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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. PMID:17463410

  2. 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.

  3. 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…

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. An improved method for tight integration of GPS and strong-motion records: Complementary advantages

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tu, Rui; Zhang, Qin; Wang, Li; Liu, Zhanke; Huang, Guanwen

    2015-12-01

    The complementary nature of GPS and seismic sensors for station ground motion estimation is well recognized and many studies have proposed the integrated processing of the two datasets for obtaining more accurate and reliable seismic waves (displacement, velocity and acceleration). There are two critical issues in the integrated processing; one is the precise correction of the strong-motion's baseline shifts which are caused by tilting and/or rotation of the seismic sensors, the other is the suitable constraint of the high resolution accelerations to get more reliable seismic waves. In this contribution, we present an improved approach for the integration estimation in two steps. First, proper introduction of the baseline-corrected acceleration into the Precise Point Positioning (PPP)'s state equation and treatment of the baseline shifts as unknown parameters to be estimated for each epoch. Second, after correction of these baseline shifts, use of the high resolution acceleration for constraint of the GPS solution and ambiguity resolution. The efficiency of the improved approach was validated using an experimental dataset which was recorded by a pair of collocated GPS antenna and an accelerometer, and it shows that the advantages of each sensor are complementary.

  8. The Blind Advantage: How Going Blind Made Me a Stronger Principal and How Including Children with Disabilities Made Our School Better for Everyone

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Henderson, Bill

    2011-01-01

    'The Blind Advantage" provides insight into the challenges, possibilities, and practicalities of including students with disabilities--and into the mind and heart of an inspired and determined leader. "You should get out of education." That was the advice first-year teacher Bill Henderson received when he discovered he was gradually losing his…

  9. 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

  10. 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…

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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…

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

    DOE PAGESBeta

    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

  15. 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. PMID:24936202

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:24936202

  17. 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

  18. Taking advantage of the MEMO orbiter to improve the determination of Mars' gravity field.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosenblatt, P.; Le Maitre, S.; Marty, J. C.; Duron, J.; Dehant, V.

    2007-08-01

    In the context of future ESA's mission to Mars, it is proposed an orbiter named MEMO (Mars Escape and Magnetic Orbiter) to especially improve the measurement of the atmospheric escape and the magnetic field of the planet. Its orbit is planned to have an inclination of 77 degrees and periapsis and apoapsis altitude of 130 km and 1000 km, respectively. In addition, such an orbit is scheduled to be maintained during one Martian year. This differs from the usual near-polar, near-circular orbit with a periapsis altitude of at least 200 km, such as for Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). Even if the MEMO orbiter is not dedicated to Mars' gravity field investigation, we propose to take this opportunity to improve our knowledge of Mars' gravity field. Indeed, the sensitivity of an orbiter to the gravity field strongly depends on the semi-major axis, inclination and eccentricity of its orbit. In this study, we quantitatively estimate the improvement on the determination of local gravity anomalies, of seasonal variations of the first zonal harmonics and of the k2 Love number of Mars. We base our work on both analytical and numerical approaches in order to simulate the Mars' gravity field determination from spacecraft tracking data from the Earth.We also add in our simulations the possibility to have an accelerometer onboard the MEMO spacecraft. Indeed, if it is placed at the center of mass of the spacecraft, it could provide measurements of the non-gravitational forces acting on it, especially the atmospheric drag. A good determination of the contribution of this force to the spacecraft motion would bring information about the atmospheric density at altitude between 100 and 200 km, and would improve the gravity field determination from tracking data of the spacecraft.

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. Improvements to the FATOLA computer program including nosewheel steering: Supplemental instruction manual

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carden, H. D.; Mcgehee, J. R.

    1978-01-01

    Modifications to a multidegree of freedom flexible aircraft take-off and landing analysis (FATOLA) computer program, which improved its simulation capabilities, are discussed, and supplemental instructions for use of the program are included. Sample analytical results which illustrate the capabilities of an added nosewheel steering option indicate consistent behavior of the airplane tracking, attitude, motions, and loads for the landing cases and steering situations which were investigated.

  2. 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…

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. The Natural Substance MS-10 Improves and Prevents Menopausal Symptoms, Including Colpoxerosis, in Clinical Research.

    PubMed

    Noh, Yoo-Hun; Kim, Do-Hee; Lee, Seung-Ah; Yin, Xing Fu; Park, Jiae; Lee, Moo Yeol; Lee, Won Bok; Lee, Sang Hyung; Kim, Jae Kwang; Kim, Sung-Su; Jeong, Yoonhwa; Myung, Soon-Chul; Kim, Tae Jin; Kang, Il-Jun

    2016-03-01

    Many natural substances were screened to develop nutraceuticals that reduce menopausal symptoms. A complex of Cirsium japonicum var. maackii and Thymus vulgaris extracts, named MS-10, had significant positive effects. Under a low concentration of estrogen, which represents postmenopausal physiological conditions, MS-10 had beneficial effects on estrogen receptor-expressing MCF-7 cells by reversibly enhancing estrogen activity. In addition, in the ovariectomized rat model, changes in bone-specific alkaline phosphatase activity and osteocalcin, as well as low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglyceride levels were significantly decreased by MS-10. These results show that MS-10 protected bone health and reduced metabolic disturbances. Furthermore, in a clinical study, all menopausal symptoms, including hot flushes, parenthesis, insomnia, nervousness, melancholia, vertigo, fatigue, rheumatic pain, palpitations, formication, and headache, as well as colpoxerosis, were significantly improved by taking MS-10 for 90 days. Therefore, the evidence supports that MS-10 is an effective natural substance that can safely improve menopausal symptoms, including colpoxerosis. PMID:26848802

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. BROMOCEA Code: An Improved Grand Canonical Monte Carlo/Brownian Dynamics Algorithm Including Explicit Atoms.

    PubMed

    Solano, Carlos J F; Pothula, Karunakar R; Prajapati, Jigneshkumar D; De Biase, Pablo M; Noskov, Sergei Yu; Kleinekathöfer, Ulrich

    2016-05-10

    All-atom molecular dynamics simulations have a long history of applications studying ion and substrate permeation across biological and artificial pores. While offering unprecedented insights into the underpinning transport processes, MD simulations are limited in time-scales and ability to simulate physiological membrane potentials or asymmetric salt solutions and require substantial computational power. While several approaches to circumvent all of these limitations were developed, Brownian dynamics simulations remain an attractive option to the field. The main limitation, however, is an apparent lack of protein flexibility important for the accurate description of permeation events. In the present contribution, we report an extension of the Brownian dynamics scheme which includes conformational dynamics. To achieve this goal, the dynamics of amino-acid residues was incorporated into the many-body potential of mean force and into the Langevin equations of motion. The developed software solution, called BROMOCEA, was applied to ion transport through OmpC as a test case. Compared to fully atomistic simulations, the results show a clear improvement in the ratio of permeating anions and cations. The present tests strongly indicate that pore flexibility can enhance permeation properties which will become even more important in future applications to substrate translocation. PMID:27088446

  10. Sharing reference data and including cows in the reference population improve genomic predictions in Danish Jersey.

    PubMed

    Su, G; Ma, P; Nielsen, U S; Aamand, G P; Wiggans, G; Guldbrandtsen, B; Lund, M S

    2016-06-01

    Small reference populations limit the accuracy of genomic prediction in numerically small breeds, such like Danish Jersey. The objective of this study was to investigate two approaches to improve genomic prediction by increasing size of reference population in Danish Jersey. The first approach was to include North American Jersey bulls in Danish Jersey reference population. The second was to genotype cows and use them as reference animals. The validation of genomic prediction was carried out on bulls and cows, respectively. In validation on bulls, about 300 Danish bulls (depending on traits) born in 2005 and later were used as validation data, and the reference populations were: (1) about 1050 Danish bulls, (2) about 1050 Danish bulls and about 1150 US bulls. In validation on cows, about 3000 Danish cows from 87 young half-sib families were used as validation data, and the reference populations were: (1) about 1250 Danish bulls, (2) about 1250 Danish bulls and about 1150 US bulls, (3) about 1250 Danish bulls and about 4800 cows, (4) about 1250 Danish bulls, 1150 US bulls and 4800 Danish cows. Genomic best linear unbiased prediction model was used to predict breeding values. De-regressed proofs were used as response variables. In the validation on bulls for eight traits, the joint DK-US bull reference population led to higher reliability of genomic prediction than the DK bull reference population for six traits, but not for fertility and longevity. Averaged over the eight traits, the gain was 3 percentage points. In the validation on cows for six traits (fertility and longevity were not available), the gain from inclusion of US bull in reference population was 6.6 percentage points in average over the six traits, and the gain from inclusion of cows was 8.2 percentage points. However, the gains from cows and US bulls were not accumulative. The total gain of including both US bulls and Danish cows was 10.5 percentage points. The results indicate that sharing reference

  11. 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.

  12. Private advantage

    SciTech Connect

    Marier, D.; Stoiaken, L.

    1988-03-01

    At least a half dozen independent power producers put out initial public offerings in 1985-86 and the experts were projecting more to come. Most executives of private development companies admitted that they had at least taken a hard look at going public. Several quarters worth of disappointing earnings and the October market crash have brought attention back to the activities of private companies. Fortunately for the industry, at about the same time public-equity markets were closing down, new sources of debt and equity were entering the field in a big way-including insurance companies, pension funds, and utilities. While the development should be good news for all companies in the field (private equity is not necessarily earmarked for private companies), the impact of the crash has made it more difficult for public companies to make their case to the new equity players. The newest players, the unregulated utility subsidiaries, the fastest growing segment in the industry, are probably in a position to put a major dent in the business.

  13. Quick Reference Guide: Working with Stakeholders to Identify Potential Improvement Strategies for Program Improvement (Including the SSIP)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Center for IDEA Early Childhood Data Systems (DaSy), 2015

    2015-01-01

    This 2015 quick reference guide is designed to assist states in understanding what information needs to be available in order for stakeholders to assist in selecting potential improvement strategies that will increase capacity of Local Education Agencies (LEAs), Early Intervention Services (EIS) programs, and practitioners to improve results for…

  14. 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.

  15. 78 FR 21879 - Improving 9-1-1 Reliability; Reliability and Continuity of Communications Networks, Including...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-04-12

    ...The Federal Communications Commission proposes a range of approaches to ensure that providers of 9-1-1 communications services implement best practices and other sound engineering principles to improve the reliability and resiliency of the Nation's 9-1-1 networks. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking also proposes amendments to the Commission's current rules to clarify and add specificity to......

  16. 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. PMID:26642075

  17. Family planning's benefits include improved child health and nutrition: new data from Bangladesh.

    PubMed

    Greenspan, A

    1993-09-01

    2 recent studies from the Matlab in Bangladesh confirm that family planning promotes child survival. The 1st study is a longitudinal analysis of 3370 births in 1985 to women living in 70 villages who were served by the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh's Matlab Family Planning and Health Services Project. The 2nd is a study of 12-26 month old children and 24-36 month old children, all of whom were born in the same 70 villages between July 1985 and June 1986. The 1st study demonstrates that family planning improves child survival by lengthening the birth interval. In fact, if women delay a subsequent birth by about 2 years, child survival improves at all ages up to 5 years. Longer birth intervals result in a reduction of very high order births. The same study also reveals that family planning improves child survival indirectly by granting mothers access to integrated maternal and child health services. The 2nd study indicates that a child is 3 times more likely to suffer malnutrition, even at age 3, than a child whose mother gives birth again at an interval greater than 24 months. Specifically, the mother removes the index child from the breast prematurely, thereby adversely affecting the index child's nutrition. The birth interval prior to the index child does not adversely affect the index child's nutritional status, however. The 2nd study's result suggest that birth spacing, as promoted by family planning programs, improves child health and nutrition. The findings from these studies show the importance of continued investments in family planning programs in developing countries. PMID:12345277

  18. A photometric mode identification method, including an improved non-adiabatic treatment of the atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dupret, M.-A.; De Ridder, J.; De Cat, P.; Aerts, C.; Scuflaire, R.; Noels, A.; Thoul, A.

    2003-02-01

    We present an improved version of the method of photometric mode identification of Heynderickx et al. (\\cite{hey}). Our new version is based on the inclusion of precise non-adiabatic eigenfunctions determined in the outer stellar atmosphere according to the formalism recently proposed by Dupret et al. (\\cite{dup}). Our improved photometric mode identification technique is therefore no longer dependent on ad hoc parameters for the non-adiabatic effects. It contains the complete physical conditions of the outer atmosphere of the star, provided that rotation does not play a key role. We apply our method to the two slowly pulsating B stars HD 74560 and HD 138764 and to the beta Cephei star EN (16) Lac. Besides identifying the degree l of the pulsating stars, our method is also a tool for improving the knowledge of stellar interiors and atmospheres, by imposing constraints on parameters such as the metallicity and the mixing-length parameter alpha (a procedure we label non-adiabatic asteroseismology). The non-adiabatic eigenfunctions needed for the mode identification are available upon request from the authors.

  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. Antifailure Therapy Including Spironolactone Improves Left Ventricular Energy Supply‐Demand Relations in Nonischemic Dilated Cardiomyopathy

    PubMed Central

    Bell, Susan P.; Adkisson, Douglas W.; Lawson, Mark A.; Wang, Li; Ooi, Henry; Sawyer, Douglas B.; Kronenberg, Marvin W.

    2014-01-01

    Background Left ventricular (LV) energy supply‐demand imbalance is postulated to cause “energy starvation” and contribute to heart failure (HF) in nonischemic dilated cardiomyopathy (NIDCM). Using cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) and [11C] acetate positron emission tomography (PET), we evaluated LV perfusion and oxidative metabolism in NIDCM and the effects of spironolactone on LV supply‐demand relations. Methods and Results Twelve patients with NIDCM underwent CMR and PET at baseline and after ≥6 months of spironolactone therapy added to a standard HF regimen. The myocardial perfusion reserve index (MPRI) was calculated after gadolinium injection during adenosine, as compared to rest. The monoexponential clearance rate of [11C] acetate (kmono) was used to calculate the work metabolic index (WMI), an index of LV mechanical efficiency, and kmono/RPP (rate‐pressure product), an index of energy supply/demand. At baseline, the subendocardium was hypoperfused versus the subepicardium (median MPRI, 1.63 vs. 1.80; P<0.001), but improved to 1.80 (P<0.001) after spironolactone. The WMI increased (P=0.001), as did kmono/RPP (P=0.003). These improvements were associated with reverse remodeling, increased LV ejection fraction, and decreases in LV mass and systolic wall stress (all P<0.002). Conclusions NIDCM is associated with subendocardial hypoperfusion and impaired myocardial oxidative metabolism, consistent with energy starvation. Antifailure therapy improves parameters of energy starvation and is associated with augmented LV performance. Clinical Trial Registration URL: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ Unique identifier: ID NCT00574119. PMID:25164945

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. An Improved Method for Including Upper Size Range Plasmids in Metamobilomes

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:25116381

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Measuring home advantage in Spanish handball.

    PubMed

    Gutiérrez Aguilar, Oscar; Saavedra García, Miguel; Fernández Romero, Juan José

    2012-02-01

    Since Pollard established the system for analysing home advantage in 1986, it has been demonstrated and quantified in various sports, including many team sports. This study aims to assess whether home advantage exists in handball, using a sample of more than 19,000 Spanish handball league games. Results of the games played at home and away, the sex of the players, and the levels of the competition were included as variables. In Spanish handball, there was a home advantage of 61%, which means, on average, the team playing at home wins 61% of points available. This value varies according to sex and according to competition level, increasing as competition level decreases and season rank improves. PMID:22582700

  8. Improvements in GROMACS plugin for PyMOL including implicit solvent simulations and displaying results of PCA analysis.

    PubMed

    Makarewicz, Tomasz; Kaźmierkiewicz, Rajmund

    2016-05-01

    In order to get the dynamic molecule model from the static one, the molecular dynamics (MD) simulation needs to be performed. Some software sets such as GROMACS are used for that purpose. Unfortunately they lack GUI. The Dynamics PyMOL plugin allows researcher to perform MD simulations directly from the PyMOL software by GUI-based interface of GROMACS tools. This paper describes many improvements introduced into the Dynamics PyMOL plugin 2.0 including: an integration with ProDy library, possibility to use the implicit solvents, an ability to interpret the MD simulations, and implementation of some more GROMACS functionality. PMID:27107576

  9. 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

  10. Improving the scoring of protein-ligand binding affinity by including the effects of structural water and electronic polarization.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jinfeng; He, Xiao; Zhang, John Z H

    2013-06-24

    Docking programs that use scoring functions to estimate binding affinities of small molecules to biological targets are widely applied in drug design and drug screening with partial success. But accurate and efficient scoring functions for protein-ligand binding affinity still present a grand challenge to computational chemists. In this study, the polarized protein-specific charge model (PPC) is incorporated into the molecular mechanics/Poisson-Boltzmann surface area (MM/PBSA) method to rescore the binding poses of some protein-ligand complexes, for which docking programs, such as Autodock, could not predict their binding modes correctly. Different sampling techniques (single minimized conformation and multiple molecular dynamics (MD) snapshots) are used to test the performance of MM/PBSA combined with the PPC model. Our results show the availability and effectiveness of this approach in correctly ranking the binding poses. More importantly, the bridging water molecules are found to play an important role in correctly determining the protein-ligand binding modes. Explicitly including these bridging water molecules in MM/PBSA calculations improves the prediction accuracy significantly. Our study sheds light on the importance of both bridging water molecules and the electronic polarization in the development of more reliable scoring functions for predicting molecular docking and protein-ligand binding affinity. PMID:23651068

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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…

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. The Usage of an Improved Systematic "Analysis Scheme" for Curricula, Which Includes an Historical, Ideological and Social Analysis.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dror, Yuval

    Serious attention should be paid to analysis of the ideological, social, and educational factors that influence Israel's secondary school curriculum. The values of the kibbutz and its educational system are not included in existing school courses and should be integrated into the social studies curriculum. More than 400 curricula, used in schools…

  1. 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.

  2. Radiation-curing of acrylate composites including carbon fibres: A customized surface modification for improving mechanical performances

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, Arnaud; Pietras-Ozga, Dorota; Ponsaud, Philippe; Kowandy, Christelle; Barczak, Mariusz; Defoort, Brigitte; Coqueret, Xavier

    2014-12-01

    The lower transverse mechanical properties of radiation-cured acrylate-based composites reinforced with carbon-fibre with respect to the thermosettable analogues was investigated from the viewpoint of chemical interactions at the interface between the matrix and the carbon material. XPS analysis of representative commercial carbon fibres revealed the presence of a significant amount of chemical functions potentially exerting an adverse effect on the initiation and propagation of the free radical polymerization initiated under high energy radiation. The EB-induced polymerization of n-butyl acrylate as a simple model monomer was conducted in the presence of various aromatic additives exhibiting a strong inhibiting effect, whereas thiols efficiently sensitize the initiation mechanism and undergo transfer reactions. A method based on the surface modification of sized fibres by thiomalic acid is proposed for overcoming the localized inhibition phenomenon and for improving the mechanical properties of the resulting acrylate-based composites.

  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. Speech Improvement for the Trainable Retarded: A Manual for the Classroom Teacher. Revised Edition. (Includes Speech Improvement Activity Book). NCEMMH Reprint Series.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lynch, Elizabeth; Ross, Jeanne

    Presented are 39 lessons and student worksheets designed to help the classroom teacher improve the speech skills of trainable retarded elementary school children. It is explained that the lessons and corresponding activity sheets focus on auditory discrimination, speech sounds and sentence patterns. Lessons are sequenced and usually contain a…

  5. Improvement of surface functionalities, including allergenicity attenuation, of whole buckwheat protein fraction by maillard-type glycation with dextran.

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

    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. 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

  7. 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. PMID:24530062

  8. 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...

  9. 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

  10. The Rural Advantage.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    1983-01-01

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

  11. 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…

  12. Exercise improves physical and psychological quality of life in people with depression: A meta-analysis including the evaluation of control group response.

    PubMed

    Schuch, Felipe B; Vancampfort, Davy; Rosenbaum, Simon; Richards, Justin; Ward, Philip B; Stubbs, Brendon

    2016-07-30

    Exercise has established efficacy as an antidepressant in people with depression. However, few meta-analyses have assessed the effects of exercise across different domains of Quality of Life (QoL) in people with depression. Furthermore, there has been no previous meta-analysis of control group response in relation to QoL in exercise trials for depression. Randomized Clinical Trials(RCTs) were initially identified from a Cochrane review, and those including QoL assessments were included in the analysis. Search of major electronic databases were conducted to identify RCTs that compared the exercise effects on QoL versus control condition in people with depression. A random effects meta-analysis was employed to evaluate the Standardized Mean Difference (SMD). Six RCTs were included. Exercise significantly improved physical and psychological domains and overall QoL. Effects on social relationship and environment domains were not significant. No significant control group response was found for any domain or overall QoL. Exercise can be considered as a therapeutic strategy to improve physical and psychological domains and overall QoL of people with depression, with no effect evident across the social and environmental domains. The lack of improvement among control groups reinforces the role of exercise as a treatment for depression with benefits to QoL. PMID:27155287

  13. Taking Advantage of the Disadvantaged.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fantini, Mario D.; Weinstein, Gerald

    1967-01-01

    The problem of the effective development of educational programs for the educationally disadvantaged is discussed. Salient points for the revitalization of American education are presented, including the major thesis that all American children are educationally disadvantaged. To improve the education of disadvantaged children, the educational…

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. The new Medicare Advantage a disadvantage for providers?

    PubMed

    O'Hare, Patrick K

    2004-03-01

    The Medicare Advantage program, a provision of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003, encourages providers to think about dealing with Medicare Advantage plans the way they now deal with commercial payers. Consequently, the Medicare Advantage program could either benefit or harm providers. PMID:15029797

  18. 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. PMID:16033052

  19. 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

  20. 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,…

  1. 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

  2. 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.…

  3. 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

  4. Coating-removal techniques: Advantages and disadvantages

    SciTech Connect

    Reitz, W.E.

    1994-07-01

    The removal of radioactive and nonradioactive coatings from various surfaces is a subject of increasing interest for a variety of reasons, including remaining life assessment, nondestructive evaluation of structural integrity, and life extension through the adoption of new surface-modification methods. This review summarizes the state of the art in coating-removal technologies, presenting their advantages and limitations. The methods covered include laser ablation, microwaves, flashlamps, ice, CO2, and plastic blast media.

  5. 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

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  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. 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.

  10. 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. PMID:10123422

  11. 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)

  12. 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.…

  13. 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…

  14. Advantage of resonant power conversion in aerospace applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hansen, I. G.

    1983-01-01

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

  15. Improved robustness study of a shock ignited target, with DUED code including non-local electron transport and 3D laser ray-tracing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Atzeni, Stefano; Marocchino, Alberto; Schiavi, Angelo

    2016-03-01

    Accurate descriptions of laser power coupling to the plasma and electron energy transport are crucial for designing shock-ignition targets and assessing their robustness (in particular with regard to laser and positioning errors). To this purpose, the 2D DUED laser fusion code has been improved with the inclusion of a 3D laser ray-tracing scheme and a model for non-local electron transport. 2D simulations with the upgraded code are presented; the dependence of the fusion yield vs target displacement is studied. Two different irradiation configurations are considered.

  16. Improved clinical outcome 3 months after endovascular treatment, including thrombectomy, in patients with acute ischemic stroke: a meta-analysis

    PubMed Central

    Falk-Delgado, Anna; Kuntze Söderqvist, Åsa; Fransén, Jian; Falk-Delgado, Alberto

    2016-01-01

    Background and purpose Intravenous thrombolysis with tissue plasminogen activator is standard treatment in acute stroke today. The benefit of endovascular treatment has been questioned. Recently, studies evaluating endovascular treatment and intravenous thrombolysis compared with intravenous thrombolysis alone, have reported improved outcome for the intervention group. The aim of this study was to perform a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials comparing endovascular treatment in addition to intravenous thrombolysis with intravenous thrombolysis alone. Methods Databases were searched for eligible randomized controlled trials. The primary outcome was a functional neurological outcome after 90 days. A secondary outcome was severe disability and death. Data were pooled in the control and intervention groups, and OR was calculated on an intention to treat basis with 95% CIs. Outcome heterogeneity was evaluated with Cochrane's Q test (significance level cut-off value at <0.10) and I2 (significance cut-off value >50%) with the Mantel–Haenszel method for dichotomous outcomes. A p value <0.05 was regarded as statistically significant. Results Six studies met the eligibility criteria, and data from 1569 patients were analyzed. A higher probability of a functional neurological outcome after 90 days was found for the intervention group (OR 2, 95% CI 2 to 3). There was a significantly higher probability of death and severe disability in the control group compared with the intervention group. Conclusions Endovascular treatment in addition to intravenous thrombolysis for acute ischemic stroke leads to an improved clinical outcome after 3 months, compared with patients receiving intravenous thrombolysis alone. PMID:26138731

  17. 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

  18. 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. PMID:25399464

  19. 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.

  20. Rationale and design of three observational, prospective cohort studies including biobanking to evaluate and improve diagnostics, management strategies and risk stratification in venous thromboembolism: the VTEval Project

    PubMed Central

    Frank, Bernd; Ariza, Liana; Lamparter, Heidrun; Grossmann, Vera; Prochaska, Jürgen H; Ullmann, Alexander; Kindler, Florentina; Weisser, Gerhard; Walter, Ulrich; Lackner, Karl J; Espinola-Klein, Christine; Münzel, Thomas; Konstantinides, Stavros V; Wild, Philipp S

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Venous thromboembolism (VTE) with its two manifestations deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) is a major public health problem. The VTEval Project aims to investigate numerous research questions on diagnosis, clinical management, treatment and prognosis of VTE, which have remained uncertain to date. Methods and analysis The VTEval Project consists of three observational, prospective cohort studies on VTE comprising cohorts of individuals with a clinical suspicion of acute PE (with or without DVT), with a clinical suspicion of acute DVT (without symptomatic PE) and with an incidental diagnosis of VTE (PE or DVT). The VTEval Project expects to enrol a total of approximately 2000 individuals with subsequent active and passive follow-up investigations over a time period of 5 years per participant. Time points for active follow-up investigations are at months 3, 6, 12, 24 and 36 after diagnosis (depending on the disease cohort); passive follow-up investigations via registry offices and the cancer registry are performed 48 and 60 months after diagnosis for all participants. Primary short-term outcome is defined by overall mortality (PE-related death and all other causes of death), primary long-term outcome by symptomatic VTE (PE-related death, recurrence of non-fatal PE or DVT). The VTEval Project includes three ‘all-comer’ studies and involves the standardised acquisition of high-quality data, covering the systematic assessment of VTE including symptoms, risk profile, psychosocial, environmental and lifestyle factors as well as clinical and subclinical disease, and it builds up a large state-of-the-art biorepository containing various materials from serial blood samplings. Ethics and dissemination The VTEval Project has been approved by the local data safety commissioner and the responsible ethics committee (reference no. 837.320.12 (8421-F)). Trial results will be published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at national and

  1. 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

  2. TRICARE: changes included in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007; improvements to descriptions of cancer screening for women. Final rule.

    PubMed

    2010-08-01

    The Department is publishing this final rule to implement section 703 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2007 (FY07), Public Law 109-364. Specifically, that legislation authorizes breast cancer screening and cervical cancer screening for female beneficiaries of the Military Health System, instead of constraining such testing to mammograms and Papanicolaou smears. The rule allows coverage for "breast cancer screening" and "cervical cancer screening" for female beneficiaries of the Military Health System, instead of constraining such testing to mammograms and Papanicolaou tests. This rule ensures new breast and cervical cancer screening procedures can be added to the TRICARE benefit as such procedures are proven to be a safe, effective, and nationally accepted medical practice. This amends the cancer specific recommendations for breast and cervical cancer screenings to be brought in line with the processes for updating other cancer screening recommendations. In response to public comment on the proposed rule, this final rule includes a clarification that the benefit encompasses screening based on Health and Human Services guidelines. PMID:20690236

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Smart Sensors: Advantages and Pitfalls

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    French, Paddy James

    For almost 50 years, silicon sensors have been on the market. There have been many examples of success stories for simple silicon sensors, such as the Hall plate and photo-diode. These have found mass-market applications. The development of micromachining techniques brought pressure sensors and accelerometers into the market and later the gyroscope. These have also achieved mass-market. The remaining issue is how far to integrate. Many of the devices on the market use a simple sensor with external electronics or read-out electronics in the same package (system-in-a-package). However, there are also many examples of fully integrated sensors (smart sensors) where the whole system is integrated into a single chip. If the application and the device technology permit this, there can be many advantages. A broader look at sensors shows a wealth of integrated devices. The critical issues are reliability and packaging if these devices are to find the applications. A number of silicon sensors and actuators have shown great commercial success, but still many more have to find their way out of the laboratory. This paper will examine the development of the technologies, some of the success stories and the opportunities for integrated Microsystems as well as the pitfalls.

  6. 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…

  7. Advantages of semiconductor CZT for medical imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wagenaar, Douglas J.; Parnham, Kevin; Sundal, Bjorn; Maehlum, Gunnar; Chowdhury, Samir; Meier, Dirk; Vandehei, Thor; Szawlowski, Marek; Patt, Bradley E.

    2007-09-01

    Cadmium zinc telluride (CdZnTe, or CZT) is a room-temperature semiconductor radiation detector that has been developed in recent years for a variety of applications. CZT has been investigated for many potential uses in medical imaging, especially in the field of single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT). CZT can also be used in positron emission tomography (PET) as well as photon-counting and integration-mode x-ray radiography and computed tomography (CT). The principal advantages of CZT are 1) direct conversion of x-ray or gamma-ray energy into electron-hole pairs; 2) energy resolution; 3) high spatial resolution and hence high space-bandwidth product; 4) room temperature operation, stable performance, high density, and small volume; 5) depth-of-interaction (DOI) available through signal processing. These advantages will be described in detail with examples from our own CZT systems. The ability to operate at room temperature, combined with DOI and very small pixels, make the use of multiple, stationary CZT "mini-gamma cameras" a realistic alternative to today's large Anger-type cameras that require motion to obtain tomographic sampling. The compatibility of CZT with Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)-fields is demonstrated for a new type of multi-modality medical imaging, namely SPECT/MRI. For pre-clinical (i.e., laboratory animal) imaging, the advantages of CZT lie in spatial and energy resolution, small volume, automated quality control, and the potential for DOI for parallax removal in pinhole imaging. For clinical imaging, the imaging of radiographically dense breasts with CZT enables scatter rejection and hence improved contrast. Examples of clinical breast images with a dual-head CZT system are shown.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  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). PMID:26793818

  11. 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

  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. 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,...

  14. 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.

  15. 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…

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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. PMID:15702597

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    Comparisons of cognitive processing in monolinguals and bilinguals have revealed a bilingual advantage in inhibitory control. Recent studies have demonstrated advantages associated with exposure to two languages in infancy. However, the domain specificity and scope of the infant bilingual advantage in infancy remains unclear. In the present study, 114 monolingual and bilingual infants were compared in a very basic task of information processing-visual habituation-at 6 months of age. Bilingual infants demonstrated greater efficiency in stimulus encoding as well as in improved recognition memory for familiar stimuli as compared to monolinguals. Findings reveal a generalized cognitive advantage in bilingual infants that is broad in scope, early to emerge, and not specific to language. PMID:25074016

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

    PubMed

    Rihmer, Zoltán; Purebl, György

    2009-03-01

    Mirtazapine is an effective antidepressant with unique and special mechanism of action characterized by high response and remission rates, relatively early onest of action and favourable side-effect profile. The present paper reviews some special points of the clinical use of mirtazapine, which is on the market in Hungary for almost 10 years, including its sleep-improving and anxiolytic effets. This review will also touch the management of the most commonly occuring side-effects. PMID:19731817

  2. 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...

  3. Tax-advantaged investing: a wise choice.

    PubMed

    Smith, J

    2001-01-01

    Your investment strategy should be just that--a plan to make the most of your assets. Considering the tax advantages and disadvantages help you stretch your investments and take full advantage of stocks, mutual funds, and other investments. PMID:11862646

  4. 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…

  5. 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)

  6. 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.

  7. Prochlorococcus: Advantages and Limits of Minimalism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Partensky, Frédéric; Garczarek, Laurence

    2010-01-01

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

  8. Prochlorococcus: advantages and limits of minimalism.

    PubMed

    Partensky, Frédéric; Garczarek, Laurence

    2010-01-01

    Prochlorococcus is the key phytoplanktonic organism of tropical gyres, large ocean regions that are depleted of the essential macronutrients needed for photosynthesis and cell growth. This cyanobacterium has adapted itself to oligotrophy by minimizing the resources necessary for life through a drastic reduction of cell and genome sizes. This rarely observed strategy in free-living organisms has conferred on Prochlorococcus a considerable advantage over other phototrophs, including its closest relative Synechococcus, for life in this vast yet little variable ecosystem. However, this strategy seems to reach its limits in the upper layer of the S Pacific gyre, the most oligotrophic region of the world ocean. By losing some important genes and/or functions during evolution, Prochlorococcus has seemingly become dependent on co-occurring microorganisms. In this review, we present some of the recent advances in the ecology, biology, and evolution of Prochlorococcus, which because of its ecological importance and tiny genome is rapidly imposing itself as a model organism in environmental microbiology. PMID:21141667

  9. Airtraq optical laryngoscope: advantages and disadvantages.

    PubMed

    Saracoglu, Kemal Tolga; Eti, Zeynep; Gogus, Fevzi Yilmaz

    2013-06-01

    Difficult or unsuccesful tracheal intubation is one of the important causes for morbidity and mortality in susceptible patients. Almost 30% of the anesthesia-related deaths are induced by the complications of difficult airway management and more than 85% of all respiratory related complications cause brain injury or death. Nowadays, due to the advances in technology, new videolaryngoscopic devices became available. Airtraq is a novel single-use laryngoscope which provides glottis display without any deviation in the normal position of the oral, pharyngeal or the tracheal axes. With the help of the display lens glottis and the surrounding structures are visualised and under direct view of its tip the tracheal tube is introduced between the vocal cords. In patients having restricted neck motion or limited mouth opening (provided that it is greater than 3 cm) Airtraq offers the advantage of a better display. Moreover the video image can be transfered to an external monitor thus an experienced specialist can provide assistance and an educational course can be conducted simultaneously. On the other hand the Airtraq videolaryngoscopic devices possess certain disadvantages including the need of experience and the time demand for the operator to learn how to use them properly, the rapid deterioration of their display in the presence of a swelling or a secretion and the fact that they are rather complicated and expensive devices. The Airtraq device has already documented benefits in the management of difficult airways, however serial utilization obviously necessitates experience. PMID:24180160

  10. 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

  11. 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... small businesses and entrepreneurs in underserved markets, SBA is issuing this notice to revise...

  12. 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

  13. Electronic Recruiting: An Alternative with Many Advantages.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hicks, Mary J.; Woo, Tony Chi-Hung

    1989-01-01

    Discusses electronic recruiting, a process which enables employers to directly access computerized college student resume information via modem. Addresses such advantages as providing up-to-date student information and alleviating paperwork. Provides an example of this system. (BHK)

  14. 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

  15. Quasi-independence, fitness, and advantageousness.

    PubMed

    Brosnan, Kevin

    2009-09-01

    I argue that the idea of 'quasi-independence' [Lewontin, R. C. (1978). Adaptation. Scientific American, 239(3), 212-230] cannot be understood without attending to the distinction between fitness and advantageousness [Sober, E. (1993). Philosophy of biology. Boulder: Westview Press]. Natural selection increases the frequency of fitter traits, not necessarily of advantageous ones. A positive correlation between an advantageous trait and a disadvantageous one may prevent the advantageous trait from evolving. The quasi-independence criterion is aimed at specifying the conditions under which advantageous traits will evolve by natural selection in this type of situation. Contrary to what others have argued [Sterelny, K. (1992). Evolutionary explanations of human behavior. Australian Journal of Philosophy, 70(2), 156-172, and Sterelny, K., & Griffiths, P. (1999). Sex and death. Chicago: University of Chicago Press], these conditions must involve a precise quantitative measure of (a) the extent to which advantageous traits are beneficial, and (b) the degree to which they are correlated with other traits. Driscoll (2004) [Driscoll, C. (2004). Can behaviors be adaptations? Philosophy of Science, 71, 16-35] recognizes the need for such a measure, but I argue that she does not provide the correct formulation. The account of quasi-independence that I offer clarifies this point. PMID:19720331

  16. Response speed advantage for vision does not extend to touch in early deaf adults.

    PubMed

    Heimler, Benedetta; Pavani, Francesco

    2014-04-01

    Early deaf adults typically respond faster than hearing controls when performing a speeded simple detection on visual targets. Whether this response time advantage can generalise to another intact modality (touch) or it is instead specific to visual processing remained unexplored. We tested eight early deaf adults and twelve hearing controls in a simple detection task, with visual or tactile targets delivered on the arms and occupying the same locations in external space. Catch trials were included in the experimental paradigm. Results revealed a response time advantage in deaf adults compared to hearing controls, selectively for visual targets. This advantage did not extend to touch. The number of anticipation errors was negligible and comparable in both groups. The present findings strengthen the notion that response time advantage in deaf adults emerges as a consequence of changes specific to visual processing. They also exclude the involvement of sensory-unspecific cognitive mechanisms in this improvement (e.g. increased impulsivity in initiation of response, longer-lasting sustained attention or higher motivation to perform the task). Finally, they provide initial evidence that the intact sensory modalities can reorganise independently from each other following early auditory deprivation. PMID:24477765

  17. Competitive Advantage of PET/MRI

    PubMed Central

    Jadvar, Hossein; Colletti, Patrick M.

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23791129

  18. 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. PMID:23791129

  19. 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

  20. Solvent refining of lube oils the MP advantage

    SciTech Connect

    Jahnke, F.C.

    1986-01-01

    The current trend in lube oil solvent refining is towards the increased use of MP (N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone) as the solvent. This paper explains why by providing an economic analysis of using MP versus furfural refining. Included are a grassroots comparison; an analysis of converting an existing unit to MP; and a brief review of why MP provides an advantage.

  1. Detection advantages of spatial oversampling in imaging sensors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, Jerry A.; Caulfield, John T.; Dhar, Nibir K.

    2013-09-01

    Cyan Systems has recently developed an approach to focal plane assembly (FPA) architecture which represent a significant advancement in information extraction from the data as it is being collected. This approach utilizes sub-pixels which achieve a high degree of oversampling of the sensors Point Spread Function (PSF), well beyond the Nyquist limit for a critically sampled sensor. The data contained in an oversampled image has the obvious advantage of readily discriminating between focal plane and object generated artifacts as the first step in false alarm rejection. This effect is particularly useful at identification of radiation events. However there are further advantages that can be exploited through nearest neighbor subpixel correlation, and pooling that achieves significant noise reduction and therefore improved sensitivity. In Cyan's architecture these processes are accomplished for the first time at the input to the preamp in the ROIC. This approach not only allows improved fidelity in imaging, but further reduces false alarm rates, improves detection ranges, and demonstrates an improved ability to track closely spaced objects. The small pixels that enable this approach also ensure improved radiation hardness reducing the capture cross section. The architecture has been modeled and simulations run which illustrate the dramatic improvements possible.

  2. 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

  3. Polyploidy in haloarchaea: advantages for growth and survival.

    PubMed

    Zerulla, Karolin; Soppa, Jörg

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Polyploidy in haloarchaea: advantages for growth and survival

    PubMed Central

    Zerulla, Karolin; Soppa, Jörg

    2014-01-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 76 FR 9626 - Community Advantage Pilot Program

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-02-18

    ... and members of the military community. The Community Advantage Pilot Program will allow mission... military community. This new pilot program will replace the current Community Express Pilot Loan Program, which has been extended through April 30, 2011. (75 FR 80561, December 22, 2010) No new...

  7. 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…

  8. 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

  9. 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…

  10. Survival advantages of obesity in dialysis patients.

    PubMed

    Kalantar-Zadeh, Kamyar; Abbott, Kevin C; Salahudeen, Abdulla K; Kilpatrick, Ryan D; Horwich, Tamara B

    2005-03-01

    In the general population, a high body mass index (BMI; in kg/m(2)) is associated with increased cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality. However, the effect of overweight (BMI: 25-30) or obesity (BMI: >30) in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) undergoing maintenance hemodialysis (MHD) is paradoxically in the opposite direction; ie, a high BMI is associated with improved survival. Although this "reverse epidemiology" of obesity or dialysis-risk-paradox is relatively consistent in MHD patients, studies in CKD patients undergoing peritoneal dialysis have yielded mixed results. Growing confusion has developed among physicians, some of whom are no longer confident about whether to treat obesity in CKD patients. A similar reverse epidemiology of obesity has been described in geriatric populations and in patients with chronic heart failure (CHF). Possible causes of the reverse epidemiology of obesity include a more stable hemodynamic status, alterations in circulating cytokines, unique neurohormonal constellations, endotoxin-lipoprotein interaction, reverse causation, survival bias, time discrepancies among competitive risk factors, and malnutrition-inflammation complex syndrome. Reverse epidemiology may have significant clinical implications in the management of dialysis, CHF, and geriatric patients, ie, populations with extraordinarily high mortality. Exploring the causes and consequences of the reverse epidemiology of obesity in dialysis patients can enhance our insights into similar paradoxes observed for other conventional risk factors, such as blood pressure and serum cholesterol and homocysteine concentrations, and in other populations such as those with CHF, advanced age, cancer, or AIDS. Weight-gaining interventional studies in dialysis patients are urgently needed to ascertain whether they can improve survival and quality of life. PMID:15755821

  11. 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

  12. What factors contribute to an ownership advantage?

    PubMed

    Fayed, S A; Jennions, M D; Backwell, P R Y

    2008-04-23

    In most taxa, owners win fights when defending a territory against intruders. We calculated effect sizes for four factors that potentially contribute to an 'owner advantage'. We studied male fiddler crabs Uca mjoebergi, where owners won 92% of natural fights. Owners were not more successful because they were inherently better fighters (r=0.02). There was a small effect (r=0.18) of the owner's knowledge of territory quality (food availability) and a medium effect (r=0.29) of his having established relations with neighbours (duration of active tenure), but neither was statistically significant. There was, however, a significant effect due to the mechanical advantage the owner gained through access to the burrow during fights (r=0.48, p<0.005). PMID:18089521

  13. The oblique mastectomy incision: advantages and outcomes.

    PubMed

    Gronet, Edward M; Halvorson, Eric G

    2014-01-01

    Mastectomy has traditionally been performed using a transverse elliptical incision. The disadvantages of this approach are a potentially visible scar medially and poor subincisional soft-tissue coverage of implants laterally. A more natural and aesthetic result is obtained with an oblique incision running parallel to the pectoralis major muscle fibers. This approach offers women more freedom of choice in clothing as well as the potential for complete subincisional muscle coverage in alloplastic breast reconstruction, in addition to other functional advantages. PMID:24835870

  14. 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

  15. Advantages of polarization experiments at RHIC

    SciTech Connect

    Underwood, D.G.

    1990-01-01

    We point out various spin experiments that could be done if the polarized beam option is pursued at RHIC. The advantages of RHIC for investigating several current and future physics problems are discussed. In particular, the gluon spin dependent structure function of the nucleon could be measured cleanly and systematically. Relevant experience developed in conjunction with the Fermilab Polarized Beam program is also presented. 8 refs., 2 tabs.

  16. 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

  17. Advantageous effect of theanine intake on cognition.

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

    Theanine, γ-glutamylethylamide, is one of the major amino acid components in green tea. On the basis of the preventive effect of theanine intake after weaning on stress-induced impairment of recognition memory, the advantageous effect of theanine intake on recognition memory was examined in young rats, which were fed water containing 0.3% theanine for 3 weeks after weaning. The rats were subjected to object recognition test. Object recognition memory was maintained in theanine-administered rats 48 hours after the training, but not in the control rats. When in vivo dentate gyrus long-term potentiation (LTP) was induced, it was more greatly induced in theanine-administered rats than in the control rats. The levels of brain-derived neurotropic factor and nerve growth factor in the hippocampus were significantly higher in theanine-administered rats than in the control rats. The present study indicates the advantageous effect of theanine intake after weaning on recognition memory. It is likely that theanine intake is of advantage to the development of hippocampal function after weaning. PMID:24621060

  18. Does cultural integration explain a mental health advantage for adolescents?

    PubMed Central

    Bhui, Kamaldeep S; Lenguerrand, Erik; Maynard, Maria J; Stansfeld, Stephen A; Harding, Seeromanie

    2012-01-01

    Background A mental health advantage has been observed among adolescents in urban areas. This prospective study tests whether cultural integration measured by cross-cultural friendships explains a mental health advantage for adolescents. Methods A prospective cohort of adolescents was recruited from 51 secondary schools in 10 London boroughs. Cultural identity was assessed by friendship choices within and across ethnic groups. Cultural integration is one of four categories of cultural identity. Using gender-specific linear-mixed models we tested whether cultural integration explained a mental health advantage, and whether gender and age were influential. Demographic and other relevant factors, such as ethnic group, socio-economic status, family structure, parenting styles and perceived racism were also measured and entered into the models. Mental health was measured by the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire as a ‘total difficulties score’ and by classification as a ‘probable clinical case’. Results A total of 6643 pupils in first and second years of secondary school (ages 11–13 years) took part in the baseline survey (2003/04) and 4785 took part in the follow-up survey in 2005–06. Overall mental health improved with age, more so in male rather than female students. Cultural integration (friendships with own and other ethnic groups) was associated with the lowest levels of mental health problems especially among male students. This effect was sustained irrespective of age, ethnicity and other potential explanatory variables. There was a mental health advantage among specific ethnic groups: Black Caribbean and Black African male students (Nigerian/Ghanaian origin) and female Indian students. This was not fully explained by cultural integration, although cultural integration was independently associated with better mental health. Conclusions Cultural integration was associated with better mental health, independent of the mental health advantage

  19. Pump apparatus including deconsolidator

    DOEpatents

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

    2014-10-07

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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Colucci, C

    1998-01-01

    This article shows medical groups how they can employ new financial management and information technology techniques to safeguard their revenue and income streams. These managerial techniques stem from the application of the medical group revenue function, which is defined herein. This article also describes how the medical group revenue function can be used to create value by employing a database and a decision support system. Finally, the article describes how the decision support system can be used to create competitive advantage. Through the wise use of internally generated information, medical groups can negotiate better contract terms, improve their operations, cut their costs, embark on capital investment programs and improve market share. As medical groups gain market power by improving in these areas, they will be more attractive to potential strategic allies, payers and investment bankers. PMID:10181647

  3. 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

  4. Ghost ileostomy: real and potential advantages.

    PubMed

    Miccini, Michelangelo; Amore Bonapasta, Stefano; Gregori, Matteo; Barillari, Paolo; Tocchi, Adriano

    2010-10-01

    Loop ileostomy is created to minimize the clinical impact of colorectal anastomotic leak. However, a lot of complications may be associated with ileostomy presence and with its reversal. Moreover, patients hardly accept the quality of life resulting from ileostomy. We describe a simple technique (ghost ileostomy) to combine all the advantages of a disposable ileostomy without entailing its complications in patients submitted to low rectal resection. In case of uneventful postoperative course, the ghost ileostomy prevents all complications related to defunctioning ileostomy. At the same time, in case of anastomotic leakage, the ghost ileostomy is easily and safely converted into a defunctioning ileostomy. PMID:20887836

  5. 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. PMID:8710317

  6. 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. PMID:10146130

  7. Underreporting High-Risk Prescribing Among Medicare Advantage Plans

    PubMed Central

    Cooper, Alicia L.; Kazis, Lewis E.; Dore, David D.; Mor, Vincent; Trivedi, Amal N.

    2016-01-01

    Background Although Medicare Advantage plans are required to report clinical performance using Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) quality indicators, the accuracy of plan-reported performance rates is unknown. Objective To compare calculated and reported rates of high-risk prescribing among Medicare Advantage plans. Design Cross-sectional comparison. Setting 172 Medicare Advantage plans. Patients A random sample of beneficiaries in 172 Medicare Advantage plans in 2006 (n = 177 227) and 2007 (n = 173 655). Measurements Plan-reported HEDIS rates of high-risk prescribing among elderly persons were compared with rates calculated from Medicare Advantage plans’ Part D claims by using the same measure specifications and source population. Results The mean rate of high-risk prescribing derived from Part D claims was 26.9% (95% CI, 25.9% to 28.0%), whereas the mean plan-reported rate was 21.1% (CI, 20.0% to 22.3%). Approximately 95% of plans underreported rates of high-risk prescribing relative to calculated rates derived from Part D claims. The differences in the calculated and reported rates negatively affected quality rankings for the plans that most accurately reported rates. For example, the 9 plans that reported rates of high-risk prescribing within 1 percentage point of calculated rates were ranked 43.4 positions lower when reported rates were used instead of calculated rates. Among 103 680 individuals present in both the sample of Part D claims and HEDIS data in 2006, Medicare Advantage plans incorrectly excluded 10.3% as ineligible for the HEDIS high-risk prescribing measure. Among those correctly included in the high-risk prescribing denominator, the reported rate of high-risk prescribing was 21.9% and the calculated rate was 26.2%. Limitation A single quality measure was assessed. Conclusion Medicare Advantage plans underreport rates of high-risk prescribing, suggesting a role for routine audits to ensure the validity of publicly reported

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-02-28

    In a two-choice discrimination paradigm, a bottlenose dolphin discriminated relational dimensions between visual numerosity stimuli under monocular viewing conditions. After prior binocular acquisition of the task, two monocular test series with different number stimuli were conducted. In accordance with recent studies on visual lateralization in the bottlenose dolphin, our results revealed an overall advantage of the right visual field. Due to the complete decussation of the optic nerve fibers, this suggests a specialization of the left hemisphere for analysing relational features between stimuli as required in tests for numerical abilities. These processes are typically right hemisphere-based in other mammals (including humans) and birds. The present data provide further evidence for a general right visual field advantage in bottlenose dolphins for visual information processing. It is thus assumed that dolphins possess a unique functional architecture of their cerebral asymmetries. PMID:15686828

  9. MEK inhibitors and their potential in the treatment of advanced melanoma: the advantages of combination therapy

    PubMed Central

    Tran, Khiem A; Cheng, Michelle Y; Mitra, Anupam; Ogawa, Hiromi; Shi, Vivian Y; Olney, Laura P; Kloxin, April M; Maverakis, Emanual

    2016-01-01

    The treatment of melanoma has improved markedly over the last several years with the advent of more targeted therapies. Unfortunately, complex compensation mechanisms, such as those of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway, have limited the clinical benefit of these treatments. Recently, a better understanding of melanoma resistance mechanisms has given way to intelligently designed multidrug regimes. Herein, we review the extensive pathways of BRAF inhibitor (vemurafenib and dabrafenib) resistance. We also review the advantages of dual therapy, including the addition of an MEK inhibitor (cobimetinib or trametinib), which has proven to increase progression-free survival when compared to BRAF inhibitor monotherapy. Finally, this review touches on future treatment strategies that are being developed for advanced melanoma, including the possibility of triple therapy with immune checkpoint inhibitors and the work on optimizing sequential therapy. PMID:26730180

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Small and Large Animal Models in Cardiac Contraction Research: Advantages and Disadvantages

    PubMed Central

    Milani-Nejad, Nima; Janssen, Paul M.L.

    2013-01-01

    The mammalian heart is responsible for not only pumping blood throughout the body but also adjusting this pumping activity quickly depending upon sudden changes in the metabolic demands of the body. For the most part, the human heart is capable of performing its duties without complications; however, throughout many decades of use, at some point this system encounters problems. Research into the heart’s activities during healthy states and during adverse impacts that occur in disease states is necessary in order to strategize novel treatment options to ultimately prolong and improve patients’ lives. Animal models are an important aspect of cardiac research where a variety of cardiac processes and therapeutic targets can be studied. However, there are differences between the heart of a human being and an animal and depending on the specific animal, these differences can become more pronounced and in certain cases limiting. There is no ideal animal model available for cardiac research, the use of each animal model is accompanied with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. In this review, we will discuss these advantages and disadvantages of commonly used laboratory animals including mouse, rat, rabbit, canine, swine, and sheep. Since the goal of cardiac research is to enhance our understanding of human health and disease and help improve clinical outcomes, we will also discuss the role of human cardiac tissue in cardiac research. This review will focus on the cardiac ventricular contractile and relaxation kinetics of humans and animal models in order to illustrate these differences. PMID:24140081

  13. 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

  14. The Advantages of a Tapered Whisker

    PubMed Central

    Williams, Christopher M.; Kramer, Eric M.

    2010-01-01

    The role of facial vibrissae (whiskers) in the behavior of terrestrial mammals is principally as a supplement or substitute for short-distance vision. Each whisker in the array functions as a mechanical transducer, conveying forces applied along the shaft to mechanoreceptors in the follicle at the whisker base. Subsequent processing of mechanoreceptor output in the trigeminal nucleus and somatosensory cortex allows high accuracy discriminations of object distance, direction, and surface texture. The whiskers of terrestrial mammals are tapered and approximately circular in cross section. We characterize the taper of whiskers in nine mammal species, measure the mechanical deflection of isolated felid whiskers, and discuss the mechanics of a single whisker under static and oscillatory deflections. We argue that a tapered whisker provides some advantages for tactile perception (as compared to a hypothetical untapered whisker), and that this may explain why the taper has been preserved during the evolution of terrestrial mammals. PMID:20098714

  15. Provable quantum advantage in randomness processing.

    PubMed

    Dale, Howard; Jennings, David; Rudolph, Terry

    2015-01-01

    Quantum advantage is notoriously hard to find and even harder to prove. For example the class of functions computable with classical physics exactly coincides with the class computable quantum mechanically. It is strongly believed, but not proven, that quantum computing provides exponential speed-up for a range of problems, such as factoring. Here we address a computational scenario of randomness processing in which quantum theory provably yields, not only resource reduction over classical stochastic physics, but a strictly larger class of problems which can be solved. Beyond new foundational insights into the nature and malleability of randomness, and the distinction between quantum and classical information, these results also offer the potential of developing classically intractable simulations with currently accessible quantum technologies. PMID:26381816

  16. The advantages of a tapered whisker.

    PubMed

    Williams, Christopher M; Kramer, Eric M

    2010-01-01

    The role of facial vibrissae (whiskers) in the behavior of terrestrial mammals is principally as a supplement or substitute for short-distance vision. Each whisker in the array functions as a mechanical transducer, conveying forces applied along the shaft to mechanoreceptors in the follicle at the whisker base. Subsequent processing of mechanoreceptor output in the trigeminal nucleus and somatosensory cortex allows high accuracy discriminations of object distance, direction, and surface texture. The whiskers of terrestrial mammals are tapered and approximately circular in cross section. We characterize the taper of whiskers in nine mammal species, measure the mechanical deflection of isolated felid whiskers, and discuss the mechanics of a single whisker under static and oscillatory deflections. We argue that a tapered whisker provides some advantages for tactile perception (as compared to a hypothetical untapered whisker), and that this may explain why the taper has been preserved during the evolution of terrestrial mammals. PMID:20098714

  17. Ultraspectral imaging and the snapshot advantage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kudenov, Michael W.; Gupta Roy, Subharup; Pantalone, Brett; Maione, Bryan

    2015-05-01

    Ultraspectral sensing has been investigated as a way to resolve terrestrial chemical fluorescence within solar Fraunhofer lines. Referred to as Fraunhofer Line Discriminators (FLDs), these sensors attempt to measure "band filling" of terrestrial fluorescence within these naturally dark regions of the spectrum. However, the method has challenging signal to noise ratio limitations due to the low fluorescence emission signal of the target, which is exacerbated by the high spectral resolution required by the sensor (<0.1 nm). To now, many Fraunhofer line discriminators have been scanning sensors; either pushbroom or whiskbroom, which require temporal and/or spatial scanning to acquire an image. In this paper, we attempt to quantify the snapshot throughput advantage in ultraspectral imaging for FLD. This is followed by preliminary results of our snapshot FLD sensor. The system has a spatial resolution of 280x280 pixels and a spectral resolving power of approximately 10,000 at a 658 nm operating wavelength.

  18. Neural responses to advantageous and disadvantageous inequity.

    PubMed

    Fliessbach, Klaus; Phillipps, Courtney B; Trautner, Peter; Schnabel, Marieke; Elger, Christian E; Falk, Armin; Weber, Bernd

    2012-01-01

    In this paper we study neural responses to inequitable distributions of rewards despite equal performance. We specifically focus on differences between advantageous inequity (AI) and disadvantageous inequity (DI). AI and DI were realized in a hyperscanning functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) experiment with pairs of subjects simultaneously performing a task in adjacent scanners and observing both subjects' rewards. Results showed (1) hypoactivation of the ventral striatum (VS) under DI but not under AI; (2) inequity induced activation of the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) that was stronger under DI than under AI; (3) correlations between subjective evaluations of AI evaluation and bilateral ventrolateral prefrontal and left insular activity. Our study provides neurophysiological evidence for different cognitive processes that occur when exposed to DI and AI, respectively. One possible interpretation is that any form of inequity represents a norm violation, but that important differences between AI and DI emerge from an asymmetric involvement of status concerns. PMID:22701414

  19. Neural responses to advantageous and disadvantageous inequity

    PubMed Central

    Fliessbach, Klaus; Phillipps, Courtney B.; Trautner, Peter; Schnabel, Marieke; Elger, Christian E.; Falk, Armin; Weber, Bernd

    2012-01-01

    In this paper we study neural responses to inequitable distributions of rewards despite equal performance. We specifically focus on differences between advantageous inequity (AI) and disadvantageous inequity (DI). AI and DI were realized in a hyperscanning functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) experiment with pairs of subjects simultaneously performing a task in adjacent scanners and observing both subjects' rewards. Results showed (1) hypoactivation of the ventral striatum (VS) under DI but not under AI; (2) inequity induced activation of the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) that was stronger under DI than under AI; (3) correlations between subjective evaluations of AI evaluation and bilateral ventrolateral prefrontal and left insular activity. Our study provides neurophysiological evidence for different cognitive processes that occur when exposed to DI and AI, respectively. One possible interpretation is that any form of inequity represents a norm violation, but that important differences between AI and DI emerge from an asymmetric involvement of status concerns. PMID:22701414

  20. 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.

  1. The mechanical defence advantage of small seeds.

    PubMed

    Fricke, Evan C; Wright, S Joseph

    2016-08-01

    Seed size and toughness affect seed predators, and size-dependent investment in mechanical defence could affect relationships between seed size and predation. We tested how seed toughness and mechanical defence traits (tissue density and protective tissue content) are related to seed size among tropical forest species. Absolute toughness increased with seed size. However, smaller seeds had higher specific toughness both within and among species, with the smallest seeds requiring over 2000 times more energy per gram to break than the largest seeds. Investment in mechanical defence traits varied widely but independently of the toughness-mass allometry. Instead, a physical scaling relationship confers a toughness advantage on small seeds independent of selection on defence traits and without a direct cost. This scaling relationship may contribute to seed size diversity by decreasing fitness differences among large and small seeds. Allometric scaling of toughness reconciles predictions and conflicting empirical relationships between seed size and predation. PMID:27324185

  2. [Risks and advantages of the vegetarian diet].

    PubMed

    Krajcovicová-Kudlácková, M; Simoncic, R; Béderová, A

    1997-12-01

    The authors summarize the health risks and advantages of alternative nutrition-lactovegetarian, lactoovovegetarian and vegan. These dietary patterns involve risk in particular during pregnancy, lactation and for the growing organism. Veganism excluding all foods of animal origin involves the greatest risk. General nutritional principles for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, oncological diseases and diabetes are fully met by the vegetarian diet. Vegetarians and vegans have low risk factors of atherosclerosis and conversely higher levels of antisclerotic substances. Overthreshold values of essential antioxidants in vegetarians imply a protective action against reactive metabolic oxygen products and toxic products of lipid peroxidation and may reduce the incidence of free radical diseases. The authors also draw attention to some still open problems of vegetarianism (higher n-3 fatty acids, taurine, carnitine). In the conclusion semivegetarianism is evaluated. PMID:9476373

  3. Steel monoleg design tries for concrete advantages

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1984-11-01

    The conceptual design of a fixed steel monoleg structure designed for North Sea water depths of 80-250 meters is described. The design was commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and funded in part by the European Economic Community. The design aims to give a steel structure some of the advantages of concrete condeeps. Maintenance should be minimized by enclosing the risers inside a monopod. The single-shell, variable geometry of the column structure should also serve to equalize stresses, unlike a conventional space frame where stresses tend to concentrate around the nodes. Construction and installation could be vertical, as in condeep style, or horizontal, as in steel jackets. Thus the fixed steel platform could be either barge-towed and upended with ballast tanks or floated out vertically as built and towed, like a condeep, to a mating with an integrated deck before final tow and installation by simple ballasting.

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

    PubMed

    Ehrler, Frederic; Lovis, Christian

    2014-01-01

    The demographic transition in industrialized countries leads to a growth of elderly population. This population is more prone to chronic diseases and puts an increasing pressure on the healthcare system. One way to reduce the cost associated to the support of this population is to improve its autonomy to keep it independent as long as possible. Many assistive technologies and environmental interventions can be implemented to achieve this goal. In this paper, we are looking at the advantages and drawbacks of smartwatches as a platform to support elderly at home. By doing a literature search and by performing expert interview, we have identified the advantages of this technology to insure the success of promising applications as well as the obstacles that should be gone beyond. Among the advantages, the ubiquity of smartwatches makes possible a continuous medical surveillance, harder to achieve with other devices. Moreover, the versatility of smartwatches provides an appropriate ground to implement a centralized platform providing multiples services facilitating elderly homecare. However, the physical constraints of the watches such as the tiny screen size, the small connectors and the limited power autonomy can be significant barriers to the adoption of these tools. In conclusion, beside the actual homecare system, improving the autonomy and the independence of elderly at home can be leveraged by a combination of environmental and assistive technologies. Smartwatches have definitively the potential to become close assistants to help elderly in their daily life. However, this will not be achieved without dedicating a significant effort in designing appropriate user interfaces and certainly dedicated hardware to respond to the constraints associated with potential physical and cognitive impairments. PMID:25160270

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Are amino groups advantageous to insensitive high explosives (IHEs)?

    PubMed

    Cao, Xia; Wen, Yushi; Xiang, Bin; Long, Xinping; Zhang, Chaoyang

    2012-10-01

    There is usually a contradiction between increasing energy densities and reducing sensitivities of explosives. The explosives with both high energy densities and low sensitivities, or the so-called insensitive high explosives (IHEs), are desirable in most cases. It seems from applied explosives that amino groups are advantageous to IHE but the amount of amino groups contained IHEs is very limited. To make this clear, we present systemic examinations of the effects on the two properties stressed in IHEs after introducing amino groups to different molecular skeletons. As a result, the amino groups on resonant sites to nitro groups in conjugated systems can improve distinctly sensitivities and change energy densities in terms of oxygen balance; while the amino groups in unconjugated systems can hardly increase energy densities and usually cause increased sensitivities. It agrees well with a fact that almost all the molecules of applied amino group contained explosives possess conjugated skeletons. We therefore confirm that if amino groups are introduced resonantly to a nitro group in a conjugated system and the introduction improves OB, they are advantageous to IHEs. PMID:22660963

  8. Using integration technology as a strategic advantage.

    PubMed

    Fry, P A

    1993-08-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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. PMID:26017626

  12. 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

  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. 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.

  15. 77 FR 67433 - Community Advantage Pilot Program

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-11-09

    ... CA Pilot Program (76 FR 9626). The CA Pilot Program was introduced to increase the number of SBA... FR 56262). SBA continues to refine and improve the design of the CA Pilot Program and, on February 8... Service Providers. (77 FR 6619). To further support SBA's commitment to expanding access to capital...

  16. 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…

  17. Some Suggested Advantages and Disadvantages of Collective Bargaining. Special Report No. 1.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Angell, George W.

    This report reviews briefly some advantages and disadvantages of collective bargaining in higher education. Advantages discussed include: efficiency, equality of power, legal force, impasse resolution, communication, understanding the institution, resolution of individual problems, definition of policy, rights guarantee, faculty compensation,…

  18. Families classification including multiopposition asteroids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Milani, Andrea; Spoto, Federica; Knežević, Zoran; Novaković, Bojan; Tsirvoulis, Georgios

    2016-01-01

    In this paper we present the results of our new classification of asteroid families, upgraded by using catalog with > 500,000 asteroids. We discuss the outcome of the most recent update of the family list and of their membership. We found enough evidence to perform 9 mergers of the previously independent families. By introducing an improved method of estimation of the expected family growth in the less populous regions (e.g. at high inclination) we were able to reliably decide on rejection of one tiny group as a probable statistical fluke. Thus we reduced our current list to 115 families. We also present newly determined ages for 6 families, including complex 135 and 221, improving also our understanding of the dynamical vs. collisional families relationship. We conclude with some recommendations for the future work and for the family name problem.

  19. Searching for the Advantages of Virus Sex

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turner, Paul E.

    2003-02-01

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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Building and Accessing Clausal Representations: The Advantage of First Mention versus the Advantage of Clause Recency

    PubMed Central

    Gernsbacher, Morton Ann; Hargreaves, David J.; Beeman, Mark

    2014-01-01

    We investigated two seemingly contradictory phenomena: the Advantage of the First-Mentioned Participant (participants mentioned first in a sentence are more accessible than participants mentioned second) and the Advantage of the Most Recent Clause (concepts mentioned in the most recent clause are more accessible than concepts mentioned in an earlier clause). We resolved this contradiction by measuring how quickly comprehenders accessed participants mentioned in the first versus second clauses of two-clause sentences. Our data supported the following hypotheses: Comprehenders represent each clause of a two-clause sentence in its own mental substructure. Comprehenders have greatest access to information in the substructure that they are currently developing; that is, they have greatest access to the most recent clause. However, at some point, the first clause becomes more accessible because the substructure representing the first clause of a two-clause sentence serves as a foundation for the whole sentence-level representation. PMID:25505819

  6. 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)…

  7. 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,…

  8. Releasable High-Mechanical-Advantage Linear Actuator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Young, Gordon H.

    1994-01-01

    Proposed linear actuator includes ball-screw mechanism made to engage or disengage piston as needed. Requires low power to maintain release and no power to maintain engagement. Pins sliding radially in solenoids in yoke engage or disengage slot in piston. With help of optoelectronic feedback, yoke made to follow free piston during disengagement so always in position to "grab" piston.

  9. 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...

  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. A Proposal for Including Patient-Generated Web-based Creative Writing Material into Psychotherapy: Advantages and Challenges

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

    Creative writing presents both a challenging and promising modality for psychotherapy. Though it has been used in various settings, the application within a session can be difficult. This case study presents a use of a web-based format to engage a resistant patient through her creative writing. Benefits and potential pitfalls of using a patient’s writing in therapy are discussed. PMID:19727286

  12. 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

  13. Effect of Medicare Advantage Payments on Dually Eligible Medicare Beneficiaries

    PubMed Central

    Atherly, Adam; Dowd, Bryan E.

    2005-01-01

    This study estimates the effect of Medicare Advantage (MA) payments and State Medicaid policies on the choice by Medicaid eligible Medicare beneficiaries to either join a MA plan, remain in the fee-for-service (FFS) and enroll in Medicaid (dually enrolled), or remain in FFS Medicare without joining Medicaid. Individual plan choice was modeled using a multinomial logit. The sample includes Medicaid-eligible Medicare beneficiaries (including specified low income Medicare beneficiaries [SLMBs] and qualified Medicare beneficiaries [QMBs]) drawn from the 2000 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS). We find a $10 increase in monthly MA payment reduces the probability of dual enrollment by four percentage points, and FFS Medicare enrollment by 11 percentage points. PMID:17290630

  14. Transrectal ultrasonography of anorectal diseases: advantages and disadvantages

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Transrectal ultrasonography (TRUS) has been widely accepted as a popular imaging modality for Epub ahead of print evaluating the lower rectum, anal sphincters, and pelvic floor in patients with various anorectal diseases. It provides excellent visualization of the layers of the rectal wall and of the anatomy of the anal canal. TRUS is an accurate tool for the staging of primary rectal cancer, especially for early stages. Although magnetic resonance imaging is a modality complementary to TRUS with advantages for evaluating the mesorectum, external sphincter, and deep pelvic inflammation, three-dimensional ultrasonography improves the detection and characterization of perianal fistulas and therefore plays a crucial role in optimal treatment planning. The operator should be familiar with the anatomy of the rectum and pelvic structures relevant to the preoperative evaluation of rectal cancer and other anal canal diseases, and should have technical proficiency in the use of TRUS combined with an awareness of its limitations compared to magnetic resonance imaging. PMID:25492891

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Do Older Professional Musicians Have Cognitive Advantages?

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:23940774

  18. 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. PMID:23940774

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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,…

  3. Apixaban and atrial fibrillation: no clear advantage.

    PubMed

    2014-02-01

    For the prevention of thromboembolic events in patients with atrial fibrillation and a high thrombotic risk, the standard treatment is warfarin, an anticoagulant. Dabigatran, a thrombin inhibitor, is the alternative when warfarin fails to maintain the INR within the therapeutic range. Patients with a moderate thrombotic risk may receive either warfarin or low-dose aspirin. Apixaban, a factor Xa inhibitor anticoagulant, has been authorised in the European Union for use in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation and a moderate or high risk of thrombosis. In a double-blind, randomised non-inferiority trial versus warfarin in 18 201 patients, the incidence of stroke or systemic embolism was lower in the apixaban group (average 1.3 versus 1.6 events per 100 patient-years; p = 0.01). This difference was mainly due to a lower incidence of haemorrhagic stroke and did not result in a clear decline in mortality. In addition, these results are undermined by multiple methodological flaws. Clinical evaluation included no trials comparing apixaban with dabigatran; any indirect comparison would be risky given the poor quality of the clinical assessment of both drugs in atrial fibrillation. A double-blind, randomised trial including 5598 patients compared apixaban with aspirin but provided little information on these options in patients with a moderate risk of thrombosis, as most patients were at high risk. In clinical trials, major bleeding events were less frequent with apixaban than with warfarin (average 2.1 versus 3.1 events per 100 patient-years), but they were more frequent with apixaban than with aspirin (1.4 versus 0.9 events per 100 patient-years). In 2013, there is no way of monitoring the anticoagulant activity of apixaban in routine clinical practice, and there is no antidote in case of overdose; the same is true for dabigatran. Apixaban is a substrate for various cytochrome P450 isoenzymes and for P-glycoprotein, creating a risk of multiple drug

  4. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Progestin-only injectables offer many advantages.

    PubMed

    Finger, W R

    1995-06-01

    Progestin-only injectables are among the most effective and safe of all contraceptives, yet they are not widely used in many countries. This limited use is in part due to a lack of accurate information about health concerns, inadequate counseling for users about managing side effects, and their limited availability. Where they are available, progestin-only injectables rapidly become one of the preferred methods. Depot-medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA) and norethindrone enanthate (NET-EN) are the two progestin-only injectables in use worldwide. The former drug is sold under the brand name Depo-Provera, and the latter as Noristerat. DMPA is delivered in a water-based, crystalline suspension and absorbed gradually by the body. The normal injection of 150 mg is intended to be administered every three months, but contraceptive protection continues for an additional two weeks to provide a grace period for women who are late receiving their next injection. NET-EN is an oily solution which requires a larger needle than DMPA for injection. A 200 mg injection of NET-EN is usually administered every two months. Both of these safe, highly effective drugs are injected in either the upper arm or buttocks. DMPA and NET-EN can be distributed easily in nonclinical settings where nonphysicians can provide them to clients. The main disadvantage of the method is the disruption of the menstrual cycle, but that is generally not a serious medical problem. Focusing mainly upon DMPA, this article includes discussion of menstrual irregularity, the reduced risk of endometrial cancer among DMPA users, and method availability. PMID:12289828

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Citation Advantage of Open Access Articles

    PubMed Central

    Eysenbach, Gunther

    2006-01-01

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

  10. Citation advantage of open access articles.

    PubMed

    Eysenbach, Gunther

    2006-05-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Reproductive fitness advantage of BCR-ABL expressing leukemia cells.

    PubMed

    Traulsen, Arne; Pacheco, Jorge M; Dingli, David

    2010-08-01

    Mutations in oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes confer a fitness advantage to cells that can lead to cancer. The tumor phenotype normally results from the interaction of many mutant genes making it difficult to estimate the fitness advantage provided by any oncogene, except when tumors depend on one oncogene only. We utilize a model of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), to quantitate the fitness advantage conferred by expression of BCR-ABL in hematopoietic cells from in vivo patient data. We show that BCR-ABL expression provides a high fitness advantage, which explains why this single mutation drives the chronic phase of CML. PMID:20153920

  14. Intramedullary Fixation of Clavicle Fractures: Anatomy, Indications, Advantages, and Disadvantages.

    PubMed

    Eichinger, Josef K; Balog, Todd P; Grassbaugh, Jason A

    2016-07-01

    Historically, management of displaced midshaft clavicle fractures has consisted of nonsurgical treatment. However, recent literature has supported surgical repair of displaced and shortened clavicle fractures. Several options exist for surgical fixation, including plate and intramedullary (IM) fixation. IM fixation has the potential advantages of a smaller incision and decreased dissection and soft-tissue exposure. For the last two decades, the use of Rockwood and Hagie pins represented the most popular form of IM fixation, but concerns exist regarding stability and complications. The use of alternative IM implants, such as Kirschner wires, titanium elastic nails, and cannulated screws, also has been described in limited case series. However, concerns persist regarding the complications associated with the use of these implants, including implant failure, migration, skin complications, and construct stability. Second-generation IM implants have been developed to reduce the limitations of earlier IM devices. Although anatomic and clinical studies have supported IM fixation of midshaft clavicle fractures, further research is necessary to determine the optimal fixation method. PMID:27227985

  15. 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

  16. Inertial Fusion Target Physics Advantages with the Krypton Fluoride Laser

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Obenschain, Stephen

    2010-11-01

    The krypton fluoride (KrF) laser's short wavelength, broad bandwidth and capability to provide extremely uniform target illumination are advantages towards obtaining high gain direct drive implosions. The short wavelength helps suppress deleterious laser-plasma instabilities, and allows one to employ higher ablation pressures. In addition, the KrF architecture allows one to zoom down the focal diameter to follow the size of the imploding pellet, thereby improving the coupling efficiency. The NRL researchers have been conducting theoretical and experimental studies to quantify the beneficial effects of utilizing KrF light. Experiments using the Nike facility have confirmed that KrF light significantly increases the threshold for laser-plasma instability. This presentation will discuss the observed target physics with KrF light and its effects towards facilitating the high gains needed for power production with inertial fusion. Simulations indicate that shock ignited designs can achieve gains above 200 with KrF energies as low a 1 megajoule. For fusion energy a laser driver must be capable of high repetition rates (5-10 Hz) along with adequate efficiency and durability. The Electra KrF 30-cm aperture electron-beam-pumped amplifier has demonstrated long duration continuous operation at high-repetition rates. This and other advances show that the KrF laser should be able to meet the requirements.

  17. 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. PMID:23454916

  18. 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

  19. [Advantages and characteristics of the laparoscopic approach in the elderly].

    PubMed

    Morales-Conde, S; Gómez, J C; Cano, A; Sánchez-Matamoros, I; Valdés, J; Díaz, M; Pérez, A; Bellido, J; Fernández, P; Pérez, R; López, J; Martín, M; Cantillana, J

    2005-11-01

    Both the age of the population and anesthetic and surgical techniques are advancing. Currently, 40% of surgical activity is performed in patients older than 65 years, who present a higher surgical risk than younger patients. The aim of treatment in the elderly is to provide the best possible quality of life, even though this represents a surgical challenge because of associated comorbidity and reduced cardiopulmonary reserve. From the moment at which laparotomy becomes an increased stress in the elderly, laparoscopic surgery can be particularly advantageous in this population. Therefore, minimally invasive surgery may have a greater impact in these individuals than in younger patients in reducing postoperative pain, cardiorespiratory complications, hospital stay, and recovery time before resuming physical activity. The recent advances in anesthesia, together with improved patient selection and perioperative cardiac care, and the general adoption of minimally invasive access have enabled more complex gastrointestinal procedures to be performed in the elderly. The factors that could influence the development of this type of approach in the elderly, as well as the precautions that should be taken, should be further analyzed. PMID:16420844

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

    PubMed

    Waldo, B H

    1998-01-01

    The ability to communicate across the care continuum is fast becoming an integral component of the successful health enterprise. As integrated delivery systems are formed and patient care delivery is restructured, health care professionals must be able to distribute, access, and evaluate information across departments and care settings. The Aberdeen Group, a computer and communications research and consulting organization, believes that "the single biggest challenge for next-generation health care providers is to improve on how they consolidate and manage information across the continuum of care. This involves building a strategic warehouse of clinical and financial information that can be shared and leveraged by health care professionals, regardless of the location or type of care setting" (Aberdeen Group, Inc., 1997). The value and importance of data and systems integration are growing. Organizations that create a strategy and implement DSS tools to provide decision-makers with the critical information they need to face the competition and maintain quality and costs will have the advantage. PMID:9592525

  1. 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.

  2. 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…

  3. 77 FR 22071 - Medicare Program; Changes to the Medicare Advantage and the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-04-12

    ...This final rule with comment period revises the Medicare Advantage (MA) program (Part C) regulations and prescription drug benefit program (Part D) regulations to implement new statutory requirements; strengthen beneficiary protections; exclude plan participants that perform poorly; improve program efficiencies; and clarify program requirements. It also responds to public comments regarding......

  4. 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…

  5. 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)

  6. Advantages and limitations of remotely operated sea floor drill rigs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Freudenthal, T.; Smith, D. J.; Wefer, G.

    2009-04-01

    A variety of research targets in marine sciences including the investigation of gas hydrates, slope stability, alteration of oceanic crust, ore formation and palaeoclimate can be addressed by shallow drilling. However, drill ships are mostly used for deep drillings, both because the effort of building up a drill string from a drill ship to the deep sea floor is tremendous and control on drill bit pressure from a movable platform and a vibrating drill string is poor especially in the upper hundred meters. During the last decade a variety of remotely operated drill rigs have been developed, that are deployed on the sea bed and operated from standard research vessels. These developments include the BMS (Bentic Multicoring System, developed by Williamson and Associates, operated by the Japanese Mining Agency), the PROD (Portable Remotely Operated Drill, developed and operated by Benthic Geotech), the Rockdrill 2 (developed and operated by the British geological Survey) and the MeBo (German abbreviation for sea floor drill rig, developed and operated by Marum, University of Bremen). These drill rigs reach drilling depths between 15 and 100 m. For shallow drillings remotely operated drill rigs are a cost effective alternative to the services of drill ships and have the major advantage that the drilling operations are performed from a stable platform independent of any ship movements due to waves, wind or currents. Sea floor drill rigs can be deployed both in shallow waters and the deep sea. A careful site survey is required before deploying the sea floor drill rig. Slope gradient, small scale topography and soil strength are important factors when planning the deployment. The choice of drill bits and core catcher depend on the expected geology. The required drill tools are stored on one or two magazines on the drill rig. The MeBo is the only remotely operated drill rig world wide that can use wire line coring technique. This method is much faster than conventional

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. Distance Education in Rural Schools: Advantages and Disadvantages.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barker, Bruce A.

    1990-01-01

    Reviews distance-education technologies, their uses for rural schools, and related issues. Lists advantages and disadvantages for satellite TV teaching, microcomputer networks, and two-way TV instruction. Concludes that technologies' advantages outweigh disadvantages. Suggests final decision making and assessment depend on local program content…

  12. 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…

  13. 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. PMID:24049878

  14. 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.

  15. 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. PMID:25511471

  16. 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. PMID:26640088

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Zonisamide: new drug. No advantage in refractory partial epilepsy.

    PubMed

    2007-06-01

    (1) The first-line treatment for patients with partial epilepsy is carbamazepine monotherapy. Second-line options include monotherapy with valproic acid, gabapentin, lamotrigine or oxcarbazepine. Other antiepileptics are also available for combination therapy of refractory partial epilepsy. (2) Zonisamide is a sulphonamide derivative that inhibits carbonic anhydrase; it resembles topiramate, a drug already approved for use for this indication in the European Union. (3) The main clinical trial, a double-blind study lasting 36 weeks, compared the addition of zonisamide or placebo to ongoing treatment in 351 patients with refractory partial epilepsy. The "response rate" (the proportion of patients with at least a 50% reduction in the frequency of seizures) was significantly higher with zonisamide plus the previous treatment than with placebo plus the previous treatment (46.6% versus 17.6%). An indirect comparison suggests that this is no better than treatment with a second-line antiepileptic drug. (4) Results of three other placebo-controlled trials of third-line combinations in a total of 499 patients treated for 12 weeks were similar. (5) The main adverse effects of zonisamide are those typically seen with topiramate: neuropsychological disorders and disorders due to carbonic anhydrase inhibition (kidney stones, reduced perspiration, and hyperthermia). There are various other adverse effects, including a risk of severe skin rash. (6) The profile of interactions is complex. There is a risk of pharmacokinetic interactions, and of pharmacodynamic interactions with other carbonic anhydrase inhibitors. (7) In France, treatment with zonisamide costs nearly 20 times more than treatment with carbamazepine or valproic acid. (8) Zonisamide has no therapeutic advantages over other antiepileptics available for combination therapy of partial epilepsy. PMID:17582922

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

    PubMed

    South, S F

    1999-01-01

    Most organizations focus considerable time and energy on reducing operating costs as a way to attain marketplace advantage. This strategy was not inappropriate in the past. To be competitive in the future, however, focus must be placed on other issues, not just cost reduction. The near future will be dominated by service industries, knowledge management, and virtual partnerships, with production optimization and flexibility, innovation, and strong partnerships defining those organizations that attain competitive advantage. Competitive advantage will reside in clarifying the vision and strategic plan, reviewing and redesigning work processes to optimize resources and value-added work, and creating change-ready environments and empowered workforces. PMID:10557880

  1. Improving the Health Status of Children. Hearing on Examining Proposals To Improve the Health Status of Children, Including S. 435 and S. 525, Focusing on Pediatric Care, Public Health, Mental Health, and Substance Abuse Issues. 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.

    These hearings transcripts present testimony before the Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources to address the question of how to improve the health care status of American children. The hearings addressed a range of issues relating to children's health from witnesses with expertise in pediatric care, public health, mental health, and…

  2. 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.

  3. Too Few Americans Take Advantage of Local Parks

    MedlinePlus

    ... gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_158915.html Too Few Americans Take Advantage of Local Parks Modest changes would ... a center of physical activity for adults, older Americans and females," Cohen said in a news release ...

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Gas storage materials, including hydrogen storage materials

    DOEpatents

    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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Measuring Coding Intensity in the Medicare Advantage Program

    PubMed Central

    Kronick, Richard; Welch, W. Pete

    2014-01-01

    Background In 2004, Medicare implemented a system of paying Medicare Advantage (MA) plans that gave them greater incentive than fee-for-service (FFS) providers to report diagnoses. Data Risk scores for all Medicare beneficiaries 2004–2013 and Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS) data, 2006–2011. Measures Change in average risk score for all enrollees and for stayers (beneficiaries who were in either FFS or MA for two consecutive years). Prevalence rates by Hierarchical Condition Category (HCC). Results Each year the average MA risk score increased faster than the average FFS score. Using the risk adjustment model in place in 2004, the average MA score as a ratio of the average FFS score would have increased from 90% in 2004 to 109% in 2013. Using the model partially implemented in 2014, the ratio would have increased from 88% to 102%. The increase in relative MA scores appears to largely reflect changes in diagnostic coding, not real increases in the morbidity of MA enrollees. In survey-based data for 2006–2011, the MA-FFS ratio of risk scores remained roughly constant at 96%. Intensity of coding varies widely by contract, with some contracts coding very similarly to FFS and others coding much more intensely than the MA average. Underpinning this relative growth in scores is particularly rapid relative growth in a subset of HCCs. Discussion Medicare has taken significant steps to mitigate the effects of coding intensity in MA, including implementing a 3.4% coding intensity adjustment in 2010 and revising the risk adjustment model in 2013 and 2014. Given the continuous relative increase in the average MA risk score, further policy changes will likely be necessary. PMID:25068076

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24938305

  1. 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

  2. Explaining Girls' Advantage in Kindergarten Literacy Learning: Do Classroom Behaviors Make a Difference?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ready, Douglas D.; LoGerfo, Laura F.; Burkam, David T.; Lee, Valerie E.

    2005-01-01

    This study investigated gender differences in kindergarteners' literacy skills, specifically, whether differences in children's classroom behaviors explained females' early learning advantage. Data included information on 16,883 kindergartners (8,701 boys and 8,182 girls) from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Cohort of…

  3. 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.

  4. Improved multisphere spectrometer system

    SciTech Connect

    Shonka, J.J.; Schwahn, S.O.; Rogers, P.E.; Misko, C.J.

    1991-01-01

    Shonka Research Associated undertook a research program to improve the capabilities and ease of use of the Bonner sphere spectrometer system. Two key elements formed the heart of this research: replacement of the lithium iodide (LiI(Eu)) detector normally used in the spectrometer system with a spherical boron triflouride (BF{sub 3}) proportional counter and exploitation of an optimized set of nested polyethylene spheres, including boron-loaded spherical shells. Use of a spherical BF{sub 3} detector offers many advantages over the LiI(Eu) crystal. The BF{sub 3} detectors are insensitive to gamma radiation. Lack of gamma sensitivity permits acquiring data with simple electronics and allows determination of neutron spectra and dose in lower neutron-to-gamma ratio fields, including background terrestrial radiation fields. The importance of the lack of gamma sensitivity is underscored by the pending changes in neutron quality factors. The nearly perfect spherical symmetry offers advantages for BF{sub 3} over LiI(Eu) detectors as well. A light pipe, which perturbs measurements, is not needed. The bare BF{sub 3} detector response is not affected by the moderation of neutrons as is the case of the organic light pipe used with LiI(Eu). The spherical symmetry permits the use of smaller diameter shells, which add to the number of response functions.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-03-01

    The preferential allocation of attention and memory to the ingroup (the ingroup memory advantage) is one of the most replicated effects in the psychological literature. But little is known about what factors may influence such effects. Here the authors investigated a potential influence: category salience as determined by the perceiver's geographic environment. They did so by studying the ingroup memory advantage in perceptually ambiguous groups for whom perceptual cues do not make group membership immediately salient. Individuals in an environment in which a particular group membership was salient (Mormon and non-Mormon men and women living in Salt Lake City, Utah) showed better memory for faces belonging to their ingroup in an incidental encoding paradigm. Majority group participants in an environment where this group membership was not salient (non-Mormon men and women in the northeastern United States), however, showed no ingroup memory advantage whereas minority group participants (Mormons) in the same environment did. But in the same environment, when differences in group membership were made accessible via an unobtrusive priming task, non-Mormons did show an ingroup memory advantage and Mormons' memory for ingroup members increased. Environmental context cues therefore influence the ingroup memory advantage for categories that are not intrinsically salient. PMID:20175617

  9. 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.

  10. Potential end-to-end imaging information rate advantages of various alternative communication systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rice, R. F.

    1978-01-01

    Various communication systems were considered which are required to transmit both imaging and a typically error sensitive, class of data called general science/engineering (gse) over a Gaussian channel. 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 potential advantages of sophisticated data compression coupled with powerful yet practical channel coding.

  11. 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.

  12. Advantages of Catalysis in Self-Assembled Molecular Capsules.

    PubMed

    Catti, Lorenzo; Zhang, Qi; Tiefenbacher, Konrad

    2016-06-27

    Control over the local chemical environment of a molecule can be achieved by encapsulation in supramolecular host systems. In supramolecular catalysis, this control is used to gain advantages over classical homogeneous catalysis in bulk solution. Two of the main advantages concern influencing reactions in terms of substrate and product selectivity. Due to size and/or shape recognition, substrate selective conversion can be realized. Additionally, noncovalent interactions with the host environment facilitate alternative reaction pathways and can yield unusual products. This Concept article discusses and highlights literature examples utilizing self-assembled molecular capsules to achieve catalytic transformations displaying a high degree of substrate and/or product selectivity. Furthermore, the advantage of supramolecular hosts in multicatalyst tandem reactions is covered. PMID:27150251

  13. Neuroanatomical Evidence in Support of the Bilingual Advantage Theory.

    PubMed

    Olulade, O A; Jamal, N I; Koo, D S; Perfetti, C A; LaSasso, C; Eden, G F

    2016-07-01

    The "bilingual advantage" theory stipulates that constant selection and suppression between 2 languages results in enhanced executive control (EC). Behavioral studies of EC in bilinguals have employed wide-ranging tasks and report some conflicting results. To avoid concerns about tasks, we employed a different approach, measuring gray matter volume (GMV) in adult bilinguals, reasoning that any EC-associated benefits should manifest as relatively greater frontal GMV. Indeed, Spanish-English-speaking bilinguals exhibited greater bilateral frontal GMV compared with English-speaking monolinguals. Was this observation attributable to the constant selection and inhibition of 2 spoken languages? To answer this question, we drew on bimodal bilinguals of American Sign Language (ASL) and English who, unlike unimodal bilinguals, can simultaneously use both languages and have been shown not to possess the EC advantage. In this group, there was no greater GMV when compared with monolinguals. Together these results provide neuroanatomical evidence in support of the bilingual advantage theory. PMID:26184647

  14. Potentially improved glasses from space environment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nichols, R.

    1977-01-01

    The benefits of processing glasses in a low-gravity space environment are examined. Containerless processing, the absence of gravity driven convection, and lack of sedimentation are seen as potential advantages. Potential applications include the formation of glass-ceramics with a high content of active elements for ferromagnetic devices, the production of ultrapure chalcogenide glasses for laser windows and IR fiber optics, and improved glass products for use in optical systems and laser fusion targets.

  15. Advantages of doubly polished thin sections for the study of microfossils in volcanic rock

    PubMed Central

    Ivarsson, M

    2006-01-01

    Doubly polished thin sections, originally prepared for fluid inclusion studies, present great advantages in the study of microfossils in volcanic rocks. Better visibility and light conditions, variation in thickness of the thin sections and the possibility to combine fluid inclusion studies with microfossil studies lead to a wide range of advantages over ordinary thin sections. This includes the study of morphology, internal microstructures, colonies, association with the substrate that microfossils are attached to and geological and environmental context in which the microfossil once lived. When meeting the criteria of microfossil recognition the advantages of doubly polished thin sections are substantial and can be crucial in distinguishing between biogenic microfossils and abiotically formed abiomorphs. PMID:16759373

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-03-01

    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

  17. 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

  18. Safety advantages of a CDTE based PV module plant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doty, M.; Meyers, P.

    1988-07-01

    We describe here a process for the manufacture of solar modules based on II-VI compounds which has several advantages over procedures typical of other thin film solar technologies-specifically amorphous silicon. These advantages arise from the fact that all raw materials and waste products are in solid or liquid form. In this paper we concentrate on the systems and equipment necessary to eliminate uncontrolled discharge of hazardous materials produced during the fabrication of CdS/CdTe/ZnTe solar modules. (AIP)

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Recent advantages in processing and fabrication of ceramic superconductors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balachandran, U.; Poeppel, R. B.; Ferrando, W. A.; Karmarkar, S. D.; Kerr, J.; Hess, P. W.; Divecha, A. P.

    1991-08-01

    The properties of ceramic superconductors are greatly influenced by the temperature, heating rate, pressure, and gas atmosphere used during processing and fabrication. For example, transport critical current density decreases drastically in the presence of trace amounts of CO2 in the sintering atmosphere. The grain boundaries of samples sintered in O2 atmospheres containing various levels of CO2 have been thoroughly characterized by high-resolution electron microscopy. Reduced total pressure during binder removal and sintering was found to prevent decomposition of the superconductor. We have developed a low-oxygen-pressure technique for calcining precursors and sintering long lengths of wires and coils. Other advances include the improvement of critical current density and levitation force through melt-growth processing, incorporating of insulating coatings, and powder-in-tube processing of superconductors.

  5. 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…

  6. 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...

  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.

  8. 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 ...

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Evolutionary advantage of diploidal over polyploidal sexual reproduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sousa, A. O.; Moss de Oliveira, S.; Sá Martins, J. S.

    2003-03-01

    We modify the Penna model for biological aging, which is based on the mutation-accumulation theory, in order to verify if there would be any evolutionary advantage of triploid over diploid organisms. We show that this is not the case, and that diploidal sex is always better than that involving three individuals.

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2008-01-01

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

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Geers, Anne E.; Nicholas, Johanna G.

    2013-01-01

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

  19. 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…

  20. Standardized phenotyping: advantages to horticulture, introduction to the workshop

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This article introduces a workshop on standardized phenotyping and the advantages it provides for horticultural crops. The workshop was held at the 2009 American Society for Horticultural Science Annual Conference in St. Louis, MO, and was organized by the Genetics and Germplasm Working Group. The o...

  1. 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"…

  2. "Small Is Beautiful"--Advantages of a Small Center.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stephens, Karen

    1995-01-01

    From the perspective of a small (less than 50 full-time equivalent children) university-based childcare center, notes benefits afforded to large centers and advantages of being small, e.g., less institutional atmosphere, unified commitment to goals and philosophy, training beyond the basics, flexibility and spontaneity, more individualized…

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. 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...

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. Hiring & Retaining More Women: The Advantages to Law Enforcement Agencies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lonsway, Kimberly A.

    Hiring and retaining more women provides numerous important advantages to law enforcement agencies. Research conducted in the United States and internationally has clearly documented that following facts: (1) female officers are as competent as their male counterparts and even excel in certain areas of police performance; (2) female officers are…

  8. 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.…

  9. Advantages of fused night vision in complex urban environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, Alistair

    2014-10-01

    Fused night vision systems have been available for a number of years and have matured into practical devices for use by dismounted soldiers. This paper looks at the approaches taken to achieve fused systems and looks at the real world advantages of such systems in complex urban environments with multiple light sources.

  10. Will Medicare Advantage Benchmark Reforms Impact Plan Rebates and Enrollment?

    PubMed Central

    Nicholas, Lauren Hersch

    2015-01-01

    Objectives To assess the relationship between Medicare Advantage plan rebates and enrollment and simulate the effects of Affordable Care Act payment reforms. Study Design and Methods First difference regressions of county-level Medicare Advantage payment and enrollment data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services from 2006 – 2010. Results A $10 decrease in the per member/per month rebate to Medicare Advantage plans was associated with a 0.20 percentage point decrease in MA penetration (p < 0.001) and a 7.1% decline in the average MA enrollee's risk score (p < 0.001). Changes were markedly larger in counties with low levels of Traditional Medicare spending, a $10 decrease in monthly rebates was associated with a 0.64 percentage point decline in MA penetration and a 10% decrease in risk score. Affordable Care Act reforms are predicted to reduce the level of rebates in low spending counties, leading to enrollment decreases of 2.7 percentage points in the lowest spending counties. The simulation predicts that the disenrollment would come from MA enrollees with higher risk scores. Conclusions Medicare Advantage enrollment responds to the generosity of supplemental benefits available. MA plans in low-cost counties may have difficulty offering the supplemental benefits that attract enrollees even when benchmarks are set at levels well above Traditional Medicare spending if plans do not find ways to deliver standard Medicare benefits at lower cost. PMID:25495112

  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. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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…

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  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. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  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. Is there an in-group advantage in emotion recognition?

    PubMed

    Elfenbein, Hillary Anger; Ambady, Nalini

    2002-03-01

    H. A. Elfenbein and N. Ambady (2002) examined the evidence for an in-group advantage in emotion recognition, whereby recognition is generally more accurate for perceivers from the same cultural group as emotional expressors. D. Matsumoto's (2002) comment centered on 3 asserted methodological requirements. This response addresses the lack of consensus conceming these "requirements" and demonstrates that none alter the presence of the in-group advantage. His analyses had a serious flaw and, once corrected, replicated the original findings. Furthermore, he described results from his empirical work not meeting a literal interpretation of his own requirements. Overall, where Matsumoto considers subtle cross-cultural differences in emotional expression a methodological artifact in judgment studies, the present authors find a core phenomenon worthy of attention. PMID:11931518

  4. 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.

  5. 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. PMID:26731118

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

    PubMed

    Merritt, Sears; Clauset, Aaron

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:24166062

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Paedomorphic Facial Expressions Give Dogs a Selective Advantage

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  10. 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. PMID:23660177

  11. 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.

  12. 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. PMID:24217139

  13. 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.

  14. 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. PMID:25373555

  15. Disadvantages and advantages of transtibial technique for creating the anterior cruciate ligament femoral socket.

    PubMed

    Robin, Brett N; Lubowitz, James H

    2014-10-01

    Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) femoral socket techniques have distinct advantages and disadvantages when considering the following techniques: transtibial, anteromedial portal, outside-in, and outside-in retroconstruction. There is no one perfect technique and we have an incomplete understanding of anatomical, biomechanical, isometry, stability, and clinical outcomes. Our primary focus is transtibial technique for creating the ACL femoral socket. Advantages include less invasive, isometric graft placement, stable Lachman exam, and minimal graft impingement with the tunnel and notch. Disadvantages include nonanatomic vertical graft placement that can cause rotational instability and positive pivot shift, interference screw divergence, graft-tunnel length mismatch, femoral socket constraint, posterior cruciate ligament impingement, and a short, oblique tibial tunnel that may undermine the medial plateau in an attempt to achieve anatomic ACL reconstruction. PMID:24951951

  16. Improved plant performance through evaporative steam condensing

    SciTech Connect

    Hutton, D.

    1998-07-01

    Combining an open cooling tower and a steam condenser into one common unit is a proven technology with many advantages in power generation application, including reduced first cost of equipment, reduced parasitic energy consumption, simplified design, reduced maintenance, and simplified water treatment, Performance of the steam turbine benefits from the direct approach to wet bulb temperature, and operating flexibility and reliability improve compared to a system with a cooling tower and surface condenser. System comparisons and case histories will be presented to substantiate improved systems economies.

  17. [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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Advantages of Monodisperse and Chemically Robust "SpheriCal" Polyester Dendrimers as a "Universal" MS Calibrant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grayson, Scott M.; Myers, Brittany K.; Bengtsson, Jonas; Malkoch, Michael

    2014-03-01

    The utilization of dendrimer calibrants as an alternative to peptides and proteins for high mass calibration is explored. These synthetic macromolecules exhibited a number of attractive advantages, including exceptional shelf-lives, broad compatibility with a wide range of matrices and solvents, and evenly spaced calibration masses across the mass range examined, 700-30,000 u. The exceptional purity of these dendrimers and the technical simplicity of this calibration platform validate their broad relevance for high molecular weight mass spectrometry.

  1. Advantage and Choice: Social Relationships and Staff Assistance in Assisted Living

    PubMed Central

    Street, Debra

    2010-01-01

    Objectives. To understand how “cumulative inequality” (CI), expressed as individual advantage and choice, and “external social supports” contribute to the quality of social relationships and perceptions of staff assistance for older individuals in different assisted living (AL) settings. Methods. Data are from 429 cognitively intact AL residents aged 60 years and older interviewed for the Florida Study of Assisted Living. Bivariate and multivariate statistical analyses show how individual advantage and choice and external social networks influence respondents’ social relationships and staff assistance in AL. Results. Controlling for resident and facility characteristics, being able to pay privately enhances resident satisfaction with staff assistance and having control over the move to AL is positively associated with perceptions of staff relationships and assistance. Maintaining contact with pre-AL friends predicts quality of coresident relationships, as does family contact. Regular contact with family buffers some of the disadvantages associated with CI for perceptions of staff relationships but not perceptions of staff assistance. Discussion. Individual advantage and choice influence the quality of staff relationships and assistance for AL residents but matter little for coresident relationships. External social relationships buffer some of the risks associated with CI for perceptions of staff relationships but not perceived quality of staff assistance. Findings highlight outcomes associated with CI, including predictable risks that disadvantaged elders face in particular types of AL settings, differential advantages others enjoy that influence positive perceptions of staff relationships and staff assistance, and the enduring importance of supportive social relationships. PMID:20007640

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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. PMID:24091470

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marts, Donna J.; Overlin, Trudy K.

    1995-05-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Dosimetric advantages of proton therapy compared with photon therapy using an adaptive strategy in cervical cancer.

    PubMed

    van de Schoot, Agustinus J A J; de Boer, Peter; Crama, Koen F; Visser, Jorrit; Stalpers, Lukas J A; Rasch, Coen R N; Bel, Arjan

    2016-07-01

    Background Image-guided adaptive proton therapy (IGAPT) can potentially be applied to take into account interfraction motion while limiting organ at risk (OAR) dose in cervical cancer radiation therapy (RT). In this study, the potential dosimetric advantages of IGAPT compared with photon-based image-guided adaptive RT (IGART) were investigated. Material and methods For 13 cervical cancer patients, full and empty bladder planning computed tomography (CT) images and weekly CTs were acquired. Based on both primary clinical target volumes (pCTVs) [i.e. gross tumor volume (GTV), cervix, corpus-uterus and upper part of the vagina] on planning CTs, the pretreatment observed full range primary internal target volume (pITV) was interpolated to derive pITV subranges. Given corresponding ITVs (i.e. pITVs including lymph nodes), patient-specific photon and proton plan libraries were generated. Using all weekly CTs, IGART and IGAPT treatments were simulated by selecting library plans and recalculating the dose. For each recalculated IGART and IGAPT fraction, CTV (i.e. pCTV including lymph nodes) coverage was assessed and differences in fractionated substitutes of dose-volume histogram (DVH) parameters (V15Gy, V30Gy, V45Gy, Dmean, D2cc) for bladder, bowel and rectum were tested for significance (Wilcoxon signed-rank test). Also, differences in toxicity-related DVH parameters (rectum V30Gy, bowel V45Gy) were approximated based on accumulated dose distributions. Results In 92% (96%) of all recalculated IGAPT (IGART) fractions adequate CTV coverage (V95% >98%) was obtained. All dose parameters for bladder, bowel and rectum, except the fractionated substitute for rectum V45Gy, were improved using IGAPT. Also, IGAPT reduced the mean dose to bowel, bladder and rectum significantly (p < 0.01). In addition, an average decrease of rectum V30Gy and bowel V45Gy indicated reductions in toxicity probabilities when using IGAPT. Conclusion This study demonstrates the feasibility of IGAPT

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Size matters: problems and advantages associated with highly miniaturized sensors.

    PubMed

    Dahlin, Andreas B

    2012-01-01

    There is no doubt that the recent advances in nanotechnology have made it possible to realize a great variety of new sensors with signal transduction mechanisms utilizing physical phenomena at the nanoscale. Some examples are conductivity measurements in nanowires, deflection of cantilevers and spectroscopy of plasmonic nanoparticles. The fact that these techniques are based on the special properties of nanostructural entities provides for extreme sensor miniaturization since a single structural unit often can be used as transducer. This review discusses the advantages and problems with such small sensors, with focus on biosensing applications and label-free real-time analysis of liquid samples. Many aspects of sensor design are considered, such as thermodynamic and diffusion aspects on binding kinetics as well as multiplexing and noise issues. Still, all issues discussed are generic in the sense that the conclusions apply to practically all types of surface sensitive techniques. As a counterweight to the current research trend, it is argued that in many real world applications, better performance is achieved if the active sensor is larger than that in typical nanosensors. Although there are certain specific sensing applications where nanoscale transducers are necessary, it is argued herein that this represents a relatively rare situation. Instead, it is suggested that sensing on the microscale often offers a good compromise between utilizing some possible advantages of miniaturization while avoiding the complications. This means that ensemble measurements on multiple nanoscale sensors are preferable instead of utilizing a single transducer entity. PMID:22736990

  13. 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

  14. Ecological advantages of partial migration as a conditional strategy.

    PubMed

    Vélez-Espino, Luis A; McLaughlin, Robert L; Robillard, Melissa

    2013-05-01

    Partial migration is a widespread phenomenon characterized by migrant and resident forms from the same population. In phenotypically plastic taxa with indeterminate growth, resident and migrant ecophenotypes can differ in size and life history traits in ways expected to maximize fitness in the different habitats they exploit. Studies of partial migration in different taxa have advocated either density-dependence or environmental stochasticity as explanations for partial migration. We used a demographic approach for a virtual Brook Trout population to demonstrate the ecological consequences of partial migration under interacting density dependence and environmental stochasticity. The maintenance of partial migration as a conditional strategy in species/populations where resident and migrant forms exhibit life history asymmetries provides ecological advantages. We show that density-dependent migration is expected to increase population fitness under constant environmental conditions or low environmental variation, but decreases population fitness under high environmental variation. These conditions favor intermediate levels of migration as an advantageous tactic. However, there are threshold rates of return migration below which partial migration is no longer a viable tactic. Our modeling approach also allowed the exploration of the distribution of the population by life stage and habitat in response to the strength of density dependence, costs of migration, and return rates, and demonstrated the importance of the conservation of ecophenotypes in partially migratory populations. PMID:23353041

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fellman, Philip Vos; Post, Jonathan Vos

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

  16. 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

  17. 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. PMID:16089181

  18. 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.

  19. 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…

  20. Management by Objectives: Advantages, Problems, Implications for Community Colleges.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Collins, Robert W.

    Not new in principle, management by objectives (MBO) focuses on the goals of an institution stated as end accomplishments. Community college administrators have been attracted by the reputed benefits of MBO: increased productivity, improved planning, maximized profits, objective managerial evaluation, and improved participant morale. This paper…

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Improving photosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Evans, John R

    2013-08-01

    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

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:24198807

  5. 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. PMID:24198807

  6. Inhibitory processes in visual perception: a bilingual advantage.

    PubMed

    Wimmer, Marina C; Marx, Christina

    2014-10-01

    Bilingual inhibitory control advantages are well established. An open question is whether inhibitory superiority also extends to visual perceptual phenomena that involve inhibitory processes. This research used ambiguous figures to assess inhibitory bilingual superiority in 3-, 4-, and 5-year-old mono- and bilingual children (N=141). Findings show that bilinguals across all ages are superior in inhibiting a prevalent interpretation of an ambiguous figure to perceive the alternative interpretation. In contrast, mono- and bilinguals revealed no differences in understanding that an ambiguous figure can have two distinct referents. Together, these results suggest that early bilingual inhibitory control superiority is also evident in visual perception. Bilinguals' conceptual understanding of figure ambiguity is comparable to that of their monolingual peers. PMID:24878102

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:25789512

  10. 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.

  11. Scintillation advantages of lowest order Bessel-Gaussian beams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eyyuboğlu, H. T.; Baykal, Y.; Sermutlu, E.; Cai, Y.

    2008-08-01

    For a weak turbulence propagation environment, the scintillation index of the lowest order Bessel-Gaussian beams is formulated. Its triple and single integral versions are presented. Numerical evaluations show that at large source sizes and large width parameters, when compared at the same source size, Bessel-Gaussian beams tend to exhibit lower scintillations than the Gaussian beam scintillations. This advantage is lost however for excessively large width parameters and beyond certain propagation lengths. Large width parameters also cause rises and falls in the scintillation index of off-axis positions toward the edges of the received beam. Comparisons against the fundamental Gaussian beam are made on equal source size and equal power basis.

  12. [Simultaneous bilateral cataract surgery--advantages and disadvantages].

    PubMed

    Obuchowska, Iwona; Mariak, Zofia

    2006-01-01

    During the past decade, advances in techniques and technology led to major changes in cataract surgical practice patterns. In this progression towards ever faster eye rehabilitation after surgery, simultaneous bilateral cataract surgery (SBCS) may be the next and ultimate step. It is not routinely performed: however, there are certain situations in which SBCS might be beneficial to the patients. It has been considered a good option in patients who have significant cataract in both eyes and are not good candidates for having anesthesia and surgery twice. The question is, if the benefits by bilateral surgery justify the risk of simultaneous complications, in particular endophthalmitis. In this perspective we present the clinical, social and economic advantages and disadvantages of such surgical procedures. PMID:17290841

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sundgren, Mats; Ljunggren, Lars

    1999-08-01

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

  14. Some advantages of methane in an aircraft gas turbine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1980-01-01

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

  15. Male advantage in sound localization at cocktail parties.

    PubMed

    Zündorf, Ida C; Karnath, Hans-Otto; Lewald, Jörg

    2011-06-01

    Sex differences exist in the structural organization of the human brain and are related to cognitive abilities. Females usually outperform men in verbal fluency, verbal memory, perceptual speed, numerical calculation, and fine motor skills, whereas males are superior in visuospatial abilities, throwing accuracy, and mathematical reasoning. Here we demonstrated a male advantage in spatial abilities for the auditory modality. We employed a sound localization task based on the so-called "cocktail party situation", requiring extraction of auditory information of a specific sound source when multiple competing sound sources were present. The results indicated better performance of males than females for localizing target sounds in a multi-source sound environment. This finding suggests a sex difference in the attentional mechanisms extracting spatial information of one acoustic event of interest from an auditory scene composed of multiple sound sources. It seems that the known male superiority in spatial abilities may be supramodal, rather than a specificity of the visual modality. PMID:20828679

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-12-01

    Cells use transporters of different affinities to regulate nutrient influx. When nutrients are depleted, low-affinity transporters are replaced by high-affinity ones. High-affinity transporters are helpful when concentrations of nutrients are low, but the advantage of reducing their abundance when nutrients are abundant is less clear. When we eliminated such reduced production of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae high-affinity transporters for phosphate and zinc, the elapsed time from the initiation of the starvation program until the lack of nutrients limited growth was shortened, and recovery from starvation was delayed. The latter phenotype was rescued by constitutive activation of the starvation program. Dual-transporter systems appear to prolong preparation for starvation and to facilitate subsequent recovery, which may optimize sensing of nutrient depletion by integrating internal and external information about nutrient availability. PMID:22158820

  17. 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

  18. The hydrodynamic advantages of synchronized swimming in a rectangular pattern.

    PubMed

    Daghooghi, Mohsen; Borazjani, Iman

    2015-10-01

    Fish schooling is a remarkable biological behavior that is thought to provide hydrodynamic advantages. Theoretical models have predicted significant reduction in swimming cost due to two physical mechanisms: vortex hypothesis, which reduces the relative velocity between fish and the flow through the induced velocity of the organized vortex structure of the incoming wake; and the channeling effect, which reduces the relative velocity by enhancing the flow between the swimmers in the direction of swimming. Although experimental observations confirm hydrodynamic advantages, there is still debate regarding the two mechanisms. We provide, to our knowledge, the first three-dimensional simulations at realistic Reynolds numbers to investigate these physical mechanisms. Using large-eddy simulations of self-propelled synchronized swimmers in various rectangular patterns, we find evidence in support of the channeling effect, which enhances the flow velocity between swimmers in the direction of swimming as the lateral distance between swimmers decreases. Our simulations show that the coherent structures, in contrast to the wake of a single swimmer, break down into small, disorganized vortical structures, which have a low chance for constructive vortex interaction. Therefore, the vortex hypothesis, which is relevant for diamond patterns, was not found for rectangular patterns, but needs to be further studied for diamond patterns in the future. Exploiting the channeling mechanism, a fish in a rectangular school swims faster as the lateral distance decreases, while consuming similar amounts of energy. The fish in the rectangular school with the smallest lateral distance (0.3 fish lengths) swims 20% faster than a solitary swimmer while consuming similar amount of energy. PMID:26447493

  19. Chronic multiunit recordings in behaving animals: advantages and limitations.

    PubMed

    Supèr, Hans; Roelfsema, Pieter R

    2005-01-01

    By simultaneous recording from neural responses at many different loci at the same time, we can understand the interaction between neurons, and thereby gain insight into the network properties of neural processing, instead of the functioning of individual neurons. Here we will discuss a method for recording in behaving animals that uses chronically implanted micro-electrodes that allow one to track neural responses over a long period of time. In a majority of cases, multiunit activity, which is the aggregate spiking activity of a number of neurons in the vicinity of an electrode tip, is recorded through these electrodes, and occasionally single neurons can be isolated. Here we compare the properties of multiunit responses to the responses of single neurons in the primary visual cortex. We also discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the multiunit signal as opposed to a signal of single neurons. We demonstrate that multiunit recording provides a reliable and useful technique in cases where the neurons at the electrodes have similar response properties. Multiunit recording is therefore especially valuable when task variables have an effect that is consistent across the population of neurons. In the primary visual cortex, this is the case for figure-ground segregation and visual attention. Multiunit recording also has clear advantages for cross-correlation analysis. We show that the cross-correlation function between multiunit signals gives a reliable estimate of the average single-unit cross-correlation function. By the use of multiunit recording, it becomes much easier to detect relatively weak interactions between neurons at different cortical locations. PMID:15581712

  20. Redressing dis-advantage: promoting vertical equity within South Africa.

    PubMed

    McIntyre, D; Gilson, L

    2000-01-01

    This paper represents the first attempt to apply vertical equity principles to the South African health sector. A vertical equity approach, which recognises that different groups have different starting points and therefore require differential treatment, appears to offer an appropriate basis for considering how best to redress the vast inequities which exist in post-Apartheid South Africa. Vertical equity principles are applied in critically analysing two areas of recent policy action which are particularly relevant to health sector equity in South Africa, namely public-private sector cross-subsidies and the allocation of government resources between provinces. Despite a strong political commitment to redressing historical inequities, recent government policy actions in these two areas appear to fall short of desirable goals when viewed through a vertical equity lens. In particular, policies since the first democratic elections in 1994 have done little to reduce the extent of government subsidies to the private health sector, which serves a minority of the population. In addition, recent proposals for a Social Health Insurance will allow minimal cross-subsidies between high- and low-income earners and would not adequately redress the currently inequitable public-private cross-subsidies. With respect to the allocation of government resources between provinces, a vertical equity approach would suggest that the most historically dis-advantaged provinces have an even greater claim on government resources than reflected in the current formula, as developed by the Department of Finance. This paper also considers the potential benefits of engaging with societal views in determining what constitutes dis-advantage in the South African context, in order to identify those who should receive priority in resource allocation decisions. It concludes with a review of a number of practical steps that can be taken to draw vertical equity principles into policy action. PMID:11186024

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Advantages of using low-power telephones with FITL systems in developing countries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greenwood, Doug; Pellerin, Sharon L.

    1992-02-01

    Exciting possibilities exist for those developing countries taking major steps in revamping their telecommunications infrastructure. Unlike more developed countries that are tethered to supporting old standards for equipment, developing countries can standardize on new technologies providing substantial cost and feature advantages over equipment supporting old standards. This paper investigates variable power costs of FITL systems from an energy cost perspective and then from a peak power cost perspective. These cost perspectives are then related to telephones to show how improvements in telephone efficiency affect life cycle costs. Finally, these cost improvements are related to the networks of developing countries to show the overall system cost savings. For the sake of power calculations U.S. standards for telephone equipment are used, because they are familiar and much supporting cost analysis exists. Standards drafted by CCITT are similar to U.S. standards.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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. PMID:25162397

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Genetic dissection of an elite rice hybrid revealed that heterozygotes are not always advantageous for performance.

    PubMed Central

    Hua, J P; Xing, Y Z; Xu, C G; Sun, X L; Yu, S B; Zhang, Qifa

    2002-01-01

    We introduced an experimental design that produced an "immortalized F(2)" population allowing for complete dissection of genetic components underlying quantitative traits. Data for yield and three component traits of the immortalized F(2) were collected from replicated field trials over 2 years. Using 231 marker loci, we resolved the genetic effects into individual components and assessed relative performance of all the genotypes at both single- and two-locus levels. Single-locus analysis detected 40 QTL for the four traits. Dominance effects for about one-half of the QTL were negative, resulting in little "net" positive dominance effect. Correlation between genotype heterozygosity and trait performance was low. Large numbers of digenic interactions, including AA, AD, and DD, were detected for all the traits, with AA as the most prevalent interaction. Complementary two-locus homozygotes frequently performed the best among the nine genotypes of many two-locus combinations. While cumulative small advantages over two-locus combinations may partly explain the genetic basis of heterosis of the hybrid as double heterozygotes frequently demonstrated marginal advantages, double heterozygotes were never the best genotypes in any of the two-locus combinations. It was concluded that heterozygotes were not necessarily advantageous for trait performance even among genotypes derived from such a highly heterotic hybrid. PMID:12524357

  13. 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. PMID:26606386

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. "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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. A Latino advantage in oral health-related quality of life is modified by nativity status.

    PubMed

    Sanders, Anne E

    2010-07-01

    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 seem

  1. 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

  2. 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,…

  3. 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...

  4. 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. PMID:27210616

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grishin, Vladimir; Kovalerchuk, Boris

    2013-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Koornneef, Arnout; Reuland, Eric

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Eddy, Wesley M.; Allman, Mark

    2000-01-01

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

  8. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Geers, Ann E.; Nicholas, Johanna G.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose 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 12–38 months of age. Relative advantages of receiving a bilateral CI after age 4.5, better pre-CI aided hearing, and longer CI experience were also examined. Method Sixty children participated in a prospective longitudinal study of outcomes at 4.5 and 10.5 years of age. Twenty-nine children received a sequential second CI. Test scores were compared to normative samples of hearing age-mates and predictors of outcomes identified. Results Standard scores on language tests at 10.5 years of age remained significantly correlated with age of first cochlear implantation. Scores were not associated with receipt of a second, sequentially-acquired CI. Significantly higher scores were achieved for vocabulary as compared with overall language, a finding not evident when the children were tested at younger ages. Conclusion Age-appropriate spoken language skills continued to be more likely with younger AOI, even after an average of 8.6 years of additional CI use. Receipt of a second implant between ages 4–10 years and longer duration of device use did not provide significant added benefit. PMID:23275406

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. [Communication server in the hospital--advantages, expenses and limitations].

    PubMed

    Jendrysiak, U

    1997-01-01

    The common situation in a hospital with multiple departments is a heterogeneous set of subsystems, one or more for each department. Today, we have a rising number of requests for an information interchange between these independent systems. The exchange of patients data has a technical and a conceptional part. Establishing a connection between more than two subsystems requires links from one system to all the others, each of them with its own code translation, interface and message transfer. A communication server is an important tool for significantly reducing the amount of work for the technical realisation. It reduces the number of interfaces, facilitates the definition, maintenance and documentation of the message structure and translation tables and helps to keep control on the message pipelines. Existing interfaces can be adapted for similar purposes. Anyway, a communication server needs a lot of configuration and it is necessary to know about low-level internetworking on different hard- and software to take advantage of its features. The code for writing files on a remote system and for process communication via TCP/IP sockets or similar techniques has to be written specifically for each communication task. There are first experiences in the university school of medicine in Mainz setting up a communication server to connect different departments. We also made a checklist for the selection of such a product. PMID:9381841

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

    There is a striking color polymorphism for wolves in the Yellowstone National Park where approximately half the wolves are black. The genetic basis for this polymorphism is known, and fitnesses of the genotypes are estimated. These estimates suggest that there is strong heterozygote advantage but substantial asymmetry in the fitness differences of the 2 homozygotes. Theoretically, such fitnesses in a finite population are thought to reduce genetic variation at least as fast as if there were no selection at all. Because the color polymorphism has remained at about the same frequency for 17 years, about 4 generations, we investigated whether this was consistent with the theoretical predictions. Counter to this general expectation of loss, given the initial frequency of black wolves, the theoretical expectation in this case was found to be that the frequency would only decline slowly over time. For example, if the effective population size is 20, then the expected black allele frequency after 4 generations would be 0.191, somewhat less than the observed value of 0.237. However, nearly 30% of the time the expected frequency is 0.25 or greater, consistent with the contemporary observed frequency. In other words and in contrast to general theoretical predictions, because of the short period of time in evolutionary terms and the relatively weak selection at low frequencies, the observed variation and the predicted theoretical variation are not inconsistent. PMID:24795451

  14. Realizing quantum advantage without entanglement in single-photon states

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maldonado-Trapp, Alejandra; Solano, Pablo; Hu, Anzi; Clark, Charles W.

    Correlations allow us to measure, and quantitatively study, the properties of physical systems, their evolution and their interactions. Quantum discord expresses quantum correlations beyond those associated with entanglement. However, discord has not yet been adopted as a standard subject of study by the experimental community. Here we propose a feasible optical setup to generate symmetric two-qubit X-states with controllable coherences, where the two qubits correspond to the spin and path of a photon. With these states we show how a classical random variable K can be encoded by Alice and decoded by Bob. Using our previous results we study the correlations between the spin and path qubits and its relation with the information about K that can be decoded by Bob using local measurements with or without two-qubit gate operations. Discord is the mutual information contained in the coherences of the system, and it is possible to exploit it for quantum advantage even in the absence of entanglement.

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26764786

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Advantage of Being a Dimer for Serratia marcescens Endonuclease?

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Chuanying; Krause, Kurt; Pettitt, B. Montgomery

    2009-01-01

    The monomer and dimer of the bacterium Serratia marcescens endonuclease (SMnase) are each catalytically active and the two subunits of the dimer function independently of each other. Nature however chooses the dimer form instead of the monomer. In order to explain this, we performed molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of both model built complexes of a subunit of SMnase and the dimer with DNA in aqueous solution. We estimated the electrostatic binding energy, analyzed the distribution and dynamics of water around the complexes, identified water clusters in the protein, and related dynamics of water to the protein's function. We find that the dimer form has an electrostatic advantage over the monomer to associate with DNA. Although Mg2+ remains hexa-coordinated during the simulation, the binding pathway of DNA to Mg2+ changes from inner-sphere binding in the monomer to outer-sphere in the dimer, which may be more energetically favorable. In addition, two water clusters in the active site of each monomer and in the dimer complex were identified and localized in two regions, named ‘stabilizing’ and ‘working’ region. Water in the ‘working’ region in the dimer complex has larger fluctuations than that in the monomer. PMID:19053714

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-11-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-03-01

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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

    Koornneef, Arnout; Reuland, Eric

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Galecki, Diane L.

    1988-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Cequera, A; García de León Méndez, M C

    2014-01-01

    Liver cirrhosis in Mexico is one of the most important causes of death in persons between the ages of 25 and 50 years. One of the reasons for therapeutic failure is the lack of knowledge about the molecular mechanisms that cause liver disorder and make it irreversible. One of its prevalent anatomical characteristics is an excessive deposition of fibrous tissue that takes different forms depending on etiology and disease stage. Liver biopsy, traditionally regarded as the gold standard of fibrosis staging, has been brought into question over the past decade, resulting in the proposal for developing non-invasive technologies based on different, but complementary, approaches: a biological one that takes the serum levels of products arising from the fibrosis into account, and a more physical one that evaluates scarring of the liver by methods such as ultrasound and magnetic resonance elastography; some of the methods were originally studied and validated in patients with hepatitis C. There is great interest in determining non-invasive markers for the diagnosis of liver fibrosis, since at present there is no panel or parameter efficient and reliable enough for diagnostic use. In this paper, we describe the biomarkers that are currently being used for studying liver fibrosis in humans, their advantages and disadvantages, as well as the implementation of new-generation technologies and the evaluation of their possible use in the diagnosis of fibrosis. PMID:24954541

  6. The Advantages of a Rooftop Garden and Other Things

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zande, Robin Vande

    2006-01-01

    Design education is an aesthetic and humanistic approach for teaching how to contribute to the improvement of the conditions that affect everyone's lives. This article offers an overview of some important concepts to teach young people about regeneration design and the future of our changing environment. It is becoming increasingly evident that we…

  7. Local Area Networks: Are There Advantages for Primary Schools?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Aherran, Anne

    1986-01-01

    Examines the relative merits of using computer networks (several computers linked together and sharing a single disk drive) and stand-alone systems (self-contained units operating independently) in Australian primary school classrooms. Advances several arguments favoring stand-alone systems, which improve accessibility and enhance individual…

  8. Superior piezoelectric composite films: taking advantage of carbon nanomaterials.

    PubMed

    Saber, Nasser; Araby, Sherif; Meng, Qingshi; Hsu, Hung-Yao; Yan, Cheng; Azari, Sara; Lee, Sang-Heon; Xu, Yanan; Ma, Jun; Yu, Sirong

    2014-01-31

    Piezoelectric composites comprising an active phase of ferroelectric ceramic and a polymer matrix have recently found numerous sensory applications. However, it remains a major challenge to further improve their electromechanical response for advanced applications such as precision control and monitoring systems. We here investigated the incorporation of graphene platelets (GnPs) and multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs), each with various weight fractions, into PZT (lead zirconate titanate)/epoxy composites to produce three-phase nanocomposites. The nanocomposite films show markedly improved piezoelectric coefficients and electromechanical responses (50%) besides an enhancement of ~200% in stiffness. The carbon nanomaterials strengthened the impact of electric field on the PZT particles by appropriately raising the electrical conductivity of the epoxy. GnPs have been proved to be far more promising in improving the poling behavior and dynamic response than MWNTs. The superior dynamic sensitivity of GnP-reinforced composite may be caused by the GnPs' high load transfer efficiency arising from their two-dimensional geometry and good compatibility with the matrix. The reduced acoustic impedance mismatch resulting from the improved thermal conductance may also contribute to the higher sensitivity of GnP-reinforced composite. This research pointed out the potential of employing GnPs to develop highly sensitive piezoelectric composites for sensing applications. PMID:24398819

  9. Teacher-Led Reforms Have a Big Advantage--Teachers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stanulis, Randi N.; Cooper, Kristy S.; Dear, Benita; Johnston, Amanda M.; Richard-Todd, Rhonda R.

    2016-01-01

    Becoming a better teacher by learning and implementing new ways of teaching requires time, effort, persistence, and a belief that new strategies will enhance student learning. But when educational leaders try to improve teachers and teaching from the outside, by bringing in reformers to transform how teachers engage in the core business of…

  10. Modernization of Physical Appearance and Solution Color Tests Using Quantitative Tristimulus Colorimetry: Advantages, Harmonization, and Validation Strategies.

    PubMed

    Pack, Brian W; Montgomery, Laura L; Hetrick, Evan M

    2015-10-01

    Color measurements, including physical appearance, are important yet often misunderstood and underappreciated aspects of a control strategy for drug substances and drug products. From a patient safety perspective, color can be an important control point for detecting contamination, impurities, and degradation products, with human visual acuity often more sensitive for colored impurities than instrumental techniques such as HPLC. Physical appearance tests and solution color tests can also serve an important role in ensuring that appropriate steps are taken such that clinical trials do not become unblinded when the active material is compared with another product or a placebo. Despite the importance of color tests, compendial visual tests are not harmonized across the major pharmacopoeias, which results in ambiguous specifications of little value, difficult communication of true sample color, and significant extra work required for global registration. Some pharmacopoeias have not yet recognized or adopted technical advances in the instrumental measurement of color and appearance, whereas others begin to acknowledge the advantage of instrumental colorimetry, yet leave implementation of the technology ambiguous. This commentary will highlight the above-mentioned inconsistencies, provide an avenue toward harmonization and modernization, and outline a scientifically sound approach for implementing quantitative technologies for improved measurement, communication, and control of color and appearance for both solutions and solids. Importantly, this manuscript, for the first time, outlines a color method validation approach that is consistent with the International Conference on Harmonization's guidance on the topic of method validation. PMID:26173406

  11. [Conclusions. The precautionary principle: its advantages and risks].

    PubMed

    Tubiana, M

    2000-01-01

    The proposed extension to health of the precautionary principle is the reaction to two social demands: the desire for greater health safety and for more transparency in the decision making process by associating the public. In medical care, all decisions are based on the balance between cost (dangers induced by the treatment) and benefit (the therapeutic effect). It is as dangerous to overestimate the cost, in other words the risks, as it is to underestimate them. The same problem is encountered in public health. If a vaccination is to be prescribed, the beneficial effects must outweigh the risks; however, these risks are inevitable and have been known to exist since the 18th century, but they have been accepted for the public good. It takes courage to make a vaccination mandatory because those who benefit from it will never know, while those who suffer from its ill effects could take legal action. In order to counter accusations, an evaluation must be made beforehand of the risks and benefits, which underlines the important role of expert opinion. Within the framework of the precautionary principle, actions cannot be taken in ignorance and, at the very least, plausible estimations must be made. The analysis of several recent events (contaminated blood, BSE, growth hormone and Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease) shows that the precautionary principle would have had a very limited impact and that only once there was sufficient knowledge was action made possible. The same is true concerning current debates (the possible risks associated with electromagnetic fields, mobile phones and radon); in these three cases, no country in the world has invoked the precautionary principle, but rather the priority has been given to research. The public understands quite readily the cost/benefit relationship. In the case of oral contraceptives, or hormone replacement therapy the public was aware of their possible health risks but judged that the advantages outweighed the risks. The

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pešić, J.; Gajić, R.

    2014-09-01

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

  13. On the duration and intensity of cumulative advantage competitions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, Bo; Sun, Liyuan; Figueiredo, Daniel R.; Ribeiro, Bruno; Towsley, Don

    2015-11-01

    Network growth can be framed as a competition for edges among nodes in the network. As with various other social and physical systems, skill (fitness) and luck (random chance) act as fundamental forces driving competition dynamics. In the context of networks, cumulative advantage (CA)—the rich-get-richer effect—is seen as a driving principle governing the edge accumulation process. However, competitions coupled with CA exhibit non-trivial behavior and little is formally known about duration and intensity of CA competitions. By isolating two nodes in an ideal CA competition, we provide a mathematical understanding of how CA exacerbates the role of luck in detriment of skill. We show, for instance, that when nodes start with few edges, an early stroke of luck can place the less skilled in the lead for an extremely long period of time, a phenomenon we call ‘struggle of the fittest’. We prove that duration of a simple skill and luck competition model exhibit power-law tails when CA is present, regardless of skill difference, which is in sharp contrast to the exponential tails when fitness is distinct but CA is absent. We also prove that competition intensity is always upper bounded by an exponential tail, irrespective of CA and skills. Thus, CA competitions can be extremely long (infinite mean, depending on fitness ratio) but almost never very intense. The theoretical results are corroborated by extensive numerical simulations. Our findings have important implications to competitions not only among nodes in networks but also in contexts that leverage socio-physical models embodying CA competitions.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  15. Advantage of soybean isoflavone as antiandrogen on acne vulgaris

    PubMed Central

    Riyanto, Puguh; Subchan, Prasetyowati; Lelyana, Rosa

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Forman, Joel; Silverstein, Janet

    2012-11-01

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

  17. Improving cumulative effects assessment in Alberta: Regional strategic assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Johnson, Dallas Lalonde, Kim; McEachern, Menzie; Kenney, John; Mendoza, Gustavo; Buffin, Andrew; Rich, Kate

    2011-09-15

    The Government of Alberta, Canada is developing a regulatory framework to better manage cumulative environmental effects from development in the province. A key component of this effort is regional planning, which will lay the primary foundation for cumulative effects management into the future. Alberta Environment has considered the information needs of regional planning and has concluded that Regional Strategic Assessment may offer significant advantages if integrated into the planning process, including the overall improvement of cumulative environmental effects assessment in the province.

  18. Speech Intelligibility Advantages using an Acoustic Beamformer Display

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Begault, Durand R.; Sunder, Kaushik; Godfroy, Martine; Otto, Peter

    2015-01-01

    A speech intelligibility test conforming to the Modified Rhyme Test of ANSI S3.2 "Method for Measuring the Intelligibility of Speech Over Communication Systems" was conducted using a prototype 12-channel acoustic beamformer system. The target speech material (signal) was identified against speech babble (noise), with calculated signal-noise ratios of 0, 5 and 10 dB. The signal was delivered at a fixed beam orientation of 135 deg (re 90 deg as the frontal direction of the array) and the noise at 135 deg (co-located) and 0 deg (separated). A significant improvement in intelligibility from 57% to 73% was found for spatial separation for the same signal-noise ratio (0 dB). Significant effects for improved intelligibility due to spatial separation were also found for higher signal-noise ratios (5 and 10 dB).

  19. The phage display technique: advantages and recent patents.

    PubMed

    de Almeida, Sintia Silva; Magalhães, Aryane Aparecida C; de Castro Soares, Siomar; Zurita-Turk, Meritxell; Goulart, Luiz Ricardo; Miyoshi, Anderson; Azevedo, Vasco

    2011-08-01

    Phage display technology has advanced considerably since its creation, and the number of research projects using this technique is constantly increasing, generating numerous antibody and antigen libraries. These libraries, besides expediting library screening, improving selection methods and allowing evaluation of novel applications, have great potential for the development of new vaccines, drugs and diagnosis tests. Consequently, patent registries for the protection of these sequences are essential. PMID:21663585

  20. The advantages of "Dance-group" for psychotic patients.

    PubMed

    Tavormina, Romina; Tavormina, Maurilio Giuseppe Maria; Nemoianni, Eugenio

    2014-11-01

    Psychosocial rehabilitation and in particular group dances allow the recovery of lost or compromised ability of patients with mental illness, and they facilitate their reintegration into the social context. The dance group has enabled users of the Day Centre of the Unit of Mental Health Torre del Greco ASL NA 3 south to achieve the objectives of rehabilitation such as: taking care of themselves, of their bodies and their interests, improving self-esteem , the management of pathological emotions, socialization and integration, overcoming the psychotic closing and relational isolation. In particular, patients with schizophrenia, psychotic and mood disorders had a concrete benefit from such rehabilitation activities, facilitating interpersonal relationships, therapy compliance and significantly improved mood, quality of life, providing them with the rhythm and the security in their relationship with each other. The dance group and for some individuals, also psychotherapy and drug therapy, have facilitated social inclusion, improved the quality of life and cured their diseases. The work is carrying out in a group with patients, practitioners, family members, volunteers, social community workers, following the operating departmental protocols. Using the chorus group "Sing that you go" as an operational tool for psychosocial rehabilitation and therapeutic element we promote the psychological well-being and the enhancement of mood. PMID:25413534

  1. Story of Rubidium-82 and Advantages for Myocardial Perfusion PET Imaging.

    PubMed

    Chatal, Jean-François; Rouzet, François; Haddad, Ferid; Bourdeau, Cécile; Mathieu, Cédric; Le Guludec, Dominique

    2015-01-01

    Rubidium-82 has a long story, starting in 1954. After preclinical studies in dogs showing that myocardial uptake of this radionuclide was directly proportional to myocardial blood flow (MBF), clinical studies were performed in the 80s leading to an approval in the USA in 1989. From that time, thousands of patients have been tested and their results have been reported in three meta-analyses. Pooled patient-based sensitivity and specificity were, respectively, 0.91 and 0.90. By comparison with (99m)Tc-SPECT, (82)Rb PET had a much better diagnostic accuracy, especially in obese patients with body mass index ≥30 kg/m(2) (85 versus 67% with SPECT) and in women with large breasts. A great advantage of (82)Rb PET is its capacity to accurately quantify MBF. Quite importantly, it has been recently shown that coronary flow reserve is associated with adverse cardiovascular events independently of luminal angiographic severity. Moreover, coronary flow reserve is a functional parameter particularly useful in the estimate of microvascular dysfunction, such as in diabetes mellitus. Due to the very short half-life of rubidium-82, the effective dose calculated for a rest/stress test is roughly equivalent to the annual natural exposure and even less when stress-only is performed with a low activity compatible with a good image quality with the last generation 3D PET scanners. There is still some debate on the relative advantages of (82)Rb PET with regard to (99m)Tc-SPECT. For the last 10 years, great technological advances substantially improved performances of SPECT with its accuracy getting closer to this of (82)Rb/PET. Currently, the main advantages of PET are its capacity to accurately quantify MBF and to deliver a low radiation exposure. PMID:26442267

  2. Story of Rubidium-82 and Advantages for Myocardial Perfusion PET Imaging

    PubMed Central

    Chatal, Jean-François; Rouzet, François; Haddad, Ferid; Bourdeau, Cécile; Mathieu, Cédric; Le Guludec, Dominique

    2015-01-01

    Rubidium-82 has a long story, starting in 1954. After preclinical studies in dogs showing that myocardial uptake of this radionuclide was directly proportional to myocardial blood flow (MBF), clinical studies were performed in the 80s leading to an approval in the USA in 1989. From that time, thousands of patients have been tested and their results have been reported in three meta-analyses. Pooled patient-based sensitivity and specificity were, respectively, 0.91 and 0.90. By comparison with 99mTc-SPECT, 82Rb PET had a much better diagnostic accuracy, especially in obese patients with body mass index ≥30 kg/m2 (85 versus 67% with SPECT) and in women with large breasts. A great advantage of 82Rb PET is its capacity to accurately quantify MBF. Quite importantly, it has been recently shown that coronary flow reserve is associated with adverse cardiovascular events independently of luminal angiographic severity. Moreover, coronary flow reserve is a functional parameter particularly useful in the estimate of microvascular dysfunction, such as in diabetes mellitus. Due to the very short half-life of rubidium-82, the effective dose calculated for a rest/stress test is roughly equivalent to the annual natural exposure and even less when stress-only is performed with a low activity compatible with a good image quality with the last generation 3D PET scanners. There is still some debate on the relative advantages of 82Rb PET with regard to 99mTc-SPECT. For the last 10 years, great technological advances substantially improved performances of SPECT with its accuracy getting closer to this of 82Rb/PET. Currently, the main advantages of PET are its capacity to accurately quantify MBF and to deliver a low radiation exposure. PMID:26442267

  3. 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.

  4. Internet Usage and Competitive Advantage: The Impact of the Internet on an Old Economy Industry in Spain.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    del Aguila Obra, Ana Rosa; Bruque Camara, Sebastian; Padilla Melendez, Antonio

    2002-01-01

    Considers whether Internet technologies have led to competitive advantage for companies operating in traditional industries. Highlights include a literature review; using the resource-based view (RBV) of firms as a theoretical framework for an empirical investigation; and a survey that investigated Internet technologies and competitive advantage…

  5. 12 CFR 724.1 - Federal credit unions acting as trustees and custodians of certain tax-advantaged savings plans.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... UNION ADMINISTRATION REGULATIONS AFFECTING CREDIT UNIONS TRUSTEES AND CUSTODIANS OF CERTAIN TAX...-advantaged savings plans. A federal credit union is authorized to act as trustee or custodian, and may... Federal credit union. Federal credit unions located in a territory, including the trust territories, or...

  6. 12 CFR 724.1 - Federal credit unions acting as trustees and custodians of certain tax-advantaged savings plans.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... UNION ADMINISTRATION REGULATIONS AFFECTING CREDIT UNIONS TRUSTEES AND CUSTODIANS OF CERTAIN TAX...-advantaged savings plans. A federal credit union is authorized to act as trustee or custodian, and may... Federal credit union. Federal credit unions located in a territory, including the trust territories, or...

  7. 12 CFR 724.1 - Federal credit unions acting as trustees and custodians of certain tax-advantaged savings plans.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... UNION ADMINISTRATION REGULATIONS AFFECTING CREDIT UNIONS TRUSTEES AND CUSTODIANS OF CERTAIN TAX...-advantaged savings plans. A federal credit union is authorized to act as trustee or custodian, and may... Federal credit union. Federal credit unions located in a territory, including the trust territories, or...

  8. 12 CFR 724.1 - Federal credit unions acting as trustees and custodians of certain tax-advantaged savings plans.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... UNION ADMINISTRATION REGULATIONS AFFECTING CREDIT UNIONS TRUSTEES AND CUSTODIANS OF CERTAIN TAX...-advantaged savings plans. A federal credit union is authorized to act as trustee or custodian, and may... Federal credit union. Federal credit unions located in a territory, including the trust territories, or...

  9. 12 CFR 724.1 - Federal credit unions acting as trustees and custodians of certain tax-advantaged savings plans.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... UNION ADMINISTRATION REGULATIONS AFFECTING CREDIT UNIONS TRUSTEES AND CUSTODIANS OF CERTAIN TAX...-advantaged savings plans. A federal credit union is authorized to act as trustee or custodian, and may... Federal credit union. Federal credit unions located in a territory, including the trust territories, or...

  10. The whole relationship between environmental variables and firm performance: competitive advantage and firm resources as mediator variables.

    PubMed

    López-Gamero, María D; Molina-Azorín, José F; Claver-Cortés, Enrique

    2009-07-01

    The examination of the possible direct link between environmental protection and firm performance in the literature has generally produced mixed results. The present paper contributes to the literature by using the resource-based view as a mediating process in this relationship. The study specifically tests whether or not the resource-based view of the firm mediates the positive relationships of proactive environmental management and improved environmental performance with competitive advantage, which also has consequences for financial performance. We also check the possible link between the adoption of a pioneering approach and good environmental management practices. Our findings support that early investment timing and intensity in environmental issues impact on the adoption of a proactive environmental management, which in turn helps to improve environmental performance. The findings also show that a firm's resources and competitive advantage act as mediator variables for a positive relationship between environmental protection and financial performance. This contribution is original because the present paper develops a comprehensive whole picture of this path process, which has previously only been partially discussed in the literature. In addition, this study clarifies a relevant point in the literature, namely that the effect of environmental protection on firm performance is not direct and can vary depending on the sector considered. Whereas competitive advantage in relation to costs influences financial performance in the IPPC law sector, the relevant influence in the hotel sector comes from competitive advantage through differentiation. PMID:19482410

  11. Employing Dictyostelium as an Advantageous 3Rs Model for Pharmacogenetic Research.

    PubMed

    Otto, Grant P; Cocorocchio, Marco; Munoz, Laura; Tyson, Richard A; Bretschneider, Till; Williams, Robin S B

    2016-01-01

    Increasing concern regarding the use of animals in research has triggered a growing need for non-animal research models in a range of fields. The development of 3Rs (replacement, refinement, and reduction) approaches in research, to reduce the reliance on the use of animal tissue and whole-animal experiments, has recently included the use of Dictyostelium. In addition to not feeling pain and thus being relatively free of ethical constraints, Dictyostelium provides a range of distinct methodological advantages for researchers that has led to a number of breakthroughs. These methodologies include using cell behavior (cell movement and shape) as a rapid indicator of sensitivity to poorly characterized medicines, natural products, and other chemicals to help understand the molecular mechanism of action of compounds. Here, we outline a general approach to employing Dictyostelium as a 3Rs research model, using cell behavior as a readout to better understand how compounds, such as the active ingredient in chilli peppers, capsaicin, function at a cellular level. This chapter helps scientists unfamiliar with Dictyostelium to rapidly employ it as an advantageous model system for research, to reduce the use of animals in research, and to make paradigm shift advances in our understanding of biological chemistry. PMID:27271898

  12. Advantages and limits of hemorrhoidal dearterialization in the treatment of symptomatic hemorrhoids.

    PubMed

    Giamundo, Paolo

    2016-01-27

    In the last two decades, hemorrhoidal dearterialization has become universally accepted as a treatment option for symptomatic hemorrhoids. The rationale for this procedure is based on the assumption that arterial blood overflow is mainly responsible for dilatation of the hemorrhoidal plexus due to the absence of capillary interposition between the arterial and venous systems within the anal canal. Dearterialization, with either suture ligation (Doppler-guided hemorrhoid artery ligation/transanal hemorrhoidal dearterialization) or laser (hemorrhoidal laser procedure), may be successfully performed alone or with mucopexy. Although the added value of Doppler-guidance in association with dearterialization has recently been challenged, this imaging method still plays an important role in localizing hemorrhoidal arteries and, therefore, minimizing the effect of anatomic variation among patients. However, it is important to employ the correct Doppler transducer. Some Doppler transducers may not easily detect superficial arteries due to inadequate frequency settings. All techniques of dearterialization have the advantage of preserving the anatomy and physiology of the anal canal, when compared to other surgical treatments for hemorrhoids. This advantage cannot be underestimated as impaired anal function, including fecal incontinence and other defecation disorders, may occur following surgical treatment for hemorrhoids. Furthermore, this potentially devastating problem can occur in patients of all ages, including younger patients. PMID:26843909

  13. Advantages and limits of hemorrhoidal dearterialization in the treatment of symptomatic hemorrhoids

    PubMed Central

    Giamundo, Paolo

    2016-01-01

    In the last two decades, hemorrhoidal dearterialization has become universally accepted as a treatment option for symptomatic hemorrhoids. The rationale for this procedure is based on the assumption that arterial blood overflow is mainly responsible for dilatation of the hemorrhoidal plexus due to the absence of capillary interposition between the arterial and venous systems within the anal canal. Dearterialization, with either suture ligation (Doppler-guided hemorrhoid artery ligation/transanal hemorrhoidal dearterialization) or laser (hemorrhoidal laser procedure), may be successfully performed alone or with mucopexy. Although the added value of Doppler-guidance in association with dearterialization has recently been challenged, this imaging method still plays an important role in localizing hemorrhoidal arteries and, therefore, minimizing the effect of anatomic variation among patients. However, it is important to employ the correct Doppler transducer. Some Doppler transducers may not easily detect superficial arteries due to inadequate frequency settings. All techniques of dearterialization have the advantage of preserving the anatomy and physiology of the anal canal, when compared to other surgical treatments for hemorrhoids. This advantage cannot be underestimated as impaired anal function, including fecal incontinence and other defecation disorders, may occur following surgical treatment for hemorrhoids. Furthermore, this potentially devastating problem can occur in patients of all ages, including younger patients. PMID:26843909

  14. There is no coherent evidence for a bilingual advantage in executive processing.

    PubMed

    Paap, Kenneth R; Greenberg, Zachary I

    2013-03-01

    Three studies compared bilinguals to monolinguals on 15 indicators of executive processing (EP). Most of the indicators compare a neutral or congruent baseline to a condition that should require EP. For each of the measures there was no main effect of group and a highly significant main effect of condition. The critical marker for a bilingual advantage, the Group×Condition interaction, was significant for only one indicator, but in a pattern indicative of a bilingual disadvantage. Tasks include antisaccade (Study 1), Simon (Studies 1-3), flanker (Study 3), and color-shape switching (Studies 1-3). The two groups performed identically on the Raven's Advanced Matrices test (Study 3). Analyses on the combined data selecting subsets that are precisely matched on parent's educational level or that include only highly fluent bilinguals reveal exactly the same pattern of results. A problem reconfirmed by the present study is that effects assumed to be indicators of a specific executive process in one task (e.g., inhibitory control in the flanker task) frequently do not predict individual differences in that same indicator on a related task (e.g., inhibitory control in the Simon task). The absence of consistent cross-task correlations undermines the interpretation that these are valid indicators of domain-general abilities. In a final discussion the underlying rationale for hypothesizing bilingual advantages in executive processing based on the special linguistic demands placed on bilinguals is interrogated. PMID:23370226

  15. The Health Advantage of a Vegan Diet: Exploring the Gut Microbiota Connection

    PubMed Central

    Glick-Bauer, Marian; Yeh, Ming-Chin

    2014-01-01

    This review examines whether there is evidence that a strict vegan diet confers health advantages beyond that of a vegetarian diet or overall healthy eating. Few studies include vegan subjects as a distinct experimental group, yet when vegan diets are directly compared to vegetarian and omnivorous diets, a pattern of protective health benefits emerges. The relatively recent inclusion of vegan diets in studies of gut microbiota and health allows us the opportunity to assess whether the vegan gut microbiota is distinct, and whether the health advantages characteristic of a vegan diet may be partially explained by the associated microbiota profile. The relationship between diet and the intestinal microbial profile appears to follow a continuum, with vegans displaying a gut microbiota most distinct from that of omnivores, but not always significantly different from that of vegetarians. The vegan gut profile appears to be unique in several characteristics, including a reduced abundance of pathobionts and a greater abundance of protective species. Reduced levels of inflammation may be the key feature linking the vegan gut microbiota with protective health effects. However, it is still unclear whether a therapeutic vegan diet can be prescribed to alter the gut microflora for long-term health benefits. PMID:25365383

  16. The health advantage of a vegan diet: exploring the gut microbiota connection.

    PubMed

    Glick-Bauer, Marian; Yeh, Ming-Chin

    2014-11-01

    This review examines whether there is evidence that a strict vegan diet confers health advantages beyond that of a vegetarian diet or overall healthy eating. Few studies include vegan subjects as a distinct experimental group, yet when vegan diets are directly compared to vegetarian and omnivorous diets, a pattern of protective health benefits emerges. The relatively recent inclusion of vegan diets in studies of gut microbiota and health allows us the opportunity to assess whether the vegan gut microbiota is distinct, and whether the health advantages characteristic of a vegan diet may be partially explained by the associated microbiota profile. The relationship between diet and the intestinal microbial profile appears to follow a continuum, with vegans displaying a gut microbiota most distinct from that of omnivores, but not always significantly different from that of vegetarians. The vegan gut profile appears to be unique in several characteristics, including a reduced abundance of pathobionts and a greater abundance of protective species. Reduced levels of inflammation may be the key feature linking the vegan gut microbiota with protective health effects. However, it is still unclear whether a therapeutic vegan diet can be prescribed to alter the gut microflora for long-term health benefits. PMID:25365383

  17. Fast Growth Increases the Selective Advantage of a Mutation Arising Recurrently during Evolution under Metal Limitation

    PubMed Central

    Chou, Hsin-Hung; Berthet, Julia; Marx, Christopher J.

    2009-01-01

    Understanding the evolution of biological systems requires untangling the molecular mechanisms that connect genetic and environmental variations to their physiological consequences. Metal limitation across many environments, ranging from pathogens in the human body to phytoplankton in the oceans, imposes strong selection for improved metal acquisition systems. In this study, we uncovered the genetic and physiological basis of adaptation to metal limitation using experimental populations of Methylobacterium extorquens AM1 evolved in metal-deficient growth media. We identified a transposition mutation arising recurrently in 30 of 32 independent populations that utilized methanol as a carbon source, but not in any of the 8 that utilized only succinate. These parallel insertion events increased expression of a novel transporter system that enhanced cobalt uptake. Such ability ensured the production of vitamin B12, a cobalt-containing cofactor, to sustain two vitamin B12–dependent enzymatic reactions essential to methanol, but not succinate, metabolism. Interestingly, this mutation provided higher selective advantages under genetic backgrounds or incubation temperatures that permit faster growth, indicating growth-rate–dependent epistatic and genotype-by-environment interactions. Our results link beneficial mutations emerging in a metal-limiting environment to their physiological basis in carbon metabolism, suggest that certain molecular features may promote the emergence of parallel mutations, and indicate that the selective advantages of some mutations depend generically upon changes in growth rate that can stem from either genetic or environmental influences. PMID:19763169

  18. Processing advantages for consonance: A comparison between rats (Rattus norvegicus) and humans (Homo sapiens).

    PubMed

    Crespo-Bojorque, Paola; Toro, Juan M

    2016-05-01

    Consonance is a salient perceptual feature in harmonic music associated with pleasantness. Besides being deeply rooted in how we experience music, research suggests consonant intervals are more easily processed than dissonant intervals. In the present work we explore from a comparative perspective if such processing advantage extends to more complex tasks such as the detection of abstract rules. We ran experiments on rule learning over consonant and dissonant intervals with nonhuman animals and human participants. Results show differences across species regarding the extent to which they benefit from differences in consonance. Animals learn abstract rules with the same ease independently of whether they are implemented over consonant intervals (Experiment 1), dissonant intervals (Experiment 2), or over a combination of them (Experiment 3). Humans, on the contrary, learn an abstract rule better when it is implemented over consonant (Experiment 4) than over dissonant intervals (Experiment 5). Moreover, their performance improves when there is a mapping between abstract categories defining a rule and consonant and dissonant intervals (Experiments 6 and 7). Results suggest that for humans, consonance might be used as a perceptual anchor for other cognitive processes as to facilitate the detection of abstract patterns. Lacking extensive experience with harmonic stimuli, nonhuman animals tested here do not seem to benefit from a processing advantage for consonant intervals. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:27078078

  19. [Molecular techniques for detection and identification of pathogens in food: advantages and limitations].

    PubMed

    Palomino-Camargo, Carolina; González-Muñoz, Yuniesky

    2014-01-01

    Foodborne diseases, caused by pathogenic microorganisms, are a major public health problem worldwide. Microbiological methods commonly used in the detection of these foodborne pathogens are laborious and time consuming. This situation, coupled with the demand for immediate results and with technological advances, has led to the development of a wide range of rapid methods in recent decades. On this basis, this review describes the advantages and limitations of the main molecular methods used in detection and identification of foodborne pathogens. To this end, we considered how recent the information was published, the objective analysis of the topic and its scope. Recent literature reports a significant number of alternative, sensitive and selective molecular techniques for detection, enumeration and identification of pathogenic microorganisms in food. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is the most popular platform, while high performance sequencing is emerging as a technique of wide applicability for the future. However, even with all the advantages of these new methodologies, their limitations should not be overlooked. For example, molecular methods are not standardized protocols, which hinders its use in some cases. For this reason, hard work should be done to overcome these limitations and improve the application of these techniques in complex matrices such as food systems. PMID:25418655

  20. Inoculation against forgetting: advantages of immediate versus delayed initial testing due to superior verbatim accessibility.

    PubMed

    Pansky, Ainat

    2012-11-01

    In this study, potential benefits of early memory testing were examined in terms of "inoculating" eyewitness memory against forgetting. As predicted by fuzzy trace theory (e.g., Reyna & Titcomb, 1997), a larger testing advantage in the delayed recall of event details was expected after immediate testing than after delayed testing because of the decline in accessibility of verbatim traces over time. However, memory for only the gist of these details was expected to be relatively stable over time, resulting in a smaller (if any) effect of the timing of interpolated testing. After viewing a target event, participants were questioned about event items immediately, after a 24-hr delay, or after a 48-hr delay and were free to respond at either the gist or the verbatim level. Verbatim memory for event details was tested 72 hr after the event. As expected, immediate interpolated testing improved verbatim memory performance on the final test more than delayed testing did, yielding a larger testing effect. Furthermore, the effect of the timing of interpolated testing on the magnitude of the testing effect was mediated by verbatim accessibility at interpolated testing. In contrast, memory for only the gist of event details was unaffected by the timing of interpolated testing, both on the interpolated test and on the final test. The findings highlight the role of declining verbatim memory over time in accounting for the advantage of immediate over delayed interpolated testing in inoculating eyewitness memory against forgetting of detailed information. PMID:22582965

  1. A fuzzy model for achieving lean attributes for competitive advantages development using AHP-QFD-PROMETHEE

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roghanian, E.; Alipour, Mohammad

    2014-06-01

    Lean production has become an integral part of the manufacturing landscape as its link with superior performance and its ability to provide competitive advantage is well accepted among academics and practitioners. Lean production helps producers in overcoming the challenges organizations face through using powerful tools and enablers. However, most companies are faced with restricted resources such as financial and human resources, time, etc., in using these enablers, and are not capable of implementing all these techniques. Therefore, identifying and selecting the most appropriate and efficient tool can be a significant challenge for many companies. Hence, this literature seeks to combine competitive advantages, lean attributes, and lean enablers to determine the most appropriate enablers for improvement of lean attributes. Quality function deployment in fuzzy environment and house of quality matrix are implemented. Throughout the methodology, fuzzy logic is the basis for translating linguistic judgments required for the relationships and correlation matrix to numerical values. Moreover, for final ranking of lean enablers, a multi-criteria decision-making method (PROMETHEE) is adopted. Finally, a case study in automotive industry is presented to illustrate the implementation of the proposed methodology.

  2. A procedure and program to calculate shuttle mask advantage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balasinski, A.; Cetin, J.; Kahng, A.; Xu, X.

    2006-10-01

    A well-known recipe for reducing mask cost component in product development is to place non-redundant elements of layout databases related to multiple products on one reticle plate [1,2]. Such reticles are known as multi-product, multi-layer, or, in general, multi-IP masks. The composition of the mask set should minimize not only the layout placement cost, but also the cost of the manufacturing process, design flow setup, and product design and introduction to market. An important factor is the quality check which should be expeditious and enable thorough visual verification to avoid costly modifications once the data is transferred to the mask shop. In this work, in order to enable the layer placement and quality check procedure, we proposed an algorithm where mask layers are first lined up according to the price and field tone [3]. Then, depending on the product die size, expected fab throughput, and scribeline requirements, the subsequent product layers are placed on the masks with different grades. The actual reduction of this concept to practice allowed us to understand the tradeoffs between the automation of layer placement and setup related constraints. For example, the limited options of the numbers of layer per plate dictated by the die size and other design feedback, made us consider layer pairing based not only on the final price of the mask set, but also on the cost of mask design and fab-friendliness. We showed that it may be advantageous to introduce manual layer pairing to ensure that, e.g., all interconnect layers would be placed on the same plate, allowing for easy and simultaneous design fixes. Another enhancement was to allow some flexibility in mixing and matching of the layers such that non-critical ones requiring low mask grade would be placed in a less restrictive way, to reduce the count of orphan layers. In summary, we created a program to automatically propose and visualize shuttle mask architecture for design verification, with

  3. Carbon Sequestration in Unconventional Reservoirs: Advantages and Limitations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zakharova, N. V.; Slagle, A. L.; Goldberg, D.

    2014-12-01

    To make a significant impact on anthropogenic CO2 emissions, geologic carbon sequestration would require thousands of CO2 repositories around the world. Unconventional reservoirs, such as igneous rocks and fractured formations, may add substantial storage capacity and diversify CO2 storage options. In particular, basaltic rocks represent a promising target due to their widespread occurrence, potentially suitable reservoir structure and high reactivity with CO2, but a comprehensive evaluation of worldwide CO2 sequestration capacity in unconventional reservoirs is lacking. In this presentation we summarize available data on storage potential of basaltic rocks and fractured formations illustrated by field examples from the Columbia River Basalt, the Newark Rift Basin and IODP Site 1256, and discuss potential limiting factors, such as effective porosity and the risk of inducing earthquakes by CO2 injections. Large Igneous Provinces (LIPs), low-volume flows and intrusions, and ocean floor basalt represent three general classes of basaltic reservoirs, each characterized by different structure and storage capacity. Oceanic plateaus and LIPs are projected to have the highest CO2 storage capacity, on the order of thousands gigatons (Gt) per site, followed by continental LIPs and ocean floor basalts (hundreds to thousands Gt per site). Isolated basalt flows and intrusions are likely to offer only low- to moderate-capacity options. An important limiting factor on CO2 injection volumes and rates is the risk of inducing earthquakes by increasing pore pressure in the subsurface. On continents, available in situ stress analysis suggests that local stress perturbations at depth may create relaxed stress conditions, allowing for pore pressure increase without reactivating fractures and faults. Remote storage sites on oceanic plateaus and below the seafloor are advantageous due to low impact of potential seismic and/or leakage events. Other effects, such as thermal stresses created

  4. Digital scrambling for shuttle communication links: Do drawbacks outweigh advantages?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dessouky, K.

    1985-01-01

    Digital data scrambling has been considered for communication systems using NRZ (non-return to zero) symbol formats. The purpose is to increase the number of transitions in the data to improve the performance of the symbol synchronizer. This is accomplished without expanding the bandwidth but at the expense of increasing the data bit error rate (BER). Models for the scramblers/descramblers of practical interest are presented together with the appropriate link model. The effects of scrambling on the performance of coded and uncoded links are studied. The results are illustrated by application to the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System links. Conclusions regarding the usefulness of scrambling are also given.

  5. Parenting and Academic Achievement: Intergenerational Transmission of Educational Advantage

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roksa, Josipa; Potter, Daniel

    2011-01-01

    A growing body of research has examined how cultural capital, recently broadened to include not only high-status cultural activities but also a range of different parenting practices, influences children's educational success. Most of this research assumes that parents' current class location is the starting point of class transmission. However,…

  6. Taking Advantage of Murder and Mayhem for Social Studies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harden, G. Daniel

    1991-01-01

    Suggests the use of key historical antisocial acts to teach social studies concepts as a means of arousing the interest of adolescents. Recommends overcoming initial sensationalism by shifting emphasis to more appropriate interests. Includes discussion of the Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy assassinations and the Rosenberg spy case. Suggests…

  7. Carbon offers advantages as implant material in human body

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Benson, J.

    1969-01-01

    Because of such characteristics as high strength and long-term biocompatability, aerospace carbonaceous materials may be used as surgical implants to correct pathological conditions in the body resulting from disease or injury. Examples of possible medical uses include bone replacement, implantation splints and circulatory bypass implants.

  8. Intercultural Competence as a Competitive Advantage of Secondary School Graduates

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Karnyshev, A. D.; Kostin, A. K.

    2010-01-01

    Among the qualities of today's school graduate, the ones that are becoming more and more important are those that determine the ability to compete. These qualities include intercultural competence, which both researchers and practitioners all over the world acknowledge to be one of the most important characteristics of any citizen who engages in…

  9. Advantages of the Papillon protocol in the preoperative treatment of rectal carcinoma.

    PubMed

    Klimberg, V S; Langston, J D; Maners, A; Gocio, J C; Hutchins, L F; Lang, N P; Westbrook, K C; Broadwater, J R

    1992-11-01

    Standard treatment for advanced rectal carcinoma currently includes surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy. Although there are theoretic advantages to preoperative irradiation, it is often not performed because of the prolonged delay of surgery and the purported increase in perioperative complications. A pilot study was undertaken at our institution to evaluate a treatment protocol advocated by Dr. Papillon that offers a shorter treatment time and less patient morbidity than conventional preoperative therapy for rectal carcinoma. Twenty patients with rectal cancer underwent the preoperative regimen that consisted of 3,000 cGy delivered in 10 fractions over 12 days with concomitant 5-fluorouracil and mitomycin-C. Complications were acceptable. Local recurrence was lower than in most reported trials, and survival rates were comparable. Additional benefits of the protocol include lower radiation morbidity to the patient and a decreased delay between diagnosis and surgery. PMID:1443366

  10. Advantages and Pitfalls of Mass Spectrometry Based Metabolome Profiling in Systems Biology

    PubMed Central

    Aretz, Ina; Meierhofer, David

    2016-01-01

    Mass spectrometry-based metabolome profiling became the method of choice in systems biology approaches and aims to enhance biological understanding of complex biological systems. Genomics, transcriptomics, and proteomics are well established technologies and are commonly used by many scientists. In comparison, metabolomics is an emerging field and has not reached such high-throughput, routine and coverage than other omics technologies. Nevertheless, substantial improvements were achieved during the last years. Integrated data derived from multi-omics approaches will provide a deeper understanding of entire biological systems. Metabolome profiling is mainly hampered by its diversity, variation of metabolite concentration by several orders of magnitude and biological data interpretation. Thus, multiple approaches are required to cover most of the metabolites. No software tool is capable of comprehensively translating all the data into a biologically meaningful context yet. In this review, we discuss the advantages of metabolome profiling and main obstacles limiting progress in systems biology. PMID:27128910

  11. Gaining competitive advantage in personal dosimetry services through ISO 9001 certification.

    PubMed

    Noriah, M A

    2007-01-01

    This paper discusses the advantage of certification process in the quality assurance of individual dose monitoring in Malaysia. The demand by customers and the regulatory authority for a higher degree of quality service requires a switch in emphasis from a technically focused quality assurance program to a comprehensive quality management for service provision. Achieving the ISO 9001:2000 certification by an accredited third party demonstrates acceptable recognition and documents the fact that the methods used are capable of generating results that satisfy the performance criteria of the certification program. It also offers a proof of the commitment to quality and, as a benchmark, allows measurement of the progress for continual improvement of service performance. PMID:17145724

  12. The artist's advantage: Better integration of object information across eye movements

    PubMed Central

    Perdreau, Florian; Cavanagh, Patrick

    2013-01-01

    Over their careers, figurative artists spend thousands of hours analyzing objects and scene layout. We examined what impact this extensive training has on the ability to encode complex scenes, comparing participants with a wide range of training and drawing skills on a possible versus impossible objects task. We used a gaze-contingent display to control the amount of information the participants could sample on each fixation either from central or peripheral visual field. Test objects were displayed and participants reported, as quickly as possible, whether the object was structurally possible or not. Our results show that when viewing the image through a small central window, performance improved with the years of training, and to a lesser extent with the level of skill. This suggests that the extensive training itself confers an advantage for integrating object structure into more robust object descriptions. PMID:24349697

  13. Are we taking full advantage of the growing number of pharmacological treatment options for osteoporosis?

    PubMed Central

    Jepsen, Karl J.; Schlecht, Stephen H.; Kozloff, Kenneth M.

    2014-01-01

    We are becoming increasingly aware that the manner in which our skeleton ages is not uniform within and between populations. Pharmacological treatment options with the potential to combat age-related reductions in skeletal strength continue to become available on the market, notwithstanding our current inability to fully utilize these treatments by accounting for an individual’s unique biomechanical needs. Revealing new molecular mechanisms that improve the targeted delivery of pharmaceuticals is important; however, this only addresses one part of the solution for differential age-related bone loss. To improve current treatment regimes, we must also consider specific biomechanical mechanisms that define how these molecular pathways ultimately impact whole bone fracture resistance. By improving our understanding of the relationship between molecular and biomechanical mechanisms, clinicians will be better equipped to take full advantage of the mounting pharmacological treatments available. Ultimately this will enable us to reduce fracture risk among the elderly more strategically, more effectively, and more economically. In this interest, the following review summarizes the biomechanical basis of current treatment strategies while defining how different biomechanical mechanisms lead to reduced fracture resistance. It is hoped that this may serve as a template for the identification of new targets for pharmacological treatments that will enable clinicians to personalize care so that fracture incidence may be globally reduced. PMID:24747363

  14. Advantages of estimating rate corrections during dynamic propagation of spacecraft rates: Applications to real-time attitude determination of SAMPEX

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Challa, M. S.; Natanson, G. A.; Baker, D. F.; Deutschmann, J. K.

    1994-01-01

    This paper describes real-time attitude determination results for the Solar, Anomalous, and Magnetospheric Particle Explorer (SAMPEX), a gyroless spacecraft, using a Kalman filter/Euler equation approach denoted the real-time sequential filter (RTSF). The RTSF is an extended Kalman filter whose state vector includes the attitude quaternion and corrections to the rates, which are modeled as Markov processes with small time constants. The rate corrections impart a significant robustness to the RTSF against errors in modeling the environmental and control torques, as well as errors in the initial attitude and rates, while maintaining a small state vector. SAMPLEX flight data from various mission phases are used to demonstrate the robustness of the RTSF against a priori attitude and rate errors of up to 90 deg and 0.5 deg/sec, respectively, as well as a sensitivity of 0.0003 deg/sec in estimating rate corrections in torque computations. In contrast, it is shown that the RTSF attitude estimates without the rate corrections can degrade rapidly. RTSF advantages over single-frame attitude determination algorithms are also demonstrated through (1) substantial improvements in attitude solutions during sun-magnetic field coalignment and (2) magnetic-field-only attitude and rate estimation during the spacecraft's sun-acquisition mode. A robust magnetometer-only attitude-and-rate determination method is also developed to provide for the contingency when both sun data as well as a priori knowledge of the spacecraft state are unavailable. This method includes a deterministic algorithm used to initialize the RTSF with coarse estimates of the spacecraft attitude and rates. The combined algorithm has been found effective, yielding accuracies of 1.5 deg in attitude and 0.01 deg/sec in the rates and convergence times as little as 400 sec.

  15. Depleting MET-Expressing Tumor Cells by ADCC Provides a Therapeutic Advantage over Inhibiting HGF/MET Signaling.

    PubMed

    Hultberg, Anna; Morello, Virginia; Huyghe, Leander; De Jonge, Natalie; Blanchetot, Christophe; Hanssens, Valérie; De Boeck, Gitte; Silence, Karen; Festjens, Els; Heukers, Raimond; Roux, Benjamin; Lamballe, Fabienne; Ginestier, Christophe; Charafe-Jauffret, Emmanuelle; Maina, Flavio; Brouckaert, Peter; Saunders, Michael; Thibault, Alain; Dreier, Torsten; de Haard, Hans; Michieli, Paolo

    2015-08-15

    Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) and its receptor MET represent validated targets for cancer therapy. However, HGF/MET inhibitors being explored as cancer therapeutics exhibit cytostatic activity rather than cytotoxic activity, which would be more desired. In this study, we engineered an antagonistic anti-MET antibody that, in addition to blocking HGF/MET signaling, also kills MET-overexpressing cancer cells by antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC). As a control reagent, we engineered the same antibody in an ADCC-inactive form that is similarly capable of blocking HGF/MET activity, but in the absence of any effector function. In comparing these two antibodies in multiple mouse models of cancer, including HGF-dependent and -independent tumor xenografts, we determined that the ADCC-enhanced antibody was more efficacious than the ADCC-inactive antibody. In orthotopic mammary carcinoma models, ADCC enhancement was crucial to deplete circulating tumor cells and to suppress metastases. Prompted by these results, we optimized the ADCC-enhanced molecule for clinical development, generating an antibody (ARGX-111) with improved pharmacologic properties. ARGX-111 competed with HGF for MET binding, inhibiting ligand-dependent MET activity, downregulated cell surface expression of MET, curbing HGF-independent MET activity, and engaged natural killer cells to kill MET-expressing cancer cells, displaying MET-specific cytotoxic activity. ADCC assays confirmed the cytotoxic effects of ARGX-111 in multiple human cancer cell lines and patient-derived primary tumor specimens, including MET-expressing cancer stem-like cells. Together, our results show how ADCC provides a therapeutic advantage over conventional HGF/MET signaling blockade and generates proof-of-concept for ARGX-111 clinical testing in MET-positive oncologic malignancies. PMID:26141862

  16. Interpreting the Possible Ecological Role(s) of Cyanotoxins: Compounds for Competitive Advantage and/or Physiological Aide?

    PubMed Central

    Holland, Aleicia; Kinnear, Susan

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23807545

  17. Computer-assisted design and computer-assisted modeling technique optimization and advantages over traditional methods of osseous flap reconstruction.

    PubMed

    Matros, Evan; Albornoz, Claudia R; Rensberger, Michael; Weimer, Katherine; Garfein, Evan S

    2014-06-01

    There is increased clinical use of computer-assisted design (CAD) and computer-assisted modeling (CAM) for osseous flap reconstruction, particularly in the head and neck region. Limited information exists about methods to optimize the application of this new technology and for cases in which it may be advantageous over existing methods of osseous flap shaping. A consecutive series of osseous reconstructions planned with CAD/CAM over the past 5 years was analyzed. Conceptual considerations and refinements in the CAD/CAM process were evaluated. A total of 48 reconstructions were performed using CAD/CAM. The majority of cases were performed for head and neck tumor reconstruction or related complications whereas the remainder (4%) were performed for penetrating trauma. Defect location was the mandible (85%), maxilla (12.5%), and pelvis (2%). Reconstruction was performed immediately in 73% of the cases and delayed in 27% of the cases. The mean number of osseous flap bone segments used in reconstruction was 2.41. Areas of optimization include the following: mandible cutting guide placement, osteotomy creation, alternative planning, and saw blade optimization. Identified benefits of CAD/CAM over current techniques include the following: delayed timing, anterior mandible defects, specimen distortion, osteotomy creation in three dimensions, osteotomy junction overlap, plate adaptation, and maxillary reconstruction. Experience with CAD/CAM for osseous reconstruction has identified tools for technique optimization and cases where this technology may prove beneficial over existing methods. Knowledge of these facts may contribute to improved use and main-stream adoption of CAD/CAM virtual surgical planning by reconstructive surgeons. PMID:24323480

  18. SU-E-J-21: Advantages of Ultra Fast Radiation Dose Delivering

    SciTech Connect

    Feng, Y

    2014-06-01

    Purpose: For delivering conformed dose to a moving tumor and sparing normal tissue, we presented an innovation that was combined a linear accelerator and a storage ring to generate ultra high dose rate. This innovation allows delivering prescribed dose to a moving target in such a short time period, for an example 0.1 second, during which the displacement of the target could be ignored. Methods: The advantages of this approach were evaluated based on normal tissue sparing, feasibility, accuracy, and time saving in clinical treatment. The target volume reduction with this innovation approach was demonstrated by analyzing the values of GTVs, ITVs, and PTVs obtained from 15 patients who had been diagnosed with malignant neoplasm of lung and treated with SBRT. The processes of SBRT treatment were investigated and advantages of this innovation in improving SBRT lung treatment were evaluated. Results: With the ultra-high dose rate, the target volumes could be reduced by ∼30% to 50%. The innovation combining with IGRT technique could deliver prescribed dose to moving target accurately with simpler procedures than that of adaptive approach. This new approach could reduce the time of guiding treatment by many times. The new technique make a new strategy became feasible that was to deliver the dose to a target when it moved to a desirable location, such as away from critical organs. Conclusion: Combining with IGRT technique, this innovation could significantly improve the accuracy to deliver dose to moving targets with a shorter time than conventional techniques. The innovation opens a door for new strategies to deliver dose to moving targets.

  19. High-sensitivity cardiac troponin testing in routine practice: economic and organizational advantages.

    PubMed

    Galli, Claudio; Lippi, Giuseppe

    2016-07-01

    Very seldom, if ever, a single laboratory test has provided such a paradigm shift in the managed care as cardiac troponin (cTn) testing. More than twenty years of improvements in test design and analytical features have contributed to revolutionize the clinical recommendations and guidelines, and the diagnosis of myocardial infarction (MI) is now highly dependent upon the kinetics of cTn within a suggestive clinical setting. Despite the advent of high-sensitivity cTn (HS-cTn) immunoassays has allowed a more accurate and timely diagnosis as well as a higher prognostic accuracy, the focus is now shifting on the most suitable algorithms and on a comprehensive approach to the clinical management of acute coronary syndrome (ACS). In this article we aim to discuss the implications of HS-cTn testing for ruling out and ruling in ACS. In the latter instance, main improvements are related to ACS diagnosis in women, in whom this pathology is still often underdiagnosed or misdiagnosed. A quick and accurate rule out will also regarded as a great advantage from both an organizational and economic standpoint. The advantages that will stem from this new approach have been recently assessed, and shortening of repeated testing 1 or 2 h from conventional algorithms entailing blood sampling at 3 and 6 h seems attainable. The larger benefits will definitely occur in clinical settings where the actual diagnosis rate of MI among patients with suspect ACS is lower and, consequently, the negative predictive value (NPV) of HS-cTn is the highest. PMID:27500158

  20. High-sensitivity cardiac troponin testing in routine practice: economic and organizational advantages

    PubMed Central

    Lippi, Giuseppe

    2016-01-01

    Very seldom, if ever, a single laboratory test has provided such a paradigm shift in the managed care as cardiac troponin (cTn) testing. More than twenty years of improvements in test design and analytical features have contributed to revolutionize the clinical recommendations and guidelines, and the diagnosis of myocardial infarction (MI) is now highly dependent upon the kinetics of cTn within a suggestive clinical setting. Despite the advent of high-sensitivity cTn (HS-cTn) immunoassays has allowed a more accurate and timely diagnosis as well as a higher prognostic accuracy, the focus is now shifting on the most suitable algorithms and on a comprehensive approach to the clinical management of acute coronary syndrome (ACS). In this article we aim to discuss the implications of HS-cTn testing for ruling out and ruling in ACS. In the latter instance, main improvements are related to ACS diagnosis in women, in whom this pathology is still often underdiagnosed or misdiagnosed. A quick and accurate rule out will also regarded as a great advantage from both an organizational and economic standpoint. The advantages that will stem from this new approach have been recently assessed, and shortening of repeated testing 1 or 2 h from conventional algorithms entailing blood sampling at 3 and 6 h seems attainable. The larger benefits will definitely occur in clinical settings where the actual diagnosis rate of MI among patients with suspect ACS is lower and, consequently, the negative predictive value (NPV) of HS-cTn is the highest. PMID:27500158