of group "B" there are also disadvantages related with associating: i.e., interspecies competition for food; foraging in suboptimal habitats which, in turn, may lead to notable increase of time spent by birds in foraging. An assumption is put forward that in species of group "B" advantages and limitations of associating cancel each other to a certain extent, and this explains rather small number of birds forming associations.

  17. Launch Lock Assemblies Including Axial Gap Amplification Devices and Spacecraft Isolation Systems Including the Same

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barber, Tim Daniel (Inventor); Hindle, Timothy (Inventor); Young, Ken (Inventor); Davis, Torey (Inventor)

    2014-01-01

    Embodiments of a launch lock assembly are provided, as are embodiments of a spacecraft isolation system including one or more launch lock assemblies. In one embodiment, the launch lock assembly includes first and second mount pieces, a releasable clamp device, and an axial gap amplification device. The releasable clamp device normally maintains the first and second mount pieces in clamped engagement; and, when actuated, releases the first and second mount pieces from clamped engagement to allow relative axial motion there between. The axial gap amplification device normally residing in a blocking position wherein the gap amplification device obstructs relative axial motion between the first and second mount pieces. The axial gap amplification device moves into a non-blocking position when the first and second mount pieces are released from clamped engagement to increase the range of axial motion between the first and second mount pieces.

  18. Electrochemical system including lamella settler crystallizer

    DOEpatents

    Maimoni, Arturo

    1988-01-01

    A crystallizer which incorporates a lamella settler and which is particularly applicable for use in batteries and power cells for electric vehicles or stationary applications. The lamella settler can be utilized for coarse particle separation or for agglomeration, and is particularly applicable to aluminum-air batteries or power cells for solving the hydrargillite (aluminum-hydroxide) removal problems from such batteries. This invention provides the advantages of very low energy consumption, turbulence, shear, cost and maintenance. Thus, due to the low shear and low turbulence of this invention, it is particularly effective in the control of aluminum hydroxide particle size distribution in the various sections of an aluminum-air system, as will as in other elecrochemical systems requiring separation for phases of different densities.

  19. Haemophilus influenzae Disease (Including Hib) Symptoms

    MedlinePlus

    ... Search The CDC Cancel Submit Search The CDC Haemophilus influenzae Disease (Including Hib) Note: Javascript is disabled or ... and Symptoms Recommend on Facebook Tweet Share Compartir Haemophilus influenzae , including Hib, disease causes different symptoms depending on ...

  20. Article Including Environmental Barrier Coating System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lee, Kang N. (Inventor)

    2015-01-01

    An enhanced environmental barrier coating for a silicon containing substrate. The enhanced barrier coating may include a bond coat doped with at least one of an alkali metal oxide and an alkali earth metal oxide. The enhanced barrier coating may include a composite mullite bond coat including BSAS and another distinct second phase oxide applied over said surface.