Science.gov

Sample records for advantages including improved

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

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-11-21

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

  2. 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.

  3. Advantages of an Improved Rhesus Macaque Genome for Evolutionary Analyses

    PubMed Central

    Gradnigo, Julien S.; Majumdar, Abhishek; Norgren, Robert B.; Moriyama, Etsuko N.

    2016-01-01

    The rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) is widely used in molecular evolutionary analyses, particularly to identify genes under adaptive or unique evolution in the human lineage. For such studies, it is necessary to align nucleotide sequences of homologous protein-coding genes among multiple species. The validity of these analyses is dependent on high quality genomic data. However, for most mammalian species (other than humans and mice), only draft genomes are available. There has been concern that some results obtained from evolutionary analyses using draft genomes may not be correct. The rhesus macaque provides a unique opportunity to determine whether an improved genome (MacaM) yields better results than a draft genome (rheMac2) for evolutionary studies. We compared protein-coding genes annotated in the rheMac2 and MacaM genomes with their human orthologs. We found many genes annotated in rheMac2 had apparently spurious sequences not present in genes derived from MacaM. The rheMac2 annotations also appeared to inflate a frequently used evolutionary index, ω (the ratio of nonsynonymous to synonymous substitution rates). Genes with these spurious sequences must be filtered out from evolutionary analyses to obtain correct results. With the MacaM genome, improved sequence information means many more genes can be examined for indications of selection. These results indicate how upgrading genomes from draft status to a higher level of quality can improve interpretation of evolutionary patterns. PMID:27911958

  4. Advantages of improved timing accuracy in PET cameras using LSOscintillator

    SciTech Connect

    Moses, William W.

    2002-12-02

    PET scanners based on LSO have the potential forsignificantly better coincidence timing resolution than the 6 ns fwhmtypically achieved with BGO. This study analyzes the performanceenhancements made possible by improved timing as a function of thecoincidence time resolution. If 500 ps fwhm coincidence timing resolutioncan be achieved in a complete PET camera, the following four benefits canbe realized for whole-body FDG imaging: 1) The random event rate can bereduced by using a narrower coincidence timing window, increasing thepeak NECR by~;50 percent. 2) Using time-of-flight in the reconstructionalgorithm will reduce the noise variance by a factor of 5. 3) Emissionand transmission data can be acquired simultaneously, reducing the totalscan time. 4) Axial blurring can be reduced by using time-of-flight todetermine the correct axial plane that each event originated from. Whiletime-of-flight was extensively studied in the 1980's, practical factorslimited its effectiveness at that time and little attention has been paidto timing in PET since then. As these potential improvements aresubstantial and the advent of LSO PET cameras gives us the means toobtain them without other sacrifices, efforts to improve PET timingshould resume after their long dormancy.

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-09-01

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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-09-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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…

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

    DOE PAGES

    Zhu, Xiaojie; Zhu, Yun; Ye, Sheng; ...

    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

  14. 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

  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.

  16. 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

  17. 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…

  18. The Tn5 bleomycin resistance gene confers improved survival and growth advantage on Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Blot, M; Hauer, B; Monnet, G

    1994-03-01

    The bleomycin resistance gene (ble) of transposon Tn5 is known to decrease the death rate of Escherichia coli during stationary phase. Bleomycin is a DNA-damaging agent and bleomycin resistance is produced by improved DNA repair which also requires the host genes aidC and polA coding, respectively, for an alkylation-inducible gene product and DNA polymerase I. In the absence of the drug, this DNA repair system is believed to cause the slower death rate of bleomycin-resistant bacteria. In this study, the effect of ble and aidC genes on the viability of bacteria and their growth rate in chemostat competitions was studied. The results indicate, that bleomycin-resistant bacteria display greater fitness under these conditions. Another beneficial effect of transposon Tn5 had been previously attributed to the insertion sequence IS 50 R. We were not able to reproduce this result with IS 50 R, however, the complete transposon was beneficial under similar conditions. Moreover, we showed the Tn5 fitness effect to be aidC-dependent. The ble gene was discovered after the fitness effect of IS 50 R had been established; it has not previously been considered to mediate the beneficial effect of Tn5. This possibility is discussed based on the molecular mechanism of bleomycin resistance.

  19. Taking Advantage of Nature’s Gift: Can Endogenous Neural Stem Cells Improve Myelin Regeneration?

    PubMed Central

    Akkermann, Rainer; Jadasz, Janusz Joachim; Azim, Kasum; Küry, Patrick

    2016-01-01

    Irreversible functional deficits in multiple sclerosis (MS) are directly correlated to axonal damage and loss. Neurodegeneration results from immune-mediated destruction of myelin sheaths and subsequent axonal demyelination. Importantly, oligodendrocytes, the myelinating glial cells of the central nervous system, can be replaced to some extent to generate new myelin sheaths. This endogenous regeneration capacity has so far mainly been attributed to the activation and recruitment of resident oligodendroglial precursor cells. As this self-repair process is limited and increasingly fails while MS progresses, much interest has evolved regarding the development of remyelination-promoting strategies and the presence of alternative cell types, which can also contribute to the restoration of myelin sheaths. The adult brain comprises at least two neurogenic niches harboring life-long adult neural stem cells (NSCs). An increasing number of investigations are beginning to shed light on these cells under pathological conditions and revealed a significant potential of NSCs to contribute to myelin repair activities. In this review, these emerging investigations are discussed with respect to the importance of stimulating endogenous repair mechanisms from germinal sources. Moreover, we present key findings of NSC-derived oligodendroglial progeny, including a comprehensive overview of factors and mechanisms involved in this process. PMID:27854261

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Center for Systemic Improvement at WestEd, 2015

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Improved exponential convergence result for generalized neural networks including interval time-varying delayed signals.

    PubMed

    Rajchakit, G; Saravanakumar, R; Ahn, Choon Ki; Karimi, Hamid Reza

    2017-02-01

    This article examines the exponential stability analysis problem of generalized neural networks (GNNs) including interval time-varying delayed states. A new improved exponential stability criterion is presented by establishing a proper Lyapunov-Krasovskii functional (LKF) and employing new analysis theory. The improved reciprocally convex combination (RCC) and weighted integral inequality (WII) techniques are utilized to obtain new sufficient conditions to ascertain the exponential stability result of such delayed GNNs. The superiority of the obtained results is clearly demonstrated by numerical examples.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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…

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Accuracy Maximization Analysis for Sensory-Perceptual Tasks: Computational Improvements, Filter Robustness, and Coding Advantages for Scaled Additive Noise

    PubMed Central

    Burge, Johannes

    2017-01-01

    Accuracy Maximization Analysis (AMA) is a recently developed Bayesian ideal observer method for task-specific dimensionality reduction. Given a training set of proximal stimuli (e.g. retinal images), a response noise model, and a cost function, AMA returns the filters (i.e. receptive fields) that extract the most useful stimulus features for estimating a user-specified latent variable from those stimuli. Here, we first contribute two technical advances that significantly reduce AMA’s compute time: we derive gradients of cost functions for which two popular estimators are appropriate, and we implement a stochastic gradient descent (AMA-SGD) routine for filter learning. Next, we show how the method can be used to simultaneously probe the impact on neural encoding of natural stimulus variability, the prior over the latent variable, noise power, and the choice of cost function. Then, we examine the geometry of AMA’s unique combination of properties that distinguish it from better-known statistical methods. Using binocular disparity estimation as a concrete test case, we develop insights that have general implications for understanding neural encoding and decoding in a broad class of fundamental sensory-perceptual tasks connected to the energy model. Specifically, we find that non-orthogonal (partially redundant) filters with scaled additive noise tend to outperform orthogonal filters with constant additive noise; non-orthogonal filters and scaled additive noise can interact to sculpt noise-induced stimulus encoding uncertainty to match task-irrelevant stimulus variability. Thus, we show that some properties of neural response thought to be biophysical nuisances can confer coding advantages to neural systems. Finally, we speculate that, if repurposed for the problem of neural systems identification, AMA may be able to overcome a fundamental limitation of standard subunit model estimation. As natural stimuli become more widely used in the study of psychophysical and

  9. 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.

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

    DOEpatents

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

    1992-12-01

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

  11. The utility of including pathology reports in improving the computational identification of patients

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Wei; Huang, Yungui; Boyle, Brendan; Lin, Simon

    2016-01-01

    Background: Celiac disease (CD) is a common autoimmune disorder. Efficient identification of patients may improve chronic management of the disease. Prior studies have shown searching International Classification of Diseases-9 (ICD-9) codes alone is inaccurate for identifying patients with CD. In this study, we developed automated classification algorithms leveraging pathology reports and other clinical data in Electronic Health Records (EHRs) to refine the subset population preselected using ICD-9 code (579.0). Materials and Methods: EHRs were searched for established ICD-9 code (579.0) suggesting CD, based on which an initial identification of cases was obtained. In addition, laboratory results for tissue transglutaminse were extracted. Using natural language processing we analyzed pathology reports from upper endoscopy. Twelve machine learning classifiers using different combinations of variables related to ICD-9 CD status, laboratory result status, and pathology reports were experimented to find the best possible CD classifier. Ten-fold cross-validation was used to assess the results. Results: A total of 1498 patient records were used including 363 confirmed cases and 1135 false positive cases that served as controls. Logistic model based on both clinical and pathology report features produced the best results: Kappa of 0.78, F1 of 0.92, and area under the curve (AUC) of 0.94, whereas in contrast using ICD-9 only generated poor results: Kappa of 0.28, F1 of 0.75, and AUC of 0.63. Conclusion: Our automated classification system presented an efficient and reliable way to improve the performance of CD patient identification. PMID:27994938

  12. Alternative Operational Energy Options - A Need for a Holistic Approach to Reduce the Logistics Tail and Improve Strategic Advantage

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-02-18

    tends to resurge when the cost of petroleum rises as it did during the energy crisis of the 1970’s. Wind turbines are divided into two categories that...include horizontal axis and vertical axis. Horizontal-axis wind turbines have a main rotor driving an electrical generator on... turbines . They convert significantly more power in medium and higher winds than drag blades. Blades are attached directly to a hub just like on a

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Orth, Rene; Dutra, Emanuel; Pappenberger, Florian

    2016-04-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Expanding dental hygiene to include dental therapy: improving access to care for children.

    PubMed

    Nash, David A

    2009-01-01

    Oral Health in America: A Report of the Surgeon General, and the subsequent National Call to Action to Promote Oral Health contributed significantly to raising the awareness of the American public and the dental profession regarding the lack of access to oral health care by many Americans, especially minorities and low income populations, with resulting disparities in oral health. The problem is particularly acute among children. The current workforce of dentists in the United States is inadequate to meet the oral health care needs of children in terms of numbers of dentists, as well as their distribution, ethnicity, education, and practice orientation. Dental hygienists trained in an expanded scope of practice, can help address the workforce inadequacy. Dental therapists, educated in 2-year programs of postsecondary education, comparable to America's associate degree dental hygiene programs, have been used throughout the world to provide basic, primary oral health care for children. Research has documented that utilizing dental therapists is a cost effective method of improving access to care for children. Countries that have led the way in introducing dental therapists to care for their children are now integrating their separate 2-year curriculum in dental therapy and dental hygiene into a 3-year curriculum to prepare a clinician dually trained in both dental therapy and dental hygiene. This clinician is being designated an oral health therapist. Expanding the education of dental hygienists in the United States to include skills of the internationally acclaimed dental therapist can produce oral health therapists, individuals capable of addressing the basic preventive, restorative, and minor surgical needs of children, but also able to continue to address the preventive and periodontal needs of adults.

  17. Improvement of Scratch and Wear Resistance of Polymers by Fillers Including Nanofillers

    PubMed Central

    Brostow, Witold; Lobland, Haley E. Hagg; Hnatchuk, Nathalie; Perez, Jose M.

    2017-01-01

    Polymers have lower resistance to scratching and wear than metals. Liquid lubricants work well for metals but not for polymers nor for polymer-based composites (PBCs). We review approaches for improvement of tribological properties of polymers based on inclusion of fillers. The fillers can be metallic or ceramic—with obvious consequences for electrical resistivity of the composites. Distinctions between effectiveness of micro- versus nano-particles are analyzed. For example, aluminum nanoparticles as filler are more effective for property improvement than microparticles at the same overall volumetric concentration. Prevention of local agglomeration of filler particles is discussed along with a technique to verify the prevention. PMID:28336900

  18. Improvement of Scratch and Wear Resistance of Polymers by Fillers Including Nanofillers.

    PubMed

    Brostow, Witold; Lobland, Haley E Hagg; Hnatchuk, Nathalie; Perez, Jose M

    2017-03-16

    Polymers have lower resistance to scratching and wear than metals. Liquid lubricants work well for metals but not for polymers nor for polymer-based composites (PBCs). We review approaches for improvement of tribological properties of polymers based on inclusion of fillers. The fillers can be metallic or ceramic-with obvious consequences for electrical resistivity of the composites. Distinctions between effectiveness of micro- versus nano-particles are analyzed. For example, aluminum nanoparticles as filler are more effective for property improvement than microparticles at the same overall volumetric concentration. Prevention of local agglomeration of filler particles is discussed along with a technique to verify the prevention.

  19. 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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Small reference populations limit the accuracy of genomic prediction in numerically small breeds, such as the Danish Jersey. The objective of this study was to investigate two approaches to improve genomic prediction by increasing the size of the reference population for Danish Jerseys. The first ap...

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Improving simulated Amazon forest biomass and productivity by including spatial variation in biophysical parameters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Castanho, A. D. A.; Coe, M. T.; Costa, M. H.; Malhi, Y.; Galbraith, D.; Quesada, C. A.

    2013-04-01

    Dynamic vegetation models forced with spatially homogeneous biophysical parameters are capable of producing average productivity and biomass values for the Amazon basin forest biome that are close to the observed estimates, but these models are unable to reproduce observed spatial variability. Recent observational studies have shown substantial regional spatial variability of above-ground productivity and biomass across the Amazon basin, which is believed to be primarily driven by a combination of soil physical and chemical properties. In this study, spatial heterogeneity of vegetation properties is added to the Integrated Biosphere Simulator (IBIS) land surface model, and the simulated productivity and biomass of the Amazon basin are compared to observations from undisturbed forest. The maximum RuBiCo carboxylation capacity (Vcmax) and the woody biomass residence time (τw) were found to be the most important properties determining the modeled spatial variation of above-ground woody net primary productivity and biomass, respectively. Spatial heterogeneity of these properties may lead to simulated spatial variability of 1.8 times in the woody net primary productivity (NPPw) and 2.8 times in the woody above-ground biomass (AGBw). The coefficient of correlation between the modeled and observed woody productivity improved from 0.10 with homogeneous parameters to 0.73 with spatially heterogeneous parameters, while the coefficient of correlation between the simulated and observed woody above-ground biomass improved from 0.33 to 0.88. The results from our analyses with the IBIS dynamic vegetation model demonstrated that using single values for key ecological parameters in the tropical forest biome severely limits simulation accuracy. Clearer understanding of the biophysical mechanisms that drive the spatial variability of carbon allocation, τw and Vcmax is necessary to achieve further improvements to simulation accuracy.

  5. 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 solve…

  6. Hot DA white dwarf model atmosphere calculations: including improved Ni PI cross-sections

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Preval, S. P.; Barstow, M. A.; Badnell, N. R.; Hubeny, I.; Holberg, J. B.

    2017-02-01

    To calculate realistic models of objects with Ni in their atmospheres, accurate atomic data for the relevant ionization stages need to be included in model atmosphere calculations. In the context of white dwarf stars, we investigate the effect of changing the Ni IV-VI bound-bound and bound-free atomic data on model atmosphere calculations. Models including photoionization cross-section (PICS) calculated with AUTOSTRUCTURE show significant flux attenuation of up to ˜80 per cent shortward of 180 Å in the extreme ultraviolet (EUV) region compared to a model using hydrogenic PICS. Comparatively, models including a larger set of Ni transitions left the EUV, UV, and optical continua unaffected. We use models calculated with permutations of these atomic data to test for potential changes to measured metal abundances of the hot DA white dwarf G191-B2B. Models including AUTOSTRUCTURE PICS were found to change the abundances of N and O by as much as ˜22 per cent compared to models using hydrogenic PICS, but heavier species were relatively unaffected. Models including AUTOSTRUCTURE PICS caused the abundances of N/O IV and V to diverge. This is because the increased opacity in the AUTOSTRUCTURE PICS model causes these charge states to form higher in the atmosphere, more so for N/O V. Models using an extended line list caused significant changes to the Ni IV-V abundances. While both PICS and an extended line list cause changes in both synthetic spectra and measured abundances, the biggest changes are caused by using AUTOSTRUCTURE PICS for Ni.

  7. 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

  8. A comparative evaluation of the in vitro penetration performance of the improved Crest Complete toothbrush versus the Colgate Total toothbrush and the Oral-B Advantage toothbrush.

    PubMed

    Volpenhein, D W; Hartman, W L

    1996-01-01

    Removal of plaque and debris from interproximal surfaces during toothbrushing has generally been difficult to achieve, in large part because traditional flat-bristled toothbrushes do not offer good interproximal penetration. As a result, a number of varying bristle designs have been developed, with the rippled-design brush shown to be particularly effective at removing interproximal plaque. Recently, an existing rippled brush, the original Crest Complete, was modified to offer longer rippled outer tufts to clean along the gumline more effectively. Therefore, this study evaluated the overall and gumline interproximal penetration of three bristle designs: rippled, raised pattern (Improved Crest Complete); and two multi-level patterns (Colgate Total and Oral-B Advantage). The study used a previously reported in vitro model for determining interproximal penetration of manual toothbrushes (J Clin Dent 5:27-33, 1994). In order to effectively mimic the in-use characteristics of toothbrushing, this model is based on analysis of videotaped consumer brushing habits, tooth morphology, and in vivo plaque tenacity characteristics, and uses the three most predominantly used brushing techniques (circular, up-and-down, and back-and-forth with the brush held at both 45 degrees and 90 degrees to the tooth surface). In addition, the model's brush stroke length, brush force, and brush speed are likewise based on an analysis of consumer brushing patterns. The results of this study indicate that the Improved Crest Complete with longer rippled outer bristles provided significantly superior (p < 0.05) interproximal penetration overall and at the gumline than the Colgate Total and Oral-B Advantage brushes.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  12. 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

  13. The SWIR advantage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lane, Richard N.

    1995-09-01

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

  14. Implementation of a multidisciplinary team that includes a registered dietitian in a neonatal intensive care unit improved nutrition outcomes.

    PubMed

    Sneve, Jennifer; Kattelmann, Kendra; Ren, Cuirong; Stevens, Dennis C

    This study determined whether nutrition outcomes of neonates who were receiving neonatal intensive care were improved with the implementation of a fully functioning multidisciplinary team that included a registered dietitian. A medical record review was conducted of neonates with birth weights of 1500 g or less who were cared for in Sanford Children's Hospital neonatal intensive care unit from January 1 to December 31, 2001 (prior to functioning multidisciplinary team establishment) and January 1 to December 31, 2004 (subsequent to establishment of a multidisciplinary team). Data from charts in the 2 time periods were examined for differences in nutrition outcomes. Outcome variables included length of stay, birth weight, discharge weight, weight gained for specified time periods, weight at full feeds, weight gain per day, length, head circumference, and number of days to start enteral feeding. Analysis of covariance, controlling for the effect of birth weight, was used to determine differences and was considered significant at P < .05. The mean length of stay (65 days, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 48-68 vs 72 days, 95% CI: 53-73) was not different for the 2 periods. The mean weight at the beginning of enteral feeding was significantly less in the period prior to the establishment of the multidisciplinary team (1099 g, 95% CI: 955-1165 vs 1164 g, 95% CI: 1067-1211, respectively). Weight at discharge, total weight gained, total daily weight gained, daily weight gain from birth to the initiation of enteral feeds, daily weight gain from birth to full feeds, and head circumference growth were significantly greater for neonates in the postgroup than in the pre-multidisciplinary team group. Implementation of a multidisciplinary team that included a registered dietitian improved the nutrition outcomes of low birth weight infants in a neonatal intensive care unit.

  15. Joint likelihood function of cluster counts and n -point correlation functions: Improving their power through including halo sample variance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schaan, Emmanuel; Takada, Masahiro; Spergel, David N.

    2014-12-01

    Naive estimates of the statistics of large-scale structure and weak lensing power spectrum measurements that include only Gaussian errors exaggerate their scientific impact. Nonlinear evolution and finite-volume effects are both significant sources of non-Gaussian covariance that reduce the ability of power spectrum measurements to constrain cosmological parameters. Using a halo model formalism, we derive an intuitive understanding of the various contributions to the covariance and show that our analytical treatment agrees with simulations. This approach enables an approximate derivation of a joint likelihood for the cluster number counts, the weak lensing power spectrum and the bispectrum. We show that this likelihood is a good description of the ray-tracing simulation. Since all of these observables are sensitive to the same finite-volume effects and contain information about the nonlinear evolution, a combined analysis recovers much of the "lost" information. For upcoming weak lensing surveys, we estimate that a joint analysis of power spectrum, number counts and bispectrum will produce an improvement of about 30-40% in determinations of the matter density and the scalar amplitude. This improvement is equivalent to doubling the survey area.

  16. Practical advantages of evolutionary computation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fogel, David B.

    1997-10-01

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

  17. 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

  18. Revision of MELD to Include Serum Albumin Improves Prediction of Mortality on the Liver Transplant Waiting List

    PubMed Central

    Myers, Robert P.; Shaheen, Abdel Aziz M.; Faris, Peter; Aspinall, Alexander I.; Burak, Kelly W.

    2013-01-01

    Background Allocation of donor livers for transplantation in most regions is based on the Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD) or MELD-sodium (MELDNa). Our objective was to assess revisions to MELD and MELDNa that include serum albumin for predicting waiting list mortality. Methods Adults registered for liver transplantation in the United States (2002–2007) were identified from the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) database. Cox regression was used to determine the association between serum albumin and 3-month mortality, and to derive revised MELD and MELDNa scores incorporating albumin (‘MELD-albumin’ and ‘5-variable MELD [5vMELD]’). Results Among 40,393 patients, 9% died and 24% underwent transplantation within 3 months of listing. For serum albumin concentrations between 1.0 and 4.0 g/dL, a linear, inverse relationship was observed between albumin and 3-month mortality (adjusted hazard ratio per 1 g/dL reduction in albumin: 1.44; 95% CI 1.35–1.54). The c-statistics for 3-month mortality of MELD-albumin and MELD were 0.913 and 0.896, respectively (P<0.001); 5vMELD was superior to MELDNa (c-statistics 0.922 vs. 0.912, P<0.001). The potential benefit of 5vMELD was greatest in patients with low MELD (<15). Among low MELD patients who died, 27% would have gained ≥10 points with 5vMELD over MELD versus only 4–7% among low MELD survivors and high MELD (≥15) candidates (P<0.0005). Conclusion Modification of MELD and MELDNa to include serum albumin is associated with improved prediction of waiting list mortality. If validated and shown to be associated with reduced mortality, adoption of 5vMELD as the basis for liver allograft allocation may improve outcomes on the liver transplant waiting list. PMID:23349678

  19. 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

  20. Improved method for the quantification of lysophospholipids including enol ether species by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Bollinger, James G; Ii, Hiromi; Sadilek, Martin; Gelb, Michael H

    2010-02-01

    LC/ESI-MS/MS has been previously demonstrated to be a powerful method to detect and quantify molecular species of glycerophospholipids including lysophospholipids. In this study, we provide an improved pre-mass spectrometry lipid extraction procedure that avoids the acid-catalyzed decomposition of plasmenyl phospholipids that is problematic with previously reported methods. We show that the use of lysophospholipid internal standards with perdeuterated fatty acyl chains avoids isobar problems associated with the use of internal standards containing odd carbon number fatty acyl chains. We also show that LC prior to MS is required to avoid numerous problems associated with isobars and with MS in-source decomposition of lysophosphatidylserine. The reported method of using normal phase chromatography/ESI-MS is used to quantify lysophospholipids in serum and to quantify lysophospholipids produced in mammalian cells by human group X secreted phospholipase A(2). The latter shows that group X phospholipase A(2) added exogenously to cells generates a different set of lysophospholipids compared with enzyme produced endogenously in cells, which supports earlier studies showing that this phospholipase A(2) can act on cell membranes prior to externalization from cells.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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…

  4. Were there evolutionary advantages to premenstrual syndrome?

    PubMed Central

    Gillings, Michael R

    2014-01-01

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

  5. Will the Latino Mortality Advantage Endure?

    PubMed Central

    Goldman, Noreen

    2016-01-01

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

  6. 76 FR 9626 - Community Advantage Pilot Program

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-02-18

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

  7. 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.

  8. Creating Collaborative Advantage.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Huxham, Chris, Ed.

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

  9. 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

  10. 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…

  11. A thin layer including a carbon material improves the rate capability of an electric double layer capacitor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sato, Takaya; Marukane, Shoko; Morinaga, Takashi; Uemura, Taichi; Fukumoto, Kunihiro; Yamazaki, Satoshi

    2011-03-01

    We present a new method to improve the rate capability of an electric double layer capacitor (EDLC) using a thin polymer layer having a high concentration of carbon material on a current collector (CLC). A novel thermocuring coating composed of a glycol-chitosan, a pyromellitic acid and a conductive carbon powder can form stable CLC on a metal foil current collector simply by spreading and curing at 160 °C for a couple of minutes. We compared the performance of some demonstration EDLC cells using three kinds of current collector: a conventional aluminum oxide foil for EDLC, an aluminum foil and an aluminum foil with CLC. The cell with the CLC had a much higher rate capability than the cell without CLC. Only the CLC cell was able to discharge at a current density of 500C. This cell shows a slight deterioration in capacity in a high temperature, continuous charging, life test, and the CLC has a suppressing effect on the internal resistance increase of EDLCs. The use of a CLC film current collector is one of the most effective and simple methods for the improvement of EDLC rate performance. In particular, a current collector consisting of aluminum foil coupled with a CLC promises to be a low cost alternative to the aluminum oxide foil commonly used in EDLCs.

  12. A method for including protein flexibility in protein-ligand docking: improving tools for database mining and virtual screening.

    PubMed

    Broughton, H B

    2000-06-01

    Second-generation methods for docking ligands into their biological receptors, such as FLOG, provide for flexibility of the ligand but not of the receptor. Molecular dynamics based methods, such as free energy perturbation, account for flexibility, solvent effects, etc., but are very time consuming. We combined the use of statistical analysis of conformational samples from short-run protein molecular dynamics with grid-based docking protocols and demonstrated improved performance in two test cases. Our statistical analysis explores the importance of the average strength of a potential interaction with the biological target and optionally applies a weighting depending on the variability in the strength of the interaction seen during dynamics simulation. Using these methods, we improved the num-top-ranked 10% of a database of drug-like molecules, in searches based on the three-dimensional structure of the protein. These methods are able to match the ability of manual docking to assess likely inactivity on steric grounds and indeed to rank order ligands from a homologous series of cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors with good correlation to their true activity. Furthermore, these methods reduce the need for human intervention in setting up molecular docking experiments.

  13. Novel feed including bioactive compounds from winery wastes improved broilers' redox status in blood and tissues of vital organs.

    PubMed

    Makri, Sotiria; Kafantaris, Ioannis; Stagos, Dimitrios; Chamokeridou, Theodora; Petrotos, Konstantinos; Gerasopoulos, Konstantinos; Mpesios, Anastasios; Goutzourelas, Nikolaos; Kokkas, Stylianos; Goulas, Panagiotis; Komiotis, Dimitrios; Kouretas, Dimitrios

    2017-04-01

    Currently, there is a great interest in the production of animal feed with antioxidant activity. The aim of this study was to examine the potential antioxidant effects of a feed supplemented with grape pomace (GP), a winery by-product with high environmental load, in chickens. Broilers of 15 days post birth were separated into two groups fed either with standard diet or with diet supplemented with GP for 35 days. Blood and tissues collections were performed after feeding for 15 and 35 days with the experimental diet (i.e. at 30 and 50 days post birth). Free radical toxicity markers, namely thiobarbituric acid reactive substances, protein carbonyls, total antioxidant capacity, reduced glutathione, catalase activity and rate of H2O2 decomposition were determined in blood and tissues of vital organs. The results indicated that feed supplemented with GP decreased oxidative stress-induced toxic effects and improved chickens' redox status, and so it may also improve their wellness and productivity. On the other hand, this exploitation of GP may solve problems of environmental pollution in areas with wineries.

  14. 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

  15. An improved pore-network model including viscous coupling effects using direct simulation by the lattice Boltzmann method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xie, Chiyu; Raeini, Ali Q.; Wang, Yihang; Blunt, Martin J.; Wang, Moran

    2017-02-01

    Viscous coupling during simultaneous flow of different fluid phases has a significant impact on their flow through porous media. In this work, a new multiscale strategy is proposed for multiphase flow in porous media. We use the lattice Boltzmann method (LBM) to simulate two-phase flow at pore scale and obtain empirical terms for the viscous coupling inside individual pores. The empirical coupling terms are then used in a pore-network model to efficiently simulate two-phase flow through porous media at core scale. It is shown that including viscous coupling leads to better predictions of relative permeability.

  16. Meat texture and antioxidant status are improved when carnosic acid is included in the diet of fattening lambs.

    PubMed

    Morán, Lara; Andrés, Sonia; Bodas, Raúl; Prieto, Nuria; Giráldez, F Javier

    2012-08-01

    Thirty-two Merino lambs fed barley straw and a concentrate alone (CONTROL group) or enriched with carnosic acid [0.6 g kg(-1) dry matter (DM), CARN006 group; 1.2 g kg(-1) DM, CARN012 group] or vitamin E (0.6 g kg(-1) DM, VITE006 group) were used to assess the effect of these antioxidant compounds on meat quality. After being fed the experimental diets for at least 5 weeks, the animals were slaughtered with the 25 kg intended body weight and the different muscles (longissimus lumborum; LL, gluteus medius; GM) were sliced and kept refrigerated under modified atmosphere packaging during 0, 7 and 14 days. The results indicate that carnosic acid seemed to be useful to delay lipid peroxidation in a medium colour-stable muscle such as GM, but this effect was lower than that observed when vitamin E was supplemented to fattening lambs. On the contrary, meat texture and protection against cholesterol oxidation were equally improved with both compounds.

  17. 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…

  18. Simultaneous optimization of monolayer formation factors, including temperature, to significantly improve nucleic acid hybridization efficiency on gold substrates.

    PubMed

    Pris, Andrew D; Ostrowski, Sara G; Garaas, Sarah D

    2010-04-20

    Past literature investigations have optimized various single factors used in the formation of thiolated, single stranded DNA (ss-DNA) monolayers on gold. In this study a more comprehensive approach is taken, where a design of experiment (DOE) is employed to simultaneously optimize all of the factors involved in construction of the capture monolayer used in a fluorescence-based hybridization assay. Statistical analysis of the fluorescent intensities resulting from the DOE provides empirical evidence for the importance and the optimal levels of traditional and novel factors included in this investigation. We report on the statistical importance of a novel factor, temperature of the system during monolayer formation of the capture molecule and lateral spacer molecule, and how proper usage of this temperature factor increased the hybridization signal 50%. An initial theory of how the physical factor of heat is mechanistically supplementing the function of the lateral spacer molecule is provided.

  19. 20 CFR 30.911 - Does maximum medical improvement always have to be reached for an impairment to be included in...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... 20 Employees' Benefits 1 2013-04-01 2012-04-01 true Does maximum medical improvement always have to be reached for an impairment to be included in the impairment rating? 30.911 Section 30.911... Ratable Impairments § 30.911 Does maximum medical improvement always have to be reached for an...

  20. 20 CFR 30.911 - Does maximum medical improvement always have to be reached for an impairment to be included in...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... 20 Employees' Benefits 1 2014-04-01 2012-04-01 true Does maximum medical improvement always have to be reached for an impairment to be included in the impairment rating? 30.911 Section 30.911... Ratable Impairments § 30.911 Does maximum medical improvement always have to be reached for an...

  1. 20 CFR 30.911 - Does maximum medical improvement always have to be reached for an impairment to be included in...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... 20 Employees' Benefits 1 2011-04-01 2011-04-01 false Does maximum medical improvement always have to be reached for an impairment to be included in the impairment rating? 30.911 Section 30.911... Ratable Impairments § 30.911 Does maximum medical improvement always have to be reached for an...

  2. 20 CFR 30.911 - Does maximum medical improvement always have to be reached for an impairment to be included in...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... 20 Employees' Benefits 1 2012-04-01 2012-04-01 false Does maximum medical improvement always have to be reached for an impairment to be included in the impairment rating? 30.911 Section 30.911... Ratable Impairments § 30.911 Does maximum medical improvement always have to be reached for an...

  3. 20 CFR 30.911 - Does maximum medical improvement always have to be reached for an impairment to be included in...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... 20 Employees' Benefits 1 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Does maximum medical improvement always have to be reached for an impairment to be included in the impairment rating? 30.911 Section 30.911... Ratable Impairments § 30.911 Does maximum medical improvement always have to be reached for an...

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. 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…

  7. 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)

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-05-01

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

  9. Travel and the home advantage.

    PubMed

    Pace, A; Carron, A V

    1992-03-01

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

  10. Advantages of Oscillatory Hydraulic Tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  11. Assessing Binocular Advantage in Aided Vision

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-06-01

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

  12. Three-dimensional chemical mapping by EFTEM-TomoJ including improvement of SNR by PCA and ART reconstruction of volume by noise suppression.

    PubMed

    Messaoudi, Cédric; Aschman, Nicolas; Cunha, Marcel; Oikawa, Tetsuo; Sorzano, Carlos O Sanchez; Marco, Sergio

    2013-12-01

    Electron tomography is becoming one of the most used methods for structural analysis at nanometric scale in biological and materials sciences. Combined with chemical mapping, it provides qualitative and semiquantitative information on the distribution of chemical elements on a given sample. Due to the current difficulties in obtaining three-dimensional (3D) maps by energy-filtered transmission electron microscopy (EFTEM), the use of 3D chemical mapping has not been widely adopted by the electron microscopy community. The lack of specialized software further complicates the issue, especially in the case of data with a low signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). Moreover, data interpretation is rendered difficult by the absence of efficient segmentation tools. Thus, specialized software for the computation of 3D maps by EFTEM needs to include optimized methods for image series alignment, algorithms to improve SNR, different background subtraction models, and methods to facilitate map segmentation. Here we present a software package (EFTEM-TomoJ, which can be downloaded from http://u759.curie.fr/fr/download/softwares/EFTEM-TomoJ), specifically dedicated to computation of EFTEM 3D chemical maps including noise filtering by image reconstitution based on multivariate statistical analysis. We also present an algorithm named BgART (for background removing algebraic reconstruction technique) allowing the discrimination between background and signal and improving the reconstructed volume in an iterative way.

  13. 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.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tang, Michael; Byrne, Roxanne

    2007-01-01

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

  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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. 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

  18. Home advantage in Greek football.

    PubMed

    Armatas, Vasilis; Pollard, Richard

    2014-01-01

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

  19. 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.…

  20. 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

  1. 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…

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. An Experiment in Comparative Advantage.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haupert, Michael J.

    1996-01-01

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

  5. Achieving a sustainable service advantage.

    PubMed

    Coyne, K P

    1993-01-01

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

  6. 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. Nonlocal advantage of quantum coherence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  9. Assessing the binocular advantage in aided vision.

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Improving pressure robustness, reliability, and versatility of solenoid-pump flow systems using a miniature economic control unit including two simple pressure pulse mathematical models.

    PubMed

    Horstkotte, Burkhard; Ledesma, Erich; Duarte, Carlos M; Cerdà, Víctor

    2010-08-15

    In this work we have systematically studied the behavior of solenoid pumps (SMP) as a function of flow rate and flow resistance. Using a new, economic, and miniature control unit, we achieved improvements of the systems versatility, transportability, and pressure robustness. A further important improvement with respect to pressure resistance was achieved when a flexible pumping tube was inserted between the solenoid pump and the flow resistance acting as a pressure reservoir and pulsation damper. The experimental data were compared with two pressure pulse models for SMP, which were developed during this work and which were well-suited to describe the SMP operation.

  12. 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.

  13. New hydraulic downhole pump offers several advantages

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1983-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Liu, Yi; Tien, Yueh-Hsuan

    2009-12-01

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

  15. Taking advantage of natural biodegradation

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-12-31

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

  16. On the arbitrary l-wave solutions of the deformed hyperbolic manning-rosen potential including an improved approximation to the orbital centrifugal term

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Chun-Long; Zhang, Min-Cang

    2017-01-01

    The arbitrary l-wave solutions to the Schrödinger equation for the deformed hyperbolic Manning-Rosen potential is investigated analytically by using the Nikiforov-Uvarov method, the centrifugal term is treated with an improved Greene and Aldrich's approximation scheme. The wavefunctions depend on the deformation parameter q, which is expressed in terms of the Jocobi polynomial or the hypergeometric function. The bound state energy is obtained, and the discrete spectrum is shown to be independent of the deformation parameter q.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Multi-micronutrient Sprinkles including a low dose of iron provided as microencapsulated ferrous fumarate improves haematologic indices in anaemic children: a randomized clinical trial.

    PubMed

    Christofides, Anna; Asante, Kwaku Poku; Schauer, Claudia; Sharieff, Waseem; Owusu-Agyei, Seth; Zlotkin, Stanley

    2006-07-01

    Home-fortification of complementary foods with micronutrients (including iron) as Sprinkles is a new strategy to control iron deficiency and anaemia in developing countries. However, the most effective dose and form of iron is not known. The purpose of this study was to compare the efficacy of various doses (12.5, 20 or 30 mg) and treatment methods (multi-micronutrient Sprinkles vs. ferrous sulphate drops) on haemoglobin (Hb) concentration after 8 weeks of treatment in anaemic children. In total, 133 anaemic Ghanaian children (Hb 70-99 g L(-1)) aged 6-18 months were randomly assigned to one of five daily interventions for 8 weeks. Out of the five interventions, four used Sprinkles, and one used iron drops. Of the four Sprinkles groups, three included 12.5, 20 or 30 mg of iron as ferrous fumarate, and one included 20 mg of iron as ferric pyrophosphate. The iron drops group included 12.5 mg of iron as liquid ferrous sulphate. Hb concentrations were measured at baseline, week 3 and week 8. The primary outcome measure was Hb concentration at 8 weeks after treatment. We compared differences in Hb and ferritin concentrations and prevalence of iron deficiency anaemia (Hb < 100 g L(-1) and soluble transferrin receptor concentrations >8.5 mg L(-1)) from baseline to 8 weeks within and between groups. Adherence and reporting of side effects (staining of the teeth, ease of use, diarrhoea and darkening of stools) were compared between groups. Mean change in Hb was 1.4 g L(-1) (SD = 1.8) (P = 0.0001). Change in Hb concentrations from baseline to 8 weeks was significant in all groups (P = 0.0001-0.0007), with no differences across groups. Geometric means of serum ferritin varied from 18.6 to 44.0 microg L(-1) at baseline. At week 8, these means were in the interval of 48.0-78.3 microg L(-1), with no group differences. Prevalence of iron deficiency anaemia decreased significantly from baseline to 8 weeks in all groups with the exception of the iron drops group, with no group

  19. Medicare Advantage Enrollment Update 2016.

    PubMed

    Ullrich, Fred; Mueller, Keith

    2016-09-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. Advantages and Uses of AMTEC

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lodhi, M. A. K.

    2012-10-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. Communication: Improving the density functional theory+U description of CeO2 by including the contribution of the O 2p electrons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plata, José J.; Márquez, Antonio M.; Sanz, Javier Fdez.

    2012-01-01

    Density functional theory (DFT) based approaches within the local-density approximation or generalized gradient approximation frameworks fail to predict the correct electron localization in strongly correlated systems due to the lack of cancellation of the Coulomb self-interaction. This problem might be circumvented either by using hybrid functionals or by introducing a Hubbard-like term to account for the on site interactions. This latter DFT+U approach is less expensive and therefore more practical for extensive calculations in solid-state computational simulations. By and large, the U term only affects the metal electrons, in our case the Ce 4f ones. In the present work, we report a systematic analysis of the effect of adding such a U term also to the oxygen 2p electrons. We find that using a set of Uf = 5 eV and Up = 5eV effective terms leads to improved description of the lattice parameters, band gaps, and formation and reduction energies of CeO2.

  4. 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…

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 77 FR 67433 - Community Advantage Pilot Program

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-11-09

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

  9. 76 FR 56262 - Community Advantage Pilot Program

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-09-12

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

  10. 77 FR 6619 - Community Advantage Pilot Program

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-02-08

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. IPP leveraged financing: Unfair advantage

    SciTech Connect

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

    1992-01-15

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

  14. 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.

  15. Optical advantages in retinal scanning displays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Urey, Hakan

    2000-06-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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…

  18. 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.

  19. [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.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sinatra, Richard; Lanctot, Melissa Kim

    2016-01-01

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

  1. 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…

  2. The Persistence of Wives' Income Advantage

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Winslow-Bowe, Sarah

    2006-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Denman, O. S.

    1978-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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)

  8. 2014: Rural Medicare Advantage Enrollment Update.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. 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

  10. Self-Advantage in the Online World

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. The data sharing advantage in astrophysics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-10-01

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

  13. The Star Rating System and Medicare Advantage Plans.

    PubMed

    Sprague, Lisa

    2015-05-05

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

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

    PubMed

    Tubiana, M

    2001-04-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Advantages of natural gas as a vehicular fuel

    SciTech Connect

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

    1992-01-01

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

  19. Advantages of natural gas as a vehicular fuel

    SciTech Connect

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

    1992-12-31

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

  20. 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

  1. Future home hemodialysis - advantages of the NxStage System One.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Susumu

    2012-01-01

    To improve the quality of life (QOL) of patients with renal failure who are on dialysis, we have been working to promote home hemodialysis (HHD), but it has not come into widespread use at present because of various problems, including limitations of the equipment, the large proportion of elderly patients, and difficulty performing self-care. With regard to problems with the equipment, dialysis equipment for home use has not yet been approved in Japan, so equipment designed for medical facilities has to be used for home dialysis. Such equipment is bulky and occupies living space, as well as involving the cost of home renovation and the need for a caregiver. The NxStage System One (NSO) artificial kidney has served advantages for HHD compared with conventional equipment, since it is compact, portable, and easy to operate (especially for preparation and cleaning), does not require a water supply, occupies less living space, and reduces the need for renovation of the home. Other advantages of the NSO include improvement of QOL by saving time travelling to hospitals and helping patients to participate in social activities. In addition, HHD with the NSO can improve sleep disorders, the restless legs syndrome, and depressive symptoms, resulting in a good outcome. Moreover, HHD with the NSO reduces the need for drugs, such as antihypertensive medications and erythropoietin, possibly leading to saving of healthcare costs.

  2. 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

  3. 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…

  4. Advantages and Problems with Merging Data Bases.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cnaan, Ram A.

    1985-01-01

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

  5. Achieving a competitive advantage in managed care.

    PubMed

    Stahl, D A

    1998-02-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. Improvement of wound healing by water-filtered infrared-A (wIRA) in patients with chronic venous stasis ulcers of the lower legs including evaluation using infrared thermography

    PubMed Central

    Mercer, James B.; Nielsen, Stig Pors; Hoffmann, Gerd

    2008-01-01

    Background: Water-filtered infrared-A (wIRA) is a special form of heat radiation with a high tissue-penetration and with a low thermal burden to the surface of the skin. wIRA is able to improve essential and energetically meaningful factors of wound healing by thermal and non-thermal effects. Aim of the study: prospective study (primarily planned randomised, controlled, blinded, de facto with one exception only one cohort possible) using wIRA in the treatment of patients with recalcitrant chronic venous stasis ulcers of the lower legs with thermographic follow-up. Methods: 10 patients (5 males, 5 females, median age 62 years) with 11 recalcitrant chronic venous stasis ulcers of the lower legs were treated with water-filtered infrared-A and visible light irradiation (wIRA(+VIS), Hydrosun® radiator type 501, 10 mm water cuvette, water-filtered spectrum 550–1400 nm) or visible light irradiation (VIS; only possible in one patient). The uncovered wounds of the patients were irradiated two to five times per week for 30 minutes at a standard distance of 25 cm (approximately 140 mW/cm2 wIRA and approximately 45 mW/cm2 VIS). Treatment continued for a period of up to 2 months (typically until closure or nearly closure of the ulcer). The main variable of interest was “percent change of ulcer size over time” including complete wound closure. Additional variables of interest were thermographic image analysis, patient’s feeling of pain in the wound, amount of pain medication, assessment of the effect of the irradiation (by patient and by clinical investigator), assessment of feeling of the wound area (by patient), assessment of wound healing (by clinical investigator) and assessment of the cosmetic state (by patient and by clinical investigator). For these assessments visual analogue scales (VAS) were used. Results: The study showed a complete or nearly complete healing of lower leg ulcers in 7 patients and a clear reduction of ulcer size in another 2 of 10 patients, a

  8. Indian Defense Procurements: Advantage Russia or USA?

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-02-17

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

  9. 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.

  10. Explaining Asian Americans' academic advantage over whites.

    PubMed

    Hsin, Amy; Xie, Yu

    2014-06-10

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Operational-safety advantages of LMFBR's: the EBR-II experience and testing program

    SciTech Connect

    Sackett, J.I.; Lindsay, R.W.; Golden, G.H.

    1982-01-01

    LMFBR's contain many inherent characteristics that simplify control and improve operating safety and reliability. The EBR-II design is such that good advantage was taken of these characteristics, resulting in a vary favorable operating history and allowing for a program of off-normal testing to further demonstrate the safe response of LMFBR's to upsets. The experience already gained, and that expected from the future testing program, will contribute to further development of design and safety criteria for LMFBR's. Inherently safe characteristics are emphasized and include natural convective flow for decay heat removal, minimal need for emergency power and a large negative reactivity feedback coefficient. These characteristics at EBR-II allow for ready application of computer diagnosis and control to demonstrate their effectiveness in response to simulated plant accidents. This latter testing objective is an important part in improvements in the man-machine interface. (MMI)

  17. Rural Medicare Advantage Plan Payment in 2015.

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

  18. An evolutionary advantage for extravagant honesty.

    PubMed

    Bullock, Seth

    2012-01-07

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

  19. Including Jews in Multiculturalism.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Langman, Peter F.

    1995-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Accounting for the Down syndrome advantage?

    PubMed

    Esbensen, Anna J; Seltzer, Marsha Mailick

    2011-01-01

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

  4. The competitive advantage of sanctioning institutions.

    PubMed

    Gürerk, Ozgür; Irlenbusch, Bernd; Rockenbach, Bettina

    2006-04-07

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

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Farrington, D P

    1991-05-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rice, R. F.

    1982-01-01

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

  8. E3 Success Story - Rising Above the Rest: H&L Advantage

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Through the Green Suppliers Network review process, H&L Advantage worked on site with Michigan's Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and The Right Place, to identify over a dozen improvement opportunities in August 2004.

  9. 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

  10. Small and large animal models in cardiac contraction research: advantages and disadvantages.

    PubMed

    Milani-Nejad, Nima; Janssen, Paul M L

    2014-03-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Nutritional therapies (including fosteum).

    PubMed

    Nieves, Jeri W

    2009-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-05

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

  14. 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

  15. Improved chulo

    SciTech Connect

    Gautama, K.

    1980-01-01

    The design and advantages of a fuel-efficient firewood stove built by the Research Centre for Applied Science and Technology, Kirtipur, Nepal are discussed. A step-by-step construction outline is also included.

  16. 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

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

    PubMed

    Vesker, Michael; Wilson, Hugh R

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-01-01

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

  19. Competitive advantages of Caedibacter-infected Paramecia.

    PubMed

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

    2002-03-01

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

  20. 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

  1. Inferring causal structure: a quantum advantage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ried, Katja; Spekkens, Robert

    2014-03-01

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

  2. Childhood eczema: disease of the advantaged?

    PubMed Central

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

    1994-01-01

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

  3. The advantages and disadvantages of pacifier use.

    PubMed

    Cinar, Dede Nursan

    2004-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. Refraction, including prisms.

    PubMed

    Hiatt, R L

    1991-02-01

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

  6. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Odis, Jr.

    2013-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. The advantage of knowing the talker

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  12. 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...

  13. 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…

  14. Taking Full Advantage of Children's Literature

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Serafini, Frank

    2012-01-01

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

  15. The 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)…

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  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.

  19. Home advantage in retractable-roof baseball stadia.

    PubMed

    Romanowich, Paul

    2012-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Kazama, H

    2015-06-18

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

  2. Achieving competitive advantage through strategic human resource management.

    PubMed

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

    1990-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-01-01

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

  4. 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,…

  5. Integrating a Study Skills Workshop and Pre-Examination To Improve Students' Chemistry Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Francisco, Joseph S.; Trautmann, Marcella; Nicoll, Gayle

    1998-01-01

    Presents strategies to motivate at-risk students to take advantage of campus remediation resources. Strategies include identifying and responding to these students through a study skills remediation program and improvements in the general chemistry course. (DDR)

  6. Clinical advantages of dual activity in urticaria.

    PubMed

    Kontou-Fili, K

    2000-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-04-16

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

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

    PubMed

    Xu, Yuan

    2013-09-03

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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-01

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

  13. 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

  14. Association of soil organic matter with metal phases examined by selective dissolution approach: limitations and advantages

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wagai, R.; Mayer, L. M.

    2014-12-01

    Positive co-variation of organic matter (OM) with iron and aluminum phases has been known for decades in soil and, in case of OM-Fe, in marine sediments. More recent studies point to the metal control on the mean residence time of organic carbon in soils, suggesting that better understanding of the role of these metal phases and the nature of these organo-metal associations would help to improve the models of soil OM dynamics. We developed a selective dissolution approach to assess these associations (Wagai and Mayer, 2007; Wagai et al., 2013). By taking advantage of well-established extraction techniques that were targeted to dissolve specific metal and aluminosilicate phases in soil, we quantified the amounts of OM co-dissolved by the selective dissolution of these inorganic phases. The inherent limitations in this conceptually simple approach include the presence of C-based compounds (often as complexing agent for metal) in the extractants and the lack of selectivity when dissolving specific inorganic phases. The former was resolved by using nitrogen (N), instead of C, as a surrogate for OM because (i) soil N is mostly present as soil OM with relatively narrow C:N ratio, and (ii) the extractants are N free. We were able to partially overcome the lack of selectivity problem by comparing the co-dissolution of OM from a variety of extractants that use reductive, complexation, and acid/alkaline dissolutions. The potential advantages of our approach include the ability (i) to estimate the contribution of specific inorganic phases to OM stabilization, and (ii) to infer the possible modes of the organo-mineral associations that were extracted from field soils (e.g., adsorptive association vs. coprecipitation of organo-metallic complexes). In this presentation, we will further consider the advantages and limitations of this approach (e.g., methodological cautions), present some of the previous and new findings gained from this approach (including its application to

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

    PubMed

    Smith, D Randall

    2005-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Bermejo, Justo Lorenzo; Hemminki, Kari

    2007-07-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-07-22

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-09-01

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

  9. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-03

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

  12. 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.

  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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Holland, Aleicia; Kinnear, Susan

    2013-06-27

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

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

    PubMed

    Pollard, Richard; Gómez, Miguel A

    2014-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-28

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

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Gas storage materials, including hydrogen storage materials

    DOEpatents

    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.

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Levira, Francis; Todd, Gemma

    2017-03-16

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. 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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harding, Luke

    2012-01-01

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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  19. Medicare program; Medicare Advantage and prescription drug benefit programs: negotiated pricing and remaining revisions. Final rule with comment period.

    PubMed

    2009-01-12

    This rule contains final regulations governing the Medicare Advantage (MA) program (Part C) and prescription drug benefit program (Part D), and interim final regulations governing certain aspects of the Retiree Drug Subsidy (RDS) Program, and reflecting new statutory definitions relating to Special Needs Plans under Part C. The final regulations revising the Part C and Part D regulations include provisions regarding medical savings account (MSA) plans, cost-sharing for dual eligible enrollees in the MA program, the prescription drug payment and novation processes in the Part D program, and the enrollment and appeals processes for both programs. This final rule with comment period also responds to public comments on the May 16, 2008 proposed rule and takes into account statutory revisions contained in the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 (MIPPA).

  20. 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.

  1. Declining longevity advantage and low birthweight in Okinawa.

    PubMed

    Hokama, Tomiko; Binns, Colin

    2008-10-01

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

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  4. Joint inversion of MT data with GTF and HMT data: Main advantages from a synthetic case study and real data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ogaya, X.; Campanya i Llovet, J.; Jones, A. G.; Rath, V.; Vozar, J.

    2015-12-01

    In this work we assess the main advantages of complementing the standard magnetotelluric (MT) impedance tensor (Z) response with inter-station horizontal magnetic tensor (HMT) and geomagnetic transfer function (GTF) responses. Results were obtained from constraining the subsurface beneath a MT profile in a 3-D environment using distorted synthetic responses and real data. From the synthetic case study four main improvements were observed when performing joint inversion of Z, HMT and GTF data simultaneously, instead of only inverting the commonly used Zdata: (1) superior precision in the characterization of the electrical resistivity values of the anomalies below and outside the profile; (2) the potential to recover high electrical resistivity anomalies that are poorly recovered by using MT responses alone; (3) improvement in the characterization of the bottom and lateral boundaries of the anomalies with low electrical resistivity; and (4) superior imaging of the continuity of structures with low electrical resistivity. A corresponding inversion comparison was performed using real responses from Clare Basin (Co. Clare, Ireland) acquired during summer of 2014 within the IRECCSEM project (www.ireccsem.ie). A total of 140 sites were acquired, including audiomagnetotellurics (AMT) and broadband magnetotelluric (BBMT) time series data. The results obtained undertaking a joint inversion of Z, GTF and HMT data corroborate the results observed in the synthetic study. In addition, when confronted the results of the Clare Basin area with independent geological and geophysical data, the geoelectrical models show higher resolution when HMT and GTF data are included in the inversion process. The observed advantages offer new opportunities for the MT method by making the results from a MT profile in a 3-D environment more believable, supporting the possibility of high-resolution studies without necessarily expending a large amount of economical and computational resources.

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

    PubMed

    Rubio-Fernández, Paula; Glucksberg, Sam

    2012-01-01

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

  6. A Longitudinal Study of Memory Advantages in Bilinguals

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-11-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Krafts, K P; Pambuccian, S E

    2011-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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...

  18. How to improve your image with physicians. Differentiating your laboratory for a competitive advantage.

    PubMed

    Riggs, L; Winsten, D

    1996-01-01

    A collaborative partnership between physicians and the laboratory is more important than ever. This requires addressing the five major complaints that physicians have regarding the laboratory within the context of six key characteristics of doctors. The complaints concern: timeliness of information, completeness, accessibility, providing information in a suitable form, and making it understandable to time-pressed physicians. Working effectively with physicians to achieve an immaculate image means understanding why they tend toward control, have difficulty with conceptual presentations, and are quick to stereotype. It also means understanding how to capitalize on their tendency to respect expertise and reward it with loyalty. Establishing a favorable image requires creating a perception of cooperative proactivity based on sensitive performance.

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

    PubMed

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

    2001-01-01

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

  20. 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…

  1. 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 ...

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

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

    PubMed

    Bourbeau, J

    2001-01-01

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

  6. 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.…

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. TAKING SCIENTIFIC ADVANTAGE OF A DISASTROUS OIL SPILL

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Magnier-Watanabe, Remy; Senoo, Dai

    2009-01-01

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

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1998-07-01

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

  13. 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…

  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. 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"…

  16. 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.…

  17. 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…

  18. Advantages and Disadvantages of Student Loans Repayment Patterns

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shen, Hua

    2010-01-01

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

  19. A Bilateral Advantage for Storage in Visual Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sater, B. L.

    1973-01-01

    The high voltage solar array (HVSA) offers improvements in efficiency, weight, and reliability for the electric propulsion power system. The basic HVSA technology involves designing the solar array to deliver power in the form required by the ion thruster. This paper delves into conventional power processes and problems associated with ion thruster operation using SERT II experience for examples. In this light, the advantages of the HVSA concept for electric propulsion are presented. Tests conducted operating the SERT II thruster system in conjunction with HVSA are discussed. Thruster operation was observed to be normal and in some respects improved.

  3. Advantages of soft versus hard constraints in self-modeling curve resolution problems. Alternating least squares with penalty functions.

    PubMed

    Gemperline, Paul J; Cash, Eric

    2003-08-15

    A new algorithm for self-modeling curve resolution (SMCR) that yields improved results by incorporating soft constraints is described. The method uses least squares penalty functions to implement constraints in an alternating least squares algorithm, including nonnegativity, unimodality, equality, and closure constraints. By using least squares penalty functions, soft constraints are formulated rather than hard constraints. Significant benefits are (obtained using soft constraints, especially in the form of fewer distortions due to noise in resolved profiles. Soft equality constraints can also be used to introduce incomplete or partial reference information into SMCR solutions. Four different examples demonstrating application of the new method are presented, including resolution of overlapped HPLC-DAD peaks, flow injection analysis data, and batch reaction data measured by UV/visible and near-infrared spectroscopy (NIR). Each example was selected to show one aspect of the significant advantages of soft constraints over traditionally used hard constraints. Incomplete or partial reference information into self-modeling curve resolution models is described. The method offers a substantial improvement in the ability to resolve time-dependent concentration profiles from mixture spectra recorded as a function of time.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Merritt, Sears; Clauset, Aaron

    2013-10-29

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

  9. Environmental structure and competitive scoring advantages in team competitions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Merritt, Sears; Clauset, Aaron

    2013-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Peters, L H; O'Connor, E J

    2001-01-01

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

  11. An In–Group Advantage in Detecting Intergroup Anxiety

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Won, Doyeon; Chelladurai, Packianathan

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Paedomorphic facial expressions give dogs a selective advantage.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  14. Paedomorphic Facial Expressions Give Dogs a Selective Advantage

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  15. Selective advantage of topological disorder in biological evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kolář, M.; Slanina, F.

    2003-02-01

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

  16. A minimal ingroup advantage in emotion identification confidence.

    PubMed

    Young, Steven G; Wilson, John Paul

    2016-12-28

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-08-05

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-07-01

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

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  2. Advantages and Challenges of Dried Blood Spot Analysis by Mass Spectrometry Across the Total Testing Process

    PubMed Central

    Zakaria, Rosita; Allen, Katrina J.; Koplin, Jennifer J.; Roche, Peter

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Through the introduction of advanced analytical techniques and improved throughput, the scope of dried blood spot testing utilising mass spectrometric methods, has broadly expanded. Clinicians and researchers have become very enthusiastic about the potential applications of dried blood spot based mass spectrometric applications. Analysts on the other hand face challenges of sensitivity, reproducibility and overall accuracy of dried blood spot quantification. In this review, we aim to bring together these two facets to discuss the advantages and current challenges of non-newborn screening applications of dried blood spot quantification by mass spectrometry. Methods To address these aims we performed a key word search of the PubMed and MEDLINE online databases in conjunction with individual manual searches to gather information. Keywords for the initial search included; “blood spot” and “mass spectrometry”; while excluding “newborn”; and “neonate”. In addition, databases were restricted to English language and human specific. There was no time period limit applied. Results As a result of these selection criteria, 194 references were identified for review. For presentation, this information is divided into: 1) clinical applications; and 2) analytical considerations across the total testing process; being pre-analytical, analytical and post-analytical considerations. Conclusions DBS analysis using MS applications is now broadly applied, with drug monitoring for both therapeutic and toxicological analysis being the most extensively reported. Several parameters can affect the accuracy of DBS measurement and further bridge experiments are required to develop adjustment rules for comparability between dried blood spot measures and the equivalent serum/plasma values. Likewise, the establishment of independent reference intervals for dried blood spot sample matrix is required. PMID:28149263

  3. [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

  4. Improving surface coal refuse disposal site inspections

    SciTech Connect

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

    1980-06-01

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

  5. Advantages of micro-optics over holograms for document authentication

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steenblik, Richard A.; Hurt, Mark J.; Knotts, Michael E.

    2002-04-01

    Holograms have been utilized to authenticate financial instruments and high value products for many years. The security provided by embossed holograms is limited by their low surface relief, typically 0.25 micron, which makes them susceptible to counterfeiting: stripping the hologram from the substrate exposes the complete holographic microstructure which can be easily used to create counterfeit tooling. A large improvement in counterfeit deterrence can be gained by the use of high precision non-holographic micro-optics and microstructures having a surface relief greater than a few microns. An unlimited range of distinctive optical effects can be obtained from micro-optic systems. Many of the possible optical effects, such as optical interactions between discrete elements, cannot be effectively simulated by any other means, including holography. We present descriptions of five Visual Physics document authentication micro-optic systems that provide sophisticated optical effects: Virtual Image, BackLite, Encloak, Optical Black, and Structural Color . Visual Physics document authentication micro-optics impose an additional level of counterfeit deterrence because the production of polymer films incorporating these microstructures requires unconventional manufacturing methods; conventional holographic reproduction processes, typical of hologram counterfeiting operations, are inadequate to faithfully reproduce the details and the function of these micro-optic elements. We have developed mastering, tooling, and high precision/high speed manufacturing processes that can faithfully replicate these complex surface relief micro-optics at low cost.

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-04-01

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

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-02-14

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

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

    PubMed

    Matsui, Tomoko; Miura, Yui

    2009-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1982-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Fenelon, Andrew

    2013-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1995-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Bialystok, Ellen; Barac, Raluca

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Legemaate, J

    2003-10-11

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

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Hall Sedlak, Ruth; Jerome, Keith R

    2014-05-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. Advantages of gridless full-field digital mammography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nykanen, Kirsi; Siltanen, Samuli

    2003-06-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-12-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  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. Information technology for competitive advantage: the case of learning and innovation in behavioural healthcare service.

    PubMed

    Hsieh, Chang-tseh; Lin, Binshan

    2011-01-01

    The utilisation of IS/IT could offer a substantial competitive advantage to healthcare service providers through the realisation of improved clinical, financial, and administrative outcomes. In this study, 42 journal articles were reviewed and summarised with respect to identified benefits and challenges of the development and implementation of electronic medical records, tele-health, and electronic appointment reminders. Results of this study help pave the knowledge foundation for management of the behavioural healthcare to learn how to apply state-of-the-art information technology to offer higher quality, clinically proven effective services at lower costs than those of their competitors.

  9. Geography and destiny: local-market perspectives on developing Medicare Advantage regional plans.

    PubMed

    Hurley, Robert E; Strunk, Bradley C; Grossman, Joy M

    2005-01-01

    The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act (MMA) of 2003 established regional preferred provider organizations (PPOs) as a new private-plan option for beneficiaries in the Medicare Advantage (MA) program, starting in 2006. Developing network-based Medicare products uniformly priced across statewide or multistate regions presents unprecedented challenges and opportunities for health insurers. We held discussions with local health plan and hospital informants in six of the twelve Community Tracking Study (CTS) communities to obtain their perspectives on key considerations in evaluating whether they can and will offer regional PPO products under the MA program.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

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

  11. Radio-iodination of neurotrophins and their delivery in vivo: advantages of membrane filtration and the use of disposable syringes.

    PubMed

    von Bartheld, C S

    1998-02-20

    This paper reports two simple improvements for the radio-iodination of neurotrophins and their delivery in vivo. (1) Neurotrophins can be effectively separated from free iodide by using membrane filtration devices. Seven methods for the separation of free iodide are compared, including dialysis, gel filtration, and membrane filtration. Membrane filtration of the iodinated protein has several important advantages over dialysis or gel filtration. These include the precise control over the final concentration; excellent recovery of the neurotrophin; easy and inexpensive procedure; performance of the entire procedure in a fume hood; and reduced volume of radioactive waste. (2) Disposable, inexpensive syringes are suitable for the delivery of small volumes of radio-iodinated or non-radioactive neurotrophins. Plastic disposable insulin syringes are compared with Hamilton syringes. The ejection volume of the disposable syringes is surprisingly reliable in the dose range 2-15 microl. Their in vivo performance was tested by injections in the eyes of chick embryos in ovo. The amounts remaining in the eye varied significantly less with the disposable syringes. Leakage into the surrounding eye-muscles after intraocular injection was significantly more frequent with Hamilton syringes than with the disposable syringes. Thus, disposable syringes can be a reliable and cost-effective alternative for drug delivery of 2-15 microl volumes.

  12. 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

  13. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-10-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-12-09

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-19

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Dietary protein requirements and adaptive advantages in athletes.

    PubMed

    Phillips, Stuart M

    2012-08-01

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

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

    Gendon, Iu Z

    2004-01-01

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

  5. 77 FR 1877 - Medicare Program; Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Benefit Programs: Negotiated Pricing...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-01-12

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

  6. 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

  7. Fluoropyrimidines in the treatment of advanced neoplastic diseases: role and advantages of UFT.

    PubMed

    Del Vecchio, M; Procopio, G; Cassata, A; Pozzi, P; Busto, G; Celio, L; Bajetta, E

    1999-01-01

    The fluoropyrimidine antimetabolites were employed in a wide range of neoplastic diseases. In particular, 5-fluorouracil in association with other chemotherapeutic agents, or biochemical modulators was successfully used in the treatment of colorectal, gastric, breast, head and neck cancers. With this type of chemotherapy, a response rate < or = 20% was obtained in gastrointestinal tumors, without a statistically significant impact on the overall survival. UFT is a combination of tegafur an uracil, which has the important advantage of an improved oral bioavailability, if we compare it with 5-fluorouracil. Uracil, avoiding the fluoropyrimidine degradation inside the tumor cells, increases the permanence of the metabolically active fluoropyrimidine into the target cell, so having an improvement in the therapeutic activity. A very large spectrum of cancers were treated with this molecule. In particular, a response rate in the range of 20-40% was observed in the treatment of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. Phase III trials are ongoing to evaluate the advantage on 5-FU of this new fluoropyrimidine in terms of clinical efficacy, and quality of life, considering the possibility to administer it orally.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1990-05-02

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

  14. 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.

  15. DEVELOPMENT OF WATER CIRCULATION MODEL INCLUDING IRRIGATION

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kotsuki, Shunji; Tanaka, Kenji; Kojiri, Toshiharu; Hamaguchi, Toshio

    It is well known that since agricultural water withdrawal has much affect on water circulation system, accurate analysis of river discharge or water balance are difficult with less regard for it. In this study, water circulation model composed of land surface model and distributed runoff model is proposed at 10km 10km resolution. In this model, irrigation water, which is estimated with land surface model, is introduced to river discharge analysis. The model is applied to the Chao Phraya River in Thailand, and reproduced seasonal water balance. Additionally, the discharge on dry season simulated with the model is improved as a result of including irrigation. Since the model, which is basically developed from global data sets, simulated seasonal change of river discharge, it can be suggested that our model has university to other river basins.

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

    PubMed Central

    Khoury, Jason; Townsend, Grant

    2011-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Renshaw, A.

    1995-05-09

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

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

    Andreu, Antonia; Matas, Lurdes

    2010-10-01

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

  1. A search advantage for faces learned in motion.

    PubMed

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

    2006-06-01

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

  2. Advantages and limitations of clear-native PAGE.

    PubMed

    Wittig, Ilka; Schägger, Hermann

    2005-11-01

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

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Kato, M; Taniwaki, T; Kuwabara, Y

    2000-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Galecki, Diane L.

    1988-01-01

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

  10. Principles and advantages of robotics in urologic surgery.

    PubMed

    Renda, Antonio; Vallancien, Guy

    2003-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Soderstrom, Nicholas C; McCabe, David P

    2011-06-01

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

  13. Multi-core advantages for mask data preparation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yeap, Johnny; Nogatch, John

    2009-04-01

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

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-01-01

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

  16. [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.

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

    PubMed

    Zhao, Li; Heyman, Gail D

    2016-06-06

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Mampieri, G; Ottria, L; Barlattani, A

    2008-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Komatsu, Masaru

    2011-10-01

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

  5. Advantages of Robotic Right Colectomy With Intracorporeal Anastomosis.

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-17

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

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-15

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Galvin, Mark; Hauf, Al

    1997-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-07-01

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

  10. Including School Libraries in National Bibliographic Systems.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dyer, Esther R.

    1979-01-01

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

  11. Reconfigurable field effect transistor for advanced CMOS: Advantages and limitations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Navarro, C.; Barraud, S.; Martinie, S.; Lacord, J.; Jaud, M.-A.; Vinet, M.

    2017-02-01

    Reconfigurable FETs (RFETs) are optimized in planar Fully Depleted (FD) SOI. Their basics, electrostatics and performance are studied and compared with standard 28 nm FDSOI and other RFETs results in the literature. The main challenge for future broad adoption is analyzed and commented. Finally, some tips to improve the performance such as the asymmetric silicidation at source/drain are discussed.

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2016-04-26

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

  17. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Background and Purpose Mexican Americans (MAs) were previously found to have lower mortality following ischemic stroke than non Hispanic Whites (NHWs). We studied mortality trends in a population-based design. Methods Active and passive surveillance were used to find all ischemic stroke cases from January, 2000–December, 2011 in Nueces County, Texas. Deaths were ascertained from the Texas Department of Health through December 31 2012. Cumulative 30-day and 1 year mortality adjusted for covariates was estimated using log-binomial models with a linear term for year of stroke onset used to model time trends. Models used data from the entire study period to estimate adjusted mortality among stroke cases in 2000 and 2011, and to calculate projected ethnic differences. Results There were 1,974 ischemic strokes among NHWs and 2,439 among MAs. Between 2000 and 2011, model estimated mortality declined among NHWs at 30 days (7.6% to 5.6%, p=0.24) and 1 year (20.8% to 15.5%, p=0.02). Among MAs, 30-day model estimated mortality remained stagnant at 5.1% to 5.2% (p=0.92), and a slight decline from 17.4% to 15.3% was observed for 1 year mortality (p=0.26). While ethnic differences in 30-day (p=0.01) and 1 year (p=0.06) mortality were apparent in 2000, they were not so in 2011 (30-day, p=0.63; 1 year p=0.92). Conclusions Overall, mortality following ischemic stroke has declined in the last decade, although significant declines were only observed for NHWs and not MAs at 1 year. The survival advantage previously documented among MAs vanished by 2011. Renewed stroke prevention and treatment efforts for MAs are needed. PMID:25074514

  19. Economic advantage of pharmacogenomics - clinical trials with genetic information.

    PubMed

    Ohashi, Wataru; Mizushima, Hiroshi; Tanaka, Hiroshi

    2008-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to clarify the benefit and loss for the pharmaceutical companies when they adopt introducing pharmacogenomics in their clinical trials (in the following description, clinical trials by using pharmacogenomics is called "pgx clinical trial"), that is, when they use genetic information in their clinical trials. Particularly, the benefit for the pharmaceutical companies in terms of following two points is analyzed. 1. Development cost of new drug and period of clinical trial can be reduced because a clinical trial needs less subjects, 2. The new drug can be placed on the market earlier because the development period can be shortened. A survey conducted by Japan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association revealed that the pharmaceutical companies in Japan are interested in "pgx clinical trial". Specifically, 95% of the member companies (n=19) of the Association replied that the establishment of a guideline for pgx clinical trial by regulatory authorities are highly desirable. However, 65% of them (n=13) also replied that pgx clinical trial is difficult for the time being. It can be concluded that the pharmaceutical companies are positive about pgx clinical trial, but they cannot take a step towards it for several reasons: some of them may be worried their sales for non-responders will be reduced, poor understanding of pgx among the concerned parties, and not matured methodology of pgx clinical trial. This study shows that the advantage of pgx clinical trial outweighs its disadvantage. The sales may decrease because the drug is not used for non-responders, however, the number of subjects necessary for a clinical trial can be reduced, study period can be shortened and the drug can be marketed earlier. Furthermore, adverse events (AE) and adverse drug reactions (ADR) during the clinical trial and post-marketing phase can be markedly reduced. This represents a great benefit for the patients, pharmaceutical companies and the society as a whole.

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

    DOE PAGES

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

    2016-04-26

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Determination of the Relative Configuration of Terminal and Spiroepoxides by Computational Methods. Advantages of the Inclusion of Unscaled Data.

    PubMed

    Zanardi, María M; Suárez, Alejandra G; Sarotti, Ariel M

    2017-02-17

    The assignment of the relative configuration of spiroepoxides or related quaternary carbon-containing oxiranes can be troublesome and difficult to achieve. The use of GIAO NMR shift calculations can provide helpful assistance in challenging cases of structural elucidation. In this regard, the DP4 probability is one of the most popular methods to be employed when only one set of experimental data is available, though modest results were obtained when dealing with spiroepoxides. Recently, we introduced an improved probability (DP4+) that includes the use of both scaled and unscaled NMR data computed at higher levels of theory. Here, we report a comprehensive study to explore the scope and limitations of the DP4+ methodology in the stereoassignment of terminal or spiroepoxides bearing a wide variety of molecular complexity and conformational freedom. The excellent levels of correct classification achieved were interpreted on the basis of a constructive compensation of errors upon using both scaled and unscaled proton and carbon data. The advantages of the DP4+ methodology in solving two case studies that could not be unequivocally assigned by NOE experiments are also provided.

  6. Moisturizing advantages of desonide hydrogel in treating atopic dermatitis.

    PubMed

    Trookman, Nathan S; Rizer, Ronald L; Ho, Elizabeth T; Ford, Rosanne O; Gotz, Vincent

    2011-07-01

    The stratum corneum typically is compromised in patients with atopic dermatitis (AD). Beneficial AD treatments should provide moisture to the skin as well as restore impaired barrier function. Traditional treatments involve ointments or creams. A clinical study was conducted to determine if desonide in a hydrogel vehicle (HGV) could improve the moisture content and barrier function of the stratum corneum in adults with mild to moderate AD. Participants applied desonide hydrogel 0.05% twice daily for 4 weeks to areas of both lesional and nonlesional skin. Corneometry and transepidermal water loss (TEWL) were measured at baseline and weeks 1, 2, and 4. Statistically significant improvements in corneometry and TEWL measurements on lesional skin were observed at all study visits compared with baseline (all P < or = .002 and P < or = .04, respectively).

  7. 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).

  8. [Advantage of delayed umbilical cord clamping in the newborn infant].

    PubMed

    Menget, A; Mougey, C; Thiriez, G; Riethmuller, D

    2013-09-01

    The timing of umbilical cord clamping remains controversial. Although most maternity wards use the early clamping (5-15s), randomized studies and meta-analyses have demonstrated the benefit of delayed clamping for term and preterm newborn infants over the past 10 years. Indeed, placentofetal transfusion of 20-30 ml/kg in 2-3 min improves the iron status of term infants and prevents infant hypochromic anemia. Infant anemia is a public health problem in many developing countries. For preterm newborns, placental transfusion for 45 s or milking the cord for 15 s improves cardiovascular adaptation, with better hemodynamic stability, as well as decreased intraventricular hemorrhages, need for transfusion, and late-onset sepsis. A new look at this symbolic act is needed and professionals need to be persuaded of the importance of the "wait a minute" policy for a better physiological delivery.

  9. The Airpower Advantage in Future Warfare: The Need for Strategy

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-12-01

    organized violence is criminal profit, cultur- ally induced and licensed recreation, or just sheer hooliganism on a large scale, it cannot be warfare...but these are very early years and there is ample cause for concern already. The good news is that unlike the twentieth century from 1917 until 1991...instead to fit that still improving competence into a truly holistic approach to warfare. That approach, in its turn, needs to fit into a genu - inely

  10. 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.

  11. Improving intensive care unit quality using collaborative networks.

    PubMed

    Watson, Sam R; Scales, Damon C

    2013-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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…

  15. 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

  16. 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...

  17. Comparative advantages of new drugs: French Pharmacoeconomic Committee is not sufficiently demanding.

    PubMed

    2015-12-01

    In France, the Pharmacoeconomic Committee (Commission de la Transparence) is responsible for assessing the therapeutic value of new drugs and their therapeutic advantages over existing therapies. These assessments are used in particular by public authorities to guide reimbursement policy, to decide whether to approve the drug's use in hospitals and other healthcare institutions, and to negotiate its price. Prescrire evaluates the therapeutic advantages of new drugs marketed in France (including products not reimbursed by the national health insurance system) and new indications, to help prescribers and patients make informed treatment choices. A study comparing the Pharmacoeconomic Committee's ratings versus Prescrire's ratings, issued during the period 2009-2014 on a total of more than 300 new drugs and indications, has confirmed the results of a comparison carried out in 2004: overall, the French Pharmacoeconomic Committee is less demanding than Prescrire. The Pharmacoeconomic Committee is less concerned with ease of use, and more often considers positively drugs approved for situations in which there is a pressing need for better treatments, even when their efficacy is slight and poorly established. Prescrire's assessments are based on explicit procedures: a literature search; analysis of the evidence for efficacy; analysis of adverse effects; systematic consideration of treatment convenience, including packaging quality; and a systematic rating system. In addition, our ratings are free of any influence from the pharmaceutical industry.

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

    Glick-Bauer, Marian; Yeh, Ming-Chin

    2014-10-31

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

  20. 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.

  1. Musician advantage for speech-on-speech perception.

    PubMed

    Başkent, Deniz; Gaudrain, Etienne

    2016-03-01

    Evidence for transfer of musical training to better perception of speech in noise has been mixed. Unlike speech-in-noise, speech-on-speech perception utilizes many of the skills that musical training improves, such as better pitch perception and stream segregation, as well as use of higher-level auditory cognitive functions, such as attention. Indeed, despite the few non-musicians who performed as well as musicians, on a group level, there was a strong musician benefit for speech perception in a speech masker. This benefit does not seem to result from better voice processing and could instead be related to better stream segregation or enhanced cognitive functions.

  2. [Advantages of endoscopic stenting for malignant gastrointestinal obstructions].

    PubMed

    Meier, P N; Manns, M P

    2006-03-01

    Self-expanding stents play a major role in the interdisciplinary treatment of gastrointestinal obstructions in patients with local nonresectable tumors, advanced metastasis, and pronounced comorbidity. Reinstenting the passage and sealing esophagotracheal fistulae is very effective as palliative treatment for esophageal tumor complications. In hepatobiliary occlusions, the success rate against cholestasis is also high. Enteral and colorectal stents are gaining favor. Required are an experienced endoscopy team and adequate equipment. The rate of procedural complications is generally low, but rare and severe complications such as perforation must be considered. Further improvements in the materials and construction of stents can be expected.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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…

  6. 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.

  7. 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…

  8. Is there a haemodynamic advantage associated with cuffed arterial anastomoses?

    PubMed

    Cole, J S; Watterson, J K; O'Reilly, M J G

    2002-10-01

    The development of intimal hyperplasia at arterial bypass graft anastomoses is a major factor responsible for graft failure. A revised surgical technique, involving the incorporation of a small section of vein (vein cuff) into the distal anastomosis of PTFE grafts, results in an altered distribution of intimal hyperplasia and improved graft patency rates, especially for below-knee grafts. Numerical simulations have been conducted under physiological conditions to identify the flow behaviour in a typical cuffed bypass model and to determine whether the improved performance of the cuffed system can be accounted for by haemodynamic factors. The flow patterns at the cuffed anastomosis are significantly different to those at the conventional end-to-side anastomosis. In the former case, the flow is characterised by an expansive, low momentum recirculation within the cuff. Separation occurs at the graft heel, and at the cuff toe as the blood enters the recipient artery. Wall shear stresses in the vicinity of the cuff heel are low, but high shear stresses and large spatial gradients in the shearing force act on the artery floor during systole. In contrast, a less disturbed flow prevails and the floor shear stress distribution is less adverse in the conventional model. In conclusion, aspects of the anastomotic haemodynamics are worsened when the cuff is employed. The benefits associated with the cuffed grafts may be related primarily to the presence of venous material at the anastomosis. Therefore, caution is advised with regard to the use of PTFE grafts, pre-shaped to resemble a cuffed geometry.

  9. A perspective on superaugmented flight control - Advantages and problems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcruer, D.; Johnston, D.; Myers, T.

    1986-01-01

    Superaugmented aircraft are an important subclass of actively controlled, highly augmented aircraft. The aircraft without augmentation is unstable; the control system not only redresses the stability and control imbalance, but also provides effective vehicle dynamics that differ in kind from those associated with conventional aircraft. In this paper, the longitudinal properties of highly unstable aircraft and typical superaugmented control systems used to remedy their dynamic deficiencies are explored generically. The topics considered include: (1) Basic flight control system architectures suitable to reduce or completely alleviate the unstable aircraft characteristics. (2) The primary dynamic characteristics and regulatory properties of typical superaugmented aircraft control systems, including governing factors in the linear system, dominant mode characteristics, and fundamental stability margin properties. The total available gain range factor is presented as a basic measure that relates degree of instability, control system limitations, and key control system adjustments. (3) Some flying qualities features for superaugmented aircraft with rate command/attitude hold, extended bandwidth, and attitude command configurations.

  10. 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

  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.

  12. Advantages and mechanisms of polarity and cell shape determination in Caulobacter crescentus

    PubMed Central

    Lawler, Melanie L.; Brun, Yves V.

    2007-01-01

    Summary The tremendous diversity of bacterial cell shapes and the targeting of proteins and macromolecular complexes to specific subcellular sites strongly suggest that cellular organization provides important advantages for bacteria in their environment. Key advances have been made in the understanding of the mechanism and function of polarity and cell shape by studying the aquatic bacterium Caulobacter crescentus, whose cell cycle progression involves the ordered synthesis of different polar structures, and culminates in the biosynthesis of a thin polar cell envelope extension called the stalk. Recent results indicate that one important function of polar development is to maximize cell attachment to surfaces and to improve nutrient uptake by non-motile and attached cells. Major progress has been made in understanding the regulatory network that coordinates polar development and morphogenesis, and the role of polar localization of regulatory proteins. PMID:17997127

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

    PubMed

    Johnston, William R

    2017-02-01

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

  14. 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

  15. Advantageous Use of Hypnosis in a Case of Psychogenic Vomiting.

    PubMed

    Chandrashekhar, Roopa

    2016-04-01

    This case study describes in detail the role of hypnosis in treatment of a case of psychogenic vomiting. The patient, a 60-yearold woman, had been suffering for 9 months from episodes of vomiting which resulted in weight loss, dehydration, and hypokalemia. She was a conscientious woman with high standards of behavior, which did not allow an expression of the extreme hostility she felt toward her daughter-in-law. Hypnotherapeutic sessions reduced her anxiety, restored her sleep, improved mood, and helped deepen rapport, all of which created the ideal setting for Gestalt's empty chair technique. Integrating hypnosis greatly enhanced the quality of the empty chair dialogue, which by bringing about a shift in the patient's emotions from hostility to sympathy, facilitated recovery.

  16. Diffraction effects and special advantages in electronic heterodyne moire deflectometry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stricker, J.

    1986-01-01

    Effects of diffraction on the performance of electronic heterodyne readout of moire fringes are investigated. The sensitivity, accuracy, and resolution of the system are calculated, and it is shown that these features are significantly improved compared with the conventional intensity moire readout technique. The sensitivity of the system can be tripled without changing the distance between gratings. The system was evaluated experimentally by measuring the refractive-index derivatives of a weak phase object consisting of a large KD(asterisk)P crystal. Effects of nonlinear fringe modulation were studied both theoretically and experimentally. It is shown that in this case the electronic phase is not linearly related to the fringe shift, and calibration of the system is necessary.

  17. Ensuring competitive advantage with semantic design process management

    SciTech Connect

    Quazzani, A.; Bernard, A.; Bocquet, J.C.

    1996-12-31

    In the field of design assistance, it is important to improve records of design history and management of design process. Indeed, we propose a modelling approach of design process that focuses on representation of semantic actions. We have identified two types of actions: physical design actions focusing on the product (e.g., parameter creation, shaft dimensioning) and management actions that allow management of the process from the planning and control viewpoint (e.g., synchronization actions, a resource allocation for a task). A taxonomy of these actions has been established according to several criteria (granularity, fields of action ... ) selected in consideration of our process management interests. Linkage with objective and rationale is also discussed.

  18. Biomechanical Reconstructions and Selective Advantages of Neck Poses and Feeding Strategies of Sauropods with the Example of Mamenchisaurus youngi

    PubMed Central

    Christian, Andreas; Peng, Guangzhao; Sekiya, Toru; Ye, Yong; Wulf, Marco G.; Steuer, Thorsten

    2013-01-01

    A very long neck is a characteristic feature of most sauropod dinosaurs. In the genus Mamenchisaurus, neck length is extreme, greater than 40 percent of total body length. However, the posture, utilization, and selective advantage of very long necks in sauropods are still controversial. An excellently preserved skeleton of Mamenchisaurus youngi, including a complete neck, provides an opportunity for a comprehensive biomechanical analysis of neck posture and mobility. The biomechanical evidence indicates that Mamenchisaurus youngi had a nearly straight, near horizontal neck posture and browsed at low or medium heights. The results differ from the findings for some other sauropod species, like Euhelopus, Diplodocus, and Giraffatitan (Brachiosaurus) that had been analyzed in previous studies with similar methods. The selective advantage of extreme neck length in sauropods is likely advantageous for different feeding strategies. PMID:24204557

  19. 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.

  20. Medicare Program; Revisions to Payment Policies Under the Physician Fee Schedule and Other Revisions to Part B for CY 2017; Medicare Advantage Bid Pricing Data Release; Medicare Advantage and Part D Medical Loss Ratio Data Release; Medicare Advantage Provider Network Requirements; Expansion of Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program Model; Medicare Shared Savings Program Requirements. Final rule.

    PubMed

    2016-11-15

    This major final rule addresses changes to the physician fee schedule and other Medicare Part B payment policies, such as changes to the Value Modifier, to ensure that our payment systems are updated to reflect changes in medical practice and the relative value of services, as well as changes in the statute. This final rule also includes changes related to the Medicare Shared Savings Program, requirements for Medicare Advantage Provider Networks, and provides for the release of certain pricing data from Medicare Advantage bids and of data from medical loss ratio reports submitted by Medicare health and drug plans. In addition, this final rule expands the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program model.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  2. No childhood advantage in the acquisition of skill in using an artificial language rule.

    PubMed

    Ferman, Sara; Karni, Avi

    2010-10-27

    A leading notion is that language skill acquisition declines between childhood and adulthood. While several lines of evidence indicate that declarative ("what", explicit) memory undergoes maturation, it is commonly assumed that procedural ("how-to", implicit) memory, in children, is well established. The language superiority of children has been ascribed to the childhood reliance on implicit learning. Here we show that when 8-year-olds, 12-year-olds and young adults were provided with an equivalent multi-session training experience in producing and judging an artificial morphological rule (AMR), adults were superior to children of both age groups and the 8-year-olds were the poorest learners in all task parameters including in those that were clearly implicit. The AMR consisted of phonological transformations of verbs expressing a semantic distinction: whether the preceding noun was animate or inanimate. No explicit instruction of the AMR was provided. The 8-year-olds, unlike most adults and 12-year-olds, failed to explicitly uncover the semantic aspect of the AMR and subsequently to generalize it accurately to novel items. However, all participants learned to apply the AMR to repeated items and to generalize its phonological patterns to novel items, attaining accurate and fluent production, and exhibiting key characteristics of procedural memory. Nevertheless, adults showed a clear advantage in learning implicit task aspects, and in their long-term retention. Thus, our findings support the notion of age-dependent maturation in the establishment of declarative but also of procedural memory in a complex language task. In line with recent reports of no childhood advantage in non-linguistic skill learning, we propose that under some learning conditions adults can effectively express their language skill acquisition potential. Altogether, the maturational effects in the acquisition of an implicit AMR do not support a simple notion of a language skill learning advantage

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Advantages of the use of lunar and Mars propellant production

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roberts, Barney

    1991-01-01

    The use of nonterrestrial resources is discussed in the context of facilitating the transport of space-vehicle propellant to be used for lunar and/or Mars missions. A cost-benefit analysis is conducted to determine the feasibility and efficiency of developing propellant-production facilities in space for future mission support. The analysis suggests that after 2-3 years a break-even point is possible for return-on-investment mass, and technological hurdles are described that include systems for automation, mining, and processing.

  6. Underground nuclear energy complexes - technical and economic advantages

    SciTech Connect

    Myers, Carl W; Kunze, Jay F; Giraud, Kellen M; Mahar, James M

    2010-01-01

    Underground nuclear power plant parks have been projected to be economically feasible compared to above ground instalIations. This paper includes a thorough cost analysis of the savings, compared to above ground facilities, resulting from in-place entombment (decommissioning) of facilities at the end of their life. reduced costs of security for the lifetime of the various facilities in the underground park. reduced transportation costs. and reduced costs in the operation of the waste storage complex (also underground). compared to the fair share of the costs of operating a national waste repository.

  7. Mission Advantages of NEXT: Nasa's Evolutionary Xenon Thruster

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oleson, Steven; Gefert, Leon; Benson, Scott; Patterson, Michael; Noca, Muriel; Sims, Jon

    2002-01-01

    With the demonstration of the NSTAR propulsion system on the Deep Space One mission, the range of the Discovery class of NASA missions can now be expanded. NSTAR lacks, however, sufficient performance for many of the more challenging Office of Space Science (OSS) missions. Recent studies have shown that NASA's Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT) ion propulsion system is the best choice for many exciting potential OSS missions including outer planet exploration and inner solar system sample returns. The NEXT system provides the higher power, higher specific impulse, and higher throughput required by these science missions.

  8. New process technologies improve IGBT module efficiency

    SciTech Connect

    Motto, E.R.; Donlon, J.F.; Mori, Satoshi; Iida, Takahiko

    1995-12-31

    New process technologies are extending the application range of IGBT modules. A 1,400V IGBT with significantly improved efficiency has been developed using an optimized epitaxial (punch-through) process. This new 1,400V device has a square turn-off switching SOA making it suitable for 575/600 VAC inverter applications. A very low saturation voltage 250V IGBT has been developed using a trench gate structure. This new 250V device offers significant size and efficiency advantages in battery powered applications including fork lift truck and UPS inverters.

  9. Space station automation and autonomy - Advantages and problems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carlisle, R. F.

    1982-01-01

    Design guidelines and functional systems being considered in the process of defining the configuration of the automated systems for a manned space station are outlined. The requirements are dependent on life-cycle costing and will set the necessary level of automation, as well as autonomy from outside commands. Fault protection routines have been largely devised according to successful programming on the Voyager spacecraft. An analysis is still needed of the housekeeping functions, including human necessities, machine functions, and mission objectives. A data base will result, defining the functions that have historically been delegated to either man or machine. Care must be taken to coordinate and document stationkeeping functions that might interface with mission functions. A data management system that is flexible with regards to changing mission objectives and to the MTBF factors, which will determine the level of technology to be used is required. Expert systems will be integrated into the automation to guide the machines in problem solving, including ensuring adequate management of the battery subsystem.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-12-01

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

  11. Environmental Sustainability - Including Land and Water Use

    EPA Science Inventory

    Assessments of environmental sustainability can be conducted in many ways with one of the most quantitative methods including Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA). While historically LCIA has included a comprehensive list of impact categories including: ozone depletion, global c...

  12. Advantages of wet work for near-surface seismic reflection

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Miller, R.D.; Markiewicz, R.D.; Rademacker, T.R.; Hopkins, R.; Rawcliffe, R.J.; Paquin, J.

    2007-01-01

    Benefits of shallow water settings (0.1 to 0.5 m) are pronounced on shallow, high-resolution seismic reflection images and, for examples discussed here, range from an order of magnitude increased signal-to-noise ratio to resolution potential elevated by more than 8 times. Overall data quality of high-resolution seismic reflection data at three sites notorious for poor near-surface reflection returns was improved by coupling the source and/or receivers to a well sorted and fully saturated surface. Half-period trace-to-trace static offsets evident in reflections from receivers planted into a creek bank were eliminated by moving the geophones to the base of a shallow creek at the toe of the bank. Reflections from a dipping bedrock were recorded with a dominant frequency approaching 1 KHz from hydrophones in 0.5 m of water at the toe of a dam using a hammer impact source. A tamper impacted by a dead blow hammer in a shallow (10-20 cm) deep creek produced reflections with a dominant frequency over 400 Hz at depths as shallow as 6 ms. ?? 2007 Society of Exploration Geophysicists.

  13. Is There a Cosmetic Advantage to Single-Incision Laparoscopic Surgical Techniques Over Standard Laparoscopic Surgery? A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Evans, Luke; Manley, Kate

    2016-06-01

    Single-incision laparoscopic surgery represents an evolution of minimally invasive techniques, but has been a controversial development. A cosmetic advantage is stated by many authors, but has not been found to be universally present or even of considerable importance by patients. This systematic review and meta-analysis demonstrates that there is a cosmetic advantage of the technique regardless of the operation type. The treatment effect in terms of cosmetic improvement is of the order of 0.63.

  14. How Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage Works with a Medicare Advantage Plan or Medicare Cost Plan

    MedlinePlus

    ... Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage Works with a Medicare Advantage Plan or Medicare Cost Plan Medicare offers prescription ... elect the drug coverage. 2. Join a Medicare Advantage Plan— like a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO), Preferred ...

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

    PubMed

    Adel-Patient, K; Wal, J M

    2004-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Heberling, J Mason; Fridley, Jason D

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  18. Inhibition of fungal colonization by Pseudoalteromonas tunicata provides a competitive advantage during surface colonization.

    PubMed

    Franks, A; Egan, S; Holmström, C; James, S; Lappin-Scott, H; Kjelleberg, S

    2006-09-01

    The marine epiphytic bacterium Pseudoalteromonas tunicata produces a range of extracellular secondary metabolites that inhibit an array of common fouling organisms, including fungi. In this study, we test the hypothesis that the ability to inhibit fungi provides P. tunicata with an advantage during colonization of a surface. Studies on a transposon-generated antifungal-deficient mutant of P. tunicata, FM3, indicated that a long-chain fatty acid-coenzyme A ligase is involved in the production of a broad-range antifungal compound by P. tunicata. Flow cell experiments demonstrated that production of an antifungal compound provided P. tunicata with a competitive advantage against a marine yeast isolate during surface colonization. This compound enabled P. tunicata to disrupt an already established fungal biofilm by decreasing the number of yeast cells attached to the surface by 66% +/- 9%. For in vivo experiments, the wild-type and FM3 strains of P. tunicata were used to inoculate the surface of the green alga Ulva australis. Double-gradient denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis analysis revealed that after 48 h, the wild-type P. tunicata had outcompeted the surface-associated fungal community, whereas the antifungal-deficient mutant had no effect on the fungal community. Our data suggest that P. tunicata is an effective competitor against fungal surface communities in the marine environment.

  19. Advantages of Selective Use of Intraluminal Shunt in Carotid Endarterectomy: A Study of 122 Cases

    PubMed Central

    Usman, Rashid; Ghaffar, Salma

    2016-01-01

    Objectives: To assess the advantage of selective use of shunt in carotid endarterectomy (CEA) under local anesthesia. Materials and Methods: A total of 122 consecutive patients fulfilling international guidelines were included. Shunt was used selectively only in cases of bilateral severe carotid artery occlusive disease or in those patients who developed neurological symptoms on clamping of carotid artery. Follow up was done weekly for one month; then every month for 3 months; and then every 3 months for a year. Results: Shunt was used only in 5% (n = 6) patients. Of these, 2.5% (n = 3) patients were those who developed neurological symptoms on clamping the internal carotid and deployment of shunt resulted in complete resolution of symptoms. 2.5% (n = 3) had severe bilateral carotid stenosis and shunt was deployed. One of these patients developed stroke which was permanent. There was no mortality. The mean procedure time was 170 min in patients in whom shunt was used, when compared with 100 min in patients without shunt (P = 0.003). Conclusion: Use of shunt in carotid endarterectomy under local anesthesia as selective policy has an advantage in terms of cost effectiveness, operation time and prevention of potential complications. PMID:28018499

  20. Inhibition of Fungal Colonization by Pseudoalteromonas tunicata Provides a Competitive Advantage during Surface Colonization†

    PubMed Central

    Franks, A.; Egan, S.; Holmström, C.; James, S.; Lappin-Scott, H.; Kjelleberg, S.

    2006-01-01

    The marine epiphytic bacterium Pseudoalteromonas tunicata produces a range of extracellular secondary metabolites that inhibit an array of common fouling organisms, including fungi. In this study, we test the hypothesis that the ability to inhibit fungi provides P. tunicata with an advantage during colonization of a surface. Studies on a transposon-generated antifungal-deficient mutant of P. tunicata, FM3, indicated that a long-chain fatty acid-coenzyme A ligase is involved in the production of a broad-range antifungal compound by P. tunicata. Flow cell experiments demonstrated that production of an antifungal compound provided P. tunicata with a competitive advantage against a marine yeast isolate during surface colonization. This compound enabled P. tunicata to disrupt an already established fungal biofilm by decreasing the number of yeast cells attached to the surface by 66% ± 9%. For in vivo experiments, the wild-type and FM3 strains of P. tunicata were used to inoculate the surface of the green alga Ulva australis. Double-gradient denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis analysis revealed that after 48 h, the wild-type P. tunicata had outcompeted the surface-associated fungal community, whereas the antifungal-deficient mutant had no effect on the fungal community. Our data suggest that P. tunicata is an effective competitor against fungal surface communities in the marine environment. PMID:16957232