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Sample records for advantages including improved

  1. 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.

  2. 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. PMID:17463410

  3. Improving species-specific IDMS: the advantages of triple IDMS.

    PubMed

    Frank, Claudia; Rienitz, Olaf; Swart, Claudia; Schiel, Detlef

    2013-02-01

    Triple isotope dilution mass spectrometry (triple IDMS) has been applied for the first time on protein quantification, especially on transferrin. Transferrin as an acute phase protein is a marker for several inflammation processes in the human body. Therefore, in Germany, the accurate and precise measurement of this important analyte is required. In this work, a new approach to triple IDMS is described and compared to double IDMS. Also, complete uncertainty budgets for both methods were set up to demonstrate the ability of this method to be used as a reference procedure. The relative expanded uncertainty (k=2) for triple IDMS (3.6 %) is smaller than the one for double IDMS (4.0 %). The content of transferrin found in the human serum reference material ERM-DA470k/IFCC ((2.41±0.08) g/kg) with both methods was in good agreement with each other and with the certificate. For triple IDMS ((2.426±0.086) g/kg) and for double IDMS ((2.317±0.092) g/kg), transferrin was determined. Although triple IDMS is a little more time consuming compared to double IDMS, there is the advantage that the isotopic composition of the spike material does not have to be determined. This is very useful especially in case of a marginal isotopic enrichment in the spike or problems with the accurate measurement of the spike isotope ratio.

  4. 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.

  5. Advantages and Disadvantages of Cross Grade Level Collaboration to Improve Collegial Interactions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Fidelia

    2013-01-01

    Researchers have connected student achievement to teacher collaboration; however, there is a paucity of studies conducted on how teachers use identified advantages and disadvantages of cross grade level collaboration to improve collegial interactions to achieve better student performance, professional development, teacher effectiveness, and job…

  6. Medicare Advantage: options for standardizing benefits and information to improve consumer choice.

    PubMed

    O'Brien, Ellen; Hoadley, Jack

    2008-04-01

    The Medicare Advantage (MA) program offers beneficiaries a choice of private health plans as alternatives to the traditional fee-for-service Medicare program. MA plans potentially provide additional value, but as plan choices have proliferated, consumers contemplating their options have had difficulty understanding how they differ. Through "standardization" more consistent types of information and a limited number of dimensions along which plans vary--MA plans could reduce complexity and improve beneficiaries' ability to make informed choices. Such standardization steps would offer more meaningful variation in the health coverage options available to beneficiaries, Medicare officials and their community partners would find it far easier to educate beneficiaries about their health plan choices, and beneficiaries would better understand what they were buying. Standardization might also strengthen the ability of the market-based Medicare Advantage program to incorporate beneficiary preferences. PMID:18426037

  7. Improving DTI tractography by including diagonal tract propagation.

    PubMed

    Taylor, Paul A; Cho, Kuan-Hung; Lin, Ching-Po; Biswal, Bharat B

    2012-01-01

    Tractography algorithms have been developed to reconstruct likely WM pathways in the brain from diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) data. In this study, an elegant and simple means for improving existing tractography algorithms is proposed by allowing tracts to propagate through diagonal trajectories between voxels, instead of only rectilinearly to their facewise neighbors. A series of tests (using both real and simulated data sets) are utilized to show several benefits of this new approach. First, the inclusion of diagonal tract propagation decreases the dependence of an algorithm on the arbitrary orientation of coordinate axes and therefore reduces numerical errors associated with that bias (which are also demonstrated here). Moreover, both quantitatively and qualitatively, including diagonals decreases overall noise sensitivity of results and leads to significantly greater efficiency in scanning protocols; that is, the obtained tracts converge much more quickly (i.e., in a smaller amount of scanning time) to those of data sets with high SNR and spatial resolution. Importantly, the inclusion of diagonal propagation adds essentially no appreciable time of calculation or computational costs to standard methods. This study focuses on the widely-used streamline tracking method, FACT (fiber assessment by continuous tracking), and the modified method is termed "FACTID" (FACT including diagonals). PMID:22970125

  8. Improving the Accuracy of Stamping Analyses Including Springback Deformations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Firat, Mehmet; Karadeniz, Erdal; Yenice, Mustafa; Kaya, Mesut

    2013-02-01

    An accurate prediction of sheet metal deformation including springback is one of the main issues in an efficient finite element (FE) simulation in automotive and stamping industries. Considering tooling design for newer class of high-strength steels, in particular, this requirement became an important aspect for springback compensation practices today. The sheet deformation modeling accounting Bauschinger effect is considered to be a key factor affecting the accuracy of FE simulations in this context. In this article, a rate-independent cyclic plasticity model is presented and implemented into LS-Dyna software for an accurate modeling of sheet metal deformation in stamping simulations. The proposed model uses Hill's orthotropic yield surface in the description of yield loci of planar and transversely anisotropic sheets. The strain-hardening behavior is calculated based on an additive backstress form of the nonlinear kinematic hardening rule. The proposed model is applied in stamping simulations of a dual-phase steel automotive part, and comparisons are presented in terms of part strain and thickness distributions calculated with isotropic plasticity and the proposed model. It is observed that both models produce similar plastic strain and thickness distributions; however, there appeared to be considerable differences in computed springback deformations. Part shapes computed with both plasticity models were evaluated with surface scanning of manufactured parts. A comparison of FE computed geometries with manufactured parts proved the improved performance of proposed model over isotropic plasticity for this particular stamping application.

  9. Reader's Theater and Storyboarding: Strategies That Include and Improve

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Doherty, James; Coggeshall, Kara

    2005-01-01

    Doherty and Coggeshall combined their two classes--one regular education and one special education--and, agreeing on the value of reader's theater and storyboarding for all students, embarked on a team teaching effort that resulted in improvements for all students, and unprecedented success for "special" students. A template for storyboarding is…

  10. Valuing preferences over stormwater management outcomes including improved hydrologic function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    LondoñO Cadavid, Catalina; Ando, Amy W.

    2013-07-01

    Stormwater runoff causes environmental problems such as flooding, soil erosion, and water pollution. Conventional stormwater management has focused primarily on flood reduction, while a new generation of decentralized stormwater solutions yields ancillary benefits such as healthier aquatic habitat, improved surface water quality, and increased water table recharge. Previous research has estimated values for flood reduction from stormwater management, but no estimates exist for the willingness to pay (WTP) for some of the other environmental benefits of alternative approaches to stormwater control. This paper uses a choice experiment survey of households in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, to estimate the values of several attributes of stormwater management outcomes. We analyzed data from 131 surveyed households in randomly selected neighborhoods. We find that people value reduced basement flooding more than reductions in yard or street flooding, but WTP for basement flood reduction in the area only exists if individuals are currently experiencing significant flooding themselves. Citizens value both improved water quality and improved hydrologic function and aquatic habitat from runoff reduction. Thus, widespread investment in low impact development stormwater solutions could have very large total benefits, and stormwater managers should be wary of policies and infrastructure plans that reduce flooding at the expense of water quality and aquatic habitat.

  11. 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

  12. Is Structural Equation Modeling Advantageous for the Genetic Improvement of Multiple Traits?

    PubMed Central

    Valente, Bruno D.; Rosa, Guilherme J. M.; Gianola, Daniel; Wu, Xiao-Lin; Weigel, Kent

    2013-01-01

    Structural equation models (SEMs) are multivariate specifications capable of conveying causal relationships among traits. Although these models offer insights into how phenotypic traits relate to each other, it is unclear whether and how they can improve multiple-trait selection. Here, we explored concepts involved in SEMs, seeking for benefits that could be brought to breeding programs, relative to the standard multitrait model (MTM) commonly used. Genetic effects pertaining to SEMs and MTMs have distinct meanings. In SEMs, they represent genetic effects acting directly on each trait, without mediation by other traits in the model; in MTMs they express overall genetic effects on each trait, equivalent to lumping together direct and indirect genetic effects discriminated by SEMs. However, in breeding programs the goal is selecting candidates that produce offspring with best phenotypes, regardless of how traits are causally associated, so overall additive genetic effects are the matter. Thus, no information is lost in standard settings by using MTM-based predictions, even if traits are indeed causally associated. Nonetheless, causal information allows predicting effects of external interventions. One may be interested in predictions for scenarios where interventions are performed, e.g., artificially defining the value of a trait, blocking causal associations, or modifying their magnitudes. We demonstrate that with information provided by SEMs, predictions for these scenarios are possible from data recorded under no interventions. Contrariwise, MTMs do not provide information for such predictions. As livestock and crop production involves interventions such as management practices, SEMs may be advantageous in many settings. PMID:23608193

  13. Improving Planck calibration by including frequency-dependent relativistic corrections

    SciTech Connect

    Quartin, Miguel; Notari, Alessio E-mail: notari@ffn.ub.es

    2015-09-01

    The Planck satellite detectors are calibrated in the 2015 release using the 'orbital dipole', which is the time-dependent dipole generated by the Doppler effect due to the motion of the satellite around the Sun. Such an effect has also relativistic time-dependent corrections of relative magnitude 10{sup −3}, due to coupling with the 'solar dipole' (the motion of the Sun compared to the CMB rest frame), which are included in the data calibration by the Planck collaboration. We point out that such corrections are subject to a frequency-dependent multiplicative factor. This factor differs from unity especially at the highest frequencies, relevant for the HFI instrument. Since currently Planck calibration errors are dominated by systematics, to the point that polarization data is currently unreliable at large scales, such a correction can in principle be highly relevant for future data releases.

  14. Improving Planck calibration by including frequency-dependent relativistic corrections

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quartin, Miguel; Notari, Alessio

    2015-09-01

    The Planck satellite detectors are calibrated in the 2015 release using the "orbital dipole", which is the time-dependent dipole generated by the Doppler effect due to the motion of the satellite around the Sun. Such an effect has also relativistic time-dependent corrections of relative magnitude 10-3, due to coupling with the "solar dipole" (the motion of the Sun compared to the CMB rest frame), which are included in the data calibration by the Planck collaboration. We point out that such corrections are subject to a frequency-dependent multiplicative factor. This factor differs from unity especially at the highest frequencies, relevant for the HFI instrument. Since currently Planck calibration errors are dominated by systematics, to the point that polarization data is currently unreliable at large scales, such a correction can in principle be highly relevant for future data releases.

  15. Guidelines are advantageous, though not essential for improved survival among breast cancer patients.

    PubMed

    Wolters, Regine; Wischhusen, Jörg; Stüber, Tanja; Weiss, Claire Rachel; Krockberger, Mathias; Bartmann, Catharina; Blettner, Maria; Janni, Wolfgang; Kreienberg, Rolf; Schwentner, Lukas; Novopashenny, Igor; Wischnewsky, Manfred; Wöckel, Achim; Diessner, Joachim

    2015-07-01

    The purpose of this retrospective multicenter study was to resolve the pseudo-paradox that the clinical outcome of women affected by breast cancer has improved during the last 20 years irrespective of whether they were treated in accordance with clinical guidelines or not. This retrospective German multicenter study included 9061 patients with primary breast cancer recruited from 1991 to 2009. We formed subgroups for the time intervals 1991-2000 (TI1) and 2001-2009 (TI2). In these subgroups, the risk of recurrence (RFS) and overall survival (OS) were compared between patients whose treatment was either 100% guideline-conforming or, respectively, non-guideline-conforming. The clinical outcome of all patients significantly improved in TI2 compared to TI1 [RFS: p < 0.001, HR = 0.57, 95% CI (0.49-0.67); OS: p < 0.001, HR = 0.76, 95% (CI 0.66-0.87)]. OS and RFS of guideline non-adherent patients also improved in TI2 compared to TI. Comparing risk profiles, determined by Nottingham Prognostic Score reveals a significant (p = 0.001) enhancement in the time cohort TI2. Furthermore, the percentage of guideline-conforming systemic therapy (endocrine therapy and chemotherapy) significantly increased (p < 0.001) in the time cohort TI2 to TI for the non-adherent group. The general improvement of clinical outcome of patients during the last 20 years is also valid in the subgroup of women who received treatments, which deviated from the guidelines. The shift in risk profiles as well as medical advances are major reasons for this improvement. Nevertheless, patients with 100% guideline-conforming therapy always had a better outcome compared to patients with guideline non-adherent therapy.

  16. EFL Students' Perceptions of a Blended Learning Environment: Advantages, Limitations and Suggestions for Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Al Zumor, Abdul Wahed Q.; Al Refaai, Ismail K.; Eddin, Eyhab A. Bader; Al-Rahman, Farouq H. Aziz

    2013-01-01

    This study explores King Khalid University English as Foreign Language (EFL) students' views regarding the advantages and limitations of merging the features of face-to-face language instruction and online language learning via the Blackboard learning management system in a new pedagogical approach called Blended Learning. The study also examines…

  17. Improved Pharmacological and Structural Properties of HIV Fusion Inhibitor AP3 over Enfuvirtide: Highlighting Advantages of Artificial Peptide Strategy

    DOE PAGES

    Zhu, Xiaojie; Zhu, Yun; Ye, Sheng; Wang, Qian; Xu, Wei; Su, Shan; Sun, Zhiwu; Yu, Fei; Liu, Qi; Wang, Chao; et al

    2015-08-19

    Enfuvirtide (T20), is the first HIV fusion inhibitor approved for treatment of HIV/AIDS patients who fail to respond to the current antiretroviral drugs. However, its clinical application is limited because of short half-life, drug resistance and cross-reactivity with the preexisting antibodies in HIV-infected patients. Using an artificial peptide strategy, we designed a peptide with non-native protein sequence, AP3, which exhibited potent antiviral activity against a broad spectrum of HIV-1 strains, including those resistant to T20, and had remarkably longer in vivo half-life than T20. While the preexisting antibodies in HIV-infected patients significantly suppressed T20’s antiviral activity, these antibodies neither recognizedmore » AP3, nor attenuated its anti-HIV-1 activity. Structurally different from T20, AP3 could fold into single-helix and interact with gp41 NHR. The two residues, Met and Thr, at the N-terminus of AP3 form a hook-like structure to stabilize interaction between AP3 and NHR helices. Therefore, AP3 has potential for further development as a new HIV fusion inhibitor with improved antiviral efficacy, resistance profile and pharmacological properties over enfuvirtide. Meanwhile, this study highlighted the advantages of artificially designed peptides, and confirmed that this strategy could be used in developing artificial peptide-based viral fusion inhibitors against HIV and other enveloped viruses.« less

  18. Building the crops of tomorrow: advantages of symbiont-based approaches to improving abiotic stress tolerance

    SciTech Connect

    Coleman-Derr, Devin; Tringe, Susannah G.

    2014-06-06

    The exponential growth in world population is feeding a steadily increasing global need for arable farmland, a resource that is already in high demand. This trend has led to increased farming on subprime arid and semi-arid lands, where limited availability of water and a host of environmental stresses often severely reduce crop productivity. The conventional approach to mitigating the abiotic stresses associated with arid climes is to breed for stress-tolerant cultivars, a time and labor intensive venture that often neglects the complex ecological context of the soil environment in which the crop is grown. In recent years, studies have attempted to identify microbial symbionts capable of conferring the same stress-tolerance to their plant hosts, and new developments in genomic technologies have greatly facilitated such research. Here in this paper, we highlight many of the advantages of these symbiont-based approaches and argue in favor of the broader recognition of crop species as ecological niches for a diverse community of microorganisms that function in concert with their plant hosts and each other to thrive under fluctuating environmental conditions

  19. Building the crops of tomorrow: advantages of symbiont-based approaches to improving abiotic stress tolerance.

    PubMed

    Coleman-Derr, Devin; Tringe, Susannah G

    2014-01-01

    The exponential growth in world population is feeding a steadily increasing global need for arable farmland, a resource that is already in high demand. This trend has led to increased farming on subprime arid and semi-arid lands, where limited availability of water and a host of environmental stresses often severely reduce crop productivity. The conventional approach to mitigating the abiotic stresses associated with arid climes is to breed for stress-tolerant cultivars, a time and labor intensive venture that often neglects the complex ecological context of the soil environment in which the crop is grown. In recent years, studies have attempted to identify microbial symbionts capable of conferring the same stress-tolerance to their plant hosts, and new developments in genomic technologies have greatly facilitated such research. Here, we highlight many of the advantages of these symbiont-based approaches and argue in favor of the broader recognition of crop species as ecological niches for a diverse community of microorganisms that function in concert with their plant hosts and each other to thrive under fluctuating environmental conditions.

  20. 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 persons that…

  1. Recommended Resources for Planning to Evaluate Program Improvement Efforts (Including the SSIP)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Center for Systemic Improvement at WestEd, 2015

    2015-01-01

    This document provides a list of recommended existing resources for state Part C and Part B 619 staff and technical assistance (TA) providers to utilize to support evaluation planning for program improvement efforts (including the State Systemic Improvement Plan, SSIP). There are many resources available related to evaluation and evaluation…

  2. The advantage of professional organizations as advocates for improved funding of maternal and child health services in Uganda.

    PubMed

    Beyeza-Kashesya, Jolly; Kaharuza, Frank; Murokora, Daniel

    2014-10-01

    The attainment of United Nations Millennium Development Goal 5 has proven elusive for many countries. Efforts to reduce maternal mortality require concerted evidence-based efforts from all key players, including professional organizations. The Association of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Uganda used the results of maternal and perinatal death review to develop and pilot advocacy programs with parliamentarians, media, and government that aimed to improve maternal and newborn health in Uganda. This work translated to further parliamentary debate on the topic, increased resource allocation by government, and improved media-related public education.

  3. Temporal changes in home advantage in English football since the Second World War: what explains improved away performance?

    PubMed

    Jacklin, Paul B

    2005-07-01

    This study examined temporal trends in home advantage in the top two English football divisions and used change point analysis to test the hypothesis that home advantage has not remained constant over time. Regression analysis was used to model the impact of substitutions (a proxy for "information transfer") and the points system on home advantage. The results suggest that changing from two points for a win to three points for a win has led to a 0.39 reduction (95% confidence interval=0.21 to 0.56) in the ratio of home wins to away wins. Increasing the number of substitutions is associated with a small increase in the ratio of home wins to away wins, although this is not statistically significant. The evidence indicates that, in this particular context, the extent of home advantage has diminished. This contradicts most other published work, which suggests that home advantage is stable over time. I argue that this reduction is more likely to be the result of the introduction of three points for a win, which has lessened the incentives for away teams to settle for a draw, than an increase in "information transfer". Research into temporal trends in home advantage is interesting in its own right but might, in addition, shed light on determinants of the home advantage phenomenon.

  4. New Models of CKD Care Including Pharmacists: Improving Medication Reconciliation and Medication Management

    PubMed Central

    St Peter, Wendy L.; Wazny, Lori D.; Patel, Uptal D.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose of review Chronic kidney disease patients are complex, have many medication-related problems (MRPs) and high rates of medication nonadherence, and are less adherent to some medications than patients with higher levels of kidney function. Nonadherence in CKD patients increases the odds of uncontrolled hypertension, which can increase the risk of CKD progression. This review discusses reasons for gaps in medication-related care for CKD patients, pharmacy services to reduce these gaps, and successful models that incorporate pharmacist care. Recent findings Pharmacists are currently being trained to deliver patient-centered care, including identification and management of MRPs and helping patients overcome barriers to improve medication adherence. A growing body of evidence indicates that pharmacist services for CKD patients, including medication reconciliation and medication therapy management, positively affect clinical and cost outcomes including lower rates of decline in glomerular filtration rates, reduced mortality, and fewer hospitalizations and hospital days, but more robust research is needed. Team-based models including pharmacists exist today and are being studied in a wide range of innovative care and reimbursement models. Summary Opportunities are growing to include pharmacists as integral members of CKD and dialysis healthcare teams to reduce MRPs, increase medication adherence, and improve patient outcomes. PMID:24076556

  5. Improvement of Prediction Ability for Genomic Selection of Dairy Cattle by Including Dominance Effects

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Chuanyu; VanRaden, Paul M.; Cole, John B.; O'Connell, Jeffrey R.

    2014-01-01

    Dominance may be an important source of non-additive genetic variance for many traits of dairy cattle. However, nearly all prediction models for dairy cattle have included only additive effects because of the limited number of cows with both genotypes and phenotypes. The role of dominance in the Holstein and Jersey breeds was investigated for eight traits: milk, fat, and protein yields; productive life; daughter pregnancy rate; somatic cell score; fat percent and protein percent. Additive and dominance variance components were estimated and then used to estimate additive and dominance effects of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). The predictive abilities of three models with both additive and dominance effects and a model with additive effects only were assessed using ten-fold cross-validation. One procedure estimated dominance values, and another estimated dominance deviations; calculation of the dominance relationship matrix was different for the two methods. The third approach enlarged the dataset by including cows with genotype probabilities derived using genotyped ancestors. For yield traits, dominance variance accounted for 5 and 7% of total variance for Holsteins and Jerseys, respectively; using dominance deviations resulted in smaller dominance and larger additive variance estimates. For non-yield traits, dominance variances were very small for both breeds. For yield traits, including additive and dominance effects fit the data better than including only additive effects; average correlations between estimated genetic effects and phenotypes showed that prediction accuracy increased when both effects rather than just additive effects were included. No corresponding gains in prediction ability were found for non-yield traits. Including cows with derived genotype probabilities from genotyped ancestors did not improve prediction accuracy. The largest additive effects were located on chromosome 14 near DGAT1 for yield traits for both breeds; those SNPs also

  6. Can Formal-Informal Collaborations Improve Science Literacy in Urban Middle Schools? The Impact of Urban Advantage. IESP Policy Brief 03-11

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weinstein, Meryle; Ruble, Emilyn

    2011-01-01

    This brief presents findings from a study on Urban Advantage (UA), a collaboration between the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), other New York City informal science institutions, and the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) to improve the science literacy of NYC public school students. The analysis draws on a rich longitudinal…

  7. 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.

  8. 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. PMID:19385873

  9. 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. PMID:19385863

  10. Dye laser amplifier including an improved window configuration for its dye beam

    DOEpatents

    O'Neil, R.W.; Davin, J.M.

    1992-12-01

    A dye laser amplifier in which a continuously replenished supply of dye is excited with a first light beam in order to amplify the intensity of a second different light beam passing therethrough is disclosed herein. This amplifier includes a cell though which a continuous stream of the dye is caused to pass, and means for directing the first beam into the cell while the second beam is directed into and through the same cell. There is also disclosed herein a specific improvement to this amplifier which resides in the use of a pair of particularly configured windows through which the second beam passes along fixed paths as the second beam enters and exits the dye cell. Each of these windows has a relatively thick main section which is substantially larger in dimensions transverse to its beam path than the cross section of the second beam itself, whereby to add structural integrity to the overall window. At the same time, the latter includes a second section which is disposed entirely within the confines of the main section and through which the second beam is intended to pass in its entirety. This second section is made substantially thinner than the main section in order to reduce optical distortion as the second beam passes therethrough. 4 figs.

  11. Dye laser amplifier including an improved window configuration for its dye beam

    DOEpatents

    O'Neil, Richard W.; Davin, James M.

    1992-01-01

    A dye laser amplifier in which a continuously replenished supply of dye is excited with a first light beam in order to amplify the intensity of a second different light beam passing therethrough is disclosed herein. This amplifier includes a cell though which a continuous stream of the dye is caused to pass, and means for directing the first beam into the cell while the second beam is directed into and through the same cell. There is also disclosed herein a specific improvement to this amplifier which resides in the use of a pair of particularly configured windows through which the second beam passes along fixed paths as the second beam enters and exits the dye cell. Each of these windows has a relatively thick main section which is substantially larger in dimensions transverse to its beam path than the cross section of the second beam itself, whereby to add structural integrity to the overall window. At the same time, the latter includes a second section which is disposed entirely within the confines of the main section and through which the second beam is intended to pass in its entirety. This second section is made substantially thinner than the main section in order to reduce optical distortion as the second beam passes therethrough.

  12. Improving weather predictability by including land-surface model parameter uncertainty

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Orth, Rene; Dutra, Emanuel; Pappenberger, Florian

    2016-04-01

    The land surface forms an important component of Earth system models and interacts nonlinearly with other parts such as ocean and atmosphere. To capture the complex and heterogenous hydrology of the land surface, land surface models include a large number of parameters impacting the coupling to other components of the Earth system model. Focusing on ECMWF's land-surface model HTESSEL we present in this study a comprehensive parameter sensitivity evaluation using multiple observational datasets in Europe. We select 6 poorly constrained effective parameters (surface runoff effective depth, skin conductivity, minimum stomatal resistance, maximum interception, soil moisture stress function shape, total soil depth) and explore their sensitivity to model outputs such as soil moisture, evapotranspiration and runoff using uncoupled simulations and coupled seasonal forecasts. Additionally we investigate the possibility to construct ensembles from the multiple land surface parameters. In the uncoupled runs we find that minimum stomatal resistance and total soil depth have the most influence on model performance. Forecast skill scores are moreover sensitive to the same parameters as HTESSEL performance in the uncoupled analysis. We demonstrate the robustness of our findings by comparing multiple best performing parameter sets and multiple randomly chosen parameter sets. We find better temperature and precipitation forecast skill with the best-performing parameter perturbations demonstrating representativeness of model performance across uncoupled (and hence less computationally demanding) and coupled settings. Finally, we construct ensemble forecasts from ensemble members derived with different best-performing parameterizations of HTESSEL. This incorporation of parameter uncertainty in the ensemble generation yields an increase in forecast skill, even beyond the skill of the default system. Orth, R., E. Dutra, and F. Pappenberger, 2016: Improving weather predictability by

  13. Does including physiology improve species distribution model predictions of responses to recent climate change?

    PubMed

    Buckley, Lauren B; Waaser, Stephanie A; MacLean, Heidi J; Fox, Richard

    2011-12-01

    Thermal constraints on development are often invoked to predict insect distributions. These constraints tend to be characterized in species distribution models (SDMs) by calculating development time based on a constant lower development temperature (LDT). Here, we assessed whether species-specific estimates of LDT based on laboratory experiments can improve the ability of SDMs to predict the distribution shifts of six U.K. butterflies in response to recent climate warming. We find that species-specific and constant (5 degrees C) LDT degree-day models perform similarly at predicting distributions during the period of 1970-1982. However, when the models for the 1970-1982 period are projected to predict distributions in 1995-1999 and 2000-2004, species-specific LDT degree-day models modestly outperform constant LDT degree-day models. Our results suggest that, while including species-specific physiology in correlative models may enhance predictions of species' distribution responses to climate change, more detailed models may be needed to adequately account for interspecific physiological differences. PMID:22352161

  14. Improved Pharmacological and Structural Properties of HIV Fusion Inhibitor AP3 over Enfuvirtide: Highlighting Advantages of Artificial Peptide Strategy

    SciTech Connect

    Zhu, Xiaojie; Zhu, Yun; Ye, Sheng; Wang, Qian; Xu, Wei; Su, Shan; Sun, Zhiwu; Yu, Fei; Liu, Qi; Wang, Chao; Zhang, Tianhong; Zhang, Zhenqing; Zhang, Xiaoyan; Xu, Jianqing; Du, Lanying; Liu, Keliang; Lu, Lu; Zhang, Rongguang; Jiang, Shibo

    2015-08-19

    Enfuvirtide (T20), is the first HIV fusion inhibitor approved for treatment of HIV/AIDS patients who fail to respond to the current antiretroviral drugs. However, its clinical application is limited because of short half-life, drug resistance and cross-reactivity with the preexisting antibodies in HIV-infected patients. Using an artificial peptide strategy, we designed a peptide with non-native protein sequence, AP3, which exhibited potent antiviral activity against a broad spectrum of HIV-1 strains, including those resistant to T20, and had remarkably longer in vivo half-life than T20. While the preexisting antibodies in HIV-infected patients significantly suppressed T20’s antiviral activity, these antibodies neither recognized AP3, nor attenuated its anti-HIV-1 activity. Structurally different from T20, AP3 could fold into single-helix and interact with gp41 NHR. The two residues, Met and Thr, at the N-terminus of AP3 form a hook-like structure to stabilize interaction between AP3 and NHR helices. Therefore, AP3 has potential for further development as a new HIV fusion inhibitor with improved antiviral efficacy, resistance profile and pharmacological properties over enfuvirtide. Meanwhile, this study highlighted the advantages of artificially designed peptides, and confirmed that this strategy could be used in developing artificial peptide-based viral fusion inhibitors against HIV and other enveloped viruses.

  15. Improving the Reactivity of Zerovalent Iron by Taking Advantage of Its Magnetic Memory: Implications for Arsenite Removal.

    PubMed

    Li, Jinxiang; Shi, Zhong; Ma, Bin; Zhang, Pingping; Jiang, Xiao; Xiao, Zhongjin; Guan, Xiaohong

    2015-09-01

    Premagnetization was employed to enhance the reactivity of zerovalent iron (ZVI) toward As(III) sequestration for the first time. Compared to the pristine ZVI (Pri-ZVI), the rate of As(III) elimination by the premagnetized ZVI (Mag-ZVI) was greater over the pHini range of 4.0-9.0 and increased progressively with increasing intensity of the magnetic field for premagnetization. Mag-ZVI could keep its reactivity for a long time and showed better performance than Pri-ZVI for As(III) removal from synthetic groundwater in column tests. The Fe K-edge XAFS analysis for As(III)-treated ZVI samples unraveled that premagnetization promoted the transformation of ZVI to iron (hydr)oxides and shifted the corrosion products from maghemite and magnetite to lepidocrocite, which favored the arsenic sequestration. The arsenic species analysis revealed that premagnetization facilitated the oxidation of As(III) to As(V). ZVI pretreated with grinding was very different from Mag-ZVI with regard to As(III) removal, indicating that the improved reactivity of Mag-ZVI should not be associated with the physical squeezing effect of the ZVI grains during magnetization. The positive correlation between the remanence of Mag-ZVI and the rate constants of total arsenic removal indicated that the enhanced reactivity of Mag-ZVI was mainly ascribed to its magnetic memory, i.e., the remanence kept by Mag-ZVI. PMID:26221911

  16. Improvements to the FATOLA computer program including added actively controlled landing gear subroutines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mall, G. H.

    1983-01-01

    Modifications to a multi-degree-of-freedom flexible aircraft take-off and landing analysis (FATOLA) computer program, including a provision for actively controlled landing gears to expand the programs simulation capabilities, are presented. Supplemental instructions for preparation of data and for use of the modified program are included.

  17. A Systematic Examination of School Improvement Activities That Include Special Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Duchnowski, A.J.; Kutash, K.; Oliveira, B.

    2004-01-01

    Methodological and practical challenges present formidable barriers to conducting empirical evaluations of school reform initiatives. Systematic information about school reform and improvement, and its relationship to special education, is even more difficult to obtain. In this study, the authors developed a reliable and valid method to (a)…

  18. Boron nitride nanotubes included thermally cross-linked gelatin-glucose scaffolds show improved properties.

    PubMed

    Şen, Özlem; Culha, Mustafa

    2016-02-01

    Boron nitride nanotubes (BNNTs) are increasingly investigated for their medical and biomedical applications due to their unique properties such as resistance to oxidation, thermal and electrical insulation, and biocompatibility. BNNTs can be used to enhance mechanical strength of biomedical structures such as scaffolds in tissue engineering applications. In this study, we report the use of BNNTs and hydroxylated BNNTs (BNNT-OH) to improve the properties of gelatin-glucose scaffolds prepared with electrospinning technique. Human dermal fibroblast (HDF) cells are used for the toxicity assessment and cell seeding studies. It is found that the addition of BNNTs into the scaffold does not influence cell viability, decreases the scaffold degradation rate, and improves cell attachment and proliferation compared to only-gelatin scaffold.

  19. Improved time-space method for 3-D heat transfer problems including global warming

    SciTech Connect

    Saitoh, T.S.; Wakashima, Shinichiro

    1999-07-01

    In this paper, the Time-Space Method (TSM) which has been proposed for solving general heat transfer and fluid flow problems was improved in order to cover global and urban warming. The TSM is effective in almost all-transient heat transfer and fluid flow problems, and has been already applied to the 2-D melting problems (or moving boundary problems). The computer running time will be reduced to only 1/100th--1/1000th of the existing schemes for 2-D and 3-D problems. However, in order to apply to much larger-scale problems, for example, global warming, urban warming and general ocean circulation, the SOR method (or other iterative methods) in four dimensions is somewhat tedious and provokingly slow. Motivated by the above situation, the authors improved the speed of iteration of the previous TSM by introducing the following ideas: (1) Timewise chopping: Time domain is chopped into small peaches to save memory requirement; (2) Adaptive iteration: Converged region is eliminated for further iteration; (3) Internal selective iteration: Equation with slow iteration speed in iterative procedure is selectively iterated to accelerate entire convergence; and (4) False transient integration: False transient term is added to the Poisson-type equation and the relevant solution is regarded as a parabolic equation. By adopting the above improvements, the higher-order finite different schemes and the hybrid mesh, the computer running time for the TSM is reduced to some 1/4600th of the conventional explicit method for a typical 3-D natural convection problem in a closed cavity. The proposed TSM will be more efficacious for large-scale environmental problems, such as global warming, urban warming and general ocean circulation, in which a tremendous computing time would be required.

  20. Improvement of subsurface process in land surface modeling including lateral flow under unsaturated zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, J.; Mohanty, B.

    2013-12-01

    Lateral subsurface flow is an important component in local water budgets through its direct impact on soil moisture. However, most of the land surface models are one-dimensional considering only vertical interactions and neglecting the horizontal flow of water at the grid or sub-grid scales. Subsurface flow can be affected by surface topography and non-homogenous soil properties controlling the lateral flow of water. In this study, we improved the subsurface flow process in land surface model (Community Land Model, CLM) by considering the lateral flow based on topography and heterogeneous soil hydraulic properties in unsaturated zone. The changes in flow direction derived from topographic factor are used to consider the lateral movement of water at the near surface. Furthermore, vertical and horizontal hydraulic conductivities for each layer in unsaturated zone are estimated using different averaging methods and anisotropic factors. Based on the hydraulic conductivities of each layer for heterogeneous soil profiles we considered lateral flow of soil water between soil columns. These approaches were tested at several different sites (e.g. field and watershed scales). The results showed the appropriate vertical and horizontal hydraulic conductivities with depth for each site and the improved subsurface flow process by considering the lateral flow in land surface models.

  1. Including stretches to a massage routine improves recovery from official matches in basketball players.

    PubMed

    Delextrat, Anne; Hippocrate, Audrey; Leddington-Wright, Sheila; Clarke, Neil D

    2014-03-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of incorporating stretches into a massage recovery treatment after a competitive basketball match on perceptual and physical markers of recovery. Nine men (age: 22 ± 3 years; stature: 191.2 ± 8.5 cm; body mass: 90.9 ± 10.1 kg; and body fat: 12.4 ± 4.7%) and 8 women (age: 21 ± 3 years; stature: 176.4 ± 8.1 cm; body mass: 73.9 ± 9.7 kg; and body fat: 21.9 ± 5.5%) who are national-level basketball players received a massage, a massage and stretching, or no treatment immediately after a competitive match. The perception of overall fatigue and leg soreness was assessed immediately after the treatment and 24 hours later, whereas countermovement jump (CMJ) and repeated sprint ability (RSA) were tested 24 hours after the treatment. Compared with massage, massage and stretching induced lower perception of leg soreness immediately only in women (p ≤ 0.001; (Equation is included in full-text article.)= 0.86), whereas a longer lasting effect was observed in men, with a difference between treatments reported after 24 hours (p ≤ 0.001; (Equation is included in full-text article.)= 0.94). Furthermore, both treatments resulted in a better CMJ performance compared with the control condition in men only (p = 0.0001; (Equation is included in full-text article.)= 0.33), and massage and stretching involved a lower performance decrement during RSA compared with massage in women only (p = 0.015; (Equation is included in full-text article.)= 0.29). The results suggest that women benefit slightly more from the combination treatment than men, and therefore this type of recovery intervention should be adopted by physiotherapists working with women teams in particular.

  2. Quality assurance testing of an explosives trace analysis laboratory--further improvements to include peroxide explosives.

    PubMed

    Crowson, Andrew; Cawthorne, Richard

    2012-12-01

    The Forensic Explosives Laboratory (FEL) operates within the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) which is part of the UK Government Ministry of Defence (MOD). The FEL provides support and advice to the Home Office and UK police forces on matters relating to the criminal misuse of explosives. During 1989 the FEL established a weekly quality assurance testing regime in its explosives trace analysis laboratory. The purpose of the regime is to prevent the accumulation of explosives traces within the laboratory at levels that could, if other precautions failed, result in the contamination of samples and controls. Designated areas within the laboratory are swabbed using cotton wool swabs moistened with ethanol:water mixture, in equal amounts. The swabs are then extracted, cleaned up and analysed using Gas Chromatography with Thermal Energy Analyser detectors or Liquid Chromatography with triple quadrupole Mass Spectrometry. This paper follows on from two previous published papers which described the regime and summarised results from approximately 14years of tests. This paper presents results from the subsequent 7years setting them within the context of previous results. It also discusses further improvements made to the systems and procedures and the inclusion of quality assurance sampling for the peroxide explosives TATP and HMTD. Monitoring samples taken from surfaces within the trace laboratories and trace vehicle examination bay have, with few exceptions, revealed only low levels of contamination, predominantly of RDX. Analysis of the control swabs, processed alongside the monitoring swabs, has demonstrated that in this environment the risk of forensic sample contamination, assuming all the relevant anti-contamination procedures have been followed, is so small that it is considered to be negligible. The monitoring regime has also been valuable in assessing the process of continuous improvement, allowing sources of contamination transfer into the trace

  3. Proteasome inhibitors, including curcumin, improve pancreatic β-cell function and insulin sensitivity in diabetic mice

    PubMed Central

    Weisberg, S; Leibel, R; Tortoriello, D V

    2016-01-01

    Background: Type 2 diabetes stems from obesity-associated insulin resistance, and in the genetically susceptible, concomitant pancreatic β-cell failure can occur, which further exacerbates hyperglycemia. Recent work by our group and others has shown that the natural polyphenol curcumin attenuates the development of insulin resistance and hyperglycemia in mouse models of hyperinsulinemic or compensated type 2 diabetes. Although several potential downstream molecular targets of curcumin exist, it is now recognized to be a direct inhibitor of proteasome activity. We now show that curcumin also prevents β-cell failure in a mouse model of uncompensated obesity-related insulin resistance (Leprdb/db on the Kaliss background). Results: In this instance, dietary supplementation with curcumin prevented hyperglycemia, increased insulin production and lean body mass, and prolonged lifespan. In addition, we show that short-term in vivo treatment with low dosages of two molecularly distinct proteasome inhibitors celastrol and epoxomicin reverse hyperglycemia in mice with β-cell failure by increasing insulin production and insulin sensitivity. Conclusions: These studies suggest that proteasome inhibitors may prove useful for patients with diabetes by improving both β-cell function and relieving insulin resistance. PMID:27110686

  4. An improved global analysis of nuclear parton distribution functions including RHIC data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eskola, Kari J.; Paukkunen, Hannu; Salgado, Carlos A.

    2008-07-01

    We present an improved leading-order global DGLAP analysis of nuclear parton distribution functions (nPDFs), supplementing the traditionally used data from deep inelastic lepton-nucleus scattering and Drell-Yan dilepton production in proton-nucleus collisions, with inclusive high-pT hadron production data measured at RHIC in d+Au collisions. With the help of an extended definition of the χ2 function, we now can more efficiently exploit the constraints the different data sets offer, for gluon shadowing in particular, and account for the overall data normalization uncertainties during the automated χ2 minimization. The very good simultaneous fit to the nuclear hard process data used demonstrates the feasibility of a universal set of nPDFs, but also limitations become visible. The high-pT forward-rapidity hadron data of BRAHMS add a new crucial constraint into the analysis by offering a direct probe for the nuclear gluon distributions—a sector in the nPDFs which has traditionally been very badly constrained. We obtain a strikingly stronger gluon shadowing than what has been estimated in previous global analyses. The obtained nPDFs are released as a parametrization called EPS08.

  5. Improving Public Health DSSs by Including Saharan Dust Forecasts Through Incorporation of NASA's GOCART Model Results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Berglund, Judith

    2007-01-01

    Approximately 2-3 billion metric tons of soil dust are estimated to be transported in the Earth's atmosphere each year. Global transport of desert dust is believed to play an important role in many geochemical, climatological, and environmental processes. This dust carries minerals and nutrients, but it has also been shown to carry pollutants and viable microorganisms capable of harming human, animal, plant, and ecosystem health. Saharan dust, which impacts the eastern United States (especially Florida and the southeast) and U.S. Territories in the Caribbean primarily during the summer months, has been linked to increases in respiratory illnesses in this region and has been shown to carry other human, animal, and plant pathogens. For these reasons, this candidate solution recommends integrating Saharan dust distribution and concentration forecasts from the NASA GOCART global dust cycle model into a public health DSS (decision support system), such as the CDC's (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's) EPHTN (Environmental Public Health Tracking Network), for the eastern United States and Caribbean for early warning purposes regarding potential increases in respiratory illnesses or asthma attacks, potential disease outbreaks, or bioterrorism. This candidate solution pertains to the Public Health National Application but also has direct connections to Air Quality and Homeland Security. In addition, the GOCART model currently uses the NASA MODIS aerosol product as an input and uses meteorological forecasts from the NASA GEOS-DAS (Goddard Earth Observing System Data Assimilation System) GEOS-4 AGCM. In the future, VIIRS aerosol products and perhaps CALIOP aerosol products could be assimilated into the GOCART model to improve the results.

  6. An improved method for including upper size range plasmids in metamobilomes.

    PubMed

    Norman, Anders; Riber, Leise; Luo, Wenting; Li, Li Li; Hansen, Lars Hestbjerg; Sørensen, Søren Johannes

    2014-01-01

    , with the suggested modification, access to a large uncharacterized pool of accessory elements that reside on medium-to-large plasmids has been improved.

  7. Combination therapy including serratiopeptidase improves outcomes of mechanical-antibiotic treatment of periimplantitis.

    PubMed

    Sannino, G; Gigola, P; Puttini, M; Pera, F; Passariello, C

    2013-01-01

    This study was designed as a retrospective analysis of clinical outcomes of cases of periimplantitis treated by mechanical debridement and the administration of antibiotics combined or not with the administration of either the proteolytic enzyme serratiopeptidase (SPEP) or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Clinical charts of 544 partially edentulous patients treated for periimplantitis between June 1996 and December 2010 were analyzed to obtain clinical data of the affected implants just before the beginning of treatment and 12 months later to evaluate the outcomes of combined mechanical antibiotic treatment alone or in combination with the co-administration of the anti-inflammatory SPEP or NSAIDs. The comparative analysis revealed that therapeutic outcomes were significantly different in the three groups. Failure rate in the group that received SPEP (6 percent) was significantly lower compared to the group that received NSAIDS (16.9 percent; P less than 0.01) and to the group that received no anti-inflammatory therapy (18.9 percent; P less than 0.01). Treatment including SPEP was associated with significantly better healing also when successful treatments alone were considered. The data reported in this paper strongly support the hypothesis that SPEP is a valid addition to protocols for the combined therapy of peri-implantitis. In fact, it allows to enhance success rates significantly and also favors better tissue repair around successfully treated implants as compared to other regimens.

  8. Advanced neuroblastoma: improved response rate using a multiagent regimen (OPEC) including sequential cisplatin and VM-26.

    PubMed

    Shafford, E A; Rogers, D W; Pritchard, J

    1984-07-01

    Forty-two children, all over one year of age, were given vincristine, cyclophosphamide, and sequentially timed cisplatin and VM-26 (OPEC) or OPEC and doxorubicin (OPEC-D) as initial treatment for newly diagnosed stage III or IV neuroblastoma. Good partial response was achieved in 31 patients (74%) overall and in 28 (78%) of 36 patients whose treatment adhered to the chemotherapy protocol, compared with a 65% response rate achieved in a previous series of children treated with pulsed cyclophosphamide and vincristine with or without doxorubicin. Only six patients, including two of the six children whose treatment did not adhere to protocol, failed to respond, but there were five early deaths from treatment-related complications. Tumor response to OPEC, which was the less toxic of the two regimens, was at least as good as tumor response to OPEC-D. Cisplatin-induced morbidity was clinically significant in only one patient and was avoided in others by careful monitoring of glomerular filtration rate and hearing. Other centers should test the efficacy of OPEC or equivalent regimens in the treatment of advanced neuroblastoma. PMID:6539811

  9. Improved best estimate plus uncertainty methodology including advanced validation concepts to license evolving nuclear reactors

    SciTech Connect

    Unal, Cetin; Williams, Brian; Mc Clure, Patrick; Nelson, Ralph A

    2010-01-01

    Many evolving nuclear energy programs plan to use advanced predictive multi-scale multi-physics simulation and modeling capabilities to reduce cost and time from design through licensing. Historically, the role of experiments was primary tool for design and understanding of nuclear system behavior while modeling and simulation played the subordinate role of supporting experiments. In the new era of multi-scale multi-physics computational based technology development, the experiments will still be needed but they will be performed at different scales to calibrate and validate models leading predictive simulations. Cost saving goals of programs will require us to minimize the required number of validation experiments. Utilization of more multi-scale multi-physics models introduces complexities in the validation of predictive tools. Traditional methodologies will have to be modified to address these arising issues. This paper lays out the basic aspects of a methodology that can be potentially used to address these new challenges in design and licensing of evolving nuclear technology programs. The main components of the proposed methodology are verification, validation, calibration, and uncertainty quantification. An enhanced calibration concept is introduced and is accomplished through data assimilation. The goal is to enable best-estimate prediction of system behaviors in both normal and safety related environments. To achieve this goal requires the additional steps of estimating the domain of validation and quantification of uncertainties that allow for extension of results to areas of the validation domain that are not directly tested with experiments, which might include extension of the modeling and simulation (M&S) capabilities for application to full-scale systems. The new methodology suggests a formalism to quantify an adequate level of validation (predictive maturity) with respect to required selective data so that required testing can be minimized for cost

  10. Intensive lifestyle intervention including high-intensity interval training program improves insulin resistance and fasting plasma glucose in obese patients☆

    PubMed Central

    Marquis-Gravel, Guillaume; Hayami, Douglas; Juneau, Martin; Nigam, Anil; Guilbeault, Valérie; Latour, Élise; Gayda, Mathieu

    2015-01-01

    Objectives To analyze the effects of a long-term intensive lifestyle intervention including high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and Mediterranean diet (MedD) counseling on glycemic control parameters, insulin resistance and β-cell function in obese subjects. Methods The glycemic control parameters (fasting plasma glucose, glycated hemoglobin), insulin resistance, and β-cell function of 72 obese subjects (54 women; mean age = 53 ± 9 years) were assessed at baseline and upon completion of a 9-month intensive lifestyle intervention program conducted at the cardiovascular prevention and rehabilitation center of the Montreal Heart Institute, from 2009 to 2012. The program included 2–3 weekly supervised exercise training sessions (HIIT and resistance exercise), combined to MedD counseling. Results Fasting plasma glucose (FPG) (mmol/L) (before: 5.5 ± 0.9; after: 5.2 ± 0.6; P < 0.0001), fasting insulin (pmol/L) (before: 98 ± 57; after: 82 ± 43; P = 0.003), and insulin resistance, as assessed by the HOMA-IR score (before: 3.6 ± 2.5; after: 2.8 ± 1.6; P = 0.0008) significantly improved, but not HbA1c (%) (before: 5.72 ± 0.55; after: 5.69 ± 0.39; P = 0.448), nor β-cell function (HOMA-β, %) (before: 149 ± 78; after: 144 ± 75; P = 0.58). Conclusion Following a 9-month intensive lifestyle intervention combining HIIT and MedD counseling, obese subjects experienced significant improvements of FPG and insulin resistance. This is the first study to expose the effects of a long-term program combining HIIT and MedD on glycemic control parameters among obese subjects. PMID:26844086

  11. A Multimodal Approach Including Craniospinal Irradiation Improves the Treatment Outcome of High-risk Intracranial Nongerminomatous Germ Cell Tumors

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, Jun Won; Kim, Woo Chul; Cho, Jae Ho; Kim, Dong-Seok; Shim, Kyu-Won; Lyu, Chul Joo; Won, Sung Chul; Suh, Chang-Ok

    2012-11-01

    Purpose: To evaluate whether a multimodal approach including craniospinal irradiation (CSI) improves treatment outcome in nongerminomatous germ cell tumor (NGGCT) patients. Methods and Materials: We reviewed the records of 32 patients with NGGCTs. Fourteen patients belonged to the intermediate prognosis group (immature teratoma, teratoma with malignant transformation, and mixed tumors mainly composed of germinoma or teratoma), and 18 patients belonged to the poor prognosis group (other highly malignant tumors). Patients with pure germinoma or mature teratoma were excluded from this study. Nineteen patients were treated with a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy (RT); 9 patients received chemotherapy plus RT; 3 patients received surgery plus RT; and 1 patient received RT alone. Twenty-seven patients received CSI with a median of 36 Gy (range, 20-41 Gy) plus focal boost of 18-30.6 Gy, and 5 patients received whole-brain RT (WBRT) (20-36 Gy) or focal RT (50.4-54 Gy). The rate of total and subtotal resection was 71.9%. The median follow-up for surviving patients was 121 months. Results: Treatment failed in 7 patients. Three of the 5 patients who received focal RT or WBRT had local failure. Four cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) failures occurred after CSI. No failure occurred in the intermediate prognosis group. Ten-year recurrence-free survival (RFS) and overall survival (OS) for all patients were 77.6% and 74.6%, respectively. Ten-year RFS for the intermediate and poor prognosis groups were 100% and 61.1%, respectively (p = 0.012). OS for the two groups were 85.1% and 66.7%, respectively (p = 0.215). Tumor histology and CSI were significant prognostic factors for RFS, and CSI was significantly associated with OS. Conclusions: A multimodal approach was effective for treating NGGCTs. CSI should be considered for patients with poor prognostic histology.

  12. Home advantage in the Australian Football League.

    PubMed

    Clarke, Stephen R

    2005-04-01

    The results of this study on home advantage in Australian rules football demonstrate that individual clubs have different home advantages. Traditional measures of home advantage as applied to whole competitions such as percentage of games won, and alternative measures such as average margin of victory for the home team, are calculated. Problems with these measures are discussed. Individual home advantages for each team are obtained using a linear model fitted to individual match margins; the resultant home advantages are analysed, and variations and possible causes or groupings of home advantage are proposed. It is shown that some models allowing different home advantages for different clubs are a significant improvement over previous models assuming a common home advantage. The results show a strong isolation effect, with non-Victorian teams having large home advantages, and lend support to the conclusion that crowd effects and ground familiarity are a major determinant of home advantage.

  13. Improving stability of virus-like particles by ion-exchange chromatographic supports with large pore size: advantages of gigaporous media beyond enhanced binding capacity.

    PubMed

    Yu, Mengran; Li, Yan; Zhang, Songping; Li, Xiunan; Yang, Yanli; Chen, Yi; Ma, Guanghui; Su, Zhiguo

    2014-02-28

    Limited binding capacity and low recovery of large size multi-subunits virus-like particles (VLPs) in conventional agarose-gel based chromatographic supports with small pores have long been a bottleneck limiting the large scale purification and application of VLPs. In this study, four anion exchange media including DEAE-Sepharose FF (DEAE-FF), DEAE-Capto, gigaporous DEAE-AP-120nm and DEAE-AP-280nm with average pore diameters of 32nm, 20nm, 120nm and 280nm, respectively, were applied for purification of hepatitis B virus surface antigen (HBsAg) VLPs. Pore size effects of media on the VLPs adsorption equilibrium, adsorption kinetics, dynamic binding capacity (DBC), and recovery were investigated in detail. According to the confocal laser scanning microscopy observation, adsorption of the VLPs in DEAE-FF and DEAE-Capto was mostly confined to a thin shell on the outer surface of the beads, leaving the underlying pore space and the binding sites inaccessibly, while the large pores in gigaporous media enabled the VLPs to access to the interior pore spaces by diffusion transport efficiently. Compared to the most widely used DEAE-FF, gigaporous media DEAE-AP-280nm gained about 12.9 times increase in static adsorption capacity, 8.0 times increase in DBC, and 11.4 times increase in effective pore diffusivity. Beyond increasing the binding capacity and enhancing the mass transfer, the gigaporous structure also significantly improved the stability of the VLPs during intensive adsorption-desorption process by lowing the multi-point interaction between the VLPs and binding sites in the pores. At 2.0mg/mL-media loading quantity, about 85.5% VLPs were correctly self-assembled after the chromatography with DEAE-AP-280nm media; oppositely about 85.2% VLPs lost their normal assembly with DEAE-FF due to irreversible disassembly. Comparative investigation was made to study the purifying performance of these four chromatographic media for actual VLPs purification from recombinant

  14. Improving stability of virus-like particles by ion-exchange chromatographic supports with large pore size: advantages of gigaporous media beyond enhanced binding capacity.

    PubMed

    Yu, Mengran; Li, Yan; Zhang, Songping; Li, Xiunan; Yang, Yanli; Chen, Yi; Ma, Guanghui; Su, Zhiguo

    2014-02-28

    Limited binding capacity and low recovery of large size multi-subunits virus-like particles (VLPs) in conventional agarose-gel based chromatographic supports with small pores have long been a bottleneck limiting the large scale purification and application of VLPs. In this study, four anion exchange media including DEAE-Sepharose FF (DEAE-FF), DEAE-Capto, gigaporous DEAE-AP-120nm and DEAE-AP-280nm with average pore diameters of 32nm, 20nm, 120nm and 280nm, respectively, were applied for purification of hepatitis B virus surface antigen (HBsAg) VLPs. Pore size effects of media on the VLPs adsorption equilibrium, adsorption kinetics, dynamic binding capacity (DBC), and recovery were investigated in detail. According to the confocal laser scanning microscopy observation, adsorption of the VLPs in DEAE-FF and DEAE-Capto was mostly confined to a thin shell on the outer surface of the beads, leaving the underlying pore space and the binding sites inaccessibly, while the large pores in gigaporous media enabled the VLPs to access to the interior pore spaces by diffusion transport efficiently. Compared to the most widely used DEAE-FF, gigaporous media DEAE-AP-280nm gained about 12.9 times increase in static adsorption capacity, 8.0 times increase in DBC, and 11.4 times increase in effective pore diffusivity. Beyond increasing the binding capacity and enhancing the mass transfer, the gigaporous structure also significantly improved the stability of the VLPs during intensive adsorption-desorption process by lowing the multi-point interaction between the VLPs and binding sites in the pores. At 2.0mg/mL-media loading quantity, about 85.5% VLPs were correctly self-assembled after the chromatography with DEAE-AP-280nm media; oppositely about 85.2% VLPs lost their normal assembly with DEAE-FF due to irreversible disassembly. Comparative investigation was made to study the purifying performance of these four chromatographic media for actual VLPs purification from recombinant

  15. 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

  16. Recommended improvements to the DS02 dosimetry system's calculation of organ doses and their potential advantages for the Radiation Effects Research Foundation.

    PubMed

    Cullings, Harry M

    2012-03-01

    The Radiation Effects Research Foundation (RERF) uses a dosimetry system to calculate radiation doses received by the Japanese atomic bomb survivors based on their reported location and shielding at the time of exposure. The current system, DS02, completed in 2003, calculates detailed doses to 15 particular organs of the body from neutrons and gamma rays, using new source terms and transport calculations as well as some other improvements in the calculation of terrain and structural shielding, but continues to use methods from an older system, DS86, to account for body self-shielding. Although recent developments in models of the human body from medical imaging, along with contemporary computer speed and software, allow for improvement of the calculated organ doses, before undertaking changes to the organ dose calculations, it is important to evaluate the improvements that can be made and their potential contribution to RERF's research. The analysis provided here suggests that the most important improvements can be made by providing calculations for more organs or tissues and by providing a larger series of age- and sex-specific models of the human body from birth to adulthood, as well as fetal models. PMID:22262817

  17. Advanced missile technology. A review of technology improvement areas for cruise missiles. [including missile design, missile configurations, and aerodynamic characteristics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cronvich, L. L.; Liepman, H. P.

    1979-01-01

    Technology assessments in the areas of aerodynamics, propulsion, and structures and materials for cruise missile systems are discussed. The cruise missiles considered cover the full speed, altitude, and target range. The penetrativity, range, and maneuverability of the cruise missiles are examined and evaluated for performance improvements.

  18. Lipid colloidal carriers for improvement of anticancer activity of orally delivered quercetin: formulation, characterization and establishing in vitro-in vivo advantage.

    PubMed

    Jain, Ankitkumar S; Shah, Sanket M; Nagarsenker, Mangal S; Nikam, Yuvraj; Gude, Rajiv P; Steiniger, Frank; Thamm, Jana; Fahr, Alfred

    2013-07-01

    Novel lipid nanocarriers, GeluPearl (GP) comprising of Precirol ATO 5 lipid nanoparticles with (GPNLC) or without oil (GPSLN), loaded with Quercetin (QR), were successfully fabricated to improve therapeutic efficacy. QR loaded GP nanoparticles were optimized to yield adequate colloidal stability, mean particle size in range of 350-380 nm and entrapment efficiency of more than 90%. GPSLN and GPNLC were characterized for morphological evaluation by virtue of cryo-TEM, surface charge, protection offered to QR against alkali mediated degradation and fluorescence studies to evaluate QR-lipid interaction. DSC analysis was performed to get insight into physical state of QR loaded in nanosystems. The in vitro release studies demonstrated sustained drug release potential of QR loaded GP. In vitro lipolysis studies confirmed that lipidic nanocarriers can improve QR solubilization. QR loaded GP nanosystems significantly (P < 0.05) reduced flank tumor volumes in C57BL/6 mice over a 22 day study period compared to QR suspension. GPSLN significantly reduced lung colonization and enhanced antimetastatic activity (P < 0.05) of drug against B16F10 melanoma cells in C57BL/6 mice as compared to QR suspension. QR loaded GPSLN and GPNLC could be effectively lyophilized without much change in particle size and drug content using 15% w/v mannitol as cryoprotectant.

  19. Were there evolutionary advantages to premenstrual syndrome?

    PubMed

    Gillings, Michael R

    2014-09-01

    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.

  20. 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

  1. 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…

  2. An Intervention Including an Online Game to Improve Grade 6 Students' Performance in Early Algebra

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kolovou, Angeliki; van den Heuvel-Panhuizen, Marja; Koller, Olaf

    2013-01-01

    This study investigated whether an intervention including an online game contributed to 236 Grade 6 students' performance in early algebra, that is, solving problems with covarying quantities. An exploratory quasi-experimental study was conducted with a pretest-posttest-control-group design. Students in the experimental group were asked to…

  3. Successful Improvement of Metabolic Disorders, Including Osteopenia, by a Dopamine Agonist in a Male Patient with Macro-Prolactinoma

    PubMed Central

    Takeno, Ayumu; Yamamoto, Masahiro; Okazaki, Kyoko; Yamaguchi, Toru; Toshitsugu, Sugimoto

    2016-01-01

    Patient: Male, 43 Final Diagnosis: Prolactinoma Symptoms: — Medication: — Clinical Procedure: Treatments by a dopamine agonist Specialty: Endocrinology and Metabolic Objective: Unknown ethiology Background: Bone metabolic disorders in patients with prolactinoma have not been fully characterized. The case presented herein illustrates potential causal associations between prolactinoma and osteopenia, with a reversal of the disorder by treatment with a dopamine agonist. Case Report: A 43-year-old male with macro-prolactinoma [PRL 7770 ng/mL] was referred to our hospital. He suffered was overweight [body mass index (BMI) 29.4 kg/m2] and had impaired glucose tolerance, hypertriglyceridemia, and osteopenia. The patient was administered cabergoline, a dopamine D2 receptor agonist, and the dose was gradually increased up to 9 mg/week over the period of 1 year. One year later, the patient’s serum PRL levels decreased to within the normal range (19.1 ng/mL), and his pituitary tumor mass decreased to 1/4 of its initial size. His weight, dyslipidemia, and impaired glucose tolerance improved within 1 year. A marked increase in the bone mineral density (BMD) at the second to fourth lumbar spine (from 0.801 g/cm2 to 0.870 g/cm2, +8.6%) and at the femoral neck (from 0.785 g/cm2 to 0.864 g/cm2, +10.1%) were observed despite the presence of unresolved hypogonadism. Conclusions: Treatments with dopamine agonists represent a beneficial strategy for patients with prolactinoma accompanied with bone loss, in addition to their established efficacy in shrinkage of the size of pituitary tumors, normalization of PRL levels, and improvement of metabolic disorders. PMID:26971354

  4. Advantages and Risks of Husbandry and Housing Changes to Improve Animal Wellbeing in a Breeding Colony of Common Marmosets (Callithrix jacchus)

    PubMed Central

    Bakker, Jaco; Ouwerling, Boudewijn; Heidt, Peter J; Kondova, Ivanela; Langermans, Jan AM

    2015-01-01

    Between 1975 and 2014, housing conditions for laboratory-housed marmosets changed dramatically after the introduction of new guidelines designed to improve their care and wellbeing. According to these guidelines, our facility provided marmosets with outside enclosures, switched to deep litter as bedding material, and discontinued the use of disinfectant agents in animal enclosures. However, both deep litter and access to outside enclosures hypothetically increase the risk of potential exposure to pathogenic microorganisms. We evaluated whether these housing and husbandry modifications constituted an increased veterinary risk for laboratory-housed common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus). After the animals had been exposed to these new housing conditions for 2.5 y, we examined their intestinal bacterial flora and feces, the deep litter, and insects present in the housing. In addition, we assessed the marmosets’ general health and the effect of outdoor housing on, for example, vitamin D levels. Although numerous bacterial strains—from nonpathogenic to potentially pathogenic—were cultured, we noted no increase in illness, mortality, or breeding problems related to this environmental microflora. Housing laboratory marmosets in large enriched cages, with both indoor and outdoor enclosures, providing them with deep litter, and eliminating the use of disinfectants present an increased veterinary risk. However, after evaluating all of the collected data, we estimate that the veterinary risk of the new housing conditions is minimal to none in terms of clinical disease, disease outbreaks, abnormal behavior, and negative effects on reproduction. PMID:26045452

  5. Improvement of Surface Functionalities, Including Allergenicity Attenuation, of Whole Buckwheat Protein Fraction by Maillard-Type Glycation with Dextran

    PubMed Central

    Tazawa, Shigeru; Katayama, Shigeru; Hirabayashi, Masahiro; Yamaguchi, Daiki; Nakamura, Soichiro

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of the current study was to determine the effects of the introduction of polysaccharide chains onto the molecular surface of buckwheat proteins on buckwheat protein surface functionality. The whole buckwheat protein fraction (WBP) was prepared using 50 mM phosphate buffer (pH 7.5) containing 0.5 M NaCl and covalently linked with 6 kDa, 17.5 kDa, 40 kDa, 70 kDa, or 200 kDa dextran by Maillard-type glycation through controlled dry-heating at 60°C and 79% relative humidity for two weeks. Conjugation with 40 kDa dextran improved the water solubility and emulsifying properties of WBP without causing a serious loss of available lysine; 84.9% of the free amino groups were conserved. In addition, we found that the introduction of dextran chains onto the molecular surfaces of WBP attenuated the antigenicity of WBP. PMID:25580398

  6. Taking advantage of data on N leaching to improve estimates of N2O emission reductions from agriculture in response to management changes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gurwick, N. P.; Tonitto, C.

    2012-12-01

    Estimates of reductions in N2O emissions from agricultural soils associated with different crop management practices often focus on in-field emissions. This is particularly true in the context of policy development for carbon offsets which are highly relevant in California, given the state's global warming protection law (AB 32). However, data sets often do not cover an entire year, missing key times such as spring thaw, and only rarely do they span multiple years even though inter-annual variation can be large. In the most productive grain systems on tile-drained Mollisols in the U.S. there are no long-term data sets of N2O flux, although these agroecosystems have the highest application rates of N fertilizer in grain systems and are prime candidates for large reductions in N2O emissions. In contrast, estimates of the influence of management practices like cover crops are much stronger because more data are available, and downstream N2O emissions should shift proportionally. Nevertheless, these changes in downstream emissions are frequently not included in estimates of N2O flux change. As an example, cereal cover crops reduce N leakage by 70%, and leguminous cover crops reduce N leakage by 40%. These data should inform estimates of downstream N2O emissions from agricultural fields, particularly in the context of protocol development, where project developers or aggregators will have information about basic management of individual crop fields. Even the IPCC default guidelines for simple (Tier 1) emission factors could take this information into account. Despite the complexity of estimating downstream N2O emissions in the absence of site-specific hydrology data, the IPCC estimates that 30% of applied N is lost and that between 0.75% and 1.0 % of lost N is converted to N2O. That single estimate should be refined based on data showing that leaching varies with management practices.

  7. The Certification Advantage

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Foster, John C.; Pritz, Sandra G.

    2006-01-01

    Certificates have become an important career credential and can give students an advantage when they enter the workplace. However, many types of certificates exist, and the number of people seeking them and organizations offering them are both growing rapidly. In a time of such growth, the authors review some of the basics about certification--the…

  8. Advantages of Team Teaching

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Frey, John

    1973-01-01

    Describes a high school biology program which successfully utilizes team teaching. Outlines the advantages of team teaching and how it is used in the large group lecture-discussion situation, with small groups in the laboratory and on field trips. (JR)

  9. Transnasal endoscopy: Technical considerations, advantages and limitations.

    PubMed

    Atar, Mustafa; Kadayifci, Abdurrahman

    2014-02-16

    Transnasal endoscopy (TNE) is an upper endoscopy method which is performed by the nasal route using a thin endoscope less than 6 mm in diameter. The primary goal of this method is to improve patient tolerance and convenience of the procedure. TNE can be performed without sedation and thus eliminates the risks associated with general anesthesia. In this way, TNE decreases the cost and total duration of endoscopic procedures, while maintaining the image quality of standard caliber endoscopes, providing good results for diagnostic purposes. However, the small working channel of the ultra-thin endoscope used for TNE makes it difficult to use for therapeutic procedures except in certain conditions which require a thinner endoscope. Biopsy is possible with special forceps less than 2 mm in diameter. Recently, TNE has been used for screening endoscopy in Far East Asia, including Japan. In most controlled studies, TNE was found to have better patient tolerance when compared to unsedated endoscopy. Nasal pain is the most significant symptom associated with endoscopic procedures but can be reduced with nasal pretreatment. Despite the potential advantage of TNE, it is not common in Western countries, usually due to a lack of training in the technique and a lack of awareness of its potential advantages. This paper briefly reviews the technical considerations as well as the potential advantages and limitations of TNE with ultra-thin scopes.

  10. 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.

  11. 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. PMID:10179655

  12. Binocular advantages in reading.

    PubMed

    Jainta, Stephanie; Blythe, Hazel I; Liversedge, Simon P

    2014-03-01

    Reading, an essential skill for successful function in today's society, is a complex psychological process involving vision, memory, and language comprehension. Variability in fixation durations during reading reflects the ease of text comprehension, and increased word frequency results in reduced fixation times. Critically, readers not only process the fixated foveal word but also preprocess the parafoveal word to its right, thereby facilitating subsequent foveal processing. Typically, text is presented binocularly, and the oculomotor control system precisely coordinates the two frontally positioned eyes online. Binocular, compared to monocular, visual processing typically leads to superior performance, termed the "binocular advantage"; few studies have investigated the binocular advantage in reading. We used saccade-contingent display change methodology to demonstrate the benefit of binocular relative to monocular text presentation for both parafoveal and foveal lexical processing during reading. Our results demonstrate that denial of a unified visual signal derived from binocular inputs provides a cost to the efficiency of reading, particularly in relation to high-frequency words. Our findings fit neatly with current computational models of eye movement control during reading, wherein successful word identification is a primary determinant of saccade initiation.

  13. Applying the model of Goal-Directed Behavior, including descriptive norms, to physical activity intentions: A contribution to improving the Theory of Planned Behavior

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The theory of planned behavior (TPB) has received its fair share of criticism lately, including calls for it to retire. We contributed to improving the theory by testing extensions such as the model of goal-directed behavior (MGDB, which adds desire and anticipated positive and negative emotions) ap...

  14. A possible heterozygous advantage in muscular dystrophy.

    PubMed

    Emery, A E H

    2016-01-01

    In certain autosomal recessive disorders there is suggestive evidence that heterozygous carriers may have some selective advantage over normal homozygotes. These include, for example, cystic fibrosis, Tay-Sachs disease and phenylketonuria. The best example so far, however, is that of significant heterozygous advantage in sickle-cell anaemia with increased resistance to falciparum malaria. PMID:27245530

  15. Bilateral Advantages in Subitizing With Visual Masking.

    PubMed

    Pryor, Campbell G; Howe, Piers D L

    2015-01-01

    Performance on a range of visual-processing tasks has been shown to improve when information is split bilaterally across the left and right visual hemifields rather than being restricted to a single visual hemifield. However, a recent study by Delvenne et al. found no such bilateral advantage for subitizing, which is our ability to rapidly and accurately enumerate small quantities of objects. This finding is particularly surprising, as it contradicts the prediction of FINgers of INSTantiation theory that subitizing should benefit from bilateral presentation. Our study investigated the issue by determining if there are any circumstances where a bilateral advantage for subitization occurs. Contrary to Delvenne et al., we found that subitizing could show bilateral advantages, but only when the display was backward-masked. We discuss these findings in relation to how the rate of encoding and the time available for this encoding may affect bilateral advantages in subitizing. A general model is proposed under which bilateral advantages could be explained.

  16. 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…

  17. Small fenestra stapedectomy: technique and advantages.

    PubMed

    Pappas, J J; Bailey, H A; Graham, S S

    1984-11-01

    We discuss the rationale and advantages of the small fenestra technique (SFT) of stapedectomy. When results from conventional stapedectomy techniques are compared with those of SFT, the small fenestra technique shows improved hearing in the high frequencies of 2,000, 4,000, and 8,000 Hz, improved speech discrimination, reduced vestibular disturbance, and reduced iatrogenic trauma to the cochlea.

  18. A water-based training program that includes perturbation exercises improves speed of voluntary stepping in older adults: a randomized controlled cross-over trial.

    PubMed

    Elbar, Ori; Tzedek, Irit; Vered, Elisha; Shvarth, Gali; Friger, Michael; Melzer, Itshak

    2013-01-01

    This study evaluated the effects of a water exercise training program that includes perturbation exercises (WEP) to improve the speed of voluntary stepping reaction in older adults. Speed of voluntary stepping considered as an important skill to prevent a fall when balance is lost. In a single-blinded randomized controlled trial with a crossover design thirty-six independent old adults (64-88 years old) were divided into two groups. Group A received WEP for the first 12 weeks, followed by no intervention for the second 12 weeks. Group B did not receive intervention for the first 12 weeks and received WEP for the second 12 weeks. Voluntary Step Execution Test and postural stability in upright standing (eyes open and closed conditions) were measured at baseline, 12 weeks, and 24 weeks. A significant interaction effect between group and time was found for the step execution, due to improvement in initiation phase and swing phase durations in the WEP group. Also significant improvement in postural stability parameters in eyes open and closed conditions is noted. The present results indicate that the primary benefit of WEP that include perturbations to induce stepping, was a reduction in voluntary stepping times. The WEP generalized to a better control of balance in up-right standing. PMID:22951028

  19. A water-based training program that includes perturbation exercises improves speed of voluntary stepping in older adults: a randomized controlled cross-over trial.

    PubMed

    Elbar, Ori; Tzedek, Irit; Vered, Elisha; Shvarth, Gali; Friger, Michael; Melzer, Itshak

    2013-01-01

    This study evaluated the effects of a water exercise training program that includes perturbation exercises (WEP) to improve the speed of voluntary stepping reaction in older adults. Speed of voluntary stepping considered as an important skill to prevent a fall when balance is lost. In a single-blinded randomized controlled trial with a crossover design thirty-six independent old adults (64-88 years old) were divided into two groups. Group A received WEP for the first 12 weeks, followed by no intervention for the second 12 weeks. Group B did not receive intervention for the first 12 weeks and received WEP for the second 12 weeks. Voluntary Step Execution Test and postural stability in upright standing (eyes open and closed conditions) were measured at baseline, 12 weeks, and 24 weeks. A significant interaction effect between group and time was found for the step execution, due to improvement in initiation phase and swing phase durations in the WEP group. Also significant improvement in postural stability parameters in eyes open and closed conditions is noted. The present results indicate that the primary benefit of WEP that include perturbations to induce stepping, was a reduction in voluntary stepping times. The WEP generalized to a better control of balance in up-right standing.

  20. Home advantage in professional tennis.

    PubMed

    Koning, Ruud H

    2011-01-01

    Home advantage is a pervasive phenomenon in sport. It has been established in team sports such as basketball, baseball, American football, and European soccer. Attention to home advantage in individual sports has so far been limited. The aim of this study was to examine home advantage in professional tennis. Match-level data are used to measure home advantage. The test used is based on logit models, and consistent specification is addressed explicitly. Depending on the interpretation of home advantage, restrictions on the specification of the model need to be imposed. We find that although significant home advantage exists for men, the performance of women tennis players appears to be unaffected by home advantage.

  1. A water-based training program that include perturbation exercises to improve stepping responses in older adults: study protocol for a randomized controlled cross-over trial

    PubMed Central

    Melzer, Itshak; Elbar, Ori; Tsedek, Irit; Oddsson, Lars IE

    2008-01-01

    Background Gait and balance impairments may increase the risk of falls, the leading cause of accidental death in the elderly population. Fall-related injuries constitute a serious public health problem associated with high costs for society as well as human suffering. A rapid step is the most important protective postural strategy, acting to recover equilibrium and prevent a fall from initiating. It can arise from large perturbations, but also frequently as a consequence of volitional movements. We propose to use a novel water-based training program which includes specific perturbation exercises that will target the stepping responses that could potentially have a profound effect in reducing risk of falling. We describe the water-based balance training program and a study protocol to evaluate its efficacy (Trial registration number #NCT00708136). Methods/Design The proposed water-based training program involves use of unpredictable, multi-directional perturbations in a group setting to evoke compensatory and volitional stepping responses. Perturbations are made by pushing slightly the subjects and by water turbulence, in 24 training sessions conducted over 12 weeks. Concurrent cognitive tasks during movement tasks are included. Principles of physical training and exercise including awareness, continuity, motivation, overload, periodicity, progression and specificity were used in the development of this novel program. Specific goals are to increase the speed of stepping responses and improve the postural control mechanism and physical functioning. A prospective, randomized, cross-over trial with concealed allocation, assessor blinding and intention-to-treat analysis will be performed to evaluate the efficacy of the water-based training program. A total of 36 community-dwelling adults (age 65–88) with no recent history of instability or falling will be assigned to either the perturbation-based training or a control group (no training). Voluntary step reaction times

  2. The SSRIs: advantages, disadvantages and differences.

    PubMed

    Lane, R; Baldwin, D; Preskorn, S

    1995-01-01

    The highly specific mechanism of action of the selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) confers advantages on this group, relative to other classes of antidepressant, and thus represents a significant advance in the pharmacotherapy of depression. Whilst their clinical efficacy is equivalent to that of the tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), the SSRIs have a greatly reduced risk of toxicity in overdose and have been shown to be significantly better tolerated. Specifically, the SSRIs have a low incidence of anticholinergic effects and are essentially devoid of cardiotoxicity. This tolerability advantage may be of significance in improving compliance and hence cost-effectiveness of treatment, particularly in the long term. Despite a lack of sedative effect, there is evidence that SSRIs are more effective than TCAs in the treatment of depression with anxiety. In addition, the SSRIs have been shown to be effective in obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder and social phobia. Although superior efficacy has not been demonstrated for any one of the SSRIs, the structural diversity of this group is reflected in emerging qualitative and quantitative differences in side effects and drug interaction potential. Many of these differential features reflect important variations in pharmacological and pharmacokinetic profiles, including dosage flexibility, washout times, dose-plasma level proportionality and age-related changes in plasma levels. Fluoxetine, for example, has a considerably longer half-life than other SSRIs and side effects and drug interactions may thus occur for an extended period following discontinuation of treatment. Significant differences in the potential for drug interactions in this group are related to their relative potency for inhibition of important liver drug-metabolising enzymes including CYPIID6, CYPIA2 and CYPIIIA4. Large comparative clinical trials of the different SSRIs have yet to be undertaken; however, the differences that have

  3. A KT intervention including the evidence alert system to improve clinician’s evidence-based practice behavior—a cluster randomized controlled trial

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background It is difficult to foster research utilization among allied health professionals (AHPs). Tailored, multifaceted knowledge translation (KT) strategies are now recommended but are resource intensive to implement. Employers need effective KT solutions but little is known about; the impact and viability of multifaceted KT strategies using an online KT tool, their effectiveness with AHPs and their effect on evidence-based practice (EBP) decision-making behavior. The study aim was to measure the effectiveness of a multifaceted KT intervention including a customized KT tool, to change EBP behavior, knowledge, and attitudes of AHPs. Methods This is an evaluator-blinded, cluster randomized controlled trial conducted in an Australian community-based cerebral palsy service. 135 AHPs (physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech pathologists, psychologists and social workers) from four regions were cluster randomized (n = 4), to either the KT intervention group (n = 73 AHPs) or the control group (n = 62 AHPs), using computer-generated random numbers, concealed in opaque envelopes, by an independent officer. The KT intervention included three-day skills training workshop and multifaceted workplace supports to redress barriers (paid EBP time, mentoring, system changes and access to an online research synthesis tool). Primary outcome (self- and peer-rated EBP behavior) was measured using the Goal Attainment Scale (individual level). Secondary outcomes (knowledge and attitudes) were measured using exams and the Evidence Based Practice Attitude Scale. Results The intervention group’s primary outcome scores improved relative to the control group, however when clustering was taken into account, the findings were non-significant: self-rated EBP behavior [effect size 4.97 (95% CI -10.47, 20.41) (p = 0.52)]; peer-rated EBP behavior [effect size 5.86 (95% CI -17.77, 29.50) (p = 0.62)]. Statistically significant improvements in EBP knowledge were

  4. Applying the Model of Goal-Directed Behavior, Including Descriptive Norms, to Physical Activity Intentions: A Contribution to Improving the Theory of Planned Behavior.

    PubMed

    Esposito, Gabriele; van Bavel, René; Baranowski, Tom; Duch-Brown, Néstor

    2016-08-01

    The theory of planned behavior (TPB) has received its fair share of criticism lately, including calls for it to retire. We contribute to improving the theory by testing extensions such as the model of goal-directed behavior (MGDB, which adds desire and anticipated positive and negative emotions) applied to physical activity (PA) intention. We also test the inclusion of a descriptive norms construct as an addition to the subjective norms construct, also applied to PA, resulting in two additional models: TPB including descriptive norms (TPB + DN) and MGDB including descriptive norms (MGDB + DN). The study is based on an online survey of 400 young adult Internet users, previously enrolled in a subject pool. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) showed that TPB and TPB + DN were not fit for purpose, while MGDB and MGDB + DN were. Structural equation modelling (SEM) conducted on MGDB and MGDB + DN showed that the inclusion of descriptive norms took over the significance of injunctive norms, and increased the model's account of total variance in intention to be physically active. PMID:27229344

  5. Scheduled Follow-Up Referrals and Simple Prevention Kits Including Counseling to Improve Post-Discharge Outcomes Among Children in Uganda: A Proof-of-Concept Study

    PubMed Central

    Wiens, Matthew O; Kumbakumba, Elias; Larson, Charles P; Moschovis, Peter P; Barigye, Celestine; Kabakyenga, Jerome; Ndamira, Andrew; English, Lacey; Kissoon, Niranjan; Zhou, Guohai; Ansermino, J Mark

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Background: Recurrent illness following hospital discharge is a major contributor to childhood mortality in resource-poor countries. Yet post-discharge care is largely ignored by health care workers and policy makers due to a lack of resources to identify children with recurrent illness and a lack of cohesive systems to provide care. The purpose of this proof-of-concept study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a bundle of interventions at discharge to improve health outcomes during the vulnerable post-discharge period. Methods: The study was conducted between December 2014 and April 2015. Eligible children were between ages 6 months and 5 years who were admitted with a suspected or proven infectious disease to one of two hospitals in Mbarara, Uganda. A bundle of interventions was provided at the time of discharge. This bundle included post-discharge referrals for follow-up visits and a discharge kit. The post-discharge referral was to ensure follow-up with a nearby health care provider on days 2, 7, and 14 following discharge. The discharge kit included brief educational counseling along with simple preventive items as incentives (soap, a mosquito net, and oral rehydration salts) to reinforce the education. The primary study outcome was the number of post-discharge referral visits completed. Secondary study outcomes included satisfaction with the intervention, rates of readmission after 60 days, and post-discharge mortality rates. In addition, outcomes were compared with a historical control group, enrolled using the same inclusion criteria and outcome-ascertainment methods. Results: During the study, 216 children were admitted, of whom 14 died during hospitalization. Of the 202 children discharged, 85% completed at least 1 of the 3 follow-up referral visits, with 48% completing all 3 visits. Within 60 days after discharge, 22 children were readmitted at least once and 5 children (2.5%) died. Twelve (43%) readmissions occurred during a scheduled follow

  6. Improved sensitivity in the diagnosis of gastro-intestinal tumors by fuzzy logic-based tumor marker profiles including the tumor M2-PK.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Joachim; Bitterlich, Norman; Schulze, Guntram

    2005-01-01

    The aim of this study was to improve diagnostic efficiency in the detection of gastro-intestinal cancers by using fuzzy logic modeling in combination with a tumor marker panel (CEA, CA72-4, CA19-9) including Tumor M2-PK. In this prospective study histologically confirmed colorectal (n=247), esophageal (n=86) and gastric cancer (n=122) patients were investigated and compared to control (n=53) persons without any malignant diseases. Tumor M2-PK was measured in plasma with an ELISA (ScheBoBiotech, Germany); all other markers were measured in sera (Roche, Germany). At 95% specificity, tumor detection was possible by the best single marker in colorectal cancer patients in 48% (Tumor M2-PK), in gastric cancers in 61% (CA72-4) and in esophageal cancers in 56% (Tumor M2-PK). A fuzzy logic rule-based system employing a tumor marker panel increased sensitivity significantly in colorectal cancers (p<0. 001) to 63% (Tumor M2-PK and CEA), in gastric cancers (p<0.001) to 81% (Tumor M2-PK and CA 72-4) and in esophageal cancers (p<0.02) to 74% (Tumor M2-PK and CA72-4). Adding a third marker further improved the sensitivity only marginally. Fuzzy logic analysis has proven to be more powerful than measurement of single markers alone or combinations using multiple logistic regression analysis of the markers. Therefore, with the fuzzy logic method and a tumor marker panel (including Tumor M2-PK), a new diagnostic tool for the detection of gastro-intestinal cancers is available.

  7. Tailored logistics: the next advantage.

    PubMed

    Fuller, J B; O'Conor, J; Rawlinson, R

    1993-01-01

    How many top executives have ever visited with managers who move materials from the factory to the store? How many still reduce the costs of logistics to the rent of warehouses and the fees charged by common carriers? To judge by hours of senior management attention, logistics problems do not rank high. But logistics have the potential to become the next governing element of strategy. Whether they know it or not, senior managers of every retail store and diversified manufacturing company compete in logistically distinct businesses. Customer needs vary, and companies can tailor their logistics systems to serve their customers better and more profitably. Companies do not create value for customers and sustainable advantage for themselves merely by offering varieties of goods. Rather, they offer goods in distinct ways. A particular can of Coca-Cola, for example, might be a can of Coca-Cola going to a vending machine, or a can of Coca-Cola that comes with billing services. There is a fortune buried in this distinction. The goal of logistics strategy is building distinct approaches to distinct groups of customers. The first step is organizing a cross-functional team to proceed through the following steps: segmenting customers according to purchase criteria, establishing different standards of service for different customer segments, tailoring logistics pipelines to support each segment, and creating economics of scale to determine which assets can be shared among various pipelines. The goal of establishing logistically distinct businesses is familiar: improved knowledge of customers and improved means of satisfying them.

  8. Tailored logistics: the next advantage.

    PubMed

    Fuller, J B; O'Conor, J; Rawlinson, R

    1993-01-01

    How many top executives have ever visited with managers who move materials from the factory to the store? How many still reduce the costs of logistics to the rent of warehouses and the fees charged by common carriers? To judge by hours of senior management attention, logistics problems do not rank high. But logistics have the potential to become the next governing element of strategy. Whether they know it or not, senior managers of every retail store and diversified manufacturing company compete in logistically distinct businesses. Customer needs vary, and companies can tailor their logistics systems to serve their customers better and more profitably. Companies do not create value for customers and sustainable advantage for themselves merely by offering varieties of goods. Rather, they offer goods in distinct ways. A particular can of Coca-Cola, for example, might be a can of Coca-Cola going to a vending machine, or a can of Coca-Cola that comes with billing services. There is a fortune buried in this distinction. The goal of logistics strategy is building distinct approaches to distinct groups of customers. The first step is organizing a cross-functional team to proceed through the following steps: segmenting customers according to purchase criteria, establishing different standards of service for different customer segments, tailoring logistics pipelines to support each segment, and creating economics of scale to determine which assets can be shared among various pipelines. The goal of establishing logistically distinct businesses is familiar: improved knowledge of customers and improved means of satisfying them. PMID:10126157

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Including the dynamic relationship between climatic variables and leaf area index in a hydrological model to improve streamflow prediction under a changing climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tesemma, Z. K.; Wei, Y.; Peel, M. C.; Western, A. W.

    2015-06-01

    Anthropogenic climate change is projected to enrich the atmosphere with carbon dioxide, change vegetation dynamics and influence the availability of water at the catchment scale. This study combines a nonlinear model for estimating changes in leaf area index (LAI) due to climatic fluctuations with the variable infiltration capacity (VIC) hydrological model to improve catchment streamflow prediction under a changing climate. The combined model was applied to 13 gauged sub-catchments with different land cover types (crop, pasture and tree) in the Goulburn-Broken catchment, Australia, for the "Millennium Drought" (1997-2009) relative to the period 1983-1995, and for two future periods (2021-2050 and 2071-2100) and two emission scenarios (Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 4.5 and RCP8.5) which were compared with the baseline historical period of 1981-2010. This region was projected to be warmer and mostly drier in the future as predicted by 38 Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) runs from 15 global climate models (GCMs) and for two emission scenarios. The results showed that during the Millennium Drought there was about a 29.7-66.3 % reduction in mean annual runoff due to reduced precipitation and increased temperature. When drought-induced changes in LAI were included, smaller reductions in mean annual runoff of between 29.3 and 61.4 % were predicted. The proportional increase in runoff due to modeling LAI was 1.3-10.2 % relative to not including LAI. For projected climate change under the RCP4.5 emission scenario, ignoring the LAI response to changing climate could lead to a further reduction in mean annual runoff of between 2.3 and 27.7 % in the near-term (2021-2050) and 2.3 to 23.1 % later in the century (2071-2100) relative to modeling the dynamic response of LAI to precipitation and temperature changes. Similar results (near-term 2.5-25.9 % and end of century 2.6-24.2 %) were found for climate change under the RCP8.5 emission scenario

  12. Creating Competitive Advantage through Effective Management Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Longenecker, Clinton O.; Ariss, Sonny S.

    2002-01-01

    Managers trained in executive education programs (n=203) identified ways in which management education can increase an organization's competitive advantage: exposure to new ideas and practices, skill development, and motivation. Characteristics of effective management education included experience-based learning orientation, credible instructors,…

  13. The Advantages of Using a Network.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McCarthy, Robert

    1989-01-01

    Discusses the growth of computer networks in elementary and secondary schools and describes numerous benefits for both instructional and management functions. Topics discussed include ease of use; educational advantages; examples of use in physics, writing, and journalism classes; student records management; cost benefits; and greater efficiency.…

  14. Robustness of the Sequential Lineup Advantage

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gronlund, Scott D.; Carlson, Curt A.; Dailey, Sarah B.; Goodsell, Charles A.

    2009-01-01

    A growing movement in the United States and around the world involves promoting the advantages of conducting an eyewitness lineup in a sequential manner. We conducted a large study (N = 2,529) that included 24 comparisons of sequential versus simultaneous lineups. A liberal statistical criterion revealed only 2 significant sequential lineup…

  15. The CIOA (Carrot Improvement for Organic Agriculture) Project: Location, cropping system, and genetic background influence carrot performance including top height and flavor

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    U.S. organic farmers surveyed listed improved seedling germination and Alternaria leaf blight resistance as top breeding priorities for field production of organic carrots. Nematode resistance is also very important for growers. Flavor was deemed the most important consumer trait to improve in carro...

  16. Location, cropping system, and genetic background influence carrot performance including top height and flavor in the CIOA (Carrot Improvement for Organic Agriculture) Project

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    U.S. organic farmers surveyed listed improved seedling germination and Alternaria leaf blight resistance as top breeding priorities for field production of organic carrots. Nematode resistance is also very important for growers. Flavor was deemed the most important consumer trait to improve in carro...

  17. 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.…

  18. 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.

  19. 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. PMID:24533517

  20. Improved survival of children with advanced neuroblastoma treated by intensified therapy including myeloablative chemotherapy with stem cell transplantation: a retrospective analysis from the Tohoku Neuroblastoma Study Group.

    PubMed

    Imaizumi, M; Watanabe, A; Kikuta, A; Takano, T; Ito, E; Shimizu, T; Tsuchiya, S; Iinuma, K; Konno, T; Ohi, R; Hayashi, Y

    2001-10-01

    In the hospitals of the Tohoku Neuroblastoma Study Group (TNBSG), treatment for children with advanced neuroblastoma (NB) was intensified in the mid-1990's with the introduction of myeloablative therapy (MT) with stem cell transplantation (SCT) including the use of autologous peripheral blood stem cells (PBSC) and bone marrow transplantation (BMT). In this report, we examined whether the intensified therapy improved the outcome of children with advanced NB (age> 12 months) who were diagnosed between 1991 and 1997. Patients were 36 children (23 boys and 13 girls) with an average age of 3.4 years (range; 1 to 14 years). Six of them had stage III disease, and the other 30 had stage IV. They were treated initially with induction chemotherapy, surgery, and post-operative chemoradiotherapy, after which 17 of them continued further chemotherapy and the other 19 received MT/SCT (18 with PBSCT and 1 with BMT). Progression-free survival (PFS) rate at seven years from diagnosis was 43.5% for all patients, 66.7% for stage III patients and 38.2% for stage IV patients. The difference between stage III and IV patients was not significant. Among the 30 patients with stage IV disease, PFS at seven years was significantly higher in the 19 patients who received MT/SCT (55.6%) than in the 11 patients who did not receive it (12.5%). There was no difference in clinical and biological risk factors between these two groups, except for the proportion of patients with favorable response to initial therapy (36% and 80% for patients without and with MT/SCT, respectively). Furthermore, the proportion of patients with N-myc amplification was significantly higher in patients with progressive disease (PD) after MT/SCT than in those in CR after MT/SCT. The results of this retrospective study of children with advanced NB suggest that therapy intensification involving MT/SCT might result in lengthened survival time for patients with stage IV disease, and that post-transplant PD remains a risk for

  1. Medicare advantage plans at a crossroads--yet again.

    PubMed

    Berenson, Robert A; Dowd, Bryan E

    2009-01-01

    Since risk-taking, private health insurance plans were introduced into Medicare twenty-five years ago, policymakers have disagreed on these plans' fundamental purposes. Articulated objectives, which include improving quality, reducing government spending, providing additional benefits (without expanding the entitlement), increasing choices for beneficiaries, and providing benchmark competition for traditional Medicare, are plausible but sometimes conflicting. The program's history demonstrates continuous shifts in emphasis on these objectives. We enumerate the differing advantages of public and private plans in Medicare and argue that policymakers should focus their efforts on leveling the public-private playing field, thereby dealing forthrightly with the reality of growing fiscal problems.

  2. 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

  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. 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.

  5. Information Technology: Tomorrow's Advantage Today.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haag, Stephen; Keen, Peter

    This textbook is designed for a one-semester introductory course in which the goal is to give students a foundation in the basics of information technology (IT). It focuses on how the technology works, issues relating to its use and development, how it can lend personal and business advantages, and how it is creating a globally networked society.…

  6. 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)

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. [Psychological aspects of home advantage].

    PubMed

    Renáta, Valach; Dezso, Németh

    2006-01-01

    It has been shown that home teams supported by their audience win over 50% of the games in sports competitions. Researchers have also been paying increased attention to this topic during the last 10-15 years. Their main goal, in addition to verifying the existence of this phenomenon, was to find explanatory factors which can be associated - at least partly - with the development of home advantage. Our study demonstrates the biological basis of this phenomenon through the connection between the hormone system and territoriality, moreover, it discusses in detail the four possible contributing factors: noise of the supporting audience; familiarity; travel and rules. Latest research has emphasized an evolutionary explanation of home advantage, which, beyond the context of sports competitions, tries to give an answer to the differences found between male and female coping strategies.

  11. Faculty practice: advantages and disadvantages.

    PubMed

    Klooster, J

    1978-10-01

    In considering the advantages and disadvantages of full-time dental faculty members involved in private practice, some suggestions for coping with problems represented by the disadvantages have been cited. Faculty members may find a more satisfactory climate for the patient service aspect of their professional activity in a system where several options are made available from which a teacher may select his preferred office environment and practice style.

  12. Efficacy of humidity retention bags for the reduced adsorption and improved cleaning of tissue proteins including prion-associated amyloid to surgical stainless steel surfaces.

    PubMed

    Secker, T J; Pinchin, H E; Hervé, R C; Keevil, C W

    2015-01-01

    Increasing drying time adversely affects attachment of tissue proteins and prion-associated amyloid to surgical stainless steel, and reduces the efficacy of commercial cleaning chemistries. This study tested the efficacy of commercial humidity retention bags to reduce biofouling on surgical stainless steel and to improve subsequent cleaning. Surgical stainless steel surfaces were contaminated with ME7-infected brain homogenates and left to dry for 15 to 1,440 min either in air, in dry polythene bags or within humidity retention bags. Residual contamination pre/post cleaning was analysed using Thioflavin T/SYPRO Ruby dual staining and microscope analysis. An increase in biofouling was observed with increased drying time in air or in sealed dry bags. Humidity retention bags kept both protein and prion-associated amyloid minimal across the drying times both pre- and post-cleaning. Therefore, humidity bags demonstrate a cheap, easy to implement solution to improve surgical instrument reprocessing and to potentially reduce associated hospital acquired infections.

  13. Trichrome staining of Gyrodactylus sclerites and soft tissues following fixation in ammonium picrate-glycerin, including an improved rendition of the haptoral bars of G. turnbulli.

    PubMed

    Richards, G R; Chubb, J C

    1995-06-01

    A simple technique using modified Mallory stain in the transferral of Gyrodactylus specimens from ammonium picrate-glycerin to a permanent mountant is described. Hamuli, their connecting bars and the penis sclerites are well defined by the technique as are muscles and tendons, cell nuclei, tegument and gland cells. As well as being useful in the study of general anatomy, the technique enhances the observation of the taxonomically important ventral and dorsal bars. In order to show this, improved illustrations of the dorsal and ventral bars of G. turnbulli are given along with explicit demonstrations of differences in morphology of the ventral bars of G. bullatarudis and G. rasini-two easily confused species.

  14. Advantages of catalytically de-waxed lubricant base oils

    SciTech Connect

    Schoonmaker, J.P.; Stiponavic, A.J.

    1996-10-01

    The production of base oils used in the formulation of lubricants involves the vacuum distillation of crude oil followed by a series of processing steps that improve physical and chemical properties including viscosity index and oxidative stability. An important stage in this process is the removal of linear parafins (wax) from the base oil which can crystalize causing poor flow properties at low temperatures. {open_quotes}De-waxing{close_quotes} may be accomplished using a solvent precipitation batch process (solvent de-waxing: SDW) or through a more modern continuous catalytic process (catalytic de-waxing: CDW) which offers many advantages. In general, catalytically de-waxed base oils exhibit improved low temperature fluidity which provides enhanced performance for transmission fluids and other lubricants required to operate efficiently at temperature reaching -40{degrees}C. A discussion of the molecular mechanisms involved in CDW and results of viscometric testing at low temperatures will be presented.

  15. Improving the use of ranking in virtual screening against HIV-1 integrase with triangular numbers and including ligand profiling with antitargets.

    PubMed

    García-Sosa, Alfonso T; Maran, Uko

    2014-11-24

    A delicate balance exists between a drug molecule's toxicity and its activity. Indeed, efficacy, toxicity, and side effect problems are a common cause for the termination of drug candidate compounds and development projects. To address this, an antitarget interaction profile is built and combined with virtual screening and cross docking for new inhibitors of HIV-1 integrase, in order to consider possible off-target interactions as early as possible in a drug or hit discovery program. New ranking techniques using triangular numbers improve ranking information on the compounds and recovery of known inhibitors into the top compounds using different docking programs. This improved ranking arises from using consensus of ranks between docking programs and ligand efficiencies to derive a new rank, instead of using absolute score values, or average of ranks. The triangular number rerank also allowed the objective combination of results from several protein targets or screen conditions and several programs. Triangular number reranking conserves more information than other reranking methods such as average of scores or averages of ranks. In addition, the use of triangular numbers for reranking makes possible the use of thresholds with a justified leeway based on the number of available known inhibitors, so that the majority of the compounds above the threshold in ranks compare to the compounds that have known experimentally determined biological activity. The battery of anti- or off-targets can be tailored to specific molecular or drug design challenges. In silico filters can thus be deployed in successive stages, for prefiltering, activity profiling, and for further analysis and triaging of libraries of compounds. PMID:25303089

  16. 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.

  17. Improving hole injection and carrier distribution in InGaN light-emitting diodes by removing the electron blocking layer and including a unique last quantum barrier

    SciTech Connect

    Cheng, Liwen Chen, Haitao; Wu, Shudong

    2015-08-28

    The effects of removing the AlGaN electron blocking layer (EBL), and using a last quantum barrier (LQB) with a unique design in conventional blue InGaN light-emitting diodes (LEDs), were investigated through simulations. Compared with the conventional LED design that contained a GaN LQB and an AlGaN EBL, the LED that contained an AlGaN LQB with a graded-composition and no EBL exhibited enhanced optical performance and less efficiency droop. This effect was caused by an enhanced electron confinement and hole injection efficiency. Furthermore, when the AlGaN LQB was replaced with a triangular graded-composition, the performance improved further and the efficiency droop was lowered. The simulation results indicated that the enhanced hole injection efficiency and uniform distribution of carriers observed in the quantum wells were caused by the smoothing and thinning of the potential barrier for the holes. This allowed a greater number of holes to tunnel into the quantum wells from the p-type regions in the proposed LED structure.

  18. Improving hole injection and carrier distribution in InGaN light-emitting diodes by removing the electron blocking layer and including a unique last quantum barrier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheng, Liwen; Chen, Haitao; Wu, Shudong

    2015-08-01

    The effects of removing the AlGaN electron blocking layer (EBL), and using a last quantum barrier (LQB) with a unique design in conventional blue InGaN light-emitting diodes (LEDs), were investigated through simulations. Compared with the conventional LED design that contained a GaN LQB and an AlGaN EBL, the LED that contained an AlGaN LQB with a graded-composition and no EBL exhibited enhanced optical performance and less efficiency droop. This effect was caused by an enhanced electron confinement and hole injection efficiency. Furthermore, when the AlGaN LQB was replaced with a triangular graded-composition, the performance improved further and the efficiency droop was lowered. The simulation results indicated that the enhanced hole injection efficiency and uniform distribution of carriers observed in the quantum wells were caused by the smoothing and thinning of the potential barrier for the holes. This allowed a greater number of holes to tunnel into the quantum wells from the p-type regions in the proposed LED structure.

  19. A call to improve the validity of criterion-based content analysis (CBCA): Results from a field-based study including 60 children's statements of sexual abuse.

    PubMed

    Welle, Ida; Berclaz, Michel; Lacasa, Marie-Josée; Niveau, Gérard

    2016-10-01

    The growing awareness of sexually-abused children has led to a major shift: previously considered untrustworthy, children are now regarded as competent in providing medico-legal evidence. Professionals undertaking the challenging task of assessing the child's credibility need to rely upon approved evaluation methods. The Criteria-Based Content Analysis is a tool developed to assess the truthfulness of a child's verbal statement. This field-based study explores its validity and its limitations. Three independent experts rated the verbatim statements of 60 real-life alleged victims of sexual abuse. The CBCA scoring and final assessment of credibility were linked to the outcomes: confirmed or unconfirmed allegation of sexual abuse. Inter-rater reliability coefficient was 0.74. The average overall accuracy rate corresponding to confirmed and unconfirmed cases was 75%. Among the confirmed allegations, the accuracy rate reached 90%, whereas the probability of discriminating the true negative cases within the unconfirmed cases was lower than chance level. Of all the 19 criteria, items 6 "Reproduction of conversation" and 12 "Accounts of subjective mental state" were the strongest predictors of genuine accounts. A significant association between age and CBCA scores was noted, the effect of age on CBCA scores was strongest in the unconfirmed cases. Although some may argue that the validity of the CBCA is reasonably acceptable, results from this field study are less convincing. Increasing the diagnostic accuracy of the CBCA by adding new criteria, so as to raise the percentage of correct classifications in the confirmed accounts as well as in the unconfirmed accounts, would represent a major improvement. PMID:27570234

  20. A call to improve the validity of criterion-based content analysis (CBCA): Results from a field-based study including 60 children's statements of sexual abuse.

    PubMed

    Welle, Ida; Berclaz, Michel; Lacasa, Marie-Josée; Niveau, Gérard

    2016-10-01

    The growing awareness of sexually-abused children has led to a major shift: previously considered untrustworthy, children are now regarded as competent in providing medico-legal evidence. Professionals undertaking the challenging task of assessing the child's credibility need to rely upon approved evaluation methods. The Criteria-Based Content Analysis is a tool developed to assess the truthfulness of a child's verbal statement. This field-based study explores its validity and its limitations. Three independent experts rated the verbatim statements of 60 real-life alleged victims of sexual abuse. The CBCA scoring and final assessment of credibility were linked to the outcomes: confirmed or unconfirmed allegation of sexual abuse. Inter-rater reliability coefficient was 0.74. The average overall accuracy rate corresponding to confirmed and unconfirmed cases was 75%. Among the confirmed allegations, the accuracy rate reached 90%, whereas the probability of discriminating the true negative cases within the unconfirmed cases was lower than chance level. Of all the 19 criteria, items 6 "Reproduction of conversation" and 12 "Accounts of subjective mental state" were the strongest predictors of genuine accounts. A significant association between age and CBCA scores was noted, the effect of age on CBCA scores was strongest in the unconfirmed cases. Although some may argue that the validity of the CBCA is reasonably acceptable, results from this field study are less convincing. Increasing the diagnostic accuracy of the CBCA by adding new criteria, so as to raise the percentage of correct classifications in the confirmed accounts as well as in the unconfirmed accounts, would represent a major improvement.

  1. [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.

  2. Colombia Mi Pronostico Flood Application: Updating and Improving the Mi Pronostico Flood Web Application to Include an Assessment of Flood Risk

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rushley, Stephanie; Carter, Matthew; Chiou, Charles; Farmer, Richard; Haywood, Kevin; Pototzky, Anthony, Jr.; White, Adam; Winker, Daniel

    2014-01-01

    Colombia is a country with highly variable terrain, from the Andes Mountains to plains and coastal areas, many of these areas are prone to flooding disasters. To identify these risk areas NASA's Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) was used to construct a digital elevation model (DEM) for the study region. The preliminary risk assessment was applied to a pilot study area, the La Mosca River basin. Precipitation data from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM)'s near-real-time rainfall products as well as precipitation data from the Instituto de Hidrologia, Meteorologia y Estudios Ambientales (the Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies, IDEAM) and stations in the La Mosca River Basin were used to create rainfall distribution maps for the region. Using the precipitation data and the ASTER DEM, the web application, Mi Pronóstico, run by IDEAM, was updated to include an interactive map which currently allows users to search for a location and view the vulnerability and current weather and flooding conditions. The geospatial information was linked to an early warning system in Mi Pronóstico that can alert the public of flood warnings and identify locations of nearby shelters.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Enlightening Advantages of Cooperative Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Faryadi, Qais

    2007-01-01

    This appraisal discusses the notion that cooperative learning enhances learners' emotional and social performance. It also observes the perception that cooperative learning dramatically improves students' academic accomplishment. This review also examines the definition of cooperative learning and attempts to define it through the lens of renowned…

  6. Advantages and limitations of genomics in prokaryotic taxonomy.

    PubMed

    Sentausa, E; Fournier, P-E

    2013-09-01

    Taxonomic classification is an important field of microbiology, as it enables scientists to identify prokaryotes worldwide. Although the current classification system is still based on the one designed by Carolus Linnaeus, the currently available genomic content of several thousands of sequenced prokaryotic genomes represents a unique source of taxonomic information that should not be ignored. In addition, the development of faster, cheaper and improved sequencing methods has made genomics a tool that has a place in the workflow of a routine microbiology laboratory. Thus, genomics has reached a stage where it may be used in prokaryotic taxonomic classification, with criteria such as the genome index of average nucleotide identity being an alternative to DNA-DNA hybridization. However, several hurdles remain, including the lack of genomic sequences of many prokaryotic taxonomic representatives, and consensus procedures to describe new prokaryotic taxa that do not, as yet, accommodate genomic data. We herein review the advantages and disadvantages of using genomics in prokaryotic taxonomy.

  7. Diagnostic and analytical mutation scanning of Cryptosporidium: utility and advantages.

    PubMed

    Jex, Aaron R; Gasser, Robin B

    2009-03-01

    Cryptosporidiosis is predominantly a disease of the alimentary tract of humans and other vertebrates, caused by parasitic protists of the genus Cryptosporidium. This disease, transmitted mainly via the fecal-oral route (in water or food), is of major socioeconomic importance globally. The diagnosis of cryptosporidiosis, including the genetic characterization of the different species, genotypes and subgenotypes (population variants) of Cryptosporidium, is crucial to prevention and control, particularly as there is no cost-effective treatment against this disease. Although traditional phenetic techniques have had major deficiencies for the specific diagnosis of cryptosporidiosis, there has been substantial progress in the establishment of molecular tools. In this article, we review key genetic markers used for the specific identification of Cryptosporidium, diagnosis of cryptosporidiosis and analysis of genetic variation in Cryptosporidium populations. We also discuss the advantages and disadvantages of selected techniques, and emphasize the benefits of utilizing rapid mutation scanning in achieving improved insights into the population genetics and epidemiology of Cryptosporidium.

  8. Advantages and limitations of genomics in prokaryotic taxonomy.

    PubMed

    Sentausa, E; Fournier, P-E

    2013-09-01

    Taxonomic classification is an important field of microbiology, as it enables scientists to identify prokaryotes worldwide. Although the current classification system is still based on the one designed by Carolus Linnaeus, the currently available genomic content of several thousands of sequenced prokaryotic genomes represents a unique source of taxonomic information that should not be ignored. In addition, the development of faster, cheaper and improved sequencing methods has made genomics a tool that has a place in the workflow of a routine microbiology laboratory. Thus, genomics has reached a stage where it may be used in prokaryotic taxonomic classification, with criteria such as the genome index of average nucleotide identity being an alternative to DNA-DNA hybridization. However, several hurdles remain, including the lack of genomic sequences of many prokaryotic taxonomic representatives, and consensus procedures to describe new prokaryotic taxa that do not, as yet, accommodate genomic data. We herein review the advantages and disadvantages of using genomics in prokaryotic taxonomy. PMID:23490121

  9. 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.

  10. 2015: Rural Medicare Advantage Enrollment Update.

    PubMed

    Finegan, Chance; Ullrich, Fred; Mueller, Keith

    2015-07-01

    Key Findings. (1) Rural enrollment in Medicare Advantage (MA) and other prepaid plans increased by 6.8 percent between March 2014 and March 2015 to 2.1 million members, or 21.2 percent of all rural residents eligible for Medicare. This compares to a national enrollment in MA and other prepaid plans of 31.1 percent (16.7 million) of enrollees. (2) Rural enrollment in Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plans (including point-of-service, or POS, plans), Preferred Provider Organization (PP0) plans, and other pre-paid plans (including Medicare Cost and Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly Plans) all increased by 5-13 percent. (3) Enrollment in private fee-for-service (PFFS) plans continued to decline (decreasing nationally by 15.8 percent and 12.1 percent in rural counties over the period March 2014-2015). Only eight states showed an increase in PFFS plan enrollment. Five states experienced decreases of 50 percent or more. (4) The five states with the highest percentages of rural beneficiaries enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan are Minnesota (51.8 percent), Hawaii (39.4 percent), Pennsylvania (36.2 percent), Wisconsin (35.5 percent), and New York (31.5 percent).

  11. 2015: Rural Medicare Advantage Enrollment Update.

    PubMed

    Finegan, Chance; Ullrich, Fred; Mueller, Keith

    2015-07-01

    Key Findings. (1) Rural enrollment in Medicare Advantage (MA) and other prepaid plans increased by 6.8 percent between March 2014 and March 2015 to 2.1 million members, or 21.2 percent of all rural residents eligible for Medicare. This compares to a national enrollment in MA and other prepaid plans of 31.1 percent (16.7 million) of enrollees. (2) Rural enrollment in Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plans (including point-of-service, or POS, plans), Preferred Provider Organization (PP0) plans, and other pre-paid plans (including Medicare Cost and Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly Plans) all increased by 5-13 percent. (3) Enrollment in private fee-for-service (PFFS) plans continued to decline (decreasing nationally by 15.8 percent and 12.1 percent in rural counties over the period March 2014-2015). Only eight states showed an increase in PFFS plan enrollment. Five states experienced decreases of 50 percent or more. (4) The five states with the highest percentages of rural beneficiaries enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan are Minnesota (51.8 percent), Hawaii (39.4 percent), Pennsylvania (36.2 percent), Wisconsin (35.5 percent), and New York (31.5 percent). PMID:26793818

  12. Improving the Quality of Child Care. Hearing of the Committee on Labor and Human Resources on Examining Proposals To Improve the Quality of Child Care in the United States, Including the Proposed Creating Improved Delivery of Child Care: Affordable, Reliable, and Educational Act of 1997. United States Senate, One Hundred Fifth Congress. First Session.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Congress of the U.S., Washington, DC. Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources.

    These hearings transcripts present testimony on proposals to improve the quality of child care in the United States. Both oral and submitted written statements are included. Contributors are: Representative Peter Deutsch (Florida); Senator James M. Jeffords, committee chairman; Senator Mike Enzi (Wyoming); Senator Edward M. Kennedy…

  13. Advantages of polymer transducers in high frequency inspections

    SciTech Connect

    Samari, S.; Stanton, M.

    1993-12-31

    Since the discovery of piezoelectricity in PVDF in 1969 the polymer transducers have now emerged as a significant tool in many ultrasonic inspections that otherwise would have been very difficult or impossible for conventional ceramic transducers. The major advantage, of Polymer transducers is in their inherent broadband characteristics in immersion applications which leads to their superior resolution and improved signal to noise ration over conventional ceramic transducers. This paper will show empirical results of high frequency polymer transducer in inspection of different materials including engineering materials such as ceramics. Other advantages of the polymer transducers are their low acoustic impedance as well as the compliance of the plastic material during construction. The compliance of the plastic PVDF film allows the manufacture of the high frequency polymer transducers without the use of permanent delays which can interfere with ultrasonic measurements. This paper will also give experimental results that will show how polymer transducers are instrument dependent, and how an operator can achieve optimum results by using an impedance matching network between the instrument and the polymer transducer.

  14. Report to the Legislature on Senate Concurrent Resolution 118 SD1 HD1: Improving the Community's Understanding of the Department of Education's Programs and School Expenses Including a Comparison with Other States on Adequacy of Funds

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hawaii Educational Policy Center, 2008

    2008-01-01

    The 2007 Hawai'i State Legislature passed Senate Concurrent Resolution 118 S.D.1 HD 1 Improving the Community's Understanding of the Department of Education's Programs and School Expenses Including a Comparison with Other States on Adequacy of Funds. Among the requests contained in the resolution were the following: "Be it further resolved the…

  15. 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

    ... determination was published in the Federal Register on May 30, 2013 (78 FR 32464). At the request of a company... Tapfin, Staffworks, Aerotek Professional Services, Randstad, Insight Global, LLC and RemX Specialty..., Staffworks, Aerotek Professional Services, Randstad, Insight Global, LLC, and RemX Specialty Staffing,...

  16. 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.

  17. Comparative advantages of mechanical biosensors

    PubMed Central

    Arlett, J.L.; Myers, E.B.; Roukes, M.L.

    2013-01-01

    Mechanical interactions are fundamental to biology. Mechanical forces of chemical origin determine motility and adhesion on the cellular scale, and govern transport and affinity on the molecular scale. Biological sensing in the mechanical domain provides unique opportunities to measure forces, displacements and mass changes from cellular and subcellular processes. Nanomechanical systems are particularly well matched in size with molecular interactions, and provide a basis for biological probes with single-molecule sensitivity. Here we review micro- and nanoscale biosensors, with a particular focus on fast mechanical biosensing in fluid by mass- and force-based methods, and the challenges presented by non-specific interactions. We explain the general issues that will be critical to the success of any type of next-generation mechanical biosensor, such as the need to improve intrinsic device performance, fabrication reproducibility and system integration. We also discuss the need for a greater understanding of analyte–sensor interactions on the nanoscale and of stochastic processes in the sensing environment. PMID:21441911

  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. 76 FR 56262 - Community Advantage Pilot Program

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-09-12

    ... Community Advantage Pilot Program (``CA Pilot Program'') (76 FR 9626). Pursuant to the authority provided to... 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...

  20. 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.

  1. The POP Program: the patient education advantage.

    PubMed

    Claeys, M; Mosher, C; Reesman, D

    1998-01-01

    In 1992, a preoperative education program was developed for total joint replacement patients in a small community hospital. The goals of the program were to increase educational opportunities for the joint replacement patients, prepare patients for hospitalization, plan for discharge needs, and increase efficiency of the orthopaedic program. Since 1992, approximately 600 patients have attended the education program. Outcomes have included positive responses from patients regarding their preparedness for surgery, increased participation in their plan of care, coordinated discharge planning, decreased length of stay, and progression across the continuum of care. A multidisciplinary approach to preparing patients for surgery allows for a comprehensive and efficient education program. Marketing of successful programs can enhance an institution's competitive advantage and help ensure the hospital's viability in the current health care arena.

  2. 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.

  3. [Hepatic puncture biopsy in ambulatory care. Advantages and disadvantages].

    PubMed

    Nouel, O

    1997-03-01

    There is a clear trend towards favoring outpatient care in an attempt to control health care costs. Despite widespread acceptance in some countries, many teams in France still prefer to hospitalize patients requiring percutaneous liver biopsy because the outpatient setting has not been encouraged in French text books on hepatology, many gastroenterologists do not have access to outpatient facilities, and the lack of French references which has raised questions as to the legal responsibilities involved. The series of 231 outpatient percutaneous liver biopsies reported by Bourgaux in this issue of La Presse Médicale will remove the doubt in many minds. There are many advantages for the generally young population with early stage liver disease, frequently hepatitis C, requiring percutaneous liver biopsy. Lower cost is probably the primary advantage, but improved patient comfort, especially if repeated procedures are needed, is also greatly appreciated. The outpatient procedure is safe when all the selection criteria are met including: normal coagulation, ultrasonographically homogeneous liver, patient compliance and availability of a structured outpatient clinic, and absence of a severe concomitent disease. These apparently restrictive criteria actually include the majority of the indications for liver biopsy. There is another debate on whether echo-guided biopsy would be even safer but as emphasized by Bourgaux et al. this would require a reorganization of most of the hepatogastroenterology departments. One other point cannot be overlooked. Some operators (and patients) may also feel that the impressive nature of the procedure merits a more impressive setting, i.e. full hospitalization. Consequently, while it is quite reasonable to propose outpatient liver biopsy as a classical procedure, there are situations when personal preference may still dictate hospitalization.

  4. 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.

  5. 34 CFR 303.15 - Include; including.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 34 Education 2 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Include; including. 303.15 Section 303.15 Education Regulations of the Offices of the Department of Education (Continued) OFFICE OF SPECIAL EDUCATION AND REHABILITATIVE SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION EARLY INTERVENTION PROGRAM FOR INFANTS AND TODDLERS...

  6. Advantages of using flat-panel LCD for projection displays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Dean C.

    1995-04-01

    The advantages of applying flat panel Liquid CRystal Displays (LCD) for Projection Displays will be extensively discussed. The selection and fabrication of flat panel LCD in order to meet the specific requirements of projection displays through various technologies will be suggested and explored in detail. The compact, flexible size and easy portability of flat panel LCDs are well known. For practical reasons, it is desirable to take advantages some of these useful properties in Projection Displays. With the recent popularity of large format display sizes, high information content and practicality all increases the demand of projection enlargement for high level performance and comfortable viewing. As a result, Projection Displays are becoming the chosen technological option for effective presentation of visual information. In general, the Liquid Crystal Light Valves (LCLV) used in Projection Displays are simply transmissive flat panel liquid crystal displays. For example at the low end, the monochromatic LCD projection panels are simply transmissive LCDs to be used in combination with laptops or PCs and light sources such as overhead projectors. These projection panels are getting popular for their portability, readability and low cost. However, due to the passive nature of the LCD used in these projector panels, the response time, contrast ratio and color gamut are relatively limited. Whether the newly developed Active Addressing technology will be able to improve the response time, contrast ratio and color gamut of these passive matrix LCDs remain to be proven. In the middle range of projection displays, Liquid Crystal Light Valves using color Active Matrix LCDs are rapidly replacing the dominant CRT based projectors. LCLVs have a number of advantages including portability, easy set-up and data readability. There are several new developments using single crystal, polysilicon as active matrix for LCDs with improved performance. Since single crystal active matrix

  7. Medicare program; Contract Year 2015 Policy and Technical Changes to the Medicare Advantage and the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Programs. Final rule.

    PubMed

    2014-05-23

    The final rule will revise the Medicare Advantage (MA) program (Part C) regulations and prescription drug benefit program (Part D) regulations to implement statutory requirements; improve program efficiencies; and clarify program requirements. The final rule also includes several provisions designed to improve payment accuracy.

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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)

  11. 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.

  12. Thoracoscopy versus thoracotomy: indications and advantages.

    PubMed

    Weatherford, D A; Stephenson, J E; Taylor, S M; Blackhurst, D

    1995-01-01

    Although the diagnosis and treatment of intrathoracic diseases have been affected by the use of thoracoscopy, the indications and advantages of this procedure are poorly defined. To review the indications and results in a community practice, 52 consecutive cases of thoracoscopy were reviewed and the postoperative courses were compared to a control group of 43 simultaneous thoracotomies. Operative indications for thoracoscopy included investigation or treatment of a lung mass (n = 33), spontaneous pneumothorax (n = 10), mediastinal mass (n = 4), pleural effusion (n = 2), mesothelioma (n = 2), and a ruptured hemidiaphragm (n = 1). General endotracheal anesthesia was used in each case. Overall, thoracoscopy was successful in 40 cases (77%). Conversion to formal thoracotomy was required in 14 cases (27%) secondary to poor visualization or to aid in further dissection. Compared to thoracotomy, complication rates were less (7.6 vs 16.2%), hospital stay shorter (5.5 vs 8 days), ICU stay shorter (0 vs 2 days) and pleural drainage time less (2 vs 5 days) in the thoracoscopy group. In summary, 73% of the patients in this study who formerly would have undergone thoracotomy were successfully managed with thoracoscopy alone, with acceptable morbidity and mortality. These data define the indications, morbidity, and mortality of thoracoscopy and suggest that thoracoscopy may emerge as the procedure of choice in the diagnosis and management of many thoracic diseases.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Women's Memory Advantage Might Skew Alzheimer's Diagnosis

    MedlinePlus

    ... https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_161328.html Women's Memory Advantage Might Skew Alzheimer's Diagnosis Women tend to hold on to better verbal memory skills as they age compared to men, study ...

  17. 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. PMID:26654988

  18. The Star Rating System and Medicare Advantage Plans.

    PubMed

    Sprague, Lisa

    2015-05-01

    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. PMID:26072530

  19. The Star Rating System and Medicare Advantage Plans.

    PubMed

    Sprague, Lisa

    2015-05-01

    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. Cerenkov Counting Technique for Beta Particles: Advantages and Limitations.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rengan, K.

    1983-01-01

    Cerenkov counting is a useful technique for assaying medium/high energy beta emitters in aqueous solutions. Advantages of the technique include: (1) simple sample preparation; (2) being able to handle large volume of aqueous solution for counting; and (3) absence of chemical quenching. Cerenkov counting is also less expensive than other methods.…

  1. Foundations for a Competitive Advantage. ILRDC Special Publication Vol. 1.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Illinois Literacy Resource Development Center, Champaign.

    The six articles in this publication provide information on how basic skills education and training can contribute to corporate profitability, using case studies and examples from corporations that promote employee training. The following articles are included: "Laying the Foundations for a Competitive Advantage: Emson's Skills Enhancement…

  2. 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. PMID:12134406

  3. [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

  4. 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.

  5. Advantages, Disadvantages, and Trend of Integrative Medicine in the Treatment of Heart Failure.

    PubMed

    Zhang, PeiYing

    2015-06-01

    Integrative medicine therapy using traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) combined with western medicine has shown some advantages in treating heart failure (HF), such as holistic concept; multi-target treatment; dialectical logic; personalized therapy; formulae compatibility; and reduction of side effects of western medicine. However, problems still exist in TCM treatment of HF, including non-uniformed categorization of TCM, lack of standardized syndrome differentiation and lack of an evidence base. The future of treatment of HF seems to be focused on reversing ventricular remodeling, improving cardiac rehabilitation, and accelerating experimental research and drug discovery in TCM.

  6. 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

  7. Improving Educational Opportunities for Low-Income Children. Hearing on Examining Proposals to Improve Educational Opportunities for Low-Income Children, Including Provisions of S. 847, to Provide Scholarship Assistance for District of Columbia Elementary and Secondary School Students, Hearing of the Committee on Labor and Human Resources. United States Senate, One Hundred Fifth Congress, First Session.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Congress of the U.S., Washington, DC. Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources.

    The Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources met to hear two panels of witnesses discuss improving educational opportunities for low-income children, including provisions of Senate 847, to provide scholarship assistance for District of Columbia elementary and secondary school students. Opening remarks by Senators Coats, Lieberman, Reed, and…

  8. 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

  9. Pump apparatus including deconsolidator

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  10. 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…

  11. 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.

  12. The advantages of stereo vision in a face recognition system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zheng, Yufeng; Blasch, Erik

    2014-06-01

    Humans can recognize a face with binocular vision, while computers typically use a single face image. It is known that the performance of face recognition (by a computer) can be improved using the score fusion of multimodal images and multiple algorithms. A question is: Can we apply stereo vision to a face recognition system? We know that human binocular vision has many advantages such as stereopsis (3D vision), binocular summation, and singleness of vision including fusion of binocular images (cyclopean image). For face recognition, a 3D face or 3D facial features are typically computed from a pair of stereo images. In human visual processes, the binocular summation and singleness of vision are similar as image fusion processes. In this paper, we propose an advanced face recognition system with stereo imaging capability, which is comprised of two 2-in-1 multispectral (visible and thermal) cameras and three recognition algorithms (circular Gaussian filter, face pattern byte, and linear discriminant analysis [LDA]). Specifically, we present and compare stereo fusion at three levels (images, features, and scores) by using stereo images (from left camera and right camera). Image fusion is achieved with three methods (Laplacian pyramid, wavelet transform, average); feature fusion is done with three logical operations (AND, OR, XOR); and score fusion is implemented with four classifiers (LDA, k-nearest neighbor, support vector machine, binomial logical regression). The system performance is measured by probability of correct classification (PCC) rate (reported as accuracy rate in this paper) and false accept rate (FAR). The proposed approaches were validated with a multispectral stereo face dataset from 105 subjects. Experimental results show that any type of stereo fusion can improve the PCC, meanwhile reduce the FAR. It seems that stereo image/feature fusion is superior to stereo score fusion in terms of recognition performance. Further score fusion after image

  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. Adaptive memory: animacy processing produces mnemonic advantages.

    PubMed

    VanArsdall, Joshua E; Nairne, James S; Pandeirada, Josefa N S; Blunt, Janell R

    2013-01-01

    It is adaptive to remember animates, particularly animate agents, because they play an important role in survival and reproduction. Yet, surprisingly, the role of animacy in mnemonic processing has received little direct attention in the literature. In two experiments, participants were presented with pronounceable nonwords and properties characteristic of either living (animate) or nonliving (inanimate) things. The task was to rate the likelihood that each nonword-property pair represented a living thing or a nonliving object. In Experiment 1, a subsequent recognition memory test for the nonwords revealed a significant advantage for the nonwords paired with properties of living things. To generalize this finding, Experiment 2 replicated the animate advantage using free recall. These data demonstrate a new phenomenon in the memory literature - a possible mnemonic tuning for animacy - and add to growing data supporting adaptive memory theory. PMID:23261948

  15. 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. PMID:25154124

  16. The selective advantage of crypsis in mice.

    PubMed

    Vignieri, Sacha N; Larson, Joanna G; Hoekstra, Hopi E

    2010-07-01

    The light color of mice that inhabit the sandy dunes of Florida's coast have served as a textbook example of adaptation for nearly a century, despite the fact that the selective advantage of crypsis has never been directly tested or quantified in nature. Using plasticine mouse models of light and dark color, we demonstrate a strong selective advantage for mice that match their local background substrate. Further our data suggest that stabilizing selection maintains color matching within a single habitat, as models that are both lighter and darker than their local environment are selected against. These results provide empirical evidence in support of the hypothesis that visual hunting predators shape color patterning in Peromyscus mice and suggest a mechanism by which selection drives the pronounced color variation among populations. PMID:20163447

  17. Women and nurse executives. Finally, some advantages.

    PubMed

    Borman, J S

    1993-10-01

    How do chief nurse executives (CNEs) and chief executive officers (CEOs) compare on selected components of organizational socialization, and do differences exist between genders? To answer these questions, the author compared 127 male CEOs, 127 female CEOs, 232 female CNEs, and 117 male CNEs on their self-reported leadership styles, managerial values, and skills. The differences found between both genders and positions on all measures are largely advantageous to women and nurses in healthcare administration. PMID:8410326

  18. Sinus pericranii: advantages of MR imaging.

    PubMed

    Bigot, J L; Iacona, C; Lepreux, A; Dhellemmes, P; Motte, J; Gomes, H

    2000-10-01

    Sinus pericranii is a rare vascular anomaly involving an abnormal communication between the extracranial and intracranial circulations. A 3-year-old girl presented with a 2 x 2-cm, midline soft-tissue mass at the vertex. Plain skull films and CT using bone windows showed erosion of the parietal bones. MRI confirmed the clinical diagnosis by identifying communication of the vascular mass with the intracranial dural venous sinus. The advantages of MRI are discussed. PMID:11075608

  19. Women and nurse executives. Finally, some advantages.

    PubMed

    Borman, J S

    1993-10-01

    How do chief nurse executives (CNEs) and chief executive officers (CEOs) compare on selected components of organizational socialization, and do differences exist between genders? To answer these questions, the author compared 127 male CEOs, 127 female CEOs, 232 female CNEs, and 117 male CNEs on their self-reported leadership styles, managerial values, and skills. The differences found between both genders and positions on all measures are largely advantageous to women and nurses in healthcare administration.

  20. Listening to Include

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Veck, Wayne

    2009-01-01

    This paper attempts to make important connections between listening and inclusive education and the refusal to listen and exclusion. Two lines of argument are advanced. First, if educators and learners are to include each other within their educational institutions as unique individuals, then they will need to listen attentively to each other.…

  1. Explaining Asian Americans’ academic advantage over whites

    PubMed Central

    Hsin, Amy; Xie, Yu

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24799702

  2. Nanomaterials in the application of tumor vaccines: advantages and disadvantages

    PubMed Central

    Li, XD; Gao, JY; Yang, Y; Fang, HY; Han, YJ; Wang, XM; Ge, W

    2013-01-01

    Tumor vaccines are a novel approach to the treatment of malignancy, and are attracting the attention of the medical profession. Nanomaterials have significant advantages in the preparation of a tumor vaccine, including their ability to penetrate and target cancer tissue and their antigenic properties. In this review, we focus on several nanomaterials, ie, carbon nanotubes, nanoemulsions, nanosized aluminum, and nanochitosan. Applications for these nanomaterials in nanovaccines and their biological characteristics, as well as their potential toxicity, are discussed. PMID:23776336

  3. [Chorionic Villus Sampling in cytogenetic analysis--disadvantages and advantages].

    PubMed

    Gnyś-Wiercioch, Agnieszka; Bloch, Renata; Grolik, Barbara; Hadaś, Jolanta; Kania, Agnieszka; Szołtysik-Szot, Mariola; Sodowska, Henryka

    2012-05-01

    Chorionic villus sampling is used in prenatal diagnosis, enabling to detect fetal genetic abnormalities. Its advantages include the possibility of performing the procedure during the first trimester of pregnancy relatively fast result, risk of miscarriage comparable to that in case of amniocentesis. The disadvantages of this method are: difficult cytogenetic analysis, the possibility of contamination with maternal cells and the risk of mosaicism. There should always be a valid indication to perform the CVS procedure.

  4. The survival advantage: Underlying mechanisms and extant limitations.

    PubMed

    Kazanas, Stephanie A; Altarriba, Jeanette

    2015-01-01

    Recently, researchers have begun to investigate the function of memory in our evolutionary history. According to Nairne and colleagues (e.g., Nairne, Pandeirada, and Thompson, 2008; Nairne, Thompson, and Pandeirada, 2007), the best mnemonic strategy for learning lists of unrelated words may be one that addresses the same problems that our Pleistocene ancestors faced: fitness-relevant problems including securing food and water, as well as protecting themselves from predators. Survival processing has been shown to promote better recall and recognition memory than many well-known mnemonic strategies (e.g., pleasantness ratings, imagery, generation, etc.). However, the survival advantage does not extend to all types of stimuli and tasks. The current review presents research that has replicated Nairne et al.'s (2007) original findings, in addition to the research designs that fail to replicate the survival advantage. In other words, there are specific manipulations in which survival processing does not appear to benefit memory any more than other strategies. Potential mechanisms for the survival advantage are described, with an emphasis on those that are the most plausible. These proximate mechanisms outline the memory processes that may contribute to the advantage, although the ultimate mechanism may be the congruity between the survival scenario and Pleistocene problem-solving. PMID:25947360

  5. Home advantage in sport: an overview of studies on the advantage of playing at home.

    PubMed

    Nevill, A M; Holder, R L

    1999-10-01

    This review identifies the most likely causes of home advantage. The results of previous studies have identified 4 factors thought to be responsible for the home advantage. These can be categorised under the general headings of crowd, learning, travel and rule factors. From the accumulated evidence, rule factors were found to play only a minor role (in a limited number of sports) in contributing to home advantage. Studies investigating the effect of learning factors found that little benefit was to be gained from being familiar with the local conditions when playing at home. There was evidence to suggest that travel factors were responsible for part of the home advantage, provided the journey involved crossing a number of time zones. However, since high levels of home advantage are observed within countries where travel distances are not great. travel factors were not thought to be a major cause of home advantage. The evidence from studies investigating crowd factors appeared to provide the most dominant causes of home advantage. A number of studies provide strong evidence that home advantage increases with crowd size, until the crowd reaches a certain size or consistency (a more balanced number of home and away supporters), after which a peak in home advantage is observed. Two possible mechanisms were proposed to explain these observations: either (i) the crowd is able to raise the performance of the home competitors relative to the away competitors; or (ii) the crowd is able to influence the officials to subconsciously favour the home team. The literature supports the latter to be the most important and dominant explanation. Clearly, it only takes 2 or 3 crucial decisions to go against the away team or in favour of the home team to give the side playing at home the 'edge'.

  6. 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)

  7. Pathways to hostile collective action: The roles of general attitudes toward the advantaged group and situational anger.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Jie; Wang, Erping

    2012-12-01

    Collective action is a group behavior that aims to improve the status, power, or influence of an entire group. The present study focused on hostile collective action performed for releasing negative emotions, and explored a pathway including the roles of general attitudes toward the advantaged group and situational group-based anger in predicting the disadvantaged groups' hostile collective action. Group-level data were collected via a laboratory experiment. The results obtained using multiple regression analysis suggested that general attitudes toward the advantaged group formed before the trigger event predicted hostile collective action indirectly through the mediating effects of situational group-based anger and collective action tendencies, which were both produced after that trigger event. In addition, situational group-based anger predicted hostile collective action fully through collective action tendencies. These pathways provided a continuous process of hostile collective action in which general attitudes toward the advantaged group that were formed before the trigger events would influence situational group-based anger when the trigger events occurred, and then affected hostile collective action for responding to these events. Thus, hostile collective action could be predicted before the trigger events by monitoring the disadvantaged groups' attitudes toward the advantaged group. Moreover, reducing destructive collective action by improving intergroup attitudes through some effective interventions was discussed in this study.

  8. Characterization and Alteration of Wettability States of Alaskan Reserviors to Improve Oil Recovery Efficiency (including the within-scope expansion based on Cyclic Water Injection - a pulsed waterflood for Enhanced Oil Recovery)

    SciTech Connect

    Abhijit Dandekar; Shirish Patil; Santanu Khataniar

    2008-12-31

    Numerous early reports on experimental works relating to the role of wettability in various aspects of oil recovery have been published. Early examples of laboratory waterfloods show oil recovery increasing with increasing water-wetness. This result is consistent with the intuitive notion that strong wetting preference of the rock for water and associated strong capillary-imbibition forces gives the most efficient oil displacement. This report examines the effect of wettability on waterflooding and gasflooding processes respectively. Waterflood oil recoveries were examined for the dual cases of uniform and non-uniform wetting conditions. Based on the results of the literature review on effect of wettability and oil recovery, coreflooding experiments were designed to examine the effect of changing water chemistry (salinity) on residual oil saturation. Numerous corefloods were conducted on reservoir rock material from representative formations on the Alaska North Slope (ANS). The corefloods consisted of injecting water (reservoir water and ultra low-salinity ANS lake water) of different salinities in secondary as well as tertiary mode. Additionally, complete reservoir condition corefloods were also conducted using live oil. In all the tests, wettability indices, residual oil saturation, and oil recovery were measured. All results consistently lead to one conclusion; that is, a decrease in injection water salinity causes a reduction in residual oil saturation and a slight increase in water-wetness, both of which are comparable with literature observations. These observations have an intuitive appeal in that water easily imbibes into the core and displaces oil. Therefore, low-salinity waterfloods have the potential for improved oil recovery in the secondary recovery process, and ultra low-salinity ANS lake water is an attractive source of injection water or a source for diluting the high-salinity reservoir water. As part of the within-scope expansion of this project

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Using information networks for competitive advantage.

    PubMed

    Rothenberg, R L

    1995-01-01

    Although the healthcare "information superhighway" has received considerable attention, the use of information technology to create a sustainable competitive advantage is not new to other industries. Economic survival in the new world of managed care may depend on a healthcare delivery system's ability to use network-based communications technologies to differentiate itself in the market, especially through cost savings and demonstration of desirable outcomes. The adaptability of these technologies can help position healthcare organizations to break the paradigms of the past and thrive in a market environment that stresses coordination, efficiency, and quality in various settings.

  12. 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.

  13. Testosterone, territoriality, and the 'home advantage'.

    PubMed

    Neave, Nick; Wolfson, Sandy

    2003-02-01

    The consistently better performance seen by teams in various sporting contexts when playing at home is referred to as the 'home advantage'. Various explanations have been put forward to account for this robust phenomenon, though none has yet focussed on possible hormonal factors. In an initial study, we showed that salivary testosterone levels in soccer players were significantly higher before a home game than an away game.In a second study involving a different group of soccer players, this finding was replicated over two home games, two away games, and three training sessions. Perceived rivalry of the opposing team was important as testosterone levels were higher before playing an 'extreme' rival than a 'moderate' rival. Self-reported measures of mood in both studies were not linked to testosterone level. The present results corroborate and extend earlier findings on the relationships between testosterone, territoriality, and dominance in human competitive encounters and further suggest an important role for testosterone in the home advantage seen in various team sports.

  14. Relatively fast! Efficiency advantages of comparative thinking.

    PubMed

    Mussweiler, Thomas; Epstude, Kai

    2009-02-01

    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, they retrieve less information about the target (Studies 1A, 1B), think more about an information-rich standard (Study 2) about which they activate judgment-relevant information (Study 3), and use this information to compensate for missing target information (Study 4). Studies 2-5 demonstrate the ensuing efficiency advantages. Participants who are primed on comparative thinking are faster in making a target judgment (Studies 2A, 2B, 4, 5) and have more residual processing capacities for a secondary task (Study 5). Studies 6 and 7 establish two boundary conditions by demonstrating that comparative thinking holds efficiency advantages only if target and standard are partly characterized by alignable features (Study 6) that are difficult to evaluate in isolation (Study 7). These findings indicate that comparative thinking may often constitute a useful mechanism to simplify information processing. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved).

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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. PMID:15807045

  18. Concomitant vs. Comparative Advantages: Sufficient vs. Necessary Conditions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Flaningam, Carl D.

    1981-01-01

    Discusses the concomitant advantages case in academic debate. Examines the distinction between concomitant and comparative advantages and the implications of this distinction for concomitant advantages as a form of argument. (PD)

  19. The Spillover Effects of Medicare Managed Care: Medicare Advantage and Hospital Utilization

    PubMed Central

    Baicker, Katherine; Chernew, Michael; Robbins, Jacob

    2013-01-01

    More than a quarter of Medicare beneficiaries are enrolled in Medicare Advantage, which was created in large part to improve the efficiency of health care delivery by promoting competition among private managed care plans. This paper explores the spillover effects of the Medicare Advantage program on the traditional Medicare program and other patients, taking advantage of changes in Medicare Advantage payment policy to isolate exogenous increases in Medicare Advantage enrollment and trace out the effects of greater managed care penetration on hospital utilization and spending throughout the health care system. We find that when more seniors enroll in Medicare managed care, hospital costs decline for all seniors and for commercially insured younger populations. Greater managed care penetration is not associated with fewer hospitalizations, but is associated with lower costs and shorter stays per hospitalization. These spillovers are substantial – offsetting more than 10% of increased payments to Medicare Advantage plans. PMID:24308880

  20. The spillover effects of Medicare managed care: Medicare Advantage and hospital utilization.

    PubMed

    Baicker, Katherine; Chernew, Michael E; Robbins, Jacob A

    2013-12-01

    More than a quarter of Medicare beneficiaries are enrolled in Medicare Advantage, which was created in large part to improve the efficiency of health care delivery by promoting competition among private managed care plans. This paper explores the spillover effects of the Medicare Advantage program on the traditional Medicare program and other patients, taking advantage of changes in Medicare Advantage payment policy to isolate exogenous increases in Medicare Advantage enrollment and trace out the effects of greater managed care penetration on hospital utilization and spending throughout the health care system. We find that when more seniors enroll in Medicare managed care, hospital costs decline for all seniors and for commercially insured younger populations. Greater managed care penetration is not associated with fewer hospitalizations, but is associated with lower costs and shorter stays per hospitalization. These spillovers are substantial - offsetting more than 10% of increased payments to Medicare Advantage plans.

  1. A Study to Inform the Design of a National Multicentre Randomised Controlled Trial to Evaluate If Reducing Serum Phosphate to Normal Levels Improves Clinical Outcomes including Mortality, Cardiovascular Events, Bone Pain, or Fracture in Patients on Dialysis

    PubMed Central

    Bhargava, Ramya; Kalra, Philip A.; Brenchley, Paul; Hurst, Helen; Hutchison, Alastair

    2015-01-01

    Background. Retrospective, observational studies link high phosphate with mortality in dialysis patients. This generates research hypotheses but does not establish “cause-and-effect.” A large randomised controlled trial (RCT) of about 3000 patients randomised 50 : 50 to lower or higher phosphate ranges is required to answer the key question: does reducing phosphate levels improve clinical outcomes? Whether such a trial is technically possible is unknown; therefore, a study is necessary to inform the design and conduct of a future, definitive trial. Methodology. Dual centre prospective parallel group study: 100 dialysis patients randomized to lower (phosphate target 0.8 to 1.4 mmol/L) or higher range group (1.8 to 2.4 mmol/L). Non-calcium-containing phosphate binders and questionnaires will be used to achieve target phosphate. Primary endpoint: percentage successfully titrated to required range and percentage maintained in these groups over the maintenance period. Secondary endpoints: consent rate, drop-out rates, and cardiovascular events. Discussion. This study will inform design of a large definitive trial of the effect of phosphate on mortality and cardiovascular events in dialysis patients. If phosphate lowering improves outcomes, we would be reassured of the validity of this clinical practice. If, on the other hand, there is no improvement, a reassessment of resource allocation to therapies proven to improve outcomes will result. Trial Registration Number. This trial is registered with ISRCTN registration number ISRCTN24741445. PMID:26366297

  2. Public health advantages of biological insect controls.

    PubMed Central

    Bosch, R

    1976-01-01

    Biological control is not new, it is simply newly appreciated. This renewed appreciation stems from the widespread insecticide treadmill which is largely a product of insecticide disruption of the balance of insect communities. Biological control is a natural phenomenon; the regulation of plant and animal numbers by natural enemies. In this broad sense, biological control is vital to public health because it keeps the myriad insect species from out-competing us. It also has direct public health advantages as where natural enemies are manipulated to control disease vectoring insects. Insecticide distruption of biological control by insecticides and the resulting pesticide treadmill have serious public health implications. One is the increased pesticide load in the environment. The other is the acceleration of pesticide resistance in disease vectoring insects. The treadmill and its associated hazards will not abate so long as chemical control dominates our pest management strategy. PMID:976223

  3. Home advantage in Turkish professional soccer.

    PubMed

    Seçkin, Aylin; Pollard, Richard

    2008-08-01

    Home advantage is known to play an important role in the outcome of professional soccer games and to vary considerably worldwide. In the Turkish Super League over the last 12 years, 61.5% of the total points gained have been won by the home team, a figure similar to the worldwide average and to the Premier League in England. It is lower (57.7%) for games played between teams from Istanbul and especially high for games involving teams from cities in the more remote and ethnically distinct parts of Turkey (Van and Diyarbakir). Match performance data show that although home teams in Turkey take 26% more shots at goal than away teams, the success rates for shots do not differ. For fouls and disciplinary cards, home and away teams do not differ significantly in Turkey, a finding that differs from games in England, perhaps due to less referee bias.

  4. 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.

  5. The academic advantage: gender disparities in patenting.

    PubMed

    Sugimoto, Cassidy R; Ni, Chaoqun; West, Jevin D; Larivière, Vincent

    2015-01-01

    We analyzed gender disparities in patenting by country, technological area, and type of assignee using the 4.6 million utility patents issued between 1976 and 2013 by the United States Patent and Trade Office (USPTO). Our analyses of fractionalized inventorships demonstrate that women's rate of patenting has increased from 2.7% of total patenting activity to 10.8% over the nearly 40-year period. Our results show that, in every technological area, female patenting is proportionally more likely to occur in academic institutions than in corporate or government environments. However, women's patents have a lower technological impact than that of men, and that gap is wider in the case of academic patents. We also provide evidence that patents to which women--and in particular academic women--contributed are associated with a higher number of International Patent Classification (IPC) codes and co-inventors than men. The policy implications of these disparities and academic setting advantages are discussed.

  6. 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

    2016-08-01

    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.

  7. 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

    2016-08-01

    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. PMID:27493184

  8. Total hip arthroplasty: areview of advances, advantages and limitations

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Xin-Wei; Zi, Ying; Xiang, Liang-Bi; Wang, Yu

    2015-01-01

    The therapeutic outcomes of Osteoarthritis (OA) has been unsatisfactory and often surgeries such as total hip arthroplasty (THA) is required. THA is an effective treatment for patients with end-stage arthritic hip conditions. Cemented THA has been the treatment of choice for elderly patients with OA. An improvement in Timed “Up and Go” (TUG) before surgery might contribute to a decrease in the occurrence of DVT after THA, though post-thrombotic syndrome (PTS), a chronic condition in the lower extremity does not appear to be a major complication after DVT in patients undergoing THA. For OA, four domains to be evaluated: pain, physical function, joint imaging, and patient global assessment. Thus, THA can be cost saving or, at least cost- effective in improving quality-adjusted life expectancy. The purpose of this review is to discuss the recent advances as well as advantages and limitations of THA. PMID:25784971

  9. 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. PMID:16521611

  10. Advantages and disadvantages of pinless external fixation.

    PubMed

    Thomas, S R; Giele, H; Simpson, A H

    2000-12-01

    The AO pinless external fixator (PEF) uses trocar tipped clamps to grip the outer tibial cortex rather than pins to transfix it. Its main advantage is to avoid further contamination of the medullary canal in open tibial fractures where a nail may subsequently be used. We tested the anatomical safety of this device and its effect on plastic surgical procedures compared with a standard unilateral external fixator (UEF).The PEF and UEF were placed on two amputated limbs which were then dissected. Structures at risk were traced on ten cadaver limbs. We found that important anatomical structures were endangered by the PEF and that safe zones could not always be defined. The UEF avoided these structures. Plastic surgical approaches were made more difficult by the PEF which imposed limitations on local flap design and endangered the arterial perforators which supply them. We conclude that safety is compromised by the PEF because margins for error are small. It poses additional problems in soft tissue reconstruction and highlights the need for co-operation between plastic surgical and orthopaedic teams in choice of fixation device.

  11. [Coronary revascularization by arterial bypasses: advantages, disadvantages].

    PubMed

    Bical, O; Deleuze, P; Sousa Uva, M

    1997-01-01

    Coronary vein grafts are frequently become occluded or develop atherosclerotic lesions in the long-term. In contrast, the internal mammary artery has a very satisfactory long-term patency rate. The use of an internal mammary artery on the LAD consequently increases the benefit of coronary surgery. The benefit of using 2 internal mammary arteries or other arterial grafts for coronary artery bypass surgery is more controversial. The advantages and disadvantages of the various coronary artery grafts are reported together with the clinical experience of several teams in this area. Coronary artery surgery should be reserved to patients with a good general condition, who are likely to benefit from this type of revascularization. The right internal mammary artery is unsuitable for revascularization of the right coronary network and the two internal mammary arteries must be used to revascularize the left coronary network, in order to obtain a good result. However, surgeons must be aware of the limitations of coronary artery surgery and these techniques should be used cautiously.

  12. Quantifying the Magnetic Advantage in Magnetotaxis

    PubMed Central

    Smith, M. J.; Sheehan, P. E.; Perry, L. L.; O'Connor, K.; Csonka, L. N.; Applegate, B. M.; Whitman, L. J.

    2006-01-01

    Magnetotactic bacteria are characterized by the production of magnetosomes, nanoscale particles of lipid bilayer encapsulated magnetite, that act to orient the bacteria in magnetic fields. These magnetosomes allow magneto-aerotaxis, which is the motion of the bacteria along a magnetic field and toward preferred concentrations of oxygen. Magneto-aerotaxis has been shown to direct the motion of these bacteria downward toward sediments and microaerobic environments favorable for growth. Herein, we compare the magneto-aerotaxis of wild-type, magnetic Magnetospirillum magneticum AMB-1 with a nonmagnetic mutant we have engineered. Using an applied magnetic field and an advancing oxygen gradient, we have quantified the magnetic advantage in magneto-aerotaxis as a more rapid migration to preferred oxygen levels. Magnetic, wild-type cells swimming in an applied magnetic field more quickly migrate away from the advancing oxygen than either wild-type cells in a zero field or the nonmagnetic cells in any field. We find that the responses of the magnetic and mutant strains are well described by a relatively simple analytical model, an analysis of which indicates that the key benefit of magnetotaxis is an enhancement of a bacterium's ability to detect oxygen, not an increase in its average speed moving away from high oxygen concentrations. PMID:16714352

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. The Academic Advantage: Gender Disparities in Patenting

    PubMed Central

    Sugimoto, Cassidy R.; Ni, Chaoqun; West, Jevin D.; Larivière, Vincent

    2015-01-01

    We analyzed gender disparities in patenting by country, technological area, and type of assignee using the 4.6 million utility patents issued between 1976 and 2013 by the United States Patent and Trade Office (USPTO). Our analyses of fractionalized inventorships demonstrate that women’s rate of patenting has increased from 2.7% of total patenting activity to 10.8% over the nearly 40-year period. Our results show that, in every technological area, female patenting is proportionally more likely to occur in academic institutions than in corporate or government environments. However, women’s patents have a lower technological impact than that of men, and that gap is wider in the case of academic patents. We also provide evidence that patents to which women—and in particular academic women—contributed are associated with a higher number of International Patent Classification (IPC) codes and co-inventors than men. The policy implications of these disparities and academic setting advantages are discussed. PMID:26017626

  16. Azelastine and fluticasone nasal spray: any advantage?

    PubMed

    2014-02-01

    Allergic rhinitis affects over 20% of the UK population. It can have a significant impact on quality of life and interferes with both attendance and performance at school and at work.1 Intranasal corticosteroids are widely recognised as the most effective symptomatic treatment available, but oral or intranasal new generation antihistamines are usually offered as first-line treatment for intermittent symptoms.1,2 Patients with moderate to severe allergic rhinitis may require a combination of drugs, and many patients only achieve limited control of their symptoms.3 Dymista is described as a novel intranasal formulation combining the antihistamine azelastine hydrochloride with the corticosteroid fluticasone propionate.3 It is licensed for the relief of symptoms of moderate to severe seasonal and perennial allergic rhinitis in adults and adolescents if monotherapy with either intranasal antihistamine or glucocorticoid is not considered sufficient.4 The manufacturer claims that compared with fluticasone or azelastine alone, Dymista is twice as effective (when placebo effect is excluded) in providing relief from both nasal and ocular symptoms, and leads to greater overall relief from nasal symptoms. It also claims that Dymista controls nasal symptoms up to 6 days faster than fluticasone.5 Here we consider the evidence for Dymista and whether it represents a significant advantage in the management of patients with allergic rhinitis.

  17. 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.

  18. Azelastine and fluticasone nasal spray: any advantage?

    PubMed

    2014-02-01

    Allergic rhinitis affects over 20% of the UK population. It can have a significant impact on quality of life and interferes with both attendance and performance at school and at work.1 Intranasal corticosteroids are widely recognised as the most effective symptomatic treatment available, but oral or intranasal new generation antihistamines are usually offered as first-line treatment for intermittent symptoms.1,2 Patients with moderate to severe allergic rhinitis may require a combination of drugs, and many patients only achieve limited control of their symptoms.3 Dymista is described as a novel intranasal formulation combining the antihistamine azelastine hydrochloride with the corticosteroid fluticasone propionate.3 It is licensed for the relief of symptoms of moderate to severe seasonal and perennial allergic rhinitis in adults and adolescents if monotherapy with either intranasal antihistamine or glucocorticoid is not considered sufficient.4 The manufacturer claims that compared with fluticasone or azelastine alone, Dymista is twice as effective (when placebo effect is excluded) in providing relief from both nasal and ocular symptoms, and leads to greater overall relief from nasal symptoms. It also claims that Dymista controls nasal symptoms up to 6 days faster than fluticasone.5 Here we consider the evidence for Dymista and whether it represents a significant advantage in the management of patients with allergic rhinitis. PMID:24504481

  19. 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. PMID:12022275

  20. Pharyngeal Packing during Rhinoplasty: Advantages and Disadvantages

    PubMed Central

    Razavi, Majid; Taghavi Gilani, Mehryar; Bameshki, Ali Reza; Behdani, Reza; Khadivi, Ehsan; Bakhshaee, Mahdi

    2015-01-01

    Introduction: Controversy remains as to the advantages and disadvantages of pharyngeal packing during septorhinoplasty. Our study investigated the effect of pharyngeal packing on postoperative nausea and vomiting and sore throat following this type of surgery or septorhinoplasty. Materials and Methods: This clinical trial was performed on 90 American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) I or II patients who were candidates for septorhinoplasty. They were randomly divided into two groups. Patients in the study group had received pharyngeal packing while those in the control group had not. The incidence of nausea and vomiting and sore throat based on the visual analog scale (VAS) was evaluated postoperatively in the recovery room as well as at 2, 6 and 24 hours. Results: The incidence of postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) was 12.3%, with no significant difference between the study and control groups. Sore throat was reported in 50.5% of cases overall (56.8% on pack group and 44.4% on control). Although the severity of pain was higher in the study group at all times, the incidence in the two groups did not differ significantly. Conclusion: The use of pharyngeal packing has no effect in reducing the incidence of nausea and vomiting and sore throat after surgery. Given that induced hypotension is used as the routine method of anesthesia in septorhinoplasty surgery, with a low incidence of hemorrhage and a high risk of unintended retention of pharyngeal packing, its routine use is not recommended for this procedure. PMID:26788486

  1. The Advantages of Teaching American Government

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Botsch, Robert E.; Botsch, Carol S.

    2015-01-01

    Many arguments support mandating American National Government for undergraduates. South Carolina is one of the few states with such a legal mandate, but the law is badly flawed. We briefly review the history of a failed 1994 effort by the SC Political Science Association to improve the law and encourage implementation. We examine the impact of an…

  2. 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…

  3. 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. PMID:17348173

  4. 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.

  5. Fluorescence advantages with microscopic spatiotemporal control

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goswami, Debabrata; Roy, Debjit; De, Arijit K.

    2013-03-01

    We present a clever design concept of using femtosecond laser pulses in microscopy by selective excitation or de-excitation of one fluorophore over the other overlapping one. Using either a simple pair of femtosecond pulses with variable delay or using a train of laser pulses at 20-50 Giga-Hertz excitation, we show controlled fluorescence excitation or suppression of one of the fluorophores with respect to the other through wave-packet interference, an effect that prevails even after the fluorophore coherence timescale. Such an approach can be used both under the single-photon excitation as well as in the multi-photon excitation conditions resulting in effective higher spatial resolution. Such high spatial resolution advantage with broadband-pulsed excitation is of immense benefit to multi-photon microscopy and can also be an effective detection scheme for trapped nanoparticles with near-infrared light. Such sub-diffraction limit trapping of nanoparticles is challenging and a two-photon fluorescence diagnostics allows a direct observation of a single nanoparticle in a femtosecond high-repetition rate laser trap, which promises new directions to spectroscopy at the single molecule level in solution. The gigantic peak power of femtosecond laser pulses at high repetition rate, even at low average powers, provide huge instantaneous gradient force that most effectively result in a stable optical trap for spatial control at sub-diffraction limit. Such studies have also enabled us to explore simultaneous control of internal and external degrees of freedom that require coupling of various control parameters to result in spatiotemporal control, which promises to be a versatile tool for the microscopic world.

  6. 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. PMID:12510538

  7. 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.

  8. Evolutionary Advantage Conferred by an Eukaryote-to-Eukaryote Gene Transfer Event in Wine Yeasts

    PubMed Central

    Marsit, Souhir; Mena, Adriana; Bigey, Frédéric; Sauvage, François-Xavier; Couloux, Arnaud; Guy, Julie; Legras, Jean-Luc; Barrio, Eladio; Dequin, Sylvie; Galeote, Virginie

    2015-01-01

    Although an increasing number of horizontal gene transfers have been reported in eukaryotes, experimental evidence for their adaptive value is lacking. Here, we report the recent transfer of a 158-kb genomic region between Torulaspora microellipsoides and Saccharomyces cerevisiae wine yeasts or closely related strains. This genomic region has undergone several rearrangements in S. cerevisiae strains, including gene loss and gene conversion between two tandemly duplicated FOT genes encoding oligopeptide transporters. We show that FOT genes confer a strong competitive advantage during grape must fermentation by increasing the number and diversity of oligopeptides that yeast can utilize as a source of nitrogen, thereby improving biomass formation, fermentation efficiency, and cell viability. Thus, the acquisition of FOT genes has favored yeast adaptation to the nitrogen-limited wine fermentation environment. This finding indicates that anthropic environments offer substantial ecological opportunity for evolutionary diversification through gene exchange between distant yeast species. PMID:25750179

  9. Practical advantages of mud cooling systems for drilling

    SciTech Connect

    Maury, V.; Guenot, A.

    1995-03-01

    Field case studies of borehole stability have shown that some failures, previously unexplained, were due to thermal effects, such as heating the upper part of open hole sections by mud circulation when drilling deeper or reheating of the bottomhole when mud circulation is stopped. A complete analysis of the thermal regime in boreholes was performed and as a consequence, cooling of mud appeared as a means to mitigate these effects. A series of tests were then carried out to check the practicality of installing such mud cooling systems. Many other advantages then appeared: decrease of the temperature of the borehole allowing better operation of the logging tools, better control of the mud rheology with less additives, extended use of MWD/LWD devices. But the most significant advantage is for the oil based muds which can be maintained at surface below their flash point, improving the safety of operations. This paper recalls and summarizes the results of observations, measurements and studies performed to determine the feasibility of such systems. Operational results are given for several field cases with emphasis on safety. The use of these very simple devices, which have been field proven on normal and high temperature (BHCT = 150 C), is now contemplated for future HP-HT wells.

  10. 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…

  11. 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...

  12. 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)…

  13. Advantages of Being Disadvantaged: A Paradox.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moses, E. Gnanaraj

    1985-01-01

    Explores factors that can enable children reared in impoverished environments to use their conditions of adversity to succeed. Discusses essential components to development of achievement motivation, including innate potential; family ties and roots; creative manipulation of the environment; expectations; and the roles of religion, parents, and…

  14. 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,…

  15. The importance of delayed cord clamping for Aboriginal babies: a life-enhancing advantage.

    PubMed

    Weckert, Rosemary; Hancock, Heather

    2008-12-01

    Third stage management has typically focused on women and postpartum haemorrhage. Clamping and cutting the umbilical cord following the birth of the baby has continued to be a routine part of this focus. Active versus physiological management of third stage is generally accepted as an evidence-based plan for women to avoid excessive blood loss. Other considerations around this decision are rarely considered, including the baby's perspective. This paper provides a review of the literature regarding timing of clamping and cutting of the umbilical cord and related issues, and discusses the consequences for babies and in particular *Aboriginal babies. Iron stores in babies are improved (among other important advantages) if the cord is left to stop pulsating for 3 min before being clamped. Such a simple measure of patience and informed practice can make a long lasting difference to a baby's health and for Aboriginal babies this advantage can be critical in the short and the long term for their development and wellbeing. To achieve much needed reductions in infancy anaemia and essential increases in infant survival, delayed cord clamping and cutting is recommended for all Aboriginal babies.

  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. Advantages of nonclassical pointer states in postselected weak measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turek, Yusuf; Maimaiti, W.; Shikano, Yutaka; Sun, Chang-Pu; Al-Amri, M.

    2015-08-01

    We investigate, within the weak measurement theory, the advantages of nonclassical pointer states over semiclassical ones for coherent, squeezed vacuum, and Schrödinger cat states. These states are utilized as pointer states for the system operator A ̂ with property Â2=I ̂ , where I ̂ represents the identity operator. We calculate the ratio between the signal-to-noise ratio of nonpostselected and postselected weak measurements. The latter is used to find the quantum Fisher information for the above pointer states. The average shifts for those pointer states with arbitrary interaction strength are investigated in detail. One key result is that we find the postselected weak measurement scheme for nonclassical pointer states to be superior to semiclassical ones. This can improve the precision of the measurement process.

  18. Advantages and Disadvantages of Mammography Screening

    PubMed Central

    Heywang-Köbrunner, Sylvia H.; Hacker, Astrid; Sedlacek, Stefan

    2011-01-01

    Summary Mammography screening is the only method presently considered appropriate for mass screening of asymptomatic women. Its frequent use, however, warrants diligent analysis of potential side effects. Radiation risk is far below the natural yearly risk of breast cancer and should not be used as an argument against screening. False-positive calls lead to additional imaging or histopathological assessment, mainly percutaneous breast biopsy. These measures are tolerated and accepted fairly well. Their number is limited by strict quality assurance and constant training. Interval cancers represent a limitation of breast screening that should prompt further research for optimization. Evaluation of overdiagnosis is a highly debated topic in the literature. According to the probably most realistic available calculations, overdiagnosis is acceptable as it is compensated by the potential mortality reduction. Nonetheless, this potential side effect warrants optimal adjustment of therapy to the patient's individual risk. The mortality reduction seen in randomized studies was confirmed by results from national screening programs. A recent case referent study indicated that improvements in mortality reduction run parallel to improved mammographic techniques. Use of less aggressive therapies is another valuable effect of screening. Awareness of potential problems, strict quality assurance, and further research should help to further develop screening programs. PMID:21779225

  19. Robotic Pancreatic Resections: Feasibility and Advantages.

    PubMed

    Croner, Roland S

    2015-10-01

    The robot is an innovative tool to perform complex pancreatic resections. It upgrades conventional laparoscopy by adding specific ergonomic technical details (e.g., EndoWrist). Robotic complex pancreatic operations such as pancreaticoduodenectomy can be carried out safe with equal oncological results, morbidity, and mortality compared to open procedures. The patients benefit from less blood loss, decreased hospitalization, and all other benefits of minimally invasive surgery. Nevertheless, the robot has some limitations like missing haptic feedback and the high costs. It has to find its indications beneath conventional laparoscopic procedures, which is currently extensively discussed. But the available technology is certainly convincing, and a further improvement can be expected which will increase its widespread in the future. PMID:26722208

  20. Do older professional musicians have cognitive advantages?

    PubMed

    Amer, Tarek; Kalender, Beste; Hasher, Lynn; Trehub, Sandra E; Wong, Yukwal

    2013-01-01

    The current study investigates whether long-term music training and practice are associated with enhancement of general cognitive abilities in late middle-aged to older adults. Professional musicians and non-musicians who were matched on age, education, vocabulary, and general health were compared on a near-transfer task involving auditory processing and on far-transfer tasks that measured spatial span and aspects of cognitive control. Musicians outperformed non-musicians on the near-transfer task, on most but not all of the far-transfer tasks, and on a composite measure of cognitive control. The results suggest that sustained music training or involvement is associated with improved aspects of cognitive functioning in older adults.

  1. Three dimensional optical coherence tomography imaging: advantages and advances.

    PubMed

    Gabriele, Michelle L; Wollstein, Gadi; Ishikawa, Hiroshi; Xu, Juan; Kim, Jongsick; Kagemann, Larry; Folio, Lindsey S; Schuman, Joel S

    2010-11-01

    Three dimensional (3D) ophthalmic imaging using optical coherence tomography (OCT) has revolutionized assessment of the eye, the retina in particular. Recent technological improvements have made the acquisition of 3D-OCT datasets feasible. However, while volumetric data can improve disease diagnosis and follow-up, novel image analysis techniques are now necessary in order to process the dense 3D-OCT dataset. Fundamental software improvements include methods for correcting subject eye motion, segmenting structures or volumes of interest, extracting relevant data post hoc and signal averaging to improve delineation of retinal layers. In addition, innovative methods for image display, such as C-mode sectioning, provide a unique viewing perspective and may improve interpretation of OCT images of pathologic structures. While all of these methods are being developed, most remain in an immature state. This review describes the current status of 3D-OCT scanning and interpretation, and discusses the need for standardization of clinical protocols as well as the potential benefits of 3D-OCT scanning that could come when software methods for fully exploiting these rich datasets are available clinically. The implications of new image analysis approaches include improved reproducibility of measurements garnered from 3D-OCT, which may then help improve disease discrimination and progression detection. In addition, 3D-OCT offers the potential for preoperative surgical planning and intraoperative surgical guidance.

  2. 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.

  3. On the evolutionary advantage of fitness-associated recombination.

    PubMed Central

    Hadany, Lilach; Beker, Tuvik

    2003-01-01

    The adaptive value of recombination remains something of a puzzle. One of the basic problems is that recombination not only creates new and advantageous genetic combinations, but also breaks down existing good ones. A negative correlation between the fitness of an individual and its recombination rate would result in prolonged integrity of fitter genetic combinations while enabling less fit ones to produce new combinations. Such a correlation could be mediated by various factors, including stress responses, age, or direct DNA damage. For haploid population models, we show that an allele for such fitness-associated recombination (FAR) can spread both in asexual populations and in populations reproducing sexually at any uniform recombination rate. FAR also carries an advantage for the population as a whole, resulting in a higher average fitness at mutation-selection balance. These results are demonstrated in populations adapting to new environments as well as in well-adapted populations coping with deleterious mutations. Current experimental results providing evidence for the existence of FAR in nature are discussed. PMID:14704195

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-03-01

    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.

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-03-01

    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

  8. [The advantages and limitations of observational studies].

    PubMed

    Onder, Graziano

    2013-03-01

    Randomized clinical trials are considered the gold standard for establishing treatment efficacy and generate evidence-based medicine. Nonetheless, because of the stringent exclusion criteria used in selecting study populations, concerns are raised about the limited generalizability of evidence they provide. Indeed, randomized clinical trials assess treatment efficacy for an "average" patient, quite often far from older adults characterized by chronic comorbidities of different severity, or by functional and/or cognitive impairment. Observational studies have been proposed as alternative means of testing intervention effectiveness in older populations with multifaceted problems. Unlike randomized clinical trials, they assess outcomes in regular clinical practice, thereby reflecting real adherence to treatment/intervention. The availability of huge, high quality databases offers the potential to bring research closer to practice and audit. Databases provide fertile grounds for observational studies, and can generate hypotheses and provide ready access to trialists as well, setting new possibilities for epidemiological research. They must include complete data on all consecutive patients, use standard definitions of conditions and outcomes, and include all clinical characteristics likely to affect outcomes. In addition, their potential for research and audit is greatly enhanced by linking to other databases, like the census ones, which allow evaluation of geographical and contextual information.

  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. Cost reduction advantages of CAD/CAM

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parsons, G. T.

    1983-05-01

    Features of the CAD/CAM system implemented at the General Dynamics Convair division are summarized. CAD/CAM was initiated in 1976 to enhance engineering, manufacturing and quality assurance and thereby the company's competitive bidding position. Numerical models are substituted for hardware models wherever possible and numerical criteria are defined in design for guiding computer-controlled parts manufacturing machines. The system comprises multiple terminals, a data base, digitizer, printers, disk and tape drives, and graphics displays. The applications include the design and manufacture of parts and components for avionics, structures, scientific investigations, and aircraft structural components. Interfaces with other computers allow structural analyses by finite element codes. Although time savings have not been gained compared to manual drafting, components of greater complexity than could have been designed by hand have been designed and manufactured.

  11. [Asthma clinical practice guidelines: advantages and pitfalls].

    PubMed

    Plaza, Vicente; Bellido-Casado, Jesús; Alonso-Coello, Pablo; Rodrigo, Gustavo

    2009-01-01

    The Clinical Practice Guidelines on asthma have contributed towards unifying concepts and reaching a consensus on performances between different professional groups. However, they have failed in the overall improvement in the management of asthma, the final objective that they are meant to achieve. Today, almost 20 years after they appeared, the majority of asthmatic patients are still inadequately controlled, partly due to lack of follow up by doctors and the rest of health care staff who have to look after them. This lack of follow up of these recommendations is probably associated with a lack of well structured planning in their circulation and implementation. Also, although the recommendations of these guidelines agree in what is essential, they differ in other aspects, which in turn could be determining factors in clinical practice. The purpose of this article has been to establish the main differences in the recommendations that the principal clinical practice guidelines on the disease propose on the diagnosis, classification and treatment of asthma. To do this we have compared, The British Guideline on the Management of Asthma 2007, The Global Strategy for Asthma Management and Prevention/Global Initiative for Asthma 2006 (GINA), the National Prevention program for Education on Asthma (Programa Nacional de Prevención para la Educación del Asma) (NAEPP), the Spanish Guide for the Management of Asthma (Guía Española para el Manejo del Asma 2003) (GEMA) and the ALAT y SEPAR guides, Latin-America and Spain. Recommendations for the Prevention and Treatment of Asthma Exacerbation (América Latina y España. Recomendaciones para la Prevención y el Tratamiento de la Exacerbación Asmática 2008) (ALERTA).

  12. Advantages and Disadvantages of Health Care Accreditation Mod­els

    PubMed Central

    Tabrizi, Jafar S.; Gharibi, Farid; Wilson, Andrew J.

    2011-01-01

    Background: This systematic review seeks to define the general advantages and disadvan­tages of accreditation programs to assist in choosing the most appropriate approach. Method: Systematic search of SID, Ovid Medline & PubMed databases was conducted by the keywords of accreditation, hospital, medical practice, clinic, accreditation models, health care and Persian meanings. From 2379 initial articles, 83 articles met the full inclusion criteria. From initial analysis, 23 attributes were identified which appeared to define advantages and disadvantages of different accreditation approaches and the available systems were compared on these. Results: Six systems were identified in the international literature including the JCAHO from USA, the Canadian program of CCHSA, and the accreditation programs of UK, Australia, New Zealand and France. The main distinguishing attributes among them were: quality improve­ment, patient and staff safety, improving health services integration, public’s confi­dence, effectiveness and efficiency of health services, innovation, influence global standards, information management, breadth of activity, history, effective relationship with stakeholders, agreement with AGIL attributes and independence from government. Conclusion: Based on 23 attributes of comprehensive accreditation systems we have defined from a systematic review, the JCAHO accreditation program of USA and then CCHSA of Can­ada offered the most comprehensive systems with the least disadvantages. Other programs such as the ACHS of Australia, ANAES of France, QHNZ of New Zealand and UK accredita­tion programs were fairly comparable according to these criteria. However the decision for any country or health system should be based on an assessment weighing up their specific objec­tives and needs. PMID:24688896

  13. Problem-based learning: description, advantages, disadvantages, scenarios and facilitation.

    PubMed

    Jones, R W

    2006-08-01

    Problem-based learning arose out of educational initiatives in the 1960s and is often one of the most contentious issues within medical education. McMaster University in Canada was the first to implement problem-based learning on a large scale within medicine and this was soon followed by universities in Europe and Australia. In modern times, few western medical schools do not include at least some aspect of problem-based learning within their instructional itinerary, and many build their entire curriculum and instructional procedures around problem-based learning. This article provides an overview of problem-based learning within medical education, pertinent background, describes the characteristics of problem-based learning, its advantages and disadvantages, problem-based learning scenarios and facilitation.

  14. Medicare Advantage associated with lower mortality for incident dialysis patients.

    PubMed

    Brunelli, Steven M; Sibbel, Scott; Colson, Carey; Hunt, Abigail; Nissenson, Allen R; Krishnan, Mahesh

    2015-12-01

    Physicians across the care continuum are increasingly aligned around the belief that coordinated care can improve patient outcomes. As the principal caregivers for one of the most medically fragile patient groups in healthcare, nephrologists are especially attuned to the potential value of integrated care. Medicare Advantage (MA) offers one way to test this hypothesis. By law, end-stage renal disease patients currently cannot enroll into an MA plan, but if they develop ESRD while in such a plan, they may continue to be enrolled. The contrast between these patients and their counterparts who carry Medicare fee for service (MFFS) thereby represents a natural experiment that affords an opportunity to examine whether enrollment in a coordinated care system may improve outcomes. In order to promote (unbiased) comparison of patients in a non-randomized context, we propensity score-matched incident dialysis patients enrolled in MA versus those in MFFS. The data demonstrate that patients who were enrolled in an MA plan upon initiation of dialysis had a 9% lower mortality rate than their MFFS counterparts. This beneficial association of MA enrollment was found to be sustained over the first two years of dialysis treatment.

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

    PubMed

    Xu, Yuan

    2013-09-01

    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.

  16. The metabolic advantage of tumor cells

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    1- Oncogenes express proteins of "Tyrosine kinase receptor pathways", a receptor family including insulin or IGF-Growth Hormone receptors. Other oncogenes alter the PP2A phosphatase brake over these kinases. 2- Experiments on pancreatectomized animals; treated with pure insulin or total pancreatic extracts, showed that choline in the extract, preserved them from hepatomas. Since choline is a methyle donor, and since methylation regulates PP2A, the choline protection may result from PP2A methylation, which then attenuates kinases. 3- Moreover, kinases activated by the boosted signaling pathway inactivate pyruvate kinase and pyruvate dehydrogenase. In addition, demethylated PP2A would no longer dephosphorylate these enzymes. A "bottleneck" between glycolysis and the oxidative-citrate cycle interrupts the glycolytic pyruvate supply now provided via proteolysis and alanine transamination. This pyruvate forms lactate (Warburg effect) and NAD+ for glycolysis. Lipolysis and fatty acids provide acetyl CoA; the citrate condensation increases, unusual oxaloacetate sources are available. ATP citrate lyase follows, supporting aberrant transaminations with glutaminolysis and tumor lipogenesis. Truncated urea cycles, increased polyamine synthesis, consume the methyl donor SAM favoring carcinogenesis. 4- The decrease of butyrate, a histone deacetylase inhibitor, elicits epigenic changes (PETEN, P53, IGFBP decrease; hexokinase, fetal-genes-M2, increase) 5- IGFBP stops binding the IGF - IGFR complex, it is perhaps no longer inherited by a single mitotic daughter cell; leading to two daughter cells with a mitotic capability. 6- An excess of IGF induces a decrease of the major histocompatibility complex MHC1, Natural killer lymphocytes should eliminate such cells that start the tumor, unless the fever prostaglandin PGE2 or inflammation, inhibit them... PMID:21649891

  17. The advantages of small-size focus in ultrasound surgery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dehui, Li; Guofeng, Shen; Jinfeng, Bai; Yazhu, Chen

    2012-10-01

    The near-field heating which easily occurs in ultrasound surgery is mainly due to the long axial intensity distribution, -6dB intensity length of which is larger than 10 mm. In this paper, we investigated the advantages of a small-size focus with -6dB intensity dimensions of 1 (transverse)×4.5(axial) mm. First, the near-field safety and treatment efficiency were shown to be improved. A 5×5×5 mm3 target was simulated using this small-size focus with 1 mm focal spacing. The consecutive sonications were applied without cooling intervals, and duration of each spot was 2 s under ultrasonic intensity of 200 W/cm2. The lesion was well conformed to simulated target with 89.6% coverage index and 11.8% external volume index, and peak temperature in the plane (1 cm before focal plane) was 40.5°C, showing it was safe. Meanwhile the treatment time was decreased due to continuous sonication. Another advantage of small-size focus is that it can reduce the possibility of bone burning at the far field. Assumed that the muscle-bone interface located 1 cm after the focal plane, the specific absorption rate at the bone interface were 0.25 and 1.28 times the that of focal plane for the small-size focus and commonsize focus (-6dB intensity axial width of 12.5 mm), respectively. So the small-size focus shows superiority in ultrasound surgery.

  18. 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.

  19. Home advantage in speed skating: evidence from individual data.

    PubMed

    Koning, Ruud H

    2005-04-01

    Home advantage is a well-documented phenomenon in many sports. Home advantage has been shown to exist for team sports (soccer, hockey, football, baseball, basketball) and for countries organizing sports tournaments like the Olympics and World Cup Soccer. There is also some evidence for home advantage in some individual sports, but there is a much more limited literature. This paper addresses the issue of home advantage in speed skating. From a methodological point of view, it is difficult to identify home advantage, because skaters vary in their abilities and the conditions of tournaments vary. There is a small but significant home advantage using a generalized linear mixed model, with random effects for skaters and fixed effects for skating rinks and seasons. Even though the home advantage effect exists, it is very small when compared to variation in skating times due to differences of rinks and individual abilities.

  20. 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.

  1. Assistive devices alter gait patterns in Parkinson disease: advantages of the four-wheeled walker.

    PubMed

    Kegelmeyer, Deb A; Parthasarathy, Sowmya; Kostyk, Sandra K; White, Susan E; Kloos, Anne D

    2013-05-01

    Gait abnormalities are a hallmark of Parkinson's disease (PD) and contribute to fall risk. Therapy and exercise are often encouraged to increase mobility and decrease falls. As disease symptoms progress, assistive devices are often prescribed. There are no guidelines for choosing appropriate ambulatory devices. This unique study systematically examined the impact of a broad range of assistive devices on gait measures during walking in both a straight path and around obstacles in individuals with PD. Quantitative gait measures, including velocity, stride length, percent swing and double support time, and coefficients of variation were assessed in 27 individuals with PD with or without one of six different devices including canes, standard and wheeled walkers (two, four or U-Step). Data were collected using the GAITRite and on a figure-of-eight course. All devices, with the exception of four-wheeled and U-Step walkers significantly decreased gait velocity. The four-wheeled walker resulted in less variability in gait measures and had less impact on spontaneous unassisted gait patterns. The U-Step walker exhibited the highest variability across all parameters followed by the two-wheeled and standard walkers. Higher variability has been correlated with increased falls. Though subjects performed better on a figure-of-eight course using either the four-wheeled or the U-Step walker, the four-wheeled walker resulted in the most consistent improvement in overall gait variables. Laser light use on a U-Step walker did not improve gait measures or safety in figure-of-eight compared to other devices. Of the devices tested, the four-wheeled-walker offered the most consistent advantages for improving mobility and safety.

  2. Endoscopic treatment for gastrointestinal stromal tumor: Advantages and hurdles

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Hyung Hun

    2015-01-01

    One of the most prominent characteristics of gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) is their unpredictable and variable behavior. GISTs are not classified as “benign” or “malignant” but are rather stratified by their associated clinical risk of malignancy as determined by tumor size, location, and number of mitoses identified during surgical histology. The difficulty in assessing the malignant potential and prognoses of GISTs as well as the increasing incidence of “incidental GISTs” presents challenges to gastroenterologists. Recently, endoscopic enucleation has been actively performed as both a diagnostic and therapeutic intervention for GISTs. Endoscopic enucleation has several advantages, including keeping the stomach intact after the removal of GISTs, a relatively short hospital stay, a conscious sedation procedure, relatively low cost, and fewer human resources required compared with surgery. However, a low complete resection rate and the risk of perforation could reduce the overall advantages of this procedure. Endoscopic full-thickness resection appears to achieve a very high R0 resection rate. However, this technique absolutely requires a very skilled operator. Moreover, there is a risk of peritoneal seeding due to large active perforation. Laparoscopy endoscopy collaborations have been applied for more stable and pathologically acceptable management. These collaborative procedures have produced excellent outcomes. Many procedures have been developed and attempted because they were technically possible. However, we should first consider the theoretical basis for each technique. Until the efficacy and safety of sole endoscopic access are proved, the laparoscopy endoscopy collaborative procedure appears to be an appropriate method for minimally destructive GIST surgery. PMID:25789089

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:25729364

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Making Medicare Advantage a Middle-Class Program

    PubMed Central

    Glazer, Jacob; McGuire, Thomas

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23454916

  11. Neural Correlates of Traditional Chinese Medicine Induced Advantageous Risk-Taking Decision Making

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Tiffany M. Y.; Guo, Li-guo; Shi, Hong-zhi; Li, Yong-zhi; Luo, Yue-jia; Sung, Connie Y. Y.; Chan, Chetwyn C. H.; Lee, Tatia M. C.

    2009-01-01

    This fMRI study examined the neural correlates of the observed improvement in advantageous risk-taking behavior, as measured by the number of adjusted pumps in the Balloon Analogue Risk Task (BART), following a 60-day course of a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) recipe, specifically designed to regulate impulsiveness in order to modulate…

  12. 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…

  13. Catching a Wave: An Australian Case Study on Building Competence in Search of Competitive Advantage.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kellie, Deborah

    1998-01-01

    A case study of an Australian road construction company's skill development project is an example of an attempt to increase competitive advantage through competency acquisition. It remains to be seen whether reconstruction of the company will result in improved productivity and financial performance. (SK)

  14. The advantages of the high voltage solar array for electric propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sater, B. L.

    1973-01-01

    The high voltage solar array offers improvements in efficiency, weight, and reliability for the electric propulsion power system. Conventional power processes and problems associated with ion thruster operation using SERT 2 experience are discussed and the advantages of the HVSA concept for electric propulsion are presented. Tests conducted operating the SERT 2 thruster system in conjunction with HVSA are reported. Thruster operation was observed to be normal and in some respects improved.

  15. Predicting the Solubility Advantage of Amorphous Pharmaceuticals: A Novel Thermodynamic Approach.

    PubMed

    Paus, Raphael; Ji, Yuanhui; Vahle, Lisa; Sadowski, Gabriele

    2015-08-01

    For the solubility and bioavailability of poorly soluble active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) to be improved, the transformation of crystalline APIs to the amorphous state has often been shown to be advantageous. As it is often difficult to measure the solubility of amorphous APIs, the application of thermodynamic models is the method of choice for determining the solubility advantage. In this work, the temperature-dependent solubility advantage of an amorphous API versus its crystalline form was predicted for five poorly soluble APIs in water (glibenclamide, griseofulvin, hydrochlorothiazide, indomethacin, and itraconazole) based on modeling the API/solvent phase diagrams using the perturbed-chain statistical associating fluid theory (PC-SAFT). Evaluation of the performance of this approach was performed by comparing the predicted solubility advantage to experimental data and to the solubility advantage calculated by the commonly applied Gibbs-energy-difference method. For all of the systems considered, PC-SAFT predictions of the solubility advantage are significantly more accurate than the results obtained from the Gibbs-energy-difference method.

  16. 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.

  17. The Female Educational Advantage among Adolescent Children of Immigrants

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Feliciano, Cynthia

    2012-01-01

    The female advantage in educational achievement is especially puzzling in the case of children of immigrants because it departs from the pattern in most immigrants' home countries. Using data from the Children of Immigrants Longitudinal Study (CILS), this study explores the female advantage in grades and expectations among adolescents and finds…

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. Home advantage in the Winter Olympics (1908-1998).

    PubMed

    Balmer, N J; Nevill, A M; Williams, A M

    2001-02-01

    We obtained indices of home advantage, based on the medals won by competing nations, for each event held at the Winter Olympics from 1908 to 1998. These indices were designed to assess home advantage while controlling for nation strength, changes in the number of medals on offer and the performance of 'non-hosting' nations. Some evidence of home advantage was found in figure skating, freestyle skiing, ski jumping, alpine skiing and short track speed skating. In contrast, little or no home advantage was observed in ice hockey, Nordic combined, Nordic skiing, bobsled, luge, biathlon or speed skating. When all events were combined, a significant home advantage was observed (P = 0.029), although no significant differences in the extent of home advantage were found between events (P > 0.05). When events were grouped according to whether they were subjectively assessed by judges, significantly greater home advantage was observed in the subjectively assessed events (P = 0.037). This was a reflection of better home performances, suggesting that judges were scoring home competitors disproportionately higher than away competitors. Familiarity with local conditions was shown to have some effect, particularly in alpine skiing, although the bobsled and luge showed little or no advantage over other events. Regression analysis showed that the number of time zones and direction of travel produced no discernible trends or differences in performance.

  2. The Advantages of Using Planned Comparisons over Post Hoc Tests.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kuehne, Carolyn C.

    There are advantages to using a priori or planned comparisons rather than omnibus multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) tests followed by post hoc or a posteriori testing. A small heuristic data set is used to illustrate these advantages. An omnibus MANOVA test was performed on the data followed by a post hoc test (discriminant analysis). A…

  3. Reasoning about Other People's Beliefs: Bilinguals Have an Advantage

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rubio-Fernandez, 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…

  4. Aging and Text Comprehension: Interpretation and Domain Knowledge Advantage

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jeong, Heisawn; Kim, Hyo Sik

    2009-01-01

    In this study, young, middle-aged, and elderly adults read two different history texts. In the "knowledge advantage" condition, readers read a history text about an event that was well-known to readers of all ages but most familiar to elderly adults. In the "no advantage" condition, readers read a history text about a political situation of a…

  5. 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.

  6. 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. PMID:24705136

  7. Home advantage in the Six Nations Rugby Union tournament.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Sion; Reeves, Colin; Bell, Andrew

    2008-02-01

    This study examined whether home advantage occurred in the Six Nations Rugby Union tournament. Data were gathered using the final championship standings from the tournament's inception in 2000 to the recently completed 2007 season. Home advantage for each championship season was defined as the number of points won by teams playing at home, expressed as a percentage of all points gained either at home or away. An analysis of home advantage for each of eight seasons of competition ranged from 53% (2005) to 70% (2006). There was an overall statistically significant home advantage of 61% for 120 matches played in the Six Nations tournament between 2000 and 2007. Also analysed were the percentage of points won at home by each country. Again, evidence supported home advantage amongst all competing nations regardless of the team's quality.

  8. Social network analysis: foundations and frontiers on advantage.

    PubMed

    Burt, Ronald S; Kilduff, Martin; Tasselli, Stefano

    2013-01-01

    We provide an overview of social network analysis focusing on network advantage as a lens that touches on much of the area. For reasons of good data and abundant research, we draw heavily on studies of people in organizations. Advantage is traced to network structure as a proxy for the distribution of variably sticky information in a population. The network around a person indicates the person's access and control in the distribution. Advantage is a function of information breadth, timing, and arbitrage. Advantage is manifest in higher odds of proposing good ideas, more positive evaluations and recognition, higher compensation, and faster promotions. We discuss frontiers of advantage contingent on personality, cognition, embeddedness, and dynamics.

  9. Advantages of High vs. Low Earth Orbit for SIRTF

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Eisenhardt, Peter; Werner, Michael W.

    1989-01-01

    While the subject of this workshop, which we will refer to as ET (for Enlightenment Telescope), is a dazzling successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, its location is unlikely to be the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) used by HST. Locations suggested for ET include High Earth Orbit (HEO) and the moon. The first space telescope to occupy HEO will be the liquid helium cooled Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF). The selection of HEO for SIRTF was the outcome of a recent study led by the Ames Research Center which showed significant advantages for SIRTF in HEO vs. LEO. This article summarizes the main results of that study. We begin with a review of SIRTF's rationale and requirements, in part because the IR capabilities and low temperature proposed for ET make it something of a successor to SIRTF as well as to HST. We conclude with some comments about another possible location for both SIRTF and ET, the Earth-Sun L2 Lagrangian point.

  10. Home advantage and referee bias in European football.

    PubMed

    Goumas, Chris

    2014-01-01

    Home advantage is well documented in a wide range of team sports including association football (soccer). Home team crowd support has been shown to be a likely causal factor and its influence on referee decision-making appears to play a significant role. Match data from the 2009/2010 and 2010/2011 seasons of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Champions League and Europa League were used to investigate referee bias in terms of the association between match location (home vs. away) and disciplinary sanctions used by football referees. The adjusted mean number of yellow cards received by home and away teams and the ratios of these means were estimated from Poisson regression models. After controlling for within-match measures of attacking dominance referees in the Champions League and Europa League issued 25% (p<0.001) and 10% (p=0.002) more yellow cards, respectively, to away teams than to home teams. The higher level of home team bias in the Champions League appeared to be mainly due to higher crowd densities. In a combined analysis of both UEFA leagues the magnitude of referee bias increased with increasing crowd density (p<0.001). Crowd size and crowd proximity were not associated with referee bias after controlling for crowd density. These results provide further evidence that crowd support influences referee decisions. Failure to control for within-match team performance may over-estimate the extent of referee bias in terms of the number of disciplinary sanctions used.

  11. 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.

  12. Preclinical modeling of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation - advantages and limitations.

    PubMed

    Stolfi, Jessica L; Pai, Chien-Chun S; Murphy, William J

    2016-05-01

    Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, which was first successfully performed in the 1950s, remains a critical therapeutic modality for treatment of a diverse array of diseases, including a multitude of hematological malignancies, autoimmune disorders, amyloidosis and inherited genetic hematological disorders. Although great advances have been made in understanding and application of this therapy, significant complications still exist, warranting further investigation. Of critical importance, graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), in both acute and chronic forms, remains a major complication of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, responsible for both the development of chronic illness and morbidity, as well as mortality. Use of an appropriate preclinical model may provide significant insight into the mechanistic pathways leading to the development and progression of graft-versus-host disease, as well as cancer in general. However, existing preclinical modeling systems exhibit significant limitations, and development of models that recapitulate the complex and comprehensive clinical scenario and provide a tool by which therapeutic intervention may be developed and assessed is of utmost importance. Here, we review the present status of the field of graft-versus-host disease research. We discuss and summarize the preclinical models currently in use, as well as their advantages and limitations.

  13. Unexpected advantages of a temporary fluid-loss control pill

    SciTech Connect

    Hardy, M.

    1996-09-01

    Economics often dictate research; however, serendipity can benefit the results of research and simultaneously soften the rigidity of economic demands. Such as the case with a recently developed fluid-loss control pill. Economic reasons compelled researchers to find a replacement for an existing field product, the characteristics of which had to be duplicated. Initially, researchers sought to develop a pill that blocked fluid flow into and out of the wellbore and was mixable in brines from 8.35 to 19 lb/gal. The degradation of the replacement crosslinkable hydroxyethyl cellulose fluid (RXHEC) involves uncrosslinking and unzipping of backbone, which simplifies the disposal of returns. In addition to being environmentally acceptable, RXHEC is capable of breaking with weak acids, allowing the use of external breakers in acid-sensitive wells. Additional advantages include the ease with which tubulars can pass through the RXHEC pill and leave it in place, making a remedial pill unnecessary. The RXHEC uses a liquid gel concentrate (LGC) system and is stable beyond 125 C.

  14. Advantages of time reversal acoustic focusing system in biomedical applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sutin, Alexander; Sarvazyan, Armen

    2005-09-01

    The development and biomedical applications of time reversal acoustics (TRA) systems for focusing and manipulating ultrasound beams are reviewed. The TRA focusing system (TRA FS) is capable to deliver ultrasound energy to the chosen region in highly inhomogeneous medium (including soft tissues and bones) with focusing efficacy hardly achievable using conventional phased array transmitters. TRA FS is able to focus and stir ultrasound beams in a 3-D volume using just a few piezoceramic transducers glued to the facets an aluminum block. Another advantage of TRA FS is its ability to produce pulses with arbitrary waveforms in a wide frequency band. A custom-designed compact multichannel TRA system operating in a wide frequency range from 0.01 to 10 MHz has been developed. Measurements of TRA field structure were conducted in a large variety of inhomogeneous tissue phantoms and ex vivo bones and soft tissues. Principles of TRA focusing optimization based on acoustical properties of the resonator material, parameters of the sonicated medium, and the coupling of the TRA resonator with the medium were developed and applied in the tested TRA systems. [Work was supported by NIH.

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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. 75Se 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 10-fold higher Km 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. PMID:25912135

  17. Gas storage materials, including hydrogen storage materials

    SciTech Connect

    Mohtadi, Rana F; Wicks, George G; Heung, Leung K; Nakamura, Kenji

    2013-02-19

    A material for the storage and release of gases comprises a plurality of hollow elements, each hollow element comprising a porous wall enclosing an interior cavity, the interior cavity including structures of a solid-state storage material. In particular examples, the storage material is a hydrogen storage material such as a solid state hydride. An improved method for forming such materials includes the solution diffusion of a storage material solution through a porous wall of a hollow element into an interior cavity.

  18. Gas storage materials, including hydrogen storage materials

    SciTech Connect

    Mohtadi, Rana F; Wicks, George G; Heung, Leung K; Nakamura, Kenji

    2014-11-25

    A material for the storage and release of gases comprises a plurality of hollow elements, each hollow element comprising a porous wall enclosing an interior cavity, the interior cavity including structures of a solid-state storage material. In particular examples, the storage material is a hydrogen storage material, such as a solid state hydride. An improved method for forming such materials includes the solution diffusion of a storage material solution through a porous wall of a hollow element into an interior cavity.

  19. A model-based analysis of the "combined-stimulation advantage".

    PubMed

    Seldran, Fabien; Micheyl, Christophe; Truy, Eric; Berger-Vachon, Christian; Thai-Van, Hung; Gallego, Stéphane

    2011-12-01

    Improvements in speech-recognition performance resulting from the addition of low-frequency information to electric (or vocoded) signals have attracted considerable interest in recent years. An important question is whether these improvements reflect a form of constructive perceptual interaction-whereby acoustic cues enhance the perception of electric or vocoded signals-or whether they can be explained without assuming any interaction. To address this question, speech-recognition performance was measured in 24 normal-hearing listeners using lowpass-filtered, vocoded, and "combined" (lowpass + vocoded) words presented either in quiet or in a realistic background (cafeteria noise), for different signal-to-noise ratios, different lowpass-filter cutoff frequencies, and different numbers of vocoder bands. The results of these measures were then compared to the predictions of three models of cue combination, including a "probability-summation" model and two Gaussian signal detection theory (SDT) models-one (the "independent-noises" model) involving pre-combination noises, and the other (the "late-noise" model) involving post-combination noise. Consistent with previous findings, speech-recognition performance with combined stimulation was significantly higher than performance with vocoded or lowpass stimuli alone, and it was also higher than predicted by the probability-summation model. The two Gaussian-SDT models could account quantitatively for the data. Moreover, a Bayesian model-comparison procedure demonstrated that, given the data, these two models were far more likely than the probability-summation model. Since these models do not involve any constructive-interaction mechanism, this demonstrates that constructive interactions are not needed to explain the combined-stimulation benefits measured in this study. It will be important for future studies to investigate whether this conclusion generalizes to other test conditions, including real EAS, and to further test

  20. 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.

  1. Home advantage in southern hemisphere rugby union: national and international.

    PubMed

    Morton R, Hugh

    2006-05-01

    This study evaluates home advantages both for national (Super 12) and international (Tri-nations) rugby union teams from South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, over the five-year period 2000 - 2004 using linear modelling. These home advantages are examined for statistical and practical significance, for variability between teams, for stability over time and for inter-correlation. These data reveal that the overall home advantage in elite rugby union has a mean of +6.7 points, and that this changes little from year to year. Closer scrutiny nevertheless reveals a high degree of variability. Different teams can and do have different home advantages, which ranges from a low of -0.7 to a high of +28.3 points in any one year. Furthermore, some team home advantages change up or down from one year to the next, by as much as -36.5 to +31.4 points at the extremes. There is no evidence that the stronger teams have the higher home advantages, or that a high home advantage leads to a superior finishing position in the competition.

  2. Interpreting the possible ecological role(s) of cyanotoxins: compounds for competitive advantage and/or physiological aide?

    PubMed

    Holland, Aleicia; Kinnear, Susan

    2013-06-27

    To date, most research on freshwater cyanotoxin(s) has focused on understanding the dynamics of toxin production and decomposition, as well as evaluating the environmental conditions that trigger toxin production, all with the objective of informing management strategies and options for risk reduction. Comparatively few research studies have considered how this information can be used to understand the broader ecological role of cyanotoxin(s), and the possible applications of this knowledge to the management of toxic blooms. This paper explores the ecological, toxicological, and genetic evidence for cyanotoxin production in natural environments. The possible evolutionary advantages of toxin production are grouped into two main themes: That of "competitive advantage" or "physiological aide". The first grouping illustrates how compounds produced by cyanobacteria may have originated from the need for a cellular defence mechanism, in response to grazing pressure and/or resource competition. The second grouping considers the contribution that secondary metabolites make to improved cellular physiology, through benefits to homeostasis, photosynthetic efficiencies, and accelerated growth rates. The discussion also includes other factors in the debate about possible evolutionary roles for toxins, such as different modes of exposures and effects on non-target (i.e., non-competitive) species. The paper demonstrates that complex and multiple factors are at play in driving evolutionary processes in aquatic environments. This information may provide a fresh perspective on managing toxic blooms, including the need to use a "systems approach" to understand how physico-chemical conditions, as well biological stressors, interact to trigger toxin production.

  3. Advantageous use of slush and gelled slush in space vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Adamson, J. Z.

    1971-01-01

    The advantages of combining both slush and gel have been recognized. These advantages are: (1) a reduction in the gelling agent necessary; (2) the achievement of active positioning; and (3) a potential increase in impulse density. The need for extended mission capability as indicated by present mission planning is outlined and the expected schedules are presented. A condensed version of analytical and testing conclusions as related to storage systems and slush is given. The significant results of slush flow testing and its possible influence on vehicle propulsion systems are presented, and the characterization and preparation of gels are discussed in relation to future applications, advantages, and disadvantages.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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. PMID:25475825

  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. 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

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

    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

  12. Analysis of Advantages, Limitations, and Barriers of Genetic Counseling Service Delivery Models.

    PubMed

    Cohen, Stephanie A; Huziak, Rachelle C; Gustafson, Shanna; Grubs, Robin E

    2016-10-01

    Previous studies on genetic counseling service delivery models (SDMs) have shown that genetic counselors (GCs) are incorporating alternate models to address growing service demand and improve access to genetic services. This study sought to identify barriers, limitations and advantages to previously identified genetic counseling SDMs. A qualitative research design was employed, in which 20 practicing GCs who utilize a variety of SDMs were interviewed using an email interview format. Interview transcripts were analyzed using a thematic analysis to identify themes related to implementation and utilization of SDMs. Factors that led GCs to implement SDMs other than in-person genetic counseling included: 1) travel distance, 2) wait time and 3) convenience. Logistical issues such as billing and reimbursement, equipment set up, making arrangements for genetic testing and the inability to see the patient are major limitations to alternative genetic counseling SDMs in clinical practice. However, GCs interviewed stated that the convenience to the patient and genetic counselor of alternative SDMs outweighed these limitations. More research is needed to assess the outcomes of SDMs in practice to demonstrate an impact on the identified barriers of travel distance, wait time and convenience.

  13. The Effects of Aphid Traits on Parasitoid Host Use and Specialist Advantage

    PubMed Central

    Gagic, Vesna; Petrović-Obradović, Olivera; Fründ, Jochen; Kavallieratos, Nickolas G.; Athanassiou, Christos G.; Starý, Petr; Tomanović, Željko

    2016-01-01

    Specialization is a central concept in ecology and one of the fundamental properties of parasitoids. Highly specialized parasitoids tend to be more efficient in host-use compared to generalized parasitoids, presumably owing to the trade-off between host range and host-use efficiency. However, it remains unknown how parasitoid host specificity and host-use depends on host traits related to susceptibility to parasitoid attack. To address this question, we used data from a 13-year survey of interactions among 142 aphid and 75 parasitoid species in nine European countries. We found that only aphid traits related to local resource characteristics seem to influence the trade-off between host-range and efficiency: more specialized parasitoids had an apparent advantage (higher abundance on shared hosts) on aphids with sparse colonies, ant-attendance and without concealment, and this was more evident when host relatedness was included in calculation of parasitoid specificity. More traits influenced average assemblage specialization, which was highest in aphids that are monophagous, monoecious, large, highly mobile (easily drop from a plant), without myrmecophily, habitat specialists, inhabit non-agricultural habitats and have sparse colonies. Differences in aphid wax production did not influence parasitoid host specificity and host-use. Our study is the first step in identifying host traits important for aphid parasitoid host specificity and host-use and improves our understanding of bottom-up effects of aphid traits on aphid-parasitoid food web structure. PMID:27309729

  14. The Effects of Aphid Traits on Parasitoid Host Use and Specialist Advantage.

    PubMed

    Gagic, Vesna; Petrović-Obradović, Olivera; Fründ, Jochen; Kavallieratos, Nickolas G; Athanassiou, Christos G; Starý, Petr; Tomanović, Željko

    2016-01-01

    Specialization is a central concept in ecology and one of the fundamental properties of parasitoids. Highly specialized parasitoids tend to be more efficient in host-use compared to generalized parasitoids, presumably owing to the trade-off between host range and host-use efficiency. However, it remains unknown how parasitoid host specificity and host-use depends on host traits related to susceptibility to parasitoid attack. To address this question, we used data from a 13-year survey of interactions among 142 aphid and 75 parasitoid species in nine European countries. We found that only aphid traits related to local resource characteristics seem to influence the trade-off between host-range and efficiency: more specialized parasitoids had an apparent advantage (higher abundance on shared hosts) on aphids with sparse colonies, ant-attendance and without concealment, and this was more evident when host relatedness was included in calculation of parasitoid specificity. More traits influenced average assemblage specialization, which was highest in aphids that are monophagous, monoecious, large, highly mobile (easily drop from a plant), without myrmecophily, habitat specialists, inhabit non-agricultural habitats and have sparse colonies. Differences in aphid wax production did not influence parasitoid host specificity and host-use. Our study is the first step in identifying host traits important for aphid parasitoid host specificity and host-use and improves our understanding of bottom-up effects of aphid traits on aphid-parasitoid food web structure. PMID:27309729

  15. 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.

  16. 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. PMID:26718401

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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. PMID:27503970

  20. Mission Advantages of Constant Power, Variable Isp Electrostatic Thrusters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oleson, Steven R.

    2000-01-01

    Electric propulsion has moved from station-keeping capability for spacecraft to primary propulsion with the advent of both the Deep Space One asteroid flyby and geosynchronous spacecraft orbit insertion. In both cases notably more payload was delivered than would have been possible with chemical propulsion. To provide even greater improvements electrostatic thruster performance could be varied in specific impulse, but kept at constant power to provide better payload or trip time performance for different mission phases. Such variable specific impulse mission applications include geosynchronous and low earth orbit spacecraft stationkeeping and orbit insertion, geosynchronous reusable tug missions, and interplanetary probes. The application of variable specific impulse devices is shown to add from 5 to 15% payload for these missions. The challenges to building such devices include variable voltage power supplies and extending fuel throughput capabilities across the specific impulse range.

  1. 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. PMID:21987916

  2. 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.

  3. Contracting with Medicare Advantage plans: a brief for critical access hospital administrators.

    PubMed

    Mason, Michelle; Fraser-Maginn, Roslyn; Mueller, Keith; King, Jennifer; Radford, Andrea; Slifkin, Rebecca; Lenardson, Jennifer; Silver, Lauren; Mueller, Curt

    2005-12-01

    This document summarizes the experience of CAH administrators with contracts offered by Medicare Advantage (MA) plans. Telephone surveys were conducted with CAH administrators across the country to learn about their experiences with MA plans. This brief includes information about the contract terms administrators have been offered, their experiences negotiating with MA plans, and their advice for others dealing with this issue. PMID:16397967

  4. 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

    ...; Policy and Technical Changes to the Medicare Advantage and the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit... Prescription Drug Benefit Programs'' which appeared in the April 15, 2010 Federal Register (FR Doc. 2010-7966... all covered Part D drugs must be included in Part D formularies (75 FR 19767), we indicated that...

  5. Including Conflict in Creative Writing.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Litvin, Martin

    Conflict is the basis of all stories and thus should appear in some form in the first sentence. There are three kinds of conflict: people vs. people; people vs. nature; and people vs. themselves. Conflict must be repeated in all the various elements of the story's structure, including the plot, which is the plan of action telling what happens to…

  6. Family Living, Including Sex Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Forlano, George

    This volume describes and evaluates 21 selected New York City Board of Education Umbrella Programs for the 1974-1975 school year. The programs include: (1) the parent resource center, (2) the teacher self-help program, (3) the East Harlem pre-kindergarten center, (4) the Brooklyn College volunteer tutoring program, (5) the parent education for…

  7. Belowground advantages in construction cost facilitate a cryptic plant invasion.

    PubMed

    Caplan, Joshua S; Wheaton, Christine N; Mozdzer, Thomas J

    2014-04-30

    The energetic cost of plant organ construction is a functional trait that is useful for understanding carbon investment during growth (e.g. the resource acquisition vs. tissue longevity tradeoff), as well as in response to global change factors like elevated CO2 and N. Despite the enormous importance of roots and rhizomes in acquiring soil resources and responding to global change, construction costs have been studied almost exclusively in leaves. We sought to determine how construction costs of aboveground and belowground organs differed between native and introduced lineages of a geographically widely dispersed wetland plant species (Phragmites australis) under varying levels of CO2 and N. We grew plants under ambient and elevated atmospheric CO2, as well as under two levels of soil nitrogen. We determined construction costs for leaves, stems, rhizomes and roots, as well as for whole plants. Across all treatment conditions, the introduced lineage of Phragmites had a 4.3 % lower mean rhizome construction cost than the native. Whole-plant construction costs were also smaller for the introduced lineage, with the largest difference in sample means (3.3 %) occurring under ambient conditions. In having lower rhizome and plant-scale construction costs, the introduced lineage can recoup its investment in tissue construction more quickly, enabling it to generate additional biomass with the same energetic investment. Our results suggest that introduced Phragmites has had an advantageous tissue investment strategy under historic CO2 and N levels, which has facilitated key rhizome processes, such as clonal spread. We recommend that construction costs for multiple organ types be included in future studies of plant carbon economy, especially those investigating global change.

  8. The advantages of a rolling foot in human walking.

    PubMed

    Adamczyk, Peter G; Collins, Steven H; Kuo, Arthur D

    2006-10-01

    The plantigrade human foot rolls over the ground during each walking step, roughly analogous to a wheel. The center of pressure progresses on the ground like a wheel of radius 0.3 L (leg length). We examined the effect of varying foot curvature on the mechanics and energetics of walking. We controlled curvature by attaching rigid arc shapes of various radii to the bottoms of rigid boots restricting ankle motion. We measured mechanical work performed on the center of mass (COM), and net metabolic rate, in human subjects (N=10) walking with seven arc radii from 0.02-0.40 m. Simple models of dynamic walking predict that redirection of COM velocity requires step-to-step transition work, decreasing quadratically with arc radius. Metabolic cost would be expected to change in proportion to mechanical work. We measured the average rate of negative work performed on the COM, and found that it followed the trend well (r2=0.95), with 2.37 times as much work for small radii as for large. Net metabolic rate (subtracting quiet standing) also decreased with increasing arc radius to a minimum at 0.3 L, with a slight increase thereafter. Maximum net metabolic rate was 6.25 W kg(-1) (for small-radius arc feet), about 59% greater than the minimum rate of 3.93 W kg(-1), which in turn was about 45% greater than the rate in normal walking. Metabolic rate was fit reasonably well (r2=0.86) by a quadratic curve, but exceeded that expected from COM work for extreme arc sizes. Other factors appear to increase metabolic cost for walking on very small and very large arc feet. These factors may include effort expended to stabilize the joints (especially the knee) or to maintain balance. Rolling feet with curvature 0.3 L appear energetically advantageous for plantigrade walking, partially due to decreased work for step-to-step transitions.

  9. 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

  10. Enhancing indoor air quality -The air filter advantage.

    PubMed

    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

  11. Improving Project Management Using Formal Models and Architectures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kahn, Theodore; Sturken, Ian

    2011-01-01

    This talk discusses the advantages formal modeling and architecture brings to project management. These emerging technologies have both great potential and challenges for improving information available for decision-making. The presentation covers standards, tools and cultural issues needing consideration, and includes lessons learned from projects the presenters have worked on.

  12. Advantages of closed-loop calibration in intracortical brain-computer interfaces for people with tetraplegia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jarosiewicz, Beata; Masse, Nicolas Y.; Bacher, Daniel; Cash, Sydney S.; Eskandar, Emad; Friehs, Gerhard; Donoghue, John P.; Hochberg, Leigh R.

    2013-08-01

    Objective. Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) aim to provide a means for people with severe motor disabilities to control their environment directly with neural activity. In intracortical BCIs for people with tetraplegia, the decoder that maps neural activity to desired movements has typically been calibrated using ‘open-loop’ (OL) imagination of control while a cursor automatically moves to targets on a computer screen. However, because neural activity can vary across contexts, a decoder calibrated using OL data may not be optimal for ‘closed-loop’ (CL) neural control. Here, we tested whether CL calibration creates a better decoder than OL calibration even when all other factors that might influence performance are held constant, including the amount of data used for calibration and the amount of elapsed time between calibration and testing. Approach. Two people with tetraplegia enrolled in the BrainGate2 pilot clinical trial performed a center-out-back task using an intracortical BCI, switching between decoders that had been calibrated on OL versus CL data. Main results. Even when all other variables were held constant, CL calibration improved neural control as well as the accuracy and strength of the tuning model. Updating the CL decoder using additional and more recent data resulted in further improvements. Significance. Differences in neural activity between OL and CL contexts contribute to the superiority of CL decoders, even prior to their additional ‘adaptive’ advantage. In the near future, CL decoder calibration may enable robust neural control without needing to pause ongoing, practical use of BCIs, an important step toward clinical utility.

  13. Advantages of closed-loop calibration in intracortical brain-computer interfaces for people with tetraplegia

    PubMed Central

    Jarosiewicz, Beata; Masse, Nicolas Y.; Bacher, Daniel; Cash, Sydney S.; Eskandar, Emad; Friehs, Gerhard; Donoghue, John P.; Hochberg, Leigh R.

    2013-01-01

    Objective Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) aim to provide a means for people with severe motor disabilities to control their environment directly with neural activity. In intracortical BCIs for people with tetraplegia, the decoder that maps neural activity to desired movements has typically been calibrated using “open-loop” (OL) imagination of control while a cursor automatically moves to targets on a computer screen. However, because neural activity can vary across contexts, a decoder calibrated using OL data may not be optimal for “closed-loop” (CL) neural control. Here, we tested whether CL calibration creates a better decoder than OL calibration even when all other factors that might influence performance are held constant, including the amount of data used for calibration and the amount of elapsed time between calibration and testing. Approach Two people with tetraplegia enrolled in the BrainGate2 pilot clinical trial performed a center-out-back task using an intracortical BCI, switching between decoders that had been calibrated on OL vs. CL data. Main results Even when all other variables were held constant, CL calibration improved neural control as well as the accuracy and strength of the tuning model. Updating the CL decoder using additional and more recent data resulted in further improvements. Significance Differences in neural activity between OL and CL contexts contribute to the superiority of CL decoders, even prior to their additional “adaptive” advantage. In the near future, CL decoder calibration may enable robust neural control without needing to pause ongoing, practical use of BCIs, an important step toward clinical utility. PMID:23838067

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Stereo advantage for a peg-in-hole task using a force-feedback manipulator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spain, Edward H.

    1990-01-01

    An improved assessment methodology has been implemented at NOSC and tested using an instrumented peg-in-hole (PiH) taskboard. Several aspects of the methodology are discussed in light of their implications for future studies of manipulator performance. Using a simple (but high-fidelity) force-feedback manipulator, a group of 9 trained operators showed a consistent advantage for stereoscopic TV viewing over monoscopic TV viewing when performing the PiH task. To introduce a controlled element of spatial uncertainty into the testing procedure, taskboard orientation relative to the manipulator and remote video camera head was changed in a randomized order on a trial-by-trial basis. The stereoscopic advantage demonstrated by this study can reasonably be expected to be even more pronounced as the quality of the stereo TV interface is improved and force-feedback provided through the manipulator system is diminished and/or distorted.

  17. 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. PMID:22453527

  18. Nuclear reactor shield including magnesium oxide

    DOEpatents

    Rouse, Carl A.; Simnad, Massoud T.

    1981-01-01

    An improvement in nuclear reactor shielding of a type used in reactor applications involving significant amounts of fast neutron flux, the reactor shielding including means providing structural support, neutron moderator material, neutron absorber material and other components as described below, wherein at least a portion of the neutron moderator material is magnesium in the form of magnesium oxide either alone or in combination with other moderator materials such as graphite and iron.

  19. Improved Thin, Flexible Heat Pipes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenfeld, John H.; Gernert, Nelson J.; Sarraf, David B.; Wollen, Peter J.; Surina, Frank C.; Fale, John E.

    2004-01-01

    Flexible heat pipes of an improved type are fabricated as layers of different materials laminated together into vacuum- tight sheets or tapes. In comparison with prior flexible heat pipes, these flexible heat pipes are less susceptible to leakage. Other advantages of these flexible heat pipes, relative to prior flexible heat pipes, include high reliability and greater ease and lower cost of fabrication. Because these heat pipes are very thin, they are highly flexible. When coated on outside surfaces with adhesives, these flexible heat pipes can be applied, like common adhesive tapes, to the surfaces of heat sinks and objects to be cooled, even if those surfaces are curved.

  20. The relation between proactive environmental strategies and competitive advantage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Butnariu, A.; Avasilcăi, S.

    2015-11-01

    There are two distinct orientations of the environmental management that companies may adopt: the model of compliance and the strategic model. The strategic model treats environmental expenses as investments that will lead to competitive advantage for the company. Nevertheless, there are few scientific works that prove the relation between corporate environmental investments and competitive advantage. Thereby, in order to bring clarifications about the profound implications of environmental investments, in the first stage of our research we have proposed the hypothesis that the environmental investments would probably lead to competitive advantage by creating capabilities that are mediators of this relation. In the second stage we have tested this hypothesis, using the research method of survey. A questionnaire was sent to managers in textile Romanian industry, and 109 answers were received. The data was analysed using the linear multiple regression method and the results confirm our hypothesis.

  1. The bilateral advantage for famous faces: interhemispheric communication or competition?

    PubMed

    Baird, Lyndsay M; Burton, A Mike

    2008-04-01

    The bilateral advantage for the perception of famous faces was investigated using a redundant target procedure. In experiment 1 we compared simultaneous presentation of stimuli (a) bilaterally and (b) one above the other in the central field. Results showed a redundancy advantage, but only when faces were presented bilaterally. This result lends support to the notion of interhemispheric communication using cross-hemisphere representations. Experiment 2 examined the nature of such communication by comparing bilateral presentation of identical face images, with bilateral presentation of different images of the same person. When asked to make a familiar/unfamiliar face judgement, participants showed evidence for a redundancy advantage under both bilateral conditions. This suggests that the nature of the information shared in interhemispheric communication is abstract, rather than being tied to superficial stimulus properties.

  2. Advantage of rare HLA supertype in HIV disease progression.

    PubMed

    Trachtenberg, Elizabeth; Korber, Bette; Sollars, Cristina; Kepler, Thomas B; Hraber, Peter T; Hayes, Elizabeth; Funkhouser, Robert; Fugate, Michael; Theiler, James; Hsu, Yen S; Kunstman, Kevin; Wu, Samuel; Phair, John; Erlich, Henry; Wolinsky, Steven

    2003-07-01

    The highly polymorphic human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I molecules help to determine the specificity and repertoire of the immune response. The great diversity of these antigen-binding molecules confers differential advantages in responding to pathogens, but presents a major obstacle to distinguishing HLA allele-specific effects. HLA class I supertypes provide a functional classification for the many different HLA alleles that overlap in their peptide-binding specificities. We analyzed the association of these discrete HLA supertypes with HIV disease progression rates in a population of HIV-infected men. We found that HLA supertypes alone and in combination conferred a strong differential advantage in responding to HIV infection, independent of the contribution of single HLA alleles that associate with progression of the disease. The correlation of the frequency of the HLA supertypes with viral load suggests that HIV adapts to the most frequent alleles in the population, providing a selective advantage for those individuals who express rare alleles.

  3. General presentation including new structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soons, A.

    2002-12-01

    Electrical, electronic and electro-mechanical components play an essential role in the functional performance, quality, life cycle and costs of space systems. Their standardisation, product specification, development, evaluation, qualification and procurement must be based on a coherent and efficient approach, paying due attention to present and prospective European space policies and must be commensurate with user needs, market developments and technology trends. The European Space Components Coordination (ESCC) is established with the objective of harmonising the efforts concerning the various aspects of EEE space components by ESA. European national and international public space organisations, the component manufacturers and the user industries. The goal of the ESCC is to improve the availability of strategic EEE space components with the required performance and at affordable costs for institutional and commercial space programmes. It is the objective of ESCC to achieve this goal by harmonising the resources and development efforts for space components in the ESA Member States and by providing a single and unified system for the standardisation, product specification, evaluation, qualification and procurement of European EEE space components and for the certification of components and component manufacturers.

  4. Transgenic male mating advantage provides opportunity for Trojan gene effect in a fish

    PubMed Central

    Howard, Richard D.; DeWoody, J. Andrew; Muir, William M.

    2004-01-01

    Genetically modified (GM) strains now exist for many organisms, producing significant promise for agricultural production. However, if these organisms have some fitness advantage, they may also pose an environmental harm when released. High mating success of GM males relative to WT males provides such an important fitness advantage. Here, we provide documentation that GM male medaka fish modified with salmon growth hormone possess an overwhelming mating advantage. GM medaka offspring possess a survival disadvantage relative to WT, however. When both of these fitness components are included in our model, the transgene is predicted to spread if GM individuals enter wild populations (because of the mating advantage) and ultimately lead to population extinction (because of the viability disadvantage). Mating trials indicate that WT males use alternative mating tactics in an effort to counter the mating advantage of GM males, and we use genetic markers to ascertain the success of these alternative strategies. Finally, we model the impact of alternative mating tactics by WT males on transgene spread. Such tactics may reduce the rate of transgene spread, but not the outcome. PMID:14976259

  5. 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.

  6. 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. PMID:26898053

  7. Pharmacological advantages of melatonin in immunosenescence by improving activity of T lymphocytes

    PubMed Central

    Yoo, Yeong-Min; Jang, Su Kil; Kim, Gwang-Hoon; Park, Jung-Youl; Joo, Seong-Soo

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Melatonin plays a critical role in regulating photoperiodic signals and has recently been shown to decrease immunosenescence with age. In this study, we examined whether melatonin activates T lymphocytes as major adaptive immune cells in in vitro and in vivo models. Splenocytes, CD4+, and naïve CD4 T lymphocytes were isolated from the spleen of BALB/c mice and the cell population patterns and mRNA profiles associated with T cell activation (CD28 and p21) and the melatonin receptor (MT1A and MT1B) were assessed. The T cell activation-related proteins Ki67 and Bcl2 were also evaluated to confirm the relationship between gene and protein levels. Our data clearly revealed that CD28, p21, MT1A, and MT1B mRNA were highly expressed in the presence of melatonin. Co-culture of CD4+ T lymphocyte and peritoneal macrophage 7 days after melatonin administration to young and aged mice significantly increased APRIL mRNA, suggesting induction or maintenance of T lymphocyte responses. We also found that the intracellular amount of Ki67 and Bcl2 proteins were significantly upregulated in aged CD4+ T lymphocytes, suggesting enhancing T cell proliferation and ling-term maintenance of memory T cells. Taken together, we conclude that melatonin supplementation may enhance immunity in aged individuals by upregulating immunosenescence indices in association with T lymphocytes and may be an attractive pharmacological candidate for aged and immunocompromised individuals. PMID:27533940

  8. Redesigning geriatric healthcare: how cross-functional teams and process improvement provide a competitive advantage.

    PubMed

    Andrews, B C; Kaye, J; Bowcutt, M; Campbell, J

    2001-01-01

    This study examines the consequences of adding a geriatric subacute unit to the traditional health care mix offered by a nonprofit hospital. Historically, geriatric health care offerings have been limited to either acute care units or long-term care facilities. The study's findings demonstrate that the addition of a subacute unit that is operated by an interdisciplinary team is a competitively rational move for two reasons. First, it provides a continuum of care that integrates services and departments, thereby reducing costs. Second, it provides a supportive environment for patients and their families. As a consequence patients have a higher probability of returning home than patients who are assigned to more traditional modes of care.

  9. Take advantage of mycorrhizal fungi for improved soil fertility and plant health

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal [AM] fungi are naturally-occurring soil fungi that form a beneficial symbiosis with the roots of most crops. The plants benefit because the symbiosis increases mineral nutrient uptake, drought resistance, and disease resistance. These characteristics make utilization of AM f...

  10. Pharmacological advantages of melatonin in immunosenescence by improving activity of T lymphocytes.

    PubMed

    Yoo, Yeong-Min; Jang, Su Kil; Kim, Gwang-Hoon; Park, Jung-Youl; Joo, Seong-Soo

    2016-07-01

    Melatonin plays a critical role in regulating photoperiodic signals and has recently been shown to decrease immunosenescence with age. In this study, we examined whether melatonin activates T lymphocytes as major adaptive immune cells in in vitro and in vivo models. Splenocytes, CD4(+), and naïve CD4 T lymphocytes were isolated from the spleen of BALB/c mice and the cell population patterns and mRNA profiles associated with T cell activation (CD28 and p21) and the melatonin receptor (MT1A and MT1B) were assessed. The T cell activation-related proteins Ki67 and Bcl2 were also evaluated to confirm the relationship between gene and protein levels. Our data clearly revealed that CD28, p21, MT1A, and MT1B mRNA were highly expressed in the presence of melatonin. Co-culture of CD4(+) T lymphocyte and peritoneal macrophage 7 days after melatonin administration to young and aged mice significantly increased APRIL mRNA, suggesting induction or maintenance of T lymphocyte responses. We also found that the intracellular amount of Ki67 and Bcl2 proteins were significantly upregulated in aged CD4(+) T lymphocytes, suggesting enhancing T cell proliferation and ling-term maintenance of memory T cells. Taken together, we conclude that melatonin supplementation may enhance immunity in aged individuals by upregulating immunosenescence indices in association with T lymphocytes and may be an attractive pharmacological candidate for aged and immunocompromised individuals. PMID:27533940

  11. ACCC's Response to Industry Canada's Consultation on Improving Canada's Digital Advantage

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Association of Canadian Community Colleges, 2010

    2010-01-01

    As the national and international voice representing over 150 publicly-funded colleges, institutes, polytechnics, cegeps, university colleges and universities with a college mandate, the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC) welcomes the opportunity to provide input to Industry Canada's consultation on a Digital Economy Strategy for…

  12. Application of new vaccine technology to improve immunity and productivity: advantages and challenges

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Vaccines play a critical role in the poultry industry’s efforts to protect animals against disease. However, providing safe, efficacious, and cost-effective vaccines remains a constant concern to the industry. Recent advances in avian immunology, genetics, molecular biology, and pathogenesis have ...

  13. 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

  14. 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. PMID:26957600

  15. 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

  16. 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

  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. Robotic radical prostatectomy: advantages of an initial posterior dissection.

    PubMed

    Zorn, Kevin C

    2008-09-01

    During robotic radical prostatectomy (RRP), many surgeons currently employ the modified-Montsouris technique as initially described by Menon in 2002 with initial anterior prostate dissection. The anterior approach simulates the routine retropubic technique which open surgeons feel most comfortable with. Unfortunately, we observed early on in our experience that dissection of the seminal vesicles (SV) and vas deferens (VD) through a limited sized bladder neck posed limitations on working space and anatomic differentiation. As such, we have continued using a posterior-first dissection for several specific advantages. Herein, we describe our initial posterior dissection during RRP and discuss potential advantages of this approach, particularly for novice robotic surgeons. PMID:27628248

  20. 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.

  1. Advantages and Disadvantages of Educational Email Alerts for Family Physicians: Viewpoint

    PubMed Central

    Badran, Hani; Grad, Roland

    2015-01-01

    Background Electronic knowledge resources constitute an important channel for accredited Continuing Medical Education (CME) activities. However, email usage for educational purposes is controversial. On the one hand, family physicians become aware of new information, confirm what they already know, and obtain reassurance by reading educational email alerts. Email alerts can also encourage physicians to search Web-based resources. On the other hand, technical difficulties and privacy issues are common obstacles. Objective The purpose of this discussion paper, informed by a literature review and a small qualitative study, was to understand family physicians’ knowledge, attitudes, and behavior in regard to email in general and educational emails in particular, and to explore the advantages and disadvantages of educational email alerts. In addition, we documented participants’ suggestions to improve email alert services for CME. Methods We conducted a qualitative descriptive study using the “Knowledge, Attitude, Behavior” model. We conducted semi-structured face-to-face interviews with 15 family physicians. We analyzed the collected data using inductive-deductive thematic qualitative data analysis. Results All 15 participants scanned and prioritized their email, and 13 of them checked their email daily. Participants mentioned (1) advantages of educational email alerts such as saving time, convenience and valid information, and (2) disadvantages such as an overwhelming number of emails and irrelevance. They offered suggestions to improve educational email. Conclusions The advantages of email alerts seem to compensate for their disadvantages. Suggestions proposed by family physicians can help to improve educational email alerts. PMID:25803184

  2. Neoclassical Transport Including Collisional Nonlinearity

    SciTech Connect

    Candy, J.; Belli, E. A.

    2011-06-10

    In the standard {delta}f theory of neoclassical transport, the zeroth-order (Maxwellian) solution is obtained analytically via the solution of a nonlinear equation. The first-order correction {delta}f is subsequently computed as the solution of a linear, inhomogeneous equation that includes the linearized Fokker-Planck collision operator. This equation admits analytic solutions only in extreme asymptotic limits (banana, plateau, Pfirsch-Schlueter), and so must be solved numerically for realistic plasma parameters. Recently, numerical codes have appeared which attempt to compute the total distribution f more accurately than in the standard ordering by retaining some nonlinear terms related to finite-orbit width, while simultaneously reusing some form of the linearized collision operator. In this work we show that higher-order corrections to the distribution function may be unphysical if collisional nonlinearities are ignored.

  3. Improved catalysts and method

    SciTech Connect

    Taylor, C.E.; Noceti, R.P.

    1990-12-31

    An improved catalyst and method for the oxyhydrochlorination of methane is disclosed. The catalyst includes a pyrogenic porous support on which is layered as active material, cobalt chloride in major proportion, and minor proportions of an alkali metal chloride and of a rare earth chloride. On contact of the catalyst with a gas flow of methane, HCl and oxygen, more than 60% of the methane is converted and of that converted more than 40% occurs as monochloromethane. Advantageously, the monochloromethane can be used to produce gasoline boiling range hydrocarbons with the recycle of HCl for further reaction. This catalyst is also of value for the production of formic acid as are analogous catalysts with lead, silver or nickel chlorides substituted for the cobalt chloride. 8 figs., 3 tabs.

  4. Improving surface coal refuse disposal site inspections

    SciTech Connect

    Meister, R.A.; Hoffman, R.L.

    1980-06-01

    The study on improving surface coal refuse disposal site inspections included surface inspections of 15 refuse disposal sites. Monthly aerial photos were taken of the sites and computer methods were used to determine elevation changes. Photogrammetric techniques that were used are described in detail. A comparison of the results of each of these inspection techniques is included. A detailed evaluation of the photogrammetric techniques was made and conclusions were drawn concerning the advantages and disadvantages of using aerial photography and photogrammetry as part of the inspection procedure. Operators' opinions of the aerial photography methods are included.

  5. Advantages of Analytical Transformations in Monte Carlo Methods for Radiation Transport

    SciTech Connect

    McKinley, M S; Brooks III, E D; Daffin, F

    2004-12-13

    Monte Carlo methods for radiation transport typically attempt to solve an integral by directly sampling analog or weighted particles, which are treated as physical entities. Improvements to the methods involve better sampling, probability games or physical intuition about the problem. We show that significant improvements can be achieved by recasting the equations with an analytical transform to solve for new, non-physical entities or fields. This paper looks at one such transform, the difference formulation for thermal photon transport, showing a significant advantage for Monte Carlo solution of the equations for time dependent transport. Other related areas are discussed that may also realize significant benefits from similar analytical transformations.

  6. Fiber-optic parametric amplifiers: Their advantages and limitations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yaman, Fatih

    Fiber-optic parametric amplifiers (FOPAs) can be used in lightwave systems for several signal-processing applications including optical amplification, phase conjugation, and wavelength conversion. In principle, FOPAs can provide high gain uniform over a wide wavelength range (> 100 nm). What is more, FOPAs add little noise to the amplified signal. FOPAs can have noise figure as low as 0 dB when operated in the phase-sensitive mode and 3 dB in the phase insensitive mode. However, in practice, these advantages of FOPAs are compromised. In this work, I investigate several factors that limit the performance of FOPAs, and propose practical schemes to minimize those limitations. FOPAs can provide a relatively large gain bandwidth because the gain spectrum of FOPAs is not determined by material resonances but by the phase-matching condition. For the same reason, FOPAs are very sensitive to perturbations stemming from fiber irregularities. One such irregularity is that fiber dispersion varies randomly along the fiber length. My numerical modeling showed that, because of such variations, FOPA gain spectrum cannot maintain its flatness and also that FOPA gain profile changes from one fiber to the other. Using stochastic methods, an analytic theory is developed that can predict an "average gain spectrum." This analytic theory can be used to show that flatness of FOPA gain is recovered at the expense of reducing the gain bandwidth. Another fiber irregularity that affects FOPA gain spectrum is the residual birefringence. During the fiber-drawing process, the cross section of fiber core inevitably deviates from perfect circular symmetry. As a result, all non-polarization maintaining fibers exhibit residual birefringence. Both the magnitude of birefringence and the direction of its principal axis vary along the fiber length as well as in time. Because of residual birefringence, state of polarizations of the propagating fields change randomly also. Since the underlying four

  7. Including Magnetostriction in Micromagnetic Models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Conbhuí, Pádraig Ó.; Williams, Wyn; Fabian, Karl; Nagy, Lesleis

    2016-04-01

    The magnetic anomalies that identify crustal spreading are predominantly recorded by basalts formed at the mid-ocean ridges, whose magnetic signals are dominated by iron-titanium-oxides (Fe3-xTixO4), so called "titanomagnetites", of which the Fe2.4Ti0.6O4 (TM60) phase is the most common. With sufficient quantities of titanium present, these minerals exhibit strong magnetostriction. To date, models of these grains in the pseudo-single domain (PSD) range have failed to accurately account for this effect. In particular, a popular analytic treatment provided by Kittel (1949) for describing the magnetostrictive energy as an effective increase of the anisotropy constant can produce unphysical strains for non-uniform magnetizations. I will present a rigorous approach based on work by Brown (1966) and by Kroner (1958) for including magnetostriction in micromagnetic codes which is suitable for modelling hysteresis loops and finding remanent states in the PSD regime. Preliminary results suggest the more rigorously defined micromagnetic models exhibit higher coercivities and extended single domain ranges when compared to more simplistic approaches.

  8. Criterion Referenced Test: Some Advantages and Disadvantages for Science Instruction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Esler, William K.; Dziuban, Charles D.

    1974-01-01

    Discusses the criterion referenced test and focuses on such questions as What is it? What are the advantages to be gained from a performance-based curriculum and criterion reference evaluation procedures? What are the disadvantages? The Science - A Process Approach program is identified as the most complete and tested example of the use of…

  9. Advantages and disadvantages of stiffness instructions when studying postural control.

    PubMed

    Bonnet, Cédrick T

    2016-05-01

    To understand the maintenance of upright stance, researchers try to discover the fundamental mechanisms and attentional resources devoted to postural control and eventually to the performance of other tasks (e.g., counting in the head). During their studies, some researchers require participants to stand as steady as possible and other simply ask participants to stand naturally. Surprisingly, a clear and direct explanation of the usefulness of the steadiness requirement seems to be lacking, both in experimental and methodological discussions. Hence, the objective of the present note was to provide advantages and disadvantages of this steadiness requirement in studies of postural control. The advantages may be to study fundamental postural control, to eliminate useless postural variability, to control spurious body motions and to control the participants' thoughts. As disadvantages, this steadiness requirement only leads to study postural control in unnatural upright stance, it changes the focus of attention (internal vs. external) and the nature of postural control (unconscious vs. conscious), it increases the difficulty of a supposedly easy control task and it eliminates or reduces the opportunity to record exploratory behaviors. When looking carefully at the four advantages of the steadiness requirement, one can believe that they are, in fact, more disadvantageous than advantageous. Overall therefore, this requirement seems illegitimate and it is proposed that researchers should not use it in the study of postural control. They may use this requirement only if they search to know the limit until which participants can consciously reduce their postural sway.

  10. 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…

  11. Analytical advantages of multivariate data processing. One, two, three, infinity?

    PubMed

    Olivieri, Alejandro C

    2008-08-01

    Multidimensional data are being abundantly produced by modern analytical instrumentation, calling for new and powerful data-processing techniques. Research in the last two decades has resulted in the development of a multitude of different processing algorithms, each equipped with its own sophisticated artillery. Analysts have slowly discovered that this body of knowledge can be appropriately classified, and that common aspects pervade all these seemingly different ways of analyzing data. As a result, going from univariate data (a single datum per sample, employed in the well-known classical univariate calibration) to multivariate data (data arrays per sample of increasingly complex structure and number of dimensions) is known to provide a gain in sensitivity and selectivity, combined with analytical advantages which cannot be overestimated. The first-order advantage, achieved using vector sample data, allows analysts to flag new samples which cannot be adequately modeled with the current calibration set. The second-order advantage, achieved with second- (or higher-) order sample data, allows one not only to mark new samples containing components which do not occur in the calibration phase but also to model their contribution to the overall signal, and most importantly, to accurately quantitate the calibrated analyte(s). No additional analytical advantages appear to be known for third-order data processing. Future research may permit, among other interesting issues, to assess if this "1, 2, 3, infinity" situation of multivariate calibration is really true. PMID:18613646

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. A microbial model of economic trading and comparative advantage.

    PubMed

    Enyeart, Peter J; Simpson, Zachary B; Ellington, Andrew D

    2015-01-01

    The economic theory of comparative advantage postulates that beneficial trading relationships can be arrived at by two self-interested entities producing the same goods as long as they have opposing relative efficiencies in producing those goods. The theory predicts that upon entering trade, in order to maximize consumption both entities will specialize in producing the good they can produce at higher efficiency, that the weaker entity will specialize more completely than the stronger entity, and that both will be able to consume more goods as a result of trade than either would be able to alone. We extend this theory to the realm of unicellular organisms by developing mathematical models of genetic circuits that allow trading of a common good (specifically, signaling molecules) required for growth in bacteria in order to demonstrate comparative advantage interactions. In Conception 1, the experimenter controls production rates via exogenous inducers, allowing exploration of the parameter space of specialization. In Conception 2, the circuits self-regulate via feedback mechanisms. Our models indicate that these genetic circuits can demonstrate comparative advantage, and that cooperation in such a manner is particularly favored under stringent external conditions and when the cost of production is not overly high. Further work could involve implementing the models in living bacteria and searching for naturally occurring cooperative relationships between bacteria that conform to the principles of comparative advantage.

  18. Multidimensional epistasis and the transitory advantage of sex.

    PubMed

    Nowak, Stefan; Neidhart, Johannes; Szendro, Ivan G; Krug, Joachim

    2014-09-01

    Identifying and quantifying the benefits of sex and recombination is a long-standing problem in evolutionary theory. In particular, contradictory claims have been made about the existence of a benefit of recombination on high dimensional fitness landscapes in the presence of sign epistasis. Here we present a comparative numerical study of sexual and asexual evolutionary dynamics of haploids on tunably rugged model landscapes under strong selection, paying special attention to the temporal development of the evolutionary advantage of recombination and the link between population diversity and the rate of adaptation. We show that the adaptive advantage of recombination on static rugged landscapes is strictly transitory. At early times, an advantage of recombination arises through the possibility to combine individually occurring beneficial mutations, but this effect is reversed at longer times by the much more efficient trapping of recombining populations at local fitness peaks. These findings are explained by means of well-established results for a setup with only two loci. In accordance with the Red Queen hypothesis the transitory advantage can be prolonged indefinitely in fluctuating environments, and it is maximal when the environment fluctuates on the same time scale on which trapping at local optima typically occurs.

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. The Take Advantage Now/Parent Education Project.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Walters, David

    1987-01-01

    The Take Advantage Now/Parent Education Project (TAN/PEP) is based on the knowledge that college students need their parents' help for academic success. The program was developed at Brooklyn College to offer education, support, and counseling for parents and guardians of entering freshmen who have been accepted in a program known as Search,…

  4. 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"…

  5. Financial advantages of operating a skilled nursing unit.

    PubMed

    Fogel, L A

    1994-07-01

    Hospitals may accrue specific financial advantages from the operations of a skilled nursing unit (SNU), such as the ability to allocate some fixed costs to a hospital-based unit that receives cost-based reimbursement from Medicare. The level of reimbursement SNUs receive from Medicare, however, can be optimized by obtaining an exemption or an exception to routine cost limits.

  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. 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.

  8. Tangential finger forces use mechanical advantage during static grasping.

    PubMed

    Slota, Gregory P; Latash, Mark L; Zatsiorsky, Vladimir M

    2012-02-01

    When grasping and manipulating objects, the central controller utilizes the mechanical advantage of the normal forces of the fingers for torque production. Whether the same is valid for tangential forces is unknown. The main purpose of this study was to determine the patterns of finger tangential forces and the use of mechanical advantage as a control mechanism when dealing with objects of nonuniform finger positioning. A complementary goal was to explore the interaction of mechanical advantage (moment arm) and the role a finger has as a torque agonist/antagonist with respect to external torques (±0.4 N m). Five 6-df force/torque transducers measured finger forces while subjects held a prism handle (6 cm width × 9 cm height) with and without a single finger displaced 2 cm (handle width). The effect of increasing the tangential moment arm was significant (p < .01) for increasing tangential forces (in >70% of trials) and hence creating greater moments. Thus, the data provides evidence that the grasping system as a rule utilizes mechanical advantage for generating tangential forces. The increase in tangential force was independent of whether the finger was acting as a torque agonist or antagonist, revealing their effects to be additive. PMID:22431218

  9. 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…

  10. Lineup Composition, Suspect Position, and the Sequential Lineup Advantage

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carlson, Curt A.; Gronlund, Scott D.; Clark, Steven E.

    2008-01-01

    N. M. Steblay, J. Dysart, S. Fulero, and R. C. L. Lindsay (2001) argued that sequential lineups reduce the likelihood of mistaken eyewitness identification. Experiment 1 replicated the design of R. C. L. Lindsay and G. L. Wells (1985), the first study to show the sequential lineup advantage. However, the innocent suspect was chosen at a lower rate…

  11. Advantages of In-house Audio Visual Production

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burrell, Ralph

    1978-01-01

    Although the primary advantage of having an in-plant audiovisual production unit is having creative and technical personnel on hand when you most need them, experience shows that such a unit can also provide real benefits to the company both in terms of higher quality and lower costs. (VT)

  12. Advantages and Limitations of the RICH Technique for Particle Identification

    SciTech Connect

    Ratcliff, Blair N.; /SLAC

    2011-11-07

    The ring imaging Cherenkov (RICH) technique for hadronic particle identification (PID) is described. The advantages and limitations of RICH PID counters are compared with those of other classic PID techniques, such as threshold Cherenkov counters, ionization loss (dE/dx) in tracking devices, and time of flight (TOF) detectors.

  13. A Working Memory, Not Bilingual Advantage, in Controlled Attention

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Namazi, Mahchid; Thordardottir, Elin

    2010-01-01

    We explored the relationship between working memory (WM) and visually controlled attention (CA) in young bilingual and monolingual children. Previous research has shown that balanced bilingual children outperform monolinguals in CA. However, it is unclear whether this advantage is truly associated with bilingualism or whether potential WM and/or…

  14. 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.…

  15. Tangential finger forces use mechanical advantage during static grasping.

    PubMed

    Slota, Gregory P; Latash, Mark L; Zatsiorsky, Vladimir M

    2012-02-01

    When grasping and manipulating objects, the central controller utilizes the mechanical advantage of the normal forces of the fingers for torque production. Whether the same is valid for tangential forces is unknown. The main purpose of this study was to determine the patterns of finger tangential forces and the use of mechanical advantage as a control mechanism when dealing with objects of nonuniform finger positioning. A complementary goal was to explore the interaction of mechanical advantage (moment arm) and the role a finger has as a torque agonist/antagonist with respect to external torques (±0.4 N m). Five 6-df force/torque transducers measured finger forces while subjects held a prism handle (6 cm width × 9 cm height) with and without a single finger displaced 2 cm (handle width). The effect of increasing the tangential moment arm was significant (p < .01) for increasing tangential forces (in >70% of trials) and hence creating greater moments. Thus, the data provides evidence that the grasping system as a rule utilizes mechanical advantage for generating tangential forces. The increase in tangential force was independent of whether the finger was acting as a torque agonist or antagonist, revealing their effects to be additive.

  16. 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...

  17. Taking advantage of acoustic inhomogeneities in photoacoustic measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Da Silva, Anabela; Handschin, Charles; Riedinger, Christophe; Piasecki, Julien; Mensah, Serge; Litman, Amélie; Akhouayri, Hassan

    2016-03-01

    Photoacoustic offers promising perspectives in probing and imaging subsurface optically absorbing structures in biological tissues. The optical uence absorbed is partly dissipated into heat accompanied with microdilatations that generate acoustic pressure waves, the intensity which is related to the amount of fluuence absorbed. Hence the photoacoustic signal measured offers access, at least potentially, to a local monitoring of the absorption coefficient, in 3D if tomographic measurements are considered. However, due to both the diffusing and absorbing nature of the surrounding tissues, the major part of the uence is deposited locally at the periphery of the tissue, generating an intense acoustic pressure wave that may hide relevant photoacoustic signals. Experimental strategies have been developed in order to measure exclusively the photoacoustic waves generated by the structure of interest (orthogonal illumination and detection). Temporal or more sophisticated filters (wavelets) can also be applied. However, the measurement of this primary acoustic wave carries a lot of information about the acoustically inhomogeneous nature of the medium. We propose a protocol that includes the processing of this primary intense acoustic wave, leading to the quantification of the surrounding medium sound speed, and, if appropriate to an acoustical parametric image of the heterogeneities. This information is then included as prior knowledge in the photoacoustic reconstruction scheme to improve the localization and quantification.

  18. Does being female provide a neuroprotective advantage following spinal cord injury?

    PubMed Central

    Datto, Jeffrey P.; Yang, Jackie; Dietrich, W. Dalton; Pearse, Damien D.

    2015-01-01

    It has been controversial whether gender has any effect on recovery following spinal cord injury (SCI). Past experimental and clinical research aimed at addressing this subject has led to constrasting findings on whether females hold any advantage in locomotor recovery. Additionally, for studies supporting the notion of a female gender related advantage, a definite cause has not been explained. In a recent study, using large sample sizes for comparative male and female spinal cord injury cohorts, we reported that a significant gender advantage favoring females existed in both tissue preservation and functional recovery after taking into consideration discrepancies in age and weight of the animals across sexes. Prior animal research frequently used sample sizes that were too small to determine significance with certainty and also did not account for two other factors that influence locomotor performance: age and weight. Our finding is important in light of controversy surrounding the effect of gender on outcome and the fact that SCI affects more than ten thousand new individuals annually, a population that is disproportionately male. By deepening our understanding of why a gender advantage exists, potential new therapeutics can be designed to improve recovery for the male population following the initial trauma or putatively augment the neuroprotective privilege in females for enhanced outcomes. PMID:26692831

  19. Does being female provide a neuroprotective advantage following spinal cord injury?

    PubMed

    Datto, Jeffrey P; Yang, Jackie; Dietrich, W Dalton; Pearse, Damien D

    2015-10-01

    It has been controversial whether gender has any effect on recovery following spinal cord injury (SCI). Past experimental and clinical research aimed at addressing this subject has led to constrasting findings on whether females hold any advantage in locomotor recovery. Additionally, for studies supporting the notion of a female gender related advantage, a definite cause has not been explained. In a recent study, using large sample sizes for comparative male and female spinal cord injury cohorts, we reported that a significant gender advantage favoring females existed in both tissue preservation and functional recovery after taking into consideration discrepancies in age and weight of the animals across sexes. Prior animal research frequently used sample sizes that were too small to determine significance with certainty and also did not account for two other factors that influence locomotor performance: age and weight. Our finding is important in light of controversy surrounding the effect of gender on outcome and the fact that SCI affects more than ten thousand new individuals annually, a population that is disproportionately male. By deepening our understanding of why a gender advantage exists, potential new therapeutics can be designed to improve recovery for the male population following the initial trauma or putatively augment the neuroprotective privilege in females for enhanced outcomes.

  20. Does being female provide a neuroprotective advantage following spinal cord injury?

    PubMed

    Datto, Jeffrey P; Yang, Jackie; Dietrich, W Dalton; Pearse, Damien D

    2015-10-01

    It has been controversial whether gender has any effect on recovery following spinal cord injury (SCI). Past experimental and clinical research aimed at addressing this subject has led to constrasting findings on whether females hold any advantage in locomotor recovery. Additionally, for studies supporting the notion of a female gender related advantage, a definite cause has not been explained. In a recent study, using large sample sizes for comparative male and female spinal cord injury cohorts, we reported that a significant gender advantage favoring females existed in both tissue preservation and functional recovery after taking into consideration discrepancies in age and weight of the animals across sexes. Prior animal research frequently used sample sizes that were too small to determine significance with certainty and also did not account for two other factors that influence locomotor performance: age and weight. Our finding is important in light of controversy surrounding the effect of gender on outcome and the fact that SCI affects more than ten thousand new individuals annually, a population that is disproportionately male. By deepening our understanding of why a gender advantage exists, potential new therapeutics can be designed to improve recovery for the male population following the initial trauma or putatively augment the neuroprotective privilege in females for enhanced outcomes. PMID:26692831

  1. 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. PMID:22827234

  2. Development of the deontic advantage in reasoning: reply to Cummins.

    PubMed

    Astington, Janet Wilde; Dack, Lisa Ain

    2013-11-01

    In response to Cummins's report that comments on our article (Dack & Astington, Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 2011, Vol. 110, pp. 94-114), this article clarifies our perspective on what constitutes the deontic advantage, and notes similarities and differences between Cummins's perspective and our own. Like Cummins, we believe that young children are capable of deontic reasoning and that methodological factors alone cannot explain this ability. However, we maintain that it is important to be precise about methodology in order to facilitate investigation of how the deontic advantage changes over developmental time, and this question is our main interest, although as yet incompletely answered. Contrary to Cummins, we do not think that existing data can speak to the issue of the potential innateness of deontic reasoning. We also disagree with Cummins's perspective on norm versus normative proposition and with some of her comparisons between deontic and epistemic phenomena.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Overlapping and distinct representations of advantageous and disadvantageous inequality.

    PubMed

    Yu, Rongjun; Calder, Andrew J; Mobbs, Dean

    2014-07-01

    Advantageous inequality (AI) aversion, or paying at a personal cost to achieve equal reward distribution, represents a unique feature of human behavior. Here, we show that individuals have strong preferences for fairness in both disadvantageous (DI) and advantageous inequality (AI) situations, such that they alter others' payoff at a personal financial cost. At the neural level, we found that both types of inequality activated the putamen, orbitofrontal cortex, and insula, regions implicated in motivation. Individual difference analyses found that those who spent more money to increase others' payoff had stronger activity in putamen when they encountered AI and less functional connectivity between putamen and both orbitofrontal cortex and anterior insula. Conversely, those who spent more money to reduce others' payoff had stronger activity in amygdala in response to DI and less functional connectivity between amygdala and ventral anterior cingulate cortex. These dissociations suggest that both types of inequality are processed by similar brain areas, yet modulated by different neural pathways. PMID:25050425

  8. 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. PMID:24386109

  9. A bilingual advantage in visual language discrimination in infancy.

    PubMed

    Sebastián-Gallés, Núria; Albareda-Castellot, Bàrbara; Weikum, Whitney M; Werker, Janet F

    2012-09-01

    The origins of the bilingual advantage in various cognitive tasks are largely unknown. We tested the hypothesis that bilinguals' early capacities to track their native languages separately and learn about the properties of each may be at the origin of such differences. Spanish-Catalan bilingual and Spanish or Catalan monolingual infants watched silent video recordings of French-English bilingual speakers and were tested on their ability to discern when the language changed from French to English or vice versa. The infants' performance was compared with that of previously tested French-English bilingual and English monolingual infants. Although all groups of monolingual infants failed to detect the change between English and French, both groups of bilingual infants succeeded. These findings reveal that bilingual experience can modulate the attentional system even without explicit training or feedback. They provide a basis for explaining the ontogeny of the general cognitive advantages of bilinguals.

  10. The binocular advantage in visuomotor tasks involving tools.

    PubMed

    Read, Jenny C A; Begum, Shah Farzana; McDonald, Alice; Trowbridge, Jack

    2013-01-01

    We compared performance on three manual-dexterity tasks under monocular and binocular viewing. The tasks were the standard Morrisby Fine Dexterity Test, using forceps to manipulate the items, a modified version of the Morrisby test using fingers, and a "buzz-wire" task in which subjects had to guide a wire hoop around a 3D track without bringing the hoop into contact with the track. In all three tasks, performance was better for binocular viewing. The extent of the binocular advantage in individuals did not correlate significantly with their stereoacuity measured on the Randot test. However, the extent of the binocular advantage depended strongly on the task. It was weak when fingers were used on the Morrisby task, stronger with forceps, and extremely strong on the buzz-wire task (fivefold increase in error rate with monocular viewing). We suggest that the 3D buzz-wire game is particularly suitable for assessing binocularly based dexterity.

  11. Developing a competitive advantage in the market for radiology services.

    PubMed

    Kropf, R; Szafran, A J

    1988-01-01

    This article describes how managers of outpatient diagnostic radiology services can develop a competitive advantage by increasing the value of services to patients and referring physicians. A method is presented to identify changes to services that increase their value. The method requires the definition of the "value chains" of patients and referring physicians. Particular attention is paid to the use of information systems technology to suggest and implement service changes. A narrow range of health services was selected because the approach requires a detailed understanding of consumers and how they use services. The approach should, however, be examined carefully by managers seeking to develop a competitive advantage for a wide range of health services.

  12. [On the concept of health in traditional Chinese medicine and its characteristics and advantages].

    PubMed

    Wang, Jie; Tang, Yan-li

    2010-01-01

    There are abundant systematic concepts of health and the wisdom of life-cultivation in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), not only including the connotation of modern health, but also with many of its own characteristics. The health concept of TCM includes the holistic view of unison between man and universe, the harmonious unity of fusion of shape and soul, the people-oriented view of values and the balance of qi-blood-yin-yang in the human body. The characteristics and advantages of TCM for maintaining health consist of prevention, emotion regulation, to pay great attention to Upright Qi and obeying nature. To take full advantage of the health concept and regulation methods of TCM, to further study and spread it will promote and make great contributions to human health.

  13. Is there a dynamic advantage for facial expressions?

    PubMed

    Fiorentini, Chiara; Viviani, Paolo

    2011-03-22

    Some evidence suggests that it is easier to identify facial expressions (FEs) shown as dynamic displays than as photographs (dynamic advantage hypothesis). Previously, this has been tested by using dynamic FEs simulated either by morphing a neutral face into an emotional one or by computer animations. For the first time, we tested the dynamic advantage hypothesis by using high-speed recordings of actors' FEs. In the dynamic condition, stimuli were graded blends of two recordings (duration: 4.18 s), each describing the unfolding of an expression from neutral to apex. In the static condition, stimuli (duration: 3 s) were blends of just the apex of the same recordings. Stimuli for both conditions were generated by linearly morphing one expression into the other. Performance was estimated by a forced-choice task asking participants to identify which prototype the morphed stimulus was more similar to. Identification accuracy was not different between conditions. Response times (RTs) measured from stimulus onset were shorter for static than for dynamic stimuli. Yet, most responses to dynamic stimuli were given before expressions reached their apex. Thus, with a threshold model, we tested whether discriminative information is integrated more effectively in dynamic than in static conditions. We did not find any systematic difference. In short, neither identification accuracy nor RTs supported the dynamic advantage hypothesis.

  14. Dow Corning photonics: the silicon advantage in automotive photonics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clapp, Terry V.; Paquet, Rene; Norris, Ann; Pettersen, Babette

    2005-02-01

    The Automotive Market offers several opportunities for Dow Corning to leverage the power of silicon-based materials. Dow Corning Photonics Solutions has a number of developments that may be attractive for the emergent photonics needs in automobiles, building on 40 years of experience as a leading Automotive supplier with a strong foundation of expertise and an extensive product offering- from encapsulents and highly reliable resins, adhesives, insulating materials and other products, ensuring that the advantage of silicones are already well-embedded in Automotive systems, modules and components. The recent development of LED encapsulants of exceptional clarity and stability has extended the potential for Dow Corning"s strength in Photonics to be deployed "in-car". Demonstration of board-level and back-plane solutions utilising siloxane waveguide technology offers new opportunities for systems designers to integrate optical components at low cost on diverse substrates. Coupled with work on simple waveguide technology for sensors and data communications applications this suite of materials and technology offerings is very potent in this sector. The harsh environment under hood and the very extreme thermal range that materials must sustain in vehicles due to both their engine and the climate is an applications specification that defines the siloxane advantage. For these passive optics applications the siloxanes very high clarity at the data-communications wavelengths coupled with extraordinary stability offers significant design advantage. The future development of Head-Up-Displays for instrumentation and data display will offer yet more opportunities to the siloxanes in Automotive Photonics.

  15. Technology Survey Assistance Tool Focusing on Their Advantages

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nishiyama, Risa; Takeuchi, Hironori; Watanabe, Hideo; Nasukawa, Tetsuya

    It is important for R&D managers, consultants, and other people seeking broad knowledge in technology fields to survey technical literature such as research papers, white papers, and technology news articles. One of the important kinds of information for those people regards the effectiveness of new technologies in their own businesses. General search engines are good at selecting documents revealing the details of a specific technology or a technology field, but it is hard to obtain useful information about how a technology will apply to individual business cases from such search results. There is a need for a technology survey assistance tool that helps users find technologies with suitable capabilities. In this paper, two technical tasks were tackled to develop the prototype of this assistance tool: Extraction of advantage phrases and scoring for the advantage phrases to find novel applications in the target technology field. We describe a new method to identify advantage phrases in technical documents and our scoring function that gives higher scores to novel applications of the technology. The results of evaluations showed our phrase identification method with only a few phrasal patterns performs almost as well as human annotators, and the proposed scoring conforms better to the decisions made by professionals than random sort.

  16. 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.

  17. Polysemy Advantage with Abstract But Not Concrete Words.

    PubMed

    Jager, Bernadet; Cleland, Alexandra A

    2016-02-01

    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 (homonymy). We report two lexical decision studies that investigated the effects of polysemy with new word sets. In both studies, polysemy was factorially manipulated while homonymy was controlled for. In Experiment 1, where the stimulus set consisted solely of concrete nouns, there was no effect of polysemy. However, in Experiment 2, where the stimulus set consisted of a mix of abstract nouns, verbs, and adjectives, there was a significant polysemy advantage. Together, these two studies strongly suggest that polysemy affects abstract but not concrete nouns. In addition, they rule out several alternative explanations for these polysemy effects, e.g., sense dominance, age-of-acquisition, familiarity, and semantic diversity.

  18. 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.

  19. Home advantage and the debate about competitive balance in professional sports leagues.

    PubMed

    Forrest, David; Beaumont, James; Goddard, John; Simmons, Robert

    2005-04-01

    A recurrent theme in sports economics is the extent to which overall league attendances will be raised by measures, such as revenue sharing, which aim to improve competitive balance. This debate has ignored the phenomenon of home advantage, which may, however, be important to the extent that, if all teams had equal talent, all matches may then be weighted heavily in favour of the home team. We present an analysis of the relationship between attendance and match-level uncertainty in the English Football League. A simulation from our model indicates that equality of playing talent would in fact lower aggregate attendance. This result is explained by the loss of prospectively the most uncertain games, where weak teams have home advantage over strong teams.

  20. 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.

  1. [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

  2. Re-assessment of home advantage in Spanish handball: comment on Gutierrez, et al. (2012).

    PubMed

    Pollard, Richard; Gómez, Miguel A

    2012-12-01

    Because of problems with a previously published study, a re-analysis of data relating to home advantage in handball in Spain was made. The overall home advantage for 10,536 games played over 11 seasons (1997-98 to 2007-08) at the top two levels of play for both men and women was 60.4%. It was significantly higher for men (61.6%) than for women (59.2%). Contrary to a conclusion in the previous paper, it was also significantly higher for play at Level 2 (61.3%) than at Level 1 (59.4%), representing the top two divisions of play for each sex. A three-way factorial analysis of variance (ANOVA) indicated that there was no difference between seasons, nor an interaction between seasons and gender as claimed previously. For individual teams, there was a clear negative correlation between home advantage and ability, as quantified by the overall performance of each team each season. This reversed the previous conclusion of a positive correlation. Because the previous study incorrectly claimed no prior research had been done on home advantage either in handball or between sexes, a review of the literature relating to these topics is included.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Community-based distributive medical education: Advantaging society

    PubMed Central

    Farnsworth, Tracy J.; Frantz, Alan C.; McCune, Ronald W.

    2012-01-01

    This paper presents a narrative summary of an increasingly important trend in medical education by addressing the merits of community-based distributive medical education (CBDME). This is a relatively new and compelling model for teaching and training physicians in a manner that may better meet societal needs and expectations. Issues and trends regarding the growing shortage and imbalanced distribution of physicians in the USA are addressed, including the role of international medical graduates. A historical overview of costs and funding sources for medical education is presented, as well as initiatives to increase the training and placement of physicians cost-effectively through new and expanded medical schools, two- and four-year regional or branch campuses and CBDME. Our research confirms that although medical schools have responded to Association of American Medical Colleges calls for higher student enrollment and societal concerns about the distribution and placement of physicians, significant opportunities for improvement remain. Finally, the authors recommend further research be conducted to guide policy on incentives for physicians to locate in underserved communities, and determine the cost-effectiveness of the CBDME model in both the near and long terms. PMID:22355240

  6. 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

  7. Utilization of Minor Actinides as a Fuel Component for Ultra-Long Life Bhr Configurations: Designs, Advantages and Limitations

    SciTech Connect

    Dr. Pavel V. Tsvetkov

    2009-05-20

    This project assessed the advantages and limitations of using minor actinides as a fuel component to achieve ultra-long life Very High Temperature Reactor (VHTR) configurations. Researchers considered and compared the capabilities of pebble-bed and prismatic core designs with advanced actinide fuels to achieve ultra-long operation without refueling. Since both core designs permit flexibility in component configuration, fuel utilization, and fuel management, it is possible to improve fissile properties of minor actinides by neutron spectrum shifting through configuration adjustments. The project studied advanced actinide fuels, which could reduce the long-term radio-toxicity and heat load of high-level waste sent to a geologic repository and enable recovery of the energy contained in spent fuel. The ultra-long core life autonomous approach may reduce the technical need for additional repositories and is capable to improve marketability of the Generation IV VHTR by allowing worldwide deployment, including remote regions and regions with limited industrial resources. Utilization of minor actinides in nuclear reactors facilitates developments of new fuel cycles towards sustainable nuclear energy scenarios.

  8. Potential Therapeutic Advantages of Doxorubicin when Activated by Formaldehyde to Function as a DNA Adduct-Forming Agent.

    PubMed

    Cutts, Suzanne M; Rephaeli, Ada; Nudelman, Abraham; Ugarenko, Michal; Phillips, Don R

    2015-01-01

    Doxorubicin has been in use as a key anticancer drug for forty years, either as a single agent or in combination chemotherapy. It functions primarily by interfering with topoisomerase II activity but in the presence of formaldehyde, it forms adducts with DNA, mainly with the exocyclic amine of guanine at GpC sites and these adducts are more cytotoxic than topoisomerase II induced damage. High levels of adducts form spontaneously from the endogenous level of formaldehyde in tumour cells (1,300 adducts per cell after a 4 hr treatment with doxorubicin), but substantially higher levels form with the addition of exogenous sources of formaldehyde, such as formaldehyde releasing prodrugs. The enhanced cytotoxicity of adducts has been confirmed in mouse models, with adduct-forming conditions resulting in much improved inhibition of tumour growth, as well as cardioprotection. Doxorubicin cardiotoxicity has been attributed to topoisomerase II poisoning, and the cardioprotection is consistent with a mechanism switch from topoisomerase II poisoning to covalent adduct formation. Although the adducts have a half-life of less than one day, a population remains as essentially permanent lesions. The capacity of doxorubicin to form adducts offers a range of potential advantages over the conventional use of doxorubicin (as a topoisomerase II poison), including: enhanced cell kill; tumour-selective activation, hence tumour-selective cell kill; decreased cardiotoxicity; decreased resistance to prolonged doxorubicin treatment. There is therefore enormous potential to improve clinical responses to doxorubicin by using conditions which favour the formation of doxorubicin-DNA adducts.

  9. Advantages of p++ polysilicon etch stop layer versus p++ silicon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Charavel, Remy; Laconte, Jean; Raskin, Jean Pierre

    2003-04-01

    Boron highly doped silicon is now widely used as etch stop layer in MicroElectroMechanical Systems (MEMS) devices fabrication. The present paper shows the advantages of replacing the p++ Si etch stop layer by a p++ polysilicon layer. The etch rate of Tetramethylammoniunhydroxide (TMAH) is measured for LPCVD polysilicon and silicon doped with Boron at concentrations from 8.1018 up to 4.1020 atoms/cm3 which is the Boron solubility limit into Si. TMAH etch being often used during back-end process, selectivity to aluminium is usually needed. The etch selectivity of various TMAH solutions for p++ Si, p++ Poly and aluminium have been measured, from 25 % to 5 % TMAH pure and mixed with silicon powder and ammonium persulfate. Contrarily to silicon, polysilicon is etched isotropically in TMAH solution which constitutes a great advantage when cavities with vertical walls have to be opened. Although the polysilicon etch rate is higher than the silicon one, the selectivity (doped/undoped) is the same for the both materials, allowing identical uses. Another great advantage of polysilicon is that it can be deposited at any process step and does not require clever epitaxy steps or wafer bonding as for silicon. The surface roughness of the etched Poly region is considerably decreased with TMAH mixed with silicon powder and ammonium persulfate mixture compared to pure 25 % TMAH solution. The definition of buried masks in polysilicon layer through Boron implant is the main foreseen application. The p++ Poly buried mask brings solutions for the fabrication of self-aligned double gate MOS, microfluidic or optical networks in MEMS field.

  10. The Mechanisms Underlying the ASD Advantage in Visual Search.

    PubMed

    Kaldy, Zsuzsa; Giserman, Ivy; Carter, Alice S; Blaser, Erik

    2016-05-01

    A number of studies have demonstrated that individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are faster or more successful than typically developing control participants at various visual-attentional tasks (for reviews, see Dakin and Frith in Neuron 48:497-507, 2005; Simmons et al. in Vis Res 49:2705-2739, 2009). This "ASD advantage" was first identified in the domain of visual search by Plaisted et al. (J Child Psychol Psychiatry 39:777-783, 1998). Here we survey the findings of visual search studies from the past 15 years that contrasted the performance of individuals with and without ASD. Although there are some minor caveats, the overall consensus is that-across development and a broad range of symptom severity-individuals with ASD reliably outperform controls on visual search. The etiology of the ASD advantage has not been formally specified, but has been commonly attributed to 'enhanced perceptual discrimination', a superior ability to visually discriminate between targets and distractors in such tasks (e.g. O'Riordan in Cognition 77:81-96, 2000). As well, there is considerable evidence for impairments of the attentional network in ASD (for a review, see Keehn et al. in J Child Psychol Psychiatry 37:164-183, 2013). We discuss some recent results from our laboratory that support an attentional, rather than perceptual explanation for the ASD advantage in visual search. We speculate that this new conceptualization may offer a better understanding of some of the behavioral symptoms associated with ASD, such as over-focusing and restricted interests.

  11. Does living donation have advantages over deceased donation in liver transplantation?

    PubMed

    Kaido, Toshimi; Uemoto, Shinji

    2010-10-01

    Liver transplantation (LT) is the best treatment option for patients with end-stage liver disease. Living donor LT (LDLT) has developed as an alternative to deceased donor LT (DDLT) in order to overcome the critical shortage of deceased organ donations, particularly in Asia. LDLT offers several advantages over DDLT. The major advantage of LDLT is the reduction in waiting time mortality. Especially among patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), LDLT can shorten the waiting time and lower the dropout rate. The Hong Kong group reported that median waiting time was significantly shorter for LDLT than for DDLT. Intention-to-treat survival rates of HCC patients with voluntary live donors were significantly higher than those of patients without voluntary live donors. In contrast, a multicenter adult-to-adult LDLT retrospective cohort study reported that LDLT recipients displayed a significantly higher rate of HCC recurrence than DDLT recipients, although LDLT recipients had shorter waiting times than DDLT recipients. The advantage of LDLT involves the more liberal criteria for HCC compared with those for DDLT. Various preoperative interventions including nutritional treatment can also be planned for both the donor and recipient in LDLT. Conversely, LDLT has marked unfavorable characteristics in terms of donor risks. Donor morbidity is not infrequent and the donor mortality rate is estimated at around 0.1-0.3%. In conclusion, living donation is not necessarily advantageous over deceased donation in LT. Taking the advantages and disadvantages of each option into consideration, LDLT and DDLT should both be used to facilitate effective LT for patients requiring transplant. PMID:20880167

  12. Biocatalysis in ionic liquids - advantages beyond green technology.

    PubMed

    Park, Seongsoon; Kazlauskas, Romas J

    2003-08-01

    In recent years researchers have started to explore a particular class of organic solvents called room temperature ionic liquids - or simply ionic liquids - to identify their unique advantages for biocatalysis. Because they lack vapour pressure, ionic liquids hold potential as green solvents. Furthermore, unlike organic solvents of comparable polarity, they often do not inactivate enzymes, which simplifies reactions involving polar substrates such as sugars. Biocatalytic reactions in ionic liquids have also shown higher selectivity, faster rates and greater enzyme stability; however, these solvents present other challenges, among them difficulties in purifying ionic liquids and controlling water activity and pH, higher viscosity and problems with product isolation. PMID:12943854

  13. Biocatalysis in ionic liquids - advantages beyond green technology.

    PubMed

    Park, Seongsoon; Kazlauskas, Romas J

    2003-08-01

    In recent years researchers have started to explore a particular class of organic solvents called room temperature ionic liquids - or simply ionic liquids - to identify their unique advantages for biocatalysis. Because they lack vapour pressure, ionic liquids hold potential as green solvents. Furthermore, unlike organic solvents of comparable polarity, they often do not inactivate enzymes, which simplifies reactions involving polar substrates such as sugars. Biocatalytic reactions in ionic liquids have also shown higher selectivity, faster rates and greater enzyme stability; however, these solvents present other challenges, among them difficulties in purifying ionic liquids and controlling water activity and pH, higher viscosity and problems with product isolation.

  14. Improving Photosynthesis

    PubMed Central

    Evans, John R.

    2013-01-01

    Photosynthesis is the basis of plant growth, and improving photosynthesis can contribute toward greater food security in the coming decades as world population increases. Multiple targets have been identified that could be manipulated to increase crop photosynthesis. The most important target is Rubisco because it catalyses both carboxylation and oxygenation reactions and the majority of responses of photosynthesis to light, CO2, and temperature are reflected in its kinetic properties. Oxygenase activity can be reduced either by concentrating CO2 around Rubisco or by modifying the kinetic properties of Rubisco. The C4 photosynthetic pathway is a CO2-concentrating mechanism that generally enables C4 plants to achieve greater efficiency in their use of light, nitrogen, and water than C3 plants. To capitalize on these advantages, attempts have been made to engineer the C4 pathway into C3 rice (Oryza sativa). A simpler approach is to transfer bicarbonate transporters from cyanobacteria into chloroplasts and prevent CO2 leakage. Recent technological breakthroughs now allow higher plant Rubisco to be engineered and assembled successfully in planta. Novel amino acid sequences can be introduced that have been impossible to reach via normal evolution, potentially enlarging the range of kinetic properties and breaking free from the constraints associated with covariation that have been observed between certain kinetic parameters. Capturing the promise of improved photosynthesis in greater yield potential will require continued efforts to improve carbon allocation within the plant as well as to maintain grain quality and resistance to disease and lodging. PMID:23812345

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Neural Correlates of Advantageous and Disadvantageous Inequity in Sharing Decisions

    PubMed Central

    Crone, Eveline A.

    2014-01-01

    Humans have a strong preference for fair distributions of resources. Neuroimaging studies have shown that being treated unfairly coincides with activation in brain regions involved in signaling conflict and negative affect. Less is known about neural responses involved in violating a fairness norm ourselves. Here, we investigated the neural patterns associated with inequity, where participants were asked to choose between an equal split of money and an unequal split that could either maximize their own (advantageous inequity) or another person’s (disadvantageous inequity) earnings. Choosing to divide money unequally, irrespective who benefited from the unequal distribution, was associated with activity in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, anterior insula and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Inequity choices that maximized another person’s profits were further associated with activity in the ventral striatum and ventromedial prefrontal cortex. Taken together, our findings show evidence of a common neural pattern associated with both advantageous and disadvantageous inequity in sharing decisions and additional recruitment of neural circuitry previously linked to the computation of subjective value and reward when violating a fairness norm at the benefit of someone else. PMID:25238541

  18. Recognition advantage of happy faces: tracing the neurocognitive processes.

    PubMed

    Calvo, Manuel G; Beltrán, David

    2013-09-01

    The present study aimed to identify the brain processes-and their time course-underlying the typical behavioral recognition advantage of happy facial expressions. To this end, we recorded EEG activity during an expression categorization task for happy, angry, fearful, sad, and neutral faces, and the correlation between event-related-potential (ERP) patterns and recognition performance was assessed. N170 (150-180 ms) was enhanced for angry, fearful and sad faces; N2 was reduced and early posterior negativity (EPN; both, 200-320 ms) was enhanced for happy and angry faces; P3b (350-450 ms) was reduced for happy and neutral faces; and slow positive wave (SPW; 700-800 ms) was reduced for happy faces. This reveals (a) an early processing (N170) of negative affective valence (i.e., angry, fearful, and sad), (b) discrimination (N2 and EPN) of affective intensity or arousal (i.e., angry and happy), and (c) facilitated categorization (P3b) and decision (SPW) due to expressive distinctiveness (i.e., happy). In addition, N2, EPN, P3b, and SPW were related to categorization accuracy and speed. This suggests that conscious expression recognition and the typical happy face advantage depend on encoding of expressive intensity and, especially, on later response selection, rather than on the early processing of affective valence.

  19. Neural correlates of advantageous and disadvantageous inequity in sharing decisions.

    PubMed

    Güroğlu, Berna; Will, Geert-Jan; Crone, Eveline A

    2014-01-01

    Humans have a strong preference for fair distributions of resources. Neuroimaging studies have shown that being treated unfairly coincides with activation in brain regions involved in signaling conflict and negative affect. Less is known about neural responses involved in violating a fairness norm ourselves. Here, we investigated the neural patterns associated with inequity, where participants were asked to choose between an equal split of money and an unequal split that could either maximize their own (advantageous inequity) or another person's (disadvantageous inequity) earnings. Choosing to divide money unequally, irrespective who benefited from the unequal distribution, was associated with activity in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, anterior insula and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Inequity choices that maximized another person's profits were further associated with activity in the ventral striatum and ventromedial prefrontal cortex. Taken together, our findings show evidence of a common neural pattern associated with both advantageous and disadvantageous inequity in sharing decisions and additional recruitment of neural circuitry previously linked to the computation of subjective value and reward when violating a fairness norm at the benefit of someone else. PMID:25238541

  20. 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.

  1. Heterozygote advantage as a natural consequence of adaptation in diploids

    PubMed Central

    Sellis, Diamantis; Callahan, Benjamin J.; Petrov, Dmitri A.; Messer, Philipp W.

    2011-01-01

    Molecular adaptation is typically assumed to proceed by sequential fixation of beneficial mutations. In diploids, this picture presupposes that for most adaptive mutations, the homozygotes have a higher fitness than the heterozygotes. Here, we show that contrary to this expectation, a substantial proportion of adaptive mutations should display heterozygote advantage. This feature of adaptation in diploids emerges naturally from the primary importance of the fitness of heterozygotes for the invasion of new adaptive mutations. We formalize this result in the framework of Fisher's influential geometric model of adaptation. We find that in diploids, adaptation should often proceed through a succession of short-lived balanced states that maintain substantially higher levels of phenotypic and fitness variation in the population compared with classic adaptive walks. In fast-changing environments, this variation produces a diversity advantage that allows diploids to remain better adapted compared with haploids despite the disadvantage associated with the presence of unfit homozygotes. The short-lived balanced states arising during adaptive walks should be mostly invisible to current scans for long-term balancing selection. Instead, they should leave signatures of incomplete selective sweeps, which do appear to be common in many species. Our results also raise the possibility that balancing selection, as a natural consequence of frequent adaptation, might play a more prominent role among the forces maintaining genetic variation than is commonly recognized. PMID:22143780

  2. 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

  3. Successful Schools: How School-Level Factors Influence Success with Urban Advantage. Working Paper #01-14

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weinstein, Meryle; Whitesell, Emilyn Ruble; Leardo, Michele

    2014-01-01

    Informal science education institutions have been identified as critical participants in helping students succeed in science by working in collaboration with school systems across the country. The results of one such collaboration, the Urban Advantage (UA) program found that participation in UA improved student achievement, on average, by 0.6…

  4. Paediatric radiology seen from Africa. Part II: recognising research advantages in a developing country.

    PubMed

    Andronikou, Savvas; Mngomezulu, Victor

    2011-07-01

    Radiologists in developing countries cite numerous reasons for poor research output including heavier workloads, poor remuneration (resulting in "brain drain"), poor infrastructure, language barriers, lack of modern imaging equipment, and a disease spectrum that may be of little interest to journals and readers in the developed world. On the other hand, large populations of patients suffering from distinctive diseases, cost-effective healthcare systems, and a set-up with highly centralised tertiary referral hospitals, may be seen as advantages to those willing to tap into this as a data source for research. The lack of resources may even stimulate cost-effective innovations relevant to the needs of poor communities. This paper challenges preconceived ideas and identifies advantages for radiologists in developing countries to producing good research and publications. It also cautions against "annexation of sites" by stakeholders from developed countries, and suggests simple solutions to maximise research output without a significant financial cost.

  5. Bone-targeting radiopharmaceuticals including radium-223.

    PubMed

    Brady, Darren; Parker, Chris C; O'Sullivan, Joe M

    2013-01-01

    Bone-seeking radionuclides including samarium-153 ethylene diamine tetramethylene phosphonate and strontium-89 have been used for decades in the palliation of pain from bone metastases especially from prostate cancer. Emerging evidence of improved survival in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) with the first-in-class α-radionuclide, radium-223 (Ra) has rekindled interest in the role of bone-seeking radionuclide therapy.We review the literature for randomized controlled trials of bone-seeking radionuclides and explore some of the issues regarding the optimal use of these agents. In particular, we discuss dose, dose rate, radiobiology, and quality of radiation and postulate on potential future directions in particular combination schedules. β-Emitting, bone-seeking radionuclides have proven ability to control pain in prostate cancer metastatic to bone with pain response rates in the order of 60% to 70% when used as single agents. Most of the published trials were underpowered to detect differences in survival; however, there is evidence of the potential for disease modification when these agents are used in combination with chemotherapy or in multiple cycles.Data from the recent phase III ALSYMPCA trial that compared Ra to placebo in symptomatic CRPC demonstrate a significant improvement in median overall survival of 3.6 months for patients with symptomatic CRPC metastatic to bone treated with 6 cycles of the α-emitting radionuclide Ra compared with placebo. The success of Ra in improving survival in CRPC will lead this agent to become part of the treatment paradigm for this disease, and with such an excellent safety profile, Ra has huge potential in combination strategies as well as for use earlier in the natural history of metastatic prostate cancer.

  6. The role of motivation and cultural dialects in the in-group advantage for emotional vocalizations.

    PubMed

    Sauter, Disa A

    2013-01-01

    It is well-established that non-verbal emotional communication via both facial and vocal information is more accurate when expresser and perceiver are from the same cultural group. Two accounts have been put forward to explain this finding: According to the dialect theory, culture-specific learning modulates the largely cross-culturally consistent expressions of emotions. Consequently, within-group signaling benefits from a better match of the "emotion dialect" of the expresser and perceiver. However, it has been proposed that the in-group advantage in emotion recognition could instead arise from motivational differences in the perceiver, with perceivers being more motivated when decoding signals from members of their own group. Two experiments addressed predictions from these accounts. Experiment 1 tested whether perceivers' ability to accurately judge the origin of emotional signals predicts the in-group advantage. For perceived group membership to affect the perceivers' motivation, they must be able to detect whether the signal is coming from an in-group or out-group member. Although an in-group advantage was found for in-group compared to out-group vocalizations, listeners were unable to reliably infer the group membership of the vocalizer. This result indicates that improved recognition of in-group signals can occur also when the perceiver is unable to judge whether signals were produced by in- or out-group members. Experiment 2 examined the effects of expected and actual group membership of signals on emotion recognition by manipulating both orthogonally. The actual origin of the stimulus was found to significantly affect emotion recognition, but the believed origin of the stimulus did not. Together these results support the notion that the in-group advantage is caused by culture-specific modulations of non-verbal expressions of emotions, rather than motivational factors.

  7. Advantages of coherent antistokes Raman scattering (CARS) in environmental monitoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paetzold, Ralf; Voss, Eberhard; de Vries, Thorsten; Darpel, H.; Anders, Angelika

    1999-09-01

    The objective of this investigation was to develop a fast method for the in-situ characterization of chemicals solved in water based on Coherent Antistokes Raman Scattering (CARS). In order to test the potential of CARS as a tool for the in-situ spectroscopy scanning and multiplex CARS techniques were investigated. Polarization CARS (PCARS) was used to reduce the nonvibrational resonant signal generated by the electron cloud of the solvent molecules. The spectra of some alcohols and pollutants such as pyridine, nitrate and sulfate were investigated. Computer simulations were applied for the evaluation of the CARS spectra. The most evident advantage of CARS in comparison with other Raman methods is the very short time to achieve a spectrum. The shortest time to get a spectrum is limited by the length of the laser pulse (e.g. 5 ns). In addition no sample preparation is necessary.

  8. Mechanisms underlying the sperm quality advantage in Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Pattarini, James M; Starmer, William T; Bjork, Adam; Pitnick, Scott

    2006-10-01

    Contrary to early predictions of sperm competition theory, postcopulatory sexual selection favoring increased investment per sperm (e.g., sperm size, sperm quality) has been demonstrated in numerous organisms. We empirically demonstrate for Drosophila melanogaster that both sperm quality and sperm quantity independently contribute to competitive male fertilization success. In addition to these independent effects, there was a significant interaction between sperm quality and quantity that suggests an internal positive reinforcement on selection for sperm quality, with selection predicted to intensify as investment per sperm increases and the number of sperm competing declines. The mechanism underlying the sperm quality advantage is elucidated through examination of the relationship between female sperm-storage organ morphology and the differential organization of different length sperm within the organ. Our results exemplify that primary sex cells can bear secondary sexual straits.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Multilayer reticles: advantages and challenges for 28nm chip making

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hotzel, Arthur; Seltmann, Rolf; Busch, Jens; Cotte, Eric

    2011-03-01

    Chip manufacturing with multilayer reticles offers the possibility to reduce reticle cost at the expense of scanner throughput, and is therefore an attractive option for small-volume production and test chips. Since 2010, GLOBALFOUNDRIES Fab 1 uses this option for the 28nm IP shuttles and test chips offered to their customers for development and advance testing of their products. This paper discusses the advantages and challenges of this approach and the practical experience gained during implementation. One issue that must be considered is the influence of the small image field and the asymmetric reticle illumination on the lithographic key parameters, namely layer to layer overlay. Theoretical considerations and experimental data concerning the effects of lens distortion, lens heating, and reticle heating on overlay performance are presented, and concepts to address the specific challenges of multilayer reticles for high-end chip production are discussed.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. A new silicon retina model and its advantages.

    PubMed

    Ghosh, Kuntal; Sarkar, Sandip; Bhaumik, Kamales

    2005-01-01

    A new model of silicon retina based on the receptive field structure of retinal ganglion cells has been proposed. Unlike previous neuromorphic models, the proposed model directly incorporates into the receptive field model, contribution from both the inner and outer plexiform layer of the retina, as a linear combination of the two. It has been shown that such a system is capable of aiding in the computation of zero-crossing maps, in higher regions of the brain, using a fourth or higher order derivative. This model is likely to have a neuromorphic implication in generating and implementing a simplistic derivative analyzer mimetic of the Human Visual system (HVS) and is also endowed with additional advantages from the perspective of image retrieval.

  16. 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

  17. A comprehensive stroke center patient registry: advantages, limitations, and lessons learned

    PubMed Central

    Siegler, James E.; Boehme, Amelia K.; Dorsey, Adrianne M.; Monlezun, Dominique J.; George, Alex J.; Shaban, Amir; Bockholt, H. Jeremy; Albright, Karen C.; Martin-Schild, Sheryl

    2015-01-01

    Introduction The use of a medical data registry allows institutions to effectively manage information for many different investigations related to the registry, as well as evaluate patient's trends over time, with the ultimate goal of recognizing trends that may improve outcomes in a particular patient population. Methods The purpose of this article is to illustrate our experience with a stroke patient registry at a comprehensive stroke center and highlight advantages, disadvantages, and lessons learned in the process of designing, implementing, and maintaining a stroke registry. We detail the process of stroke registry methodology, common data element (CDE) definitions, the generation of manuscripts from a registry, and the limitations. Advantages The largest advantage of a registry is the ability to prospectively add patients, while allowing investigators to go back and collect information retrospectively if needed. The continuous addition of new patients increases the sample size of studies from year to year, and it also allows reflection on clinical practices from previous years and the ability to investigate trends in patient management over time. Limitations The greatest limitation in this registry pertains to our single-entry technique where multiple sites of data entry and transfer may generate errors within the registry. Lessons Learned To reduce the potential for errors and maximize the accuracy and efficiency of the registry, we invest significant time in training competent registry users and project leaders. With effective training and transition of leadership positions, which are continuous and evolving processes, we have attempted to optimize our clinical research registry for knowledge gain and quality improvement at our center. PMID:26913217

  18. Pragmatic and scientific advantages of MDHAQ/ RAPID3 completion by all patients at all visits in routine clinical care.

    PubMed

    Pincus, Theodore; Yazici, Yusuf; Castrejón, Isabel

    2012-01-01

    The patient history often provides the most important information in diagnosis and management of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and other rheumatic diseases. A multidimensional health assessment questionnaire (MDHAQ)-with templates to score RAPID3 (routine assessment the patient index data), an index of three patient self-report measures, physical function, pain, and patient global estimate-pro- vides a "scientific" patient history. MDHAQ/RAPID3 scores meet criteria for the scientific method seen for laboratory tests: standard format, quantitative data, protocol for col- lection, and recognition of prognostic implications of levels for management decisions. Extensive evidence supports a scientific rationale for MDHAQ/RAPID3 scores, which are as efficient as joint counts, laboratory tests, DAS28, and CDAI to distinguish active from control treatments in clinical trials and correlated significantly with DAS28 and CDAI scores in clinical trials and usual clinical care, including categories for high, moderate, low severity, and remission. Pragmatic advantages of MDHAQ/RAPID3 include that the patient does almost all the work and prepares for the encounter to focus on concerns to discuss with the doctor. MDHAQ/RAPID3 improves doctor-patient communication and saves time for the doctor with a 10 to 15 second overview of medical history data that otherwise would require 10 to 15 minutes of conversation. RAPID3 is scored in 5 seconds, compared to almost 2 minutes for a CDAI or DAS28, and can be used effectively for treat-to-target in RA. MDHAQ/ RAPID3 is informative in all rheumatic diseases, including systemic lupus erythematosus, osteoarthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, fibromyalgia, gout, and others. All rheumatologists may include MDHAQ/RAPID3 in all patients in the infrastructure of clinical care. PMID:23259656

  19. Always gamble on an empty stomach: hunger is associated with advantageous decision making.

    PubMed

    de Ridder, Denise; Kroese, Floor; Adriaanse, Marieke; Evers, Catharine

    2014-01-01

    Three experimental studies examined the counterintuitive hypothesis that hunger improves strategic decision making, arguing that people in a hot state are better able to make favorable decisions involving uncertain outcomes. Studies 1 and 2 demonstrated that participants with more hunger or greater appetite made more advantageous choices in the Iowa Gambling Task compared to sated participants or participants with a smaller appetite. Study 3 revealed that hungry participants were better able to appreciate future big rewards in a delay discounting task; and that, in spite of their perception of increased rewarding value of both food and monetary objects, hungry participants were not more inclined to take risks to get the object of their desire. Together, these studies for the first time provide evidence that hot states improve decision making under uncertain conditions, challenging the conventional conception of the detrimental role of impulsivity in decision making.

  20. The advantages of using a Lucky Imaging camera for observations of microlensing events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sajadian, Sedighe; Rahvar, Sohrab; Dominik, Martin; Hundertmark, Markus

    2016-05-01

    In this work, we study the advantages of using a Lucky Imaging camera for the observations of potential planetary microlensing events. Our aim is to reduce the blending effect and enhance exoplanet signals in binary lensing systems composed of an exoplanet and the corresponding parent star. We simulate planetary microlensing light curves based on present microlensing surveys and follow-up telescopes where one of them is equipped with a Lucky Imaging camera. This camera is used at the Danish 1.54-m follow-up telescope. Using a specific observational strategy, for an Earth-mass planet in the resonance regime, where the detection probability in crowded fields is smaller, Lucky Imaging observations improve the detection efficiency which reaches 2 per cent. Given the difficulty of detecting the signal of an Earth-mass planet in crowded-field imaging even in the resonance regime with conventional cameras, we show that Lucky Imaging can substantially improve the detection efficiency.

  1. Always Gamble on an Empty Stomach: Hunger Is Associated with Advantageous Decision Making

    PubMed Central

    de Ridder, Denise; Kroese, Floor; Adriaanse, Marieke; Evers, Catharine

    2014-01-01

    Three experimental studies examined the counterintuitive hypothesis that hunger improves strategic decision making, arguing that people in a hot state are better able to make favorable decisions involving uncertain outcomes. Studies 1 and 2 demonstrated that participants with more hunger or greater appetite made more advantageous choices in the Iowa Gambling Task compared to sated participants or participants with a smaller appetite. Study 3 revealed that hungry participants were better able to appreciate future big rewards in a delay discounting task; and that, in spite of their perception of increased rewarding value of both food and monetary objects, hungry participants were not more inclined to take risks to get the object of their desire. Together, these studies for the first time provide evidence that hot states improve decision making under uncertain conditions, challenging the conventional conception of the detrimental role of impulsivity in decision making. PMID:25340399

  2. Improving intensive care unit quality using collaborative networks.

    PubMed

    Watson, Sam R; Scales, Damon C

    2013-01-01

    Collaborative networks of intensive care units can help promote a quality-improvement agenda across an entire system or region. Proposed advantages include targeting a greater number of patients, sharing of resources, and common measurement systems for audit and feedback or benchmarking. This review focuses on elements that are essential for the success and sustainability of these collaborative networks, using as examples networks in Michigan and Ontario. More research is needed to understand the mechanisms through which collaborative networks lead to improved care delivery and to demonstrate their cost-effectiveness in comparison with other approaches to system-level quality improvement.

  3. Advantages, limitations, and diagnostic accuracy of photoscreeners in early detection of amblyopia: a review

    PubMed Central

    Sanchez, Irene; Ortiz-Toquero, Sara; Martin, Raul; de Juan, Victoria

    2016-01-01

    Amblyopia detection is important to ensure proper visual development and avoid permanent decrease of visual acuity. This condition does not produce symptoms, so it is difficult to diagnose if a vision problem actually exists. However, because amblyopia treatment is limited by age, early diagnosis is of paramount relevance. Traditional vision screening (conducted in <3 years) is related with difficulty in getting cooperation from a subject to conduct the eye exam, so accurate objective methods to improve amblyopia detection are necessary. Handheld devices used for photoscreening or autorefraction could offer advantages to improve amblyopia screening because they reduce exploration time to just few seconds, no subject collaboration is needed, and they provide objective information. The purpose of this review is to summarize the main functions and clinical applicability of commercially available devices for early detection of amblyopia and to describe their differences, advantages, and limitations. Although the studies reviewed are heterogeneous (due to wide differences in referral criteria, use of different risk factors, different types of samples studied, etc), these devices provide objective measures in a quick and objective way with a simple outcome report: retest, pass, or refer. However, due to major limitations, these devices are not recommended, and their use in clinical practice is limited. PMID:27555744

  4. Advantages, limitations, and diagnostic accuracy of photoscreeners in early detection of amblyopia: a review.

    PubMed

    Sanchez, Irene; Ortiz-Toquero, Sara; Martin, Raul; de Juan, Victoria

    2016-01-01

    Amblyopia detection is important to ensure proper visual development and avoid permanent decrease of visual acuity. This condition does not produce symptoms, so it is difficult to diagnose if a vision problem actually exists. However, because amblyopia treatment is limited by age, early diagnosis is of paramount relevance. Traditional vision screening (conducted in <3 years) is related with difficulty in getting cooperation from a subject to conduct the eye exam, so accurate objective methods to improve amblyopia detection are necessary. Handheld devices used for photoscreening or autorefraction could offer advantages to improve amblyopia screening because they reduce exploration time to just few seconds, no subject collaboration is needed, and they provide objective information. The purpose of this review is to summarize the main functions and clinical applicability of commercially available devices for early detection of amblyopia and to describe their differences, advantages, and limitations. Although the studies reviewed are heterogeneous (due to wide differences in referral criteria, use of different risk factors, different types of samples studied, etc), these devices provide objective measures in a quick and objective way with a simple outcome report: retest, pass, or refer. However, due to major limitations, these devices are not recommended, and their use in clinical practice is limited. PMID:27555744

  5. 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

  6. Theme: Laboratory Facilities Improvement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Glen M.; And Others

    1993-01-01

    Includes "Laboratory Facilities Improvement" (Miller); "Remodeling Laboratories for Agriscience Instruction" (Newman, Johnson); "Planning for Change" (Mulcahy); "Laboratory Facilities Improvement for Technology Transfer" (Harper); "Facilities for Agriscience Instruction" (Agnew et al.); "Laboratory Facility Improvement" (Boren, Dwyer); and…

  7. Improving Your Lecturing. Revised.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Diamond, Nancy A.; And Others

    A guide for faculty who want to improve their lecturing skills is presented. After identifying advantages and disadvantages of the lecture method, suggestions are offered for effective lecture preparation, with attention to organizing the body of the lecture, and beginning and closing the lecture. Vocal aspects of lecture delivery are addressed,…

  8. Improvements in agricultural sciences

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This editorial provides insight on investigations regarding advancements in agri-food quality and testing of eco-friendly organic farming methodologies. The discussion elaborates on the advantages of recent farming techniques and their impact on improved crop yield, crop quality, and minimization of...

  9. 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

  10. Processing Chinese Relative Clauses: Evidence for the Subject-Relative Advantage

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:24098575

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed

    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

  16. Dosimetric advantages of O-ring design radiotherapy system for skull-base tumors.

    PubMed

    Ogura, Kengo; Mizowaki, Takashi; Ishida, Yuichi; Hiraoka, Masahiro

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate whether a new O-ring design radiotherapy delivery system has advantages in radiotherapy planning for skull-base tumors. Twenty-five patients with skull-base tumors were included in this study. Two plans were made using conventional (Plan A) or new (Plan B) techniques. Plan A consisted of four dynamic conformal arcs (DCAs): two were horizontal, and the other two were from cranial directions. Plan B was created by converting horizontal arcs to those from caudal directions making use of the O-ring design radiotherapy system. The micromultileaf collimators were fitted to cover at least 99% of the planning target volume with prescribed doses, 90% of the dose at the isocenter. The two plans were compared in terms of target homogeneity, conformity, and irradiated volume of normal tissues, using a two-sided paired t-test. For evaluation regarding target coverage, the homogeneity indices defined by the International Commission on Radiation Units and Measurements 83 were 0.099 ± 0.010 (mean ± standard deviation) and 0.092 ± 0.010, the conformity indices defined by the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group were 1.720 ± 0.249 and 1.675 ± 0.239, and the Paddick's conformity indices were 0.585 ± 0.078 and 0.602 ± 0.080, in Plans A and B, respectively. For evaluation of irradiated normal tissue, the Paddick's gradient indices were 3.118 ± 0.283 and 2.938 ± 0.263 in Plans A and B, respectively. All of these differences were statistically significant (p-values < 0.05). The mean doses of optic nerves, eyes, brainstem, and hippocampi were also significantly lower in Plan B. The DCA technique from caudal directions using the new O-ring design radiotherapy system can improve target homogeneity and conformity compared with conventional DCA techniques, and can also decrease the volume of surrounding normal tissues that receives moderate doses. PMID:24710448

  17. Dosimetric advantages of O-ring design radiotherapy system for skull-base tumors.

    PubMed

    Ogura, Kengo; Mizowaki, Takashi; Ishida, Yuichi; Hiraoka, Masahiro

    2014-03-06

    The purpose of this study was to investigate whether a new O-ring design radiotherapy delivery system has advantages in radiotherapy planning for skull-base tumors. Twenty-five patients with skull-base tumors were included in this study. Two plans were made using conventional (Plan A) or new (Plan B) techniques. Plan A consisted of four dynamic conformal arcs (DCAs): two were horizontal, and the other two were from cranial directions. Plan B was created by converting horizontal arcs to those from caudal directions making use of the O-ring design radiotherapy system. The micromultileaf collimators were fitted to cover at least 99% of the planning target volume with prescribed doses, 90% of the dose at the isocenter. The two plans were compared in terms of target homogeneity, conformity, and irradiated volume of normal tissues, using a two-sided paired t-test. For evaluation regarding target coverage, the homogeneity indices defined by the International Commission on Radiation Units and Measurements 83 were 0.099 ± 0.010 (mean ± standard deviation) and 0.092 ± 0.010, the conformity indices defined by the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group were 1.720 ± 0.249 and 1.675 ± 0.239, and the Paddick's conformity indices were 0.585 ± 0.078 and 0.602 ± 0.080, in Plans A and B, respectively. For evaluation of irradiated normal tissue, the Paddick's gradient indices were 3.118 ± 0.283 and 2.938 ± 0.263 in Plans A and B, respectively. All of these differences were statistically significant (p-values < 0.05). The mean doses of optic nerves, eyes, brainstem, and hippocampi were also significantly lower in Plan B. The DCA technique from caudal directions using the new O-ring design radiotherapy system can improve target homogeneity and conformity compared with conventional DCA techniques, and can also decrease the volume of surrounding normal tissues that receives moderate doses.

  18. Pre-clinical and clinical experiences with novel somatostatin ligands: advantages, disadvantages and new prospects.

    PubMed

    Hofland, L J; van der Hoek, J; Feelders, R; van der Lely, A J; de Herder, W; Lamberts, S W J

    2005-01-01

    Since the cloning and characterization of the five human somatostatin receptor (SSTR) subtypes, our understanding of the expression and functional role of the five SSTR subtypes in human (neuro-)endocrine tumors has increased significantly. The majority of human (neuro-)endocrine tumors express multiple SSTR. GH-secreting pituitary adenomas preferentially express SSTR2 and SSTR5, prolactinomas SSTR1 and SSTR5, and corticotroph adenomas express SSTR2 (low number) and predominantly SSTR5s. In addition, gastroenteropancreatic (GEP) neuroendocrine tumors frequently express multiple SSTR as well, with SSTR2 being expressed at the highest level. Treatment with the current generation of octapeptide somatostatin-analogs, e.g. octreotide and lanreotide, normalizes circulating GH- and IGF-I levels in approximately 60-70% of acromegalic patients, thereby remaining about one-third of patients uncontrolled. In patients with GEP neuroendocrine tumors, both somatostatin-analogs effectively suppress the production of bioactive peptides and hormones by the tumor cells, resulting in an important improvement of the related clinical symptomatology. However, a considerable proportion of patients experience an escape from treatment within months to several years. Altogether, the current generation of somatostatin analogs are effective medical tools in the treatment of acromegalic patients and of patients with neuroendocrine GEP tumors, but there is certainly a need for novel somatostatin analogs. In recent years, a significant number of novel somatostatin-ligands has been developed. These ligands include SSTR selective-, bi-specific, universal, as well as chimeric dopamine (DA)-somatostatin ligands. In vitro studies using human pituitary adenoma cells demonstrate a more profound inhibition of GH, PRL and ACTH secretion by somatostatin-analogs targeting both SSTR2s and SSTR5s, compared with SSTR2-preferential somatostatin-analogs. This likely reflects the SSTR subtype expression pattern

  19. Advantages and applicability of commonly used homogenisation methods for climate data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ribeiro, Sara; Caineta, Júlio; Henriques, Roberto; Soares, Amílcar; Costa, Ana Cristina

    2014-05-01

    Homogenisation of climate data is a very relevant subject since these data are required as an input in a wide range of studies, such as atmospheric modelling, weather forecasting, climate change monitoring, or hydrological and environmental projects. Often, climate data series include non-natural irregularities which have to be detected and removed prior to their use, otherwise it would generate biased and erroneous results. Relocation of weather stations or changes in the measuring instruments are amongst the most relevant causes for these inhomogeneities. Depending on the climate variable, its temporal resolution and spatial continuity, homogenisation methods can be more or less effective. For example, due to its natural variability, precipitation is identified as a very challenging variable to be homogenised. During the last two decades, numerous methods have been proposed to homogenise climate data. In order to compare, evaluate and develop those methods, the European project COST Action ES0601, Advances in homogenisation methods of climate series: an integrated approach (HOME), was released in 2008. Existing homogenisation methods were improved based on the benchmark exercise issued by this project. A recent approach based on Direct Sequential Simulation (DSS), not yet evaluated by the benchmark exercise, is also presented as an innovative methodology for homogenising climate data series. DSS already proved to be a successful geostatistical method in environmental and hydrological studies, and it provides promising results for the homogenisation of climate data. Since DSS is a geostatistical stochastic approach, it accounts for the joint spatial and temporal dependence between observations, as well as the relative importance of stations both in terms of distance and correlation. This work presents a chronological review of the most commonly used homogenisation methods for climate data and available software packages. A short description and classification is

  20. 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. PMID:23453311

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. "A Latino Advantage in Oral Health-Related Quality of Life is Modified by Nativity Status"

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Explanations for the social gradient in health status are informed by the rare exceptions. This cross-sectional observational study examined one such exception, the “Latino paradox” by investigating the presence of a Latino advantage in oral health-related quality of life and the effect of nativity status on this relationship. A nationally representative sample of adults (n = 4208) completed the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2003–2004. The impact of oral disorders on oral health-related quality of life was evaluated using the NHANES Oral Health Impact Profile. Exposures of interest were race, ethnicity and nativity status. Covariates included sociodemographic characteristics, smoking status, self-rated health, access to dental care and number of teeth. Unconditional logistic regression models estimated odds of impaired oral health-related quality of life for racial/ethnic and nativity groups compared to the Non-Latino white population. Overall prevalence of impaired oral health-related quality of life was 15.1%. A protective effect of Latino ethnicity was modified by nativity status, such that Latino immigrants experienced substantially better outcomes than non-Latino whites. However the effect was limited to first-generation Latinos. U.S. born Latinos did not share the oral health-related quality of life advantage of their foreign-born counterparts. This advantage was not attributable to the healthy migrant phenomenon since immigrants of non-Latino origin did not differ from Non-Latino whites. The excess risk among Non-Hispanic Blacks was rendered non-significant after adjustment for socioeconomic position. A protective effect conferred by Latino nativity is unexpected given relatively disadvantaged socioeconomic position of this group, their language barrier and restrictions to needed dental care. As the Latino advantage in oral health-related quality of life is not explained by healthy immigrant selection, cultural explanations

  4. The Self-Advantage in Visual Speech Processing Enhances Audiovisual Speech Recognition in Noise

    PubMed Central

    Tye-Murray, Nancy; Spehar, Brent P.; Myerson, Joel; Hale, Sandra; Sommers, Mitchell S.

    2014-01-01

    Individuals lipread themselves more accurately than they lipread others when only the visual speech signal is available (Tye-Murray, Spehar, Myerson, Hale, & Sommers, 2013). This self-advantage for vision-only speech recognition is consistent with the common-coding hypothesis (Prinz, 1997), which posits (1) that observing an action activates the same motor plan representation as actually performing that action and (2) that observing one’s own actions activates motor plan representations more than the others’ actions because of greater congruity between percepts and corresponding motor plans. The present study extends this line of research to audiovisual speech recognition by examining whether there is a self-advantage when the visual signal is added to the auditory signal under poor listening conditions. Participants were assigned to sub-groups for round-robin testing in which each participant was paired with every member of their subgroup, including themselves, serving as both talker and listener/observer. On average, the benefit participants obtained from the visual signal when they were the talker was greater than when the talker was someone else and also was greater than the benefit others obtained from observing as well as listening to them. Moreover, the self-advantage in audiovisual speech recognition was significant after statistically controlling for individual differences in both participants’ ability to benefit from a visual speech signal and the extent to which their own visual speech signal benefited others. These findings are consistent with our previous finding of a self-advantage in lipreading and with the hypothesis of a common code for action perception and motor plan representation. PMID:25421408

  5. The self-advantage in visual speech processing enhances audiovisual speech recognition in noise.

    PubMed

    Tye-Murray, Nancy; Spehar, Brent P; Myerson, Joel; Hale, Sandra; Sommers, Mitchell S

    2015-08-01

    Individuals lip read themselves more accurately than they lip read others when only the visual speech signal is available (Tye-Murray et al., Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 20, 115-119, 2013). This self-advantage for vision-only speech recognition is consistent with the common-coding hypothesis (Prinz, European Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 9, 129-154, 1997), which posits (1) that observing an action activates the same motor plan representation as actually performing that action and (2) that observing one's own actions activates motor plan representations more than the others' actions because of greater congruity between percepts and corresponding motor plans. The present study extends this line of research to audiovisual speech recognition by examining whether there is a self-advantage when the visual signal is added to the auditory signal under poor listening conditions. Participants were assigned to sub-groups for round-robin testing in which each participant was paired with every member of their subgroup, including themselves, serving as both talker and listener/observer. On average, the benefit participants obtained from the visual signal when they were the talker was greater than when the talker was someone else and also was greater than the benefit others obtained from observing as well as listening to them. Moreover, the self-advantage in audiovisual speech recognition was significant after statistically controlling for individual differences in both participants' ability to benefit from a visual speech signal and the extent to which their own visual speech signal benefited others. These findings are consistent with our previous finding of a self-advantage in lip reading and with the hypothesis of a common code for action perception and motor plan representation. PMID:25421408

  6. Developing Research Agendas on Whole School Improvement Models: The Model Providers' Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shambaugh, Larisa; Graczewski, Cheryl; Therriault, Susan Bowles; Darwin, Marlene J.

    2007-01-01

    The current education policy environment places a heavy emphasis on scientifically based research. This article examines how whole school improvement models approach the development of a research agenda, including what influences and challenges model providers face in implementing their agenda. Responses also detail the advantages and…

  7. Debate: a teaching strategy to improve verbal communication and critical-thinking skills.

    PubMed

    Garrett, M; Schoener, L; Hood, L

    1996-01-01

    Debate is presented as a valuable learning activity for teaching critical thinking and improving communication skills. Included in the discussion are a brief history of the use of debate as a teaching strategy, the responsibilities of the teacher and learner when using debate in the classroom, and its many advantages for developing competencies in communication and critical thinking.

  8. Problem-Based Learning in Biomechanics: Advantages, Challenges, and Implementation Strategies.

    PubMed

    Clyne, Alisa Morss; Billiar, Kristen L

    2016-07-01

    Problem-based learning (PBL) has been shown to be effective in biomedical engineering education, particularly in motivating student learning, increasing knowledge retention, and developing problem solving, communication, and teamwork skills. However, PBL adoption remains limited by real challenges in effective implementation. In this paper, we review the literature on advantages and challenges of PBL and present our own experiences. We also provide practical guidelines for implementing PBL, including two examples of PBL modules from biomechanics courses at two different institutions. Overall, we conclude that the benefits for both professors and students support the use of PBL in biomedical engineering education.

  9. Nanoparticles labeled with Positron Emitting Nuclides: Advantages, Methods, and Applications

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Yongjian; Welch, Michael J.

    2012-01-01

    Over the past decade, positron emitter labeled nanoparticles have been widely used in and substantially improved for a range of diagnostic biomedical research. However, given growing interest in personalized medicine and translational research, a major challenge in the field will be to develop disease specific nanoprobes with facile and robust radiolabeling strategies and that provide imaging stability, enhanced sensitivity for disease early stage detection, optimized in vivo pharmacokinetics for reduced non-specific organ uptake, and improved targeting for elevated efficacy. This review briefly summarizes the major applications of nanoparticles labeled with positron emitters for cardiovascular imaging, lung diagnosis and tumor theranostics. PMID:22242601

  10. Optimal design of active and semi-active suspensions including time delays and preview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hac', A.; Youn, I.

    1993-10-01

    Several control laws for active and semi-active suspension based on a linear half car model are derived and investigated. The strategies proposed take full advantage of the fact that the road input to the rear wheels is a delayed version of that to the front wheels, which in turn can be obtained either from the measurements of the front wheels and body motions or by direct preview of road irregularities if preview sensors are available. The suspension systems are optimized with respect to ride comfort, road holding and suspension rattle space as expressed by the mean-square-values of body acceleration (including effects of heave and pitch), tire deflections and front and rear suspension travels. The optimal control laws that minimize the given performance index and include passivity constraints in the semi-active case are derived using calculus of variation. The optimal semi-active suspension becomes piecewise linear, varying between passive and fully active systems and combinations of them. The performances of active and semi-active systems with and without preview were evaluated by numerical simulation in the time and frequency domains. The results show that incorporation of time delay between the front and rear axles in controller design improves the dynamic behavior of the rear axle and control of body pitch motion, while additional preview improves front wheel dynamics and body heave.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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. PMID:26934756

  15. 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.

  16. 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. PMID:21327372

  17. COMP-1 promotes competitive advantage of nematode sperm

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.05423.001 PMID:25789512

  18. 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.

  19. Safe Advantage on Dry Interim Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage

    SciTech Connect

    Romanato, L.S.

    2008-07-01

    This paper aims to present the advantages of dry cask storage in comparison with the wet storage (cooling water pools) for SNF. When the nuclear fuel is removed from the core reactor, it is moved to a storage unit and it wait for a final destination. Generally, the spent nuclear fuel (SNF) remains inside water pools within the reactors facility for the radioactive activity decay. After some period of time in pools, SNF can be sent to a definitive deposition in a geological repository and handled as radioactive waste or to reprocessing facilities, or still, wait for a future solution. Meanwhile, SNF remains stored for a period of time in dry or wet facilities, depending on the method adopted by the nuclear power plant or other plans of the country. Interim storage, up to 20 years ago, was exclusively wet and if the nuclear facility had to be decommissioned another storage solution had to be found. At the present time, after a preliminary cooling of the SNF elements inside the water pool, the elements can be stored in dry facilities. This kind of storage does not need complex radiation monitoring and it is safer then wet one. Casks, either concrete or metallic, are safer, especially on occurrence of earthquakes, like that occurred at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant, in Japan on July 16, 2007. (authors)

  20. 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.